Joleen Buffington | CaringBridge

Joleen Buffington Joleen Rosalyn Buffington

First post: 4/14/2016 Latest post: 5/27/2016
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Hello family and friends,

I would like to share my breast cancer journey with you all. I am not the best at spilling my inner guts with a crowd of people but I know you all love and care for me and would appreciate some answers. This site will be X-Rated because I will be posting pictures of my breast and all the interventions they will go through. So, please respect my privacy and make good judgement on who looks at this site.

Here is my history and story of finding the "big C" in my favorite right breast. On Dec 28, 2015, Jesse and I were at my parents house for a little visit before we left for a month long Honeymoon to New Zealand. That night a Kaiser Oncologist called my mom and told her she had terminal cancer and with out any intervention she had about 15 months to live. The family was very devastated and had so many questions to ask the doctor but he want my parents to make an office visit. That night I really felt myself up. Since, I am always playing around with my "Girls".....as you all know they are huge (32DD) for my 5'2 frame @ 54.8 kg. Keeping the "Girls" contained is my top priority.  Anywho, my self-breast exam was very thorough because I notice a ping ball size lump about 11 O'clock position on my favorite right breast. Seriously, my lump came out of nowhere( WTF)! The tissue felt solid, did not move around and did not hurt. I asked Jesse to feel the lump and of course he wanted to feel me up. He wasn't impressed with the lump but did love giving me a "boob" massage. I was not to concerned with the lump because breast cancer does not run in my family and I am healthy 34 year old.

On, Dec 29 Jesse and I left for our honeymoon. I would call my parents almost daily to see if they had received any new information. They both kept reassuring me everything was fine and told me to enjoy my honeymoon. So, Jesse and I lived it up in New Zealand. We decided when we came home I would remove my IUD and have a baby before my mom passed. We came back on Jan 29 and went to visit the folks again before we drove back home. Well, when my mom opened the door, I did not recognize her. She had O2 on, was yellow and had ascites. She said that she was on hospice but nobody had checked on here since  Jan 20. I won't get into the nightmare my family went through with hospice. Long story short, my mom passed Jan. 31, 2016 in my parents home with my Dad and I at her bedside. I believe she waited for me. I was so honored!

Ok, back to my lump. I got back to town and called Ginger, CNM for an appointment for Feb 17. I needed a PAP and I wanted to remove my IUD because Jesse and I where still up for trying to make a baby. I had my PAP and got my IUD removed. Then, I remembered the lump I discovered. Ginger felt my ping pong ball and thought I should get an Ultra sound just to make sure it was nothing. I went in on Feb 22 for a breast US. Since the solid mass read irregular and measured 18x15x10mm and was 10cm from my nipple the overall impression was "highly suspicious for malignancy" the US tech, Ginger and Dr. Stokes suggested further test and referred me to  Dr. Ellen Mahoney. Now, I was getting a little nervous because Ellen is a breast cancer doctor. The next month was hell because I could not get any answers from her office. I called her office twice a day from Feb26 to March 11 before I got an order for a breast US guided core biopsy. My god, the waiting was hellacious!  On March 17, I went in for my biopsy. I was terrified! A needle into my favorite breast, yikes! Jesse went with me but a Dr. Viltakis and his US man tec asked Jesse to leave the room for the procedure. I was so damn nervous. The biopsy procedure was not that painful, just super emotional because I just lost my mom to cancer 2 weeks and 3 days prior.

On March 25, I was scheduled to meet Dr. Ellen Mahoney and discuss my biopsy results. Jesse was out of town and I knew I needed to have one of my supportive friends (Carol), to help me through my appointment. Dr. Mahoney spent 2 hours with us that day getting to know me and discussing the plan of action. The pathology report was very clear. I have Invasive ductal carcinoma of the upper outer right breast. My Big C is labeled HER-2. I am Estrogen and progesterone negative.The tumor is a solid mass measuring 2.5 cm and 12mm deep. Dr. Mahoney encouraged me to make another appointment with her when Jesse returned. March 28th, Jesse, Anne (his mom) and I went to see Dr. Mahoney  and discuss our options.  She made a referral to Stanfords Fertility clinic because Jesse and I planned on maybe having a baby someday.
April 1, 2016 we drove to Stanford to discuss fertility options before chemotherapy. We decided to cryopreserve some of my oocytes. We left the office and I started to take follicle stimulating hormones.The rest of events should be in my journal section.








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