Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's That Time Again!

Hello everyone! It's been quite awhile that I've been back to write a post. I've been busy and taking it easy by taking care of my health, and my brother, for awhile.

This last year, it seemed as if a lot of women I knew were diagnosed with breast cancer and it became frightening for me as a survivor.  I actually sat back to analyze what I was doing out here. Was my writing all for naught in that this devil of an illness was out of control, or that maybe my hope for the future misleading, or am I doing good by continuing my thoughts?  I would like to believe that I can make you laugh, give you hope, and educate you too! And yes, my goal is to ALWAYS be honest and forthright.

Here it is October 2012, wow - three years ago this month, I was walking my first Making Strides event while undergoing chemo.  The next year, I ran it in under 42 minutes. I was so proud of myself because in my heart, I carried so many others with me.  This Saturday, I will walk it again, no more running for my achy bones!  Each year, this event becomes so much more meaningful to me, not just because I am here to walk it, but because of all the other women (and men) who are now surviving and able to share in the day as well.  It still takes my breath away as I walk under those balloons that represent both life and death and the fundraising efforts of millions of people.

This cancer thing is part of who I am. I cannot change that any more than I can change the size of my hands (because I can change my butt and bust) :).  Everywhere I go, it remains a part of me, but I am trying not to let it define me.  It has changed my life in so many ways. My body hurts unlike ever before, so when I had an opportunity to retire/leave the City, I did.  I prayed to God to help me and find a way for me, and he did. I am now in retiree mode resting more and trying to figure out what it is I can or need to do.  All new territory for someone like me who has been so driven all her life.  I thought about writing a book, but what would the catch be?  Cancer? Survival instincts? Motherhood? They've pretty much all been written.  So I wait and think.  I have some idea's, but my mind is not cooperating dammit.  Damn chemo brain. ;)

Cancer changed me in many amazing ways as well, so I am not complaining!  I look at life so much differently; I do not take it for granted.  I desire to help others when possible and I see more good than evil.  More importantly, Jesus found me again. My relationships with others are so much more valuable than ever before.

Moving along....I got two new tattoo's!! I know, it sounds silly for a woman my age, but they both have genuine meaning to me.  The first one, on my chest says "Survivor" with a pink ribbon, and the other is an infinity ribbon with my boys names and a heart. Their actual fingerprints will be placed inside the heart. 

For new survivors; Your life will change a hundred times over - roll with it.  It is a part of who you are, period.  I believe that you will become more educated than ever before by yourself and with the help of others, should you choose to and whether or not you want to.  You have a choice to fight or flight; I recommend fight - always.  Our bodies change - so what, big deal.  So do our minds and our souls and our families and friends.  This is not just a challenge, it IS a journey; embrace it.  You are not alone.

For those survivors that have been around awhile - GO YOU! I am so glad you are still here and able to enjoy the warm sunshine, soft rains, birthdays, and life itself.

And for those of you that we have lost this year (and year's past), my promise is to carry you with me Saturday and always as we continue to fight for a cure.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

No Cancer Dancer - Three Years!!

Three years ago, I was terrified that God would take me from my children. How selfish of me, huh? I couldn't begin to comprehend the new terms being tossed at me and what my body was about to endure. But today, I am a no cancer dancer!! The PET Scan is clean! In exactly 11 days, I will reach that critical three year date of being clean from this dreaded disease. YAY!

If you are a follower here, you know that I had a scan back on 6/15 but for some strange reason, the results "never came in".  Well, under normal circumstances, no news is good news, but when you have lived with a determined little DNA that goes awry, you just never know what is going to you wait, and wait. And in this case...wwaaaiitttt..... but alas, wahala!  Thank you, Jesus.

Three years.  Ladies (and gents, too!) this is great news - especially coming from a TNBC like me!! As I said from the very beginning of this blog, there are no guarantees with cancer, so we hope and we pray. TNBC was found by researchers only a short decade or so ago, so I KNOW there is great hope in the strides being made today for tomorrow's patient.  And I want YOU to believe it!!

