But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Ok, two more doctors to introduce you to.  Dr. Chambers is an Orthopedic Surgeon that I saw this week concerning a leg pain that I've tolerated for several years now.  I basically have no cartilege left in my knees and have had a lot of pain in that area, along with stiffness.  At first I thought the pain going clear down my leg and behind my knee on the left side was related to my knee problems, so I have pretty much just tolerated the pain and figured it was something I was just going to have to live with....you know, arthritis.  Ugh, growing old can be a pain...lol! 

But when the pain started to affect me clear down the back side of my left leg, I decided that maybe it was a little more than I thought.  So, at my annual check-up with my regular family doctor, I mentioned the pain and he said it sounded like a nerve problem and sent me for an MRI.  This resulted in a diagnosis of spinal stenosis and he sent me to Dr. Chambers.

Dr. Chambers did his own xrays and along with the MRI, he has told me that I have a bone spur/sciatica that is causing the pain and he has given me some anti-inflammatory medicine, plus he is referring me to Dr. Whitworth for a spinal injection.  I will go for this injection next Tuesday.  

Now, a spinal injection sounds creepy to me, so I've been reading up on it and it appears it's really quite common.  I've never really had anything done to my spine.  My sister has had injections, though, and I've learned they were for the same thing.  She has assured me that it won't hurt and he has told me I'll be sedated.  How bad can it be...right?  When I think of all that I've been through, I figure I've "got" this one.  And if this will take away the pain I've been tolerating on a daily basis, it will be worth it!  One of the bad things about having a high tolerance for pain is that you sometimes put up with pain longer than you have to!  So, I'm happy to find out a diagnosis for my pain (and to know it's not just in my head) and will be happy if this injection takes it away for awhile.  He has told me it can take it away completely for some people....or I may have to actually have surgery to remove the bone spur.  So, I'll try this and will go back to Dr. Chambers in 4 weeks to assess how well it's worked or if surgery is needed.  I'm staying positive that this injection will work!  It's actually a steroid injection, so knowing that sterioids can cause weight gain, I'm hoping this is the only one I'll need!  If I can get myself to be more mobile again without the pain.....I just might start training for a 5K!  That would be a dream of mine!  :=)

Speaking of dreams.....I just met another dream of mine!  After my Thirty-One business dying a slow death in December and January, I went to a Retreat in Tennessee for training and motivation.  I came back home all gung-ho to get my business jump-started again.   It was like starting all over, trying to find hostesses to have a party for me.  My business was going great when I got cancer and I had to put it aside while I went through the treatments.  I didn't know if I could get it started up again, but I came back all motivated to give it a try!  I also set a goal to promote to a Director by the Convention, which is in August.  A lofty goal, but I was going to shoot for it!  Little did I know that I would meet the goal in February to be a Director in Qualifications!!!!  That means if I meet these same sales requirements and recruiting requirements in March, I am a Director!  I am so excited and it totally took me by surprise that it could even be a possiblity my first month back in action.  I worked really hard for it this month and feel so good about it.  This is one reason I joined this company...I felt it was a young company and I'd be getting on the "ground floor" where I could have the opportunity to promote up the ladder!  Wish me success and hey, if you want anything or want to have a party, let me know!  :=)  Or, if you want to know more about the opportunity to have your own business, I'd be happy to talk with you.  Ok, commercial over...lol!

I just look at this as something cancer was NOT able to take away from me!  I feel like it's a victory against cancer!  I am also back to substitute teaching, which I feel is another victory against cancer!  I just feel like I'm getting my life back!

By the time all of these doctors are done, I'll be a "new woman"!  Hopefully I will soon be pain free....I've lost weight....got a new hairdo.....got off of the cpap machine and the oxygen at night.....have more energy......have no evidence of cancer......and I feel relatively good!  What else could I ask for?   I give thanks to God for all He has done for me.

No other news at this time!  Just wanted to update you all that I'm doing well!  Oh, I did forget to mention that I have a Relay For Life team and am looking for fundraising ideas.  So, if you have any, throw them my way, ok?  I'm thinking a pink flamingo fundraiser sounds like fun!  :=)

  Until next time, take care of yourself and get those mammograms!   If there are any breast cancer survivors (if you just got diagnosed or are still in treatment, or been cancer free for years!) in the Seymour/Columbus, Indiana area, we are starting up a Breast Cancer Support group and will have our first meeting next Thursday.  Just email me for details if you are interested!  We would love to have you join us!

Monday, February 20, 2012


Now, I know you all don't realize I'm old enough to be a "red hatter" (lol), but I must confess....I am!!!!  My friends, Martha and Linda, and I have formed a new local red hatter group and we went out on our first outing Saturday night!  What fun! 

