Monday, March 29, 2010


I am coming to the end of my radiation treatments with just 4 more days to go. My skin is getting burned pretty bad now and my clothes hurt to wear. A big giant t shirt is preferred. I see the doctor tomorrow and I was told he will give me some medication for my skin. So far, I have just used pure aloe vera and cortisone 10 with aloe for the itching. It is like having a really bad sunburn.
Unfortunately this last week has been coupled with a bad cold, so I am pretty much out of commission. I have mostly been sleeping.
I had planned to plant my garden with veggies & herbs on Sunday, but did not feel well enough to do it. So.. Chris worked for hours out there, tilling, pulling weeds, mixing new soil in and planting my garden for me :) What a great husband I have!
At first I wanted to wait because I did not want to miss the planting process because I was "too sick". It is always so therapeutic for me to plant the garden. But, I told myself " I will have plenty of time to work in my garden". Instead I just hung out and slept on the swing and kept Chris company.
It was a beautiful day!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Komen survivor celebration brunch

Saturday, I attended the annual Komen survivor celebration brunch, fashion show and grants presentation with my friend and sister survivor, Natasha! We had a great time and I won 8 tickets to the Rangers game! She won jewelry and a makeover!
It was very informative to see where and how the money raised from events like this and Race For The Cure are being used.
The "models" in the fashion show are all breast cancer survivors, including a very funny husband & wife duo.
The speaker recognized all the survivors and had us stand by # of years survived, I am now in the 10 or more group. By the time everyone was recognized there were only a few people still sitting. Sad and amazing all at the same time. So many have breast cancer and so many are surviving!

On a personal note; they spoke about many of the survivors, stages, treatments, etc. What you did not hear once was stage 4. I came home with mixed feelings. First, thankful for how long I have been able to live with cancer and continue to do so. Then, a bit of a "reality check" ~ Stage 4

It was a delightful morning with a friend of nearly 20 years, who, when we were both young mothers, raising our kids together, would have never imagined we would together be here one day.Luv ya N!

Friday, March 26, 2010

One more week....

Today was treatment #20, 5 more to go next week! I am ready for this to be over. The worst problem I have from this is the awful fatigue. I last till about 3:00 each day and then that's it.Thankful however that I am able to continue training with my clients, get my treatments done and some errands before the fatigue hits.

I did see my oncologist Thursday and there are once again changes with my medications.
The Tykerb has been raised back up to 5 from 4. Please pray that this fatigue is from the toll of the radiation and not the tykerb affecting my heart. I should start to feel better a few weeks after treatments are done.

The Arimidex has been stopped for 2 weeks due to headaches and some cognitive effects. We are also suspecting ( pretty sure) this med has also been the reason for my BP going up. it was 145/96 yesterday. Today( no arimidex) it has been 127/78. way better! prayers that this continues and a different med. will work without the side effects.

My Dr. and I are still discussing the chemo, if and when to begin with that. Getting the two previous mentioned meds under control first is where we are now.
There are so many decisions to make, and really none are right or wrong. A lot of this is trial and error, statistics, trusting my doctors advice and my own intuition with regards to knowing and understanding my own body . But mostly.. it is prayer, faith & trust in the Great Physician.

Monday, March 22, 2010

9 more days!

Today began the second part of my radiation treatments. I am receiving the same amount of radiation, it will just be targeting the area of the tumor now.There are 9 more to go, with that being a total of 25 all together.
My skin is now getting a bit raw, red and itchy. The aloe and cortisone cream do help a lot. The biggest issue i am having is fatigue. I realized how much it is affecting me when we went on a 4 day camping trip this weekend. I was exhausted when we left and had so much more energy by the time I got home. Each day was better and better.A 4 day break from radiation was wonderful!
So.. I am looking forward to getting the next 9 days over with and then regaining that energy in time.

Monday, March 15, 2010

13 Days

Today I had my 13th day of radiation. I will have 2 more this week to finish the treatment on the larger area and next week resume one or two more weeks targeting the tumor.
I am defiantly feeling more tired today after the radiation. Matt made dinner for all of us and Chris and I watched the movie "Moon". It was ok.