You, me, we, cannot give up the fight to support research for ongoing treatment.  Treatment that includes simple things like a life-saving mammogram, a trip to the oncologist (for those financially unable), patient and family support, and yes, the American Cancer Society. They have done so much for patients and their families and the only way I can think of to continue to support research and patients (at the same time) is to support ACS. If others before us had not done so, my sister and I would not be here right now, of that I am certain. I am not a spokesperson or anything for them, I have just been a cancer patient who has been loved by the people who work there.

Today, I ask that you look at each face that passes you by. At work, in the store, on the street, even on television.  Look at them with hope and compassion because if they are not, or have not suffered from a cancer themselves, then surely a loved one has. This disease called knows no boundaries and is very determined to take lives young and old. It took my mother and father. At some point, it has held several women in my family - seven of us. But we are not giving up!

Together, we will continue the battle.  Yay, for three years! YOU can do this, too. I believe in you. Hang in there.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Grateful today

Well, I still sit here waiting....patiently as I try....for the results of my PET scan that was done back on 6/15. Those of us who undergo these know that the clock can tick slowly while waiting for the results, but come on, 10 days? Give a chemo brain a break! ;)  I should be a grateful little soldier in that I am well taken care of by our Veteran's Administration and that there are others who, unlike me, may not have access to these medically necessary scans.  So my thought for today is, thank you VA from a grateful ole soldier, but please forward my results. wink wink.

On another note, my Making Strides page is open - please, if you have not yet donated to the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer campaign, please consider making a donation at my site.  Your donation is tax deductible!   June 2, 2012, was three years since my diagnosis, and honestly, I have met hundreds of other women with breast cancer. Many are still with us, many are not.  I am determined to help ensure that as time goes by, that percentage of survival increases and that my family will never have to worry about this dreaded disease again.  On October 20, 2012, I will once again walk for, and carry those with me, who can no longer walk for themselves. I AM trying to making strides today for "our" breast cancer family tomorrow.  I could list so many names right here, but there wouldn't be enough room to represent them all.

I must believe that one day, breast cancer will never steal another year from anyone's life.

Cheers for an awesome and hope-filled week! Hugs

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

MDS symptoms

As I posted yesterday, Robin Roberts is once again fighting the battle with MDS, a form of leukemia. To follow up on that post because she is also a triple negative, I thought some of you might be interested in the signs or symptoms of the disease.

As taken from the mdsbeacon website and originally published by Biblia Kim 5/1/09, it is as follows:
The symptoms of MDS will vary depending on the severity of the disease. Nearly half of those with MDS display no symptoms upon initial diagnosis.

Anemia, or low red blood cell count, cause the most common symptoms because red blood cells are responsible for distributing oxygen throughout the body. In MDS, the percentage of healthy red blood cells is below normal; therefore, the body does not receive adequate oxygen.
Signs of anemia include:
  • Chronic tiredness or fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Pale skin
  • Chilled sensations
  • Cardiovascular symptoms, such as chest pain (older patients)
Neutropenia, or a low white blood cell count, is another symptom of MDS. A shortage of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting infections, increases the likelihood of acquiring an infection or fever. Of the various types of white blood cells, most people with MDS lack neutrophils, rather than lymphocytes, making them more susceptible to bacterial than viral infections. It is possible to have a defective immune system despite normal neutrophil counts.
The common infections associated with neutropenia include:
  • Skin infection
  • Sinus infection accompanied by nasal congestion
  • Lung infection accompanied by shortness of breath or a cough
  • Urinary tract infection accompanied by frequent and painful urination.
Thrombocytopenia, or low platelet count, is also a symptom of MDS. Platelets are responsible for blood clotting.
People with MDS have a greater frequency of the following symptoms:
  • Nosebleeds (epistaxis)
  • Bleeding gums
  • Flat, pinpoint bruises
  • Rashes of small red dots(petachiae).
Less common signs of MDS include:
  • Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)
  • Enlarged liver (hepatomegaly)
  • Abnormal shape or size of cells
  • Chromosomal abnormalities. 
Keeping in mind that I would think that periodically some of these things are part of our "normal". But, if you have been reading the above and checking some of the concerns off, then I would recommend you make an appointment with your oncologist for a consultation.  It is likely nothing to worry about, but we as cancer patients know, it is better to be safe than sorry because our lives really do depend on listening to our bodies.

Blessings to all! Have a great week. And don't forget to say a little prayer for fellow cancer patients!!


