July 29, 2013

pink



Do you like guessing games?

Personally, I hate them.

Unless the clues are super easy.

As in, so very easy that I don't even have to use my brain.

So, I'm kind of sorry to say that we are going to play a guessing game today.

I promise to quickly put you out of your misery though.

Here's your first clue.

Ready?


I just this very minute realized that this particular clue could lead some of you to believe that I have a granddaughter on the way.

I do not have a granddaughter on the way. At least not that I know of!

So, we'll quickly move on to clue number two.


Which.....could also apply to a baby, but in this case does not.

Any guesses?

Okay, enough is enough.

Let's just get it over with.


It is getting easier for me to say, but obviously not easy enough that I could just spit it out on the internet without a little photo help!

Yes. I have breast cancer.

But, according to my much beloved oncologist, my prognosis is excellent!

I've had my surgery.

The cancer had not spread to my lymph nodes - hallelujah!

I've had three rounds of chemo so far.

I don't need radiation.

I'm settling into a routine.

I'm going to be just fine.

It's most definitely not the summer I had planned, (my poor garden!) but I can honestly say it's still shaping up to be a very good summer.

I've been surrounded by family and amazing friends and wonderful neighbors. Meals galore. Thoughtful gifts. Lots of company that is happy to do as much or as little as I'm feeling up to at any given moment.

Lots of movies and sitting on the dock "pond watching", as my niece says.

My hubby has been my caregiver. He sat by my side for two solid weeks after my surgery. Waited on me hand and foot. Emptied my drains. (If you don't know what that means - ignorance is bliss.) I can't even begin to list all the things he's done for me and all the support and love he has given throughout this journey.

He's a keeper, oh yes he is.

My boys, my daughter-in-law, my parents, my sister and her family, my brother, all my in-laws.....all of them have been there for me, but that doesn't surprise me one little bit. They are amazing people and I am so thankful for them.

My bff is getting ready to make her third thousand mile round trip visit to keep me company.

My support circle is huge and wonderful and has made this journey so much easier.

Blogging about this has not been a priority for me, but now that the dust has settled, I do have a few things I want to share, and if it makes a difference for even one of you, I'll be thrilled.

I've had yearly mammograms for at least ten years now. I have not been anything even remotely resembling diligent with self exams. I relied on my mammos to do most of the work, and gave the girls the once over whenever it crossed my mind, which was not very often.

I had my last mammogram in September, and in April I found a lump - a rather large one, but not during a self exam. I just kind of noticed it. They did a new mammogram, compared it to my old mammogram, did an ultrasound and a biopsy and long story short, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. Between diagnosis and surgery three weeks later, my tumor had pretty much doubled in size.

Scary.

Ultimately, I really don't want to bore you with the details, and there are many, many details and a whole new vocabulary to learn and statistics that show that even though they think they got everything, there's still a chance they didn't. It's all a part of what everyone seems to want to call the "new normal".

For the record, I hate the words New Normal.

But here's the thing that I really want to say.

Don't be like me.

I'm an experiential learner, and unfortunately that means that often, I have to learn things the hard way. If I read this very story on your blog and you told me that I should start doing monthly self exams and that I shouldn't rely on my yearly mammogram it would not have changed one single thing for me. I would have probably thought that yes, I should probably do more frequent exams, but then I wouldn't have given it another thought.

But, if by some chance you are even a tiny bit smarter than me and could possibly learn something from my story and go from non-existent or infrequent self exams to regular self exams?

That? That would make my day.

Because.......


Did you know this statistic?

I did not know this statistic.

Statistics do very weird things to me. In a very silly and totally ridiculous way, I kind of feel like I've taken one for the team for seven of my friends/female family members. Seven of them are safe from breast cancer. But which seven? I have more than seven ladies in my life that are very important to me. I am no longer physically capable of taking another one for the team, so this means you all are going to have to step up and catch this ugly disease as early as possible, because you just may be the next one in your very own personal group of eight.

This little blog currently has 1320 followers. Most of which I'm assuming are female. If my calculator serves me right, 158 of you will get breast cancer at some point in your life. (If that math is wrong, I blame chemo brain.) And if you dodge the actual breast cancer bullet, you will doubtless still be touched several times over by someone with this disease.

