Chemo is a real snoozefest

Holy Smokes everyone! You can sure make a girl feel spectacular! The word “overwhelming” doesn’t even begin to describe what yesterday was for me. The outpouring of support and encouragement and compassion was all-encompassing. I struggled for a long time deciding whether I wanted to go public with such a private matter but hearing your stories has been the best affirmation that I made the right choice. I spent the day laughing, crying, sending up prayers for you all, and reading each and every comment you posted. I’m so inspired by your stories. Every time I read “I was 26…”, “…Diagnosed at 32”, “I have two beautiful children now”, “I love my new hair!” I felt the most powerful wind at my back, lifting me and surrounding me with so much comfort and excitement! “It’s a sorority nobody wants to join, but we got picked!” said Kristi in one of the comments. Ain’t that the truth! I’m so humbled to have you all as my “sisters”.

As you can see from the photo below, the “Couture” part of this blog is coming later. In fact, the next few posts will likely be more expository while I catch you all up on the details. My mind is racing with post ideas based on all your feedback, plus I’ve had many fashion people approach me over the last 24 hours so I’m over the moon about what beautiful things I’m going to get to try and share. But first, I’m going to unleash some of the posts I’ve already written. They’ll be coming pretty quick so I hope you’re ready! Besides, I can’t quite delve into my tips and fashion findings until I know what I’m up against with this treatment. But trust me, I’ve got big plans! So in the meantime, Chemo first, Couture to follow!chemo1

Here I am. Day one of my chemo journey.

“Are you nervous?”-asked the sweet, mild mannered nurse as she took me up the elevator.

“No, not really. I’m ready. Lets do this”- I replied.

“Cuz it’s ok to be nervous”

But I’m not. I’m ready. The truth is, I had been preparing for this moment for months and short of having war paint on my face, I couldn’t have been more poised to kick ass.

As I mentioned before, I spent a lot of energy trying to avoid chemo. In my particular case, my tumor is an estrogen receptor-positive tumor (H2-) which means it’s feeding on my own hormones. I also immediately did genetic counseling and am not a BRCA1, 2, or P53 carrier. No history in my family either but that’s not surprising since both my mother and father had all brothers, although breast cancer in men is possible as well.  Based on all these facts, the original plan my doctors cooked up was to put me into medically induced menopause and to eliminate estrogen from my body. The list of fears that a non-estrogen existence created was endless: was I gonna grow a beard? What about hot flashes, mood swings, weight gain? I’m telling you ladies, estrogen is an awesome thing. How was I supposed to live without it? Every woman of a certain age goes through it but very few do it in one day like I did. But I actually handled it very well and to be honest, I’m quite enjoying it. I’m more even-keeled without the monthly spike of hormones and I’m saving a ton of cash on tampons. I was able to continue to work, keep my hair, and still feel energized and healthy while feeling like I was saving my body some major stress.

The ultimate problem with this plan came a few months later when we realized it wasn’t working. Despite all my doctors telling me the tumor felt smaller, an MRI revealed the bugger hadn’t budged. I realize I failed to mention earlier that my carcinogenic roommate is a whopping 8cm. 8 by 6 by 5.5 to be exact. I have had barely A breasts my whole life so basically I have a boob inside my boob. Front to back and left to right. This was what made it difficult to diagnose since it just looked like extremely dense breast tissue. When people hear that it hasn’t spread to my lymph nodes they always say, “Oh I’m so glad they caught it early”. To which I wanna scream “THEY DIDN’T!”. I have been doing regular check ups since age 25 because of my cystic breast. I was having yearly ultrasounds because of two lumps that didn’t go away. Everyone dismissed them as cysts because no one is looking for breast cancer at that age.  When blood started coming out of my nipple they thought it was just clogged ducts. Even a mammogram was inconclusive. The only truth came from a biopsy. Turns out those lumps were tiny cysts resting on top of a giant beast. I don’t want any more women in their 2o’s or 30’s to have to wait to see blood to be able to get a proper diagnosis. You readers are now an army of proof that something has to change.

That all being said, it is a slow grower since it’s been living in me for around five years and hasn’t mutated and for that I am incredibly lucky. I’m grateful for so many aspects of how my tumor and treatment have played out and this is one of them. I have a slow enough growing tumor that we had time to experiment. So by the time the ultimate decision had to be made, I had been allowed months to fight and wrestle with the idea of what chemo would mean to me, to my future children, to my current body. I had time to spend Christmas with my family before everything changed. I had the smarts to book a last minute trip to Europe with my amazing and adorable boyfriend for a “Chemo-moon”, to enjoy each other before every conversation was going to be about nausea. And because of a delayed flight home, I literally landed at 4:30am, took a three hour nap, and rolled into my first chemo treatment like a rockstar after a bender. Just the way I wanted it.

So after months of basically having the Rocky theme song on loop in my head while I geared up for the fight of my life, you can imagine my surprise when the premeds they gave me knocked me out cold. I slept through the whole five hours. Can’t remember a thing. Thank goodness my mom was there to tell me what a total mess I am while drunk on chemo. Imagine every wisdom teeth video you’ve ever seen on Youtube and add in that I’m surrounded by about 30 people who are judging the new lightweight in the room. Like I said, the “couture” aspect is taking a serious hit at the moment. But never fear: the nurse told me my hair will be falling out in two weeks and to plan a haircut. Stay tuned! I’m coming at you with a new look. Just as soon as I wake up.

 

 

131 thoughts on “Chemo is a real snoozefest

  1. My pre-meds often knock me out as well. It’s worse the first few sessions. My issue isn’t BC, but leukemia that is kept low grade by chemo every 3 months. Beats the alternative though, right? You got this. Stay strong – even when you feel shaky. Give yourself a rest day when you need to and come back fighting.

  2. You are truly an inspiration to EVERY woman. I have never heard of someone fight this disease with such strength, courage and love. You will do this. Kick cancers ass! Love and positive energy is always being sent your way. Xox

  3. Now that you have the first infusion under your belt, that should reduce a lot of the fear and concern. Your body will adapt a bit, so any side effects you do encounter should lessen as the protocol moves along.

    And way to go in deciding to be open with your challenge. I spent two years traveling with my father through his, but he demanded that NOBODY know. Your way is much better. There are going to be dark moments and times of uncertainties. You know now that you have an enormous support group. That will not only help you, but also those closest to you. They, as much as you, need to know you all are not alone. We are here for you too. Use us. Draw strength from us. Together we will get you through this whether from near or afar…

  4. Girl, I’ve always known you were awesome. But to have a killer sense of humor through something as shitty as cancer just blows me away. Stay strong! I know you’ll rock the bald.

  5. hey Krysta baby. I don’t have cancer, nor am I a woman, but I will personally be reading every step of the way and make sure to keep sending you supportive vibes:-) love you and so pumped to see you KICKING ASS!!!! (As you usually do anyway haha)

  6. Hi Krysta, Thank you so much for sharing your story, your adventure, your nightmare. I have never (yet…I’m 62) had the cancer experience and I pray I never do, but I certainly have many friends, colleagues, etc. who have had and who do now have cancer. Some have lost the battle, some have come through with flying colors. All became warriors through their battle. As you said, minus the face paint, you’re ready to kick butt!! I think that kind of attitude is really important.
    I became a fan of yours when I saw you on season 2 of SMASH (still can’t believe it was cancelled). As a Cabaret style singer I’ve followed you on Youtube and various Broadway sites.
    Thank you again for sharing. I’m sure you have tons of loving support around you as well as on this site.
    Wishing you the very best through all of this. You will come out with flying colors. Best, June Kamerling

  7. I think that the greatest thing about this is your overall spirit. You are not letting cancer knock you down! Thank you for your honesty. You do not sugar coat how you feel, but you also aren’t letting cancer run your life. You are in my thoughts and prayers! May God bless you and heal you completely of this cancer!

  8. your attitude is perfect Krysta, I was diagnosed at 42 and was similarly surprised by how “lucky” everyone thought I was because I too had a slow lazy cancer that had not spread to my lymphnodes…I totally felt lucky!! Now I am a bilateral mastectomy and one month on Tamoxifen and I actually do feel lucky to be alive and feel healthy. I look forward to more of your posts. Be well and take care of yourself.

