I love my radiation oncologist, Dr. Smathers. When it comes to living with cancer the most important things to me are quality of life and honesty. I don’t want anything sugar coated! She understands and that’s what she gives me. I love to see her walk in with a smile. I didn’t get that last month. I got it today! My scans showed nothing new. It showed the little brain mets were no longer there. The belief is that Xeloda took care of them. The tumor in my left frontal lobe has grown 2mm. Her hope is that Xeloda will reach that tumor and shrink it. We have a new brain MRI scheduled in two months unless I start having symptoms. The most common symptoms would be dizziness, headaches and nausea. That’s the plan as long as I feel good. If nothing changes on the next scan we will consider adding Methotrexate. If it continues to grow brain surgery is my other option. It’s another wait and see.
I give God the glory. Five tumors gone in a month is amazing. Thank you all for your love and prayers! They mean so much to me!💕💕
I’m grateful for another month and for more memories!
We taught Jax how to play Candy Land. He won his first game! I love being a glamma!
I had another Valentines Day with my sweet Javiee. This man is my rock!❤️
T.J. joined ROTC (Air Force).
This has been a month full of memories! Some deserving a title of their own. I’ll add them soon!
Until then……Get out and make some memories!💕💕
I’m going to keep this simple for you guys. I have a new tumor in my brain. It’s in the superior left cerebellar hemisphere. WBR and the cyber knife took the initial tumor away back in 2016. This tumor is growing right underneath where the initial tumor was located. Radiation is not an option for this tumor. My doctors are getting together Friday with other specialists and going over my charts to figure out what my options may be. Here’s some good news……
Two rounds of Xeloda cleared my liver! Those liver mets are gone. It’s been four months since my previous brain MRI. Our hope is that this tumor in my brain was bigger and xeloda has shrunk it. There’s no way to know because my previous brain MRI was clear. Our plan, for now, is to keep taking Xeloda and do a new brain MRI next month. If the tumor is smaller then we will continue with Xeloda and monthly scans. If the tumor is the same size or bigger next month the only option will be brain surgery. That’s the plan right now. This could change after our meeting Friday. Another wait and see!
I have chosen to not worry about this. I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and see what next month brings. What does worrying help anyway? Tomorrow I’m going to pick up my sweet little Jaxon and we are going to watch T.J. wrestle.
I love you guys! Get out and make some memories! 💕💕💕
My song for the day….Click here. 😂
This has been a month full of scans for me. PET Scan, hip x-rays and a brain MRI. All of my results were stable with nothing new.
Time for a Happy Dance!!
Stable doesn’t mean cancer free. It doesn’t mean I feel great, or even good. It just means the cancer that has taken up residence in my body hasn’t grown. I have good days and I have bad. I live with a lot of pain. Still, I don’t let that stop me. If I want to do something, I do it. I may pay for it the next day, but it’s always worth it!
I feel so blessed. I remember hearing I probably had a year to live over four years ago. Believe me when I say I don’t take a minute for granted. The past four years have been filled with new adventures, memories, milestones, family, friends and tons of love. I’m a Glamma x2!! My Javiee is legal!! I watched T.J. leave for his first day of high school last month!! (I cried!) These are the things that keep me going.
Here’s something that touched my heart this week……
This made me think of a very special person in my life. When your down, feed the good, share a smile, spread some love, get up….get out…and make some memories!!
I love you guys!💕💕
I’ve lived with metastatic breast cancer for over four years now. My CA-15-3 has always indicated when something was awry. It was 22.8 in December 2015. In June of 2016 it jumped to 169.8. For this reason we started checking my tumor markers monthly. I’ll share from that point on below:
July 2016 267.6 This is when we found brain mets.
August 2016 565.0
October 2016 694.0
November 2016 691.5
January 2017 167.0 This was after WBR/Cyber Knife.
February 2017 132.2
March 2017 159.2
April 2017 172.2
May 2017 183.0
We weren’t concerned with the first rise. It can happen for many reasons. After two more months of higher numbers we decided it’s time to do scans. I had a chest and abdomen CT Wednesday (results next week). I also have a brain MRI scheduled for the first week in June. It’s another wait and see! I have to tell you I Feel Good!! I go on that. It may sound strange but I don’t even worry about results anymore. I just get on with life until result day arrives. Life has been good to me lately! Wait until I share what I was blessed with this week (for those that don’t follow me on social media)!!!!!!! That will be my next post. Until then I’m sending you all love!!!!💕💕
Get out and make some memories!!!!!!
