In September of 2013, I received the “Happy 40th Birthday, you have breast cancer” diagnosis after my very first mammogram. My cancer was Stage 2B (it was big and in my lymphnodes) and triple positive (the tumor had receptors that fed on all things hormonal). I went through the most difficult period of my life: chemotherapy for 15 weeks, a radical modified mastectomy, 6 weeks of radiation followed by reconstruction.
I was kicking ass and taking names. At that point I was told I had No Evidence of Cancer (NEC) and that I could go back to my normal life. Ten months after being diagnosed, I was out of the house, back to work, practicing yoga and meditation and seeing a therapist. But let me tell you – in my experience, there was no going back to normal. There was only the new after-cancer normal.
I was getting the hang of my “new normal” life for about 6 months when last May I was diagnosed with a breast cancer recurrence. The docs were amazed that the tumor was even found. It was an “incidental finding” that showed up unexpectedly on a PET scan. You can hear more about that in Episode 11 of our podcast here. It turns out that there was a new – really great – chemo drug made available just last year.
That’s when I thought to myself, “put another dime in the jukebox, baby because I’m going thru chemo once again and I’m going to rock this party!”
That new chemo drug? It’s called Perjeta. And it kicked my tumor’s asses out of the park! They’re gone, but I still have a lot to do. I will be on Herceptin (an I.V. drug) for at least another year and it will take a long time to recover and heal from all of this.
I am a person who has directly benefited both times from early detection and breast cancer research. This whole experience has led me on a path to create a place for breast cancer support and awareness.
I don’t want to do this alone. Let’s become badass cancer survivors together. We can be the ultimate breast cancer fighter, researcher, rockstar, awareness activist, rebel-with-a-cause mom. Envision the love child of Joan Jett, Angelina Jolie and Jenny McCarthy – that’s what we’re going for.
I want find balance and stay healthy. Let’s heal, live with vitality, and be present for ourselves and our loved ones. I want to help survivors embrace their “new normal” and live a sustainable life with an “I Love Myself” attitude.
I want to encourage women to get checked.
We can rock our new world and show ourselves some good lovin’ –
both inside and Outside The Boob.
Read my Blog, go to my website and sign up for my newsletter. That way we can do this together with humor, support, information and inspiration.
How are you handling your diagnosis? I want to connect with you.