At 34, I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer. A harrowing 6 months of chemo, 35 treatments of radiation, and a double mastectomy followed. The double mastectomy revealed Paget’s disease in my left breast, a tiny cancer that is almost always associated with a larger cancer in the same breast within a few years. We really dodged a bullet by taking that one out preventatively!
When a fourth cancer – this one in lymph nodes in the tissue around my lungs and heart – was found in January 2011, I entered treatment again, a clinical trial of Femara + Nexavar, supported by family, friends, and an army of princesses. The treatment (and prayer!) worked, and the nodes are disappearing, but the cancer is now in my bones, and now I’m living with metastatic breast cancer — “bone mets.”
Throughout my treatment, with a little help from my friends, I’ve talked about IBC and the need for research on over 400 blogs, on CNN.com, in Parents, in Health, in the Washington Post and other newspapers, and on Fox 5.
As I continue to fight and adjust to this new normal, I spend my days raising my kids and working on contract to NASA, studying the Discovery missions for lessons learned. I highlight new work and career milestones of the Women in Planetary Science at one blog and I help share lessons learned in the Mothers With Cancer community at another. I’m a proud founding member of The DC Moms Blog and a former contributor to DC Metro Moms, part of the now-defunct SV Moms Blog. You can reach me on twitter at @WhyMommy or @WomenPlanetSci, comment here, or send me email — and welcome to Toddler Planet.
All that survives after our death are publications and people.
So look carefully after the words you write, the thoughts and publications you create, and how you love others. For these are the only things that will remain.
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