LIVESTRONG:

And in June 2013 we are back in the revolving door of doctors, this time for my heart. So the focus has shifted, BUT... I continue to THANK YOU for your prayers, love & support. I receive them with open & loving arms. My wish is that I will gain strength from you, will provide strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.


LIVESTRONG: I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. WE WILL WIN!

Have you or your loved one had their annual mammogram? PLEASE, don't put it off. Speaking from experience, I highly recommend monthly self exam as well.

WARNING:
Contents may be uplifting, sad, funny, scary, downright depressing ~ THAT IS CANCER .... at it's best, at its worst.

PLEASE ~ Feel free to share this blog with anyone who is interested to learn about my journey. While I welcome their support, I hope that by sharing this experience freely to the universe I may help to support others by breaking down some of the barriers and fear associated with breast cancer and the treatment.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Good News Continues & I Have a Road ID

But first an update on the previous post about vertigo. Because of the profuse sweating, my ENT does not think it was benign positional vertigo. Apparently the episode had something to do with blood pressure, and moving from a prone position. Mark described the symptoms of like someone in shock. So we will keep an eye on this, and from a discussion with my cardiologist today, I will most likely give up on yoga for the time being.

Today, Mark, Alura and I returned to Stanford Hospital and Clinics for a follow up with my cardiologist, Dr. Michael Fowler. We met Alura along the I80 corridor and she rode with us, which turned out to be a beautiful day, with intermittent drizzles, almost iridescent green grasses, amid gorgeously blue skies and bursts of the whitest billowy clouds. A great time for us all to visit and catch up without toddlers crawling all over us and making demands for juice and milk and such; adorable as they are.

Gorgeous drive home from Stanford
So off we went...

You may recall that at the appointment end of January, Dr. Fowler said he would have a transplant team ready to meet with me at my next appointment of April 4th, to educate us on this probable next step and help relieve my concerns over the procedure. My reference bank is from my brother Richard's heart transplant back in the mid-1980's and all I can seem to remember is all the medications and his struggles, even though it gave him nearly 10 more years of active and fulfilling life. And at that appointment in January, Dr. Fowler made some med changes which helped me to shed 8+ lbs of fluid retention in just a couple of days!

So a few days ago I received a call from RN Marie at Stanford stating she would like to see me before my appointment with Dr. Fowler to do the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) education. If you check the link, this is the implantable type device we are talking about. By the way, as a refresher, this device is often used as a bridge to a transplant, but Dr. Fowler says that some people find it so easy to tolerate that they decide to live out their life not going through with a transplant. And, should I get an LVAD, then I am automatically moved up on the heart transplant priority list. But mind you I am in no hurry for one or both of these procedures, so will be having some serious conversations with God and my heart to be good and improve. 

I had done some online research, so was prepared to hear about the open-heart surgery, weeks in ICU, then weeks living somewhere nearby in case of issues with a full-time caregiver to support me, then returning weekly at first, then slowly less and less until I could be seen every three months from then on out. But Mark had not heard any of this yet. I knew that the pump was implanted into the chest and that there was an external part to the device too. But I was not quite prepared about the daily dressing changes to prevent infection, and to see the whole gadget, the power pack, and the two batteries that must be worn 24/7 (obviously), not to mention the additional gadgetry (for lack of a better word) that is kept at home for charging, storing data, etc., etc, and must travel with me whenever I leave home. Then there is the inability to ever be submerged in water again (no baths, swimming, spas!!!) Not to mention that this would probably give me five more good years. I mean, I'm feeling so good now; and I'm expecting to be around a lot longer than five more years, let me tell you! But I also knew that this was precautionary as well. Because if/when I need this, it may come on sudden, and I need (we need) to be educated so we are ready to make the decision pronto. But let me tell you, it was all very, very scary for both Mark and I.

We then sat and chatted as we waited for Dr. Fowler to meet with me. His nurse, Erin, is very sweet and also pregnant, so she and Alura, as well as me, chatted about pregnancies and babies and such, once she finished gathering pertinent information and updating my data file. Another nurse came in to interrogate my ICD. That is what they call it when they gather all the recent data it has recorded. There was nothing alarming from the day of the yoga class, so they made adjustments to my device so it will record normal heart rates of 160 and above, which is much lower than it is set to pace or shock my heart.

