Scans, plans and The New Normal…

It’s been a long time since I’ve updated and I figured now is as good a time as any! First of all, my son got married! The wedding was STUNNING! It all came together beautifully… family, friends and it couldn’t have been more perfect, in my opinion. I felt beautiful and I’ll be honest, it’s been a really long time, since I’ve felt beautiful. Here is a pic with my honey… it was a great day!

And here are a couple photos of the beautiful bride and groom, taken by Michael Anderson Photography out of Concord, he did an amazing job!

So, now back to reality and life as we know is my NEW NORMAL… for months leading up to the wedding (since about October really) I’ve had pain under my left rib cage, I’ve treated it with ulcer meds and doubled up on ulcer meds and it comes back. But, with my high risk history, we decided to get it checked out. Additionally, I have been having a lot of uncomfortable times with my sternum and ribs… and my sternum is visible from my chest, it bows outward – so I was FINALLY after 3.5 years approved for a PET scan… which was a miracle! I’ve been denied I can’t tell you how many times… and it all came back clean! I was honestly shocked. I literally braced myself for the diagnosis…. I fully expected to be metastatic. Why do I have this pain? Also, pain in my thoracic spine since the beginning…. ? Apparently, for no reason. It’s just part of the new normal and I have no explanation. I’ve had repeated urinary tract infections… which I thought, maybe it was kidney… I wake up in the morning so sore on my right side I can’t stand it, I have to get up. I’ve been incredibly tired… sleeping on my days off sometimes 12-13 hours. Just pure exhaustion. My husband lets me sleep in and I literally could sleep and sleep…. so of course, I was worried. But, all clear! Which is incredible news!!!

So, I’m going to start having massage… both trading services (photography) and also using FSA through my local chiropractor’s office… hoping it will help. I’m going to focus on deep breathing and stretching and drinking more water… etc. I know I carry my stress in my upper back, I’m full of knots and tension… so massage and stretching is crucial.

I also have some thickening on the side of my left affected breast which I will have a punch biopsy of soon, but they assure me they think it’s normal…. it hurts… so I will update after the results come back. I was supposed to have it done yesterday but there was a mess up with scheduling and so I’ll go next week.

I have highly advanced breast cancer, so it’s imperative they don’t ignore my symptoms…. but what symptoms are real? What are phantom? What are worrisome? What are not? I just let them know and I feel like I’m a thorn in their backside, literally…. my family AND friends listen to me, sympathize with me… brace themselves with me, breath the sighs of relief with me…. and I can’t thank GOD enough for them. This is my new normal…. it’s very hard to relax, although I do try…. I feel like I just lie in wait for the next catastrophe to strike. But, so far I’ve dodged all the bullets…

And, then I have friends…. who’s symptoms are VERY real, who I watch fear for their lives and watch cancer deteriorate them in front of my eyes… some are just praying for a miracle and others have no more hope. Cancer is devastating, it robs families of mothers, it takes Dad’s away, it take babies…. and even pets – it makes their normal one of worry and fear…. yet they do it with grace and love. Cancer is so ruthless… and it’s just disparaging. I hate it!!!!

I know their fears are as real…. it’s not death that’s feared, it’s leaving behind the ones that will miss them…. it’s not fair. Who am I to complain… I have nothing to complain about. I’m here, I’m as healthy as I can possibly be, despite my aches and pains.