Monday, June 11, 2012

Robin will be fine

Triple negative breast cancer is a disease that keeps giving. Even when one battle ends, another may begin at any time. If you know someone with breast cancer, please offer a helping hand.  The emotional, physical, and life toll it can take on an entire family is tremendous.  If you are a survivor, please don't forget about those who still need YOU.  Your friends, your family, patients, neighbors.  Cancer may have changed your life in many ways, but it does not define who you are unless you let it.

And so now we hear that Robin Roberts is facing a new challenge in her life.  After surviving triple negative breast cancer, she has now been diagnosed with a bone marrow disease.  She is under going a "pre-treatment" of sorts to gear up for blood transfusions that will help her.  This woman is a rock.  She was one of the very first people I recall looking up with TNBC.  Reading her story helped calm the storm that raged fear within me.  I was terrified and reading her journey quieted that fear, some.

Learning of her illness makes my stomach do flip flops for her, because I know she will have to undergo that dreaded red - or green - devil again, but she is a tough cookie. I read what she had to say about her diagnosis and just like Robin, she is completely positive that her outcome is good.  Some TNs might wonder what is to come for them, too.  Don't worry about tomorrow, we can only control what we have today.

That being that case, I am positive that I will be praying for mercy and intervention on her behalf.  Please, won't you pray for this woman who has come into homes every day with a smile and a story to brighten the lives of millions around the world.

Have a blessed week all.  Hugs.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Item #6 on My Bucket List

Well, item #6 on my bucket list is identified as "making a difference in someone's life".  Today, I did something that I hope, hope, hope, will come true.  I sent an email to Ellen DeGeneres asking her to consider my mother in law for a new car.

My M-I-L, Peggy, is nearly a saint. I love this woman as if she were my own mother (My mom died of cancer when I was 19).  She has endured so much, and asked for so little throughout the years. I think the last time she was even on a vacation was probably 20 years ago when I took her to Oklahoma for a weekend of bingo.  She raised five kids on her own after her husband unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack, and never remarried. Her life has been dedicated to her family. One child has cerebral palsy and another has brain seizures. She has never had a new car - ever. Or a new house. Her home was built in the 40's or 50's and her son, my ex-husband (and friend) is constantly making repairs to both the car and house.  The air conditioning is an open window or window unit. Yet, she takes it all in stride and smiles through even the hardest times.

Peg is now in her 70's and still works part-time at a bakery, just to get by.  It breaks my heart. I wish I could give her so much, but I don't have it either.  As we know, cancer has a way of depleting everything out of a person, but if I could, I sure would do this myself.

Not only would it be neat to check off another bucket list wish (Item #6) by helping this truly inspiring woman, who, without even realizing it, helped me become a better person and a good mother, but I would like to be able to give back just an ounce of what she has given to me and so many others.  If you knew her, she would make you smile.  She makes everyone smile; especially my children who adore her.

Ellen, if anyone can do this, you can! Please help me honor Peggy.

To my readers, you can help by asking Ellen to support this request. Her web page is:

It would do our hearts some good.  That's my thoughts today.  Love to all.

Hugs and hope~  (Ellen - call me!!)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Where'd They Go??

Hi everyone.  Apparently my blog has learned magic, because I am certain I have been writing and logging in here, but a few have magically disappeared.  *poof*gone*  Go figure.

Well, surely there is no way I can regroup what is lost, but I can tell you that my PET scan was indeed negative and I danced around the same office where I first found out about the cancer.  I will make  three years NED and I have no doubt that I will see four and five years too!  What a weight off my shoulders!  I didn't realize how concerned I was until the phone rang and I picked it up. Once I hung up, it was like someone lifted a boulder off of my chest. 

My boys have been in Jamaica for this last week celebrating their daddy's 50th birthday with him.  It brings me great joy and peace to see the wonderful relationship our family has maintained even though we have been divorced for more than 20 years.  Way back then I knew by maintaining "friendly fire" it would be in their best interest long term, and now they not only reap the rewards, but the entire family does and I thank God for his whispers to me even when I wanted to scream.

