Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pink Ribbons~ My Coming Out Day

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   These are not current events.  This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

I already shared to everyone's horror that I'm definitely losing/lost some hair. I vacuumed the family room yesterday and got this huge wad of hair. I fussed at Leia my blond pom for shedding so badly. But when I was throwing it out I... uh....discovered it wasn't hers.

It was mine.

I'd noticed my hair was thinning and I'd seen hair floating. But the proof was in the vacuum cup. So I got the clippers and cut my hair down to a scant inch long. It's hard to get used to.  But right now, it also makes me smile.  It looks just like my son's hair did as it was growing in.  That makes me smile, even though the mirror reflects something hideous and painful to me.

Mom gave me some scarf covers and I got a free chemo cap from the chemo room. People donate hats and caps, I even saw a wig in there.  I have a couple caps I got from Tracy. So I have covers to start with though I do look forward to the creations that different friends are making!

I slept in a sleeping cap last night and wished I'd done that years ago.  It was wonderful because it held my Cpap gear on my head all night. Normally my hair is too fine for it to grab and hold the headgear. So I waken anywhere from 6 - 10 times to slide it back on. Often it's only hanging on by my the nose.  But the cap kept it in place!

A soft sleeping cap.  I did not wear turbans in public!

Today was my hair's "Coming Out" day. It is chemo day 18.5 and it's coming out like rats deserting the sinking ship.  It's been a difficult day. I mean I knew it was coming. The scalp has been very tender for several days.  It felt like I had pulled my hair into a tight ponytail and worn it for 18 hours like that.  This morning I reached up to rub a sore area. A tuft of hair rubbed loose.  Since then I have lost hair clumps all around the house. :(

But I found that the actual process of losing hair to be stressful and traumatic. It's an "in your face" reality check. Now I LOOK like something is wrong. Every mirror screams this new reality to me


It's hard to carry around that reality and stay positive, cheerful and encouraged. sigh

I've seen photos before and they really don't show the reality of how you lose your hair with chemo.  You rub a sore spot and a clump comes loose.  Over 12 hours it's been dropping off and each clump I find makes me want to weep a little.  I look in the mirror, I don't see this smooth bald head.  I see this mangy looking dog of a head...lumpy and shaped weird with bald spots and thin spots.  Why couldn't I have had a beautiful scalp?  In various places there are clumps of hair still firmly attached.  It's so ugly, and my Diva is dying inside.  I will use the clippers on what is left.  But it make take a bit to build up the courage to cut away the hair that was determined to stay.

Tonight at the grocery store I was asked if I needed help to the car. I had one bag! Suddenly my hats are a badge that identify to the public as someone who needs assistance.

Mr. Rosey wanted to put a different spin on it for me. So he called it a reason to celebrate and called it my "coming out" party.  He took me to Applebees this evening. We had a gc for them. I had a wonderful pasta...ravioli Florintine with chicken. It was delicious!  It occurred to me at the restaurant that someone might misunderstand my use of "coming out" party.  So I was certain to point out to our server, that we were celebrating my HAIR coming out.  My chemo was obviously doing what it was supposed to.

Mr. R told me how beautiful I am and how smashing I look in hats. lol How could I not appreciate that!  I think I will keep that man!  I have a new denim bucket hat.  I pinned a gaudy pin on it and wore it out.

But it's been a difficult day. I so appreciate your randoms messages to encourage and support me. You don't know how precious those are. Even though you can't know how this feels, I feel your companionship through it. Thank you all of you and I pray God blesses you for walking through this with me.

Maryland Crab:
((Tina))  I think we can all imagine how hard it would be to lose our hair.  I'm sorry it's a necessary side effect.  It hurts to be offered help for minor things, but imagine how awful if no one offered help.  Love you girl and I think of you often.

Your man sure is a sweet blessing! I'm so sorry you are going through this hard road, Rosey. What you are feeling and thinking is so very understandable. I'd have a terribly difficult time dealing with my hair falling out. I admit it, I'm vain about my hair. (((Rosey)))

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pink Ribbons ~ Naked Beavers!

