I took part in the 2008 Race for Lifeand at the time I had no experience with cancer. I didn't really know anyone who had had the disease and at 41 I didn't think I would get it.
I ran for all those who have fought cancer or who are fighting cancer, in particular Mike Peters of The Alarm. He is a two time cancer survivor having fought two types of leukemia in the last 10 or 15 years. I wanted to raise awareness for his charity the Love Hope Strength Foundation so having gotten in touch with Shannon Foley, I received a badge which I placed on my race card along with Mike Peters name and I managed to raise some money for Cancer Research.
A year ago I found a lump in my breast quite by accident. It wasn't a small lump either so I don't know how I missed that. On 4th February 2009 I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer which was hormone and HER2 receptive, in other words - aggressive!
On 13th February my tumour was removed via a lumpectomy and I had a sentinal node biopsy. After many prayers I discovered that the tumour had been removed with a good clear margin and the cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes so no further surgery was necessary. The operation itself was painful as I suffered a large haematoma which took months and months to clear and has stretched the scar so its not as neat as it should be but who am I to complain, they got the cancer out didn't they?!
On 20th March I started my regime of chemotherapy: 4 lots of Epi-Reubison every 3 weeks then 8 lots of CMF week 1, week 2 with a two week break. My veins managed to supply my body with the poisen right up until the end when they collapsed. Then followed radiotherapy. On 2nd October 2009 the most radical part of my treatment was over.
I have herceptin via IV every 3 weeks and regular heart scans, the herceptin carries a risk of heart damage, oh, yes, and I am on tamoxifen for the next 5 years.
Right now my energy is back, I am able to discipline the kids, walk the dogs and run! Wow! How I missed running so much!
So.... this year I have JUST entered the 2010 Race for Life in May! This time I am not only doing it for Mike Peters, I am doing it for ME among a number of my new bloggin/facebook friends!
My sponsorship link is on my blog please, please, please will you sponsor me!
I have benefited from new break throughs in cancer treatment...... the sentinal node biopsies have only been around in the past few years - this has meant that I have my mobility and I am at a lesser risk of developing a painful condition called lympodemia. HERCEPTIN - the wonder drug which targets the HER2 cancer cells..... the new breed of cancer treatment I hope!