Thursday, August 26, 2010

Raffle - QUILT

I'm raffling off a quilt for Making Strides for Breast Cancer. Tickets are 1 for $2, 3 for $5 and 5 for $10! I hope you will/can support this. All proceeds will go to Making Strides, including my investment.

Many, many thanks to my co-worker, Stephenie who donated her time and made the quilt, while her own grandson is fighting to recover from cancer as well.

See Photographs! hugs~

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I'm not sure I've reiterated it lately, but I am very grateful to still be kicking around and I thank the good Lord every day when I awake. I know how lucky I am.....

I realize that not every day will be spectacular, but I believe that it is what we make it and until this cancer struck me, I was just moseying through....but not anymore. I do everything..."more". I love more, I live my life "more", I believe in others "more", and there is such a personal reward to my days in all of it. If I had one recommendation today, it would be to "do everything more"....and feel the difference.

Hugs ~

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Thursday was the Extreme Makeover day, graciously sponsored by The Avenue Viera and hosted by Making Strides. It was an amazing day. Tangles Salon, Patchington's, Pizza Gallery, Hot Rayz Limousines,Belk, and others were involved in making this day a large success. Several times my eyes blurred as I reveled in the moment or shared a quiet moment with one of the other ladies. Cancer is not fun, it's goal is to take your life, and Thursday was a way in taking ours back.

At 0830, our driver, Billy, picked us (myself and 5 other breast cancer patients) up at the Holiday Inn. We departed straight to Tangles Salon in Rockledge where each of had our hair, nails, and toes done. We were there from about 0900-1500. These ladies had closed off their salon to give us their undivided attention. We had coffee and donuts available and a lunch catered in so there would be plenty of time to get everything done. And right at 3:00, we were exiting out the door just about on schedule. Many thanks to Lisa and all the ladies there who made our morning and afternoon so special. Most of them were even able to make the opening ceremonies that night - THAT says a lot about the kind of people these women are.

Next, we were taken, again by Billy, to Belk, to have our makeup done by the ladies at the counters. And then on to Patchington's where we all got dressed into our outfits that we wore that night. From the morning to evening photographs, there was a clear difference and we had thoroughly enjoyed the day meeting and greeting everyone. Once dressed, we were taken back to the Holiday Inn where we realized there were about 200 people awaiting our arrival!! I was a little taken aback, but I felt great. I was with some phenomenal women and each with their own story, and own journey. A sisterhood for sure.

We walked in one at a time with a big pink umbrella covering our faces while the announcer read part of our story to the crowd. When she said our name, *poof* down with the umbrella and a walk down the aisle for everyone to see our makeovers. From the photo's, you can see that I was dressed in black pants, a floral top and a lambskin jacket. Ooooh, that jacket is fine and it is now in my closet. ;) Several people took pictures and I finally learned what it must be like on the "red carpet" for stars - a bit overwhelming to say the least. But it was day and evening filled with unforgettable memories.

I would like to give a special thanks to Pam, Denise, and Lana S. for all their efforts in pulling this together. This is my written promise to you that I want to help you next year with this event.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Big Day ahead

Well, tomorrow will be a big day, but today I got big news. My CA 15-3 Cancer marker news came back good - it was a 6! The other test, CA 27.29 came back as a 16, which means that I am still in remission and good to go. Thank you, Jesus, for giving me one more reason to be grateful for this day.

I was in my car leaving the aquatic center where I was taking photo's of our Dive Team doing annual testing when I got the call. When I hung up, the tears flowed. It's hard to explain because I am full of hope that I will continue to beat this and get back some sense of normalcy, but just hearing that everything is "ok" resonates very deep in me and I know that my hope and faith, and the prayers of everyone is really, really working.

Tomorrow is my big day. Making Strides and the American Cancer Society is providing me and 5 other ladies with a wonderful makeover in Viera. I am looking forward to it.

Have a wonderful evening! I'll post pictures from tomorrow and this weekend's event later this weekend! Hugs~

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Hi everyone - For some reason, the pink box link above does not work correctly. If you wish to donate to Making Strides, please use this link instead:

Again, your donations will be used for important research that WILL one day save someone's life from breast cancer. I have no doubt that it has saved mine and my sister Pam.

Love to all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

14 Months and One Birthday ago.....Making Strides Ever Since

One week ago, I got to celebrate my birthday, an event I really wasn’t sure I would live to see. I continue to hope that one day breast cancer won’t steal another year from anyone and we will have a world with less breast cancer and more birthdays. There are about 60 days left to go before our Making Strides walk…I hope you can find a way to support this magnificent organization. I have a link here on my page.

I also have a friend of mine donating her services to making a quilt that I will be raffling off. She said it will take her two weeks to make. I bought the colors today. It will have pink, a deeper maroon, a cream color, and tan also. The pinker colors are butterflies, which I carefully selected on behalf of my bosom buddy Adrienne, who continues her brave battle with Stage 4 BC. For Relay for Life, the name of the group was Butterflies of Hope and when I saw the butterflies, I knew it was meant to be a part of the quilt.

