Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hair: Stage 1

I really have no idea what this journey will do for my hair, but the word cancer automatically makes me think of hair loss.  After my biopsy, before the results were in I was combing my hair after the shower thinking I sure hope this doesn't all fall out, but if it does, I don't want to be dealing with the mass that is my hair.  So, I made a decision at that point if I got a cancer diagnosis, I would cut my hair.  My grandma asked me this weekend, just in conversation, if I was planning to keep me hair long.  My response was "it depends on the results of the biopsy."

Well, now we have the results of the biopsy.  So one of the first things I did was begin searching for a shorter hairstyle.  Thanks to all of you who voted.  I took the picture of the winner to the salon and explained the situation and how little time and energy I would like to spend on my hair and told her to go for it.  Thank you Stephanie for the result.  :)  I'm pleased with how it turned out at the salon.  Now, if I can only get similar results at home.  :)
So, step 1 is complete.  Now to find out what treatment I'll be having and how it will impact my hair.  If I lose it, I'm sure I'll be seeking advice about step 2.  If I don't, hey I have a lighter, cooler haircut for summer that so far I'm quite happy with.


If you like what you're reading, please follow this blog.  It's a great way to see when I've posted something new.  And leave comments.  I'd love to start a conversation!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Challenge for Each Decade

I know a lot of people talk about the BIG BIRTHDAY each time they change decades.  I dreaded turning the BIG 3-0 before the car accident, but then was thrilled I made it to that birthday.  It was not until the BIG 4-0 was met with a cancer diagnosis that I started thinking about how each decade of my life has ushered in a new adventure.

10--move to the country
30--wheelchair life and adjustment to TBI

The good news is the pattern has been about a decade to adjust to each adventure before the next big one comes.  Although I did add some other big ones in there with graduation, college, graduate school, two kiddos, etc.  :)  If my life follows the pattern, I should have plenty of time to adjust to this one before the next BIG adventure hits.  And, if the pattern continues, I should successfully manage this adventure.  So, here's to the next adventure.  I wonder what 5-0 will bring

If you like what you're reading, please follow this blog.  It's a great way to see when I've posted something new.  And leave comments.  I'd love to start a conversation!

Cancer Myths

I've been getting a ton of information about cancer in the past few days, so I have been checking it out.  I found some pretty interesting information from the Mayo Clinic about cancer myths.  The myths are as follows:

1.  Antiperspirants or deodorants can cause breast cancer
2.  Microwaving plastic containers and wraps releases harmful, cancer-causing substances into food.
3. People with cancer shouldn't eat sugar, since it can cause cancer to grow faster.
4. Good people don't get cancer
5. Cancer is contagious

Now remember, these are myths.  To read the entire article, which has more information about each myth, check it out here.

If you like what you're reading, please follow this blog.  It's a great way to see when I've posted something new.  And leave comments.  I'd love to start a conversation!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


A pastor friend of mine posted this on Facebook at the very beginning of this journey when I first knew of the need for further testing.  I needed to see it then and I need it now.  And, I choose Face Everything and Rise!

Still Waiting

I had thought finding out the results of the biopsy would mean the waiting was over and we could begin moving forward with the next step.  Well, that was not exactly true.  Finding out the results did mean I start moving toward my next step  But, I really don't know what that next step will be.  I did take the very next step, which was to schedule appointments.  I have appointments scheduled next week--on Monday with the specialist and on Thursday with the oncologist.  Until then, I know nothing.

Thank you for your concern and kind words and offers to help.  But, right now, I know NOTHING.  I don't know the specific type of cancer, what treatment I will be facing, how all this will impact my life and my family.  NOTHING.  So, when you ask what you can do to help, I literally don't know.  I don't know what I'll be facing, so I don't know what I'll need.  What I do know I will always need is your love, support, and prayers.  Keep them coming.

Right now, I feel like I'm fighting a battle with an invader inside my body.  Who knows, maybe the alien I was growing in January on my hand moved over into my body.  To read all about that alien, check out my blog at  I know it's not actually an alien,but it sure feels that way.  It's something foreign in my body that should be cut out!!!  Don't worry I'm not going to grab a knife and cut it out myself. I for sure don't want to release any cells into other parts of my body.  Wait!  Isn't that what a biopsy does?  Take a closed, contained mass and open it to extract cells.  I know we're all hoping those cells don't migrate where they're not supposed to, but haven't we just created a pathway for that to happen?  Just wondering.

Anyway, I am still waiting.  So, I'll let you know when I actually know more.  In the meantime, let's just focus on something else and talk about other stuff.  In fact, even when I have more information, I'll share it and answer questions when I can, but then let's just talk about normal stuff.

Check out the following links on some great tips for what to say and what not to say to someone diagnosed with cancer (my daughter says and their family members too)

Monday, April 27, 2015

This Time I Don't Want My Quarterback

Almost 11 years ago, we were given odds that has us praying for our "quarterback."  Well, I guess to be completely honest, everyone else was praying for our "quarterback."  I was laying in a medicated coma and then focusing all my energy on recovery.  I'm so glad there were people praying for my "quarter back" and loving both of us no matter what was around the corner.  After the accident, we were told our son had a 75% chance of severe brain damage.  So, everyone began praying for our "quarter back."  We wanted that 25% without severe brain damage.  And, God is good and answered those prayers "yes".  We got our "quarter back" and beat the odds.  :)

Well, this time around I don't want to beat the odds.  The number is not quite the same, but very close.  I was told at my biopsy that 80% of breast biopsies in America come back benign.  That means 20% are cancerous.  Well, I don't want to beat those odds.  I don't want my "quarter back" this time around.  I'm quite happy to be part of the norm. :)  So, this time around no one is praying for my "quarter back" but I'm thankful they are still loving me no matter what is around the corner.

