Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Only One

I am completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support we've received from all of you! I can't begin to tell you how much it means to my family and me. Thank you so much for being here during this completely unexpected, and unwanted, journey.

In real life, I'm a numbers girl. I'm much more comfortable with numbers than with words. In high school, I used to create algebra problems to help me sleep. In my defense, I was also a cheerleader, so I wasn't the kid eating glue in the back of class. I just like numbers. It helps me to be able to break something down to the lowest common denominator. When dealing with cancer, it's impossible not to come across many statistics. I found them fascinating, particularly since my cancer's so rare, that I had to share them here.

1. There are 2 different groups of sarcomas: soft-tissue sarcomas, and bone cancer.
2. Within these 2 groups, there are about a dozen different types of sarcomas.
3. All sarcomas combined only make up about 1% of all cancers.
4. Only about 11,000 people will be diagnosed with sarcoma this year.
5. Of those 11,000, about 7,800 will have a type of soft-tissue sarcoma (what mine falls under).
6. Of those 7,800, a whopping ONE percent will be my sarcoma: dermatofibrosarcoma protuberans (DFSP)
7. That means approximately 78 people will develop DFSP this year!
8. Of the approx. 78 new cases of DFSP this year, 43% will be women (34).
9. Of the 78, it will develop somewhere on the trunk in 50% of them.
10. That means of the 34 women who will get DFSP this year, it will arise in the trunks of 17 of us.
11. Of this 50%, it will mostly appear on the back or adomen. Sadly, I couldn't find a percentage for this one.

Basically, that means I may be the only person in this country to get dermatofibrosarcoma on my boob this year. Ok, there may be a handful of us, but I'm sure my odds of winning the lottery would've been greater. I think it's time to go buy a ticket!


Nicole O'Dell said...

My prayers continue! Sorry you didn't hear from the doc yesterday. I hope they call you today!

laura said...

Oh my. Your poor boob! I wish that your post was about lottery-winning statistics instead of what it's really about. Amazed that you've had the head space to continue posting (as well as keep up with your lovely girls). Keeping you in my thoughts, okay?

Jesus saves said...

As your only sister-in-law I wish I was closer. So I could take Abby and the twins. Do you have enough help? Damon will want to be with you and you will want and need him with you, beside those two little ones are going slow down because mommy is sick Jesus is watching over you all. He will be with the doctors. He will take care of you and you special family. My prayers are with you always. Love in Christ, Paula

Rachael said...

i love numbers too, they are concrete + often bring me a sense of calm as i navigate uncertain waters. thoughts, prayers + hugs...

Anonymous said...

Brandi. thank you for sharing. I believe that you have started a book. Your words show strenth in a time of adversity, which is a great gift to share with others.

Remember that Jake and I are available whenever you need us. Just let us know what we can do.

Also, know that we love you just as much as we love our own children.

Jesus saves said...

Thanks mom, if you need somebody for Molly I probly find a bsbysitter for her. Their dog would love a playmate for a awhile. Who knows how long you be there.

Mike and Jill said...

What an interesting way to break this down and try to make sense out of the whole thing. Not that it can make sense of it, but I hope you know what I'm trying to say.

Life in Eden said...

I'm late, but wanted you to know I'm hoping all the best for you. You're doing a great job of getting educated.

Brandi said...

Thank you so much everyone! Paula, we have a great circle of friends out here. Everyone has been so generous and has offered to help. I'm still waiting on a call from the surgeon's office. I'm ready to get the surgery overwith!