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, May 17, 2017

Having Lots of Fun

Monday I attended the Cancer Support Sonoma group at Sonoma Valley Hospital for the first time. The organization offers all sorts of programs, but this was the ongoing support group that meets twice a month on Monday mornings 11-12:30. The setting is very warm and welcoming and I felt comfortable listing and sharing about all of our journeys. I will return for sure, and hope to share this wonderful resource with a few friends. 

Yesterday afternoon I made my monthly trek to Santa Rosa for a port draw/flush and labs. It is starting to feel a bit more normal not needing to be there every week for nearly a full day of infusion. And the chemo pill I take daily for a week (then a week off, and repeat), seems to be tolerated pretty well by my body -- only a few minor side effects that are totally manageable at this time. The CT Scan with contrast is tomorrow, and happens quarterly to see how all my tumors are doing -- and HOPEFULLY they are shrinking. Then an appointment with my oncologist is scheduled for next week to go over the results and consult on how things are going. The Xeloda chemo pill I am currently taking has about a one year expected effectiveness. About then is either when the cancer figures out how to devilishly sneak around it and start growing again, or my body may begin to not tolerate it. Then, we will look at other chemo options, if need be, and I understand that there are more out there, thankfully!

But meanwhile, life moves on, a cancer friend has passed (very sadly), and reality of it all is still there in the back of my mind as I meditate, knit, learn to play the ukulele, and enjoy family and friends. Not to mention finally having the energy to do a bit in the garden. So life is good right now, and I'm trying to grab it by the horns and take a good long, fun-filled, joyful, thankful, ride of my life.

Here is a snippet of the fun stuff  from the last few days in photo form.

Gaige and Tessa giving each other sweet hugs.

Gaige at his Woodland Star Charter School's May Day/Grandparent's Appreciation Day Celebration.
Getting into a healthier diet and it is feeling so good. Only veggies, fruits, and lean meats -- NO dairy, NO sugar, NO flour products of any kind, NO alcohol. We take a break when need be, but still try to hold true to most of these guidelines. Pounds are dropping!  :-)

Happy Times for the grandkids with Opa and Grammie Rita visiting from Indiana.
And we got to spend a lovely day with them too.

Camping with cousins ~ Great fun!
Amazing sand dollar colony at low tide.

Mother's day with these three sweethearts.

Catching mosquito fish from the troughs and depositing into pond.

So now it's on to the CT Scan tomorrow and whatever next adventure we can find.

~ ~ ~

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

B  E  L  I  E  V  E


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