Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Litte Too Much

I had my second biopsy yesterday. The more procedures and tests, the more real this is becoming. It's weird to hope for more cancer, but I need this original tumor to be a certain size to qualify for the targeted drug that I need. God's got this. I know it.

Every time it gets to be too much, something incredible happens. This past weekend my girlfriends took me away for a celebration before the weeks of hell that is chemo begin. I met new friends, some that have brought more smiles to my face than I have smiled in a long time. I felt so very loved. Phillip at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando sent me home with a card signed by the entire hotel staff. It brought me to tears. The staff at the spa hugged me and gave me the most special treatment. My girls decorated our suite and planned everything for me. We spent time with a precious childhood friend of mine who lives in Winter Park. The weekend was perfect.

Every day, there is at least one card in my mailbox and a handful of random texts come through supporting me. You all are keeping me going. The support has been tremendous, during a time when sometimes I get lost in loneliness and fear.

This song A Little Too Much by Shawn Mendez says it all! Thank you to those who have taken my hand in this journey. XO

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Hair Scare

Introducing: My very own cancer fighting logo, by the amazing creative genius: Allen Reed

The hair I have been growing out for the past three years will be soon be gone. I am terrified. I run my hands through it a million times a day, thinking about how it never really mattered to me like it does now. I have had a pixie cut before and it didn't bother me, but loosing my hair when it's not my choice is another story. It's not just about loosing the hair, I am terrified of the entire process. My sweet Kade (6) is worried about it, "Mommy, you'll wear a wig right? I only want you to take it off when you are in the shower." My heart sinks...I don't want to scare him, I'm sure once he realizes I am his same mommy, he will be just fine. 

Loosing my hair should really be the least of my worries, I know. But in the spirit of transparency, it is very scary to me. It is the first step. It will make the fact that I have breast cancer and will be undergoing chemo very real. Every time I see myself in my baldness, I will be reminded that this is all really happening, and I am in the fight of my life. My combat: I am researching wigs, learning how to tie head scarves, and hoping to do chemotherapy in style. This is possible right? Unrealistic expectations are my remind me of this when I decide to say screw the cute wig and scarf, give me a baseball cap. ;) 

This next update is important! Please don't stop reading, I promise this post isn't just me whining about loosing my hair. 

During my MRI, the original lump that I felt lit up. Unfortunately I am one of the 20% who has a breast cancer that is not detectable by mammogram or ultrasound. I originally felt it and had my first mammogram and ultrasound last year in April. They told me they saw no abnormalities and sent me on my way. Well this tumor doesn't feel like or look like the average breast cancer. I thank God every day that it grew the two masses that were detectable this August. I am glad I told my doctor I STILL felt the original mass in August. If not, instead of getting this diagnosis on August 25th, they would have sent me away with a very aggressive cancer, telling me there was nothing abnormal on my scans.

I tell you this because you know your body, if you feel something and don't know what it is...insist that they find out. Don't take "we saw nothing abnormal" as an answer. Don't back down. We have to be our own health care advocates. It's so important, because sometimes "protocol" is just WRONG. It just is. 

So up next for me will look something like this:

Beginning in October, I will have a total of 6 rounds of a chemo cocktail containing two targeted drugs for my type of cancer and two types of chemo. I am very thankful that I have a cancer that has targeted drugs for treatment. Others are not so fortunate. After chemo I will have surgery and then I will finish out the rest of the year with Herceptin IV infusions every three weeks. It's going to be a long and difficult road, but everyone is telling me I can do it...and I am beginning to believe them. I have to. I have so much to fight for. 

Most are asking what they can do for me. I do have a request. Please pray specifically that my side effects from the chemo are minimal. That is my biggest fear. Thank you to everyone who has sent cards, made me dinner, brought flowers, gift cards, notes and messages of encouragement. You are keeping me going! XO