Thursday, October 30, 2008

Happy Thoughts :)

This is definitely a "happy thought" :) Chris and I went on a 4 day camping trip and as always it was just not long enough. Is there something wrong when you start wondering how much the park host makes and how much you would save on bills??? :)
We had a great time and I will post the rest of our pics and adventures on the family blog later.

Chris is finished his PE exam but it will be a while before we know the results.

What I know so far from an e-mail from the oncology nurse is that all the tests ( 3 MRI's) show no sign of disease, no herniation, nothing. Which is of course wonderful news! Just don't know why my back hurts so much ? I am waiting for a call from the nurse to see if there is anything I should be looking at. otherwise... another prayer answered!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Friday is over :)

Well, Chris has finished his PE exam and I have made it through another set of tests.
Chris is very relieved to have it done, but he will not know the results for a couple of months. He is now taking a few days off for some R & R.

The MRI of my back ended up being 3 MRI's and took 3 hours. So... what does one do in a tube with the sounds of jackhammers, bings, bangs etc. so loud you have to wear earplugs for 3 whole hours?? For me mostly this is a time of prayer, practicing relaxation that I have learned from doing yoga, including relaxing the muscles in your body as they are tense in this situation. I am even able to fall asleep :) And of course, when anxiety and/or boredom sets in "happy thoughts " :)

This is a coping tool I have learned to use when I get anxious, upset, worried, etc. I think of places, people, events, etc. that have happy memories for me. Basically, taking your mind somewhere else. This strategy has been very helpful, especially at the beginning of this diagnosis. Chris is great in bringing up "happy thoughts" when needed :) Mostly they are of peaceful places and the outdoors especially where we have gone camping

Thank you for the prayer support, so far I have the results for one of the 3 tests ( lumbar spine) and there is no sign of metastatic disease! It was fine :) Please keep this and Chris's test results in prayer as we wait for the rest of the results. Should know on Monday for me.
Thanks~ have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Big Day Friday and updates

Hi everyone~ this Friday will be busy for both Chris and I. We would like to ask for prayer support for both of us.
Chris will be taking his Professional Engineer license exam. It is an 8 hour exam that he has been working hard to prepare for.
Also, I will be having an MRI of my lower back~ pelvic and lumbar spine. It will take about 1 1/2-2 hours for this test. I have been having pain in my lower back for quite some time and we need to check it out. We think it is from running, as my left hip and knee also hurt but we have to air on the side of caution. This was not a scheduled test, we were waiting to see if the pain went away after a month and it has not.

I am continuing to take half the dosage with my blood pressure medication and so far so good!

Thanks for those of you that were praying for my mom, she is home and feeling better. She sees her doctor this Friday.

God has been so good to us :) Thanks for your support, e-mails, posts and prayers!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Trying again to lower BP medication

I will be trying once again to lower my blood pressure medicine. Tonight I will begin taking half the dosage. Since all my tests have come back showing a normal, healthy heart I am hoping to reduce and be able to get off some of these medications. Especially the two for the heart as they both cause fatigue and dizziness.

Last time I tried to do this my BP went right back up and I did not feel well. Please pray that it will work this time and that I may soon be able to eliminate them all together.

Thanks~ Elayne

Friday, October 17, 2008

Time~ what a difference it makes..

Yesterday I had my annual Fall Southern Living "girl" party. I have been doing this for about 6 years. However last year because of the place I was in I couldn't even begin to wrap my mind around having people over for a party, but one year later I was able to not only celebrate these friendships and time together but I also was able to paint my entire kitchen ( no small job :)

Chris and I ( well I tried :) painted the dining room last year as a way to help me focus on smaller projects instead of looking out to the future which was at the time too difficult. I still have anxieties about what the future holds and still very much use this technique of smaller projects, goals and time lines which has been very helpful. Before I knew it a year had passed and many things have been accomplished! I was pretty much unable to even help last year. This year I tackled it by myself with the exception of my son Kevin helping one Saturday afternoon. Thank you Kev!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Calling on your circle~

