Same day service

I will admit, the thrill of same day service is wonderful. Door dash, flowers or even pipes gone leaky and the plumber happens to be 5 minutes away? Score. Body going haywire, and the doctors are bouncing you from machine to tech to new machine, than to another doctor all in the same day? Not so wonderful.  I guess it was the best, worst kind of efficient same day service that landed me back in cancer land.

Can anyone believe that this is happening again?!?!!! I certainly can’t. Total BS if you ask me. This isn’t how this pregnancy was suppose to go. This was our chance at total redemption to do this over again and have it done the way everyone else gets to do it. Giving the old F- you to cancer. 

So how did I get here? Well, we all know how babies are made so I don’t have to explain that part. I didn’t have any of what I would consider to be typical cancer symptoms. I mean, maybe I did, but they also coincided with pregnancy. I’ve had fatigue and breast (in the feeling side) pain.  Some people who are pregnant get carpal tunnel (Ya know, when you hand goes numb).

When I got pregnant, my armpit on the mastectomy side started to ache. Since I don’t have any feeling in my “foob” (aka fake boob) I figured the pain was deferring to my armpit. When I would sleep, my arm on that same side kept getting numb. Finally one night, 2 weeks ago it was so bad I couldn’t sleep. I’m talking my arm was all propped up on a pillow, it was so numb, and it hurt damnit. I called my OB to ask if I could get a lidocaine patch to help with the numbness. 

She booked me to see a neurologist at 8am the next morning, and that day was full of same day service. 

Wow! What service, all in a day! I just felt privileged at that point, maybe I couldn’t allow the thought of cancer to occur to me. The neurologist mentioned a reoccurrence but I was like no way. I’m pregnant. I’m fine lady. Give me a patch and send me the heck home. Oh no! Not so easy. She booked me for an MRI and and ultrasound (of my armpit) and got me an appointment for my Oncologist later the same day.  I was getting a ‘little’ nervous to say the least.  

The day progressed, people started acting really, really nice to me. I immediately thought, I know this! It’s a familiar manner– the same way I treat my patients when something is wrong, and they don’t quite know about, yet. Cue my anxiety at this point, like a Space X rocket. 

I talk with my oncologist, who is now suggesting to biopsy these masses found on the MRI in my lymph nodes (and on the ultrasound), all same day. They told me that it ‘could’ or ‘couldn’t’ be ‘scar tissue’ or ‘cancer again’. I’m balling at this point. All she says is I’m sorry. I was waiting for her to give me a “let’s see what the biopsy says” or “we don’t know anything definitive yet, let’s not get upset”. But no, She knew and I knew … it was back. Although you never lose hope till you hear those words “it’s cancer”. But we knew. And so begins the longest two weeks of my life…. 5 grueling days later was the biopsy. 5 days trying to grapple with the thoughts this was happening again. I didn’t even want to use the “C” word in these thoughts but it kept coming up as a no brainer. We still held onto hope.

Biopsy went fine and we waited again… 6 days! 6 agonizing, looooong, days where you are your worst enemy. You see breast cancer is sneaky, cancer wants to kill you. It’s not forgiving, it doesn’t care you have a family or are pregnant or have a career. She is a ruthless bitch set out to destroy – destroy everything in her path. It’s a like a cancer volcano that was exploded 4 years ago in my breast… the hot lava from the cancer flowing out, engulfing everything in its path leaving only ashes and dust behind, nothing living. And at any given time another cancer volcano can pop up and this time usually angrier than the first and even more destructive. Meaning it comes back in your organs, bones or even brain again leaving only ashes and dust behind and lots of sad people missing their loved one.

And mine came back- the cancer was back. Biopsy was positive for malignant cells. No words.

We were scared, nope that doesn’t quite describe it…. were terrified… hmm, nope, still doesn’t touch it. There are no words to explain to you all what was running through our heads and the feelings we were having. Was I going to be ashes and dust?

Next was scans… scans to see where the cancer lava had flowed to. Scans were 3 days later and we got the results the following day. And we all know the results because I had you all praying like crazy which in eternally grateful for.

