Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Out With Chemo and In With Radiation!

I had my last visit for quite a while with my oncologist yesterday. My blood work was good to go and my prescription for Tamoxifen is waiting to be picked and started after radiation is over.

There really isn't that much to report right now. I have my first appointment with my radiation oncologist on the 7th of January where they will decide the area that will receive the radiation and mark it. I will likely begin my full on treatment on the 12th. There will be a total of 36 treatments and I should end them around the first part of March. I will, of course, keep you posted!

I have added a link to my site that everyone should check out. It is called areyoudense.org and it tells the story of women with dense breasts who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. Some early, so quite late. Check it out!!!

Have a great day and Happy New Year!

Love you all,


Friday, December 26, 2008

It's All Fine in 2009!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! Ours was great. We were able to see family and friends, but spent a quiet Christmas Eve and Day together in Clarksville. Last year we celebrated Christmas Day via the webcam, so we were both so happy to be together.

This morning I am sitting in the manroom watching the news in my new comfy pjs my sweet husband got me for Christmas! My plan is to avoid the mall today and stay put getting ready for the new year. I want to enjoy my Christmas tree for a few more days before putting everything back up in the attic.

We are looking forward to 2009. I begin the new year with the third step in my fight against breast cancer, radiation. I must admit that I am a bit more apprehensive of this step than I was chemotherapy. I know there will be more physical discomfort because the radiation will be intense on my left breast. From what I have researched and been told, my skin will become "sun burned" so to speak, which is going to be very uncomfortable. I will need to shop a bit this weekend to find some comfortable tops to wear that will "bind" me, but not be too uncomfortable. I am told wearing tradional bras is not going to be comfortable, so I must find alternatives. Thankfully, this will only be temporary and by the time spring gets ready to roll around, I should be healed up and will only need to protect the area from the sun. So, I guess that means no trips to topless beaches this year!!!! LOL LOL LOL LOL

Another big deal for 2009 in our household is the dreaded "budget"!! Now that husband is going to be home for a couple of years, we are going to focus our efforts on getting some changes made to the house and backyard. That means no "retail therapy" for Lynne!!! That shouldn't be a problem for me since Woody will be home. My "retail therapy" seems to increase when he is deployed! Of course, I will have to budget big for the spring since we are also going to incorporate a new health regime in '09...that means NONE of my clothes will fit and I will HAVE to replace them with much smaller sizes!!! (Hey, Meli...I will try to get to a 6 so that you can clean our your closet!!!)

I also plan to get very serious about my Real Estate business. 2008 had many ups and downs that kept me sidetracked from my business. I don't want that to happen this year. The first quarter will be a challange because of the radiation regime, but I know that I can lay my foundation during that time and reap the benefits the rest of the year. Real Estate has given me so much flexibility and I enjoy it very much. Now it is time for me to give back, so to speak, by actually working my business as a full time career and not just when I can fit it into my schedule. Of course, my diagnosis made things difficult, but it is time for that excuse to end and to get back to work! So, don't forget to send your referrals my way and remember that I can help you find an agent pretty much wherever you live!!

That should be enough for one morning, huh?! It is time to get focused on my house. Woody and I are going to go through our clothes and get rid of what we don't/won't/can't wear. There is someone out there who could benefit from what we don't use. Nothing wrong with spring cleaning in the winter!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love you all,


Monday, December 22, 2008


I come to you this morning from my mother-in-law's house in Pelham, Alabama, where it "feels" like 21 degrees!! YIKES! I am wearing an Alabama hoodie with the hood up to warm my bald head. I never knew hair was more than just an accessory until I didn't have any!

This weekend has been wonderful. Although Woody and I have both been sick with sinus infections, we have managed to make a short and sweet tour through Alabama to see most everyone. We started at the "Country Cottage" where we saw my side of the family and ended in Pelham at Woody's mothers. I have to give a big shout out to our nephew Taylor because we didnt' get to see him this trip. He has been sick with strep throat. Taylor, I hope you are better soon so you can fully enjoy your Christmas vacation!

I must go now. I have a bit of work to do and then after breakfast I need to clean the kitchen since my sweet Mother-in-Law is fixing breakfast!

Love you all,


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Downhill from here!

Well, I have to say it is downhill from here as far as chemo goes. All of the side effects from it and the Neulasta shot should be winding down!

Woody and I have both been sick with sinus/cold stuff, though, for the last couple of days. We have both cleared up a bit tonight and feel like we can meet the day tomorrow with some sort of energy!

Well, this is a short and sweet update. Hope you all have a great weekend!

Love you all,


Monday, December 15, 2008

Dense Breasted Women Read This!!!

I found this article at caring4cancer.com and thought it was perfect for my blog. This study is designed for me and women like me with dense breast. If you have dense breast or think you may have, then you need to read this article! I am planning to begin my Tamoxifen treatment after radiation is done.

Love you all!


Breast changes tell whether treatment works: study
December 15, 2008
By Maggie Fox

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It may be possible to predict which breast cancer patients will be helped by tamoxifen based on changes in so-called breast density, researchers reported on Saturday.

