Monday, October 31, 2011

Wrap up Of Cancer Sucks

Happy Halloween everyone,actually Halloween is not a day that I celebrate or decorate for but I love to see how creative people can be. I can't beleive that we are at the end of October already, well that also mean Breast Cancer Awareness Month is over. This will be my wrap up of Cancer Sucks.
After 4 cycles of chemo and 32 days of radiation, my treatments were over. I know that I would not have made it through without GOD. I never experienced the sickness that so many chemo patients go through. I prayed to GOD that I would not be sick from my chemo treatments. After my treatments I studied to become a peer counselor for Network Of Strength, formerly known as Y-Me Network for Breast Cancer. I received training to assist women and there families with questions about breast cancer after their diagnosis. I participate in Breast Cancer Walks to raise money for research to find a cure.
Me and my girlfriend of 25 years at the Breast Cancer Walk.

Me and my daughter Destiny at the Network of Strenght Breast Cancer Walk it is held every Mother's Day in downtown Chicago.

Myself with Latrice a old co-worker we walk each year for our co-workers that lost their fight to BC (Liza and Valerie).

Presently I'm on medication to prevent breast cancer reoccurrance it is a 5 year treatment plan, there are side effects but nothing that I can't handle. My side effects are weight gain from my medication, and chemo fog brain( forgetting events or difficulty remembering things or people) these are just a few. I decided before I started chemotherapy not to worry myself with reoccurrance, if I was going to worry why even go through treatment.
I'm grateful today to say that I'm doing good and I'm a Breast Cancer Survivor!!!! I have lost two co-workers to Breast Cancer prior to my own diagnosis and it sadden me to find out two weeks ago that another co-worker lost her fight to this disease at a very young age. I often thank GOD for allowing me to dect my lump at a early stage. Daily there are so many women who has lost their battle with breast cancer. I know he has a plan for me. I'm grateful. Like with everything we go through in life, there are lessons. I just want to close with some of the lessons that I have learned during my battle with BC.

1. Early detection saves life. Have a mammogram, if you can do so before you are 40, forty is just a baseline.
2. You know your own body, preform self breast exam's. And take care of your body.
3. Life is short, Live, Love & Laugh.
4. Trust GOD and know that he will not put more on you then you can handle.
5. Some family members or friends may not be close or around during a difficult time but it's not because they don't love you it maybe hard for them as well.
6. Stress less and pray more.
7. Do things that make you happy. Again life is short.

I have included pictures of me today, loving life.

Myself and my sister Ida at the BC walk

Me on vacation in July with the hubbie.

On vacation, I love nature check out that backround. Everything made by GOD.
Me just chillin acting crazy at home
Let me leave you guys with one of my favorite scriptures.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 GOD always have a plan.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Part 3 Breast Cancer Sucks

Hey guys I pray that everyone had a great weekend , well I sure did. We are coming close to the end of October and Breast Cancer Awareness month, I hope you guys are doing self breast exams or have scheduled your mammograms. This post will be Part 3 of Cancer Sucks. I promise that I will be sharing some nice projects with you guys soon. Yall be ready for lots of pictures, some maybe a little scary, but truly I'm just keeping it honest and real. I apologize for a lengthly post, but again me talking or writing about my diagnois is healing.

After surgery and removal of several lymph nodes I did receive excellent news from my surgeon. I was informed that the tumor that was removed was small 1.3 cmm and a stage 2, slow growth, and had not spreaded and was contained within my breast also the tested lymph node were all negative. This was actually the best news I had heard in a very long time. I felt as if GOD had given me a huge blessing.

