LIVESTRONG:

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.

WARNING:
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.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

It's Been a Lovely Holiday Season...

... Full of family and friends, love and compassion, holiday crafting, adventures and treats! 



I couldn't have asked for a better 
December 2016.


I believe some of it is because of being off any chemo drugs for a full month to help me recover from the November 16th mastectomy surgery, plus the extra holiday time this allowed from not spending so much time in treatment and seeing doctors. My body has healed well and rejuvenated, so to speak. My energy level is up, my hair is growing back, I've been feeling pretty normal. And for that I am very grateful.

There is much to update about though. So I'll get on with it.

I see my oncologist next week for a port flush, lab work, and office visit. Hopefully all is going as well as I feel. I started back on my Capecitabine (Xeloda) chemo pills two weeks ago; so I am on the second week of pills right now. Meaning one week on, one week off, and now back onto the "on" week. Some of the side effects return each time I start the pills up again; sluggish bowels, some fatigue. I also seem to be experiencing more hand and foot syndrome symptoms -- the dryness and my feet are very sore even if only standing for a little bit. But all these are manageable in the greater scheme of things.

My hair is coming back pretty good; so much so that I have been going hatless most of the month, when inside and warm enough. This short Do is kind of fun. Maybe I'll keep it on the short while for a bit. But it is baffling to me that the hair on my legs is very dark, where the head is not. And my hair does not seem to be as wavy as it was 5 years ago when it returned after those rounds of chemo. Again, it is all good.

The mastectomy site has healed up nicely. It is not very pretty, but it is what it is. No pain, mostly. Just a bit of tightness and once in awhile a bit of soreness. I feel very fortunate from some of the pain and lymph node/edema issues so many have. Fortunately I did not need to have any more lymph nodes removed so that helped greatly.

I return for checkups with my breast surgeon and cardiologist in early February.

Today I am feeling a bit melancholy. Just kind of off and a bit dizzy. This happens from time to time and is usually related to sinus issues or vertigo. Again, it is manageable; and we will have a nice New Year's Eve dinner, just the two of us, in our cozy home. We may stay awake long enough to watch the ball drop in New York on our new gigantic TV that Santa brought this year. 

So I will close on 2016 after reviewing some of the fun from this month. And in doing so, I am now recalling all the great times with wonderful family and friends; and beginning to understand why I need to take some R&R time -- it's been a busy month (and this is just some of it)!

A Danish Smorgasbord where we learned to build beautiful sandwiches
with wonderful girlfriends who are the best cancer support team anyone could want.




Holiday fun at Cornerstone

A couple of days in SF getting into the Christmas spirit with great friends.

The Christmas tree hunt in Papa's red sleigh

A very serious decorator at 5 years old.
Swedish Lucia Pageant with niece Kiana as Lucia

Hawaiian concert at Green Music Center


Family Holiday Gathering


 





Holiday fun with wonderful friends.


Christmas Day with the family.




 


Wishing you all a Happy New Year 
filled with love, laughter, family & friends!


Peace and Love




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

Debbie... aka the cancer FIGHTER, AND Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
B E L I E V E

• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting!        I look forward to your comment.





Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Feeling Scarily Well

And by that I mean, almost normal, maybe even better than pre-cancer.

Why is that scary, you may ask?

Because it's as if I'm forgetting that I am very sick. Not sick in a feeling way, at least not at this moment, but sick as in terminal cancer. But then, aren't we all terminal in some way? I mean, we will all die, some way, some day. Thinking this way does help me to be real that I am really no different than anyone else.

And again, I digress. 

The fact is that I don't feel as though I can relax into this feeling. While it gives me the opportunity to get out more than usual and enjoy the Christmas Cheer, I know it can be very fleeting. 

And I also know that part of the reason I'm feeling well is I have had no chemotherapy treatment for nearly a month. This reason being that my mastectomy was on November 16th; and my surgeon and oncologist wanted me to stay off all Chemotherapy, or any immune depressing drugs, for a full month to give my body and skin the opportunity to heal as much as it could in that time, and while not taking too long of a chemotherapy break.

Then there is the fact that I haven't been to a doctor's appointment since December 1st, and today is December 13th. That is pretty much unheard of for me since March 1st this year. And I don't have another appointment scheduled until January 4th. Which is pretty amazing these days.

So tomorrow I start back on to my Capecitabine (Xeloda) chemotherapy pill regime. Three pills in the morning and 3 pills at night, a total of 3,000 mg per day. I do that for one full week, then take a week off, then repeat.  

I guess if I'm going to get a reprieve, no matter how long, I'll take it at this time of year.

And hopefully all will continue well going forward. 


Peace and Love




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

Debbie... aka the cancer FIGHTER, AND Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
B E L I E V E

• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting!        I look forward to your comment.





Monday, December 5, 2016

Have You Voted today?

PLEASE VOTE DAILY. Thank you!  
 
My Blog, Deb's Breast Cancer Journey, is once again nominated for Healthline’s Annual Best Health Blog Contest! Check it out here: 



You can vote once per day until December 12th when the winner will be announced.

 
AND there is a cash award this year.

  1. Click link above. 
  2. Scroll down to search field to vote on page (daily)
  3. Put Deb's into the search window. Be sure to use capital D and apostrophe
  4. Then choose my Blog,and click VOTE.
  5. Click on the box to prove you are not a robot, you might have to scroll up to the top to find that message. 
  6. You may also need to verify email address the first time you vote. After that first vote, your browser makes it much easier for you.
  7. Vote from different devices with different email addresses, if you have them, to vote more frequently.
Thanks so much - hope you can take some time to vote for me.
 

PLEASE VOTE DAILY.


Nominate your favorite health blog until November 21st, then vote for the best, which receives a $1000 cash prize!

Peace and Love





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

Debbie... aka the cancer FIGHTER, AND Cardiomyopathy warrior!!!
B E L I E V E

• I AM STRONG • I AM HEALTHY • I AM LOVED •
THANKS for visiting!        I look forward to your comment.