Is it or isn’t it? Stage 4

imageI haven’t written a blog yet about my most recent scare… I believe that I’ve talked about the sclerotic change in previous posts… I needed time to process it.

On May 15, I was told I had metastatic breast cancer of the sternum, stage 4. I was supposed to start radiation.. Upon meeting the radiology oncologist, he told me I should be thrilled, it’s not cancer.. It’s radiation fibrosis. I was encouraged to seek another opinion, so I saw Dr. Julie Fisher.. Who told me they were happy to watch and wait, but they wanted to take it to a board of medical doctors to review all my scans and my case.

I had a bone scan in November 2014 5 months after completing radiation. No evidence of cancer.

In September 2015 I had an MRI of my thoracic spine and also my sternum. No evidence of disease.

After my surgery… My most recent surgery where they grafted fat from my backside, I had excruciating pain throughout my rib and sternum area. I had my local chiropractor treat that specific area…. It was causing me pain.

March 2016 I had a scan that showed sclerotic change (CT Scan). I had a follow up scan in May 2016 that looked to be suspicious for Metasteses. I needed a bone scan to confirm. The bone scan confirmed Mets to the sternum. My doctor told me, I’m sorry.. It is Stage 4, I didn’t want to believe it. And had me quickly proceed to radiation. I got there and was in complete shock when he told me it was not.. But radiation fibrosis.

I saw Dr. Fisher, she agreed with the radiation oncologist… Then they had this meeting… And compared my scans. Radiation fibrosis tends to get worse over time and there was no sign of it on my previous scans… And so now they were questioning themselves. And, requiring a biopsy.

There’s a glitch. I informed my oncologist of my intention of changing jobs. I would not have quit had I known I needed a biopsy. He told me that my quality of life was equally as important and I needed to do what made me happy.

So after I was told to watch and wait… Now I need a biopsy and don’t have benefits until August 1. I could elect for cobra but it’s RIDICULOUSLY expensive! I just started working back at Ashley. So, now I have no choice but to watch and wait.

In the mean time, I had some FSA left and I elected to see an alternative doctor who did a thermal scan… Which showed alllll kinds of things. In addition to the sternum, it showed the thoracic spine, new blood flow in each breast (this could be due to the flap surgery where they connected the artery) and some involvement of  my lymphatic system from under my left rib down to my belly. Some doctors do not believe in these scans. I’ve seen them first hand detect someone’s artery and it was blocked and they were able to treat it and it prevented them from having a stroke at a young age!

I’m a proponent for natural health, I do believe with the right tools that your body can heal itself. It’s a beautifully designed machine and each and every one of us has rogue cancer cells that are killed off every day. I do not believe going to this alternative doctor alone will help me stave off cancer. I believe it can’t hurt. If I have stage 4, I believe whole heartedly I need to go to Mexico for treatment. But, without a diagnosis I do not feel comfortable raising money to do so.

I can only do what is within our immediate means. Just the way I’m eating is ridiculously expensive.

I believe due to my research that stress is a huge proponent of cancer. I believe even during my recovery – no one…. Took that seriously. Not the people involved in my original fund raiser, not my employers at the time, not my family. No one took that aspect seriously.  People brought additional stress to my lives that was unnecessary. Unfortunately, as much as I try to preach about not having negativity in my life, some stress is brought in by immediate family members. I have no control over it, I have no choice but to try to manage it as best I can and walk way. I HAVE to, for my own well being. I do not do well with people who are selfish, drama inducing, problem causing people. I keep a clean circle of people around me, ever so small that I know HAVE MY BACK!!!

