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Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Process of Curing Cancer exhausting. I can't believe how drained I feel every day. I call it my sinking spell, each afternoon, I get physically and mentally exhausted. I want to cry, I want to put on my jammies and crawl into bed and not speak to anyone. When you get a breast cancer diagnosis, you search every blog, medical website, book, and doctor's office pamphlet. You read, learn, write questions, and read some more. It took us about 15 minutes of research to find everything that we wanted to know.  Chan and I are black and white people.  We have questions, we want answers. Cancer isn't black and white, it's grey and elusive and doesn't give straight forward answers. We were told after this first diagnosis that my lymph nodes were clear and that the biopsy showed no cancer. We were elated.  Yet, our doctors keep talking about the lymph nodes.  They don't 'look' right, they are lumpy and bumpy. Whatever that means. I hate lumpy and bumpy. Especially on my thighs, I never thought I would hate it on my lymph nodes! I went Monday to give a blood sample for the geneticist. They want to see if I carry the gene mutation.
Chan takes notes at each meeting, he
writes down everything the doctors say and
asks all the questions.

In 1994, the first gene associated with breast cancer — BRCA1 (for BReast CAncer1) was identified on chromosome 17. A year later, a second gene associated with breast cancer — BRCA2 — was discovered on chromosome 13. When individuals carry a mutated form of either BRCA1 or BRCA2, they have an increased risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer at some point in their lives. Children of parents with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have a 50 percent chance of inheriting the gene mutation. 

When I gave the blood, it was in the chemo room, nice. They messed it up, I had to go back two days later and give more blood, which blew out my veins in my arm and I have a nice purple bruise growing down my arm. 

I have a feeling that this process of needle sticks, blood samples, and Xrays is just beginning.
needle stick number three...
I wake every morning and for the briefest moment, I have forgotten what is going on and I feel light. Then, the darkness sets in, the elephant gets back on my chest, I feel fear and dread. I don't carry that with me all day, I try to forget about it, but, sometimes it creeps in. I don't really cry that often, but, when I do, it shakes my whole body and I sob and sob. I don't feel sorry for myself. I actually feel very strong. I just need to let it all out, and crying works. 

I am so tired of feeling tired.
I am so over thinking about this every day.
I am finished with cancer defining who I am. 
I hate when people cry when they see me. 

I am ready to move on.

 Break up with cancer. 

We have a break up date, Wednesday at 9 am...bye bye.

Breast cancer is not just a disease that strikes at women. It strikes at the very heart of who we are as women: how others perceive us, how we perceive ourselves, how we live, work and raise our families-or whether we do these things at all.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz 

So if there is a purpose to the suffering that is cancer, I think it must be this: it’s meant to improve us. ~ Lance Armstrong

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Rainy Day Sweat~

“Laugh at yourself and at life. Not in the spirit of derision or whining self-pity, but as a remedy, a miracle drug, that will ease your pain, cure your depression, and help you to put in perspective that seemingly terrible defeat and worry with laughter at your predicaments, thus freeing your mind to think clearly toward the solution that is certain to come.”
-Og Mandino

Today's workout!
30 minutes of cycle intervals and hills

20 minutes 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, +10
Front Squat (go heavy today!)
Burpee Hurdle Jump...burpee jump over box
Pistol Squats (alternate legs each set)
chest press....heavy dumbells!!
Toes to Bar
core if time~

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pink RockStar...And We Have Been Charmed

Well dang, I don't feel sick, in fact I feel fabulous, strong, vibrant and my biceps have been looking pretty good lately in the gym!

