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I decided several years ago that I’d much rather spend my time counting reasons to be grateful than keeping track of reasons to be mad, sad, or frustrated.  Little did I know how well that outlook would serve me as my life plowed headlong into this year’s Cancer Twofer!

The last few days (since surgery last Friday) have been a protracted opportunity to put my optimism to the test, and I’m thrilled to report that there is finally some concrete (and positive) news!

(On the way to Strathroy for dinner with cousins yesterday…couldn’t resist the photo op!)

Sue, my wonderful nurse practitioner from University of Michigan’s Cancer Center called me this morning with the results of most of my tests.  What we know for sure is:

  • THE LYMPH NODES ARE CLEAR This means that there is little chance that the cancer has spread to other parts of my body.  This calls for some tap-dancing…or some French fries…or a Braveheart-type “whoop”!  Or I could be really daring in my celebrating and attempt tap-dancing while eating fries and letting rip with Braveheart’ian whoops, but that might land me in the hospital for entirely different reasons than my current repeat-visits, so I’ll refrain for now…
  • The calcifications are indeed “precancerous.”  They don’t pose an immediate threat, but might in the future.
  • The cancerous tumor was not excised completely enough.  Further surgery is required.
  • I have positive estrogen receptors.  Sue seems to think that’s a good thing…not sure why (I’m confused).  But I DO know that it’s nice to count estrogen as a card-carrying member of my Optimists’ Club!  Way to be positive, hormones!
  • We are still waiting on one test result.  This one will determine whether or not I will need chemotherapy.  How do I feel about the outcome of this test?  Uh….strongly!

I will head back to Ann Arbor on Monday for a full afternoon of appointments during which a panel of doctors will determine the course of action and timing of the next few weeks/months.  I will also be able to meet with a nutritionist (oy!) to learn more about the nutritional aspect of cancer-fighting and, hopefully, with the surgeon who operated on my face 7 weeks ago.  There are still a couple small defects that she might be able to fix at some point.


From previous discussions with Sue, the surgeons, and other breast cancer patients, and based on what we now know, it is most likely that I will be undergoing a mastectomy with reconstruction. There’s just too much still suspicious in there to risk a less extensive surgery.  The only way to circumvent a mastectomy would be to biopsy all the additional calcifications in my “glebniss” (couldn’t resist), and that would require more wire insertions…and I’m really not all that fond of smelling salts. 

We’ll see what conclusions are reached on Monday.  I’ll try to post an update here some time on Tuesday.  Please keep praying that the final test will allow me to get away with just surgery and NO CHEMO.  Wouldn’t that be grand?

Just in case, I’m heading to my closet for my loudest-heeled shoes, to the basement for a bag of frozen fries, and I’m warming up my pipes: mi-mi-mi-mi-miiiiii…….



  1. Hi Michelle,
    you are such a trooper! praying for you, that our wonderfully creative God will shower you with his love in ways that happily surprise you.
    liebe greusse
    Manda Thompson

  2. We are rejoicing at this good news, and praying for more to come!

  3. Michele,

    YAY for clear lymph nodes!  I’ve never been a big Mel Gibson fan, and my kids ate all my french fries, but I DO have a pair of tap shoes at the ready!!!  They’ve been getting a little dusty, and they’re glad for the chance to dance!

    I’ve never gotten to meet you as an adult–(me, an adult, not you–although you probably weren’t that old in Wheaton, LOL!)–but I just wanted to say hi, and let you know I’ve been praying for you since my parent’s got your letter about the MAC, and following your blog since I found you on facebook.  You have a little pocket of prayer here in Northern WI.

    Beautiful posts, beautiful pictures, beautiful smiles.  Beautiful.

    Jenny Armstrong  (Fellow MK, Larry and Gail Williams’s daughter,)

  4. Dear Michèle,

    It’s great news to know the lymph nodes are clear! Thank you for always keeping us up to date through this blog! Keep up your optimism and above all keep leaning on our God who is so faithful…. remember that song your Kenneniah choir sang: “In my moments of fear…. there’s a God, who’s been faithful to me… He’s been faithful, faithful to me looking back His love and mercy I see….” Great song!

    Jessica (from France !)

  5. Celebrating the good parts with you Michele – praying continually regarding the hard parts – Confident about the main parts. Love sarah

  6. We continue to rejoice with you at the good news and bring you before the Throne of God’s GRACE for the rest….He is faithful!!! Continue to shine brightly for Him. You are such an encouragement to us all!! We love you…

  7. So it is the middle of the night before Tuesday and I cannot sleep, so eager to hear all the news!  PAGA!  And missing you and loving you!  You make me ever so proud and thankful for God in you that keeps looking for the good!  I might have to learn tap dancing or fake it just for you!  French fries waiting to be eaten! Whoops coming from Germany!  Can you hear them?  kisses

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