Saturday, January 19, 2019

Some health news

I've been debating whether to share this news on my blog and social media, but it seems like it's going to be part of my life for at least a little while longer, so here goes.

In early December I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Last Monday, I had a mastectomy, and was told the lymph nodes were clear, meaning the cancer hasn't spread to other organs--the official stage is 2, which is usually very good news in breast cancer world. The margins were also clear. My oncologist told me this is a "very curable" cancer. We are still considering chemo or radiation; because I am (relatively) young and healthy, we have the opportunity (let's call it an opportunity) to try some more aggressive treatments as added protection. We will learn more next week.

I feel extremely lucky to have good health insurance, good care, and very supportive friends, family, and colleagues. I am going to get through this.

I will also try to write something more enlightening about this experience, perhaps after I have some distance on it. What I can say now is the usual: Don't skip your mammograms. If you have risk factors, try to mitigate the ones you can. Reduce your stress. And don't be afraid. There's been huge progress on this front in just the last few years, and treatments can be very targeted.

Also, I'm still me. I'm still writing and working. At the moment I'm a little more tired and short-tempered, though you might not even notice a difference there, and wearing button-down shirts for the first time in decades. But otherwise I'm the same as I ever was, and will continue to be.

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