Thursday, October 30, 2008

An Extra Week!

Yesterday, I was supposed to get my 5th round of chemo. I've had such a hard time the past week or so, and I really wondered if I would make it through another session!
I kept getting so short of breath, and I seemed to go down hill instead of getting better as the days went by.

I told the Dr. how I felt, and surprisingly, he took me seriously! I got an extra week off. I felt like a kid who got an extension on her term paper because the dog ate it!

He did examine the tumor site, dug into my armpits again, and the word he used was "Amazing!" He felt nothing there at all. He also gave me some options: Quit all together (NOT an option for ME), take a week off, or stop the chemo and go see the surgeon and see if he would do the mastectomy now. I have a week to consider the last two options. I'll see how I feel next Wednesday morning.

It's strange how my emotions play games with me. As much as I HATE this chemo journey and as hard as it has been, and even though I have said I'm NOT going back for another one ----------- all the Dr. had to say was, "I would rather you get more chemo!" and it was like a panic came over me ---- what would happen if I DIDN'T get more???? Would it come back again later because I chose NOT to have #5?????? It's stange how you don't want it, but you DO!

I HATE the waiting room! It seems that every time I go there, someone has a story that just replays over and over in my mind. Yesterday, a older lady (that is, older than ME) was sitting by me, and asked if I was there for chemo and how many I had had already. I told her I was having a hard time with it and about the breathing, etc., and she said that she had had that, too, and it was just anxiety attacks and panic, etc. I tried to analyze myself quickly to find an answer, and didn't think I had been anxious or panicked about anything when this happened. Can a shower really cause a panic attack????? Then she said that she had been given two years to live, but now was in her 10th year since her Breast Cancer and was there for a check up, etc. When I told her what stage my cancer was, she just said, "Well, good luck to you!" It was the tone of voice that stuck with me and made me feel like she thought I wouldn't make it! I just said, thank you!

But then, across from me, sat a man who looked so miserable --- more miserable than I felt, for sure. His wife was "Mrs. Cheerful" --- talked with everyone and very bubbly! I had met her before and she asked how I was doing, etc., etc. As the conversation went on, I asked about her husband, and she said that this was his 17th chemo and he would be on it the rest of his life! Suddenly, my problems seems VERY small in comparison. I don't know what type of chemo he was getting or the dosage, but I KNEW I would NEVER live through that on what I was getting! He didn't look so good himself and wondered what he was thinking about it all, but he said nothing. I don't think I'll ever forget his face, nor the face of the 10 year survivor who offered me little hope! In fact, during the night that seemed to bring no sleep at all, I thought about both of them and prayed that the Lord would be with them as they journeyed through this horrible thing called Cancer!

No, I never got my Reubens! But I did get my steak, and tonight I get my pizza. And I've had this horrible craving for ----- of all things ----- hot dogs! I was so humiliated yesterday when they weighed me! After losing 7 pounds the last time I was there, that stinking scale shot up, and I had gained 10 back!!!!! Now, you tell me, how in the world can you gain 10 pounds on Cream of Wheat cereal and Chicken Noodle soup?????

Saturday, October 25, 2008

No Words Necessary!

Just remember to turn off my playlist at the bottom of the page before enjoying this!
It meant so much to me!

A Hard Week!

I'm really wondering about this whole chemo thing! In four days, I'm supposed to go back for chemo treatment #5, and right now, with the way I feel, I don't think it's possible. I have never been so tired and out of strength as I have been this week! I just can't do anything without feeling that I've been moving mountains. And this new thing with going totally breathless and gasping for air --- where's this coming from now???? This is a new "side affect" or whatever! Scarey, too! Seems like even taking a shower now is a great big event in my life, wondering if I'll drop to the floor.

After the last "attack" of breathlessness, I called the Dr. and he told me to go to the Emergency Room and get an EKG. It just seemed a little odd, as it had passed, I wasn't in any distress at the moment, breathing fine, etc. I know when I go on Wednesday, he will be totally irritated with me because I didn't go, slam my chart shut, and send me across the street to the hospital for the EKG. That's fine. I'll do that!

I really HATE this "sick, but not sick", tired, feeling lazy all the time. Can't go anywhere, feel crabby and cooped up, wondering if I carry the laundry basket will I keel over with a heart attack. I feel like "it's all about ME" constantly! My blog is going to pot because I can't think of one other thing to write about. I go nowhere, and when I talk to anyone, again, "it's all about ME!"

