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

Friday, July 27, 2012


Well, it's been over a month since I updated my blog and let you know what is going on.  Healthwise....nothing!  And THAT is a good thing!  My biggest complaint, I guess,would be insomnia...ugh!  I hate just laying there for hours trying to get to sleep.  I may have to end up getting something for it.  For now I take Tylenol PM and it does help....but not sure I want to continue taking Tylenol so much.  I have a doctor appointment next week, so will be discussing it with him.  Thankfully I can sleep as late as I want to the next morning!

Other than that, I really don't think I have any complaints, except a few headaches.  I am so NOT a headache person (thankfully), so having several for days in a row are unnerving.  Not sure what has been causing them, but right now they seem to be under control.  So, I'm not too worried.  May be my sinuses.  I will admit that any pain or anything unsual following cancer will have you questioning it's return.  That will get easier as the years go on, I'm sure.

That's pretty much my health updates!  I have my regular doctor appointment next week...then my surgeon next month.  I have some soreness to discuss with my surgeon. But, I feel like I'm doing REALLY WELL!

Today is July 27.  Yesterday marked a year since my bilateral masectomy!  One year ago on July 26!  Wow, what a difference a year can make!

Here I am last year with my husband and kids and grandchild...waiting to be wheeled into the surgery room.

And here I am today with my husband!
What a difference in just one year!  I feel healthy just a year later!

I've really been enjoying the summer, which seems to be ending way too fast here!  Our schools start early...August 9th....and when school begins, it just seems like summer is over.  We've had an extremely HOT summer, which much of the nation has experienced....HOT AND DRY!   Here is a summary of my summer!

With the HOT and DRY summer. we've really been enjoying our pool!  My sisters, pictured here, enjoyed it too!

As well as some other family members!  :=)

And oh yes, I enjoyed it too....with my daughter, Jen....

My granddaughter, Jenna.....
My grandson, Luke, and granddaugther, Abby....
I love having family over to swim!

I've enjoyed some Red Hat travels with my Red Hat sisters....

I enjoyed Fellowship with Queens and Vice-Queens from all over Indiana......

And I found some new BFFs to hang with!  I even joined their chapter....yes, I will still have my own chapter, too, but will be joining these gals, Reita and Cheryl, for some more Red Hat fun!

We enjoyed the local farmers' produce....

And the BEST watermelon and cantelope you will find...

And I learned how to make cobblers for the first time in my life!
This one is blackberry....yum!

Larry and I enjoyed the week of his vacation by travelling close to home.  Here we are enjoying lunch in Nashville, Indiana.

Went to my nephew's wedding!

Went to a Family Reunion where I met a "new" member of the family....my neice, Valerie's baby, Kenny.

Met my girlfriend, Angie (who has also survived breast cancer) for lunch....we are both able to drive half way to meet up from time to time and it's always so good to see her!  She lives in Ohio.

Celebrated our youngests' (Erin) 34th birthday.

Tried new recipes, which I LOVE doing.....

Enjoyed the flowers in our yard.....

Watched our grandson, Luke, play Pee Wee Baseball....

Watched Mom's Peonies bloom!  I got this start from my mom's peony bush after she passed away Feb. of 2010.  I was thrilled to see it bloom so heartily this year and it made me smile and think of mom every time I walked past it.

Was able to show Lynn, my Thirty One Executive Director, a little bit of "my world" when she came to Columbus, Indiana for a meeting.  I was delighted to take her to Zaharakos for lunch and show her around Nashville!  She is from South Carolina and it was her first trip to Indiana (I think).

We had a VERY DRY summer, but did get an occasional storm.  I actually like storms as long as no one is hurt and there is not a lot of damage.  I like the thunder and rain....can do without the lightning and wind.

I fed the chickens...LOL....ok, just a little bit of my weird humor.  But, how else could I explain this picture?  Looks like I fed hi well!  LOL!

Larry and I visited Huber's Orchard on his week vacation....and went out to pick our own peaches!

Riding out to the peach trees.....

Larry picking peaches....no ladder needed....

Yum.....look at those peaches!

Me picking peaches....I didn't need a ladder either...LOL!

The peaches we picked....I can't wait!

Larry picking blackberries after we were done with our peaches.

He's really enjoying this!

Yes, I picked some too....he just didn't take any pics of ME picking!  Yum, I can already taste those blackberry cobblers! 

