I am so bad at keeping up with this blog. Guess life has been a bit busy since the last post. So much has happened since. I did start my chemotherapy, I started two medications one called Taxol and another one called Herceptin. I was supposed to have 12 rounds of Taxol once a week and Herceptin every 3 weeks for 17 weeks. Immediately after my first round, my stomach was a mess. Mild cramps, constipation, heartburn, and a loss of taste were my main side effects. I must say that it was not as bad as I anticipated. My energy was still high, my hair had no signs of falling out. I felt that I could totally handle this chemo thing. This continued on until my sixth round when I really hit a wall, while I was plugged into the machine getting Taxol I had such horrible cramps that I thought I would have to go straight to the emergency room. I decided then and there that I no longer would continue treatment. I also switched oncologist to someone I am more comfortable with. And although he did recommend that I try another type of chemotherapy he was supportive of my decision. And so here I am post chemo and thriving. Sure my hair fell off and I look like a baby chick with fuzzy hair, but I no longer have all those stomach issues.
Someone asked me if I was scared of stopping mid treatment and the truth is that I can’t answer that with a simple answer. Yes and no. I mean anything could happen at any time. Radiation which I start next month is known to cause cancer, Tamoxifen which I also start soon, has a whole lot of issues that come with it. I don’t really know how to feel. The best I can do is eat healthy, find more time to exercise and enjoy my life and be around the people that love and support me. I will not pause my life waiting to get better, I’ve done that enough recently.
With that said, I am really happy knowing that I have people reading this blog. Let me know if you have any questions about any of this. Although I am learning as I go, I totally get how confusing and overwhelming this all is. It drives me crazy how much information there is out there. I will keep you posted on radiations and all that other stuff. Thanks for reading.
Chemotherapy starts this Thursday and I am nervous as all hell. All these questions, like what will it feel like? Will I be wiped out from all the drugs and not be able to enjoy my life? What if I lose my hair, will I look cute bald? I know, isn’t that awful that I ask that question? But then it’s worrying about the little details, like dinner and who will give Ayla her bath if I’m too weak. Or worst, who will comfort her because lately she is all about her mama. Although I am happy that she needs me so much, the thought of not being able to tend to her makes me so sad. I do not know what I would do without my mother’s help or my husband. Either way, I won’t know until I know. And stressing out over these things does not help matter.
SIDENOTE: Have you heard of Gabriele Grunewald? She is a badass babe! She participates in races while on Chemo. Like if I ever feel weak or I am feeling sorry for myself, remind me that us women are warriors!
So, last Saturday my lovely friend Liz threw me a surprise brunch at Sugarcane. She invited some friends Giselle, Maria, Monica, Jana, Otilia and Haydee. She is so sweet and supportive. We over ordered and had bottomless sangria pitchers. We had a great time and everyone was so sweet. We forgot to take pictures, could you believe it? I did manage to take one. That is my friend Jana up there holding up the book that Liz got me to pass time during chemo. I love it. It was really touching to see all my friends together in one spot.
At the end when all is said and done, I must declare that I have a solid group of people cheering for me. And no matter what happens that is a nice feeling to have. Knowing that you are loved and needed.
I will be posting a Father’s Day post as well. Yes a little late, but excuse me, I’ve had a lot on my plate lately.
One thing I did not dream of while starting this blog and talking to people about my diagnosis was the amount of support I received. Also, tons of inquiries about how I first discovered it, how I will treat it, etc…
Many ladies out there have found lumps and are too scared about the outcome. But I urge you to go get a mammogram sooner than later because breast cancer tends to be aggressive if left alone. I am the kind of person that if I know if something is wrong, I need to get it resolved as soon as possible. Please don’t be scared to get tested because no matter what the outcome is, you are strong and you can deal with whatever comes your way.
The goal of early detection is to diagnose and treat breast cancer patients in an early stage when the prognosis for long-term survival is best. Delays in diagnosis and treatment, could result in a poorer prognosis for women with breast cancer.
PLEASE LADIES, no time to waste when it come to your health. Get tested and move forward. Everything will be okay.
It has been about a month since the surgery and the recovery has been pretty smooth. Of course it’s such a pain in the butt to feel tender and sore and limited on the things that you can do but overall, I feel great. A couple of weeks ago I saw my surgical oncologist and he was a bit confused about treatment options for me. At the time of the lumpectomy they bumped me up from Stage 0 to Stage 1, ER+/PR+/HER2+. That basically changed the treatment that they had in mind prior to the surgery. My cancer was a bit more aggressive than what the biopsy had shown but still I fell short of the recommended chemo treatment. My doctor recommend that I see another oncologist.
The new oncologist was very confident that I need chemo as a preventative measure. He answered all my questions but was a little too dismissive of my concerns with the treatment. Although he was very nice and obviously an expert he really did make chemo seem as if it were a massage at the spa. Since then I have spoken to my own general doctor and Dan’s dad who is a oncologist and they both reassured me that the reason that he suggested chemo is because I am young and I will recover from it and that I will have great results from the treatment. And so it starts. I will have a port placed next month and shortly after start chemo. I am still so nervous and scared but I am trying not to over think the whole thing and just get on with it. The sooner it happens the sooner it ends.
I am no expert on cancer. I got diagnosed back in October. It was my first mammogram. I was encouraged by a friend who recently got diagnosed with breast cancer. If you have a chance, please read her blog. She is truly inspirational, she has been through so much and still is one of the most positive women you will ever meet.I am really lucky that I went for a mammogram when I did because it was the best time to find out that I did have something there.
After the mammogram, they sent me for a sonogram and then recommended a biopsy. Which came back positive and that’s when they said that I have what is known as Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) it occurs when breast cancer cells develop in the breast ducts. Some doctor’s don’t even call it breast cancer they call it pre-cancerous cells. But let me tell you, they will scare you and make you feel as if you are dying. I am not being dramatic but it’s true.
The first oncologist we saw mentioned a double mastectomy about a dozen times within the first 10 minutes of meeting with him. I pretty much ran out of there and decided to take a breather. I felt very overwhelmed and felt that I had to make a decision on something I had no knowledge on. My friend Dan, his dad is an oncologist and I ended up sending him my records to get a second opinion on my case. He was very insightful and instantly made me feel at ease. I changed hospitals and from the start, it just felt right. They are very professional, the staff is friendly and extremely accommodating. I hate hospitals but at least I am in good hands.
Since my diagnosis, I’ve had multiple biopsies, mammograms, MRI’s, etc… My current doctor recommended a lumpectomy on the left breast and a lift for the other one. Basically, I will have 20-year-old tits by the time this whole mess is done and if that is not something to look forward to within all this mess, I don’t know what is.
The treatment after the surgery really depends on what they find in the lymph nodes. The best case scenario is that the cancer did not spread and a simple radiation treatment will do. But if they do find that the cancer is in the lymph nodes they will remove as many lymph nodes as they need to in order to clear the area and then I may need chemotherapy.
It’s very easy to get anxious and worried about all the what-if’s in this kind of situation. I am learning that the best thing is to go with the flow. It is good to educate yourself and know what you are dealing with but it is pointless to worry about things that are out of your control.
Please send good vibes my way. My surgery is set for Friday, April 21st and I am so nervous!