My Cancer Journey Begins Now

So far, my cancer journey has been pretty easy. I’ve just gone to some appointments to meet with the members of my new healthcare team which includes a breast surgeon, oncologist and breast navigator (when you are diagnosed with breast cancer, or any cancer, you quickly learn that you need someone to help you “navigate” through terminology, different appointments, options, financial issues) and received a nice tote bag filled with goodies such as very helpful books on breast cancer and other goodies.

Of course, I’ve done lots of research on the type of breast cancer I have, invasive ductal breast cancer, and talked and talked and talked to others about it. Easy, right? Doesn’t really seem to be like a journey of any kind. I’ve been overwhelmed, but I was able to cope well and it didn’t seem all that bad.

Well, on July 1 at 7:45 a.m., that all changes. July 1 is my surgery day. For me, that’s when my real and true journey begins. I will have a sentinel lymph node injection to see if the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes and of course surgery to remove the cancer mass (partial mastectomy).

If cancer is found in my lymph nodes, I will need to have chemo and radiation. If not, radiation twice a day, 6 hours apart for 6 weeks. Guess that gives a whole new meaning to don’t leave town! I will be having an outpatient surgery that’s expected to take approximately 2 hours. My recovery is also expected to take 2 hours. I realize that these are just estimates and anything can happen. I have no expectations.

That said, I will be avoid reading things about surgery gone wrong or watching TV shows that could have topics like “My surgeon left gauze in me or scissors in me!”. I once inadvertently read about Charles Manson before bed, which was a huge mistake. I didn’t sleep well for a week. Watching or reading something about surgery gone wrong would cause me undue stress.

Can something go wrong? Of course it can. Will it? Probably not (fingers crossed). One of my favorite sayings is “It is what it is” and that’s how I feel about my situation.

It is what it is and I can’t change it, but I can choose my outlook, my treatment options and how I deal with what’s happening to me and around me. Am I scared? You bet, but I find myself, the day before my surgery, feeling at peace and I like that feeling. My next blog will be about my surgery experience including non graphic pictures. Best of health to all of you!

  • Nannacat

    Katie, Stay positive and as u go through this journey. Rely on friends and family to help where they can. Praying that the cancer has not spread to lymph nodes. Best wishes for a speedy recovery! Will keep u in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Dee

    Good luck, have been there myself for the last year. It is a hard journey but you sound like a strong and postive person. Good luck.

  • Ethan Dschaak

    So glad you are staying so positive about all of this. I also read that there was no cancer found in your lymph nodes. That is WONDERFUL news. Hope your recovery goes well, stay strong.

    Ethan Dschaak

  • Staindpearlygirl

    God Bless you Katie. I am just a few steps ahead of you. I go for my 2nd chemo July 7th. My thoughts are with you and keep your positive attitude. Fight to Win!!

  • michelle renee' smith

    All of us cancer survivors are with you. It is important to stay positive and keep toxic people away from you now. It is time to heal..time to give to yourself and nurture yourself. This is VERY Important. Breasts = nurturing. I had a double mastectomy in june of last year and had to go through 6 months of chemo and herceptin treatments for a year. Today is my last Herceptin treatment and I am a year survivor. I made it through with Reiki, positive energy, supportive people and time to heal. Best wishes to you and know that you have us to talk to if you need to. Michelle Renee' Smith

  • Kathy Bruins

    Praying for you, Katie. I also had a partial mastectomy, then chemo, and then radiation. I am now on tamoxifin. It all went fine. Keep looking up. God bless you!

  • Jodie

    Reading your blog was like looking back on my life 2yrs. ago I was also diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma and my surgery was on July 3rd. The cancer did not spread to my Lymph Nodes and I received 4 treatments of Chemo and 27 of Radiation. It's a journey one never forgets or the wonderful people you will meet, whether they are staff or patients they will forever be a part of you. Good health to you Katie for your positive attitude will carry you through!!

  • Amy

    I hope your surgery went well and that your resting and surrounded by family and friends who can help.

  • ruth

    my prayers and thoughts are with you. i am a 4 year survior. i have stage three breast cancer. i went the a year of chemo and 8 weeks of journey was hard but my family and friends were there to help me thru.i made my left brest removed and all my lymph nodes removed.i was on tamoxifin for 3 i am on a new medicine.i have been great.and i know you will do great to.just keepyour spirts up .god and your family and friends are with you. god bless

  • Steffistephens

    18.5 yrs ago i was diagnosed 17 yrs ago right now it came back to my lungs petrified yes but look now at the number of years ~~ I celebrate everyday in some small way~~ and most importantly keep up the good attitude ~and most of all from my best friend chemo buddy[we drove the nurses crazy] ~~~~ you do not have cancer on weekends or holidays ~just like a bank 9-5 m-f best wishes and good thoughts

  • Sheryl

    I know exactly what your going through. On May 27th I found out I had breast cancer. On June 1st I had the exact same surgery you had. Luckily My cancer is no life threatening it is not in my lymph nodes. Unfortunately my cancer was too close to the edge; so I have to go back for more surgery. My second surgery is August 6th. I hope your are recovering as well as I did from my surgery. It's a real scary thing to be facing. Luckily I will not have to have chemmo or radiation. Keep your head up lean on your supporters and stay strong. May God Bless you and may he help you recover from this.

  • Tammy Gorichky

    wow you seem to have a terrific attitude which is 99% of the battle! I admire your courage and the fact that you did your research…so many just put faith in one doctor…it pays to get ALL the info you can. I was dx in April with dcis stage 2 and took 8 weeks to choose my treatment plan. I had several areas across my breast so partial was not an option and I opted for double mastectomy with reconstruc. I do not want this in my life ever again. I am 4 weeks post op and healing, but still a long road for the reconstruct. I am praying for you and hope to see updates on how you are doing. Remember we are all SISTERS out here, a club we did not want to join, but will embrace each other now. Be strong, be healthy. Tammy G.

  • mickey dupont



    Hold your head up high and keep the faith. I am starting my journey now,my prayer are with you.

  • Mike Baxter

    Hey Nicki, read a piece on you the other day ( LB Press Tele) and need to share with you somthing I found that addresses Breast Cancer. if you could email me back I’d really like to get you this information to share with others suffering from this horrible disease. My name is Mike Baxter and I can be reached @ or @ 562-619-0193. This is not a joke or a prank I’m dead serious.