Tuesday, October 20, 2020

How it started. How it’s going.

How it started.

How it’s going.

My anniversary is coming this weekend. Our oldest son’s birthday is also the same day. I always forget how many eons I’ve been married but I never forget how old Adam is, so... I take Adam’s age plus 4! 🤣😉 Since finding out Stage4 breast cancer has progressed again, I’ve been up and down and all around in cancer town.

Oh the joy of this family.

Oh the melancholy and heartache. Any kind of way though,

when I do the math,

I am

have been

continue to be

so blessed.

Cancer schmancer.

Love endures.

#howitstartedchallenge #howitstartedhowitsgoing #allbecausetwopeoplefellinlove #mixedish #thoughtsfromthefrontline #stage4cancer #metastaticbreastcancer #pinktober2020 #cancerschmancer

And if I asked you could you tell me, what color is love?

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Pink Ribbons Won’t Cure Breast Cancer

I was originally diagnosed with Stage3 invasive lobular carcinoma of the breast in April of 2010. I spent over a year in cancer camp, which included five months chemo, bilateral mastectomy, seven weeks radiation. They poisoned me, cut me, and lit me up to kill that cancer. With each year that went by with no signs of it, I was so grateful I beat that bitch. Fast forward to 2018, an X-ray for a possible kidney stone showed spots on my bones. A CT and bone scan confirmed, 8 years out the cancer had spread or metastasized to my bones. What a blow. Stage4 breast cancer. We can’t cure you, we’ll do our best to keep you alive as long as we can. Median survival only about three years. I was so relieved my treatment back in cancer camp appeared to be working. Scans over these last almost two years showed no progression, although spots remained in my bones. My last scans were in June. What a relief. Still ‘stable.’ 

Oh Lordy help me when a recent colonoscopy & endoscopy revealed cancer present in my stomach and colon. Well fudge. I am awaiting additional testing on that pathology to determine is this the same cancer now progressed farther, or a new cancer diagnosis? Once determined, I’ll start a new treatment plan. Yay me. It’s Pinktober y’all. Less ‘awareness’ and more research on the only breast cancer that kills. Stage4 or metastatic breast cancer. Nobody no how no way dies when breast cancer remains in the breast and guess what? Even 30% of early stage diagnoses go on to metastatic breast cancer. Despite all the pink ribbons, the death rate for metastatic breast cancer has not changed. Why is that? Because only 2-5% of research dollars are spent on the only breast cancer that kills! We aren’t winning this war I’m a soldier in. Front line Baby. We getting massacred out here. Every thirteen minutes another of us dead. Every. Thirteen. Minutes. Early detection of breast cancer is not enough. Stage4 needs more. Every. Thirteen. Minutes. 

So this is my letter and plea from the battlefield. Pink ribbons don’t cure cancer. Want to help? FUND THE RESEARCH. We getting massacred out here. Every thirteen minutes another BC warrior dies. 40,000 dead from metastatic breast cancer annually. Take that $$$ you’d spend on Pinktober and pink ribbons and pink balloons and pink merchandising and instead FUND THE RESEARCH.

#stage4breastcancer #metastaticbreastcancer #mbc #pinkribbonsdontcurecancer #earlydetectionisnoguarentee #earlydetectionisnotprevention #wearelosingthiswar #pleasfromthebattlefield #fortythousandannually #stage4needsmore

Saturday, October 17, 2020

When there’s a bend in the road, make the turn Baby!

This was from a post five years ago, celebrating my life after a breast cancer diagnosis in 2010, as I headed towards my future. 

‘I wasn't sure if I'd still be me without my trademark big blond hair and my boobs. Would I still be me? It was not easy losing my hair, and even harder waking up from my mastectomy surgery to find a chest as flat as a kitchen counter, where two fat bunnies used to be. Greater than that, would I survive? I found out though there is a me that was not diminished by cancer, despite all of its obvious losses. I found out I was stronger than I thought, loved more than I realized, hair and boobs do not make the girl, and on my worst cancer days I could still see something beautiful in me. I traveled to the Kingdom of Lost Breasts. I walked through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and reclaimed my Faith. I am an overcomer. I am blessed by an awesome merciful God. I don't know why I was spared when others weren't. Maybe so you could hear my message. God is good. Love your life. Your health is like gold in your pocket. The good is for today. Help somebody. Forgive somebody. Love somebody. Be kind. Laugh louder than the crying. These are just a few of the things I learned in cancer camp.

AND it's not just about our boobs. I hate those slogans like 'Save the Tatas.' It's about our lives. Despite all the strides in early detection and treatment, in the U.S. 40,000 will die of breast cancer annually. Women of color have the highest mortality rate, often due to late diagnosis. Know your risks. Make your peace and health a priority. I'm five years out from Stage 3 lobular carcinoma breast cancer. It was in my lymph nodes too. Every single new day I remain cancer free is a blessing and a gift. Oh what I would have missed if cancer had its way. Thank you Heavenly Father for the legion of angels you sent me, and for Your grace that out of my sickest darkest place I received the greatest healing of my life and heart and marriage.’

Fast forward to 2018... It was so discouraging and disheartening when breast cancer metastasized or spread to my bones in late 2018. Oh what a blessing though to have almost two years of remaining stable, despite being Stage4 and back in cancer camp. This is no small feat given the median survival after metastatic breast cancer is about three years. 

Fast forward to 2020... In recent months I’ve had lots of nausea and indigestion, which is typical for the treatment I’m on. Even though my recent scans in June showed no progression, I recently had a colonoscopy and endoscopy just to take a look around. I’m sad, discouraged and disappointed to tell you there has been progression. Pathology confirmed there is now cancer in my stomach and colon. Yikes. 🥴

This is typical of Stage4 breast cancer, a treatment can work for a period of time and then unexplainably stops working. Then you’re on to the next treatment and so on. Additional pathology is being done on my tissue samples to determine if this is the same lobular breast cancer that has progressed, or a whole new cancer diagnosis. Gulp. Once this has been determined, I’ll start a whole new treatment plan.

Will you pray for me and my family? Pray for my peace in the storm, my strength and courage, my healing? Will you pray for my Hubby, who worries so about me, feels so helpless, and is devastated thinking about his life without me? Will you pray for my sons, Adam and Zac, who are so amazing and supportive but this is hard. It hurts. Hurts bad.

Other than the love of my family and friends, the only thing that keeps me going is all the silver linings and angels on my path, all signs of God’s faithfulness during my first trip to cancer camp ten years ago! I know without a doubt He will use this to blossom purpose out of my pain. I know there is a divine plan for me, and I’ll do my best to keep showing up for my sacred ordinary life, and laugh louder than the crying. 

Love Deb 💗

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