June 2011 I learned that my husband wanted to separate and that was a big devastation to me. I didn't know what to do as I was a stay at home mom to a than 9 month old and a 3 year old. My children and I moved from VA to WA after I found out that my husband didn't want to stay married. I was shocked, hurt, and living a nightmare. I was in to much pain and I didn't want to hate all men out in the world so I seeked helped and starting talking to a counselor. With this separation I missed 6 months of my children's lives. I only remember what we did because of photos to help but without those photos to document what went on I wouldn't have know what to do. It took a long minute to get my head on straight but I got it one as straight as I could with the help from my family, friends and counseling.
January 2012 I started winter quarter of college. This was a HUGE step for me. My journey to get educated and be able to support my children was beginning. I went to college winter, spring, and summer quarter. Everything was going well. I had a 3.something high GPA. I was passing my classes I was just that much more closer to starting the nursing program. Than came fall quarter. All I had to do was finish fall and winter quarter than I could apply for the nursing program. But of course things changed during fall quarter. I felt a lump.
Now my breast cancer journey begins. So I felt a lump in my left breast. Earlier in April I had a cut at the base of my nipple that wouldn't heal. I started getting shooting pains back up to my arm put. I braced myself and I felt the lump. I didn't think anything of it. It took me about a week or so before I made a call to get an appt. I had told my Doctor about the cut and the lump. She examined me and immediately said she was sending to get a STAT ultrasound, mammogram AND biopsy because it could be one of three things. She said that it could be a clogged milk duct, an infection or breast cancer but we had to run test to see what was going on.
I left the Dr. office and everything sunk in. I COULD have Breast Cancer! I sat and I cried, I was scared. I gathered myself up and headed off to class. I was in a daze but I really had to focus because what was the sense of worrying over something I didn't know what it could be. No sense in wasting energy just yet.
I had a biopsy 11/7/12 but I had to go back the following week to get another biopsy done because it was suppose to be a biopsy guided by ultrasound. When I had my ultrasound appt and my mammogram appt they saw calcification and they wanted to get that biopsy. I tried to do what I could do when waiting for the results. I tried to be happy. I tried to not worry but I did.
I had my second and third biopsy done 11/14/2012
Nov. 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm my boys and I were singing "shine bright like a diamond" when my phone rang. I answered it and it was the surgeon. I knew something went wrong when she asked me if it was an okay time to talk. I told her it was. I was only 2min away from home anyway. She told me I have breast cancer. I didn't know what to think. I was shocked. I told her Thank you for letting me know and that I was ready to fight this battle. I told her what is the next step? Let's get this taken care of and out of my body. I was taking the diagnosis pretty well. I made it to the house with not a tear shed. I got off the phone with the surgeon and I had to call someone. I called my mom and she didn't answer. I think I called her twice. I called my boyfriend and he didn't answer. I felt alone! Than the tears started to come. I had just only really met my friend Sam but I had to call someone so I called her. I cried. I had to get off the phone with her because my mom was calling me back. I told my mom and we both cried. It still brings tears to my eyes remembering this. It was so hard to tell everyone. I was only 28 years old. I was going to be turning 29 in one month and 2 days. I told everyone but the hardest was having to tell my soon to be ex-husband. I told him and it was hard. I had really don't remember the rest of the night but from this picture I know I smiled.
|Nov. 15,2012- Breast Cancer Diagnosis|
Thanksgiving was hard, my birthday was hard, and so was Christmas. I learned that I had Triple Positive Breast Cancer and that I was at Stage IV! I wasn't very lucky to find it early unfortunately. We had a scare and they thought that the cancer had went to my brain. Thank the good Lord there ended up being no cancer in my brain but I had cancer in my lymphnodes, 4th rib, scapula and my L-5 in my spine. At 29yrs old I was a newly diagnosed stage IV Breast Cancer Patient. I had to have surgery. I wasn't given the choice of a lumpectomy because my LUMPS (yes more than one) where very large. I had to have a radical Mastectomy. My whole breast had to go.
