A Message from Our Founder
Hi there! My name is Daylani, or Beautiful Day as my husband liked to call me. First of all, thank you for logging on to our website. I hope the information I gathered over the last five years will be of help to you. All my doctors were hand-picked and I hope you will do the same with yours. After all, it’s your body and nobody cares about it like you do. You are in control of it. Nothing will happen unless you tell them to. You are the VP of your own destiny.
With this said, let me tell you about the process I went through. I was officially allowed to join the club on December 4, 2001. This is not when I noticed a lump in my breast of course. Months before, my husband and I went to my Ob-Gyn to ask her about a lump I had in my right breast. She assured us it was nothing to worry about since young women have a tendency to have fibrocystic breasts. And because I was only 28 years young, it was probably just that. My husband and I were naive and took the doctor’s word for it. I can still hear her say, “Don’t worry about it.”
A few months later, it looked more like a rash, and again we went to the same Ob-Gyn. “Well, it is probably just a rash,” she said. This time, we got a little nervous so we went to see my general doctor. He was very worried and sent us to a specialist, a surgeon; he didn’t know what to make of it either. After some time and numerous inconclusive mammograms, I went for an ultrasound at our local hospital. The radiologist, who hadn’t even looked at the ultrasound yet, took one look at my breast and said, “I hope I’m wrong, but I’ve seen this is a thousand times and this looks and feels like cancer.” After the ultrasound, I had a biopsy, and both tests confirmed what she said. My diagnosis was breast cancer stage IIIB. (You can find out more details on stages in another part of this website, but basically this stage meant that my tumor was quite big and had already spread to the breast skin and internal mammary lymph nodes). My world fell apart.
Did this mean I was going to die? Although the survival rate for breast cancer stage I is 98%, the rate for stage IIIB is 50%. What was I to do? First things first, how do I get rid of it? Who can get rid of it for me? I bought my self a binder (highly recommended) and started to prepare myself. I wrote down all the questions I had about the disease. If I was going to win this battle, I needed to know everything there was to know about my enemy. (This is our advantage girls! We are in the internet generation and we don’t need to take crap just because the doctor says so). My binder contained little chapters for each doctor. All my test results were in there. I learned about PET scans, MRIs, etc. Education is the first step to survival! Find out what you are dealing with. I went to oncologists; changed oncologists, once, twice, three times. I found my radiologists on recommendation. I went to a surgeon, didn’t like him; looked further; went to a plastic surgeon, didn’t like him either. I wanted to find the best. And I can definitely look back and say I had some good doctors. From Harvard to UCLA from Orange County to LA County, I looked for the best I could find.
No treatment was spared. First, I was poisoned (and by that I mean with doses of chemotherapy). I lost the whole HAIR thing! (And I will tell you more about that in another part of this website. Believe me when I tell you, you don’t have to settle for no grandma wig!) When the poisoning was done, I was ready for the cutting. They did an excellent job on the surgery, especially the new breast. Wow! I have to admit though that I had to get used to it. They took a flap from my back and made a new breast with it. Pretty amazing what they can do nowadays. But then they found out the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes in my armpit as well. Bad news! So, there was some more chemo. And finally I was ready for the burning, the easiest of all, radiation.
All in all, it took about 10 months, but hey, I was cancer-free. Besides the hormones I was taking and the scars on my right breast, I was doing okay. My hair started to grow back and my husband took me to Hawaii. It was all going to be just fine.
About a year later, I went to see my physical therapist for upper back pain, thinking it was due to the surgical scars. After a month of pulling and stretching, my therapist advised me to see my oncologist. An MRI brought us some bad news. The enemy was back and had taken up residency in my spine. I was now in Stage IIIB with metastasis to the bones, which is equivalent to a stage IV diagnosis…the last stage. My chances for survival dropped to 16%. Shit!
From there on the cancer slowly but surely took hold of my body: from the bones to the lungs to the liver and then to the brain. I went through almost every single chemo and hormonal therapy in the book. I went through many different regimens of pain meds and anti-nausea meds. I changed my diet, did acupuncture, and other holistic stuff. You name it, I tried it. My end result is a true testament to that fact of life that not every story has a happy ending. If you would like to know more about my journey, you can email any of the officers of the Beautiful Day Foundation. They will be more than happy to fill in the blanks for you.
Take this disease very seriously: fight it with all your heart! Involve anybody who offers. Let them drive you to your chemo, your radiation or to your doctor’s appointments. It will be a hard fight, but it’s worth fighting. I’ll be watching over you.
1973 - 2006