  9. I just wanted to say that when I read your news, I honestly felt my heart skip a beat. I wish you nothing but success and good vibes through your journey. Kick some ass!!

  10. I too was recently diagnosed at 44 with estrogen and progesterone +, her-, invasive ductal stage 2 slow growing I am awaiting my genetic results now for Brca1. I am glad I found your page and thank you for sharing ! I wish you the best and I will be fighting along right beside you.

  11. You have always been an incredible inspiration to me. Ever since I saw Addams Family when I was around 11 years old and then discovered the cast recording a few months later. I found a paper yesterday that I had written two years ago when I met you at a BAA workshop and sang Pulled for you (#whatwasithinking?!?!). Anyway, here is an excerpt from the paper that illustrates the immense impact you’ve had on my life: “The group broke for lunch and I grabbed Krysta before she left. After taking a selfie together, I said, ‘Can I ask you something? How do you get experience while living so far away from New York? My parents won’t let me come here often and I’m not allowed to try out for anything professional until after college.’
    ‘I know it’s tough, but just keep going. One day you’ll be old enough to make your own decisions. Keep doing what you’re doing and don’t get caught up in worrying about where other people are because you can’t change it.’
    I had gone in like a victim of circumstances and left feeling like an underdog. I’ll just keep on doing what I’m doing.”
    After that, I stopped feeling bad for myself and started working my butt off. I found tons of opportunities in my town and have had three professional musical theatre jobs since then as well as taken numerous classes here and I will never forget how you encouraged me. Thank you for that! And writing is one of my passions too and I love that you are putting yourself out there by chronicling this journey. ❤️ -Bailey

  12. Krysta, you’re an incredible human and David and I are both sending every bit of love and all our good vibes (hehe) your way. You’re gorgeous inside and out. Kick cancers ass. X

  13. Dearest Krysta,
    I am a almost 16 year breast cancer survivor! yeah baby!!!!!!!! you are part of a amazing group!!! I am a fan of yours and when i saw your story and watched your video with your amazing friend making that delicous cauliflower mash and avocado drinks i wastruly inspired and i went through it already!! you have an amazing attitude it seems like you have a great deal of support!!God that helps!!! I know you will be ok by just reading your blog, you have an incredible attitude in is truly inspiring, i wish i had it back then! We are all connected through this! I wish you only good times ahead!! When i went for my chemo i brought beautiful pictures to focus on and it helped me!!! I am sending you all my positive energy!!!!!!!! Be Well and Happy Ellen Nathanson

  14. Hi Krysta –
    I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of you. You going public was a huge step but by doing so, you have helped so many other women. I’m excited to see what God has for your future because I feel in my heart that it is going to be huge. You had always inspired me even in High School with your determination, no hold barred attitude. You could walk into a room and the entire room took notice. I’m sorry that you have to go through this at all, but again I truly believe God has a bigger plan for your life.
    Please give your wonderful, amazing, supportive parents a big hug from me. My prayers are with all of you as you go through this difficult time. I wish I lived back in CA so I could come give you a great big hug or help in anyway. Hugs, Love and Kisses, Crystal (aka – Chris’s mom)

  15. Keep going krysta!!
    My friend Breanna had lukemia and her quote was “never give up.” I know she doesn’t want you to ever give up and to always keep going (: I am cheering you on over here and praying for you every step of the way! Sending you much much love! Never give up! <3

  16. Krysta,

    I met you 4 times when you were performing in First Date. You were one of the most humble and down to earth people I have ever met. When I read that you were “ready to kick cancers ass” the news made me so sad but i also felt so much inspiration from you which i’m sure others would say the same. Your whole reaction and determination is amazing and if anyone can kick this to the curb it you! Sending you heartfelt and encouraging vibes! <3

  17. Krysta, I am so in awe of you for sharing your experience! This is helping so many people. God bless you! I am praying for you!

  18. I saw you in First Date ( and in the Addam’s Family and of course in Smash) and you lit up the stage like nobody’s business. I am a true Broadway lover who sees many many shows but this one has become one of my all time favorites. Your energy onstage was infectious, not to mention your beautiful voice and perfect comedic timing. I hated to see the show end and I listen to the cast recording often.

    I am not a “sister.” Have never had cancer so I cannot begin to know all of the emotions you are feeling as you go through your treatment. Just know that there are many people out there like me who have benefitted from your Broadway charm. You have given us more than just a couple hours of musical pleasure. You have brought smiles, light and laughter to all of us and I am hoping this email brings just a little back to you. Please know that I will keep you in my prayers and I hope this journey brings you to a stronger, healthier place. I look forward to seeing you back on the broadway stage real soon.
    My best regards,

  19. Krysta,

    The American Cancer Society sponsor a program called “Look good Feel better”. Local cosmetologists come to help ladies losing their hair or having chemo/radiation adjust their make up to the changes to their skin. For example, I’m fair to begin with and I was so pale while taking chemo and along with the loss of eyebrows, lashes, etc., I really looked weird. My great skin was now as dry as could be so I also had to change skin care products. At the class I attended, we were given a canvas bag with product in it taking skin tone in mind, which we permitted to keep. Some things were samples while others were full sized. Getting tips on looking human really did help me feel better. There were also instructions on how to tie scarves. At first I wore wigs and hats. There were also wigs and hats which everyone was allowed to take one of each, which I did. Then I decided to go straight. If someone didn’t like the looks of my bald head, it was their problem, not mine. When I came across a picture as a bald baby, I had my hubby put that one and now together and he added before and after on them! I really hadn’t changed that much. Having a sense of humor about it all really helped, too. But I believe the class did a wonderful thing for me to change my outlook on what I was experiencing. It also helped to be with others who understood without any long explanations. Sure, every one has different reactions and may have different drugs, but we’re all in this together. I loved your fan who called us a sisterhood. Barbara Delinsky wrote a non-fiction about her fight and also used interviews of others. She used “sisterhood”, too. Understandably your couture part will come later and I think most of us understand. Most likely you’ll have times when you’ll be so tired you can’t think straight. I slept through all of my sessions, too. I would have my I-pod and Kindle with me, but I never read much and never remembered the second song because I was sound asleep! That said, I can hardly wait to see what you will finally have for us! Keeping up with fabrics, colors, etc., makes a huge difference, too. We may all react differently to the chemicals being introduced to our bodies, but at the end of the day, we all fighting the good fight. We are all Krysta’s Sister Warriors. BTW, my radiation oncologist and surgeon both told me they are seeing more and more cases in their 20’s and 30’s with this terrible monster. As far as I’m concerned – it can disappear and no one would ever miss it. Good wishes for you while going through your chemo and after.

  20. wow. what a long strange trip, isn’t it? I was just diagnosed this week, so all of this is new to me. so glad I found your blog and although I am twice your age, I feel like a kid. I also have lymph involvement to go along with the slow moving couch potato in my right breast. going to have breast reduction surgery at the same time as a lumpectomy, but after chemo. so I start chemo in a couple of weeks and look forward (I think) to reading what you have to say about your experiences with it. at this point, taking one moment at a time. the “one day” bit will come later. god bless.

  21. You are an amazing woman! FIERCE beyond imagine! I adore you as an actress and look forward to having you back on the boards or TV or whatever very soon!! You’re an incredible writer! In fact, I see a book in your future! This blog will do so many people so much good…yourself included! May you be blessed beyond belief and may your full recovery be swift!

  22. Hi Krysta! My name is Helane. My husband Jeff Muhlstock was the cameraman on SMASH (he sends his love). So sorry to hear you’re going through this–and yeah, it’s a club no one wants to be a member of, yet all of the members are strong, awesome women!! I was diagnosed a week before my 43rd birthday..great present, right??! Just know that you gotta keep putting one foot in front of the other and find the humor in as much as you can, sounds crazy but it really worked for me. This is just a chapter in your life, don’t let it define you! You will beat this!! Hugs

  23. Hey Krysta!
    I am a huge broadway fan and often check the latest news on broadwayworld.com..plus your twitter…when I read about your battle with breast cancer I was in shock! My cousin was diagnosed at 38 and she is now cancer free! I want you to know that you are in my prayers and that you are indeed going to beat this! I was so proud of my cousin and the courage she had in the midst of battling cancer and was raising 2 kids with her husband. I know you have a huge circle of friends, family and fans that are cheering you on. Stay strong!
    Cheryl

  24. Hi Krysta! It’s Andrea Procter- OCHSA Class of 2000! I am sending love, prayers and well wishes. I will follow your journey and keep you in my thoughts.