I made a decision!!!! Tomorrow, no matter how I feel, I'm getting in the car, going to Arby's, and bringing home a BIG sack of those delicious corned beef Rueben sandwiches and just pig out! I'm tired of Cream of Wheat, chicken noodle soup, pudding cups, etc. And if I live through that, I want a pizza! And Tuesday night before chemo day, I'm having the biggest, juciest steak I can find! It might be my last supper, but it's going to be a good one!!!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Sometimes it is so hard to sit down here in front of the computer and be REALLY really honest about my feelings, my dreams (if there are any left at all), aches and pains, etc. I start typing away, and it seems those parts just don't come out. They seem so protected and secure in a locked room somewhere in my heart, knowing that unless they are first filtered through some sugar coated chocolate icing, they are not allowed to "hit the streets." It's not that I intentionally do this. Are we not all taught from day one of our lives to always answer the question, "How are you doing?" with "Fine! Thank you for asking! And how about yourself?" as we smile and reach out our hand for a hand shake or give a nice warm hug? Doesn't matter that in your heart you are carrying a burden bigger than the size of a dump truck, or that someone sunk a dagger in your heart that is still hanging in there, or that you just found out that you have breast cancer and your chances of making it through with some kind of sane normalcy left in your life are probably 50/50.

I'm not saying I haven't been honest here concerning my journey with breast cancer. In fact, I'm only just beginning this journey. But I'm already I'm finding I want to leave out the "Incredible Hulk" parts, not mention the wanting to give up -- to say nothing of all the whining, snibbling complaints that just seem to go on day after day after endless day. I, MYSELF, am tired of hearing my own thoughts complain about them, no less wonder what anyone around me thinks of it all!

You are wondering by now where all this yuk is coming from!

I found this blogger who also went through the breast cancer curse and who wrote an open letter to Deena from Can I Be Pretty in Pink. I read her letter twice now, and couldn't help but feel empowered by her courage to just be honest and open as she faces the end results of this long journey through. Some people believe you go through all this chemo, radiation, surgery, and who knows what else and come out the other end an pick up where life left you off a few years back. Not so! All these treatments are so hard on your body. I was warned of that when I started -- that these chemo treatments would be VERY hard on me. And when you are feeling like road kill, hit for the fourth time and left lying for days trying to find out if you still have all the vital pieces of your body, you wonder if ANY of you will still be normal when all is said and done!

I decided at the beginning of all this that, with God's help, I would be as honest as I could be. One thing I do have to say that I know for sure, He has been there for me. I've gone back today and reread all my posts since the beginning, and I don't think I have embellished or been dishonest. But I do feel, after reading this open letter to Deena, that I wish I had more spunk in me and more spouts that would allow some of that. .. . . whatever it is . . . .to come pouring out, too. It seems that I let the bad days go by, go through all the "yuk" and crap, and loneliness, and wondering if God is there, etc., etc., and then, AFTER THE FACT, write my blog with the happier ending of victory, and never write DURING the battle! I can't say I have felt disappointment, fear, or even anger . . . . . yet! Failure???? Yes! Maybe that is one that I have not been honest about! Failure because there are a million things that are expected of me that I just can't seem to do. I can't even throw Buster's ball for him when he drops it in my lap --- my arms are just getting too weak! Ok, I know you are going to tell me that THIS particular job is NOT expected of me right now. Doesn't change the feeling, though.

This turned into a rambling of a post, didn't it. And all I wanted was for you to go read this open, frank, and honest letter from a gal who finished it all, and just wants people to know that "this is the way it is!"

Click Here To Visit Amy's Post About Breast Cancer

Monday, October 20, 2008

Daybook Entry for October 20, 2008


FOR TODAY (October 20, 2008)...

Outside My Window It's a sunny, cool, breezy day. Oak leaves are turning brown and falling, as are the acorns (which seem so small this year)! I sure hate stepping on them in my bare feet!!!!! I'm wishing I had enough strength to take Buster for a long walk!

I am thinking. . . I love these few days that we Floridians can call "Fall" and actually open our windows and air things out. I am also thinking whether I should or should not call the Cancer center about my breathing. I seem to be breathless with the slightest activity anymore and it's not going away. A new symptom with this chemo thing. Maybe it's just normal, I don't know.

