Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

The year 2011 will be one I will remember, but wish I could forget.  Scars and Worries will forever be a reminder and part of my future life.  Although this whole "cancer" thing has been quite unpleasant, it has exposed to me what fabulous family and friends I do have.  So many people have gone so far out of their way to help me, not only by bringing me food and gifts, but by letting me know they are there for me.  I thank you all so much for all you have done!
I have my last chemo treatment on Tuesday.  I am thankful for that.  I have definitely been worn down by all this, both physically and emotionally.  I am just tired. I am not sure I feel the finality that people around me feel. As this round of chemo ends, another part of treatment begins.  After all the "treatments and procedures" are done I will move on with  life.  I hope I can be one of those "positive " people that believe they won the fight.  I think that is easier said than done.  I am going to work really hard to think positive and surround myself with people that do the same.
I met with radiologist oncologist last week.  He is very knowledgeable and confident.  So, I am set to begin in later January.  Average is 33 times, so about 6 weeks.  They have some mathematical formulas to figure out exactly how many and how much radiation to give.  Anyway I go back on Friday the 13 to have another CAT scan and  "dry run" and get some tiny tattoos for the radiation beam.  The tattoos are little dots, I am going to ask for little hearts or something more fun.  They will most likely say no, but worth asking!! 
I will go see plastic surgeon before and have right side (non radiated side) get deflated by 20%.  Not too bad and just until radiation is finished.  I also found out I have to wait 6 months before the "exchange" surgery. (That is exchanging the expanding implants for real fake ones).  So I will have big hard ones for a while!  Something to look forward to, haha!!
Here's to a Happy and Healthy New Year!  Thanks again for all the positive thoughts and love sent my way!
Love Sara ♥♥♥

Monday, December 12, 2011

High Five???

Looks like I must have become tired of this blog.  Really just not much new to report.  Treatment #4 was similar to previous treatments although the fatigue really lasted almost entire time.  I actually became short of breath cleaning out the fridge, that is sad :(.  I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.  Hopefully when this chemo is finished I will return to normal (or what was normal for me).                                                                                                                                                                 I finally manged to make it to one of Vance's basketball games.  I saw quite a few people there and had many nice conversations, although it feels like a blur!  So glad to be there though.  I worked hard (or obsessed as Bruce would say) to get as much Christmas stuff done before today.  I try to tell myself whatever gets done is fine, but easier said than done. Clark is graduating on Friday night, which is usually worst side effect day so I am going to do my best to make it. 
I had number five today.  Went to lunch with Sharlene after we had a tour of downtown Phoenix thanks to my navigation!  Finished up some errands and then it hit me,  That raw stomach..... so I fixed up my little area with laptop, water, remote and pills all in a line!  So, I will most likely be here for at least the week arrrgggg.
Thanks again for the continuing support, prayers and love!  Hope to be back soon!
Sara ♥♥♥

Monday, November 21, 2011

May The Fourth Be With Me!!!

Today was number treatment four.  I feel like now I am actually halfway done with the chemo part of this journey.  It is peculiar how something so unthinkable becomes almost routine.  I was accompanied by my girlfriend Karen today.  We stopped at Starbucks and arrived on time.  I don't even have to sign in anymore, they know me well now!  Dr. Wendt was great as usual, answers questions and spends as much time as needed before heading to the room of toxic infusions!  A lot of random but fun conversations and the 3 hours went pretty quick.  Karen and I had a great salad for lunch and lots to catch up on.  Once I was home and pretty wound up on all the steroids I got some things done.  I took a variety of pills; anti-nausea, pain and unfortunately more steroids!  I now have some sleep aid pills to add, I think I was becoming tolerant to Tylenol PM.  In addition to all the chemical reactions I am now in what they call "Chemopause".  May be a permanent addition to my life, but I won't know for a while.  So, one more excuse to moodiness and sleeplessness!  I feel like I should be able to predict and control side effects better as I unfortunately get used to things.  I have acupuncture appointment this Wednesday, which will be interesting to see how it helps when I feel truly like shit.  Back to Dr. Wendt's for bone marrow development injection in the morning. He keeps reminding me the benefits outweigh the risks, so I suppose I will listen.
Thanksgiving is pretty well planned for Bruce, Vance, Clark and a few friends of Clark's friends.  Should be different but fun.  Hopefully I can join them for part of it.  Tami came from Havasu and we made a real cornucopia for the table.  I hope I can thaw it out properly!
We have so much to be thankful for!  Everyone continues to be so thoughtful and helpful to all of us in so many ways!  During this Thanksgiving time a HUGE THANKS from all of us!  Hope everyone has a fabulous holiday! 
Sara ♥♥♥


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Fog is Lifting!!

