Monday, August 29, 2011

3rd chemo day

Here we are again, did not sleep much so will see if I can recover some sleep later on when I am at home. I was really upset that could not go with Ethan for his first day of school, Alberto said he was really shy but he was happy to stay.

I arrived here at 8:15, lab was empty and it took me 5 min to do blood draw, so this time I had to wait for the nurse to see me for more than 20 min. My blood counts were normal and there is no indication that I am going to get an anemia which happens in more than 50% of the people, I think all this healthy eating that my mom and Alberto have been cooking for me is paying off big time. Wendy, the head of nurses, says that positive thinking does as much as the eating and the exercise and she can say from the first time she meets the patients who is going to do good and bad. She said that she knew when she met me that I would do great as I always have got a smile in my face.

My chemo nurse is new today, her name is Diane and she seems really nice, she gave me ice cream while she was injecting my first drug as I did not like my ice today for some reason so I feel really spoilt. The room was not too busy, there is a person who I have not seem before sitting next to me and a bit loud, he had a heart attack while on a business trip and after surgery they told him he had leukemia. Second drug is going in now and within one hour we will be out of here, I will take my two drugs when I arrive home today and go to sleep for a few hours....

I am looking forward to something this week, my friend Fiona is coming from the UK on Friday to spend a few days with me combining with some business. She has in the last 10 years being on all important moments in my life, she come to Spain to our wedding, she come to the US when Ethan was born, she come to my surgery and now making more time and visit us, really looking forward to see her and spend some time with her.

All good things have got an end

Why does my good week finish so fast?. I have had probably the best week since I started this journey, there are so many people who I have to thank for my week being that fantastic that I might be writing all night.

On Wed morning my mom and I went for a lovely facial to Michelle, one of the best facials in town by far and if anyone wants to try one let me know and will give you her details. I have to thank Rose for taking Ethan with her during this morning so he could enjoy his old daycare friends and mommy could enjoy the relaxing time. Damaris (Ethan's nanny) did invite us to eat lunch, the best flautas I have eaten, I am starting to think that someone has sent her to us as she has been an angel with Ethan and us, she is the nicest person on earth and is making things so easy!. That night and after having an afternoon nap we had the leaving party for Jen and the first time I wore my wig, have to say that it was a bit uncomfortable and not sure if I will be wearing it very was nice to see all the girls and it will be sad to see Jen leaving California.

On Thursday I went with Ethan and Alberto to meet Ethan's new teachers, he was so happy to be at the big boys part of the school. It is weird as I have lost almost all my hair now and wearing caps all the time, so everyone now knows that I am mad and have shaved my hair or I am on a chemo treatment. But what do yo do?, do you wait until people ask you or you openly tell them you have Cancer?. Now I feel people do look at me more and sometimes wonder what it goes through their minds, on Thursday it was that situation, I did not say anything but was wondering what his teachers were thinking. On Thursday we also went to Ethan's first soccer practise, I did enjoy it so cute to see a group of 4 year old running around with a big smile, I am sad that will have to miss this week's one!.

On Friday I did a quick visit to work to have a chat with my boss, weird to be at work but I do not need to worry about anything until January!. We went to Lorraine's for dinner, She did my favorite fish dish that I love and have to try to do it myself one day, we had a lovely evening and I really appreciate that she took the full family on when she is so busy and going through a hard time herself. She has been one of my rocks during this process and I will be immensely thankful to her.

Saturday we took it easy during the day, went for a walk with my mom as I have been taking very seriously about walking everyday at least 30 min. In the evening my friend Monica organized a party in her house to celebrate my mom's birthday, how nice is that?. We were a total of 26 people between kids and adults, Marcela did a fantastic decoration of the tables and garden. Monica probably had been cooking all day and everything was delicious, we ate and drink all night...We did not stop laughing with all the jokes they were saying, and I felt so sorry for Manoj who was the only non Spanish speaker!. We went home past 10 pm with a big smile and so happy to have so many good friends that give you this injection of energy, I thank each one of them for all their time and support. This photo is with Maite's little girl Ana, she has the most beautiful eyes and talks non stop when she is only 19 months!.

