And So it began

"ONCE UPON A TIME"....there came along this little lump...insignificant really when you compare it to the entire world of lumps. That is, right up to the point that it wasn't...insignificant I mean............... and so began my journey.

A NEWER SHADE OF I more then SURVIVE...I am learning to THRIVE...

OF COURSE... we all know things are bound to get a little crazy with a surprise around most every corner...not to mention an assortment of bumps and bruises along the way...but I am ever thankful for them all...they have all made me who I am. So buckle up, hold on tight and enjoy the ride thru what I lovingly refer to as LIFE

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Can I just say....this has been the craziest 24hrs!!!!
So I went for my biopsy yesterday...while doing the repeat ultrasound (to find the spots the MRI did cause we know it is all seeing....kinda like "the great and powerful Oz) they couldn't actually find clearly enough anything to biopsy....good or bad...not sure just they are sending me back for an MRI guided biopsy. Now you know my needle issue...I had "tough talked" myself into being all brave and stuff...not gonna lie...kind of a let-down. I mean I had gotten so relaxed with the idea...I just may have dozed on the bed waiting for the radiologist....(ok...that could have had more to do with jet lag/no sleep/playing with my girls than really being okay with the needle thing). All I can say is that when they go searching with an ultrasound paddle and can't find what they are looking for.....I thought they were gonna come out the back side of my ribs....needless to say...a tad tender today.

 So while I am a BIG smidge miffed that I had to fly home early (14 days..but who's counting) and now have to wait for the "actual" biopsy....maybe as much as 3 weeks...I can rest and regroup. I am finding that my headaches are way worse and the heat just wipes me out really fast and I am still sore from the last one (blasted nerve endings)...not enjoying that little bonus one bit....ARGGGG!!!

 My plan was to call this morning and see about the MRI and wouldn't you believe it...they called first and gave me an Aug 23rd appt. I know what you are thinking...cause I am too...."As if I flew home for nothing and now have to wait 3 weeks...double ARGGG!!!" I just need to keep reminding myself that the Lord is running this show and it is all happening on His time frame...when it's supposed to.... so although annoyed...I'm okay with it. He hasn't left my side yet and so I just need to take this a step at a time and not get all kerfuffle when it derails my plans. Now that isn't to say that I don't do my part by make calls and ask questions and just staying on top of my own care (be MY advocate)...I just need to sit back and let it fall into place.

     Funny story though....I can be a bit of an airhead...especially in the morning....and so I forgot to ask where this MRI is gonna happen…Yes I had to call back and wait on hold again...but when I ask "Bob" to check the location for me and he can't find my appt...(the one I JUST booked) he spends 10 minutes looking for me....pulling out his magic wand and waves the fairy dust my way...and POW...he gets me booked in for Aug 9th...which means my flight home wasn't for nothing...and I would have had to cut it short anyway....sigh!!! (I SOOOOOO need to meet him and lay some BIG OL' MAMA HUG on him!!)  
    I never want to be "that" kind of a patient....I know it has helped and had an effected me....but VoR pointed out an interesting observation to me....I almost didn't include it....kinda feel like it's blowing my own horn and all...but here it is...
"It's amazing how your positive attitude is affecting the medical providers in ways that make them want to move mountains for you. Because you are so positive you never have to ask for things to be sped up because they just find ways to make it happen. They do it because of who you are and how your present yourself. It’s all about gratitude (with a large dose of humour) and you show it whenever you go to an appointment." 
Isn't he  FREAKIN AWESOME!!!! 
I have tried really hard to be positive and joyful thru each step so far and with everyone I encounter. (I didn't even have to pay him to say that....actually I hadn't stepped back enough to see the big picture unfold like he has. I just need to remind myself to wait and watch things being put into place in the Lord's time....miracles are everywhere if we just choose to look for them....and just because some are tiny and easily missed, that doesn't make them any less a miracle.

Monday, July 30, 2012 luck would have it.....

     Here I sit in the Airport on my way home after just 5 days of my 21 day VaCa. I got a hold of the biopsy people and discovered IF I postponed my appointment for Monday...they couldn't get me in until end of August at the earliest and that "it really was strange that there was an opening so quickly for me".....after talking to my oncology nurse, she advised that I get straight home for this appointment so we don't push surgery back (cause we still don't know that date until Monday morning when his office opens) on the chance it is already scheduled early in August. (not gonna lie....the Hag may have made a private appearance for a few minutes...lucky no one was around and I just "hagged" out loud about how annoyed I was...done)

    On the upside....we are taking care of this little Breast Cancer (bc) TROLL before he can really start recruiting more trolls to join this party. The biggest downer....having time to visit all the family I wanted it to since my trip was so fast. They all understand (as I knew they would) but a bummer all the same.

