Sara Shelton

First post: Nov 30, 2016 Latest post: May 23, 2017
Welcome to Sara's CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting!

 A crazy thing has happened…I have been diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Totally treatable and all will be okay, but it’s going to be a long, rough road to get to the other side.

This has been a shock and a ton of information absorb and process. I wanted a way to keep all of my friends and family informed over the next year and this seems to be the best way.

So how did I get here? During a doctor's visit in early October (one month after my 40th birthday), my doctor discovered a very small lump on my left breast. She sent me in for my first mammogram, which lead to an ultrasound the same day that showed an enlarged lymph node under my arm, which lead to going back a couple days later for a biopsy of the lump and the node, which lead to a life-changing phone call at 6 pm on a Wednesday night while trying to make dinner and get Peyton to volleyball practice. The world stopped for a bit. I won't lie.

How do I fight this? Currently, the recommendation is to start chemo for roughly eight weeks (4 treatments), a secondary treatment for 12 weeks (length of time still TBD), then surgery (lumpectomy or double masectomy with reconstruction TBD), and finally radiation. Hopefully, by the end of next Summer, I’ll be cancer free with super cute short hair and moving forward with life again. There will be some additional treatments I’ll do to finish out the year, but nothing terrible and can maintain my new “normal” life. The goal of this treatment plan is to reduce the size of the lump and the lymph node through chemo and the secondary treatment, before doing the surgery. This could also help avoid losing all of my lymph nodes, which would be ideal.

The last three weeks have been full of doctor appointments and phone calls and processing. It's pretty overwhelming. Right now, I’m looking to start treatments the week after Thanksgiving. I'll be having a port placed on November 23rd, which will be used for all of my treatments so I don't have to look like a pin cushion! I'll also go in for an Echo, MRI, CT Scan and Bone Scan to ensure the cancer hasn't spread. (I'd like to get those over with and have peace of mind sooner than later.)

How am I? I’m doing okay all things considered. Again, it’s overwhelming to think about, but I’m getting there. At times, I just need to be left alone/radio silence so I can process. The analyst in me is truly showing! I'm confident I'll make the right decisions for me. This is a very personal process (or journey as many like to call it). I always appreciate hearing success stories and advice from those who have been down this road. I like to gather as much information as possible and then make the best decision for myself. It may not be the same decisions others would make, but that's okay because this is my process. :-)

How are the girls? Simply put...they are AMAZING!! Telling them was definitely in the Top 2 Worst Conversations I've had to have with them to date. Overall, they were so strong, but being 13 and 10 years old they are scared as there are a lot of unknowns. I've promised them I'll be completely honest through all of this and that it's not going to be an easy road ahead, but the three of us make an incredible team and we're loved by many who will be helping along the way. We just have to get through it and all will be okay. I say that a lot these days - ALL WILL BE OKAY! It's all so new right now and they have lots of questions. I'm keeping them as informed as possible, given their ages. They're currently focused on helping me pick out hats and wigs. (Yes, I'll be losing my hair...that's a hard one, but it's only temporary!) :-) 

The girls and I are blessed with amazing family and friends all over the country! We know we're not alone in this and appreciate everyone's love and support! 

Sara, Peyton and Bailey

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