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, September 26, 2011

First Party of the Year

Its hard to believe that we have not hosted one family party all year long. And consequentially, I've really missed everyone alot.

Yes, I've not been up to it with all the fatigue, doctor appointments, treatment, etc. Neither has Mark. Then there were all those months when it was risky for me to be around anyone who might be sick so I missed out being with my nieces and nephews, which was also very difficult. But I'm feeling really good now, and have so much to celebrate and be thankful for.

Most important is my family and friends and end to treatment. Well, does it ever end? At least an end to the major treatment where I am going in daily or weekly, having surgery, feeling yucky, looking yucky... There will be followup appointments, I am sure, and the daily hormone therapy will most likely start soon. But I'm feeling really good now (did I already say that), and will do my best to get back to some sort of normal life now.

The appointment with my oncologist last week went well. He reassured me with all my questions about Femara and Aromatase Inhibitors. What is happening next is that he will schedule a bone density test for me to see how strong my bones are, since this is one of the major risks of Aromatase Inhibitors. If my bones and good and strong, we will begin the Femara. If not, I'll start on Tamoxifen along with a bone strengthener drug for a couple of years. Once the bones are strong enough, I'll be switched to Femara for another couple of years. Two of my biggest concerns over the Femara was the bone fracture incidence in some and heart risk. My grandmother was plagued with Osteoporosis in later years and experience lots of fractures. Then there are some heart issues on my side of the family. So the bone density test sounds like a good idea to me. And the heart risk is greater on Tamoxifen so Femara is a better choice for me for now. At least these were the two biggest concerns for me. 

The other concern with Femara is some of the awful other side effects I've read about. Of course those experiencing difficulty are the ones to tell about their woes. Those feeling good often don't comment at all. My oncologist confirmed that only about 20% of those using the drug experience significant issues, such as what I described above and arthritis type symptoms. And if I am one of that 20%, then we will stop the drug, or try another one to see if I do better on it. So I think I am comfortable with this plan of attack for now.

So now...

After all, that is how I started this post. :-)

The newest member of the family, 6 week old Nicolas Barsun, aka Nico (our first grandchild), had his first sleep over here at Brookfarm this weekend to celebrate his welcome to the family, his mom and dad's recent birthdays this past week, and my end to radiation. We hosted 20 family members and close friends to celebrate. Little Mr. Nico was the hit of the party, being passed around to all the Aunties and getting his cheeks pinched by his cousins. It was a lovely Fall day and I soaked in every moment of it. Cousin Terry jumped up to help get all the food ready at the last moment, as Mark was running the barbecue, and I was enveloping Nico in my arms with a grand smile glued to my face. Below is the moment capturing me and Nico in our glory, and here is a link to more photos of the day.

In my glory with Nico at 6 weeks old


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


1 comment:

  1. Hi, Debbie - Congrats on your new grandson! Congrats on finishing radiation. I am sure you will do fine with hormonal therapy. You are a strong woman! And finally, congrats on your hair growth. It looks beautiful!


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