I’ll be the first to admit, I do NOT manage stress well. I have a physical reaction to stress… I get red on my chest all the way up my neck. I hate confrontation… I do my very best to avoid it, but even at work… No matter the job I have… There is going to be confrontation. My previous job placed a lot of stress on me to do well… And make more than my base salary. I needed to reduce that level of stress. At Ashley, there are a lot more personalities than there were before and it’s bound to happen. New people do not know me. I’m going to answer questions and not be rude to customers – without stealing your client. I do the right thing because I couldn’t deal with the stress any other way. I follow the rules. But, I also will not be taken advantage of. Fair is fair and if it’s necessary to confront it, I will do it… But not without it’s element of stress on me. Fortunately, most of the people I work with loved me before… And never stopped loving me, I consider them my family.

I believe there were many factors, a perfect storm… That caused my cancer to flare. Now I need to tackle it.

Is it stage 4? In my gut… I feel like it is. I hope they can prove me wrong. Honestly, at this point… They have no clue unless they biopsy it.

In my research, I’ve learned a bunch of new things… Cancer can be spread by mammograms… By the compression of the tumor, it causes the cells to escape. And… Biopsies… Cutting into cancer, is like kicking a bee hive. Then they let weeks pass before they radiate or do chemo. Is chemo even effective? It wasn’t for my cancer… I had 8cm left and 7/12 nodes were positive for cancer.

Now, am I opposed to having conventional treatment… Absolutely not. I feel I need to do EVERYTHING in my physical power to be here for the people who love me. I have so many people who love me.

I’m at a stand still… I wrote my doctor a note… This morning. You told me it was cancer, then I was told it wasn’t, then I was told to watch and wait and now you want to biopsy. I told my doctor of my work plans… And now it’s impacted my life. It frustrates me!!!! And they need to know that! THIS IS MY LIFE THEY ARE PLAYING WITH!!!!! This one decision could impact the cancer growing! Then what?!

I’ve been able to keep my mind clear for the most part.. I’ve been so busy, I’ve neglected to pray. I have these next 3 days off to reconnect with my creator, take walks and spend time with my innocent little man… Who loves and adores me so much! And, see what they suggest as to my plan of action…. At this point, due to my current insurance situation…. I will have no choice but to wait. I can’t afford a mortgage payment for insurance. I pray my diet and supplement choices help me during this time. In the mean time, I would be so appreciative if you’d also consider keeping me in your prayers.

To those who still read, I love you…





5 thoughts on “Is it or isn’t it? Stage 4

  1. I can only imagine your frustration as well as how frighten you must be. I know one thing for sure, you are the strongest person I know, you are and will always be my hero. Know that many people love you and are praying that this is not cancer (again) and that no matter what diagnosis you are given, you my friend will defeat this!
    Much love to you my friend

  2. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. ❤️ You’ve been through more than anyone should be expected to go through and you do it admirably. You don’t have to always be strong. Let it out, cry, scream, vent..whatever you need to do to relieve some of that stress for you. I’m always willing to be a sounding board or a shoulder.

  3. Hi Dawn. I did not even know you had a blog but I wanted to see some of your past photography so I googled your name. I found all of this. I read quite a bit but it was hard for me to see through the tears. I am mortified to know what you have gone through and remain to go through. I wish to God I had a magic wand I could tap you with to make all this go away. The fact you created a blog has probably been positive to help you get through everything. I love the name of your blog. Even though we just meet, somehow I feel we have known it each other for a much longer time. While reading your beautiful writing and it is beautifully done, I have gotten familiar with your golden heart. I saw the video of the fund raiser for you. It was truly amazing. Your family is beautiful. Your photography is very good. It seems you have touched many lives in many ways. I want you to know that I will always be there to help you in any way possible. Cancer more than sucks and my hubby and I have lived through that crap as well. In this country, we should not have to worry about health insurance issues, but they are over priced for the working, tax paying person. When someone like you has this issue, your insurance should be activated immediately so not to have to wait for 60-90 days. Also, we should not have to start a new deductible each year for an on going illness. Ridiculous. Ok , I will stop for now. Getting crazy about that subject. God Bless you and may your body and soul be ridden of this crap. Love ya girl. Mean it

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