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, October 1, 2013

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Repeating post of October 1, 2012

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October. 

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 I donned my breast cancer awareness bracelets. I had worn most of them pretty much 24/7 once I was diagnosed, and through that first year of treatment. Then somewhere during that second year, I needed a break from being that poster child with the permanent reminder on my wrist(s).

But all three are very special to me, and remind me of very special people in my life. The first one, the CELEBRATE COURAGE, pink bracelet was a gift from cousin/niece Jecca. Actually she is a cousin, but because she is my daughter's age, she calls me Auntie, which I treasure. She is the daughter of one of my dearest cousins, Terry, whom I consider like a sister to me. When Jecca learned that I had breast cancer, she purchased bags of these bracelets to give to her family and friends, and for me to do the same. And I see her Dad is still wearing his faded pink bracelet. Thank you, Jecca.

The next bracelet, the beaded one with the breast cancer symbol, was a gift from my sister, Nancy. Nancy had been traveling to New York and struck a conversation with a flight attendant who was wearing this bracelet. She told Nancy her story and how she had made the bracelet; and Nancy told her about me. As the passengers were departing the plane at the end of the flight, she came out after Nancy calling for her to wait. The flight attendant gave the bracelet to her. Soon thereafter, the sisters were having lunch. As Nancy was telling me the story, she took the bracelet off her wrist and gifted it to me. It was a sweet and special moment. Thank you, Nance.

The third bracelet is from a dear "long distance friend", Michelle. Michelle is the mother of one of my daughter's friends, and someone I've met a couple of times at fiber events. From the moment I met Michelle, I felt a warmth and friendship to her. Then when the "lost year" began, Michelle became one of the tried and true followers of my blog, frequently commenting and offering long entries of love and support. She came across this bracelet at a local event where she lives in Michigan. It is the Circle of Hope bracelet, and was designed by a woman with breast cancer who has since lost her battle. The bracelets are still sold as a fundraiser. It is a beautiful bracelet in "my colors", and I love wearing frequently. Thank you, Michelle. I miss you!!

As I was into writing this post, I realized there were three more bracelets presented to me during treatment. One, a Livestrong bracelet presented to me by my sweetie those first few days after diagnosis. The second, a beautiful beaded handmade bracelet, made and given to me with the sweetest of notes from my niece, lovely Kiana. And last, just as special as all the rest, a beautiful bracelet comprised of tiny dangling stones given to me by my sister Donna, on her first of two visits out here during treatment and surgery. She was here to help Mark shave my head, and here during surgery -- a love of a sister to make the trips and devote the time to me and my family. (Okay, couldn't find post of when Donna gave me the bracelet, but instead found this fun slide show of her visit, shaving the head, tattoos, and just memories that brought tears). 

Thank you Kiana, Donna, and Mark.

So, while my memory of all the stories above may not be totally accurate, I will blame any inaccuracies on chemo brain.  :-) And I have linked each paragraph some of the original blog entries on the subject.

But regardless, these bracelets bring me warm loving thoughts from just a few of those who were so giving to me and my family during my treatment. Thank you so very, very much. Your kindness, love, and support were very instrumental in my healing and I can't thank you enough.


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


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