Friday, July 30, 2010

Yay, it's Friday...

and a long weekend for most of you (since every weekend is a long weekend for me at the moment) so first and foremost...BE SAFE!!!!

I have a Herceptin treatment today in Barrie. It was originally scheduled for two weeks ago, but that was the week of surgery so figured I'd be pushing it to get this treatment two days after ..so it was postponed until last week, but when I went for my doctors appointment I found out the Herceptin did in fact affect my heart. The pumping capability of your heart is measured with an echo cardiogram..which is why I need to have those on a regular basis while on this treatment and afterward. I was sent for one before any Herceptin so they new where my heart started out ..which was at a pumping rate of 65. I went for an echo on July 2nd...which showed a rate of 55. Apparently if I'd started out at 55 that would be fine, but because I started at 65, 55 was quite a drop sooooo no treatment last week, but another echo was done instead. It did show the rate back up to 67 (the heart is amazing and does repair itself) so now treatment is today. I was supposed to have echo's every 3 months, but now I think they are going to be even more frequent..lucky me!

My arm is still really sore...because the nerves were cut, it's sort of feels like I have an extreme sunburn, so when clothing brushes against my upper arm it hurts. I'm not taking anything for it..I hate to take medication when I can put up with it. I need to start doing more exercises as well...I only have about 50% use of it still at this point. I was told though, it can take 8 weeks to regain full movement..but I think I've said it before, I'm impatient hahahahahahahaha

Hoping to have a barbecue this weekend with my older kids. My daughter lives in Mississauga so we're having trouble finding her a ride up. My vehicle isn't in great shape anymore so I really don't want to drive it down there. If something happens to it, I'm in big trouble, as it's our only vehicle to get me to my appointments. Hopefully something will work out.

This weekend is year end at work, so I told mom I'd come help them with inventory. Not sure how long my arm will hold out, but we can take turns counting and writing. We had a driver quit this week (they always think there are greener pastures somewhere else) which puts my dad in a bind once again. He's so good to his employees, but it never seems to matter. Of course we are still left with a driver, but he's pretty much useless and can't do the major runs that this one that quit can, so I'm sure my dad is majorly stressed (and at age 67 he shouldn't even be concerned with crap like this) so anything we can do to help get 'year end' out of the way easier is a help.

Anyhoot..I'm out of here.....have a super weekend......and like is said at the beginning BE SAFE

Keep Smilin'

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Good Sunday Morning!!

SOOOOOOO yesterday was a pretty good day...I didn't do anything special, but I did get to talk to both my older kids on the phone yesterday which was awesome!! We might even be able to get together next weekend for a barbeque!!

I was thinking the other day, about how when someone says they have cancer, most people think...chemo then radiation then with any luck , other then regular check ups that person is done treatment. I used to think this way too, so I sat down and made a list of everything that has happened to me since last December...this might just boggle your mind!!!

Remember--> I have never had stitches, broken a bone, been sick, and I literally only used to take MAYBE 4 Tylenol a year for the odd headache (that was usually wine induced hahahaha)

1 needle breast biopsy
1 wire localization
3 mammograms
1 breast ultrasound
2 MRI's
10 breast exams (although some of those docs were cute hahahahaha)
6 chemotherapy treatments
1 P.I.C.C. line
1 surgery
1 drain tube
12 staples
aprox 12 dissolving stitches
1 MUGA scan
1 Bone scan
10 blood tests
3 echo cardiograms( LOTS more to go)
1 electrocardiogram
2 chest xrays
4 Herceptin treatments (14 more to go)
and 1 lovely allergy to adhesives (all tapes and bandages)

This is by no means the end of these tests either...this almost boggled my mind when I wrote it out!

Freaky isn't it!

Ok, so I'm going to go start something creative...have a great day~!

Keep Smilin'

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My friends are AWESOME!!!

