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As The 9th Draws Near.......

Yesterday I met with my Plastic Surgeon. I have a lot of fears about my upcoming surgery and I wanted his honest opinion. I found out that since I first met with the Surgical Oncologist, my Plastic Surgeon has called his office and requested that he NOT remove my tissue expander unless it was absolutely necessary. Originally when in I was in the Surgical Oncologists office and I told my husband that I didn't want to remove the expander, he though it was vain and told me to stop being so stubborn and do what is right. But both my gut and my Plastic Surgeon feel that there is no reason for the expander to be removed - that if the radiation WERE to cause hard spots, they could do a MRI after my radiation and rule out cancer. Besides, my Plastic Surgeon would be going in as soon as it is okay so he can replace my expander with an implant once I am stretched out to the correct size - so he'll see and remove any hard spots. I feel comfortable with that, and especially privileged that he is looking out for my best interests. I'm really hoping to keep the expander, but I was told don't be surprised if I wake up to find that I no longer have it just because it had to be removed. No one knows for sure until they open me up, what to expect. My Plastic Surgeon also set my mind at ease about my fears of going into surgery with a *new* doctor. He has worked in the past with my Surgical Oncologist, so he is confident that I have found myself a good surgeon. Now we just hope for the best - and though I've prepared for the worst, I'm still not quite ready for 7 weeks of daily radiation!


First Grade Musical

Last night Natalie's school put on a musical play. Each class (all 209 students) performed one song, then all students participated in the finale. Natalie's class sang Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. We were so proud of her for doing such a great job. Of course I've posted some pictures at Flickr - I still need to get the rest from Ruben, who did the majority of video-taping. Below is the clip I took. Enjoy!


Check out my COOLPIX

Couldn't resist doing this - Y'all KNOW how much I adore Ashton! He's SOOOOO hot!

Check out the pictures *I* put on Ashton's COOLPIX!

It was so much fun! You should do your own and send it to everyone!

Have you heard the BS on BPA?

Once again, it seems like just cause I have cancer, that's all I hear about.

Last night it was a TV commercial for a local hospital, today it's an advertisement on AOL. Now I know that new studies come out all the time, and for every study that proves one thing, there's another that proves something else. I for one get tired of hearing about it, and personally think that the researcher just throw in cancer for good measure and to cover their butts!
I mean seriously, are they implying that I got breast cancer cause my mom bottle-fed me? Or is it because I drink a lot of canned beverages?
Below are the highlights from the article, which can be found HERE:

Time to Give BPA the Boot?
Rodent studies of bisphenol A, used in polycarbonate bottles, food cans and other products, have linked the synthetic estrogen to a host of human diseases. Scientists say the chemical can alter cell behavior at very low levels -- in the parts per trillion range -- yet humans are consistently exposed to BPA at levels 10 to 100 times greater.

Which Products Contain BPA
BPA is found in the resin in can linings, in the polycarbonate in baby bottles, in dental sealants and elsewhere. The longer a liquid sits in a container made of BPA, the more BPA can leach into the product.

Who's Most at Risk
Scientist sat fetuses and infants are especially at risk because they are still developing major parts of their body and BPA can alter how their genes are activated. In experiments that looked at the reproductive systems of rodents -- which scientists say are comparable to humans -- doses similar to what a newborn would ingest from a bottle caused cells to divide at a faster rate and led to enlarged prostates and, eventually, prostate cancer.

Adverse Health Affects
Some medical conditions that have been associated with BPA in rodents:· Early onset of puberty· Obesity· Diabetes· Hyperactivity· Breast cancer· Impaired immune function· Sperm defects· Prostate cancer and disease· Impaired reproductive developmentLinks between BPA and prostate cancer have only been shown in rats.

An Opposing View
The American Chemistry Council, an industry group, notes that BPA has been used safely for decades and is an important ingredient that makes plastics flexible and shatter-resistant.And Rick Locker, an attorney for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, says parents can be confident that products made with BPA are safe. Locker notes that the Food and Drug Administration has not found that BPA poses a risk to children.


