Never Give Up

Friday, March 10, 2017


As you all know from this post, I promised that I would be more real about my cancer journey. It’s been just over a year since I was diagnosed, and there is definitely a lot more to share as I am on the road to recovery. To be honest, I contemplated sharing my journey now. I wasn’t sure how you all would react. I initially created this blog to share fashion outfits, but now I want this space to be something more and it just so happens that cancer is a big part of my life. I’m not ashamed of it. I do hope that documenting my journey helps some of you out there. Helping others is without a doubt one of my biggest passions in life. I also hope to share more brands that raise cancer awareness and promote funding for cancer research. Because I know in my heart we can definitely find a cure.











Milestones

I shared a few weeks ago on Instagram that I completed one of my chemo drugs. YAY! What a big milestone to check off. Now I go in for IV treatments every 6 months and I still take my quarterly shots.  Another milestone soon to be checked off is removal of my port. Since I don’t have to go in for treatments as often, my surgeons find it unnecessary for me to have this device in my body. Guess when they scheduled the removal of my port?! …. My birthday! I couldn’t believe the physician assistant called me to notify me that March 21 is when I’ll be in surgery. Granted, this should only be an hour procedure (more time will be spent in the recovery room), however, I was hoping I would be ‘out n about’ on my birthday. Unfortunately, when I tried to reschedule, my surgeon wasn’t available and I don’t see the point in waiting much longer.


How do I feel about this?!  Bittersweet. I’m excited that this is a sign that things are going well for me. That I can tell cancer to ‘F off’ and I know I am kicking cancer’s butt. However, strange as this may sound, my port was a sense of comfort. My port made the whole cancer process a lot easier. Prior to my port, my arm was pretty much a pincushion to the point that my arms were blue from bruises. The port became a part of me.

Fight after the Fight

When I was first diagnosed, I heard from cancer survivors that coming back to the real world was an adjustment. I thought I ‘got it’, but I didn’t until now. I’m sure many of you have noticed based on some of my Instagram posts (I love sharing inspirational quotes!), that I have shown signs of struggling. I have been ever since my mastectomy.  When I went back to work and most of my restrictions were lifted, I finally understood what it meant to fight after the fight.

Shirt: c/o Sevenly (7% gets donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation)
Headband: c/o Headbands of Hope (buy 1 headband, & 1 gets donated to a child with cancer)
Boyfriend Jeans: Gap
Belt: Asos
Bracelet: My Intent Project
Not every cancer survivor/fighter goes through this. To me, I couldn’t adjust ‘back to the world’. I had a new norm and I got accustomed to it. But when I started to get back to the things I used to do, it was as if everyone else was stuck in time and didn’t progress with me. I couldn’t connect with everything around me.

Everyone assumed that because my treatments weren’t as ‘harsh’ (I was able to go back to work without worrying about my immunity), that I could keep up with the pace of a normal human being. Chemo takes a toll on your body and one of my nurses said it well, “Chemo is like getting hit by an 18-wheeler. It takes a lot of time until your body is recovered”. Just because I am walking and back to work doesn’t mean I no longer have the chemo effects. I am currently going through some of the long term side effects from chemo. My left foot has neuropathy. My joints, especially my wrist and fingers, are always in pain to the point that I can’t type, pick up things, or all of a sudden gets weak that I drop whatever I am holding. All while my entire body feels so foreign to me. I don’t even recognize it.


I’ve been and am still going through all these long-term side effects while going to work and man did work hit me hard. I work in a very intense, fast pace environment. With my chemo brain, and still fighting through the fatigue, it was hard keeping up. So hard that it felt like I was failing at everything. Every work, task, project I had to do felt harder and harder to the point that thinking about going to work gave me anxiety. I sometimes would cry in the middle of the day because I was so frustrated or find myself panicking. Then I would come home so exhausted. Everything in my body felt so heavy. I felt like I was being punished. I thought that since I am progressing well with my cancer treatments that I should be happy. I was so confused.

I did eventually talk to my bosses about cutting down my work. My oncologist was worried that it was affecting my health and may regress my progression. It is definitely getting better now, but it is not perfect. I know that this adjustment is a work in progress and I just have to take it each day at a time.