Ok, do you all know what a "red hatter" is?  It's a group of women who are 50 years or older who dress in purple and red, with a RED HAT and go out and have fun!!!!!  We are embracing getting older together!  No rules....except for the clothing/hats.  The mission....TO HAVE FUN!!!  I think we accomplishd that on our first outing!  See that gal in the middle with the pink hat?  Well, she's our "baby"...she's only 49 and has to wear a pink hat.  She can't wear a red one until her 50th birthday...lol!  And this isn't all of us!  We have 10 members in our group so far, and 9 of them made it to our first event on Saturday!  We also had to choose a name for our group and voted from a list of 5 names, and it was unanimous...we became the "Sisterhood of the Travelling Hatters".  Martha suggested it (no one knew that at the time though, except me and Linda) and it just fits us so well.  I love it....kudos to Martha for thinking of it!  She said she thought of it lying in bed one night.  Don't we get the best ideas when lying in bed?  I know I do!  :=)

Aren't we all so cute?
Here we all are...all nine of us!  We ate at a downtown North Vernon, Indiana, restaurant (a bed and breakfast place) and went to a theater two doors down.  We intended to see the Legendary Drifters in concert (you older folks will know who they are!).  But, they went and called and cancelled the concert only two hours before it was to begin!  Oh no!!!  How embarrassing for the theater that set this up!  But they did the "right thing" and gave everyone their money back and went beyond that and treated us to a fun movie...Joyful Noise.  Some of us (including me) had already seen it, but some hadn't.  And hey, even us who had seen it before enjoyed it again!!!!

Oh,and there is a Queen and we have two Vice Queens.  Can you guess who the Queen is?  :=)  Yes, we are self appointed...lol...but, hey, we are the ones who came up with the group, so we deserve it, right?!  Hey, it's probably the only time I get to be a "queen" in my life (well, ok, I am also a self appointed queen at my stamp classes...lol).  So, we'll just say it's the ONLY way I'll get to be a Queen!  :=)

Yep, here's the Queen and her "Vice" Queens!  I actually think we all look like a Queen in our lovely hats!  :=)

Here I am with two of my "blood" sisters.  I'm so glad they have joined us!  Good times with sisters!  We all had a great time and are already planning our March event at a Maple Syrup Festival!  We plan to do an event every month! 

We were having so much fun that everyone wanted to join us...lol....even Bill!  Bill is the one I spoke to on the phone to purchase the concert tickets and he had told me he was a "red hatter" too and had a red hat.  So, I told him he'd have to get it out and join us for a picture.  When we entered the theater, there he was waiting on us!  :=)  How cute!  We loved it! 
Any other red hatters out there?  Would love to hear from you!

I went to the Merry Crazies Support Group for my second time last week and am really enjoying getting to know the girls there. 

We have all survived breast cancer and lots to celebrate!  So, we toasted with a "Buttery Nipple" shot.  Seemed appropriate!  I'm not a "drinker", but how I can I NOT toast to us?  After all, it's just an "itty bitty" drink...lol!

(I'm wearing my leggings...I feel so skinny in them...lol)
My buddy, Ruby, went with me.  Do you remember Ruby?  Doesn't she look great!!!!!

This is me and Ruby last summer when I was doing chemo and she hadn't begun it yet.  We met through our Doctor's office.  I had been asked if I'd be interested in being a "mentor" when I got well and Ruby was wanting to talk with someone who had reconstruction (she was trying to decide) and they asked if I'd talk with her and we've become great friends!  We hadn't seen each other since that first meeting, although we talk a lot on the phone.  We had to chuckle that the first time we met, I had no hair and she did....and this time, she had no hair and I did!  lol!  We've both changed a lot!  Ruby hasn't had her "exchange surgery" yet, so I'm a little ahead of her in our treatments!  She's not far behind though!  And we are survivors!!!!  And we're ready to help others who find themselves battling this horrible disease!  We are setting up a new support group in the Seymour area, so if you live closeby and would like to join in our support group, please get ahold of me.  We will be having our first group meeting at Bob Evans Restaurant on Hwy 46 in Columbus, IN on Thursday, March 8 at 6 PM.  Ruby is from Nashville, IN and I'm from Seymour, so we wanted to find a "central place" for our meetings.  We would like to welcome any other survivors in the area, or those just now beginning their journey.  We want to help "love you through it".  So, contact me if you are interested in joining us.  We will need a "head count" to tell the restaurant for seating.  We will be in a private area of the restaurant, but they have asked us for a head count by March 7th.  If you know anyone in Jackson County, Jennings County, Bartholomew County, Brown County, or anyone else close enough to join us....that may benefit from a breast cancer support group...please tell them about this new group!  No matter how far out you may be from your journey, we welcome you!  We can all help each other and be there for those just beginning their journeys!

I don't have a lot of medical news this time around, which in the life of a cancer survivor, is a good thing!  I did get my appointment for my tattooing set up.  I won't be getting them until April 23.  Whooohooo, I'll have two tattoos and be oh so hip.  lol!  Actually, I am planning to get my first "pretty" tattoo of a pink ribbon done on my Cancerversary which will be April 7.  This is the tattoo I plan to get on the inside of my wrist.  My cancer sister, Amy, got it and I want to get the same one at the same place because I think it looks really nice!  I am thinking, though, of adding a couple of stars on the outside of it to honor my mom and sister.
I borrowed your picture Amy....hope you don't mind!

