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.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

A Very Sweet Story

Today I had a very nice lunch with two of my sisters, Nancy and Christine. (We missed you, Donna) We met in Santa Rosa where they both work and had a good, relaxing visit.  I finally got up the gumption to wear one of my wigs out too, and they had fun with that.

As we were chatting up a storm, as sisters do, Nancy was recalling her recent visit to upstate NY to visit with her in-laws. She held out her wrist to show off a very cute breast cancer bracelet, and told this story.

As she was on the flight to NY, she struck up a conversation with one of the flight attendants who was wearing the bracelet. Nancy complimented her on the bracelet and asked if she was a survivor. The attendant replied that she was not, but that she was the only member of her family who had not been struck by cancer. The flight attendant went on to say that she made the bracelet. Nancy then told her how she has a sister who is going through breast cancer right now. Then they both went about their journey; Nancy reading, the flight attendant taking care of her passengers.

As the flight ended, Nancy and her husband gathered their belongings and started to exit the plane. From behind, Nancy heard someone say, "Just a minute!" It was the flight attendant who was handing the bracelet to Nancy, as Nancy was saying, "I can't take this from you". The flight attendant explained that this was for her sister, so that when she/I was finished with chemo, I could say I am a survivor. As Nancy told this part of the story, she slipped the bracelet off her wrist and handed it to me. Of course, Tina and I both had eyes welled with tears at this point. 

There are so many kind, sweet, and generous people I have met through this journey. This is yet another one of those instances. I have no idea who this sweet angel was, but I will always remember her, this story, and will cherish my Survivor Bracelet.
I am a survivor!

I will close this entry in saying that I returned home to receive a call from the Breast Care Coordinator of Redwood Regional Medical Center. She has gone with my suggestion and after talking a bit more with the Radiologist who reviewed my latest ultrasound, put in an order for an MRI guided biopsy. In this way, it will be on the schedule for next week. If my surgeon returns from his trip on Tuesday and says this is not what he wants, we can still cancel it. But at least we won't lose another week in the interim.

I also had a good appointment with my oncologist yesterday and reviewed all the statistics and asked lots of questions. He confirmed that the recurrence is not greater with lumpectomy and radiation, as it is with mastectomy. After really grilling him with lots of other questions and concerns, I feel very close to making a final surgery decision once my surgeon returns and we have the opportunity to discuss everything further. I think I am over all the uncertainty and confusion and more at ease with everything. Ahhh; this feels much better.  :-)


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


  1. I'm so glad you are feeling better!! You will win!! xoxo

  2. When this is all over, as a survivor I encourage you to write a novel or whatever!? You have a way of communicating your heart so powerfully through words that even I a testosterone alpha male has a difficult if not impossible time holding back the tears! You are AMAZING!!!!
    Thank you! Xman

  3. LOVE you, Debbie! Ups and downs and in betweens, nevertheless, you are awesome!! xx.

  4. A very sweet story for a very sweet lady. I'm loving the wig and you are looking fabulous.

    I'm so happy to read that you had the time to soul search and gain insight with events and situations that surround you, and you are feeling more at ease in making the right decision for you and surgery.

    You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

    Hugs, ~Michelle


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