Tag Archive | Breast Cancer

Wired and Radioactive

I love having this time with my son.  We walk to the bus stop together in the morning and walk again in the afternoon when he gets out.   It’s good exercise for me.   My doctors told me that walking would be good but not to go too far in case I didn’t have the energy to walk back.   This walk isn’t so bad.  Actually it’s just right for me right now.  The only thing is, that with the way my knees and other parts have been hurting, the morning walk is difficult.   I thought all of this would have passed by now.   I’m going on 3 weeks post-chemotherapy.  I had it in my head that once I was done, my energy and everything else was just gonna float back up like a balloon 🎈 and all would go back to normal.   But it hasn’t.  I’m waiting patiently.   Everyday my body seems to hurt more and more.  Now it’s not just my knees.  It’s traveling down to my ankles and the bottoms of my feet.  My hands still hurt, my knuckles, when I bend them or make a fist.    I thought it was soreness from the yard work I had done but it must be something else, cuz it should have gotten better by  now.   Honestly, I think my body is just going through withdrawals.  Withdrawals from all that garbage and the medications that I was on.   I’ve been on so much stuff since all of this started, I can truly say, I have my own pharmacy.   I was taking meds everyday, all day and some every week and once chemo ended, so did about 8 medications, including the steroids.  Just like that, it all stopped.   It’s like quitting something cold turkey.   I think my body is having a hard time adjusting to that.   I’m not complaining, let me tell you, it’s great not having to take so many meds but my body is having a hard time.   That’s the conclusion I’ve come up with for all these aches and pains.  What else could it be?? 

Today I decided to give myself a haircut ✂.   It’s not like I actually have hair, but I do have fuzzies.    Sooo,   I gave myself a buzz with the clippies.   I want it to grow out evenly and strong.  When you haven’t had hair in so long it was almost hard to buzz some of it off.  But I figured I better do this now cuz once it really starts to grow, I’m not gonna want to cut any of it off.   

Aug. 24 – Today is exactly 3 weeks that I have finished chemo.  Wow!  How quickly that went.   I remember marking the days off the calendar to get to the end of chemo and here I am, 3 weeks later.   It’s hard to believe.   Where is the time going? Oh well, I look at it this way, everyday that passes is another day that I am closer to feeling like my old self again.  Can’t wait. 

 Well, today I have an appointment.   I have an MRI that I need to have done.   Before I have surgery, the areas involved need to have clear markers and measurements.  That way my surgeon knows exactly where to cut.   So, I’m here to do that.   She had explained to me on Monday that when the exact measurements are taken, they will use those to put the wires. 

WIRES!!!!! 😱   In my breasts???? 😧   What the hell?!?!?! 


  I will have wires inserted to the markers (titanium clips).  This indicates the exact area she needs to do surgery on.   They are long wires that will be inserted into the breast on the outer part to meet up with the clip.  They will be left sticking out when I show up for surgery.  😨  *sigh*  oh the shit I’ve been through and the shit I still need to go through.   And that’s not all.   I will need a radioactive dye administered as well.  This will ‘light up’ my lymph nodes that are going to be removed.   I guess.  Let’s get this MRI over and done with.   The wires won’t go in today.   This appt is just for the measurements.   So here I am.  Back into the noisy ass machine.  I’m happy cuz my veins didn’t need to get poked this time.   My arms and veins are finally getting a break.  That didn’t take too long.   MRI and measurements done.   Phew.  Now I don’t have another appt til next week.  That is when I’ll have the wires inserted and also the dye.   So on surgery day, it’ll be a long day.   1.  Appt at the imaging center for wires and dye at the butt crack of dawn.   2.  Straight to the hospital from there for surgery.  4 surgeries.  It’ll take about 2 1/2 hours.   If she can, she will pull out my chest port from the left breast surgery.   She won’t know til it happens.   Maybe I’ll be home by the evening.   I honestly can’t wait for surgery.   I think I’ll feel more relief knowing that all the debris from chemo will be scrapped out.   I just hope these pains are gone before then.   In the meantime, I’m just gonna rest and enjoy this time with my son.     Lots of pool time.   It’s been soooooo HOT outside ♨  ♨ My hot flashes haven’t eased up either.  I hope they don’t last forever.   They’ve been dreadful.   I don’t wear my wig anymore unless I’m going out somewhere.    The other day I went out in public with my beanie, I was with my brother, first time I had ever done that.   Damn!!   why do people have to stare sooo much? ? ?  That’s why I don’t go like that in public!!   It’s like, WTF are you looking at??  Never seen anyone with cancer before??  😠   I’ve noticed I have lost a lot of patience, I easily get very irritated with people.   It’s like having PMS daily.   My fuse has gotten very short.   I’m not bitchy but people in general just get on my nerves lately, they get very hateful looks from me.  Good thing I’m out of work.   And that’s not like me, I’m a very nice person.   So, for everyone’s sake, I hope this passes too. 

Well, my food has been tasting better and better.   My mouth isn’t so dry anymore and there has been no return of the yucky mouth sores, yay.   Water tastes just like it used to,  sooooo good and refreshing.   Even a soda tastes yummy.  There is nothing like a McDonald’s coke.


My happy dance when I’m having a McDonald’s coke!!

My blurry eyes are starting to clear up more.  I still have tingly feet.  Funny, I thought that would have all been over by now but I guess that’s gonna hang around longer.  I don’t have them in my fingers so much.   The dry skin is also getting better.   For so long my skin has felt like sandpaper, gross.   My hands aren’t peeling anymore.  It crossed my mind the other day, you know its been a year now that I first felt pain?   Yup, one year ago I had pain under my breast and that’s how this whole thing started.     Back then, I never did think that pain meant breast cancer.   I just went about my life.  Here we are a year later, chemo came and went, surgery is coming up and I’m just dealing with all the after effects.   Geez, the things that can happen in just a year.   Don’t ever take it for granted.   I can’t wait to get back to my normal life to be able to enjoy it.  I’ve been doing things but I haven’t been able to enjoy them yet.     My body still aches 😢 At this point, there is no telling how long that’s gonna last.  I mowed my lawn and I hurt all over.   My system is just too sensitive right now.  I easily get achy.   Everyone tells me to take it easy and not do so much so soon.   but I have a life to live.  I can’t just sit around.   These after effects are reeking havoc on my body.  If it doesn’t get better over the weekend, I’m calling the doctor on Monday.    I just hurt. 

Aug. 28 –  Monday.   This morning I contacted my oncologist.   It’s very painful for me to move.   I feel like I’m 90 years old.   I can’t get out of bed in the morning without every bone in my body hurting.   Something isn’t right.   This shouldn’t be happening.   No one said this is how I would feel 😣  It hurts to move about and it hurts to rest.   I have a hard time getting in and out of the car and same thing with my bed.   Even to change positions while I’m in bed hurts.  The walking that I’m doing doesn’t seem to be helping.    It must be a reaction to coming off of chemo, it has to be.   Every day it gets worse and tylenol is not helping at all.   It’s joint and muscle pain and it’s all over.   I can’t make a fist without pain or grab my steering wheel when I drive.  It feels like an arthritis type of pain but its everywhere.   Resting is so uncomfortable and painful.   I know I probably sound like a broken record but my body hurts.  😔😢   To my oncologist,  “what is wrong and what can I do or take to get some relief?”  He doesn’t think that my symptoms are related to the cancer or the chemo.  All of the chemo should be out of my system by now.    What I’m experiencing is not a normal reaction.  I should be feeling better by now not worse.   He gives me yet another prescription, a pain killer, percocet 💊.   Yes, my pain is that bad.   I also need to see my primary to discuss the pain issues I’m having.   If it doesn’t get better by next Monday, I need to go in and see him.  One of my Aunties thinks I have ‘acute summer arthritis’.   I have never heard of this.  I guess the heat and humidity cause joint and muscle flare ups.   Sounds like what I have.  Anyway,  I hope this gives me relief even though I’m not happy, it’s such a heavy medication.   I guess, if it’s gonna help me.    Today is my older brothers’ birthday and I wanted to make him a bunch of goodies.  He likes sweets.   I couldn’t,  I’m just in so much pain, I’m miserable  😔   Happy Birthday brother,   I’ll get to it when I feel better. 

  I leave to get my prescription.   I take one as soon as I get home.   I hope these work.   About a 1/2 hour later,  wow,  I can actually move like a normal person.    I can bend my fingers without having so much pain and my knees feel better.   Looks like it worked.   Nighttime – I feel super relaxed.  I really needed this.  I’ve been in physical pain for 3 weeks.   Maybe it’ll knock me out and I’ll sleep like a baby.   Middle of the night – I’m wide awake  😳 👀 I can’t sleep for the life of me.   The pain killer took my pain away but it left me wired.   I’m not bouncing off the walls but I’m not tired at all.   That means I’ll be exhausted in the morning 😩   I just can’t seem to win at all.   

Aug 30 –   The pain meds have been working quite well that I didn’t even realize I had a kidney stone till I passed it. 


 If anyone has ever had one of these then you know how painful them suckers can be.    Imagine not knowing you even had one til it popped out?  Yeah, that was me.   Didn’t feel it til it was in my bladder.   The last time I had one of these little assholes,  I ended up in the ER with excruciating pain and a visit that lasted 8 hours.   That’s when it took 6 pain killers for me to even get relief.   This time, I didn’t feel pain at all.   Maybe my pain tolerance is coming back since I finished chemo OR maybe its just the percocet.  I am taking those 2 times a day.   I guess it’s a good thing I didn’t agonize over this one.   But it is the 2nd time this year I have gotten one.  I never get them more than once.   I get 1 like every 2 years.   Good thing it’s out though.    Because I can’t deal with physical pain, a kidney stone AND surgery on top of that.   A person can only take so much.   sheesh.   

 Clara Sue sent me this cuz I’ve been losing my patience with everything and everyone.   Haha.  I thought it was funny.   Yup, that pretty much sums it up.   Short fuse these days.

Getting mad


Surgery day!!! 

 Sept, 1  –   Clara Sue is on her way.   She is going with me to my appts.   She will be there for my surgery.   Today I won’t be able to walk with Dominic to the bus stop cuz I have to be at the imaging center soon.   Time to start my long day.  Phase 2 of my journey, here we go.   I’m not nervous or anxious at all.   Doesnt even seem like I’ll be in surgery here in the next few hours.   It just feels like a regular day.   I still woke up with aches but I didn’t take any meds cuz I will be given some before and during surgery.  I was hoping I wouldn’t feel this way but no such luck.   I guess I’m gonna have to deal with both, body aches on top of surgery. 

 Ok, we’re here at the imaging center for my wires.   Let’s see how it goes.   I need to be at the hospital by 10:45, It’s 7:30, there’s plenty of time.  Besides, how long can getting wires take?   I change and I’m taken back to a room.   Clara Sue had to stay in the waiting room.   Yuck, it looks like I’m getting another mammogram.   They need to use the mammy machine to do my wires.   They better not squeeze too hard.   They get the image/measurements from my MRI up on the screen.   Now it’s time for some numbing medicine.  Hopefully this won’t hurt.  I’m trying not to get inside my head and it seems like I’m doing a pretty good job.   I’m still not nervous at all, even after looking at the wires they will be inserting.   The gauge doesn’t seem too thick but they are long, at least 12 inches.   Okay,  time to get my boobs in the machine.  One at a time.   They start with my right one.   On this image, you can see the titanium clip.   It’s a bit blurry and tiny but it’s there. 


Titanium clip


If anyone ever gets a biopsy on her boobs, you can bet you’ll have one of these inserted.   It’s to mark the area that was biopsied.   If everything turns out fine, the clip will stay in there forever.    If there is malignancy, the clip will come out when surgery is done.   So, it is safe for me to say that this little clip will come out in just a few hours.   I’m positioned for the machine.   This time I will sit in a chair and just kind of rest my breasts’ (one at a time) in the machine, while the tech inserts the wires.   I am given shots of lidocaine 💉 in my right breast.   She waits awhile for it to take effect.   They have plenty of lidocaine for me just in case I will need more.   It could be painful, so they are prepared in case it is.   They sterilize the area with iodine.  After that part is done, I look like I’ve been brutally beaten.   Now for the wires.   Yikes.   I hope this part goes smoothly. 