I want to check with my doctors, but I can't see why I wouldn't be able to (especially since I'll be getting TWO shorty after)...but I think I should ask them.  I can't think of a better way to celebrate my FIRST YEAR OF SURVIVING BREAST CANCER than with a tattoo!  I think I have a few sisters who want to go along with me and get one too.  Oh how cool will that be? 

And here is another one I'd like to get....maybe on my shoulder....well, on my back up by my shoulder...lol!  Omigosh, can you believe I'm already wanting a second one and don't even have my first one yet?  LOL!  I've been told they are addicting, but I've left some in shock that I even want ONE and now I'm talking about a second one!  Now, I won't be covering my whole body in them (lol), but I think I could do a couple....and maybe even a third one on my ankle!  hehehehehe....are my children freaking out reading this?  :=)

The only other medical report I have are the results of my Spine MRI and my Bone Density Test.  I was particularly interested in the bone density, considering I have a severe Vitamin D deficiency and the cancer pill that I take, Armidex, is hard on your bones.  Well, I am happy to say that as of now, my bone density test came out good!!!!  Yay!!!  Now, the MRI...I already figured it would show something because I've had pain for several years and decided it was time to find out what was causing it.  I have a high tolerance for pain, but there comes a time when you just want to know what is causing it and what can be done to relieve it!  Well, it was found through the MRI that I have degenerative arthritis on my spine and that is causing the pain.  That explains why sometimes it's worse than other times....cause that's kinda how arthritis works.  Now that we know what it is, my family doctor is sending me to an Orthepedics Surgeon, Dr. Chambers.  I don't think it's anything that requires surgery, but he will see if injections will help relieve my pain.  So, I'll be going to him next Monday.  Man, growing old sucks...but, I guess it's better than the alternative..lol!  And hey, by the time these doctors get done with me, I'll be a brand new person...lol!

I have a couple of Thirty One parties still left in February, so my business is back on track.  Yay!!!  An illness can really set you back in a business, so I'm thankful to those who have been willing to help me get jump-started again! 

I have been extremely busy and my calendar has been full...life is good!  :=)  I feel so blessed by the people I have met over the past year and for the friends and family who have hung with me. 

Until next time.....Go out and have some fun!!!!!!!!!  And cherish those relationships you have and form new relationships!  We all need each other!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Ok, I just registered for my very first 5K run!  I can't even do a mile on the treadmill...lol!  And, this isn't any regular 5K!
Ok,some of you will think I'm crazy.  That's ok...cause I think I'm crazy too...lol!  What has my cancer sister, Amy, gotten me into?  I know one thing. I will be going to this with the attitude of "getting dirty" and having "fun" and living life to the fullest!!!!
I'm going to do the Dirty Girls Mud Run in May in Noblesville....the first one to be held in Indiana!  Hey, as a cancer survivor it is free for me and it's in Indiana and I'll be with my other cancer surviving sistahs, so how could I resist?
Now, I'll be honest...I wasn't familiar with this until Amy let me know about it.  She was already registered and even though I don't know if I can do it (physically), I have now registered too.  We're on the Merry Crazies team (the name of our support group)....I'm thinking that name is definately a fitting name for us.  lol!  I'll certainly give it my best shot.  NO...I'll do better than that....I'LL DO IT, no matter how long it takes!!!!  How's that for a "can-do" attitude?  I'm like the little engine that says, "I think I can....I think I can it....!"

Now, what is it, you ask?  Well, here is how it's described on their website!  http://www.godirtygirl.com/

Dirty Girl is a 5k mud run for women of all ages and athletic abilities. Don't worry, it's not a "race" in the traditional sense.  It is an untimed obstacle course designed to push you slightly out of your comfort zone, but only as far as you are comfortable going. Forming teams is encouraged, and so is helping your fellow Dirty Girls get through to the finish. At a Dirty Girl Mud Run you'll find excitement, laughter, and camaraderie—as well as lots of music and even some adult beverages. It's a day you'll never forget.

And if you want to SEE what it is, I encourage you to watch the video at their website!  I'm doing it for fun....definately getting out of my comfort zone.  But, I'm tired of my "comfort zone" and am ready to venture out into new and exciting things!  I think I can get dirty to help raise money for Breast cancer!  :=)
This should be loads of fun for this ol' gal!  I might need those adult beverages to loosen this ol' body up...lol!  I'll see if I've still got it or if I'm "over the hill"!  I've got some training to do...better fire up that treadmill!!!!  :=)  Anyone want to do it with me?  Hey, Jen, we will need a photographer and you would make a great one with your awesome camera!  Are you "in"?  :=)


Today I went to my plastic surgeon.  It had been a month since I had seen him, so I was eager to see what he had to say about my progress and discuss some options for some of those "little things" that I don't quite like about my new foobs (no, that's not mispelled...I learned that's what they're called on a lot of breast cancer discussion boards...lol). 

