Michigan Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers – Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon

Breast Cancer Pink Ribbon

It has now been 2 years since we found out we had breast cancer.  I say “we”, because when my wife, Lori, found out she had the disease, it became all consuming for both of us. There was no warning.  She never felt sick.  She recently had her annual mammogram, she did her regular self-examination, and one day found something “funny” in her breast.  It wasn’t the lump that they teach you to look for, it was a disc–a long, smooth disc–that was abnormal.  She saw her doctor and he scheduled everything immediately–another mammogram, ultrasound, CT scan, PET scan, mastectomy, and chemotherapy schedule.  They didn’t want to mess around.  If it turned out to be cancer, Lori wanted it out of her body as soon as possible.  If it wasn’t cancer, they could cancel everything.

They took the biopsy, then we had to wait for the results to come after the weekend.  The fear that it could be the big C was almost unbearable.  After the incredibly long weekend, the tests confirmed our fears and we immediately started the treatment.  Step one was the mastectomy.  Not a pleasant option, but when faced with the alternative, it was the only option.  We had the operation done at our local hospital.

Then we had the chemotherapy at our local hospital.  We had the option to go to the University hospital that is located about an hour away, but after finding out that they would do the exact same treatment, we decided to do it locally.  Cancer treatment is tough enough without having to add stress by thinking about it all the way there and all the way back for the duration of the treatments.

For Lori, the chemotherapy was not as bad as the drugs they gave her afterwards to increase her white blood cell count.  Those drugs caused her bones to work overtime to produce the extra blood cells that were needed.  Incredible pain in the big bones–mainly thighs and hips–made it difficult for her to get out of bed for about a week.  Then when she started to feel better, it was time for more chemotherapy.

She shaved her head, so she could take control of the inevitable hair loss.  She toughed it out and finished her chemo.  Then it was time for radiation treatment.  Everyday treatment for a month was her new agenda.  We got that behind us, then it was time to heal before reconstruction.

The good part about getting breast cancer is that reconstruction is part of the treatment and is mandated to be covered by insurance.  Lori has been very happy with her female plastic surgeon Dr. Mariam Awada in Southfield, Michigan. Next week, we get the reconstruction and things will finally be pretty close to normal around here.  Lori is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her “celebrity boobies” who she has already named “Wham” and “Bam”.

Her postive attitude throughout the whole process has been nothing short of astounding. If you didn’t know she had cancer, you wouldn’t know she had cancer. A great attitude, an incredible sense of humor, and a huge support group was key to her sanity through the surgeries, treatments, and recovery. Her coworkers set up a schedule to provide us with meals every day for the first 6 weeks. Her interaction with animals, mainly her horse, kept her mind occupied and was a source of unconditional love. Her buddies at the bingo parlor were another source of support, and an activity that she could do in her condition. She was never shy to talk about it and has been an open book to anyone who wanted to know.

lori-venturini-wow1If you make it out to the Munro House Bed and Breakfast in Jonesville, Michigan, and you need to talk to someone about how to handle a similar situation in your life, Lori Venturini is an incredible source of information and an inspiration to us all.

Life is good in Jonesville.

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Published in: on February 6, 2009 at 3:41 am  Leave a Comment  
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