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.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Earthquakes & Oncologists, Oh My...

I'll start with the oncologist update...

Back on August 14th, I had my 6 month check up with my Oncologist, Dr. Ian Anderson. A month or so before, I had a bone density scan, which is done every couple of years now. This does not test for cancer; it checks for bone density, which can be depleted after chemotherapy treatment. My density is slightly lower than the last time, but still within normal ranges. So this was very good news.

Everything else looks very good too! Dr. Anderson always talks about my heart and checks in to see how I am doing there, especially since the suspicion is that the chemo drug Adriamyacin is what keyed the heart failure response, in addition to family history of CHF (Congestive Heart Failure). He was happy to hear that I am feeling very well right now, and trying to be and stay active. So I will see him again in 6 months.

Now on to what seems to be first and foremost in our lives right now, and that is an earthquake measuring 6.1 magnitude and centered about 4.2 miles NW of American Canyon, CA; which is  about 20 miles from here. This hit at 3:20 am today and shook most of us up quite a bit. I thought for sure it was the Rodgers Creek fault, which runs right under us, based on the long violent roll of this earthquake, but it was not. But the sound of glass on tile sounded like lots of glass was breaking and the house was crumbling down around me. In actuality, a few things fell and made loud noises. And a heavy glass and wood mirror, which was propped behind my office door, fell down blocking the door closed. Probably the most significant was an old piece of heavy metal equipment hubby had stored on top of a file cabinet there, and several glass beakers in a similar place, all in the office, fell and dislodged other things. BUT NOTHING BROKE -- So much to be thankful for. But not so for others.  My sister in the East Bay lost chimney bricks, and friends living in the Napa area had whole cabinets topple over and lost bricks from their chimney, too. Then there are people in Napa who lost their homes to fire and those transported to the hospital in critical condition from falling debris/bricks, and store shelves emptied onto the aisle and stuff oozing everywhere, to name a few. I tell you, it was a very scary and helpless feeling.

This was not my first quake. I've survived a few for sure. One I will never forget is when I was about 4 years old living in Marin. We were at the Larsons house and I grabbed onto a floor lamp for stability, which of course was swaying to and fro. So that would have been 1957, and was the Daly City Earthquake, the largest quake in the Bay Area since 1906. Then of course there was the Loma Prieta in 1989, that one none of us will ever forget.

So when this 6.1 temblor hit at 3:20 am, the support began pouring in. Friends and neighbors nearby texted us to check in and see if we were ok or needed help. Facebook lit up with messages, comments, likes, and notifications flying everywhere... people asking how others were, sharing news of their surrounding area, sharing their experience, offering help to others; basically communicating and helping us all to feel at ease and know we were not alone in this experience. It was a good feeling and I am very grateful for the offers of help and the comfort that the communication gave me.

We live in a community of wonderful, sharing, supportive people. THANK YOU one and all. I would not have it any other way!

Life is Good...

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

THANKS for visiting! I look forward to your comments.

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