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   These are not current events.  This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

Ok. Now this may fall under the catagory of TMI. But I have taken on the task of educating you about breast cancer and treatments. So think about the title and decide if you want to continue.

So early in the morning I had wakened and felt the need to scratch the pubes. And I wound up with a handful of hair. :eek So I got up (had to pee anyway) to investigate. I found I could grab pubic hair and it pulled right out. It did not hurt, just a tugging sensation. When I stood it looked a spider drowned in the toilet.

Now the funny thing is all the hair is from one side. ***snort**giggle *** So I have a half bald beaver! 

Here it is the end of summer and I finally have an easy bikini cut!  Apparently the hair on my head is not the first to go!  I knew that ALL hair was susceptible but thought it would happen all at the same time.  But apparently public hair goes first.

I keep swiping at my arms to see if that hair is ready to bail. Its still pretty tight. Chin whiskers are hanging pretty tough. Legs seem a little less prickly and the hair is definitely thinning. Bring on those chemo caps! 

Yesterday evening we went out driving and I wasn't wearing a cap. The windows were down and blowing my hair and you could see strands of my hair flying like dog hair. KJ commended that I was shedding. I see the Wig guy tomorrow evening and I suspect I will be balding by the weekend. So I'm clippering it down on Wed. I'm saving tufts of hair to tape to my head. ACS said many women are self conscious wearing caps that there's no tufts of hair hanging in front of the ears.

You can actually BUY tufts to tape in front of your ears. So I decided before the hair abandons ship I will cut my own tufts and put them to work!  For more information on hat hair go to

TMI - within 48 hours, it was like I'd had a Brazilian bikini wax.  Not even stubble.  THIS I could get used to...hairless with no hair removal pain...scratch that.  Chemo is painful.

I shaved my legs last week and I still don't have stubble.  Now waiting on the head I guess.  This is day 17...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

If Teacups Could Talk ~ Mrs. Richards

Meet Mrs. Richards.  This is all I have of her, but this was all I needed.

 Mrs. Richards
I never met the real Mrs. Richards.  In 1997, I was browsing in a quaint town by the name of Tennessee...yes, Paris, Tennessee.  This little town, the home of my sister in law was also home to a remarkable number of antique shops.  I walked into this shop and fell in love.  Set all around the room were dozens of tables, with dozens of china and tea sets.  Some were total and complete, on other tables were tea sets ready for a hot cuppa.  On other tables were parts of sets...odd pieces.  It was in this shop that I found Mrs. Richards.

In a small side room was wall display case, with beautiful leaded glass windows.  Behind the glass, on a layer of white satin were china pieces.  My eyes fell upon the tea cups.  I noticed the graceful foot holding up the delicate bowl.  An intricate handle sported a perfect little thumb grip and I fell in love with Mrs. Richards.

On the glistening satin sat a pristine white card printed with :Mrs. Richard Collection" on the front.  I picked up the card and read the back.

Mr & Mrs Richards lived in Prussia.  They were Jews in Prussia as the Nazi regime was rising in popularity.  Whether it was a gut instinct or something happened in their village, Mr. Richards told Mrs. Richards to pack the essentials into their trunks.  They were going to America.  Mrs. Richards refused to leave without her wedding china.  She carefully and tightly packed the entire set among the gowns in her trunk.

It wasn't recorded as to why, but 2 nights before they had plans to leave, they fled their home with only 2 of their trunks.  They journeyed across the ocean, and once in America settled into a Jewish community in Chicago America.  Mrs. Richards reportedly told new friends upon arriving at Ellis Island, she would drive over from Chicago to visit them in Philadelphia.  She had no concept of the distances involved.

They arrived in Chicago and moved in with distant relatives who had already arrived.  With trepidation and resignation, Mrs. Richards opened her trunks.  They did not know which trunks they had grabbed that desperate night in Prussia.  Would it be the trunk of blankets and linens?  Or would it be Mr. Richards scholarly books, and elementary navigational instruments?  But it was with a shout of joy that she opened her trunk to find her gowns and her complete unbroken wedding china.  Mr. Richards had secretly marked it.  It was entirely by chance that she had grabbed Mr. Richards books and tools.  They were thrilled to finally have more than what they carried in their carpet bags.  They gleefully unpacked their clothes and personal items.  Everything they left back home seemed worthless now they were safe in Chicago America.

