My Journey These Last Two Deadful Years

 

In 2010 I lost my husband to cancer. A few days before his passing I had a routine mammogram and the spots were discovered. Few days after his funeral I had a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound and it was concluded that the spots would just be observed. Two years later cancer developed. I wanted the bilateral mastectomy at that point but my surgeon at the time advised against it. With hindsight I should not have listen to him. He did not get clean margins the first time had to go back and do it a second time and had to take muscle. It was an extremely difficult recovery. I followed up with the radiologist and did 30 some odd rounds of radiation. The radiologist also had me begin the clinical trial. In the clinical trial they tested me for HER2, found I was positive +3, it was aggressive. Being in the trial made me very fearful so I withdrew with the knowledge my cancer was fed not my estrogen or progesterone at that time but by HER2.
I found my medical oncologist, who was referred by a friend when I requested a second opinion for my treatment plan. I like the medical oncologist and chose to make him my primary cancer doctor. He recommended I take tamoxifen for five years. But I had every reaction to that drug that you can have. He took me off that drug and gave me anastrozole. It’s only side effect was bone loss. I did develop osteopenia. As I do with everything I researched the drug and found it does target HER2. I took it for almost two years confident it was helping me. And I believe it did.
While visiting my daughter in Ohio earlier this year I discovered a suspicious area had developed again in my breast. I visited my oncologist once I return home. He assured me he was 99% sure it was nothing but we would do the diagnostic mammogram ultrasound just so that I would have peace of mind. However, after the mammogram the radiologist came in and told me I needed to have a biopsy. Plus there was suspicious spots identified in the other breast that they would again watch. Biopsy concluded I had cancer again, triple positive +3 this time. Oncologist recommended the mastectomy because the cancer I had would continue occur over and over and eventually develop somewhere else. This was my only option for survival. If it was invasive I would have to have chemotherapy, herceptin and I was dreading it. But would have done it. I want to live!
I found a different surgical team this time around.  After my bilateral surgery, the radiology report revealed the cancer was contained noninvasive and they got it all. As my oncologist said, I am cancer free. There is no where for the cancer to return because the breast were removed. And I don’t have to have any more treatment. I get to live. I call that a miracle!!!
I believe him because he had everything to gain financially by giving me treatment for the next five years. But he is honest and told me I do not need to have it or deal with the side effects. I respect his expertise in treating my cancer. It’s imperative you find a medical team that you trust.
I am now in the reconstructive phase. And looking forward to living a full complete life. Thankful for what I’ve learned. Looking forward to helping as many women as I can who are going through this nightmare.  Rejoicing I get to live!
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Melody of the Windchime

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I woke to the random strikes of my Windchime being tussled around in the cold wind. As the wind picks up the chime strikes louder creating an odd melody that if words were added to it would be quite a dramatic tune.

My late husband and I purchased this chime while visiting Ohio Amish country on our 20th anniversary almost 10 years ago. At the time I thought it had a nice ring to it. It hung on my front porch for many years. But if I recall correctly I looped the wind catcher up on the top piece disabling it from the endless chimes created by the Ohio winters winds.

The family I’m staying with while having cancer treatments have a chime in the backyard with a beautiful pitch that creates a wonderful melody. The tubes are larger in length and diameter; the clapper is positioned correctly within the tubing to create a soothing, meditative tune rather than a noise to scare birds and other animals away.

Wind chimes have always brought soothing tones echoing the music of the breeze and bringing a relaxed, positive, healing, meditative feeling. I remember walking in the evening listening to the various chimes in the distance. They created a place of peace and balance captured in song as I walked along. If I stop and allow sound over take me it can ease stress, improve focus, wash away anger, and soothe the soul … even right now in the middle of this Texas winter storm.

Beauty

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I remember when my babies were in diapers. It seems that they were in diapers for eternity. My late husband used to say he couldn’t wait until he didn’t have to buy diapers anymore.

Then came prostate cancer. It seemed as soon as we stopped buying baby diapers we had to begin buying adult diapers.

This morning I’m reminded of that comment he made. We battled cancer for 17 long horrendous years. I hated that my husband died of cancer. I hate it when he drew his last breath. But I must admit I was so thankful to not be battling cancer anymore. I’ve not yet hit the five-year mark from the day he died that dreadful day. And I sit here battling my own cancer for 3 months now.

My beauty was attacked, my breast. Well I am still beautiful. I am still desirable and someday I will be remarried; have no idea who to. . . AND I will make my future husband the happiest man in the world because THAT is who and what I am. And I get to rebuild my breast even more beautifully prefect than before.

Cancer you suck! But I have a hope and a future! I will LIVE AND NOT DIE!!!

