Telling our friends

Published by Marc on Sun, 02/12/2012 - 11:02am

Here's the email we sent out, letting our friends know about Pam's diagnosis:
I'm not sure if you've heard this through the grapevine already, but Pam was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of weeks ago. It was a very aggressive tumor, and so we've had to act quickly. We spent last week doing tons of tests (Pam is very excited to report that she can conclusively say that she DOESN'T have a brain tumor!), and after reviewing the results, Pam had a double mastectomy yesterday. The surgery went relatively well: they didn't find any more cancer than anticipated, and they didn't have to cut any more than anticipated. But they nicked her lung during the surgery, so she had to have another procedure to insert a tube to drain the air, and let her lung heal. That means she'll be spending another couple of days in the hospital. Pam's recovering well from the surgery and the chest tube procedure. She's not in a lot of pain, and everything seems to healing well.

We've had to process a lot of information in a short amount of time, and our lives have changed pretty quickly. And while this news is bad, it's not horrible. Breast cancer is survivable. We have a strong family. We have two children who are old enough to help and be part of the process. We have a great support system. We have insurance. We will not be victims.

This year will not be easy for us. Pam will start chemo once she recovers from surgery. That will last 2-3 months, and then she'll have a month of radiation. We'll hopefully be done with this around September. At which point we'll start planning a kick-ass celebration for Pam's birthday in February.

We've already had to rely on our friends more than we've ever had to in the past. And it's been a fantastic experience, being supported in ways we couldn't ever have imagined. We will need your support, encouragement, kind words, and love this year. Other than that, there's nothing you can do right now.

Pam is hoping to write about this, since it helps her process the experience. There are just some test articles up there, and it's not very pretty yet, but check out for her thoughts. You'll be able to comment and add your own thoughts, and that would be very meaningful to her.

Well. I'm not sure what else to say. I'll try and keep everyone updated on Pam's progress, but I apologize in advances, since I know I won't be able to give everyone the information they want as soon as they want it.

Thanks in advance for your support and encouragement!

Marc, also speaking for Pam, Ryann and Miller


Hi Pam,
I just heard your news from Marc.  Sounds like you are still in the hospital, uncomfortable chest tubes hanging out of you, and by now, your back is probably killing you.  Home will feel great.  Hope that is tomorrow!  (By the way, I wasn't able to open an article - probably my technical skills!)
I am so sorry to hear your news.  You are so damn strong and capable, you'll breeze through it as much as a person can, but i still wish you didn't have learn every aspect of the health care system.  And, it must be a little scary...and then you have to recover from a big surgery.  I know you are as strong as an ox, and be gentle with yourself. Your body is going to take a while to recover and your head will spin for a bit.  It's ok to get tired and even down.  The recovery from any surgery can bring on all sorts of depression-like fatigue, and then is will subside as your strength returns.  So, it's OK.  It will pass and the ox will resurface, stronger, and sick of hospital smells. 
Much love to you!!  I told Marc to call whenever but of course you should as well. 406-220-1150.  Laurie

Pam, I just heard the news from Marc (via email). Holy Shit. I'm sorry. I wish I could be there to help in some way. We've had hypothetical conversations about these types of possiblities in the past and wow, here it is. How are you? Marc's email sounded strong. You are an amazing woman and I'm  here for you.