Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This morning at 10:00 I had my tests which lasted about 4 hours. My hubby waited patiently for me while I had 2 MRI's and a bone scan. Long, hard day. Waiting now for test results.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Image Reborn Foundation...just registered!

Here is just a little information from their website. I hope I am chosen to go. It sounds like a wonderful experience with other survivors. An opportunity not many of us get. Fingers crossed!

"Our mission is to provide no-cost healing retreats to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The focus is on encouraging women to reclaim their sense of personal power and to strengthen them in their journey toward healing on all levels and living fully".

Image Reborn's Living Beyond Breast Cancer retreat program is designed and facilitated by a highly professional staff with backgrounds and experience in addressing the special concerns of women with breast cancer.
The retreats run weekend programs, and are conducted in the beautiful, peaceful mountain setting of Park City, Utah. Approximately ten guests can be accommodated at one time.
The Program includes:
  • Women's Support Group offering the opportunity for participants to share experiences, kindling courage and understanding, allowing them to rediscover a sense of personal power.
  • Education: Opportunity to visit in a small group setting with healthcare professionals regarding available treatment, including conventional and integrative approaches.
  • Nutrition: a positive and delicious approach to food.
  • Exercise: gentle movement and stretching specifically designed for women with breast cancer.
  • Journaling: instruction on how to utilize journaling to enhance life.
  • Massage Therapy: light professional massage for relaxation and pampering.
  • Rejuvenation Time: private time to allow for rest, contemplation, or whatever each individual desires.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

PET scan results and more tests...

My PET scan came back normal as did my lab work, so that is all good news! I did prepare for the scan as I mentioned in the previous post to help alleviate the pain and nausea from a migraine I was expecting.
I am happy to say it worked, I did not even have so much as a headache! My blood pressure was high during my visit but that usually happens to me. I did ask my Onc. about receiving a shot or IV meds in the future if another migraine hits during the scan. He said definitely!
He asked how I was feeling otherwise and I had to confess my neck has been hurting much more lately.(I have previously had radiation to the spine T1-3). We talked about the details of the pain and agreed we need to get to the bottom of it.
Later, I received an e-mail letting me know my tumor markers are also elevated. So, I will be having a bone scan and MRI of the cervical and thoracic spine on Wednesday.
It will be another long day with an expected 4 hours of just the testing alone. My hope and prayer is that this pain is from something other than cancer and I can get started on some kind of pain management and hopefully strengthening this area.
Your thoughts & prayers are once again appreciated.
"But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you."
Psalm 39:7

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Uncharterd Waters

Well, I did ask for prayer about the PET scan yesterday...I think you all prayed the machine away! It broke down overnight and all my tests and Dr. apt.  were canceled. I am rescheduled for Thursday.
In the past, doing this test in particular has triggered severe migraines. In preparation for the impending event I wanted to try some proactive measures to see if they would help.
I began by asking questions from my medical team including my neurologist. For this test you are told no caffeine, sugar or exercise for 24 hours prior and nothing except water past midnight. Unfortunately, because I do drink coffee, this, combined with the lack of food triggers a rebound headache that turns into the migraine. So, here were some questions/ideas I asked about;
~ "what is the minimum amount of time I can eat and drink anything besides water prior to the scan. The answer was 4 hours. I plan to eat something light with a cup of unsweetened coffee 4.5 hours prior. 
~ can I receive a shot or an iv for pain/ nausea IF I need it? The answer was no because it would be another charge for the infusion center and my insurance would be billed. OK, isn't that why I have insurance, so IF I get really sick while at the hospital I can be taken care of? As of now this option is out but I do plan to ask my Doc. about it tomorrow.
~can I take any medications before the tests to help with pain or nausea? The answer was yes. Now that I know I can eat a little something earlier I will take Advil and something to help with anxiety as well.
~ I thought maybe my neurologist may have other suggestions. He said I can also take phenergin ahead of time even if I am not nauseated. He asked for a report back to see how these preventative measures work out with the migraine so if in the future they have a patient in a similar situation they can suggest this if it works.
~ So, here I go into uncharted waters..let's hope and pray it works! I hope this information may be of help for someone else and welcome suggestions if you have been through something similar.  
Will post again after tests and results. Thanks ahead of time for your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Spending Friday's with my Liam

My Nonna comes and picks me up every Friday from my Ya-Ya's house where I get to play all week! We sure have fun together.She makes silly faces and voices that make me laugh. I have just learned how to do that :)

  We always take a walk or run in the jogging stroller. here I am getting ready to go!!!

