Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It was a nice surprise!

Today, I spent all day at the hospital preparing for Monday surgery, YES I am going back to the operating room and this time to take out both ovaries and the uterus.

WHY?:
because if I do not do it I have got a large risk of cancer coming back
because Tamoxifen is not the drug for me and is doing more harm than good
because I need to be in menopause in order to replace Tamoxifen for another drug
because I need to be in medical menopause so I can get rid of my large level of estrogen
and because I do not need my ovaries or my Uterus but I do need to see my son growing.

Yesterday and today have been hard days getting used to the idea that a large surgery has to be done. But I received the great surprise from Fiona in the UK and Chris that the video of the 60 miles walk (100 Km) from September for Susan G Komen to raise funds for Breast cancer from our group was ready.

This walk was and will be one of the best experience of my life, these are the friends who have been unconditionally on my side and I know will be with me all the way through. Amazing ladies and amazing people with huge hearts and a great sense of humor. Receiving this video so cheer me up today it was a nice surprise for a bad day, it reminded me that we will be together through this and I do feel sooooooo much better!

Enjoy this video, It is great!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MVoamPDlOk4

Sunday, November 11, 2012

When you think you have finished!

October 29th was my last Herceptin, I thought that day was never going to arrive as I had been on it for a year but it did and I was the happier person on earth. I thought my life was going to be kind of back to normal with minimal doctor's visit but was I wrong!!. Since October 29th I think I have been on a doctors office almost every day, want to give the details as my case seems to be a rare one and might help other people.

First my hip had still being bothering me since the long walk, and I have been trying running for the past month with some discomfort. Dr Chen asked me how it was and when I told her it was still bothering me she told me that she wanted to do a full body nuclear bone scan, which I did last week and the results were ok. That was a relief but I was soooooo stress about this test and the results!.

The day after Herceptin Dr Chen called me and she said that the final blood work had arrived and my estrogen levels were really high and she wanted to repeat the blood test, first to check if I was pregnant and second to make sure the lab had not mistaken them. It could have been comical being pregnant now when I could not afford to be at all!. Went back on Wednesday and she called me on Thursday saying that I was not pregnant (we knew that....) and that levels were the same and she was really concerned, she wanted me to see an Endocrinologist the following day and she had already spoken to him and he was waiting for my call. I went to see him on Friday morning and he said that the norm is that when you are on Tamoxifen the estrogen are normally not measure as they are normally high, however they had never seen the levels of estrogen that I have (he had checked with several other endocrinologist). When you have your period the levels of estrogen are normally around 50, when you ovulate around 300 and if you are pregnant they might go a bit higher. Well mine are at 1,400 and they cannot say if that high levels are from Tamoxifen or for another reason.

Now to know what other reason could affect estrogen levels you need to have more test. First a full hormonal blood test which come up ok except the estrogen. Then I had a full ultrasound of ovaries, kidneys, liver, glands....and they saw I have got a large cyst of 5 cm on my left ovary and another large follicle or cyst on my right ovary. They are cysts and not mass or tumor so they are 100% ok is not cancer and it is quiet likely that the high levels of estrogen are producing them so now I have to see my Ob/Gyn this week to see if they will take out that cyst or they will just monitor it.

Then after the ultrasound I had several conversations with Dr Chen about how to approach this. Both her and the Endocrinologist had spoken to several other doctors, had even consulted with Stanford and NONE has got any medical records of what will happen to a women's body with that levels of estrogen. They can see there is nothing wrong with me that will make that levels of estrogen and they need to found out why they are that high. She is very confident that even at high levels Tamoxifen is protecting me, however they are concerned any other harm that it could make to my body. SO I have stop taking tamoxifen yesterday for 4 weeks, after that they will test me again and see if the levels of estrogen are high or not, that way they want to see if it is Tamoxifen that is reacting on my body or if it is my body just generating that level of estrogen. After that test we will have to make some decisions but Dr Chen has already told that I might have to consider to take my ovaries out, I guess we will cross that line when it comes..