Geez, that took FOREVER!  Trying to get my breast in the right position to get the wire exactly where it needed to be, took an eternity.   Talk about not being able to move at all.   Just for that one side, it took over an hour.    I didn’t feel anything.   No pain or discomfort at all.    Now I have a wire sticking out.   Great.   Its looks painful, but it really isn’t.    The images below may be a bit graphic for some.   



If you look closely, you can see the thin wire sticking out.   The doc will coil it up and put some tape over it so it is not yanked out.   Now time to get the other side prepared and sterilized.   This side seemed to take longer.  There weren’t any issues but they just had a hard time getting the right area.  It is almost 10.  This is taking longer than I thought.   I need to check in at the hospital at 10:45 and I’m not even done here.   Time for the left side.    Again no pain at all but that took a very long time.    



Again, you can see the thin wire.   You can also see the scar from my chest port.   Today that will come out.  Yay!!!   If my surgeon can get it out from my breast incision, she will.  If not, she will have to reopen the port area and remove it from there.    My poor girls,  they’ve been so violated and tortured this whole year.   They can’t wait to get a break.   But it’s not over yet.    I’m headed to another room to get the dye for my lymph nodes.   This part shouldn’t take long at all.   That’s what they said.   We walk down the hall and into the radioactive room.    Yowzer, they weren’t kidding when they said radioactive.   Nuclear medicine.   



This area is under lock and key.   In we go.   The radioactive dye is in an airtight chamber.  *when tech takes it out, with another key*   holy shit!!!   That looks like a pipe bomb.   What exactly are they giving me?!?!   She opens it up and takes out a small syringe.    phew. . . that was a relief.   It’s just a normal size syringe.   I’m given more lidocaine for this injection.   This too, shouldn’t hurt at all.   The injection site for this will be close to my armpit.  This dye will light up my lymph nodes that are to be removed.    Injection is given.   Nope,   no pain.    That was easy.   I’m all done.  I’m given the images so I can take with me to surgery.   I can head on over to change and be off to the hospital.   

Well, at the moment I am WIRED AND RADIOACTIVE!!!   Everyone stay clear of me.   Its a good thing I don’t have any hair or this may have happened.   


Clara Sue and I are headed to the hospital  🏨  This phase took so long that we have 10 minutes to get there.    Boom. . . we showed up right on the dot.   We go inside, i get checked in and now we wait.   Dang, I’m starving and can’t have anything to eat.    I’m called in to the back.    A nurse is waiting for me.    She asked if Clara Sue was my mother, and because of how we are, we cracked jokes.   Clara Sue –  “no, I’m just stalking her.”   Me – “yeah,  I have no idea who she is, she’s been following me around all morning.”  😂 😂,  the nurse wasn’t up for shits and giggles.   She was not impressed at all.   Geez, lady,  lighten up.   Who pee’d in your Wheaties this morning?  Damn.   I’m going through surgery here in a few, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wise cracks to lighten up the mood.   We thought it was funny.   Good thing she was only escorting us to the prep area.   She had a horrible attitude 😡

 I get to my bed/room.    I change and wait.   Now an onslaught of questions.   How many times do we have to go over the same things? ?   My IV is prepped.   Getting poked again.   Surgeon comes in.   She is very pleased with how the wires came out.   The surgery team comes in to introduce themselves.   They’re all very nice.   Surgery will be about 2 – 2 1/2 hours.  All my vitals are checked.   They’ll be back to roll me out.   Surgery will be at 12:45.   Almost as if on cue, here they all are to roll me back.   The anesthesiologist gave me the first injection 💉 through my IV.   She said the next one that she gives me will knock me out.   They get ready to wheel me out.   I turn to Clara Sue and told her, “I’ll see you when I get back.”   As I did that, for a moment, I saw my Mama sitting there ❤, not Clara Sue.    I started to tear up and get emotional.   I thought I was gonna start crying.   Just then, I was given the next sedative 💉.   My eyes rolled with a heaviness and before we got to the end of the hall,  I was out.   


And I’m off to never neverland . . . . . . . . . . .





The leap of Faith

Aug. 4  

Day after my last chemo.  Believe it or not I slept very well last night.   Today is my official last day of work for a while.   I only need to put in a few hours than I can take my time off and concentrate on me.   I need rest and lots of it.  I feel like I need to go into hibernation.   I’ve been running on fumes these past months and I really need a break. 

My day at work flew by and it was over before I knew it.   I felt some relief when I clocked out and left.   No one at work really knows that I’ll be out.   I’ve told a few that I’m taking vacation but they think it’s only for a week.   After work I left and went to the district office to submit the rest of my paperwork.   I have no idea how all of this is even going to turn out.    I don’t know if my time off will be approved.   I don’t know how things are going to be financially.   I don’t know how my results are going to turn out when I do my MRI or how surgery is going to be.  I don’t know anything at this point.   So, I’m taking the leap of faith.   I’m putting it all in Gods hands once again.   I’m one of those persons that has always said,  “things will turn out as they should.”   I suppose they will, even this time.   They always have in the past.   I stress out about it for awhile but in time it always turns out how it should have.  I’m putting all my eggs in one basket,  So I hope and pray it turns out for the best. 


What a relief to be out of work!!  Mentally and physically. . . phew  


Looking back at how I did things,  I’m so glad I did it the way I did.  Keeping my circle (support system) small.  Waiting to tell everyone was the best thing for me.   Some people may not agree with that and that’s okay but it was MY choice.   It was my choice to deal with it privately.   Everyone has a choice and this was mine.   I didn’t have that added stress of different opinions.  I was able to deal with it peacefully.   Not gonna say it wasn’t stressful trying to keep my life as normal as possible and I’m not gonna say the rest of my people wouldn’t have been supportive, because they have.  But. . . . I’ve had a couple of people say that I shouldn’t have gone through chemotherapy.  I’ve also had some tell me not to go through radiation, it’s the worst thing for me.   Try taking this or drink that.   Don’t eat this anymore.  Take better care of yourself.  WHAT THE HECK?!?!?!  😠   Let me be.   Let me do what I  think is best for me.  What my medical team says is best for me.   If it’s going to save my life than I’m all for it.   Still, I don’t like what I’ve had to go through or what I still need to go through,  but like I said before,   my life and my son are worth all the hell I’ve had to endure.  What worked for someone else may not work for me.   This is what I didn’t want to deal with.  This was the reason I wanted privacy.   I did’t want that added stress.   I wanted peace and I still want that.   Please respect that.   Unless I share it with you,  I don’t wanna talk about it.   Yes, ask me how I’m doing,  I’ll tell you and if I want to share more, I will.   Besides, I AM sharing it all with you.  right here, right now.  I am telling you how I’m doing and how I feel.  This is my sharing spot, my therapy, my release.   In person or anytime,  I want things to be as normal as possible.  Don’t treat me like I’m fragile, I won’t break.   I’m still silly ole me 😜 with a great big heart ❤ and one that is OH SOOOOO HAPPY  that I’m DONE with chemotherapy!!!    ahhhhhhhh     The relief mentally feels amazing!!!  😃  I CAN’T WAIT to physically start feeling better.   Hopefully a week from now when my body realizes it is no longer getting pumped with poison, things will go back to normal.  I’ll start feeling better, sleeping better, being able to taste my food.   Soon I hope my mouth sores go away.  It’s been almost 8 weeks straight that I’ve had those 😩.  I haven’t lost anymore weight.  It is holding steady.   But all together, I lost 17 pounds.   I can’t wait to have my energy and my strength back and to be able to do things without getting breathless and worn out.   I can’t wait to take vitamins!!!  I have’t been allowed to have those during chemo. 

 There are sooo many things that I can’t wait for!!! 


 Monday, Aug 7 – MRI 

 Today I go in for my ultrasound and MRI.   Gonna check to see if the chemo zapped it completely.  I sure hope it did and they don’t see anymore cancer.   My oncologist no longer feels a lump but there could be minute cancer cells left over. 

 (praying 🙏) 

MaryBeth is here with me today.   The support she has given me is amazing.  It’s like having a sister.  It’s wonderful!    I change and wait to be seen and watch as MaryBeth works on a blanket.  She’s GREAT at making blankets and quilts, that’s her hobby.   We talk like if we’re not even waiting at a Dr’s office.   I don’t feel nervous or anxious but we’ll see how I feel when I get called in. 

Time for the ultrasound 

I get the same tech that I got back in February at the beginning of all of this.   I really like her.   She begins her procedure.   The ultrasound wand doesn’t hurt like before when she puts pressure.   There is no pain at all.  That’s a good indication.  Before it used to hurt SOOO bad.   She carefully goes over the area.  I hadn’t looked at the monitor at all until she mentioned she couldn’t see anything.   The last time, the image scared me, so I was afraid to look.   So, when I finally did take a look at the monitor the only thing you could see, barely, was the tiny titanium clip they had inserted months ago for my biopsy.   The mass from before wasn’t there.   She called in the doctor to take a look at it and confirm,  it was all clear.   No signs at all of cancer.     YESSSSS!!!!!!   

Even though the ultrasound produced no signs of cancer, I still need to be seen for an MRI.  They want to be sure.  They want a more closer, detailed imagery before they give me the green light.  So, here I go to get prepped for the MRI.   Back into the noisy machine I go.   This time they have me in a really awkward position and it’s really cold in here.   Oh well, whatever it takes.  It’ll be about 15 minutes. . . . . . . . . .

All done.  They send me back out to a room to wait for the doctor with results.  I asked them to call in MaryBeth so she can be with me when I get my results.   After a few moments, the doctor comes in and also the ultrasound tech.   He gives me my results.   ( deep breath )   The MRI didn’t detect anything.   It was all clear.   There were no visible signs of cancer cells.   He began to tell me that I had responded very well to the chemotherapy treatment and that it did what it was supposed to do.  It was gone.   The only thing that they could see was the clip.  I started to tear up.   With a knot in my throat I asked him,  “So, there is nothing there?  It’s all gone?”  Him – “Yes, it’s all gone”.    Me, choked up – “Really?  you don’t know how long I’ve been needing good news.”   Him –  “yes, I know.   Congratulations.”   (he was the one who did my MRI in the beginning when I first got my news, so he knows)  Me – “Thank you, I needed this.”     Him ( handing me kleenex ) –  “good luck with the rest of your journey.” 

They left the room to give me a moment.   MaryBeth hugged me and I started crying.   I needed this.   I got good news,  I really got good news.   After a few minutes, I changed and we left.  As we were walking out, one of the receptionists that I have come to know, asked how it went.    I gave her a thumbs up and told her, “good news”   She came over to give me a hug and wish me the best of luck.   MaryBeth and I started to leave but we ended up sitting in the lobby for a good while absorbing my good news.   She was in tears.   She was very happy for me but I think at the same time she was heartbroken.   This was bittersweet for her.    She lost one of her sisters to breast cancer.  The very same kind that I had.   She went through all of her treatments but didn’t get the ‘good news’ in the end.   So, this hit home for her.  It opened and old wound that didn’t have a good ending.   So, she was very happy, yet very sad.  We talked for a good while longer.   A part of me was in disbelief.   I have been so scared for months, it was hard for me to be happy.  Yes, don’t get me wrong, I was happy but I had a very hard time expressing it and feeling it.   Is that weird?   Is it even normal?   Even though I had tears in my eyes it felt like my emotions, my feelings, were shut off.   I’m not sure what I feel.  We hugged, walked out to the parking lot and got in our separate vehicles.  We didn’t come together. 

  So, here I am, once again, sitting in my car.   This time with the news that my cancer is gone.   It is really gone.  I am trying really hard to absorb this good news.   6 months ago,  I was sitting here, in my car trying to come to terms with the diagnoses they had just given me.   How crazy and unpredictable life can be.  Cherish it always.  The good, the bad and even the horrible. 

