Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Cancer-versary to me!

Well, its officially been one year since my diagnosis, so I figured a fitting day for an update. I have been getting some grief from some people about not updating this. I apologize. Honestly, I wasn't sure anyone even read this thing anymore! So for those die-hards, haha, I'll try to post something once in awhile. Send me a comment, let me know you're still interested, and I'll keep typing away.

I hope Santa was good to everyone yesterday, and you had the Merriest of Christmases. Ours was wonderful. The first time in many years we have been together on Christmas day. We meaning, the three of us, my mom and sisters. It's been common practice for us to do Christmas in January, so this was a great change!

Logan thoroughly enjoyed himself! What 3-year old didn't? I think he got the whole Santa thing this year, which made it even more fun. We sprinkled reindeer food on the lawn, and left out milk and cookies. And of course, he was spoiled rotten:)

In breast cancer treatment news, nothing really too exciting. I've started my Herceptin treatments. It's an injection, similar to chemo, every 3 weeks. However, I'm experiencing absolutetly no side effects, not that I expected to. The only real concern is it's effect on the heart, so I go for a Muga scan every few months. It's usually a concern in older women. I'm receiving this treatment because my cancer was HER2+, and the Herceptin acts as a blocker for those cells. I'll have these treatments for a year. Just another weapon in my arsenal, even though sometimes a year seems like a long time. But at the same time I can't believe how fast this past year went.

I've also started taking my Tamoxifen. I take two pills every day, for, ugh brace yourself, 5 years!!! But I'm just taking it a bit at a time. Maybe in two years they'll have some fantastic new discovery and I won' t have to take it. It too comes with minimal side effects. Hot flashes, night sweats, typical menopause symptoms, but nothing that I wasn't already experiencing because of chemopause. It's just going to be tricky to remember to take it everday.

My scars have healed wonderfully. My skin is a bit tight in the areas where I had radiation, but that was to be expected. And when we do reconstruction that area of skin will be replaced anyways. And hopefully after the first of the year, I'll start looking into reconstruction again. We've switched insurance at work, so I'm sure all have to go through all the approvals again, and I think they schedule quite a few months out, so I want to get a head start on it. Might even have new boobs for swimsuit season, haha!

I hope this finds you all well! We are heading to the U.P. tonight or tomorrow morning and will spend a few days there with the family. Best wishes for a very happy new year!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Yup, that' right! The countdown has begun. I have finished with my regular radiation treatments of the entire "field", and had my first booster treatment today. I only have 5 of those, so we're in the home stretch. The booster treatment, is a way to just target my scar and scar tissue, just another precaution. But if it keeps me from doing this again, I'm all for it. The techs and nurses there have been great, the time has really flown by.

I've been quite tired these last few weeks, its really caught up with me. The skin reactions haven't been as bad as I thought either. It's like a bad sunburn, very very red. And now that I'm getting towards the end, it itches like crazy. But I've been resisting the urge, it's been tough, but I really don't want to rip that skin off.

Our trip to the U.P. was great. The wedding we attended was an absolute blast. The couple met while attending MTU, so the wedding was held there. The room was filled with Tech grads, and compliments of Sara's dad and a big surprise to everyone, we were entertained by the Tech Pep Band. Which only Tech grad's can truly appreciate. It was awesome. Way too much alcohol was consumed that night, but a good time was had by all!

Logan had his first camping trip that weekend as well. I think he really enjoyed himself. We set up the tent at Hancock Beach, and had an awesome site in the trees. Very relaxing, made me miss the woods. Not much fun camping in a corn field I'm sure :)

And of course our time in Crystal Falls was fun as well. We hung out at my grandma and grandpa Perry's for a few days which is always nice. Especially now, my grandma has recently been diagnosed with lymphoma and started her chemotherapy this week. So keep her in your thoughts as well. She's doing well, and was anxious to get treatment started. If I can handle it, so can she! Love ya gram!

My sister Jamie has decided to make the move to Indy in a few weeks, in the hopes of finding a job in her field of graphic design. So she'll be paying rent at our house for a bit. We're excited to have her come, and I know she's ecstatic. Something about being closer to her nephew, I don't know I'm shady on the details, haha!

