Warrior Wendy Prepares to Slay Evil Demons #MyLeftBoob

Screen shot 2015-03-24 at 2.58.28 PM

Photo by Gabrielle Siegel

Now that I have returned back to work, I won’t have as much time to update my blog. This update is from my GoFundMe page. Please share with anyone you know who is currently fighting this battle or with those whose lives have been affected by cancer:

Wendy’s Triple Negative Metaplastic Cancer Battle


If only I could slay the C-word with the huge pike (pictured) this whole process would be so much easier! You may be wondering why I am holding a large medieval weapon. It’s because I’m a member of Danbury’s Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and marched in the St. Patricks’ Day parade last Sunday.

Generally the men hold the weapons but they let me hold it for a minute for a photo op. The weapons represent overcoming oppression that the Irish experienced. For me, this pike figuratively represents the army of demons I have to slay to throughout this battle.

The first demon I slayed was “the suspicious lump” that turned out to be breast cancer. But not the “normal” breast cancer that 80% of women get. Don’t get me wrong, ALL cancer is wicked and evil and horrible and hard to deal with. But mine just happens to be harder because only 1% of women get this and so little is known about it. And it has a higher chance of coming back. BUT I am only Stage 1, it HAS NOT spread and that is what I am focusing on.

The next demons I fought off were the 2 additional worrisome lumps that turned out to be a swollen lymph node and a sebaceous cyst. Waiting for days for results is tough but I’m so grateful that it turned out to be “nothing to worry about.”

Next on the war tour was a year’s worth of tooth issues being treated in one month. Unfortunately I’ve already used up all of my dental insurance for the year (and it’s only March) with 5 dental appointments since February, so that is why I have this site up, because the medical bills related to this cancer battle seem to be never-ending.

I write this as I sit here with an ice pack on my cheek to help with the swelling of a tooth that was pulled yesterday. Don’t worry- I don’t look like a hillbilly, it was just a back molar. It has to be extracted due to “an advanced infection that has been there for quite some time and has gone into the bone.” I just had dental work done in the beginning of February and, according to the last dentist I went to, somehow it was missed. At least it is taken care of now.

My choices were to get a root canal and have to wait 6 -12 weeks for the infection to clear OR get it pulled and wait 2 weeks. The choice was easy. Generally after surgery the doctors want to wait 4 weeks before starting chemo. But then I got a skin infection. The day that cleared up I found out I have a tooth infection.

So as you can see this battle has not been an easy one but I feel confident because I am fully equipped with my weapons of mass destruction:

1. A positive attitude
2. An incredible husband and children
3. An amazing support system of family & friends
4. Knowledgeable, compassionate doctors
5. Cancer killing medicines
6. Help with my new diet to keep cancer cells away

Next up on the agenda:
*4/2 – sign papers to move forward with treatment
*4/6 – port placement for chemo
*4/9 – first chemo treatment

Thank you so much for your support. I know I will win this battle and when I am done I will continue to battle and raise awareness of this awful disease to support my fellow cancer warrior sisters who are still fighting.

~Wendy 🙂

IF YOU’RE JUST JOINING ME, thanks for reading, here is my story:

I am a 45-years-young Mom of 3 amazing kids, a one-year-old black Lab rescue puppy and an incredible husband of 20+ years. I sing, play bass and am the editor for an online group of news websites.

I found out on 2/4, World Cancer Day, the same day doctors told me my teenage son would be okay after life-threatening emergency appendix/intestinal surgery, that I have breast cancer. They originally said it was Invasive Ductal Cancer (IDC), a very common, highly treatable cancer. My prognosis was good. I had a lumpectomy on 2/17 and I thought I’d have surgery, do 6 weeks of radiation and then be done and ready to rock.

I thought wrong. My doctor told me on 2/23 that I actually have Triple Negative Metaplastic Carcinoma. This is a very rare and aggressive type of cancer. Triple Negative only occurs in 15-20% of women and Metaplastic is extremely rare, only occuring in 1% of women compared to Invasive Ductal which occurs in 80%.

The good news is that it has not spread to my lymph nodes. I am only Stage 1. The bad news is that this type of cancer can come back and spread to other parts of the body (bones, skin, lungs, etc.) so I will need to monitor it closely. I will need lifelong care and this is something I will always have to deal with.

As soon as I found my lump (oddly while dying my red hair), I knew that my cancer diagnosis had to be about something much more than just me. I was low risk, no family history and get a mammogram each year. But I still got cancer. So I began an awareness campaign on my blog:


I did this to remind people to do monthly self breast exams. Through posting selfies of their clothed left boob, and using the hash tag #MyLeftBoob, dozens of women and men are helping me remind people of the life-saving importance of doing monthly self breast exams.

Because my cancer is an aggressive kind, treatment will be aggressive. I’ll be doing chemotherapy beginning in early April. I’ll lose my fiery red hair, dark eyebrows and long eyelashes. But I won’t lose my sense of humor, inner strength or fighting spirit.

The best thing I can do now to get better is to eat healthy, get lots of rest and stay calm. Part of keeping stress levels down will be not worrying about all the bills piling up since my son’s surgery (his 3rd in 3 years) which are now adding on to mine. My husband has a high deductible insurance plan that we have to pay before it kicks in. Then there are the prescriptions, the treatment (many months chemotherapy followed by radiation), a special cancer killing homeopathic diet plan, chiropractor bills (I also have 3 herniated discs in my neck) and other expenses related to my illness such as housecleaning, travel and wigs. Wigs are expensive!

For the past 15 years I have volunteered thousands of hours to church groups, community groups, arts groups and many more organizations through volunteerism. In 2012 after the tragedy of 12/14 in Sandy Hook, I helped my hometown heal by founding the Sandy Hook Arts Center for Kids (SHACK).

Through art, music and pet therapy we ran free events and classes so children, youth and families could heal through the arts. I donated thousands to pay overhead expenses when the donations stopped. I did this gladly because I felt this was the least I could do to help.

Whether you want to call it good karma or reaping what you sow, I’m hoping that the good I’ve put out over the years will come back to help me and my family in our time of need. Any amount you can spare will be so greatly appreciated.

I will fight as hard as humanly possible. And when I’m done I will call upon divine inner strength from above to fight for me the rest of the battle. And I will win. I will stay positive and keep my sense of humor. Read more on my blog- http://www.wendipoprock.wordpress.com

Will you join my fight?

Thank you for reading my story and for your donation. Please share if you know someone whose life has been touched by cancer.

~Wendy Mitchell

Follow me on Twitter & Instagram: @WendiPopRock

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