Today, February 10, 2021, is my last day of radiation therapy and my LAST DAY OF ACTIVE TREATMENT for triple negative breast cancer (*breathes huge sigh of relief*)!! It has been the most rollercoaster-y 10 months of my life and I am ready to close this chapter of pokes and stitches and breath holds forever! Or at least until my follow up scans in April….
Triple negative breast cancer is a scary diagnosis. The recurrence and mortality rates are much higher than for other breast cancers, especially in the first three years of remission. After five years, however, the average recurrence rate drops quite a bit. As part of my follow up care, my wonderful breast surgeon and I have agreed to do an annual mammogram (coming up in April) and also an annual MRI (planning for October) so that I’ll have some type of surveillance scan every 6 months for the near future. Because TNBC has a high grade (cells multiply rapidly), it’s important for me to continue self-monitoring by doing a monthly breast self-exam. Should anything return between scans, I’ll be able to catch it earlier (again, #KnowThyself).
I’m planning to transition back to work in the next few weeks. I’ll likely start out seeing patients part-time and slowly ramp back up to a full time schedule. I am also transitioning to our women’s health center from our regular outpatient PT department where I’ll get to work with more pelvic floor and oncology patients (this is really where my passion lies so this is exciting for me)! As daunting as it may be, I’m very much looking forward to getting back to patient care. I feel like I am living my best life when I’m helping people live theirs so I’m thankful to have an occupation where I get to do that every single day.
As much as I didn’t want to get all sentimental in this post, it’s impossible to reflect back on the past 10 months and not feel completely overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m overflowing with thanks for those of you who prayed for me, who supported me financially or by sending gifts and cards, who called or texted just to check in and talk with me about anything (especially anything that didn’t have to do with cancer).
I’m amazed by my excellent medical team – they are smart, smart cookies and always made sure I was well taken care of, not to mention the whole “saving my life” thing. I’ve met many women recently who weren’t as lucky as I was with their medical teams and were told things like “you’re too young to have cancer” or “let’s just watch it closely over the next several months.” Honestly, best practice should be to just refer for the dang imaging. I could go on a long rant about how insurance companies should NOT dictate what practices and procedures are recommended by doctors (who are the actual experts on medical things, by the way), but I’ll spare you. Instead, I’ll just continue to urge you to stand up for yourself and refuse to settle for a “wait and see” approach to your health.
I’m also incredibly grateful for my body for carrying me through all this treatment. It was hard, you guys, and it was hard for my husband to watch me go through it. But, now I know just how strong I am – how strong I can be – in case I ever forget. I’m really proud of myself for seeking care when I knew something was wrong, for taking the time to research integrative treatments to support my body during treatment and recovery, and for making exercise and stress relief a priority the whole time. It’s been a privilege for me to take time off work while recovering and also to have so many knowledgeable people (healthcare providers and other cancer thrivers/survivors) around me pointing me in the right direction.
Lastly, I just have to shout out my husband one more time. Truly, I could not have done this without him. He is the best guy around, and every day I’m lucky enough to spend with him is an absolute blessing. Looking forward to many more (less scary, more exciting) experiences with you, Justin ❤
Don’t forget to find the joy in the simple things today. We all have our own struggles, but it’s important to look for the blessings in each day. Sending my love to you!
5 thoughts on “And Just Like That…”
Breezy, you are and have always been such a joy. This blog is a Blessing. It’s an accurate picture of who you really are! How tolerant you really are! What a bright, shiny star you are! As your Mom, this has been tough to stand by and see you go through all of this, but with such Grace. I’m eternally thankful to everyone in your medical community that helped you and saved you but especially my Favorite Son-in-law. Justin and Bri, enjoy every single day. Treasure each other and the life you’ve made. Love you, Mom
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Hi Bri! Yayyyyy, WTG, and all that jazz! What a grand day today is for you. God Bless you, gal, and just want you to know that love and prayers will continue, for you as well as for Justin! Love to both!
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Bri you have worked very hard to learn about the best treatments. You are strong and brave and had self discipline and will power to eat correctly, exercise and keep a positive mental attitude. Your blog helped so many people. You were informative, honest and encouraging.
Enjoy you good health and happy future. God Bless
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I am so thrilled that the chemo is over for you. Our prayers have been answered,.You are a beautiful strong lady and we are blessed to have you in our lives. There’s no way God will take you away from us. I know it’s been a long hard journey and we thank God that he has blessed you and Justin, what a wonderful person, husband he is and so happy he was able to take care of you.I am so proud of you both for your strength and belief in God to carry you through this hard time of your lives.. Praying that you both continue in this life long journey together with love, hope and great health. Can’t wait to see you🙏🌈😘🌺🍀
Thank you, Kai ❤