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I have hesitated to share this with everyone for some time, but decided to share today. On March 10th of this year I was diagnosed with Stage 3a Invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) ER& PR Positive Grade 2 breast cancer on my right breast, I have two tumors that combined are 7 cm with one lymph node at 2.5 cm. I have been going every year since I was 40 to get my mammogram last year my mammogram was clear and one year later they found the mass and the biopsy confirmed it. I am not one to do my month self exam so ladies please make sure you do your monthly exams and yearly mammograms. 
After talking with my surgeon and oncologist we have mapped out a treatment plan which started at the end of March. I had a PET/CT scan to determine if the cancer had spread to other parts of my body, which it has not. I will have two different rounds of chemo each lasting 3 months; the first round is Taxol which I receive every week for 12 treatments. My second round will be Adriamycin and Cytoxan this will be give every three weeks for 4 treatments. I should be starting that in late June. I had a port catheter placed in my chest for the chemo and on March 31st started the first round of chemo and as of today I am mid way through my first round of treatments. So far the side effects have been mild other than the insomnia (steroid), fatigue and some nausea it has been an interesting ride. I have been able to work through this which I thank God for every morning and on bad days I just take a little rest and meditate. When chemo is done I will have a mastectomy along with radiation. 
This diagnosis at first scared the hell out of me, you go in one day for a biopsy thinking it is nothing to hearing the words you have breast cancer here are the names of the surgeon you need to see and then a couple of weeks of doctor visits, test, surgery for port placement. I was unable to sleep for 2 solid weeks out of fear of the unknown, but by the grace of God, my family, co-workers and friends I made it through the darkness with a better understand of my strength. After see my cardiologist to clear me for my chemo I hugged him when he gave the green light I was so happy to start chemo because then I had a mission. I look at this as just another journey that life has made me take it will be hard sometimes, joyful others and painful, but it is now my new normal. They say that attitude is the key to fight and even in the darkest hours you have to believe that the light is stronger than the fear, smile and chat I will win, I will overcome the fear and I believe. Laugh, cry, dance, sing and write, live your truth and make no apologies if you have to tell someone to screw off, because in the end you matter more than the cancer trying to get you. Every day is a precious moment just sitting outside with my sister while camping is the best thing ever, because in that moment I can sit listening to nature sing to me and know that I am ok and I will survive this. 
If you have someone in your life fighting like the champion they are let them know that they are in my prayers and Keep Calm and Kick Cancers Ass.

And A Child Shall Lead Them

Today is Election Day a time to make your voice heard a privilege we Americans sometimes take for granted. This is a privilege many people have died for to insure that generations are allowed the same freedom our fore fathers granted us. As a child my earliest memories of Election Day was going with my mom before school to vote the voting precinct was located at my elementary school. We would go behind the curtain as she explained to me what a privilege it was to pull the lever to make your voice heard. My father was the news junkie he is the one to teach me about politics we would argue as I got older about certain issues, but he also taught me that everyone has an opinion though you may not agree with that opinion you must respect that person’s right to have it and though the canidate you voted for is not elected you must respect the office and whom every is elected to it. He said it did not mean you could not bitch about it, but you must understand that the majority has spoken he is the commander in chief and you have the opportunity to vote again to change the person. These are the lessons I taught my son when every year until he was around nine years old I would take him with me to vote to show him democracy in action. I was a moderate Democrat when he was about five years old and Bob Dole was running for President, my son got up on a stump in the front yard to announce that I needed to vote for Bob Dole because he was going to make sure that people who made swing sets where going to get more work. It was in that moment I knew that I had gave birth to a Republican but also that I was raising a free thinking citizen. I bought him his first book about the Constitution when he was around nine and to this day at the age of Twenty-one he carries a pocket Constitution with him. Though his political views have changed his love of freedoms we as Americans possess is still important as is his cynicism. So whatever your political leans are please make sure that you exercise your right to vote but also remember that weather you agree or disagree with the way the Election turns out that it is far better than other countries that do not have this right. That in order to move this country forward that we must stop the insults and find the common ground and come together as a nation to show the world what a unified country can do. That everyone has an opinion and voice it does not give anyone the right to place labels on those people that one opinion is no greater than the other.

Here is a picture of my great nephew who went with his mother to vote, and a child shall lead them.

Travel Fairy

My nephew graduated from High School in May and his 18th birthday was in August right before he started college.  For his Graduation I had to buy him Dr. Seuss’s “Oh, The Place You Will Go” for every occasion he gets a personal piece of short bus art from me, we call it short bus because I am forever making small mistakes which is my signature so they say.  For his birthday I decided to try my hand at another paper clay creature as usual I had no idea what it was going to be until it told me what it was  inspire to be.  Once it was finished I decided it was a travel fairy for he was traveling from childhood to adulthood and the creation could be his companion.  The concept came when I started to make the glasses out of beer caps from Germany (Brau Haus, my hubby lived in Germany in the late 80’s and made beer.  He had a lot left over), the hat reminds me of the hat Van Gogh wore in his self-portrait, the dress is made from scrapbook paper with French chapels, and the arms came from a local resale shop.   My hubby said the arms come up from the base are her friends trying to pull her back down and the saying sums up my nephew, Dream Big, Laugh Hard. I am in love with learning to sculpt the faces; it is relaxing to sit listening to music while my fingers create a new being.  I decided to play with the photo and decided that she needed to travel so here you go. 


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