A moment in time

 

 

I can finally put all my hair up. I was so excited that I posted this pic on Instagram!

I can finally put all my hair up. I was so excited that I posted this pic on Instagram!

It’s been awhile since I last posted an update. I’m not trying to make this a detailed post on the past 3 months, but rather to post an entry that I wrote over a year ago. However, I do owe my friends and family at least a little progress update 🙂

My last surgery (exchange) was June 18, followed by almost 4-weeks off of work. They were fantastic. I spent every single day with Gianna making Summer memories. On August 14 I finally got the OK to resume ALL normal activities-jumping, running, picking up Gianna, lifting. I’m focusing on running and building my upper body strength. I was never one who could do 10 push-ups with ease and now I can barely do 2! I feel good and I’m grateful to be where I’m at right now.

So here’s the entry that I found. Reading it reminds me how much I was really going through. Going through cancer had so many emotional moments and circumstances from a chemo infusion and wearing a scarf for the first time to a sweet a card that my Mom brought me to lift my spirits.

It is just a moment in time.

My third dance with the devil.

The “red devil” that is. I never wanted to attend this prom anyway, but here I am. It’s a very long dance but you bet your sweet booty I’m all fitted up and glam for the occasion. Kim-if you’re reading this….you are so right. Chemo diva. 🙂 The red devil is nickname of the type of chemo that is being slowly administered in my body every 2 weeks. So if that tells ya a lot. I’m almost half-way done with my treatments…yeah! I gotta tell ya, I thought I would’ve been in a peachy mood that morning and instead I was so emotional and not wanting to even go. Sometimes kicking cancer’s ass kicks my ass! But I want to share how this day slowly got better as it went on. 1-My Mom drove me to my appointment and we had a nice talk. I cried, she cried, it was a good mini therapy session. Mom’s always make things better no matter what age you are. 2-Then, the person who took my blood and did the honors of putting the first hole in my chest for the day happened to be a good-looking guy who just happened to be Cuban. Although he didn’t look like it all. We talked and shared some common stories about people who talk Spanish in front of us thinking we have no clue what they are saying. Then we respond with something Spanish only too see pure embarrassment across their shamed face. Seriously, right now its the little things that I have to take and make them grande! 3-The physician couldn’t even feel the tumor so praise the Lord Jesus for that! I really like her and we seem to have pretty similar personalities. My Mom was with me so she got to speak to her and ask the questions she’s been wanting to ask since the beginning of this whole deal. She also calmed my Mom’s fears that me going in the grocery story is not the worse thing I can do. Yes, she totally tripped out on me b/c I had to run in and grab something. Seriously, I didn’t even handle the cart or basket. AND it was like 10 days after my last chemo session. 4-Justin brought Gianna up to the hospital to see me. He also thought it would be good for her to see other people like me (port, no hair…you get the pic). So me, Justin, Gianna and my Mom had a nice 20 min hanging out in the lobby. Gianna brought my “monkey” that Justin won me sometime around Valentine’s Day. 4-My BFF sat with me during the dance with the devil. The Infusion last about 2 1/2 hours but it seems like it went fast. Then we called our other BFF and had her on speaker phone so it was like we were all 3 there. To Mandy + Mel…..luv luv luv you. 5- I wore a scarf in public for the first time!!! The scarf I was sportin was picked out by mi madre at the store inside of the hospital. Thanks Mom! Today was a little less crummy than yesterday. But I was working from home, so it kept my mind pretty occupied. My Mom also came over to clean and gave me an uplifting card with a pic that I’ve never seen! Its my cousin Michael and I in TJ when we were like 4 or 5….how cute is this pic! Then in the evening was time for the shot to build up my white blood cells. When we got home dinner was brought to us by Ana + James. THANK YOU GUYS! It was yummy. I can’t even tell you how moved I am by my co-workers, but deserves its own post I can’t do it justice on this right now. That’s all I have my friends.

Cheers to kickin cancer’s ass one day at a time!

 

I was so excited to finally put all my hair up. I posted this pic on Instagram back in July.


This was taken on Father's Day. My God, I love this man.

This was taken on Father’s Day. My God, I love this man.

My sissy pantalones graduated from USF! So pround of her!

My sissy pantalones graduated from USF! So proud of her!

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Total slacker

Somehow I’ve managed to completely ignore the blog world during the last 2 months. I mean, I’ve already gone back to work, started & finished radiation, AND Christmas is coming to an end. There’s been so many stories, feelings and venting that I could’ve written about been during the last few weeks, but my desire to write was pretty much non-existent. So for now, the only thing that makes sense to write about is where I am in this whole C thing. Here it goes…..

