January 18, 2018

A Day I Will Never Forget…

11188214_10205361246703277_213929887643240912_n(4)My journey began February 5, 2015. I was scheduled to have my first ever mammogram. It ended up being a few hours visit which entailed three sessions of mammograms and then an ultra sound. I was pretty much told there was concern, and it was a 50/50 outcome. So, I was scheduled for a biopsy the following week, February 12. After having the biopsy, I went in to work the next day and figured I wouldn’t hear anything over the weekend.

The work day went by without any problems. February 13, 2015, I received a call from my primary care physician telling me that my biopsy tested positive for cancer. As I answered the phone, knowing it was her, I thought to myself, “I’m alright.” However, at the same time, there was a feeling that made me wrench a little, knowing that wasn’t the truth. She began giving me instructions and phone numbers for my next steps. I continued to remain calm and wrote down everything she said. Since I was at work, my next step was to finish gathering my things, deliver paperwork to my boss, while being composed after such news; knowing I had to call my husband. He took it worse than I did in the beginning. And then I broke down.

We decided that we would not tell the kids anything on the way home. I wanted to wait until after dinner. We sat on the couch and called our three teenagers over to sit. I wanted my husband to break the news, but we would make sure we also told the kids what our next steps were, not only to soften the blow, but so that they would know there was a plan and no matter what, we would get through it. We cried, and ended our discussion in prayer.

As the weeks went on, I met my breast care surgeon, my plastic surgeon, my oncologist, and my cardiovascular doctor. This all became more real with each step, but still u believable and certainly not real. This couldn’t be mine, my life. I was not ready to own this, and neither was my husband. That would have to come later. My diagnosis was Infiltrated Ductal Carcinoma Stage 2a, 3.2cm in length.

I wasn’t sure what to do. I was absolutely against doing chemo, but we had already met with two oncologist and felt like I needed to get started right away and not let this cancer grow or spread.

I had surgery on March 10, a port placed in my chest on April 7, and began chemo on the 14th. By the end of April, my husband shaved my head; it all began to fall out in clumps every time I would touch or comb it.

This seemed like it would never end. However, I completed my chemo through the rest of the summer. It all seems like it went faster than we thought it would, but it was certainly not an easy journey. I was given four treatments of adriamycin, taxotere, and cytoxan (ACT)  – once every two weeks. Then six treatments of Herceptin, Carboplatin, and Taxotere (TCH) – once every three weeks. There were days of fevers, headaches,staying in bed for a few days. I generally felt off for the whole week of chemo. I guess in general, compared to most other cancer patients, I did well health wise. It was still the worst thing I’d ever experienced, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. On my two weeks off, I would get as much done around the house as possible. Then I would realize I probably did too much.

By the end of September, I found a new oncologist. I actually had one treatment of TCH that I was supposed to complete. My husband and I were not comfortable with the previous doctor, and although I had been with her through the gist of chemo, we still knew I had a ways to go, and finding a doctor we trusted and were more comfortable with was important. My new doctor agreed that I should not have done the first part of my treatment that was prescribed by my previous doctor. I didn’t have to take the last treatment. However, he reassured me that my treatments to come he was certain of. As of now, I have ten more herceptin treatments once every three weeks, I take a hormone blocker pill called Aromasin daily, and an injection once every three months called Lupron. Eventually, I will have a CT scan and a bone scan done. I just completed my reconstruction surgery and had my port removed.

The surgery marks a big finish for me even though I am not done. Through all of this, I have done lots of holistic research. I had begun using supplements and detoxing during chemo. I will share more on detox, essential oils, and supplements. I never felt like I had the time to do any research before. If I had known what I know now, I would have walked out on my chemo. As I am currently doing more research, specifically for her2 positive breast cancer, I may not finish the treatments I am on now. I think it’s time to rebuild, instead of tearing down…

More to come…

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