Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Surgery Date Set, 2nd Set of Tests Cancer Free!

I spoke with a nurse today to go over my surgery date for Monday Dec 28th. She asked me if I was excited! I thought for a second yeah, kinda, no not really.... Then she said Oh its more than just and implant surgery thats why it's over 6 hours. I thought don't remind me.... But anyways it's set for 5:30 am for me to arrive. Oh what Fun.... I will keep in touch.... Text me if you want I'd love to hear from any of you..... 602 625-8124 Even if I'm a little High I'll still enjoy texting...

Also, I met with my oncologist Thursday... So far so good! Cancer Free in Breast Area, and Pelvis. I did have to have an ultrasound today to look at the ovaries one more time to get a closer look. Better safe than sorry. So I'm up to my ears in co pays so hopefully I'll get a little break from doctors for a while since all looks good!

Love you guys...

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Good Reminder...From My Mommy

My mother is the type of person who often keeps her opinions to herself, is a good listener and lets me just vent without giving me lots of advice. However today I began to complain to her a little. I started out by saying to her ~If I hadn't burned from radiation so badly I would not be preparing for this 8 hour surgery to try and fix my boob with my own skin.~If I could have only reacted Normal to radiation like other people do I would have just the basic reconstruction with no extra scars.

She stopped me before I could continue any more and said..." You are alive!!!" "You are alive!" Be thankful for that.

Knowing my scars will be a constant reminder of the cancer I had. And that no matter how much reconstruction I have to put me back together again, I will never look the same. I could not complain or say anything else at that moment...She quickly gave me a good reminder of what's important. I'm alive.....

Monday, December 14, 2009

Back to Doctor Appointments...

Here I go again! Not Complaining! It's for my own good... I need to continue following up with the doc's so that I can stay cancer free and get this breast issue over with!

Today I had a FULL BODY CAT SCAN... I had to begin drinking 2 24 oz bottles at 7:30 am. It made me feel so sick. I just started remembering how I felt during chemo treatments and I could hardly get threw the day with out crying. The scan took about 30 minutes . I will know the results Thursday.

Tomorrow I go to the Reconstruction Doctor. We will go over the "plan" take the before pictures, go over the incision that will be done on each side of the breast as well as the incision from my back. Huh.. Not Fun..

Then Thursday I will meet with my Oncologist go over my lab work and Cat Scan Results.

Wish Me Luck!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

This Time Last Year...

Today I was thinking about this time last year and what has happened in my life. I was so overcome with emotion because I could not stop thinking about 3 friends who were so selfless and took my children into there home helped me in every way possible while I was beginning my 1st treatment of chemo and still recovering from my mastectomy. I have realized that there is so much good in everything. No matter how terrible my experience was and the sadness that came with it the good prevails! Last year I could not see the good. I just existed and went threw the motions. But this year I see such good and I am so thankful for that.
Well Friends... Love to all of you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Change In Plans!

My reconstruction surgery to put the expander back into the radiated breast area was scheduled for December 9th, I wasn't wanting to do this before Christmas but had no choice with Insurance issues and the end of the 2009. On Monday I went in to see my doctor and go over my surgery date, medications, etc.... Dr. Boll came in looked at me and within seconds she said "Change in Plans". Your skin is so tough and tight. There is no way an expander is going to be able to go in." I just didn't heal well and this is the terrible thing about Radiation. Its different for many people but for me I probably had the worse case for skin that can not be worked with.

This means only one thing! SKIN Graft or Reconstruction Using Back Tissue:
When back tissue is used for breast reconstruction, it involves the latissimus Dosi muscle, along with the skin and fat that covers the muscle. This procedure is called a latissimus Dosi (LD) flap. The tissue from my back is removed and moved to the front of my chest, with the arteries and veins still attached. Since most women do not have enough fatty tissue on their back to recreate a breast using only the LD flap I will have an implant put in that same day.

