Last week, I had a nagging headache for most of the day. I felt a little tired, a little sluggish, and stressed about some things in my personal life. Ordinarily, this is no big deal. However, there is a seismic shift in perspective that takes place after a cancer diagnosis, in particular, a metastatic diagnosis. … Continue reading What Are You Afraid Of?
This is the first of what I am hoping to be many letters from those living with breast cancer to those who have been newly diagnosed. I use the term "survivor" as an all-encompassing one, to include not only those who have completed treatment, but for all of us who are living with this disease. … Continue reading My Survivor Letter
Finding rhythm in life is a tricky thing, because it always seems like something pops up that throws us off our game. Or maybe that's just me. I'm a tremendous creature of habit, and the last few months have been an exercise in creating new habits for myself, and trying to discern which current habits … Continue reading The Rhythm of the Ups and Downs
We've had a lot of weather here in New York the last few weeks. Snow storms have turned into freezing rain, then drops in temperature have turned everything into ice. This morning, I was walking across my frozen lawn carrying groceries in from the car to the house. As I stepped onto the grass, I … Continue reading Metaphors of Care
It's been a pretty tough last couple of weeks for me. Between the intensity of the diagnostic process and the flurry of the holidays, I have been pushing though on a lot of adrenaline. Things have finally settled down, and life has gone back to normal. Except my new normal feels sort of terrifying, bleak, … Continue reading The Hard Days
Yesterday, I started a new medication - Ibrance. It's a new class of drugs called CDK 4/6 inhibitors, that was only very recently approved by the FDA. I take it every morning for 3 weeks with letrozole, an aromatase inhibitor, and then have one week off. Each month is a "cycle" on the drug. Truthfully, … Continue reading The Ibrance Dance
I've been on my initial treatment medications for nearly a month now. So far, the Letrozole hasn't been too bad - I haven't noticed many side effects, other than feeling more tired than normal, and I still have a bit of pain. I've also been experiencing a lot of hot flashes as a result of … Continue reading A Few Updates
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I knew almost nothing about it. For all of the pink ribbons out there, all of the breast cancer awareness to be spread, I don't think I was alone in having a fairly poor understanding of this disease. The biggest component to breast cancer awareness is breast cancer education, … Continue reading Breast Cancer 101: What is Breast Cancer?
Coming to terms with the loss of my fertility has been one of the most difficult parts of my breast cancer diagnosis. My cancer is estrogen-receptor positive, which means that any estrogen in my body fuels tumor growth. Unfortunately, a pregnancy creates a tremendous amount of estrogen in a woman's body. After my original diagnosis, I … Continue reading The Hardest Decision I Didn’t Get to Make
When faced with a diagnosis like mine, you find coping mechanisms where you can. In the first few weeks, I kept trying to stay busy by cleaning and organizing our house, but often would get overwhelmed with all of the little things that needed to be done. The house repairs. The dust in the bathroom … Continue reading The Most Important Step