Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011 & Hello 2012!

I was thinking about what I could update my status about that can tell the FB world how I feel about ending 2011, but I had a hard time picking a few sentences that would sum it up. I didn't want to only say "I'm so glad 2011 is coming to an end" or "I'm counting my blessings of 2011" because I know I feel emotion towards both. 

2011 hasn't been as bad as it was in 2010. Being diagnosed is harder than treatment (in my situation.) This past March I finished Big Red & Taxol. I finalized my surgery. We went cross country skiing. Point Loma/San Diego. Camp Pinerock. Visited with NY family. Nevada. Polar Express. Started my own cupcake business & my husband landed the job of our dreams. That sounds like a pretty good year! 

In between those wonderful blessings were some trials. Not only with my family but with my friends. I had to watch my family & friends lives takes some nasty twists & it felt like things would never be the same however those nasty trials has revealed God to still be as Great as I know He is! I have learned so many things. The one thing I can take from this year from my own blessings, trials & of this around me is that God Loves Us & He has a plan that I have learned to trust is so much better than my own. We may never  understand some things but I trust that He will pull us all through. 

My goal (not resolution) for 2012 is to be cancer/chemo free! I want to start my 5 year survival streak. I want to see my husband succeed in all ways. I want health Insurance. I want to joyfully accept age 33 on Feb 1st. I want to celebrate Isaac & Bella's 11th & 8th Birthday. I want to receive my district license at District Assembly as I feel I have worked so hard getting there as I was attending school in between surgery & chemo. And most of all I want to draw near to God & learn so much more! I want to learn to humbly accept the things I can not not change without wavering in my relationship with Him. 

So....wether my goals are met or not, I hope to blog in December 2012 that I learned once again the intensity of Gods love for us! 

Happy New Year! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

Sand World...

Today was Bella’s first therapy session with her new therapist. I am so thankful that we found her. She is exactly what I want in a therapist. She’s a Christian which is important for us. I wanted to emphasize on why that is so important to us because some people might not understand why.

We believe that Bella’s healing will ultimately come from Christ. We believe that God gives us the gift of having trained people that will assist in getting Bella the best medical care, even if it’s emotional care, not physical. We want someone that understands our faith, our way of healing and our way of allowing Christ in our home. It’s hard (from experience) to work together with someone that does not expect the “bottom line” healing to come from the same person. Our values, our morals, our foundation, our beliefs are those of Christ. I believe that we can better understand Bella, her past, her present and our goals for her future if we are on the same page spiritually. So…with that said, the importance of our therapists faith is an important one.

After the first item on our checklist was crossed off, we wanted to see her credentials which were impressive and we were happy. We got to talk on the phone last week and I felt an immediate connection with her. So we gave it a try and we were happy campers today.

The office was a great environment. She greeted us with her dog Courage (whom Bella is in love with) and offered us a variety of hot drinks on this cold rainy day in Arizona. It was very cozy and welcoming. She asked if we could meet with her first to get some information on Bella. While we were doing that, she put a veggie tales video on for Bella and set her right outside her office door. She made it known to Bella that we were going to meet and that she was leaving the door open a bit so we can still see her. I loved the way she kept reassuring Bella in every decision that she made. She made sure the video was loud enough so that our conversation wasn’t heard, but yet Bella didn’t know the difference and I like that. I like that Bella didn’t feel secluded and sitting outside alone wondering what we were talking about.

When we began our time together she prayed for us and the healing of our family and the healing of Bella. That was SUCH a blessing for us. We continued to talk about some issues in Bella’s past and the anxiety that she is feeling now. I always get choked up when I have to explain what my daughter’s “problem” is. She asked me to tell her about when I was sick on chemo, what my location would be and how I interacted with Bella. Honestly it was hard for me to remember those details, but I did remember lying in bed and always wishing I was out in the living room with my family. Thinking back to those days of intense chemo which followed surgery always breaks my heart. I lost some time with my family and my daughter is paying a price for it which sucks. Cancer sucks. BUT…which I want to emphasize BUT…I am here enjoying them now. Cancer sucks, but I won.

After our conversation, we brought Bella in. The therapist wanted us to have a family session today to “evaluate” us (in my wording) and to get to know Bella with us in the room. So we made a sand world in a huge sand tray. We got to pick items off of her bookcase which varied from animals, furniture, people, objects, nature like things and so on. We carried a basket around and collected all the times we wanted in our world. We couldn’t comment negatively on each other’s items, we just had to accept that they would be included.

So, lets start with Bella’s world. Her world contained a Momma horse and baby horse standing VERY close together. A bunny rabbit, a bird in a nest, a polar bear, a cat and a dog.

My corner of the world consisted of a brown recliner, a side table with a cross on it, a Christmas tree, a cross behind my chair, a dining room table with 4 chairs and a purple gem on the other side of my chair.

Cory’s corner consisted of a Gi Joe shoveling the sand, a fence around him and another GI Joe behind him. He added a helicopter and a plane.

The therapist came over and said “this is an interesting world.” LOL Ya, I would say. We had our own corners which were VERY different and Bella’s stuff interacted with both of our worlds. Her polar bear was even trying to break through the fence that Cory put up.

I had my own idea’s of what Cory’s world represented LOL but I didn’t say anything. Of course on the way home, I asked the question “was the GI boss representing me?” LOL Much to my surprise it didn’t.

The therapist talked through it for awhile and got connected with Bella and where she fit in. She asked Bella if she could be anywhere in this world, where would she go. So Bella got up and picked a purple fairy and set her right next to my recliner. My precious baby. That is all I can say.

Through this I realize now how much Bella fears the loss of me. It breaks my heart. I know it breaks hers. I wish I can tell her not to be afraid but I know that she will remain to feel that way until she realizes that God is in control. I had to come to that realization myself and I know that my 7 year old will have to as well.

This is a great thing for Bella. I am very happy for her that she has the resource for this and I continue to pray for her healing. I want her to branch out. I want her to feel confident without mommy and daddy around. I want her to achieve many things and not to feel anxious. We all want these things for our kids and some come easier than others.

Thanks for your prayers and thank you for stepping into our world and praying for us.


The Bagbys

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hop, skip & A Jump?

Definitely more like Planes, Trains & Automobiles....LOL

Well I wanted to post this as a prayer request. As most of you know we have been Counselor shopping for Bella. The last therapist didn't work out and so we slowly faded away from that. We decided to not tell Bella until after we returned from Nevada and once we returned the conversation still didn't come up. :( My fault but life/Chemo got in the way) but eventually Bella brought it up.

She had an episode the other night which is frustrating because I was just talking to my good friend in TX and she asked me about Bella. I was happy to report that she was doing good, no big issues lately but we have been together a lot so that could be why. She really hasn't had to separate from us. She even did well with the last treatment but probably because I was a cuddle bug, it worked in Bella's favor since she laid with me most of the time I was sick. We even ate lunch and dinner on the couch while Isaac was playing at his cousins house. So she got lots of Mommy time.

However once that ended and life went back to some normalcy the anxiety began. Monday we had some issues during the day and then another at night. She was sticking by my side and there was no way to peel her off. I thought a lot about what the therapist had told us and that was to not force her at this time. As much as I want to force her to do something she is anxious about or even encourage her to give it a try, I also don't want to push her to do anything she doesn't want to. So, I backed off. We had a good conversation about it later on and it broke my heart because when we talked about the anxiety she was feeling and the emotions that went with it, she asked if she can go to therapy. My 7 year old was asking to see her counselor? I knew then, that Bella was making progress before. It was affirmation that therapy was definitely a good thing. Im glad that she recognized the problem and realized that she wanted to work through it.

Through this ordeal, we had some other issues in the past two days and I just see her healing going in the wrong direction so I was on a mission yesterday to find a therapist that I felt connected to.

After a friend of a friend of a friend...and a therapist through a therapist and a therapist I was connected to a Christian Registered Play Therapist Supervisor (one of the few in the state of Az) and she was even on "Focus on the Family" which makes me happy. She has a play therapy dog named Courage and we talked for 45 minutes about Bella's needs and goals and everything in between. I felt very connected to her on the phone and thankfully they have a sliding scale on their fee's and its lower than what we were paying with the other therapist.

