Here at Lacuna Loft, we talk about everything lifestyle management and psychosocial support for young adults dealing with cancer or long term illness as patients, survivors, or caregivers. So far, we’ve accomplished this primarily through articles posted daily, Monday – Friday. Recently though, we have opened ourselves up to the ever-growing Vlogging sphere (video bloggers)! Lacuna Loft now has our own YouTube channel!
With that in mind, Lacuna Loft is excited to start introducing you to some great vloggers in the young adult cancer world! Every so often, we’ll introduce you to a yacancer vlogger that you can add to your arsenal of young adult cancer resources!
Today we are hearing from the HouseWifeSnob!
Like most women turning 40, I had big dreams of traveling to Europe, getting fit and just being all around fabulous. Hi, my name is Rebekah, and I am on my second Breast Cancer journey. In April 2015 I was diagnosed, for a second time in less than a year, with Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
My journey began On April 21, 2014, just four days after turning 40 years old, when I went to have a Mammogram. I didn’t think anything of it when the Breast Center, where the Mammogram was conducted, called me requesting additional imaging. It wasn’t until the Technician requested that I have a biopsy that I thought there could be an issue. After numerous appointments, which amounted to therapy like sessions with my Gynecologist and Oncologist, I was officially diagnosed with Triple Negative Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Like anyone facing this type of life changing news, I was instantly shocked, numb and fearful.
I allowed myself a few days to process the information and just cry it out! At some point I decided that I wasn’t going to let cancer rob me of having a life and that I needed to educated myself and fight back!!!
Like many people, I had no real knowledge of what it meant to have cancer beyond going bald, feeling sick and possibly dying. No one in my family or any of my close friends had ever been diagnosed with any type of cancer. I didn’t know what it meant to go through chemo. In fact I didn’t know the difference between chemo and radiation. I just hoped whatever decision that was made wouldn’t result in the loss of my hair. Boy, was I in for a surprise!
At the time of diagnosis, only one small tumor was found in my Left Breast. So, in June 2014 I had a bilateral mastectomy with breast reconstruction and tissue expanders; followed by four rounds of chemotherapy. I was advised that I did not need radiation because no cancer was detected in my Sentinel Lymph node nor in two additional nodes that were removed during surgery. Upon completing chemo at the end of September 2014, I suffered pneumonia which landed me in the hospital. By November 2014 I decided it was time to complete my reconstruction surgery and have silicone implants placed.
I had a few follow up appointments with my Oncologist but never received any follow up scans. I now know that not having any scans was a big mistake.
I thought life was good and considered myself a survivor. However, three days before my 41st birthday while doing a breast self-exam, I felt some lumps under my left armpit. I requested an ultrasound from my Oncologist who referred me back to the Breast Center. The Breast Center Technician recommended a biopsy based on my history. A week later I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Metastatic Breast Cancer. The cancer had re-emerged and spread to my left Lymph nodes.
At that point, I decided that I needed to seek a second opinion and contacted the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Arizona. On June 2nd, 2015 I had Lymph Node Dissection surgery removing a total of fifteen lymph nodes in my Left arm. Two of the fifteen lymph nodes had tumors with one measuring 2.2cm. In mid-July 2015, I began 28 rounds of radiation (with a two week skin break between the 24th and 25th round). As of September 11, 2015 I have completed all radiation and will be taking a four to six week break before starting chemotherapy.
Where I’ll end up undergoing chemotherapy treatment is still undecided. Recently I discovered a National Clinical Trial for anyone diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I am currently awaiting an appointment with a new Oncologist who is involved with the clinical research.
Since being re-diagnosed with Breast Cancer I’ve created a YouTube channel to candidly share my journey along with positive encouragement and tips for anyone who finds themselves in this position. A few of the things I’ve shared are how to beat neuropathy, chemical induced menopause and some common cancer terms. I also share the Health Care Common Procedure code (HCPC L8000, L80001) that every person facing cancer should take to their insurance provider to see if Bra’s and Breast prosthesis are covered. My channel can be accessed via my twitter page or by going to my Youtube page.
Together we can make it through breast cancer and win!!
Thank you so much to Rebekah, the HouseWifeSnob for joining us today! Check out her channel!