My doctors wanted to meet with me to discuss a form of treatment. Actually I was just glad that the surgeon had informed me that he removed the tumor and surrounding cells and insured me that I would be ok. Well I had heard the awful stories about cancer treatments and they scared me to death. I knew I just didn't want to deal with chemotherapy along with it's side effects. I search the internet for information and honestly it scared me even the more. I considered taking alternative medicine, anything please GOD, I just wanted to run. PLEASE not CHEMO!!!!! However after seeking advice from several oncologist all recommended chemotherapy treatments. My doctor explained to me that because of my age(which he stated was young to have breast cancer)I love that man I'm not young. He advised me to be aggressive with my method of treatment it didnt matter that it was a small, slow growth tumor. He felt that an aggressive treatment would insure that I live to reach the ripe age of at least 80. He quoted that the average American women lives to be at least 80. His aggressive treatment method also included radiation treatments. Chemo treatments were to be scheduled immediately. I will never forget that day when Dr. Methea inform me that I would need chemo & radiation. I felt so out of control, there was nothing I could do to change anything, I did not want treatment, I wanted to handle everything myself. I was devasted as well as my husband. I thought did I truly have to drink of this cup. I cried and cried, but I knew that I could do all things with Christ and that he would give me strength. I had the most loving oncologist he insured me that he would take very good care of me. My chemo treatments would be a low dosage due to the early stage and I would be ok. Chemo included four cycles of treatment.
I went from here.BC= Before Chemo

Me and the hubby went on a little getaway before I started my treatments.

While on our little getaway, I knew that I had to return home to 4 months of treatments, however I refused to let cancer steal my joy!!!!

My first cycle of chemo went smooth, I took on the thought of its not what I go through in life, but it's my attitude and how I handle the situation. I quickly enbraced my situation and the after effects of chemo. I accepted the fact that I had breast cancer, but I understood that breast cancer didnt have me. I wore a smile as often as I could. I refused to be discouraged or depressed even on my worse days, I read GODs word and knew that he would not put more on me than I could handle. Three weeks after my first treatment I started to lose my hair.
Seriously I do not mean to scare anyone. Me and my daughter agreed that I looked like Fire Marshall Bill.

My hair started to fall out quickly, every time I combed my hair it came out in plugs. I kept my smile it's just hair. My co-worker gave me a new name The Bald Headed Diva.
My sister is a hair stylist so I summons her to just cut all my hair off, the nurse suggested that I may want to get it all cut before it started to fall out. My sister really had a hard time cutting my hair off, it was a difficult task for her, she did cut it short, but my sister-in-law came to my house and cut it all off.
As my hair fell out I knew the chemo had taken full effect at fighting every cell in my body, my nails even started to turn black. Chemo was killing my cells but not my spirit.

I love chips.
I did not like that wig at all. I continued to go to work during my treatments I would take two days off after my treatments to allow my body to rest. I had to be extremely careful not to contact gems, or be around anyone that was sick. I often went to the movie theater, the two hour movies took me to a different place and away from cancer, chemo, and all my doctor visits
The peace sign it's all about having peace in the middle of a storm, knowing that the storm will pass.

I got soo much love from family and friends. I received so many cards, flowers, phone calls, dinners and prayers. I decided to leave you guys with a nice picture after frightening yall with my Fire Marshall Bill pictures.. I know its not Halloween yet. I promise to close this Cancer Sucks posting by the weeks end. Are you guys getting ready for Halloween?
Tell your friends about my blog I have to get to 51 followes, so someone can win a $100 dollar HomeGoods gift card.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Cancer Sucks Part 2

Hello All,
Part two of Cancer Sucks. I wanted to share some of my BC(before breast cancer)pictures with you guys in the last post but my computer started to act stupid.
This picture was before I started chemotherapy. Yep I had chemo!!
Another before chemotherapy picture, at a friends wedding, this was also after surgery.
Another before picture, I had decided that I would not allow cancer to
win and steal my joy. My dog Chichi never left my side during my ordeal.
`One of my Chemo Day. I had started chemo and hated that wig.
This is my chemo nurse Gay preparing me to take treatment, she treated me so good, I truly love this lady she was sent from God.
I just wanted to share some pictures with you guys, because I know you all love pictures, ok before I continue go grab your coffee, tea or wine.