So what’s next? What’s ahead? We waste no time and I start chemo this Thursday. I get to lose my hair all over again that I just grew back. I get weeks of side effects from poison running through my body putting out the lava fires praying it is contained to its area. I get to do everything all over again, WE get to do everything all over again. And I will say this… having cancer was terrible. But the friends I made, the love I felt, the support I had was remarkable. I NEVER would have experienced such sincere love if I didn’t have cancer. My relationships grew, made amazing news friends and was blessed in ways I could have never imagined. It blew my mind how such good could come from something so bad. We wouldn’t have been able to make it through with out the help and love from my family and friends. That is all you wonderful people who are reading this. So thank you. Thank you for then and thank you for now and thanks you for what’s ahead.

The results….

The results….

First off, I just want to say how loved and supported everyone has made me feel. All of the texts, responses and prayers were so overwhelming. You all really blew me away. I couldn’t possibly respond to everyone but I am very aware of all the shares and prayer requests made on my behalf . They carried me through one tough day. But, as tough as it was, I consider it a win. We heard good news!!! The prayers worked! We found out that my scans were clean and that the cancer has not spread and is contained! Can I get an AMEN?!! WHOOT WHOOT!! OH YEAH!!! Never been so happy to celebrate stage 3 cancer… feels so wrong but so right at the same time. 

I don’t know if you all believe in the power of prayer but after todays, well now yesterdays impressive surge on my behalf and then getting the good news…. we must of done something right! And just to confirm we did do it right we got a little sign … as I am typing now the bible verse of the day just popped up on my phone. Guess what it says??? I kid you not. It reads: When you pray go away and shut the door, pray to your Father in private. Then the father who sees everything will reward you.” I have goose bumps! What are the chances that’s the verse that pops up? I was rewarded alright… rewarded with my life! Although the cancer was upgraded from a previous stage 2 to a stage 3… I will take a stage 3 over a stage 4! I am virtually high fiving every one of you right now. Nice work people. 

It doesn’t stop here though…. we have another battle ahead of us and a long road to travel. I know you all are saying I beat this once, I will do it again… well, its back. So either 1. I clearly didn’t do a good job fighting last time or 2. I didn’t really beat it or 3. Cancer is sneaky little bi-atch so this fight is going to be even harder. Stronger meds, intense chemo-therapy, more surgery and lots of other “fun” stuff. Yes, I have been down this road before and know it all too well. And just because I have been down it before does not make it any easier the second time around. Knowing what’s ahead may even be a little scarier than going into this blind. It’s kind of like having a bone re-set that was once already broken. Not fun. We have a plan and I will fill you all in later . But I wanted to share the good news with you all before I went to sleep and sincerely thank everyone from the bottom of my heart. The world is still a good place because of people like you. May God bless you all. We are the storm!!!!

Prayers needed please!

On March 28, exactly 4 years ago today I was told the dreadful words “I’m sorry, it’s cancer”. F¥%#!!!! I remember everything about that day so clearly. The weather, where I was, what I had on and what I was doing. I was 16 weeks pregnant with Cora and terrified about my fragile pregnancy. I hung up the phone and as tears filled my eyes I knew my life would never be the same. I had no idea the challenges that we were about to face, head on. Fast forward 4 years to now and I am sorry to say after sharing such wonderful news that I am pregnant a few days ago, just like last time I am following up with some not so good news and that we about to face some of the same challenges. Today, Nate and I are headed back to my home away from home, Dana Farber to make a plan to cure my cancer just as we did 4 years ago. And again, just like before, I am 18 weeks pregnant this time around too!

Jaw drop, no words, silence………. Right?!?!! I need to insert a GIF or a meme here. I should have you all comment with one below…. ha! Now, pick your self up off the ground, shake off the shock and continue reading…. next comes… OMG, holy shit, fuck no, No way, I’m soooo sorry…. just a few of the reactions I have received so far from the few people who know what’s happening. Most don’t know what to say and ya know what … I don’t know what to say either. We are stunned, bug eyed, dismayed, floored as well. It doesn’t seem real At. All. or like this actually could be happening AGAIN. I have to tell myself multiple times this is real, this is happening now. And I am telling you guys, it is real people, so buckle up… we going for another ride on the cancer merry go round. Who wins this at this kind of crappy cancer lottery? HA, I guess me! I don’t even know how we got here again. I went in to see my OB for a simple complaint and came home that night thinking “Crap, they think I have have cancer again. No way! I’m fine. I feel great. I’m pregnant. No way this could happen again.” Less than a week later, after a few tests, a biopsy, my worst fear has come true. I have cancer again. What the heck?!?!!! So what do we do next??