February 1997,  the long widowed Mrs. Richards died at age 98.  She left her wedding china to her great granddaughters.

They did NOT want great grandma's china and offered it up at auction in Chicago. There an antique shop dealer was traveling for business.  She purchased Mrs. Richard's china and sold it piece by piece to other people like myself...a sucker for a good story.  I bought 2 tea cups and saucers, later giving one to a friend.

How could anyone sell Great Grandma's China after knowing how she fled with them from the Communist?

Okay in truth, this is what was written on the card in the Paris TN shop...
This set of china was smuggled out of Prussia when Mrs. Richards fled the Nazi's in Prussia early in this century (1900's).  She smuggled them out of the country in her garment trunk.  Upon her death they were left to her great grand daughters who chose to sell the pieces rather than keep them.
I was instantly appalled at the callousness of anyone selling such a family heritage and heirloom.  Immediately in my mind, I pictured a desperate husband and wife frantically pulling their trunks with them as they fled the oncoming Nazi army.  I could hear the Fiddler on the Roof musical playing in my memory. 

I paid 22.50 a piece for those tea cups and saucers.  I think I paid 2.50 for the cup and $20 for the romantic story.  I believe every tea cup should have a story.

With any luck they watching for Becky's story next month as she carries the last tea cup from Philadelphia to Independence MO where she caught a wagon train heading west.

The title "If Teacups Could Talk" should be attribute to Emilie Barnes who authored a book by that name.  My stories and tea cups are my own.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pink Ribbons ~ Dr. Joe Explains the Bone Pain...

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   These are not current events.  This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

Monday I saw Dr. Joe. My blood values were through the roof. I had told them about my bone pain and how it felt like my spine exploded. He was not happy and said I should have called. I gave it a 9 on the pain scale and told him that MY 10 means I'm screaming in pain...which has only happened once in my life. But I was crying out and sobbing so it was a 9.

He left and came back with my lab results and said "this was the reason for your pain."

The neulasta injection is SUPPOSED to stimulate the bone marrow..which is where the pain comes from. He said "Well Tina, we sent yours into overdrive!" A normal high wbc count is 10.4. Mine was 37.8!!! Three times normal. My percentage of immature blood cells was 33.3 and high normal is 6.5!!

He told us that it's a gamble sometimes. He can't know which patients have good bone marrow and which ones don't. He said I had REALLY good bone marrow. So this next chemo which is a week from Friday (sigh) he's NOT going to give the me the Neulasta injection and then watch how low my blood counts go. I go in for a lab draw on the 20th. IF it's fallen below normal he may give me a 25% dose. He said he can always give a little medicine but can't undo it once I have it.  He guessed because I was SO YOUNG, my bone marrow is still working well.

He believes the muscle pain is from the chemo, as was the fevers. He can't reduce my chemo dose and I told him I did not want him to. I can tell myself the chemo is hurting me but doing its job. If he reduced it just to make me more comfortable, there's no assurance its strong enough to do the job.

It IS harder to face this next dose, because that I KNOW what's coming and I know how bad I will feel. But I even still I wish it was this Friday instead of next Friday. Kind of like "get the show on the road."

But I am enjoying some good days. I tire easily but find I can do light housework. I did dishes, swept and vacuumed the living room! I made my bed and even cleaned the toilet! I rest 30 minutes between chores and find I can do light housework.

I'm in the Nadir period of chemo which is a fancy medical term meaning the "off weeks".  Really it refers to the effects of chemo on the cells in the weeks after the dose. Normally they would be at their lowest cell activity. Mine are not because of that shot. But because mine are so high he gave me clearance to go see mom. Just using normal chemo precautions, I am to avoid children.  *sad*  Nurse Robin said that children are walking "petri dishes" of virus' and germs.