My cancer was very fast growing, and maybe I would not have found my tumor any earlier even if I had been doing regular exams, but that's not the point.

The point is, that for you or someone you know and love, regular exams could be the difference between discovering cancer still contained in the breast, and cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes and then possibly on to who knows where else.

Whew!

I think I'm done now.

Aren't lectures fun?

This was fun, yes?

No?

I know. It's not a fun subject, but as I said before, if it makes a difference for even one of you, then it's worth the departure from posts about flowers and photography.

p.s. I have a little favor to ask of y'all.

I need you to know that I am 100% comfortable with my treatment plan.

I know chemo is from the devil. However, I don't need to hear that chemo will kill me faster than cancer will kill me, even though I know there are going to be some of you who feel that way.

I love chemo!

Not.

I HATE chemo, but I am having chemo and I've made my peace with all the ugliness that comes along with it.

Please join me in my chemo peace!

Also? I know that your great Uncle Herbert's cousin's brother who works at the local hardware store has a neighbor whose sister was cured of cancer by eating seaweed during the full moon of every month that contains the letter S.

I also know that there are many, many, many other treatment alternatives out there. I know that people have very strong feelings about various cancer treatments.

Again, I need you to know that I am 100% comfortable with my treatment plan.

:)

And if you love me even a little bit, please refrain from including in your comment any sentence that contains both the word "coffee" and the word "enema".

Now it's time for my morning nap, so you all go and have a great day!

But not until you've done your breast exam!

94 comments:

  1. Have been thinking of you and keeping updated via Amy. Nice to see your post today and your lecture is a good thing and a wake-up call. I will be putting that self examination a bit more into my routine. That one in eight statistic is scary. Keep healing...happy day on the prognosis!

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  2. I think it's so brave of you to share this on your blog - I'm so sorry to hear the news, but you have such a positive attitude towards it which is refreshing to read.

    I have a friend who was diagnosed last year, and the more stories I hear, the more scary the statistics become, especially as I'm only 6 years younger than my friend who is 32, and apparently only had a ridiculously small percent chance of getting BC anyway due to her age.

    Thank you for sharing, it will definitely make me check the ladies more regularly!

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  3. So sorry to hear all you've been dealing with. No words of advice, just words that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Our 6-year old was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last Thanksgiving, and so I know what it's like to have the rock solid earth move beneath your feet. Not to compare the two, they're very different, but they are both life changing. I tell myself (and others) that we have a new normal, and a lot of this will involve things that totally suck, but at some point we will breathe easily again. Oh yes we will... and in that totally "new normal" way! {{{hugs}}}

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  4. Thank_You....I too, like you, am (was) not very diligent about self exam either. Weirdly, I felt compelled to "check" while I was sitting in front of my computer,reading the rest of your post. How's that for an image? So glad you shared, and are on the road to recovery! Yea!

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    1. Awesome! I love the image!

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    2. I did that too! My aunt had cancer at young age (few months after turning 40) and I found a lump (benign!) that had to be removed when I was 21 so I was doing them but not nearly consistently enough. I'm going to try my hardest to change that today. Teresa... I was thinking you were having a grand time reading novels on your porch, working in your garden which is why the blog posts were only trickling in. I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis and the yucky/awesome chemo rounds but SO so glad to hear about your recovery. Take care. I'll be sending a prayer up for you. :)

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  5. I am also sorry to hear of this difficult time for you. So thankful to hear how friends and family have come along side of you, encouraged and "stood in the gap" as you went through treatments. Perhaps from your experience, you will be more able to help others with practical suggestions for those who are also dealing with this. May the Lord bless you as you share with others. Thank you also for the reminder for self exams...

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  6. I'm so sorry. You will be in my prayers. I'd so glad you have decided to attack. You are a true warrior! That statistic of (158?) your readers is scary. Jarring even. I will make the effort!

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  7. I'm so sorry you've had that uninvited guest to deal with. And super glad that you are at peace with your treatment plan. I think that is a huge part of the healing process. You have to trust those who you are entrusting your life to. Now go sit on the dock and watch that pond some more.

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  8. So Sorry... thank you for sharing your story... your strength is beautiful.

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  9. I love your words and your beautiful pictures and blog. I am sorry you have had to go through this. I appreciate the reality check though for the rest of us.

