As a breast cancer survivor, I know first-hand the power of art and creative expression…
After my MRI was done, we grabbed the film and rushed over to my first surgeon appointment. He was named “Top Doctor” from Washingtonian Magazine several years in a row, head of his practice, had a long history of amazing accolades from Los Angeles, where he previously practiced, and probably most importantly–a reputation for having a zenful bedside manner. So, I felt comfortable about my pending appointment. Upon meeting him, my family and I were very impressed, and I felt fortunate that I was able to get squeezed in.
My mind was racing; in the palm of his hand, he held a folder that contained all my tests results–my future essentially. My heart was in my stomach. I thought to myself, “Please, just tell me I have a future. Please, just tell me that I’ll make it through. Please, just tell me I have a chance.” He sat down and described the kind of cancer I had, then drew accompanying pictures to illustrate. Next, he proceeded to the receptors. “Oh, here we go,” I thought. “This is what the MRI nurse said to listen for. Positive receptors, positive receptors, positive receptors.” The doctor drew a cancer cell with three receptors: estrogen, progesterone, and Her2Nu. “Your estrogen receptor is negative,” he said very calmly. My heart sank.
“Your progesterone receptor is negative,” he continued, still very calm. My heart sank deeper.
“Please God, just give me one positive. Positive, positive, please!!!” I pleaded in my head. I felt like I was at a Vegas casino at the slot machines, watching the cherries, dollar signs, and other symbols line up all in a row.
And then he got to Her2Nu. With a glimmer in his eye and a smile on his face, he said “And here’s the silver lining. You are Her2Nu positive!”
In my head, I exclaimed “Positive? Positive? Did he say positive? Oh, thank you God!!!” But I still wasn’t sure if I had heard the doctor correctly. I looked over to my mom. She was smiling and then to my husband, who had a look of relief on his face, he was smiling at me, as if to “You’ll make it through!”
The doctor went on to explain that cancers with the positive Her2Nu receptor respond amazingly well to the drug Herceptin with a high chance of eradicating the cancer. My cancer was serious, stage 3 because it had spread to some lymph nodes, but at least I have a good shot at beating it. I knew immediately that I’d be in the group with the high success rate. After all, I’d spent my entire life as an overachiever. I wasn’t going to stop now.
My doctor recommended a treatment course of chemo, followed by surgery and radiation, and Herceptin infusion for a whole year. So overall, my treatment would take a year. “I can handle a year,” I said. Then to myself I thought, “Just one year? And then a lifetime of living and watching my girls grow and being a strong role model for my family and others in need? Yes, I could definitely handle a year.”
I found this great breast cancer themed cocktail (The Pink Ribbon Cocktail) online at http://cocktails.about.com/od/vodkadrinkrecipes/r/pink_ribbon.htm. It contains black currant juice which is high in antioxidants.
It uses the new p.i.n.k Vodka from the Netherlands. Note: This vodka contains caffeine and guarana, so it’s sure to pack an energetic punch! But i thought it looked like a fun recipe, perfect for celebrating life’s Good News Moments (like the one I experienced above).
Here’s the recipe:
- 2 oz p.i.n.k. Vodka
- 1 oz Cointreau
- 3/4 oz cranberry juice
- 3/4 oz black currant juice
- splash of sour mix
- Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Image Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pink-vodka.jpg
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HI! I’m a Shana, self-proclaimed Media Mixologist, wife, and mom to two little girls. I love to mix up cocktails of crafts, recipes, wellness, family and business with just the right amount of sparkle to help you shine everyday. So, grab a glass, and let’s celebrate the cocktail of life!