Saturday, October 28, 2006
When I was first diagnosed with BC, I wanted to read everything I could get my hands on, since my surgery (8-16-06) I didn't want to read one more thing. I had come to the conclusion that BC had taken enough of my time and effort and body parts and I didn't want it to become "everything" about me. So I put away all my reading material, then when October came around I was flooded with BC commercials due to the fact that October is national BC awareness. I have to admit I changed a lot of channels and so many shows did their own telling of BC. For all the awareness it raised I am eternally grateful, but when I had those blissful moments of forgetting what I was dealing with, I found myself getting upset being reminded of it constantly.....this too did pass and I am back to finding ways to promote awareness, to find a cure and to help other women who will be on the same path as me.
So yesterday's post was about signing a petition to stop drive through mastectomies, today's post is going to direct you to the Susan G. Komen Breast Care Foundation..... Once again Congress needs to be reminded that all women should have access to lifesaving screening and treatments and with the cutbacks that they want to make to Medicare regarding this issue will make it almost impossible (financially) for our Older American Women on fixed incomes....please stop by and read up on it and if it moves you to do so please fill out your information and send the form letter to your Congressmen and Congresswomen.
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation | Take Action: Be a Champion!
Thank you so very much for caring about me and other BC patients who are trying to find their way to becoming BC survivors!
Friday, October 27, 2006
Having had my left breast removed on August 16, 2006 due to Cancer, I can personally attest to the need for quality health care given to Women who will be walking down the same path I am finding my way through. I have recently discovered this insane practice of what they are calling "Drive Through Mastectomies" where Women are being forced to leave within hours of having a Mastectomy............I find this appalling! I hope you do too!
Please visit this link to learn more about it and see the faces of people who are taking up this fight for Women...... Please sign the petition to help urge Congress to pass the bipartisan Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2005 (S 910/HR1849).
I am still feeling pretty good following my 3rd chemo treatment, my cheeks are becoming flushed which means the fatigue will be setting in sometime today so it's back to bed I go....I do believe drinking the water helps a great deal in how I feel following the chemo (learned my lesson! lol).......Gatorade also makes a water called "Propel" that is fortified with vitamins plus calcium.....at it's FLAVORED........I'm liking the berry flavor (comes in lemon too) and when you have to drink 64 ounces of fluid a day this makes it a hell of a lot easier! lol lol lol
Thursday, October 26, 2006
While I sat in the waiting room, waiting for them to finish pumping her stomach, her Mother arrived, I had never met the Woman before and I wasn't sure how she would react to the fact that I was her Daughters confident and not her. With tears in her eyes she thanked me for always being there for her Daughter especially this time, her Father's reaction.......let's just say he wasn't thrilled with yet another hospital bill, didn't even ask how his Daughter was doing........nuff said!
The reason I am revisiting this time is because even though 2 years has gone by and the girls don't keep in touch that often, I received a card in the mail yesterday from Amy and I wanted to share it with you.
I just wanted to write you a note to say that my prayers are with you and I know you are strong enough to pull through this. Thank you so much for taking us under your wings, you've treated Me, Krista, Matt and all of Amanda's close friends like your own and you're truly a unique, caring, loving, thoughtful, trusting and most of all understanding Mom to us all. Without you I don't know who I'd turn to during my sisters addiction and hard time and with my bipolar, because you've been in the same situations, which my own Mother doesn't quite understand. Thank you for being there for me, and I hope I can now be there for you. I know you can survive this because you have survived life and are the strongest Woman I have ever met and you're a God Send to me and I hope one day I can be the same for my daughter's best friends! Thank you for being in my life and also for saving it, I will never forget that day, I will never forget your love, Iwill never forget you! Thank you for being you and don't let this letter get you down.
We love you always,
With a letter like this life just can't get any sweeter! She is doing better and her realtionship with her own Mother is stronger, her Father has quit drinking and they are healing old wounds and they both have sent long their prayers and good wishes that I have a full recovery too. So far this morning I'm feeling really good after yesterdays chemo, but if I don't post for a few days then know that I am resting and will be back soon!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Many couples have an 'Our Song' Usually it's the song they have their first dance to as Husband and Wife. It is either a song that expresses to others how they feel about one another or a song that mimics a time in their lives.