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  10. Teresa, I am so sorry you have to go through this. I am praying hard for you. Please know that all of us are praying for you and your family. Thank you for reminding me to have myself examined. My husband has been reminding me for years and I've been too chicken to have it done. Those statistics were too scary to ignore.

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  11. May God bless you with the strength and peace you need to get to where your journey is taking you!

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  12. Your 3rd and Favorite SonJuly 29, 2013 at 1:18 PM

    Hi Momma, I love this post and i'm very glad you are staying strong and enduring this cancer. I am so proud of you and love you more than anything. On the plus side i'll get to see you every week while you are at your treatment. Your optimism inspires me and again I love you so much :)

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  13. Well. You are out of the closet then. I am so proud of you for your bravery and attitude these last months. You rock! Also, you inspire me to be a better girl checker. Love you.

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  14. No words, just prayers and gratitude. Your words made a difference for me. btw...your 3rd and favorite son's comment brought tears to my eyes. Through it all girl, you are a blessed woman indeed. Patty

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  15. Oh, Teresa, I am rooting for you. So sorry for your news and so hopeful that you will take lovely graduation pictures of your granddaughter. Sending healing energy your way. Now I'm off to do my exam...

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  16. Teresa ... :( and :)...
    So glad you are ok and so loved! I went to be with my Mom for her surgery earlier this year. She is moving faster than I am! I will keep you in my prayers.
    Lots of love!

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  17. I am so sorry to hear that you are going through this. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. I have been putting off having a mammo done. I don't do it yearly like I should. I know I need to be checking every month. But I don't.
    I will be keeping you in my prayers.
    (((hugs)))

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  18. So sorry that you have had to go through this. Cancer is so hard. You do have to trust what your doctors say and what you want to do in your own treatment. I am glad that you shared on your blog. Now we can pray for you and cheer you on. Please take care and ep us posted. (((((HUGS))))

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  19. Hey Sweetie Girl,
    Thanks for sharing this part of your journey with us. No judgments. No remedies. No helpful suggestions. To each his own. And those four words aren't meant judgmentally either. LOL I'm glad to hear you are doing well. Be a good patient, and let your body heal, and then go love on everyone the way I'm sure you will -- because of all the love they've shown you, and also REGARDLESS of all the love they've shown you!! Every day is a gift, isn't it? Thank goodness for the people in our lives that make it so. So thankful that you have been blessed with so many who love you, especially your sweet hubby, and those wonderful sons of yours. Your "3rd and Favorite" made me cry.

    Keeping you lifted up in prayer for continued healing, and good reports down the road!

    Love,
    Sal
    xo

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  20. I hope you know that sharing what you shared today will make a difference! Thank you for being brave. Prayers for you and all those who love you!

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  21. Oh, Teresa, thank you so much for this post. I applaud your courage in sharing this, and I know from experience that having done this has expanded your support circle more than you can imagine! When I blogged about my mom's ovarian cancer a couple of years ago, the love and support I received from my blogging community was wonderful and overwhelming!

    It sounds as if you have everything under control, and I love that you put the brakes on anyone who might feel the need to tell you how to live with your treatment decisions. You're doing all the right things! Keep on keeping on, and in the meantime we'll all be routing for you! xo

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  22. So sorry, but so happy that you are doing better and are going to be great!! Such a blessing!! Take care and lots of love and hugs to you! xo Heather

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  23. .....Teresa, thank you for this post...because you will be in my thoughts and prayers and now I will get that much needed mammogram that I have been delaying...and that I will examine myself.......I understand and support your chemo..I would do the same........again, thank you...hugs......

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  24. I am so very sorry for what you are going through. I don't think I've ever commented, but I love your blog & your photos... you will be in my thoughts. And thank you for the reminder on self-exams, I am a nurse & I still don't do mine regularly, but your story is a wake-up call. Wishing you many blessings & continued healing. ~S

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  25. Oh Lady, I wondered what happened to you :( I'm just a follower in South Carolina, who will be doing a breast exam tonight.

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  26. I hope your recovery continues to go excellent! Modern medicine is amazing and I'm sure you're in good hands. Thank you for sharing your struggles and your hope, sometimes that is the best way to get a point across. So.. point taken, I will be spending some quality time with the "girls" tonight.