The fog is beginning to clear again.  I am feeling well enough to get out of bed for more than an hour!  I am seeing a definite cycle and pattern to these chemo side effects.  I don't really like what I see but kind of know what is coming next.  They say there is a cumulative effect after each treatment and side effects can become worse.  This is a bit frightening as I have three more treatments left.  I experienced same pattern of pain. nausea, and HEADACHE as previous times.  Now I can add really dry wrinkled (more than normal) skin and what they call peripheral neuropathy (a numbness and tingling of fingers and toes).  So far I only feel it on two fingers and thumb on my right hand.  It is pretty annoying and I hope it doesn't get much worse.  Other than that I hope to be on the upside of treatment three.
I returned to the acupuncturist yesterday.  I was told I had a weak pulse and then treated for nausea and headache with the needles.  After the normal 28 minutes the needles are removed.  The acupuncturist came in the room to remove mine and took my pulse again.  She told me "you need one hour for treatment"!  I guess I didn't respond like she wanted.   I actually did feel better, although my headache returned a few hours later.  I have another appointment Friday, and hopefully I will feel somewhat funtional until number four.
I took the dogs on a decent walk today with a new friend I met online! It was just the website in the Phoenix section.  Turns out she lives right across canal from me.  We are both bald and at same point in treatment.  We have a lot to talk about as well as laugh about.
Bruce has been so helpful and supportive in every way.  He seems to end up at the grocery store at least once everyday.  He has learned that the minute you get home and start unpacking and you think of something we need and a new list is started!  It is never ending!
Vance has been able to drive himself around and it is a huge help for all of us.  Plus, he can now be on-time or even early to things.  He locked the keys in the truck the other night when he was with some friends.  He called a locksmith and paid $150.00 to get them out.  Why he didn't call home and have someone bring a spare, when he was half a mile away?  We don't know but it was an expensive life lesson for him!
Clark is busy with school and work but manages to check in on me at least a couple times a week.  So sweet.  He just got hired as a "flight instructor" at the Chandler Airport.  We are so proud and happy for him. 
Drew is still happy in Estonia.  We skype talk frequently.  He too is so sweet and concerned about me.
This is sounding like a Christmas letter so I will  quit going on and on!
Thanks to all of family and friends for the support, love and prayers (and the occasional gift!).  I am honestly so thankful and fortunate.
♥ Sara ♥

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Welcome Back Side Effects!

I had chemo treatment number three on Monday.  The side effects are kicking in and they feel all too familiar.  Metallic paste coating in mouth and no taste buds combined with nausea results in no appetite!  Fuzzy head and bone pain joining in today.  I think I know more what to expect and that there is an end (hopefully!). I think I will go back for another acupuncture treatment very soon and see if it can help with some side effects. 
It is looking more and more like I will have to endure radiation after chemo is done.  I talked to Dr Wendt (chemo dr) about it to get an opinion other than from a radiologist.  He said most likely and that yes radiologist would probably say it should be done.  He did say "to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail!"  I told him that is what I thought and why I was curios what someone besides a radiologist would say. Time will tell.
Halloween was quiet for us this year.  Actually, Thanksgiving and Christmas will be too.  I have fourth chemo on Monday before Thanksgiving, so Bruce and Clark will do most of cooking!  Good way to get everyone involved. 
I have to say I am glad Pink-October is over.  Too much pink for me!
Not much else for now, my brain is foggy and I have more difficulty than normal remembering things!!
Thanks again for all the love, support and prayers.  We appreciate everything soooo much!
Sara ♥♥♥

Here's a link to something I found interesting:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


My sister Caty was here for long weekend.  We kept pretty busy.  Did a couple walks, had a mani/pedi, had a facial and went to Vance's basketball game.  We rented a couple movies, both really bad!!  It was a great visit and really helped us to reconnect.  We spent some quality time just talking on the patio, thankfully weather has cooled a bit here!  This weekend was the first time I actually wore one of my wigs out.  It was pretty itchy and I felt like it was really obvious that it was a wig!  Saturday we had lunch at the Biltmore golf restaurant (where Clark bar tends).  After lunch we walked around the resort.  There was a group of ladies visiting in one of the sitting areas.  We walked by and one said to me "I love your hair!  It is such a great look!"  I said thanks as we laughed and quickly walked by.  We had many laughs about that the rest of the weekend.
I am feeling pretty good overall.  I get tired pretty easily and my appetite is still really weird.  I am really dreading next Monday's treatment #3.  I pretty much know what to expect and I do not like it!  It is funny to do all these things just because of statistics!  I have to keep telling myself how fortunate I am to help me keep doing what I am supposed to do.  Hopefully I will only have minimal side effects for the rest of the week as I prepare for Monday. Booohooo!                                                            
We continue to have such wonderful support and help!  Thanks for all the thoughts, love, and prayers!
♥♥ Sara ♥♥

Getting a facial!
Looking Fabulous!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Obviously this is "breast cancer awareness" month.  I don't think there is any reason I would be particularly sensitive to it but it is everywhere!  I hear, see and read pink every time I turn around!  I am so grateful for all the work other people and groups have put toward the fight against breast cancer, but I think it is just a little to close to home right now.  Drew wore pink shoelaces and Vance wore pink socks in their games for me this week ♥.  So many people walked  and wore pink for me.  I am so glad they can do it right now because in my heart I support it 100%, but my body is not cooperating right now. So I will just bleed pink in support right now! 
This week has been a little more tolerable than the first time around.  Dr. Wendt made sure I had proper pharmaceuticals to make side effects less intense.  I have never taken so many pills in my life but I will assume they are helping.  My description of chemo is "a never ending tequila and red wine hangover, after running a marathon!"  Actually, I have never run a marathon but think the end result would feel about the same.  I am extremely sore and have frequent waves of nausea.  The hardest part is the fatigue.  I will get a burst of energy, get something done (like picking up dog poop!) and be thoroughly exhausted and even out of breath!  I have a harder time than usual focusing and can't even read a book :(.  I have to say I have not been very productive lately!  (That comes from childhood, when Harley used to tell us "just do something productive!")  I will say that although I feel like shit much of the time I do consider myself to be very fortunate.  I can do nothing and be unproductive without guilt.  I am blessed to be in a situation where I can focus on the "pink" fight without other excessive worries.  My sister is coming from Florida on Thursday for a long weekend.  I am looking forward to her visit and hope I am on the upside of round two.  Either way it will be great to have her here!  Vance is taking driving test on Monday.  Having his license will be very helpful, except then I will just worry about him driving! 
That is all I can think of right now.  I am definitely feeling what they call "chemo brain".   Which  makes a person's brain feel foggy, cloudy and forgetful!   I am sure it is from the chemicals!
Thanks for all the continuing support, help, love and prayers! 
Sara ♥♥♥                                                                                                                                                    

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Round Two.

