Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Year to Celebrate!

Yes it is a year to celebrate! No, I am not out of the woods from this whole cancer journey at all. I am here today to celebrate my 30th birthday! A day last year I didn't know if I would see this day (does that make sense?).

December 17, 2012 I saw my surgeon for a preop appointment and we asked about my PET scan results. What was told to us was something no one ever wants to hear. My PET scan had shown that my cancer had reached my brain. I can not tell you everything that went through my mind. Let me tell you I did see my life flash before me. My main concern was and still is my boys! What would happen to them?! I was told that I would live about 2 years maybe. A lot of what the doctor said to me I did not hear. It was very hard to hear this news. My parents where there with me and all we could do was cry. I was in even more shock. I had just been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and now I was told I would live long. It was all so hard to swallow. This was my birthday gift last year.....not knowing if I would be here today.

My oncologist ordered an MRI to be done of my brain to see if what was seen in the PET scan was the cancer or not. We had the MRI and we waited for what seems like FOREVER!! We got the results and my cancer DID NOT spread to my brain! A huge weight was lifted off all our shoulders and our hearts some much more lively to fight harder!! We were given hope! It is hard to write this and to relive these memories that seem all to fresh as if it were just yesterday that all this happened.

This past year has been hell! I have fought hard and I continue to fight hard. I worry every day about what is happening in my body.....but today......today I will celebrate ME!! To celebrate my birth and to celebrate a year that I didn't know if I was ever going to see!! I am still here standing! No I did not go down!! So please celebrate with me. This is a big birthday for me.....ya I am turning 30 and that is all too exciting too but.....I'm still here! Do you not understand how happy I am to be able to say I'm here today when I thought I wouldn't have been last year!

It is crazy how something that is so destructive and give your life a whole new perspective. To be appreciative of everything and everyone in your life. To learn how to LIVE in the moment that you get. I have seen who has been here for me through it all and I have seen those who have left without looking back! To see my friends and family who stood up with me and said I will fight right along side you. I will never leave your side! I wish I could gather us all in one place to celebrate today together. This is a big deal to me and I am sorry if you are one who may be rolling your eyes. One will never know how important it is to live to see one more year when your year last year was threaten and it still is with uncertainty.

There are many people who have supported me and have given me strength when I was too weak. There were days that I cried and asked why me? I didn't want my parents to have to take care of ME their DAUGHTER.....wasn't it suppose to be me taking care of them when they got older? We have had many triumphs throughout this year. I will name some that I can remember there are probably others that I can not remember and I am sorry for that....gotta love the side effects of chemotherapy.

1. Diagnosis
2. Surgery
3.First day of chemo
4. Full range of motion in left arm
5. PET scan showed that chemotherapy KILLING the cancer cells!!
6. Susan G. Komen 5k walk
7. Radiation Completed!

This is just the little but that I can remember.....there has been many more that have happened over the last year! Now do you see why this birthday is so special to me?!?! Let's celebrate my life....literally! I mean it!! Share with me a memory or something! I am so happy to still be standing here today. I am so happy with all the new friends I have made (even though it was this evil disease that brought us together), my friends who have become like my sisters and everyone who has stuck with me through EVERYTHING.

I am going to end this because I will be repeating myself over and over again! Hey!! Guess what?!?!?! IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!! I am 30 years old!!! I am alive!! I am living and I am very blessed!!! Help me make this celebration a great one! Love you all!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Ugly Truth

...... is that cancer takes people away from us! I woke up this morning to see that one of my pink sisters lost her battle to breast cancer. I have been crying and holding back my tears all morning and afternoon long. My heart is so heavy and I can't stop my eyes from watering and the tears from falling. Yes I did ask why she was taken but God has a plan for everyone and he called home his Angel. I take comfort in knowing that she is no longer in pain, that she is healthy and whole once more. All of us pink sisters have an Angel watching over us. It breaks my heart. Her breast cancer had spread to her brain and all us Pink Sisters know that there is not much that can be done when the cancer has spread to other organs. The only thing that the doctors can do is just to treat it, there is not cure when it metastasizes. Breast Cancer and all other cancers take people from this world. 

