Tuesday, March 17, 2009

long time, no post

It has been a while since I wrapped things up with radiation and said hello to you all...Hello! Things are going well. Since then I have had my first follow up appointment with my oncologist, Dr. Patel. He checked my blood and all seems to be tracking just fine post chemo. He didn't call me the day after my visit, so that means the liver is good to go!

I met a super nice lady from our church this week. Her name is Kelly and she will begin her chemo next week if all goes as planned. She is a beautiful young wife and mother of two who had to have a mastectomy. Please keep her in your prayers, as well as her husband and children.

I have noticed something quite odd since getting diagnosed...I now hear of more women than ever before who have been diagnosed. Not to make light of a very serious situation, but it is almost like getting a new car...you never noticed how many were on the road until you bought yours! I went to a support group meeting a couple of weeks ago and met several long and short term survivors. It was great, and made me really want to get another one started with the girls I have recently met. I know I have said before that I wanted to do this and I think now is the time to get moving on it.

There is something I have to finally admit to everyone...I had my big "moment" a couple of weeks ago! It was the Sunday night after my radiation was finished. A longtime friend of ours, Terry, and his wife, Jennette, were visiting for just a night, and Destiny and Larry were here for dinner too. Sometime later that night I started crying and couldn't stop! I suppose I kept things bottled up a bit too long and it just poured out. I remember laying there in bed with Woody on one side and Destiny on the other until I fell asleep. Thank God for both of them! He put them both in my life for many reasons and this was one of the big ones. I think I was quite drained and just didn't have it in me until now to write about it. I would recommend to anyone going through this to let it out every now and then, don't wait until the very end!! I do have to tell a funny story, of course...Destiny said that she looked over at Woody and told him, "See, there was plenty of room in this bed for me to have spent the night before surgery!" She had told him she was spending the night before my surgery in September and sleeping with us!!! I love you, Des!

I think my sweet husband is beginning to stir, so I will close now. Since I am his "coffee wench" it is only appropriate for me to have it ready when he gets up!!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Love you all,


Saturday, March 7, 2009


Yes, that's right, I'm done with radiation!! WHOOHOO! We are sitting here having coffee in a post radiation home and it is a lovely thing. I will miss my girls at the center, but am so happy to have this part behind me.

We had a great time. Yes, I said a great time at my last appointment. Destiny and I got there and walked in with the cake only to find out that the machine had gone down!! Can you believe that one? I couldn't, but we took it in stride and just hung out eating cake, drinking coffee, amd chatting with other patients and the staff. Before they got it fixed Woody called and was able to be there with us! I will upload some pictures later on. The day ended with a closing and then a showing. It was wonderful all of the way around.

I can't thank Woody enough for being such a supportive husband through all of this, because I know it's been hard for him. Destiny has been a rock for both Woody and me with her support. I couldn't have done chemo and radiation without them. I have to also thank all of my family and friends who have encouraged me through this journey. If I didn't say it or say it enough, I appreciate it.

I am taking the weekend off and will begin my Tamoxifen on Monday night. There is a chance it will make me feel sick to my stomach, so I don't want to deal with that during the day. I will post the side effects that I have as time goes on.

Have a beautiful weekend and don't forget to spring forward!

Love you all,


Friday, March 6, 2009


Good morning! Today is the last day I will look over from my reclining position and see the words "BEAM ON" as the radiation is shooting into my breast to ensure the invader in my breast has been conquered!

I am surprising the girls at Vanderbuilt Gateway Treatment Center with a cake that my friend, Laurie, baked for me. I will post a pic of it later. It says "BEAM OFF". The staff there has been wonderful. Oddly enough, I will miss them! It is hard not to get attached when you are seeing these caregivers every day for weeks on end. They are a very compassionate group and manage to stay upbeat in spite of what they deal with everyday.

I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. I am!!

Love you all,


Thursday, March 5, 2009


No matter how you slice it, there are only two days of radiation left!!! WOOHOO!!!

That is about all I have this morning. Have a great one.

Love you all,


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Three, III, Tres...