It’s made me really want to re-analyze my life, my priorities…. I ask myself daily, is this the life I envisioned? Is this the life I want to live? Am I benefiting myself and my health? I hate that work has to be such a huge part of my existence, to just make ends meet. I still miss my passion, but it’s unrealistic to make it my mainstay, I need benefits. So, I just do the best I can – my boss is an angel sent from heaven. She is so incredible to me, so comforting, so understanding… a true friend. She makes it worthwhile to leave my family…

I feel like I’ve missed SO much of Greyson’s life. Cancer, work, life…. and now I realize how fast time goes. My oldest son is MARRIED! How did this happen? I keep Greyson close, I’m a bit fanatical, I’ve been told I baby him too much… but, it goes SO fast. And, I feel like I’m missing SO much. To those who know us… Greyson has slept with us since he was born, it was easier to keep and eye on him and he’s never left. When he gets sick it’s been easier to keep an eye on him. He’s in school now and he wants to show his independence. I called home at 9pm after I was done with work yesterday and my husband told me this FUNNY (not funny) story… Greyson told him he was going to bed, he went in his room…. covered up and went to sleep. He had told me the day before he was going to do this… I just didn’t think he’d actually do it. Darrell told me and I just burst out…. I cried the whole way home. I think my life literally flashed before my eyes…. this is it… anyone of us who’ve raised kids, knows…. at some point, they just aren’t so interested in being around their parents. He is only 7.5 so I know he’s not going anywhere, but…. I just had a complete melt down. My baby…. is growing up. And, how did this happen? I feel like my life has been a BLUR…. of just trying to exist. Trying to make ends meet, trying to SURVIVE. There’s just not a whole lot I can do to change it…. so I make the best of it. I miss a lot of activities. I feel guilty if I miss work, because I should be making money…. there’s quotas to meet and I need a level of income my family can count on….. it’s just tough.

The bright side… Summer is around the corner. Greyson will be out of school for about 7 weeks, before he starts his new school… Union Academy. My boss will be giving me off 3 days in a row, which will be WONDERFUL and I plan to make the very best of it…. His new school, requires parent involvement and an allotment of hours must be donated to the school each month, which will allow me time to participate in his classroom. Greyson has recently been told he has a learning disability in reading. We suspect dyslexia. If this is the only thing he’s come away from his early existence in this world, it is ok. Now, I can be more involved. Which will be amazing.

The new normal… it’s not all fuzzy peaches and butterflies… on my facebook page today for It’s Me Sunshine… I posted an article about Sex after Cancer…. yea, that’s a whole ‘nother topic… lol

Til’ next time…. love you all who still read!

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Life is an echo… you get what you give!

So after my little pity party I decided to do a little self reflection and I realized that I probably have been a bit absorbed with life, moving, work, etc… and I haven’t been making it a point to reach out to people or stay connected… so why would they come visit or even give me a second thought? You get what you give! So… in saying that… it’s my focus to be a better friend, better mom, better wife, better daughter…

Self reflection is huge… and often times we create expectations in our own minds… and that’s where life can get messy. Hey… life is busy. It’s hard to be everything to everyone. But, it’s not my intention to wallow in self pity… it’s my intention to come out of this a better version of who I was before! And, so… I will attend those coffee dates (I have one tomorrow)! I will make time! I will not just think about someone I will act upon it! A simple text, phone call, etc! A better me… 💗

I’m recovering well… I had a huge reaction to the dermabond! It’s my body revolting telling me… girl… enough is enough! I don’t think there is any adhesive I am not allergic to! So I’m almost 2 weeks out and still covered in rash! I tried to work on Benadryl and was walking around like a zombie! That was not effective! So, I’m trying to tough it out… Everything is healing fine! I read my surgery report and he lipo’d a whopping 180cc’s. That is like nothing! All those holes for 180cc’s?? So… I’m not Barbie! 😜 I’m definitely more symmetrical! My drain will come out Friday and my backside should fill in nicely. The conch is gone!

Love ya’ll 🙂

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I’m SO done with surgery… Recovery update!

