Sunday, April 3, 2011

I am not a numbers girl...

The winner of the autographed copy of After Anne, by Roxanne Henke is #7, Deb from Wisconsin!  Please email me your mailing address and I will get the book off in the mail to you!  Congratulations!

Rare: 1. Infrequently occurring; uncommon. 2. Excellent; extraordinary.

I am not a numbers girl.  It took me three hours to complete my statistics final in graduate school, and I almost hugged Dr. Luo when I squeaked out of there with a low B.  Based on my work that semester, a B should really not have been attainable.  But on that rare occasion, I got by.

Being diagnosed with any kind of disease, is really a study in numbers.  The statistics are staggering, and I have not even begun to process all the new ways you could describe my new found status as a breast cancer patient.

I was initially, curious about how 3 different doctors, on my "team" for fighting cancer, might get along.
But, I've been encouraged that all three of the doctors I have seen so far have been mostly on the same page.  They don't necessarily contradict one another, however they certainly have very different and distinct personalities.  As I've shed some of my inhibitions on researching breast cancer I've come to understand how lucky I am in how personalized my care has been.

 Dr. P really takes his time with me.  He has said I can call him 24/7, so that even if I am awake and have questions about something at 2 am, I should call.  I love how each time I see him, I am reminded of his compassion.  He is young-ish, but I like that it makes him more human, less science sometimes.  I feel like he drops the doctorly demeanor at times, and makes a quick smile, before composing himself and getting back to business.  When he found out I have no mental health benefits with my insurance plan, his eyes flashed with a burst of anger, and then he reassured me, "Then, I will see you and help you," he said.  "You don't need to worry about that."

Dr. N, the radiation oncologist is cheery and upbeat.  She has a quick wit, but when she gets down to business, she is bright and passionate about medicine.  She was "stoked" about the clinical trial that Dr. P had found for me.  She thought it was a huge coincidence that he opened the envelope with that trial at the same time, I became his patient and needed a trial such as that.  Another God thing, if you ask me.  You can't help but feel upbeat around Dr. N.

My surgeon, Dr. B, on the other hand, is jovial and pleasant, an older gentleman, but the speech that I get from him, seems like one he rattles off every day.  There is no break in his demeanor, he has seen it way too many times.  He is certainly kind and caring.  But his parting words caused me to pause.  When I asked if he would take my lymph nodes, he said no.  He saw no reason to.  He also did not recommend having a double masectomy, as I had anticipated.

I am beginning to see the differences between stage III cancer and stage IV.  I knew the numbers would look different, but I am paying no attention to any numbers they may or may not have given me.  I cannot be reduced by a number.  Hope, to me is unquantifiable.  I refuse to start being a numbers girl.

Dr. B's parting words to me were "remember, curing this cancer is rare."  I couldn't help think, but he doesn't realize just how "rare" I am.


So what happens when you "freak out" in the MRI tube?  They reschedule you for Monday, with sedation.  I am usually not a claustrophobic type, but the "Jason" type mask over my face combined with being shoved into a tiny tube for 45 minutes with a jackhammer/woodpecker on steroids drilling around you? Yeah, complete inability to cope on my part.  Hello Xanax!  I was forewarned they will give me enough to make me pretty drowsy, and then I may need to sleep it off the rest of the day tomorrow.

I continue to be flooded with uplifting cards, packages in the mail, emails, texts, and baskets of goodies!  Thank you for nourishing my soul and loving on me.  I always think love grows when it is shared, and I hope to multiply and reflect back the love that has been shared with me.

At last count over 250 dollars worth of bracelets have been purchased in just a couple of days. Wow! Thank you all!


  1. you are definitely rare vicky. so glad you have such a good team guiding you through all of this.

  2. You are NOT a statistic or a number, girl! You are a child of the King with all the resources of Heaven and His heart at hand! If I listened to the dr.'s, it would have been a depressing thing for me. Even now, it's always, It's not IF it returns, but rather WHEN!" They just won't stop with the negatives. It's up to US to walk out those big, heavy doors each time, breath in fresh air, and allow the Lord to tell us all about Himself and our relationship with HIM! That MRI machine is a lesson in being "all cooped up!" You can do it! Keep those eyes closed tight!!!!!

