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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These Breasts

These Breasts

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Those breasts? The breasts that replaced the cancer along with the tissue from the other breast as a precaution because of the multiple cysts that were benign but that could’ve changed with time. Those bandages? The bandages currently being worn to make sure my incisions heal correctly… & yes, the scars are that long. The lumps on the left breast? It’s from the drain within my breast removing the fluids. I had four after surgery. I had minor complications with the left breast healing so it’s on a little longer than the rest. The extra fat you see near my armpits? I went smaller in breast size so I’m left with excess fat from the breasts that will require yet another procedure to remove it once I’m healed. It’s also a reminder of the breasts that gave me years of insecurity, and clearly cancer. Those implants? The implants take away the ability to ever have the opportunity to breast feed children in the future. That key hanging from my neck? One of the most beautiful gifts that I have ever received. It’s from the Giving Key’s  with the word “HOPE” in the middle. I’m supposed to “embrace the word” and “pay it forward by passing on the key to a person that needs the message more” than myself. Reconstruction surgery isn’t glamorous, and it’s far from easy. However, with this simple reminder perfectly placed near the scars and damage as I’m still healing, is the best reminder to never lose hope, and strive for a better tomorrow & the healthiest possible life.

 (The key was gifted from one of my cancer sisters, Grace) 

Initially posted this on Instagram: jessheleno