At the end of 2017, I started really digging into my genetic mutation. I was doing a lot of research, being connected with some amazing thought leaders and learning a lot. Research changes so quickly that it was interesting to see how much more is known now than when I was originally identified as having an ATM mutation. Unfortunately, I was also learning how much we still really don’t know.Read More
One year ago today, I finished the surgical process for breast reconstruction. My amazing plastic surgeon removed my tissue expanders and placed my final, 550-cc implants. I only say the size because some people don’t get that after this process, I literally don’t have breast tissue, you have an implant in the place of what was there.Read More
If I could offer only one tip to someone who had just been diagnosed with cancer, it would be to find a way to connect with other survivors. That has hands down been the most instrumental key to getting through this without losing my mind completely.
To boil it down simply, no one else understands.Read More
SO WHAT DO WE NEED TO KNOW?! All of you world travelers, I need your every Greece tip. What attractions are not to be missed? Which foods and beverages do you still crave? Any hot spots we need to hit up? What do you wish you had packed when you went? We are hitting Athens, Mykonos and Santorini.Read More
No one prepared me for the anxiety and depression that would come with finishing the medical side of this journey. Even before reconstruction, I started becoming obsessive about things. Everything felt beyond my control. My husband would ask if I wanted to invite such and such over to watch football tonight. NOPE. That would be very stressful, what would we feed them, what would I wear, would I be able to act normal? Plus it would take effort and I just didn’t feel like it. Some days I just wanted to mope.Read More
Luke has carried me through cancer and recovery all while managing his own busy life and career. I can confidently say, cancer picked the wrong duo to f*ck with. WE kicked its ass. Luke survived it and continues to survive it just as much as I did and do. He’s my cosurvivor. This year was supposed to be whimsical and adventurous and turns out, it’s been exactly that. It’s all about perspective and I am so thankful that Luke has helped me keep mine.
Today is his birthday so please join me in shouting from the rooftops how glad we are that he was born. I love you, Luke Payne. I am so thankful to be yours.Read More
The most commonly misunderstood piece of my whole journey has definitely been breast reconstruction. Everyone can clearly understand cutting out the cancer. What happens next is very mysterious. Kudos to those of you who feel comfortable asking just what exactly is going on with me now. When everyone else’s heads swivel around to hear my answer, it’s helped me to recognize how little people know about this process and how helpful it might be if I detailed it here. Stick with me though, it’s not a short process to explain.Read More
Four months ago today, on April 1, my mom, Luke and I walked into Rex Breast Care Specialists for our first meeting. It was the day I was officially diagnosed with breast cancer. At that meeting we plotted a course of action that included a lumpectomy followed by six weeks of radiation and five years on a drug called Tamoxifen. Suffice it to say, it was the least funny April Fool’s Day ever.Read More
I started jogging again with tears running down my face. It was such a moment for me as her voice kept blaring into my ears. “I run for hope, I run to feel…” I didn’t care that I was starting to feel sore from Thursday’s expansion. I was running to FEEL. I felt so alive.Read More