Breast Cancer Gene, Do I Wanna Know You?

This house gets my attention each time I pass it by on my walk to the park. Hidden and serene, sometimes I wanna feel like what this house feels like to me.

I finally scheduled myself for my first genetic testing appointment. We might just talk on the first time. I don’t know. I put it away for months. The thought of finding out if I have the breast cancer gene or not got parked away in the back of my head for sometime. I want to know but afraid of the result. If positive for BRCA (pronounced as BRA-kuh), my oncologist recommends to remove my ovaries prophylactically. Here we go again with prophylaxis. Didn’t I just have my non-cancerous left breast removed last December. Next the ovaries, and then…?

I have been taking walks lately, twice in a day when my schedule and energy allows. Yesterday, I walked to the park twice for a total of seven miles. Imagine that. With my eReader who reads out loud for me and a willing-very-enthusiastic-spring-footed Snowball the poodle, the long walks get more enduring. It makes me feel better than an Ativan pill.

Get your self de-stressed too.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

Till next time.

 

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Cancer and Stress

Bilateral mastectomy done. Chemotherapy done. Radiation not needed. All for my stage 1 ductal carcinoma triple negative type. Now what? Do I need more frequent mammogram? Of what? Of my abdominal fat/tissue that is now my chest? Do I need to have MRI or cat scans? I will find out on my next oncology appointment this month.

Lately, I have been so stressed with my kids. Gone were the post hospitalization days when they actually missed me and were extra sweet and thoughtful. I get to the point that it is no longer fun and rewarding to be a mother. My kids–a teen son (13) and preteen little lady (12) drive me insane to the point that I have crying and screaming pits. One night, I called the police to report my son missing. He failed to go home by six and went home at nine fifteen at night because he “did not realize what time it was.” He had his watch on. My daughter made me upset too. I found out, she had been throwing organic milk and sandwiches in the trash to get food from the cafeteria, running the cafeteria account balance to negative without telling me…My aunt who was visiting comments I don’t need this kind of stress. Stress is not good for me. It can cause my cancer to go back, she says. She may be right. I have to reduce this stress somehow. I need to learn to effectively discipline my kids. Maybe I should check into love and logic.

Aside from the family stress, I have been feeling good physically. I began to tackle my yard and the numerous dandelions and weeds that invaded my abandoned lawn. My kids and I filled up eight trash bags full of weeds and prunings. Imagine that? I walk the dog more too, mostly with auntie who’s visiting me. She will leave tomorrow after helping me declutter the garage, kitchen, kids’ rooms, and the living room. I will miss her.

I have accomplished some things. Cancer treatment is one of them. Soon, I will get Children Discipline 101 down (and done) as well. Oh, well.

Mangoes

Another day, another sunny day, and I am feeling good.

My friend visited me yesterday, and guess what she brought?

I sent the kids to school after a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast, power-packed vanilla-berry smoothie, and some fresh mangoes.

Where did the mangoes come from? My FaceBook friend, Melody, brought them last night when she visited me. We went to the same school in the Philippines, and although we have never met, we have been friends in Facebook. She heard about my cancer so she decided to pay me a visit. How nice. We plan to get together again and cooked some Filipino dish one Sunday since the Filipino restaurants in town have all closed.

Mangoes!

You probably heard about the benefits of these yellow-orange, meaty mangoes. Packed with vitamin C and phytochemicals, we believe it can prevent breast cancer. Check out these sources: Science Daily and Philcancer.org.   Of course, I did my morning walk too. Today I did the 4-mile walk with Leslie Sansome with a resistance band. I could feel the burn in my arms. I also added some strength training for my lower body. I followed the videos in You tube for the glute exercises and the leg exercises. I will try to delay sarcopenia the best that I can.

That is all for the day. Today, after all that, I will force myself to nap in preparation for my first night shift after more than two months of medical leave. Wish me luck. I hope I won’t catch any bugs at work.

Till next time.

Post Operative News


First day out, clinic visit not included, I head to the rec center with family...No, I didn't swim 8 days after surgery.

About three weeks after my mastectomy and breasts reconstruction, here I am!

I had both breasts removed, even though only one had cancer, to lower my risk to the unaffected side. I also have new breasts with my tummy as the donor site. I tell you, I might as well get a tummy tuck with all this pain and stress, and yes I got it. Plus now I have perky chests that will stay good throughout my life.

The other news? My breast cancer is stage 1, but triple negative, it is. More to this later. The main thing is none of the oral cancer drugs will work for me like Tamoxifen. I will need to go through chemotherapy.

So, bye-bye long hair…soon.