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Showing posts from January, 2012

Breast Ultrasound

Breast ultrasound is a procedure that may be used to determine whether a lump is a cyst (sac containing fluid) or a solid mass which could be cancer. If it is found to be a cyst, fluid is typically withdrawn from it using a needle and syringe (a process called aspiration). If clear fluid is removed and the mass completely disappears, no further treatment or evaluation is needed. Ultrasound can also be used to precisely locate the position of a known tumor in order to guide the doctor during a biopsy or aspiration procedure. Ultrasound helps confirm correct needle placement. Ultrasound testing works by transmits high-frequency sound waves, inaudible to the human ear, through the breast. The sound waves bounce off surfaces in the breast (tissue, air, fluid) and these "echoes" are recorded and transformed into video or photographic images. * I thought I would share my experience of these tests with you. Ultrasound does not hurt. They use a Gel like substance on the breast area…

Mammogram

How does the procedure work?
X-rays are a form of radiation like light or radio waves. X-rays pass through most objects, including the body. Once it is carefully aimed at the part of the body being examined, an x-ray machine produces a small burst of radiation that passes through the body, recording an image on photographic film or a special digital image recording plate. Different parts of the body absorb the x-rays in varying degrees. Dense bone absorbs much of the radiation while soft tissue, such as muscle, fat and organs, allow more of the x-rays to pass through them. As a result, bones appear white on the x-ray, soft tissue shows up in shades of gray and air appears black. Until recently, x-ray images were maintained as hard film copy (much like a photographic negative). Today, most images are digital files that are stored electronically. These stored images are easily accessible and are frequently compared to current x-ray images for diagnosis and disease management. How will t…

Breast Reconstruction

A hard voyage, if you are going through this or just found out you have Breast Cancer its very scary. There are many choices, hard ones also my mind saying over and over  "I don't know what to do". I found that Doctors are reluctant to say as they have had complaints at the end result. 

Here are some of the choices:

Latissimus dorsi flapThe latissimus dorsi flap moves muscle and skin from your upper back when extra tissue is needed. The flap is made up of skin, fat, muscle, and blood vessels. It is tunneled under the skin to the front of the chest. This creates a pocket for an implant, which can be used for added fullness to the reconstructed breast. Though it is not common, some women may have weakness in their back, shoulder, or arm after this surgery. TRAM (transverse rectus abdominis muscle) flapThe TRAM flap procedure uses tissue and muscle from the tummy (the lower abdominal wall). The tissue from this area alone is often enough to shape the breast, and an implant ma…

The Pink Army

EXCITING NEWS FOR EVERYONE: On the 24th January "The Pink Army" was born. The founders of The Pink Army are myself and my very good friend Zu. Together we would like you to join us. Every man and every woman can join us to make a difference. We believe we can fight cancer together. Watch this space for more information....

Terror

I am not sure how to put this into words. Have you ever used the word terror? I hadn't but I think when your life has been threatened twice beyond your control it is a valid word.
Terror - from Latinterror meaning "great fear", a noun derived from the Latin verbterrere meaning "to frighten" Great Fear - not much scares me really, "I might die before my time I have cancer again" Well here we go now I am scared. I think most cancer people would agree that in that instance the world should stop. Because I am scared and I don't want the world to keep moving..STOP let me out of here. I am so scared, I don't want to die. You know we have a very powerful mind, it goes on and on. It can survive almost anything, but we should never ever give up. Its like a war in my body. If someone punched me for no reason I would punch them back. I guess now you have a war - You VS Cancer. Cancer is evil, it will put up a big attack, attack back..It's not going t…