Next Saturday we'll be making the trek up to Grand Rapids for the Race for the Cure. Which I'm very excited about. My dear friend Erin is traveling up with us, and we're meeting my mom, Joanna, and Jamie there. We have a hotel room for the weekend at a waterpark, so I'm sure that will be a blast. And I'm very excited to celebrate being DONE with treatment with my friends and family. If you're in the area, we're having a get-together on Saturday night (the 29th) at 7 pm at the Max & Erma's in Grandville. Stop by and say "hi"!

Yes, I'll use this as another plug to get you to donate to our Race Team!
I thank you ahead of time.

So life is slowly getting back to normal. I can't wait, normal is good. Well as normal as we can be I guess!

Keep smiling!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Wake and Bake!

As my sister Joanna has so lovingly dubbed my morning treatments! She’s a riot isn’t she?

As of today I have 15 treatments under my belt, and 18 more to go. Almost halfway. It’s been a relatively uneventful experience so far. My skin is starting to get slightly pinkish, and on occasion itches like a bitch, but really that’s it. The fatigue catches up with me some days, depending on what we’re doing, but even that has been tolerable.

I originally was covered in paint marks and stickers, but last week I got permanent tattoos. Nine of them to be exact. They’re tiny blue marks that help them line me up just right every time. It beats getting paint all over my clothes.

I’m supposed to avoid excess exposure to the sun, which has been hard to do in this weather. The heat has been miserable, so it’s been nicer to stay in the a/c. But I do miss being outside. So we play outside in the front yard in the shade.

We’re taking an extra long weekend this weekend, so I have to do two treatments on Thursday. One in the morning and one in the afternoon, they have to be 6 hours apart. Then I’ll have Friday off, Monday’s a holiday so that’s a freebie anyways. And then I’ll have Tuesday off, and have two treatments again on Wednesday.

We’re heading up to the U.P. We’ll be in Houghton on Friday and Saturday for a wedding of some good friends of ours. Then Sunday we’ll be heading down to Crystal Falls to hang out with family. We’re trying to get together a family shindig together at my grandma’s for Monday, so that will be nice to just hang out and relax.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Phase 3 - Radiation

Well I figured since we were starting a new phase of treatment, it was time for a new background.

I officially started radiation today. Completely painless, didn't feel a thing. The process took about 15 minutes from start to finish. It takes me longer to drive to the hospital. I'll do that every day Monday-Friday for a total of 33 treatments, UGH! That seems like forever, but I'm sure it will go by fast. I should only experience some skin irritations and fatigue, none of the other symptons I had like with my chemo, thank goodness.

The worst part was the planning they have to do. Yesterday I had a hour and a half session of laying perfectly still on my back, with my arms above my head. That was rather painful after awhile, you get the arm shakes. Reminded me of those damn arm hangs we had to do in high school gym. But it's necessary to make sure they are avoiding all of my major organs and just getting the area they need to.

This will be the last of my major treatments, so that's very exciting. It's nice to finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Our summer has been good. The last few days have been miserably hot. Temps in the high 90's with heat indexes over 105 most days. I'm definetly glad for a nice air conditioned office.

Logan is growing like a weed. He's talking so much, too much some day. And he's just so much fun to hang out with. It's great to see the world through the eyes of a child, and explore new things every day with him. I'm so grateful to get to do that. This whole journey has made me appreciate small things like chasing ants and spiders on the sidewalk, blowing bubbles, running through the sprinkler, making forts out of kitchen chairs and blankets and playing with play-doh. I'm enjoying "being" a kid for awhile. I just can't imagine getting through this without him to keep me going, and Richard of course. He's really been my rock through this whole thing and I couldn't have done it without him either. I love you both all the way around the world and back again.

Hope this finds everyone well, stay tuned for more posting..........

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I've been home from surgery since last Thursday night. I feel pretty darn good, better than I imagined I would. The drains that I have are a huge Pain in the Ass, but tolerable. I'm slowing gaining movement in my arms, a little more everday.

My mom has been here for a week, and I truly don't know what we'd do without her help. My sister got here last night to take her shift. We're grateful to both of them.

But the news that overshadows all of that, is my doctor called today with the results of my final pathology. My right side was cancer free, which we figured. There was nothing left of the tumors in my left, and of the 23 nodes that se removed, ZERO were positive.

As of June 6, 2007, I AM CANCER FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm my surgeon's first 100% response to chemo, and I'm expecting a plaque and my picture up in her office, hee hee!

I am so excited I could jump up and down and scream, if it didn't hurt so much.

Thank you again for everyone's prayers, love and support, it obviously made the difference. Well just wanted to quick share the news.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I didn't realize it had been so long since I've posted.