  25. Your attitude and this blog, are exactly what I’ve been looking for. I’m 28 and I was diagnosed one week ago. No one understands my lack of fear right now. I feel poised and ready to take this head on, the sooner the better. That fight blocks out the fear. I wish I could articulate it as well as you have. Thank you for this.

  26. I was actually just thinking of you last night as I watched a local production of First Date and realized how many of my fave shows you have been a part of. Addams Family was my first tour and In The Heights is another. So shocked to hear your news. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Rock on!

  27. I will wait with curiosity to see your new hair look!
    I have always had straight hair, straight as spaghetti, but when they are grown again they had became curly !!
    At first they seemed so strange and I found it hard to get used to but now I really like them a lot, more than they were before.
    I hope you will not have a lot of nausea. I, on the advice of the doctors, to relieve nausea ate crackers and drank Coca Cola and worked well.
    A big hug,
    Iris

  28. Krysta, you are my definition of hero! Indeed it may not be the sorority anyone wants to join, but you are certainly giving it a new “healthy” mission statement. Your gift at communication is empowering and an inspiration to all reading your intimate journey. Thank you for your bravery and honesty. You had my heart and admiration when I first saw you at an OCHSA Gala in 2011, definitely after 2012’s PWTP, and again at Chorus Line. Now I am in awe of you and your bravery at bringing us all along with you on this journey and thank you for making that decision! My mother, my daughter’s only grandmother, had her single mastectomy in 1970 at age 48. Like you she heard “lucky it didn’t reach your lymph nodes”. Yes, “lucky” on that point and that it was only one breast, but unlucky with the timing of being 1970. In those days they didn’t do reconstruction, so the scars and disfigurement were there the rest of her life. Reconstruction wasn’t an option to be thought about by the doctors, the hospital, or the insurance companies. It was considered vain and “elective” plastic surgery if you could find a doctor willing to undertake the task. Unlike you she did not, however, need to undergo Chemo. But for a woman whose figure at her age was still knock-out amazing, it could not have been emotionally easy at all, but I never saw her accept the situation with anything less than grace, dignity and retaining her sense of humor. Our family friends were all supportive, but at the same time I saw her female friends all tiptoe around saying the C word as though fearful saying “Cancer” aloud would lead to having it. It could have been easily emotionally devasting to her when after the surgery her nurse walked into her mom’s room crying over my mom having lost one of her breast to a lump no bigger than the size of a small pea. My mom’s response wasn’t meant to be cavelier, but she responded in her typical way of handling matters over which one senses no sense of control by putting a light on the matter with a sense of humor and awareness…in this instance, it was dark humor: She looked at the nurse and said “I’m sorry but there’s no use crying over spilt milk when I’ve lost the cow”. There was a moment of stunned silence and then we all joined my mom’s laughter. (Through the rest of her life when she was openly discussing breast cancer with someone trying to give them courage, she loved to retell that moment and remark.) The next day she was released from the hospital. The day after that she and my dad boarded a plane to Hawaii taking along her bikini and her new breast prosthesis like only the 1970’s could create…heavy and very rubbery….for a “Victory Vacation” celebration. True story! You are standing on the shoulders of some pretty amazing breast cancer surviving pioneer women who were there before you and while I would not wish ChemoCouture upon you or anyone else, I cannot think of a more inspiring voice than yours at this moment ! We send you our love and our prayers!

  29. The process is the most important thing, so as much as I’m sure everyone is looking forward to couture, it’ll be worth the wait! <3 #RockOn

  30. I can relate to this. I remember waking up after a dose of intrathecal chemotherapy, and my hospital roommate said to me, “So — you really have a thing for monkey skeletons, do you?”

    Apparently I was repeating ‘monkey skeletons’ over and over for about a minute after I came back from the treatment room. Gotta love those narcotics!

  31. Hello Lady

    before this day I never heard of you before but you are already inspiring me, I wish you the very best and I
    know you are going to beat this crap, I just know because of you upbeat attitude, maybe sometime I will
    tell you of what I am going thru because of cancer, but in any event, I do wish you the very best.

  32. Hi Krysta!
    Because you’ve got the fire and fierceness to beat this cancer, I know you will emerge from chemo stronger than ever and even more passionate about life. One day at a time, but you are going to be fine. You are in my heart.

  33. Keep on, keepin’ on, Girl.
    I’m cheering for you.

    With love, from a gal in Grand Rapids, Michigan who LOVED seeing you on Broadway in First Date and will love seeing you slay this battle even more so. ❤️

  34. Krysta, it is amazing how you take everything in good stride. You are so inspiring (and not to mention talented, too). Sending positive vibes your way and can’t wait to see you continue kicking ass. We could all learn a lot from you 🙂

    ♡ Carissa

  35. I am 42 and had lumps since I was in my 20s – up until the day of my biopsy they kept telling me they were probably nothing to worry about – fibroadenomas they said…..ha! 8 tumors in one breast and 13 lymph nodes later. Wish it had been caught earlier. I was ready for the onslaught of chemo too but it took its toll – I hope you are able to get through it with minimal side effects. Just the other day a male gay friend told me with all the money I am saving on tampons I could by a Birkin – lol. Have to find humor where you can. You should be proud of yourself for this blog……I am ready to write a book……you got this.

  36. We have some friends in common and both worked in the Theatre but our paths never crossed. I can tell from your posts that I would like you.
    I too was diagnosed dec 19 with stage 2b Breast cancer! I recently underwent a bilateral mastectomy. I am a step behind you with chemo starting in a few weeks so look forward to reading your posts! Thankful to have someone to share the journey with. I have been writing a newsletter to my family and friends! Keep up the good fight and I can’t wait to hear you are Cancer free!

  37. I should also mention that I am almost 2 years out from diagnosis and doing well. I am very open and candid in my journey so I am so relating to you right now!! Oh – and if your eyes start to water from your chemo, dab some Gentear ointment on the outside corners of your eyes – instant relief for hours….

  38. Get it girl! Thank you for your honest and truthful posts! My mom’s best friend and my “aunt” were recently diagnosed with breast cancer. They tried to remove theirs by surgery and radiation for now. It’s crazy how many variations of cancer are out there! I’m so excited to read all of your posts. I have been a fan of your fashion since I met you at the First Date Stage Door and took a picture of your boots before I took a photo of you. You are very stylish.

    I wanted to share with you (if you weren’t already aware of) Penn State Dance Marathon (THON for short). It is happening this weekend at Penn State University and it is a 46 hour dance marathon in which all the funds raised go towards Pediatric Cancer Research and the Four Diamonds Fund which helps cover medical bills for Four Diamonds Families. I am not telling you this because I want you donate. I am telling you this because I want you to know that there are plenty of people out there who are with you in your fight. Those that have been diagnosed and those that are supporters. This weekend over 700 dancers will stand for 46 hours without sleeping in support of pediatric cancer. But they don’t just stand for the kids, even though they are our sole base, they stand for everyone. They stand for everyone who has ever had any form of cancer. More importantly they stand in hope of a day when we don’t have to hold dance marathons and big events to raise money for cancer research because there will be no more cancer to research.

    I danced in 2007 but THON has been a part of my life since I started at Penn State in 2005. I carry it with me every day. I hope you will check it out. It’s really cool to see. The best time to witness it is on Sunday from 12pm-4pm. The Dancers will sit at 4pm but the last 4 hours are really inspiring. You can watch the THON Webcast at http://www.thon.org/webcast

    Stay strong and beautiful! I can’t wait to read more!

