This is my story: It all began a little over a year ago. I hope that whoever reads this will feel my pain and joy as I go thru my journey. I would love to thank my family, Reverend Pastor Barbra Gunn and the many friends and doctors from WPAHS and UPMC that are standing by me and helping to educate me during my journey
Thanks you for visiting my blog – Sylvia
June 16, 2011 – Concern about a lump in my left breast. Not sure who to contact due to the fact that I have a pacemaker, is this a pacemaker issue or a gynecologist issue.
First I contacted my cardiologist (because my lump that I was feeling is in my left breast). Then I thought later; maybe I should call my gynecologist (which is what I did), within 45 min I received a call from my gynecologist to come to the office as soon as possible I was told when a woman notice or belive there is a lump in her breast the should see a gynecologist within 24 hours. So I made my appointment for June 17, 2011.
June 17, 2011 – I visit my gynecologist, was then sent to get an ultrasound and a mammogram. My feelings at this time is that I am scared and nervous.
June 28, 2011 – I am schedule for a biopsy today. What am I going to do if this comes back cancerous?
July 5, 2011 – 5:00 pm phone rings (it is the breast surgeon) She tells me that by biopsy came back as cancer and it is malignant. My husband sitting at the kitchen table looks at me and can see that there is something wrong. I immediately thank the Dr. and get off the phone. I now break down and cry (from my soul) in my husband arms. I then contact my daughter and had her contact her siblings (I just didn’t have the heart to tell them).
I cry most of the night. I then pray, trying to understand why. I began to ask myself what now, what do I do? who do I see? what next?
I didn’t know where to go for help or what to do. I was aware of Medical Oncologist but that was as far as I got.
July 7, 2011 – I met with the Breast Surgeon, my husband was with me we discuss the pathology report I was told that I have an invasive breast cancer.
I received a copy of my pathology report, went online to try to find info on how to read your pathology report at a website http://www.breastcancer.org. The report stated that I am a HER-2, progesterone negative and Estrogen weakly negative. (Did not realize at this point that I am a triplenegative.) My report also said that I have stage 2 invasive cancer.
From this point in time until 8/4/11 I have had bone scan, cat scan, chest x-ray and a port put in my arm to get ready for the chemo treatments.
I feel that I have been poke and prob, and that I am not going anywhere.
I want the treatments to begin, so that I can move on with my life.
8/5/11 – My first chemo treatment, I feel fine after this treatment. I am very nervous at this point, do not know what to expect. I start thinking, I need to find out more information about breast cancer.
I began to research and found out that I have got to find a medical oncologist, I ask for a referral from my breast surgeon. (Never realized that there are so many types of doctors that deal with cancer).
I started searching the web and came up with a wonderful web site that has been helpful. wwww.breastcancer.org. and American Cancer Society. I was able to find information from understand your pathology report to the various types of chemo.
My treatments are set for every 21 days for 6 treatments.
Well, It is time for my second treatment it makes for a long day. (6 hrs). No nausea doing ok. Lost my hair now. I cried as I brush out clumps of hair. Starting to feel fearful of what is going to happen next.
Well it is time for my third treatment was told I have to take an injection the day after called Nulasta. I told my doctor that I Notice that my fingernails/toenails are turning black, developing acid-reflux and can’t sleep at night. This Nulasta is causing so much pain in my bones.
It is now time for my fourth treatment. I am not bouncing back so easily after the Nulasta my body ache so badly after the injection.
Sometime I think, could all this started when I was feeling an aching feeling in my breast in Nov of 2010. I check my breast and couldn’t find nothing.
I suggest to all women that if you get aching feeling in your breast; have it checked out.
I have ask the questions of myself why or how did this cancer happen. I now believe that I had to travel this road; if no more than to tell my story.
I have told my family on a few occasion that I felt that I have a calling, that I want to try to help people, to try to tell my story so that they can share and learn from the things that I am going thru.
Now I am at the point of preparing for radiation. Do I want this? I start researching again. What are the types of radiation treatment. In finding various types of treatment; the web site for Cancer Centers of America came up. I called and spoke to a person regarding radiation treatments. I was told about a treatment known as Inoperative Radiation Treatment; this is a treatment that is instead of five to six weeks of daily treatments, you can get one boost of radiation (as soon as they remove the tumor and the wound is still open). So I started to investigate this.
I first set up an appointment with a radiation oncologist at AGH to discuss radiation treatment and also a doctor at UPMC to discuss the IORT(Inoperative radiation treatment).
I was very satisfied with the doctor at UPMC, especially when I showed him copies of my medical records and he said to me “Oh I see you have triple negative breast cancer” “these are your options for treatment”.
Even though I had read about the various types of radiation treatments, I was very pleased with the doctor stated “these are your options”, I made me feel that the options where up for discussion and that it was not just his choice but our choice of what will happen with my body.
I told him that he would be the one performing my radiation treatment and I would contact him after I have had my reconstructing surgery.
I then proceeded to make appointments with the breast surgeon and the plastic surgeon to discuss what will be happening to me after the chemo treatments.
I am becoming frustrated re my office visit; I feel that I am being rush out I don’t need to see the doctor if they are not going to take the time to discuss with me the plan or educate me. I rather just go and get my treatment. I am making a list and we are going over everything on my list. Or maybe it is time for a new oncologist.
As I prepare for treatment number five still feeling somewhat ok, the tiredness after treatments now is lasting a longer so is the pain in my bones (after the Nulasta injections). Sometimes I wonder if stress could have trigger my cancer because, we all have cancer cells it is; what triggers it?
Nov 18, 2011 – Well, it is time for my last treatment, it went well the nurses the gave me my treatment are wonderful. I applaud them; they are caring and giving, we have had some really good times while getting treatment. I will miss them I hope I don’t have to come back.
This treatment really knocked me off my feet, it made me lay down for three days I couldn’t even go to my kitchen, or answer the phone. I was in so much pain from the Nulasta.
As time go by as I wait for my breast surgery my next step. Well the time is here for breast surgery with reconstruction. Pastor Barbra Gunn said that she would be at the hospital before I go into surgery to pray with me. my surgery is schedule for 7:00 am. I arrived they get me ready for surgery they decided to take me in early, I asked them if they could hold-up until the pastor arrived; they said that they would try.
They where finishing me up to get ready for the operating room when the pastor did arrived, we prayed together. The surgery went very well.
After surgery (2 weeks later) I had to visit the plastic surgeon and the breast surgeon.