October 28, 2013

pink thoughts

My planner says today is Breast Cancer Awareness Day (even though I couldn't find internet proof to back up that claim), so I thought I'd photograph a bunch of pretty pink things in my house, and say a few wise and inspiring things about breast cancer, and then wish you all a wonderful day and send you off to enjoy the week.

But, today is gloomy and windy and gross, and I don't feel like fighting with the horrible lighting to go the all pink route, so I am instead going the "I bought this painting for the frame, and behind the hideous bird picture I was thrilled beyond words to find this delightful paint-by-number" route.

(Has anyone besides me noticed that I have a tendency toward the run on sentence? I also talk in run on sentences, so let's just say we're going for authentic and pretend it's not annoying.)

So, even though there is not a trace of pink to be found in the photos, I'm still going to talk the pink talk.

First of all. Thank you.

Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. They have meant the world to me these last months.

Several times, I have gone back and re-read the comments on my original post and they just make my day.

I especially love it when you let me know that you've scheduled your mammogram or have spent some quality time checking in with the girls. And my very, very favorite was hearing that you were doing a self-exam whilst reading my post. Cracked me flat up and made me smile from ear to ear.

Keep it up, ladies. This is important stuff.

And if you haven't done a self-exam or scheduled that over due mammogram, isn't today the perfect day to get the job done?

As for me, I'm almost four weeks past my last chemo and I'm feeling better every single day.

I've got nine eyelashes left (two on one side and seven on the other - lopsided is the newest trend for fall), and check every day for the new babies to start growing.

(By the way, does anyone have any false eyelash advice? I've found some fairly natural looking eyelashes, but have never worn them before. I'd love to hear any newbie tricks or tips.)

I somehow kept a decent eyebrow count, so I'm quite happy about that.

I'm all about the new hair patrol. I make my family check my head for hair pretty much every time they walk into the room. My son says I've gone from one sprout per square inch to three, but I think that was just so I'd leave him alone for five minutes.

I can take my daily walk and make it home without wanting to take a nap in the ditch on the side of the road.

I'm sleeping better, to which I have to say a big ya-hoo, because sleep issues were probably the biggest thorn in my side during chemo.

I've gone from 468 prescription bottles on my night stand to three, and I'm hoping to get to zero asap.

I had a great chat with my oncologist last week, and while there are no guarantees that my cancer won't come back, I'm planning to live my life like it won't. When I get a little freaked about the eleven percent chance that my cancer will return, my hubby is quick to remind me that I have an eighty nine percent chance that it won't.

And that, my friends, is a glass that is much more than half-way full.


  1. I love reading your posts, because I'm right behind you in my treatment. Last one tomorrow! As for the eyelash's...I have had great success with some that I got from Wal-Mart; Salon Perfect Lash Trios. I apply them with lashgrip eyelash waterproof adhesive. I just dip the end in apply, hold and they stay on all day until I pull them off. I pretty much fill them in where I need them and only use them when I'm going to have a picture or when going out someplace special. In fact I had lunch with my sister last week and she said, "really you haven't lost many eyelashes." They were fake and she couldn't even tell. PS. My mom had her mammogram this morning!

  2. God bless you, Sweetie! What a wonderful attitude. I admire you!

  3. Well, I always loved your posts, and I tell you, there is more to love every single time I come back. I'm so glad you're doing well. Eyelashes - most are way too long, find a natural length pair. DUO eyelash glue will last all day until you take them off. And a little eye liner to blend in the line where you add them is a must. WIshing you all good things and a 100% recovery.

  4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CaaulvwkMw
    The PixiWoo girls on Youtube have the best makeup tutorials - that one is how to apply false eyelashes :) You can fast forward to the 6:00 mark if you don't want to hear all the preamble. :)
    just sharing, because I like falsies! :)

  5. God gives all of us different gifts, abilities and I think even "platforms." Now, you know what yours is. :) And you are doing an awesome job educating your readers with your honest, witty, funny yet informative posts. ;) Thank you! :)

  6. Hi there, I just had my mammo a week ago and they used this padding called Mammopad that made it so much more comfortable for a gal with dense breasts. You keep on keeping on.
    Hugs, Noreen

  7. First.. I am in awe of that paint-by-number beauty.. it's gorgeous and quite a score! Second.. I'm so glad your treatments are over and I just KNOW you're going to be C-free forever. You need to listen to the positivity of your sweet husband. I just got back from a week at the Oregon coast.. you should pop over and look at this neat stone house I found perching on a cliff looking out to sea. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  8. Thinking of you today...and Thinking Pink over at Treasured Up and Pondered, today as well.

