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  • Writer's pictureJulia Heck

Some Results... it's a teaser though

1/6/20- Port Placement It was an early appt this morning. I had to be at Highland at 7:15. I was fasting from midnight on which wasn’t hard because I was sleeping, but then no water or chapstick which was horrible (anyone who knows me knows my love of chapstick and water). I was SO PARCHED.  I was super nervous because I've never had anesthesia before! It's a scary thing when you really think about it... like how crazy they can put you to sleep?! The doctor told me all about what was going to happen, and how I was going to be intubated. Luckily I didn't quite hear what he said so I didn't catch that until it was all over with!  I got some premeds because I was anxious. They definitely relaxed me, so I don't quite remember going into the OR. All I remember is getting rolled in and, to be honest, I don’t really remember what it looked like in there. There were about 5 people in the room when I came in (each person is doing something different) to prep, so I was trying to soak it in but then they stuck my feet together and velcroed my hands to the bed. Now that I say it, I remember being like, “wtf this is crazy”. Then the doctor told me to take some deep breaths of regular oxygen and they injected me with the anesthesia. Then I woke up and was getting wheeled into recovery! How did that happen?! Lol! When I woke up I immediately asked for some pain meds because my neck hurt, they gave me some and that seemed to help a bit! I had to sit in recovery for a while. Luckily I was with Kim and Mom. Then I tried to stand up and go to the bathroom and i immediately sat back down because it was like when you’ve sat down while drinking alcohol for too long and stand up and get a head rush and realize how fu**ed up you are! It’s amazing-where the bigger incision is is the actual port, but the incision on my neck was more painful! Although it's not a CRAZY surgery, it is a surgery none the less. It is actually fascinating what this little thing is capable of doing! They put the port in my right chest wall. This is now how I am going to receive all my future chemo. It's a port but has a catheter that goes to a vein in my neck. This makes the chemo a lot less aggressive on my veins that are in my arms. It did create a scar on my chest, but it is what it is. Here's some real raw shit for the people actually reading this and going through some sort of medical condition... I have nights that I get really upset about all of this. I was googling statistics for stage 4 breast cancer and I scared myself one night this past week. I need to NOT do that. Google is the worst place to look up information regarding medical issues. It gives you OLD statistics and if you're anything like me, you are no where near the common population, ability or mindset of the statistic. The median age for breast cancer is 55, or something like that, how can I relate my 25 year old body/ability/attitude to that of a woman 30 years old than me?! I am NOT this statistic, so when you read the prognosis and symptoms of stage IV breast cancer patients PLEASE do not think of me! 😊 1/8/19-Treatement IV and first follow up with Doctor! Holy heck, how do you even put into words the happiness you hear when you hear from a professional that something is working. You know how your boss can say "you're doing a great job" and it is WAY different than when your mom tells you? Well that's how it went this day. (Mom, I'm NOT discrediting your recognition of my achievements, I need that too! 😉) We met with Doctor Huston and she felt my tumor in my left breast (I've been saying that I feel a difference, but it's hard to say because I'm obsessive over it). Luckily, Dr Huston confirmed that I wasn't crazy (in this department) and the physical size of my tumor has shrunk 2-3 centimeters in each direction.  I also got some blood work back and one of my tumor markers has dropped to what is considered a "normal" level!! The other tumor marker dropped from 114 to 90! Normal is 0-40 but we’re making progress people! 😍 THIS IS WORKING AND I'M SO THANKFUL!!! 🥳

With it working-that also means that I am having symptoms of the chemo. Thankfully, I am not experiencing nausea or anything toooo bad, I do have fatigue because my body is working hard and I'm starting to notice my hair fall out. I am trying to look at it as a "this is working" reward as opposed to really being sad about losing my hair.

On Friday night I decided that I was going to get rid of my hair. It was 4 weeks exactly after my start of chemo. It’s an awful feeling when you run your fingers through your hair and 20 pieces fall right out (and it happens sooo quickly). I decided to take control of it and shave my head. Something about it felt AWESOME. I felt like “hell yeah I have control of something”.

Thankfully while the guy was buzzing my hair, one of the women was sweeping it up. I think that helped so much not seeing what was gone! Thankfully my head is a normal shape!   Of course, I am SO sad about my hair, but I'm willing to give up my hair for my remission! 😍 I've really decided I want to live life with a purpose... I don't want to just let life pass me by. I have changed my mind though... I don't want to call it a "bucket list" anymore. Let's refer to it as a "Life List". Same concept as a bucket list, it's a list of things I want to do in my LIFE. Not like a race to get things done before my time is up, just a list of things I want to get to do in general. I hope everyone has a life list and works to achieve those goals all the time! 😃 I'm continuing to train for my half marathon! If you would like to donate under my name for the American Cancer Society, the link is here! http://main.acsevents.org/goto/juliaheck I'm already more than halfway to my goal of $3000 and I'm also the top fundraiser in the whole race all thanks to you guys! Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your donations 😍 I'm also the top fundraiser in the whole race sooo 💁🏼‍♀️

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