I’m a wife, mother, daughter & friend with a super busy life that rarely slows down. My husband Sean & I have been married for 16 years. We have a daughter (12) & a son (10). They are active in volleyball, basketball, football, Girl Scouts & Boy Scouts. My husband & I both work full time. Between our careers, kids practices, games & whatever else we may have going on we love a little down time. We enjoy hanging out as a family, game nights, watching movies & our time in the kitchen. Our children are the reason we live & work so hard. We always do our best to be there for each other & we always tell them that family comes first. They have shown me through this whole life changing event exactly what we’ve been teaching them, to be there no matter what. You go through ups & downs in life as a family & you can make it through anything. My family is the reason for my being, living & fighting metastatic breast cancer head on with no looking back, only looking forward.
I was getting ready for work one morning when I happened to feel my right breast & felt a lump (size of a golf ball) behind my nipple. I checked my left breast but didn’t feel anything. About a week or so before finding the lump in my breast, I had noticed my right armpit was swollen but it didn’t hurt. After finding the lump in my breast, I made an appointment to see my primary care physician. I have no family history of breast cancer, I was only 38, wasn’t in any pain & hadn’t been sick. I felt I had nothing to worry about. When I saw our primary care physician, he seemed concerned, and ordered a mammogram & ultrasound. I had these tests done on a Friday at Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital. I was scheduled for a biopsy the following Monday. I had a biopsy on the Monday of Thanksgiving week & they took 2 samples of my right breast along with 1 of my lymph nodes. I was sore but overall it went well. I received a call the day before Thanksgiving with the results that I had breast cancer.
We were experiencing a lot of overwhelming & mixed emotions! Once my husband & I were finally able to tell our family & friends we knew we weren’t in this fight alone. When my husband & I met with my oncologist (who is amazing), he had a treatment plan set up. He also ordered a PET scan & MRI. These tests would show how far the cancer had spread since it was in my lymph nodes. The results showed that my cancer had spread to my hip & spine. This news created another blow of overwhelming & mixed emotions!
At this point, we were completely overwhelmed and I knew this was a fight that I had to give my all & fight like never before. So from there, my treatment plan was changed. I knew I’d be receiving chemotherapy and now I would see a radiation oncologist for treatment of my spine. Once I met with my radiation oncologist, my treatment plan for my spine was once a day for ten radiation treatments. I was receiving chemotherapy & two antibodies every three weeks. I ended up receiving eight chemotherapy treatments & ten radiation treatments. I have to say I did pretty well through all of the treatments without becoming sick once! Once I completed chemotherapy, my oncologist recommended removal of my ovaries because my cancer was estrogen receptor positive. About 6 weeks after my final chemotherapy treatment, I had my ovaries & tubes removed. The pathology report from my surgery showed no cancer in my ovaries. Another great step in this process of beating cancer!!!
I’m still receiving my two antibody treatments every three weeks & will continue that for about two more years. I did lose my hair & was tired at times but I kept the mentality to fight through this full force and head on. I continue to feel great & will not let cancer stop me from living my life. Cancer messed with the wrong chic!! All of this was not easy but with all of the continued prayers, love & support we’ve received (and still receive) it has made this whole process a lot easier to get through. I have to say special thanks to my wonderful & amazing husband, kids, family, friends, both of our employers & my medical team, everyone has been absolutely amazing & that’s what gets me through this. I am glad there are organizations like Twisted Pink putting a priority on funding research for stage IV breast cancer!