 I got home and one by one started telling my loved ones.  I didn’t make this public, I only told my circle.   Oddly, as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t get excited about it.   I should be doing cartwheels and jumping for joy.   Instead, I feel numb.  There is no excitement in me.  I think I’m afraid to be happy.  I’m afraid to feel happy for fear of jinxing it.   For fear of being let down.   That’s the best I can explain it.  Maybe it hasn’t hit me yet.  Maybe when Dominic gets home from school and I tell him my good news, I’ll feel this excitement.   I know he’ll be happy.  But why does it all seem like a blur?  Why does it seem like I just woke up from a horrible nightmare and the past months never happened?   How come I feel this way?   Looking back, none of it seems true.   I don’t know what’s going on.   My heart and my mind are at an impass.   They are not connecting. 

 Later that evening, I text MaryBeth,  “did today really happen?  Did I really get that good news I’ve been waiting for?”   Her – “Yes, it’s true, it happened.”   How come I don’t feel it?  How come I’m not as happy as everyone else, that I’ve told, is?   I hope the Good Lord doesn’t think I’m being ungrateful.   Because I’m not, I am grateful.  I’m glad to be at this point.   My son was relieved and happy.  It’s been hard for him too.    I just feel disconnected.    It hasn’t sunk in.   

 I’m having some hard days.  Saturday, 2 days after my last chemo, I felt great.   Yesterday and today, my body hurts.  It feels heavy.   There’s a heaviness.   I almost feel depressed, even with the good news I just received.   Yesterday I was sooo tired, I layed around all day.   I’m having such a hard time wrapping my mind around all the events that have happened.   I’m trying to be happy,  I am thankful but it’s hard to come off of months of chemo, get good news and try to get back to a normal life.   I’ve had highs and lows all week.   I wonder if other women feel this way??  Tammy says this is exactly how she felt.   It’s just a combination of everything.   No one realizes just how much the effects of chemo have on our bodies.  It is literally poison that helps to kill the cancer.   I think my mind and my body are just so tired,  exhausted from everything.    I should be ecstatic.  I’ve finished chemo and I am still alive.   Instead I feel down and my body hurts.  My emotions are all over the place.   I cried in the doctors office and came home as if nothing even happened.    I’ve been waiting for that deep exhale, that release.   It hasn’t happened.  I feel that when it does, I’m just gonna have a breakdown.  I really need that good cry out.  I’m just having a hard time.   When will everything go back to normal?  

My surgery consult is scheduled for next week. 

 Even though my ultrasound and MRI showed nothing, I still need to go in for surgery to remove (scrape out) any remaining debris and the ’tissue bed’ where the lump was.   It needs to be tested for any lingering cancer cells that weren’t caught by the chemo, if any.   

Aug 11 –  Today has been 1 week and 1 day post chemotherapy.  I’m hoping that once my body realizes it won’t be getting hacked anymore, things will get better.   My veins are gonna feel relief that they don’t have to get poked anymore.  This will be the first week since March that they don’t get poked on a weekly basis.   My arms can heal.  I look like a druggie 😜💉  My hair will start to grow from this peach fuzz.  I’ve lost my eyebrows 😢 and my eyelashes are thinning badly.  This for me is very upsetting.   I don’t like it  *sigh*  I still have mouth sores and my feet are still tingly.   The hot flashes are still brutal for me.  I can’t wait for the weather to cool down.  I love fall.   Soon, I hope, all of that will be a thing of the past. 

 I got this pain in my left knee, right at the bend.   I’m not sure what brought it on.  Maybe I tweaked my knee or something.   It hurts a bit.   I’m sure it’ll go away.   

On a brighter note,  my time off from work got approved.  Yes!!  That is a relief.   It got approved til Nov. 1.   That will give me enough time to get through surgery and radiation.   Also, my bank is gonna bend a little with my finances.   Phew!  Oh and I can finally start taking vitamins!!!   woo hoo.  You know how excited that makes me?  I can start building up my energy.   My body has been so deprived. 

I registered my son this week for school.   I officially have an 8th grader!  He starts next Monday.    I’m so hurt our summer was robbed and we didn’t get to do anything.  I always felt like shit and worn out.   I’m not ready for him to go back to school and neither is he.   I get time off and he goes back.   Not fair.   

Aug 14 – My son goes back to school  ☹  and I will be all by myself.   I guess I’ll just rest up.   This pain in my knee has not gone away.   I wonder what I did to it?  I can’t bend it or try to get down on it.  It hurts.  I love to sit like a little girl, in a pretzel or bring my knees up to my chest.   I can’t do that anymore and I can’t tuck that leg under me.   hmmmm. . . what the heck?!?! 

Tuesday – This pain in my knee is not getting better.   I’m starting to limp on it when I walk and it hurts me most in the morning when I get out of bed.  Did I twist it?  Or am I getting arthritis in it?  I think I’m starting to feel it in my other knee as well.  What is going on? 

I’m starting to feel achy throughout my body.  I think my body is just sooo tired from being attacked.   I’m starting to feel all the aches now.   My ankles hurt, the bottoms of my feet hurt, especially in the morning.  That’s when it’s the worst.  By the afternoon, after my body has warmed up, it mostly goes away.   I walk my son to the bus stop in the morning and again in the afternoon I wait for him, so I am getting exercise.   It’s that morning walk that’s hard for me. 

My older brother Jake came over to help me clean up some of the yard.   I haven’t worked out in the yard this year but a bit here n there.   It’s thrashed.  Everything is so overgrown and bushy.   It looks horrible and I don’t like it.   Now that chemo is over and I start getting energy, I want to clean the yard, get rid of shit and also attack my house.   We spent 2 days cleaning some of it but I have such a big yard, it’s gonna take a few more days.  We pruned, raked, cut down branches, threw away trash and old stuff, you name it.   I tried my best to help as much as I could but my energy level still isn’t there.   I got tired very easily and it is really hot out.   We didn’t finish but we put in a good dent.   I’ll get to the rest of it when I can. 

 The following day, I almost couldn’t move.   My hands hurt.   It must be from the pruning and the shovel.   It doesn’t help that I have pain in my knees and it seems to be spreading.   I knew this would make me more sore but I wanted to get it done.   It’s my fault.  My body isn’t ready for this kind of work but I wanna get it done.  I have a bad habit of pushing myself way too hard.    I really paid for it.   

Aug 18th – Surgery consult

Clara Sue and I come for my surgery consult.   It has been nice not having to come up here for a couple of weeks.  The doctor does a breast exam.  Then, she goes over my ultrasound and MRI images.   She is very pleased with what she sees.   So, she went on to explain the surgery I will need.   Since I was negative on the genetic test that I had taken in February, I get to keep my boobs.  I do not need to have them removed.  However,  I will need surgery on the right breast to remove any remaining debris.   I will also need surgery on my left breast as well.   WHAT???   WHY???   When they did the 2nd biopsy in the beginning, I was told I didn’t have anything to worry about.   I didn’t need to worry because that shaded area they had tested was benign.  I have a very tiny benign lump on my left breast.  I did not know this.   She wants to have it removed because over time it could change from a benign lump to a malignant one.   Wow.   She is also going to remove a couple of lymph nodes from under my right armpit.  She needs to remove the Sentinel and axillary nodes (3).   They don’t have cancer but she wants to remove them.  Okay, so that is 3 surgeries all at once.   Not what I was expecting at all.   We start setting it up.  She is NOT pleased that it took so long for me to be seen by her.   That is how I was scheduled.  She said they screwed up and I should have been in sooner and my surgery already scheduled.   There is a timeline that they like to follow and I was already beyond that.   I should be having surgery now and because of this delay and her upcoming vacation, she can’t get me in until Sept 22.    *gulp*   what?  That’s a month away.  I don’t want to wait that long.   Honestly, I’m afraid to wait that long.  I don’t like this.   I asked her if it was dangerous for me to wait that long.   She didn’t like it either.   She asked if I would like to be seen by another surgeon who could possibly get me in sooner.   I didn’t know this other surgeon.   I really like the one I have now.  She’s been with me from the beginning but she did say that if she was having surgery, she would want her to do it.    That made me feel better and I agreed.   The doctor would be on vacation for 2 weeks and she didn’t have an opening in the ER till Sept 22.   Also, that is the anniversary of the day I lost my Mom.   I DID NOT want to be in surgery on that day.  So, she set me up to see the other surgeon.   I see her on Monday.   Because of this delay,  I have to wait 4-6 weeks before I can do radiation and I’ll probably have 4 weeks of that.   So, we’re looking at almost Thanksgiving or Dec before I’m all done.   *sigh*   They weren’t lying when they initially told me I would have a long year. 

Aug 20 – I really need to get out of dodge.  So, I was happy when my brother and I decided to go to the ranch.   We have a ranch in Ponderosa.  It’s in Northern New Mexico.   My Dad is from there.  Someday, we’d like to build a cabin up there and have it as a getaway whenever needed.   There is nothing like the mountains.   I have so been needing fresh, mountain air and to get away from the city.   I think it would do my son and I some good.   To break away from the daily routine and a change of scenery. 

 It’s beautiful here.  *inhaling*  ahhh,  smell that.  No pollution at all.  It smells clean, fresh and inviting.  It’s a bit chilly but warm at the same time, if that makes any sense.   We took us a nice good walk around the mountain and contemplated where and how we would like to do things when we start.   Some of the fence around the property was a bit damaged where the elk try to run through.  We wanna put up a pipe fence.  I haven’t been up here in a long time and I have really missed it.   It’s super peaceful and relaxing. 





 Dominic really enjoyed it and says, “Gosh it is so beautiful here!   How come we don’t come here more often? I love it here.”  I felt guilty.   Other than my current situation, I didn’t have a good answer for him.   We had packed some food to have a picnic out in the wilderness.  It was wonderful!!  I can’t wait to have a place up here to come to.  Surprisingly,  I was able to do a good walk up and around the mountain.   There is a portion (not pictured) that has a pretty good incline.    That was hard for me but I did it.   My aches and pains don’t make it any easier but I feel I have a bit more energy, not much.   I didn’t feel like I needed to pass out but I did need to go at it slow.   We spent a few more hours there then packed it up and came home.   I can’t wait to go back but I wanna be done with everything before I do.    Back to the city.    I really needed to get away even if it was just for a day. 

Monday 21st – My aches and pains are getting worse.   Maybe I over did it with the yard and all the walking I did yesterday.   Can’t worry about that now I have an appointment with the other surgeon.   I didn’t ask anyone to come with me today, so this will be the 1st appt I have been to by myself since Feb.  I’ll be alright.   I am a bit nervous.   The new surgeon comes in.   She is very nice.   I like her a lot.   She goes over all of my information and my images and what my other surgeon had in her notes.  She really explained the surgery to me in great detail and I got a better understanding of what to expect.   She looked at her O.R. schedule and has an opening on Sept. 1, if I’m interested.  I don’t know anything about her but I really like her.  I got a good vibe from her.   Surgery would be next Friday,  eek.   I take another leap of faith and agree to switch over with her.    I get scheduled for Friday, Sept 1.   for a partial mastectomy (lumpectomy)  of my right breast, surgery on my left, my lymph nodes and to have my chest port taken out.   Yay!!!   I finally get to have that chest port out.   I’m gonna look like a mummy after I’m done with that surgery.  That’s 4 they’ll need to do.  sheesh.   Since I’m already here she immediately sends me for an EKG.   After all the chemo I had she needs to be sure my heart is healthy enough for surgery.   So, I get to do that.   Today is the solar eclipse and I’m gonna miss it cuz I’ve been here and I have another impromptu appointment.   Oh well, this is more important but I would love to see something that hasn’t happened in YEARS!! 

