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The Whole Pink Thing

October 13, 2009 13 comments
Pink Cancer Ribbon

October is breast cancer awareness month. Unless you have been living under a rock, I’m sure you seen all the pink stuff promoting breast cancer. Everywhere you look you find pink stuff. Pink NFL apparel, pink Halloween pumpkins, pink grocery bags, pink hats, pink jewelry, pink signs, pink websites, pink purses, pink key chains, pink coffee mugs, pink umbrellas, pink packaging, pink pink pink pink everywhere. I think you get my drift.

Some survivors feel companies are exploiting breast cancer and just slapping a pink ribbon on everything in an effort to sell their products. I’ve read that the pink ribbon, as a symbol, tends to pretty up what is a pretty ugly disease. Some say the pink ribbon is easier to look at than the disease itself.

Cancer is a nasty, cruel, and deadly beast. It attacks our healthy cells, assaults our bones and blood, destroys our vital organs, and invades our brains. Cancer takes our hair, our loved ones, our body parts and our lives. It causes pain, despair, misery, sorrow, and death. Cancer is not a pretty picture by any means, pink ribbon or not.

Many people feel overwhelmed by the constant pink reminder of cancer. I know I’ve never really been a big fan of the whole pink thing. I remember when I first was diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn’t want anyone to know and I sure didn’t want to wear pink cancer stuff. I remember being given a free pink baseball cap at my cancer treatment center. I did not want to wear it. Maybe I was in denial but I didn’t want to publicize my cancer by wearing pink. Later as I came to grips with my cancer and accepted it, I did wear my pink baseball hat. I don’t know if I am making any sense but these are the many thoughts I have about the whole pink thing. Oh don’t misunderstand my feelings about cancer awareness. If all the pink ribbons will help some women to get their mammogram or do self-exams, I’m all for it. I only hope that companies aren’t looking to profit off all this pink stuff as that just isn’t what this is all suppose to be about.

So please during this month of breast cancer awareness, do focus on the important message in all this. We all want to kick cancer out of our lives and the lives of others permanently. I pray for all those fighting this terrible foe, may you have healing and peace as you move along your journey. But ultimately I hope and pray a cure can be found once and for all![…]

Reason to Smile

July 2, 2009 21 comments

I have great news and a reason to smile. I just completed another round of scans and an ultrasound. I am NED! If you aren’t familiar with the term NED, it means No Evidence of Disease when referring to someone who has had cancer. I am happy to report all my scans and tests are clear. It’s as one doctor said to me today, it’s all good — be assured there is no sign of cancer.

It’s been since March 2008, that I have been battling breast cancer. Once you’ve had cancer, you tend to think about it’s return. You try and not worry about a recurrence. At first it’s about all one can do but not think about it’s return. But as time goes on it does get better. The reassurances that it has not returned is empowering. Things haven’t always been easy and I still have a few aches and pains from surgery and radiation. But overall I am feeling pretty good and have basically gotten my life and activities back to normal now. So I smile and say that I love NED. I hope and pray I stay that way forever. Until the next scans and follow-ups, I am reminding myself to enjoy life today and to be happy I am beating cancer each and every precious day.[…]

Another Chapter Closed

May 7, 2009 15 comments
Pink Ribbon

Well today I can say another chapter is closed in my pink journey story. For those readers who may not be familiar with what I dubbed my pink journey, I am referring to my breast cancer fight that began in March 2008. If you’d like to read the blog posts you can find them all here. Last week I finished my one full year of Herceptin that I had to have because I was Her2 positive for my cancer. And today, I had my arm port removed.

My arm port was removed by my surgeon in his procedure’s room at the doctor’s office. I was a little nervous as I have heard from several people that they go in a lot easier than they come out. Some people actually have them removed at the hospital under anesthesia but my surgeon assured me it would be fine to just have it removed in the office with a numbing to the incision area. I think the most painful part was the numbing as he had to stick the needle in several areas and the medicine stung as it went in. Then the port didn’t want to pull out very easily. He had to pull, tug, and do a few other things that I didn’t want to look at so I just looked away. He said I had quite a bit of scar tissue that had developed around the port. After several minutes of pulling, the port and the long plastic tubing all came out. I didn’t feel anything really other than a bit of pressure.

