Cancer Update & A Great Masculine Birthday Card Idea!

Cancer Update and A Great Masculine Birthday Card Idea!

Let me say that I am not sure where to begin!  There has been so much happening in such a short amount of time!  I have been to two post op visits with my breast surgeon and plastic surgeon.  These two are an amazing duo.  I like to refer to them as the Dream Team of Yale!

My breast surgeon had to give me the news that I have a different type of cancer than what they originally took out.  This particular kind did not show up on the biopsy that I had.  The good news is that my lymph nodes are clear!  Whoooo Hooooo!  Stage 1 cancer.  However, I will still need chemo treatments. Sigh!

My plastic surgeon took out the drain tube a week and a half ago.  She said the post surgery scars look great.  I asked her when I could go back to exercising…her exact words, “No bouncy, bouncy stuff…” I guess I can’t run yet or do high intensity exercise!  Insert sad face!

Next stop was the Onocologist!  He won Ed and I over with his kind and caring ways.  He sat with us for an hour and a half, telling us what treatment, drugs and side effects to expect during the upcoming treatments.

I guess one would think that the most important thought on chemo is hair loss!  Not for me, it would be the nausea and vomiting that are associated with treatment.  So that leads me to another appointment, wig and head covering shopping.  The idea is to go before you actually start to lose your hair.  Hmmmm!  This should be interesting since I have never colored my hair.  I am a natural red head and my hair has gone blonde/strawberry with age.  That is what redheads do when they gray.  Not so bad, eh?!  I do know that if and when my hair starts falling out, out will come the clippers and my husband has volunteered to do the deed!  I will save those pictures for another day!

This week also marks my port install…stay tuned for more!

Your cards, letters, phone calls, texts, gifts have all meant more to me than anything else in the world.  It is comforting to know that so many people care about you and the struggle that one goes through.

One of the things that has kept me going over the last 3 or so weeks in addition to all of the above,  has been creating.  Now that I can use my arm sufficiently, but not yet walk the dog, is to make cards.  I would love to get back into having classes and clubs, I am just not ready.  I love to have people here in my studio. I am a people person and love it when there are stampers here.

I have to admit that I wasn’t feeling the love with this Occasions Catalog.  I am not sure whether it was the drugs talking or my lack of desire to stamp.  But when inspiration hits, you just got to go with it.   I have found a new favorite printed paper from the Occasions Catalog.  It is Urban Underground and it is absolutely a great source of masculine patterns, and textures all wrapped into one.

The color combination for this suite of products is, you guessed it, Basic Black, Basic Gray, Very Vanilla and Delightful Dijon.  I know that the Envelope Framelit is retired, but I just couldn’t help to take it out and add a piece of Designer Series Paper to the envelope.

And that stamp set, Big On Birthdays, has a little bit of masculine, feminine and gender neutral appeal to it as well.

UUFLAT

Stampin’ Supplies:

140931G

Archival Black Ink

142783G

Urban Underground Designer Series Paper142784G

Urban Underground Cardstock Pack

142877G Big On Birthdays

Don’t you just love that this card is quick and simple to make?!

By the way, if you love FREE stuff!

SAB

It doesn’t get better than FREE . . . There are 3 ways to earn FREE products!

      • SHOP to earn a FREE Sale-a-bration item for every $50 you spend . . . no limit!
        • Click here to see all of the FREE items available!
      • HOST to get more FREE products with Stampin’ Rewards (an extra $25 FREE with a $250 order or party!  Book parties are most welcome at this time!
      • JOIN & GET A BONUS . . . GET 2 FREE STAMP SETS OF YOUR CHOICE
              when you purchase the $99 Starter Kit – it’s the Ultimate Stampin’ Up! Bundle! During Sale-A-Bration, you can choose2 FREE stamp sets.from either catalog (ANY PRICE) as a bonus to add to your starter kit.   Join for the discounts, ideas & fun!
      • For $99 you choose:  $125 worth of Stampin’ Up! product for your kit.  That’s $26 in FREE product!
      • The kit ships for FREE! That’s a savings of another 10%!
      • After joining, get everything you’ve been wanting at a minimum 20% discount!
      • NO RISK . . . NO OBLIGATION!  When the time comes, you decide whether you want to renew or not!
      • DO IT FOR YOU!
      • Join here and learn more and I will contact you when you do!

No matter how you take advantage of SALE A BRATION,  it’s a great time to stock up on your favorite paper, adhesives, and everything else that Stampin’ Up! offers that you know and love!   When you do, you can earn FREE Sale-a-bration rewards . . . one for every $50 you spend!  There’s NO limit!  An order of $150 or more earns not only Sale-a-bration rewards, but FREE Stampin’ Rewards as well!

Shop ONLINE with me!  online 24/7!  . . . when you do, please select “allow demonstrator to contact me” so I can thank you, if not, I totally understand!

hostess

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Stamping Is The Best Therapy!

Stamping Is The BEST Therapy!

It is hard to give myself permission to give myself time off! (Let me tell you, it IS hard!) Thank you for checking in to see how I am feeling. I am feeling a little bit better this afternoon, but I fatigue easily.

One of the things that I wanted to share is that I am overwhelmed by your outpouring of affection! Each and every card, flower arrangement, phone call, email, text or meal means so much to me. I guess you could say it is like one HUGE hug! I consider everyone an angel on my shoulders!

This sweet little hand carved angel has been watching over me.

IMG_2524 (1)One of the many things that I have come to learn is being better at receiving.  It is hard and I am getting lots of practice.