I have felt pretty good overall the past week.  Still tired and not really much of an appetite.  I have managed to get caught up on some things before Monday.  Round two chemo at 9:15 a.m.  According to things I have read, some side effects are worse and some not as bad.  I am not sure what to expect, but I am not really scared this time.  My hair is pretty much gone, very very thin amounts left.  I wear a turban type hat around house, so I look like a fortune teller.  I went out twice with hat/wig.  I felt pretty self conscious but getting used to it all a little bit at a time.
Vance had his 16th birthday on Saturday.  Having a moonlight bowling party next Saturday.  I will have to stay home and let Bruce man the crowd!   Vance can get his drivers license in a week, which will be really helpful. 
Seems like I have more to report, but I can't remember right now!  (One side effect of chemo, or maybe just age??).  I will check in with round two report as soon as I am able! 
Thanks for love, prayers and support!  ♥ Sara ♥

Thursday, October 6, 2011

That Was Way Too Fast!

Hair is pretty much gone!  Fell out by handfuls :(.  Sheila and Cheryl used my clippers and shaved what was left down to about half an inch.  I totally look like a chemo patient now!  I have to actually go out in public today.  Well, it is just to doctors office, but that it out of safety of my house.  Now I not only have to figure out what clothes to wear but what the hell to put on my almost bald head.   Baseball cap with hair attached or my short wig are in the finals. They all make me nervous!
I am still feeling pretty good.  Walked a couple miles again, felt great.  I have a bit more of an appetite, but not for same things I used to like.  Not too much else to report this morning. 
Love to everyone  ♥ Sara ♥

Monday, October 3, 2011

It is Happening...............

It is really happening.  Ahhhhhhh.  My hair is definitely falling out in mass amounts.  Started off with itchy, tingly scalp.  Then the comb FULL of hair,  Now hair everywhere.  I should just cut really short, maybe tomorrow.  People keep saying "you will look nice, even bald."  Ready or not it is here.  Hopefully I can embrace it soon enough.  I was  thinking  I will dress up as Saturday Night Live's cone head for Halloween!!
I had a fever and a seroma (fluid filled golf ball thing under my arm) the past few days.  Had it drained today and on some more antibiotics.  Hopefully controllable, drain it again Friday.
I felt good this morning, took girl dogs on a couple mile walk.  Great to be out in civilization.  Hoping to go rest of the week healthy before next Monday's poison treatment.
That's about all the news for now, Wigs and hats will be making debut way too soon!
Thanks for Love  ♥Sara♥

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chemo Cocktail????

This may be hard to believe, but there actually is a cocktail I don't like!  They call it a chemo cocktail.  It consists of a mixture of different toxic and poisonous ingredients.  People sometimes ask "what's your chemo cocktail?"  First time I heard it I thought the lady was trying to be funny.  Now I know what it means and every time I hear the word cocktail I think of chemo, maybe that's a good thing!!
I continue on the roller coaster of ups and downs this week.  Sunday and Monday were the worst so far.  I even fell off cliff of nausea into true vomit!  Along with that came a horrible headache.  Called the oncologist and got some little orange pills to help with nausea.  By Monday night I felt better.  Had chemo follow up on Tuesday, Dr. Wendt actually felt bad he hadn't handled situation and let it get to the point I felt so bad.  I didn't blame him but nice a doctor would apologize!  Anyway, he gave me a bunch of prescriptions to help next round go easier.
So, off to Wig Salon my friend Sharlene and I went.  A bit intimidating at first but then I found a couple I liked and actually felt relieved.  The wigs came with names, Catherine and Cleo.  I realized the wigs aren't the real issue, but being bald is.  According to statistics and my calculations, next Friday is the day!!!  I did get a short haircut on Wednesday to get a bit prepared.  I like it but I call it my 10 day haircut!!
Vance had a fever and body aches on Tuesday.  He came in my room after school and said he felt bad.  I put my hand on his forehead and said "oh, you are sick!"  Then all the sudden I said "Get out of my room!!!"  I was remembered I am  immune suppressed!  Didn't matter anyway, I felt pretty good Wednesday and Thursday.  Then Friday woke up with fever and body aches.  I am lying low today and hopefully can it fight off with whatever cells haven't been killed off!  I am hoping to have next week to refuel before treatment #2.
Well today is October 1st. The month of "Breast Cancer Awareness".   Unfortunately I am now aware of breast cancer every single day!! I used to think way too much attention was paid to just "breast" cancer. I am now grateful for all the effort people have put toward it! Havasu had their "walk for the cure today. Some of my friends walked on my behalf. They made it fun and I wish so much I was there to walk with them! Thanks girls!
Thanks everyone for the never ending love and support! ♥♥♥
♥ Lori, Mary Ann , Tami and Terri ♥

Fight Like A Girl Bedazzled !

Lynn there too, probably running! ♥

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Have You Been Fitted for a Wig?

