Pages

Saturday, March 30, 2013

3 O'Clock in the morning...

As usual I'm wide awake, the thoughts just keep coming and coming.
Am I doing the right thing? I'm so torn lumpectomy vs masectomy.  I'm upset that I'm 42 and my thoughts are breast cancer.  Breast Cancer keeps me up at night, you think about it during the day, people ask you when your out. How are you doing?  I say oh fine. It's a lie. I'm 42 and I have Breast Cancer. Your not fine.  I look in the mirror I don't feel the same, I look at myself as this sick person. I should be thankful it's not that bad. People tell you oh it's just this small, this and that. But still it's cancer.  They don't know they don't have cancer.  I feel the tears welling up as I type this. Why me?  I still don't get it. How can one have a stroke at 35 and have to fight to live.  Now I'm 42 and I have Breast Cancer I have to fight again. How many fights does one have in a lifetime?  I guessing as many as are needed.  Why me lord?
My Mom brought me a Jesus is calling - Enjoying Peace in his presence. It's a daily journal of devotion. It is supposed to bring me comfort and reassurance.  Maybe I will find the answers here. Or acceptance.
I'm having a hard time accepting I have cancer. It's only been a month and half. I need to give myself time but how much time do we have?
For some reason I don't have a fear of dying. Well let me back track. My fear is for my kids. I know Alan will be ok he's been through losing a spouse before.  My fear is no one welcoming me in Heaven.  Will I have loved ones to greet me that has passed on?  I know I will be welcomed by my Lord but than what?  Do I just float around and be alone?  I have a lot of soul searching.  I need to find a church and get involved.  Then I believe my answers will come.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

MRI and MRA...

Today how fun. Since I had a stroke I had to get a new set of scans done to get the green light from my neurologist before my surgery NEXT week.  It wasn't near as bad this time, having a brain one you need to put this cage over your face so you can't move. This time they put a mirror on there so you could actually see the ladies and a clock. Which makes a world of difference for someone that is claustrophobic.  Plus I had a Valium in me a hour before.

I still haven't been sleeping the greatest, and I developed a jerking, twitching in my arms and legs. I looked it up and it's most likely from stress and you can say I do have a bit more stress in my life right now. It seems just as I am dosing off I will jerk and I'm back awake again.

I've also developed a rash on my arm that is spreading. I went to the dr on Monday and she gave me some cortisone cream but its not working. So back in I go tomorrow to get another look at it. I'm not sure what it could be from. I'm thinking it might be from my new recliner because they sprayed it with some protectant but I'm not sure. So now I'm sitting in my pretty new chair with a sheet on it just in case. I have to get this cleared up or I fear they will postpone my surgery and I don't want that to happen.

I've been drinking a ton of water lately. Well I discovered these koolaid liquids and you squirt some in.  No calories, and I'm weaning myself off of soda more and more. Plus this cherry koolaid takes me back I love it.  I still crave a cold diet Pepsi but not to much anymore.  I'm also been drinking green tea which hits the spot too especially on these cold Spring days.

Life seems to be passing us by. I still can't believe I have Breast Cancer and wonder when this will end. Alan said only till next Thursday and then I won't have it any more.   I hope he's right.  That's how aunt Shirley thought of it when she had her surgery the cancer was gone.  She said you have to think that way. I will feel much better when my Doctors tell me I'm cancer free.  I still will have to take that pill everyday for 5-10 years but if that's all I have to do that will be a drop in the bucket.  

I so hope in October I will be snorkeling in the warm waters of the Caribbean with my girls, Alan & Joyce.   With my new rack.

I worry about Alan he's been working so hard on the business trying so hard for it to succeed. Plus I know he worries about me. He really needs to take care of himself.  His blood pressure has been high lately and he has to get to the dr.  I worry about him but I am supposed to be worrying about myself.  I just can't imagine my life without him in it. He's my best friend and I was lucky to have found such a warm, caring man.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Praying for a stranger...

Today I got to go out to lunch with the hubster to the Mexican joint up the road.   We were enjoying our meal when a group of ladies sat down to the table next to us.

At first it just looked like they were girlfriends enjoying a Sunday afternoon out, I was envious of them all laughing and smiling.  Then we started hearing bits and pieces of why they were there. There jovial smiles turned sorrowful. Alan said they are talking about someone with Breast Cancer.  The lady they were talking about had a stage 4, it had spread to her lungs and they were going to test other organs. The lady wasn't there. These ladies were here to set up a fundraiser event for her. How special that lady has a group of ladies willing to do anything to help her.  I could only imagine how sad and lonely she must feel. Even if you have people that care for you there is that time when you have your own thoughts that no one is privy to but yourself and God.

A first I thought this isn't the lunch I wanted to be having, me - trying to get away from my own thoughts of cancer for awhile. But the more I sat there thinking of it I knew that was selfish and I just stopped and prayed for whomever they were talking about.  I know I can use all the prayers and my situation isn't dire as that ladies is.

As it was time to leave I felt the urge to walk over to those ladies and tell how wonderful it is what they are doing.  As I was just diagnosed with Breast Cancer the one lady reached up and gave me a hug.  I told them good luck to their friend and they said good luck to me also.   When it comes to Breast Cancer we all are in the fight to find a cure.  My only wish is I wished to help their friend, I wish no one has to go through this deadly disease.

Just remember when you find yourself self loathing remember there is always someone out there that has it worse off than you.  I need to remind myself of this daily.

