Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weep No More - An Art Quilt




Thus is an Art Quilt I designed in 2007 called "Weep No More."  This represents those who have survived breast cancer.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Breast Cancer - The Beginning of the Journey

January 2, 2012
Dear Susan,
Cindy said that she and I have to help you be brave, and I thought, I don't know anything about being brave, How do you do that?
So I thought about it for a day, today Jan. 2, and the only thing I could think of was how brave you were on so many occasions when we were sisters in Cincy.
Who else would climb into a haunted house through a window and take me up to a scary attic only to find a prosthetic leg and other weird things. Do you still have that Patty Hearst poster?
But there were other occasions of your bravery. Foremost for me was the graduation speech you gave to the literacy class. You had rehearsed your speech a little with me before hand and you were very nervous and I 'm not sure you knew exactly what you were going to say.
But out you came in this beautiful yellow dress suit - so stunning on your amazing figure - your blue eyes blazing with pride and confidence. I remember it well. You connected so immediately with the people whose sorrow and hope you knew to well. No one but you could convince them things would be better now that they had their diploma.
Your message was that we can do pretty much anything we want as long as we realize we have control over our lives. We can shape our lives. We have so much to live for and overcome.
Life is always about over coming something, isn't it? In between battles / challenges, we rest and have fun and love someone and make art and help people. Then we face these uphill climbs that no one else can really understand but we struggle to the top nonetheless. Because it's what you know how to do : fight.
So dear cousin, you may draw on all the strength of all who went before you, from all the woman you never knew who faced down this disease to those we know have suffered but survived.
A day at a time, a deep breaths, lots of them. You are not alone on this journey.
All my love,
Beth


Good news today!!!

Robin left for OSU on Monday to begin another round of chemo and experimental drugs. This was in hopes to get the cancer in remission so that she could begin the bone marrow transplant process. The fact that she would have to go in to the rigorous and dangerous process of a bone marrow transplant weakened by this round of chemo was daunting and very concerning. They didn’t even know if they would be able to get the cancer in remission by doing this. It was definitely not an “ideal” scenario.

However, yesterday we received the most wonderful news. Her cancer had Miraculously gone in to remission on its own. There is no explanation. Her immune system fought it off!! The doctors were both perplexed and thrilled. They ran the test 4 times and 6 different doctors looked at it! There was NO sign of cancer in her bone marrow. She will now get to spend the next two weeks gaining strength and stamina at home with her boys before returning to OSU for the transplant.  This revelation greatly increases her prognosis for a successful transplant.
XOXOXOXOXOOXOXOX


March 19, 2012
  Peter and I have had a busy day. We had my weekly visit Dr Vaschi. He added some

more saline to the "ace" expanders that I have on my chest. He uses a needle (I have two ports) and they pump it in. Kind of like pumping up a tire.


Then we went to visit Cincinnati Hematology- Oncology, to meet with Dr. Bhandari. This was a very informative  consolation. He talked about how aggressive this cancer had been (he said HAD)  He has ordered a full body scan, bone scan and CT scan of my lungs.. Just to make sure all of my body is cancer free. He said they need to watch my lungs, if it would reappear the lungs  could be a target. This is just a precaution before they start the chemo. He wants to make sure he has the right treatment plan. After the chemo they redo these scans.

This is a big relief, I am a positive thinker but  it does concern me a bit - what about the rest of my body it  is scary.  Dr. Bhanadri  is going to take care of everything!
He has two  drugs that I will receive over a 16 week period Cytoxan  this is classified as  an "alkylating agent"and Taxotere is classified as a "plant alkaloid, a taxene and a antimicrotuble agent". This is given  with a pre medication for three days, a corticosteroid pill , starting the day before treatment. There are many side effects       :(  
The good thing is the breast cancer if out of my body and I am right on plan - for attending Indian Market in Santa Fe the end of August:)

  inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.[1] Cancers originating from ducts 

Friday, March 16, 2012


My Favorite Artist

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KJVfcZs9S6g/T2O-c2FW8xI/AAAAAAAAAfk/CunMks94SaY/s1600/429681_383113855038012_100000182033367_1722577_631361923_n.jpg
 Our Granddaughters Tasha and Sydney  create wonderful art work:)

Meet Me At The Center of The Earth

Today I feel GOOD!!!!


