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Journal

April
24
2020

The Last Update

It feels appropriate that I am posting this on April 24th, exactly 1 year after I started this site...


The greatest news is, after a hard year, I am officially DONE! No more treatments or surgeries! There have been no more traces of the cancer found in my lymph nodes or breast tissue. At this moment, I am considered a cancer survivor! ❤️



Our family is doing really well. Jordan has been an amazing support during the last year and I truly don’t know what I would do without him. Ashe (Anastasia) has finally decide to sleep at night, which makes for happy parents.😀 Carpenter enjoys being outside (so thankful for the beautiful Virginia weather) and will turn 2 in just a few weeks! 




Bilateral Mastectomies ✔️

When we first created a plan with our oncologist a year ago, we had decided on doing a mastectomy to avoid having radiation, assuming that there was not evidence of spreading (or I would need radiation regardless).


The risk of recurrence is high for this type of cancer, but studies have shown that having mastectomies lowers the risk. Since I was going to have the surgery anyway to avoid radiation, I opted to do a bilateral mastectomies instead of just having one side done. 

It turns out there are many more choices to make after making the big decision to have mastectomies! After a lot of consulting with my breast specialist and plastic surgeon, we decided on a plan. I had skin and nipple sparing mastectomies with immediate reconstruction with implants.



This is a 3-step process involving 2 surgeries over the course of a month. I had my first surgery on March 10, where my breast specialist separated my skin from my breast tissue (to assure that my skin was still getting enough blood and did not die) and removed 4 lymph nodes on my left side to biopsy. The surgery was a little over an hour, and went smoothly!



I got the call later that week that my pathology was clear - no cancer present in my lymph nodes! If the cancer is going to spread, the most likely area it would appear first is in the lymph nodes. This was wonderful news!



The second surgery was on April 2nd. It was 335 minutes long 😯 The first 180 minutes was my breast specialist doing the mastectomies and the last 155 minutes was the plastic surgeon doing reconstruction. I was fortunate to be able to go straight to implants and skip expanders, which means I will not need any more surgeries (at least for a decade)!



I stayed overnight at the hospital after the second surgery, Unfortunately due to COVID-19, Jordan was unable to be at the hospital for any part of it. He wasn’t even allowed to get out of the car when he picked me up. It was very strange to be all alone in the hospital, but the doctors and nurses communicated well with Jordan the entire time. The nurse even called him straight away when I woke up from the surgery so I could talk to him, even though I barely remember any of that conversation!



Recovery has been pretty quick and is going smoothly. I am probably overdoing it a little bit but am trying my best to let myself heal completely before getting to our new normal.



There was no trace of cancer found. I spoke to my oncologist this past Tuesday who confirmed that we are done. No more treatments or surgeries. Follow up in 6 months.




Some Final Thoughts 


I really am humbled by the love and support we have received over the last year from family, friends, coworkers, and complete strangers. I know I would not have made it through this without the kindness and prayers from all of you ❤️ Thank you. I am thanking God on a daily basis for the amazing people he put in my life to help us and pray for us.



I also thank God for my amazing team of doctors - my primary care physician, my oncologist, my breast specialist/surgeon, my plastic surgeon, and every single nurse at the Bon Secours St. Francis cancer center. They have all been (quite literally) life saving through this whole ordeal. I know that God provided these doctors and nurses to be my miraculous healers on Earth.



I am considering this case closed 🥳 and won’t be posting again, but the site will stay up for a little while!

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Comments

  • Nancy Arena : So glad for you that you are now Cancer free! God bless and enjoy those kids and Jordan. ❤ Nancy Arena
    4/30/20
  • David Durr : So happy for you guys. What a journey!
    4/28/20
  • Jeff Clifford : Jessica, That is absolutely awesome news. I am so happy for you and your family. With everything going on in the world right now, you get to be a shinning spot for so many.
    4/27/20
  • Kathy Ferguson : Such great news! Miss seeing you at St. Mary’s. Hopefully we can get back to Mass soon. God bless you with continued health.
    4/25/20
  • Rita Mashechko : Thanks Jessie for this wonderful news, prayers do get answered. God Bless all of you with continued good health, happiness and a long long life. Love, Aunt Rita
    4/25/20
  • Roberto Skertchly : What a beautiful testimony of the Love, Care, and Faithfulness of God! And what an awesome and uplifting testimony of Trust, Surrender, and Courage of you and Jordan and your family! Thank you for sharing it with us. Thanks be to God all merciful and loving for He is good for ever!
    4/25/20
  • Tina Robbins : Your story is beautiful and your pictures are precious! Congratulations and may you be blessed with good health for the rest of your life. 😊
    4/25/20
  • Yvette Jackson : I love every piece of this update. You are such an amazing person to me.
    4/25/20
  • Jennelle Spurlock : Praise God Praise God! I truly admire your strength and resilience. I am so happy for you and your family. You guys will always be in my prayers.
    4/25/20