My name is Cynthia Yeager and I am an optometrist, a mother of two and a happy wife of twenty years. I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in December 2013. I underwent bilateral mastectomy in January and will finish up four rounds of chemotherapy in May of 2014. I will be on endocrine therapy for the next ten years. The toughest part of this journey was telling my two teenage children. As a mother, I wanted to protect them. It is a primal need. As I looked at the raw fear in their faces, and the tears welling up in my husband’s eyes, I made a promise to them all. “I will do everything in my power to heal my body so I will be around for a very long time.” I take that promise very seriously. I have learned that “doing everything I can” does not mean ONLY doing everything my doctors tell me. I set out to educate myself, through scientific research from both traditional and complementary sources, about things I could do to keep my promise. I was looking for ways to empower myself and enhance the effectiveness of the therapy my doctors were giving me. To say I learned a lot is an understatement.
Frankly, I was surprised at the amount of new techniques, complementary therapies and supportive devices that exist but have not made their way into mainstream medicine yet. This blog is designed to share such information. I will also share references to the research should anyone be interested in going deep into the science. I became an empowered patient through education and research. Information I learned altered my decision about breast reconstruction, it helped me keep my hair during my chemotherapy, it helped me reduce side effects during chemotherapy and it altered my decision about radiation. My point is this….extensive research allowed me to become an active patient rather than a passive patient. There is much we can do to help ourselves through this journey. Our health and recovery does not end with the last chemo or radiation treatment. This blog is my way of sharing that information in hopes that it will empower others.