Sunday, September 30, 2012


I had my first hair cut today! Ashley did a great job of shaping it so I don't look so scruffy.  She is expecting a baby in about a month and it must be hard to be on her feet all day.  I told her my "baby" turned 26 today!  Thinking of pregnancy, I began to think about the whole experience.  I don't ever want to forget. 

Baby dropped and is position - 26 years ago

I do wish I would have done some things differently as a mother.  But I sure do love 'em ~

Birth. Death. The world keeps spinning. Life goes on. What are you doing each day you have breathe? Are you loving deeply? Are you making a difference? Do you have joy? What about peace? Count your blessings .... I'm sure you have many.
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

MRI Results on my Back

The doctor came flying in the room (as usual) and said "No Cancer!!"  I just stared at her as my mind tried to register what she was talking about. Not once did I think of the word when I was getting the MRI on my back.  But to think, she was .... it's true, everything that gets tested will always have an underlying alert.

So, what are the results?

Trouble in the L4-L5 S1 area.

A pinched nerve, herniated disk, nerve roots, spinal stenosis.  I think I have some studying to do.  Treatment: steroids and some serious exercise for the back.  Sis, I need to blow up the ball.

At least I'm not crazy .... well, that's still debatable.

I will survive this too ~

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Two More Additions

This morning we got up for church and I got a "jump" start to my day.  I pulled the shower curtain aside and to my shock (and horror) there were two wolf spiders side by side.

The size of camels ... I mean half dollars
Matt! I know you don't like spiders any more than I do, but bring your big shoes and get 'em!  Trust me, I was looking EVERYWHERE all morning getting ready.  Now, how DO they get in the house?  Beats me ~
The weekend went by fast again.  I'm getting ready for a short nap, but wanted to post some happenings.
Remember the little ones that were born in our garage?  Well, husband has been feeding them, petting them, naming them
So, you know what I'm going to say next ....
Yep, they are in the tub right now getting bathed.  Say hello to

Muffin (as in Rag-a-muffin)

Here's the momma

If you read the tab "All About Me", you will see our motley crew.  We are a sucker for strays.....
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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Dem Bones

The hip bone's connected to the back bone
The back bone's connected to the neck bone,
The neck bone's connected to the head bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones.....

For some reason, I had this song going around in my head as I waited for the results of my bone density test. 

After chemo this morning, I made my way to Doc Esther to get the results of the bone test and the echo.  Echo is fine enough..... my back is another story. There were a lot of numbers running across the screen, but the bottom line, it is time to look into it deeper but not time for extra meds to offset some of the Arimidex (Anastrozole) effects. 

Osteopenia refers to bone mineral density (BMD) that is lower than normal peak BMD but not low enough to be classified as osteoporosis.

All I can tell you is that I can't stand for more than 5 minutes without excrutiating pain. 

Nope, I haven't mentioned this yet ... you had to listen to just the canzer stuff, why zing you with another issue?

Anyway, MRI w/contrast is scheduled for early tomorrow morning. After work, I picked up the recommended dosage of Calcium 600 mg / Vit D 400 iu / Magnesium 400 iu (Caltrate).  She also wants me to do some strength training. 
If I had the strength, I would be doing it!

A friend of my sister, Jackie, gave me a gift called the pure fitness ball.  She uses it all the time so I'm gonna do it too.  I can't wait to meet her to get all the tips she has learned during her own journey.

(just need to get it blown up)

My friend, Sally, gave me a wonderful gift that I keep at work.  It is THE BEST thing in the world. It's funny to see expressions from people as they get closer to my desk ... a small humming sound that you just can't pinpoint! Besides massage, it heats....

Nurse Rose took care of me today with the Herceptin.  I sat right next to the machine that holds all those wonderful heated blankets.  Plus, I had my blue afghan that Jane made!