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  27. Teresa!!! :) I have a smile ear to ear that you posted this post!!! ;) Your awesome girlfriend. Good luck with your next few rounds and I hate the word "New Normal" I like the finding "My Normal" you keep looking for your normal each round and enjoy it and most of those "new normals" are temporary and will go away soon!!!
    Lots of hugs and prayers,
    Michelle

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  28. Knowledge is power, so thank you for the knowledge and the reminder that we have to be vigilant against this disease that strikes way too many people! I hope you continue down your path of recovery and I'm so happy to see your gorgeous photos again!

    xo Kat

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  29. I'm so glad you found it and acted on it quickly! Cancer is an ugly disease. My prayers are with you as you continue with your recovery.

    Take care,
    Pam

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  30. Your strength is equal to your talent, which is great. The garden will be there next year. Rest and be well. Your life, marriage and family inspire!

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  31. Teresa, I will be praying for you. Thank you for the courage to let people know that diligence is the cure.
    I was diagnosed in April as well. I only needed 6weeks of radiation and surgery, no chemo. I was lucky. Although today I had to have a uterine biopsy and will know the results Friday. I don't expect bad news and did have to have it done before beginning tamoxifen because there was an abnormality on that ultrasound. Stay strong and do what you feel will help you beat this permanently. People try to be helpful by sharing alternative cures and worse yet anecdotal horror stories that may freak the cancer patient out. I am learning to ignore this as well meaning drivel. My cancer did not show up on diagnostic mammograms, ultrasound or MRI but I knew something was wrong and kept at it. Sure enough the second time I saw my surgeon ( who previously said no worries) she did a biopsy and I had cancer. We need to let women know that they must be their own best advocate.
    Prayers for strength during your treatments and prayers that all will be well and this episode can be put behind you. Hugs and best from Ohio, Pam

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  32. Teresa,
    I knew there had to be a reason your beautiful blog was so quiet.
    Thank you for a really important post and a wake-up call for lots of us who (foolishly) assume it won't happen to us. I love your tender heart. I love your son's comment. And I am praying for your healing and for continued peace.

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  33. I love Meadoowbrook Farm posts . . . and even though I am sad for what you have been enduring I am happy at the thrust and purpose of your message.

    And the "Hi Momma . . . " was the best comment ever . . .

    Wishing you comfort in your healing . . . with love and caring,
    Lynne

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  34. Teresa,

    Love your blog, have ever since I found it..... Love your honesty on this...... Praying for you!!

    Nancy

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  35. Sorry to hear the news ,I miss your blog and the beautiful pictures,I don't have google account,I am praying for you to get better, you will get a lot better sure! Hugs Judith from Ohio

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  36. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. It sounds like you have a huge fan club praying for you and I will join in, too. I have to say I love your blog and your beautiful farm and flowers. I love the picket fences, and the pond, and your barn, and your flowers, and your.....! Good luck with your recovery!

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  37. Flower Girl Teresa! I sure have missed you.... and now I know why you've been gone..... While I didn't like hearing about the "C" word I sure liked hearing how positive and upbeat you are! It's my prayer that along with your precious family and your sweet friends that your faith will be very real and a big comfort to you.

    Thanks for sharing your heart and also for the great reminder for self-examination!

    And favorite son #3 - what a sweetie!

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  38. You are a bright ray of sunshine even when facing this horrible disease. Thank you for your encouragement to be diligent. Praying you continue to heal and recover completely!

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  39. Dear Teresa, I so wish your pink news were a baby on the way!!! You've been through so much since April and I know writing this was not an easy thing to do, but your blog is followed by many women who will take your advice. I continue praying for you every day dear friend. And I look forward to the day you use that rain check. Love you! +: )

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  40. Oh, I was not expecting that - I was really hoping for the granddaughter! But she will come in her time, and you will be there to hold her! Thank you for sharing and giving us your word of caution. Yes, I will be more diligent in my self-exams. God Bless you and keep you and heal you!
    -Joanie in CA

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  41. Oh! So sorry to hear this. I will keep you in my prayers. And I promise to self check tonight.

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  42. So sorry to hear this news, I know where you are coming from my best friend has cancer. My thoughts are with you and your family as you make it thru this journey.

