Update on March 27, 2022: Since finding out I have breast cancer again, I’ve had a plethora of tests, biopsy’s, scans, one chemo treatment, one very irritating allergic reaction to said chemo, 7 long and terrifying hours in the ER to be sure my inflated arm wasn’t a blood clot, a lost transmitter for my diabetes pump (since replaced), realized I had forgotten my insulin pump while arriving for a PET scan in San Jose (Judd to the rescue) and a mind-blowing 2nd opinion which has resulted in a trio of brilliant minds looking at my case together.
What I have not had is one minute of feeling that I am alone in this fight. And for that, I am so incredibly grateful. For every call, text, card, meal, gift, plant, flower, funny story, cute picture and sincere word of love and encouragement, I am grateful. My heart is full, and my cup is overflowing. Thank you.
On to the update. First, my cancer did not mutate. The chemo did its job 2 years ago and continues to be suppressed by a daily hormone blocker pill. This is a new and improved (in my cancer’s opinion!) cancer. It has been relentless. Even with all of the tests, we can’t be 100% sure of what we are dealing with here. What we do know is that a non-hormone driven, HER2 positive breast cancer has metastasized to my underarm and clavicle lymph nodes, sternum, spine and possibly liver. What we do know is that there are a variety of chemo options because of the HER2 finding. These are expected to cause fatigue, hair loss and possibly nausea. There is no end of the road this time. This is the road. But I’m going to celebrate the victories: when I feel well, each time I can do an IV treatment without needing a port, when appointments don’t conflict with Ben’s volleyball games, when my lymphedema subsides to a normal state, when my blood sugars don’t make this journey harder, every single time I am amazed by Judd’s courage and support….
My optimism is real. But my sadness and fear are real too. Aside from the first days, I have been able to keep my head above water but there are moments that I don’t feel so strong. Your words make a difference. I just want you all to know that. Thank you for them. Thank you for praying. Thank you for sending songs to lift me up. Thank you for checking in on my mom. Thank you for sending love and light to Ben and Judd. Thank you for understanding that I’m going to be able to rally sometimes and totally poop out at others. Thank you for wanting to help.
So here we go…
Hello Friends, On Friday, February 25, I found out that my cancer had mutated and spread to my bones. I spent the next 5 days terrified that it was going to kill me this time. I sank into a very dark place where every sad thought possible swirled in my head. I could not control it. It mentally and physically hurt to think that Ben would have this sickness and loss cloud most of his younger years and memories of me. Judd was so strong, for me, and insisted we could do this again. But I knew he was scared too. A tumor in my breast, that I could literally touch and had been causing me so much pain, had spread. I had no hope. None. And I couldn’t drag myself out. It was like my brain had been traded with someone I didn’t know, who looked at life through these horribly dark glasses. Anyone who knows me and my mom, knows that telling her this news was absolutely heart wrenching. And, even though I tried my best not to, I pulled her into that dark place with me. On Thursday morning, after a breast MRI, CT and PET scan, breast and lymph node biopsy’s and 2 ultrasounds, we found out that it hadn’t spread to my organs. We are dealing with lymph nodes, both breasts, sternum and possibly spine (biopsy to come). The treatment will be chemo to shrink the mass on my breast wall (and hopefully more but that’s the sly bugger), a double mastectomy, radiation and more chemo. We are waiting on the final pathology of the biopsy. But we do know that this cancer is not hormone driven, unlike my last. If it had been, I could have done a dual, blocker and chemo pill. That sounded so much better than getting back in that chemo chair! I’ve never been able to share my memories and experiences because I had blocked all of them. I just don’t remember the pain. I don’t know if this is a good or bad idea but I have looked back and now I’m scared. And I’m angry. But I’m also ready to fight. And I am surrounded by the love of so many beautiful and caring friends and family. And I’m happy. And I’m grateful.