Warmest greetings to you my dear family and friends. It has been a long time since I have written. For you who have faithfully followed my day to day story, this long period of silence has probably left you with lots of questions.  So let me start by saying, I am doing fine and I’m so sorry it’s been so long.

Today I am going to try to catch you up. First and foremost, I am done with chemo!  Three weeks ago, I completed my very last treatment. Thank you God!


I am so overjoyed that I made it through all 6 rounds, with relatively few side effects.  Having heard all the horror stories out there of how hard chemo is for some, I am grateful that the last 5 months brought me to this day, when it is finally over, and with manageable symptoms.  It wasn’t fun…lots of fatigue and dizziness…but all in all, I am very glad we chose this route plus additional integrative treatment, because my cancer responded as favorably as possible, according to my September MRI.  We received the blessing we all hoped and prayed for.

img_1911We started celebrating this milestone the day of the last treatment.  As we always have, we created quite a stir at BreastLink.  We showed up with our entourage, once again took over the waiting  room and “pushed the envelope” a bit by sneaking in more visitors then are allowed in the infusion center. (I’m sure that BreastLink is probably glad I am done with my treatment so the office can return to a little peace and quiet!)  I am forever grateful to my amazing oncologist Dr. Ein Gal and to the staff at BreastLink. They are the gold standard in breast cancer treatment.

This time, my entourage included my Greg and my mom (as always) and my dear friends Lori and Deena.  In between naps, these precious loved ones made my time fly by! Thank you, thank you to you all!

My inspiring role model, my warrior mom.
The faithfulness of all my friends, like Deena and Lori, were a huge reason I made it through with flying colors.

The support and love I have received from all of you, has been overwhelming and key to my healing.  Whether it be coming to chemo, cards/text of encouragement, prayers, phone calls, foot rubs, field trips to the beach, coloring and watching movies with me, FaceTimes, flowers, yummy treats, comments on this blog…the list goes on and on…you have each made getting well my reality.  If YOU EVER need anything, big or small, I’m your girl. You are all my role models.  I promise to give to you in any way you need! 

I was properly forewarned by Dr. Ein-Gal, that the recovery time after this last round of chemo is oftentimes longer than usual.  There is a cumulative effect of chemo and the last one really “packed a wallop!”  Ok, I reasoned, I can take this one in stride.  One little problem…I had a big date only 8 days after chemo…my beautiful niece was getting married. No matter what, I was bound and determined to make it to the big, blessed event!  Thank God, I was rested enough to get myself out of bed and make it there.  Between my family who took excellent care of me every second, and lots of prayers, I didn’t miss out on a thing.  I even got up a few times on the dance floor and busted a few moves.  Even post-chemo, I had to give in to my need to celebrate and “get down with my bad self.”


The happy couple, Elise and Julian
My beautiful family

Was I tired after the wedding?  You bet.  I landed back in bed for another 2 weeks. But it was well worth every ounce of energy I had. Wouldn’t change a thing!

Finally, after a longer time of recuperation…I started to resume the activities that I love, like walking on the beach with the love of my life…my husband, my best friend, the best man in the world, my Greg.


Today, marks 3 weeks since my last chemo, and I am soon on my way in to receive my first Herceptin infusion treatment, which will occur every three weeks until next July.  Hopefully there will be no side effects and I will continue to get stronger and better every day. I look forward to Thanksgiving with great anticipation.  Our whole family will be together at my beautiful niece Dayna’s house…I’ve never been so thankful.  My heart is overflowing.

My next big step is surgery on December 2nd.  Another chapter to look forward to, another opportunity to trust God.

You will hear more from me very soon, I have lots of thoughts I want to share…but for now, I want to shout out my thankfulness to ALL of YOU!! I hope you know how much you have blessed me.  I hope your thanksgiving is a time of great blessings for you and yours!

Sending you all my love and gratefulness!


One more down, one more chemo to go!

Hi there dear family and friends!  Well, we are done with Chemo #5, which means that I HAVE ONLY 1 MORE TREATMENT TO GO!  As you can imagine, I am overjoyed to be this close to the end of my 4 1/2 month treatment.

