Monday, December 28, 2009

A better year!

With Christmas behind me and New Years Eve just around the corner, I am looking forward to 2010! 2009 was supposed to be the year I could remember forever. Nothing but sweet memories of marrying the man of my dreams, our wedding year, all the parties thrown in our honor and fun gifts, my big white silk dress I can only wear once… and that veil GOD I loved my veil. Instead, 2009, has a dark cloud over it. I will always have fabulous memories of my our wedding day, it was the last day Manny and I spent in this newlywed bliss before the big C word made an (unwelcome) entrance into our lives. 2009 will have a tie for first with memories of this battle I, WE have been facing. This bully who is trying to take over. I guess I should have known when I impaled my behind on a champagne glass at the stroke of midnight; I was in for quite a year!

Radiation treatments have begun, the planning for treatment takes a lot longer then the treatments do. There are about 3 appointments where I must lie in place with arms over my head for about an hour while they x-ray, draw, x-ray, draw move me a little, x-ray, draw then tattoo me. The ladies were nice enough to play some good music while I lied there. They are all so kind there; complimenting my shoes or my hair accessory for the day. It helps me to forget I have my top off and I am lying there getting blasted with radiation while they do their work. A typical day only lasts about 20 mins at most, then I goop myself with Aloe Vera, get dresses and come home. I do this daily for 33 treatments. This will put me at about February 5th.

Last week, I noticed the rash again, my oncologist was on vacation for the Christmas holiday so I met with the surgeon and the radiology oncologist. Who both agreed, they are 99.9% sure it’s the cancer present in my skin again. ugh. Merry F*ing Christmas to me! They can’t do a biopsy because that would hold up my radiation appointments and since this bully is already back they really need to radiate the area as much as possible. So I am going to be re-aligned for radiation targets and get set for what they call a “boost” at the end. All I can do is hope and pray that the radiation will do its job and I will be cancer free. I am fighter and I won’t stop fighting, but I am about all fought out… I mean how much more can I do. I have cut my boob off, made it through months of chemo and now radiation. I just want ONE thing to work. I pray that radiation works…otherwise I am not sure of the next step or where else this bully has been attacking in my body. Well, I can’t think negatively, in fact I MUST think positively. I want a family and if I am going to have one I need to see the light at the end of this tunnel.

So cheers to a better year, cheers to 2010!

Keep Smiling!
Kelly Freitas

Sweet memories, our first dance, bliss… Thank you Jill for capturing this!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Happy Holidays!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” haha! I love this time of year, the smell of the tree in my home, twinkle lights everywhere, yummy Holiday drinks at Starbucks and good times spent with family. So much fun, I sit and have breakfast by my tree almost every morning with Christmas music playing in the background…it’s the little things that make me happy.

Since last I wrote I have had quite a lot going on. One Friday Nov 20th, I had my single mastectomy plus 20 lymph nodes removed, spent 3 days and two nights in the hospital. It was good to have the help of the nurses but I was ready to come home. It was very difficult to move around, get dressed and do just basic little things. With this surgery you lose mobility of your arm. For the most part I could move it but not very high or even carry anything heavy or put any weight on it. This created lots of sleepless and painful nights, however with a few little stretches I have been able to get a lot of movement back, but not 100%, it comes with time I am told. I am not very patient.

The test results of the removed breast and lymph nodes showed that my tumors are all not hormonal, which means I can still carry my own babies after all this and no year long cancer or 5 year chemo pills. YAY. It also showed that I had 4 tumors in that breast, so a mastectomy was inevitable. Out of the 20 nodes removed only 5 had cancer in them, which is also good news because I originally had at least 10 before. Which means the chemo did it’s job. So far all the margins came back clean so things are looking good.

On the subject of chemo there was some discussion of me doing chemo again, I am extremely happy to report that I will not have to do chemo again! My oncologist spoke with multiple doctors and all agreed that it may cause more harm than good and not to give me more. I will be starting radiation ASAP, we must wait for my incision to be healed properly… well it is healed properly so I have my radiation appointments starting next week. I will be receiving radiation everyday of the week for 5 or 6 weeks (I can’t remember! haha) I hoping that I don’t have to get it on Christmas Day only because we are having Manny’s family over for a Christmas Brunch and that would really screw things up!

So far I haven’t missed my breast, it is hard to see an 8” incision where your breast used to be, but then I remember it almost killed me and I will soon get a fake one in it’s place! It’s funny but having short hair makes me feel like less of a woman than missing a boob does. I am not sure if that is because I am so used to having long hair or because once I have my stuffed bra and a shirt on it’s not noticeable, maybe both, but either way that is how I feel, silly things. It’s not so much less of a woman but more so less girly, so you will see that I put flowers in my hair “so people know I am girl” haha! Vain of me but at least I feel better! Funny thing is as a baby I didn’t have any hair until I was about 2 years old so my mother would put bonnets on my head “so people knew I was a girl” here I am years later doing the same thing! haha

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday and can appreciate all the blessings that are in front of us. I know I have quite a few things that I am thankful for.

