This is the face of someone with early stage breast cancer. It’s also the face of someone who is going to kick the sh*t out of cancer and give it nowhere to hide in my body. And in the process, I’m becoming a warrior of women’s health.
This is the longest I’ve ever been away from this blog since I started it in 2007. Now I’m back to tell you what’s happening. I have cancer, early stage breast cancer to be precise. I went for my biospies on September 28th and 29th, got a preliminary diagnosis of cancer, and then on October 5th received the confirmed diagnosis. 100 hours later, I had a full medical team, a surgery date, and a preliminary treatment plan that will be confirmed after surgery. NYU Langone Health moved mountains, and fast, to make it all happen and I’m so grateful.
It was the most terrifying week of my life. I wish none of us ever had to be on this journey at all, though since we’re here at this point I will make something meaningful and beautiful from it that helps me heal, helps other people heal, and helps the planet heal.
First thing’s first—I need this cancer gone from my body so here’s the plan:
– I will have surgery on October 27th. I chose to have a bilateral mastectomy with reconstructive surgery. I knew this procedure was right for me as soon as I was diagnosed. I will live a very long, healthy life and not give cancer any place to hide.
– After that, the doctors will run the pathology post-surgery and we’ll come up with a course of treatment. With all that information, we’ll be able to figure out a combo of chemo, radiation, immunotherapy, and/or medication.
– I will have a few subsequent surgeries in the coming year both for treatment purposes and reconstruction. (If, like me, you really geek out on the science, here it is in a nutshell: my cancer is estrogen positive, meaning cancer feeds it. To shut down its supply line, we’ll use a combo of medication and removal of my ovaries. In a world of crappy breast cancer this is a good thing because it’s an added layer of treatment that wouldn’t be available to me if my cancer was estrogen-negative. Small victories that actually aren’t so small at all!)
What I do know with absolute certainty is that I’m shutting down this cancer party with a top-notch medical team at NYU and that your love and support is what got me to this headspace where I feel strong and empowered.
I’m suited up for battle. Now let’s do this. The dawn after the darkness is coming and we’ll be ready to meet it when it does.