Yesterday I went with Janet ( the President of Knitwits) to the Cincinnati Museum of Art. to see an incredible show of Chicago based artist Nick Cave. The exhibit is where the visual and Performing arts  collide ! Wow it was great. Fiber art  is used to create what Nick calls life size sound suits? The sound suits that are currently on mannequins. Thou Nick has been been pictured wearing these costumes evocative of African, Mardi Gras, religious cermonial costumes, and haute couture, they address issues of ritual, myth and identity.
For my artistic friends  take a look
 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVtDb1ltqlk&feature=player_embedded
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5Khw6BhPsbE/T2O7oBMcL6I/AAAAAAAAAfU/2p-y_8EzcV4/s1600/220px-Nick_cave.jpg


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I got the WIG!

Yesterday I went and got the wig!  So the wig thing is done.  It looks like my real hair.  I am still not wild about the whole idea. I am not wild about loosing my hair either., but you just got to do what you got to do! Guess I will get used to the idea.

 I also got a great goodie bag while I was there from the Chris Collinsworth Foundation.  www.proscanwoman.org  It has everything I could possible need while I am visiting the chemo room! A blanket, a mug, three books, a pen, a note pad, and even pink cozy socks. All I will need is my knitting.

Please keep my niece Robin in your thoughts and prayers .  Her journey with leukemia is critical.  We are hoping for a remission and then a successful bone marrow transplant.  She has 2 young children and is a wonderful young woman. She needs lots of positive energy.

Quote from one of my books in my new goodie bag:

We must stop thinking of cancer in whispers, as if it is something shameful. For when it is brought out into the brilliant light of the day it seems to shrink, to pull back, to diminish
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sbwkcwAH0RY/T1-X6jIxamI/AAAAAAAAAfM/ycQs5_qsxYI/s1600/000_photo.jpg
YestPerday 's

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Recovery and Reconstruction

March 03, 2012
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xWTSyoG9tQI/T1UDDpNpgKI/AAAAAAAAAew/fRsL5MYD14o/s1600/tissue_expander2%5B2%5D_tcm8-79547.jpg
No rhyme or reason - part of my  reconstruction surgery was the placement of expanders which are a charming device that has a port in the middle of mesh material this is a pocket surrounded by a metal frame. This is a bit like a balloon which will slowly will  be filled with saline solution. The purpose is to stretch the skin. If the tissue survives and is healthy, the expander will be replaced with a  breast implant, eventually, after I complete the chemo. This means  one more surgery.


The good thing is  this contraption will be gone! The result oo la la natural and youthful bosom.  Of course this skin/tissue has  been or will be through a massive amount is stress. Like seven surgeries in the last four and a half years and thirty radiation treatments. All this in that one little breast. Still to come four  to five months of chemo. This is a lot of stress for this  63 year old skin. I am very lucky though I have been blessed with a magical ability to heal fast.  My Dr.'s are hopeful  I will not need to have any transplant of tissue from other parts of my body. :)


The not so comfortable expanders are a pain as I am healing.  These little foreign things  create pressure which has turned in to a constant nagging pain.  On top of this I  have what feels like a pinched nerve or shingles pain. This is severe pain - thank goodness it is not constant. It does slow me down. Dr. Vashi has assured me this will eventually go away.  Oh well, when you have cancer you just deal with all this crap!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Weep No More - An Art Quilt





http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1kaCKbA6Q2w/TvuGCKyl3mI/AAAAAAAAAcM/IKfgLpPj3_M/s1600/Weep+No+More.jpg

