On August 27, 2009 I was diagnosed with Stage 1, grade 3 Triple-Negative breast cancer. I had a supposedly successful lumpectomy, followed by four rounds of Taxotere and Cytoxin chemotherapy and 38 radiation treatments. When I finished treatments in February 2010, the doctors told me I was cancer free and sent me on my way with regular six month check ups.
The fact that my cancer was triple-negative with a very high risk of recurrence within the first three years was something my oncologist never really talked about. Which is why, when I developed a wheezing cough in August 2011, my oncologist put me on Claritin. On my six month check-up in October I told her that my gp decided that I had asthma, which gave her pause, but nothing more. It wasn’t until I went to the emergency room for an inhalation injury the second week of Noveber, that someone finally took a chest x-ray and noticed that something was wrong. Really wrong.
On November 11, 2011 I was diagnosed with Stage 4, Grade 3, Triple-Negative metastatic breast cancer. The cancer was in my right lung, my lymph nodes, and in my bone. The statistics suck with the average survival rate from diagnosis being 2-3 years. The statistics have also been proven wrong on numerous occasions with women often making it to the 5 and 10 year mark, and sometimes beyond.
That said, I know I’ve been handed a death sentence. I am coming to terms with living with it for as long as I can.
My other blogs:
The Metastatic Breast Cancer Ribbon was designed by Laura of My Stage IV Life. Here’s how she describes it:
Pink – The universal color of breast cancer (and still my favorite color). Gray – the nowhere land where a metastatic patient lives, trying to come to terms with a death that can be near or far, and trying to live (and love) as much as we can within that unknown time frame. Black – the end of our fight, when it might seem like cancer has won, except, if we leave love behind, we are always the winners!