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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

     I am really feeling a SLUG kinda....I have been sooooo busy this week trying to get all the things done I NEED to before Wednesday morning (drs, tests, etc).....(not to mentions all the little things I WANT to get done)....that I find myself suddenly at the end of the week and I haven't had any time really to do what I LOVE....this!!!!  Sadly...this isn't much of an entry, as today is the "final get the house ready" push so I have things set up the way I want  for when I am feeling lousy ( would drive me crazy).  It all goes back to having all my bases covered and getting my duck in a's just who I am.

    One of the biggest bummers for me...(okay so there are more then a few when you stop to think about it....luck for me I can keep myself ...with lots of help from above from doing that) is that my already limited ability to eat the few things I TRULY love to may be altered significantly by a change in my buds due to the chemo chemicals.  SOOOOOOO.....tonight VoR is taking me for ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT......wait for it.....CRAB!!!!!!  Words can't even begin to describe the level of my excitement!!!!!  I told him a couple of nights ago I was going to spend til Wed eating everything I love since they limit what you eat because they want to protect your mouth from any mishaps (heat, cold, sharp, spicy, acidic...all the fun stuff).  I see my future being filled with warm plain pasta noodles and white rice...sigh!! Good thing I really don't mind that at all.

     You will never know what all your
you all do means to me!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

     As I sit and let my mind wonder from reflecting to looking forward I stop and ponder on how this journey has changed for me from where I started.....not in a bad way.....just a change/growth.  It has moved from a simple "boob issue" in the beginning to "can you get me a Kleenex" this week.

     I have not been overly emotional so far (except for a few minutes on the first day) until this past week and it took me by surprise (though it certainly shouldn't have).  It wasn't caused by stuff that has or will happen to me but because of the collateral damage that this little ugly troll has inflicted on my life and those around me.  I have for the most part adjusted to my new normal and the realities that I now face...but that fact that important, one time only events will move along without me is a little harder for me to come to terms with.  Not that I would want their lives to come to a screeching halt because of me...but missing milestones in my family's lives are just harder to accept. 

     My 3rd granddaughter will be born while I am still going thru chemo (for some funny reason....they don't like you travelling too far in the middle of treatment) I will miss those precious moments that come with a new baby.  I am thankful for skype and face time but you just can't duplicate that glorious new baby smell and feel....or kiss those beautiful little cheeks.  There is just a special bond that happens when that tiny hand grabs hold of your finger.  Things like babies just don't wait for anything, anyone or usually when it's convenient. It is truly amazing how little babies bring about the greatest changes in everything we are, all that we know and how we feel about life.  These little ones have the grandest capacity to instill love in all our hearts

(this cutie isn't one of ours but what a great photo)
     I found out that they have moved my chemo start date ahead so I actually have my first treatment Oct 3rd instead of the Oct. 15th. So there goes any chance for VoR to get away for a few days before this ride starts since it is gonna last well into the Spring.  They aren't kidding when they say that this cancer thing can last an entire year.

Friday, September 21, 2012

     It is mind boggling to me that 6 months ago we were all together as a family on vacation celebrating my BIG 50 and now I sit doing all the pre-tests before starting chemo!!!  What crazy twist and turns life takes.  The minute you become comfortable and complacent with where you are in your voyage thur this life you get thrown a curve ball that will either build you or break you....the choice is really make it wisely.  It teaches you many valuable lessons...the biggest for me can never bank on or be sure of tomorrow.  Everything you know about your life and the plans you have can be flipped in an instant.

     In that heartbeat when your normal turns into a runaway train picking up steam and roaring down the know you can't stop it so you just hold on tight and praying that it stays on the rails and  makes the jump to the NEW normal track.  You know it will eventually find the new track and slow itself  down you just have to pray that it's a  peaceful and smooth transition.  It won't ever be like it was before....that heartbeat will never be repeated or is what it is and we learn and grow from and with it.

     The bonus of great life changing events is the great learning and growth that is there for you to grasp onto if you are willing to accept and embrace it.  The old "normals" aren't always the best and who you are is completely different so where your journey takes you has changed as's a new Jumping Off Point....welcome it fully and take in every second....who's to say the new path isn't WAY better then where ever you were headed before.

