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 10, 2012

Cancer Friends

My cancer-friend (now that is a weird thing to say or write, BUT, it's more and more true these days), Jennifer, appears to be right about where I am today. Here is a link to her blog: Tamoxifen Diaries
She picked up on my post about the risks of consuming alcohol, for first onset of breast cancer people like us, AND for future recurrence, and blogged about it. We are there together....
  • Challenged by the alcohol consumption around us, mostly wine; and how casual it all is, nearly all the time, and how to avoid it "most" of the time.
  • Eating better; more greens, less meat, less bread, vegies, legumes -- trying to grow more of it and choose only organic and non-GMO.
  • Challenged to drop some weight as stats show heavier women are more at risk (yes, it's the fat thing again coming back to haunt me over and over). But from what I can tell, she was pretty slim and trim until this cancer visited her and played a roll on her body and metabolism.
  • Taking the "five-year-pills" and the side effects it can bring.
  • Looking different; the hair, or lack there-of, or increase in facial hair. Leaving it natural finally, or not!The lopsided boobs; but heck -- they are there, and all mine.  :-)
  • Staying positive and not thinking about "it"; will it get me again later, maybe ten years down the road, maybe tomorrow, hopefully NEVER!
All those challenges we face as we are now "cancer survivors" or "in remission". I like "survivor" better myself. :-)

Then there is the challenge to continue with the blog; or how to continue with the blog. I mean, in reality, life is pretty darn good and those are the things to talk about and focus on now. But do I switch and change blog my format. Do I continue here so all my followers, who have been so interested, and complimentary, and told me how much help I have been to them; so they see that I am doing well and there is life after cancer.

Jennifer and I are definitely on a similar path right now. It is such a challenge at times. Lucky for me to have my first two grandchildren enter my life at the end of the year of my cancer treatment. That definitely has given me a wonderful distraction, especially since I get to spend a day a week with each of them. I can't believe how joyful it is to be with them and see their smiling faces. I had no idea being a Grammie (aka GaGa) could be so absolutely wonderful - the icing on the cake, if there is such a thing. Motherhood and being a wife is wonderful too. Having a career is very rewarding. But BEING A GRAMMIE!!! Oh my!!!

Cutting wine from my diet, which has actually helped me to lose weight has not been too hard. I've not been overly rigid on myself, but save it for special occasions. Some weeks I have a glass or more a couple of times a week, other times I have none. I basically do not drink at home at all! PERIOD!! I will though if we have company, go out to a special event, a wedding, dinner out with friends. But I'm finding I consume much less. I've decided the Farmer's Market we attend with friends is just too frequent, as it will then be a weekly happening. And that has not been hard. I am the DD for sure that night, and that helps out. I do to eat better, eat more greens, less bread, but really -- the wine is the one major change I am good at most of the time. :-)

But WE are here, and trying to be better at what we do, take our daily pill, and enjoy the loved ones in our lives. 

So here are my loved ones:

Alura and Nico, who just turned one in August. 
With 5-6 adorable teeth, he's babbling and walking and getting into everything.

Sarah and Gaige. Gaige is now 10.5 months.
He has two teeth, babbling as well, crawling like mad, and also into everything.

And Grandpa Mark, pictured here with Gaige at the Farmer's Market.


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


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