May 20, 2019 Latest post:
Apr 15, 2020
My younger sister, Jennifer was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer on April 10, 2019. Six months ago, Jennifer found a marble sized lump in her right breast while doing her normal monthly self exam. She chalked it up to her starting her period so she didn't think much about it. As many of us women do, our boobs get sore, and swell a little before that time of the month. A few months went by and Jennifer noticed that they lump had gotten much bigger and her boyfriend encouraged her to go in and get it checked because she would kick herself in the butt if she didn't. So, taking Scott's advice she went in and got checked. They told her she needed to go down to the hospital the next day to get a mammogram done.
Jennifer went to the hospital and got her mammogram done along with an ultrasound, CAT scan and biopsy of the lump in her breast. She did not get the news that she had wanted. She was told she had Stage 3 Breast Cancer called Her2Neu. The most aggressive form of breast cancer she could have. The breast cancer has spread to 6 of her lymph nodes and they also found spots on her lungs and liver. The cancer seems to be spreading down the right side of her body and is currently not affecting the left side at all.
Jennifer was also told she has 2 hormonal cancers that grow from her hormones. She said those are treatable with medicine which she will take and will put her into early menopause (I mean what women would not want to have to deal with a monthly cycle)!
Her2Neu has no cure, but it can be controlled with chemo, radiation and medicine. Since this is a very aggressive form of Breast Cancer her tumor has tripled in size the last 30 days. They are not able to do surgery to remove it yet because the tumor is about the size of a baseball and they need to shrink it before they will do surgery to remove it. She did say once she can have the surgery she is going to have both breast removed and then when she is able will have reconstructive surgery on both breasts.
Jennifer had a small procedure done last Tuesday, May 14th, to put a port in to her chest. Part of the port goes to her heart and another part of it has a tube running up her next. This port will be used for them to give her chemo. She had her first chemo session on Friday, May 17, 2019 and it was a very long 8+ hours for her. They told her that the first one will be the longest one, but even 6 hours is going to feel like a long time for her to sit there and receive chemo.
She will also be getting genetic testing done this week to see if the breast cancer comes from our dads side or moms side of the family. Right now, none of us know of anyone on either side of the family that has had breast cancer. Our mother died at the age of 28 so it is hard to say is this would have been something she would have had. The genetic testing will come back with 1 of 3 things: a marker on my dads side, a marker on my moms side, or no marker at all which would mean Jennifer would be the first carrier of it. It will take a few weeks for her to get the results back.
I talked to Jennifer Friday night after her chemo and she sounded great and was chatty Kathy! I missed that. I ordered her a couple wigs as she will start losing her hair in about 10-14 days so she now has some sassy new hair to play with her she starts to lose hers. Scott's mom cut her hair for her yesterday shorter so when she does start to lose it, we hope it won't be such a big shock to her. Wishful thinking on my part but whatever we can do to help ease the pain.
She was having some side affects yesterday and today she was not able to make it into work because the side affects are hitting her pretty hard. She is not sure she will be able to do this for a year and I told her YES YOU CAN. I know easier said then done but she is a STRONG person and god has challenged her in ways that no one will every understand. She has made it this far in life and I know she can make it through this and beat cancers ass!
I ask that as you read this please leave words of encouragement for my sister Jennifer, say a prayer for her every day that she will continue to have strength to make it through this!
I love you sissy more then you will every understand. Dawnie