Breast cancer

January update: Lymph node biopsy came back benign

Christmas was great with the both families, I am just glad to be back to a normal routine. All the holiday eating had put me into a tailspin. I'm sure I'm not alone. I feel like I have wrangled in my bad habits and have actually been able to lose 7 pounds since...

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December update

It's been a while since I have checked in. I always think that I don't have much to report on. Now that my cancer treatments are finished, things naturally have calmed down. We had a pretty uneventful Halloween. The weather was wicked with high winds and the first...

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More activities as cancer treatments drift into past

While putting the video together for this blog post, I was really surprised to see just how much we have been doing lately. A year ago we were just starting out with our weekly visits for treatments and doctors appointments. It's hard to believe that that is all...

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Cancer treatments done, now what?

I didn't know what to expect when I got done with the chemo, surgery and radiation. I was hoping to get back to normal. For the most part I guess we have. We've been able to get together with family for birthday celebrations and going away parties and festivals. After...

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Breast cancer: 12 months in 12 minutes

Today marks one year since being diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember it was a very nice day much like today. It was kind of hard to enjoy because we knew the call could come, but as the day went on I didn't think it was going to happen. The call came around 3:45...

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Breast expanders vs. radiation burns: 3rd surgery

I had been told by so many people how easy the radiation portion of treatment would be. I have to say, yes --  the immediate side effects are not too bad, the skin getting burned over time and a little fatigue. However, I didn't know what the effects were going to be...

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Radiation therapy home stretch

[include file="adleft.php"]It's just about 11 months since my breast cancer diagnosis (8/14/13 3:45 p.m.), and I'm coming into the home stretch on my treatments. I feel fortunate that I haven't had too many terrible side effects along the way. I just now -- after 27...

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Radiation therapy, First Fridays, Marc Maron

I have 17 of my 30 radiation therapy treatments done. So far things haven't been too bad. I have just the slightest little bit of pinkness starting on my skin. During radiation therapy, it's important to keep your skin moisturized. As soon as each treatment is done, I...

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Getting ready for radiation therapy

We were fortunate to have great weather for Easter. I loved being with both our families on that day. It's always fun to watch the kids find the Easter eggs that the adults hide for them. This year at my mother-in-law's house, Mark and our brother-in-law Kevin were in...

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Antibiotics for staph infection: Life with my PICC line

It's been two weeks since my emergency surgery and things seem to be going along okay. I have learned to live with this PICC line and IV pump attached to me pretty much 24/7. Mark has become quite the expert on changing out the medicine bag each day. So in addition to...

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Home again with PICC line, IV pump

It's great to be home again. Mark brought me back from the hospital on Tuesday, and as each day goes by I am doing better and better. We had a nurse coming to the house the first two days to show us how to set up and run my IV infusion pump. We have been on our own...

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Staph infection (or how I spent my weekend)

I am writing this blog post from my hospital bed with a staph infection. [include file="adleft.php"]When we went to bed on Thursday, I had just noticed  a light pink blush color on the lower half of my left breast, below my mastectomy incision. After waking and taking...

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Three weeks since mastectomy

It's been three weeks since my bilateral mastectomy and things move along better each day. I still have problems reaching for things really high up in the cabinets or bending down to pick things up from the floor. My mother in law lent me her grabber, and it's really...

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A week since my mastectomy

[include file="adleft.php"]I can't believe it's already a week since my double mastectomy. I feel so good to have it behind me and that I am on my way to recovery. Never having been in the hospital before I think I hit the jackpot in terms of outstanding care and...

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After chemotherapy, before mastectomy

It's been four weeks since my last chemotherapy treatment and boy does it feel GREAT!!! For the most part I am getting back to feeling normal. My tastebuds seem to be back and the sensitivity in my nails has pretty much gone away. I have been taking the opportunity to...

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Last chemo treatments

[include file="adleft.php"]It feels good to know that I have completed my last chemo treatments. We are now moving forward to me having my double mastectomy in a month. For the most part I still have been feeling pretty good. The only side effect that has been getting...

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Reconstruction options, MRI, neutrophils

Two of my girlfriends from Circle of Hope happen to have had the same plastic surgeon that I have. They each underwent a different breast reconstruction procedure. I asked if we could meet up so they could show me what their breasts look and feel like.  I was able to...

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Life during chemo: Taxol 7 & 8

[include file="adleft.php"]We survived the Polar Vortex that came the first part of this month. Our car was prepared with extra blankets, mittens, hats etc. Luckily we were able to make it to my chemo treatments without any interruptions. 2014 began with a terrible...

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Chemo, Christmas & New Year’s

I have been in better spirits this past couple of weeks. I loved being together with family and friends during the holidays. I was so happy that everyone was feeling well and we were able to be with both our families for Christmas. [include file="adleft.php"]It has...

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Emily Helck: Fellow breast cancer blogger

This morning, we saw Emily Helck with MSNBC's Thomas Roberts, talking about her breast cancer journey and how she chronicled in a weekly photo shoot the way her body has changed over the past year. I have already learned from Emily's blog, RTONJ: The Real Tumors of...

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Holiday depression

I finished the book Empty Mansions that I had downloaded from the library to my Kindle. That was pretty fascinating, to read about the wealthy Clark family and how much the heiress Huguette gave away to her caregivers. [include file="adleft.php"]I am now in the middle...

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Video: Mehndi (henna tattoo) on my head

[include file="adleft.php"]We had a very quiet Thanksgiving, Mark and I celebrated by ourselves at home. We went for an afternoon walk at Petrifying Springs in Kenosha. Then on Saturday my girlfriend Michelle came over and decorated my head with a henna tattoo (also...

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Video: Finishing A/C chemo, starting Taxol

[include file="adleft.php"]I can't tell you how great I feel right now. I have the worst of the 4 treatments behind me and I got through the first treatment of Taxol without any problems to speak of. The first night after treatment I had so much energy that it was...

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How to tie a head wrap: Video tutorials

[include file="adleft.php"]When I found out that I was going to have to undergo chemotherapy and that my hair was going to fall out, it didn't really bother me. I never had a breakdown or felt bad that it was all going away. I kind of wanted to embrace it. I figured...

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Video: Pierogi making and Petrifying Springs

The last treatment of chemo really affected my digestive tract and I think I finally got my system working the way it should. My next treatment is the last of A/C, then I move onto the 12 weeks of Taxol. I am excited to be done with the A/C and ready to move forward....

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