Well Hello Stranger

My oh my whereever has the time gone? 2 1/2 years since my last post. Well I’ll tell you where it went. One extremely amazing, very active now 3 year old little boy!!! He’s a big part for sure. I’ve also been busy with a new business of my own, leaving my full time job with the State of Maryland, renovating and still trying to maintain my sanity!! Hats off to the SAHM’s and WAHM’s out there. You all are my heros and are the real MVP’s!!! As I sit here typing this my wild animal is climbing all over me.  Yes I’ve joined the ranks of all those who hide in the bathroom hoping to catch a moment of peace. And sometimes, even that doesn’t work! However, it was during those rare moments that I realized I was missing something. 

I have a wonderful husband, my health, amazing miracle baby, lovely step daughter, my goofy dog, incredible friends and family, a roof over my head, and a fun exciting new business. My life is complete! Or at least it should be. It took a little searching as to what exactly I was lacking. I mean, I’ve gone through a lot and I am no longer the person I was before Cancer. So I am still adjusting to that. Part of this adjustment requires that I share my story with others. Not to talk about myself. But to let others know they are not alone. Blogging was like journaling for me.  I could get my thoughts out to help myself.  Others could read it and hopefully find something in my rants to help them get through or relate.

And that was it. THIS is what I’ve been missing.  Blogging had been my release. The thing I needed to help quiet the mindless chatter that easily takes over. A way to share the positive and negative realities of my day to day.  So here I am. I’m back. And I have so so much to talk about! Stay tuned…

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Blood Work and Mammograms and MRI’s OH MY!!!!

“Time for your checkup, time for your checkup!” Ok so I’ve been watching way too much Doc McStuffins. Please forgive me. But seriously it’s that time of year when I am so lucky to not only get my semi annual blood work, but it’s also my annual mammo and Breast MRI time. I never really give any of this much thought as I’m always busy doing “mom” stuff these days. That is until the day of the screening. And then, I’m consumed with the screening itself and more importantly, waiting on the results. Luckily I have a fantastic doctor who phones me as soon as my results are in (for the MRI). But first up is the ever wonderful mammogram.

You see I had one a few months back but could only do one side due to my recent delivery and my desire to breast feed my child. In May I stopped breast feeding and pumping, going exclusively to formula. I was very lucky that the transition was easy on my baby. I struggled a bit but held on to the fact that I made it 4 1/2 months with only one milk-producing breast. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

I had to wait a few months for my hormones to normalize before I could have the mammo. Fast forward those few months and boy was I nervous as I sat in the little cubbyhole changing room waiting for the Radiologists to tell me the results. When I heard those words “all clean”, I sighed. Thank you thank you thank you! I knew the MRI was next up but I would sail into that screening on this positive note. (P.S. 3-D mammograms are now available at most imaging centers. If you are young or have dense breast tissue, I would recommend having this done. Unfortunately, there is a cost associated with this. Check with your center. The Breast Center at AAMC charges $50. I believe it is worth it to get a better image.)

My MRI was much like my mammo in the fact that I was totally fine until I walked into the MRI room. For this scan they hook up a little IV to you so they can run a dye through your bloodstream while taking the images. This contrast dye is suppose to attach itself to abnormal areas which “light up” on the imaging screen. Unlike the mammo, you have to wait until your doctor’s office contacts you with the results. So waiting is the name of the game.

As I said before, I’m lucky to have a doctor who calls me immediately with the results. “Everything looks great”! Music to my ears. Another sigh and more thank you’s!!

Last week was my semi-annual appointment with my oncologist. Before every appointment I go to the lab in the basement at the hospital to have my blood drawn. I had emailed her regarding my blood work and asked if she could add my Thyroid and B-12 to the list. I was a couple weeks overdue to have my thyroid checked as my endocrinologist let me stop taking the meds and told me to wait a few weeks then have it tested to see if I could stay off the medicine all together. Rather than getting stuck twice I wanted to see if I could have it all done there and the results sent to my other doctor. My days of being a human pincushion were long gone! As for my B-12, about 3 months ago I made the decision to stop eating meat, dairy and eggs. I really want to elaborate more on this but I want to do it in a post of its own as I have a lot to say on the topic. However the main concern I had was am I getting enough B-12 now that I don’t eat meat.

Results are in and my levels are all perfect! No more thyroid medication! The only thing that came back of concern is that I am Vitamin D deficient. So I have to take a weekly prescribed dose for the next 3 months and then continue with a daily over the counter dose. I also just need to continue my bi-weekly B-12 dose. I take Deva Nutritional sublingual tablets 2500 mcg. She also made it very clear that exercise is extremely important in keeping recurrence at bay.

I was struggling with exercise as I just couldn’t find the time. But I decided I needed to make the commitment to do it given the importance. I have so much to be thankful for and one amazingly handsome little fella to live for. And wouldn’t you know it, right after I made that commitment, my little boy began sleeping through the night. Now I get 8 hours of sleep and am well rested. I have time to get up, work out and get ready for work all before he gets up in the morning! I’ve also added some mediation in the evenings before I go to sleep. It’s been so helpful with clearing my thoughts and focus.

Life is good. I am beyond blessed. I have to stay focused on the positive. I believe that positivity is the key ingredient to a long happy future. Add in a healthy diet, exercise, rest, friends, family, hope and love and you’ve got yourself a recipe for success!!!

Link

About a month and a half ago I received a call from a young professional at Capital Style Magazine. Elisha Sauers informed me that she had come across my blog and found my story interesting and inspiring. She asked if I would be willing to do an interview with her for an article in the October issue of Capital Style. I quickly told her that I had done an interview with the Capital Newspaper last year around this time and didn’t want to beat a dead horse. She let me know that she was aware of the previous article. However she was interested in sharing the whole story much like my blog, and bringing it full story to our son. I agreed and we made the necessary arrangements and set up a time for the interview.

