Alisa's Silver Linings

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May 2008, my husband walked by me giving me a feel on the left side. He stopped and said “what is that”? I checked and told him it was probably a clogged milk duct. I was still nursing my 10 month old son and just figured that was normal from what I have read. For the next month and a half, I continued on with nursing and working full time. One day at work, I noticed my hand reach over to feel the lump on the outside of my left breast. I immediately left work and went to my Dr. “I’m worried” she said and sent me for a mammogram. The next two weeks of tests and waiting was a blur. On July 3rd, at the end of the day, I received THE phone call. “Positive” and blah, blah, blah. Six looooong days of waiting to see a surgeon. She was wonderful at her delivery( thank you Dr. Gold) while explaining in depth what was going on in my body. She said, “good news, it has not spread. No chemo, no radiation = no sickness. Bad news, you will loose your breast”. I considered that a WIN! Scheduled the surgery and got tested for the gene mutation. The Dr. highly doubted it would come back positive, however the night before my surgery (week of my husbands and sons first birthday), she called with “Positive”.

If I wanted a double mastectomy, I would have to reschedule. “No way”, I said. The surgery with reconstruction went well. I was happy, I was done with this crap. Not so much. Three days later another “positive” call for the sentinal node.

More surgery, chemo, radiation =SICK! One week later, back for node removal. That was a painful surgery! Phone call “No other nodes involved”. At 35 years old I was a wife, mother to a one year old, great job, but now a stage 2 cancer patient. So came the depression, sadness, constant weeping. Had to meet with the oncologist. Never even knew what one did, much less become my “main man”. Before I could start chemo, I had to recover from a mrsa infection from the reconstruction. Time was running out and my only option was to remove the implant and start chemo.

Two days after that surgery, my grandmother died. I attended her funeral with drain bulbs stuffed into my bra!

My medicinal recipe started with A/C, then taxol and herceptin, followed by radiation and a trial drug(tykerb). The two months of A/C left me lifeless. I couldn’t enjoy my son’s first halloween and first steps. SICK! Taxol went easier, did notice anything with herceptin. 28 rounds of radiation sucked all of the energy out of me.

Oh-I forgot to mention that I was fired upon trying to return to work, longing for a sence of a “normal life”. Yep-they fired the chick on chemo!

After one year, I was put on femara. Oops-forgot to mention I also had the ovaries removed. I have been on femara for a year and a half and absolutely hate it! Everything hurts and I feel like I am 88. But I emotionaly can not go off of it. Reduce Risk, Right?

When I stumbled on your website, I felt like “finally, this is how I feel”. You have put into words how I felt through the FBC. I was drinking green tea, but I saw Rachel Beller on Dr. Oz talking about matcha. I have been drinking that for the last year. I was excited to read that you saw her. I would like to, but I’m in MI. As far as silver linings-I don’t know yet.

The past three years have been filled with sickness and sadness for me and my family, with losing my Dad two weeks ago. I never have been a “positive” person, but want to be and know I need to be. So I guess reading your positive attitude in your blogs have been a silver lining for me. Thanks and best wishes. alisa

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