On November 3, 2017 Jeannette had a routine mammogram that has changed her life. She elected to have a 3D mammogram since her insurance covered it this time. The mammogram detected several types of cancer in her right breast (that would not have been detected if it were a 2D mammogram!). From there, Jeannette underwent several types of diagnostic scans to look for cancer in the rest of her body and genetic testing for the breast cancer gene (BRCA). At the time, the scans did not detect cancer anywhere else and the genetic testing came back negative for BRCA, so Jeannette and her doctors decided that she would have a mastectomy of the right breast on December 15 and then follow-up with breast reconstruction and radiation treatments. The surgery to remove her breast went well, but unfortunately, the doctors biopsied the node system during the surgery and found cancer there too. The results of the pathology showed that 8 of the 17 extracted lymph nodes were invasive types of cancer. Jeannette and her oncology doctor decided that chemotherapy was the next step. Since she has so many different types of cancer in one area, at one time, the best treatment is a very aggressive therapy. She then had CT and bone scans, an echocardiogram and then a chemotherapy port implanted under her skin. Her first chemotherapy treatment was on Thursday, January 18 which lasted for 6 hours. She will have these chemotherapy treatments every 3 weeks, which will typically be 3 hours each time; the final treatment is scheduled for May 4. Once chemo is done, she will have 6 weeks of radiation treatments and Herceptin infusions for a full year. Then she will take an oral medication for 10 years. Reconstruction of the right breast will occur after all of the chemo and radiation treatments. As you can imagine, there are many, many appointments, lots of scans and tests, and occupational therapy that are occurring along the way.
There have been so many people who have poured out love and support for Jeannette so far in this quickly-changing and difficult-to-endure journey so far and it has only been 3 months at this point! There is a long road ahead of her, friends, but thankfully there have been so many to bear the burdens. You all know what an amazing spirit Jeannette has, which is why we all love her so much! We have no doubt that she will be victorious over this awful disease! But at the same time, as a single working mother to three children, the responsibilities of daily life have been a lot to manage even before she was diagnosed with cancer. Now she must juggle her job as a mom, with treatments that are so hard on the body and a schedule that includes a myriad of doctors appointments that cancer brings with it. BUT, thankfully, she is not doing it alone. She has a big big God to lean on and there is so much peace knowing He is working through so many of you who are willing to help in so many ways and pray for her every day!
Family and friends from her church, neighborhood, work and community-at-large have been so amazingly loving and helpful, and ever present when she has needs. There have been friends who bring her to appointments, send out updates and prayer requests to the community, care for her children when she physically can’t, bring her meals, clean her house, and organize the help she needs, to name a few. They have taken, and continue to take care of daily tasks needed to keep a home and family running. These selfless acts have allowed her to focus on her healing and spend time with her kids. Her community has shown and continues to show support through organizing and donating to fundraisers such as: a GoFundMe page, breast cancer T-shirts, a Benefit Concert on Feb. 10, a Texas Holdem poker tournament and even a Grilled Cheese truck! Friends showed up to be with her and help her shave her head before her first Chemo treatment. And there have been, no doubt, lots and lots of prayers said!
This Caring Bridge site has been set up in efforts to streamline updates and prayer requests as Jeannette battles cancer. Shannon and Tracey have done an amazing job at keeping Jeannette’s community informed through email and Facebook updates, but we hope this website makes it easier for everyone to stay up to date and receive detailed and specific prayer requests as Jeannette moves forward in her healing journey. #sheisamazing