  39. Hi Krysta, I had the pleasure of meeting you in Boston for “Finding Neverland”. I’m Jeremy Jordans Grandmother (Nana). I was so dismayed to hear about your diagnosis. I get the feeling from meeting you and from your blog that you are a fighter & a strong young woman & you can beat this. Just want you to know that Jeremy’s whole family (& there are a lot of us) are praying & pulling for you. Sending my love & hopes for a speedy & easy recovery, I’ll be watching for your posts. Nana

  40. I love your attitude. This is why you are going to do amazingly well through this process. My biggest word of advice to all women should be follow your gut and be your own advocate. Cancer is not age bias. Push for sonograms!! I am 39 and I became a member of what i refer to as the WTF club in April 2014 after finding a her 2 neu positive lump and self prescribing a mammogram and bilateral sonogram. I was told In December 2014 I was fine by both my gyno and internist. I am so happy I did not listen to them. I had a lumpectomy in May 2014 and went through 6 rounds of tchp chemo and radiation. Concurrent with the radiation I was hospitalized with pneumonia where I was in the room right next to Bono after he fell of his bike in central park. Pretty cool experience except for the three ribs I broke from coughing. I have a ton now of personal coffee talk stories. I still am continuing on Herceptin every three weeks for a year but my hair is growing back and Herceptin has no side effects. Even though most would refer to this as the worst year of my life I would rather say it was the best because it was the year of saving my life so I can have many more years with my two beautiful children and amazing husband, family and friends. Cheers to your fighting spirit and keep up the amazing attitude. Attitude is everything. Make chemo a time when friends and family can come and have a party with you and make you laugh. Laughter is the best medicine!!

  41. 2x survivor ! Trust you’re gut! Ask questions! Rely on your tribe! Believe that you can and do anything to survive. “The only way out is through.” Robert Frost

  42. Hi Krysta! You’re such a good blogger/writer! I’m a performer and I have a bunch of health issues, and your sense of fun and humor despite all the crap has inspired me so much. Thanks for blogging and for being so open!

  43. Krysta, if they told you that you might have mouth sores, guess what those are the easy ones. I had ulcer like sores in multiple orifices 10 days after my first treatment. I pray that your side effects are minimal. ((Big hugs))

    Dawne

  44. The nausea is not a given sweetheart. I went through my entire chemo course and only had to take one nausea pill. That was when they decided I finally needed a transfusion because my HG was getting too low. So I had 8 hours of chemo on a Wednesday and then had a 5.5 hour transfusion session the very next day.
    I also decided to forgo the wigs and instead bought this cute little hat. Actually I bought the same little hat, in black, in navy, in tan and in burgundy. I think I wore the black one to Margot’s wedding.
    Thinking of you every day…

  45. I don’t know that words can adequately describe just how PROUD I am to be your fan (but I’ll certainly try). In addition to your beautiful singing and acting, I am amazed at your ability to take a situation that could tear someone down and use it to build yourself (and many others) up. Although, I think what impresses me the most is your dedication to truly understanding your diagnosis and treatment. As someone who works in health care, there are few things that make me happier than proactive patients. Having someone ask a million questions, do their own research, and even change their lifestyle for their own betterment is such wonderful motivation for me and reaffirms why I work in this field. Thank you for being one of those patients, and for motivating others to do the same. I look forward to future posts, and I wish you love and happiness!

  46. This blog is spectacular. Thank you so much for using your celebrity in such a positive way. I am a Cancer survivor. I finished chemo this past December. In fact, I was given the “all clear” on Christmas Eve. I wouldn’t wish Cancer on anyone. It is especially hard on younger women because we don’t expect to go through this at our age. Plus there are added complications with issues of fertility etc. It is a really, really tough journey. However I wanted to let you know that, not only will you make it, but you will learn some very poignant lessons you wouldn’t learn otherwise. I don’t know if you are a religious person so I hope I won’t offend you by saying I will pray for you. Again, this is a very difficult journey but it is one that is also filled with beauty. And who knows, this just might be the experience you tap into one day while filming an Oscar winning role:) I sincerely wish you the best. Hugs 🙂

  47. You are truly and inspiration and a beautiful human being. Just know that your fans are here supporting you through everything and I send you prayers and well wishes. You are a role model to so many, thank you for being an amazing person we can look up to!

  48. Thank you for going public on this journey. 42, mum of 7 &8 yr old and also the bearer of lumpy breasts, in 3 months waiting period to see what needs to happen with suspicious lump. Will be cheering you in each step of the way. Peace and grace be yours each day.

  49. Krysta, I love you. And I’m so glad you were that lucky in this case, because I’m not sure if I would have been as optimistic and strong like you if you weren’t.
    Both of my mother’s sisters had breast cancer, though they had it at their 50’s. In their case it wasn’t luck, but the right and early diagnose. And maybe it does count as luck, even if you’re as careful as they and you have been… They came back to life at full force, I’m sure you’ll do the same. And if anything, it will probably add even more depth and fierceness to your acting:)

  50. Krysta. Already you have inspired me so much already on your journey. I am only 16, and I know your intention would never be to gain a fan base, or get sympathy, but you are a soldier, and you are inspiring every single person who has been touched by your life, your career, your flawless musicality, and who will be touched by your journey. All my prayers are with you, and I thank you for your good attitude and positive spirit even through something that is horrible.

    Love forever.

  51. Can I just say, I LOVE your writing style? You have me laughing out loud (tho I feel like I shouldn’t be!).

    Keep up the fight! You got this!

  52. Hi Krysta,
    I was diagnosed in July with Stage 2 Invasive Ductile Carcinoma at the age of 48…I was also blown away with the diagnosis. I feel that it was caught early enough but mine was like yours-a slow growing beast (up to 5cm)
    Had a bilateral mastectomy in October and was fortunate that I didn’t have to have Chemo or Radiation after low scores from an Oncotype-dx test.
    I just finished getting my reconstructive new “girls” only 4 months since I was first diagnosed. Which is all quite overwhelming and very fast…but in reality seemed like forever!
    Like someone else had commented…this is a Sorority that no one really wants to join-but I am thankful for ALL the support and prayers of others!
    I love your tenacity, humor and candor that you’very expressed thru your blog- which is the same thing that helped me get thru this and it will help you too. You will help SO many young women who might think that they’re too young to get this disease.
    I wish you well and stay Krysta-Strong!!

  53. God bless you and your positive outlook! I wish you nothing but the best on this journey and will remember you in my thoughts and prayers. I love your attitude and will look forward to your updates.

  54. So special you are sharing your experience with so many and hopefully having your followers support you during the coming week with be helpful to you as well. Thinking of you and your journey but looking forward to the positive outcome you will have…

  55. Thank you for sharing your journey… I am confident that this blog will serve and educate so many people ! Ilove the humor and your “relatable style” of writing, but I also applaud you for being totally factual and straightforward. I am also CERTAIN that someone reading this will seek medical attention when they most surely otherwise would have avoided a doctor…. So this literally may save lives !!!!!! You rock !
    I am not in the cancer club, but I did have a big fibroadenoma “dinosaur egg” removed recently and the whole process hit home. I am a medical professional (nurse anesthetist). I take care of women every week as they have biopsies, mastectomies, or reconstruction…. But it is a sobering proposition to discover a lump and face surgery of my own. I felt compassionate and educated before, but now I am at least quadruple that. Hopefully that makes some sense !
    I have seen you in 2 Broadway shows and remember how kind and friendly you were after First Date as the music played and you guys signed/took pics. Great memories for us as we come
    1-2 X yearly from South Carolina to catch incredible theater. (In fact, heading there in March for a quick 3 day/4 show-fest). I promise to send positive vibes / prayers your way each day. You’ve Got This… Kick it in The Ass (or better yet, Kick it in the Breast)
    Holly

  56. I have never, ever been more proud and inspired to be a fan of any other person, group, or anything for that matter. I love you, and am looking forward to following your blog and sending love along the way. Kick cancer’s butt. Hard. 🙂

  57. Dear Krysta,
    Thank you for your courage to endure and share your journey with such a positive spirit. cancer, like all disease, is the result of an immune deficiency in your body. Of course, you now know that chemo renders your body completely without immunity to any invasion. Please be careful in your highly public life to protect yourself against even the slightest sniffle.

    The options for fighting cancer are limited and uncertain, and very personal. I believe that you possess the strongest medicine of all – your attitude! I am a victorious cancer warrior, but I chose a different path – against the advice from my doctors and many friends. I did not trust the pharmaceutical recommendation and elected to rid my own body of breast cancer (virtually the same diagnosis as yours) without the chemo and radiation. It took 7 months and i am now nearing three years cancer-free. It is a life-style change considering EVERYTHING I put in my body (what i eat, breathe, and absorb through my skin). I deny cancer what it loves to eat so it starves to death: SUGAR! TOXINS! And provide my body and every cell with healthy alternatives: OXYGEN! ALKALINE-RICH FOODS.

