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, March 2, 2011

Chemo Brain

If you haven't heard the term Chemo Brain, then let me give you an example right here and now. 

Let's say you have an appointment for a lovely oncology massage first thing in the morning. You've made it at this time because you want to get home immediately afterward and catch a nap to relish the relaxing mood the massage gives you. But you realize that your pantry shelves are bare and you decide to make a quick trip to Lucky's to get a bunch of greens for morning juicing, fruit, some yummy yogurt, bran flakes, etc. -- This all before the massage so you can still go directly home afterwards.

You park right in front of Lucky's and then banzai through the store so as not to be late for your massage. You leave the cart right there over the curb next to your van because it is a drizzly morning and you do not want to be late. You then pop into your van and drive the 10 minutes or so to Karen's house for the massage. As you exit your car, your purse is no where to be found. You freak out big time. You walk into Karen's studio and apologize that you need to return to the store because you have very stupidly left your purse and all its belongings somewhere for anyone to take off with, like in a shopping cart in the parking lot of a grocery store. - Chemo brain for sure!

Karen totally understands, so you pop into your van, but the back sliding (auto) door will not close. You try about 3 times but each time it nearly closes, then pops back open. You check that you are in park and then you turn off the ignition, and still no luck. Is it the incline of the driveway???

So you dash back into Karen's Chestnuthill Retreat studio, now in tears, and ask if she will drive you down to Luckys to "hopefully" retrieve your purse. But then the door closes suddenly. So off you go, on your own anxiously thinking.... "Did I leave it in the shopping cart, I couldn't have left it in the store, surely it isn't hiding here in the car somewhere???" You arrive at Lucky's, and there is your purse. A little damp from the drizzly rain, sitting right in the top basket of the shopping cart, parked righ t where you left it, iphone inside, wallet still there, cash, zipper wide open. Whew ~ You just dodged a huge bullet. The day has been saved.

This is Chemo Brain at its worst!

But the day continues to get better. Early that morning, I had actually been able to fall back to sleep for an hour or so after my now usual 3am wake-up time. I got showered and out of the house early for once. My hair is still on my head, albeit much thinner and not lasting much longer for sure. I have lots of lovely veggies, fruits, supplies to restock my shelves, Mark is home diligently working on our books and taxes (what a guy!!!), my henna kit has arrived, and Donna then arrives mid-afternoon. Can it get any better? Not for the moment, anyway!

So, we have finished our day off, with the two Bobo Seesters sitting and chatting, then doing a walk around to see where the fiber studio/farm store is planned, and to do chores; all giving Mark more time on the computer. Donna gets to meet Mr. friendly Dakota, and help collect some beauties of eggs. Then we return to the house to start a pot of whole grain/wild rice to go with the mexican beef soup from Carol and Gail and the mole enchiladas from Karen and Mike. A very yummy meal indeed, and just what the doctor ordered after another busy day.

So the day is over and all three of us are tired from traveling, working, and just doing.... So we turn in early. Me.... with the hopes that when that 3AM wake up happens, I can shuffle around the house for a bit, and then catch a couple of hours of sleep. This plan seems to have worked last night provided I take the right the anti-nauseau prescription which causes drowsiness.

My suspicison is that the "bald is beautiful" will be the theme of tomorrow. I found a good bald patch while brushing today, and there is no time like the present. So stay tuned for the hatted, scarfed Debbie to appear sooner than later.

Hugs, Debbie... aka the cancer warrior; AND survivor 



  1. Whew....what a morning! Did you ever get the massage?

    Hope you are sleeping better. ~Michelle

  2. Michelle,
    I did get the glorious massage, thankfully. And my day turned around then and there. The sleep issue is still there, but I seem to be managing. I'll be seeing my doc today and will talk with him about this challenge.


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