Not the update I wanted:

Sadly, I have surgery on Thursday to check one of my lymph nodes for cancer. I was laying in bed doing my self exam, and all the sudden I felt something hard under my skin.
Now, remember I no longer have breasts so it’s a little easier to feel something…. and a little tougher because all of my chest area, and most of my upper arms are totally numb from the double mastectomy.

So….. I am scared. I am worried. I want this to come back negative so I can keep trying to move my life in a positive direction. If, by chance it is positive… I will need chemo again and also radiation. I’m really only 6-7 months out from finishing the last cancer treatment.

I am terrified, but want to end this on a more positive note. This is the 3rd lump in my breasts I have found on my own. What this means is…. DO YOUR SELF EXAMS EVERY SINGLE MONTH. If anything at all changes, go to the doctor and get it looked at. Thank you
for the constant love and prayers. Thank you from the bottom of my heartπŸ’œ

January 10, 2013 – Lumpectomy
January 9, 2014 – 2nd Lumpectomy

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Christmas πŸ’œβ€πŸ’œβ€

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day was filled with love, traditions, family, and so much more. We watched movies… we made S’mores…. we painted nails.. we read books… we cooked…and at night we went to my favorite Church service of the year: Christmas Eve candle light service. It was amazing… I would even say it was MagicalπŸ’œ

My legs, neuropathy, and broken hand have really been bothering me lately (I think it’s the cold weather) but I really tried my best not to let it show these two days. I wanted to be positive. I wanted to be upbeat. Maybe even called cheerful. πŸ™‚

It was a wonderful 2 days and it ended with a bit more Magic last night. My legs were giving out after a busy 2 days and had my legs under a heating blanket in bed. Sophie came up and played on her tablet next to me and we started talking about Christmas. I decided to record her without her knowing and what she said amazed me:) I had to load it to youtube because apparently she becomes a bit long winded when she doesn’t know I’m recording her;) lol

SO PLEASE WATCH & ENJOY
πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpVEL8svZ8Y&sns=em

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Christmas Time!

Merry Christmas:)

I love Christmas… and am so happy and thankful I am here to celebrate it with my family. After being diagnosed, I wished for nothing more than to keep my life…and that wish was granted! I am the luckiest girl in the world:)

It has been a long tough year, but I am ready to put that aside and celebrate:) I am here, and I thank God everyday for that.

This year is different in so many ways. Thanksgiving day we sat at the kitchen table and told the girls Christmas would be a bit different this year. They would each get a few small presents…but this year I promised would be the best yet! We talked about traditions and the meaning of Christmas and they jumped on board right away! No big expensive gifts… no lists for us, or Santa ….and no complaining;) I have never seen them this excited. Tomorrow we have plans to make smores while watching the Elf movie… read special Christmas books… paint fingernails… and best of all, a tradition that we have always had: Christmas Eve candle light church service.

Today we got our supplies for smores (never had one;) and all the stuff for Christmas morning breakfast. They were so excited, even Sophie had her list of what we needed. When I went to Walmart with them I thought it would be like other years… I’d have to find a way to stay clear of the toy isles and it would be a pain! “mom look at that” “mom I want that.” But….. this year it was so much different. They didn’t seem to care. We walked right by all the toys, and I never heard a peep from either of them. It was magical:)

This year has taught me so much. I’m most definetly a different person….but that is a good thing:) I am a better wife…a better mother… a better daughter…and a better friend. Cancer taught me all of those, and for that I am grateful.

This Christmas Season take some time to enjoy the small things in life. Understand what you have, and what you can’t possibly live without.

My family is my everything… and the reason I fought to be here.

Merry Christmas
& God Bless πŸ’œ

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Update:

I am having a difficult time. I’m trying to push forward, but feel like something is always pushing me back… including fear it will happen again, or pain that I fear is cancer coming back. Do i wear my cancer sucks shirt and be an advocate? Do I catch the attention of even 1 young girl and she asks me about it and then goes home and does her self exam? Or do I put them up and move on with my life and act like i’m just some regular girl in a baggy shirt with short hair? It sucks. I have stuck to the first thing because I genuinly care about other people. I will always want to be an advocate and spread awareness, even at my own expense I guess. I have been let down by people I care about and how they could care less about how I am. This year was the most awful, horrible, horrific year of my life. I had a run in with death and my own mortality, and also dealing with the scars and consquences that came with keeping my life. I don’t think many things can compare to that. So, I am a bit more sensitve to the fact that I just wanted the people in my life to reach out and see how I was….. see how I am now. As of now I have a broken hand, broken toe, sore back, neuropathy, lymphodema, brittle bones…. and so on. I want to get better… and it’s so hard to keep moving in reverse:(

Ughhhhhh is there always a reminder?