I can't even put into words the sadness that I am feeling right now. My thoughts are all over the place. Mariana has a son who is maybe a little bit older than Jamison (3) and a family. My heart hurts for her son and her family she left behind. I didn't know Mariana personally but she has rooted me on with my battle. I knew her through Instagram as how I have met MANY of my pink sisters there. It hurts when one of our Pink Sisters loses the battle. It is not fair but a lot of things in life are just not fair. I will continue to pray for us all and for a cure so not one has to deal with this. Mariana thank you for being apart of my life for the short amount of time. You impacted me, cheered me on and gave me hope when I was feeling down. Watch over us all we will miss you greatly.

This is a first for me to be sadden by a lost of someone I didn't know personally but who touched my heart greatly. As I was looking through FaceBook right before my chemo I saw one of my Pink Sisters mention Mariana in a post and than about another fellow Pink Sister. I found out that my Pink Sister Tina's breast cancer has spread to her liver!! It is a very difficult day. Just like Mariana I do not know Tina in person but through instagram and facebook. As my Pink Sister Regina said this afternoon, "the only good thing that comes from Breast Cancer is the friendships that you make' with other Breast Cancer Survivors. We are in this together!! Pink Sister Norma said on instagram we are holding our hands tightly together today. We will not fight this battle alone. Tina keep fighting a strong fight! I will pray for you girl! Thank you for being part of my life.

Being able to tell me feelings about the events that are happening today I am finding some comfort. This is my outlet. As I was doing chemo today and reflecting on everything going on it was very and still is very hard to stay positive. I am scared SHITLESS about my PET scan that I am suppose to have this month! When will we find a cure? I am already at Stage 4 Breast Cancer. Just like all my Pink Sisters we WANT to have wonderful results from our PET Scans but some of us do not get those. I am scared! I KNOW that I need to have tons of more Faith in God when it comes to this but right now I am just so scared. I am sad for the loss of Mariana, I am pissed off that Tina's Cancer spread, and I hate CANCER. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it!! Please continue to pray for all of us. Prayers help so much.

1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words

Psalm 48:14

For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

For all of you who are dealing with cancer whether it be you battling, a family member or a friend be there for them! Be a friend who makes time to see them not a friend who only sees them when they see the battle getting worse. Spend time because we (cancer patients) don't know how our battle is going to end. Don't end up being that person that wishes they would of spent more time after their loved one has left this Earth, be there for them NOW! The battle is HARD and I think it is HARDER when you are not going to treatments every day or every week. Trying to get back to as much of a "normal life" as one can. The transition is hard. Be there for them! Don't have any regrets! Support and being there means so much. All I can say is do enough to be there for them to be able to say if they don't win the battle that you where there for them and have no regrets.

I know that I get in moods when I "fall off" and what I mean by that is I just wake up and do what I need to do and than go to bed at night. Times when I feel like I am in a void of nothingness. There are times that I wish my closest of friends lived close to me so I could tell them "Hey can you come over and just be here with me because I am having a hard time." I don't get that pleasure because all of my closest of friends live ALL OVER the United States. I have a hard time building relationships and it is hard for me to trust people because of past failed friendships. I do keep myself away from opening up a lot. It is only because I am scared of getting hurt. One day I will be able to have a friend or friends who live close by that will be here for me. That will say I am coming over and we are going to hang out whether you want to or not. I miss my friends. I love facebook because I see all my friends who live far away. To my friends all over the US, my pink sisters and to my new friends I will do my best to be a better friend.

In the end remember that a cancer patient doesn't always know the end of their battle. I will end this with a quote from one of my pink sisters who left this comment on my facebook, " While some of us will certainly lose our battles, many more of us will not only survive, but thrive!"

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Today is the last day of October and it is Halloween as well. This month has kind of been hard on me. I am not going to lie and say it was an easy month, it wasn't. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and I did my best to make people aware of this awful disease. As I struggle daily with knowing what I have I do my best to look at the bright side of everything, but sometimes it just doesn't help. I become withdrawn and sucked into a numb vortex.

