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.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Zoll Life Vest, Insurance & The Fair

Yesterday I called Zoll to find out why my defibrillator LifeVest wanted to treat me yesterday while Alura and I were walking around Stanford Medical Center for appointments. I transmit it's data once a week via a modem and had just transmitted the weeks information the night before. So they should have the detail needed to let me know. The technician said that my heart was acting perfectly fine and normal, but the vest was causing friction which sent a signal as though the heart was in distress. This can happen if the leads wiggle around alot, which they normally do not. But perhaps when I hurriedly put the vest back on after the echo at Stanford, I didn't get it on just right. I can also put a dab of lotion under each heart disk, which should help. Thank goodness I was paying attention and responded to the first alert to turn it off. Of course, the next alert sounds much like a smoke detector, so I'm sure it would have gotten both my and Alura's attention to do something, not to mention everyone nearby.

I also asked Zoll about the letter I received from Anthem Blue Cross stating that the vest could not be authorized, that my condition should be treated by medication. Duh, I'm on a bunch of that right now, but that doesn't mean that something else might not go wrong. So this is a great safety net, in my mind. I also learned that it runs $3,000/month to rent the vest. So if they aren't gonna approve it, I better know real soon so I can decide what to do. For now, they say that it should all be resolved in the "next few days". Let's hope so.

And I really am starting to feel  touch better. I walked around the Sonoma County Fair with Sarah and Gaige today for about 2.5 hours. We checked out all the animals, the butterfly exhibit, the crafts exhibit, and tried to eat the healthiest, low-sodium food we could find at the fair -- a chicken Gyro.
Gaige enjoying a catsup coated french fry at the Fair.

And my heart never once stopped me or slowed me down. Of course Gaige and Sarah travelled at a nice slow pace for me too. But this is a very good sign. Tomorrow I up the Coureg amount yet again, so will probably be a bit woozy for a day or two from that. But if I tolerate it well, then hopefully the ole ticker will improve even more. So I must keep active to get these poor legs reconditioned after sitting around for the last six weeks. I'm finally able to do light farm chores again, such as feeding the animals morning and night; so that feels very good too.

Thanks to everyone for all the love and support. Mark and I are most appreciative. You really do make a difference!

Debbie... aka the cancer warrior, SURVIVOR, AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!



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