I have many favorite love songs....most women do, what I didn't know until maybe 3 years ago is Jim had a song that held a lot of significance to him. As many of my long time readers already know Jim and I dated over 4 years before we were married. That last year of dating was an extremely difficult time in our lives and went spent a lot of time apart....so much time that I started dating other men and when Jim and I discovered we both wanted different things, we thought we split up for good..... I was heartbroken but moved on, as did he.
One morning Jim's clock radio went off at it's usual time, but instead of hitting the snooze button, (like the snooze-aholic always does! lol) a new Garth Brook song started playing, being a big fan of his...he listened to the song and really felt the words.....the song is called 'If tomorrow never comes." It was while listening to that song that he came to the conclusion that he really didn't want to spend the rest of his life without me in it. That very same night he showed up at my door after waiting for me to come home from a date and demanded that I marry him....not a sweet, well thought out proposal.......I was told that he wasn't asking me to marry him he was telling me I was going to marry him! lol and I had to get rid of the new boyfriend! lol
Now I want you to go and read this older entry about a magical night we had out under the stars at the lake 2 summers ago..it's about a magical moment, a slow dance and a serenade...........click the link and then come back for the rest of this entry (please)
It was that song that he sang to me that night.
"If Tomorrow Never Comes"
Sometimes late at night
I lie awake and watch her sleeping
She's lost in peaceful dreams
So I turn out the lights and lay there in the dark
And the thought crosses my mind
If I never wake up in the morning
Would she ever doubt the way I feel
About her in my heart
If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she's my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes
Cause I've lost loved ones in my life
Who never knew how much I loved them
Now I live with the regret
That my true feelings for them never were revealed
So I made a promise to myself
To say each day how much she means to me
And avoid that circumstance
Where there's no second chance to tell her how I feel
If tomorrow never comes
Will she know how much I loved her
Did I try in every way to show her every day
That she's my only one
And if my time on earth were through
And she must face the world without me
Is the love I gave her in the past
Gonna be enough to last
If tomorrow never comes
So tell that someone that you love
Just what you're thinking of
If tomorrow never comes.
So Jim, if at sometime my tomorrow never comes...... the love you've gave me in the past will be enough to last.....till we find one another once again......I love you!
Today is round 3 of chemo, then only 1 more round of the bad chemo to do...........yipeeeeeee! Then on to 4 rounds of Taxol.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
As most of J-land already knows it's that time of year to vote for your favorite Journals.... Jackie from HOPE FLOATS along with Other J-land Friends have graciously poured their heart and souls into getting this years VIVI AWARDS together.
To find out more about it and when and how to vote for your favorite nominees that have been selected please click on this link ~~~> 2006 VIVI AWARD JOURNAL
It is a great way to explore around J-Land and find new blogs to read and a great way to meet new friends along the way. That is the best thing about J-Land! You make real friendships and get the chance to explore other people's worlds. You find connections with people who might be experiencing some of the same things you are, you can get some really good advice or learn a new lesson by someone else's experience, you may find some really good parenting tips, some people even take the time to teach you how to pick up a new hobby or pass along a really good recipe......real people, real lives!
We laugh together, we cry together.......we hold each other up and cheer each other on! That is what makes J-Land so special!
I want to thank those responsible for nominating "I SHAVED MY LEGS FOR THIS?" All that I am is in this journal which I started back in August of 2004. My many ups, my ever so few downs and stories about my Family. Here is where I can share my words, my poetry and my photographs....here is where I found many new friends!
I was nominated for 3 different categories...........
And I must say I am in rather good company with the other nominees! So if you want to, you can go check out the sight, read up on some really good bloggers, young and old and vote if you want to!
Actual day to Vote is November 2nd, so in the meantime get reading! lol lol lol
Sunday, October 22, 2006
So in honor of my fellow "WARRIORS IN PINK" I would like to pimp a few Women that I have found them or they have found me through J-Land and who are going through their own battles with Breast Cancer at the same time I am. They always say you are as strong as your weakest link and there isn't a weak link amongst us.
So if time permits you today stop by, read up on them and then show em' some love. You have all lifted me during times I needed to be lifted and you all are my "LIFE ANGELS" and my heart is full because of all the love and support you shown for me and my family.
