Stepping Stones – new breast blog

We are replacing windows in our house.  Consequently my office has been off-limits.  My desk and “publishing station” had to be partially disassembled with all furniture pushed together in the middle of the room.  The website’s publishing schedule was also interrupted.

Last week I received word of a new blog by a breast cancer survivor just recently diagnosed.  As you can read below, her particular journey just began last month. Robyn Angel is really at the beginning stages.  I thought it would be interesting to give you a peek.  This is an opportunity to follow in real time one person’s experience from the beginning.  She writes with a certain energy and sense of humor.  I have excerpted here from two recent posts from Stepping Stones.

What’s in a name?

One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. ~Jack Penn

This quote could have been the inspiration for my blog name… but it isn’t. A friend sent me this quote when she saw the name of my blog. Doesn’t it fit beautifully with what I’m doing here?

I chose the name Stepping Stones because that is what it feels like to me. As cliched as it sounds, it does feel like a journey, as though I’m on the shore of a lake and I see a stepping stone. I step onto it, and while I know there are other stones in front of me, I’m not sure which path will take me to the other side of this wide black lake. I can see the other shore, but I can’t get there from here until the next step presents itself and becomes visible. So for once I am NOT charging ahead. Instead I’m doing research on the many different choices I have in front of me and I’m pretty patiently waiting for test results, Dr. appointments and other answers to my questions whether by email to friends who have been on this journey or through blogs and other literature. I’m currently waiting to hear back from the ‘Breast Care Coordinator’ at Kettering, to see when is their next available ‘Navigating the breast Cancer Journey’ class. (I bet you $10 and a healthy boob there will be pink involved.)

Many of you have asked, “How are you feeling?”

While Dan remains cautiously optimistic, I am feeling VERY positive about this. I think that’s the way the roles are going to have to be. Dan needs to reserve a little emotional energy in case we get bad news, because really, he’s the one who will have to ultimately deal with the fall-out. I, on the other hand, must think of only puppies and rainbows and will fart butterflies.

Until I hear some horrible news, I’m going to assume all will be well.

Ok, but how am I feeling?

Ever since I got the call last Monday. I can feel that thing in there. It doesn’t exactly ache, or tingle, or itch, but I would describe it as more of an uncomfortable awareness. Just sitting here, my right boob feels normal, regular, typical in that I can’t really feel it at all. But the left one is screaming “HELLO!! CANCER HERE CALLING YOUR NAME!!!!!” I’m starting to hate that boob.

Which opens a whole other can of worms. I’ve never really thought of my relationship with ‘the girls’. Sure, they’ve been hanging with me for a long time, but we never really talk, you know?

I’ve always had an impressive rack. For a while, when I was young and foolish, they defined me. But now that they’ve done their job, (had some fun, fed some babies,) I feel like they really aren’t that important. So I’m really up in the air about whether or not to have reconstructive surgery after we part ways. I’d like to take up running again, sans the heavy duty cannon holder or be able to wear something backless or some of those cute halters.

Is this merely a cosmetic issue, or are there other factors I need to consider? Will I feel unbalanced once the weight is off my chest? Will I feel less feminine? Will people react differently to me? How does society see a boob-less woman? Will it be just as frustrating to find clothes that fit non-existent boobs as it is to find clothes that fit big boobs? Will I finally be able to buy a surplice top or dress?

Don’t ask me why… they just never fit me right.

I guess it’s time for me to start talking to survivors and reading other’s blogs. Feel free to message me if you have some experience with this. I need all the help I can get.

~ from Stepping Stones

NOTE: a reader notified me that he was unable to leave comments.  The “Register” option has disappeared from the “Meta” sidebar section.  I don’t know why.  No one can “Log In” because no one can register.  I changed my settings so that you do not have to login in order to comment. Hopefully this will work.  If we start getting hit by spammers and bots, I may have to look for another solution.  Currently we block hundreds of spam hits every week.   Dennis


About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

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