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, April 1, 2016

Things Are Going Well

I've been having a couple of pretty good days since our trip to UCSF on Tuesday for a consult/2nd Opinion. The daily "how I feel" meter is all relative, of course. Relative to the crappiest days I've had so far. And if I never feel that bad again (like the four days after chemo infusion #1), I will be one happy girl.

Come Tuesday, it was apparent that I was getting a vaginal yeast infection. (So sorry if this is TMI, but so much for holding back these days!) This was just about the last day of the 10-day antibiotic regime we started a couple days after the first chemo when I was so sick and spiking a fever. I was kind of watching for this to happen because of the antibiotics. But it wasn't too bad so I got through the day to UCSF. But by the next morning, I had Mark pick up some of the 1-day Monistat treatments for me, as they typically do the trick for me. And I used it Wednesday night. I'm not sure it has done the trick 100%, but more on that later.

On Wednesday I felt even more groggy than Tuesday; but considering the outing to UCSF, I'm sure I wore myself out somewhat with that exciting excursion. And laying around in the recliner and dozing off and on for a good part of the day is doable. Then on Thursday early morning, we did get out for a drive to take our kitty to the vet for an abscess on his lower front leg. Then we met up with the Merritts for breakfast at Breakaway Cafe. So that was another exciting day which entitled me to more naps, right? :-)

On Friday I was able to join my local girls for our monthly lunch. This is a wonderful group of ladies that have been in my life for years, but whom now all have experiences with cancer. So we've been getting together for a monthly lunch for 3-4 years now. First there were three of us. Then slowly we added more, and more. It is not a group that any of us welcome members to, but it is more a sad reality of cancer today. And the fact that we lost one of our eight members, our staunchest fighter Denise Emery,  just six weeks ago. Well, need I say more. 

At first I thought I would miss our lunch. For the second day in a row I had a doozer of a nose bleed. Nose bleeds are something I've experienced since my youth. I've had my nose cauterized a few times throughout the years, but it really doesn't seem to work for long. I guess I have vessels very close to the surface. Often the nose bleeds are easy to stop; but the one yesterday morning almost prevented me from our vet/breakfast outing. And then the one today/Friday caused me to cancel my ride with the ladies, and have Mark drive me down a bit late, once I got the bleeding to stop. Usually my method is to twist into the nostril a very tightly coiled piece of toilet tissue, and push it in as far as I can. Generally this puts pressure on the spot and helps to stop the bleeding. This time I also tried ice to the back of my neck and pinching my nose. And it still took me about 1.25 hrs to get it to stop. Such an annoyance with everything else going on, but thankfully that is over.

But lunch was very nice at Picazo Deli with our wonderful support group. They have a great 1/2 sandwich/salad combo, which is a perfect amount for me these days. The girls gave me a ride home just in time for Mark and I to head up to Santa Rosa for the Port draw of blood to see how I am doing 5 days post the second chemo infusion in cycle one (5 more 3-week cycles to go). They are looking to see how my platelets, white cells and red cells are doing after treatment, and will notify me if any concerns. The day before this (Thursday), I had called the Nurse Advice Line to talk about the yeast infection, and they asked me to give the Monistat one more day to work and then check in with them Friday at the Port draw if still issues, which I did. So they wrote a script for a one-time, one-day pill of Fluconazole. So far I am doing okay, so I will keep this as a backup, just in case.

We returned home, and then Sarah and Gaige brought up some yummy Juanita Juanita burritos for dinner. It was so good to see them and hang out for a bit.

But wait, of course there is usually some depressing news about cancer and a food/drink that we think is healthy for us -- Here is one about Glyphosate (Roundup) found in wines, even organic wines; and the higher rate of BC in major wine growing regions like Sonoma and Napa. Sad...

But look what arrived in the mail today; a beautiful box of Tandem Chocolates, all the way from friends Brooks & Phyllis in Utah.

Can't wait to try these delectable morsels. Aren't they beautiful?  

So that's how the last few days have been going. Next week I have a break from chemo, so I'm looking forward to some form of normalcy, or as close as possible. Maybe my vision will stop being slightly blurry, and I can actually get out for a bit of a walk or something. 

Another Good Day!
~ I am hopeful ~

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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