Showing posts with the label Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Treatment Preliminaries and Clearances

  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’m sharing this part of my journey in the hope of assisting those who are seeking a bit of enlightenment as my way of contributing to the advocacy. With the daunting road up ahead, it usually helps to know what to expect to ease the burden somehow.   After having completed the screening (Mammography and Breast Ultrasound) and diagnostic (core needle biopsy) tests and it had been confirmed that I have breast cancer, more tests were required before therapy starts. As I mentioned in my previous post , my oncologist recommended neoadjuvant therapy, where I would undergo chemotherapy to downstage or shrink the tumor before going under the knife to remove the lump.  Below is a run-through of the list of tests and procedures I had to complete to prepare for my treatment: Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG)  A common and simple test to check the heart’s electrical activity and rhythm via sensors attached to your skin, ECG is a test to monitor and dete

Breast Cancer Diagnosis: The Journey Commences

Receiving results indicating that breast cancer is almost certain according to digital mammography and ultrasound left me with not much hope to hold on to. The best you can do at a time like this is pray while bracing yourself. Sure, I prayed that I would still be spared but my prayers had been more on asking for strength to handle what’s ahead. Family and friends, of course, insisted on clinging to that sliver of hope that the lump would be benign. I appreciated that. As much as I would love to maintain a positive outlook, however, I had to manage my expectations and prepare for the worst. It didn’t help that since this happened just before the holidays, securing an appointment with the breast surgeon that my OB-GYN endorsed was a real struggle. In my desperation, I already reached that point where I was willing to see any surgeon just so I could have the biopsy done the soonest possible time. This desperate move didn’t work out so well as I couldn’t even get through the trunk line or

Detection: Recognizing Breast Cancer Symptoms

I’m sure you’ve heard it before--early detection plays a crucial role in beating breast cancer. Being able to nip it in the bud substantially increases your chance of survival as this illness has become highly treatable despite its rampant spread worldwide. The thing is, as with my case, I ignored it for far too long despite knowing that the threat exists as I come from a line of women with breast cancer although my mom succumbed to liver cancer more than 20 years ago. I was indeed in denial for a while about the need to have it checked and the pandemic had been a very convenient excuse to delay the inevitable. You don’t just develop breast cancer in a short span of time. According to experts at  Robert W. Franz Cancer Research Center , the cancer could already exist in your body for two to three years before it can be noticeable. It only takes one malignant cell, which will then grow simply by cell division. This one cell divides into two, then into four, and so on. Each division gen

My Healing Journey: Discovering Breast Cancer in the Time of Pandemic

When I decided to get back into blogging upon leaving my long-term stint in the corporate world, there were so many ideas running in my head on how to map out this journey that I abandoned abruptly so many years ago. I knew I must weed out and filter them soon and declutter my head.  What I never anticipated was that this journey will suddenly become two-pronged. I originally planned on a more career-related theme when I pick up where I left off. Life, however, has other plans for me.  Deterioration   I started having health issues in the last quarter of 2018 when I was hit with mild pneumonia which resulted in my finally ( finally! ) kicking my smoking habit on first try (a good topic for later). That workaholic who stayed up way too late, puffing like a chimney? That would be the old me. My shift started at 12 noon until 10 in the evening but I would usually leave the office around midnight or in the wee hours of the morning so you can just imagine the lifestyle I had for years.  Upo