I'm actually starting to feel back to normal after chemo. I still don't have my full energy back, had proof of that last night when we went for a bike ride. One time around the block and I was done.

I had another MRI a few weeks ago, and things look awesome. Only a 2cm spot showed up that they think is just dead cells. My surgeon thinks I could have a 100% response to chemo, which will be awesome, I'll be her first. It's a lot of pressure, but I'm up for the challenge, ha ha.

So surgery is next Wednesday, and I think I'm ready. I think I'm ready. It will probably be a rough few weeks, but again only temporary. Mom will be here the day of my surgery and for about a week after, and Joanna comes down for almost three weeks. So it will be great to have the extra help.

I'm planning on about 4-6 weeks off of work, depending on how things go and how I'm feeling. I guess having to be off of work in the summer won't be so horrible. Although I don't think I'll be up for the beach.

Then somewhere in there, I'll start my radiation. 6 weeks. And we should be home free!

So send happy thoughts my way next Wednesday. I'll have Richard or my mom post an update as to how things went, so no one worries.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I'm doing the no more chemo dance over here. I had my last treatment yesterday, and am feeling pretty fantastic today, must be the thought that it's over and I won't have to go through that again.

My last one was supposed to be last Friday, but we got the okay to move it to Monday. We went to Great Lakes Illinois and attended my Brother-in-Law Nathan's graduation from boot camp. It was a very neat ceremony, formal military. Logan was fascinated by it the entire time.

Then I flew from O'Hare up to Marquette to surprise my mom for her graduation. She had absolutely no idea I was coming, and was completely speechless when she saw me. And if you know my mom, quite a task, hee hee. It was a fab weekend. I got to meet my sisters friends, Ang, Renee, and Meagan, who I feel I have known them all forever, so it was great to meet them, they are all a riot.

I also got to see my Grampy and Grams at lunch on Saturday, and it's always nice to see them. Even though I'm having this strange feeling that I'm no longer my grandpa's favorite and Joanna has somehow moved into that spot, guess I have to redeem myself! Mmmm..

So it was a great weekend, lots of fun, some drinks and hardly any sleep, but it was totally worth it.

So the next step in this journey, is another Breast MRI scheduled for next Monday. I'm not too excited about enduring another 50 minutes in the noisy tube, but I am curious to see just what kind of a job chemo did.

Then my surgery, prophylactic mastectomy (both sides) is scheduled for June 6th, and I'll have my mom and Joanna here to help after that for a few weeks.

Thanks again for everyone's prayers and thoughts, we're through the first step.

Much love, *mwah*

Sunday, April 22, 2007


We participated in Indy's Race for the Cure yesterday. And all I can say is wow! They had over 40,000 registered people. It was truly amazing. It made me look at the event a bit different now being a cancer survivor. I realized that ALL of those 40,000 people were there because they were survivors themselves or had been touched by someone with breast cancer. It really makes you realize the magnitude of this disease.
I have to admit, I had a hard time putting that pink shirt on at first. That wasn't something I had ever planned on doing, I always wanted to be the one supporting the pink shirts. But once we got back in the crowd of people and you saw the thousands of other pink shirts worn by women of all ages and races, it was almost empowering. We were all connected by that simple pink shirt.

But it was also so very heartwarming to know that they were all there to support the cause. I had total strangers pat me on the back as we were walking saying "good job", "congratulations". It was an amazing feeling. Other survivors were saying congratulations to each other. There really are no words to described how it makes you feel.

The weather was perfect, and we had 6 of our friends walk with us, which was so awesome to have their support as well.

It was an awesome day!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

One more to go....

Well, only one more treatment to go! I am so ready to be done with this chapter. I got sick again during treatment, even after them giving me additional meds to prevent it. Oh well, I guess that's just the routine of the day now. And again felt better after the incident. I was feeling so good that we had lunch at Max & Erma's afterwards. Which tasted fabulous!

The weekend, I just felt incredibly tired. More so than previous treatments, so I think things are catching up with me.

I did however rebound quicker this time, and my Neulasata booster shot didn't knock me down as much as usual. I was feeling pretty darn good by Tuesday afternoon.

I met with my surgeon the day before my treatment, and started on the next phase of things.

She would like me to go for another MRI after my last chemo. And then is working on scheduling my surgery for the first week in June, maybe the 6th. But I haven't gotten confirmation on that yet.

