January 21, 2014- The Day My Life Changed! I received the news that I had Stage 2 Breast Cancer (after finding my own lump). Receiving this news certainly hit me like a ton of bricks- everything around me got still, I couldn’t breathe, the tears started to flow and would not stop. All I could hear was my mom telling me that it was going to be alright and then she handed me the phone to speak to my grandmother. Unable to speak from crying, my grandmother softly spoke in my ear and said- Go ahead and cry, Let it all out but you FIGHT and know that the LORD is with you and will carry you through this. Finally pulling myself together and taking it all in- I decided that I needed to get a second opinion and if the results till remained, I wanted to make sure that I was treated by the best. So, I decided to contact Cancer Treatment Center of America- who handled everything from insurance verification, getting my medical records for review, travel and hotel accommodations and scheduled a visit to meet with a team of doctors that will review my test results, have all information/treatment options available and ready to discuss when I arrived.
February 4, 2014- The day I drove to Zion, IL to meet with my team of doctors with my mom, dad and cousin as my support team for the week. As I step off the shuttle to enter into the hospital, I am a little nervous but I still hear those words that my grandmother spoke to me. This place atmosphere is truly AMAZING! Upon entering the building, you are greeted right away and everyone you come in contact with are so polite and friendly. Thinking to myself- they definitely have to screen everyone of their employees- everyone here is so warm and friendly! After meeting with 5 doctors from my team- I come to learn that the tumor that was found consist of two forms of cancers- one being invasive and the other noninvasive- which was not good news b/c one was likely to spread to other parts of my body. More testing had to be done to make sure the cancer had not spread and I had to have another biopsy done because a lymph node was found in my armpit and they need to make sure that the cancer had not spread to this area. The GOD I serve is truly AMAZING because the test results were negative and showed the cancer had not spread to any other areas of my body.
February 7, 2014- The day I sat down with my oncologist at CTCA to discuss my chemotherapy options and start Round 1 of what was to be a total of 6 rounds (It just got real). First, thing I thought after hearing the word chemotherapy- I Am Going to Lose my Hair! ( those that know me, know how I am about my hair Lol). But this decision had to be made and at the end of the day- it’s just HAIR- it will grow back! The side effects you may have from chemotherapy depend on the regimen you’re on, the amount of medicine you’re getting, the length of treatment, and your general health. Chemotherapy came with a list of side effects- not just hair loss but nausea, bone/body pains, tiredness, fatigue, insomnia, low white/red blood cell counts, taste/smell change, weight change (in my case gain b/c they kept me on steroids), nail change, mouth sores, memory loss and the list goes on. And I experienced MOST of them- BUT GOD!!!!!
May 29, 2014- TODAY IS THE BIG DAY!!!!!!!! I will receive my LAST ROUND of CHEMO…..I MADE IT…THANK YOU JESUS!!!! This battle is not over yet and I still have to get through surgery and radiation but the worst part is over. Breast Cancer started the fight but I Finished it……I AM A SURVIVOR!!!
My Pink Testimony