Today may or may not be my last taxol but it is last taxol for a few weeks :) herceptin and perjeta will continue every 3 weeks though. I will know more over the next few weeks. I haven't really shared anything because we're still gathering information to make the best decision for the next step. I have too many questions that are still unanswered lol you know me, why why why ???
I received my results from my petscan....drumrolllllllll
I have been patiently waiting for these results. The test was so early yesterday morning it almost feels like a blur.
Before I reveal the results, I just want you all to take a deep breath and tell yourself how amazing you are to care for me so much and pray for me. TEAMLISA is a BADASS team!
Where my cancer lit up in my manubrium in my sternum back in January, it DID NOT light up this time. My petscan showed no hyper active cells!
WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOO! I'm doing the happy dance and crying happy tears.
First I need to thank GOD for working his healing hands on me. And my angels for all their love.
Thank you to my amazing Dr. Sorcinelli for having so much hope and taking this head on and being a fighter like me. Thank you to Dr. Noe for helping my body stay strong to fight hard. Thank you to my mom for taking care of me and always being the best mom! Thank you to my siblings, family and friends for picking me up whenever I needed it and reminding me how strong I am.
And, thank you to all of you who have stood by my side. Thank you so much for your support and love, your prays and sending me positive light and vibes. And never giving up hope.
WOW....we did it! We kicked ass!! TEAMLISA is so amazing and strong.
We still have a treatment strategy to go through to keep me in remission. Only 4 more chemo treatments and on to the next step in this journey. Let's keep fighting!
BIG HUGS and SO MUCH LOVE
I'm sitting here drinking my contrast waiting to get my petscan. The last 12 weeks leading up to today. How's my cancer doing? Did we kill it? Has it spread? Did it stay the same? Did I respond well? Do I get 4 more weeks of taxol? Do we do radiation? Do I need surgery? Ugh!!! So many questions.
Dr Sorcinelli will be discussing my situation with the tumor board this afternoon. A lot of Doctors will be there including my possible surgeon Dr Boffa and my radiologist Dr Knowlton. These last 12 weeks and this petscan will determine the answer to all our questions.
Lets pray for great news! Let's pray the cancer is not showing up on the petscan! Let's prayer I can get radiation rather than needing the surgery!
Please only think positive thoughts for me this morning!
Lets do this TEAMLISA!!!! Big hugs
Today I was cleared for my chemo cocktail. My blood work is even better this week than last week, great news!
So is this my last taxol treatment or do I have 4 more to go? I will still get herceptin and perjeta every 3 weeks indefinitely. Tomorrow will determine if I will get 4 more weeks of taxol.
Early tomorrow morning, 615, I am getting a petscan, prayers I am responding well please!!
For the past 12 weeks I have been sitting with a new friend Diane who finished her chemo today. I'm so proud of her. She's beat cancer..WOOHOO!!! She gave me a gift today, a beautiful bracelet of courage. She touched my heart and made it happy, thank you again Diane. I will wear it daily and remember to keep having the courage to fightthis. My next treatment will be weird without you and your husband here!
I'll keep you all posted. Praying hard I don't light up tomorrow!
This past week I pulled my BIG guns out to play. I worked really hard to improve my bloodwork since it was sooo bad last week. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, I did! My ANC's went from 1.1 to 2.3! I'm still on the low end but much improved from last week :)
A pount for TEAMLISA!
Last week I didn't respond well to the perjeta so this week I also had a goal to be sure cancer didn't stop me again from getting perjeta this week. I got all doped up and will be even more wired tonight but I took the whole bag like a champ! Last time I did treatment in 2014 I always had to get doped up before treatment and this time it's my first time getting doped up so I'm still proud of me.
Another point for TEAMLISA!!
The hardest part I am finding this go around is I don't feel bad. I am extremely tired though. This makes it hard to know when to just chill. I am paying close attention to my bloodwork to determine what/where I need to increase supplements. I am an expert at reading bloodwork now. :)
Thank you to everyone who said prayers and sent positive light and energy my way. Love you, elbow taps!!
We're at week 10. Today is my big day (meaning 3 drugs today) and it just got longer. My white blood cells (WBC) are really low, lowest they've been and on the cusp of approving me for treatment. I had to wait to have my bloodwork manually counted which added like an hour to my time here. She did end up approving my treatment today, phew. I don't want to get off track. I need more bone broth so I'll up that today to help build my WBC's.
