The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 13

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June 2, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Things are going well considering I haven’t had treatment since May 19th.  My husband and I celebrated his birthday early by attending a U2 concert (his actual birthday is on May 26th).  I went out of town to Austin this weekend for a wedding, so I did not have treatment.  My husband has known the groom since he was 3 and their parents are really good friends.  The wedding was beautiful and my sister-in-law and I danced a lot, I am curious as to how many calories we burned.  😉  It was nice to have a “normal” weekend without treatment.  

I went back to work on May 29th.  That particular morning, I noticed a significant amount of hair falling out in the shower, more than I have ever noticed.  I have been “waiting” for my hair to start falling out, but when it started to fall out, I didn’t feel that I was “ready”.  I cleaned it up and continued to get ready that morning.  I arrived to work with a smile on my face and was ready to start the day.  I enjoyed seeing the students and my SCE family.  I was busy “catching up” most of the day.  When I came home that day, I fell asleep on the recliner at an early hour and my husband woke me up to “go to bed”.  Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 13”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 12

May 19, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

On Mother’s Day in Pittsburgh, my aunt and cousin participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  They wore their Team Jen t-shirts and celebrated my great aunt and me.  It really meant a lot to me that they participated in the race to cure breast cancer.  The video they sent me was really inspiring and brought tears to my eyes. I want to participate in October when the race is held in Houston.  Who is with me?  I participated in the race a couple times in years past.    

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Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 12”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 11

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5/12/17

Dear Friends and Family,

As you know, my port surgery was a success.  My neck was sore and I had limited movement for a few days due to small stiches that needed to be made to make sure that the catheter was in the proper place.  According to Dr. B, I was given a “petite” sized port.  😊  The port area is still a little sore and I was told that I could lift no more than 20 pounds.  Guess I won’t be lifting weights at the gym this week, ha, ha.  

On Sunday, my throat was very sore and my glands were swollen, my throat had been hurting during the week too.  I went to the Redi Clinic to make sure that I did not have strep throat since I had it a few months ago.  I tested negative for strep, which was good news.  As a person being diagnosed with cancer, I find myself being overly cautious and paranoid about everything going on with my body…

Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 11”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 10

May 5, 2017

Dear Friends and Family

I wanted to give you an update as to how my week has been going.  This week was the first week that I was able to wash and blow dry my hair without any assistance!  Although it was nice having someone else wash and style my hair like I was at a hair salon, my mom’s services are no longer needed, thanks Mom for your help!  I also drove for the first time in weeks!  I did go grocery shopping by myself and was exhausted afterwards.  It was hard to push the cart and carry some of the items, so I think I will have TW go next time or maybe try ordering my groceries online and picking them up.

My port surgery was today and it went well.  The surgery was at 9:00 and was about an hour long and recovery was about an hour.  The doctor was very personable and has done 10,000 port surgeries, so I guess that makes me 10,001. 😉  The surgery was performed while I was under local anesthesia with sedation, so I was in and out of it during surgery.  I dozed off and woke up to the doctor singing, “It’s a Wonderful World”.  He continued to sing various other songs  while he performed my surgery.  If you would like to hear him sing, please listen to the link below.

Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 10”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 9

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4/27/17

Dear Friends and Family,

This week has been busy with doctor’s appointments and not feeling well.  On Monday, I had an appointment with the plastic surgeon due to things not healing correctly, so he had to do a procedure and put me on three different antibiotics to prevent infection.  The procedure felt like a set back due to being sore and in pain again, but everything is healing nicely now.

I met with my oncologist on Tuesday and she “reviewed” the possible side effects of chemotherapy.  I will be taking Taxol every week for 12 weeks.  After she “reviewed” the possible side effects, I had my list of questions to ask her about chemotherapy.  She was very helpful in answering ALL of my questions.  When I got home, a case of “the crying spells” began.  I felt very overwhelmed about all of the possible side effects of chemo AND losing my hair.  Fortunately, my dad was there to comfort me and make me feel better.  As the evening continued, I began to feel sick.  I took my temperature and it was 101.8.  My temperature had been taken earlier that day by the oncologist’s nurse and I didn’t have a fever.  I started to panic a bit, because in the back of my mind, I heard the plastic surgeon’s nurse saying “call the on call doctor after hours if you have a fever over 101 to see if you need to go the ER”.  The nurse gave me this information due to the procedure that I had on Monday.  My husband did a great job of helping me calm down and I called the on call doctor.  The on call doctor said that I was doing everything right by taking my antibiotics and to take Tylenol to reduce my fever.  He also said that I did not need to go to the ER.   Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 9”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 8