I love getting good mail, heck who doesn't..but I tell ya, I have some of the most amazing friends ever! Here are some pictures of what I've received. I told Sean the other day, I don't know where I'd be without all the thoughtfulness of my scrappy friends..
This is from Paulette..my very dear friend. She's so generous, and just an absolute sweetheart. She sent me the beautiful flowers last week, then this week she sent me this. I was SOO in need of the hermifix refills...I was coming close to being out...but not now :)I had asked Wendy(Wendance) if when she had some time if she could stamp me some Magnolia images. I absolutely adore Magnolia but at this time, can't afford to buy any stamps. She sent this...the images PLUS a stamp set! They are going to be awesome for making cards..she's so sweet~

My friend Shannon from Saskatchewan sent me this package this week. I absolutely adore it all~ The flowers are so cool, I can't wait to use them ...and the chipboard..well I'm hoping to use it for something that I can display in my craft room...once I get it figured out and made, you can be sure I'll be posting it here for all to see~
I have another awesome friend...Wendy (Jax). She sent me this package this week. The little stamps are adorable, the bling is super cool, the 'friendship' quotes are going to be perfect for just about anything I use them on...and those little pink clips...ohhh I can't wait to use them too..

and finally this awesome package is from Carla...I won a RAK for doing sketches at Lovebug scrapbooking and was shocked to see this in my mailbox. The paper pad is all Christmas themed as well as the two stamps...absolutely perfect for making this years Christmas cards!!
My plan this weekend is to scrap and start using all these amazing supplies that my friends have sent me. You guys are simply the best!!!!



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wow, Time Flies...

Hard to believe it's been 7 days since surgery...and today I had 6 of the 12 staples removed..yayyyyyy. The tape that's being used to hold the gauze on is leaving my skin red and sore...seems I've developed a bit of an adhesive allergy..likely from chemo. Also chemo has cause medical menopause..which I can't say is bothering me one little bit ...hahahahahaha...I'm hoping it'll last...sometimes it does~~funny how there is always something good that comes from something you think is bad~
I got for my Herceptin treatment this week too (yay, another needle poke..or make that two hahahaha) so I think I'm going to make an appointment with the dietitian at the hospital. I need to eat better...and lose weight. I can't afford Weight Watchers right now, so I'm going to do this on my own. We eat fairly good now, but I know it could be improved and I'm pretty sure we don't eat the required number of servings that we should so hopefully she'll give us some advice. It's proven that losing weight helps to prevent the cancer from reoccurring which is exactly what I am aiming for!!
Nothing else really happening around here...might work on something scrappy this afternoon. Beautiful sunny day so I might just soak up a wee bit of vitamin D this afternoon, and yes I know a lot of sun isn't good for you either so it'll only be a small dose~
have a wonderful day
Keep Smilin'

Monday, July 19, 2010

Why does everything have to be so difficult...



Remember when I mentioned about those organizations that help out breast cancer patients? Well I applied to one and man..it was hard to do. Sean and I have always been independent..so asking in the first place was tough..but the application in my opinion is ridiculous. They wanted all sorts of income information..ok that makes sense. Then a medical person (either the doctor or social worker has to sign that the info is true and correct) ok, that makes sense too...They wanted tax returns from last year and notice of assessments from the government. Ok sent those..so I get a letter two weeks ago saying I needed to send ORIGINAL grocery receipts (which I didn't keep because I didn't know I needed to) and a parking log since the hospital didn't' give receipts for all the money we've spent parking. OK, so done...I had to send copies of bank statements to prove groceries but no biggie..done...SOOOOOOO

I get an email today saying they need my COMPLETE tax return. I thought I had sent it so when I asked her she said No, that I sent a summary...they need the entire thing. It's 32 freakin pages long, that I would have to print off..and I was working last year..so this makes no sense to me what so ever...I didn't stop working until February of this year. It's like I said to Sean, if I made 100 thousand dollars last year, I wouldn't be asking for help...and they have the Notice of Assessment from the government..which is the FINAL tax summary.

So basically I said I wasn't printing off 32 pages and mailing it out...that they might as well mail me back all my ORIGINAL documents and I'll worry about all this crap myself. Honestly...it's like they don't believe that we need help.


