By My Side

Good Day Angels…

It’s been a minute and here we are in 2023. I hope all had a safe and happy holiday season.

You know in life it’s the little things like the below I found in a coffee shop. It’s cute, clips on a visor, and is a reminder that Angels are By My Side. At this point in time in my life as I move forward onto a new adventure it was a good sign to see and one that I needed.

My Angels, always keep the faith and take care of you! You are number one in this life and then everyone else. Trust me, I have had to learn that the hard way.

Sending you all lots of Light and Love.

I Am… Still Here…


Courage doesn’t always roar, but it’s always there!!! ❤️💪💪 (shared from a dear friend)

Our Hero – Rosa Parks Interview re 1955

Always an Angel..:

My Story posted in Her Nexx Chapter

Hello my lovely Angels!

I wanted to pop by and tell you I got a short article posted in It’s the same as I recently posted here, but it’s nice to have a snippet of my story online for more women and men to read. And through HNC we can reach more and hope that we do.

Please feel free to check out their site and enjoy all that the site has to offer.

Cheers Angels!

Breast Cancer Awareness (Women & Men)

Women & Men (you heard me – men get BC too)… Honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast Exam… learn the right way

Who Should Have a Mammogram?
The American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend:

Women 40 and older should have mammograms every year. Women who are younger than 40 and have risk factors for breast cancer should ask their health care provider whether mammograms are advisable and how often to have them Mammograms Before Age 35 Mammograms before age 35 require a physician’s order. If you are concerned and would like a mammogram, talk with your primary care physician.

If You Notice a Breast Lump or Change. If you find a lump or something that worries you, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic — eight out of ten lumps are not cancer. Your physician can write an order to schedule your diagnostic mammogram.

Female patient with radiology tech mammogram Schedule a Mammogram. Women 40 and older should have mammograms every year. Schedule yours now.

Always with Light & Love Angels!

Don’t Stop!! 💪😘😇💜

Stay strong my Angels!!!

Always with Light & Love ~ always!

Check Up Time

I am at the doctors office today for my Cancer checkup and saw this…

I just loved it and wanted to share.

Always with Light & Love Angels!


I celebrate and I honor my journey and victories. I celebrate and I honor my lessons learned. I celebrate and I honor myself. (Via Lisa Nichols)




You got this my Angels!!! Have Faith and know you can do anything you set your mind too, but always with Light and Love for yourself and one another!


Thinking of you ALL wishing you ALL a great 4th weekend. We are a strong Country and one that Will Strive, Will Survive, and one that is the “Eye of the Tiger!”  Or, Eye of the Eagle!!


Sending you ALL Light, Love, & PEACE!



Three back to Back workouts today. A TacFit class and two Bootcamp classes. I do love to workout!!!



Happy weekend my Angels!!! Have fun, stay safe, and drink lots of water in the heat no matter where you are.

Always with Light & Love!! ❤❤❤


CHECK-UPS ARE IMPORTANT – For both Men & Women!  Please remember…

Cancer Warrior





Thinking about Bobby, Always. Second surgery day at 9:30 a.m. I have to be there at 7:30 a.m. Rob and I did not get out of there until 3:00 ish. My implant surgery today as well as the removal of my port.

** I have to say that the port they give you from the very beginning affects you in many ways.  First you can’t believe you have to have this port for medications on your chest.  It looks like a bump on your chest and you try to cover it up with clothing, but nothing really works because you always know it’s there.  It can be uncomfortable at times, but you eventually get used to it.  After a while, it becomes your best friend – so to speak – because all the medications get injected into your blood stream thru here and it makes life easier suing the port.  The port has become your saving grace and now by the time you are finished with your treatments and surgeries, it is now time for one last surgery and the port to be removed.  You have mixed feelings about this because you have been on medications for so long and this port, this thing/lump on your chest has been there for you and made the process of the medications easier.  You really don’t want to let it go, but in order to move on, you must.  It’s really a sad moment in time and a bit scary.


Third and last surgery today. I had to be there at 11:00 when the surgery was at 1:00. Rob & I did not get out of there until 7:00 p.m. I was not as nervous as the last two surgeries.