Merry Christmas! XOXO
Kelly Freitas

Pic of me enjoying the snow at Disneyland, before surgery


Pic of me and my sis-in-law celebrating her birthday 12/09/09


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Today is a bittersweet. As I type, I am taking in my last day of chemo drip by drip. That is a wonderful reason to celebrate. I made cupcakes, my mom brought sandwiches and we also brought wine for the doctors and nurses. Unfortunately I can’t drink now although I may drink a glass of champagne later myself. hee hee

The bitter part of my day involves this darn rash and skin biopsy. You know they always say “no news is good news” (those they people seem to be right sometimes). Last night at about 6:00pm our phone rang and it was my surgeon telling me that the skin rash is indeed cancer that spread or possibly the same tumor. So that means surgery ASAP. Next week on Friday(Nov 20th) actually. They will remove the whole breast, nipple and full node dissection on the right side, since there was 10 nodes involved they want to all. I believe there are 20 on that side. I don’t really care to have a boob, I may feel differently once its gone similar to when I first lost my hair. But I know I won’t care in the long run if it means… my health and a chance to start my family. I really want to know what our kids will look like, selfish I know! ; ) The reason a mastectomy bothers me is because the surgery is harder, plus the lymph nodes double hard. Ohwell I have one of the BEST surgeons in the silicon Valley, this was voted by the people and numerous doctor magazines and I concur.

The long term plan: I will still have radiation after surgery. My oncologist will also run the results of the tumor (after surgery) by Stanford to make sure I will need any more chemo just to be safe. Even Doctors get second opinions. 

So as of right now the decision of whether or not to do a lumpectomy vs mastectomy has been made for me, which is good to not have another decision to make.

So I must get back to Laverne & Shirley(Tia Frances & Mom) and my husband!

Kelly Freitas

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A rash…

So… Monday we went to visit the surgeon, for what we thought would be a follow up and schedule the surgery. Unfortunately, the appointment didn’t go as smoothly as planned.

On the ride up to San Jose I was nervous to finally have a date for surgery. I was convincing myself this was going to be my new obsession, this date. A count down to remove this tumor. So as I arrived to the Dr’s office we went through the standard procedure, waiting in the waiting room, being called in, weighed, then showed into a room where I undress on top and replace my warm clothes with a paper vest.

In walks my surgeon, he says I look good and compliments my hat. After checking my blood pressure and checking to make sure I don’t have lymph nods that seem cancerous. Then he wants to examine the tumor, so I lay back and put my right arm behind my head. It is then he notices a rash. A rash that has only been there for 4 days, something I noticed, showed Manny, but never thought anything of it.  Well he noticed it and was a tad bit alarmed. He asked me how long it had been there. He then said “if you didn’t have cancer in this boob I wouldn't worry, but since you do this may mean cancer has spread to the skin, so I am going to do a biopsy”

….A RASH! REALLY!? That is all I can think at this point. Next thing I know a nurse is coming in with a syringe filled with local, a knife, some gauze and all the things a doctor needs to do a skin biopsy. FUN. So I lay there still with Manny holding my hand and my doctor cutting a small piece of skin off me, then stitching me back up.

What does this mean? Well it just means that if it has spread to the skin I will most definitely have a mastectomy and skin removed as well. DOUBLE FUN!  I guess the positive way to look at this is that it will mean the boob is gone and any chance of recurrence has lowered. In the mean time, we wait for results which should be by the end of the week.

I will keep everyone posted as soon as I find out!

Thanks for listening.

Kelly Freitas

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mind Games

“Each day you stay positive is putting you another step closer to happiness.”

This quote is so true, and if there is one thing I have learned is that, for me, cancer is a mind game. Constantly trying to convince myself to overcome fears, think positively and find the good in all the bad. I usually win this battle but there are times I don’t and most recently the biggest fear for me is the surgery, keeping me up at night and waking me from nightmares. Manny keeps reminding me “Kel, just remember to be excited to remove this tumor out of your body!” So, when I am afraid… of things like major surgery, spending the night in the hospital, removing lymph nods, possible mastectomy, I try and remember the positive my husband so clearly points out to me. This unwelcome disease will soon be gone, removed from my body!

I know it’s been quite awhile since I have written on here, and I think this is partly because I have been having such bad thoughts about the surgery I didn’t have anything positive to say and couldn’t bring myself to speak so negatively. In reality the more I talk about my fears the better I feel about it. Like my cousin Julie pointed out to me, fears are better overcome when you face them and not avoid them. So here I am facing them and dealing with it.

I have recently also gone on disability, which was another hard move for me. It was yet another reminder that I had cancer and “couldn’t” do something. Now I realize that it truly is better for me and I have more time to do things that make me happy and healthy. So every morning I can I get up early and go for a walk with my dog and that feels great!