So mentally I am a bit of stress as for the past 18 months I have been talking some type of drug to prevent my cancer of coming back. Now I am taking NOTHING and the thought of it makes me very nervous!!. If anyone has had any issues with estrogen levels, similar to me please E-mail me...

Monday, September 10, 2012

San Francisco 3 day walk

WE DID IT!!!!,

We walked 60 miles (100 km) over 3 days, we laughed like we have never laughed before, we cried of emotion, we cried of exhaustion and we all had the time of our lives. My friend Fiona come all the way from the UK to do the walk with us and she was in town ready to have the walk of her life in flip-flops!.

We met at Corte Madera hotel on Thursday evening, many of us (I include myself here) did not sleep at all, too much excitement and too many things on your head: will I make it?, where are we going?, is it going to be too much for me?. We were all up at 4:15 am and ready at the lobby of the hotel at 5 am, took the bus and at 6 am we were ready at the main camp for opening ceremony. The opening was emotional but encourage, people who have lost the battle were specially remember and people who have gone through diagnosed and treatment as well. We started the walk at around 7 am, we went through Corte Madera, Tiburon, Sausalito and stop at the bottom of Golden gate for lunch. We cross the Golden Gate after lunch and then walk down to the marina, Crissy field and Fisherman wharf. It was a total of 19 miles and we made it back at around 3:30 pm, we stop a few times at different pit stops and we took time for lunch...the idea was to take it easy. We took the ferry to Treasure island where we had to walk another 1.5 miles to camp, we picked up our bags and tent and under cold, windy weather we started setting up our tents for the night. At that point I was a bit worried that it was going to be a long night!!. We ate like if we had never eaten before, we visit all the tents at camp and we were in bed at 8:30 pm!. I think I was sleeping by 9 pm and slept on and off all night, I was so exhausted of not sleeping the night before!.

Second day, we took the bus to Berkeley where we walked another 20 miles around the city. The walk was tough as it had lots of hills and it was all around the city so it was not as impressive as the Friday walk views. We took almost 2 hours for lunch as some people needed assistant with muscle pain, we ate a sandwich and the ones who had blisters took care of it with the medical staff. We made it back to camp by bus at around 5:30 pm, we were emotional, exhausted and we just wanted to lay down and sleep. We had dinner and we decided to make it to Hotel without spending any more minute at camp. The idea was always to have one night at camp in tent and one night at hotel. We arrived at the Hilton at 8 pm, only two rooms were ready so in return they delivered three bottles of wine, cheese and fruit to one of the rooms. We had a great time after a quick shower, we laughed while having a well deserved glass of wine. We were in bed by 10 pm

We slept like angels on Saturday night and we were ready at 7 am at the hotel lobby to walk our last day of the 60 miles. We arrived at the start point at 7:30 am and started the walk, we cross Crissy fields, up one side of the Golden Gate to go all the way to Lands End, one of the most beautiful walks I have ever done in my life. We then had lunch at the other side of lands end and crossed Golden Gate park all the way to San Francisco. Part of the walk was like a hike, it was hard but we had such a great spirit that we all did it really well. It was really emotional to arrive to the end!!.

Things that I can highlight from the weekend, first of all it was to spend quality time with the girls, it was a time that we will remember for a long time!. along the walk you see things that do make you very emotional: a woman who had just finished treatment was walking with her daughter, an 80 year old couple were holding a big sign at the side of the road waiting to cheer their daughters that said : " thank you for walking, 42 years survivor". To see our families cheering us up each day, to see our Spanish group making a big banner for us and waited to cheer us up on Sunday morning, it was really emotional.

Then you have the closing ceremony, where people are exhausted and emotional but every single person has got a huge smile on their face. People who have lost the battle were remembered, I did cry for my grandma who did not have the opportunity like me to fight breast cancer. People who are going through treatment were remembered and I thought about all my oncuchangas who are currently going through treatment like Mila and Rebe and they are almost at the end of it. I cried and danced at the same time, I was honored to be there with such an amazing group of friends supporting me through the way.