The follow up visit with Dr. Fowler went well. He is such a fun and entertaining guy. He was thrilled to see that I have been doing so marvelously the last two months, and is very hopeful that this might (accentuating "might" here) mean there could be even the slightest improvement in my heart muscle. He was pleased with my recent blood work, and agreed that we could increase the afternoon diuretic just a bit, as this is when I seem to get a bit congested on most days. Apparently my dosage is still very low. He informed us that the LVAD usually significantly helps 1/3 patients. Another 1/3 feel somewhat better and get a bit of energy. And the rest see little if any improvement in their quality of life. All in all, this was a great appointment, with Dr. Fowler suggesting that yoga might be a bit too much for me at this point; but to stay somewhat active, "Maybe a movie one day, then a walk another, perhaps a nap another day." I like this guy. He even joked that he might come out and join us camping at Doran Beach soon.

Before leaving, we met with yet another nurse about a clinical trial that I will most likely take part in. I'm not sure I have all the details memorized, but they will put my heart diagnosis data into a data base, without any of my personal data, and through a simple blood draw, they will replicate my heart cells and use this along with my genetic testing information to further test dilated cardiomyopathy and its causes. I know there is a lot more detail to this, but this is it in a nutshell at the moment. They will do the blood draw at my next appointment and go from there.

The most important tip I took away from this visit, is when I feel lax about my salt intake (or as he said, when I think about having a pepperoni pizza - NOT), just think about the whole LVAD idea and then choose the low sodium choice. This, I will most definitely do.


Beautiful grounds, and beautiful Alura, in front of Stanford Clinics.


 Family gathering last weekend to celebrate Sarah's birthday.

 



I HAVE A ROAD ID. Thank you, sweetie!!


So now, on to some family time, camping in our sweet trailer, and just enjoying life as I know it at this very moment. AND thank you all for your continued love and support. It does take a village.

Life is Good...

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, 
AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
LIVESTRONG

• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting! Comments are good. I look forward to your comment.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Vertigo, Oy Vey

I've had some vertigo issues over the last 25 years ever since a very serious head concussion when hit by an SUV as I was walking in a crosswalk. Yes, I am lucky to be alive after being tossed through the air for nearly 30 feet. Hmmm, maybe I do have nine lives.

What happens is usually turning to my left side while lying flat on the ground, or in bed. It was much worse for several years after the accident. I would go into a nauseous head spin just from looking straight up at a plane or bird, and have to grab something to steady myself. It's happened less and less over the years, thankfully, and now seems to be more prevalent when my sinuses are bothering me. And that appears to be more frequent since the cardiomyopathy diagnosis. Not sure if fluid buildup adds to this issue, but it seems to. So I went in to see a Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) specialist in January and he wanted me to have a Sinus CT scan. I've been putting it off because my insurance has been so screwed up until just recently. I feel so bad that insurance still hasn't processed the ENT claim from early January that I wanted that resolved before going back. Insurance assures me the claim will be processed by week's end. (Yeah, sure, I've heard this far too many times this year -- Damn you, Anthem Blue Cross)

So last week I started my first of an 8-week session of yoga classes; Gentle Yoga, to be precise. I really enjoyed the class last Wednesday and the upper body stretching. Then we got down on the floor and all went well until.... yes, until I rolled towards the left to grab the belt used for leg stretches, and my head went into a horrible spin that set me sweating profusely from the head, feeling horribly sea sick and not able to stand, for about 10 minutes or more, as I knew I could not keep my balance. Mark came to rescue me and I got home and crawled into bed for a bit and was pretty much affected until mid-morning the following day. This was the worst episode I'd had for quite some time. It was not fun!

I did email my cardiologist latter just to be sure it wasn't heart related. The sweating was different and it did have Mark and I concerned. Thankfully, he said it was benign positional vertigo. Which is due to a disturbance within the inner ear. The inner ear has fluid-filled tubes called semicircular canals. The canals are very sensitive to movement of the fluid, which occurs as you change position. The fluid movement allows your brain to interpret your body's position and maintain your balance.
Benign positional vertigo develops when a small piece of bone-like calcium breaks free and floats within the tube of the inner ear. This sends the brain confusing messages about your body's position.
It is said that a prior head injury (even a slight bump to the head) or an inner ear infection may make some people more likely to develop the condition. There is a procedure that one can do on their own, or with the aid of a physical therapist, to reposition the calcium. That will be a question for my ENT, as I have read about it before and it seems like a complex exercise for one to do alone and get exactly right. Besides, it sends you back into vertigo, maybe even several times during the exercise. YUCK!!!