How stinkin' cute is this baby girl I'm holding. She is so sweet!!
Update! We've stopped my 2nd drug, perjeta. It will have to be delayed to next week. Loaded me on benedryl because of a reaction I was having. Booooo!!
Yup..it's Tuesday, cocktail time.
The big question of the day..is the chemo working? My hair hasn't fallen out yet and I'm on week 5. I was told it usually falls out between week 3 and 4 with taxol...hmmm!
After seeing my doc, we went back and reviewed my dates from my last treatment. We're matching up and I have a couple more weeks with hair.
I'm just balancing everything out just right using my integrative approach, taking in the chemo, killing the cancer and kicking it out before it hurts my good cells too fast, right?! It's a great, positive thought, right? It must be what's happening because we all know, without a doubt, I'm kicking its ass again. This round I'm even stronger without the toxic, negative people I had around me the first round. I'm a much different, stronger person this round, stronger than I've ever been!
Let's keep kickin' ass!
This week is chemo#4 and is my long day with 3 infusions, if she approves my treatment.
I had some homework this last week to improve some symptoms I've had or she wouldn't approve treatment this week. I'm sure I improved the symptoms enough for her to sign my orders to receive treatment today so I'll be here until at least 2ish. And tonight I'll be up all night because of my prechemo meds which will help me get some more blogging done so I can update you all about my appointment with Dr Boffa. Dr Boffa is the surgeon I met with to discuss the possibility of removing my sternum.
Let's get today done so I can be one more treatment closer to done with taxol and back in remission.
Can't stop, won't stop ... Go TeamLisa 👊🏻🙏🏻💜👍🏻
So this week is a little different. During my exam my doctor could actually feel the hole in my bone. This isn't good news, this means my hole has gotten bigger. This means the cancer keeps eating my bone causing deterioration. 😢
Let's keep praying ... 👊🏻🙏🏻💜💪🏻
So step 2 is here. I have my day drinking tshirt on and I am starting my chemo cocktail this morning. I saw my naturopathic oncologist, Dr Noe, Wednesday, so I have started my supplement plan to keep my body strong where chemo tries takes me down.
Even though I know what is coming in a little while and I did this cocktail 3 years ago for 12 weeks, I still have anxiety. Especially since it will be for 24 weeks this time. I'm going to feel pretty yucky some days, especially come 18 weeks in because of the accumulation each week but this is where Dr Noe will be key in my ring.
I don't have to much to say this morning about this step in my strategy. It's what I need to do to wash this cancer out of my body. Despite all the negativity I see and read out there about chemo, I know what's coming and using my integrative approach and having Dr Sorcinelli and Dr Noe and all my support, I know I will be ok and get through this. In the end, it's all about me and what keeps my mind positive and strong.
Please say a few extra prayers this morning that my first infusion goes well.
I was going in to discuss an oopherectomy and came out with the decision for a full hysterectomy.
I had already made the decision to remove my ovaries but during my visit to my gynecologist we discussed a full hysterectomy since she would already be in there and recovery still sucks just the same. So I said, take it. If I don't have my ovaries, I don't need my uterus and I sure don't want to do this surgery twice in case I need to remove my uterus down the road.
As I processed more about the appointment a couple hours later and the decision I just made, I started to think, "why does it feel so bad to be a woman?" Since April of 2014, being a woman just keeps taking from me. My breasts and the diep flap which led to self-conscious issues with all the scars I have and now all my internal organs that make me a woman will be removed. How can being a woman feel so bad!
Ya ya everyone can say "it's ok, you don't need them. You'll be fine without them." It's not the point. It's so not the point. And I know I'm not the first to go through this so my heart goes out to all the women who have had to and will have to make this life choice because of cancer. I never wanted children and I can't imagine how much harder it is if I wanted children. But even though I don't, I want the choice to want or not want children, not cancer to make that choice for me.
Rant over ... anyway, a full hysterectomy surgery is scheduled for Saturday which sounded so simple because it's an outpatient surgery until I met my gynecologist. There's nothing simple. Well it's much more simple than the double mastectomy with a diep flap and lymphnode removal surgery I had in November 2014 but still not simple. Recovery is 6 weeks with no lifting anything over 8lbs. Being an extremely independent woman, basically living on my own for almost 20 years (with a few roommates in between), who HATES asking for help...this is a problem!!!!! This bothers me more than whatever menopause symptoms I will have.
