Diagnosis & Treatment

Breast Cancer
Medical Center
Sharp Memorial Hospital - San Diego, CA
Dr. Anne Marie Wallace, UCSD - La Jolla, CA
Dr. Richard Schwab, UCSD - La Jolla, CA
Clinical Trials
Medical Treatment
Details of Treatment
17 weeks of chemotherapy, 3 surgeries (mastectomy, chemo port implant, reconstruction).
Medication During Treatment
6 cycles (every 3 weeks) Taxotere 6 cycles (every 3 weeks) Carboplatin 17 cycles (every 3 weeks), Herceptin (aka TCH).
Alternative Therapies During Treatment
No sugar
No alcohol
Cancer gave me the right to prioritize what my family needed and what I needed, and I have maintained those priorities for 13 years.
Vitamin D, Coenzyme Q10, fish oil, ashwagandha, bacopa, spirulina, matcha powder, multivitamin.
WHAt helped me during treatment
Manuka honey helped with infections and soothing sore throats. I cooked Magic Mineral broth from The Cancer Fighting Kitchen religiously. I also went to Sephora to learn how to put on eye makeup. I had only worn mascara before cancer, and once my eyelashes were gone, I needed direction of what brands and color of eyeliner and shadow to buy and how to apply.
Favorite Quote
Advice for Others
Allow yourself to feel the emotions of the journey and to grieve your pre-cancer life. The treatments are long, the healing takes time. Allow yourself the time to heal both physically and emotionally. And you will discover amazing things about yourself and your community.

My Story

It all started when I found a lump in my right breast, like a clogged duct that wouldn't go away.

After a needle biopsy, 2 ultrasounds, a mammogram, an MRI, and a stereotactic biopsy, I still thought my doctor was just being overly cautious. His office called my house at 7:00am to set an appointment for that day. That's never a good sign. I was diagnosed with triple positive breast cancer.

By 11:30 I had heard the news - breast cancer. I was 38 years old, mid-divorce, with 2 little boys at home. At first, I was told the cancer was contained in the ducts and that treatment would be a mastectomy only. During my mastectomy, they removed four lymphnodes and found that two were positive. So my treatment plan extended to a year of chemotherapy.

I am now 13 years cancer free and my journey seems like a lifetime ago. After about 5 years, I stopped thinking about cancer and recurrence everyday. Now it's only a passing thought, usually when I schedule my annual mammogram.

I kept a blog of my journey - you can find it here. I am so glad I did because as life moves forward, many of the emotions and miracles of my cancer journey are lost.

Cancer has changed my life positively in so many ways. First, I was surrounded by an amazing support community. Friends and neighbors went out of their way to provide meals, help with my kids, and visit me at the infusion center. I never knew how loved I was and strong my community was until my diagnosis.

Second, I learned I was strong. I was a single mom with babies at home when I was diagnosed. I was terrified. But by focusing on each step one at a time, I learned my situation was manageable and that I could handle my life with cancer.

Third, I learned that I was beautiful. I had always had long hair. I thought my hair was my best feature and I always wore it down. When I lost my hair to chemo, I really saw my face for the first time. I saw the shape of my face, my eyes, my lips and I was still pretty without my hair. It was a revelation for me. I learned to prioritize myself and my family.

Before my cancer diagnosis, I said yes to everything - classroom mom, team mom, babysitter, volunteer... My diagnosis gave me an excuse to say no. It gave me the right to prioritize what my family needed and what I needed, and I have maintained those priorities for 13 years.

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