Women with dense breasts -- a term meaning they have more non-fatty tissue -- are known to have a higher risk of breast cancer and the study suggests that lowering density using tamoxifen also lowers the chances tumors will come back.

Women whose breasts became noticeably less dense after a year or so of taking tamoxifen had a 63 percent reduced risk of breast cancer, the team of British researchers told a breast cancer meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

"It is important to find a way to predict who will respond to tamoxifen, and changes in breast density may constitute an early indicator of benefit," said Jack Cuzick of the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine in London.

He said about 10 percent of women have dense breasts. Such breasts are harder to read on mammograms but there is evidence the tissue in their breasts may be more cancer-prone.

"Women with dense breasts are typically at four to five times the risk of developing breast cancer than women without dense breasts," Cuzick told reporters in a telephone briefing. Cuzick's team had conducted one of many studies that showed high-risk women who took tamoxifen were at least 40 percent less likely to either develop breast cancer, or to have it come back.

They went back and looked at all the mammograms of the more than 1,000 women who took part in the study.

If a woman's breast density did not change during the treatment, she was much more likely to develop cancer despite taking tamoxifen, Cuzick told the meeting.


"Women who lost 10 percent or more in breast density -- 40 percent of the women getting tamoxifen -- had a 63 percent, almost a two-thirds, reduction in all breast cancer," he told the briefing.

Cuzick stressed the study only looked at tamoxifen and not at other treatments, such as the newer drugs known as aromatase inhibitors. But he said it validated the idea of using breast density as a way of telling whether a treatment is working, whether tamoxifen or something else.

"If a woman doesn't show breast density dropping within a year or so, you might want to consider other therapy," Cuzick said.

In another report, a team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota said they found some clues as to why dense breast tissue is more likely to develop tumors.

Dense breast tissue contains more cells believed to give rise to breast cancer, Dr. Karthik Ghosh told the meeting.

Dr. Celine Vachon and colleagues found that dense breast tissue has more aromatase enzyme than non-dense tissue. This is significant because aromatase helps convert hormones into estrogen, which can fuel breast cancer development.

"If aromatase is differentially expressed in dense and non-dense breast tissue, this could provide one mechanism by which density may increase breast cancer risk," Vachon said in a statement.

Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited.


Just a quick note to let you all know that I have completed my chemo regimen! Woody and Destiny shared in the experience with me. We stormed into the chemo party room and created quite the stir! There were several people there that were having their first treatment, so I think creating the relaxed atmosphere helped them to calm a bit.

I have to say that it is going to be strange not going to the their office after my follow up visits. I did ask if I could come around every now and then with goodies and to chat with patients. They said they would welcome the visit. So, I will still visit the chemo party room in '09!!

I will let you all know how things go with this round!

Love you all,


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Chemo #4

Monday, December 15, 2008, is a special day. Why, you might ask. Because it is my last chemo treatment! WOOHOO!! I am very excited to be getting this portion of my treatment over and done with. I have been very blessed during these last couple of months. I have not had any nausea associated with the treatment and have had little side effects from the Neulasta shot designed to bring my white cell count up. The second shot didn't seem to make me as achy and tired as the first one, so I am hopeful that I will feel even less this last time. Keep me in your prayers!!

I will begin my radiation about mid-January. I admit that I am a bit nervous about this portion of my treatment. I know that it will be tiring from the sheer quantity of treatments and monotony of going everyday. The pain is likely to be where the radiation hits every time and shouldn't be anywhere else. Of course, I don't know everything (surprise, huh?!), so we just have to wait and see what happens. My plan is to take on radiation like I took on chemo and come out of it better than expected! Of course, it will take the same positive attitude from me, and prayers from all of my friends, family and those I don't even know, to make it through this challenge.

I will update again as the week goes on and we face down chemo #4! If you hear laughter in the airwaves tomorrow, it will likely be coming from the "chemo party room" at Dr. Patel's office in Clarksville, TN!!!!

Have a wonderful week.

Love you all,


Monday, December 8, 2008

White Count Still Great!

Today I had an appointment to check my bloodwork (white cell count) and I am still blessed! My count was just under what it was after the first shot, which means I can feel comfortable with my ability to fight infection and germs!

I have scheduled my last chemo for the 15th! We also scheduled an appointment to begin the radiation process in January. If all goes as planned, then I should be done the first part of March.

The best thing that happened today is that my Mom had a good visit at her doctor. Last Friday she had to have a cyst removed from her back. At first thought the doctor expected it to be about the size of a marble, but it turned out to be the size of a baseball!! He said it was pretty much a fatty cyst and nothing to worry about! Thank the Lord!! She goes back a week from today to have her stiches removed. Remember, Mom, DO NOT overdo it!!!! I love you and my Dad, too, for taking such good care of you!

It is getting close to Christmas, so I hope you all are getting excited! I am because Woody is home with me this year!!

Have a great week.

Love you all,


Friday, December 5, 2008

Thank You Clarksville Mom's Club!

