Contact

If you are recently diagnosed, battling Breast Cancer, or any cancer, feel free to email me at hellocourage@live.com    I appreciate the opportunity to give you hope and encouragement!

Denise

 

58 thoughts on “Contact

  1. Somehow I ended up on your site and loved your informative approach as I am about to begin dose dense AC followed by 12 weeks of weekly taxol. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

  2. yeah!!!!….God bless you and three cheers for reaching the finish with style, penache and hope (think the first 2 are the same thing but this is good:-)….what an inspiration you are to all who are on Planet cancer or there because of a loved one, friend or acquaintance….the sun has been shining for the past 3 days:-)….xo

  3. me again….love your “going out and coming back”….and your analogy of the trips to your ca journey….surely someone out there has the connections to publish you so huge numbers of fellow travellers can find hope and assurance and know that their moments are not isolated!!…keep writing and I’ll keep reading;-)

  4. me again….am laughing tears at your radiation exp……thx too for explaining FOOB….didn’t know what that was:-)….nurses always tell folks they will have fatigue w radiation tx….now I really know why…ha:-)

  5. I will be e-mailing you soon! We are just too incredibly alike. Diagnosed in September, mastectomy November, ACT Jan-March, 28 Rads just finished June 14th—–YOU have written my journey, my every thought—-OMG—

  6. Denise – Quite an informative and supportive blog for breast cancer. Congratulations on the magazine article and your speaking engagements, you have a lot to offer. LOVEEssa (Little Mad Bluebird)

  7. I read about your cite in the Suburban Press and thought I would take a look. I lost my mom to breast cancer last November she was age 63. Her cancer was very rare (Inflamatory Breast Cancer aka IBC). The battle lasted five years, and like you, she took herceptin that was damaging to the heart as well as other chemo treatments, radiation, etc. IBC starts as a rash on the breast and is often misdiagnosed. She ignored it also until the lump appeared. I doubt if she would of reacted sooner it would have helped but who knows. The doctors initially misdiagnosed saying she had a breast infection and prescribing antibiotics. She was cancer free for one year and then the cancer returned in the bone, liver, and other organs. Along with getting the word out that breast pain can be cancer please let women know that redness and rash on the breast can also be cancer. Best of Luck to you and others that are fighting this awful disease.

    • Anna, so sorry to hear about your mom and the battle she went through. It is not fun for
      a daughter to watch her mom go through this. You are so right about getting the word out
      about IBC. A friend of mine (age 45) was a few months ahead of me in the brest cancer
      journey. She saw a rash on her breast and immediately went to doctor. Thank God. It is
      a scarey thing. I promise I will talk and write about IBC to let others know. Thanks
      for bringing this to my attention. Denise

  8. Hi Denise,
    I have had a little scroll through your page, and would just like to say how much I admire your blog. I truly do, you are an inspiration.
    I am how ever writing to you today as I would like a little guidance from you.
    My Auntie at the age of 52 was diagnosed with breast cancer in the lymph nodes of her right breast, in August this year, then they found another cancer behind a cyst in the same breast, she had that breast removed late september early october, she started chemo early november, her hair started to fall out around two weeks after her first set of chemo, she has now just had her second lot, and has now shaved her head as her hair started to get very thin very quickly, and also showed a few bald patches.ever since the day she found out she has understandably been absolutely heart broken, and gets very depressed most days, but theres more to this story.

      • I am three weeks from completing Taxol. It has been much easier on my body that the first round of chemo was. I was diagnosed in September with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I chose to go with a lumpectomy, followed by chemo and radiation. My last chemo treatment is scheduled for March 15th and I start radiation on March 18th. As you can see, I just want to get it finished! I am undergoing the weekly Taxol treatments because I have chosen to work through this ordeal. There were a few rough days in the beginning but now it’s “old hat”. I have been blessed … I haven’t caught anything that’s going around which is quite amazing when you were in an office with 100 people! I don’t wear a mask, I have the constitution of an ox and I refuse to let cancer or the treatment of cancer change me or the way I approach things.

  9. Hi Denise, I’m so proud of you for all you do to support others while in the midst of your own stuff! I love you, and as always you inspire me! Much love, Diann

      • If I can share one thing I was given last night at my woman’s group that inspired me. It has always amazed me how you manage to find God in the midst of your trials…what faith that takes! “To all who mourn, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes. A joyous blessing instead of mourning; festive praise instead of despair. In their righteiouness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.” Isiah 61:3 You are a survivor!

