Chemo Surgery Radiation DONE
January 27, 2016 CT-scan did NOT go as expected!!! When they went to administer the dye via IV, the vein collapsed causing the dye to be infiltrated. I’ve never seen techs move so fast!!!! They came rushing in and the doctor was there instantly. SO, I’m in the ER for observation for a couple hours at the minimum because the dye can cause damage to tissue. The CT-techs were so caring and made sure I was comfortable in a room before they left me. Apparently, I have a high tolerance for pain as it didn’t hurt until after the dose of dye was administered. Well, at least I can watch “Ellen” while I am being observed. 5 hours later…I’m home. Left arm is swollen and uncomfortable. You couldn’t script this if you tried.
January 28, 2016 I’VE BEEN KEEPING A SECRET!!!! Today was my last radiation treatment!!!! Kind of a bitter sweet moment when you realize that you won’t see the very people who have taken such good care of you every day for the last 7+ weeks. These women have and continue to be a huge reason why I can smile through this whole process. In the world of triathlon this would be where I cross the finish line and start the recovery phase. Just like with a triathlon your body needs time to recover and heal, as does my body and skin need time to recover from radiation.
Naturally, the first thing I did when I left the radiation office was go to the YMCA and jumped in the pool with the TRI team. I was so happy to have confirmation that I could “swim” even with my skin being so raw. Disclaimer: swimming free style and breast stroke are both great for my mind and body. They make me feel like I’m moving towards myself again but are also two of the stretching/exercises I was given to do for recovery from my surgery and radiation. Fatigue is still an issue but within a few weeks should start to improve. I had a fabulous lunch date with the TRI team. It was so healing talking about triathlons and such things to look forward to. Dreams, aspirations, and goals!!! I was also treated to dinner with some of my family at Haversham. So many good laughs. Due to the CT-scan going…well…very wrong yesterday my nurse navigator called the hospital and asked about other tests that could show same images as a CT scan. In result, I am now scheduled for a pulmonary ventilation/perfusion scan to be done tomorrow. Have hope for in the end it’s all we really have. Thank you everyone who made today so special!!! #wetri4aimee
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February 6, 2016 And just like that my heart breaks and the tears just keep on flowing. I lost a “sister” today from this awful thing called cancer. Betty Carr was this bright spirited, bubbly, cheerful, full of life woman. When I first started chemotherapy I would keep to myself and found it very hard to even look at my fellow “brothers” and “sisters” who were also attached to these poison pumps. I would hide in the private room or the dark corner and would walk to the bathroom (still attached to my pump) with my head down or only looking at the chemo nurses or staff. About two weeks into treatment I met Betty, and she came into the chemo room laughing, smiling and greeting everyone who was there with her bright, positive personality. Betty and I became very close and she taught me how to smile, laugh, and live life for all the positive things we have. Her family, two daughters, son, and her beautiful granddaughter (and grand babies on the way), gave Betty reasons to enjoy every moment of every day. So when you ask me how I can still smile and be so positive despite what I am going through, I want you to remember it all started with a bright light from Betty. There won’t be a day that goes by that I won’t remember what Betty taught me and I hope to continue to spread good cheer through her. Betty fought long and hard and she NEVER gave up. Fly high my friend, we will meet again. I love you Betty!!! XOXO I leave you with a quote that got Betty through many days. “I may have cancer, but cancer doesn’t have me” Betty Carr 2015 #Bstrong
February 15, 2016 Struggling to accept this new body I have with added weight, swollen arm, scars, and a lopsided chest. I was looking at old photos of me and all I kept wondering was “where did she go?” “I miss me.” Patience is not my strong suit, but working hard is! #weTRI4aimee #keepsmiling #TRIbecauseUcan
February 20, 2016 One year ago today. The date was February 20, 2015. Like every other Friday night I came home from work and showered before going to bed. It was during that shower that I discovered a lump a little larger than a golf ball on the side of my right breast. I immediately went into action and saw my GYN on that Monday. I trusted my GYN when the only person I needed to trust was myself. I knew in my gut that something was wrong. After two months (2 mammograms and 2 ultrasounds) of trusting my GYN and being told that my mammograms came back normal but that there is something on the ultrasound but they don’t know what, but it’s not cancer. I took the advice and encouragement of my chiropractor, Dr. Luke Pinatello and went to a surgeon for a second opinion. It wasn’t until April 28, 2015 that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. By that time the golf ball size lump was now a softball size mass, hard, discolored, orange peel looking skin, and my nipple was retracting. I know probably too much information but so many women and yes men too don’t know the warning signs of breast cancer. Be your best advocate. #weTRI4aimee
February 23, 2016 It has been a while since an update has been posted to the go fund me page so I will try to fill the gap. I have been out of work since November 1, 2015. Completed a single modified radical mastectomy with lymphnode dissection. My body had an immediate lymph edema response which means that I have to go twice a week to a qualified physical therapist who does lymphatic drainage massage to release the excess fluid from my arm and trunk. This is something I will most likely need to have done for the rest of my life. I have also completed 33 doses of radiation on January 28, 2016. My body is currently in the recovery and healing stage. I will have scans in 2-3 months to determine if I am NED (No Evidence of Disease). That is the best I can hope for. I will not be receiving any hormone replacement therapy or Herceptin drugs (both known to prevent certain sub-types of breast cancers from reoccurring) as my sub-type of breast cancer is Triple Negative. Which is a scary place to be as it is no longer a matter of “if” my cancer will return but “when”. For know I pray that I can be declared NED and continue to live life.