It’s just about 11 months since my breast cancer diagnosis (8/14/13 3:45 p.m.), and I’m coming into the home stretch on my treatments. I feel fortunate that I haven’t had too many terrible side effects along the way. I just now — after 27 treatments of radiation therapy — am having some uncomfortable itching episodes on the skin around my neck. But that’s about it. Having had the mastectomy and the removal of my lymph nodes, I don’t have a lot of feeling in that area, so I have to make sure to keep the skin moist so it’s in good shape for my final reconstruction surgery.

Tie-dye T-shirts at northern Wisconsin log home My sisters and great nieces and I had a fun time together for our annual trip up to Pembine, Wisconsin to see my sister Donna. Last year we started the tradition of tie-dying. My sister Laurie has become the expert at it and has shared her techniques with us. I love having this time together with my sisters and the girls, it’s fun to see how creative we all can be.

Bob & Bridgett on Paddock Lake in WisconsinOur friends Bob & Bridgett ride Kevin & Karen’s pontoon boat on Paddock Lake.

We had such a wonderful Independence Day celebration with family and close friends. These moments mean so much more to me now. I love to see the excitement on the girls’ faces when they get to drive the boat or see the beautiful fireworks. It’s nice to share those times with them and make these memories together.

In putting this video together, we went back to when I was first diagnosed to get some footage of when I had my hair. I can’t believe how I felt seeing that person who was just given this news. It really made me feel sad for her — what feelings she was going to go through in the months to come, how chemo wasn’t as bad as she thought it was going to be, and then how her body was going to change. I never once questioned having a double mastectomy, it’s something I wanted since I was told I had cancer. Sometimes I miss how my chest used to feel, but now I am getting used to the feeling of my new breasts. But when I look back at the old Amy it just brings tears to my eyes. I guess the sad thing is there is no going back. We have to move forward and I feel grateful that I have had the best care and that this part of the process is about to come to an end.

I want to thank all of you for your constant love and support. All of you keep me going with your encouragement. I just hope that in sharing my story it’s helping other women, their partners, families and friends.

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