It’s been too long since my last update, but I wanted to let all my friends, family and patients know that I have completed my last round of chemo today. It has been a long journey, easier in many ways than I had expected and harder in others. Thankfully, I have had it pretty easy in terms of side effects, very little nausea and thus far have managed to not get neuropathy. Harder in terms of being tired all the time, weight gain (seriously, who gains weight during chemo but me..) and just the emotional burden of waking up every single day and having the first thought be… “ugh I still have cancer.” But I have stayed strong and positive and I am happy to put phase 1 of treatment to a close.
What’s next? Tomorrow I have a breast MRI to see how well the chemotherapy has worked in shrinking the tumor and more importantly, in treating the positive axillary nodes. While many people have surgery before chemo, my doctors hoped that by doing surgery second the degree of lymph node dissection I will need will be greatly reduced and thus I will be at less risk for lymphedema and to save my “surgical arm.” I know my Botox patients will appreciate it!!!
Surgery will be sometime in the next 4-6 weeks with 2 weeks to recover, then I will go back to work full time and wait for the final step, radiation. This likely will be 6 weeks after surgery and will last 6 weeks so by early spring I can be done and move forward with normal life. Or as normal as life gets in COVID times.
Finally, I just want to shout out to each and every person who has been behind me through all this. To my medical team, who helped me get through this phase of the journey. To my patients who have reached out, sent cards, flowers, food, and words of encouragement. Who took the time to let me know I have made a difference in their life and that I am more than just a doctor to them. To my friends, near and far, who keep me smiling and hopeful, who are there when I need a shoulder to cry on and who mean the absolute world to me. Thank you for all the meals, all the cards, and all the love. In particular, to my local peeps, thank you for keeping me laughing and happy and for always making me feel loved. I am so lucky to have you all. To my office staff, I hope each and every one of you know how much I love and appreciate you all. I know it’s been tough with schedule changes and cancellations, but you have all been my rocks and I can’t thank you enough. Finally, to my family, thank you for all your support. To Andrea and Lynlee, I miss you both so much and look forward to seeing you. To my mom and stepfather michael, I love you both and can’t wait until I can hug you safely post-Covid.
Finally to my 3 children, Brendon Hannah and Sarah, you three give me the will to fight, the love to persevere and the laughter to keep smiling even when I don’t think I can. I am so proud of each of you and I plan to stay on this earth for many more years to be there for you and likely annoy you with bad jokes and provide you with someone to laugh at. I am for sure the luckiest mother in the world.
Thanks again to everyone, I will post again with news of surgery. And by the way, f*** cancer, you can’t bring me down!!