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In 2003 I went in for some minor breast reconstruction - I had a tram flap done in 1998 and needed a "tune-up". Prior to the surgery, I was having intense belly pain for a few months and went to my GYN Oncologist. After various tests, we learned that I had a cyst on my ovary, so we thought.

 

When both my doctors, GYN Oncologist and Plastic Surgeon, started to perform surgery, they found breast cancer on both ovaries and my Fallopian tubes were encased with breast cancer. They removed both of my ovaries and Fallopian tubes and closed me up, because I had mets, breast cancer, on every major organ - liver, pancreas, small/large intestines, etc - pretty much everything in the abdominal wall.

 

After the surgery, I went to see my doctor from 11 years ago, who treated me for my first encounter with breast cancer, in which he gave me five years to live. Needless to say, his diagnosis was wrong and he is no longer my doctor.

 

For the first five years I was treated with various hormonal treatments: Femara, Faslodex, Aromasin, in addition to Zometa. This November it will be two years since I've been on chemo: Xeloda and Avastin. So far, I'm responding well to the treatment and the cancer is under control.

 

My doctor was very pleased that I was able to be on hormonal treatments for so many years and how well I'm doing now. Of course like everyone else dealing with MBC, I've had my scares. I see my doctor every three weeks and am tested regularly. She has indicated to me that living with MBC is similar to living with HIV or Heart Disease, in the sense that, I will always be on some sort of treatment, yet can continue to live a full life. In addition to doing the chemo, I also maintain a healthy diet, exercise, practice yoga and enjoy all that I have in my life.

 

Breast cancer has been a part of my life for 19 years and I have learned over the years how to balance the realities of life and breast cancer. Breast cancer has been one of my toughest teacher's "of Life", but yet it also has been a journey that has taught me, the Dance of Life.

 

As I always say, "Don't Miss a Moment' !


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