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, August 14, 2012

Go Away Cancer; Leave My Friends Alone

I mean it! I'm SHOUTING NOW and angry -- you better listen up here. GO AWAY CANCER ~ LEAVE MY FRIENDS ALONE!!!

Why is it as we age more and more of our friends and loved ones come down with this ailment and that affliction. Is it age, is it the times, what the heck is it all about anyway? 

You see, there is a good friend of mine who I've just reconnected with over the last few months. She is a friend who's kids were near mine in age, they attended Dunbar school together, they took ballet lessons together and played soccer together,  and she and I played soccer together. We even camped together as families. But that was a long time ago. As the kids grew older, we went our separate ways.

Well recently, another friend of ours came down with breast cancer so we reconnected, and all had lunch together here at my place, and planned to do so again real soon. Then the craziness of summer, vacations, and fun days with grand kids, kind of got in the way for a few weeks. So I made contact with the friend with breast cancer and we picked a few days that we could get together. Then I emailed the other friend so we could set a date.

Her reply was shocking, as it always is, when you get the word. It is not her, but her husband who heard the words, "You have cancer", and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer just a couple of weeks earlier. When I heard the news, I sat on the stairs and actually sobbed. Mark was out of town, and it just got to me. Sometimes it is just too much and a few tears make you feel better, at least for a moment.

As I know all too well, her life has now been turned upside down and consumed with fear, confusion, doctor appointments, etc. As it was, her husband was scheduled for a 10-12 hour surgery the very next day. This happened to be the same day I spent with my brother in SF at California Pacific Med Center for one of his three days of consult in preparation to get on the heart transplant list. And her husbands surgery was at Kaiser just near CPMC. Much as I had hoped to be able to go there and drop by and give her a hug, it was not to be.

Since then, she has updated me several times. Surgery went well, margins are clear, and he is progressing as well as can be expected but will be in the hospital a bit longer. So now their road of treatment and recovery begins. The "lost year" begins, as Mark so aptly coined it for us.

So when you say your prayers, or make those wishes for those in need, or whatever you do to help out those with illness or less fortunate than yourself, please add my friend to your list. Like all of us, they do not deserve this either. But she is strong, and positive, and is doing what we all try to do in this situation -- put one foot in front of the other, take it day by day, and just try to do what we can to move in a positive and healing direction.

As she said to me in an email today, TGFK (Thank God For Knitting). Those of you who knit or crochet, or do some other form of hand work you can take anywhere, know exactly what she means. 

Hugs to you dear friend. Thinking of you and your family daily.

LIFE IS GOOD (most of the time)

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


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