Gayle Barr Gayle Barr-My MBC Journey

First post: May 2, 2022 Latest post: Sep 21, 2023
  My Breast Cancer story began in 2008 when a small tumor was discovered in my left breast via my annual mammogram.  It was stage 1 and I had a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation.  I took anastrozole ( a hormone blocker)  for the next five years.  People would call me a "Breast Cancer Survivor", but I knew that there was a possibility of a reoccurrence of the breast cancer.  It most likely would show up in one of my organs.  I was anal about always having my annual mammogram, regular checkups, and checkups with my oncologist.  I did everything possible to prevent or at least discover early any reoccurrence.  
  The end of January of 2022, I began having a shortness of breath when walking up the stairs.  We had a trip planned to the mainland to visit family and friends for February/March.  My shortness of breath got worse on the trip (especially walking up the sloping streets of Seattle!).  When we were in Southern California, I started wheezing while I was resting.  I asked Bob to take me to the Urgent Care.  I was sure I had developed asthma and all I needed was an inhaler.  The urgent care doctor sent me the ER and recommended they perform CT Scan of my chest.  In the report he even referenced my breast cancer in 2008.  Not to bore you with all the details of the ER, but the doctor thought it was my heart.  He admitted me to Torrance Memorial Hospital for observation and a nuclear stress test.  In the meantime, the urgent care doctor called Bob to make sure I had gone to the ER and that they were doing a scan of my chest.  The hospital was unable to perform the stress test (a scheduling issue).  I spoke with the nurse about getting a CT scan of my chest.  She contacted the hospital doctor assigned to my case, who then came an spoke with me.  She scheduled a scan of my chest.  It revealed masses in both of my lungs.  She then had a CT scan done on my stomach.  It showed tumors in my spine and bones.  The next day they did a biopsy of my spine.  I was released from the hospital and a few days later she called me with the results.  It was not what I wanted to hear but it was what I had expected.  The tumors in my spine were breast cancer cells, ER+PR+ HER- , just like my original breast cancer.  This was the beginning of my Metastatic Breast Cancer Journey. 
  I am writing this to document my Metastatic Breast Cancer Journey.   It's a place where family and friends are welcome to follow my journey as I post stories, diagnoses, feelings, etc.  I hope you feel welcome to share love, laughter and encouragement with me.  I welcome questions, advice, links to resources, etc.  I will attempt to explain Metastatic Breast Cancer and how there is no cure for it.  I hope this will be a LONG journey!

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