November 28th… beginning again.
Ok, I have been gone for a LOOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGG time, and I am so sorry to have ditched my blog…. but I’m now out of the tunnel and on the other side, the other side of cancer, which means I can sit down and actually process everything I went through and hope that my story can reach other stories and inspire everyone who is blessed with cancer, to know that they too can get to the other side, the Cancer Free side.
And with my year anniversary coming up of being diagnosed, December 14th, 2016, I feel very inspired to start writing about my journey. But with that said, before I go back in time, I have to admit that tomorrow is my first pet scan to check and make sure I am still cancer free and I’m a little scared. In my head, I KNOW that it would be almost impossible to have cancer again, so soon after chemo, but it’s still scary knowing that every 3 to 6 months I’m going to be going through these pet scans to make sure the cancer hasn't come back. Ugh.
I remember all the MRI’s and pet scans I had in the beginning. Each scan led to more bad news, all very unexpected and scary. The first MRI was to see how much cancer was in my breast and to rule out the other breast. Well, it ruled out the left breast, but it said there were ‘multiple’ lymph nodes with cancer. Next scan was a pet scan to rule out anything in the body. Every doctor said it was highly unlikely, but it was just a routine scan to make sure. Well, more bad news. The cancer had spread to my sternum bone. Not good. That meant that my stage 2 cancer was now stage 4, and all the doctors became more serious.
I remember being in the doctors office after waiting over an hour to get the results back. I remember him coming in to say “Well, we have found possible spread of cancer to your sternum.” My heart started beating - faster and faster. I could feel the tears welling up, but I didn't want to cry. Not yet. I wanted to know what he was saying. My sister was in the room with me, my husband was downstairs in the parking garage with my mom because he ran over her foot. Ha, another story to tell at a different time! But here I was with my sister, freaking out. She was hugging me from behind as I was trying to keep it together and hear what the doctor had to say. Funny, I haven't really walked through this event again, and I’m writing it down and feeling the tears again. I guess it’s still such a traumatic event that I had to push down to get through it.
Anyway, the doctor said that even though it had spread to my bone, it still could be cured with chemo. It was just a little harder to guarantee chemo getting rid of all of it. And the bigger issue being that if it came back, it would come back in another part of the body, bone, liver, lung, and be much harder to control. Basically he was saying, we can most likely control it now, but if it comes back, we won’t be able to save you. This seemed like a death sentence to me, and it all happened within a week of being diagnosed. I was a healthy young teacher on Tuesday, then Wednesday I possibly had breast cancer (but needed to get a biopsy), then by Friday I presumably had breast cancer, but most likely only stage 1 to 2.
Then the weekend came and my husband and had planned a holiday trip to vegas. While in the encore hotel heading out to go shopping, Monday, December 14th, I had triple negative breast cancer. Two days later I had the MRI showing it spread to my lymph nodes. Friday I had stage 4 triple negative breast cancer… and in my mind, I was going to die. My life as I knew it made no sense to me anymore.
BUT, I don’t want to end this blog on a bad note because everything is amazing now! I guess my pet scan tomorrow is bringing up a lot of feelings from the past. Feelings that I haven’t given words to yet. I think this blogging might be a really good idea…