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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I posted this on my personal facebook page, and it turned out much longer than I intended.  So, I thought I'd copy and paste it here:

Tomorrow marks the beginning of October. Please, no pink hearts by themselves as a status update. It's not spreading awareness, especially when you're supposed to "keep them guessing", and "don't tell the guys". How is that spreading awareness when you're not supposed to say what it means? And - newsflash - guys get breast cancer, too. And face it, we're all aware.
NFL -- You can stop turning everything pink during October. We're aware. The money that you're spending on all that pink stuff can be better spent on research. That goes for the pink firetrucks and police cars I've seen, too.
And please (and this goes for any charitable organization), if you see something out in the stores that has a pink ribbon emblazoned on it, read the fine print. If you want to buy it to give to someone in a sho…

The Night I Met Rick Springfield

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Background

I was diagnosed at the age of 50 with Stage IV breast cancer.  Stage IV is the same as metastatic, is the same as terminal.  My breast cancer had spread to my left lung.  I underwent seven rounds of chemotherapy, followed by a mastectomy.  Since then, I have been on maintenance treatments -- two medicines via IV once every three weeks, one oral medication daily.  I have routine CT scans, bone scans, echocardiograms, and MRIs to keep an eye on things.  I deal with side effects of these maintenance medications.  I have balance issues, and extreme fatigue, so I use a cane, a walker, or a wheelchair, depending on where I'm going and how pronounced the side effects are at the time.  So you see, the cancer is never out of my mind.  It's always there, looming.  I've come to cherish every minute, to find the joy in all things, to live.

So, when I heard about the Do It For The Love Foundation, I had to check it out.  This wonderful organization provides concert tickets t…

September 15, 2017 medical appointments update

This past Friday I had my regular every-six-week oncology appointment followed by my regular every-three-week infusion of Herceptin and Perjeta.  These were to be followed by an initial appointment with a gastroenterologist, but that last appointment didn't happen.  Here's how the day went:

I was seen at the clinic in good time.  We talked about my balance issues, my exhaustion level, the fact that the new med we're trying seems to be working.  I told her about the headaches I've been having.  I showed her the pictures of my family and I with Rick Springfield (she had to sign a form for the organization who provided the tickets; I always like to follow up with her after these things).  It was a very nice visit.  Orders were placed for my every-three-month CT scan, my every-three-month echo, and for a brain MRI; the brain MRI because of the headaches.  I'm to try to schedule these for the last week of September, on the same day, or as close as possible to each other…

Wheelchair!

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My wheelchair came the other day.  Now the boys are working on building a ramp to get it in and out of the house easily.  And, we're looking around for a ramp to get it in and out of the van.

Here's a picture of my new ride:



Interesting Article on Neuropathy

I want to share an article that a friend shared with me, on neuropathy:  What is Breast Cancer Related Chemo Induced Peripheral Neuropathy?


Before I start, I want to tell you that I post more often on my facebook page.  Shorter things, funny things, links to things I want to share, pictures at medical appointments.  So, if you are on facebook, take a look at my page here:  Living With Stage IV Breast Cancer.  Here, on the blog, I post longer things.  Thought provoking things, my thoughts on living with a terminal illness, this insidious disease.

Here goes:

I've had mild neuropathy since my first chemo treatment, in the form of tingling on the bottoms of my feet.  I've noticed that it's become more pronounced as time goes on.  I've also started noticing it in my hands.  If I clap my hands, for instance, they hurt (so, I golf clap now).  It's affecting my knitting, which is why it takes longer for me to knit things now, and why it's so very important for me to kni…

On Obtaining a Wheelchair

You might remember about a month ago I mentioned on the facebook page about the possibility of obtaining a wheelchair.  I got the order from my doctor and took it to a place not so far away.  Good news.  A place only about thirty minutes away that sells what I need and takes my insurance.  They said it should take approximately two weeks.  Nice.  Nope.  The people working that day were very nice, don't get me wrong.  I've spoken to one of them on the phone about once a week since then.  You see, the owner has his own health issues, and, long story short, the order for my wheelchair is still on his desk.  So, this morning I started calling around again.  Sooooo frustrating.  I really wish the lists that the insurance companies provide would be narrowed down a bit.  I searched for durable medical equipment within twenty miles. Twenty four places came up.  I called all but four of them. Only two sell wheelchairs. They sell cpap machines, or orthopedic supplies, or provide …

Who is Your Hero?

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Who is your hero, and why?  What can you do to be more like the people you look up to?

I have lots of heroes.  You can read about them all here:  It Takes A Village.  For this specific post, I'd like to talk about my biggest hero, my husband.

My husband who married me before he knew that I would become terminally ill.  My husband who has stood by my side every step of the way since this nightmare started.  Literally -- it started the day the biopsy was ordered, the wonderful people at the front desk called him at work and said, "We're doing this now, come if you can." so he did.  He couldn't be in the room with me, but I knew he was right on the other side of that door.  I could feel his presence.  I leaned on him all the way home, where he tucked me into bed and made sure I was comfortable. The following week he drove me through the snow, and held my hand in the doctor's office while the PA gave us the bad news.  He didn't let go of my hand that day as w…