I thought I’d share a quick update on my health along with some photos of an impromptu road trip we took in March – without the Airstream this time.
Many of you know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer this past October and I began an aggressive chemotherapy regimen shortly thereafter. My particular cancer (Her2+++) was fast growing and my prognosis was frightening as I could not be staged until after I completed my chemotherapy. The fear of invasive breast cancer is that it is known to spread to other organs and at that point you are dealing with a chronic disease that can never be cured, only managed. I had a suspicious lesion on a rib and the fear was that by the time I had fund the tumor, the horse was already out of the gate. My prognosis would depend upon the condition of the rib lesion after finishing chemo.
I finished my chemotherapy in February and had surgery to remove the tumor and lymph nodes in early March. Results from surgery came back as a complete pathological response. No invasive cancer left! Also, the lesion on my rib was “grossly unchanged” which was wonderful news to us!! Since that lesion hadn’t responded to chemo and my actual breast tumor had been highly responsive, the conclusion was it must not me a metastasis. We were thrilled with the outcome as were my doctors.
We had planned a family trip to Mexico for spring break, but we had canceled due to the uncertainties of my treatment plan. With the good news though, we were encouraged to go out and celebrate while I waited to heal before beginning radiation treatment….and celebrate we did!
This had not only been a difficult four months for me…it had been really hard on my family – especially for my mom and dad who live in South Dakota. I can only imagine how hard it is to see your child, at any age, go through a cancer diagnosis. We decided at the spur of the moment, to pack the car and take a quick road trip back to Rapid City.
We had one week, and a lot of miles to cover, so the Airstream was left home. We spent one night in Yellowstone and then headed into Rapid City where we spent a fun week exploring the Black Hills and visiting with family! Someday we’d love to pull the Bambi back there…it’s beautiful country. But we’d need at least two weeks to do it right.
At any rate, I’m doing great and am feeling strong and healthy. I’m almost half way through my six week radiation treatment with very few side effects. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it is bright. The same day we found out there was no evidence of cancer left, we also discovered we’d be first time grandparents. In October we’ll have a new little travel buddy to accompany us on our adventures.
There have been many twists, turns and bumpy roads to navigate this year, but we have never forgotten that indeed, life is good!