Ready for the freezer...aren't those BEAUTIFUL! 
And I tried a peach cobbler with our fresh peaches....oh my, yummy!  I had never in my life made a cobbler....didn't know they were so EASY and was intimidated by them! Goodness gracious, if you have never tried making a cobbler, you should give it a try!

Larry found him a 3-wheeled tricycle at a garage sale...it's like new....so I took it for a spin!  LOL!  Now I want one!  He now rides his new bike to work and most evenings he is going for a ride.  I gotta get me one to go riding with him!  :=)

Hung with one of my "besties", Martha, at Nashville and yard saling!  We figured out that we both love garage sales and "boutiques"!  

And look at these awesome hardbacked cookbooks I found at a garage sale!!!!

I collect cookbooks!  My kids laugh at me because they think I don't cook and don't understand why I love cookbooks so much!  But, I read through them like they are a novel...LOL...marking this recipe and that recipe to try!  Does anyone else do that?  And, actually, in the past year, I have been back to trying new recipes like I used to!  I especially love these kind of cookbooks, so was so happy to find them at a garage sale for a few bucks!

Participated in my very first 5-k!!!!  I didn't run...I walked...but that was quite a distance for ME!  Maybe someday I'll run it...that would be a dream!  Our daughter, Jen, is an All American runner but my husband said she got it from him!

And, hey look!  I even got a medal....my FIRST medal!!  I got 3rd place in my age group!  I bet I would have gotten 1st place after Aug 18 when I turn 60 and will be in a different age group!  This will NOT be my last 5-K!  It was such a good feeling of accomplishment!

That sums up my summer.  I'm sure I have left out some things, but as you can see, I have done a lot of LIVING in just the past two months!!!!  Cancer tried to steal this from me but didn't succeed!  Instead, it taught me to not take life for granted and to live it to the fullest!  Oh what a difference a year can make!!!!

And I've got a whole lot more living to do!  Next week I will be heading to Atlanta, GA for the Thirty-One Convention.  Then when I return, I will have several Red Hat events coming up, including a trip to Shipshewana, Indiana (Amish country) with my new BFFs!  I can hardly wait!  Life is good!!!  I am so blessed by the people in my life!  Staying busy keeps me healthier and happier! 

Until next time.....always remember things in life may set you back for a bit....may even slow you down.  But, don't let it get you down.  Learn to live to the fullest, as none of us are guaranteed tomorrow!  I have learned to do that and am so enjoying life!  Be open to new adventures, new relationships, and enjoy the simple things in life!

Monday, June 18, 2012


I figured I better be updating this so you guys don't think I have fallen off the earth...lol!  I am doing well physically.....and depression is lifting.  I am enjoying life again!  :=)

Now, I won't lie...there are good days and bad days.  But, I'm not sure the bad days are even contributed to cancer.  And on my "bad days", I don't feel SICK....just TIRED!  But I struggled with tiredness before cancer....even worse than this (with the sleep apnea and other health problems).  So, I can deal with a "bad day" here and there and I have given myself permission to lay around on a tired day if that's what I want to do.  No guilt feelings!  I think the last visit to my oncologist was so good for me in that respect.  She told me it was ok....if I feel like laying around, then lay around....that my body has been through a lot.  And that was just with the cancer...not counting the physical and emotional turmoil I experienced the year before cancer.  So, now I lay around if that's how I feel...no guilt in doing so!  I think we, especially women, have a hard time doing that.  There is always something in the house needing our attention and if we have small children, it's even harder.   At least I'm in the "season of life" that I don't have small children to look after.

At least I don't feel my tiredness is a result or symptom of depression right now.  The new medicine is working...yay!  And even if I have a "bad day" here and there.....there are more GOOD DAYS!!!!

Physically, I feel great....except for some soreness under my left arm.  This is where my lymph nodes were taken out and in feeling under there, I feel something, but not really a knot.  I'm keeping an eye on it, but I'm thinking it might be scar tissue.  It really is very tender sometimes and I go to my surgeon in August and will be discussing it with her and letting her check it out.  If I feel I need for her to check it before then, I'll definately give her a call.

I went back to my plastic surgeon and we discussed some revisions he can do.  I'm more satisfied now with the results and could live with them, but there are a couple of areas I'd like him to work on improving.  So, he wants me to come back in Septemeber to discuss what we'll do...he said to take the summer off from surgery (which I planned to do!).  So I may be looking at some revision surgery in the Fall.