This Friday we took our first trip to Wal Mart together. She banged her head 4 times, every time she put me in the car and got me out. I think she hurt her back and neck because I am getting so big now, and getting in and out of the car seat is quite tricky!
Next, she put me in the cart in my car seat and banged into a shelf, just a little bang but I am thinking she may not be a good cart driver! The cart somehow got stuck on part of the shelf and it was funny watching her try to get unstuck :)
She sure takes a long time to shop. How hard can it be to pick out my bottle? There are only 100 different kinds. Silly Nonna!
I was a good boy and slept through most of the shopping trip. I think she needed, I mean wanted to stop at Starbucks, but there was no way she was taking me out of the car for an extra stop. I think she just made coffee when we got home. But...I needed my new bottle so I am not sure she got to drink it.
She loves to feed me my bottle outside on the chair swing. It is blue, like my eyes. I always spit up on her clothes out there, I really can't help it. When we tried to go back in the house because it was getting cold her jacket zipper got caught on the swing. She was stuck AGAIN!
It was my Daddy's birthday so Nonna and I made him brownies! I was a big help :)

I think our favorite thing to do is bath time. She teaches kids to swim so I guess she is getting me ready. Always telling me to kick and how I am already a waterbaby! I wonder what we will do this summer when we get to the big bath tub..they all call it a pool. I just like getting her clothes all wet when I splash.

Then she rocks me in a special chair, it is the same one she rocked my daddy and uncles in.

                         We have so much fun..but boy, she wears me out!
                              I think my Nonna really loves me :) .....Liam

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Tuesday's Tests

OK, the PET scan and labs are set for Tuesday. This is a very difficult test for me as it triggers a migraine. Other than waiting for the results this is the worst part.
They instruct you not to have ( for 24 hrs) any sugar..not a problem..exercise...or caffeine...problem! Then no food after midnight. It is usually about 1 pm the next day before I can eat and get some coffee. Last time I was so sick from the migraine I had to lay in the car and wait it out for several hours while trying to hold down nausea and pain meds. Finally I was able to eat, drink and feel a bit better.
We always see my oncologist after that to go over the results. An exhausting day that I for one am NOT looking forward to, but would greatly appreciate prayers for both the migraine and test results.
Thanks in advance, will post results when I have them.

"Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us" ~ Hebrews 12:1

Thursday, January 5, 2012

You can cancel your biopsy!

Yes, I did have a biopsy of the chest wall scheduled for early next week which I have been able to cancel!!
A few spots were showing up that looked familiar. like the previous rash. I had my radiologist take a look. He had me schedule a biopsy 2 weeks out which I did. He wanted to see me again before the biopsy to see if he felt it was necessary. After checking it the other day, he feels I am ok to cancel!
He prescribed  a lotion to apply to the radiated area and will see me again after my PET scan which will be some time here in January.
For now, I very happily called and canceled my appointment!
Liam on Christmas morning

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking back at 2011

2011~Looking Back

It is the first day of 2012. As I have looked back over the past year I am thankful  for another year that God has given me.
2011 in Review~

1) We were fortunate to take 3 trips~ Chris and I spent a weekend  at Lake Murray to celebrate Valentines day. We stayed in a cabin and did a lot of hiking. Officially together now for 30 years!
Took a fantastic and much needed trip to Kauai, Hawaii and a fall camping trip filled with biking, kayaking and rest.

