Tuesday, January 26, 2010


No cancer was found in the two biopsies!  Hallejuah!

They don't know what it is but will test some more.  Have at it, laboratory people.  I heard what I needed to hear.

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers.

Daughter's tumor was benign.

Other daughter can see her children now, no more supervised visits.  We didn't get all we wanted, yet, but at least she can see her girls.

We can breathe!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


When the lumpectomy breast became red and inflamed a week ago Tuesday, then moved quickly to swollen, hot and painful, my gut said it was Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

Breast surgeon thinks it is either IBC or Postirradiation morphea.

Postirradiation morphea usually affects the breast and may resemble metastatic breast cancer, especially if it initially has an inflammatory stage. I did have an extreme inflammatory stage. Morphea is an autoimmune disease; it is also referred to as a localized scleroderma.

I am scared, but calm. My mantra is, “It is what it is”. Maybe having gone through treatment already with the 2nd most aggressive breast cancer, the emotions are not all over the place. I remain hopeful that it is not IBC.

Yesterday, the surgeon took two skin punch biopsies, then put in a few stitches to close them. These suckers hurt!

If this turns out to be IBC, then back to the oncologist and chemotherapy. If more surgery is required after that, I will have a double mastectomy (my choice). But I want to make sure that the cancer cells respond to chemo first before I agree to any surgery.

If this turns out to be Portirradiation morphea, I will be referred to a rheumatologist.

Please keep us – my 2 daughters and me – in your thoughts and prayers this Tuesday. One goes for surgery for a tumor on her ovary. Our hope and belief is for a non-malignant tumor. The other daughter goes before a judge for the child custody. The skin punch biopsy results should be available on Tuesday.

Instead of singing, “Monday, Monday. Can’t trust that day”, I think I’m changing it to “Tuesday, Tuesday. Can’t trust that day”.

Peace and blessings,


Friday, January 22, 2010



1: a drawing of something in, out, up, or through by or as if by suction.
2: a strong desire to achieve something high or great.

Funny how the word, aspiration, can mean different things. In my case, it means that the "thing" required numbing the breast and then withdrawing fluid from said thing. Fluid was sent to laboratory for three different tests. First test results would be ready within an hour.

Thing shrunk a little but not entirely. From 3" x 1.5" to about 2.75" x 1". Breast surgeon's (BS) scheduler calls. Oncologist wants BS to see me sooner than later, based upon the culture results. Red flag #1. Oncologist returns phone call - not the nurse. Red flag #2. Oncologist leaves voicemail as I didn't hear the beep of call waiting. Oncologist's voice message says thing looks to be a complex cyst and wants BS to look at thing this week; not at BS's first appointment opening on February 5th. Red flag #3.

Internet, friend or foe, gives 14% chance of malignancy and another site says bloody fluid and minimal decrease in size after aspiration is always malignant. Last night, the Internet was foe.

So, I aspire that today's appointment with breast surgeon (2 pm) will result in my strong desire to achieve nothing. As in, the thing is nothing.

Believe with me, please.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sell U What?


I hope you all had a great Christmas and a peaceful New Year. We had a great time celebrating Christmas at my mom's place in Idaho. My two brothers and their families came up from California; it was nice to spend time with them.

The situation with the daughter continues. We were "allowed" to see the granddaughters one time in December. Their father, though, decided we couldn't be trusted since we helped "hide" the girls from him, stating that we knew he had an order of protection and temporary custody of the girls (6 and 8). So, big azzhole came into the restaurant and sat across the aisle from us. Hardest thing to do - putting on a happy face for the girls, showing them some love and fun, all the while knowing that his ugly mug was 6 feet away.

When he realized he couldn't hear or see me talking to the oldest daughter, he moved to the otherside of his table. It became apparent that he is using intimidation and fear on the girls. Before the 8 year old would respond to general conversation and questions from us, she would look at him first. We could tell she was very guarded on what she said. This has been further confirmed by my daughter. The girls have told her that daddy tells them not to tell my daughter anything or they'll get in trouble.

The criminal charges for domestic violence were dropped by the prosecutor. Oh, I didn't tell you that, did I? Seems azzhole husband told his wife to leave, once again, but stated she couldn't take the girls, again. When she tried to get her car keys and cell phone to leave their residence, he blocked the doorway. She shoved. He balled and clenched his hands; she was scared and slapped him, trying to get past him. Azzhole husband immediately turned around, went outside and called the police. Voila! She's arrested for DV. Yes, if the situation was reversed, he would have been arrested. Too bad he didn't hit her - the mental, emotional and monetary control over her has been 1,000 times worse.

Now to the cancer crap and life after the cancer crap, she says sarcastically.

Reading other women's blogs, I've learned that many deal with aches and pains for several months after chemotherapy ends. This wasn't the case with me. I had no residual physical problems, other than a few whacked out brain cells still affecting my thought process and memory. Sometimes funny; sometimes frustratingly not.

During chemo treatment, I researched alternative treatments to help deal with the nausea and the other problems that come about from chemotherapy. Many women were using acupuncture and I truly wanted to give it a try. I chickened out. If you've read this blog, you know about my fear of needles.

For several months now, I've started having lower back and neck pain. Massage and gentle stretching exercises didn't help; the pain continued to increase. To add to the matter, the "daily constitutional" started backing up. Without Colace or daily oatmeal, my body just wouldn't produce [chuckle]. Those who have been on this journey know what comes next . . . the wake-you-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night dread that the horrible disease has come back. But yet, I hesitated to go to the oncologist. Silly, but intriging (to me) about my hesitation. Glad to say that after six acupuncture treatments, the back pain is gone. Lesson learned: acupuncture really doesn't hurt.

Stepping out of the shower this past Tuesday, I noticed that the lumpectomy breast was extremely red and sore. An hour later, it was very painful, swollen, and hot to the touch. First thought - Inflammatory Breast Cancer. The oncology ARNP that I met with a few hours later stated that breast cancer is not painful and does not come on suddenly (not quite true). She felt it was cellulitis, prescribed antibiotics with ibuprophen, call in two days if it's not better. I call in two days, it's not better, it's starting to itch and I am dang uncomfortable. Can you give the antibiotics one more day? Oh, sure, I can. No problem. I like having this breast the same size as the other one again. Yeah, there's a positive in every situation.

Researching the Internet (our friend and our foe), I found information from the 2000 American Society of Clinical Oncology conference.

What the heck?

I'm happy to say that the swelling, pain, and redness have decreased. If it's not cleared up 100% by Monday, I'll visit the oncology department again.

Hugs and kisses,