Sunday, December 31, 2006

It's New Year's Eve, Jim is working, so it will be me and our dog, cocoa seeing in the New Year together. I just had my dinner - Lean Cuisine three cheese lasagna - Yum! How can something that sounds that good, taste so blah?

I feel like talking so I may just ramble for awhile. I had my port installed the Friday before Christmas. I guess I was weepy because it brings the cancer to reality (as if losing my breasts wasn't real). Anyway, I think I was more concerned with the port than I was the mastectomy - go figure. The outpatient surgery took about an hour and once they checked it to make sure it was in place, I was released to go home.

They call it a "life port" - I was thinking about that. Through the port I will get three medications on 21 day intervals that will destroy any cancer cells and give me back my life. Any blood work can be done through the port (no more looking for veins - Thank You God) which will keep track of white blood cells and who knows what else, which is a life saver.

I looked at myself in the mirror the other day and I look like a road map with a little bit of cleavage and I'm not completely flat. LOL I told Jim that I look like the Grinch. Think about it - he's flat on top and kind of goes out like a pear at the bottom - that's me. He said that he didn't love me for my boobs but for the person that I am. He's definitely a keeper.

It seems like everyone is concerned about my emotional well being, how I am dealing with a mastectomy and having cancer. As I told my friend, Hope, last night, when I found out that I had breast cancer, I did a lot of thinking. My first thought was if the doctor tells me I need a mastectomy, he's taking both because I don't want to do this again in two years. I wasn't being brave; I just don't think that I could do this again. As it turns out, it was the right decision. I feel that I accepted the fact that I have cancer. It is what it is, it's not going to be what I want it to be, and it's all in God's hands. Emotionally, I have my moments - like the night I could not sleep and laid there just thinking of all kinds of stupid stuff that I cannot do anything about and crying. The one thing that I will do is keep a positive attitude - with all the love, support and prayers from friends and family, how could I be anything but positive? I can only take one day at a time and put my faith and trust in the Lord.

I think I may have said this before but, the thing I hate most about having cancer is the feeling of complete helplessness that I have had since my surgery. I am not the type of person who likes to be taken care of, when I am sick, leave me alone and I will get better. Not so this time. I have been bathed, dressed, bandages changed, and sapped of my strength. The people closest to me have seen me "naked" and I don't mean that in the literal sense, although it is also true. As I have started to feel better in the past month, I try to do things and usually overdo so that weakness would take over and I would feel exhausted. I just want to feel like my old self, and I will - in time.

You know Mom's are supposed to be strong for their children; you hold them when they are hurt, kiss away their tears, and in general, you are super mom and nothing can harm you. I would never have thought that one of my children would have to take care of me and see me so helpless. Lisa, my lovely daughter, I love you more than I can say. Having you here with me this past month has been a blessing from God. I am so grateful and thankful that you have been here to nurse me, hold me when I cry, talk to me, and yes, even clean out all the closets and organize me, right down to the list of doctors, numbers, medications and other instructions that are taped to the inside of the cabinet door. When you left to go home yesterday, I felt like my heart left with you; I feel such an immense sadness now that you are gone. I know that we became closer while you were here and I missed you before you left. You know the commercials on TV with the list they run through of what things cost? I can tell you that a month with my daughter was priceless.

Misty and John, I love you both very much. John, I was so touched by what you did and you are still the wind beneath my wings. Misty, thank you for setting up this blog - I could have never done it myself and I know that you would have been here if you could.

Jane you are an angel. Having you with me the first night of my surgery gave me comfort and all the days since that time, you have been here to help me and support me. Words cannot begin to express my gratitude and love, my friend.

I did have a wonderful Christmas. I attended Christmas Eve service with Jim and Lisa, and it was so uplifting. I saw friends, talked with my pastor and celebrated the birth of Jesus and just being alive.

As I said in the beginning, this is New Year's Eve. The year ahead holds more steps in my journey with breast cancer, but the future is bright and promising. I'm going to be OK.

May you all have a Happy and Blessed New Year!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

From Donna...

Merry Christmas everyone! Well, I have begun my journey, in fact I am two weeks into my journey. When I first found out that I had breast cancer, a lot of my time was spent going to doctor appointments, phone calls and a myriad of other "pink" things. I decided to keep a notebook so I could keep myself straight with phone numbers, appointments etc. What I find as I go through my notebook is that "life" has a way of creeping into whatever you do, no matter what you plan.

In my notebook I have doctors names, phone numbers, appointments, directions to get there from here, a list of my friends, family and others who pray for and support me. But, darn I also have a To Do list before surgery, a grocery list, a Christmas shopping list, a menu, window measurements, a summary of a phone conversation with my boss to go over projects, a partial Christmas card list (sorry to those that I did not get cards mailed to), oops another To Do list, an email for Tech Support for my mortgage service, a list of gifts from well wishers, and my Pink poem. I am surprised there's not a partridge in a pear tree.

But it shows life goes on and I continue to do as I do. And this is my most favorite time of the year. It seems like this time of the year there is so much love and good spirit in the air. And, you can forget Happy Holidays, for me it's Merry Christmas (no disrespect intended to anyone) but it is a Christian holiday and I am a Christian. He is the reason for the season and I love celebrating His birthday.