Plus always remember to pray for your loved ones and always remember those strangers in need extra prayers too.




Thursday, March 21, 2013

The love of a Aunt...

My Aunt Shirley is the one who baked cookies with us , who always took us around the games when we were younger.  She was the one that seemed to make sure we had a birthday cake.  I always remember her being in my life when I was little, middle age, and now older.  She's been a constant in my life she's always loved me and I have always felt loved by her.

Tonight we did one of her favorite things move my furniture around in our bedroom.  She loves to move furniture.  It just get's her all giddy.  She came home and asked me if I got my new recliner and I said no it's coming Saturday and she said "let me go eat and I'll be right up".  I said we don't have to do it tonight, I don't want her to have to do that after she worked all day, but she said oh no we have to tonight since tomorrow she's getting her smile back she keeps telling me.  ( She's getting her teeth pulled and getting dentures ). So I tried to move it all by myself just so she didn't have to work anymore tonight because I know she needs her rest.  But up she came with her little scooty magi gees in hand all excited to get to moving around.  First we moved it here and then we decided on another place.  Anyhoo....Then we spent time she wanted to hang up a window curtain and wash the window.  She always stays busy.  I wish I had her energy.  She will be 70 this summer and she seems to never slow down.  I worry about her, she works so much for us, she does our laundry, she just does so much.

I'm thankful we have a nice place she can live independently in our basement by herself.  No it's not a dungeon, it's a nice set up she has.  We built it in with idea of my mother-in-law staying with us with a kitchen, bath, 2 bedrooms and a living area.  All it's missing is a washing and dryer and she would be in hog heaven.  Anyhoo I'm glad we can do this for her, no she doesn't pay us,  I feel like I need to repay her for being my greatest Aunt.   Of course I'm not holding her hostage and she can leave whenever she wanted to but I hope she doesn't.

My Aunt Shirley is a Cancer Survivor!  Almost 5 years ago she was diagnosed with colon cancer.  She had a pretty rough time of it.  We were also thankful that my other Aunt Karen ( her sister ) moved in with her and took the best possible care of her.  I'm so grateful she had a awesome doctor-surgeon also at the Cleveland Clinic who did a wonderful job with her.  She had a rough time of it and one day I remember looking at her and leaving the room because I just didn't think she was going to make it.  The chemo/radiation was doing a number on her.  It broke my heart.  I couldn't stand to see my favorite Aunt like that.

 I hated to have to tell her first I might have breast cancer.  Whenever I'm down or such she will get to baking she knows what I like. lol.  We both love pretty much the same things so that's a good thing.  I then had to tell her I did have breast cancer I could tell she was crying.  She told me you can do it,  you have been through worse with the stroke.  I hope she's right about that.  She came home and made sugar pie crust that night it was so nice I just remember something warm, yummy and her making it with love for me.

I hope she's one of those Aunts that live to be in their 90's and still getting around.  Because I couldn't even imagine my life without her in it.




I love her smile just the way it is! xoxo






Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winner Winner...

Chicken Dinner!  Tonight was the Math 24 that Madison practices and practices for.  She came in 2nd place in all of the 5th graders.  I was so proud of her.   All of them did so well this year.  I know I sure couldn't do it.  Last year she came in 2nd place also.  This year she was first as well going into the final table of 3 and came out with a 2nd place.    She was pretty proud of herself as well.

Proud Momma 3/19/13
She gets her smarts from her daddy.  Thank goodness.  I mean I'm no dummy but I wasn't recruited by NASA either ( like Alan was ).  She's lucky that she's got such a smart daddy that's home every night to help with homework.  All the kids were.  He's always been good at that.  IF they would of just asked for that help.  Some of the kids were pretty stubborn, you know the attitude I can to do it on my own if they even did it.    I remember when the kids were smaller I was always the spelling helper and English/Reading helper until it got to be where they didn't want or need the help.  I hope Madison always stays this way with her love of school and learning.  She sure got her love of Math from her Dad, many days she would come right home and get to doing those math 24 cards last year.  That's her idea of fun.  She didn't need anyone to practice with you can hear her alone by herself doing it.  lol
Madison & Daddy 3/19/13

It was nice to have both grandmas there supporting her.  She needs that and I need to see that.  It's nice to look over and see my Mom there. For so long it seemed she wasn't there and now she is and I like that.

I'm still half sick from this cold I have.  I keep thinking I'm almost over it and then it starts raging again. I'm really starting to worry about it because I have to be in tip top shape to have my surgery on the 4th. Tomorrow we are going to go look for a comfy recliner and then after that I'm staying in till I'm well except for Cody's first Lacrosse game next Tuesday.  It's Breast Cancer Awareness game and it's in honor of me so I'll be there!  I live in such a wonderful community and even though I live as a hermit mostly there are some wonderful people that will do so much for you it's awesome!  I hope to give back when I'm cancer free.

