Thursday, June 12, 2014

One Year Ago Today

 I cannot believe it.  It's been a year.  365 days ago I received the call that changed my entire life. The words, "Emily, you have cancer" and that phone call still haunt me. In all actuality that that phone call confirmed what I had suspected from the moment I felt the lump but to actually hear it scared the crap out of me. I thought it was a death sentence and to look back on what I have been through, the support I have gotten and the beautiful people I have met is absolutely amazing.

This past year has really tried myself and my family. With the hubs and I having to put our plans on hold to start a family because of the diagnosis was a terrible realization. While I'm sad sometimes (most times) because we can't be like most couples out there our age, having kids and taking a million pictures of them, I do have the one picture of them at SIX days old though, I am very blessed that I wasn't put through being diagnosed while pregnant and having to go through those fears.  I know my time will come someday, I just wish I knew why me, why now...or ever.

To think that just one year ago today I had no idea where I would be now and to have gone through 77 doctor appointments, a double mastectomy, injecting tons of fertility drugs, an egg retrieval, port installation, genetic testing, a Li Fraumeni diagnosis, 8 rounds of chemo and 11 Herceptin treatments (so far) and crying far more times than I can even begin to count is more than I planned for this last year. But one thing I am positive is that I wouldn't have changed the course of my treatment because I know that I have done EVERYTHING to prevent it from coming back.

quotes about breast cancer survival - Google Search

I've gained patience and compassion in some areas and lost TONS of patience in more areas than I had before. The patience and compassion I have gained has been in areas obviously related to cancer, diagnosis and the families involved. I have more patience for people who maybe going through something more difficult than others may realize. I'm sure before I lost my hair, and looked sick people had NO clue as to what I was going through. Appearances can be deceiving and while we all judge people based on first impressions, I'm learning to work around that and see beyond that. Things beyond a year ago like the garbage not being taken out before garbage day, the movie I wanted not being available, a shirt not being in my size are all things I've learned to not let bother me as much. While at the same time, I have zero patience for ignorant people who think that they know everything about treating someone with cancer and have no experience. Patience has been lost in ways of opinions being made about when someone should feel fine, or that they need to get over whatever emotions they have about their diagnosis. I have learned a lot through this year, but the most important thing is that a cancer diagnosis truly brings out the true colors in those around you.

I am at a point right now, even going through treatments still, where I don't feel like I ever even had cancer. My hair is to a length where it looks like I actually had a choice in its length, or maybe I lost a bet and had to shave it. My eyebrows and eyelashes are completely grown back, even though my eyebrows are thinner than before cancer, I'm A-OK because compared to having none at all, I'm loving them. I'm physically getting stronger every day. My boobs don't look deformed in a tank top or a t-shirt, I finally have cleavage and in 49 days they won't be rock hard anymore, so at least they will feel normal again. While physically I'm good, emotionally not so much. One day I'm fine, feeling like "Emily the cancer beating warrior" and the next I'm "Emily, the girl who feels defeated and wants to hide in her bed for the rest of her life."
I'm sure with time I'll have more good days than bad.

This year has been the roller coaster ride that I never wanted to get on. Hopefully in a year from now I will have a much more positive outlook on things. Right now, I'm just a little emotional from the realization of everything I've conquered this past year.

I am proud to say I'm a survivor!! 

But wow....a year already.

My life hasn't gone according to my plan, but God's plan for it has been written and I'm just following a path prepared for me.


  1. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary! We can all identify with what you say - especially about the know-it-alls who tell you what you should and shouldn't be feeling, thinking or doing. I had one stupid (never had cancer) woman tell me I didn't know what I was talking about and ask me what did I think I knew about breast cancer ... just because I'd had it?

    Those are the poisonous idiots that cancer teaches you to put right behind you. Much as all cancer's lessons are hard, many of them serve us well for the rest of our lives.

    By the way if your eyebrows stay patchy, try getting them tattooed to fill in the blanks. I'm going to have it done because after chemo I only have one and a half!

    WTG Emily - it's onwards and upwards now! Sz xx

    1. Sue! I apologize for not responding back sooner! I just realized that you left this! Ignorant people amaze me, you would think that going through something like cancer, you would have a tiny, little bit more experience and knowledge then people who have not, or aren't doctors. I've contemplated doing the tattooing of my eyebrows, but I think I might just stick with filling them in for the time being!!!

      Onward and upward is the way to go!


      Em C

  2. Well done, Emily! Hopeful to read your hair has started to grow back so soon. What chemo drugs did you get?
    I'm at the beginning of the journey, mostly aware of what will happen, a little apprehensive. I had a DIEP-flap reconstruction. Some graphic photos in my blog. I'm extremely happy with it so far.

    1. Katerine, I was on Adriamyacin and Cytoxin for the first four rounds then Taxol and Herceptin for the second four. Once that was done, I have been on Herceptin every three weeks since then for a year. (November 19th, should be my last one)!!

  3. A very special (and complicated) journey...
    Very happy to see you've emerged stronger.

    There are many parts which stand out from this great post. Here's a keeper: "[..] a cancer diagnosis truly brings out the true colors in those around you."

    Stay strong!

    1. Thank you!!! Much appreciated and it feels good to have come this far!

      Em C

  4. Emily

    Thanks for sharing your stories. I am thrilled to see your photos of a strong woman ready to take on everything. And even happier to see your growing babies. Jennifer M.