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July 19, 2011

The journey begins......

You have breast cancer; hearing these words robbed my lungs of breathe.  I am a wife, the mother to 16 teenagers – five currently living in the home, and me’ma to a grandbaby; I want to live, I need to live.  Please join me as I chronicle my journey through breast cancer, the triumphs, and struggles written from the heart using what I call Real Talk.  Real Talk (RT) will expose painful emotions, the not so pretty side of cancer, irreverent humor, the need for laughter, and the journey of self-discovery.  Choosing to share this journey with others is beyond difficult.  I am a private person.  I am the caretaker.  I am the problem solver.  I am the one who cleans-up the messes.  I am the one who supports.  I am the one who advocates.  Nevertheless, today, I surrender and acknowledge that now is my time to receive your support, love, and care.  

Not all breast cancers are the same; regretfully my type of breast cancer (diagnosis) is perhaps the least favorable type.  Within three weeks from today’s date (7/19/2011) all results will be in – MRI, mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy pathology, PET scan, lumpectomy pathology, BRCA 1&2, and blood tests.  The next step is for my medical team to create a treatment roadmap to kick this cancers ass!

Diagnosis - Triple negative (TNBC) infiltrating ducal carcinoma (IDC) breast cancer.

Description – IDC is the most common form of breast cancer and starts in the milk ducts, the tumor ruptures the duct, and the tumor invades the surrounding breast tissue (infiltrate).  TNBC typically affects premenopausal women, the tumors are aggressive, and frequently metastasize in other parts of the body.  These TNBC tumors share three specific characteristics – no estrogen receptor, no progesterone receptor, and are HER-2neu negative.  The lack of these receptors means the tumor will not respond to oral medications; this is where treatment options become limited to surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.