I get my EKG and instructions and check in for surgery.   My heart is still beating like a champ.  There was no damage from the chemotherapy.  YAY!!!    It’s great to know my heart is still healthy.    Getting damage to the heart from chemo is a big risk.    There are a lot of things I need to get done medically before next Friday.   It’s a relief to know surgery is coming soon.   I’ll feel a lot better mentally knowing the rest of that crap, if any, will be scraped out.   My chest port will come out and all I’ll need after that is radiation.   This whole journey is getting closer to completion.   The one thing I’m not gonna like is not being able to get in the pool.  After surgery, I’m not allowed to swim or soak in water for 2 weeks.   Awe man!   I have really enjoyed the pool.   It washes away my worries and helps me feel better physically.   When I’m in the water my aches and pains go away.   Of course it wears off after I get out but it does help to loosen my muscles and joints.   

Well for now the ball is rolling again.  Here we go with phase 2 of my journey.   I’m still waiting patiently to feel better.  This Thursday, it’ll be 3 weeks since my last chemo.  Soon I’ll start posting pics of the growth of my hair.   My fuzzies are starting to strengthen up and my mouth sores have FINALLY gone away!!   Good Lord!  I had them suckers for 8 weeks straight.   All of my eyebrows are gone and I’m horrible at drawing them in.   I never draw in my eyebrows, never had to.   My eye lashes are down to a slim number.  Good news,  I haven’t lost any more weight. I am still holding steady.   I’m still waiting for the day to feel like ‘me’ again.   I thought I would feel good by now but it’s taking longer than I thought.  The chemo should already be out of my body.   My feet are still very tingly.  Guess it’ll take some time for the neuropathy to get better too.   It’s been nice not having to stress out about work and I’m home when Dominic leaves and gets home from school.  He loves that.   My food is tasting so much better, my taste buds are coming back and it doesn’t hurt to eat anymore.  I’ve been getting better sleep but nothing to get too excited over.   I could still use more.   Don’t know what’s up with these aches and pains but I keep telling myself maybe tomorrow it’ll be better.   I sure hope so.  I just wanna feel good.    I know I’ll get there. . . . .  Someday.



Once again, appointments are getting shoved down my throat!!  😔





The light at the end of the Tunnel

Today is the day!!   

Aug. 3 –

As I get myself going and get ready, I’m as calm as can be.   Today is my last chemotherapy infusion.   Wow!!  It feels like it’s been a long time comin’.  From March when I started til now.  What a crazy, horrible journey.   A journey that has had so many ups and downs.  Frustrations, madness, and so many other emotions.  Sometimes you don’t realize the strength you really have til it’s put to the test.  This has surely tested me.   It has tested my strength in every way, my faith and everything that makes me, me.  I didn’t realize how strong I’ve become.  It has definitely changed me.    It hasn’t changed who I am in my heart, but I believe it has made me a better person.   I see so many things differently.   I see things more clearer.   I feel a whole lot deeper.   I’m more gentle with how I speak.  My heart feels like it’s opened up wider and bigger.   I keep thinking a lot about that saying, “don’t sweat the small stuff.”  That is the truth.  When you’re faced with this kind of obstacle,  the small stuff I used to fret over doesn’t even matter.  Be thankful, ALWAYS. 

 During this course of treatment I have found out which friends are truly there to stick their neck out for you.   It’s amazing the ones that have stepped up to the plate.  I am truly grateful for friends like them.   

My nephew is here to stay with my son.  I’m waiting on Brittany and Clara Sue.   The 3 of us are going to my appt. together.   The rest of my crusaders, hopefully show up later.   I told them that they didn’t have to be there for the whole thing but I wanted them there when I finished and rang the bell.  That is important for me.   We did this together.   They were all there for me in some way, shape or form.   

Amazingly,  I slept pretty good.  I thought that I was going to be wide awake and anxious with thousands of thoughts going thru my mind about today.   I hope it turns out how I see it in my mind.   Ever since I posted my news on social media, which was just last night,  I have gotten tons of support.  Lots of messages with kind thoughts and words. 

My appt is at 11.   By 3, I hope to be done.   Tonight I can sleep with the fact that this part is all over.  I made it through and now I can start the healing process.  I can start building myself back up.   I’ve been knocked down so many times through this process, I can’t wait to go up.  It can only get better from here, right? 

Brittany is here.   She took the day off of work (we work together)  just so that she could be there for me today.   That just touched my soul.  It means so much.   She’s like a little sister to me.   It makes me happy the love and support I’ve received.   It feeds your strength.  It’s soul food.   Clara Sue gets here and we get ready to leave for my final visit.   Eeeekkk.   I think I’m gonna get emotional.   I hope my nephew and my son show up later.  They just have to be there.  Dominic won’t be allowed to the back ( infusion )  but I hope he can be there when I ring that bell.  I don’t wanna do this without him. 

We get to the cancer center and don’t even have to wait.  We barely had a seat in the waiting area when they came out to get me.   It was before 11.   Wow, maybe this will go quick!  I get weighed in, vitals taken, and we’re ready to get started.   I get my usual window seat.   Maybe the dove will come visit me for good luck.    It’s a beautiful day outside.   My mood is fantastic.   I already feel relief and I’m not even done.    Just knowing that the end of this part has come has been a huge burden taken off of my shoulders.   

As Brittany and Clara Sue leave to get us lunch,  Lisa, (my oncology nurse) talks to me about the journey I have overcome as she hooks me up for the last time.   She reminds me that the hardest part of this will be over soon.   The rest of my journey won’t be this bad.  I’ll breeze right through it.   I’ve done so well even though the side effects have been a nightmare.   I really hope the rest of it is as simple as they say.   She starts me on my premeds.    Thank the Lord this will be the last time I’ll need those steroids.   I’ve hated those!!! 

Brittany and Clara Sue show up with lunch.   They got Long John Silvers.   They also brought those funny hats.   So, here we are, eating lunch, wearing our silly LJS hats, sitting by the window to look outside for the last time.   The hats were fun.  It’s a good day.  Premeds are done and I’m hooked up to my last chemotherapy.   Lisa tells me,  “1 more hour!”  😀  Yay, I’m getting excited.   I send a text to Penny and tell her, “time to knock this shit out of the park!! ❤ 👊 💪🎀 ❣  Bitch be gone!” 🎀 🎀  I wish she was here.  She’s at work.     

Slowly my crusaders start to trickle in.   Both my brothers are here and Marybeth just showed up with a chocolate turtle cheesecake to die for.  mmmmm   That’s my treat to share with everyone.  My heart stopped and swelled with happiness as my nephew and my son showed up.    *Gasp*   I can’t believe they let Dominic back here!!!   He’s not even allowed and yet, he’s here.   Tears of joy filled my eyes.   He brought me a bouquet of flowers.   I’m sooooo happy he’s here.   Unfortunately, after a few minutes, he was spotted and we got in trouble for having him there.   Children aren’t allowed in the infusion center.   So, they made him leave.  He had to go to the waiting room.  😔 That made me very sad but I knew it would happen.  1/2 hour left.  I was very surprised when Penny and her husband, Manuel walked around the corner.  I started to cry.    I’m happy she made it.   I didn’t think she would be able to.   All of my crusaders are here.   We’re gonna finish this together. 

Everyone took turns going out to the waiting room to sit with Dominic til I was done.  Time is really flying by.  This is going quickly!   I’m almost finished.   Tammy sent me a text and told me to feel every emotion I could feel and to ring the hell out of that bell.   I can’t wait.  I look up at the drip bag on my chemo pole ( I don’t know if I ever told you, I named my chemo pole Joaquin)  it’s almost empty.   eeek.    A few minutes later, the machine starts to ‘beep’.   Indicating that it’s done.  I inhale deeply at the thought of being finished.   Lisa comes to unhook me.   She asked everyone to wait by the bell for me.  Clara Sue and Penny stayed with me while she did this.  When the wires were all off I could feel the emotions rising from the pit of my stomach to my throat.   I gathered my things.  Clara Sue and Penny walked to the front and my brother Jake came to walk out with me.  They’re all waiting for me.  I start to tear up.   As I walk towards them, Lisa says, “before you start to cry, let me get a picture of you holding the bell as if I was gonna ring it.”   We get the picture. 


 Now she wants me to read the poem on the bell.   Oh gosh,  I don’t know if I’ll be able to.  My emotions are on overload.   Here goes.  Deep breath.   *sniff, sniff*



“Ring this bell, three times well,  it’s toll to clearly say.    My treatments done, this course is run and I am on my way.”


After I was done reading it, I paused for a few moments as they all told me to ‘ring it, ring it.”   There are some things I need to say first before I do.  I have to thank my loved ones.   I hope they don’t kick me out.   I look at the bell and turn to my son,   “Dominic, my son,  I ring this bell for you. . . for us.   My brothers,  I know we don’t say this often, but I do love you very much.   My crusaders, Thank you for being with me, I appreciate everything you’ve done.  And Clara Sue, my # 1,  from the very beginning you have never left my side.  Thank you for everything.  You’ve done everything my Mom would have done.  I love you, thank you for that.”    “Ready?”    *ding, ding, ding* 

 I can’t explain the rush of emotions.  For a moment I just stood there til Lisa came to hug me.   I guess a part of me was in disbelief that I finally made it to this point.   I thought I was gonna fall apart and just break down.    I didn’t.  I teared up a bit but that was it.   I surprised myself.   We hugged, took pictures.  I gathered my things and we all walked out. 



My crusaders!


 I’m done,  I’m really really done.   Why does it all seem so unreal?  Did I really just endure the last 5 months?  5 months of hell?  Maybe now I can breathe.   Maybe my life will slowly fall back into place.  I need to decompress.   I  wanna go home with my son.   I don’t want to go have a celebration, not yet.   I just wanna be with my son.   Is that weird, weird that I don’t want to celebrate?  Some of us went back to my house for a while then Dominic and I had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves.  Just what I wanted.  I slowly started to call and text the rest of my family/friends to let them know I was all done.  It is a relief but I really dont feel a whole lot different.   Everything now just seems like a blur.  Like if I’ve been watching it all play out in a movie.   I was waiting for that release of emotions I’ve been needing but it never happened.  I thought I was going to ball my eyes out.  I’ve been holding it all inside for almost half of the year.  I didn’t cry at all.  I almost don’t feel anything.  Is that weird?  I feel like my emotions were suddenly somehow detached.  This isn’t what I expected at all.  I expected just the opposite.   Maybe in time I’ll start to cry it all out.  It needs to come out.  I guess it’s just not gonna happen right away.   Oh well.  We’ll see.   For now,  I’m going to be thankful.    Thankful that I have my life.   Thankful that I’ve conquered this quest and that I had the strength to do it.   I’m gonna close the chapter on this one and hope to never read it again.  New chapters are ahead.  No looking back.   Moving forward.  I’m gonna sleep tonight ready for tomorrow and a new beginning.   I’ve been waiting for this.   Yay me!!!!   I made it!  Thank you Lord!!




I had my hands on that bell, we all rang it together! ! ! !



Ready for a new day, new beginnings! !  ❣  🙂













🎵 It’s a great day to be Alive!🎶

This is a song.  A country song sung by Travis Tritt.   Some of the words are just me.   Not all words pertain to what I’m going through but some do.    Every time I hear it, I think to myself,   “Yes!   It is a great day to be alive!!”  Every day is a great day to be alive.  The chorus seems to say what I feel.  There is a bridge in it that describes what I felt way too many times.  Sitting alone in my room, lonely and desperately shouting out from the inside of my soul.  Smiling on the outside and falling apart on the inside.   Not everyday will be like this.   I know in time it will get better.  I know the sun will continue to shine.   No matter how hard the times are. 

 But there are some good days too.  And today is one of them.  So I’m gonna jot some of these words down and let you listen to the song.  Music soothes my soul.  Some songs just speak to me.  I’ve learned not to take anything for granted.   Yeah, I’m doing alright!


🎵  Yeah I think I’ll make me some homemade soup.  Feelin’ pretty good and that’s the truth.  It’s neither drink nor drug induced.  No, I’m just doin’ alright 🎶

🎼  And it’s a great day to be alive.  I know the sun still shining when I close my eyes.   There’s some hard times in the neighborhood.  But why can’t everyday be just this good?”🎵   

🎵 Sometimes it’s lonely.   Sometimes it’s only me and the shadows that fill this room.   Sometimes I’m falling, desperately calling, howling at the moon.    Ahooooo 🎶





Why can’t everyday be just this good? ?