So we plan to drive out late sat afternoon and come home around noon Sunday. Mom is having bladder surgery...she hopes by the end of Sept. It's a situation where she may not survive. HER blood levels are poor. She's anemic, has low wbcs and very low platelets. But we all gave her permission to die. We know she's miserable right now. The surgery will improve her quality of life. If she dies seeking a better quality, we are at peace with her choice. Living like she is now...isn't life. But at the same time I want to see her before she takes that step.

It's so great that your doctor is on top of things. He sounds absolutely wonderful! I am praying that your pain becomes more manageable. It must do your heart good to be able to do a bit of housework because your personality is not that of a couch potato. I hope that resting in your lovely chair in between is helping.

So you have super hero bone marrow!  Makes me think you've got super hero healing properties too!  I get the dread of waiting for the next treatment, not sure how to help you not dread it, but I'll be in prayer for you to have some calm about the next treatment.  And I'm sorry to hear about your mom, I'm sure this is tough on all of you.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Rosey (in words)

I've been challenged to write a post that is different than any I've done yet.  So here's a try.  Me in words....

First born
child care
youth leader
St. Augustine
bed rest
babies babies babies
home day care
Home School
weight loss
New Family

Friday, January 11, 2013

Oh sugar, you seductive wench!

Oh sugar, you seductive wench!  How you tie my physical body into knots of emotional need.  Cognitively, I know my physical self has no purposeful need of you, but oh does your siren's call draw me in.  Gasp!

Here is where I want to add a photo of your villainous self, in your prettier forms.  Oh the deceptive innocence you can portray as you invite us to enslave ourselves to your worship. The dyamic C's words that you flash across our minds eye as you try to draw us even closer. I choose instead a pretty bowl that you would normally reside in, so I dost not tempt someone else to fall to you in a moment of weakness...I shall guzzle more water til I gag and suck on a few lemons as well if necessary.  Be gone from me thou foul substance.  Perhaps I will long for you less if I can think of you as you are....the dried byproduct of boiled sugar cane grasses.

Not so pretty and attractive NOW, are you sugar?

Ok.  I just took a large guzzle of lemonade and I hope the moment has passed.  I am in great pain.  After Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years where gluttony is accepted even encouraged, comes the reality of adapting to a healthy meal plan and stop with the noshing.  It's not so easy to turn my back on the addiction to sugar that keeps me enslaved.  I think I am in DT's!  (Delirium tremens)

I've heard discussions about dangerous drugs and how addictive they are.  I say by far, sugar is most addictive.  An drug addict takes a hit and then falls into their drug induced euphoria.  We sugar addicts keep on licking that lollipop!  We might not die instantly from our drug of choice, but slowly and methodically sugar steals life from us.

At Thanksgiving we eat well past "the full state" then unbutton our pants to continue our gluttony.  (Though very smart gluttons learn to wear stretch pants to the table!) At Christmas we eat the pan of fudge by ourselves ..not that I admit to such an atrocity.  We spend a day to bake...sugar in her most glorious, gorgeous and insidious forms....the Three C's...Cookie, Cakes & Candy.  In a virtual free for all, we unleash "sugar" upon our helpless families who are drawn like zombies to the last living human.

We do this to ourselves.

So after giving myself a true chastisement,  I started the week to control myself.  Back on the meal plan, getting the blood sugars back to normal and being in control.  I want to be like "normal" people...and not feed a sugar addiction continuously.  Despite the numerous diets out goal is to be "normal".  I don't do Atkins, South Beach or the Cabbage Soup diet, the HCG diet, the 7 UP diet, or other fad dieting.  I strive for the "Control diet, impulse control, portion control and self control.  I do not consider self and impulse control to be the same thing...maybe you have to have struggled with impulse to know the difference.  I do follow the diabetic meal plan recommendations as well as working with a dietician and a bariatric doctor.

This afternoon, I have been fighting IMPULSE control as the need for sugar rises within me.  This Sunday, we are celebrating Mr. Rosey's 55th birthday.  There will be cake.  I intend to have cake and ice cream in normal portions like a normal person does.  It has been a long time since I have been "normal".  I tell myself that I don't need sugar today as I will be having cake on a NORMAL person would.  But the "normal" inside me doesn't want to listen.  She is giggling hysterically and pleading with me to mix up some brownie batter....just to eat the batter!  Go for it Tina, KJ's at one will know.  Feed the need, she entices me.

