THE ENLIGHTENMENT OF CANCER ~ PART VIIII
Thinking about Bobby, Always. Second surgery day at 9:30 a.m. I have to be there at 7:30 a.m. Rob and I did not get out of there until 3:00 ish. My implant surgery today as well as the removal of my port.
** I have to say that the port they give you from the very beginning affects you in many ways. First you can’t believe you have to have this port for medications on your chest. It looks like a bump on your chest and you try to cover it up with clothing, but nothing really works because you always know it’s there. It can be uncomfortable at times, but you eventually get used to it. After a while, it becomes your best friend – so to speak – because all the medications get injected into your blood stream thru here and it makes life easier suing the port. The port has become your saving grace and now by the time you are finished with your treatments and surgeries, it is now time for one last surgery and the port to be removed. You have mixed feelings about this because you have been on medications for so long and this port, this thing/lump on your chest has been there for you and made the process of the medications easier. You really don’t want to let it go, but in order to move on, you must. It’s really a sad moment in time and a bit scary.
Third and last surgery today. I had to be there at 11:00 when the surgery was at 1:00. Rob & I did not get out of there until 7:00 p.m. I was not as nervous as the last two surgeries.
I have had many check ups with regard to my implants, but as of July I was pretty much done. Oh did I forget to mention that when you have a double mastectomy, you have just the implants under your skin. No more areola or nipple. So, in order to make everything look as natural as possible, skin is taken from somewhere else on your body and attached here. Another fun surgery, right? But, Dr. Bosshardt did a great job as usual. I couldn’t ask for a better doctor.
I started paddling with WOW, Warriors on Water Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boating Team. What an awesome experience with a great bunch of ladies. Our first competition is on 10-16-10. A lot of fun and a great learning experience. Love those ladies!!!
Warriors on Water Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boating Team – Our team is Warriors on Water and our mission is to create, inspire, and sustain a community of breast cancer survivors who share in the empowering, therapeutic, and symbolic sport of dragon boating.
9-10 to 9-12-10
Attended camp this weekend at the Faces of Courage camp with the ladies of WOW, Warriors on Water. Had a great time, met a lot of great ladies and had a lot of great and new experiences such as body paint, drums, meditation, and just a relaxing time away from phones, computers and life in general.
Faces of Courage – We are a non-profit organization located in the Tampa Bay area that offers free camps and events for women,men and children with cancer and blood illnesses. Though we are located in Florida, some of our camps are attended by women, men and children from all over the country. We strive to provide a judgment-free, comfortable atmosphere where women, men and children can relax and just have fun.
Well all has been going pretty well. I have been feeling good and getting used to my new breasts. I found that a month or two ago I was having pain in both my knees so I let Dr. Kunta know who sent me for a Bone Scan. Well the results were on 10-5-10 wherein Dr. K said that my knees were good (I could run a marathon), but what about the pain in my hip, my left hip. I said “what?” I am here for knee pain not hip pain. Nonetheless, the scan picked up something on my left hip so I was sent out for an MRI as soon as possible.
That was on 10-5-10 when the scheduler at Dr. Kunta’s office was given the task of scheduling me an MRI ASAP. Well it was 10-15 and I had no word so I called them to say “where is my appt?” She was clueless so I had to remind her that Dr. Kunta wanted it ASAP and it was now 10-15 and I had no word? Needless to say I got a call back from her within 20 minutes with an MRI appt scheduled for 10-18 at 9:00 at Horizen Open MRI on West 50 in Ocoee. I went in today for my appt and was there for 3 1⁄2 hours and in so much pain from the position I was lying in. It was awful. I get my results on Wednesday, 10-20.
** I have no patience for incompetent people who do not pay attention and take care of Cancer patients as they are supposed to!
A new chapter … posing nude while being body painted by artist Lisa Scholder at her home in Tampa, FL. Rob came with me, Peggy Sherry of Faces of Courage was there as well as photographer Jim Webb. What great people! Jim was interviewing me while videoing the process, he let Rob use him camera and take pictures for him of the process and it all felt natural. Being nude in front of others after all I had been thru was actually liberating. I didn’t really care! All for a good cause I say – and it was!
Wow! I cannot believe it has been a year and a half since being told I have Cancer. I am doing well. I am still with the Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team, WOW – Warriors on Water. I have been for almost 10 months now. I am feeling better, getting used to my implants, trying to workout more and paddling. Other than the mental aspects that come later, all is well.
The mental aspects – yes – no one really talks to you about that or mentions it. This is a very long process and something that affects you for a long time to come. It never really goes away, Cancer is always in the back of your mind.