6 days post operation… and overall I’m feeling pretty good! I’m up and around, I seem to be healing well! Everything with surgery went well…. as to be expected! He did A LOT more than I anticipated! I had some areas of concave area in my chest that kept freaking me out because it looked so unnatural… and kept worrying me about recurrence. But, they felt it was just post surgery change. So… he fixed all that, my chest where my port scar is now all filled in… it’s been extremely sore, so he must have done a lot to that area… he re-cut the right cheek and the right breast completely, I’m much more uniform. And… regardless of the outcome, I’ve decided. This is it…. I am not ever doing this again! This was technically necessary… I could have lived with the outcome as I was… but, after cancer…. you want to find some semblance of your former self. I feel NOTHING even close to my former self. In some ways improved…. and in some ways, so scarred.

Which leads me to my next topic… I have never been a believer in tattoos. My husband has them, my kids have them…. I have just never felt the need… mostly due to my upbringing and religious beliefs. The way I look, in clothes… no one would EVER know what I’ve gone through. My appearance is different than before… my hair texture is different, it’s stick straight… where it was always very hearty and had a bit of a wave… my body shape is different for obvious reasons… I’ve tried to create a normal life as much as possible for myself… but, when I look in the mirror (and honestly I try to avoid this if at all possible)… I am reminded of what I’ve had to go through. It’s not pretty people…. it’s just not. It’s in my opinion horrendous… nothing looks the same on either side… it was a matter of trying to save any chance of a breast… It’s not beautiful. My husband says I’m beautiful…. no matter what. But, the lights are OFF. I appreciate his love for me… but I don’t feel beautiful. I carry myself with self confidence, I have self love… it’s not that I hate myself or anything like that…. but I don’t feel beautiful or sexy. So… I hope this does not offend anyone…. I am considering, tattoo’ing my breast area after this is all healed. I want to look in the mirror and admire myself and the way it looks…. it’s just a slap in the face reminder that breast cancer looms. I wasn’t going to have reconstructed nipples, I was going to get 3D tattoos, as it was… but, what’s the point in that? It’s still going to look ridiculous. I want to show you a few examples of how it can totally change someone’s appearance. These examples… are 10X better than my result… I wish mine looked this good.

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And in general… just making a scar that looks ugly into something beautiful… it becomes art. It makes you forget that the injury existed…

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So, with this in mind… I would love to have someone look at my scars… and create me the most beautiful tattoo cover… I’d love to have a butterfly in it… with teal and some pink – I had always thought I’d put a breast cancer ribbon, but I don’t think I will… there again, another reminder – I want to forget about it… not be constantly reminded. Nothing that would ever show if I were wearing a bathing suit… just something for me to feel beautiful. Something for me to feel beautiful in front of my husband… ❤ I know I have a lot of talented friends and family… who could make it happen. If not, I plan to have some artist do this for me… and again, I hope this does not offend any of my friends. I hope you understand. It will be ONLY for me and my husband.

Yesterday, I was having the blues… normal after surgery blues… but I was also really sad, because… I felt totally forgotten. I do need to thank my friend Kay for coming to stay with me for those first couple days… she took care of me with her doTerra oils and I do feel my bruising is significantly less. I do have something going on from surgery and being intubated… she was using Cinnamon and Thyme on my lungs to help me cough it up and it did help, but I’m headed back to work Saturday and I’m still real raspy and coughing a lot, so my doctor did call me in another antibiotic – most likely also due to my lovely asthma – being intubated just aggravates my lungs. But, thank you… Kay. Everyone is busy…. I get it. But literally other than my son and his fiancé and Kay and Marina… I’ve had not one visitor and worse, very few texts and calls to check in. Like literally, I can count on one hand. It just made me so sad…. When I was first diagnosed, I had this overwhelming outpouring of love and support… which was amazing and wonderful and literally overwhelming and now…. it’s like I’m forgotten.

So, I wanted to touch on that for a minute… because it’s something I’ve been thinking about as well… with the recent deaths of some major stars… George Michael, Prince, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and many others….

