Tina Celeste Tina takes on Cancer

First post: Mar 13, 2018 Latest post: May 2, 2018

Welcome to my Caring Bridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. Our journey began on Valentine’s Day 2/14/18.  I was at work like any other Wednesday morning.  Working on produce reports and answering questions about why bananas are currently under ripe, when I see the doctor's phone number come up on my caller id.  In that moment my stomach dropped and I knew, and I did not answer the call.  Moments later I get a call from  my husband, deep breath, I pick up.  He says, "Dr. George needs us to come to his office right now".  As I walk out of my office, part of me knows that life is about to change.  My husband and I meet in the lobby and sit in silence.  Of all the Valentine's Day dates I've had or thought about with my husband, this one never came to mind.   The doctor called us back, shortly after we arrived, and delivered the news that my biopsy results were in and that I had breast cancer.  As he spoke tears ran down my face and the world became blurry. This stopped us in our tracks. Time felt as though it stood still. But, as life does it kept going and so must we. Minutes felt like days, days felt like years as we waited for more test results to help us understand my diagnosis and what the future might look like. When we picked up the full pathology report the words jumped off the page, TRIPLE NEGATIVE. I immediately thought, “This has to be a mistake”.  But no mistake...Again we forge on...We made our way to the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio where we were guided by our wonderful cousin (aka Angel) Laura who is a nurse at the clinic. In one day we were able to get all the tests we needed to create the best treatment plan in the quickest amount of time.  After receiving these test results we learned that I have Stage 2 breast cancer and it is in a 2.6 cm tumor and a lymph node in my left breast.  The team at the Cleveland Clinic was warm, intelligent and inspiring.  Human beings who love what they do and reassuring me that the goal of this prognosis is CURE.  They explained to us how cure can be achieved: intensive chemotherapy, followed by surgery and most likely radiation.  Overall, this process will take about 1 year.  Hello 40!!!!!!  My next encounter with an angel on Earth was through my cousin Marissa.  Yes another female cousin comes in to save the day.  If this isn't a testimony to the power of family and to the strength of woman, I don't know what is!  My cousin Marissa was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer at age 35 and is now Cancer FREE!  It has been 2 years since her journey began.  She reached out to me and was able to comfort and educate me.  She knew first hand what to do and what not to do.  How to process what was happening the best I could.  She lives in Los Angeles and LOVED her team of doctor's and nurses.  So off my husband and I go to see an oncologist in California.  My cousin picked us up at the airport and brought us to lunch and to her home.  She, her husband and their two adorable children let us into their home, their life and their journey.  Still so raw, yet bright and hopeful.  Thank you Marissa and Brent, THANK YOU!  After this trip I had decided with 100% certainty that LA would be where I would have chemotherapy.   I had my team, moment of gratitude!  As I write this story, my first chemotherapy treatment is just four days away.  I am scared.  Scared that I am allowing poison to enter my body.  But, I choose to give my fears to God and trust he will get me through this stronger then I was before.  I am angry.  ANGRY that CANCER invited itself into my life and the lives of my beloved husband, children and all of my family and friends.  But I know anger is unhealthy so I choose to use the anger to fight, fight harder and win this battle.  My tribe has rallied around me so hard.  My best friends send me daily gratitude and we sip bubbly probiotic now instead of champagne.  My mom cancels her cruise to hold my hand during chemo.  My oldest son carries his wallet now everywhere we go and tries to pay for me.  My two youngest children are carefree and remind me what really matters.  My co-workers and friends rally around me to pick up what I can not and remind me to take care of myself and be strong.  And my husband.  Like the day I met him, is my rock.  Unwavering, strong and steadfast, he keeps the ship afloat.  To everyone who follows us on this blog and throughout this journey, THANK YOU!  We have had so many people reach out to help and we are so appreciative.  Jessica Kalb has set up a meal train as a way for our family and friends to help us through treatments, Thank you Jessica!  If you'd like to participate you can sign up through the link at:  (https://mealtrain.com/l9w844)
Thank you for walking this journey with us.  We will continue to update you every step of the way.  "The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you: he will never leave you nor forsake you.  Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8