    You've been on my mind and in my prayers all weekend. Won't stop til we all do the victory march!

  3. Vicky, you are a rare jewel of a human being. I'm not a numbers girl either. I'm glad that your team of doctors are dedicated and kind to you. The love keeps growing around you. Vicky, you are a force of good, positivity and love that makes a difference in every person's life. I thank God for knowing you. Remember that Bon Jovi song, "Keep the Faith?" I'm humming now as I type. Faith will hold you up and bring the light of healing to you very soon. All our prayers will continue to be sent up to Our Heavenly Father for you. Why can't I be a Minnesota girl and come by and see you? I wish I could jump on a plane now and we could have some laughs. Love ya my soul sister :)

  4. You are for SURE NOT a NUMBER. Your humanity shines in the forms of bravery, honesty, kindness, gratitude and faith. Personally, I plan on following your blog long after you've beat this thing!!!

  5. Statistics are a guide for the scientists - they say nothing about you as an individual - how could they? You ARE much to rare to be quantified.

    Wish we could bottle your amazing attitude Vicky ... it would be an invaluable elixir for many of us!

  6. Your attitude is going to help you, no doubt there. Those with a positive outlook definitely.. even in the "numbers"... fair better.

  7. Good luck for the MRI Vicky. Don't worry. Just sleep all relaxed, knowing that you will be cured and will be healthy again. Trust the lord. He won't let you down

  8. You are NOT a number and don't let them tell you, you are! Your FAITH and perseverence and POSITIVE ATTITUDE will see you through!!! Parying..... XO, Pinky

  9. you are rare and perfect and the only number that counts... you are number one to Him. and you are unquantifiable to me. :)

  10. you are indeed rare, when I read that I thought to myself how important faith and believing is, lots more important than the medicine some time. praying for you dear one.

  11. And if I wouldn't have been a blogger, I never would have found you!!! That's a God wink.

    I'm thinking and praying for you Vicky. Good luck today.

  12. Thank God for wonderful Drs, they have a gift from God, having said that, the key word is God. The song, 'VICTORY SHALL BE MINE' is so you, Vicky. A raging battle that God wants you to let Him fight for you and Victory shall be yours. I listen, and do some 2-step dancing to the song many times a day. Have Faith and never doubt and Victory shall be yours!!!! xxxooo Barb

  13. Can't wait to get my bracelet. You are again AMAZING!

  14. I can not wait to get my bracelet! I will wear it everyday to remind me of the strength and positive energy you have. I will be following your journey and praying for you daily vicky. My best to you and your sweet boys.

  15. I've never given much thought to stats. They don't know that much and in my life I have seen plenty of odds beaten.
    Dr's perform miracles everyday.
    and I wish one for you.:)

  16. I've hopped over from Susan Etole's blog to add my good wishes to those of your many friends. I'm also adding you to my daily prayer list. I'm a cancer survivor (six years now) and can relate to so much of what you've said here. A positive attitude goes such a long way towards both healing and coping.

    Jeremiah 29:11— "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope."

    Hold onto God's promises.

    Carol Garvin

  17. Don't let ANYONE speak numbers to you! You are so right when you say, "He doesn't know how rare I am." You have been called to something none of us would choose but I have no doubt that you will touch many lives and CHANGE the numbers! Eucharisteo.

    I'm coming out of forced retirement to blog and get as many people over here as I can and I so hope this goes viral through many blogs and spreads and the bracelets flood you with support.

    And just so you know.....I have to be majorly drugged to go through those MRI's as well. You can ask for an OPEN one - the top is still over you but the sides are open and it doesn't feel as claustrophobic. AND your husband can sit beside you and hold your hand! I KNOW. We've done this six times. Don't let them tell you any different and tell them they better not make me come over there!

    Please email me anytime and we can exchange numbers. I know, and AM SO GRATEFUL, that you are surrounded by so many loving and caring friends. And I know your plate, your schedule, your heart, and your mind are FULL. But I AM here if you want to talk. My heart, my prayers, and my love are with you, dearest Vicky. What an incredible encouragement you have always been to me.

    With Love,


  18. OHMYGOSH I had to laugh when you described the MRI you explained the sounds and how it feels to a "T"!!! Glad they rescheduled you with some good stuff! :)


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