Faith over Fear



The day is getting sooo close I can almost taste it.  What a journey it has been and one I would never want to do again.  My life has been turned upside down and I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to fix it or get back to where it was. . . I can only hope. 

I have 2 weeks and 2 days left. Yes, I have started counting the days.   I mark them off on my calendar.   I have a big pink ribbon marked on the 3rd.   I can’t wait to put a huge ‘X’ over that date.   Looking back, the time has flown.   But going through it day by day, it has drug like a slow locomotive train.   If that even makes any sense.  My nerves have been very calm.  I’m not over anxious like I thought I would be.  Earlier this month I was so anxious for the end to be near,  I was driving myself bonkers.  I can’t believe how calm I have gotten.   I guess it’s because I have such strong faith.  The day will come.  I know it will.   Lately, I don’t talk about it anymore to my people at work and I no longer stay in my room.  I force myself out of there and to do things with my son.  Regardless of how wiped out and drained I feel.   I don’t want him to feel so overwhelmed and stressed like he did.  That scared me way too much.  

As I prepare for my time off of work, I was slapped with the horrible reality that, ‘I WON’T be able to take time off.’    WTF!!!!  What exactly does this mean?    It means, “you can’t take time off.”    WHATTTTTTTTT?!?!?!?!  😱 😭  I don’t understand!!  Help me understand.  Well, it goes like this.   You don’t have enough hours from your last leave of absence (broken ankle)  for this leave to take place.   Not enough time has passed.  There has to be 12 months in between and you need 1250 hours.   I can’t breathe.  Are you kidding me?!?  I’m lost.  I don’t know what to do.  I have been working all through my chemo (and it hasn’t been easy), from the very beginning of my diagnosis and this is what is in store for me?  I still don’t understand.  I have worked myself to the ground, because I have to.   I am soo worn out, my health is on the line.   I speak to my store director about this.  Me – “There has to be something we can do.  As a 25th year veteran of the company, I believe I am a valued employee.”    Him – ‘Yes! you are!  But some rules I have no control over.”  That’s how our contract is and FMLA.  I can take a chance with time off, but it won’t be secured time off.   In other words,  since I can’t do time off through FMLA, I can take time off but my position won’t be secured nor will my rate of pay or my seniority.   *deep sigh*   😢 Well, who wants to take that chance?   I need my job and of course, insurance, but it’s something he can’t override.   Now what?     Me – “What can we do?  Will you help me figure out something?  I can’t continue working like this.   I’ll never get better.”  Him – “Yes, we’ll figure it out.”  This adds to my already high stress level.   Other than the obvious, there are other stresses.   My bank won’t help to bend my mortgage payments for a few months and other things just haven’t worked out.  I swear, when it rains, it pours.   I’m at such a loss with life.  I don’t know which direction to go.  I almost feel like giving up, but I can’t.  My inner soul (the fighter in me) won’t let me.   I’m so unhappy with how things are going.  There has to be a way out of this whole mess of my life. 

 I leave after my work day is done and head on over to the district office to see what and if there is something we can figure out.  I have a hard time believing that I can’t take the needed time off without consequences.  I didn’t ask for this.   It’s not my fault that breast cancer decided to hit me just a few months after a broken ankle.  What about other people who get very ill multiple times a year and need time off?  What do they tell them?    Too bad??    I refuse to believe that! 

 As we go over the past year of my life and my accumulated hours, we try to figure it all out.   Maybe there is a chance I had enough,  it looks that way.   I sure hope so.   Several calls need to be made out to make sure what the exact rules are for the company.  I will find out soon.  

 I get that phone call.   Nope. . . I don’t have enough hours and 12 months has not passed.  I’m shit out of luck.   What else can I do?    

I keep pushing forward and I continue working.  I’m sooo drained 😥  my only option is to keep working.   I’m so tired of stressing over things.   I don’t wanna stress any more. I want things to go back to normal.

Round 10 – Well, I only have 2 more to go.  I marked another day off of my calendar.  That pink ribbon on the 3rd is getting closer.   The fatigue has been hitting me hard and the stress doesn’t help.   I am not sleeping at all.  I have so much on my mind.  The nueropathy in my feet and hands has gotten bad.  My feet feel swollen but they’re not.  My fingernails have turned an ugly yellowish color and I started getting ridges on them.  They have started to pull away from the skin and I’m afraid I’m going to lose them.  I keep bandaids on them, especially when I’m at work.   On a brighter note, I have fuzzies growing all over my head.  you could never tell though cuz they are baby fine.   But yes, they are there.   The heat has been pure torture for me.   The chemo that I’m getting causes your body temperature to rise.  The hot flashes feel like I’m in the fires of hell and I get those like 15 times if not more a day.   Its a heat that comes from the inside out and just flushes all through me.   Its awful.   I’ve had a hot flash here n there in the past but nothing like these ones.  It’s making me hate summer sooooo bad.   The chemo also causes your pain tolerance to be at an all time low.   No wonder I have been suffering so much with pain.   My eyes don’t get so blurry anymore and my mouth not as dry but I still have those mouth sores and it’s already been a month straight.  None of the mouth rinses help anymore.    Oh the joys of the side effects. 

 I’m off to the district office once again.  This time, I am given some helpful information. I was given a glimmer of hope.   Something called ‘seniority leave.’  As long as I have worked for the company, I have never heard of this.  Yes, it is in our contract.  I read it word for word.   I don’t need FMLA for this.  Really?  *gasp*  I try not to get my hopes up.  Every time I do that, they just get crushed.  So, even though I got a bit of excitement, I’m gonna take this at face value.  But i can’t help but wonder.   Why wasn’t I told this before?   Do you know how much stress this information would have saved me?   Why doesn’t everyone know about this?  All I need is to get a doctors note.   Well guess what?  A doctors note they shall have.  I see my oncologist next week.   I’m going to ask him to take me out of work.    Fingers crossed. 

July 21 – Got up feeling fantastic.  Since I just had a round of chemo the neuropathy has my toes feeling very tingly.   It does help a bit to elevate them.   So,  I’ve been doing that.   This side effect worries me a bit cuz it can turn into irreversible nerve damage.   Ouch, I can’t imagine having that in my feet or my hands all the time.   My energy level is awesome today and my appetite is great.  Ugh,  damn you tongue sores!!  When will you go away?!   And I just wish and wish I could get some restful sleep.  Getting closer 😃 

22th – had another great day!  Again, I just wish I could get some restful sleep.   Running on fumes is getting to be very hard.  The hot flashes are getting worse especially at night.  I run my beanie under cold water and put it back on for some freshness and to cool off.  That seems to help some.  Energy level is still pretty good.  Ran some errands with my son, had lunch and got some ice cream.  We got in the pool for a bit, let the floaty take me around.  Overall, things with chemo are pretty good.  Don’t wanna speak to soon, but I think my tongue sores are trying to go away.  They haven’t been so bothersome and they do feel smaller.  I hope.  I’ve really hated those.  They are so painful 😧  The tingling in my toes isn’t bad at all today.  I barely have any.  I still elevate my feet whenever I can and no tingles in my hands or fingers.   Yay!!! 

 Sunday – 11 more days til the end.    I finally started to slowly pull my favorite customers to the side and tell them what’s been going on with me and that they might not see me for a while.  The ones that I couldn’t talk with, I just got their number to call them later.   Oh goodness!  Were they shocked, some sad but very supportive.   I also started telling a few coworkers.  To this day, still, the only ones who know are the 4 I told at the beginning and the one I told mid way through.   How I’ve managed to keep that secret is beyond me.  It’s allowed me to keep things as normal as possible but the whole charade has been stressful.    I can’t wait for it to be over.   It’s awful when you’re asked how you’re doing in the checkout lane and all you do is smile and say, “I’m doing okay.”  When really, you’re whole world is turned upside down.  I hate how things have been but I’ve managed to keep it together.   

I’ve been tempted to spill the beans to everyone (family & friends) on facebook.  I HAVE NOT mentioned anything or even hinted about my situation over social media.  A huge part of me finally wants to let it all out but that other part of me that still wants peace and privacy keeps me from doing so.   A high school friend posted that she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.   Oh how that broke my heart.   She has such a huge journey ahead of her.   I have so much to share with her but I don’t want to overstep.  If she asks, I’ll share.   I can’t help but think of all the unpleasantness that’s ahead of her.  It saddens me very much.  She will be in my prayers til she makes it to the end.    

My friend Tammy keeps reminding me to take care of myself.  Not just physically but mentally.   She’s always telling me not to forget about my mental health.  That even though I’ve been a tough girl through all of my chemo, my mental  & emotional health could take a beating.  Dealing with cancer, work, family and me (physically & emotionally)  is A LOT.   I told her I was planning on taking myself out of work.  She was happy about that.   She said I needed that time to heal.   I totally agree.   Mentally and emotionally I’ve done very well.  I haven’t fallen apart.  This worries her cuz I haven’t let it out. I haven’t ‘dealt’ with it emotionally.   I’ve kept things bottled up inside.   I may have a hard time later,  like she did.  There’s a chance I might get depressed.   I listen to everything she tells me,  all her advise.   She should know, she went through this herself.    Physically, everything that I’ve gone through with chemo is spot on to what she went through.   So,  naturally, its safe for her to say, I might get effected emotionally as well.   For me, I just don’t see this happening.   I’m too happy of a person to feel depressed.  I just don’t get that down.  I get sad and yes I get down but never enough to say I feel depressed.   But since she put the thought in my mind I can’t help but hope I come out of this journey unscathed.  I hope things go back to normal.  She says things never go back to normal.   It’s a ‘new’ normal we have to get used to.   What does that mean?   A ‘new’ normal?  I don’t want a ‘new’ normal.  I want my regular normal.   How I was before all of this.   The thought stays stuck in my mind.   

26th – Today I feel wrecked.  I’m just over tired.   I have a round of chemo tomorrow and my LAST one next week.  Plus, I see the doc tomorrow for my last examination.   Oh how the days are starting to drag.    I told them at work that my plans are to go out of work on the 31st.  I’m taking the ‘seniority’ leave of absence.   I’ll need to use all of my vacation hours to hold on to my insurance.   Luckily I have 2 months worth.   So at least I know I’ll have insurance for the months of
Aug & Sept.   Hopefully surgery and radiation will be done in that time frame. 

My older brother invited Dominic to go camping.  They’ve been planning for a few weeks.  They leave tomorrow until Sunday.  My son needs this.   He needs some breathing room.  I think he needs space from me.  He sees me struggling on a daily basis and I feel he just needs to get away.  this will be good for him.  They’re going to Heron Lake.  How fun.  I just love camping and being outdoors.  But this damn chemo and effects from it have kept me from doing just that.  But I think I’ll meet them up there on Friday since tomorrow I have chemo.   I’ll go on Friday and come back on Saturday.  If I feel okay.  I want my son to enjoy himself and have the best time.   He needs a fishing license and to pack.  

July 27th –  My son leaves to go camping for the weekend.   Gosh I’m gonna miss him.  I haven’t been by myself this whole summer.  I hope I don’t go out of my mind.  I should be okay.   “Bye my Lovey, have the best time!  I hope to see you tomorrow!!”  😍 😘

Today I see the doctor.   Examination day.   YAY!!!!   Excellent news!   The lump is no longer there.  This news puts me over the moon.  I.am.sooo.excited!!!   This has been the journey from hell.  Oh how I have hated it with a passion but the chemo has done its job.   As horrible as it has all been,  the chemo did what it was supposed to do.  It killed the lump.  I’m so happy I’m almost in disbelief.   Since February, all I have gotten is bad news.   I’ve been praying for this.  I didn’t want to go through this and not come out on the brighter side of things.   I didn’t want to do it for nothing.   Now, I can actually be thankful for chemo.   How odd to really say that.   Oh chemo, you have been such a misery but thank you for killing that lump.  Thank you for giving me some hope to still live.  Thank you for my life.   It was worth it.   You tried to put fear in me but my God is stronger than you,  I chose faith instead.   


