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.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Busy Fun Week Before Surgery

It was a busy yet somewhat fun week before surgery. Donna arrived from Montana on Tuesday. It was our plan to take in our weekly farmer's market that same evening after she arrived and after I had my pre-op appointment. Sister Nancy planned to pick Donna up at SFO and come up and spend the night with us. What I did not realize is that after the pre-op appointment I had lab work to have done at Memorial Hospital. 

So as the morning wore on, and I became a bit stressed about the whole day, I decided it would be pushing too hard to take in the farmer's market. I let everyone know, especially since some other family members had planned to join us this week. What I did not realize is that the lab work also included a chest X-ray and EKG. So after 1.5 hrs at Redwood Regional to meet with Dr. Elboim and the NP to go over all the details of surgery and after care, we spent another 2 hours at Memorial Hospital for the tests. We picked up a Mary's pizza afterward and arrived home around 6pm all of us exhausted.

On Wednesday, Nancy headed in to work and Donna and I headed off to tour Luther Burbank Gardens in Santa Rosa before picking up some prescriptions and sports bras for after-surgery, getting lunch, and running a couple of other errands. Luther Burbank gardens are absolutely beautiful. Believe it or not, this was my very first visit there.

Donna and I made it home from the days errands in time for a short nap before heading into Sonoma to meet sisters Nancy and Christine for a girls night out. It is rare that we are all in one town together, and even more so that we take the time for just the girls to get together without spouses and kids and be silly. So we did just that -- we met at Breakaway Cafe for dinner and then took in the movie Bridesmaids at Sonoma Cinemas. Talk about a hilarious movie!! We laughed so much that the couple sitting in front of us moved up a row a few minutes into the movie. I'd say it was just what the doctor ordered for surgery week.

The last required appointment of the day was to meet up with a plastic surgeon in Petaluma that Dr. Elboim consults with and often does surgery with, when needed. Dr. Sommerhaug needed to mark my breast up again so that Dr. Elboim would know where he suggested the incision be made. The idea was that if the lumpectomy surgery did not result in the look I wanted, considering there is so much that needs to be removed, then a follow-up plastic surgery by Dr. Sommerhaug would be more successful if he had input into this first surgery. So we met him at Petaluma hospital for this meeting and then gave brother Matt a quick call to make time to see him and his family since we were in his neighborhood. About this time I got a call from Redwood Regional that they wanted me to have one more test for lemphedema to get a base line prior to surgery. So it was yet another day of running around, when I had originally planned a restful day before surgery.

But all in all it was a good week spending some fun time with family, which proved to be a good distraction.


Debbie... aka the cancer warrior ... AND SURVIVOR!!!
Sonoma Relay for Life Team (8/6/11) ~  Debbie's Blasting Crew.

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