On April 10, 2006, “I was diagnosed at 38” I found out it was stage 2-3 infiltrating ductal carcinoma – meaning it was spreading through my left breast and into my lymph nodes. I was upset and couldn’t sleep, knowing I had cancer and had to fight it. On April 12, 2006, I had my left breast mastectomy with lymph nodes removal.
My first round of chemo was every 3 weeks, starting from June through August was 4 treatments of Adrianmyan/Cytoxan (AC), also known as the “RED DEVIL”. The side effects hit like a bad case of the flu; I’d feel so fatigued and nauseous. I couldn’t do anything but lie down. Even watching TV was too exhausting. That awfulness lasted for several days. By the 2nd dose of chemo, I’d already started losing my hair, and losing your hair is a great loss, that impacts you. I even grieved before I accepted my hair loss. Hair loss is an emotional thing, although there are many other hills to climb. My eyelashes, eyebrows would soon follow. My fingernails and toe nails were affected by the medicines too. August started another round of different chemo medicines (Taxol and Herceptin); this combination of medicines was given to me for 12 weeks. I started feeling healthy and better, no real side effects. I prayed that I would continue with my healthy journal through the remainder of my treatments. I finally completed my chemo therapy treatment in December, 2006.
Breast cancer and chemo therapy is so life changing. I used to associate hair, nails, eyelashes and breasts with beauty, but when I lost them all, I truly felt more beautiful than ever simply because I was ALIVE. I thank God every day that I am winning the battle against cancer.