Monday, December 31, 2012

2012...WOW

This year has been a true challenge for me. My life has changed in ways I never would have imagined. But it all has not been bad.  Because of the cancer we found our baby boy  :)   Breast cancer and the unexpected hysterectomy and my 3 surgeries , 2 1/2 week hospital stay( pneumonia, tube in my nose to my stomach for 2 weeks, IV in my neck, almost heart attack...no muscle damage so it wasn't a heart attack,that is what the Dr.'s said, blood clot in my leg), and burning my hand.  All this happening while we had to move from a house that was literally falling apart, to our church(for a very short time) to our home now.  Our church was going thru transition during the same time.

 I survived!!!! With God and my husband I have made it. My faith in God is even stronger than ever before. I want to thank my mom and dad for their support. It would have been a lot tougher without their help. I want to thank Matt's family, his mom and aunts and cousin for caring for Dylan when I was in the hospital and while I was recovering.  This year I truly discovered that I have the best, loving, compassionate, fabulous children God can create. Chardiney and Jayson took such good care of me when I couldn't care for myself.  They are going to make great spouses and parents. Last but surely not least I want to thank my loving husband Matthew Bradby. He made me feel so loved and beautiful when I didn't feel the same.  He has been by side whenever I needed him.   I love him so much.  He took great care of the boys when I was in the hospital and worked and pastored the church and still came to see me every day. You know the part in the marriage vows for better or worst... I guess we got the worst out the way first. I am so thankful for him.

But this year wasn't all bad.  I added a new member to my family and I love him as tho I birthed him myself.  He has brought so much love and joy to our family... DYLAN.  My oldest child Chardiney graduated from Wesely College and is in grad school and join the Air Force Reserve. I couldn't be more proud of her. My son Jay stepped it up and took on more responsibility with caring for his brother and me.  So proud of the young man he is becoming.


2012 has taught me I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. God does answer prayers. He will take care of all your needs,,, you just have to ask.  Now I did say NEEDS.  Everything happens for a reason.  I am excited for 2013. God has been showing his power in my family's life quite a bit in the last couple of weeks. I will continue to praise Him and give thanks. Thank You Father God for loving me so much!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

A Reason for Everything

I never asked why when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.   I knew there was a reason that God has allowed me to go through this journey.  I am starting to see the reason.  I have been meeting more and more women who are newly diagnosed with this monster.  My son just came home today telling me one of his close friend's mother has breast cancer and my daughter just had a friend of a friend come to her for advice because her mother was diagnosed with cancer.  My children and I are able to help others going thru this.  I can actually say it's a blessing because we are able to help others and if you know my kids you know they love being able to help other people.

My question is Why so many women coning down with this?... What is causing this?  I just don't understand.  All I can really do is trust God and allow him to use me and my kids to give others strength and support during this journey.

Monday, November 26, 2012

New Meds

Well Since I am post menopausal, I was taken off of tamoxifen and was given letrozole (brand name Femara).  I am a little nervous about taking it because of the side effect.  Here are some of the common ones
  • dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, tired feeling;
  • hot flashes, warmth in your face or chest;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • headache;
  • nausea, constipation;
  • bone pain, muscle or joint pain;
  • numbness, tingling, weakness, or stiffness in your hand or fingers;
  • pain in your hand that spreads to your arm, wrist, forearm, or shoulder;
  • night sweats; or
  • weight gain.

    And this is not all of the side effects.   Some women have had hair loss.  I had to get a bone scan because it is know to cause bone loss. Yes this makes me a little nervous and if I don't take it I have a 46% chance of the cancer coming back.  This cancer thing sucks.

    Just when I am feeling close to normal, my body is thrown out of wack again.  *Big Sigh*  God has gotten me this far.  I know I will be fine.  This is just another path on my journey.  I am getting tired of these rough bumpy roads He has me on...lol  Goodness I guess he is making me tougher to handle the next patch of road.  God only knows the plan and I trust that He has my best interest at heart.

    My hand is healing from the burn and the pulled muscle is healing,  I am able to move around very close to normal (without as much pain).  Well me on coumadin... still working on that.  My INR keeps going up and down.  I think a lot of it is from my change of my meds.  I will have it under control soon.

     I am really starting to think what is more important..Quality of life or Quantity.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I was attacked!

I was attacked by sausage gravy last Friday!!!..  Rushing to fix breakfast I just threw a pouch of Bob Evens sausage gravy in the microwave without putting it in a bowl or plate. Well when I pulled it out, there was a small hole the let out the extremely hot gravy.  OUCH!!!!!!!  I put my hand under some cold water but I knew it was bad because of skin looking like it was pulled.  I had 20 minutes before my daddy was picking me up for my Dr. appointment.  I ATE that sausage gravy and it was good...lol

I had to go to the Breast Cancer Center for a bone scan since my new meds causes bone lost.  My pain threshold is pretty high because of the fibromyalgia, so I was able to still function. Even tho my hand was very very red and a little swollen.  I figured since I had to go to the Dr. I would have them look at it.  The lady doing the bone scan looked at it and sent me downstairs to my Oncologist.  Her nurse asked me if I was in alot of pain.  I told her yeah but it wasn't going to kill me...lol  She sent me to the ER. 

Now St. Joseph hospital ER Fast Track took me 3 hours. They had only 1 doctor working.  I started to fall asleep waiting.  During that time my had started to show a bruise.  I became very concern because of the coumidan.  So my visit was longer because they had to check my blood levels to make sure it wasn't too low.  It was low but it wasn't low enough to be very concerned about.  I see my primary doctor on Tuesday to adjust my meds.

My wonderful husband wants to bubble wrap me until I'm off the coumidan..lol  I know I need to slow down.  I know I'm accident prone...I haven't cut myself ...yet..lol  I have been more careful in the kitchen. I will slow down and not rush.  I am healing from picking up Dylan... I tell ya 2012 did not like my body.  I still have my sanity.. somewhat...lol   No more fights with sausage gravy.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I have messed up

Here I go being hard-headed.... I have hurt myself.   I am not suppose to pick up anything heavier than a gallon of milk.  Well I have been feeling very well and much stronger lately.  Well I was feeding Dylan and he was done and without thinking I picked him up out of his highchair instead of calling Jay or Matt to get him.  Now the bottom of my incision has been hurting when I sneeze or laugh but I pulled something down there and now I have sharp pains,,,very sharp pains, especially when I move.  The surgeon's office said pulled a muscle.. All I know it hurts bad!!!  I am fine as long as I sit still.  I am so tired of sitting still. I know... I know.. I had major surgery and it will take time for me to heal....uggggggggg.  

Well I am starting a new blog that will list freebies and deals.  I think this will be good for me since I have "rest" in order to get better.  So later today or tomorrow I will have it up and running.  I am also going to have a facebook page to go with it.

Dylan even has lost weight since we got him and he didn't even feel heavy.  GOSH.. my body is so sensitive...lol.  I am praying this is the last surgery I will ever need in my life.  Recovery time is getting more and more frustrating.  The holidays are here and I want to start baking.  I have done a little by keeping a chair near the stove.  But I really need to be sitting still. 

So as they say... a hard head makes a soft bottom... my bottom is getting soft by sitting to healed....lol

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bowling Against Breast Cancer

Nov 3rd 2012 was the Candice J Bradby Breast Cancer Survivors Association's  1st Bowling Against Breast Cancer event.  One of the women of my church started this association while I was in the hospital.  She had introduced me to one of her friends and was telling them how inspired she was by my strength thru the last 10 months of my life.  I was very touch at how much she thought of me it brought tears to my eyes.  To me giving up is not an option, giving in is not an option, being a victim to cancer was not an option.

My younger sister Cherie was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 8.  Her Dr. told me she wouldn't going to live to graduate high school.  That broke my heart. BUT Cherie being the tough little girl she was kept telling everybody "I'm not going to die".  Even when she was at her sickest, she kept saying she was not going to die.  She went thru chemo and some real harsh meds and she graduated college and is living with a great husband and 2 wonderful kids.  If that little girl can fight cancer I knew I had to because I was the BIG sister.  Couldn't let her show me up...lol

I was also surprised by my daughter who LIED to me by telling me she couldn't make it.  When she came thru those doors my heart just jumped... I almost burst into tears but too many pics were being taken and I didn't want to mess up my make up...lol   I had a great time, many that came out had some great family time also.  I am so excited about this association.  I got many ideas going thru my head.  I want to educate women about early detection and how it can make a huge difference in your life and I also want to help out cancer patients with the financial burden of cancer treatments and just provide support for the patients and family.

So last night is just the beginning, I am so excited

My Anniversary

One year ago today I married my best friend.  What a year we have had.  2 weeks before the wedding I found a lump in my breast. I had put off getting it checked because it was painful and I didn't think it was a bi deal.  2 months later I was told I have breast cancer, 1 month later I lost my right breast.  2 months later I was able to bring home my little boy Dylan 9 months old at the time. 2 months later I had my reconstruction surgery. 2 week later we had to move from our home because it was falling apart and very unhealthy for us to live there. 3 months later I had unexpected surgery and 2 week hospital stay.

