Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Finally! Some Good News -

It's short and sweet people - I had an MRI and it looks like you're pretty much dealing with a lop-sided cancer patient. At present, any evidence of cancer is only on my left side - breast and lymph nodes. I was never really into my left side anyway...or maybe I was into it too much and my right-side put a voodoo curse on it's doppelganger. No matter, one more day with the scapel weilding geniuses Dr. Schrader and Dr. Goodman and I will be as good as new. Oh, except for the drinking gobs of chemicals for a few months part. It seems a bitter irony that it's likely chemicals got me into this state and now I have to ingest voluminous amounts of different chemicals to get me out of it.

So I'm scheduling a second surgery for a lymph-node dissection and will have concurrent surgeries for a second mastectomy (prophylactic due to the incidence of reoccurence with my type of cancer) and then some crazy modern reconstruction work by the brilliant Dr. Goodman. If you're waiting for me to get to the part where I describe the reconstruction in hot detail and show pictures you're reading the wrong blog. I may be an open person but I still draw a line of modesty. Besides, I had to look at pictures of my naked self at the doctors office and figured I'd do the world a favor and keep you out of the loop.

Thank you again to everyone who is helping and thinking of me. The power of your support and friendship makes all the difference.

When I have the exact dates of my next surgery and chemo I will post it on the tumor timeline page.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006





How to Add Events to Susan's Calendar

Style manuals suggest that one never begin a letter with an apology, but I'm going to do it anyway. I'm sorry the calendar has been so frustrating for everyone.

Susan's Calendar in the links area is a READ ONLY calendar. The following is a step by step guide to creating an event on this calendar by using the Google Calendar button just below the Read Only Calendar.

1) Choose an email address to use for your google calendar account. Any and ALL addresses work: choose one.
2) Email from this address saying, "I wanna create an event--please hurry!"
3) While waiting for my reply, create a google calendar account if you don't have one. Go to the blog and click the Google Calendar button. The google login page appears. Click the "create a new account" link on that page. Create and validate the new account using your chosen email address. Return to the blog and click the Google Calendar button again. When you've receive a reply from georgethistle saying "Go Dog, Go!" login to google calendar.
5) The calendar page appears. Click the yes button.
6) Notice in the left margin your new Google Calendar in blue and Susan's Calendar in green.
7) Click in the calendar where you want to create an event. A dialog box appears. Type in the name of the event; click the edit event link. In the calendar field of this page use the little arrow to select Susan's Calendar. Save the event. Alternatively some event dialog boxes contain the calendar selection field which saves one from having to go through the event editing step. Either/Or.
8) The event will show up in green as part of Susan's Calendar and not yours. Refresh the blog to check it's there.

Please email with any questions or frustrations so that Susan doesn't have to play the go-between. Good Luck.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Who Wants a Mastectomy?

Now, I now you're all saying, "Pick me!Pick me!" but unfortunately, only those of us with rare cancers get to have needles poked into our breasts and scanned by a Geiger counter before having them removed.
Did I say, "RARE CANCER"?
The early diagnosis of ductal carcinoma turned out to be incorrect. 90% of breast cancers are ductal carcinoma which is why everyone thought mine was too but they forgot to factor in my Super Duper Specialness. It is because of this SDS that I have the rare sort of cancer called invasive lobular carcinoma - also because "lobular" is funnier than "ductal" - so it's a better fit for me. On top of the new cancer diagnosis it turns out the lymph nodes that were removed did have cancer cells present. On top of all of this there was a second tumor a couple inches away from the original tumor - lobular carcinoma is typically "bifocal" so it isn't unusual to find more than one tumor. The final bad news is that after my surgery I sent David and Dr. Bearg on a hunt to try and find the missing breast so we could look at it and even with Dr. Bearg's extensive credentials as both a doctor and sneaky guy they just couldn't locate it.
Speaking of mastectomy let me assure you it is a highly overrated surgery. I'm a cancer charlatan because I'm not laid up at all and I get delicious free food delivered to my door. I don't have to go to work but they send me flowers. And I am encouraged to eat a giant tub of pudding every day. I am defnitely getting more than one boob's worth of goods. I can't understand why other women have such a hard time with this? I suppose ultimately it's just another example of women who are completely tied up in their bodies. I'm sure someone, somewhere is writing a thesis on this so I'll let them handle the cultural phenomenon of feeling sad over getting rid of a diseased part of one's body. I'm saving my tears for chemo - you should too.
Thank you to everyone who stopped by, sent flowers, sent cards, called, e-mailed or thought of me in a positive way. Your enthusiam and my A+ blood is what makes my outlook bright!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Good News!

Susan's surgery went very well yesterday. The girls trip to Michigan with Austin Hogan, their nanner, went very well too. But first Susan. She went into surgery shortly after 3 in the afternoon and was out shortly after 5. Dr Lydia Schrader performed the surgery with the help of Susan's favorite anesthesiologist, Dr. Christophe Dinello. Inspection of the sentinel lymph nodes came up negative for cancer which means that the cancer hasn't left the breast. This was the best possible scenario for the day and Dr Schrader was very pleased with the outcome. She did caution that the biopsy they perform on the sentinel node during surgery is 85% accurate. After the further biopsies today and tomorrow we'll know with certainty that we're right to be jumping around happily. Onward.

Susan has been resting, eating and getting her strength back all day. Her spirits are high because a guide dog visited her today and a musical duo serenaded her with strains of Jim Croce. And she got to do Jello shots.

Thanks for all the flowers!

Tomorrow morning Susan leaves her private room at Connie Bearg's Chateau Mount Tam and comes home to a clean house courtesy of her sister, Brigid.

Thursday we get the pathology report on My Pet Breast.

Now the girls. They are highly seasoned air travellers and yesterday was no exception.

Up at four and out the door.
Through security: don't forget your shoesies.
Let's go buy some gum!

Bice, who would rather travel by horse in the first place, felt great sympathy for Austin. After dropping the girls off with Aunt Teresa he turned around and boarded the same jet back to Oakland. Bice urged, "Save the last pieces of gum for Austin--ugh, the poor guy."

Pruney is currently on location at Aunt Teresa and Uncle Rick's Hacienda filming her debut, a fistful of frogs.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Check out My Calendar

Many thanks to Tom Williams for setting up my calendar and popping in my essential duties for the next couple days! Many thanks to Kelly Rood for telling me to give Tom my password.

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