  10. i was told i had stage 3 breast cancer on 9 august 2012 i had my right breast removed on october 3rd 2012 then start chemo in november they said that the cancer had gone into six lymh glades i have two more chemo lft them radio treatment i have been told today that the cancer that i had dose not respond to to the the tablet they give to women for five years which this really scares me yours karin x

    • Hi Karin – you must be estrogen negative then? It is all very scarey.
      I am so sorry you have to go through this. But many, many Stage 3
      estrogen negative women are alive and well years later. It is so hard
      to keep focused on that fact when bad news is constantly given to you.
      Sending a hug your way…please feel free to write me anytime. Denise

  11. Hi Denise, thank you so much for your blog it is so helpful. I was diagnosed with Triple negative stage 2b breast cancer on April 10th 2013. I had a lumpectomy and port placement 4 weeks ago along with a sentinel node biopsy,one of the 3 nodes removed had cancer. I am facing 16 weeks of chemo followed by radiation. I am having ACT any time now and as the day gets closer the more terrified I become. I just wanted to thank you for your sharing your experience, all though I am scared I feel more prepared after reading your blog.

    Thank you,
    Terri

  12. Hi Denise,

    Thank you for your post about cancer rehabilitation and the STAR Program. We are very happy that it is helping you heal. I wanted to find out what STAR Program you were attending? Please let me know or feel free to contact me directly at inna.svirskiy@oncrehab.com.

  13. Dear Denise,

    Today I received the chemo caps in the mail. They came so quickly, which was really nice. Today was my first day back as pianist/organist for my church. I hate wearing a wig. It itches so much. I have scarves and hats, and they all bug me, as all hats do. So when, 2 hours before it was time to leave, your package showed up in my mailbox, I was excited to see how these chemo caps felt. I popped one on my head and immediately knew I’d found my answer. SO comfortable. In fact, I still have it on hours later, when usually the moment I walk in the room I take whatever is on my head, OFF! I have a very large head and these still fit comfortably. I’m so happy with them, that I just ordered two more.

    Also, the packaging and personal note was a very nice touch.

    Thank you again,

    Cathy

  14. Just had to email you one more time about the chemo caps! I’ve been getting so many “oohs” and “aahs” over my stylish headdresses that I just had to order two more. Who needs wigs and scarves. I get out of bed, slap on a chemo cap and am ready to go!

    This time I got the animal print and the red colorful one. I hadn’t noticed the red before. Is it new? I am spreading the word! (Note: see Denise’s chemo caps at http://www.hellocourage.com )

    Cathy

    • Hi Cathy! The red one was sold out. I am so glad you like these!
      Honestly, by the time your hair starts growing back you will realize
      how lazy you have become with slapping on a cap! LOL! At least
      I was. I LOVE having hair again, but sometimes I miss that ease
      of chemo cap life! Never ever thought I would say that but there
      is a bit of nostalgia some days!
      see my chemo caps at http://www.hellocourage.com
      My best, Denise

  15. I’ve just been diagnosed with stage 1 high grade breast cancer after a core biopsy. I still have to have a MRI next Thursday to see if there’s anything else there and have absolutely no idea what my treatment will be or even what the ‘exact’ diagnosis will be yet. I don’t know if he’s going to suggest a mastectomy and chemo, or what. Like you I envy and wonder about the people who have such complete and blind trust in God. God works things out. He works them out to His plan and perfection, but we don’t always like His plans. (My dad died when I was 7) I don’t get the name it and claim it thing, because of this. You can name it and claim it, but if it isn’t part of His perfect plan…………..? I’ve only glanced at your blog…have to get ready for work, but know I’m going to be pouring over it in the days to come and may find myself wanting to make some purchases. Anyway, God bless.
    Sandi

  16. Hi Denise
    Read your thoughts on Allergies. Ive finished chemo for Leukemia 2.5 years ago. Just had a severe reaction to contrast die with CT Scan. Didnt have this problem before the Chemo. Also noticed that I have developed a latex allergy in the last week. I live in Australia

    IP

    • Oh, thanks for letting me know. I hear from a lot of people that this sort of
      thing happens to – I just had to start allergy pills again as things that had settled
      down are now flaring up once again.
      Contrast die and latex allergy are certainly new ones. I am thankful you posted
      about this so others can read it. Good luck and thanks so much. Denise

  17. Thank you for the wonderful information about breast pain. Tomorrow when I see my Dr. I will be more direct about my breast pain. Everything you described I feel. All the articles I read prior to this one had me thinking my “gut” is wrong but now I know I need to trust myself. Wish me luck!