A Bevy of Emotions

Today has just been a day of emotional ups and downs!

First things this morning after Natalie left for school I walk into her room to get her bedding to wash and found a complete pig-sty. I'm telling you, some of it was really disgusting. I was so furious - I swore she'd have a sore butt when she got home! I spent most of the day cleaning her room, throwing out tons of junk paper she's collected, as well as a a collection of chewed bubble gum {GROSS} that she had been saving on a Godiva box lid! I'm telling you it was bad - but by time she got home from school I had completely cooled off and instead punished her by making her do her own dirty work.

The reason I had calmed down by time she got home was because mid-afternoon I took a break, checked my mail and found that another website wants to hire me to blog. Yay! Gotta love getting paid for doing what you love - besides it's extra money to buy scrap supplies with = ) More details soon!


CURE: Cancer Updates, Research & Education

Not sure if you're familiar with the magazine CURE. I found it yesterday while at the Surgical Oncologists' office. If you're a cancer patient, survivor or caregiver you can SIGN UP for a FREE subscription and you’ll receive the handbook - 2008 Cancer Resource Guide. Both the handbook and magazine contain TONS of information on prevention, insight, how to deal with stress, and new drugs or treatments being approved for ALL TYPES of cancer. It really is insightful and essential. I signed up for my free subscription today- I am soooooooo looking forward to becoming more educated about my disease and finding ways to help battle depression this time around, which is one of my concerns - especially since yesterday's appointment hit me hard. Really hard. I can't even recall the last time something sent me into a panic attack! Ruben didn't know what was happening to me. In fact just thinking about the day gets me all worked up, upset, crying and unable to breathe. Hopefully this magazine will help me understand things and help me find ways to cope.

Check it out and see for yourself!


And the punches just keep rolling on in.........

After I spoke with an Oncologist last week, I was starting to feel better about this whole "cancer" thing. I even saw my plastic surgeon this week who agreed on most points, and offered his services if assistance was needed moving the tissue expander out of the way.

Well after those appointments I felt like all was okay - apparently I was wrong! One doctor told me that I shouldn't have to radiation, only chemotherapy. The other doctor said there wasn't any medical reason that he knew of as to why I would have to remove my expanders in order to go through radiation. In fact I looked up several articles, and they all said it was okay to have them. But this was until the Surgical Oncologist......

We all knew eventually I'd be heading back into surgery, though it looks this time that it won't be till May 9th. I have to wait all this time just to go in, remove an expander, place a port-a-cath, and cut away a small area of muscle wall - small because he'd rather not cut a large section out of my muscle. Instead he'd rather radiate it. As much as I don't want to remove my expander, he claims that radiation can cause little hard areas to form around the expander - hard areas that would make it difficult in determining whether they were cancerous lumps or just hard areas. I don't mind having to remove the expander really. What I do mind is that a few weeks after I heal, I would undergo radiation daily for 7 weeks. After that would follow some term of chemotherapy. He couldn't guesstimate how long that would go on. He then said that it would be about a year before I would be able to undergo reconstruction again.

I'm NOT happy about any of it because I'm losing at least a year of my life, not to mention all the progress that has been made thus far - because not only will he be removing the expander, he will also be removing any extra skin and tissue from the area, so that there is no flap of loose skin in the area.
I'm at a loss because where do I go from here with my left breast reconstruction? I just feel that by time this is said and done with I will be nearing 40, and I say that based on the track record I have had.