April  20,  2017

Dear Friends and Family,

Oh happy day! 😀  Drains be gone! All of my drains from surgery have been removed! I can now sleep on any side of my body comfortably. I know that I will sleep 😴 great tonight!  It sounds like something so minor, but it is great news considering I had the drains for 4 weeks!

Anchored in HOPE,

JW

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 7

April 15, 2017

Dear Family and Friends,

Today TW and I had an appointment in the radiology department.  In the very beginning of my appointments at MDA and before they had biopsied the “suspicious” lymph node, my team of doctors thought that I was Stage 0.  They were basing it off of information from my previous mammogram from another hospital.  At that time, my team of doctors thought that I was Stage O – DCIS with large amounts of calcifications, meaning noninvasive cancer.  I briefly met the radiologist at my first appointment, but I did not think I would be meeting with him again due to information from my first mammogram. 

So my appointment was called radiologist “consultation”.  In my mind, I was thinking are we going to talk with the doctor about radiation being a possibility or has the decision already been made?  According from what I was told in the beginning, radiation is not needed unless 4 lymph nodes or more are involved.  I had 2 lymph nodes that were involved.  

TW and I are sitting in the waiting area and are called back to meet with the nurse.  She asks me the standard questions to see how I am doing and proceeds to say that she is going to show us the radiation video.  After she leaves the room, I ask TW for a tissue.  In my mind, I was thinking that this “consultation” was where a decision would be made, not that the decision had already been made.  Guess I was HOPEFUL, that radiation was not necessary.   Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 7”

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 6

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April 13, 2017

Dear Friends and Family,

TW and I attended appointments yesterday at MDA.  When you are at an MDA, consider it a “Most of the Day” event going from appointment to appointment, seeing one doctor after another and doing one test after another.  Yesterday was not different….  I started my morning off with an echocardiogram to check my heart to make sure that it is ok to receive chemo treatments.  I also went to the Infusion Therapy Center where I learned all about the port that I will be having surgery for to receive chemo from.  When the PA saw that I still had all of my drains in from surgery, she said that my port surgery and chemo would be delayed.  I need to have all of my drains out before they will do anything.  Next, I headed over to the plastic surgery department “plastics” (as MDA calls it) to talk to them about my drains and a problem that I was having with one of them leaking.  The last appointment of the day was with my oncologist.  I really love my oncologist, she is so positive and does a great job explaining things.  I have the most common type of breast cancer, 100% estrogen-receptor- positive.  I am progesterone-receptor-negative, and HER2-negative.  I will receive Taxol weekly for 12 weeks and AC every 2 weeks for 4 treatments.  My port operation and first chemo treatment will now be on April 28th.  I am HOPEFULE that the drains will be out soon, considering I have had them for over 3 weeks.

DRAINS, DRAINS, GO AWAY!!!

Anchored in HOPE,

JW

Pictured above:  The beautiful red roses are from my friend, LB and her family.  She knows me well, red roses are my favorite flower!

The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 5

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March 30, 2017

Dear Friends & Family,

I’ve been recovering for about 1 week, after a successful surgery. I had my first doctor’s appointment yesterday.  During surgery, the doctors tested a “suspicious” lymph node (that they originally identified during my mammogram), which they confirmed was cancerous. They only tested the suspicious node during surgery, and over the next 7 days, ran pathology on the other lymph nodes that were removed during surgery. The result was 2 out of the 29 lymph nodes that were removed contained cancer. 

 The pathology was also run on the removed breast tissue, and the doctors found 2 small invasive tumors (~1 cm each). The tumors in the breast can best be described as “ground zero”, before getting into the 2 lymph nodes. Having this confirmation is a huge relief, because going into surgery the doctors were not able to see invasive cancer in the breast, therefore they weren’t able to explain how it could have gotten into the “suspicious” lymph node.

Continue reading “The Anchor 💗⚓️💗 – Edition 5”