Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Since November is the month of "thanks", I've been thinking a lot about how much I have to be thankful for. Sometimes don't feel very thankful that I got friggin' breast cancer in the first place, but then I focus on all the blessings that God's given me over the last ninemonths...

The biggest two being that I have a healthy daughter and I BEAT cancer. 

So so so many of my prayer requests have been answered. My faith has been so strengthened during this time both in seeing my prayers answered and knowing that God takes care of us no matter what happens.
Before church one Sunday
My friends and family have been there for me every step of the way. And my parents have been so incredibly helpful with taking care of Elise and me whenever we needed it.
These are just a few of the awesome people who've supported me. Pic taken before the Race for the Cure.

I had 18 amazing milk donors give milk to Elise so that I could have her on 100% donor breast milk for the first 5 months of her life. And some are still donating!
Elise loves donor milk!
So many wonderful people have unexpectedly stepped up to help us. They've donated money to our paypal account for medical bills, helped babysit Elise, sent grocery gift cards for meals, and gave us tons of useful gifts for Elise. My amazing neighbors even donated the proceeds from the annual pub crawl they do to help pay for some of crazy expenses we've incurred this year. 
Right after they gave us the check. We were so touched!

The Bible says "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18). The last nine months have truly taught me to do this.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Done with Radiation!

Yesterday was my final day of radiation! Not only was it my last day of radiation, it was my last day of all cancer treatment. Forever.

It's hard to believe I've been in treatment for 8 months. It seems both shorter and longer. It's still kind of surreal.

I had 33 rounds of radiation. 27 to my whole breast, chest, and armpit. And the final 6 were to my mastectomy scar line. I'm happy to report that burns in my armpit are already getting better thanks to Aquaphor, Miaderm, and Silver Sulfadiazine cream. I'm starting to feel major fatigue and probably will for the next several weeks. But it's nothing I can't manage.

Elise came with me to my last day of radiation (she stayed in the waiting room with my Mom). We wore pink to celebrate!


Now I will have follow up appointments with all three of my oncologists (radiation, medical, and surgical) every 3-4 months. And in 6 months I can have my permanent reconstruction surgery (the implants I have now are temporary). TNBC is most likely to reoccur/metastasize within three years, so there will be lots of vigilance in watching me for a while.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Burn Baby Burn

I've now finished 27 of my 33 radiation treatments and I am burning. My whole left chest, breast, and armpit looks like they have the worst sunburn you can imagine. The most painful area is my armpit. It's so red it's almost purple. I'd post a picture but I don't want to scare people. Seriously. I put the rx creams and lotions on it constantly but I'm still burning. On Monday I'm going to talk to my radiation oncologist about how many more treatments my poor skin can tolerate. Please pray that I don't burned too bad.

Radiation is also zapping my energy. I cannot wait until it's over and I can spend some much-needed time resting and recovering.

I keep reminding myself that I'm close to the END. When I'm finished with radiation, I'm finished with cancer treatment. For good.

I see my medical oncologist and breast surgeon next week for my 3 month follow up. It's been almost 3 months since my surgery and NED declaration. I'll see them every 3-6 months for a while. I know these appointments are routine, but they still scare me. Please pray that I will have good appointments and no recurrence scares.

In happier news, Elise is a great joy and a distraction from the pain and anxiety of all of this. She really gets cuter every day. I'm just in love with this age. She's now 5 months! 
My heart

This weekend I'm leading the "A Bump and A Lump" team in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k. I'll post pictures and more about it next week!