Thursday, November 17, 2016

My Fight Song

This morning I shared a post on Facebook that read:

The Devil whispered in my ear,
“You’re not strong enough to withstand the storm.”
Today I whispered in the Devil’s ear,
“I am the storm.”

Reading that, I was reminded of how fierce I felt when I went through breast cancer the first time. I was going to battle.  We had a plan and I was going to make that cancer suffer before kicking it to the curb!  Oh what a different battle this time around.

The plan is vague. We’ll try this and that until it doesn’t work and then we’ll try something else. There have been side effects, set backs and treatment changes.  I’m a trooper and I’ll do what needs to be done, but today I realized something… I need my “fight” back! I had just sort of accepted this latest diagnosis as how things were gonna be until I get my miracle. Well, today I’ve decided that this cancer is going to suffer too! The boxing gloves are back on! I AM THE STORM.

That being said, I have a favor to ask. Many of you helped me create a playlist last time that I listened to throughout chemo and beyond. I loved that playlist. I found strength and comfort in those songs... my fight songs.  Well, I need a NEW fight song playlist!! That’s where YOU come in, My Battalion! Send me your songs! Help me get my fight back and keep it going until we get that miracle…until we have victory!

PS. No Taylor Swift allowed and we don’t need the obvious “Fight Song”.

Love you guys!! Keep prayin’ and watch the miracle!! 

October SUCKED!!

October 2nd, I ended up in the ER! On October 3rd, I was admitted into the hospital for 11 days. It took some time before I was able to post again...

October 19, 2016

Good Morning Battalion!! I have to admit that Facebook is still rather daunting, so I'm taking it slow. Again, I want to thank you all for hanging in there with me! I have felt your love and prayers... I can't tell you what it means to be cared for so fiercely. Thank you.

I saw Doc Onc for a post-hospital stay check up yesterday. The thing that was weighing on my mind the most were the results of the 3 surprise MRI's I had last week. Turns outs, those had been ordered before my latest adventure and weren't necessary (almost punched Doc in the face when he said that). Anyway, the MRI's were clear (necessary or not). I'm pretty sure I've had everything scanned that there is to be scanned... some things two or three times! Remind me to tell ya about them taking pics of my heart sometime...hint: they don't put you out for that and it involves a big tube down your throat! Don't wanna do that again!!

Anyway....good report from Doc. I'm on a different chemo now (a bazillion pills twice a day, 7 days on, 7 off). I'm also on cholesterol and blood pressure meds. Just in case that wasn't fun enough, I get to give myself blood thinner shots in my gut twice a day! No more strokes for this girl!!! Last but not least, I'll go over to the infusion center twice a week on my "on-weeks" for IV fluids and anti nausea meds (had my first session and ate lunch AND dinner and it stayed down!! SUCCESS!!
Well, I think you're caught up now. Oh, and thanks for praying Dave. He's feeling better and went back to work today.

Love you all!! Still fighting and STILL expecting my MIRACLE!!

November 1, 2016

It's hard to believe that it's been a month since "the strokes". I hadn't been feeling well which wasn't unusual, but this was different. I felt like crap. At some point that Saturday afternoon, the dogs had gotten out. I got up and ran to get Brendan's help. I tried to tell him what was happening, but the words wouldn't come out right. I'll never forget the look on his face as he tried to make sense of the noises coming out of my mouth. I think I got the words "dogs help dad" out. Not realizing what was going on, I just went and laid down while the guys wrangled the dogs.

Now, the next 15-16 hours are unclear. I remember waking up to paramedics and then waking up again in the ER. Apparently, I had gone in to go to the restroom around 5am and passed out. Mom came in, found me and yelled for Dave to call 911.

After who knows how long in the ER (not at the hospital I usually go to) struggling to talk, think or have the two match up, I was sent home. We called Doc Onc the next day and he checked me into the hospital right away. That ended up in an 11-day stay.
So what happened? I suffered a series of small strokes. Ends up I have a defect on one of my heart valves (most likely from chemo the last time) that was causing the problem. Terrific.

I'll admit, there were LOTS of tears while I was laying there in that hospital bed. As if cancer for a second time wasn't enough, now this? This wasn't WONDER-ful. How am I supposed to shine through this? Is this really part of the plan?

Here's the thing, a month later....I'm walking and talking. You wouldn't know by looking at me that I had stroked. The cancer is still there, we're just treating it differently now. Everything has changed but I'm still me. I'm still a fighter. I'm still thanking God for every breath and every opportunity to give Him the glory for all that He's done in my life. I've said it before... He's the same God today that carried me through my first battle and He's the same God that will carry me through this one.
So today, November 1st, I'm thankful for my story. I may not always like the way it's going, but I am thankful that I've been trusted with it. I'm going to continue to make the most of it and believe that we will see miracles happen. I WILL shine. I WILL be WONDER-ful again!

#30daysofthanks #30daysofgratitude #stupidcancer #watchthemiracle #wonderwoman

And then....

September 29, 2016

Update from Doc Onc:
Blood work - everything looks good. Everything is functioning like it should. MY TUMOR MARKERS ARE CONTINUING TO DROP!

CT Scan - the spots in my bones that they though could be cancer are going away. YAY!!

Doc and the radiologist are in disagreement over my liver. Radiologist thinks it's still inflamed. Doc compared it to the previous scan and said it's not and that my largest tumor is more defined. That means that before, the tumor was so close to the wall of my liver that it was hard to tell where it started. Now it's obvious...cuz it's shrinking!! Just to prove the radiologist wrong, we're gonna do another CT scn in 2 months instead of 3!

I got my usual 3 injections in my hiney (brought cupcake bandaids) and a BONUS flu shot! Human pincushion!