I think I learned something today and I left there a lot happier than I did the last time.  I think I learned that you have to speak up and specifically point out what you don't like!  I learned that there are things that can be done to "fix" these areas I don't like....including some fat grafting and lipo-suction.  I'm not trying to be "too picky", but I don't want to just "settle" if I have options that could fix these things!  So, I left there happy today, knowing that there are future plans to "fix" the things I don't like.  But, first, he wants to go ahead and do the tattooing.  It isn't scheduled yet and his nurse, who does the tattooing, said it would probably be spring before she does it.  So, they are suppose to call me back with my appointment.  Then once the tattooing is finished up, we can work on those other little issues!  :=) 

I have said all along on this journey that "knowledge is power" and I firmly believe that!  When you don't know there are options you don't ask!  I have done a lot of talking with others and researching breast reconstruction.....enough to make me be assertive enough to point out the things I want "fixed".  Without this knowledge, I probably would have figured this is as good at it gets and accepted that this is part of having the misfortune of having a masectomy!  But, now I know these issues can be "fixed" and I'll be much happier once they are.  Not being vain...please don't think that...I just want to look as good as possible after all I've been through....even if I'm (or hubby) are the only ones to see them!  :) 

Last night was our February Stamp Class.  We always have such a good time and I love the group of gals we have!  We have been together for 3 years now and have formed friendships and had a lot of fun in those 3 years!  We always make two cards and one 3-D item at our monthly class.

Look at our 3-D project this month....wouldn't you love to receive this when you're sick?  What a cute little "dr. bag" and who doesn't love chocolate?  It would also be a cute little purse and I'm thinking of making it in black and pink for my Thirty-One business.

When we got done, we all invaded Larry's "man cave" and asked him to take a picture of us and our projects we were so proud of!  He loves the girls coming over, so he didn't mind the invasion!  :=)

I'm having another busy week.  I may be going up to Indianapolis tomorrow with my sister to visit our brother-in-law and a friend, who are in the same hospital fighting cancer.  Please say a prayer for Nick and for Andee.  Thursday night is my monthly support group dinner with the Merry Crazies!  I'm really looking forward to that!  Friday is my MRI and Bone Density test.  Then Saturday night is our first Red Hatter event...can't wait!  I'll have pictures for you!  :=) Keeping busy is good, right?  It keeps my mind from wandering into dwelling on the thought of reoccurence.  I don't worry so much...but the thought is just always there and keeping busy keeps my mind from even going there.

Until next time...try something that might take you out of your "comfort zone"!  If you have any health problems, learn as much about it as you can....remember, knowledge is power!  And start a new hobby!  Hey, if you're in my area and want to come to a stamp class, let me know!  Hobbies are good for you!  :=)

Some photos used were "borrowed" from http://www.godirtygirl.com/   I hope they don't mind.  Once I do the run myself, I'll have my own photos!  :=)

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Well, I didn't get back to my blog as quickly as I had planned.  It turned out to be a very busy week.  It started out with going for my six month check-up on Monday with my surgeon (Dr. Zusan), who did the double masectomy.  She will check me for 3 years- every six months- to feel for any lumps or evidence of any return of the cancer.  This was my first six month check-up and all is well!  Yay!!!  If all goes well for the first 3 years, then she will check me once a year.  She said the first 3 years are seen as the most likely for a reoccurence.  That, however, does not erase the fact that cancer can return at any time....even 10 years down the road.  And even if it returns somewhere else in your body....bones, liver, brain, or lungs....they can tell if it is the breast cancer cells and it would be considered a breast cancer metastasis.
No doctor has actually told me I'm cancer free or in remission.  I guess I could have asked, but I just assume I am, since she said she got it all at the time of surgery.  I am what is called NED...no evidence of disease.  But neither of my doctors (surgeon or chemo dr.) have actually declared that I'm cancer free.  At this point, I just assume I am!
Now, I am not sure from what date they begin counting how many years you are a survivor.  I even asked her and am not sure I got the answer.  She just said she would see me every six months for 3 years.  So, in talking with others and researching I have found that some count from their diagnosis...some count from their surgery...and some count from the end of their treatments.  So, if I count from my diagnosis date, then my date would be April 7.  And when you think of it, I still was surviving cancer from that date on...even through all of the treatments and surgeries.  So, I have decided to choose April 7 as my Cancerversary.  Yay....getting close to a year of survival!  My sister is two years!  Awesome!!!

Dr. Zusan advised me to massage my implants.  I have "heard" of that and tried to research it on the internet and discussed it with other survivors who also have implants.  It's frustrating because my plastic surgeon has not once told me to massage them!  I will be asking him about that when I go see him next week.  It's been a month since I've seen him and while my implants have dropped some, I am still not satisfied.  I am still extremely tight....not as soft as I thought I'd be.  And there are some areas that don't look all that good.  For one thing one is still higher and larger than the other.  I will be discussing this with him.  Plus, the fact that I lost one nipple...I don't know whether to have another surgery to fix that or just let it go.  A part of me wants to fix it....another part of me wants to forget it and go with one nipple.  Who is going to see it anyway?

