Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I am starting to think ahead to surgery a bit. I have only talked to one surgeon so far, and that was at the beginning of things. She agreed with the oncologist that chemo be done first, and surgery/radiation later. I am very glad to be getting the nasty chemo part out of the way first, now that I think about it. There are so many options to look at. Do I do a double mastectomy and just be done with it? Do I go for reconstruction surgery? There is another surgeon I will have to talk to soon to get some second opinions. Questions, questions. I believe they give your body about 6 weeks to heal up after the chemo before surgery is done. That gives a little time to figure things out.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

third chemo done

I had my third chemo yesterday and it all went okay with a few little delays here and there. it just took a very long time because the alamosa lab sent the wrong report and they had to be called to send the right one. i was at the hosp early at 7 and didn't walk out till after 4. all the nurses have been great. neulasta shot today at about 4 and then onward to home. this is now the halfway point thru chemo tx. maybe i shouldn't say halfway till i am done with the nadir this coming week. looking at mastectomy surgery being done sometime around the first week of march if all the chemos get done on schedule, and that all depends on having good lab works come back. so far so good. home again, home again this afternoon. bob and carol are bringing lunch tomorrow after church and i am looking forward to the visit and the food. we had a great thanksgiving with doug and wendy, at kevin and danielle's house. she cooked her very first turkey and it turned out beautifully. kayla and paul and i made a stuffed pumpkin to bring along. she got the recipe off of the npr website and that turned out so well too. after we were done with dinner we ran up to see rick and caryl in loveland and had pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie. pretty sure i didn't lose any weight this week! hope you all had a nice thanksgiving and thanks once again for your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Round 3 coming up

Round 3 of chemo will be the day after Thanksgiving, and that's the half way point for the chemo. So far I have tolerated it fairly well with just a few side effects. One rather annoying one is that I get a rash on my cheeks, and we are talking bright red...a butterfly rash, and it itches. Nothing I seem to do for it helps it go away or stop itching. I guess that is less worse than having nausea, so I will deal with it and live with it. Thanksgiving this year will be at Kevin and Danielle's house, and we also plan to visit Rick and Caryl since they are only an hour away from Denver. We are really looking forward to seeing everyone. Josh is staying home because his room mate is cooking dinner, so his job will be to hold down the fort. It looks like the weather will be cooperative, we can go between storms. I feel grateful for so many things. My husband, Family, friends, church family, and feeling rather well most of the time, my doctors. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Round 2

I had my second chemo yesterday and though it took a long time (8 hours at the hosp) it all went fine. The nurse that I had this time decided to run everything more slowly than the last time. The visit that I had with my doc beforehand went well; he was pleased with everything except for one thing. This is unrelated to the breast cancer in any way, but he found a non malignant tumor on my pituitary gland on my brain mri that will have to be looked at further. If it grows it can eventually affect your peripheral vision. Paul sees this occasionally at his practice and people go to have them removed and all is well. Sometimes they just watch them and do nothing. So, I had some blood tests yesterday to find out what's going on with it. Whichever it is, nothing will happen with it until the chemo, surg, radiation is all done with, and Paul can monitor it at the office with visual field tests. Somewhere along the way there will be a visit with a neurosurgeon. Just one more unexpected bend in the road. I had a very nice visit with a good friend, Marie Silverstein, at the hosp yesterday. She is as good as any nurse holding my hand, taking care of me, giving me a facial, giving me some awesome Arbonne products and advice on detoxing after the chemo is all done with. Thanks Marie, I loved your visit!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I went to Littleton yesterday with Pam Bricker and Shawna Tolsma to Hana Designs and picked out a wig. They did all the driving for me. We had fun with the wigs, and did a lot of laughing. It was great having two friends along helping me not to make any mistakes. Since my hair was starting to come out, I decided now was the time to have my head shaved, so it's done. I found out that I have a very round head, and it's kind of strange to see myself without hair. Guess I'll get used to it. Hana said that my hair will be coming back 6 weeks after the chemo is done, and that by July I will have a "short" hair style again. Louise Tolsma and Barb Terpstra arrived a little while ago to do some cleaning for me, and also brought supper. I am feeling so spoiled and loved. My church family has blessed and lifted me up so much!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


