Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27, 2012

Jennifer my advocate called me after work today. She said that they had been reviewing my pathology report and my margins were not all clear. What this means is they did not get all the cancer. On Wednesday when I meet with Dr. Holloway he will make the decision to go back in again or to see if chemo will do the job.
On a positive note I was accepted into a group study at Texas Tech on women and Breast cancer Cancer. It should do me some good.
Love to all.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday November 25

Trying to rest while restless. I have been in so much pain the last couple of days. They said it is normal to have pain shooting down my arm from the sentinel node biopsy. The pain killers are not even relieving it. I had wondered if it was from the nerve they removed but they assured me it is not.

I am so tired. I have a burst of energy in the morning, so I cleaned and this morning I fixed about 10 lbs of potatoes! I fixed papas and onions for breakfast and a huge pot of potato and cheese soup.

Tim's mom said it is like we rest 3 hours to be able to work 30 minutes. And it is true. I am just so drained. And then I have the most terrible attitude. I cry instantly and I have been so rude. So I apologize to everyone!

I am keeping up with my medication, eating schedule, sleeping, and everything else the doctor has required. I just never would have imagined it would be so difficult to wrap my mind around all of this.
Thank you for letting me vent today.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Oncology visit 11-21-12

Today was a visit with Dr. Reddy my oncologist. Let me give you a run down. If you have questions, please post them. I will try to answer what I know. If I don't know what the answer is, maybe it is something I need to bring up to Dr. Reddy.

The Sentinel Node biopsy showed no cancer in the nodes. However there were traces of cancer going to the nodes. Because of this they can not say that I do not have cancer in my bloodstream. This is not good news, but it is not the worst. All means is that I do have to have chemo. They said with that and because of all the other circumstances like my being young and no reason for cancer, I need the chemo. Without any treatment and just the surgery the cancer would definitely come back. With radiation and hormone therapy only I would have a 70% success rate. If I have chemo, radiation and hormone therapy I have a 90% success rate. 

He did remove all the tumor. There was  a complication other than the brackets being broken inside of me. The tumor had started to wrap itself around a nerve in my breast. They had to remove that nerve. Who needs feeling in their breast right? No, he said it was one little nerve, not going to make a difference. With what was removed it was not considered a lumpectomy, it is listed as a partial mastectomy. 

They want me to rest a bit, so chemo starts December 4th. It will take the longest due to them wanting to do it slow as an introduction. They fully described how each visit will be with blood work to make sure my white cell count is ok (or no treatment until it is) then the process will be 2-3 hours at a time. The next day I return for steroids and injections to keep my white cell count up. This will go on, a treatment every three weeks for 12 weeks. So I am very lucky only 4 rounds of chemo so far. We will countdown! 

After that we will rest for a couple of weeks then it will be radiation every day for 7 weeks. After that hormone therapy for five years. 

Here is a good thought! I will keep my PICC line and that is how I will get chemo. He said that is how Chemo was originally given before a port was introduced. So every week I will go to Texas Oncology and they will clean my PICC line and change my bandage until we are through. So keep your fingers crossed that this holds.

They gave me tons of reading material on what will happen like between the first and second round I will loose my hair. I am going to go soon and get a super short cut so I will not be so traumatized with it falling out. I keep hearing stories of women driving down the road or cleaning house and having to clean their hair up along the way. I don't think I could handle another meltdown. However I am sure there are more to come.

My advocate Jennifer is trying to get me into a study group through Texas Tech. They are studying the effects of women with Breast Cancer. She thought it would help because I would speak with them and other women and it might help me sort through something personally in dealing with the big C. So lets hope the grant they have been given will be able to provide for me too. 

Well that is all for now. I want you all to know how much I love you and you mean so much to me. I apologize if I have exploded at you (TIM) and will try harder to get better as it goes down the road.

Happy Thanksgiving.


I must apologize for not posting sooner but this all taken such an emotional toll on me.
Friday morning 8:30 i had brackets put in to guide Dr. Holloway in the surgery. The fiirst was too close to the tumor so she had to insert a second. This was all done by local llidicane injections. The wires stick outside of your body about 5 -6 inches.  Waiting in the day surgery waitingroom the lidicane wore off. They did get me into a very small room, or shall i say closet until noon. Finally they gave me a little pain medicine. My blood pressure was 161 over 110.
About 1pm the nurse came in to inject the Sential Node Biopsy dye.  It is injected under the nipple. It didnt hurt as bad as everyone said it would, but maybe i had ben punctured by so many at this point and some pain meds that it didnt matter.
Later i will blog my thoughts as i had wait in pre-op alone. I did have to a wonderful anethisiologiist who gave me meds to help with my blood pressure.
A 30 minute procedure turned into 2 hours when the brackets broke when he was remooving the tumor. He had to fish out the hooks before closing me up.
After that the norm of monitoring your pee, juice, and walk the hall once. Believe me they dont want you there any longer than you want to be!
I got out about 7 and was welcomed hhome by family and friends.
All i wanted was food and sleep, in that order.
Stay tuned, i will write my feelings, as harsh as they are (be prepared) and let you know about my oncologist visit on Tuesday.
Love to you all.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quinlin update

