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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Sunday, April 23, 2017

And He is Now At Peace

Yesterday we attended Nathaniel Davis' (Nat) memorial service, my brother-in-law, sister Nancy Davis' sweet husband. It was held at the church he and Nancy attended in Rodeo, CA, and was very lovely.  

Our wonderful family at Nathaniel Davis' service.
(Six of our eight siblings stand in the back middle. Missing dear sister Donna and family from Montana, and some nieces and nephews.)


Nathaniel Davis died on April 9th. He fought long and hard, the valiant battle against colon cancer. After 3.5 years fighting, staying positive, and being an inspiration to us all, the last few weeks were trying and very sad for my sister to watch him slowly fade, suffer, and still be there every moment with loving, gentle care. I cannot believe how difficult it all must have been. 

Nat's service was a true tribute to the man, full of love, support, music, and prayer. We miss you Nat. He wrote a Blog of his own, and often posted writings from a writing group he attended at one of his cancer support groups. I loved Nat's writing, always mystical and witty, as he was in life.

Nancy posted a beautiful poem on her Blog that she wrote and read at the service. And today over lunch, my husband read the story, A Nice Ending, that Nat wrote, and one which is also posted on his Blog. It was printed and handed out at his service.

Rest in peace sweet man. We will miss you Nattydread. Please watch over my sis, Nancy, and your son Joshua, during these uncertain days and times to come.

~ ~ ~

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






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.

You can also find me on Facebook, Ravelry, and just occasionally on Instagram and Twitter. Just click the word above to go there.




Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Lot Better Today

Yesterday morning I awoke and was so disheartened, and just feeling down. Monday morning I had my annual echo cardiogram. It's been a full year and it always brings me anxiety; as I want to see some improvement over the last, which was an EF of 40%+/-, but I tell myself I will actually be happy if things are stable and my heart hasn't regressed. I had hoped to have the results by the end of the day, but just got the report yesterday. It was slightly lower, or so I thought. But then my Cardiologist, Dr. Dhar, emailed me to say he reviewed the test further and thinks my EF is actually around 30-35%. I just wanted to cry; and actually I did. I know..... It is far better than when I was first diagnosed with congestive heart failure and waiting for the five-year cancer free mark as a heart transplant could not be done before then. As time progressed, I miraculously improved, with lots of new meds on board, and the transplant was no longer being considered. Of course, rewind to a year ago and that is when the cancer returned metastasized to the liver. So a brand new roller coaster began, including mastectomy in November. I feel like I am just now reclaiming some energy and feeling a bit renewed, even though I take daily chemotherapy. So far things are stable, but the cancer is still there.

The news of the Echo and EF, and then feeling so sick and tired of hearing new cancer diagnosis was just starting to weigh heavily on me. No, not starting, CONTINUING to weigh heavily on me. No -- I'm not sick and tired of hearing about them really, please keep telling me; just SO SICK AND SAD of knowing that it seems to be so prevalent these days. And do not even begin to tell me there is some reason behind it, that we cancer victims (yes we are victims) are doing something wrong, eating the wrong thing, doing the wrong stuff, living the wrong way..... Even the professionals say it is so random that they cannot figure it out. Because believe me, if I knew what was causing all this, I would do what it takes to make changes this very second in time. There, that is off my chest. :-)

Backtrack slightly... On Monday morning my sister, Donna, left to return home to Montana after a week's stay with my dear sister Nancy, who just lost her sweet husband, Nat, to colon cancer. Nathaniel Davis died on April 9th. His services are tomorrow, Saturday. He fought long and hard, the valiant battle against this horrific disease. After 3.5 years fighting, staying positive, and being an inspiration to us all, the last few weeks were trying and very sad for my sister to watch him slowly fade, suffer, and still be there every moment with loving, gentle care. I cannot believe how difficult it all must have been. Yesterday, another dear friend shared that it was very similar when her husband passed of pancreatic cancer a few years back. I had not learned of what the final days were like until just then.

If that is not enough to just bring you down, I have heard about new cancer diagnoses nearly every day over the last few weeks, and it is just too, too much. Not to mention a dear family member who is working through a treatment plan right now. (More on that to follow)

I will shake this off I know, but yesterday was a bit rough.

