Time for an update and a Happy Dance!!

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……

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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!💕💕

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New Scan Results

My latest scans showed progression to my ribs, spine and pelvis while I was on Ibrance.  I have multiple new pelvic and femoral lesions.  My spine has many new lesions (T5, T7, T8 and T12).  The good news is there was no new growth in my organs and the tumor in my lung is 2 cm smaller. My tumor markers are also still dropping.  I’m at 132 now!😀

I have a lot of pain in my hip.  My oncologist was concerned and thought I may need a pin in my hip. He referred me to an  orthopaedic oncologist, Dr.Gajewski, I loved him!  He’s a great addition to my team.  After x-rays and an exam he said no pin!  The pain is muscle and nerve pain from my spine.  I aggravate it by driving a five speed.  I guess it’s time to get another car.  He also said yoga will help.  Time to start a yoga class!

As of February 8th I have lived with metastatic breast cancer for 4 years.  Though I’m sure I had it years before I was diagnosed.  I find it sad that I was told I didn’t need a mammogram until I was 40.  I can’t help thinking at 35 I would have caught it before it spread.  It is what it is.  I’m thankful for the past four years.  Even during treatment, my days have been filled with memories.  I’ve had more time with my family.  I’ve watched T.J. grow into a young man.  So many special people have come into my life the past four years.  I am so grateful.  Let’s not forget….I became a glamma!  I’m so in love with little Jaxon.  He is perfect.  In May I will be a glamma again!  To a precious little girl.  I hope she looks just like me!!😂

Living with metastatic breast cancer isn’t easy, but I’m living!  That’s all that really matters. Get out and make some memories!  I love you all!💕💕

 

Look at my new wig my sweet Javiee bought me.  I love it!  My hair is beginning to come back on the sides.  The top is still bald.  I call it a nohawk.

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New Brain MRI Results

I don’t like to do scans in December. I love the happiness that fills the air this time of year.  Bad scans could dampen that.  I’m so excited to tell you that 15 rounds of WBR and a CyberKnife session gave me a good brain MRI!!  Can we all do a happy dance!?!?!

This doesn’t mean I’m dancing with NED again.  I was on Ibrance and Falsodex for the mets to my lung, hip and spine.  It did nothing to keep those areas stable.  I was on it for four months and my tumor marker went up monthly.  My last scan showed progression in all those areas.  My oncologist changed my medication to Afinitor and Exemestane two months ago.  I have a new PET scan in January to see if it’s working.  I’m praying it is. The side effects are easier to deal with than the ones I had on Ibrance.  I’m dealing with mouth sores and little bumps that randomly appear in different places.  My pain medicine is keeping my spine and hip pain under control and I’m no longer completely exhausted. I’m actually feeling pretty good right now!  I feel so blessed to be here for another holiday season.  I think my New Years resolution will be to make everyday a holiday!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  Life is busy, slow down and spend quality time with your loved ones.  Keep your family traditions alive and make memories (they last forever!).

Thank you for all the prayers and love you’ve showered me with over the past 4  (almost!) years.  It means so much to me! 💕💕💕

Now I have to share family news!  Remember how I wanted to live to be a glamma?  Well, now I will be glamma again!  Kori and Emily are expecting in May.  Jax will soon have a little brother or sister.  I’m so excited!  I love being a glamma!  He will be 2 when his new brother or sister arrives.  Look at how big he is!image

What you should know before an Oophorectomy

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:

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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!  💕💕

 

MRI Results and A New Treatment Plan

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.💕💕

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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!💕

Back to Cancerland

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!

 

Time to catch you guys up!

I’ve been a real slacker lately when it comes to my blog.  My apologies to all of you that follow it.  Until recently my life has been pretty mellow.  I’ve been struggling with bone pain from the cold and Femara.  My daily number of pain pills went from 3 to 6 or 7 a day depending on the weather.  That little pill does a number on my joints!  Being in constant pain is mentally draining.  There are days when I have to stop and remind myself to just be happy that I’m alive and here with my family.  That’s all that really matters!  I’ve noticed as the weather gets warmer my bone pain gets better.  Maybe I should move to the beach!

I had a PET Scan a few months ago.  It came back good.  Recently I’ve started having pain in my hip and under my left rib.  The rib pain is my biggest concern.  It’s progressively getting worse. My pain meds only dull the pain, it’s constant. I had a bone scan that showed mets in those areas.  My oncologist referred me to a radiologist.  He said I was looking at radiation 5 days a week for a couple of weeks.  I had an appointment with the radiologist.  She looked at my scans and decided to send me for a CT this Wednesday.  She said the bone mets are pretty un impressive and that she needs to know what we’re really looking at before she treats me.  Scary!  I told my Javiee before the bone scan I really can’t tell if the pain is my rib or under my rib.  So that’s where I’m at right now.  More scans Wednesday and results Friday.  I’ve said it before, waiting is the hardest part!

On the bright side..

T.J. has adjusted to life in North Carolina so well!  I know I told y’all he was student of the month his first month at his new school.  Well he was also chosen to be in the gifted program and he participated in the Science Olympiad this past month.  I’m so proud of him!

My oldest Kori and his other half Emily are making me a grandma next month!  I’m so excited to meet this grandson of mine!  A few years ago I didn’t think I’d live to see a grand baby!  I am blessed!

Kristen is turning 21 next month!  I’m so thankful to be here for that!

My Javiee is still the most precious man in the world.  He’s still making me juices and keeping my diet interesting.  Quinoa meatballs were his latest creation and they were yummy!  I’m so lucky to have him by my side.  I can’t imagine dealing with all of this without him.  He’s my rock.  He keeps a smile on my face even on the worst days!

I hope you all are good!  I love you all!  Now I’ll end with some pics!

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Thats me!

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That’s T.J. He’s not so little anymore!

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Thats my snow letter from my Javiee.  Yes, he calls me punk! 🙂 It’s a term of endearment!

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That’s my Javiee and I on a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg, TN.

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I couldn’t leave out the quinoa meatballs! 🙂

Happy Early Holidays!

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