Today Kaylee is testing at taekwondo for the very last time hopefully before her blackbelt test. She will do amazing, and afterwards they always have a Christmas party and it’s lots of fun.

Last year testing was December 20th. A day I will never forget. Three days before on the 17th I had a very large painful needle jabbed into my breast to check the tissue for cancer. It hurt…a lot. At that moment I had so many things running through my brain. I was told that over 80% of these come back negative and to not worry myself into a tizzy. Well…. I did anyways. For three days John and I barely spoke. It was all we could think about at the time, but neither of us wanted to admit just how scared we were. Fast forward to taekwondo night. It is Dec. 20th… 5 days before Christmas and I still hadn’t heard anything. Nothing is more frustrating than waiting for a phone to ring. Well, on this date I was so worked up I called my doctor in the afternoon and practically begged and pleaded for answer. Whether good, or bad… I couldn’t wait any longer. So I called and left a message sobbing and sobbing to please call me back.

I took Kaylee to taekwondo that night for testing and the party. At that time it was after 5pm and I still hadn’t heard back. John is worried… my parents are worried….we are all trying not to think about the big elephant in the room. I tell my friend at the front desk at taekwondo that I am waiting for a call and hopefully it will come soon and I’ll have to step outside to take it. Mind you John was on his way there…but hadn’t arrived yet.

So, 5:30 or so the phone rings. This is it….this one call I thought was about to control my destiny. I gave the signal to my friend that I was stepping outside and all I remember is how bitterly cold it was. Even with a coat on I knew I wouldn’t be able to stay for long out there. I stood on the cold snowy sidewalk and I answered my call. I had no idea who was on the phone…I think it was my doctors nurse? Whoever it was, I didn’t recognize the voice. All I heard was the words I had prayed about….

Biopsy Is Negative For Cancer.

I stood in the cold rainy air and my fingers were starting to go numb. I asked the nice lady one quick thing….Is there a secondary bad thing they were checking for.? She happily said “no, cancer is what they were checking for…and it was Negative.”

As I stood in the freezing cold by the taekwondo studios doors I had a call on the other line…it was my Parents. I didn’t intend to tell them yet, but I just found out and had to. I tapped on the glass windows with my nail, and my friend looked up at me. I gave her a “thumbs up” signal…and immediately she flashed me a huge smile. I was starting to get very cold and wet, but I knew with my parents calling in, the tears were about to flow. I walked down a bit and stood under an awning to a train store next door. It was still cold out there, but atleast I wasn’t getting wet. I took a second to catch my cold breath..and said the greatest words ever….”I Don’t Have Cancer.” My dad was on the phone and I barely heard any words after that. Just sobbing. Sobbing and sobbing and thanking God…and sobbing more. He said “Baby, this is the greatest Christmas Present you could ever give me.” I talked to my mom a bit and she was crying too. I told them I need to call John and would call back. All I heard was “I love you baby.” and more crying.

By this time I am almost totally numb…from the weather…and also the news! I walked near the door to come in and call John, and at the same time he pulls up out front. I blurt out “it was negative for cancer.” and ran up and gave him a very very freezing cold hug:) We didn’t say much at all, but not sure we needed to. It had been so stressfull waiting those 3+ days we were exhausted! We came inside where it was nice and warm and John began to make his calls…and I went into the Taekwondo office to do mine….insert crying and sobbing here;) I don’t have a clue who I called that night, but I remember just being so relieved. It was 5 days before Christmas…and I did not have cancer. I received the greatest gift of all that year….even if that joy was a bit short lasted. At that moment in time I was more at peace than probably ever before in my life. I made my phone calls, cried a bit more…then walked out to watch my little girl test.

I had no idea a mere 28 days from that cold blistery day, I would receive news that I did indeed have breast cancer. It was agressive and I had to move fast and make some big decisions.

As testing approaches at taekwondo I can’t help but tap on that glass once more and give a “hand signal.” Will it be a thumbs up? maybe something else;) we’ll have to wait and see……. It is a day to remember…and will always be part of my journey.

