Category : Blogs
Sub Category : Self Help
So this is a hard post for me to share:
It is lengthy but authentic and vulnerable.
At 40 years old I went for my first mammogram ever.
Thinking nothing of it as it’s routine.
Then I get called back for another one as the report says “ dense breasts”. Yes I know I have big breasts which may make it hard to detect anything.
But then they tell me I need to get a biopsy done in the left breast. There is suspicious activity going on that we need to take a look at further.
Three days later on 2/17 while home alone I get a call that changed everything.
“Two cancer masses found - I am sorry to say this but you have breast cancer”. I will assign a nurse navigator to you to answer all you questions and guide you throughout this entire process.
Tom was on a flight to Vegas for business, the kids at school, I laid in bed and I cried and cried, and didn’t call anyone. Finally told Tom when he got to hotel room. The silence and fear I heard broke my heart.
That weekend, I took 5-6 showers a day to cry in the shower so my kids wouldn’t see me.
The roller coaster of emotions and feelings of anger, desperation, fear, sadness, anxiety were and are present every hour of every day. Most days their hidden behind a smile.
My Initial thought si to get this shit out of me…
This phone call started a long journey for me, my first doctor appointment was shit. My opinions for breast specialists and capable doctors in the Dallas metroplex were none existent.
Then we opted to change insurances to be able to find the perfect care team for me. We still had a small window of time to make this possible.
And then start all over again with new doctors and endless phone calls with insurance and get appointments set.
Finally, we found the team that is the right fit for me.
1: Breast specialist who will remove both breasts (double mastectomy) and all cancer.
First she sent me to get an MRI, which would then show that is just in left breast but bigger than originally expected meaning the entire left breast would need to be removed- thus opting for double to avoid further cancer.
Blood work for labs for genetic testing was conducted before I even left the consultation. Results still pending whether the BRCA gene is present.
My fear: my body will No longer look or feel the same. I have gotten to a point where I was happy to look in the mirror, proud of what was looking back at me. Now that is all going to change. The thought that what I see after surgery may not a pretty picture scares me.
2: Plastic surgeon to resconstruct my new boobs using my own tissue from
Leading to a 6-8 week recovery. I pray all the healing goes according to plan. Hoping I can avoid chemo or radiation but more will be determined at surgery and from pathologies of removed masses and surrounding tissues and lymph nodes.
3: Oncologist to provide me with hormone therapy medication. Initiate
Tamoxifen to stop estrogen from attacking my cancer cells and I am ER+, PR+ meaning my cancer is hormone driven. This will also effect much of body (weight gain, loss in libido, mood swings). I am supposed to take this medication for 5-10 years. Doesn’t sound like something I want to sign up for that’s for sure. But the alternative is far worse.
This is the start of my long journey.
Up next surgery- date soon to be determined.
I have already started medication, and hopefully side effects aren’t terrible like I’ve heard others experience.
Positive thinking and positive energy will continue to surround me everyday. Journaling and daily gratitude will remain a necessary outlet for me.
I wrote this to not get sympathy but to impact some and let them know they are not alone in this journey.
Not knowing it but I feel like I have been in the preparing for this “chapter” my life through my career as school psychologist and when I found my love for yoga.
I have always helped others in some capacity and I will continue to do so on this path, even if one person is impacted by my story.
I feel like I have found another purpose for my life.
You’ll never know someone struggle by looking them just in their face.
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