Sara’s Story

Site created on June 27, 2018

Welcome to Sara's Caring Bridge site. On Monday, June 25th, one day before her youngest son’s 1st birthday, our beloved Sara was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, specifically, Invasive Lobular Carcinoma Stage IIIC. Her cancer began in the milk glands of her breast and has now progressed into her axillary and supraclavicular lymph nodes. Some GOOD NEWS is that Sara had a negative CT and bone scan, so no additional tumors have been noted throughout her body, and she is ready to start fighting!!! 

Sara’s chemotherapy treatment will begin on July 11, 2018. The treatment will be every three weeks for 18 weeks (thank God she has A LOT of hats and Cath's 70's scarves). The cancer is Estrogen, Progesterone and Her2 positive, which means her body should respond well to chemotherapy. Following the chemo treatments, she will then have a mastectomy with a six-week recovery, followed by a lengthy course of radiology.  The physicians intend to treat this particular cancer aggressively and have explained that some form of treatment will continue for at least 10 years.

The Florian’s recently transitioned back to Cleveland from San Diego. Unfortunately, Sara is within her first 90 days of a new position with the Cleveland Clinic, which puts her position at work at risk.  Greg has been an incredible partner and support to Sara, but he too has just started a new job, on the east side of Cleveland, which limits his time and flexibility at home. Greg’s new work family has been extremely supportive in this struggle already, however the financial unknown associated with a single income and long-term treatment of stage III cancer is very burdensome. Sara and Greg understand how important it is, now more than ever, to focus all of their energy on love, strength and recovery, but they both feel the weight of the financial component that accompanies chronic illness. 

Sara, Greg, Gabe (2) and Sam (1), along with family and friends, intend to treat her cancer with not only pharmacological protocol, but to attack it from all angles! This includes a holistic diet, exercise, meditation, mindfulness and LOVE! Sara is overwhelmed with the support she and family have already received from folks near and far.  She continues to gather strength from all of you and understands that this is just another chapter in her book of life!

Sara will continue to update everyone through journal entries on this site, and if you'd like to support them further with childcare, meals, money etc click on the "Ways to Help" link above . XO

24633 Meadow Ln
Westlake, OH 44145

Newest Update

Journal entry by Sara Florian

Hi friends and family,

Just wanted to say hi and happy new year. Thanks for the continued support as we close the doors to 2018 and start a new chapter of strength and healing. My arms and chest are recovering well. I have full range of motion now thanks to much needed rest this fall and physical therapy.

My boss graciously accepted me back this month part time, and my fellow nurses have been exceptionally awesome with my transition back to the bedside. They called me “family” on my first shift back, which made me cry like a baby because they hardly know me! It’s just a testament to the healthcare providers at Cleveland Clinic and the beautiful L&D staff that I am lucky to surround myself with. It’s actually been quite nice to put my energy back into laboring moms and newborns, opposed to cancer. How wonderful to be around the sweetness of babies, new parents and the miracle of life.

My daily radiation is getting old but I’ll take it over chemo any day! I’m tired and tan on one side of my body, but overall it’s a cakewalk compared to what I’ve been through. Radiation itself is pretty strange. They plug my nose, I wrap my lips around a breathing apparatus that monitors my respirations, and then I wear glasses to watch my breath work. I deep breathe in and hold for 30 seconds while they radiate my left chest wall. There’s a target that they want me to hit with my inspiration, which pulls my heart away from my chest, so that the radiation hits my tumor spots and not my heart. Kind of scary to know that if I breathe incorrectly the organ that keeps my blood ticking could be zapped, but I am doing my best to leave fear at the door. When I hear the radiation machine start to buzz, I close my eyes and envision Superman’s lasers eradicating any left-over cancer in my body (and yes we’re still on a superhero kick at my house so Superman is just part of my daily life now too).

I’ve been reading THE CHINA STUDY, a book given to us by a dear friend of Greg’s (that promotes a whole food plant based diet, amongst many other things) and I recently watched a documentary called HEAL which my dear friend turned me on to (that discusses the importance of a healthy mind for healing the body, amongst many other things). I would highly recommend both the book and the documentary to absolutely every human on this planet. We may not all have cancer, but we all have something!

Since June, my life, as much as I tried to stay positive, revolved around being sick. And as much as I wore my Wonder Woman shirt and tried to do the right things, I was filled with fear, especially when it came to my radiation treatment. I found myself crying a lot, praying a lot, and kissing my boys as if maybe I wouldn’t get that chance tomorrow. Why on earth, if my cancer was not found in my breast biopsy, did they need to blast my body with more toxic shit. Is that not overkill, will I get cancer down the road from my radiation treatment now? There are certain things that we are powerless over, but if I wake up every day feeling destined to get sick again, I will get sick again. From this day forward I want to wake up and choose health, it hurts too much to choose sickness. I want to be grateful for every minute of every day, I want to be grateful for my cancer.  
My new mantra is I can survive, I will survive, I am a survivor.


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