Today we went to Santa Cruz, have a nice lunch with my parents at hotel Chaminade and went to the beach, however it was freezing cold and we could not stay much longer there. It was a shame it was that cold as we were so ready with beach toys to do a big castle!, Ethan was a bit disappointed. This evening I can feel I am stress already for tomorrow so I went for over an hour walk, I am hoping that extra exercise is going to help me sleep tonight!. I am feeling so great today and feeling so great in the past few days that can't believe tomorrow I am back to feeling bad!.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sometimes I forget I do have Cancer

I am on my good week and I feel so happy to have my energy back and being able to go out and enjoy any silly thing like going shopping, going out for dinner, go to the park or any other thing that I did not appreciate before. However I seem to forget that I am under a strong treatment and I am not the same as before and must take things easy....

Yesterday it was my first day out and I was so excited that I overdid it. We went painting with Ethan and some of his friends in the morning. It was my moms birthday and can't remember last time we celebrated together so we had family lunch, skype with my sister and all my family in Spain and then took my mom to Macy's for an hour to get her a present. Then.... my friend Mick Davoudian gave me a present some time ago for the dogs to be professionally photographed to create a poster to be in stores at Pet Food Express so we had the photographer at home in the evening.

After all this I was exhausted, I literally had to go to bed and was quiet upset with myself!, I must remember that I do have Cancer and I am battling it and me trying to do normal life when my body does not follow me is not going to help. From today I promise Alberto that I am going to be more reasonable, being active in the morning but resting in the afternoon. So today we had a great morning in the park but I did lay down in the afternoon and planning to take a nice walk this evening.

Have to share this photo

Have been playing a lot with Ethan to make sure he does not feel uncomfortable with mommy not having hair and wearing a scarf, a hat or a wig. He loves to touch my head and the other day he had a moment where he asked me again to cut his hair but it was just a moment..... this is a photo of us playing with my wig and he looks so cute that have to share it with all of you, I guess if I had had a girl she might have looked like him in this photo?.

A quick update about my hair is that has not fall off completely, Alberto cut it to #1 so it is almost nothing there, I have got areas of no hair but overall still holding strong for the last small piece of hair to fall off.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bye, bye hair...

I have prepared myself so long for this moment that you would expect to be just a formality but it was really upsetting. I decided to cut it two days ago but have not been feeling up to typing anything, today is the first day that feel my energy is coming back. The last few days I have been feeling really bad, some moments I have to lay down as I feel like falling down and my body can not hold me. You do not want to eat, to drink or to talk and feel an immense exhaustion through your body. But today woke up much better and I am looking forward to enjoy the coming days going back to normal, I still need to be cautious for a few more days but I soon will be doing more normal life.

Before I found out I had cancer I had really long hair, the week I found out the news I cut it to the shoulder level. Then about 3 weeks ago I cut it really short in order to make myself to the idea of having almost no hair. Everyone keeps telling me that short hair is more suitable for me but I have got my doubts about it, I always liked it longer.

Then on Wednesday night and after 3 days of seeing hairs everywhere: pillow, shower, hands...I asked Alberto to cut it and he was the happiest person on earth, he was like a child with a new pair of shoes with the hair clipper. He went all dramatic put me the song of Sinead O'connor "nothing compares to you" and set me up with a chair in the shower to start. I thought it was all well overdramatic and told him to stop the set up and just do it....I will lie if I said that I did not cry, I cried like a child and I am still crying when I am writing this but I guess it is all natural. Then that night when my friend Lorraine come to see me we cry for a bit longer, she was more upset than me I think which it was really sweet.

I love this photo here of Alberto and I, he was so proud of me and was trying to make me feel good about it. Alberto used to have really long hair and when he was 25 he shaved it when my sister in law was diagnosed with Leukemia. He decided since them to not let it grow and shaves it every week, now my sister in law fully recovered from the Leukemia and has got 3 lovely kids and has a complete normal life.

The small problem was Ethan, he wanted to cut his hair as well and you all know how much his dad loves Ethan's long hair. I explained to him that mommy had boo boo in the hair and the doctor has asked me to cut it, I asked him if he wanted to go to the doctor with me so we could check if he needed to cut his hair and he said son does not like to go to the doctor so we normally clear issues using that subject.