I have had many check ups with regard to my implants, but as of July I was pretty much done. Oh did I forget to mention that when you have a double mastectomy, you have just the implants under your skin.  No more areola or nipple. So, in order to make everything look as natural as possible, skin is taken from somewhere else on your body and attached here.  Another fun surgery, right? But, Dr. Bosshardt did a great job as usual.  I couldn’t ask for a better doctor.


I started paddling with WOW, Warriors on Water Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boating Team. What an awesome experience with a great bunch of ladies. Our first competition is on 10­-16­-10. A lot of fun and a great learning experience. Love those ladies!!!

Warriors on Water Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boating TeamOur team is Warriors on Water and our mission is to create, inspire, and sustain a community of breast cancer survivors who share in the empowering, therapeutic, and symbolic sport of dragon boating.

9-­10 to 9-­12-­10

Attended camp this weekend at the Faces of Courage camp with the ladies of WOW, Warriors on Water. Had a great time, met a lot of great ladies and had a lot of great and new experiences such as body paint, drums, meditation, and just a relaxing time away from phones, computers and life in general.

Faces of Courage – We are a non-profit organization located in the Tampa Bay area that offers free camps and events for women,men and children with cancer and blood illnesses. Though we are located in Florida, some of our camps are attended by women, men and children from all over the country. We strive to provide a judgment-free, comfortable atmosphere where women, men and children can relax and just have fun.


Well all has been going pretty well. I have been feeling good and getting used to my new breasts. I found that a month or two ago I was having pain in both my knees so I let Dr. Kunta know who sent me for a Bone Scan. Well the results were on 10-­5­-10 wherein Dr. K said that my knees were good (I could run a marathon), but what about the pain in my hip, my left hip. I said “what?” I am here for knee pain not hip pain. Nonetheless, the scan picked up something on my left hip so I was sent out for an MRI as soon as possible.

That was on 10-­5-­10 when the scheduler at Dr. Kunta’s office was given the task of scheduling me an MRI ASAP. Well it was 10­-15 and I had no word so I called them to say “where is my appt?” She was clueless so I had to remind her that Dr. Kunta wanted it ASAP and it was now 10-­15 and I had no word? Needless to say I got a call back from her within 20 minutes with an MRI appt scheduled for 10­-18 at 9:00 at Horizen Open MRI on West 50 in Ocoee. I went in today for my appt and was there for 3 1⁄2 hours and in so much pain from the position I was lying in. It was awful. I get my results on Wednesday, 10-­20.

** I have no patience for incompetent people who do not pay attention and take care of Cancer patients as they are supposed to!


A new chapter … posing nude while being body painted by artist Lisa Scholder at her home in Tampa, FL. Rob came with me, Peggy Sherry of Faces of Courage was there as well as photographer Jim Webb.  What great people!  Jim was interviewing me while videoing the process, he let Rob use him camera and take pictures for him of the process and it all felt natural.  Being nude in front of others after all I had been thru was actually liberating.  I didn’t really care! All for a good cause I say – and it was!


Wow! I cannot believe it has been a year and a half since being told I have Cancer. I am doing well. I am still with the Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team, WOW – Warriors on Water. I have been for almost 10 months now. I am feeling better, getting used to my implants, trying to workout more and paddling. Other than the mental aspects that come later, all is well.

The mental aspects – yes – no one really talks to you about that or mentions it.  This is a very long process and something that affects you for a long time to come.  It never really goes away, Cancer is always in the back of your mind.


To say the least this is has been quite a few years for me. As of this month Rob accepted a position in California. So, without further adieu he is being transferred there with Universal Hollywood. This means ALL NEW DOCS for me. Oh lord!!

Our baby Labrador, Tucker, has recently passed (God Bless him and his big heart & soul)! We buried him at the top of the hill in the back yard of our home. He was supposed to come with us whenever we decided to move anywhere! He is always with us though – I can feel it. I sure miss my big boy!


Rob leaves this day for a cross country trip to California since he starts his job on the 18th. So, I am here alone with Cleo & Caesar and my family of course, but alone nonetheless.