Radiation during the last 5 weeks was OK. Nothing horrible but def not a day at the beach. My last treatment was exactly a week ago tomorrow. I managed to make it through the first 4 weeks with little to no physical discomfort or skin reactions. But exactly 2 days before my last treatment my skin started reacting to the radiation by peeling. And underneath wasn’t this smooth layer of new skin. It was raw, pink and getting worse as the days go on. I can’t really sleep on my right side and at night is when I have the  most discomfort. My ribs are sore on the radiated side and I hear this is suppose to last anywhere from 1-6 months. I’ve been pretty much lathering up with Aquaphor every couple of hours and depending on what I’m wearing I have to put these gauze like pads on my skin. Unfortunately, the worst area is right underneath my arm. It’s constantly being rubbed up against something whether its my own arm, bra or clothing. The worse was when I wore  a dress with a zipper on the side. UGH. The doctor said it gets worse before it gets better. I must still be in the worse part.

Tired. Fatigue. Sleepy. These are just some other adjective to describe how radiation has affected me. Yesterday (Christmas Eve) was probably one of the worse days where fatigue set in. First, I went to work, then rushed home to change for what would be the first stop of many throughout the day. We had Christmas Eve lunch at Justin’s Uncles house. As always, we had a good time and left  feeling happy and full. Then we went to my uncle’s house then his Mom’s house. Doing all this with radiation fatigue and a 4 yr old can be a bit challenging. I was sooooooooooooo tired by 6pm! We didn’t get home until 10pm and then we stayed up wrapping the “Santa” gifts and getting everything ready for Christmas morning.

Geez, this post sounds like a big bitch fest. I have to end it with saying this. I’ve never appreciated family time during the holidays as much as I have this year. It was nice to go through the holidays knowing that I was cancer free. Now, I just need to make sure it stays that way. That is a whole other post for another day. Just not today. So with that I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and pray for happiness and health to all my family and friends. Looking forward to a relaxing day tomorrow. Maybe I’ll stay in PJ’s all day. Maybe.

My parents, sister and I on Christmas Eve.

My parents, sister and I on Christmas Eve.

My little punkin on Christmas morning.

My little punkin on Christmas morning.

I was outside of Toys R Us at 6:45am to get a ticket for the Doc McStuffens Care Center. No this wasn’t on black Friday or the weekend after Thanksgiving. This was just a normal Sunday morning in December. Apparently this was one of the “hot” toys this season. The best thing is that I got it for only $59.99 since they price matched with Target.

Even better news than we thought.

Best.news.ever.

On Tuesday I had my post op appt and received what I consider to be the best news we’ve received since this whole C thing became a part of my life. Chemo killed the MFer. There was NOTHING left of it and it has been 100% confirmed that cancer was never in my lymph nodes. So the 7mm of cancer that the doctor saw during surgery turned out to be NOTHING but part of my tissue.  Let me say that again, in a different way. I AM CANCER FREE AND THAT IS A FACT. A truer fact than it was last week.  Living in the present has never been a  thing that comes natural to me, so I had to ask how this all relates to my future and long-term prognosis. His exact words were, “ It has everything to do with it”. My prognosis is excellent and although there is no guarantee that the little son of a bitch will never return, we damn sure killed every bad cell that was in my body.  We’ll proceed with some insurance that comes in the form of radiating beams. That starts in less than a month.

Aside from having the most shittiest sleep I’ve ever had-I’m doing ok after surgery. I can’t drive so I’m kinda at the mercy of others but with two drains, (I had 4 but the doc removed 2 of them on Tuesday) going out isn’t at the top of my priority list right now. And going from a DD to a whatever I am now is kinda nice. Justin said I look like an A/B-cup. Hopefully I can get one more fill before I start radiation.

I really appreciate all the emails, text messages, FB messages, flowers and cards from everyone. Hugs and kisses to all of you! XOXO

The days leading up to surgery

Its day 5 after my surgery and I must say I feel pretty darn good. I am on some good pain meds and I know that has a lot to do with it-Lol! I wanted to document how I felt the day leading up to my surgery. But first, I have to write about the Sunday before. It was a great start to my surgery week.

Sunday morning I went to church. I went by myself because Gianna wanted to sleep in with Daddy.   I know what some of you are thinking—I can’t believe he didn’t go with her! Especially, right before surgery. Listen, I grew up with my Mom going to church most Sundays without my Dad. For me, its normal. Would I love for him to go- absolutely! In time, I believe he will make his way to that 3rd to the last pew in the center isle.

