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.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Still Plugging Along

I'm still at it, and feeling very good. The chemo pill (one week on & one week off) is not too difficult to manage, after some morning intestinal issues. But all workable with some planning. Other than that, I'm not feeling any fatigue or nausea or discomfort. The hair is returning wildly and started to get curly a few weeks back. I don't even try to manage it as it is crazy. Finger nails are improving, and I never lost them last time, like it looked would happen and like 5 years ago. They are very brittle and dry, but again, it is all manageable.

Busy as a bee, is the way dear hubby would probably describe me. Between trying to keep up with weekly Tai Chi classes, time with all my girlfriends, knitting a fun cabled piece, walking when I can, more camp trips (a most recent one to Doran Beach Campground at Bodega, CA), time with daughters and their grandchildren, planning fun things to do in the near future, and preparing for an upcoming ukulele class, I am busy as a bee. And I'm sure I have forgotten a few things. Here are some pics from recent happenings...

Fun sleepover with the daughters and grandchildren
Five little kittens created by Sarah and I for grandson's teacher and classroom.

Mary's pizza, photo bombed by a strange woman. :-)

Spinning on the deck with girlfriends
Camping and knitting on a beautiful March day at Doran Beach CG

Walking the beach with my sweetie.

A Matter of Choice - Mastectomies Without Reconstruction, is a beautiful article and video about courageous women choosing not to have reconstruction after mastectomies. As you know, I did not have reconstruction. From a couple of years ago when a mastectomy was discussed for just the infection (no cancer was found, mistakenly, back then) and I chose not to have reconstruction; then to this past November when the surgery actually took place and reconstruction was not viable, it has always been my choice. I've never been one for extra stuff to look better, such as excessive makeup, fancy hair do's or hair coloring into older age, wigs when bald from chemo, etc. So to go for the mastectomy was just not "me". But I know it is a choice others make, and I'm fine with that. Whatever makes one person feel better, is their choice. So when I saw this article and video, it struck me very personally. It also helped me to realize that the knitted knocker prosthetic, which keeps slipping into the wrong position, is not all that important or necessary for me. It is just OK to be me. So maybe I'll wear it from time to time, but I think I probably won't most of the time. 
That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.  😊

Filling my life with love, laughter, family & friends!
~ Peace and Love ~

B  E  L  I  E  V  E


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