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.


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Chemo 11, & Abraxane #3

Chemo yesterday (Wednesday) went very well as expected. I'm wondering what number I will be on by end of year. Only time will tell...

It was a late appointment at 1pm, so Sarah and I did not get to enjoy our usual lunch fun. But still great visiting time for us two girls. And Mark was busy at home working on some long delayed house projects, like power washing and staining the living room deck. It is looking fantastic, sweetie! :-)

Power washing and staining the living room deck
And look at my first tomato of the year. EXCITEMENT.

Always one of the best parts of chemo day is having my office visit with my oncology staff, learning anything new on the horizon, and seeing how my blood work is doing (which is very up and down with the Abraxane chemo). And this one was no different. Sarah takes great notes, by the way.

First off, my chemo will change to Thursday next week because of the Monday holiday, and the next 
week as well. This may be a good move since Sunday's have been challenging. So that should move to Monday and maybe weekends will be more enjoyable. 

Some of the symptoms I shared with Dr. Anderson, who I hadn't seen for a couple of weeks, were mild neuropathy at the balls of my feet, a low temp of 100.1 about 4-5 days after chemo (same thing each 
week), I'm feeling the cancerous lymph node under my right arm more as it seems tender from time to time, and the breast draining more than usual. Alura turned me onto these nursing pads for breast feeding moms, and they work perfectly. Usually one lasts me 24 hours as the breast wounds weep a bit throughout the day. But the last couple of chemos I've noticed more draining where my tank gets pretty wet, so have been changing the pad mid day. I'm taking this as a good sign that the cancer is being killed off, or starved by the chemo, and that the breast lesions will begin to shrink. We will do another CT scan in about 3 weeks to check how things are going. The hope is that replacing the Gemzar with Abraxane will do a better job of fighting the cancer, especially the liver to start with. DIE CANCER DIE. In 3-5 weeks, if Abraxane showing good results, we will keep on it. If not, it might be time to try hormone treatment. But I'm holding out on the Abraxane, because hormone treatment can be slow with results. And I need speed to knock down the liver lesions... PUHLEASE!!!

I am still anemic and another blood transfusion is in order. My hemoglobin is at 7.97, and it appears to drop 1 point each week. So it's time. I'll get a call to set it up before next week.

FoundationOne: I asked a bit more about the test and test results. Apparently my tissue was not used because the tissue must be pure tumor tissue, and both my breast and liver had some of my own DNA in there --NOT ACCEPTABLE. So blood test was used and is said to be 99% equal to tissue test. Apparently the one (of 3) variants they found in the test, the one showing a targeted  therapy available, called KRAS, is a common mutation and is known to be equivocal, meaning no specific treatment available. Dr. Anderson said it will be helpful should we find a a clinical trial later on. He also indicated that we may do another biopsy along the way and possibly retest with FoundationOne.

As I had just sat down and began to write this entry, the call came in from Memorial Hosptal to have me come in pronto for my blood transfusion. Better today than tomorrow, I said. So I'm sitting in the transfusion chair right now, onto unit #2 of my 0+ blood transfusion. And I got a decent chicken salad out of the deal for lunch. 

And if all the stars align, I will be out of here in time to get Gaigey from preschool for his overnighter tonight with us so his parents can get out for their anniversary. All should be good.

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. You might find this article about KRAS mutations interesting, if you haven't already read it:
    One interesting point is that it says that there is some indication that those with KRAS mutations may be more resistant to platinum-based chemo.

    1. Very interesting article. I will definitely share with my oncologist. Thanks so much!

    2. Unfortunately, my oncologist tells me this is old info, and he is fully aware of it. And it is -- dated 2014. Oh well, worth noting.


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