 I ask the doctor if he will take me out of work.  He said that I had done so good, why now?  I told him that i was just too worn out.   Too drained and I didn’t want to continue putting myself through that misery during surgery and radiation.   It was time for me.  Time to start healing.  To rest and get better so I can be %100 again.   At first he told me ‘NO’.   lol   he was only kidding.  But he agreed to take me out.   Yay, I got my doctors note.  My return date is Nov. 1.   That should give me plenty of time.   Time enough for surgery, radiation, healing and to get back to ‘me’.  I’m so happy 😃

  I am off to do my 11th round of Taxol with renewed energy.  My ultrasound, mammy and a visit with the surgeon is scheduled for Aug.  What a great day it is.   After my chemo, I was feeling so good Clara Sue and I decided to go shopping.   Hobby Lobby.   Oh Jesus.  I love Hobby Lobby soooo  much,  I need to be kept away from there.  haha.   I need adult supervision in that store.  I need to be held by the hand.   I’ll buy everything even with money I don’t have. . . . .but we went  😛 

It’s been a great day, even though I was by myself for the rest of it.   Think I’ll get some things ready.   I think I will go camping and meet them up there.   It’ll be a boring long drive by myself but maybe it’ll be good for me.  I know getting away certainly will be.  I get my nephew to house/animal sit. 

 ONE MORE TO GO!!!!!   I can’t wait!!   

28th –  I get up and get ready to take off to Heron Lake to meet my brother & fam and my son.  I feel pretty good.  I’m excited.  I can’t believe I am at the point where I can truly say, “I have one more round to go!”   I  didn’t think I would ever get to this point.  When I’m done, that’ll be 16 rounds.  16 rounds of poison that got pumped through my body.   16 rounds that killed everything in me including the good stuff.  But I’m alive.   I’m still here and I hope to be for many more years to come. 

 My nephew comes to house sit and I’m off to the Lake.  Me, myself and I with just my thoughts and good music.  I should get there by 4:30.   2 hours in,  ‘ I am really enjoying this drive’.  It helped to clear my mind.  It helped to push out all the stressful and negative stuff that I’ve been going through.  I love jamming out in the car to good music.  About 20 min to go,  Wow, look at that storm up ahead.   It looks mad and threatening.  I’m gonna drive right into it.  It looks so angry and mean.  The sun went away and it got so dark.  The temperature is really dropping.  It was in the high 90’s went I left.  Now it’s already in the 70’s, geez, what a difference.    I wonder if they’re getting poured on at the lake?   Here come the rain drops.  Okay, now it’s coming down harder.  What the heck,  it’s hailing.   Now I can’t even see.  It’s coming down so fierce with big hail, I’m forced to drive like a turtle.   I can barely see the brake lights of the car in front of me.  This is creepy.  I’ve never been in a rain/hail storm like this.  Good thing I am almost there, I know the turn off is coming up.  I must not have phone service, my brother is not responding.  Or he doesn’t have any.   This is horrible.  The hail is gonna crack my windows it seems like.  The lack of visibility is making is very scary.  Oh good, there’s the turn off, almost there.   Things look familiar.    OH SHIT!!!!!!    I turned on the wrong one.   Couldn’t see the signs at all.   NO NO,  I don’t want to go this way!   I tried to correct myself and turn around.   It was raining so bad that everything was nothing but ugly muck.  As I was turning to correct myself my tires caught the edge of the slippery road and I slid off into the mud/muck.    I slid right off the road.  I can get out, I’ll be okay.   *tires spinning and spinning*    I AM SOOO STUCK and I’m sliding further in.   It’s raining too much.   No one is stopping to see if everything is okay.  They are just driving by.   I call my brother.   No service.   What do I do??   My tires kept spinning and because of that I managed to turn my whole vehicle around, I did a 180.  From one direction to the other.  It’s no use, I’m not gonna get out of here.  I started having a panic attack.  Here I am, a cancer/chemo patient,  in the middle of no where, stuck in the mud on the side of the road (vehicle facing the opposite direction) in the pouring rain by myself with no phone service  😭😭😭   For almost 1/2 an hour I tried to get myself out (only making it worse).   I should already be there.   They’re gonna start to worry.   I started breathing so heavy from the panic I’m surprised I didn’t pass out.  I couldn’t even get out of my car the mud was that deep.  I sent a text to my brother, maybe he’ll at least get that.   “I’m stuck bad, come get me”.    It was no use.   I put the car in park and just sat there.  One by one the cars drove by.   I tried not to think bad thoughts but my mind is an asshole.  What if someone stops and they turn out to be a creeper?  Oh Lord, please help me!  The cars are going East & West, I’m facing South.   No one bothered with me.  This is just like how my life has been going.  Of course I would get stuck.  Nothing outside of chemo has been turning out right.   FINALLY a couple stopped, rolled down their window and asked if I was okay.   I was okay, over stressed and panicked but very stuck.   The man got out, tried to help but I was going to need a tow strap or a chain to get pulled out.   My AWD had failed me.   I was sooo stuck.   When another couple passed in a heavy duty truck and saw the man trying to help, they too stopped.   Luckily, he had a tow strap and by this time the rain had stopped.  My brother responded, he got my text.   He’ll be right there.  I told him some people were trying to help.   The man couldn’t get under my vehicle with the way it was positioned and he was too burely to do so.   His wife was small enough.   She pulled out her rain boots from the truck, put them on, got in the mud and under my vehicle and hooked me up.   Another person stopped and asked if we needed more help.  They got in their truck and pulled me out ‘just like that’.   The other couple hung around to make sure that I was okay.   I was out.   What a relief.   The wife got so dirty and messy but she helped anyway.   Thank you Lord for sending such kind people.   Yes, there are still lots of good ones out there.  I am so grateful.  What an ordeal.   My brother showed up just as they were leaving.  We turned around and went back to the camping site.   They hadn’t had a drop of rain.   Funny how that works.    It could be pouring cats n dogs and just a mile or so away, it’s dry as hell.   Yup, that sounds just like my life.   Exactly!!  We got to the campsite.  Nope,  no rain but it looks like it’s coming.   I had gotten so stressed and panicked that I couldn’t enjoy the rest of the day.   It was passed 5:30, I should’ve been here over an hour ago.  My son got so worried about me.  I did my best to enjoy.  The ordeal left me wiped out.  I was sooo drained.  Why can’t things go right for once???    The outdoors, the smell of rain and the fresh mountain air slowly started to ease my troubled mind but it took forever.   That panic attack I had seemed to settle in my bones.   *sigh*   All I want is to have a good time.   It wasn’t supposed to start off like this 😔  My life’s situation makes it so easy to get stressed and stressed I felt.  I didn’t have the energy for that kind of episode.   Time for a walk.  I need to breathe.  Here comes the rain.  I feel worn out.  Enjoy yourself Lovey, don’t worry about me.  As long as YOU have a good time.   

Earlier in the day he had caught 2 fish.   But one got away and the other was too small so he let him go.   He came out empty handed.  He was bummed out.  Better luck tomorrow. 

29th – Couldn’t sleep worth a darn and it rained good through the night.   The stress from the day before left my body achy and hurting.  I didn’t feel good.  Oh well,  time for breakfast over the campfire and let’s go fishing.   Dominic wants to fish out of the Chama river.   Let’s go!! 

Coopers Ranch – What a great sight.   It’s beautiful here and it smells wonderful!   I love the smell of mountain air.   The sound of the running water from the river is amazing, its so soothing.   I soak it all in.   It makes my soul feel great and the sun is shining.   This is just what I needed.   My brother drove and we all piled in the truck.   So I didn’t need to worry about any mishaps.   On the way here we passed where I got stuck, geez,  what a mess it left.  A road sign is knocked down.   Did I hit that trying to get out??  I don’t remember doing that.   Thinking about yesterday made the stress come back.    I need to focus on the surroundings.    *sucks in breath*  look at the elk.   I love wildlife.   I love the outdoors.  

 Back at the river – We find a great spot.   Man there are lots of people here.   Dominic and my niece get their lines ready and throw them in.   Good luck, I hope you catch something.    Look at the fish jumping up!   It’s like they’re saying, “na-na na-na boo boo, haha, just try and catch me!”



This is how my son catches fish!




What a life! 🙂


He got a couple of bites, but no luck 😦    He was very disappointed.   After a few hours he got tired of not catching anything so we decided to go for a walk.   It was Dominic, my niece and myself along with my nieces’ pup.   We crossed the Swaying metal bridge suspended over the river.  They went first.  I was holding the dog so his paws wouldn’t get stuck and I started to cross.  Holding the dog, I went while they waited for me on the other side.   Oh my goodness!!!   The rapid flow of the river and the swaying of the bridge threw my head in a tailspin. I got soooo dizzy, I thought I was going to pass out and fall right over.  I couldn’t get my bearings.  I thought it was all over.   I was thinking, “I’m going to fall in the river and get swept away”.   That has never happened before.  It was like motion sickness.   It must be all the medication I’m on.  I’m gonna die trying to get across.   I had gotten half way and almost couldn’t go anymore.  It felt like I had made a bad decision.   I can’t believe the way it made me feel, like severe vertigo.   It just wouldn’t stop spinning. After what seemed like forever, I got across.   That was horrible.  It made me feel scared.   I hate all these changes.   I always enjoy stuff like this.   Grateful that the dog and I made it across, I had to sit down and let my spinning mind come to a stop.   Believe it or not, I was afraid to go back.   We climbed up a rock that seemed to take all my energy and just sat there.   What a nice view.  Why can’t I just be able to enjoy things without something to blow out the happiness?    After some time up there we climbed back down.   Geez, that was hard for me.   Now to go back across.  I don’t know if I’ll make it.  This time, Olivia carried the pup and I was able to hold on to the sides with both hands.    Here comes the spinning again.   Oh I hate this.   I made it but again it felt like I was gonna fall right over.   This was a bad idea.  I’m worn out and ready to go back to the campsite.   After my brother had caught some more fish we packed it up and left for a drive.   We went to El Vado Lake just for some sights.  Here come the mean clouds.  Looks like the rain is on its way.   Yup, we drove right into the downpour.  It was just like yesterday but without the hail.  We got to El Vado and just drove around.   After a bit we found such a nice quiet fishing spot down below to maybe check out next time.   It was a bit of a walk down the mountain but it looked perfect.   Everyone started walking down.   I started but only went half way for fear I wasn’t gonna have the energy to walk back up.   How depressing.   It’s depressing when you can’t do the things you’ve always enjoyed.  When you can’t take a walk or hike or climb up a mountain cuz you might not have the energy to make it back.   I started breathing heavy.  As much as I wanted to, I just couldn’t.   I watched from above.  I watched as my son skipped rocks on the lake.   This is heartbreaking.  I want to be involved.   I want to be normal again.  I’m missing out and it’s making me sad 😢  No matter how hard I try, I just don’t have the energy.   I took pictures from afar.    







Walking back up left me spent.   I had the shakes and needed to sit down.  My brother gave me a stick to use for support as I walked back up.   My situation has me miserable.   Next summer I wanna do this all again as a happy, healthy human being.  Where I’m able to have fun and enjoy it and not worry about passing out or not having energy or whatever.   This journey has been the bane of my life.   It has robbed me of so much happiness.   I’ll say it again,   “I can’t wait til it’s all over!!!”  5 more days.   I know the chemo is saving me but I can’t wait for it to be over.   

Back at campsite –   I know my visit was short but I need to leave.   I have work early tomorrow.   And I need to rest.   This took it out of me.  I was planning on leaving and we got hit with a downpour that lasted for a couple of hours.   As I got ready to take off, Dominic decided he was gonna come back home with me.   He got so worried with me getting stuck yesterday, he didn’t want me driving back home alone.   So, he packed his things and came back with me.   I felt like I had ruined his trip.   But we came home.   The 3 hour drive didn’t help but, oh well.    Got home beyond exhausted and I paid for it the rest of the day.    Thought I was gonna sleep like a champ from it all,  nope. . . . couldn’t sleep a wink.   Dominic didn’t say anything and honestly, I think he was happy that he came back with me. 