Thus is an Art Quilt I designed in 2007 called "Weep No More."  This represents those who have survived breast cancer.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Breast Cancer - The Beginning of the Journey

malignant breast neoplasm) is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonlyfrom the inneNo rhyme or reason part of my surgery was the placement of expanders which are a charming device that has a port in the middle of mesh material this is a pocket sroundefd by a metal frame. This is a bit like a balloon which will slowly be filled with saline solution.. The purpose is to stretch the skin. If the tissue survives and is healthy the  breast implant will eventually be replace
(surgically ) this contraption. . The result oh la la natural and youthful blossom. Of course this skin/tissue has been or will be through a massive amount is stress. Like seven surgeries in the last four and a half years and thirty raditation treatments. All this in that one little breast. Still to come four to five months of chemo. This is a l of stress for this 63 year oldl skin. I am very lucky though I have been blessed with a magical healing. Ability to heal fast. My Dr's are hopeful I will not need to have any transplant of tissue from other parts of my body :)

The not so comfortable expanders are a pain as I am healing these little foreign contraptions great pressure which has turned in to a constant nagging pain on top of this have what feels like a pinched. Nerve or shingles pain. This is severe thank goodness it is not constant. Dr Vasch has assured me this will eventually go away . Oh well if you have cancer you just deal with all this 
crap! http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YaNzqNwrYrU/TvuW7jozEbI/AAAAAAAAAcw/2pE4HONbFRA/s1600/Beryl+and+Bob+Ward.jpg
sr lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.[1] Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. Breast cancer is a disease of humans and other mammals; while the overwhelming majority of cases in human are women, men can also develop breast cancer





What is breast cancer? Hmm, in 1964 my father went to the hospital to have a lump removed from his chest. He was told in was benign.  He was 49 years old.  We did not talk about his operation. All that I knew was that he no longer had a nipple on the left side of his chest. At the ripe old age of 16 my thoughts were "oh well." The word "cancer" was never mentioned, let alone the words "breast cancer."He died a horrible and painful death from colon cancer when he was 63. 


I remember walking behind his casket at church gripping the hands of my 2 young children. Someone was singing "Amazing Grace." That was the worst day of my life. Bob was my strength, the best father in the world. He had left me alone.


Life went on my children and I grew up together! I blossomed with my career. Did I ever think of breast cancer? No not me. I had very small breasts. Cancer?  No  way.  I was healthy, worked out, and ate the proper foods. I even created new breast with the help of implants. Life was good.


In March of 2007 I retired after 30 years in banking. The market was crashing and it was time for me to move on. With  a whole lot of enthusiasm and energy I walked out the door ready to devote my time to whatever I wanted to do. Fiber Arts, teaching quilting to homeless teenagers, making a difference became my passion. 


On April 30, 2007 I went for my yearly mammogram. I was four months late due to a snowstorm, retiring and just taking the time to make the appointment. Life was good! I went to The Breast Center, had the mammogram, and was ready to go get my hair cut. I had to wait for the technician to return  so I could leave. She was gone of a long time.  After 45 minutes  I stuck my head out the door and asked If I could leave.  I thought that maybe I misunderstood what the tech had said. 


She eventually came back with the radiologist. I had no clue that something was wrong. He marched in turned on a light and proceed to explain to me about calcium in my breast. I knew I had a deposit in my right breast.  I had been told it was nothing to worry about. He said, "the right breast is fine. I need you to look at this and pay attention to what I am saying."  He was showing me some little tiny spots - 5 of them - running down my breast and telling me it was calcification. He got a bit ruffled with me, then he blurted out, "this the beginning stages of breast cancer and it has to come out!!!" 


OK You Now Have My Attention!December 08, 2011
My breast cancer is back :( Good news I am strong and will do what ever I have to do... I am heading to
the road to recovery!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

"Weep No more" .
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1kaCKbA6Q2w/TvuGCKyl3mI/AAAAAAAAAcM/IKfgLpPj3_M/s1600/Weep+No+More.jpg