That's what life is all about is enjoying life and giving back.  I've always wanted to make a difference but never knew how but I know how just got to figure out how to make it work.  My life always seemed so chaotic for all those years and just when you think it's going to start slowing down and you can take a deep breath you hit with something you didn't expect to happen to you in a million years.  Breast Cancer.  I'm going to fight this beast and pray it will be gone for good and then get back to enjoying the rest of my life with my family and give back.  It's all about giving back.  We all are given so much, yeah some of us getting a shitty plate handed to us in life, but we have to clean it off and look for the good stuff.  Right now I'm looking for the good stuff.  Not just the good stuff to put into my body but I'm going to look for the good stuff to fill my soul too.
Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sadness...

is kicking in.  I try to be upbeat and try to think positive each day but sometimes I just get this tidal wave that knocks me over and it drags me out to the middle of the water.  I'm swimming as fast as I can trying to get to the shore and it's just pulling me farther and farther out.  The warm sea water is stinging my eyes and as I try to wipe them to see where I am at i'm just drifting out further and I'm losing my strength.

Tubs?
I use to swim when I was younger, I loved the water.  We used to live at the lake in the summer.  The lake was Long Lake.  It was so much fun.  I loved it when I got older and I could lifeguard and then I had a reason to be there everyday.  It was heaven.  Just feeling the golden sun burning your skin everyday.  Never putting any sunscreen on.  I would never allow my kids to be as foolish like that as I was back then.  I would swim of course when we I wasn't guarding.  There was this barrel and we would have contest on who would stay on there the longest.  It was so much fun.  I got pretty good at if I say so myself.  We ran that park, it was so much fun.  We also would swim the lake back and forth.  My mom always used to tell us there was this huge turtle in there called "Tubs" never did see him.  Would of loved to have!  I met my first official boyfriend there his name was Wayne.  Boy was he a looker.  Teen love brings a smile to my face and makes me laugh at the same time.  How you think of this is it, this is the love of my life.  How foolish we thought we were back then and so innocent.  I remember carving our initials in the tree by the little snack bar.  AS + WM wonder if that tree is still there?  I also remember my Mom painting there odd jobs here and there.  I remember looking over sometime and see her painting that old picnic area and thinking my gosh she must hot.  It was nice when she worked there because we would get to charge food on her bill.  I bet she didn't make much money with us charging on her tab, I don't remember her ever saying anything about it though.

Today I did have the best day with my daughter Olivia.  We went to Walmart, Kohls & Dunhams.  She's such a good helper.  Plus she doesn't ask for this and that.  I would like it if she would like to get some new clothes once in a while but she just likes to wear the same thing over and over.  She did like a new pair of jeans so we did get those.  She hates clothes shopping hates it.  Well I'm not to into it either so maybe she get's that from me.  She is such a good kid, I'm so lucky to be her Mom.  She always just comes up and gives me hugs just out of no where.  She is always wanting me to feel better. Today I tried to explain to her more about what was going to happen and if I did have to have a mastectomy and if that happens what exactly that means.  It means they go in and take off your boobs and tissue and put in expanders.  She gave this look and said that sounds complicated.  lol.

I really want to go to beach and just relax for a few days before my surgery but money being so tight right now with kid needing root canal, college bills, NY trip and all the medical bills flying in right now it just doesn't seem possible.


So right now this is what I can look at and dream about.




Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dead Beat...

This cold has really kicked me down on the ground. I literally have to make myself get up. Yesterday I had all my testing at the main campus. I met some new doctors who were kind. I got a new Neuro doc whose from Egypt. She is very nice. My pain doc is also from there and I really like him also. Egypt good people thumbs up!  I do need to have a brain MRI and a MRA which I was expecting before I get the all clear. I'm just going to have that done here at the CC in Wooster thankfully. Hopefully no more trips up to the big city till the surgery.   

I also met with the Geneticist and she went over everything with us.  It takes up to 2 weeks to get the results. I've decided that if it was meant for me to have the masectomy it will be determined if I carry the gene or not. I'm hoping that isn't the case. Fingers cross. 

I've been listening to some inspirational songs lately trying to lift my spirits. I've been crying less, I'm just more numb than anything.  I watched this story on MTV life of Jenks where he follows the 3 people for a year and one is a girl name Kaitlin I believe whose 23. Who had cancer a form of bone 2 times now. How awful that must be to be alone and fight this at that age. I'm 42 and a loving support group mine seems curable so far and hers is so uncertain. She is so strong. I admire her. She's beautiful, even when she's bald there is just something about her beauty that just draws you into her. I hope she makes it and is able to live out all her dreams and finds love. 

Today is dreary out, it's grey no sun, cloudy.  I want to go somewhere where I can feel that sun hitting my skin where it makes a puddle on my brow. 

My thoughts bring me back to a old classmate of mine Jeff. He recently had to put down his beloved Lab. She started getting sick and she wasn't well. He thought of her and didn't want her to suffer and had her put down. How I wish so many more could put them first before our own selfish needs. Often we want them to stay with us forever and I only hope I have that kind of courage if my Lily ever gets sick because I would never want her to be in any kind of pain.
Monday, March 11, 2013

16k...

The first bill has arrived today. Well that's what has been submitted to insurance.  How is that possible? I'm shocked.  Sick to my stomach.  I haven't even gotten to the surgery part.  This is the time I'm thankful I do have insurance even though it's pretty damn sucky as it is.  We have a 10k deductible yep that's right we have to pay a stinken 10 thousand dollars before our insurance will pay anything.  I can't wait to get a different insurance plan.  That's not even the outrageous cost we have to pay every month for insurance.  It's disgusting.  

Alan always says don't worry about it.  I do worry about it.  It's such a burden on him.  I feel like a burden now.  Just a big ole fat burden.  Gosh I don't even know if I'll be covered if anything ever happens to me again.  Since I had a stroke and now I have breast cancer.  I've probably reached my maxium coverage for a lifetime.  

