October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As a 16-year survivor and Breast Cancer Advocate, this is my month to blog and post about breast cancer so everyone who reads gets a dose of awareness!
I am so lucky to have lived cancer free for 16 years, 14 years symptom free. It takes time for all those chemotherapy drugs and their side effects to work out of your body.
One of my chemo drugs in my chemo ‘Cocktail’ is now off the market because it was increasing the side effect of heart damage and heart attacks! Another drug I was given now shows it adversely affects the density of bones! Bottom line here is you take what you take at the time and hope for the best. Again I am lucky. My heart seems fine, as do my bones!
In the 16 years since my initiation into the sisterhood no one wants to be a member, a lot of the medical protocol has changed for the better. More individualized treatments to one’s DNA. It is amazing. It used to be everyone gets a choice from column A and column B like ordering a Chinese luncheon special. Now the oncologists can predetermine what chemotherapy drug will work for you. This groundbreaking practice is still in its infancy but looking really good!
Individualized treatments means it is possible for less side effects and possibly getting the right combo of drugs for the best outcome. Notice how I must hedge my words with ’Possible”? This isn’t political double talk or undue vagueness on my part. Like everything in cancer treatments there is not a 1+1=2 scenario. It is all statistics and judgment calls.
Many women I have met in my advocacy have not been very lucky. Their cancer returns or it metastasizes. Some started out with a diagnosis much better than mine! Diagnosing and treatments are better and getting better all the time. Since there is no cure for breast cancer the thought it is lurking is always present among survivors. Sincerely by the grace of God I am still alive and thriving.
Thanks for reading and getting your dose of Breast Cancer Awareness!