My Husband’s Story

A lot of you have asked or wondered if my husband Jordan would ever be willing to share aspects of how my Breast cancer affected him and our family. He has always said that he would someday, but feared he wouldn’t be able to put his thoughts into words in the same way that I have. I think it was something he would have gotten to eventually, especially if something happened and I was not doing well, but we got bit of a nudge a few months back when Good Housekeeping contacted me. They were interested in interviewing Jordan and I for a story about young families facing breast cancer. We of course said yes as it has unintentionally become part of my mission to share the side of breast cancer that so many hide, but this was a great opportunity for Jordan to share a bit of his story as well. I will admit he was hesitant at first, and in his words he feared he may “screw it up”. I told him that It was his call, but I did have one stipulation….. If he agreed to the story, he had to be 100% open and honest with the journalist writing the story.

Here is the article that GH published a few weeks back. The writer we worked with did a great job of capturing Jordan’s thoughts and feelings and Jordan joined me by taking one giant step out of his comfort zone, as he was honest and open in discussing a some pretty difficult topics. The truth is he too has suffered and is still suffering through all of this with me, just in different ways. In some ways he is suffering on an even deeper level than I am because he has to helpless watch and react rather than feel things first hand. Breast cancer didn’t just happen to me. Breast cancer happened to everyone who loves me.

We would like to note that the headline is a little deceiving. Jordan did take a lot of the photos that are featured in the article, however Sam from Shutter Sam Photography deserves a great deal of the credit for beautifully capturing so many aspects of the past two years, including all the aspects of this journey that are so difficult for others to see.

See the Good Housekeeping article here:

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/a44239/husband-documents-wifes-cancer-battle/

#MyPersonalPinkTime #GoodHousekeeping #ShutterSamPhotography

 

Post Cancer Treatment Scans

(a MRI scan from the past 6 months. It seems they have found a need to scan my abdomen my wrist, my Brian, and my spine, but not the most important)

As promised, I have addressed the silence and I am opening the door back up. Here is a little glimpse into what has been going on in my world. A few months ago I shared that I had reached the 2 year anniversary of the day I started chemo. Although it was a VERY busy day at work, I was taken back to that pivotal moment in my journey with breast cancer more times than I can count. I was hopeful to be on the other side of things, and very grateful to finally be getting a little bit of my pre-cancer life back. However if you have ever faced cancer you know that it doesn’t take much to rip each and every hopeful thought out of your mind and replace it with doubt, sadness, and fear. Shortly after posting on my cancerversary, I unintentionally ran my fingers across my breast area as I so often do without even giving it a second thought now. After having breast cancer you do not have to put a self breast exam reminder on your calendar as the thought crosses your mind every single day there after. But this time something was different, my fingers came to a screeching halt and stopped quickly at the edge of a lump I hadn’t yet felt. My world stopped. I could feel the heat or fiery burn of an anxiety-induced hot flash rushing up from my legs and arms and filling my body. All of a sudden, my mind started racing  and filled with fear. My very first thought was, my cancer is back, and then the cycle started. Everyone cancer patient faces the reality that their cancer could return at any moment, and move to other parts of the body. In a way, I have actually made peace with what I cannot control and I have whole-heartedly promised that if my cancer does come back, I will again fight with everything I have in me. However that peace is still not preparation for your worst fear unfolding in front of you.
For me, my life has just started to normalize as I am finally back to work, I am just now getting compliments on the hairstyle that I didn’t choose, and have even started wearing my converted head scarfs as neck scarfs again. I have gotten used to being the .1% in that if something can go wrong it typically does with me, but I have stayed hopeful that my treatments worked and my cancer is gone forever. Although my inner optimism was trying to take control, the lump felt hard, it didn’t really move much, and it did not hurt which I know are all symptoms of a malignant breast mass. To make matters worse, the lump was in the exact same location as the very lump I found two years ago. I looked for any rationale I could find for the lump, but my mind was already spiraling out of control. I thought about how awful the treatments were on my body the first time around and worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up the pace I have been working at in my personal life, with my advocacy, and with my work schedule. I worried about the fact that if my cancer had returned there is an even grater chance that it has moved even further than the lymph nodes and how at this stage oncologists no longer entertain the word cure. In an instant my mind again shifted gears and halted as I realized that I still have not had the breast MRI that my oncologist has been ordering to confirm that my treatments worked in the first place because my insurance is denying me. I again saw the faces of 3 different Radiologists saying “ you really need to get an MRI, because that is the only way we will be able to see the chest wall to confirm that the treatments killed the cancer cells that were left after your bilateral mastectomy”. Did the chemo and the radiation treatments work? Did the fact that my chemotherapy regimen had to be dose reduced by 20% make the treatments ineffective? After all, I was only able to receive 80% of the cancer killing drugs that are known to kill my form of cancer. And the obvious thought of having positive margins after surgery push it over the edge. My greatest fears were already coming to life in my mind. The dose-reduced chemotherapy regimen was no match for the cancer that was left after my Mastectomy and it really had been growing in my body ever since. Have I really been walking around with cancer in my body all this time? My heart was racing and my mind was spinning out of control. I thought about the conversation that I had with my nurse a few weeks back in sharing a dream that I had where I realized that the people who make the biggest difference in the world, do so because they ultimately die trying. I remember the goosebumps running up my neck when I actually muttered the words, “Seay, what if I am meant to bring my cause to the forefront of people’s minds, but I am meant to loose my life in the process to serve as an example. I remembered that I told her I was at peace with what I could not control and I have already committed myself to a cause that choose me but, and at the same time I am not ready. I will never be ready. Before I knew it all I could focus on was the words that John and Cindy, two friends who were taken by cancer, said to me in their final days…. “I am not ready to die, there is still so much more I want to see and do”. That thought. That truth. That has been my biggest and greatest fear since I heard the dreadful words. Having no choice in the matter and knowing that you will be taken is a terrible thought.  Accepting that my greatest fear could someday become my reality has been the hardest aspect of healing through breast cancer.

