An Unexpected Journey

IBC SURVIVOR – MY STORY

10 Years! June 28, 2019

10

Hello friends.  I’m popping in to share my 10 year survival anniversary.   As always when I post, I am thinking of those men and women who are newly diagnosed with breast cancer and more specifically, Inflammatory Breast Cancer.   Looking at the percentage of survival rate can be discouraging.  I want to give those who are new in their journey some encouragement by sharing my survival.  Please, don’t lose hope.

I have had chemotherapy, a mastectomy, radiation, Herceptin and still taking Tamoxifen.  However, that is not where my hope lies.  I’m thankful for the excellent doctors and medicine, but my hope is in Christ.  Treatments and statistics change.  God does not.   Isn’t that wonderful?  I give God the glory for my healing.

If you have just been diagnosed with breast cancer, know that you are not alone.   I encourage you to connect with a breast cancer survivor.  There’s a special sense of family and connection that is difficult to explain.  A quiet support, love and understanding of what you are going through.  There are many blogs of BCS on WordPress to follow and enjoy.  I know it helps me.

Love and prayers to all.

 

The Five Year Mark…and Counting! April 25, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — prettygirllost @ 11:35 AM

It has been a couple years since I last posted anything..  I am doing well and praising God for being a 5 year survivor.  I give Him all the glory. 

calendar

picture from Microsoft images

I just had my oncologist check-up a few weeks ago and all is good.  My doctor is so pleasant and inspiring.  I must lose weight, but she always tells me in such a positive you-can-do-it attitude. Weight loss has been a huge battle for me in the last few years, so the encouragement was much needed.  What a blessing to have her cheering me on.  I hope all of you BCS (breast cancer survivors) have a doctor who supports YOU.  She is always honest with me, but never degrading or negative.

I hope my anniversary may encourage any of you who may have just been diagnosed or any who are going through treatment.  Many of us have gone through a similar path and are still here.

How many years have you been a survivor my BCS friends?  I would also love to hear your comments on your oncologist.  How has she/he made a difference in your treatment?

 

The Night Before April 10, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prettygirllost @ 12:44 AM

Image from Microsoft Office

In an earlier post I mentioned hearing about a lady at church being diagnosed with breast cancer.   Tomorrow is her surgery.  She will be having a mastectomy.  As I wonder how she must be feeling today, I think back on how I felt the night before my mastectomy years ago.

The few days leading up to my surgery date were busy with preparation. Then came that quiet time, the night before, when all is done except going to bed..  I can even remember putting on my bed-clothes and feeling like I was living through my last day.  I wanted someone to hold me and tell me everything was going to be okay.   It was a lonely and scary feeling for me.

Now, to all my friends who have undergone this type of surgery, how did you feel “the night before”?  Confident?  Peaceful?  Scared?   Maybe it’s something you can’t remember or maybe something you will never forget.  I would like to hear your stories too….

 

General Anesthesia Please! March 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prettygirllost @ 12:24 AM
Tags: , ,

I had been trying to decide for quite some time (nearly 2 years) if I was going to have my mediport removed.  Dr. H, my medical oncologist, helped me make the decision at my last visit.  It’s coming out.

Now to face a new unknown…again.  As cancer survivors we are familiar with this feeling.  Since I hadn’t heard of anyone’s experience having their port removed I just made my own assumptions.  I imagined going for outpatient surgery like my previous D&C.  Dr. H’s office had scheduled the appointment so I wasn’t sure if it was for an office visit or surgery.

I called the surgeon’s office and they told me I would have an office visit first.  I am taken into a patient room in the doctor’s office and the nurse asks me to sign the consent form before we head into the procedure room.  What???  I am taken off guard and blurt out “What do you mean procedure room?”  She probably thought I was nuts.  I apoligized and explained my confusion.  It turns out that they can remove the port in the procedure room with a local.  So I agree to get it over with.

Anyone who has read my posts, knows what a chicken I am.   I remind myself that God gives us not the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind.  And to fear not, but have faith.  The procedure went fine, but it was quite ….different.  After he made the incision and starting working in there I felt my face going white as a sheet.  It wasn’t from pain.  I had been numbed.  It was just the thought of it all.  Eww…I should have opted for anesthesia.

It seemed like it took forever.  He had trouble getting it free.  I wanted him to stop tugging around in there.   Did you know surgeons are rough?  He showed me the purple port after he removed it.  Funny how I imagined it clear.

Now that my port is gone, the only physical evidence of my battle is the missing breast and the radiation scaring.  People may not always recognize survivors, but our lives are forever changed.

Love and blessings to you all.

