My mother and I decided to get a head start on our Christmas shopping this year, so we headed to Sarnia on Friday to start looking for the perfect gifts. I figured that I probably won't feel up to going for awhile after my surgery is finished and my treatments start.
Our first stop was The Running Room, so I could pick up some new running shoes.
My goal (albeit a little lofty) is to complete a half-marathon in the next year and a half. I had originally settled on 1 year, but I'm cutting myself a little slack. They are starting a new running clinic in January, so I am really hoping to make it out to that. It is two or three months long, and the woman who manages it said that they could have me running the half in six months. We will have to see.
Regardless, I am really excited to start the clinic and to start running.
After a brief stop at Future shop, Christmas shopping kind of went out the window. I was hoping to find presents for my brother and father, but I will likely have to leave Lambton county to find what I am looking for. The remainder of the afternoon was spent shopping for me, and not so much for other people. Apparently finding protein bars that don't contain soy is pretty tricky.
We were given some good suggestions for immune boosters by a lady at GNC whose grandmother had survived breast cancer. I have always wanted to try Greens+ but sadly it contains soy (much like everything else).
I find it rather disconcerting how everyone I talk to has a relative/close friend that has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Literally, every person I talked to that day had a story about a grandmother, mother-in-law or friend that had breast cancer.
***(please feel free to skip this paragraph if you don't want a mini-lecture.)***
Here is a little bit of information for you... "About 1 out of every 7 women will get breast cancer over a 90-year life span." (taken directly from the breastcancer.org web site) Breastcancer.org, along with several other website have invaluable information on breast cancer.
Most generally include information on how to reduce your risk of getting breast cancer (http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/everyone/lower_risk.jsp)
These include -
*Get more exercise
*Maintain a healthy weight
*Reduce your exposure to estrogen (hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and DHEA)
*Learn about good nutrition and start eating for good health
*Eat your fruits and vegetables
Of course, this isn't always enough.
There are many factors that are beyond our control, and this is why self breast exams are so dang important! This is how I found my lump.
Seriously ladies, I don't want to hear anyone say "I'm too young" or "I'm not at risk because... " If you believe that, then I've got a bridge I want to sell you. You are never too young to start.
The last time I spoke with my surgeon, we asked how many people my age he sees with breast cancer. He said, although it isn't common, it does happen. The same day I was in, there was another woman that was 29 diagnosed as well. The youngest he has treated for breast cancer is 18.
OK, lecture over... now on to the pictures!!!
Be warned, you are about to see some pictures of the bruising post-biopsy. I'm trying to keep it as clean as possible on here, so they have been edited a little ;)
First set is from my first biopsy in Seoul.
They were take about 3 or 4 days post-biopsy.
This set is from the biopsies that I had last week.
They were taken approximately 6 days post-biopsy.
The first two pictures are from the biopsy on the left side or my right breast (new mass).
The second is from another biopsy on the original mass. The mark on the left is from the original hole. The mark on the right is from the razor cut.
As you can see, there is a pretty substantial difference between the two bruises.
The original biopsy hurt far worse. In Seoul, they just popped the needle right through the skin. For the second set of biopsies, the doctor actually cut the skin with a razor before inserting the needle.
Anyway on to happier subjects!
This past weekend, Melanie (my best friend from high school) came down to visit me. I've known this girl for about 14 years. Dang. We have been through thick and thin. Just seeing her face makes everything seem better. I adore her and her adventurous peppy spirit. I was also lucky enough to have my brother and another good friend from high school (Christine) come home to visit too. It was a wonderful weekend full of laughter, sharing, and a few tears. It made me remember how truly blessed I am.
More pictures -
Ok, I went to my pre-admission appointment today in Toronto. I learned nothing new at this appointment, just had some blood drawn and a chest x-ray.
Before my appointment, I was able to hang out with my friend Peter. I haven't seen this kid in about a year and a half.
It was wonderful to be able to catch up with him and hear all about his life.
I have no pictures of this, as I forgot my camera. However, I am hoping that I will remember it this weekend.
I am heading up to Toronto on Saturday night for the Attack in Black/Ladyhawk show at the Horseshoe tavern.
If anyone wants stop by and say hi, I'd be way psyched to see you!!!
Hearts and hugs.