Wow....we are still in major shock and absorbing our new reality, The first time we heard the “C Word” was May 21, 2014, The news was just as shocking because I had zero signs or symptoms of breast cancer. My biggest concern at that time was debilitating back pain due to bulging disc. I had my first back surgery in 2005. This was my first flair up since that surgery. I was walking down the halll after my MRI and saw breast imaging sign and I knew I was about 6 months behind in getting my second mammogram. I walked in and they had just had a cancellation for that exact time, Life was a whirlwind of scans, Dr appts, and many surgeries. They got all the cancer with the double mastectomy. I had tumor tested and and as a result did not have to undergo chemo or radiation. The breast cancer was like dealing with a bee sting compared to the back pain.
I know that God used my back to save my life!
Fast forward to last May 2017..... debilitating back pain. I start with two steroid injections. MRI ordered: results come back with unspecified lesion on L3. Alarming for me being a cancer survivor. I make an appt with my oncologist for a complete bone scan. Excellent news.... it came back completely clear..... WHEW.... we can breathe. My back pain continues to get worse and I am just trying to manage the daily pain and go about life. I had just started a new job with PennyMac Correspondent in Aug 2016 who is the second largest lender nationwide behind Wells Fargo. I am at the peak of my career and learning more than I have in years. It is very important for me to stay challenged and this is when I thrive, At this time I am adamant I do not want another surgery. I had my last reconstruction BC surgery Dec 2016 and had concussion symptoms and memory issues for about 4 months due to the antestesia. Extremely scary not to mention embarrassing working with a new boss.
I realize I can not keep the pain managed and have no quality of life. My precious babies are missing their Mommy and my weekends are more or less confined to couch. I am on my knees praying for answers and direction. God gives me complete 100% peace about undergoing a multi level fusion. Recovery will be 8 to 10 weeks before I can travel and about 18 months for complete recovery. One year out of the rest of my life.... I got this !
Dec 19th I have surgery and recovery is a bitch and much more than we had anticipated. I am working my tail off in physical therapy twice a week and doing fantastic until March. My recovery started going backwards daily. My pain was increasing through out all my muscles. I of course thought it was overcompensating upper body strength just to move. By the end of March I can not walk and the pain is ridiculous and nothing is working. We meet with surgeon and he orders an MRI to see what is going on..... we are all at a lose.
April 5th we see the results from MRI. I have a 5cm lesion on L3. My cancer is back! Devastated, hyperventilating, shocked and Charley Anne , my 9yr old is with us when we hear the news. I am sooooo tired.
The whirlwind of scans and Dr appts start on Monday. A trip to ER the following week comes more news. All scan results are in the system and nobody has shared the additional results. We learn from a very tired ER PA mater of factually that I have a 9cm lesion in my sacral joint that has caused a hairline fracture along with multiple lesions covering my entire pelvic cavity, in my femur, ribs, shoulders, and lastly liver. Everyone is still assuming I have metastatic stage IV breast cancer. I still have not had a biopsy. It is scheduled for April 25th. Exactly, 20 days after hearing the news. Absolutely, ridiculous it takes this long when we already know how aggressive it is growing. Not to mention I have hardware in diseased bone that may come out. Why didn’t my surgeon order a new MRI before this major surgery? I will do all I can to make sure this becomes a protocol for anyone who has a history of cancer. Did the cancer spread so rapidly due to trauma of surgery? Does it even matter? So many questions.....
I have started radiation and will know my treatment plan and what lies ahead after the biopsy results next week.
I am exhausted and have many different levels of emotions....
But I do believe with 100% of my soul that God once again used my back to save my life! I do believe He is going to use me and this journey for something more reaching than we could ever imagine. I do not believe that God gives us what we can handle; But I believe He helps us handle what we are given.
I am mostly overwhelmed by once again the out pouring of love and support. I know that I am dearly loved. I have no words that can come close to expressing my gratitude. My dear friends and family have picked me up and are carrying me like an Army of Angels. They pick me up and take me to radiation treatments, they make sure my kids get to all events and practices, they feed us, they love on us, they send me daily encouragement and the list goes on.....I love you all more than you will ever know.... I am beyond blessed.
My Don, my rock, my soul mate! Cancer saved our marriage in 2014 and brought us closer than I could imagine possible. We just celebrated 20 yrs March 14th. I am still deeply in love with you and can’t wait to be renewed and rebuilt from the inside out so we can grow old together and watch our babies grow.
I am ready for the fight of my life and I know all will be well soon enough ......