Hello everyone! Thank you for coming here and following my story, which is Brad, Erin, and Cory’s story as well. They are my entire reason for living and without their constant love, support, and humor my life would really not be worth living. My cancer story is really a long one, but I guess I will try to keep it short and only hit the highlights for you.
In 1999 when we were living in Germantown, MD I was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer which had spread to the lymph nodes under my arm. I was treated to a mastectomy, loads of chemotherapy, radiation, treatment to prevent cancer growing in my bones, and hormone suppression treatment. I was 31 years old. Erin and Cory were 6 and 7 years old at the time and as you can imagine it was a very hard time for all of us.
In 2003 after we had moved to Duluth, MN (our present home!) I was diagnosed with a recurrence of my breast cancer in the scar tissue under my arm. I was treated to more surgery including a total hysterectomy with ovarian removal to suppress my hormones even more. I started a new oral hormone suppression medication and continued receiving infusions of drugs that have been shown to prevent bone metastasis (cancer growing in my bones). Eventually I had to quit receiving these infusions because I started having bad side effects.
Over all those years in between the surgeries and treatments I managed to reclaim my life. I was lucky to have the choice to be at home with our wonderful kids while they were young, and eventually I worked outside of the home, played, and lived hard. I'm not going to lie. It wasn't easy. And nothing can be as helpful during those dark times as a good therapist!
In December 2016 the bogeyman we had kept at bay for so long returned. I was diagnosed with Metastatic Breast Cancer , also known as Stage IV Breast Cancer, not long after my 49th birthday and days before Christmas. A routine X-Ray for an unrelated medical condition showed that I had cancer in my right lung, and in the fluid that had developed as a result of the cancer.Further imaging showed some tumors in my bones that thankfully do not cause me any pain.
I want to be very clear here. There is no cure for Stage IV, Metastatic Breast Cancer. There are treatments to keep me alive and healthy as long as possible. But there is NO CURE. I will never not be undergoing cancer treatment.
Since 2016 I have undergone a few different types of treatment. Some have kept my cancer stable for a pretty long run, others have not worked as well. My cancer has metastasized (spread) further in my body and is now in my liver and omentum (which is basically just the abdominal area between organs).
I am very lucky that I have not suffered much pain or anything from these tumors. I am even more lucky that I have the love and support of my family to lift me up every day.
Thank you so much for visiting and caring. It means a great deal to me, Brad, Erin, and Cory.