- Go into treatment with a sense of gratitude.
- Take care of yourself and surround yourself with people you love.
- Don’t put off seeing a doctor if you feel a lump, and do not be afraid as there are so many options in the medical world today to help you.
- Have your mammogram and don’t miss it.
- Jon Renau wigs. I found the human hair wigs to be very natural in appearance and more comfortable to wear.
- I had a wig that looked very much like my own hair. I did not want my cancer to always be the center of conversation, and many folks did not even know. Life went on as normal as I could make it.
- I did not need a wig.
- Becky’s Place at Lexington Medical
- I had a lumpectomy and did not need to have reconstructive surgery.
- My cancer was in the early stage so I just had a lumpectomy. My breasts are small so the impact was minimal. I loved my body the way it was and quite frankly did not want to mess with it more than necessary.
- I did it for myself. I wanted to move forward like I never had breast cancer and having reconstruction made me feel like my old self.
- I was diagnosed young, and I wanted to make sure I could be put back together again – in a way that looked good aesthetically.
- The chemo drugs Adriamycin and Cytoxan were particularly difficult for me because I was not able to take the follow-on white cell boosting drugs Neupogen and Neulasta due to liver toxicity complications.
- The chemo was not fun at the time, but many improvements have been made since then and the impact is not so debilitating.
- Tamoxifen made me feel like I was always having hot flashes; eventually I went off it after four years.
- Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug.
- My lowest point came in the winter of 2022 when I needed to be hospitalized for neutropenic fevers on two occasions and hospital beds were scarce due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Having no natural immunity and rampant COVID around me was very stressful.
- I cannot say that I had much despair, and my faith gave me great strength and acceptance. My biggest concern was for my daughter, who was only 6 at the time. I wanted her to not despair and know that I would be OK.
- I never felt despair. I always believed I would be fine and I was. Positive thoughts are important.
- My lowest moment was when they put me in the PET scanner, before I started the treatment. That was hell. They put you in that long tube, and your whole life flashes before your eyes. I was seeing my children at these major milestones with me not there.
Source of hope?
- God. I have had so many God-winks throughout this entire process that I could give an entire speech at a church about it. There is no doubt in my mind that God has stood by myself this entire time… It has increased my faith tremendously.
- Outside of my faith in God, my greatest source of strength and hope came from the amazing care team I had at the Cleveland Clinic.
- I have a strong faith and turned toward my Christian support group and my prayer life. This was so important for me and remains so today!
- Learning about all the advancements made in the treatment of breast cancer while I was being treated.