I am thankful for The best eggplant parmasian dinner last night with creamy alfredo noodles!

From the kitchen... Not sure yet. I have noodles left over, so will find something quick to go with those. I have some frozen cooked chicken that I might add, breadcrumbs on top, bake a little. . . . . yum! Maybe some homemade bread. My sister keeps talking about bread ---- my all time favorite thing!

I am wearing... Blue tee shirt, undershirt (I'm cold) black slacks, a flannel shirt, and a little hat to keep my bald head warm! Why am I so cold all the time lately????

I am creating... Angels as fast as I can. Seems to be selling well these days. Although I really haven't had much strength to do much cutting or stitching. I can't stand that long anymore. Bummer!

I am going... Absolutely nowhere. I can get as far as my sister's front door, and I'm thankful for that.

I am reading... Catching up on my wonderful friends' blogs! So inspiring and you all lift me up so much!

I am hoping... To somehow get a little stronger before the next chemo next Wednesday. This one really sent me for a loop. Right now, I'm wanting to call it quits on the chemo. I think I've had all I can take. Unless I feel better by next Wednesday, I'm just not going back.

I am hearing... Nice, quiet hymns playing in the background on my computer.

Around the house... So many things that need to be done that it is depressing! Right now, it will all have to wait until I feel better. Keeping up with the wash is about all I can do right now.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Somehow, I have to get to the post office and the grocery store! And I need to do laundry again. How can two people make so much laundry anyways?????.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

I felt so humbled and honored when Kathie told me she was walking in a Breast Cancer event and had bought these angels from me, added the names of people she cared about, and attached them to the shirt she would be wearing in this walk! I have been so thankful, strengthened and amazed at how many people have lifted me up when I couldn't walk, prayed when I just didn't have a prayer left inside me, and gave me a song when mine was gone!!!!! Thank you, Kathie, and all of you, a million times over!

I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog


Friday, October 17, 2008

Horrible, is all I can say!

I HATE posting when I'm feeling rotten, down, depressed, and . . . . .like road kill!

I feel like I will only be scaring anyone else who might have to go through this, or sound like a whimmpy, whinning, snibbling idiot who can't take a few days of not feeling good.

BUT. . . .this has just been the worst for me. Ever since last Friday, I've spent most of my time in bed with barely enough strength to get to the bathroom, and when there. . .you don't want to know that agonizing tale!

This chemo session was the worst, and what made it even more irritating was "Mr. Weed Wacker" who was in the waiting room of the Dr. yesterday who is just about done with his chemo, mows 3 acres of lawn, plays golf, Weed Wacks for himself and his neighbors and is just doing great. It was all I could do to crawl in that office on all fours and sign in!!!!! And the Dr. is no help. He seems to have the "bigger picture" always in front of him. I only see little peep holes. He sees that whatever "near death" experience I might have, if I didn't die, it justified the good end result. So all my whining, snibbling, crabby complaints of stomach, aching muscles, racing pounding heart, rotten taste, burning pee, cramps, sore boob, etc., etc., etc., etc., seemed to fall on a face that radiated back a look that said, "Yeah, but, isn't it worth it that it's killing the cancer??????" I wanted to say, NO!

I came home crabby, tired, and wishing for more sympathy than I got from him, but happy that things are still looking good. He said he could feel nothing under my armpit and that the "hole" was looking even better. I know how thankful I should be for this when there are so many patients who find NO treatment that works. But when you feel this miserable. . . . . all you can do is say, "LORD, PLEEEEEEASE give me a thankful heart!"

I turned into the Incredible Hulk after that. My poor roommate, Patsy, said one thing to me and it started. My heart was pounding soooooo hard, I lost my breath, and I lit into her like I've never done! I don't lose my temper ----- it brews and boils and steams and simmers for years sometimes, but the lid never goes. It did yesterday, and I saw green, and I knew I was in trouble!

The Dr. is taking me off the steroids for the next two treatments. I'm hoping this will help with the dark days, the emotional roller coaster, etc.

You know, sometimes it's a good thing that we are not shown in advance what what is around the next bend. We would never take those footsteps forward. I don't think I would have gone for this chemo if I had known I would end up exploding and feeling this miserable. I also found some very nasty stuff still buried in my heart that needed dealing with, too!

