Thursday, March 15, 2012

Surgery Pending

Today we met with the medical oncologist at the Alan Blair Caner Centre. It caught us by surprise when he strongly recommended an axillary node dissection.  This means another surgery for sure regardless of the state of the flaps.  This surgery will determine if cancer has spread to other nodes and whether or not radiation will be required after chemo.  We requested that this surgery be coordinated with plastics so that I have one not two surgeries.  It won't be as long or intrusive as February's and will occur next week. Learning not to assume things are text book or normal anymore and preparing for the worst has been very humbling especially when you have absolutely no control over your body or what is about to happen to it.  Thank God for God, family and friends!!

After a few tears, I asked the Dr for some positives to take away from our meeting.  Again, we were assured that this is early stage, treatable and I will have a long life ahead of me.  I will take those positives! It is going to take some work, courage and a whole lot of faith for the next little bit!

Once I am healed, I will start 6 months of chemotherapy.  The first 3 months will consist of 4 rounds of AC therapy - once every three weeks.  The next three months will consist of Taxol - once a week for 12 weeks. Radiation if necessary will take place after that.  We also learned that I am both estrogen and progesterone positive but HER2 negative.  This means I will need to take Tamoxifen for the next 5 years.  Tamoxifen will block estrogen production.

This little 1.5 cm infiltrating tumor has created quite a ruckus in my body!  Cancer sucks.....but it hasn't seen nothing yet!  I am just getting warmed up to fight this...and I have a great coach and cheer leading team (that's a positive)!

Much love,
Shelley & Bob


  1. You're right, Shelley, cancer hasn't seen anything yet! You are going to kick its ass! And we are all rooting for you. Sending love your way every day. Hugs to all, Shaundra

  2. Hey Shelley.........yep it sucks when you are prepared for one thing and then a few other things are thrown your way!!! You are one tough chick (I think our polish background has something to do with this)and your baba would be proud of your determination and the wonderful support of your family.
    Lots of love and hugs, Michele

  3. Well another positive is that you only have so many body parts to involve....they have to run out of "one more thing" eventually!! I think a big pig out on my puffed wheat cake is in order!! It has been known to cure many bad days. Just say the word and it shall be delivered!! I shall inform Louise to light more candles. Obviously she has been slacking off!!
    love and prayers,

  4. Yes, Shelley... Baba would be proud (as long as you're also keeping the windshield clean!!)

    They say that God doesn't put more on our plate than we can handle. Although... I have a funny little story to tell you. Monday night Madi came down with the stomach flu and after the 6th bout in the pail, I informed her of that statement about God and that soon it would be over. As she picked her head out of the pail, she glared at me and said, " REALLY????.... Seriously Mom.... Like you think God has ever had the stomach flu??" :-)

    With that said, Shel, Fight this fight like you've fought no other. You have the love support and prayers of all of us around you! I'll keep knocking off the beads for you...

  5. Well this latest news sucks, I guess it's just one more hurdle. We know you'll come out on top.

    love Steve Flo and Shelby

  6. Lots of prayers going your way!!!!!!!!!!!11

  7. Two steps forward and one step back... It takes a little longer to get to the end, but you will get there none the less! I can tell you this - if I am ever faced with a crisis and need inspiration for how to face it with courage, strength and humour the first place I will go is this blog!

    Melody C

  8. Hi Shelley,

    You are a tough, strong, determined woman. I'm thinking of you all the time and wishing you the best. Heal quick so next hockey season we can have more fun hockey games, even if it means Brent's air horn!!!

    The Jensen's

  9. Another F bomb that probs isn't allowed in the blog site. So "Dang it" will have to suffice. I just keep the thought that the more aggressively the docs want to attack this gosh darn disease (fill in what I would really say here), the more they believe you can beat it. So the fact they want to get back in there and do more surgery and smack the heck out of you with Chemo and possibly radiation is actually a good thing. I learned that from Lance Armstrong's book : )
    It is incredible how we can think this is the case when the process is long and emotional and everything else. At the same time, there seems to be some sense to it.
    Feeling the need to call or fly out there. Distance is a nasty thing (throw in what I would actually say here).
    As always,
    Big Love from Kelowna my Lowes friends.

  10. What is life without a few curve balls right! I am so sorry to hear of this latest setback but am confident it will only make you stronger. Go girl and beat the shit out of this. This thing called cancer never tackled someone as motivated and ass kicking as you! Show 'em what you're made of!!!! Lots of prayers sent your way.


    1. Great to see the Lowes family and Shelley's smiling face at Holy Trinity today. I have been following the updates and sending prayers your way on a daily basis. I am so impressed with the positive outlook you manage to find for every situation you have been dealt.