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.


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Breast Cancer Survivorship & Loads of Local Support Options

You may recall a couple of earlier posts this year on Dr. Amy Shaw, who specializes in breast cancer survivorship. Well, today I met with Dr. Shaw again. This time it was at the encouragement of Dr. Ian Anderson, my Oncologist. You see, I've been experiencing quite a bit of bone and hip pain since starting the "five-year" pill so often recommended after breast cancer treatment. This pill is to help prevent, or reduce, the possibility of recurrence of the cancer.

Well, it was a very positive appointment, which gave me a bit of levity and put a smile on my face.

Dr. Shaw asked questions about my pain, when I had it, where it was being felt. Answers are: mainly in my hip, outer upper thigh area. Rarely radiates down the leg a bit, usually during long walks, or standing, lasts throughout the day after these activities and interrupts sleep. Often requiring some pain meds.

From the questions and answers, and the range of motion tests she performed on me, she had this diagnosis and plan for healing --

Physical Therapy! 
  • My hips are fine (stop worrying you will need a hip replacement someday).
  • Pain is not from the medication, which normally causes intense elbow pain, or hand and feet pain or numbness. 
  • She cancelled the Bone Density Test as she felt I did not need more radiation in just one year and that there was no need for it at this point in time.
  • She said I had a very good range of motion.
  • And she complimented me on my new Easy Spirit shoes. (A girl needs a compliment from time to time). :-)
So I am continuing my Exemestane daily, which actually seems to give me less pain than the Letrozole (if any, now, after learning more at this appointment). I will continue my walking and keeping up the exercise.

While there, we talked about some of the programs posted on the bulletin board of the exam room. I mentioned how I seem to be growing my circle of cancer friends, much to my dismay. She mentioned how breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women during their lifetime. So I asked about the Wednesday Education & Empowerment program on Chemo Brain.

Then I noticed the flyer on the Second Annual Cancer Journeyealth Nuturing Ourselves, Loving Ourselves program. One which I saw last year but was unable to attend because Gaige M. Emery entered our lives that day. It is a one-day community event dedicated to providing those touched by cancer and their caregivers with conversations, information and nurturing experiences that complement the healing of body, mind and spirit. Looks very informative. Hope I can make it this time.

And lastly I made note of the monthly Breast Cancer Support Group program.

Then Dr. Shaw looked at me seriously and asked, "Do you know anyone without cancer?" I chuckled out loud and smiled broadly. Such a funny question but so appropriate these days. Click on the poster below for the correct link. The one listed on the poster is incorrect.

The Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) is helping to create a world with less cancer... and more birthdays. This is a grassroots effort where local communities from across the country can support cancer research not just through fundraising efforts, but also by participating actively in this historic research study.


Well, that's enough information to share for now.


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


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