Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Slightly Annoyed

So, today, I am slightly annoyed. I finally got in to see a local doc to check the "cough" that's been hanging around for months and also my back where the pain has kicked up a few notches - from an accident. This was my morning:

Supposed to see nurse at 0730 and doc at 0800. Saw nurse at 0810 and doc at 0830. Nice - thank you. Doc checks my ears, nose and throat. She tells me it is not good for a woman "my age" to be jogging "statistics say so" and "we end up with all kinds of problems". WTH?? Lady, in case you didn't notice, I'm way ahead of you. Besides, I've been a runner since I was 10 - a little late to tell me that now.

Anyway, she sends me to lab, xray, and pharmacy (in that order and from only two minutes of looking at me). When I asked why the pharmacy, she said to pick up a prescription. I thought it was something I had forgotten to pick up. No problem.

Lab, give blood - check. Xrays, chest and back - check check. Pharmacy, prescription - stop. It's for what? Allergies? Who said I had allergies - WHO EVER did an allergy test on me to prescribe me allergy stuff? NO ONE. Yet in less than two minutes this doctor thought she had me all figured out. Well. slap me on the ass and call me unhappy because I about came unglued right there, but I realized it was not the pharmacists fault.

The prescription is Flunisolide-Nasal. It is for stuffy/runny nose, itchy eyes, nose/throat and sneezing - NONE of which I have. Now the side effects are temporary nose/throat dryness or irritation or COUGH, headache, nosebleeds, sneezing and unpleasant taste/smell may occur. Seriously, I HAVE the cough and it is going to GIVE me a cough? This sounds more like it gives you allergies not that it helps allergies.....She assessed me in less than two minutes and NEVER looked at what she was doing, she just picked up her pen and started writing. I swear to God as I live and breathe.....how do you do that with a cancer patient????

I ended up in the Patient Advocate's office where I should have went LAST TIME after she ordered an ultrasound on the wrong breast. I guess instead of giving a second chance, I should have taken note and run....to the next doctor. Well, now I am. Needless to say, she called back, and apparently my lungs are "normal" and I have "arthritis" in my back....guess the bulging discs that have been there for 10 years have disappeared too. Not sure if I should trust anything.

So, yep I am slightly annoyed. I have always received great care at this facility and now I am questioning it. I want my old doctor back....he knows who he is, I saw him today...please come back.... lol

To close this, I tell you this - as a cancer patient, you MUST be proactive in your own care, this is YOUR life. People make mistakes all the time, help them not make one with you. If they do, take corrective action. We only get one chance at this great life.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10-23-10 We ALL Made Strides

The "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" event was held in Viera and over 6,000 people showed up - just for this one event. It was awe-inspiring. I saw laughter, tears, hugs, new friends, old friends, and even a lot of co-workers - more than I would have expected.

So did I actually jog the whole event? YES I DID. In 35 minutes actually and I set a personal best record since getting this disease. It was hard, and I carried the medallion and the pink rose they gave me. Each time a piece of the rose fell, I made a wish for someone I knew with breast cancer. The sun was hard on me but I refused to let it get to me this year. I sought shade where possible - although very limited, it did help and the water and gatorade on the road was excellent this year. There were cheerleaders and all kinds of people on the route cheering me on as I ran and it touched my heart - and apparently my legs because I ran faster than normal. Actually, I have to thank the young 20+ yo man who passed me four or five times. After the last time, I thought to myself, "No ya don't, you're not passing me again...." so I kicked it up a notch. Finally, one of our LT's in the PD came and ran in the final 1/8 mile with me - very cool and appreciated. Thank you Marc.

Unknown to me, I would beat some other fine folks that I would never have thought possible. Surely they sat down somewhere, had a Coke, used the rest room, etc.....lol. My sister, Sherry, even ran more than of this event. This after having a knee replaced. She rocks. The excitement at this event always far exceeds my expectations and MSABC has become my favorite day of the year. It fuels my faith and hope that I can and will continue to beat this disease. Each day I count down is one more day to living as a free woman. As of today, I am one year, three months and two days breast cancer free. Thank you, Jesus.

I did win an awesome "Fun in the Sun" package that contained a pink lounge chair (awesome!), a lime cooler on wheels (very awesome) and a brilliantly colored bag by Anne Ormsby filled with all kinds of goodies and one over sized lime beach towel. Thank you so much to the people who pulled it together. I love it.

I saw all the ladies that work at ACS who make this event happen. They are to be commended for their hard work. Erica, Anne, Denise, Lana (school) - and so many others behind the scenes. Also, to Pam M., Marketing Director at the Avenues - awesome as usual. I had the privilege of meeting all these women when I was selected for the makeover in August. I met some other wonderful people also. When I was buying tickets to "win" something, I realized that the donations/prizes were going to help an elderly woman with breast cancer. Yep, give me $20 in tickets. Didn't matter if I won or not, I wanted to help her win - the battle. The group of them had such a beautiful accent - I think it was English, but I'm not sure and they were just good decent people. I'm glad I crossed paths with them.

