Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New Online Music Mix As Independent As You Streaming 24/7 - KCRW Eclectic24

Happy Birthday MOM! I sure wish I could celebrate with you.  I'm picturing the most perfect day, mom; filled with fun and laughter (and awesome food!).  ENJOY YOUR DAY!!!!!  I love you!!!!

If you like eclectic music, you may want to check out KCRW Eclectic24's station!  I LOVE IT!!!
New Online Music Mix As Independent As You Streaming 24/7 - KCRW Eclectic24

Monday, April 19, 2010

I develop a positive state of mind.

The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.  Dr. Wayne Dyer

Friday, April 16, 2010

Just wanted to document my hair growth.  It's been 4 and 1/2 months since my last chemo.  I'm ready for a trim and some color.  If I can just find the time to do that! 

Happy Friday!


Thursday, April 15, 2010

April 15, 2010

14 years ago today, my beautiful and loving sister, Susan passed away.  I honor Susan everyday but especially today, April 15th.  I feel her presence even more; an energy around me, protecting and loving me.  Sue, I love and miss you everyday.  You tought me how to be a brave warrior!

This is one of my favorite pictures of Sue.

Sue lost her battle to Stage IV Melanama April 15, 1996, she was 39 years old.  She was diagnosed December 1995. 

Please light a candle honoring Sue's memory tonight. 


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Four Month Check Up

Last week I had my four month check up (post-chemo) and it went well. My blood work is showing normal-low readings! I had my hormones checked and I am now in menopause, no doubt. Also had a chest x-ray b/c my back, between my angel-wing bone and spine (near my lungs) was cramping really bad. I was up pretty much all night the night before my appointment. It hurt to take a deep breath. I started getting these weird random cramp attacks mid-way through my chemo. They usually lasted an hour or so but this one would not stop. Dr. Polikoff suggested I go in for a massage. Didn't have to twist my arm. . . smile.  When Jeff was driving me home from the appointment, I sneezed which caused even more pain in my back. So, I went to ZenSpa (Thank you to all the SDPD ladies who gave me the gift certificate!!!!!) and had a full-body massage. Yoyo really worked out the knot in my back. Although it still hurt to take a deep breath, I was feeling much better. I could move my head from side to side and I could lift my right arm. So, Huge Success at ZenSpa! Oh, my doctor also ordered a DVT test, and ruled out a blood clot. He's so thorough!

I've not heard back from my Dr. regarding the chest x-ray but I think, in this case, no news is really good news. :-)

I'll see my doctor again in 4 months. He said he normally does not order lab work for every appointment. . . I found that odd. But you know me, I will insist. For sure. I might change my Oncologist, so I don't have to drive all the way to San Marco. The commute sucks and that’s the only reason why I’d change doctors.

So, I finally had the courage to ask my doctor what my chances are for recurrence. Back in July, 2009, he asked if I wanted "numbers", in a “used car salesman” kind of way, I instantly said NO! I wasn’t ready. Here are the numbers: I was at 50% chance of recurrence prior to Chemo and now I've cut my odds in half. I have a 25% chance for recurrence. I’d be happier if my chances were zero percent but I’ll take 25% over 50% any day! I’m grateful!

My hair is continuing to grow! Can’t wait to pull it back into a pony-tail! Maybe the end of summer I’ll have the length to do that!

A friend of mine is having surgery tomorrow. Please send healing thoughts to Marsi!

By banishing doubt and thinking in no-limit ways, you clear a space for the power of intention to flow through. The power of intention is so deficient of doubt that when you’re connected to it you see what you’d like to have as already being present. ~Dr. Wayne Dyer

Click on the title "Four Month Check Up" to see what The New York Times has created. It’s a cool and inspiring place for survivors to post their picture and share their story - Picture Your Life After Cancer: Kudos to The New York Times! I’ve not posted a picture yet but I will. I just need to find a good Milk Dud Warrior picture.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I'm in NO hurray to have reconstruction done, that's for sure.  And I now know what my option is.  Backflap and implants.  I met w/ my plastic surgeon yesterday and I like her very much.  She know's I'm in no rush to schedule this surgery.  I'm thinking maybe the Summer of 2011.  This is what I learned yesterday:

Since I had radiation, my chest would not be able to support implants, alone.  In a nut shell. . .My doctor will move muscle and skin from my back to my chest. 

