Saturday, July 12, 2008


My Aunt Marian found a lump in her breast last month.

She had it biopsied and Bad News: cancer; Good News: VERY EARLY.

They say good things come in threes (congrats Rational & Heather! Who's next???)

But bad things do too. First my dad (who's doing VERY well!) and now my aunt. I hope whatever happens next is a stubbed toe or a fender bender... :(

Aunt Marian is my father's older sister (he's the baby) and not the first in our family to be afflicted. Her mother - my grandmother - had breast cancer before she died, though I don't know if that's what ultimately led to her death - I was less than a year old when we lost her - the last grandchild she got to meet before she died in her 70s. My next cousin was named for her.

Breast cancer runs on my mother's side, too. My maternal grandmother had a lump removed at 30. In theory I should have had my first mammogram at 30 myself, but because I've never been pregnant and have relatively small breasts, it's never been deemed necessary by my doctors.

But at my next physical, I'll be getting my first mammogram and it scares me to death. I'm afraid of the actual test AND of the potential results.

Being a nurse, Aunt Marian opted to have a mascetomy last week. She's in extremely good spirits. On her website her biggest complaint was that even though she lost a breast she somehow managed to GAIN ten pounds while in the hospital for two days! (Makes my whining about one pound seem offensively petty!)

What I found really sweet, though, was that, as I was reading what my other relatives had posted on her website, I noticed that her two daughters-in-law kept calling her "Millie" which I'd never heard anyone call Aunt Marian, ever.

And then I realized it was a play on MIL, the abbreviation we use in cyberspace for "mother-in-law"

How sweet is that!!!!

Anyway, here's wishing you a speedy recovery and a clear pathology Aunt Marian!!! I love you!


Anonymous said...

Ah, EEE, sorry about "Millie". Love that -- so sweet with the name. My gf had an aggressive breast cancer at 35. She had just gotten married and had an adoption that was to be final in a week from when she found out. Fast forward to 7 years later. She has adopted 2 others (siblings of the other 2 and told that mother to USE BIRTH CONTROL!). She's in perfect health and cancer free. They have come a long way in fighting breast cancer.

I am proud of my friend. She fought wth all her heart and won. Seems like your Aunt did too. I will always support that cause. They are getting closer to a cure. Everyone's help has made it so I have my friend to this day. I don't know what I would do without her.


P.S. Get that mammogram. I don't want you disappearing on me.

Anonymous said...

EEE: WOW I just discovered your blog late last night. The Dear Abby letters are out of this world. You are a wonderfully, talented writer. (Do you write for a living? Is writing any part of your job?) I've enjoyed seeing your Abby/Amy letters on Topix, but sitting there reading them I was ROTFL....absolutely hilarious.

I never thought of myself as a proficient writer until 7 years ago when in my profession I had 2 opportunities to do some heavy writing. One involved 20 pages of somewhat anecdotal writing. The other was 80 pages that included serious documentation. After that it seemed to flow more when I would write. I keep a private journal on my computer at the suggestion of a therapist when I was going through my divorce. I have continued writing in it, but not day by day. I have written a New Year's family letter for over 20 years that usually starts with humor and has some sprinkled through it.

Now to comment on this entry. I have had breast cancer. Fortunately because it was caught so very early (through an MRI) it didn't affect my life radically (4 surgeries and 33 radiation treatments). I only missed 3 1/2 days of work. I now take a standard medication, but it along with menopause seems to be the cause of my tremendous weight gain. (So I'm with you on that entry also.) I have been struggling with it for 3 years without success(down 6 up 11, etc). I seem to be at a point where I'm not gaining any longer and possibly stable, but still grossly overweight. I will continue to fight it though. I'm happy for your success. KEEP THAT UP. For some of us it is a life-long battle.

Back to the breast cancer--My mother is a 26 year survivor. The cancer has returned, but she is doing great for her age (81). Her mother died at 58 from it. They have made many, many advances.

Millie: I absolutely love that for MIL. My first child (the middle of 3) recently married a wonderful lady with 3 lovely children (sounds the Brady bunch?????---). They struggled to find a name for me. They wanted to call me Mama "Jane". YUK!!!!! I finally suggested BiMi (for "Bob's" Mama) My Daughter-in-love calls me Mama "Jane". Perhaps I will suggest Millie. I just love it!!!

From the heart