Thursday, September 1, 2011

I Graduated from Chemo, On To Radiation

My loving nurses (L-R) Maria, Nancy, Sudra & Flora)
Two lumps, 6 six affected lymph nodes, 21 removed lymph nodes, two mastectomies, three surgeries, 4 successful embryo preservation, 6 chemotherapies later, I have graduated from Chemo and I am on my way to finish 35 radiation therapies.

So many things have happened since I first found out the small lump that progressed to two lumps and then proliferated my lymph nodes from 1 to 6 in a matter of 5 months.

Even though my cancer stage is 3, I am still lucky to be alive.  Had it not been excised from my body that soon, I am not sure if I would still be around writing a blog right now.

The cancer was aggressive.  From one lump in October, it became 2 in December.  From one lymph node affected and detected in February, it became 6 in March.  I'm pretty sure the cancer would not have stalled any longer attacking the rest of my body if it wasn't removed right away.  I am glad I decided to have the surgery first and did not think twice. Sure, the recovery was rough and hard for me and my family but it was necessary.

I almost thought twice about having chemotherapy because of the horror stories I have read.  True enough, the experience was not one to forget.  It was a roller-coaster of emotional and physical pains. The anticipation of getting sick every other week was tough to deal with but I made it through.  I have attempted to quit so many times, cried to husband begging him to let me quit.  But his persistence and support held the ropes for me.  The loving and kind words from all my friends and families gave me strength to fight every three weeks of infusion.   It felt like being poisoned slowly, ironically, it is something that should heal me.

The loving and caring hands of all my chemo nurses Nancy, Flora, Maria and Sudra was a blessing.  They made sure that I am comfortable during chemo, with warm blankets, snacks, medicines infused to relieve side-effects and hydration.  They took me at an hour's notice when I feel too sick and needed to be rushed to the hospital for hydration.  When we get there, they are all ready waiting for me.  They are the souls that nurtured patients at our hardest points of treatments.

On my last day of chemo, I made 24 pink cake pops (i wish I took a picture of) and gave it to them as a token of gratitude for their care.

Even though chemo is over, I will still have side-effects for as long as six months after, because the chemicals are still circulating in my body.  My nurses have told me I am always welcome to come back and get hydration or infusion of medicines to alleviate the side-effects.  And of course to drop by just to say hi and that if I am feeling better. These people are the embodiment of the true sense of the word "nurse".

Now that chemo is over, I am on to another challenge.  35 rounds of DAILY radiation.  I am confident that I can do this as long as I have the love and support of people who care about me. On to the next phase of this fight....

Help us in this fight against breast cancer. If you can , please help in raising funds for Krissy's Breast Cancer treatment:


  1. I am a survivor. Just like you. Do not give up. I had mine when I was 39. Stage 2, breast, too, although mine was not as aggressive as yours. I had a radical mastec twelve years ago,and was under close supervision for five years. I did not go through any of those chemo and radiation therapies but took only tablets (tamoxifen) for about three years. I complemented the western treatment with oriental and alternative med. I joined art workshop, relaxation/meditation sessions. I also tried doing a pilgrimage. In other words, whatever I could as a mortal, I did and the rest were left to praying the hardest and begging our God for an extension. Since then, I have shifted my medication and health management to one that I can control the most - diet. I completely stopped eating meat (except fish) and changed to more veggies and fruits; am taking in organically grown veggies as much as I can although sadly, we cannot completely avoid eating those laced and overdosed with chemicals. I have shied away from softdrinks although once in a while I also eat sugary products (chocolate, cake, etc) but keep them in moderation. I have since tried also to be more positive in life and as much as possible avoid stress-filled work habits.

    You are a brave, young lady. Keep on fighting! My prayers for more strength and for you to keep the faith...

  2. Dear trelborja, thank you for your comment. I hope someday I can call myself a survivor too like you. I admire how you took on different ways to make sure you will be cancer-free and not just depend on what the doctors say. I am happy to tell you that I just got in the "Healing through Art" program at UCLA which I have been on wait list for months now. I am so excited to be in an activity where I can channel my artistic side and also experience a different way of healing. Thank you for your advises. I will try to follow it as much as I can. (the sweets are too hard. All my teeth are sweet!) My prayers are with you too, that you continue to be healed and be a survivor forever.