So if anyone is up for a walk or lunch feel free to give me a call! ; )

Here is something positive, with only 2 chemo treatments left, I am already growing hair! AMAZING, most patients don’t have hair growing back until after chemo but that Portuguese hair sure is tough! Funny enough now that I have more hair on my head I have less eyebrows and eyelashes… always something! haha!

Here are some pics you may or may not want to see! Me bald!

Me with no hair, but eyebrows and lashes!


Me with hair, but drawn in brows and no lashes.


Until next time (I promise to not wait as long)

Kelly Marie Freitas

Monday, September 14, 2009

Walsh art

My surgeon drew all over me today marking where the tumor was and marking  where my biopsy was taken all while my husband stood and watched... what a great way to spend a Monday. hah! He is the best surgeon in the Silicon Valley(voted by the people) I still get very nervous every time I have to go see him. This time he delivered nothing but good news, tumor much smaller, looks like a lumpectomy will do the job. But the thought of surgery makes me sick to my stomach. I hate surgery, okay so I am trying to eliminate the word “hate” from my vocabulary, I dislike surgery very much. The thought of being cut open, removing chunks of whatever from me, including lymph nods. Being put under with anesthesia is the worst part for me, loss of control, waking up the whole experience makes my mind go crazy and my stomach a ball of nerves!

But, again, I must think positive so this surgery will ultimately remove this God-awful disease from my body including a few lymph nods that were also infected. He thinks sometime after Thanksgiving for this surgery. My last chemo treatment is Nov 11th and my body needs about 2 weeks to 1 month to recover enough before surgery. Then he will go in and work his magic. I will stay overnight and have some sort of drain bag in me for a week. If all goes well then I will have radiation soon thereafter. There is a chance he would have to go back in for a full mastectomy if the disease wasn’t completely removed, but I will hope and pray that a lumpectomy will be enough. I also hope I become a bit more excited for this surgery rather than nervous.

Over the weekend I was excited to attend the annual Kinship Food & Wine Tasting. This year I was the DD for the crew that joined Manny & I… first time ever! It was wonderful getting out and seeing everyone. We even went to a couple bars including one that had a band and I danced every chance I got. I was just happy to get out and not be at home… even if it meant squeezing hand sanitizer on my hand every 20 minutes! ; )

Me excited DD for the evening!

Sam & I got a picture in also ; ) I swear I am wearing a dress!

Until next time

Kelly Freitas

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The grass is greener…

In my back yard! Literally! My husband, father and family have been working hard on our yard and we are no longer the ugly duckling of the neighborhood! Here is a before and after…



Isn’t it AMAZING?!

Now figuratively speaking the grass IS greener for me these days! With 2 of the new treatments behind me and only 10 more to go! These treatments so far have been 100 times easier to handle. I am so happy to have more good days than bad and all the while still killing cancer. These weekly treatments were a bit scary for me at first but now that I have completed two it’s not that bad. During treatment I am pumped with Benadryl, which completely knocks me out. It starts with a little bit of slurring words, eyes drooping maybe some “I love You, Man” to the nurse then finally I pass out sleep for bit. Alright, it’s not college life, but it’s the best buzz I get these days and I will take it over the alternative!  hee hee!

Below is a picture of my temporary office on Wednesday's, Tia Frances joined me again ; ) partly because she wanted to and partly because she had to drive me! My mom broke her foot gardening the night before. OUCH!


More green grass… My brother and family have been planning the awesome event in honor of me. (I really don’t know how I am going to go back to life before cancer, I am soooo spoiled now!) Anyway, they have this great Pink Rock Benefit Concert (click there or here) planned to help raise money for my bills and fertility treatments (you should see our mailbox these days!). I am just so grateful to have people like this around me I have so much support in so many ways it’s hard to thank everyone enough. If you can make it I would love to see all of you. Music, good people and good times!

Hope you have an amazing day and can find your “green grass”

Until next time,

Kelly Freitas

Benefit Concert!

My brother, Dave Alvernaz and my family have been kind enough to put together
a fun event where everyone is welcome! The flyer is below and if you have any questions please feel free to contact the phone number or email Manny at  

We would love to see you there!


Thursday, August 20, 2009

A/C treatment DONE!

That title is probably Greek to most of you! But my first run of chemo treatments are done! YAY! A/C (aka Adriamycin & Cytoxan) are the two drugs I have been taking the past 8 weeks. Now I am officially done with those which means NO MORE NAUSEA! That little red devil (A of the A/C) is a real doozy and I am happy to be through that! One of the strongest woman I know kept me company during this small milestone, she is Tia Frances! My everyday inspiration doesn’t come from inside me, it comes from the people all around. I am who I am because of the people around me. She is someone I will always admire and little did I know her strength was something I needed that day. This last treatment really kicked my butt. Physically I was wiped out! Fever, tired, achy, sore throat, hot flashes… you name it I had it! I do typically get all of these symptoms after treatment this time they were just much more intense, I guess it was the A/C saying one last good bye to me… well CIAO you red devil, I am happy to see you leave.

