Saturday, May 29, 2010

Today is a new day for me it is all I have, I don't think about the future or tomorrow I think about today. When you have a terminal diagnosis the best way to live is in the RIGHT here and NOW. Make today matter,first I will take my cup of coffee and go outside and feel, smell and enjoy the air and the sun on my face for a little while. My puppy beside me she came along a few wks before I knew I had a re occurrence of breast cancer. Ive often thought is it fair to her perhaps I should give her to someone to raise and love.God brought her to me though and I have learned to follow what his plans entail for me and for Rocksey.

She is a yellow Lab like Max she looks just like him except she is a girl. Max came into my life when my sons were little and he would follow the twins around everywhere. I guess to tell you Rockseys story I have to tell you about Max. I thought he would bond with my sons they had never had a dog before i had just gone through a divorce. He decided from the beginning he was my buddy but he protected the entire family. I told you in my previous blog Max saved my life by making me see i had cancer. He never left my side where I was he was it use to make me crazy he'd be asleep and id get up for a glass of water and he would immediately get up and follow me to the kitchen. When I went through breast cancer the first time he never left my side. Then he got ill, he was 10 yrs old after all it was bound to happen. I was too sick to go to the vets office so i had a vet come to our home. Max was getting weak he couldn't get up from a sitting position or lying postion and he would look at me like im sick. Did you know dogs can get diabetes? Well guess what he had it and I am a nurse so I understand somewhat whats going on but then im thinking how in the world do I control his blood sugars?

My vet told me you have to check his urine when he goes, so picture this, me with this rag on my head, sick as a dog from chemo, following my dog around in the back yard with a paper cup. Then picture the same dog thinking oh what is she doing collecting my stuff! So he would play games he'd make believe he was going to pee and then hed get up and go NO i'm going over there, no im going over there, over and over again and here i am following him around with a paper cup. I'm thinking dog im dying here could you cut me a break? No breaks for me, it turns out he had a master plan to keep me on my feet and off the couch and out of bed by giving me someone to take care of that needed just me. Funny how God works.....I think had i not had someone to take care of I would of laid in bed or on the couch and thought whoah is me. Max needed me he would come over to me and in his way ask for a hug, he loved for me to hug him tight. Love and hugs can heal breast cancer he didn't care I lost all my hair, he didn't care I gained 50 lbs from the drugs they gave me, he didn't care I couldn't eat anything for almost 5 months, he didn't care about anything but the "me" he knew and loved. Max had to have insulin which i gave him every day and i checked his urine every day, we went through breast cancer together and diabetes.

Max left me the week I was well enough to go back to work and my breast cancer treatment was done. He held on till he knew I was going to be ok. Max you will forever be in my heart until we meet again............

Friday, May 28, 2010

Stage IV breast cancer what it does to a womans life

As I wake up each morning, I can hear the birds singing, the sunshine is brilliant, the leaves are so green and magnificent, I feel alive. Most may say they notice the world around them but until you really get the message not to take life for granted we all included me in the past woke up and thought "is this all there is?" Wow it is this and so much more! I have a song in my heart for the rest of my days here with you. STAND UP AND FIGHT for my sisters....

In 2008 I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer, bilateral, both invasive and in early stage, with one lymph node involved. My diagnosis was a little uncanny my best friend Max an 10 yr old yellow lab, knew it was there. Hes main purpose at the end of his life was to make me aware ,which he did by hitting me in the chest, exactly where the tumor was over and over again until one day I realized man it hurts there. I am a nurse and know better but I like so many others thought I was exempt. I didn't get my mammogram, I was busy and not wealthy and let this be a lesson to all of you ladies out there please please get a mammogram. I went many yrs without health insurance just because i couldn't afford it and even us nurses didn't know how inexpensive mammograms are approximately $100.00 dollars ladies its worth your life don't you think?

I went though a lot surgery,chemo, thyroid cancer, thyroidectomy, radioactive swallow, low thyroid fatigue, wt gain, my throat was cut and I couldn't make pitch or range for 3 months, I thought my voice had been taken forever,then few months ago much to my shock when I thought I was finally done with it all; Stage IV breast cancer, its now in my lungs. I refer to it as "aliens" in my body because i guess its easier for me to deal with that way. I was given a grim outlook because everyone knows stage IV is not curable. It tends to keep coming back somewhere in your body and theirs no rhyme or reason to it, it can come back next week or 20 yrs from now. So for the rest of my days here I will always have breast cancer hanging over my head. I wonder often "what did I do?" the answer I get is nothing, one in 8 women will get this that's a staggering statistic. There has to be something in our environment doing this to us. I was genetically checked and I was negative for breast cancer gene.

Thought out my ordeal I have said I will go down fighting if at all! I am a recording artist and a nurse who has shown everyone strangers and friends that if you fight you win no matter what the outcome. I dragged myself into the recording studio with chemo on board, surgery on board,I had drains hanging out of me, binders on, I was so sick but i went anyway. My producer Frank Starchak put his chin in his hands when i walked out of the recording booth after recording a wailing rock song. He looked and me and said " I know your hurting and I cant believe you, you just wailed out a rock song like no one would ever know how hurt you are." I just smiled I truly didn't get what he was saying back then because I was in a battle, the battle for my life, my dreams, my family, my friends, my fans. Most of all I am in a battle for all the women out there who are fighting for their dreams and lives right now, you know them, they are your mothers,sisters,aunts,cousins,friends,they are strangers with the same cause to eradicate breast cancer.

Next time you see a woman dressed in pink with a scarf on her head stop her and say "keep fighting,I'm praying for you." those words may give her the strength to keep fighting, because chemo is not for wimps it is hard, there are days you'd rather die, so your words though you might think don't matter your a stranger, they do matter . When I look in the mirror I don't see me any more all my beautiful hair is gone, no eyelashes, no eyebrows, puffed up from steroids, I have no control over what they have made me look like on the outside. We do know people by how they look and my hair was "me" it was the one thing I loved about me, I inherited from my grandmother. Strangers would stop me and compliment me on my beautiful hair that was down almost to my waist. Am I grateful to be alive 'YES!" am i mad "YES" I once explained to someone when they Asked me "why complain about your hair your alive aren't you grateful for that?" Imagine your in your home, someone comes in, and shaves off all your hair without your permission, your now bald, it may have taken 10 yrs to grow all that hair, how do you feel?" YOUR PISSED BELIEVE ME!

Do something for the women you see dressed in pink with the scarf on her head, i cant tell you how many strangers have stopped their busy lives and did even the smallest thing that has meant so much to me that I have cried tears of joy to know there are people in the world who care. I am not a freak with a scarf on her head , you cant catch what I have but your loved ones can get this too it can be you or your family, or your friends. I was 100% healthy until 2008 and since then my world has been turned inside out. Don't say be positive to me, I am positive,I'm positive I'm going to fight this, and I'm sure a cure is coming, even the most positive fighters can die from breast cancer its a GOD AWFUL DISEASE help us fight for a cure.If you go to my website you can hear the song I co wrote for my breast cancer sisters, God has given me the opportunity to use a gift he gave me to BE A VOICE for all who are fighting, I hope to be their hope. Cancer tried to take my Voice GOD had a different idea.