I will be doing six weeks of radiation after my surgery because of the inflammatory breast cancer, just another step in completely killing the beast.

The original plan was to do my left side mastectomy now, go through radiation and then in a year or so after all is healed, go back and do the right side and then immediate reconstruction. Well I got to thinking about this over the weekend, and have decided to do both sides now. Because I'm so large anyways, with leaving one, I'm ALWAYS going to have to wear a form so they match, and I'm worried that I'll always look lopsided. I can't get away with throwing on a big sweatshirt, and going without. And if I do decide to have "boobs" for a day, if they are both gone, I can go with a much smaller set. I'm sure my back will thank me.

Plus, when I get the go ahead after surgery, I'm really going to start on the weight loss. A cancer diagnosis makes you realize you should be healthier, and who wants to work out with a real boob and a plastic boob. UGH!

Also, if we are able to have more children, I would like to wait on the reconstruction until after pregnancy, since I'm worried about the affect of pregnancy on the stomach, since that's wear my new boobs would come from. Then after maybe I'd have more belly fat to use.

So, we'll do the bi-lateral mastectomy now. I've started to gather websites and information with pictures to help prepare both myself and Richard for the "new" me. But I think in the end, I won't regret the decision.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Please join me in the fight against breast cancer!

I apologize to those of you that already received this email.

Dear Friends and Family,

The Komen Foundation has always been very near and dear to my heart, but this year is extra special.

After my diagnosis with breast cancer in December, I now realize how important these dollars, and the Race for the Cure Events are. Most of the money stays here locally and is used to support local programs that I have made use of, as well as medical research which help keep my doctors up on the latest treatments and medicine available.

So on April 21st, I will be wearing my pink shirt and celebrating my survivorship along with thousands of other women.

Please pledge your support, so other woman can choose what color shirt they wear.Your support means the world to me!

Please visit my pledge page and make your tax-deductible donation.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Indianapolis Race for The Cure

The Indianapolis Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (that's a mouthful) annual Race for the Cure is on April 21st. This is the organization that is so near and dear to my heart, as I was involved in Grand Rapids for 6 years!

Logan, Richard and I are planning on walking! They are planning over 35,000 people. WOW! Anyone who feels like making a trip to Indy is welcome to crash at our place and join us for the walk. It should be a truly inspirational event. (if you're crashing with us, please let us know, so we can at least pick up dirty underwear and stuff :)

Also, for those in Grand Rapids we are planning on coming up there for the Race in September, and are working on planning on some sort of party/celebration that Saturday night so keep the last weekend in September open for us!

Monday, March 26, 2007

4 down...2 to go

Well, with four down, I'm getting anxious to finish this crap up! I got sick during treatment again, so maybe that's just the norm for me, get it over with. I just felt yucky all weekend, but I'm definetely ready to be done with this chemo. We just hung out and enjoyed the nice weather this weekend.

Again, my oncologist is very impressed with the results. In fact we were discussing weather or not I will be needing radiation, and he feels pretty confident that we'll have a 100% response from the chemo and won't need radiation, so that's very encouraging.

We have also been researching reconstruction options. I have tested positive for the BRAC2 gene mutation, so I have decided to have a bi-lateral mastectomy when this is all done. The gene mutation increases my risk of a recurrence, so no breast tissue, no breast cancer. Knowledge is power I guess, and as long as I can do something about it the better.

Through some amazing young breast cancer survivors, I've learned of the Center for Restorative Breast Surgery in New Orleans. They perform some procedures that aren't done here in Indianapolis, and are quite the procedure with some amazing results. The procedure involves re-building my breasts with tissue from my stomach. So I'd have a fab new set of boobs and a flat stomach, there has to be some perks to all of this cancer!

I don't need to be in a hurry for the reconstruction, but emotionally I'm not sure how I'll do without boobs, so for now the research continues, and we've got some big decisions to make as to weather or not we want to proceed with reconstruction right away, or wait until we can save up the giant deductible. Decisions...decisions...

Thursday, March 15, 2007


You never realize how much you appreciate nose hair, until you don't have any. I aquired a sinus infection and without any hair there really is nothing holding all of that snot in, so it's drip, drip, drip for me. Or walk around with kleenex stuffed in my nose, very attractive.

