In Memory of another Stage 4 Sister

It’s so hard to hear you have breast cancer and even harder to hear it’s stage four.  I will never forget the day I heard those words.  My life changed instantly.  I immediately turned to the internet and googled everything about stage four breast cancer.  I was preparing to die.  Then I met Terri at http://www.gracefulwomanwarrior.com.  She had been living with stage four breast cancer since 2011.  She inspired me to not just fight, but to keep living.  She helped me through the early days of my diagnosis.  This week her time here ended.  I am so blessed to have known her and so saddened by the loss her family feels now.  Living with stage four cancer is mentally and physically hard.  Watching as my stage four friends pass is even harder.

image

In memory of my dear friend Terri at gracefulwomanwarrior.com

Happy Early Holidays!

image

My Scans came black clean!  I’m still dancing with NED!  I can’t even begin to tell you how blessed I feel today!  I was seriously worried!  I am every time I have scans.  Zoladex and Femara seem to be working for me.  My tumor markers are down to 20.  Now I’m going to forget about all this cancer business and enjoy the holidays with my family.  They seem so much more precious these days.  I know life is busy, but stop and take time to enjoy it.  Memories last forever.

That’s a picture of my tree!  Tis the season at my house.  Happy Holidays!  I love you all!

Just a little update!

I know it’s been a month! Pinktober has passed! A fellow blogger was doing a special awareness piece for October and I thought I would join in. All you needed to do was video yourself reading a piece she had written. I started reading it and hit the 2-5 yr statistic for stage IV women. Then I realized I will hit my two year mark soon. I couldn’t finish the video. That realization hit me hard. I never think of myself as a statistic. I never really even think of myself as living with stage IV breast cancer. I try not to think about it. I take my pain meds and enjoy life. The last Friday of every month I have a visit with my oncologist. That’s when I visit Cancerland. After each appointment I treat myself to a new restaurant and forget it until the next month. This past month I feel like I’ve lived in Cancerland! That 2-5 yr statistic has been lingering in my head. I’ve been in a funk! I have new pain in my rib and of course I can’t help but wonder if it’s back. I’m scheduled for new scans on the 17th. Having that to think about doesn’t help! I’ve put off getting my tattoo until after scans. I don’t want anything to interfere with those results! I need some good news to ease my thoughts! Until then, it’s Javiee to the rescue! We have decided to spend our weekend decorating for Christmas! I know it’s early! We did this last year because I was suffering from scanxiety and it helped so much! Here’s to getting out of that October funk!

Aside from crazy thoughts of my impending death, life is good in North Carolina! The leaves have changed to red, yellow and orange. It’s beautiful here! We explore a new place every Sunday (family day!). Here’s a picture from last Sunday.
image

I love you guys and I hope your all doing well! I’m going to catch up with your blogs this weekend.

Life is Good!

We are settled in and happy in North Carolina. Things have fallen into place and I am feeling so good! My Javiee found a job that he loves and T.J. has adjusted well in his new school. He has Aspergers so transition can be hard for him. Not only did he make it through his first month of school, he is student of the month!! I am so proud of him and so happy to still be here for him! I don’t take these moments for granted!! Time for a picture!!
image
That’s me (proud mommy!) and my little T.J.(he’s not that little anymore!).

It’s so good to be close to family and have all my kiddos together!! Time for another picture!
image
That’s my crew! I am so blessed!

As far as breast cancer goes, I’m feeling really good! I still take pain meds for my joint pain and I still can’t feel my fingers. That’s really all I’m dealing with right now so I’m not complaining! I go back to my oncologist this Friday. I’ll find out then if my tumor marker is still down. I will have new scans done next month. No matter how I feel scans still scare me!

My birthday is October 17th. I’m getting my tattoo then. I will do a reconstruction update when that’s finished. I have my design and I’m so excited to get it! Dr. Swelstad I haven’t forgotten about you! I will share my pictures soon! :)

I have to end with an updated picture of my Javiee and I. I feel so lucky to have him in my life! I couldn’t imagine having gone through this past year without him! He’s my treasure!
image

Thank you all for your support. I know I’ve said it before, but you all mean the world to me!

One more picture!!
image

I’m going to be a grandma!! I honestly didn’t think I would live to see a grand baby! Life is good! :)

Hello North Carolina!

We made it! We took old Route 66 slowly and enjoyed our trip across country! We are settled and happily living in Waynesville, North Carolina. We had planned on living in Asheville, but we found the cutest place right off Main Street in Waynesville. It’s close to T.J.’s new school and he can walk right around the corner to the ice cream shop! That’s a big deal for him! My Javiee found a job at a fantastic restaurant right around the corner from our house. It seems like everything has just fallen into place for us. It’s all been so easy. I feel like it was meant to be. I’m at peace with our decision to move. It’s so good to be closer to family!

