Yes, I have a scar.

And I’ve been told it’s pretty bad a$$. 😉 Proceed with caution with the picture posted, as I don’t mean to offend.

I’ve been home since late Monday and spent most of the day yesterday resting. I was able to get a few things done around the house and was told to simmer and rest up.  😊  So I did! 

It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that I had brain surgery just this past Saturday. I recognize how fortunate that I am in being able to come out of this with no defects. I will not require any physical or occupational therapy at all. Aside from a few headaches and some slight neck pain, which is to be expected, I am fine. Completely fine. I’m in awe.

I know that my road ahead is long. I will begin chemo pills (Xeloda) tomorrow when they arrive. It won’t be easy but it’s the path ahead and I am determined to prevail. I don’t know the full side effects of the drugs (in terms of how it will effect me directly) but I understand they will be different than last time. 2 weeks on chemo and 1 week off with no hair loss!! It is suspected that I’ll have stomach issues like before, with hand, feet and mouth sores. Lots of lotion, socks and mouth wash! I will be starting at a higher dose and adjusting to the side effects as needed. I would prefer to start strong and reassess to kick this cancer to the curb. I’ll start with 4 pills twice per day and see how I go. I should expect side effects in a few days.

As for radiation, I’ll start on my lymph nodes this week (hopefully) for about 4 weeks.  If the chemo pills do not destroy the cancer on my chest then we will reassess the radiation direction as needed. The chemo pills and radiation will work hand in hand together – against the cancer and with the side effects. I will feel the effects sooner, in about a week or two. We will get through it. I’ll see the neurosurgeon who performed my miraculous surgery in about a week. He will take out the stitches and I will have a consult for radiation to that area of my brain as well. I anticipate side effects but I came out strong this weekend and I am confident that I will again. In the meantime, I have a wound to be proud of.

I am sure I’m missing something but that’s all I have for now. You are always open to asking me questions – I am an open book! I am so grateful for each and every one of you in my life. I love you all and we will get through this with a smile!!!

Team Red Phoenix!!!

Monday’s update

I’m still in the hospital, though I moved out of neuro ICU yesterday and down a floor to the regular neuro surgical unit. I have NO defects, which is incredibly awesome!  Some headaches and neck pain from surgery but that is to be expected. No balance issues, no impairments and no coordination issues. To say this is amazing would be an understatement. Everyone is shocked and excited! I won’t even need any physical or occupational therapy! 

The nurses and staff have been wonderful. Having family and friends by my side has been priceless. Thank you all for your continued love, support and prayers. Hopefully I will go home tomorrow to rest prior to staying chemo/radiation. Love to you all! 

Team Red Phoenix!!!

Much love!

Well, surgery went well today! I am still on bedrest but so far all of my neurological tests are coming back with no defects!!

I am quite tired, so about to head to bed. Just wanted to thank each of you. Your prayers, love and support is appreciated more than I could ever express. Love you all!!

Friday blessings! 

1. Grandma brought Jacob to visit and we had lots of fun on our little nature walk! We saw fish, birds, turtles and even a helicopter! He had a blast!

2. My oncologist came to see me this morning and I learned that my new chemo drug will NOT cause me to lose my hair! Yay!!

3. I am loved. I feel it, all around me. From each of you, my family, my friends, my little man and my amazing husband. We will beat this, Team Red Phoenix!!!

Quick update…

Thank you all for the incredible outpouring of love. I am forever in awe of the kind words, encouragement and love that you all send to us. I cannot thank you all enough.

I have been admitted to the hospital and will stay until early-mid next week. I will have surgery Saturday morning.  Basically, there is an abnormal lesion on the right cerebellum of my brain. I am having additional scans done tonight to determine the intricacies of it and hopefully rule out any additional lesions. It’ll make a 3D map of my brain too, so that’s pretty neat! The size of the entire lesion is about the size of a kiwi and they suspect that it is a small tumor surrounded by fluid, which is common for metastatic breast cancer.

I obviously have options but the recommendation is to remove it as soon as possible. This will alleviate the fluid build up, which is causing headaches and remove the (assumed) cancer. It will give me a better prognosis long term. Radiation and chemo will still be needed but we will deal with that later. For now, we focus on the task ahead.

This part of my brain is responsible for my sense of balance and fine motor skills. I will likely need mild assistance (occupational therapy) initially, such as ensuring I walk stably and can brush my teeth instead of my cheek. 😉 It will be 75% improved in 4 weeks and 100% in 6 weeks time.

That’s all for now. Rest up, my loves. Have a wonderful night! 💚💚💚

So a lot has happened.

The day that I went for my PET scan, I had 3 instances of seeing a phoenix. First was a picture of a red phoenix in the clouds of a blog I follow, next was a bird named Phoenix on a Facebook page that I follow and the third was my baby sister visiting an area of Ireland called Phoenix Park.  It is moments like this that remind me, no matter what comes my way, I will continue forward and fight with all that I have.

Today, as I waited at the plastic surgeon to remove fluid from my left expander in anticipation of radiation therapy again, a woman approached me and asked about Team Red Phoenix. She wanted to know how she could purchase a shirt like mine and support it. She had recently been diagnosed with breast cancer as well. Moments before this interaction, I received a call from my oncologist that this mornings CT scan revealed the cancer had spread to a spot on my right cerebellum (brain). As we determine a path forward, I stopped at the radiation oncologist and was asked by a nurse about my shirt and how to check out my blog. I’m 2 for 3 and know the 3rd instance of phoenix will be here soon. It reminds me why I am doing what I’m doing. Why I will continue to fight, never give up hope and know that my journey is not over.

So. It has been determined that this spot needs to be removed immediately to ensure it does not spread further and to increase the positivity in my long term prognosis. I am awaiting a call from the hospital so that I can be admitted today. Then I will receive a more detailed CT scan (tissue expanders don’t allow for an MRI) and hopefully confirm this is the only spot in my noggin. If that is confirmed and I feel comfortable with the neurosurgeon, then I will undergo surgery to remove this spot. I will then need to have radiation directed at that area, radiation to my chest/lymph nodes and eventually a chemo pill. This will hopefully eradicate this disease from my body.

I know this sucks. I know this news will terrify you. It terrifies me. BUT. I know that I have a lot to live for still. I have a lot left to say. Prayers are welcome. I have faith that I will rise again. I will prevail.

Love to you all!