Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Good Lord Knows

Well, as I said in my previous post, the Good Lord knows what he is doing and I'm glad I put all my trust in him because I got a big surprise yesterday at the hospital. In order to prevent an additional surgery in January, my amazing doctors decided to go full speed ahead and remove BOTH expanders and give me my new permanent silicone implants. For Thanksgiving, I've been given the gift of two new "turkey breasts".....lololol... For Christmas, I think I'll pop on a couple bows and think good thoughts!

Now, the next major hurdle is to hope for no rejection of the implants. This is HUGE!! If my body rejects them, they have to take them out for 6 MONTHS - which would be bad. The guy hitting me was a big setback that affected my overall health, but I believe in good things, and so I hope, they shall come to me.

The surgery went well and I now have a smaller, softer, more feminine chest for which I am mighty grateful. I am up and moving around, albeit slowly. This surgery was as complicated, but somewhat less painful than the original bilateral mastectomy. So that and good painkillers keeps me feeling fair.

I wish you all a beautiful and very special Thanksgiving. Do your best to make it memorable ~ we never know what is to come our way...God Bless.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sooner than Expected

Just to let you all know, as I figured, I am now required to have surgery - MUCH earlier than January. It is scheduled for Wednesday. They need to go in and repair all the damage that was done when I was hit by the truck. The bruises turned into "dead zones" by turning black, and finally opened up into holes.....lucky me - I've sprung a leak.

Trying to keep my spirits up and I know the Good Lord knows what he is doing, so I place my trust in HIM that all will be well. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Feeling better

Well, it's Sunday evening, and I'm finally feeling a bit better. At least my strength is returning. Thank goodness! I was starting to get worried! :)

My breast finally sprung the dreaded leak. The bruising from when the guy hit me died and has now opened an area the size of about a dime, maybe a tad smaller. This is bad news. It means that the breast has now been compromised, so when I get up tomorrow, I have to call in to Tampa and my guess is that they will have to do surgery to close it up. In order to close it, they'll have to open it, take out the expander, clean it, and replace it.

All because someone wasn't paying attention when they were driving. Real nice - thanks, bud.

I've been hearing alot about this new recommendation about not getting mammograms until age 50. WTF! Clearly, the people who were in charge of this program have no clue about breast cancer - it is not getting better, it is getting worse, and women are getting it at much younger ages. If I had not had my mammogram when I did, I would not see 46 years old or ever meet my grandchildren. The idea of raising the age limit to 50 is ludicrous. I put that recommendation in the same pile of crap as Suzanne Somers who now chemotherapy does not cure breast cancer.....I have some words for that woman...."Go back to your Malibu barbie house, real women don't need false preachers". Suzanne is being irresponsible and ludicrous; every single day a woman's life is saved via chemotherapy because of breast cancer. Hey Suzanne, here's two more words for you, "Triple Negative" - look it up and get smart.

For any woman reading this who is new to breast cancer, remember the following:
1. Do your homework - don't rely on anyone to tell you everything
2. You will read plenty that you don't want to see - take it in doses and remember the hope
3. Get a second opinion
4. Make sure the doctor you choose is board certified in oncology
5. Choose to live or choose to die - then fight hard!
6. Cancer is aggressive, so you must be aggressive in your treatment.
7. Come out here to find others like yourself - you are NOT alone.
8. It is ok to get mad, cry, laugh, and do it again, over and over and over.
9. It's a hard road to recovery but thousands do it everyday, so can you.
10. Hang in there.
11. Ask questions - lots of them - and don't stop asking - this is YOUR life and it is important that you be kept informed every step of the way.
12. Keep a journal; whether here or in a notebook, takes notes, write down your thoughts, write down questions. Put it all there so when you are ready, you can go back and re-read how far you have come.
13. Don't be afraid to let others help. They really want to, so let them.
14. It's ok to be tired and weary, just remember why God gave you knees - keep him in the equation.....
15. Never listen to Suzanne Somers.

There, I guess that about covers it for now. I had hoped to do a video and post it here this weekend, but my camera wouldn't cover it now I search for a camera that will take about 8 minutes worth. Basically, I want to explain the above information a little more thoroughly. Hopefully, it will help someone one day.

I hope you all have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving week. As for me and my family, I cherish every single moment that I am here with them and it feels great....Love to all.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

One Day at a Time

Well, it has been one week since my final chemo treatment. I would love to say it has been uneventful, but I'd be lying. In keeping with tradition for 2009, God had other plans for the month of November. He decided to send me one more curve ball by adding in the freaking flu. WT****!!!

As if a dense and final dose of killer chemotherapy was not enough, apparently, he saw fit for me to get the flu and bring me to my knees for the last five days. I honestly don't believe I've ever been more ill in my life. Holy crap....sometimes I wonder what I have done, but it is not for me to ask why.....although in my angry moments I can get pretty pissy. This time around I was too weak to care. Between the chemo, the aching of the breasts, and the flu, nothing really mattered because I was too miserable. Anyway, I'm not whining, just trying to reflect how I've felt this week. There was a point where I nearly just gave up. I had a 103 temp, my body ached, my head hurt, my mouth is raw, and absolutely nothing tasted - at all.....and I was so, so so weak. Man, it sucked big time. My breast is in trouble and I'm doing everything I can to protect it, but the only thing I can really do is hope and wait. It's color is not good and I need 5 more weeks....God, give me just 5 weeks, please....

