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 11, 2011

A Busy & Hopefully Exciting Week

Mark and I have one busy week ahead of us. Tuesday started out with me having the honor to go with Sarah to her 16 week prenatal appointment and we got to listen to the babies heart beat. That was such a thrill. I returned to her place for the afternoon where we took in a lovely lunch at El Molino Centro, and then put together some goodies to join our regular group down at the Farmer's Market on the Sonoma Plaza. Mark rode his bike down to meet us and we all held on as long as we could through the cold night, as we had not dressed quite appropriately since the earlier part of the day was pleasant and warm. 

Tuesday has come and gone as well and it ended with what we hope proves to be some fabulous news, I must say. I had a pre-surgery consult with Dr. Elboim. Of course I was anxious, but also feeling good as the tumors seemed to have reduced in size considerably, in my mind and my oncologist, Dr. Anderson agreed. So we talked to Dr. Elboim about my options and such and then he did a physical exam. He was very pleased and estimates that the original 3" length of tumors is now down around 1" in length. He estimates that a lumpectomy may be a possibility for surgery in about a month. But first I go in tomorrow for a breast MRI. While the MRI is not definitive either, it should help to confirm, or deny what Dr. Elboim found upon his exam. Dr. Elboim sent me home with some hand outs for the different surgery options, as they really don't know what they'll find until they get in there. They also won't know if any lymph nodes are involved until surgery is performed and the sentinel node biopsy takes place, but so far that looks good as well. So for now, things are looking up and I will hang on to the good as it comes my way.

Mark and I felt that this was worth some celebration so we enjoyed dinner and a glass of wine tonight at Rosso Pizzaria near Memorial Hospital and the Redwood Regional Medical Center.

So tomorrow is the Breast MRI. We understand that an MRI can over estimate, as well as under estimate, a tumor. So again, there may still be u knowns when the week ends. From there, we will meet with him again to make more plans for surgery. Dr. Elboim did refer me to a plastic surgeon as even a lumpectomy, considering the location in my breast, could require some reconstruction as well. This may be done during the original surgery. So there is much more to start thinking about and planning for.....

I finish the week off with an appointment with Dr. Sharfen to start planning for my radiation treatment, which will occur about a month after surgery. And right afterwards, I meet with Dr. Anderson for my last bi-weekly blood count check and check-in before chemotherapy. By the way, my last chemo is next Tuesday!!! :-)

So I am feeling really good right now. Good that I did not need any vicodin or tylenol today. This has been the longest time that I've required pain meds for one infusion; but since I am nearing my last chemo, it is just fine by me. And good because my belly is full of caesar salad, pizza and red wine and a bite or two of Mark's pasta and meat balls. Good because of all your love, support, prayers, well wishes, etc., etc. It takes a village, ya know, and you are all a part of "my village".

Huge Hugs....

Debbie... aka the cancer warrior ... AND SURVIVOR!!!
And don't forget about my Sonoma Relay for Life Team (8/6/11) ~  Debbie's Blasting Crew. We have 10 team members so far. If you aren't able to join the team, you can still help by contributing on my behalf or behalf of one of my team members. And of course you can just come out and drop by and say hello, give a hug, or even walk a lap. It would be great to see you then.

1 comment:

  1. Whew! What a busy and most productive week for you. Sounds like positive and more positive news with a little bit of unknown but let's just stay with all of the positive reports.

    Debbie, stay strong, you are really close to the end now with the chemo treatments. You must feel elated.

    Your positive attitude and zest for life has filled your body with healing energy.

    Hugs, ~Michelle


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