Showing posts from 2016

Stable is Good

Wow...two months have flown by since I lasted posted. It's not that I do not have anything to update.  I guess that I am just not really sure what the update is.  Right now, I am in a scary place that no cancer patient really wants to be.  It is a foggy place where I am running away from progression, enduring the brutality of side effects while searching for that next line of treatment that will clear the path for a while. 
When my Kadcyla treatments stopped working in July, I switched to Xeloda which was a chemotherapy pill that I did along side Herceptin infusions.  After two rounds, new scans showed  that this line of treatment was not cutting it. 
So now treatments #36, #37, #38 and #39 have been a chemotherapy called Doxil. It looks like Hawaiian Punch going into my veins! My understanding is that it damages the DNA of cancer cells that tells them how to divide. I have been okay with dealing with the somewhat manageable side-effects as my last scans showed that all of my canc…

A Soccer Mom's Dream Come True

It was 2008, Luke was 10 and Levi was 9.  One of my older nephews was on the high school soccer team.  Luke and Levi loved playing soccer, and they loved being ball-boys for all of the home high school soccer games.  On October 10, 2008, the high school boys won Sectionals. All four of my boys were ecstatic.  I was overwhelmed with joy by watching the team's excitement as they held their trophy in the air, and could only hope for a day that my boys would be able to do the same. 
As I took pictures of the my little ball-boys of the winning game, Luke held the trophy in the air and said..."Some day, I am going to hold my own Sectional trophy!"

Eight years later, Luke is a senior, Levi a junior and David a freshman. They had the school's best record of 11-2 heading into Sectionals. We weren't too worried about the first game as we had already beat this team in the regular season.  Luke scored 6 goals, winning 8-2. 

Sectional finals would be against the 6 year defendi…

Bravery in the Moments of Brokenness

What is Bravery? says that bravery is an admirable quality of being able to confront frightening things. I think everyone has the capacity to be brave. You are really only confined by the walls that you put up around yourself. Those who may not feel like they are brave, probably have amazing bravery within that maybe they just haven't had to face yet. 
I have many people say to me, I don't know how you do it.  You are tougher and braver than I am, or could ever be.  Well that is just silly...I really don't think I am tougher or braver than you or anyone else.  I just have to be. 

As you know, this year has been rough.  I had a new breast cancer tumor removed in April.  In July, I started having new pain in my sternum which led to changing my treatment plan.  I was unable to get in the clinical trial I wanted. Meanwhile, two new cancer spots on my ribs began to grow. So I started Xeloda, a chemo in pill form along with Herceptin treatments.

I thought a lot abo…

Moving Forward with my Third Line of Treatment

So this came in the mail yesterday.  Looks a little scary but boy, was I happy to see it!  It has been more weeks than I would like without a treatment. I was attempting to get in a clinical trial for a new drug; however, I was not able to be accepted right now, so my oncologist and I chose a different line of treatment. 
The treatment plan consists of two drugs.  I will be getting a Herceptin infusion every three weeks.  Then I will also be taking Xeloda, these lovely pills in the picture.  I will be taking four after breakfast and four after supper...14 days on, then 7 days off...continuing this for as long as it works.  We will have a scan in about five weeks to make sure it is doing its job!
While doing all the necessary scans in applying for the clinical trial, we found two more progressing spots on my ribs. I had a feeling there were new spots because of the new pain that I had been experiencing. 
It has been a very stressful and worrisome few weeks. So please say a prayer for me …

Finding Grace in the Midst of the Next Storm

Sometimes the fog begins to fade, the strings holding the stress slowly loosen.
The medicine is working, and the body has adjusted the best it can to the side effects. 
Some kind of new normal has gradually settled in, but then suddenly in one long day, you find yourself broken again, trying to find grace in the midst of the next storm. 

Cancer has no boundaries.  Cancer takes no consideration of your feelings.  Cancer takes on your strength as it opponent. 

Cancer has challenged me for four years now. 
It has challenged my body with treatments and surgeries that have left me to continue to rebuild a body that is broken.
It has challenged my emotions, taking me to dark places of brokenness that only God and the love of my husband, kids, family and friends can pull me out of.  
It has challenged my feelings as I have learned of the new cancer diagnoses of two friends and mourned the loss of two of my Stage IV sisters and a friend's granddaughter in less than two months. 

And now ca…

My blog on LillyPad with Eli Lilly Oncology

Well summer is full swing at our house.  The kids are busy running in every direction with work, sports, friends, etc.  I love summer...even though it is still busy, it is a little more relaxing minus all the school activities. 
Levi & David took me to Treatment #31.  It was nice to spend the day with them.  And I am happy to report that everything is still looking stable for me!

