Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oops, I did it again!

First off, wow, it has been too long.  Sorry for being MIA.  When I hit the glitch about uploading photos, I guess I got lazy.  Took a little (okay, a long) break from blogging.  Lucky that a great follower, Phyllis, emailed me encouraging me to figure out my photo problem.  It was the kick in the pants I needed.  Thank you Phyllis!  A lot has been going on.  I obviously am going to try to cram a lot of Christmas posts into this week but this is my favorite I am sharing first.

Oops, I did it again.  That's right. I did it again. I changed my entryway. Just did a little tweaking to gear up for Christmas. I had bought a fabulous chalkboard as part of my retail therapy. You know, I fell in love with this and wanted a consolation prize since I was going to start chemo.  My husband only let me play the cancer card for about two purchases. Anyways, I originally wanted to put this above my mantel but seriously underestimated the size of the chalkboard. So, it sat in my garage since March until now.


Don't you just love it?! I had recently purchased a Prism opaque projector and knew this was perfect for it's first use. I printed out some digital brushes of the girl on the sled and traced and filled in. I just love it!  I couldn't resist snapping up this Santos doll from Tuesday Morning.  I also had to put a little ironstone in there to complete my vignette.  Have you spotted our elf? 



Nothing like rocking my little girl and looking over to see such a pretty vignette.

Sharing over at:
  {Primp} 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Problems

I was all set ready to share some photos with you but a problem has occurred. As I tried to download my pictures, it said I have reached my photo capacity. If anyone could let me know if I really need to purchase more storage or if I can resize my pictures, that would be great. Oh, if you could tell me how to resize it for here in photoshop elements you would be an angel in my book :) can't wait to show you what I have up my sleeve. For now, the pillow is calling my head. Hopefully, there is an angel amongst you that can enlighten me concerning my dilemma. Many thanks!

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

No more

I wanted to let you know everything came back normal. When the lab tech took my blood last week, I asked about how they would detect cancer. She commented by my tumor markers. Since the blood draw, I was getting increasingly nervous about seeing my doctor today. You know, thinking the cancer was still lurking within me. I know, not positive but I am keeping it real. I asked the doctor about my labs specifically my tumor markers. She said that they don't test for those in breast cancer. What? I spent a whole week freaking out thinking today I may find out the cancer is back. What a waste of my time and energy! Well, no more! I guess I thought the tech would have magically known what type of cancer I had and what the doctor was looking for. Just so you know, my doctor was looking at marrow and liver and/or kidney levels. You know, seeing the toxic effects of my treatments. I am grateful that everything is normal. I just am kicking myself for allowing myself to get so nervous about a recurrence. This taught me that I cannot just be waiting for the other shoe to drop. I will be enjoying everyday. In fact, after the doctor appointment and my Herceptin infusion, I worked on a little project because it is something I enjoyed. I plan to keep myself busy with projects big or small because it makes me happy. Life is too short to worry and not be happy. Thanks for letting me purge. I plan on getting back to how things were before I got strapped onto this crazy roller coaster.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Entryway revamp

I have been wanting to share my revamped entryway. Let me show you some of the past changes to present day.

Here we have my $20 auction table decked out for Halloween.


Then, a Christmas present (DIY upholstered settee).

The Union Jack craze.

Next, a trip to the Salvation Army and a Craigslist purchase to produce this.

 

The most up to date revamp came from a garage sale and festival. I could not resist asking the gentleman if this gorgeous chest was for sale. He said that he would have to ask his wife but he would be urging her to sale it and 2 matching night stands. So, I left my name and number. Fast forward about 3 weeks. I was in the same neighborhood for a community sale. Showed up at the same house and talked to the husband again. Again, left my name and number. After about 3 weeks, I thought it was a loss. Then, out of the blue the lady called. I got it and they even delivered it for me. They were the nicest couple ever! I am so in love with the curves of this chest. It is an antique from England.


I picked up the canvas painting at a festival and the wood horse cutout from another festival.  I just love the painting.  Once I sale the french curio to the left, I may frame the painting. 


Just look at the colors in the painting. 


 Boy, I have changed that entryway a lot in just two years!  I may have a problem. 

