Friday, July 3, 2009

Really Neat Thing Happened...

I was approached by my friend Lynne a few weeks ago about running in Clarksville's first 1/2 marathon. I used to be a runner and really enjoyed it, but for obvious reasons I have given that up. However, I felt like this was a great opportunity for me to get back into it with a goal to be ready by November. Plus, what a great way to celebrate becoming a SURVIVOR! Lynne is a breast cancer survivor herself who finished her treatments in March and is doing really well. So, I decided to join the team and we are calling ourselves "The Trotting Ta-Ta's." Cute, huh? I am going to give this my best shot and if that means walking part of it, then so be it, but I will make it to the finish line in November!
Here is my story that was published in our local newspaper here in TN. I thought it was a total honor to be approached to write this and am praying that many women will see this and begin or even continue to take their health seriously. Hope you enjoy!!

Hi, my name is Kelly Blevins. I am a 31 year old wife, mommy, former Pediatric ICU nurse, and current breast cancer patient. Yes, that’s right…I have breast cancer. My story started in January 2008. On the 12th, I woke up feeling God urging me to do a self-breast exam. I had never done one before but I had had lots of them over the previous 3 years due to my pregnancies. As a matter of fact, I had just had one 3 months prior that was normal. However, I just felt that I should do my own that day. Luckily, I listened to that urging and found the lump immediately. Within 2 weeks I had a mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, my first surgery, and a diagnosis of cancer. My world was rocked! Nothing was the same as it was before that breast exam, and nothing would ever be the same again. After getting results back of the first surgery, it was determined that I needed a mastectomy with lymph node removal as the cancer was more advanced than they thought (originally, they thought I was a Stage 0) The results of the mastectomy showed that it had already spread to 4 of my lymph nodes and I was immediately moved up to a borderline Stage 2/3. There is no way to describe what I felt when I woke up from that surgery to that news. I was shocked, angry, and petrified that I was going to die and leave my husband with a 2 year old and 10 month old to raise alone. It was one of the hardest days of my life to date.

Since that day, things have moved so fast and furiously. I was set up with a fantastic oncologist at Vanderbilt and am receiving chemo there. I have 16 rounds of chemo and I just finished up round #10. God has blessed me so much during these treatments. With the exception of 2, I have done wonderfully. No real side effects other than fatigue. The plan, if I don’t have to miss any treatments due to low blood counts again, is to have my last chemo on August 13th and then I will have 35 radiation treatments after that. I’ll also stay on an oral chemo until next May. Then…it’s time to celebrate becoming a SURVIVOR and I have decided that part of celebrating my new lease on life will be by running (or walking) my first ½ marathon in November. I am part of a team called “The Trotting Ta-Ta’s.” We will be running this race here in Clarksville in their first race event of this length. So excited to be a part of that! And so excited to begin incorporating regular exercise into my life. My oncologist told me just yesterday that women NEED to exercise a minimum of 3 hours per week to prevent breast cancer or breast cancer recurrence. Watch out road, these feet are about to hit the pavement and then you will never be rid of me!

So, why am I sharing my story? Two reasons…because everyone needs to realize that breast cancer does not know an age, race, or family history (I didn’t have one). It doesn’t care what you have going on in your life, what your job is, or just how busy you may think you are. It doesn’t play favorites…IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE! Self breast exams are essential to life! And the other reason I wanted to share my story is to just have one more way to glorify God through this. He has been so faithful to me and my family and has given me comfort, peace, and a time to grow deeper with him through this storm of life. This is just a little bend in my road and soon enough my road will straighten back out and I will be a better person because of all of this.

I have a blog that I started at diagnosis if you want to follow my much more detailed story from the beginning. It's

1 comment:

  1. thanks for sharing...i never read the paper. :) that is so interesting to know about the 3 hours exercise...i had no idea! makes me glad i have been doing better at that the last few years of my own life!