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!

http://www.ouranthemmr.net/ (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 bagbyfamily@hotmail.com

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. OMGoodness...is 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. bagbyfamily@hotmail.com

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

Thank you for your support!