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.


Friday, March 25, 2016

Absolute Worst Chemo Week Ever!!!!

 But there was a bright light at the beginning of the tunnel, which I'll share first...

First chemo went smashingly well on Friday, March 18th. Sneaky sun of a gun.

The following day we attended a beautiful Celebration of Life for dear friend and cousin, Denise Emery.  -- We called each other sisters-in-law, since our husbands grew up almost like brothers. We came home with both daughters and all their families, and Christopher was so wonderful to take family photos of us all out on the deck. I knew I might be losing my hair, and wanted to beat it to the punch. We haven't really done this, except for wedding photos, and I never seem to get the exact combination of immediate family when we do. Got some fabulous ones. Here is just a tidbit I stole from Christopher's contact sheet, so it doesn't quite show the beauty of his work. Man, those littles are hard to contain at the same time.

My wonderful family

Then a lovely dinner here with everyone and Sarah and Chris off to their nearby home and Barsuns to do a sleepover. Everything was peace, and quiet, and innocence.


The next morning, Sunday, I could hardly lift my head from the pillow, needed assistance walking anywhere, could barely speak, could not eat or drink, AND FELT LIKE SHIT. And I was spiking a fever. I could not get out of bed except to the bathroom. IT WAS HORRIBLE. Like nothing I expected, or experienced during my chemo regime 5 years ago. But this is a new cancer, and these are new drugs to kill the cancer.

Of course we called the doctor and I was taking all the meds the sent me home with after Chemo. I was to start an antibiotic in case of infection and we would see if Tylemol would control the temp, which spiked from 99+ to 104. I know this doesn't sound bad, but with chemo, they watch for anything over 100.5

Then the next few days goes like this, 3 bowls and towels placed strategically around the house, ginger ale and soda crackers, thermometers, rarely leaving my bed, etc. I think this paints a good picture. Let's just say, or perhaps I already did, but it was REALLY BAD.
  • Monday wasn't much better.
  • Tuesday the bowls came out, but I could lift my head and navigate to the bathroom on my own -- walls are very helpful.
  • Wednesday it felt like I might survive, but still very nauseas, fever up and down, hard to drink or eat anything, Tylenol and then more. But the end seemed to be in sight. And we drove into Oncology for labs so they could see how everything was - a little anemic, but white & platelets all within normal range.
Then Thursday I woke, and vomitted again. My stomache hurt, fever, I felt worse. I cried and told Mark I didn't think I could do this. But the Good Lord, the stars above, my guardian angels, you name it, I survived again. We had my pre-chemo appointment with my oncologist. I dreaded it. I didn't know how I could attempt Friday's chemo and didn't want to disappoint him or my family.. 

But we did get some good news and answers from Dr. Anderson, and I felt hopeful.

The most important:  The good news from my Oncologist-- today's  treatment shouldn't be as bad hopefully, and now I have my new MM to help me get through it if. It takes me a while to get ready these days and chemo infusion is early this afternoon.

For those for who have suggested beads and spikes, or some such thing for the liver, I'm not a candidate. At least not yet. My cancer is too spread out in the liver and those are for something more localized. So if we can knock this thing, and there is a pesky one, or few fighting to the end, we can consider this treatment.

The single drug in my chemo tomorrow, one from the cocktail from last week, hopefully won't be as hard on me. And now that my body has experienced the two drug cocktail, hopefully the next repeat of it next month will be easier.

We discussed much more, including what if I wasn't up to my UCSF appointment, since this Tuesday was not one I would have wanted to drive to SF, so a repeat next week had me frightened, and just a bunch of stuff.

Each time we have met with my Oncologist, he has mentioned medical marijuana as an option. Today, I jumped at it. I am now a prescription member of that club. Wow, what an experience.

The place in Santa Rosa was quite impressive. 😃 It almost felt like you were in a Macy's or high end cosmetic department, mainly because of the counters and such, but dark lighting... REALLY. Most sales people appeared to be  young hip people with rings here and piercings there. But a very upscale place, AND security everywhere‼️‼️

Yippee, it's working. I am so thankful! I was at my wits end. It was just almost unbearable you guys. And Mark can tell you I can dig deep and take a lot. So anything that will help me I am so glad to try. So we chose a chocolate bar & a tincture.

THANK YOU for continuing to keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

Life is Good... SOMETIMES

Debbie... aka the cancer FIGHTER, no longer a SURVIVOR, 
AND a Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!

THANKS for visiting! Comments are good. I look forward to your comments.

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