This year walk had 950 walkers, 400 less than last year, as the bad press of Susan G Komen this year really affected it. But the event still collected $2.4M net!!. I am not very keen on some of the things that Susan G Komen does but I also have to admit that they are one of the associations that can make a difference on the fight against breast cancer and I will always support them for that.





Monday, August 20, 2012

I wish......

I do not wish any bad things to people but I am starting to have real hate feelings to the person or people who stole my identity last September.

Last week I found out that AT&T did open an account to that person last year and the account has a balance of $800 that has not been paid. Of course AT&T is after me now but my question is.....why AT&T opened an account to someone else in Miami in the first place and they never notify me?.  Why after having a home AT&T account for almost 7 years and paid always on time, AT&T never checked with me why the other account was never paid?. I am so furious....

Today I decided that it is time to have a professional involve in the case and have decided to engage a lawyer to help me, I am now too scared and worried that there are others things out there that are still going to come my way.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Update on Lymphedema

Want to put some update about it as I know some of you who read me are concerned about this as well. I was called in July from the hospital for physical therapy of the arm but I cancelled it as I considered that my arm was back to normal after doing some exercises. However the therapist called me back from the hospital saying she still wanted to see me as once you have had lymphedema, even if you control it, the probabilities of coming back are large.

When I saw her first she measure my arms and told me both were the same size so no swelling, she also notice some congestion on my elbow and that is the area that was really painful when I come back form Spain, I was impressed she pointed out without me saying it. So I have gone twice to the hospital and I am there only 30 minutes for an arm massage that puts me to sleep! I hate massage as they hurt (at least on me) but this is so gentle that is really relaxing. I will be doing 6 treatments only, twice a week.

She gave me some instructions of what to do about this so I am writing them here as some of them are common sense and some are a bit over the top in my opinion:

  • Avoid wearing jewelry on the affected limb - I am not taking my wedding rings off....
  • Avoid wearing tight clothing, specially with elastic bands at the end of sleeves
  • Always wear a thimble when sewing - do not do sewing...
  • Discuss sporting activities with your physician
  • Avoid intense activities when possible, if unavoidable, spread intense activities over several days (house cleaning) -  taking this one on....no more house cleaning!
  • Always wear gloves when gardening, avoiding prickly/thorny plants. do not do gardening.
  • Avoid contacts with pets, especially their claws - Never, my dogs are my family
  • Avoid activities that have a high risk of causing cuts or scratches
  • Always use an over glove or pot holder when handling food on the stove top
  • Avoid exposure of the affected limb to the sun. Always apply sun block to the limb, even if covered by clothing.
  • Never use a hot tub or Sauna - Really?
  • Inform health care to never perform injections or blood pressure on the affected limb. Must wear my medical alert bracelet!!
  • Always wear your compression garment when traveling by airplane even if you do not have swelling. I failed on this one that is why I am here now
  • Keep the skin clean and moisturize
  • Use bug repellants to avoid insect bites - I got a bite the other day and I got a large lump on my arm that took a few days to go down.
  • Do not cut the cuticles of your nails when having a manicure
  • Seek medical attention if you have fever or the area becomes: red, swollen, warm or painful




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Results

I think I am getting better with coping with test and waiting for results but it is still super stressful to have that type of tests and even more stressful to wait for the results. I just hope that I will get better with time, just hope........

As you might remember I had a CT scan done in November of my liver as follow up of the MRI I had in July last year. The MRI had showed two cysts in my liver but the PET scan had rule out they were cancer. In November they confirmed that both cysts were categorised as Hemangiomas, meaning no cancer but they suggested a follow up 6 months later to make sure that was the case. So on my last Herceptin treatment Dr Chen said she wanted to do another CT scan of the liver and the regular MUGA scan of my heart to make sure my heart is not affected by Herceptin.