Makes me laugh..A Notice of Assessment can be accepted as proof of income to do a mortgage but they won't accept it to give me help with a couple bills...sheesh..


Still haven't heard from the government disability pension either, so I'm going onto month 2 with zero income..and it kills me almost every day that we can't do anything with Reece..not even something small. I have no idea how I'm going to get her the back to school stuff she needs, but I'm sure we'll figure something out!!
Man, it just ticks me off.....especially when their mission statement is

"To provide assistance to women/men in order to make their fight with breast cancer a little less challenge" ....well I'd say they make it VERY CHALLENGING to even be accepted.
Anyhow, I thought I'd share a couple photo's...I was on the 18th floor of Princess Margaret Hospital..and boy did I wish I had my camera ...Sean and Reece brought it down when they came to pick me up and took these shots...those were the view from my room. It was so pretty at night, with the entire city lit up. I honestly don't consider Toronto a 'pretty place' but when you see the sky line all it up at night, it's gorgeous...



I am pretty sure I get some of the staples out tomorrow. There is quite a bit of bruising under my arm, but I heal fast so that's good. They take out alternate staples apparently so with any luck on Wednesday the drain and the balance of the staples will be removed. That should make for an easy sleep at night at least.

That's all for today..have a good one~~

Keep Smilin'

Friday, July 16, 2010

Yay, it's Friday...


hard to believe it's been 3 days since surgery...I've had the dressings changed twice..the nurse came last night around 5pm and again this morning at 9:30am...I have dissolving stitches closing the incision on my breast but staples closing the one under my arm. Apparently they look good , according to the nurse...so we'll see. My arm is mighty stiff though...and completely numb on the underside which is normal. The numbness can last forever in some cases...I'm hoping not in mine. I'm doing my exercises to keep everything working properly...last thing I need is 'frozen shoulder' which I guess is quite common as people are afraid to move their arms very much. We were told that frozen shoulder can sometimes take months to fix and recover from so it's not something I want...so exercises it is~~~
These beautiful flowers arrived yesterday , they are from Paulette..my very dear friend. It's amazing how fresh beautiful smelling flowers can just make everything that much better. They are simply gorgeous. I love when a breeze comes through and all I can smell are the flowers....Thank you so much Paulette...you are truly a wonderful friend~

I also received a card from the lady that has been going through her treatments the same time I was. She's finally finished with hers as well and is in complete remission. Inside that card were two gift cards to Subway...I was stunned. She's had so much on her plate this last few months too. She thought it would be nice if Sean didn't have to worry about making a few meals for us, and to just let him worry about taking care of me instead of feeding us..wasn't that just awesome of her~

I can't shower until the drain comes out...which might sound bad, but hey..Sean volunteered to 'wash me' so how bad can not showering really be hahahahahahahaha...He's pretty good at being my nurse...and to be honest, the fringe benefits are pretty cool too!!! :) :) :) He's such a sweetheart....offering to get me anything I might need to be more comfortable.....I'm not sure where I'd be without him through all this~~

OK, so that's enough typing for now...it's good to keep my arm moving, but it sure tires me out fast too...

Thanks again for all your well wishes, the power of positive vibes is an amazing thing!!

Keep Smilin'

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Part 2 complete!!!


So, surgery is now complete...and boy I can't begin to tell you how glad I am that this part of the journey is over. Since never having had anything like this before it was certainly interesting, but I must say that everyone was absolutely amazing.


I was up at 4am yesterday, not because I had to be, but because I couldn't sleep..anxiety I suspect.....we were in Toronto at Princess Margaret at 6:50am...and from there we waited. I had to have what they call "wire localization" which is where the insert a wire on either side of what's left of the tumor using a mammography machine and a computer. So...I would say I was basically squished in the machine approximately 10 times..while these wires were being inserted. Lucky for me the girl doing it was in training (and yes there was sarcasm in my typing LOL )

Then it was off to surgery. My surgeon is a woman and a great one at that...but she also had a resident working with her and let me tell ya, he was easy to look at. Just my luck though, he was likely touching my boob and I'll never remember hahahahahahahahahahahahaha


It's quite a feeling to be staring at the ceiling one minute then waking up staring at a completely different ceiling the next...all I could think of was..whew..it's over! Went into surgery around 11:10 am...came out about 2 hours later.