My hair should be leaving me over the next few days. It is definitely starting to come out.  I have heard it said that people don't wear a wig much, especially at home, and I imagine that will be true for me too. I do have an appt tomorrow at noon in Denver to get one though, because I may have some social functions where it might be nice to have. Pam is driving me up, and Shawna is going as well, for support. The people at the salon said they could shave my head for me if I needed them to, which will probably be the case.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Awesome Church Family

Two of my dear friends came over Saturday and cleaned my house. It was amazing and awesome and I can never thank them enough; words are not enough, but thank you so much Jane and Gaye. Did I mention they brought food too?? Dear God, thank you for my friends. I was exhausted when they were all done, just from watching, and I am sure they were too, but to be able to sit in a clean house (that sorely needed it) was just so great. Now if I just just freeze that house to stay clean....
If anyone wants to leave a comment, I think they have to join this blog. And I love getting comments!

Friday, October 22, 2010

the day of the dogs

I have had a couple of pretty tired days preceding today,  but today am feeling more energetic. Last night my two dogs got into some raisins (toxic for dogs) and I had to make an early morning vet visit. Long story short, they are going to be fine, but I sat in the vet's office and WEPT and WEPT. Felt kind of good actually. Then I called my friend Judy to come have a cuppa tea with me. She came bearing gifts, one of which was some eyebrow pencil I can use when I lose my hair.  That was nice. The other nice thing was that Wendy Hall (Doug's fiance) stopped in on her way thru to Durango. I just busted Sam with some muffins that Winema made for me, that I had served to Wendy and Judy. He had just carried them into the living room for closer inspection. They were still in the bag. There is absolutely nothing safe from that dog anymore. He's hungry because he didn't get breakfast and now has to wait until tonight to eat.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Nadir

Nadir means low point. I think I might be there. Feeling a bit more fatigued and achy. So far I've been able to eat just fine, but my appetite is not its usual ravenous self. My personal shopper Judy took a list for me to the grocery store and delivered it when she was done. That was really nice. I got a very short haircut yesterday. It won't be lasting long but at least I got to see what I look like with short hair. Paul really loves the look. I have only had short hair one other time before this. My daughter Kayla thinks I should have some henna tattoos put on my head, but it's really not my style.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


It's a quiet Sunday. Decided to stay home from church this morning and lie low. I have been taking it easy, drinking lots of water.  Have to admit it tastes a bit different to me, but not terrible; I can still drink it because it's good for me.Last night not so cool. Suffice it to say fiber will become a major part of my diet!! Took a walk around the field with Paul and the dogs this morning. Now it's cool and cloudy out and I am tempted to get huddling under a blanket. Still waiting for this "nadir" business to hit me. I guess that's when your count gets the lowest and the fatigue hits. . Some people have sent me some Bible verses and I want to encourage everyone who has good ones to send them to me. It's positive and uplifting for me. Don't be afraid to leave me your comments; I love reading them.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Back Home

Hi all, we made it back home just now and settling back in. Paul is mowing the lawn, I am checking email and doing blogspot. There's just not that much to report right now. I had my neulasta shot yesterday and took tylenol to stave off any flu-like effects, and so far feel fine. I am waiting for the tired to hit and the hair to fall out. I actually put in a call to my hairdresser so she can check out the wig to see if there's any hope for it. She was not at the shop today so it will have to wait till next week. Also got some head scarves and beanies in the mail while I was gone2, so that's about as ready as you can get except for the moment it's all gone. That will for sure make it all real. We had a great visit with kayla, and lots of calls from good friends. Right now the idea of cancer doesn't fully occupy all my thoughts. Don't know if that will change or what but it's nice not to think about it all the time.