What I do not understand about our society…. people are left to oblivion… they are not mentioned, they are not thought of….. they are in obscurity. Then, they die…. and all these people flock to show their love and support. But, wait… they’re dead. They no longer know you care… where were you while they were alive? I bet they were feeling lonely and forgotten… Is it for publicity that people flock to show their support? Maybe it’s purely guilt. But, why is it that when people are ALIVE AND WELL… that people don’t think to be with them? It’s only when they are knocking on deaths door or dead that people decide to show that they care. I feel like someone (maybe even me) needs to create a movement…. SUPPORT YOUR LOVED ONES WHILE THEY’RE LIVING, PEOPLE! At any point any one of us can die in a car accident, heart attack, stroke…. I’ve done everything in my physical power to be near to my parents, to support them, spend time with them… because in all honesty, sometimes I feel like they are ALL I have!!! They are the only ones I know will be here in a skinny minute to help me with anything I might need. My Mom is cleaning my drain day and night, I could do it myself…. but she does it, because she WANTS to! And someday, I pray I can do the same for her! Everyone is just so self consumed and busy with their lives. I’m not the world’s best friend… but when someone is sick, I try to reach out… do something nice, especially because I realize what a HUGE impact that made for me. It is my mission in 2017 to be a better friend, even to acquaintances that may need support. Even if it’s a simple Facebook message. It can mean everything to someone that is going through a down time. I have so many people I try to support already and I work crazy hours and I have a busy life too…. but, this is important to me. There is nothing worse than recovering… and feeling lonely or forgotten. I don’t say this to make my friends or family feel guilty…. but maybe it will help you to self reflect, sometimes people don’t even realize how consumed in their own lives they are… and they have every right to be… this is not a throwing of stones or singling anyone out…. this should just be a “you know what, you’re right…. I’m going to work on this too” kind of moment…. No one is perfect, ESPECIALLY me… I’m sensitive and I take things to heart, I over think, I am impatient, I’m stubborn at times… I could go on and on…. And… I’m strong and I sometimes give the impression that I don’t need anyone… and that could be the furthest thing from the truth. I need my family, I need my friends, I need to feel loved and cared about…. I don’t need much, either. I appreciate everything.

Cancer changes you in so many ways… it makes you really think differently than you did before and those going or having gone through it… get it. Some welcomed and some not so welcomed.

I’m going back to work Saturday… and I honestly cannot wait. I will ease myself into it. I’m going to work Saturday a shorter than normal day, Sunday is only 6 hours and I’ll have off Monday, work Tuesday and be off Wedesday and Thursday and then will be back to my regular schedule. Next Friday I should get my dressings off… and I’m hoping my drain can come out sooner, there is nothing worse than trying to lug around a drain while working. But, right now my input is still pretty great and I have a feeling they will want me to keep it while being on my feel all day Saturday and Sunday. Maybe Monday it can come out… I’m not going to push it, because I have learned the hard way…. seromas just cause problems…. it will come out when it’s ready! I adore my work family! Some are honestly truly family and others I consider amazing friends…. I love working there, I love my schedule, I adore my management team. It’s an amazing place to work and I can’t wait to be back at it! This sitting around thing does not suit me!!! 🙂 I was secretly happy that we had snow on Saturday because it didn’t put me too far behind…. I know they feel differently!

That’s all I have for today! Call your Momma’s and Daddy’s…. check on your kids and your friends!!! ❤

Saying Goodbye To My Conch Shell Butt – Surgery Tomorrow!

 