 I have breast cancer? Not possible, not ever.  If you were to pick the poster child for health and fitness, it might be me. I have darkened the doors of every gym in the tri state area...for the last 20 years.  I think I have taught every person in SC how to do a step class, and I can out cycle anyone in the spin room. I am kindoff a freak about my fitness, nobody is least nobody I know.  I have two precious children, Marshall is 9 and Sophie is 7. 

my boys
Don't forget Big Daddy, my Knight in Shining Armor. He promised me he was born lucky. "I'd rather be lucky than good." he always tells me. "Stick with me mama, we are going to live a charmed life." 
And we have been charmed.  

my birthday party last year, a little crazy
I can't believe that dooky was growing
in my booby.
We were married when I was 34 after I thought I would never ever find the perfect man. He was 32 and we were ready for a family. Our wedding was the best day of my life. It was July 14, 2002. Two months later we were attacked by terrorists in New York and he was in the city. He stood and watched the second tower fall. One month later we were expecting our precious baby boy. On our first anniversary we cradled a 7 day old baby. 
And we have been charmed....
We have frolicked, we have vacationed in Mexico, we lounged on the beach, we bought a new house, we made friends.  Our second child was born two years later. Sophie is the daughter I have dreamed of my whole life. 
And we have been charmed....
We have grown our children, holding hands, singing songs and loving life.

And we have been charmed.

biopsy bruises, actually pretty nice looking in
this pic, didn't want to share too much booby! Ignore
my chewed up nails...stress....
And then it was September 23, 2011 and I got the call from the sweetest nurse on the planet. "Precious, I have the biopsy report. So, the biopsy shows you have Ductal Carcinoma Insi tu." What is that, what on earth,  I have never heard of it, but, carcinoma sounds bad, my head was spinning, I looked at Chan, I fell to my knees, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't talk, I couldn't look at him. We hung up with the nurse after writing down everything that she said. We hugged, cried, felt weak. Looked at each other, held hands and decided to call our parents. I told Chan, call your daddy first, practice on him before you call my mom. So, we picked up the phone, called my father in law.  Chan couldn't speak, words would not come out, he choked. My father in law was scared, "what's wrong, Chan? Are you ok? Chan?" Finally Chan managed the words, , "It is positive, she has cancer." My father in law was quiet, "We can handle this", he said. "We will do whatever you need." I was encouraged, lifted. We called my mom, she was brave, but she couldn't fool me, she was scared, so was I. 

So, we spent the next four days hitting google, every search teaching me more and giving me more questions. I know this:

Ductal Carcinoma In Situ:
1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Ductal carcinoma starts in the tubes (ducts) that move milk from the breast to the nipple. Most breast cancers are of this type.

I snuck this pic when the doc was out of the room!! I am so nosy!
The black circle in the bottom right corner is the mass, it is
so tiny, 8mm. 

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer. Ductal means that the cancer starts inside the milk ducts, carcinoma refers to any cancer that begins in the skin or other tissues (including breast tissue) that cover or line the internal organs, and in situ means "in its original place." DCIS is called "non-invasive" because it hasn’t spread beyond the milk duct into any normal surrounding breast tissue. DCIS isn’t life-threatening, but having DCIS can increase the risk of developing an invasive breast cancer later on.

When you have had DCIS, you are at higher risk for the cancer coming back or for developing a new breast cancer than a person who has never had breast cancer before. Most recurrences happen within the 5 to 10 years after initial diagnosis. The chances of a recurrence are under 30%. 

Because of increased screening with mammograms, the rate at which DCIS is diagnosed has increased dramatically in recent years.
While DCIS isn't life-threatening, it does require treatment to prevent the condition from becoming invasive. Most women with DCIS are effectively treated with breast-conserving surgery and radiation. from
So armed with these facts, we were ready scared, but, ready. 
I will share what's going on with my journey here, I was going to write a separate blog, but, this is all me, the workouts, the motivation, the recipes for my favorite salad, the breast cancer.
 I hope that this will help someone in their journey. Please share with whoever you think will like/need/read/appreciate this ramble. 
I am sure that some will gasp, she's writing about her cancer? Really? Isn't this supposed to be private? But if you know me, I can't keep a secret, I am transparent, I share everything, good, bad and cancer. 
I keep saying, "I am a rock star, watch me rock this!" But, I am scared and small. I need to be brave, hate to be pitied and can't stand to shrink away. So, stand beside me as I journey through my next life journey. Send me your thoughts, send me your love, WE got this~ 
my 'sister' Ranie, she is my Delaware RockStar.


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