I’ve been busy! It’s hard to move across country and deal with insurance and finding new doctors. I saw my new oncologist this week and I loved him. He’s Dr. Austin at Cancer Care WNC in Asheville. I googled him before my first visit and was scared to death! He looked like my 22 yr old son! I was relieved when I finally met him. He’s older than he looked in the picture I saw! I’ll have to ask him if I can share the picture I got from google! :)

My test results from this week aren’t in yet so I don’t know what my tumor marker is now. I know I feel good! I still take pain meds for my body aches and I still can’t feel my fingers. It’s hard to write or even type. I figure that’s something I’m going to be dealing with forever. I’ve learned to take that in stride, what else can I do?

Thank you all for the well wishes! I feel blessed that your all part of my life and this road I travel!

Now I have to tell you T.J. started middle school!! I cried like a baby! There was a time when I thought I wouldn’t live to see him go to middle school. It was a big deal for me! Here’s a picture from his first day!
image

Here’s one from our road trip. It was the old Conoco Station from the movie Cars. (One of T.J.’s fav stops on our trip) I love road trips!
image
See that blonde hair? It didn’t come back that way! I did it to put a little kick back in my step! I mean really! I’m dealing with enough, couldn’t my hair have come back blonde?!

Just a quick post!

I have so much to say! I had a PET Scan and it showed no new progression! Yay! My tumor marker is now 27.7! That’s normal! I know I still have cancer, but for now it’s under control. I honestly don’t know how much time I have left. So time for new adventures!

We are leaving Colorado today. We’re off to Asheville, North Carolina. It’s time to be closer to home and family. It’s bitter sweet for us. We love Colorado and we love the people here. Colorado has been so good to us! I’m thankful for all the friends we have here. You are all like family to us and you will be missed!

I will be offline for a week or so. I will reply to you all as soon as we are settled. To my fellow bloggers, I love you all and will catch up with you in a couple of weeks!

I’m going to end with a picture of our last trip to one of our favorite places Ouray, Colorado.

image

Living On Vicodin

I’m serious about the title! Lately, I can’t accomplish anything without my pain meds.  My hands are still numb 60% of the time.  They are so swollen that I can no longer wear my rings.  I didn’t think it was possible, but my body aches have also increased.  Forget ninety!  I feel like I’m one hundred!  I’m honestly not sure what’s worse, the cancer or the treatment.   Having said that, I must tell you my tumor marker is now down to 58!  Fantastic news!  It was over 300 before I started Zoladex and Femara.  So for now I’m going to stick to my treatment plan and keep my Vicodin prescription filled.

image

That’s my Javiee and I.  We celebrated our one year anniversary this month.  We’ve been together for close to seven years.  We didn’t actually get married until last June.  I have to share a picture with you from that day because I was bald.  Now I have a little hair.  Brown hair!

image

No matter how many pain pills I have to take.  I’m still smiling and living life!  You never know what’s in store for you tomorrow, so enjoy today!

I Love you guys!

Life with Zoladex

I’ve been on Zoladex and Femara for almost three months now.  I’m already a pro when it comes to the Zoladex injection.  I ice my stomach to the point of numbness and I don’t feel a thing.  I’m finally over the menopausal craziness that came with Zoladex.  Now I’m left with the side effects.  I’m honestly not sure if the side effects are from Zoladex or Femara.  I thought my hot flashes were bad when I was on Tamoxifen.  Now they are just ridiculous!  One minute I’m fine and the next minute sweat is dripping from my forehead.  It’s like a furnace has been lit inside me.  I take a shower and 15 minutes later I’m sweating again.

When I was on tamoxifen I would take a pain pill at night to ease my leg cramps.  Now I take one the minute I get out of bed.  I feel like a ninety year old woman.  My back and legs are unbearably stiff.  That’s the only way I know to describe it.  I’m taking pain meds four times a day just to do my normal activities.  On top of that I’m waking up in the middle of the night now with numb hands and feet.  Numb to the point of painful!

So that’s the down side of my life with Zoladex and Femara.  Here’s the bright side, my tumor markers are dropping!  They had climbed to over 300.  Last week they were down to 100!  I’ll test again next Friday.  I guess you just have to take the good with the bad.  Whatever works!  I have a lot to live for!

This week I’m going to get my tail in gear and do a post on my reconstruction.  I just love being able to wear tank tops again!  A big thank you to Dr. Swelstad at ReGenesis Plastic Surgery. Love him!

I have to end by saying I’m so proud of my little T.J.  He’s now in The National Honor Society.  He’ll be starting middle school this year!  I want to cry just thinking about it!  Last year I didn’t think I’d be here to see him start middle school.  It’s a big deal for me!

image