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, May 25, 2011

Are We Having Fun Yet?

Some of the time we are; some of the time.....

Oh my, has it really been six days since my last entry. Maybe that is because the last 4-5 days have been my crappy days, maybe because I am still in a quandry about surgery and have had more tests and appointments this week to try to figure it all out, or maybe because we have been doing some fun things in the garden and I have had some wonderful support from friends. Regardless, I do not mean to keep you hanging and wondering how I am doing. I am fairing well!

I am on the mend from my last of the 8 chemo infusions and over the hump of the 4-5 days of bone pain, constipation, all over achiness and fatigue; or so I hope. I stopped the vicodin yesterday and the tylenol seems to be keeping things under control.

Earlier this week Mark spent some time getting our raised vegetable beds ready for planting, and I got to be the supervisor standing there leaning on the shovel and providing water breaks. It just was not the time for me to be physically active. He has turned two of our 15 X 5' beds over and worked in a lot of wonderfully composted alpaca manure. You should have seen all the lovely worms. Those two beds were then mulched heavily with straw to keep the worms lively until we plant. And low and behold, yesterday was another rainy day here in Sunny Glen Ellen, so all is ready and waiting for planting. There is one more bed to work, but the Moss Rose has gotten so large in the adjoining corner, that there is considerable shade in that section. But still a great place to plant something requiring less sun. So, hopefully tomorrow we will get out to the nursery for some seedlings. Any suggestions??

Although I was pretty depressed all day today, there were three very bright spots in my day. My dear friend Cathie has had a standing invite out to me to go to a restorative yoga class with her, which is on Wednesday mornings. Due to medical appointments and such, it just has not worked out so far. But yesterday morning was the first one we attended, Cathie's treat. We went to Energy, a yoga studio in Sonoma, and attended the class taught by Leslie Murphy. And I really enjoyed the session and hope to squeeze it in periodically, especially now that chemo is over. Actually, now that chemo is over, I'm hoping to bring into my life some of the healing things I could not do then because they may have interfered with the chemo process.
Restorative Yoga is more of a relaxing technique. It helps lower heart rate and blood pressure and boosts the immune system by calming the sympathetic nervous system and stimulating the para-sympathetic nervous system. It allows you to move from the fight or flight mode into the relaxation response. Anxiety, depression and fatigue can all be addressed with restorative yoga. Relax and let go...
I definitely needed this.
Then I dropped in on Sarah and Chris for a couple of hours. Of course I was very sleepy after the yoga and drifted off into a nap after arriving. Sarah is always so sweet and accommodating and provided me a cozy alpaca blanket and fluffy pillow, which was just divine. She and I are planning a baby shower for Alura so we spent a bit of time on that before I headed home. I was anxious about a call I've been expecting from my surgeon based on the appointments of Tuesday.

No call from the surgeon today. So I found an email address for Cary, the Breast Care Coordinator at Redwood Regional Medical Center, and left her a detailed message. She has confirmed that Dr. Elboim did get my Ultrasound results before heading out of town for 10 days. Now we just need to find out what he would like done as the next step after reviewing that report. Further ultrasound guided biopsy to determine type of surgery so report is in his hands when he returns... ??? Cary, will do her best to make contact with Dr. Elboim for me. So for now I have put aside all the decisions about surgery, which include options for breast conservation/reconstruction, and all that is involved with this. I've been pretty down with this whole decision making process, but there really isn't much I can do until I get additional information. So I just need to sit tight and relax.

Then this evening, Susan, my dear friend and hairdresser, brought over a pizza and styled the two wigs that Joan, another dear friend and breast cancer survivor, gave to me a couple of months back. Well, they look pretty darn cute now and I will just have to try them out some time very soon. Maybe one of our farmer market group meetings will be just the place. :-) Mark and I had a lovely visit with Sue and just thoroughly enjoyed her company.

This is my opportunity to be a redhead!
So now we are on "wait and see" detail. Wait to hear from the surgeon, and then see what I decide is the next step.

Meanwhile... The Love/Avon Army of Women offers women the opportunity to partner with the scientists who are conducting research that will end this disease--once and for all.

Breast cancer has been around for decades, but it does not have to be our future. We can be the generation that stops breast cancer once and for all by figuring out what causes this disease and how to prevent it!

Sign up for your sister, mother, daughter, granddaughter, best friend, and the woman you met last week. This is YOUR chance to be part of the research that will end breast cancer.

It takes a just a minute to join. But the impact we will have will last a lifetime.

Please Join Me in Being One in a Million!


Debbie... aka the cancer warrior ... AND SURVIVOR!!!

Sonoma Relay for Life Team (8/6/11) ~  Debbie's Blasting Crew.


1 comment:

  1. Cute redhead! Sending you a big hug as I do my sun-dance... Deb K


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