The negative? Its not close. Its at least 60 miles away. :( So, we discussed options with Bella's school schedule and which day of the week and I think we have a good game plan. I also decided that I would take this opportunity to make that a special mommy morning date. We will head out first thing Monday morning and be back before her lunch time. This is a sacrifice that we will all have to make, but God has been giving us the resources and guidance on how to approach this and I haven't felt this comfortable since we figured out there was a problem so I know its right.

Im excited to meet our new therapist and to start to see the healing in Bella. For now she definitely needs our prayers. I need to have patience with her and compassion when she feels anxious. Even though I may not understand it I can't get frustrated.  My family & her cousins have been so great with her and I think the more we come together to work towards her healing, the easier it will be for all of us. I'm very thankful for the prayers and support that you give our family through this journey of ours. prayer that I would find a therapist just a Hop, Skip and a Jump away didn't exactly work out...but I rather go the extra mile to feel confident in where we are going. :) When I was diagnosed I said I would drive anywhere to get the care I wanted and I am just going to have to do the same for Bella. :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A run for my money....

Well....I just have to say that I am GLAD THIS WEEK IS OVER! I am sitting in my recliner next to one of our 4 trees. The living room lights are out, with the tree shining its bright lights and the fruit loop and popcorn garland bringing me back to my childhood while Cory is sitting near me reading a book,  and I can't help but say...Thank you Jesus for getting me through this crazy week.

As most of you know, I had my triple dose of Herceptin this past Wednesday. I felt like I was hit from left field with no notice. Wednesday night it started by fatigue and leg cramping. Thursday morning I was dragging my body around getting the kids off to school and then I laid on my couch till Cory came home. I worked up enough energy to get a cupcake order put together with the help of my sister. I took some pain meds, took a shower and even conquered our Church Board/Pastoral Dinner at our Senior Pastor's house. I honestly dont remember much because of the medicine and how fogged I was, but I am glad I went. I wasn't much fun but it gave me sanity. On Thursday my sister told me to stay home and just rest. She said that it wasn't worth going because I would be hurting more in the morning. I just cried and told her that it kept my mind sane because I was so side swiped from this treatment and all I can do was bring myself back to my days of Hell. I needed a healthy outlet.

Thursday night Cory got called into work for Friday which would have been his day off. I panicked and my wonderful mom took the day off of work to take care of me. I slept most of the day and she cleaned, cooked breakfast, lunch, put my tree together and took care of the kids. I just laid my little self on the couch and she tended to every need. This was a walk down memory lane FOR SURE!

Saturday I got up, took a shower, put my Super CHemo Girl Cape on and tagged along to go have Breakfast with Santa provided by our Anthem PTA. After my shower I laid on the couch and started to feel dizzy. I pushed myself out the door, ate breakfast with Santa, let the kids shop, while I sat down and watched them pay for their goodies. My sister drove me home, my cape came off, my PJ's went on and off to my cozy seat on the couch I went.

I patiently waited till Cory came home from work which was about 4:30. He walked in, and I just woke up from Nap #...who knows. I told him I wanted to make Chocolate mousse and he looked at me like I was crazy. After watching Food Network for 4 days, I was determined to make something yummy!

So, I did. I got up and made dessert while he made dinner. We had a wonderful family night. I was craving it so bad. I wanted to just have a steak and potato kind of dinner and watch a Christmas movie. And we did. It was perfect. Not a minute after the kids went to bed, I followed their lead.

I woke up today feeling better but still feeling sluggish. This type of sluggish was my body recuperating from the hit it just took. I went to church and then came home and napped and went to our Annual Christmas Banquet. I was back on my feet and feeling myself again.

I realized this morning in my devotion time that I am being used by God even when I don't think I am. I have NO idea why I am going backwards in my treatment but I pray that God uses me through this to inspire someone else.

Cory and I discussed options for chemo as far as going back to weekly treatments, but we both decided to fight through it and get it done quicker by going once every 3 weeks. When you have to choose between 18 or so treatments weekly rather than once every 3 weeks and down for 4 days...and only doing it for 5-6 times more....your mind processes (or at least mine does) that it will be faster.

I now know what to expect. My husband, kids and close family all know what to expect AGAIN....and that will help the treatments go better. We were all side swiped and I think the knowledge of what to expect will help us navigate through it better.

Thank you all for your continued support. Texts, emails, FB, dinner, Starbucks drop off and hugs mean the world to me. It reminds me that I am not forgotten. I am still fighting the fight and need the support!

Thank you for being there for us!

Cheers for a 2 week Chemo free break. I have a lot to get done before I get hit again....:)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Memories that I choose not to reminisce with.

Yesterday I received my chemo treatment. 3 doses in one of Herceptin. For the last 20+ weeks I have been receiving Herceptin weekly (1 dose) . Some weeks I was superwoman and other weeks I was knocked down for a day or two or three. After much discussion last month with my oncologist we decided to try once every three weeks. I agreed to this regime because Herceptin is a low key chemo however I was not reacting as "low key" as normal. I rather get kicked down every 3 weeks as opposed to weekly. (I hate even having the choice actually)

So last treatment, I had my weekly herceptin then a week later I had the 3 in 1. It bothered me at night as far as leg cramping and fatigue but I felt better the next day. I don't know if that was the case because I had treatment the week before so my body was already in "mode" but this time around NOT THE SAME.

I went in yesterday with Cory and got my treatment. 4 hours later we were headed home. We passed a Christmas Tree lot and made the decision to get a fresh Christmas tree since my wonderful $10 15ft tree is falling apart. The nice man tied up the tree to our car and we headed home.

About 15 minutes into the drive, my whole body lost every ounce of energy that I had. I took my top sweater off, made a pillow and snoozed on the way home. I woke up right before we got to our house and Cory asked "are you doing ok" and my response was "no, I feel like it hit me like a ton of bricks"

I walked into the house, got my set up going on the couch with pillows and blankets and just watched my family go on as usual and watched Cory trying to hold the fort together. Bringing in the Christmas tree, homework with the kids and shopping for dinner and making it too.

I just have to say, I HATE laying on the couch with no energy watching my family go on without me. I haven't felt that in such a long time and its a memory that I don't want to live again.

About an hour or so after I got home, my legs were cramping, my bones hurt and I couldn't even touch them because my muscles were so sore. It was only from the waist down. All I could do is rub them gently to help ease the pain. Pain medicine, Phenegran, Aleve and my water was what I needed.

I had my friend Amy come by and chat with me awhile, Hope stopped by so Cory could remove her stitches from her finger and then my sister came by to pick up her kids. About 8pm I got off the couch to walk her out and I walked form my living room to the front room and sat on the stairs. Cory looked at me and said "you don't look so good. You have dark circles around your eyes and your face is pale." Of course I had to get up and look and much to my surprise he was right. I looked like a chemo patient again and I haven't looked like this in a long time. Thank goodness I have hair. That makes a big difference.

We got the kids off to bed and I crawled into bed myself. Cory went for his run and I don't remember much after that. I woke up today, pain free however I am nauseous, headache, super weak and exhausted. With all this comes emotions.

I woke up at 7:30 pushing myself out of bed to get the kids off to school. Of course Bella was anxious this morning just seeing me like this again. They thought it was all done. The moments that I couldn't take care of them were creeping back in.

I kept pushing the kids to hurry up and get ready while sitting on the couch just ordering them around. They finally had everything together, I kissed them goodbye and off they went.

I made breakfast, I put my tray together of books, tissues, meds, waters, cell phone and of course my laptop.

About 10 minutes later I got a call from school saying Bella forgot her backpack. I could not go bring it to her. I didn't have a car and I was NOT walking and so she had to ride back. She knocks on the door, crying of course and we spent some time cuddling and I encouraged her to get back to school. After she left, I just cried my eyes out.

