Hello! My name is Chelsea and I am a 47 year old wife and mother of two. By God’s grace, He has allowed me to survive breast cancer two times!
On March 1, 2011 I was diagnosed with Stage IIB, Estrogen Receptor positive, Progesterone Receptor positive, HER2 negative breast cancer. I had a full mastectomy with immediate FLAP reconstruction of my left breast. I completed six cycles of chemotherapy on August 24, 2011 and was encouraged to take Tamoxifen, which is a hormone blocker, for five years afterward, which I refused. I refused Tamoxifen at that time because I wanted to be done with cancer treatment and put the whole traumatic experience behind me. I felt that I had been through enough and did not want to be “married” to cancer any longer by committing to take a “cancer pill” everyday for five years. Additionally, after having read the harmful side effects of Tamoxifen, I did not want to subject my body to any additional harmful, side effect ridden drugs. I currently regret this decision.
On July 12, 2016 I was diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer Stage IIIC, ER+, PR+ and HER2 negative. I completed the last of six cycles of chemotherapy on December 2, 2016. I had surgery on January 10, 2017 where nine axilla lymph nodes (1 lymph node contained cancer) and a segment of chest muscle was removed. A second surgery was needed in order to get clear margins. So, on January 31, 2017, I had a second surgery to remove yet another segment of chest muscle.
On February 6, 2017, just one day after my 47th birthday, I was declared CANCER FREE! From now on I will be celebrating two birthdays; my “biological” birthday on February 5th and a “cancer-free” birthday on February 6th!
I had a total of 25 radiation treatments beginning on March 13, 2017. The treatments took place over a 5 week period of time, five days a week. I had my last radiation treatment on Friday, April 14, 2017, which was also Good Friday. I am thrilled to say that I have completed all breast cancer treatments! I have already begun hormone therapy and will be taking Aromasin (otherwise known as Exemestane) for the next 10 years.
The intent of this blog is to share my experiences with breast cancer as it relates to diagnosis, treatment, surgery, recovery and remission. It is my desire that the contents of this blog will not only provide the reader with a glimpse into my life, but that the blogs will also provide information, encouragement, inspiration and enrichment into the lives of others who have been touched by breast cancer.
May God bless you as you take this journey with me!