Thankfully my Mom and I go to the same church so I knew she’d be there. I sang my heart out to one of my favorite songs, Going Through the Motions by Matthew West. If you haven’t heard it I urge you to look it up-it applies to us all. After church we all went to my parents house for some yummy Spanish food. My Mom loves to cook for her fam & it definitely comes through in the food. By the time we got home from my parents it was around 4. My two BFFs were coming over to spend some QT with me before my surgery. Amanda brought Kendal with her so Gianna was happy to have some company too. Jose Cuervo also made a visit, but I didn’t really entertain him much. We talked, ate, chilled, laughed and before leaving Melissa wanted to say a prayer. I didn’t even think about doing that with all of us and I’m so glad we did b/c I think it was such an awesome, powerful moment. Melissa led the prayer as we all stood in a circle in the middle of my kitchen holding hands. It was me, Chanty, Kendal, Gianna, Melissa and Amanda. Justin’s not much into prayer (I do believe he will be saved one day) but half-way through the prayer he came over and held mine and Gianna’s hand. After “amen” we all hugged each other and cried. I can’t explain it but what I do know is that God gave me the most amazing friends.

 The day before surgery 10/8/13

The day before my surgery (Tuesday)  started like every other day. I dropped Gianna off at school and headed to work. The plan was for me to work 1/2 a day and then pick up Gia from school early to spend the afternoon together. She was so excited for our mommy/daughter time. I knew I wouldn’t be carrying any big pumpkins soon so I wanted to take her to the pumpkin patch so she can pick out her big pumpkin before things got a little strange for this 4 year old.

Before even making it inside her classroom she was out of her chair telling her friends, “My Mommy is here and I’m going to the pumpkin patch!”. Gianna had been telling her classmates  and teacher all day that we were going to the pumpkin patch! Mrs. Ferguson said that she told everyone that Mommy was picking her up early. That seriously made me feel awesome!

At the pumpkin patch she picked out her big pumpkin plus 6 little ones. Afterwards, we went for ice cream at Menchies. She LOVES that place! I didn’t talk to her about what the days ahead were going to be like. That’s not what this time was about. I wanted to make her day and some memories that she would always remember-I mean, how many kids get out of school to go pick out pumpkins and eat ice cream! I don’t really remember much of that evening at home though-I know that’s pretty weird.

On Wednesday (surgery day), we arrived at Moffitt at 7:45am…..15 minutes late. Are you surprised?!  The first thing they did was inject me with blue dye. One reason is so the surgeon can see what lymph nodes to take out. Even though my MRI showed no cancer cells there could still be microscopic cancer cells left behind. The surgeon took out 1-2 lymph nodes from each side-they appeared clear of cancer but, we won’t know for sure until I get the pathology report.

After they injected the dye there was nothing left to do but wait. Before going into surgery, my Mom and my best friends Mom Barbara came to see me. We talked a little bit about the stress that Amanda and I put them through during high school. Lets just say we were far from angels. Before going back-we held hands and said one last prayer. Barbara prayed out loud which is a HUGE thing for her. I’m so happy that she did it under these circumstances. Barbie-thank you for being there for my Mom….you are a beautiful person. I know where Manda gets her big heart from.

That’s pretty much all I wanted to document if not for you, for me. I know 10 years from now I won’t remember all the details in this chapter. Some are good some are bad. But these are the pages I want to leave highlighted

Update on Surgery!

Hi everyone! This is Chanty (Jessica’s sister) writing in my sisters blog on how she is doing!

Surgery went great! Whoop whoop!! The doctors removed what was left of the tumor (very small piece), tissue, and two lymph nodes. The lymph nodes looked good by the looks of it but will be sent to the lab to confirm it. The doctor did tell my sister that the fact is she is now cancer free!!! She is recoverying well and will be going home sometime tomorrow 🙂 Today she was able to move around and went walking around the building a few times to help with recoverying. Overall great day

 

Tonight is a sleepover! Girls night!! about to get crazyyyyy!!

Image

Image

 

Love you sissy pantalones!!! :))

 

Surgery day is tomorrow!!

So I had written this post a few weeks ago and just hadn’t had the chance to post it. Today  is the day before my surgery and I feel kinda well…..I don’t know. Some very mixed feelings. I left work early to pick up Gianna and spend some QT with her. We went and picked out some pumpkins followed by some ice cream at Menchies. Her teacher told me that she was so excited that she told the entire class that Mommy was going to pick her up early and go to the pumpkin patch! That really made me feel wonderful.  So here’s my post regarding the surgery I’m having tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll feel OK by the weekend to update.