Anyone wanting to purchase a raffle ticket, please let me know. I am going to sell the tickets for one for $2, 3 for $5, and five for $10. My goal for this year is to reach $1,000 to go to Making Strides - of which I already have almost $385 in donations from several generous friends and family. As soon as I can, I will get a photo posted on here.

I'm off for my outfit fitting for Thursday's makeover that Making Strides has so generously selected me for.

And school starts again tomorrow night - I've decided to tack on the other two courses to get a dual master's degree if my health continues to improve. Wish me good health.... ;)

Love to all ~

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Making Strides

I have almost reached my current goal of $300 for the ACS Making Strides Campaign. When I make that, I will up the ante some - maybe to $400 if I have enough time. Everyone has been very supportive to me during my quest to raise funds to continue to support research for breast cancer and I'm very grateful.

This organization goes all out every year to help support the American Cancer Society and having had four members (including myself) of my immediate family with cancer, (both my parents succumbed to it) I honestly believe that our best shot at a healthy future is going to be based on research. I also want there to be a difference for others - I want there to be a cure so no one has to endure breast cancer.

Again, many thanks to all who continue to support this wonderful organization, your money will be wisely used for research.....

God bless!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I forgot to share my Making Strides Campaign page with you. It is:

If you have an extra dollar, or find extra change in the bottom of your purse, I would greatly appreciate the donation to Making Strides (American Cancer Society).

I lost both my parents to cancer and my sister and I are both Triple Negative breast cancer patients. One day, I believe there will be a cure, but until then, I have to keep hoping that folks will help me support the mission to keep research going.

Thank you!!

Mammogram? Check~

It's been a whirlwind these last two weeks. My son was in town, I finished a class, and I've been working on my house. But, I just logged on to read that one of my friends went and got her mammogram. Ladies, that's what this blog has truly become about - YOU and ensuring that you take the time to take care of yourself, and doing so means getting your annual check ups. Yayyy Donna - now, keep passing the word to other women so they don't forget or get overwhelmed by their schedules.

So, this last week, I also learned that I will be receiving a makeover, compliments of the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides". I will be picked up by a limo and whisked away for a hair cut and color, mani and pedi, and an outfit. We will then be taken back to where the opening dinner ceremony for Making Strides is being held and seated at a VIP table with Mike and Mindy (DJ's). Many thanks to Anne, Lana, and everyone involved in making this happen. I know you've put forth great effort already. I am looking forward to this, it's been awhile since I've felt good about myself, so maybe a little change will help. Funny, that's all this last year has been about...change......keep it coming.

I spent my birthday at Tampa getting my tests and meeting my new Oncologist. Also learned that my right arm has started to swell, so I'm now wearing the compression sleeve. That's ok, it doesn't look really bad and once you get used to it, it feels ok. By design, the goal of the compression sleeve is to get the extra fluids out of the arm and I just remeasured my wrist, elbow area, and the upper arm area and in just two days, the swelling is back down.

In speaking to my Occupational Therapist, Wanda, when you've had lymph nodes taken out, you have to be extra careful with any cuts, bruising, and swelling of the arm the nodes were removed from. It is very, very important to keep the swelling under control, because it is not just water, it is "junk" building up. One of the things she told me to do to get my lymph system moving in the morning is when I first wake up, do 20 crunches/sit ups. That will get that mid-section, that is so critical to the lymph system, moving properly and help prevent swelling.

Keeping the faith till next week when my next CA -15-3 test comes back. I hope the numbers are still down to an "8" or below. If so, that will mean I am still in remission. And I feel pretty good....

Anyway, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, enjoy your day. Wishing you a very special evening and weekend....hugs to all.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Good Week

Hello all - I have been so busy with school and work these last weeks, and it still wears me down. By the time the sun goes down, I'm shutting down myself, which leaves little time to do anything else.

I have been busy around the house also. My son is coming home with his girlfriend, who I get to meet for the first time, so I am very excited. We have a great weekend planned and I just hope and pray my strength holds out. I know my excitement level will for sure, but the sun does a number on me. I have found that the neuro issues I have are worse when I am in the sun. Interesting, considering I am a Leo, and I have always loved the warm sun on me. Nowadays, I have to stay out of it. But this weekend, I will venture in and continue to live my life. My time is precious, and my time with my son irreplaceable, so we will have fun! :)

My hair is making a comeback - and I'm having fun with it. Have added another new photo. It is now a whole three inches long! Woohoo. That is actually quite amazing when you consider all the drugs and damage my body has been through this last year. I don't take it for granted; I revel in the thought that I am taking baby steps and regaining part of my former self, but becoming a better person in this journey.

And now for my monthly preaching:

Each day I am committed to helping women fight breast cancer. The best way I know how to do that is to tell you this: Know yourself, know your body, know your doctor - Get your mammograms. I can not emphasize enough, even today, how critical the timing of my mammogram was. An error of just a couple of weeks would have made a HUGE difference in my survivability. Please, if you are reading this, please, take the time to do your monthly self-exams, listen to your body and get your mammograms. If there is any history in your immediate family of breast cancer, take it seriously as a knock on your door. Science is an amazing gift to all of us and they are making strides in breast cancer, but women must be proactive in their own care. Your doctor cares about you, but they also care about the 500 other patients they have - so help them help you.

Have a blessed week....hugs to all.