Now I was much more incentivized to get the scan and follow up with the ENT. Anyway, I had the scan today; and only had slight head spinning as I layed down on the table for it. This was the first time I've had to tell a doctors office about my ICD in case there was any conflict with it and the scan. 

I will see see my ENT next week and skipped today's yoga class for obvious reasons. Now, hopefully we can get to the bottom of all the sinus trouble and also the vertigo. Then I can get back to doing things that are good for me.

These Snoopy's can be found randomly positioned around Santa Rosa, CA; the home of Snoopy Ice Rink 
and Charles M. Schultz Center.
Dr. Joe Cool ~ Heart Throb

Looking forward to my next Stanford appointment in early April. Not sure if they will do another Echo, but am so hopeful that my heart EF may be improving.

Life is Good...

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, 
AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
LIVESTRONG

• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting! Comments are good. I look forward to your comment.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Spring is in the Air

The frogs are singing very loudly tonight. We've had a bit of rain over the last week, and more is expected later this week. The grass is green all over the hills and valleys and daffodils are starting to peak out here and there. All this is a good sign, as California has been in desperate need of rain this entire season. We're not out of the woods yet, but things are looking up.

And I continue to feel good. The indigestion is still gone (dare I even say those words), and I'm trying to be active and get out and walk a mile or two a couple of times a week. The rain hampered that a bit recently, but we had the pleasure of attending a family wedding this weekend, and Mark and I actually danced several times. And it didn't seem to set me back too much. The bride and groom were adorable, and it was wonderful to get out, dress up, and just relax and visit with family and friends. Not to mention partake in the silly photo booth.

Photo booth fun at the wedding.
One challenge, a good one I might add, that I've had recently is with clothes fitting. I'm keeping the weight off and the numbers are ever so slowly continuing to go down. I'm not really trying, but I've cut out alcohol except for very special occasions, like the wedding, and trying to be good about what I eat most of the time. I have shopped recently for jeans and tops and such, as everything was just hanging on me and I looked pretty sad. But for the wedding I was able to pull out a few old skirts and a dress that I had stored away. It felt really good to fit into something several sizes smaller. I hope to keep this going in a positive direction, because I have fought with my weight since having children. Not that this is anyway that I'd recommend one use to lose weight. But I'll role with it.

Last week I was able to join my childhood girlfriends from Jr. High and High School for lunch and hanging out for the good part of the day. We try to do this at least a couple of times a year and always have a lot of fun. It's just so good to catch up, share pictures of grandchildren, and plan the next get together. And we always laugh so much -- good for the soul, for sure.

Lunch with girlfriends: L-R Marian, JoAnn, Gwenn, Me & Eileen.
There are no appointments with cardiologists until April. I can only hope and pray that my heart is starting to improve and the next echo will reflect that. Hopefully the plan to meet with the heart transplant team at my Stanford appointment in early April is just a formality. So positive thoughts are in order, and it is still one day at a time. For now, feeling good is half the battle.

But I need to get a quilt done so I can move onto baby girl knitting and sewing. Alura and Stephan's little one will be here in July and that will creep up on me quickly, if I'm not careful.

Gaige loves the water.

And Nico loves his truck.
Meanwhile, Nicco and Gaige bring so much joy to our lives. Little ones are so precious, even when they're throwing a tantrum. And our girls have turned out to be the best mom's in the world. And their husbands are doing a mighty fine job too. So life is very good right now, and for that I am smiling.

Life is Good...

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, 
AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
LIVESTRONG

• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting! Comments are good. I look forward to your comment.




Wednesday, February 12, 2014

HOPE & EXCITEMENT

Yes, that reads Hope and Excitement!

Hope, that maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel, because the last three months definitely had Mark and I, and both my cardiologists, feeling very doubtful for anything better than a heart transplant sometime in the future. And in reality, that is probably still true, but...