I am currently traveling a new life path with breast cancer - I am very fortunate to have a great support system which is lead by my wonderful husband Peter. My friends and relatives are incredible I am very lucky:) The medical field has advance by miles in the last four and half years, amazing tests and treatments have been discovered. Currently a pathology test is in a lab, where they are finding the DNA/Genetic make up of the tissue from this invasive tumor. The results will be " the exact treatment that will prevents this cancer from invading my body in the future" AMAZING!
My new quilt is called "Genetics". The back ground is beautiful piece of dyed leather. Specially wound yarns and bits of this and that intertwined in the yarn make up the path of the genes, the loose gold threads are pulled from a silk fabric, this makes the tumor. This quilt is still in process. I will posted the finished quilt at a later date. I feel the need to share this now:) xoxo


http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-v5HfDXwDzZ0/TxmW1Df1WII/AAAAAAAAAdQ/7PUDt-v7VHQ/s1600/photo.jpg


The first time I was diagnosed with breast cancer - Elizabeth Edwards was also traveling her own journey - She showed me what strength and positive energy really is - I admired her so much. I designed a small art quilt called "Weep No more" .


I am currently traveling a new life path with breast cancer - I am very fortunate to have a great support system which is lead by my wonderful husband Peter. My friends and relatives are incredible I am very lucky:) The medical field has advance by miles in the last four and half years, amazing tests and treatments have been discovered. Currently a pathology test is in a lab, where they are finding the DNA/Genetic make up of the tissue from this invasive tumor. The results will be " the exact treatment that will prevents this cancer from invading my body in the future" AMAZING!


My new quilt is called "Genetics". The back ground is beautiful piece of dyed leather. Specially wound yarns and bits of this and that intertwined in the yarn make up the path of the genes, the loose gold threads are pulled from a silk fabric, this makes the tumor. This quilt is still in process. I will posted the finished quilt at a later date. I feel the need to share this now:) xoxo
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO



January 2, 2012
Dear Susan,
Cindy said that she and I have to help you be brave, and I thought, I don't know anything about being brave, How do you do that?
So I thought about it for a day, today Jan. 2, and the only thing I could think of was how brave you were on so many occasions when we were sisters in Cincy.
Who else would climb into a haunted house through a window and take me up to a scary attic only to find a prosthetic leg and other weird things. Do you still have that Patty Hearst poster?
But there were other occasions of your bravery. Foremost for me was the graduation speech you gave to the literacy class. You had rehearsed your speech a little with me before hand and you were very nervous and I 'm not sure you knew exactly what you were going to say.
But out you came in this beautiful yellow dress suit - so stunning on your amazing figure - your blue eyes blazing with pride and confidence. I remember it well. You connected so immediately with the people whose sorrow and hope you knew to well. No one but you could convince them things would be better now that they had their diploma.
Your message was that we can do pretty much anything we want as long as we realize we have control over our lives. We can shape our lives. We have so much to live for and overcome.
Life is always about over coming something, isn't it? In between battles / challenges, we rest and have fun and love someone and make art and help people. Then we face these uphill climbs that no one else can really understand but we struggle to the top nonetheless. Because it's what you know how to do : fight.
So dear cousin, you may draw on all the strength of all who went before you, from all the woman you never knew who faced down this disease to those we know have suffered but survived.
A day at a time, a deep breaths, lots of them. You are not alone on this journey.
All my love,
Beth

