Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Understanding the Impact of hormones on breast cancer

Hormones are produced by organs or cells in your body. Hormones, such as estrogen, affect bodily processes. Normal breast cells have receptors for estrogen and progesterone. Some, but not all, breast cancer tumors also have these receptors and need these hormones to grow. Such tumors are called estrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive, or hormone receptor positive. Breast cancer tumors are estrogen and/or progesterone receptor positive in approximately 60% of postmenopausal women. Lab tests of your cancer biopsy give your medical team this information. Receptors are very small parts of a cell. If estrogen is present, it will attach to an estrogen receptor and may make the tumor grow larger.
Estrogen does not cause breast cancer, though it may promote the growth of tumors. Here's how certain breast cancer cells live and grow with the help of estrogen:

Estrogen finds a specialized receiver in a cell, called a receptor.

Estrogen attaches itself to estrogen receptors. These receptors take the estrogen and bring it into the center of the cancer cell (nucleus) so that estrogen can give the signal for the tumor to grow.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

" The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Well, this is one of the most exciting posts I have put on my blog yet! Yesterday I had all my tests and today I had labs, Zometa, and my visit with Dr. A.

TEST RESULTS: in the Dr.'s words~ "PERFECT"! There is no evidence of disease in any of the tests, my blood work was normal ( waiting for iron levels and tumor markers). Most exciting is that the bone scan was completely normal, even where the cancer was in the rib and spine! My doctor said "something is working for you and we both know it may have nothing to do with chemicals"!
" The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."
From here, my next scans and Dr. visit is in 6 months! I have only one more Zometa treatment left next month and then I am finished :) I will continue on hormone therapy, however they have taken me off Tamoxifen and are putting me on a once a month shot of Faslodex. A swab test showed that the Tamoxifen was not working as effectively as the Faslodex will. So, that will be a new drug introduced in 2 weeks. The lupron injections every 3 months will continue as part of the hormone treatment.

As far as my heart, I am still on a low dose beta blocker and will see the cardiologist in May or June. I have been completely cleared to train for a marathon! More on that adventure later :)

I want to thank all of you for praying for me, I felt complete peace these past 2 days. Also for everyone that has stood by me over this very long haul. This music/video is dedicated to all of you as a thank you for "standing by me"!


Monday, April 20, 2009

3 month tests and prayer request~

Hi everyone!
It's been 3 months and it is time again to have all my tests/blood work and Zometa treatment this week.
Wednesday morning; I will have to drink 2 bottles of that nasty contrast and head to the hospital for tests. I will then have more contrast by injection for the bone scan, CAT scan and a chest x ray. It is a long ,tough day but my friend Donise will be hanging out with me for the day:) She lives close to the hospital so we can go back to her house in between tests.

Thursday; Chris will come with me and I will have blood work, treatment and then meet with my doctor to go over all the test results. Another tough day.

Specific prayer requests;For peace and calmness this week, that these 2 particular days go smoothly with no complications and that the test results continue to come back showing NED ( (no evidence of disease). Specific areas of concern are my lower back/hip. Grouting the floors and planting my garden probably didn't help this much:)
Thank you all for your continued prayers, support and encouragement~ I truly appreciate it!

Exodus 14:14

14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

#2 The Continuation Of Life~

I have found it interesting how therapeutic my garden has been over these past few years. I never imagined myself as a "gardener" but I have come to really enjoy not only working out there but the benefits of growing some of our own herbs & veggies.

I think the garden has from the beginning and continues to represent the continuation of life to me. With each season bringing changes and each year the newness of another crop.

We started the garden when my brother-in -law Jim was in the hospital with leukemia. When there was no way to feel any sense of control over the situation ,working in the garden seemed to help hold on to life. Now that I find myself in that same situation it brings me the same sense of peace and a holding on to life.

Genesis 1,11-12
11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good.

First harvest of the season, lots of spinach!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#1 Prayer and time in The Word.

This one has been on my mind more in these last few days as I have realized how easy it is to cling to God and His word when you are in crisis mode and then when the storms seem to calm how easy it is to slowly fall away.
Which brings me to #1 in coping with stress and anxiety, Prayer. There is nothing and no-one that can bring you the comfort and peace that you need in these times,  except Christ.
I will admit at first I looked to Chris to tell me everything would be ok, to "fix" it. Not only can he not do those things, it is an unfair expectation on him. I went to the Lord and asked Him to keep me safe and strong and give me peace. It did not happen overnight, however it did eventually happen. He wanted me to trust Him first.
For any of you that have had to have tests done you know how  draining and anxiety ridden those days can be while enclosed in machines as they look to see if they find any more cancer. I found this to be the perfect time to spend in prayer. Hours go by like minutes as I have my "God time" :) I know many of you are praying for me at these times because I can truly feel it.

 Time in The Word~
One of the most helpful things a friend did for me was sent bible verses written on index cards for me to read over and over whenever I felt anxious or worried.  This was great because I could carry them with me and pull them out whenever I needed to. I still keep them close in my bible.
These are just a couple of ways I found and continue to find helpful. Spending time each day with God is where I am able to draw strength and have peace. It may be at home, in church or out in the middle of the lake on my kayak. Wherever it is.. He is.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, and he will make your paths straight.” 


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