Excitement, that last week I actually had the strength and energy to walk to the mailbox, back up the hill, all the way up the lower road and through the locked gate, and then back home. All while feeling a bit out of breath, but able to keep on putting one foot in front of the other, without needing to stop and rest or catch my breath. And with my legs feeling strong enough to carry me. I probably could have even hummed a tune!  :-) This was not something I could do the previous week -- I wouldn't even have considered it. I couldn't even make it up the stairs to my sewing room without stopping every 3 steps or so to rest. And my iPhone App had previously been showing a pace of about 50 minute miles -- no fooling. Last week's pace was 22 minute miles. That might not sound too great to most of you, but for what I've been able to do, this felt almost miraculous.

I am not out of the woods, by any means, but I feel better. And that is pretty darn important for my sanity, and my sweetie's, and rest of the family. It has been a long hard 3 months, with lots of questions, and wondering what the next step would be. 


So what changed, you may ask?

I saw Dr. Fowler on January 31st, who is the cardiologist I see at Stanford and is the Director of Stanford's Heart Failure Program. We see him from a referral from Dr. Dhar, since my heart failure is graded as "severe" and Dr. Dhar wants to be sure we are doing everything we can to improve my heart function. This also assures that I am in the Stanford system should surgery or transplant become imminent. The last time I saw Dr. Fowler was in August, and at that time he felt we were on track and all the appropriate meds in place. And I was improving at that point too.

Stanford did a new echocardiogram and an EKG. The echo showed my heart had not improved and the EF is still around 18%. The report from my St. Jude ICD had the St. Jude technician and Dr. Fowler wondering if I might be a candidate for a 3-lead ICD, rather than the 2-lead one I have. But the EKG confirmed that the 2-lead model is the appropriate one for me at this time. That may change in the future, but all is good in that department for now. But after doing the tests and complete exam, Dr. Fowler said to me, "You must not be feeling like doing much of anything right now." Boy, did he hit the nail on the head. I had been waiting for a question as to why I was not being more active, but was worrying needlessly. So Dr. Fowler changed some meds up a bit. He said I was still carrying around way too much fluid from the heart failure, so increased my diuretics significantly for the weekend. Then on Monday he dropped the evening dose slightly going forward. He also added Digoxin and changed the dose on my blood pressure medication.

And amazingly enough, I dropped 8+ lbs of water weight from Friday morning until Monday morning.  That was how much fluid I was retaining. And why I was coughing a lot (fluid in my lungs), had difficulty laying down at night without an additional pillow, struggled to climb stairs, etc. All that improved significantly right away over the weekend.

I am having labwork done every Monday for now, to be sure that the change in medication doesn't cause other imbalances in other organs, such as kidneys and such. And so far so good.

So I am pleased with the additional weight loss. Not that this is any way I would encourage someone to lose weight. But if there is a positive side to this illness, at least I am getting rid of excess weight and my heart is having an easier time of it as a result.


 Genetic Test Results

A very much anticipated appointment we had at Stanford that same day was with the geneticist. She had the results from the genetic testing that was done back in September at Stanford. I wish it had been more definitive, but it was not. 

Genetic testing did find three variants that might be the cause of my, and some of my siblings, Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), or might be normal genetic differences that don't cause health problems. For those that understand this stuff, or want more detail, the technical name for these variants are p.Pro24060ThrfsX9 in the TTN gene; p.Ala2294Gly in the DSP gene and p.Glu1127Gly in the RYR2 gene. The variant in TTN is a truncating variant, meaning that it is thought to shorten or eliminate the protein product of the gene. However, the TTN gene is the largest gene in the body and these types of truncating variants in the TTN gene have been reported in up to 3% of healthy control individuals, so it is unclear whether these types of variants in TTN actually lead to cardiomyopathy. This particular variant in the TTN gene has never been seen before, either in people with DCM or people without DCM. 

This happens fairly often. Many of the genetic variants that cause DCM and many of the normal genetic variants that don't affect health are unique to a person or family and have not been seen in other people. 

The variants in the RYR2 gene and the DSP gene may or may not contribute to cardiomyopathy. There is not enough information available about these variants to know if they cause DCM or they are normal genetic differences that don't cause DCM. We all have many normal genetic differences that are unique to our family and don't affect our health. It's possible that one or both of these variants are what caused our DCM or that our DCM was instead caused by a variant not found with this test. 

In about 15-20% of cases of DCM, current genetic tests can't find the variant causing someone's DCM. So it is very possible that our DCM was caused by another variant that this testing could not find. 

