What started as IDC (Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma) in 2011, then turned into CHF (Congestive Heart Failure) in 2013, probably partially caused by chemotherapy along with a genetic pre-disposition. Here we are now in March 2016 and I am newly diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer in the left breast and liver (LMBC - liver metastasized breast cancer).

So the focus has shifted yet again, 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 helpful information and strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.

I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. I WILL SURVIVE!

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. And if you are now cancer free of breast cancer, do everything you can to insist that your doctors follow up with an occasional PET Scan and labs for tumor markers.

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.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

T Day

I have already called my 6 siblings and a handful of close friends and am somewhat exhausted for now by talking about it. So this is the letter I craft to send out to a few friends, asking that they share the news for me.

And of course the love, prayers, good thoughts, and advice all begin to pour in.  :-)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Today is T Day. What, you may ask, is T Day?

First let me say that I have to approach this with levity, it is just what I must do.

So T Day is "Tell Day". I was finishing up chores this brisk morning and came to the realization that today is the day to tell my friends and loved ones that I am setting off to war. War against the villain. The Maremmas are on guard and the alpacas are loading up spit. Mark is damn mad, and our girls and their guys are loving and supportive as ever. And my sisters came by tonight to remind me they are are suiting up too. We are all getting our arsenals ready to battle cancer; breast cancer to be specific.

So now you know -- I have breast cancer. That is a hard thing to hear myself say, for sure. And I would have preferred to communicate this differently ... to call you each individually. But it was a larger, emotional task than I am up to right now. I was just diagnosed Monday morning and have learned just itty bits of information since then. I will know more in a couple weeks once more lab work is back and I have my consultation with Dr. Elboim, a renown  Sonoma County breast cancer specialist and surgeon.

For now I can tell you it is IDC - which is Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma. But more importantly, I want to share that I have a wonderful group of loving family all supporting me and helping me to navigate through all this. And I know that you are all there pulling for me too.

For you ladies who need more info, I found a lump in early December and realized I had missed my last mammo 6 months ago, so was not that overdue. My first thought was, "Did I get bruised when working with the alpacas or something?" Immediately I scheduled my appt and first had the routine mammo, followed by ultrasound, and then a core needle biopsy on January 6th. The rest you now know.

So that's it for the moment. I am feeling absolutely fine other than the sore breast from the biopsy. We are doing our research so I am prepared with appropriate knowledge and questions when my consultation appointment comes up on January 26th, although that seems like light years away right now. Alura, my Nurse Practitioner kiddo is pulling out her books and getting up to speed on breast cancer, since burns are her area of expertise at the moment. And Sarah arrived for a girls day yesterday with my favorite scones and a Nutritional Healing book about the size of 2 phone books put together. Oh.... And I am lining up my knitting projects for the duration.

I am sending this out to just a few close friends, but I have no problem with you sharing this with others. All those positive vibes will be something I welcome and cherish during this time.

Hugs, Debbie... aka the cancer warrior


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