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, August 25, 2016

Serene Lakes Vaca

Since late Spring, and our trip to Hawaii in June, DH and I have been wanting to find a place (cabin/vacation rental) that we could take our daughters and their families to and start a family tradition of a week away somewhere. We camp with them in April at the coast for Papa's birthday, but it is pretty cold and tent camping in April at the coast with an infant has been hard on them. But the grand kids are getting older so hopefully the April trip will continue to work out.

For this family Summer vacation we considered Santa Cruz, the Redwoods, and then Sierra Mountains came into focus. None of us had been to the Tahoe area in quite some time. So Serene Lakes it was, just last weekend.

We found a sweet place to sleep us all just a block off the two adjoining lakes, and brought our kayaks along, just in case.

Mark and I drove up a week ago Wednesday after my Oncology port draw and office visit arriving around 6:30 pm. Ahhh, the smell of the pine trees and mountain air. And did I say this sweet cabin on a small culdesac a block off Serene Lakes was quite indeed very serene. I think the bald eagle fly-over as we sat on the front deck that evening, and the full moon popping up over the tall pine trees soon thereafter, gave us the sign we needed that this would be a great time.

We, the Grammie & Papa, stayed a full week. The daughters and families showed up Friday; one family noon'ish, the other a couple of hours later. They all left Sunday afternoon. And we enjoyed a few very quiet and relaxing days, and drove home on Tuesday evening.

On Thursday morning after breakfast Mark and I took a drive over the old Hwy into Truckee for some window shopping, lunch and a stop for some groceries for the trip. We returned home just in time to get the groceries up the stairs and put away, and hadn't quite gotten the kayaks down to the lake yet, when a full blown thunder storm broke out with hail the size of large peas that covered the deck and street. There was even water running down the road. It was a fun sight and we were so glad to not yet be on the water. That hail hurt when it hits a bald head. :-)

But we did get out on the lake for an evening paddle and it was divine. 

As soon as Alura and Stephan arrived with Nico and Maddie, we got them settled and then Alura and I drove down to the public beach with the two grand kids for some fun in the water. Nico was not quite expecting the water to be so cold; but we all had a lot of fun and soon the chilly water didn't matter. Mark rode a bike down to join us later, and then we returned to the cabin to find Sarah, Chris & Gaige had arrived and the living room was Lego city. Nico opened his Lego birthday gift from them and the building began.

So we enjoyed dinner all around the table together, some Olympics & Lego's and then it was nighty-night. Nico and Gaige shared the room with the twin beds. I imagine seeing them in a similar situation when they are a bit older and can go to bed own their own at the same time and talk themselves to sleep, and wake each other in the morning.

On Saturday, Papa made one of his big farm breakfasts. He brought his circus waffle iron along and made a feast of scrambled cheesy eggs, bacon, waffles, fruit, juice - YUMMO! Then it was back to the lake for all 9 of us; sand toys and kayaks in tow. Chris and I paddled the boats over to the beach from an easy launch sight. Then Alura and I took Nico (in my boat), and Madeleine (with Alura) out for a paddle. They loved it.

Mid afternoon we returned to the cabin for climbing up the back hill with Ruby (Sarah's doggie), building more Lego's, and the ladies sitting out on the deck gabbing and enjoying some bubbly. Then dinner, more Olympics, Grammie & Papa's birthday gift to Nico of more Lego's and a SF Giants team-wear outfit, then bed time. 

Alura & I took a nice walk down to the lake with the grand kids after breakfast Sunday morning which gave Stephan, Sarah & Chris time to get things packed up for their drive home after lunch.

Mark and I enjoyed a couple more days in peace and quiet. As much as we enjoyed the cheerful sounds and energy exemplified by our sweet grand kids, it was nice to have this time and to put the place back in order before driving away Tuesday afternoon. But first we got another lovely morning paddle on the lake, and took a drive into Truckee and Squaw Valley, ending with an early dinner. 

It was the perfect vacation; and we all plan to do it again next year!
And if you want to see more pictures, or just friend me over on Facebook, just click the word Facebook for my Page.

Tonight, 8/25/16, I will attend the Relay for Life Survivor Dinner at Hanna Center and remember my sweet, dear cousin Denise Emery, who we lost on Valentine's Day this year to metastasized breast cancer. I will remember many others as well; those fighting this disease, and those who have passed on from it.

Then Relay for Life is this Saturday, 8/27/16, at Presentation School in Sonoma from 1:00 pm Saturday until 10:00 am Sunday. I plan to be there most of Saturday. For more details, click here!

Come on out and walk with me and my family and team!

Thank you all for your continued support and well wishes.

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

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

THANKS for visiting!        I look forward to your comment.

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