Now it comes my fashion time, I have got so many scarfs, hats and a wig that it is time to use them all. Only issue is that my face is full of dark marks now, must talk to the doctor next time and ask if I can use Hydroquinona, just do not feel really attractive at the minute with no hair and face full of marks. Now my first fashion photos.......The first photo is a scarf from Tous that my friend Maite bought me, making some publicity for all of you who do not know them...Tous is a Spanish jewelerey designer that now sells their jewlery and accesories in lots of countries, you should go and visit their shop in Palo Alto shopping center.

The second one is another one from my friend Monica from Maximo Dutty which is a shop in Spain that I love and that I normally can not buy many things as they do not fit me, glad to be wearing one of their scarfs. I thank Cathy Mee for my sleeping hat!, you do not realize how cold it can be without hair at night so that is so wonderful.  I have got another 3 or 4 more scarfts from Jen, Tami and my husband that will be modeling in the coming excited to have so many things to choose from.

Hope you are all having a good day, enjoy every minute of it and appreciate everything and everyone you have got around you, there is no point to be having a bad day for any reason.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Second chemo treatment

I hate this day, the fact that I am going to be injected with all these drugs makes me feel sick just by the thought of it. Keep telling myself I have to go through it in order to save my life and I am sure I will appreciate it when it is over but can not be that positive the day of the chemo.

We arrived at 8:30 for blood work and the lab was really busy. Managed to see Dr Chen at 9 am, my blood counts had gone back to normal and she perform a physical exam that she said was perfect. She even said that next visit I am going to see the head of the nurses instead of her as I am doing fantastic. I went to the chemo room after and there were only a few people there, they were expecting me and took them 2 min to get me started. The room got fill out pretty soon and it is sad to say that I am the youngest person by far in the place, am I an unlucky one or people my age that the doctors said also going through same situation like me do chemo other days?.

We were home by 11 and this time I had one additional nausea pill(total of 5), the logistics of what to take first and with what is what it made the difference. One of the nurses wrote me down what should I take when and have to say it has done a huge difference. I still have got real bad nausea but I can live with it for a few days.

Now is a few days of resting, taking it easy, tolerating the feeling crap and the weekend soon will be here so I can feel better. I am still holding my hair even if it is falling off, I am going to hold for a few more days if I can....

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Here we are again....

I have had a great week, as planned took Ethan out from summer camp and enjoy him every morning. We went painting and we did a really nice cup for daddy, it took us all morning to do it but we had a great time. We went bowling two mornings as we enjoyed so much the first one and we had two pool parties at our friends's house (thanks Marcela!). In the afternoons Ethan went to have more fun with Damaris (our nanny) and her son while mommy was getting a nap, visiting doctors and getting some quiet time. Thank you very much Jen and Marcela for all the help with Ethan this week, he had a great time!

I have been feeling great but getting tired really easy, still have been really strict on eating healthy thanks to my mom and Alberto and walking every night. I lost 5 pounds last week but manage to recover almost all of it this week so I feel back to normal for tomorrow.

Today the anxiety level has raised slightly, first my hair is starting falling off and my scalp hurts a lot, I have prepared myself for this moment but I still think is going to be emotional. I think tomorrow or Tuesday is the day that all will be coming off, I will post photos sometime this week. Part of me tells me that I should be happy that hair is fallng off as it means the drugs are doing their job...... Second my 2nd round of chemo is tomorrow at 8:30 am, doctor says that should be better as I know what to expect but I think because I know what is going to happen I am more anxious about it. I have been given one more drug for nausea and will be taking a total of 5 different drugs to help with it tomorrow, I just hope one of them does the trick!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Working or not working...

Many of you who have worked with me know that I used to be a workaholic but slow down since Ethan was born. Apart from my maternity leave which was really short and I still regret to not have taken more time, I have never taken any other disability before. This time I took a disability leave as soon as I could not hold any normal working hours but was determinate to work during chemo or at least to do something that will keep my mind occupied.

