Tuesday, October 30, 2012

31 Days - Day 28

I am so excited about honoring my new friend, Melody, today.  I recently met her through my research into breast cancer blogs.  I know her story will touch your heart, as it has mine.  Follow her story of survival and life at My FIGHT Against breast cancer.

Let's take a moment to recognize her, her FIGHT, her family and her survival!!!

What a beautiful family!  My FIGHT Against breast cancer

  • When were you diagnosed?  I was diagnosed June 12th, 2008.
  • What is/was your exact diagnosis? Invasive Poorly Differentiated Ductal Carcinoma Grade 3 Stage 2B
  • What was your initial reaction? I was shocked.  Even with a strong family history and knowing that I was at high-risk, nothing could have prepared me to hear the words "You have breast cancer."  After the shock wore off, I was heartbroken.  At 28 years old I was supposed to be having babies and be in the prime of my life.  Instead, I was facing an uncertain future.
  • Who did you tell first?  My husband knew that I was waiting on the Dr. to call me.  He was outside working and I walked outside and as soon as I saw him I just burst into tears.  He immediately knew the news I had received.
  • What was your treatment plan? The first thing I did was have a bilateral mastectomy, even though the cancer was only in the right breast.  Shortly after the surgery I began chemotherapy.  My treatment plan was referred to as Dose Dense.  This means that I had 4 weeks of Adriamyacin and Cytoxin every two weeks followed by another 4 weeks of Taxol that was also administered every two weeks.  
  • What or who was your best support?  This is a tough question to answer.  My husband was an incredible source of strength for me and our daughter.  My parents were also amazing....especially my mom having had breast cancer herself almost 20 years earlier.  Knowing that she was a survivor was an incredible source of inspiration for me.
  • What was the worst part of it?  The worst part for me was the worry that it was going to spread or come back....especially the first few years following treatment.  I still have days where I worry, but I try to focus on the fact that I am healthy and not allow the negative thoughts to creep in.
  • Are there any services in your area or nationally that someone else going through the same thing should know about? In my area there is an organization called The Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks.  They provide financial assistance to women and families in the midst of breast cancer.  They were able to help my family with our mortgage payment, utilities, and car payment for several months.   
  • What is the best advice you got?  The best advice I was given was that it is ok to be mad, scared, and to even feel helpless at times.  However, what's not ok is to allow yourself to stay there.  For me, life didn't stop.  I still had a husband that needed his wife and a daughter that needed her mother.  
  • Did you lose your hair?  If so, did you have a wig and one that was your favorite?  Yes.  I lost my hair shortly after my second treatment.  I actually had my husband shave my head.  I wasn't going to allow cancer to take anything more from me...including my hair.  I was going to be in charge of that.  I did finally start wearing a wig about 2 months after I lost my hair.  I was hesitant because I felt like it looked so fake.  However, what I found is that it actually made me feel normal....and I can't tell you how many times I had people ask me where I got my hair cut!!
  • You were going through a lot, did you treat yourself to one thing more frequently that you wouldn't have normally done.  Or a gift at the end of your treatment plan.  Like, eat as much pizza (when you felt like eating) or get a pedicure once a week or go on vacation?   After I had completed my treatment and my surgery my husband took a trip to Las Vegas...just us.  It was great to get-away and begin to finally move on with life. 
  • In a few words, how would you describe your breast cancer experience?  My breast cancer experience has brought many blessings to my life.  I am able to bring hope to countless women who feel helpless just as I did.  They are able to see someone who ran the race and finished strong.  My experience has also taught me the value of life.  Life truly is a gift and no of us are promised another day.  In an instance our entire lives can change. 
We should all take a life lesson from Melody.  Even the bleakest of circumstances can bear blessings.  Melody is taking her experience and helping others.  You can help her, too.  Go to her blog page, encourage her, encourage others to go to her blog to receive support, love and friendship.

You'll be glad you did!  

Always ~ Momma Goose

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~ Momma Goose