Monday, September 17, 2012

     Over the last couple weeks I have fallen into a new pattern/routine for my life as it will be for the next few months....I try to sleep whenever the urge hits not look at the clock first and push myself (balance and pace is the order not seeing how tough I am).....reading everything that the doctors can give me about chemo and radiation treatments (to the point of brain blurr).....and watching mindless TV (Discovery, TLC,  History and HGTV are the current favs)

     I didn't think much about being sick before my surgery (just a boob issue) but it has taken me longer than I think it should to get back on my feet....not the bounce right back like in the old days.  I do feel really good....until I overdue it....and overdoing it comes WAYYY faster then before.  This was the eye opening, sobering revelation for me.  You see....when VoR leaves the car home for me I have my mile long list of running around I want to get done....Friday....I went to the dentist, Walmart and the Library and felt like I had been shot out of a cannon!!!  My right arm (surgery side) hurt a ton from all that is involved with driving a car and I was POOPED!!!  I am thinking....3 things....REALLY!?!?!? It totally hit home that this is more then a boob surgery...this is major body disease that I am in a constant battle with.  Every cell is fighting for survival and this is a big deal....and this learning curve is HUGE!!!!  Maybe at long last I will learn how to pace myself

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

     We are now 3 weeks post surgery and wow has the time flown by!!! I am still in pain....sadly....but to be expected when a nerve has been involved with the incision healing.....we are just hoping that it will eventually calm down and go away!!!!

     There has been such a huge amount of info and appointments thrown at me in the last few days I'm not sure my head has stopped spinning yet.....

     Friday was my (post-op) follow-up with the surgeon  where we found out the pathology from the tumor they removed and that 1 lymph node was also positive for cancer. Nothing that any of was wanted to hear but what we expected to hear. So I am off to meet the oncologist in the next couple of weeks to figure out our plan of attack. So I spent the weekend with VoR hanging out getting used to the chemo idea, knowing we have a couple of weeks to digest this latest info....WRONG!!!!

     Monday morning first thing I get a call from the oncology department with an appoint for tomorrow (Tuesday) with the oncologist and pathologists as well as an appt next week with a radiologist next week. Shocking....they just "happened" to have a cancellation again and hoped I was interested in taking it.....YA!!!!! Once again....the Lord is opening doors for me to fast-track thru the still amazes me.

     Tuesday....The closer I get to the appointment time the more nervous (sick to my tummy) I get. I am thinking this must be a pre-warning system that my body knows something's up and my head just hasn't figured it out yet....or...I am just a big old chicken and know that this is gonna involve needles an throwing 2 LEAST favorite things to do. So this is where everything up to this point all gets put together to give you the complete picture of your cancer....mine was not so pretty....but Trolls usually aren't. I have what they class as Grade 3 (ugliest, most aggressive type) and my cancer cells are Triple Negative (not protein, estrogen or fem-2 fed) so what this means is....they can not specialize a particular chemo to target just those cells....they have to hit everything full force. The call it the "Quick and Dirty treatment" 8 rounds of full force chemo (1 dose every 2 weeks) followed by some nasty shot then when it's all over....radiation. Those details I will learn next week.

     Now don't think I have time to sit around and feel sorry for myself....I have a whack load of tests and stuff to do before Oct. 9th final follow up with the oncologist before chemo starts. Blood work is the first order of business then echo cardiogram next week, a pik line (so I don't need to get poked each chemo appt), chest and abdominal and bone scans.....I think that's it so far......emphasis on the SO FAR part. Then you add the follow-ups with the surgical staff for the boob and my dance card is getting pretty full.  

 Like I have always said....

Thursday, September 6, 2012

(calm endurance of pain; quiet & self-possessed;
waiting for something;
 living in the silence; peaceful; irritated by no longest able to endure)

     It is one of those completely misleading words.....on the surface it seems harmless enough...BUT as we all know...Looks can be deceiving... when you start reading the definitions...WOW!!!! Here are a few of the definitions...
Don't lose your temper, don't hold hard feelings toward your brother, be forgiving, hold tight to the iron rod, hold strong and true to your covenants and convictions, allow others to make mistakes and not take it personal...just to name a few.

