Cause This is Thriller, Thriller Night

what is cancer; breast cancerAt some point during this tumultuous journey I wondered, what exactly is cancer? Hitting a lot of dead ends trying to understand the causes of it (why Buddha why?!?), I thought it made sense to investigate the root of it to get a better, overall understanding.

Generally speaking, cancer is a malfunction of the cell production process. When cells die, typically they are flushed out and new cells are generated to take their place. Sometimes things don’t go as planned and these “dead” cells start to accumulate and form a tumour. As long as the individual cells no longer grow, the tumour is considered benign and most of the time can be safely removed through surgery. However, sometimes these cells are able to find a blood vessel and essentially become…undead.

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Back to the Future – Part 3: The Egg Collection

fertility preservation, chemotherapy
Happy little egglets

After a few days of taking hormone injections, I found myself waddling around in the summertime heat, and people kept remarking on the nice glow I had about me.

WHAT was up with the pregger-like symptoms?!? Was this normal? But a few ultrasounds explained why.

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Back to the Future – Part 2: The Egg Freezing Process

egg freezing, fertility preservation, chemotherapy, breast cancer
Egg-zilla

In the end I figured if freezing my eggs didn’t interfere with my treatment, I should just do it. Just in case. Plus the sci-fi aspect of it all, did have me a little intrigued! The overall process was only about two weeks so it didn’t seem too bad.

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Back to the Future – Part 1: To Freeze or Not to Freeze (Fertility Preservation)

fertility preservation, chemotherapy, egg freezing
Time traveler?

The goal of chemo is to annihilate cancer cells that may still be lingering in the body after the tumour has been removed. However, it’s spidey senses aren’t super sharp, so it can’t simply just find the cells that are cancerous, so it kills a bunch of other innocent bystanders throughout its mission—like hair, blood cells…and parts of the reproductive system.

Continue reading Back to the Future – Part 1: To Freeze or Not to Freeze (Fertility Preservation)

Against All Odds – The Ballad of You Have Breast Cancer

Coping with breast cancerMany people asked me how this all happened, how did I know, how long did it take to get the diagnosis. Even now, almost four months later I still stop and think about it…

So dim the lights and hold onto someone tight, it’s the slow dance segment of the night.

Monday, May 2nd
still at the office when the phone rang
indescribable, undeniable
like a total eclipse of the heart
etched in my mind forever
it was a blue, blue Monday.

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Gone Are Those Hair Metal Days (The Side Effects of Chemo)

Hair loss, chemotherapy, breast cancer
I call her mini-me

Ok, so maybe those hair metal days were gone about 15 years ago, but STILL. What if Bohemian Rhapsody all of a sudden just starting playing, I at least had a choice! Sorry, Wayne, sorry Garth, you’ll just have to party on without me.

Don’t Know What You Got, Till It’s Gone

I didn’t know how much I got until it started falling out. And although a few people, including myself, thought that maybe, just maybe my mane would prevail, as predicted about 2 weeks after the first chemo treatment, more and more strands of hair escaped and retreated to safer havens such as the floor and shower drain.

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“She Blinded Me With Science”

buddha statue
Why Buddha Why?

People say not to think about the why. But a science-driven mind, full of wonderment and just plain anger, is blinded by one question—WHY?!?

I researched many sites online (legit sites, not scary ones) and nothing stood out enough to directly relate to my situation—there was no “A-ha!” moment to be had. Anything and everything can cause cancer. Great.

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