30, Pregnant and Diagnosed with Breast Cancer

Welcome to the Oesch Family Blog. This blog will allow you to follow along as our family grows, we tackle my breast cancer and live life to its fullest.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Team Jenna #1 in Kansas City

KCUMB's Team Jenna was the #1 Team in Kansas City's American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer team fundraising. Team Jenna raised $9,670 for research and education to find a cure for breast cancer. Thanks to all that came out and joined us to help celebrate more birthdays each and every year!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Story Went a Bit More Public Today

I wanted to document my cancer and pregnancy journey not only for my reference, my families' and our baby girl but to pay it forward to other women battling breast cancer. Through this blog I have been able to reach many people across the nation and share my story.

That story went a bit more public today. I had the opportunity to be interviewed by the St. Louis NBC station, KSDK, to share my journey, my positive spirit and a glimpse into the world of being pregnant and tackling breast cancer simultaneously. There are emotional roller coasters, there are good days and there are bad days but it really is your spirit and attitude that will get you through.

Also, it is very important to me to continue to educate on the importance of annual exams, self breast exams and the basic understanding that breast cancer can happen to anyone. I didn't have any breast cancer history in my family but now we do. And more and more young women are being diagnosed on a daily basis and they too can get through this battle with the support of family, friends and positive attitude.

The link from KSDK's website:
Jenna Oesch battles breast cancer while pregnant
Carrying your first child is one of the most exciting moments in a woman's life. In this MomsLikeMe.com segment, we meet an expecting mother who's dealing with more than just the challenges of pregnancy.

Jenna and Rett

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

13 More Treatments Til Baby Oesch Arrives!

As my close family and friends know, football runs deep in my family and fall is one of my favorite times of the year (very close second to summer since I am a sun goddess). The weather has low humidity, is perfect to be outside and football takes over the air waves- college and NFL.

To celebrate football season and the fact that the Rams are 3-3 (woo hoo, we have won 3 straight home games, the most since 2004!) we had NFL Day  today at my third chemo session! We had a tailgate (well minus the fabulous weather, truck tailgate and the beer, but there was plenty of jerseys,  cupcakes, chips and dip, apples, soda with koozies, balloons and of course Rett's football pillow he has had since high school.

My niece, Cora, even colored in some photos for us to hang on the wall to spruce up my cubicle. I even had my own 1-1 Rams break down delivered via Coach/Analyst Brian Billick. And may I say that he believes the Rams can make it to 8-8 this season; much better than 1-15 last year (we are all missing Mark Clayton but hello Denario Alexander- MIZ!!!)

Here are some photos from the day. We are definitely celebrating have 3 down and 13 treatments to go until we meet our precious baby girl.

Dad with Jenna
Kristen and Jenna with Cora's drawings on the wall

13 more to go!
 A special thank you to Aunt Jo for making the quilt photographed below. It was great to have on hand at this treatment to keep me warm and comfortable in the sterile environment of the hospital, although we do try to have fun with it! Thank you again for your hard work and thinking about me to personally bless it before you sent it. It means a lot to me and Rett.

I have my plastics consultation on Thursday where I hope to get many important answers to many key questions. The current plan is to have surgery (lumpectomy or mastectomy) three weeks after delivery. My main concern is obviously the recovery time and the lack of bonding time with my daughter; I have heard recovery is around 8 weeks for mastectomy and for first few weeks I would be limited to lifting a jug of milk- doesn't quite cut it with a newborn. More info to come soon on the surgery, radiation, third round of chemo and hormone pills.

Tonight Rett, my dad and I went to PF Chang's for dinner and my fortune read: "You have the ability to touch the lives of many people." I do hope that through my blog and sharing my experiences, more and more people can become educated on the effects of breast cancer on younger women (and pregnant women) and why it is so important to continue the fundraising efforts. Oh, and I also learned that you say "salt" in Chinese as "yan." Just in case you were wondering.

Love always,


Monday, October 18, 2010

What a Beautiful Fall Weekend!

One of my favorite things in life is being Aunt Jenna. I have the most beautiful nieces and nephew and I was lucky to feel healthy enough to join them at Eckert's this weekend to apple pick and pumpkin hunt.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the day.
Cora picking apples for Uncle Rett
In the majority of pictures, Cora is saying "Cheese" during the photo and this time so is Aunt Jenna

All of the "kids"

Big girl Cora just came down the blow-up slide

Uncle Rett and Avery


Will smiling after a long nap.

Our pumpkin. Rett was making me hold it!

Cheese! Cora and Avery.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The "Crazy Chemo-Lady" fighting cancer with a smile

Last night, the St. Louis NBC station, KSDK, aired a piece on my "cancer" friend, Jodi. If you remember from an earlier post, she is the one that coined the term "the yucks."

