Monday, June 21, 2021

Light of the World and plumeria love


They were everywhere. Blanketed the ground like a perfumed petal path for a Hawaiian bride. While in Maui, I was the bride, marrying the orange sunset and the sugary sand and the aquamarine salty waters and the luminescent light.

In 2010 I was diagnosed with stage3 breast cancer and survived a year of cancer camp where a Good Witch and her coven poisoned me, cut me and lit me up like the Northern lights. I traveled to the Kingdom of Lost Breasts and came back without mine, and yet still me. 

For eight years after I thought I lost that cruel bitch πŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒπŸ’ƒ but she came back angry seeking revenge. I am Stage4 now and there ain’t no Stage5 folks. By God’s grace, the love of many poured out on me, the silent prayers whispering my name, the demon hasn’t stopped me from living my wild sacred ordinary glorious life. And even, even if I receive my cure in Heaven, earthly body game over, when I die and rise, cancer dies and turns to dust.

I don’t know what battles you face my dear Listener, the heartbreak you barely breathe through, but I just came to say ‘There there now, don’t stop collecting the plumeria, making memories, breathing in the sweetness of your life. Keep going. Silver linings, angels on your path, and serving others in simple kind ways will continue to give purpose and meaning to your life. Keep going. There is a Light no darkness can overcome. Lord I receive it, and share the Good News of Your faithfulness.’

#plumeria #maui #metastaticbreastcancer #stage4breastcancer #canceraintthebossofme #jesuslives #findingpurposeinpain #lordhearmyprayer #comfortyourpeople #keepgoing #thereisalight #nodarknesscanovercome #jesus #thealphaandomega #comeallwhoareweary #allarewelcomeatthetable

"... We are not meant to be seen as God's perfect, bright-shining examples, but to be seen as the everyday essence of ordinary life exhibiting the miracle of His grace. ..." Oswald Chambers (thank you Rick Stilwell) 

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Paying it Forward: Relay for Life

Seems only fitting that on this day, April 21st, the anniversary of my diagnosis with breast cancer, that I launch my 2021 Relay for Life goal. 11 years ago today, I was diagnosed with Stage3 ILC or invasive lobular carcinoma, a hormone positive breast cancer. Back then I spent over a year in cancer camp. Five months of chemo infusions prior to surgery to give cancer a swift kick where it hurts. It did shrink the 5cm tumor in my left breast down to less than 1. My reward for graduating chemo was surgery to remove my breasts. Although there was no cancer in my right breast, I chose a double or bilateral mastectomy. I figured my girls had always gone everywhere together; Flopsy and Mopsy would go to the Kingdom of Lost Breasts together too. After recovering from surgery I had seven weeks of radiation, earning the title ‘Glow Girl.’ A few years later came ‘Flopsy and Mopsy the Sequel’ with reconstructive surgery, making new boobies with my own tummy skin and fat. Cancer camp is filled with losses and lessons, glitches and gore. It clears your calendar, becomes a full time job while depleting your bank account, and demands ninja warrior endurance. You have many decisions to make, but only two choices when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment: will it break you or make you? I do my best to turn this test into my testimony. My blessings still far outweigh my troubles.

It was joyful to have eight years of what I thought was ‘cancer free’ only to find out in late 2018 the original breast cancer had spread (metastasized) to my bones. I was stable on meds for almost another two years, until finding out that treatment had failed. The cancer had spread to my stomach lining and colon. I’ve been on a new line of treatment since Fall of 2020 that appears to be working. Any way you look at it, given the median survival for metastatic breast cancer is 3 years, I’m blessed to still be here, despite the challenges and heartache in what is considered a terminal diagnosis. There is no cure for metastatic breast cancer, only a series of challenging treatments to try and slow progression as long as they can. When one fails, they try another and so on. I will be on some form of chemo the rest of my life.

I’ve Relayed since that first summer of 2010 in chemo, for myself and all those families affected by the heartbreak of cancer. I lost my Mom Nancy to kidney cancer; she was only 46. A lifelong musician playing in clubs and bars, her cancer was most likely a result of continued exposure to second hand smoke despite being a non-smoker. There have been so many others whose loss from cancer was so painful, including my son’s high school sweetheart Cara, my beloved high school teacher Gabe Escalera, and countless ‘Sisters’ and dear friends like Mother Harriet Lewis. 

I’ve got a whole new reason to Relay this year, as two close family members were diagnosed with cancer; one with breast cancer, the other with prostate cancer. Thankfully for each it was caught early and their individual prognoses are good. It is heartbreaking that cancer continues to affect my family; I pray a legion of angels and blessings will arrive for each of them, just as they did for me. 

I know there are many worthwhile charities you can support; this one is very personal to me for the help I received. It’s why I continue to pay it forward with your help. My goal this year is to raise $2,021 for the American Cancer Society. Please help if you can. I’m a witness to the invaluable research, patient support and education, patient services and housing, ACS provides and Relay helps fund. The 24hr hotline at 1-800-227-2345 is always there to offer support and help to anyone in need.

Thank you for all those who have supported me in Relay year after year, these eleven years! Thank you for your continued love and prayers and support for me and my family. It means so much and is deeply appreciated.

Thank you. 

Click here to donate to my Relay goal

Friday, January 8, 2021

Xeloda Chronicles Continue

My tumor markers now, down from 225.

Anybody need some good news today?  4th cycle of chemo Xeloda. Swipe to see how my tumor markers are dropping! Not  all cancer  or it’s progression shows up in tumor markers, but mine does. The blood test is called a CA 15-3, which detects breast cancer proteins in the blood. It’s just one of the tools oncologists use for surveillance and if treatment is working. Praise God that after a succession of other treatments have failed, this new one appears to be working! Thank you NEXT!! I am overflowing with gratitude for all the love and support and prayers lifting me up. Stage4 metastatic breast cancer is not for the faint hearted. It’s daunting to keep your chin and your faith up when faced with what is statistically a  terminal diagnosis.  Evidently God still has plans for me! I am so grateful for every new day to live and love and be present among you. Praise God for His mercies and my sacred ordinary life.

 #stage4breastcancer #metastaticbreastcancer #mbc #tumormarkers #goodnews #cancercamp #xelodadiaries #godstillanswersprayers #praisebreak #jesusatthewheel  #cancersucks #lifeisstillgood #countyourblessings #dothemath

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