I am just crushed over this whole thing and every time I think about it I have some horrible panic attack where I can't breathe and I just start crying all over again.
In one hand I honestly do believe that what they are doing or pushing for is a little bit excessive. They use scare tactics, so that you chose exactly what it is that they want you to have. I know they sold my husband on it, but all it did was make me feel even more conflicted. I don't know who to trust or if I can even trust a physician I've never seen. I really do have a lot of respect and belief in my plastic surgeon. I don't believe that he would EVER steer me wrong. A part of me really wants to talk with him and get his honest opinion of all of this, and see if we were both given the same story. For now I have the surgery on the books to include removal of the tissue expander, but may end up changing it as I believe that I am being pushed into an option that really isn't necessary. I will keep you posted as I get more info.

Tell me, do you ever feel like your doctor is pushing something upon you that's not really necessary?


Life Lesson

I found this list of 50 Life Lesson written by columnist Regina Brett, for The Beakon Journal in Akron, OH. She too is a breast cancer survivor.

I guess some things come with age, while others you have to practice. I know I will definitely have to work on a few of these before they just become second nature to me - but I'm just evil like that = )

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.

4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.

8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won't mess up the present.

12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don't compare your life to others'. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.

16. Life is too short for long pity parties. Get busy living, or get busy dying.

17. You can get through anything if you stay put in today.

18. A writer writes. If you want to be a writer, write.

19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone, everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.

35. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.

38. Read the Psalms. They cover every human emotion.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.

41. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

42. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.

43. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

44. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

45. The best is yet to come.

46. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

47. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

48. If you don't ask, you don't get.

49. Yield.

50. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.


When Bad Goes To Worse !

Yesterday started off a day like any other. Got up, got Nat on the bus, scrubbed my newly zit covered face (knew the stress would "catch" up to me sooner or later, but I didn't think that I would end up hittin' puberty a second time around!) Once Natalie was on her way to school, I skipped my morning meds so I wouldn't fall asleep - I then showered, dressed, and drove across town to East Jefferson Hospital where this Oncologist had an office. I filled out mounds of paperwork, and allowed them to copy my records back to 2005.

At first I wasn't sure if I was going to like this doctor or not because he didn't seem to listen - but one thing I did like was that not only did he answer my questions, he answered them in a way I would understand. I was glad to FINALLY have some answers and more understanding of everything! But once I knew what the deal was, I felt like a dumbass!

You see, I told you all the pathology of the tumor my surgeon found and how it compared to my original tumor - but I neglected to read further down the page to the diagnosis that was made. I had skimmed over it several times before looking for a "staging" but could not find one. I assumed that was what all the scans were for, to help determine staging and if it had spread. While each scan recommends additional scans, this oncologist told me yesterday to just slow down and breathe. It's not like it's going anywhere fast. He seems to think that this is part of my original cancer - and though he can't really explain how it happened, he's almost positive that my body is just one of the few that did not respond correctly to the meds, which is believable to me because as a teenager I had a bout with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease. It went on for over a month to no avail. I got a shot in the butt, multiple RX's for antibiotics, weekly paps. The doctors swore it was gone - I cried in pain. Finally they sent me to the hospital to have a MRI, only to find out that I still had it. I never responded to the meds. A weekend full of IV treatment and I was finally all better. So I believe his theory could be possible. What I can't believe is that I read right past the problem when looking for staging!

The diagnosis reads: Biopsy from the right breast reveals infiltrating, moderately well differentiated, duct carcinoma of the breast. The tumor is seen to invade skeletal muscle and extends to the margins of resection.

My original diagnosis was infiltrating ductal carcinoma and was a stage IIa. What I missed here was "the tumor is seen to invade skeletal muscle." Since all my scans came back ok, and show no signs of metastatic disease (even what appeared on my bone scan as possible metastatic or degenerative disease, had the metastatic portion over-ruled by the pet ct scan) I can say that the cancer is localized to the remaining breast muscle wall.