Me and Tia Frances, of course my other rock, my mom took this photo!


Along with these physical crash days I go through, my spirit is slowly working its way down. I am sure the constant sickness and the inevitable road ahead are part of this loss of positive thoughts. However I have to say sometimes it feels really good to cry. As I have said before I am human and this is a tough road- most the time I do smile my way through it. But there are things that get me, like after one of my crash days when I have spent the entire day laying on the sofa with zero sleep and still feel like crap! Or when I look at myself in the mirror and the long brown hair is now a bald head! Or when my husband and mother have to do most or all the housework, make my meals while I just lay down. Or I hear of someone expecting a baby, bittersweet emotions overcome me, extremely happy for them but burst into tears because I can’t do that right now. Little things like this just overwhelm me more often these days. I want so badly to just go back to being a 30 year old who just got married and go to work everyday, meet friends for drinks and worry about the stupid stuff.

This journey no doubt has changed me, I have a new perspective on what is really important in life. I thought I understood this before, but I didn’t. I appreciate the days I do feel good and I try make those days better by being with the people that make me happy. Watching movies, hanging out just being with them period, no excuses just happy laughing. These are the days that make the sad days fewer and far between. I am happy the medicine is working and happy to be one step closer to finishing chemo!

Until next time…

Kelly Freitas

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Kelly vs. Cancer

And Kelly is taking the lead!!! ; )

Okay enough of third person. Since last I wrote I had my 3rd treatment where my mom joined me, it was a quiet day in the office, then Julie surprised me with flowers and her company, including her 2 little ones. It was such a great end to my treatment.

Me and my mom at treatment 3, sporting my wig

I went to my surgeon on Thursday for a follow up and check up to make sure my chemo is working as expected. Well it is and he measured my tumor and estimates it is HALF the size it was!!! YEE HOO!! That’s right half the size he stated that if the rest of my treatment goes like this I will most likely be a lumpectomy as planned! DOUBLE YEE HOO!! 

Until Next time!

Kelly Freitas

Monday, July 20, 2009

It’s Official, I am a Sinead O’connor look alike

Well this weekend my hair started falling out in chunks! Every time I touched it or combed it Manny and I were in amazement on how much came out. Manny was even more amazed at how much was still on my head! I knew I had a lot of hair but it was insane how much would come out and my hair still looked okay. That was until I took a shower on Saturday. As most of you know I am pretty happy and positive most the time, but I am human and I do have my moments. Saturday in the shower was that moment for me. The hair came out, and came out and came out, and I freaked out! Crying and screaming for Manny, he came up right away and the first thing he says to me, “babe, it will grow back…you look beautiful!” It was really hard to get out of this funk, standing there wet while Manny held me, reminding me to stay positive and cheer up. After a while I did cheer up, and we went to hang out with family. Always a good distraction, family, nephews, niece all there enjoying each others company. 

I always said I would shave my head when I was ready, well Sunday I was ready. It was getting everywhere and the inevitable was coming so why not buzz it right? Well we set up shop in our master bathroom. I even pulled up the webcam so my sister could watch and cheer me on via her web cam. Manny first started by cutting it short, giving me a lovely bi-level cut, a Victoria Beckham look, then some sort bangs and short do that made me look like a Beatle! He then pulled out the clippers put on a #4 and started shaping my hair for a Mohawk… which I think I rocked pretty well! I even took the clippers to my own head for a bit. After styling the Mohawk and taking photos, we finally finished the job. Took a few more pics and voila! I am now sporting a new short do. Here are some pics from the Mohawk! Let me know what you think, I love reading comments!

Me and my “Rock-On” pose!


Another angle of the hawk, also the final product with a Rosie pose! (ignore all the hair on my shoulders… Yuck!)

IMG00531-20090719-2038 DSCN0430

Keep an eye out for me and my new wig.

Ciao for now!

Kelly Freitas

Thursday, July 16, 2009

2 down!

Well I have officially completed Chemo #2, yesterday! Yee hoo! This time it was my mother and Julie who joined me. Great way to pass the time, it seemed to go by faster with great company. Julie even brought along the game Clue (my favorite!) so sweet.  We talked about me, talked about Julie and her upcoming baby (here’s hoping it’s a girl!) and watched the wedding video. All while killing cancer cells, awesome!

Me and Julie, after I had been hooked up to the drugs.

I had to tweak the photo a bit, the lighting in the office really makes you look like an oompa looma!

