LIVESTRONG:

And in June 2013 we are back in the revolving door of doctors, this time for my heart. So the focus has shifted, 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 strength to others & will help to strip away the fears we each experience.


LIVESTRONG: I am strong. I am loved. I am healthy. WE WILL WIN!

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.

WARNING:
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.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Maxine saye, "Get Those Pumpkins in for a Mammogram"

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post as frequently as possible this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.


LIFE IS GOOD

And if you've made it this far, please leave a comment below. That would be just fabulous to know you are following along.

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •





Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Breast Cancer videos

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post as frequently as possible this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.


Breast cancer awareness month is almost over!

Healthline recently finished compiling its list of the best breast cancer awareness videos of 2012. You can view the list at http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/best-videos-breast-cancer

I'm spreading awareness by sharing these amazing videos with you. And my previous blog post features Healthline's breast cancer apps.

Please share with as many as you can.


LIFE IS GOOD

And if you've made it this far, please leave a comment below. That would be just fabulous to know you are following along.

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •





Sunday, October 28, 2012

Top 12 Apps for Breast Cancer Patients 2012

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post as frequently as possible this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.


Healthline does it again with their top 12 Apps for breast cancer patients of 2012.

According to BreastCancer.org, 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer during their lifetimes, and over a quarter of a million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. If you are battling breast cancer, these apps may just make the difference between “chemo brain” and calmness.

If you are a woman who would like to end breast cancer, consider downloading the handy apps that help you find screening sites, donate to breast cancer awareness efforts, remind you to perform a breast self-exam, or support friends or loved ones with this terrible cancer.


LIFE IS GOOD

And if you've made it this far, please leave a comment below. That would be just fabulous to know you are following along.

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •





Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Parenthood

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post as frequently as possible this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.

I've been enjoying watching the show Parenthood since it's inception a year or two ago. Something about the crazy large family, and all their interactions, really entertains me. Maybe it resembles my own family somewhat.

And this year it has an eery similarity; one that makes Mark and I bit uncomfortable at times. You see, Kristina has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Kristina is considerably younger than me, as so many women are these days who get breast cancer, but I still compare myself to her and how she is reacting to everything. Initially I was so surprised that she waited so long to tell her family. Not just her children, but her in-laws, that she appears to be so close to. As a matter of fact, as I type this, I realize that she has no family of her own. At least none that the show is talking about. I mean, where is her own mother or siblings while she is going through this ordeal. But that is another topic, for another day.

But Kristina finally did tell her family, and her daughter who had just gone away to college, and everyone has rallied around her and are offering support in any way they can. You see, Kristina just had her surgery in last night's episode. But again, she returned home to tell her college-aged daughter that the surgery went well, the cancer is all gone, and she just has a few follow up appointments with her surgeon. When really, Kristina's breast surgery was very successful, BUT, the cancer was found in one lymph node, and the breast cancer was found to be Her2 Receptive, which is more aggressive and requires different treatment, such as chemotherapy. So I imagine Haddie will return to Cornell for school, as her parents want, and then will learn this news, and return home to help out the family. 

I know, you are saying, "It is just TV, Debbie". I guess I am just too transparent when it comes to these things. Why hide it, why hold back. Secrets really aren't healthy, and the family support system will rally around and help to fill in the gaps, especially if they know what is really going on. But then, my daughters are older, and were such a sense of huge help and support to me. I guess we are all different, and all react differently. That is what makes each one of us unique and special.

So hopefully Kristina will have a good outcome. Because the show is becoming hard for us both to watch. Although the preview on the episode for next week, where Kristina and Adam try a green smoothie, looks pretty hillarious. And... it brings back some pretty funny memories too.

So if you haven't tuned in to Parenthood on Tuesday nights yet, give it a try. It is pretty entertaining.

Meanwhile, I'm REALLY looking forward to a weekend getaway with my high school girlfriends this weekend. CAN'T WAIT!!!


LIFE IS GOOD

And if you've made it this far, please leave a comment below. That would be just fabulous to know you are following along.

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •





Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Annual - Check

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post as frequently as possible this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.