Yeah! We finally rented the house in Clermont so now I am free to go be with Rob. The new tenants move in on the 15th so I will pack up and move in with dad. God love him. We both need the company. Ha! Ha! He has two cats and so do we. This should be fun!


Traveling to Ybor City to attend the Ybor City Art Show to promote our Bodies of Courage Calendar for 2012 with Lisa Scholder and Peggy Sherry. You remember, the one I posed nude for.  Great Breast Cancer survivors in the calendar including myself. Lisa did a great job. What a great artist and a great experience for myself! I absolutely loved it and to see the calendar completed is awesome. So if anything is taken away from this experience it is this: Never say you can’t do something! Life is too short not to at least try something at least once. And then and only then can you say that you don’t like it. No excuses! Be daring, be fearful, be … who you were meant to be! That is the one thing Cancer has taught me.


Beach weekend with one the best cousin a girl could ask for and another Cancer Survivor. Robert Ellrich, Jr (Bobby) who is a fighter beyond belief! He is so strong, so fearful, so brave! I love him so much! I might be strong and might have helped him along the way, but he has helped me more than he knows. I might help him to fight, but let me tell you ladies and gentlemen he helps me to fight and to carry on the fight! We fight together! We look at Cancer and laugh and say “Is this all you
got!” We have faith, we have life, we have love, we have each other!


It has been 2 years since my visit with Dr. Lewis (my OB) wherein she wanted me to go ahead and get my mammogram and whom I will say with all my heart who saved my life! I go today for a check up as usual. This will be my last visit with her since I am moving to California. She is so nice, so caring, so sweet, such a great doctor who I know I can call a friend and call should I need anything.

Leaving my doctors is hard. They all saved me and give me strength. It hurts to leave! I must be honest, I worry about leaving. Will I find doctors I California with such a good bedside manner as I found here in Clermont, FL. I pray I do as I will not settle for less. My life is too valuable to me to put in the hands of someone without heart and a soul.


Today I met with my favorite Oncologist, Dr. Kunta. What a great doctor! He has taken care of me, made me laugh and has been there through all my Chemotherapy sessions. I will miss him, Jade and Billisha. Jade is the receptionist whom I have come to depend on and love as she has always been there to help me in a moments notice. Help like that is hard to find much less help from a person with a big heart and a caring soul. And last, but not least, Billisha. Billisha and Laura (another nurse who is no longer there) helped to take care of me when I was in for my Chemo sessions. They always made sure I had my meds before I came in and then made sure I was comfortable once I got there. I know that is there job, but they always took it one or two steps more making it more than there job, they really care and you can’t put a price on that. They took great care of me and Rob because Rob as you know by now, went with me every time I went to a doctor appt or a chemo session – every single time.

My checkup and numbers came out well and Dr. Kunta was very happy with the way things looked. God bless him as I wish him and his staff well. Thank you for everything.


New adventures await! While I am a survivor in every way, shape and form, I look forward to the new adventures, challenges and anything else God and life has in store for me. I will not settle for less and will triumphant in spirit, heart and soul no matter what! I am a fighter, we are all fighters, we are all brothers and sisters in Cancer and through God our Father for with him and through him all things are possible. My faith, fight, family and good doctors brought me through this and I am here to tell you all that life is worth fighting for. Love is worth fighting for. Family is worth fighting for. You yourself are worth fighting for.

Thank you for reading my journal of my experience thru the Breast Cancer process.   I hope this brings light to help others understand how this affects an individual being diagnosed with Cancer and how if affects his or her spirit and his or her determination to fight such an awful disease .

Always with Light, Love, Strength, Enlightenment and Our Warrior Within ~

Cousins  Some of the cousins at Bobby’s Beach Weekend

FoC Camp FoC

Faces of Courage Camp ~ Debbie & I

WOW  Warriors on water Dragon Boat Team – Oct. 2010  Love my Team!

Ybor City Art Show Ybor City Art Show with Peggy of FoC & artist, Lisa

BOC CAlendar

Bodies of Courage Calendar – This is me ~ I made the cover!

Never give up ~ Never stop fighting!

