Sunday Salon / Sunday Post – Breast Cancer – Weekly Rewind – New Arrivals

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The Sunday Salon is a Facebook group that has become an
informal week in review gathering place for bloggers.

It is also a place to share our thoughts about things of a bookish nature.
You can also link up weekly on Readerbuzz.

SUNDAY POST The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
~ It’s a chance to share news~
A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

HAPPY SUNDAY EVERYONE!

Breast Cancer

March has been hard for me for the last 19 years starting with the auto accident that left my right side mostly paralyzed on March 14, 2001. Then losing my son to suicide on March 15, 2015. Then this year on March 13 I was dealt another blow with a diagnosis of Breast Cancer.

Late in February, I found a lump in my left breast. After meeting with my Personal Care Physician, I had a mammogram on March 10 and then an ultrasound biopsy on the lump and lymph nodes under my left arm on March 11. On March 13, late in the day, my PCP called to confirm the cancer and that it had spread to the lymph nodes. Daughter #2 has just got home from work, so we had a good cry ending with her declaring “We got this mom!”

Soon thereafter my husband arrived home from work, a little more shock and tears and again, “Lori, we got this.”

A phone call to Daughter #1, my rock, “Mom, I will be there with you the whole way. We got this!”

A little later, Son #2 arrived with just what I needed, a dose of Baby Charlotte. A few more tears and paraphrasing my son here. “Mom, this is what we do, we get knocked down, we get back up and fight. We have done it before; we will do it again. We Got This! No decision for you to make, I am taking that off your hands. We are fighting this together.

Then a call to my daughter in law whose mother recently won her battle with lung cancer and who is also raising her daughter, Natalie, on her own after losing my son. Another strong woman to have in my corner. “Lori, whatever you need, I am here for you. We got this!”

After these calls and visits, I had to stop and take a few deep breaths. “We got this!” Not “You Got This”. This was just the beginning of my support team.

On March 20 I had a bone scan and CT scan to be sure the cancer hadn’t spread farther. Again, my PCP didn’t make me wait through the weekend and called about 5 p.m. to tell me it hadn’t spread and that he had set up an appointment for me with an oncologist for March 25.

This is where the Coronavirus started to throw a monkey wrench into my support. I was told I had to come alone to my appointment. So, me, being me, told them I would have to wait until I could have someone with me, this was just too monumental for me to handle on my own. Enter my husband who called them back, and finally got them to allow Daughter #1 who works in healthcare and was following all protocols to come to the appointment with me. And it’s good she did because there was so much information, she saw my eyes glaze over. She took great notes and asked all the right questions. She explained my fears about after losing my father, and brother-in-law to cancer, and a good friend and co-worker and other friends to breast cancer several years ago. She also pointed out that I knew many that had battled and won. Together the three of us made a plan and I was scheduled to meet with a surgeon the next day and also received a training session regarding chemo. Again, good thing she was there because it was a lot more information.

Now it was time to loop my extended family in. The family who had already supported me through so much, my mother-in-law, my sister, my brother, my sisters and brothers – in-law, and some dear friends. Again, they wrapped their virtual arms around me and told me they are there for whatever I needed. “We got this” “Prayers on the way” “Love You”

Thankfully my husband was allowed to come with me to see the surgeon where she explained putting in the port for chemo but also why we were doing chemo first before surgery. With the lymph nodes in my good arm involved it is important to shrink the tumors as much as possible to prevent having to take too much from there during surgery to protect my mobility. Also, generally, my type of cancer responds well to chemo first. The oncologist may have covered that the day before, but my brain did not absorb it. She was patient and open and really listened to me. She really put me at ease, giving me a longer possible prognosis than I truly expected.

So, on Monday, May 30, very early in the morning, I had surgery to insert my port. During the procedure I had a dream featuring my son Kris, “Focus, Mom, I am here. We Got This.” I woke up crying and when I told the nurse and anesthesiologist, they told me I wasn’t losing it, they have heard things like that a lot.

The very next day I started chemo. I was so nervous; they did let Daughter #1 to stay with me in a private room. It went very well, the nurse explained everything in detail. Then on the way home, nausea set in, the world went a little off the axis, we made it to my driveway, and I was so dizzy I didn’t think I would be able to get out of the car. Daughter #1 called the clinic and it was determined an empty stomach was to blame. Daughter #2 rushed to the pharmacy to get my nausea prescriptions filled while Daughter #1 finally got me in the house. Soon meds were on board and I fell asleep and woke up feeling much better. We kept the meds going through the next day, got some bland food in me and soon I was feeling more like myself. I did have to go back into the clinic for a follow-up shot and was checked out and we came up with a meal plan for my next appointment. I did have a little heartburn; I am still learning what I can eat and a little neuropathy in my bad leg in the days that followed but no throwing up or other side effects I was worried about.