8 hour surgery....6 week recovery...4 day stay in hospital. Lovely! Because of the length of surgery I am happy to say it has been moved to Dec28th right before the New Year so hopefully Ill get it ALL in before the new insurance issues arise in 2010...

So for now this is a quick up date.. More to come later... Hope you all are Happy and Doing Well. I think of you all often.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

5 Years Ago Today...

I had DRAKE!
My sweet boy that I wanted so bad.
I had tired with many failed attempts to have him.
After my 5th InVitro try I saw that embryo float right into my uterus! Kinda detailed but that is exactly what I got to see! With Technology I was able to see him embed into my uterus and hope that he would stay. What a Miracle it was. He has been such a joy to Mitch and I. He is just like Denis the Mince! But everyone who meets him just adores him. We had a party for him Saturday and that was just enough for him! So Grateful to the Lord for my Children that I thought I'd never have...I Love you Drake!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I mentioned before that their were several things I felt were not a 100% with me after meeting with my oncologist last month. So I did a lot of sole searching and felt in my heart I needed to follow through with a 2nd opinion about the places seen on my kidney, my tamoxifen I'm taking for 5 dreadful years and several other medications that I'm taking that might be interfering with my med's (for example... my Happy Pill!)

Any ways, I met with a women Oncologist who was referred to me by my dearest friends and oh how grateful I am for this! This Doctor was an angel sent from heaven. She went over everything I have gone through, reviewed my medications, talked about all the side effects Chemo does to a person for years after treatment and what the tamoxifen can do to Pre menopausal women. The answers were pretty much what I thought but what reassurance it was and to have someone really listen to what I was concerned about.

So for now unless I want my ovaries and uterus taken I will have to continue with tamoxifen and deal with the side effects I am experiencing. So sad I have to work out almost 7 days a week just to maintain my weight for now. The weight gain and irritability is the worst. There are other side effects but I just wont discuss!!!!

What a connection I had with this doctor. The funny thing is after talking with her we found out she was from Roanoke VA (where my parents are from) and she grew up and went to school there. I knew there was something eastern about her!Check Spelling

So for now I'll keep doing what I'm doing. Several test to do this month and then I will review results with her in December. The next thing to come is... The beginning of reconstruction. Ugh! Mixed feelings about this. I want to move on but don't want to endure the pain again. I'm tired of looking at a sunken in chest with my arm pit dug out like a pumpkin! So it's time to begin again. I don't mean to complain I know how lucky I am and I'll continue to say that....

Love you all!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Memories.....All the things We did...

This is a recap of our Halloween activities...I was able to really enjoy them this year.
Here is Sweet Maya....She loved getting dressed up for Halloween 2009

Trying to get a picture of them facing the camera was impossible!

Ethen the Vampire~~ Drake Harry Potter

On Halloween Morning the boys had soccer games... Here is Me and Maya at the games....

Ethen after playing so hard... He was not happy to get a picture. Way to tired.

My boys wanted to spray there hair blue & white for the team colors!

Both boys scored 3 goals!!! Excellent players.

They were so proud of what they did! Carving the Pumpkins was quite a site...

This year we decided to get a head start on carving
pumpkins the week before Halloween. We had so much fun carving them. As I was patiently helping the kids I found myself saying "now remember this time last year you didn't get to do this!" So it helped me keep things in perspective and not be so impatient with them. (Even when the pumpkin mess was about all I could take!!!!) Good Memories, Good Times. So Thankful to the Lord that I am able to witness these memories....Life will never be the same for me. Again my life was spared for these special times. Love you all!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

MAUI... My Own Get A Way!

I got to get away for 4 days with my mom and sister. We stayed at the Ritz in Maui. Just an amazing time to relax, relax, relax. Mitch took care of the kiddos and I was able to let go of all the stress that has come in the last year. My sister had asked me during my chemo treatments if I wanted to get away when I was done with all my treatments. At that time I could hardly comprehend that this day would even come. My mind could not rap around the thoughts that Life would be somewhat normal to do a trip like this. I told her I'd love to go so she arranged the trip. I truly appreciate her arranging this. It was pure Bliss!