And as usual, everything happens at once. I am trying to sell my house, pack it up, move out, have surgery and start chemo all within the same 6 weeks, lol. When it rains it fucking thunder snows!!!
Please continue to keep me in your prayers and send me positive thoughts and vibes. I need a fast recovery.
Can't stop, won't stop...GoTeamLisa!
I still remember the day my surgeon removed the port from my body after my first round. I was so excited to rid my body of that port.
Today I have to connect a port back in my body but this time, I will live with this port indefinitely.
A port is like an artificial vein and is connected to a large vein near your heart. It saves your veins which mine are pretty much dried up from being poked so much the past couple of months. Plus because of my risk for lymphedema we can only use the veins in my left arm. A port is used for:
Headed in for surgery. Here's to my last morning without a port!
On January 31st, I made the decision to go public with my new diagnosis. I had actually gone a few weeks without telling anyone in the beginning because I didn't want to ruin anyone's Christmas since when my tests hadn't been completed even though we pretty much knew what we were about to deal with. At this point though, I had only told my immediate family and very close friends. I didn't have answers so I didn't want to tell people until I could answer questions without I don't know. But I knew I was ready for my support team to know so they could support me. I started by announcing at an all employee monthly meeting at Peter Paul Electronics (PPE), where I work and tell them that my cancer had returned. I wanted my PPE support team to hear it from me with the same message at the same time.
This was not easy! These are 150 friends who I consider family and telling them this very shitty news was very difficult. As I approached the front of the meeting room to tell them, I heard the sighs and the"no's" from our 150 employees. Before saying a single word. Most of them knew, it was just a matter of seconds until they heard it out of my mouth. I had to take a few deep breaths before I started speaking to be sure I cold keep my composure. I made sure I didn't make eye contact with certain employees because I knew I would lose focus. There weren't too many dry eyes but we all knew in the end what we had to do.
I also went public with my blog using Facebook and twitter. I wanted to be sure all my loved ones were hearing it from me and not anyone else or worse dramatic rumors.
I love how my good friend from college, Lisa Roberts, says it, "We are going to storm Heaven with our prayers!" She has always had such a huge heart and so much love. Anyone that meets Lisa will love her the very first moment they meet her she and will always laugh make you laugh. Her smile alone makes you smile. She must be a Lisa ☻
And we are! I can feel it!I know God and all our angels hear us loud and clear and are answering our prayers!
WOW! I can't thank you all enough for all your support, prayers and positive thoughts you're sending me and it's just the beginning. I'm overwhelmed! It's amazing and inspirational how we have the ability to come together to pray and support our friends and family and our friends friends and families.
My heart is full of love and my mind is full of strength.
Let's once again prove cancer can be beat! Let's be the hope and inspiration for so many others fighting! Let's fight, let's win and then we celebrate!
Let's keep flooding Heaven with our prayers. I can't wait to see what we're capable of. We're going to do BIG things my friends, so big we don't even know how capable we are!! We can't stop, we won't stop! GO TEAM LISA!! ♥
To all of you who support me through it all. Thank you for all your love. Your compassion for me brings my heart so much happiness. Freeing the toxic negative energy that was surrounding me is liberating. God is leading my life and there is greatness to come...it's already begun!
Today ends a chapter in my life and a new chapter begins and it's going to be the best chapter yet! Thank you to all who have supported me. You are all a part of my next journey in life and I love you all xxoo
This quote says who I am and I've always been and NO ONE will take this away from me or change this about me. Staying true to my roots!!
Always stay strong and never let anyone tell you you're not good enough!! It's easy to fall into other people's unhappiness and negativity but we thrivers carry on and stay strong!!
This weekend a little more reality slipped into my life. When I was diagnosed with cancer, my life changed as does anyone who has been down this shitty road. As I work to get my life back to a new normal life again, we come across reminders...reality checks. Things happen in life and it's easy to get bogged down in all the bullshit life brings and forget to focus on the peace and love life brings.
One of my Breasties had her final reconstruction surgery 4 weeks ago. Her surgery went well and she has been healing and living life. Until she woke up early Saturday morning feeling pain in her cancer side. She ended up in the ER with an infection which caused her to have heavy antibiotics pumped into her through an IV and fight for her life. Who would think? She's been walking around living life cancer free happy to be alive. I pray the medications work and she doesn't need surgery and she can get home to her family. My reconstruction surgery on my cancer side was 3 weeks ago....Reality check!
