Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I've created it to keep friends and family updated about my latest battle with cancer. Get started by reading the introduction to my website, My Story.
Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write me a note in my guestbook.
Many of you know my story. It dates back to when my girls, Rachel, Paulina and Julia were 6, 3, and 2. I was 41 when I first felt a lump on my left breast. After my mammogram showed “abnormal cells”, that lump led me to having a needle core biopsy, which confirmed an invasive cancer, stage 3.
I decided to have a bi-lateral removing both breasts at the same time, even though no cancer appeared in my right breast. This proved to be a good decision as, once sent to pathology, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a non-invasive breast cancer was discovered in the right.
So, on April 15, 2002, I had my bilateral mastectomy. This was followed by six rounds of chemotherapy, spaced three weeks apart. I then began radiation -- seven weeks, 36 sessions.
I remained in remission for nearly seven years, while working, going through a divorce, raising my girls, and teaching fitness classes at the Ventura YMCA. I still suffered residual aches and pains and a weakened immune system but kept on keepin' on.
In January 2009, a PET Scan revealed metastatic breast cancer under my right arm, in the lymph nodes, and chest wall. I couldn’t feel any lumps, as they were buried deep under the arm and in the chest. That February, I had three surgeries removing the axillary lymph nodes, a preventative bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removing both of my ovaries and fallopian tubes), and the insertion of a port catheter to help the chemo infusions. Once again, I underwent chemotherapy and radiation regimens followed every six months with diagnostic PET Scans.
Three years later, in January 2012, after my PET Scan, I was informed that I had Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in my abdominal cavity. This is a slow growing, incurable cancer, which has been somewhat resistant to chemotherapy. I have lived with this for over 4 years now. I recently had a colonoscopy which revealed a mass. The Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma has metastasized to my colon and I'm back on chemotherapy.
I am hopeful regarding this upcoming treatment and so blessed to be surrounded by loving support. That’s you!