When were you diagnosed with Breast Cancer?
I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in January 2015. I received confirmation in February of 2015 that the type of breast cancer I had was Triple Negative (an aggressive subtype that effects 15% to 20% of the breast cancer population)
What made you create the blog?
My story is a unique one filled with the usual ups and downs of managing a cancer diagnosis. Throughout my journey I was always faced with decisions that involved multiple pieces. Each individual choice came with a price and I gained more knowledge after every experience. In addition my grandmother was diagnosed, fought and succumbed to breast and ovarian cancer before the age of 50. My grandmother's fighting spirit was a useful reminder, that more than likely saved my life. I do this for those who've been touched. I do this for the survivors, those who are in the trenches going thru treatment and family/friends who want to lend a hand or get an understanding of what it's like to manage a cancer diagnosis. Lastly the sharing of information just makes me happy, and if I've opened someone's eyes to the options that are available, then I've done my job.
How would you describe yourself before treatment and after?
Ha! That's a good question. Before treatment I was sort a duel personality. Optimistic yet always awaiting the rug to be pulled out from under me (residual baggage from surviving childhood cancer). Fun loving and independent, but always yearning to be part of a bigger collective. The only thing that I know for sure is, that my love of sharing information has not changed. That's a good thing!
What was your treatment regime?
I had a lumpectomy in March 2015. After receiving my post operative pathology report, it revealed that I had Stage I (1cm tumor with no cancer in the lymph nodes). Because I was diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer, and there are currently no target hormone regimes that are specific to my subtype, I began a recommended treatment of chemotherapy (T/C Regime of Taxotere + Cytoxan) in April of 2015, which ended in June of 2015. After carefully reviewing my pathology reports (again), I made the decision to have a double mastectomy in August of 2015 with immediate reconstruction. If you read my personal blog entries I will talk about my journey and include my current status (right now I'm stalled at the end stage of breast reconstruction).
Did you break any rules while undergoing treatment?
Oh, hell yeah! You'll have to read my blog entries in order to find out what kind of maddening shenanigans I was up to. Listen, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, so all the rules that normally apply in my life, went out the window.
Why the name, SweetLenox?
Just a little play off of my "sweet" disposition and my love for my favorite street in NYC, the legendary Lenox Avenue!
Who took those black and white photo's of you that are featured in your banner?
A very talented artist named Janine Fields! Please check out her ultra cool body of work at sacredmoonphotography.com (link below)
What will the site contain?
Lots of good stuff. You see I was determined not to let my Breast Cancer diagnosis rule my life (it did, but I went kicking, dancing, drinking, laughing, riding, eating, crying and raging my way thru it). I'll provide interviews with doctors, nutritionist, bra fitters, lawyers, makeup artists, dentists, hair dressers, chefs, comedians, health care navigators (it's a very expensive undertaking) personal trainers, family and friends. You've heard the line "It takes a village"? Well it takes a team!