Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Staying healthy this winter

Ok we all know that with winter comes the flu season.  You should also be used to hearing you need to be washing your hands MANY times a day to ward off getting sick too.  But do you know that your diet may need a change too??? 

In my grandparent's day there was real "seasonal" foods, fruits and vegetables that were only available in certain seasons.  With the improvements that modern society comes it's downfalls as well.  While we now have fruit of all seasons available in our grocery stores, it is not local fruit and therefore is contaminated with preservatives, pesticides, etc.  I can get watermelon all year long in my local grocery store, whereas in my grandmother's time it was ONLY found in summer.  People used to look forward to their grocery stores influx of "new" seasonal fruit, they used to get excited about the variety and nutritional benefits.  We have lost that, and it's sad.  So we may have increased the fruit availability but the excitement is gone as is it's nutritional benefit which has been decreased due to the added chemicals.

Some tips on keeping healthy this winter:

5 Immune system boosting foods for winter

Bell Peppers- red and green bellpeppers are great for vitamin C, as good as a glass of orange juice and can be added to many different dishes.

Sweet potatoes- these are one of the best ways to get vitamin A and others and minerals, a great source of immune system boosting properties.

Beef- beef is high in two essential nutrients (my vegetarian friends you can substitute) Zinc and Protein, be careful as beef can be high in saturated fat, so only choose lean protein

Oatmeal- A good old fashioned staple, for a reason, this is fiber, can have a variety of fruit added to and is filling, providing energy for your busy day.  Not to mention it is warm and soothing.

Yogurt- Yogurt is great!  Probiotics are the way to go, I have personally seen the many many benefits of adding probiotics to the diet.  I myself am not a big fan of yogurt so I take a probiotic supplement and try to sneak cultured yogurt in my diet.

If you would like a personalized meal plan please feel free to email me
email- dolphin_queen@hotmail.com

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Giving back to the cancer community

Ever since I started treatment for my cancer almost 4 years ago I wanted to give back and help fellow patients in their journey with cancer.  My doctors wanted me to focus on healing, to be selfish and rest, relax, heal, be.  Ya, that's not for me I am more proactive then that, I don't like to feel helpless and I don't like to feel weak.  I do like to help others and to bring comfort and hope, it's who I am. 

When I worked in law, as a paralegal I loved that part of my job where I comforted clients and brought them hope and justice.  Working as a bankruptcy paralegal I prayed with clients who felt they had let their families and God down in the unforeseen debt crisis, when I was successful in short-saling a home for a client as a realtor helping a family avoid foreclosure and move on and able to buy a house again was wonderful.  I had quite a few clients call me their angel.  Although I am not an angel of any kind (my mother can attest to that) it feels good to help people.

Like my mom I am a "crusader rabbit" or "lady liberty"  I believe strongly in justice and what is right and wrong, I hold strong to my beliefs and I have enough strength and courage to share and I am happy to do so.  Don't get me wrong, I have my weak days, in fact lately I have been feeling depressed and discouraged, but I know I will bounce right back to my normal kick butt self.
  I often come to the rescue of someone in trouble, the underdog, the bullied, the sick and hurt. 

So in the spirit of giving back to my fellow cancer sisters and community I started a non-profit, got registered for tax exemption and spent days and weeks over the past year working on hand beaded jewelry to help brighten the days and lives of female cancer patients in my area.  I got the idea of my bags from another breast cancer survivor on facebook and I put my own touch and spin on it and made it my own.     Blessings Bags

I drop off a big gift bag of little 9x6 in bags full of information, tips, financial resources, inspiration, and a gift, every bag gets a piece of jewelry and a tube of chapstick.  I have had so many doctor's offices tell me that their patients LOVE this, that at least once a week a patient cries in response to receiving one of these bags and the most common statement is, "Wow, I really needed something like this right now."  This is the reason I do it.  It is impossible not to feel alone in this fight and journey with cancer, even though we know we aren't alone, because this is a very personal and often private battle with this disease it can feel very isolating at times.  The other hand is that the blessing, is that in this day in age cancer creates a sisterhood, a community within a greater community and it helps knowing that there are other people going through or have already gone through what you are going through.  I did not know anyone who had radiation, in my group of breast cancer patient/survivors.  I had a close friend have radiation who had thyroid cancer and that helped but still not quite the same.  I can say for me, it helped having cancer sisters, and I love being able to be that for others. 

