beginning the journey

On September 11, 2012 I learned that I had breast cancer. The diagnosis came in the form of a text from the doctor at Doylestown Hospital’s Women’s Diagnostic Center. I had been so certain that the suspicious nodule was benign. My first reaction was shock, and then I cried. But then my innate resolve took over. The first thing I did was text my three friends who had invested much of themselves over the past 6 months as I went through repeated mammograms, ultrasounds, doctor visits, and biopsy.

After three visits to Dr. Dahlia Sataloff, MD at the Rena Rowan Breast Center of Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, I opted to pursue my surgery and treatment with Dr. Beth DuPree, MD a highly regarded breast specialist here in Bucks County. I had been given a copy of Beth’s book titled THE HEALING CONSCIOUSNESS about six years ago by my friend Nina Biller. Knowing my fascination with and passion for holistic healing modalities, Nina knew I would love the book. I did. Little did I think that one day I would be seeking Dr. DuPree’s guidance and professional expertise to guide me on my own journey with breast cancer.

I am very fortunate that my cancer was caught early. It is classified a Grade 1 cancer, and Dr. DuPree told me I would be fine! I am optimistic, ready to embrace the journey, and learn from the experience.

Among the literature I received from Dr. DuPree was an article about a patient who started a blog as a way to keep her family and friends updated on what was happening. She spoke of exhaustion not permitting her to expend the energy in answering telephone calls, emails, and texts from all the persons who care. I am already experiencing this. While it is very important for me to hear from you, I know that I will not be able to respond to each expression of love and concern. That is why I decided to start a new blog, hoping that you will put the link in your “favorites,” and check in for my updates. I promise to be open and honest about my feelings and encourage you to leave responses/comments if you wish. Along with notes about my journey, I also plan to share my photography.

I am blessed to have so many friends and such a wonderful support system. At this time I want to express my deepest gratitude to my friends Fran Lucas, Nan Muska, and Wendi Huttner who have been supporting me through the earliest stages of this journey. Fran, friend and RN, has accompanied me to doctor appointments and offered medical guidance. Nan Muska, friend and reflexologist, took me to the hospital for my biopsy and came to the house immediately after I received my diagnosis. Wendi Huttner, friend and Nor’wester Readers partner, has also offered wonderful suggestions in pursuing medical advice and pulled extra Nor’wester Readers’ responsibilities. All three of them have given me huge emotional support as I’ve navigated my way through the earliest stages of this journey.

The closing words in Beth’s book are . . .and so it is — hence the name of my blog. She offers “The Lessons” for all of us to embrace.
Be present in the moment.
The only constant in life is change
Fear paralyzes — Knowledge empowers
Life is about your journey, not the destination
Although it may be that medicine treats the symptom, it is the physician’s love that heals
Lead by example

. . .and so it is.

12 thoughts on “beginning the journey

  1. Diana says:

    I’m glad you have made a decision about where to go for treatment and am doubly glad for the optimism of your doctor (and you, of course). It’s always good to hear the words “You’ll be fine!” ❤

  2. Beautiful post Deb and wonderful attitude towards this bend in the path. Your mindset is crucial to your success in this journey. You are loved and cared for by so many. I’m sure we are all on call for you if you need us. This blog is a wonderful way to help you and to help us support you. XOXO -Hillary

  3. So beautifully written Deb. This is a healthy way for you to handle the challenges ahead. Of course with your writing talent we will appreciate your words for many reasons. We are here for you if you need us. Best wishes for an easy time. Your positive attitude will help greatly toward the success of your experience with this bump in the road. Lots of love! ~Hillary

  4. Loretta Shatt says:

    Debbie, you are the wise one, always a step ahead in your journey, no matter what it might be. I am grateful for your blog and will refer to all updates. As you know, I will always
    be here for you for whatever you may need. All my best to you and all my love.
    Loretta

  5. Fran says:

    Debbie, how fortunate you are to have been introduced to Dr. DuPree & even more with your love of reading in a book from Nina! You & the doctor are a perfect match! Beautiful title & photo. If you need anything, please contact me – I’m just down the road. Your writing is outstanding & in the future, something you might want to share with others that are on a similar journey. I will be checking for future updates. Remembering the doctor’s words, “You’ll be fine”. XO

  6. peeeps says:

    The Diggs and I have all paws and fingers crossed.

  7. Mary Andress says:

    Dear Deb…….yur attitude is so “Deb”.
    We have shared much over many years.
    This is another chapter to embrace and
    learn from on this “Journey”.
    Here for you any day/any way. xoxo Mary & Puck

  8. Linda says:

    Dear Debbie, I know you are being bombarded by a lot of information and it is overwhelming at times. Don’t be afraid to use your voice durring this process, becuase yours is the ONLY one that matters. Doctors in this specialty treat people with your condition every day and often are so focused on the tumor/CA that the person in front of them is a part of the tumor.
    I’ve had a few paiients who have gone with the balloon route. They both had early detection, and knew at the time that this proceedure was very new. Both did beautifully and liked the”convience” of the treatment. It did take some time to get used to the port.
    I will be in touch. Please let me know if you need anything. Deb, you have soooo many people who love and care so deeply about you! That tumor doesnt’ stand a chance!
    With healing love, Linda

  9. Bille Jean says:

    Hi There Deb, I was glad to hear from you this evening but saddened by the journey you’re on now. It sounds like you are in very very good hands. I’ll be sending good thoughts and prayers your way. It’s amazing that you read Beth’s before…that’s gotta be some very good Karma:) I hope Hannah’s better, she must know, and it’s undoubtedly breaking her heart. Hugs to you my dear photography friend! Take care, I’ll check in here now and again.

  10. Malou Walther says:

    I am sad that you must go through this worry Debbie. Another bump in the road of life to overcome and triumph over, which, knowing your attitude and gumption, you will do in style. I welcome the opportunity to be of help.
    With love and prayers, Malou

  11. kyleann says:

    Debbie – you empower so many and I feel you empowering yourself!!! You are loved. I will focus on the “you’ll be fine” part of your journey because I believe that to be true. Tomorrow I’m going on a breast cancer fund raiser and I’ll think of YOU on the back of my motorcycle – with me all day. Kyle

  12. Malou Walther says:

    FANTASTIC NEWS Debbie, and congratulations on your honor as well. Your accomplishments make me feel like such a slug. How do you do it all, and with such grace.
    And…..your photographs are truly inspiring.
    Willie and Thatcher will be working with NHE on Thursdays this year, so Tuesdays are good days for me to be of help, should you need it.
    Lots of Love, Malou

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