is currently undergoing chemotherapy. I want to introduce you to her via my
blog so you can put a face to breast cancer. (Watch Dr. Oz on Tuesday, October 21st, to hear her voice! Read ‘Why she e-mailed’ below!)
This means that it still had not spread to the lymph nodes. Her particular
cancer is estrogen and progesterone receptive and “HER2 NEU”
positive. She was told that this is a double-edged sword in a sense that it is
more aggressive due to the her2 neu factor, but that there is a specific,
relatively new medicine (a monoclonal antibody), called Herceptin that
addresses this fact.
kinds of breast cancer and specific ways to
treat each one.
I asked Lisa about her course of treatment:
my 6 rounds of chemo and then I will do radiation for 5-6 weeks on a daily
basis. I will also continue to receive the Herceptin drug every three weeks for
a year. Luckily, it does not make me feel lousy, so once the radiation is over
with I hope to get my life back to some semblance of normal! 🙂
Breast cancer can be scary, but finding it early is so important to fighting
and surviving. I’m so glad my friend Lisa found it early!
Here are Lisa’s words:
I am not sure if it’s due to having lost an Aunt
to this cursed disease or maybe that I tend to be a bit of a hypochondriac, but
I have always been afraid of getting breast cancer. Really afraid. So afraid in
fact, that I never wanted to get mammograms or do breast self exams for fear of
“finding something.” How’s that for flawed logic?!!
Well, regardless, here I am. My worst nightmare
came true. And now that I have crossed over “to the other side,” I
can tell you without any hesitation that the fear of getting breast cancer was
FAR, FAR worse than actually facing it head on after finding it early. Sure,
half of 2014 has not been a picnic by any stretch, but knowing that this was
caught early (by me, doing a rare breast self exam on a whim) puts the fear of
this disease in a whole different light.
The thing that I honestly did not know going into
all of this, was that most women do survive this! Especially if it is caught
I did not know that. It took from the time of my
diagnosis in May, until meeting with my current oncologist in July, to receive
that message. And in my opinion that little known fact is not broadcast loudly
enough. Had I known that, I would have checked my breasts far more frequently.
I would have checked them monthly like recommended so that I would have
recognized any changes in them right away.
The more familiar you are with the feel of your
breasts now (even if they always feel sort of lumpy), the better you will be
able to recognize if a change in them does appear. And just for the record I found this on my own five
months after having a clear mammogram….
I got lucky. Really lucky. Had someone told me
that getting breast cancer would make me feel lucky, I would have thought they
were nuts. But the luck came with early detection from that lone breast exam
literally done on a whim. Ok, ’nuff said…now ladies go on out and check
Why she e-mailed:
this. I wanted to take the time to share it with you, not because I thought it
was interesting, but because she has become such a proponent for breast cancer
awareness. And so you can put a face to this disease.
Dr. Oz show with Joan Lunden! Ms. Lunden is a huge advocate for
breast cancer awareness after being diagnosed herself, and went onto this show
to encourage others fighting this disease. She has been a huge encouragement to
Lisa, and Lisa finally got to meet her and tell her in person!
to put a face to my incredible, strong, beautiful (even beautifully bald!
Seriously she is!) friend Lisa. She is a fighter, and definitely fights like a
girl! And then make sure to check your breasts!