About a month ago, Kate was diagnosed with breast cancer. I've created this group as a clearing house of information and ideas regarding Kate's progress in her fight against breast cancer.
We are truly grateful for all our caring friends and want to keep everyone up to date on what's going on. However,it can be a little daunting to make sure that all of our friends are caught up on where she's at, so I decided it would be a good idea to just update in one place. Everything is developing so quickly that it's hard to answer everyone's questions, so hopefully this will be a good resource for our friends to check in and see how things are going.
I'm also fielding some of the discussion to give Kate a break from having to think her situation all the time. This doesn't mean she doesn't want to hear from everyone, because she does. The warm wishes and good energy's really been incredible. It. just helps cut down on the repetition.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kate's cancer III

Here's the update:
Good news and bad.
The bad is a reiteration, so it's not really news. Kate will have to have chemo as they found cells in her lymph system which means they broke away from the original site. Again, they not metastatic, so right now they pose no immediate threat, but without the chemo to kill 'em, they could either metastasize or lodge somewhere and grow as a breast cancer tumor at that location.
I've done a bit of research, and in places they're trying cold helmets just prior and for a couple hours after being given chemo to help patients keep their hair. It's not written in stone that one will lose their hair, but I think it better to prepare for the eventuality and be surprised if it doesn't happen.
Personally, I don't think it will be a major shock if Kate loses the hair on her head, but the eyebrows and eyelashes might take a little getting used to. However, as long as I can keep seeing her big blue eyes, I'm a happy man.
Here's the good news:
Kate's going to have another lumpectomy. There were 2 discrete spots of cancer remaining after her first surgery, which we were certain meant a mastectomy. We were quite prepared for that when we met with her surgeon last Wednesday, but during that conversation she introduced the possibility of another lumpectomy. She said she had to check the slides to see if she thought she could do it.
Check the slides?!?! You mean you haven't looked yet. For us, we want everything to happen yesterday. Kate can't get to treatment soon enough. So after waiting a couple days (we expected a call the following day, but it didn't come 'til Friday afternoon) we got the word that her surgeon, Dr. Gadd, was confident she could get the remaining little bits.
If Kate were to have a mastectomy, again she would have to have reconstructive surgery right away or she wouldn't be able to have it at all because she's so slim and petite. And with the reconstruction, there's a risk that the radiation therapy could damage the implant and cause complications.

On a more personal note, this thing definitely makes one moodier. Some days I'm just waiting for someone to step out of line, because I know this is not their fault, no one is too blame really, but I'm loaded for bear and want an excuse to unload. That's tempering in the past week or so, but still a pretty typical response I guess. My patience is a lot thinner and I'm willing to be a bit snippy if someone deserves it. I'm taking a bit of a holiday from being the reasonable guy.
I also feel bad and guilty that sometimes I get tired of thinking about Kate's cancer. I resent the amount of attention Kate's cancer gets.
Don't get me wrong, I don't resent Kate getting attention, I resent Kate's cancer getting attention. I'm always happy to do for Kate, to be there at every turn, to carry the load but there are the occasional time when I think, "You know, give it a rest. Let's go live while there's some non-Kate's cancer time."
It's a little hard to go do stuff that moves us forward. It's a bit all consuming and there's a tendency to want to put everything on hold until the end of the treatments. We have to keep reminding ourselves that s#$t happens and we have to make the most of our time when we can.
I'm also super vigilant about trying to keep Kate from feeling sorry for herself or getting in too much of a funk. Maybe a little over protective of this. It's such a fine balance trying to be supportive and encouraging her to have her emotions, and making sure she doesn't wallow in self-pity (not that she's even coming close to that, but knowing how easy it could be for me to feel sorry for myself, I project).
Fortunately, our communication is great so all these things are out in the open where we can face them together as always.


  1. Thanks for this honest and heartfelt update, Jason. This blog is a great way to handle these "bulk" updates while also (I'm sure) serving as an outlet for dealing with all of this. Much love to you and Kate... no love for Kate's cancer.

  2. I love both of you. Let me know if you need anything and Mike and/or I will be there.

  3. Thanks for the update Snag, I didn't see this post before. I like your comment "Let's go live while there's some non-Kate's cancer time." We are keeping you guys both in our thoughts every day. Let us know if we can help.
    Lots of love,

  4. Just learned about this blog from Foy. I'm thinking about both of you all the time. Love, Mom

  5. I understand the anger, it's a problem I've dealt with all my life. But it mostly hurts you. Asking God for help will give you another way.

  6. I don't have that level of deep anger since I chose to accept my and other's flaws and weaknesses (not that I'll suffer fools).
    Kate also makes it much clearer that my focus should be on what is good in the world and people and not dwell on their failures. Easier said than done, but it is nontheless a maxum.

  7. I'm aware of my flaws, and others', we all have them, but Kate's right. We have to look at the good, and try to change our own flaws, which is not easy or quick.