+++++++++++
December 14, 2011
They were unable to do the needle biopsy. I have so little breast tissue in my left breast which is
the holder of this sneaky cancer, I also have some very old breast implants from 1983 in there.
Yes they are worn out implants! Crapt happens When they attempt the needle biopsy everything
moves out of place. Kind of like playing Pac Man!
Tomorrow
This is a waiting game, wait to see the Dr, wait for the needle biopsy, wait for the surgical
biopsy, wait to get the results, tomorrow is the day Peter and I will make a decision when we see
Dr Guenther and the Breast Center Crew at St E’s hospital.
************
December 23, 2011
I have had a surgical biopsy
Today is the day for my surgical biopsy. My best friends Kathy, Cheryl and Dana and of course Peter were
with me. We turned it into a party. I had an old freind accross the divide of the recovery area who had just
had a herna operation. W e even left the hospital in our wheel chairs together. Out the door of recovery,
down the elevator and out the front door together.
========================================
December 29, 2011
10:00 AM
OMG I am so scared, afraid - I am going to see Dr. Guenther - this is the first time in four and a half years
that I am feeling this terrible emotion
9:00 PM
What I learned today
Life paths lead us up many curves, bumps and uphill paths. I am now on the uphill journey. I have
aggressive and invasive breast cancer. I have had a surgical biopsy the results are not good. I am going
to have a long journey to recovery. Recovery I am strong, determined and healthy. The treatment will
slow me down but I will emerge healthy and cancer free and I will have new boobs!
I have learned a great deal in the last week-
1.What a port is
2. You can only have radiation one time
3.They do a minor surgery dye test to determine the health of your limp nodes
4.This also will determine the what type of chemotherapy( there I said the word)
5. You have chemo before you have a mastectomy 6.
Genetic testing has come a long way in the last 4 1/2 years. ( in 2007 I was tested for brch 1 and brach 2
gene - which I do not have. )
6. The pituitary glands produces female hormones
7. Most breast cancer is formed from ramped growth of estrogen
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
1/4/2012 -This Wednesday ` they are doing another surgical procedure that will run dye to my
lymph nodes under my arm. This dye will turn blue if "it" sees and suspicious modes. He will get
tissue or a node for a biopsy. Also he is going to put in a port . For the future use - chemo,
surgery, med's. what ever they need to do .
(The pathology report is till out on the feelers that extend from the tumor. Of course this had to
happen over Christmas and New Years Holiday weekend. We should have this report Tuesday -
this report will help determine the proper treatment with chemo)
I am assuming I will start the chemo maybe next. This is an aggressive caner. Six months ago I
has mammogram they thought they saw a micro calcification. It was down on the lower portion of
my breast by the breast bone They took 3 more sets of pics and could not find the spot again. I
was told we would have another mamogram in 6 months. AND here we are!


Oh by the way, 10 minutes after they setup  my surgery I received a call from the financial area of the
hospital, offering me 15% off my bill if I paid the estimated bill for the surgery I have not even had yet!
OMG you have got to be kidding!


############################################

10/30/2011
I Went to knit with all my awesome knitting friends. It is so amazing how people unite - walk in sit with
folks and we become a melting pot of friends.
I have a mini surgery scheduled to remove some lymph nodes for biopsy,

********************************************************
February 12, 2012
I still have my hair!
Today the news of Whitney Houston's death is so very sad:( Very tragic - she's dead at 48 years old she was making a comeback - drug addiction controls many lives. I feel for her daughter and family. She was an icon and will always live through her music. Whitney will surely be missed - goodbye Whitney I'm sure you have found peace now.
As for my cancer journey, this last week has been a bit rough . SO much to do, to much to do. I went to the pharmacy to get my after surger RX I had three to fill - one was waiting for me OMG - so Peter will have to add CVS
to his list of things to do.
It has been a lot of work getting ready for the surgery. I now have four doctors surgical oncologist,oncologist's ,plastic surgeon, and my medical Dr. So I have had to visit all of them including the pre surgery check up at the hospital.
I had to find the best under garments to wear and to think about a wig. These are the things I had not done yet. My BF Kathy went with me and held my hand. Being a product of the 60's I am not to sure about this wig thing. Peter told me I need to get one for my own dignity.
I tried a wig and on and when asked how I liked it, not meaning to be rude, I stated
I HATE IT! 
My dear friend Melba ( who is a BC survivor) is going to take me to Illusions to take another look at wigs. I will order the wig and do all that stuff, when the time comes About 16 days after chemo? They will
help shave my head, in a private setting just the stylists and introduce me to the reality of wearing a wig.
This is all kind of surreal - I really don't care about my hair or losing my breasts. I care about living!
I am just overwhelmed with all the things,all the details that are entangled. I think now it is done. My surgery is tomorrow and I'm going to kick the f--ing crap out of this cancer, just like Robin is doing.

I am so lucky to have a support team around me. I have my family, Knitwit family, my best and my new friends, wonderful support. I want to thank everyone for the constant energy that supports me. Thank YOU for your kindness. Thank YOU Joan and Junko for the chemo hats:) Belinda TY for homemade chicken pot pies for my freezer. Thank you Peter I know this has not been easy. 