Add all this up with the emotions of Christmas and what it means to me this year, and hopefully everyone will understand why I am more emotional. Who wouldn’t be? Back track one year ago and I would have never imagined any of this. It leaves an imprint on your soul.

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Christmas: till the season…for an update;)

So, Christmas will be here before
we know it. First off, at Thanksgiving we told the kids that after the year we had, we need to step back and realize what is most important this coming Christmas… our Family . The fact that we all get to be together is the greatest gift to be had. I thought telling the kids we were cutting back this year would lead to fussing and complaining…but it went really well. John and I told them they would each get around 3-4 gifts a piece. No electronics, and nothing over $20. Sophie did mention she wanted something for $30 (a twirling ballerina:) so we made an exception for that. Now as you read this you are probably thinking…”Well, they’ll just ask Santa for the big stuff.” πŸ˜‰ haha. So, we told the girls no lists this year for Santa either. He has so many kids to bring toys to that they will (as Sophies preschool teacher had taught her:) “Get what you get, and don’t throw a fit.” haha. So I prepared them for getting just a few small items that Santa can easilly carry with him. It really has made this Christmas season sooooo much easier when I’m not worried about how to pay/shop for lots of gifts. I’m not sure why I didn’t start this years ago! Now, for those who know us…we never really did a whole bunch of gifts or really expensive stuff…but Sophie did want a kids tablet last year and Kaylee a new DS.. and just those 2 items alone were $300 …so it sure adds up fast. After this year I also think…well, these kiddos have been through a lot, they should get the biggest & best Christmas ever….And They Will! It just won’t revolve around presents. I have books to read, xmas lights to see, and I’ll also make my very 1st Smore with them on Christmas Eve!

This has been a year to remember. I think my kids did so much growing up, and I am so proud of how they handled it. I can’t begin to imagine how a 4 & 9 year old felt when they found out their mom had breast cancer. I love them so much, and they are the reason I fought and will always fight to be with them.

I am now lucky to know so many wonderful woman that are battling this awful disease. They are true inspirations everyday. We all share the same common bond…
We Are All Warriors. To get to know each of them has been such a blessing this year.

This Christmas I am way more emotional than ever before. I know what I want, I know what I need, and I know what I can’t live without. I will never be able to thank my family & friends that stepped up and supported me this year. Maybe it was a text…or a phone call…maybe it was helping with my girls…or just a card in the mail. To the ones that loved me and supported my family…I am forever grateful.

Today I had a mild breakdown when I was talking to my mom. Part of it was a flood of emotions…and part of it was a flood of frustration. Pain in my legs isn’t getting better:( I just opened my mouth and all this stuff just came pouring out along with tears. I just sat in the parking lot and sobbed and sobbed. I was upset and hurt by some people in my life and I just kept it bottled up for too long. Sometimes in life you are faced with things you have zero control of…and you need people around you to lift you up when you feel like giving up. I am thankful for my husband, kids, parents, family & friends that have shown love & support throughout the toughest year of my life. Thank you for being so kind to put me first when I needed to heal and get better. Only God himself knows what the future holds. I pray each day for a Cure, and peace among those who are suffering. Love alwaysπŸ’œβ€πŸ’š

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cancer is a jerk.

cancer sucks…period.

I have said it from the beginning, and I still say it now.

You see, even now as I sit here…months and months and months after finishing treatment…and it was so-called “coming to an end.” It’s not. It seems like it never will….and it makes me so angry. I thought I was making progress with a new drug I was taking….but then here is reality to smack me in the face. Yes, maybe it worked for a bit….but now it’s not and I’m having severe side effects. Terrible leg pain & numbness & my brain is all fuzzy…and it’s driving me nuts! My kids are saying I’m calling them by the wrong names, my words and sentences are not formulating like normal….and it seems as though it’s a page right out of Family Guy, and clearly I’ve had too many free McBurgertown Burgers…(sorry if you don’t get that…it’s a joke about Peter having a stroke)….I’ve never had my brain not function correctly….it’s actually quite scary. Imagine you want to tell a story. In your head you have formulated it all and have the story all planned out and how you will tell it…..then you open your mouth, and you can’t think of any of the right words and you don’t remember any of the sentences. Just a few minutes before it was all planned out, and now you can’t just repeat it…..frustrating.

