Sunday, February 24, 2013

One Year And Counting

It is really hard to believe this, but exactly one year ago today I found out about the cancer (I guess I wasn't officially diagnosed until 2/28, but I didn't need the biopsy to know what it was). The past week has been quite emotional and I have had a few breakdowns, but today I have actually done well. I really am OK with everything, but all of the emotions and memories from one year ago are still so vivid that it really feels like yesterday.

As I reflect back on the past year a few things come to mind. One is how kind and generous you have all been. Everyone's kind thoughts and warm wishes really blew me away throughout the year. The other is strength. I believe we are all stronger than we think is possible, and this year I discovered my own inner strength. I often find myself saying "if I can make it through chemo, I can make it through anything". Once I am done with treatment in April I actually plan to get the word strength (with a pink ribbon) on the inside of my left foot.

I would like to switch gears now and let you all know that I plan to do the Susan G Komen 3 Day Walk in the Twin Cities this August. For those of you who aren't familiar with the event, my teammates and I will be walking 60 miles in three days in order to raise money to find an end to breast cancer. In order to participate in the event we each have to raise $2300, and we are asking for your help. Any donation is incredibly appreciated! You can click on the link below to see my site and make a donation. All I ask is that if you see that I have met my goal of $2300 then please donate to one of my team members (Julie Hatfield and Maureen Papciak). I have already started some of my training and I have a feeling my strength will really be tested in August!

(If you are friends with me on Facebook, we will be hosting a fundraising event this coming Tuesday so feel free to donate then if you are able).

Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

6 Month Checkup

I am so sorry that it has been so long since my last post. The holiday season is stressful enough so I decided not to add anymore to my life by worrying about the blog!

Last week I had my 6 month follow-up with my oncologist. It's really hard to believe that it's been 6 months since I finished chemo. Fortunately it was a very good appointment!

With the exception of my platelets my blood counts are all still normal. The platelets seem to bounce between normal and low, but she said that is not uncommon after chemo. She also checked my liver function tests and a tumor marker and they were both normal as well. My last Herceptin treatment will be scheduled for April 1, which means only 3 left! I have my port removal scheduled for Tuesday April 30. I have one more echocardiogram of my heart at the end of this month, but since the last one looked good I am not worried about that anymore.

We have been waiting to do one last genetic test and it sounds like my insurance company has started covering the cost now! I have to wait and hear from the genetic counselor to confirm but hopefully I can have that drawn sometime soon.

I was a little nervous because recently I felt a small lump in my left "breast". Deep down I knew it was something with the implant, but it felt good to know that my oncologist agrees. We talked a lot about recurrence at the appointment. My highest risk is in the first 5 years, and more specifically in the first 3. Unfortunately if a recurrence happens it is more likely to be metastasis instead of local (which means the cancer is more likely to be found elsewhere in the body, upping me from stage 1 to stage 4). I was not expecting that and it does have me bummed out a bit, but more than anything it reaffirms my decisions to eat and live a very healthy and clean lifestyle.

Here is a recent picture of my hair. It is growing very slowly, but it's definitely growing! I have been much happier with it lately and while I want to grow it out more yet, I do plan to keep it short for at least the next few years. It was getting very wavy in the back, which is no surprise since it was like that before. It is a little darker than my natural color, but I am happy with that! I actually had my first haircut last week, just in the back to clean up some of the waves.

I have several posts in the works talking about my eating habits and lifestyle, so look for those soon. Until then I hope you all have a fabulous night!
Help me reach my goal for the Susan G. Komen Twin Cities 3-Day