Please pray for my friends.

Dearest friends and family: You have been so wonderful in your support of our family at this trying time and today I am asking if you would enlarge your prayer list by including 6 of my dear friends who are currently battling cancer.  They are all amazing people, with a pure, solid faith in God and they all look to HIM to daily meet their needs and carry them through their time of suffering. Please join me in sending up prayers for healing for Dottie, Julie, Corrie, Angelica, and 2 unnamed others, that God would miraculously kill the cancers and restore them to complete health and vitality. 

More about Angelica…As you know from posts gone by, I have forged a special friendship with my precious neighbor Angelica. She’s darling.  She’s a young wife/mom , married to her devoted Tony and together they have 2 beautiful little girls.  I’m so grateful to have a new friend in her.

Angelica has been fighting her breast cancer since December ’14.  She’s been through a ton of pain and hardship…she’s had surgery, chemo and radiation, which culminated today.IMG_1829Angelica has been such a warrior, enduring all of her treatments with great faith and perseverance, and there has been a significant reduction in the cancer.

It appears that there is still one small tumor that is within her chest wall, and we are fervently praying that the radiation kills the cancer.  She spoke with her surgeon today, and was told that if the tumor persists, she will need to have surgery to remove parts of two of her ribs, which is an extremely difficult surgery, and will bring her ongoing challenges with chronic pain going forward.

Obviously, this is an overwhelming thought…she’s already been through so much.

We serve a big, miraculous God who is bigger than this awful cancer.  Will you join me in praying for a healing miracle for Angelica?

Lord Jesus, I pray for Angelica.  Lord I pray that YOU will kill this cancer and take it completely away from her, and that there will be no need to have the surgery.  Lord I pray for peace and comfort for Angelica and Tony and that you carry them in your arms and give them relief from pain, discomfort and fear.  Lord, please make her strong, and place your healing hands on her body and make her 100% well.  Lord, we thank you for always being with us and hearing our prayers. We give you the glory!

Thank you so much for sending up your prayers of healing for all of us and for others in your lives that our fighting the good fight as well..I could not have made it this far without you. I am humbled by your unceasing love and support!!



PS.  I’m doing fine and eyes are getting better every day!  Now coming out of the chemo cave and looking forward to the next few weeks of feeling “good.”

Best possible news at our half-way!

It’s been quite a week at the Sizemore’s this week!  I’m bursting to share all my news…it’s the best kind of news!  So much to report, I don’t even know where to start….

So, I’ll just dig in!

#1 My eyes are 85% healed.  Praise God!!

On Wednesday morning, when I was headed into Chemo #4, my swelling was way down on both eyes.  Hallelujah!! Where the eyes finally self-drained, I was left with small scabs, and, as of today, those have mostly healed too.  I am overjoyed to be free of the itching and pain.  Anticipating that this condition could rear its head again, I am staying vigilant about applying hot compresses a couple of times a day for the rest of chemo (6 more weeks!) As much as I want to wear make-up to spruce things up, I will stay away from doing anything that could potentially cause the clogging again.  Au natural…humbling!

 #2 Last week, on September 6th, while fighting the eyelid infections, I went for an updated MRI, to check out my response to the chemo at the half-way point. The report came back and we have also seen our own radiologist who’s been assigned to my case.  He went over the side-by-side MRI pictures very specifically with us…AND…the report is better than we could ever dreamed of!

Comparing the original MRI films of May 16th to the recent one on September 6th, the cancer that was “seen” on May 16th, is no longer “seen” now!!  I want to pause on that!  The cancer does not show up any longer on the MRI!!!  We are celebrating!  Praise God!! We’re on top of the world and  feel like we are receiving the miracle we and all of our family and friends have been fervently praying for!

What does that mean specifically?  I know this may be getting too detailed, but I want to be as accurate as I can, so you can celebrate with us!

When you have an MRI with contrast, the cancer cells gobble up the contrast fluid and show up glowing white.  On my May 16th MRI, a good portion of my right breast was white.  Normal, healthy tissue on an MRI is dark. The September MRI at half-way point, looks dark and completely healthy.

Does this mean that the cancer is gone?!? We believe it does! We believe that we have our miracle!  We are going forward in faith believing that God has healed me!