I've gained 3 pounds :(  My blood pressure was a little high.  Doc wants me to get a flu shot this year.
Did you know I'm in my 10th month of treatment?
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bikers for Boobs

Bikers for Boobs of Akron Ridin' & Stridin' Poker Run

I got an unexpected and fabulous gift today from Debbie!  This weekend was the 3rd annual poker run for our area to raise awareness and donations for breast cancer. 

Sorry, folks, not modeling this one! But, you may see me sporting it around town....maybe.... well ok, sure why not?!

Thank you, Debbie!!!!!
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Hot Air Balloons

I had such a good time this weekend with Megen.  I was thrilled to see a launching of hot air balloons (a new experience for me) and she agreed to pick me up and join me.  It was a thrill! 

She started the visit with home-made apple crisp and a beautiful glass flower.

Sure were a lot of people .... kids' rides, carnival food, blankets, canvas chairs and beautiful sky.  The air was cool in the shade and we moved up a couple of times to get out of the long reach of the branches.  I should have worn a heavier coat!
Working on the full album for Shutterfly .... here are a few selections:

We had a wonderful meal afterwards and girlie talk ....
Megen, thank you for sharing time with me! AND, I really do think that you should continue your blog. After all, you have 120 members! (look how many I have), so come on!!
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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bras for a Cause

Check this out Bras for a Cause: Donate Now for Breast Cancer Awareness

A donation drive began Aug. 1 and runs through the end of September. Look for drop off locations and display areas in Summit, Cuyahoga, Portage and Stark Counties.

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Meet Julie Nawrocky Reis

The link below is a story about Julie, a wonderful survivor from the Cancer Support Group at Stewart's Caring Place here in Akron, Ohio. Please be aware of the symptoms associated with Ovarian Cancer as mentioned in this article --- and tell all your friends too. Take care!!!

 This is a story about a young Stow woman turning a negative into a positive.

In February, 33-year-old wife and mother of two Julie Nawrocky Reis was working out and felt something in her abdomen that "just felt wrong."

A few visits to the doctor later and experts said Reis had a large 16-inch by 18-centimeter tumor on her ovary. She had surgery to remove the stage 1B cancerous tumor about two weeks after she went to the doctor all because she knew something just didn't feel right.

"It's a good thing I went," said Reis, who is now cancer free after surgery and six rounds of chemotherapy. "It sucks overall but, cancer doesn't have to be a death sentence anymore ... but early detection is key. The problem is it isn't easy to detect the warning signs."

Take a look at a list of possible symptoms and signs including:

  • Pelvic and/or abdominal swelling, bloating and/or feeling of fullness
  • Ongoing unusual fatigue
  • Menstrual changes
  • Pain during sex
Because the signs are so hard to recognize most of the time, Reis said she is vowing to turn her negative situation into a positive by bringing awareness to the community about ovarian cancer.
Reis will be out in Stow Saturday — going door-to-door and stopping at places like grocery stores — handing out cards about the silent symptoms and asking residents to tie a teal ribbon to something on their property to show their support for finding a cure.

The effort is part of a national initiative called Turn the Towns Teal.

"I just wanted something good to come out of all this in addition to my recovery," Reis said about her involvement in Turn the Towns Teal. "I blog and I really get a lot from sharing with people what my experience was. Maybe I can help save a life."

Interesting in helping turn Stow teal? Email Julie Nawrocky Reis to request a ribbon and a symptom card.

The ribbons will remain up for the month of September — ovarian cancer month.

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Friday, September 14, 2012


Isn’t my sister awesome! Brilliant! Creative! I think I will interview her and ask how many blogs she has .... wanna guess? Come on, dare ya :)

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Update on Bone Density Test

Today, I received a call from the oncologist office requesting to see me next week. 

"We received your bone density test and she wants to discuss it with you," she said.
"Is it bad?" I asked.
"No, just early detection of bone loss."

I know better than to ask more specific questions of the staff, as they are "not supposed to" answer medical diagnosis.

