Its been over a month since Shane and I have posted anything to our blog, but that isn't to say that there haven't been updates in our life. Mainly, we have just been enjoying whats left of the summer and planning our future now that Shane is finished with school and i'm almost finished with treatment. September 22nd is the official last date of my treatment. I'm excited and scared to say goodbye to Herceptin, as it has become my security blanket in so many ways. As I've mentioned before, i'm planning on jumping into some clinical trials as soon as they'll allow. My exchange surgery for my new "squishy foobs" will be September 30th. I'm likely going to be out of comission for about a week afterward, but am hoping that the recovery will be relatively quick and I can move forward with life AND WITHOUT EXPANDERS!!! There are so many things I can't wait to do: sleep on my stomach, wear a shirt without looking like I have oranges shoved under my skin, give someone a hug and not worry that they think i've stuffed my bra with rocks, and finally begin to make peace with what my body is going to look like from now on. I have the utmost faith in my amazing plastic surgeon, so I know she's going to do the best she can with what I have (or don't have).
This coming weekend is the Komen Race for the Cure in Portland. I don't have a team setup this year, but Shane and I are planning on walking and hopefully being joined by some family and friends. I've had mixed emotions about the Komen Walk because of thier focus on "awareness" as opposed to "curing". I mean, the truth of the matter is, a corporation or business can't make money on breast cancer if it doesn't exist anymore. And trust me, I'm well AWARE that it exists. Awareness may have been the reason I caught my BC before it became late stage...unfortunately, it doesn't stop my breast cancer from Metastisis to late stage anyway. I'm not sure that many people are aware of this fact. Basically, people seem to believe if you catch it early you're fine. Thats not always true. To hell with awareness, in my opinion, lets work on funding some research so no one EVER HAS TO BE AWARE AGAIN. But, in the meantime, Komen and I will continue our love/hate relationship and i'll support them as long as they are funding some research and helping those women who may not have other resources. If you are planning on giving a significant amount of money to Breast Cancer, however, I would consider looking for a non-profit that supports research. Research is where the cure is, not just more of the same.
The walk is always an amazing inspiring event, however. There are thousands of survivors there who have taken this disease head on and won. There are also thousands of women there who are dying of this disease and facing it with strength and courage every. single. day. I feel so connected to all of these women because we have all experienced, and continue to experience something that is impossible to explain. We have all had our dreams shattered in one way or another, and we have all pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps and moved forward. I love my fellow survivors - they know a part of me that no one else in the whole world can understand.
In other life and cancer news, Shane and I have started a new diet/lifestyle that is really supposed to be a huge hit to my cancer-issue. We picked up a book at Borders (which is closing BTW) called Life Over Cancer. The book is written by Dr. Block an oncologist who started the Block Center for Integrative Medicine. The program gives recommendations for diet (vegan except for Fish), no alcohol, supplements (such as fish oil, indinol-3-carbinol, etc...), exercise (daily), and prayer/meditation. Shane is following the diet with some modifications just to be supportive and I am trying to follow it to the best I possibly can. So far I have lost 3lbs of my chemo weight and exercised every day but one this week. I think the program is going to be great for me, but SOOOOO hard to follow.
Anyway, I'm celebrating my last treatment with dinner with my Alice then a Beaver game with my mom, Shane, and my amazing Grandad. We are going to have an amazing time together, as we always do!
I hope everyone is well. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we go through my final (hopefully) surgery and begin the next phase of this journey.