Now that you have seen my many entryway looks, which do you like the best?

Sharing over at:
French Country Cottage    Furniture Feature Fridays

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What's important

That is what I have been asking myself since the end of radiation. As I was nearing the end of radiation, I began to feel like this is a sort of second chance. This whole experience has made me examine my life (other than when it flashed before my eyes right after the doctor told me I have cancer). I mean I caught this cancer at stage II not IV. They have told me thus far there is no evidence of cancer remaining. I am inclined to believe that I will make it long enough to make my kids tell each other how old and senile their mother is.

 

I just feel like I need my life to make an impact but don't know where or how to do that. Before all this began, I loved painting furniture and such. Now, it somehow seems less important. Maybe this is a phase. Maybe the big guy upstairs is prompting me. Many survivors volunteer to help others with cancer but I am not sure I can do that now. Too many crazy thoughts creep in my head about reoccurrence. It is pretty taxing trying to figure out what I am suppose to do. I guess I will go the hubs advice, 'just recover, and be a good mother. ' Now, I think I can do that.

 

So bear with me while I muddle my way through this phase. I have some projects to show but am a little slow sharing these days. Hope you have a lovely weekend!

 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pinktober

I am sure it has not been unnoticed by you.  It is Pinktober, breast cancer awareness month.  Yes, I have become all to aware of breast cancer.  I finished up my 28 radiation treatments last Friday.  I am, to say the least, quite crispy.  It is like getting a sunburn on top of a sunburn, on top of a sunburn, well you get the idea.  I was told that this week and the next will yield the final results of my radiation (peeling, blistering, and possibly opening and draining).  Not my idea of fun.  So far, I have just peeled and am walking around with my hand on my hip to keep my arm from rubbing too much.  Let me just say ouch!!  But hey, at least I am still around.  If that is all I can complain about, I am lucky. 

Being Pinktober, you cannot go anywhere without seeing the pink ribbon on everything.  Pink is everywhere!  In honor to bring breast cancer awareness to you, I couldn't resist grabbing this pink wig from the Halloween section.



After reading this, I want all you gals to check yourself.  It is Pinktober after all! 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Topiary

Fall is here!  It is my favorite time of the year.  I love it when the air starts to get nice, cool, and crisp, don't you?  I know you have seen pumpkin topiaries all around pinterest, magazines, and other blogs.  I have wanted to make one for quite some time but finally bit the bullet and splurged on the supplies.



I had to get a total of six fake pumpkins.  I got mine from Hobby Lobby.  Next, I knew I needed a dowel rod in order to get the pumpkins to stay upright since my are fake.  My mom spied this at the Goodwill Outlet which worked out perfect.  I bought some picks and already had grapevine garland that I made six separate rings out of for stacking between the pumpkins.   

I basically just followed Marian's directions from HGTV, click here.  Although it is not exactly like Marian's, mine is perfect for me because I can reuse it year after year.




I wanted to give a thanks to Phyllis for the email to give me that extra push.  Thanks a bunch!

I am sharing at:

 




Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fear & Road Trip

Today has been my second treatment of radiation, 2 out of 28.  This weekend I had may little breakdown.  You see, fear started to grip me with the unknown reactions that my body will have to this radiation.  Will my skin be so damaged that it will make reconstruction impossible, will my lung and ribs be significantly damaged, or will I be the 1 out of 3,000 that could develop cancer from the radiation being used to kill my current cancer.  The fear of the unknown gets me each time before I start a new treatment.  What a funny thing fear is.  It grips you and paralyzes you.  If you allow it, it will take control.  I may let fear take a day or two from me, but I then turn it over to God.  So, just like Carry Underwood sings, "Jesus, take the wheel."  I am leaving it in his hands.

