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.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

1 Year, And Many More to Go

Today I will celebrate the anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis spending it with one of the special men in my life, Nicolas Frederic Barsun, my grandson. And it will be a wonderful day for sure.

Nico, as he is fondly called by us all, is a mere 5 months old. His momma is recently back to work and I am blessed to be able to watch him one day a week. It is about a 1.5 hour drive to where they live, but well worth the effort. We will get out for a long walk of an hour or more, play around the house, have a few bottles, hopefully a nice nap, and just enjoy each other's company.

It was just about the time I was ready to start my chemotherapy last February that Mark and I received the very welcome news that our oldest daughter, Alura, was pregnant for the first time. We had all but given up that she and Stephan would have a family and had stopped mentioning children. After all, they had just adopted their second greyhound so that must have sealed the deal, right? So it was much to our surprise when Alura appropriately waited until after I had my treatment plan in place, coming with me to all my initial surgeon and oncologist appointments to help us navigate the system, as any good Nurse Practitioner daughter should/would do, to tell us of this happy and exciting news. 

Then it was a little over a month later that younger daughter, Sarah, announced that she and her husband Chris would be welcoming their first child just a couple of months after her sister. 

Yes, we would finally be blessed to wear the title of Grandparent!

So you see, The Lost Year of cancer was not to be. While a good part of the year was not pleasant, actually down right miserable, the anticipation of welcoming two grandsons to our lives gave us the hope we needed to help endure the months of chemo, surgery and radiation.

And I am also honored to watch Gaige, our second grandson (Sarah and Chris' baby) once a week too. And on Sunday, we spent the evening with Sarah and Gaige, who is just 10 weeks old. So I continue to celebrate so very much, AND life does continue after breast cancer, and it can be good. AND IT IS VERY GOOD!


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



  1. Debbie thank you for sharing your story and allowing others to follow your journey. Last week a dear friend, who is about the same age as our daughter, told me she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt one of the best things I could do to help support her was to give her the link to your blog. She has visited it and will continue to glean information. You never know whose lives you are going to touch when you decide to share. Blessings to you, Mark, and your family.

  2. Hi Debbie-

    So very happy for you and your growing family! What a wonderful way to pass this milestone anniversary, with new grandchildren at hand. :)

    Love your nothing-held-back blog proving that cancer CAN BE BEAT; definitely a great resource for anyone going through one of life's toughest experiences. Your candor and bravery are amazing. :)

    Congratulations again on becoming a grandparent. As a new mom (finally!) myself at age 43, our 4-month-old John is the light of our lives. Counting our blessings here, too! :)

    Warm regards-
    Andrea Love


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