You never know how strong you are...until being strong is the only choice you have

When I discovered the unknown lump in my left breast, I knew something was wrong I had a feeling that it was cancer, I tried not to think that it was not but I can’t lie to myself like that. I didn’t know much about breast cancer, until I was assigned to prepare a persuasive speech in front of my speech class. I decided on breast cancer, I didn’t know much about it anyway and did my research. I didn’t have to prepare much or write an outline. I managed to dig deep and talked to the class unscripted. I somehow tied it all to what I was going through from the discovery of the lump and doctor visits to the fact that you or someone you know has been effected by cancer and I am one of them. Even though I didn’t know for sure at the time if I had it or not but I felt that I did. My cheeks trembled fighting back tears and that deep pain in my chest as I talked about my personal life with strangers for the first time it was scary but good it was practice for breaking the news down for my family and friends... after class one of the students came up to me and said I’ll be here for you if you need me... I was so touched by her and to confirmed I am not alone in this journey. As with many people who experience cancer, we’ve all been told we have 5 years to live with stage IV terminal cancer and there’s nothing we can do for you after conventional treatment fails. BUT I believe there IS! There are people out there who live beyond the statistics and have turn over to alternatives to fight cancer for good. That means changing your diet, eating natural foods that keep you alive, have a positive attitude, surround yourself with positive people, and following a spiritual path. I believe healing and restoring my health better than it was before. I pray every day for this cancer to go away. I am able to live normally have the strength to live on with a purpose and believing I am healed!

Content

Sample Collection

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 1 comments
I have been in contact with a former surgeon who now specializes in nutrition for sick patients up in Washington. I met him through a good friend and here's a email he wrote to my friend....

-Hi R, I am very sorry to read the results of her test. Unfortunately, inflammatory breast CA is a bitch. I am a little hesitant to write her,  I do not want to invade her privacy. When she is ready, I would be happy to talk to her about things she can do to help support her immune system, improve estrogen ratios, and help her through chemo. I would feel more comfortable if she contacted me. My phone is or e-mail. Please assure her that this is not a bother, this is my passion. 

To me: 

-Hi Julie, I know you are going to do great. i have had patients much worse than your disease and they have beat it and are doing fine. I am on my way to Southern Cal. So do you want to talk in a day or two or do you want to do by e-mail. Let me know.


Anyway, I sure did call him back and he sent me a kit that arrived yesterday to test for my Estrogen Metabolism. He also told me what foods to avoid, to eat, and vitamins needed to help my immune system during my chemo party.

I go into the lab later this afternoon to get my blood drawn and send off to the diagnostics lab in North Carolina. 


The New Shag

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 2 comments
My hair is going bye bye this weekend and I found the shag that looks fun so, I don't have to brush my hair or even wash it haha j.k. The rest of my hair will be donated to Locks of Love.


Before and After
My support team in SD yay love you!


Still trying to get use to it haha


Steeler Country

Thursday, January 20, 2011 1 comments
Thank you to a special someone cooler than Oprah =), made it possible for me to see the Steeler's game last weekend with another cool friend of mine Angel, who is a die hard Steeler fan than I am; which made it an enjoyable and memorable trip ever! <3 you two smooches!

After finding out that my diagnosis is stage 4, Rusty told me I should start working on my to do list before treatment...the only thing that came to mind was NFL game!  Yeah, I don't know why I was thinking that first?

Before we left for the airport, I got an email from someone special and said he'd love to pray for me after the game! I was so excited! I actually prayed for this to happen and a lot of other things always: You can pray for anything and if you have faith, you will receive it MATT 21:22, Amen! I wouldn't have if Amy didn't forward me his video from iamsecond.com before I even plan on going to Pittsburgh in the first place. I wouldn't have known and yes thank you iamsecond for getting me connected to him! I feel healed already with all these blessings, but this healing process takes a lot of meditation and being in the word, ya heard?

This city loves their sports team and are loyal fans with so much pride. I love it! You see it in the airport, people walking around sporting black & yellow, employees at the hotel/restaurants/bars... EVERY WHERE! People are friendly here too... the ones I talked to anyway. Only downside it's freaking COLD! I could see myself living there than Harrisburg(made that trip in August 2010 Eww!).

I was fine during the flight there and held myself together. But an hour before the game I just couldn't stop from crying happy and sad tears in the bathroom. So, EMO I am suppose to be TOUGH! A nice motherly looking woman noticed me gushing out a waterfall while I was washing my hands and gave me hug even though she didn't know what was going on. I had to knock it off before I attract attention and made my way out....

