My Story

Welcome to my journal. I originally started this blog when I got the diagnosis of Stage 3 Aggressive Breast Cancer. This became a place where I could update my family and friends all at once on the latest surgeries, procedures, treatments, etc... It's a place I feel safe to come air out all of the things that are circulating through my mind, and a place to share where God is leading me and what He is teaching me along the way. For time's sake though, here is a synopsis of my story. If you would like to go back through the archives and really see the depth of my cancer story, please do so! It begins in January 2009.

January 12, 2009 - felt a lump in my left breast
January 20, 2009 - had mammogram
January 21, 2009 - had biopsy
January 23, 2009 - DIAGNOSED with stage 3 aggressive breast cancer
January 30, 2009 - Partial Mastectomy  - found to have lymphvascular invasion
February 23, 2009 - Total Left Mastectomy (with a new surgeon) with Lymph Node Dissection. 18 nodes were removed and 4 were positive for cancer putting me at a stage 3. Estrogen receptor was positive, progesterone receptor negative, her2neu positive.
March 7th, 2009 - met with my oncologist at Vanderbilt University
March 27, 2009 - began heavy dose chemo (Adriamycin and Cytoxen) had treatment every 2 weeks for 8 weeks (4 rounds)
May 2009 - began weekly Taxol chemo for 12 weeks (12 rounds total) and also started an experimental drug called Tykerb for the her2nue part of my cancer. Took for a full year every day. I was given this instead of Herceptin as part of my clinical trial.
June 2009 - hospitalized for a week with neutropenia
August 2009 - hospitalized for 3 days with stomach issues from the chemo
August 17, 2009 - LAST CHEMO!!!!
September 2009 - started radiation and had 35 rounds of it and started the Tamoxifen which is an "oral chemo".
May 2010 - finished experimental chemo (Tykerb)
July 2010 - right prophylactic mastectomy and tissue expanders placed to get ready for reconstruction
October 2010 - Latissimus Dorsi Flap for reconstruction because my skin wasn't stretching properly with just the expanders
December 2010 - hospitalized 8 days for sepsis and had to have expanders removed because of the infection in my body. No one knows where the infection came from...only that my body was fighting something very very hard and wearing down.
September 2011 - phone call from oncologist saying that the clinical trial I was part of had failed and I would need to do another year of chemo
September 2012 - finished that year of chemo and it was a HARD YEAR!

My story doesn't end there though. I have gained new perspective throughout the last 4 years and my life will never be the same again. Eventually, I will go back for reconstruction again. I will continue to have visits with my oncologist for years to come, but it won't be the focus of my story anymore. The winter has ended and spring has arrived. I hope you will join me in my growing season.