Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I can say with complete and utter conviction that chemo therapy is a combat soldier marching through your body, destroying everything in its' path. It also destroys some good things such as bones and muscles.  Your heart is a muscle.  My heart was weakened back in 1996/1997 but it did not show until this year.  At least, that is what the doctors tell me.  
There are many different side effects of chemo therapy that effect different people, differently.  

Most people lose their hair, some not as much as others.  I am guessing it depends on your dosages.  I always said back then that they were giving me enough chemo medication to kill an elephant.
I lost every single hair on my body. Some areas happily, some not so happily like on my head.  
Some people choose different methods of hiding that.  Wigs, fancy scarfs, little caps and the brave just let their bald head show.  I chose to use a bandana - you know - like the ones that gang members wear to show their "colors".  I had to be careful about where I walked and what part of the city just in case I could get shot at - J/K. I thought it looked a little more youthful.
Those chemo combat soldiers also destroy most of your taste buds so everything tastes the same.  My diet consisted of mashed potatoes. french fries with ketchup, and the real Coca Cola with sugar.  I did not eat french fries as a regular thing before or after chemo and I always drank diet soda. I could not eat vegetables or salads. I did eat a lot of creamy things.  Instead of losing weight during chemo I gained. 
Actually, gaining weight gave me a feeling of wellness. 
My mom was very supportive during this process but could not understand the eating part.  She has always been focused on weight and was upset that I was gaining.  Going on a healthy diet during chemo?  PULEEEZE!
I do want to say here that everyone is different.  These are just my own personal reactions.  Also, chemo medications have improved since 1996/1997.
Stay tuned for Part 3.


Sue Anderson

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I always waited until right after the first of the year to schedule my routine medical check-ups and 1996 was no different.
I went to see my regular doctor and asked him for a script to get a routine mammogram at Chilton Memorial Hospital.
While there, I was told that something showed up on the mammogram but the advice of the doctors there was to return in 6 months to see if anything had changed.
My regular doctor was not hearing that and sent me, quickly, to another doctor who actually did an ultra-sound. Then from there I was sent to a lab that actually did another ultra-sound and a needle biopsy. I was sent home and told to call the next day.
So right around my 50th birthday on January 14, 1996, I was told that it was cancer and that I should make an appointment immediately with a breast surgeon, which I did. His advice was a lumpectomy. All of this happened within a week.
A few days after surgery the report came back that in 15 lymph nodes that were removed from under my left arm, there was a microscopic spec of cancer and I was sent to an Oncologist.
Boy, was I angry! God was in my life but I had not grown to trust Him as I should. I was advised to have chemo-therapy and then radiation which took about one year in total. I did this kicking and screaming the entire time. I am thinking that my anger might have gotten me through all the sickness and depression.

I purchased this bracelet from Laura of ShadowCutter on October 27, 2010 and aside from the cards I made for my shop it has been my only physical symbol until NOW.
BELOW is the beautiful jewelry holder purchased by my wonderful friend Jennifer/Aloquin from Jennifer/ElegantQuirk.  What a sweet surprise.  I love you all.

Part 2 next week.