A Beautiful Disaster Named Jami.
Posted on 10 February 2015
I am so pleased to feature Jami Yannello as our first Beautiful Disaster on the Blog. She is an inspiration to us all and represents the warrior woman within us. Everyone meet Jami.
Jami’s Story –
My whole life has been one Beautiful Disaster after the next. I’ve always had to struggle or be strong to get through whatever life dealt me. It’s an understatement to say that I am a born fighter. It is the last few years of my life that have really defined me as a woman and there are no better words to describe me than as a BEAUTIFUL DISASTER !
It was April 2013 I spent with the diagnosis of my mom’s lung cancer and the fact the she only had 6-12 months to live. My mom is and was my best friend and the strongest woman I’ve ever known. She taught me to always overcome and never back down from what you believe in. She raised me to be a beautiful disaster that I am today.
During that time my husband and I decided to go see a fertility specialist, after 4 years of trying the “old fashion way “. I wanted so desperately to give my mom a grandchild before her passing. In the span of 7 months I went thru 3 artificial inseminations, which resulted in two miscarriages and a tubal pregnancy. Mid- November was the last insemination that resulted in a tubal pregnancy. Before Thanksgiving I got the call that Mom was in hospice and it was time to say goodbye. Last she knew I was pregnant and was so happy for us. Two days before we got in the car for our trip to California to say our final goodbyes my pregnancy was terminated. My mom passed away December 4. I know now that I sent that sweet unborn baby to heaven for my mom to look after until my time here is done.
Fast forward to 2014, during my fertility treatments I had a sizeable lump develop on my right breast. I never told the doctors because I didn’t want them to stop treatment. It wasn’t until September that I went to my primary doctor for a checkup and casually mentioned the lump on my right breast. He sent me in for a mammogram. In my heart I wasn’t afraid I’m 32 yrs. old and have no history of breast cancer, I was sure I would be fine. Cancer would never happen to me, so I thought.
Mammogram day: Just another routine test right? Wrong. After they finished taking the images the nurse mentioned a small cluster of calcifications and needed to talk to the doctor. So I sat there wondering, what the hell are calcifications? She returned took a few more images and had me get dressed. From there she took me to meet the doctor. I went into a dark room with my images spread across three computer screens. The doctor explained the lump was just a cyst and nothing to worry about, then explained the cluster which made no sense, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. Her words were that it could be an early form of cancer but with my history I was probably fine. We would need to biopsy. I left there kind of confused. I started doing research and all signs for my situation pointed to it not being cancer. So I thought. So I scheduled the biopsy and waited for the results. Friday 09/26/2014 I got the call, it was cancer.
No words can describe the fear that comes from hearing the “c” word. How could this be happing? What does it all mean and will I be ok?
My next appointment was with the surgeon to discuss my type of cancer and what options are available to me. My husband was right there by my side, I think he was more scared than I was. It was DCIS what is considered to be the earliest form of breast cancer, good news…..I guess. After weighing our options we went with the lumpectomy (partial removal of the breast) and radiation treatment to follow after that. Everything was happing so fast my head was spinning with all this information and choices that my husband and I were forced to make.
11/12/2014: I had my lumpectomy almost a year to the day of losing our pregnancy and my mom. So here I sit with lost hope of having a baby and now breast cancer. Radiation was scheduled to start about 4 weeks after the surgery so next I went to meet with the radiation oncologist. After meeting her I had another mammogram scheduled before we moved forward with the next treatment. There I was has my breast in the vice and I hear the nurse say we found another cluster!!! They finished with the images they need, I got dressed and looked at them for myself. Now being somewhat of a DCIS expert I asked what the cluster measured at? It was twice the size of the first one! Are you kidding me this can’t be happening?
Back at square one, I felt as though I couldn’t catch a break. I hadn’t even had a chance to grieve my mom or the baby, as I thought I should. Now I’m facing the biggest fight of my life……fucking cancer! Yet another beautiful disaster which I call my life! Doing what I do best, I laced up the boxing gloves and got ready to kick some ass!
We scheduled another lumpectomy. But this time was different, I had this strong feeling that maybe I should have a mastectomy. Seemed extreme, was I over reacting? I called my surgeon and asked her if it was an option. She said yes it and right then and there I knew that was the right choice. So I did my research and decided to schedule a double mastectomy with immediate reconstruction. My surgery will be February 24th and I know that I’ve made the right choice.
Am I scared, hell yes! I am to a point now that I’ve accepted this chapter in my life. I will be damned to let it defeat me. I am a beautiful disaster and it’s going to take more than breast cancer to kill my spirit.
Jami has a fund set up to help her get through this time in her life. We are her tribe and she is ours, every dollar helps. For any fellow Beautiful Disaster who donates I will give you a special coupon code for a big discount on your next order. Email me the proof that you helped out a fellow BD and the discount is YOURS. firstname.lastname@example.org
Original Submission: 2/10/15
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