Thursday, November 26, 2015

I'm Moving

Hi Friends!
I am moving. I am now the proud owner of So head on over and continue to follow my story there.


Monday, November 23, 2015

Through All Of It

Every day, fighting breast cancer becomes a little less scary. I have already made it through my first chemo topped with a dose of Strep Throat and I am still going. The only other side effect that I am experiencing right now is dry cracked lips. I could barely open my mouth to eat this morning without pain. After calling my oncologist this afternoon, her solution was Lansinoh, something I used for dry cracked nipples while nursing my babies! So weird, but she was right and it's working. I am so thankful to feel good other than this small annoyance. I am not even scared of loosing my hair anymore. I have the date set for my buzz cut, as my hair will begin to fall out after my next treatment on December 3rd. I am sure it will be emotional, but I am not afraid.

 There is always something to be grateful for. 

I was able to be loved on again this past weekend, to spend time with my (SOFLO) south florida girlfriends. Of course I always want to get away, but I didn't realize how much I needed it until I got there. I laughed, I cried and I danced...and it felt good. I shared my heart and that felt good too. Many times my eyes aren't open to my own behaviors and habits until I hear them back from my friends. The friends that love me the most. This weekend I told them about my fears of going through chemo without my spouse by my side. I cry when I see a husband holding his wife's hand in the waiting room, I tear up in the valet when I watch a husband open the door and buckle his wife in the car safely. I told my friends I wasn't looking forward to the holidays because everything will be so different this year. My ideals are wrecked and everything that I have had in the past is gone. I have to accept a new normal, and find joy in that all while fighting breast cancer at the same time.

Something else I am learning:
Don't ever assume that what you feel in your heart is the same as what someone else feels for you.

I talked about how I wish I could be harder, less giving of my heart and less needy of a partner and emotional support. They reminded me that I can be needy right now, but I need to depend on the right people. God first and safe people like my family and friends who want to help. They also told me not to change, to keep my heart soft and open to loving and giving to others...BUT to put up some DARN boundaries and stop letting people take advantage of me! I made a small step toward that on Sunday and it felt good, letting go of something that I really never had in the first place.

I would be a fool to think that there won't be more pain coming, but I refuse to let it steal my joy one more minute. I'll give my heart, but I'll give it to friends and family that will protect it. I will accept that the holidays will be different this year and enjoy every minute that I have with my children, friends and family. I will release my ideals and pray that God will replace them one day with something so much more than I can even imagine. It really is the only way, He's been here through it all of it. Take a minute to watch and listen:

Monday, November 09, 2015


153...the number of cards I have received since my breast cancer diagnosis. When I see these cards they remind me of the unconditional love that is surrounding me and supporting me. Even when I feel so alone that I can barely breathe. This has been such a painful rollercoaster ride. Waiting on a plan and having the plan change multiple times. I am emotional and irrational 98% of the time, but I am amazed that I'm not in a psychiatric ward after everything I have been through over the past six months.

I have a confirmed plan now. This Thursday I will start chemotherapy to attack my HER2 positive breast cancer and make sure that there is not one cell left in my body. Four rounds of a triple whammy consisting of Taxol, Carboplatin, and the targeted drug Herceptin. My infusions will be every 3 weeks. I'll be done with the chemo by January and then I will finish out the year with Herceptin infusions every three weeks. It'll be no picnic. I am still terrified no matter how many people tell me I can do it. I don't want to, but who does? So many amazing women have gone through this before me, how can I stop fighting now?

I lived in a tad bit of denial this weekend. I went to New York, to pretend like I didn't have cancer. It was fun, but on the drive back home from the airport I lost it. It felt good to escape and feel normal and not sick, but coming back to reality felt empty and scary. After surgery, I kept praying the plan would change again and I wouldn't need poison pumped through my body. That didn't happen, so I didn't want to think about it. I just wanted to have fun...and I did, but reality was still waiting on me when I unlocked my car to drive home. It didn't make the cancer go away, and it didn't cure my loneliness.

I was able to regroup early this morning. I prayed instead of denying my situation. I asked God to show me how to handle the cancer with grace—and to use him instead of running toward distractions. After all, I am learning that the distractions aren't there for me when I feel low afterward. Reality will always return, and I have to accept that this is my life right now. I have to learn to lean on those that I know really care about me and what's best for me. Those who love me to the fullest no matter what I am capable of giving them in return during this season.