My boy Quinlin won State cross country title on Saturday. I got a text from him and  I was standing in the middle of the store. Of course I started to cry in the middle of the store.
Last night when I went to Maddy's game, I got to see Quinlin. He gave me big hug. I told him I swear he was walking much taller!
You can read the article on his success here.

Quinlin I am so very proud of you!


Surgery will be on Friday at 3pm at the BSA day surgery clinic. Great advances have been towards the surgical removal of cancer, I will be able to go home as soon as I can prove that I am able to hold down water, go to the bathroom and walk without help.

Please keep my children and Tim in your prayers as they wait patiently for me. This has been just as hard on them as it has been on me.
Thank you.

a LOVING Gesture

I got to be apart of something beautiful yesterday, my faith in human kind was restored.

A pastor by the name of Barry Loving contacted me for an apartment. He had a young man whom he was trying to get on his feet. He brought me the application and fee and I started the process. He explained to me the young man was basically homeless and had told him all he wanted was a job and place to live. He got job and was doing well but still did not have a place to call home. 

After his approval, Pastor Loving and his beautiful daughter went to pick up Jason from his job and bring him by to sign his lease. He didn't even ask to see the apartment first. He signed every page, exclaiming, "yes, ma'am". Jason is about 28 years old. A withered face from the sun, in need of a warm shower, and a little on the skinny side. All this will change in a little matter of time.

Once the paperwork was done, I took him to see his new home. He led the way with his new keys in hand, Pastor Loving, his daughter and I followed. He opened the door and he rushed in. He couldn't stop grinning! He ran through the apartment like a kid would run through the candy store. He ran his hands over the cabinet doors (ones I thought needed to be replaced due to years of wear and tear), he opened the closet doors, shut them, and opened them again. He said he could have never imagined anything nicer.  You have to remember my property was built in 1968 and it has seen it's day.  We have started to refurbish some of the units but this one had not yet been done. 

As Jason hugged the Loving family and thanked them, it was hard for me to keep the tears away. I felt so honored to be able to watch something so beautiful unfold before me. 

God bless the LOVING family as they continue to help others in need in our community. God bless those that the LOVING family has led to God through their work.

November 13

A couple of updates:

The pre-admit went ok but I learned really quick that I had to defend myself. I came to the conclusion that the people working in the pre-admit office are either very unhappy in their life or with their job. They do not smile, they basically treated me like a number and were not happy with treating me at all. At least when it came time to draw blood they took me to the 6th floor. Liz is on the 6th floor. This wonderfully robust woman in her late 50s. The lady from pre-admit said she would wait on me to be done. Liz quickly put her in her place and told her I was an adult and was quite capable to walking to an elevator and going down by myself. I could not help but giggle and snicker. 

We were worried at first because blood would not come out of my PICC line. That was the whole point of getting right? They had me stand up and even tried to "milk" my arm. No telling what the people walking down the hall looking in thought. Finally after about 20 minutes they asked me to sit in the chair and they would recline it. When they did, my arm gushed! Never in all my life has so much blood come out of my arm! And never has it done so without hurting. 

So now, after the blood, urine, chest x-ray and the EKG, I am all set for surgery on Friday.

Maddy's game was tonight. They won 19-18! She had 10 points of that winning score! I am so proud of my girl! What surprises me most is that she surprises herself! I proud of you baby.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 12

Well finally a little good news today. My MRI came back and the cancer has not spread to the other breast. This makes thing a lot easier. And a lot of stress lifted off me. I had started having anxiety fits over the weekend.
So far everything is on schedule, with pre-admit being in the morning.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thank you Quinlin

As always, I have the pleasure of "adopting" a few of Madeline's friends. Each and everyone have been special in their own way.

