Q&A on my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment
I would like to read your client announcement again. Where can I find it?
What type of breast cancer do you have?
I have invasive ductal carcinoma, which is the most common type of breast cancer, according to the breastcancer.org website. My cancer is classified as Stage IIB and hormone receptor positive.
Is there a history of breast cancer in your family?
My family doesn’t have a significant history of breast cancer. I did undergo genetic testing and the results were negative. During my diagnostic process, I discovered that most breast cancer (up to 70%) is not genetic. We learn something new every day!
Did you discover the cancer through a routine mammogram?
No, I didn’t. I experienced pain in one breast for several months, so I scheduled a visit with my primary care doctor, who recommended a diagnostic mammogram and an ultrasound. Unfortunately, the radiologist found a “mass” (a.k.a. tumor), so my next step was to schedule a biopsy. The biopsy determined that the tumor in my breast is, in fact, cancerous.
What is the latest update and your treatment plan?
February 19 marked the one-year anniversary of my diagnosis and I’m feeling well! My recent mammogram came back normal and there is nothing to report from the check-up with my oncologist. So, onward and upward! Next checkup will be in three months.
This week I had my first three-month checkup (yes, it was nerve-wracking). I’m happy to report that there is nothing to report! Healing is going well and there is no indication that the cancer has returned. So, time to close up this chapter, move forward, maintain my health, and enjoy life.
These past two months since radiation have been all about recovery—physically and emotionally. I am taking time for physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, and mental therapy to heal and recover. I am feeling more like myself each week and hope this continues!
I finished my last radiation treatment on Monday (9/14)! It will take 2-3 weeks for my skin to heal from the radiation and to gain my energy back. In one month, I will begin endocrine therapy (a medication called Tamoxifen) and will have 3-6 month checkups for the next five years. All of this treatment is to reduce my chances of a recurrance. Let’s hope this cancer doesn’t come back!
I am almost half way through my radiation treatments (12 down, 13 to go). The treatments have left me fairly exhausted in the afternoons, so I have been taking time to rest when I can. I am doing my best to stay on track with your projects, but I appreciate your patience and understanding if I need more time in the next few weeks. As always, I will communicate with you directly about your projects but reach out if you have questions. Thank you!
The next step in my treatment will be radiation therapy starting August 10, five days a week for five weeks. I am hopeful that I will be able to work during this time with limited interruptions so your projects will stay on track. Reach out if you have any questions or concerns, of course. Endocrine therapy (medication) will likely follow radiation along with regular check-ups, but no chemo will be necessary (yay!).
The pesky pelvic mass is benign! Enough said.
The surgery on that pesky pelvic mass went well, but recovery has been painful. I am feeling better each day and am back in the office today (slowly, but working up to a full day). Once I receive test results from surgery, then I hope to have a clearer picture of any further cancer treatment. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
I am recovering well this week from the mastectomy. However, I will be out of the office July 15-20 for another surgery. After some testing, a mass was found in my pelvic area and surgery is necessary to find out more information so we can determine the best treatment plan. Again, I will have a freelancer “on-call” during this time to help you out as needed. Thanks for all your well wishes and support during this time!
I am back in the office! I am still recovering but getting back into the swing of things while I wait for test results and further treatment plans.
Unfortunately, the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes and I will need a follow-up surgery this Thursday, June 11. Other treatments tbd. I will be extending my out-of-office time through the end of the week, with the hope of returning on Monday, June 15. Continue to text me at 303-960-9695 for any urgent design needs and I’ll arrange for a freelancer to help you out!
My mastectomy surgery went well on 5/27 and I am at home recovering. I will be checking email occasionally while I’m out through June 10. Feel free to text me at 303-960-9695 for any urgent design needs and I’ll arrange for a freelancer to help you out!
5/8/20 (updated 5/18)
I will be out of the office May 27-June 10 for surgery and recovery. Due to COVID-19 things are subject to change at a moment’s notice. If you have a project that will need attention while I’m out, please alert me asap so I can plan accordingly. Any further treatment will be determined after surgery.
Surgery is tentatively scheduled for the end of May/early June when the risk of the COVID-19 virus is lower. More details and information to come. Other treatments tbd.
I am still undergoing some additional tests to determine the best course for treatment.
My treatment is currently on hold due to COVID-19. Due to my asthma, I am in the high-risk category for COVID-19 and cannot move forward with surgery for my cancer. This is ok. I will be checking in with my oncology team in one month.
To be determined. I’m currently waiting for my MRI and genetic testing results to help me make an informed decision about my treatment options. I’ll update this page once I have more to share.
Does this mean you’ll be out of the office a lot…and if so, for how long?
I will be out of the office tomorrow (9/14) to celebrate my last day of radiation therapy!
I will be starting radiation therapy August 10 for five weeks. I am hopeful that I will be able to work during this time with limited interruptions.
I am back in the office today, slowly working my way up to a full day. 🙂
I will be out of the office July 15-20 (Wednesday-Monday) for another surgery.
I am back in the office!
I will be extending my out-of-office time through the end of this week, with the hope of returning on Monday, June 15. Continue to text me at 303-960-9695 for any urgent design needs and I’ll arrange for a freelancer to help you out!
5/8/20 (updated 5/18)
I will be out of the office May 27-June 10 for surgery and recovery. Due to COVID-19 things are subject to change at a moment’s notice. If you have a project that will need attention while I’m out, please alert me asap so I can plan accordingly.
I don’t have an exact answer to this question just yet. I do anticipate a fair amount of healthcare visits for the next few months. Thankfully, due to my flexible schedule, I can often catch up on work at odd hours. Plus, I’ve gathered a trusted group of freelancers to ensure your projects will stay on schedule throughout my appointments and treatments.
How will I know if and when you’re available?
I’ll be regularly updating this Q&A page (as well as my email signature), so be sure to check here first! If you need more information or have an urgent request, shoot me an email and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
How can I help?
The best way you can help is by offering me a bit of extra patience and understanding as I navigate this health journey. Some projects may take a little more time than usual, but please keep them coming! I view breast cancer as a temporary “bump” in the road, and my goal is for 2 Fold Studio to run smoothly throughout my treatment and recovery. So, please don’t hesitate to ask questions or voice concerns about your projects.
Are you okay…really?
Sometimes, yes. Sometimes, no. Right now, I’m experiencing a roller coaster of emotions. On the days I feel okay, I know that I can get through this! I’m grateful for the support of family and friends (and awesome clients like you) who’ve got my back as I tackle this new challenge. Thanks for asking! 🙂