Breast Cancer and the Whirlwind of the Last Few Months

Okay, I have to admit, my blog is starting to feel overwhelming. Mostly because I’m so behind now that I don’t know how to catch up.

But – now that I think about it – I do know. One foot in front of the other, right? That’s become my new mantra.

So here we go:

Since September…

  • I skidded into the finish line getting my fourth book done (Lavender Island 2) on Oct. 6.
  • The next day, I went in for a long-overdue mammogram because I felt a lump about 2 days prior.
  • Over the next couple of weeks, I did a follow-up visit to my dr, a diagnostic mammo, an ultrasound, a biopsy, and was diagnosed with breast cancer on Oct. 19.
  • My edits came in on Oct. 21.
  • Life became a bit of chaos through the end of October as I navigated fear, appointments, more fear, a PET-CT, an MRI, a gene test, meeting a breast surgeon, meeting an oncologist, fear, edits, having port-placement surgery, my regular full-time job, fear, edits, and more edits. Also Halloween. Also my son’s 16th birthday.
  • I started mellowing out once all the testing was done and I was “staged.” I was put at Stage II-B breast cancer, which means lymph nodes were also affected, but also nowadays has about a 97% success rate of living beyond 5 years, so that relaxed me considerably and made me square my shoulders and just get ready to do this thing.
  • November was mostly about telling everyone that I had breast cancer – Who to tell? How? Plus I worked on edits for 6 weeks. By Thanksgiving, though, I was feeling strangely calm and ready to roll on the breast cancer treatment! We’d decided on chemo first, surgery second.
  • My first book with my new publisher (The Kiss on Castle Road) came out in the UK on Dec. 1.
  • My first chemo was Dec. 3.
  • I turned in my edits on Dec. 7.
  • Then December was another month of chaos, but the fun kind — lots to keep my mind occupied while I did two rounds of chemo. My older kids came home from out of state; we mostly sat around and visited (very low-level shopping, wrapping, and decorating – they helped out a lot!) Plus there were lots of family gatherings and parties that made the month fly by and kept me very preoccupied. My husband shaved my head on Dec. 25, and things got real.
  • My third round of chemo was on New Year’s Eve.
  • The Kiss on Castle Road launched officially on New Year’s Day.
  • January was adjusting to a new reality of no hair, feeling sicker with chemo, and not as many happy distractions to keep me from noticing how sick I felt. But I was excited about my book!!!
  • My copyedits for the second Lavender Island book came in on Jan. 7ish and were due Jan. 26.
  • I had my fourth (and last) round of the “worst” chemo on Jan. 14.
  • I turned in my copyedits for the 26th.

And here we are! – Both books are done, all edits are done, my contract is done, my “worst” chemo is done, the holidays are done, and I’m suddenly feeling like the groundhog from yesterday’s Groundhog’s Day, popping my head out, looking around, and seeing what’s going on. What happened while I was in my own little personal tornado since late September?

And where do I go from here?

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5 thoughts on “Breast Cancer and the Whirlwind of the Last Few Months

  1. I think you survived the worst of the storm, and here comes Spring. The depth of character you (already had but) are accumulating through these trials and experiences is going to make a loooong life lived that much richer, not to mention the possibilities it may bring to your writing life. I am so in awe of you.

  2. That has been a tornado for sure! You are so strong Laurie, you never cease to amaze me with your talent and the constant juggle of writing, working and raising your family… and now cancer! You are amazing and I am so happy to be your friend! =)

  3. Laurie – You are, simply put, amazing. Just reading your activities and stresses over the past few months wore me out. And, I admit, when I read the line about Chris shaving your head on Christmas, I teared up. Congrats on so many things – on finishing your book edits, on taking note when your body was telling you that you needed to get a lump checked out, on continuing to work full time, on being an awesome mom and wife, and on making it through the worst of the chemo. You are a shining example of true strength.

  4. I think you just took the title “Superwoman”. Wow, I was tired and out of breath just reading what you had been doing. And I can truthfully say, you are one AMAZING lady. going through all of that while your body is probably screaming I hate you right now must have been some kind of hell. But you took the high road with an amazing spirit and family and friends behind you. And every time you posted a picture of yourself you looked more and more beautiful to me. So major props to you Mrs. Superwoman, square that chin and accept a pat on the back from me, you are amazing and so beautiful.
    big hugs 🙂

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