My presentation to the Clarksville Mom's Club went very well! Everyone was so nice and I saw a familiar face too...Shout out to Ashley G! I would especially like to thank my friend, Laurie Moudy, for asking me to speak.

It surprised me that I got a little emtional at the beginning. I looked out at this room of women and it occurred to me that I was standing there because I have breast cancer. I know that sounds odd since we are all very aware that I have (or I like to say "had") breast cancer! I guess that talking about it to family and friends on a more intimate level brings about different emotions than sharing it with people you don't know in the form of a crowd. Although I believe that I shared some very important information, it also occurred to me that I am by no means an "expert" simply because I received a diagnosis. I am realistic and know that I won't ever have all of the answers, but today made me realize that I need to know more.

As I have said, I do believe that there is a bigger picture to this cancer thing. The purpose, I believe, is to share my story and bring awareness to early detection. In particular, how I feel that an ultrasound can be a very useful tool to an early diagnosis. Remember ladies, it is your body and the doctor works for you!!!

I would like to thank the women I met Friday for inspiring me. I know that I can become more effective with my message if I gain more knowledge about breast cancer, treatment options, side effects, etc. I need to look beyond what is happening to me in order to help others.

Have a wonderful weekend and ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!

Love you all,


Thursday, December 4, 2008

Breast Cancer Presentation

Tomorrow is the day! It is my very first presentation on breast cancer. I will be speaking to moms with the Clarksville Mom's Club. Basically, I will tell my story and provide them with a folder of information. Since 1 out of every 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, some of them or someone they know will need the information. I do have a game that I plan to let them play for door prizes...breast cancer bingo! I will let you all know how it goes!

Today I got a bit tired, so I plan to rest up tonight and be ready for tomorrow!

Love you all,


Itchy Thursday!

This post is going to be short and sweet...no, itchy!!!

A few times since starting chemo and the Neulasta shot I have been overcome with itching all over my body. The worst spots are on my head and back, so I was off to Walgreens this morning for relief!! It is beginning to work already, but I sure can't wait for the medicine to work its magic and the itching goes away!!!

Monday is my "nader" visit, which is where they test my blood to see how all of my counts are doing. I am confident that it will be as good as the last time.

Have a great day!

Love you all,


Friday, November 28, 2008

We Say Merry Christmas!

I titled this blog "We Say Merry Christmas" because we do! Anytime someone says "Happy Holidays" I always answer with "Merry Christmas". I'm sure there are many employers who do not allow their associates to say antyhing that might "offend" someone, so, those associates often have no choice in the matter and I can respect that. We have bumper stickers that we got from Bill O'Reilly when I ordered Woody a "no pin-heads" door mat that are ready to get taped in the window (we don't apply actual bumper stickers to our cars)! As you have probably guessed, they say "We Say Merry Christmas"!!

I love the Christmas season! Family and friends are everything and this time of the year really makes one reflect about what is important. Of course, this Christmas season is especially important to us. I'm so blessed to have my husband at home while I go through the bump in the road. Today we strung the lights on our Christmas tree and put all of the ornaments on it. It is quite pretty and festive!

On the cancer front: I have been a bit tired this week and have actually taken naps! My Neulasta shot made me achy and it lasted through last night. Again, it wasn't excrutiating, but it was constant enough to make me aware of it! I have continued to be blessed by not really being sick from the chemo. I have experienced the "chemo brain" quite a lot lately. It is so hard to remember things from one minute to the next. I have also been experiencing "hot flashes"!! Those are not fun, trust me! But, I will take them over throwing up any day of the week!!

We got a wonderful Christmas present today...Alabama beat Auburn!!! ROLL TIDE ROLL!! We end the regular season undefeated and meet Flroida in the SEC championship game next Saturday. Can we all say "BEAT FLORIDA"?!

Take care and I love you all!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Three Down and One to Go!!!

Well, yesterday I had my 3rd chemo, did a final walk-through for a closing this evening, and showed a house! Today, I took it a bit slower...phone calls from home, Neulasta shot, and a closing at 5!!!!

As before, I have been responding well with chemo. My face was quite red this morning and I woke with a headache that 2 extra strength tylenol and a big cup of coffee seems to be knocking out! I am praying that I continue with this type of response this week and after my last treatment on December 15th. I am sure it will, because I have been on more prayer list than you can imagine. If you think prayer doesn't work, just ask me! Thank you to all of prayer angels!

I hope you all have plans for a great Thanksgiving with family and friends. Woody and I are going to Destiny's for some good eating! She is making the turkey and a few sides (apple pie!!) and we are bringing dressing, sweet potato casserole, and homemade pumpkin roll. She said if I am feeling bad from the Neulasta shot, then I can just march myself right over in my pjs!!! Now that is a true friend, and one that just might see me in my pjs!!!

