Stage Two Invasive Cancer: My Cancer Challenge

Part I

My personal motto is “Count Your Blessings and Not Your Problems Daily” this became very apparent for me on December 15, 2005 when I was diagnoised with Staqe 2 Invasive Cancer Of the right breast. It was a blessing because it was caught early enough to be treated. After my diagnoisis, I had decisions to make. I was told that a mastectomy of the right breast is the best option. I then became concerned about the left breast because I had a history of fibrocystic breasts. My surgeon sent me for a needle core biopsy of that breast on January 10, 2006 which revealed no lumps of concern but there was a fibriodanoma. I made the decision to have both breasts removed so I wouldn’t have to deal with cancer of the left breast in the future.

I had a strong faith in God and had the bilateral mastectomy done on February 8, 2006, my surgeon also removed some of my lymph nodes under the right arm and 6 of those were cancerous.

After a few days in the hospital, I was sent home with a wrapped up chest and 2 drains. A few weeks later, I went to see my surgeon who removed the drains and the wrap. I saw myself for the first time without breasts and to the surprise of the nurse she replied I handled it very well. I felt no need to cry, I was ready to move on to the next step. I was then referred to an Oncologist, who prescribed chemotherapy and radiation treatments. It was explained that this was a normal course of action because of the cancer invading the lymph nodes. In preparation to have chemo administered, I had a muga scan to determine if my heart was strong enough to tolerate chemo and I had minor surgery for the insertion of a port. The port made it easier to administer the chemo.

My chemotherapy began a week after the surgery for the port insertion on March 13, 2006. I was told to expect the loss of my curly hair. Now this was a sticker shock, because after the second treatment, I began to lose my hair. I’ve always had a thick head of hair and this was the first time I would be without any. I didn’t realize how much air I was missing until I had no hair. Now I understand why some men just go around bald. It’s just easier to put on a cap and go about your business. I preferred wearing a baseball cap rather than fussing with a wig.

I don’t wish chemotherapy on anyone because of the side effects. I had to deal with vomiting. There is medication to help with the nausea however, chemo is poison and the body has to expell it from your system, so throwing up is a way to do just that. I had mouth sores for Easter, so I couldn’t enjoy eating my Easter dinner, let alone an easter egg. The oncologist prescribed a magical mouthwash for me. I’ve no idea what was in it but it worked its magic. The mouth sores were gone in a week. There are several side effects to chemo and not everyone experiences them all. I had my last chemo treatment on June 29, 2006 and right after that, I developed another side effect known as neuropathy of the fingers and toes. This is a condition that numbs the aforementioned areas. This is common to diabetics also. To this very day, I still have some numbness in my fingers and toes. The oncologist tells me, it will eventually wear off on its own.

My cancer challenge has inspired me to promote awareness that “Cancer Doesn’t Have To Be A Death Sentence” by having OnLine Talk Shows. My first show was held on June 24, 2006 and it was successful. On June 23, 2007, I am having a show to celebrate the 1 year anniversary of my OnLine Talk Shows. I plan to increase the 1 hour shows to a monthly venture to continue to be an inspiration to others who may be facing a cancer challenge. I will be discussing, “Surgery Because Of Cancer” on the upcoming show. I am always in search of others who are willing to share their experiences.

On September 13, 2006, I completed my radiation treatments. I thank God for walking with me through this journey. Be on the lookout for part 2 of my journey in the near future. In the meantime, remember to “Count Your Blessings and Not Your Problems Daily”