I recently had the opportunity to work with a team from Eli Lilly Oncology that shared a blog post on LillyPad that we worked on together. 
Please check it out at this link  Chapter Two: My Metastatic Story

Hope everyone has a great summer!!
Thank you for all of your kind words, thought and prayers for my family!

Embrace the Suck

I had treatment #30 on Wednesday and met with my oncologist.  The lumpectomy went well...and the great news is that the margins were clear which means...they were able to remove the entire tumor, and it did not appear to be spreading.  Thanks Shelly for hanging with my all day!

I just wanted to take a proud moment and share this with you all. This is my 16 year old son for his speech class final. My video got cut off because I ran out of space on my phone.. At the end, he mentions that Metavivor give 100% of their donations to Metastatic Breast Cancer Research. And then I whispered into the phone how much I love this kid. Stupid phone!
But Levi gave me a new quote...Embrace the Suck!!

Also, check out this link to a video blog my Oncologist at IU Health Simon Cancer Center shared before Mother's Day. In it she shared my blog post "Their Youth is Ours" about being a mother with Stage IV Breast Cancer.  I feel so fortunate to have such an amazing…

Cancer is Mysterious

Well, you know you have had too many surgeries when you recognize the hospital staff, and a few of them even recognize you.  Yesterday was long day, but I am happy to report that the surgery went well.  Ben and I left for the hospital around 8:30 am. We were quickly checked in, but my surgery started more than an hour past the scheduled time.  My parents and our hilarious nurse kept us well entertained.  The surgery itself wasn't too long, but we did not end up getting home until after 5:00 pm. 
     When my breast surgeon came in to see me beforehand, she was surprised to find that my tumor felt smaller.  After surgery, she confirmed that it was definitely smaller than it was 10 days ago.  We won't have any real answers from Pathology until Friday. 
     This tumor is a bit of a mystery at the moment.  It grew rather quickly. The biopsy showed that the tumor was invasive ductal carcinoma with Estrogen+ receptors, but HER2- receptors.  This is where the mystery starts because…

Calling Team Lori...The Unexpected Turn in the Road

Just when you think things are going smoothly again, along comes the unexpected turn in the road.      
     After switching treatments in November, the cancer on my bones was responding well to Kadcyla.  It was a great relief because Kadcyla is a newer drug and is working effectively for many women.
     Less than two weeks ago, someone bumped my side.  As I went to rub it, I was surprised to feel a lump in the lower outer area of my breast next to my implant. So last Tuesday, I got a CT Scan that showed a tumor measuring just under 2 centimeters.  
     Last Friday, I had a biopsy, which happens to be a short story in itself.  As the resident prepared to stick the needle in, I asked him how many breast biopsies he had performed.  He replied, "You are my FIRST!"  I thought, "Okay, well, let's just get this virgin biopsy going then!"   Lucky for him, I have had many biopsies, and I was able to patiently watch on the ultrasound as he maneuvered the needle aro…

Their Youth is Ours

My phone rang around 10:00 am on a cold January morning. I was home, sitting in my recliner, feeling miserable from the Kadcyla infusion I had the day before.  The caller ID showed the school.  I guessed that one of my kids must be sick.  However, when I answered, it was my daughter.  With a panicked tone to her voice, she was checking to see if I was okay.  She thought she had seen my car pull into the hospital while she was sitting in class.  After I assured her I was home and fine, I hung up the phone, completely devastated.      You see, when we are broken, our children are broken too. But their youth if ours, so we try to keep their lives as normal as possible. We continue to give them the best that we can. Life as they knew it will never be the same because cancer is now a part of their story. Our illness is an everyday fact of their lives. 

      There is no manual to help us guide our children through this. So we stumble through the hard days, the difficult discussions, and t…

The Bell Started to Ring

The bell started to ring and suddenly I woke up. 
Yesterday, I was receiving treatment #24, my 4th dose of Kadcyla, when I heard the bell start to ring.  The bell hangs quietly in the main area of the pod B infusion center anxiously waiting to be rang by those who have finished their chemo or other treatments.
Today, it was a woman in her 50's with a beautiful purple and teal scarf on her head.  She was smiling from ear to ear as her friend took a picture of her holding her "Last Chemo" sign.    She was so happy, looking so relieved to finished.  I remember that feeling. I rang that very same bell once as I finished my last chemo.  I remember being so very thankful that it was over. 
The bell started to ring and suddenly I woke up. It wasn't sleep that it woke me from...I had just infused a bag of steroids.  But it woke me from a daze...a daze I seemed to have fallen into since I had to switch treatment plans in November.  I was so happy to watch this woman ring the …