I'm in contact with my cardiologist to learn more about the Echo. He wants me to research Entresto as a new medication possibility. My first concern is the mention not to take it with liver disease. I'll need to see if breast cancer mets in the liver is a concern. Either way, it just is hard news to swallow at the moment. Give me time and I'll shake it off as I always do.


http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QmmLHPoll6w/WPVAS--DV7I/AAAAAAAACh4/u9zMOpXxEJM9ncb6l1sL8HpvUlmUDbhoACK4B/s1600/IMG_2388-786516.jpg
 Found this beauty in my Cardiologists office
And then I was off to be with my grandson, which definitely cheered me up. And eldest daughter reminded me that it is just a number, and more important that I am feeling good, great actually! AND, the sun is shining. YIPPEE!!

Hope you all have a wonderful day.

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






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.

You can also find me on Facebook, Ravelry, and just occasionally on Instagram and Twitter. Just click the word above to go there.








Monday, April 17, 2017

A Birthday & Easter

This weekend was my hubby's 64th birthday and we celebrated. The girls and I got him a very cool pit barrel smoker he had his eye on, and then we went with friends to see Arlo Guthrie at the Green Music Center Friday night. It was a great show and fun dinner out beforehand.



When Saturday rolled around, he was out of the house bright and early to help with the Glen Ellen Fire District annual Easter Egg Hunt, and it was another fun one. Since the Davis family would be spending all day Easter Sunday with us, they were not able to make it this year. But we had fun with Gaige and Sarah, who then returned to the house to help us make birthday cupcakes.


Sunday was the culmination of the celebration with the whole family going in to the City for the SF Giant's game.  We got there early enough for the kids to get their free SF Giants backpack with cape. It was a very wet game, but we came prepared with lots of layers and rain parkas. The kids were quite the troopers to make it through the entire game. Some walk abouts for food and treats seemed to help quell the moments of, "I want to go home".



The ushers are quick to hand out sees lollipops.

 Fun times watching the game.
 


Getting ready to run the bases after the game.
 

Just finished running the basis. And the little one did it all on her own, as her brother and cousin started out ahead of her.

Note the cool Giants backpack and cape.










































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






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.

You can also find me on Facebook, Ravelry, and just occasionally on Instagram and Twitter. Just click the word above to go there.














Thursday, April 13, 2017

Two Month Checkup

April Showers...
We've had over 70" of rain this season, which began on October 1st, and the hills of Sonoma County and beyond certainly show it. We just returned from a week camping trip up the Northern California coast and into Humboldt County; Fort Bragg, Ferndale, and Big Lagoon near Trinidad, to be exact. It is almost a magical green everywhere. I'm wondering if I've been transported to Ireland or somewhere.

Treasures found at Big Lagoon spit hike

Dinner at the Victorian Inn in Ferndale with the Merritt's and Gallagher's


The time away was wonderful and relaxing, spending time with friends old and new, back to elementary school. It was a wonderful time away and with dear friends. I can't wait for the next one.

On Tuesday, I had my two-month oncology check up. And all is well from the lab work, so far. Dr. Anderson felt that the fact I forgot to take my chemo pill for two days, my appetite has returned so that I have put on 10 lbs since the holidays, and I have good energy and am doing just about whatever I want, is all a good thing. So I guess I'll just run with it for now. I return in 5 weeks for another checkup, right after I have a new CT Scan.




My next echocardiogram will be this coming Monday and I hope that my EF is still at 40% or maybe even better since the last one a full year ago. So far my heart is steady and seems to have tolerated a year of chemotherapy and all the ups and downs associated with it.

So, besides getting out and having some fun, I've been spending a lot of time working on this lovely piece of knitting, which is the Sous Sous top by Norah Gaughan. And if you check the previous link, I think you'll see I'm doing well on the back so far. It is a lot of stitches, but I'm really enjoying how it is coming out.


I've also been able to spend a couple of sleepovers so I can watch the grand kids out of town, and always fun time with G here in town.

A boy and his turtle

3 generations selfie

Fun times with the grand kids
On a very sad note, I report that my brother-in-law, Nathaniel Davis, Nancy's husband, could no longer fend off the colorectal cancer he has been valiantly fighting for 3.5 years, and passed away on Sunday, April 9th. He has been on hospice since November, and the last two weeks have been very hard and drawn out for dear Nat, Nancy and their son Joshua. Nat will be dearly missed by our entire family, always there for all the gatherings and holidays. Wishing peace and comfort to Nancy and Josh during this sad and challenging time. We will miss you, sweet, smart, witty Nat. God Speed and may you rest in peace.


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






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.

You can also find me on Facebook, Ravelry, and just occasionally on Instagram and Twitter. Just click the word above to go there.