BUT on the upside, I'm getting back on the road to feeling better. One day out from the fever breaking, thank you Tamiflu and a Z-Pak, and Amoxicillan (yes, they have me on ALL 3) and I hope to regain some strength today so I can return to work tomorrow.

The plan is to have dinner w/friends and see the "New Moon" movie together - for which I will properly prepare myself with a MASK!!! Hey, I should fit right in, huh?

Anyway, as we draw nearer to Thanksgiving, I just want you all to know how grateful I am for having you in my lives, virtual and in person. You have been SO important throughout these past months and your love and support has been amazing. I am monumentally aware of how lucky I am to have such a wonderful support group. I am eternally grateful. I love you all.

Friday, November 13, 2009

It is Done

Yesterday, November 12, 2009, I endured what I hope to be my very last chemotherapy. It was rather an emotional day for me, because I know that everything that has been done up to this point is the clear line....It either works, or it doesn't. I believe very strongly that for me, this route I've taken with the assistance of fine doctors and nurses was the best route for my cancer and that I will come out on top as a survivor who can help other women.

As I've said many times before, my faith is stronger than ever and I trust that the Lord will see fit that my journey has many more years to play out. I know how hard this has been on me, and my children, my family, and friends. I thank every single one of you for standing by me, in darkness and in light. Without you, I don't know what I would have done.

There are still more surgeries to go, tests to take and tons of follow ups, all of which I pray will be fine. I will continue to post my story here because even though the chemo has ended my journey continues. And not just for me, but for all women out there who endure this disease, and for those who have lost their lives to it.

I am committed to breast cancer, just as it has committed to me and it HAS changed my life monumentally. Just because I am declared "cancer free" does not mean I will let this go - I will continue to support causes that support breast cancer research and I will write, and I will blog, and I will preach about it. Please be patient with me if I bore you - my goal is to help save lives....God willing, I hope that one day, breast cancer will be defeated.

Today, one day out from my last treatment, I feel hope. I feel ill, but I feel so much hope for the future. Wow - it is a good day!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This is it

So, today I woke up and realized that this trip back to Tampa will be the last one I have to go for chemo purposes.....Tomorrow is my LAST chemotherapy! I am elated. My breast is holding up - literally - ha! So it would appear that I can endure the last round...thank you Jesus....I just don't think I could do this again. It's so hard, so so hard.

To give you an idea, just walking to get the mail is actually a chore - I'm completely exhausted and the mailbox is only across my street. Work, although I love it, drains my body of all energy. I have to rest when I get home. It's almost like full body atrophy....that's the only thing I can think of. I don't think I could do hand to hand combat right now if I had to defend myself, so its a good thing I have a pit bull and weaponry. But this too shall pass.......I believe.... My sister Pam is doing well and she doesn't realize it, but each day that she continues to be well inspires me. Apparently, we have the same exact genes, so she gives me hope...she's a two-year plus Triple negative survivor. Amazing and blessed...
Wish me luck - this is one trip I'm looking forward to putting behind me!

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Day New Music

Friday was a tough day, but I'm holding my own and keeping the faith. This weekend, I heard a new song by Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews called "I'm Alive". It is a beautiful song and it reminded me to be grateful for the littlest of things. I am alive......I've posted the video and song here to the right so you can listen to it.

As I think about it, when I first found out I had breast cancer, Miley Cyrus came out with "The Climb" and I couldn't listen to it without crying because I had an idea of drastically my life was to change because my sister Pam had already been through it. Well, I've survived the climb up only to luckily be walking on the down slope with hope. And now, with absolute perfect timing comes "I'm Alive".

Wow, God knew I needed a special message and HE sent it to me. The message of hope I have for everyone today is to listen to the little messages God sends you. Hopefully, it will be something quiet, gentle, and nurturing and you will know that HE is talking to you. I heard him. Lucky me.....

Friday, November 6, 2009


Well, I went to Tampa today because my breast has continued to hurt since I was hit in the parking lot. It is very bruised and reddened. After an ultrasound and x-rays, there is real concern of my breast opening up. I have a seroma and two area's (black or bruised spots) that makes everyone crease their eyebrows. Not much they can do at the moment except hope. So, they have put some steri-strips on it to hold it closed and put me back in a compression top. Now, just pray it stays together until after my chemo next week.

Flippin wonderful - this sucks. I was doing well and with one more chemo to go, this could totally ruin my healing schedule. Yep, I'm crazy upset about it and I'm angry. Dammit - that's all I need is another surgery right now because someone wasn't paying attention. I guess, unofficially, I'm now a mess.

The more I write, the more pissed off and depressed I get so I need to try and just let it go tonight. I'm off to read some words of wisdom and faith. I wish everyone a peaceful weekend filled with great reflection and hope. Love to all.