Bad Right Breast

I've Always Hated My Right Breast!

CHEMO CURL January 30, 2013

Filed under: chemotherapy — Bad Right Breast @ 10:24 pm

I’ve always had somewhat wavy hair. I could make it effortlessly straight or easily let it have some body and bounce to it. But never this. Pieces I’ve read all mentioned that the hair will grow back a bit differently. A bit. When my hair started coming back 3-4 months after I had finished chemo, I actually shaved my head 3 times. Why? Well, my left side had a huge white triangle of hair coming in and the left had about half the size of white hair growing back. I already knew I had a great bald head, and I would rather be bald than have it grow back as some sort of Elvira punk gone wrong. Plus it was the summer, and at the time I was still having hot flashes so a shaved head was a welcomed comfort. I sopped shaving it once I saw it all growing back the same color. And then…..it didn’t stop growing. I had this great pixie cut for a while. As it grew, I was fortunate that I could keep it maintained. Until this past month.

The chemo curl has set in. Again, I never read this before. But at three of my follow ups this past month, every doctor, specialist, nurse, lab technician, receptionist – all said the same thing. Oh yeah, the curl. Seriously? It doesn’t help that this week in January in New York, it hits a balmy 60 degrees, which makes my hair completely out of control! I’ve tried four different products, clipping down, pulling it back. But I’ve given in. I bought the hair products for curly hair, and have started to embrace it. There’s a part if me that’s always wanted some curly hair in my life. My older sister’s hair is a curly mess. (Love you, but you know it’s true!) I tried straightening it for her once when it was short. After an hour of work, it was back to its normal springy self.

So thanks all for warning me that another outcome from chemo is hair that is completely out of control! Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it but not nearly the way you imagined it!
Picture 18

 

Our Last Two Months August 22, 2011

Filed under: chemotherapy,mastectomy,radiation — Bad Right Breast @ 4:19 am

Dear Family & Friends,

As some of you may know, but most of you not, the past couple of months have been a worldwind.

Less than a week ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I found a lump early July, waited a few weeks to confirm that it didn’t go away (and I wasn’t crazy!), & then got a mammogram & sonogram that confirmed something was ‘suspicious.’ I then had 4 biopsies done, 3 of which came back as invasive carcinoma, one of which is in my lymph nodes. I waited to post any news til I saw a specialist, which happened this morning.

Needless to say I feel so comfortable with my team that I’m not even waiting for a 2nd opinion, because as you can imagine the waiting is nearly just as horrible.  Dr. Estabrook is amazing & my kinda gal. No nonsense, didn’t rush us, answered all of our questions. Good news is that my tumors are estrogen positive, which means they’ll be receptive to estrogen blocker pills. I’m starting on that today to shrink the tumors, and will continue on them for another 5 years.

Because of the 2 tumors in the breast, I’ll need a masectomy. Because of the tumor in my lymph node I’ll need chemo, but we won’t know the extent until I get more tests. I’ll get a left breast MRI on Wednesday to confirm it doesn’t have any tumors (would know results after 3 hrs). And then I’ll get a pet-scan to confirm there’s no cancer anywhere else in my body. I gave blood for them to analyze today, so along with the MRI she’ll be able to give an estimate of the stage of cancer.

Because of the high risk of cancer in my family I’m testing for the cancer gene on 9/9 but the results take 3 weeks. She said I could wait for the cancer gene results & left breast MRI results to see the current possible outcome of the left breast before opting for a double masectomy. However, I’ve chosen to not wait any longer and to go ahead and do both. This isn’t something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of days, or the past month. With the amount in my family, and especially now having kids, I don’t want to live my life constantly worrying if it’ll ever come back & be in and out of chemo forever. Ten years down the road, I don’t want to have to go through this all over again. She said it’s what she’d recommend in my case but never wants to come out and immediately suggest it, and that she talked with my doc already & they both agreed.

So this note isn’t just an update on this horrible incident happening. I found it because I did a self-exam (3 months after my GYN did my annual). I listened to my body. I was already scheduled to get annual mammograms because of my family history, but the self exam pushed me to make that appointment that much earlier. Right now, I want each of you who read this, women & men, to think about the last time you examined yourself & do it now!

I’ll be fine. This sucks more than anything. But on the bright side of things, I’ll get that breast reduction surgery alot earlier than planned, get a great weight loss program started, and maybe even get a tummy tuck to boot! (But not my butt, I like that part of me way too much:)

And if anything, this is just another part of life that makes me put it all into perspective. I’ve always known I’ve had friends & family that love me, but you truly don’t realize the depth until you hit a low that’s unimaginable. I love you all, and looking forward to you watching me kick cancer’s ass.
Bad news? I fucking hate pink!

With much love and inspiration,
Laurie