Hospital stay:  1-2 days  Recovery time:  3-4 weeks

This is what I have to look forward to. . . see why I'm not in a rush?  Smile.

What to Expect During a Latissimus Dorsi Breast Reconstruction:

You will not be awake during your mastectomy or reconstruction, so you will have intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Talk to your surgeon and the anesthesiologist about which will work best for you, and be sure he or she is informed of all medications and supplements you are taking. If you are having a mastectomy and reconstruction at the same time (immediate reconstruction), your general surgeon will first remove your breast, sparing as much skin as will be safe to keep.

Getting Ready for Latissimus Dorsi Breast Reconstruction:
Your plastic surgeon will use a skin marker to carefully plan for the incision that will create your skin flap. A pointed ellipse will be drawn on your back, over your latissimus dorsi muscle. This ellipse will become the skin flap that closes the incision for your reconstructed breast. When the incision for the flap is shut, it will be about 10 to 15 cm in length and follow the line of one of your ribs.

Moving Muscle and Skin:
Your plastic surgeon will make an incision on the skin markings, raising the skin and muscle flap. A tunnel will be created under your skin so that the flap can be relocated. This tissue flap will go through the tunnel to the front of your chest, keeping its blood supply intact. This ensures that the skin and muscle will continue to live in their new location. The skin will be positioned so that it fills in the skin that was lost during your mastectomy. If you need an implant, the muscle will be draped over it to create the new breast mound.

Closing Incisions and Starting Recovery:
Your back incision will be closed, and a surgical drain may be placed in it to help remove excess fluid. On your chest, the skin flap will be carefully joined to the mastectomy incision. If needed, scar tissue from your mastectomy may be removed in order to create a smoother skin texture at the new incision. Some patients may need a surgical drain in the reconstructed breast to help prevent fluid build-up and promote healing.

Recovering from Latissimus Dorsi Breast Reconstruction:
You may need to stay in the hospital for three or four days as you begin healing from breast reconstructive surgery. If you have surgical drains, you will learn how to empty those and keep records of the fluid volume. Report pain if you have any, so that it can be treated. Don't go right back to work – plan on taking it easy for three to six weeks for recovery. Be sure to have someone around to help drive you and do any lifting. Be sure to go for your follow-up appointments so your surgeon can keep an eye on your incisions and dressings and remove your drains.

I had a crazy dream last night that I met w/ my oncologist and I forgot to bring my list of questions so I just sat there, didn't say a word.  My list is in my purse.  No way will I forget it.  Jeff will be there w/ me. 

Gotta run.  Will write more later this week.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter All!

Being relaxed, at peace with yourself, confident, emotionally neutral, loose, and free-floating—these are the keys to successful performance in almost everything you do. - Dr. Wayne Dyer

Yesterday was nearly a perfect day with my family.  What would have made it perfect is if Sarah and her family could have joined us.  

Seeing mom and dad, my brother, Owen and my sister, Mary along with there amazing family was just what I needed.  Everyone looked so healthy and happy!  We had a lot of catching up to do!  It had been since December since I saw my parents.  

I'm continuing to feel well.  My knee is sore but not like before.  I'm only reminded of the pain when try to sit on the floor or kneel down while taking pictures.  Ouch.  My hair is growing in nicely.  Yes!  I have my 4 month (post chemo) appointment with my Oncologist this week.  I have so many questions.  I'll go over what I learn from my appointment on my blog later this week.  My appointment is on Thursday.

My boys are doing very well.  Tate's soccer team is playing in the State Cup tournament this weekend, fingers crossed they advance to the next weekend!  Nolan is enjoying baseball.  

June 6th - can't wait!  U2 Time with mom and dad!  

I'll post more later today.  Happy Easter!