On another note, one thing we as cancer patients know is that life is very short.  This morning I learned of the passing of a nice lady who was loved by so many people here in Melbourne. She was not a cancer patient. Her death was tragic and completely unexpected.  I only met her a few times and she was so nice to me each time.  So today, my thoughts and my heart are with each of these folks and the family members who lost her.  Michelle, you left your footprint on many and I'm sure they will carry your memory with them always. Thank you for sharing yourself with so many. You will be greatly missed.

Take time today to hug someone or tell them you love them.  These are what make up such special moments in life and when you have the opportunity - don't let it slip by!! You know what they say about physics, right?  In the one second you touch something hot and burn your hand - it can feel like an eternity. But in the second you've lost someone you love, it seems like they've only been here mere minutes and gone way too soon.  Don't miss any special minute today.

You are loved.  Hugs.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Regarding PET Scans

Hello everyone. I've been away for a little while.  Busy, but not; exhausted, but energetic.  I was actually just taking some selfish "me" time by going on an amazing cruise! I went to St Thomas and St. Maarten Islands, which I recommend, and since my return, I have been working and napping and playing with my dogs, and so on.

I went in and had a PET Scan on Friday.  I've had some issues with lymph nodes in my arm where the cancer was, and it is painful. My shoulder gives me a fit occasionally, but this was different, so the doc is investigating.  Safety - I prefer that.  As a TN, I'm keeping my fingers crossed because June will be that three year critical point I need to reach being NED.  I believe I remain cancer free and so I hope to hear that from the doctor today.

Regarding PET Scans, I thought I may be able to re-share/refresh the information on them.  What they can do.  PET Scans provide critical information to help physicians locate and determine size of a cancer, distinguish benign from malignant, determine aggression or invasion (has the cancer spread?), type of treatment, and follow up / recurrences.

Some one million new cancers will be diagnosed in 2012 - this includes most cancers. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 570,000 Americans are expected to die of cancer this year, more than 1,560 people per day.  Through the use of the Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Computed Tomography (CT) imaging, doctors can detect and evaluate the extent of cancer.

So now that you know what it CAN do, just how is it done? I will do my best to explain in words I understand it to be. If I am wrong, please feel free to correct me as I want everyone to have the best information.

Well, it can be time consuming, but it really isn't a difficult test. Upon arrival at the imaging center or hospital, you will have an injection that contains minute radioactive glucose particles designed to "make the cancer glow" if you will. For some reason, the cancer is attracted to the sugary substance of it.  The hardest part of the test comes in two parts.  The first part is in remaining very still and quiet. You know how it is, as soon as you are requested not to move or don't have a free hand - your nose itches. Guaranteed every time, right? The second hardest part is the waiting on the results.  The specialists that review the tests know how important it is to get your results right the first time, so you can expect to wait three days.  And, if you are like me, five days as my test was on a Friday.  Patience is a plus.  Anyway, my therapy in waiting comes in my writing this for you and booking my next cruise to the western Caribbean with my son (yayness!).

If you can sit down and look at your results, good or bad, with your doctor, you get a fine opportunity to learn a little more about your body.  How cool is that?  Have an awesome week, and a very blessed Easter.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

So Much to Live For

I have always been aware of the things that I am grateful for in my life. My God, my children, my home, my country, my job, and the ability to see and feel and laugh and love freely as I choose.....When faced with a possible death sentence, there are moments that flash before your eyes and a weakness that fills your whole body. In one breathless split second, you know there is still so much to yet to do. Suddenly all the little things you have done in your life become a bit more significant. You treat others a bit more tenderly and loving and enjoy each day because you know time is precious and that dash between your years is important. An you know that some people never get that extra time.  (I have also found that I can get a bit irritated when people are arrogant or waste my time.)

I would like to think I have accomplished some wonderful things in my life - most importantly my children.  Education, retired military, honors, and others things that fall on the list are there, but my boys, well they are what move me - my real prize in life. When I think about a bucket list, they are always included in those things I want to do.