Chemotherapy Support

Chemotherapy - mind preparation! This is hard because I think ignorance is bliss, when you don't know something you get through it because you don't know what to expect. Like childbirth, you don't really know what's happening or how long it will take, but the second time the minute that pain starts your memory quickly remembers the pain. Isn't it fabulous how we can block pain.
Well for me I got through the first chemo when I was 24 because I did not know what was ahead. Really thats a good thing. The second time at 43, I thought I was going to have a heart attack thinking back....eekkkk......
No way I said "I just can't do that dam chemo again".  Gee how Chemo has changed 20 odd years ago you had chemo for 24 hours once a week back then. Admitted to hospital and kept in. Now days its basically a morning. I was afraid this second time, more than the last time. I knew what was going to happen and that did my head in.
I have to thank my sister Alana, fo…

Father's love

Its a tough gig being a parent! You need your mother and your father, what happens when your mum dies and your father is let to play both roles. Let me introduce you to my dad, his name is Alan. He turned 70 in August. He is the type of man that is stronge, courageous and protective.
I admire my father, he really loved my mother and us. He supported us and had 2 jobs. Then after my first surgery I moved in with my dad so I could rest and get ready. Hospitals get rid of you quickly these days, but you really sleep better at home. My kids came to visit, and I appreciate all he did for me. Its hard for him, sometimes it must remind him of loosing my mum, hospitals, doctors ups and downs....Dad's are fantastic! Thank you Dad

Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer is a killer! I read today some information regarding prevention. I thought I would share this with you. They say the average woman who wears an under wire bra for 12 hours a day. Has 100 times more of a chance of getting breast cancer, as it blocks the Lymphatic system. Which provides drainage around the body. There is really no reason why we get cancer, it can happen to anyone. So if the Lymphatic system can't drain. The Vein woman who get fake breasts are also blocking the draining, tight stretched skin, they are doing the same thing to their body, then thats 24 hours a day. Is technology providing us harm?? Just a thought....we need to get the numbers down of this awful disease!

Amazing touching lives - mine touched back!

Cancer - I have met the greatest people on this battle. At the doctors, through people and online. Everyone knows someone that has Cancer. The special thing is we can share our journey. We can support each other and inspire each other that we can get through to the other side. Our bodies are amazing. Its takes time after Chemo, but now my body is stronge again. That feels great!

Fund Raising Cancer Expenses

Cancer, Bills well that begins at the start. The tests, the surgery and the medical roller coaster begins. The Quotes, well what does it cover. Upfront bills, more bills later and fear!!
I thought the quote meant what I had to pay....WRONG
More bills
Elective surgery - be careful this means you want the surgery and are happy to pay 100% with no refund.
I know its hard to absorb, I am not sure how to clarify this one
VANITY - vein woman flat chested wants show off a fake chest as has no confidence she should pay 100% as is personal choice
CANCER PATIENT- They call a double mastectomy elective!! Just to clarify this I want to have my chest removed by surgery and have no nipples and end up with massive surgery!! I have to pay for hospital, implants, tests and surgery with no medicare refund as I want this surgery......Please inform me who wants this??? Why I have to pay for everything and for go every refund...
Vein woman are show offs and should pay - cancer patients are victims of a pa…

Your not alone

I remember thinking this - I am so alone I am scared but who can I lean on who knows my terror. I guess the answer to that one is everyone in your life cares enough to support you. But they also are afraid and sometimes put their foot in their mouth because they are trying to help. Also they try to justify why they will never go through this.
I had to shut my brain down slowly only worry about what affected me and my boys. So I was really in a strange place. A battle of I know what I am supposed to be doing, sometimes I can't and in a place of I can't hear my own footsteps as I enter a noisy floor. Am I leaving is this a sign.
I found things I loved and made me happy, I made sure I did things for me every week. I got to spend time alone which I hate, I became very safe in my mind for the battle ahead.
My friends offered great support, my family were amazing, my kids they have been through a real battle as I am their protector so I am supposed to be ok. The boys made me laugh a…

Strength

The word Strength:


• STRENGTH(noun)
  The noun STRENGTH has 9 senses: 1. the property of being physically or mentally strong
2. capability in terms of personnel and materiel that affect the capacity to fight a war
3. physical energy or intensity
4. an asset of special worth or utility
5. the power to induce the taking of a course of action or the embracing of a point of view by means of argument or entreaty
6. the amount of energy transmitted (as by acoustic or electromagnetic radiation)
7. capacity to produce strong physiological or chemical effects
8. the condition of financial success
9. permanence by virtue of the power to resist stress or force Familiarity information: STRENGTH used as a noun is familiar.
Look at number 1. I believe we can all do this. It just takes something to show us we can. I believe that I thought I was weak. Now I look at where I have come from and where I am heading. I myself are amazed at what we can endure. No 2 cancer is a war and we must fight it! Not just cancer a…

Mastectomy Vs Double Mastectomy

Hard choice this one! Which way do we go. There both the right thing to do, so there is no wrong answer. Breast Cancer is deadly so best to have surgery. The truth is they say it's only got a 5% chance of coming back in the other one. So they call for breast conservation. It's really about how you feel and what your comfortable with. After all you are the only one that will live with it. People that have not been on this battle can't say what they would do, they really don't know. Your call entirely.....
* For Single Mastectomy - you will still have feeling in one side and only have one arm in recovery!
* For Double Mastectomy - slim chance it can come back at all, if you have a gene.........

Life Threatening

I guess when you enter the realm of a life threatening battle. You can tip over to the other side. Its very hard to understand why we get ill. It's hard to face telling loved ones and friends and of course the internal battle...HOW WILL I COPE, what if I die and leave my kids with no mother???
Its normal to be afraid, its normal that we must actually grieve. All humans deal differently and thats ok. We must allow ourselves to go through the time to process, the if's and the but's and the denial. I am terrible with denial. Because I think, its not going to happen to me. Even when the tests started coming back bad. I said to myself its a mistake don't be afraid. Then you get hurt more because in the eternal place of I am ok they are wrong, it becomes dark and scary. You know they are right.
Not sure how to describe this, but its like falling in a hole and its muddy and you are trying to climb out because you know you can. But the mud keeps making you slip back in deeper …

My Book Cover

Help

Help, its really hard to ask for it. But sometimes it's there and we don't see it. People are happy to help, and maybe they wait for a sign. When someone say's are you ok? We automatically say yes. But they are looking to help, so we put up a fake form and lie..Humans have a problem reaching out. I have learnt the hard way its better to be honest. Say I am having a hard time, things are out of control. Please help me and when things are ok, I will help you back.
But thats not how it goes. Pride and fear of failure says I am ok....and I am not!!! But now I have learnt just say I am not ok...see what happens, your friends and family will offer help.. So why are we so tough. We are programed to cope thats the only thing I can say. But sometimes you have to be humble... Its about giving back, I love to give back..It is a 2 way street...

My Foundation

I want to make a difference with my book. I have noticed there is something missing, that is support for women with medical bills. There is a lot of expenses, it would be wonderful take pressure off families.
Then they can concentrate on getting well, not bills.
So I am launching my foundation this year to help support woman like me. Who are knocked around in the medical bill roller coaster. There is lots happening and its early days. But keep watching as I launch some excitement. My very good friend Peter Cole will be helping me launch this foundation this year. I already have received emails from some lovely ladies in a similar place to where I was. If I can help others that would make me very happy.
I would be very keen hear your feedback on what other things we could help with..
Here is my foundation slogan:

"I am still a woman"
The Sisterhood,
I smile at the future,
I live life magnificently,
I execute justice on earth & I place
value on humanity, I am woman, I am s…