View of the restaurant off the ocean.

Me, my sister and my mommy!~~

Wonderful Virgin Pinacolada. Sipping while taking in the constant ocean breeze!!! The water was so clear and warm. I actually got in!

Here is one of views from our room.

My sister and I after arriving at the Ritz. We got these black beaded necklaces after checking into the hotel . The hotel was located at the very end of the Island in Maui. Quite and Secluded. It was just what I needed. I had lots of time to think and was able once again realize how grateful I am for Life! Dispite the many challenges I still have and will have in the future I saw such incredible beauty in everything. What a great time I had with my sister and mom. We enjoyed each other and laughed all the time. Something I needed to do for a long time.
Love~ Love ~Love you guys!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Great Experience! Thousands of people just an amazing site! Cant believe I was able to do this...Within one year after several surgeries, chemo, radiation, 20 hyperbaric treatments here I am! It was pretty emotional.

This is me and Charlene. We are both survivors! We were able to walk together. Our dear friend Monda joined us too!

My 2 nephews and niece before the race. Ethen just had to participate! His sign says in honor of my mommy!

My dad, Brother in law Nick, Sister in law Denise and their children

My sister Leslie and my brother Matthew joined me in the walk

This is me, Ethen and my sweet nephew Cole after walking

Little Drake waiting for me to be finished with the 1 mile walk...He missed me!

Mitch, My Mom, Drake and Maya cheering me on.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I have Desire!

It's amazing now that I feel good I have a desire to do things. For example taking pictures!!! For months my desire to do anything was gone. I had very little excitement in anything. This past week I decided to start taking pictures of my family so that I can remember Good Times! It's so nice to feel good!!!

Here is Maya 21/2 not wanting me to get a picture of her... Isn't she so cute?

Ethen didnt want a picture either before soccer practice but he sure is a sweet kid!

My boys at the Cardinals vs. Colts game last week. No we are not fans of the AZ Cardinals! The Boys are in LOVE with Peyton Manning!

Me and Mitch. Love this Guy!

This is Drake. He just had to wear his new Halloween Shirt and begged me to spray his Hair Blue. Months ago I would have said NO I don't feel like it but I actually got into making him a full Mohawk!!!

My Desire is Back...
I love my kids!!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

My 1st Year Cancerversary!

This time last year I was given the news.... "You have Cancer!" My life would never be the same again. Not only Physically but Mentally. However, I believe I beat the Beast! I can not express the bitter sweet emotions I have. Would I like to go down this road again? No! But I have to say I feel so blessed in other ways for going through this Journey. Kinda sounds weird I know but I am blessed with LIFE! I wake up in the morning and actually am happy for the day (until my kids wear me out!). I can't express how grateful I am for health and energy. Not a day goes by that I don't think about how lucky I am.

Who would ever have thought I'd be so healthy to do the RACE FOR THE CURE as a survivor in Phoenix Arizona on October 11th! What A Miracle! I truly Love YOU all....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tests Results Are In!!!

What a relief! Met with the oncologist today. All scans came out clean! No sign of CANCER in the bone, breast or surrounding areas where I had my breast removed...I will have followup scans in December. There are 2 small places on my kidneys. The size is not to concerning they just need to watch it and see if it gets any bigger. For now things look good!

I tell ya... Walking into the office today brought back such bad memories! The smell was all I could handle! Their is something about the smell of a chemo room that makes me gag!

Unfortunately I was not able to get the PET Scan because my insurance wont cover the claim. Its so expensive. My Dr feels that all the tests I have had gave him are a clear reading and for now and things seem good. Since I wasn't able to get a PET scan and they did find 2 cysts. I am thinking of going to another Oncologist for a 2Nd opinion. I think I should see if they can fight a little harder for me to have this important test...I'm kinda disappointed that my current oncologist didn't do this for me. He knows the long road I had this past year I would think he would want me to have this test done ....So I am looking into this. Its a risk I don't want to take!