This just sucks. And I feel like this is all new again. But now I know I need to recruit help again. But once again I am back in this boat that I thought I was out of. Its just plain frustrating.

At my appointment yesterday with my awesome oncologist, we had many discussions of what I was dealing with. The lump under my arm is back. It could be from the fact that I just came from a high elevation and my lymph node is inflamed or a cyst. We don't know but she never takes things lightly so we are watching it till next visit. I also talked to her about my recent eye exam. The eye doctor told me that chemo was not the reason behind my lack of focus ability and eye damage. I knew then he was wrong, but I just waited till I talked to my oncologist. I told her I went in for an eye exam and asked her if my eye damage was a side effect from chemo and she said "yes it is". I knew it. I had great eye sight before chemo and it was just too ironic that it went downhill in the past 6 mths. My oncologist told me that it should go back to normal after awhile but my ability to focus is weakening. So my glasses should be here in a week. Just another joy from chemo. 16 months of chemo has its perks....NOT.

Anyway..just pray for me. Pray for quick healing and strength for my emotional side. Thank you for keeping up with me and my blog a year later....

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Home Sweet Home...

It was so nice to get away but its always so nice to come home too. My favorite part about being home is being in my own bed. Last night as we were drifting off to bed I said to Cory "remember when you said, "Home is where the heart is?" Well, my heart is right here in my bed." LOL There is nothing like your own bed. Especially when its a King size. :)

We did have a great time though. Thanks again to Cory's family for making that happen!

The drive up there was great. Kids were saints. I think the amount of electronics and toys really helped us out. After our night stay in Vegas and bleaching our eyes out from the things we saw we headed to Winnemucca, NV.

We had a blast. We didn't even do much but its so cold up there and cozy in the house that you just feel homey. LOL. We sledded, 4 wheeled, built a snowman, threw snowballs, built a fire from toilet paper and wood, celebrated Cory's 35th Birthday and best of all? Enjoyed eachothers company.

We were sad to go home, but of course all fun has to end sometime.

We were blessed by the trip and now we focus on getting through Christmas and starting out this new Year with a great big HEALTHY & SUCCESSFUL BANG!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Happens in Vegas...Stays in Vegas

Last night we had the pleasure of visiting Cory’s family in Las Vegas. We got to meet his 2nd cousins. Kayden (4) Sierra (2) & Matthew (14 mths) We hung out with Jamie and Cora and chatted about old times as we haven’t seen each other in at least 6 years. We had a BBQ then headed out into the cold city of Las Vegas.

My goal for the night was to take the family to the strip and see the water fountain show at the Bellagio and maybe head into NY NY to get an image of my roots. LOL.

As we drove onto the strip the kids were amazed at the lights and all the activity that was going on. Being that Cory grew up in Vegas, Cory was talking about how much its changed. That got Isaac’s wheels turning. We were trying to explain the atmosphere to him but we were having a hard time putting our words together. Finally, our 10 yr old out did us and said “Dad, is it like the weeds?” We both looked at each other in fear and said “Son, what do you mean?” Of course we were scared of what he was about to say but we were thankful when he finished and said “The parable of the weeds and the wheat” We looked at each other once again and smiled and said “yes Isaac, that’s a good comparison.” We are so thankful that our kids reflect life situations with God’s word. I praise God for that.

We watched the fountain show at the Bellagio to the theme song of Titanic. It was awesome of course and I felt like I was standing right at the front of the boat with Leonardo DiCaprio. LOL..not really but it was worth it. 

We walked through the Bellagio which is beautiful of course. They have a garden which is decorated for Harvest. Pumpkins made out of roses and tons of gourds and scarecrows. It was so pretty. The kids loved it.

In order to get from the Bellagio to NY NY it was more of a hassle to drive and I could see NY NY from where we started so I thought…lets just walk the strip even after I was warned to stay in the car LOL (Pastor Kevin) 

We walked into the Cosmo which was actually pretty cool. Very Cosmopolitan. I’m sure that Hotel is a girly girls favorite. Especially walking in and seeing the red high heel stiletto. They had a pink chandelier that I want for my house. LOL It’s super cute.

As we moved from the Bellagio to NY NY I thought maybe Isaac and Cory could ride the rollercoaster, but at $14.00 a person that was NOT happening. So we played some video games and I won Isaac & Bella 700 tickets (You can win tickets with the claw..amazing) and I won Bella “Clumsy smurf”. I just have to say, I have mad skills at the claw. I haven’t lost yet. My kids think Im a hero. 

We then took our hike to NY NY. Oh boy….this is where my title of “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”comes from because I want to leave all the nasty stuff there and not with me. Honestly, all Cory and I could do last night was pray for the things that happen down there.

Some may agree or disagree but since this is my blog, I get to plug in my point. Vegas has so much to offer for sight seers however, the garbage that is filtered through just gets in the way. When talking with Cory’s cousin she was saying that there really isn’t much to do for young families and I can see why. They are so wrapped up in the product which I get, but it makes it hard for young families to find things to do when you live there.

We didn’t walk far. Maybe 10 minutes however I had Cory behind me, warning me not to let the kids look down. Of course as soon as I heard that I looked down just to find business cards of women soliciting themselves. There were workers on EVERY corner in sweatshirts that said GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS handing out these cards. Just to make it better in case you didn’t take the card, they now have a new promotion plan which includes someone driving around a “billboard” truck with the images on the side and they just drive slowly up and down the strip. So as you are stopping to take a picture, you turn around and WHAM….in your face. You look up to the amazing lights of the hotels just to find large screens flashing the entertainment. I walked with both my kids under my arm and just talked about how cool the fountain show was, however everything is just so noticeable, its hard not to ask questions especially when your 10. We walked across a bridge, and there were 3 or 4 people, probably early 20’s. They were all playing an instrument or singing and they had a cardboard sign that said “Need $$ for weed” I stopped and looked at them, laughed and said “can I take a picture of your sign” LOL I couldn’t help myself. Cory and the kids were further down from me and I told him to stay there since I was the only who noticed it. Then a few feet down there were two people sleeping on the floor in fetal position since it was so cold. Then the questions started. “Mom, why is he sleeping there?” “Well, Isaac, he could be homeless, not having anywhere to go.” “Wow, that sucks.” Yes it sure does.

Then he noticed tons of people with the famous Las Vegas cups. The ones that is forever big and filled to the rim with their favorite drink of choice. For a 10 year old that seems like a pretty cool cup. Isaac kept asking for one. He wanted to fill it up with soda. Well…sure I would love to fill it up with a Caramel macchiato. LOL. I tried to explain that those cups weren’t for us to buy. Adults were buying them. He couldn’t understand it.

The questions kept coming and coming as we took every step. We had been in vegas 9 years ago and I can tell you that its not the same. Its 10x worse than it was. Its on every corner. That’s the sad part. I think of these girls. They are someone’s daughter. I think of all the people that have to be subjected to that and the images that stick in their head. It makes my heart sad and I now understand when I see the posts from people that live in Vegas wanting to save it. Media calls it SIN CITY for a reason.

This morning Isaac asked us about gambling since last night we could walk through the casino’s as long as we stayed on the path. You can’t really dodge the casinos when you are walking through the hotel. We didn’t talk much about it last night, but I guess it just took him awhile to process it. So this morning as we were eating breakfast we talked about gambling and how it can become addicting and sometimes gets people in trouble. He said “maybe the guy sleeping on the floor last night lost all his money at the machines” Yup, maybe he did.

So needless to say, last night we had to wash our brains of the crap we had to see and I am thankful to begin our drive to the small town of Winnemucca. Mountains, 4 wheelers and family time is more of my thing. If I don’t see the strip again….I can’t say I will be sad.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nevada Bound

I am taking a break from all the packing. Going from 75 degrees to 40 degrees requires a lot of "extra's".

