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It Could Never Happen to ME…

 

You are probably thinking…another BLOG.  You are incorrect, this BLOG is about BREAST CANCER AWARENESS UNDER THE AGE OF 40 and advocating for yourself to get a baseline mammogram.  If you are over the age of 40, please get a mammogram.  

My whole breast cancer diagnosis is somewhat surreal and I still cannot believe that I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36 with no signs or symptoms.  Breast cancer does not run in my family.  The reason that I had my first baseecardsline mammogram was because a dear friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 36.  I thought to myself, I should probably get my baseline mammogram to check things out on my own.

My husband was going to be out of town on Saturday, January 12, 2017, so I thought, that sounds like a great day to get a mammogram!  I scheduled my appointment online and that was that, so I thought…  I needed to get my gynocologist to sign off on the papers for my scheduled mammogram.  I spoke with the Nurse Practitioner and she asked, “Have you noticed any lumps or changes in your breasts.” and my answer was “NO.”  She also asked, “Does breast cancer run in your family.” and my answer was “NO.”  The Nurse Practitioner said that the Gyncologist doesn’t usually recommend a patient getting a mammogram unless they have answered yes to the questions that she had asked me.

Continue reading “It Could Never Happen to ME…”

The Anchor – Edition 33

2/21/18

 

Dear Friends and Family,

Just wanted to check in and let everyone know that things are going well.  I attended my first meeting for the Distinguished Women of CanCare.  I met many wonderful ladies that are cancer survivors.  The group is facilitated by the director of program services at CareCare.  The group will meet once a month.  I also have been attending the LIVESTRONG Program at the YMCA twice a week.  The program is for cancer survivors and helps us regain strength through exercise. 

The Komen Race For A Cure was held on Saturday, January 27th.   About 5,000 people attended the event, despite the weather.  It rained before and after the race.  The team War on our Rack consisted of about 25 of us.  I had a great time and I was very thankful that my family and friends participated.  My two friends that are survivors were on the team as well.  My survivor friend and I finished the race by walking the “Survivor Path” together.

My Cancerversary was on February 2nd (Ground Hog Day).  It is hard to believe how much my life has changed from a year ago and all that I have been through.  Looking back, I realize how lucky I am to have such an amazing support system!

Anchored in HOPE,

JW 

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The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 32

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1/16/18

Dear Friends and Family,

I thought that I would check in with everyone since I had not written an edition for The Anchor in awhile.  Things are going well and I am glad that it is a new year.

I applied for the Texas Counseling Association Educational Endowment Fund which provides professional development grants to association members whose schools were affected by Hurricane Harvey.  I was one of ten recipients chosen to receive funds to rebuild my office.   It was a great blessing that I received the funds considering that my professional resources were destroyed!

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I also applied to be a Distinguished Women of CanCare (DWOC) and was chosen to become a member!  The program offers support to women that have overcome cancer.  I am looking forward to the benefits of the program and meeting other thrivers.

Texas weather can be crazy!  It has been snowing and has resulted in ice around the city.  The city has basically shut down.  My dogs and I went outside for a quick picture.  I am wearing pajamas provided by Pink it Forward.  Pink it Forward puts together care packages for women battling breast cancer.  The packages can remain anonymous and can be sent to that someone special that needs support.  I received my pajamas a little while ago, but today was the perfect day to wear them.  

Also, yesterday was a personal milestone for me, I went to work without wearing my “garment” or hat.  The students were not on campus, so I thought, “why not?”.  It actually felt very liberating and I received a lot of comments.  I also had to present to small groups, but my lack of hair didn’t interfere with my presentations.  🙂  My hair is growing in slowly, but I am glad that it is growing back.  It will take a little while, my hair has never grown fast…

Anchored in HOPE,

JW

 

Tip #7 Support Your Significant Other

Cancer can take a toll on any relationship.  There are a lot of changes going on with you which causes changes in your relationship with your significant other.  Changes that occur are part of treatment and can be physical, emotional, and social.  It is imperative that you and your significant other handle the changes TOGETHER and talk about what is going on.   Continue reading “Tip #7 Support Your Significant Other”

Post Surgery Recommended Items: Comfy and Cozy Blankets!

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I surrounded myself in blankets post surgery.  I had several comfortable and soft blankets that I slept with.  I liked the way they felt against my skin.  The blanket I am using in this picture is very special and I will tell that story in a later post.  Macy, also liked the blankets too.  See if you can spot Macy in this picture!  Many people also gave me blankets as gifts, so I always had many blankets to choose from. 

Continue reading “Post Surgery Recommended Items: Comfy and Cozy Blankets!”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 31

12/21/17

Dear Friends and Family,

I hope that everyone is doing well and having a nice holiday season.  I have not written in awhile and feel out of practice.  I have two weeks off of work which is great.  Last week, we held a Holiday Pop-Up Shop at my campus for our students since they lost many of their toys due to Hurricane Harvey.  The Holiday Pop-Up Shop was a success and will bring smiles to many students’ faces.  

As for me, I have had a lot more “free” time and I am not going to MD Anderson as frequently as before.  I met with my oncologist a few weeks ago and she said that I am doing well.  She also prescribed Tamoxifen for me to take every day for the next 10 years.  The drug is an estrogen blocker.  I was estrogen positive, which means that excess estrogen played a factor in my breast cancer diagnosis.  The medication will block estrogen that I produce.  Just like any medication, it comes with a list of side-effects.  To be honest, the side-effects haven’t been bad or I guess I haven’t really noticed them.  I did have a dull headache the first few weeks, but I don’t seem to have one anymore.  

Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 31”

Post Surgery Recommended Items: Pillows, Pillows, and More Pillows!

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Pillows became my best friends post surgery.  The Wedge helped me lay on my back since it hurt for me to lay on my sides due to my drains.  It also made laying in an upright position more comfortable and easy.  My counselor friend, BP, bought me a body pillow.  The body pillow was very comfortable to lay my head on or put on the side of me.  I would definitely recommend both types of pillows, the more comfortable you are, the better you sleep!

Continue reading “Post Surgery Recommended Items: Pillows, Pillows, and More Pillows!”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 30

11/20/17

Dear Friends and Family,

I received my 20th radiation treatment today. I invited friends and family to MD Anderson to celebrate the end of my treatments.  I was so nice to see my support system together in one room.  I rang the bell three times like you are supposed to and continued to ring it some more!  We drank sparkling grape juice and ate doughnuts and kolaches.  Today is National Beautiful Day and it certainly was a Beautiful Day with so much to be grateful for!

Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 30”