Kathryn Rotchstein | CaringBridge

Kathryn Rotchstein

Hi all! I am using Caring Bridge as a way to tell everyone my story and keep you all updated on my journey. I was diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer 5 years ago. Over the course of a year and a half I went through 20 weeks of chemo, a double mastectomy, 6 weeks of radiation and then had reconstruction. 2 months after my reconstruction I tripped and fractured my L1 vertebrae.  I ended up at the ER and discovered that my cancer had spread to my spine. There was a tumor growing in my L1 which weakened the bone and led to me fracturing it. This also meant I was now Stage 4. I was then put back on chemotherapy. My breast cancer is estrogen receptive so the goal is to prevent my body from producing estrogen therefore starving the cancer and preventing its spread. The fun part is that I go through medically induced menopause as part of the process. All has been stable until I moved to Oregon last November. As part of the move I had to find a new oncologist and did not get my monthly shots for the last 6 months. I have been struggling with back pain that was getting increasingly worse. My new oncologist had me do a bone scan and MRI. Turns out I have a compression fracture in my L2 vertebrae and my cancer has spread to my L2, T11 and T12 vertebrae as well as 2 ribs on my right side. I am now back ok n my monthly shots with the addition of 2 oral medications I take daily. In an effort to help strengthen my bones I am getting an intravenous infusion every 3 months. I am currently on a Medical Leave of Absence because I could no longer work with my back pain. Once my vertebrae heals I will be returning to week but am expected to be out 2-3 months. I will have to pay for COBRA while I am out as well as my usual bills and only receiving a portion of my usual pay. I also have to travel to Portland, which is a couple hours from where I live, for my oncology and radiation appointments as my doctors are up there. My amazing friends have banded together and are running a fundraiser through Lularoe in order to help me financially. I will receive a portion of everything they sell while the fundraiser is running and Lularoe will match what they raise. I always say that I am an open book about my cancer and I am more than willing to answer questions anyone has! Don't hesitate to ask and thank you for taking the time to get to know me and read about my journey!
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