I am a wife to my amazing husband, Mark, and a mom to my two incredible children, Michaela and Max. I am also a woman living day to day with metastatic breast cancer.
My story begins in July, 2010. We had just got the most wonderful dog, a Coton de Tulear named Wally. I noticed a pulling/stretching sensation when picking Wally up. While sitting at the kitchen table one day, I followed the strange sensation up my right arm. I found a very large lump under my right armpit.
I had a biopsy done soon after. It was determined I had a malignancy. I had further testing, and it was decided I would have a lumpectomy and right axillary dissection. The lump I had found was a lymph node. I had 42 cancerous lymph nodes removed along with a very small, but very aggressive tumor. I was diagnosed with stage III invasive ductile carcinoma. I had genetic testing done, and tested positive for the BRCA2 gene mutation. After receiving chemotherapy and radiation, I received a bilateral salpingo oopherectomy.
I had 3 great years cancer free!
The summer of 2013, I noticed a lump on my head. I also started having nausea, especially in the morning. I didn’t pay much attention to it because I was busy getting my daughter ready for her freshmen year at The George Washington University, and my son ready for his freshman year in high school. After the kids were back in school, I went to my primary doctor to get these problems looked at. An X-ray was performed, and I had blood work done. I received a call later that afternoon to make an appointment with my oncologist.
A PET scan showed metastases in the bones and liver. I was told I had stage IV breast cancer, there was no cure, but the cancer was treatable. On top of that, I have thyroid cancer too!
I started chemotherapy right away and continued for the next six months, and I also took Zometa for treatment of my bones. After chemotherapy ended, I began Faslodex for my hormone therapy, while continuing with Zometa.
Now here I am.
My life is not determined by metastatic breast cancer…