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One Year Later

Written by Amy Banocy

January 14, 2022

Up at 4:30am, after only 2 hours of sleep and SO ready to head to FL for some sun and fun with dear friends and family. Had to document it here for my memories, as it’s my first flight since Jan. 2020!

It has now been one year and 15 days since I received the phone call from my doctor, telling me that both of my biopsies were positive for cancer. It’s been one hell of a year!

💪🏻 Bilateral Mastectomy with tissue expanders and removal of 2 lymph nodes

💪🏻 Pathology reveals change to diagnosis from DCIS to Invasive Carcinoma Stage 2, Grade 3 and Metastatic Carcinoma in 2/2 lymph nodes

💪🏻 Mediport placement

💪🏻. 5 months of Chemotherapy

💪🏻 Bone marrow biopsy

💪🏻 Severe allergic reaction to last chemo

💪🏻. Surgery to exchange tissue expanders for implants and also full lymph node dissection

💪🏻. Clear lymph node pathology

💪🏻. 25 rounds of radiation

💪🏻. A shit ton of bloodwork, appointments, scans, crop top gowns, etc.

All I have left of treatment…

🤞🏻 Herceptin/Perjeta infusion treatments through March

In this past year, I’ve learned a lot about cancer and more importantly, about myself, than I ever could have imagined. After being controlled by survival mode for this past year, I’m now in a place of emotional upheaval. I’m learning this is common at this stage, as I finally have a chance to come up for air. For the past year, I’ve been in survival mode and simply making it through the next appointment, next treatment, next day, that I haven’t truly thought about what has been happening to me, physically, mentally and emotionally.

I’m processing a lot of anger, rage, pain, survivor’s guilt, grief and more. I’m also continuing to find small moments of joy and gratitude every single day. I am so grateful for supportive friends and family, Life with Cancer® services, my yoga and meditation practices, and a flexible business, all of which allow me time and space to do this important work.

I’m still feeling a great deal of fatigue, which means some days I’m needing a 3 hour nap. It means that some days I can do only one or two things, be it a doctor appointment, a work meeting, exercising, working on my book or hanging with friends. As a “doer” and someone who like to stay active, this has been frustrating. I honestly expected to have more energy and be back to somewhat normal living, but I’m accepting where I am and doing what I can, when I can. My body is still healing and regenerating healthy cells and that’s a lot of exhausting work.

While cancer certainly wasn’t my plan or vision for 2021, I continue to have faith that it is serving a greater purpose. I am beginning to discover what some of these purposes are and some gifts cancer has granted me.

I’m enjoying writing my book and look forward to sharing more there about the emotional journey of breast cancer. I believe it’s an important read and hope you’ll support me when the time comes to preorder your copy. Shout out to Brené Brown and Atlas of the Heart, which came out at the perfect time, and has helped me further identify the emotions I’ve experienced and write my own book. As always, thank you all so much for your continued love and support! You have no idea how much it means to me.

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