The hospital called me two days later to set up the appointment, I was doubting to do both scans at the same time or split them in two days but she was really good on setting them up one after another and she kind of convinced me to go ahead and just do both the same day. The problem was when she said I had to go to the hospital earlier than the scan to pick up the bottles to drink before the scan, I was horrified, my last CT scan was just contract through an IV and not drinking but this one was drinking and IV so I freak out. I asked why I was having a different scan than last time and she said I had to speak to my doctor but she had requested a full abdomen and pelvis scan, of course my mind started wondering why she is requesting a bigger scan if there is no reason to do it....When I finished talking to the hospital I called my doctor office as a paranoid woman that I am in this cases to ask why they were doing a much bigger scan, they just said that they thought that was what they had done last time so they kind of told me to calm down and get along with it.

I did both scans last Friday, for the CT scan you have to drink lots of horrible who knows what....first bottle has to be taken 4 hours before, another one 1 hour before and the last one while I was there. They put an IV where injected the dye that makes you so hot that the hot flashes from Tamoxifen are nothing compare to it. The CT scan is finished really fast, you are in and out in 5 minutes.

After the CT scan I had the MUGA scan that takes about an hour as they take blood out, they mix it with some radioactive thing they let it stay for half an hour, they inject it back to you and they put you in the scan. The scan last around 25 min and it is a bit of a pain as they connect you to all this sensors to your heart and the only thing you can hear around you are beeps. Also the screen on the top comes really close to you and it is much more claustrophobic than the CT scan. The technician told me that the results were really similar to last scan so meaning they were good.

I have to say that I love my Dr as she calls me as soon as she sees the result which is normally 24 to 48 hours later. She did called me on Tuesday and told me that the scan was all clear in all the areas, that I still have got the same cysts in the liver that have not changed and that they are categorizing it as non cancer. She told me that she will not do another CT scan on me but probably do annual ultrasound of my liver. She had not received the results from the MUGA but told her that I was ok to wait until Monday on my Herceptin treatment to get it as the technician had already told me it was fine.

I had my year check up with the breast surgeon today and everything was great!, another milestone to celebrate, have got only 6 sessions of Herceptin to go, a surgery and that is it!!. I still see every doctor every 3 months but I prefer to do that than non seeing them at all, call it peace of mind that everything is ok.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lymphedema

What is Lymphedema?, if you google it several web sites will tell you the following: Lymphedema is a swelling due to blockage of the lymph vessels that drain fluid from tissues throughout the body and allow immune cells to travel where they are needed.

When you have had some of your lymph nodes removed under your arm pit during your breast cancer treatment then you have the risk of developing lymphedema on your arm. For the rest of your life your arm will not be able to take any pressure, dramatic change of temperatures.... For example I can not have the blood pressure measure on my left arm, or I can not have blood taken from the left arm. At the beginning I did worry about it a bit but lately I complete forgot about my arm and the possibility that lymphedema could affect it until I come back from Spain.

When I come back from Spain my lower arm starting hurting a lot, I was not sure if it was bone or muscle pain but my elbow and lower arm specially in the evening I could not even touch it. Of course your mind goes wild and you think something related to cancer is happening to you....So last week I saw my Oncologist before Hercepting treatment and she looked at my arms and pointed out that the left was swollen and it was probably due to Lymphedema. She was really upset with herself as she said she should have prescribed me a lymphedema sleeve to travel on a long hall flight to avoid any swelling but she did forget. She sent me to a clinic to be measure and get a lymhedema sleeve that I have to wear at least to sleep and more if I can and then she sent me to do physical therapy to learn what exercises to do and how to massage the area to help manual drainage of the fluid.

I pick up the sleeve yesterday and I am waiting for the Hospital to call me for physical therapy which they told me will be next week probably. I will give you more details of what they tell me on therapy in the coming weeks.

