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.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Fairly Good Week & a Whoopsie

It's been a pretty good week!

I actually felt pretty darn good on Thursday, so much so that Mark and I ended up taking a 4 mile hike on the newish North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park trail, which is only 5 miles away up Sonoma Mountain Road towards the Santa Rosa side of our road. I was feeling good, it was a beautiful day, and we decided to get out. The trail we took was well shaded with beautiful oaks and bays, with a steady incline, but not too steep. The views back into Bennett Valley were gorgeous. I bet if we had kept on, we would have seen down into Glen Ellen and across to the Mayacamas Mountains. It really wasn't until we turned around at the 2 mile point that I then realized it was downhill all the way back. We could have gone another 2 miles into Jack London State Park, but then we had the car back at the trail head. Anyway, we finished off the adventure with lunch at Palooza Gastropub in Kenwood and complained of our aching muscles and bones for the rest of the weekend. 

North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park

Friday morning I got together with two local girlfriends for breakfast and to talk cancer. It's always great to help support one of our own. She has a couple of appointments this week and so much bouncing around in her head. It was great to sit and chat and share. Then it was back to the recliner for some napping and recuperating.

Saturday the girls came to visit with their families and Mark prepared a wonderful BBQ for us all. It was a fun day filled with the grand kids squirting their Dads and Papa with water soakers and squirt guns. Not too hot, but very pleasant outside.

Me and my adorable grand kids this past Saturday; Gaige, Madeleine & Nico.

Papa giving Gaige a ride out to wave goodbye to the Barsuns.

On Sunday I had planned to have lunch with my dear friend, Marian. We had been trying to make it happen for a month or more, and wouldn't you know that by late morning I had some intestinal woes and quite a bit of fatigue so had to cancel. But as luck would have it, Monday was a great day and we made it happen; having a great lunch a Pizzeria Capri and spending about three hours chatting and catching up with each other. It was a perfect day. And Mark got pizza for dinner, so he was a happy camper.

Then the Whoopsie happened... 
     I was having quite a bit of breast discomfort and it was draining a lot too - to the point where I needed to change the absorption pad mid day (breast feeding pads work great for this). Usually one would last all day and even overnight. But this chemo weekend I was having a lot of drainage, which I took to be a very good sign; like "DIE, CANCER, DIE". I was also having joint pain and so decided I needed to try the new medical marijuana (MM) macaroon cookie that we picked up when visiting the dispensary after chemo on Wednesday. I've found that most of the edibles are very mild and often the dosage is something like 1 piece is 1/2 dose. I've also found that dosage on packaging is often hard, if not impossible, to find, and also not terribly reliable. Or so I thought. My first couple of experiences with MM I took for easy, eating the smallest portion thinkable, like 1/10th recommended, until I saw how I reacted. And then I learned that later on, it affected me less, so the listed dose was probably fine. They do recommend you start like this and test it out a bit. So I thought a whole cookie (a small one mind you) would be a dose. Let's just say I slept very good that night, having some weird dreams, woke for my usual bathroom break, then slept till 10am. 10 AM!!! that is not like me. And then I woke so very groggy I was surprised. Let's just say that I felt pretty groggy most of the day as well too. Later, I learned from someone more experienced with the edibles that it was most likely the cookie, not my "fatigue" as I was trying to blame it on. Luckily I wasn't going for a job interview of something Tuesday morning. And I felt "off" all day long. Whoopsie!!! 

At least I had a good appoint at Cancer Center Sonoma that afternoon and now have an appointment next with with a Nutritionist and with another practitioner who does energy work. So I am excited about this.

And then I took a more careful look at the MM Macaroon packaging to see that 1/2 a cookie is one dose. I won't be making that mistake anytime again soon. 

So now it's off to chemo for today. And hopefully to learn more about the FoundationOne test and results.

REALLY... 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.

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