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Dates and Details

February 25-Mammogram
March 15-MRI
March 19-Core Biopsy
March 23-Cancer Diagnosis
April 14-Double Mastectomy
May 24-Oncologist Meeting
June 7 - Starting Tamoxifen Therapy
August 25 - Reconstruction Surgery
August 27 -Yale Second Opinion
August 31 - "Reconstruction" Complete

It has been confirmed:
No Chemo or Radiation is required

Feb.1 The Story Starts
February 2011
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    Archive for February, 2011

    You’d Never Know

    Let’s put it this way…you’d see my sister and you’d NEVER know she’s three chemo treatments in. 

    She’s full of life, be-bopping around, doing her ususal schedule, at work…and even out a few times out at night!   And she’s looking better than ever.  In fact, I’ve been stepping up my makeup and hair styling to keep up as she’s been taunting me that I may not look like the younger sister these day…hummm, gotta love an older sister!

    And in case you are wondering – Yes, in the privacy of her own home or mine, wig-less she’s without hair..but  her eyes, smile and auora take over to shine with beauty.  Never again will I think a bad hair day is an issue…if your eyes are bright and your smile is in place, that’s clearly all you need!

    So we are now three chemo treatments down and five to go! And there’s nothing my sister seems to want more than to have “more behind her than ahead of her”.  So we await the smiles in looking forward to saying 4 down…5 down and  3 to go…and so on.

    So how are things in general with me?  I’m doing well and quite honestly, this has made my recovery and my mindset toward my breast cancer even more in check.  As life would have it, it’s not about me now.  If you’ve been reading here for a bit, you know that it’s been a winding path for me … and never did I expect for this Cancer By The Day story to be more than mine.  But it’s now more about my sister.

    My sister was one of the biggest “quiet critics” about me sharing my story so publicly…she couldn’t understand how such a private point in life would make sense to share on the Internet. 

    Now, she gets it.

    She often talks about “her book” — the story of all this in the past year and what it means…and how it’s so changed us all.  Good, bad and all the in between it’s brought us.  I can’t describe what happens to you — but you just want to share everything you go through to help the next — a pay it forward approach.  With hopes of it being less scary, less panicked, less unknown and less “alone” for the next…

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    2 Down 4 to Go

    Next week will be chemo round three for Anna. She’s just been so incredible, only to be almost trumped by the strength of her kids and husband…and our mom and dad.

    It’s still quite strange to share someone else’s breast cancer experience other than mine…but at the same time, it being my sister, makes it so close to home and heart.

    Its so hard to explain what life feels like right now…life in general…me not the patient, supporting someone making my journey seem so far past in just 10 months.

    What made my day? Anna telling me after treatment, “I never imagined I’d laugh this much”. No pity party, healthy sibling rivalry continues — love, few tears and lots of quality time. Still smiling!

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    R U Awake?

    For years now I’d get random text messages from my sister checking if I was up late at night. To which I’m sure she’d laugh when the reply would be received the next day or a few later if gone unnoticed. Tables had turned from the days I’d be heading out at 9pm and she’d be ready to tuck in her toddlers. Now that me the one early to bed! .. And she’s taken the title of night owl from me.

    But tonight its after midnight, I am awake hoping the whole family is sleeping and holding back the text to check!

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    Maintaining White Blood Cell Counts

    It’s easy to see that my sister is a lot like me when it comes to planning.  We both tend to schedule and calendarize everything and the chemo treatments are marked on both our calendars…each one in place, with the end date in sight!  It’s always powerful to look at the “end goal” to get through anything you need to, this is no different.

    So to stay on track with the forecasted chemo treatments, blood counts play a major role.  Before each chemo treatment, they run blood work to ensure that your able to receive the next treatment.  They look at dozens of things, but the main one is the level of white blood cells to fight off infections and to prove your immune system is geared up to take on what might hit in the time between the next treatment.

    So, here we are in the middle of cold and flu season…everyone dropping to the bug in rounds and my sister part of the cycle.  I just texted her a little “nudge” to make sure she’s taking a good multivitamin, eating eggs, green leafy vegetables, fish and fish to help the counts be stable.  To ease the nagging, I offered to do some shopping for her and I might just be popping into her kitchen to prepare her some grab and go meals~

    I’m a pest, she knows it…it’s A-OK I’m sure.

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