My Journey - Living Life to its Fullest

When I was 39 I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma In Situ. I had a lumpectomy with clean margins, 6 weeks of radiation and took Tamoxifen for 5 years. I was then declared “Cured”. 5 years ago I also started having pain in my knee. This was diagnosed as a herniated disc in my back. When that did not get better I was sent for an MRI. The MRI showed cancer growing on my vertebrae. This was confirmed in a biopsy. A CT scan and bronchoscopy showed cancer in my lung. I was initially diagnosed with Stage 4 long cancer. Another bronchoscopy, genetic testing and another biopsy later confirmed that it was not ling cancer but that my Stage 0 breast cancer had spread and was now Stage 4. I had my ovaries removed and started taking Arimadex. My cancer retreated. I made a commitment to be as healthy as I could be. I started eating clean. I started working out, running 5 Ks and running sprint triathlons. I lost over 60 pounds. Life was good. At the end of last year I had some questionable scan results. All follow up testing was negative so we decided to schedule new scans in 3 months instead of 6 months. In the meantime I developed an intermittent squeezing pain in the back of my head. I was told I do not have the type of breast cancer that normally spreads to the brain and all tests were negative. I persisted in getting to the bottom of the head pain and finally had an MRI that showed a 3 cm tumor at the back of my brain. 5 weeks ago I had emergency surgery to have the tumor removed. They were able to get it all. I came out of the surgery with no deficits. I have had stereotactic radiosurgery to eliminate any microscopic cells. I am leading full life and just waiting for the green light so I can start training for a 15K race in June and a sprit triathlon in August
Shari Viner
Deerfield, IL