All during this time my wonderful husband held down his church even tho we don't have a building at this time and he took great care our boys.  This has been a year of many challenges and God keep his hand over our marriage.  We have become stronger and closer as a couple.  Our love has grown deeper this past year.  I can't imagine going thru this without him. God knows when to place certain people in your life when you will need them the most.  I am bless to have him.  He had made me feel even more beautiful even tho my body has changed and scarred up. He still looks at me like he did on our wedding day.  And after what I have been through, that is real important.... real important. Matt and our kids have made a point not to treat me any different than they did before.  That is important.   I need to feel "normal"  Well normal for me..lol  My family does that for me the best they can.

I couldn't have asked for a better partner. I have never felt such a connection with a person.  He knows what I want and need sometimes before I know.  He refuse to let me get down or feel sorry for myself.  He builds me up to be a stronger and better person.  This is MY husband and best friend!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Koman race for a cure

I was sitting here watching the news coverage of the Koman Race and I started to get sad.  I realize that I really wanted to be there with the other cancer survivors.  I kinda feel that I need to be around that energy. It was great seeing my breast surgeon  being interviewed on TV.. Dr. Schultz from the St. Joseph Breast Center.  Those guys are great and I thank God for Dr. Schultz.  He made this whole process easier.  I also found out he sits on the board of the Koman foundation..... super cool.

My goal for next years is to run or walk as many races as my body allow.  I want more women to understand early detection is a major factor in surviving breast cancer.  I truly believe because my cancer was caught so early is why I have had an easier time with treatment than others.  So I'm looking forward to my body healing so I can start training.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Menopause

This whole menopause thing is interesting.  I have been thrown in what is called Surgical Menopause.  So my hormones have been snatched away completely so my body is adjusting and depleting what I had left in my system.  Since I was on Tamoxifen my body was somewhat adjusting to lower estrogen and I was having some menopause symptoms.  I had some hot flashes before but NOW this mess is crazy.. one moment I burning up sweating and the next I am freezing.  I am constantly taking clothes off and putting them on.  I carry my breast cancer blanket around cause I get cold quick. I haven't had any real mood swings.  I really don't feel either way.  Tamoxifen made me want to fight and I angered easily.  I don't feel that way anymore ( good thing for those nurses at the hospital) .  Now I do tear up easily. So sad movies even sad news stories get to me... I find it kinda funny because I know why I'm so teary eyed.

This is a new phase in my life. It's different.  It's taking some time getting use to my new body.  It feels different and looks different but in time it will be better than it was before.  I am looking forward to working out maybe start running like my lil sister. She is doing marathons..maybe someday we can run one together. I heard exercise really help menopause symptoms. I can't wait to get clearance from my dr. In time I will be "normal " again.  Well normal for me...lol

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Healing

Well I have to go to my primary care physician to have my blood levels monitored for the coumadin. I did that last Friday.  Then had a post op appointment with my surgeon on Tuesday.  I have lost 15lb since the surgery, mostly due to the "Sinai Diet Plan" ( that tube in my nose and throat).   My Dr. visit went well, he said that I am healing very well and the removed the staples.... YAYYYYY  I don't have to see him for another 2 week but I have to have my blood levels checked every week.

Steps are easier to manage.  I asked my daddy to take me to the store, 1 to get out the house and 2 I did need a couple of things.  I really thought I could handle it.  I never realized pushing a cart was so much work.... So Jay took over there.  And the Safeway is a BIG store when your stomach is sore.  So I was in bed for rest of the day after that trip.  I really see now that I am going to have to take it slow.  My mind is thinking one thing but my body is saying "yeah right".  I'm not going to push it. I am NOT going back to the hospital!!!

I was really hoping to go hang out at the Breast Cancer walk on Sunday but I am thinking it might be too much for me right now. I got to listen to my body.  It has gone thru some major changes in the last 10 months. I have to give it time to heal so I can be my best in the end.

Friday, October 5, 2012

2 weeks

The last 2 weeks of my life has been a real eye opener.  What I went thru I couldn't have never imagine happening to me.  Breast cancer was a breeze compared to the last 2 week.  As you know I had a total hysterectomy on 9/19/2012.  The morning after I was feeling good as you can see from the first pic. But in a matter of hours I went downhill and down hill fast. My blood pressure had dropped very very low and the oxygen level in my blood was very low, so every time I got out of bed I felt horrible. I was told I had a hematoma.  My hand started to swell from the IV so it was moved up my arm until it was at the bend of my elbow, my arm continued to swell.  Because of the breast cancer they can't use my right arm for anything. I ended up having the iv put into my neck.  Now for for the tube in my nose to my stomach.  I didn't eat for almost 2 weeks during that time but my stomach continued to collect bile.  That caused me a lot of pain so the tube had to be put in to drain the bile.  As you can see from pic 2 I was not a happy camper.   I tell ya God and I had a lot of conversations during these past 2 weeks.  With that tube in my throat it was painful to talk, even tho I still did at times...lol  Now during this whole time I found out I had pneumonia, even had one night they thought I had a heart attack.  Thankfully there was no muscle damage. I was transferred to 6 different rooms I think.


 Because every time something majored happened I was sent to Immediate Care Unit. Now since I was not able to get up and walk around I ended up with a blood clot in my leg.  So that had me in the hospital for 4 extra days trying to get my blood levels right.  I have to be on coumadin for the next 3 months and be careful.  This should be interesting cause I am accident prone..lol. My last couple of days in the hospital I was starting to break down.  I was missing my husband so much( even tho he was there everyday) and my kids that is was really starting to hurt.  I was sick of people waking me up every couple of minutes asking for my blood pressure, asking if I had a bowel movement ( I think about 5 different people ask me this a day) I just wanted to yell "LEAVE ME ALONE".  You know it's bad when I got excited for meal time.

I look at my life different now.. I see my place in this world different. I heard something while in the hospital ( don't remember where cause I was pretty drugged up)  I wasn't living my life I was just existing.   I don't want to just exist anymore. Laying in that bed not able to do much ... I was just existing.  I don't want that for my life anymore.  I have been told by several people through out my life that I should write a book.  Nay said she would help me.  Once I am all healed there are other ventures I plan on perusing.

I could have never imagine fighting so hard to get well.  Just wanting to feel normal, not be so tired, not hurt, look at pizza and not feel nauseous. 2012 has been the year to rebuilding my body. I know God has big plans for me and I need to be at my best. After 2012 I will be able to become that woman.  So for now I am resting and letting my body heal, and letting the drugs get out of my system  and getting healthy for my next level.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waiting for surgery

See how big my belly became..... Ugg


Surgery Day

So I'm sitting here in the dark.  It's a couples of hours before I loose my "girlie parts".  I'm not worried.  God  got this. I know I will be ok.  I took a nice long hot shower.  Not sure when I will be able to do that anytime soon..lol   and I did shave my legs. That was the one thing I wanted to do so bad after my mastectomy and had to wait weeks to do it.

I am so looking forward to feeling better.  I know the doctors will be checking if cancer is anywhere else. I'm not worried... God got this. With God by my side, I have healed from my surgeries very well.  I'm just tired of being cut up on.  Well this is something that has to be done, I'm tired of looking pregnant.  And if I didn't know any better it looks like it is getting bigger and bigger every week. I'm going to do a before and after pic later this morning. After all this is said and done I just might get my 20 maybe 30 year old body back ( I have to admit, I did look good back then..lol)

I am happy my husband and kids will be there with me.  Nay came down last night.  She is going to stay with me while I'm in the hospital.  She is good at making sure those nurses do what they suppose to do...lol .

Well, I have to go finish getting things ready to go to the hospital.  I will stay in touch.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Surgery

I got the news on 9/11 that I have to have a complete hysterectomy next Wed.  I also found out that because of the size of my uterus ( size of someone 5 to 6 months preggo) and how fast it grew it has cause other issues inside of me(part of it from the tamoxifen) that's why I need surgery so soon.  He is moving other people out the way to fit me in. 

Dr. Miller is great.  He was very very thorough with telling me all my options and the pros and cons of everything and the effect it will have on my body. He explained everything that is going on inside..... and there is alot happening in there, much more than I knew. 

I was very disappointed with the news of the hysterectomy.  I understand why I need it and I welcome feeling better. Plus it will improve the chances of the cancer not coming back even more. It's just not what I wanted.  It eliminates any chance of having a child with my husband.  It still hurts when I sit and think about it. That was something I wanted to really share with him.  I am thankful for the 3 children I do have.  I think it is awesome that my lil Dylan looks like me even tho I didn't give birth to him. :) .

For many many years I wouldn't follow God's plan for me.  Thinking I knew what was best or what I can do better.  In Aug of 1997 God forced me on his plan.  It wasn't easy and it wasn't painless but I am so glad He did it.  See I get these ideas in my head and God has a way of letting me know that is not what He has planned for me.  Like right after I got the news it took me an hour to get home(normally 30 min trip)  I had time to process what I was told.  I was still in shock but God had time for me to hear Him and I understood why a little better.  I don't like it but I understand. Ohhhh yea.. Now the day I find out this news, that night my phone dies.  The one time I put my phone in Dylan's diaper bag, his sippy cup leaks on my phone.  I didn't get a new phone until noon the next day.  It was weird sitting in the house not talking to somebody about what was happening.  Then I realized that God wanted me to think and plan this out and I wouldn't have been able to if I was on the phone so much.