I enjoyed everything as best as I could. I took my 5year old to soccer practices and games. I tried to continue on with school. Old friendships because new friendships. The amount of support I received was unbelievable. So many people reached out to me and are STILL reaching out to me. I was blogging and letting everyone know what was going as best as I could. Don't get me wrong during all this I was crying, mad, and angry. There was a point where I was so scared that I wouldn't get to live a long time.
|Heather and I|
Birthday Party Thrown by Heather and Michael
I didn't understand why this was happening to me. I asked "haven't my boys gone through enough already?" For them to have their father walk out on us and than to have a mom who has breast cancer. It was all so scary. There were nights that I laid in bed thinking about all the what ifs. There where plenty of nights that I cried myself to sleep. I couldn't take the whirl wind. I turn to God. There has to be a lesson....something wasn't going the way He planned. This was a way to remind Me that I was not 100% in control of my life. I had a path that I needed to follow and journeys with bumps in the road that I had to go through. Breast Cancer now became a bump in my road. I put everything into the Lords hands.
December 28, 2012 I had my radical mastectomy. I was going to have a double mastectomy but at the last minute I changed my mind.
I was ready to get the nasty cancer out of my body. Scared to all hell of the surgery but I knew that I would be just fine. My support is amazing! All I wanted to do was get the surgery done, recover and start my journey to smashing cancer.
This is what I woke up looking like (well not really because my hair was disastrous)I was TIRED and sore. My mom did my hair, found my hook up site for chemo and I still had my surgical marking on me.
I am not going to lie at all......it was HARD looking at my new body. It was hard knowing what cancer took. It was an adjustment. I cried and good thing it was just me in the room. No one can prepare you for what your body will look like after surgery.
I was very happy to get home and be with my family and children. I wanted to heal and continue my battle.
My first chemo was January 29th and I was scared, very scared. I didn't know what to expect. I wasn't sure if chemo was going to hurt me at all. Good thing I had both of my parents with me by my side.
Though my first chemo was scary I had a smile on my face and was able to laugh. The nurses were amazing and nice!
I struggled with everything going on. All of my support helped me get out of my dark holes that I was in. I can not thank my support enough. They will never know how much they mean to me and they will never know that each time they talked to me or thought about me and shared with me that they were doing it when I needed it the most. Everything was always at the right moment.
My oh my....this journey had been incredible. It has been a roller coaster. It IS hard. There were days when I felt like complete crap. Other days I felt amazing! Trying to find the bright side of things made it easier. I was grateful to be alive one more day. I started living my life one day at a time. When death knocks at your door and you choose to fight for your life you wake up! You have a wake up call that you didn't expect to receive. Yes, I know that we will all end up dying but we never know when! With my diagnosis it was more like "hi I am here and I am trying to take you now!" To me I was NOT going to let that happen. I was going to do my VERY best to stay here on this Earth as long as I can and I will do everything in my power to live. To live for my boys, my family. If cancer was going to take me it was going to have to fight to take me. I was not going to let it take me easy, no way.
How could I not be happy with these two boys in my life? My heart, my everything. When I felt like I couldn't go on or take anymore I just looked at my children and knocked the thoughts out of my head. I was going to live.
Another hard part of this journey was seeing my hair fall out. It was very hard. I lasted as long as I could before I couldn't take it any more.
The last time I brushed my hair I couldn't finish doing it. I had taken a shower and was slowly combing my hair out. There was a huge tangle at the back of my head. I KNEW that the whole clump was coming out. My hair was falling out more and more. I HATED waking in the mornings because my pillow was covered in my hair. My mother and my sister came to me while I was combing my hair. They where observing me and than I broke down. They embraced me in their arms and took over combing my hair out. I cried the whole time they combed my hair. That weekend I went and got my head shaved. That was very hard but I had my children, my family and my boyfriend with me. I could do anything with all my support there to life me.
I still struggle today with everything. I am still trying to love my body. I have completed my 6 cycles of chemo therapy. My last pet scan showed that my chest cavity, 4th rib, scapula where cleared of the cancer and that the spot on my spine was shrinking. I just finished week 2 of radiation therapy and my hair is growing back. I feel very blessed. I have lived each day one day at a time. I live for my children. I fight for everyone. Always try to smile even through the darkest of storms. The clouds will part and the sun will shine once again. Live your life to the fullest. Tomorrow isn't guaranteed!
I miss my old self! But I wouldn't change my path for anything! I am who I am because of all the events that have happened in my life. I cry because I don't have my old body and I don't have my hair. Well I need to wake up and realize life is just to short to be sad. I am for the most part very positive but I miss the me before cancer.
I will live my life to the fullest and one day at a time. I will keep swimming in the high waters that are thrown my way. I may have Breast Cancer but Breast Cancer has not consumed me. Thank you to all of my support for EVERYTHING! I love you all for everything you have done. Without my support I wouldn't have had anyone to help me get back on my feet when I fell.