I am still trying to give back to my cancer community and knowing me, I will never stop even now, flat broke I am still dropping off bags of Blessings Bags at local doctor offices and I am so stressed out about not having enough money for Christmas, let alone how the hell I am going to pay for Christmas presents or dinner for the family.  But I do have faith, faith that everything will work out, and faith that I am doing something good.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Living with Metastasis

Living with Mets is no easy task, as if having to live with stage 3 cancer was.  At least before being metastatic there was a chance for a cure.  Being Mets means I will never again be cancer free, that hope is lost to me forever.  The hope Mets have is of being in a long standing remission.  I would like to think that permanent remission is possible but I don't know.
My oncologist says that my cancer case is like dealing with someone with a chronic disease, we monitor, test, and deal with any "flare-ups" should the cancer return or move again to someplace new in my body.  You know I just don't find a whole lot of comfort in that most days.  I want long term remission.  Cancer really is a little bitch, a whiny, demanding, nagging little bitch.  For the most part I can out bitch her, I am the QBIC Queen Bitch In Control :) and I intend to stay that way.  But there are some days when it's a roller coaster of emotions and I get a little downhearted. 
I have been Mets for 1 year now, and out of treatment and surgery for 3months so this is still pretty new and I do have anxiety.  Pain or feeling of an illness coming on, migraines I can't help but think, crap this better not be cancer related!  A friend who was never Mets, but has been 17 years cancer free from her breast cancer says that fear of cancer return never goes away, with any new pain or sudden or nagging illness it's almost impossible not to worry that it isn't cancer related. 
I know I can't live in fear, and I refuse to live in fear as it is not living, but I do have my moments and days even when I am fearful and down. 
One of the things that keeps me motivated other than my children is my strong desire to help others like me, women with cancer.  I started a non-profit, but the funding and grant searching is so frustrating and exhausting it's hard not to get discouraged.  We as women and sisters in cancer need to help each other and lift one another up and keep encouraging others.   I want to help so much and so badly and sometimes I feel so helpless to do so and the snowball of discouragement starts all over again. 

I just needed to vent. 

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @wondermom76 or Facebook Thrive Cancer Support Services or check out our website www.cancercutie.com

Monday, September 22, 2014

Finding healing in the bible

Dealing with cancer can be like hell on earth and not only is our physical body tortured but our spiritual wellbeing is as well.  Medical science helps in healing us by administering medicine into our physical bodies i.e. chemo (medical poison), radiation (needs no explanation), hormones or hormone blockers, and various other medicines.  God heals spiritually AND physically.  There are many examples in the bible of God healing the sick, and injured.  I know what you are feeling I have felt it too.... God why can't you do that today? or screaming in my heart begging God PLEASE heal me today!  In Proverbs 4:22 it says God's word is spoken as being medicine to all our flesh.  And according to Isaiah 53:5,6 and 1 Peter 2:24, healing is A FACT as far as God is concerned and it belongs to us because healing was in the atonement.  I want to cry as I type this.  God is so awesome and His work is so beautiful!!!!!  I know I will be healed, one day maybe here on earth maybe not but I will be healed.  I don't know what God has already healed me from, He could have already healed me from other cancers before they could infect me or cause any damage to be detected by the doctors or medical tests.  For all I know God has healed me right this minute.  Oh wow would that be awesome!!!!! 

I just found this prayer in Colossians 1:21 and I couldn't say it out loud without getting choked up because I struggle with my fear of my cancer and I don't want to, I want to be strong in my faith and have it unwavering but I am human.  But the more I read the bible, do my devotions and walk in faith with Jesus Christ the less frequent those days of struggle and fear of my cancer, and now with this prayer it makes me feel stronger and more able to fight the cancer and fight for MY life not the cancers!! 
Jesus is the Lord of my life.  Sickness and disease have no power over me. 

This is SO my new mantra!!!!! :) 

Yep even gonna add a little dance to it!!!! Like the happy dance.... oh ya!!!!  Jesus us the Lord of my life, sickness and disease have no power over me!!!  Ok gotta get a better rythym to make this work as a dance lol!!!