I wanted so badly to get life insurance for myself.  So I wouldn't have to be a burden on my husband when I died.  So I could have all my arrangements made out so my husband and kids didn't have to do that.  I didn't qualify for that.  So i'm afraid they will have to.  

It's been a rainy day.  Dreary day.  I always say I'd rather it snow then rain.  Madison says we need the rain she likes it to rain and thunderstorm really hard.  Now I like that now that's my kind of rain.  Like God's telling us to get it together.  

Braylynn was over today and boy was he so much fun.  He makes us laugh!  He's growing up so big.  He just loves us so much.  He just wants to be loved on.  Tonight he got in his little walker and off he went. He was a explorer.  He makes us laugh, smile, giggle.  

Andrew stopped in he's doing so well.  I'm so proud of him.  He just got hired in finally and just making something of himself in his company.  He might not of went to college but he is doing something interesting it sounds like.  I'm sure his Mom is smiling down on him and is proud too.  

Not to much to talk about today i'm just kinda of hanging in there.  

I have a lot of appointments this week on Wednesday and Friday.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

My life in Pink...

it seems like I'm in love with the color pink.  Pink means something.  It means I'm fighting breast cancer.  Doesn't that seem silly?  Everywhere I look I see pink now. I wear pink.  I think pink.  I'm gonna fight wearing pink.  I bought a coat today it was pink, my shoe laces are pink, my make up I wear is mostly pink, my clothes I wear now will mostly have something to do about breast cancer and pink.  I feel if someone looks at me I want them to know yes I have breast cancer I'm not ashamed and yes we need to be aware of it.  We can't be scared of it.  Don't get me wrong I am scared though will I always be scared?  Will that ever go away?  Will these knots in my stomach go away that I keep trying to cover with food?

Today is a good day.  I got out of the house.  It was a beautiful sunny warm well warmer day 64!  Alan took me on a date!  We went to BW3's ok not really a date dinner but it was still out and we had some pretty good food.  Not cancer fighting food but it was yummy :)  We then walked to the movies and watched Safe Haven which I have been wanting to see.  Alan really wanted to see The Oz but nope not today.  The movie was touching didn't know it had to do with cancer but none the same it was nice.  I love Nicholas Sparks.  Last night we watched The Lucky One another Sparks movie which I loved.  2 chick flicks in row I think Alan is done with those for awhile.  But of course he didn't complain.

I seem to be just snapping pictures of myself on my phone.  I want my kids to have plenty of pictures of me.  I know I'm not dying now but one day I will be.  We all will be.  I hate it when I try to take pictures of my Mom or Aunt and they say oh stop that, knock it off.  I want something to look back on you know.  It means something.  I want something to show my grandkids, and they can show theirs and so on.  I love at the reunions sitting and looking at old pictures.  There just isn't enough.  So the last few years I've been taking pictures of the family get togethers.  I want so much for the reunions to continue and they have those pictures to look through.  

Just a couple pics of me being silly.


Being silly - pink lips
Pink Eyes - Pink Lips
February 19, 2013
Here is a picture of the day I found out I had Breast Cancer.  I look at this and I just see sadness.  I thought my world was ending.  I see darkness, I felt alone - even though I knew I wasn't, heartache, sickness to my stomach, there is so much more.  No fight in me that day.

Today I could smile, make silly faces, go to a movie, dinner, laugh.  
Tomorrow I'm not sure what will bring.
Saturday, March 9, 2013

Tumbling...Tumbling...Tumbling...

that's how I feel today.  Feel like I'm tumbling down a hill and can't stop.  I'm not sure why I'm feeling like this but my insides are all knotted up also.  

I feel like I have no control over my life at this moment.  I feel like I'm being swallowed up by this cancer inside my body.  Like it's taking over, which it's not true it's only one spot but still one spot is one spot.  I feel like I need to change my whole life. 

 I have to eat different foods, I go to the grocery store and I see foods and I know that should be in my cart now.  Alan does most of the cooking except all he knows right now is this spaghetti loaded with this special sauce.  Tomatoes are the foods to eat to really fight cancer.  So he piles everything into his sauce with tomatoes, thyme, peppers, garlic, onions, everything you can imagine.  It is quite good but it is so filling you can only eat a tiny bit of it and your full.  I love him to pieces but he must find some other stuff to cook if he's gonna be my personal chef and doctor :) 

Tomatoes
This fruit/vegetable is the epitome of a cancer-fighting superfood. Not only do tomatoes contain lycopene, the antioxidant phytochemical that also helps prevent heart disease, but they're a good source of vitamins A, C, and E -- all enemies of cancer-friendly free radicals.
I also read that Watermelon is good for you also.   I LOVE watermelon.  My problem is I love it with salt.  You can bet I will chowing down on it this summer!

I feel like I have so much to do before my surgery.  The house is a disaster.  I know it's because we all have been sick this past week with colds, and flu.  Our bedroom looks like a nuclear explosion went off.  I still have Christmas decorations in here, not up mind you but still in here still waiting for a box my husband promised me we had some downstairs.  He told me specifically NOT to buy anymore because we had plenty to pack the remaining stuff in.  It's almost Easter and I still got them up on my tv stand in the sitting room next to our bedroom.  Which who wants to sit on a couch and look up and see Santa up there. The stuff in the laundry basket is Christmas stuff wrapped up and also in the Kohl's bag.