Wow, one year since completing all treatment has passed, and today was a good day. I met with my Oncologist, Dr. Anderson, for my annual followup appointment. Something I was anxious to find out about ended up to be good news ~ that the Bone Density Scan results are within normal ranges. So chemo did not take too hard of a toll on my bone strength, nor has the aromatase inhibitor, Exemestane, that I've been taking for a year now. All systems seem to be "Go"!  :-)

We discussed the hip pain I'm still experiencing and he through out the option for me to switch, yet again, this time to Tamoxifen. The Tamoxifen has a slightly less rate of prevention against cancer recurrence, but has some other side effects that I don't like the sounds of -- like blood clots, other cancers, night sweats, to name a few. So I've decided to stay with the Exemestane for now and implement some other measures; such as physical therapy, yoga, heat, hot tub, massage, etc. We shall see. If I don't get some relief with these other measures, I can always change drugs.

So now it's on to my annual mammogram next month, which will be six months since the mammo on the left breast, the one previously with cancer. Then I'll follow up with Dr. Anderson in another six months. 

It feels good to reach these milestones and be able to check off another of "anything", days, months, years; whatever. As long as it is all good, I feel good, and I have my wonderful family and friends around me for continued support. As another breast cancer blogger recently commented at the end of an NPR piece she was interviewed for, someone who has a recurrence, a metastasis which is in-operable -- she encourages someone like me, someone who is in remission and is doing well, to get on with their lives, enjoy their health, and try not to worry about cancer. Live each day to the fullest, and enjoy what you have. So thank you, Ann, for that reminder. It certainly means so much more coming from you, who is doing just that, even though the outcome is so uncertain at this time.

And all this after returning from an alpaca show in Grass Valley this past weekend. It was a fun filled weekend with friends and adorable alpacas. And our lovely pacas brought home one first place blue ribbon, and two second place red ribbons.

So.....


LIFE IS GOOD

And if you've made it this far, please leave a comment below. That would be just fabulous to know you are following along.

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •








Thursday, October 18, 2012

Act With Love and Make Breast Cancer History this October

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post nearly every day this month, as possible. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.

Act With Love and Make Breast Cancer History this October

Looking for a cause to get behind this October? Naz Sykes, the executive director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, shares information about her organization's important new initiative and how you can get involved:

We are in the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and flooded by a sea of pink products asking for our financial support. It's overwhelming and sometimes hard to navigate, and it can be hard to measure the impact our dollars will have on moving the needle closer to finding the right answers about a disease that continues to kill 108 women every day.

So, you might be wondering what the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation is doing that is different, and why you should consider supporting us. Our mission is simple. We are working to understand what causes breast cancer and figure out ways to prevent it. We don't want the next generation of young women to ever hear the words, "You have breast cancer." We want to eliminate breast cancer from our vocabulary.

Yes, it's a lofty goal! Many might caution that our goal is too ambitious, but it's unacceptable to watch 280,000 women get diagnosed with breast cancer every year—a number that hasn't changed much since 2003. How are we going to accomplish our goal and the promise we have made to eradicate this disease once and for all?

Our approach is all about research and, specifically, research on women—all kinds of women: women with a history of breast cancer and women without breast cancer. It's hard to believe healthy women play a key role in research, but they do, and it's important for them to get involved. Many times when we hear about breast cancer research, we assume the research involves only women with breast cancer. What we need is both: women with and without breast cancer. We need all women over the age of 18 and of every ethnicity to commit themselves to our two signature call to action programs:
  • The Health of Women Study, is an online study that will collect health information from you over time through specific, themed questionnaires that you will receive every couple of months. We will ask you questions about your diet and exercise, family history, occupation, reproductive health and much more. The more data we can collect from you over time, and the more people we have in our database, the more powerful our data will be to uncover possible trends and new risk factors for breast cancer. This is an international study, so sign up at www.healthofwomenstudy.org today! All your information is kept in a secure database, so your privacy is protected. And don't forget to get your friends and family members to sign up as well. We will share the findings, and you also have an opportunity to propose ideas for future questionnaires. So, if you have specific research ideas or concerns, we want to hear from you!
  • The Army of Women, with 370,000 strong women (and a few good men), is a database of individuals with and without a history of breast cancer who have signed up because they are interested in learning more and participating in studies focused on the cause and prevention of breast cancer. Signing up is simple, and once you agree to be in our database, you will start getting e-mails about various studies looking for participants. You can decide which studies, if any, you want to participate in by donating your data, blood sample or time. This is a great way to educate yourself about what the research community is focusing on when it comes to solving the mysteries of breast cancer. And, of course, we are 370,000 strong because each member is dedicated to recruiting friends and family members to participate. The success of the Army of Women depends on you! To learn more and sign up, visit www.armyofwomen.org.
And finally, we can't do our innovative work into the cause and prevention of breast cancer without generous financial support from the public. If you are ready to take part in a different kind of movement—a movement focused on research and ending breast cancer—I encourage you to make a donation. A $25 donation goes a long way for us, so visit www.dslrf.org and contribute today.

