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 17, 2018

The Life of a Metster

My 2018 continues in a positive direction, and for this I feel very blessed. Having lost another BC sister to Mets recently always puts that worry into me, and I presume others like me. I send much love and comfort to Dawn and her family. She is at peace now, and I hope that in time her smile, generosity, and kindness will bring them all sweet memories. She will be sorely missed.

But we must take this one day at a time, one foot after the other, like Dawn did for five years, because we each lead similar, yet different, journeys in this road called the life of a Metster.

Yesterday I had my visit with my Oncologist, Dr. Ian Anderson, at the Round Barn Facility for Sutter's Cancer Center. It has become a visit of many reminders for me. No longer is it just the reminder of my current journey, but it is the reminder of the horrific wildfires that hit our region just a few months ago. The trees in the parking lot are still charred black, as are those in the Kaiser facility just across the street. The iconic Round Barn is no longer, as is the nearby Hilton Hotel, Journey's End Trailer Park, all within a stones throw of my oncology center. And that doesn't even touch on Fountaingrove Drive and the thousands of homes lost there as well, and the Coffey Park area just across the 101 Freeway. I could go on, and on, but I will leave it there.

We just returned from a lovely RV weekend just North of Ft Bragg for an annual crab feed we attend at Pacific Star Winery. A day before the trip, I went in for my port draw and labs, in anticipation of my quarterly CT Scan and checkup. We left Ft Bragg early Monday morning to return just in time for the scan Monday afternoon, and returned back to Santa Rosa Tuesday afternoon for my check up.  

All is well!

Everything is stable and the same as from my CT Scan 3 months ago. All lesions are about the same. There were a few notations on the scan that my oncologist did not bring up (and I did not notice until my return home), so I will take it as still a great report. We talked about the week break I took from the Xeloda the week after Christmas, which gave me three weeks off this chemo. Since I continue to have a good response to this drug, even 16 months out from my start date on the Xeloda, it is best to do all we can to continue this routine while things continue to be good. I'm way past the average 9 months that most tolerate this drug, or that the cancer is kept at bay by the Xeloda. So Dr. Anderson suggests I continue at my current dosage. And if I feel there is a need to take another week off at some time, it may help to give me more months on it. Or we may consider decreasing the dosage in future if need be. But for now; it is "continue this regime" while it is working well for me. 

My hands are still dry and cracking so I am trying to get a handle on this. But my feet seem much better since the week off. I will return in two months for a followup and will have my next scan three months from now.

Our weekend away was a lovely time on the coast. We had lovely warm, still air, then some wind gusts, and just a nice time. The company was such fun, and the crab and all the food delicious. I feel so blessed and privileged to get this time to be out and play. 

And for a couple of days each for the two weeks before this I got to spend fun times with two wee little ones in Davis that I am lucky to be a Grammie to, while their regular sitter was on vacation. Life is good.

Back to school we go
Sibling love

Fun time in the park

I'll be participating in the Women's March this weekend. I had mixed emotions about participating, just feeling bleh about our political climate these days; sad, disappointed, lost, confused, shocked and uninspired. But I will get out there yet again, as this is no time to be complacent. It may not be much, but I will be there. Hope to see some of you there on Saturday at noon at our beautiful Sonoma Plaza.

Wishing you all good things to come, for us all, in this New Year of 2018.

#SonomaStrong #GlenEllenStrong

B  E  L  I  E  V  E


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