Friday, October 15, 2010

10/14/10 First Chemo Cycle

We arrived at the Aurora Medical Center at 8am so we could get an early start and get out at a decent time. They got us all checked in but the chemo didn't start till about noon. We had a nice private room with a grand view of the city. One of the reasons for the late start was that my port is so new that it was stlil swollen and that made it harder to get a needle into it. That took about 5 attempts. They do a pretty good job of numbing it so it wasn't too bad, but I could tell they felt bad and that it was an unusual occurance for them. 3 different bags of chemo went in, and the nurse sat and explained each cocktail to us with the possible side effects. There will be side effects, most notable will be loss of hair in about 2 weeks and fatigue. Also I will have a depleted immune system so being around sick people will be a no no. The American Cancer Society girl brought me a wig and I am not sure what to think about it. Hats may be much easier, but I will take this to my hairdresser and see if she can style it a bit and see if that makes it look better. It's not real hair, it's kind of Halloweenish to me. I guess this won't truly sink in till my hair is coming out. What will my head look like when I am bald, I wonder? What will I look like without eyelashes and eyebrows? What is burned into my brain is the picture of Paul wearing the wig when I came out of the bathroom. Think of a big chimp with a blonde wig on. All that was missing was the lipstick. Just don't know if I can put that thing on me now. We walked out of the medical center about 4pm. Today at 3 I have to go back for a Neulasta shot. It will help keep the white cells at a good level and hopefully protect me from infection. The nurse suggested that I keep a diary every day of symptoms and side effects and I may see some sort of pattern to be aware of. The procedure itself was very easy, I have to admit that. Now just wating to see what the coming days will bring. I am looking very much forward to feeling this thing shrink within me.  Thankyou so much everyone who thought of me and prayed for me. Being bourne up by the eagles wings!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


heading to denver tonight after work and have to be at infusion center at 8am. here's where all the prayer warriors get to go to work for me! i am ready and eager to start the treatment and get well. love to all!

Monday, October 11, 2010

lots of phone calls

looks like my first chemo is this thurs up in denver. i thought it had been all scheduled already while we were up there but no, so i did alot of talking this morning to people up there. (i have to have a little talk with my secretary Paul about this later.) i found out if i have it done in the hospital infusion center across the street from dr. diab's office it's alot less expensive so that's where it will be done, instead of at dr. diab's infusion center. i can either pay 13K out of pocket, or 5500. that was a pretty easy decision to make. the second infusion around the first week of nov will also be in denver, and after that they may just all be in alamosa. i am really ready to start this and get going with the cure. i hear that herceptin (spelling?) is a "miracle drug". i bought a couple of scarves and have a few hats and it will really be interesting to see myself as a bald person. not worried about it particularly. my friend vernadine said when the time came for her hair to come out, she took a sticky lint roller to it and it worked very well. we will head up to denver wed night after paul is done with work and come home friday afternoon. please continue to pray for me, i'll be needing it, as i HATE needles and such.

Friday, October 8, 2010


the r breast biopsy was okay. waiting to hear on mri of brain. had chemo port put in today and first chemo is next thurs in denver. even if they find something in brain or anywhere else, they continue on with the treatments as planned.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

another long day

the day started at 6am at swedish memorial with an mri of my brain, then a PET scan which is a whole body scan, then an echo cardiogram (baseline test for my oncologist so he can keep tabs on it during the chemo). at noon i had another biopsy but this time on my right breast because the radiologist was pretty sure there was a little density that was okay but wanted to be sure. 3pm had appt at oncology office to go over the chemo. boy does that sound like a bunch of fun. in 3 weeks i will be  hairless. not one hair. my chemo treatments will go on for 4 1/2 mos and then be cut to just one chemical which will go on for a year but not many side affects. while we were at the oncologist the pet scan report came back and it was clear. that was really great news. still have to get the brain mri back but we feel pretty good right now. tomorrow at 10 i am going to aurora med center to have a chemo port put in. it will be under the skin on my chest. my veins collapse real easily so they decided this would be easier on me and them. my first chemo tx is next thurs. we are glad things are getting going quickly. after the chemo tx are all done i will have a mastectomy, and radiation. and further down the line some reconstruction. we got lots of info today and  i was sure glad paul was there with me because i can't remember a word anyone said to me. why chemo first? oncologist said breast cancer isn't what kills, its when it spreads. the chemo i get will keep that from happening. my tumor is a sort of aggressive type, but the meds they have planned for me are very effective. thanks all for your prayers, sorry if i have not talked to each of you personally, but this has been a very exhausting process. just know that i love you all and covet your prayers.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

