Saturday, January 31, 2009

24 More To Go!

After three weeks of radiation I am looking forward to nothing interrupting the rest of my schedule! Initially I was scheduled to be finished on March 3rd, but now it is the 5th. There was a problem with the big door that keeps the radiation from reaching those outside of the treatment room and then we had a day of ice that kept them from opening. Please pray for no mechanical failures and good weather!!

Radiation is no big deal as far the treatment process itself. So far I am freckling a bit and today I noticed I itched a bit, but otherwise no real visual side effects. I have found, however, that I am tired at the end of the day! I am going to the gym pretty much every morning and walking on the treadmill from 30 - 60 minutes. My energy level is really good all day, but when I slow down and stop then it is over! Of course, I can't sleep all night because of the night sweats!! I guess I really shouldn't call them hot flashes, because they last longer than a flash!!! lol lol

All in all, I am doing fine and really shouldn't I won't!

Love you all,


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cancer is Making Me Selfish...

This morning I am reminded that life isn't just about me and what I'm going through. As I sit here typing this, my husband, Woody, is at his dear friend's house watching the Army pack his belongings to take them to storage. Jason's mother is there as well and I know this is harder than anything I've been going through or will go through.

You see, Jason was killed in action last April in Iraq. He was on Woody's team and very much a little brother to him. We all loved Jason. He had an infectious smile and laugh that made him irresistible! His mother is watching his belongings get packed today and will close on his house this week as well. I know it is just a house, but it is more than that to her and to his father. It was a big part of their son's life, and although it will bring some amount of closer for them it is also hard extremely hard to do. Jason's best friend, Jeff, made sure the tree his parents bought for him for his front yard made its way to their home in Oklahoma. It was a gesture that they will cherish each time they look out into their yard and see it growing.

Woody is hurting too. You can't serve your country with someone and not have a bond that others can't even can't even be compared to that of a husband and wife. This week also marked the 5th anniversary of the death of another close friend, Kelly, who was also killed while serving his country in Iraq. Woody and Kelly were privates together and had a mutual respect and brotherly love for one another. This spring marks the first anniversay of Jason's death and then in October we will mark the 3rd anniversary of the death another friend, Scott. Scott gave his life while serving in Afghanistan. Woody and Scott started their Special Forces careers together and were very close. All three men left children behind and many who loved them dearly.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I write this morning. I'm reminded that although I might grow tired of the doctor's, scars and other marks on my body, I still have life. I must learn to put all of my disease aside and be supportive of those that I love, especially my husband. My fight is bringing more time on earth with my loved ones, and I must learn to remember that and turn the focus away from myself and toward those who need me more.

Woody, I love you so much.

Love you all,


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Radiation, Week Two

Monday begins a full week of radiation. I know that means things are going to heat up, but it also means I will be getting closer to being done with this phase of my treatment. The ladies there are super nice and try to make things as pleasant and quick as possible. I know that I couldn't do it if the atmosphere was anything less. I am a firm believer that having a postive attitude, smiling, and laughing makes it much easier to deal with this whole cancer thing.

On another note, my hair is starting to grow!! Right now we aren't sure exactly what color it is going to be. It sometimes looks very blonde and then we see some dark trying to come through. I just can't wait for it to come in enough for me to call my older brother to tell him what color my hair actually is minus the trips to the salon for a little help, of course! Believe it or not, I really can feel it blowing in the wind sometimes!! lol

I am working on a plan in my mind for a support group. I want to include current patients, but I hope to have at least one multi-year survivor as well. I think it will be important for each person to see there is hope and light at the end of the tunnel. Wish me luck!

I would like for you all to keep a new friend of mine in your prayers. Her name is Tracy Billingsly and she just started her chemo last week. Tracy has stage 3A breast cancer. She is a young wife and mother, who is just precious! I know she is a fighter and that she, too, will kick cancer's behind! Tell everyone you know to pray for her and I will keep you posted on her progress. I am hopeful that she will also start a blog. If she does, then I will post a link to it on mine.

Oh, I got the most awesome red boots for my birthday from my sweet husband! I plan to wear them tomorrow. Maybe I will snap a picture to post...just teasing, but they really are awesome!

I know that this new year is going to be full of wonderful times with family and friends. Woody and I plan to get back out there and hit some golf balls. I have to drop about 25 lbs and build up some stamina or I won't be out there as much I want to be!

You all take great care and have a fabulous week!

Love you all,


Friday, January 16, 2009

Radiation, Week One

Tonight I come to you after my first three radiation treatments. Things have gone well, and I am hanging in there for now. Initially, my treatments were to end on March 3rd, but today there was a malfunction with the big door that keeps everyone else away from the radiation room. This cancelled my 11 a.m. treatment.

The worst thing so far is seeing all of these ink marks on my breast and chest! Trust me, it isn't attractive. This is just part of the process, so I will just have to deal with it.