I'm not upset anymore. I am content with what has to be done.  See during my quiet time yesterday I thought about the positive ..... I won't have a period anymore!!! YAYYYYYYY.  He said that I won't feel much different than I do now on tamoxifen. I can handle that. NO MORE PMS!!!!!!!!  and I suffered and my family did also...lol    I will save money on feminine products..Thank the Lord.... I will loose weight getting rid of my preggo stomach.  I will feel better in general.  I haven't felt really well in years. So I am looking forward to being able to be "normal" again. Goodness the fibromyalgia has been a cake walk compared to this mess I have been dealing with lately....lol

In general I will be a much healthier person after this surgery.  Yes I am very tired of being cut on and I will have a new scar but they will be my battle scars, my survivor scars.  They are proof of the things I have overcame.  Some of them have made me sad and some have made me happy ( the boob job...lol)  But all of them have made me better and stronger.


Thursday, September 6, 2012

YUCKY TAMOXIFEN

Tamoxifen is yucky.  I feel like being a little kid and falling out on the floor kicking and screaming.  I  haven't felt well for the last 2 weeks. I thought it was just back spasms again. but after a week and a half and the pain got worst I had to go back to the ER.  Well Well.... they had to give me morphine to stop my pain and then I had a CAT scan (for the 3rd time in 3 months).  This time they found a mass on my ovaries and  found that my uterus is the size of a six month pregnant woman.  Yes I do look preggo. OK... They did an ultrasound and found that the mass was just fluid and not cancer and I did have a cyst on a ligament connected to my ovary.  I also found out that I have more fibroids then I thought. UGGGGGG

Now I did ask my Oncologist if I should have the fibroids that I did have removed before starting tamoxifen.  She didn't think I would have a problem.... Well guess what... I am having problems!!!  Tamoxifen is known to cause fibroids and cause them to grow.  I am surprised how fast they have grown. I have stopped taking the tamoxifen because I don't want to look 9 month pregnant in a couple of weeks.  My Oncologist is looking for an Oncology GYN for me.  She feels they can treat me best at this time.  I just want these things out of me.  I finally got my boobs looking like I want now I look pregnant.  Maybe at 50 I get my body back....lol 

To be honest I wasn't taking the meds like I was suppose to, except for this last month.  I did take it almost everyday.  I'm thinking if I took them like I am suppose to from the beginning I would probably look 9 months preggo now.

The major issue I am having now is that I am tired of being cut up.  Within the last year I have had my gall bladder removed, a breast removed and reconstruction surgery.  I am tired of surgeries.  The only other surgery I have had in my life was a c-section and it was worth all the pain cause it was to bring my daughter into this world.  Now because of YUCKY TAMOXIFEN I will need another surgery.  Cancer sucks!!!!!  I am hoping they can do some kind of laser surgery or something. I won't know until I meet with this new Dr. So this will make doctor #5 to add to my list..lol  

Now the spiritual side of me knows that God is challenging me and watching how I am handling this.  Well God I got this!!  No matter how tired I get I will keep fighting.  I know when this is all well and done I will be rewarded.  God just needs to see how strong I am.  Well you got one tough chick here.  I have too much to live for. I might fuss and whine at times but it doesn't weaken my fight. Thank you God for trusting me and using me.  I still think tamoxifen is yucky...lol

Sunday, August 26, 2012

HAPPY

It has been awhile since I last posted.  I got clearance from my plastic surgeon to shop for regular bras...YAYYYYY.   I will get my nipple reconstruction in Nov.  The side effects from the tamoxifen has calmed down a bit.  Except my fibroids getting so large I look pregnant.  I see the GYN this week to discuss what to do to fix it.  Other than that I am happy.  I look normal and I feel almost normal.

I ran into 2 people who haven't seen me since last year.  One of the ladies didn't even know I had cancer.  she said looking at me she would never have known.  That made me feel sooooo good .  I smiled so hard. I realized I have been blessed to not have to struggle as bad as some women have.  I am actually having a pretty easy time of this.  I thank you Lord.... Oh how I thank you. The the next day I saw my old boss from Jackson Hewitt.  The last time she saw me was 2 weeks before my mastectomy.  She is the one who sent me the yummy fruit basket.  Well she said I looked awesome.. Again I was smiling hard and feeling very blessed.

I don't think most people understand that when something has changed on your body that wasn't really by choice, how abnormal you feel. Yea I stuffed my bra until the reconstruction and after the one breast was so swollen I wore very very loose tops so you couldn't see the unevenness.  Inside I didn't feel normal.  I wondered if I will ever feel that way again. I didn't want people to look at me with that look of pity in there eyes.  I just wanted them to see Candy,  the wife , the mom, the friend.  I'm getting my wish now, and it feels very good.  Yea my stomach looks like I'm several months pregnant, I feel good and from what people tell me I look good..lol lol. 

I am a 6 month breast cancer survivor!!!!!!!  Every day and every month and every year is important.  I want people to look at me and say "this is what surviving breast cancer looks like"  I am happy, somewhat happy with my body but this is a work in progress.  I know once the anniversary of my cancer comes around, I WILL be happy with my body again. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Pool

Yesterday was the first time I have been to the pool this season.  The main reason I wanted to go was to get my boys out the house.  All I could wear was a bathing suit bottom because I still have to wear the surgical vest a little longer. So I just wore a top over it. 

It felt nice to be outside.  I think it was the most time I have been outside since my surgery. I was a little self conscious because I am still a little loop sided due to swelling. But it was nice to be out with the boys.  It was Dylan's first time at the pool.  He was happy at first until he fell and went face first into the water then he wasn't sure about all this water.  He did keep walking to it...lol  He kept looking at the other kids like "why are you here".  Jay got to see he friends from last summer. So it was very nice.  I needed that. I felt somewhat normal.  I can't wait until I am cleared to drive.  We will be at the pool much more.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Appointment with Oncologist

Yesterday was my follow up appointment with my Oncologist since I have been on tamoxifen.  Well I'm alive.  The cancer is gone.  The pain in my left breast(the healthy one) is the nerves healing.   It feels like I'm being shocked in my breast. I found out that my fibroid is the size of my palm and I need that removed.  I might have bursitis in my hip. I am slightly anemic, my uterus is enlarged and I have the beginnings of kidney stones.  I think thats it for now.  Plus I still have another treatment to start but since I am feel so bad on this one she want to wait a bit and does not want to make me feel worst than I do already.

I have to look at this as the process God is having me go thru for me to be whole again. As much as I dislike tamoxifen, I need it to keep the cancer from coming back. It's so much at one time, It's mind-boggling.  If I didn't have my faith I would be crazy right now.

So the journey continues, more doctors, more meds. So far I'm healing well from the reconstruction.  The Dr. really believes my bad back spasms were from being on the table too long. so I guess that's good.

Well I'm holding onto God's hand knowing everything will be ok

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Post surgery

Wow that was an experience,  It was funny cause I didn't remember much that happened before my mastectomy last time.  That gosh darn lorazipan works wonders.  But this time I didn't take anything ... I was ready for this. I had the operating team laughing because I pretty much jump up on the table before they were ready for me..lol  Then afterwards ugggggggggg.. The pain was bad. it was getting close to labor pains.  I started to cry it was so bad.  I have a high pain threshold from dealing with the fibromyalgia.  That didn't make any difference I was hurting.. They kept giving me pain meds then they gave me liquid Tylenol.  That stuff works.  I'm on percocet now.  I seem to be in constant pain but not as bad as earlier.. It's like a burning sensation on the left side of my chest. I keep being told the results are worth it..  HMMMMMM they better be nice...lol  this mess hurts.

The good thing is I am able to move around better today.. got all that pain meds and anesthesia  from the hospital out of my system. My head doesn't feel fuzzy anymore. Now don't get me wrong I am so ever thankful for being able to have this surgery.  There are so many women that can't have reconstruction surgery for one reason or another. I have read the stories of my cancer friends and they seem to be going thru so much more than me.  I pray for them everyday.  These are some tough women. They make my journey look like a walk in the park. They still support and encourage me when needed. 

I am looking forward to healing so I can hold my baby Dylan again.  I kept kissing on him yesterday morning. He was looking at me like he knew why. I can't wait until I am able to tale him to the pool.  My big boy Jay has been such a blessing I really can't imagine life with out him. Nay couldn't come down because it was her first day on the job.  Last but definitely not least my hubby... he even went without food because I couldn't eat.  I love him so so much..

So now I focus on healing and moving.  Still got stuff to pack. I'm going to more of a director than anything else.  What a busy week we have.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Reconstruction Day

It is hard to believe that today I will have my reconstruction surgery.  There have been moments where I actually forget that I had cancer. Then I am given a reminder either with the tamoxifen or my hard right "breast"  The only thing I am not happy with is that I have to wait until 11 to go to the hospital.  I couldn't eat or drink anything after 12 midnight.  We still have packing to do, so I will be keeping myself busy packing until Matt takes me to the hospital. 