For the past year and 2 months I’ve had this lovely conch shell butt, that I’ve been disguising by wearing long shirts and sweaters. Anything that is clingy gets caught in that hole… pockets on jeans invert, etc… so it’s been a bit of an annoyance, but… I’m alive – so who can complain!? I’m not complaining… one bit. I’ve just dealt with it. So, for five months after my SGAP procedure where they took fat folds from my backside and created breasts from them… I had a hole that my mom packed for me on a daily basis, sometimes two times a day. At first it was the size of a nickel however the pocket (seroma) that pocketed fluid… was about the size of a jean pocket and initially gathered a lot of fluid. It would leak and was a literal pain in my backside. So… as it healed, it inverted and created this hole of sorts… it looks like a conch shell. So… tomorrow, that is being fixed… My doctor is going to re-open the entire scar which is the entire butt cheek wide… and fill it and fat graft from other areas. Then he is going to also lift and fix my breasts. Overall, they look pretty good other than the mismatched skin because apparently your backside doesn’t tan like your other skin. And… radiated skin is darker so it’s a stark contrast. I’ve learned to disguise it pretty good. The nice thing is, they do feel like normal boobs… they are a lot more natural than implants.

When my doctor did my last surgery in October of 2015, he was more concerned about making the flaps survive with the blood vessels and I knew there would need to be this 2nd phase of this surgery and in retrospect, I’m glad I’ve waited this long because things have healed a lot better over time. The hole is there but it’s less, if that makes sense. I’m SO looking forward to losing this part!

I’m going to tell my doctor tomorrow, that he needs to suck and suck because after all I’ve been through, with what seems like nearly every side effect that can happen…. I deserve to walk out looking like Barbie 🙂 But, reality is… I probably will have more even boobs and no conch. And, I’m ok with that. I’m 44. It’s all good.

I’ve had several people contacting me worried, they haven’t heard from me… No news is good news! I’ve been busy. I started back at Ashley in May and I’ve been busy with work and life in general. So much good stuff has happened! My son and his girlfriend were engaged in August! They are getting married this April 21 and I could not be more excited! They are absolutely perfect for each other and to say they are smitten, just doesn’t even scratch the surface. Love is a wonderful thing! I couldn’t have chosen a better pairing, if I could have hand picked someone for my son! I adore her! I’m extremely proud to call her my daughter in law. So, I’ve been able to pull some favors from my wedding industry friends to help their wedding day come together and it’s going to be amazing! And, with this surgery… hopefully I will also feel more of myself and I can feel proud of my appearance on their wedding day!

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Also, we had planned to build a home on my parents land and we moved with them for a short time back in May… and we found out building would not be financially smart. The septic system would cost a lot of money. We manged to save and recuperate a bit financially and in September when we weren’t really looking our real estate agent sent us a listing that was PERFECT. It had an in law apartment completely separate for my parents and our brains were reeling with all the possibilities. It honestly didn’t need much but some paint and some updates… over time, it’s going to be perfect. Late November we moved… and we LOVE it! It’s absolutely beautiful! It’s going to be the perfect forever home for us all!

I have been having some pains in my sternum area which I was concerned with and of course wanted to have checked before this surgery. They really feel my anatomy has changed from all the surgery and costochondritis is something I will battle with. It’s just inflammation where the sternum and rib cartilage come together… They scanned me… and my doctor said it’s stable and improved. That area of concern back in March-May seems to be better! So, that was a major relief. Every time I scan… I worry. My mind escapes me and I go there. Worrying. I hate it. It’s just part of the whole process having had cancer.

I’m praying this recovery is easy and I actually heal how I should. No packing holes, no seromas, no infections! That’s my wish! I’m HOPING to be back to work in a week or so!

I have lots to look forward this year!! I’m so excited for all that is to come!! Thanks to all who still read! 🙂

Is it or isn’t it? Stage 4

imageI haven’t written a blog yet about my most recent scare… I believe that I’ve talked about the sclerotic change in previous posts… I needed time to process it.

On May 15, I was told I had metastatic breast cancer of the sternum, stage 4. I was supposed to start radiation.. Upon meeting the radiology oncologist, he told me I should be thrilled, it’s not cancer.. It’s radiation fibrosis. I was encouraged to seek another opinion, so I saw Dr. Julie Fisher.. Who told me they were happy to watch and wait, but they wanted to take it to a board of medical doctors to review all my scans and my case.

I had a bone scan in November 2014 5 months after completing radiation. No evidence of cancer.

