March 23 Sometimes there are bumps in the road, it’s how you travel over them that defines who you are.
Two weeks ago I went to a Survivorship Clinic (basically an appointment with a nurse practitioner, who goes over all of your treatments and diagnosis and then gives and outlined plan of further care). She mailed me the packet and told me to review everything and send back any changes. There were a few little things here and there, but what really threw me was that the Stage was listed as IIIC, when all I had known was stage IIIB. She made the minor corrections and told me that she conferred with a breast oncologist about the stage and that indeed I had Stage IIIC, because of the lymph node involvement above my collar bone and on both sides of my sternum. As you can imagine, this was a blow to the gut as Stage IIIC is the last stage before stage IV. The good news is that I feel great and regardless of the stage it doesn’t change anything in my status as of right now. Thought I would explain this as from this point forward you will see me refer to the Stage as IIIC, but nothing has really changed in terms of treatment.
April 8 This week flew by!!! It started at a great event on Monday at the lymphedema clinic. I had the pleasure of sitting in with a group for a Medium reading. I admit, I was a bit skeptical at first but am a true believer after witnessing his powers. I received a few messages from the spirits that I will be back doing triathlons this summer!!! Hmm, I firmly believe that to come true!!!
The last couple of days have been rough. With Maddie (Mad About Madeline) gaining her angel wings much too early in life. This has been weighing deeply on my heart and mind. Not just for Maddie, but for her family as well. Coming from someone who has a strong relationship with her own sister, I feel the pain and loss that Juju must be feeling. Please continue to pray for Maddie’s family.
The last couple of days I’ve been struggling with my allergies (sneezing and congestion) and complete loss of energy. Spent most of the last few days in bed.
Today, I had an appointment with my Oncologist for a routine check-up. While any appointment causes anxiety I was especially anxious about today’s appointment, for no reason other than the unknown. The appointment went very well and blood counts are good and no new concerns. She did however order a CT-scan so that we can be sure that everything is gone. This scan is more for my own sanity than anything else.
GUESS WHAT???? I have been declared “No Evidence of Disease” (NED) since September 24, 2015. If that date sounds familiar, it’s because it is also the date of my last chemotherapy dose. They use this date because the MRI I had done early October showed NED, therefore, they declare that the chemotherapy had done its job. Not sure why I wasn’t aware of this earlier, other than the fact that most of last year is much of a fog to my memory as I was very ill from the chemotherapy.
At this point I will also have a mammogram for my left side as my annual scan is due. I will see my oncologist in a month, after these scans are completed. Today’s visit was full of laughs which is such a pleasure. It helps that my oncologist has the best laugh in the world that is very contagious!!!
April 28 Today is my FIRST “Cancer-versary” … not sure how I am supposed to feel about this day. It has been exactly 365 days since I was diagnosed with stage IIIC Inflammatory, Triple Negative, BRCA-2+ breast cancer. Not sure if I should be mad/angry that cancer is a part of my life; or happy that I am here to celebrate a year to health. I’m going to go with both emotions and like I have through this past year, I will TRI to just roll with it. I started my day with a dentist appointment with my fabulous hygienist, Liz. Had a great cleaning (which to those of you who have been through chemo know how grateful I am to be able to be able to get my teeth cleaned).
I rushed off to a triathlon training class, where I was able to comfortably get through a spin class, a hill run (!!!!), and a swim. Ok so the swim wasn’t too pretty after running, but I was just so proud of myself for tackling a hill run (my absolute least favorite). So very grateful for all of the support from my triathlon team this past 365 days that I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my morning than with them. We even went for an impromptu lunch. Of course to the three girls whom I am able to spend this evening with is more than I can express in words. These girls just amaze me every day and have taught me the true meaning of friendship.
Last but not least I wish I was able to spend more time today with my family and the many, many, many great friends I have who have supported me through this last year and continue to support me through this mess. Mom, Dad, Jen, Brandon, Jeff, Kerrie, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, nieces, nephews, Grandparents (I’m sure I’m forgetting someone—lets blame it on the chemo brain). Love to all. XOXO