Just hearing cyberknife and knowing it was for a tumor behind my eye was beyond anything I could imagine. Then I was told it would take 3-4 hours and I would be awake the entire time. This was not an appointment I was looking forward to!
I have to tell you it sounds worse than it is. It actually doesn’t even involve a knife. It’s a robotic radiosurgery system that delivers beams of high dose radiation to tumors with extreme accuracy. No cutting and no pain involved. I was fitted for a mask the week before surgery. For me, this was the only uncomfortable thing about the surgery. The mask is screwed into the table and it’s tight. Here’s a picture of my mask. I see a Halloween costume in T.J.’s future, it’s scary!
They gave me an Ativan before the surgery. I was worried about being awake during this. If they had said we give you ativan before we start I would have had no worries. I remember my mask being attached and getting up. That’s it. I won’t have a new brain MRI until the end of October. I’ll update you when I get results. Waiting is always the hardest. I just try not to think about it and go on with life.
This is a picture of the Cyberknife System. The robotic arm moves to hit targeted areas.
Now for the aftermath. I vomited for 2 weeks and lost 15 lbs. I couldn’t eat. Everything I tried to eat tasted so salty and I would get sick to my stomach instantly. The medical term for this is Dysgeusia. I ate chicken nuggets for two weeks. Now I’m eating fish, rice, cantaloupe, chicken nuggets, cheese on unsalted crackers and cheesecake. My Javiee is still making me juices and I’m keeping them down. I do miss his cooking! Chocolate and red meat are the worst right now. I never thought I’d see the day that I turn down chocolate! I still have days when I’m just completely exhausted. On those days I celebrate going to the grocery store! On the bright side I’m having more good days than bad now! That’s really something to celebrate!
I have to end with a picture of T.J. holding my grandson Jax. I think this is the first time he held him since the day he was born. He was completely uninterested in holding him during the slobber and spit up days. I honestly didn’t think he’d hold him until he was out of diapers. I was so proud of him!
Get out and make some memories!
One day after completing 15 rounds of whole brain radiation I went in for my Oophorectomy. It was an out patient surgery. My surgeon told me the recovery would be easy. I shouldn’t be in pain and I should feel ok the next day. Just take it easy and no heavy lifting.
Here’s what he didn’t tell me. Don’t lay down after surgery.
I went home and went to bed. I woke up the next morning in horrible pain. Not abdominal pain, it was shoulder pain. The gas that had been used to expand my abdomen during surgery had set up in my shoulder. I should have slept sitting up in a recliner and I would have felt fine the day after surgery. I wasn’t told that and I took pain meds and cried with shoulder pain for about five days. It was bad! If this surgery is in your future remember that and you should have a fast recovery. I have four tiny scars from the incisions and they healed within two weeks.
Now for what was hiding in each of my ovaries:
That’s a picture of a tumor that was in my ovary. There was one in each ovary. This is the largest one (2.0 cm). How did a tumor this size not show on my scans? The good news here is that we had it tested and it’s still er/pr+. That gives me hope that the new medication I’m on can work on my bones and lung.
I go in for new scans next month to see if Faslodex and Ibrance are working. I’m a little concerned because my tumor marker keeps getting higher every month. Then in October I will have a new MRI to see what all the brain radiation has accomplished. Until then I’m staying positive and living every good day to the fullest. I’m also sleeping a lot. I don’t know if it’s still exhaustion from radiation or my new treatment plan but there are days when I just don’t want to get out of bed.
I want to send a big thank you to everyone that has messaged, called and came by to share their love. I even received care packages from Australia (I ♥️You Emma!) and from Arizona (I ❤️ You Sally!) You all make my world brighter!
Get out and make some memories! 💕💕
I have survived 15 rounds of whole brain radiation. Initially the hardest part was driving to Asheville and back everyday for a treatment that lasts less than 10 minutes. I videoed a session for those of you that may one day have to go through this.
