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, September 2, 2011

25 Down; 8 To Go ~ Skin Breakdown Has Begun

I'm at the end of week five of radiation treatments. Today was the last of the regular treatments, and then we will begin the "boost" on Tuesday. The boost is a more concentrated dose of radiation that is administered to just the tumor site, rather than the whole breast, chest, and underarm. So hopefully it will avoid the areas where I am already having the skin problem, so it will be easier on my skin. 

THANK GOODNESS!!! Because the skin began to breakdown earlier this week and it is not fun for sure. I've been using all the prescribed creams and even some I've learned about from other breast cancer treatments, but alas I'm still having some issues. It all started last week with some itchy areas and aches. At that time my radiation oncologist prescribed a steroid cream. I didn't use the cream much because I was not scratching my skin, and that was its primary purpose. I wanted to continue the calendula and aloe to promote healing and soothing my poor leathery-like skin. Sure enough, on Sunday there were three tiny dots on my areola where the darkened skin had pulled away and exposed a tiny wound. The doc indicated that the other dark areas, areas that to me looked like I had burned my skin with a curling iron (we know what that looks like, don't we ladies?), would most likely break down as well. It's as if the skin has blistered, even though it has not, and then the skin breaks open. There is no oozing or anything, at least not yet.

The area of breakdown is larger yet today, but hopefully this three-day-weekend off radiation will give my skin a rest and the chance to heal. My expert burn consultant, Alura, has given me wonderful advice on how to treat the wounds so I am sure everything will be fine. And it really isn't too uncomfortable so far.

So I'm glad it is all winding down and looking forward to two weeks down the road when radiation is over and everything will have a chance to heal.

Happy Labor Day Weekend! Enjoy and be safe,

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



  1. thank goodness you have Alura consulting on your case......she was amazing for my burn! rest and take it easy this on the downhill side of it all

  2. You are my HERO! In terms of mental and emotional toughness, you are the Hercules of modern times. Enjoy what I pray is a restful and rejuvenating three day weekend my friend. You and Mark have certainly earned it!

  3. Hi, Debbie. Thanks for stopping by my blog. The skin breaking down sounds quite painful. Luckily you are nearing the end of rads and hopefully your skin will heal nicely. A three day weekend off from rads is probably just what you needed. Good luck! Jen

  4. Bonjour Debbie! :)

    Just wanted to tell you how amazing you are. You are an inspiration of strenght and hope.

    Keep on smiling, you're a WARRIOR!

    Lots of love my friend, to you and your family.




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