Stay strong my lovelies !!!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Riding the roller coaster of cancer

Riding the roller coaster of cancer

As a cancer patient myself since 2011 I have had the typical cancer treatments.  Radiation, chemo, surgery, medical reactions to meds and surgical glue, popped stitches, biopsies, pain management, horrible blistering, literally being hammered on for a needle biopsy 100% awake and feeling all of it!!!!! (seriously like something out of the movie Saw!)  Barbaric comes to mind.  But God's grace carried me through it all.  (I did however inform my doctor and the hospital that if the radiologist who tortured me while awake for the hammering of the biopsy that I would punch him in the face if I saw him.)  (I'm ok now but was serious about doing that for months)

Cancer is a roller coaster, like life it has it's ups and downs.  The difference is when you are a patient on the cancer ride of your life the ups and downs are FAR more extreme than life in general.  Cancer is really a bitch, it's true.  The key is being a bigger one!  This is actually something I told to my  mother in law who was battling kidney cancer that went to her brain, when her cancer was diagnosed it was already aggressive and stage 4.  She had a rough time of it and God bless her she stayed strong as long as she could, and as a lady of faith in her greatest pain she doubted and was angry at God.  She was giving in to her cancer, honestly she told me she was done, there was no hope, and I told her she needed to "bitch up" pardon the expression.  I went into instant bitch mode when I got my diagnosis I was devastated and scared yes, but I went into instant battle mode it's the only thing I know how to do in the face of adversity.  Unfortunately my mother in law was too good of a lady to allow herself to "bitch up".  She got her wings within a year of her diagnosis.  I however have been going strong.  I am not a better Christian than she was or more important I just have a different mission, and that is to share my story and help as many people struggling with the bitch that is cancer as I can. 

 I found verses in the bible that helped me through the past almost 4 years on the cancer coaster.  I 100% credit my survival and blessings to God and His grace that has carried me through the past 4 years.  I saw my oncologist last week and my blood looks great, she calls me her miracle patient.  I continue to shock and amaze my doctor in a good way.  I have to schedule my next pet/ct scan for 3 weeks from now, this is a dreaded test for me and for a lot of patients.  Pet/Ct scans show weather cancer is there/growing/or gone.  We all hope for dying and gone but it doesn't always turn out that way.  That is the test that told my doctor my cancer had returned last year, and I just know I will pissed off if it shows it again this year. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Recommend Read- Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin

A few weeks after I was first diagnosed with my breast cancer I started researching (I am a former paralegal, research is in my blood) ways to fight cancer, more information on breast cancer and treatments.  I bought a few books from Amazon, and Barns & Noble because I love books and handy reference material as well as I want to have a library when I finally have my own location for my cancer support ministry that women can check out if they want. 

One of the books I bought was Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin, PhD, RD, CNS.  For me dealing with my cancer I wanted to learn about what I could to help my body fight this punk ass disease, I needed to have some control in this.  What I eat is in my control, having cancer, losing my hair, having side effects all this was not in my control and even though the choices to follow doctor recommended chemo, mastectomy, radiation were in my control I felt like they weren't.  I needed to have peace of mind that I did not let my body down should the treatments not work, or the cancer to come back I knew I needed to do what I could to strengthen and support my body to fight off this enemy inside, so I turned to nutrition.  In the course of a few months doing this research on how nutrition affects the body, what foods are cancer fighting and body fortifying I became certified in nutrition, yoga, personal training, and senior fitness and nutrition.

 I loved Beating Cancer with Nutrition it is easy to read, gives helpful recipes, talks about nutrition and common cancer medications.  What I REALLY liked was that it talks about cancer fighting nutrition not as a sole alternative to traditional cancer meds, but in connection with them.  I am not a devout homeopathic user or pusher, BUT there is something to it, and for me personally I like to use some natural cures, there is so much chemical ingredients in our society as it is I would really like to go back to a more natural, organic way of life, the only downside is the FDA rules and testing requirements for drugs that isn't for all natural products however I do believe that the big drug companies are greedy a++holes who are just in it to make a buck!! (Sorry got on my soapbox)

Ok so beating cancer with nutrition, this is a GREAT compliment to your drug treatments, or as an alternative.  Be sure to check with your oncologist for what foods might need to be avoided due to your type of cancer or interactions with your medications, that said you can't trust your doctors 100% so after you ask them, do your own research!  Always always do your own research. 

I recommend this book to everyone, even if you aren't a cancer patient or survivor it gives really good nutritional information, recipes and advice on keeping your body strong to help fight off cancer or resistant.  Sorry about the tangent :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Support groups yay or nay?

The issue of support groups when you are a cancer patient is a debated one.  As a cancer patient you will get quite a lot of people advising and ill-advising the use of support groups.  There are not support groups for every type of cancer out there as of yet and regionally there are only ones if there is a demand for it.  I decided to google cancer support ministry recently and only one lead came up. 
a cancer support ministry in Indiana working with a local church, hospital and radiation department there in the area.  I was surprised.  With all the different types of cancer out there and more and more cases has increased and younger and younger people being affected as well as the big surge in celebrities contracting the disease there is so very little still out there in our country to help us through this.

