Seasons Come, Seasons Go , as they say, and in the past year each season has presented its own challenges and victories. It amazes me that time just marches on, and without fail, the leaves turn colors, fall from the trees, snow makes its appearing, and once again an entire year has gone by!
This time last year life was very uncertain and fear loomed like a large freight train in the fog.
The year has come full circle and fear no longer rules my dreams at night. I still don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds my future! His plans have proven to be that of good and not of destruction, “to give me a future and a HOPE!”
Just as the seasons are faithful to return, so is God faithful to be by my side no matter the storm that decides to rage around me.
This week I had another visit to the surgery clinic for an incise and drain of a skin abscess. The procedure wasn’t nearly as painful as the one on my arm. I had a different doctor this time and pleaded that he use more care in “pain management”. He suspects that this too is a MRSA infection and has referred me to Infectious Diseases at Walter Reed where I have an appointment in 2 weeks. For some reason my body just can’t seem to fight off this infection which has potentially very serious complications. I feel fine physically except for swollen lymph nodes and am thankful I haven’t run a fever, which would indicate that it had entered the blood stream.
At Thanksgiving time once again, we give thanks to God for all His blessings, His gift of friends and family, His gift of Hope, and answers to many prayers.
<—-Please click on this photo listen to a beautiful song listen carefully to the words.
**UPDATE 11-22-09—things are getting worse, not better, so Monday morning I will be going back to see the surgeon. Looks like I could be spending Thanksgiving laying down…can’t sit (if you know what I mean!) This time the skin infection is on the “backside” 😦
I was back to the hospital this week with another skin abscess…suspected MRSA infection. This is about the 11th one, the last one being the worst one and the one that landed me in the ER! The surgeon was ready to “clean it out” but I declined and asked that we TRY oral anti biotics first. So that is what we are doing. I just couldn’t bare the thought of a needle going into that thing since it was terribly painful the last time.
If it responds, great! If it doesn’t respond, then MRSA would be assumed since the “R” in MRSA stands for resistant. No fever, so that is a good thing, though my lymph nodes have been tender. My body is fighting something. Let’s pray these medicines do their job and I don’t end up admitted to the hospital again. Here is my arm 6 weeks ago and (before surgery) again as it looks now. A referral to infectious disease will be next as we do not know what could be causing these. My white blood cell counts are great and my immune system should be functioning, but for some reason chemo has caused it to be compromised.
Thanksgiving week is upon us. Kyle and Curtis will be home from school and we’ll spend a quiet holiday at home with our 26 1/2 pound turkey. Yes, I did say 26 1/2 pounds! What was I thinking? Is my oven that big?
Holiday shoppers are shopping in full force and I am a busy beaver with my jewelry orders. I don’t have time to get sick! I guess with Thanksgiving falling a little bit later this year, the shopping frenzy started early. I’m personally behind the curve on that one, but ready or not, Christmas will come and if I don’t happen to get those Christmas cards out on time, so what. Maybe we’ll send our Happy New Year 2010 letter celebrating my completion of chemo treatments! The last one will be December 3rd – yeah!
To view my Avon Walk fund raising progress, go HERE! I am half way there! 5 months and $930 to go!
Learn how to Reduce Your Risk of breast cancer HERE at my own educational/informational web site!
Today is the next to the last infusion I will have for my one year chemo therapy treatment. Yeah! I am beginning to see the light at the end of this tunnel. This being a holiday week with Veteran’s day, I expect the wait to be long for a chair since they are sqeezing 5 days of patients into four.
I am feeling great (well, a bit sore from spin class) but I have more energy than ever and am working to get my heart function back to optimum levels.
I had a phone interview yesterday with the Network Of Strength organization. You can find them at www.NetworkOfStrength.org . They “ensure, through information, empowerment and peer support, that no one faces breast cancer alone.” I am applying to become a peer support counselor for their national panel which fields phone calls 24/7, 365 days a year across the globe. I will attend training for 2 days here in Washington DC the end of January. It is an exciting opportunity for me to come along side other newly diagnosed breast cancer patients and help them navigate the rough waters of diagnosis, treatment and recovery. When I, myself, contacted them a year ago I was paired with a woman 20 years older than me, not an ideal match since we were at very different places in our lives. There is a great need for younger women as counselors to help the many hundreds of young women in their 30’s and 40’s who need a friend to talk to who has been in their shoes. I look forward to channeling my experiences into a positive tool to help other women.
My AVon Walk fund raising is coming along nicely! I am almost half way there! You can access my page at
MY AVON WALK and you can also access my son CURTIS’ PAGE <–here and read why he has joined in the effort as well! He needs your support too!
Tim and I enjoyed 3 days in The Big Apple this past weekend. We had a great time forgetting all our cares and just having fun! We took a charter bus from D.C. and stayed in a 4 star hotel. What a treat!
Here are just a few pictures from our adventures! Click HERE to view
The training has begun! I am walking an average of 3.5 miles a day to prepare for the Avon Walk that I will be doing in just 6 months. The fall foliage and cooler days makes this an enjoyable activity and I also frequent the gym for additional weight lifting and endurance work outs. I held a fund raising event at the breast care center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center last week and raised 8% of my goal by selling my jewelry creations. So far I am at nearly 30% raised so I continue pressing on with those efforts a little bit every day. Thank you to all who have donated so far! My Avon Walk page can be viewed HERE.
This week my MRI results came back all clear so that was good news! I must admit I held my breath for those 8 days waiting for results. I am told that this feeling of dread lasts a long time, at least until the ten-year survival point. Even then, with no cure for breast cancer, the fear of recurrence looms all the time. The MRSA infection in my arm continues to heal well and is down to a dime-sized scab with some scarring.
In the meantime I celebrate LIFE and help those newly diagnosed whom I meet, which seems to be nearly every week. The numbers of women affected by this disease never ceases to amaze me. Giving them hope and support gives me a reason to continue fighting for a cure.