Cancer - Doctors

Doctors are special people, we trust them with our lives and we know that they have our best interest at heart. It all begins with a GP a family doctor and he has an amazing connection with the whole family. Mine had been around for 20 years, so a doctor & a friend. Someone you can tell anything to! When something goes wrong he will send you to have tests with specialist. Then again we trust them. So its important to be comfortable and know you are in the right hands. I did have a disaster 18 months ago. My doctor and friend Dr Michael McGrath diagnosed with stomach cancer lost the battle and passed away. A lovely man leaving behind a wife and 2 sons. Only 46 years old. So sad. Then we have to find a new doctor, that is hard but luckily another great move. Started seeing Gerry Paul, he is totally amazing and has done a great job continuing my care. RIP Dr McGrath.
Specialist: mine have been great. My Oncologist Dr Robilliard is great also. What a hard job, these guys have it reall…

Strength amazing sisters support

They say what does not kill you makes you stronger. They also say that they only send things to people they think can handle things. Well I think lucky we are strong as human beings.
When I was a young girl I don't think I appreciated my sisters as much as I do today. Sisterly love is a funny thing. I was amazed at the strength that came from within them daily whilst I was sick. They live away from me. Its a long drive, 3 and a half hours. They were there for me emotionally, daily calls daily texts and moved into my house to assist my x husband caring for the boys while I was in hospital with the first surgery, then for the chemo. We often don't tell people how much they mean to us. So I hope they know, that I really appreciate the support and the help in being there for my kids at a time where the boys needed them most. We have an amazing bond, shame they don't live closer. I have no mother but I have sisters that are special, not one moment do I take that for granted how…

Cancer - Medical Bills Nightmare

I have never been good at asking people for help, I am strong and I don't need help. I am totally independent, thats just me. I felt like to ask people to help me I was admitting to failure. So I unplugged my brain and just tried to focus on myself and the boys whilst ill. When I was diagnosed in July 2008 and while the testing begun for this second time cancer battle for me. Life became a financial whirlpool. Tests cost big money there are lots of them and they take time. You have to wait in the waiting rooms and this takes hours. Then they find something more tests, more money. Now I am only at work half the hours because of this which means my income has now halved. Hard to concentrate when you feel your life is getting out of control.
So the bills piled up, best not to open them. I just kept moving forward concentrating on my health and day by day. Which I never do I am a planner and totally organized normally. Life was getting out of control. Organized Caos, thats the only wa…

Ovarian Cancer - Loosing your mother

This is a hard blog today. How do you ever say good bye to someone you love. I lost my mother 12 years ago. Life with no mother is near impossible. Seeing someone that you love suffer is the most hurtful experience besides death. They say we are not supposed to be here forever. I get that. But why do we have to go with pain and suffering. That will never be solved. My Mum had Ovarian Cancer and its lays silent, you never know it's there. They call it the silent killer.
I cherished every moment I had with her. We laughed we cried, we relived the things that were a value to us and the funny everyday experiences. I treasure that time, I am grateful, I had the best mum in the world. The world is a harder place without her. She lives through me, my sisters and my children. I see her in all of us. In that fact she will never ever die. She is with us always. My life is better that I had her, but I am sorry, I never had her long enough. I love you mum xoxox

Fear

You know they say walk in someone else's shoes before you judge them! A life lesson, its easy to say I know what I would do. Do you know really, I ask you step back and ask this question. If for one moment you could imagine that your life changed. You had a life threatening illness, you really are not in the space to know. Me also, I have been on my own very private journey. I did what was right for me, who really can judge me and know why or how or if I did what was right. Also I m no expert for others, we share a journey. No one wants to die, thats the truth. But I chose what I thought was right!
It is really about surviving with your choices and no one else's. So I have lost alot of pieces (womans parts) but deep down I am the same. A new person, not by choice. That is the moral of this about fear. Fear can only exist if we let it in. Tomorrow, I know life goes on regardless of what happens. Never forget, its worth the fight always...its your choice and I am happy with that…

