I wanted to start my own post because I didn't want to take up more of Susan's NED post with my stories and replies to others.
I am a VERY private person. But since being diagnosed with cancer, I only share this story to help others....or even one person.
Here is my story....Part I.....for now
I was diagnosed with stage IV terminal metastatic cancer on 12/20/16, Christmas week. I am a wife and the proud mother of a 4 year old son.
I went to the doctor more than most people over the course of 6 years before the diagnosis (often, once every 2 months) because of pain; but the doctor didn't run the right tests in order to look further into my pain. Instead, she labeled my pain as Fibromyalgia. I just kept coming back, feeling hopeless and stupid that the doctor wasn't finding anything. My husband (I didn't know) felt I didn't have much wrong with me since the doctor didn't find anything. She was just a very bad doctor in so many ways...but I trusted her.
Prior to my diagnosis I had several MRI's over the course of two years and yearly mammograms, the last one in March before the Christmas diagnosis.
I also had a woman's Gynocologist (and baby doctor) do a manual breast exam in late September during my pap exam. She didn't feel anything either.
Once I moved from a smaller town to a larger town on 9/1/2016, I saw a new general doctor. As a result of my insistence (and I mean insistence!) to look further into my pain and existing medication, the doctor ran a full panel of blood tests and found that my blood tests showed that I most likely had a serious disease of some kind. After several different additional tests and a more extensive mammogram with a doctor-ordered ultrasound near the underarm and around the periphery, the tumors were discovered. They were biopsied the next day. They were found to be breast cancer. Succeeding tests and biopsies showed that the cancer had spread to my neck, entire lymphatic system, suspected ovaries (but they were not sure...we think they were my fibroids now), my breast, and throughout every one of my bones within the marrow. The doctor's said that the cancer had spread too far for any type of surgery. They explained that they could only prolong life with some promising new drugs. The drugs ability to work on each person's body differ. Some people are able to defer having the cancer spread for some time and others react differently. They of course told me that the first and most effective drug wears off, you try a new drug.
I also found out (at the same time) that I had Parathyroid tumors (benign). They can be removed very quickly, but once the surgeons found out that I was in stage IV cancer, they refused to do the surgery because they did not want to interfere with the beginning (start) of cancer treatments.
Last Christmas was pretty hard....as it was for many who are on this site.
I had to start living with a new normal after the shock wore off and started asking God to help me to just get through the day.
I bought a little GoPro to ensure I had something to make video recordings on for my son. I started to plan a Disneyland trip for my son. I also started to pray that the Lord would help me move forward. For a while life was unbearable. All I could do was cry throughout January. I started to work into the "acceptance" phase and I read a lot of blogs of what other women were going through. That really depressed me more.
I fought with my doctors (against insurance) to be put on Ibrance even though I wasn't in menopause. So I was put into an early menopause by my doctors and then we got approval for Ibrance and letrozole combo. We used Lupron to keep me in menopause and also keep the estrogen away because my cancer was feeding off of the estrogen.
Ever since I have been in horrible hot sweats (10 months now).
I also found out months later that much of my pain was coming from "Advanced Disc Degenerative Disease" in my spine and discs. Three discs were out of place and disc material was pressing on one of the major nerves...which pretty much kept me in intense pain all the time...and leg pain...and feet pain that made it hard to walk.
I was also bone on bone in my knee from 3 knee surgeries.
So, I was basically a mess.
......Part II later