I had several conversations this month with Dr Chen my Oncologist about the possibility of working some hours here and there, her position was "no working" without much negotiation. When I look with her at the positive and negatives about it, the negatives win by far so it is a no brainier:
  1. My immune system gets really affected so need to avoid places for at least 8 days after chemo.
  2. This might be my only chance to combat this Cancer so I need to use any day that I am feeling ok to improve my health.
  3. My work is not the kind of work that you can do 20 hours a month, you are there or you are not there so hourly work is not going to work
  4. Stress is not welcome at all in my life in the next 6 months and work always brings stress.
Therefore the doctor changed my mind about the possibility of working any day at all and will be taking a full 6 months leave to make sure I can focus on the right problem. It is time for my health, my family and myself, my professional life and my worries about work have to be left in one side until the other issues are solved.

What is a perfect breast?

Today I went for check up with Dr Karin (Breast surgeon) and Dr Lui (Plastic surgeon), they wanted to give me one last check of the breast and chemo port healing from the surgeries and leave me alone for 3 months to focus on the chemo treatment.

The visit was not what I was expecting...when I took my clothes off both started enthusiastically screaming that my breasts were perfect!!!. It was like if they had never seen a breast before and I was......wait a minute I do not have breasts, I have expanders that are very uncomfortable, do not let me sleep in my tummy as I normally do and they are as rigid as a rock. But their opinion is that the size and form is perfect and people will be very jelous of me when I show off this summer. Not sure if I will be showing off but I do hope you are not jelous about me having that painfull things behind my muscle that makes a perfect shape of a breast that does not exist...Everything comes down to them doing everything possible to make you feel really good and forget about your real problem, today I thought they were serious though.

When we were leaving Dr Karin's office she asked me to come back and asked me if someone from the office could see my breasts. Then Dr Lui asked me if someone from his office could also see them as well and Alberto said: " that is it, we are starting charging for this!".

But you will all see when I do the final reconstruction next year with the free tummy tuck!, then you are all going to be jelous of me for sure!.
Love you all

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Survival manual

All of you who know my husband Alberto know that he is a very sporty person and he loves his "healthy" diet, well....he likes cookies more than he admits. Lately he has been really focus on understanding the effects of some super food in your diet, you can ask him anything about flax seeds, kale ( Kelley bakes it for me every week!), soy, germ, green tea and more. Since I was diagnosed with Cancer he has introduced me to all of them and tried to educate the benefits of all these products. I kind of get it but sometimes I prefer a toast for breakfast than cereal with flax seeds, so like a child I agree to eat it even if I don't fully like it.

Today I read a really interesting book that my friend Mariam brought me: "The breast cancer survival manual". There are a few charters about nutrition and exercise during chemo treatment to help body to repair, and nutrition after treatment to avoid recurrence. I was amazed by the importance of these super food in your diet, all of them provide the healthy way of having the right fat and antioxidants in your body and recommended as a must in your diet.

I recommend you to check a look at some of these products when you have got a moment and see if you can change some of your current foods for these super food substitutes. I think by the end of these process I will be an expert so feel free to ask...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

My First Chemo treatment

Thanks to my friends party the day before I had a decent night sleep so at least I went to the treatment with a few hour slept. I was scared to death and I was even thinking about asking them to give me a Valium of something but at the end I went with the flow and things were much easier than expected.

We arrived at 9:45 am for blood draw first, we saw Dr Chen who walk me through again what was going to happen that day. After that she walk me to the Chemo room and asked me to find a chair, yes literally find a chair as the place was packed!. I took the last reclining chair available and waited for a nurse to do something to me....Alberto sat in front of me and waited to see if he could do anything. We were really prepared, we had two ipads to watch movies, we had a snack and ice which is really good to eat while treatment to avoid mouth sores. The nurse explain me what she was going to do, she connected me to the IV through the chemo port in my chest which was almost painless, she administrated a nausea medicine and asked me to relax. Second they put on the IV a large bag of water solution, at the same time the first drug was slowly injected through one of the IV connectors. The drug was red and it was the reason why I pee red for a few hours after the treatment. After that bag was finished the second drug was put on the IV for close to one hour, it was weird as the drug hit me on my sinus, it was like I was going stuffy and my eyes were getting wet. The nurses said that they can slow it down if you can't tolerate but I wanted to get out of the place so I was fine with that speed!.

