Lauren Gunn

First post: Sep 29, 2021 Latest post: Nov 18, 2021
Hi my dearest family, friends, community, support system, beloved people—

First, thank y’all so much for your texts, calls, prayers, energy, connections, and offers to help with any and everything beyond what I could even fathom. A quarter of my tears have been of gratitude for the love, support, and comfort I feel from all of you. The rest have been from feeling overwhelmed by the “bigness” of the words cancer and chemo, and processing the implications and the losses I will inevitably face throughout this chapter. Thank y’all for your patience and grace while I work through these layers and prioritize my space, energy and health.

Here’s the play-by-play so far:

I had my annual doctor’s visit back in June, received a breast exam, and everything felt/ appeared normal. Then two weeks ago (Saturday 9/11—what a heavy date), I discovered a large lump in my left breast. It seemed to have appeared overnight. Otherwise, I felt great! I went in Tuesday 9/14 for another exam and was recommended for an ultrasound. The ultrasound occurred the following Monday 9/20, at which point the doctor scheduled me for a contrast mammogram and biopsy that Wednesday 9/22. They biopsied the large mass (4.8cm), a smaller mass they discovered, and a lymph node (2mm) near my underarm. She gave me a face that told me without telling me.

I was diagnosed the next day, Thursday 9/23. The large mass and lymph node came back malignant, while the smaller mass was benign. I have Stage III invasive ductal adenocarcinoma, and the mass is HER-2 positive. My treatment will be chemo > surgery > radiation, which overall should take about 6 months. I will have to continue with anti HER-2 treatment for an additional 6 months after that. Physically, I still feel totally fine. I was a little sore from the biopsy, but it seems to be healing nicely.

I currently have appointments scheduled in Austin with Texas Oncology, in Houston with MD Anderson, and in Dallas with UT Southwestern. I may add in one more Dallas option, based on the flood of recommendations and incredible options y’all have sent us. I just don’t want to delay my treatment by meeting with 9837458763 people.

My work is amazing and is providing the flexibility and support I need throughout this process. No need to fret, beautiful homes will still be designed while I am annihilating this cancer.

I wanted to thank all of you again for truly everything so far and provide the initial background of my situation. A few friends whose grammar I trust will be taking over this page for me moving forward.

Sending everyone peace, love, and so much gratitude while I turn this lemon into some lemonade 💛.

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