In September 2015 I had an MRI of my thoracic spine and also my sternum. No evidence of disease.

After my surgery… My most recent surgery where they grafted fat from my backside, I had excruciating pain throughout my rib and sternum area. I had my local chiropractor treat that specific area…. It was causing me pain.

March 2016 I had a scan that showed sclerotic change (CT Scan). I had a follow up scan in May 2016 that looked to be suspicious for Metasteses. I needed a bone scan to confirm. The bone scan confirmed Mets to the sternum. My doctor told me, I’m sorry.. It is Stage 4, I didn’t want to believe it. And had me quickly proceed to radiation. I got there and was in complete shock when he told me it was not.. But radiation fibrosis.

I saw Dr. Fisher, she agreed with the radiation oncologist… Then they had this meeting… And compared my scans. Radiation fibrosis tends to get worse over time and there was no sign of it on my previous scans… And so now they were questioning themselves. And, requiring a biopsy.

There’s a glitch. I informed my oncologist of my intention of changing jobs. I would not have quit had I known I needed a biopsy. He told me that my quality of life was equally as important and I needed to do what made me happy.

So after I was told to watch and wait… Now I need a biopsy and don’t have benefits until August 1. I could elect for cobra but it’s RIDICULOUSLY expensive! I just started working back at Ashley. So, now I have no choice but to watch and wait.

In the mean time, I had some FSA left and I elected to see an alternative doctor who did a thermal scan… Which showed alllll kinds of things. In addition to the sternum, it showed the thoracic spine, new blood flow in each breast (this could be due to the flap surgery where they connected the artery) and some involvement of  my lymphatic system from under my left rib down to my belly. Some doctors do not believe in these scans. I’ve seen them first hand detect someone’s artery and it was blocked and they were able to treat it and it prevented them from having a stroke at a young age!

I’m a proponent for natural health, I do believe with the right tools that your body can heal itself. It’s a beautifully designed machine and each and every one of us has rogue cancer cells that are killed off every day. I do not believe going to this alternative doctor alone will help me stave off cancer. I believe it can’t hurt. If I have stage 4, I believe whole heartedly I need to go to Mexico for treatment. But, without a diagnosis I do not feel comfortable raising money to do so.

I can only do what is within our immediate means. Just the way I’m eating is ridiculously expensive.

I believe due to my research that stress is a huge proponent of cancer. I believe even during my recovery – no one…. Took that seriously. Not the people involved in my original fund raiser, not my employers at the time, not my family. No one took that aspect seriously.  People brought additional stress to my lives that was unnecessary. Unfortunately, as much as I try to preach about not having negativity in my life, some stress is brought in by immediate family members. I have no control over it, I have no choice but to try to manage it as best I can and walk way. I HAVE to, for my own well being. I do not do well with people who are selfish, drama inducing, problem causing people. I keep a clean circle of people around me, ever so small that I know HAVE MY BACK!!!

I’ll be the first to admit, I do NOT manage stress well. I have a physical reaction to stress… I get red on my chest all the way up my neck. I hate confrontation… I do my very best to avoid it, but even at work… No matter the job I have… There is going to be confrontation. My previous job placed a lot of stress on me to do well… And make more than my base salary. I needed to reduce that level of stress. At Ashley, there are a lot more personalities than there were before and it’s bound to happen. New people do not know me. I’m going to answer questions and not be rude to customers – without stealing your client. I do the right thing because I couldn’t deal with the stress any other way. I follow the rules. But, I also will not be taken advantage of. Fair is fair and if it’s necessary to confront it, I will do it… But not without it’s element of stress on me. Fortunately, most of the people I work with loved me before… And never stopped loving me, I consider them my family.

I believe there were many factors, a perfect storm… That caused my cancer to flare. Now I need to tackle it.

Is it stage 4? In my gut… I feel like it is. I hope they can prove me wrong. Honestly, at this point… They have no clue unless they biopsy it.