I am getting excited about my presentation on the 5th to the Clarksville Mom's Club on breast cancer. I will talk briefly about my diagnosis, surgery and treatment as well as show my mammogram film and ultrasound results. The big difference will be the mammogram said "all clear" and the ultrasound said "you have breast cancer". I have gotten a box of booklets from one company that has a lot of good information in them. I am going to put together additional info for the packets that I hope someone will find helpful.

I have found a neat little game for them to play for door prizes...it is "breast cancer bingo"!! It is cool because on the back of each card will be a fact that I will read about nutrition, exercise, etc.

Well, I am going to close now. I am getting a little tired. My mouth and lips are dry from the chemo and my body is beginning to ache a bit from the shot. That is all to be expected, so no worries! I have been extremely blessed through this whole thing and expect to have the same type of results from the radiation after the first of the year.

Happy Thanksgiving and I love you all!


Monday, November 24, 2008

Back to Realty!

Good morning!

Well, Meli leaves this morning and we've had a great weekend! Yesterday after church we picked up a few things at Walmart and came home to bake. I made my FIRST ever pumpkin rolls and they both came out beautifully!! Look out world...Lynne is probably getting on a pumpkin roll!! (no pun intended, of course!)

Seriously, it was wonderful having Meli here. We enjoyed some much overdue time together. There's nothing like cancer to help one remember what, and especially who, is important in life! If there is anyone in my life that I have forgotten to say "I love you and appreciate you" to, please know that I do love and appreciate you!

Today is chemo #3. WOO HOO!!! I will let you know how it goes later in the week.

Have a wonderful week and a beautiful Thanksgiving!!

Love you all,


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Best Friends are Awesome!!

I am so excited! My friend, Meli, of over 20 years will arrive in Nashville tomorrow morning!! We will get to enjoy some much overdue time together. We used to have two weekends each year where we went to the beach and to Atlanta for Christmas shopping. Life, of course, took over and those weekends seemed to end. Since moving to Clarksville, we have started them back up and have enjoyed shopping at Opry Mills and hanging out in Clarksville each November.

This weekend, thanks to the Neulasta shot, I get to shop with her and not wear a mask!! We will only hit the mall on Friday for a few hours and then head to Clarksville for the rest of the weekend. She is going to teach me to make her famous pumpkin roll and I can't wait!! It is yummy and I'm sure there are no calories at all so I can make many for the holidays!!!!!

I have to thank Destiny, again, for helping me break through my Brick Wall on Monday! Her ability to move right into "we can get through anything" mode was right on time!! By Tuesday morning I was back to myself. Yesterday she and I were back at Kohl's. This was her shopping trip, but she moved right over the hat section again and helped me find a new fun hat that doesn't feel like it is going to fall down over my eyes!! She also came across a headband (we were laughing because I was trying on actual headbands...trust me, it was funny to see!!) that I can actually use as a head scarf. It doesn't hang down in the back like the "cancer scarves" I have found online. I just don't care for those because they scream "I'm sick" and I don't like to feel that way everyday. Des, you are the best!!!

A big shout out to Laurie and the "little people"!! It was fun hanging out for a bit yesterday. I just can't get over how much Sidney and Noah are growing and changing. Sidney is going to be just like her Mom and I'm so glad!!!! Noah is just fun to be around because he just seems to have the "don't worry, be happy" attitude!! Bet he will make it through life a bit easier because of it. Love you, girl.

I had better go now. I must get ready for work. Have a wonderful weekend.

Love you all,


Monday, November 17, 2008

Brick Walls

Well it finally happened. I hit my brick wall today! Actually, it was last night and it just carried over to this morning. I suppose even those of us with the most optimistic outlooks can have bad days. Thankfully, I sit here tonight feeling much better. It is amazing what a few tears can do for you.

As much as I really don't mind that my hair is gone and it appears that white is moving in, I just really didn't want to bald today! After Destiny cut some pretty cute bangs on my wig this morning, I felt like I looked like my old self again. Of course, at the end of the day the wig had to come off! They really aren't very comfortable and I am enjoying the freedom of being bald sitting on my couch!

I am going to close now. Things are heating up in Real Estate today, so I am hopeful that I will be busy with offers over the next few days! Send good vibes my way!

Love you all,


Friday, November 14, 2008


GREAT NEWS...THE NEULASTA SHOT WORKED!!!!!!!!! That's right, my white count went from "plummetting" to "skyrocketing"! Dr. Patel was very happy to see my numbers increase so much. He said that I could do my floor duty on Monday without worrying too much and could also shop for a bit with Melanie when she comes without wearing a mask! Yippeee!!!

I gathered some information today from Dr. Patel (oncologist) and Dr. Steely (surgeon) to put together a presentation about breast cancer and my story. Laurie has asked me to speak to her Mom's Club in December or January and I am very excited about it. I am hopeful that I can put together a really good presentation and be able to share it with others as well. Wish me luck!

Well, I am going to close now. Woody has gone to get Chinese food for dinner. Destiny and I had to travel a bit this afternoon to check on a listing, so I am ready for a relaxing night!