Originally, I had a modified radical mastectomy done in 2005, but since the cancer has invaded what is left of that muscle wall, I will have to speak with a surgical oncologist about removing the remaining skeletal muscle. I won't know till I meet with him next week, or maybe not even until surgery exactly how much (how deep or wide) will have to be removed. However, I do know that my plastic surgeon has mentioned before that he is able to move muscle from one area (butt or back) to my breast to make it work, so let's just hope that not only it can be done, but that my body will accept the switch on the first try

Also, I was told that my treatment will depend on the findings after the skeletal muscle is removed - so chemotherapy or radiation is still a possibility, though this guy seems anti-radiation. And of course I will most likely be taken off the Femara and given something else, hopefully something a wee bit more effective!

I may not have gotten specific answers as to how, but I am quite satisfied with the answers I did receive.
Now it's time to go do the taxes, hope it's not as painful as I've imagined. One bad day in a weekend is enough, though with Ruben leaving Sunday I suppose that will be two....and maybe taxes will just make three. If I could I think I would just go back to bed now!


Scrapbook Party! Doctors, Taxes & Travel!

Sometimes having a hubby that's a manager at a slot manufacturer & is friends with many people in both sales and casino service has it's benefits. Technically I shouldn't have this glass - the only reason I do is because it has a small fracture in it and the glass was going to be trashed - but a lil gorilla glue and it's as good as new and will soon be hanging in my scrap studio. The hubby sure knows how to please me = )

I was quite surprised when he brought this home last night. Yeah it's been almost 4 years since I quit the casino business - and since living outside of Nevada, I can't even recall the last time I entered a casino. Down here things are a bit different, our gas stations don't have video poker machines sitting in them....and now all our quarters and dollars actually make it into a coke piggy bank for saving. So when I saw this I had no idea that such a thing existed. Who knew the worlds of scrapbooking and gaming would collide?

So tomorrow I meet with another oncologist, and this time I hope to get some real answers! I've been reading up and have found 4 published cases that state current tissue expanders do not have to be removed as long as you don't add any saline to them during the course of radiation as doing so would throw the aim off. I honestly have no problem with removing them IF I have to, but first you have to give me a valid medical reason why and not a I don't know.
Then following that appointment I meet with my pain doctor. I want to go over the prospect of degenerative bone disorder (if this isn't metastatic) and find out what this means for me. I mean am I going to end up in a wheelchair by age 35?

I'll try to stop in afterwards and fill ya in, but Saturday we have taxes to do. I know, we are horrible procrastinators - but tax season scares the shit out of me. Especially when the hubby has an overly inflated income for 2007 because some of it includes our moving package. See it wouldn't be so bad if we actually GOT that money, but since it went for things like rent, paying the moving company & paying part of the commission for our Real Estate Agent - it really sucks ass that we get hit hard by both local & federal taxes for something we didn't actually get. I so hope we don't owe this year. Last year we got lucky by like $600. I am so hoping for the stimulus, but something tells me that the government is going to be fooled into thinking we earned too much for it. I wonder if I can write off my homeowners premium, which was like $4500 last year? That might help. I'll have to check into that and see if it can be itemized!

Oh and as if taxes weren't bad enough, Ruben leaves Sunday for Mexico City for like 3 or 4 days. He had to go downtown and pay to get a rushed passport, like $300. Rumors are swirling all over work, even all the way back to the Vegas office that he is up for various positions. Ha! I'm not moving again, or at least not yet unless they give use something that neither of us can pass up. I love my house here! Probably just some people with nothing better to talk about, stirring the pot. Never believe what you hear unless it comes directly from the source!


Viva La Mexico

Sorry, I haven't been posting much about our daily life's - I'm still waiting to see a (new) doctor and get some news. But in any case I'm sure that some people are wondering how everything is going. I'm still hanging in there, got lots of doctor appointments lined up for the next 2 weeks - some 2 a day! To make matters worse with scheduling, cause someone needs to be here for Natalie, Ruben is being sent to Mexico City for work for like 4 days. He leaves the weekend before I start a 2 hour Stampin' Up class that runs once weekly, for 3 weeks. It's bad enough that with the (sometimes) double appointments, I won't be home in time to meet Natalie's bus. Luckily, our neighbor Nina is working out of her home and will be there when the kids (her son goes to the same school) get home, and Arlene (another neighbor) has 2 older kids who can babysit - and both have been so supportive and helpful. I'm not sure what I'd do without them, without them I'm really not sure how it would all work out - I probably would have had to drop out of my class.