    You have bravely begun your walk. Prepare now for the path that follows so you lead the rest of your life CANCER-FREE. I recommend that you order and watch to “The Quest for the Cures…Continues” produced by TTAC Publishing LLC (The Truth About Cancer) in 2014. It saved my life.

    I pray for your complete healing.
    DivaKate

  58. Hi Kyrsta,

    I was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia last year, two months before my 30th. After three rounds of chemo, a week of full of body radiation, and a bone marrow transplant, I’m happy to say I’m in remission and on the road to recovery. My hair fell off (and grew back), my fingernails fell off (they’re growing back), I lost an octave in my singing voice (it’s slowly coming back), but I’m grateful to be on the other side!

    Due to the bone marrow transplant, I have a weakened immune system, and have to avoid being around crowds/people for another few months. It’s frustrating at times, along with the lingering nausea/fatigue, but I am fortunate to be surrounded by an amazing support network.

    Your version of “Blue Hair” helped get me through a tough break-up several years ago, and reading your post reminded me of the song. Your blog and attitude are “wonderful super fantastic coolness remarkable”.

    Good luck with your journey.

    Much love,
    Luisa

  59. All of your Tumblr fans are sending much love (a little bit of freak-out) your way. We’ll be obsessively making posts in your honor documenting your kick-ass-ness. You a bamf.

    <3 Leah

  60. I’ll never get over how impressive you are! I can’t believe how diligent you were in getting tests and no one caught it for so long. I would be so angry but your acceptance and resolve is definitely teaching me how to deal with things better.

  61. I just wanted to say that I have been a huge fan of yours for a very long time and now I am an even bigger fan! My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010 and has been cancer free since then. I’ve seen first hand the effects of chemo and her other treatments but I know that you’ve got this!!! You’re a very strong woman that’s gonna kick cancers butt!! We will all be here along your journey routing for you. You’ll be in my prayers! (P.S a little tip my mom used is that a lot of times you get a metallic taste in your mouth from chemo and she would always eat with plastic silverware instead of metal to not make the taste worse)

  62. I was also just diagnosed with breast cancer this January at the age 37. I have two young boys. As horrible as it is to go through this it has brought about many positives into our family. I underwent a bilateral mastectomy and will be starting chemo in March. The cancer has made it’s way into 3 lymph nodes as well. Thank you for sharing and I wish you all the strength and healing there is to offer. You are not alone!

  63. I just wanted to say thank you. Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s a beautiful thing you are doing and I wish you nothing but positive vibes along the way!

  64. Hi Krysta!
    I’m sure you get this a lot, but I’m a very big fan of yours. I didn’t get into Broadway until Sophomore year of high school, but as soon as I got into it, you were one of the people I could instantly relate to. Nice but spunky, a sense of humor, the ability to laugh at so much and the drive to get things done. I ended up going to an art school for theatre, not always getting the best parts, and hearing you talk about your life, successes, progress, and growth helped me so much. March of last year, I cut my hair to my chin for the first time (completely inspired by you). It was a way to get over a fear of trying something and also channel my inner short-haired badass.
    Fast-forward to now, I find it ironic that I chose you as a role model because I’ve been a bit of a “medical mess” since I was a kid and was on low doses of chemo (just a weekly injection, but it wiped me out for the entire weekend) from 1st grade to 7th for an autoimmune disorder, on top of various other problems. Granted, I only lost hair in a tiny bald spot on the back of my head, but I know the feeling of trying to find who you are when one of the things on your mind is just how rotten you feel and figuring out your new okay and normal. I’ve always felt like there was no one out there who was successful that had to deal with these kinds of things.
    After I saw your huge announcement, I realized that you really are the warrior I thought/knew you were, and after some consideration about the idea of beauty and what it means, I decided to support you in a more visual way (and challenge my own ideas in the process). I decided if I’m going to be a hair copycat, I might as well do it full out and not just go halfway. In case you wanted to see the change: http://oi61.tinypic.com/v5z595.jpg . In the grand scheme of things, I wish I could do more, but hopefully this just shows how much I, and all your other fans, are here for you.
    Thank you so much for proving that the kind of person I want to be is actually achievable, and for being a fighter in every aspect. Your fans are with you every step, and your spirit will carry you through this.
    Best wishes,
    Cheyenne <3

  65. As a 15 year old, I’d like to thank you for sharing this inspiring story about strenght and determination. It is really beautiful to read your attitude towards this. You’re in my thoughts constantly, and as I read many people say, kick cancer’s ass, girl! You got this!

  66. I have always admired you and your strength, your work and your dedication. I loved you in Smash, and I am deeply ashamed to say I’ve never seen you live. You have been the inspiration for my fututre career, and many fabulous haircuts. I am so sorry to see this happen to you, but I know you have that core of strength that will keep you going. I am unbearably proud to call you my role model.
    You will kick cancer’s arse, I know it.

  67. Mine was also H2- and after I finished chemo, my mastectomy and rads, I did Herceptin for a year. Like yours, my tumor was huge … but unlike yours it was aggressive. It grew from nothing to the size of a baseball in three months & had already spread to my lymph nodes. So be thankful yours is slow growing. I know you are.

    I must admit, although I only cried once, I never said “why me,” had a pity party, got angry or any of the stuff my surgeon said I would, losing my hair was the most traumatic. I did get a haircut beforehand like they advised you to do. It’s much easier to handle when it starts coming out in hunks if it’s shorter to begin with. But there was one day when all my mom could do was come after me with a vacuum because it was falling out so fast. It was hard for me, but honestly harder for her to handle. She cried like a baby.

    I bought a wig and wore it once. It was just too dang itchy, plus with no hair to hold it on, it kept sliding around and trying to fall off. So I ended up going with scarves wrapped around, which was fine. Yeah, it’s traumatic, but look at it this way: at the end of the day, it’s just hair … and you’re still alive. Hair will grow back. Once you die, that’s it. There’s no growing back like hair does. And you’ll get through all this fine and have a full head of hair again before you know it.

    I don’t know what kind of chemo they have you on. I can’t remember the names of mine. The worst part of that was the first couple of Neulasta shots, which they gave me to make my bone marrow produce more blood cells. I tell you what, if you’re getting those, be prepared for some SERIOUS pain the first couple of times about a week after. It’ll feel like there’s a little dude at the small of your back going to town with a tiny jackhammer. Scream and cry if you have to. Let it out. I did one night all night long at the top of my lungs because it hurt so bad. But it gets better the next day. And the BEST news is, after you get over the hump of those first couple of shots, that pain goes away. I actually worried it wasn’t working when I didn’t have the pain anymore, but the docs told me it was normal for that to happen.

    So, you’ll stay in my prayers as you go on your journey. You’ll make it through this. My main treatment (not including the Herceptin) lasted six months. Just think of it as “I’ll do what I have to do then go back to living my life.” I love your pumped-up attitude towards this. That’s what you have to do throughout the whole process. Stay pumped. Don’t back down. Fight as hard as you can. Talk out loud to the cancer and tell it, “You may take my hair, you may take my breasts, but you will NOT take my life!” Pray LOTS. I’m sure you have tons of people praying for you. I did, and that’s the main reason I’m still here today. And while you’re busy kicking cancer to the curb, kick negativity out with it. Negativity is like a cancer and will eat away any progress you make.

    You’re here. You’re alive. You’re fighting. You are strong. YOU WILL WIN. Soon this will all be only a memory.

  68. Can I admit that I fell in love with your short hairstyle a few years back and chopped mine off, and have had it this way since? Love it.
    Although I will never compare myself to a cancer patient, I have alopecia areata, which is just strictly hair loss. I am looking forward to your couture 🙂 i don’t have any eyebrows, and am missing eyelashes on one eye. Pretty!
    Keep up your attitude, it’s incredibly inspiring. Praying for you Krysta!

  69. Krysta,

    I, too, am dismayed by your diagnosis and have you in my thoughts and prayers.
    Your choice to handle the news the in the forthright way that you have speaks volumes and will help you and many others get through this.

    If they have warned you about mouth sores, sucking chipped ice constantly throughout the chemo session can prevent them (of course, you would need to stay awake) and while you get cold, can be totally worth it.