Love you all,


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blood work Friday

Hi. I come to you tonight with high hopes that my blood work will show great results from my Neulasta shot! The first time, as you may remember, my white count "plummeted" and that is why I had to do the shot after my second chemo. The blood work tomorrow will show whether it worked or not. I am optimistic that it did its job. If it didn't, then I will just hibernate to a small degree after my next chemo! No need to feel achy and sore if it doesn't work, righ?!

Oh, just a note from the bald side...I seem to be growing a little bit of hair as I am losing it!! Crazy, huh? I am excited to report that it appears my new hair is very, very blonde!!! Yes, I said blonde because I don't believe it is white unless it is white in the sense that I will once again be a "toe head"!!! For those of you who may not get that, it means I could be harkening back to my childhood and that glorious white-blonde hair that tends to leave most of us as we move toward puberty!!

I will keep you apprised on the status of my hair, since I know you all are sitting on the edge of your seat!!! lol lol lol

Have a great weekend and I will report my blood work results tomorrow.

Love you all,


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

VETERAN'S DAY: Some gave all

Today was a day that many in our nation stopped to recognize the Veterans past and present who have served honorably. There are so many that I would like to thank, especially Woody, for doing what they do. I know that I am forgetting many, but let me say a special thanks to Daddy Bud, Big Phil, Jeff P., Trey, James, J.C., Biscuit, Dustin, Dave, Melina, Joel, Tara, Krissie, Larry M., Larry E., Garth, Slim, Jeff H., Keith, ODA 584/5824, the old ODA 344 and ODA 346, Chris, Tony, and everyone else I have had the pleasure to know.

I am going to highlight three special friends who gave their all for our country. MSG Kelly Hornbeck, SSG Jason Brown, and CW2 Scott Dyer. For all of you who know us, you know these three men were very special to us, and most especially to Woody. They are always in our hearts. Kelly and Woody started out their Army careers together at Ft. Myer in 1987. I am sure D.C. was never the same! Scott and Woody started their Special Forces careers together at Ft. Bragg in 1993, and I KNOW Haiti was never the same! Jason began his Special Forces career in 2005 with Woody as his team leader. We were never the same after Jason came along. Sometimes when we think of them it is with laughter and sometimes it is with tears. As I spoke to Jason's dad, Slim, tonight it was with deep belly laughs that we remembered Jason!

Please keep all of our veterans in your thoughts and prayers.

Love you all,


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Veteran's Day in Hartselle, AL

Hartselle Jr. High School is where our niece, Tiffany, attends 8th grade. She invited Uncle Woody to participate in their annual Veteran's celebration, and this year he was able to attend. It was a beautiful program! There were probably 200 Veterans ranging from WWII to the Global War on Terrorism. As you can see from the photo, Woody wore his Class As and did he look handsome or what?!! Tiffany was surprised to see us and couldn't believe her mom and dad kept it from her!

The program included acknowledgement of all of the Veterans who stood as their era of service was announced. Woody started standing as the 80's were called out and sat down at the end! There were several students who read a special essay they had written on what Veteran's Day meant to them. They were wonderful and at times it was difficult to keep your eyes dry. The chorus and band performed beautifully. You could feel the emotion in the room as Taps was played. As close as that hit home for me, I can't even imagine the emotion in the bleachers full of Veterans.

My little brother, Richard, his wife, Rhonda, and Tiffany joined us for dinner Big Bob Gibsons!!! WOW!! We ordered too much so that we could enjoy the ribs and bbq the next day as we watched the Tide Roll over LSU!! My Dad and I are especially fond of their huge baked potato covered with chicken, cheese and a white sauce that is second to none!!

As far as the breast cancer thing goes, I am feeling good. Tomorrow starts my three days of no fresh veggies and fruits and staying away from big crowds and small kids. I am hopeful that when I go back to have my blood checked a week from now that it will show the shot I had to take worked. We will see!

As I have said before, it was wonderful having my grandmother with us for the week. I'm so thankful to have her. She is the most amazing woman. There is so much I could say about her, but that would take days on end! Da, I love you very much!!

I will go now. I hope you all have a great week. Please remember to pause on Tuesday, November 11th and have a moment of silence for all who gave their all for you and our country. Kelly, Scott, and Jason. You are all missed and loved!

I love you all,


Thursday, November 6, 2008


That is what I truly am! So far I have been tired and a little achy from the treatments and shot, but I haven't been sick like I could be. Of course, I did learn that just because I wasn't having a bad reaction to things didn't mean that I was completely healthy. I know that my body is going through a lot, so I have to take it easy for the most part to make sure I don't get really down.

On to fun stuff! Today is Destiny's birthday! I saw her for a few mintues and she looked great! Da Sims and I didn't get to have lunch with her, Laurie and Joseph which was a bummer. But, I am glad to have seen her.

Da Sims leaves tomorrow and although it will be sad, I know that she is probably looking forward to being in her own home, alone! Woody and I haven't let her do as much as she may have wanted to. She has complained that we have fed her way too much, but I know she has enjoyed it. Woody is a great cook!