Monday, June 25, 2012

One year later

Today is one year since I first visited my OB for checkup of the lump in my breast, and today one year later I am here sitting at the chemo room at the Oncologist clinic for my every 3 week Herceptin treatment. Oh my God, so much has happened in one year!.

This weekend was the Relay for Life in Sunnyvale organized by the American Cancer Society and Olvido our captain did a fantastic job and despite that it was a small event we all had a great time!. Over the weekend and during the San Juan fiesta at Neus's house we remembered how last year at the same party I was really worried about my Monday visit to the doctor. I do not think any of us, included myself thought that visit was going to change me so much!.

What has happened to me during the last 12 months?, I have got a long list of activities that have kept me really busy: I have had a mayor surgery to remove my breasts, a small surgery for the chemo port, 2 MRI, 5 Muga scans, 1 PET scan, 1 CT scan, 1 biopsy, 4 AC chemo treatments, 4 Taxol chemo treatments, 28 sessions of radiation, 12 Herceptin treatments and an amazing total of over 50 doctor's appointments. I have got my last surgery set up for some time in December to do final breast reconstruction and hopefully take my chemo port out as well. And I have got no doubts that the list will grow on the coming years as I am watched very careful to make sure no sign of disease is anywhere near my body.

However that long list was much easier to do than expected because I have a huge support system that was with me all the way through:
  • My dear husband who has been next to me all the way through. He is the one who has seen me on the real bad days, days that I could not move from bed or days that I could not sleep because I was waiting for a test results. He has never complained and he has never made an excuse, he just held my hand through the process and I love him so much for being the nicest person ever. One of my oncologist nurses Mary is in love with him and she reminds me every time I go to the chemo room that she has never seen any husband being so supportive and always being there with me.
  • My beautiful son for being so dawn cute and for making me laugh every time I did not have the strenght to do it. Everytime I was down I just needed to look at him and I could just carry on.
  • My parents being able to spend as much as they did with us in the US, it made things so much easier!
  • My spanish family and friends who were all so far away but so close at the same time. I know how hard it was for my sister not being able to be with me during the process. I also realized during my last visit to Spain how much my cancer has affected some of my closest friends in Spain.
  • My Spanish friends in the US who have unconditionally being there for me and as Gema said my situation has made us being even much closer than before. The amount of lunches, dinners, parties and any other event that they did organize for me it was amazing!.
  • Fiona and Lorraine, My english and Irish support who have been the only ones that managed to get Alberto to agree to let them come to the Hospital or to the chemo room with me. I am so thankful for everything they did for me!. Fiona managed to fly from the UK almost every month to see me, she has always being next to me on all the important events in my life: wedding, when Ethan was born and this. Lorraine in my mind was like my sister, she check on me every day, she cook for me almost every weekend and she told me off when I did not want to do something...
  • Joan and her amazing treatment days that make me relax and help me recover so much faster.
  • Cheryl, Ainara and Eva who had been diagnosed with breast cancer before me and help me soooo much answering all my questions and help me as I went through the process. I called Cheryl the day I was told I had breast cancer and she told me: " you are much stronger than what you think, you can do it and you will come up much stronger and being much better person", this sentence has been in my head for 12 months.
  • Saint Chris moms group who gave me so many amazing and thoughtful presents and that have always being checking on me to make sure I was ok.
  • Many other friends who have been so supportive and helpful and have prayed so much for me!.
  • And of course my amazing group of doctors who made the process so much easier!.
During the past year I was fortunate to live close the life of people who were fighting for their lives or their childrens lifes and I got moved by the strenght that some people do have, I have always said that these people deserved all the respect of the world as they are the best of the best you can find.
I was really lucky to be able to share my story and process with people who were new diagnosed and help answer all the questions they had, it was nice to be able to help people through that horrible process.
I was also really happy to watch the creation of a group in Spain called "pelones peleones" and amazing group who helps so many people affected my cancer every day. This group is determinated to change some of the Spanish rules about some medical processes and they are making real big noises, it is a pleasure to see their progress!.
My "Oncochungas" is a group of cancer patiences in Spain, mainly breast cancer, we have got really close through Internet and we support each other on any question about the treatment or just support each other when one of us is having a bad day.
I was also really lucky to meet the group Latinas Contra Cancer and was amazed about the work they do to support all that people who have been diagnosed with cancer but they are not that afotunate to have a good supporting group around them. I am looking forward to work with them in the coming years and to hopefully being able to get more people to support them.
I was able to reconnect with family that I have not spoken in years. It was amazing to also connect with University friends who have been following my case very closely.