IMG_2529

mantelYour gifts and flowers have all brought me much encouragement and I have certainly never felt so loved during this difficult time.

flowersIt is sometimes so overwhelming that words cannot express how truly grateful I am that you have reached out to me!  I am not sure what tomorrow brings and I have lots of fears, but I know that I am very blessed to have so many wonderful and caring people behind me.

farmgirl

Bridgeport Hospital and it’s staff have been wonderful.  The doctors and staff of the Norma Pfriem Breast Center have been caring and kind professionals and I thank them wholeheartedly.

But, last Thursday, Ed and I received news that deflated my positive balloon. The results of my pathology report came back that I had Stage 1 cancer and an appointment with an oncologist was scheduled for Jan 30th. The bright side of my mastectomy is that my lymph nodes are clear. I am not sure where my journey and recovery will take me, but you can be sure that I will stay in touch in the next week or so.

I am taking advantage of this afternoon to write to you and get some thank you notes finished.  I wanted to show you that you don’t need to send anything elaborate for your thank you notes.  I will be sharing a few ideas over the next few weeks.  (I have a lot of them to stamp and write.)  Like the post title says, “Stamping is the BEST therapy!”

I fell in love with the Swirly Bird Bundle a few months ago when the Annual Catalog came out.  I think it is versatile.  So much so, that I used it for some Christmas Cards this year.

To make your thank you cards even easier, add a set of Note Cards and Envelopes, either in Whisper White or Kraft.  They are cut and scored for you.

IMG_2526 (1)

By the way, if you love FREE stuff!

SAB

It doesn’t get better than FREE . . . There are 3 ways to earn FREE products!

      • SHOP to earn a FREE Sale-a-bration item for every $50 you spend . . . no limit!
        • Click here to see all of the FREE items available!
      • HOST to get more FREE products with Stampin’ Rewards (an extra $25 FREE with a $250 order or party!  Book parties are most welcome at this time!
      • JOIN & GET A BONUS . . . GET 2 FREE STAMP SETS OF YOUR CHOICE
              when you purchase the $99 Starter Kit – it’s the Ultimate Stampin’ Up! Bundle! During Sale-A-Bration, you can choose2 FREE stamp sets.from either catalog (ANY PRICE) as a bonus to add to your starter kit.   Join for the discounts, ideas & fun!
      • For $99 you choose:  $125 worth of Stampin’ Up! product for your kit.  That’s $26 in FREE product!
      • The kit ships for FREE! That’s a savings of another 10%!
      • After joining, get everything you’ve been wanting at a minimum 20% discount!
      • NO RISK . . . NO OBLIGATION!  When the time comes, you decide whether you want to renew or not!
      • DO IT FOR YOU!
      • Join here and learn more and I will contact you when you do!

No matter how you take advantage of SALE A BRATION,  it’s a great time to stock up on your favorite paper, adhesives, and everything else that Stampin’ Up! offers that you know and love!   When you do, you can earn FREE Sale-a-bration rewards . . . one for every $50 you spend!  There’s NO limit!  An order of $150 or more earns not only Sale-a-bration rewards, but FREE Stampin’ Rewards as well!

Shop ONLINE with me!  online 24/7!  . . . when you do, please select “allow demonstrator to contact me” so I can thank you, if not, I totally understand!

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When The Unexpected Happens…

When The Unexpected Happens….

You may have noticed that I haven’t exactly been active in posting on my blog lately or even for that matter, sending out emails to all of you, who happen to pop in occasionally.

You may have wondered why…well now that the holidays have come and gone, I need to focus on something a little more important happening in my life.  Even though it was NOT expected, the time has come to share with you that I have breast cancer.

In October, I had a routine mammogram.  By November, I had a second mammogram and an ultrasound and just simply thought it was routine.  I should have known something was up when the radiologist made an appearance and did her own ultrasound and wouldn’t answer my questions.  She simply stated that I had two areas of concern in my left breast and that my doctor would be calling to set up a consultation with the breast surgeon.  WHAT!!!!  It was really all a blur as I left with tears in eyes to call my husband on my way back to work.

No sooner had I walked in the door at work, my primary doctor’s office called and said they recommended a doctor with the Norma Pfriem Breast Center.  Off to call and I immediately received an appointment for the following week.

Fast forward to the appointment.  As I sat in the room with my husband, in walked the most amazing and personable doctor I had ever met.  She was matter-a-fact, but gentle in her delivery.  She assured me that whatever the outcome, it was caught early enough and that she would schedule a breast biopsy the next week, just before Thanksgiving.

When I received the results of the biopsy after Thanksgiving, I guess I wasn’t surprised.   The team of doctors sat around and gave me my options and off we went to tell the kids, my Mom and family.  That was the hardest part of this.

I do know that over the next 8 weeks or so, I will be embarking on a new journey.  Mastectomy and reconstruction and in May/June, reduction of the other breast to even things up a bit.  Hopefully, if my lymph nodes are clear, no radiation or chemo will be needed.

I am not really a spiritual person and am handling this situation with LOTS of humor.  I was inspired to write this post after Carrie Fisher passed away the other day.  She once told an NPR reporter, “I think I do overshare,” Fisher says. “It’s my way of trying to understand myself. … It creates community when you talk about private things.”  I so agree.  I am an open book and hope that others who are going through this will understand that having breast cancer is a “community”.

So, off I go in two weeks for my surgery and as the end of the year approaches, I will have nothing but good cheer for the New Year and to bounce back to health.  Talk with you soon…and BTW, get your mammogram.

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