Since last time I have made it through chemo #1 and my side effects are pretty darn bearable!  They are not fun, but bearable, no vomiting (YAY) Here is what I do have, nausea only when I get hungry, dry eyes and mouth, a metallic taste in my mouth, tiredness, headaches, short of breath (just the 1st few days), hot flashes, and when I wake up at night (every 2 hours or so) I feel like I am 200 pounds heavier and it’s really hard to get out of bed. With my blood booster shot I have about 24-30 hours of massive bone pain, in my lower spine and back, that was REALLY hard for me, especially at 3am when I am dog tried and the only thing that helped was standing up. I waited a half hour for the Tylenol to kick in, then finally got to lay down and fall asleep. (I think all the moms out there recognize most of these side effects as pregnancy! LOL) And the week before this treatment I felt like myself again. Same energy as before my white blood cells were “normal”, and my platelets and red were “great” So in the clear for treatment #2.

All the nurses and doctors where amazed that I still had all my hair! Although I say “had” because it is definitely coming out now, and I have sooo much it may just take longer than usual. But either way, it’s just hair, it grows back. I just hope my eyebrows stay, hee hee. MJ (aka Manny, or Manuel Joseph) and I are all set to take the clippers to my head. He has been dying to do this. I on other hand can wait until it’s absolutely necessary. We will keep you posted!

My sister made me an awesome necklace with the help of friends and family! Everyone pitched it with a bead (big & small) to make a large necklace that goes past my belly button. But stylish me ; ) wears it wrapped around twice and I think it looks great that way! The necklace came with many letters of encouragement and details of why and who picked which beads. Manny joked that he would only have a bracelet if the same was made for him! ha-ha I am so lucky to have so many people who love me, or like me enough anyway.

Me and my necklace, notice the double up style ; )

Also, my (new) sister-in-law, Shawna arranged a dinner plan for me. It has been great and always delivered the day I need it the most. Perfect! I am afraid I will be to spoiled once all of this is done, then I will have to cook dinner myself again GASP! the HORROR! Ohwell all good things have to come to an end eventually right, then you never are as grateful if it didn’t right? Ohwell, I still have time to enjoy these delivered dinners. Thank you to everyone pitching in they have all been delicious!

Well I am off to spend the evening with my hubby, I am currently working from home and like it so far.

Until next time,

Kelly Freitas (2 months today with me new name!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Lucky Lady!

I really should buy a lottery ticket today. So the fantastic 4 (Me, Manny, Anthony (my father-in-law) & My mom) started off the day with a great start! First stop the Fertility Doctor, I needed to have my blood tested to make sure my hormones are coming back down at a steady pace, which they are. We also found out that we are officially freezing 9 babies! Which is a GREAT number and 7 of the embryo’s are graded A’s and 2 are graded A- just like in school, they are already honor roll students! ha ha!

Then off to get my white-cell booster shot from the Oncologist, typically a single shot the day after treatment, well my insurance company won’t cover this shot because it is too expensive. Instead I have to get a more affordable shot that I have to get daily! Which means driving to San Jose EVERYDAY! WHAT! NO! After a couple of phone calls the insurance finally approved the at home version of these daily shots. After the fertility shots this is easy for Manny, not as easy for me it burns going in. But I am happy that I don’t have to drive to San Jose everyday and pay a $25 dollar co-pay every visit. It costs a little more to get them at home but the trade off is much better. Plus after I finally got mine today I had a bit more energy and didn’t feel as tired. The Dr. stopped by to chat with us and see how I was feeling. They were all pretty impressed at how well I was doing, I myself was feeling very excited at the minimal side effects I have had. I am extremely tired, short of breath only when I exert myself (on walks or walk upstairs fast) I do have a metallic taste in my mouth at all times. Finally I do feel nauseous  only when I am hungry, so as long as I have my 6 small meals a day I am great! let’s hope it stays like this!!!! ; )

After waiting for my surgeon to get out of emergency surgery, he did a follow up/check up of my port.  It’s looking great, and it works wonderful which we already knew. He also did a follow up exam on my tumor measured it and said “It’s smaller!” I couldn’t believe my ears! Already from Thursday to Monday, smaller (just a wee bit but heck who cares SMALLER!)! FABULOUS! Before chemo and finding out I had cancer, I did have a LOT of pain where the tumor was, that has gone away since chemo started, so I knew it was working but I didn’t realize it would work that well! The news that I don’t have the gene also means the medicine I am on is that much more effective so that is yet another thing to be happy about.

Fourth of July was great! I wasn’t very tired and got to enjoy the block party outside our new home! We have the most amazing neighbors and are happy to have chosen the house we did. They really are welcoming, caring and an awesome group of people. We all BBQ’d in our front yard, then at dusk started lighting off the fire works, stopping only to watch the perfect view of the local school firework show. My parents and Manny’s parents joined us that evening, they had a great time too. I can’t wait to spend many 4th of July’s here. The first was already great, considering. Although at about 10:30 I came inside and fell asleep right away! Apparently Manny and Adela were having a conversation with me… oops!

Anyway here are some pics from the 4th and the picture of me and my favorite nurse at my first treatment that I promised.

Until next time!

