First let me first start by saying thank you to my wonderful family and loving friends who are helping me through this difficult time. My “About Me” section would not be complete if I didn’t mention those that mean the most to me first, including Dan, my Little Precious, who has been by my side every day and night and who’s the love of my life; I know this without a doubt and more than ever; we’ve been through a lot together and have never been stronger than we are right now. I love him with all my heart. And the other loves of my life, my wonderful Mom, for which words cannot express our mother~daughter bond. She is the most caring, loving, fun, super-fabulous person I know and the best mother in the world. I talk to her every day, sometimes 5 times a day and love it that way. She has been at all my doctor appointments, being there every step of the way, while rallying support troops at her work and with her friends. Words can go on forever. And my wonderful Dad, the best dad in the world, with his cheerful, positive and loving attitude, and sisters, Nina and Natalie, who have all been with me to my appointments and helped and cheered me up along the way. I have an extremely close bond with my entire family (parents are still happily married by the way), full of the most happy childhood memories that we still hold on to every day and laugh about often. I have the best family anyone could ever want and am extremely lucky for that. My life has been and always will be blessed and fulfilled because of them. Sometimes when I think back on our old family memories, which make me so happy and grateful, I get teary eyed at the same time knowing that we’re all grown up and living apart (at least only by 20 miles though). The tears are also happy tears showing God my gratitude.
I also have a wonderful extended family and the best group of friends ever. Aunt Lori, our talks have been great and I love listening to your funny, 20 minute long messages, they always cheer me up and I often respond in discussion thinking I’m actually talking to you – which always make me giggle. I love our real talks too. Your positive outlook on life is endearing and inspiring. Thank you to everyone else who has called to wish me well, sent cards, flowers. etc. I am overwhelmed with love and support and thank you all so much for that.
And my wonderful friends. Janelle and Kelly, you are my dearest best friends and I am so thankful to have you in my life. I love you both like sisters. Heather and Courtney, I think of and love our friendship the same way. Thank you for all the support, talks, and friendship. And my other wonderful friends, you know who you are and I’m sorry I can’t name you all but I love you all the same.
And Dan’s family, who I love as my own, is as wonderful as I could ever imagine. I love you all. Dad and JoAnne, thank you so much for everything you’ve done for us over the past couple years, even through tough times yourselves. Lisa, Buddy, and all the kids, Judy and Steve, Mark and Heather, Stephanie and Barry, Dave and Kim, you are best family of in-laws I could have ever wanted. JoAnne, you are truly helpful, a fabulous person and the best, most loving and caring mother-in-law. I hope you realize how special and loved you are.
To avoid making my “About Me” section any longer than it already is, I’ve reserved another section for special thank you notes and other “shout outs” (currently being published).
Ok, now for the “About Me” part. So this doesn’t become a long drawn out autobiography, I will only explain what is relevant for this blog itself, starting with Dan and I trying to get pregnant. For the past 3-4 years, we have been trying to get pregnant. We underwent several fertility treatments, fertility testing, hormone treatments, office visits, etc. After 3+ years of trying and hoping, we were told “in vitro fertilization” (IVF) was our only option in the fourth quarter of 2008. We therefore gave up (for lack of a better word) for a while and were just waiting until the time was right, since IVF involves a lot of office visits, hormone injections and thousands of dollars. To our surprise however, we became pregnant in February 2009 and were so shocked, pleasantly surprised, grateful and super excited. We got the nursery all set up again (after setting it up years ago and taking it down more than a few times), started shopping, eating right, planning, picking out names, etc. We were truly excited and after years of trying it was a much needed happy relief time. Unfortunately it was short lived, as miscarriage followed two weeks later. Before learning of the miscarriage, I remember telling Janelle how special and exciting that moment was seeing the plus sign on the pregnancy test, after dozens of historical negative ones, and wishing I could relieve that moment so I could feel that initial overwhelming excitement again. As you read through my blog pages you will soon learn that I won’t be able to get pregnant now until I’m 37, so being able to have that moment then was special in its own way. After the miscarriage I thought “what else could go wrong” and thought nothing could be worse. I soon realized that I still had a lot to be thankful for and know now to be grateful for what I have, and not dwell on what I don’t, as I usually did before, as many of us do. I feel now that that was such a waste of time.
Now for the cancer and the reason for my blog. I found a hard lump area in my breast sometime around July or August 2008, showed it one of my doctors (not mentioned on my blog pages) and was told it was nothing to worry about. When I got pregnant in February 2009, another lump showed up in my armpit. When I showed them to my gynecologist, he said they were common, probably hormonal from the pregnancy and nothing to worry about. When I miscarried two weeks later, the lumps didn’t go away and the one in my armpit was actually getting bigger. Shortly after, on March 10 2009, I watched an Oprah Dr. Oz special on medical mistakes and quickly began questioning my doctor’s initial thoughts about the lumps being nothing. At that point, I insisted on a mammogram and they ordered a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound upon my request.
My mammogram and ultrasound appointment was on Tuesday, March 17 at Charlotte Radiology, and that’s where and when I first heard they thought it was cancer, but I wouldn’t find out for sure until a week or so later or know more details. A biopsy was ordered for that Friday, March 20, 2009. I found out it was Invasive Ductal Carcinoma on Tuesday, March 24, 2009, the day before my 31st birthday. I will use the other blog pages on the left to go through the details of my appointments, results and details about the cancer.
Before that, I just want to thank you for all your best wishes, thoughts and prayers. It has been like a full time job keeping up with all my appointments, doctor calls, doctor visits, researching what I have and my treatments, phone calls, emails, text messages. Thank you for everyone’s support, especially those I mentioned above, my fabulous co-workers and my boss Stephanie, who has been such a good friend/support, so understanding and so supportive through all of this. Thank you so much.