Hi! My name is Alyson. I am 41 years old and still fighting for my life. I was diagnosed April 16, 2005 with Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). While vacationing at a state park lodge with my husband and two sons, I noticed a rash on my left breast.
The next morning the breast was so swollen that it would not fit inside my bra. I went home, celebrated Easter Sunday with the family and promptly called my family doctor on Monday morning. 12 days later, 18 doctor appointments later, lots of poking, prodding, and many scans and tests, I was diagnosed and had a chemo port surgically implanted into my chest and began chemo. I was told Inflammatory Breast Cancer is the deadliest, most aggressive form of breast cancer there is, 2% of all Breast cancers. WHY ME????
Once I received the PET scan results, cancer was nowhere else in my body, I set out on a whole new path. To fight this cancer, beat it and continue to live here with my family. I have 2 sons to finish raising and see my grandchildren someday. I had chemo (Adriamycin Cytoxin and Taxol) from April thru August. Modified radical left mastectomy on September 1, and began 38 rounds of radiation treatments the end of October. I am Estrogen Negative and HER2+ which puts me at a very high risk for recurrence. I am taking weekly infusions (in my chemo port) of Herceptin to try to fight off recurrence.
I was bald for nearly 8 months and will never proclaim to have a bad hair day ever again! LOL I was so sick that getting out of bed was not even an option on chemo weekends. But, my pathology report was fantastic and my genetic testing showed no genetic mutation to raise concerns.
I am very positive and have been from the start. I have talked to my cancer from day one and told it that it was not welcome in my body, and that the chemo and I were killing it. My family, friends and team of doctors have been an incredible support for me. I am incredibly blessed to have them all standing beside me every step of the way. Life is short – and cancer puts a whole new perspective on EVERYTHING! The clouds look totally different every morning and I approach life with a NEW NORMAL – never to be NORMAL again. Life is a true gift – cherish it!!!