Our group went to Mimi's for breakfast, but I wasn't hungry. I was overheated from the sun and needed something ice cold. I opted for a Cinnamon Mocha Freeze. OMG - it was freaking delicious. I will go back for another of those.... :)

Anyway, I am posting pictures here to share with all of you. I hope that you have attended your local events. If you have the ability to help your local ACS in any way, I say please do so. What they do is offer hope... and that is something I think we can all live with.

Today, I am inspired by the lives of so many others who continue to reach out and touch my life. I hope that I can return that gift as I continue to heal.

Have a blessed and beautiful week.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

4,000 Friends

I think that in two days, I shall go for a nice walk (well....jog actually) with 4,000 of my closest friends. Yep!!! Finally, it's time for the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K. My team, The Spice Rack has raised nearly $4,500 and I am so proud of them as they are surely making a difference in a future breast cancer patient's life.

On top of that, so many more folks from work have signed on to go and walk or run as well. I am so pleased that I have possibly inspired them to take a part in something so special to so many cancer patients. Awareness and research will make all the difference for future generations. Last year's Making Strides event CD is done and I got a copy and lo and behold I am in it several times and I say this to all of you, if you have not yet gone to one of these events - DO IT!!!! That day last year changed my perspective entirely. I went from "thinking" I would beat this cancer, to knowing it deep in my soul. I felt it because of all the love and caring and hope that came from that event that day. I am excited to participate again. Thank you Jesus for giving me that opportunity to be here to stroll that same path again....

If you are involved I wish you great strides! Thank you for all you do in helping fund the cure.....until next time....


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Women of Hope

I joined a group meeting in the hopes of meeting others like myself - for many reasons. One, I might not feel so alone in this journey (although I would NEVER wish this on anyone else), two, we may be able to help lift each others spirits when we are down (and I have had my share of those days), and three, to continue to break out of my little box as I promised myself I would.

Who knew I would meet another Triple Negative. She's Stage 4 and guess what - she has been since 2007. THAT is a true miracle walking. Any other TNBCs out there reading need to go back and read that sentence again - She is still walking among us...Wow and amen. Let me tell you just a few things she shared with me - who knows, her journey thus far may help you:

1. They put her on Femara even though triple negatives rarely respond (she did)
2. She takes Zometa every month - it helps her bones release marrow - and her hip has regrown by itself.
3. She has had 42, yes, I said 42 chemotherapy treatment and has hair and a sense of humor.

I also met another wonderful new member, Karen. She too is a BC survivor and recently lost her husband. I could see the pain in her eyes yet there she was trying to get through the day. Her children are struggling. I hope you will keep her kids in your thoughts and prayers for surely as much as we go through, the kids take it quite hard.

I leave you with this for today. Fear is in my mind but the Spirit is in my heart. Did you know that "Fear Not" is in the bible 360 times?? That is almost one time for every single day of the year....interesting, huh...and in my dark hours when I am afraid, I try to remember these things and be comforted in knowing and remembering that I am exactly where God wants me to be. And so are YOU~~ :)

Have an awesome week~~ Hugs.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This weekend has been about allowing my body to recoup. I have had no home work to do, no major house projects, no nothing. So I am just enjoying allowing myself down time.

My pup, Reina will require surgery to her knee which I will have done after the first of the year. She's only two and a half, so her prognosis thereafter is very good. She is like my child so I have no intention of putting her down. When I was sick she never left my side. Somewhere on this site is a picture of her laying on me while I rested on the couch. She was distraught not knowing what to do - but ever faithful, and so I will be with her as she goes through some tough days.

Feeling good. I ran 3 miles on Thursday. It was HARDDDDDD but I did it. Took me much longer than anticipated probably because I attempted it the day after a 2.75 mile run, so I had to walk for a minute, twice. No biggy....Like I said before - baby steps turn into greater steps. These little milestones are all about making my body healthier and stronger on the inside.

Was at an F.I.T (FL Institute of Tech) Wellness program on Friday taking photographs of one of our volunteers and an acupuncturist took my pulse and said to have my doc check my lungs. Interesting she said that as she had no idea what I've been through. I told her and she said it could have been the anesthesia, but to still have my lungs checked. Funny, I'm always trying to clear them. Hmm - check - will do.

You all have a wonderful week. Halloween is almost here, again (thank you, Jesus) and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I am thrilled because I survived to see it - again. YESSS!!!!! Hope, faith, and love........

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's a "Chile" life

Today's blog is not about cancer. It is simple and is dedicated to the 33 miners who are being pulled one at a time from a mine shaft near Copiapo, Chile, after more than 69 days of captivity underground. They have just removed the 12th miner (a 56 yo man) from a tube that is over 8 football fields in length that carried him to safety. The world watches today and I've seen tears of joy from San Francisco to Sri Lanka and I believe that our hearts are united in this - we are all grateful.