I think maybe I expected too much.  I do know he told me from the get-go that they would not be perfect...they were fake...and would not be like my natural ones.  But then they show you photos of some really "nice jobs" and I don't look anything like those pictures!  Maybe I'm just not used to breasts that don't droop...lol!  Maybe once the areolas are tattooed they will look more natural. 

I did a search online to see "other pictures" and found a bunch that I looked through and realized that I actually looked BETTER than a lot of them!  So, now I'm thinking I'm being "too picky" maybe.  Hey, those things cost my insurance company a lot of money...I want them to get their money's worth...lol!  I look great in my clothes.  I like being smaller than I was.  Who is going to SEE them anyway?  So, I could live with these just as they are.  I just want to make sure there is no more he can do to make them look better.  I think I've come to the conclusion that they only show the BEST "jobs" on your first appointment.  lol!  If this is the way they end up, I'm still satisfied.  I don't regret having the reconstruction.  When I was trying to make the decision, I thought I'd be fine without the reconstruction.  But, after looking at some of these pictures, I definately feel better about getting the reconstruction.  If you are interested in seeing the pictures I've been looking at, you can find pages and pages of them here....(warning: nudity...I'll show other people nude, just not me...lol!http://www.smartplasticsurgery.com/reconstruction/photos.html

I think I am just finding it hard to get used to my "new foobs".  They seem so foreign to me and I think part of that is because they are so tight.  My surgeon said they are too tight and that's why she said I need to massage them.  She says they need to move around.  I'm actually finding that the massaging is helping.  It also may help move them where they need to be in the "pocket", so that I don't have such a indented gully under my arm.  I have some dimples that he may choose to fill in with fat grafting.  I will know more next week after going to him again.  They did say it can take 5 months to drop where they are suppose to be and it's only been a little over 2 months, so I guess I need to learn patience.   I think once they loosen up, they may not feel so foreign to me.  Right now I can feel like I've got a bra on even when I don't, so it's a constant reminder that they are "fake".   I look forward to the day when I don't even "think" about them!  Like I said, I like them smaller and I look good in my clothes and the important part is that the cancer is gone!  So, I need to stay focused on that and stop being so vain..lol!  I really am NOT a vain person.  I think it's just hard not to worry about how you look when you have actually had a part of your body removed.  Some people have compared it to having a "boob job...an enhancement".   But, it is NOT the same!  My breasts were NOT enhanced!  They were removedNOT the same thing!  To be honest, I would have never gone to a plastic surgeon....never considered it in my life!  I did not do this to enhance my body.  I did it to save my life without the constant reminder of cancer when I looked in the mirror! 

I'm sure I'll get used to them and learn to think of them as "my own".  And I hope one day I'll be able to have a day without cancer even entering my mind.  But, I'll be honest....there is not one day that goes by that I don't think of cancer.  It just becomes a part of your life, even after the treatments are done and even if you have a good prognosis.  There are never any guarantees that it won't come back.  I am constantly reminded of this when I meet someone or hear about someone fighting it "again".  I've even known people who have beat it for 10 years or more and then it returns to another part of their body.  So, I know the possiblity is always there.  Even after treatments and surgeries are over, the cancer is still in your mind.  There are still the constant doctor check-ups with the surgeon and  oncologist to check for re-occurence.  There are still constant blood draws to check for re-occurence.  It is still a part of your life.  And I am one of the fortunate ones who caught it early and did not have it metastasize.  Metastasis, or metastatic disease (sometimes abbreviated mets), is the spread of a disease from one organ or part to another non-adjacent organ or part).  But, I still have to wonder....is this what I'll die from....whether it is 20 years or more....is this how I'll die?

I'm not trying to be negative or morbid...just "real".  In talking with other cancer survivors, I have realized we all have these thoughts and once you have cancer, it becomes a part of your life.  I still hate the fact that I had cancer in my body at all!  I hate that I have friends who are fighting it and some who are really struggling.  I'm 59 years old, married, a grandma.....I have most of my life behind me.  But, my heart goes out to the younger women I have met who have been diagnosed with this disease.  It seems so unfair that they have to worry about a disease that can alter their bodies and take their life early.  But, we have to stay positive.  We have to treasure every day that we are cancer-free!  We have to hold onto hope that one day there will be a cure!  I do know...if it comes back again...I'll fight hard again!!!! 

In the midst of all of this, I have good news!  My friend, Linda, went for her mammogram the same day I went for my check-up...same doctor....so we went up together and of course followed up with lunch!  She got a phone call the next day that they saw something "suspicious" and wanted her to come back for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound.  So, we went back up on Thursday and after another mammogram, they determined it was nothing to worry about and she didn't even have to have the ultrasound done.  Yay....good news!!!  And I'm so proud of Linda for getting her annual mammogram!  Early detection can save your life! 

We also met my "cancer sisters" for lunch on Thursday...(Carin and Amy).  We met at a restaurant that was new to me and Linda...Stir Crazy....an Asian restaurant.  It was a fun and cool restaurant and the food was good.  We got a "make your own" Stir Fry.  They give you a wrought iron holder with two bowls sitting in it and you go up to a bar and choose what vegetables you want in your stir fry. Then you choose what sauce you want and then take it over to the cook.