We were blessed by Cory's family to take a trip to Winnemucca, NV for Thanksgiving. We couldn't have done it without their help! During this week of giving thanks, we are definitly GIVING THANKS to them. :)

We are driving up to Northern Nevada. Cory's parents live 3 1/2 hours north of Reno. Snow is in the forecast for Thanksgiving Day. WOOT WOOT

We are excited to ride the 4 wheelers in the snow and up the mountain. My in-laws have a house in a cul-de-sac that sits right on the W mountain. Its free reign for us and we are excited to take advantage of that. Bella is fine with riding with me on the 4 wheeler. Isaac on the other hand...I might have to keep a tight rope otherwise he will get out of control. LOL

During the week our plans consists of lounging around, getting in some major Gma & Gpa time, celebrating Cory's 35th Birthday, smoking a HUGE bird on the weber over fruit tree wood, sipping hot cocoa, riding 4 wheelers, and best of all? Making memories with the family.

Cory's mom is a 5 year breast cancer survivor. Even though I am still on chemo, I am excited to share our survivorship together. To be together for thanksgiving, away from all the doctors and tests and medicine? What a great thing to be thankful for.

I can't wait to post pics of our vacation. Of course FB will be a popular thing since we will be driving for 12 hours. We do get to break up the trip by staying the night in Vegas at Cory's cousin's house. That will be a big help to get the kids to waste some energy before we hit the long road on Tuesday morning. We got the Laptop, Ipad, IShuffle, crayons, coloring books, travel games, and movies all set to go.

Now I just need to come up with a good threat to the kids about hearing "are we there yet."

4 wheelers might be an option. :)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Praises and Prayers

I always want to add something good on my blog so it doesn't always seem like a drama set. However, I am dramatic. LOL Im kidding...but I know some agree. HaHa.

Anyway GREAT NEWS...Isaac got his VERY first audition tomorrow afternoon for a GOODWILL commercial. His part is about a boy giving up his teddy bear to GOODWILL so that another child can enjoy what was once a special friend to him. I am so excited. I am not getting my hopes up as he has NEVER done this, however I am still a proud mom that they considered him for the part. He is very excited and actually very calm. I would be a basket case (AKA DRAMATIC) LOL...but he is very mellow and confident. I am not sure how he would react if he doesn't get it, he really has never been let down in that capacity before so this could be an interesting moment in our lives. He fits the part for the request of the commerical, however he does lack the experience and training so in comparison with other kids, that will work against him. But that doesn't mean he wont get we are praying for Him, that he does his best and whatever is meant to happen, happens. Just to go and experience that whole side of the world is going to be fascinating for me. I imagine myself sitting in the waiting room (not even sure if I am imagining this correctly) wondering how he is doing for the audition, if he goes into another room, or if I can be in the same room and view from afar. Ahhh..I can feel my controlling self coming out. LOL

His audition is at 3:15 so if you read this..can you say a prayer for Him? Just that he doesn't get nervous and does his best and whatever the result is, his spirit never gets weak from turn downs.

Im hoping he doesn't cough his way through the audition. Its mostly acting, no speaking parts so that will be good. LOL. Before the audition we are taking him to the doctor to get checked out since he has had a cough for a week now. So no school, just me and my boy. A fun day ahead. I can't wait to post the results. We will know on Wednesday if he gets a call back. :)

Another exciting note, I received my very first haircut since my new hair growth. It was a bit nerve wracking and exciting all at the same time. I got it cut alot off the back since the curls were taking over my head and I was looking like a chia pet, but now my top mop can catch up to my sides. :) My mom wanted me to put the hair from the cut into a baggie to save. Crazy I know, but that is my mom, however I didn't do it. Sorry mom. :)

My last just for prayer for Bella. We had an incident (nothing major) at therapy last week and its between the therapist and myself but we are praying about making a move to a different therapist. So if you can please pray for that situation as it is not easy to take her out when she feels comfortable and is thanking God for therapy. I hate to change but there are some red flags going up in regards to the therapists beliefs and I don't know if that is the type of healing suggestions I want for my daughter. So please keep us in prayer.

We had the opportunity to pray for Bella at the alter today in church. Our Pastor and friend (Kevin) and Pastor Merritt (our friend too of course) anointed Bella and we (friends and family) laid hands on her for healing of her anxiety, worry and fear. It was very special for our family to have the support surrounding us for our little 7 yr old girl who struggles with anxiety. She asked me tonight "mom will this oil stay on my head forever?" LOL. It was really cute. We told her that the prayer will last forever, but no, eventually it will wash off. LOL

We talked about it this morning of what it meant to be anointed and I was so proud of her bravery to go up in front of the congregation and allow all of our hands to lay on her. Of course she snuggled into our bodies as more and more people came, but she pulled through like a champ! I love my church family and their support. Thank you so much for committing to pray for Bella. Even our teens from our youth group came up to lay hands on her. That meant so much to me!

Anyway, I am thankful today and excited about Isaac and the healing of my baby girl. Maybe my next post is "Isaac donates a teddy bear to GOODWILL" :)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Please Please Please Pray

Im asking everyone that reads this to please pray for our family.

Several things are going on and we simply feel overwhelmed.

For one...Bella. Her anxiety is getting worse and she is actually praying for Bravery during bedtime prayers. A simple thing like tutoring after school has sent her into tears. She is anxious about the family being without her, she is anxious about being at school later than usual, she is anxious with her routine being messed up and anxious about us not being there in time to pick her up. Of course its on my chemo days that she has tutoring and I can never guarantee if I will be home on time. She was crying her eyes out this morning as she left for school and this simply shouldn't be happening to her. Im so mad that she has to deal with this. We are out of money, we are paying for EVERYTHING out of pocket as we are simply drowning. We can't afford her counseling and I shake my head in anger at this whole thing.

Second...Isaac. He is on medication and his Rx is due. $180.00 on top of everything else. We are having to make decisions on which child to pay for, and again, this isn't fair.

Third...Me. Last week Chemo knocked me down for 3 days. On the 4th, I was totally fine. I was weak, fatigue and nautious. I thought I had the flu but it wasn't. I am not sure why its treating me this way, but its not good for my mind and my spirit and it just frustrates me. Each week I react differently and I can't pin point the reason.

Finally, our family in general. This of course is weighing on us and we are just trusting in the Lord that all this need will be provided for. I didn't ask for these cards. They were dealt to me. I could easily lie and get insurance but I choose not to do that. That is not what defines me. I want to do things in the Image of Christ and I hold onto his promise.

Please keep us in your prayers. Paying for the cost of chemo and the effects it has on our kids is more than we can handle. We simply need the presence of God to overwhelm us and the peace that only He can offer.

Thank you for supporting me and my family through this journey that (at this moment) sucks.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Update on Bella

First, I just want to say thank you to everyone that has been praying for Bella.

If you are not on Facebook or just haven't been following, I wanted to give you an update on why we were even requesting prayer.

Over the past year, Bella has become withdrawn from family and friends. Her anxiety has been rising each day and she becomes very distressed in situations that she is not comfortable with.

I put it aside trying to justify why she is feeling the way she is feeling. "Well I had cancer, and of course she is anxious" however she got worse and when we started noticing that she wouldn't go over her friends houses or even family, we knew that it wasn't just going to "go away".

Recently I got a call from her teacher and the anxiety is taking over at school as well also noticing that each time she did have "butterflies in her belly" she broke out in this rash. This is when we knew we had to take action and call on the doctor.

We saw her pediatrician and she has a type of eczema that is caused by stress. We talked awhile about the changes in the house and her actions and our doctor referred us to a play therapist.

Bella saw the therapist for the first time yesterday. She is great and we really like her and her plan of action. We met for 30 minutes then she played with Bella for 30. Next time Bella will have the full hour. The tears finally came running down my face as I knew this was serious for Bella.

I felt a sense of frustration from this whole thing because I had my counseling. I am on the road of recovering emotionally from this terrible disease and I have found things in my life that are making me happy so that I am not obsessing over Cancer 24/7.

A year later as I am on the road to healing, my baby girl, is just starting to mourn. That frustrates me that this had to happen. She is so tender, so soft hearted and she is full of love. She puts out a ray of sunshine (in my book) and for her to get so sick and break out from stress at the age of 7, a year after I have been diagnosed, puts a whole new frustration on Cancer. I hate it.