Another one of my Breasties was cancer free 6 months ago. Then some headaches came on, some tests were done resulting in the cancer returning and spreading to her brain. She fought hard for those 6 months before it took over her. She was only 38, has a husband and 3 year old son. My heart feels heavy for her family. My deepest condolences to her husband,son and family. I pray for them daily. I'm "cancer free" and 37. Reality check!
Cancer is an ongoing fight we fighters and thrivers battle everyday. I often hear people saying you are nearing the end of your journey. This journey doesn't end, it just eases up. I am cancer free. But cancer will forever fight me, everyday. And I never know when it will hit me harder and make me have to fight harder so I fight hard everyday. Reality check!!
I woke up very early today and couldn't sleep, thinking about cancer. It does this to me every now and then. I was thinking how easy it is to stop smelling the roses and how easy it is to forget what's really important. I also remembered cancer taught me to stop and smell every rose. I laid there in bed and rolled over to hold my husband and took in every part of the love and peace he brings. The rhythm of his breath, the way his back curves for my head to nestle in perfectly, the warmth from his body and how, even when sleeping, he recognizes I am there cuddling up to him and he cuddles back. As I lay there, I pray, thanking Jesus for all he's done for us, for bringing us together and keeping us together, knowing what's right for us. I lay there praying he never let anything bad happen to my luv. My husband too fights a never ending battle, MS. I enjoyed every second of it and every second of my morning, from the warmth of the shower, to feeding our kids and being sure to take in the ride to work and not think about what's ahead in my day. A woman rode my cars ass the entire way to work, 20 minutes, never bothered to pass me, just stayed right there on the bumper of my car. I wondered what she was thinking about. Whatever she was thinking about, she wasn't smelling the roses. I made sure I took in every second of my day today.
Never stop smelling the roses, stop and smell every rose. Live in the second of every second of the day. Take in what's around you. Absorb all the positive, the beauty, the peace and the love and let go of everything else. Stop and smell those roses!!
I didn't realize how much I'd care about how my foobs look. For the past year I have hated the way I look in the mirror. Scars all over always reminding me about the battle. I used to have great breasts but November of 2014 I chose to remove them. In my mind, I pictured walking out of the hospital with great new perky boobs. That's not what happened! I left with sadness and insecurities I never had. Scars all over my chest and stomach, foobs that looked nothing like boobs, and these plastic ports extruding out from under my "breasts" that hurt more than you'd think they would. My appearance in my eyes was crushed. After 8 months of living with these turtle shell looking things hanging off my chest, I had my 1st reconstructive surgery. I went under the knife thinking both turtle shells were being exchanged for implants only to wake up with only one expander swapped out. My surgeon was not comfortable swapping the right side because of the extensive radiation damage to the tissue we took from my stomach. I told my dad that morning he better be in the room standing over my surgeon making sure all went well. He must have known something that day. The turtle shell that was swapped out was even more unattractive than when it was an expander. It looked nothing like a breast. So for the next 4 months I had 2 foobs that looked nothing a like and nothing like breasts. I met again with my surgeon to talk about our next steps.
Tuesday, October 19, my nephews birthday who created my blog for me, I had surgery again. I have been waiting for this day to remove this plastic port under my other foob I've been living with for a year now. When we exchanged my expander on the left side, it didn't come out how I wanted (my surgeon and I are perfectionists and my breast surgeon didn't quite cut the way she should have) so we had more reconstruction work to do on the left. We were also finally swapping my turtle shell for an implant on the right side along with some needed reconstruction because of so much tissue damage from radiation. I woke up after surgery to the plan going accordingly, yay! Both sides were done and all seemed to go well.
Today, Friday, I finally unwrapped my package to see my goodies and so far I am pleased. I'm still swollen and uncomfortable but it feels so great to have symetricsl foobs that actually look like boobs again. I follow up with my surgeon in 2 weeks and hopefully that was my last surgery. We may need some touch ups though, we are perfectionists.
My support group continues to amaze and inspire me. My heart is so happy knowing so many family and friends think of me, say prayers for me and send positive vibes...thank you so much! Thank you to my support team at work making sure everything is covered so I can rest and recover without work stress. My luv and my mom take such good care of me during recovery, thank you for your unconditional love. I love you all xxoo