For the sake of understanding, I’ll share the cautions/caveats that we learned from the radiologist:  Even though the cancer is no longer “seen,” it could be still there on a microscopic level.  The only way to know for sure is to biopsy the area and receive 100% assurance by looking through the microscope. Unfortunately, MRI’s combined with mammogram and ultrasound can only yield about 65% accuracy.  (For the sake of comparison, MRI’s can detect appendicitis with about 96% accuracy.) So, it is “gone” from an imaging point of view, aka “not seen.” Even though they can’t say it is truly gone without a pathology report, we are as good as we can be at this point. My oncologist and my radiologist both agree that we have great reason to celebrate!

Another concern is that there is an intra-mammory lymph node that is questionable. Lymph nodes, which are the body’s filtering system, are very difficult to accurately read on an MRI.  They can be enlarged because they are fighting a simple infection like the  common cold, or it could be because they are cancerous.  We just can’t know for sure without looking at it under the microscope.  But the great news is that the questionable lymph node from last May, is much much smaller now and, again, we are only half way through!  Another valuable piece of information is that my PET Scan taken right before I started chemo showed no metastases of the cancer in the rest of my body, meaning that the cancer was ONLY in the breast. Also, my lymph nodes have felt normal during my regular exams.  So, we are trusting that it has NOT spread!

Where do we go from here? We finish up with the last 2 treatments of chemo, hopefully by the end of October, then we rest and rebuild for a month and have the most thankful thanksgiving ever!  Then on December 2nd, I will go in for surgery.  We have opted for a bi-lateral mastectomy, followed by months of reconstruction.

It’s a lot to look forward to, but I know we can get through this.  Together, we have come so far!  I hope you are encouraged by our report.

My dear friend Lori sent me this scripture to remind me of God’s faithfulness.  I hope it blesses you today.

“But now, this is what the Lord says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you…”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:1-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What a privilege it is to be loved so deeply by our Lord.

Now that you’ve made it through all my detailed news, you gotta see the shenanigans that were going on at chemo this week!  My PP’s (“Prayer Posse”) were my chemo buddies this time and boy, did they breathe life and joy into the waiting room.   They rearranged the waiting room chairs into a circle and did a little crafting combined with a whole lot of laughing.  Others in the waiting room wanted to join their circle of fun!  Nothing makes me happier than robust laughter.  Greg took pictures so I could be a part of it all.  Even though the Benadryl in my IV made me sleep most of the day, these joyful prayer partners/warriors were right by my side.  So grateful!! Love these girls so!


No days “off” this round.

When we last connected, I shared my discovery of a weird chemo side effect: the oil glands in my eyelids have become clogged and consequently, swollen.  I had hoped that this would be an easy resolve.  However, after daily trips to eye specialists all last week and many, many, many hot compresses, I am reporting that this “little” problem, has turned out to be unrelenting and therefore, pretty challenging.  😜As a result, I’ve been forced to stay home and nurse my eyes, rather than be out frolicking during my “good days” between chemo sessions.  Boo!

My UCI eye specialist has seen this condition many times before, so it is comforting to know that I don’t have some kind of unusual disease.  Also comforting is that, while my eyelids are a mess, my eyeballs are healthy.  That’s a relief, because even though my eyesight has been compromised, it is only temporary.

We had the option of having my eyelids “nicked,” which is a procedure where they anesthetize and lance the underside of my eyelids and remove the swollen glands.  However, if I did that, my eyes would be even more swollen temporarily and bruised.(Heck, I’m reaching new lows in my appearance, so what’s one more unsightly look?) But the bigger issue is that such a procedure could possibly delay my upcoming chemo and it may or may not resolve the nagging swelling.  The doctor gave me the option of how to proceed, but seemed to lean towards letting the eyes resolve themselves.  So, I am praying and treating and waiting…and praying and treating and waiting…

One good piece of news about this is that my left eye, which was the most swollen, did finally drain by itself and my eyesight improved, but when that eye resolved, right away my right eye swelled up…Oh Swell!! (Sorry, that was just too easy!)

I had a brief reprieve in the action.  After we opted to decline the “nicking” procedure and left UCI, my buddy Holly  and I were able to go for a long lunch and a movie before my right eye flared up.

Thank you Holls for accompanying us to the doctor and taking me out for a fun mini escape.


