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,


Going Bald My Way!