We are also moving this week but I won't be moving anything after today.  This house is falling apart.  Ok we got the sewage back up in the basement and the wall leaking in the basement then the hole in my kitchen ceiling showing the bathtub pipes and now the ceiling in the leaking wall room fell in.  this house is literally falling apart around us. I am so happy we are getting out of here this week.

It is weird, I am having very mixed feelings right now.  I'm excited, nervous,scared and angry that I even had to go thru this. I never had any surgery except a c-section for my daughter 23 years ago.  I turn 40 and I fall apart. 1st my gall bladder didn't want to stay a week after my birthday and then my breast didn't want to stay 2 weeks before my wedding. I thought I was doing pretty good health wise.  I eat pretty healthy, I don't smoke, I might have a drink once or twice a year even then I don't drink much.  It's crazy how cancer picks it victims. Well I'm pissed.  I was very happy with my breast BC  (before cancer).  Well one good thing about this is that I can go without a bra  :)  So as soon as the bandages come off Summer dresses here I come...lol 

I thank God for keeping my sanity.  You go thru so many different feelings once you are told you have cancer, that you feel kinda crazy at time. My faith in God has kept me sane ( now I know others might question the sane part..lol).  Thank You Lord for loving me and keeping me.  I couldn't have done it without you.  This journey isn't over yet.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

FATHER'S DAY

I just want everybody to know about the wonderful fathers in my life.  My fab husband stepped up and filled a empty spot in my son Jayson's life.  Seeing the two of them together warms my heart.  He has given him love, guidance and stability.  He is teaching him how to be a Man of God.  How to function in this world as a man. I am so grateful to have such a man in my life. I also LOVE watching him with our new baby boy Dylan.  This little boy will never know what it's like not to have a daddy.  He loves Matt so much and I can see and feel Matt's love for Dylan. Thank you God.Our children Thank you.

Thank you God for giving me my Daddy. I can't imagine going thru life without him. He has been there during the lowest and highest points in my life.  No matter how bad things have gotten My daddy let's me know it will be ok and I will get thru it.  My daddy's silent strength is stronger than anything I have ever seen.  To me my daddy is the next step to God.  Even at 42 years of age I'm a big Daddy's Girl.

Thank you God for placing these 2 men in my life.  I love these guys so much and I feel so blessed to be loved by them.  Thanks again

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

ER Visit

So yesterday I had to go to the ER.  I was having sever back pain.  I knew it was my kidney because I have had a bad infection once before.  I have been drinking water and eating better so I didn't understand why this was happening.  I was mad because I thought it was going to postpone my reconstruction surgery on Monday. Well I just had a kidney infection and I will still be able to have surgery on Monday. Yayyyyyy. But you know that little voice will always be there.  I wondered if the cancer had spread to my kidney.  I guess those thought will always be there when something is not right with my body. That is when I need to go into prayer

  We have also found a home to move to.. It's not what we want but it's a home until we are able to buy what we want... which the VA say we can do in a year. So I will make the best with what I have been given.  God always take care of your NEEDS not your wants.  so we needed a home and we got one.  We got to handle our wants.  I can't complain.. God had been very good to me and my family. Well that all the thought I have for today  :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

TEARS

I sit here in tears.  I just heard that Robin Roberts of Good Morning America, cancer has come back.after 5 years. It is in her blood and bone marrow.  She did everything right.  She had chemo, ate right, exercise and had a very positive outlook on life. It came back. I know her cancer is different from mine but it shows no matter what you do it is all in God's hands.

I am starting to believe you can probably prevent some cancers but once you have  had it, if it comes back it will and there is really nothing you can do to prevent it from doing so. Some people get deal with it, and never see it again.  Others will fight it more than 1 time.  This was one of the reasons why I didn't do chemo.  They kept telling me it was preventive, like an insurance policy.  I would be furious if I had gone thru chemo and it still came back. This cancer thing really sucks.  I am hearing more and more women talk about their cancer coming back 5,6, 8 years later.  I really don't know what to think.  It kinda put you in a constant state of fear, the fear of not knowing.

All I know is that God told me that this won't kill me, but I see this will be a lifelong fight to live. I'm only at the 6 month mark. This makes me angry,  This is so unfair. God has his reasons and it's not for me to understand yet. God I trust you. Continue to guide me thru this journey.  Use me.


This is the article on Robin Roberts




Sunday, June 10, 2012

Improving

Ok with help from my husband I have been taking my meds like I am suppose to and my body seems to be adjusting.  I have not felt as bad as I did when I first started.  I see my Oncologist a couple days after my surgery. The fatigue is still bad but I did some research and I probably need to take some vitamin D. My levels were borderline before the cancer because of the fibromyalgia. So I will picking up some today.  If not I will sleep my life away...lol So I am feeling better.  I'm not scratching like a crackhead as much, the headaches are gone.  Now hot flashes.... still get those.  It makes it hard to have a cute haircut when you keep sweating it out every night.  I just might get my hair braided for awhile.

 It is kinda hard to believe that reconstruction is next week. Jan 4 2012 the day I found out I had cancer seems so far away.  It's funny how some dates are burned in your brain. Like the Big C day (Jan 4th 2012) and the Mastectomy day( Feb 15, 2012) and now New Boob Day( Jun 18, 2012).  New Boob day is a happy day to remember. I do need to have some other things done not cancer related but if I can do it with out surgery I will.  I have been looking into my options.

I'm doing well.  Me and tamoxifen are still not friends but we are getting along better.  God told me this journey won't kill me but it will be tough.  I'm a lot stronger than I thought.

Attitude

 A friend of mine from a breast cancer support group found this.  I think it is wonderful!
A T T I T U D E



There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror,
and noticed she had only three hairs on her head.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘I think I’ll braid my hair today.’

So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror
and saw that she had only two hairs on her head.
‘H-M-M,’ she said, ’I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.’



So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror
and noticed that she had only one hair on her head.
‘Well,’ she said, ‘today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.’



So she did and she had a wonderful day.



The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror
and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head.
‘YAY!’ she exclaimed.

‘I don’t have to fix my hair today!’

Attitude is everything!

Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply, Love generously, Care deeply, Speak kindly

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…

It’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

STRESS

http://answers.thebreastcancersite.com/?p=109.  I need to relax...

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dylan 1st Birthday

Dylan and Spiderman

Renewed Inspiriation

It's funny how God works.  Yesterday was my baby boy Dylan's 1st birthday.  Now lately I have been getting frustrated with having to deal with the side effects of the tamoxifen  to the point I just wanted to stop taking it.  Well after seeing my kids yesterday, my fab daughter Nay just graduating from college and Jay almost in Highschool and lil Dylan.. his life is just starting and don't forget my husband... the smiles on his face yesterday. I have to be around for a very very long time.  God is only going to do so much... I have to do my part also.

One of my husband's oldest friends told me yesterday that this is the happiest they have ever seen my husband in his life.  I wanted to cry.  I turned around and looked at him laughing with family, Jay running around with the little ones, Nay chatting away with friend and Dylan toddling around...all smiles.  This is all I ever wanted, to see my family happy.  I was very happy that my little brother Cory stopped by. Family is so very important to me. Family is worth fighting for my life.  God is not going to fight alone. I have to do my part.

God knows I am hardheaded.  So he will wait until he knows I will listen after I have suffered some. Knowing I will hear what He has to say.  This time he didn't have to speak.  He just showed me. When your eyes are opened by God it's very.....hmmmmmm.. I  can't even think of a word to describe the feeling.  I just know what needs to be done to get what I want.

Thank you God for my family as crazy and eclectic as they may be, I love them... thank you for renewing my need to fight this cancer with everything I have. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

me not like Tamoxifen

Being on tamoxifen will be a challenge.... a challenge to continue taking these pills.  Most people take medicine to feel better.  Its hard to keep taking a pill that makes you feel worst than you did when you didn't take it.  The fatigue, joint pain and nausea sucks.  The hot flashes, I can handle. Give me a fan and I am happy.  I really hate that something that can save my life makes me feel so bad. :(   I guess I'm just having one of those bad days. 

Still looking for a place to live.  The one good this is that my baby boy is turning 1 year old on Sat.  He likes being around lots of people so this party should be fun.  He is walking ... well he can walk until he gets excited..lol it's funny to watch.

