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.


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Something to celebrate

A New Granddaughter On The Way...

We just learned that Alura and Stephan will welcome a little sister for Nico in late July. This is such surprising and exciting news for us all, especially after a year of health woes for so many members of the extended family. CONGRATULATIONS, Alura, Stephan & Nico. We are anxious to welcome this new bundle of joy this Summer.

And yesterdays appointment with my cardiologist went pretty well. The report from my ICD confirmed all the struggles I've been dealing with, even up until the last few weeks. It also shows that I still have some fluid in my lungs from the poor heart function, which seems to have increased over the last couple of months. So my need for the continued diuretics daily, and sometimes twice a day, is confirmed.  This also excuses the nagging cough I get a couple of times a day as the diuretics need replenishing. I sound like I have a chest cold, but it is all a result of my poor heart function.

Although Dr. Dhar said that it is unlikely my meds will improve my heart function much at this late date, as that should have already happened by now, he also said to be optimistic and not give up hope. He said, "I have seen miracles", so keep up the good work.  Although labs from last week still show high levels of BNP to indicate severe heart failure, so we do need to be realistic at the same time of continuing to be hopeful.

In a few days, I will see Dr. Michael Fowler at Stanford and will have another echo at that time. Mark and Alura will accompany me to these appointments. Dr. Dahr is also curious to see if Dr. Fowler has any other suggestions for me at this point in time. In addition, we will be meeting with the genetic counselor to receive the results from the genetic labwork taken in August. I'm very anxious to get this information and to share with my daughters and siblings, as we all are. Hopefully they have found a genetic marker, so that at least others can decide if they want to be tested to see if they carry the same gene. Then, if no symptoms are present now, they would at least be put on a more stringent follow up schedule to keep track of their heart function over time.

So that's it for the moment. Stay tuned for an update after our appointments at Standford Medical Center.

The rain arrived! :-)

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