cenglish62's Story

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"My name is Celeste, I am 52 years old. In May 2010 I was diagnosed with stage IIIc Invasive Lobular Carcinoma in my right breast with 3 of 10 lymph nodes positive. I had a mastectomy with immediate reconstruction (I don't recommend doing this!). The reconstructive portion of my surgery did not go well; I had a tram flap procedure and ended up with open wounds and a staph infection. I had open wounds during chemo and radiation. I had another surgery to try and improve the reconstructed breast, but I've learned that only God can make a breast, a doctor can only do so much. I lived carefree on Tamoxifen for a few years when a cough, shortness of breath and a tender spot on my chest in July 2014 prompted a chest x-ray which lead to a CT scan which confirmed the cancer had spread to my bones (sternum & spine), both lungs and a small lesion on my liver. A brain scan showed no disease! I had 6 months of weekly chemo and enjoyed over 4 months of rapidly falling tumor marker numbers while on Femara. My doctor added Ibrance when the numbers flat-lined and I am finishing week three of my first cycle.

"Knowing I have incurable cancer has made me finally learn to not sweat the small stuff. Most days I feel lucky and grateful but there are many days (and especially sleepless nights) when I struggle with hurt and anger over why I have this awful disease. The hardest part has been to watch my husband and two sons (26 & 25) struggle with the fact that this disease will kill me. In many ways this disease has been hardest on them. I have been surrounded with love from my family and friends and that has been my biggest blessing. It has been most helpful when people have made me laugh and even when they have been annoyed or mad at me because it makes me feel so normal.

"I am hopeful for the future. My hope is that the Ibrance/Femara combo will work at keeping my disease at bay for a very long time. My hope is to keep working, travel with my dear husband of 28 years, enjoy time with my sons (one is married the other has a great girlfriend), and get to be a grandma! (Soon please, but no pressure.)Cancer may rob my body of future years on this earth, but I won't let it rob me of the hope and joy I feel now."

-- cenglish62, 1 year metastatic

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