As the therapist and I talked through this, she made me realize (after being in denial) that Bella is afraid that I will die. She can not see that I am healing. She still sees me on chemo and she saw everything I went through. Sometimes I can't even see the light at the age of 32. Can you imagine the mind of a 7 year old?

After talking about the way she is with me and her obsessiveness with art, we were able to pinpoint some things that will help the healing process.

Bella has to go weekly which as you can imagine is a huge strain on us financially. This week alone we paid over $180.00 just for Bella not including my medical costs and it will be $70.00 each week. This thing about having no insurance really sucks. Plain and simple. We are barely keeping her head above water with our daily bills let alone medical bills and have exhausted all resources.

We are asking for you to pray for Cory and his job. We are pleading with God for the Hospital to call soon so that our finances can get headed in the right direction and we can have some INSURANCE!!!!!!

We know that Bella is a priority and we know that God will take care of her and the cost of the therapy. We are trusting that this will all soon come to an end and we can live without the stress of medical costs.

Thank you for posting sweet notes of encouragement and text messages. We are surrounded by amazing people and we Give God all the Glory for all things that are done. Thank you for being the hands and feet of God.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Life Is......


Well, just to write about my journey at this point.

Its October 16th 2011 (in case you didn't know) & where was I at this time last year? At my Oncologist office learning of my start date for my first round of Chemo Therapy. I also got my hair cut short this day last year so I had an easy transition when I lost my hair.


That is just so crazy! I can't believe it has been this long. Wow, Im pretty happy with where I am at right now.

So...where am I at 12 months later?

Im doing well. Feeling well. My doctor changed my Chemo regime a bit. I now get my Herceptin over 45 minutes instead of 30 because some other patients complained that it was causing them fatigue and since I was complaining of the same thing, they tried something new. It worked! I came home last week and felt great! I do have some early signs of lymph edema. Which is definitly something you want to watch out for. I am going to see a Physical Therapist to talk about preventive measures. My mother in law ordered me a sleeve that will help with pain and swelling. I am also going to see a GI doctor and possibly a colonoscopy. Are you jealous? :)

Other than that, I guess you can say Im healthy. My hair is growing rapidly. I can't manage it and I have no idea what to do with it. I need a haircut. LOL Thats fun. Here is a picture that was taken about a month ago. Its grown a lot more since then. LOL Its curly in the back. I asked God to give me curly BLONDE hair. He must have not heard me correctly. :)

Other than my hair growing back in crazy curls and wild, I have also started my own Cupcake Business. Yes...I know! Crazy as that sounds, but I did it. Im officially in. I delivered my first BIG ORDER of 150 cupcakes tonight to a 65th Birthday Party. Over 130 people will be tasting  my cupcakes so hopefully the business will blossom.

Here is a picture of the Logo & First Delivery Display

The other day I baked 3 new flavors. Triple Lemon with buttercream, Avocado Delight and Jalepeno with Cream Cheese Frosting. I was in the kitchen for many many hours. After we cleaned up and the kids went to bed, I plopped on the couch with Cory and rested in his arms. I said "I am wore out" and he said "but I love seeing you happy." I asked him to elaborate on that statement a bit ( I need details) and he told me how happy I looked when baking, and that he hasn't seen me this way in a long time. Like I found my purpose again.

Even though I was exhausted, he was right. I did find a purpose and I could give back somehow.

Im happy and honestly I haven't been thinking about cancer too much. Its here of course, I do have chemo every Monday, I can't really take it out of my vocabulary just yet, however I have found something that has given me joy in a way that I haven't felt in a long time.

Thank You God for getting me through this year. Thank you God for allowing me to start this business during my journey! Thank you God for allowing me to be a SURVIVOR through this all!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Dr. Admire & I have come to the end of the road......

I have always imagined boobs, Botox and bamboo to be in my life for awhile, however today was the last time that Dr. Admire and I need to meet unless there is a concern down the road.

I never thought this day would come. We have had a rough journey together to be honest. Double Mastectomy, Blown Boob (AKA Hematoma), Reconstruction (Unhappy camper) and another reconstruction (Happy Camper). I have yelled a bit, cried a lot, asked him why he was #1 in AMERICA, however my boobs look like this! Told him to not leave the operating table until he knew I would be satisfied, I questioned his every move, We laughed, I told him Thank You from the bottom of my heart and today we looked at each other and said "well this is it, looks great, you are free to get your "tattoo's" and let me know if you have any concerns!"

Wow! So...being that he mentioned tattoo's his "tattoo guy" was in the office working on a patient so he asked the man and the patient if I could come in and watch and ask questions. They both agreed. LOL. Its amazing how your modesty flies out the window after Breast Cancer. Well I am still modest, just not as freaked out anymore. LOL

So I went in and talked with the nurse/Tattoo man and asked a bunch of questions. The woman in the chair was a breast cancer patient (obviously). Her doctor found the lump which was only 1cm however had spread to her lymph nodes. She opted for a double mastectomy because of many reasons. She had her final surgery in May, had nipple reconstruction and now is getting the final touches. We talked and had some things in common. Her husband and I talked most of the time while she was being worked on. Awkward? A bit, but I put those weird thoughts out of my head.

I was in there for about 45 minutes and she was definitely feeling some pain even though we don't have much feeling. The nerves were pinching away from the site, but caused from the tattoos. So, some topical ointment went on and she felt much better.

He even gave me some ointment to put on an hour before my appointment so I wouldn't feel a thing.

After he finished one side, I had to go, and told him I would see him soon. Wow! I always said I wouldn't get anymore tattoo's but...HEY! Here we are!

I will be getting mine probably in December. They are not covered under Insurance which doesn't matter because I dont have any LOL and they are $300.00 (Lifetime warranty though) I know, you are laughing....but if you have a tattoo, does your artist offer that??? :)~

Anyway, the budget isn't allowing this to happen just yet, so we need to save and once we do, I go in and Im done!!! I can't wait for that to be over and to move on!

This Sunday, I decided to walk with Team Admire in the Susan G Komen walk. I have several reasons why I chose his team over many others but after today, I think its a great ending to a new beginning!

Regardless of my ill feelings over the past year, He gave me something that cancer took away. I have to be thankful!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

A quick Getaway......

I am so stoked for a few reasons. Being that the kids are on Fall Break and its still 104 degrees outside, the amount of things we can do here are limited. Bella did win a pass to Golfland at school for awesome behavior and attitude and she would like to claim that before she goes back to school so that might be happening next week before she returns so she can get her reward that she deserves.

Other than that there are no plans for us during this break. Normally we like to take some type of overnighter to get away but with the finances the way they are it doesn't seem doable.

However after carrying a heavy burden these past few days, I finally texted Cory and said "is there anyway we can get away to clear our minds". Lots of things are happening around the Bagby home and in our personal lives and its coming to a point when you can feel your body just moving through the day because there is no other way you can go.

I said "we have food, and gas so lets just drive up and camp it out" Whatever it takes, I wanted quality time away from drama, selfishness, guilt, reality, electronics, media, cupcakes LOL, and homework. I just needed to recharge and refocus my brain.

Cory found a free campground on Mt Lemon and so we thought we would just get away to the elevated climate and cool off a bit. However we were fortunate enough to have a call from our friends with a cabin and offered us the time away there. All we need is food, a few fishing poles and a good book. Oh, how Im craving coffee on the brisk morning with the sounds of nothing but nature.

Our original plan was to go to Chemo on Monday and leave from there and I would deal with the faitque up there and just push my way through it for my family, however I decided to call my oncologist and leave her a message telling her my situation, and being honest and said "I need a break from my weekly treatments, I need to refocus and get recharged" and I feel I begged my way through (even though Im sure I didn't). I got a call back a few minutes later and they gave me the Pass from chemo for the week and was told to "enjoy my time off". I cried! I was so thankful! Thank you Dr. Obenchain!

