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!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 914

"God only gives each of us a certain amount of time to be on this earth and every day when we wake up, we get to decide how we are going to spend those precious minutes and hours. There are no do-overs, no second-chances, no next-time-around’s to get it right." - Rory Feek

Rory Feek is a country singer who is facing the imminent death of his beloved wife and singing partner. Joey is within days of succumbing to cervical cancer that has invaded her body and is taking her from her family way, way too early.

Their story is heartbreaking.
You can read his blog here:

This Life I Live

The quote I started this post with really resonated with me today. Lately I have been letting other people's negativity and drama overtake my life, making me a stressed out, angry, ugly person. None of that is me. And none of that is worth it. Mean-spirited, ungrateful, selfish, narcissistic people who are out to bring me down are NOT.WORTH.IT.

Joey Feek is dying at age 40. I was diagnosed with cancer at age 40.  
Why her and not me? She fought for a long time. I fought for a long time. I'm alive and she won't be for much longer. Whether I never have to fight cancer another day of my life or I face a long, hard battle like Joey, I want to get it right.

It's past time to shift my focus back to what's important. I have a family that loves me that means everything to me. I have good, good friends. I have the best breast cancer support groups a girl could ask for. I have a team of doctors looking out for my health and caring people around me looking out for my well being.

I'm not a Beatles fan, but this song and its lyrics bring me such peace. Just Let It Be.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 903

Tuesday afternoon I fell asleep on the couch and did not budge for two hours.  I'm pretty much tired all the time, but that is a little extreme even for me.  I woke up when Hubby came home from work, but couldn't move.  When the kids came home from school I woke up long enough to ask how their day was, then I dozed back off.  Even with my nap, I was sacked out by 11:15pm.

Yesterday I woke up with a migraine.  My handy-dandy percocet kept it at bay, but didn't totally get rid of it, so I spent the entire day fighting a headache.  I've always been a headache person, so they are nothing new for me, but the bad ones are just..... bad.  It's exhausting, my neck and shoulders get tense, my restless legs act up, and even after the meds get rid of it, I walk around with an achy, "hollow" head feeling that lasts for about a day.

I would like, just once, to make it through a day without something bothering me.  I don't ever have a time where my energy is nil, something doesn't hurt or I don't feel like I could sleep for a week.

I'm so very thankful to have made it this far into my "new normal".... but sometimes this new normal sucks.  I miss the old normal!  I miss my not-gray hair, my not-so-fat body, my joints that didn't crack, my arm that didn't swell, and my breasts that were real breasts.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 902

I know yesterday's blog post was about my girl and how sweet she is.
Today's blog post is going to be about my girl and how awesome she is.

First of all, she told me that she had to write an essay at school about someone you are proud of, and she picked me.  She wrote about how I fought cancer and how I do so much for her softball team and I take care of the house.  That girl has a heart of gold, I'm telling you.

When I was going through her school papers yesterday, I found this essay she wrote for a practice STAAR test (the standardized tests here).

Even if I was not her mother, I would be so incredibly proud of the wonderful young lady she is turning into.  I would never associate "self-condifent" with my daughter, but apparently I've been underestimating her.  

Some of you might be wondering about my other child.  Yes, I have a son, and he's pretty amazing, too.  But he's a teenager... and a boy.  Need I say more?  He hibernates in his room, zoning out with his friends on Xbox, only coming out to eat, and only provides one word answers to anything we ask.  He's handsome and funny and talented and kind (like his sister), but he's also in his own little 14 year old world where parents don't exist.

Lord help me.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 900

Today is day 900.  NINE HUNDRED.  That's 900 days since my very first chemo treatment.  In the weeks between d-day and that day, I had numerous tests, scans, procedures and a port placement surgery, but I consider my first day of chemo to be the day I began kicking cancer's ass.
(The 28 days before then, cancer pretty much kicked mine).

I will have to figure out what day 1000 will be and maybe have a party, because that seems like a pretty big milestone, right?

