Angel, diagnosed at 29
I was diagnosed in Jan. of 2002. I remember that worse day of my life so vividly. It was a Monday, and my 18-month-old son Dallas was sick. We had been at the ER all the night before, I also took him that day to the ENT doctor, because he had blood coming out of his ears and all the ER gave him was some drops. I don't think so!! Later that day I had an appt. with my OB/GYN because I was 3 months pregnant. She even asked me that day, "When do you get your results back from your biopsy?" That same day was my appt. for the results of the biopsy I had just the Friday before. I should have gotten a clue that something was wrong when I tried to cancel my appt. because of the ER trip. I was so tired, but the nurse said the doctor needed to see me that day. I remember the look on my doctors face when he walked in the room, looked around and noticed I was by myself. He had a look of..."Oh Man, I am about to tell this 29-year -ld pregnant lady that she has breast cancer."
Everything is kinda blurry after that point. I remember driving home in the rain and calling my husband and telling him I had breast cancer. I don't remember the drive at all. I also called my Mom; she was on her way home from work and she came right over.
The days following were very stressful with all the decisions I had to make. Was I going to keep the baby? (Which wasn't an option after I had listened to all my docs advise ... the baby had saved mine ... I wasn't going to take his away!!) I had to decide on whether to get a mastectomy or lumpectomy. (I left that up to my great surgeon) Was I going to have chemo or not (the doctor wanted to put in a port in my chest where I would get chemo)? Feb. 5th, I went for surgery. It was funny ... no one on the surgical floor could find the baby's heart beat (not their field). My OB/GYN came in and found it in two seconds flat. It was time to get the show on the road. After six hours of surgery, I opened my eyes and the first person I saw was my OB/GYN. She told me the baby was fine!! I next saw my surgeon, he was at the foot of the bed, and he told me the news. "I had to take your breast." My OB/GYN asked if I understood what he was saying. I remember saying yes and started throwing up. YUCK!! That is what happened my whole three-day stay ... not very fun.
I went home with a drain and 32 staples. I learned that I was stage II and, of the 23 lymph nodes they took out, I had two that were positive for cancer. Guess the news could have been worse. I lived on. I started chemo when I was 16 weeks pregnant. I had 6 rounds of AC (those Survivors reading this know what I mean). The "red devil" is what one of the chemos is referred to. I actually did very well. I had it in my mind I was going to get the full 6 rounds of chemo, which was given once every month. I went to the doctors for my 6th round, and, since I was so close to having the baby, she really didn't want me to have that 6th round. Well, I started crying and told her "I needed that 6th one!!". She gave in and said I was the only one she knew of that cried to get chemo. Pretty Funny!! I didn't feel sick once; I just had to do well. I needed to be well for the life inside of me that was counting on ME to get through this. I did so well that chemo days you would find m e at the race track with my best friend or at a Buzzard hockey game with my wonderful hubby and son.
I had a scheduled c-section for July 11th and everything went great. Skylar was put in the NICU for observation. He was actually there for two weeks. That was one of the hardest things … to leave the hospital with out my boy, but it was for the best. Six weeks after Skylar was born, I was back at the Cancer Treatment Center getting more chemo. This time I was getting TAXOL every week for 3 weeks, on and one week off. This went on for four months. After that was over, I started my radiation, which was fine. I only started burning the last week. I just had a wonderful experience for it being such a horrible thing to deal with.
To this day I am doing well. I am still getting treatments every three months. I get lovely Zoladex shots in my stomach and am currently taking Tamoxifen. So, I am doing all I can to make sure it doesn't come back. I fought it then, am fighting it now and will continue to fight all I need. I am a SURVIVOR! I will SURVIVE!