I get tired so easy.  I don't sleep well.  I'm up all through the night and that's if I actually sleep at night.  Last night I did go to sleep but kept waking up through out the night.  I wanted to run over to Ashland and buy girl scout cookies off of Leona today but doesn't look like I will get around to it.  I have about 12 boxes already that need to get in the freezer as it is.  The family likes the samoas and I didn't buy enough of those as it is.  Oh well.  

The sun is shining today 2 days in a row.  Does this actually mean Spring is really here or the snow is gone for the year? 

This week I meet with my plastic surgeon , neurologist, pre op doctor, lab work done, internist , cardiologist,  who knows what else.  I just know it's gonna be a busy week.

Well I better get off of here and see what we can get done.  Yes we because Alan is going to help me get our bedroom organized and cleaned yippee!  What a way to spend a nice, sunny, Saturday! 




Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Biopsy pictures...

This is a personal blog but I want it to be informative.  So I'm just going to lay it out there.  I had no idea what I really was to expect when I was going to have my breast biopsy.  All I knew was what everyone probably does. Go to the internet.  Everyone out there has their own version of what it was like.  It didn't hurt at all, or it was the most excruciating thing they have ever been through.  Well my gosh after gone through a stroke I already know what real pain is, and my husband once stepped on a tack and he always reminds me of this his terrible pain he had to endure.  Could it really be this bad?  I didn't want to lead onto how scared I was but I was pretty damn scared.  The tack I could take but the other real pain I didn't want to ever go through ever ever again.

A lot of the women talk about the "noise" like a staple gun going off.  This confused me at first.  I couldn't understand why a needle would make any noise.   Then the more I read about it I wasn't having a needle biopsy I was having a core needle breast biopsy guided by ultrasound.  Anyhoo- 

I got to the Breast Center and met Dr. Hammond which she told me I was way to young to be having this done which she is right.  42 is to young to be dealing with breast cancer.  I always thought that was a old ladies disease.  I never said old ladies disease but you know women in their upper 60's, 70's.  I thought the same thing of my stroke who's supposed to be 35 having a stroke and learning how to walk again??  I guess God just thinks i'm special or something.  

Dr. Hammond and the nurse was very kind.  She explained to me and showed me everything that was going to happened.  She showed me how the "staple gun" worked and sounded.  It is VERY loud, I was quite jolted by the sound.  She told me they were going to take 3 samples of the mass and we would be done.  

My mass was so deep she did have a hard time getting to it and since it was pretty small I suppose getting a hold of it.  They had to really stretch my skin and make it taut.  Then she told me when she was going to do it.  The first time I heard it, felt like someone shooting a gun in there.  But it was over quickly.  She asks if your ok and if you want to take a break and I said no let's just get it done and over with.  It's not the most excruciating pain.  Sure it's not comfortable.  But hey your not in a spa your in there to see if you have breast cancer.  We did the procedure 2 more times and we were done.   She did say the leave little metal rings in the mass of where they took out the sample.  She did also say it wouldn't go off in a airport security or any metal detectors.  They leave them in there so they know where they have biopsied it so in case it needs to be done again they know where it has been done.

They clean you up, bandage you up, and give you instructions on what to look for.  Swelling, bleeding, pus, to much redness, hot to touch, feverish, etc.  

This is my incision after 2 weeks.  It was still red, but was starting to feel better.  I was never running a fever, and no infection.  



Then they give you a little pamphlet with information, on what to look for how to take care of it.  The biopsy was a lot scarier just reading stuff on the internet than the actual procedure.  

Got my surgery date.  April 4th.  Moving right along.  I'm still hoping I made the right decision with a lumpectomy instead of a mammogram.  I'm going to pray about it.




Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sleep...

That's all I've been doing all last night and all day today. I'm guessing it was my body telling me ok we can sleep now, we got some good news!  Or it's the nasty germs that has invaded our house and attacked all but Alan and Olivia.   I know it's attacked me because I literally feel like crapolla!

Poor Braylynn was over the other night and wasn't well. So I'm sure we have caught his strep throat and cold. Poor little thing, I still love kissing on him and wouldn't change that for anything. Kelsey passed around a video of him really walking today and him giggling.  He just melts my heart to pieces!  Could just eat him up!

I signed into my chart today and I already have my surgery date!  YES!  April 4th. The countdown is on. Bring it. That nasty cancer tumor will be out of my body!  YES!  The plan now is a lumpectomy with major overhaul ( reduction ) or if something drastically comes up then mastectomy.  Right now my biggest decision is to what size my new rack will be. Really it doesn't matter to me just having those ugly little demons out and not multiplying is good enough for me!

Cutting it short tonight since I'm a little under the weather, but wherever this may find you I only hope for good health and you find the love that everyone so richly deserves.

I also want to make a shout out to Valerie Harper- diagnosed with terminal brain cancer with 3 short months to live.  I love her saying she isn't going to think about dying think about living.  What a brave lady, we all wish to be so brave when we are faced with such adversity staring at us.  God Bless you Valerie. -
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Good News!

For a change.  I went to meet with my surgeon.

 I didn't sleep a wink the night before.  I tossed and turned the whole night.  I watched and listened to Alan snooze away.  He would wake up off and on and see how I was.  He'd say "Come here baby" and our thing is I lay on his chest and he always rubs and scratches my head.  It's always been our thing.  I always have told him I want to die this way.  It's so comforting, so peaceful.   Off and on I did this all night.  I didn't sleep but thankfully Alan did.