  18. I loved reading your blog…you’ve touched my heart in so many places. I hope this writing finds you well, in body and soul. I’m triple positive, almost ten months out from completion of Herceptin (one year on that). Thank you for this place, this blog….have laughed, cried, and faced my memories of my year in treatment. Kind Regards, Sandy in AZ

    • Sandy, thank you so very much for your kind comments. They mean a lot to me.
      Congratulations on completion of treatment. So much healing in our minds and bodies
      are needed after it is all over. It takes a long time. Be gentle with your
      emotional self. My best, Denise

  19. Hi Denise,
    I somehow stumbled upon your website. I was diagnosed with AAA Breast Cancer on April 7 when I went in for a standard mammogram. I never, ever thought this would happen to me, so I was completely in shock when the diagnosis came back. It has been a HORRIBLE month, and I haven’t even started treatment! I wasn’t going to do treatment, and now I am still questioning WHY I am going to do this to myself. (the treatment) The doctor wants to do 12 weeks of Adriamycin and Cytoxan, then 12 weeks of Taxodere after that. I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome and severe Arthritis. I am literally SCARED TO DEATH!! I have been so sick with the IBS for the last year, and can barely eat now. Anyway, I just wanted to know HOW you got thru it. Any tips? THANK YOU so much for letting me vent. I am also ordering some scarves. Very upset about losing my hair as it is waist length. I just feel out of control! My husband had kidney, colon and liver cancer in 2010-2011. We’ve been thru this before so it just doesn’t seem fair! I know everyone feels that way. I’ll be spending a LOT OF TIME here trying to learn before I make my final decision. THANK YOU! Connie

  20. Hello! I have just completed the AC and ran across your blog. The AC has been the worst experience of my life. After getting over the nausea the migraines set in. I start Taxol in 2 and ½ weeks and I’m already torturing myself by searching the internet to see if it is as bad as AC as far as nausea is concerned and if it causes migraines and acid reflux. I also have a painful hemorrhoid I can’t get rid of. Sometimes I just don’t even want to continue but I know I have to. And I do feel like I whine a lot. I’ve been working as much as I can throughout this experience and I used to work out but haven’t felt like it since I began AC. Please tell me it gets better with the Taxol. I have to do 4 rounds every other week starting June 13th. Does your hair start growing back during Taxol or not? Is there anyything that works for migraines? My Dr. prescribed Fioricet, but haven’t tried it yet, I don’t like taking meds which is probably part of the problem. So ready to get to the finish line. Thanks for any information you can give me.

    Sheree

    PS Second post, but using my personal e-mail to set up instead of my work. This is what I had e-mailed to you.

  21. Denise, I ordered a grey sleeping cap for our friend who had just had brain cancer surgery and she loves it, well she loved the picture I took with it on. I took it to have it monogramed yesterday and am picking it up and taking it to her today. She is so precious and has been through so much. Your note to her is so special, thank you and I’m glad that you are OK. What you do is so important to so many. May God Bless You and may you continue your wonderful work and words of encouragement. She found out that it was not malignant and we are all so at peace with that. Now she just needs to heal and have a little radiation. Hugs, Georgia Dunlap

    • Georgia, somehow I missed your comment! What a good friend to buy a
      hat and have it monogrammed! How blessed she is to have such a good
      friend.
      Thanks for your kind words! I appreciate them very much!
      Saying a prayer for your friend right now! My best, Denise

  22. Hi…I discovered your site today…I was looking up info on ports…I like you site and plan to read it all ! I have just completed a year worth of treatment…I was diagnosed w/ IDC Stage III..,.I have had chemo, lumpectomy, radiation, Herceptin…and now taking Arimidex…what a journey…wished I’d found this earlier. I have found very few gals taking Herceptin…and I sure wished to talk about it. Oh well…here I am now.
    I will read more and probably ask more questions. My dr. wishes me to keep my port in for probably a year more. That is what I was looking up…seeing what other may have said about theirs.
    I noticed the pad to put on the seat belt…I love that…I have been holding my seat belt away from me everytime I am in the car…port one side, surgery the other side. I have not driven mostly…so have been able to do this for myself. I have neuropathy in my fingers/toes/feet….very : ( …so many things are impacted by this side effect.
    bye for now.
    Cindy