Last year was difficult but I have learned so much about me and the people who is around me. I am just happy to be here and given the chance to fight for my life, as some of my oncuchangas will say some people are not given that opportunity and I am just grateful to have it.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Breathing

I wanted to share this with all of you as it could be very beneficial for some, specially the ones that have got high levels of anxiety and if you are like me since I finish the main cancer treatment that levels have been higher than I would like.

Around 8 or 9 years ago I had real issues while I was in the UK with dizziness, my friend Fiona will remember that after having lunch with me one day at work I almost passed out at the office and an ambulance had to take me to ER. The dizziness got worse and I thought there was something really wrong with me, I think I visited every doctor I could imagine in London and what I found out was that I was really healthy and the dizziness was just stress related and tension on the neck what was producing what they called neck vertigo. Well, eventually they went away with massage, yoga and some exercise but I was not sure if I was happy with the logic of why they did come.

Years passed by and after having several miscarriages they started coming again from time to time to the point that it make me go and see a doctor to talk about it. I found this wonderful doctor in San Jose who as soon as I told her what was happening she said....:"girl, your problem is that you do not breath properly", I thought she was joking but she gave me a really good medical explanation why I was dizzy. She make me lay down, gave me two books and ask me to set one in my stomach and the other in my chest and she said: " OK breath normally and lets see which one moves", it was clear that I breath with my chest. Chest breathing is associated with short,fast breathing that eventually and after some time auto ventilate you and that makes the mix in your body between oxygen and carbon dioxide to unbalance and come produce things like dizziness because there is no enough oxygen going to your head. When you are stress and you are used to breath short and fast the effect could be even extreme and could cause really bad dizziness.

She told me that it was really easy to correct even if it takes time but with exercises it will get corrected. She told me that I have to educate myself to breath with my belly again and I should start by consciously lay down twice a day and practise the slow breathing with the yellow pages book. Then every time I will remember to do conscious belly breathing and eventually my body will just do it. I have to say that it was really effective and if I ever get dizzy again (and I get eventually) I do more conscious breathing and it gets corrected.

So I become a walking breathing, I will breath while stopped at a traffic light. I will breath with my belly when watching TV or when I was at a stressful meeting and I could feel a bit dizzy. You should try it as it is really effective!.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mothers day walk

Happy mothers day to all my dear friends accross the world.

Yesterday was a very special day for me for several reasons. First it was nice to be able to spend mothers day with all the people that I care and care about me and second is even an honor to be able to do the annual walk of Latinas contra Cancer with all of them.

The expectation was that around 300 people will make the walk that started at 9 am, however San Jose City Hall had people waiting in line to be registered from 7:30 am. At the end more than 500 people did the walk that started with a big banner that was carried by all the kids from 2culturas (our Spanish moms group). It was a really nice 2 miles walk even if we had two accidents on the process, two people fall over when walking on some kind of holes on the road in middle San Jose, I hope they are doing good.

We made it to Mexican heritage plaza on time for the Mariachi music and entert to start, the plaza was full and it was a really nice atmosphere. Wwe had brunch while the music was playing and then they asked the survivors to come to the stage and after holding hands they asked for everyone who has lost anyone to cancer to join the circle and after everyone who knows of someone who had cancer, of course the full plaza was in a circle. It was very emotional and it was at that point when I lost it and started crying, it was a mix of feelings between happy to be supported by so many people and mad that there were so many people who are affected with cancer. It meant a lot to me to have all my friends with me there, I know some of them do normally have special activities for mothers day but they still make it to the walk and that meant a lot to me.