One of my favorites has always been Quinlin. He has been hanging around for a couple of years now. He is one of those boys you don't mind hanging around. When I go to the kids games, there has been occasions if he is not participating, he has sat by me. I find that an honor.
This young man is wise beyond his years. He has parents who have taught him well. He is smart, funny, good-looking boy who doesn't have to try. He puts you at ease because you can tell how genuine he is. One thing that does not suprise me is that he is a devoted Christian. I have watched him pray, I have heard him speak, and seen his actions. God will always have favor with Quinlin.

Quinlin is an exceptional athlete. He not only runs track but lives it. He is a Junior Olympian! My description of his talents would not do him justices, please see his stats here. 

Today Quinlin left for Austin to compete at State. Before leaving he gave Madeline a gift for me. It was his UIL track medal. Yes, of course I cried. This past Sunday the Amarillo Globe-News did a story on Quinlin and his vye for State. In his interview he dedicated his run to me. (yes, I cried at that too!) You can see his interview here.

Quinlin, if you are reading this, know I love you very much and so proud of you. I will be thinking of you on Saturday. Knock em dead son!


Today was my MRI. Success! After having the PICC line the MRI seemed to be the easiest thing I had done.  Although with Fibromyalgia laying in one position for 25 minutes can be painful! However, it is over with and I didn't feel the contrast or the salene going into my vein at all. Here's the kicker:

1 PICC Line
2 Doctors
2 Hours
ease of administering items by PICC line


The picture in this post is a plaque made by Maddy for me at school today.

Update 11-7-12

I first apologize for taking so long to post again. I have been so overwhelmed. I will try to give you a full update since I last posted.

11-2-12  Was to have my MRI today after having the last opportunity missed due to needing blood test first. They could not do the MRI because they could not find a vein. Every time they made an entrance, it would blow. After the first 4 times, they decided to start using lydicane on both arms and performing sonograms to them each. Still they found veins but they would blow as soon as entered. After seven tries, they stopped. Dr. Clark said he had never seen anything like it. So they rescheduled my appointment for the 8th. I knew Dr. Holloway my surgeon would not want to see me without the MRI so I countacted my advocate Jennifer. 

11-5-12  Today Jennifer and I met with Dr. Holloway. He is very nice. He makes things very clear as to how it will be done. He said he would not do the surgery without having an MRI. He stated that at my age I should not have cancer and have no other precursors to having it, so he needed the MRI to make sure of what we are looking at. It would show the true size (it is measuring 2.5 cm to 3 cm)
He said that I would go to the hospital and have a PICC line inserted before the MRI. We decided that I would keep the PICC line until after surgery so that I would not have to go through all of this again. Once again, I was explained to about the surgery, further testing of the tumor and lymph nodes, and the plan for after. So far nothing has changed. with the exception that my surgery has been scheduled for the 16th.

11-7-12 Went to BSA hospital, by the way of my dear friend Rayne. The darned hospital said I could not leave unless I had someone to drive me, so I picked her up at 6:30. She reminded me several times she does not do mornings! But I couldn't think of anything better than having a friend who makes me laugh and had been a nurse for 20 years be beside me.
After two hours, 2 doctors and 5 tries they finally got the PICC line inserted in my left arm. I have included two pictures*, one showing all the bruises I have aquired in the past two weeks and the second is of the PICC line hanging from my arm. I goes in the underside of my forearm and extends all the way to my heart. 

 Confession: I had to take tramadol to sleep!
* please excuse my messy bathroom and my messy self!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Met with Dr. Reddy yesterday. I like him, he is a very soft spoken doctor, but very informative. He draws you pictures and graphs and tells you everything up front. Here is everything I learned yesterday.

HER2 is negative - thats a good thing, easier to treat.

Everything right now depends on BRCA test, MRI and meeting with Surgeon.

Could choose surgery first or maybe chemo first depending on size of tumor.

The tumor is now 3 cm from 2 cm. They are not sure if it is from swelling and blood from biopsy two weeks ago. We will not know until MRI.

MRI will show if it has spread or if cancer cells are anywhere else in my body. If anywhere else, then they will have to biopsy those areas before surgery.

They will have to rid the cancer in the breast. Once a breast has been sterilized with radiation, you can  no longer receive radiation in that area. If cancer comes back to that area they can only treat it, not cure it.

My KI-67U is 25%. Ideal is under 10%. They are not real happy with 25%. This how fast the cancer cells multiply.

Today I did get good news. The BRCA is back and it is negative. I do not have the cancer gene. This would have given me a 50-60% chance of cancer coming back in the other breast or having ovarian cancer.

Tomorrow morning in my MRI. They are putting a rush on it to be back to Dr. Holloway my surgeon by Monday afternoon.  I am just trying to drink lots of water between now and in the morning so they can get a good vein. Keep your fingers crossed!