“To anyone reading this that is not sure how they will get through all of the tests, scans, meds, and appointments, have faith. You are stronger than you think.”

I was first diagnosed in 2013 after a routine mammogram showed irregular shaped microcalcifications in my right breast. A stereo-tactical biopsy showed DCIS. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction at the same time. After further testing, I did have a sentinal node that was positive, and I was triple positive.

Little did I know at the time, being HER + would be the worst news I could hear. After much discussion with oncology and surgery, I had a plan. My port was placed and my chemo routine was decided. I went through four rounds of TCH and then a year of Herceptin.

I made it a whole nine months after finishing the Herceptin before my cancer came back in my lymph nodes under my right arm. I then underwent surgery to remove more lymph nodes that showed six of 15 positive nodes. From here, I underwent 28 rounds of radiation. Lots of fun with terrible skin reaction to this.

I finished radiation treatments on July 2, 2014. I was clear until I developed a odd rash on my right side of my chest that did not look like anything my oncologist had ever seen. This rash was treated with a topical cream for a few months, and when it wouldn't go away, I was sent to a dermatologist. He took one look at it and said that it needed biopsied.

I received news that I didn't want to hear, it was cancer. IBC to be matter of fact. This started my journey with what would be the ride of my life. I am a nurse and I was not familiar with IBC, so I had to do a lot of reading on this cancer. I have been seen by two different specialists, and I have found one that I am comfortable with and confident in. He may be located 5+ hours from where I live, but he is worth the road trip to see. My oncologist that I see locally works with my specialist that I see in Chicago. They together are working to keep me alive. '

I feel like I have been on every type of chemo that there is. I have been on oral and IV chemo and have experienced every side effect that there is. I am still working full-time and plan on doing this until I can't work anymore.

My only hope is that someone find a cure for this horrible disease. I have suffered enough, but I don't want my children or anyone else for that matter to experience any of this. I currently take chemo every other week for now and pray that my specialists find some type of combo to put this ugly cancer into remission. I fight this disease daily, and I will keep fighting until my very last breath. My God is a great and awesome God. I rely on the strength that I receive from him every day. I am blessed to still be here today to share with you and everyone around how important it is to keep a positive attitude and trust in the Lord. My family and friends along with my faith are my rocks. To anyone reading this that is not sure how they will get through all of the tests, scans, meds, and appointments, have faith. You are stronger than you think.

MetathriverGary RickeOhio