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  43. Teresa, thank you for sharing your journey with all of us. I, too, fail to do my self exams. That will change, starting today. I believe "attitude" has SO much to do with not only survival but with thriving. You have a wonderful attitude. God bless you and your family. I look forward to your posts and wish you the very best in this unexpected adventure.

    Deb

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  44. Teresa, I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis but happy to hear about your wonderful outlook and prognosis! Looking forward to hearing continued good news from you.

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  45. Thank you for your beautiful post. I've missed your blogs and wonderful pictures. My prayers are with you.

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  46. I don't remember when I found your blog - but, I love it and check it daily and knew something important was keeping you from posting. Thank you for sharing, it was courageous of you. Know that by doing so, you've touched and helped so many others. And they in turn,obviously, want to touch and help you. May all our prayers bring you smiles and peace. Namaste. Linda in Michigan

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  47. Teresa, I am so sorry to hear you are going through this. I will definitely keep you in our prayers and hope that you make a full recovery. Your blog is one of the most beautiful ones out there, and I have been a follower since the early days. I am sure from reading for so long that you will do what you need to do, and face this challenge with grace and courage. Thank you for sharing with us. You may never know the difference you have made in someone's life - both by encouraging us to be tested, and by the beauty you always share. Be well.

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  48. If anyone deserves a nap, you do! So grateful that you chose to share your experience with us because it will make a difference -- as already indicated by previous comments (with the writers checking themselves as they type! bravo!) I hear 2014 is going be be AWESOME.

    PS Your (3rd and favorite) son's comment ... I. Am. Bawling. :-)

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  49. Oh my goodness I am so sorry - but also so happy that is sounds as though you have already beat this and will without a doubt continue to do so. Best of luck!

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  50. Thank you for sharing this. I hope it will inspire many women to do their self-exams! I'm only 33 but it is a good reminder for me as well. Sending you warm well wishes & soft beachy breezes from the shores of Lake Michigan!

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  51. Hi Teresa! I´m sorry to hear the news, but so glad that you are at peace. Stay strong, we will all be praying for you! Sending you my best wishes from Brazil. Adriana

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  52. I feel your pain. I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer June 4. It has not been the Summer I had planned. I was suppose to be working in the ER on Martha's Vineyard. I had my second chemo treatment today. I will keep you in my prayers. We will fight this fight and win the battle!

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  53. You can read about my experience on my blog if it helps any. It helps me to talk to others who have or are going through what I am going through. ERFIXITGIRL.blogspot.com

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  54. Dear, dear, Teresa, I have so missed your posts and am so glad you felt you could share your news. Only you can decide what is right for you and I am glad you have chosen your own way. (not surprised!) I am sad that you have to go through this. But you will be fine and your sharing will help others. Your son's comment was so sweet and I can tell there are many people out there that are cheering for you. I am sending happy thoughts and prayers. Thank goodness you found it when you did and did something about it. Peace to you, my friend.
    Annette

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  55. I guessed where your clue was leading before you revealed it. I'm sorry that you are facing this. I think BC is a cloud that hangs on the periphery of all women but we want to ignore it! I did another self exam while reading your post. I enjoy your blog very much!

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  56. I rarely share, but I will share this. My mother is a three time breast cancer survivor and will be 80 on August 24. She taught us where there's a will, there's a way. She found her way and you will too.

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  57. I have been on this walk and I could have written your every word. It has been 6 years since I was diagnosed and I too chose chemotherapy. It was what I felt I needed to do be be healthy again despite the downside.
    It will come to an end and you will feel good again! Glad you feel well enough to post. I love your beatiful photos.
    Carolyn

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  58. Thank you for your gentle reminder. It has hit home lately. The church we attend, there are currently 8 ladies that has breast cancer. Each and everyone are very dear to me. All are going to be ok. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. Prayers that you will recover and get to enjoy that granddaughter when she does come.

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  59. Been where you are and done all that - 12 years ago. Please know there will be a day when you won't think about it, where you won't wonder... Know that you will find your old normal again, your new normal is only temporary. My thoughts and prayers are with you~

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  60. Thank you for this reminder. I stopped in the middle of the post and did a self exam. I sent your post to my daughter, mother, sister and aunt. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

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  61. I was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly four years ago. I have to say that one good side effect of chemo is being able to shower with a bald head; it is such a lovely feeling! I now have my hair back and I feel more healthy than ever. X Julie

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  62. I've been there too, except radiation not chemo. I believe that you have a very important ingredient to your treatment - besides lots of support - A POSITIVE ATTITUDE! Keep it up and God bless you and your support team!