Kelly FreitasDSCN0404DSCN0407 



Me and my favorite nurse while getting 1st chemo treatment!


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Waiting Game...

So treatment #1 down, 11 more to go! 3 more of the bad ones (A/C 2 drug combo), and then I will have weekly Taxol shots for 8 weeks. It feels good to have one over and done with! But now a waiting game... waiting to see if, when or how I react. Typically these side effects start about 3 to 4 days after treatment. So I wait, to see if and how I react, let's hope not too bad. I sat next to a girl who said she didn't have too much nausea was just very tired and some mouth sores. She also had most of her eyebrows! LOL I don't know why but that made me happy!

Here is a pic during treatment, I have a great one of everything with drip and nurse but that is being held hostage in my camera, I will put it up shortly.

Details of Treatment 1: well I went in today extremely nervous. I was worried about so many things and mostly the unknown of how it was going to effect me and would it hurt going in. Well once they started it it was great. Nothing hurt! in fact I am even more so excited that we decided to get the port put in. It makes it SO much easier and less painful this way. A woman also getting her treatment with out the port had a terrible time and they had to try a few times to get the vein in place, I felt sad for her but grateful I had a port. So after they stuck the needle into the port I sat there for about 2 hours getting different meds. First the nausea med mixed with steroids dripped for about 20mins, then the “red drug” Adriamycin, it looks like cool aid, and that one only takes about 10 minutes, then finally Cytoxan for about an hour or more. Drip drip drip, that is what I waited for. It was a busy day there today so I met a lot of other people, every chair was taken, and every person was cheerful and willing to give me tips. The gal sitting next to me, was finishing her Taxol treatment, she was having the same drug combo as me. She gave me multiple tips and recommendations on stores and such. Best part she already knew me! She is a friend of a friend (Kristie) so funny how we sat right next to each other today.  So I left feeling much happier than when I arrived, and now we wait! I hoping and praying my side effects are minimal. I would hate spending the 4th with my head in the toilet, although I think I did this a few times in my college days!

The “red drug”


Things to be positive for, although I am beginning a dramatic medical treatment I still have quite a few things to be thankful for.

They are:
- Cancer is officially is on the offensive team and will not win! I am one step closer to getting rid of this. DE-FENSE! <clap, clap, clap>
- We found out today that I do NOT have the BRAC2 gene! Which is GREAT news, because if I did re-occurrence would have been more likely in my future and may have needed a double mastectomy to reduce the re-occurrence! YAY
- I am happy to have a port for easy use.
- I am grateful to have people around me, even it is 5 people accompanying me to my first appt. LOL Some people show up alone, and that would be hard for me.
- We have 11 eggs turning into embryo’s as I type, so technically we are officially parents! LOL
- People’s generosity has been amazing, dinner, flowers, thoughts, sweet emails or texts you name I receive it! So you wonder why I am so positive it’s hard not to be! Everyone keeps telling me how wonderful/strong/inspiring I am… It’s about time you all noticed! ha-ha JUST kidding!
- Right beside me my entire treatment were Connie’s Cowboy Cookies! and it’s not even Christmas, she needs her own cookie biz (watch out Mrs. Fields!)
- I am also Thankful to all my wedding guests who are patiently waiting for their “Thank you’s” I am hoping to get to those soon. <bad bride!>
- I received our wedding video today! YAY!
- I received a slideshow of some wedding photos LOVE them click here to check out my photographer’s blog for sneak peaks and a link to our slideshow.
- and finally, I am happy to have Manny he really is my soul mate/love of my life! he this has already made our marriage strong and us closer.

So please remember to kiss/hug/love someone you love today! They deserve to know it and so do you!

Kelly Freitas- Cancer Killing Extraordinaire!

I'm Wireless!

So I sit here and the nauseau medcine is slowly dripping in me, and I have wireless! Yee Hoo!

Since I have wireless I thought I would share a funny story with you. Yesterday, when I arrived home after a long day, we had mail from a certain local hospital. Manny opened it and laughed.

Here is the gist of what is said:

"Dear Kelly,
We have found that your tumor is "probably benign" and it is time for your 6 month follow up. Please call us to make an appointment.

Thank you,
Dr From Said Hospital"

Ha ha! This the day before Chemo, was quite entertaining. ; ) Now you all know why I am planning on not having my babies much less a hang nail removed from this said hospital!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Port... and I am not talking wine, unfortunately

Curious about this sexy picture of me... keep reading!

Well Friday my entourage and I went in at 5:30 am to O'Connor hospital for my port surgery. So early, we all were in a daze and I slept most the way there.

They prepped me for surgery and by 7:30 was completely out and ready for the port implant! For those who don't know what it looks like click here the disk is just under my skin and the catheter is in my vein. Like I said before this has been proven to be a much easier way to get the drug, and less painful. The surgery went smoothly and I woke up fine, although I get really wacky on anesthesia and usually spend my day sleeping, which I did.