Looking at my kids pushes me to take these pills. I know it won't be forever but 2-5 years seems a long time. I tell you, my faith in God and and constant reminders of God's promises to me... I really don't know how I would have gone thru this.  Thank You God.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Jacob--- the mouse killer

I had stayed home from bible study today cause I'm not feeling too great.  I have had hip and knee pain all day and a headache for most of the day and of course fatigue.  Well I had fixed dinner for my husband and while I was going to the kitchen to fix his plate, my wonderful black cat Jacob decides to drop a dead mouse at my feet.  I totally freaked out. He dropped it in the dining room.  I couldn't even go in the kitchen.. I was ready to go out the front door I was so freaked. This was the reason why we got him but I didn't expect him to bring it to me. EWWWWWWWWW.. I don't know why it freaked me out so bad.. It was dead.  OMG.. I can't handle dead mice.  Jacob just looked at me like what's your problem...lol  i can't wait until we moved...Even tho we haven't seen any since we got Jacob.. I still don't care to see dead mice..  Thank goodness for teenage boys.  Jay thought it was cool ...He kept me from running out the front door...lol  I had wondered why the cat was in the basement most of the evening. Now I know...ewwwww..  I thought he was just playing with boxes..NOT!!!!..lol well that was my exciting evening,,,  I didn't feel the pain in my hip and knees when i was trying to go out the door...lol

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hot lemon water benefits cancer

Well I am feeling somewhat better.. I'm still very very fatigued. I am able to deal with the hot flashes for now.. Fans are becoming my best my friends..lol  I'm trying something new Hot lemon water.  I am suppose to drink it every day.  I just started today.  It would be nicer if I had started in the winter but if this is going to help keep my cancer away I will drink it anytime.  check it out http://www.livestrong.com/article/298141-benefits-of-lemon-juice-cancer/
Not only is it the Vitamin C that is beneficial, but ...

Limonoids

Lemons and limes contain disease-fighting compounds known as limonoids. The human body is able to readily absorb a specific, long-acting limonoid known as limonin, according to the US Agricultural Research Service. Both lemons and limes contain nearly as much limonin as they do vitamin C. The results of a 2001 culture study summarized in "Nutrition and Cancer," revealed that this compound, at a concentration of 100 mcg/mL, was effective at partially inhibiting the growth of human ovarian cancer cells and inducing the death of breast cancer cells.  

I got this info from another blog.  It can't hurt to try it.  It seems like even if you don't have cancer that this can help you to be healthier.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

June 18th Yayyy!!!

June 18th is the day of my reconstruction. It is the day that I will feel almost normal again.  I will feel completely normal when I stop taking the tamoxifen. I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I won't have to stay overnight.  YAYYY!!  Jay will be out of school to help me with Dylan for a couple of days. Oh I found out that my baby girl starts he NEW JOB with Discover as a credit analyst on the same day.  I am so proud of her. Now we just need to move into new home asap ( landlord doesn't want to fix some major problems with the house) and everything will be great.

I know my journey is not over but in June i will feel like that half  the race has been ran. Feb. 15th seems so far away, That was the day my body was changed. Jan 4, was the day my life was changed. 

Now this tamoxifen.  I didn't take it for 2 days cause I was just feeling so bad on it I started back up on Tues. feeling a little better.  Still having trouble staying asleep, now I have lower back pain.  The nausea isn't as bad if at all, no headaches, I do seem to be thirsty a lot.  The fatigue is still bad but I also feel that has a lot to do with my lack of restful sleep. 

So today I will start packing up this house cause we got to move no matter what. I'm glad I am strong enough to take care of this.. With this tamoxifen in my system, it will take a bit longer.  But I'm tough...lol.  I guess we will go house hunting this weekend. Still hanging in there.

A Strong Woman

A strong woman works out every day
to keep her body in shape,
but a woman of strength kneels in prayer
to keep her soul in shape.

A strong woman isn't afraid of anything,
but a woman of strength shows
courage in the midst of her fear.

A strong woman won't let anyone
get the best of her,
but a woman of strength
gives the best of herself to everyone.

A strong woman makes mistakes
and avoids the same in the future.
A woman of strength realizes
life's mistakes can also be God's
blessings and capitalizes on them.

A strong woman walks sure footedly,
but a woman of strength knows
God will catch her when she falls.

A strong woman wears the look
of confidence on her face,
but a woman of strength wears grace.

A strong woman has faith that
she is strong enough for the journey,
but a woman of strength has faith that it is
in the journey that she will become strong.

Author Unknown
 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day felt different for me this year. I was happy to have all my kids together but sadden at the same time for my husband's family,  Looking at my mother in law and her sisters knowing that had to bury their mother tomorrow breaks my heart.

I am happy to be free from cancer this Mother's day.  The meds they have me on are becoming a challenge but a challenge that is worth taking.  Just look at my 3 wonderful children.  Nay drove down for the day  It was nice sitting down and eating crabs with Nay and Jay. Dylan was sleep of course. I really enjoy being a mother. Listening to my daughter talk about her future and wanting to be a mom warms my heart.  I know she will be a great mother. I believe Jay will be an awesome dad some day.  He is so loving and caring.  As for my baby boy Dylan... it's hard to tell now but I know with the right guidance and love he will be just like his brother and sister.

I am happy to be a mom, momma and mommy. knowing I'm responsible for making these kids into responsible adults use to scare me but after seeing how my daughter turned out.... I'm pretty good at this mothering thing..lol

Thank you God for trusting me with these 3 children.

tamox. day 4

I having the same old side effects as before.  I really need to start exercising cause I feel weak and tired more now.  I know there is a lot going on in my life with my husband's family in mourning over his grandmother.  It's so hard to watch them go thru this around Mother's day.  Plus with this house falling apart and trying to find a place to move to is stressful.  Breathe....... Breathe  I starting to have some hip pain but I'm not sure if its fibro or the meds.  I have had a constant sore throat like I got a cold coming on or something.  who knows. Maybe I just need more sleep.

Friday, May 11, 2012

tamox day 3

727 more days to go on this stuff.  The Dr. said 2 years then I can try to have a baby.  727 days to go.   I'm having hot flashes now.  I sitting here with a fan blowing on me.. I guess me and this fan will become good friends in the next 727 days. Still itchy,  fatigue and a headache that feels like a migraine is trying to start. The nausea has started but it's not that bad more irritating then anything else. Something else is happening, it's not exactly mood swings but a constant state. I can't say that I'm mad but just don't get on my nerves right now...lol  I guess I feel more aggressive.  Who knows.... these meds are very interesting. Well that's is what is going on so far with this stuff. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tamox day 2

I'm gonna start tracking my side effects from this drug so I have a record.  Yesterday I was very tired and moody.  My period started yesterday also, with that said it's hard to tell if it's the meds or me.  The one thing I do think is the meds is the fact I have trouble sleeping. I don't stay asleep and have some trouble falling asleep.  The problem will be figuring out what is tamoxifen and what is fibromyalgia, cause a lot of the side effects are my regular fibro issues.  So this will be a fun ride.  Something else new that has started... I itch.  Yes I have had a shower...lol  my skin feels like I got bugs crawling and biting at me all over.   It doesn't last forever but long enough to make me irritable.  My mood has changed also but my period is on now so we will see next week. Plus with the stress of everything it's hard to tell what  is what right now. I will keep track of it anyway to see if there is any kind of pattern.  Ok Now to start exercising..... So I'm alive.. hanging in there. I'm doing OK  :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bottle of tamoxifen

As I drove tot he drug store yesterday, I wanted to cry. I was finally going to pick up my prescription of tamoxifen. Jay walked in the store with me, for some reason having him there with me helped.. I guess cause I won't cry in front of him. I stay strong for him. When they laid the bottle on the counter, I didn't want to pick it up. I just looked at it and then asked if I can get auto refill for it.  I will be on it everyday for the next couple of years at least. The pharmacist went to the computer asked my name, the asked which one.  i was like OMG I got to say this out loud.  It took a bit but I was able to say "tamoxifen". I heard the tone in her voice change a bit.  It seem to happens a lot when people find out you had breast cancer. I picked up the bag and just looked at it. This is really happening. I have to take this stuff.  Another reminder of this battle with cancer.

Jay asked me if I was ok while we were walking out the store... I had to straighten my face.  I told him I was fine. He hugged me and said OK.  He knew just what to do to put a smile on my face.  His hugs are magic. It was an instant reminder why I'm taking this medicine. When we got home, I immediately went online to look up  more info about tamoxifen.... best time to take it, how to minimize the side effects, are there any good side effects, and anything else I could find.  I did find out I can't eat grapefruit  :(  I really like grapefruit and I really shouldn't have caffeine :(  I like my coffee.. I NEED my coffee sometimes  :(  oh well.  To see the smile on my son's face is worth it. There were some other things but these stood out more right now...lol

So I took my first pill late last night. With much hesitation I did it. I didn't sleep much last night.  So much is going on, Nay graduating, Matt's dear grandmother passing, my daddy being sick, my house falling apart and needing to move because of a stinky landlord, needing to start some kind of therapy so the cancer won't come back, looking for a place to live. Helping Jay deal with his "birth father"  Did I say I need to pack up the house I just unpacked....  I'm holding on. I can tell you one thing.. God sure does have a lot of faith in me. All I can do is give God control... or I will be crazy...lol

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bitter sweet weekend

This weekend has been a difficult one.  I have shed tears of happiness and sorrow.  My oldest child graduated from college yesterday and my husband's grandmother passed away on Friday.  My husband was extremely close to his grandmother. I didn't know her for long but I had grown to love her and how her family interacted with her was beautiful.