This past week I had my second Chemo treatment and it went much better. Daughter #1 was not allowed in, but she sat in her car in the parking lot and we texted and read books. A little queasy stomach the next day and the biggest side effect I have worried about, my hair has started to fall out.

A bald head doesn’t bother me, but my bald head has scars and a dent from my accident in 2001 and I am afraid it is going to look pretty scary for the grandkids. I was hoping to do this gradually with a short haircut first and then giving in to my husband’s great plan, him shaving my head, but with hair salons closed we may be going directly to my husband’s plan. 😊 I am not doing the wig thing though, the girls are already looking at scarves, hats, and wraps and have plenty of ideas so I am sure I will have some stylish options. The first ones will be arriving this week.

So, I have not been able to Safe at Home during this pandemic but because all elective medical procedures were placed on hold my treatment was able to be fast-tracked for which I am very thankful. I have witnessed the evolution of questions over the past weeks I was asked every time I entered a facility.

Have you left the state of Wisconsin?

Have you been in contact with any that has or may have COVID-19?

Are you feeling sick today? Shortness of breath? Cough? Fever?

Soon they added taking temperatures at the door and no visitors allowed.

And as of my last visit, face masks required.

My schedule right now is 2 more times every other week, April 28 and May 12. Then the drugs change, and I go every week for 12 more weeks. After that, we reevaluate and plot the next steps regarding surgery or radiation.

I feel as I have been blessed that my body is tolerating the treatment well so far. I have been able to continue to work on my book tours and writing reviews and blog posts. I am a little behind on my reading because I fatigue easier and my late-night reading binges are ending earlier. This work pushes me to get up and keep going each day. Due to my early morning chemo treatments, I may be doing my promotions a little later in the day, but I do hope to take a laptop with me and work from the clinic. I just need to tweak a few things to get that set-up.

Since sharing this message with my Great Escapes Book Tour bloggers on Friday, my support group has expanded even more. Just like when I lost Kris, this group of extraordinary people I have only met online, have reached out to me again and are giving me strength and I am so appreciative.

I know there will be rough days ahead. Mental, physical, and financial but right at this very moment. We Got This! I am ready to fight and beat this!

If you are a prayer, prayers or good thoughts are always appreciated.

Thank you so much.

~Lori


Weekly Rewind – April 13 – 18, 2020

Monday – My Reading Itinerary Monday! – Week #16 – 2020

Tuesday – This Magick Marmot (An Abracadabra Mystery) by Sharon Pape #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @sbpape @lyricalpress

Plus – Why Me?: Chimeras, Conundrums, and Dead Goldfish by Charlotte Stuart – #CharacterGuestPost – Great Escapes Book Tour @quirkymysteries

Wednesday – Cozy Wednesday featuring A Stroke of Malice (A Lady Darby Mystery) by Anna Lee Huber #Review / #Giveaway @BerkleyMystery

Thursday – Murder in the Secret Maze (A Tory Benning Mystery) by Judith Gonda #Review / #Giveaway – Great Escapes Book Tour @JudithGonda

Friday – To Fetch a Scoundrel, Four Fun “Tails” of Scandal and Murder (Mutt Mysteries) by Heather Weidner, Jayne Ormerod, Rosemary Shomaker, Teresa Inge

Plus – #FlashbackFriday – Death and Daisies: A Magic Garden Mystery by Amanda Flower #Review / #Giveaway @crookedlanebks

Saturday – All We Buried: A Sheriff Bet Rivers Mystery by Elena Taylor – #AuthorGuestPost / #Giveaway @Elena_TaylorAut

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

25 thoughts on “Sunday Salon / Sunday Post – Breast Cancer – Weekly Rewind – New Arrivals

  1. Oh, Lori, I am so sorry this is happening to you! You’re hitting it head-on, though, with much courage. The support team is all part of courage when we can’t muster it ourselves.

    My sister had breast cancer at the age of 38. She had a partial radical mastectomy because the tumor was contained and she didn’t think she’d survive the chemo of the day. That was in 1979, and she’s still with us, looking forward to celebrating her 80th birthday this coming December.

    The ways treatments have improved so much in the years since my sis went through her ordeal. She did say that the year AFTER the cancer was the best health year she ever had. Maybe that will be your blog post after the chemo is all over with!

    I am a woman of prayer and will keep you in both thoughts and prayers. I’ve admired your hard work for some time now, lurking in the ethers. I don’t know how you get it all done! Take it easy right now, though.Your health must come first.

    This is but a season in your life. Keep choosing hope. And don’t forget to look for the Godwinks. If you haven’t read about those, email me at sarahgm917@gmail.com.

    Blessings to you and your family,

    Sarah Gunning Moser
    Long Beach, Washington

  2. Oh, Lori, I am so sorry you are facing this and so appreciate that you have continued your support of writers throughout this challenge. My prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for sharing the steps in your journey. God bless and restore you to good health.

  3. Prayers for you and your family. I’ve gone through cancer with many family members, the hardest one being my son when he was only 22 months old and being pregnant with son#2. Reading your post I could relate to the anxiousness, glazed over eyes, the hair loss that he had just got in for him, figuring out what to eat, your tolerances may change over time with treatment. Go take a family picture before the hair is gone, it will come back darker, this my great aunt said was a perk 🥰 It’s a long journey but with wonderful doctor’s, family and friends support, it makes the journey a little easier. There will be good days and bad, document them all, pics and thoughts and instructions of care, make a memory book, don’t forget to include your cards and well wishes. I had a box of thoughts where I put the items till I could put it together. But it’s something that helped remind us on those really hard days, that we weren’t in this alone, later on it has been a reminder that no matter how hard the battle, we can do it, we just have to try. I can’t imagine doing it through this covid-19 madness, but know you are loved and sent well wishes from family, friends and readers. We will keep you and your family in our prayers. 🤗🥰

  4. Prayers for you, your family and for the physicians to be guided by God. <3 With God – you got this!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  5. Well, it seems March and it’s Ides have it in for you.
    I’m so very sorry to hear this but it sounds as if you have it well in hand. Having lost my husband to cancer and numerous friends, I’m familiar with the fear of the vile beast. Know that you are loved and have a multitude of friends who are 🙏🏻🙏🏻 For you.

  6. Sending you love bombs, for you and your family. They are the best!
    How ironic that our modern plague has opened up medical possibilities that might have taken much longer earlier.

  7. Thanks for sharing – you have brought such joy to so many of us through your blog and glimpse into your wonderful family’s lives. Yep, we’ve got this. Lots and lots of positive thoughts and prayers coming your way.

  8. Lori, your story from the last few weeks has amazed and inspired me. What a strong person you are. And you have so many people who have your back. Sending prayers for courage and resilience as you walk through this time.

  9. Hugs to you, strong woman! I’m so glad you were able to have your daughter there for you! It sounds like you have an excellent support system despite the restrictions that this pandemic are causing. I wish you all the best!

  10. I am sending you hugs and good wishes for few side effects and a recovery that comes as quickly as is possible. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system and good health care, which is so important. Allow others to help you, nurture you, and prop you up both physically and emotionally.

  11. Prayers for you, your family and your doctors. So glad you have a great support system looking after you. Take good care of yourself.

  12. You are now officially added to my prayer list. Seems like it keeps getting longer with this virus affecting friends and now your cancer diagnosis. Listen to your family and doctors (I know you will) and never give up. Sending love and prayers your way.

  13. So sorry to hear this Lori. Prayers for you and your family. You’re a strong woman and have a great support system.Y’all got this!!

  14. Very sorry to hear you have to be going through cancer treatments. We found out last fall our 16 year old granddaughter has a rare type of cancer. She has been going through chemo and had six weeks of radiation end of January and then continued chemo. She was doing quite well but then the day after Easter one side of her body got tingly and numb. She is in ICU with a breathing tube. Something injured her brain stem. They are trying to get things figured out. Thankfully they are allowing one parent to be with her at all times. We are praying, praying, praying that she heals from this set back and can be home for her birthday at the end of the month! And you are certainly added to my prayer list! You’ve got this!

  15. Ohmygosh, Lori!!!! We all know “life isn’t fair” but all the stuff that has happened to you in various months of March is just TOO MUCH and TOTALLY NOT FAIR.

    That being said, you do have THE BEST support system behind you and in your corner and they have definitely “got this” with you.

    I am praying hard for you and will be cheering along every time you get a bit of good news.

    Hang in there!!!!

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