I have waited a long time to write those words. Well, long for me as I reflect back to that day I found the lump in April. I recognize that my journey has been relatively short compared to some. For those still fighting: stay strong, stay positive. Cancer is an evil so prevalent, indiscriminately touching us all in some way, shape, or form. It is not a battle any of us want to fight. To the many in the medical and research field who have devoted their lives to such a noble profession, from the front desk faces giving a warm welcome at treatment centers to the surgeons with skilled hands- I am forever indebted to you for giving me back my life. I am amazed by what you do. And to the many survivors who have walked this path before me, some participating in clinical studies in hopes of shedding light upon ways to defeat this disease, thank you. And to my support network of friends and family that have surrounded me with love, held me up, counseled and comforted me- I consider myself blessed to know you all in a deeper sense.
My pathology report showed no cancer!!!! Ductal Carcinoma and Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, you loose! So long suckers! It is such a relief to know that it is no longer in my body.
How do I know this?
The breast tissue that was removed during my mastectomy was sent off to be analyzed, keeping me in suspense for over 2 weeks before knowing the results. On the other hand, during surgery the previously cancerous lymph node was tested right away to reveal if they needed to extract any additional surrounding lymph nodes. Thankfully, the surgeon only had to take that one because it tested negative. Now I have the confirmation that every microscopic cancerous particle in all of the breast tissue was killed. The tumor bed (essentially a footprint left behind from the cancer) measured 8 cm. That exact site as well as the remaining breast tissue showed no residual carcinoma. The torture of chemo was all worth it! Relieved to have it in the rear view mirror.
Moving forward with preventative care next. I will receive Herceptin treatments through my port once a month for a year (a non chemotherapy drug that doesn’t make you sick.) I had aggressive Her2 positive cancer which grows very quickly but also responds very quickly to Herceptin. Herceptin is proving to have incredible results when it comes to preventing this specific type of cancer from returning. They also recommend radiation to make sure the cancer is totally killed. I am curious to find out more next week about the statistics of receiving this and to weigh out the pros/cons because I might opt out of it. Radiation comes with complicated side effects. Friends, please join me in praying that I would make the right decision about accepting radiation or not. I am on the fence right now.
Little personal bit…My hair is coming back in (just some patchy spots of soft fuzz at this point.) It looks darker than before. It’s definitely not my previous red hair. And I had to shave my legs for the first time since before summer. Feeling a bit more like a normal human all the time!
Please pray for my leg. Ever since I got out of the hospital after my second surgery my fracture has seemed to hurt more than before. It has swollen up a little. I had hoped that resting up from surgery would give it the necessary time to fully heal by now. I hope I haven’t gone backwards. You all know I like forward progress. I want to bounce back from both of these situations soon. But I have to remind myself that it’s been 5 weeks since I’ve been wearing the walking boot (I don’t even want to count the total weeks since before getting the MRI.) Fractures usually take 6-8 weeks total. So once again, trying to sit still for awhile longer. The mastery of this exercise is the hardest of all.
I am healing up well from surgery. Over the past 2 days since having my drains removed I have felt an incredible difference in being able to move easier. I have slowly and carefully begun some physical therapy exercises to bring back mobility to my arms. Just being able to hug my kids is a tremendous victory at this point.
Blurry pic of one of my besties and me enjoying a meal to celebrate. The process is not over, but trying not to worry about what’s ahead and instead soaking up this victory! I have a new lease on life! Thankful and ever so grateful.