Sunday, December 11, 2011

Almost.... One Year!!

On December 16th, which is Friday, it will be one whole year since the day my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. I cannot believe it has been a WHOLE year! Although it was a really tough year on us, it still seemed to go by quickly. I remember at the beginning of her diagnosis how scary it was and how I just wanted her to live and be a survivor. A year ago... we didn't know what was going to happen.. what the cancer would do to my Mom and my family... what the treatments would do to my Mom and my family. I had no idea how we were going to get through this. We did, one day at a time. It was the scariest time of my life, I had no idea what the future would bring and that was SCARY! My Mom was and is a fighter, she is strong, positive, and determined. She is my role model! I love her soooo much and I am so thankful that she had such a positive attitude through this journey! I am so proud of her!

I think that a year is a time to celebrate! My Mom doesn't think think we should celebrate.. but in my opinion, it is a huge milestone! She survived! I know she is not "cured" yet (that's the five year mark) but she is here and she is healthy and I think that calls for a celebration! What do you guys think? I am not sure what we will do yet... but we will celebrate!!

I Wear A Pink Ribbon

By Kimberly R. Harris

A silent killer with no face.

A thief within the night.

A constant battle for my life

A bitter evil fight.

The scars remind me of the day

It knocked at my souls door.

It tried to rob me of my strength

It left me on the floor.

To survive, I had to sacrifice

My Breasts and even my hair

It showed no pity as it snatched

These things without a care.

I started to give up my fight

I felt I could take no more

Then God reached down and

Gently picked me up off the floor.

He wiped my face and blew my nose

Just like my mama use to do.

He said don't cry my child

For I have things in store for you.

I did not bring you all this way

to leave you high and dry.

I love you and you are my child

So hold your head up high.

There is nothing that I cannot fix,

No pain I can't erase.

Have faith and know that I am here

There is nothing you can't face!

So then I threw my hands up high

And gave God all his praise!

For my soul has been uplifted

And my SPIRIT has been raised!

I'll fight this fight with cancer

And I know I will be fine.

For God said it and I know its true,

That VICTORY is mine!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


'Tis the season.... to get sick! YUCK! My Mom was sick last Friday with a stomach virus and got sick again last night!! Poor thing! She has a fever and everything else that goes along with a stomach virus. Hopefully she will start feeling better soon!

We had a great holiday week! We all got a break from work and school, it was nice. Since all of our family is in Oklahoma, some of our family friends, the Olson's, invited us to eat with them on Thanksgiving. It was a good time! The Olson's have always been really good friends to us, my family is very thankful for them.

Even though this was a very hard year for my Family and I, there is still SO much to be thankful for.

"Be thankful for your trials. If you are being tested, you are being perfected. Which means you have a divine purpose and reason to rejoice!"

I saw this quote the other day and it made me smile. Even though this was probably the hardest year of my life, I am still thankful for so many things. I am thankful for God. I am thankful for my family and my friends. I am thankful for the advances in medicine and every single one of the doctor's and nurses that took care of my Mom.  I could go on and on...

Even though this year sucked, I have learned so much. I have met so many people, and learned a lot from these people. We are not invincible, we are only human. The other day I made an appointment with my advisor at Utah State since I hadn't met with her for a while, when I walked in her office I immediately noticed all of the pink ribbons. I have been in her office before (not this year), and have never noticed all of the pink ribbons. She has been battling breast cancer for 12 years. She goes to the Huntsman for weekly treatments. This leads me to another quote...

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."  -Plato

We never know what trials others are going through, this is why we should be kind to everyone we meet.

I have one more thing to share with you... It is a music video by Martina McBride. I am sure a lot of you have heard the song and maybe seen the video, watch it again. It's a good one.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The world lost a wonderful woman, Kandace, on Thursday night but not without putting up a courageous fight with cancer. My Mom says Kandace did not lose the battle she won it, just not how we here on earth would have liked.  Kandace was a very good friend to my Mom during her own fight with cancer. My Mom says Kandace would always offer to watch her class while my Mom went to the cancer support group. During this time Kandace was unknowingly fighting her own battle with cancer. I don’t know Kandace personally but I know she was loved by many and was always kind to my Mom and for that I am grateful. My heart aches for her family, may God bless them and comfort them through this difficult time.

October is breast cancer awareness month! I know, October is coming to an end but I think breast cancer awareness month should be every month!! :) My Mom and I have purchased a lot of breast cancer apparel, jewelry, etc this month. Not only are we buying dang cute products but a percentage of all proceeds have been going to Susan G. Komen for the cure. I love wearing breast cancer clothing or jewelry because it always starts a conversation with someone else who has been affected by breast cancer and you would not believe how many people that really is!! Right now 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. EVERYONE is somehow affected by this disease. What have you done to support breast cancer awareness month??? Even talking to other women about how important yearly mammograms are can help!! I make sure to always tell the story that my Mom’s cancer wasn’t detected by the mammogram but it was the ultrasound that detected it! Mammograms are the best tool that we have right now to detect breast cancer but if you are in doubt don’t hesitate to request an ultrasound!!!!