I just have to say Praise God, Praise God, Praise God! For you teachers out there, that have school year round, I want you to imagine the way you feel the last week of school. You are just getting through that week and your body, your mind can taste your two week vacation. Thats how I feel, however I have 7 months left of chemo and I JUST NEED A BREAK! These past few weeks, we are facing issues in our home after a chemo day, mulitple doctors visits, pouring out finances and I just want to focus on my husband and my two kids for a couple of days and not think about cancer, the infusions, the medical costs or anything else that causes stress. 

Im so grateful to escape because I know reality will be here when we return. But for now...Im counting the hours down to a place that will clear my mind and rejoice in what God is doing even in the midst of a storm.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Touch Of God....

I have been wanting to blog lately but I haven't felt the desire to blog because of how much I’m struggling emotionally, and I didn't want it to be a pity party. I’ve heard the encouragement I have given to others and when I feel down, I feel like maybe I need to keep it to myself so others don't see that I am weak, but then this morning, I was reminded that this is probably when you need to see me, because you need to see the "real" me.

I don't want to go into details of why I am in the place that I am, because honestly I feel like I have been having to explain my feelings and also feeling that they need to be justified and I don't like that. I am just where I am and I know that I won’t be here for long, but I also know that I will be here again and that’s ok. This is my new normal and this comes with the territory of the disease that I have.

Currently I am my 4th class at Nazarene Bible College as you know I am working on my BA in Pastoral Ministries. I’m very excited about this. My current class is spiritual formation. This class is a way for us to find our own patterns of devotion using spiritual disciplines. Silence/Solitude, Scriptural meditation and journaling allowing us to create a pattern that separates us from everyday life, and spending time with God. Pretty cool class huh?

So my homework is spending time with God. LOL..There is always a bit more accountability there when I am working towards getting an A.

This class couldn't have come at a better time for me in my personal life. I do feel defeated even though I know I am not. I feel weary in so many areas in my life, I am overwhelmed with guilt and I question every little thing that goes on in my life and my actions. It’s not healthy and I can't wait till I am through this dark tunnel. Finances are running empty, with my recent scares and we had to put our kids doctor’s appointments aside which causes guilt. It’s either my testing or theirs. It’s a hard choice to make. Finally we were able to take Isaac to his appointment yesterday with a wonderful bill of $243.00 out of pocket. So this past week we have paid over $700 out of pocket for medical bills. Our personal bills are not getting paid and honestly I am extremely bitter about that. I’m just so frustrated that these are the cards I have been handed in regards to medical care. I don't get it and for those that have medical care and take advantage of it, I get very defensive about that because I just can't believe I am at the point of paying for all of this. I just don't get it. There are times when I accept it, but there are times when I become angry at it. I think I have a pretty decent reason but I know that if I allow it to brew in my mind, I continue to slide downhill.

This morning, as I was doing my Homework (journaling on the topic about "who Jesus is to me") I was lying in bed and Bella just woke up and came in my room. I looked at her, said "Good Morning Sunshine" and she crawled in my bed and laid in my arms. I held her so tight and she held me back and I kissed her forehead and pulled her hair that was stuck in her dried up drool on her face and put it behind her ears. :) She kept hugging me tighter and tighter and said "I love you mom" and I told her "I love you more".

I suddenly had an image of Jesus and me in this situation. When I am feeling defeated the way I do, I imagine walking up to Him, His arms stretched out and motioning me to come and sit with Him. Allowing His arms to embrace me through these rough times that I am in. That is comfort for me. The love I have for my kids is infinite, but I know that the Love God has for me is far greater. It's hard to fathom, but I’m learning more and more how much He loves and doesn't want me to walk this walk alone.

2 Corinthians 1:7 "And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort."

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ultrasound #2.....

I find myself praising God for cysts and ruptured cysts nowadays. Today was an emotional day. I honestly thought my results from my pelvic exam would come back normal. I knew I felt "weird" about stuff, but didn't think it would be the case.

I was getting chemo, feeling "good" and perky and chatting with my fellow cancer peeps near me. Texting, reading, Facebooking...the normal stuff. My nurse came in and gave me the results from my ultrasound. 2 benign cysts, 1 ruptured cyst and enlarged uterus with some fibrocystic cysts lining my uterus. The radiologist noted on my report that an HCG testing was recommended to rule out a miscarriage. I sobbed. My wheels started turning, my mind went blank and my perky little self once again sank down in the chair. I called my GYN and begged to get in today but was not successful. I watched my Herceptin bag slowly drip into my body which normally takes no time at all, but today it was dripping as slow as molasses.

I can't express the thoughts that run through my mind at this point. I didn't worry so much about cancer, but miscarriage? Rupture? What was happening to my body? I have had such abnormal cycles these past few months and I was analyzing everything. At one point I told Cory that they can take everything out. I don't want anything in my body that is creating a problem. I went into survival mode.

I cried all the way home just yelling out "I don't get it, why do I have to keep dealing with this". Cory just put his hand on my knee speechless. I was crying and asking questions about everything and every possibility. Having images in my head and scenario's and on and on and on.

Cory and I got home at 12:00..dragging our feet in the door when my phone rang and it was my GYN doc. "Hey can you come in the office at 1:00"? GRUGH..Thank you God for answering my prayers but why o why couldn't this call be 45 minutes ago. So back in the car we went into town and sat down with the doctor. I had 7 or 8 questions lined up for him and I wanted details, details, details.

First thing ruled out was a failed pregnancy. By his experience and a pregnancy test. Normally in my past experience, a positive test would be a blessing, but when you have medicine killing the good things in your body, a pregnancy is not something you want right now nor anything your body can handle on chemotherapy.

So moving on..he confirmed everything else and bottom line is this is a bittersweet thing I guess. CHemo is doing its job, however its causing my ovaries to go crazy and they are making blood filled cysts with one ruptured already. This is common Im sure and Ive heard.

Its crazy when they start talking about the shape of your cyst. I remember that definition so clearly when I got my lumped checked out. That was very important in determining if it was a concern. He did see some abnormal shaping on the cysts inside my uterus but for now we will watch it.

In 3 months I will get another ultrasound and in 6 weeks I will check in with him to see how I am doing. He put me on a very low dosage of Progesterone to help calm things down in my body and he would like to see this as a temporary thing since we know what extensive hormones can do.

Anyway, Im now laying on my couch, processing the emotional day, going through the physical part of chemo and trying to get rid of my headache.

Tomorrow is a new day. A friend gave me a card today and this verse is my comfort as I go through another struggle in the life of cancer.

Joshua 1:9 "Dont ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go!"


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Time of Reflection & Rejoicing

I want to take this time not to mourn but to rejoice in what the Lord has done. If you asked me to say this a year ago, I wouldn't be able to. I wouldn't be able to see past the surgery and the fear of the chemo was taking over. I was not in a place that I could see happiness. Everything around me was crumbling.

However a year later, I have to say, Im pretty happy. My natural born boobs have been taken, but I have life. And a new pair which always adds goodness. LOL

This year has been crazy and still continues to be. I am still rejoicing in the great news I received the other day that my new lump is nothing to be concerned about. I feel like healthiness is more of a reality now. I think I might start working out in the mornings so I can nap later on in the day. LOL

I don't want to reflect on that day I had surgery, because its still raw, but I want to reflect on my life today. Im home, Im "healthy" Im cleaning house, kids are cleaning their rooms, Im getting ready to print out stuff for my new class starting Monday. "Spiritual Formation" and tonight we will go out and celebrate Alice's Bday. Today is good.

I guess I should give a shout out to my Breast Surgeon Dr. Liu and my Plastic surgeon (Yes I am giving him a shout out LOL) Dr. Admire. Even though the 3 surgeries after the fact, weren't textbook I have to say....THANK YOU for giving me what Cancer took away.

Jeremiah 29:11 comforts me today!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Del Webb Goes PINK - Team Gabbee

I CAN NOT Believe its that time of year again. Usually people say that about Christmas. :) But its here! Breast Cancer Awareness Month which means PINK Ribbons coming out of my ears.

