Faith Prayer & Hope

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That was the message I pulled out of a fish bowl at the breast center before I went for my repeat mammogram. A reminder that I have never faced this battle alone. I was stressed at the thought of having to go through this process again. I remember the initial appointment like it was yesterday, I was coming for an appointment to check out a bothersome lump. I had no idea that I would be told that I had ‘cancer’…invasive, aggressive Her 2+ cancer. That day back in May has forever changed life. Ironically I was greeted by the same nurse who recognized my face from that first visit. We chatted about that initial diagnostic, how I was coping with treatment, and my feelings about going through this journey. She was as kind now as she was then, apologizing for ever having to break that type of news to anyone.
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I haven’t actually blogged in a while and its hard to believe that its been a month since I completed chemo and nothing…..I mean nothing has gone back the way it use to be. My hair for example, has been growing back a completely different texture. I’ve always had course, thick textured hair but the new growth is baby soft. I had eyebrows and lashes all through chemo but for some reason towards the end they thinned out and look like I have nothing. Just imagine a completely bare face, no hair on the head, eyebrows, or lashes. It is definitely a look that I will never get use to seeing in the mirror. I feel like a blank canvas and I jokingly have told friends and coworkers that I have to put on my face each day. The hair on my head is filling in mainly in the back and on the sides not so much on the edges or the top of my head, the growth pattern reminds me of a balding man. I’ve lost close to 30lbs since the start of chemo, which is the only exciting thing about this whole process. I’ve wanted to drop the weight but I’m a serious ‘YoYo’ dieter so I usually lose a little and gain much more! My taste buds have slowly returned so I can enjoy food again, there was a point when everything tasted like metal.
I have started Herceptin treatments alone, it’s an antibody that doesn’t give the same icky, awful side effects that I had during chemo. The Herceptin was a part of my chemo regimen (TCHP) Taxatore, Carbopatin, Herceptin, and Perjeta but I have to finish out the 52 week cycle that is recommended for this drug in order to achieve its full benefits. Taking Herceptin comes with one major side effect and that is heart function, it can damage the heart over time so I have routine echocardiograms to make sure it’s not deteriorating or showing reduced heart function from the drug.
I’ve been feeling pretty good so I was surprised to hear that my hemoglobin levels had not rebounded 3 weeks out from chemo. I have not felt any more tired than usual, I’ve even ventured out a bit more since chemo. At one point I went from work straight home and stayed in all weekend because a mistake like eating the wrong food while on chemo could be pretty explosive and not in a good way! My oncologist wanted to give my body the time to bring the hemoglobin levels up but surgery is needed and possibly radiation so even though, it increased from 7.3 to 8.0, it just is not high enough for the upcoming treatment options. We moved forward with 600 cc of blood to give my body the boost it really needed, the results from the transfusion are pending but I feel more energized than before.

 

I had to repeat my MRI and mammogram, my nerves were on edge because I can recall the initial mammogram like it was yesterday….Guess what? I wanted to share some great news! Take a look at the before and after pictures of my breast. I’ve circled the tumor in each photograph…notice anything different? No your eyes aren’t deceiving you, my tumor disappeared!!!! Your prayers have been working 😉 that along with the ability that God gives these scientist and researchers have made what use to be a death sentence, possible to treat successfully.

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MY MAMMOGRAM

 

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MY MRI

I truly believe that my purpose is bigger than this disease. I’m so grateful for the many people who have kept me in constant prayer. I still have a long way to go with treatment and surgery is still taking place so while the battle isn’t over, I’m sure excited about all the wonderful ways I can help other women through my testimony.

Luv,

 

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THE #FIGHTFORROXYJEWELZ FUNDRAISER

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” Never give up on your dreams”
I’ve been telling myself this ever since I relocated and found out I have breast cancer. For years I ran a fashion jewelry business and ‘I LOVED IT’, I worked full time but always kept a side hustle. It was a fun and exciting way of connecting with new people and building lasting relationships. It never feels like work when your having fun. Once I relocated I got so busy trying to adjust to my new way of life, job, and helping my son get comfortable in his new school….so busy that I stopped pushing my online hustle and trunk shows. I didn’t really know anyone and my circle of close friends were all in the northeast. I now realize that it is very necessary for me to revamp my business and use it as a source of income to help off set the medical & financial toll, that having cancer can bring on someone who is already fighting a difficult battle.
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I contacted my friends and suggested that I throw a trunk show in Connecticut…a fundraiser and revamp my business party all in one! Well that took off…my home girls are all super creative, very supportive, and they need no permission to go all out to make things happen….God I love them! In just one week my small scale trunk show turned into an all around fundraising extravaganza, complete with a venue ‘Sparks’ T-shirts & wristbands for the cause, silent auction, drink donations from the lovely Lisa Vanderpumps ‘ LVP Sangria ‘ line, raffle, jewelry of course and Karoake..LOL this should be interesting. I’m so ready to see old friends, make new ones, and have a great time! If your in the NY/CT area please stop by and say hello 😉
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I’ve always been very independent, you find out early on in the battle against cancer that ‘support’ & ‘help’ are needed in order to keep your sanity and help you cope with the harsh reality of what the disease does to you mentally & physically. I have always given to different charities and fundraisers, over time but had never considered one for myself until recently when my sister created a Give Forward page to help me get over financial hurdles. Every little bit counts! It could be a sweet message, social media share or like, monetary amount, it all helps! Please stop by and help in any way you can! Visit www.giveforward.com and search #fightforroxyjewelz  The link is posted to the right of the page for easier access. I have just completed chemo and was able to work as much as possible but surgery, depending on the type that I go with, will definitely require a lengthy recovery period so I’ll have to take considerable time off from work. There will be on going treatments, including radiation and medication that I will have to take for the rest of my life. This journey for me is far from over but I plan on fighting with everything in me.
I will begin releasing jewelry pieces weekly for online sales, which is something that I use to do and have decided to revisit. I pray that I have the time and energy to accomplish this while still undergoing treatments…LOL. I want to THANK all of you who have taken time to continue to support my efforts. I have amazing friends and family who know me personally but when you have a connection with people who you’ve never met, understand what your going through, it’s a truly humbling experience!
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Check out the article in this months issue of Afrophire Magazine
Thanks A Million,
 

 

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