Yes there are some support groups that can be found here and there.  Support is a huge thing to have, it is a must for any patient going through a life changing disease.  Family, friend, work, church, medical team, etc. is essential for a cancer patient and their family or care-givers to have.  Do not let anyone tell you cancer is not a life changing event, they are either lying or have no clue. 

I myself like a lot of patients felt I didn't need to go to a support group and felt this way for about the first 18 months.  My oncologist had even advised me to be cautious when going to support groups should I choose as often times patients or survivors who are dealing with more aggressive or advanced staged cancer can be mean and nasty to others who are not doing as poorly as they are.  I was stage 3 breast cancer and handling my side affects pretty well and looked relatively normal except for being mostly bald.  I decided not do to support groups even though I had wonderful recommendations of the group at my church.  I felt since I had family and friend support and was a Christian and read my bible that I was doing fine enough without it.

I don't remember what made me decide to finally go to my church's cancer support group, it may have been that I was finally worn down to go.  :)  But I am glad that I went and I don't regret it, and I have been going once a month for about 18 months.  I was glad to have that support group when my diagnosis turned stage 4 metastasis last October.  I was so angry for so many months, and hearing the other people share their stories and updates was helpful.  Now that I have come to terms with my stage of cancer I am able to help and support them which is a wonderful feeling.  I like to help others and for me in my cancer journey I have always tried to deal with it in humor and grace.  Ok there have been some raunchy moments and I admit that, but it all stems from trying to cope and deal and I would rather laugh then to cry. 

I want to start a new support group, a support ministry for cancer specifically women's cancers because well I am one.  lol  Little by little I will get one established and hope to touch and bless many deserving women out there.  And lets face it, we could all do with a little more hope in our lives no matter who we are or what we are dealing with. 

xoxoxoxoxo Kat

Thursday, September 4, 2014

You Are

I recently received a card in the mail from my mom.  Throughout my cancer journey (rollercoaster) I have received many cards offering hope, encouragement, support and Faith.  Some of these I kept to read again when I am down or needing a little lift of encouragement and some of these I throw away.  Since my cancer returned and metastasized my mom has been very encouraging and I think it was as hard for her to hear as it was for me when my cancer returned. 
Even though I am currently not going through any treatment save my estrogen blockers I still get encouraging cards, and this most recent one I want to share with those of you who may need a little lift, encouragement, hope and Faith.

"You are a fighter,
a survivor,
a woman of faith and strength.
You are a tough opponent for any challenge.
Even the big "C" is no match for you because you belong to an even bigger "C"...
HE is with you an many prayers are for you as you fight this battle."
(DaySpring cards)

I am and have always been a tough cookie, some even nicknamed me Wonder Woman.  Through this extreme disease I have faced a war like no other and thankfully I am a soldier of God.  I have no doubt in my mind, body or soul that I have been carried through this journey with grace, God's grace.

I hope you are able to find some hope and comfort in this post.  Best wishes for you all and prayers for healing.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Yoga and Breast Cancer

Yoga can be a great benefit to a cancer patient or survivor.  We all get stressed, and need to de-compress in this fast paced world we live in here in the USA.  For someone who is going through the cancer process it is even more stressful and the need to take better care of ourselves is greater than the "average person".
There is medical proof that stress is harmful to our bodies and drops our immune systems, stress also releases hormones.  For some of us hormones are not our friend, but instead more like a CIA double agent and we have to be very careful.
Yoga not only reduces stress, it stretches muscles, muscles that may have been operated on, moved, pulled, affected from radiation, degeneration, lack of use, etc.

