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  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
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
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


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  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 (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  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

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  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


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

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  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 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

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  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   I know I will have new boobs by summer..... There goes that test of patience again I 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  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  I have been resting and sleeping for 3 weeks now.  Guess I have to be patient.

Friday, March 2, 2012


Check out this new way to test how much you really know.  It's fun.


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  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  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.......