Today My Life Will Change

Today my life will change.  I will be getting the results of my biopsy and no matter what they are life will change.  Either I will learn I have cancer and begin a journey I'm not sure I'm ready to take.  Or, the results will be benign and I will hopefully be able to relax and sleep through the night yet once again.  Either way, I am ready to know which direction I need to move forward and start this journey.  Either way I hope I don't forget the lessons I've been reminded of this past week.  I thought I had already learned the lesson that life can change in an instant, but I think I forgot some of those lessons I learned.  I hope I don't forget them this time around.  I hope I remember to cherish each moment and not take things for granted.  I hope I remember that I have a limited time with my children in my home that I need to take advantage of every minute.  I hope I remember to enjoy whatever time I have with them and teach them as many life lessons as I can.

This day will also change my life because I should be getting some answers about the wheelchair I've been waiting not so patiently for.  My chair broke in January and I've been using a borrowed chair and waiting for my new one since then.  I'm ready to get back into one custom made to fit my needs.  This has been a frustrating process, but maybe I'll get some answers today.

While we're at it, let's sell our old house today.  If life is going to change today, let's handle a good change as well.  :)

I woke up knowing my life would change today and wanting to just cover my head with blankets and stay in bed all day.  But, I decided to be a responsible grown-up and face the day.  :)  So, now I get my kiddos ready to do school work all day and I wait.  We'll see what changes today brings.

P.S.  I hate waiting!

Biopsy showed cancer cells
Wheelchair complications have been ironed out enough to order it today.  It will be here in 7-10 days.
No news yet on the house.

Choosing Life

First, I'd like to apologize to anyone only finding out about this latest adventure in my life through this blog post.  I realize it's much nicer to get personal communication face to face or voice to voice.  So, I'm sorry if this is how you are getting this news, but face to face is not possible with all of you and even voice to voice would be difficult.  It's much easier to type this once than repeat myself hundreds of times and crying doesn't effect the readability of type as much as it effects my voice when trying to communicate the same thoughts.

This has been a whirlwind couple of weeks.  As most of you know, I turned the big 4-0 this year and that means I was now eligible for my first ever mammogram.  I know that's a right of passage you're all just waiting for.  :)  So, like a good girl, taking care of my overall health, I had my yearly physical exam, blood work, and scheduled my first ever mammogram.  (I've even had my annual dental appointment and scheduled my eye exam).  I take care of my health no matter what shape I'm in.  Fortunately, my blood work and other tests all came back great, so no new health concerns.  Then, I got the letter in the mail from my mammogram results.  I remember telling my family, "It must be fine because they just mailed a letter.  If it wasn't they would have called in person."  Then, I opened the letter and discovered I was wrong.  I had abnormal test results and needed to call to schedule further testing.  Panic sets in!!!

So, like the good patient that I am, I schedule testing immediately.  :)  I had an ultrasound scheduled a couple of days later that would put all this to rest and then I could go on with my life.  Right?  WRONG!  The ultrasound showed a mass that led to the need for further testing--this time a meeting with a specialist and a biopsy.  Now who out there isn't just a little bit terrified of the word biopsy and the word that leads to--CANCER.  If you're out there saying you wouldn't be, I dare you to face this head on in your life and then tell me you weren't.

The rest of the week was a whirlwind of phone calls, appointments, and an early morning outpatient surgical procedure called a biopsy.  I'm so thankful people were praying for me and God was with me that morning (as always).  I didn't freak out or cry during the procedure even though I was watching on the ultrasound screen.  I was told there would be some stinging and burning when they injected the local anesthetic.  I didn't feel any pain.  Not during the needle prick, not during the injection of the medicine, not during the procedure.  There was a little discomfort later in the day, but nothing ice packs and Tylenol couldn't handle.  Now we wait until the results come back.

I realize I was told that medical professionals treat suspicious mammograms seriously and not to
freak out if I was called back for testing.  Let me tell you, that is easier said than done.  I've had a lot of time to start considering the "what ifs."  That is not a good thing.  Waiting is the hardest part.  I know that God will be with me and help me through whatever it is I have to face in this next adventure.  But, I just want to know what that is.  I want to begin dealing with "what is" and not spend time losing sleep over "what if."

Ever since the accident, my view of life on earth has changed a bit.  I always thought I might not spend a lot of time, energy, and money fighting a battle with cancer or another terminal illness.  I thought I might just focus on enjoying whatever time I have left to the fullest and not bother with hospitals and medical procedures.  But, that was before faced with the reality of a potentially life-threatening disease.  It didn't take me long to realize I would fight this with whatever resources I have available.  I choose LIFE and will do whatever necessary to fight on the side of life.

So, we wait and  try not to think about it too much.  Whatever will be will be.  And, my family and friends will love me through whatever this next adventure holds.  And, regardless of the results, I CHOOSE LIFE!!!

The results are in and they did find cancer cells.  So, now I begin dealing with "what is."  I am starting a whole new blog to give me a place to vent and express my feelings all through this journey.  So, if you want to follow along with me you can join me at  Send comments and let's start a conversation through this new adventure.