Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Journey Begins

It is true!  Most people who have not experienced cancer themselves or don't have a loved one with it, know very little about cancer.  Why should we?  We feel no need to know when we're ok.

My journey with cancer began when I'd bought some new bras, and was trying them on after I got home.  Smoothing the bra down around my breasts, I was suddenly struck by something unusual - I felt a small hardness about the size of a pea on the right outer lower quadrant of my right breast.  I panicked!  Did I really feel that?  Yes, I did!  Fortunately, despite my denial of this reality I had an annual exam coming up soon, and an appointment for it was already made.

Quickly, it became the size of a grape, and then a walnut, then a golf ball.  It turned out to be  NON-cancerous papilloma.

But it flagged me as potentially having breast cancer since it is often a companion to it.  The first needle core biopsy was negative, the second biopsy confirmed my cancer, as invasive ductal carcinoma, stage 1 at 8mm (about the size of a dime or your thumbnail).

They got it all they said.  No spread!  Yea!  Nodes negative.  I was in the clear or so I was told!  5+ years later, it had spread to my left iliac wing - stage 4 Advanced bone mets cancer.  Who knew? Not me!  Very little pain, and most of the time, I'm okay.;  But for how long?  The journey continues!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

How Much Longer Do I Have?

My how life changes and can turn on a dime! I used to read blogs and books on narcissism and psychopathy. These days, its blogs and forums on cancer. I'm learning so much. One of early mags I came across is located at: Tons of useful information!
It's hard not to wonder at times with Stage 4 bone mets (breast) cancer how much longer do I have? The answer is nobody knows! As long as it stays confined to my bones, I could last years and years with a high quality of life.
I've just been reading of long term survivors who have been living with it for 17, 12 and 23 years respectively.…/hope-in-the-face-of-death-living…
That's pretty darn good IMO. I could live to the age of 90! Cool! I'm just ornery enough to do it too! LOL.
When my cancer journey began in 2010, I thought, well, let's whack that breast off, and get on with the business of living! Caught very early, (primary site was only about the size of a dime or your thumbnail @ 8mm.) All went well, and everything seemed very promising.
Then 5 years later, I found out nature was saying "Not so fast there! You're not done yet!" Okay. So let's see how it goes! I am intrigued by this new journey of bone mets (breast) cancer.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

There are times now I could almost forget having cancer (Stage 4 Bone Mets)

It's an amazing thing when it comes to my prognosis. There are times now I could almost forget having cancer (Stage 4 Bone Mets)... with my pain meds and the radiation therapy, I'm happy to say that most of the pain I earlier experienced is gone! I'm increasingly enjoying a normal life doing much as I did before all this.
I'm getting in and out of vehicles, off and on my bed with just a little discomfort here and there. I take care of myself on all my personal needs, going shopping, and enjoying the absence of pain! That's the big thing!
No longer relying on things like my walker, or cane, or my step stool quite as heavily as I used to do. Oh sometimes, yes, the cane and stool comes in handy, and I admit I rather like using the motorized carts in the grocery store to get around... but life is feeling rather good these days. For now, things seem to be stabilized and under control.
I do take comfort that I'm considered relatively low risk in the positive aspects of my having cancer...slow growing, localized, all vital organs still healthy and normal...but a great indicator of longevity is that there was a LONG period between my original breast cancer diagnosis at 5+ years and the diagnosis of bone mets cancer. Outstanding!
Not much to tell, and that's a very good thing! Hope all is well with you too!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Life Can turn on a Dime! From Good Health To Dealing With Cancer!

No time or energy to be wasting either thinking about the ever shallow and boring Psycho Boy, especially with a much better man in my life and a family to care for.  Or dealing with one of those unexpected curve balls life has a way of throwing your way when you least expect it.

Recently hospitalized and diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer - you come face to face with your own mortality and realize how fast life can turn on a dime.  But sometimes good things happen too!

GOOD NEWS!   Now that all the tests have been completed and analyzed, there are some very good aspects of it that leave something to smile about and even celebrate!

First and foremost:  The Tumor is SLOW-GROWING AND LOCALIZED. No vital organs are involved, all are healthy and functioning!  Outlook looks good.

It is a metastasized breast cancer lesion that has NOT SPREAD!  What it is, a failure of the arimidex (anastrozole) I was on for 5 years.  I developed an immunity to the drug, so the mets (metastasized) breast cancer cells grew undetected for 5 years.  New meds, and there will be radiation treatments but NO CHEMO!

The radiation treatments will be to shrink the tumor and restore mobility to me as well as reducing pain. So, it looks like at this writing, I'll be around for quite a while yet.  Cheers Everybody!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Days of Wonder - Days of Pain!

CANCER OR NOT?  Thank you everyone for the all the good wishes.  So what's the story? you might be wondering.  Wednesday afternoon after leaving HQ, I was suddenly gripped by acute and severe hip pain to the point, I could barely walk  with great difficulty.

I finally got home, called my doctor's office, and spoke with his nurse.  At first she suggested going to their Urgent Care unit.  But suddenly the pain was so bad, I burst out bawling like a baby from the pain.

Then she said I should go to the Emergency unit at the local hospital where they have all the necessary equipment.  At first, I thought maybe i had pulled a groin muscle or something simple. I never imagined what was to come!

They sent me for a skeletal xray and a CAT scan.  To my surprise, they saw a large irregular mass over my left hip area, and admitted me for further testing.  A doctor came in and advised me that it looked like what I'd been thinking!

That being a Stage 4 metastatic 5 cm tumor over my hip bone which totally blew me away!  CANCER! I have a high aptitude for the medical sciences, so I was plenty scared!  (This after just after recently celebrating my 5 year survivorship from early breast cancer.  Everything had been going really good for me and I was living a normal life!

They did a PET scan after that, and a more detailed skeletal scan from head to toe, with a biopsy also scheduled.  The PET showed, that the tumor was localized and restricted to my hip groin area....there was no evidence of spread, and all my organs were clean, and normal!  I see this as significant that such a large tumor had not invaded any organs indicating possible benign (meaning NO CANCER!) I'm hoping anyway!  YEA!

Yesterday, they were finally able to get me in for the biopsy.  Not just one sample was taken, but several, and it was painful despite sedation!  Results are not expected until later on next week. (After Christmas).  So, now I have several days ahead of virtual uncertainly.  Is it or is it not cancer?  Stay tuned!  You now know as much as I do!  I am cautiously optimistic!

It's Been A Rough Week, but I Made It - How About You?