Okay, last week was the introduction and a rah-rah talk. Now Iâ€™ll talk a little bit about my cancer history. Imagine my surprise when the biopsy came back positive for breast cancer. Me? Cancer? Naw! I was only 35 years old. I led a fairly health lifestyle (if you discounted the occasional junk food I indulged in), worked out regularly and there was no family history.
It wasnâ€™t even a lump that I found, but a dimple. Donâ€™t know about you, but Iâ€™ve never had a doctor tell me to look for a dimple on your breast. Theyâ€™ve always touted â€œdo your self-examinations and watch for a lumpâ€. But a dimple appeared just above my right breast and during a routine checkup I mentioned it to my doctor. She was all over it.
Within weeks I had the biopsy (with the previously mentioned reaction laced with four letter words), a mastectomy and scheduled for chemo … just to be on the safe side.
Fast forward to where I about to hit my seven year mark of being cancer free … the holy grail for cancer patients. My left hip was bugging me, but because Iâ€™d just started taking Tae Kwon Do, I figured I screwed it up somehow. By this time Iâ€™d been seeing my oncologist on a yearly basis and he immediately ordered a battery of tests. Sonavabitch! The cancer had metastasized to my hip. This time it was radiation that knocked it out. I was carefully monitored after that and within two years, the little suckers were back again. Now weâ€™re into heavy duty chemo. Six doses, once every three weeks. This is where I lost my hair (absolutely everywhere), endured a yucky feeling 24/7, lost 15 pounds (which was good), and this is the one and only time I tossed my cookies (not good). Peppermint is great for an upset stomach, by the way. This was followed by weekly infusions of Herceptin in an attempt to keep the cancer off … but no dice. Came back again and I went through a slightly stronger bout of chemo. Pissed me off, too, because Iâ€™d just gotten my hair back. Same deal as far as reactions go. The final session was August of 2006. By December we discovered it had returned for a fifth time.
But enough of that. Weâ€™ll talk my present experience next week. Or, as I call it, Round Five of the Great Cancer Battle.
Repeat after me … â€œYOU ARE A CANCER WINNER!!!â€