WOW, how do I start. Heres my story and what lies ahead of me. I came home from a long work week of travel and it was my first night in my bed, and my female doberman missed me so she decided to sleep at the foot of my bed. That morning she hit my right breast with her paw as i was playing with her in the morning and i felt a strong pop. With in a few months I developed a red rash, in which made me go in for a check up. I found out on Nov 1st after a biopsey came back postive for Inflammatory Best Cancer ( IBC), it grows fast its unlike other types of breast cancer. 1-4% of woman with breast cancer have this type, it is the rarest, most aggressive and dangerous form of breast cancer. The absence of a lump or mass makes it hard to detect by a mammogram and therefore can spread undetected. I have been getting mamograms every year along with a yearly check up. IBC enters the skin and lymph vessels of the breast. It is important to seek treatment for IBC at a clinic that specializes in IBC. Well, MD ANDERSON in HOUSTON TX is the one place that does this. I am not working in the field anymore, however I still work from home as most of you know how passionate i am about my job/industry. Moreover, what I make does not cover out of state care in Houston, so I need to raise funds to get myself there for surgery, follow up care, radiation therapy, and conitued chemo for a year and finally removal of my second/healthy breast. All of this depending on how much I raise! I have completed 7 rounds of chemo and I have two more to go. I will have one breast removed first then the other 6 months after radiation is completed. After surgery I will remain in Houston for 2 weeks. After the 2 week period I fly home and do physical therapy for 2-3 weeks before flying back to Houston for radiation therapy. Its also very differnt as I will need radition therpy 2X a day for 4 1/2 weeks - 44 treatments along with getting back to chemo. 6 months after radiation I go back for the second breast removal. I want to express that I am struggling with being away from my boys so MD ANDERSON has been working with my FL Oncologist but I am definitely having the surgery and follow up care in Houston. The WAR ends for me when the docs say I am free and clear of my tumor markers. For those that want to know, breast cancer is broken up into three categories those patients that are HER2 positive (named after a receptor found on the cancer cell), estrogen/progestosterone positive (again receptors that are found on the cancer cell), triple negative (cancer cell that is void of receptors). The advancement of cancer therapy has been in the development new chemo agents targeting HER2 receptors. 15 years agao IBC had a 100% mortality rate, today if your HER2 positive and responding well to chemo and the cancer has not spread then those statics have improved to 50% that an IBC patient makes it to the 5 year mark and 30% to make it to the 10 year mark (I plan on being one of the IBC survivors!). If you would like to learn more https://www.mdanderson.org/cancer-types/breast-cancer/breast-cancer-facts.html
I have so many other details that I hope to share and hopefully I will get to do just that with all my friends. Lastly, I am staying positive/strong but understand this is not easy for me, simply asking for help, trust me to the core would rather be giving than asking for help.
MUCH LOVE DIANA