• Kirsten Lies-Warfield

Surprise, it's cancer!

Updated: Dec 10, 2021

I found the process of sharing the trauma of my army band experience here to be very beneficial to my mental health. I find myself here again to process my latest trauma: a diagnosis of breast cancer. Again, I find this trauma something that I want to share if folks want to know, but I don't want to burden those that don't want to know and I don't want the burden of having to tell the story over and over. It is a relief to just set that burden here and let others come to it as they want or need.

Cancerous Kiri plays Pearl Street

I found the lump myself in early October. I got a pat on the head from the doc for that. I caught it early and the pathology showed it would be receptive to hormone treatment. While I have drawn a straight line for you between the finding and the diagnosis, I will now reveal the huge zig-zag of emotions that occurred in between. I had a biopsy Oct 26, got the results that it was cancer on Oct 28, then had to wait until Nov 2 to hear my prognosis and get the pathology. That's five days of coming to terms with the possibility that death was imminent.

Fortunately, death was not imminent, but time is still pretty weird because you hear that it hasn't spread yet and that means that it will eventually spread. Still you have to wait for availability of appointments, reports to be generated and factor in whatever distortion COVID-19 is adding to the mix. I had a double mastectomy on Dec 6 and that means I walked around knowing I had cancer in me for over a month and I was lucky to get fit in so quickly. Does that seem like a long time, a short time, or the right amount of time? I don't know, I've never done this before. Life was really hard to plan knowing that I would be out of commission for a couple of weeks but could only guess when that would be. I am relieved now to have it out and hopefully it is all out. That is still TBD and I'm still not sure what the rest of my cancer journey will look like.

I don't want or need sympathy, but I will also share that I had my heart dog, Rae, put down in the midst of all this on Oct 22. Laying this all out on the page and looking back at it, I feel pretty good about how I've done. I feel resilient and hopeful.

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