    You're beautiful. Inside and out - hopefully you know that! ;) Okay?

  9. Love that you bought the picture for the frame and found a beauty behind it. There's a story in that alone. So, so glad that you are feeling better every day. I just had my mammogram a couple of weeks ago. I have a spot that is tagged and kept an eye on and there were no new developments. I can honestly saw that I check the girls out much more because of your post. Thank you for being so transparent with us! xoxo

  10. Beautifully said, as always.
    I do believe that pink is one of the bravest colors!

  11. Teresa you inspire us all... the fact you can talk about your journey and even inject humor goes a long way in showing us all what a strong woman you are. You've shown me that there is light at the end of a "tough tunnel", something I'm in need of right now... and I'm with your husband in the 89% belief.

    And the run on sentence? Well that's ok, I'm the queen of the .... :)


    PS I'm very envious of you picture find!

  12. Great post. You know I LOVE a glass that's half FULL. xo ~Sal

  13. I have a friend and coworker who was diagnosed with melanoma just over 20 years ago. She had a mole removed that was cancerous, so the surgeon went in and removed the tissue around it. Five years later the melanoma came back in her lymph nodes and her prognosis was bleak. A surgeon who we worked with at the time was able to get her into a new drug trial at the University of MN. She was chosen to participate by a lottery method and only one out of ten were picked. That was over 15 years ago and she has no signs of cancer today. I know it isn't breast cancer, but we all hear the worst case scenarios, so I wanted to share one of the miracles that happen more often than you think. I've been following along on your blog and I've been inspired by your positive attitude that goes a long way towards a quick recovery!

    I love the paint-by-number! It just wouldn't be the same with pink trees. :)

  14. oh my it is so wonderful to see your words of increased encouragement in your progress. God bless each of your sweet words that are giving strength to all of us.
    the frame, the paint by number...fabulous!

  15. I love your positive attitude and your sarcasm is a nice blend. Good luck as you continue to recover.

  16. I just love your blog!.....& your run on sentences!...:)......I have my check-up planned for next week & am always a bit nervous to go...but reading your post today, has reminded me again how important it is we ladies be vigilant & brave!...& you definitely are!....Thank you for writing about your experiences!.....I somehow know too, you have a very bright future!.....Your friend, Heidi XO

  17. Just want to hug you. I don't have great odds in my favor for family history, so it's always in the back of my mind...but I like your perspective of the 11-89%. I'm going to live like I'll never get it. Thank you.

  18. Love me some paint by number, love the photos, love that you are getting well, and I'm believing and praying, staying well!

  19. Hi Theresa!
    So glad you are starting to feel better. You have a wonderful attitude, and your faith will get you through. Love the photos. Nice Fall look. Keep that 89 percent in mind, and we'll keep praying for you. Enjoy your walks. xxoo JO

  20. You were my FIRST inspiration when I started the Irish Garden House . . . When I think of you today I think of gardens of Zinnias, beautiful home setting of with a white house, garden gates and a pond, photographer of young gals for high school photos and what a life example mentor you must be for them. You are such a golden inspiration . . . I love your run on sentences, pink inspirations . . . and you!
    Love your day . . . with a huge hug!

  21. Hey you! It's great to read something from you. Thank you for the prompting. My mammogram was cancelled last month and I haven't rescheduled. I need to get on that today. Hugs.

  22. My wonderful neighbor just came by last night and told me she has breast cancer. 😥. She starts chemo today and will soon have her surgery. Can you please offer me any advice on what I can do for her? She's just the sweetest lady, and I want to do whatever I can for her along the way to help out or to offer support. Thank you for any advic

  23. Breast Cancer is in my Family, so far my mammograms are A-OK!! However I had stage 3 Colon cancer at age 48. Happy to say, 10 years later, all is well. Chemo was rough, very ill, lost 37 lbs.,[ which I needed to do, but not that way!!], and lost my hair. But it came back and is beautiful!!! Good luck to you, it will get better and better!!

