My Battle with Breast Cancer

I’ve Got A Strategy!

Strategy, a word of military origin, refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal. In military usage strategy is distinct from tactics, which are concerned with the conduct of an engagement, while strategy is concerned with how different engagements are linked. How a battle is fought is a matter of tactics: the terms and conditions that it is fought on and whether it should be fought at all is a matter of strategy, which is part of the four levels of warfare: political goals or grand strategy, strategy, operations, and tactics. Building on the work of many thinkers on the subject, one can define strategy as "a comprehensive way to try to pursue political ends, including the threat or actual use of force, in a dialectic of wills – there have to be at least two sides to a conflict. These sides interact, and thus a Strategy will rarely be successful if it shows no adaptability."  from Wikipedia

I am using the word strategy because I am now in a battle, and in order for me to win this battle I have to have a strategy and a good troop behind me. 

Yesterday, May 9th, I met with a big city surgeon and really, really liked him.  Actually, I really liked his whole staff.  They really seemed to care, genuinely care. 

We left his office almost giddy with excitement that we now have a strategy, and that the battle has begun! 

Here's the strategy:

Bone Scan & Lab work – check

CT Scans – scheduled for today

Injection & Scan of Lymph Nodes  – scheduled for next week

Surgery – scheduled for next week

Details:

I have decided to have a mastectomy of my left breast next Tuesday.  After I have completely healed from surgery I will begin my chemotherapy.  At this time, I do not know what kind of chemo I will have or how long I will have it.  After I have finished my treatments I will have a mastectomy of the right breast and reconstruction of both breasts. 

Tomorrow I will tell you a little more about my experiences with the tests I have taken, and my thoughts on how we, as patients, could be better prepared for these types of tests.

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41 Comments

  • Reply Bush Babe May 10, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    Thinking of you and sending virtual hugs (gently!). You GO girl!!!

    BB

  • Reply katie May 10, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    Oh wow…big steps girl! Praying for you all the way!

  • Reply Ree May 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    You are brave.
    You’re also funny.
    You know what I’m talking about. (Text message.)
    Ha.
    You’ve got this, Jules! xoxo

  • Reply Julie May 10, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Re: TypePad: [Another Chance Ranch] Bush Babe submitted a comment on "I've Got A Strategy!"
    BB – you are the only gentle hugger! LOL  Everyone has been hugging me like they will never see me again.  I am considering having a going away party for my left girl.  Maybe a Bon Voyage party!  Whatcha think?

  • Reply Brittney - Our Greener Acres May 10, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    Amazing!! You are so brave to be sharing this with us. You and McD are both in our prayers.

  • Reply Julie May 10, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    Re: TypePad: [Another Chance Ranch] Ree submitted a comment on "I've Got A Strategy!"
    Yea, Ree.  ; )   ; )

  • Reply Bush Babe May 11, 2011 at 1:10 am

    LOL… why not? Has she a name? Besides Lefty? As for the first bit – you know I will see you again, because you promised me!
    🙂
    BB

  • Reply Nelly May 11, 2011 at 3:16 am

    Remember to BE POSITIVE AND FAITHFUL! I can’t say how much “attitude” works! God expects us to have faith over fear, really believe that! We are praying for you! Blessings!

  • Reply Sandy May 11, 2011 at 6:00 am

    You, and your surgeon, are in my prayers! You will beat this and He will help you.

  • Reply Sayre May 11, 2011 at 6:58 am

    I am curious… If you are going to have both breasts removed, why not at the same time? I’m sure there is a good reason, but I don’t know what it is.
    It must be a relief to have a plan of action. It gives you power! Here I am, in your corner.

  • Reply sheila May 11, 2011 at 7:46 am

    continuing to pray for you, thanks for the update, helps me pray more specific ; )

  • Reply Susan S May 11, 2011 at 7:55 am

    I’m listening to Wednesdays with @Beth Moore this morning. She said, “We can live with pain much easier than we can live with purposelessness.”
    Psalm 57:1
    Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me,
    for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.
    Your cancer is no shock to God. Although He didn’t strike you with it, He’s known it would happen since the beginning of time.
    God has given you His purpose in this. Your friends and readers are blessed by your faithfulness and I thank you for that.
    You might be surprised at how many people will see God through you.

  • Reply Julie May 11, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Re: TypePad: [Another Chance Ranch] Susan S submitted a comment on "I've Got A Strategy!"
    Susan, That is part of my hopes!  Just one person would make all of this worth it, and more would just be icing!!  And I love icing!!

  • Reply Teri May 11, 2011 at 8:27 am

    You know the story of my mom Julie. She’s going through the reconstructive process after removal of both of her breasts.
    78 yrs young and thriving.
    That will be you! (except for the 78 part)
    ps…love your idea of a farewell party. Can I score an invite?

  • Reply Julie May 11, 2011 at 8:48 am

    Re: TypePad: [Another Chance Ranch] Teri submitted a comment on "I've Got A Strategy!"
    Teri, you KNOW you are invited!  Your mom too! I’ve been thinking about her a lot here lately!! The party will have to be next Monday! Get here!! 🙂

  • Reply Weekend Cowgirl May 11, 2011 at 9:20 am

    OMG. I missed all this. It sounds like you are facing this head on with information, a plan and humor. You seem strong and that will surely be such a positive asset. I will add you to prayer list…and I will be thinking special thoughts for you.

  • Reply Wenderly May 11, 2011 at 9:23 am

    You’ve got an excellent strategy love! Count me in as one of the troops! Or prayer warrior as I like to call it!

  • Reply Lauri May 11, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I love your positive attitude during all of this. You are in my prayers Julie and keep on fighting you will win this one!

