Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Fourth Cancerversary

Some days you never forget: your wedding anniversary, birthdays, Christmas... but ask me when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, and Friday, January 13th flies off of my tongue with no pause for thinking. Then again, January 23rd, the day of my cancer surgery (the day I consider myself free of cancer), which just so happens to be my mom's (another survivor) birthday! It really was an era of awakening for me. I remember that day so distinctly (and most days I honestly don't). I was 28 weeks pregnant with Kiera (number six) feeding all of the kids dinner when I received the call from my Obstetrician. "Sorry Tammy, I sure didn't see this one coming." Those words resonate in my mind so clearly, even four years later. Didn't cry or anything. Just stood there and told my then boyfriend (now husband), "Yep, it's positive." Actually, "numb" is a better word. I was numb. Then I called my mom.

I had the surgery on Monday, January 23rd. I was pregnant so stressed over the baby. They got it all. We waited 49 days until the doctors agreed the baby would be mature enough to be induced. I had Kiera and began Chemo 6 days later, March until June. Yes, I lost all of my hair. I wore ball caps everywhere. Then came the radiation. (Which kicked my butt!) It just so happened to be while the kids were on School Summer Break. Every day going to the Radiologists with a tribe of kids and a newborn. I also had to have surgery again to remove my ovaries since my cancer was Estrogen induced. Now, I am in Menopause .... lovely. Oh well. It would have happened sooner or later anyhow, right?

The five year mark is only a year away now. But I'm still young, I have many years ahead of me. Yes, I'll always have the battle scars.

Kiera will be four on March 13th. She was the biggest blessing out of all of this! She is an amazing little girl. We all love her immensely. I am so very grateful to be a part of all of my kids' lives.
Well I guess that about wraps it up. I am so very excited to reach this cancerversary I am almost giddy. I have been counting down the days for about three months. Silly? Not to a survivor.

I am also trying to spread the word that breast cancer CAN and DOES happen to younger women. We're out there - more than you realize. Nothing makes us immune to cancer. Please don't try to find out your risk factor and decide it will not happen to you. Just perform self-exams regularly and get mammograms! Even if you are too young for insurance to cover it. Start early. It just may save your life! It did mine!