I knew that my attitude would be part of my treatment for breast cancer.
My doctor scheduled me for a appointment to discuss the finding of the biopsy and to provide options for treatment and removal of my tumor. Wow I would finally find out about this tumor that had unwelcomely found it's way into my right breast. However my doctor did deliver news that was a bit encouraging. She informed me that the tumor was cancer, but that the size was small more test would have to be performed to determine the grade and stage of the tumor. From her experience as a breast specialist she insured me that I would be just fine, after surgery. She was also alarmed of my age and felt that I was young to be diagnoised with BC and that I did not have a family history of BC. I left her office feeling hopeful knowing that my cancer was not a death sentence. Before my surgery I received a number of blood test, MRI's, spoke with a counselor, psychologist, nutritionist,surgeons,I spent so much time at the hospital I almost forgot my home address. After seeking much advice I was scheduled to have surgery on March 7, 2008 just one day after my husband birthday to have a lumpectomy. I was informed that no information was actually known about the tumor until it was removed from my breast and futher testing would determine the type, stage, and grade as well as if the cancer had metastatic(spreaded).
I started to research this disease which I had started to hate. I also knew it was time for me to step up my prayer life and trust GOD totally. I felt out of control and scared. I started to rely on GOD's scriptures to make it thru out the day. I knew that surgery was just the begining, but the findings after the tumor was removed stayed on my mind. I understood that treatment actually starts after surgery. I often stayed awake wondering what happen to my life, how did I get here. I knew that GOD was in control not me. Ok guys stay tuned for Part 3 of Cancer Sucks.
My daughter Destiny with me at my treatment. She was a great support to me and went to every treatment with me. I love her so much she is my only child.
My daughter Destiny & I on Mother's Day after my surgery.

Destiny & I out to dinner on Mother's Day.

Update: My grand girl was born( pic's to come). Some projects around the house completed. Pictues to come of Baby Ray nursery. Oh I'll be showing my updated bedroom soon and have decided to show some pictures of the livingroom. I want to do a give away when I reach 51 followers, I'm thinking of a $100.00 dollar HomeGoods gift card.
Enough said.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cancer Sucks!!! Part 1

Hello All,
Yes I said it CANCER SUCKS. We are all aware that the month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sometimes I have mixed feelings in the month of October, kinda bitter sweet. It is always a good feeling to see all the donations and advertisments about Breast Cancer and the fight for a cure of this terrible disease. My prayer is that in this life time there will be a cure for breast cancer. The bitter part of the month of October is it always remind me of my own diagnosis of breast cancer. Yes I'm a breast cancer survivior.
Faithful followers please grab your cup of coffee, tea or wine as I share my experience with BC, let me apologize for a lengthly post and plenty of pictures. I know that this subject is off the path of my regular decorating, spray painting and my new grand girl, however this subject is near and dear to my heart. There maybe a part two of this post but understand that this is part of my healing.
In December of 2007 I woke up one morning excited to start my day I had already prepared my Things To Do List for the day. I felt I had a great life, marriage, job, family I was loving life. While standing in my closet pondering over the perfect outfit to wear to work, I felt a sore spot under my right armpit. Yes it was a lump. After confirming with my hubbie that we had both felt a lump my first priority when I made it to work was to call my doctor. She scheduled me for an immediate appointment with a Breast Specialist. That appointment lead to numerous test, a ultra sound, a MRI, and final a biopsy on December 27, 2007. I waited to hear my results, but GOD had already prepared me for the news that I would soon receive. On December 31, 2007 I called the doctor to find out my result from the biopsy, the receptionist informed me that the doctor would have to call me back. Yes I did receive a call from the doctor thrity mintues later with my results.
December 31,2008 is a day that I will never forget, that is the day that I received my diagnois that I had Breast Cancer. Wow on New Year's Eve, was I suppose to be getting prepared to enjoy a great evening with the hubbie? Actually I was at work and had just received news that would change my life forever. The first thing I did was call the hubby who was also at work, we both decided to leave work and meet at home. The thrity mintue drive home was a blank, the only thing that I remember was this. As I approached a red light I looked over to see a young lady driving next to me, I questioned GOD and asked why me and asked him why not her? I did not know this young lady at all. Understand that I would not wish BC on my enemy if I had one, but I questioned GOD, because I just did'nt understand. But I immediately thought why not ME!!! I knew that this was my lot and I would have to deal with it, however I knew that I would be ok with GOD.