Natalie came home from school this week with April's school newsletter in which she was on the cover for raising the 2nd highest amount for their diabetes fundraiser. I recall the day a couple weeks back when she came home from school excited about getting the medal, but I never got around to posting a picture - so here it is below.


According to All You - 11 ways to cut your cancer risk for life

Ok, ok, so I'm a little behind on my reading. It's been a busy past month seeing doctors, doing tests, and waiting and waiting and waiting - so my magazine collection has been piling up.......Note to self, next time bring mags with you to the appointments so you're not BORED CRAZY! Duh!

So anyway, out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of one of the featured stories on the cover of All You, March's issue: 11 Ways To Cut Your Cancer Risk For Life.
What?? You're seriously saying that if I follow these "doctor-approved" tips (as they put it) that I can keep this disease at bay? HA! Get a clue, if these doctors who approved these tips were sooooooo good, they wouldn't be making tips, they'd be providing cures - right?

1) Add 11 minutes of walking each day. Supposedly those 11 minutes daily reduces the risk of breast cancer by 20%. Of course the more you exercise the more you you'll benefit. I assume of course that those 11 minutes should be of continuous walking, but the article does not say. (Does regular walking around count - or does it need to be speed walking, and what about when you stand and cook or do the dishes? Does that help any?)

2) Don't peel your apples or boil your broccoli. You know the old saying - an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but if you want to reduce your breast cancer risk, eat the peel. According to experts, the peel contains compounds called triterpenoids that can wipe out cancer cells. And to get the greatest cancer-preventing benefit from cruciferous veggies such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower you should steam or stir fry them instead of boiling. (Actually I thought bananas were like a miracle fruit - good for heart and so much more, so now we gotta eat an apple and a banana a day!)

3) Put on the sunscreen before you drive. The more time you spend behind the wheel, the higher your chances of developing skin cancer on the left side of your arm, hand, head or neck - all areas that are exposed to the sun while driving. (Wish they had told us this when we got our 1st license!)

4) Don't light up - and stay far, far away from secondhand smoke. In the US tobacco use causes about 1/3 of cancer deaths and about 87% of lung cancer deaths. (Ok, wait a minute what about Paris, everyone smokes there?)

5) Take a minute to gab with a girlfriend. Try to squeeze in time with friends, whether it's a quick call or sharing a brisk walk. Women with many close pals have lower blood levels of interleukin-6, a protein linked to cancer. Social support helps buffer the effects of day-to-day stress. When you're under a lot of pressure, your body is less able to fight off and repair cellular changes that can lead to cancer. (Hmm, I was cancer free when I was at my most stressed out point at work. In fact, I was not diagnosed with cancer until I quit my job to be a SAHM)

6) Order Indian. Curcumin, an ingredient generally found in curry powders, appears to be a potent cancer fighter. The powder may inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells in a variety of tumors, including breast, prostate, multiple myeloma and B-cell lymphoma. Sprinkle a tablespoon of curry powder on cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and other veggies before roasting. (Heck with that, how about I just mix it with water and drink it daily with all my vitamins! Oh and if it's THAT good, how come we've never heard this before?)

7) Get your 5 a day of fruits and veggies. Eating at least five daily servings of produce has been linked to lower risks of many cancer. However, it is unknown which of the many vitamins and antioxidants in fruits and veggies are the most protective, so eat a variety. (Yes, we all know how important it is to eat healthy, but in reality does anyone do it?)