Yoga can be practiced by all, and at different levels.  It can be done privately in your own home, or at a studio with a group, at your local park, gym, there are lots of yoga classes nowadays. 
Yoga helps you become more aware of your body and your mind, your mental and physical well being.  Now, me being a Christian I don't like all the new-age beliefs and practices associated with mainstream yoga like chakra, crystals and aura.  I am a certified yoga instructor and I take a more Christian take on my classes like breathing out the stress or fear and inhaling the Holy Spirit.  My class may not be for everyone, and mainstream classes may not be for me.  I fully feel you should go where you are comfortable and this blog post is not a religious lecture.
Yoga can enhance the quality of life for women dealing with breast cancer.  What's nice is that yoga can be done at any time before, during and after a cancer diagnosis helping to relieve stress, and assist in recovery after radiation, surgery, chemo.
Studies show that yoga has a very positive influence on the mobility, flexibility, strength and over all physical fitness of women going through treatment for breast cancer.
Women who implement yoga into their daily routines find it compliments their traditional medical treatments.  Yoga helps to relax and stretch the whole body inside and out after chemo rounds and the deep impacts of radiation seeping into muscles, it is CRUCIAL after a mastectomy or lumpectomy surgery to regain range of motion in the muscle that is affected and most times lost after surgery. 
As I said yoga can be done at any time and can be either private, one on one or in a group and all levels of physical ability enjoy it.  I have seen women who have limited range of motion all the way to 100% range of motion and the support and encouragement from others who are going through the very same thing is amazing.  There is no need to feel embarrassed at our classes we have an amazing group of women and every class is a blessing.

Monday, September 1, 2014

You can't trust anyone

 I hate to sound melodramatic but it is true!  As a cancer patient you can't trust anyone.  I used to trust my oncologist explicitly, I trusted her with my life!  Now that trust is shaken and I don't have as much faith and trust in her or any other doctor or pharmacy.  I will tell you why. 

The City of Hope a world class leading cancer center located here in California came out on the local news on the results of a study they had performed regarding Paxil and Tamoxifen.  Paxil is a drug used for depression and anxiety, given to a lot of cancer patients for depression and Tamoxifen is an estrogen blocker used for pre-menopausal women and both drugs have been on the market for 20 years or more.

Studies on the interaction of both of these medicines have been done since 2010 and most recently in January 2014, it was announced February 7th on KTLA 5 local Los Angeles news channel by the lead research oncologist that it is proven that Paxil renders Tamoxifen INEFECTIVE.  This is devastating  news to breast cancer patients and any estrogen related cancer!  I am ER positive that means estrogen receptive, so my cancer grows from estrogen and it is a matter of life and death that I rid my body of ANY estrogen.  So for almost a year both my oncologist and my local pharmacy did nothing, did not see any negative interaction of that combination thus causing my cancer to come back and eat a HOLE in my iliac bone and cause me to be stage 4 Metastatic.  INCURABLE.  Before their negligence my cancer was curable and now it is not.  I interviewed several big name pharmacies in my area and 95% acknowledged they were aware of the Paxil/Tamoxifen interaction.  One pharmacy was shocked and amazed that the interaction wasn't caught and supports my professional negligence claim.
We can't rely on professionals with our lives.  Sad but true.  We HAVE to do our own research, check for drug interactions, ask questions, seek second opinions, etc.  Doctors are human too and make mistakes, however it is our health and our bodies and our responsibility.  I learned the hard way, please don't end up like I did.  My cancer reoccurrence was avoidable, and now I have to live with it.  In 3 weeks it will be a year since my oncologist gave me the results of my pet/ct scan and delivered the devastating news.  The past year has been one heck of a rollercoaster.  I was so angry and it has only been the last 2 months that I have come to terms with my anger and see the positive in this situation. 

*Look for post on cancer and anger

Thursday, March 27, 2014

What every breast cancer patient needs (whether they admit it or not)

What every breast cancer patient needs whether they admit it or not

Living with breast cancer is not easy, some fare better then others in their treatments.  But for most of us, it is no picnic.  It can be difficult to work, do normal daily activities like laundry, cooking, cleaning.  We can feel sick as a dog or just plain yucky or fatigued. 

If you know someone who is dealing with cancer, please read this list and take it to heart as EVERY cancer survivor needs all items on this list at one point or another during their treatment and recovery time. 

1.  Help, help, help!  Daily activities are pushed to the way side when we don't feel well.  We need various forms of help, offer to do something nice for a cancer patient it will make their day!

2.  Dinner.  Cook or buy a meal for a cancer patient and their family once a week this helps more than I can say.  Even if it's macaroni and cheese from Costco and a salad, believe me this is greatly appreciated.

3.  Gift cards.  Gift cards are a gift from heaven for someone going through cancer treatments or recovery.  Gift cards from a local grocery store, Target, Walmart, fast food, it all helps and gives the patient/survivor something less to stress out about!

4.  Time alone.  Sometimes a cancer patient/survivor just needs some time alone, like we all do.  But alone time for a cancer patient can be time to cry in privacy, take a much needed nap or pamper themselves with a bubble bath.  Offer to take the kids to the park for an hour, the movies, a play date, an hour of alone time is a gift.