Sent: 2/13/2012 9:44:59 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time
Subj: RE: Hello
Susan: I know this surgery is scary; the unknown always is. Keeping you in
my prayers. Stay in touch as you recover. Call me anytime you want to share
good news, have a question, or just need someone to listen.

TJ

-----Original Message-----
From: Susanpi [mailto:susanpi@aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, February 12, 2012 10:50 PM
To: teri.j.dixon@fuse.net
Subject: Hello

Hi TJ, Just a note to say hello and toTY for your kindness. I am sorry I
missed the support group this month. I hope to attend the next one. I am
having surgery tomorrow it has been a sobering week OMG it is a hard job
getting ready . The lab reports were not very good so that means chemo which
means I will just have to work a bit harder, I am going to beat the crap out
of this damn cancer :) Hugs, Susan Ps I will not be stopping at Knitwitts on
my way home from the hospital.
Sent from my
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo
February 13, 2012
11:00 AM
I am here and back on a hospital gurney. The clock is ticking, the time for surgery is here.
Noon
I just got word - My niece Robyn is back in the hospital again she has leukemia and I'm praying for the best for her she's wonderful young woman she turned 32 yesterday she's going to have to another bone marrow transplant could luck Robin I love you.
6:00 PM
OMG I work up in all this pain and nauseated, I am in a panic and I am helpless. I can not do this. Help!
February 15, 2012
Did you know that cancer patients often get the hiccups after eating or drinking something I found that very interesting as I really had repeated hic cups.
February 21, 2012
One-week out of surgery actually this is the seventh day after surgery and I have survived . I am doing really well I had a little bit of trouble with the drains.Oh my gosh yesterday The horrid drains are out of my body. I was in the Dr's office and nearly jumped off the table when he pulled the tubing out. I have  given birth to two children and never screamed out in pain ! I asked Dr Vaschi if this was going to hurt, his honest comment, "this is no everyone's favorite moment". Sigh it was not my favorite either! But the drains are behind me and I am marching forward! Thank goodness :) I have to rest for a few weeks and then on March 19 I check in for chemo

The wig oh my! I still need to deal with this issue.
I'm going to kick back another week and then maybe go and check into this little further .
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxxo



Oh by the way, 10 minutes after St Elizabeth Hospital setup  my surgery I received a call from the financial area of the
hospital, offering me 15% off my bill if I paid the estimated bill for the surgery I have not even had yet!
OMG you have got to be kidding!
XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO
My niece Robyn is back in the hospital again she has leukemia and I'm praying for the best for her she's wonderful young woman she turned 32 yesterday she's going to have to Renatr bone marrow transplant could look Robin I love you.

***************************************************





I have been using a dictating program on my cell phone to record my thoughts.
It is just so much fun dictating into my Dragon program Somes of it comes out in English some of it comes out in Spanish very interesting to have to redo it all so I'm not sure on accomplishing anything by using this program.









own as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobularBob carcinomas. Breast cancer is a disease of humans and other mammals; while the overwhelming majority of cases in humans are women, men can also develop breast cancerBB


What is breast cancer? Hmm, in 1964 my father went to the hospital to have a lump removed from his chest. He was told in was benign.  He was 49 years old.  We did not talk about his operation. All that I knew was that he no longer had a nipple on the left side of his chest. At the ripe old age of 16 my thoughts were "oh well." The word "cancer" was never mentioned, let alone the words "breast cancer."He died a horrible and painful death from colon cancer when he was 63. 


I remember walking behind his casket at church gripping the hands of my 2 young children. Someone was singing "Amazing Grace." That was the worst day of my life. Bob was my strength, the best father in the world. He had left me alone.


Life went on my children and I grew up together! I blossomed with my career. Did I ever think of breast cancer? No not me. I had very small breasts. Cancer?  No  way.  I was healthy, worked out, and ate the proper foods. I even created new breast with the help of implants. Life was good.


In March of 2007 I retired after 30 years in banking. The market was crashing and it was time for me to move on. With  a whole lot of enthusiasm and energy I walked out the door ready to devote my time to whatever I wanted to do. Fiber Arts, teaching quilting to homeless teenagers, making a difference became my passion. 