To say the least this is has been quite a few years for me. As of this month Rob accepted a position in California. So, without further adieu he is being transferred there with Universal Hollywood. This means ALL NEW DOCS for me. Oh lord!!
Our baby Labrador, Tucker, has recently passed (God Bless him and his big heart & soul)! We buried him at the top of the hill in the back yard of our home. He was supposed to come with us whenever we decided to move anywhere! He is always with us though – I can feel it. I sure miss my big boy!
Rob leaves this day for a cross country trip to California since he starts his job on the 18th. So, I am here alone with Cleo & Caesar and my family of course, but alone nonetheless.
Yeah! We finally rented the house in Clermont so now I am free to go be with Rob. The new tenants move in on the 15th so I will pack up and move in with dad. God love him. We both need the company. Ha! Ha! He has two cats and so do we. This should be fun!
Traveling to Ybor City to attend the Ybor City Art Show to promote our Bodies of Courage Calendar for 2012 with Lisa Scholder and Peggy Sherry. You remember, the one I posed nude for. Great Breast Cancer survivors in the calendar including myself. Lisa did a great job. What a great artist and a great experience for myself! I absolutely loved it and to see the calendar completed is awesome. So if anything is taken away from this experience it is this: Never say you can’t do something! Life is too short not to at least try something at least once. And then and only then can you say that you don’t like it. No excuses! Be daring, be fearful, be … who you were meant to be! That is the one thing Cancer has taught me.
Beach weekend with one the best cousin a girl could ask for and another Cancer Survivor. Robert Ellrich, Jr (Bobby) who is a fighter beyond belief! He is so strong, so fearful, so brave! I love him so much! I might be strong and might have helped him along the way, but he has helped me more than he knows. I might help him to fight, but let me tell you ladies and gentlemen he helps me to fight and to carry on the fight! We fight together! We look at Cancer and laugh and say “Is this all you
got!” We have faith, we have life, we have love, we have each other!
It has been 2 years since my visit with Dr. Lewis (my OB) wherein she wanted me to go ahead and get my mammogram and whom I will say with all my heart who saved my life! I go today for a check up as usual. This will be my last visit with her since I am moving to California. She is so nice, so caring, so sweet, such a great doctor who I know I can call a friend and call should I need anything.
Leaving my doctors is hard. They all saved me and give me strength. It hurts to leave! I must be honest, I worry about leaving. Will I find doctors I California with such a good bedside manner as I found here in Clermont, FL. I pray I do as I will not settle for less. My life is too valuable to me to put in the hands of someone without heart and a soul.
Today I met with my favorite Oncologist, Dr. Kunta. What a great doctor! He has taken care of me, made me laugh and has been there through all my Chemotherapy sessions. I will miss him, Jade and Billisha. Jade is the receptionist whom I have come to depend on and love as she has always been there to help me in a moments notice. Help like that is hard to find much less help from a person with a big heart and a caring soul. And last, but not least, Billisha. Billisha and Laura (another nurse who is no longer there) helped to take care of me when I was in for my Chemo sessions. They always made sure I had my meds before I came in and then made sure I was comfortable once I got there. I know that is there job, but they always took it one or two steps more making it more than there job, they really care and you can’t put a price on that. They took great care of me and Rob because Rob as you know by now, went with me every time I went to a doctor appt or a chemo session – every single time.
My checkup and numbers came out well and Dr. Kunta was very happy with the way things looked. God bless him as I wish him and his staff well. Thank you for everything.
New adventures await! While I am a survivor in every way, shape and form, I look forward to the new adventures, challenges and anything else God and life has in store for me. I will not settle for less and will triumphant in spirit, heart and soul no matter what! I am a fighter, we are all fighters, we are all brothers and sisters in Cancer and through God our Father for with him and through him all things are possible. My faith, fight, family and good doctors brought me through this and I am here to tell you all that life is worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting for. Family is worth fighting for. You yourself are worth fighting for.
Thank you for reading my journal of my experience thru the Breast Cancer process. I hope this brings light to help others understand how this affects an individual being diagnosed with Cancer and how if affects his or her spirit and his or her determination to fight such an awful disease .
Always with Light, Love, Strength, Enlightenment and Our Warrior Within ~
Faces of Courage Camp ~ Debbie & I
Bodies of Courage Calendar – This is me ~ I made the cover!
Never give up ~ Never stop fighting!
Always with Light, Love, Strength, Enlightenment and Our Warrior Within ~