Jennifer Reynolds Pew Pew!

First post: Jan 10, 2022 Latest post: Apr 8, 2022
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As I approach my year soon of when I was diagnosed I have decided this is a good place to share my stories and give info! As you know I have been fighting through breast cancer treatments since January 2021! I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of the left breast. It also was in my nodes. This was completely shocking when I found out. I first thought about my family.. it so not fair for them! My life flashed before my eyes, I cried a lot. It was so much to take in. So ..they staged me at Stage 2b.I also had genetic testing done and was told most people are negative! They told me don’t worry most are not genetic. Wrong! I found out I was positive for genetics! I carried the palb2 gene mutation! I remember thinking what the hell is that?! No one has had cancer in my family. And why me?! You never think even for a moment your going to get cancer! So unbelievable.. even almost a year later I have these thoughts! I immediately started doing a ton of research to learn all I could. I met with an amazing team At LBMMC Todd cancer center, and they wanted to give me all modalities they had to fight this! I was firstly put on Tamoxifen ( death pill):/which will stop estrogen production as my cancer feeds on estrogen and progesterone! I then started getting stuff done. I had many appts to test for possibly cancer somewhere else in my body, I had MRI’s, pet scan, blood tests, an echocardiogram and got my port placed. I just couldn’t believe-this was my life now!  I had been good to my body, healthy and exercising… why oh why?! It was a scary time ..but I just got through it best I could! I went into survival mode! I met amazing doctors and my team is very good, im thankful for them. They wanted me to have Chemotherapy ( asap) which went from February thru End of May! It was brutal, I got tired but I did it! I had it every three weeks and the first week post chemo was full of fatigue, nausea and weakness. I pushed thru.. and now I’m Done! Next, I had to recover from the chemotherapy (I felt very weak),to get strong enough for my surgeons to do my double mastectomy! We knew it would be a DMX ( both) because having the palb2 makes me more at risk.. I wanted them gone. I rationalized it with well they ( the boobs) had done their job, I breast feed 3 kids and even had implants done a few years ago! I wanted the cancer taken out! So… in June I got healthier and stronger as I wanted that Surgery ASAP! We decided on also doing immediate reconstruction with lymph node dissection. I loved my breast Surgeon and plastic Surgeon. I felt in good hands. I was at peace with them taking my breasts as I knew it, never again to have my own. My breast tissue was ALL going to be gone.. the cancer was going to be gone! I knew we had to get rid of of both in order for best outcomes. June 30th is the date. I ended up having an almost 9 hour Surgery and was in hospital for 3 days! When I came too …n looked down at my chest.. I felt alil lump so I knew it was successful. I knew it would be ok.He told me if it went well he would be able to put a tiny bit of expansion in the expanders( my new boobs). I was thankful for that. I soon learned we did have a complication as my left nipple didn’t look good, it was purple/black. Thru the bloody steri strips it looked quite darkened. They told me I’d have to undergo hyperbaric treatments in effort to heal the skin to survive. I had had the nipple/skin sparing option. I ended up having about 6 hyperbaric treatments I believe. It was a bit claustrophobic and nerve wracking.. but I handled it. Somehow I got thru that. Medication helped! So the next step after surgery was to heal! Resting and healing was my life for quite awhile. I slept a ton. Matt and my family did everything, i felt very cared for. Then I started getting fills into my expanders! They take a needle with a magnet and “fill you up”! We did it slowly. It hurt alil not too bad and they felt tight. He had to stretch the skin a bit. I slowly got better and healed and was finally able to exercise again! That was a relief. I then felt good enough and even went on a retreat ( in the mountains) with 45 breast cancer survivors I didn’t know! Perfect strangers. Wow. It was quite the experience. More on that later! Anyway, next up is radiation per my doctors and I had surely hoped what I had done already would make me a candidate to skip it. Nope! They wanted 33 rads sessions! Dang. So we geared up and focused on a date to start this. BUT.. little to my knowledge we ended up with a set back! I got a Seroma on Oct 2- which is my youngest bday! Matt and I were away for the night and on our way home my left breast was full and swelling! It was scary and I didn’t feel well. He drive me straight to see my PS, who met us at his office after a Surgery he had. He took me in and immediately knew he had to admit me.. direct admit to Lbmmc. Ugh!! I couldn’t believe this! I was mad. It sucked but I needed iv antibiotics and possibly Surgery. Omg why?? That hospital visit I was there for 5 days! I had great care.They had to take out my left expander , clean it all out and hopefully he could put an implant. He told me I did have a chance that it was so infected that he would leave me flat! I was scared of this.. but knew I was n the best hands. He’s a magician! Dr. Hurvitz is so great and I’m thankful for him and all he did to help. I had to get another drain.. omg they are literally the worst! I had to recoup and rest for a few weeks! Knowing I couldn’t exercise.. again sucked. It has been my go to and life savor thruout my life.
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