Roller coaster report: My new treatment

Roller coaster report: My new treatment

I know it’s a trite analogy, but having stage IV cancer is really like being on a roller coaster. I used to brace myself for every drop, but lately I’ve learned to just hang on tight and go along for the ride. I can’t get off after the ride has started, so I have no choice than to trust I’ll get through it. Note: this analogy may not work for those of you who love roller coasters! As those of you who follow me know, I was so excited my treatment (Ibrance and Femara) was FDA-approved, ending my monthly back and forth trips to Chicago for the trial. I was feeling great and looking forward to a hopefully long run on the duo. Then came my scan, a couple of weeks ago. Last week I finally got a hold of my consulting oncologist at Indiana...

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My crappy, un-crappy day

My crappy, un-crappy day

I am having a semi-crappy day. The un-crappy part is I got a great massage from my Cheryl, my oncology massage therapist. Thanks to Cancer Family Care, I have been getting these at half the price as long as I’m in treatment. The other un-crappy part of my day has been spending time with my wonderful, loving and fun daughter Chrissy. We just did normal activities – getting her yearly physical from her pediatrician, running errands and letting her drive for practice. But I know how precious each of these moments are in the precarious world we live in. Now for the crappy part. I share this because it needs to be shared. Because we all should allow ourselves to feel crappy once in a while. It’s OK not to be 100 percent positive. As I wrote about...

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From Survivorville to “Scanville”: My road back to reality

From Survivorville to “Scanville”: My road back to reality

I came back from an absolutely exhilarating time at the Survivorville, a women’s cancer conference in Nashville. Not only was the venue beautiful – The Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Resort – but the women I met were too, inside and out. The two highlights were 1) meeting fellow stage IV survivors/co-survivors who were volunteers and at my breakout session: The Buck Stops Here: The Power of Becoming Your Own Advocate, and 2) reading my story for My 2nd Act: Survivor Stories from the Stage. I was in awe of the nine other women and two little girls, who shared their stories of struggle, loss, inspiration and hope and how they transformed the life-changing experiences with cancer to a new way of life. For instance, Ariana and Naveya, the two girls...

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My “Not to Do” List

My “Not to Do” List

Just returned from another scan to see how my cancer is behaving. I’ll let you know what we find out in next week’s post. Since I have a lot going on this week getting ready to leave for Nashville for the Survivorville conference for women with cancer, I am going to recycle an “oldie but goodie” post. For those of you attending, I am excited to be presenting my essay for the My Second Act performance on Saturday night, as well as presenting a breakout session for metastatic survivors called The Buck Stops Here: The Power of Being Your Own Advocate. If you’re attending, please stop by and say hi. I’d love to meet you! Here’s my post written back in 2013: I am learning to stand up for myself in several ways. I find that I...

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The other shoe: the waste of worry

The other shoe: the waste of worry

I was talking to my hubby Mike today when the topic of “waiting for the other shoe to drop” came up. I looked up the phrase and learned it originated in the early 1900s about hearing someone drop a shoe at the door and waiting to hear the other shoe drop. Simple as that. Somehow we have turned it into “waiting for something bad to happen.” I realize how much of my life has been wasted waiting for the other shoe to drop. “Things are going well now, but I’m waiting for something bad to happen to ruin it.” I never trusted my life could stay great and I couldn’t appreciate it when it did because I was waiting for it to be taken away from me. I think a lot of people, unfortunately live that way. We can’t enjoy the...

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Confessions of a sugar-holic

Confessions of a sugar-holic

You hear about alcoholics “hitting their bottom.” I think I hit mine after being away three weekends in a row and indulging in an enormous amount (for me) of sugar. Cookies offered at meetings? I’m in! Dessert at dinner? Of course! Then we went to my in-laws to surprise them for their 80th birthdays (they were born a day apart). I noticed it after my two servings of cake and ice cream. We were taking a walk and I actually felt dizzy. I could just feel that sugar zooming through my bloodstream like a drug. The day after I got back, I watched the documentary Are You Fed Up? on Netflix, which explores the food and beverage industry’s sugar-laden role in childhood obesity. It inspired me to eliminate sugar from my diet. Luckily my daughter has...

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Putting on my advocate hat for the Komen VIP Blogger Summit

Putting on my advocate hat for the Komen VIP Blogger Summit

My mission has always been to instill hope and information to others battling advanced cancer of all types. It has been more of a personal message, which has evolved over time. Take care of yourself, be your own advocate, don’t give up hope. Yet I cannot dismiss the dark side of the issue as I connect with more and more people living with this disease. There are too many people dying, many of them young parents and single women who were robbed of the chance of parenthood — and that is unacceptable. More than 40,000 women and men continue to die from stage IV breast cancer each year and 20-30 percent of all cancers will become stage IV at some time. Yet, according to a thorough landscape analysis by the Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC) Alliance (of which...

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