Christine is an Orthodox Christian, a wife, a mother of three little children, a daughter, a friend, and a sworn enemy of cancer. In February 2013, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 triple negative breast cancer. Within a few days, she began an online journal for her friends and family, to share news, stay connected, and process what was happening to even the smallest details of her life. We are bringing this journal to The Sounding so that we can all walk along with Christine, and so that each of you has a chance to meet the special, brave, funny woman who is taking this journey. We all have something in common with her.
Those of you who are following her story will want to know that Christine has undergone surgery and received her pathology report…..we’ll post that story shortly. But before we do, here is a journal entry she wrote looking back over the road she has traveled to this point.
Written August 6, 2013 9:59am
On Saturday night, my husband turned to me and asked me how I was feeling. I said fine. I always feel fine on Saturdays, Fridays are the yucky days, you know that. But he kept smiling at me and said, “You know what this means, right?” Still not understanding, I said, “What are you talking about?? And he said, “This is it. You just get to feel good now. You’re not getting knocked down again on Wednesday. You’re done.”
I’m done. Chemo is over. And it feels so good. I’ve even managed to quiet my nervous little squirrel brain and just enjoy three weeks of summer fun. Week one was excellent- Aaron and I went white-water rafting in the mountains (fun!). My brother and I tried stand-up paddle boarding in Lake Washington (FUN!!!), and next weekend we are going to take the kids camping for the first time (fun?) I know surgery is waiting out there for me, and I’ll face it when I have to. But right now, we are focusing on summer fun.
I met with my oncologist before my last dose of chemo, and she made me feel amazing. She is so very pleased with my response to chemo. She said they see absolutely nothing on the imaging where the tumor was (!!!) In fact, she said it is rare to see such nothingness. My lymph nodes still look clear. The right side looks great and normal. And she even offered a few theories on why the DCIS shrunk that are logical and don’t involve an invasive component.
Again, the pathology from surgery is the final say on all this, and it will take a week to get after surgery. But all signs are pointing to a very positive outcome and an excellent prognosis. I am beside myself with relief and gratitude and hope that there are no surprises in the pathology.
Aaron and I can hardly believe how far we have journeyed in the past 6 months. When we think back on that first meeting with our oncologist, all that we had to do to get to this point, and then her actually sitting there saying we don’t see the tumor anymore at all…
Aaron is my numbers guy, so he did a little analyzing. Some numbers to put it all in perspective:
- 2 hospitalizations for severe neutropenia.
- 8 doses of adriamycin/cytoxin.
- 12 doses of taxol.
- 44 neupogen shots.
- 17 play dates volunteered for through our support planner.
- 40+ dinners dropped off.
- 542 expresssions of support through our online guestbook.
- Innumerable expressions of support through emails, letters, gifts, prayers…
Eleven weeks ago, Aaron was joking that I only had 43 neupogen shots to go! It seemed like such a ridiculous number at the time…but we made it. And now we’re going camping.