So at this point, we do not do anything different. Basically, the genetic test could not find anything definitive related to our DCM. But we have all seen cardiologists and are doing what is recommended in preventative testing and such.

So that is the latest. I am 12 days out from the appointment at Stanford and changes in medication that took place at that time. I continue to feel much better, and took a nice walk with a dear friend this morning. Our walking pace during the 1.5 mile walk at Eldridge, near the Jr. Farm, was an amazing 19:43 min/mile. I did need a nap when I returned home, but who cares. I'm just thrilled to be feeling up to walking at a pace that a friend might care to walk with me; instead of hobbling along, gasping for air and looking like I might pass out at any moment. 

Life is Good...

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting! Comments are good. Please leave one for me so I know you visited.



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Something to celebrate

A New Granddaughter On The Way...

We just learned that Alura and Stephan will welcome a little sister for Nico in late July. This is such surprising and exciting news for us all, especially after a year of health woes for so many members of the extended family. CONGRATULATIONS, Alura, Stephan & Nico. We are anxious to welcome this new bundle of joy this Summer.

And yesterdays appointment with my cardiologist went pretty well. The report from my ICD confirmed all the struggles I've been dealing with, even up until the last few weeks. It also shows that I still have some fluid in my lungs from the poor heart function, which seems to have increased over the last couple of months. So my need for the continued diuretics daily, and sometimes twice a day, is confirmed.  This also excuses the nagging cough I get a couple of times a day as the diuretics need replenishing. I sound like I have a chest cold, but it is all a result of my poor heart function.

Although Dr. Dhar said that it is unlikely my meds will improve my heart function much at this late date, as that should have already happened by now, he also said to be optimistic and not give up hope. He said, "I have seen miracles", so keep up the good work.  Although labs from last week still show high levels of BNP to indicate severe heart failure, so we do need to be realistic at the same time of continuing to be hopeful.

In a few days, I will see Dr. Michael Fowler at Stanford and will have another echo at that time. Mark and Alura will accompany me to these appointments. Dr. Dahr is also curious to see if Dr. Fowler has any other suggestions for me at this point in time. In addition, we will be meeting with the genetic counselor to receive the results from the genetic labwork taken in August. I'm very anxious to get this information and to share with my daughters and siblings, as we all are. Hopefully they have found a genetic marker, so that at least others can decide if they want to be tested to see if they carry the same gene. Then, if no symptoms are present now, they would at least be put on a more stringent follow up schedule to keep track of their heart function over time.

So that's it for the moment. Stay tuned for an update after our appointments at Standford Medical Center.

The rain arrived! :-)

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting! Comments are good. Please leave one for me so I know you visited.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Still Marching Forward

And for that I am so very thankful!

We just returned from a 9-day camping trip in our little trailer along the California coast. When the opportunity to take this trip and attend a crab feed near Fort Bragg, then a camp trip with friends at Doran Beach the weekend after, we both thought, "Why not?". Lets RSVP yes, and if I am still not up to it, then we'll make that decision as the time nears. Because I still was not feeling all that well, and the three months of heart issues; i.e., major indigestion keeping me near "facilities", exhaustion, weakness, and just a feeling of malaise, and just not very well, was still lingering, even though each week I was feeling just a tad bit better. And we decided to run the two weekends together and meander down the coast between the two weekends.

Terry, Debbie, Mark & Bob enjoying the crab feed.
So we started out the trip with the crab feed at Pacific Star Winery just north of Fort Bragg, and brought along cousins Bob and Terry. We had a wonderful time camping right there in the field for two nights, had some yummy crab, saw some monster waves along the bluffs the following morning, and just had a lovely time. We were able to help Sally and Marcus with some set up and clean up, or shall I say that Mark, Bob and Terry did most of it. And for that they sent us away with some left over crab and layered polenta. YUM. Now mind you, my appetite is still very small, and for that I am grateful since it has resulted in a 30# lose over these last six months. I was able to enjoy 1/2 crab at the feed, which is far less than I would normally do at a "crab feed", so it was a huge bonus to be offered some to take with us and enjoy over the rest of our camping trip.
And, after a few off times of eating out and getting an upset tummy and more indigestion woes, I finally felt pretty darn good the entire rest of the trip.

