OMG......15 Frickin' Years with Stage IIIC
If someone told me back in 2004 that I would be out 15 years….I honestly wouldn't have believed them.
Most of you know my story…..but just in case someone missed it;) I found a lump myself after just having a clear exam at my doctor's office five weeks earlier. I had a rushed mammogram followed by a sonogram and was told nothing was there. I pushed to get a biopsy anyway. The surgeon was quite indignant and told me I was fine and didn't need it. I told him.. "I am going to hang around the pool with my kids this Memorial Day weekend and I want to do it with peace of mind". Several days later the same surgeon called my husband ( instead of me) and told him I was in a serious place and most likely had only a few years ahead of me. My children were 7, 9 and 13. "She would likely not see the youngest graduating elementary school." My tumor was 8cm with at least 17 nodes positive.
Being both a corporate executive and mother……it was most difficult not being in control….not being able to "fix" this. At the same time…. I wasn't going down without a big fight. I was going to do whatever I needed to do to improve my odds. I traveled the US to find an oncologist. One by one they all said the same thing….no good news….one actually cried in front of me. I finally found an oncologist in Texas who told me my cancer didn't scare him. He partnered with an oncologist here in Florida. We took a very aggressive approach which included blood transfusion, platelet transfusions, hospital stays, etc.
Over the next few years it was very scary…..I didn't buy any shoes… or clothes..and I was in the fashion business;) Why spend the money if I am not going to be here? I instead spent my money on memories with my kids. My biggest fear was that they would not remember me.....or how much I simply adored them. We went to Paris, Rome, tubing the springs, football games....took lots of pictures….it helped to have something in the near future planned to keep me from spiraling to a dark place.
So this week I am 15 years out and feel incredibly blessed. I have seen elementary graduations, high school graduations and college graduations----one still on the extended college plan;) We have made more memories than I can count. My children will remember me.
I continue to be on Femara which I believe has been my silver bullet.
My one simple advice to give you as I drink my merlot and celebrate with other old-timers marking anniversaries this month……..have hope... it's an awesome thing and....
BUY THE SHOES.