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.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

6 Down, 2 To Go

According to my cancer Killer Countdown, there are 30 days left of chemo to go! That has such a pleasant ring to me!

Things went very well today for chemo infusion number six. Sarah arrived at 7:45 am to escort me to my chemo infusion appointment, which lasted until 1:30pm. The drugs for each chemo treatment are mixed right there at Redwood Regional Cancer Center in their own pharmacy, made to order for each patient at each appointment, so it takes about 30 minutes for things to get under way when I arrive. The nurse brings out each bag of drugs and has me confirm that my name and date of birth are correct on each one. 

So the first hour of drugs is the premeds like benadryl and a steroid, all to help prevent nausea and other symptoms typical with each chemo drug. This time I am on Taxol, which is also known for allergic reactions, hence the heavy steroids. The premeds also help to suppress my immune system so that the drugs work to kill the fast growing cancer cells. Once the benadryl kicked in I got very hoarse, which has been the case in the past, and very sleepy. But for some reason I couldn't sleep because my legs were very restless -- it was kind of weird. So I knit some more, visited with Sarah,  and then finally slept for the last hour or two. I'm making great headway on a beautiful lace shawl I'm working on from my handspun yarn.

The infusion room is filled with about 10 cozy leather recliners, each with a fleece blanket. They make it very comfortable for us to rest, read, knit, visit with loved ones; whatever we like during the treatment, which can last up to 5 hours. Today I brought lunch with us, so we finished the session with our lunch and then came on home. I was still pretty drowsy so napped for another couple of hours before Sarah drove me down for a quick trip to the store and bank to take care of some business. All the while Mark was able to get some work done on repairing one of our raised vegetable beds in anticipation of planting our veggies, and then spent the afternoon on some book work. So it was a very productive day for all concerned.

I think the early morning appointment allowed me to rest and recuperate during the day so I had some energy in the evening. Sarah and I were able to do chores and give Mark a relief for a change. Then we made dinner and all three relaxed for the evening. 

Right now I'm feeling pretty wired, probably from the steroids, so I hope that the Trazodone will allow me to get a full nights sleep and let my body continue to heal, because tomorrow we have another busy day. 

Tomorrow Sarah will come with me for my Neulasta shot. Were gonna check out a cupcake shop in Santa Rosa. I had thought about bringing in a treat for the nurses at Redwood Regional for Easter, but have decided to do some research first and then bring in cupcakes for the nurses just before Mothers Day, which will be near my last chemo treatment. So the tough research will begin tomorrow. Heck... maybe we will find some cute Easter cupcakes that we can take to Alura and Stephan's on Sunday. :-)


Sarah has officially given me the okay to share their news. She and Chris are also expecting their first baby. So this means that both my girls are pregnant, with our first and second grand children due two months apart; Alura is due in August and Sarah is due in October. How exciting is this? We are so blessed and have so much to look forward to this Fall.

Hugs, Debbie... aka the cancer warrior; AND survivor 
Sonoma Relay for Life Team (8/6/11) ~  Debbie's Blasting Crew



  1. Debbie, two days in a row spending time with Sarah, how wonderful. Cupcakes....yikes!! Oh, how I wish I was there to go with you girls. Have a sweet time in Santa Rosa.

    Congratulations on the news about Sarah having a baby. What could be more fun...also more grandbaby knitting. Debbie, won't Fall be so exciting?

    You are in my prayers for a good nights rest and feeling the best that you can.

    Hugs, ~Michelle

  2. Yeah for Sarah and Chris! and a Double YEAH!! for the grandparents involved......

  3. AAAAHHHHHH!! Being a grandparent,what a wonderful gift and experience! I currently have five, of which four live with me. It's kind of like dining at a restaurant; you don't have to prep,cook, or clean up,you just get to enjoy the meal! I am looking forward to the relay with anticipation.If you like I will bring my guitar and we can all stay awake singing our hearts out. Give Mark a big hug and kiss for me.Like the beard!! xoxox Xman

  4. We missed you today at spinning. I have been thinking about you.

    I'm super excited about 'your' babies! Woo HOO!!!!

  5. Wow, becoming first time grandparents twice in two months...what a blessing. Sending hugs and love to you and Mark.


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