Then you wait there at the counter while you watch him cook your food, complete with flames that will singe your hair if you lean in too far!  It doesn't take much to entertain me.  lol!

Like I said...it was fun and a new adventure for me and Linda!  We told Carin and Amy that we were discovering all kinds of new eating places hanging with them!  :=)  We had a great time eating and learning more about each other and sharing secrets!  :=)

I will see Carin and Amy again this week because it is time for our monthly Support Group dinner this Thursday.  This is only my second time to go and I'm looking forward to going again and getting to know everyone a little better.  I think there were 15 of us there the last time.  I'm so glad Carin and Amy invited me to go!  It gives me a place to be with others who are going through the same experiences and understand any of those feelings we may have and you find out that you're pretty normal with your thoughts.  I'm not fearful, but even though others see my cancer journey as "over", cancer still remains a part of my life.  So, this group understands that and we are all there for each other to listen and lend support, no matter what stage we are at.  Not that my family and friends aren't there for me....but someone who has walked this walk can understand exactly what you are experiencing.

I postponed my MRI on my spine and my Bone Density Test last week so that I could go to Linda's second mammogram with her.  She has been with me through my whole journey and I want to be there for her any time she needs me too.  Even though many call-backs on mammograms turn out to be "nothing", it is still nerve-racking to go through it and have the "what if" thoughts.  My tests weren't of an urgent nature, so I postponed them for this Friday.  No big deal!

I thought I'd show you my hair!  This is how much I have since my chemo ended last June 22....let's see, that's a little over 7 months of growth! 

Front view....

Side View (I'm not fond of my profile...lol...but, it's me!)

Top View

Back view...look, I got those chemo curls/waves!!!!!  I wish I could keep them, but my hair is normally totally STRAIGHT, so I'm sure once I begin cutting it, they will dissappear!  :=(  I'm thinking of keeping my hair short.  As a matter of fact, I'm thinking I need to get it trimmed already!  And I haven't decided whether to color it or not yet.  Decisions, decisions...lol!

And I got another manicure and decided to try the French Tips this time.  I'm all new to this manicure stuff...lol....this is only the second one I've had.  I never had nails long enough before because I bit them my whole life, clear down to the skin!  I no longer bite them (so proud of myself for kicking that habit!).  My nails grew so long and so hard while I was on chemo!  Then a few months after my chemo ended they became a mess.  They became really soft that they would literally just tear...they weren't even strong enough to say they broke.  They haven't grown nearly as long as they did on chemo, but definately long enough for a manicure.  Actually, this is a good length...I can still type with them at this length!  :=)

Lookie, lookie Linda!  I'm still not biting them!  :=)

Monday night was Mine and Larry's 40th wedding anniversary!  Forty years married to the same man (or woman)...can you imagine!  :=)  I told him he has already taken my youth, so he's stuck with me...lol!  He had told me to be home from Greenwood that day in time for him to take me out to eat.  I eat a lot, don't I?  :=)  So, he got home and cleaned up and we headed out to a local restaurant.  I had no idea where we were going, but as soon as he turned on one road I knew it was either Ryan's or Cracker Barrel.  It was Cracker Barrel.  Not particular a romantic place, but hey, we both like it!  As soon as we entered the front door I saw our grandchild, Jenna, standing there and then realized that he had invited our kids and grandkids there too.  I loved that, as it's hard to get everyone together like that and he pulled it off and surprised me!

Aren't we cute?  LOL!

We had a nice time with the whole family there!  Jen's in-laws even joined us...that was nice!  Then at one point the waitress came up behind me and had a surprise from me from Larry!

Yeah, he can be a sweetie sometimes!  :=)  I guess I'll keep him...lol!

Last time I posted, I had shared photos from my trip to Lexington, KY, and promised to share pictures from my trip to Nashville, TN.  So here they are!

We stayed at the Gaylord.  This place is fantastic!  This is not outside...this is inside the Hotel!  It's just beautiful there!

This is what we did during the day.  Remember, we were there for training for our Thirty-One business!  We are on a great team with a great leader, Lynn!

Me and Lynn!  The first time Lynn met me, I was bald and had not had my surgery yet...it was a week before my surgery!  I was happy to show her I had survived it and had hair again!  :=)

This was me and Lynn back in July!  Wow, what a difference, huh?

A group picture of the team members who were there.  This is a great bunch of women and it was fun to be with them again and get to know them a little better.  Many of them are Directors and I came home motivated to work really hard to become a Director myself!  I was on track to be a Director right before I got sick and then I just wasn't able to do my business.  But I kept it "alive" and now I'm ready to work really hard to get it back where it was and promote!  I have made a goal to become Director before our Conference in August!

We went here for an appetizer late our first night there.  I just had to take a picture for my brother, who is a BIG Jack Daniel collector!  There were restaurants and shops all over inside of the Hotel!  This hotel is massive....like a town under one roof!