   Well this has been quite an interesting week.  I went for first chemo treatment on Monday.  Packed up laptop, books and Bruce!  Had a quick physical, talked to Dr. Wendt and off we went to pick which ugly brown chair to sit.  The nurse accessed my port, it did hurt but tolerable.  Then three hours of poisonous infusions.  Nothing too remarkable and we left.  I felt fine until about three o'clock, then to bed for night! I had to go back in the morning for "the injection"of nuelasta.  The drug that makes your body produce more white blood cells, because the chemo kills them along with all the other cells.  The main side effect?  Your bones hurt because the marrow is swelling.  Ouch, yes bones ache and have twangs of pain.  It is weird now because I actually feel sick, and I hate it.  Anyway, other typical symptoms, extremely tired and leaning off the cliff of nausea.  The roof of my mouth feels like it is coated with a layer of metallic paste, mmmm.
   Tami came to help out while Bruce was in Santa Barbara.  What a blessing.  She made my favorite tortilla soup and shrimp ceveche.  I did manage to eat and it was great!  So glad she was here to help Vance and his friend get their Togas together for the game, crowns and all. 
   Today a local group of women from a breast cancer group arranged a mani/pedi get together in Chandler.  I had originally said I would go until I was poisoned.  I took a shower and decided to go. I walked in a little late, they were all in pedi chairs. The nail lady asked if she could help me.  I said "umm, I'm here with a group?"  Ohhhhh, yes sit down she told me.  Like, oh you are one of them!  Well, I guess I am.  They were all so positive about all of it. Glad I went, now I am back in bed!
   Now, the question of the week.  Have you been fitted for a wig?  It is, once again, a memory jerker.  When my mother was going through chemo, she some how managed, to take my sister and I ice skating.  She fell on the ice and her wig fell off.  I picked it up, skated by her and literally plopped it on her head while she sat on the ice.  I am sure I just didn't want her to be embarrassed, which I probably only added to!  She did always laugh when retelling that story! 
I am going for a wig fitting Monday with a couple friends and fabulous hair Carol.  Then I think I will have her give me a short hair cut to make shedding less dramatic.  Caty sent me a few Halloween wigs, so I will have quite a selection! 
We have been so blessed with all the help and support from so many people.  Vance now "loves" meatloaf and says he never had it before! 
Thanks so much for absolutely everything and every prayer sent our way! ♥♥♥

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Just Another "C" Word........

There will be no wasting time now.  Holy shit!  Chemo starts Monday morning at 9:00 am.  I am realizing there are so many phases in this battle.  Each one has so many unknowns and anxieties associated with it.  Seems like I finally get used to something and the next step is knocking at the door, kind of like a stalker.  I think we are attacking the real unknown pretty hard.  Three chemo drugs (TAC) at a time, every three weeks for a total of six weeks.  Total will be 18 weeks if all goes as planned.  Dr. Wendt says hair falls out at two weeks and four days.  I guess I'll find that out soon enough.  Once again, it is hard to separate the vanity from the treatment.  I have a hard time picturing myself bald.  What a frightful sight with scars, unfinished breasts and no hair!!  Unfortunately, it is real and happening.  I have looked at some wigs online, no scarves yet but probably will soon.  Once again as I read some other women's stories I am amazed how they handle things so calmly.  I guess it is just facing the facts and moving forward.  I think of it like swimming through mud!  I was given a couple prescriptions to start before chemo, anti-nausea and some sort of steroid to prevent allergic reaction.  It is weird to take things for something that doesn't feel real.  I feel pretty nervous about all of this, reading too much and worried about side effects.  Hopefully I will get some sleep and get through this without too many problems I have read about.  Thanks again for all the encouragement and love! ♥♥♥                                                                                                                                          
Keeping The Vanity in Check!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Breast Cancer Can Be Funny...

You know there is something funny about Breast Cancer!  That definitely sounds weird, but seriously I have always been pretty modest about my body, then I get Breast Cancer and now I talk about breasts all the time!  Breast cancer is so unique because if you have kidney cancer or liver cancer or skin cancer everyone can talk about it and no one gets embarrassed or uncomfortable.  It can even be a dinner conversation without any issues. However, mention Breast Cancer which is a private, feminine and sexual body part and quite a different reaction!!  Cancer has taken over my life lately and "breast" and "boob" are part of about every conversation I have.  It is strange, and I think funny.  Especially when men get embarrassed about it. I could talk about a kidney transplant and no one would care. But I talk about breast reconstruction and it’s suddenly an embarrassing conversation. Women don’t seem to mind because they all have boobs. (Well okay, most of them do!) Boobs aren’t such a big deal to women. You mention boobs in mixed company, though, and the men don’t know what to do. Is it okay to talk about it? Do I laugh? Do I act interested?  What’s appropriate? If I look at her chest am I out of line even though they’re fake implants? Is it okay to notice? Haha, What do I do?!!
As far as I’m concerned you can relax. You aren’t going to say or do anything to offend me. Since I have had  breast cancer, any issues I had about talking about breasts are long gone. They had to go. Which really isn’t such bad thing. It Seems like society gives far too much power and interest to breasts. Yes they are beautiful and desirable, but they are also a normal part of the human body. So we should all  lighten up about breasts!  Instead, let’s laugh about them and have some fun.
On that note, what a fun week I have had!  Talking and sharing breast info with multiple people and many complete strangers!  I had a PET scan, only about thirty minutes of holding still.  Results came back negative (good!).  Blood work was all within normal range. (good also!). Saw Dr Zannis (surgeon) for post operative appointment, said everything looked good and see him when I'm done with chemo, seems like a lifetime away.  Had a vitamin and nutrient infusion with Dr Porter (naturopath) to boost my immune system.  One more on Friday and then we will see with chemo schedule. No coffee enemas yet!!!  Today I had another fill!! Hooray for that.  Then I had heart ultra sound and echo cardiogram.  Awkward moment... a young guy comes to get me.  I think it was honestly more awkward for him when he was doing ultra sound and I was talking about breasts and nipples!!!  Really nice guy though, but someone had to break the ice!  He said my heart looked good.
So tomorrow I see Dr Wendt (chemo dr).  I am sure we will set up plan, probably starting next week...ewwwww.... definitely not looking forward to that!  
Thanks so much for fabulous dinners and cookies this week!!  So generous and helpful!
Vance says, "well at least this is one good thing from all this!!" His way of saying thank you!
Thanks for all the love and support!! ♥♥♥

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fight Like A Girl!!