      It is one of those rare words that brings immediate reaction of "OH KRAP!" cause you just know that it is gonna take you thru a process that usually involves work and usually a fair amount of time.  And there is always something we can learn from it. I guess for like the Lord is sayin "batten down the hatches, it's gonna be a bumpy ride." There never seems to be a "fast-track" thru it so be sure you turn to Him always and take in every moment of this. This is where you find out who your co-pilot truly is because we all know that there will be more unpleasant stuff thrown at you trying to pull you down you can but BE SURE to be open the line of communication as you learn to rely on Him more fully.

(definitely an action word)

It involves action that isn’t' easily takes humbling yourself and understanding that you need to be patient with a few key people to really live this concept...

1)Be patient with yourself!!! You are not gonna be perfect overnight, you are gonna   have to departmentalize your pain and your exhaustion...when it hits the wall

2)Acknowledge and be patient with your limitations - no matter how temporary they are
3)Be patient with those who come to serve you - it might not get done exactly the way you do things but it's done to their best ability and you should be  truly thankful... not nitpicking every detail to point out all the "wrong" things they did.)
     We need to search deep down in our hearts to realize that these are definitely a gift from God but it will be a rocky path with lots of pitfalls and discouragements and most isn't easily achieved, but when we are being pushed beyond what we think is our limit...we are quick to realize that it has been replaced with such inner peace and you fully KNOW trust the Lord's plan and that often means holding tight to that iron rod and peacefully enduring to the end.
     It is important to acknowledge at this point that we will want to race thru parts of this journey but we also realize that we really need to sit back (with that testimony in your heart that God knows all) and feel to our very soul that He gives us these things to build our testimonies (even our very character) and to gain experience. We need to sit back and experience all of it...the hard and the easy, the pain and health, the alone and encircled by both the heavenly ones and earthly ones. What better way to watch and learn? We are powerless to find anyway to rush thru

     Believe me...
Patience is nowhere near my fave lesson to learn!!!

 BUT that being said... it is a lesson nonetheless and without them we wouldn't be who we are... you see...every breath we take, every decision we make, any change that a random thought brings you...leaves a mark on our soul either for good or bad. How many of these lessons will force us to follow thru all of it and make us humble and willing to become what the Lord has created to be??? Do we trust and reap the blessing or stand frozen in place letting FEAR over power us?
It really comes down to one BIG question...
What are you willing to do without ??

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

      Let me start by saying....I can't believe how krappy I am feeling. It seems to be the further I get from surgery the more painful it gets!!! I'm sure it has to do with the nerve block finally fully coming out....whatever the SUCKS!!! Not to mention all the crazy sensations...phantom boob and all. Your nerves do all sorts of crazy things when they have been cut of interfered with....for example...the backside of my bicep feels like the nerves are all sitting on the surface so every time it touches anything it is like sandpaper on an open wound (too graphic....sorry) All I know is that is not making me a happy person....I think I am whining all the time but according to VoR he hasn't heard me so I must be timing my episodes perfectly.

      On the upside...I am gaining back some of my independence...I can dress myself...get in and out of bed and pull my own toilet paper (stop laughing already....that is a HUGE accomplishment...just sayin). These may not seem worth mentioning but with VoR going back to work....these are huge hurdles to get over before he leaves. He has been the BEST NURSE EVER!!!!!

      Now you add to all that schmutz...the sudden and total exhaustion that comes out of nowhere wiping me right out and causes me to stop everything and sleep...NOW!!! have a pretty good snapshot of my day. Today for example...I was in the middle of this post and BOOM!!!! I had to sleep....4 hrs later I am back to finish it. It is the craziest thing cause I am so NOT a has made me understand my dad better.

     He was notorious for falling asleep anywhere anytime...typing letters, watching TV, middle of conversations and watching slides (old school...way before digital photos were even were thought of). He used to believe that standing up would keep it from happening when in actual just made his sudden napping that much funnier. We would be checkin out family photos and suddenly you would hear him "sashaying" across the floor trying to get his balance after falling asleep standing up....still make me giggle just thinking about it. It was so endearing but up til now a totally foreign concept to me. He was always such a good sport as we teased him and always laughed right along with us. Now that I am having the same issues (even just temporarily) it really does happen that fast and is totally annoying...but it is what it is 

My still such a true HERO to me!!!