I can see the joy spread completely across his face as he realizes all is well. Now, I will sit here and pray and wait for each of the rest of the 21 miners who await rescue. I lost a boyfriend to a mining accident in the 90's. His death was tragic and deeply saddened me. I am so very happy to see that these men are going to be ok and I have no doubt that each one of them have been chosen to do something with their lives. The collapse of the mine was amazing in itself, but then a few of the men told a story about white butterflies leading them to safety inside the steel trailer..Again, I say they have been chosen.

Finally, to those who did not give up and have worked so hard to design the tube and get it down there to arrange the rescue, you have surely earned your wings today.

May you all have a very blessed day.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Baby Steps

This morning, I did it. I jogged 2.75 miles. Of course it took me a while - 30 minutes to be exact, but I did it. When I first finished my run, I was a wee bit disappointed because it "took me so long", and then I laughed at myself.

"So long" can be defined as the following:

1. The first grueling few minutes in which I heard I had cancer
2. The hours after surgery - when I hurled morphine across the room (that was fun).
3. Trying - wanting - to lie down flat on my back - or just sit up by myself.
4. Last year's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk - I almost didn't finish.
5. This whole last year in which my entire life has been changed.
6. Finding out someone else has breast cancer...and crying inside.

Those were times that are/were "so long". 30 minutes to run 2.75 miles, something I have been pushing myself, and cheering myself on to do, is a great 30 minutes. I used to be able to run that same 2.75 miles in 20 minutes, but so what, I'm also ten years older, and my body has been to hell and back. So, I say, "yay for me!" Those weren't baby steps today, those were great steps to living my life.....

And so, my friends, my thought for you today is this - baby steps are good, because they will bring you to greater steps in your life. Stick with it, laugh at yourself and enjoy the very moment. Love to you~ ;)

Friday, October 8, 2010

No to the Mammo

Hello all. Well, I found out recently that I should not have allowed a doc here to perform a mammogram. After six surgeries, complications, and implants, mammograms are not the smartest thing to do on a post breast cancer patient like me. I have not clarified if that is all patients, most, or just me, so right now consider it "sharing".

Additionally, when I received my results, they refer to "ducts' in the left side - not possible; again, I have implants, nothing else. So, now because of all that, I am being scheduled for an MRI in Tampa where my specialist is at, and she is flagging my records that NO mammograms are to be performed on me. Bottom line is that you really cannot see around the implant anyway as they are opaque and all you see is a white round blob. Needless to say, I was annoyed but as far as I can tell, no injury was done to my chest. Still freaks me out a little though because I trusted this other doctor to do the right thing and I shouldn't have. Anyway, forgiven.

On to better things. Last night, I spent a wonderful evening at the Melting Pot with my friend and co-worker Maria, her daughter's Adrienne (BC patient) and Rachel, and some of their friends. We had a nice dinner, massages, parrafins, and other nice treats compliments of Imperial Spa. It was sweet.....and so was the chocolate.

The Quilt - there is finally a winner. Today, we did the drawing for the winner of the handmade quilt to benefit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. The winner is "Families of the Shield". FOTS is an awesome local law enforcement non-profit group who goes above and beyond to take "care of their own" and families of law enforcement officers. They are truly a wonderful group. Without hesitation, they donated $100 to this fund raiser. I was so thrilled for them and when I emailed Officer John Pasko on FB, "the Good Lord always gives back to his servants"......he emailed me back donating it back to me to give to a worthy cause or individual. Now, I could give it to any one of the 200 people that donated, but the one that stands out the very most to me is a special lady who lost her mother to cancer just a short year ago. It was a terrible thing. The most amazing thing that I didn't even know is that they loved butterflies, and her sister even wrote a book honoring her mom. The name of it? "She Comes to Me in Butterflies". By now, my friend knows this is her, so Liz, I would be completely honored if you would hang this on your dining room wall - just where you showed me you would put it if you won - next to your mother's picture. That would do my heart good. And I hope that everyone else will join me in the joy it will bring to her.

As I have said so often, in so many ways, cancer sucks but thanks to research and wonderful doctors, not all of us will fall to it. It is a true tragedy that anyone loses their life to this dreadful disease in today's day and age so it is imperative that we continue to push hard for research and better care for cancer patients.

My team in Making Strides against Breast Cancer has been doing just that. Together, our beautiful team of 7, has now raised of $4399.00! These ladies are amazing, and I am so grateful to have them helping me. Helping me they are helping research and helping others. Jill, Mary, Angie, Dee, Donna, Adrienne....thank you.

Thank you all so, so, so, much for sharing in this and helping save the lives of breast cancer patients. Hugs to all.