Welcome to my world

I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1512

I'm blessed to still be living the life I love.  Having gone through what I've been through the last 1500+ days, I count my blessings all the time.  Life IS amazing.

And then it's awful.  
I don't have an October breast cancer fact today.   I can't do a mundane "about breast cancer" post.
My mind is stunned, my heart is heavy.  
One of my friends.... a KCA buddy who was in the chemo trenches the same time I was in 2013 (and again this past year).... I learned last night that she has almost reached the end of her fight.  I know miracles happen all the time.... but her doctors think she has only days left.  DAYS.

I'm mad.  I'm sad.  I'm so disappointed in modern medicine.  I'm baffled that someone who can run half marathons and teach yoga can be brought down by f****** cancer.  I'm scared, because the farther out all of us get from treatment, the more I'm hearing about my friends and Stage IV incurable cancer.  It SUCKS.

I'm also selfishly dealing with survivor's guilt.  It's a fine line to walk..... enjoying every second and being grateful for what I have, while at the same time being filled with sorrow over my friend not having that chance.

Please pray for Nichole.  Pray for her husband of 25 years.  Pray for her family and friends.  Pray for those of us who met her under horrible circumstances but are blessed by knowing her.  

Life is amazing...because of people like her.
And then it's awful.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1511

October 19 - The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports a higher risk of breast cancer in women who take multivitamins.

Unless you live under a rock and exist on water and seaweed, you probably eat something, drink something, wear something or are exposed to something every day that someone somewhere has discovered causes cancer.

As an obsessive researcher, I know all about just about everything that is considered "dangerous" as far as cancer goes.  Stay out of the sun.  Don't eat processed foods.  Don't heat up plastic in the microwave.  Don't grill foods to "well done".  Don't freeze water bottles.  Avoid parabens in everything.  Don't eat sugar.  Don't smoke.

The list is endless.

I know people who live by these guidelines.... strictly.  I know people who don't follow them at all.
I'm somewhere in between.  I try to make healthy choices, but I also try to live my life.  I did everything right for the first forty years of my life and I ended up with cancer anyway.  I don't smoke.  I rarely drink.  I love fruits and salads.  I drink water or tea.  I buy hair products that are paraben-free.  I wear sunscreen (because face it.... I live in Texas, I can't exactly avoid the sun).  

But if I want a cookie, or a piece of chocolate, I have one.  I eat grilled chicken.  I love bacon.

There's a fine line between overly cautious and overly reckless....and for each person that line is different.  Be smart and find what works for you.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1510

October 18 - The youngest known survivor of breast cancer is Aleisha Hunter from Ontario, Canada. At only three years old, Aleisha underwent a complete mastectomy in 2010 to treat her juvenile strain of breast cancer.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1509

October 17 - Approximately every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and 1 woman will die of breast cancer every 13 minutes.

The truth hurts.

It's a mystery to me how we (the human race) have made such incredible strides in curing all kinds of diseases and yet the above fact remains true.  Cancer, not just breast cancer, is SO prevalent in the world and sometimes it seems there's no stopping it. 

How can we discover planets and galaxies millions of light years away from Earth, but we can't figure out a way to stop one tiny malignant cell from multiplying?  We can create vehicles that practically drive themselves, build gigantic machines that fly through the sky, invent the incredible online world that ties us all together called the internet.... and yet we have no cure for a disease that kills people every few minutes.  It's mind boggling.

I've been struggling lately.  Not physically, and not because of myself.  I'm fine, I promise.
But some people I know... they are not fine. 

One of my KCA sisters who I see in Vegas every year.... her cancer has returned with a vengeance.  It's migrating from lymph node to lymph node, and now it's in her brain.  She's not much older than me.

Another of my KCA sisters is also dealing with Stage IV breast cancer that seems resistant to every treatment they are throwing at it.  Her first recurrence was in her cheekbone.  What.The.Hell.   Now she has mets (cancer that has spread) throughout her body.  She's tired and weary of the fight, but still forging on.  She's younger than me.

My mom's good friend, a lady who I've known my entire life, is also living with Stage IV cancer that her treatment isn't touching.  This lady lives a healthier and more active lifestyle at 70 years old than most of my friends my age.  And yet cancer is taking over her body.

My good friend Kathryn is in the hospital right now dealing with cellulitis and sepsis.... complications from surviving cancer.  If she hadn't been on the ball and gotten to the hospital as quickly as she did, she would have probably had a very bad outcome.

I hate that so many of my loved ones are suffering because of this horrible disease.  Breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer..... I don't care which one.  They all suck.  And they are all hitting too close to home.

I despise being a "woe is me" person, though.  Despite all of the tragedies in the world, life does indeed go on.  I can pray for those who are hurting.   I can worry about my own future.  And I can grieve for the ones who have no hope.  But then I have to pick myself up and forge ahead.  I have to do my best to keep myself healthy.  I have to enjoy the time I have with my family and friends, doing the things that I enjoy.  And I have to continue to find hope wherever I can.

Yesterday I found it in the parking lot at work.

This isn't a pretty pink ribbon printed on a cup, or ironed onto a shirt.  There is no "save the ta tas" (ugh) message with it.
It was just a piece of wire, laying on the asphalt next to my car.  God's way of sending me a little hope... .a little faith....a little more strength when I needed it.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Kicking cancer's ass - day 1508

October 16 - There are a number of misconceptions about what can cause breast cancer. These include, but are not limited to, using deodorants or antiperspirants, wearing underwire bras, having a miscarriage or induced abortion, or bumping/bruising the breast tissue.

Oh... well that explains it.  I've used deodorant since I was old enough to need it.  I always wore underwire bras.  I had two miscarriages.  Wow.  It's all my fault.

Contrary to popular belief, most of what people say or think causes cancer is not true.  
I know overweight, unhealthy people who have breast cancer.  I know super thin, fit, active people who have breast cancer.  I know people who didn't need to wear a bra who have breast cancer.  I know plenty of people (unfortunately) who have had miscarriages... and most of them do not have breast cancer.

Don't believe everything you hear.  There's a difference between educating yourself and living smart.... and living in fear of everything.  

I do think that there are certain things we do, eat, drink, or are exposed to that could possibly increase our risk of breast cancer.  I also think that you could avoid everything that everyone says causes cancer and still end up with breast cancer.  You just never know.