My niece Sierra sent me a photo of a little boxing glove that said "Fight Like a Girl!".  So sweet and exactly what I need to do.  Breast cancer is not something I ever imagined myself personally fighting, but it is as real as it can ever be.  So I am going to embrace it the best I can and fight it!  Bought a juicer today so I can work on anti-oxidants and detoxifying.  Made some carrot  and raspberry juice for my first attempt and it was actually pretty tasty!  Our refrigerator has bags of broccoli, carrots, green beans, berries, organic free range eggs,  organic chicken....... I have been feeling pretty good lately, my left arm is still sore but I mange things using my right hand.  I can take a shower and even glance in the mirror without freaking out too much!  I have a very event filled week.  Honestly, I have at least one appointment every day.  I am meeting with naturopath Monday and set up some sort of plan, he will be so thrilled I have a juicer!  Coffee enemas?  I am going to have to warm up to that!  I will be one detoxified person!  I have PET scan (I think it is like MRI but of entire body) on Tuesday morning.  I am expecting nothing but good results from that.  Dr Zannis  on Wednesday.  Another fill on Thursday (not a double D yet!).  Then an echo cardiogram to check heart function for chemo.  Then the Friday Finale with Dr Wendt (chemo dr) to set up chemo schedule and plan, scary!  The ball is really rolling now!
Vance and Bruce have never had such fabulous treats and meals!  Thanks so much, something sweet is always appreciated by Vance!  Fergie and Stella even got a little care package (we are all missing Kramer).
Thanks again for everything!  I had no idea what fabulous people are in my life! ♥♥♥

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

♥♥♥ KRAMER ♥♥♥

♥♥♥ KRAMER ♥♥♥

What a sofa king sad day :(.   We woke up today to Kramer way out of sorts.  He was panting heavily and barely able to get around.  He would lay and just stare at the wall.  The king of food inhalation didn't even budge when we gave him a piece of turkey.  So damn sad (to put it lightly).  Took him to vet and found out he has huge tumor and nothing they can do.  Bruce, Vance and Clark went to say goodbye to him, I stayed home and cried.  He has been a pleasure to have in our lives and has had a great "dog" life.  We will miss him so much and are glad he didn't have to suffer too much.  We love him so much.............
So, back to the cancer talk....met with naturopathic doctor yesterday, very interesting and works with oncologist without problems (at least on his part!).  Gave some blood and meet him again next week.
We met with Dr. Zannis, took off bandages and drains.  Then path report, not bad, one more node involved.  Not sure if he felt that answered a lot of questions but surely not really bad news.  So onto oncologist soon to figure out chemo regimen.  Dr Zannis  thought we should still see radiologist since I am so "unique", hooray!  Anyway, appointments soon, no date yet.
Tomorrow I see Plastic surgery doc, hopefully get first fill, seems like only highlight in all this.  Sorry but no photos yet!!!
That is all for now, thanks and love to everyone ♥♥♥
RIP little Kramer we will miss you....................

PS. This was his favorite sleeping position!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011


These past days and weeks tend to blend and overlap quite a bit lately.  I have received lots of texts and messages about last Thursday's surgery,  I didn't realize that my last update was the day before the surgery.  I notice I am often saying, "what day is is this?"  Thanks so much for everyone's concern.  Surgery went well with nothing too remarkable,  Funny to be at same place just two weeks later.  I was definitely not freaked out like the last time, and no skinny dipping either! Dr. Zannis came to talk before the surgery and asked how I felt about the chemo port, I told him having a port placed made this all feel even more real and of course I didn't like that. Same basic pre-surgery prep as the first time.  I was covered with warmed blankets and wheeled away.  I woke up shivering and freezing.  Not sure of time, but managed to be home by 3:00 pm that day.  I looked at my new port, it is placed in my upper right chest area with a skinny tube going up my neck,  I have to say not nearly as bad as I had imagined but still odd looking.  Lymph site has a drain and bandage.  It does have more of a burning/stinging feeling, so I try to keep that side relatively quiet.  I was given different pain meds this time.  I called the office Friday morning and asked to change because they make me anxious and cause insomnia.  The nurse said it was probably the anesthesia and wait a day or two.  So, up all night again and called the doctor on-call and asked again.  The way they act, I am some kind of prescription drug addict...oh well, finally they gave me some Valium to take with pain meds.  Kinda scary but I  may try it tonight. 
Now, once again we wait some more for pathology results from the newly removed nodes.  Have an appointment Wednesday with Dr. Zannis to find out if there are any more positive nodes.  I desperately hope the answer is none!  Keeping me on track with present plan would be great (funny to even think that any plan is great!).  Once again it's all relative!  Either way I will battle through this and keep as positive as I can.
Vance had a basketball tournament this weekend, I am sad not to be there.  I am sure he misses hearing my constructive comments to the refs!  He does love all the food and treats everyone has been so generous to bring to us!  Thank you :)
I am still so amazed and grateful for all the support and love (I know I said that before but it is just so true)!  Thank you all ♥♥♥


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

From What I've read.......

I met with Plastic surgeon yesterday.  Everything healing well, but no fill because of my Thursday surgery.  We will wait until next week....something to look forward to, I guess!!
It seems like a final diagnosis is getting closer.   We met with the medical oncologist today.  Appointment was at 4:00, got home at 7:00!  Dr. Wendt was a real "numbers" guy (which Bruce really likes!) and quite a wealth of information.  And yes, I had to undress once again!  Chemotherapy seems to really follow a lot of statistics and percentages, which I still don't feel like I fit into. We will not know exactly which regimen to follow (but there will definitely be one) until we get pathology report from tomorrow's node surgery.  Praying for no more positive nodes because that could easily put me into more aggressive treatment.  So, I wait patiently once again.  When we left, the doctor walked us out past the "treatment" room. It looked just like the ones in moves with the brown recliner-like chairs all in a row.  I saw a cabinet across the room with a  styrofoam head with a wig on it!  Kinda creepy, at least for now.  Dr. Wendt asked it I wanted to look around the room, I told him nope!  I felt good about him and his approach and will be talking to him again too soon.
Surgery at 9:30 tomorrow morning.  I will get the rest of lymph nodes out on left side and a port put in for chemo.  The port makes this whole cancer thing feel just way too real!  From what I've read the lymph surgery can be more painful than breast surgery, I will find out soon enough how true that is!  I always wonder if  the surgery staff  talks about me when I'm out, I  hope not, and especially not my newly designed boobs! 
"From what I've read"  seems to be my phrase of choice lately.  I am not sure if the doctors appreciate it but I just can't help myself.  My reading focus is now on the chemo drugs and I should be well informed very soon!
My emotions still feel like quite a roller coaster.  Feeling positive and lucky sometimes, then tearful and screwed other times.  I know that time will pass and I will look back at all this and be stronger and yes even wiser from this.  
Thanks to all of my supporters for everything, especially the love!!!! ♥

