On 6/23/10, at the age of 26, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma...Stage 3 Breast Cancer. On 7/25/14, at the age of 30, I met Lolli, a 1 inch tumor in the left side of my brain, technically I have metastatic disease...but Lolli is now just a small piece of scar tissue. As of Halloween 2016 my body remains cancer free! I want to share my experiences so that loved ones, friends and others can follow along while my journey continues. Enjoy.
What a great weekend! Friday night was my sister Kristi and her fiance Nick's engagement party--it was so nice to feel "normal" and be around people who have germs I have not met yet..........and still feel good! Saturday we headed to Portland where Scott and my father-in-law Greg were going to run the Portland Marathon. My sisters and friends came too, it was a wonderful weekend, despite lots and lots and lots of rain! We walked and walked and walked some more---something that I haven't done since surgery.
By the time we were back at the hotel on Saturday and I took my shoes off my feet were so swollen I couldn't get shoes back on to go to dinner = room service. Sunday was race day (and the rain continued). Both Greg and Scott finished well and raised money for breast cancer research! We ate at a brewery after and I had the beer that would have just got watery with all the rain if I had it beside the course. I didn't even bring my chair, I stayed on my feet and moving both days, very proud of myself--and my body.
Bloaty is as bloaty does. I have new stretch marks on my steroid filled fluid sac (which is my new word for my stomach). I am going to view them as battle scars, which in time will fade.
Scott, Me, Greg
As you can see in the photos my face has taken the shape of every other woman who has received steroids with their breast cancer chemo treatments = round.
And instead of being pregnant, which was our hope many months ago, we have finally received our bill for the fertility treatments, which if you recall were not covered by insurance. Those are expensive embryos we have on ice in Reno. Thinking back on all the tests and procedures I have had done in such a short amount of time is unreal. The fertility treatments just all blend together--multiple daily shots, multiple labs weekly, vaginal ultrasound after vaginal ultrasound, trips to Seattle, the unknown, the general anesthesia, invasive procedure, abdominal pain................ here are some photos from our fertility adventure.
It is an understatement to say that this has been a whirlwind--when it is over (or at least no more chemo) I will take time to reflect on each process, go back through all my blogs, pictures, and work on processing it (coming to terms with things both good and bad) and moving on. I am grateful that I have shared this experience in brutal 'fucking' detail with others. I give a face to the fear that women feel when they hear 'breast cancer.' This month is Breast Cancer Awareness month, wear a ribbon, and if you have breasts or if you know someone who does--remind them of the importance of self exams. A self exam saved my life. I had a lump one month that was not there the month before---and I have Stage 3 cancer. 20 minutes could add years to your life--the unknown is scary, so are the statistics, but what you don't know can kill you.