Introduce yourself (Name, where you’re from) - What was your life like before undergoing chemotherapy?
My name is Emily Wolfe and I live in Findlay, Ohio with my husband Ryan and our 3 daughters ( Ava, Ali, and Willow). I work in sales and enjoy blogging, being crafty, and spending time at our family lake house!
Bring us along your journey – when were you diagnosed with cancer? What was your initial reaction?
I was diagnosed at the age of 29 with stage 3a infiltrating ductal carcinoma breast cancer. I have no family history and was at very low risk to be diagnosed. I had all my children at a young age, I breast fed all 3 daughters, I am physically active, and I do regular self exams. How could this be happening? I found a small lump in the fall of 2020. After monitoring it I had my best friend take a feel! Was this normal breast tissue or not? She was more concerned than I and I called the doctor the next day. After waiting 2 months (thanks COVID) to see my doctor I was sent to have an ultrasound. That led to a “precautionary” biopsy that led to my diagnosed. I was stunned.
What was your first chemotherapy treatment like? What treatment/treatments did you or are currently undergoing?
I started chemo March 3rd and just finished on July 19th. I did 4 rounds of the “red devil” combination followed by 12 rounds of taxol. Chemo for me was a mix of physical side effects and mental struggles. I quickly became stuck in what I call “cancer time”. While the world around me kept turning I was stuck in a revolving door or torture. I felt (and sometimes feel) like I cannot make plans for the future unsure of what lies ahead.
Who did you turn to as your support system?
My fluffle! When I was first diagnosed one of my co-workers sent me a pair of bunny slippers, they came along to every appointment and my family and friends became Em-Babe’s Bunnies.
Have there been certain side effects that have been worse than others?
I had horrible body aches and bone pain with my chemos. When I was on taxol about 5 days after treatment I would spend 2 days in bed miserable! It was the worst.
What are tips/tricks you have learned along the way to help with chemo side effects?
Keep a notebook with all your side effects! This will remind you talk to your doctor but it’ll also be a good reminder of what you overcame! I also loved using heated eye masks. They would help me fall asleep but also take the edge off a headache!
Any advice for other chemo patients?
You can do hard things.