3 hours later we were at home and I was feeling great, I had lunch and I thought this was not too bad, well I talked too early as within 2 hours I suddenly got really sick with a horrible nausea. My face and body was all white, it was like the worst nausea ever but I could not be sick and lasted for almost 8 hours!. I thought great this is not going to be as easy as I thought will be, luckily that night I pee all night and the drugs started leaving my body which meant my nausea decreased dramatically and started feeling better. For the coming days I have not been too bad, had moments of extreme exhaustion and had to lay down and I had a big congestion cold which we do not know if it is coming from Ethan or is a reaction from the chemo. Apart from that I should not complain much about it, I am looking forward to feeling completely back to normal thought.


Everyone has asked me about Ethan and how he is coping during this process, the truth is that he is doing really well considering he is only 4. The first few weeks he had a really hard time, he could see me crying around the house for no reason and that really upset him, he used to tell me if I had boo-boos anywhere and if he could give me a kiss. Then when surgery arrived he spent the weekend at friends house and we explained to him that mommy was going to the doctor but she was coming back home. Everyone said that he was really quiet over that weekend. My friend Marcela found him in the bathroom looking at the floor and she asked him what was wrong with him, he said: " my mommy is sick but she is going to be ok, right?", bless him!.

He seems to be back to normal, he is so excited to have my parents here and we always have people in the house so he is enjoying every minute of it. Every time I feel weak during this process I look at him and Alberto and it gives me the strength to look forward, there is so much to do for the 3 of us, can not wait for all the family gatherings, vacation and quality time together that we will have for many years to come.

Next week I have taken him out from the summer camp and we are planning to do things every morning together: painting, bowling, movies, really looking forward to catch up with him on some quality time the two of us.

Weekend before first Chemo treatment

One thing I have not said yet is how much support from friends and family we have received since we started this journey. It has been really overwhelming to realize the amount of people who really care about us and will be here to support us through this process. From my friends and family in Spain and the UK to my friends in 2culturas group and Saint Chris moms group to my neighbors, there is a huge list of people waiting for my parents to leave in order for them to help with food, Ethan or whatever is needed. To all these people we want to say from the bottom of our heart THANK YOU very much, we will not be able to do it without you.

I have received flowers and plants arrangement from so many people. I was specially touched for a huge arrangement I received from all my friends in Spain, we have all being friends since we were 2 years old and we will always support each other and do whatever we have to do when one of the group is in trouble independently of what country we are leaving. I received amazing messages and flowers from my previous employment NVIDIA, from the CEO and his Executive team to every single person who found out I had been diagnosed with Cancer. I was amazed of time some of my friends spent thinking on getting me really meaninful presents that are going to be very helpful through this process, from books to hats and many others. It has been a truly blessing and and we are so lucky to know so many caring people.

The weekend before the Chemo was an example of it, I was scared and really anxious about what was going to happen so all these supporting team come to rescue like never. On Saturday our friends Marcela and Alberto invited us to spend some time at their house with others friends to keep our minds occupied, everyone had a great time and we had a fantastic Saturday with good company and good friends. On Sunday Alberto cooked us a lovely lunch and my mom and I went for a nice walk, it was relaxing day which was really needed. In the evening my friend Lorraine arranged a girls gathering in her house, we were around 12 of us and It was exactly what I needed. It was really nice to see everyone, we eat, talk and laugh and I even had a small glass of wine. That night I even had a decent night sleep thanks to all the people who make sure I was going to be ok over this weekend.

Treatment decision

It was Monday the 25th, 10 days after surgery when we met my Oncologist Dr Chen. We went through the Cancer details and what she could do to reduce the chances of coming back. She recommended 8 sessions of chemo every two weeks, the first four will consist of AC (Adryamacin and Cytoxan) and 4 rounds of Taxol. My cancer was progesterone and Estrogen positive as well as HER2 positive. It means that after treatment I will be on hormonal treatment and Herceptin for some time...

