2013 April | MVP Cancer Courage

Radiation, here I come.

Apr 28, 2013 by

I sit here today eating my gluten free breakfast, sipping my green tea with lots of nervous energy. I know, I know.  I am blessed, we caught it early, I don’t have to do chemo etc, etc.  It doesn’t change the fact that I’m still feeling anxious about what comes next. Tomorrow starts six and a half weeks of radiation.  Which means my life, even my “new reality” of my life, is about to change….again.  Every day, I will put on a smile and head to Rye, NY and get my dose of radiation.  Five days a week, until June 14th. As I took my shower this morning, I thought about it all. Today is the last day that I can use soap to wash my right side, shave my right arm pit, wear deodorant...

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Good days.

Apr 25, 2013 by

With a cancer diagnosis, even the best diagnosis – caught early, you have good days and bad days. Today is a good day.  The sun is shining.  I am learning to slow down.  Any of you who know me, understand how incredibly hard that is for me to do.  I’m learning to listen to my body, listen to my instincts and trying to “schedule” rest time into my day.  Today was a nice balance of work, time with friends and time for myself.  I’m trying to be present, in each of those moments. Work is great, I love my job and the people I work with – and I feel productive keeping my work schedule during this journey (even if it is an abbreviated schedule).  My friends continue to surprise and amaze me with...

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My sister, Trish and the healing crystals....

Apr 21, 2013 by

It’s times like these that it just so hard to live far away from my family.  I really wish my mom, my sisters and brothers lived closer, to be with me while I go through all of this.  ( My dad passed away three years ago,  so even though I know he can’t physically be here, I know that he is always with me in spirit. ) My younger sister, Tricia and I are incredibly close.  She is my anchor.  When I got the news, we cried together for what seemed like hours on the phone.  She is a mom of four beautiful girls (Paige, Grace, Claire and Brooke), has just gone back to work part time and her husband, Jim, travels a lot.  I knew she wanted to get on the next plane from Chicago to be by...

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Tattoos??

Apr 20, 2013 by

I got my first tattoos this week. On Wednesday, I went in for my CT Scan in preparation for my radiation treatments.  I met with my “old friends” from Monday, Dr Singh, Angela and Darlene and made a new friend, Nannette.  Nannette and I, from what I hear, are about to become quite close.  She is the professional who will be administering my radiation on a daily basis for the next seven weeks.  While Nannette filled me in on what I could expect from the treatments, fatigue, tenderness, sunburn, potential blistering, and the list goes on……she also informed me that I would not be able to wear deoderant, shave my armpit or wear any of the sports bras or underwire bras from Victoria’s Secret that I’ve been living in for the past 30 years.  What???  Where does one...

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MVP

Apr 18, 2013 by

MVP has very special meaning to me.  Born on December 24th, as Mary Victoria Potter.  My initials were always special.  My dad, an avid sports fan, always said I was one of the most valuable players on our family team, and I believed him!  I’m sure he told my other siblings great things too, but the most valuable player, that was my thing. My license plate in Illinois was MVP66, and as the Managing Director of National Recruitment for Tribune Company, I parked in the Tribune Corporate lot and my car was often mistaken for Sammy Sosa’s during his successful run with the Cubs (before the unfortunate bat incident and his fall from grace)! Now, as a business owner and entrepreneur, our recruiting business division is called MVP, for Most Valuable Position, Most Valuable Professional, Most...

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Oncology And Radiology

Apr 18, 2013 by

On Monday, Dan and I went to meet with our newest set of doctors, Dr Stuart Feldman – my Oncologist and Dr Rajni Singh – my Radiologist.  Dr Feldman is very serious and detail oriented (as one would hope!)  He spends his time between the Westchester Medical Group and Sloan Kettering.  It was our second meeting with him.  The last time was educational but frustrating, since we did not have all of our test results at that point.  This meeting was much more focused.  Since we had all of the results, we could put together a plan of action.  Not a pleasant plan of action, but at least a plan! Six and a half  weeks of radiation, five days a week, that we could do with the state of the art equipment, right there...