Just for kicks, some of things on my list that I hope to do (with my boys) one day are:
1.  Go to LA and be on the Ellen Show and the Price is Right. They are my two favorite shows.
2.  Visit Poland.
3.  Write a book
4.  Get a tattoo that is a compilation of my boys tats and names
5.  Sing with Bette Midler
6.  Make a difference in someone's life
7.  Visit the Grand Canyon
8.  Watch the Northern Lights - from Oregon or Alaska
9.  Go skydiving with my boys (Check!)
10. Swim with dolphins with my boys (Check!)
11. Get a master's degree (Check!)
12.  Raise money for charity (Check!)
13. Win the lottery
14. Pay off my house
15. Drive the pace car in the first lap of the Daytona 500
16. Win a Corvette :)

Being a two year survivor, I am now working on that list.  I add to it all the time and I do things that I didn't realize was even on it and then check it off anyway because it just felt amazing......These are but a few of the things that I have to live for but my children brighten my day beyond measure.  Everyday is a pleasure knowing I have them in my life. Just yesterday my son got a tattoo with my signature and a breast cancer ribbon on it.  He blew me away.  On his facebook page, he wrote "the most important person in the world to me".  And this is how I know I still have so much more yet to live for.

For you, whether you are still fighting or a survivor, choose how you want to spend your days and then do it.  Make a list or not.  Count your blessings or not.  Being on this side of the grass on any day is a good day for me so I'm going to make it count with a good attitude and a bit of grace!

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Kiss from God

Great news this morning. I looked at my email and received word that another local patient/friend, Kristen, was told by her doctor that she is cancer-free!!!  This is truly a great day for her and I hope you all dance a little dance for her because this is BIG.  She has been in a huge battle and has two babies....this news is like a kiss from God telling her, "You are ok, honey, I got this".....Especially considering she was Stage 4 when diagnosed.

Kristen is a shining example of faith and hope and how we walk through this day after day and just keep on keeping on. From the day I first met her, and we were all scared, to now.  Today, I am just so, so pleased that my cup runneth over for her and her family. We lost one friend recently so this is a victory on many levels.  Thank you, Jesus.

Like most cancer patients I'm sure she understands that while this battle has settled down, it likely isn't over. But for today, she has won! She is young and her body will take the much needed break it needs to heal and recover and strengthen.  And while she does, I will be out here praying for her.  Won't you help me and say a little prayer for her also?  One minute out of your day means so much....from your mouth to God's ears.....he listens. Yay, Kristen!!

May you all have a safe and blessed weekend. Keep your chin up and remember, when you are down, there is only one way to look.....and that is UP.  Hugs.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Patient Safety - Lack of Communication

A few days back on MedPage I read an interesting article on patient safety. What caught my attention was that it was related to communication between the patient and the doctor.  Although Medpage is open to virtually anyone, my guess is that the population most likely to refer to it would be the medical community, so who would the target audience be?  The medical community?  Yes, exactly. I think it will be an enriching experience for the already well-educated doctor to partake in commo lessons designed to help them relate to the patient, who in many cases, may not be educated.  While working on my master's degree, I took several communications classes and when you don't have a good connection between the sender and the receiver, a breakdown will occur in the transmission of information. 

As a patient, if you don't understand what your doctor, or nurse, is explaining to you, you have an obligation to YOURSELF, to ask them to slow down and explain it in terms that you can understand.  Most will be happy to do so. What I have found is that they are just speaking in a lingo they've become accustomed to and not trying to deter you on purpose. If you are one of the other kind of patients I have seen that does not want to know, then please, at least let a family member, or close friend, be at the appointments with you, to help make sense of the chaos.  In the long run, at least their presence by your side will be comforting.  

Here is Medpage's article as it was printed:

Conversations in Movement Disorders: Communication and Patient Safety

Discover how effective dialogue and feedback between patient and physician can help you achieve optimal patient outcomes.  Communication errors were the underlying cause of 65% of unexpected negative patient outcomes between 1995 and 2004, according to the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Health Care Organizations. Learn how to improve your communication and patient safety with this new activity, Conversations in Movement Disorders: Communication and Patient Safety.  This ground breaking, media-rich learning experience addressing how physician-patient communication impacts patient safety and offers methods for improving interpersonal communication. Learners will be asked to identify their personal communication style and then observe reenactments of actual clinical situations and patient interviews; Hear about physiatrists’ own experiences regarding the impacts of communication breakdowns as well as examples of successful efforts; and learn to identify the traits of four distinct communication styles and how to adjust to them in real-time situations resulting in an increase in understanding between patients, physicians and other medical professionals, enhance the flow of information and ultimately, improve patient outcomes.