Well…. My Mom went in for her second CA 27-29 blood test a couple of weeks ago. The first time she had the blood test done her number was 12. Her number has now more than doubled to 27! Dr. Ben Jacob called to let my Mom know that her number has doubled but not to worry about this number yet. It can fluctuate for many different reasons. He told her to come back in 4-6 weeks so they can repeat the test. If it has gone any higher we will worry about it then. How can I not worry!!!!! My Mom was not going to tell me this news because she knows I will worry but I am a snoop so I found out on my own. My Mom is sure that it is nothing but it is still scary to know that your cancer marker number has more than doubled within 3 months. My Mom and I went to see her regular Dr. last week and we all decided a bone scan was a good idea. The most common place breast cancer travels to is the bones. She doesn't have any pain, we just want to be safe and clear our heads. She is scheduled for her bone scan this Tuesday. She will go in at 2:30 so they can shoot dye through her body and will then go back at 6:00 for the test. I am praying the scan comes back clear and her cancer marker number is just a fluke and it goes back down! Let’s all pray that this is the case!

My Mom has been doing really well. She still doesn't feel the same as before treatment so she pushes herself too hard sometimes. She is stubborn. She still has nueropathy in her hands and feet, we were hoping it would have gone away by now. Dr. Ali Ben Jacob seems to think that the feeling in her hands and feet may still come back but my Mom has heard from others if it hasn't come back by now it won't come back. BUMMER!!! She keeps saying she can live with nueropathy as long as she stays cancer free.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Goodbye to the C word!

Well... we got the CA 27-29 cancer marker results and the MRI reslults of my Mom’s spine back. The results were normal!  The CA 27-29 is a cancer marker specific to breast cancer. The normal range is between 1 and 38, my Mom’s was a 12. Dr. Ben-Jacob said that this test isn’t always accurate and it only works with 80% of women so my Mom still needs to pay close attention to her body and let him know of any symptoms. I know that it’s good that my Mom’s cancer marker came back normal but they never tested the cancer marker before, when she had cancer. I think they should have tested her for a baseline. I know a woman that had breast cancer with multiple lymph nodes positive and her test came back an 8 before her treatments. She said that the test doesn’t work for her because her marker was always low even with cancer. This is what worries me. I really wish the Dr. would have run this test after her mastectomy and before her treatments so we would have a baseline we could go from. Dr Ben-Jacob called my Mom last week with the results of the MRI and CA 27-29 and said “I now consider you in remission”. I know this is awesome news but I kind of wish they would do a whole body scan. I want to know 100% that there is no cancer in my Mom’s body. They will do the CA 27-29 every 3 months for the first year and after that the Dr. will decide how often it needs to be done. My Mom has also started taking the tomoxifen, she will take this pill for five years. Once my Mom hits the five year mark she will be cured! YAY! She will make the five year mark I know it. Especially with all of your prayers!   

 My Mom was also tested a few weeks ago for BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene. This is the gene that causes breast and ovarian cancer. The geneticist thought it could be a possibility that my Mom had the gene because ovarian and breast cancer seems to run in our family. Like I said earlier my Mom was always worried about ovarian cancer not breast cancer. We had no idea that they were linked on the same gene. If we would have known that my Mom would have been getting mammograms every 6 months instead of every year. Anyways, the genetic test came back negative! Which is a good thing for me, I will still have to be careful but at least we know it’s not genetic. This also means my Mom doesn’t have to hurry up and get her ovaries out anytime soon. My Mom doesn’t want to get her uterus and ovaries out right now, she says she keeps getting everything pulled out of her that makes her a girl and before long she will be a little boy with no hair. She is funny.

My Mom has always wanted to drive the Oregon coast so we have decided to finally go! We are leaving this afternoon and are so excited. My Mom also wants to take us to the redwoods. She went there when she was younger and wants to make sure that Carson and I see how beautiful it is. I will post some pictures when we get home!

Thank you for all of your love and support through this whole journey. Now we have to make sure that this cancer doesn’t come back!! I think we will always worry about it and it will always be in the back of my Mom’s mind. Keep those prayers coming because they work! It’s not over yet, we still have to battle!

Monday, July 18, 2011

She Who is a True Survivor

One day she woke up and her world had changed forever.
She was faced with a reality she never dreamed possible.
It was her worst nightmare, and
Her world was crumbling around her.

Determined not to be a victim to anyone or anything,
She decided to set a new course for her life.
She'd redesign herself, her life, and her environment
To create the life she wanted for her future.

It wasn't easy.
It was an uphill climb from the start.
But the view she now has was worth
Every struggle she faced.
She is finally becoming the women she always wanted to be.
Strong, yet tender. Wise, yet humble,
Open, loving, and forgiving...
Not letting any of the past hold her down.

She never would have dreamed
The devastation she had once faced
Would have been the refiner's fire
That turned her life around.
She is now the epitome of a true survivor.