But I will know.  

When you eat and feel shame, then you have to step back and take a look at what you've been eating.  That was last week for me.  New Year's meals ended a 2 month unrestrained food frenzy.  5 days in and the sugar addiction is rising.  I in fact laughed as I fought this demon within because I truly had the urge to mix up cake batter to eat despite the knowledge that we're having a birthday party this weekend.  I felt myself weakening in my resolve to avoid not only sugar, but the shameful impulsive debauchery of binging.

I was washing dishes and thinking "Lord, help me because that box of brownies is talking to me louder than You are!"  I was instantly hit with the mental image of my box of brownies taking on a Betty Boop shape giving me the "come hither".  I laughed and just as instantly decided...if I can't eat it, I'll blog about it.

So to each of you who have read this, I thank you for the time you have given me.  I know feel the impulse has passed and I am able to have dinner without Betty Boop Brownie batter.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pink Ribbons ~ My Own Miracle

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   These are not current events.  This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

August 28, 2010

I'm talking quietly because I don't to re-awaken the pain. My back is tight and sore. But that has become almost a normal sensations for me.

Yesterday was bad. I had to call the doctor again as my temperature rose and would not come down. It was 102.4 when I got the doctor on the phone. MY doctor was on call when I called. He answered and said "We have to quit meeting this way Missy!" I like him.

He believes the fever was from chemo, muscle inflammation and the shot. I had no other signs of infection. Parts of me do hurt, but I think I can move today. Yesterday I cruised the recliner all day long. Mr. Rosey helped me shower last night. We baptized the shower chair I guess.

Mr. Rosey struggling with the responsibilities of work and home. The church has been bringing food this week. But he comes home from work so stressed that normal home chores are sending him over the bend. I know its a struggle for him to do everything. K is a good man. But he has a major disease and a new job with lots of stress. I think the job anxiety is getting to him. Then he comes home to my reality.  I hope in the future I will remember to bless the caregivers who take care of the patients.

We have different views. He never puts things away. He groused last night because I folded up the tv trays. He wanted to know why I did it when I knew he'd be opening them again. I can't stand the clutter. I have a purple toe from one of those darn things falling and hitting the toe. I don't want to put pressure on him to keep things tidy for me. But I can't stand the visual clutter! lol

Thurs night was awful! All day I kept having mild low back pain that shot a zinger down the leg, like when you have a case of sciatica. They said bone pain might start out like that. As the night went on the low back pain got more distracting. It pulsed with my heartbeat. I was using the heater in the recliner to help, even though I had been instructed not to do that with the fever I had been running.   I finally took my evening meds and went to bed. At 12:30 I got up for a bathroom trip. It was mild pain when I got to the bathroom. But I was disinfecting my hands and the pain exploded.

I felt like my spinal column had blown up. 

I called for KJ who was up and in the room in a flash. I was bent over the sink, gasping from the pain as he helped me lurch back to the bed. He wanted to know how to help so I gasped...percocet, darvocet! Heating pad - hall closet!

I have endured a lot of pain in my life...I have had to work through pain that would break others. On the day I fell (8/18/2002), I would say maybe was 10 on the pain scale. I'm trying to compare that with this and I'm not sure now. This pain pulsated with my heart beat but it also came in waves like contractions. It hurt when it was at its lower level but as it gripped and intensified I cried and sobbed. It was easily 8/9 on the pain scale and I'm not certain it wasn't a 10. I know it scared Mr Rosey. I'm generally quiet when dealing with pain. I grunt and may groan but I don't cry out. It was Thurs. night. He got the pain meds on board and plugged in the heating pad. All the while I'm sobbing and gasping while he tries to decide what to do next.

Then an amazing thing happened, which is why I'm sharing the details. He scooped me in his arms laid his hand on my head and prayed loud (so God would hear over my cries). He prayed, reminding God he was a loving God and I was in pain. He asked God to release me from the pain. It tore his heart out for me to be in this kind of pain.