In my research, I’ve learned a bunch of new things… Cancer can be spread by mammograms… By the compression of the tumor, it causes the cells to escape. And… Biopsies… Cutting into cancer, is like kicking a bee hive. Then they let weeks pass before they radiate or do chemo. Is chemo even effective? It wasn’t for my cancer… I had 8cm left and 7/12 nodes were positive for cancer.

Now, am I opposed to having conventional treatment… Absolutely not. I feel I need to do EVERYTHING in my physical power to be here for the people who love me. I have so many people who love me.

I’m at a stand still… I wrote my doctor a note… This morning. You told me it was cancer, then I was told it wasn’t, then I was told to watch and wait and now you want to biopsy. I told my doctor of my work plans… And now it’s impacted my life. It frustrates me!!!! And they need to know that! THIS IS MY LIFE THEY ARE PLAYING WITH!!!!! This one decision could impact the cancer growing! Then what?!

I’ve been able to keep my mind clear for the most part.. I’ve been so busy, I’ve neglected to pray. I have these next 3 days off to reconnect with my creator, take walks and spend time with my innocent little man… Who loves and adores me so much! And, see what they suggest as to my plan of action…. At this point, due to my current insurance situation…. I will have no choice but to wait. I can’t afford a mortgage payment for insurance. I pray my diet and supplement choices help me during this time. In the mean time, I would be so appreciative if you’d also consider keeping me in your prayers.

To those who still read, I love you…

 

 

 

Sclerotic Change – Giving it to God…

It’s been a little while… and there’s lots to put down in words.

2 months ago, I had scans and my doctor said that there was “sclerotic change” on my scans. It was different than previous scans. It affected my sternum and 1st rib. For nearly two months, I’ve been semi-concerned about it. It’s hard when you know something “could” be wrong that could change your life dramatically, and when you’ve been through all this before… it’s so worrisome. I’ve carried this burden myself, I’ve prayed about it – sure. I don’t know that I’ve completely given it to God.

In my research, when there is tumor… either the cancer eats at the bone or it builds up bone around it. Sclerotic means, builds up the bone around it. So, I’ve developed a hump on my breast bone on my sternum area.

2 months pass, lots going on so it was easy to semi-forget. I went to my oncologist on Monday and he said there was more than just “sclerotic change” – there was also an internal mammary node that was swollen. I was re-scanned on Friday. I really did my best to forget about it this past weekend… but, it’s hard to completely forget.

My doctor called me and said that the  “sclerotic change” has remained stable. He told me that it would be his suggestion to do a bone scan. I’ve decided to go back to Ashley… and so I’ll be without benefits for 2 months. I asked him if he felt I would be ok to wait that long. He felt that it’s fine to wait 10 weeks. He said “IF” it is cancer.. it’s not fast growing based upon the fact that it’s remained stable for the past two months… He said “I’m not going to lie and tell you that it’s not or it could not be cancer”….and then he said regardless.. the protocol will be no different, now or 10 weeks from now IF it were cancer.  It’s imperative that I make this change back to Ashley – I am just not happy at my current job. I left on good terms, so thankfully they are having me back.  I’ll have a completely different schedule and 3 weekdays off, so I’m so excited for this… it will be so important for me to have this time with Greyson. I’m loved and respected there and that is vital for my well being, as well. I know, I just can’t seem to figure out my work thing…. it’s VERY hard losing your business. This as close to “home” as I’ll get to photography. They are like family there…

Anyway, I prematurely expressed my concern for my health to my kids and I’m so ashamed of myself for doing this…  I HAVE to bear this burden of worry. I obviously do not realize, even though they act all strong and tough… how much they love me and I mean to them. I’m ok. I know that’s all that matters.