My arm is a little sore where the port was but it feels wonderful to have it gone. I always had to worry about not bumping it and had to be careful not to do anything very strenuous with that arm as not to damage the port or line into my chest. But that chapter after one full year is done. I am feeling almost normal or at least my new normal now. My hair has grown back, my scans are clear, and my doctors tell me that my long term prognosis is excellent. So tonight I take a deep breath, say a prayer of thanksgiving, and now move on with the knowledge that I have victoriously finished this chapter in my pink journey.[…]

One Year Later

March 10, 2009 12 comments
Pink Ribbon

March 10, 2008 is a day I will never ever forget. It is the day that I was told that I had cancer. I was shocked and my life was forever changed by the news. I remember having to go outside and just walk. I just couldn’t get my head around the fact that I had breast cancer. My first thoughts were wondering if I was going to die. Then how was I going to deal with this? What was going to happen now? When you are first diagnosed with cancer, I think the fear is the worst. With me, I just didn’t know what it really meant. I felt okay but I knew that there was a terrible time bomb inside me and it was ticking away.

I quickly learned as much as I could about breast cancer. I read everything I could and talked with several different doctors so I could understand the ramifications of my diagnoses. For me, knowledge was power. Power to know what to expect and to prepare myself and my family for what I’ve have dubbed My Pink Journey.

At this one year mark, I am happy to report that I am doing well. Yes I still have some issues I’m dealing with such as my very short hair that doesn’t seem to want to grow. The unpleasant side effects of Tamoxifen, tight muscles under my arm from radiation and a bit of lymphedema on my side where I had lymph nodes removed. But really I’m faring quite well considering all that I have been through.

Thanks to my faith, family, and friends I have been able to survive this cancer battle. The battle is never really over once you have cancer. You learn this pretty early on. You must be vigilant and keep close tabs on the big C. It’s quite wily and you must forever guard against its return. This is an important message for everyone to have those cancer screenings done as early detection such as I had can make all the difference in ones survival rate.

So thank you again to everyone for your love, prayers, and support during this last year. I don’t know if I could have made it without all of you. Remember enjoy life and be thankful for each and every beautiful day of it![…]

A Pink Year-End Update

December 27, 2008 19 comments

Well it has been quite a year for anyone who has been following this blog and my cancer journey this year. I figured I’d do a year-end update just to close out the year. First and far most, I am doing well. My recent scans show nothing of concern and I’m feeling pretty good. While my hair is very very short, it has grown back and I can go without the hats and scarves now. I survived surgery in April, chemo this summer, and radiation this fall. I have cut, poisoned, fried, and burned this cancer. Hopefully, God willing, I have permanently kicked it out the door and out of my body. I never want it to return and I pray daily that this can be the end of breast cancer or any cancer in my life.

In closing, I want to say thank you to everyone who has emailed, commented, prayed, written, called, or otherwise supported me through this pink journey. It hasn’t been easy. Cancer never is. But there is always hope and things can get better. I am proof positive of this.

So thanks again all my friends and family, I love you all. Enjoy life to its fullest and have a very happy New Year![…]

My Journey Update

November 12, 2008 12 comments

It’s been a while since I’ve posted about my pink journey here so I figured I’d do an update. I am one month out now from the completion of radiation treatments. My skin is healing nicely and I don’t have any real issues with my skin now other than being dark on my shoulder in the radiation field. I also have been dealing with my muscles tightening up in my arm and hand on the radiation side. I continue to do stretching exercises to try and relieve that situation.

I started taking Tamoxifen today which I’m a bit concerned about this drug therapy but I know it is necessary as my cancer tumor was estrogen positive and I have to make sure I don’t feed my cancer. I am concerned about all the side effects with Tamoxifen but I am reminded that this whole thing is out of my hands. I need to leave it all in the healing hands of our Lord.