I am anxious to get these next few weeks over. After radiation is over I will begin taking Tamoxifen to block my body's production of hormones. I will write more on that later.

I am thinking of starting a support group here in Clarksville for patients and survivors of breast cancer. It is just in my mind, so I will keep you posted as plans progress into reality.

Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope that some of you are in warmer climates!! It is below 20 here in Clarksville, TN!!

Love you all,


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Radiation Regimen Begins...

Last Wednesday I had my CT scan and got "marked" for radiation. I was very nervous because I am claustrophobic and wasn't sure how deep into the machine I would have to go! Thankfully, not that far so I managed to make it through without too much trauma.

I must admit that the reason I haven't updated my blog since then is because I did experience a "bad day", anxiety, whatever you want to call it. I'm not sure why I had those feelings. I think maybe it just hit me that I am about to be a "cancer patient" again. You may think that sounds odd, but I have had a little time since finishing chemo and kinda got used to not working around doctor's appointments. Yes, it was only a couple of weeks, but still it felt normal for a bit. Now, I'm back at starting on Tuesday...back at being a cancer patient.

Being a cancer patient has had its pros and cons! You may be thinking what are the pros. Well, I believe that I am ultimately supposed to use my experience to bring awareness to early detection. It also makes you think about life and what is really important. For me that is family and friends. Yes, I want to be successful in my business, but that is empty without those you love beside you. On the lighter side, I have gotten to eat a lot of chocolate without too much remorse!!

The cons are a bit more obvious. Although I really didn't get sick or feel too bad from the chemo, I do have the obvious side effect that screams "I have cancer" hair! I must admit that it really doesn't bother that much. The bright side is, according to my big brother, we all get to find out what color my hair really is!! Of course, if I don't like that color then I have a big decision to make...blonde or red!!! The cons coming up with radiation appear to be skin discomfort as well as potential tiredness/fatigue. It bothers me that I might have to spend a few weeks not living life the way I want to, but we will have to see. I did react well to chemo, so maybe radiation will be as good to me.

The worse con with being a cancer patient is having people treat you that way. It gets frustrating sometimes when well meaning people ask those closest to me how I am doing rather than calling or emailing me themselves. If I don't feel like talking I can let it roll to voicemail, call back, or email. The other thing it does is make those getting asked the questions feel as though they don't matter. By only asking how I am doing makes them feel as though they don't exist and that really hurts me for them. When you have family and friends sacrifice so much to be your rock and to treat you as normal as possible, it seems their struggle is forgotten. Trust me, they are struggling as much or more than me! So, remember to ask caregivers how they are and if you can do something for them...they need a break too!

Let's all look forward to a wonderful 2009! I plan to work really hard in my Real Estate career and enjoy my husband, family and friends more than ever. I also plan to work to bring awarness to early detection as well as raise money through the Making Strides for Breast Cancer walk in October. Last year we got a very late start, so this year I really plan to kick things up a notch! If you are an Exit agent in the Nashville/Clarksville area, then get prepared to walk 5 miles...I will be in touch!

Have a great rest of the weekend.

Love you all,


Sunday, January 4, 2009

Better Health in 2009

Tonight I come to you after having my "last hoorah" dinner and dessert!! We had chinese and cheesecake. It was goooood! Tomorrow we start a much better eating plan as well as a better exercise plan.

I know that everyone is all about new year's resolutions and rarely do they ever withstand the test of time. I am determined that this year I will stand the test of time because I know how important it is for me to live a much healthier lifestyle. I can't kick cancer's behind and then continue to neglect my health. It is critical that I change my habits from bad to good and stick with it. '09 is going to be my year to accomplish this goal. Set your goals for '09, tell someone what they are, and work hard to meet them.

So, if you are aware at any time that I am slacking, please feel free to remind me of this post! I will put out this disclaimer...I don't know how radiation is going to affect me. If I can only do treadmill time and have to back off of weights for a brief time, then you can't bust my chops too much!!

I know that it is going to be a great year!

Love you all,


Thursday, January 1, 2009


Today I come to you from the manroom where I sit watching football with Woody and can smell the greens a cookin! Love the tradition of blackeyed peas and greens on New Year's Day. I know it doesn't really work and provide me with good luck and money, but they sure do taste good! That cornbread will be good too!!

I am excited about this new year. As I talked with Destiny this morning, I was reminded that I needed to put my "bucket list 09" down on paper so that I can check them off as the year progresses. Woody and I put some down on paper yesterday, but I want to put some up more prominently than others and will do that today. If you can't see a goal, you can't reach it!

I hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend and that your team(s) win big! Of course we are first and foremost pulling for all SEC teams, especially BAMA! Then comes Clemson (beat Nebraska for Dayna!) and Penn State needs to crush USC!

Love you all,


Going Bald My Way!