My journey started in February of 2014 when I was standing at a co-workers desk. I grabbed my breast and got weak in the knees. She asked what was wrong and I told her I had a sharp pain. I went home and did a self exam but didn't find anything. I thought oh its just my fibrosystic breast tissue acting up which it normally did during my time of the month. Fast forward two weeks it was still doing it. I did another self exam but layed back on my bed. There it was a lump no way I thought not me. I called Dr. Sherman's office and made an appointment. After the appointment, mamogram, and ultrasound we could see it was a tumor, but the characteristics didn't line up with cancer. The tumor was very round, it was movable, it had pain. So we did a biopsy and on April 1st I received the call to come in and bring someone with me. I brought my husband and mother, but most importantly my God.
On April 25 I made my first trip to MD Anderson. MD Anderson also said I had triple negative breast cancer and scheduled a right masectomy. I did the surgery and then met with my oncologist. He said we didn't find anything in your lymphnodes but we did see where the cells were clustered around the canal. He also said since my cancer is not driven by hormones the only way to reduce your chance of recurrence from 50% to 25% is to take chemotherapy. So I did 12 rounds of abraxane and 4 rounds of AC. I had never seen anyone go through chemo, but I can tell you that it is one of the hardest things I have ever been through. The bone pain, vomiting, insomnia, fingernail and toenails coming off, fatigue was more than anyone should endore, but it makes you stronger. You have to dig into the depths of your soul and faith. I decided to do my first Color Rush with Gift of Life. At the end of the ceremony I stood there with survivors who were healed and released a butterfly. It was magical and seeing all the people who showed up and walked gave me strength.
The next year was a list of reconstructive surgeries, and a week in MD Anderson on Vanco for an implant infection. I continued to have severe fatigue but eventually found out the chemo had destroyed my thyroid. I was put on medicine, but continued to fight intestinal issue, fatigue, chemo fog and depression. I again attended the Gift of Life Color Rush. This time I got to be the survivor with hair standing there will all the other survivors releasing baloons. I again drew strengh and a renewed hope for my situation.
This year I have continued to heal. I have boughts of fatigue, chemo brain, and depression still but I tell myself fight don't be the victim. Live for all the cancer patients who didn't make it. Live for all the patients still fighting. Let my disease shape me but not define me. Take all the pain, the anger, and the depression and let it go. Use it to love more deeply, live more passionately, and never give up.
So I ask you to join in and be someones strength. Come show your support for the lost, the fighting, and the survivors! Family and friends are the only way we pull through this horrible disease. Be that person who gives that cancer patient the strength to keep fighting.
Thank you Gift of Life and all the people who come out and make it a sucess. You helped me more than you will ever know!