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cancer is a word, Not A Sentence.

Cancer is a word, Not a sentence.
I read this quote today and thought it was very appropriate.  I think it says it perfectly, and I will remind myself this often.
I received the "phone call" last night.  Pathology report in............definitely not what I was expecting or wanted to hear. The conversation started with the infamous "well, we have good news and some bad news..."  First, the two nodes taken both contain cancer cells (shit!).  There were multiple cancer cells in all quadrants of left breast, not just the two suspected.  Good thing we were aggressive to start with!  Right side looked clean,  I now have more intense treatment to look forward to.  I will have another surgery to remove more of my nodes and hope for rest to be clear.  I have an appointment in the morning with Dr Zannis to go over pathology report and I will hopefully know more then.  I will get a copy of report and I am sure dissect and obsess over it.  The new results put me in a more definite place now.  Chemo will not be "optional" now but protocol.  The question now is not uni or bilateral but scarf or wig? I am not sure if radiation is involved but I will get some idea tomorrow.  I will also be meeting with medical oncologist soon. 
I had post-op appointment with plastic surgeon today.  He pulled the two tubes out, Left side burned but I am glad to be done with extra things attached to my body.  Then, ahhhhh the unveiling of the new ones.  I was so nervous.  I honestly hadn't looked under the bandage all week, which is odd because I have opened and re wrapped Christmas presents as long as I can remember!  I could barely look, I felt like something from horror movie!  Dr thought they looked perfect, he was very pleased with results.  So, back next week to have first fill (add some saline to port in expander).  After I was home, I managed to look at them in mirror.  I think they will look fine when he is done with them.  Hopefully good enough to even go to nudest event!! (jk)
I was feeling pretty good about progress of treatment, then I was feel knocked down again with the new  information.  So, more testing and waiting and a plan should be decided sometime soon.  I am having easier time talking about things now, which is good considering it is not going away as soon as I would have liked.
Thanks again for such great help and support.  I honestly am still so amazed by the support I feel from so many people in my life.  The thoughtfulness has been so incredible I can only say thank you and I love you all! ♥

Friday, August 19, 2011

Thanks for the Tree!!

I have had so many thoughtful and wonderful things sent and delivered to me. Flowers, food, cards and good wishes. Well, I even got a tree! Yes it is six feet tall and alive! The card says " Hope you have a speedy recovery, from all of us!" I am not sure who sent it but thank you very much and I will try not to kill it! All else is going as well as I can expect. I am very sore, but able to get around using lower half! Sleeping on my back is really hard but I guess I am getting used to it. I still have ace bandages on covering entire chest, I haven't got brave enough to look under. The drains are not even close to as bad as people had me believing. A little gross to drain but other than that not a huge problem. Hopefully they will come out on Tuesday. It is hard to stay sedated in bed, but Bruce keeps telling me not to do anything, so I try to cooperate. I am feeling so relieved after the initial surgery and am anxiously waiting the pathology results. I have to say thank you to everyone again, I couldn't have had such a peaceful recovery without all the support and prayers!  ♥♥♥

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Relievd this Part is Over!

A quick little update while I am a bit lucid.It has been one long ass day.  Up at 5:00 a.m. with plenty of time to spare.  I took dogs for long walk and then came home and went swimming topless for last time with the oldies!  Very nice.  It was really hard to get myself ready, so after as much procrastination as Bruce would allow, I packed and got ready.  Left house crying but knew that would occur many more times today. Actually I held myself together most of the day. Lots of signatures and waiting.....
Prepped for surgery at 1:30, finally got a "medical margarita"  so I could relax a bit.  Then I woke up being wheeled down hallway. I have no idea where I am, but I have nice single suite room. Pain was not as bad as I anticipated as long as I don't move!  I am all wrapped up in really tight ace bandage.  Won't come off until next week and I am glad.  I feel good about decision and honestly feel it was the right one for me.
I think I will be headed home tomorrow, see how things go tonight.  Should get pathology report Monday and decide future treatment with that info.
"aitäh veery palju" (Estonian for thank you very much!)
♥ Sara ♥

Monday, August 15, 2011

August 16th, What a Day.