To an awesome game and victory over the Ravens. High 5'ing your neighbors all around your seat, jumping up and down, screaming and yelling, waving the terrible towels in the air ugh so fun! Makes baseball feel like a boring history class. I don't know a whole lot about football, but going to live game is so exciting than watching on T.V. I appreciate the sport even more hehe...

After the game was even better a prophetic prayer and ending the night with a good nights rest! My old body didn't feel like celebrating outside in the cold,walking around, or joining the madness with drunkards.

My vision seeing the Steelers play and win at the superbowl! Haha Seven in Eleven. =P

Angel Face  
64,000 something fans!

Big Ben on bad leg =( 
iHeart

Scan Images

0 comments
Just going through the images I picked up this week to take with me to Texas. Thought I share some for you to see the activity that is going on in the left nom. Technology is so rad.

PET scan 


  
MRI (red/yellow no bueno)
Yellow cluster is the tumor

Last Visit to the Oncologist

Wednesday, January 12, 2011 1 comments
In San Diego... so good bye Sharp Rees!

After waiting for this Doctor for 2.5 hours after my appointment time.... (WTF) First off he immediately ask me if I went over the clinical trials (I have not). The Dr. went on to tell me... after presenting my case to the panel at the conference yesterday they all agree that extensive chemotherapy before and after surgery is the treatment I need. And I have to think about getting a hysterectomy (for being ER positive) or take medications to suppress the ER, and look into sending my eggs to the bank. Then he showed me the prints of my scans on the computer of all areas in my body sprinkled with mets. I'll have all the imaging on CD in a few days and will share my body scan later (it's pretty cool).

Not sure how I feel about removing my woman hood yet because I am still going to get a second opinion and go through the whole diagnostics again in Texas. After the Dr. told me the news I told him I will be heading that way for treatment and he was actually excited and that I will be getting treatment in San Antonio which he said is the best place for breast cancer treatment in the world! So, that's good. =)

After the appointment I went to eat with Satri <3 at Loving Hut and went back to work as usual. My last day is tomorrow. So, bummed I will be leaving the company.

Went to the mall to get some warm gear for the east coast this weekend, maybe my tumor will just freeze to death and become benign. =P

Got a call from my awesome friend Jen and told me about her friend who was diagnosed at 26 years old 6 months ago and going through treatment right now. Believe it or not she is also south east Asian! What is going on here?!! Anyway we will be getting connected soon and probably become homies to get through this. <3

Ladies this is for YOU!

Monday, January 10, 2011 1 comments
Because I care and don't want it to happen to you! You can at least do what you can to prevent it and be aware of what you are feeding your body! I stole this from Livestrong.com and find it very useful.

Breast Cancer and Diet

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14157-breast-cancer-and-diet/ 

Who wants to read me to bed!?

Thursday, January 6, 2011 2 comments
Ha just kidding...

My boss at West Coast Mortgage gave me a book about Lance Armstrong today and a note that he battled cancer himself and is a survivor!

My beautiful Pastor Alisa gave me RHEMA cards to read and fill myself up with the word and faith. I love it!

I will be going into hibernation this weekend minus the fact that I will be going to see Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam  Debbie Deb JJ Fad this weekend for Amy's birthday LOL who are they?!! =0)

UT Health Science Center San Antonio: Cancer Therapy & Research Ctr

1 comments
I've been thinking a lot in the last 24 hours and have decided to give in and move to Texas (temporarily) for treatment. My mom and sister are both there, they need me and I sure do need them! I am very blessed to know and have the support from wonderful friends old and new here in San Diego too! Thank you I am very grateful and appreciate everything! For reals! As I sit here with a weird spasm in my left butt cheeks, my right clavicle aching, and freezing here in Carlsbad hehe... =)

My uncle in NC has been helping out contacting with an oncologist at the cancer center in San Antonio and here is what the Doc had to say:
 
Email to Doctor at the center: 
Dr. Elledge,
 We are looking for treatment options in San Antonio for my 26 year old niece
who lives in San Diego, CA. Her mother lives in Cibolo, TX and would like
her to be close by during care and treatments. Do you mind looking at her
radiology report? Apparently she was just diagnosed a couple of weeks ago
after biopsy and was told that her cancer was a stage 2 and only in her left
breast, however, a PET scan report just received yesterday confirmed
otherwise, invasive ductal carcinoma with metastasis to her skeletal but not
her organs.
 
If you are willing to look at her case, please let me know so I can send you
her radiology report. Her doctor is scheduled for a conference (and will be
presenting her case) on the 11th and the following day he is supposed to
discuss the best treatment options for her.  However, as an uncle, we want
to explore all options that will yield the best chance of healing for her.
 