Dr Chen was anxious to start, she said I had heal so well from surgery that there was no point to wait any longer, we decided to start first chemo treatment Monday 1st August. She sent me to do a Muga scan which is a heart scan as some of the drugs will affect my heart and we need a baseline to start monitoring it in the future. She also asked Dr Karin to set a chemo port in my chest as my arm veins were not strong enough to hold the 8 chemo sessions. We spent a lot of time going through the probabilities of cancer coming back anywhere else, she told me that based on how aggressive my cancer was and if I did not do anything I had close to 70% probability of cancer coming back. But if I did chemo, hormonal treatment, receptor and radiation my probability was around 10% or lower. That was music to our ears, after all the probability is lower than any other person in the US being diagnosed with a new Breast Cancer.

That week my friend Jen come with me to the hospital for the heart scan, it was nice to give Alberto a break from doctor's appointments. On Wednesday we met the head of the nurses at the Oncologist clinic for a chemo preparation session, I left the place crying and so upset!. What they do in these sessions is telling you the worst case scenario so they tell you so many side effects and so many horrible things that could happen to you that it depressed me like mad. Later on talking with Alberto we realized that this is the worst case scenario and probably 99% of the side effects are not going to happen to me. You absorb the information and translate it the way that is going to help you cope with the situation. On Friday I went to the hospital for the outpatient surgery of setting up the chemo port, it was a short and easy surgery and within 4 hours we were back home with a bump in my chest which suppose to be connected to the main artery near the heart.

The same week we met with Dr Wang who is my Radiologist, my case was border line between doing Radiation or not because the doctors said that if your main tumor is less than 3 cm and you have got less than 4 lymph nodes affected radiation might not be beneficial. However one of my lymph nodes was large and Dr Wang was incline to go with it. What they decided to do was to take my case to a tumor board the hospital, my 4 doctors presented my case to a group of 12 doctors and it was decided that Radiation will be very beneficial in my case and could prevent around 5% of Cancer coming back. For me only 1% was enough to do it so we decided that after Chemo treatment I will have 28 sessions of daily Radiation.

Friday, August 5, 2011


My surgery was set up for July 15th at 9:45 am, my parents were here from Spain and my good friend Fiona was here from the UK. Alberto, Fiona and I went to the hospital at 7 am, it takes them time to get you ready so after preparation time I was taken to the operating room around 9:15 am.

When I woke up I felt terrible, I recall to look at the watch of the recovery room and it was almost 5 pm, my surgery had been over 6 hours!. I had double mastectomy with temporally expanders implant behind the muscle. The reason why they do that is to avoid the muscle to go all rigid after surgery and being difficult to manage if future reconstruction. Boy was I in pain?, they had real issues to control my pain that night even if I had blockers on my back. The following morning the Plastic surgeon changed medication and the pain started going away. I went home the following day with 4 drainers in my breast and tubes on my back, my mom was horrified as in Spain you will be hold in the hospital for at least 4 nights, here one night was more than enough. I was kind of happy to go home and have some sleep, it had been two weeks of non sleep and the strong medication was going to give me some help.

Looking back to surgery, I could not imagine how much my life had changed and how much I have already gone through in such a short period of time. I felt proud of how far I have come and how strong I was feeling. I was amazed how fast I was recovering from surgery, I went to Dr Karrin or Dr Lui's office almost every day and each day was feeling better. The harder part for me was the breast expanders as it bothers you a lot and it took me some time to get used to it. Another weird thing was the left arm pit, as they take out the lymph nodes your armpit is empty, until today I still have not got used to that sensation.

At one of Dr Karrin's visit we got pathology results from the surgery. We were very pleased to learn that there were not surprises and the 3 lymph nodes that the PET scan showed as affected were the only ones being positive for Cancer. We also learnt that all the margins were clear so they had taken out all the cancer in my body!!, that was a really good feeling and now it was time to put all the efforts on making sure it was not coming back. I had now been officially diagnosed with stage II Breast Cancer.

Surgeon first visit

We did not sleep that night, we were anxious to know what was happening. That was the first day we met Dr Karin, she is probably one of the most organized and direct doctor I have ever met. When we arrived at her office, she had just received my biopsy results and we had to wait until she had a call with the doctor who did my biopsy before she could give us any details.

