Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Happy Cancerversary :/

Well, here we are. One year later. Today is my one year anniversary of diagnosis. One year ago today, I heard the worst news anyone would ever want to hear. "You have cancer." My life felt turned upside down. I remember being so scared of the unknown. I was entering a new path of my life in which I had to give up a lot of control. I have said before how I don't like surprises and this one was a biggie! For the last year I have had to give up that control and just trust that what the doctors were doing and that all the prayers out there was working. 

Well, I can say with certainty that It Is WORKING! Although I am not completely free of disease, I can say that it won't be long until I am. 

At one point I never thought that could be possible. I was stage 4 just 12 short months ago. This cancer had metastasized to parts of my body in which it was not possible to cut it out. "Traditional" chemo did not work for me. My strain, type, etc. was resistant to many types of chemo drugs. So, I chose a non traditional chemo and decided to starve this cancer by eliminating from my body what fed it....estrogen. With removal of my ovaries and nine months of heavy drugs at home (Tykerb and Femara) and infusion of Herceptin, now every three weeks, I am starving this cancer right out of my body. 

As of my last scan, there was just a little nugget visible in the lymphnode (and I should add that there is still mysterious showings on my spleen). But, this cancer is leaving town. And that lump in my breast, IT IS GONE!!!!

It hasn't been just me going through this, however. Sure, I am the one with the aches of an 80 year old. I am the one with the hot flashes of a menopausal woman, and the unmentionable trips to the bathroom. But it is my family that has gone through this too. And my huge support system of friends and family that have prayed for me, brought my family food, taken my children to practice. And most of all my husband who has been there and cried with me. 

My journey isn't over, but we are getting there. I have to change my mindset now and realize that this is a chronic disease that I have. Much like diabetes or MS. I have to live with it every day and fight to make myself better. I live with the side effects of the meds because that is just how it is. I eat healthier (try to) because this is what is working. 

So keep following me, because I am not done. I have more to do. I will rejoice the day my scans finally say NED (no evidence of disease) But until then, I will keep on going, because there just isn't any other choice. And I will keep singing my song..courteous of Kelly Clarkson..because "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger" and this cancer definitely has. 

surgery day

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

And a few pics of the last year.....
A bunch of crazy people walking in the rain for me! 
my MOPS ladies! A fun reunion!

my niece Emma in her "Aunt Donna Shirt"
Someone I barely know walking in my honor
my Vegas Family!


  1. I'm having a moment here!! I am just so happy for your "successful" year! I'm so proud of you for living the song "and I will praise you in this storm and I will raise my hands, for you are who you are no matter where I am". Lots of prayers for you and your family!

  2. Thank you for the update - you've been on my mind. So glad you're doing so well. We both know how cancer can totally rock your world, but you're right, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Will keep praying you right through this!

    P.S. I know those MOPS ladies, ahh, that seems like so long ago.

  3. I'm so happy for you Madonna. You are an amazingly strong woman. I will continue to pray for you and the whole family. Continue the great fight. I fight something everyday too and know how exhausting it can be. With god on our side and Jesus walking with us we can do anything!! Love to you all. Megan little

  4. Yahoo!! I've been thinking about you and so glad to read your blog tonight!! Xoxoxo! Grateful for you!!

  5. I am friends with Jenny and Alyssa Carroll.. I participated in the 5k last year.. You don't know me, but you have crossed my mind many times hoping things were getting better for you.. Jenny shared this on fb and I just have to say you are amazing and strong and I hope nothing but the best for you and your family!! Stay strong, you are an inspiration of an unimaginable journey <3

  6. You and your family are ALWAYS in my thoughts, but today I will add a little happy dance to the mix! :-). Love you my friend!

  7. I am Judi's friend in Raleigh, so I've been thinking about you gals every time we have a MOPS meeting/planning meeting/set-up/playdate etc! (you're on my heart often!!) Your blog is such a celebration of life! We continue to lift you up in prayer and claim hope, joy, peace, & strength for you. Love from far away...Sarah Burton