Despite my anti-social networking tendencies, I have agreed to start this page in order to keep friends and family updated on my journey.
If you aren’t familiar with my story, here is the short of it:
In the summer of 2019 Michael and I decided it was time to move our family to the San Marcos/Wimberley area from our home in Rockport. Just a few months after the move I found a lump in my breast. I ignored it, and busied myself with the duties of a mom, wife, and teacher. I finally told Michael about it in October when I realized that it wasn’t going away. He insisted that I get it checked out right away. A few days later, after a mammogram and a core biopsy, I received my diagnosis. It was Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
We were in disbelief and full of grief as they quickly scheduled the surgery to place my power port and put me on the fast track to start chemotherapy. The tumor shrank, and by Christmas I could no longer feel it. Then my chemo was switched and the tumor began to grow again. The tumor was no longer responding to the chemo. My oncologist decided it was time to stop chemo and go straight to surgery.
I found an amazing breast surgeon -Dr. Heather King of the Texas Breast Specialists- and had my first mastectomy just after the world shut down for Covid. Due to the nature of TNBC, the mastectomy was followed by more chemo, then radiation and then more chemo. I was forced to stop the last regimen of chemo when the muscles in my radiated shoulder started to become necrotic due to radiation recall. I was on steroids for months to try and decrease my body’s response to the chemo.
From that point the doctors agreed it was time to stop all treatments and monitor.
I had my second mastectomy (prophylactic) in the summer of 2021, and have continued to have regular check ups every 3 months.
When my bloodwork came back on the last check up it indicated that my tumor markers were 3 times that of the normal range. A PET and CT scan confirmed a mass in my upper left lung lobe and another in my right lower lung lobe. Pathology confirmed that it is the same type of cancer, therefore it is now metastatic TNBC.
I am now consulting with MDAnderson, Texas Oncology, and Texas Breast Specialists. All hands on deck!
I have changed my diet and nutritional standards dramatically. I felt like we were always a healthy family, but we have now taken it to a new level. We have cut out almost all sugar, all refined and processed foods, and try to avoid all GMOs. My background as a science teacher is proving very helpful as we heal and nourish our bodies while the chemo does the cancer killing!
My friend Teri keeps reminding me “It is NOT a death sentence!” I am standing firm on this statement with God, Michael, Emma Rose, Ava Dawn, and countless other family and friends that have blessed me by being in my life.
I was only 36 when I was diagnosed. Mammograms aren’t even recommended until women reach 40 or 50 depending on their doctor and insurance coverage!!!! Tell the women in your life to get a mammogram regularly. It doesn’t matter how young they are!