On April 30, 2007 I went for my yearly mammogram. I was four months late due to a snowstorm, retiring and just taking the time to make the appointment. Life was good! I went to The Breast Center, had the mammogram, and was ready to go get my hair cut. I had to wait for the technician to return  so I could leave. She was gone of a long time.  After 45 minutes  I stuck my head out the door and asked If I could leave.  I thought that maybe I misunderstood what the tech had said. 


She eventually came back with the radiologist. I had no clue that something was wrong. He marched in turned on a light and proceed to explain to me about calcium in my breast. I knew I had a deposit in my right breast.  I had been told it was nothing to worry about. He said, "the right breast is fine. I need you to look at this and pay attention to what I am saying."  He was showing me some little tiny spots - 5 of them - running down my breast and telling me it was calcification. He got a bit ruffled with me, then he blurted out, "this the beginning stages of breast cancer and it has to come out!!!" 




OK You Now Have My Attention!


Friday, March 16, 2012


My Favorite Artist

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KJVfcZs9S6g/T2O-c2FW8xI/AAAAAAAAAfk/CunMks94SaY/s1600/429681_383113855038012_100000182033367_1722577_631361923_n.jpg
Our Granddaughters Tasha and Sydney create wonderful art work:)

Meet Me At The Center of The Earth

Today I feel GOOD!!!!


Yesterday I went with Janet ( the President of Knitwits) to the Cincinnati Museum of Art. to see an incredible show of Chicago based artist Nick Cave. The exhibit is where the visual and Performing arts collide ! Wow it was great. Fiber art is used to create what Nick calls life size sound suits? The sound suits that are currently on mannequins. Thou Nick has been been pictured wearing these costumes evocative of African, Mardi Gras, religious cermonial costumes, and haute couture, they address issues of ritual, myth and identity.
For my artistic friends take a look
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVtDb1ltqlk&feature=player_embedded
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5Khw6BhPsbE/T2O7oBMcL6I/AAAAAAAAAfU/2p-y_8EzcV4/s1600/220px-Nick_cave.jpg


Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I got the WIG!

Yesterday I went and got the wig! So the wig thing is done. It looks like my real hair. I am still not wild about the whole idea. I am not wild about loosing my hair either., but you just got to do what you got to do! Guess I will get used to the idea.

I also got a great goodie bag while I was there from the Chris Collinsworth Foundation. www.proscanwoman.org It has everything I could possible need while I am visiting the chemo room! A blanket, a mug, three books, a pen, a note pad, and even pink cozy socks. All I will need is my knitting.

Please keep my niece Robin in your thoughts and prayers . Her journey with leukemia is critical. We are hoping for a remission and then a successful bone marrow transplant. She has 2 young children and is a wonderful young woman. She needs lots of positive energy.

Quote from one of my books in my new goodie bag:

We must stop thinking of cancer in whispers, as if it is something shameful. For when it is brought out into the brilliant light of the day it seems to shrink, to pull back, to diminish
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YestPerday 's

Saturday, March 3, 2012


Recovery and Reconstruction

March 03, 2012
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No rhyme or reason - part of my reconstruction surgery was the placement of expanders which are a charming device that has a port in the middle of mesh material this is a pocket surrounded by a metal frame. This is a bit like a balloon which will slowly will be filled with saline solution. The purpose is to stretch the skin. If the tissue survives and is healthy, the expander will be replaced with a breast implant, eventually, after I complete the chemo. This means one more surgery.


The good thing is this contraption will be gone! The result oo la la natural and youthful bosom. Of course this skin/tissue has been or will be through a massive amount is stress. Like seven surgeries in the last four and a half years and thirty radiation treatments. All this in that one little breast. Still to come four to five months of chemo. This is a lot of stress for this 63 year old skin. I am very lucky though I have been blessed with a magical ability to heal fast. My Dr.'s are hopeful I will not need to have any transplant of tissue from other parts of my body. :)


The not so comfortable expanders are a pain as I am healing. These little foreign things create pressure which has turned in to a constant nagging pain. On top of this I have what feels like a pinched nerve or shingles pain. This is severe pain - thank goodness it is not constant. It does slow me down. Dr. Vashi has assured me this will eventually go away. Oh well, when you have cancer you just deal with all this crap!