Leaving you here with my group of 2culturas photo, some people are missing from the photo but it is the mayority of the group who was there. Love each one of them!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Having so much fun!

The past month I have been super busy but I am having so much fun that I really do not mind even if there are times that I feel really tired and promise Alberto that I am going to slow down.

First work is being really busy, NVIDIA is one of these companies that keeps surprises for you almost every day, there is always a fire drill, an emergency or something to be done that you have to drop everything and focus on but I really like that place and I love the people I work with so should not complain. Have had a hard time keeping my hours to 30 a week but more or less getting there and making sure that I am leaving that free hours for me. Many weeks I end up taking Friday offs as it is impossible during the week to take any time off but I more or less ok with the schedules as far as I can plan them with advance.

Then I have taken really serious the training and we have been walking around 20 to 25 miles (35-40 Km) a week. We are becoming experts on getting up on Saturday before 6 am and walk for almost 4 hours every weekend, and the most important one is that we are almost 8 of us every weekend!. Slowly we are increasing the miles and we are close to doing 15 miles in one walk!. Also I have started running training as I promised Alberto that I will do it, when I started I could not run more than one minute without dying, now I can run for 15 min at slow pace but I can do it!!. Yes for me!!!.

I have also been super busy helping Latinas Contra Cancer promoting their annual walk that happens this Sunday. It has been so much fun!, I was interview by Telemundo for their daily news and for a program called Enfoque that was air yesterday morning. I was soooooo happy how the interview turn up on TV yesterday that it looks like I have been doing that all my life!. I was really happy to hear that today the phone did not stop at Latinas Contra Cancer offices about the walk, it is a great result of all the work promoting the event. Yesterday also a nice article come at the local Newspaper about the walk and here you have the link to see the article that is in Spanish.

http://www.elmensajero.com/Caminata_contra_el_cancer

Also, I received a call from a friend from Spain and they have asked me to do an interview this week fo Diario de Navarra which I am super happy to do as I know is going to make my parents really proud. On Thursday I have got another interview by Celina Rodriguez who has got a very well known Radio program but they are coming to film and it is for a TV channel so I am not sure yet if the interview is for Radio or TV...What am I going to be doing after the walk?, I need to invent something to talk about!


I will tell you all about Sunday walk next week.

Monday, April 30, 2012

One of these moments

Last year after the shock of receiving the news of cancer I made a list of activities in my son's life that I have to be present at in the future and I must do everything in my power to make sure I am healthy for all these years to come and be able to see each one of them.

Some of these activities were first time riding a bike, first book read, soccer games, first school graduation, communion, first girlfriend, college years, wedding, his children.......

This weekend we did the first one and I was so proud of him and it was magical to see how happy he was with his own achievement. Attach is a proof of one of the videos I did.

video


When he went to bed, he said to me...."mommy, I am a big boy now" and I said "yes you are" and then he said " mommy, I love you", Ahhhhhh!. This is one of many more important milestones in his life, and I am delighted to be present.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Support me on Latinas Contra Cancer

As my friend Marcela will say I have got a mission in my life, it has taken me a few months to find two good ones but now I will be focusing on both of them:

1 - Susan G Komen or AVON as national support, these two organizations are the only ones who have got the power to make a difference on the fight against breast cancer so I will always support both or one of them every year. We have raised so far close to $40,000 for Susan G Komen, amazing!!!, thanks very much to everyone who has donated to the team.

2 - A local organization where I can make real impact to real people and that organization is Latinas Contra Cancer. I am really involved helping on their annual walk and I hope to raise some money for them.