    Also, if you care for it, acupuncture can be very helpful in moving the chemo drugs out of your system more quickly, so you feel better faster.

    Sending you much love.

  70. My aunt’s boyfriend is also going through cancer. This is his second time battling pancreatic cancer. He said one thing that you can do to keep you taste buds and mouth unaffected from the chemo is by sucking on ice pops or just plain old ice. The cold keeps the chemo away. Its works just like the cold caps for your head. Stay strong. You’ll be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Kelsey B

  71. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I’ve been a fan for a long time and it breaks my heart that you have to go through this. My grandma had ovarian cancer and for her the chemo was the hardest part for her because of her hair. She shaved her head and it broke her heart.

    You are a touch chick and I know you’ll kick this in the ass. Stay strong and know we all love you 🙂

  72. Wishing you the best throughout this trying time and loving your inspirational kick ass attitude! Your positivity and honesty is refreshing and incredibly inspiring. I’m excited to continue reading your journey and watch as you destroy Cancer. The Leo in you doesn’t know how to lose, so you won’t. Much love and positive vibes being sent your way!

  73. I am already so excited and inspired by this blog. Thank you for having the courage to share your journey will all of us.
    I am 22 and have fought and beaten 2 different types of cancer. I was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer when I was 16 and I went thorough lots of chemo and several surgeries to beat it. After being cancer free for 18 months, I was told at a routine follow up appointment that while the bone cancer had not relapsed, they discovered that I had leukemia. I battled the leukemia for just under 2 years, and was just told a month ago that I am finally cancer free.
    Cancer is something that can make you feel alone and isolated at times, so it is so uolifti

  74. You are an amazing girl! Thank you for sharing your story. I too am a young breast cancer fighter and I wanted you to know your are among many friends who love you! Sending you strength, love and grace from Alaska. xo

  75. A friend of mine was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple years ago and went through chemo. She struggled a bit with “chemo brain” and ended up participating in a trial of a new non-invasive therapy to alleviate those symptoms. It’s been really successful and I know it helped her a ton. She’s now in remission and actually working in the clinic in SoCal. Here’s a video of Dr. Murphy explaining his work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuUcXPs-u2o

    I’m sure you have excellent doctors to provide you with all kinds of information. And I know that chemo, and all treatments, affect everyone differently and I hope that yours goes as smoothly as possible. But…I figured knowledge is power, and in the off-chance that you ever feel like you might want to look into it, I can help with that. Regardless, I wish you the best and good luck with your treatments!

  76. You go grrl! In addition to everything else you have done, you are now in the IV league! TOUGH doesn’t begin to do you justice – that cancer don’t stand a chance!

  77. I was recently diagnosed with the same type of breast cancer and I want to thank you for being brave enough to create this blog. I was petrified of beginning my chemo treatments, but now I’m inspired to face them with the same amazing courage with which you faced yours. I look forward to your future posts and I will keep you in my prayers as we battle this together!

  78. Sending positive vibes and prayers your way. I’m 12 years c free. Keep strong and happy people around you to make you laugh. Wishing you gods blessings.

  79. dear talented, inspiring woman : every human alive has something fall into their life that dismays and challenges them…. And it’s so easy to lie down under the weight of that challenge. You, however, are a world champion weight lifter and are helping all of us by showing us your muscles! Thank you and brava!

  80. I am 45 living in OC and love musical theater. I am in second round of chemo of treatment for non-hodgkins lymphoma. Hair started falling out end of week 2. On the Friday when it felt so ugly and I hadn’t sorted out wigs yet I brought 3 hat options to work and had my coworkers vote on the hat for the day. I now have 5 wig options (2 free from local Cancer center be sure to check out local resources). Hair for every mood – long,short, blonde, red and dark red. (I was naturally dirty blonde and am loving the red)
    It’s a journey with good days and bad days. But you will cope with the bad and enjoy the good. Sending you positive thoughts and can’t wait to see (and use) some of your ideas. I found aloe water really helped the nasty mouth taste.

  81. Krysta,

    I was diagnosed at 40 with my very first mammogram. My story includes bilateral mastectomy, chemo, Herceptin, and reconstruction. It’s life changing…but you’re about to find out you are stronger than you ever thought! No matter how tough it gets, it’s temporary. Some day treatment will be a memory & a story you share to encourage others. It’s awesome that you are sharing your journey. God bless!

  82. Krysta!! I cannot even begin to express how much I am loving the blog! Mind=blown. Hearing about this in your own inspirational voice is so powerful. Talk about making lemons into lemonade. I know you are hearing this a lot, but you are SUCH an inspiration, and it bears repeating a thousand trillion times. I am so proud of your poise, positivity and humor– truly a rockstar you are, my friend. Sending you so much love and support and waiting with anticipation for your future posts. Keep your head up and we are sending you strength and love! Xoxox Lisa 🙂

  83. Congrats on having the courage to share your story– you have so much support from the Broadway community.
    I’ve coached many women facing this diagnosis through an organization here in NYC “You Can Thrive” and have borne witness to their challenges and triumphs.
    Sending positive energy. MJ

  84. When my hair first started falling out, I cried. By the time it all fell out, I felt like a badass with a buzz cut! I looked hot and I know you will too, Krysta. It’s a different kind of hot but still HOT!

  85. Hi Krysta,
    Congratulations on your first chemo….. I am a cancer survivor, since May 10, 2013, stage 3 breast cancer, estrogen positive and her2 gene positive. I had my left breast removed and 9 out of 12 months lymph nodes removed were cancer. So after 5 months of chemo, 6 weeks of radiation every day except weekends, and 52 weeks of herceptin treatments, through a port in my upper chest. My last breast MRI is normal. No cancer.
    I am 61 and if I can kick cancer’ s ass, so can you. Attitude is everything. You sound very positive. I love hearing that. Keep it up. You are not in this alone….
    Janice Jastrzebski

  86. You’re so lucky you slept through it all! The drugs they gave me had the opposite effect and made me edgy and hard to sit still. Stay strong. You can do it ! You’ve got so many people pulling for you.

  87. It’s inspiring to read your post and all the comments. I know several women who are battling or battled cancer and it always amazes me the fortitude and grace by which they lead their lives. Some are single or single mothers. I don’t pretend to know what they’re going through both on a physical and emotional level but I know it’s an uphill or several uphill battles. I just thank them for all their grit and desire to live a good life because we love them and want them in our lives for a long time coming.

  88. Krysta, your outlook on having breast cancer is going to play a big part in you beating the heck out of it. I love how you take the upper hand and will not give into that “resident” in your body. I had the same cancer which was treated with a partial mastectomy and radiation. That was 2 1/2 years ago and now every MRI, mammo, and ultrasound finds that I was very lucky. No sign of it returning. I want to wish you the very best, given the circumstances, and know that you have a lot of “sisters” praying and pulling for you.

    I did want to share something with you because it meant a lot to me and helped in ways that I cannot describe. It is a little long, so please indulge me. One day as I showed up for my daily radiation appointment I was particularly tired as it was Christmastime and I was feeling a bit melancholy. After my appointment, one of the nurses handed me a yellow lunch sack with something in it. Clipped to it was a beautiful handmade card with glitter that said Merry Christmas. Inside the card was a list of items in the bag. It read as follows: A stick of gum – to remind you to stick with it. A candle – to give you light when you feel burned out. A chocolate kiss – to remind you that someone cares. Smarties – to help you on days when you don’t feel so smart. Lifesavers – to remind you that everyone needs help once in a while. A Snickers bar – to remind you to see the funny side – there is one! A rose – to remind you to take time to smell the flowers. Confetti – to help you celebrate the good times. A penny – with thanks for sharing your thoughts. And finally…A bag – to help you keep it all together. At the bottom of the card it said that the holiday bag and card were made by children at one of our local preschools. The love and joy that filled my heart was overwhelming and I have that bag and card to this day as I count it as one of the most precious things in my life. I found a strength inside of me again and I knew I would need it as the coming weeks of radiation were going to be a struggle. It was almost as if I could feel the love those little angels put into that bag and it rejuvenated me. So, to you, I send a virtual gum, candle, chocolate kiss, Smarties, Lifesaver, Snicker, rose, confetti, penny, and bag for your journey. You will get through this and you will inspire so many along the way. You go, girl!!

