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Sandra’s Story

If you don't know already, I was diagnosed Stage 4 Inflammatory Breast Cancer in January 2011. Obviously, it was a shock.  The good news is that we have acted aggressively.  We will use this site to keep everyone up to date on my treatments and prognosis. We thank everyone for the outpouring of support for all of your prayers and happy thoughts!

The most common question that we have gotten is how did you find out? I found out after visiting my OB/Gyn and talking about some issues that came up after Anya's birth. He immediately sent me next door to the Breast Center for imaging. Between 8am and 11am I had gone through an exam, mammogram, ultrasound, core needle biopsy, and had a diagnosis of Stage 3 breast cancer.
We found out pretty early on that the cancer has spread to my bones (pelvis and spine), making it officially stage 4. The type of breast cancer is estrogen and progestrogen positive, so it is likely that I have had this since I got pregnant with Anya.

We are lucky to have such a great support system and we are moving forward with hopeful spirits and ready to take on this new challenge. Please keep in touch, we may take a little while to get back to people, but we really appreciate all of our friends, family, and colleagues both in Chicago and across the continent.

Sandra, Sanjay, Raj and Anya

Latest Journal Update

Scans, wonderful scans, ugh.

Ugh. I can't think of any better way to sum up how I feel about cancer right now. Yesterday I was laying on the table for my bone scan and the technician comes in to tell me that the radiologist wants to do an additional scan. Ugh. I knew right then that my cancer cells had woken up again. Sure enough, there was new signal found in T8 and my left pelvis. Given that it was seen in both CT and bone scan, it's pretty conclusive. Time to change things up again. I have been a blissful state of stable for the past year with only my Zometa infusions. Now we are going to see if I respond to aromatase inhibitors. Given that my tumors have shown great sensitivity to estrogen therapy in the past, this has a good chance of working for a while. There are plans C, D, etc. in the pipeline if we don't see any effect in the next scan (3 mos). Right now we'll just hang on and see how far we can ride this. I am all for quality of life in addition to quantity. AI's aren't necessarily fun, but they seem better than the alternatives right now. Thank you all for your continued prayers, happy thoughts and warm wishes. Overall, I recognize that even though this wasn't the news that we wanted, it could been a lot worse. I've been blessed with many good years post diagnosis with Stage IV disease. Heck, my baby is turning 6 this weekend!!! Here's to hoping that we can just keep this rouge cells in line for a lot longer.

Best, Sandra
2 people hearted this



Anne Meyn
By Anne Meyn
Praying that the AI's work for a long time, Sandra!! Hugs!
Lori Matten
By Lori Matten
Keeping you and your family in our thoughts each day. Happy Birthday to Anya! Missing you all on 3rd Street.
Sarah Hale
By Sarah Hale
Sad to hear this news but as always, you are in my thoughts and prayers. You are incredible and strong! Thank you for the update.
Mary Burns
By Mary B
Wish I could provide more than cybersupport. Certainly hoping that you fare well on the "ai's" but pains me for you to describe them as not fun.
Enjoy the birthday celebration this weekend.
Sending love and prayers in abundance.
Amy Engbrecht
By Amy Engbrecht
Prayers abounding!!!
Karen Kenny
By Karen
Sending positive thoughts to you. Hugs and prayers ..
Gail Barr
Prayers and positive thoughts coming your way. I hope your next treatment puts you back to NED. Hugs.
Susan Rafte
By Susan Rafte
Sandra, I am so sad to read your entry. My positive thoughts and prayers are for you right now.
I have been on Arimadex for over 18 years...not fun, but I hope you get the same response!
Call me if you want to talk, walk, cry...
1 person hearted this
Janet Dykstra
By Jan
Not the news we want to hear, Sandra, but thankful for your good doctors. As always, we are praying for you and thinking of you all the time.
1 person hearted this