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

Dear Friends and Family....
It's been 3 weeks since my final radiation appointment and I'm feeling really good! I can't tell you how nice it is to not be going to appointments daily! Plus, overall I'm feeling a sense of major accomplishment after the last 10 months.  I'm not going to lie, it was rough! 
I had an appointment last week for my Physical Therapy to check out my arm and it's healing very well and almost back to normal after the difficulties it was having after surgery. WooHoo! That also feels really good because it was painful there for a couple of months. 
My next appointment is in two weeks to follow up with radiation and get the go ahead to transfer back to the oncology department and then we'll discuss the medication that I'll have to take for the next 5-10 years. While I'm not looking forward to taking any medication I want to get started to get past that hurdle too!  I can do it! Just hoping there aren't any major side effects to deal with. 
Thanks again to everyone who has supported me and continues to do so, I can never repay you for everything you've done and continue to do. This whole process has been so overwhelming and the reason I've kept a positive attitude is all from all of you!  
I hope all of you are staying safe. Yesterday Dad came over for Fathers Day and he is also going through Chemo so unfortunately we have that in common.  He's doing pretty good and at this point I have more hair than him but we are both staying positive that we can share more Father's  day celebrations together!
Wishing you all an amazing summer! Ill keep you posted on my progress! Thanks again for all of your well wishes, donations, meals and moral support, they all keep me going! 
Take good care and spread the love. I've been feeling the love, keep it coming, thank you!
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