As I type this I am crying for reasons that are unknown to me at the moment. I never thought in my life that I would have Breast Cancer. Never in my life would I think Breast Cancer Awareness would be so important to me and so much MORE important to inform others of the risks of NOT performing monthly checks. Checking yourself will save your life. Trust me I was that person for YEARS who thought it was super silly to check my breasts. Though I wish i wasn't because who knows I may have caught it sooner. By the time I found my lump....I had lumps and it spread. Do I want any of this for anyone else? HELL NO!!!

Living with Breast Cancer or any kind of cancer is hell. Every ache or pain can be a number of things but for me the first thing that comes to me is: Has my cancer spread? Are my headaches due to stress or did the cancer already spread to my brain? What about my bone ache? Where I am achy is that the same place where my cancer was spotted on my spine? So many things run through your mind. Than I try to fake myself with other things and be like oh no can't be my cancer, but than when I get in contact with my Doctors and their Nurse's everything is rushed to find out what is going on. Then reality kicks in that I am at Stage 4 and we can't dismiss anything at all. Prevention is the best thing for you. I am talking to both women and MEN!! Yes! Men get breast cancer too! Check yourself!

At the end of September I saw my Oncologist and found out that I wasn't going to have my PET scan til December. I was not too happy about this but there are reasons that are unknown to me as to why the scan got pushed back. When I returned to see my Oncologist 3 weeks later I had so much to tell him and so much on my mind. I got my tumor count labs done and that was a big sigh of relief.
As you can see from the photo that my markers keep going down!! This is a good thing and I was able to breathe a big breath. But still this doesn't put me at ease. I don't think anything ever will. I will always forever be haunted by breast cancer. Will I let it consume me? Hell no! I have to much going on in my life to let breast cancer get a hold of me and suck me in completely. I just can't do that to my boys, family,friends, my boyfriend and to myself.

I have tried to make people aware of Breast Cancer. I have posted photos of what I have gone through.
This is a photo that I posted on my personal page, my group page and my fan page. Along with this photo this is what I wrote: Good Morning Everyone! It is October 1st and that means the start of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I know what I am about to post I will lose some fans but I hope that in my posting I can save some people out there. This is not crochet related and this is personal. As you all know I am a Breast Cancer Patient so this month means a lot to me. I have stage 4 triple positive breast cancer. I want to share with you all the effects of breast cancer from the ugly to the good. This is a disease that is out there. It is not fake and it is not pretty. So many men and women have been taken away from us because of this disease. We need to find a cure for Breast Cancer.....we need to find a cure for ALL Cancers!! This disease needs to be stopped!! So many families have been affected by this. Together we can find a cure. 

Now I am going to tell you my brief story.

November 15, 2012 at the age of 28 I was told I had breast cancer. I was a full time student and a single mother of 2 boys. The year before my husband left me and I was getting my life back on track. When I heard my diagnosis I didn't know what to think. Was I not on the right path and God was telling me with this diagnosis? So much ran through my mind. I couldn't leave my children motherless, I wasn't ready to go, I had so much more to live for. When I was diagnosis I didn't know what stage I was at. When I first saw my oncologist I was possibly stage 2/3 but a pet scan would give us more info. I had my pet scan in December and found out I was stage 4. My cancer spread from my breast to my lymph nodes, on my fourth rib, my shoulder blade and my spine! I couldn't believe this! Stage 4!! I was so angry at my first Dr for dismissing my issue as a dry nipple/cut. I had my surgery Dec 28th, 2012 and a month later I started chemo. I had 6 rounds of chemo and 33 radiation treatments. As of right now I do not know where my cancer is. I will say that after my second round of chemo the pet scan had showed the my treatments were working. I am scared every day of every ache and pain because I do not know if it is my cancer. Feel yourself and do your self examinations. Do not let this ugly disease take a hold  of you! Be strong and fight. Fight to find a cure.

From my fan page, Urban Hookin', 4,532 people saw this post. It was shared 20 times. This doesn't count how many times it was shared from my personal page and seen by other people. I hope I made a difference. I hope I opened up some eyes. Feeling yourself isn't silly. It will save you!