Although when I first woke up I had a huge pain in my right eye, at first I though there was something in it, so the nurse started flushing my eye. Let me tell you, getting your eye flushed in bright hospital lights 2 mins out of waking up from surgery is no walk in the park! Apparently I just kept saying "My eye, my eye" and my entourage just thought I was "all drugged up!" yeesh well hours later it was still bothering me and it turns out I had a scratched cornea! The Dr suggested I wear a patch until it healed which helped a bunch! Of all things to have happen when I am in surgery I guess it could have been worse! LOL just wasn't expecting that. I am glad to be with out patch and seeing great today!

Tomorrow we finally get to harvest my eggs! This is also a surgery with anesthesia, once the eggs are out they add Manny's swimmers to them and make them babies, freeze 2 together and odd guys get frozen alone. So technically we will be parents to a bunch of frozen babies! I was told from a friend who has recently gone through breast cancer, that you will have so much help there is no way to thank everyone as much as you want, so instead you will need to learn to "pay it forward" So Manny and I decided that once all is said and done and we have the family we want we will donate those eggs to another couple who can't have a family of their own. But this will probably be years from now, but I am happy to know that we can possibly give this gift to someone else!

Anyway, Happy Monday! I am sure I will be blogging soon, since my first chemo is this Thursday.
Kelly Freitas

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ice, Ice baby!

Well the oncologist okay'd my fertility treatment! So we are full steam ahead with freezing babies since the last I wrote. I am currently taking nightly shots to make each egg strong- and watch out octo-mom because I have 14 fertile eggs! ha-ha! Manny, thankfully gives me these shots and I see the fertility Dr every 1-3 days or so to monitor how it's going. I can tell you (and so can Manny) that the shots make you VERY hormonal and give you a really cute belly! If everything stays on track we will have egg retrieval Monday or Tues. Then they take Manny's little swimmers and make embryo's, this is because there is a better survival rate with embryo's than with eggs alone. So we have named them, Ice Cube, Frozen Pees and Ice Ice Baby! ; ) It has been quite fun experience, and the Fertility Dr. and her team have been extremely generous to us. Unfortunately even in my circumstance fertility treatment and drugs are not covered by insurance, and everything is very expensive, so they have kindly donated a few of the shots needed to do this treatment. It has been a huge blessing. My parents have also lent a helping hand for this which is more than anyone can ask for from a grandparent. I think I will make onesie's for my babies that say "Sponsored by Carlos & Amelia Alvernaz" hee hee!
So the worry that my early menopause will get in the way of us building a family is no longer a worry! I am blessed with that!

Now for the Cancer, I have what is called "Triple Negative Breast Cancer" which means in the three tests they run I am negative, I have a slight register on one of the them (HER = .4) but not enough to put me on a chemo drug called herceptin, which would have meant 1 year of meds! So that is another blessing! I am also having a gene test done ("Brac" test) to see if I carry the gene that is passed down and causes cancer. My grandfather (mom's dad) had breast cancer the year before I was born (I may have been in my mom's womb) he had a mastectomy and it never re-occurred. But my oncologist says the rarity of male breast cancer usually means they have the BRCA2 gene, and I may also have this gene from my grandfather, and this would at least tell me how I got breast cancer. Otherwise I will never know. Also this will help my siblings or cousins that they may also have it and to be cautious.

Instead I start with 2 drugs together (A/C) I do this A/C treatment 4 times every 2 weeks, beginning July 2nd. Every time I go I must have my blood cells counted to make sure they are high enough to proceed. That is the constant battle with the first four treatments keeping my blood cells and platelets stable. I am told that the first 4 are the worst and it gets easier as I go. After that I then get one drug (T) every week for eight weeks. I was told today that this every week treatment of this drug helps lessen the side effects, and I like less side effects. ; )
If all works as it's supposed to my lump should shrink and this is when I will have surgery to remove it and the lymph nodes that are also cancerous. We are also hoping this will be a lumpectomy rather than the mastectomy. Right now it would be mastectomy since it is 6cm x 6cm in size. My surgeon and oncologist are both confident that it will become a lumpectomy, so therefore so am I.

The best way to administer the drugs into my body is through a port, it has proven to be less painful this way. The port is a metal disk type thing surgically implanted under my skin on the opposite side of the tumor, threaded with a catheter into a vein on the same side as my tumor. The nurses will then inject into the port and will have no leaking into my body. (if it leaks into my body it is very painful) My surgery for the port is this Friday at 7:30 am in San Jose and I have to be there at 5:30 am! yucky! You all may see a bump on the left hand side of my chest after, now you will know what it is.

Side effects, they come a plenty and to warn most of you here is a list (click here) the most common is hair loss, which everyone should know. I should be very weak, and may also gain weight...translation I will be short, fat and bald! Manny is a lucky guy! ha-ha! But in reality I will work hard to keep the side effects, I can control, at bay. I will eat well, try and exercise often so my energy stays up. I am planning on starting yoga next week. I have already purchased a "cranial prosthesis" (aka a wig!) that I think looks pretty darn good. So if you see Manny walking around with some dark haired woman, not worry it's me!

