Blogging,  Cancer,  Creating a Living

So, about this breast cancer diagnosis…

I’ve been thinking about the direction and purpose of my blog in relation to this  breast cancer diagnosis. When I first found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I swore I would not let CoffeeJitters turn into a mommy blog. It took about a month to figure out that idea was a little ridiculous. My daughter is just about the only thing I write about any more.

I suspect over the coming months cancer will continue to consume my thoughts as it has this month, and that’s bound to have an effect on my choice of topics for posting. On the other hand, writing about my daughter makes me happy. Cancer, not so much.

Although there has been some pressure to use CoffeeJitters as a clearing house for my cancer updates, I would like to reserve this blog (and facebook) for me, for what I want to write about. To avoid allowing CoffeeJitters to become cancer central, I’m setting up a site through http://www.lotsahelpinghands.com where I will post updates on my condition as well as details about help we will be needing on issues such as housekeeping, child care, transportation, and meal prep. Please contact me directly if you would like access to that site.

That said, here is a quick update on what’s going on: The mass has grown to 8 cm. It is a combination of two kinds of cancer: Ductal Carcinoma in Situ and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. There is no good cancer, but the first kind is preferable as it stays in one place, while the invasive cancer, well, invades other areas. From the images, they can not determine what percentage of the cancer is in situ and how much is invasive. They won’t know exactly what stage I’m in or what the prognosis is until they operate. So far it looks as though the cancer has kept to the breast although a few of the lymph nodes look suspicious. The condition of those lymph nodes will be the most important factor in determining the stage of the cancer and prognosis. So step one is the mastectomy (which we are still working on scheduling) which is both the primary treatment for the disease as well as providing more diagnostic information.

I’m not declaring the blog a cancer free zone, I’ll probably write about it from time to time. Breast cancer that strikes women under the age of 40 tends to be particularly aggressive. Additionally, these women often have very young children they are raising. When we think of breast cancer, we usually think of grandmas, not women who have to suddenly wean their infant because the breast is going to be removed. This is a whole new demographic of women challenged by breast cancer that has received little attention. I’m sure I’ll be writing on this topic from time to time.

Meanwhile, rest assured that I am eating my vegetables, exercising, and researching all the different options available to me.

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You can learn more about my cancer story here:

my cancer story | Judy Schwartz Haley

 

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Seattle writer, Judy Schwartz Haley, blogs about raising a toddler while battling cancer, finishing a degree, and fending off ninjas. Also, she needs more coffee.

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