But I'm on some antibiotics, some nasal spray, and claritin, so hopefully it clears this crap up soon. Otherwise I'm attaching a bucket to my chin! :)

Friday, March 2, 2007


Just got back from my third treatment. I'm feeling good, now. But I actually got sick in the middle of treatment today, and felt much better afterwards. I've had a cold for awhile and all that snot makes my stomach upset, so I'm sure that was the issue on top of the drugs. So the nurse said I could take sudafed or benadryl to help dry it up the weekends of my treatments, to save the upset stomach.

I also met with the doc again today, and he did an exam. He said if he had not known there was ever anything there, he would not have been able to find anything. WOOHOO!!! That's so good to hear, this crap is still doing it's job.

So we'll just hang out this weekend, and see what I feel up for. I'm actually craving an Arby's roast beef right now, weird. So maybe I can convince Richard to stop on the way home.

My mommy and grammy are coming to visit next week, and I'm so very excited to see both of them. I'm kind of bummed that grampy decided to stay home, but I understand his reasons. We'll just make a special trip up after chemo to see him. We'll probably head to downtown Indy, show grandma the sights. I think pedicures are in the works as well, so that will be fun. Who knows what other kind of trouble we'll get into, hee hee.

Hope everyone has a good weekend! I hope those of you in the U.P. have dug out from the big storm, I heard it wasn't so nice.

Friday, February 23, 2007

a HUGE thank you

This is long overdue!

I have received such an overwhelming amount of support, cards, gifts, well wishes etc, that I can't even begin to say thank you. And writing thank you's to all of you would be quite the undertaking, so saying thank you here is the best way I know how.

Your kind words, and encouragement mean the world to me, I feel like I have my own personal cheering section through all of this and truly wouldn't know what to do without all of you. I truly feel blessed and loved each and everyday.

So from the bottom of my heart, thank you for EVERYTHING!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Here I Am

So I guess it takes my grammy calling to yell at me before I post an update (sorry gram!).

I had another treatment last Friday and I did have a rough weekend. Just felt quesy all weekend, not really wanting to eat much. But I didn't have the achiness that I had last time around, so at least I was able to move around and do stuff.

My appointment with the oncologist went great however. He said he was surprised at just how much shrinkage there was after one treatment, so it makes up for feeling like crap all weekend. And even this week, I notice the change since last week, after two treatments. So I guess we're on the right track. So it makes the sickies seem not so bad.

We were snowed in the past few days, Indiana snow storms are a bit worse than Michigan storms. It seems they don't have the capabilites to clear snow and people don't know how to drive, ugh! And in the middle of the storm, our water service broke, so we've been without enough water pressure to run the dishwasher or do a load of laundry. So hopefully today that will get fixed.

Well I guess I've officially celebrated my baldness. We had to update the addresses on our driver's licenses the other day. In Michigan they put that nice little sticker on your current license, not so in Indiana. We had to get new pictures taken, and I didn't have a scarf with me. So there I stood in my bald glory at the DMV. Amazingly the picture turned out better than the last one with hair, take that stupid cancer! :)

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

To B(ald), Or Not to B(ald)

You would think something as simple as shaving your head wouldn't be so emotionally distressing. It's getting very thin, and yet I'm still hanging on. Apparently I'm more attached to this thin, fine, mousey brown mop than I thought.

When this all started I was geeked to shave it, and now that the time is here, I'm finding it difficult to do. But now the mess of hair everywhere is really starting to get to me.

I wore a scarf today to cover my bald spots, and when I came home and took it off a lot of hair came with it.

Sorry guys, but I don't know how you do it LOL

"to baldness and beyond"

Friday, February 2, 2007

Can't come up with anything clever :)

I just opened the blog, and realized it has been almost two weeks since I posted anything. Sorry to those trying to keep updated.

I've been doing very well. The weekend of my first treatment I was a bit tired, but never got sick. I had a Neulasta shot the Monday after, which is a white cell booster shot. That made me very achy, and I had trouble getting out of bed on Tuesday morning. But really that's been the worst of it.
I went last weeknd, with my dear friend Erin, to try on wigs and get a short haircut. It was good to get out and have a girls afternoon out. The wig shopping was fun. I tried on a few different ones, and a blonde one for fun and decided that I wasn't meant to be blonde. The wigs certainly have come a long way, they've got highlights in them and really look like real hair, which I guess is the whole point.
So todayI guess my hair should start falling out. I'll probably shave it once it starts, just to avoid the mess everywhere. I just wonder what Logan is going to think of a bald mommy. He didn't even notice when I cut it short, so maybe he won't even care, might even think it's funny.
Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

One down - Five to Go

Yesterday was really quite uneventful. I was pretty nervous going in, but the nurse I had was wonderful. She went through everything she was going to do, and put into me. Then we went over a list of possible side effects, and if I ever had ANY questions she said to call the office had someone running phones 24/7, and they could call in a prescription for pretty mucn anything I could come up with.