Meet Trish from My Breast Cancer Story She is a Wife, A Mother of two and a Warrior in pink! She has already lost one of her Sisters, Sharon to this disease and is like me fighting hard to survive this disease.....she too like me can only tolerate Peanut Butter and Jelly on toast on her not so good days....She also works part time at a Middle School and adores the kids......please stop by and give her a hug!
Now onto a very new blogger named Barbara....she found my blog after being recently diagnosed and after reading up on me decided to become a new member of the J-Land Blogging community....writing is good for the soul and I know it's has helped me get through whatever I have had to get through all my life. Barbara has also lost her youngest child Evan due to a car accident early last year....so she knows heartache and now she has to deal with Inflammatory Breast Cancer....that's a lot tougher than my diagnosis so please stop by and show her some love and support over at Just Another Day In The Life Of Me
Now meet Stephanie.....a stay at home military wife living in Hawaii. Her ordeal started in June with a routine mammogram. She is the Mother of two fraternal twin 7 year old boys. Her life as a military wife (20 years) has taken her a lot of places and has enjoyed it. So not only is she dealing with the diagnosis of Breast Cancer her world was really rocked by the earthquake last week. So please make a trip over to her blog in perpetual motion... and let her know she is not alone in this battle.
Lyrics to "You raise Me up" by Josh Groban
Beautiful words...beautiful sentiment
when I am down, and oh my soul's so weary
when troubles come and my heart burdened be.
Then I am still and wait here in the silence
until you come and sit a while with me.
you raise up so I can stand on mountains,
you raise me up to walk on stormy seas,
I am strong when I am on your shoulders,
you raise me up to more than can be.
Thank you all for always raising me up farther than you will ever know!
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I ventured out by myself very early this morning to go to spend some time with my Mom....I wanted her to see for herself that her baby is doing just fine once again.....I have been told many times that with Cancer it doesn't just effect the patient it effects the whole family and everyone else that loves and cares about that person. I know this is hard for my Mother to see me go through this....she wished it was her instead of me......all Mothers feel that way I am sure...I know I do! I told her, "No Mom I want it to me rather than anyone else that I care about." I don't do very well on the sidelines, I would feel the same helplessness that I know others that care about me do....I don't do well with helplessness. At least with me being the patient I can be proactive..it's all up to me, my A Team of Doctors and the powers that be.
My Afternoon was spent at my Sister's house....laughing! Between me loosing all my hair and her having a full set of dentures put in a few months earlier and taking them out for me to see her toothless we both laughed till we cried........what a sight we must of been! Me bald and her toothless! The kids thought we lost our minds too! Love those Belly Laughs!
Dinner was spent with My Darling Jim and our "Sweetest Day" date. We went to our favorite steakhouse for dinner and I was hungry enough and well enough to eat Filet and Grilled Shrimp...skipped the soup, salad and appetizers...give this girl protein!!! lol And then upon arriving home again I found a dozen PINK roses and a card telling me how lucky I am to have him.....LOL! I am luckier than he will ever know!
So you see, even with cancer I can still say....
Life is good and I am blessed!
