The Novinich family is from Deltona Florida and met us at Harbor Park on Lake Baldwin in Orlando Florida. Below are just a couple of the photos captured.
Here is her story.
I was diagnosed at the age of 33 stage 2b HR+Her2- Breast Cancer. My daughter was 5 years of age enjoying kindergarten. My husband of 10 years and I were raising our girls, oldest was a teenager in high school, thankful for the life we were blessed with. My mother passed away from suicide a few years prior followed by the death of my grandfather due to heart attack. I was the executor of my grandfather’s estate. I completed genetic testing that did not show any evidence of genes playing a role in my diagnosis though I did have a maternal great grandmother that died from the complications following treatment of breast cancer.
I completed 4 infusions of ac chemotherapy followed by 12 infusions of Taxolchemo therapy. Next, I was scheduled for a double mastectomy. I started Tamoxifen and went on to my new life.
Two years passed when I felt a lump in my right axilla (armpit) as I had felt back in 2013. I had been getting scans ever 3 months following my treatment in 2013 but after 1 year of clear scans the scans were spaced out to 6 months intervals. I saw my oncologist a few days sooner than scheduled, had a sonogram and subsequent biopsy. The diagnosis in 2016 was stage IV metastatic breast cancer.
I saw three oncologists to confirm the most appropriate treatment plan. I consulted with a naturopath and took 3 months off treatment to decide on next steps. I scheduled an oophorectomy (ovary removal) procedure but received a call the Friday before my Monday procedure that the physician was unable to complete the scheduled surgery as she abruptly left the practice. I decided not to proceed with the surgery but rather medically induce menopause.
My next scans showed the disease progressed further during my mini vacation from treatment so all cards were played. I started Ibrance (CDK 4/6 inhibitor)plus Letrozole (aromotase inhibitor). I received monthly injections to turn off my ovaries therefore starving the hormone driven cancer cells. I received quarterly biophosphate injections to slow down and prevent new progression to bone. At this point, there was evidence of breast cancer cells in my liver,lungs, chest wall, lymph nodes and bones (spine and hip). I was experiencing intense back back which led to relief following 10 treatments of radiation.
The Ibrance did its job for 2 years keeping the cancer at bay and even bringing me to no evidence of active disease (NEAD) status. Unfortunately, at the 2 year mark my scans showed progression again. We are now in 2018 and I am no longeron Ibrance and Letrozole. I receive two injections monthly for a drug called Faslodex plus the ovary suppression and biophosphate monthly injections. Thebiophosphate was moved from quarterly to monthly due to the bone progression visualized in scans. Now my medical team is waiting the results of genetic testing since new genes have been identified since my initial diagnosis. I find out today if a new biopsy will be taken to determine if the cancer cells have mutated, yes this happens. And I go for my 4th radiation treatment of 10 on my right hip and spine to alleviate pain I have in this region. All of this while I work full-time for an health insurance company and raise my family with my loving and caring husband.