Sunday – July 30th –   Oh man!!  I got up feeling horrible.  I can’t move.  I hurt sooo bad but I have to go to work.   A few more days.   The day was rough for me.   Talked to a few other customers and told them I’ll be going out of work.   I went home miserable.   A few more days and I’ll be all done.  A few more days and I’ll be out of work.  I am almost there.  I know I can make this to the end.   Can’t quit now, I’ve come way too far.   Thursday, I can’t wait for you to come.   When I am all done, I’ll be a week and a half shy of 5 months of chemo.    5 months of pure hell and misery and torture I have never known.  I’m just a few days away of having my life back.   I’ve missed my life how it used to be.  I want to do so many things when this is all over.  I pray for Thursday to come quickly.   I pray for things to go smooth and I pray to feel better.   I sure hope my mental and emotional health don’t suffer.   Why is that thought so stuck in my mind?   I have a feeling I’m gonna fall apart, have a breakdown.  I haven’t really cried while I’ve been going through all of this.  I haven’t let it out.   When I ring that bell I think I’m just gonna crumble.    I need that release.   I need to cry a million rivers of tears.   What a relief that’s gonna be.   My chest is just gonna cave in.  I know it is but that’s okay.  I’ve been a strong woman through this all.   I’ve kept myself going and working with sheer determination.   By the end of the week my chemo journey will be all over.  Next week at this time I’ll be free from the horrors. 

July 31 – Well today was supposed to be my last day of work.   But once again I was slapped in the face with the fact that I am short on my hours to keep my insurance while I’m out of work.    Eff me!!    Is it ever gonna stop?   I feel like I just keep going in circles.  Like if someone is working against me.    I don’t need much so I guess I’ll work til the end of the week. 

As strange as it is I feel pretty good today and still as calm as ever.   All my pains from the weekend camping trip are gone.  Yay!!!   I turned in all my paperwork for my time off.   I just need to gather some more hours.   

Tuesday –  2 more days!!   I feel pretty amazing.   I’m almost in disbelief that the end of this journey is near.    Is it really happening?       

Something keeps nagging at me.   I hope I don’t come out of this too damaged or too emotionally scarred.    I share my concerns with others.   Why is that starting to bother me so much?   I hope I’m still the same person I was before.   Whatever this ‘new’ normal is supposed to be, I hope it makes me happy.  I guess we shall see. 

 I wrote out what I want to say to everyone on facebook but I just haven’t posted it yet.  I really put time and effort into to what and how I wanted to say it.   Gosh, I’m gonna shock them all.   I hope they understand.   Family on my Moms’ side don’t even know.   Even though I’ve told a few more people, my circle is still very small.  I think I’ll post it tomorrow.  The day before my last treatment.   

Well, you could never tell but the fuzzies on my head are really growing.    I still look bald but close up you can kinda see.   I can’t wait for real hair to grow in so I can get rid of this dreadful wig.   I’m starting to hate it.   I think I might like having short hair.    Who knows.   I wonder if it’ll grow out straight or come out curly like I’ve had?   I’ve been told it could grow out way different from how it used to be.    hmmmmm.   My tongue sores have not gone away.   geez, that’s going on like 7 weeks now.    Soon,  my mouth won’t feel yucky anymore.  I’ll be able to taste all of my food and it won’t be dry.   My eyes will be normal.  All of those medications will stop, including the steroids.  Maybe I can actually start getting some sleep.   I’m looking forward to sooo many things.   

The pic below has been a hard one for me to share.   It’s a few weeks old but I’m gonna put it on here.   It’s the reality of my life.  How things have come to be.   I know it won’t last forever.   I just need to give it time and be patient.  



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My Reggie!!  He always lays with me to make sure I’m okay.   I think he can feel my distress, as of late.   



Wednesday – One more day!!  One more day!!    Ahhhh, Is the day really tomorrow?   Strangely, I’m still finding it hard to believe.   Why is that?   Did I really make it this far?  I’ve waited for sooo long it seems for this day to get here.   I’m excited and still very calm.     I took this picture of the bell last week.   Soon,  I’ll be ringing it.   I’ve asked for all of my ‘crusaders’ to be there.   No ifs, ands or butts.   It’s important for me.   We are all gonna ring that bell together.  For they have all been with me.  I CAN’T WAIT!!!!! 🙂  




The bell!


With a little bit of hesitation, I posted my news on facebook for the rest of my family and friends.   No, it didn’t go out to the world.   It went to ‘MY’ people only.    I have been carefully writing that out like if it was a school paper.   A rough and a final draft.   I selected careful wording.   I didn’t want it to be so rough of a blow.   I can only imagine when they read it.   I have tried so hard to keep my life normal.  Like my Auntie said, “sheer determination”.   With no one knowing.  Cuz I didn’t want to talk about it all the time.  I didn’t want that to be the topic of conversations.   I’m ready now.   It’s time to tell them.   I cried as I put it on there.    It’s posted.  Here we go.  Please don’t be upset cuz I didn’t tell you sooner.   I hope you understand.  I’m fiercely private.   I love you all ❣ ❣ ❣




Is it true? ?   Do I really get to ring that bell tomorrow?!. . . . . . 😃 😃 😃





The good Fight! (The good, the bad and the HORRIBLE!!)

The beginning of my low point

May 2 –

Training class – Woke up feeling so fatigued and without energy.  Heavy breathing during these times has become a new normal.  Having to sit down, take a break and rest while getting ready seems unheard of but I still went to work.   I was sooo tired that I didn’t feel like being the instructor today.  It wasn’t even 10:30  and I wanted to put my head down and fall asleep.   I got so fatigued and my eyes super heavy that I swear I lost consciousness for a moment.  I was talking about rewards cards and the policies that go along with it and suddenly I was talking about something else not even related to training.  In between that, is where I lost myself for a moment.   It scared the hell out of me.  What if that happens when I’m driving?  I could cause an accident.   It jolted me out of my fatigue for a while but it only got worse as the day went on.   When I left I was totally drained.  

My nephew came over later that evening and wanted to have a movie night.  I was so tired but I figured, all you do is sit or lie down, so why not.  Turns out I was too drained and wasted to even watch a movie.  Have you ever heard of that?   I finally had to just go to my room, but my body felt like it weighed 500 lbs and moving from the living room to my room took it straight out of me.   Walking there left me breathless and with a racy heart.

 I didn’t work the rest of the week.   I planned for a hard low point.   Its such a good thing I did it that way.   This last heavy round had me lethargic and miserable as hell.   All I did was lie in bed.  That’s all I was able to do and it left my body in pain.   From sun up to sun down, I laid in bed, getting up here and there.   Its horrible when you don’t even have the energy to eat and you’re soooo tired you can’t sleep.   The steroids that they give me keep me wide awake and make it impossible to sleep.   So, being fatigued and not sleeping is a HORRIBLE combination.  A couple of times, Dominic needed to go to a friends house to work on a school project, driving him there during my low point took ALL THE EFFORT IN THE WORLD!!!  And practically left me gasping for air and a need to pass out.  Crawling in bed became a normal routine.    I was running on pure fumes.    

Like before,  sores have invaded my mouth and these were the worst they have been!!!   I have them on my gums, my inner cheeks and the roof of my mouth.   Just having something to drink is painful and trying to swallow is the worst.  They prescribed me a ‘magic mouthwash’ serum of lidocaine.   That gave me relief enough to try and eat.   Everyday I lost a little more weight from not being able to eat.

 Friday – this is when I usually start to feel better and thinking that I was feeling better, I took a shower.   Holy cow I thought I was gonna pass out from a lack of energy and had to get out.   I barely had enough energy to get a towel, get out and take maybe 6 steps to my bed.  I didn’t think I was gonna make it.    I fell on my bed with such a heaviness.    My heart was pounding heavily from the exertion it took just to get there and my breathing was uncontrollable.   I couldn’t move from my bed.   I didn’t think my heart was ever gonna slow down.   I stayed there the rest of the day.    Oh what misery!!!   I was TKO’d from this last heavy round.   I started to feel depressed,  I even started missing my hair.   Something I hadn’t done.   I cried, I was so miserable and there wasn’t a single thing I could do about it.  That’s how it was gonna be.  Saturday came along and I still didn’t feel any better and nope, I didn’t get any sleep.   This had me worried cuz i needed to go back to work tomorrow and I still felt like hell.  

Sunday, May 7th – I just didn’t have the energy but I still showed up to work.  I’ve been having a hard time clocking in/out ( we use our fingerprint ) my hands have gotten like sandpaper and they are extremely dry.   They’ve been peeling nonstop as if I’m shedding skin like a snake.    They hurt really bad, not even lotion helps them.

  I was feeling so worn out that I needed to lean on my check stand just to help me stand up.  My breathing was heavy and as the day went on, it just got worse.   I can’t believe I’m not better by now.   This is going on almost a week of feeling like shit.    I went on break and went to Penny’s office, she and Clara Sue were in there and I just broke down and cried from exhaustion.   I couldn’t believe how awful I felt.   I had a meltdown.   Clara Sue sent me home and I left.   I got home and lied to my son.   He’s been super worried about me.   He was worried I was home early cuz I wasn’t feeling well.   That was the truth,  yes,  but to keep him from worrying more, I told him that the power had gone out at the store and that all we were doing was standing around, so I came home.   The story about the power going out was true, that did happen earlier at the store.  But I didn’t want him to know I was feeling like shit.  I went to my room to rest.  I was completely and totally zapped out.   My low point had me at my lowest and I didn’t think I was gonna make it.  If this is what hell is like than I’ve been there all week.   Misery and feeling lethargic aren’t even the words to describe how chemo makes you feel.  I don’t know if there are ANY words to describe it.   THIS week was the ABSOLUTE worst I had EVER felt in my life!!!!!!  😭

I just want my energy back.   I just wanna be me again.   Is that really too much to ask for??  

My babies: Reggie & Riley – Watching over me


 As shitty as it has been, slowly my low point disappeared and I was back to work on Monday.    


Thursday, May 11th  – Switching over to Taxol  



Today I begin the other chemo,   Paclitaxel (taxol) 131.2 mg.   This isn’t as intense as the other and it’s just 1 chemo, not a double dose.  I’ll do this one every week for the next 12 weeks.  July 27th is my goal.   It’s still gonna be on Thursdays so that I have the rest of the week to recover.   Since this is a weekly one, I hope it doesn’t knock me on my ass like the A/C did.   I don’t have that week in between to feel better.   I’m gonna get hit with this one weekly.   Like the others, this one came out in that same horrific packaging  😟    We start with premeds.   They’ve changed as well.   They’ll be different since this is a different chemo.  So we start with – benadryl,  pepcid and that awful steroid, dexamethazone.   People get horrible allergic reactions to this chemo and they need to keep a close eye on me.   Just in case, I’m given a call button.   Premeds are given, that took maybe 30 minutes.  Now time to switch.    Taxol is hooked up and that will take an hour.   Good Lord the benadryl made me very tired, I’m so sleepy  😴   Wonder why benadryl doesn’t work like that for me at home when I’m trying to get some sleep?  hmmmm. . .  When I take benadryl to try and sleep,  I don’t just count sheep, I count all of Noah’s Ark.   Funny how that is!!     The nurses explained to me that I need to be careful with Neuropathy.  It is a common side effect with Taxol.    It can cause irreversible nerve damage.  Symptoms include – pain, a pins n needles sensation,  numbness and weakness.  Can be burning and tingling or sharp in the hands and feet.  It can cause over sensitivity, reduced sensation of touch, or sensitivity to pain.  YIKES!!!! 😲   I hope I don’t get that 😧


   I no longer have to take those ‘at home’ medications nor do I have to come back the day after to get that booster *neulasta* shot.   I’m so happy because of this.   One of the medications was a steroid and would keep me wide awake.  Soooo, no more of those – YAY!!!!    Maybe I can sleep now. 