  • Reply Tracie H. May 11, 2011 at 12:46 pm

    I am amazed by your outlook on this time in your life, Julie. I know that it comes from your faithfulness and trust in the Lord. You keep fighting and the Lord and all of us will be there with you. Keeping you in my prayers.

  • Reply Laura L. May 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    I’m thinking of you and praying for you daily! Count me in on the party…so long, farewell!

  • Reply Mary Jo May 11, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Well. Hmmmm. I was worried about your ankle an hour or so ago!
    You are strong.
    And courageous.
    Your place here on earth is important. You’ve still got work to do.
    And frosting to enjoy.
    Praying for you.

  • Reply Jessica May 12, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Julie…girl with a plan. I am always so inspired by your positive attitude…especially now. I take so much from reading about how you handle difficult situations…you probably didn’t know that but, now you do, so, there’s that. 🙂
    I’ll be with you through it all…good and bad…always

  • Reply Farmer Gal May 12, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I’d like to say something inspirING, but I have to say, reading your post and all the comments, I am inspirED by the your strength and that of the women surrounding you. I know that God is already working through you in this, because it has touched me. I’ll be praying that He continues to sustain your positive attitude and strength as you go through this process, and come out the other side shining!

  • Reply Joanie May 12, 2011 at 9:39 am

    GO GIRL!

  • Reply Lynn May 12, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    A girl with a plan is my kind of girl! Hoping, praying and knowing that you are TOO tough to mess around. Stay brave and positive! Best wishes from Texas! Keep your fans posted ….

  • Reply Donna May 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Strategy! Good, it sounds positive and hopeful! Was just reading Ree’s blog and I thought she was talking about you. So sorry! Prayers for you and all your family and friends near and virtual.
    I’ve been thinking of you this week every time I saw Mark Harmon on TV. No red shoes, though! :D. Gentle hugs and lots of prayers coming your way. God Bless!

  • Reply Michelle May 12, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Just came here from PW.
    My sister was diagnosed with a very aggressive, very bad form of breast cancer. She too had a double masectomy and reconstruction.
    Ten years later she is doing very, very well. Cancer free. There is hope.
    Love.

  • Reply Donna Boucher May 12, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Julie,
    I will pray for you every day.
    Your strategy sounds fantastic.

  • Reply Christy May 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    A friend of mine is a 15 year survivor and reconstructive surgery gave her the breasts of a 20-year old. Nice and perky! 😉
    Sounds like you have a great team on your side and a great battle strategy. I’ll be sending hugs and prayers from Colorado.

  • Reply Sarah May 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Julie..I found you on Ree’s site! Just wanted to pop by and send you my best wishes and prayers! Sounds like you have a good team and a wonderful attitude! Hang in there and don’t forget to breathe!
    Hugs, Sarah (From Idaho)

  • Reply Robin May 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    Just read on Ree’s site, and my initial thought was OH NO! And in many ways, it still is. But from what I “know” of you, you are one tough cookie, and you have a wonderful support system – you can *whoop this thing and be a great inspiration along the way. ((Hugs))) to you.

  • Reply Patti May 12, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    You sound like a girl in control. This is good.
    Both my breasts are gone and have been since 1999. No regrets.
    You are on my own personal prayer roll. Best wishes…

  • Reply nancypants May 12, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Julie, I’m so sorry to hear of your diagnosis but I know that you are a strong woman who will fight this and BEAT it! You will be in my prayers.

  • Reply Truekrit May 13, 2011 at 5:56 am

    Julie, I saw your story on Ree’s blog and my prayers are with you. I am a 1 year breast cancer survivor! Having just gone through what you are about to begin, here is some of my advice. Stay positive, it really helps. Arm yourself with knowledge – the worst fear is that of not knowing. When you know what you are facing it’s easier to form your plan. Don’t be afraid to ask a million questions of everyone, doctors, nurses, other cancer survivors. I made lists of questions before each appointment.
    One of the hardest things was telling my Mom that I had cancer. When she asked why this had to happen to me, I said ” Why not me, I’m no more special than anyone else. And I’d rather it be me than my daughter or sisters or Mom or my friends. It is what it is.”
    I wish you all the best and my prayers will be with you !

  • Reply Angela May 13, 2011 at 7:11 am

    My mom has fought breast cancer twice. If she could do things over, she would’ve had the double mastectomy the 1st time. But the beast came back, same breast that had radiation and chemo….in the exact same spot. Lasts year she had them both removed and new ones made in there place. She is a SURVIVOR! The strongest woman I know! She even went so far as to take all sugar and meat out of her diet because those are the primary feeders of cancer. Now she is healthier than all of us. Be encouraged. I will be praying for you.

  • Reply Terri A. May 13, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Your story makes me cry and your faith amazes me. I’ll be praying for you.

  • Reply Amity May 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

    I am praying for you and your family. My aunt was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer last October and it’s been a very difficult road for her. I felt helpless and not knowing what to do….except PRAY! God has wrapped his arms around her and she’s doing much better now. God will wrap his arms around you and will give you the strength to make it through this! God Bless You!

  • Reply Jen May 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

    I think the Bon Voyage Party is a good idea! Sorrounding yourself with as much positive energy as possible! You are amazing!

  • Reply Deb H May 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Your faith, humor, family, friends and strength will get you through this. We will all be sending our prayers your way and talking to the Big Man upstairs for you! He too has a plan and it will be all for you! Big hugs! And FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!!!!

  • Reply Gail in the Hills May 13, 2011 at 11:56 am

    Julie, I have been reading your blog for a bit. You have a great attitude and a wonderful sense of humor. You are on my prayer list at home and I will add you to the one at our church. Hang tough, Sister!

  • Reply Susan May 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    God is so good!
    Proverbs 3:
    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
    6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make your paths straight.[a]
    7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
    fear the LORD and shun evil.

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