Much has happened since my diagnosis with Breast Cancer and with the help of CaringBridge.org, I am able to keep my family and friends updated with my ups and downs through treatment. My sister, Kelly, started my journal for me on Friday January 6th, the day of my double mastectomy, as a central stop for all to see my progress. From there I ran, or rather crept (no running yet), with the opportunity to journal. Below are some excerpts from my journal entries, and for those who are going through or have loved ones going through a medical situation, I highly recommend CaringBridge.org as an outlet. It has made my life easier because I am able to let everyone, as a whole, know who? what? when? where? and how? I am in my journey.
Journal entry by Kelly — 1/6/2017
Hey All, its Chris.
Amy’s sister Kelly started up this page for us to use as a means of mass communication to keep everyone updated as much as we can. First part of the surgery is complete. We just met with the breast surgeon and everything went well. No complications. We are now on to phase 2 with the plastic surgeon to begin the reconstruction process. Surgery should be over by in the next couple hours and on to recovery.
The Cancer Marathon (I hate marathons!)
Journal entry by Amy Mullins — 1/10/2017
While my emotional marathon began back at the end of October, my physical race began this past Friday January 6th. And while the pain at times takes my breathe away and make me cry, and the exhaustion can bring me to my knees, the OVERWHELMING outreach of acquaintances, friends, my Disney family, and my family have kept me on my feet moving forward. The next leg of the race are the results and what my treatment will be. Lymph nodes were removed and are being tested along with the tumor, we should hear back any day now. My hope is I go straight to hormonal therapy but what will be, will be.
Thank you all for the kind texts and messages I am receiving daily. I read them all and while I may not have responded back, PLEASE, know they mean ever so much. Walt Disney once said, “I have been up against tough competition all my life. I wouldn’t know how to get along without it.” Well so have I. I am a fighter for a reason, it must be a path that was predestined for me and this time I plan on putting this cancer in its place and making it across that finish line.
No Radiation!! And GO STEELERS!!!
Journal entry by Amy Mullins — 1/22/2017
Last Thursday some good news came my way.
First, during the time of surgery, my breast surgeon removed 15 lymph nodes because she truly thought, just by sight, ALL 15 contained cancer. Thankfully, she was wrong and only 2 had cancer in them. Either way, the medical oncologist and the radiation oncologist would have recommended me going back into surgery to remove more lymph nodes had my breast surgeon not done so in the initial surgery.
Second, during a meeting of my medical team, while it was determined I would be going through chemo (we are still waiting on the oncotype test) I was borderline for the possibility of radiation. They decided to bring on three radiation oncologists to discuss my case and ALL 3 felt I would not need radiation. I was very happy to hear this.
We will take the miracles and small wins. This Tuesday I am going for a full body and bone scan just for peace of mind for the doctors and myself. They do not feel it as spread but we will go ahead and just rule it out 100%.
Thank you to all for your prayers and support, I can’t imagine going it alone. Now let’s hope the Steelers beat the Patriots!!!
Round 1!!!! of a 4 Round Fight!!!!
Journal entry by Amy Mullins — 2/3/2017
This morning at 9am I reported to my first battle with Chemo. I can not say enough about the nurses at Fair Oaks INOVA Cancer Center, they made today feel more like a social event than a chemo event. I am sure I was a breathe of fresh air because I was younger and they were my age, so I chatted the majority of the time while they filled me with steroids, Benadryl, Taxotere and Cytoxan. The procedure finished around 1:30, easy-peasy lemon-squeezie.
I, also, met with the Lead Nurse Navigator, for the Fair Oaks branch, of a HUGE non-profit organization called Life With Cancer, which works with all INOVA hospitals. They offer an incredible array of services to those fighting the Fight and their families. I took this opportunity to network the non-profit organization Kelly, Chris, Angela and I are creating (news will follow about this as soon as all the paperwork is filed). She was incredibly thrilled with the organization and what it will offer and as soon as we are ready to roll she wants more information to present to Life With Cancer. I am so amazingly excited for this adventure and helping so many in such a small slumbering way.
How do I feel? GREAT, and very talkative but that’s the steroids speaking. Monday will be when the Chemo fatigue kicks in but for now, I don’t feel like I had anything done. Tomorrow, I am going to have my hair cut to a pixie cut length, think Charlize Theron. It will make the physical part of the hair falling out easier and less sensitive. I should expect to start seeing hair loss around day-13ish. My White Blood Cell count will be its lowest around day-10 to day-15, so no sickies at my house or near me, Stay Far, Far, Away in Another Galaxy. In 19 days I AM GOING TO WALT DISNEY WORLD!!!!! I am sure many of you are NOT surprised by this magical news this is the third year of tradition of some incredible women who I love dearly and while I may not be able to do much, being around them will heal me in so many ways*o*
And I truly can not thank you enough for the outpouring of prayers, gifts and those who are helping with dinners. I continue to be blessed by this diagnosis. I see how so much good is out there, we ALL need to remember this. While there is so MUCH gloom and doom surrounding us, take a moment and open your eyes and see ALL the Good. It truly far out ways the bad and only YOU can choose to decide what you WANT to see. Be kind to one another.
Thank You Kindly and Much, Faith, Trust, Pixie Dust and a whole lot of Jesus.
Feel free to follow along ,via my journal entries, through CaringBridge.org and stay tuned, I see a non-profit in my future and some blogs about Where did my eyebrows and eyelashes go???? Oh wait! I had chemo;)