Next month....regular doctor appointment.  Then surgeon appointment in August.  Plastic surgeon in September.  Orthopedic surgeon (for my back) in October.  Then back to the oncologist in November.  lol....still visiting the doctors.  But, in my mind, that is a good thing....they are all keeping an eye on me.  So, I don't mind and the feeling of a good report carries me to the next appointment!   :=)  I'm one year out from my diagnosis, but not quite a year out from chemo (ended last June 22, so almost a year) and not quite a year out from my masectomy (July 26).  The first 3 years are the years that a reoccurence most frequently can occur...although they can occur at any time.  But, they watch you the closest the first 3 years.  My sister is 2 years out and I'm one year out.  Five years is a big mark in surviving breast cancer, so we will strive for that after we hit the 3 year mark!

I've been having some great times with friends and sisters!
If you haven't visited my Red Hat page yet, I encourage you to take a peek at all of the fun we've been having!!!

My sister and I were able to attend a Red Hat Woodstock 2012 event in our area where we met this most awesome entertainer from Branson, Missouri!  John Sager!  We are now groupies...lol!  He entertained about 50 of us ladies and made us all feel so special.  He has a great personality and sense of humor....as well as being a "cutie"!  LOL...did I say that?  Guess I ain't dead yet...LOL!

It was also wonderful meeting other Red Hatters from all over Indiana and a couple of other states.  I sure am hoping to join them for other events!  There is a Red Hat convention in September and I'm already making plans for it!  :=)  This Red Hatter thing has been a "God send" for me!  It helps me with my "living out loud" motto!

Nothing is more fun than going back to your "hippy days"!  Great music and great company!  And, just like the original Woodstock...great ceremonies!  :=)

Some even decided to burn their bras....just like in the "olden days"!  Heck, if I had realized they were going to do that, I had some "boulder holders" I sure could have donated to them.  LOL!

It was so much fun seeing some of their "flower child" outfits! 
I had fun wearing a long HALTER midi dress and headband.  Heck, "back then" I wore both midis and minis!  And lots of halters!  I'm enjoying wearing things I couldn't wear for a long time!  How do you like that feathered headband?  I've noticed more and more "hippy" syles coming back in and I love it!

And then for our June outing of the Sisterhood of the Travelling Hatters, we went to a great Farmhouse Cafe and Tea Room for lunch and looking around.....in BEAUTIFUL Brown County!

My kids say I'm going through my "second childhood".  Whatever....lol!  I do it because I CAN!  :=)  I try to be myself and not be so serious all the time.  Try it....it can be so liberating to just "let go" sometimes...lol!  Of course, you need friends, like Martha above, to humor you.  LOL!  I don't want to just sit around the house and grow old!

You can see more of the Farmhouse pictures on my Red Hat blog.....link is up at the top.  Check it out!

Last Friday, Martha and I enjoyed a day trip back to Nashville, Indiana.  I got my little purple dress that I had been drooling over for a week.  When we were leaving the Farmhouse Cafe on the Red Hatter event, we had to pass through Nashville.  Being so late, we had decided we didn't have much time to stop at the stores since it was close to their closing time. 
But, as we were driving through town, I spotted this dress on one of the shop porches and just had to stop and see how much it was!  They humored me...LOL!  Well, I vowed that I'd go back later and get it and I did!  This is what I'll be wearing to the next Red Hat event in July!!!!  I had been looking for a dress to dress up a bit for an event!  I love these kind of dresses.  Wasn't sure I could wear it, but it worked!  So, I will wear it because I CAN!!!  :=)  I think "some" might be thinking I'm trying to dress too young for a nearly 60 year old.  But, I'm "young at heart" and I don't want to dress old!  This is more how I used to dress when I was much, much younger and if I can do it now...why not?  It makes me happy to be able to do it again!  :=)  That's one thing I've learned through my cancer journey....do what makes me happy (as long as it isn't hurting anyone else, that is!  I have morals and standards, so going against them wouldn't make me happy.....so no worry there!)

Martha and I had a great lunch in Nashville.

....and enjoyed walking around amid the beauty of Nashville.....

...and occasionally resting!