All this time… I’m just like lying in wait for it to happen… is this the time… is now the time?? Will it be the next set of scans??? I don’t think you can fathom how it feels, you just can’t…. it’s HORRIBLE. My doctor was extremely realistic with me about my chance of recurrence and it’s literally put a fear in me….. and I realize, I cannot bear this on my own. I can’t do it anymore. I just can’t. I have to give it to God. I have to trust in him…. no matter what that I’ll be ok… and no matter what, my kids will be ok. I have to do what is best for my well-being… I have to find joy and peace in the simplest of things. I have to let go of this fear… It will be easier said than done. Another 10 weeks of worry??? No! I won’t do it… I’m going to revel in the sunshine…. and enjoy summer. I’m so tired of worrying.

I had an amazing Anniversary weekend… my children showed me such love and I’m so incredibly blessed to have them in my life. So incredibly blessed.

We are making some huge changes… to make it a bit easier to recuperate and save some money to build a house. Let’s just say, we’re simplifying and the goal is to have a home that will incorporate a home for my parents, as well. I am so incredibly grateful to my parents…. my Mom rides these waves with me. I HAVE to be able to talk to someone while this is going on or I will go crazy…. and my Mom, I know she’s just as fearful as my children are. I cannot even imagine. But, they are all praying for me, with me… and fortunately, at this point… I’m going to revel in the fact that I can be blissfully unaware of cancer.

It’s so incredibly important that I remain stress free with a positive attitude… and I’ll be honest. Life has been anything BUT stress free. I am a huge believer that stress AND diet contribute. I’ve had my fair share of stresses… finances being primary. Cancer has wreaked havoc on our lives. Hopefully, it will all be on the upswing from here.

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Beautiful life

My last posts have been extremely negative and I stretch the reason to being out of my control… I was given a drug I did not need and going off of it has been the best thing, I could’ve done for myself. I’m me again!  I’m so thankful…

This week has been a week of lots of positivity… And a lot of heartache. It really puts things in perspective for you, when you see someone’s life lost to cancer. I’ve watched Joey Feek’s battle. Such a beautiful person… But equally as beautiful was her husband Rory’s sentiments to his wife. I read the blog of his wife’s passing and you cannot help but bawl…. What a wonderful human being. I’m sure watching someone suffering from this disease, it makes you want what’s best for them.. Not necessarily what’s best for you… Keeping them with you. I’m going to include his blog… I warn you, it’s heart wrenching.. And beautiful at the same time.

a dream come true

I sat with a dear friend this week who lost her father and she’s trying to find her new way of normal. It’s such a battle… Those left behind. But, I’m so incredibly proud of her, because she’s doing it. Something she probably thought was imaginable… She’s managing to find her way. It still hurts and the thoughts pass through her mind and the tears fall… But, she’s finding reasons to smile and laugh. It’s a wonderful thing. I’m so proud of you Katie. We all know how hard this is for you… And so many of us are here for you. Trying to relate in some way, if nothing else… Just to hug you and hold your hand.

Another friend is battling stage 4 breast cancer that is causing her unbelievable pain, but she’s finding the positives in each day. Each day is a gift. It truly is. I’m resolving to find beauty in each and every thing and every day…. Life isn’t fair, things are thrown at each and every one of us.  We ALL have our struggles.

This fear of the disease I face is going to be ongoing…. But it’s out of my control. It’s so much easier to give it to God and allow him to battle  it for you…

Please, if you can… Say a few prayers… My follow up appointment is Monday.. To say I’ve been feeling my best, would not be the truth… I’ve had so many little things that have scared me and they turned out to be absolutely nothing. From a spot in my eye, to new spots in my breast, to pain in my spine and tailbone… Everything was normal. I pray this is the case, this follow up. And… If not, I will continue to fight!!! Just like everyone else faced with this disease!

I know so many people came to love Joey… Me included. Not knowing someone and falling in love with them, they way we did with her… It’s just beautiful. I will continue to pray for her family… Finding beauty in the things that she has touched in their beautiful life…