5.  Beauty.  As women we know we like to make-up and look nice.  When we look good we feel good.  Take your cancer patient friend for a mani/pedi, splurge on some new make-up, pretty nail polish, get a facial or your make-up done for free at the mall.

6.  Cash!  Cash is as important as help, these are the two things we need the MOST!  Cancer treatments are insanely expensive and many patients end up in debt or bankruptcy due to the medical costs!  Do a tip jar or have a fundraiser, have everyone donate a $1 each at your work place or church.  Believe me this will bring tears of joy to your cancer patient.

7. Fun.  Bring books, magazines, funny movies, inspiring books, self-help anything to help pass the time in the chemo room or at home.

8.  Movie tickets.  Movie tickets are a great item to give a cancer patient, so that they can escape their cancer for a few hours watching a movie with a friend or loved one and forget they are sick for a while.

9.  Blanket.  A super soft and pretty blanket is a great gift for a cancer patient.  The chemo rooms can be cold, we get cold easily when our immune system is down and it's simply comforting to cuddle up with.

10.  Fashion.  Something fashionable is awesome!  We are still women even though we are sick and some feel a real loss of femininity so surprise your cancer patient with a stylish purse, or hat, blouse, shoes something fun and sassy is great!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm not cancers bitch: Your family and your cancer

I'm not cancers bitch: Your family and your cancer: When you have cancer you do not go through it alone.  Everyone around you is affected by your diagnosis.  You will or have already heard fro...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sex and Breast Cancer

Sex and cancer are not usually two words you would hear used in a sentence a lot, but when you are married to someone with cancer it is and it's an important issue to deal with.  We all know we liked to feel loved, and attractive and of course Hot to our spouse.  What is that phrase... "A man likes a lady in the kitchen but a whore in the bed." :)  Well for a woman dealing with breast cancer it can be tough to be either. 
For me, it was hard.  Before the cancer was diagnosed it was easy I was an E cup I had an hour glass figure so feeling sexy and acting it was easy.  After the diagnosis I did feel a little betrayed by my right breast (the infected one) and it was sore so I just wanted the damn tumor out!  A few days before my mastectomy surgery I remember one night with my husband and telling him this was going to be the last time he would have sex with me with 2 boobs, like a normal woman.  I was sad and dreading the loss of my breast in the physical sense, but soooooooooo glad to finally be getting the bitch tumor out!  Yes I call my tumor names and truly think of it as an adversary.  (the bitch is going down!)  Anyways, back to sex.  My husband was sweet with me saying it didn't matter and that he loved me anyways and my breasts had just been a bonus to him, that with or without big breasts I was and still will always be beautiful to him.  (sniffle sniffle)  He can be so sweet sometimes. :)
Due to the pain it was quite a while before we were intimate again after the surgery, and I felt like such a freak.  I kept calling myself a circus freak, the one breasted circus freak.  It was SO noticeable I mean come on!!!  An E cup that's the same as being a DDD.  I'm no Dolly Parton But Still!!!!  I did have prosthetics but it wasn't the same and when you are naked there is no getting away from it.  My hubby was sensitive to my feelings about being a uniboob and he was kiss my enormous scar and not focus on the chest area.  I remember when I was going through my last few rounds of chemo around Valentines Day and my chemo nurse flat out asked if my hubby and I were having sex.  I said well not really I feel like crap!  Hello!!!  Chemo!!!!  She chastised me and handed me a HUGE handful of female condoms and told me, that I was not being fair to my husband and marriage and to take these and have a happy Valentines Day!!!  So Funny!!!!  I love my oncology staff they are the best!  I will share that whole female condom and cancer experience another time.
The point of the matter is, that sex is a healthy part of marriage and if your spouse can get past your illness and scars let them love you, whether you feel sexy or not or feel like you need it or not.  You do and your marriage does, cancer alone can break up a relationship, if you are lucky enough to have a spouse stand by and love you through it reward them and yourself with a little nookie time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Breast Cancer and Tattoos

