In Conversation with Preeti Vasudeva, owner of Preeti Exclusive Events (USA)
When were you diagnosed?
I was originally diagnosed in Feb 2015 with Stage 2A. In Feb 2019, I was sent for emergency CT scans as my tumor markers started to rise. After 2 biopsies, it was confirmed in April of 2019 that it spread to my spine, making it stage 4.
What were your feelings when you received the news? How did you cope with them?
After the shock wore off, I just planned this like I would for any other couple. I started mapping out my appointments, which doctors to meet when, how to juggle my weddings in between. My coping mechanisms really came from staying positive and only aligning myself with those that will offer support, not be sad around me. It was already such a hard situation to adjust to so I didn’t need unnecessary stress from family or friends that didn’t understand it.
How long and intense was your treatment process?
In 2015, I went through 4 rounds of chemo (my hair fell off before the 2nd one) and 35 rounds of radiation (7 weeks at 5 days a week, where I got 3rd degree burns). From 2019 to current, I go to the hospital every 4 weeks for 3 large injections and take 2 pills orally. Every quarter I receive an IV which is pretty painful. I am usually in bed rest after that.
How did you feel when you realised the tumour has come back and gone into your spine?
I was heartbroken. I did EVERYTHING I could to stay healthy. I started doing more yoga, meditation, became vegetarian, stopped using the microwave, changed all of my makeup products that contained parabens. Some of these were just my own research, not necessarily what the doctors said, but I still felt so betrayed that after all of that, as it still came back. 30% of survivors from stage 0-3 do have a reoccurrence, I was just praying I was not in that category.
How did you cope with your events through your treatment? Was it stressful?
It was stressful, but I learned to manage that early on. My clients, vendors and team knew so the important thing was to do what I can and have the team pick up where I may need rest. The client should never see that, but they were all so loving and supportive. Having the right team to support you and manage your commitments is key which helped me through this.
What advice do you have to give to women who are fighting a similar battle?
STAY POSITIVE. Nothing is going to change by being upset or crying every day. Live your life with zest and purpose and keep fighting. Your mindset is 50% of the battle and the drugs are the rest. Surround yourself with loving energy and join a support group. As for work, listen to your body and do what you can. You’re not meant to be a machine, but staying active can help your body through fatigue. I am here for any guidance or support anyone may need.
Preeti Vasudeva continues to support those battling breast cancer and is part of multiple support groups. You may connect with her on firstname.lastname@example.org