I was nervous and afraid because I don’t want to come across as someone searching for attention. I’ve never hunted out the media. After all, people have heard my story. And is anyone really listening anymore anyway??? Well, I guess they are. Which in a way makes me really happy. All I’ve ever wanted was to tell my story, reach people who may be going through the same situation or have a family member going through it, and make a difference in how they get through it. The fact that I might actually inspire someone was not a thought. But it turns out that’s what has happened and it is truly humbling.

Check out the link below to read the full article. I was very pleased with the outcome. Thank you to Elisha Sauers for thinking of me. I hope my story continues to reach people and help those who find themselves lost in either of the situations I’ve gone through.

http://www.capitalgazette.com/capital_style/ph-ac-capstyle-amber-blose-1019-20141019,0,319549.story?page=1

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That….

I think these words ring true for all new moms. I’ve been struggling with finding the balance of working full-time, building a real estate career part-time, being a friend, wife and mother. And sometimes I get to the end of the day and I couldn’t begin to tell you if I ate, let alone showered. Judging by the formula stains on my shirt, I’m gonna say I didn’t. And I damn sure haven’t had a moment to keep up with this blog!! I have so many things to share that have happened over the last few months too.

My sweet baby boy is truly amazing. And watching him grow and develop and learn new things is amazing. His personality is really starting to shine and we definitely have a little comedian on our hands! I think I’m finally starting to adjust and accept the fact that I am and will be a working mom. It’s just what has to be. But coming home at the end of my work day to the biggest smiles makes it all worth while.

I’ve had a follow up mammogram (which I’m still convinced a man invented that machine) and my results were great. Anne Arundel Medical Center has this new 3D Breast imaging which is great for women who have dense Breast tissue. It’s not, at this time, covered under insurance. So there is a $50 charge for the imaging. But it is suppose to give the doctors a much better picture of the Breast without adding much more radiation then a traditional mammo. I feel like this is something that needs to be addressed and will continue to look into it and find what needs to be done to get insurance to cover this imaging, if nothing else, at least for at risk and post diagnosis follow ups. Let the crusade begin!!!!!

It’s a short little catch up entry. But I’ve got to run. Baby is calling “ma ma ma ma” as I type this! Lol

Stay tuned!!! Exciting news coming on October 19th!!! Can’t wait to share!! Hopefully I will be back sooner!

Hello Third Trimester!!!!

It’s almost Thanksgiving and here I am once again with a long overdue update. I should start by saying back in July I transferred to a new position at work. This has brought on more responsibility and less time to attend to my blog. But life is going great and our pregnancy is coming along beautifully! I’m now 29 weeks 2 days along and everything has been progressing in a normal fashion. We’ve now established that my actual due date is February 8th however due to the nature of my previous csection, baby boy will be delivered on January 21st, putting me at 37 weeks 3 days. Which gives us about 8 weeks! Just can’t believe it!

The nursery is almost complete. The walls are painted and ready for my dear friend Sarah N. to come and put her special touch on them. Once that is finished Chris has lots of furniture to put together! We were blessed to receive many gifts from family and friends for our little guy, leaving us only a couple items to purchase ourselves. This was truly a relief. We are so grateful that our baby is loved by so many.

For now we just continue with our regular doctors appointments which are now every two weeks. I am still seeing the high risk doctor just on a less frequent basis. I actually have appointments with both of them tomorrow so I’m looking forward to seeing how he’s growing and developing.

On another note, I’m also looking forward to hosting Thanksgiving Dinner this week at our home for the first time! I think it is pretty appropriate since we have so much to be thankful for. I’m a little nervous as I know I have big shoes to try and fill to make everything as delicious as my Gran has always done. But I hope she can just sit back and relax this year.

Here’s to a Happy Thanksgiving for each and every one of you! Blessings to all!!

Only 2 Days Away!!!!!!

This Sunday October 20th, I will be participating in my first Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure since my diagnosis. I am very excited to be doing this as a survivor and joining so many others in this wonderful event. Please consider joining me or helping our team reach our goal by making a donation. Every little bit helps, no donation is too small. Use the link below to check out our team page Team Surviveber!

http://www.komenmd.org/2013/surviveber

Fertility and Breast Cancer Treatment. You Can Have Both!!!

This past Friday the Capital Newspaper here in Annapolis ran their Breast Cancer Awareness Edition. It featured many stories from different individuals of all walks of life. I was lucky enough to participate in an interview involving my experience with Egg Preservation prior to undergoing Chemotherapy. I was once again surprised when I picked up the paper and I was on the front page!!! It seems my voice is being heard and my message of hope will continue to spread far and wide as long as someone is there to listen. Follow this link to view the article. I just want to say a side note that I wish would have been mentioned in the article. I am not the norm. Most doctors recommend waiting at least 2 years after treatment to try to conceive. This is due to the chance of reoccurrence which is highest in those first couple years. Of course my doctor had those same wishes for me. But given the loss of Cameron prior to my diagnosis, and the fact that it happened naturally even after we took all the necessary precautions, she looked at me and said I’m taking this as a sign of good things to come for you. I just think it is important to give people hope that ANYTHING is possible. Cancer doesn’t mean game over always. This little baby I’m carrying is proof.

http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/special_section/egg-freezing-makes-makes-babies-possible-after-breast-cancer-treatment/article_3178c405-e62f-5f1e-a71b-e73ea3ee2718.html