Well, not too much more to share today. It has been pretty quiet around here! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Love you all,


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Neulasta, the Day After...

I come to you today without a great deal of pain!! Yipppeee!!! Don't get me wrong, I do feel achy all over, kinda like the flue, but so far I haven't felt any bone pain. I am very grateful for that!

My body seems to be reacting well from the chemo treatment. As before, I haven't felt any nausea! My mouth is already becoming sensative, which didn't happen this early the last time. I am prepared though, with my mouth rinse and chapstick.

Today I am going to just relax and hang out with my Grandmother and enjoy some time with her. We are going to roll her hair later today so that she can be even more beautiful! She truly is beautiful and our family is so blessed to have her as our matriarch!

Have a great day. Love you all,


Monday, November 3, 2008

Two Down, Two to Go!

Today was my second chemo treatment. If you view the slideshow at the bottom of the blog, you can see a pic or two of the party room itself! As always, Woody and Destiny were right there with me through the entire 3 boring hours! We talk and joke a lot and get very excited each time a bag empties and we are ready for the next! My Grandmother held down the fort at home while we were gone. I'm so thankful to have her here with us.

Back to the treatment talk...My blood work came back really good today. My white count went up as hoped, so I got to enjoy a really big salad today!! It was awesome. I am feeling fine as I type. Tomorrow I go back for the shot that will help keep my white count up. I understand that it can make you feel as though you have the flu, but we will see what it does to me. I am always hopeful that I will continue to have a good reaction for the most part. Of course, I know that whatever happens, it is all going to be good in the end! I will have successfully completed all of the butt kicking needed to kick cancer out of my body!

I will close now and write more tomorrow or the next day!

Love you all,


Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Grandmother Arrives!

Well, it has been a few days since my last post. It has been busy and fun since my cousin, Nona, brought my Grandmother, Da Sims, up on Thursday night. It was nice seeing Nona and I think she was glad to have a little time to herself on the drive back to Alabama!

As you can see from the picture posted, I had a great lunch on Friday with Da Sims and Destiny. We had the best "girls" lunch at The Looking Glass. We sat outside and ended the lunch with wonderful desserts and coffee!!

I have been feeling great and have had no temp this entire time that I have had to be careful with my white count being so low. I worked yesterday. Destiny and I had a super nice couple come into town and we were looking at houses until after dark! It was great! Today I am getting back out and spending a bit more time with them finding the right one. I know that I am likely to be confined next week to the house, so I am enjoying this weekend very much!!

My second chemo is on Monday. If all is well with my white count then chemo will be a go. If not, then I don't know how it will go from there. I will keep you all posted.

I am so excited it is November! Our wonderful friend, Melina, will be coming home from Iraq just before Thanksgiving!!! She will be coming home to her very first home!!! (I mean she has lived in a house before, but this one will be the first one she has ever bought!!) It is going to be beautiful and is in the final stages of being finished. I can't wait to see her face when she walks through the front door!! I am sure it will be a welcome sight from her accommodations in Iraq!

Well, I should close this post now. Da Sims thinks I spend too much time on the computer which is making me tired. This from a woman who gets up in the middle of the night and reads the news...online!!! I love you Da. I am so thankful to have such a wonderful Grandmother.

Have a great day and enjoy the extra hour.

Love you all,


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bald is Beautiful, Part Three: Going Bald My Way!

Well, the day finally arrived and it was Tuesday! My hair, as you know, had been gradually coming out, and Monday it started with a vengence! So, I decided it was time to do the deed!!!

Destiny and Laurie were at the house with Woody and me, so we just went out on the deck and made a party out of it! I have uploaded a picture or two, but if you either click on the link below or cut and paste it, you can see a slideshow of the whole event.


We had a great time and I have to say that it is quite liberating being bald. I know that I will have an easier time getting ready in the mornings whether I chose the itchy wig or simply a hat.

Have a wonderful day!

Love you all,


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Bald is Beautiful, Part Deux

Good morning. In continuation of what is likely to be a three or four part series, I want to talk about my trip into baldness!

Monday afternoon Destiny and I went on a mission to find scarfs of some sort due to my impending baldness. We went to Kohls because we knew ours wouldn't be too crowded in the middle of the afternoon. Of course, there weren't any scarves to speak of that would work on my head, so we were drawn to the hats. (Oh, I forgot to mention that I had decided to take my wig out for a test drive yesterday!)

Imagine the scene...Destiny and I are oohhing and aahhing over the pretty hats that had a matching scarf and/or gloves. Destiny picks up the prettiest winter white hat that is sooo soft and says, "Look at this one!". My eyes got big and I think I said something like "that is so glamorous" and had to try it on. It occurred to me that I wouldn't be wearing it with my wig on, so I said to Destiny, "Here, hold my hair!"!!! I pulled my wig off and promptly handed it to her!!! It was hilarious!! I don't know what anyone might have thought had they been in earshot and we really didn't care, because it was a glamorous hat!

We went crazy and I got four awesome hats, a couple of new scarves and a pair of yummy gloves. I have also decided that it is not likely that I will wear a wig a lot over the next few months. They really itch. I have no idea how people wear them by choice!!!