Overall I'm doing well in my post-cancer "new normal".  My biggest issue (and admittedly, it's a big one) is pain.  The medicine I take to block estrogen, Arimidex, has caused me to hobble around like an 80 year old woman.  Everything hurts, even my pinkies!  Take a look at the side effects:

Common side effects of Arimidex include hot flashes, weakness (, joint pain, pharyngitis (sore throat), hypertension, depression, nausea, vomiting, rashes, back pain, insomnia, headaches, coughing, shortness of breath and swelling of the lymph nodes or extremities…. asthenia (lack of energy & strength), arthritis, pain, fractures, back pain, pain, headache, bone pain, increased cough, dyspnea (shortness of breath), and lymphedema… onset of osteoporosis… increased cholesterol levels.
Other risks include severe allergic reactions, heart attack, stroke and liver dysfunction.
Serious adverse reactions with ARIMIDEX occurring in less than 1 in 10,000 patients, are: 1) skin reactions such as lesions, ulcers, or blisters; 2) allergic reactions with swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat. This may cause difficulty in swallowing and/or breathing; and 3) changes in blood tests of the liver function, including inflammation of the liver with symptoms that may include a general feeling of not being well, with or without jaundice, liver pain or liver swelling.

Of those, I have:
- hot flashes (some, but not unbearable)
- weakness (most definitely)
- joint pain (the biggie, and it's awful)
- depression (even taking "happy pills", I have a hard time being motivated to do anything)
- insomnia
- headaches (but I've always had those)
- asthenia (complete lack of energy)
- arthritis (mostly in my left elbow)
- lymphedema (in my left arm/hand)

Being in pain, having no energy, not being able to sleep despite feeling exhausted.... none of that is any fun.  But being alive and cancer-free is so very much fun, so I will stick it out and hope in time that my side effects become more manageable.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 899

I saw this on Facebook today and .... just.... wow.

WOMAN. . . . . . . . . 

When God created woman he was working late on the 6th day.......

An angel came by and asked." Why spend so much time on her?"

The lord answered. "Have you seen all the specifications I have to meet to shape her?"

She must function on all kinds of situations, 
She must be able to embrace several kids at the same time,
Have a hug that can heal anything from a bruised knee to a broken heart,
She must do all this with only two hands,"
She cures herself when sick and can work 18 hours a day"

THE ANGEL was impressed" Just two hands.....impossible!

And this is the standard model?"

The Angel came closer and touched the woman"
"But you have made her so soft, Lord".
"She is soft", said the Lord,
"But I have made her strong. You can't imagine what she can endure and overcome"

"Can she think?" The Angel asked...
The Lord answered. "Not only can she think, she can reason and negotiate"

The Angel touched her cheeks....
"Lord, it seems this creation is leaking! You have put too many burdens on her" 
"She is not leaking...it is a tear" The Lord corrected the Angel…

"What's it for?" Asked the Angel..... .
The Lord said. "Tears are her way of expressing her grief, her doubts, her love, her loneliness, her suffering and her pride."...

This made a big impression on the Angel,
"Lord, you are a genius. You thought of everything.
A woman is indeed marvellous"

Lord said."Indeed she is.
She has strength that amazes a man.
She can handle trouble and carry heavy burdens.
She holds happiness, love and opinions.
She smiles when she feels like screaming.
She sings when she feels like crying, cries when happy and laughs when afraid.
She fights for what she believes in.

Her love is unconditional.
Her heart is broken when a next-of-kin or a friend dies but she finds strength to get on with life"

The Angel asked: So she is a perfect being?
The lord replied: No. She has just one drawback
"She often forgets what she is worth".

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 898

According to the National Cancer Institute, marijauna kills cancer cells.

NCI updated its page to include various studies revealing how cannabis “may inhibit tumor growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumors to grow” while also protecting normal, healthy cells.

You can read the full article from Healthy Holistic Living here:


In my opinion, anything that kills cancer cells is a good thing.  It's even better that more and more states are legalizing marijuana.

I've never smoked anything in my life, and I've never tried any kind of drugs other than the legal kind (face it, I've had seven surgeries in two years.... I've taken drugs!).  I've put my body through all of the "big guns" of treatment:  the harshest chemo regimen, the most extensive surgeries and radiation.  I'm taking a medicine that makes me physically miserable, and I will probably have to take it for ten years, because it blocks estrogen.  My cancer fed off estrogen, so I'm all for starving the beast.