So what now? I’ve completed 4 rounds of the red devil and 4 rounds of the famous Taxol-now what? The next step in treatment is surgery. My surgery as been scheduled for October 9 (originally it was Oct 2). Before going on I’ll define the word, foob. Here’s the definition according to the Urban Dictionary:

Foobs:

Term popularized by breast cancer patients to mean former, future, or fake boobs. Often used during the various stages of reconstruction after mastectomy.“It’s been four weeks since surgery and my foobs are still really itchy.”

I had a few options as to the what type of surgery I could receive. Let me tell you that having “options” has its drawbacks. First, I was highly recommended by my surgeon to do a bilateral mastectomy (bmx), go through radiation then wait 9 months to have reconstruction. Um yeah, my reaction to that was basically a hell no! That option was just not right for me.  The reason this was his first recommendation was because  if you start the reconstruction process before radiation there is a higher chance for complications and not so perfect results (looks wise). He went on to explain, how radiation can effect the skin and he’s seen some bad results because of it. After making it pretty clear that this would not be an option for me he said we may be able to do a lumpectomy now, then 9 months after radiation do a bmx & immediate reconstruction.  Dr. Kiluk (my surgeon) had to first look at the originally films from my MRI and see if this was even a viable option. Two days later, I received the news that based off of my first MRI, a lumpectomy could be an option. Yeah!!! Decision made, now lets schedule the surgery!  After lots of prayer, research and inner soul searching, I started to back away from the whole lumpectomy option. Truth is I have no desire to save my boobs. I actually started to feel very strongly that I wanted to do a BMX as soon as possible.

With this new decision, came some homework. I needed to find a plastic surgeon that does reconstruction even through radiation. This reconstruction process is done over many months time with something called tissue expanders. Immediately following a mastectomy, the plastic surgeon comes in and places  expanders where the new foobs will be. The expanders are slowly filled with saline until the desired size is reached. However, since I will be getting radiation I can’t have any “fills” during this time period. I would get a few “fills” before radiation then start them back up a couple months after radiation has been completed. Hopefully my skin won’t be completely fried after radiation. In the case that it is, they will take skin from my back and replace that radiated skin during the swap out. By swap out I mean, taking the tissue expanders out and replacing them with the implants. This all sounds like a walk in the park, huh?

The first plastic surgeon I met with told me upfront that he won’t even touch me until 9-10 months after radiation. He wouldn’t even do reconstruction on me if I just did a lumpectomy! He came highly recommended by one of my doctors but one of the things I’ve learned during this whole process is that each case is different and you have to make decisions based off of YOU-not someone else. I did some more homework on other surgeons and found one that was very upfront with me, but still confident that she could give me the desired results I wanted. The bad thing is that she is out of network. However, I do have out-of-network coverage which covers 60%. Not the 100% that I would otherwise receive, but I know she’s the right plastic surgeon for me.

Even though I decided I would take the chance of having complications with my new foobs, I HONESTLY don’t think that I will be one of those bad cases of radiated skin. I’m fully aware of the risks and complications  and I’ve decided to just deal with those when and if they come. For now, take my boobs off and fill up my foobs!

Last Chemo Session!!

Yesterday was my last Taxol infusion. The last infusion I hope to EVER HAVE FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE- this will be on my prayer list every night now!  My sister and I dropped Gianna off at school that morning, then headed over to Moffitt for my last chemo treatment.  She asked me if I was happy and excited. I really wasn’t as excited as I thought I would be-I kinda wasn’t excited at all! Before you ask what the heck is wrong with me…hear me out.

Having these toxic drugs in my system means that something is actively fighting the little C sucker! I’ve heard of other patients compare it to a safety net and that’s exactly how I feel about it. So aside from the medical treatments that I’m being given to fight this thing. I’ve been slowly making small changes in my nutrition and vitamin intake. More on that later, but I really just want this post to be about how my last treatment went.

