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, May 14, 2012

Stronger ~ Seattle Children's Hospital

My cousin Donna shared this on her Facebook page this morning. She too is a breast cancer survivor, and it was her comment, "I think this video is especially meaningful if you or someone you love has been touched by surveyors are stronger because of it.", that got me to find the video on You Tube because she wasn't sure how to link it.

So here is the link to Stronger at Seattle Children's Hospital, a lovely music video of the young cancer patient's there, showing some spunk, sweetness, and loads of strength. Be careful, you are sure to shed some tears as I did. And if you have the time, check the video on how it was made and the Thank You from Kelly Clarkston.

As I am coming up on my one year anniversary of that last chemo treatment on May 17th, memories flush over me; memories of that call with the diagnosis, all the confusion and decisions over a treatment plan best for me and "my" cancer, getting started on chemo and how it takes such a tole over your body and your whole life, then learning I would become a grandma for the first time as all treatment would be winding down -- and not from one daughter, but from both within a few months, memories of losing my hair, my nails, my energy, then regaining it all very slowly after surgery and then radiation. And there was all the love and support from family and friends, near and far. It was a long road, but I am much stronger from it, as is my family.

The latest for me is that I have been off the Letrozole for about a month. I still have some leg and hip bone aches and pain on occasion, but am ready to begin the Exemestane, now that I have navigated the cost of it and what is best for me. I'm going from $30 every two months to $160, which is quite a hit in the old pocket book. Especially since both our health premiums just increased substantially. But we will make do. I did shop around, even checking Costco, and this is the best we can do for now. It is far better than the $400 I was originally quoted for the generic. And when you are taking something for five years, cost is a deciding factor, for sure. Hopefully there will be less side effects with this drug.

I will be getting blood work done here in the next week to check my cancer markers and hopefully all will be good there. Again, with the high deductible health plan, I found that I could price shop this as well and find a huge cost savings at a lab, especially for their "cash price" quote. I'm learning.  :-)

I'm healthy and feeling strong and just about back to normal, other than the hip/leg issues. So life is good; AND... what doesn't kill you DOES make you stronger.

I'll close with these from my Mother's Day. Yes... Life is Good!

Chris, Gaige, Sarah, Me, Alura, Nico, Stephan

Sarah, Gaige, Nico, Alura

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


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