• 4everFaithful's Avatar

    4everFaithful shared an experience

    Other Care (As we continue to move forward): It was 9 years ago this week that this journey began. So many that I meet ask how do I stay so positive after 9 years of this...all I can say is that from the first diagnosis I have relied on my FAITH. During this last diagnosis I said that God would not have REVEALED it if He wasn't going to HEAL it. It is only because of His blessings that I am still here. I have watched others who have virtually identical prognosis not survive. I wonder everyday why I have been so blessed. I am believing that God has a purpose for me to go through this journey. Perhaps His purpose is for me to share my journey and to help others see that there are SURVIVORS. I am not just surviving, I am LIVING a truly BLESSED life. Are there hard days? Absoluely there are, but I have learned that it is not how strong I am, but how strong HE is. I don't ask why, I just know that it is only by God's grace that I am here today to share my story.

    1 Comment
    • FreeBird's Avatar
      FreeBird

      Best wishes to you and your family for good health.

      about 5 years ago
  • 4everFaithful's Avatar

    4everFaithful shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): As we waited for the radiation treatment to its job, I began a new round of chemotherapy. Tykerb is a pill based treatment that you take from home daily. The biggest side effects have to do with my digestive system. Tykerb had greatly decreased my appetite and when I do eat I am instantly in the bathroom to release it. It has been over 8 years since the first treatment began and I would say this was the first time I felt bad. It was not so bad that I stayed home (though many told me I should), I continued to work and learned how to utilize nausea meds to get me through the day. Over the past 6 years, I had gained over 60 pounds between the hormone shots and Herceptin. Well those 60 pounds and 20 more are now gone. Over the past year I have dropped 80 pounds. Again, I was lucky that I had gained all the extra weight because now I am back to an average weight of 150 lbs., many people would be emaciated after an 80 pound weight loss.

  • 4everFaithful's Avatar

    4everFaithful shared an experience

    Radiation (External radiation ): Radiation was the first mode of attack. My radiation oncologist had previously been successful at taking care of my reoccurences so I had faith that he will do it again. I had to have whole brain radiation due to the size and location.. This round brought exhaustion a little quicker than before but once again God was faithful and I was able to work daily. I was even able to drive myself during treatment, which often is not the case during brain radiation. After 4 weeks of M-F radiation, the tumor had reduced only slightly The next step was a more targeted approach using a special laser radiation device. Once again, we sought a 2nd opinion and decided to have this procedure performed at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. We decided on a dosage that was spread out over 5 days. these treatments wiped me out. I did not work that week and my mom came to help since my husband had just returned to work following a terrible accident. I returned to work the next week determined but tired, luckily the winter holidays were just two weeks away.

  • 4everFaithful's Avatar

    4everFaithful shared an experience

    Oh No (Cancer has spread/Metastasized): I have continued the maintenance meds for the past 3 years. All scans and bloodwork are telling us that the meds are working! But just as I am returning from summer break, I developed an incredible headache. For the first few days I write it off to being back at work and all the dust that comes with unpacking. As the week progresses, the headaches (which I never get) just get worse. As Friday rolls around I feel as if a vise is clamped to the back of my head. As I look back...there was God saying LOOK HERE. I saw my primary on Friday and we scheduled a CAT scan for Monday. Within an hour of the test, they called to report that there was a tumor in the deepest part of my brain (the thalamus) and the headaches were from the pressure it was causing. I instantly started steroids which quickly relieved the pressure. The next few days included several appointments and reconnecting with my radiologist. I would soon learn that the maintenance drugs I have been taking do not cross the blood brain barrier, so they were protecting everything from the neck down.

  • 4everFaithful's Avatar

    4everFaithful shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Maintenance drugs here we come): Though my cancer was in remission...we wanted to keep it that way so I began a maintenance routine of receiving Herceptin every 3 weeks via my port. I also receive Faslodex, a hormone therapy to keep as much estrogen out of my body as possible. My original breast cancer was HER + at a 3+ level. My additional reoccurences were also estrogen +. Even though I had 2 rounds of chemo therapy and radiation, my body still wanted to produce estrogen. I had a hysterectomy years earlier but now it was time to take my ovaries (a very easy procedure). Here's hoping the third time is a charm and we will never find more cancer.

    1 Comment
    • ITLBOK's Avatar
      ITLBOK

      I agree w your findings. Herceptin for a year NO OVARIES. Femara ( good drug) for blocking hormones later. Pill form.

      over 3 years ago
  • 4everFaithful's Avatar

    4everFaithful shared an experience

    Celebration (Remission): YAHOO..all scans are clear! All blood tests are good, though I have learned my cancer does not like to show in my blood. My tumor markers are always clear and then BOOM a scan shows cancer. Go figure!! After original diagnosis and 2 reoccurrences we are on year 5 and feeling strong. Though the reoccuence in my hip moved us to Stage 4, I am in remission!