Since I have my Herceptin drip next Thursday 9/20, I made it for right after.  It will be a long morning as I'm sure I was squeezed into the schedule book. 

Forgot to mention that they did my height measurement for the test as well and all this time I thought I was 5'5" .... that has now changed to 5' 4-1/2" !!

Nothing to panic about
I'm as cool as a cucumber ~

On day two of wearing a Pedometer ~ the overall goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day (at least that is what we all SHOULD do).  I set my for 5,000 as I know I will need to gradually get into this.
I wheel my office chair to the printer

Day one: 2547 strides (started tracking late in the morning)
Day two: 5027 strides (took it off once I settled in at home and have the laptop on my lap)

Sis and I walked a bit around her beautiful neighborhood today.  First, we took mom out to dinner....

Baby steps ~

Came across this video of one of my favorite songs.  In a place called Kumarakom by a local potter

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Echo & Bone Density Tests

Early Monday morning, I arrived for my echo.  This is done to monitor my heart while on Herceptin.  (search Herceptin for other posts).  The technician was the same one I had in May and we picked up where we left off....she seemed to remember me from last time.  And I remember her and asked for updates in specific areas of her life.

After I left, I gave her a hope bracelet to wear ~

Then, I made my way downstairs for the bone density tests.  That was VERY easy compared to everything I have been through! 

I didn't have to take my clothes off ~

Chris was right in that you should use the same machine that you start with for future bone density tests.  They are unable to load data from one machine to a different machine and therefore, cannot compare the info.  (I think I got that right)

My doctor should receive my results for both tests in about 48 hours.
I don't anticipate any negative results.

I'll keep you posted.

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Call me BUTTER, I'm on a roll .....

Received a free 8x8, 20 page book from Shutterfly with just a few short days to make it before the discount expired. (A gift for the 84 page book I just ordered).

Just finished it and placed an order!

Not the best I've done, but I have never made one under 20 pages before and that is HARD to pick your favorites and make them FIT.

So, what else can I do but create a SERIES ....
tonight was Book One!

I love Shutterfly ~
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Stand up 2 Cancer ~ Launch a Star

From Cousin Holly ~

Good morning family,
As I sat and watched the Stand up 2 Cancer special on Friday, I donated. It then gave me an option to launch a star. So, I did. So Carol, this is for you! For your bravery in the face of this trying time. You are an inspiration to me and I love you. God Bless!!

Thank you for launching a star in the SU2C Constellation. You can visit Carol's star and invite friends to add to your tribute at:

Thank you for honoring a loved one while supporting cutting edge collaborative cancer research

Holly, God has blessed us as cousins.  I'm SO grateful.  Even though our neighborhoods are in a different state, we will have eternity to catch up on ol' times.  Then, again, who wants to live life in the past!?  My humble thanks to you for thinking of me! I'm so honored ~ Oceans of love, Carol 

Rachel, Holly, Carol - 1960's
oh my

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Prayer Request

As it sometimes happens, this is from a friend of a friend of a friend.....

Posted 9-11-2012
Hey all!!!  I have a favor to ask.  I have told y'all about my friend Shea and how she has had colon cancer (about 2 years ago) and is now pregnant.  Well she had surgery early on in her pregnancy to remove a recurrence of her colon cancer that was found in her ovary area....well she went to the OB last week because of some spotting issues and because of history they decided to biopsy a couple of places.  They said baby looked great.  The biopsy results came back on Friday and showed abnormal cells in her cervix.  This could mean cancer has already formed a mass or it could be the cancer starting to form. They are saying it's another recurrence of her colon cancer. Either way the doctors have decided it's best to deliver her baby at earliest 28 weeks (that would be next week Wednesday 9-19) or I think the longest they are willing to wait is 30 weeks.  She most likely will be under sedation because they are talking about performing a hysterectomy while she is under.  She goes in tomorrow for an MRI to give the docs an idea of what they will find on delivery day.  Please be praying for no tumor, protection for her body from this nasty cancer and protection for that sweet baby growing strong inside her.  She will most likely start chemo after her c-section scar heals.  I love her to death and I would greatly appreciate you praying for her.  Please feel free to mention her to your prayer groups if you would like.  Thank you all very much!!!!

