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My Journey

Just breathe……this is what I would say to myself, over and over, while going through my diagnoses and treatment.  I still say it today.  Did you know that you physically cannot cry if you are taking deep breaths?

Today my friend told me she thinks I am a superhero. We were talking about cancer and how I don’t think (or see) how I am doing anything different other than just trying to live another day. The truth is I never felt sick or tired leading up to my diagnoses or even after going through chemo. I felt the same; I just noticed subtle differences in my appearance.

The first time I was diagnosed was in March 2018. I went in to the doctor because I noticed a difference in my breast tissue when doing a breast self exam. It quickly escalated from a biopsy and ultrasound to a bilateral mastectomy three weeks later. At the time I did not require chemo or radiation. I recovered from the surgery and then had reconstruction three months later. I was back to my normal activities by September 2018 and followed up with my oncologist and surgeon every three months after that and as each month passed, I became more comfortable with the fact that I had beat cancer.

In November 2020 I noticed a little bit of swelling in my right armpit. I called my surgeon and went to see her the same day. She did a biopsy of four lymph nodes in the office and confirmed her suspicion for the return of cancer. I truly felt like it was over.  I remember getting into the elevator and doing everything I could to keep from crying because there was another family in with us.  Just breathe!  I lost it when I got to my car. My husband had met me at the clinic. and we hugged and got into our own cars.  We both sobbed in disbelief. 

The whirlwind started again…CT scan, PET scan, echocardiogram, MRI, medical port placement, chemo, labs.  I received 12 weeks of chemotherapy along with two medication infusions that help to control HER2 protein.  I will continue to receive these HER2 infusions as long as they remain effective.  

Fast forward to August 2022 and I was again diagnosed with cancer, this time I developed 4 lesions on my brain.  Over the summer I noticed increased head pressure and some issues with depth perception.  As they progressed, I contacted my oncologist and an MRI was done.  I am now receiving radiation therapy to my brain.  

Cancer is a horribly scary disease that can rock your whole world!  Emotionally, financially, physically, just everything.  As I continue along my journey, I think a lot about how it impacts families and what I can do to help make their journey just a little bit easier. 

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