She has definitely been an inspiration to me and how to approach my cancer and treatments with a positive attitude.  Mike Bush and KSDK did a wonderful job on showcasing her positive spirit but also the emotional battles that every survivor and survivor's family face throughout the long journey.

Please continue to keep Jodi and her family in your thoughts and prayers. She is meeting with plastic surgeons over the next week to determine her surgical course of action in November.

To read Jodi's story and see the journalistic piece, please go to the below link:

Monday, October 11, 2010

Great News to Share

Rett and I had a great Monday! We started the morning off with our 20 week ultrasound. We re-confirmed that our baby is a baby girl and a healthy baby girl at that. All of her tiny organs are working and developing just as they should and she is growing on track. We were able to see the four chambers of her heart, her lips, spine and bones. She is a very strong baby for enduring all of this! We can't wait to meet her!

Baby Oesch at 20 weeks.

Baby Oesch is now 11 oz; She has almost doubled in weight in the last three weeks and is now about 9" - 10" long.

I am feeling great and my baby bump has definitely started to show  more prominently this week.
Rett and I then met with Dr. Lyss, my medical oncologist, for a check-up after my first two rounds of chemotherapy. We received wonderful news in that my tumor has shrunk anywhere from .3 - .8 cm and Dr. Lyss says everything "couldn't be going better." With that, we will continue with the original plan which contains 2 more A/C chemo treatments and then I will begin my next chemo drug (the weekly infusions) on 11/30.

Dr. Lyss is happy with the lack of symptoms that I have endured and stated that I should have more "tolerance" to the next chemo drug as it isn't as nasty as a drug.

Rett and I went to the Lake of the Ozarks this past weekend to relax, enjoy the wonderful fall weather and look at the changing foliage on the trees.  

Here are some photos from my dad's new condo. I was able to get out and get some exercise. It is amazing the impact this has on my body; I used to be able to do 45 minutes on the StairMaster at the gym and walking up 69 (yes, my Dad counted) steps from the dock to the condo was exhausting!

Thanks for all the continued support and thoughts and prayers. They are working!
Hugs and Kisses,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jenna's Bosom Buddies Gets a Sponsor

Congratulations to the Dallas Team Jenna! Due to extra efforts from the team and the submission of an essay, Massage Envy has chosen Team Jenna to sponsor for the Dallas Race for the Cure! We even get our own fun logo!
As the winning team, Team Jenna will receive:
  • A $1,000 donation to Susan G. Komen in Team Jenna's Name
  • T-shirts for team members
  • 3 Massage Envy gift cards
  • A VIP tent with Massage Therapist for the team on race day
Please join the efforts in Dallas, Texas today!


Thanks to the great team effort!

Soy and Breast Cancer: What is the Verdict?

I have been at home for the last couple of days as my energy level has been at zero. But as people keep reminding me I am fighting cancer and carrying a baby. I guess I need to allow myself to take it easy and relax a bit.

As we all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One can't turn on the television or radio without hearing something about it. Which is great, don't get me wrong. The awareness, the sponsorships and the fundraising is absolutely incredible. It just isn't so fun to be constantly reminded of my current situation.

Anyways, I had Dr. Oz on in the background and he was talking to the effects of soy based foods on breast cancer.

Here is the blurb from his site:
Hello, everyone! I hope that you are not overwhelmed about the breast cancer information that is presented during Breast Cancer Awareness month. I think it is great that we have so any supporters to fight against breast cancer. I see so many women wearing pink ribbons for the cause, and men are getting involved too.  I wanted to discuss a hot topic these days, and that is soy and breast cancer. Soy, also known as phytoestrogens or isoflavones, is currently used for hot flashes and menopausal symptoms and is also being used in high protein foods (soy protein). Questions that have been raised include: does soy lower breast cancer risk or does it increase breast cancer risk? The evidence is not quite clear and actually may do both. Previous studies do show conflicting information but the evidence seems to suggest a small overall reduction in breast cancer risk. It may induce cell maturity which could lower one’s risk. Animal studies have also shown that soy may increase breast cancer cell spread by behaving like estrogen. When rodent mammary cells are exposed to isoflavones, the estrogen receptor is activated and causes normal cells and cancer cells to grow. So what is a woman to do? I have some recommendations about soy consumption:
  1. Women with breast cancer should avoid regular soy.
  2. Women who are at high-risk for breast cancer should also avoid regular soy.
  3. If you would like to add soy to your diet, you should consume it naturally in foods and avoid supplements. Soy is in tofu, soy milk and soy beans. Highly processed soy supplements may have more biological activity and need further study concerning their safety.
  4. If you have breast pain, soy is best avoided since it can also cause breast pain.
In conclusion, more good studies are needed to answer the questions about soy and breast cancer risk.

Interesting information that will be continued to be studied.