Cancer’s Ugly Turn
The Cancer Classroom
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1y ago
 My cancer has taken an ugly turn. I will update more if able. Been in hospital since Oct 20th. Hoping things are turning back around.  ..read more
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Featured on Everyday Health Website
The Cancer Classroom
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1y ago
 At the end of January, a video production company interviewed me and my daughters for a possible feature on a website called Everyday Health. It was quite a surprise when I was contacted a few days later to inform me I had been chosen. My daughter, Audrey, spoke for the family. The first video is called What my Mom's Metastatic Breast Cancer Means to Me; the second is called Diagnosed with Breast Cancer the Third Time Around. The videos produced were released on March 18th. There are two.  Click the links below to see the videos. You will be redirected to the website. https://www.ev ..read more
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Implants No More
The Cancer Classroom
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1y ago
 A few weeks ago, after showering, I noticed a dark area underneath my artificial breast on the right side. I wasn't actively looking for anything, I just happened to notice it when I glanced in the mirror. Of course, I immediately touched it. The darkened area was soft where the implant was pushing outward. It didn't hurt unless I pressed really hard. The rest of the implant felt hard. The skin on that side had a darker hue than the left. "This has to be bruising," I thought, "but I haven't bumped into anything recently to cause it."  To the internet I went. This had to be Capsular ..read more
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Scan Update
The Cancer Classroom
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2y ago
Well, it is over. I  made it through another scan.  To recap: Three months ago I learned that a lymph node toward the front of my chest had enlarged to 1.9 cm--that is huge! Those guys are usually not even a centimeter in size  Also, there is some thickening of the pleura of my right lung that the radiologist deemed potentially metastatic spread.  As I usually do, my brain went through the different scenarios preparing for what could be the worst or even the best results of this scan. I would think about what my oncologist would say. Would she begin with: how are you feelin ..read more
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If it's not one thing . . .
The Cancer Classroom
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2y ago
I am sitting here staring at my computer hoping the words will come easily. It has been awhile since I have written on this blog, or anywhere, really. COVID isn't the only thing in my life that has made 2020 an extremely crap ridden year. I sit. I stare. I wait. I know that if I would just let go and allow words to spill onto this page, I could then shape it into what I want to say. It is hard but here goes. After genetic testing revealed that I have Lynch Syndrome, see this post, and because of it I am at a greater risk for certain cancers compared to the general population, I had to mak ..read more
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Lynch Syndrome
The Cancer Classroom
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2y ago
digitphotos.com Three years ago, my genetic code was studied to look for possible inherited mutations that could explain my family's cancer history: maternal grandmother-uterine cancer, mother-ovarian and colon, me-breast. New scientific information is constantly moving forward bringing to scientists, doctors, and the general public a better understanding of our genes. Two years ago I was informed I had no inherited genes. That has now changed. The variant with unspecified significance listed in my genetic test result from 2017 has become a trouble maker. At the beginning of June ..read more
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A Guessing Game
The Cancer Classroom
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2y ago
It never fails. With each scan, there is such an enormous weight of emotions that sit on me waiting to crush every hope and dream I have. All those painful, scary, heavy, and unwelcome emotions got up and walked away on May 25th after receiving the phone call from my nurse practitioner. Phew!    She said, "There is good news! The spot on your pelvis did not show up on the bone scan." What a sense of relief I felt!  Then she says, "But . . . ." Gotta say I have had enough with the word BUT! She tells me there are two hot spots on my ribs: One on my anterior (back) of my 2nd ..read more
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May Scan Update
The Cancer Classroom
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2y ago
On May 4, 2020, scans were done of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis. Here are the results: Chest--decrease size of conglomerate soft tissue involving upper mediastinum currently measuring 0.9 cm in short axis in the paratracheal region previously 1.8 cm. Significant improvement of mass effect upon the right lateral wall of the trachea. Radiologist is pleased and says this mass should continue shrinking over the next few months. I am relieved! Abdomen--clear! Pelvis--New sclerotic osseous lesion measuring 2.2 x 1.0 cm in the right sacral ala--(near my tail bone). See picture below. My pelvis h ..read more
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Life Everchanging
The Cancer Classroom
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3y ago
I would rather not write about this part of my cancer story, but I have held off long enough. I always knew progression would happen, again. Having had over four years of stable disease, I had become happily less fearful about my scans showing my disease was active again. I would never describe this lessened fear as thinking I was cured. I did, however, want to believe in that possibility. Just like I wanted to believe that my marriage would never fall apart yet it did. Two devastating events happening at the same time is . . . well, I am sure you can imagine how difficult my life has been o ..read more
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My Sweet Precious Tucker
The Cancer Classroom
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3y ago
My dog died. For anyone who has ever loved a pet you know how unbelievably sad those simple words can leave you feeling. This isn’t the first time I have had to say goodbye to a dog, but it is the first time I felt the dog’s survival was connected to mine. Tears still fill my eyes during quiet moments when I think about him. I knew he wouldn’t make it through the summer. He was sick because his body no longer worked as it should, and there was nothing I could do to fix him, just like I can’t fix me. As I was recovering from treatment for stage 1 breast cancer in 2010 with the only visi ..read more
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