  89. I literally laughed out loud when you mentioned passing out during pre-meds. It will happen every time. I would fight to stay awake then my eyes got too heavy and I was out. I wouldn’t worry about the hair loss too much. You sound like you have a great attitude. My hair was down to my butt basically. I cut it to my chin and donated it after my first treatment. Then I started “shedding”. When it came to actually shaving it off I had already mentally prepared myself for it and it was a relief once it was done. You will enjoy not doing your hair, shaving, getting your period. The hot flashes are awful but they DO go away and all your hair WILL grow back. This is just a phase in your life so have fun with it. I wore head scarves during the summer because they were cooler than my wig. Once I got more comfortable I just went out bald. People will stare and it is an adjustment but cancer makes you a stronger person. Hang in there girl, looking forward to following you on your journey.

  90. Hi, Krysta. I know you won’t remember me, but I was the merch manager at ACL your last few weeks in the show. I just wanted to let you know that I, along with so many of my friends on Facebook, are sending you all the love and light and healing vibes we can muster. Your blog is taking over my timeline, which means people are reading and, by reading, are being educated, not to mention inspired. What you’re doing is important and you’ve got a lot of people rooting for you. I look forward to reading your future entries – especially the one in which you get to tell us you’re cancer free. Best wishes to you and your family!

  91. Krysta, thank you so much for sharing this! My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her 30s, and I’ve already had a couple scares myself at 25. It’s something that’s on my mind a lot, and your being so open and sharing your story and thoughts means so much. I’ve long admired you, and meeting you and your lovely costar after a performance of First Date is one of my fondest memories. I’ll be thinking of you and following your story as you go through this journey.

  92. Hey krista:
    Sending nothing but good karma your way!! Regain your strength and health first and career will follow once again.
    Look out ( and I know you will) for numero uno!!

  93. Hey Krysta. This blog could literally not come at a better time in my life. This week I was screened for ovarian cancer. I’m 23 and am going crazy with nerves as I wait for the results of my scans to come back. Hearing about how you’re handling this and the strength you have inside of you to meet it is so inspirational.

    I know you’re going to kick cancer’s ass but I’ll be sending good thoughts you way anyway. Cancer aint got nothin’ on a fighting gal like you.

    Sending love from Canada. <3

  94. The entire theatre community is sending along their love. Welcome to the Woman Warrier’s gang. I’ve been a member for almost 9 years. It’s the club you never want to join but once you become part of it you realize how many loving, caring, supportive people you have in your life. You find out how to laugh at things that would have horrified you before. You also learn it’s ok to cry sometimes. And surprisingly you also learn how to love and care for the others around you because this is so hard on them too. Thank you for sharing. I look forward to seeing you on stage again.

  95. Krista,
    You’re a beautiful person. You’re honestly one of the most inspiring and strong woman I know. I’m gonna be following your blog.
    Sending you tons of love from Chile!

  96. May lovelovelovelovelovelovelove and lightlightlightlightlightlightlight continue to surround your beautiful soul as you share your lovely light with us.

  97. First of all I’m sending all my love and support to you and your family. I’m gonna do this short: you are brave. And optimistic. Never lose that. And you are not only an insporation to every woman in the world but to every human being in the world.
    Love and hugs from Argentina!!

  98. I must add … sorry for admitting this, but honestly I had no clue who you were when Jill’s Wish tweeted about your blog and included a link to it. All I knew was that a woman had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and needed support. That was enough. I came over here immediately. Anytime I get the chance to encourage someone who has been recently diagnosed with cancer (especially breast), I take it since I’ve been through it. I don’t care who it is. Encouragement goes a long way and helps give you strength you fight knowing many people have your back. It did me.

    So, it doesn’t matter to me if you’re a famous actress or a small-town girl like me whose name isn’t in lights. Behind all that, you’re a woman who needs help getting through something that’s not easy, and I’m here to offer it.

    Lara xo

  99. Hi Krysta!
    My name is Taylor Costanzo and I am 22 years old. My father was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer the summer of my sophomore year of high school. He fought hard and strong until he lost his battle a year and a half later, he was only 48 years old. His strength and determination are the things that I will always hold close to me and have them help guide me through life.

    This past summer my doctor discovered a mass underneath my ear and inside my head. The MRI showed that it was a large tumor. I had the biopsy done immediately and it came back benign for the time being. Since I had a small window of time before it could turn I wanted to wait until September to have it removed. That way I could enjoy my summer, as well as still have the two lead roles in the productions that I was in this summer.

    From the moment I found out about the tumor I was determined to not let this diagnoses or this disease take over. So I decided to take action and make sure that I stayed in charge. I named my tumor Ted and I would laugh and joke about the “dates ” we would go on together. But I knew that pretty soon it was time for Ted to go. Yes, I had plenty of days where I felt horrible but I was determined to keep staying strong. I had so much love and support from my friends and family, but most importantly I drew from my dad’s strength and love. I knew that from heaven he would protect me and I would set the same example that he did.

    I had the tumor removed on September 11th at John’s Hopkins. It was a 5 hour surgery, and they actually had to remove my ear to get to the tumor which was a little bit bigger than a baseball. They were shocked by the size and ran 100 more tests to make sure that it hadn’t turned due to the size. By the grace of God they did not find one new cancer cell. But because they had to wait for the results they pumped me full of drugs they give patients who are going through chemo to start the process just in case.

    It was an extensive healing process. I was out of school for 6 weeks, a part of the back of my head was shaved and due to all the drugs my hair started to fall out. I started to lose weight and was incredibly exhausted as a result as well. This was the one time during this whole process when I truly didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

    I’ve also been a singer since I was 5 years old. I studied classical voice at Peabody Conservatory my junior and senior years of high school before pursuing my studies in musical theater in college. Due to where the tumor was located I lost my ability to sing as I could hardly even open my mouth. I was so terrified that I was never going to be able to sing, so when I returned to school in October I had to re-teach myself along with my vocal instructor how to get my voice back. Thankfully my voice is back and going strong. This was the greatest gift I could have gotten because my dream is to be on Broadway one day! Though that was a dark period I remembered how blessed I was to be alive and to be tumor free.

    Everyone always said to my father don’t you ever get angry or ask God “why me?” He would always laugh and say “God only gives you what you can handle.” I held those thoughts with me when I was asked those questions. Yes you have terrifying moments or days where your angry or upset. But you cannot let those days or those moments control you, that’s like letting the disease win.

    I have admired your talent since I saw you in SMASH. I thought you were, and are, a rockstar! After reading your post I realized how similar our ways of coping with this type of news was. You have to be able to laugh, joke, smile, and most importantly, be yourself. You are truly an inspiration and I know without a doubt that you are going to kick this cancer’s ass! You are a warrior, a survivor, and a true inspiration to many.

    Sending all my love and prayers.

    Love, Taylor

  100. Krysta, I’m Andy’s mom and I just wanted to tell you that I am in awe of your courage, wit, tenacity and grace you show in taking on this fight. We are in your corner 100%!

  101. krysta,
    thank you so much for having the courage to share your journey with us and bringing awareness. my aunt was first diagnosed in her late 20s and i spent a lot of my childhood watching her go through chemo, kicking cancers butt and finally being cancer free.
    we flew in to nyc from europe to see you in first date(which was hella awesome) and i was so happy when i finally got to meet you at the stage door because you are a true inspiration and i wish you all the strength in the world!
    xx

  102. It is so beautiful how you are taking something so awful and finding the good and the productivity in it. I’ve always seen you as an acting inspiration, and I am amazed by how incredible you also are off stage.

    Sending you lots of good thoughts and positivity (and maybe some rainbows and butterflies too)

  103. It sounds so wrong to see I am enjoying reading your blog posts but it is true. I am a huge fan of yours and I am so glad that you are sharing this journey. My Mom & sister both have had breast cancer and because I have such dense breast tissue, I am being watched and monitored closely. I am sending good thoughts and positive vibes your way and look forward to watching you kick cancer’s ass. Thanks!

  104. You are my inspiration! I have looked up to you since I first heard you in the Addams Family sound track. I know you can do this and you have all of our support 100%. I’m so proud to say you are my favorite actress and that I got the chance to meet you! Love you dear! Stay strong :* ♥

  105. Reading how you faced the first chemo seriously helped me. I’ve had Taxol for 12 weeks, but in March I start the hard stuff and I’m so nervous. I already feel like shit! I think the wait is worse than actually doing it, or at least for me it is. I hope you’re tolerating everything well! Best of luck and prayers as you go through this! I love reading your blog!