Friday, October 20, 2006
Another good thing happened yesterday, well last night was that my DH informed that I found my smile again! He said he missed it and that he hadn't seen it for over a week and was a sight for sore eyes! Now ya see why I love this man so much.....he notices everything about me...always has. Yesterday was also the first whole day I stayed out of bed....no naps...no need to....a little more worn out with this round of chemo but I'm back to feeling the effects of the "good week in between" kicking in..... and my Mother baked me my own pumpkin pie.... I love her pumpkin pie...good day indeed! lol
I also made my first appearance in my neighborhood "ALA BALD" grant it, it was only to the mail box and back but it was my "Ok, I can do this" walk. It has nothing to do with vanity reasons....it's just that this disease has attacked was is "WOMAN" about me. It took one of my breasts, leaving me with a new one that is still in the process of healing, awaiting it's final surgery early next year (fake nipple and tattoo' d areola) with it's drooping sista (hey it's a D cup and I nursed my babies, whatta ya expect?? lol) wondering what's gonna happen to me?? lol ( a lift later when I have my final surgery) a healing scar from hip to hip (donor area) and now my golden halo of hair! Well at least my eyebrows and eyelashes are still sticking around for a lil while longer. So this cancer has altered the only image of me that I "know." I have to admit there are times when I catch a glimpse of me and say, "Who are you Circus Freak?" but then I just remind myself that I am not a Circus Freak .....I am just "UNDER CONSTRUCTION!!!!" lol
When visiting with my plastic surgeon last week , Dr. Hollywood he asked me what I expected after reconstrution.....I said my only wish is to live the next 40 years bra less!!! He said excellent wish! lol lol lol
Thursday, October 19, 2006
My childhood was shattered with the death of my not so good of a Father's death when I was 16. He had many flaws but I loved him like a true Daddy's Little Girl. 27 years have passed since his death due to complications relating to loving the bottle more than life and I still can't help but feel by not taking advantage of all the programs that were available to him and by doing nothing to try and quit the disease he chose death over life without even knowing it was coming after him....many times I felt the booze and the bar scene were more important to him then the family waiting for him at home wondering if he was going to come home "Happy Drunk" or "Mean Drunk" or even come home at all...... Not much of a happy go lucky childhood written in between the lines. The day I finally challenged him on this I was around 12 years old.
Being a smart mouthed child that I was and not knowing the full history of my Parents marriage, he had gone to work on a Friday morning and didn't come home until Sunday afternoon....so when he walked in the door it was me with my hands on my hips asking him, "And just where have you been!!" Where I was told immediately by my Father that it was none of my business just as my Mother entered the room. It was at that moment that my Mother realized that she could no longer live her life that way.....she had to stick up for herself and her children, especially her 2 daughters if they were to ever grow up and know their own self worth as future Women and Wives, and by the following weekend she informed him while tracking him down at yet another bar with yet another woman that he no longer lived at "Home" anymore.
Within that year he not only lost his Wife, His children, His home but finally the boozing cost him his job with the government....he lost everything because he would NOT seek the help that was available to him....he chose the booze by choosing to do nothing of his addiction....that was the biggest let down of my life..... even all these years later.....He never choose ME, I was never "more" important.....tough revelation to a wild child on the edge of falling off...I was 16 when he died at the age of 41.
So when people admire my determination to win my battle with Cancer, I don't think myself so worthy of all their admiration. I am choosing to battle and battle hard because I am doing it for MY Children.....they are more than worthy of what I have to go through to beat this. By giving up or by choosing not to take full advantage of all the treatment available to help me with this battle I would be repeating the same mistake as my Father and that is far to heavy of a burden to place on my children..... that they weren't worth fighting for.
I am still madly in love with the man that I fell in love with at first sight over 25 years ago, I have 4 beautiful Children, I learned a long time ago to take nothing for grant it and appreciate even the most quiet and most simplest of things and I have all my priorities in order, even more so now that Cancer has realigned them even further.
Knowing what to do and when to do it is kinda easier when you know what you're fighting for...so when I am down, I remember that little girl still hidden in me and I refuse to make the mistakes of my Father and his Father before him, by not "doing" anything to change what is happening in my life. I just can't stop now.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Sunday I lost what was left of my hair and I'm still trying to get used to the bald chick in the mirror with lifeless eyes and apparently I over did things by taking a shower and trying to master the stairs only to get within steps of my bedroom before passing out and hitting a wall.....what I didn't know was I was completely dehydrated and my blood pressure was 64/48.....not enough water this time. I thought I would drink less so I could sleep the night without the 2 trips to the potty........WRONG! Good thing once I learn something the hard way I don't repeat the same mistake. So yesterday was spent at the hospital being re hydrated and scolded for not calling the Doctor about the fall.....so now I know that the 3rd through 5 days following chemo are gonna pretty much suck but by that 7th day I start to feel 100% better with each passing day. So thank you GOD for that beautiful harvest moon last month, the gorgeous colors of Fall and that blessed week in between chemo drips and chemo side effects!
And how vicious is cancer that it turned me against chocolate and pizza?? One slice of buttered toast with a lil peanut butter and a lil jelly is my saving grace right now and I am going to look into that water that is fortified full of all good stuff for a lil extra boost when I have no appetite to replenish my system.
