The Longest Day in the Life of Eveline Lettau

Posted 12-5-2008

April 5, 2005, 8:00 AM. The day was like any other school day. Eveline, 38 years old, blonde, blue eyes, beautiful and adored by her students, prepared to dress for another 2nd grade teaching day. In the shower she discovered a lump on the side of her left breast. She showed her husband, a nurse, and told him when she got home in the afternoon she would call their family doctor for an appointment.

“No, Eveline,” he said gently. “We are going to see the doctor right away.”

In the next 8 hours, their family doctor sent Eveline to the Breast Center for a mammogram. The radiologist at the Breast Center then performed a biopsy. The radiologist directed them to the surgeon, who then made an immediate referral to an oncologist. And thus was the start of this, the longest day in Eveline’s life.

First there was chemotherapy, which resulted in the tumor shrinking totally.

And allowing a temporary remission. But the follow up PET scan revealed a return. Then began more chemo, leading to a lumpectomy, leading to radiation, leading to PET scan, leading to chemotherapy for additional cancer “hot spots,” leading to PET scan, leading to CT scans, leading to changes in chemotherapy, leading to severe reactions to the new drugs, leading to hospitalization, leading to PET scan showing spots, leading to changes in drugs, leading to the cancer also metastacizing to the skin across her affected left side, leading to a new type of radiation, prescribed for 2 times per day every day for 4 weeks.

July 16, 2008, Noon. It is now 28,756 hours into Eveline’s long day, and we meet for lunch. Somewhere during this long day not yet ended, Eveline has been inspired to leave teaching and write.

It is my privilege to assist her with her new dream to write. And it is with gratitude I accept on behalf of the Weathervane Foundation Genomic Studies her offer of biopsy tissue sample and medical records. “If I can help even one person,” she said, “it is worth it. So no one else has to endure what I’ve been going through.”


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