This October, join and commit yourself to the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and act with Love. By investing your dollars, yourself and your friends, you are making breast cancer history!

This guest blog post was written by Naz Sykes, executive director of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.


LIFE IS GOOD

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •






Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One Down, Four to Go


In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post every day this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.


Today was Bone Density Scan day. It's been one full year since my last scan and one full year since I've been on the Aromatase Inhibitor -- the daily pill to help keep the estrogen receptive breast cancer at bay. I'll take this pill for five years total.... So.... one down, four to go. THAT SURE FEELS GOOD!

Of course I won't know the results of the scan until I see my Oncologist next Tuesday, but I'm glad I took this step. I still need to get in for PT to see if that will help with the hip and leg pain, and am thinking next week will be a good time to get that started as well. Then, before you know it, it will be time for my annual mammogram. My how these dates all seem to be backed up, one after the other.

But all is good, I feel great, grandsons are growing like weeds and are the loves of my life. As a matter of fact, Gaige and I had our first solo over-nighter on Saturday night. And we both survived. Actually, it went quite well.

Grammie time with Nico.....

Bathtime -- 

All boy; cords, sticks and rocks --

Fun in the park --


Grammies first overnighter (with Gaige)... 

Morning walk in wine country --

Fun in our wonderful plaza park --  



 Look what they gave me at the bagel shop... a teether bagel 
(And I loved it)


And by lowering my wine intake to "just special occasions" and getting out for long walks a couple of times a week with those babes in strollers, I continue to slowly lose weight and tone up. I'm down a pants size, and even the smaller size is starting to fit looser too. 

So.....             LIFE IS GOOD

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •






Saturday, October 13, 2012

Smoothies

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post every day this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.

Okay, so I was playing around with grandsons and missed a few days.  :-)


Do you have a favorite smoothie drink you love?

Nutritionist and author Kim Synder shares supercharged drinks on Dr. Oz's Website. These smoothies are sure to make your hair shinier and your skin more radiant! They are easy to digest, making the anti-aging benefits just a few sips away!


There is a glowing green smoothie for radiant skin, a chia seed shake for lustrous hair, and more. So get out the blender and try one of these yummy smoothies today. If your mornings are like mine, then having a glass of delicious goodness to slurp down as your moving around the house in the morning and getting going, sure seems to keep me on task.


Enjoy!




LIFE IS GOOD

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •







Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bone Density Scan Back "On"

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post every day this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.


I have been in a quandry about getting a Bone Density Scan this month. It was originally on the calendar as a followup from one year ago; and because I have been on the aromatase inhibitor for a year now, which has osteoporosis as a side effect. Add to that the fact I've had hip and leg pain since taking this pill, sometimes much more intense than others.

My Oncologist was not really pushing this test again so soon until I pushed the issue due to the pain. But then I saw Dr. Amy Shaw a couple of weeks ago. And it was her recommendation that I forego the scan, but instead start some physical therapy to help strengthen the SI joint and surrounding ligaments. All this sounded very good at the time, but I have yet to make the first PT appointment.

So, just the other day I received a call from RRMG to make an appointment. When I called in, it was for the Bone Density Scan. So now what to do? My oncologist is on vacation and not available to discuss the options, but the advice nurse from the Oncology Department suggests I go through with the scan to rule out any osteoporosis at this time and give me a base line going forward now that I have been taking the Exemestane. I guess this is what I will do. I have moved back the annual visit to the Oncologist, Dr. Ian Anderson, so that the Bone Density Scan will happen with enough time for him to have the results for my appointment with him. 