Onto my good news!  We went in and met her assistant.  Is everyone at the Cleveland Clinic just the best?  I swear she was so nice and comforting too.  We then got to meet Dr. Dietz who I immediately felt that "connection".  She explained everything to me.  She told me my lump was the size of a peanut the actual size of a peanut inside the shell.  Like the tip of a fingernail.  It is in it's very early stages.  Thank goodness.  I already had my mind set from the get go of having a mastectomy.  So I proceeded to tell her this before she gave me her recommendation.  I wanted to tell her this without breaking down.  No such luck.  I told her I have already been though so much with my stroke and now this Breast Cancer.  I wished to just have a mastectomy.  She told me the facts.  My survival rate is pretty much the same high 90% with either a mastectomy or a lumpectomy.  She felt the best case for me was a lumpectomy with a breast reduction/lift was the way to go.  Of course all this could change if the lymph nodes come back positive ( which she is doubtful ) or the gene test comes back positive.  If either of these do come back we will do the mastectomy.  Or if I do change my mind and want the mastectomy she will honor my wishes.

We are hoping to get the surgery scheduled for the beginning of next month in 4 weeks!  The plan is the surgery.  Then recovery.  Then radiation.  I wont know if I need chemo until the look at the mass closely.  If I do then I do.  I will also be taking a pill for 5-10 years everyday.  It will immediately put me into menopause since my cancer is hormone driven.

I still need to meet  with a geneticist, a neurologist - since I had a stroke to get the green light, plastic surgeon - next Wednesday, someone else I can't remember right now.  The ball is moving :)  I will be cancer free sooner than later.

We do have a cruise scheduled for October that I'm still hoping on going on.  If I need Chemo I will need to postpone it because I will still doing treatment likely till the end of the year.

My cancer is looking at a Stage 1 as of right now until they tell us anything different so that is great news to anyone.

I often really look at people now a days.  The ones that stand there smoking.  I just hope they never have to hear that dreaded word cancer.  I don't want to my loved ones to hear those words you have cancer.  Please really stop and think about what you are putting in your body.  I didn't even put that in my body and I got cancer.  Why take the risk?  Is it really worth it?  I know I've month's ahead of me that are going to be painful, uncomfortable, worrisome.  I know I can do it.  I've had needles stuck into my brain that was excruciating.  I always said if I could get through that I could get through anything.  Well here's another challenge.  I'm up for it.  I'm feeling much better after today.  I feel like I can do it,  I feel like it's going to be A OKAY :)
Monday, March 4, 2013

Relief...

Tomorrow is finally the day I meet my surgeon.  I guess I'm relieved, maybe more anxious now. The knots are really starting to tighten around my stomach even tighter than they have been for the past week.  I'm hoping I have a great connection with her.  I've been reading you need to have a good connection with your doctor.  I have with all my other doctors so I'm hoping this will be no different.  I'm not exactly sure what all will happen.  I do know they told me to bring our list of questions with us to have answered.  I'm bringing my team of "doctors" my support with me.  My husband - Alan, My daughter - Courtney, My mom - Judy, My mother-in-law - Joyce.  I'm sure they will have their own set of questions also.

 I'm not sure what my questions are but my main one is....I WANT THIS CANCER OUT OF MY BODY WHEN CAN I GET IT OUT?  You see when you hear the word cancer you feel disgusting, you feel like grabbing a knife and cutting the cancer out of your body.  I know I couldn't do that but don't think I haven't had that thought more than once.  You feel like I want it out now because I'm afraid it's spreading, I can picture these little demon heads laughing in there finding it's way in nooks and crannies infecting all other parts of my body.  Is that not the silliest thing?  Silly or not that's just my frame of mind right now.

I've been getting a lot of helpful information lately.  I know a lot of people are surviving Breast Cancer. This is good news not just for me but for the many thousands of woman that are fighting this disease.  I know we have to be close to a cure.  I know I will be learning so much about this in the coming months.

I need to get the gene testing done.  I want to know if I carry the gene so Courtney, Cody and Madison can be diligent in their check ups as they get older.  I hope and pray I don't carry that gene but if I do, we will have to be more determined for us to fight for a cure.  I don't want any of my children to hear those words- You have a mass- You have breast cancer.  Any cancer for that matter!

Cancer just needs to be done away with.  There needs to be a cure for all.  I seen my Aunt Shirley fight with colon cancer.  The chemo was hell on her.  That scares me.  She was so frail, the sores, all of it...But i'm so grateful she did it because I can't for the life of me imagine my life without her in it.  She means everything to me I love her and pray for her that she is always with us.  She has lived with us for years now and I can't imagine her not being with us.  She is cancer free and I want her to stay cancer free.  I know she is sad I have cancer now but I know she is going to fight with me.

Alan is taking me up to Cleveland tonight so we won't have to get up early to make that drive to the doctors early since it's at 9 in the morning.  We will go to the casino tonight, lose money i'm sure.  Try to have a good time.  I really enjoyed playing the poker slot with him just the two of us.  We never spend the time together.  He goes and plays to the poker room and I go to the slots.  I also envied those husbands and wives who would sit side by side and play the slots together.  Alan doesn't like to play those quirky slots.  He always says there is no using your mind in that.  I like that.  lol.  Who actually wants to think.  Not me.  I just want to spin the wheel and hope something hits.  haha.  Who knows maybe I'll be lucky tonight goodness gracious I sure could use some good luck!  LOL  I know one thing I will be looking for anything with pink on the slot machines tonight and play those.  Since pink is now color.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Drag myself...