Response:
Mr. C:
The circumstances you describe are highly unusual and exceptional, and as a
rule, I interpret information in that context with substantial caution.  PET
scans can be useful, though they have interpretive complexity and can give
false positives. Without knowing the full, individual story and seeing
her, along with reviewing the actual scans and pathology slides, I cannot
comment specifically.  Giving opinions by e-mail may result in inaccurate
assessments of obviously critical matters. What I can offer is an
appointment to see her and gather all tests done and review them myself and
with an experts in radiology and pathology.   If that can not be done here,
I would recommend that you do that at UC San Francisco or some  other center
of excellence in breast cancer.  I hope that helps you.
Richard Elledge
 
Screw you metastasis breast cancer! I still believe in miracles and super healing! 
 
LOVE YA! 

The Results

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 19 comments
Hi all... I know some of you may think how the heck is she writing a blog right now and not crying in the dark?!! Haha just kidding. =P I cried a little, but what good does that do? You tell me? I don' know... I broke down the results as simple as possible for understanding.


PET Scan:

  • Dominant hypermetabolic (increased abnormal activity) mass in central left breast
  • Hypermetabolic lymphadenopathy( disease in the lymph nodes) left axilla
  • Upper right cervical lymph nodes
  • Left aorticopulmonary window lymph node
  • Right(subcarinal) and left(posterior) Hilum (Lungs)
  • Nodular soft tissue density is seen in the anterior mediastinum mildly metabolic and also suspicious for metastases disease
  • Numerous hypermetabolic sclerotic skeletal metastases seen throughout the spine, sternum, sacrum, pelvis, and clavicles. 
  • Most intense lesion seen in medial left clavicle 
  • No hypermetabolic activity seen in lungs(YAY FOR EXERCISE), liver, spleen, or adrenal glands
  • Enlargement of uterus containing multiple fibroids
  • Hypermetabolic subdermal lesion in left posterior thigh, inflammatory lesion or soft tissue metastasis
  • Focal increased activity is seen within the region of the distal stomach and duodenum likely physiologic
MRI Scan:

  •  This is worrisome for nodal metastases (that is what was on the notes)
  • No abnormal enhancing right breast mass or right axillary lymphadenopathy seen. ( good news =P )
What does this mean well it has already spread to my bones. Doctor says there is no known cure for bone cancer?? So, good thing, nothing is spread to my brain (thank GOD!) Estrogen is feeding my tumor, either I have my ovaries removed or take estrogen suppressor medication. As of now there is no scheduled treatment yet. The oncologist doctor is going to a conference on Tuesday January 11 and will discuss my case along with a few other rare bizarre strange retarded diagnosis with the rest of the doctors in his field, breast cancer experts, radiologist etc., I will meet with him the following day to hear what the procedure(s) is the best treatment for me. I just told him I want to live till I am 100 years old man! Seriously, my purpose in life is not complete I can't go yet. Till then I have decisions and plans to make. I may opt for clinical trials just cause I will be monitored all the time I think? As well as the traditional chemo session. As much as I want to be with family in Alaska and Texas. I will be here in San Diego because the facility is here for treatment and health cost will be ridiculous if I moved anywhere else.

How I am feeling? Am I OK? I am still mobile and active right now so that's good to know. Now I know why have muscular pain in random areas (lower back, upper shoulder, under arm). I'm sad yes especially about not having babies....but I can get through this even if they say I will be weak, my soul and heart is strong so bring it on Cancer Bad!

In the mean time I would like to do things I haven't done while I am still active. =)
See I am smiling!

I am Second: Janelle Hail & Tamara Jolee

Sunday, January 2, 2011 0 comments




Inspiration...
iHeart these woman.
So, true amen to that without me having christ in my life I would not be able to handle this cancerbad. I will not be O.K. If I had known this 2.5 years ago... I will disappear into self destruction and know one would know what's going on with me. I am very grateful to have awesome family & friends for support. Especially, an angel who offered to help me financially (You are the best evarrrr!!!) To answer the many questions "are you ok?, shut up are you serious?! No Way?! Haha... honestly I feel great!  I am happy, humble, and peaceful.



Hope you all had a wonderful weekend welcoming the new year, I sure did. I will be calling the doctors first thing tomorrow morning and make sure they see me right away. I want to know my results and hoping it's just nothing! Seriously. In the mean time a new diet and workout will be in session for me. Organic foods and lots of water. No to alcohol and processed foods! All for the better right =)



Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit to live without stress-Joyce Meyer.