I've been living with breast cancer since 2009. Fifteen years. Most of my adult life. In that time, I've seen my family be impacted in various personal ways through additional diagnosis and scares. While family is always my first priority, I found it was important for me to raise my voice for advocacy on many different levels. While research and access to care are critical, I also thinking creating safe environments to gather, talk and learn from one another are also critical. Also, by giving a few hours of my time, I like to think that this disease is not winning.
Cancer can bring out the best and worst in our families. It's especially challenging to parent while fighting metastatic breast cancer with competing demands for energy and attention while trying to maintain normalcy.
Not to mention, our daughters have a lot of questions about how our family history will impact their own developing bodies. And, the answers I have right now are not acceptable.
I am a mother to twin teens married to a man who wanted to be a rodeo clown. I'm also an active partner in a well-regarded communications agency. I believe in God. I am living with cancer. And, there is a lot more to me than just that. I live life to its fullest.
In 2009, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal cancer in my right breast. I was doing great until 2016 when I was diagnosed with another primary cancer (lobular) that had spread to my bones, lymph nodes and a pleural effusion.
In 2019, I resigned from my job and went on long-term disability and my timing was impeccable. I started having progression in early 2020 with inconclusive lymph nodes in my trachea area lighting up. I had my ovaries removed when they showed indication of cancer.
My brain got involved in the spring of 2021, I lost my vision in one eye and did 15 rounds of radiation and aggressive chemotherapy. And, just when my hair started growing back I was diagnosed with leptomeningeal disease in Dec. and currently do an intrathecal injection weekly as well as a more traditional infusion chemo.
The cancer hasn't stopped ... but neither have I.
It's a safe space to be vocal about my trials and highlights of cancer, this space explores what 13 years of living with cancer looks like for someone determined to make a difference.
I use my filters sparingly and I have an opinion on nearly anything, have a question -- shoot me a note via email or courier pigeon. Maybe not a pigeon, I love to watch birds but they scare the heck out of me. True story.
We understand that every cancer path has its own unique twists and turns. Throw a cancer diagnosis in there and it becomes a "hot mess." Feel free to message or call us with your thoughts. We'd love to hear your story.
Your time is valuable, and we will make sure to get back to you as soon as we can.