I have decided that since my diagnosis, this has been like a road trip.  With each treatment, they say they give you time to recover before the next.  But it is really just like exiting an interstate just long enough to pee, then getting back into the car until the next rest stop.  You know after you stretch your legs and use the bathroom you feel better.  Then as the miles pass by, you feel trapped in the car.  Your eyes are watching the signs for the next rest stop.  Well, that is how I am feeling.  Only I realize that this road trip doesn't really have a final destination.  I will always have thoughts of recurrence in the back of my mind.  I guess while I am on the road, I need to enjoy the scenery.  I have learned to treasure my everyday life.  Even down to my sweet princess's scowls that she gives me on occasion (ok almost every other day).  I have learned to not take for granted anyone or anything.  A song I like to listen to is Miley Cyrus's "The Climb."  It helps me keep perspective.

While we are all on a road trip travelling different roads, I hope you are taking the time to stop and enjoy each day.  See you back on the road!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Sweet corner cabinet

I am still limited to what I am able to do.  It has been 5 weeks and I have been okayed to vacuum.  I know, I could barely hold back my excitement on that one :)  Anyways, one day I was looking through my memory card and found a few projects that I have never posted about. 

This poor little cabinet was a diamond in the rough when my mom proudly brought it to me from a garage sale.  This is just a shot after I scoured off the dirt.  As you can see, the door wasn't attached but had the hardware.  It just didn't want to close. 


Hubby took some time making the door fit properly.  He usually throws a little fit but I think he secretly likes tinkering with all of my "junk," as he call it.

After he proudly displays what a fine job and how well the door can shut, I did my part.  I was thinking a little dry brushing with some chalk paint would give it that great country look.  Not to mention, it only took me 10 minutes of my time. 


This is the original knob.  All crackled and crazed.  I love it.



What do you think?  It sold quickly at the shop.

Sharing over at:

Furniture Feature Fridays The Shabby Nest
Hope you all are taking care!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Breast Cancer update

First and foremost, the most exciting thing is my hair is growing.  My right eyebrow is growing faster than the left.  I don't have the heart to pluck those crazy random misplaced ones because I have gone so long without them.  I now only use eyeshadow to darken where the eyebrows are growing back instead of using the eyebrow pencil.  I don't think I ever became friends with that thing.  So, do you want a glimpse?




I have a lot more gray growing amongst my brown.  I'll take a little salt and pepper.  My son said we could always buy one of those boxes of color at the store :)  My daughter still is calling me bald. 

So, to update you on the latest of this journey.  I have been doing physical therapy since the surgery.  I have finally regained my normal range of motion.  I needed to get my arms above my head in order to start my radiation.  Goal met.  Big cheer for me.  I am starting to work on strengthening my arms back up.

About 2 weeks ago, I get a call from my oncologist's office asking if I could come in the next day in the afternoon.  I said, 'oh, did I forget an appointment?'  The response was no.  I then ask when was I suppose to see Dr. Mayers next, the receptionist said not until October.  I ask what my oncologist wants to see me for.  Of course the receptionist tells me, I just have a note that she would like to see you tomorrow afternoon.  I say okay and start freaking out.  My mind kicks into high gear thinking oh no this can't be good.  She got the wrong pathology reports and is going to tell me I need more chemo.

What can I say?  I am only human, right?  So it is a long night and day until finally the appointment time arrives.  It is actually good news (kinda of, sort of).  In the beginning of all of this, I was tested for HER2 + or HER2-.  My results came back equivocal.  So, I was considered neither.  Well, my oncologist reviewed my new pathology report from the double mastectomy again and found that my HER2 number registered 2.  You are considered HER2+ at 2.2 allowing for a drug Herceptin to add to treatment. 

You ask what does all this mean right?  Well, being HER2+ means that my cells have mutated allowing cancer to grow more aggressively.  Therefore, making my cancer more likely to reoccur.  My oncologist talked with my insurance and they are allowing me to take this Herceptin.  It is amazing the first pathology from the lymph node surgery rated HER2 at 1.7 and after the mastectomy, they pulled out a lucky cell to test that came back closer to the HER2 diagnosis.  Sounds confusing and not good, but to me, I have another weapon in my arsenal against this cancer.  Herceptin is suppose to work very well.  I will hooked up to an IV every 3 weeks for a year.  I feel lucky to have such a great oncologist that would review my chart again and catch this.  She is on it!