All in all, it will be good to have this information going forward and in dealing with the continuing pain and discomfort since starting the Exemestane.




LIFE IS GOOD

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •









Monday, October 8, 2012

NBCAM

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post every day this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.

About NBCAM.org

The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. NBCAM recognizes that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. Today, we remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

Although October is designated as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, NBCAM is dedicated to raising awareness and educating individuals about breast cancer throughout the year. We encourage you to regularly visit these sites to learn more about breast cancer, breast health, and the latest research developments. Click on any of the websites below for more information.

View our list of participating organizations »
Visit the NBCAM Store »


LIFE IS GOOD

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •






Sunday, October 7, 2012

Family Fun and Harvest Time

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post every day this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.

What better way to spend some time this Fall than with family and celebrating Harvest.

  Debbie and her sister, Christine, greet Mark after he                          Great Auntie Christine holding Nico, with his Dad,
referees the Sonoma Fire Departments' Water Fights                                        Stephan, in the background.
                        at the Vintage Festival.     


Nephews Malone and Matisse have a little "Camp Brookfarm" time harvesting basil and other veggies.

Nico receives a belated Birthday gift from Great Uncle and Auntie, Marie & Matthew, and cousins Malone and Matisse.

Nico having a ball at Brookfarm

Shar and Eric visit from Montana so the whole family comes together for a BBQ. Shar, Nico, Eric, Alura & Stephan

Shar snuggles with Gaige, while Eric and Sarah (Gaige's mom) look on.

A fun day at the Sonoma County Harvest Faire


Grandpa shows Gaige the tractor at the Harvest Faire.


LIFE IS GOOD

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •





Saturday, October 6, 2012

Free Mammograms in Sonoma

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post every day this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.


Sonoma Valley Hospital Offers Free Mammograms

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Sonoma Valley Hospital is once again offering mammograms and follow-up care to women who are uninsured, underinsured or with high insurance deductibles at no charge during the month of October.

Women seeking a mammogram must first obtain an order from their physician, who can fax the order to the hospital at 935-5271. Those who do not have a regular physician and do not plan to get one should call the hospital for an appointment at 935-5215, and a physician’s referral will be arranged.
When calling 935-5215 to make an appointment, women should be sure to mention that they wish to take advantage of the Sponsored Mammogram Program.

Mammograms are provided in the warm and inviting atmosphere of the Sonoma Valley Hospital diagnostic imaging annex, the Carolyn J. Stone Center for Women’s Health, located at 246 Perkins St.
Sonoma Valley Hospital is able to offer this potentially life-saving program because of the generosity of the community. Donations in support of the hospital make this and other programs, equipment and enhancements possible.

For information about making a donation to SVH, contact Harmony Plenty at 935-5070 or hplenty@svh.com.






LIFE IS GOOD

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •






Friday, October 5, 2012

Project Pink -- LAST CALL!

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October 2012, I hope to post every day this month. Heaven knows I am learning of new breast cancer diagnosis, or serious recurrences of breast cancer, often times metastasis, nearly weekly. Lets all do whatever we can to see that all women are aware of the breast cancer risks, and that research soon puts a stop to this life-changing, and often deadly, disease.

Army of Women

Project Pink - Last Call!
Dear Debbie,
Last call for all Project Pink voters!  Tommorrow, October 5th, marks the end of PUMA's Project Pink campaign and every last vote will make a difference.  The winning charity receives 100% of the profits from PUMA Project Pink gear, as well as $1 everytime someone tweets the hastag #projectpink.  All in all, the donation could be worth $125,000.

So, get over to the polls and VOTE for the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation!  

  1. Submit your email to register for voting.
  2. Enter your basic personal information.
  3. When prompted with "Who do you love?". Click "Vote Now".
  4. Search "Act with Love" or "Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation" in the 
    gallery search bar to access the Foundation's new Act with Love logo.
  5. VOTE!!!                            
 
To access the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation's new Act with Love logo, please search the above terms, as "Army of Women" will not show any results within the gallery.





LIFE IS GOOD

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

LIVESTRONG
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •