WTAE Morning Anchor Kelly Frey went on the air yesterday morning to inform viewers that she has breast cancer.
She then took to her Facebook page to explain in more detail and tell viewers, she's ready to kick cancer's ass.
We wish her nothing but the best in her fight.
Here's her post:
"Yes...I have breast cancer."
I'm certainly still getting used to saying it.
But it is getting easier....
I have breast cancer.
I got the official call with the results of my biopsy on Thursday, February 2nd, Groundhog Day. Just as I was getting ready to crawl into bed after work for a quick nap, the phone rang. It was my doctor. But I already knew what she was going to tell me...I had known in my gut for days.
It was the night of Saturday, January 21st. I kissed my children good night, prayed and tucked them in to bed, then started to make my way up to my bedroom to get into my pajamas and relax for a few moments. The old sports bra I was wearing was itchy and I kept thinking "I really need to throw this thing out right now!" But as I started to scratch a spot near the strap on my right side....that's when I felt it. A lump. A hard lump. It didn't seem that big. But it was there. I debated for a few brief moments whether to tell my husband. I didn't want to scare him. But I knew I had to. I also knew I would be calling my doctor's office first thing Monday morning hoping to be seen that day. As Jason walked up the stairs, I took a breath and said "I found a lump." It caught him off guard, obviously. We both kind of looked at each other knowingly. I said "I bet I'll be having a biopsy in a week or so." And that's where the journey began...
A flurry of appointments and doctor’s visits compounded with a barrage of information has followed.
That Monday I went to the OB/Gyn's office...
Tuesday, January 24th-- an ultrasound that revealed...unfortunately, this was not a benign cyst.
Less than one week later-- a biopsy at Hillman Cancer Center.
And then the news on Groundhog Day...yes...at only 43-years old...I have breast cancer.
Triple Negative, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma to be exact.
If I'm understanding everything correctly, it started as Ductal Carcinoma In Situ (pronounced "in sigh two" and meaning "in site" or "in place")...but now... the cancer is essentially "on the move" and aggressive.
I kept chuckling at the fact that the morning of Groundhog Day I had innocently worn a black and white dress on TV. Then I realized how apropos: by the end of the day I was supposed to have my results, and I either had cancer...or I didn't. I also got a good laugh at the fact... it was Groundhog Day. Was I going to go to bed only to wake up the next morning and start all over again...and then get the same bad news? Well, in some ways, yes...
Cancer doesn't just go away…you have to kick it out. So...
The plan is for me to begin 24 weeks of chemotherapy starting today, March 10th. I will go every 3 weeks for 2 hours for the first 12 weeks, followed by another 12 weeks where I'll get chemo every week for a half hour. As long as my white blood cell count remains stable and I don't have any other complications, I should have my last chemo right before my 44th birthday in August. After a few weeks break, I'll have surgery (to be decided) followed by radiation. My Christmas wish for 2017 is that I'll be cancer free. What a beautiful, precious gift that will be!
Behind the scenes, we've been quietly "mobilizing" our home: sanitizing, organizing, planning. And interspersed with appointments with my new Surgical Oncologist, Genetic Testing, Bi-lateral Mammograms, MRI's, Medical Oncologist, more Ultrasounds and-- yes-- finding a wig and some cute cancer ball caps. We've also been trying just to live...and live as normally as possible. I don't want to waste a single moment with my family!
Once I got over the shock of my diagnosis, the reality set in as I started to read and look up information...
I am just one of more than 250,000 people who will receive this news this year. And 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Those numbers are profound. Each and every one of us knows or will know someone who goes through this. The breast cancer community-- both survivors and the people who love them-- is vast and so eager to wrap their arms around you and help, share, support and carry you through this difficult time. I have already been overwhelmed by the love shown to me and the outpouring of prayers. There is incredible comfort and strength in numbers!!!
And to be honest, for those of you who know my family’s story, breast cancer, as bad as it is, just can't compare to the journey that we have had with my son. Nothing comes close to the 7 months that I carried my son... planning to bury him...nor the journey that has followed with his medical conditions and disabilities. Nothing. When I see my 7-year old, 67-pound son, I am reminded every day how absolutely precious and priceless life is. God carried us through my pregnancy and the subsequent years that have followed. Every morning I wake is a blessing-- a new day filled with endless possibilities as I am surrounded by faith, family and friends. I would be a fool now to let breast cancer rob me of my joy.
I want to thank you for reading part of my next chapter in life, but I pray that you also think about and find ways to encourage and support the people you know going through this trial (or other similar trials) or the person that might find a lump or get this diagnosis... today. They will need your caring heart, your helping hands, to be lifted up in prayer and to know that there is hope.
I can smile, knowing I'll get through this as we, blessedly, caught it early. Sure, I'll have a little less hair-- okay, a lot less hair-- but it will be all right! I've been researching and talking with other women who have used "Cold Caps" to potentially preserve hair, but the time, energy, logistics and hair quality are simply too much for my lifestyle. Instead, I want to rest as much as possible to be able to spend more quality time with my children and beloved husband. So bald I will be! My hope is to simply handle everything with humor and grace and absolute honesty about the ups and down.
But here's another big part of all this: I plan to work...to be with you each and every morning unless I truly feel too sick or fatigued. I love what I do and I thank you for inviting me into your home day after day. It is an absolute privilege that I have never, never taken lightly.
I also hope to do some shopping...for a new sports bra! I threw out that ratty old thing a few days later. But I almost felt guilty, like I should be bronzing it or something; in some way, it's saved my life! But part of pushing forward is to say goodbye to things that might hold you back or slow you down. So out went the reminder of the day I first found the lump; I'm moving on and bracing for battle.
So bring it on, breast cancer...the fight has begun!