This week I start Herceptin.  I only experienced a low-grade fever and being knocked out by the benedryl given in case of allergic reaction to the drug.  I  got my left expander deflated about 150ccs to get ready for radiation.  Next Monday I get my mold made for radiation.  Then hopefully get started on my 28 sessions of radiation, wait for my skin to heal, trade out my expanders for implants and get my ovaries and fallopian tubes removed at the same time, finish my herceptin by next August, and hopefully be cancer free the remainder of my life.  Wow!  What a journey.  God never said life would be easy, but I am sure glad he is here with me.

Remember ladies, check yourself.  Know your body so you can detect things early.  Best wishes that you all are junking, thrifting, and creating while I still wait to get approved to lift more than 5 pounds.  Can't wait to do at least one project.  Who knows, I will figure something out.

Monday, August 6, 2012

I'm still standing

Yes, it is true.  I am still alive.  It will be three weeks tomorrow that I had my double mastectomy.  I had tissue expanders placed in at the same time.  When they say it takes about 4-6 weeks to recover, I think they have it about right.  It has only been 3 weeks but I am hanging in there.  The chemo worked.  They tested the breast tissue removed and found only 4mm of residual disease and had clear margins.  One doctor used the word cancer-free.  It is hard for me to grasp that.  Right now, I am hating these tissue expanders.  In case you don't know, basically these are a rough, hard type plastic capsules placed in a pocket of your chest wall muscle that they create after your breast tissue is removed to be filled to prepare your skin and muscles for an implant.  Unfortunately, this is not the run of the mill Housewives of Orange County way.

Because I will be doing radiation, the plastic surgeon wanted to fill me as much as he could.  So, I have 550cc expanders that were filled to 500cc at the time of the surgery.  It was like a baby elephant was placed on my chest.  My muscles were not enjoying being stretched.  Two weeks later, he placed the remaining 50ccs in.  That wasn't too bad.  It is more than the 'uncomfortable' that the nurses and doctors state but I guess it is the path I have chosen. 

Now that you are up to date, I wanted to share some pictures I had taken the week before my surgery.



I wanted this one to mark one of the hardest journeys in my life.  Don't laugh at the eyebrows.  They are incredibly hard to draw in once they are gone.  I will never make fun of any older woman ever again.  To let you know God does have a since of humor, my leg hair is growing like a forest, I am getting peach fuzz on my head but I still have about only 3 to 4 eyebrow hairs and eyelashes. 
Anyways, here are the most precious pictures to me because these little two ones along with my husband is why I would endure any treatment they would throw at me.  Every minute I have with them is precious.














Please give those you love a big strong hug and kiss and let them know.

Since I am still not allowed to lift anything over 5 pounds or do housework, I will be sitting around with my dust bunnies recovering while checking out all of your amazing projects. 

Nothing but good thoughts being sent out to all of you wonderful people.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ciao

Ciao is Italian for goodbye and hello.  Ciao was the theme for a party some great gals threw for me to say goodbye to these old, cancer boobs and hello to hopefully a good set of cancer free, man-made boobs.  This group of girls have been so supportive whether it be through meals, a shoulder to cry on, a laugh, or prayers.  It has meant everything to have such a great support system!


(missing are 2 gals)

I was so surprised when to honor the Italian theme of Ciao, we were going for a gondola ride.  I wanted to share some pictures with you of me and these wonderful gals. 



During the ride, the gentleman steering the gondola asked what we were celebrating. My friends' faces had an awkward what should we say look. I turned and told him "why a double mastectomy." It took him only a couple of seconds to say, "so, we are celebrating life, or shedding a few pounds." It was so funny. I was very impressed with his quick, witty comment.  As we enjoyed the ride and each other, we also enjoyed the singing from the gentleman.  It was just what the doctor ordered.  I am so blessed to have great friends and family.  They rock!

Monday is the surgery day.  Yikes!!  Can you say nervous?!  They say it takes 4-6 weeks to recover.  Crazy to think that removing breasts is considered an outpatient surgery.  I am hoping to be one of those freakish women that recovers quickly and beautifully.  Crossing my fingers! 

So, I will be saying goodbye for a little while and hello later.  Wish me luck! 

Ciao!!