Saturday, October 8th is Del Webb goes Pink and you may register under Team Gabbee online or by paper form. For every registration under Team Gabbee, we receive $5 for medical costs to finish out my treatment.

Here is the link to sign up. This year we are not doing our own T-shirts but you do get a shirt from Del Webb or you may wear your Team Gabbee shirt from last year! (Click on Register now & when you sign up, you may click YES on the question "are you participating under Team Gabbee")

Its that simple!!! :)

If you have already registered for the walk and would like to be put under my Team please contact:

Caire Varney @ 520-723-6611 & she will transfer your registration!

Thank you Del Webb for going the extra mile to help make this year a success!

If you have any questions, please email me at

Monday, September 12, 2011

Updated Details of my appointment

First, I want to say Thank you for the support these past 24 hours. Texts, FB, and everything in between really encourage Cory and I. 

Doctors went ok. I feel better just talking with her. My nurses were super supportive as soon as I walked in. I love that I can cry on their shoulders. 

My oncologist is great. One thing that she is trying to teach me in all of this is to try to find the healthy way of dealing with things as they come up. I wanted her advice on the "worst case scenario" because that is the way my mind works. She told me that thinking that way wasn't the healthiest and that we need to take one step at a time. The planner in me, needs to know, but I understand the healthy way of doing this...but I have NO IDEA how to do that. How does one not get freaked out and worried about a lump, when I just went through Hell.

So, we talked about a few things. I have been telling her how tired I was lately, but I think today she knew that it was more than just that and I shouldn't be this tired on Herceptin so they are running several labs that I should have back today. Thyroid and B12 is definitely ones that she wants to see. So please pray that its neither, especially thyroid.

We talked about my problems Im having with my cycle and the pain Im experiencing and some other issues so she ordered a ultrasound for that as well.

As far as my lump. She examined me very thoroughly not pushing this aside as nothing, which I am thankful for. Her response to the lump is that its definitely not Scar tissue by the characteristics of it. We were kinda hoping that would be the issue, but whatever. She feels the lump, its definitely present, but the characteristics of it, aren't the same as a cancerous one. This may sound like good news and I want it to be, but for me it isn't that way 100%. This is why. When I found my lump, it hurt and it moved. Those were NOT the signs of a cancerous lump. So statistics and characteristics don't really matter to me. Ultrasounds matter to me. She thinks that it could be a sweat gland that is inflamed. That is normally caused by shaving or deodorant. Hmmm. So who knows.

She definitely feels that an ultrasound would help us move to the next level of the steps to take and Im so thankful for that. I see my breast surgeon next Wed and I can't wait. She was the one that did the mastectomy and took my lymph nodes out so I really trust her. Im anxious to hear her thoughts on the whole thing.

So, I really need you to pray for the ultrasound. I want it to be clear and concise of whats going on. It is painful and so please pray for that too. Pray for my other ultrasound on my abdomen and also my blood work.

Honestly, Im weary and sad and consumed. Im trying to figure out a way to not allow this to happen when something is not right wth my body and I just dont know how. Time maybe? I don't know. But it just sucks and I hate cancer. Im annoyed that it takes my joy away when Im doing good.

September 12th 2011

Last night was by far the worst nights sleep I had in a long time. Even with medicine to help me it still sucked. I tossed and turned, dreamed crazy dreams, and my underarm hurts. Im frustrated and SO ANXIOUS.

As most of you know, yesterday morning as I was getting ready for church I was in the shower and just like last year, I was washing up and felt something odd under my arm. I checked again and there I felt a small ball type of lump. I continued on to feel around where my cancerous lump was just to check everything and it was fine. I got out of the shower, processing it, walked into the closet, got dressed and felt it again, hoping it was gone. There it was. And it hurts.

About 2 weeks ago, I was feeling some pain under there and I was massaging it, while cooking. Cory noticed it and asked if I was ok, and I told him that it feels weird. But I didn't feel much. We let it go.

Almost 6 mths ago, at my check up with my breast surgeon I was telling her that my left side hurt and she didn't feel anything. She said it could be from the surgery, with my ligaments and what not just trying to mend back together, however if it was my right side, she would be concerned since that was my "cancer" side.

So I was thankful it wasn't and moved on.

Here I am today. Not only with pain on my right, but with a lump too. Im not angry, Im trying to figure it all out. Im not angry period. Im frustrated because if it is cancer, I feel that I took the most extreme measures to avoid this. But as I was reading last night, my tumor type HER2 Positive, usually has a recurrance within 3-5 years. I think I must have missed that information at my initial check up. My issue is, that I am still on Herceptin which targets my receptors that catches cancerous cells and builds them up real fast. So....why would this happen? What did we miss?

I know it could be nothing. It most certainly can. However my mind doesn't go there and I hope you understand why. Im trying so hard to think positive, but this is all such a reminder to me of everything. Finding a lump, being anxious, waiting on doctors, not believing they will believe you, thinking Im over reacting, going for tests, waiting for results, hearing that Im young, no cancer history, my chances are low and so on and so on...just brings me back to the time when my life changed. It sucks, it truly does.

Right now, I just need answers, I need possibilities, I need Doctors reassurance, or I need Honesty. I definitly don't want to be naive. I need all case scenerios.

I have a ton of questions for my oncologist this morning at 9:20. Im praying that she is detailed, gives me all scenerios, I pray for quick testing, I pray for action. I pray there is a concern enough that tests will detect a problem or not. Then I will face that road when I come to it.

Of course my prayer is that its nothing. I want to be healed forever and forever and never deal with this crap. I want my 28 treatments to be it. Of course that is my prayer.

I trust God, I know that what He has for me will be Good. I know His word, Im in it everyday and I don't doubt it.

I pray that after all this worry, I get to breathe a sigh of relief. Until then, I will be pro-active and taking all measures to know, because I can't believe that its not possible.

Here I am again. Lets see where this path takes me. Just pray.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sometimes I feel so.....

Anxious....Thats the feeling I have every morning. Its driving me crazy. Im finally calling my doctor this morning with my concerns and Im hoping that something changes.

The reason of anxiety has been triggered by so many things. Sometimes I allow the world to get to me  and I become really disapointed, Isaac's academics are stressing me out, the protection of Bella and her tender heart at school frustrates me, my mugascan (heart test) today, my post menopausal issue and the choices we have to make in regards to that on Tuesday, my lack of energy lately and the big kicker? Breast Cancer Awareness Month. it here already? And why can't I breathe when I see commericals and ads for everything with a pink ribbon?

Last year, I thanked God that I was diagnosed close to this BIG month because I needed to see ribbons come out of my ears, and I needed to see and hear great stories and I needed to see Pink everywhere. I NEEDED that.

This year? I opened up an Avon magazine and one full page was dedicated to it, and they had pink RIBBON EVERYTHING and I found myself not being able to take a deep breathe because of the anxiety that comes with it. Yesterday as I laid in bed with 0 energy I was watching TV and Ch12 news is gearing up for the big day in October and they had all these different ladies on there talking about their cancer. Then they had a statistic with much excitement. The 5 year survival rate has gone up to 98% percent! Yay. But what about after that? What about the 20 year survival rate? I don't care about 5. I care to watch my kids grow up, so what does that all mean? Sigh....

Then my Plastic Surgeon is having a team for the Susan G Komen walk. LOL I don't want to walk with him, but I want to walk with him. He has a video of last years walk of people complimenting him and thanking him (at their private lunch on the day of the walk) and I was imagining me standing up and saying my speech. LOL That would be funny! But Im obsessed with him and to walk with him, in hopes of MAYBE JUST MAYBE giving me a piece of his sensitive side and hopefully feel him genuinely caring about the Breast Cancer patients. Who knows. But if I do walk with him...I need a pair of Puma's. I just wont do it w/out. (yes private joke)

Anyway....these are all the things that wrap my brain in the morning. I wish my magic sleeping pill lasted for at least another hour after I awake, because I don't like that feeling.

