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, March 24, 2015

That's Absurd -- I Can't Access Data From My Implanted Defibrillator

You've heard me say this before, "Why don't I have immediate access to the wealth of data that my ICD generates, and in a timely manner????" Well, just change a few details here in this article from , like the name, dates, diagnosis, and most everything else is spot on. Well, not the part about buying the gadget on Ebay and learning how to program and collect the data myself. But Mr. Campos makes an excellent point, and describes it all so accurately. 

The Heart of the Matter

I can’t access the data generated by my implanted defibrillator. That’s absurd.

Campos’ devices.

Campos’ devices.

Photo by Gilles Frydman

As Mr. Campos states, 
"In addition to delivering electricity to the heart, the ICD also collects large amounts of data about itself and a patient’s clinical status. The data is momentarily kept in the device’s memory before being transmitted wirelessly to a bedside monitor. From there, it is sent via telephone lines to the device manufacturer for evaluation. This process, known as remote monitoring, happens automatically in the background, usually while the patient sleeps.

And I mean large amounts of data, such as how active I am (can't fudge what I tell the doc here), how much fluid I'm retaining, and so much about my heart, it's activities and irregularities, on a graph showing the exact dates and such. Learning this three to four months after the fact doesn't really give me any opportunity to react to it, or track what or why it is happening. Instead, I sit there in the cardiologists office and go, "Hmmm, what date was that again? Let me pull up my calendar and see what I was doing that day." If I've even logged anything down if it was a routine day with no appointments.

So let's make some noise about this. Tell your doctor about your concerns. Hopefully, in time, we will have continuous access to this information through an online website, or phone App, much like a patient with diabetes who has immediate access to their glucose levels so they can react accordingly with life saving measures.

Thank you Hugo Campos for this well written and informative article.

On Thursday, March 26, Future Tense—a partnership of Slate, New America, and Arizona State University—will hold an event on medical device security and privacy at the New America office in Washington, D.C. For more information and to RSVP, visit the New America website.

Life is Good...

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

THANKS for visiting! I look forward to your comments.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Breast Cancer Tattoos ~ Do You Have One?

As a "Best of" blog, as voted by Healthline, I'm occasionally approached asking my help in spreading the word about breast cancer related topics. And this is one I thought would be fun to share, even though I don't have any tattoos. But heck, maybe it's time to consider one of these. (My daughters are probably frowning if/as they read this). See below...

From: Nicole Lascurain 
Subject: Inspiring others with breast cancer
Date: March 17, 2015 11:20:43 AM PDT

Hi Debbie,

Getting a breast cancer tattoo—whether it’s for you or in honor of someone you love—is a way to show solidarity in the face of this disease.

As Healthline named My Journey Past Breast Cancer one of our Best Blogs of 2014, I think you and your followers might be interested in submitting photos of their breast cancer-inspired tattoos to add to this beautiful collection up on the Healthline site:

We’re currently accepting new submissions, and I’d love it if you took a look at the slideshow, then share the above link to the submission guidelines across your social media or website! All people have to do is send in a clear photo of their tattoo + short description, with the subject “My breast cancer tattoo,” to — that’s me! We’ll then feature them on the site, and help unite others who are living through breast cancer.

Let me know if this is something you’d be interested in, Debbie!   

Kindest Regards,

Nicole Lascurain • Assistant Marketing ManagerHealthline • The Power of Intelligent Health

660 Third Street, San Francisco, CA  | @Healthline  | @HealthlineCorp

For those of you with BC tattoos, or considering one, I hope you find this interesting. Let me know if you do post your tattoo on their site. I'd love to see it.

Life is Good...

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

THANKS for visiting! I look forward to your comments.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Who has not been stung by cancer?

Ken Burns takes on Cancer

Who has not been stung, in one way or another, by cancer?
The statistics cited by PBS's Sharon Rockefeller are staggering: In our lifetime, she says, one in two men, one in three women, and one in 300 children will get some form of cancer. She was one of them; Rockefeller is a colon cancer survivor. So when she read Siddhartha Mukherjee's book The Emperor of all Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, she was determined to make it into a film
So she turned to PBS's premiere filmmaker, Ken Burns — whose mother died of breast cancer when he was eleven — to shepherd the project. The result is a three part, six-hours series arriving on March 30 narrated by Edward Herrmann, who died of brain cancer shortly after completing work on the film.
"He felt it was appropriate that it was going to be his final project," says Barak Goodman, who produced and directed the film. ."He did an absolutely magnificent job. I can't tell you how hard he pushed to get this done and get it right."
Tune into KQED the evening of March 30th to catch this program.

Life is Good...

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

THANKS for visiting! I look forward to your comments.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Laurie Becklund Writes a Powerful Piece Before her Death

Laurie Becklund, is a former Times staff writer, she died Feb. 8. This is the powerful piece she wrote over the last few months. 

As I Lay Dying, Laurie Becklund    
     - Op Ed, Los Angeles Times, 2/20/15
I am dying, literally, at my home in Hollywood, of metastatic breast cancer, the only kind of breast cancer that kills. For six years I've known I was going to die. I just didn't know when...

Life is Good (sometimes)...

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

THANKS for visiting! I look forward to your comments.