8) Drink like a fish. (No, not alcohol silly!) Women who down more than 5 glasses of water a day lower their risk of colon cancer. It's thought that because the water helps to speed waste through your digestive tract, the carinogens are less likely to affect your body.

9) Stay at a healthy weight. Carrying excess body fat increases your risk for colon, kidney, pancreatic, esophageal, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer. A healthy body mass index ranges from 18.5 to 24.9. but for the best cancer protection you should try to keep your BMI under 23. (Yes we know, being fat is bad.)

10) Pop a calcium supplement with vitamin D. A study found that higher levels of calcium and vitamin D may cut your risk of developing pre-menopausal breast cancer by about 1/3. (Also an excellent way to ensure you don't develop osteoporosis!)

11) Have your home tested for radon. You can't see or smell radon, a natural by-product of uranium found in soil and rock, which accumulates in about 8 million US homes. It's the number 2 cause of lung cancer, and is responsible for about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. Keep your family safe by using a kit to test for radon in your home.


Avon Supports Pink Ribbon - So Should You!

Got a catalog in my mailbox yesterday from one of the neighborhood ladies selling Avon. I've never been one for their stuff simply because I hate waiting to get it - it's the impatient side of' me! But several items caught my eye, and I was simply amazed at their extraordinary efforts to raise money in the fight against Breast Cancer. As they say, "Give today for a better tomorrow."

These cute pink flip-flops are just $10 and 100% of the net proceeds ($7.81) are donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

This cute lil' flip-flop necklace has the message on back "We walk as one."
It's just $5 and 100% of the net proceeds ($3.38) are donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

I just love this adorable lil charm bracelet and I'm going to order me one as I used to have a similar one that some friends of mine bought, but was lost in our move here. It's just $5 and 100% of the net proceeds ($4.00) will be donated to the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

It moves me to see sales like these where they give the net proceeds to charities. It makes me more inclined to buy them over a product that only gives 10%.

Don't you agree?

I'm NOT an Avon rep, and I know this isn't YOUR cause - but breast cancer is a cause for ALL WOMEN. It may not affect you, but someday it could be you mother, your sister, your friend, or even sadly your brother or husband (depending on genes!) We need to band together, raise money for awareness and to find a cure before it's too late!


Life is too short to be stuck with a bad doctor!

I met with the new oncologist today. Let's just say I wouldn't recommend him to anyone other than a proctologist, cause he was an asshole. Very cocky, authoritative. I've been through all this before, so if my seemingly relaxed nature comes off like I don't care, it is an incorrect interpretation. My attitude is that of a strong, young, woman who knows that she will beat this and survive. I've been through it before, and it looks to not have spread - so I know I can beat it again. My original cancer diagnosis was only a stage 11a. Well this guy wants me to see a surgical oncologist and a radiation oncologist like yesterday, so he asked how my schedule was the rest of this week and I answered truthfully - I have the TV repair man coming, I offered to watch neighborhood kids Thursday as it is half-day and Friday I have a parent teacher conference to attend. He told me that I need to prioritize my schedule, that the neighbors should understand and blah, blah, blah if I want to be there for my daughter when she grows up.

WHOA wait a minute, did he just try to use the death card to trump my cancer card? I told him I will be there when she grows up, but I have to be at her conference - also it is not fair to ask the neighbors to watch my child and help me so that I can make appointments, yet turn them down when they need help. If I do that then next time I need someone to help out I will have no one around to do it. I am thinking priorities, but practical ones. If I had my choice I'd do chemo now. Well this guy is anti-chemo, he wants me to do radiation. I asked him why not and why for, to which he could answer neither. He told me that I'm not going to get what I want just because I want it, that he'll prescribed whatever treatment he thinks is best and that's that. Yet he couldn't tell me why? He said he wants me to see the surgical oncologist because my pathology showed that the margins were not clear, but he is saying that since they were not clear more than likely my tissue expander's will need to be removed. I asked why I can't go through chemo or radiation with them in and again he had no answer - gee what an effing surprise! Now I'm sorry, I may only have lil ant hill mound, but it has taken nearly 3 tears to
get this far and I really don't plan on turning back - at least not yet and at least not without some serious answers! I REALLY want to go to Ochsner for treatment, whatever it may be, but I do not like cocky, blindsided decisions - or being told I was going to die, or that things need to happen yesterday when it took me 3 WEEKS to get in and see him. UH!