Always with Light, Love, Strength, Enlightenment and Our Warrior Within ~




This week was a regular work week and an office visit to Dr. Bosshardt for one more expansion.  I want no regrets and feel this is a good choice.  I am not that big, just slightly bigger than I was originally.  After today, I have a two-week waiting process before we start moving toward the 20% and then we wait two (2) months before surgery.  Surgery for the reconstruction process and the removal of the port that I have had for so long.


My LAST chemo.  YEAH!  A little nervous as there is a feeling of comfort knowing that you are getting medication to help fight the cancer, but on the other hand those same medications are brutally hard on your body.  With that, I am ready for the last one and know that the cancer has NOT spread and by staying on my same nutritional path and exercise I can keep the cancer away forever and be a survivor forever with no re-occurrence.  I worked a half day Monday, a full day on Tuesday, had my last shot on Wednesday (for my immune system) – – cold and hurt like heck!!, worked half a day Thursday (Christmas eve) and we were off Friday.  Yeah!  Nice week – finally.

I was ill Thursday and Friday and started to get better Saturday.  Rob & I went over to see the family for Christmas Saturday since I was unable to on Christmas day.  Happy Birthday to Heather Marie who is 19 this year on Christmas.  Unbelievable.

I have to say that although I do not regret my decision regarding the “one more expansion”, they are getting so uncomfortable that I cannot wait for surgery so as to actually have the implants in that are more comfortable and so I can sleep better.  These things are feeling hard and now I know what exactly the doctors meant when they said that there would be no feeling in your breast, no normal feeling, as that is exactly what I am experiencing and am uncertain on how I feel about that.  Having a double mastectomy takes all feeling away.  Not that I really had a choice in the matter.


I have a short week this week what with New Years and all.  I am off Thursday (personal day) and Friday is New Years day, 2010.  Rob and I are off to St. Augustine, FL for the weekend of New Years 2010 and look forward to a little vacation.  It has been a long last six (6) months and I need a little away time.  St. Augustine is always a great place to go for a getaway.

12-30-09 to 12-31-09

New Years Eve and Anniversary on 1-1:  Rob & I traveled to St. Augustine, FL where we go every year and stay at the Carriage Way Bed & Breakfast.  John, Larry & Bill are so great and our stay is always the best.  We got there on the 31st and spent New Years Eve watching the ball drop with John.  The rest of the weekend was nice as Rob & I ate at some very nice restaurants (The Reef, The Bubble Room, The Maya Restaurant, and The Florida Cracker) and finding out what I could eat became a little easier.


Our anniversary, three (3) years.  Rob & I spent the day touring around St. Augustine and had dinner at “The Reef”.  A nice restaurant on the water there with a nice view.  A lot has happened in our three years married – and he’s still hanging around.  Most would have already left me and probably couldn’t handle it.  I say this from experience losing friends and family while I am ill.


Today I am set to get my first set of scans after the chemo treatment.  My first scan, the PET scan is at 7:00 a.m. and the CT is scheduled for 9:00 a.m.  Rob is going with me to get them done and we wait for a week to get the results on the 18th at 3:00 p.m. with Dr. Kunta.

All went well and after Rob & I went to breakfast at Perkins.  Now, the fun is over and back to work.

Today I was surprised by an early 40th birthday party at the restaurant “Dutch” by Rob.  He had asked me if I wanted to go with him to Home Depot to refill the grill tank and then to lunch.  So sure, I was up to it.  We decided on lunch at Dutch, me not knowing that there was a party in the back.

When I walked in, Dutch (the owner) took us to the back where there was better seating – through the kitchen I might add – and when I walked through everyone yelled “surprise.”  I started to cry because it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for me.  There were many people who actually wanted to be there to show me that they loved me and are happy that I am here, 40, and we all know I will be Cancer free.  For a small list of who was there: Bob and Annaliese, mom and dad, Randy & Cheryl, Heather and Brittany, Trina, David and Brittany, Theresa, Uncle Frank and Aunt Mary, Uncle Jack and Aunt Jill, Heath, Karlos, Matt, Sandy and Matt’s mom, Lynn (from work), Cindy & Kathy (from work), Barry & Kristi, Yvette and her two children, and Lori and Megan.  What a great surprise.