We camped a night on the Westport-Union Landing bluffs again, like back in June. The sunsets on the coast are just so spectacular, and the weather this past week was unheard of for January. Then we stayed two nights in the private Westport Beach RV park, since it allowed us an easy walk out onto the beach for me, which is really the only way I can do it these days. From here we spent a night in the very shady Gualala Point Campground. It is right on the river and would be a great place to come back on a warm summer weekend and bring our kayaks to float the river, which is really a lagoon most of the year. And if someone tells you there are no decent breakfast places in town, they are mistaken. Trink's Cafe was delightful and serves a full hot breakfast, coffee of all kinds, pastries, etc.

Next, was back to an old haunt from when I was a girl. And that was Wright's Beach. I'll never forget the camp trip we took there when I was about 10. My dad fell asleep on the beach and got a horrible sunburn to the back of his legs. He was lobster red and even cried he was in so much pain. But I recall camping right in the sand. And we were able to secure one of the premier sites right overlooking the surf. This beach was a bit more of a chore for me to get out to and to walk along, as the sand has hills and valleys. But I did! And we found two beautiful Sea Stars (starfish). One still alive so we placed it back into the surf as the huge waves may have sent it up onto the dry beach; and another that was no larger than 1/2" in diameter and totally dried out. This one I placed on a rocky ledge so it wouldn't be stepped on.




So on Friday, it was basically a hope, skip, and a jump to meet up with friends Ed and JoAnn for a weekend at Doran Beach Campground. We were in Shell Beach sites 6 and 8 and very pleased with these locations. 6 & 7 would have been better, or 5 & 6. But these worked out just fine. We walked the easily accessible beach both days and the weather was gorgeous. Many families were out enjoying the sandy beach and gentle surf. I need to get back here with the girls and grandsons someday soon, as the day use parking is just a few steps from the beach, with no significant hills or dunes to climb. My kind of place, these days! It was pretty cold and damp during the evenings at the other campgrounds, but we were able to enjoy some roaring camp fires here at Doran, catch up with Ed and Jo, and just kick back and relax. Such fun.

Mark, Ed & JoAnn

Ed & Debbie

So, the good news is that I am feeling GREAT! 

Mind you, great for me is not "normal", or "my old self". But I'll take what I can get for now, as the new normal is something we are all still trying to get used to.

I have two cardiologist appointments next week. One with Dr. Dhar here in Santa Rosa. Hopefully the St. Jude tech will have the wifi gadget for me so that next time we travel my ICD can still transmit data daily, especially in case of an emergency. The second one is with Dr. Fowler and the Genetics Counselor at Stanford. We will finally get the results of the genetic tests run from the labs taken back in August. This will be such wonderful information to have, whether a genetic link is found to cause the familial cardiomyopathy, or not.

And I will ask them both if they know the answer to the 20 million dollar question as to whether there is still hope that my meds will improve my heart function and ejection fraction. Or, if instead I need to get a grip on reality and do my best with what the dear Lord has given me, adjust going forward, and continue to be thankful for what I do have and what I can do, and just get on with life.

Wishing for some rain. We really need it.

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting! Comments are good. Please leave one for me so I know you visited.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Off to a Good Start for 2014

Just a quick update to say that the recent mammogram in late December, and oncology appointment earlier this week, all were A+. Basically, everything looks good, no sign of any cancer! YIPPEE

But Dr. Anderson was very thorough and we talked in depth about my heart challenges now, strong future possibility of transplant, how the cancer may delay that, and options that would pull the cancer card out of the works and speed that step up; but only if it became urgent. Mind you, this is all something I/we are in denial about, and not anxious to face, but should the need arise, we need to be prepared to deal with it in real time.

But for now, the latest cold seems to be subsiding. I met with a new ear/nose/throat doc yesterday; a Dr. Pedit in Santa Rosa, and he is fantastic. He spent lots of time going over my history of sinusitus, sinus surgery back in the early 90's, and my current situation. He gave me some new tricks to try, suggested some other ideas and was just positive, caring, concerned, and a genuinely sweet man. 

So we are off to a good start for 2014, and for that I am very grateful. I hope you are all having a great start to your new year too!

The wonder of children at Christmas. (Nico)

Gaige 2 yrs, 2 mos; Nico 2 yrs, 4 mos.

Wishing you a Happy & Healthy New Year!

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
Comments are good. Please leave one for me so I know you visited. AND thanks for visiting!