I am healing and yes, I am sore. Last week I went shopping and rode on one of those little motorized vehicles that you see in the stores. I got pretty good on it, zipping around the aisles, although I did pay for having my arms up for several hours. That's why they make heating pads.

I have been overwhelmed by the gifts, prayers, and support from everyone. Please continue praying for me as this was just the first step in my journey. Tomorrow I take the second step. I will have out-patient surgery in the morning to implant the port for chemo. My first treatment is January 4th. For some reason I was depressed and weepy today about going in tomorrow - I don't know why. I know that God will be there with me and bring me through just like He did two weeks ago.

I gotta tell you one of the benefits of this adventure is that my lovely daughter Lisa from Oregon took FMLA and is staying with me for a month to take care of me. While she is here she is organizing my act. She has gone through 4 closets (painful) and I finally let go of so much stuff. We had boxes and bags that we donated with just about everything you could imagine. She also rearranged my kitchen cabinets - can't find anything now. Thank God for this wonderful women. I love you Lisa.

Hopefully, I will talk to you all again soon. Bless You All.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Hi Everyone,

Well, I am feeling much better - had a couple of rough nights, mostly being uncomfortable from the four drain tubes sticking out of my body. I'll be glad when they are gone. I want to thank everyone for your prayers and support as I have started my journey with breast cancer.

I continue to grow stronger each day and I will be back to work before you know it. Did I just say that??? It's the drugs. LOL.

Take care.


Sunday, December 10, 2006


Bows in pony tails


Birthday cake
Corsages for dances


Cotton candy
Gowns for weddings


Teddy bears
Sunsets to enjoy

A pink ribbon becomes mine.
But, I also have red for love
From my Lord, my family, my friends.


Friday, December 08, 2006

John sent me some pictures last night of some "before" stuff that was going on at the hospital. All her friends and family that were there for her surgery. Got a great bunch there!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Talked with mom

Just got off the phone with my mom who was feeling quite good in all her morphine glory. :) First thing she said to me was "well, Im flat as a board now." Leave it to mom to crack jokes. She sounded groggy but in good spirits. She is an amazing woman. I don't think I would handle this as well as she has.

Surgery is all finished

Talked to my dad this evening and he said everything with the mastectomy surgery went really well. Both sides are now done and mom is in recovery. He said the doctors said things went really well and they feel like they got got everything out.

I knew she would be ok!

Surgery Happening Right Now

Got an update that my mom is in surgery and doing well. Doctors have said they have one side completed of the mastectomy and are about to start on the other wise. Keep praying guys she is doing great!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A note from Donna...

Well, as you all know, I have breast cancer and tomorrow is the big day for my surgery. It has been a very emotional month for me; finding out I have breast cancer, then going through a bone scan and CAT scan and the uncertainty that comes with the big "C".

This is what I know for sure:

This is a journey and God will see me through it
I have a wonderful supportive husband who loves me unconditionally - even without boobs!
I have support and love from my family and friends who are all praying for me
The bone scan and CAT scan were clean - Thank You God
My perspective about life has definitely changed - for the better
I had the most awesome prayer time with my pastor today and I am at peace

So now I will take another step into my journey with breast cancer and tomorrow I will be "Flat As A Board" - I think Boobs are so over-rated anyway!

God Bless Y'all
My mom is one of the most incredible ladies I have ever known. Ok, so maybe I am a bit biased but who wouldn't be. She's my mom! She has been through so much in her life and has been a model to me for making it through anything even when life slaps you in the face. She has always been there for me, emotionally, physically and at times, financially. If ever anyone deserves happiness and health it is my mom. She has raised 3 children who are all their own unique person, but have the same heart. That comes from my mom.

A lot of my life, my mom was the one who took care of us and of course as children, we don't always express that appreciation but I hope she knows just how much I appreciate everything she did for me growing up. I know sometimes I was a handful, ok maybe two handfuls, but my mom and I, were always close. She always looked out for me and worried about me.

Now it is my turn to be worried for her and look out for her. A few weeks ago my mom called me and told me she was going to the doctor again after having a mamogram and seeing a mass. I have to be honest and admit, I didn't think it was a big deal. She had this happen before and after a biopsy it turned out to be nothing. I was thinking this would be the same case. But it wasn't. A few days later, she called to tell me she had breast cancer.

It's been a hard few past weeks after all of this came down on my family. There has been crying, guilt and even some arguments. And every day I worry about her. Every day, I wonder what would my life be like without her around. I can't imagine it. I need to be able to call my mom when my husband makes me mad or when the kids are driving me crazy. I need her there to complain that I am putting on a little weight and she's worried about my health. I need her there to nag me to quit smoking. I need her there to play go-between for me and my sister. I need her there to call my kids at Christmas time and play Mrs. Clause. NO. My mom isn't going anywhere. She will beat cancer. No she will kick it's ass!

That is why I started this blog. For my mom. So that I can share with you my own feelings about her and cancer and so that she can share with the world her triumphs. She will be sending me her own posts to this blog so please show your support by replying with comments.

Tomorrow my mom is having a double mastectomy, the first of many steps in her journey of survival. Please keep her in your prayers.