5th Chemo Down… 1 to go!!!

Today I tackled my 5th chemo… My friend Juliet took me and she hung out with me and brought me home today… I have ONE MORE TO GO!!!!!  Thank you Juliet for hanging with me all day!!! March 26th I will have completed chemo. My surgery is scheduled for April 17th…

I have had a lot of people ask me why I can’t continue photographing weddings… Due to the long hours and the repeated motion… and the weight of the cameras – that puts me at a risk of developing lymphedema. I have a friend who just had her bilateral mastectomy (both breasts) and she is already developing lymphedema. For 3 years, she told me I need to be extremely careful with lifting, repetitive motion, etc. Lympedema occurs when your lymph nodes are removed… I am not sure how many lymph nodes will be removed at this time… that will depend on a test that they will do while I’m going through my surgery. She said it’s a blue dye test… and if there is cancer present, it will show up… they continue to test the lymph nodes going in… and they take 3-4 more past the last cancerous one… so it’s entirely dependent on how many have cancer…. the more removed, the higher the risk. There are different degrees… but it can be debilitating… Here are some examples…

f26_01 4889 diagnosis download images

 

There are varying degrees of what it can be like.. not everyone gets it, it’s dependent on the person…. but it can be debilitating and it can cause you to have pain and it can be disabling… My surgical oncologist is trying to prevent this at all costs…. Lymphedema does not go away once you have it, from my understanding….

The other thing that you can get is cording… and I’d like to thank Ann Marie from https://www.facebook.com/stupiddumbbreastcancer?ref=br_tf (Stupid Dumb Breast Cancer) for making us aware of another potential problem called Cording… Ann Marie has developed cording and will require physical therapy to help her heal from this… and this is Ann Marie’s photo of her arm that has developed cording…

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I’m extremely proud of myself and how far I’ve come… My doctor is extremely pleased with my result from chemo… he told us today that he did not expect that type of result from chemo with the type of breast cancer that I have…. and I contribute a lot of this success to MY DIET!!! My doctor is a cynic when it comes to this theory…. but I was talking to my best friend yesterday… The main causes of breast cancer are…

1. STRESS

2. DIET

3. LACK OF EXERCISE

I plan to dramatically change all of these things… my chance for occurrence is quite high in my opinion…. so I do plan to change all 3 of these things… I’ve got the diet down… I’m working on the stress… and I will be implementing exercise in full force when I’m done with chemo… I want to run… so if you feel tremors in Charlotte, you’ll know… Dawn started running 🙂

Love you all!

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One thought on “5th Chemo Down… 1 to go!!!

  1. Hi Dawn,
    I had 3-4 nodes removed in my surgery and I had cording, though not terribly. I had no idea what it was at first as the only thing getting air time was lymphedema. I did some physical therapy and it went away completely. It doesn’t usually turn up right away, it’s about a month or two after, but don’t freak if it happens…my understanding is that it goes away.

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