Warning: is_dir(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/) is not within the allowed path(s): (/storage/content/86/1009386/bernardritchey.com/:/storage/configuration/wrappers/86/1009386/bernardritchey.com/:/tmp/) in /storage/content/86/1009386/bernardritchey.com/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 1623 Walking with God through the fight of our life...inflammatory breast cancer - Bernard Ritchey Warning: is_dir(): open_basedir restriction in effect. File(/) is not within the allowed path(s): (/storage/content/86/1009386/bernardritchey.com/:/storage/configuration/wrappers/86/1009386/bernardritchey.com/:/tmp/) in /storage/content/86/1009386/bernardritchey.com/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 1623

I haven’t written a blog in a while, mostly because life has been kind of hectic and crazy. I can tell you that if it wasn’t for our faith in God, our love for each other, our amazing church family who has surrounded us in this battle and God bringing amazing people into our lives at the perfect moments, I don’t know how we would survive this.

My wife is the most amazing person I have ever met and is absolutely the love of my life, so when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in October of 2013 it was like a kick in the gut and if it wasn’t for her amazing strength I would have lost it. Cancer was a really scary thing and I was really concerned but then things went surprisingly well. She went through 3 different chemo treatments, which didn’t shrink the tumor at all but the doctors did not seem concerned and went through with the lumpectomy in May and then after 27 rounds of radiation, in August of 2014 we were told she was cancer free.

We celebrated by going back to Rivera Maya, Mexico where we got married and had a great time, for 7 days we enjoyed being “cancer free”.

After surgery and during radiation, we had some concerns, some of my wife’s incisions seemed like they were infected and she had a lot of painful swelling but we were told by the surgeon, the plastic surgeon, the radiation oncologist and the chemotherapy oncologist that is was normal and not to worry about it. My wife also complained about a painful hard knot in her armpit which she was told was “just scar tissue and nothing to worry about”.

My wife’s arm also started swelling up and she was diagnosed with lymphedema and started seeing a lymphedema therapist for that problem. This whole time we were going back to these doctors trying to convince them that something wasn’t right, her right breast was continuing to swell, turn red and get very hot. We were told, this is common and not something to be concerned about. I even started to question whether my wife was being over cautious or over sensitive, after all, these professionals said there is nothing to worry about.

In January the swelling was getting very painful for my wife and we headed back to the surgeon’s office, when she walked in the room and saw my wife, we instantly saw the concern on her face and she started the conversation with “we would all agree this is a lot worse and not what I saw the last time you were her, wouldn’t we?”
Obviously we didn’t know what was wrong but the Dr.’s job had now gone from treating my wife to covering her behind and I was concerned. She wanted to schedule a biopsy for 2 weeks later at her office and we left.

2 days later the swelling got much worse and my wife’s arm had swollen to 3 times the size of mine and she was in extreme pain, the surgeon was not in the office so we went to see the oncologist who decided she probably had an infection and should be started on antibiotics. 4 days later my wife was in extreme pain and called the oncologist to tell him if he didn’t have another path to help my wife, I was taking her to the emergency room, which I did.

5 days in the hospital on IV antibiotics did nothing either and we were told that my wife most likely had something I had never even heard of, inflammatory breast cancer…the most rare and dangerous form of breast cancer and the biopsy that was performed at the hospital confirmed it…

To be continued…