Amber’s Story

Site created on June 25, 2020

On June 1, 2020, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I have a large tumor in my left breast and the cancer has spread to the axillary lymph nodes on the left side. June 26th, I begin five months of chemotherapy. Surgery and radiation will come later, depending on the outcome of chemo. My prognosis is very good and I'm confident that this time next year, I'll be living my best life!

This unexpected journey is one that we are taking on together, as a family. We have been so touched by all of the love and support we've received, and couldn't ask for a better support system!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Amber Merrill

Hello All,

It's been a while since I've done an update, so here it goes. On January 21st, I started my 33 rounds of radiation. For the most part that has been going well. This last week, I started to feel pretty sick and they were just chalking it up to radiation as well as my endocrine therapy meds, which can nausea and headaches. They were giving IV fluids this last week to help me keep on top of how crummy I've felt. However, on Friday morning, I wake up in excruciating pain and could barely get out of bed. I was supposed to have a follow up that day after my radiation but due to weather, they cancelled radiation. By midday, things were not getting better, so after talking to my oncology team, they suggested that I reach out to my breast surgeon. I spoke with that Dr at 230p and by 330p I was walking out the door, heading to the hospital for emergency surgery. Turns out that fluid had built up around the expander in my right breast (the non radiated side). That fluid build-up had caused bacteria to grow and resulted in a large infection. My surgeon said that it was a good thing that they did the surgery when they did, cause the infection could have quickly moved to my heart.
I'm now at home recovery and feeling so grateful that my Dr reacted so quickly - especially since they had to call in a team and everyone had to drive in the terrible weather. 

Needless to say, this is not how I expected to spend the weekend, especially Valentines but it will be one we'll never forget. 

I hope you all are staying safe and warm but also able to enjoy some of the gorgeous snow.

P.S. don't pay any attention to how terrible I look - I definitely was not feeling myself 😉 

Much Love,
Amber
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