To all my international friends you can help supporting this group by clicking on this link and register as "pledge" only and donate as little or as much as you can. Please indicate you are donating for my name.

http://www.cvent.com/events/2012-9th-annual-mother-s-day-walk-against-cancer/event-summary-141c0848cff6401a8e38e777bd62635d.aspx

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nervous break down for a few days

People who have had cancer will never be the same and will always have a cloud over them and wondering what is going to happen next. I think everyone I have spoken to who have had cancer a long time ago says that it gets better with time but that time has not arrived to me yet...

Last week I noticed that I had a brownish discharge and called my OB for check up. I have not gone to my OB office since last year breast cancer diagnosed so I had a level of anxiety going back to her office. She did the annual check up and after explaining to her what I had noticed she said that it was better to do a biopsy of the uterus as Tamoxifen could produce uterus cancer and one of the signs are bleeding. I almost fall over when she said she was going to do a biopsy there and then, it was like last year was coming back to me and I was getting upset by the minute. The biopsy was quick and almost painless and she did explain that she did not think it was cancer for several reasons but it was better to be checked. When she left the room I literally started crying like a child, I felt I was on square one again waiting for a result of a biopsy that could change my life even more. Alberto got upset with me as I told him not to come with me and when I arrived home and saw how upset I was he wished he had been with me there.

This was Friday afternoon and of course it was waiting time...I told her to send a copy of the pathology report to Dr Chen my Oncologist as I can get hold of her easier and quicker for results. I knew that if they did not call me on Monday or Tuesday the latest I would be OK as here they call you as soon as there are bad news, they are really fast on that!, today I could not wait any more so called them and the nurse called me back confirming that the biopsy come back negative to cancer and the pap smear was normal. OH MY GOD!!, what a relief!, I have been so stress and sleeping so bad for the past few days, now I can relax and wait for the next test I guess.....I just hope that it does get better with time!

Indentity theft - Here we are again

For everyone who follows my block will remember that my identity was stolen last year after I started my chemo treatment. For my European friends who might not know how identity is stolen is simple to explain, in the US if someone gets hold of your social security number, your date of birth and your name you are in big trouble!. With that information and Internet they can try to open credit cards, bank accounts, phone accounts and everything you can imagine. How can they do it when using a different address?, well really easy they ask for credit limits of $500 and most of financial institutions out there do not move a finger for security checks on checks for $500 so there are no any serious reviews if the request is genuine.

Last summer I went through hell to protect myself and my family, we changed bank accounts, we put theft alerts on all the 3 national bureau, I reported to the police, to the federal trade commission and who knws what else I did. We contracted a credit insurance which is a service that monitors any company that will ask for a credit report from you, in the US if you want to buy a phone and open an account with AT&T the first thing they do is check your credit report to see if you are a good customer to have. Every time anyone asks for any credit report about anyone in our family we receive an E-mail inmediatly. I so thought I had taken care of everything! but how wrong I was!!.

This weekend my tax person was filling electronically our tax return with the IRS (Inland revenue service or Hacienda in Spain) but it got rejected becuase SOMEONE has already filled a tax return with my social security number. WHAT!!!, You can not imagine how upset I got, not sure who that person might be but hell I will not answer to any logic reaction if in front of me. So....now my social security number is still out there and being used so I am now in bigger trouble to have more legal expousure myself.

Why somone will fill a tax return with someone else social?, two reasons I could think of, to claim a refund from the IRS or someone who is living ilegally in the US and is building their history for work purposes. So here we are again, this week I called the police and updated my report, put new alerts everywhere, called the Federal trade commission, talk to the IRS. Now I have to send a full repor to the IRS prooving who I am in case that person is claiming refund that the IRS does not go after me for the money. I also called the social security office to see if I should change my social, however they believe changing social will not solve any problems to me as my old one will still be in the market.

Now the question is.....what else are they going to do with my social???, if they have got the guts to send a tax return to the IRS I am really conccrned what else they will do.....

And yes I still believe this is a leak from the medical routes, someone has sold my data to someone but of course I will never find out who it got out there so will try to get stress about it!