I'm an actor, producer, director and teacher. It's what I do for work, but it's also what I do for love. I've created my dream day job where I get to teach actors to be empowered and self sufficient. I'm very lucky to be able to run an amazing theater company, The Seeing Place, with an equally amazing man, Brandon Walker (who happens to be my boyfriend of 3.5 years.) I have a strong pedigree of "things" I've accomplished, but with 3 little words - "You have cancer" - what seemed most important starts to look hazy.
I'm surrounded by loving people - my best friend Candice and the incredible ensemble members of The Seeing Place, as well as my mom, my brother, and my mentor Laura Whitten (who aren't local but send support from afar.) People have come out of the woodwork with advisement, love and encouragement.
It's been a whirlwind since my diagnosis, and I don't even have all of the facts yet. So far, what I know:
I have Stage IIB Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. There is 1 lesion that is 2.1cm. It is "triple negative" - Estrogen Receptor Negative, Progesterone Receptor Negative, and HER/2 Negative. This means there are no targeted therapies that they have found to fight this, so I'll be doing a full, aggressive course of chemo and radiation to get healthy again, in addition to a lumpectomy to remove the tumor.
People have been saying, "Erin - you're such a fighter." I don't really know what that means, but I do know that taking bold action is something I've always been passionate about. I'm also starting to recognize that my body isn't indestructible, but I've been operating like I would always have boundless energy. I feel like this is the universe telling me to SLOW DOWN and I don't like it one bit!
I will be putting all of my medical updates on this website, so if you want to know the nitty gritty of appointments and prognoses, subscribe to these journal updates. You can also look at the calendar to find out which procedures are coming up. Journal entries will be written by me and, on the days I'm too weak, by Candice, Brandon and my mom.
I'll also be talking about the greater implications of cancer - what I'm learning in my life and how it's affecting me - on my personal blog: The Erin Cronicals [www.erincronicals.com]. I already have so many things I want to talk about, and I look forward to reopening up to you.
Please do leave comments here and on my blog and let me know you've been by. I've never been so good at asking for help or showing my vulnerability, so hearing from you will make all the difference.
Now, let's kick this cancer's ass!