it was a long day

12pm saw surgeon. she is jane kercher and i liked her very much. very positive attitude, and a christian. we learned i have an aggressive tumor that is treatable with a new chemo drug called herceptin. i will probably be doing my first chemo tx next week toward the end of the week. they plan on doing chemo and follow that with surgery/radiation later. so a pretty aggressive course of tx in store for me. but that's what i wanted.
had another ultra sound of rt breast and will get biopsied tomorrow because of a little spot that showed up on the MRI. they are not worried, but want to double check it.
4pm went to see oncologist, sami diab- another positive person. he has ordered mri of brain, pet scan, and echo cardiogram. wants to make sure there is no spread of anything.
we feel good about our docs and the treatment plan. pray for good results for tomorrow's tests.l
side note. paul was looking up something about herceptin, and it said you can't have caffeine. no drinking, no recreational drugs.

Monday, October 4, 2010


Somehow the appts all meshed up for me... I have an appt for MRI tomorrow night, an appt with the surgeon Wed at noon, and one with an oncologist Wed 4pm. It's what I have been looking forward to, the sooner the better, but yet afraid of what will come of it. Another thing I did was order a scarf, and a special baseball hat for bald people!

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Rod and Jane came over tonight for a visit. We got the strawberry patch picked. They are such great friends and so supportive (love you guys). The next thing that will happen will be that I go to Denver Tuesday night for an MRI, then a visit with the surgeon Wednesday afternoon. I've never ever had a real surgery before. Apparently they do it at a surgery center in a building next to where I had all the pretesting done. It's done on outpatient basis. Everyone is being encouraging. I just want to be done with it yesterday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010


no one seems to have the sense of urgency that i feel to get going with treatment. have to jump thru the hoops first. i have heard the average time to get going is about 3-4 weeks. seems like a long time to wait to someone who wanted to start yesterday. a day is as a thousand years, a thousand years a day!


Just made a stunning discovery...the dogs don't really care about cancer. They just want their supper.


There are still so many unknowns, and that could be the worst thing about it. Once a treatment plan is underway, and I know what is happening, it will be a little easier. I want to go to the drs I want to go to, but may not have a choice. That is an upsetting thought!

Doctors and Insurance

Trying to get an appt with a medical oncologist so my dr visits will sort of be coordinated up in Denver. Can I have it with the one I want. Oh? Not in the network of my insurance company? Now what to do??

Just Begun

I was diagnosed for sure, with breast cancer, this last week. It was a time of huge paralzing fear at first. However, many people came around me and told me it shouldn't be considered a death sentence, that the road ahead will be hard, but I can do it. Having all the positive comments are so helpful to the attitude. I had been having trouble sleeping, and functioning, so I asked my doc for some sleeping meds and also anti-anxiety meds, now we are back at a functioning level. Don't know exactly what's in store for me, but I know there are lots of people who will walk along side me. My friends have been so awesome that I can't even describe it or thank them enough. The next steps for me are MRIs in Denver the evening of Oct 5, and then meet with a surgeon the next day. An oncologist will be seeing me sometime soon as well. I am ready to get this thing completely off, the sooner the better. You can't help but think to's in there growing and I want it out yesterday!! Thank you all for your prayers; we couldn't make it without you. God has me/us in his hands and control.