I wish I’d known about Facebook groups. Getting diagnosed with breast cancer in my late 20s was extremely lonely. I had to miss out on big family events like my sister’s wedding overseas because I was in the middle of my chemo treatment and too scared to catch a flight because of risk of infection. So while my family was celebrating, I was busy stressing out about pumping up my veins so the nurses can easily insert the cannula on chemo day. While my friends were busily going about their day at work, I was stressing out whether feeling breathless was a sign that I had a blood clot in my lungs.It totally sucked.
In today’s post, I’m going to share with you the things I did during chemotherapy that allowed me to achieve a complete pathological response and how I also breezed through chemo with minimal side-effects. I also digged deeper into some of the studies looking at how to increase the effectiveness of chemotherapy which you may wish to implement during your treatment.
It’s crazy to think that after billions of dollars spent on breast cancer research, there’s never been any major breast health campaign. There’s lots of awareness in checking your breasts and being wary of early signs and symptoms. But isn’t it better to prevent breast cancer from developing at all?
I believe that anticancer supplements can provide us with a concentrated hit of anticancer compounds especially if we are at a high risk of cancer recurrence.So you may be wondering "Trifina, exactly what vitamins and supplements do you take?". I know many people are interested to know. So in this post I'm going to share what I took during my cancer treatment and what I'm currently taking now that I'm years out from my diagnosis.
For 7 years, knowing there were long term survivors for TNBC was one of the key things that kept me positive. It was the one fact that I could cling to that kept me going when things were tough. You see, when I got that diagnosis I knew it was serious. The emotions I felt during those first few weeks were the darkest I've ever felt in my life.A part of me believed it was a death sentence, but the survival part of me began searching for real-life proof that it wasn't so. Even though I'm a scientist by training, I didn't want statistics. I needed a more human kind of proof.
There’s lots of awareness about the importance of self breast exams and getting the doctor to examine your breasts. But did you know some women with breast cancer can't feel a lump and there are other symptoms of breast cancer that could show up even earlier?
In my case, one of the symptoms I had popped up years before I noticed the lump.
I’m kicking myself, because I should have taken notice of those early warning signs, but instead I ignored them, and hoped they would go away.
Imagine if I did investigated further, could I have avoided chemo, a mastectomy and radiation?
It’s important to remember that detecting breast cancer in its early stages is favourable because the prognosis is so much better for these women. I'm hoping by writing this post, I can give hindsight to another person. Remember, men can get breast cancer too! (although it's rare).
When I was first diagnosed with cancer, it was a huge wake up call for me to evaluate my lifestyle and made me aware of how unhealthy I was living. Because I was so scared that cancer would get the best of me, I was hugely motivated and changed my eating habits instantly.
I would juice a few times a day, eat all the cruciferous vegetables, minimised my meat consumption and avoided dairy and sugar. It was easy peasy because at that point in my life, fear was driving me to eat healthy in a way I had never done before.
However, it’s now been six years from diagnosis. The anxiety and fear of a cancer recurrence has somewhat dissipated and frankly so has my motivation for healthy eating.
My life also looks different now. Busier. (Who's life isn't?).
I'm now focused on caring for my daughter. And it's hard work, taking up all my time and energy.
I've finally managed to get her to love broccoli.
Ok, I lie.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 29, I feared for my life.
No one close to me had been affected by cancer so I thought getting diagnosed was a death sentence. Six years on, I know this is not true because I’m still alive and still NED, short for no evidence of disease.
But back then, when my doctor broke the news that the lump in my left breast was not benign but cancer, those first few nights terrorized me. I was petrified.