Whole Brain Radiation Here’s the link
It was a painless procedure. My mask was latched to the table, everyone left the room and the radiation took a few minutes. There was a smell that came with the radiation. It reminded me of Clorox. The first 13 rounds were fairly easy on me. I was dizzy afterwards and needed a nap. I was surprised because I was expecting worse. It hit me at round 14. My forehead and my ears burnt so bad. After round 15 I couldn’t hear and my ears smelt horrible. I was told to take Mussinex to relieve pressure behind my ears. I did that for a few days and didn’t notice a difference. I ended up putting peroxide in my ears for a few days and my hearing is back! I must tell you my oncologist advised against using peroxide. It worked for me. My eyesight also got bad with the last rounds of radiation. I couldn’t read anything! I’m using readers now and I feel them getting stronger everyday. It’s been two weeks since my last round of radiation and the fatigue is extreme. I’m so tired. I just keep reminding myself that it’s over! I have had a hard month!! The day after my last radiation appointment I had my ovaries removed. I’ll do a post on that soon. I’m scheduled for the gamma knife and a new MRI in August. Until then I’m going to get out and spend some time with my guys. I’ll end with some pictures.
This is my radiation mask.
This is one of the Mets to my scalp. Radiation healed all of them. Let’s hope it’s working as well on the inside!
This is a harsh one, but I share my truth with you guys. My forehead after 15 rounds of WBR.
Now for one that shows me on the mend! It’s a wig!
What a week! I’m exhausted, mentally and physically. I had an IV steroid treatment last week to reduce the swelling in my head. I was then put on an oral steroid that I am taking two times a day. I’m not a fan of steroids. I hate not feeling like myself. They make me irritable and nauseous. They make my blood glucose out of control. They have relieved my headache, but I have decided I’d rather deal with a headache. I quit taking the steroids yesterday. Today I slept until 1 p.m. and I’m feeling a little better.
I saw my radiology oncologist, Dr. Smather’s, last week. I really love her! We went over the results of my Brain MRI. She is confident that this is something we caught early and can control. There are tiny spots all over the cerebellum (the back of my brain). It’s almost as if someone has taken a Clorox bottle and sprayed it on my brain from behind. Because these spots are scattered our course of treatment will be WBR (whole brain radiation). I have always known I didn’t want to do WBR. However, this is the plan. This is what I will do. My youngest son is 13. I cannot discount any treatment. I will do whatever I have to for the chance to see him graduate high school. So, here’s the plan…
15 days of WBR starting this Thursday. The following Friday I will leave radiation and then go over to the hospital to have my ovaries removed. While all this is happening I will also be adjusting to the new chemo I will be starting this week. When WBR is completed we will do a new MRI and decide if we can do targeted radiation to the tumor behind my eye or if we will gamma knife it. Geez! I believe this is going to be a hard month!! (understatement of the year!)
My doctors are confident, as am I. I have so much left to do and so many more memories to make! I am hopeful that this is just a temporary setback.
Thank you all for your love and support. I will do my best to keep you updated.💕💕
Here’s a picture of my Javiee and I on our latest road trip. I’m focusing on a family cruise when this mess is over! Take time to make memories!💕
The past two years have been fantastic. Zoladex and Femara have served me well, until now. I ended up in the emergency room on our beach trip with a massive headache. I was treated for a migraine. My headache never went away. I had blood work done at the cancer center when we returned home. My tumor marker was on the rise. Scans showed a tumor in my ovary, two on my hip, on my ribs and on my spine. A brain MRI showed it had also metastasized to my brain.
There are no words that can begin to express how devasting this news is to us! What a change in only three months! We have cried, screamed and cried some more. There is nothing left to do but fight this. My big girl panties are back on. (Thanks to words of wisdom from a dear friend, Anya)
So, what’s next? Tomorrow I will see a radiation oncologist. I will find out exactly what the brain scans show and get ready for radiation. I will be starting a new chemo (Ibrance and Faslodex) next week. Three weeks on and one week off. I will be getting xgeva monthly for my bones. I will also be having surgery to remove my ovaries. Wow! This is not what I had planned for this summer! I will keep you updated. I’m grateful to have all your support! You all make my life brighter!💕💕💕
I have so much to share about our Little Pink Houses Of Hope trip. Life has been crazy! I will share pictures from our trip soon!