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Recovery

Apr 18, 2013 by

The long weeks that followed were filled with rest, recovery and waiting. Waiting, waiting, and more waiting. Waiting to hear – about the Estrogen Receptor (ER) and Progesterone Receptor (PR) results.  Both came back positive, which is what we wanted. Waiting to hear – about the Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (HER2) results, it came back negative, which, once again is what we wanted! Waiting to hear – that they got it all after the second lumpectomy……and they did!  Clear margins! Waiting to hear –  if the lymph nodes were clear……and they were! More waiting to hear – about the BRCA genetic test results.  If I tested positive – it would mean there was an 85% chance of breast cancer recurring or ovarian cancer rearing its ugly head………it came back NEGATIVE!  This meant no more surgery. YAHOO! And...

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Number Two.

Apr 16, 2013 by

March 19th, 2013, I woke, showered and did my hair again.  As Dan and I headed to surgery, I thought, this feels like Groundhog Day……..I sure hope Spring comes soon. There I was getting prepped for surgery, with all my “old friends” from last week.  And there was Dr Josephson, reassuring me along the way back into the OR.  Despite my “calm, positive” attitude, I was a bundle of nerves. Needless to say, I was happy (again), when the anesthesiologist showed up and I was out.  Hopefully they would get it all and this would be it.  Hopefully, it had not moved into my lymph nodes. The next thing I remember was being wheeled out of the OR and “waking up”.  I have heard that many people have strange reactions as the come out of...

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A state of calm….

Apr 15, 2013 by

The day before my second surgery, I felt the support of my family, friends and community.  I felt the support of God and the Universe.  Once again, I did my part. I made sure work was in order, my team was good and I cleaned and organized my house again! My incredible nanny, Gloria, prayed with me that day. My big brother, John Potter, who is one of the most inspirational and spiritual people I know, offered prayers with his other Shaman friend, Scott in Montana.  I’m not quite sure what they were doing out there in the mountains, but I trusted that it was good. My dear friend Robin Giacomo, a gifted  and skilled yoga instructor, held a meditation and prayer vigil with friends from the community. My other amazing yoga instructor friend, Twee Merrigan,...

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Before Number Two…..

Apr 15, 2013 by

St Patrick’s Day was two days before my second surgery.  Regardless of how tired I was, I was determined to make it to the local parade.  Christopher enjoyed it so much at the age of two, I knew at three, this year would be special for him (and for me as well).  My mother in law came by and took us to lunch before the parade, she wanted to do something to help and wanted to spend some time with us.  She is a nurse.  During our lunch she was making small talk and started talking about “Cancer this and Cancer that”  – I’m sure she meant well, but I was not ready to have this discussion over a Sunday afternoon lunch!  As she continued talking, my mind went numb and I burst into...

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In between.

Apr 15, 2013 by

The week between my two surgeries was a blur.  A lot of physical pain from the surgery and emotional pain, just trying to come to terms with my new reality.  I tried to make sure I was resting, but yet, I had a business to run and kids to take care of.  I wasn’t quite sure what the following week would bring, so I tried to do what I had to, when I could…..and then take a three hour nap! I read a lot of books and had a lot tearful conversations with friends and family.  I was not sure how to proceed in communicating what was happening in my life, do I tell people, do I keep this private? I told my step kids, Samantha and Connor, because – at the ages of...

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Yes…Way

Apr 12, 2013 by

I had my first surgery on March 11th, 2013.  A lumpectomy.  When I asked Dr J what the chances were that this suspicious shadow could be cancer, she said probably no more than 20-30%.  Her words, “Go enjoy your weekend, I’ll see you in surgery on Monday!”.  Ok, I will, or at least I’ll try. Sunday night before the surgery, I cleaned my closet, organized my office and cleaned the entire house.  Can we say nervous energy?  It was a tough night, I had a hard time sleeping, but I knew that I had lots of prayers from my family and the few close friends who knew what was happening.  I prayed a lot that night as well. I woke the next morning, took a shower and blew dry and styled my hair.  If I was...

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