I would like to end this with a BIG GIGANTOR thank you to everyone who has shown their kindness to my and my family. So many flowers and cards, prayers, books, retail therapy and generosity we have received! I am not sure I would be as nice if the roles were reversed, but I would like to think I would be. Again I would like to thank my entourage for accompanying me to every appointment, so much so that the Dr. offices are so confused to whom is actually being seen or shocked that we are all together. That also includes Adela for letting us use her van as our vehicle of choice these days, we will eventually figure out those darn automatic doors.

also might I add, that I am horrible with spelling and grammar, if you haven't already noticed!

Kelly Freitas

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Long day!

Well today has been such a long day! It started off this morning with a long awaited haircut (see pic)! YAY all that long hair is now short and sleek. My sister sat beside me as my hairstylist chopped my hair and we looked through fun pictures, while drinking Starbucks!

After the haircut, I needed to go straight to San Jose, for the first of many appointments and to-do's... the MRI. WOW is that noisy! They first ask you to get down to your skivvies, put on hospital gown (which looked great with my metallic heels) then they find a vein for an IV (apparently I have "tiny veins") then face down on a bed. The bed then rises and rolls into the MRI machine where tons of pictures are taken, and I had to stay completely still. After about 20 minutes of pictures they inject a liquid and take another set of pictures. Lots of beeping and clicking, they even give you ear plugs- It's loud!

Once I was done with that, it had been on my and Manny's (and of course Carla's, LOL) mind to be proactive about our future family plan. I had contacted my gyno about the situation and was questioning whether or not I should "freeze" some of my eggs, she agreed we should. She recommended a great place in San Jose, and after many phone calls with Carla and Manny, we were squeezed in at 2:00pm. Discussed some options, had and ultra sound and I am now on a nightly shot that will help with the egg harvesting. However, since we have yet to meet with an oncologist (that's Friday) we are not sure if I have the time needed to do this before chemo starts. I will have more answers on Friday. yay for future little Manny & Kelly's!

We then headed to O'Connor Hospital for my PET scan, which I had to fast for and by this point I was starving! Here they had to dip into that same vein for yet another IV, where this time they inject radioactive liquid and let it drip for about 1hour-1 1/2 hours, I have to sit quietly, with out moving for the most part- alone! Then finally you are off to be pictured again and this time you lay face up, no noise and get to wear your own clothes. With my arms above my head in another donut tube for 40 mins of photos, 7" at a time from head to knees. The lady who took the photos said it turned out fine. The photos are available for viewing right away to the Nuclear Manager, she then came in and gave us great news- it has NOT spread! Except for the one lymph nod under my armpit which my Dr had already assumed. This is GREAT news!
With smiles on our faces, Manny, my mom, Anthony (our personal driver this week!) headed up to radiology for a chest x-ray, and then ended with one more blood test! We then drove to Santana Row for a long awaited dinner- I ate every bite of my shrimp pasta. ; ) I am not sure what I would do with out my little entourage this week, they have been so helpful. I guess Manny also kept them entertained by telling our love story, which they say he should publish...we'll see!

Well I am off to bed, I will attempt going to work tomorrow. Friday I will have a follow up with the Fertility Dr, then meet with the Oncologist.

Until next time, thank you again for all your prayers it seems to be working- keep 'em coming!

SMILE, Kelly xoxo

Monday, June 15, 2009

Think positive!

Well I wish I was beginning this blog with something positive, because I like to live that way, thinking positive. Instead I am bearer of bad news, I now have breast cancer, it has brought about so many emotions for me and makes me feel like I am watching a movie- and this is not my life.

But reality bites and it is my life, so I will think positive, and I know that the stubborn Portugee in me won't let something like this win. Manny and I (with the help of family) are taking all the next steps that come with finding out you have a disease like this. Blood tests, MRI, Oncologists, 2nd opinions, and buying a lot of books, including a calendar to keep all my new appointments straight. I think anyone who knows me, knows that I hate doctors and now they will become my new best friend, the people who keep me healthy, guide me through the steps to become cancer free.

Details: well we don't know too many details just yet except that I have cancer, it is in my breast and will most likely begin medicine and treatment before surgery. Once this week is over I hope to have everything figured out... as much as I can anyway. I will keep this blog up-to-date as much as possible so everyone can read up on how everything is going.

On a brighter note, Manny and I will celebrate 1 month as a married couple tomorrow! I guess the vows "through sickness and health" really hold true here in our home. He really has been great today, and I know this is hard for him also, so while you are thinking of me please remember to help him to because he is an awesome man (and husband) that needs some support also.
Thanks for reading and keeping us in your prayers, it really means a lot to have so much support from all of you!

Kelly Freitas



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