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Weep No More - An Art Quilt





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Thus is an Art Quilt I designed in 2007 called "Weep No More." This represents those who have survived breast cancer.

Saturday, January 21, 2012


Breast Cancer - The Beginning of the Journey

( malignant breast neoplasm) is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, 


No rhyme or reason part of my surgery was the placement of expanders which are a charming device that has a port in the middle of mesh material this is a pocket sroundefd by a metal frame. This is a bit like a balloon which will slowly be filled with saline solution.. The purpose is to stretch the skin. If the tissue survives and is healthy the breast implant will eventually be replace
(surgically ) this contraption. . The result oh la la natural and youthful blossom. Of course this skin/tissue has been or will be through a massive amount is stress. Like seven surgeries in the last four and a half years and thirty raditation treatments. All this in that one little breast. Still to come four to five months of chemo. This is a l of stress for this 63 year oldl skin. I am very lucky though I have been blessed with a magical healing. Ability to heal fast. My Dr's are hopeful I will not need to have any transplant of tissue from other parts of my body :)

The not so comfortable expanders are a pain as I am healing these little foreign contraptions great pressure which has turned in to a constant nagging pain on top of this have what feels like a pinched. Nerve or shingles pain. This is severe thank goodness it is not constant. Dr Vasch has assured me this will eventually go away . Oh well if you have cancer you just deal with all this

crap! http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-YaNzqNwrYrU/TvuW7jozEbI/AAAAAAAAAcw/2pE4HONbFRA/s1600/Beryl+and+Bob+Ward.jpg

sr lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk.[1] Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. Breast cancer is a disease of humans and other mammals; while the overwhelming majority of cases in human are women, men can also develop breast cancer








What is breast cancer? Hmm, in 1964 my father went to the hospital to have a lump removed from his chest. He was told in was benign. He was 49 years old. We did not talk about his operation. All that I knew was that he no longer had a nipple on the left side of his chest. At the ripe old age of 16 my thoughts were "oh well." The word "cancer" was never mentioned, let alone the words "breast cancer."He died a horrible and painful death from colon cancer when he was 63.


I remember walking behind his casket at church gripping the hands of my 2 young children. Someone was singing "Amazing Grace." That was the worst day of my life. Bob was my strength, the best father in the world. He had left me alone.


Life went on my children and I grew up together! I blossomed with my career. Did I ever think of breast cancer? No not me. I had very small breasts. Cancer? No way. I was healthy, worked out, and ate the proper foods. I even created new breast with the help of implants. Life was good.


In March of 2007 I retired after 30 years in banking. The market was crashing and it was time for me to move on. With a whole lot of enthusiasm and energy I walked out the door ready to devote my time to whatever I wanted to do. Fiber Arts, teaching quilting to homeless teenagers, making a difference became my passion.


On April 30, 2007 I went for my yearly mammogram. I was four months late due to a snowstorm, retiring and just taking the time to make the appointment. Life was good! I went to The Breast Center, had the mammogram, and was ready to go get my hair cut. I had to wait for the technician to return so I could leave. She was gone of a long time. After 45 minutes I stuck my head out the door and asked If I could leave. I thought that maybe I misunderstood what the tech had said.


She eventually came back with the radiologist. I had no clue that something was wrong. He marched in turned on a light and proceed to explain to me about calcium in my breast. I knew I had a deposit in my right breast. I had been told it was nothing to worry about. He said, "the right breast is fine. I need you to look at this and pay attention to what I am saying." He was showing me some little tiny spots - 5 of them - running down my breast and telling me it was calcification. He got a bit ruffled with me, then he blurted out, "this the beginning stages of breast cancer and it has to come out!!!"




OK You Now Have My Attention!December 08, 2011
My breast cancer is back :( Good news I am strong and will do what ever I have to do... I am heading to
the road to recovery!
xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo