good afternoon-I am very pleased to report that the pathology report was positive...no lymph node involvement! Clear margins, too. I do not know whether my oncologist will feel that radiation is warranted, but I will follow her recommendation. Now it is time to move on, get some energy back, and to once again say a very sincere thank you to all of you who posted messages on this site. I'm sure it is quite simple and straightforward to do a response to your postings, but alas, not for the likes of some of the computer-challenged among us.[...]
Sue Hopkins - Journal
Read Entries & Updates
greetings, friends-I had hoped to do one update to provide information about surgery and pathology, but as the pathology results aren't in yet, will just let you know that my surgery on January 11 went very well. I was in the hospital overnight, but have been home and quite comfortable since, having no pain to speak of. My daughter Erin was here for the surgery and afterwards and Bob's daughter Sharon has been here and is still here, so I have plenty of help doing everything needed. Plus some wonderful meals! My post-op visit this afternoon went well also, and I don't have to return for a month. I will be on one chemo drug for a year (Herceptin), another drug for 10 years and the pathology will determine what/if any other treatment is needed. I will do another update when those pathology reports are in, which should be within the next day or 2. til then, Sue[...]
good afternoon, everyone, from (finally) snowy Maine-Hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season. I wanted to let you all know I am scheduled to have a bilateral mastectomy at our local hospital on January 11. This is my choice and it seems best given the aggressive nature of my tumor and the fact that it went from nothing to a stage 2 invasive cancer in 2 months, and then grew by 50% in the month following. I would prefer not to live the rest of my life being tested every 3 months when that might not be soon enough, and also, these past months haven't been pretty, so not repeating this process is most enticing. I feel mentally well-prepared and am looking forward to having this chapter behind me. I won't know until after the surgery whether I need radiation, as that depends on biopsy results. I will report again once that is known. Meanwhile, have a great new year, and best wishes for a happy, healthy 2016 to all. Sue[...]
good morning, friends...once again I must start with an apology for delaying so long in posting this update. A week ago I had the 4th in the series of 6 chemotherapy treatments. I consider that milestone to take me to the halfway point, because it is the 3 weeks following the treatment that are the challenge, not getting the chemo itself. I have to say it's all going as well as could be expected.. Every time I experience a symptom, I check the known side-effects list for each of the 4 chemo drugs I'm getting, and so far there hasn't been anything that many others also have reported. Although advised to contact your regular physician if you have something wrong that's not related to the treatment, a review of those lists makes me wonder just what that might be! Hopefully, I won't find out. I am pleased overall that the fall has not been a complete wash, that there are days and periods of several days that I might feel almost normal, and that these are somewhat predictable, because I've done many of the enjoyable things I always do. For the first time in many years, I am relatively caught up with my antiques and books business matters, and that feels great, not to mention that I thoroughly enjoy it.. Bob seems to be coping well and is hugely helpful.[...]
I had meant to post an update a couple of days ago, but time and a bit of fatigue postponed it Thanks to all of you who are following this site and posting comments. Though I haven't yet figured out how to acknowledge your comments, the site notifies me when there is one and I read it and am most appreciative of all your support and good wishes. I made it through the first of 6 cycles of chemotherapy with little more than fatigue, hair loss and a nasty reaction that looked like very bad acne, then abated on its own after a week. I showed up Wednesday to have the 2nd bout of chemo and found that my port had flipped, meaning that it couldn't be accessed. Apparently this is very unusual. Two surgeons tried to manipulate it back into place, but when that failed, I had an unscheduled surgery at my surgeon's office on the same campus to return it to its proper orientation. I then went back over to the hospital to get the chemo the same day, which resulted in 3 nurses having to stay until 7:30 p.m. until I was done. And not a single day in treatment delay. This is a time when I am most grateful to have the coordinated care in close proximity...I'm quite sure if I were having treatments in Portland or Boston, I would not have had such a result. I am very pleased with all the care I've received, the fact that the providers share information and they smooth out all the wrinkles and all I have to do is move from place to place as advised. So that's it for now, and I expect a couple more days of slow moving and I'll get some energy back. Thank you, thank you, to each of you, xo, Sue[...]
good morning, everyone-I haven't figured out how to acknowledge that I've read your comments and just want you to know that I very much appreciate them. Thanks for the support. I'm glad this week is over and am hoping for some physical and mental energy. enjoy the holiday weekend...[...]
hello friends....the last 3 days have been a whirlwind. Monday brought the installation of my port, through which chemotherapy and other iv fluids can be delivered, and from which blood can be drawn. Saves one's veins! Also went to Waldo County General Hospital Monday afternoon for a CAT scan. Yesterday spent all day at Waldo CGH having bone scans, MRIs, echocardiogram, and an unexpected procedure from the radiologist there who placed 2 metal pins that are located where the cancer is, so it can always be located, even if the chemo shrinks one or both to nothingness. She's our neighbor, and said she had time to do it yesterday, so saved an extra hospital visit to have that done within the next few days. very nice, but not very comfortable. Tests did not show other cancer in unexpected places, which is really, really good news to hear.[...]
Welcome to the Sue Hopkins support family! This site is for family and friends, old and new, to organize our efforts to support this extraordinary person. This page will serve as your home base for rallying the troops, receiving updates to support Sue Hopkins. Here's the plan:
Your First Step: Please take 30 seconds to click on the "Follow" button on the top right of this page. This will allow you to receive updates, read journal entries, make donations, share Sue Hopkins’s story on social media, and help the family with week-to-week calendaring needs. Though not mandatory to follow Sue Hopkins’s page, we encourage you to easily create an account with your name and email in order to be able to post photos, leave comments and sign up as a helping hand on the Calendar page. Feel free to upload a photo of yourself to your profile so we can get to know and recognize others on Sue Hopkins’s support team. After clicking “Follow” above, read on to learn more about what you can do to help.
Journal: This tab is where you can read the latest entries posted for Sue Hopkins and our support team. You may see additional authors writing updates here to help alleviate pressure for Sue Hopkins and expedite information sharing. Each post is followed by a photo and name of the author of the entry. You can reply with supportive comments to any journal entry, or click on the name of its author to send a private message.
Posts: This is where you can leave an encouraging message for Sue Hopkins and family, and to read thoughts left by others! If you have something pressing you'd like suggest that everyone sees (e.g. a fundraiser or upcoming event you're spearheading), please don't hesitate to contact us via private message so we can consider sharing it more widely in the Journal sections. There will undoubtedly be many coordinated efforts and events ahead, and we want to make certain they’re organized and publicized through this site to help drive the greatest possible impact.
Calendar: Please see this important section to learn what the family needs NOW. This will be an especially helpful section for locals in close proximity to Sue Hopkins. This is an up-to-date calendar which will list the family's immediate needs such as child-care, rides, and meals to help most in the short term. If you see a need posted and can fill it, please sign up through the calendar page directly (i.e. not through private communication) to let us and others know that you've committed to that need. Please check back often to help out with the most recently posted needs!
Notifications: After clicking “Follow” above, you’ll then see a tab to manage “Notifications”. If you feel you’re receiving too many or too few email notifications, please check this section to tailor notifications to your areas of interest. For example, if you want to receive journal updates but not new calendar posts, or any combination of notifications from this site, you can do set them to your preference this section.
Don’t Forget! If you haven’t done so already, please click “Follow” on the top right. It’s your very next step to showing your support!