Tara’s Story

Site created on October 27, 2019

I was diagnosed with stage 3 Breast Cancer on September 5th, 2019. From that moment on everything changed.

It all started when I went in for my annual Mammogram appointment in mid-August and when they asked me to return for more scans, I was weary but confident it would turn out to be nothing. I'd had some minor cysts before, and I was sure it was just more of that. I was wrong. Several more scans and biopsies later I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer with Lymph Node involvement on my left side.

After that I underwent every other type of test I could to make sure it had not spread elsewhere. I had a brain MRI, additional Breast MRI with Biopsy, Pelvic Scan and Heart ultrasound and thank goodness it appears the cancer has not spread anywhere else.

My treatment plan at Overlake Hospital involves receiving Chemotherapy for 5-6 months, followed by surgery, reconstruction and hopefully a cancer free full recovery by this time next year.

On October 1st I had surgery to insert a port inside my chest to receive the Chemo treatments and on October 4th I had my first Chemo session. Since then it's been a struggle physically and emotionally dealing with all the nuances of Cancer. I can't play soccer during this time which is heartbreaking for me. I'm losing all my hair, trying to manage the side effects of Chemo, working my two jobs and keeping up with trying to maintain a regular life. It's exhausting.

I feel so fortunate with the huge support system that I have in place and also all the people supporting Mario and Sophia during this time as they endure this process with me one day at a time. It hasn't been easy on any of us and from what I understand it's going to get worse before I get better. The outpouring of love, prayers and support has been really overwhelming to say the least and I feel so very grateful to have all of you in my life.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support during this time.

(Insert big hug here),


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Newest Update

Journal entry by Tara Lystad

This week I had my 11th Chemo session. The 7th session of the Taxol.

The Taxol is now visibly taking it's toll on my body. It's difficult to witness my body deteriorate in some places in order to fight the Cancer. My body constantly aches and is exhausted however this is exactly how they said it would all play out. 

I no longer have eyebrows or eyelashes and most of my body hair has fallen out. My nose constantly runs because I have no nose hair left!!

My fingernails are also suffering, some lifting from the nailbeds and most likely I will lose a few. It's all hard to watch and I cannot do anything to change it no matter how hard I try to do everything possible to avoid these consequences of fighting the good fight! 

I'm counting the days until my last infusion and time cannot pass quickly enough. After that I still have a long road ahead with surgery, radiation, reconstruction and healing and I am ready to get to that point and hopefully return to some sort of "normal" in my life. 

Thanks to everyone who has continued to support me, check in on me, pray for me, laugh with me and cry with me. I couldn't have gotten this far without each and everyone of you and your encouragement and kind words keep me going. I WILL beat this.

I hope all of YOU are off to a wonderful new year, I wish all of YOU the best! 

With Love,

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