I did see my surgeon last week, he and the radiologist both said they cannot feel the tumor anymore.I do not have to see the surgeon any longer and have been cleared to resume normal activity. Now,if I just can find the energy to do so :)

I had worked my way up to 5 pills with the Tykerb, however my doctor has me back down to 4. I started having some chest pains last night so I am back to 4. This is the medication that can effect your heart like the Herceptin did in the past.If it happens again, I am to stop the medication. Otherwise I have labs and an apt. next week.

The side effects are starting to add up but overall I am doing well.Not much running and that has been disappointing.But... my awesome son ran for me... see previous post :)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kevin's running.....

My son Kevin is running the Komen half marathon in Dallas tomorrow for me :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Beam number 4...

Tomorrow will complete 2 weeks or 10 days of radiation. It is a 40 minute drive and the treatment takes about 5 minutes. There are 7 "beams" shot in the very short session, but it is beam number four that seems to last forever. The first day, I got a little scared and thought " ahhhh....where did you guys go?? I am sure it just feels much longer than it is but quite unnerving at times.
So far it is going well and my radiologist said he can no longer feel any of the tumor.My skin is still doing well, no itching and just some discoloration.

Today was my final visit to my surgeon. He said " this looks great, I did a good job"! And he did. He also said the site looks and feels good. He gave me clearance to use the muscle again. So tonight I did my first weight training session in a very long time.
I started with light weights and am a little sore, just in the muscle that had surgery. Otherwise, fine and it felt good!

Tomorrow also marks the day I go up to 5 pills with the Tykerb, which is the where I will stay as long as I can handle the side effects. so far, so good.My energy is also much better this week.
We appreciate your continued prayers as I adjust to these new treatments and that once again this cancer will be "put to sleep", prayerfully forever.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Balancing Act...

It is Sunday night and I made it through the first week! I have now had 7 radiation treatments and they are "so far so good". Skin is getting a little pink but not too bad. I felt exhausted all last week and asked the radiologist if I would feel this way so soon from the radiation. He said no. I didn't remember feeling so tired from previous treatments so I thought maybe this is not the time to go vegetarian.So,I ate a big bowl of stew made with Bison meat for dinner and felt much better the next day.Thanks to my friend Dawn for making that. I will just continue with organic meats for now to be sure I am getting enough protein/ iron.

I have successfully taken the Tykerb for week one at 3 pills per day, and 4 pills for the last 4 days. The side effects have been minimal and so far tolerable.On Thursday I will take 5 a day and that is the dose my doctor wants me at.

The dosage on the Beta blocker is so small I don't think it is making me too tired but has brought my BP down some, not as low as I would like to see it.

I am currently taking 6 different medications along with my daily radiation. Trying to balance all these meds, handle side effects and figure out which meds to take when and with or with out food, etc. has definitely been challenging.
There will be one more med. added (Xeloda) which is the chemotherapy.I don't know exactly when yet.My Oncologist is saying 6 months on this treatment as long as all is going well. So, as you can see we are just at the beginning.

My classes and personal training are continuing and I love training these wonderful ladies! I have been continuing to run and walk but no where near the level i wish i was at.
I see my surgeon on Wednesday and assume i will get the ok to lift things again that are heavier than "a gallon of milk".
We truly feel your prayers and several of you have asked for specific things to pray about.
~ that the treatments will be successful
~ for healing both physically and emotionally
~ little to no side effects as the radiation, medication and dosages increase
~for strength & energy
~ for my family as this journey has been long and difficult
Thanks all~

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Why do an endurance event or push yourself to your limits in anything? Just for fun? Just to see if you can? I think it builds and develops strengths you never knew you had and prepares you for other "events" in your life that may not be as much fun,or planned or expected.
By training, running and completing a marathon just a little more than 2 months ago I have found myself using those very same skills, strengths and strategies to get through this next "marathon" in my life called cancer.
In both;
you have to pace yourself
you have to be wise about what you eat and the timing of that food
you have to get rest and let your body recover
you have to get up each day and push through physically weather you feel like it or not
you have to get used to pain and learn how to ignore it
you learn how to focus and be in the "zone",overcoming the emotional struggles
you will have good days and bad days no matter what you do
you will celebrate those good days and accept the bad ones
you know that God can get you through anything
you will envision the finish line & the victory
you will celebrate!

Perhaps this is why we see so many survivors running or participating in endurance events. They have learned these skills in life already.


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