     But the cancer calls - as it will continue to do in its effort to disrupt/destroy/overrun, even steal my life...IT WILL NOT HAPPEN....maybe inconvenience me here and there but that is all the power I am will to give it… I can't even begin to know how impossible this all would be if I felt like I was all alone and thought the "grim reaper" was hanging over my head....even knowing that the majority of women survive and thrive after would weigh so heavy in the back of my mind and I know my resolve and head space would constantly be fighting the feeling of "just biding my time waiting for the worst". My heart goes out to any of my BC sisters who are in that are in my prayers.

     I am so blessed to know that the Lord has a plan for me and that I can go thru anything because I know He is here with me and that He has already felt every second of what I will go thru while he was in the Garden of Gethsemane. It is humbling to know that He felt all of my pains, sickness, and sins that I would face in this life and it often makes me stop and think...How Many Drops of Blood did I make Him shed and am I doing things that pushed that crown of thorns deeper on his head???

...And now...we wait...


Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Well let me just say….I have now just made it over my first 2 hurdlesYippee for me (insert happy dance).  Now let’s be honest here for a second…in the grand scheme of things these are pretty little hurdles for most people….but for “the world’s biggest needle chicken” these were HUGE!!!!  After all….just the pictures on Sunday did me in….now fast forward to the MRI tonight….
     I have to be honest…my heart was beating a smidge faster as we  drove to the hospital but nothing I couldn’t handle….then we got to the waiting room to register for the MRI….(insert dramatic/foreboding movie music)and wouldn’t you know it….out walks a lady with the IV sticking out of her hand?!?!?  Well…that was it…I went white as a sheet and green around the gills and started sweating all in the space of about 15 seconds!!!  I actually had to go stand in the hall…and that started the adventure ….as for the MRI itself…not too bad….but what a fiasco!!!  It started with missing blood work and ended with 25 minutes face down in what sounded like being inside a concrete footing being pounded into the ground…an adventure for sure….(email me if you want more info…especially if you are facing one)

     The doctor did warn me that MRI’s show everything and over 70% of what it sees is nothing to worry about so if they call me to do more biopsies…don’t panic…it is really more to just to rule it out. She did say that there are 2 more spots they want to check and an inflamed lymph node.  It could be sucky….but I am still calm about it…after all….if it’s there, it’s there and nothing I can do will change it.  All I can do is hold tight to my faith and that sweet assurance that all will be well and it is in God’s hands and He has the plan…I just add it to the list and continue to walk on.
     I had been planning a trip to go see my girls for a couple of weeks (before this all started) so after talking to my surgeon we all decided that going away for my quick little vacation to see my girls would be good for me... so off I fly….I got to my first connection and had a phone message that my results were already back and that I need to be back home in 4 days for more biopsies. (insert REALLY sad face!!!)  I am hoping to put it off for a week but that will all depend on when I get a surgery date…I will know for sure tomorrow when I need to get this thing taken out and when I need to head home.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

     The "HAG" has popped in for a quick visit...and with my lack of sleep, and that little life altering event called BC....I am not playing my "A" game today (the game face has relaxed a smidge)...sorry VoR!! (and he still loves me ...even likes to hang around me...go figure?!??!)

      Just in case you were curious (inquiring minds want to know...and all that stuff) cancer has not changed my life when it comes to technology....ARGG!!! Sadly, I repel it (shameless movie plug). As you have probably noticed I now have a "follow by email" here's the isn't linking up (insert head hanging pout). I can see that you have sent me your emails...but ....that is as far as it goes. So when that happens...who better to call than "Pragmatically speaking" my own go to guy. He got in and checked all my setting and schmutz I didn't know existed and everything is hooked up just isn't working. Sooo..."long story short"-you are back to having to go “old school” and take the time to look and see what's new.

     My other moment of "WOOW"!!! happened today too. I was going over a cancer care booklet they put together at the office for new patients...and I think I may have gone too far...Not really. They were showing pictures and talking about all the dyes they will inject into my boob (don't be offended by the is shorter to type), and staples, stitches, pumps, drains and dressings after surgery and...can I just say....I don't think I have ever seen this color of green!!! It doesn't help that I have a doozer of a headache today (must be brewing up a big storm outside) Okay...stop laughing anytime!!! I should have expected that knee-jerk reaction...needles always make me queasy..I have to turn away if they are on TV. Now don't be thinkin I am wimp...I love to watch "movies for guys who like movies" (minus horror) and they never hit me like this. So sadly here I am almost 3 hours later...not feeling much better…and yes….I know this is just the beginning…it just happens to be a really big beginning point for me.

