I used to get my nails done before all this. I really enjoyed that one little thing I could do for myself, but as I stared down at my nails I was reminded that as it turned out, it would not be good for me as a Cancer patient to have them done any longer. It just was not safe and I could not take any chances with my health. So, on September 29, 2009,  I had a nail appointment to take off the Gel nails that I had on. They were my real nails underneath, but I needed the Gel soaked off
before surgery and chemo because I cannot take the risk of being around any area like a nail salon
due to health reasons. The following day we had plans for dinner with the family at Olive Garden
across town. As we all walked in we were escorted to a table in the back of the restaurant. It was
nice to have everyone together, almost everyone. My younger brother, Jay, lived in CT and so far away. Jay and I were so close growing up, but as we got older and he had a family we kind of grew apart. I remember sitting there in the chair surrounded by my family and missing him at the same time. As I leaned over to say something to my younger niece, Brittany, I happen to look up and see this guy walking this way across the restaurant. It was Jay! I was so excited I could not believe it. Jay flew in to surprise me in order to be here with me for my procedure. I was so surprised and was so very happy to see him that I started to cry at seeing him there at the restaurant. For him to fly all this way and be here for me at the time of my surgery made my heart complete.

October 2, 2009 is here and as I wake up this morning I tend to move slowly. I feel a little outside of myself and am not really effected yet by the impending surgery to remove both my breasts and reconstruction at the same time. Surgery is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. today, so I need to be at the hospital at 11:00 a.m. to check my system with regard to the radiation injection that was given to me the day before. After I checked in, I was taken upstairs to the second floor where I was prepped for surgery. I was so nervous and just knew that I would wake up sometime soon and this would all be a dream.  Still reeling through my head is the saying “Is this really happening and am I really going to have my two breasts removed because of Cancer?” I was so nervous that Rob & I had our Wills prepared by Eric S. Mashburn, P.A. on September 28, 2009. I knew it was not my time, but you never know. I was not ready to go, but I was prepared, had no regrets and everyone knew I loved them. After I was in a gown, in bed and an IV inserted to relax me, Rob came back and stayed with me and then my family came in to visit one last time before I went in. When mom came in she started crying, which made me cry and then Jay cry who came in after her. Dr. Bosshardt and Dr. Boardman came in to see me and make sure everything was ready to go. It was nice to see them. The nurses were very nice and attentive and so was the anesthesiologist who reminded me of my cousin Kimmie in Maryland. All the way down to her mannerisms. That made me feel good as she was the last face I saw before I went under and she said that “I will be right here taking care of you.”  Ah, I feel peace. I gave Rob a kiss goodbye while crying at the same time that I was being rolled down the hallway toward surgery. At that moment, I did realize that I was scarred of not coming out of surgery. When I jumped out of a perfectly good plane, I was not scared of not making it to the ground in one piece.  But with this, I was scarred of not waking up. Is that strange or what?
One of the nurses stopped to get me a warm blanket, which is when I proceeded to converse with a
fellow patient who I saw in another bed. I said “Hi” and so did he. Nervousness again, but being
friendly to others. As I was wheeled into surgery, everyone was talking about food and I had not
eaten since the night before so I made a joke about them discussing food in front of me. Ha!
Other than the face of the anesthesiologist, that is the last thing I remember.

I stayed two nights in the hospital (and so did Rob). He slept in the chair right beside me. I was so surprised that he really did that. He said he was going to, but I did not think he would. That made me feel so much better knowing that I was not alone in the hospital. The two days went by without incident. I had a lot of pain what with the drains on each side, a new port on my upper left side of my chest and a pain pump attached as well for the pain in my chest. It was all something else. I could
not do a thing without Rob there to help me. He was there for me the whole entire time with the moving, restroom needs, and feeding me. Family and friends came in and out to visit me and make sure I was doing well. Randy and Cheryl had brought my nieces, Heather and Brittany up to visit me.  Brittany helped feed me after she was assured that I was ok. I had her come up onto the bed with me so that she could see I was in fact alright. God love her!! She is so sweet that she did not want to hurt me.