I’ve gone dark for the last few weeks because I felt so good, I didn’t want to waste a single second staying home when I could be out seeing movies, going to the beach, taking long walks, meeting friends and spending time with my wonderful family.  I’m sorry if I worried you…my reasons for my absence were all good!

Greg, Michael and I escaped for the weekend at Grandma and Grandpas’s cabin in Twin Peaks, near Lake Arrowhead. We played lots of cards, enjoyed the sunshine and lots of R&R….the perfect weekend getaway!

As you may remember, after my prior treatment, I came down with severe eyelid infections which kept me from venturing out on my days between infusions.  Thank God, in time, my eyelids healed on their own, without having to have surgery to help them along.  Now that they have been healed, I have been chomping at the bit to get out and feel normal again…and I definitely felt good and strong enough to have some fun.  Hallelujah!  I am so grateful.  If you’ve ever been stuck in bed, or down for any length of time, you know the beautiful feeling of freedom.  I hope I never lose sight of how great it is to feel good!

Truthfully, the last few weeks, I don’t even feel like I have cancer! And frankly, its entirely possible that I don’t!  My last MRI was as good as it could possibly be, and that was only half way through treatment!

So, where are we now?  I have my last chemo treatment on 10/27. After that, I will have the entire month of November to rest, recuperate, get my white blood cells built up, and get strong and ready for my next big hurdle…double mastectomy on December 2nd.  Truthfully, I get overwhelmed to think of what’s next, but God has been so faithful so far, I know I will get through this too.  My loved ones know me so well…”one day at a time, don’t borrow future worries, you’ll get through this,” they remind me.  Even still, I must admit I’m a bit frightened.  It will be a 7-hour surgery: first the mastectomy and then the plastic surgeon will take over and start the reconstruction. If everything goes as planned, I will be in the hospital only one night and will be able to return home the following day.

You know what I think is kind of amazing? They say that early detection is key.  I’m sure that is true. I was diagnosed early…yet there is still SO much to go through.  I don’t have to look very far around me to see that my road is much easier than those who have long been battling this dreadful disease.  I definitely have had a lighter load to carry than most. Yet, my journey is far from over.  Again, let me reiterate how grateful I am to be almost done with chemo. But after that is done, I will still possibly have radiation, several months ahead of reconstructive surgery, physical therapy and Herseptin antibody shots every 3 weeks until June 0f 2017. Kind of knocks the wind out of me when I think about it too much. Time to return to being thankful that Chemo is almost over…yes, one day at a time.

Enough of that…here are some tidbits I’m excited about:

  1.  My beautiful niece Elise is getting married on November 5th.  I’m putting my dancing shoes on and my prettiest dress (thank you dear Jody!) and I’m gonna “get down with my bad self.”  My sister Joan has a place for me to lay down and rest if I get tired during the evening (I will only be 9 days from my last chemo) so we have all of our bases covered. I’m a bit bummed because I doubt I will be able to wear make-up, because my eyelid infections are still a risk.  But I’ll find some bright, happy lipstick to draw the attention away from my naked eyes and sparse eyebrows 😦
  2. My hair is already starting to grow back.  My doctor is surprised by this…it typically doesn’t start to come back in until well after chemo is over.  I’m going with yet another blessing coming my way! It won’t be grown in for quite some time, so don’t get too excited to see my “big reveal” any time soon.  But it is coming!! Yippee!!! Also, spoiler alert, my hair color will NOT be blonde, but it may be curly.  (I’ve already forewarned my wonderful hair stylist Kristine that I will need her big time to help me come up with a style that prevents me from looking like a human Q-Tip.  The girl is a miracle worker…she’s the perfect one for the job.
  3. At my last chemo treatment, my loving friends Jody and Shawna were my chemo buddies.  Along with all the others who held my hand and watched me sleep, these two faithful friends were such a blessing to me.  They read to me from a beautifully inspiring book they gifted to me, kept my spirits high and made the 4 hour ordeal fly by!! Thank you to you both! Your faithful friendship overwhelms me!
    Shawna and Jody! You two are the best!

