quick update on appointment today

I’ve gotten several emails and texts checking in on my appointment today.  Just wanted to let everyone know that it went well.  I also had a chance to talk with my Alabama oncologist, Dr. Harvey.  I’ve got a great team helping me fight this!  The side effects I am experiencing from radiation are all appropriate given my treatment.  Which was comforting (however uncomfortable they are)!  Dr.  Williams even pulled out a book to show me why I am feeling what I am feeling. I am so thankful to have a doctor that takes time and really listens.    I don’t have an exact plan for my hormone therapy yet.  Split opinions between my two doctors.  Thinking I will seek one more opinion to help me decide my next step.   I figure it wouldn’t hurt to have one more doctor look at my case. I have the name of a doctor at Vanderbilt I may go see.

I am feeling good enough to go to Atlanta tomorrow – so as long as the ice doesn’t stop us…  We are outta here!  (hopefully there aren’t any burglars readying my blog…) I’m going to be sure not to overdo it. They are aware of my situation and won’t mind if I have to duck out if not feeling up for everything. I hope it will be a good little get away for our family and a fun opportunity for me and Hope Scarves!

I have a PET scan set for 12 weeks from last radiation.   This is right before Derby.   We already have tickets for Oaks and Derby – so hoping it will be a celebration!  If not, it will be a good distraction.

I look forward to sharing pictures from Pink Power Mom Celebration in Atlanta!

good night!

trying to make lemonade

I’m feeling pretty rotten from the radiation, but I keep reminding myself that means it’s working.  I am exhausted, weak and don’t have much appetite since everything seems to disagree with my stomach (no need for details).   Of course, many mom’s I know are exhausted these days because we seem to be in a never ending routine of snow days.  C’mon mother nature, these children need to learn!!  Today I was determined to not lay on the couch and let the kids wear down the ipad batteries.   So, we played Sorry, read books, played basketball, made valentines and at times it almost felt “normal.”  Thank goodness Jay took them to soccer tonight so I could rest!

This past weekend we had a ball as a family.  My brother and his girlfriend, Lindsay, came down from Chicago, my parents were here and my lifelong childhood best friend Laura came down from Michigan too. (Sad how illness can bring you together.  Get together for happy reasons people. Or no reason at all. Just do it!)  Despite my fatigue we cheered on both the boys in their basketball games (bleachers are much more comfortable with a big pillow).  Bennett’s team was down by 1 at the buzzer.  He threw up a hale mary shot from half court.  Of course it only went 3 feet, but the intensity and effort was great.  Wills’ game came down to the wire too with him shooting two free throws with seconds left to put their team in the lead.   I LOVE these minutes of cheering for them I hope I get to see many more big moments like these.

52f2c58c8b5cd3986883c589Sunday we hosted the “Super Bennett Bowl” to celebrate Bennett’s 6th birthday.  30 kids in our neighborhood park.  It was awesome.  I have always loved birthday parties – so the planning, decorating and being surrounded by friends brought me so much happiness.  I think this one might have been my best yet – even better than Will’s 4th when we had two ponies in our backyard 2 weeks after my mastectomy.   I thrive under pressure!  Ha!!  This family picture was taken right before the big game!

I am anxiously anticipating an appointment tomorrow morning with my oncologist.  We will make a plan for the next step of my treatment including hormone therapy and possible surgery to remove my ovaries.  I am also hoping he will encourage me that the pain I am still feeling is normal and that the radiation is going to keep working until this pain is gone!  Hoping to also know when my next scan will be to see if the cancer is anywhere else.

If the weather and radiation side effects don’t hinder us, we are headed to Atlanta this weekend for me to receive an award.  The Pink Power Mom Foundation selected me to be one of 8 women this year who are being honored for the work they have done as breast cancer survivors to help others.  Hope Scarves will receive a $5000 check (wahoo!) and I get to network with a bunch of really cool moms doing amazing things to help others.  I am so hoping I feel strong enough to make the most of the weekend. I have the perfect outfit from Clodhoppers for the Gala!

As always, thanks for the meals, cards, texts, prayers and so much more!  I can’t respond to them all, but please know I appreciate the ongoing support and feel carried through this journey by your kindness and prayers.

with hope,

Face of Hope, February 2014 – Sandra (Louisville, KY)

1. How did you become connected with Hope Scarves?

Two years ago I went to a fundraiser for Young Survivors Group at Norton. I met Lara’s dad and he was so inviting and shared his story about his daughter and Hope Scarves. I was intrigued by the idea of the scarves and thought the scarves were so pretty.

2. If you donated a scarf please share what this experience meant to you or if you received a scarf and story please share how this impacted your healing journey?

I donated several scarves and my story with Hope Scarves to encourage other women in this fight. It was such a special experience to have an outlet to do this.

3. What are the things that provided hope and strength to you throughout your battle?

One of the biggest things besides my faith and belief in a higher power has been sharing experiences with other survivors and women who have been through what I have been through. They are willing to walk my journey with me and hold my hand. This has been so encouraging.

4. Where are you currently in your life after cancer?  Tell us about your hobbies, interests, family and what is going on these days.

I had a re-occurrence in March of 2013. My cancer metastasized to my bone and other areas. I am stage 4. I am in the middle of an aggressive treatment with infusions and injections. I am hopeful and my prognosis is good, but I am uncertain of my future.

5. What do you wish other people knew about Hope Scarves?

I think it is important for people who have received scarves to send them back when they finish treatment and share their story. There is someone out there who will benefit from your encouragement and find hope in your story. Pass it on!

6. What would you tell someone who is thinking about sending a Hope Scarf to a friend battling cancer?

Do it! A Hope Scarf is practical but it also a great way to communicate that you care.

7. What is something that you would like to do that you haven’t done yet? (ie. Bucket List)

I’d like to go out on New Years Eve with a nice looking gentleman and dance the night away in a ballroom.

8. What is your favorite inspirational quote or words to live by?

The grass is always greener on the side you water.

9. If your friends or family had to describe you in two words, what would those be?

Sweet – (even my blood sugar is high)

10. Please share something you learned having gone through cancer.

I’ve become a better human being going through cancer. I am able to understand life and its twists and turns and ups and downs. Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone so make the best of today.