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, January 25, 2017

They Call It Hair, and Other Musings

Look, Ma... I have hair!

Enough for it to even get messed up when I wear a hat, which is still most of the time. But I do go hatless indoors more frequently now that this little bit of fluff is giving me some warmth. And I'm glad it is. 

Now if I could just get my eyebrows, lashes, and  nails to cooperate. But I won't be greedy on this account. I am thankful for what I have.


Speaking of hats, I was so very honored to participate in one of the over 600 sister marches to the Women's March on Washington DC on 1/21/17. As you can see from the tiny image in the background pic of our 3-girl Glen Ellen/Sonoma/Napa team of me, Kate & Karen, we marched at our State Capitol of Sacramento, CA. The crowd is estimated to be in the neighborhood of 30,000 and it was an experience of a lifetime for me. The vibe was positive, supportive, inclusive, and the intent was, and is, to stand up for the rights of all human beings, especially women; which we believe are being threatened at lightning speed under the new President and administration.

 These are called pussy hats. And if you've heard any of the derogatory statements from our new President from recent history, you know what this means.
This are called pussy hats. Google it if you don't know the meaning, but you couldn't have missed it in the last few weeks if you read/watch the news or do anything online.

A lot of people are calling this song the anthem of the Women’s March movement. It brings tears everytime I hear it, and especially watching this wonderful women sing it in DC.
“We are the song rising in the twilight. Sing it once more, #ICantKeepQuiet. A #WomensMarch anthem."



Right before the march, Mark and I, and three of our other trailering couples (we call ourselves the Vino Vagabonds), made a treck up to our favorite winery, Pacific Star Winery, for a few days. It was the annual crab feed and the crabbing strike ended just in time for us to enjoy the most delicious dungeness crab from the Fort Bragg area. We are part of the "crew" for this event so we help with set up, take down, and even a little food prep and flower arranging. But the best part is the open welcome from the winery owners Sally & Marcus, the gorgeous setting, and the friendship of this group. Not to mention some delicious wines and THE VIEWS. What an amazing place and fun weekend.



And then there is some exciting news on the breast cancer front:

Breast cancer: Scientists hail 'milestone' genetic find

Scientists say they now have a near-perfect picture of the genetic events that cause breast cancer.

The study, published in Nature, has been described as a "milestone" moment that could help unlock new ways of treating and preventing the disease.

The largest study of its kind unpicked practically all the errors that cause healthy breast tissue to go rogue.
I say, keep this kind of good news coming!

That's it for now...

Filling my life 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!!!

THANKS for visiting!        I look forward to your comment.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

New Year ~ New Me

Or so I hope!

My new motto for this year is...
  • Move a little more; sit less
  • Eat a little better; more real food, one bite at a time.
  • Sleep tighter; every good day starts with a good night.
  • Take a moment to calm your mind, be in the moment.
It's been a wet and soggy month so far, bringing 17" of rain to our little farm here in Glen Ellen, Brookfarm. So it has been hard to get out and do the Move a little more part. But I did get a two-mile walk in yesterday at our regional park. So that is a start.

I also made it to a meditation class the other day, and then meditated at home one day. If I can only keep on track and keep progressing in a positive direction, that is the real test.

I've been feeling really good of late, and now back on my chemo pill after a one-month break post mastectomy. It was a nice break over the holidays but I am ready to get back at it and be the cancer warrior. In early February I'll be back to see my oncologist for a new CT Scan, which I hope will show further reduction in number and size of lesions.

Today I hosted lunch for my group I meet with once a month. I call it a cancer support group, but it is really a women's support group -- a group of local Glen Ellen and Sonoma women, most of them I have known for many years, usually because of connections from our children growing up and being close in age. But there are a few newer friends too. What we all have in common most recently is cancer, in one form or another. I've told you about this group before, so won't go over it all again. But let's just say that they are the best ever. We all have kids and grandkids, are loving, caring, and creative women. We are on the same page politically. And we are all cancer warriors at different stages in our fight against the disease, or recovering from the death of a loved one to the disease. We talk, we share, we laugh, we eat, and then we plan the next lunch.

We just made our plans for next month and we will meet on Valentine's day at Community Cafe. Why then and there, you may ask? Because it is the anniversary of the death of Denise Emery, and we want to honor her there at one of her favorite spots and will toast her with a glass of white wine. Gone far too soon, my sweet cousin and dear friend. We all miss you and know you are watching over us all now planning to make us all cranberry sauce, or pesto sauce, or bringing lemons; always thinking of others. It will be a lovely way to honor Denise, share memories, and just support one another.

Here's to 2017!
Fill it 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!!!

THANKS for visiting!        I look forward to your comment.