-Suzy Toronto

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Where do I even begin! We have had such a fun summer filled with lots of family! We have loved every minute of it! My Gammy (Mom’s Mom) and Pa G came and stayed with us for a week after my Grandpa Sales and my Mom’s aunts left. My Mom was so happy to see family. She really enjoyed all of their visits. The weekend after my grandparents left we went to Colorado to see some of our cousins. It was a last minute thing, we weren’t planning on going until the day before we left. Our cousins are from Oklahoma but were in Colorado because my cousin Taylor was playing in a softball tournament there, who by the way is an AMAZING pitcher! It was a short trip, we left Thursday night, my Dad drove all night and we got there Friday morning. We watched lots of softball games, went out to eat, went to the mall, and then left Sunday morning. It was so good to see some of my family from Oklahoma that we don’t get to see often. It just makes us miss them all more! I really wish we lived closer! Maybe one day… ;)

My Mom is finished with all of her radiation treatments as of Tuesday, June 30! The radiologist didn’t think her skin could handle much more. Her underarm looks pretty bad. It had been really hurting her the last week of radiation. The Dr. gave her a cream to rub on it every day. I would cake it on for her really thick. She is extremely red from the radiation and her underarm looks like somebody took a really hot iron to it. It is peeling and gets irritated really easily because her skin rubs together. It will get better though!

My Mom and I walked in Relay for Life this last weekend in Smithfield. We had never been involved in this before and it was so much fun! It started at noon on Friday and ended at noon on Saturday. We were on the Budge Clinic team, someone from each team has to be on the track at all times, even in the middle of the night. They had softball games going on in the middle of the night and karaoke. Cancer never sleeps, that's why this relay is all day and all night. It was an awesome experience and so many people participated! My Mom and I bought a lot of raffle tickets (all money went to American Cancer Society) and ended up winning a lot of fun stuff! My Mom got a huge basket filled with TONS of pink stuff! Mugs, garden tools, humming bird feeder, regular bird feeder, wind chime, and so on. I won a fun basket filled with lots of hair products. My Mom also won a free foot zoning session, she has never done it before! They also had a survivor dinner on Friday night that we went to. That was fun because my Mom got to mingle with all of the other survivors. It was a really fun time! I encourage all of you to be a part of Relay for Life!!

Today my Mom and I met with Dr. Ben Jacob, her oncologist. She finally had her first blood work drawn to see if the cancer is gone! The cancer marker that they drew today were CA 27-29. These are the markers that they will check every three months for the first year. Unfortunately, the tests don't come back the same day, it takes two days for them to run it. We will know the results by Friday. Dr. Ben-Jacob also put her on tamoxifen today. This is the pill that she will take every day for five years, it binds with the estrogen so her body can't use the estrogen which in her case was feeding the cancer. Tamoxifen does have some side effects. The ones he told her she needed to be aware of were uterine cancer (go figure) and blood clots. He told her to make sure she is getting her pap smears regularly, this would detect uterine cancer and to notice any soreness or redness anywhere that could possibly be blood clots. They would usually show up in the legs or lungs... scary. My Mom has also had some soreness on her spine the past few months, she told the Dr. this today and he wanted to go ahead and do an MRI of her spine so we can clear our minds. We are praying that it will come back clear. My Mom says she doesn't think it could be cancer but then again she said she didn't think she had breast cancer either. Better safe than sorry. We went ahead and had the MRI this afternoon, Ben-Jacob should call us with the results Thursday or Friday. I am praying that the test result for the cancer marker will come back normal and the MRI will be clear! We could use all your prayers as well!

My hand is still in a splint and won't be out for another three weeks! I have been getting used to it. By the time I am out of the splint I just might be left handed! HAHA

My Mom and her Aunts from Oklahoma

Grandpa Sales and Us

Gammy and Mom (notice the red mark on her neck, this is from radiation)

Mom, Gammy, and me


Mom with her Aunt and cousins

Survivors and Caregivers!

My Mom's new friends, they have all battled breast cancer

My Mom's Luminaria bag, everyone at Relay for Life had one that has battled cancer. They lit all the bags up at night and then we walked a lap in silence.

They gave us these shirts for free at the survivors dinner.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Like My Mother Does

Well... I might not be updating the blog as much as I would like to the next few weeks because.... I BROKE MY RIGHT HAND!!! I can type but not for long because I get really frustrated! I broke it playing softball on Monday night. I caught the ball with the wrong hand, the one without the mitt on it. Not smart, I know. My Grandpa Sales and Aunts left and my Gammy (Mom's Mom) and PaG came to visit, they are here now. We are having fun with them.

I want to share with you a song that I absolutely love right now. If you watched American Idol you will know this song. Lauren Alaina sang it on the finale. I cried the first time I listened to it and now I smile while listening to it. There is no better way to describe the way I feel about my Mom and our relationship than this song! It says it all, it's perfect!!! Listen and Enjoy! :)