The tamoxifen I take 2x's a day is just going to be a 5 year issue for me. Weight Gain, Depression, You name it! I cant risk not taking it! The other choices I was given did not out weigh these side effects so I just have to live with it!

As each day goes by I find that I'm more and more myself. How happy I am to say this! I look back and wonder how did I get through this? What a challenge I was given. I try everyday to just be happy for feeling good! It's so easy to get caught up in life and for me to be negative about so many things. I pray everyday that my new focus on life will be on just the simple enjoyable things like having energy, appreciating my husband, enjoying every minute I'm with my children .... so for now... I will take somewhat of a break get a 2ND opinion and ENJOY~

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tests, Tests and More Tests!

Never Ending!

  • Mammogram: DONE

  • Xray of the chest: Done

  • PET SCAN: Insurance Denied! Can you believe that because I have NO SUSPICIOUS Recurrent breast cancer my insurance considers me not eligible for this very important test? Makes no sense!
  • Ultrasound: Done

  • CT of the Abdomen and chest: Done

  • BONE SCAN: Done

Oncologist Appointment next week to discuss
Tamoxifen pill that I do not like!!! Can we say... Menopause!!!!
all other test results.
Results: TBA

Sunday, August 30, 2009

I'm so Honored

This shirt was sent to me by my friend Blair who participated in the Race for the Cure in Washington D.C. in honor of ME!!!

A few months ago my dear friend Blair(on the left) said he wanted to participate in the RACE FOR THE CURE in support of me! I felt so honored and couldn't believe he had the energy to RAISE the money, FORM a TEAM and actually show up on a raining SUNDAY Morning and do the race! The team goal (Team Name: "Bras 4 the Cause") was to raise $1,000. They actually raised a total of $2,490! The story behind why he wanted to do the race this is so touching to me. Blair has a soft spot in my heart. I just LOVE this Guy! I just had to blog about this experience so I wont forget how this has made me feel. Thank You my sweet friends....Blair, Holly and Luis!!! I love you all.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Hair is In and the Port is OUT!

Okay the hair is in! Not exactly the hair style I'd like to have but it will do! I've said it before I WILL NOT COMPLAIN. So here are a few things I've been enjoying while the growth of my hair is coming in...Running my fingers through my hair when I'm laying in bed, being able to put shampoo in my hair and having lots to wash!, putting sunglasses on my head and they stay! Able to use products like spray gel and a little "Curls Rock"! Fun Fun How Cool is this? Here is the scar from where the port was placed...Doesn't look to bad.

This is the port that was in my chest. The surgery was a piece of cake! Not much to it. I needed to blog about it because it was a part of me for 9 months. An everyday reminder.... Although I am grateful that I was able to have a port and not experience the painful IV's in my arm or hand. It still reminded me everyday of what I was going through... Kinda like a Love Hate Relationship. It is so small yet so powerful! The doctor gave it to Mitch... I decided I didn't need to keep it but a picture of it would be a good memory!
Life is going! I'm still seeing doctors and having tests done. But this is a GOOD thing! I will post results soon! Love each of you!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One More Thing Checked Off My List!

I SOOO have been wanting this port to be removed from my chest! It's just annoying, pokes out at times and I can not stand to touch it! So tomorrow I go into the Hospital to have it removed. It should not take long...the port is fed into my heart so that will be the only time consuming part which total time is approx 1 hour...

So another thing gone which was a constant reminder of the terrible poison fed into my veins which made me sick for months!

I will update you this weekend.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Reconstruction still on hold...

I met with Dr. Boll my Plastic Surgeon. She believes Hyper Barics Oxygen Therapy has done it's job. 20 treatments and I'm done. Happy to hear that... It was getting so old and there is only so much CSI I could watch. Anyways I thought I'd be told "what I wanted to Hear" but I wasn't. The plan after her examining me is to PUT THE EXPANDER BACK IN. My skin is so sunken in (to my chest wall) that she feels it would not at all have a nice result. Now remember I'm up against reconstruction with very little skin, and no nipple so if the result wouldn't look to nice I better do what she wants!!! I just wanted to cry... This means I wait 6 months for the radiated tissue to heal then put the expander in and wait till my skin can tolerate total reconstruction.

