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  • Writer's pictureJulia Heck

Information Overload

Man... crazy to think how much your life can be flipped upside down?! I will probably be saying this for the rest of my life, I am in awe of all of the love and support from close to distant friends and family. CANT THANK YOU ALL ENOUGH for all of the positive phone calls and text messages. It really does take you far knowing that you have an army behind you. 💕💕 11/19/19-Organization Many of the doctors started reaching out scheduling appointments. It is a lot to take in and keep track of... thankfully, I have my trusty (and adorable) Planner (shout out Erin Condren) and google calendar to have everything in multiple places. Oh, and the fam to keep my head on straight too. And I'm super obsessed with keeping organized and lists and all that so that's my favorite part of all this! (I guess???? lol) 11/20/19-Surgeon In the US (hi friends from across the pond!), the surgeon organizes the care plan. Dr Skinner (ironic name or nah?) was fabulous! She informed me of everything that I HAD to (not wanted to) know about the next several months. Dr Skinner actually called up a new oncologist to U of R who they recruited from Alabama, Dr Falkson. I also met with her to discuss the next steps. It was daunting because it was a "we need a plan in place ASAP"-type of thing. Of course that is going to be frightening.  It really is crazy... every. single. time. we go to the doctors, I have a thoughts of, "what if they tell me that it's all been a mistake". I'm not necessarily in denial anymore, but I guess I'm just hopeful and wishing that it wasn't real. This is a horrible nightmare I wouldn't wish on anyone. Dr Skinner measured the tumor in my left breast and told me, "it was far along"... I will spare you the details. This wasn't the most encouraging, but I asked that my doctors are always honest with me. She showed me how to feel the other lump in my armpit (aka lymphnode). It feels much smaller in my armpit then the one I originally noticed. She said that the MRI results showed "areas of concern" in my liver. They both requested an order for a CT and a bone scan to figure out if this has metastasized to anywhere else in my body, my liver being a major area of concern. After the two hours spent there, I don't feel as confident as I should going into the scan tomorrow, but TRYING to remain positive.  If this did in fact spread to my liver, it will be considered stage 4. That will require pills prior to chemo to try to restrict the cancer to these two spots. Then I would go through chemo and the surgery. If it comes back and it didn't spread to my liver (god, please let this be the case), we will start chemo right away and that would be considered stage 3. Anywho--The doctors were amazing and I couldn't be happier with them.  I feel incredibly frustrated because I went from being fully independent to relying on family for everything from care to a place to live. It is frustrating, but I can't even explain the trophy and awards that they deserve for putting up with me and my INSANE mood swings and trying to normalize my life as much as they can. They're the real MVP's!! Mom even made me the best dinner this night... apples with brie and prosciutto! and for dessert-cadbury eggs (AHHH)! I bet they're from easter, but they're still amazing! lol Thoughts of today:

I BETTER COME OUT ON TOPAll I wanted to do when I got home was work to take my mind off of all this. Someone get me a drink and find out how to stream Jerry Springer reruns Why am I excited to pay bills?!?! (Answer: because I'm a control freak and needed some sort of something to be in control of)Thankful for friends in the past that have reached out that can relate. AMAZING how it feels to talk to someone who truly understands and has been through this at the same age.Maybe the spots on my liver are just from the multiple beatings it has taken over the years

11/21/19-The Worst News Yet Tried to get work done, but couldn't help but let my mind wander. Your mind really is a toxic place. You question EVERYTHING. "Why do I have to pee?", "Why did i just sneeze".... TOTALLY normal things, you start to worry about. Like seriously Julia? I'm literally confused why I have to pee?! If you're not laughing at that then you're crying, so it's okay to laugh!  Laughter is the best medicine, even if it's hard to do in times like this. Today Kim called me to wake me up and tell me she's worried too, but she has TONS of hope this will go as we want it to. Even if it doesn't, we will take care of it and come out on top. I remember working at Borg and IDE at the front desk in high school and college and people HATED drinking this contrast I had to drink today. Kind of dreading that but I've probably drank worse so fingers crossed 😛! I also remember internally ROLLING MY EYES when people would bitch about the paperwork. Now, being on the other side, I realize how annoying the paperwork is and how much you really don’t want to be there.  It was a long day at the drs office but they set Mom, Kim and I up with an office of our own so we could continue to work our real jobs. I got the CT and then the Nuc Med test and during the CT I just kept thinking, “please please please let this come back negative. I will literally celebrate this being stage 3.” Well, after 5 hours at the office, the doctor did in fact tell me that the leisons on my liver were real and the cancer has spread to my liver. THANK GOD my bone scan came back clear and it’s not in any other intestines. It’s very odd how this makes you feel grateful for the small victories. But this is big and you learn to count any and all blessings! Of course a horrible time for me and my family... it’s SO hard to keep your emotions in check when you get information like that. I even embarrassed myself with my reaction of “fuck this”.  Of course they stage cancer and it’s concerning. It’s terrifying to hear “stage 4” but you slowly realize that it’s going to be okay. Cancer is cancer and its scary either way. It’s not like that means cancer will win though. 💪🏼 I AM DETERMINED to come out on top and win this battle. I WILL keep a positive attitude, even if at times I have to fall and then get back up. I’m even considering signing up for the half marathon in Napa in late July so prove to everyone that anything is possible! ...and to spend the rest of the week after that in Napa partyinggggg (anyone else comin?)

11/22/19 I’m writing this as I’m laying in bed unable to sleep. Thinking of the toll this will take on my body makes me worried about a lot-will I remain positive? Will I still be HAPPY? Will my life go back to normal? It’s so easy to speculate at this point and this is this worst part because you aren’t entirely sure of anything. But I am sure that a good outlook can have a positive impact on the outcome of this whole thing. If this has taught me anything, it's that you just never fuckin' know...  I'm not worried-worried yet (I am, but not at this exact second), just want to get this fixed and out of my body. But what I AM worried about is my attitude when this is all over. Hear me out... I ALREADY treated every day like it was my last. I laughed harder then those around me, I spent time celebrating the little (and big) things, I found beauty in everything and everyone around me and I chased my dreams and went after them with everything I have. This has taught me that is a all a REAL thing. But really, can I laugh harder? Can I celebrate more? Do I have bigger dreams? I better start practicing ;) Today I had an echocardiogram as a baseline for my heart. It was SO REFRESHING to hear something was going right! 🙂 Mom and I are headed to JAX today to pack stuff up and I’m sure I’ll be surrounded by even more love while I’m there!

CHEERS! 🍻 xoxo

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