We make it simple… we go by the standard rule to take it one day at a time. So, for today we are asking for prayer. Lots of prayer… today we find out if the cancer has spread or if it is contained in my lymph nodes. One is curable and one is not. Today we make a plan to kick cancer ass once again. If your not a person who prays, I ask that just today you say one. Please, pray for me, pray for my husband who is just as important in all of this, he is what I call a silent survivor and can be easily overlooked but a much needed and valued key player. We all love Natey! And please, most of all please pray for my sweet, sweet babies. Pray that this sour thing called cancer goes away. Pray that their Mom gets to live a long life and raise them to be wonderful God loving humans and I get to watch them grow and do good in this world. That I get love them, kiss their boo-boos and guide them through their teenage years (Lord help me), watch them grow into their own families and have grand babies of my own. AMEN!

I never would have made it through my last fight with cancer with out the support of prayer. I literally had thousands of people praying for me all over the world and I felt it. And it helped. We went through sooo much in the past 4 years that would break people down, tear families apart and put people away in looney bins. I truly believe because of prayer and the power it has we made it through and by the grace of God came out stronger. And we will make it through again. So today is game day… let’s start now, together.

Cora’s surgery part 2 

On our way home- we almost won a night stay for a fever and some minor respiratory issues … after some sleep and a huge IV she perked right up and they let us go home. Cora did amazing and she is chomping down on some snacks. Thank you for all your prayers, well wishes and positive energy that was sent our way. We appreciate it more then you know. They didn’t get to remove 100% of the Nevis but we will deal with that later. Home bound for some serious deep couch sitting and watching Barney and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse over and over and over again. 

Rest up

Surgery went well and I am home resting. Pain seems ok for now. Thanks everybody for your prayers- gosh do I feel incredibly loved. I am back on not lifting anything heavy for two weeks- that means no lifting Cora. If you need a baby fix, come on over, we would love to see you!

Scanxiety

  

Scanxiety … It’s a real thing and I’m probably not the first cancer patient to blog about it or the first cancer patient to experience it. But here I am at Dana Farber in the woman’s only waiting room for my 2 o’clock mammogram with a lump in my throat, tightness in my chest and some very sweaty palms. I’m looking around at all the other ladies trying to figure out what there story is.  Anything to take the focus off me.  Looking for something else I could possibly do, I thought “hey, I will write a blog post”. 

The road has been long and the dust is starting to settle. I had a job interview this week for some part time work. I keep thinking normalcy is right around the corner. OR…  in just a few hours things can completely change again.  I know the likely hood of that is small but there is still a possibility. You see, as survivors, when we hit remission we’re not out of the park. The next five years we are on standby. A waiting process to see if the cancer will return. Most of the time we can attempt to move on and live. But when it is time to report for our next check-up scan all of the memories come rushing back. The fear. The unncertainity. The anxiety.

So, I sit here ignoring the pit in my stomach trying to hold it together. I will say a prayer and think of all the people who love me and have been supporting me. I will think of my sweet baby Cora who ALWAYS brings a smile to my face. I will take a deep breath and know that what ever is to happen is completely out of my control. I’m sure it will be fine, I am sure I will be fine. 

My Promise to Marisa

Once again breast cancer has shown how merciless and cruel of a disease it is. I will always remember Marisa Federico, that infectious smile of hers and her kind heart. Although we haven’t hung out since high school – we did reconnect – actually, now I am thinking about it it was probably, exactly a year ago and I will never forgot how gentle and encouraging her voice and her words were. We chatted a few times when I was first diagnosed with the same disease. She took time out of her day, her treatment, to make sure I was ok. She gave me hope and peace of mind when she I’m sure, already had enough “cancer” on her plate. A true hero. I drew my strength from her and continued on with my fight. Thank you Marisa- you touched me more than you will ever know. You gave me hope when I had none. 

Life is unfair and it breaks my heart over and over again of why she had to go to soon. I just want to hug all of her friends and family and tell them how truly sorry I am. I just want to scream out in anger, bitterness yelling why, why, why, f*%! You cancer!!!! But, that does nothing except fuel the nasty beast that cancer wants to turn us into. 

What I can do is promise, promise everyone I will continue to fight, fight for me and fight for Marisa. I will do everything in my power to continue to use our stories to help raise more awareness for early detection and raise money to help find a cure. I will continue to give hope to other women with breast cancer just as Marisa did for me. 

Shine down on us Marisa and know that you will never be forgotten. You continue to be present in so many of our lives you have given so much more that will never be forgotten and I will help make your legacy last. This is my promise to you Marisa.