In the midst of all this, I have learned to be ever grateful for moments like this, when I can enjoy the simplicity of leisurely friend time.  I am also keenly aware of how blessed I am to have my Greg and my sister Marcia, who consistently drop everything to get me the care I need and for my family and friends who faithfully check on me and stand ready to help me however they can.  I want to call you out by name, but you know who you are!! Thank you for your prayers, your texts, your phone calls and for your endless support and understanding!!

Assuming my white blood cell count is holding steady, and providing my oncologist allows me to move forward even though my eyes may still be swollen, my chemo session #4 is this Wednesday. After that, there are only 2 more treatments and 6 more weeks left.  At this visit with my oncologist before the infusion, I should be receiving my results from last week’s MRI, which will give us specific measurements of my half way progress. I am eagerly anticipating great news!!

Thinking back to my analogy of my marathon runs and how hard it is when you “hit the wall” at about mile 20, I’m hoping that this setback will be short lived and once I get past this, the rest of my run will be on a downhill and I’ll be able to easily slide across that finish line.

That’s it for now!  Another hot compress is calling my name!! Until next time 🙂

Getting over the hump :)

Well I am quite the slacker…its been way too long since I posted an update. This one will hopefully catch us up! As you know, we have passed the mid way point in my chemo treatment, and we are officially over the hump!

Chemo #3 went off without a hitch, and the first few days after were pretty non-eventful…until Sunday night.  I went in for a nice, warm epsom salt bath and evidently I got a little too relaxed, as I quickly found myself fighting to stay awake in my blissful, reclined, womb-like state.  Oops! Trouble! I called out to Greg, realizing I was way too groggy and thankfully my knight in shining armor fished me out and successfully got me tucked in bed.  My biggest lesson that night?  #1 Always make sure he’s home when I take a bath and #2, its best not to recline in the bath tub.

The days that followed were quite low key and wonderful.  If I can’t leave my bed, my friends come to me!  I am so spoiled…I’m getting quite used to being the princess!


The week following Chemo, Greg and I met with my surgeon Dr. Curcio for a mid-way check-up.  What we learned from her was very exciting! Dr. Curcio did an ultrasound exam and the tumor closest to the surface has shrunk significantly.

As I said in my last post, comparing last weeks measurements to those revealed in my initial ultrasound performed last May, it appears that there is a 72% reduction in size after 3 treatments.  That is very, very  encouraging as it is evidence that the cancer is responding in the way the doctors anticipated and we had hoped!  Thank you Lord!! This was a real boost to our family.


We spoke at length with Dr. Curcio regarding the steps we will need to take once Chemo is done, at the end of October.  (It is so exciting to think that we will soon be done with chemo!!!)  Surgery will follow right after Thanksgiving and we need to decide between lumpectomy plus radiation, or mastectomy with reconstruction. We are in the process of gathering more info and interviewing plastic surgeons.  While this next decision is a huge one, we are so happy that the next step is right around the corner!  One step at a time, but I get quite excited that this chapter will be over, in the not too distant future!

With all the “ups,” come a few “downs.”  Chemo can produce some challenging side effects and I am not immune to these.  While I am so blessed that the side effects have been pretty mild for me, my weirdest one is that the oily glands in my eyelids have been getting clogged and infected.img_1934Last round of chemo this symptom came and went pretty easily but this time, no such luck. So now, instead of going out to frolic between chemos, this time I get to stay close to home with hot compresses and antibiotics.  Not only do I not have hair, but now no make-up for me either. Talk about humbling!!

img_1933I find it kind of interesting that I am able to be pretty strong through the big things, but then I have a mini melt down over something as small as eye infections.  Oh well…I’m just hoping that the infections are quickly resolved and do not become a more serious issue with my depleted immune system.

Today, after seeing an ophthalmologist for my eyes, I scurried over to get my mid-way MRI to measure my success so far.  I will learn those results when I go in for my next Chemo next week.

It seems like the time between chemos goes very fast.  It’s kind of a bummer that there isn’t much time between treatments to do “normal life” but then again, it’s quite wonderful, because the faster I get through chemo, the sooner I will be cancer-free.

For now, I’m laying low, nursing my eyes back to health and doing my homework to get ready for my next big step.

I hope you are doing well and enjoying bringing in the Fall.  All of you look pretty wonderful on Facebook, taking your final trips and dropping off kids at school. I enjoy coming along on your adventures! Thank God for social media!

God bless you!