  106. Hi Krysta, have a great day and week, glad you’re pushing forward and treatment gas started, I’d have been scared of the pre med I’m such a scaredy cat. I now get that you’re just getting started with this and as you progress with chemo the ideas fir the couture will reflect your findings. I enjoyed the detail in this post, especially regarding your diagnosis. I think because we are all frightened of breast cancer it’s something we women really wonder about, those details..how did she find out? How did she feel? How did the lump feel? What was the first encounter with a doctor about it? Which direction did it go from there? When did they decide to biopsy? I am interested to hear more details about this and your treatment, I guess more clinical details explained in layman terms I’m interested in. Have a wonderful day and week. pS did they have candies at chemo? When I looked in the chemo room my Dad was in there was always big bowls of sweeties, my Dad would take the entire bowl put it next to him, eat loads of them and read the newspaper as he did chemo, he also liked going in a private room and just watching TV as he did it. He didn’t loose hair or have any really bad side effects except he did get the pigs and needles and maybe numbness in his hands I think, he had v dry skin also… He was prone to it to start with but his hands got v dry with blisters.

  107. Hi my name is Taylor Costanzo and I am 22 years old. My father was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer the summer of my sophomore year of high school. He fought hard and strong until he lost his battle a year and a half later, he was only 48 years old. His strength and determination are the things that I will always hold close to me and have them help guide me through life.

    This past summer my doctor discovered a mass underneath my ear and inside my head. The MRI showed that it was a large tumor. I had the biopsy done immediately and it came back benign for the time being. Since I had a small window of time before it could turn I wanted to wait until September to have it removed. That way I could enjoy my summer, as well as still have the two lead roles in the productions that I was in this summer.

    From the moment I found out about the tumor I was determined to not let this diagnoses or this disease take over. So I decided to take action and make sure that I stayed in charge. I named my tumor Ted and I would laugh and joke about the “dates ” we would go on together. But I knew that pretty soon it was time for Ted to go. Yes, I had plenty of days where I felt horrible but I was determined to keep staying strong. I had so much love and support from my friends and family, but most importantly I drew from my dad’s strength and love. I knew that from heaven he would protect me and I would set the same example that he did.

    I had the tumor removed on September 11th at John’s Hopkins. It was a 5 hour surgery, and they actually had to remove my ear to get to the tumor which was a little bit bigger than a baseball. They were shocked by the size and ran 100 more tests to make sure that it hadn’t turned due to the size. By the grace of God they did not find one new cancer cell. But because they had to wait for the results they pumped me full of drugs they give patients who are going through chemo to start the process just in case.

    It was an extensive healing process. I was out of school for 6 weeks, a part of the back of my head was shaved and due to all the drugs my hair started to fall out. I started to lose weight and was incredibly exhausted as a result as well. This was the one time during this whole process when I truly didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

    I’ve also been a singer since I was 5 years old. I studied classical voice at Peabody Conservatory my junior and senior years of high school before pursuing my studies in musical theater in college. Due to where the tumor was located I lost my ability to sing as I could hardly even open my mouth. I was so terrified that I was never going to be able to sing, so when I returned to school in October I had to re-teach myself along with my vocal instructor how to get my voice back. Thankfully my voice is back and going strong. This was the greatest gift I could have gotten because my dream is to be on Broadway one day! Though that was a dark period I remembered how blessed I was to be alive and to be tumor free.

    Everyone always said to my father don’t you ever get angry or ask God “why me?” He would always laugh and say “God only gives you what you can handle.” I held those thoughts with me when I was asked those questions. Yes you have terrifying moments or days where your angry or upset. But you cannot let those days or those moments control you, that’s like letting the disease win.

    I have admired your talent since I saw you in SMASH. I thought you were, and are, a rockstar! After reading your post I realized how similar our ways of coping with this type of news was. You have to be able to laugh, joke, smile, and most importantly, be yourself. You are truly an inspiration and I know without a doubt that you are going to kick this cancer’s ass! You are a warrior, a survivor, and a true inspiration to many.

    Sending all my love and prayers.
    -Taylor

    P.S. I was nervous to write this because I don’t want to seem forward but this is my email address if you would ever like to talk or vent (taylorcostanzo21@gmail.com)

  108. Dear Krysta,

    You have always been one of favorite broadway performers and what you did on SMASH! inspired me so much that I have been writing a full version of Hit List that combines the songs used on the show, the songs used in the live premier that you did at 54 Below, three songs that I had to write to fill in a few gaps and Adore, by Joe Iconis which you can be seen slaying the crap out in this link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcyHJbB0fPk). So anyways I need you to know how much you inspire me and that I need you to kick cancer’s ass so that you can play the high-flying, silk spinning Diva on Broadway ASAP!!

    While I haven’t ever had cancer I want to let you know that your light, love, and positivity is so amazing and as someone who aspires to write and direct for theatre I look forward to working with you one day.

    Remember all the shade in the world can’t block the sun and you shine the brightest of all. 2015 is your year and I look forward to seeing you achieve amazing things in your years.

    Lots of healing wishes and love,
    Ted Eskey

  109. I’ve always wanted to meet you. I traveled from Alabama to see you perform in the Addams Family, but you left the show soon after I bought my ticket. Even though I never got to meet you, I feel like I know you just after reading a few of your blogs. You’re such a beautiful person for doing this and writing about you experience. You’re such an inspiration to us all <3

  110. I just discovered this blog today (my friend pointed it out to me after I mentioned that I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of First Date pretty much nonstop since I discovered it 2 weeks ago), so I’m playing catch-up in the comments. 🙂

    I’m so glad you didn’t give up and kept going back to the doctor. I had a similar experience with my brain tumor diagnosis. They kept dismissing symptoms because I was young and the tumor wasn’t behaving like a “typical” tumor. I knew something was wrong and kept going back, even though the doctors kept telling me “It’s all in your head” (which, in hindsight, is hilariously ironic). Finally, I had a doctor tell me “We’ve done every other test possible, and all that’s left is to do an MRI. But we’d be looking for a brain tumor, and I’ve studied your medical records. I can guarantee you don’t have a brain tumor.” I told him to do the MRI anyway. The next day, he called and said, “I’m so sorry, Mrs. Bartles. I never should have made that guarantee.” (Turns out, because my tumor is in the brain stem, it interferes with all the signals coming from the brain. That’s why my symptoms were so irregular and atypical for a brain tumor. The problem I had wasn’t the problem they were looking for.)

    I think it’s so important for stories like this to be shared, so that people will realize it’s up to us to keep going back, even when the doctor is certain everything is “fine.” I’m proud of you! Thank you for being so strong! <3

  111. Krysta-

    I’m Barry’s wife (from OCSA). You took us backstage after your incredible performance of First Date. We really enjoyed that trip and show.

    I’m sorry you are going through this and I am inspired by your fighting spirit. I found out recently I have breast cancer. Operation next week. Bless you, Melody

  112. Oh Krysta,

    I had no idea. My husband and I are in New York for “Bombshell” and I was lamenting that you’re not in the cast. We love your voice.

    So I googled you and found out you have the same cancer with the same size tumor that I had almost 7 years ago, when I was 35. The only difference is I didn’t find mine because I was so busty. Well, now I rather like my perky little implants. It’s not so bad.

    Chemo was very tough for me, and when it was over I lost the last bit of my eyelashes and eyebrows. I felt sick for months and had neuropathy and a constant metallic taste in my mouth. I’d lost most of the sensation in my torso. I could no longer hide my ordeal with wigs and cosmetics. My face was as round as the moon from all of the awful steroids.

    I’m still cancer-free. When my hair grew back I dyed it blond from my natural dark brown. Why not? I lost a bunch of chemo weight, then gained it back. :/ my metabolism is a bit slower so I have to work a lot harder to stay fit, but the hot flashes got better and after a year or so my periods came back. (Yeah that part kind of sucks.) Some of the sensation in my torso came back.

    I just want you to know that you will get your life back.

    I never wanted to be part of any sorority but none of us had a choice with this one, and it is always good to hear from people who have been through it.

    Much love,

    Adrienne

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