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  63. That you so beautifully and sweetly wrote about this incredibly difficult piece of your life to me is simply admirable. You're inspiring me to pay more attention, not just to my health, but also to people who have all kinds of needs all around me. Thank you for sharing. I heard your heart, and was blessed.

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  64. What a strong and inspiring post! I'm so glad to hear you have such an amazing support group. Breast cancer is all over both sides of my family, so I'll probably be one of those 158 women some day. Knowing what's likely in my future, I hope for better treatment, and I hope for loving people to give me strength.

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  65. Sending love, prayers for peace and joy, and much, much admiration! You being 100% comfortable IS the best treatment. Just thought I'd share that I wear a wig (from Paula Young after trying way more expensive but no better ones) due to family auto-immune issues... People are usually shocked when I tell them. I can't say that I'm 100% comfortable with it but "it is what it is." Find whatever works for you! I'm sure it'll be a temporary phase and you'll be stronger than ever very soon. Thanks for the prompt. I'm off to do my exam!
    xoxoxoxo
    Leslie

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  66. My love. Fight on. Fight hard. YOUR way. ANY way. Just fight. I have three girls, a mother, sister-in-laws, cousins, a niece. This is so big. So important. Thank you for being brave enough, for caring about others enough to share this very, very personal journey. May you be filled up with a never ending love from those around you. May this summer be the sweetest it can possibly be. And...I'm pretty sure you just saved some lives today. Love to you.

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  67. Sending hugs and prayers for healing your way, Teresa.

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  68. Thank you for posting about your cancer and for the reminder! I have followed your site for a couple of years and really enjoy it! Prayers are being sent your way.

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  69. Thanks for the update. I was worried about you and wondering what had happened. Stay strong! I am so glad it was caught in time. Hugs for Ohio!


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  70. I was wondering if all was well over there. I've missed your posts and I'm happy to hear you are recovering with lots of love and support. (Before commenting I did an exam:) I haven't reached the age for routine mammograms yet, but you have inspired me to be more diligent in taking the initiative for myself:) Sending well wishes your way from Maine!

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  71. I kept checking your blog every so often to see if you had posted. Here I just thought you'd lost interest in blogging. (I wish that was the reason.) I keep thinking that since it doesn't run in my family, I won't get breast cancer. Thanks for the wake up call. I will schedule my overdue mammogram, and do a self check. Glad to read that your sense of humor still shines through. Thank you for sharing this.

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  72. I only know you through reading your blog of course but please know I am praying for you by name and your post has brought me to tears.

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  73. Thinking positive thoughts for you Teresa. Only you know what's right for you! xoxo

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  74. So sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I work for a large cancer hospital in Columbus, Ohio and I deal with the cancer cases on a daily basis. You have a most beautiful and positive outlook and your words are full of wisdom and inspiration. I will continue to hold you up in my prayers and pray that God gives you all the strength and grace you need for each day. Thank you for sharing.
    Cindy

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  75. I am praying for you and I will do a self exam when I'm done typing. Thank you for caring enough about us to be so transparent.

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  76. Surely have missed seeing you at your spot regularly... and now, truly understand! Much peace and healing to you! If you feel so inclined while getting treatment and dock watching - would love to delight in more of your FABULOUS images! I know you must be able to feel the peace that your camera and hobby would bring ya :-)

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  77. On a scale from one to one hundred, how lame is it that I somehow missed this post? A billion? I know.

    I just want to applaud you. I'm sure that's what you need more than anything right now...applause. :/ You're just rad, that's all. I'm proud of you for sharing and for sharing so well and lecturing with so much love and grace and humor.

    Instead of applauding, I guess I'll go feel myself up. Just for you.

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  78. I don't know how I missed this post. I'm glad you linked back to it. :) I appreciate you sharing your journey. I read in a book once (maybe The Purpose Drive Life?) that wise people learn from their mistakes but even wiser people learn from other's. I think I can substitute the the word "experience" for "mistakes" here. :) I must be a complete dufus because my sister had breast cancer just a couple of years ago at the age of 45 and I still don't do self exams!! That's going to change. Thank you! Praying for a quick and complete recovery and that God will be glorified through the process!! :)

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  79. I missed this initial post.... thinking of you.

