Friday, September 20, 2013

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

It has been a pretty uneventful week-just the way I like it!  I visited my new Oncologist on Monday at the Silver Cross hospital by my house.  She is with the University of Chicago but sees patients at my hospital so it is very close and easy!  We agreed that I would start Xeloda.  4 pills in the morning and 3 at night.  I will see her every 3 weeks for blood work and every 6 weeks for an appointment to access the skin and lymph node.  Assuming Xeloda is working, there is not a need for a scan for a couple of months.  If we don't see progress with the skin and lymph node size, we will do a scan and move on to something else.  She did say it would take a couple of cycles to see if it is working.  A cycle is 2 weeks of taking the meds and 1 week of rest.  So I'm hoping and praying it is working!  I feel okay, I do have pain in the chest area.  From meeting with doctors, they said it is nerve damage pain and possibly why it feels like it does is due to the cancer trying to bother this area.  The pain feels how it feels when you have a bad sunburn and put clothes on.  Also I have explained it like how it feels when something on your body falls asleep - that tingly feeling.  Also if you haven't gotten it yet, feels like you hit your funny bone.  The pain comes and goes.  It is rather annoying though and painful.  The pills help, but if I don't time them just right (every 8 hours) it takes awhile for it to kick in and sometimes I am taking Tylenol on top of that.  So I'm hoping this goes away as the chemo works.  I don't want pain.

Dr. Phillips also gave me the news that I am considered a stage 4 cancer patient.  In cancer terms, there is no stage 5 so that sounds scary.  This is very scary because stage 4 is considered not-curable - WE WILL SHOW THEM!  I am considered this because anyone that has a recurrence of the same disease that was previously treated is considered stage 4.  I don't think this is fair since it is not in a distant organ.  I told her this and while she sees my point, she said I can't change it.  So it is very scary because if you look at the statistics for a stage 4 breast cancer patient, the outlook is not great.  I cried about this and am still having a hard time accepting it, but I am doing my best to stay positive and remember as of right now, I do not have cancer anywhere else besides a lymph node and chest wall.  This is way more then most of you reading this, but in my opinion, it could be worse.  There are several treatments out there still to try if this one does not work.  Just keep the prayers coming!  I can beat the odds, right??

Justin had a great week at school.  I was asked to come to the school today to be a "mystery reader".  I had to give 5 hints about me and the kids were to guess who the reader was.  Justin was so excited and happy to see me.  He told me he is so lucky to be the first one in class to have their mom read.  That made me so happy!  After reading, the kids could ask me questions.  Some were interesting, but man, first graders are adorable and so innocent.  I would love to spend more time in his class and hope to do so.  Ryan is busy as usual.  He is trying his best to talk.  While I can make out some of it, the other is still gibberish.  He has mastered "Sponge Bob" and when Nana and Papa Garrison were here this week, he did combine 2 words and said "oh Papa".  Those that know my dad can only imagine what he may have done or said to get a response like that!  He wants to be outside from sun up to sun down!  Don is holding down the fort!  Keeping busy at work and doing everything he can to keep the normalcy going at home!

So my subject is Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  I am doing a walk at the Joliet Speedway on October 20th.  I have started a team called "Amber's Prayer Warriors".  If you go to the site:, the home page will try to locate a walk, a member or team.  I have family and friends flying and driving in for this and I am so happy for this support.  I would love to have a team like I did last year!  If you are free and can join us, please sign up under my team.  It is $25.00 / person.  Kids are welcome and we walk rain or shine!  Won't you please join us?  If you are unable to join in, I would love a donation under my name.  Now more then ever we need money to go towards this ugly disease and what better way to help!  If you ask me right now how to help us, I will say this.  Now some of you I might still hit up for a sitter, or pick up for Justin if something comes up, but this is what I really need right now.  I need a cure for cancer!  Any bit helps!  

So I will close with requesting prayers for me of course and for the family!  We are settled back into a routine with chemo and doing great, but mom and dad, sisters, in-laws and immediate family are all hit by this and need the prayers and support.  It is a living nightmare!

Love to all!


1 comment:

  1. Hi Amber! I just got reading through a few of your posts and just wanted to say that my prayers are for you and your family. I am involved in the cancer community and had a quick question for you. I was hoping you could email me back when you get the chance. Thanks! - emilywalsh688@gmail(dot)com.