Monday, December 20, 2010

Good News Today!

After the alphabet soup of tests on Friday, Doctor says the cancer has not spread!  That is probably the best news I have ever heard in my entire life.  Special thanks to my dear friend and sister from another mother, Anne Elizabeth who went with me today to get the results.  Mom had left on Friday for Florida, I had insisted she keep the flight plans that had been scheduled months ago.  I will not let this rule our lives, anymore than it will already. There are plenty of plans that will be changed because of it so while we are still a little in control I am taking full advantage.  On that note, my annual Steamboat trip got the go ahead from Dr. T today too.  I still have three other doctors to get in to see plus some additional test results we need before a time line of treatment is confirmed.  So it looks like sometime mid-January we will start chemo.  After a couple of rounds of chemo we will go in for surgery and than 4-5 more rounds of chemo and then 6-8 weeks of radiation.  Looks like my calendar is already filling up for 2011! 
I leave tomorrow for Panama City and I cannot wait to get there and be with my family!  I will close out this blog with a picture of my guardian angel that Anne Elizabeth's daughter, Peyton, drew for me.  The prayer was written by Carson her other daughter, with prayers and support like this Cancer doesn't stand a chance!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A New Kind of Trailer

I have to start this blog with a little bit of correction from my first entry and from the title of this blog.  My Mom said, "its not the Big C it's the little c", and I had to agree.  This is not something that Bigger than me and it not something that is insurmountable, but I will leave it, as is, because this blog and my journey will prove to dispel the title.
Before I start discussing the tests I underwent on Friday, I have to thank each and everyone of you who have read the blog and passed on words of encouragement through comments, phone calls, texts, conversations, or emails.  They have all been very humbling and uplifting.  I am saving them all, so when I need a little pick me up I will re-read them to gain strength from them.  But a few of them I would like to mention because they worthy of being shared.  I will not name any names, you will know who you are, but the different perspectives I have received are amazing. 

"Remember, you are not a cancer patient, you are a beautiful, strong, healthy woman who happens to live cancer at the moment"

 "I just wanted to ask God, "why now"?  Then I remembered something I read in Ron Hall and Denver Moore's "Same Kind of Different as Me".  Denver had remarked that when things seem like they are going good, watch out because the Devil was coming.  He said that because who does the Devil want to hurt the most?  Those that are most loved by God!  This may seem like such a backward message, but I see you as being so close to the Father, especially after this past year.  It made sense that the Devil would want to wage war and it appears he has...The devil WILL NOT WIN against this army of prayer warriors!  God is GLORIOUS!"

"Meanwhile, celebrate in your usual spirited way and know that you are deeply loved because you love deeply"

That is a a few of them but please know, all of them are read and cherished.
Ok now onto the tests that were run on Friday.  I checked in at Texas Oncology and when I gave my name to the lady at the desk she said "Oh you are the young and slender one. We have to get you to the warm room".  Now that is my kind of greeting! Apparently for the PET scan you cannot be chilled so they took me and my young and slender booty ;) to the warm room.  This was just fine with me because the waiting rooms are really not fun places. 
As I settled into my "warm room" which was very nicely furnished with wing back chairs and hotel style pictures on the wall, I decided it would be a good time to listen to a little Will Hoge on the ipod.  He always brings a smile to my face.  Me and Will were having a nice little time until the nurse came in with a PITCHER of white stuff and a red solo cup.  She said "This will be your cup", as she filled it to the top with the white stuff and said "drink up I will be back in a few minutes to pour you another".  AAAAAAHHHHHHHH I HATE MILK and this looked too much like milk for me to convince myself that it wasn't.  Thankfully I was able to choke down two cups of it and did not have to drink the whole pitcher like I first expected.  I kept trying to imagine it was a solo cup full of Liberty School wine, we all know I am pretty fond of that.
After the "wine" they drew some blood and put in an IV and escorted me to a trailer, yes a TRAILER in the back parking lot.  I was then hoisted up on a fork lift type thing and a garage door opened to the trailer and revealed a Star Trek Command Center looking thing.  The Texas Oncology building is huge (the one on Mopac if you are in Austin I know you have seen it) so this only proves just how much crappy cancer there is in this world that they are expanding to portables just like our school systems, so sad.
The PET scan was really easy I just had to lie there as the little, well big, tube ran back and forth.  I was a little unnerved by the canister marked "radioactive" that they inserted into my IV.  Maybe now I have some special superhero powers I haven't discovered yet.  I will keep you posted if any appear, or maybe I will just sneak up and surprise you if I happen to have developed invisibleness or the ability to fly :)
After the PET scan which took about two hours I went in for the cat scan which was similar but much shorter only about 15 minutes.  So all in all the tests were really kind of easy breezy.  Nothing at all to be scared of if, God forbid, you ever have to have them.
Next doctor's appointment is Monday, hopefully we can set the dates for Chemo and get this ball rolling.  It is really hard just waiting and not feeling like we are killing the cancer yet.  But it will happen soon enough and in the meantime I know God has me in good hands.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"I have cancer" are the hardest words to say.

This will be the start of my blogging about the new adventure that has been chosen for me.  On Dec 7th, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  The tests have proved that is in my right breast and in one lymph node.  We are only at the beginning, but I hope that this blog will help keep everyone updated on my progress and also serve an journal that I can look back at one day and say...."Look How I Kicked Cancer's Ass"!
For those of you who I have had a chance to tell, you know that I have the most positive attitude about this journey.  I am looking forward to getting skinny in time for bathing suit season, wearing different color wigs depending on my mood (I have always wanted to be a redhead), and the possibility of getting some new perky boobs :)  God doesn't give you anything you can't handle and I know that this was given to me for a reason.  I am bound and determined to figure out what I am supposed to with this and why I was chosen.  I will make the best of this and hope to help other people during the process. 
The hardest thing so far is telling people "I Have Cancer" the look on most every one's face is so sad and they look at you like your going to die.  The C word is such a hard one for everyone to hear, but things are so different these days.  They are curing cancer right and left.  It is no longer a death sentence.  I heard a story the other day about a doctor who works at MD Anderson.  He is like 75 years old and people keep asking him when he is going to retire.  He said that this is such an exciting time and they are curing cancer so often he can't leave now.  This is what he has been working his entire career for.  So next time someone tells you they have cancer please respond to them with something positive like...."you can beat this" with a smile on your face.  Take my word for this you will make their day.
At this point I do know that we will be starting chemo right after Christmas, I will be able to go home to Florida for Christmas yay!.  The doctor wants to treat this aggressively and in her words "we will cure this and it will NOT come back".  That is pretty much all I needed to hear.  I am ready to start this fight! I have a CAT Scan and a PET Test scheduled for Friday afternoon.  These will tell her how far the cancer has spread.  Since we know it is one lymph node it could very well be in more.  I will have the results of these tests on Monday and then I will know more about the course of action and when we will start the chemo.
So please keep checking back if you want to keep up with this journey, I will try and update a few times each week.  I am in for a fight but I am primed and ready to take this head on.  I am way too young, healthy, stubborn and not to mention mean, to let this take me out.