One word of advice…. Good News…

Read this book!

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Whether you had cancer or currently have cancer, stage I, II, III, IV or given a time stamp… read this book! Whether someone in your family has had cancer….

I am going to be taking a little hiatus from writing my blog until my surgery…. so I can give an accurate description of what’s happened to me…. but as of right now it appears to be good news! I will be the poster child of changing your diet to help cure cancer….

From the beginning of this…. before reading this book…as soon as I was diagnosed, I changed the following things about my lifestyle and diet…. I stopped drinking alcohol, diet sodas, reduced my sugar intake dramatically, stopped eating red meat, pork, wheat and stuck to gluten free products… as well as drinking alkaline water… and sticking to a largely alkaline diet… I eat a lot of veggies and fruits….

After reading this book I’ll be implementing some more changes, such as reducing dairy, eating only range free and antibiotic free meats and eggs…adding some supplements, etc…  and once I’m well enough to exercise I will be walking and hopefully running eventually as well….

It’s seeming to be good news folks… real good news. We won’t know for sure until after pathology…. but I cannot tell you how hopeful this makes me and how I will be preaching to change your diets!!!

Your body is your tool… you immune system is your tool… so many things we do on a daily basis, so many contributors…. bring our immunity down…. The biggest of these contributors being stress….

We need to change our lifestyles!!! It’s so important!

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I have a ton of appointments and follow ups over the next weeks til my surgery… so I’m going to write when I have time… maybe not daily!

 

 

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Love!

I’m writing this tonight… because chemo is bright and early in the morning….

I had the best day today…I had great visits with my parents…. twice! I had a great lunch with a new friend…. to celebrate my last chemo! I had a phone conversation with my BFF who lives in Nashville…. I came home to a surprise in my mailbox from my NC bestie….Had a great dinner and watched a movie with my family….  I reconnected with an old friend and neighbor a couple nights ago…. and I reconnected with one of my very first childhood friends today, such a wonderful surprise…. Tomorrow I have a dear friend taking me to chemo and another appointment this week…. another dear friend will be visiting while I’m there… AND two of Greyson’s NICU nurses will be coming to see me tomorrow while at chemo…. I have friends who helps with my house from time to time and friends who deliver me water and I have friends who I leave the key for and have a nice meal waiting for me after chemo…. you all know who you are… This past weekish has been really great…. I really appreciate everything!

My heart is soooo full of love! Today during my lunch conversation…. this friend reminded me that nothing is by chance… Things happen for a reason. Good and bad. I am sooo grateful for the dear ones in my life who’ve come into my life and remained by my side…. New friends, old friends…. Thank you all for helping me get through this. Love you all! Thank you truly from the bottom of my heart, every single person who has helped me in some way… no matter how little… Even if it was just a post on my Facebook wall or a text message… Just knowing I’m being thought of in some small way…. means so much to me!

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Tomorrow’s my LAST chemo!!!!

I’m dreading but also cannot wait for tomorrow…. just wanting to put all of this behind me! And, I’m praying for no more chemo in my future! EVER.AGAIN. I’ve heard of so many people lately… way too many people…. who’s lives are being taken from this disease…. others are fighting and others have their cancer recurring… I hate cancer!

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As I was carrying Greyson down the stairs this morning, I couldn’t help but think…. carrying him will be a thing of the past. Not that he’s not old enough to walk…. but, in the mornings we have this routine… when he wakes up, he wraps his arms and legs around me and we go downstairs…. these moments of being close are fleeting and so I cherish all those moments I get. Since he was newly home…. he’s slept in the crook of my right arm…. and sometimes he still will…. that will not happen anymore… These things run through my mind…. I’m sure there will be many more…. but then I think….. I’ll be here with him ❤

Things I’m looking forward to…. HAIR! My skin returning to normal… (I may need botox), having all my eyebrows and all my eyelashes back…. I will not miss not having to shave.. that has been really nice… 😉 I hope my forgetter gets better… chemo brain has been a trip! No more watery and puffy eyes…. No eye twitch….. I’m looking forward to regaining my strength, exercising…..

Yesterday, Greyson got a GREAT… fantastic report on his eyes…. he’s doing even better than the last time…. I haven’t noticed any crossing lately!

 

Upcoming week & random thoughts

I have a very busy week this week! It’s good…. it keeps me on my toes!!

Today… I’m taking Greyson for his eye exam at Charlotte Ear Nose & Throat…. we still don’t know for sure if G will require another surgery… so far at all his eye exams he’s been doing great! Hopefully he’ll get the same type of report today….

Tomorrow I’m having lunch with a friend… Wednesday is chemo! Boo!!!! Thursday I have my diagnostic mammogram to prep for surgery…. Friday I have my MRI to prep for surgery… Busy, busy week…

I saw this quote this morning…. so profound! Thank you Chemo/Cancer headgear “Lids of Love” on Facebook 🙂

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As I think about my journey…. this crazy, bumpy, frustrating, amazing, eye opening journey…. I think about all of the things that have happened to me since I’ve found out that I have cancer…. With the bad… came amazing new friends, friends that have stood by my side and supported me in ways I never imagined.  I have a select group of quality people who surround me and I’m continually strengthened, encouraged, lifted up and loved by these people. I’m so grateful for their love and support!!!!

