Living With Cancer: You Look Good.

Living with cancer

My friend, Wendi, picked me up when it was still dark to drive me to Barnes Jewish for my early morning PET scan and CT scan. As part of the PET scan, Marty injected me with sugar water and a radioactive component (F18). Cells that rapidly divide (like cancer) absorb more sugar. No sweet spots detected on me other than the one they know about. I could totally make a double entendre regarding that comment, but even I have bounds of decency. Later that day Wendi and I went back to the hospital complex to meet my new surgeon. Loved her. Wendi now indoctrinated in all things Jen boob related. A joy for her, no doubt. The MRI indicated something worthy of closer study on my left breast (the right one is the current offending one). Because they couldn’t isolate it on an ultrasound, they are going to biopsy the left breast to check it out. Will be scheduled for a right breast lumpectomy and MRI guided left breast biopsy in the next 10-13 days.
living with cancer

Living With Cancer: Friends Mean Everything

I moved to St. Louis three years ago from Tulsa, Oklahoma. In Oklahoma and across the country, I have friends that date back to junior high school, high school, college and law school. In other words, friends I have known for a very long time. When I moved to this beautiful city, I knew precisely one person, namely my (now twice removed former) boss Pete. And he’s been great, by the way, even to this day, over a year after unemployment. As someone who had grown accustomed to throwing parties where many of the attendees knew me exceptionally well, I am routinely struck and awed by the devotedness of my new friends. The concern and offers have come from expected and unexpected places. I don’t know if it’s the cancer or the Jennifer factor or simply the human component, but I’ll take it.

I love the people who just hit it head on with humor, “So, how’s the cancer?” “You look taller with cancer.” “Some people may not be able to carry off cancer well, but you seem to be doing it.” I also appreciate the people who don’t know what to say and just envelope me in a bear hug. Of course this is before the really shitty part comes and I start looking like a zombie, nipples falling off from radioactive byproducts and skin starting to flake off into my cereal bowl. (I understand it still remains to be seen whether any of these things will come to pass for me, but a girl can dream) Still, it’s a big mental adjustment right now. I realize I am going to be forever changed by this experience. I’m just taking it a day at a time. I received good news yesterday. I’m going with that for now.

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