Me and Ami....make note of our glasses that our water came in at the Jack Daniels restaurant....

Me on a boat ride.  There is actually a 15 minute boat ride you can take inside the hotel and it was interesting, as they told the history of building the hotel and pointed out the different trees, etc.

Ok, here I am getting into their awesome hot tub!  It was actually outside and oh so steamy!  This is a new swimsuit I picked up....only found one store that had them out already and they only had 3 or 4 to select from.  It definately shows how much weight I lost.  Not bragging....just happy about it!  I guess I can get used to this new body...lol!

This was the most bubbly and steamy hot tub I've ever been in!  It was awesome and felt so good!

Ami in the hot tub....look at those bubbles!

Enjoying a strawberry margarita our last night there... at a Mexican Restaurant.  Hey, we didn't have to drive home...lol...just had to find the elevator!  :=)   I rarely, next to never, drink, but ocassionally will have strawberry margarita or a Pina Colada.  I'm such a party animal!  LOL!

The greenery and flowers are just beautiful!  Palm trees, Magnolia trees, Banana Trees, and this tree that has a flower that actually looks like a bird!  Our bellhop took these pictures for me while Amy was going after the car.

Me and my bellhop photographer.  Oswald came to America from Haiti a few years ago.  I asked him what brought him here and he said his wife.  lol!  I'm always curious what brings people to America and it seems "love" brought him all the way to Tennessee!  He said he had no idea where he was going until he got there!  I love meeting people and talking with them.  He was a sweetheart to take some pics for me while we waited on Amy to get the car so we could head home!

On the road again.....heading home!  After a week away from home, I was ready.  I had a great time, but was totally exhausted!  It took me 3 days to rest up...lol!

Until next time....live your life to the fullest....make each day count....let your loved ones know how much you love them...life is too short to waste!  And, get your mammograms!!!!

Friday, February 3, 2012


Wow, it's February already!  We've certainly had a mild winter...so far!  It's been great weather here in Indiana this week for all of the Super Bowl activities!  We only live 50 mile south of Indianapolis and I'm thinking Larry and I need to go check out the Super Bowl Village tomorrow!  I'm hearing of lots of star sightings....Brad Pitt, Johnny Dep, John Travolta, Madonna....I've even "heard" the hotel they are staying at.  lol....rumors everywhere!

Today I have been achy all day.  I have days like that...but not every day, thankfully.  I am assuming it is from the Arimidex that I'm taking to keep the cancer at bay.  It's the price I pay, I guess.  I'm not like this every day, thank goodness!  I just haven't felt much like doing anything all day.  My shoulders ache...my arms ache...my legs ache.  Ugh!  I can handle it though!  :=)

Next week I will be going to get an MRI on my spine.  This is not cancer related!  I went for my annual check-up with my primary doctor this week.  I have had a pain in my leg now for several years that just isn't getting any better.  It's not only my leg...it goes from my bottom down my leg and sometimes it's so bad I can't go to sleep at night.  He believes it may be a nerve, so he's ordered an MRI to see what it is so he knows what to do to give me some relief.  He has also ordered a Bone Density Test the same day, which is good!  With chemo and now this Arimidex (which is hard on my bones), I am glad to get this test done.  All of my blood work came back great....sugar, chloresterol, liver, kidneys...all good!  But, remember I asked him to test my Vitamin D?  Well, I'm sure glad I asked for that, as it was really low and he's got me taking a Calcium +Vit. D tablet 3 times a day now.  I want to do anything to help my bones, because that is a big factor with the Arimidex!  Other than these aches and pains and vitamin D deficiancy, I am doing great!!!!

Not only am I doing great....but, I found out that I can fit into a size 12 jeans!  Yes, I said a size 12!!!!!!  I know...I can't believe it either!  Look....here they are...lol!
Now, I went from an 18/20 to a 16 and was very happy about that.  But, I never would have imagined even trying on a size 12!  But, my dear sister was following me one day when I had my size 16 Jeggins on (skinny jeans) and remarked that they were baggy in my butt (lol) and suggested that I needed a smaller size.  I was like....huh uh, I can't wear a smaller size!  I was happy to just be in a 16!  Then JC Penneys did re-marks on their pricing (yeah, I hate that commercial too...I didn't even understand it at first because I didn't know anything about the new CEO, etc.), so Sheila and I went to see what all of the hullabaloo was about.  Well, I found two jeans....both Gloria Vanderbilt.  One was a dark green color and a size 14, so I thought...ok, I'll try it, not really thinking I'd get them buttoned, even if I did manage to get them up over my rear.  They fit...they fit....oh my, I was doing a happy dance!!!!  On top of that, they were only $8!!!  Then there was this burgandy pair, size 12 and I thought...NO WAY!  But, I tried them on for fun anyway...you just never know, right?  Omigosh, I got them up and buttoned too!!!!  I was happy dancing all over that store..lol!  I mean, a size 20 down to a 12?.....never in my wildest dreams!  Now, they are tighter around my waist, which means I have more of a muffin top, so I'll have to be picky what tops I wear with them.  BUT, I CAN WEAR THEM!!!!  I can even SIT DOWN in them!!!  WHOOOhoooooo!  Now all I need to do is lose this darned muffin top!  I haven't really lost more weight but am staying stable.  I guess I was just too scared to try on a smaller size before!  lol!