More and more we hear about women covering their cancer and especially their mastectomy scars with beautiful vibrant tattoos.  I for one was dead set on getting a tattoo when I was healed enough.  I didn't know where I was going to put it but I wanted a breast cancer ribbon tattoo to remind me to stay strong and kick cancers ass. 
As a breast cancer patient we go through horrible treatments that often times leaves a lot of physical and emotional scars.  I felt all hacked up like a female Frankenstein between all the scars from chemo burning my veins, the port scar, the IV scars, the 16 inch mastectomy scar was a bad one that bothered me a lot.  Not to mention the baldness, the radiation burns I did not think there was Anything pretty about my body other then it was still alive. 
Those scars were forced upon me, I didn't want them, they were a necessary evil, of the sickness that had invaded my body, like scars from war on a soldier.
I knew I wanted a "pretty scar"  a tattoo is in my total control, I can get one or not.  With all the ugliness of my cancer scars I had to have one I could smile about and that was "pretty".
Now I ended up having reconstruction to my breast and chose to have a pink breast cancer ribbon over a cross on my right wrist as I lost my right breast.  Every time I look down I am reminded that God got me through this once, He can do so again and it gives me the strength I need.  It is very pretty and I do not regret it at all.
I do not think that we as society has the right to judge a woman who has beat this awful horrible disease for her choice to cover her chest in beautiful tattoos to cover the scar of her war wounds.  We should empower our fellow women for their bravery in their war on breast cancer and support them if they choose to memorialize their loss of limb with a tattoo.

Monday, January 20, 2014

What Cancer Cannot Do


It cannot cripple love,
it cannot shatter hope,
It cannot corrode faith,
It cannot destroy peace,
It cannot kill friendships,
It cannot suppress memories,
It cannot silence courage,
It cannot invade the soul,
It cannot steal eternal life,
It cannot conquer the spirit.
*Author Unknown

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Beat cancer with nutrition

I don't know about you, but as a cancer patient and mom I don't want to let my body down and give my cancer any chance to grow or survive.  I need to know that I have done Everything I can to kick cancers ass out of my body for good!!!!

I am a big believer in supplementing medicine with nutrition or natural assistance along with meds, treatments like chemo or radiation, surgery your body needs the right nutrients in order to become or stay strong and thrive.

About 6 months after I was diagnosed with my breast cancer I started researching cancer and nutrition.  I wanted to know where I went wrong and how to change it and even build a better and stronger body in order to ward off and kill cancer.

Here is a list of the best cancer fighting foods:

Vegetables: dark greens like kale, spinach, asparagus, kelp/seaweed, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, sprouts, beets, tomatoes, onions, (yuck I HATE onions, so I supplement garlic), carrots, avocado, yams

Fruits: the darker in color the better: black berries, blue berries, strawberries, cherries, apples, cantaloupe, red grapes, oranges, plum and bananas

Grains: whole grains, multi-grains, barley, oats, wheat, and Ezekial bread, wheat pastas, brown rice

Meats: fish is good, for poultry and red meat non-hormonal and antibiotic free is best and DON'T burn!!!  chard meat releases natural cancer causers and you could be eating your way to cancer

Other: Green Tea is awesome!, black tea and coffee in moderation, water, alkaline water, ginger,


Hope this helps :)  message me for good books on this topic

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Your family and your cancer

When you have cancer you do not go through it alone.  Everyone around you is affected by your diagnosis.  You will or have already heard from your doctors mention family and caregivers, these are the people who will take you to and from appointments, go with you, help take care of you when you are sick from chemo or home recuperating from surgery.  There are books that help cancer patients talk to their family, and especially children about cancer and how it could affect them and their lives.  There are also programs to help caregivers which can be a family member, friend, nurse, home health aid, etc. 
The one going through cancer, like me must not forget that their loved ones are going through hell too and need extra hugs, and appreciation. 
My mom took the news of my cancer really hard, I am her baby girl, her first born and miracle baby.  We were both so shocked that I had it, breast cancer was no were in her side of her family or my dads unless a woman had it and didn't know.  My mom offered to cry with me, she took me to try on wigs and even brought me groceries one time and hasn't stopped praying that I will be cured for good! 
My dad was my cheerleader always reminding me that we will get through this and that I am a fighter, strong and tough.
My husband was shocked, and worried at first and since then he has been my champion he has no doubt in his mind that I won't beat this and totally kick cancer's ass.
But my kids.  Kids are the hard one, they get worried, worry when you are sick from chemo, worried when you go into the hospital for surgery, worry when they see your bald head. (will dedicate a post strictly about cancer and kids)
Even the pets are affected.  My big beautiful pit bull mix dog was so sweet and gentle with me after chemo, radiation and all of my operations, my cat has been so affectionate and sticks close to me when I don't feel well and stays by my side when I am recovering from surgery.  They can smell the poison of chemo and radiation, they can sense illness and wounds when humans can't.
So don't forget your family, thank them for their support and love, they are a part of you as you are a part of them too.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Health Insurance Companies part 1

Ok getting on my soapbox for a bit tonight. 

