Now that the holiday season is over – my next stop is treatment

This entry was written by Jaime Rossano. Jaime, an instructor at a play and music facility, is alsocollege student pursuing a degree in Humanities and Social Science Every other Friday, Jaime will share a blog entry about her breast cancer experience. This year-long blog series is in honor of LBBC’s 20th anniversary.

To read Jaime’s previous entries, enter “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.

It just started to storm and I forgot my umbrella. At the beginning, everyone tells you “it will be okay.” But I can’t just feel “okay.”

As the timeline begins…

Things seem to just pass by. Time goes slow.

December 17th: Pathology-report day — the report showed more than my three tumors. Out of the eight lymph nodes that were removed, three were positive. Radiation just got added to my menu. The surgeon read the report twice – but still, I was shocked. After reading the results he expressed how glad he was that I chose to have the bi-lateral mastectomy.

December 20th: I spoke with my oncologist. Chemotherapy is also on the menu over the next 6 months. Am I scared? No question about that one. I finally figured out that it is okay to cry, yell, scream and want to close my eyes until this is over. What do I think about? I’m honestly not sure what I think about anymore. I am still in the phase of denial and anger. When someone asks me how I am doing, I just look at them. I know it’s a caring gesture, but, honestly how would you be doing under these circumstances? I would rather people not ask me “how I am doing.” Just say “hi!”

December 24th: Cookies in the making! Well, what a wonderful holiday season. I finally got a chance to bake cookies with my son, Ronnie, and our two favorite friends, Lori and Gloria. He loved it! It took me an hour to clean the kitchen but it was well worth it. Just to watch his face and see how excited he was to sprinkle the jimmies on the cookies was so rewarding. Christmas is approaching fast.

Jaime and her husband, Ron, enjoyed seeing the look on little Ronnie’s face on Christmas morning!

December 25th: It seems as though Christmas has come and gone and now it is just time to straighten up the house and put all our new things away. Santa came this year and gave us the most wonderful Christmas ever. I think we even saw a few snowflakes along the way.

We woke up early to see that our Christmas tree was surrounded by presents of different sizes! We had to be at my parents by 9 a.m. to celebrate the holiday with them. I would have liked to have been there by 6 a.m. like the good-old-days. But I had a toddler and a husband to get ready — it was not happening this year. My husband, Ron, and I opened our gifts on Christmas Eve to make Christmas a little less hectic. We got a Wii, tools, a vacuum cleaner, clothes, gift cards, pots and pans and so much more!

We brought baby Ronnie in the dining room. We caught his first reaction to Christmas on our new video camera. It was a gift from my parents. His smile lit up the room. He ran to the tree. He didn’t know which present to pick first! He, of course wanted to open his own gifts (he’s in the “independent-toddler stage” and wants to do EVERYTHING himself). It took us almost 45 minutes to open about 5 gifts!

9:00 a.m. at my parents came really fast. We headed out to my family’s Christmas celebration — more gift-giving. We enjoyed an amazing home-cooked Christmas dinner! The day was filled with laughter and fun. No one brought me anything that related to breast cancer. What a plus! For one day, I didn’t talk about it. I didn’t even feel it.

January 1st: As for the New Year approaching, I don’t plan on making any New Year’s resolutions. I take that back. For the New Year I will continue to be strong, be kind, be compassionate, be caring, be loving, be encouraging, be fearless and be me!

It seems as though the weather is a little calmer and things are starting to settle in.   

Jaime starts chemotherapy on Monday, January 10th. What advice could you share that can help her through the next 6 months of treatment? Comment here or on our Facebook page.

Be sure to read Jaime’s previous entries, by entering “Jaime Rossano” in the search box on this site.