I will go see both doctors and fit it into my schedule this week if they are even available - but one thing for sure: NEW DOCTOR STAT! I already have the scheduler checking with her team of other doctors to find out when their schedule might be available. If that backfires I have appointments on both the 11th and 24th. I believe that you and your doctor should have a beautiful partnership between the two of you, not one where the other talks down to you or belittles you. I've had a lifetime of bad docs and am smart enough to now know to shop around. There are more than just one of you, and it's not about getting the answer I like best but about finding a doctor I work best with!
So for not the search continues as this fool told me absolutely NOTHING - in fact, I think I may have taught him a thing or two about my charts!

Oh and the pix of our mini-vacay are finally up on Flickr - go enjoy them!

The Big Day is FINALLY Here!!!

Everyone knows I've been on edge the last few weeks stressed out over this whole recurrent cancer diagnosis - and have chest ct scan, bone scan, and pet ct scan results that I can't hardly make sense of. Well today is the day I have been waiting for, the day I get into Ochsner Oncology Department to meet with my new oncologist and go over all my records and hopefully find out what the plans are. Whether I will be doing chemotherapy again, radiation treatment, or both - and also how my actual meds may be changed as I now take Femara, and I could be changed to Tamoxifen or others. I'm also curious about why I have had so much bone pain - after just a few step my knees and ankle hurt so bad I feel like someone could easily break one by kicking my ankle, or if I stumbled, tripped and fell.

Also, I wanted to share with those of you who may not be familiar with this . A co-worker of Ruben's bought me a subscription to the Daily Word, which is The Silent Unity Magazine. You all know that I have not or am not a highly religious person. I've been scorned and lack faith - but I am SLOWLY giving it another chance, especially during this period when I so badly need help. I have on my mother's wedding ring, Natalie's Our Lady of Guadalupe necklace charm, and I SWEAR that while eating lunch at Kenner waiting to have my bone scan, I saw a man who was the spitting image of my deceased 101 year old grand father. Sometimes I believe in good luck charms, and friendly sights to help you get by. I have even given prayer a try. Every night before bed I try to remember to pray - and not just for myself, but for all my friends, family and loved ones. It's not an easy task, but I am trying. I figure with so many others praying for me, then I should pray too - right? Doesn't hurt to try!

Anyway, if you are familiar with the Daily Word, then you know how each day has a different meaning. Such as today:
Daily Word — Tuesday, April 1, 2008 — Trust
I trust God with all my heart. I am confident, wise, and strong.
When I am considering making a major decision, I may spend time questioning myself and others about the best recourse. Yet my best recourse is always to allow my mind and heart to be open to divine wisdom.
As I pray and trust God for right outcomes, I am able to sort through all the formerly tangled thoughts. I move past the differing opinions, uncertain situations, and threads of confusion to the heart of the matter. With a clarity of mind, I act with confidence, wisdom, and strength.
Prayer benefits me and everyone else affected by the choices I make because God is my partner and co creator in all things. I trust God for all that makes my life complete, and I trust that God will guide me to be the greatest blessing I can be to others.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.” —Proverbs 3:5

Much of this isn't far off base, as I feel that I am confident, wise and strong. I trust in myself, now I just need to learn to let go of the reigns and hand my life over and trust in someone else without doubt. It will take time, but eventually I will be there. I think that prayer will help me a lot this time, and maybe we can avoid the depression part of it all. Anyway, I better get ready for my appointment. I'll let you know as soon as I know something! Fingers crossed for some good news!