  24. Breast Cancer is in my Family, so far my mammograms are A-OK!! However I had stage 3 Colon cancer at age 48. Happy to say, 10 years later, all is well. Chemo was rough, very ill, lost 37 lbs.,[ which I needed to do, but not that way!!], and lost my hair. But it came back and is beautiful!!! Good luck to you, it will get better and better!!

  25. Had my mammo last week. I am religious about getting them and can't understand why anyone would NOT do it!! You sound much better and I'm so glad you are feeling better. I bet your hair will come back better than ever!!! I keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  26. My dr told me recently that they are now saying you don't need a mammo every year. She and I completely disagree so I will continue to have them yearly.

    I'm so glad the eyelashes and friends are slowly returning. Wishing you peach fuzz before you know it.

  27. I've missed you! Good to hear that you're improving. My sister is a survivor in every sense of the word. Chemo takes guts!

  28. So happy that you are on the road to recovery, Naps in ditches doesn't sound like the optimum location. :-)

  29. hi thank you so much for your uplifting comments, you are an inspiring woman.
    I, too have been through chemo for breast cancer. I had my last chemo in December 2012. Not a fun journey, but has to be done.

    Your message has touched many of us by reading your blog about living through it. Thank you. Lori in Bozeman, Mt

  30. Beautiful post and I wish you the very best in your recovery. I know so many women here in my small town in Alaska who went through what you did and today every one of them looks just like they did before it all happened. No kidding it all comes back.
    My Mom during my childhood in the 50's took to painting those paint by number kits and darn I wish I had them, who knew they would turn out to be cool.

  31. awesome !!!! I think your %'s are awesome !!!!!!!!!! your awesome !!!!!!!!! I think of you often ......hugs, Linda

  32. Already had my mam for the year! I've lost too many to this evil disease!
    Lashes, I've worn them since I was 19 and had hep A. Lost a lot of hair and lashes. I like Ardell #108's. They're good to go right out of the box, no trimming, you can even buy them online. My favorite glue is Lashgrip, stays put all day. Use tweezers to remove the lashes from the holder, bend them a little to loosen them up. Trim a bit off the outside edge if they're too long. I apply them after the rest of my eye makeup is done and I use a waterproof eye pencil. After you put them on, it takes a little practice! you can carefully use an eyelash curler. Start as close to the lash line as you can and then again a little further out. It's easiest to remove the glue right after you remove them, they usually last a month or so.
    Good luck, I'm rooting for you!

  33. Several people I know who went through chemo, got really curly hair when it grew back in! You just never know what is in the plans for you. Love your posts, home and joy of life. Take care.

  34. Hi Teresa! You and your family have been in my prayers and I am so happy you are doing better!

    I had cancer in 1989 when I just turned 19 (Hodgkin's Lymphoma) and due to the amount of tumors I had, the docs gave me a good 70-75% chance of a cure. But the docs that I went to for my second opinion at Sloan Kettering in NYC told me I had THREE YEARS to live.

    I showed them! :)

    After about a year and a half of chemo and radiation, I am considered cured since 1990. That makes it 23 years!

    With faith in God, determination, my family, treatment and lifestyle changes, and some humor thrown in, I definitely showed them! :)

    And because I had so much radiation in my chest area for the Hodgkin's, I have a greater chance of breast cancer than a "normal" woman would. I started getting regular mammograms AND MRI's of the breasts since 2010 when I turned 40, before that it was difficult to schedule due to pregnancies and extended nursing. And I am "breast aware" and do self checks and have had some scares that turned out to be nothing, thankfully.

    Sorry for the novel! But my comment was to introduce myself and tell you a little about my story and my "odds" that I was given from the supposed "experts" and how I kicked butt! :)

    And so can you! Take that 89% and run with it! :)

    Love and blessings to you and yours,

  35. You are amazing. Your positive attitude is inspirational. Thanks for all you bring to the blogging world!


  36. "and while there are no guarantees that my cancer won't come back, I'm planning to live my life like it won't." <- Why I love you.

    ps - It won't.