There was a time when very little was known about the HER2 mutation found in about 20% of breast cancers. When it was finally discovered, a HER2 positive breast cancer diagnosis came with a very poor prognosis. HER2 positive breast cancers are more likely to spread and less likely to respond to treatment making it one of the more aggressive forms of cancer. Finding out that I had HER2 positive breast cancer at the age of 35 was frightening to say the least. But like my doctor said the first time we met, the greatest advancement in the treatment of breast cancer over the past decade is the breakthrough discoveries in targeted treatments that have increased survival rates of HER2 positive patients by more than 30%, as well as help patients avoid traditional toxic chemotherapies. This includes the clinical trial I’m proud and grateful to have completed last year. Because of the cutting edge research and patient care available at Dana Farber, like the trial, in 2 short weeks, I will join the ranks of courageous, badass, breast cancer survivors.
To celebrate, to give back, to raise awareness, to say thank you, to honor the memory of Helen Gale, Don McCallum, Patty Maglio and Julie Deveney, and to support Dana Farber, I’m participating in my second Jimmy Fund Walk in September with team Touch Your Boobs. Please consider spreading the word or donating to help reach my very ambitious goal of $7,500! It’s the least I can do for the place that is literally saving my life. Cue dramatic movie music….
My appreciation for all of your support through this crazy roller coaster is difficult to express – thank you doesn’t cut it but it’s all I’ve got so THANK YOU. Thank you for your kind words, for reaching out at random times, for encouraging me to keep fighting and for supporting efforts to help kick cancer to the curb. This fight isn’t over yet – 2 more rounds of chemotherapy until I can say I’M A SURVIVOR. Holy crap I almost cry every time I think about it. I’ll also have final reconstruction surgery in May. And to fight the risk of recurrence I’ll continue with 9 months of Herceptin infusions every 3 weeks (chemo-like drug that targets HER2) and 5 years of a daily hormone therapy pill. But the worst is behind me and I couldn’t have done it without you. Onward to the cancer – and Jimmy Fund Walk – finish line!