This is me!

I am a wife (twice), mom of two amazing men and I have a career that I LOVE!  Life was really good….comfortable up until June of 2017.  I was always busy with work and EVERYTHING the boys were involved with.  My life, or how I quantified it, came to an end when my youngest graduated from HS and went on to college.  No more board meetings, football games, running from this location to that…somehow, 24 years of my life focus was gone!  Anyone who finds themselves as an “empty nester” knows exactly how I am feeling.  WHAT NOW?  I had a crisis….needed to re-invent myself….but how do you go from a varitable life of servitude to the kids to focusing more on yourself? That is when life intervened.  During my annual physical, a dreaded lump was found.  By June 13th I got the call that I had Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.  By July, I had the specifics, stage 1b (micro-metastisis to a lymph node), strong positive hormone receptors and my her2 proteins were elevated.  I had decisions to make.  I already had surgery, now I had to decide if I was going to do the “strongly” recommended “standard of care”…I HATE  that phrase….it is kind of like “average”.  I opted for gene testing to help make my decision.  There is quite a bit of cancer in the family.  Some “touched” and others “taken”, so I figured I would find out what is lurking in my DNA so that my boys have a heads up! Gene testing was perfect…..not a bad one in the bunch!  So, my cancer is considered “environmental”, or “just because”.  WTH????  OK, so put all the factors together:  Hormone positive…Her2 questionable, gene testing…perfect.  I made the tough, always in the back of my mind decision, to go forward with radiation (cut/burn), but NO to chemo (poison).  This was a very difficult decision, but knowing how I already struggled during the winter months with constant colds and upper respitory infections, I figured chemo would end up killing me by wiping out my already sad immune system!  With my Her2 being questionable, I agreed to a year of Herceptin, an immunotherapy to target an elevated Her2 protein.  The literal meaning is “her2 interceptor”.  I highly recommend the movie “Living Proof” for anyone who tested positive for the Her2 protein. Fast forward to now.  My port has been removed, all treatments are done, ovaries are now gone…HELLO MENOPAUSE.  Letrozole everyday for the next 8+ years (10 total) and a true appreciation for the human body.  I made it through with a perma-tan boob, plenty of scars and the need to improve my health!!!!  Of course, I just read a Medscape article that says Herceptin given to peeps that test 1+ and 2+ (me) is virtually useless!  I’m sure my insurance company would cringe after putting 1/2 million dollars of that stuff through my veins!  So, that’s me!  I have the most amazing family, work family and small group of friends that have lifted me up, supported me through all of my decisions, celebrated the small victories thru it all!  I’m a lucky girl!  My words of advise to ANYONE facing a health issue…READ, STUDY, BECOME YOUR OWN ADVOCATE!  It is your body, your health!  //

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