Last night, Cindy from Cindy’s Hope Chest stopped by with her shadow… a young girl who’s chosen to hear other women’s breast cancer stories…. and so I shared mine, I shared photos… photos that you all have not even seen… and it hit me… my anniversary of finding my cancer is tomorrow. I’ve been super emotional about it… I’ve been through a ton of crap in the past 2 years….
I’m not complaining about it…. but when I sat and told my story, I shook my own head. It’s been a lot!!!
April 2013… I notice bb sized lumps in my left breast… I have mammogram and diagnostic ultrasound and I was told they were cysts, come back in 1 year.
November 6, 2013… I noticed from the top view my nipple was pushed to the side… I plunked in front of the mirror… and saw this major dimpling and my nipple turned to the side…
November 11, 2013.. I have biopsy of left breast
November 14, 2013… I get the dreaded call…. Are you somewhere you can sit down? You have Invasive Lobular and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, you will need chemo and most likely radiation amd your sentinel lymph node was positive.
November 16, 2013… I have MRI to determine size of cancer …. It was 3.8cm and my sentinel lymph node had cancer. They found some suspicious spots in the right breast and needed me to have those biopsied. This was the day of my MRI
November 18, 2013… I have biopsy of the right breast… they said it was just a cyst and it would aspirate. I watched the needle go in and come out and the doctor was perplexed…. It turned out to be atypia (pre-cancer) and would become cancer. So, we made the decision to have bilateral mastectomy (both breasts)
Stage 2 ILC and IDC, ER+ PR+ HER2-
In preparation for chemo, I cut my long hair off…. and went short…
December 11,2013 – I begin the first of 6 rounds of TAC chemo….
Within a week of chemo, I buzzed my hair off….
Within 2 weeks, I was able to rub the hair off with a lint roller…. so it was time to shave it bald… this was that day… Bald and Proud…
6 grueling rounds of chemo… lots of weight lost, lots of symptoms, such as a horrible taste in my mouth… a metallic taste, like you sucked on pennies…. mouth sores, extreme tiredness…. I’d have my chemo, I’d spend 2 weeks recouperating and around the 3rd week, I’d start feeling myself and it was time to do it again… I had the support of many friends who accompanied me to chemo, who helped me clean my home, delivered meals.. donated money. It was an incredible time…. but also so difficult.
March, 26, 2014…. I finished my last chemo!
April 17, 2014… Double Mastectomy with Expanders…
I’m upstaged to Stage 3… 8cm of residual Invasive Lobular Carcinoma was left… I had 12 nodes removed on the left… 7 had cancer and several were infiltrating, which means that the cancer escaped the lymph node and could travel elsewhere in the body… this meant, lots of radiation….
Fills and more fills….
May, 2014 I begin radiation…. ouch… lots of burning… all the way up my neck…
I begin Tamoxifen….
May 30, 2014… 2 weeks after starting tamoxifen…. I ended up having a Pulmonary Embolism…
I have to have zoladex shots to suppress my ovarian function so I can take Aromasin and later have a hysterectomy.
July 8, 2014…. I ring the bell…. I am DONE with 34 rounds of radiation….
I have to wait 6 months before I can have reconstruction…
Fall, 2014… I develop severe lock shoulder and lymphedema in my left arm…..
February 19, 2015… We had a leak in our kitchen and exposure to mold…
February 23, 2015… I had my reconstruction and total hysterectomy… but ended up very sick with pneumonitis and residual asthma…
Then, because of so many antibiotics… CDiff and I was sick with that for several weeks…
Then, cellulitis in my hand…
August 12, 2015…. I had one small area on my radiated breast that would not heal…. and it started to funnel so my left implant had to be removed….
September 6, 2015 My incision ruptured… and atrophied… we packed it twice a day for a month…. with bleach solution… I worked through all of this…
I needed a skin graft, it would not close… so we decided to do SGAP flap surgery….
October 5, 2015… I had SGAP flap surgery which is where they take the fat/skin from my rear end and create breasts with the arteries from my rear end…. and I’m still recovering from that…. I will spare you the photos…. I am healing, it will be a process….
2 years…. of a lot of stuff to go through…. residual asthma… countless surgeries…. and lots of reminders that I have/had breast cancer.
I now take Aromasin and will for the next 5 years…. I’m in the delightful MENOPAUSE…. but, it’s not too bad. That’s why I keep my hair short, it helps stave off the hot flashes…..
I felt it was time to show some photos…. these are VERY graphic in nature….. so I apologize in advance for anyone who may have a queasy stomach….
Here’s to the next 2+ years….!!!! Keep on praying for me!!!
Update: I went to the plastic surgeon today… 11/6/2015… and I have a seroma and a pocket that collects fluid and a hole about the size of a nickel on my backside…. I have to pack it for the next week… and if it doesn’t heal… I’ll be having another surgery….
The fun never stops!!!