Our beautiful blue skies and unseasonable December weather have given us so many reasons to be grateful that we live in MI Town. While so many people in Southern California have lost so much to the devastating fires, and folks in the Columbia River Gorge are dealing with wind and frozen temperatures, we are able to hang Christmas lights and plant bulbs without rain. The chilly mornings are very invigorating, and when we’re properly bundled up, really a pleasure at this time of year.

The Friends of the Monmouth Library are having an ongoing Holiday Book Sale during December. This is a great opportunity to find gently-used books and other items for gifts, or just to treat yourself.

To continue my Journey to Wellness: We watch the monitor in the hospital room as my blood pressure rises high enough for me to be discharged. I’ve traded the hospital gown for clean pajamas, robe, warm socks and slippers brought from home for the return trip. Don heads off to Bi-Mart to get my magic potion prescribed by the noteworthy surgeon, and I settle into bed to sleep — perchance to dream — or not.

The good drugs from surgery are beginning to wear off, and I happily take the magic potion, clutching the ice bag against my upper left side, drifting in and out of sleep.

Dr. Faddis calls a few days later, sharing the good news first: the cancerous section has been removed and lymph nodes were clear, but there were other cells with “precancerous” edges. Beverly and I talked by phone for 25 minutes or so, discussing options and “what if’s” and how many times did I want to go under the knife and find more “precancerous” cells later. A subsequent conversation with Geoff just reinforced that a mastectomy will be the best choice for me.

The next day, I just completely let it go, and cried for the very first time since the initial diagnosis, which was good (I guess). Both Don and I had a mutual meltdown, and aired our concerns and fears and all the absorption of so much information and decision making that we both were trying to manage. I called Deb (the RN-Navigator). What a blessing it is, to have another caring and compassionate person who can help me through these scary times, and realize we all have the same goal.

Dr. Faddis and I discussed my decision. This surgery will be more complicated than the lumpectomy, and I will probably have to stay overnight in the hospital (dang), but recovery should go well. My surgery date is now Dec. 13, two months since my mammogram on Oct. 13.

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