I don’t want this post to sound depressing at all. Overall, I am happy and I am happy with my life. My husband and I are talking and starting to plan all the traveling we will be doing in the next few years and I am so excited about that! There are a lot of good things coming my way. As long as I never give up, I know in the end I will be okay. I know I am not the only one going through this and I am so blessed to have wonderful people in my life to step in whenever I need them.

This weekend, I am in Oakland for the Young SurvivorsCoalition Summit. It is a weekend dedicated to young breast cancer fighters and breast cancer survivors on understanding the effects of cancers, adjusting to life, and connecting with other cancer fighters and survivors. It’ll be nice to be able to meet others who are and went through what I am going through. Sometimes a conversation with someone who can relate can make the situation a lot less worse than what it is.


Thank you all for taking the time to continue to follow, support, and read about my journey. I really do appreciate it!  <3

xo RD
FOLLOW ME| INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | BLOGLOVIN | TWITTER
  1. You are such an inspiration, lady- and you give such an honest voice to this process that sooo many people go through, and yet the world at large is still ignorant about. I am so proud of you + continue to send you good vibes. You are SO strong!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

    ReplyDelete
  2. You are a warrior and you are a great inspiration for many people, me included.
    Thanks for share your story with us
    xx

    www.sakuranko.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! This means a lot!

      Delete
  3. Such an inspiration and a strong women.
    Even stronger sharing your story here.
    xx
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_zn7IqrAY1I44bRuN6dH-Q
    https://theonethattravels.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
  4. Looks great, great post girl!

    Briana
    http://beyoutifulbrunette.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  5. I got the sense from you previous posts and quotes on IG that you've been having some struggles, but I didn't realize the extent of it. I've said it before and I'll say it again - you are an inspiration, Rach! Have a great weekend <3

    Jackie
    Something About That

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yea, it was something hard for me to hold in. Thank you so much Jackie!

      Delete
  6. Inspiring post, we should never give up no matter what the circumstances are :)

    www.adhiwahyudi.net

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Adhi! That is my motto :)

      Delete
  7. what a strong and inspirational women you are!What a great post xx aquateraa.blogspot.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for such an inspiring post, my mum is a breast cancer survivor and had it last year. Yes, never give up ... Be strong and keep the faith, you are resilient. Happy weekend! <3 Madison
    http://fashiontalesblog.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your mom is a warrior! Thank you so much Madison!

      Delete
  9. Such a great inspiration!Great post:-)

    http://www.lostindaydreams.com/

    ReplyDelete
  10. You are so inspiring! Thank you for sharing your story and stay strong!

    xx Nicole
    http://toogoldstreet.com

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wonderful and perfect! I follow you blog, please follow me too. http://alamodenatine.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. Keep on fighting. You deserve a life of freedom and happiness. I hope it all goes wonderful. Good luck, beauty.

    www.fashionradi.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. When blogs become more than what they were meant to be ! Even if its about sharing a very personal journey!

    www.talesoftwoblog.blogspot.com.au

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement!

      Delete
  14. Rach, you continue to be an inspiration! Thank you for sharing and giving a voice to so many women who experience this. I'm keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Keep kicking butt and inspiring!

    Nicole
    Nicole to the Nines

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Nicole! This means so much!

      Delete
  15. It is wonderful that you are sharing your story!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Super tee and perfect casual look. I like it! :)
    Kiss
    Luna
    http://www.fashionsnobber.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. Keep fighting girl! We are here to support you!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Great message in your t-shirt

    Te dejo el nuevo post, spring?
    https://simplysory.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/spring/

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nice text! thanks!
    xx

    http://www.julialisblog.com/

    ReplyDelete
  20. Nice casual look dear! So pretty!
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: PFW | GINGHAM PANTS & STRIPES
    DON'T MISS: PFW STREET STYLE MARCH 2017 (II)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great pics and total look
    www.treschic.fashion
    @mariajosegomezverdu

    ReplyDelete
  22. You are so inspiring! I am so happy to hear that things are going well! Keep kicking butt, girl!

