I know I am long over due for an update with what is going on with me lately. I’ve been sending updates here and there on Instagram. Sometimes a quick social media update is much easier to share than writing a blog post. But here I am summarizing all that has been going on. If you’re new to this blog and/or have no idea what I’m talking about, I shared this post a few months ago about what I am going through.
Before I begin, I just want to send a big thank you to everyone that has been supporting me. I couldn’t be more grateful and blessed to be surrounded by so much love and support. Every prayer, positive energy, pick-me-up, and surprise gift mean the world to me. Thank you so so much from the bottom of my heart. It makes the fight so much easier. And a special thank you for all the cancer fighters and survivors who I’ve connected with. You all are amazing and brave individuals and have been a great source of inspiration.
|My hair is starting to grow back!! 🙂|
I just completed round one of treatments a few weeks ago. The first round consisted of 6 cycles of chemotherapy. For me, chemo had its highs and lows. The week or so after chemo is when I felt my worst. Even drinking water was such an effort! It tasted disgusting and it didn’t help that I was extremely nauseous. It helped to have visitors a few days after chemo. I put all my focus on enjoying the company and just having fun that I forgot I was feeling sick. Fortunately, as each day went by, I started to recover better and better. I was at my best the day before the next cycle. I had energy, food tasted great, and I could bare drinking water. Of course, it just sucked knowing that the following day I would have to go through the process of feeling like crap all over again.
The silver lining is, as much as I hated every bit of chemo, the treatments are working. The chemo regimen was harsh, but we’ve definitely seen positive outcomes. Even after the 1st cycle, my tumors had significantly shrunk. My oncologist would joke each time I saw her and ask if I even have tumors. Mid-way through the cycles, I had a MRI which confirmed my tumors had significantly shrunk and showed no signs of cancer spreading to the lymph nodes.
Last Friday, I had surgery. They removed 4 sentinel lymph nodes and ran a biopsy on those lymph nodes. This surgery would help my surgeons prepare for the bigger (major) surgery, determine if I can do immediate reconstruction, and also determine if radiation therapy is needed. The results of the biopsy also determine if my cancer has spread or not. Clinically, and based on test results (like the MRI), it had shown no signs of spreading. However, my doctors informed me that cancer cells can be so small that imaging tests may not be able to pick up on it. I just received the results of my sentinel lymph node biopsy from my surgeon the other day.
After having a discussion with my surgeon about the test results, I am so pleased to share that all 4 sentinel lymph nodes tested negative. This means each node contained no signs of cancer cells and my cancer is contained in the breast. This was such a HUGE relief! It is one less hurdle I would have to go through.
So now the big question, why am I going to be MIA? Well, this Friday I will be having a bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. The amount of time to heal and recover is extensive. I will be in the hospital for a few days and the first couple weeks post-surgery are crucial. I really have to put my focus on recovering. Therefore, the only thing my surgeon wants me to do is binge watch on Netflix. I’m the kind of person who likes to be constantly doing something, so I have a feeling I will struggle with this a bit. I get bored so easily! So if you guys have any suggestions on TV shows and movies, please do share!
|During the mastectomy, they will run a full pathology report of all the breast tissues they will remove. They will determine if there are any dead or alive cancer cells and how well my body responded to treatments. I hope the results of this test will be in my favor. To be honest, I don’t have the energy in me to do another round of chemo. It took a lot out of me and I am still adjusting to the changes chemo has done to my body and mind. I honestly think I am seeing the effects of “chemo brain”.|
I will not be creating new content on this blog until my doctor gives me the okay. Therefore, I will not be doing any photoshoots for the blog or starting any collaborations. If I do post later this month, it is because I have prepared and pre-published the post before surgery.
For now, the treatment plan is to do targeted therapy which I actually started last Thursday. Basically, they will only use one of the drugs that was part of my chemo regimen. Even though this is taken intravenously through my port, it is not considered chemo because this drug is not attacking the entire body. Instead, it is attacking and only killing a specific receptor that has been feeding and causing my cancer to be so aggressive. I was able to tolerate this treatment. I guess anything is much better than chemo. So I pray and hope this is my treatment plan after the mastectomy.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this update. I know it is very long, but I have been open about my diagnosis from the beginning and I wanted to continue to be open. Thanks again for all your support. I look forward to reconnecting with you all soon!
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