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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Breast Cancer Progress Gallery

My husband was working on a school project and came across this.

And from other searches ....
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Friday, September 7, 2012

What's Next?

A friend sent me the link to What's Next from the American Cancer Society. 

Gonna join!

Thanks, Sheryl!
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Thursday, September 6, 2012


A successful day with the MammoVan!  We got excellent feedback from the ladies who appreciated the service on the work site and the friendliness and gentleness of the technicians. 

My thanks to the staff for all they have done today!

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Radiologist Follow-up

This morning was my first follow-up with my radiologist. (ended rad July 18) I mentioned the pain in my "good side" and, of course, the pain in my "treated side".  After poking and pushing (too hard), he said that some women do report pain on the good side and they are not quite certain why.

Oh brother!
I asked if it could be cancer on the other side now and he said "very unlikely".  That through chemo and radiation they consider me in remission (already reported that) and that I will be monitored on a regular basis. For example, I am to schedule my yearly mammogram.  Which, by the way, was when I found out I had cancer right after Thanksgiving.  He said that I should take pain medicine before I go.....
I'm not looking forward to that at all.  He asked if I had seen my surgeon and I told him not since the surgery.  I wasn't sure what the process was.  Since I still have treatment on a regular basis, I'll let the oncologist direct me.
So, besides remission, the good news is my oxygen level said 100% on the monitor.  The first thing that is A-OK at 100 percent!  Love it ~
He asked about the fatigue and I tried to give him an example of, say, waiting at the doctor's office, spending time with the doctor and then having to "make up" the time at work.  This makes 40+ hours for the work week and, yep, I get tired.  I then mentioned that he must know what I mean about long work hours (as a doctor), say working 60+ hours.  And he said "never", that it would drive him crazy IF HE WORKED OVER 30 hours.
I think I must have stared at him after that.  Didn't know what to say about that except try to add $ signs and hours and medical bills, etc.  He does seem to be on vacation a lot.
Don't have to see him for another 6 months.
Next on the list.... Echo and bone density screening on Sept 10.
On another note, I scheduled the MammoVan for work tomorrow.  First time using this company, so I hope it works out well for our employees.
Guess what, after over a year, I finally finished my Shutterfly book at an impressive 85 pages!!  Made it in time for the 50% discount. Placed the order and I am SO EXCITED!
Gonna sign off and r-e-l-a-x

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Ushering in a New Month

It is already day 2 of a new month!  I have slept most of the past two days away....but, I really needed it!  Tomorrow is a holiday and therefore, no work!  I'm truly excited about this 3-day weekend. 

I plan to finalize my 100 page shutterfly book to take advantage of the 50% discount that expires Sept 5.  Can I do it?! 

You bet'cha!

After all, only been working on it since June 2011.  Not every day, mind you, that would be something to shake your head about, wouldn't it?

Lot's of things just sort of got put-on-hold for awhile..... and I'm trying to get back into the swing of things.

Jefferson, Georgia
I love working on projects.  The problem is, I have too many of them running at the same time.  I'm planning this next one .... I've been receiving beautiful embroidered angels and want to display them in a unique way.  Plus, I want to show them on-line in my shutterfly site (and on here too)

So far, I have 25 and they are still coming in from all over.  Kansas, Texas, Virginia, Washington DC, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Indiana, N. Carolina, Georgia, New Hampshire, even New Zealand and Australia!

Besides the elegant angel, each sender offers prayers and encouragement in their card.  So, I'm planning some way to display them.... anyone got a suggestion?  Shadow box?

Ladies, if you visit my blog, I truly wish to say a heartfelt "Thank you" for taking the time to send these out to all of us who appreciate the hugs, the comfort, the prayers and the love!

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