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, May 3, 2016

Family Fun

In my last post I mentioned how much I was looking forward to our family gathering at sister Christine's house this past Saturday. It came at the most perfect time for me as this was my "good week",  my week off of chemo and the week when most of the residual side effects and crappy feeling dissipated before the next infusion.  And it was!

But one thing that would be sorely missing was sister Donna from Montana. It just wasn't going to work for her, due to work schedule and other travel plans and time off work in a week. She had been talking about how much she wanted to visit once this new cancer diagnosis happened two months ago. And all four sisters had been wanting to do another sisters weekend getaway, but things were just getting in the way. I was feeling an urgency that we not let another year go by without this fun weekend we have done a few times over the last recent years, even when I was doing so well. Then all this. So you can just imagine.

Low and behold, sneaky sisters Christine and Donna had a surprise for us all. Donna flew in on Friday night and was there to surprise us all, hiding upstairs in Christine's bathroom remodel project to greet us all as Christine drug us upstairs to show us how the project was coming along. What a wonderful surprise!

We had a lovely BBQ outside on Saturday on a beautifully warm Spring day. The kiddos tried out the pool, but it was just a tad cold, or as Nico said, it was "too wet". His face was priceless when he jumped in and immediately said that, then yelled "help" to get out. Poor little guy. Christine & Ken's yard is so perfect, play structure, pool, hot tub, lovely deck, back paved drive for the young-uns to ride scooters and bikes, and lawn area for the teenagers and older cousins to play baseball. It was the perfect day. Too bad Eddie was sick and could not make it. But we thank him for keeping the germs home and protecting the rest of us.

A Dad and his daughters
Siblings... missing Ed (& Rich, of course)

Cousins hanging out

Barsun fanily having fun

On Sunday, us four sisters got together to play. We met up at Christine's and proceeded to check out the app Snap Chat. What a waist of time, or so it seemed. Let me know if you use it and love it, or how/why you use it. I am pretty intuitive when it comes to the computer, yes this old broad is, but this app is not intuitive AT ALL. But it was silly and fun for us sisters to try face swapping! :-) Then we proceeded into town for a late lunch on the Plaza at Swiss Hotel and took in some of the Cinco de Mayo dancing in the Sonoma Plaza's amphitheatre. We finished the day off back at Christine's watching the movie "Sisters". Oh my... funny, yet wacky and out there, as any Tina Fey/Amy Poehler movie would be. It gave us all some pretty good laughs.

Enjoying Sonoma Plaza with my sisters.

Monday morning I awoke (been rising at 5:30-6:00am of late, Ugh) and decided I needed to see Donna one last time before she flew home that afternoon. So I became the pest and crashed Christine's home one more time. After dropping my niece off at the high school at 8:00 am, we drove out to Fremont Diner for a yummy hearty breakfast. But on the way there, we drove by our old homestead on Eighth Street and Christine drove in the driveway so we could check it out. We chatted with the current tenant, a painter who lives here with his girlfriend and uses part of the old barn for his business. The yard is pretty much non-existent, but the house and pump-house are still there, and the old barn looks amazing. The rest of the property is filled with vineyard. We told him some old family stories and he took a picture of us standing in front of the old barn. We all have so many wonderful memories of that property.

The barn at the old family home on Eighth Street East, Sonoma

I finished Monday off with my dear friend Beverly with a 2.5 mile walk in her neighborhood, light lunch, and watching Episode 4 of our beloved Outlander.

Needless to say, I returned home exhausted from all the fun over the last few days, but finally feeling rejuvenated and mentally and emotionally prepared for the next chemo infusion tomorrow. And so ready to learn the results of the recent CT Scan with contrast. Today (Tuesday) will be all R&R to rest up and recuperate and prepare for tomorrow's infusion.

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

Die cancer, DIE. You are messing with the wrong woman!!

Life is Good... Most of the time.

Debbie... aka the cancer FIGHTER, AND Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!


THANKS for visiting! I look forward to your comments.


  1. Hi Debbie--I loved reading the part about your sneaky sisters hiding Donna upstairs in the bathroom remodel project! Just like you probably surprised each other when you were little girls! They must have loved seeing your expression. Such a sweet story. I hope and pray you get good CT scan results! Beth (in Davis)

    1. Thank you Beth. It was great fun. Hope you and your littles are doing great. Hope to see you in Davis sometime soon. Thanks for the hope and prayers!!


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