Out of bed lately.  That's what I feel like I have to do.  I think I'm in a depression state. 

 My Mother-in-law wanted to take us all out to Cheddars my most favorite place to eat yesterday but I just couldn't do it.  I thought I could but just couldn't.  I know in my mind it's good for me to get out but the thought of just going out with a bunch of people ( yeah I know it's just family but still ) and putting on a smile...I just can't do it right now.  

I keep telling myself when I find out the extent of the cancer and the plan then I can feel better.  Will I?I'm starting to have my doubts.  I hope I will I need to for myself, for my husband, for my kids, for those around me.  I have to get it in my head that I'm going to have to fight this horrible disease.  That no one is going to fight it for me that I have to fight it for myself.  

I look at my life and I think you have a damn pretty good life.  Yes you have cancer but you have a been blessed with so much.  I think it's normal for those that have had something shitty happen to them to tend to think of the bad things.  Yeah I had a stroke and now I have Breast Cancer.  I need to stop and think of all the good things in my life.  I have been blessed to birth 3 beautiful amazing great kids.  Who have stayed out of the drug scene, who I must admit are pretty awesome kids.  They have listened to me most of the time, they have done pretty well at school, they are beautiful inside and out.  

I also have been blessed to have 3 step children.  It's not been easy.  Actually it's been hard, not easy, heart breaking at times, if I could of had my way I would of done anything in this world for them to have not of lost their Mom ( to damn cancer )  because I never wanted to take that place.  No one can ever take the place of a child's Mom.  I struggled so much with this.  All I wanted to do was guide them on the right path and I must say I feel like a complete failure in this department.  Alan always has told me that they won't understand it all until they have their own kids.  I hope this is true.  I love them , even though there have been many times I haven't felt loved by them I have loved them.  

My husband is the most awesome greatest man I have ever known in this lifetime.  He is the most patient, compassion man.  He loves like no other, forgives, loves with his whole heart.  When I had my stroke he never left my side, fought for the best care, made me feel the most beautiful when I was heavy and ugly.  He's the best step dad to my children, loved them like their own, helped Courtney like no one can, and he's the father to our Madison Rose.  

I've also been blessed to have a awesome business www.inktastic.com yep i'm going to promote it.  I'm proud of it.  We started in our basement, and just recently just this past year built a 10,000 sq foot building.  It's big, beautiful, spacious, and we have come a good distance in the 5 years we started.  We had no clue what we were doing when we started.  Most of the time we still don't we are still learning as we go.  I'm thankful for it and I'm still hoping that it will be profitable enough to send our children to college, live nicely and fund Breast Cancer Research.  This has to be my plan in life.  

I've also been blessed to live in a beautiful home, have plenty of food in my belly ( to much at times lol ) enjoy beautiful travels, given our children a nice start in life, provide jobs for people in need ( which brings great great joy to me!) be able to have health care - even though it is highly highly expensive and  really does stink! but still thankful I still have it to cover cancer. 

I'm going to try really hard to try to focus on the good and not the negative and Give it to God.  I know it sounds easy but just the thought of not being here to watch my kids graduate college, high school, get married, have babies, Alan and I renew our vows at 20 somewhere tropical, it stops me right in my tracks...
till next time
Just me Ang-
Saturday, March 2, 2013

Dead Calm....


In the house early this morning. Well except for my fans running which my husband hates but has put up with for so long since he loves me so much.  

 Of course Gracie our little Borkie ( half Bichon half Yorkie ) always seems to get me up early when I'm in a sound sleep.  I don't sleep very often but when I do it aggravates me to have to get up.  Luckily during the week Olivia is up at the this time in the morning will leave the dogs out before she leaves for school.  Lily our little Westie well I should say MY Westie would sleep till I get up.  She is the type of dog that is very loyal.  Wherever I am in the house she is right beside me.  Constantly under my feet, near me can't stand it if I'm in the bathroom, anywhere.  Sometimes it drives me nuts but I wouldn't have it any other way.  Of course she is laying beside me now with her bone.  She's getting older now she's going on 9.  She's been through the hell with me with my stroke.  I remember vaguely my Mom bringing me a stuffed animal that was a Westie to the rehab center or the hospital because I missed her so much,  I probably thought she was Lily at some time.  I do for sure remember my Mom sneaking her in and her just laying in the bed with me what a joy and comfort then. 

 I remember just being so lonely and sad every time someone left after visiting.   I'm not sure what was worse the days or the nights.  The days were non stop almost grueling like a boot camp.  They call it acute rehab.  Acute.  Critical Care.  What it means is you don't get any rest.  LOL.  Don't get me wrong.  I owe everything to to the Cleveland Clinic the first time around.  They saved my life.  I had a Carotid artery dissection which means a trauma to the neck which lead to a torn artery which lead to a stroke.  A pretty severe one.   I'm not sure if it would of been so severe if I hadn't went to our local hospital and laid there for almost 3 days and them telling me I had the flu.  Yeah okay, I can't walk, eat, head is spinning out of control.  They refused to give me a MRI because it was a weekend.  Yes it's been since 2005 I'm still slightly pissed about that one.  I remember the Dr. I use that term VERY loosely coming in my hospital room ( at this time it was a full on emergency ) sitting near me looking at me telling me I had this stroke.  It was almost surreal someone telling you that.  Someone telling you your brain is swelling and you brain is bleeding and we need to get you somewhere quickly. ( Quickly we decided the Cleveland Clinic not even a second thought on that one. ) I'm not even sure if I thought I was going to die right then.  As time passed the days,  I did think I was going to die. The  pain was so intense and so unreal in my brain it felt like it was literally going to explode I kid you not.  

