Meal Train Plus for

Jodi Cullen

Updates

Thank you!

Posted Jun 13, 2017 by Jodi Cullen

Hey all! I have tried to find different ways to be able to contact each person who has graciously donated to my Meal Train fundraising. Unfortunately Meal Train does not share donor information (i.e. email, mailing addy), which makes it difficult to thank each person individually. So I am posting a HUGE thank you and giving a giant group hug to each and everyone one of you right here with this message. I am in awe with how many people have shown support and I am so thankful! It is humbling to accept that I am going to need help from people through this next challenge and I can't seem to find the right words to express my gratitude for everything everyone has done for me over the past few weeks. I am a lucky girl to have you in my life and I look forward to the opportunity to pay it forward in the future. So, once again...thank you so much for all of your support. You are AMAZING! Love, Jodi

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Some details about my cancer

Posted May 23, 2017 by Jodi Cullen

Thanks for all your support everyone! I am going to post a little more detailed information about what type breast cancer I have. When most people think Breast Cancer, their first response is "It is so curable these days!" and that is true...for some forms of it. I do not have that form. So I am going list below some key terms used to identify my cancer and explain them a bit: Invasive Ductal Carcinoma (IDC) - This is the type of Cancer I have. It is the most popular kind and 80% of BC is IDC. Basically the cancer starts in the milk ducts and then spreads to the nearby tissue, hence, the invasive. If it doesn't spread beyond the duct, it is call In-Situ Ductal Carcinoma. ER/PR - This is a big term. It means Estrogen Receptor/Progesterone Receptor. Basically it is used to identify how the cancer is fed and what helps it grow. ~90% of BC's are ER/PR+, which means they feed off your bodily hormones. This is fairly easy to treat because you can take medicine to block those hormones from the cancer to starve it. You might need chemo or radiation, but usually a surgery and meds does the trick. Not always though. I do not want to undervalue the struggle of ERPR+ IDC patients, but if you get BC, this is what you want. ~10% of BC's are ER/PR negative...and that is where I fall into. Basically this means the cancer is not feeding off my hormones, it is feeding off itself. There are no medications to give to block fuel to the cancer cells. This type of cancer is known to be aggressive and fast growing. The only way to fight it is with chemo, surgery, and radiation...there are no medications you can give to help stop the growth. HER2 - HER2 is a protein that cancer feed off of. It is similar to the ER/PR in approach. If you are HER2 Positive, your cancer feeds off the protein and you take meds to block it. If you are HER2 Negative, the cancer is fueling itself and meds won't help. Right now I am waiting on test results for my HER2 status. We are hoping for HER2 Positive because that is the lesser of the two evils. I will likely be HER2 negative, or "Triple Negative" (the slang for being ER/PR negative and HER2 negative). Triple Negative is the jerk of BC. It is harder to treat and it has a high recurrence rate. Ki-67 - This is a value that is tested to gauge the speed of cell growth within the cancer. The lower the value the better. 10% or less is considered low, 10-20% is average, above 20% is high. Mine is 80%. My tumor is consider larger than normal at 3.6 cm. The cancer has spread to lymphnodes along my armpit, above my clavical, and deep along my breast plate and pectoral area. So there is your Breast Cancer education for the day...I hope it helps you understand what I am battling up ahead. Thanks for your support!

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