Tootsiek's Story

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"I was diagnosed with TNBC in January of this year, 5 days before my 59th birthday. I am stage lla, with a 3.2 cm tumor. I began chemo February 3rd with 4 bi-weekly rounds of AC, which I tolerated pretty well, although the first one put me in the hospital due to elevated heart rate for observation. Today I had my 7th of 12 weekly Taxol. I have had very few side effects and have been able to continue to work at my part time job, take daily walks, and go out with family and friends. I was a very active on the go person before diagnosis, this has changed my lifestyle a bit though. I have become obsessed with germs and keeping my blood counts up. They are still good, but have been dropping the last few weeks, I am so worried about having my treatment delayed that I am making myself and everyone around me crazy. I too am a control freak, I have my bad days when all I want to do is cry.

"My tumor is responding very well to the chemo, my MO cannot even feel it, she is very optimistic. I will be having a lumpectomy mid-July if chemo progresses on schedule, then will have 5 and half weeks of daily radiation. I have gotten nothing but good news during chemo, I am doing a lot better physically than mentally and not sure why I can't get my mind wrapped around this. I have the best husband who has been there every step of the way and goes above and beyond to take care of me, as well as the best daughter ever. She lives 1000 miles away and comes home once a month for a week to take me to chemo and spend time with me, she is an only child and we are extremely close. Needless to say each time she leaves I have a meltdown. My lifelong best friend has also been with me every step of the way and was my lifeline in the beginning when I was on the AC and working to get my heart rate in check.

"I also am blessed with a great support team, the outpouring of support has been so very humbling; there is no reason why I am struggling mentally. My MO has even cut my infusion day steroids down to 4mg, she has also given me a minimal dose of anti-anxiety meds, but really don't think they help. I do have many great days, but need to get this anxiety under control, as I feel like it is taking over. I have a strong faith in God and my medical team. I am very thankful for my life and the multitude of blessings I have. I know I have no control over this and need to relinquish control and worry over something I cannot change. I wish everyone the best on this journey that none of us asked to be on."

-- Tootsiek, diagnosed triple negative in January 2016

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