If you are not a regular follower of the page, I have found it quite useful and also good reading.

Today, on 13th day of February 2012, I hope that you are having a beautiful, healthy as can be, day and know that you are exactly where God wants you to be today and always.  Have a wonderful Valentine's day everyone.  Hugs~

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Another TNBC patient

Toni has passed and so now, in her honor, I am re-posting a post from July 7, 2011 for someone else diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer:

I remember when I first started this walk down cancer road. I was scared. Probably just as much, if not more so, than a lot of you out there. Both my parents died from cancer, my sister had Stage 2 triple negative BC, and I too was diagnosed as triple negative. I remember feeling like I couldn't breathe. I also remember my first three words....."Oh my God"....

Surely he heard my cries because for all the days that followed, I knew HE knew what HE was doing and that I must trust in HIM. You have a choice with God, just as you do this disease. You can walk with HIM/it, or away from HIM/it. I chose to walk with HIM because as I've known all my life, I know he will carry me when I am weak.

I also found it imperative to keep a sense of humor. Trust me, aside from the gravity of my situation, there were also several jokes tossed around. That and my sister's falsey tossed into the pool...where it floated..and I laughed till I cried.

All in all, the days are not going to go by any faster or slower just because you have cancer. And, I bet you will be more grateful for each sunrise and each sunset that you get to enjoy. Take each moment as they come whether you feel great, or not so great. Part of this whole deal is that the treatment designed to heal our bodies actually makes us sick at first. Just roll with it and take it as a cue from your body that it is doing its job. That is all you can do.

When you are unsure if you can do this and get through it, trust me - YOU can, and you will. There are thousands of us out here, right here, sending you blessings. We do care about YOU and your cancer and we want you to get better.

Life isn't perfect but sometimes our society strangely acts as if it is supposed to be. If that were the case, we'd be in heaven already, right?? So, don't sweat the petty stuff and don't pet the sweaty stuff. ;)

OK, that's my thoughts, now chin up, shoulders back, smile, and's going to be just fine. Hugs....

Monday, January 23, 2012


This past weekend, I found myself doing odd things at times.  Listening to loud music, louder than normal for me; eating more than normal, exercising a little less, and being a little more emotional than I might ordinarily be.  And my heart aches a little more than usual.

I know exactly why I feel this way and I can say it in one word.  Toni.  She has been my “TNBC hero”, if you will, for some time.  She has been a medical miracle in so many ways for the last few years, until the past few weeks.  And now she is in hospice, dying.  She is four years older than me with a husband and son and they are going to bury her sooner than later.

This disease is vicious and very real….it always has been.  Not just for you and me, but for the many before us who so unfairly never got to meet their grandchildren, or watch their sons and daughters walk down the aisle.  I know that research is doing what it can, but it needs to hurry up! Too many have died already.  If they can track one bovine with mad cow disease and send rockets into space – why on earth can’t they find a root cause of this DNA problem and fix us.If any researcher reads this, please hurry.....

My friend and co-worker said something this morning that resonated with me. She said, “I don’t know how you do it. I think I would rather just be driving down the road and have a heart attack and be gone than live with knowing this can or will come back for you”.   Yeah, but it is what it is.  Triple negatives know statistics are against them, but I’m intending to be on the upside of them.

And with that thought and for our Toni, I say, we must shake those moments and just really live each day.  Enjoy a walk on the beach, a funny movie, a phone conversation with an old friend, or your pup and kitten playing.  Really take it in and love that moment for it will not pass again.  And when the good Lord does come for me, I know I will have lived and loved to the best of my ability.

Hugs to all~

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Army of Women is looking for you!

The Army of Women is currently looking for women in the United States who had a benign breast biopsy after January 2000 and have NOT been diagnosed with breast cancer.  What they are writing is that some women who have had a benign breast biopsy are at higher risk of developing breast cancer than women who have not had a benign breast biopsy. 

This study will investigate whether the amount of DNA damage seen in the cells in normal
breast tissue is an indicator of risk. If you agree to participate, it will include a questionnaire, 
pathology slides from your biopsy, and paraffin from your tissue.

Researchers are looking for 400 women in this study.  Research is the only way to find a

cure for breast cancer.