 Then you have my daughter great accomplishment. I drove passed her freshman dorm. I want to cry. I remember watching her walk away from the car, so excited to start her college career. I remember the calls of happiness, sadness, or just "I miss you mommy call"or the famous "I need money call".  I welcomed them all. I had met her sorority sisters and close friends that have been there for her. It was pretty cool to see the Dean of Students make a point to come over to tell her to keep her head up about a job opp in Indiana. She knows people there. She has such a bright future. I feel like I did my job, I had help make her into a productive citizen. I remember when she was born and bringing her home.  I remember looking at this little baby thinking, OMG I am responsible for making her an adult. Honestly it wasn't that hard.  There were some challenges, I just provided her with everything she needed physically, mentally and emotionally. And she turned out perfect in my eyes.  I was reading her scrapbook and the things her administrators wrote in it just showed me the world thinks she is wonderful too. I can proudly say I did a good job. I have done something right in my life.  ok enough about her... got me crying again thinking about everything.

Now my husband......my heart is breaking to see him in so much pain. I personally have not lost someone that close to me. I knew how much he loved his grandmother, so I knew this time would be difficult. I have come to love his family dearly and to see them hurting is heartbreaking. All I can do is just hug them and let them talk about her.  I will be there when he wants me close and give him space when he needs it. I had prayed and asked God how can I help him best.  He told me to love him thru this...that's all he need from me. So I guess that's what I will be doing. Grief is tough.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Feeling Some Kinda Way

This last week or so has been very trying on my patience. Dealings with certain people, having to move because the owner of the house we rent, claim she can't afford(more like don't want to) fix the plumbing in the home I have only been in for 1 month. My baby girl graduating from college and I am not able to do much for her because of being out of work and needing every penny we got to move again. Accepting my treatment plan that will change my body maybe permanently.  It doesn't help that I am hormonal right now.  Everything really hit me when I got off the phone with my oncologist and told her I choose tamoxifen for my treatment and will not be doing chemo.  I am comfortable in my choice of no chemo.  Not crazy about the tamoxifen and it's possible side effects. For awhile there I really didn't have to deal with the cancer but I need to start treatment like NOW so my Dr. call in a prescription for tamoxifen so I can start today.  I was told to keep busy because it can cause blood clots.  Yayyyyy that's what i wanted to hear.  plus several other unpleasant side effects. But they keep saying that the benefit out weighs the side effects.. we will see.  I go back to see the oncologist in a month to see how I'm doing.  This whole thing just makes feel some kinda way.  It's hard to explain exactly.   Part of it is that I feel I have no control over this whole thing.  The only thing I was able to choose was not to take chemo. I dunno,  This whole cancer thing sucks. I have 5 years of this medication if my body can handle it. I'm really not looking forward to taking this stuff.

Friday, April 27, 2012

No Chemo (kinda long)

Ok yesterday I had a consultation with an Infertility doctor.  My Oncologist wanted me to meet with her to help make my decision about chemo.

First I don't need chemo.  It would be more of an insurance policy for me.  Killing off cancer cells just in case some stray active ones are in there.  It will take my chances of cancer showing up in 10 years somewhere else from 15% to 12%.  I will be on hormone therapy (tamoxifen) for 5 years but since I want to have at least 1 more child she agree to only 2 years then try to get pregnant then after the baby go back on for 3 years.  If I don't take the tamoxifen, my chances of getting cancer again is 45%.. so with that said I NEED the tamoxifen!

This has not been an easy decision.  I have been begging God for some help, BEGGING, He kept telling me to wait , hold still, I will know the answer.  Well that sucks He knows how I am about waiting...lol  I was leaning toward taking the chemo..Why?  I was scared. I didn't want to go thru this again. I was afraid I dying, not being here for my husband, my kids and new baby boy. Just plain scared. Even after meeting with the Oncologist twice, I wasn't feeling the chemo 100%.  Many family members wanted me to take the chemo, my daughter supports whatever I decide(that didn't help)..lol, my husband didn't, some friends said not to,others said do it. I started reading post on a breast cancer website from women who have the same cancer I do. All of that left me even more confused then ever.  Then I stopped begging and turned it over to God.  Early one morning while in prayer God told me He never left me, I I let go of his hand, that's why I was so scared.  I forgot His promise when all of this first started.  "This will not kill me"  That does not guarantee that the cancer will never come back... nothing can guarantee that but my major fear of dying has been calmed. When I let go of the fear and grabbed hold of God's hand again, confirmation started coming from everywhere that I don't need chemo.  I feel secure in my decision, my heart is at peace now. If the cancer comes back I truly believe it would have came back no matter what I could have done.  Nothing is 100% .  I will be taking on a healthier lifestyle than what I have been living. I know I need to take better care of myself than I have been. Thank You God for believing in me and trusting me and never leaving my side.  Some people might say the devil put fear in me but the devil had nothing to do with this.  I had to learn to trust God always and completely. Once I let go of the fear, the answer came to me so fast.  That is the lesson I learned,  You can't go to God with fear in your heart.  Let go of the fear and trust Him.  He will answer you.

Ok back to the Infertility doctor.  I found out that I am very very fertile  YAYYYY ME!!!   I do have fibroids. One that is in my uterus that needs to be removed, Other than that everything looks very good. She said we can harvest some eggs and freeze them so when I want to get pregnant I will have strong eggs. If I do have chemo I will become infertile.  That was the last nail in the chemo coffin.( plus I didn't want to lose my hair.. I just started to let it grow).  There have been plenty of women who become pregnant after taking tamoxifen.  Since I am no where near menopause and have young ovaries, I am no longer worried about being pushed into menopause by the tamoxifen. Now this whole invetro thing  is very expensive and there is some financial help from the Lance Armstrong organization but there is still $5000 we would have to pay. So what am I going to do........ Put it in prayer and hand it over to God.   He hasn't failed me.  I need to make a decision within the next week because I have to start some kind of treatment very very very soon. So this is the cancer side of my life.  The other side  of my life is a bit crazy right now that is a whole separate story tooo long to put here right now.  This whole cancer this still gets me down sometimes.. I guess I just tired of dealing with it.  Well I got to call my Oncologist and let her know what I have decided.

Holding onto God real tight right now!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Final Fill

It has been a journey.  Yesterday was the last fill for my expander.  I am even now. I wanted to cry when I looked in the mirror at the Dr. office.  It is hard to believe that I made it this far. Not so long ago I woke up without my right breast. Now I have it back...even tho it feels like a size D brick on my chest. I don't go back for 3 weeks. This will be a long 3 weeks.  sleep is real uncomfortable now, moving is uncomfortable.  I never realized how much you actually use your chest muscles. 

I go to see a fertility Dr. tomorrow to see it I will be able to have children after all of this. This is all I really want to say about this.  This whole cancer journey has been a very interesting trip. For now I'm saying no to chemo but I will be on hormone therapy (tamoxifen). I need to make some lifestyle changes. like my diet and exercise more.

There has been a lot going on in my life in the last month.  The stress level is being tested. I know we will be just fine. God has gotten me this far I know he won't let go of me now.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Blessings

I haven't  written much lately because I have been pleasantly distracted.  We picked up our soon to be adopted son Dylan (10 months) on Good Friday.  God has blessed me with this little boy.  Giving him to me at the most perfect time.  Everything that I'm going thru right now I needed somebody who needs me more than anything. I don't think about what I don't have or even what I want.  I have somebody who needs are a little more important than mine. Matt made sure I was healed enough to be able to care for Dylan.  He even was a little surprise how well I was doing with him. I knew I was ready for this baby. He is the one person in my life that does not know about the breast cancer. He doesn't treat me gingerly as a matter of fact I get pushed in my chest often.  Good thing I'm still numb there..lol.  I still can't believe I am doing this all over again.  Ohh yeahhh did I tell you that this baby looks like me..lol    This little boy has won my heart.  I don't dwell on the bad stuff any more.  Evey thing is positive now, looking forward to many many many years with my kids. Mommy loves you Chardiney, Jayson and Dylan.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

New family member

Wow Matt and I just brought home our son yesterday... Dylan, he is 10 months old.  I still doesn't seem real. We could have had him earlier but Matt wanted to make sure I was healed enough to care for  a baby. I am doing very well, of course my right side is still sore and I can't reach but so far and I feel like I have a brick in my chest.  I am driving some now.. Just running to the store..I get sore from driving too much.  I go for another fill on Tuesday.

I am so happy.  This will be the first Easter in a very long time that I will have all my kids together. Nay and Jayson are so taken with Dylan.  He seems crazy about them also.  He did great all day until bedtime. He fell asleep in my arms and every time I went to lay him down he would wake up right away crying.  I felt bad for him, knowing he was in a new place and wondering where are the things he was familiar with. I just kept reassuring him that everything is ok and I am here for him.  This family has so much love to give to him.  I am so happy we were able to take him and keep him out of the foster care system. 

God has truly blessed me,  a great husband, wonderful children and cancer free!!!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

My Birthday

March 28,  I have turned 42 today.  The last year has been a whirlwind for me. I have had 2 surgeries (gall bladder removed & breast cancer) I got married to the most loving man made for me. I feel as tho my relationship with my son and daughter has grown deeper and stronger.  My family is growing in leaps and bounds. We got a cat named Jacob and soon my lil baby boy Dylan.  He will be with me on Good Friday.