I want to blab on for paragraphs on in about how frustrated I am…but I’ll spare everyone. I’m back to feeling like crap and I hate that. I want to just move on…and I’m not sure now if that will ever happen. This last medicine I’m on is my last option before trying anti-depressants and so on that I’m not comfortable with. So…..I just want it to work.

I’m hurt.I’m defeated. And I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that at 33 my body is acting like it’s 83. As I type in anger, it’s still ever present that I feel like a jerk for even complaining. Each night I close my eyes and pray to God that I will be given another day on this Earth. But on that same token, I want to enjoy my life and have peace within it. I want to play with my kids without fear I’ll break another bone….I want to hold hands with my 5 year old and not have fear I’ll fall and hurt her… I want to rewind time and get moments back that I am missing… I want to just to scream at the top of my lungs I am angry….that I hate cancer and everything it has done. No one should go through this…

So, above all I will do what I do. Wake up tomorrow put on my Cancer Sucks t shirt and release some anger…and at the same time spread awareness. Cancer does Suck….period.

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Update:

Update:

With a broken hand, blogging and typing is not the easiest task;) but I wanted to give some updates.

A wonderful amazing friend of mine gave John and I a week at her timeshare in the Cayman Islands. It was amazing! The only other time I have left the country is 11+ years ago on my Honeymoon to Mexico. I had just found out I was pregnant with Kaylee….and let’s just say I threw up for most of the 7 days we were gone;)

John and I very rarely ever leave the girls overnight anywhere, and have never left them for a week. The most we have been away from them is just a day or two and that only happens maybe once a year. So, being gone for 7 days was a big deal. But…I knew we needed the time away to reconnect.

We had a blast! I knew my kids were having fun with their grandparents, and that allowed me to just relax and spend time with John. We snorkled… we swam with stingrays… we went on a submarine ride… and my most favorite part, walks on the beach late at night (although I broke my toe on a piece of coral) This year was tough on many people in my family, but as a mother it was always my primary focus to worry about my kids first. This trip made me realize just how tough this year was on my marriage too. When someone is diagnosed with cancer, everyone suffers….period. We talked…we cried….and we remembered why we fell in love with each other so many years ago:) He is my best friend and I don’t want to spend my life with anyone else. As long as we are together, we can do anything….and now that even includes beating cancer. I believe in soul mates, because John is mine.

So, the trip was amazing and I could never thank my friend enough for what she did. Also our family for watching our babies so we could go:)

I also recently had my first haircut since shaving my head for chemo in February. It may not seem like that big of a deal…but it was for me. I felt like I had waited a million years. I loved going to the salon. The day I shaved my head was awful. I looked in the mirror, and then shut the mirror doors and never re opened them for months. I hated how I looked and felt when I was bald. With no eyebrows or eyelashes either I felt like every bit of femininity was gone…and I hated that. It’s hard not to see yourself in a mirror or reflection….it becomes a lot of walking with your head down, and that is painful. So this day was so important to me. I cried, I laughed, a good friend stopped by with flowers…then I cried again;) I loved every second of it. I left there with my head held high…and it felt good:)

Now, onto other news…. which might be TMI… (skip paragraph if needed;) As many know chemo is hell on your body. I am still dealing with the side effects from it on a daily basis, and its awful. After treatment started…my period stopped…and menopause began. I have not had a cycle since Dec of 2012. I was told I only had about a 1-5% chance of my period ever coming back. I guess once your body is in menopause for that length of time, it tends to stay that way. Well….. my period started! I know, who the hell is ever excited about that happening, lol. But, for me it was my body acting like it was 32 again, and not 82. I was thrilled! I know that if we decide to have another baby at some point, this was the first step. I need to have a full hysterectomy within the next few years or so and have no idea the damage chemo did on my eggs etc. But…. this is a start… and I’ll take it:)

Thanksgiving is tomorrow and I have never been more thankful. I can’t wait to cook tomorrow for my family and sit at the table and thank God for everything I have. Cancer took so much from me this year, but it didn’t take the things I need the most…my family. I don’t care about losing my breasts… or any side effects left over from chemo. This Thanksgiving I have everything I could possibly ever need. I have great friends, great family, and people around me who truly love & care for me. I don’t need a reminder on how fragile life is, I know. This year tested every possible limit I had and I am much stronger than I thought I was. I hope in some way I touched some lives in a positive way and always spread awareness when possible. I had no idea how to deal with any of this and just did the best I could. So this Thanksgiving please take a moment and think about what you are truly “thankful” for…. xoxoxoxo

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