Fight like a girl

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Radiation has started

It's been a little while since I blogged.  But all this treatment takes time.  Hurry up for this appt., then wait.  Hurry up for the next appt., then wait.  But I have finally started Radiation.  I will be taking on 31 treatments.  I have finished 5 treatments, only 26 to go!

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For those who have never had radiation, I wanted to share.  So here is a little about my radiation experience so far.  (I am not an expert, this is just MY experience through my breast cancer journey.)
I have about a one hour driving time. I am only in the cancer center for about 15 minutes. That includes dressing and undressing.  The radiation treatment itself only takes a few minutes. 

Once I get there, I have a dressing room I go to and get into a homemade (and donated) gown; top half only.  (It looks like a medical scrub top.)  I then place my things in a locker and go into this large room with the radiation machine.  I lie on the table in a special 'mold' that was made to fit the shape and size of my body.  I lie in this every time I go.  There is a triangle pillow placed under my knees, and I lift my arms up over my head.  The left side of my gown (the breast that had cancer removed) is pulled up and the technician makes sure that all my tattoos are lined up and the machine is lined perfectly.  I can't remember if I mentioned the tattoos in my earlier post.  They placed several dots (tattoos) around and on my breast to use as guides for the machine.  Anyway, they take x-rays while I am in position as well, almost every day.  There is no feeling during radiation.  I just see a little red light and I hear a sound.  Every time this happens, I pray, "Lord, please place your hand between my lung, heart and the radiation rays.  Please protect my body from the harm in these rays and let the radiation help the cancer that could be left behind."  Once the radiation is complete, the technician comes in and helps me up and I go back to the dressing room and get dressed.  I am then free to go home.  These ladies in the office are so nice.  They really make sure that I feel comfortable.  Every time I walk in the radiation room, they have KLOVE playing on the radio, they greet me by asking about my son who just started college or they ask about my other sons.  They are very personal and friendly.  They really give you a warm welcome.  They make the whole experience calming.

As far as the side effects go, I am only experiencing some sensitivity.  There is no discoloration as of yet.  I bought some Eucerin lotion and apply that after every treatment (when I get home).  Sometimes I apply it a few times during the afternoon.  So far, so good.  :0)

As some may have noticed, I got my hair cut.  When I thought I was going to have to do chemo., I started looking at pixie cuts.  When I found out I wasn't going to need chemo., I decided to go ahead and get the pixie cut anyway.  So I went for it and I love it!
 photo 11902314_10207106628254844_6414623995518869472_n.jpgSo if you are facing Radiation or any cancer treatment, find a positive blog and start reading.  I have researched and followed some cancer stories before I started my treatment, even before surgery, and they have really helped!   Hope my blog has inspired someone out there to keep fighting the fight!  

I'll be blogging more about radiation soon.   Have a great day and be blessed!

God is good ........... all the time!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Oncotype test results in!

My results are in and my percentages weren't as low as I was hoping for but they are good!  Amen!  

The percentage of the cancer coming back is 12-14% without chemo.   Some may think that is low, but I will explain.  That is 1.5 out of 10 chance of it coming back.  I already made my mind up that if my score came back over 10 that I would do chemo. to make sure it is gone and lower chances of recurrence.  However, my Oncologist also told me that if I do the chemo., my chances of recurrence would go down to 9-10%.  So the benefit of chemo. would only gain me 4%.  

To put it in another perspective, I have an 86% of no recurrence. That's a high number!  Woo Hoo!  With chemo., it's 90%. Not much difference.  So I have decided to pass on the chemo. and go forward with the Radiation therapy, then hormone therapy for five years.  I had a wise friend tell me that if this test comes back intermediate, which it did, that the Lord would guide me and give me peace with the right decision.  She is correct.  I am at peace without the chemo.  Putting that toxic med in my body with gaining only 4% benefit, is not worth all the side effects I would put my body through.  

Our minds are a powerful tool.  And if you want a tool to work and be sharp, it must be cared for.  I have been pretty positive through this whole process......because of the Lord, no doubt.  I have to keep that positive mind set to move on.  I can't go through my life wondering if  2018 will be the return of this dreadful disease.  Or will it be 2020?  Nope.  I can't go there.   I won't go there.  

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God told me that day on the swing that he had my back and I was going to be fine.  That's enough for me.

My 2015 - 2016 curriculum choices for 7'th grade are...............

drum roll please...................

Language Arts -  Word Roots, Easy Grammar & EIW (Excellence in Writing)

The Easy Grammar can be found on this link below.  Christian Book Distributors is a great place to find new homeschool curriculum at a great low price! 

History -  History of the World (aBeka)

Science -  Order & Reality (aBeka)

Math -  Life of Fred - Pre-Algebra 1 with Biology

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I haven't decided on an elective yet.  I am thinking sign language. Not sure how much we'll get done with soccer, and possibly karate.

This year was not easy for picking curriculum.  I'm happy with my choice for History and Language Arts however, Science was not easy because with my other two sons (who have graduated) I used Apologia. They were both good readers and like the independent work.  My youngest not so much.  He hates to read and if he had to read a lesson in one of those books, it would take him all day, fighting, kicking and screaming. ;)  But in his defense, he struggles with reading.  So just because Apologia is my favorite science and the best (in my opinion), why make his struggle knowing he will?  I used aBeka years ago and it was ok for the younger years.  So I thought I'd give the science a go at this age (7'th grade).  I can always change right?  ABeka does have reading, but it's an easier read and I can read with him.  

Math wasn't easy either.  We love MUS (MathUSee), however I wanted to try something a bit more fun for him.  I've read about Life of Fred and it had really good reviews.  I personally think it looks corny and immature, but let's face it, I'm not doing it.  My son is 12 and he may like it.  If not, we can go back to MUS knowing it works.  So I may do a review of Life of Fred this fall.  ;)

This is the first year of Word Roots.  I thought this would help with his reading.  Great reviews and looks very easy to understand so he can do it independently.  I wasn't sure where to start so I started from Book 1.  (If you ever question yourself about where to start and they don't offer help with this issue, start from the beginning..... good rule of thumb.) Easy Grammar I have used before.  Love this!  He can do a worksheet or two everyday and get what he needs.  I did see that there isn't any diagramming sentence lessons or practice though.  But I don't think this is an issue because we did cover some of that if younger grades.

So that is where I am at this point.  I do however change up in the middle of the year if needed.  One lesson I have learned is "don't make a child continue using something if it isn't working"!!!  Why torture the child?  If he/she isn't getting the concepts or learning anything, or you are just fighting with them too much during the lessons, it's not worth it so, ditch it (resell or give away).  We changed our math program three times in one year with my other son.  It paid off, we found one that worked and stuck with it from then on.  And just a hint, the more expensive doesn't mean the best!  Every child is different.  Sometimes the free online math programs work just fine. One online FREE math is Khan Academy.  

So good luck in choosing your curricula this year!  Don't sweat it, it's a trial and error.  There are so many choices out there one can get overwhelmed very easily!  What works for one family may not work for another.  Don't compare your children to other children in their grade or age group.  Children in the public school fall behind all the time because they don't get the one on one help they need.  (This isn't the teachers fault necessarily.)  So take a breath, involve your children in the curriculum picks and have fun!