    Jamie
    Treats and Trends

    ReplyDelete
  23. In my heart I believe in a cure as well, and I just love your strength, mahal! You have been such an inspiration and you continue to do so! I love the tee, and need to check it out! Nothing better but to raise awareness!
    Happy Monday, babe!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    www.WhatWouldVWear.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. Even though I don't understand the process, but I am so proud of you and I am so happy that I have seen the last part of the journey and you gave me courage. I really admire you and your strength. I love that you went back to work during your chemo and didn't stay at home feeling sorry for yourself. I wish I can be as brace as you.
    I am so glad that you are getting better.
    http://societyfix.blogspot.com.eg/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Your support means so much!

      Delete
  25. Thanks for sharing your progress and I'm sure the port removal surgery will go well. Hope you had a good and informative time at the Summit in Oakland. And I think it's wonderful that you and the hubs are thinking about traveling. I think that would be wonderful for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The summit was amazing! Def a positive experience! I am so excited to travel! Thank you so much Cheryl!

      Delete
  26. Good for you, girl. You're amazing for sharing this and reaching all of those milestones. Keep at it.

    Katie | Willow and White

    ReplyDelete
  27. You are really inspiring! Thank you for sharing your stories of strength and courage!

    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

    ReplyDelete
  28. Sending you much love Rach. I know the fight is a long one and the toll is harsh. So happy you have such an great support system around you. I hope the summit was amazing!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Heidi! This means a lot! I had an amazing time at the summit!

      Delete
  29. Omg, you are just incredible! thanks for for sharing and being an inspiration

    http://Loraroad.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  30. You are a super fighter!!! keep going up!!!

    www.lacaleya.com

    ReplyDelete
  31. Thanks for continuing to share your story. I know it must take courage to put it out here for all of us. I can only imagine it must have been hard to adjust back to life. I mean, you have gone through (and in a lot of sense will go continue to go through for a long time) this huge thing and everyone else has just been living normal life. I'm glad you will get to go to the summit. Hopefully being around others who can relate will be refreshing.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Amy Ann! The summit was definitely filled with positive and people who can relate. It was an incredible time!

      Delete
  32. This is amazing, please inbox me if you are ever involved in another charity event, and we would love to contribute!

    xoxo,
    Sakura

    https://www.midorilinea.com/blogs/midori-linea/cest-la-vie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Sakura for the offer!

      Delete
  33. Your blog and photos are so dreamy and beautiful and you are such an inspiration! It sounds like you are doing amazing, you go girl!! :D xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara (P.S we should absolutely follow each other on bloglovin or instagram haha :D xx)

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm incredibly in awe of your strength. You have been through a lot, yet your outlook on life is so positive! You're amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  35. You're really so brave to share any of this! With your wig, we really had zero idea what was going on behind the scenes, but I think sharing it meant you didn't have to feel so alone. One day someone going through the same thing will find comfort in your story. (: With how you beat the odds. I imagine when you and your husband begin to travel you'll feel such a rush of contentment with life. I truly think cancer survivors see the world as such a beautiful place and need to remind us all that it is. (:

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess that is good that it is hard to tell what is going on behind the scenes? It did feel good to share my story and I did learn that there are others out there going through the same thing which is comforting. Thank you so much Kiki!

      Delete
  36. So inspiring! I guess that once one has gone through what you have, one can overcome any challenge in life.

    ANOUK

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess that is true. Still have to overcome some more challenges but it def gives me a different perspective on life.

      Delete
  37. Sounds like an amazing even to be a part of! I can't even begin to imagine what the adjustment period would by like for that but it's always nice to hear someone openly talk about their experiences so I can understand it more for those in my life who have gone through it.

    xoxo
    Rina Samantha
    http://www.andshedressed.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was an amazing event and I can't wait for next year haha. Thank you so much Rina!

      Delete
  38. Your strength and courage is such an inspiration to me every day. Reading these posts is beautifully humbling and I have such admiration for you in sharing your story. Always sending you love and hope <3
    Julia・Little Miss Haute Couture

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Julia!! This means a lot to me!

      Delete
  39. you are true worrior.. hands off ... take care
    http://thestyleride.com/

    ReplyDelete
  40. Praying for you Rach! Love that you share your story. I so appreciate knowing how to pray for you. You're amazing. So inspired by you! ❤️❤️❤️

    ReplyDelete