 Round 1 of taxol – complete!!    (so far, that is 5 rounds altogether)

 Friday – Wow, my hands really hurt.  They’re suffering a bunch.  They burn.  They look awful and even look discolored and they are peeling horribly.    My eyes are blurry but not as bad.   My mouth sores from my last A/C treatment are almost gone and I haven’t gotten dry mouth yet.   So, I really hope it’s true what they told me about the side effects not being so bad.  But, it’s only 1 day post Taxol, so we’ll see.   Last night I had so much energy I was wide awake with that damn steroid they give me as a premed, I was up til 1:30.   Lying in my bed staring into the dark.   I really need sleep.  

Saturday –   Man alive!!!!  My hands hurt soooooo BAD!!!  They burn like hell.   I can’t tell if the water is too hot when I wash my hands and it hurts to even do that.   It feels like I dipped my hands in acid.  I’ve never had pain like this before, ever, especially in my hands.   I can’t turn the door knobs, button my shorts or grab anything!!  😱  THEY.HURT.SO.BAD!!!!!!!  It has to be a chemical reaction to the new chemo.   I’ve lathered them with lotion and vaseline, doesn’t help.  Just vaseline with gloves on to seal in moisture, doesn’t help.    I put a healing ointment on them with the gloves,  nothing.  I got so desperate for relief, I dug out my Dads’ burn cream and lathered my hands in that,  Nada!!  NOTHING HELPED!    They hurt and burn terribly.  I can’t live with this kind of pain, it’s unreal.  I’ve never even heard of this kind of pain.  I can’t do this weekly, my hands hurting like this.  OWWWWWWWW  😭  

The next day at work I had the hardest time grabbing items to scan or typing codes on the keyboard.   The pain in my hands was still there and had only subsided a bit.   I feel worn out and tired today for the fact that I’m not sleeping and the pain kept me awake.   Since I had such a bad Sunday last week I had my lead supervisor only schedule me a 5 hour shift.    Thank God, by the time I left, I felt wiped out.   Also I had back pain isolated to one area.  I feel like I’m falling apart.   It seems to always be something.   I walked out with Penny and all I did was complain about how I felt, I felt so tired.   I told her about my back pain and she said to go home and just rest.   I think Sunday is my new low day.  I left, got home and stayed in bed the rest of the day.  Penny sent me this to lift my spirits.



 Monday – 5/16 –  I didn’t have anyone in class so I went to my store and worked a few hours.   Learned the new system at self check out.  My hands feel so much better and so do I.  Just a bit tired.   But my back hurts on one side, in one spot, I feel like a small bump.  When I got home I checked it out.   I could see what looked to be like a small rash, like a bug bite.    I went to the other room and asked Dominic what it looked like.  He said, “yeah Mom,  it’s a bug bite”.  Damn bug, it hurts.  Okay,   I didn’t worry too much about it.  


Wonder what bit me?   It’s painful when I touch it and it’s making my back hurt in just that area.  

The next day – ouchie, the rash from my bug bite spread.  And it hurts, it’s giving me more pain.   I was explaining what it looked like to one of my Aunties and she thinks its shingles.   Nah, it looks like a bug bite.   But I wonder??  

Wednesday – Okay something is not right.   This rash really hurts!!  And it looks horrible!  I’m having a really hard time with this pain and I’m at work.  I’m starting to wonder if my Auntie isn’t right.   MaryBeth says it’s shingles and so does one of my other managers.  I need to call the cancer center and find out.  


I call and explain that I’m in horrible pain.  The nurse and I go back n fourth with phone calls to figure out whats wrong with me.  I’m urged to go to urgent care to rule out shingles.  If they are shingles I won’t be allowed to come in for treatment tomorrow cuz I am extremely contagious and everyone at cancer center is at such a high risk for infection  😢

 At urgent care ( in an extreme amount of pain ) –  Yes, you have shingles!  😩  The doctor who saw me was an asshole and wasted my time.   Instead of being a professional doctor and prescribe me something, he offered me 3 different kinds of pain killers and asked which ones I would like?    What doctor does that?  If I was a druggie, this would have put me on cloud 9.   He actually wanted me to choose between the 3!!!   2 of them I had never heard of,  I was in so much pain I settled for the Tylenol w/codeine.   He gave me the scrip and I left, It was almost 9 and the pharmacy closes at the time.   I was still in disbelief, going to the pharmacy,  that he had me choose a medication.   Stupid fool!!   😡  Very unprofessional!!!!   I should have reported him, but I didn’t.   I went on with my misery.   Got my medication, went home and slammed a pill.   I needed relief so bad.  Did it work?   Nope. . . the pain kept me up ALL.NIGHT.LONG.   Even with taking it every so often, I felt no relief.  The pain was off the richter scale!!  Either the meds aren’t working or the pain is just THAT bad.  



Thursday morning – 5/18 –  OMGoodness!!  I can’t take this anymore.   I call cancer center and tell the nurse that the pain is just too much.  It’s the worst pain I’ve ever felt.  She lets my oncologist know and he calls me back.   We talk about my shingles and the pain and he tells me it can get really bad.   It’s nerve pain.  He prescribes me gabapentin, morphin and an anti-viral, Valacyclovir (Valtrex) 💊💊💊   I was shocked at the morphin.   Holy cow!!   I must be in pain.   Yes! I was!  Plus, I’m EXTREMELY contagious right now!!  I asked my younger brother Ray to take me to get prescriptions cuz I was in too much pain to drive and since morphin is a controlled substance they weren’t able to fax it in, I had to go pick it up.   I cried in the car to the hospital and to the pharmacy I was in so much pain.   I think my brother freaked out.   Got to the pharmacy and couldn’t wait for them to fill it.   The pharmacist couldn’t believe I was there again for more medications.  I asked her if she could just give me an epidural.   At least that one would give me instant relief.   WE get my meds and he takes me back home.  I can barely even walk with this pain.  Get home and slam all 3 pills, crawl in bed and wait for relief.  Morphin I need to take every 4 hours, gabapentin 3 times a day and Valtrex once a day.  Oh how I need relief!  This misery just goes on and on and on.   If its not weakness, fatigue, mouth sores or painful hands, it’s shingles.   And with every one, the pain gets more and more intense.  


Reggie can sense I’m not doing well.  He is always near by to keep an eye on me.   He lays with me.   That’s his spot, near my face.   We rest together and he even kisses my face.  He’s been by my side ALL day!   When he meows, it’s like he’s asking me, “do you feel okay?”    I just love him.      Hopefully this horrible pain will go away, I hope these meds do their job.


Reggie – Isn’t my baby just gorgeous?!


 Shingles are gross.  Open blisters on your skin with nerve pain from hell.   It’s hard to sit back on a chair without them hurting or lying on your back.   I wasn’t allowed to do my treatment today because of them.   So my date that I already had marked on my calendar (July 27th)  is no more.   It got pushed back to Aug 3.    I can’t get treatment til they pop and scab over.  When that happens then I can continue.   Damn you shingles!!!    I don’t wanna prolong this journey.   I don’t wanna be in pain and misery anymore!!  I just wanna be done!  😭   

Finally relief!!!    The next day I woke up to some relief.  Pain meds worked like a champ! I had a hell of time trying to get some sleep but at least I was able to keep my meds on schedule.   That morphin was the bomb and did what it was supposed to.   I’m tired as hell and worn out from all the pain I had yesterday but at least it’s gone.   Slowly they are trying to scab over and boy do they look nasty!!  I can’t do anything to speed up the process.  They have to run their course til it’s out of my system.  It can take up to 3 weeks.  In the meantime, I have all the nerve pain to deal with.  Thank God they gave me painkillers.   3 weeks is a long time to be in pain.   I say this all the time,   “I can’t wait til it’s over!  Man, I can’t wait!”

  A couple of days later.   Yuck!!  Nasty!!   It looks like I have a disease.    wouldn’t wanna be around me.   Gross!!!  *gag*   These little assholes are painful f**kers!    I hope you never have to experience them.  


May 24 – Treatment continues and I have to see the doctor.    He’s going to examine me,  see how I’m responding to chemo and check my shingles.  I hate the fact that I had to skip a week.  This should be my 3rd round of Taxol, instead, it’s my 2nd.   During the time of my shingle episode, my mouth sores went away.    Yay!!  I’m so happy for this!  It’s so hard to eat when you have horrible sores in your mouth.   My eyes haven’t been so bad but the dry mouth is still there.   He does his examination.   It doesn’t hurt at all like before, all the pain is gone.  He mentioned that it (lump) was harder to find and it felt like it was almost gone!!!!   *GULP*   almost gone?????    Did I hear him right??? Deep breath Sue, deep breath.    OMG  This is GREAT news!!!!  He said I was responding very well and the chemo was doing its job.   That’s just after 5 rounds!  I am a happy girl  😄 I needed this news.    I have been having some really hard days.    It brings you down to the point you feel depressed.   Today was a good day.   I will still need surgery.    Just as long as it continues to zap it out, I will fight to get to the end.     I’m off to do my treatment with my big girl panties on and my boxing gloves.   Eff you cancer.   I’m gonna beat your ass!!!!  

 The doctor asked if I was still working and I told him ‘yes’.  He said I was a very strong woman.   


 Oh the fatigue is back!   And it feels like its getting worse.    There are just some days where it feels like I’m at the bottom of a big black hole with no way to get out.   All I do is rest, even though I need it.   I can’t sleep at night at all and it’s wearing me down.   The doctor said it was gonna get harder and harder for me to work.   And trying to decide WHAT to do about work is weighing on me heavily.   Financially, I need to work.   Physically,   I need to be out, like now.   My Aunt wants me to go out on disability through social security but I don’t qualify.   I tried applying for food assistance, twice, but they denied me.   Even with the doctor bills starting to flood in.  I’m soooo stressed out.   And always so tired.    I can’t go out on FMLA cuz so much time needs to pass from the last time a person was on FMLA.  I was on it when I was out with my ankle and that’s only been a few months.  So, I have to wait til July so it can reset.    I just want all of this to pass.  I just wanna be me again.   I wanna feel good and not so tired all the time.   My son is now out of school and I can’t plan anything because of treatment and even if I did, I would probably be too tired.    All of this, EVERYTHING, suck ass.  The side effects, the fatigue, the pain.  JUST.SUCK.ASS.  I know I’ll get through it and it’ll pass.   But right now things are so dark and stormy, I can’t wait for a sunny day.  

June – The shingles are slowly healing.   They have scabbed over.  I still have nerve pain and I could have that for a while.   6/2 another round out of the way.  

 We’re having a work BBQ and Sarah, my oncology nurse is gonna be my date.  I just love her!!!  She takes the best care of me during treatment.  but she likes to pump my veins with toxins 😜  She does have heart of gold.  

Every now and then, there are some good days.  When those days come, you have to grab them and run with them.    They are few and far between, at least with me they are.   When the sun is shining and the birds are singing, you know you’re having a good day.  There isn’t always pain, but the tiredness is always there.  My eyes have been opened wide.   To how fragile life can be.  Every day that goes by I have a greater appreciation for life than I did before.  My life right now sucks balls, but guess what, I still love my life.  I thank God for my life everyday.    Aug 3 is 2 months away and I know I can get there.  Feb 13th  is getting farther and farther away from me.  That was 4 months ago I got my bad news.   Did I think I would get to this day 4 months later. . . nope.   I remember when I couldn’t think of anything else but breast cancer.   It was on my mind 24/7.  The fear, the obsession for information.   Now I don’t think about it so much, it’s not on my mind like before.   Now, I think about chemo, the side effects and not being able to sleep.  I think about how I’m gonna feel everyday that I wake up.    I guess thats mental progress.   My body is slowly getting used to this new treatment.   Now if the shingles can just go ALL the way away,  I would be a happier woman.    I still get pain in my back, the nerve pain.  The scabs are taking forever to fall off and its still painful to the touch.   Oh and I need sleep, lots and lots of sleep.    I would feel so much better if I was able to get sleep so my body can rest up.   It’s so worn down but I refuse to give up.   Gonna take it to the end.   I CAN DO THIS!!!! 🙏 💪 👊



I’m having the worst pain flare up of my life. . . . . . . . 😭😭😭