I'm putting my life literally again in a team of doctors at the Cleveland Clinic again in less than 10 years.  How can that be?  Really now.  I keep asking myself what the heck have I done so terribly wrong that I have to fight for my life 2 times in literally 10 years???  I believe in God so I know I will find out the answer.  


I know I've always wanted to help others in some way.  Alan and I were so lucky to have started our business INKtastic after my stroke.  After my stroke I couldn't walk for awhile till after all the rehab and all.  I had no idea what I was going to do.  My brain was ok I guess.  So I started tinkering on the computer and I liked to design not greatly I might design graphics.  Alan was sooooo patient with me.  I would forget over and over what tool does what.  He never ever got upset with me.  He did the programming and I did some graphics.  I would get a little better each time.  I had the deep hope of one day selling enough onesies, t shirts to live well and to donate to St. Judes.  To find a cure for Cancer. It just would break my heart knowing those children suffering from a horrendous disease and me not being able to do anything about it.  It's so ironic that I was the one that would get Cancer.  So maybe this was in God's plan all along.  I would have a stroke, my husband and I build INKtastic which hopefully we still be profitable some time!!!! and we can help in someway with Breast Cancer.  I don't know sounds looney but I'm gonna believe God has some plan for me.

Lily
Gracie


.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Getting all my P's & Q's in order....Another Dr. visit

Thankfully it's not a cancer doctor just yet it's my wonderful eye doctor.  The past few month's my vision as been getting blurry to the point where I couldn't see my favorite reality tv shows and it was really starting to tick me off. LOL.   After my stroke, my vision did weaken by evening but it was always blurred but not to where my doctor and I felt it was bad enough to need glasses.  Since my diagnose I wanted to get in to the Dr. Perkins as soon as I could to get my eyes checked because I just didn't know when I'd be having surgery plus it was really bothering me of late.  I called a couple days after the my C Day as I will call it.  Cancer Day.  The day I got the news.  They told me he was booking into the end of May.  The end of May.  No way was I going to wait until the end of May, plus I knew that if Dr. Perkins knew it was me and that I just got the dreaded cancer news he would get me in.  The lady first told me there is no way I could get in any earlier.  Then I did it.  I used the Cancer Card.  YEP, YES I did it.  I said " LOOK HERE.  I JUST GOT DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER 2 DAYS AGO, AND I'VE GOT BLURRY VISION AND I'M WORRIED IT MIGHT HAVE SOMETHING TO DO WITH THAT NOW GET ME A APPOINTMENT!"  How awful.  She said Mam, ( Me - a Mam I'm only 42 ) please hold.  She comes back on and get's me the next Friday which was today.

I love Dr. Perkins he's the kind of Dr. that you just love going to!  He's handsome, fun, always glad to see you and he always remembers you.  I like those kind.  Plus he's always happy with me that I always do well with my A1C which my last one was like 5.7 ( pats my back )  He comes in and asks how i'm doing and then I have to tell him.  Not so good.  ( I just went through the same talk with my hair dresser yesterday )  The look in their eyes of pity, sorry, plus how much more can this girl take!   First a Stroke....Now Breast Cancer??  He talks to me about it for a few mins and for once I don't break down.  I'm getting better at telling this I guess.   I can tell he truly cares about me.  I'm lucky in that way.  It seems like almost all my medical professionals in my life ( except for the ones that tried to kill me ) have been awesome!  I love it!  There are some truly wonderful doctors out there and some not so great ones too I guess.  Finally, the end of the story.  I get some kickin coach glasses pink of course that my husband said I look hot in lol.  Bifocals and a distance prescription all in one.  Not sure how that works but hey I'll take it!  I'll be able to read up close and watch my reality tv once again and not squint like June's Bingo face!

So now I just have to make a appointment with my dentist another one that I can't say enough about and the lady who cleans my teeth!  I also already got a appointment with my pain specialist to discuss a different way to treat my fibromyalgia since having anything done to my neck right now is out of the question because I've got bigger fish to fry as my Aunt Shirley says.

I also got to go out to eat with my favorite little guy today.  Braylynn which he got to meet Charlotte, Sandy, Gabe and Aunt Shirley.  Charlotte got me a beautiful card and a willow healing angel and I'll look at it daily and pray to her.  I sure need lots of healing.  I sure love Charlotte she means so much to me.  I always thought of her as a Godmother to me and still do.  I have some fond memories of her being so nice to me when I was little, and of course my Grandpa Strickling loved her to pieces and always told the story of the day I was born and the car chugging up the hill not sure if it was going to make it with Charlotte.

Wow where does the time go?   Don't we all wish we could just stop the clock and turn it back to a certain memory that just made you smile from ear to ear where we didn't have to worry about being sick, we just got up and had fun.  What memory would you turn to?  I'll have to think about it and write a entry one day of that one.  I know for sure it will be one that had no sickness and aches and pains!