Tuesday, June 10, 2014


I'm afraid I'm in for a miserable day tomorrow.  Dollywood with my nephew and his friend......in the rain.  But I'm a good sport and said I was going.  As long as I have a Dollywood dip dog everything will be just fine.


Okay.  I know it may be a little bit weird but I love to keep up with my car mileage. Today I had almost 400 miles before filling up.  Corny I know.


Weather in Nashville nasty to be driving in today.  I am ready to be home.


My next appointment with Dr. Maxwell wasn't until the 16th.  The office called late yesterday to see if I could come Tuesday or Thursday.   Thursday was going to be a not so good day so here I sit.  My doctor's appointment is over and I don't have another until September 15!  Yea for me!

My mind is already racing about the next appointment.   I'll not sleep tonight.  What will happen in September?   I believe Dr. Maxwell is determined I have a good, positive outcome. Is being alive enough of a good, positive outlook.

Chris will be adamantly against any more surgery. December and January's surgeries about did us both in. (Hey. There's another Southern Slang phrase-did us in.)  I'd say many of my friends and family will feel the same.

I've never been a worrier. The past seven  months have made me worry and fret. Worry and fret over my family and friends and what my illness and subsequent problems has done to them.  Put them through!

But.....but.  What do I want?  How will I know what I want? When will I know what I want?  Will what I want be right?  Who will help me know what I want especially since those so close to me have strong feelings for or against or others who give well meaning answer of "your beautiful no matter if you have breasts or not."? How will I comfort those I love with whatever decision I make should it be one which upsets them?

Yes. No sleep tonight....

Freak Show

Back in the 70's and 80's a traveling circus stopped in Monroe County.   Mom and Dad would usually take me and my nephew Jamey, who is my age.

One of my most vivid memories involved the "freak show".  I was probably between ages 4 and 6. Momma and I were walking by and I was looking at the hideous cartoon posters strapped on the side of the dirty trailer.  While peeking around one of the windows my mother said as she led me away, "Marna.  We aren't going in there.  It's not right to stare at or make fun of others."

Being a curious little girl I peeked once more over my shoulder as we walked quickly away.   I saw some of the "freaks" walking around behind a drape.  They didn't scare me but rather stirred a pity deep within.

A sadness still exists in me when confronted with situations resembling that night.  A deep resonating voice rises to remind me there are less fortunate than I.  A memory of a voice which taught me so very much about life and people and respect.

As I grow older, and harder, I sometimes wish I had that voice here, in flesh, to teach me new life lessons. The "freaks" in my life have changed from those people in childhood to something totally different throughout adulthood.

New advice is heard from others during the few times I try to open up and share, however, it's not the same guidance of youth from a great lady.  Her guidance was worth ten fold of anything a self help book or even friends try to provide.  Sooo...I usually don't seek help.  Figuring things out on your own while seeking help from above, is a better idea than to receive unwise council.

None can compare to my mother's guidance.  A mother's guidance which is needed more and more as years go by to deal with the, I call them freakish situations,  that crop up.

Risk Factors

During my six month oncology appointment Dr. Charles once again drilled things I should do and should not do to reduce risk of reoccurring breast cancer.  (Who would've thought after having breasts removed you'd have to worry about breast cancer ever again?  Strange huh?)

Here are a few of the things Dr. Charles always emphasizes every visit:

The most proven common denominator in risk of developing breast cancer or have it reoccurring is drinking alcohol.   So while drinking a glass of red wine every night may be good for your heart Dr. Charles said that is a no-no for me.  No drinking! Keeping risk of secondary cancer low is more important than my heart at this point I guess. Funny.

Vitamin D needs to stay around 30.  Mine has fallen to 21 which is much better than the 15 it was last year. So back on the 50,000 iu per week for three months.  Vitamin D very, very important in trying to keep cancers away.  I've several blog posts on that topic.  If you type Vitamin D in search box for this blog it will pull up those links if you're interested. Those posts contain links to some great research articles.

Exercise is helpful in reducing risk for cancer coming back.  Hmmm...I gotta get motivated! Maybe Dr. Charles needs to write me a prescription....

Healthy diet.  Hmmm...I gotta get motivated! Maybe he should write me a prescription for that as well....

Genetics only account for less than 10% of all breast cancer.  Good to know.  I'm negative for genetic.  But never worried about genetics anyway for many reasons.

New research is showing taking Tamoxifen for ten years instead of five much more decreases risk of redevelopment of cancer returning.   Final report from research out next year which is my fifth and final year of the pill.  Dr. Charles is going to be very insistent on my continuing Tamoxifen for another five.  I told him MAYBE the research will be wrong.   He smiled and said we would revisit this next year. I love, love, love Dr. Charles. He doesn't always "get" my sense of humor but I always "get" what he is saying.

I'll add more later.... I'm tired and may actually get some sleep tonight.