So overall I’m doing pretty good and just wanted to let everyone know how I am doing. My hair is growing back but at a very sloooow rate. My hair has always been fine so all this chemo hasn’t been good for my hair. But it is growing and I hope by Christmas to have a little “do” that I can display so I don’t have to continue the knit hat and ball cap routine.

More later, until then thank you everyone for all your wonderful warm thoughts and prayers.
Cindy […]

Radiation is Finished!

October 13, 2008 30 comments

My radiation is finished today. I completed 33 treatments of radiation for breast cancer including the boosts. I post a picture of fireworks as an illustration of celebration but it’s also how hot of some of my skin feels. The worst of my skin is my shoulder blade area and under my arm. Recall your nastiest sunburn and that might help you understand how red and raw my skin is in places. I’m told these areas are typically the worst for breast radiation patients.

But it’s over! I can now begin to recover. Tomorrow I don’t have to drive 100 miles for treatment and then go to work. Tomorrow I don’t have to get into that radiation fry pan again. Tomorrow my skin can begin to heal. For all these things, I thank God and am happy that I have turned another corner on my pink journey. There is light at the end of my tunnel and I’m almost there.[…]

My Fire

October 3, 2008 21 comments

I post a picture of fire to represent how my radiation feels today. It’s like a fire under my arm and especially under my armpit. I have one more full breast radiation treatment on Monday and then I have my boost. The boost is just radiation to my tumor bed so my armpit will get a break — Yahoo. I need this break so much and will be very happy to be done with my radiation a week from Monday. Until then, please be patient with me as I haven’t been able to do much crocheting lately and haven’t had any new recycled patterns to share with you this week.

Rest assured, God willing, I will be back soon and in full health to post more free patterns very soon.[…]

MUGA Scan & Rads

September 13, 2008 10 comments

Sometimes I am just amazed at all the new words and cancer lingo that I have picked up in this pink journey of mine. If you are not familiar with a MUGA (MUltiple Gated Acquisition) scan, it is a nuclear medicine test to evaluate the function of the heart ventricles. Specifically it is used to test my left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) rate of blood. This test is used to monitor my heart’s overall function while taking the cancer drug Herceptin. While Herceptin is an excellent drug to fight the HER2+ cancer cells, it can affect ones heart function and in some cases cause serious heart damage.

In May, I had a baseline MUGA scan done before I started Herceptin. My baseline score was 55. A normal score is between 50-80. My treatment plan has me scheduled to take Herceptin for a full year. So having a beginning score of only 55 made me very nervous. Many people’s scores are reduced as they continue on Herceptin and if you have too low of a score, you may have to stop Herceptin or cut back on your treatments. Because it is a wonder drug for breast cancer patients who are HER2 positive like me, I was really anxious to have my first MUGA done since I started Herceptin.

I am thrilled to share that my recent MUGA score was 61.9. I am so happy and relieved to know that my heart is functioning well and that my score was actually higher than the baseline one. So that means for now, I am tolerating the Herceptin well and it’s not causing any damage to my heart.

One other update to share is that my radiation or rads as we call it in the cancer lingo world, is going well. On Thursday, I will be halfway done with my treatments. My skin has just a mild pink look which is similar to a sunburn. I am using my gel cream twice daily and so far my skin is holding up.

Anyway that’s all the MUGA and rads news I have to share. Now I’m off to work on a new recycled tote bag project that I’m trying to get done. I’ll be back to share it soon, until then — Happy Green Crafting to all![…]


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About Me

Hello, Iā€™m Cindy or aka RecycleCindy. Welcome to my blog site that is dedicated to recycling and crafting. I love to crochet and create crafts and other useful things from recycled materials. I share many free tutorials and patterns for creating recycled projects as well as other handmade items.

Here is a direct link to all my free patterns available here on My Recycled Bags.

Thank you for stopping by to visit and for your interest in My Recycled Bags!


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