I can't imagine this year past year without my husband. I love him more than word can express. He has given me strength to fight. He is my King, my partner. I had asked God for a man that goes to church.  God laughed at me and gave a Bishop...lol.  Being a pastor's wife is the last thing in the world I ever thought I will be.  I am learning and I am enjoying this road that God has put me on.

I am thankful I am on this earth for another year. As I look back, I notice my obedience has made the last year easier.  I didn't make a move unless God told me to.  Every decision God was consulted. Everything I have been thru has been a learning experience. My faith and trust in the Lord has gotten me this far and I plan on holding His hand for rest of the journey.  I'm starting to believe that sometimes he let go of my hand to allow me to feel the human side so I understand how it feels, so when the time comes I can really help some else in the same situation. But knowing no matter what, all I have to do is reach out and He will be there to take my hand again. 

God has a big plan he is preparing me for. This molding process has been tough and i know he is not finished.
I'm excited about this year.  So I'm holding on tight to God cause this is going to be one very interesting journey.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chemo or No Chemo???????

Well I met with my oncologist yesterday.  She explained my pathology report in more detail to me.  She also answered all my questions. I left that appointment feeling very informed and a little more equipped.  I found out that I had 4 lymph nodes removed instead of 1. And I had what she considers"good cancer" and my oncotype score was not bad.  she gave me the impression that she isn't completely sold on me benefiting from chemo.  Since I am only 5 weeks out from surgery, we still have time to decide on treatment.

I know all the pros and cons now.  pros for taking the chemo: 
1. Reduces the chances of the cancer coming back in 10 years from 15% to 12%
2. I will loose the hair on my legs = no shaving this summer..lol
3. I will only need 4 rounds chemo
4. I will save money on hair care products.

Ok the cons of chemo
1.  I finally let my hair grow...bye bye ( this is not fair, can't I just loose my leg hair)
2. my reconstruction will have to be postponed until 6 weeks after chemo (I really don't like this one) Instead of having it done in May or June.
3. good chance it will make me infertile
4. wearing a wig in the summer is HOT
5. no amusement parks for me this summer
6. toxic meds will be going thru my body
7. it's not 100% that the cancer won't come back some place else on my body
8. I will loose my eyebrows and eye lashes (  OH **** NOO) I don't want to be drawing on my face  to look normal, it will be bad enough that I have 1 fake boob.  the hair everywhere else can go.  Leave the hair on my head..lol
9. Other chemo side effects.....yuck
10. fibromyalgia and chemo does not sound like a good combo.

 That's all I can think of now.  If I look at it from the positive side.  without it I have a 85% chance of it not coming back some place else.  85% is not bad. Plus with a healthy diet and lifestyle I should be good to go.  I have put this in God's hands.  He did tell me to wait to make a decision.  So I am waiting right now.  I have time.  So chemo or no chemo.... I don't know yet.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Driving

I drove today.  I haven't driven a car since about a week before my surgery.  It felt kinda weird and liberating at the same time.  I am sore now.  I still have  to take it kinda easy.  I still can't reach but so far with my right side. Plus I have pain all along my right side of my back. I got my first fill Thursday.  My chest feels tight.  I still have to compress that side for 1 more week.  The Dr. told me it hasn't been 6 weeks yet.  I was like "What?"  It feels like it.  Sleep is uncomfortable again... I guess it's back to my comfy recliner.

 I want to throw a big party next year for my birthday next year.  43 will be awesome because I know in 1 year I will be back to normal in every way.  All my surgeries for reconstruction will be done.I will be feeling strong again.This birthday I will be happy I made it.  Next year I will be happy I survived.

Well back to the driving part.... The Dr. told me it hurts because I haven't used that muscle much. So I can drive short distances.  So I guess I won't be back to work yet since my job requires me to drive around the city.  Plus driving today I think made my chest hurt.  I kept wanting to drive with my right hand. I was in pain every time I did!  I had to act like I had a stick shift to keep from putting my right hand on the wheel.  But I still did it.  I was able to drive my car from the old apartment to our new home. I unpacked part of my kitchen then I needed a nap.  Matt and Jay took care of the living room and the dining room. I slowly did the bathroom and I will work on our bedroom and finish the kitchen this week.  I won't be driving unless I have to. But it still felt good to drive again.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What a difference a year makes!

Next Wednesday  I will be 42. So in 1 year I have lost a gall bladder and a breast. But I have gained a wonderful, loving husband(Matthew Bradby) and soon a baby boy(Dylan), I have a new home and a fabulous church family.  I have been blessed with so many new friends thru Facebook. I have also gain a closeness with God that I wouldn't have made it thru the rough times without.And my faith in God is stronger!  Am I the same person?  Hmmm I'm still caring, loving and all those nice things people say..lol  What is different..... I'm happier, stronger mentally, I allow myself to cry. I have proven to myself that I am a lot tougher than I thought.  I'm still hard headed...lol (God is working with me on that one)

Because of this breast cancer, my life will never be the same.  I have to look at everything different now.  I was looking at summer dresses and tank tops yesterday and I had consider how much of my scar will show.  I never had to even think about that before.  Even in the grocery store I had to watch what food I buy..Organic food is expensive but the other stuff is unhealthy for me. The funny thing was I use to think Fibromyalgia was tough.  Yeah I did have to change how I did some things .....but it just seemed easier.

What a difference a year makes!!  Some might look at last year of my life as being bad, I look at it as being great!!! There were lessons learned.  Every wall that was put in front of me I have knocked down and moved closer to my destiny. These are lessons I will need to master in order to move to my next level.  I must be learning fast with so many of then hitting me in 1 year...lol  The biggest lesson I have learned (this is the one God has been trying to get me to learn most of my life) is to have more faith in myself, trust your gut,trust your strength and always remember God will never leave your side.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Feeling almost normal

Today is a good day, even tho I have a headache that won't go away(sinuses I guess)  But still a good day.  I put on a sports bra today.  I finally took the white surgical vest I had to wear off.  I have to wear it tomorrow when I get my first fill but today  I feel somewhat normal.  With all the bandages I have to wear for compression tucked inside the sports bra I look normal. Even a lil cleavage...lol.

I talked to lady from SOS a breast cancer survivors group.  She like my attitude about cancer.  I had told her that I know that everybody have cancer cells in their bodies but for some reason mine have ADHD and want to party in my body...lol  it sucks! I was good talking to her because she was diagnosed at the same age I was and understood all of my concerns.  I think that group will be good for me. I know its nothing big but a big step for me..  :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Moved

Ok We have moved into our new home.  Thanks to Janet Garland for coming over at the last minute and staying with me late last night.  Thanks to the guys  for helping, I will be cooking a Big thank you dinner for everybody.  Matt wouldn't let me do too much but pack some things. That alone was enough.  I am sore all over.  I mean every muscle in my body is aching. It is mostly my fibromyalgia flaring up.  I didn't get any sleep yesterday so my body is over tired.  I kinda new I would be flaring up today but I'm still thankful to be in my new home.  I do have to get use to steps again......UGGGGG..That is the only thing I miss about the apartment..lol.

Now my breast cancer ... I am doing very well.  I had a couple of muscle spams but doing better and better everyday.  I get my first fill in my tissue expander on Thursday.  I'm a little nervous but ready to move forward. Meet with the oncologist next week.  I got my list of questions and concerns ready. I know I need to make a lot of changes in my life to stay as cancer free as possible. Sucks my cancer cells want to have a party in my body. 

Now we got more room, next step is to get my new baby boy Dylan.  right now its all up to me.  I need to get well enough to be able to pick him up.  He is 9 months old and a lil chunky thing..lol  He is such a cutie pie. I hope to have him home with us by Easter.

So today I will be resting and looking at all these boxes.  My body has told me enough and shutting things down for the day.  That's one thing about fibromyalgia, it will not let me get away with pushing my body.. I will suffer for it later.  Hopefully this flare up only last 1 day.  So its a day of TV and sleep for me.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Not sure what to think

Today I found out a dear friend got a call back from her mammogram Friday. She is calling them back Monday.  Because of what I have gone thru she went and had a mammogram.  She asked me to pray for her.  Of course I will.  I told her to call me as soon after she gets off the pone with them.  I really didn't know what to say.  I didn't want to give her false hope that everything will be OK cause you never know.  I just read that 1 in every 8 women will be diagnose with breast cancer in their life.  What kind of odds are those?  That makes no sense.  What is causing so many women come down with this disease.  Did you know that 14000 women were diagnose with breast cancer in Australia in 2010?   That's just Australia.  This is a crazy life long battle.  First it was the surgery  and now preventive measures to keep it from coming back.  I have to rethink everything now.  How I eat, how I take care of my body.  This whole thing is just mind-blowing when you try to take it all in at one time. I feel for my girlfriend.  I am praying she doesn't have to join this club. The people in it are great but we are not here because we want to be in this club. 