So is Cancer tough? Yup! Is chemo even tougher? ...yup! But you know what is even tougher? A really pissed off Irish Woman.....and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let cancer keep me down for long........like the song says...."I've got a lot of living to do!"
Friday, October 13, 2006
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
What Cancer Cannot Do
Cancer is so limited.....
It cannot cripple Love
It cannot shatter Hope
It cannot corrode Faith
It cannot destroy Peace
It cannot kill Friendship
It cannot suppress Memories
It cannot silence Courage
It cannot invade the Soul
It cannot steal eternal Life
It cannot conquer the Spirit
Sunday, October 8, 2006
Like I stated in a few earlier posts....I had no problem having a complete radical mastectomy (click link to see exactly what that is ~~>) Radical Mastectomy of my left breast due to the cancer. My feelings were that if it's trying to kill me why would I want to save it. Having 3 tumors plus a large mass of small ones forming I had no other choice if I wanted to live.....plain and simple.
Selecting the Tram Flap reconstruction was harder on my body then building up the space behind the muscle in my chest wall to later place a saline implant....but it was the fastest way to get the result and hey I had enough donor tissue (Tummy lol!) to make a new boob and now I have a new boob and no tummy............BONUS! lol lol lol For an eight hour surgery recovery tough but I was never more than uncomfortable and I was out of the house at the lake just 11 days later. Ü
And as I also stated in an earlier entry it was the Chemo that I feared the most.....not the surgical knife. So with one dose of Chemo under my belt (2nd one this coming Tuesday) and six more after that I am extremely blessed to say...........PIECE OF CAKE!!!! lol The chemo day itself was no different (except for a few tears) than the days before chemo, even the next two days I felt fine thanks to the strides they have made with dealing with the nausea. I would have to say the 4th and 5th days were probably my roughest but I think that was from the 3rd drug that was supposed to help with the nausea. The 6th and 7th days I slept a lot and after that I have been back to my normal self. I have been feeling awesome ever since and I am THANKFUL!!!!
So here I sit saying that even with cancer come blessings and for me a few perks! lol I will have the body back that I had before children (perky boobs and no tummy!) My hair may come back either thicker of if I am lucky with a few curls to it. I know exactly how much I am loved by people that I love in my life, I will yet again set my own personal standards higher at living even a better life, and I hope that through this blog and the way I am dealing with my own battle with Breast Cancer that the next person who gets that news has a few less fears and see's that not every diagnosis is a death sentence. You battle hard you can win the victory!
I want to thank all those that are walking this weekend for a cure, I am honored that some of you have added my name to your list of who you are walking for, I am humbled for every dollar that has been given this month of October for breast cancer awareness for my sake and so very thankful for all the encouraging comments left for me in this blog and the love you have shown for me and my family.....you, the people reading this blog are the ones that are truly inspirational to me.
Thank You All!
Saturday, October 7, 2006
I never want to drink or even smell Ouzo ever again.....and another libation referred to as 'Snake Bite' (it bites alright and you feel the sting for hours! lol) The Ouzo revelation was brought upon finding another journal and it reminded me of a night long ago spent with Ouzo and some friends! lol
I finally realized that if someone wants to be acknowledged by God, then one should start acknowledging God (This by no means I am becoming a Holy Roller or Bible Thumper, I personally think religion should be a personal, one on one thing with God.)
When I'm feeling a lil icky, peanut butter and jelly on toast is still a favorite comfort food.
I am no longer fond of the smell of eucalyptus leaves or lilies any longer.......ok and I have to add dill pickles to the list now too!
I have always been keenly aware of how I feel about other people in my life, what I never knew until now was how much I mattered to them......that's a really great feeling.
And last but not least, even though I spent the last few years really trying to live a life worth living and I gained a lot more compassion for the world around me, and I stopped taking life for grant it.....I learned I could still be a lil more grateful and count more blessings and that would make an even better....... me.
Thursday, October 5, 2006
I'm having such a great day! A REAL GREAT DAY!.....so great that I may have to add a day so good that......dare I say out loud that I feel as good as I did before Breast Cancer rocked my world..........yup that great of a day.
