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! 💕💕
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!
Here’s some good news! My scans came back clean! Nothing new and no progression! I’m still dancing with Ned!
Whats a girl to do? Celebrate with a trip to the beach…what else!
Well, that was my plan, but my body had another plan. What comes next deserves a title of its own. New blog post coming soon!
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!
That’s T.J. He’s not so little anymore!
Thats my snow letter from my Javiee. Yes, he calls me punk! 🙂 It’s a term of endearment!
That’s my Javiee and I on a weekend getaway to Gatlinburg, TN.
I couldn’t leave out the quinoa meatballs! 🙂
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!
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.
I love you guys and I hope your all doing well! I’m going to catch up with your blogs this weekend.
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! 🙂
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!