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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.

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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!

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The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 29

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11/18/17

Dear Friends and Family,

I have completed 19 rounds of radiation and have one more treatment to go!  I am so excited that my treatment will soon be ending!  In my opinion, radiation feels like the forgotten part of treatment since you usually hear so much more about the side effects from chemo.  Do not get me wrong, chemo was difficult, but radiation is difficult also.  It is a big commitment going to treatments everyday.  I am fortunate that I get my treatments out of the way and complete them first thing in the morning.  My skin in the radiated area is red and sore.  I also have itchy red bumps on my chest.  I moisturize with Aquaphor after treatment and when I go to bed. 

Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 29”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 28

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11/12/17

Dear Friends and Family,

I have completed 14 radiation sessions.  I have been getting up at 4:30 every morning to receive radiation treatments at 7:00.  After my radiation session is complete, I go to work.  I have been tired, but it hasn’t bee too bad.  I am a little pink and sore in the radiated area, but that is to be expected.  My last radiation treatment will be on Monday, November 20th!

I am a guest blogger for the website Compassion that Compels.  Please read my post about 10 Tips to Stomp out Stress.  I enjoyed writing the post and I hope that it helps others faced with breast cancer.

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The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 27

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11/3/17

Dear Friends and Family,

The Houston Mayor declared today Houston Astros Day because of their World Series win!  The World Series win was just what the city of Houston needed!  There was a large parade downtown to celebrate the Astros.  I was unable to attend the parade due to my weekly doctor’s appointment with my radiation oncologist called my “weekly see” appointment and my radiation treatment.  The “weekly see” appointment consists of the radiation oncologist checking my skin to see how it is handling radiation.   I also received my 9th radiation treatment.  I have not noticed much skin irritation, but I have continued to remain fatigued.  Although I missed the parade, I was able to watch the Astros Celebration in front of City Hall on tv.  🙂

Anchored in HOPE,

JW

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 26

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10/28/17

Dear Friends and Family,

I have been busy with more doctor’s appointments the past few weeks.  I received a radiation simulation a few weeks ago.  The radiation technicians marked the affected area with three different color markers and put tape over the marks so that they would not wash off in the shower.  My body looks like a human map.  I also had my port removed on Friday, October 20th.  It was a great feeling to get my port removed!  I had my first “dry run” for radiation on Monday, October 23rd, they performed x-rays and put more marks on my body.  I received actual radiation treatments the rest of the week and met with the radiation oncologist on Friday.  The hardest thing about radiation is controlling your breathing, but once you figure that out, it isn’t too bad.  I have a mold made specifically for me that isn’t very comfortable that I lay down in while receiving treatments.   Six weeks of radiation treatment was recommended for me, but I am participating in a clinical trial called the Sapphire Trial and I was chosen to receive a higher dosage of radiation for four weeks instead of a lower dosage for six weeks.  They are studying the effects of radiation and lymphedema.  I will be followed for 10 years.

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The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 25

10/22/17

Dear Friends and Family,

As you know I completed chemotherapy about a month ago!  I am so glad to be finished with that phase of my treatment.  I celebrated completing my treatment by attending a luncheon called In the Pink.  The guest speaker was Amy Robach from Good Morning America. I enjoy watching her on Good Morning America on my days off of work.  I was so excited about attending the event and having the opportunity to meet her. Her speech was very moving and I related to many things that she said.  One of her main points was that everyone has a right to have a mammogram anytime they want and as often as they want.  She reiterated throughout her speech that her mammogram saved her life.  She also emphasized the importance of informing and empowering every generation about early detection, although it was not something she thought much about until she was diagnosed with breast cancer herself.  She signed my book and I gave her and Robin Roberts a Team Jen shirt.  🙂

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The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 24

9/30/17

Dear Friends and Family,

Today, on Wednesday, September 27th,  my day started off with a beautiful rainbow in the sky.  The rainbow symbolized God’s way of celebrating that my chemotherapy treatments would soon be coming to an end.  As my morning continued, my SCE family gave me a cupcake to celebrate my last chemo session.

 

 

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