After I talked to Rob I then proceeded to Eric’s office where I sat down in one of the
chairs in front of his desk and just looked at him. He looked at me and asked me what was wrong
and I then proceeded to tell him about my call just now from Dr. Boardman. Eric is a cancer
survivor as well, a melanoma cancer survivor so he understood exactly what I was feeling and
going through. He went on to say that I will beat this without hesitation. I remember him saying
that the treatment today is not like what they had 20 years ago and he knew I would be ok. I
remember him saying this, but at the same time I was still in shock.  He is a great friend and boss.

Later that evening and after Rob and I had discussed this in length, I decided it was time
to tell my family. I remember that I waited until I had my shower and was cleaned up, grabbed my
cell phone as I knew this was going to be a long night and proceeded to call each member of my
family – starting with my mom, my dad, my brother Randy and then my brother Jay. I remember
telling Randy that I wanted to be the one to tell my nieces in person and I would do so soon. I could not be the one to tell my nephews in person like I wanted to because they lived in Connecticut at the time. The calls were trying at first, but through each one I was very optimistic and had my faith that everything would be alright and advised my family of this each time I talked to them. That following weekend I went over to Randy’s across town where I pulled the girls aside by myself to have a talk. The girls and I always talk like this about many things so this was not going to be any different, just about a different topic. I love those girls like they were my own, so to see their eyes and feel their heart when I told them was heart wrenching, but I was very positive about it and told them that it would all be ok. I just knew it would be. I reminded them that our family were fighters and that is exactly what I intend to do.

On a warm sunny day in August, Rob & I went to the office of Dr. Boardman to discuss his findings. As we were waiting in the waiting room, I could see these books around a table on Breast Cancer and thinking to myself “really, am I really going to have to be picking up one of those books to see where my life is about to be headed?” When just at that moment we were called back to meet with Dr. Boardman. As we went into one of the examination rooms, Rob sat in the corner with a note pad and pen and I sat up on the table. He was going to be the one to take notes, ask questions and remember what the doctor said because I knew I was not going to be in any shape to remember exactly what he was saying. When Dr. Boardman came into the room and we began discussing my having Invasive Ductal Carcinoma “Cancer” and it is triple negative, I could not help but start crying and thinking “is this real?” as well as “is this really happening to me?” I felt just fine. I did not feel sick – I felt normal, healthy. I never once said “why me” just “is this real”. Dr. Boardman continued to give me my options and as I listened intensely at the words that were coming out of his mouth, my first thought was take them both, take them both because I do not want them. I advised Dr. Boardman that I wanted a Double Mastectomy and that was that. I only wanted to go through this one time. My reasons have specifically been that I only wanted to go through this pain one time and one time only, I did not need breasts (they only get in the way anyway) and if I had Cancer in one breast whose to say I won’t get it in the other down the road. The sooner the better I say. By the end of our appointment Dr. Boardman had scheduled my surgery for October 2nd at 1:30 and recommended an Oncologist that he thought we should meet right away and whom he thought would fight this cancer as aggressively as he was and that was going to be the only way to fight this, aggressively.

To Be Continued…

Nutrition Facts

Always with Light, Love, Strength, Enlightenment and Guidance!


There is comfort in knowing and believing that your Angels and Guides are with you.  There is comfort in knowing that I do have the strength to fight anything that comes my way ~ I just have to believe and have Faith.  There is comfort in knowing that when I leave my baby “Caesar” at the vet that he is well taken care of – even though he will be upset with me when I pick him back up.  There is comfort in knowing that though it aches to be so far away from family, that they are all well, happy and well taken care of.   There is comfort in knowing that today is Friday, it’s a beautiful day and it is going to be an even better weekend.


Thank you for spending a little time with me today and reading my post.  May you enjoy a great weekend with your loved ones on these beautiful days ahead.  Always with Light and Love my dears!  Cheers!