I had a great time in Kentucky and Nashville, TN last week, but must admit that when I came home on Sunday evening, I was totally wiped out!  It has taken me all week to recuperate...lol!  I'm still not a bundle of energy anyway, so it's easy to wear me out.  But, it was so worth it!  I went for training for both of my businesses and learned some great things and got motivated and inspired!  I am so ready to get my businesses going again after having to shelve them while I went through treatments and surgeries!  But, I'm ready to charge ahead now!!!  It is great to have a Scentsy buddy and a Thirty One buddy to do these events with!

Just thought I'd share some pics of my travels with you!
The long and winding road in Monticello, Ky.....leading to a.....

This is my good friend, Linda Morrow, and when we found out the Scentsy Spring Sprint was in Lexington, Ky, she asked if I'd mind going down a couple of days early to see her family down there.  So, we went to Monticello and hung around for a couple of nights and she took me up to show me the family cemetery.  I had a good time meeting her family and seeing where Linda's roots and fond memories are.

Linda and some of her Kentucky relatives.  Good people!

And then look what was there at that cemetery!  It reminded me of my grandma and grandpa's house in Missouri!

And you know me by now...I am always looking for an unusual photo op...lol!  Here Linda is trying to push me over in the outhouse!  Shame Linda...shame!  :=)

Then she wanted to show me the doughboy in downtown Monticello.  Now, I don't know what YOU think of when someone tells you they want to show you the doughboy downtown, but I instantly had visions of a giant Pillsbury Doughboy and was wondering why...lol!  I mentioned it to Linda and she about died laughing.  It had nothing to do with Pillsbury! 

It's a statue honoring the doughboys of WWI.  Hey, history was never a strong subject for me in school!  lol!  I like it NOW, but hated it then!  Linda did confess to me that I wasn't the only friend of her's (Hi Karen!) who had visions of that rolly polly doughboy when she mentioned it. 

And look at this awesome diner downtown.....

I so wanted to eat here....unfortunately it was closed up....guessing it was a victim of the economy....  :=(

I looked inside to see if maybe the Fonz was there...but, no one was.  Boohoo!  What a cute little diner!

Tuesday it was time to head to Lexington for our Scentsy event, but we managed one more stop....we stopped at the Somerset, Ky Cracker Barrel to meet up with a facebook/crafting friend, Terri Shepherd, for lunch.  Linda had met her before, but I had never met her in person, so that was a treat!

And lo and behold, we met someone I knew from Seymour there!
She was a waitress there!  April used to live in my hometown, Seymour, and worked at the Cracker Barrel here and waited on me many times in Seymour.  I knew she had moved to Kentucky, but didn't realize we were going to be in her neck of the woods and didn't realize when we made arrangements with Terri to meet at the Cracker Barrel, that it was the same one that April worked at!  It really IS a small world!

After a couple of evenings in Monticello, we headed to Lexington (horse country) and met up with our upline from West Virginia, Kim Arthur and checked into our hotel...

The next day we headed off to our Scentsy Spring Spring!

After Linda getting a winning ticket in her box for a whole box of Scentsy samplers, and our training...we headed to find some place to eat....

Now, Kimberly had researched all of the eating/shopping places ahead of time and had an agenda of where she wanted to go...so, an hour later, we ended up at this really cool restaurant....
The Mellow Mushroom...yes, it is what it sounds like...a hippie themed joint...lol!

Being a 60's flower child, I loved this place!  :=)

Now, how awesome is that?  You 60's children know what I'm talking about.  lol!

And how could I possibly miss out on this photo op with this cool tree in the restaurant?  It was calling my name.  lol!  Peace man!

And then the bathrooms...


It doesn't take much to make me smile.  lol!

Oh, and the food???....

It was awesomely delicious!  :=)  Mmmmmm.....makes me hungry to just look at it!

Have you ever been to Lexington, KY?  It is the Horse Capital of the World...yes, the world!  And there are beautifully painted horses all over the place, inside and outside of buildings!  This particular one was in front of Texas Roadhouse, where we ate one night.

This one was actually inside of a building on a top floor. 
These horses just fascinated me!

Signs fascinate me too, when I travel.  I keep my camera handy for anything of interest to share with you all!
This sign was in Monticello and I just loved it...it was huge!

And we saw these signs travelling down the highway in Ky.  His word shall not return void!  :=)

On the road again.....
Come back tomorrow so I can share my pictures with you from Nashville, TN...another beautiful place in our grand country!  I didn't want to overwhelm you with too many pictures in one day!

Until next time....plan a trip...even a mini trip to a closeby location...and see what's out your backdoor!  I am learning to really appreciate this beautiful country of our's and the people I meet along the way! 
Hugs, Cindy