Cancer - my friend Sandra with Colon Cancer

Sandra and I have been friends for 25 years. I have had cancer twice, lost my mother to cancer and some lovely friends I have made along the way. Rich or poor, old or young, tall or short cancer does not discriminate. Some try to find a reason why? I guess that is the mystery.
I am currently caring for a very good friend of mine, her name is Sandra. She was diagnosed with Colon Cancer (2 years ago), she is now 36 kg and body seems to be shutting down. She is passing out with black outs, she feels nauseated, tired not her self. She was my boss in a pharmacy years ago, the friendship blossomed from there. Watching a friend suffer is not very nice, actually watching anyone suffer is not nice. Breaks my heart. We are currently running tests to see why she is in trouble. That is hard. She only had 2 chemotherapy sessions as she could not do it. I will give you some updates on her health as I think that sharing sometimes alerts us to check our own health. If your body is not working right i…

Look good feel better

I wanted to share something special to do and its run by Volunteers. Its Called "Look Good Feel Better" It is normally held at Hospitals around in your local area. It is a 2 hour session where you can sit with other woman that have cancer like you. This was actually a little hard for me, as I was a Volunteer at North Gosford Hospital when my kids were very young. So being on the other side when I first walked in was a little scary. But I felt at ease when I got in there, you can take a carer or friend. I took my friend Anne Taylor. She enjoyed the morning.
All the big make up brands donate make up for you. You get to take the products home they are all new. You get a lesson on how to apply them. The wig people come and you can try the wigs on, fantastic thing is you are with woman that understand exactly where you are at. Hats or scarves, try them all on. Coffee and cake and lovely company. You will find this morning a treat you can even take your husband or man. They don…

Chemotherapy - for a woman no hair is hard

That word Chemotherapy what does it mean? Chemotherapy acts by killing Cells that divide rapidly, one of the main properties of most cancer cells. Sadly this also means it harms cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances. So it basically works like an Army attacking everything in site.
Loosing your hair: men look great bald and always have. It is even a fashionable hair do for the men. Don't get me wrong woman also look great. But I am not a woman that could go bald and feel great. I just feel that I need my hair. I guess I love hair is what I am saying. Love the bun, the ponytale the flicks the waves and of course the straightening iron.
But there are a large variety of wigs available and I had about 5. Financially when you are ill and not working and have heaps of medical expenses. Wigs can be expensive. Mine ranged from one on sale for $120 (I recently donated this to a friends daughter that needed it). Up to $600 and the term was a medical wig. It is lighter than the…

Book Launch for 2012

Well I have been on a very big voyage to get the book out there. I am very excited to report that design now is the final spot we need to go to finish. I expect that Amazon.com should have it available before April. I am going to have a book launch in Australia in Sydney and of course one in Texas when I am with Jim the writer. We are going to be very happy to sign copies for your keepsake.  I love the name of the book, "I am still a woman" I also love the book cover. Its just proving that life goes on and that we can nearly look the same after going through a very scary ride. I am still a woman, I am the same just a little different. They put so much into Celebrity Cancer, but you know like me just an ordinary person we also get cancer and yes the fight is the same. This is for all you woman out there to say as you know "I am woman I am Stronge" Hear me roar....

Ellen Show - Author would meet writer

I have a big ask here as I have not met my book writer yet in person. He is in Dallas Texas, I would love to meet him on the Ellen Show for the first time. American Book writer and Australian Author! That would be really great, I would love to meet Ellen but also to share my experience and my journey on TV. We have written the book I am still a woman by email and talking on the phone for the last 2 years. It has been written to share and help others. I hope to make a foundation in the future to assist the medical burden on patients. Life is hard with all the medical bills.
My book has photos of the surgeries, I would also love to talk to Christina Applegate. I am coming to Texas In October for that really big breast cancer event..(Exciting)
I just said hi to Hugh Jackman, he is awesome I asked him if he could help with with getting in touch with Ellen or even Oprah TV, Stay tuned I will let you know what happens. Also blog readers if you can assist I would be very grateful... Have a …