  23. Hi Denise, I haven’t writen to you for quite some time. I have been breast cancer triple negative stage 3 free for just over 2 years now.
    I just wanted to say I enjoy your blog and I pass it on to friends who get diagnosed. Everything is good but I just wanted to know if by taking the turkey tail mushroom tablets would be good for me? I look forward to hearing from you.
    Julie Carter from Sydney Australia

    • Hi Julie, so good to hear from you again! I am so glad you are now 2 years out!
      I wanted to do a little more research on Turkey Tail and Triple Negative. From what
      I can tell, women who are TN are indeed taking Turkey Tail. Boosting the immune
      system certainly can’t hurt. That’s what my Onc said to me — “Well, I’m not sure
      if it will help you, but it can’t hurt.” Those words were good enough for me!
      Keep going, Julie! Thanks so much for writing!

  24. Hi Denise, I live in Texas, in a beautiful town between Austin & San Antonio. I Am stage II B, ILC. I had a left side mastectomy, 16 lymph nodes removed, finished 6 doses of TC in January. Developed lymphedema in December. I started taking Letrozole. Now radiation is recommended.
    Thanks for your suggestions for radiation. I had simulation done today.
    I just found your blog and had some good laughs reading about your lost foob!
    Because my cancer is lobular, I am considering have my right breast removed. Have you ever considered this, too? My one reason would be that if I were to develop cancer in this breast, lymph nodes would be removed, and I could develop lynphede in this arm, too.

    • Hi Sandy, so sorry you are going through this. Yes, if I knew now what I knew then, I would
      have had my other breast removed. My sister and I have a genetic mutation, and it is be recommended
      that I have the other breast removed. And you bring up a VERY VALID point about lymphedema in the
      other arm! Appreciate your comments so much – and GOOD LUCK!! Denise

  25. Wow! I can’t believe all that I have read about breast pain. It’s so weird because I have been occasionally googling breast pain to see what everyone said and it’s true, they all say breast cancer isn’t painful. Now, I have stumbled on this blog and it’s made me reconsider seeing a doctor. In fact, I just made an appt. I have had this searing, burning sensation in my left breast for months. I contributed it to cyst or going thru the beginnings of menopause. It doesn’t keep me up at night but all during the day, I will have these shooting, burning pains that go thru my breast that really hurt. I do have a cyst almost the same exact area as the pain and I have a small pea-size cyst almost under my arm. I’ve had cyst drained in the past so I’m pretty sure that’s what it is. I actually had a Dr to tell me when I was younger that if I had any more cysts to just not worry about it! I have yearly mammograms and nothing has turned up so I feel pretty safe that it’s nothing to worry about. I do have dense breast and my insurance company wouldn’t pay for a 3D mammogram the last time I had one. I read that if you have dense breast, your physician should order a 3D and an ultrasound to get better results so I am going to request that when I go back at the end of the year. My father’s mother had breast cancer so I do consider that as well. Thank you so much for putting this information out there. I tend to make decisions based on what I read (which I shouldn’t) but in this case, I’m glad I made the decision to go. I hope whatever it is, the pain will go away.

    • Wendy, thanks for your comments. I am sorry you suffer from breast pain – IT HURTS!
      Yes, it is imperative for you to get the 3D mammogram and ultrasound if you have dense breast tissue.
      I have written about this also in my blog. Even if the insurance company won’t pay for the upgrade,
      DO IT! I have had MANY women write to me that 3D mammography saved their lives. MY SISTER is one of them!
      Even though she was Stage 3, the tumor was not visible.
      And I have heard from many women who have chronic breast pain that is not cancer. But I HATE
      that so much bad info is “out there” because I know what that bad information did to me. It almost
      cost me my life.
      Sending my best! If you have time, come back and post after your testing! Denise

  26. What I’ve just read about you and your sister’s BC treatment was to a tee how I feel and how my treatment has “treated” me. Thank you for putting into words the truth about what we have to do to get well and heal from this hard illness. I just had AC#3 last week and have had thoughts of “I can’t do this again”. I am 39, just had a baby in October (who helped me find my lump, thank the Lord), I also have an 8 year old daughter and 6 year old son. I am supposed to work full time but I’m now going in when I can. The harder the days the closer to the end….that’s my mantra right now. I hope this message finds you and you sister happily and healthily enjoy life “on the other side” of this challenge.

    • Hi Nikki, thanks so much for writing! I am so sorry you have had to go through treatment at such a young age with
      young children. AC#3 is the worst. You just want to quit and die. At that point you figure somehow your family will
      get through it. AC#4 is a little better because at least you know you are done with the Red Devil.