Ok, I'm not very creative this morning and had to copy from yesterday!! It is getting closer and closer to the end.

I'm unsure about how I am supposed to be on Monday, though. I have had doctors appointments daily and/or weekly since late August and now that will change to every few months. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. It's just how do you make the change from cancer patient to survivor? All along I've thought I didn't need support groups or to pull much from other survivors because I'm "so strong". I'm beginning to think differently now that I am at the end of two major treatments.

I am embarking upon the last part of my treatment with the use of Tamoxifen. This is a pill that I will take for 3-5 years. I will continue to see my oncologist about every 4 months to monitor everything, and will also continue to see my surgeon for ultrasounds. I need the Tamoxifen to stop the production of hormones because they are my enemy as far as breast cancer goes. My radiation oncologist told me yesterday that it will likely speed up the menopause that was chemically induced by the chemo. This is good and bad. The bad part is that my hot flashes will likely turn into full on night sweats for about three months! The good part is that they may only last for about three months!! I can handle this as long as I keep reminding myself that my "monthly visitor" will no longer be a part of my life! If, however, that visitor returns for some crazy reason, then I will have to rethink things!!! Of course, I know I have no control over how my body will react to the Tamoxifen and will just have to roll with the punches.

Here is a link to WebMD to check out Tamoxifen if you like: http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/tamoxifen (Mom, if you read this please remember they have to list all side effects...it doesn't mean they will happen to me!!! I love you!!)

It is time for another cup of coffee and some cereal for breakfast. I hope you all have a great day.

Love you all,


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

4, FOUR, IV...

...no matter how you say it, today is day four in the countdown to the end of radiation!!

Yesterday was great. Woody was promoted to CW03 (Chief Warrant Officer 3 for my non military friends!) and there was a small promotion ceremony for him. The Colonel took off his CW2 rank and I put on the new! It was quite an honor to do that for him. My husband doesn't care for a lot hoopla surrounding work things, but I think he did appreciate the moment we shared.

I am up early today doing this post because I have awakened twice sweating like crazy!! That is the worst part of chemically induced (or natural, I'm sure) menopause. It isn't bad every night, so I try to take the bad ones in stride. Of course, later today when I'm dog tired someone else might think its bad when I'm irritable!!

Have a wonderful day.

Love you all,


Monday, March 2, 2009


Today is FIVE in the final countdown to the end of radiation!! Yea!! We will see if I can post each day this week and make my blog look good...5, 4, 3, etc. I have not shown nearly enough attention to it as I should have.

Yesterday was a great day. First, I was asked to participate in a special service at church. It was awesome. The series we have been doing is "Am I the only one?". At the end of the service, 17 others and I walked across the stage during a song and held up a cardboard testimony. Mine, as you may guess, had to do with breast cancer. It said on one side "Attacked by breast cancer" and on the other "Healed by the Grace of God". I was much more in awe of the others who walked across that stage. I don't know if I would have had the courage to admit to everyone some of the things they did. There were signs about childhood sexual abuse, marriages in distress, infertility, drug abuse, no sense of self, selfishness, etc. It was easy to make my walk because my problem is visible and I have been very outspoken about it from the beginning. The strength it took for the others to make their walk definitely came from their relationship with God. They will be a huge catalyst of good and hope for others. God Bless them.

The second thing that made yesterday so good happened after I got to the office for my floor duty. Immediately after I opened the doors for business, a family came in that needed to sell their home and purchase another! They are a very nice family and their son was super sweet. He wanted to be a part of the process and it was fun making sure he wasn't excluded. He went into detail about what he wanted and needed in his room of the new home! Destiny and I will make sure we keep those things in mind as we help them make the transition from one home to another. Later that day, we were also reconnected with someone we met while working with the school system. It will be fun working with her and helping to make her dreams of entrepreneurship come true.

When I got home Woody had already grilled porkchops for dinner and chicken for the week! He is awesome and I love him so much. What a blessed woman I am to have him as my husband and to have the family and friends that I have.

Thank you and I love you all!


Going Bald My Way!