I can no longer feel the tumor (but I stopped feeling it 2 weeks into treatment). According to my oncologist this is wonderful news and speaks volumes in terms of me being fully “cured”. I don’t know what it means as far as a recurrence, I would like to think it means my chances are lowered but who knows. I’ll focus on the present for now.  After my labs and seeing the doctor, my sister, Mom and I went into the art room that they have for patients and their families. First of all I LOVE art and this is like my 4th time going in there. It’s very therapeutic which is why they call it, Medicine in Art. My Mom was pretty emotional that day so my sister and I decided she needed some intervention therapy! We made some awesome prayer/wish bracelets. We made one for each person who has been with me the most throughout this whole journey. Those who emotionally and physically where there for me when I needed them even when I said “I’m Ok, I don’t need anything”. If I had time to make more bracelets I would, but I had to keep it to 4. We made a bracelet for my sister, Mom, Dad, and best friend. The bracelet is made up of one bead. The “bead” is a rolled up colored piece of paper and you write a wish on the back of it. The colored pieces of paper are actually paintings by other patients. My Mom and sister each wrote a wish for me on their bracelets. And I wrote a wish to my best friend, Manda and my Dad. I’ll have to post a pic later. My Mom made me my bracelet and in it she wrote me her prayer/wish for me. I think we all got some great therapy out of this art session!

On to the infusion. Luckily I had a room this time, which was awesome because my best friend and hubby were joining the party. My best friend showed up with flowers, balloon and card. I am so blessed to have such an amazing best friend. She deserves her own post-seriously!!  Then Justin came, but unfortunately he had to leave early to pick up Gianna from school. As soon as the nurse unhooked me from the infusion machine for the last time-I was FINALLY EXCITED! Relief and happiness finally came over me. I rang the bell and walked out of there praying that I will never have to go into infusion again.

My Mom and best friend at my last chemo session

My Mom and best friend at my last chemo session

Once home I was greeted by my other amazing friends, Gianna, Justin and Manda’s daughter Kendal. Kendal and Gianna “decorated” for my party. Aren’t they the cutest lil darlings? Look at the details in the pictures…the ribbons, bracelet, etc. Raisins were on the menu too..haha!

The girls decorated part of the house for my celebration. Look on the table-the ribbons and bracelet!

The girls decorated part of the house for my celebration. Look on the table-the ribbons and bracelet!

More of thier decor :-)

Do you notice the cancer ribbons in the picture above. Our girls are so creative :-)!

Of course the occasion called for a toast. My toast was to never go through this again, and I had the same wish for everyone there that night.

 chemo toast

God is so good and through him and my family, I’ve made it past the first round virtually unscathed. Yes, I lost my hair but I managed to keep my eyebrows and eyelashes through it all. My shower time is seriously cut in half! I wish I can say that losing my hair has helped with being on-time,  but honestly it hasn’t. I managed to work full-time and still have energy for my family every evening. My work has been AMAZING and really helped keep the “normal” in my life.  Not to mention it keeps my mind busy.  So now what? Well, the month of September will be filled with our yearly beach trip to Treasure Island (we leave Saturday!), work, family, friends, lots of rest, a party for me on 9/14, a trip to South Carolina for work and who knows what else. My surgery is scheduled for October 2. I will post all about that in the next week or so. Until then, I’m appreciating all the beauty around me, my family, my friends, beautiful sunsets, fresh air, pumpkin everything, strength….I can go on and on……

Pulling the “C” card & other things

I almost pulled the “C” card today. So how do you get that annoying sales clerk to stop offering you up the flu shot you ask? Just say I’m sorry, I can’t. I have cancer. I really didn’t say that. Nor do I know if I really can get the shot or not, but they just kept pushing it and did I mention it was FREE! What a deal. I really didn’t pull the cancer card but it def would’ve shut them up. I mean I can also say “no thanks” in various ways so many times.

Speaking of the cancer thing. I guess I owe you guys an update or something. Well, this week’s treatment kicked my a$$. I was down all weekend and then some. I also think I was just drained from all the excitement I had the week prior. On Friday we had to go to the ER because Gianna hit her head on the playground at school. The teacher called me and said she was Ok and she didn’t even cry but that I really should probably take her to the doctor.  She ended up getting 3 stitches right in between her eye and eyebrow. Now we have to go back and get the stitches taken out in a couple days-that should be fun. Maybe they should go ahead and stick her with the vaccinations that I’ve been putting off this year. The week before we found out that she had an infection that ended up being mrsa. It was on her leg and at first we thought it was an ant bite. Her pediatrician asked me if anyone in the family has been to a hospital recently. I started crying and said yea, me-every week! I felt awful, but come to find out I had tested negative for mrsa in a test I had taken a few days before we discovered her infection. So it wasn’t me-but who knows how she got it. Luckily she was all cleared up before school started (pre-school). I think the stitches look cute on her 😉

Tomorrow I meet with my radiologist and hopefully finalize what type of surgery I’m getting. That’s another thing that has been emotionally draining as I try and decipher all the information and make the right decision. More on that later. Next Wednesday will be my last treatment…..yea!!!!! Then I will have a month of nothing which is kinda scary. At least with chemo there is something actively fighting the sucker. Surgery will be scheduled in October. Prayers, prayers, prayers.