And in that instant things changed. Almost immediately the intensity changed. Each "contraction" was less and less intense  There was no break between the waves and I had been literally gasping as it would reach its peak. Mr. Rosey stroked my arm and spoke sweet nothings to me.

In 30 minutes I dosed off.

Percocet has never worked instantly for me. I barely notice its effect.

I claim this as a bonafide miracle of my very own.

Yesterday was exactly one month since diagnosis. I have noticed more issues with my stomach. The nausea is not like I expected. I don't feel the urge to puke. When I eat solid food, my stomach cramps down and rolls over. I tolerate mushy food, but really having to work with the solids. I have ground down a roast to mush so I could eat it.

In just 7 days, I have become more and more fatigued. I suspect my blood counts are lowering. Mid afternoon I have a window where I have a little energy. So today we went to Walmart and picked up protein shakes along with veggie juice and fruit juice. Making sure each 8 oz equaled a full days requirement. I know I will get that down for sure.

I'm frustrated with people who don't appear to have a clue what chemo they think I'm dripping from the recliner because I like it there.  Seriously, I was asked to go wedding shopping with someone this evening!  I struggle getting from the recliner to the toilet!  I don't think I could get from a car to an entrance.

This person has complained to someone that I won't let her do ANYTHING for me.  She doesn't see that she's really asking me to do something for her.  She wants me to go shopping with HER.  She wants me to go OUT to dinner with her. It's so frustrating to feel this bad physically and deal with people who just don't clue in. So my friends, don't ask someone on chemo to go shopping with you, go out to dinner with you, or create some masterpiece out of cake or flowers.  Ask them what they would like YOU to do.  They may feel well enough to do what you wanted, it depends on their chemo and which stage they are in.  Goodness.

My pastor's wife called. She knew I'm feeling quite worn and wanted to know if we would like meals brought out this week too. I thanked her and told her Mr. Rosey felt like he could handle it. But we knew we could call if I got sicker.

So I'm cruising in the recliner watching the Cards play. sigh. I see the doctor on Monday for a blood draw and check up. I will find out if this fatigue is chemo or blood related. Either way I don't like it.

danica f - roseygirl~ praise the LORD for miracles! i am so sorry you were in such pain...GOD bless kj for his quickness to act!

nell2003 - God is good! I love when he shows up and is all the difference in the world!

Firmbeliever65 - (((Oh Rosey)))   I am so glad that God is taking care of you in only ways you will know for sure He is ministering. I pray that for you every morning. That He will reach down and make His presence known in a very personal powerful way. I am so in awe of how your husband is for you. I can't say anything but I am sorry for your pain, but I found myself this week praying in tandem  Lord thank you that this chemo is so horrible that it will knock out any and all cancer cells and knowing in order for it to be bad and mean enough to do it's intentions means that it will wreak havoc on you. I pray that the pain, sorrow, darkness, just plain yuck in every sense will be covered by His miracles Tina. We will keep praying and thank you for the update. I was wondering.

MargRN3 - Oh wow that made me tear up, Rosey. What a precious miracle for sure. i can only imagine how awful it must have been and so thankful the pain meds and PRAYER took it way down that pain scale.  Love you!

MarylandCrab - Okay, that got me all verklempt. I'm so sorry to hear about this pain, call me clueless, I never heard of chemo causing so much pain, I thought it was all about the nausea. I hate this for you, how much things have changed in a month for you. Okay, now I'll add the pain into my prayers. And your friend? eeeeek! Doing flowers for her will make you feel better? It would be funny if it wasn't so insanely insulting to all you are dealing with right now.

DemitasseDebutante - Asking you to do something for her when you're fighting a huge battle isn't about her??? What planet is she from? (Sorry that wasn't nice.) I teared up reading about KJ's prayer. Oh my word!! Of course its your own miracle!!! He (both of them!) love you to infinity and beyond!

Praising the Lord with you   I've been running like a chicken without a head all week and this is the first I've been on the board.......sigh...I'm sorry!! Praying for a better week with no pain!