I have no control over this just like I had no control over this cancer.

The other day I decided to go for a run. I started thinking okay.... Why me! When I was diagnosed with cancer in October I was eating well and exercising. I don't drink and I don't smoke. BUT I still got the monster! Then a little voice said to me... you have no control over this situation. It is was it is and I now am learning what I need to learn from this experience. So reconstruction is down the road. Yes I'm sad because I want to be put back together again. But honestly I'm just happy I can get up in the morning face life and the challenges that come. I look back at how sick I was and realized that when a person is given a sickness it truly takes every bit of life out of you. Your whole existence becomes confusing and your body just shuts down to any outside life!

So today is another day of being grateful for life! I'll admit I am a hair person and would like to have a body that doesn't look cut up and actually scary looking... but in the end it really doesn't matter!

My best friend Kristen D. text me the other night and asked if I had seen "So you think you can dance" where they did a dance routine about breast cancer.... I hadn't so I found the link... I just cried and felt so much joy at the same time....What a wonderful thing
to be able express this in an amazing performance! Enjoy http://video.yahoo.com/watch/5596365/14689629

Love to everyone of you who thinks of me and gives me such encouraging words.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How Quickly I Forget!

Lately I have been thinking about how "normal" my life is becoming. ( Not completely) but it is getting there! I can get up in the mornings get the kids ready for the day, work a little, exercise and even cook! All these things I seriously could not do for MONTHS! 7 to be exact.

I've gotten into my own world again and have already forgotten how lucky I am to have the desire to even wake up. I said to myself the other day "How Quickly I forget" about the things I couldn't do. I tried to think about how sick I was. I've tried to remember what things tasted like during chemo. I tried to remember how my soul was gone and I wasn't at all myself. I really have forgotten a lot of this! Now don't get me wrong I do remember some things and believe I will never forget the trauma of doctors, surgery, shots and the chemo that was put into my veins and would immediately make me sick!! However, it is almost like a blur! So maybe this is a good thing! Maybe this is what will help me heal and become a stronger person. Isn't it funny when things are going good or we are in a "normal schedule " where our lives feel calm we can't even fathom the dysfunction or hardships that can come. "How Quickly We Forget" I pray everyday I can be indebted to my life and remember how lucky I am to just have a normal schedule or the desire to even be around my children.

Just a little update! Hair coming in well....Oxygen Therapy almost finished healing great! Waiting to see when reconstruction will take place.

Again Love to you ALL... I think of all of you often.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Taking in 100% Oxygen!

This is my 9th time doing the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. I can say I'm just now getting use to it.... The 1st day I didn't think I would last! It takes about 3 hours once I arrive at the hospital and approx 2hours 25 Min's in the Oxygen Chamber! I'm beginning to see a little improvement in the skin where it was radiated and so badly burned. My plastic surgeon saw me today and would like for me to complete 10 more sessions. Oh Man! This is no fun. Everyday I get up and have to drop off my kids somewhere and then I head to the hospital. My day is gone before I know it! My hopes are that my skin will respond and soak up 100% of this pure oxygen that is given to me. It is suppose to bring blood supply to the areas that no longer have enough for healing... So with that said I'm still not out of the daily doctor grin yet! I will meet with my Radiologist in a few weeks, have a PET scan in August and hopefully reconstruction by the end of the year. The daily tamoxifen I'm taking hasn't had to much side effects on me. Except I feel like I'm a 60 year old women who went through menopause (if you know what I mean) Not fun! But what else do you do? Everyday I wonder what would happen if I didn't take that tiny white pill but then I realize that this is not a question for me to be asking. So tomorrows another day same thing as today just one step closer to healing....Love to all of you...