Jennifer Falk My Breast Cancer Journey

First post: Oct 13, 2018 Latest post: Jan 12, 2019
I have had some back pain in and off over the past few weeks, maybe months. Nothing too terrible and I brushed it of as just part of being a nurse, having a sore back. A little Biofreeze, Tylenol and Naproxen and I was fine. 

Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 was different. It was slated to be a busy day. My husband Patrick had emergency gallbladder surgery the night before and should be discharged later that day, I had an appointment at work, and when I got back to town I had two classes at the college.

My work appointment was scheduled for 8:00am so I got up at 6:00am and as I sat up I felt a loud pop and pain like I’ve never felt before. But life goes on, right? So I took my medicine and got dressed. Slowly. I drove to Olathe. In pain the whole time. Quick meeting then I drove back. I took a shower hoping the heat would relieve the pain. It didn’t, so I decided that as soon as I finished my classes today I would finally make the trip to the ER I had been dreading because what happened with my dad (diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer and gone 30 days later) was on my mind the whole time.

I made it through my first class. The second class? Didn’t happen. I drove to the hospital and being a slow day I got right in. After a dose of pain medication, I was pain free for the first time in in months. They sent lab work off and I caught up on a couple of my shows I missed while I waited. Well actually, I napped. Next up was a Cat scan of my abdomen/pelvis. The original thought was maybe my gallbladder that should have come out years ago was the culprit. Or maybe kidney stones.

I napped a little longer. Then the door opened and the ER doctor, my nurse, someone I didn’t recognize and my new family doctor (poor thing, I’ve only seen her once) came in, my husband fresh from his surgery behind. My heart sunk. You don’t get a group like this if your gallbladder is messed up. You don’t get it because of kidney stones.

My doctor told me I have spots on my spine. Elevated protein in my urine. And a couple other problematic labs. She told me I have cancer. What kind we won’t know until further testing. We don’t know if it’s a primary bone cancer or a metastasis. She said some of the labs indicate multiple myeloma but we won’t know until additional testing is done.

I would be lying if I said I’m not terrified. Actually? I’m scared and numb and blame myself for not going in when the pain first started. But I lived in denial. The first thought I had was this is what happened to dad.

I guess I’m at peace with whatever happens. I’m not ready though. I’m 43 years old. My kids are still young. I have little grandkids and nieces. I haven’t seen much of the world. There are so many things I still want to accomplish.

The next few weeks will be a nervous time. Tests to identify what kind of cancer it is. Luckily because I work at Olathe Med, I know of two excellent oncologists already so I don’t need to worry about that. I’m going to be off work for a while as I have a fractured vertebra. Did I exacerbate it at work or did it break when I got up today? Hard telling. I’ve dropped my college classes because I will miss too many due to various appointments.

Please I don’t normally ask this, but I am going to now. Please pray for us. Even if you aren’t religious, say a quick prayer. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Who knows, maybe it will do something. Help my kids be strong. I’m numb, but I can tell they are scared. The one thing I loved most about being a young mom is I would have many years to spend with kids and grandkids. I’m 43. I don’t feel sick in any way. My back hurts. And I might die. I’m scared.

I’m sorry this is so long. Thanks for your prayers in advance. Thank you for visiting.

My daughter has started a page to help with medical costs and the loss of my income. If you would like to help out, click here (