They started me with anti-nausea meds before all my chemo drugs, and so far so good on that end. The steroids that I take give me a boost of some energy, so I'm trying to do a bit of straightening up this morning while Logan and Richard went to Lowe's. I might even attempt to take a shower, yikes!!

The worst part of the whole day was the Lupron shot in the butt, that was a bit sore, but better today.

But I'm SO glad that first one is out of the way. About the only things I'm experiencing is some serious cotton mouth, but nothing some liquids and dry mouth toothpaste won't fix.

So, I guess so far so good. The nurse said it will probably be two weeks to the day of my first treatment that my hair will fall out, while I know it's temporary, I'm unsure how I'll really feel about it once it's gone. So I might go look at wigs next week, just as a back-up plan in case I change my mind.

Thanks for all the thoughts and well wishes, they really helped get me through yesterday. Hope everyone has a good weekend!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Losing my chemo virginity

Well, tomorrow's the big day. I am quite nervous, but only because I don't know what to expect or how I'm going to react to anything. People have told me to just sleep through it, so it goes faster, others suggest reading, listening to music, etc. So I just we'll just hang out and "enjoy" the rest time. So lots of good vibes for tomorrow.

I'm sure it will be a lenghty day. I'll be given three of the chemo drugs (TAC), and since my HER2 receptor results came back positive, they're also adding Herceptin to the mix. So three+ bags of liquid could take awhile.

Note to self: All of the effects of these drugs are temporary, and doing their ultimate job of KILLING THE BEAST!!!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

into the unknown

So we officially start chemotherapy this Friday. We met with the oncologist on Monday, who made us feel very comfortable, we never felt rushed, and we asked a TON of questions. One of our concerns was being able to have more children after this is all over. And he gave us the option of a Lupron injection, which will shut down my ovaries to protect them from damage during treatment. He said typically only 20-30% of woman go into permanent menopause. So that low number made us feel pretty good. We were going to look into egg harvesting and such, but the cost is outrageous and it's only a 30-40% guarantee. So we're leaving it up to fate, if we're meant to have more children than great, if not, than we have one awesome little boy who we will cherish forever and give lots of extra hugs and kisses.

I'm running the gamet of emotions. I'm excited to finally be getting starting on attacking this cancer, but terrified of what this shit is going to do to me, and my body. I've heard so many different stories of how people respond, and their side affects, and that everyone responds differently. So I don't know what to expect, maybe expect the worst and hopefully be pleasantly surprised, who knows, that's not in my hands. But my onc assured me that I could pretty much go on with "normal" life, just expect to do things slower. And if I am sick to let him know, and they'd fix it, so that's comforting, I think.

Until next time, keep thinking PINK!
*hugs* to all

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy Birthday Logan!

Wow, where did these past two years go? I can't believe he's two today, he's turned into such an amazing little person, that I can't imagine my life without him. Happy Birthday baby, I love you!

Portabella, portable, port wine, Port Au Prince, port authority, Port-a-Potty, portage, portal, portative, porter, portfolio, porthole, Portia, portico.

Okay, that's all of them that come to my mind. As you can see port is on the brain. I had my port put in yesterday. I guess it went well, I don't recall much and the site is covered in bandages. I'm not in too much pain, thanks to the percocet. But really, it doesn't hurt as much as I had prepared for, so that's a good thing. It's more of an uncomfortable ache than anything. So I guess this is really real.

Well, off to see what the boys are "building" in the basement, it sounds quite noisy down there.

Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend.

~Cancer is a word, not a sentence. ~John Diamond~

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Finally Some Answers

I met with my doctor (Dr. Kepple) today, and we went over all of my test results. On the good news side all of my scans came back okay which means that the cancer has not spread to any major organs or bone, which is excellent. Also all of my bloodwork came back excellent, kidney functions and liver functions are good, and my white blood count is great.

My pathology reports from my biospy also came back. I have Stage 3, Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. A stage 3 only because she feels it is in the skin, despite my skin punch coming back negative. Apparently she just picked a spot without any cancer.