I know early detection is very important and I know that it is why my time has been as "easy" as it has.  If I didn't catch it as early as I did probably at this time It would have spread to my lymph nodes and on its why thru out my body.  Nobody could have paid me enough a year ago for me to believe I would have breast cancer now.  To this day it's still hard to believe.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Promises were kept.

I was promised that all I needed was surgery.  And yes that was all I needed to get rid of the present cancer. God kept his promise to me.  He also told it it wasn't going to be easy.  I had questioned that because I actually having a easy time healing with no problems or complications.  I thought I had this cancer thing in the bag, thrown out, gone, CANCER FREE.  Well God did keep his promise, all I needed was surgery to rid my body of this cancer.  Then I find out that there was more cancer in my breast then what was first found and my test score came back higher then I had expected.  So I asked God "What is up with this?  You promised all I needed was surgery."  Now the fight is to keep it from coming back.  This is so much harder than I ever expected.  Some people reactions are really throwing for a loop.  I am so scared...so so scared. I don't want to go thru this again.  Nothing is guaranteed.  God did tell me I wouldn't die from this.  Did he mean breast cancer or cancer in general?  I'm praying for help in this decision. I'm being told to wait.  I guess the answer will be clear when the time is right. My surgeon said that the oncology team highly recommend chemo because of my young age and that multiple tumors were found. I believe that if i didn't have the surgery when I did, it would have spread to my lymph nodes then there wouldn't be any questions. But God had my Dr. move quickly cause he was concerned about my lymph nodes. Sometimes I wonder if I should have had my other breast removed but I don't think that would have helped much since the cancer can show up else where in my body ie: bones,liver.

What to do...what to do..All God is telling me right now is wait. That is what I have been doing but the wait is not easy.  God has been honest with me and no matter what others may think He is what have been guiding me. He has not steered me wrong yet on this journey. I'm holding on to my faith with all my might. I was told this will be tough... I guess this is the rough, rocky road I'm about to travel. All I can do is strap on my seat belt and had God the keys.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Oncotype test results (chemo or no chemo)

 I went to see my surgeon yesterday to get the results of my Oncotype DX test.(to see if I need chemo) plus get a better understanding of my pathology report. Well the pathology report was good. my margins were clear and nodes negative. I originally had 2 tumors they found a 3rd. and the Dcis was 4.1 cm and no metastases, so the mastectomy was the best thing for me. so I had Stage 1A cancer. He said this was the best type to have.   Now normally that would be treated with just tamoxifen for 5 years BUT..... My Oncotype DX test was a 23 which put me in the middle of the middle of the chart for benefiting from chemo. The test tells me I have a 15% chance of the cancer coming back in 10 years or 85% of it never coming back. My surgeon is consulting with a team of 3 Oncologist today and will tell me what was said later this evening and then I will consult with them. This really suck because it falls in my hands on what to do. I didn't know where else to turn. Of course my husband doesn't want me to go thru chemo neither do I but it's one thing to not want it but need it (like the surgery)and another to not want it and maybe you will or maybe you wont benefit from it. How do you make such a decision for your life. This is so unfair Cancer sucks. I'm not looking for someone to make this decision for me. 
 God told me this morning that my fight is just beginning.  I know that I have way too much to live for.  I feel like I should flip a coin because this whole this is really up to chance. God tells me things change.  It has just really hit me that this is a fight I will be fighting for the rest of my life. My husband and children need me.  My daughter and I are planning a trip to Paris next year to celebrate me beating this mess.  I'm Mad now. I know some women are having a harder time then I am and I know my cancer is easier to deal with but this whole cancer this is just wrong. I still don't know what me decision will be i still need to meet with the Oncologist after my surgeon does.  I'm praying God will have an answer for me by then.  I guess I'm still waiting( the patience test..lol)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Feeling some kind of way

I'm feeling some kind of way today.  Today is the day I get the results of the OncotypeDX Test (tells me the chances of the cancer coming back).  I find out if I need chemo or not.  I know God told me "just surgery"  He also told me I will be ok.  Me and my family have been given so many blessings sine we found out about the cancer.  God has told me this road will be tough and hard but it will be worth it in the end.  I was also told that there are more blessings to come.

While looking over the paperwork and my pathology report I notice that my cancer had changed.  When it was first found they were a stage 0 and stage 1.  By the time of surgery they were a stage 1 and stage 2.  The tumors had grown larger. So I know several of my other numbers that they use as markers must have increased. That is why I am concerned.  I wonder if the original treatment plan has changed.  God has me on this road where I don't know where I going and all I know is I will be ok at the end.  This is not easy to surrender all to God (especially when I like to control everything...lol)  I know this is a test of my faith and each time I hold on He blesses me for my obedience. I'm not sure if being scared is what I'm feeling or worry.. I don't know what it is I just feel some kind of way.

I still don't like taking a shower.  I haven't gotten use to my new body.  The good thing is that when I went to church this past Sunday, you couldn't tell anything was gone cause I have so  much padding compressing me I look almost even.lol   I know I will have new boobs by summer..... There goes that test of patience again I guess..lol.. This blog has been great therapy. I have been reading other survivors stories too.  They seem to help a lot. So tonight I find out how I will be spending my spring and summer.  All I keep hearing is God saying" I got you"

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

My 1st Shower

I took my first shower today......  It was a very surreal moment.  Bandages gone, drain tube gone, breast gone.  All I could do is look at myself in the mirror.  The last shower I took was the morning of my surgery. I had to wash with that special stuff the Dr. gave me so it would reduce infection.  I had smelled like medicine ..lol  Today I was able to wash with my own shower gel.  As I stepped into the shower I was kinda scared to get the right side wet.  I am still numb in that area and under my arm. I was happy with my body.  I was very proud of the body I had at the age of 41, especially my breast.. I really really liked them.  Now I have to get use to this new body.  I know I will have a new breast soon but its not the same.  The shower felt good.  I didn't do much with the "right"side because it is still healing so I just washed around it.  I'm praying my test comes back that I don't need chemo or radiation. This going too take some time getting use to.

3 weeks today

It has been 3 weeks since my surgery.  Things have been very interesting the past couple of days.  I went to church Sunday.  I had quite a bit of anxiety about going.  Me being loopsided started to get to me for the first time. And with me being the "First Lady" I knew people would be looking at me.  The only person who saw my tears was my husband.  He did his best to talk me down and convinced me not to wear this huge sweater I wanted to wear(I probably would have lost 10lb in sweat if I wore it lol).  When we got to the church I went straight to my office.  I had to sit in there a bit before joining everyone else for service.  Everybody was so nice and loving. They did everything they could to make sure I was comfortable as possible. I'm glad I went.  I love Faith Church Baltimore.  I did discover that you use some of your chest muscles when you clap.. so clapping during praise and worship was a little tough.  After service, my hubby fed me some fried fish (another one of my cravings) and I slept the rest of the day.

I guess this is where the fibromyalgia really kicks in.  I slept most of Monday. Good news is I was able to get my drainage tube removed on Tuesday.  The Dr. said I am healing well and they will start filling my expander in 2 weeks.  I had another anxiety moment right before my appointment.  I just started getting frustrated with not being able to be independent like I was before cancer.  I know in time I will be, it still gets to me.  I finally got use to dealing with the fibromyalgia and now cancer.  I still don't know what my treatment will be for sure. I guess God is having me repeat the lesson on patience.  Waiting for my body to heal, waiting for the test results, waiting for my new breast.... yeah. I'm repeating this lesson. So now I'm sore from where the tube was removed and I have to have my right "breast" compressed at all times so fluid doesn't build up before they start to fill the expander(this is uncomfortable).  I still have to take it easy.  Honestly... I'm tired of taking it easy...lol  I have been resting and sleeping for 3 weeks now.  Guess I have to be patient.

Friday, March 2, 2012

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3/2/2012

Today I am feel good.  I washed my hair by myself.  I had to do it in the kitchen sink because of the drain tube still in me  but It is done and I feel so much better.  I would love to flat iron it but I know that will have to wait so it's just wrapped up.  I was able to put a shirt over my head yesterday.  It was a big tshirt so I didn't have to raise my arm much. I'm gonna start working on getting my stamina up.  This being tired all the time is for the birds. As soon as I can I'm going to take up yoga... I know it will be a few weeks before I can Zumba.  I know I have to take better care of myself  to help keep the cancer from coming back. 

We did get good news last night.  My hubby found a house for us.  He want me to go see it before he sign anything, so tomorrow will be the first time out the house and not seeing a Dr.  I am a little nervous cause of how I look.  If I wear a big shirt you won't see the difference.  as soon as I get the ok from my plastic surgeon, the American Cancer Society will help me even things out...lol  So with all that said, I will probably be moving at the end of March. 

Thanks to Facebook I have been able to still chat with my daughter while she is in Italy.  It's funny she had been over there for only 2 days and she already have over 200 pic posted on her page.  I love it because I feel like I am visiting Italy without leaving my living room.  I can't wait to go visit someday.  I'm looking forward to my life being normal again. Well as close to normal as my life can be...lol.  I'm looking at life a little different and the people in it...but that's another whole blog entry.  I feel a change coming.......