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.


Friday, July 15, 2011

CT Planning

Today was my CT Planning appointment. This is the appointment where they position me for radiation and take a CT scan to check on the placement.

It took about an hour with several scans and readjustments of my body position.  The Radiation Technologist made several marks on my chest until she got it just right. Then she had the doctor come in to check on things and sign off on the positioning. Once all was good, she placed about four tiny tattoos on my chest to mark exactly where I will be positioned and lined up with the equipment for each radiation appointment. They were like little bug bites, so not really a problem. But laying there with both arms overhead, chin raised, and staying very still, was tiresome, but not impossible. 

See the itsy bitsy tattoo - the little tiny blue mark?
What I learned is that I need some kind of mantra/poem/prayer to recite during radiation to help while away the time. I remember this challenge during my MRI guided biopsy. I kept trying to recall a song or something and was at a loss. Of course I said many Hail Mary's and Lord's Prayers, but I was looking for something else as well to keep me positive and focused on something other than the procedure. So I have two weeks to come up with something.

I also learned I need to be extra cautious of sunburn to the chest these next two weeks. The Rad Tech warned me that if I get lots of sun in the tattoo zone, then they will delay radiation. Sunscreen and caution with V-neck shirts for sure!

While changing into the gown for the CT Planning, I realized that I will use one gown per week for radiation, based on the signs in the room. My gown will be kept in a "cubby" for me. Then on Friday I will place it in the "soiled gown" bin and start anew on the next Monday.

On July 29th I return for the teaching appointment where a nurse goes over all the particulars. That is immediately followed by the simulation appointment where they simulate radiation to make sure everything lines up as expected. Then that following Monday, August 1st, I start radiation. 

It is scary, AGAIN, but I am anxious to get on with it. So your positive words, thoughts, encouragement and prayers are welcome again. As it takes a village, for sure..... and you are all my village.


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


  1. Debbie,
    The mantra you are looking for resides within your soul. The very thing that got you through this incredibly challenging experience is the same thing that will get you through the radiation. All that we need is all that we are and nothing more! Even leaders, such as you are, sometimes feel doubt and fear.Expect that, then do what you always do,breath through it, move through it, and evolve from it! Know that you are loved by many and respected by all. See you and Mark at the reunion.

  2. Debbie, another informative process that you will be experiencing. I hope that with writing about it and taking pictures, takes some of the fear away. It sure helps me understand better what you are going through.

    Even though you are want to forge ahead so that you can get through this final journey, get back to feeling stronger and spending time with your new grandbabies and family. And that is what I pray for.

    You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

    Hugs, ~Michelle


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