LIVESTRONG:

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.

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.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Another Milestone -- 1 Year With ICD

Today marks my one year anniversary with my nearest and dearest "buddy", my ICD - Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. (Click on link to learn about this device).
A year ago I wrote about Procedure Day as I looked forward to the surgery to insert the ICD and then Feeling Liberated as I no longer depended on the LifeVest for shocking/defibrillating my heart should the urgent need arise.

It was a long and very slow road after surgery. I was pretty ill for 4 full months as my heart continued to struggle to keep fluid in check and I was constantly out of breath, tired, and had horrible indigestion. The good thing was it helped me to continue to drop weight for a total of 40 lbs lower from when the heart failure began. And even better was that finally in the Spring of 2014, after more medication changes and increases, I finally began to feel just "Ok". Within a few months, the preparations that were in the works for further surgery for either an LVAD or heart transplant stopped, and those were put on the back burner. But it wasn't until about April 2014 when I finally started to feel like a new woman with energy to get out and walk a few miles and enjoy my family and friends without the constant worry of what was around the corner. During this past year, I've had some scares with very rapid heart beats that my ICD has been able to pace and correct for me. I have not been shocked, thankfully; but my St. Jude ICD is there and ready should the need ever arise.

Today, I continue to get on with life enjoying my family and friends, camping, helping to care for our alpacas, working on my sewing and fiber projects, and snuggling with the three loves of my life, grandchildren Nico, Gaige, and Madeleine. My heart ejection fraction (EF) has not been tested since April, and at that time it was still in serious heart failure levels. But I feel good, and for now that is all that matters. The thought is that the EF has improved somewhat, and when the need arises to go through the expensive procedures again, we hope to get that good news.

So I am not out of the woods by any means, as those two before mentioned surgeries are still out there as future possibilities should the need arise. (Can't have heart transplant until 5 years cancer free, hence the LVAD option).   

But for the moment, this is what I prefer to concentrate on...

Sarah & Alura with the three grandchildren this past weekend, Gaige, Nico & Maddie


Gaige & Nico (each 3 yrs)

Alura with Madeleine (3 mos)

 Me and my sweetie on a recent camp trip

 Life is Good...

Debbie... aka the cancer SURVIVOR, 
AND now the Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •

THANKS for visiting! I look forward to your comments.

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Debbie