You can participate if you meet this criteria:
• You are a woman over the age of 18
• You have had screening mammograms performed
• You have NOT been diagnosed with breast cancer (including DCIS)
• You had a benign breast biopsy after January 2000
• You were NOT pregnant or breastfeeding when you had the benign breast biopsy
• You were NOT using birth control pills or menopausal hormone therapy when you had 
   the benign breast biopsy
• You have NOT tested positive for the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation (if known)
• You live in the United States
If you are interested in this, please go to:  
Dr Susan Love’s Army of Women – Contact at

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sundown Tinting in Birmingham AL

One of my best friends, Kellie, lives in Alabama and she and her husband have an auto tinting business (  They do exceptional work I might add!  Anyway, for all my friends in the Birmingham area, listen up!

Sundown Window Tinting and Design will make donations to "Making Strides" via my website at If you purchase a bumper sticker at $5.00, $4.00 will be donated to Making Strides.  They are doing this with the Arthritis Foundation and Humane Society as well.

To support this, Sundown Window Tinting & Design is giving away $600.00 worth of work (i.e. ceramic tinting of your car, paint protection, signs, printed signs, advertisement signs, banners, vehicle wraps, etc.) to a lucky purchaser of one of their bumper stickers.  All you have to do is take a picture of the bumper sticker on your vehicle and send them a picture of it on your vehicle, or you can post the picture on your facebook and friend request Sundown Window Tinting so they can see the picture on your facebook.  Once they get the picture, you will be entered into the drawing of $600.00 worth of free work at Sundown Window Tinting and Design.

Support them and they will support the thousands of others in need!  What a great idea for paying it forward to Get Up, Dress Up, and Show Up.   Which, if you will notice, that was my motto too….LOVE this!!   Please support them if you can.   AND, if you are out of town, call Kellie, she will work with you!!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Hello Everyone! Well, it is way after ringing in the new year, and I've fallen behind on my duties to keep you up to date on my health - and hopes. In my recent postings, you saw that I did one of my bucket list trips and went skydiving at 18,000 feet with my oldest son, Brad. That was amazing and unforgettable.  This last week, my youngest son, Kyle, was in town and his Christmas present was a ticket to jump - along with many other things of course.  So, why did I give him "this gift"?  Well, one, because he really wanted to jump and two, because for me, I felt a little closer to God and I hope he did too.

We did a lot of other things while he and his girlfriend were here. We made pottery, saw the Blue Man Group, went on an air boat ride, and watched movies (our favorite past time). We went and saw Sherlock Holmes - Robert Downey Jr AND Jude Law at the same time? YES!!! lol

Additionally, I nursed a muscle spasm in my back that is unlike anything I've ever felt before so I continued with physical therapy and that helped loosen the muscles up.

I have not done much research as of late because over the Christmas holiday, I learned of a friend going into hospice.  She, too, is triple negative and has been such a fighter and good christian woman.  She knows what is coming, sooner that she would have liked, but she looks forward to a peaceful heaven, and to greeting us all again one day. Me too.  Anyway, her prognosis set me back a little bit, so I just didn't feel up to writing. My apologies.

I tell people that cancer was good to me. I know - CRAZY!!! Right?  But in many ways, it was. It brought me back to my faith; it made both my family and friendships stronger - in a very real way; and it helped me become less vain. Every day, I can choose to be happy or not, and I choose to be ecstatic for having more time.  Am I sick? Nope, not at all.  I am two years NED. But I won't take one day for granted.

I want every moment with my children to be something they remember with a smile, or a laugh. I want my co-workers to know that I do care and I'm not just "performing", and even when I walk my dogs, I want to focus on their joy of just being with me.  Right now, I have all three dogs and a kitten on me and yes, typing this is a challenge as the kitten chases the mouse.

Resolutions: I have given thought to a resolution as many do each year. This year, I think I would like to knock off another item or two on the bucket list and continue to live as if I'm dying.  I mean, after all - no one gets out alive, right?

In closing, more often than not, we don't know how much time is left, but it's what we do with that time and the people we share it with that is so important.  So come on, join me - do something today that makes you step outside your comfort zone, or check an item off YOUR list, or even just sit and quiet your soul and listen for God. He's still there, waiting for all of us.

Many blessings for a happy and healthy 2012.