Taxol-Day 3

Since there are followers that are really close to my treatment schedule I wanted to make sure I add my update on my experience with Taxol. For those about to have their first treatment let me just say- it is much easier on the body than A/C.  I did experience a few side effects. One side effect I have is Peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling of the hands and feet). This annoyance makes things like opening a water bottle or buttoning a shirt extremely difficult. Day 2: To say that I successfully survived a birthday party at  Chuck-E-Cheese this Saturday is a bigger deal than you think. However, that was pretty much my one activity of the day. The rest of the day was spent lounging at home with the fam.  I’ve been in such a good mood that I sometimes think people don’t believe me when I tell them how good I’ve actually been feeling (aside from the fatigue).

Then I have a moment. Ugh.

Saturday night, in the middle of watching a movie- I lost it.  No warning sign, no dramatic set of events, just a harsh reality of what’s going on….I have cancer. But within a minute of releasing the tears I was surrounded by a seahorse, bear, princess doll and who knows what other stuffed animal. Gianna wanted to “make me happy” so she grabbed a bunch of her stuffed animals and surrounded me with them.  I heard her tell my sister, “we have to make Mommy happy”. Her sincerity and innocence was indescribable. She was comforting me by rubbing my arm and adorning me with her favorite stuffed animals.

On to day 3.

Today is day 3 and the peripheral neuropathy has gotten better.  I did feel some weird shooting sensations in my legs, but nothing too bad. As always, I limit myself to one activity a day.  So today we had party. We decorated the kitchen, made appetizers, dinner, more snacks and my sister baked a cake. Gianna said it was the best party ever :-). Mr. J looked at us like we were crazy but he was still invited to the party.

Overall, Taxol has been much easier to handle than A/C. I know everyone is different so I hope this is the same for you all. On A/C I could actually FEEL the toxicity of the drug. Glad I’m done with that drug.

Three more treatments to go.

My monkey that Justin won me at a fair. Its turned out to be one of my "comforting" things. This is one of the animals Gianna brought me during my breakdown.

My monkey that Justin won me at a fair. Its turned out to be one of my “comforting” things. This is one of the animals Gianna brought me during my breakdown.

Update on BRACA and treatment

I received my results last Friday but life has gotten in the way of my blog this week! I wont keep anyone in suspense and just say that the test turned out to be negative! Yeah! My initial reaction was actually very…..not happy. It was kinda just like, “Oh, Ok now what”? Well the two most important things to me are that Gianna most likely does not have this faulty gene. Although apparently neither do I and I still got the big “C” word. Second, I no longer have a up to 44% chance of developing ovarian cancer or an up to 64% of developing a second breast cancer.

For a woman with a BRACA1 or BRACA2 gene change, she may have:

1-up to an 87%lifetime risk of developing breast cancer

2-up to a 44% lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer

3-up to a 64% risk of developing a second breast cancer, if she has already been diagnosed with one breast cancer

I really take these statistics and pretty much throw them in the trash. At this point, I feel like the “C” word will haunt me for a really long time. I hope not for the rest of my life, but right now I see no end to it. In the meantime, I’ve made lots of small changes in what I eat and consider “healthy”. The genetic counselor did tell me that there could be more genes associated with breast cancer but right now they only test for the following:

CDH1: Associated with Cowden Syndrome which is linked to a risk for breast , thyroid, uterine and kidney cancer

STK11: Associated with Peutz-Jegher syndrom which is linked to a risk for gastrointestinal polyps, colon and GI canncers and breast cancers

PTEN: Associated with Cowden Syndrome which is linked to a risk for breast, thyroid, uterine and kidney cancer

P53: Associated with LI-Fraumeni Syndrome which is primarily associated with a risk for sarcomas, breast cancer, brain tumors and adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC).

Tomorrow I have my first Taxol treatment. Its suppose to be easier than the red devil and have fewer side effects. All I can say is that if takes my eye lashes then it’s the still the devil in my eyes. Taxol is associated with more joint/bone pain and its known to last longer than A/C. Everyone reacts differently so who knows what side effects I’ll have. I’ve been in really good spirits and I hope this continues throughout the rest of my treatment.

XO.

Jess