The thing about feelings …

The thing about feelings …

The thing about feelings is there is only one way out of them – and that’s going through them. Now the happy, easy feelings, we don’t want them to end, but the uncomfortable ones, that’s a different story. So goes the problem with staying positive. I can be black and white about it all and forget that feelings have to be felt. It reminds me of when I was in labor. As you moms out there know, it really hurts! But there is no turning back, no matter how much you wish you can, when the labor pains begin. I felt the same way when I found out I had cancer, except there was no beautiful baby to look forward to. I had to go through it to get through it. And I’m still doing it now. Several people have told me lately I’m brave or that...

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Liver biopsy done, now we wait

Liver biopsy done, now we wait

On Tuesday, we left before dawn to go to Indianapolis for my liver biopsy. The tissue will be used for genomic sequencing/analyzing for the MATCH trial (click on this link for more information). My oncologist told me it will take 10 days for results to come in. I was reassured by a coincidental connection to the trial. One of my dearest and long-term friends, Jami Elliott, actually works for the company that manufacturers the diagnostic equipment used for the genomic sequencing. He knows a lot about the process and assured me that the process is state of the art and my tissue will be thoroughly and accurately analyzed. The actual biopsy was not too bad. I was anticipating a long recovery, but three days later, I am feeling better and less sore. I did have to lay...

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s super new treatment!

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s super new treatment!

You remember those Peanuts cartoons when adults spoke and it just sounded like “blah, blah, blah, blah, blah”? Yes, that’s how I get when I hear a bunch of medical/scientific terms thrown around. I have learned a lot in my 13 years as a breast cancer survivor (seven-plus years as metastatic), but sometimes I feel like I just don’t have the brain power to wrap my head around exactly how treatments work. Hence, as promised, I am going to give you a little,  albeit not very scientific, overview of my new clinical trial. Last week (Thursday), Mike and I traveled two hours to Indianapolis to get my first infusion of  MGAH22, affectionately  known as Fc-optimized Chimeric Anti-HER2 Monoclonal Antibody. Try saying that three times fast! For those...

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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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