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Jenni's Breast Cancer Journey: Deep in the Valley but Always Looking Up
| Date Posted: 10/21/2021
Jenni Abbott’s Facebook profile says, “Wife, Mom, Christ-Follower. Lover of Books, Music, Food and Fun.” In early February 2021 the Southern Pines resident added “Breast Cancer Warrior” to her list of roles and accomplishments…and took her friends on family on a virtual breast cancer journey with her. Jenni graciously agreed for FirstHealth of the Carolinas, where she is a patient, to chronicle her journey through a recreation of her social media posts. She offered raw insights about her experience but always infused optimism and faith. This is the fourth of eight blogs about Jenni and her breast cancer experience. Read parts one, two and three.
It's been a little since I gave an update on my journey as a breast cancer warrior.... Here's a quick recap....
After my routine, annual mammogram in December, I was asked to come back to have a second mammogram & ultrasound which turned into a needle biopsy. On January 8, I was told that my biopsy returned as cancer - Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. On February 4, I had lumpectomy surgery, removing my small tumor (1cm) and three lymph nodes. Two of the three lymph nodes had traces of cancer in them (6mm and 1mm). My oncologist recommended that I have a chemo cocktail every three weeks of Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin & Perjeta + radiation & then anti-hormone therapy. I have completed three of six rounds of chemotherapy so far. Three of my chemo medicines will end after the sixth round. One targeted/antibody medicine will continue to be administered through March 2022.
Chemo is a beast. It is poison used to kill an invader. And my poor body is literally screaming at me to stop poisoning it. The side effects are assorted but I can somewhat predict them now...I will liken it to childbirth - after having one child, you know what it feels like to have a baby -- but until you get to transition you really don't remember how challenging, painful & endurance -- necessary it is. Each round cumulatively adds a little more fatigue, discomfort.
My lumpectomy is still not completely healed. I have a seroma (pocket of fluid) that is infected. I have been on three different antibiotics and each one has given me an allergic reaction (rash) that is so uncomfortable to handle.
I am in physical therapy to help with movement in my left shoulder. Also, with facia & scar tissue. I am supposed to have Round 4 on Tuesday.
There is a potential that I will not be allowed to have it b/c of the seroma & infection. I would really love to stay on "track" with my care plan.... To just keep this going & get over with! But I know that my doctors will recommend what is best for me. We'll find out tomorrow if I will be having chemo or not this week.
Would you pray with me for healing? For wholeness? For the rash & discomfort to fade? For the seroma fluid to be naturally absorbed by my body & give me some relief?
Thank you to everyone for your prayers, love, support, encouragement & kindness. Our family is surrounded by love, and we are so grateful!!!
Cancer and the challenges of treatment can lead to distress for patients and family members and/or caregivers. FirstHealth of the Carolinas offers patients and families support groups and free counseling services. Learn more.