But you know what???? God promises us a new day, a new beginning, a clean slate, a forgiven heart, and a chance to try again. And here it is for me. So far, I feel a little better, ate a little more, walked to my Sister's house and back, and I'm still ok.

Poor Buster! Even HE bore the brunt of my Incredible Hulk act yesterday and got wacked on the rear with a slipper! I felt so guilty when he kissed me later, forgiving me before I even asked for it!

When my head was buried in my pillow, I was so aware of all of you praying for me, and I so much appreciate that, believe me. I just don't know if I would have made it even this far without all of you there cheering me on! THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Optimist's Creed

I found this wonderful Optimist's Creed at Old Grain sacks and Lavender's Blog --

Hope you can read it well. If not, double click on the picture for a bigger view. I needed this this morning!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Got Back From Chemo #4!

I thought I would post right away, not knowing how I will feel later on when all this starts taking affect on me. Each chemo session seems to catch up with me earlier and earlier!

The oncologist seemed more than happy ---- ecstatic ---- would be the correct word, with how the "hole" where the tumor is located is progressing. "Excellent" was the word he used. So that made me really happy. In seeing how that was doing, he didn't seemed too concerned with my other whining complaints ---- like how I'm turning into a "salt lick"! I seem to be sooooo salty. My saliva, my lips, etc., is all like salt water. Even Buster seems to want to use my bald head as a salt lick!!!! All he said was, "If that's an invitation for ME to lick your head, you got another thought coming!" And dismissed that problem with, "Don't eat so much salt!"

The chemo went fine --- very boring 4 hours, really. Everyone around me getting their chemo seemed to fall asleep. Wish I could do that. But I was VERY irritated with a skinny rail of a woman across from me who did nothing but EAT the whole time we were there. First some kind of nutrition bar. Then someone came and brought her french fries, soup, a huge sandwich, etc., etc. Why is it that the skinny ones can eat so much, and I felt guilty sitting there eating my seedless grapes?????

In four hours time, you overhear a LOT of conversations, and sometimes it just makes you feel so sad for people. For instance, the nurse who called to arrange hospice care for one of the patients. You just know it's the end of the line, treatments didn't work, etc. I sat there and thanked the Lord that MY treatments seem to be doing what they are supposed to be doing at this time. But it does bring to the front of my thinking that someday. . . .it all might come back somewhere else, and I, too, will be making my end of life plans. But then again, don't we all face it sometime????? I wonder how these people can go through that without knowing for sure where they will spend eternity! The older I get, the more thankful I am for the solid, Bible-based teaching I've received down through the years. To know that in the moment of death, eternal life begins for me in the presence of my Lord. The peace that that thought brings is beyond description.

But I must say, it's the dying process that isn't the happiest to think about. And so I push that away A LOT!

Tomorrow I go back for that Neulasta shot, which is supposed to keep my blood count up and on track. Some say it is this shot that causes all the bad symptoms and sends you under the 18 wheeler for that week. I don't know ---- don't want to chance going without it to find out!

And so, here I begin my next 3 week journey of trying to find things that taste at least ok, sweating, peeing, and trying to find my bed. Poor Buster! He sits there with that look on his face that says, "Oh no, here we go again!" He does seem to understand when Mommy is under the weather.

One of the comments left for me mentioned a brand new blogger who is just starting her journey with breast cancer. I'm sure she could use all your prayers and encouragement, too. I looked at her pictures, and my heart just went out to her, knowing the road she will be travelling right behind me! Stacy's blog is located at:

Click hereFor Stacy's Blog!

Please give her your support and prayers!!!!

I keep forgetting to post my thank you list, so here we go:


For these things, I thank you, Lord:
68. Knowing that friends are praying for me, holding me up when I can't stand upright!
69. Good reports from the Dr.!
70. Cooler weather!
71. My sister who has been so faithful in going with me to all these treatments.
72. Wonderful, soothing, comforting music when my soul is in turmoil!
73. God meeting all my needs in the midst of trials!
74. Buster growing up, acting more mature, obeying more, becoming more loving!
75. Bringing my Sister-in-Law through surgery.
76. For all the beautiful cards and gifts I've received from people I can no longer call strangers!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Daybook Entry for October 7, 2008


FOR TODAY (October 7, 2008)...

Outside My Window It's cloudy, a little cooler than usual -- what a blessing! I just filled my birdfeeder, so there's lots of activity there. I love the breezes blowing today!