And of course we enjoyed looking through the shops.  We probably only made it into 5 or 6 shops total and the funny thing is that all of the shops we went in were connected to each other (same family-different family member working or running them).  We had no idea...but we just were drawn to them.  Cute little boutiques that have become our favorites and we'll definately be going back!  They were all so friendly and they had great fashions, in both clothing and jewelry and other accessories!  We held back, though, and didn't buy them out. We paced ourselves...lol!  We realize we are lucky to live so close that we can go back often!  :=)  We also were shown how to turn a scarf into a vest.  It is such a cool idea!  I'll have to show you sometime! 
Update:  Scroll down for pictures!

And, hey, what you think of my new glasses?  Bifocals to be exact!  :=)  I've only had them for about a week and am still trying to get used to them.  I decided it was time to have my eyes checked after years of ignoring them and feeling blurry eyed.  Actually, they weren't too bad.  I used to wear glasses for near-sidedness....even had the restriction on my license.  But, now I'm not even near sided!  Huh, say what?  Does that correct itself?  Oh, and look at my hair!  I am wanting to cut it, especially on the sides and top....but not ready to get rid of my chemo curls yet.

  I normally have the STRAIGHTEST hair anyone could have, which was great in the 60's when everyone was ironing their hair to get it like mine...lol!  But now I'm enjoying the curls for a change.  So, for now I'm just pulling the top and sides back a bit.  It sure did grow fast from January, didnt it?

Here it is in January!  Eventually I want to cut it like this!  Just waiting to get tired of the curls or for them to get out of hand. 

Here I am in the pool with my sister, Kim, last year.....

And here we are THIS YEAR!  Oh, what a difference a year can make!  Just remember, if you find yourself ever having to go through this (hope not, but with 1 out of 8 being diagnosed, chances are that someone reading my blog may find themselves being diagnosed at some point in their life, unfortunately).  So, if that ever happens, I want my blog and pictures to give you HOPE.  It does get better....the hair does come back....and you do feel better again!  I show before and after pictures in hopes that it will encourage someone to "hang in there" and know that "it shall pass".

Yes, I've put on a "little weight"...ugh!  I've gained about 10 pounds back.  It fluctuates, so sometimes it drops.  I'm not happy about it, but don't stress too much over it.  I'm still smaller than I have been in years and with the medicine I'm taking, I'm not sure it wasn't inevitable.  One of the side affects of the Arimidex is weight gain.....so if this is the worse it gets, I'll be ok.  Gotta have the Arimidex to keep the cancer away (hopefully).  And, I guess I can't expect to keep losing weight like I did while I was on chemo and barely eating!  Truth is...I like to eat!  :=)  I mostly get it in my "tummy" and want to start some exercises that might help.  I do want to keep an eye on it!

This was me BEFORE cancer.....so you can see I was heavier.  I'm satisfied with smaller breasts....easier to fit into the clothes I like to wear!  :=)  Hard way to get them though!  It isn't a "boob job"....it's an amputation!

A friend shared this today on her facebook and I'd like to share it with all of you!  I included the link for you to the photo shots.  Warning:  contains nudity (how else can you show the real thing?)

Sharing this from a friend......Carin Henderson....
Google THE SCAR PROJECT..maybe then some of you will understand what we have truly been through...these women are beautiful! We are mothers, daughters, friends, wives...breast cancer is no...
t pink or cute....it is a disease that can kill! All of us may look fine under our clothes, but most of us look like the women in those pictures underneath...good thing beauty is only skin deep....http://www.thescarproject.org/gallery/

Now, until next time.....
Get out there and enjoy life...even if it means being a "kid" again!  Life is too short to be so serious all the time!

I got a picture today of the scarf tied into a vest...except today I wore it as a TOP!  Can't do that with every scarf, but this scarf is particlarly large.  So, I can wear it as a vest over a top...or just as a top!  I wear it both ways.  The layered look is so "in" right now, so it looks great over a top too!
Ain't I styling?  LOL!  Got my blingy belt at a garage sale...blingy belts are "in" too!  :=)

I'll sure be looking at scarves in a different light now!

And the back...I should have pulled it down a bit in the middle before the pic!  Yeah, I should NOT have had the bra on...or had a tank top on....but you get the idea.  I was just hanging around home and my sister stopped by and I had her to snap this to show you what a scarf tied just one time can make!  There are YouTube videos to show you how to do it, but if you need any help....just ask me!  The scarf has to be big enough, but doesn't have to be this big.  It just needs to be big enough to make armholes for you!  One simple knot....so easy!!!!  :=)