Looking back, moving forward

Looking back, moving forward

Hi loves! Where do I start?

These past few months since surgery have been nothing short of exhausting. Coaching, working, getting back into a “normal” routine… scratch that. My new “normal” is far from what it’s ever been.

I still receive Herceptin infusions every three weeks until August of 2017 and next week I start the T word. For those of you unfamiliar with what I’m referring to, it’s tamoxifen. I’m triple positive, which basically means that my tumor grew from my hormone receptor cells being like “Hey body, grow these cells like it’s your job, overachieve the average and create a tumor!”and here we are ;] Tamoxifen will block the hormone receptors from the hormones in hopes that I don’t grow a tumor the size of a golf ball again. It is expected that I will be taking Tamoxifen for the next ten years. Along with tamoxifen, my oncologist will slowly introduce my body to another drug, Zoladex. Zoladex will make my ovaries “quiet.” Theses drugs can be harsh on the body and if it begins to hinder my quality of life significantly, my oncologist will talk other options. Common side effects include: weight gain, hot flashes (don’t miss you), bone pain, mood swings, amongst other things. Risk of other diseases, such as other cancers can come about from taking these drugs. Lovely thought, huh?

What else?

I’ve gained seven pounds since I was diagnosed… seven pounds doesn’t seem like much to some of you, especially when the whole pharmacy has been through your body the past six months, but to my sweet little messed up head… seven pounds means that I have lost control. I’ve spent most of my 20’s working on a mindset to let go of that mentality.  I’ve had anxiety since I can remember and these eating disordered thoughts weirdly enough, served my mind almost like a safety net. A place where my mind could focus on something and give myself a sense of control. Weight gain in many eating disordered heads means loss of that “control.”  Call me Dr. Jessica because I believe now that I don’t what’s to happen with my future and cancer, my mind is reverting back to these thoughts, a sick and falsely twisted sense of control and right now, my mind thinks I’m losing, that I am weak. So now, I’m faced with this challenge again. A challenge that I didn’t think I would revisit so soon and sudden.

Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond thankful to have found my tumor, to receive treatment, to live in a time where there are pills that help the chance of recurrence, but God I am scared.

Cancer is a bitch, mental illness is a bitch.

Cheers to this new battle I’m about to face! My history tells me that I can beat this and that’s what I will try and focus on ❤

“It took cancer to find my voice and I won’t stay silent” -speaker at the YSC Summit.

 

 

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Breast Cancer with a side of baggage. Part one: The Egg Freezing Experience

Breast Cancer with a side of baggage. Part one: The Egg Freezing Experience

When I was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, I was expecting either chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or all of the above. With my specific type of cancer, chemotherapy before all else is recommended to shrink the tumor first. What I wasn’t expecting was everything else that comes along with the diagnosis. In my mind it basically went like this: “Hey you have cancer and since you’re going through chemotherapy, do you want kids in the future ? There is a big chance you will become infertile after treatment.”

Um… what? I may be 25 but being a college student along with my financial status, I cannot picture having kids of my own for AT LEAST 8-10 years. If I decide to have kids that is. I LOVE kids; I work with them and my career will involve working with kids- just the idea of having my own is way out of the picture currently. WAY*

As a sweet little birdie put it (boyfriend’s mom) freezing my eggs is like a “savings account.” It’ll be there if/when I need it.

So then the egg-freezing process started. Insurance doesn’t cover this because I am not proven to be infertile, nor have tried to get pregnant. Christ no I have not tried to get pregnant. So about 4500 dollars later, I had appointments with the specialists every other day to track my treatment progress. Internal ultrasounds and having my blood drawn every other day is as fun as it sounds; especially when the appointments take place bright and early in Evanston. But hey! At least I found out I’m allergic to one of the medications (Letrozole) It looked a little something like this:

allergicreaction3
Go big or go home amiright?

 

During the time of retrieval,  they retrieved a lot of eggs. After examining each egg, they keep the ‘good’ ones to freeze. Don’t ask me the exact amount because I have chemo brain and I don’t know what the exact number is LOL. Chemo brain is very very real, it can also be frustrating, but sometimes hilarious. Sometimes I can’t form words and stutter like it’s my job. Thanks chemo, or lack of sleep…or both.

Here’s some more baggage and how I saw it in my mind:

“OH P.S  your hair will fall out, this particular regimen of chemo can cause weight gain and can be very hard to lose and we are going to place a portacath in before you can start chemo.” “PS PS- You like dairy? Too bad, limit it to a very minimum.”

… To be continued on part ii of this blog, next week. I initially had the rest posted here, but it was WAY TOO LONG

❤ Until next time

(Here’s a song that I listen to on those tough days. I love allll types of music. For those of you who don’t know me well, I especially love Pretty Lights. Who knows, maybe this song will help you too. Listen here THANKFULLY I GET MY PL FIX IN CHICAGO THIS MONTH)