Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It turned out to be nothing

About 3 weeks ago, I felt a small lump in my right breast, right where the cancerous one had been removed 2 years ago. I got an appointment with my GP for July 13 and spent a nasty weekend prior to that, thinking dark thoughts. After she felt the lump, she referred me to the clinic at the Civic where I had my first ultrasound in July of 2008, when they found the cancer. I could only get an ultrasound appointment for this morning at 8 am.

Peter was planning to take holidays starting July 16 and he was going to bike around Lake Ontario or somewhere, while I campaigned. This lump put us both in limbo. He started his holidays anyway, so he could just hang out with me and be supportive, and we had a very quiet weekend, where we got in some nice biking and spent a lot of time on patios, thinking our own dark thoughts.

I have been thinking about the meaning of life. I have also been thinking about whether my body had betrayed me (again), what kind of surgery I would have this time and whether I would opt for chemo (again). I have been planning final trips and holidays in my head, thinking about cashing in my life insurance and RRSPs to do so, and other similarly grim thoughts.

This morning, we were up at 6 and out the door at 7, to bike over to the Civic. We got there in 35 minutes, so we were a tad early. My heart rate was up and I felt quite gloomy. When I was ushered in to the exam room, I asked if Peter could come with me, so I wouldn't have to tell him everything after it happened and so re-live a potentially negative experience. They said he couldn't come in with me. I shrugged. First a technician gave me the ultrasound and I watched the monitor while she ran the wand over me. I could see a dark lump on the screen but it looked different from the one 2 years ago. Then a very nice woman doctor (sweetly named Dr. Petal) came in and talked to me while she ran the wand over me. She pointed out the characteristics of this lump and told me that to her, it looked like it was a fat necrosis, or dead fat cells in a lump. In other words, scar tissue. It was still evolving, the scar tissue, because of the damage done by surgery and radiation and the fact that the fat lump wasn't getting any blood supply.

In fact, this is a key thing that distinguishes cancer from other tissue - it has a vigorous blood supply. And this lump had none. I let out my breath that I'd been holding for the last few weeks. She then asked the technician to go get Peter. They don't like other people in the room initially, because it is a small room and they can be distracting. But now that the work had been done, she allowed Peter in. He was relieved to hear what she had to say and she showed him what she was looking at on the monitor. She also said that she had looked at my file from 2 years ago, as well as the mammogram I had in November. She could see the lump on the mammogram (and she got out the film and showed it to me) and pointed out that it looked like scar tissue there also.

Nevertheless, to be entirely sure, I am going to have a needle biopsy, some time in the next 2 weeks. It will be one of those rare occasions when I willingly say to someone, "yes, please do stick a large needle into my chest and pull out tissue." However, I agree with her that it is probably just scar tissue and therefore, I can write this and get back to living. And running for office. And sewing. I've been a little distracted lately.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

This is what I sound lke!

My first time on the radio (ever!). Enjoy:

Part 1

Part 2

(If you prefer to copy and paste into your browser the links are:
And if you want to explore more listening options at CFRA, go here: )

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Camp shirt

Steaming right along, it is a "feels like" temperature of 42C (109F) here right now. Thank my dog (even though she has been gone for five years now) that I have air conditioning! I didn't use it last week when all the ACs in the 'hood were grinding away but I am glad I have it today.

In campaign news, I will be on our local talk radio (CFRA 580 AM) this Thursday the 8th, between 3 and 4 pm EDT. You can listen to it here:
Or if you miss it, I will put up a link on my web site after, or you can go here to find the link yourself.

I dressed up to go downtown the other day, to attend an info session at city hall and on the way home, stopped at a local coffee shop to have a coffee with my husband. He has a blog too and he posted a couple of photos of me with my Britex silk shirt in action!
living room with no carpet
The weekend just past, I decided since it was supposed to not rain all weekend, I would finally get the two big area rugs out and wash them.
carpets on the lawn to be scrubbed
I do it the old fashioned way, on my hands and knees, using dishwashing soap and a brush. I now have rug burns on my knees but it was worth it. I hung them on the chain link fence to rinse them and then let them dry. It was an all day job.
Simplicity 9210
I am still resisting the purchase of new fabric and trying to use up my stash. I had a large length of this very soft, drapey rayon left over after I made a dress out of it (which is now too short to wear given my age and has gone into the Sally Ann pile) years ago and I determined that it would make a nice addition to my "camp shirt" collection. I have been using this Simplicity 9210 pattern for years, to make a loose, short sleeved shirt that I wear untucked (although I can tuck it in if I want). I call them "camp shirts" because I got the moniker from old LLBean catalogues.
camp shirts collection
These are four in my collection - I made the purple flowered one last. Yeesh! I see it was in 2007. I guess I didn't get much done in the last two years. But, we all know why. Never mind!
all my reddish thread
Since it is old, left over stash fabric, I refuse to buy new thread. I got out all my threads that were remotely reddish and I am going to use them up.
camp shirt details
Here is a close-up of the facings and loops that I sewed at the start and if you really look closely, you can see different colours of thread. I agree - who will notice!