This past weekend we had a wedding… I picked up the camera and shot some…. and I realized this very well may be the last wedding I’ll photograph for a long time… seriously makes me sad…

3 weeks, 2 days and 22 hours until I will hopefully be CANCER FREE! I’m praying the the chemo has done what they hoped for…. They aren’t too worried about the boobies…. they want the lymph nodes to be free of cancer so hopefully I won’t need so many removed…. Lately, I can feel the rough edges of the breast tumor again, it had shrunk remarkably before… and Dr. H did tell me that sometimes your body can get accustomed to chemo…. it appears that may be the case. Hopefully, the lymph nodes are behaving!

Happy Monday to everyone! I hope it’s a great week… Thank you for reading my blog!

I won a prize!

I had my pre-op appointment with my plastic surgeon today, Dr. Clavin…. today he told me a little about his experience practicing in both New York and Los Angeles before coming here to Charlotte…  He’s very up to date on the newest procedures, etc… and usually when you have radiation, which most likely I will need – a lot of old school doctors would not give you expanders … he feels very comfortable giving ex-panders despite the radiation! I liked him before… but now…. I really like him….

My health has always been the most important so I would have taken any news given, but I’m not even going to lie and say that I wasn’t dreading being flat chested…. This way, at the time of my mastectomy I will get the expanders right away…. they will be filled over a period of a month before my radiation will begin…. There is a chance that I will have infection, there is a chance that they may not “take” and they may have to be removed… BUT… I’m willing to take those chances. I feel like I’ve done pretty well with everything. Honestly my risk is no bigger than someone elses!

He compliments me every time I go in… last time he commented on my rock hard abs… today he commented on my defined peck muscles…. I just told him – I honestly don’t know where I come from…. My body type is like neither of my parents… however, I’m very similar to my aunts on my Dad’s side. My Mom was with me and I said… I only WISH I got her long legs….

My options for reconstruction are still the same… some type of flap procedure where the skin is taken from my body… they will do a CT scan to determine the best areas with the best blood vessels… but, he is not ruling out implants at this time… I will not be eligible for complete reconstruction until after my body has healed from radiation… Radiation is 6 weeks…. which will land me in July, most likely and then it’s 6-9 months for the skin to heal before I can have reconstruction…. Below is a photo… that shows what and expander is… and how it’s filled…  In any event…. I’m thrilled…. I definitely feel like I won a prize today!

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Missing My Art…

With spring in the air and everyone around me beginning their seasons, including us…. I find myself having with drawls, absolutely missing photography as my art. I’ve done 2 shoots since the beginning of the year…. I did a boudoir in January because she’d pre-paid me and I did a bridal shoot in the past couple of weeks…. This weekend we have a wedding that Darrell with be shooting with our 2nd…. and I will be there as a support system, but I will not be shooting.

I feel like I’ve lost my right arm… I feel like I’ve lost a piece of myself…. For the past years photography has been the majority of our income, my passion…. we grew something that was meant to be just a way for me to make enough money to stay home with my son to… something amazing…. and I’m really, really mourning it.

My husband feels like photography and the stress of weddings, the stress of the business side…( not the art side )….he feels that it’s contributed to my condition. Stress is a major contributor. I get it.

This morning I watched the most amazing video of a couple shooting an engaged couple…. I absolutely could cry at the thought of not being able to do this anymore….

My health, my life is more important….. BUT…. today…. right now….. I’m mourning.  I’m still VERY lost about my direction…. Do I get a full time job? Will I be happy with that? How can I re-invent myself as a photographer…. without doing wedding photography? Without working such long days and risking my arms developing lymphedema… I thought about doing boudoir because I absolutely love it…. I just don’t see how it’s possible….

I’m an artist…. I create beautiful things. That is what I do…. how can I NOT do that?

I just don’t know…. I keep hoping it will become clear.

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Stick A Needle In It…

Lately, I’ve had A LOT of women telling me their doctor says…. you have cysts…. I don’t believe it!!!! Doctors will hate me… but obviously not everything that looks like a cyst… is a cyst… in 7 months time…. I had a 6cm tumor!

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I pray that my story…. will encourage every single woman who is 30 and above… to ask their doctor for a mammogram… 30 is the new 40 in my opinion for breast cancer… obviously it does not discriminate… I see 17 & 18 year old girls on these message boards who have it… 😦

Every person who’s looked at me… assures me… what I have now was not there in April. I am not convinced. They said it was cysts…Maybe if it was a completely different location, the opposite side… but this is the EXACT same location as last April…  Well… and what they saw yesterday they thought was a cyst too…. and it wasn’t. But it did look like a cyst on ultrasound. It may come back benign… and if so… FABULOUS… but I told them yesterday… one breast or two, it doesn’t matter… because these are coming off…

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