I am thinking. . .How beautiful the rain was last night! We needed it so badly. Also thinking about my Sister in law who was operated on yesterday. So thankful that she came through it ok. It did bring to the forefront of my thinking the reality of the near approaching day of my own mastectomy. It's been easy to push that back as I deal with chemo, etc.

I am thankful for...One good day before chemo tomorrow!

From the kitchen... Not much! Bought a rotisseri cooked chicken and might have a baked potato and some veggies with that.

I am wearing... a striped cotton blouse, black loose slacks!

I am creating... Angels as fast as I can. Seems to be selling well these days.

I am going... Post Office, Walgreens, grocery store.

I am reading... Our Scars Are Beautiful To God

I am hoping... Chemo tomorrow doesn't throw me for a loop. I don't feel that I really came back from the last one. To say nothing of making things taste just horrible. There isn't much left that is worth eating for me. But each chemo session seems to have it's own peculiar set of complaints with it. So maybe this one will be different.

I am hearing... The sound of the wind in the Sycamore tree, Buster chewing on a new bone.

Around the house... I need to change my sheets and get things washed. Still sweating!!!!! Poor Patsy! She freezes at night while I'm dripping! Buster loves it nice and cool ---- sleeps with me on his back, four feet straight in the air, hogging most of my bed!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . . Chemo tomorrow, Neulasta shot on Thursday, then crawl in a hole until it takes it's course!.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Whenever I see this picture, I think waaaaaaay back to when my sister and I were so young, playing together on Ottawa Beach, Michigan, without a care in the world. A whole lot of life has happened to each of us since then -- some good, some not so good, some down right rotten, and some heart breakers! We each walked different pathways, but how thankful I am that the last 10 years we have been able to live so close to each other and be there for one another through the good times and the bad.
Tomorrow. . . . she will take my hand again and go with me to the Cancer Center, sit with me through the chemo, and we will do our usual people watching, eaves dropping, eyebrow raising, and grape eating when we are bored. Somehow, ten long years ago, the Lord knew we would be needing each other in times like these, and I'm so thankful He worked it all out as He did!

I'm so glad to be able to participate with the others in this Notebook entry. You can visit The Simple Woman's blog

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Has it been this long????

I feel terrible that I haven't posted in so long. Over a week has gone by, and so many of you keep checking back here, emailing me to see if I'm ok, etc., etc. I'm so sorry!

I guess it just seems to me that my life has become quite boring of late. I haven't been anywhere, haven't done anything of interest ---- it's all I can do to get my daily chores done to a minimal and get myself dressed.

I'm not in any pain, nor have I been sick to my stomach, and I'm so thankful for that. It's just that I'm sooooo tired all the time. With the first two chemo treatments, I seemed to bounce back after the first week or so, but this time I'm just dragging. I'm so glad that the weather has cooled off some here as I have been sitting out on my porch, watching Buster make up new games to play by himself. He seems to have figured out his own form of "doggie baseball." I throw his squeaky ball, he runs and catches it on the run, then runs 100 miles an hour around the "bases" and bashes into his "big blue ball" -- which, I assume, is home base. And then we do it again. So that has been my life this week -- throwing squeaky for Buster!!!!

I have had the added pleasure of an abscessed tooth to deal with. Since I was terrorized and tortured as a kid by a dentist who delighted in dishing out pain, I seldom go. In fact, I think I'd rather DIE than go for this to be fixed. But. . . . pain is a great motivator, isn't it?????

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and somehow, it all has a new meaning to me. I wonder why????? A little while back, a new blogging friend purchased some little angels from me. They had the little pink breast cancer ribbon on them. Yesterday, she emailed me and asked me if she could put my name on her tee shirt as she was going to walk in one of those "Walk for the Cure" things in Texas. I just couldn't believe that she would do this for ME, as she is just getting better herself! I tell you, I had great big tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat and wish I could be there to give her a great big hug!

So many of you have sent me cards, gifts, emails, etc. I can't believe there are so many sisters out there who have committed to pray for me through all of this. Believe me, I treasure each of you as much as anyone treasures rubies, diamonds, and gold. Surely, I never knew when I started this blog and named it, "Hidden Riches in Secret Places" that it be ALL OF YOU that would become the riches that I would find!

Thank you, all of you!