      My sister is just 6 months out from chemo and now facing a double mastectomy because we have a genetic mutation.
      It seems to never end, but life does get better and some sense of normalcy returns.

      Sending all my best to you and your family!! You can finish it! My best, Denise

  27. Hello Denise, Thank you for sharing so many details of your journey with cancer. I found your site because I am experiencing rapid heart rate that comes on in the last two days of my Taxol weekly treatment. I did not have this issue with my AC treatments. I am about to start my 4th (of 12) this week and my oncologist has referred me to a cardiologist for a review. My EKG and echo cardios are fine (except for higher heart rate). It sounds like this may be a somewhat common side effect and I’m surprised my oncologist does not recognize it (he is part of a large onco group). Did you find anything helped with the rapid heart rate? I am not excited about another drug, but I would consider something that could calm things down a little and also help with sleep and am hoping that my oncologist will recommend something. PS I am icing during treatment and so glad that another survivor recommended this. It’s not easy but it definitely beats long term neuropathy. My best to you and your family.

    • Hi Paula – I am glad you are with a cardiologist. And I’m sorry you are having the rapid heart rate. I do believe
      it is rather common with Taxol. I had it as did my sister. I don’t know if you are seeing your cardiologist again,
      but because I had the heart attack during chemo and permanent valve damage from Herceptin, my cardiologist put me on a
      low dosage of Metoprolol which helped slow my heart rate from like 120 down to low 90s to mid 80s. It took a long time,
      however,
      My sister, who didn’t have heart issues except rapid heart beat is now 1 year exactly out from AC and Taxol. Her heart
      rate is still elevated – like 100. No one seems to be alarmed about it. My experience is that it slowly gets lower.
      BUT if you are experiencing symptoms because of it, that’s when it needs addressed.

      Wishing you all the best…if you have some help with this, would love to hear back from you as to what meds you were
      given or how your heart is! THANK YOU and sending all the best! Denise

  28. Hi!! My name is Meca and I bid you greetings from the foot tapping, finger snapping Cajun/Creole state Louisiana.
    I am 39 yo Catdiac Nurse, diagnosed with Stage II A Breast CA in June 2016. Underwent bilateral mastectomy with DIEP reconstruction. I will start A/C therapy this Wednesday via PICC line.
    I am so afraid. I have never been sick or had any broken bones. I survived the 12 hour surgery that was only suppose to last 6 – 8 hours.
    I read through many of other post and your comments tonight. Thanks for creating an outlet. I am already over be sick.
    Any words of encouragement would help.

    • Hi Meca, I am oh so sorry you have to go through all of this. It is just one, long, frightening road. Starting chemo was the most scary thing I ever did in my life! My sister all so went through breast cancer treatment. She was terrified just like all of us were! The best advice I can give you is take the anti-nausea meds. Do not wait to get nauseated and then take them. Do not expect anything of yourself during AC Chemo or let anyone else expect anything from you. You will have some almost normal days. You will find your way and make it through.
      Just today, I walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and was able to stand behind the FIVE YEAR SURVIVOR sign! That was my goal and I made it. Now I’m working on 10 years for the next goal. You will make it, you will get through, and somehow you will come out on the other side!
      Sending all my best wishes! Denise

  29. My name is Jacqualyn Wells my friends call me Jackie on September 28 2016 I received a call from a Dr Fabshla no compassion blunt your test came back Positive you have Breast Cancer my world turn upside down I am 69 in 34 days I will be 70 Black female it sucks my Dr orders are all Stat a port will be placed on Monday must be cleared by my Cardiologist it’s a long story scared as heck JW

  30. Denise-I hope you are still blogging. I do not see anything since end of 2016. I started having what I referred to as a bee sting yesterday in my left breast. I really did not think much of it until it keep coming back and again today. I googled my systems of the “bee sting pain” and your blog came up first. I am calling my doctor today for mammogram ASAP! I am 57 years old and work so much that I have put off my screenings for the last five or more years. I thought cysts as my breast are very large and hard to do a self check. Again…hope you are still blogging.

    • Hi – yes I am still blogging and recently posted a new blog post. Thanks for writing.
      You are VERY WISE to get your left breast checked. Most often, breast pain is not cancer,
      but there is a wrong message “out there” that says it is not breast cancer. It can be.
      If you have dense breast tissue, make sure you schedule a 3-D Mammogram. They are more
      accurate.
      Wishing you all the best! Denise

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