In regards to my health, I am calling my oncologist today. Yesterday I laid in bed till 10:00, went to staff meeting and sat for 3 hours so it wasn't much physical activity and then came home to coupon for my shopping trip. All I had to do was make a list and look at the ads. My eyes got so heavy so I just rested my head on my HUGE coupon binder for a minute. Next thing I knew, I was sleeping. I woke up looking at the clock realizing I had one more hour till the kids came home from school, so lets make this count. I went to bed, closed my eyes and my alarm woke me up, and I had wrinkle sheet marks on my face. :) I slept hard.

I picked up Bella (Isaac had full day) and went to the store, came home, emptied groceries, made dinner, had some friends for dinner, laughed alot, completed the kids homework super late and then crawled into bed at 9:30. I was laying there on empty. I thought to myself "I took a power nap, I should be good" but man! Its so frustrating. Cory came home super late from our Church Board meeting and he told me I looked pale and he wants me calling the doctor today. As I sat in bed, thinking about his remark, I got up and checked my color and man....I did. UGH. I just don't know what is going on.

Here is one issue that I will tell you about (which I probably have) and I have NO IDEA if its related. As you know, chemo kicks you into menopause. As of June, it kicked me out however I have had "my friend" every 2 weeks since June. At times, I had it for 17 days straight. Fun yes I know. However its a concern for my oncologist and of course me. Yes its normal to be abnormal, I know this and don't need to hear that, I promise I know. What is not normal is the cycle that I am continuing on for 4 months. Anemia is a concern and at this point my oncologist can't do anything but she wants something done, so I see my GYN doc on Tuesday for a plan. A plan that Im not he is going to do nor do I want to do. I dont want extra hormones in my body because we all know where that leads. I honestly don't know, but I know I need to pray that the right answer is revealed.

I have my awesome friend Debbie coming with me to Chemo and my GYN doc and Im so thankful because there are decisions that need to be made and Im not sure what to do and her advice would be awesome to have.

So, today I am calling my doctor and maybe they will draw some blood. I will be near her office for my mugascan so Im hoping they know something so they can help me out. I just don't understand the fatigue.

Prayer would work for me as far as my anxiety goes. I have a lot racing through my mind and these next two months are a reality that I have to face and its also a wound that remains open. It hurts to think about last year and the journey I have been on. Some may be sick of hearing it, if you are, then Im sorry, don't read my blog. LOL However I hope there is no one out there feeling that way.

Please also pray for my test today. One of the side effects from Herceptin is heart damage. Im young, so Im at an advantage, but please pray my scan shows my heart just as strong as it was before I started this chemo.

If you have had this experience with Breast Cancer Month as a survivor and know my anxiety about it, message me.

 I'd love to hear about how one day it didn't bother you so much. :)

Thank you for your support!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Something I learned Today......

As I continue on this journey there are times that I feel like I don't have anymore to learn. Then there are times that I take what I have learned through this, and apply it when I need it. Today was one of those days.

These past few weeks, I feel I have been building up to a meltdown. I think it started when I made the decision to read my Blog from a year ago. Actually it was the day after my sister's birthdy this year and I couldn't remember what I did on her birthday last year, since it was only weeks after I was diagnosed. So I laid in my bed with my IPAD and decided to go back to that day. And the day after that, and the day after that and so on until I reached my "Big Red" days. I felt like I needed to read that, but at the same time, I didn't feel so good after. I also have been noticing the "This was your status on this day in 2010" on Facebook and its been really sad to see some of my posts and yet encouraging. Just last week, (a year ago) I had a ministry event at my house. I can't believe I had a ministry event at my house while I was waiting to get a double masectomy when a week before that, I met with my breast surgeon and learned I would have to do 18 months of chemo! Crazy. But Im glad I was continuing to live normally (as normal as I could)

A few days after visiting memory lane, my friend Amy lost her baby when she was 7 weeks pregnant. She had asked me to be part of that journey with her as they went to the ER several times, Doctors, mourning at home, spending time with her family and I was thankful that she did ask me because I was able to help in a way that I didn't think I could. A miscarriage is something that I never went through and I felt that I had nothing to offer, but being by her side every moment and seeing her go through that, I realized that I had more to offer than I thought. One day, she offered to come to the Doctors with me to keep me company, and also to get herself out of the house. We went, and I can feel her anxiety of just being in the public eye. That's when the wound that I thought was closed started to open up a bit. Her feelings was all she could talk about. And all we could do was listen. I remember being with family and friends and that was all I could talk about because cancer consumed my every thought. She was standing in a store and just started crying, and I remember walking in Wal-mart crying because I was overwhelmed by everyone's happiness around me and I was so sad. Then I watched her become ill and just craving to be home. That was me as well. I wanted nothing more than to be home and in the comfort of my own family. My heart was so heavy that day. Hours later, her husband called me because she was throwing up and she wanted me by her side. As I hung up the phone, I went to my knees sobbing. I was so emotionally drained for my friend but also because it brought back so many memories of feeling like it was never ending. I sat with Cory and I just cried about my day and we both reflected on those days at the beginning of our journey.

Then last night...and I tell this story not to throw my husband under the bus because I love him and I know his heart and I know his intention. But there was a comment made that in his mind had NOTHING to do with cancer, which I believe, but I made a connection and I allowed myself to twist it into something more. Of course, we argued a bit because it wasn't intentional yet I was hurt. That doesn't always go so well. My wound was opening more and more.

Then through the tears, more and more feelings came out. Chemo has knocked me down EVERY Monday for the last 3 weeks and it's finally taking a toll on me emotionally. Someone asked me the other day "how many more treatments left" and I always say 30 or March 2012 I will be done. But then I did the math of how many months and I said "8 months" and wow, I like 30 treatments better. 8 more months? I felt like I was almost done. :( Each week I feel nauseous and extremely tired. In the 20 treatments I had, I never felt this way before and what bothers me most was that my Oncologist doesn't understand why. So last night through the tears of my meltdown to Cory, I said it out loud that I guess I have been just putting aside. Maybe there is something wrong with me that I don't know about? Maybe its making me tired and its not normal for other patients to feel this way, because something else is going on? I don't know! But Cory looked at me and realized "Crap, here we are again, worrying about the future of this disease." I just sobbed and realized how much I hate chemo. I hate 30 more treatments, and I hate herceptin. I KNOW it won't last forever but right now it FEELS like forever. I could deal with it, when I would just go in, get treatment and come home and I felt fine. Now, Im back to making sure my house is clean, dinner is set and my kids know that every Monday, mommy will be in bed all day to rest. This is my life for the next 8 months? Its sucks. Bottom line.

After crying myself to sleep, I woke up this morning and realized "here I am again and I need to get ready to go to chemo" I hestitated for awhile and took my time. Why rush to feel crappy right? Finally we made our way out the door. I cried my way to chemo and I cried my way home from chemo. Its just one of those days I guess.

But here is what I learned. I am allowing myself to continue to mourn this life change and Im not going to feel guilty or weird because I don't know why I should feel this way. Im not going to try and process why I feel sad today, and not yesterday. Im just going to cry and feel the way I feel because I know I wont stay here for long.

I texted my cancer buddy KiKi today. I asked her if she finds herself in this position and the answer was yes and I wasn't alone. Its a fear that you wont understand unless you are there, just like I wont understand other fears from other life situations. After a few texts, I felt better just knowing that it was ok to stare out the car window and just cry because Im sad and angry that I got dealt these cards. We ended the text with a day date for next week. I am beyond excited to have a couple of hours with her and just connect with someone that understands me and my thought process.

I also called my other cancer buddy Lorna. I had to call her back for an unrelated issue but as she is going through radiation the question automatically comes up "How are you doing?" It felt good to just vent it out to her and again, have her understand. She expressed that it is still happening to her. I don't think it will ever just "go away"

I realized that it may be 20 years from now and I might still have a day to cry. I think its healthy. I want to face these heart wrenching thoughts instead of locking them away. I need to face them. I need to face them head on.

Today was and is a crappy day as I find myself crying through this blog. Tomorrow might be better or it might be a crappy week. I don't know. What I do know, is that I will not stay here and I will get through it. I have to accept that.