When I was praying on the way home, this song came on. It spoke to me and I wept. He his my revival, not distractions or denial. XO, Cathy

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Waiting Game

After waiting over a week...I face another big day tomorrow. I meet with my surgeon to go over my final pathology report from the bilateral mastectomy I had on October 16. I am scared, but I am ready to know what is coming next. Since my lymph nodes were clear and the aggressive cancer was so small...there is a chance that if all other tumors come back non-invasive I won't need chemotherapy after all. This ride has been such a rollercoaster, I have learned I have to just go with it. I can't help but get my hopes up! There are SO many people praying for me and things have continued to turn around for me in an instant during this journey. I was originally going to start chemo first, and now they tell me there is a chance I won't need it at all! What a blessing to have found my incredible doctors at Moffitt Cancer Center. I have no doubt that God has directed every step of the way, no matter how painful it has been.

I am so thankful for my fight club. There are a million cards all over my house. Beautiful flowers, meals delivered, sweet messages and gifts are arriving on a daily basis. My girls have participated in breast cancer walks for me...and they even ran a half marathon in my honor this past weekend! I am overwhelmed. My emotions have been crazy, and as alone as I feel at times, I couldn't feel more loved. I am so grateful my best friend will be with me tomorrow to hold my hand and to cry with me no matter the outcome. Even if it is chemo, I will do it...I will keep fighting. Thank you for your love, and for your prayers!


Friday, October 23, 2015

A Blog About a Blog

I'll never forget meeting my friend Rachel. Quiet and so humble, with the sweetest spirit. We don't talk every day, months may go by...but one thing has always remained the same, our friendship. She has been there for me during happy times, during painful times when all I needed was someone to listen to me cry, or read a text that was WAY too long. She has sent me scripture, prayed over me and never once judged me for doing what I thought was right for my family and myself.

She walked through my miscarriages with me and witnessed my struggle to get pregnant before God blessed me with Kennedy. Then...she was there to capture precious photos of my miracle pregnancy and then Kennedy's newborn photos. She was there to do it all again when we were delightfully surprised with Kade!

So today I am blogging about my amazing friend Rachel and her blog about my family and my journey. I am so thankful for you Rachel and your amazing talent. But most of all, I am thankful to call you my forever friend.


Click here for more: Rachel's Blog

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Black and White

"Life is like a piano. The white keys represent happiness and the black show sadness. But as you go through life's journey, remember that the black keys also make music." -Unknown

Over the past five months I have accepted that life is not black and white. I have learned that there can be so much beauty in the gray areas. To be honest, I don't like "maybes", "if thens", or "either ors." I get so frustrated when faced with "sometimes this" and "sometimes that." Lately I have shed many tears over the "I don't knows." To many (myself included) black and white means that there is just one rule. There is a schedule with an exact time, and it's always the same. The rules apply to everyone and there are no exceptions. Black and white means things are predictable. Black and white means things seem fair and are clear. 

Nothing has felt fair or clear to me lately. My breast cancer diagnosis, the trials in my life and a fight for love that will end with a win that will reveal itself in a completely different way than I anticipated. But one thing has remained true, God's love. I can't even explain it properly, the outpouring of unconditional love that I am feeling for the first time in my life. From family, friends, complete strangers and from people I never imagined would care about me, or take time to join my fight.

Gray areas mean that the rule is sometimes one thing, and sometimes another thing. I am alright with that now. Again, I can't explain it...but it's true to me now. I know that this is happening to me for a reason. I am learning lessons that will make me a complete bad ass...whoops, sorry mom! But I want you all to know, anyone that is reading this—whatever it is that you are facing, embrace it. Look for the good in each day and you will find it, I promise. Go gray.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Litte Too Much

I had my second biopsy yesterday. The more procedures and tests, the more real this is becoming. It's weird to hope for more cancer, but I need this original tumor to be a certain size to qualify for the targeted drug that I need. God's got this. I know it.

Every time it gets to be too much, something incredible happens. This past weekend my girlfriends took me away for a celebration before the weeks of hell that is chemo begin. I met new friends, some that have brought more smiles to my face than I have smiled in a long time. I felt so very loved. Phillip at the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Orlando sent me home with a card signed by the entire hotel staff. It brought me to tears. The staff at the spa hugged me and gave me the most special treatment. My girls decorated our suite and planned everything for me. We spent time with a precious childhood friend of mine who lives in Winter Park. The weekend was perfect.

Every day, there is at least one card in my mailbox and a handful of random texts come through supporting me. You all are keeping me going. The support has been tremendous, during a time when sometimes I get lost in loneliness and fear.

This song A Little Too Much by Shawn Mendez says it all! Thank you to those who have taken my hand in this journey. XO