Shelley Walker Shelley's Walk

First post: Sep 2, 2019 Latest post: Oct 22, 2022

   It was 10 years last February that I first began my journey with breast cancer.  I had a mastectomy in March, and then several reconstructive surgeries and 4 rounds of chemo.  I lost all of my hair.  The whole thing was over in less than a year.  I thought, "Ok, one year out of my life -- it was bad but I made it through -- it's done."   All of the tests at the time said the likelihood of it coming back was only about 12%.   I'd made it!  Fast forward 10 years -- it's the last week of March. and  I couldn't resist sending out texts to my family and co-workers that I was a 10-year cancer survivor.  Got lots of "whoo-hoo's" and "way to go's"  -- it felt really good.  Not all was great physically for me,  however.
   In January, I developed a cough.  It wasn't horrible at first, but it was constant.  Then, along with the cough, I started feeling short of breath.  A few visits to the doctor and trying a couple of different inhalers proved to be unhelpful.  Meanwhile, my voice was becoming very rough and weak, and the coughing got worse.  They couldn't find anything wrong with my lungs, but one night, after coughing so hard I thought I'd broken my ribs,  I went to the emergency room.  They didn't find anything either, but the doctor suggested that I have a CT scan, which I did.  It was scheduled, and in April, I was told that there was a mass on my lung and a biopsy was needed.  Believe me, at that point, I was having flashbacks like crazy, and I was pretty scared.  The biopsy showed  not a new cancer, rather, it was breast cancer again, except now it had metastasized.  Here we go again....
  I found (with the help of my dear friend Becky) Dr. Robinson from the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center in Longmont.  Truthfully, I didn't consider her at first because she was so young, but Becky pointed out all of her accomplishments and convinced me that this was the oncologist for me.  I really couldn't have a better team than Dr.  Robinson and her team of the nurses and staff there -- they are the best.     A brain MRI and a PET scan showed 4 tumors in my brain, 1 in my lung, 3 in my liver, and several in my spine, pelvic bone and ribs.   I asked Dr.  Robinson straight out if this was going to kill me, and she was totally honest -- yes, it would.  However, metastatic breast cancer is now treated as a chronic disease, and with the medicines and treatments they have, people can live several years, keeping the disease at bay.  
   I hate this disease -- I wish I didn't have it, but I do, and unfortunately, it's not going away in a year.  But I believe that they are so close to a cure, and that is what I'm hoping and praying for.  I believe in my medical team and that they will do everything they can to give me as many years as they can with all of the new technology that is available to them.  But my real faith is in God, who is bigger than all of this, and I know that if He has more for me to do and accomplish here on this earth, He's going to keep me right here.  I appreciate all of you traveling this  journey with me, and if you feel like sharing this blog with others, please do.  Thank you for your prayers, positive thoughts, and just for caring about me -- I love all of you and count myself as one of the luckiest people in the world to have such a beautiful support team.  God Bless!

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