Well I guess I should first state the rules my blog. First, no nasty comments or I will block you - FOREVER. Telling me to die and kill myself is, well, counterproductive since dying is a possibility for me so your wish may be granted - but F**K those of you who have nothing better to do than to put someone down. I guess that is probably my only rule to all this. This blog is really created for my own sanity and to chronicle my experience till the end of this thing.
As of May 23, 2017 at approximately 2:00 PM I was diagnosed with Breast cancer at the ripe old age of 31. My cancer is HER2 Positive (which I will go into in a second just read my feelings first lol). My actual feelings are really ALL OVER THE PLACE. There is a sense of sadness that yes this can kill me and I am not 100% sure how early they caught it since yesterday I was too hysterical to ask the RIGHT questions. I normally pride myself in being composed and knowing what questions to ask to make the best decision for me, but that didn't exactly happen when Dr. Tarhar blurted out "you have cancer." Honestly, at my age nothing really prepares you for that sort of statement. My response went exactly like this: Blank face, eyes wide, what the fuck, hysterical crying, and my Asian side telling me to suck it up buttercup! The one question I mustered up to ask was what was the mortality rate of the cancer I had? Well, she told me people have died from the type of cancer I was diagnosed with. That was about all I had her spit out - SPEAKING OF SPIT...
Yes I had to spit in a vile so they could do a genetic panel on me. More than likely to be tested for the BRCA gene and to see if the cancer is metastatic. If I test positive for the BRCA gene more than likely I will have both breast removed and possibly hysterectomy. For those who don't exactly know (thats okay) there are two mutations, BRCA 1 and BRCA 2. if you carry these mutations your chance of cancer of the breast, ovarian, and cervical go up exponentially. The best example I can give you is Angelina Jolie (even though it pains me to use this example). She tested positive for the BRCA 1 gene so she made the decision to undergo a double mastectomy to prevent future breast cancer - and had implants put in so no one even notices. There are several schools of though on this - some physicians believe even IF you test positive for BRCA but have no breast cancer, really all you need to do is monitor your health - meaning mammogram and ultrasound screenings yearly no matter the age. Some people opt for more invasive measures as Ms. Jolie did since her mother died of breast cancer. My case is slightly different. There was no need to be tested until now because my biopsy yielded a positive breast cancer result. This means that for me, if I do carry the BRCA gene, it "activated" per say (not really the right word but I am going with it). This is all most like a means of damage control - see what the genetics yield to make a positive assessment of what my treatment should look like. As far as genetics - WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY BABY. The only part of this that really irks me is that it takes 2 weeks to get the results, which is actually a pretty fast turn around time considering most genetic tests take up to 30 days. BUT, I've actually ran paternity tests before and it really didn't take that long.
NOW - what the hell is HER2? The HER2 is a protein that promotes growth of tissues on the outside breast tissue cells. When you are HER2 positive, it means that the cancer tends to me more aggressive and replicates at a faster rate than someone who is HER2 negative. This is more common in younger women diagnosed with breast cancer than those who are over 60. Being HER2 positive also means that the chances of the cancer metastasizing goes up exponentially. So for me, time is of the essence at the moment. Since I was a dumb ass yesterday and didn't get my pathology report (I plan to pick that up today guys) I don't know exactly what test they used, BUT in most cases when you have your biopsy they run what is called an IHC or immunohistochemical stain. When several HER2 markers are present the tissue will change color, which then it is examined under a microscope. Usually, they will not tell you that you are HER2 positive unless there was a high number of copies to begin with to avoid a false positive of the HER2 (especially with my own doctor and pathologist). SO, yes I am positive for HER2, and because of this I will have to undergo chemotherapy (more than likely). Sometimes when breast cancer is caught early, surgeons can perform a lumpectomy and bam you are okay, but this is not the case for me. The chance of recurrence of cancer goes up when you are HER2 positive - so I myself and leaning towards removing my left breast to prevent cancer from occurring again and increase my chances for remission (for over 10 years).
Ladies, PLEASE PLEASE DO SELF BREAST EXAMS! I actually found my breast lump in the shower (don't be thinking nasty thoughts guys! lol). I was just washing like normal and I said what the hell is this on my boob?!? Every doctor thought I was a hypochondriac or drug-seeking, but I did find a female physician that took me very seriously. Vegas is NOTORIOUS for horrid physicians and bad practices in general (which is why I am hoping to move my treatment to North Carolina) but if you feel something is WRONG find a doctor who will listen to you. Had I stopped looking for the right doctor, my chances of survival could have been literally zero. Thank you Dr. F. Carullo for taking a conservative approach to my cancer. Too bad she isn't a primary care physician.
I do not plan on getting implants if my breast have to be removed. There is a reason for this. Our scars show us where we have been and what we have experienced. I don't want to cover my battle scars with implants. They help me remember that life is short and things can happen unexpectedly - both good and bad. I do plan to tattoo over it though - and those who know me know I am tattooed everywhere and don't have a whole lot of skin left to tattoo, lol. Maybe my mind will change, but as of right now, I have no plans for that. FYI I have NOTHING against women who choose to have implants put in after their mastectomy. This is a PERSONAL choice and we have NO RIGHT to judge anyone's decision on their body and what they choose to do with it. I wish more people would get on that bandwagon - okay okay no politics here. :o)
As far as work, well, I quit my job obviously (plus the owner of my last job was CRAZY). My purpose right now is fighting what is in front of me - which is breast cancer. I never thought I would be in the small percentage of women to get cancer in their 30's - and every doctor told me my chances of actually having cancer were roughly 2-5%. WELL I fall into that small category I guess. This is the worst club to be a part of I can tell you that much, but with so many advances in medicine, a therapist, and the support all of you are giving me, I can beat this thing and come out on top.
Long first post - I am going to workout and hopefully get something done today, right? :o)
Much love and more to come -