Deanna Christopherson

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in September of 2008. I had a 2 cm mass on my right breast that they think had been growing for 2 years. In October, I underwent a bilateral, radical mastectomy with reconstruction. They also took several lymph nodes on the right side that also had cancer cells and they felt they had gotten it all. Six weeks after surgery I started chemo and radiation, finishing the following June with a clean bill of health. They continued to monitor my tumor markers every 3 months. Right after I started chemo, my eldest daughter and her husband and daughter moved in with my teenage son and I, to help me through the chemo. They were with us until the following Spring. Everything went great until Feb. of 2010, when my house caught fire and we lost nearly everything. The town rallied around us and we moved into a rental and slowly started rebuilding. In Aug. of 2010, I met my husband, Mark. By Christmas, we were engaged and were married the following June. However, in April 2011, I received a call from Dr. Bate that my tumor markers were high and I needed a CT scan. That showed a large mass on my liver, that was then biopsied. It was a metastasis from the breast cancer. I started chemotherapy in May and we got married June 4th. Mark has been my greatest cheerleader and caregiver. Right before Christmas 2011, my physician asst. told us that the tumor hadn't changed and they didn't know what else they could do. It was a huge blow. In Jan., we decided to get a second opinion from Cancer Treatment Centers of America in suburban Chicago. They did scans, and found that I was actually in remission! However, in Aug. it returned and I started chemo again. Since then, I have been on some sort of treatment every 3 weeks...it will slow it down, then it comes back. I will be on treatment the rest of my life to keep the cancer at bay. Going to Chicago every 3 weeks can be tiring and expensive, but well worth it because they have saved my life. We are blessed.

I had heard about My Happy Haven by watching KIMT do a story on another woman with cancer who had her bedroom done. I was talking to my daughter about it and she contacted them to nominate me. I have a lot of days that I spend time in the bedroom because of fatigue and overall not feeling well. This would give me a place to go that is truly a "haven" for me.

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