It’s been just over two weeks since my last radiation treatment and I feel much better. Energy level is about the same, but my skin is much better. For the first week or so it was an angry red color and throbbed quite painfully. Then the top layer started to peel and it was very red and sore underneath. Now, it is almost all done peeling and is only a mild pink. Much better. I have to wait 6 to 9 months to have reconstruction. Looking forward to the break, though not a huge fan of the expanders that I have to deal with that whole time. They are not very comfortable.
I am in the infusion lab right now getting a Herceptin treatment. I’ll get these treatments for as long as it continues to work. Herceptin has been a life saving (or at least prolonging) development for so many women like me, and I am so grateful to have it as an option in my treatment arsenal. I fervently hope that it continues to be effective at keeping my cancer asleep.
What a year it has been. My 1 year anniversary for my diagnosis was Tuesday. It is hard to process how much my life has changed since that fateful day. I can recall like it was yesterday the utter shock and despair I felt when I got the news. I was on my way to work when my doctor called and told me she needed me to come in to discuss the biopsy results. I remember calling Scott and telling him that it was not good news and asking him to meet me at home so we could see my doctor together. I remember emailing Steve (my manager at the time) and telling him that I had received terrible news and would not be at work that day. I remember Steve calling me to make sure I was ok and bursting into sobs as I told him that I had just been informed that I have breast cancer and him at a loss but giving me what comforting words he could. I remember standing in the doctors office numb hearing the words out loud and her recommending that I go to a cancer center. I remember picking the kids up with Scott after school and them knowing immediately that something was wrong. I remember telling them that I had breast cancer and Madison asking me if I was going to die and me telling her that I was going to try really hard not too. I remember taking the next day off as well and engaging in much needed retail therapy at Costco (cart was filled to bursting). And now here I am a year later. Much time has past and my battle rages on. I think of the many women who have fought and lost their battle against this terrible disease and the women who continue to fight and survive like me. I mourn the loss of those I have never met who haven’t made it and am extremely grateful that I continue to live and thrive. As I move into my second year, I commit to honoring the lives lost by making the most of my own life. Plan less and live more…words I plan to live by.
I have said this in previous posts, but I feel the need to say it again in honor of my anniversary. With all my heart, I thank everyone who has stood by me this past year…my devoted husband and children for giving me so many reasons to fight, my family for being there and taking care if me when I needed it, my friends for their unwavering emotional support, and my work family for not giving up on me. I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so much love.
From my Caring Bridge supporters:
Bless you Cindy. Thank you for your words your account of your journey and your deep honesty. You touch my soul and reaffirm my need for constant gratitude and grace for the simple things I take for granted. Your amazing. You really should consider writing a memoir.
— Lisa, February 7, 2013
You rock Cindy!!!!!! I so admire your strength, perseverance, positive attitude and heart. I am so thankful to be able to call you my friend. You inspire me in so many ways; to eat better, read labels, to speak out about the chemicals in our foods, to nurture my relationships and to live, laugh and love. Stay strong my friend (but allow yourself those moments of weakness and tears) and continue your fight!!!!!!
— Jill, February 7, 2013
Wow! Here’s to my truly amazing co-worker, friend and best buddy and past manager in the whole wide world. Love you and keep up the fight. JJ
— Jacqueline, February 7, 2013
You are awesome!! I feel so lucky to have been on the receiving side of your posts.
— Maggie, February 7, 2013
Hard to believe its been a year. I miss you SO much. You are so awesome for what you’ve accomplished and the spirit you maintain!!! Rock star.
— Lisa, February 7, 2013
— Melody, February 7, 2013
Here’s to many, *many* more years. 🙂
— Jody, February 7, 2013
Cindy, I thought I could get through this without crying. I couldn’t. You are still my hero.
— Sandra, February 8, 2013
You continue to be in my thoughts on a regular basis. You really are an inspiration and I applaud all that you have done, and all that you continue to do!
— Maria, February 8, 2013