I find it so hard to believe tomorrow is the day.  The news still feels so fresh in so many ways.  I have been able to come to terms with a lot of the information, although I don't like it.  I feel extremely confident in my medical team.  I can't express how great I feel with the support I have from my friends and family.  It is such a scary time and every phone call, text, email and prayer help me feel stronger.  
Today was weird, life goes on, people doing their "normal" stuff and I just kept looking at their boobs!  Then someone asks "how are you?" They really have no idea how I could respond to that! Yes,  I controlled myself and said "fine".  Met with Dr Zannis today for pre-op.  He was very nice, and as reassuring as he could be.  The rest of the day...well not much accomplished.  I still have not packed one thing and don't know what I will wear. Vance came home and asked about what was going to happen tomorrow.  I pretty much told him the facts.  He asked about what each doctor does and I explained.  He thinks they have such a cool job.  Of course I said "oh you could be a surgeon, you are so smart and caring like them."  He said "well I just want to look at boobs everyday!"  Great.
Well,  Bruce just got  home from his men's league game, they lost by 20, he is limping and  has gash under his eye. Great.  Thank goodness for superglue! 
So, after I perform first aid and have some champagne, I will try to get some sleep tonight.  I am allowed to get up before 7:00 and have some coffee.  Then nothing else.  Expected at hospital at 10:00.  Surgery at 1:00, then who knows.  Bruce thinks he will blog for me after surgery, that will be fun too.
Well,  I am honestly feeling alright about things right now.  I will get through this and  become stronger because of it.  Now, Happy Birthday to my Mom who after so many years I still miss and love so much but know she will be with me tomorrow!
Once again, THANK YOU ALL so much.  I am so blessed and thankful to have such fabulous people in my life.  ♥♥♥

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sofa King Scared!!

Not much to say today, I am extremely anxious and scared.  Getting closer, which is good and bad at the same time.  It is funny how we don't always appreciate things until they are gone (or almost gone!).  I think I  am sad to say goodbye!!!
For all you that know my sofa king humor and those that don't you can watch and enjoy this video!!
Thanks for love, prayers (we know I need all I can get!), and thoughtfulness! ♥♥♥

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Clock is Ticking....

I am feeling an incredible amount of anxiety.  Less than five days.  I  saw the plastic surgeon today.  Asked a lot of questions and I feel like I got very honest answers, not just politically correct responses. I told him how I was feeling about decision to do uni or bilateral.  I told him about our happy hour secret vote. He thought that was a very original way to discuss it.  I then told him about some friends we have that are nudist and how they told me some mastectomies they have seen at nudist events look so great when they are finished.  He said now he has a lot more pressure!!  I left office feeling pretty good about process and leaning more toward bilateral (at this moment anyway).  I came home and tried to read about actual surgery and recovery.  Increased anxiety.......  The drains seem to be a really big issue and creepy too.  Some women like to have a fanny pack to wear to keep drain bags in, I don't think so but it would be good for a few laughs!  After surgery and pathology report the actual treatment fro the cancer will be figured out.  Hopefully no surprises and things can stay on planned tract.  It is a funny disease because not only do I worry about the "cancer" part but also the future of body parts.  Some women look at scars as "battle wounds" and are fine with them.  Not me, I am not sure what to think at this point.  It has meant so much to me to have so many calls, texts and emails from such sweet and thoughtful  friends and family! (and special things in the mail!), we don't always realize what support we have out there until we really need it. 
Thank You All So Very Much!!!  ♥♥

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Now less than two weeks! Ahhhhh......

Dana Point was beautiful.  We had a great place and great weather.  Cell phone service was terrible and I know I missed lots of messages :(.  Funny how the surgeon's office was still able to get through to me.  Now the plastic surgeon needs to know what I am doing!  The more times I am asked the more I seem to question what the "right" thing to do is.  I told her I will talk to Dr. on the 11th and figure out details. She really wanted to know then, but I she finally agreed to wait. There are no new results pertaining to me, so I continue to read too many message  and discussion boards looking for some bright light to shine!  Less than two weeks and still seems too creepy to me!  I am amazed every day by the continue support and love from so many people!  Thanks Again!!♥

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Not Quite a Total Commitment.

I think I am starting to get used to this ongoing saga.  I find it much easier to talk about and even imagine certain outcomes without feeling complete panic.  I have more answers to many of the unknown and am not waiting for phone calls every day.   I had a "round table secret vote" the other night with some girlfriends.  Everyone wrote a #1 or #2 on a paper (meaning uni or bilateral).  The results were split 50/50!!  I laughed because that is exactly how I feel about the question.  Friday morning I called my surgeons office and said I had decided to just do the left side.  Then the nurse said good and she just really wanted me to make a decision.  Then she went on to tell me I was last surgery of day and if I changed my mind there would still be time.  So I really didn't have to totally commit yet.  Well I see plastic surgeon on the 11th and I think that visit will honestly be the deciding factor.  We are going to Dana Point for the week and I am going to try to relax.  Nice to get out of this heat too.
Thanks for thoughts, prayers and love! ♥

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Just make up your mind…decide already!

I have been told by way to many people I have to make a decision very soon.  I have to focus on what to do next, focusing is not always the easiest task for me!  I need to spend my energy on moving forward toward finding the answer.  I do spend a lot of time on the issue, but for some reason nothing is totally clear to me.  I have read and reread so many articles and still I waver. It amazes me how some women know exactly what they are going to do from the start.  I wish I could just use a lifeline to get the right answer. The decision now seems to be whether I part with one or both. I think if I felt sick it might be easier, but who knows?  I seem to be able to justify either at any given time.  I wish someone would just tell me wtf to do.  Well, that isn't going to happen and I have also been informed of that.  Someone told me that it is because of problems we grow mentally and spiritually.  I am thinking great, so I should be having revelation anytime now!! I have been given a deadline to make a plan by Friday.  I do work best under pressure so something will have to be decided by then.  I know I keep saying this, but I am so blessed to have so many family members and friends supporting me on my journey!  I am so thankful to everyone!  ♥♥

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Karma or Coincidence??

Wow, I realized that the date I was given for surgery was my mothers birthday!  Aug 16th.  I had to look it up to be sure and it was her birthday.  Just thought it is pretty strange, but am going to think of it as good karma!

My mother with my sister and me :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Getting Closer I guess...