I have a drain tube in my arm pit from where the lymph nodes were removed...it'll stay in aprox 5 days..depending on how quickly the fluid drains. I have no idea how large the cut is on my breast ...but home care is coming tomorrow to change the dressings so I guess I'll see how good/bad it is then.


When I was wheeled into my room yesterday after surgery , a nurse asked me if I knew these names and rhymed off my friends names. I said 'yes' and she said 'darn, if you had of said no I was going to keep these...

aren't they just gorgeous! They smell so amazing too. I got so many compliments from everyone that came into my room. They are from my good friend Dayle and her family. It sure made my day I tell ya.

I have an update on August 11th with the surgeon to find out the pathology report on my tumor and lymph nodes..so positive vibes for a positive report please!!!

Well, I'm going to lay down, it's been a long tiring couple of days...but wanted to update you all. Thanks for sticking with me on my journey...you all hold a special place in my heart.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It's True What They Say....

that it takes something really serious for a person to find out who their real friends are. Since being diagnosed I've been amazed at the support I've received from some of my friends. People who I would not have thought even cared that much...it's so heart warming!
Just the other day I was at work, when one of our customers who I've known for quite some time popped in with a small gift for me. When she saw me (she didn't think I'd be there) she came running with a huge hug and even had tears in her eyes. It really makes me feel amazing knowing that so many people care so much!
On the other hand, It also amazes me that people I thought would be there for me ....aren't. It sort of just makes you shake your head. Oh well...I guess that's just the way it is, but it sure makes me grateful for the friends that I have that care so much~and for that I wanted to say
THANK YOU for being there for me...with all your words of encouragement...it means the world to me..and I'll say it again...my scrappy friends are simply the best...
Keep Smilin'

Scrap~tures HOT Summer Kit Club Incentive Program!!!

What's going on at Scrap~tures for July? With the summer heat we are offering a hot hot deal with the Scrap~tures Kit Club Incentive Program. For the month of July we have a great incentive to sign up your friends for the awesome scrapbook and card kits.

If you already subscribe but get a friend to sign on for a year, you and your friend will get your first/next kit for FREE, if your friend signs on for 6 months, you and your friend will get your next/first kit for half price!

If you have not already signed up and want to, you will get your first kit for FREE for a 12 month subscription, and half price for a 6 month subscription.

If you are planning to take advantage of this great deal, just head on over to the scraptures store to sign up!! www.scraptures.ca

Don't miss out on this hot hot summer deal!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Doing a happy dance here!!!

Yesterday I had to meet with the surgeon to consult before surgery. I also had to have a mammogram before the consult...OUCH is all I can say...sheesh...I am amazed that with all the technology they can't come up with a more accurate machine that doesn't squish a body part like that..I think it must have been a man who invented it..I wonder if we women made a machine that squished a male body part like that...would someone then come up with a new machine hahahahahahahahaha Ok, enough of that

On June 14th I went for my MRI to check the results of the chemotherapy. The surgeon told me yesterday that I've responded very well. When I started this journey and found the lump it was aprox 5.4 cm which is considered quite large. Now, the tumor is LESS THEN 1 CM..
I'm still amazed..and so was the surgeon. I actually now have to have a procedure done before surgery where a radiologist using an ultra sound machine puts in wires on either side of the tumor so when the surgeon goes into to remove it, she knows exactly where it is..because it's SO FREAKIN SMALL...

My surgery has been booked for July 13th...and yes I'm still scared... I'll be in overnight which will be a new thing for me as well. This is being done at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. I've still never heard from the Barrie surgeon. She requested a copy of the MRI two weeks ago, but whether or not she received it, I have no idea so I figured I might as well just book it and get it over with.

My only advice to anyone who is or ends up facing something that you aren't sure you can handle...STAY POSITIVE!!!!!


Keep Smilin'