I will update again once we take off the rest of the hair. We are probably going to do it this afternoon. I don't want to see a patch here and there. I would rather just join Woody in the ranks of baldness all at once!!

Have a great week.

Love you all,


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bald is Beautiful!

Let's hope that is true when my hair falls out!! It is so strange that only yesterday I noticed that my hair has been thinning for days! It was so gradual that it didn't occur to me until I took my ponytail out after the walk. There was much more hair there than should have been, so I knew what was coming next.

Woody, Destiny and I picked out a wig on Friday after my appointment at the oncologist. I was being on the safe side and really didn't realize what was happening. My thoughts were that I would donate it if I didn't lose mine, but deep down I thought I would lose it. I am so vien about my hair, that something told me that would be my side effect versus being sick.

Well, it is a coming and I am going to embrace it! Woody shaved his head today and looks totally hot!!! So, we are going to be bald together. We are going to set up a time to just shave it off and be done with it! I will embrace being bald and Woody is committed to being bald as long as I am!!

It is time to go and catch some z's. I am working for a bit tomorrow, but only for a bit and not around people!!

Have a wonderful week and let's all say a big ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!

Love you all,


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk 08

Today was a beautiful day! Woody and I were joined by many friends early this morning in our efforts to raise awareness of breast cancer as well as raise funds to help in research.

Before I talk anymore about the day, I would like to recognize two of my specials friends who walked with us today. Laurie Moudy and Pamela Olbert. Both Laurie and Pamela lost their precious Mothers to this terrible disease. The strength that each of them showed today was amazing. As far as anyone could tell, their minds were on the present and on supporting me and my fight. I know that their minds and hearts were with their Mothers, as it should be. I hope they both know their Moms are looking down from Heaven and are so proud of their girls! They are beautiful and kind hearted and are raising their children to be the same. Niether Grandmother was able to see their Grandchildren born, but I know they are both Guardian Angels to Taylor, Cayden, Sydney & Noah. So girls, I want you to know how much I appreciate your support during this time. Please know that if you ever need my shoulder to talk about your Moms, you got it! Pamela, I know there has to be even more funny stories for you to share! I won't get mad at you for making me laugh about the things you and your Mom did while she was sick!! lol lol lol Laurie, I want us to talk sometime soon over coffee and scones (baked fresh by you with chocolate chips, of course!!) and have you tell me about your Mom and her struggle. I love you both.

Now, for the lighter side of today! This was our team "Save the Boobies" today: Woody & Me; Destiny, Amie (Des' granddaughter); Laurie and her twins, Sydney & Noah; Joseph; Micheal; Melissa & Estefan; Verisa, Michelle, Daniel & Mimi; Beth, Timothy, Jacob & Kaley; Pamela & Pat, Sumitra & Lindsey; and the Kenwood High School Cheerleaders and their Coach, Kim. WOW!!! How awesome is that?! It meant so much to me to have you all there. Next year we are going to take over!!! There will have to be a BIG tailgate party aftwards. We won't get stuck in parking lot traffic because we will be grilling burgers and dogs waiting on everyone else to leave!!

The day was gorgeous and it was wonderful to see so many different people walking & running. There were young and old and those that didn't have the strength to walk still enjoyed the day with a loved one pushing them in a wheelchair! It was very humbling for me. I know that I have (or in my mind, had) breast cancer, but I also know that I am one of the lucky ones. Mine was caught very early and I will have a full recovery! There are so many others that didn't or won't win the fight, and those that will have a much harder time beating it than me. I admire their will to fight and promise that mine will NEVER break!

I will soon have all of the pictures from everyone elses cameras (I forgot mine!) and will put together a photo album and post it soon. The pics are great!

Have a great rest of the weekend and might I say, "ROLL TIDE ROLL / BEAT TENNESSEE!"

Love you all,


Friday, October 24, 2008

Neutropenia in Cancer

Well, I didn't get the super report I had hoped when I had my blood checked today! Everything checked out well except for my white count. It took a nose dive! So, I was given strict instructions for the next week and will pretty much stay in unless it is to venture out where there aren't a lot of crowds or sick people.

I was given the go ahead to attend the Making Strides for Breast Cancer since it is an outdoor event. I can't hug or kiss anyone, so you know how hard it is going to be for me not to touch people when I talk!!

Woody, Destiny and I picked out a pretty wig today just to be on the safe side. I don't want to wake up one morning with clumps of hair falling out and nothing pretty to put on my head!! If I am lucky enough not to lose my hair, then I will donate it to ACS.

Okay, I won't bore you all tonight with any more thoughts of mine! I am attaching information regarding my problem with the white cell count. So, I guess you will be bored with medical mumbo jumbo!!

Have a great weekend and look for pictures from the walk soon!