Why is it when big insurance companies reap our hard earned money monthly paid to them directly from our employers and such regularly no matter what and that employer sponsored portion of the monthly premium do they make it so damn difficult should we dare to get sick and need high priced medical tests?

How are they the insurance company which lets tell the truth is just a service provider get to deny us the proper tools for diagnosis???  Is the insurance company a doctor?  And even if they have a doctor on staff what kind?  Honestly have they consulted with various medical teams from all over the country in EVERY medical field to find out what kind of trends and needs of their insurers are? 

Fact: Breast cancer is affecting  women younger and younger now, and there are genetic tests that can be done to help women do their best to minimize their risk of such cancer!  I was 35 when diagnosed with 2 forms of breast cancer and she had to Fight the insurance company to get me a mammogram.  We should not have to fight for our health!  And as for as Obama's heathcare act ..... we will see what happens.

Our health should NOT be a luxury, it's a God given Right!  We have children and spouses and friends and family to live for, we shouldn't have to battle the damn insurance companies as well as a disease, whatever disease that may be!

Ok I think I am done venting now :)  thanks :)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wig or no wig?

As a girl/woman it's hard for us to lose our hair to chemo.  Sure we can beat the heck out if it in our youth, dye it different colors, bleach it blond, cut it short, shag it, grow it long, blow out, tease, hair spray, hot oil you name it and in the name of beauty we will do it to our hair.  But shave it bald??? Only the crazy celebrities do that, for a role or for attention.  But no self respecting professional girl or woman would actually choose to be bald for no good reason.  Unfortunately it is a very all too common side effect to most chemo treatment.  I am no exception.  I had 5 rounds of extremely aggressive chemo before my mastectomy in November 2011 and 4 rounds after the surgery ending in March of 2012.  As my oncologist predicted I started to lose my hair after the second treatment.  I cut my hair short to prepare for the loss, at the time I cut it my hair was past my shoulders I cut it about 4 1/2 inches to above my shoulders.  My mom took me wig shopping in Orange County, holy cow a simple one styles like Lisa Rinna's hair was over $300!!! Holy shit!  Well that was fun, I started to look in my own area in Riverside and found very affordable wigs at a local beauty supply/salon, I ended up buying two, one long like the hair I had just cut and another a cute bob that was more reddish-brown and fun.  I actually got tons of compliments on my short wig all the time.  I didn't go completely bald, I had about 1/2 an inch of hair so I looked like a newborn baby with a buzz cut! LOL  But I did lose all my hair on my arms, legs armpits, etc. So I got to go through the whole summer and fall without having to shave anything!  That was nice.
Truth- wigs are HOT, wigs are ICHY!!  I don't know how women do it, who actually choose to wear wigs all the time!  I have a love/hate relationship with my wigs :)
But in the end I really prefer my own hair.  Your hair can start growing back within 30 days of your last chemo treatment and mine was textbook, I originally had straight dark brown hair with red tints, and fine, and it came in course, curly and GREY!!!!  Ok started dying it right away, I am in my middle 30s I just had to lose my hair I am SO not going grey!  Give a Girl A Break!!!
I still have my wigs even though I have my hair back to more of a normal as it's been 18 months without chemo.  And I will be so Pissed off if I have to lose it again since my cancer came back 2 months ago and if the hormone treatments don't work to stop it, then it's radiation and possibly chemo again!  I pray the hormone treatments work, I really don't want to go for a ride on the chemo train again.  But I know I am strong enough to do it if I have to, and of course I reserve the right to bitch about it if I have to go through it :).
In the end if you have to get a wig, enjoy it and channel your inner Cher and just go with it. :)

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Cancer is a bitch that's a fact. Little known secret to surviving the cancer storm is to be a bitch right back!  I was diagnosed with breast cancer stage 3 two years ago.  So far it's been a roller coaster for sure.  When the doctor told me to have a positive attitude my mind was blank, positive hmmmmm I got nothing, I'm not a everything is rainbows and unicorns kind of person.  I told the doctor my idea of a positive attitude is " let's kick cancers ass!" I won't let this beat me before I beat it up first! So with my kick cancers ass attitude and bottle of wine I bravely entered my cancer journey.  There has been laughter, tears, anger and hope along the way. I think I would rather have Dorothy's "lions and tigers and bears" oh my :)