    Don't know if you've heard of PINK HEALS... great organization. Check them out.

    http://www.pinkfiretrucks.org/

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  80. oh teresa, my prayers are with you. And I have to say, I did not cry when I read your post...but your son's comment got me. you are so loved <3

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  81. Thank you for this post. Your gratefulness of your family & friends, your strength, and your concern for all your readers comes through loud and clear. So yes, I will start doing my breast exams. Thank you for the flower pictures. Aren't perennials wonderful! They just come back and do their thing even among the weeds.
    Next summer you'll be planting 1000 zinnias again! Get healthy! Karen from NE

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  82. Thank you for sharing. I've never met you, I just randomly stumbled across your blog one day....but I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  83. I'll do it. Thank you and God bless you

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    1. Some how my sons account came through!, sorry. Delinda

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  84. I too, have been wondering where you've been. Thinking oh, maybe she's planted 100,000 zinnias this year and can't keep up! LOL. No outlandish stories or advice coming from me...just a good old fashioned 'get lots of rest and mind your doctor.' The garden will take care of itself, one way or another. I'm off to check the girls, and to say a little prayer for you!

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  85. Teresa, I just backtracked to read about the cancer. I'm glad things are going well and that you are comfortable with chemo. My dad was diagnosed with leukemia last month and has had one round of chemo. He's already seeing so much improvement in the numbers that they watch. Hallelujah! Like you, people have said some odd things to him about experiences and about, "putting that poison in his body". I believe in the science and research though and it seems to be working.

    Take care of yourself and know that many people are thinking of you.

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  86. I haven't paid you a visit in almost a year, and today I wanted to see pretty pictures of your gorgeous farm. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Sending prayers, happy thoughts, puppies and rainbows your way as you endure treatment. And rest assured that as I become more diligent with self-exams, I will think of you. : )

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  87. As a long time follower, but not good with comments, I extend my warmest heart-felt love and hope for you. Sending you bundles of positive thoughts and energy. Take good care, dear Teresa.

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  88. I just found you this morning and love your blog. So fresh!

    My Mother-in-law followed the course of chemo and lived. She was a very upbeat woman, just like you. I really believe that was what cured her, and kept her going another 35 years. (And no, it wasn't cancer that finally caught up to her it was COPD from smoking. She was 83.)

    Stay the course, keep your verve for life, and I am certain that you too will win this battle. Sending a prayer for healing.
    ~Lynda

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  89. Thank you for this post, as I know you didn't have to share your personal journey with "us". I am especially moved by your statistics... they certainly make it real, and shocking and palpable, ( okay... 'palpable' may not be the best word...but you know what I mean).I am also in the category of depending on my mammogram. I am certainly going to remember your journey and advice. Thank You! Thank You!
    May God bless you, your supporters, your doctors, and your family!
    Again, Thank you for sharing. Annette

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  90. After all this time being away from blogging - I returned to see your old-er post about your cancer. I, too, am a breast cancer survivor (good club, yes?!) I lost both of the "girls" to a double mastectomy, and I like you found my lump myself, but it was in my armpit (lymph node involvement) So I am a true believer in knowing your own body..they tried to talk into "waiting 6 months to see what we have" ..uh..no. Yeppers..cancer. 9 chemo treatments, 32 radiation treatments, bald head (and everywhere else - I was completely 'aerodynamic" ! So glad to hear (reading form your newest post to this one backwards) that you are well..Congratulations. Now, let remind every woman out there (there are 8 females in my family and I was the ONE) to know their own bodies and if there is a "feeling" they have that there's a problem..to stand up for yourself and get answers..thanks for all you do <3

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  91. It's 17 years now (hand clapping) and I must say when I read this comment by you, "Emptied my drains. (If you don't know what that means - ignorance is bliss.),"I smiled, yes, smiled. I 'almost' forgot about the 'drains'. I would say they were the 'worst', but then I remembered what it was like when they pulled out the 'tube'. I swear it was a mile long. hahaha. I hope you are doing well. Life is good. Yes, ladies, do your breast exam. Be informed, don't dawdle, a month, a day, a week, a minute --- it matter's. Blessings to all! Be a warrior!

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