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!!
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!
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!
Thank you all for your support. I know I’ve said it before, but you all mean the world to me!
One more picture!!
I’m going to be a grandma!! I honestly didn’t think I would live to see a grand baby! Life is good! 🙂
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!
I know it’s been a few weeks! I took a trip South to visit family and look at houses. I’m home now and about to start a new chapter on the cancer front.
Unfortunately, Tamoxifen didn’t work for me. My tumor marker seems to be rising about 40 points a month. I’m in the 180’s now. Today I go for my first Zoladex injection. I’m not looking forward to it! That hollow needle looks painful! If it works I should be going through menopause very soon. Geez! Can a girl catch a break? Next week I will start taking Femara and I will continue to get Xgeva and Zoladex shots every four weeks. I am praying this brings my tumor marker back down. If not I’ll be back in that chemo chair way sooner than I had hoped!
Here’s a picture of the Zoladex injection.
I’ve gotten so many messages since I’ve been away and I’m reading them now. Most are wondering about my reconstruction. I will tell you I am healed and so very happy with the results! I will do a post on it this week.
As much as I hated the hot flashes and weight gain that Tamoxifen caused (yes, I’m going to blame the weight gain on tamoxifen..lol!) They were things I could deal with to keep my cancer at bay. I was being positive and hoping I would be lucky and have a five year relationship with that pill! No luck there! My tumor marker has risen to 108. Not good! That means Tamoxifen is no longer working for me. I had a PET scan a few weeks ago and it looked good. Now I’m scheduled for a bone scan and a CAT scan. The results will tell us what’s next.
I have to say I’m devastated! This is not the way I wanted to start a new year! You know when your about to have a baby and you go through this “nesting phase”? That’s the only way I know how to describe what I’m feeling. We had been planning on moving closer to home (Georgia is where we’re from, Colorado is home right now). Now I feel a certain urgency to move and get settled in closer to home. Financially, this past year has drained us. We can’t just up and move tomorrow. I have one more surgery this month. Once I recover it’s back to work I go whether I feel like it or not. I think moving and getting everyone adjusted will give me peace in my heart.
Now, don’t take what I just said the wrong way! I feel really good. I have no pain and I’m full of energy. I’m praying for good test results and I still have my positive attitude. I just think getting my family closer to home and settled in will let me relax and fight this without worrying if they will be ok if something goes wrong. Cancer is a b***h! What more can I say?!
On the bright side, my oldest, Kori, got engaged this week! I’m so happy for him! The joys of being a mother!
I had my scan Tuesday. I went into my oncologists office and while waiting for her this is what I looked at. I was looking at all these black spots and coming to terms with my impending death! I can’t even begin to tell you what I was feeling! It looked really bad to me! After going through all the images it turns out to be good news! All that black you see is not cancer! The cancer that was on my first set of scans is not even showing up! Praise God! I am a happy woman!
Thank you all for your support! All of you help me get through the hard times! I truly appreciate everyone of you! You are all a blessing to me!
Speaking of blessings, look at how big my little man is getting! Then look at my hair! I love having hair!
My oncology appointment went well Friday! My numbers are good and nothing has changed! What a relief! I won’t be in that chemo chair over the holidays! Those appointments are so stressful for me! Now it’s over and I’m going back to my happy little world of Tamoxifen, diet and denial! No thoughts of cancer for me this month! I think it’s time to decorate for Christmas! (yes, I’m serious!). I started this year not knowing if I would make it to Christmas. The season starts today in my house!
I enjoyed my two week break from chemo! It was nice to feel like my old self for a little while! Javiee and I went with T.J. on his class field trip to Ouray. Good times, oh how I treasure them!! I was a little nervous about going to the hot springs. It was my first time out in a swim suit with no boobs and no hair! A friend of mine, Trish, told me to just own it. What good advice! (Thanks Trish!). Own it. That’s all I can do. Cancer has taken enough of me. I can’t let it keep me from doing things with my little one because I’m worried about what other people will think! How liberating! I think it’s the first time I put on a swim suit without worrying about that little pooch in my tummy! Why do we care about those things anyway?? It’s the moments and the memories that matter. Cancer has a way of opening your eyes to everything. If there’s one thing you can take from what I’m going through, take that. Enjoy every moment and make memories with your family that will outlast you!
