Thank you Mckenzie for this picture 

Shonda Schilling

First post: Nov 16, 2020 Latest post: Feb 5, 2021
My Journey started in late August when I found a lump in my breast.  For men who don't like to hear that boobies are not always perfect  don't read the next line. 
When you are breasting feeding if you ever had a clogged duct you remember what the feeling was like. It was painful.  That is what I felt.  Knowing without a shadow of a doubt I was not pregnant I reached down and found the lump. 

The process took literally two months to get where I am today.

Several pathology reports, ultra sounds, MRI's, biopsies and a lumpectomy has brought me to tonight.  
I am her2 negative.  Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Breast Cancer

I wasn't surprised by the diagnosis I could feel the lump.  It was on the outer part of my breast.  What I was shocked about was how long this journey would become. Basically Garrison started his senior year and we will both hopefully graduate in May   

At first diagnosis we were confident that I had caught it early.  Nothing showed in the MRI to think otherwise.  I did see several Drs before I landed at MGH.  It seemed that everywhere I turned Dr Barbara Smith was the only name I heard repeatedly.  After meeting her I knew exactly why.  Now because of Covid I have had to go to these appointments alone.  The phrase "You never know how strong you are until being  strong is the only choice you have".  This  can only be the feeling to describe hearing diagnosis and treatment plans alone 

Skip to three weeks ago when my husband had to drop me off at the hospital for my lumpectomy because again no one can accompany you.  Yes they did give me an Ativan to take before I left the house and who am I not to follow doctors orders.

One week later while checking my medical gateway my pathology report. Fortunately I guess Curt and I already having cancer before came in handy when reading the report.  You can imagine our  surprise to read that the cancer did not clear margins and that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes.  No one to call and confirm.

 The way things work now it seems reports go to the patient sometimes before a Doctor has a chance to look at it.  Then another week before I would meet with my new Oncology team.   Again by myself I listened to the words Chemo and Radiation. 
Being honest I always knew I would have radiation and it would 4 weeks everyday. This changed the whole ballgame.  On  Dec 9th I will start chemo therapy.  And you guessed it no one can go with me.  At the End of March I will start 33 radiation treatments.  Everyday for almost 7 weeks.  Sucks big time. 

I don't know how many will be surprised to find out that I have been very positive through out this process.  I always handle tough times through humor. Plus I have used the cancer card a few times to get what I want.  I think the doctors sometimes wonder if I am truly listening because Im not crying and just telling them just tell me what to do I am good if I have a plan. Plus  Jen cries  enough for all of us.  Lets face it this past year has sucked for everyone.  I have lots to be grateful for.  I have the most common form,  Breast Cancer has come so far in treatments.  I live in the medical Mecca of the world here in Boston.   I have my two best friends Jen and Linda keeping me busy and entertained.  I have my dad, husband and four great kids taking care of me.  So blessed to have so many people reaching out Im feeling the love.

So that brings me to today.  Getting ready for bed for surgery tomorrow.   I will have more margins cut and reconstruction.  The one silver lining is my girls will look a little better then when I started the journey.  Always looking for the bright side.  

Thanks for caring enough read!

I am truly blessed,