She confirmed all the biopsy results were cancer, I had two type of Breast Cancer: a small 0.6 cm DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ) and around 2.4 cm Invasive Ductal Carcinoma which had metastasis to the lymph node. Now the main question was how far has it gone and what can we do to combat it?. The amount of information they give you on these appointments are large and very overwhelming but I think we did a very good job of coping with all the information it was sent our way. We will normally sit down after each appointment and discuss what was said so both of us had the same understanding.

I was given contact information for an Oncologist, a Plastic Surgeon and a Radiologist doctor. During the following days we met each one of them and was amazed about the coordination and the knowledge they did have, we felt we were under the care of very good doctors and that make us feel much better. Alberto and I used to say that we left each if their offices more relax as they were transmitting peace of mind to us, at the end of the day this is what they do for living and if they are good on what they do they should allowed you to have more clarity.

The following days I had an MRI, a PET scan, a genetic testing called BCRA1 and blood work to determinate what was behind this Cancer. I recall the day we went to Dr Karin's office for the results, another sleepless night of not knowing what was wrong. I started crying when she said the Cancer was located on the breast and 3 lymph nodes (one under the pectoral muscle and the other 2 under the armpit) that there was no sign of had spread anywhere else. The thought of knowing that It was located and could be treated and I had a good chance of being ok was a huge relief. I discussed with the doctor my concern about the right breast and the fact that it was in the same condition as the left breast a few years back. I did not think I could live with the anxiety of thinking the same thing could happen on the other breast so we made the decision to do a double mastectomy.

The day my life changed

Monday 24th went to see my doctor and I knew from the look of her face that there was something really wrong. She sent me to do a mammogram and a ultrasound for that same Wednesday and she asked me to arranged a meeting with the surgeon for the following week to get her opinion.

Wednesday I went with Alberto to do the test but he was not allowed to come in with me, the lady who did the mammogram was expressing too much body language in my opinion and I asked her crying if my husband could come in while I was waiting for the ultrasound, she said no and I got even more upset. The ultrasound was long and Alberto was allowed to come in before the doctor come to see me. When the doctor arrived you could see the fear on our eyes as we knew there was something really wrong. I still shake when I remember that moment, he said they could see two tumors on my left breast and he was certain it was Breast Cancer. I went into shock, I could not stop crying or shaking and I do not think I remember anything else he said on that appointment. That night I had several nightmares about life, I woke up screaming hysterical thinking I was dying, I was scared and Alberto told me: "you are going to be fine, we are going to be fine". It was a really scary time but I am a really strong person and I could fight anything they were going to put in front of me, if anyone could fight this could be me.

The following day I went back for a 3 hours biopsy of the 2 tumors and the lymph node under the armpit, the doctor was hopeful that the small tumor might not be cancer but he was sure the other two were going to be. This was Thursday 4th of July weekend what meant we were not getting the results until Tuesday or Wednesday the following week, what were we going to do for a week??. We spent as much time with friends as we could, we did things every day and we did not sleep much. I notified my new work and they were very understanding of what was coming. From the 4th of July my daily schedules were full of doctor's appointments.

Turning 40

I am really happy to start this blog, I am finding writing a really good therapy so going to use it as much as I can to help me through the process. I am aware that no everyone will be able to understand so will try to write things in Spanish from time to time.

Everyone who knows us know how difficult the past 3 years have been in our life, I recall to say every New Years Eve that next year was going to be better but ended up being the same or even worst. I was looking forward to turn 40 and have discussed several times with my friend Jen and Lorraine to get a big party together. For one reason and another that party was never arranged and deep down I knew there was a reason why I should not celebrate 40.

April 2011 was the first time I noticed the lump in my left breast, I did not think much about it as since I was 20 I have had issues with that breast. I had several biopsies when I was 25 and always come benign so there was no reason why this time was going to be different. I was in the process of changing jobs and it was a really emotional time for me so the lump in the breast come second, plus I already had an appointment with OB and mammogram for June.

June arrived and also my 40th birthday and Alberto treat me to a weekend away in San Francisco, went to see the Blue Men Group had a nice dinner and stayed at the W. He also bought me a nice diamond and hiking boots as the plan was to start hiking more regularly. I was enjoying my new job and life was starting looking great.

The day after my birthday I notice another lump in the armpit, that really worried me and call my OB to see if they could see me earlier. My appointment was set up for June 24th to see my doctor.