Several years ago my back was really hurting. I thought I popped a rib out or maybe broke it. I did see several different doctors including a chiropractor that all thought the rib was "out". Even had adjustments done and going to physical therapy.
It continued to get worse, sometimes I couldn't even breath because it hurt so bad. But... after a few weeks it would ease up and sometimes go away. So, I did not think it was cancer because I had been told "if it's cancer, it won't go away".
Finally, I decided to get to the bottom of it and find out what was wrong. I was preparing for a half marathon and didn't want the rib to "go out" during the race. My new primary care doctor did a good job at looking very carefully at the rib because of my past history. They saw something suspicious on the x ray and had me do more tests.
This is when you are going into panic mode. We prayed so hard that it would be a broken rib but the more tests done the worse it looked.
To be honest at first I didn't want to tell anyone except Chris and the boys and contemplated not telling anyone else. I couldn't believe after 9 years I was back here facing this monster again. Only this time it seemed so much worse.
Because we believe so much in the power of prayer and the support of friends and family we did, after getting final results let everyone know. That was hard. Your life is turned upside down within moments and everyone knows it.
I can tell you this, when we have asked for prayer this time and the first time, I can actually feel the power in the prayers that you all are lifting up and there is great comfort in that. So, call on your circle of prayer warriors, become a prayer warrior for others and don't ever underestimate the power of prayer. From our Sunday school lesson this week on prayer~
"God can do in 5 seconds what we can't do in 5 days, weeks, months or years".

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Insight into a survivors mind~

Dear everyone~ I am thankful that things have slowed down after a very intense year and half and am looking forward to beginning the healing process. I thought it might be helpful to others going through a cancer diagnosis and for their families, friends and caretakers to share some of my experiences, thoughts,beliefs and insights of things that worked and those that did not in helping me cope with a diagnosis of an "incurable" cancer. I will now start posting as these times come to mind and hope that my experiences will help with insight to anyone affected by cancer, weather it is you or someone you love and care about. Maybe it is a stranger or someone you work with.

For these posts I will not send an e-mail notice out. Just check them as you feel you would like to or pass on to someone that it may help. For today I will start with where I am now in all of this but then I will go back to the beginning from diagnosis.

Last night I watched part of an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America. She too this past year has been battling breast cancer. Her journey has been documented and she said a couple of things in the interview that were so simple yet so important. I thought I would add my own experiences on to some of hers.

1) Understanding the survivor AFTER treatment is done~ in my case the treatment will be on-going but for most there is an end as there was for me the first time. Although the majority of us do not want to be pitied or babied we do want people to understand this is not "getting over the flu". The healing process brings a whole new dimension to this fight along with fears, doubts, anxieties as well as hope for a future and trying to figure out what your "new life" looks like. Our bodies and minds have been through a war and need a lot of time to recover. So, we need time and patience :)

2)This is NOT my life story just something in my life, a part of my life. What is appreciated is being treated like you treat anyone else or the relationship as it was before. Sometimes changes do have to be made if the relationships were not healthy to begin with or worked on to change them.However, the survivor may not have the mental or emotional capabilities at this time to work on these unhealthy relationships. They may have to be put on the "back burner". Overall, day to day we are the same people and want nothing more than to live a "normal" life. But.. we are fighting for that life.

3) I cannot say I am in remission or cancer free. I can say I believe in Gods healing power and that they are not seeing any "active" cancer at this time. Having the prayer support and support of family, friends, church family and even the strangers that cheered me on by my name as I ran the half marathon do wonders for us! The connection of others is vital and the power of prayer is shown all throughout this blog and my journey. So, thank you all for your continued prayers and support.

More posts later on "living my life with metastatic breast cancer"~

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October is breast cancer awarness month~

Now Playing - We Will

Photos of Nancy and Suzy

View our short film about Susan G. Komen for the Cure®.

One in 8 women will get breast cancer in their life. Know what the risks, warning signs, prevention and treatment options are.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Results from Cardiologist!

Good Monday Morning everyone~ just got home from my echo and visit with the cardiologist. I am happy to tell you I once again have a NORMAL HEALTHY HEART! I do have to remain on the blood pressure and beta blocker medications for now.

Of course my big question was "do I have any restrictions"? The doctor said no :) Kevin has already asked me if I will run a half marathon in Arizona, I believe in February. Team Ambo what do you think??

My challenge is going to be the meds I am on. The beta blocker ( for my heart) in particular interferes with the endurance. Not sure what to expect, but I have been given the ok to try :)

He is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trusted in Him, and he helped me. Joy rises in my heart until I burst out in songs of praise to Him. The Lord protects his people and gives victory to his anointed king. Psalm 28: 7-8

And I will give you a new heart -- I will give you new and right desires -- and put a new spirit within you. . Ezekial 36: 26


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