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Sign My Petition

Breast Cancer Happens Under 50:
Help Me Fight For Early Detection In Younger Women

Forgotten Fighters | Tammy Myers from Tammy Myers on Vimeo. Click here to sign the petition.

It’s official. The Forgotten Fighters campaign is live. Please take a moment to watch the video, sigh the petition and share this link with everyone you know.

Breast Cancer Happens under the age of 50. In fact women in their 20’s and 30’s are being diagnosed with breast cancer every day. The harsh reality is that Breast cancer is not limited to those who have a family history, high body weight, lower activity level, consume more alcohol, or smoke. It can attack any woman, young or old, at any age. This overlooked group—younger women in their 20’s and 30’s—are typically diagnosed with much more aggressive and further advanced forms of breast cancer. It is astonishing that the U.S. Government does not recommend screening young women. Even more, it suggests that younger woman should not even preform self-breast exams. This entirely contradicts the long-held suggestion that early detection saves lives.

If it’s large enough to be felt, it already may be too late When a tumor is found during an annual screening—mammogram or ultrasound—it’s often caught long before it has grown to a size that can be felt. Unfortunately, women under the age of 50, especially those under 40, must rely on themselves to find a lump. We must show the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force that although we may be the smallest categories of women diagnosed with breast cancer, we still represent lives that could be saved. In the absence of Government-guided support, young women need to be our own breast advocates. We need to forget about the guidelines and get to know our bodies, check ourselves often, and push our medical team to do the same.

Please join us in the fight to change the recommendation to a much earlier age and give younger women a fighting chance against breast cancer. Don’t just do it for us, do it for all the daughters, mothers, and wife’s who will be diagnosed.

Please take a few moments to watch the video below, like the forgotten fighters Facebook page, sign the petition, and of course help me make this grassroots campaign go viral, by passing this message along to everyone you know.
A very special thanks to Rhino media, Shutter Sam Photography, I do Signs, White dress events, Modern Day Floral, Sip Organic Juice Bar, Adrienne and Meghan from Pure Salon, Anything Goes Catering, The Cakabakery, The Event Loft, Hourborfront Banquet Hall, Wasserman’s flowers, White Dress Events, Grand Finale Desserts and Pastries, and to Ron Kellow who helped me string all of this content together. I am so thankful that you trusted in my crazy ideas, and jumped on board to donate time and services, to help me turn my crazy little vision into a reality. I truly could not have done any of this without all of you.

Now let’s make some waves! Click here to sign the petition.

In order to truly make waves we must show support with signatures.

You can also check out the webpage at forgottenfighters.org

#Forgottenfighers #Mypersonalpinktimeprojects #reversetherecommendation

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