I heard that from my photo that I posted that there were 2 or 3 (can't remember) ladies who were going to go get a mammogram because of my story. My boyfriends boss was inspired to create something to make others aware and to remind them to get their mammograms and this is what she did:
She made some Mammo-Grahams and gave them out to all her female friends and family......Well I wanted to do a slide show but just unclicked everything I had selected....hahahaha dur! Ok finally got what I wanted to do done.

I hope that I inspire others. I hope that I inspire my Pink Sisters. Don't give up! Keep fighting. Don't be consumed by the cancer. Be YOU! Live, laugh and LOVE with all that you are and all that you got. LIFE is precious! DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED!!! You never know how much your life means to you until a disease is wanting to take your life from you.

I hope and pray that all of you who see or read this is aware of their own body. Have you done your self breast check yet? Don't be scared go do it! Check your breast. I check mine all the time! I am scared too but I still do it!! 

I hope you can take one thing away from this blog or from me......Life is to precious to not care. I will continue to fight. I will never give up. I may cry and I may get tired of it but there is no way I will let it take me without a battle.

Love, Jackie

P.S. I am looking forward to December but I know I will be scared during the PET Scan. Have a great day and Happy Halloween! 

Monday, September 9, 2013


So I am a MAJOR slacker when it comes to blogging! Yes I am almost 2 1/2 weeks post radiation treatment! I know that I said I was going to write about this a few weeks ago but I am just now getting to it! So lets see where should I start? 

I started radiation July 8th! I was so scared! I had no idea what to expect at all!!
Radiation Machine

My get up!
So I was very nervous!! I shouldn't have been though! I think it was because I didn't know what to expect with my treatments so the unknown was scary to me. That first day I didn't know that my treatment had started until the techs told me that I was 2/3 of the way done! I was like serious?!?! What the hell was I nervous about?!

This is the first day of my radiation. I got drawn on and my skin had no effects of course lol.

So during my radiation my hands started tingly and my lymphedema did start acting up. I can't really say when I noticed my skin changing from the treatments but it sure did change! I was tired but not as tired as chemo put me. I was in pain and I am not going to lie about that BUT my pain didn't start to happen till the last few weeks of radiation. 

These next few photos are going to show you the progression of the radiation that it has on the skin. These are not a week by week but missing a few week in-between. 

 So as you can see it was very painful. It seriously was like the worst sunburn EVER!! The worst parts of this burn was my collar bone and right under my armpit! Those HURT bad!!

I had 6 1/2 weeks of treatment, I went in Monday - Friday. My last five treatments were very quick and easy. All it was was a booster to my scar. I prayed that my skin wouldn't break and it didn't! I did start to peel and that was it! It was so hard to put lotion on my chest because I still have issues with touching my scar. I am not sure if you can notice or not but my skin did tighten up and now my chest looks nice to me! With my radiation if I decide to have reconstruction surgery it is going to be PAINFUL!! To have tissue expanders placed! OUCH!

I have chemo tomorrow and I see my oncologist! I hope we will have an appt for my pet scan. Right now the only treatment that I do is my chemo every 3 weeks! I hope and pray that my cancer is still responding to my herceptin only and hasn't spread.

Oh I want to show you all my hair!!
June 28th 


August 31st.

My hair is coming in and I am still getting use to it. I wish my hair was growing in faster but I will take what I have. It took a while for me to get use to it but it is growing on me, lol.

Regina and I
This summer I got to meet another Pink Sister who has family out here! It was AWESOME!!! I have many pink sisters around the world and we support, encourage, pray and love each other. The bonds between us is amazing. It is like no other! I am grateful that this horrible disease/illness has brought us together.

I am still gaining energy but I still have my days where I have very low energy. I feel better than what I did during chemo. My body is still recovering from radiation though. Thank you all for keeping me in your prayers. Please continue to pray for me as I don't know much more about the next steps for my treatment. The unknown is always scary for me because I am already at stage 4. I want my results to come back good. 

Well until next time everyone! Thank you! Love you all!