They say that into every life, some rain must fall. It has been a while since the Hoggards have been rained on, so we were due for a deluge. My Jinni has breast cancer.
My apologies to all of you whom we haven't contacted about this personally but in reality, you are being contacted personally... just not in the traditional manner. Get used to it, because I am sure that this blog is where you will be getting updates as we navigate the months ahead.
She went for her mammogram on Monday. After they spotted the lump in her left breast they performed an ultrasound. Found another tumor in a lymph node under her arm. They went ahead and took a biopsy sample of both tumors during the same visit
We went in for the biopsy results yesterday which is why I trunctated my stay at First Lutheran. Son Jesse and I were working the polls with JW when Jinni called to say she wanted to go on in and get the results around 11:30. After we got the news, I returned to First Lutheran to fetch Jesse, took him aside and explained what I knew, then we headed home. Thanks, Janet, for being there and for such kind words
It's a Stage II disease... out of four stages. 80% five year survival rate which is probably higher than my five year odds given my credo. So, I have little fear of losing my girlfriend... but the regime to get her fixed will be difficult.
We went ahead and met with her surgeon today because we are ready to jump in with all ten of our feet and get this show on the road. She'll start with chemo to shrink the tumors, then lumpectomy and lymph node removal surgery, then back to chemo and top it all of with radiation. Then years of monitoring. Whatever.
The kids are doing well. Lots of questions with honest answers. When we don't know, we tell them we don't know, but we have promised to fill them in honestly when we find out the answers. Truth is, we don't know all of the questions yet, either... but we're learning.
Jinni started a battery of tests today to "type" the cancer so the oncologist can choose the right brew to throw at the little son-of-a-bitches. We've not yet chosen an oncologist so we don't know when she starts her treatments... tomorrow would be fine with me. We have some great recommendations from breast cancer survivors that we know and are getting other input from medical-type friends. We don't want some nimby-pimby cancer doc, we're looking for aggression with compassion.
We'll be fine. We have the best support system known to mankind, plenty of non-neighbor friends who are ready to help and both of our blood families are on high alert back in Kentucky.
Will I blog it? Well... yeah. Just today, I have had a recurring conversation about what happened at the surgeon's office with about ten folks (so far) who wanted an update, two more neighbors just walked in the front door... and this is just day two. So, starting now, when someone asks, "How's Jinni doing", I'll be able to point them here for the week-to-week particulars. In addition, this space - and these words - could help others who might be going through the same, or similar, experiences.
To that end, I expect to set up a new blog category to keep you up on this new facet of our lives: "The Big C" or some such. In any case, I'll keep you posted - but only if you'll keep us in your thoughts and prayers.
An aside: We have been without health insurance for over two years dodging bullets left and right. We just couldn't afford it.
After I landed the Charlotte job, we applied for re-instatement with Blue Cross - it went into effect Monday, November 1st... that's more like dodging an artillery shell.