"My name is Kathy. I am 46 years old and I was recently diagnosed this past June 2015 with Invasive Lobular Carcinoma which unfortunately turned out to be stage IV metastatic cancer once all the scans were completed. The cancer had invaded a good portion of my spine, clavicle, pelvic bone, and several other numerous smaller places. Luckily, it had not invaded any major organs and it was only in the bone.
"I am one of those people who always did everything you were supposed to do. I got my yearly mammograms, I did self breast checks regularly.... I have zero risk factors and yet here I am with stage IV straight out of the gate. It's a hard thing to accept. I feel betrayed, singled out and desperate to know why this has happened. What are the odds that I would get a type of cancer that is not detected by mammogram, that doesn't feel like a lump?? And, a cancer that normally occurs in post-menopausal women. But, we are where we are and I have no choice but to try to accept it and move forward.
"I just completed my second round of treatment. I am taking the new chemo pill called Ibrance, I am getting two types of monthly injections, Goserelin and Fulvestrant, which are hormone blockers, and an IV infusion of Zometa. I had terrible side effects with my first dose of Zometa...extreme pain, vomiting, and yes, I even fainted. So, needless to say I have already developed treatment anxiety. We decided to do Zometa again this month to see if it was just a fluke and the second time I handled it much better. I have extreme fatigue and back pain so I'm having to limit my activities which is tough having been active my whole life. I have four amazing children. A daughter age 15, a daughter age 18 who just left for college, a 22-year-old son, and a 23-year-old daughter who was recently commissioned into the Navy. And then there is my incredibly supportive husband.
"One thing I have learned already is that no matter what age you are when diagnosed, there is always the fear of that next stage of life you will be missing out on. For me, it's the fear that I will never meet my first grandchild, or get to see my children come into their own as adults. As mothers, we work very hard to raise our children. Our reward is to see all of our hard work bear its fruit as our children become adults. It breaks my heart that I might not get to be around to see this happen. My oncologist is very hopeful for me, but I have difficulty finding hope in this very bleak diagnosis. I am anxiously awaiting my first 3 month scan so I can see if the treatment plan I'm on is actually working. Maybe then I can rest a little bit easier. For now, I'll just keep biting my nails.
"I have met some really amazing and supportive people, some who were absolute strangers, who have reached out to show me support. And, ironically, I have an ex-sister-in-law who also has the same diagnosis -- very weird. She reached out to me and we've been helping each other along. I am very grateful to have her in my life right now.
"[The picture above] is my lovely family...and my one best reason to kick cancer's butt for as long as I am able! I am a stubborn and tough lady and ready to head into battle! From left to right is me, my 23 year old, my 22 year old, my 15 year old, my 18 year old and my better half. :)"
-- Chattykat40, 4 1/2 months metastatic