    I guess this was the first test to the full faith and trust I have been so confident about. Awful and ugly I can envision just fine....needles and pumps....not so much....SIGH 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

     I don't know exactly what I was expecting.....but this first visit with my surgical oncologist was just....different. then what was in my head... 

     First lesson learned....don't google your doctor name or go to "rate for your doctor" online thingies!!! I know a common sense person would know this ....I missed that particular memo.  I dont' trust much of what is on the web so it didn't make me panic but it did leave me wondering a smidege.They gave him an awful rating for "personality and ability to relate/communicate with patient, rushing thru appointments, not answering questions".... just to name the main thing..."Great"!!!  WELL....he didn't fit into any of those worrisome categories....He was awesome!!!  Just exactly the doctor I can work/smile/learn and journey with.  This is gonna be good. 

     Second lesson.....they don't give you a whole whack of info about you (your personal case) in more then little snippets.  They only know what is discovered with each test and procedure and that I what they comment on with the "possible" next step "depending on what pathology finds. I totally thought that would drive the "I need the big picture with all the possible out comes so I am ready" but not at all.  He gave me the suspected plan of attack based on his impressions, barring some huge changes found in my MRI.  

      SOOOOO....what that means is we will know more by Friday and that (at this point) a lumpectomy will be the first step.  He will go in and take the lump and surrounding tissue and a test spot of lymph more pathology on that to rule out any spread...then either hormone therapy or chemo so far!! (happy dancing) and I feel the same calm and peace I have always hard thru this.....WOW!!! 

     Third lesson... I know, now that I am armed with new info it is time to tell some dear friends that I love about this cancer.  I have been waiting until I had all the info but now that I know you Never have All the Info....I needed to tell them personally before they heard from someone else or saw thru some social media.  It really is an "out of left field" kind of odd call to make.  They had great reactions... (shock first but...  reactions were great.  Their offers of love and "whatever I need" were overwhelming to me....they are all "family to me" and to feel the love and all their arms linked buildng athis protective wall around me was truly humbling. I am so blessed!!!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

     Here I sit today....less then 24 hours from my first Oncology appointment and kind of at a real loss. I am armed with a list of questions....sadly, they are only questions for me that I don't have any answers to...

.....What do you ask? What isn't automatically covered in this first meeting...test, surgeries, procedures, treatments? What am I wanting to get a "heads-up" about (I ALWAYS have to have all my ducks in a row...just in case)? What am I gonna kick myself about cause I forgot to ask (as soon as I step out of the office)?  Not all questions just naturally jump into my head at the most convenient times...actually it's pretty hit and miss really....sometimes completely out of the blue... You see my problem?????.....I guess this is what I am trying to say....  

(You are told you are gonna have to get out of your chair & learn how to walk.... Now understand that you have never seen someone actually have heard that lots of people do one ever really talks about it and what it will involve other then it isn't gonna be easy and even hurt a bit.... The only advice you get is...."be sure you have your big list of questions all ready"!! ... I am sure they mean besides the obvious common sense ones that I would assume get answered as they give you info.)

    So you can see....I am feeling pretty frustrated!!! Funny thing is that I am frustrated at what I see as a real lack of preparation and readiness for this appointment...NOT with the cancer itself. I really have never asked "Why me?"..."What did I do wrong to deserve this"..."Why am I being punished?" "Why did God let this/cause this to happen?" I have, from the start beeen really okay with this and continue to feel that way. That whatever I need to go thru (needles included ....YUCK!!!) He is always with me and will make it bearable (not to be confused with easy) and I will come thru the other side so much more then I am now.

      I have decided that someone needs to create a "Things to ask your doctor" list of all those things we should ask...if we knew we had a question....(?s=info....or info=?s).....all goes back to that blasted chicken and the egg theory....argg!!!


     I have (for my own sanity...and lousy memory) put together a "The Boob Book"....The List of appts, contacts, test results, and all the rest of the papers/info from the doctor. My plan is that it is gonna become my left arm....(VoR is my right one)....for keeping all this schmutz organized...ya...we will see how long this plan works...but I am ever the optimist so here's hoping....just sayin....
 **Things are continuing to move along quite quickly as far as the medical feel is concerned...I have a MRI for Monday that they just called and booked for me...sweet!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


THANK YOU NIKKI....your unconditional love and friendship and blog brilliance have forever changed my life....You know what you mean to me!!! Thanks for sharing this little blurb I do with the world you create. To all who have come and sat under my tree ... Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!!! Your emails of support, humor, love are so amazing to me.

