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.


Monday, May 16, 2016

Finally Getting Into A Routine

I think that I am finally getting into a routine with my chemo infusion cycles.  At 6 infusions done, I am halfway through the current plan of 6 cycles, which is 12 infusions. The first cycle was a lolla paloozer, if you know what I mean. The next cycle was better, but not by a lot. And this last cycle of two infusions was even better. Mind you, this is no walk in the park, and far harder than the drugs I received during chemo 5 years ago; but I think my body is tolerating it all much better and I can kind of plan out my time with the expectations of how I will be feeling. 

It goes something like:

Day 1: Infusion - feeling decent but very fuzzy headed that evening.

Day 2: Steroids kicked in and I feel very fuzzy headed, but can navigate through my day without too much discomfort.

Day 3: Pretty yucky, but the anti-nausea drugs and medical marijuana help to keep me going. It is usually a recliner and TV kinda day, small meals as tummy is queasy, no real brain function for anything like reading or knitting, just hanging out and waiting.

Day 4: I wake thinking I'm feeling better, but by 9-10 am I just want to sleep, sleep, and more sleep. This past Saturday I took 3 good 1.5 - 2 hr naps, so that took up the day for sure. 

Day 5: I awake ready to set the world on fire. But around that same time of 10am I realize that is not so. I am able to get a shower (that then requires a short nap to recuperate), then I might be able to get out of the house and run an errand or take a short walk.

Day 6: If it is on chemo A of the cycle, I am thinking about chemo in two days and just trying to get a little done around the house, etc. My appetite is good and I try to make up for the previous 5 days. If this is after chemo B of the cycle, I am like, WOOHOO, I have another 8 days of feeling kinda okay and time to try to rebuild some of the stamina I just lost over the last two weeks.

Day 7: Is like, welcome back Debbie. What do you want to do with this one day before it all begins again? :-) Or if it is the end of Chemo B, then I have my chemo vacation week before me and that is really exciting.

Today is Day 6 of Chemo B of Cycle 3, and the WOOHOO is setting in. Yesterday I attempted to go to the Sunset Celebration at Cornerstone Sonoma with my sister, Christine. As the morning wore on, and I realized it involved a shuttle, and crowds, and walking, I thought better of it and went into town to visit Sarah and Gaige. We got out for a little walk, I got the car washed, and then stopped by my friend Beverly's on the way home for a brief visit and hug. It was the 3rd anniversary of her husband's death from cancer and I thought she needed a hug. Then home where Mark grilled some delicious Ahi tuna, asparagus, and we had a side of a yummy polenta vegetable casserole Sarah shared with us. All in all a very good day.

Today I have a hair appointment with my friend Susan. It will be great to catch up with her as I had to cancel lunch 3 weeks back at the last minute. I will also finish planting the tomatoes in the galvanized tubs Mark set up for me and maybe find a few more vegetables to fill in a couple of spots. Then there is another triangular bed in the deck Mark filled with soil for me as it had not rotted out all the way through and just needed some nice composted alpaca manure. It is hard for me not to overdue during this week, but my body seems to know how to tell me when it is time to stop and rest. So I will do my best to listen.

Meanwhile, I will close with this PSA from It's About Time, where I am a guest Blogger. Did you know?

30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop metastatic breast cancer.

Metastatic breast cancer – cancer that travels from the breast and spreads to other parts of the body – is treatable, but not curable. It affects up to a quarter of a million people in the U.S. every year.[i] Those with metastatic breast cancer face daily challenges, continued treatment regimens, anxiety and a whole host of emotions knowing they cannot be cured from their disease. But their stories remain hidden, or get lost, among the better understood realm of early stage breast cancer. These patients are often left feeling isolated and alone.[ii],[iii]

Despite its prevalence, metastatic breast cancer is still largely misunderstood. A recent national survey revealed that 60 percent say they know little to nothing about metastatic breast cancer and 72 percent believe that breast cancer in the advanced stages is curable if diagnosed early.[iv]

The survey results also show that it’s critical that we expand the understanding of metastatic breast cancer to the larger population. What the average person may not know is that, according to a study published in the journal, The Oncologist, roughly one in three – nearly 30 percent – of women diagnosed with early breast cancer will eventually progress to metastatic breast cancer.[v]

Individuals with metastatic breast cancer face the reality that as of 2014, the median survival of those who receive a metastatic diagnosis is only three years after diagnosis.[vi] They’re up against a clock – hoping for advances in the treatment of this disease and more time to live their day-to-day lives.

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 comment:

  1. Thinking of you often…fighting AND educating all of us too. Prayers that you find joy each and every day. You are loved. See you soon… Sharon


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