The genetic test came back negative.  Good for me and my family :).  The decision on what to do still seems to hover in my head.  I woke up yesterday thinking I will have a one sided mastectomy... then I read and get freaked out and revert to lumpectomy.  People tell me I will know what to do and feel good about my decision.  Well I am waiting for the revelation to come anytime!  I got a call from plastic surgeons office while at Target yesterday.  They informed me I have a surgery date of August 16th and a pre-op with them on the 11th.  I said OK great, thinking I don't even know what for!  I guess I am on the books now and having the pressure of a deadline may be just what I need.  So, I continue to read and wonder what to do.  I find myself extremely distracted (more than usual!) and don't seem to be too productive.  Hopefully this gets better once a plan is made.  Vance is at camp for a week and I will try really hard to focus on reality!  Also, I think I will sew my own  robe/pancho thing and just wear it to every appointment for quick and easy access also that way I won't have to keep changing clothes!! Thanks for all the continuous support!♥

Fergie always makes me smile!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Still in Limbo

A visit to the plastic surgeon yesterday to discuss possible rebuild.  The Dr made it seem much easier than I imagine, but then again that is his job!  Bruce went with me and made his own requests that were not cancer related!  Second appointment was with radiologist oncologist to discuss possible radiation treatments.  I was there for 3 hours and became very informed.  The Dr discussed different options, but not real definitive about anything.  He is going to present my case to breast surgery board that meets every two weeks.  There are about 30 surgeons that discuss issues.  I would love to be there but he said he will call me after.  My genetic testing is still not in, probably at least another week.  The lab worker was lame and screwed up insurance authorization...such incompetence!  So, I am off to see breast surgeon today to talk about all the things I have learned this week.  Not sure when a plan will be decided, feels like I'm always waiting for some answer about something.  I guess that's all the thrills for now.  I want to say again how grateful I am to have such great support from family and friends. ♥

Friday, July 15, 2011


So the newest biopsy results are in.  One came back positive and one negative.  I now am considered multicentic, meaning I have more than one cancer spot (same side).  This definitely puts a new spin on things.  I now will go see radiologist/oncologist and plastic surgeon next week.  After I get all the info from them I will meet back with surgeon and make some sort of plan.  The more I read, it seems like so many women with breast cancer just want their breasts both off.  I haven't come to that mind set, although I probably need to.  I got really brave and looked at some photos, not such a good idea. 
So much information in such a short period of time is becoming overwhelming.  The more I read, the more freaked out I get.  All I can say is this is just so weird. 
Everyone has been so incredibly supportive. I am so thankful for all the love and encouragement. ♥

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


It has been more than three weeks since I received the news and this breast issue hasn't gone away.   I still don't think I  truly believe it all yet and everything still seems so blurry. It seems like every time I get a phone call or go for more tests I get a dose of reality.  In the past I usually preferred female doctors and still felt awkward when having breast exams.  Well, so far I have had at least seventeen strangers look at do things to my breasts!  It doesn't even phase me anymore, in fact I don't think I even need to wear a hospital gown from now on! Had the genetic test done on Monday, results in 7-10 days. I feel like it is highly unlikely, but one more piece of information in the decision puzzle.  I kept my clothes on and just gargled and spit into a little specimen container.  Tuesday I had bilateral biopsies (one on each side, I am learning the lingo for these things!).  Didn't really hurt, took long time though and it was freezing in that room.  Results hopefully by Friday.  I am scared to hear and hoping for something positive!
Once again the waiting continues.
I try to walk around like nothings going on, but then I get reminded by myself the truth and I don't like it.  I am so amazed by the support I am getting from my family and friends.  Thank you all so much it really helps to know you are there (even if I don't always answer my phone or respond to text messages!). ♥

Here I  am at basketball tournament acting like nothings wrong!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Reality Sucks

This is becoming more real every day.  I realized yesterday that saying I am 49 out loud is easy now compared to saying the word cancer out loud!  I still find myself avoiding the "C" word.  But I guess I have to get used to it.  I needed a lot more tissue yesterday.  I had follow up ultrasound. One spot on same side looks like the "C" word.  Right side questionable.  So back for biopsy next Tuesday.  The news hit me really hard, even though I already new I had it.  I guess the best scenario has changed, I didn't want to hear that. I didn't want to be part of that pink ribbon club. Ahhhhh, don't always get what we want!
I did have the nicest radiologist yesterday, very caring and informative.  Not sure he new what to say when he said the one looked bad and I started to cry on the table.  He called me "kiddo" and for some strange reason that made me feel good.  Then I had to go change out of the x-ray kimono and walk by all the ladies waiting in their kimonos.  They looked at me stone faced, not sure if they felt sorry for me or if they were worried they were next!!  So, we are off to basketball tournament in San Diego.  I will try to keep myself from continually thinking about my breasts!!  I haven't told any of these people yet, so small talk will be the extent of our conversations. That is probably a good thing for a couple days.  Thanks for all the love. ♥

Thursday, July 7, 2011

As the Doctor hands me the box of tissue....

My story began as an annual exam, then a mammogram, then an ultrasound, then a biopsy, then a diagnosis (or sucker punch) of "invasive lobular carcinoma". 
The positive side to the story, early diagnosis 9mm.
A visit to the surgeon, MRI.  Results came back OK, but need a second look bilateral ultrasound. 
This means more tests and waiting.......
I thought I would start this blog to let anyone who wants to, keep up on all my news!
Since I found out, although I keep waiting for someone to tell me it's wrong, I have only told a few people.  I have a hard time believing this is real, and even harder time talking about it.  I have been so amazed by the support  of the few people I have shared my news with.  Thank You!!!
I read a lot on the internet and discussion boards, but still have a hard time thinking I am part of the "club".  I really don't want people to look at me different, I don't want to look into their eyes and see sadness or pity for me.  I have truly been blessed with my family and friends and will get through this.  This is just the beginning, not sure what lies ahead, but I will keep anyone interested informed and maybe even sometimes entertained!