     I have to say that my mind is going a hundred miles an hour!!!!! I'm sure if you were here you could not only see the flames but smell the smoke coming out of my ears from by brain frying!!!

     I am trying to get my house....well... specifically really my little corner (office/control center/edge of chaos/etc...etc) ready for when I start feeling lousy...cause I am sure that is I have a peaceful place to come and do this, email loved ones, skype with friends, read, get the picture. We just finished renovating and so things were a smidge (ok...a lot) out of whack. The Voice of Reason (VoR for will hear me talk about him a ton....cause He is my split apart) has worked long and hard to make it beautiful for me along with a ton of other rooms in our home and so I rush to get the pictures hung and stacks un-piled. I have always known I had a is in my gene make up really....I am a Pilot...there is not a pile of papers that I don't know exactly how far down something is and can retrieve it on demand....don't mom and sisters and daughters all rock at this too...just ask our families (see in our genes.) Krap...I digress!!! has been a long process but I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. There are no longer stacks on the floor and my flat surfaces....are FLAT...who knew!!! I have a couple of extra projects that are on a deadline so they are messing up the new digs but when they are done and the final pictures are will be everything I had hoped for.

     I have had some moments lately of almost forgetting I have a life threatening disease. VoR brought me home a book that a good friend/survivor suggested I read. It was hugely intimidating (all 708 pages) but she made me promise to only read to where I am at on this path and not look I have done that and so I guess the limited info that I have and not having yet met with specialist just almost sometimes feels like a non-issue. Then I think "WAIT A TICK!!!"

     I think I should be feeling all sorts of wild emotions that I just can't seem to bring myself to feel. If for a split second my mind tries to go into the icky/ugly/messy stuff that is ahead I hear this voice say to me "It's okay, I've got this" and then I am filled with the most amazing sense of peace and love. I have really tried to go to that darker/"more realistic" place/frame of mind/attitude whatever you call it about this and I JUST CAN'T....because for that I am so full of gratitude to my Savior and I AM okay with that.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Let me put in my personal disclaimer....

I LOVE CAPS!!! (and exclamation points. brackets and multiple little dots)

PLEASE DO NOT assume this means I am yelling or mad!!! I am a just a tad "old school" (some would argue more than a tad) and so I use them for emphasis and cause the font choices here SUCK. I use them when I am excited, annoyed or feel passionately about something….or when I just want to get your attention. These (….) little babies I use a TON cause I seem to have trouble finishing a sentence…cause I tend to just let my thoughts ramble.

Now....that being said (cleared up)....I saw this video clip and I tend to agree with what I think they were trying to say....sadly….in their attempt to “re-personalize” this disease...

I feel that quite often we (society as a whole) have lost sight of the real focus and have allowed ourselves to get all swallowed up by this big "Pink Monster" (and all the big business that goes along with it) forgetting that we are real women, each of us in a battle for our lives...& yes, even our boobs themselves.  Unless you are touched personally....or by someone you love, it is all about the pink ribbons. Now having said that, don't get me quote someone brilliant...

“Sure money is being made, but like everything in life it takes money to make money. Research, education, support, etc., costs money and corporations don't do anything unless they will make something too. It's a trade off in my opinion.” (Empress of Awesomeness)
It Really comes down to, they are gonna play football anyway...let them wear pink runners and raise some cash, you are going to buy a phone....why not make it pink, Avon is still going to sell product...let them donate some list could go on, but you get my point.
I KNOW this is a journey that each of us was thrown on, without ever asking our permission, giving us a choice, or an "easy" button to hit. All we have is what we are graced with and who we surround ourselves with. I know that as I have I stepped onto this path I have felt my Savior's loving arms envelope me and fill me with the peaceful assurance that I do not take a single step along this journey alone. He is here to guide and direct me through the rough road ahead and I have true faith in Him and His plans for me.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

To quote a famous Andrews
(Miss Julie )...
"Let's start at the very beginning..."

"Once upon a time"....there came along this little lump...insignificant really when you compare it to the entire world of lumps. That is, right up to the point that it wasn't...insignificant I mean.

So Begins My Journey
("Through Breast Cancer and Beyond"...thanks Buzz)