Hi! My name is Gina. I am an elementary Speech Language Pathologist who works with kiddos from preschool-6th grade with a variety of Communication Disorders. I love to cook but I get nervous to do it for new people. I don’t love to swim but love to Paddleboard in calm waters. I grew up in beautiful Paradise, California which was all but lost to the Campfire in 2018, including our family home of 30+ years. Now my parents live down here near my sister and I. I’ve lived in 9 different places and don’t regret any of my “transient” ways. My favorite colors are neutrals, I love to make jokes, and I love losing myself in any good book. I love video games, hate coconut, and love the way it smells outside in the morning. I am extremely close to my family and am blessed with amazing friends. I’m not really a night owl, can’t sing to save my life, and enjoy bingeing tv shows (especially European dramas). I don’t love running but somehow I’ve reached 6 miles (but I’d rather run just one fast mile!). I was obsessed with Orangetheory Fitness and will talk your ear off about it if I could, but now Lier8Fit in Hillcrest area is the gym of my heart. Their combination of HIIT and Yoga have been my savior following double mastectomy and now on my good days during chemo . I love theatre and will always wish I could have been a musical performer (see above singing skills problem). I am 35 years old. I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Breast Cancer on February 14th 2018 (Happy Valentine’s to me). After an insane amount of research and reflection, I opted for a Nipple Sparing Mastectomy on my left breast where they found the cancer with a Nipple Sparing Prophylactic Mastectomy on my right breast with immediate reconstruction. My surgery, including lymph node removal and dissection on the left side, was completed on March 20, 2018. A week later, my surgeon shared some surprising information; a second, 3 mm “incidental” cancer that could not be seen on the MRI was found in the “prophylacticly” removed right breast tissue. AKA: I made the “right” decision. AKA: the madness continues.
Update: the madness did indeed continue. After feeling a small lump under my biopsy scar change over a few months, I started the process all over again and was diagnosed in November of 2019 with another breast cancer which, because it was at my original cancer site is called a breast cancer recurrence. The odds of it returning are so low that I get befuddled looks from all the nurses and doctors who always exclaim, “but you had a double mastectomy!” After a lumpectomy in December (aka knife fight scar #3) I threw myself into the Chemo reality that was coming my way: adjuvant chemotherapy is used after surgery to lessen the chance of your cancer coming back EVEN if your surger(ies) were successful at removing all cancer visible but may be so small they are undetectable. I’m at the start of my second round of four rounds of Taxotere and Cyclophosphamide and also on hormone therapy to surpass my ovaries which puts me into fun Menopause-like state. Is it hot in here or is it just my lack of estrogen?
Thank you for visiting my Blog. 🙂