10 thoughts on “Now that the holiday season is over – my next stop is treatment

  1. I also was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2/06. I like you and I am sure everyone are scared beyond words. What do we do, how do we ask a question with the quiver in our voice,(we are crying almost all the time), we ask ourselves the dreaded very selfish questions…why me?? I have gone through chemotherapy, radiation, and a double masectomy. I am still mad, but at what??? We are alive, even though you will ask yourself so many times during treatment will I make it through this, the answer from survivors is YES!!!!! We have every right to question, to cry, to fear the unknown, and just wish it would have never happened to us. But I can tell you from experience you will feel better, you will never feel the same, I almost believe we are stronger in the end. But we will never be that same person before breast cancer. So many of us now have a special bond, not a great way to put it, but so true. I wish you all the good days you will have. Keep up your fight.. It is okay to cry and sometimes not even know why. You will loose your hair and it grows back along with your new strength and your new fight for life. I will have you in my prayers and you CAN DO THIS!!!! I wish you all the best and will keep reading your stories. Please feel free to contact me or anyone else who has gone through your horrible experiences. We know how this feels more than anyone that has not had breast cancer. We will chear you through your fears, and your tears. With love and hope for you ,Diane

    • Thank you so much for your support. This is a battle and I believe we will come back stronger than ever. Thank you thank you thank you thank you

  2. Hi, Jaime! Sending you strength!

    Some basic health tips that got me through:
    1. Every morning, I made myself a protein smoothie. Even if I didn’t feel like it – I drank it as if it was part of my medicine. It gave me a bit of energy and helped my immune system.
    2. When I was able, I took a short walk every day. Oxygen helps.
    3. When my hair started to fall out, I shaved it and felt much better. (Hair hurts a bit when it falls out, believe it or not!)
    4. Licorice tablets helped my stomach/mouth sores. You can get them at health stores, and they even have ones that taste like chocolate instead of licorice.

    You can do it!
    Lisa
    http://www.pinkkitchen.info

    • Lisa,
      The few things you listed above I have written down and will make sure I follow them. I actually had my hair cut today for a short pixie cut and I was so upset at the way it looked I made my husband grab the clippers and we just shaved it all off. I rather only cry once not twice over hair. It seems silly and a little early for it to be done but it is going to fall out anyway. Thanks for your support

      • You’re welcome.
        I bet you look gorgeous no matter what. Although I do empathize…it’s a weird feeling.

        Only a temporary time, Jaime🙂

  3. Hi Jaime
    It is perfectly natural to be scared;BC is a real bitch! But eventually your fright turns into hope, strength and courage. Sounds like you are moving in that direction. I am metastatic and have been for going on 2 years now; I am fighting and surviving and on my way to conquering, and you will too.

    Your holidays sounded wonderful and you will have many more to celebrate. Keep writing and expressing yourself it is very healing. You are not alone we are all here to pull you through this journey.

    God Bless
    Strength & Love
    Lisa Marsella

    • Hi Lisa,

      I can’t thank you enough for being one of my blog followers. You are so right BC is a real bitch. Each time I read your comments I just have to smile. Thank you

  4. Jaime,
    I am not sure if you are spiritual at all but I would hope that you are. In this time of you life the lord will give you the strength that you need to be strong enough to handle all of this that is happening to you. I have prayed for you often and I cant even say that “I know how you are feeling” because the truth is Jaime I really dont know. I am so sorry all this is happening but I believe its that the lord knows that you can handle it.
    Most importantly you have to stay posotive do not get down on your self and remember that Ronnie needs his Mommie. I have yet to hear back from any of the emails that I have wrote you and Im hoping its just because you are really busy with everything going on. I love you and if you need me at all at anytime please call me Jaime.

  5. Whew, session one is now behind you. Chemo is no longer the unknown. Strange as it sounds you will almost like going for treatment because of the wonderful oncology nurses and the other patients. Getting out in the fresh air and walking every morning really helped me through the rest of the day as my energy would start to fade by 11:00 am. I hated wigs, and scarves screamed at me so I went the hat with hair combo. http://www.hatandhair.com is the site that I used. When out of area friends asked me what they could do, I said send a “home town” ball cap. I fitted them all out with velcro strips modeled on the hat that I bought, and I had a hat with hair fringe for almost every occasion. So easy to put on, comfortable, and some sun protection. I finished my last Herceptin treatment in July, 2010, and I really feel that breast cancer is behind me. Keep writing in your private journal too.

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