Neutropenia refers to a low level of white blood cells. Cancer patients are at higher risk of developing neutropenia because commonly used treatments for cancer such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy destroy cells that grow at a fast rate - such as white blood cells. Since white blood cells play an important role in preventing infection, any time your white blood cell count drops, you are at higher risk of getting an infection. Throughout the course of cancer treatment it is normal practice for doctors to monitor the levels of red and white blood cells and to take action if these become too low.

Neutropenia in Cancer
Since white blood cells are destroyed as a side effect of chemotherapy, there is nothing specifically that you can do to prevent neutropenia from occurring.

Nonetheless, there are several things that you can do to reduce your risk of getting an infection when your white blood cells are low:

Take action at the first signs of infection and seek medical advice to help prevent it from spreading and getting worse. Signs and symptoms of infection include: fever, chills or sweats, shortness of breath, soreness or swelling in your mouth, ulcers or white patches in your mouth, pain or burning with urination, redness, pain or swelling of any area of your skin, pus or drainage from any open cut or sore, a general feeling of being unwell, even if you don't have a temperature or any other sign of an infection.

Perform excellent daily personal hygiene: with attention to hand-washing, sanitary hygiene eg. using pads rather than tampons.

Minimise chances of getting an infection: avoid contact with people who are unwell, has been recently given a live vaccine (such as the oral polio vaccine), try to avoid crowds eg. take public transport at off-peak times, wear shoes to prevent cuts on feet, wear sunscreen, before receiving any vaccine, make sure it is approved by your oncologist.

Neutropenic precautions: regular monitoring of temperature (contact doctor if fever), avoid uncooked foods (such as salads of raw vegetables or fruits, raw meats or fish salads, natural cheeses, uncooked eggs), speak to doctor before undergoing any dental work.

Blood Work Today!

Good morning everyone. Today is the day for my first round of blood work to see what is going on since my first chemo treatment on the 13th of October (my OLDER brother's birthday...Rob will always be older and grayer than us, Richard!!). Of course, I can't necessarily say he will be balder than us, because I could end up balder than him!! ha ha ha ha ha

I digress...Today is a big day because I don't know what to expect. Of course, I am sure it will all be good so I'm not really worried about it. I will make another post with the results tonight.

I did learn a lesson this week. I was reminded by my body that I did have surgery four weeks ago and, that although I might "think" I feel normal, I am still healing. So, I have to admit that I can't go wide open just yet! Wow, was that a hard pill to swallow! As I lay in bed Wednesday afternoon in my comfy pjs, Destiny called and gave me the what for!! I had to take it like a man and agree that I should admit when I'm really too tired to be out and about! There is so much work I can do sitting on my behind in my livingroom on my comfy chaise lounge!! Seriously, there is and I did a lot of it yesterday!

Well, my morning headache has subsided after an extra strength Tylenol so I will close and get up and move about some. Woody is at the gym and I know he wants grits and eggs for breakfast so I will get the grits going!

Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.

Love you all!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bottomless Pit...

Yep, that's me! Right now it seems as though I can't get enough to eat, which is definitely better than being sick...so I'm not really complaining! Of course, I am getting up in the morning and going to the gym to walk on the treadmill. I made the mistake of saying someone needs to smack me in the head and tell me I'm full, so Destiny has stepped up to the plate on that one!!

I appreciate the great response to my blog. It makes it so much easier to share with everyone what is going on with me. You know that I do love email and the phone, but lately I just haven't been able to keep up as much as I would like to. Ain't technology great?!!

Having so much support from my family and friends means everything to me. I truly could not do this without you all! Woody is so great and has done everything I need him to do. Thankfully for both of us it has been pretty smooth so far. I am praying it continues this way!

I am so excited that my grandmother, Da Sims, is coming to stay with us for over a week! My cousin, Nona, is bringing her up on the 30th. I don't have to share her with any other cousin after Nona leaves!! Yea me!!!! For those of you who don't know her, she is the most amazing woman! She was my inspiration for turning into a redhead before my chemo started. I will find a great picture of her and post it soon.

Well, I am worn out so it is soon to be lights out...of course not before I find out who is getting voted off of Dancing with the Stars and The Biggest Loser!!! lol lol

Love you all!

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Post!

Today is my first try at posting something for you to view! I had a great day today and am feeling really good! I was back at work pretty much full swing and am very hopeful I will have many more through the winter months!

My first chemo treatment was a week ago, so I have two more weeks until #2. I go on Friday to have my bloodwork done, so I am also expecting those numbers to be good!! The medicine they give me prior to the chemo has made me feel as though I am never full!!!!! That is so not good. I am going to have to come up with something to trigger me into thinking that I am so that I don't eat too much. Of course, I am much happier having an appetite than being sick all of the time!

I am preparing myself just in case I lose my hair. I ordered a couple of caps today just in case. If I don't need them, then I will donate them to someone. Before my treatment I had my hair cut and colored red (pic to be posted soon!) and then as we are sitting in the chemo party room Destiny found an article that said you shouldn't color your hair at all before beginning treatment, so I may have set myself up...we will see!! Wish me luck.

Well, that is pretty much it. Have a great week!


Going Bald My Way!