If, despite all of that, my cancer ever comes back, it's reassuring to me that there may be other options.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 897

Last night Hubby and K had a date.  Not just a date, but a D-A-T-E!
He took her to Abilene's Daddy-Daughter dance for the first time.
Just like any girl, she needed a new dress for her date:

And just like any gentleman, Hubby rang the doorbell and came prepared with flowers and gifts:

They posed for the obligatory photo op:

They both kept me updated throughout the evening (he texted me, she called me while he was in the bathroom - ha ha).  She said, "THIS.IS.AWESOME!!!!!"  The food was good and they danced a lot.  The only complaints were that it was hot as hell in there (Hubby's words, not K's) and they only offered something to drink once, and that was only little Dixie cups with lemonade.  

All in all I'd say the evening was a success.  Hubby lucked out with the theme this year:  boot scootin boogie!  Since jeans, a nice shirt and his "good boots" are about the dressed up as he gets, it worked out perfectly.  He even sent me this pic when I asked where his cowboys hat was:

Real men wear pink, right?  (Have I mentioned that Hubby is a really good dad???)

Some of K's friends were there, which made the night even more fun for her... including her old BFF (center, in the blue):

I find it a little ironic that it's one year to the day exactly that I discovered her mom's criminal actions (if you don't remember, she was arrested for stealing tens of thousands of dollars from our softball league - case still pending).  Aside from finding out one of my best friends was a liar, thief and con-artist, the worst part of the whole ordeal was that my little girl lost her best friend.  They were BFFs since they were 3 years old, and except for the last basketball game of the season last year (they were on the same team) - which happened after I confronted my friend - K hasn't seen her friend since it all happened.  

I was afraid that K would be there with her dad, because they go every year.  And they were.  I asked Hubby if they were awkward with each other, and he said our K was timid at first, but once he told her she could talk to and play with her friend, they picked up like nothing ever happened.  He said they were running around, laughing and screaming just like old times.  

Seeing pictures and videos of them enjoying being together last night is bittersweet for me.  It warms my heart that her friend still cares about my girl and was happy to see her, too.  But it doesn't change anything.  Even though that little girl is innocent, I refuse to let my daughter have anything to do with K's parents.  Now that she saw her again, I keep waiting for K to ask me "When can I see K again?"   Sigh.  Stupid criminals.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 895

I despise this part of my morning ritual:

I hate taking pills.  I've always hated taking pills.
I remember when I was a kid and my mom wanted me to graduate from Flintstones chewables to one-a-day vitamins that you had to swallow.  I cried.  CRIED.  
Now I have one of those old people day/night pill divider things.

Hubby can grab a handful of pills and swallow them with one sip of water.  I have to guzzle water with every pill... separately.  By the time I'm done, I feel sick to my stomach just from taking my stupid pills.  

I have a pill to help my bones, a pill to block estrogen (and starve cancer cells), a pill for arthritis pain caused by the estrogen blocker, a pill to help my mood, a pill to make my hair and nails stronger, an allergy pill......I also have nighttime pills for hot flashes, restless legs, my digestive system.....it's endless.
And I'm starting to think it's pointless.  I'm exhausted all the time, I'm grouchy all the time, I'm gaining weight all the time, my legs are restless every night and every joint in my body from my pinky to the bottom of my foot hurts 24/7.  So either my pills are causing more problems or they're not working.  
Sadly, if I complain to my doctors, I'll probably end up with even MORE pills.
(I told you I'm grouchy)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Kicking cancer's ass - day 887

Technically I still have seven and a half hours until I turn 43 years old.

Honestly, I thought I already was 43.  Hmph.  Chemo brain, I guess.
Last year I wrote something fun and funny and witty on my birthday.  And I mentioned chocolate cake.  This year, well, you get the Minions.

That's all I've got.
I have a sick Hubby, a really sick little girl, and a pain-in-the-ass situation with our softball league and the city so I'm stressed to the max over a volunteer job!  Crazy world we live in.  

We made a video about the situation and Hubby posted it on Facebook.  It has over 70,000 views and over two thousand shares.  Holy cow!  My little girl is a Facebook phenom.  I would post it here but it exceeds the allowed file size.  Bah humbug.  You'll have to trust me.... she's very cute, my words are eloquent and the message deserves to be heard.  If anyone has a rich uncle who would like to build us a softball field or two so we can kiss the City of Abilene goodbye, I'd be forever grateful.

Since Hubby is sick, and K will be home sick again, which of my friends do you think will bring me chocolate cake?  Because really, when you get to the ripe old age of 43 after surviving Stage III cancer, what more could you want besides sunshine and chocolate cake?

Happy Birthday to me....and many more!