Friday, March 6, 2015

Kicking Cancer's Ass!---with photos *Graphic Photo at the end of this post*

   I was 29 years old, and scared shitless! How else are you supposed to feel when you're diagnosed with breast cancer? Before diagnosis I was a lively 29 year old, long hair-good complexion. I loved life and I worked all the time because I loved my job as a CNA more than any job I'd ever had. I took this selfie at said job, not knowing I would not look this way for long.
Funny how life changes so fast. Just months after taking this I started chemo. Actually the day I was diagnosed (Stage 2a Highly Invasive Ductal Carcinoma of the left breast, with some lymph node involvement), I cut my hair short. And the week after my 2nd treatment I shaved it bald. 

  I knew it would be hard, or at least I assumed as much from what I've seen in the movies. First up was the "Red Devil", also known as Adriamicin. It was literally red, like cherry kool-aid. I also had to start take the chemo drug Cytoxin at the same time. The ice cold chairs were so uninviting, but they gave me enough benedryl, I went right to sleep. I did 4 rounds of it, and was scared the whole time because Adriamicin is bad stuff. You can only get so much in a lifetime because it weakens your heart over time. It can also cause Leukemia in the future. So that's comforting right? 
   After that, I did 12 rounds of Taxol. It wasn't so bad. My hair even started coming back in with that one. 
I finished that awful mess in September of 2014. I was so stoked to be done with that part of it. My oncologist recommended radiation, and I recommended a new oncologist. There was no way I was adding radiation to my heart on top of the chemicals I already weakened it with. I'm too young to be dead. Fast forward to January 16, 2015. Only a month before I turned 31, I opted for a double mastectomy, because radiation was not an option for me. I was being proactive for my own health, and I never had huge boobs to begin with so what would having them cut off hurt? I came home the day after surgery, felt like I was on top of the world. I was so thankful and felt so alive. It's crazy how invigorating it is, to take victories away from this disease. I came home with tubes hanging from my body, those were gross and semi painful, but aside from that I was never really in any discomfort.  Now, eventually I will do reconstruction, I also have to have a hysterectomy because of the hormones that drive the cancer's growth in the future, but for now I'm grateful to be alive. I got the all clear a year to date after being diagnosed. January 23, 2015 I am cancer free! I'm going to post a photo of my incisions and drains below, to show that I am not ashamed of my body. It brought 4 babies into this world and was strong enough to defeat this demon. **WARNING PHOTO BELOW OF MASTECTOMY SCARS/DRAINS!** 
I thank you for taking the time to read my story. 
DO YOUR SELF CHECKS LADIES!
Cancer does not discriminate against any age or sex. 
If you feel something when doing your self check and something doesn't feel right, go to the Dr and get a second opinion! You can never be too safe. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed in their lifetime. 


15 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I am going to be 32 but when I was 17 I felt lumps and had them removed. Luckily they were nothing but yes, no matter what age, check yourselves.

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    1. You're welcome! I don't think people realize how important it is to know your body. I'm glad you were okay!

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  2. You are SO brave! I love that you have sense of humor, where some would have none! I love you, Jerica! You're beautiful, & inspiring! .

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    1. Thank you Stephanie! I think a sense of humor is a vital part of survival. :)

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  3. god bless you love..your one strong woman.You truly are a survivor and thank you for sharing your journey. I never checked myself but for now on i will. promise.

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    1. I hope you do! Self checks are so important. I wish there was more emphasis on breast cancer effecting younger women and men.

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  4. You are am inspiration to women! Thank you so much for sharing your story. I will pray for your continued good health! Xoxo

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  5. My mum recently was diagnosed with breast cancer, you are so brave for sharing your story! sending prayers!

    Amy

    acosmeticsobsession.com

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  6. I'll keep her in my prayers! It's a hard journey, but it's a beautiful battle because it teaches us what's important in life.

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  7. my sister was 35/36 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer I was shocked because of how young she was but in your 20s?! after a double mastectomy and 18 lymph nodes later she is a survivor it is a long road and has had multiple scares since but all you can do is hope and pray for the best

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    1. 35/36 is still young to have it. It's scary, but if you have a good support system, it makes everything easier!

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  8. Thanks for sharing your story! You are an amazing woman and you are truly an inspiration! I will pray that you have continued good health and success! You are beautiful person...don't ever change!

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    1. Thank you Martisa, you're very kind. :)

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  9. Thanks for sharing your story. My grandma had breast cancer and survived after surgery. My mom had throat cancer and survived after surgery and radiation. Good luck and best of health to you.

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