So the next step is to get a port put in on Friday. It is outpatient surgery, so nothing major. It will be used to administer chemo, take blood, give fluids if needed and meds for side affects. Much better than getting poked with a needle all the time.

My appointment with my oncologist is on Monday, she thinks he'll want to start chemo on Wednesday at the earliest, we're still waiting for some HER2 receptor tests to come back which could affect type of chemo drug used.

I feel better finally having a plan in place, I am bummed that I forgot to ask if alcohol can be administered through my port, heck with this having to drink the stuff, straight to the blood for maximum effect, ha ha.

And with all of these big changes, my precious Logan turns two on Saturday, wow where did that time go. Richard's mom will be in town for a small celebration, and I'm sure some welcome extra help for a few days after my port goes in.

I have also put myself in touch with some great support groups here in town, and go to my first meeting on Monday which I am very excited about. And Dr. Kepple called this evening with a name of another one of her patients who gave her permission to give her name and number to me, she is about may age going through the same process, chemo before surgery, she is just a few steps ahead of me in the process. So it could be helpful to connect with her.

Keep thinking PINK!

~that which does not kill us only makes us stronger~

Monday, January 8, 2007

So it begins....

One would think that after almost seven years as a volunteer with the Komen Race for the Cure that it makes you immune to the disease, ha ha! No such luck.

So I'll start at the beginning. During my monthly self-exam in early December I noticed something different in my left breast. I honestly didn't think much of it, and thought I would just monitor it for a week. But than I also had some tenderness, which made me think that I could be pregnant as that was how I felt when we found out about Logan, but no such luck. A day or so later, Richard noticed that my areola and nipple had no color to it, and then I got a swollen spot. That was when I called my OB.

Of course, as nature predicts, by the time I got there the swelling was gone. But she did notice a lump, and scheduled me for a mammogram immediately. Knowing what I know, I told her I certainly wasn't willing to take any chances.

So on Dec. 20th, I went in for my mammogram, which much to my surprise, and my mom's disappointment didn't hurt a bit, sorry mom :) I spoke to the radiologist after she read my films, and said that I actually had two masses and my lymph node lit up on the films, she said her first thought was cancer and suggested I have a biopsy. Lucky for me I had an appt scheduled with my breast specialist the following Friday.

So we went through a wonderul Christmas with Logan, and tried not to think too much about it, as much as humanly possible anyway.

Then Tuesday morning at work I get a call from my doctor's nurse. She says Dr. Kepple is back in town for a surgery today and will see you at 5:30 if that's okay? UM.. YEAH! I wasn't up for waiting until Friday.

We met with her, she noticed some inflammation and did a skin punch (skin sample) to test for inflammatory cancer, which did come back negative, woohoo. She also told us that yes I did have the big "C" word. Which honestly once she said that not much else sunk in. But I got my orders for a bunch of testing for the following week.

I hope you're all hanging in there, I promise future posts won't be as long. I'll update more frequently. :)

So on the 2nd, Happy New Year, I went in for a CT Scan, a bone scan and a Breast MRI, I was injected with so much stuff I probably glowed. I don't recommend a breast MRI by the way, not the most comfortable position to be in for 50 minutes!!

Then my biopsy was on Wed. the 3rd. The radiologist that did it was a hoot, which was good helped me to relax. I didn't feel a thing, three holes, and 5 samples in each hole later and I was on my way.

My doctor called on Thursday and said after looking at my films, that I did have cancer, but it was contained to my left breast and lymph nodes. She was setting up an appointment for me with her on Tuesday (tomorrow the 9th) have my port put in on Friday the 12th, and start my appt with my oncologist for chemo on the 15th. Whew, what a whirlwind!

Then the radiologist who did my MRI called on Friday and said that yes it was cancer! What you're kidding, I had no idea (obviously at that point, it had pretty much sunk in, Hi my name is Jeni, and I have breast cancer)

That brings us to the present, well after a LOT of crying, laughing (thanks, mom, jo, jim and a little help from a puppet), screaming, throwing things, blah blah.

I meet with my doc tomorrow to go over ALL of my results and talk about a treatment schedule. Her plan with the chemo (6 cycles) before any surgery is to use the tumors as a measure of how well the chemo is working, if it's doing it's job they will shrink, if not, it allows them to adjust meds.

I'm feeling pretty strong about the whole thing at this point. I'm just anxious to get a plan of attack together and beat the hell out of this thing.

I will use this blog as a way to keep in touch with everyone, so check back often.