Yes, Cancer sucks, but at least we have great individuals out there either working in the medical field helping others in some way or those on the back end of the medical field (behind the scenes so to speak) trying to and sometimes finding cures for such diseases.  Like these two gentlemen I have the honor and privilege to call my Angel friends: Elliot Kahen, who is a  Molecular Biologist who helps to cure Cancer in children; and his father, Howard Kahen,  who is Shadowmaster at Pasco-Hernando State College, President at Reflections Medical Aesthetics and Diagnostic Radiologist at Radiology Associates West Pasco.

Once you have Cancer, it is always, in some way shape or form a part of your life.  It will be there forever, there is no forgetting about it.  It never goes away, mentally anyway.  They don’t tell you about that part of it when you are diagnosed or going thru the procedures.  Or after for that matter.  For me, getting the treatments and the surgeries were hard, draining, cold, exhausting (both mentally and physically), but the hardest was after.  The constant reminders of Cancer everywhere you look, the constant reminder when looking at yourself in the mirror every day, the remembrance of when you couldn’t look at yourself in the mirror because of the surgeries, the scars, the mental images of those times that never truly go away, the images of the loved ones worrying about you, the image of your spouse or caretaker taking care of you on a constant basis, the loved ones lost to such a disease, and then you remember and have the knowledge that you are in fact, still here to celebrate your life.  You stop, you smile at yourself in the mirror, you acknowledge that time and then you move on.

Move on – that’s right – I said it.  Move on.  You give yourself a little time to think and ponder and then move on.  Remind yourself that you fought Cancer and won.  You move on because you fought it like a champ and won! You are a Warrior, a Fighter, a Survivor!  You are here to Live Life to the fullest and by God you are going to do it!

You also remind yourself that you are always, in a way, still fighting Cancer in everything you do and everything you eat.  Your top priority is yourself!  Exercising for a healthier you and eating the proper foods for a healthier and better you. Your life is precious and your body is a precious vessel that should be treated as such because you only have one life and one body to live in.  So, why feed it junk food, why not exercise to take care of it, why do you even have to ask? It’s simple, I workout and give 110% because it makes me a better person, it makes me feel better about my self and I know my health is better because of it.  It’s that simple.  For me anyway.

I will say this, that maybe some don’t… Cancer was a gift!  Yes, a gift.  It wakes you up from your foggy existence here in life and makes you see things that you didn’t either see before or appreciate before.  Most don’t or didn’t see it until something like this comes up and smacks you in the face and says “Stop and Look Around, Life is Too Short to Keep on Like This!  What are you doing that you think this is important in life?”  It makes you rethink everything you ever knew or thought you knew.

There is no doubt in my mind that there are Angels around us, looking over us, keeping us close.  There is no doubt in my mind that my Lord and Savior are always there and have always been there for me.  Even when I thought I was alone.  I have no doubts!

So, my Angels, my message is this… love yourself for exactly who you are, for exactly your shape and size, for exactly your hair color, love yourself and others because at the end of the day, none of that stuff matters.  Take care of yourself and your body because it’s the only self and body you have.  I’m not going to love someone for their hair color, for their shape and size, or whatever else.  I’m going to love them for what’s inside, the way they take care of themselves, the way they treat me, the way they treat others and my family.  That’s it.

Now, go and remember to look up and smile because you are loved and cherished more than you realize.



Calling all Warriors!  You know who you are – all you have to do is look in the mirror.  We, of course, have our warriors out there protecting us and defending us on a daily basis a/k/a our Armed Forces men and women, but I am referring to the warrior you are and/or can become should you find yourself doubting yourself.  You are a fierce individual who has more fight and courage than you know what to do with.  All you have to do is believe and have faith!  Have faith in yourself and believe in yourself!  You have no choice, you must.  If you don’t no one will (they can’t give it to you and/or make you have it) – for when you have faith and belief in yourself, it shines thru and everyone can see it.  You feel better about yourself, your head is raised a little higher and you know deep down that whatever is thrown at you, you got this.  You got this because you have the courage, the faith and the belief – courage, faith and belief in yourself that you are a fighter, a warrior, and a survivor of life.


Thank you for taking a little time out of your day to read a little light.  Cheers and please feel free to share with others who might need a positive light.

With light, love and guidance!

Be Your Own Warrior
Be Your Own Warrior