    4.  October is Breast Cancer awareness month and I was the first to sign the banner in the lobby at Breastlink. I was honored to “sign in!”img_1878-2I hope and pray that no one I love ever has to walk down this road of breast cancer…However, if the need should ever arise in the future, I have the highest recommendation and regard for Breastlink and the caring, capable doctors and staff there.  I am so grateful that I was recommended to this practice.  I trust them implicitly and I owe them loads and loads of thanks and gratitude.fullsizerender-8These two ladies are on the frontline at Breastlink.  Vicky (right) was the first, loving voice I heard on the other end of the phone on the first day I called to make an appointment.  I was scared, really more like petrified, and the way Vicky handled my call gave me immediate peace that she would pave the way for me to see the doctors I needed to see right away.  This gal was on it!  Taking care of everything to get me started and greeting me with a big hug every time I come in.  And Amanda (left) is equally as wonderful!  She’s the friendly face at the front desk, efficiently keeping the busy waiting room working like a clock, while still remembering to give a hug, a smile and an encouraging word.  These gals are the best! I am certainly spoiled forever!  I don’t think I will ever be able to go to a regular doctors’ office again without expecting the extra TLC I get at Breastlink!

Treatment #5 flew by without a hitch and I was so happy to chalk another one off the list.  As always, my loving hubby and my mommy were by my side! Thank you everyone for always attending to my every need.  How will I ever repay your kindness??

Jody, me, Mom and my Greg!


I love you all…with all of my grateful heart!  Stay well and fight the good fight!

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!

Great news at my halfway point!

This is a quickie, because I wanted to share some really good news!

So today before my chemo infusion #3, I met with my oncologist Dr.Ein-Gal, like I do before every infusion appointment.

Last time we met, she found the tumor that is closest to the surface and using a measuring tape, roughly confirmed that the tumor had shrunk about 40%.  I thought THAT was good news…well guess what…

Today, she couldn’t find the same tumor, by physical exam. To quote her exact words, she said “I’m fishing around and I can’t find it.”  Well you can imagine how thrilled Greg and I were to hear this news.

As she should be, she was careful to say that when I have my ultrasound and MRI in the next two weeks, they will be able to precisely measure my status and compare to my old films.  So of course, we have to have measured enthusiasm.  But I am so so so encouraged.  My treatment is working!! Praise God!!

Haha! I quickly asked her if I had to finish my chemo treatments if the cancer is shown to be gone…her answer yes, you do.  Oh well, it was worth a try, right?

Nevertheless, I am still very, very encouraged and wanted you all to know.  Our prayers are being answered and I am so very grateful!

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart!

‘Twas the night before chemo

Here we go again, tomorrow is my Chemo #3 and I now see a behavioral pattern that has developed.  The day or two before I go in, I become very quiet and introverted.  Greg has noticed it too. I think what happens is that I become introspective about what is ahead and I spend a good deal of mental time preparing myself for whatever news I might receive, for the long day of receiving the IV treatment, for checking out and staying in bed, and holding on to the real hope that after I am “down” for a few days, my body has, in fact, and will bounce back again in about a week.

This time, I am struggling a bit because I SHOULD be happy that very soon I can proclaim that I am HALF-WAY through!  Truthfully, this does give me a great sense of joy.  I just hope tomorrow morning when I wake up, that that is what I focus on, rather than wallowing in the negatives. I also have every reason to be optimistic!  One of my tumors, that is closest to the surface has definitely shrunk, so we are moving in the right direction.  My realistic hope is that when I have my follow-up tests in about 2 weeks, we will receive very positive news that the treatments are WORKING!  When we get that great update, I imagine that we will begin discussing my surgery options, which means that we will be one step closer to being cancer-free!!

In so many ways, I have enjoyed talking/hearing from others who traveled this journey ahead of me and are cancer free.  I also value talking to others who are in the trenches with me.  The caution I must have in both of these scenarios is that others’ journeys are their journeys and mine is mine…meaning we are all uniquely designed and our cancers treatments are uniquely ours.  I need to be mindful of not owning their road as mine, as much as I may want to, or be scared to.  Comparing ourselves in this scenario, and generally in life, is risky business.

What do I do when I need an attitude adjustment?  I turn to God’s word, which helps me so much!  This verse is especially helpful to me tonight: Hebrews 12:1 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”

That is my desire…to run this race with perseverance and remember that this is the race that God has uniquely placed before me.

Having trained and run several 26.2-mile marathon races in my life, I know what it is to endure.  I know what it is to look to God when I don’t have even one more step left in my being. I know what it is to “hit the wall” and want to quit (ie. find a cab at mile 20 to take me home) and I know what it feels like to look to God to push me past my perceived limitations.


Ok, I’m fired up! I can do this…thanks for listening!

Sleep well! xoxox

Waxing philosophical.

Ok, hopefully by my title, you are properly forewarned that today’s post is a cathartic one; a chance for me to get my thoughts onto “paper.”

 If you’re wondering where in the world did I pull up the expression “waxing philosophical,” all I can say is welcome to my strange and wondrous mind! Somewhere in the recesses of my brain, I retrieved that term. True to form, I questioned myself, looked it up and, sure enough, discovered that it fits: “Waxing” means growing increasingly strong or intense in a certain direction, in this case in philosophical insight.

I digress…let me get back on track: I’m in my “good” space of time.  For the next week or so, I have good energy, enjoy playing dress-up, getting in my car, singing loudly to my fave tunes, laughing and generally doing “my thing.”  (Let me never forget how good it feels to do “my thing.”)   I am grateful that in my last round of chemo recovery I was much less symptomatic.  This alone has created great relief in my heart about chemo going forward.  My body is tolerating treatment well and soon enough, I will get through this first chapter.

As you can imagine, there are hurdles for me along the way.  If you were to ask me, what is the hardest part of this journey so far? You might be surprised by my answer.  It is not my hairlessness, nor my symptoms.  It is not  even “why me?” (why NOT me?)


Huh? Allow me to elaborate. Greg and I have chosen for our pathway an approach to this cancer that is integrative in nature.  We believe that there is great merit in taking the best that both traditional oncology and alternative medicine has to offer. They both are supported by doctors that are passionately behind their protocols and about healing their patients. So, that all sounds good right? One would think so.

The dilemma lies in this: both parties on either side of the integrative fence strongly believe in their protocols exclusively and are pretty close minded about the approaches of the “other side.”   If you talk to a traditional, western oncologist who bases his treatment on years and years of research studies, he will tell you that alternative treatments do not have the statistical proof that they do indeed work.  Furthermore, there is expressed concern that somehow these therapies could work against the chemo. The  alternative doctor will tell you that traditional medicine is too narrow in scope and is not current with non-toxic, effective treatments, and is too caught up in the cash cow that is chemotherapy.

Greg and I sit smack-dab in the middle of this conflict between the two worlds. Because my cancer is aggressive, we are going with the most proven treatment, which is chemotherapy.  But we also believe in the merits of an organic diet, natural supplements and cutting edge treatments.

Greg said it best when he compared it to our current political climate.  There’s the democrat side, there’s the republican side and then there’s the big, vast valley between the two where sits the independent.   Both sides are vehemently calling the independent to their side and quick to point out why the other side is wrong :/

Thankfully, my warrior husband is undaunted by the conflict.  I, on the other hand, find myself often feeling like Rodney King:

cant we all get along

Unlike the scenario I just painted, where I truthfully have distaste for both of the political leaders, I really, really like my doctors.  I believe that both sides want the best for me and that both are committed to my healing.  I just don’t like being pulled between the two worlds:  chemotherapy vs. Vit C IV drips, pain meds vs. medical marijuana, fasting vs. eat-anything-you-want diet (you get the idea.)  But the benefit to us is that we know we are doing EVERYTHING we can to do our part in fighting this disease. Not only do we hunger for healing, but also crave PEACE along the way!

The greatest and truest comfort is that neither side of medicine is our savior…God, the ultimate, highest, best healer is the one in charge. I rest in that.  That gives me my much needed PEACE. I trust that everything else will fall into place!

Enough of that.  Just bringing it up gets me all fired up.  Time to return to my happy place…

I have a few more days before my next Chemo, coming up on Thursday.  Where did the time go since the last treatment?  Too fast :/ and yet the faster we get on with this, the sooner I get through treatment and back to my normal life! Right? After this treatment, we’ll be half way through Chemo!  Once I come out of my recovery cocoon in about a week, it’ll be time to get an updated MRI and Ultrasound exam to determine my precise progress.  I’m boldly hoping/praying that the cancer is gone!  From that point, I imagine we will begin talking about what our next move might be, regarding surgery.  So much to consider and factor in. One step at a time.  One day at a time.

In closing, check out my recent fortune cookie message…Love it!


Thank you for all your love, support and prayers!! Means everything to us!!

Coming through valley #2

Hi all! Just wanting to let you know that I seem to be resurfacing after Chemo #2!  This time, because of a lot of prayer (thank you!) and the changes I mentioned we made, I fared much better and am rebounding much faster!  Hopefully this will be my typical experience going forward:

Day 1 – Chemo

Day 2-6 Rest and recuperate

Day 7 – Begin 2 week chemo vacay!

The days leading up to Chemo were delightfully full, spending family time with Greg, Michael, Valerie, Sarah and Wes. Together, we had a lot of laughs and overcame some pretty big hurdles (surgery, head shaving, etc.) Then I cruised into Chemo day and the hours in the chair were far fewer than the last time (another big bonus to this time’s experience.)

Sarah left to return to SF on Friday morning and the days following I stayed in bed.

Sunday is usually my favorite day of the week, but with Chemo its my “down day,” when I’m at my physical lowest.  This Sunday I had a bright spot when my sweet neighbor Angelica came by for a visit.  She’s my special friend as we are both battling breast cancer.  She is such an amazing, courageous lady and we have discovered a sweet bond between us. Perhaps this was the reason we moved here?  So Angelica and I could meet and become friends.

My friend Angelica!  So grateful for her visit and for her book of encouragement scriptures!

Monday and Tuesday were more days of resting. Then by Tuesday afternoon I was ready for some fresh air and to see what the rest of the world was up to while I was gone.  The sweet thing?  That my beautiful life is still intact, the world goes on and is just the same as it was when I went into my mini hibernation.

Greg took me out for some yummy Pressed Juicery Frozen Yogurt! Oops! Forgot to wear my hair! Oh well. Who cares!
Playing tourists and taking the ferry over to the peninsula!
IMG_1794 (1)
This guy deserves a gold medal for the way he is always caring for me!
A gorgeous evening in Newport! So grateful to sit on the sand, watching the waves and the sunset!

Wednesday rolled around and it was a big outing day for me!  My big opportunity to get up, get dressed and seize my day!

Off we went to recheck my port surgery.  It was great to see my surgeon Dr. Curcio.  She affirmed, once again, that the tumor is shrinking!  The Chemo is doing its job!! Praise God!!

Waiting to start my check-up!
So happy! The cancer is shrinking!!

From the doctor’s appointment, we ran by the wig shop to have a few changes made to my wigs and then we were delighted to have a spontaneous lunch with our parents.

Meet Meg!  Another one of my alter egos.

This morning I went on a walk with my mom and then had lunch with my cutie-pie nieces!!

Dayna and Elise always keep me laughing!  I feel their age when I’m with these 2!

And then, I had to rest.  Lest I forget, this ol’ body needs to recuperate! With power naps, I’m able to engage in more of my regular activities! So much appreciation for the “normal” things in life.

A little power nap, and I’m ready for more. 

Wishing you all an abundance of blessings!  So grateful for you!! Until next time!