After my last 20% expansion this morning with Dr. Bosshardt, I had a 3:00 appt with Dr. Kunta for my results of my scans.  Dr. Kunta advised that my scans were perfect, clean and clear and told me he would continue to treat me to keep the Cancer away.  I got a name and number of a Dermatologist, Heather Brock, so I could have them check my skin so I can stay Cancer free.


40th Birthday ~ Hmm… I MADE IT!!  Rob was sick the past two days or so, but made me a nice  dinner here at home.


Now that I am Cancer free, I am going to need to stay on top of it by keeping up with my nutritional habits as well as my continued exercising.  No going back to the ways of before.  Something like this changes you and makes you realize what is really important in life and what you should do in order to stay here longer to see your nieces and nephews grow up and graduate and grow old with your brothers whom you would miss so very much.  I always knew prior to this what things were important and not so much as well as worth fighting for, but Cancer puts it greater perspective and you literally find yourself not in the mood for any negativity from anyone.

So – – I wait for my hair to start growing back and sit for two (2) months while I await my appt on March 4th with Dr. Bosshardt to schedule my surgery for my implants.  Thank goodness for insurance!  If my insurance did not pay for reconstructive surgery, I would have never gotten it. I was lucky enough to have that choice.  They do not mean that much to me nor would I miss them. Besides, Rob already said he did not marry me for my breasts or looks, but for my heart and what’s inside.  So with that, I could not ask for anything more.


The weeks have passed with no new events until the first week here in February.  My hair started to show some growth.  Although, my eyebrows and eye lashes continue to fall out.  Rob says that my new lashes and brows are pushing out the old ones.  Hmm…, maybe so.  I any case, just this past week, the week of the 15th, my expander on the left side has been causing me pain.  It has somehow come to a point inside on the left side under or close to my arm and managed to make a bruise and pinch a nerve at the same time.  The pain is sharp although not all the time.  It is only once maybe twice a day with little jolts here and there throughout.  Goodness, just when I think I can reach for that glass or wash my head in the shower the jolts or pain come.

*** On A Side Note**

Wigs, wigs and more wigs ~ Since I have no hair, I have been experimenting with wigs here and there.  Nothing too extreme, yet.  They seem to fit well and don’t look too bad.  I’ve always had really curly hair and could not find a good curly wig, so I went for straight.  I don’t wear them all the time.  Most times I prefer a little bandanna.  In the evenings, my head gets so cold that I have a little red and white stripped hat I wear to bed to keep my hear warm.  Thank goodness for this.


I went to see Dr. Bosshardt today where he took some fluid out of my expanders thinking that might help, but it did not. I told him it would not matter because the expander came to a point inside and the size would not matter. Oh well. I only have to live with it until March 19, that is when my surgery is scheduled. Yeah!! I hope everything looks better than I expect and goes well.

Later this night, Rob & I were given an invite to go see the true story, movie, called “Letters to God”. It was a very good story about a little boy with brain cancer who writes letters to god and prays about many different things and people. It was filmed here in Clermont/Winter Garden. It was very sad, but a good story for all to learn from.

2-­24 to 3-­12

I seem to be feeling just fine other than the pain I keep having in my left expander. It has come to a point underneath my skin and is either pinching my skin or a nerve underneath. In any case, it is quite a jolt of pain when it happens and I never know when it will. I cannot wait for surgery.


A beautiful day for a Winter park 10k run. My first 10k, Yeah ­ ­ I finished in 1 hour and 28 minutes. Not so bad. Matt, Sandy and I walked/jogged it and had a good time. Rob’s knee was still hurting him from his 300 mile ride a few weeks back so he did not do it.


We found out today that my cousin, Bobby, has Colon Cancer.  The family is not telling him *just yet as they need him to recover from his operation on his intestine/appendix he just had yesterday, March 17. I pray God gives him the strength and the immune system to fight this. He’s been through so much and is such a fighter. He is my light and my strength!!

Anniversary    At Bike Race