2) This was another  difficult year for me health wise.I had my 4th diagnosis with cancer.It had re-occurred to the chest wall as a local re-occurrence. Here I learned that breast cancer can come back in the form of a rash, which it did. Another biopsy, chemo and  25 more radiation treatments to the chest wall. This was the most severe burn and worst fatigue I have sustained so far.  My other medications remain the same with many difficult side effects.
Trying to get some relief from headaches I began working with a neurologist and have been diagnosed with migraine disorder. Advil on a continual basis works well but not much luck otherwise.

3)We welcomed the addition of our newest daughter-in-law Stephanie who has relocated to Texas from England and married our oldest son Tim!
Our first grandson Liam was born in October and I am loving my "Nonna days" every Friday with him! Nikki and Kevin had both moms and Nikki's sister in the delivery room for his birth. Seeing his little body and hearing his first breathe and cry had to be one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. And yes..I am head over heals in love with this boy!
And sadly, we said good-bye to my cousin Joyce, our friends son Ryan, my sons friend David and a family friend and fellow runner Agnes.

4)This was not a productive year with my running or any races. We did not climb a mountain or even host the annual Family and Friends Turkey Trot. All disappointing to me.
What we did accomplish! My friend Vicki and I hiked 12 miles. This was the day I learned (the hard way) one of the side effects of Tykerb affects the hands and feet and ended up with severely burned and blistered feet.
My daughter-in-law ran the Komen 5K. I had planned to run it but was just not ready.
Although I did not host the annual turkey trot, Chris and I did run our own 5k Thanksgiving morning and I had an unexpected PR!
Enjoyed many jet-skiing trips,with one on my birthday!
The most exciting activities this year by far were kayaking to hidden waterfalls, snorkeling beautiful oceans and exploring the "garden Island' of Kauai!

5) A few special events/ celebrations; Our youngest son Matthew was the graduate this year from UTD!
My friend Natasha and I attended our second  Komen Brunch/ fashion show for survivors.
Chris and I had a blast get dressed up and seeing two concerts at The Myerson this year, Chicago and Manhiem Steamroller!
A surprise "black sock" birthday for my husbands 50th! All the kids joined us as we rented a house on the lake. Chris' friends and family all pitched in to give him 60 pairs of black socks! Fun times!

6)A year of changes~ Decided to pass the family boat on to our son Kevin. I know he, the other guys and his growing family will have so much fun creating new memories. I know uncle Jim would be happy with this choice :)
With the arrival of our first grandson, my husband refinished the family cradle that has been used by 9 Minich babies with Kevin being the first and his son Liam being the latest.
With the help of 13 other ladies, we made a beautiful cross-stich quilt that was finished the day before he was born and delivered at the hospital.
7) Around the house~
My garden did well in the Spring and quickly declined from there. I am considering a giant sand box for Liam now :)
We continue to remodel and completed the huge task of installing wood floors which we love! Traded in the big green family sectional couch for a new, smaller set better suited for "empty nester's". Due to several severe Texas storms we had a new roof put on the house as did most everyone in our city.
Lots of new paint and re-decorating.Decorated our room to bring the calm colors and feelings of the beach, my favorite place.
8) I am so thankful  to continue training and teaching my 5k run groups, ladies boot camps, swim lessons,and personal training.I hope to continue growing these classes and having the opportunity to meet new people and share these passions with them.God blesses me with each of them and the strength to continue.
I enjoyed my first A-Z writers challenge so much I decided to start attending a monthly writers group and have submitted a few stories to magazines and writing contests which has been fun!
An at home video Bible study, Your Body, His Temple with a couple of friends was perfect during this time.
9) We had a wonderful Halloween taking Liam for his first trick or treat.Thanksgiving and Christmas with our  family and friends filled our home again this year. This Christmas we had a big family sleepover with both of Liam's families; grandparents, aunts, uncles and of course his mommy and daddy. A sleepover with 12 adults and one baby was quite fun!

10) And lastly, my personal victories for 2011. Celebrated my 13 year cancerversary, 47th Birthday and 27th wedding anniversary! To date I am evidence of disease :)

I enter 2012 with Hope....                          .HAPPY NEW YEAR!!


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