Wednesday, October 7, 2015

What Did They Find?

The night before diagnosis I was in prayer at my bedside when God spoke to me.  He said “What if I have a plan to provide that will not be what you had in mind?”  I knew that tomorrow would be a big day either I would be getting a diagnosis of just an infection and discussing medication and moving into an apartment in Lilburn; or I would have to cancel the apartment and learn about cancer treatment.  I continued to hope that cancer was not in my future.

My worst fear was realized when I was diagnosed with Stage Three Inflammatory Breast Cancer with my parents on speaker phone with the surgeon.  The day became a blur for me after that.  I talked with my parents and called my friends Gina and Dawn.  I managed to make it to work for an hour because I had an appointment with my first Oncologist.  I was told once again that the diagnosis was confirmed that and that I would start Chemotherapy right away.  I would have twenty sessions. 

After leaving the Oncologist’s Office I locked myself in a single stall bathroom and thought that my life was over.  For the first time ever in my working life I asked my parents to call my boss and tell her that I would be back tomorrow.  

My friends and family tried to tell me that this was not the case that there would be life after cancer.  It wasn’t until I had talked with a breast cancer survivor Ellen who I had met while attending events at FoxTale Book Shoppe.  I asked if we could talk.  That night we talked and I laughed for the first time and had hope for survival.  I craved speaking to other survivors.  Ellen asked me to come to this author’s premier party for her latest book later that week.   This event also benefited breast cancer.  I attended and was glad to support this author.  I was glad to get support from Ellen and her staff in my journey.  They continue to be a source of encouragement for me

Check back next Monday!

Monday, October 5, 2015

And the Journey Begins…

April began much like March; I was looking for apartments and putting together the garage sale.  The week of the garage sale was April 18th.   The Thursday night two days prior to it.  I got out of the shower and noticed that the nipple on my left breast had turned light brown.  My first thought was this was not normal.  I called my mother who was out of town taking care of my sister after her surgery.  We agreed that I needed to get it checked out. 

The day of the garage sale did not go as planned because of weather.  As I was cleaning up the garage, I made a visit to Urgent Care in Conyers.  The doctor gave me a referral to see a Breast Surgeon.  I saw him the following week.  He wanted me to get a mammogram and ultrasound.  This was planned for May 1st.  Now for those of you who don’t know one good thing about Obamacare is women get free mammograms except in my case.  Mine was considered diagnostic which means that I owed the hospital money because of not reaching my deductible and max out of pocket. 
I had never had a mammogram before.  Mom and I had planned to go out and make a decision on an apartment.  We went to the hospital. I knew that they would find something on the left breast but hoped it would just be an infection.  After the mammogram and ultrasound, mom and I were called into the nurse navigator office. We were told that it was more serious than that and they wanted to make an appointment with the surgeon for the following week.  I once again conveyed my concerns about paying for care.

The following week my parents left to close on the condo in Florida.  I assured them that the doctor’s appointment would be fine and we would “discuss a biopsy of the left breast.”  I was wrong I found myself walking from the doctor’s office at the hospital to the women’s’ care wing where they biopsied the lymph node under my left arm.  I was told that I couldn’t go back to work for two days.  I found myself with the weekend to wonder what they would find.

To be continued Wednesday.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Confessions of a Breast Cancer Survivor

Welcome to National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Each year at Writer’s Corner  we have participated in Penguin’s Program Read for Pink highlighting the fight against Breast Cancer.  This year we will have the Inaugural year of The Pink Escape:  Escape Into a Good Book and Support Breast Cancer Research.  You will hear for some of your favorite authors with their recommendations and about some of their books.  

I share my journey not because it is your typical cancer story.  I didn’t have a lump or mass.  My story started about this time last year.  I went to see a new gynecologist who noticed the left nipple of my breast was turned in.  She asked me if this was normal? At this time she didn’t have my previous history.  I was also dealing with a different problem.  After it was resolved in an office visit.  I asked if this was something to be concerned about.  She said no it could be normal.  I resolved to keep an eye on it. 
In November, I had checkups with my Endocrinologist and noticed that I had a higher than normal blood pressure reading.  I didn’t think anything of it at that time.  I had to go also for a screening at work where the blood pressure was also high.  I still didn’t see anything unusual.  I examined my breasts no lumps. 

In February of 2015, I was looking for an apartment because my parents put the house on the market.  I also had an allergic reaction to laundry detergent.  I developed a rash all over my mid-section including my left breast.  It was in the back of my mind that it could be more serious.  I just paid off my debt management plan and didn’t want to go backwards into debt.  It also wasn’t unusual for me to have rashes or other symptoms since I have really bad allergies.  I just knew that I couldn’t afford to pay for expensive treatment.

My story will be continued on Monday. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Would You Choose Marriage to Make Someone Else Happy?

Zondervan in 2014 asked some of its most popular authors if they would contribute a story about weddings.  An October Bride is Katie Ganshert’s a story.   It is my first time reading this author.


Emma is retrieving mail for her parents at their home when she finds her dad’s bucket list.  Her father has brain cancer.  So what could she do to please him?  She starts to read the list and comes to the part where her father wants to walk her down the aisle.  Emma is not currently engaged.  She was at the time of her father’s diagnosis to Chase.  She broke it off with him.  Will she find someone to walk her down the aisle?

My Thoughts: 

Katie Ganshert is a new author for me and one I wanted to read and share with you.  It is October now, but I read this book earlier in the year.  When I was diagnosed with cancer myself.  To read this story was difficult for me.  The story is set in Mayfair Wisconsin.  There are very interesting characters with the Bunco babes and Liam the brother of Emma, and some others. 

This story is told in first person.  I did not enjoy the way it was written.  I have read other stories told in first person and found them more enjoyable.  The word “I” is not used so often and is still told from the main character’s perspective.  I would read others novels by Kate Ganshert in the future and look forward to her continued evolving work, but this one was not my favorite.



Please visit Katie on her Facebook page, twitter, and her website.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Do You Have Any Regrets?

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me a copy of Letters to the Lost by Iona Grey.   This copy was sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This story   revolves are both the World War Two time period and the year 2011.  The author has a very interesting story to share.


Jess is trying to find some place to hide while she heals from the latest wounds inflicted by her latest boyfriend.  The house on Greenleaf Lane might just be perfect!  Once inside she finds letters from Dan Rosinski to Stella Thorne.  Dan’s one wish is to find Stella his love of his life before he dies.  In another part of London Will Holt is searching for Nancy Price who is connected to the house on Greenleaf Lane. But how?  How will she figure into the story of Dan and Stella?  Will they reconnect before he passes?

My Thoughts: 

I very much enjoyed this story.  It had many plot twists.  The story between Jess and Will in 2011 goes well with the story of Dan and Stella. These stories intersect in the latter half of the novel. I am a sucker for good historical fiction!  I completely agree with authors Kate Alcott and Lauren Willig about their praise of this novel.  I couldn’t help wanting to find out more about this story, and would they find each other.  There is another plot twist that focuses on what happened to Stella which I found most interesting.  This story is a great debut for the United States! 
Everyone hopes to find a love such as Dan and Stella’s even though it might have been unrequited love!  There is so much hope for a happy ending! 

I can’t wait to see what’s next!



Please visit Iona on her Facebook page and  Twitter.