Me and The Ant

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I saw a little ant today crawling around on a rock and my first instant was to squish it. I was reminded of my own life how I am going about my business when suddenly, unexpectedly I feel like I am being squished. Like the ant I didn’t see it coming. I did not see the giant finger that sought to take my life. And like the ant, it took more than one attempt before the life was squished out of me. I try to looking for the ant that I tried so hard to squish and it is not to be found. It must have lived and crawled away. Will it survive? I don’t know. They are resilient creatures, quite amazing in many ways.

Of course you have watched an ant about its business forging for food, protecting its hill! Amazing in many ways. So small but so tuff. They have remarkable strength. I wonder if the ant ever gets overwhelmed. I wonder if the ant ever gets sick except when I spray them with ant killer! I wonder if the ant ever needs another ant to hug, to smile at, to talk to… Amazing!

Death of a Dream of Love

My heart is heavy. I hoped on that which I should not have hoped. I love that which I should not have given my love to. I thought that I could build on something grow and nurture something and in fact I could never have. Not because of any fault on my part. I am a person of integrity. I am a person of high standards. But I was a pawn in somebody else’s hand. I was a play toy. I was something that they were simply using to fill their own pleasure.

My heart is completely broken. I have a sense of hopelessness to me now. I wasted time, precious time. Time is something I don’t have an abundance of anymore. All I wanted was love. All I wanted was happiness. All I wanted was to share my life with somebody who wanted to share their life with me. I didn’t want somebody that was going to play with my heart, that was going to screw around on me, that was going to use me and then toss me aside.

I know now that I need to confront truth. I know now that I need to confront, confront and resolve. Oh the joys of life. To live, to love, to have a broken heart.

Friendly Banter or Meanness

 

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“You have a mean streak,” I was told one evening.

Valid. I have become very tired of putting up with what’s being dished out to me. After spending the evening being teased just for the enjoyment of it, I started giving it back and the person didn’t like it. Funny how it can be dished out and call “having fun.” When enough is enough, one should stop teasing when ask to. If they don’t stop teasing then it is an open invitation to return the banter, right?! I only gave it out exactly as it was given to me. So was the person really being mean to me since they didn’t like hearing it come back to them, same words, same tone, same everything? Perhaps they were. Which ever the case, I’ve decided not to give them anymore of my precious time. I only have a little bit left and I want to use it wisely.

No one can get time spent back, so we must invest it in what we love the most.

 

Mind Control

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I read a great quote today by one of my favorite people, Paula White.
“If you spend too much time worried about who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are! Don’t lose yourself!”

I must admit that I wept when I read this quote because I realized I did lose myself.

I worried about what somebody else wanted me to be so much that I forgot what I was. I forgot who I was called to be. I forgot the leader that I was called to be. I was so influenced by their opinion and what they thought was right and wrong that I no longer had thoughts for myself. I was merely a puppet on a string.

I didn’t know this about myself until after their death. I didn’t realize the strong influence that I had allowed them to have over me. And it has taken me years to break that soul tie that they had on me. I think that I am finally breaking free however I know that there are still areas of my life that are still bound by their influence.

Control, especially mind control is a very evil monster. It creeps into our heart and soul when we’re not realizing it and destroys our very fiber if we allow it to. Of course that form of control can only happen when we completely trust the person we are allowing to control us. Or perhaps we allow it to control us when we’re so afraid of the person that’s controlling us so we no longer allow our independent thoughts to happen. The outcome is the same no matter what.

A person who has not been allowed to develop and be the person that they’re called to be are actually stunted in their growth. I liken it to having your legs chopped off at the knee so that you have to be pushed around in a wheelchair so that you’re not allowed to go to and fro as you want to without being under the complete submission of another person.

I must admit this is exactly what happened in my own life. I allowed another person to fashion, to form, to establish, to define every aspect of what I thought and believed. So much so that when that person was no longer a part of my life I did not know who I was, what I believed, or what I was to be about doing. I was shaken to my very core, to the very fiber of my being. My belief system was so shaken that I didn’t even know up from down.

Now I didn’t make a decision that one day I’m going to allow someone to have that much influence over my life. No, that happened in a very slow process. That much influence happened day by day, week by week, month by month, one thought after one thought, after one thought.

I suppose I can honestly say that I feared this individual greatly. And as a result of my fear of him I allowed him to have control over my thoughts and my processes. I wished I had a stood up to him. I wish that would’ve been mature enough to recognize what was happening and take a stand for myself. Or I wish someone had of spoken up while it was happening in order to have stopped it from happening. But it was after the fact that I was told that I had been under severe control by this individual. And again even when I was told I was under the control I didn’t recognize it until years later when I could look back and see the effects of it.

The abuse of control can be crippling. I am now learning to stand on my own two feet. I am now learning who I am and what I’m called to be. But I realize I walk with a limp and I guess that limp will always remind me never to allow anyone to control me as I was controlled by this person in the past.