That’s me and T.J. at the mine in Ouray.
That’s me with my Javiee. I’m still so swollen from chemo, but he loves this picture.
On another note, I started chemo again Friday. I had my first of 12 rounds of Taxol. I will be doing Taxol every Friday throughout the summer. I looked at the calendar yesterday. I will finish chemo one week before T.J. goes back to school. I hope the side effects are minimal so I can enjoy the summer with him! The first round went really good! I was really dizzy after it. I came home and slept the rest of the day. I woke up Saturday feeling good and I still feel good today! I’ve heard Taxol is a lot easier to deal with than the AC was. So far that seems to be the case! Praying all 12 rounds are like this!
I have to say I was not looking forward to round 3 of chemo. It seems that every round has different side effects and every round hits me harder. Round 3 was the hardest! Tomorrow is round 4. I’m ready for it, only because I’m having new scans done once I recover from it. I’m hopeful that the past two months of chemo has done something to stop this cancer that is growing inside of me!! Not knowing if it’s working or not is a scary thing! Maybe the scans will give me some well needed encouragement!
I’ve had good week! Wednesday out with my Javiee was fantastic! He keeps me strong and focused on beating this! I’ve had a few emotional days. I’ve had two different people ask me what I was going to do about my little T.J. I asked them both…What do you mean? They both asked …Who was I going to have raise him? Really? I can not afford to think like that! My little man needs me and I have to be here for him!! Negativity is not welcome here! I have faith that my positive attitude will give me many more years with him! I know the statistics, but I am not a statistic….I’m Tammy and I’m a fighter!
Now for the bright side of chemo round 4…. My cousins Laura and Betty are coming up from Texas. So I have new chemo buddies! Yay!
Thats my little superman, T.J. in the picture above.
That’s the port in my chest.
Today is round one of chemotherapy for me! I’m not really nervous about it. I’m ready to kill some cancer cells! I will be getting Cytoxan, which is derived from mustard gas! It should keep the cancer cells from dividing so they die. I will also be getting Adriamycin. I hear it’s called “the red devil”. Well, here’s to the red devil! Time to kill some cancer cells!
So that was all pretty painless. They accessed my port for the first time. Why was I nervous about that?? I go in to the hospital in the morning for a nuelasta shot. It should make my bone marrow go crazy and get my white count back to where it should be.
My doctor says my hair will be out within two weeks. I’m not looking forward to that! My hair is such a part of who I am. I’m not going to wait for it to fall out. I think I will go ahead and cut it short. I need to be in control of something! My little T.J. has spring break the week after next. He’s always wanted a Mohawk and I’ve always said no..lol. Well, I think we’ll just do Mohawks together. They won’t let him wear it to school, so he’ll have to shave it off the day before he goes back to school. That’s the day my hair should really be falling out. So…here’s to Mohawk memories!!
I went to the cancer center today for my first appointment with my radiation doctor. My oncologist is off on Thursday, so imagine my surprise called I was called back to see her. She said my scans were back and she had thought about them all night. She knew I had an appointment with the radiologist so she decided to see me instead. I immediately broke out into tears. I knew this was not going to be good news. I was right, my cancer had spread. That pain I was having in my upper back was a rib that was covered with cancer. There was also a small spot on my spine, on my hip, tiny spots on my lung and it was also in my chest nodes. Once again my reality is a slap in my face! I am now stage IV. I went from “curable” to ” treatable” in a matter of weeks. What’s with treatable?! What does that mean!? Where is all this “pink” campaign money going?? Why is stage IV only treatable?!
This is not what I had planned for this year! I wanted to have a baby, buy a house, now I just want to live!
My Javiee doesn’t like to see me cry. He says my positive attitude will get me thru this. I know he’s right and I am positive. Today, however, is my day to cry!