Isn't the Lord wonderful to give you a miracle! Had God bumps all over as I read! You have a dear sweet man by your side too!! What a wonderful man!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Pink Ribbons - I hate Taxotere!

Pink Ribbons is a feature series I have started that is posted every Thursday.  I am a Pink Ribbon Warrior, having gone through the chemo, surgery, radiation, the year of waiting and recently stage 2 reconstruction...which I find is really the first of many little surgeries.  I am at a place in my life where I am willing to open my journal from that time and share with you my anger, fears, challenges and pain of finding out you have cancer.   These are not current events.  This is me sharing with you from the other side of breast cancer.

August 23, 2010

I can hardly breathe.  Not because I can't but because it hurts so much.  I have been caught unaware by this pain.  Absolutely everything in my body hurts.  What have I done to myself?  What is happening?

Last night I had some mild pain and I think I was in bed by 8 pm.  I felt great all weekend, then last night we stopped in at Walmart with grocery list.  I suddenly got weak and soooo fatigued that I stopped the go-cart and actually leaned over to rest my head on the handle bar.  I called Mr. Rosey on the cell phone and told him I needed help.  He was there in a flash and one look at my face, he just told me to give him the grocery list.  He said he'd finish picking up the items.  I parked the cart near the front and waited.  Some dear woman stopped to ask if I was okay.  I told her yes, I was just over tired, but my husband was in the store finishing our shopping.  I thanked her for her concern.  I won't tell you how seldom that happens.

So back to this morning.  I had an appointment to go to the clinic and get a "Neulasta" injection.  Neulasta is a special injection that churns up your bone marrow and makes it produce new blood cells. Dr. Joe was conflicted on whether to give it to me, but opted to go ahead.  I'm young *yay* in cancer standards, but I'm diabetic *boooo* so he decided I needed the injection.  During the night I tossed and turned.  I was so tired that I never really awoke fully, but Mr. R tells me I moaned nearly all night.  The alarm went off, and I lurched to the bathroom.  It was on the way around the corner that I realized my muscles were burning and felt heavy.  I called out his name and he was there in a flash...I simply couldn't straighten up without every muscle screaming in pain.

It took a lot of his assistance to help me dress, get me into the truck and up to the clinic.  Even more help to get me into the chemo room.  One of the nurses came trotting over.  Yes, I looked that bad.  She sat next to me and asked questions and I described the intense muscle burn, the ache and the challenge of moving any part of my body.  She frowned and told me to sit tight, I wasn't supposed to feel like this until AFTER the injection.  She went to cal Dr. Joe's nurse, Robin.

Robin took a look at me and called Dr. Joe down to the clinic.  He gave me the once over and then informed me that I had "won the lottery."  Approximately 20% of people who take Taxotere will experience extreme muscle pain and ache.  I was demonstrating how extreme it could be.  He suggested I stop and play Powerball on my way to fill the several scripts of pain relievers, as I had hit the odds on this drug.  He prescribed a couple drugs and told me if the pain remained as severe, to call and he'd order more.  The narcotic pain meds knocked the pain levels down to a tolerable level but I was not pain free.  By day 10 the muscle pain level dramatically decreased.

However I found myself dealing with another side effect....extreme dryness.  When I say I dried up, I mean EVERYTHING dried up.  I became one huge flaking, itchy dry specter of myself.  Each step, I released both flakes of DNA and strands of hair.  I wasn't really losing my hair yet but the chemo had sucked all the shine, body and moisture out of my hair.  It now had the texture of straw.  Frankly I was ready to rid myself of it.  It stuck out all over and I started wearing hats to hide the horrid texture.

I hate Taxotere, but I hope it does it's job.

You never know what will happen next and next I will share about the wonderful effects of Neulasta and my very own personal miracle!

Fighting Cancer takes Courage to face the unknown

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Not my kitchen - Mine should be so big!
The sun shines bright through the windows as I prepare my kitchen for the onslaught of holiday baking.  Maybe I'm obnoxious this way, but I want to start with a clean kitchen before I totally destroy it with flour, sugar and dripped, dropped or dumped messes.

