Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Intuition Doesn't Lie: Part 2

Since being diagnosed, I have taken a pro-active approach in surviving this inconvenient "thing" that has taken over my left breast. For those of you who don't know me, I am pretty type A when it comes to my life and especially with my body. I'm not easily convinced, so I take time to do my research before taking action. For those of you newly diagnosed, I cannot begin to explain the importance of taking control of your own body. A doctor can offer their advise based on science, but only YOU can make the decision. You know your own body the BEST, so follow your intuition. I have met so many survivors that did not take control, and were left either abandoned or misguided leading to frustration. In so many cases, the doctors throw out all their medical jargon, leaving you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. This would make any person unmotivated to seek out their options. But it is crucial to interview more than one team of doctors.

Here is my story from a different perspective than what you have read in the first few blogs. If you have followed my blog from the very beginning, then by now you all are aware of my life mantra of "everything happens for a reason" and the fact I am very keyed into my 6th sense. A very short history about my body: very healthy, no medical issues, birth control since 18 years of age. Let's take it back to September 2010. I was time for my yearly, so I had decided I need to change my birth control. Since I had not been living in Southern California more than a year, I had yet to research a good gyno. I settled for the first one in the alphabetical list (yeah, I know. Not usually the wisest way to choose a doctor). My body and intuition were telling me I either needed to switch my birth control or get off it completely. **Brief note: over the course of the years, I switched my birth control every 2 - 3 years. I had been on this particular one for over 4 years already** I expressed my concerns with doctor, and the only advise she game was "If you aren't having any adverse side effects, then I would not change it." Hmmm, I was not settled with her response, despite my better judgement I didn't question it. In addition she did in fact do a breast examination, felt the side of my left breast. She asked about family history of "lumpy breast", but that was it. Again, my lack of better judgement and trusting my instincts, I did not question it.

Now let's jump to January 2011, a year prior to this "thing" showing up in my left breast. I noticed my cycle was becoming non-existent, not to mention by the end of February I had gained 16 pounds. I had been the same weight consistently for about 5 years, then suddenly is increased in a matter of 6 weeks. A little frustrated, I sought out a different gyno to speak with. He was somewhat helpful in the sense of switching my birth control and ordering blood work to be done, but that was it. No follow up. Nothing. At this point in the game, I decided to take my health into my own hands. I got a copy of my blood work results and went to a gastrointestinal specialist, but everything was fine there. In the meantime, my mood swings were quite a roller coast from the new birth control. I felt I didn't have any control over my emotions, so I started listening to my instincts and body. In May, I took myself off birth control, upped the intensity of my workouts, and tightened up on my diet. By the end of August, I had already lost 12 pounds and my cycle came back but very lightly. I continued my workout regime through the end of the year, then decided I needed more of a challenge.

January 2012, new year, new goals, crossfit, and a lump in my left breast. Joy. The moment I felt the lump in my chest, my intuition automatically knew it was cancerous. Not that I am one of "those" people that think every little abnormal thing that appears on my body is deadly. What's that type of person called? Oh yes, hypochondriac. That's definitely not me. So when the news came to me, I was more upset about being so far way from my family. Ok yeah, and the fact my intuition was affirmed. From that point forward, I learned to listen, trust, and speak up on behalf of my intuition and body. The first set of doctors I met with immediately suggested aggressive chemotherapy and mastectomy (since I have 2 tumors in different quadrants of the breast). Although I genuinely liked the team, I was not settled. I understood and agreed with the mastectomy, there was no way around it. My intuition screamed red flag. I felt I needed to know more specifically about my tumors, and with that knowledge I could form a better sense of my own course of action. Deep down, I was convinced I did not need chemotherapy prior to surgery. So you must imagine my great surprise/relief/excitement when I finally had the self-affirming moment when I actually found and chose my team. 

Now jumping to the present. I have my reservations about the Tamoxifen and its long term effects on the body, thus I have sought out a Complimentary and Alternative Medical (aka CAM) doctor that works closely with my oncologist. I am quite excited about what's to come of this, but I will have to keep you hanging on this topic a little bit longer. So stay tuned for Part III.

Moral of story, please take control of your body and do your research before settling in with a team. Make sure you're comfortable and trust them. Not all doctors are willing to work with you through your concerns. I happen to work with a team of doctors that have a list of out side resources to refer to through out treatment, surgery and recovery. In addition, they have a great volunteer support system during your initial appointment. Be pro-active when it comes to your health and body, and most importantly listen to your instincts...they never lie.

I end this entry with an image "borrowed" from pinterest. My apologies if it offends anyone, but here's to the fellow breast cancer patients and survivors.


P.S. For the new people joining my blog, THANK YOU for taking the time to follow my journey. Should you feel inclined to leave a comment, please do so. I have changed the settings to where anyone can comment, however, if you aren't a google member, please sign your name at the end of it. =)


  1. Fascinating. I totally agree with the concept of trusting your intuition. We live in our bodies...and sometimes we know when a change happens before it shows up on a blood test or body scan. While a symptom might well be normal for some people, we know when it's not normal for us. I'm very curious to hear how it goes with the CAM doc. I don't blame you for being a little unsettled about the tamoxifen, I hope you can find an alternative for that one.
    You're doing a great job keeping your chin up in this fight. Proud to know you, girlfriend. Mina Harkey xoxo

    1. Thanks Mina for faithfully keeping up with my blog and being the supportive person you are! =) XO

  2. Thank you for keeping me posted on how you're doing via this blog. You're a wonderful person & I am happy to see that while it has been difficult you are staying motivated & optimistic! Keep the fight going!

  3. Hi Ally! Just so thrilled I met you this week at group. :) I agree with you on listening to your intuition for sure! I just moved to the OC about a month before being diagnosed, so I made an appointment with my old gyno to get my lump checked out. The issue was that the appointment wasn't until March 20th (when I called in mid-late February). My hubby (and I) were uneasy with this because I noticed the lump before we had moved, and it seemed slightly larger. So I went with my gut and made an appointment out here and it was for a much sooner date. Thank God I did. Who knows how much bigger it would have grown had I waited.

    For me, my medical group fell into place quickly and I feel God set that up for me perfectly. With my personality, I would have been a mess if I had to get second or third opinions. So PTL that my medical team turned out to be the right fit for me on the first try.

    But I just want to say that I think the way you've taken control of your situation is very admirable. You're a strong woman! I believe God knew what your needs were in regards to how you'd feel and strengthened you to go after the best treatment for yourself. :)

    You're in my prayers dear, and I hope we can get together some time! Hang in there girl. We will both get through this. Cancer did indeed mess with the wrong bitches. Lol

    xo Anj