So what did I do this great day so far.......ventured outside to see that Autumn has arrived.....the prettiest season of the year....called up an old best friend and belly laughed at some of the "LUCY AND ETHEL" moments we used to get ourselves into......(LOVED THAT....NEEDED THAT) I even did some laundry...I know not sooooo exciting to some (Ok! Many!) but for me to want to do laundry and have the energy to strip down my bed and make it all back up again is a miracle.......I think I am almost giddy with feeling good....and no I am NOT stoned! lol lol lol no nausea meds since Monday night....yeah for me!
I think waking up in clean sheets tomorrow might even carry over my good day into tomorrow....2 good days in a row will be indeed a blessing. Only side effect I am battling now is the fatigue....like napping is hard or something! lol
I just wish I would get a slightly stuffy nose ( Lots of things smell bad to me right now), I should be a professional "Sniffer" for a wine or perfume company.....my nose is excellent even if it is what I hate about my face the most! Almost want to whisper into Dr. Hollywood's ear......"PSSST Doc....when you are lifting the old girl and working on your magic to make the new girl which resembles more of a butt cheek than a boob right now(No nipple, no areaola) can you accidently (of course) drop some kind of medical gadget on my nose and then make it pretty??"" A girl can dream can't she???
I think I am going to my oldest daughters house tomorrow afternoon with my middle daughter so they can buzz the rest of my hair..I'm tired of shedding! lol So I think the girls and I are going to have some kind of ritual to the old and welcome on the new me that will be emerging when all is said and done. Loosing your hair is not so scary when you not cancer is in charge of it's final absence....knowing it will grow back helps too! I was humbled yesterday watching the "Tyra" show and she had teenagers who have Alopecia (click to learn more about it ~~>) National Alopecia Areata Foundation a disease that one forever looses ones hair.....remembering myself as a teenager I realize the devastation that must have brought to their lives.
Who am I to shed one tear for hair that will come back and in the meantime will symbolize.... I'm kicking cancer's ASS!
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
Sunday was a good day.........I had to get out of the house, when I want a normal day I go to the lake....sunshine, friends, family and a cook out makes a normal day for me....it felt good to be out. I did have to go in and lay down for a bit, but my nose got the best of me once the grill was started up and I can't pass up a good potato salad. I have to have a taste for something or it fights me.....taking me back to my pregnacny days....I'm hoping I don't crave what I craved back then....bologna folded like a taco shell filled with whip cream.....I know gross! lol lol lol With my baby girl, Rachel....the only thing that stayed down for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th month was a large order of McDonalds french fries dipped in their hot mustard sauce....I think it's the salt that soothes my stomach.
I would love to hear some "Out There" cravings from a few of you! We can either get a good giggle out of it or ruin our appetites for the rest of the day! lol lol lol.......Hey! What are friends for anyway??? lol
I saw Dr. Hollywood last week, he is a lil concerned about a few spsots that are slow to heal on the "NEW GIRL" He asked me if I was upset about it's progess......I reminded him, that all I asked of all of my Doctors was that they help me to battle this Breast Cancer so I can finish raising my last two babies....and anything that comes after that is "NOTHING BUT GRAVY!"
Being Tumor Free, soon to be cancer free........ trumps all the lumps and bumps that will be there to remind me of my battle fought hard and victorious!
Sunday, October 1, 2006
IF this post makes sense to one person then I truly have amazed myself. I have done nothing but sleep 18 hours a day for the last 3 days...the urge to close my eyes and sleep where I sit, stand or lay is so intense. I almost fell asleep standing in front of the microwave waiting for my oat meal to cook.
Food another nauseating thought...but I feel weak if I don't eat and then again the vicious cycle of nausea starts again. 3 more drug combo's for this round of treatment and at least the nausea and the fatigue will go away. The last 4 treatments of the chemo drug 'Taxol' (I think) the only side effects of that are, muscle and joint pain....I can handle pain.....I have a high threshold of pain....I'm probably the only woman out there who LOVED labor and delivery....no epidurals for me....get me to 10 cm and one shot of Demerol and I'm good. lol So I'll take the pain over the intense nausea, fatigue and dizziness of the first half of my chemo cocktail.
I just want out of this foggy feeling.........sorry to complain, but I can't seem to stop myself today!