 

Thanks Dr. H. February 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prettygirllost @ 10:56 PM
Tags: , , , ,

I recently had a 6 months checkup (and a good one by the way) with my medical oncologist, Dr. H.  She is so awesome!  This woman is like a doctor, coach, and friend all rolled in to one.  She reminds me to celebrate life and not dwell on the negative.  To find ways to be a positive influence for others.

One of the things she recommends as a positive step is to call my local American Cancer Society and see if there is a way I can help someone else.  I hadn’t called yet and to be honest my mind has been on taking care of my son and husband with everyday life.  Then I started checking my unread blog subscriptions and came across fellow blogger Laura Renegar’s post (be sure to check out her blog)  http://laurarenegar.wordpress.com/2012/02/20/are-you-a-breast-cancer-survivor-5/  with information on a local training in her area for Reach to Recovery Volunteers by the American Cancer Society.    Guess that might be a sign for me to give my local center a call.

Since I am talking about Dr. H. today, I want to take a minute and remind everyone out there about the importance of your doctor.  It is so crucial to your treatment and recovery to have a doctor who listens and encourages.  I know I can ask my medical oncologist anything and she will give me a truthful answer with understanding of who I am and what I am going through.  I’m not just a patient, I am another human being with feelings and a need for hope.

To complete my day of good news, my sister and I went shopping and out to eat.  We had some great “giggle time”, as a dear friend of mine calls it.  The only thing my day lacked was buying a new purse.   Hmm… maybe next time.  🙂

Blessings to you all.
 

Bearing Fruit February 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prettygirllost @ 5:47 PM
Tags: , ,

I finally started a Pinterest account to see why it has become so popular.  It’s strange that I’m hooked and I don’t know why.  I have pinned recipes, crafts & household tips that I have never tried and pictures of places that I know I will never get to see.  Yet I can spend an hour scrolling through picture after picture.  Am I trying to see it all?  Maybe it is a hoarder’s online paradise.  A person can pin item after item and it won’t clutter the house.  ha ha

On one of those rare occasions when I was away from the computer and actually out of the house, I ran in to one of my friends.  I found out that a nice lady I know has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  “Oh no!” comes out of my mouth before I even realize I am saying it.  Then that horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach.  How can this cancer just keep happening to all these people?!?  I  want to make it stop.  Two days before a friend told me her Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer.  And they’re not the only ones I’ve heard about in the last couple months in this small town.

Before I had breast cancer, I don’t remember hearing of many occurences.  Does that mean I was just oblivious?  Was it part of the “it can’t happen to me” thing?  Did people mention it and I dismiss it after the conversation was over?  Hmmm..    Sounds like I may have been one of “those people” who get on cancer patient’s nerves.   They say things like: “Cancer?  Oh, yeah.  They have chemotherapy for that.  They should be fine.”  I don’t mean a person shouldn’t be positive.  There is a difference.  A compassion that is missing.  I guess I was missing it too.  At least to a certain degree.  So I’m just as guilty.

Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn     yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.  Romans 2:1  

We live and learn.  We are a work in progress.  God continues to reveal things to us so that we can grow.  He wants us to bear fruits of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness and self-control.  Galatians 5:22-23

Hopefully I am bearing more of these fruits day by day.  Blessings to you all.

 

Free to Celebrate January 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — prettygirllost @ 8:15 PM
Tags: , ,

Yes, it’s still me.  I have just changed my blog theme today.  (I was using Twenty-One and changed to Rounded)  Hope you like it.  I was in the mood to add more color and style.

This week is the three-year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis.  Why would I want to remember such a horrible event?  It’s not that I’m trying to hang on to the diagnosis.  It’s that I am celebrating each year that I live past it.  Each day is a blessing from God.

My first anniversary was not so pleasant.  I actually dreaded the coming of it.  I wanted to forget about cancer, chemo, radiation, surgery, tests and the stuff in between.  Just pretend it never happened.  Memories from my diagnosis rushed back every time I thought about my birthday (as I mentioned in an early post, I was diagnosed 2 days after my 40th birthday).  My wonderful hubby had a birthday/survival celebration for me even though I kindly protested.  So I sucked it up and went.  It turned out to be a great opportunity for me to thank some of the friends and family who were so supportive and loving during my treatment.  For some I did’t have enough words to thank properly.  They shuttled me to treatments and doctor appointments.  While I was out of town they picked up my son from school and kept him overnight.  When I complained they listened.  And most of all, they lifted me before the throne of God in prayer.

I’m relieved that this year is much better.  I am able to celebrate God’s merciful healing with joy.  Getting to this point in my journey feels good…..really good.