So it was at the sink wearing my humongous blue and white rubber gloves (the Diva must protect her manicure!) sunk deep into scalding hot water.  *Tip - rubber gloves help you tolerate hotter dishwater, so it takes less time to wash them.*  I recalled a comment sent me last weekend.

I live a good distance from my church family.  I don't get "drop in" guests.  That's fine.  A great deal of women that I love as much as sisters live in various parts of the country.  What I am getting at is most of my relationships are via the best by text.

There is quite a few women I correspond with through email or Facebook messaging.  There is little that is special about what I do.  They write out their frustrations.  I read them.  I ask a few questions, offer a perspective or insight and they respond enthusiastically.  *They gush at my brilliance.*  lol 

Some women are going through extremely difficult times in the marriage.  Some are suffering through years of barren parenting...when you give repeatedly and get NOTHING back from an ungrateful teenager. ;)  Other's are women impacted by cancer and they look for me to ride with them through rough waters ahead of them.  Some others are just weighed down by life and look for a little something to smile about.  Some still suffer from memories and mental anguish of pain long past.

I enjoy this.  Some call me a mentor, most call me a friend, a few call me counselor.  One made a comment, "You should open up a Paypal account, ask people to tell you details about their lives and you will tell them what is wrong with them."  I laughed and told my husband about this.  He laughed too and suggested there might be an income possibility there.

I mentioned this to yet another friend, and with a earnest voice she informed me, "Rosey, you just don't understand how few women will take the time to listen to what is bothering me."

So it is this collection of thoughts that has me deep in thought and soap suds.

"Where are the Titus Women these days?"

To those who don't understand, this is in reference to a Scripture in the Bible.  The second chapter of Titus exhorts us to
 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine,but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children,  to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (vs 3 - 5)
In my younger years, I looked forward to being a Titus Woman when I grew up.  To pass on wisdom I gained through the years, the tears and the tribu-bloody-lations (reference to the PBS show "Call the Midwives").  But according to my young friend, there are few around.

And I am questioning why?  Is it that those of us with the experience don't have the heart or concern?  Is it so few have the time?  Are there so few woman at home?  Is it those who are at home, are still busy raising little ones?   

What has happened to the mature woman with the time to share?  

Have we grown so cynical that we don't care about the younger generations?  Or worse, are we now self centered and stingy with our time?  Have we taken on that cloak of "We did our time" and moved on to indulge our personal desires and wants.  

I am saddened as I consider these things.  I watch the soap bubbles pop and disappear as I consider the growing lack of mature women to lead and instruct, to cheer and encourage these younger wives, mothers and daughters.  The women who are now in the trenches without the spiritual guidance of godly women modeling spiritual truths and positive impact.

I have struggled for some years now (every time I go through a new Beth Moore Bible study in fact) and she challenges us to find our "Godly purpose in life."  I view my life and lament that I have no purpose.  I have raised my son.  I have welcomed a daughter in law into my life, home and heart.  I've yet to see grandchildren, but I pray for them that might arrive someday.  I have watched my parents leave this earth and go on to eternity.  I have wept.  I have laughed.  I have praised and I have sorrowed.    

I have not danced.  It is everyone's best interest that I refrain from that.  

I have lived through hard times with little and I have tasted the excess.  I struggled in marriage and I have found great joy in it.  I have been wrong and I have been right.

I have been wounded.  I have been damaged.  I suffered, I fought and  I battled.  

I have been redeemed. I have been forgiven.  I have been remade.  I have been healed.

I still struggle with the question, "What is my purpose in life?"  Today, as I dry my hands and put away my dishes I am wondering at the lives of the women I minister to through written word by email, text or blog.  The thought occurs to me.  

Could my purpose be that I am the listening ear to someone who is coming behind me? To model Christ in my journey?  To shine a light upon the dark pathway they walk?  Maybe just 


Whether I am here to lead, to listen or to follow, I will pray for wisdom.  I need wisdom to not harm, not to wound; and wisdom to be available.

Wisdom is greater far and more precious than rubies. (Proverbs 8:11)