2017 was a year I will always remember.
I had problems with heavy bleeding and in February of that year I had an ablation and tubal ligation. Followed up post op and doctor examined me and scheduled a mammogram. The day of the mammogram the weather was really bad and tech called me to rescheduled. I told her I would call her back but never did. The ablation failed and in August I had a hysterectomy but did not take my ovaries out. I was very upset because that was one of the big issues for me and my mother had ovarian cancer a few years before.
Then it all started Saturday, October 28, 2017. I came home after a workout, took a shower and performed a self breast examination. What I felt was not normal at all. I felt a large, hard lump in my left breast. I panicked a bit and went online and scheduled a mammogram that Monday. I went to take the exam and was told because I felt a lump I needed to be scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound and could not be done that day. So I was scheduled November 8th.
My Bi-Rads Category was a 4C: High suspicion for malignancy. I read the results and googled and reread again. I had a 39mm mass on outer center position.
Biopsy recommended and completed and results returned on the day before Thanksgiving November 22 that I have Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of the left breast. I called my family and friends to confirm. I was at work that day and had to drive an hour to my appointment to hear this again. I was ok because now I can concentrate on treatment. I was setup with an oncologist on December 6th and confirmed that I had Triple Negative Breast Cancer. The words scared me because I just lost a dear friend to same cancer. Oncologist ran a battery of test that included blood work, CT abdomen, CT chest, PET scan and Echo and EKG. My CT chest showed small nodules that were probably there years ago. I had my port put in on December 7th to assist with chemotherapy.
I followed up with oncologist and all test were fine and had not spread to any other parts of my body. I had my genetics test done and no BRCA found. So my chemo was set for 18 weeks every 3 weeks January-April. My first treatment I had my family with me and even through out the my chemo. Taking turns sitting with me. First chemo was great and so was every treatment thereafter. I had the TAC regimen.
T - docetaxel (also called Taxotere ®)
A - doxorubicin (also called Adriamycin ®)
C - cyclophosphamide.
Only symptoms I had was tiredness, no taste, weight gain and chemo brain. No pain, no nausea, no black nails, minor knee pain that Claritin or Tylenol helped with after Neulasta injection.
My final chemo was April 26th. I rang the bell and ran out of the building hoping to never see them again. They were very good to me and helped me through a journey I wish no one to have.
I had a consult with a breast surgeon April 17 and my plastic surgeon April 25th. June 6th my surgery was scheduled for left breast mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. Later plan to lift and reduce the healthy right breast. I was in hospital for 5 days after a complication and went back for surgery. This surgery was very challenging and difficult not being able to be as mobile as I would have liked but after the 2nd week I felt a little better but with a stomach incision from one hip to the other was a battle. The incision was not so bad it was the belly button that gave me grief but eventually healed nicely. My 2nd surgery was 10/30/18 and it was a breeze compared to my first one. I am pleased with the work and look forward to a new normal.
Followed up with my oncologist for blood work and results still showed positive for no cancer reoccurrence. Will see her again in December 2018 for blood work and CT chest that I need to have every 6-12 months to see if there is any growth.
I am so glad to share my story with you. My family and friends are amazed at my journey and how I kept stress at an all time low. I just prayed and kept myself busy and always smiling. Perhaps it will help someone who is about to go through chemo, going through chemo or finished chemo. Stay strong! Stress is just as much the enemy as CANCER! Eliminate it as best you can.
Thanks for reading!
Instagram - @beautyfightingthebeast