Tomorrow is October 1st. It is the first day of Breast Cancer Awareness month. As I am not a very outspoken person, this is definitely not my forte. I must share this with you.
I felt a lump in my right breast. I knew that I had a doctors appointment already scheduled in 6 weeks for an annual physical and exam. I have very dense breast tissue and because of breast feeding I also had what they called fibro cystic breasts. This is the kicker, I had no risk factors for breast cancer. Now, I expected heart disease or diabetes, those are both significant on both sides of my family. I do have an aunt that was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 50’s and beat it. I did not expect breast cancer. As a matter of fact, when I called my doctor and told her, she wasn’t overly concerned because 6 months prior, I had an exam and there was nothing there. When she felt my lump, she looked at me and said “Where are your children?” That’s what she said!! I knew right away. It was around noon, my kids were with their Aunt and there was no rush for me to get to them. I was alone. I was sent directly to Beth Israel. I had a mammogram, that was not your normal routine mammogram. All the techs were looking at me funny. I went straight from the mammogram room to the Ultrasound room. That tech wouldn’t even talk to me, she didn’t know what to say, except “the doctor will talk to you.” I almost felt bad for these people, they knew that I was in trouble but none of them had the authority or credentials to tell me. After the ultrasound, came the core needle biopsy, I stopped counting the punch biopsies after 10, they hurt. My tumor was huge and stuck out of my skin like the size and shape of a lemon. I left that hospital with a paper bag full of ice packs and walked to my car, and could not stop crying. I couldn’t even see the ignition to put my keys in. It took me some time, I had a nice conversation with myself because Breast Cancer is curable and I had no problem with the fight that I had ahead of me, for those of you who know me, I have been challenged ALOT! I got myself together and called Scott……………who by the way, was in FUCKING Las Vegas!!!!
Long story short, the weeks after got me set up for my treatment plan and I started my Chemo and began the fight, happily.
I had a routine breast MRI one day. Laying face down in the machine with a metal bar between each breast for an hour and not being able to move. The next day, I had a lot of chest pain, I went to the Emergency Room at BI around 9pm. I left there at 3am with the results from a CT Scan showing cancer in my liver and possibly my spine. These were found by accident. After some follow up tests and scans, it was confirmed that the Breast Cancer had spread only to my liver. At this point, every inch of my body has been scanned.
Breast Cancer is no joke. Procrastination is it’s best friend. I turned 37 years old on July 19 and I found out that I had breast cancer on July 31. A mammogram was not even in the deck of cards for my yearly physicals until I turned 40. Not to mention, I have no other medical problems. I didn’t feel sick and I certainly didn’t look sick.
I now have Stage 4 Breast Cancer and will fight this fucking disease for the rest of my life. My daughters are 3 and almost 5. I was initially told that there is a 15% chance that I will live for 5 years. That’s unacceptable in my book and I let my doctors know that. I am fortunate that my doctors are on the cutting edge of medicine and I am on the best 3 Chemos that I can be on and they are working and I am responding well. Although, I am going to be on treatment for the rest of my life, it will change as medicine has break throughs. My doctors are the best and have promised me that I will have a good quality of life and live to see my kids grow up. I have an amazing family and group of friends and supporters, its just awesome. I am very blessed.
I have kept this blog as a “family” thing to keep peeps up to date on my condition, but most importantly to show how we are battling Breast Cancer as a family. Although, I will have these random posts where I get into the dirt of it. I felt the need to do that today.
F U Cancer, I will gladly welcome Chemotherapy tomorrow to kill you. I hope everyone has a wonderful week!!
All my love, from my family to yours, Jessica
Thank you to Nikki Croft Levy who surprised me with a wonderful package and loving note with 5 chemo beanies! They are so soft and keep my bald head warm and the kids think they look good with their dress up clothes!!