Nausea is still an issue. We've tried 5 different medications and none have done much good. We've also tried some alternative things with no success. I do have some good days and was actually feeling hungry the other tummy even growled!
This is the point in my meds cycle that my vision/dizziness is at its worst. Just riding it out and hoping it will eventually work itself out.

I've got some new "side effects": numbness/tingling mostly in my hands, but it shows up in other spots too. I also have ringing in my ears. We're pretty sure this is ALL from the meds but just to be sure, we're scheduling and MRI on my spine to make sure we're not missing anything.

So, that's pretty good news!! The miracle is coming...just you wait and see!!
Thanks again for standing beside me and for all of the love and thoughts and prayers!! BIG HUGS to you ALL!!

“There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!”
Romans 5:3-5 MSG

August 5, 2016

Good morning Battalion!! Happy Friday!! I can't believe that it's already been a whole month since this new battle with cancer began. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. There are moments, although not many, that I almost forget about it but then I'm reminded, well shit...I really DO have cancer AGAIN. I struggle again with that feeling of being "damaged goods" and "defective" because I can't do as much. Here's the thing, I know that God is greater and has something bigger in store for me. Whatever I have to do, or not do, until he gets me be it. Some miracles take time. Keep watching though 'cuz its coming!

I've got a date with Doc Onc today. We'll go over my latest set of labs and talk about my vision. I've been having issues with it. Seeing "stars" and blurred or double-ish vision. I went to the eye doc this week and my eyes look good and healthy (I am also getting my glasses corrected so that might help). Now to figure out, is it the meds, hormones, something else?? I'm praying that whatever it is, that its temporary and we can move on. I'm also getting two more Faslodex shots in my booty today (hence the new Wonder Woman undies).... You're going down, cancer!!

Hope you all have a FANTASTIC weekend!! Do something that makes your hearts happy!!

Keep on praying! Love you!

*****And then the side effects kept getting worse and more tests were done and then....

While I Was Away - Catching Up

Well folks, a LOT has happened since my last post! The easiest way to get ya caught up is to share some of my Facebook posts. Here ya go...

July 8, 2016
Well, shit. It looks like Wonder Woman is being put to the test again. I went to the doctor last week because I had been experiencing some abdominal pain. He immediately thought it was my gallbladder and sent me for an wasn't my gallbladder. A CT/PET Scan and MRI later, it appears that I have cancer again, only this time it's in my liver, half of it to be exact. I'm going in for aliver biopsy tomorrow to confirm, but Doc Onc is pretty sure. We've got lots of tests and scans to do and Doc is already coming up with a plan of attack. For right now, I could use LOTS of prayer. Pray for me. Pray for Dave, Matthew, Brendan and the rest of my family. Pray for the Docs.

You guys, this sucks. And yes, I'm kinda pissed. There's one thing I am COMPLETELY CERTAIN about... GOD IS IN CONTROL. He's been so faithful before and he won't stop now. He has a plan and a purpose for me and another battle with cancer can't change that.

July 15, 2016
Happy Friday everyone!! Saw Doc Onc this morning and then took the rest of the day "off" for some R&R. Sorry if I left some of you hanging!!

Here's the lowdown...
It's the exact same cancer I had before, just now it's in my liver (metastatic breast cancer). I see that as a GOOD thing because we know I kicked it's butt before!
Because my cancer was/is HER2 positive - feeds off my hormones - they gave me a shot last week to put me into menopause and shut off my ovaries. Funny, I could've sworn I was already IN menopause (blood tests showed otherwise)!

The treatment we started last Friday is what we're going to stick with. Every 4 weeks I'll get a injection (2 shots) in my backside of a drug that is supposed to shut off the estrogen receptors in the cancer so it can't feed anymore.

We've also gotten approval for another drug (brand spankin' new) that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. We're just waiting for it to be shipped from the "special pharmacy". I'll take that for 3 weeks and then a week off (rinse and repeat). Some side effects with that one are low white blood cell count and anemia (low red blood cell count). I'll have regular blood tests to monitor that.
My blood tests showed that my kidneys are functioning great. My liver (although inflamed) is functioning. Some of my "levels" are high (cuz I have cancer) but not terribly high. This is good because it means we can use blood tests to monitor my PROGRESS (that's what I'm calling it) instead of constantly doing scans.

My bone scan came back clear except for a spot on my sternum. Doc thinks that may just be inflammation but we'll be keeping an eye on it. I'm praying and believing that by the next bone scan, that spot will be gone!!

I do have some discomfort and pain in my side and abdomen. Doc Onc says that if the tumors shrink, the pain should become less and less. I told him the tumors WILL shrink and the pain WILL go away. Until then, I have meds to manage the pain.
We're not talking "stage" or "time frame". I refuse to put those kinds of numbers on this. None of that matters. It's cancer and we're gonna fight it. That's all we need to know. I told Doc Onc that it won't be long before he's scratching his head in wonder because he's witnessing a miracle. God's gonna blow his mind!! Tee, hee!!

My next blood tests are in 2 weeks. Next appointment with Doc Onc and injections are on August 5th. In the meantime, I'm doing my normal things. I'll be working, although cutting back on my hours and shifts until my body has a chance to adjust to things. I'll be doing things that make my heart happy and spending time with people that feed my soul. I'll be resting lots too.

People, I have NO DOUBT that God has some BIG things planned. He proved that the last time and He hasn't changed! So get ready!!

BIG TIME LOVE to you all!! Thank for your your continued love, support and most importantly...PRAYERS!! Have a WONDERFUL weekend!!

#watchthemiracle #peacelikeariver #mygodisbigger #wonderwoman#wonderful2016 #lovemytribe #stupidcancer