Thursday, December 31, 2009

A huge setback

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my blood draw (to get ready for surgery). When I was there I showed the nurse my site where my port used to be.  She thought it didn't look right so she sent me to the doc. The Doctor agreed and sent me to get a dopplar of the site.  They found a blood clot.  So now I am getting injections in my belly every day for five days. They started me on a blood thinners. 

Dr. Kennedy has cancelled my surgery for Monday.  Todd and I go and see her on Monday.  They will repeat the dopplar in hopes that the blood clot is responsing to the drugs. Then we will reschedule surgery.  Dr. Kennedy is hoping they can do it on January 11th. 

I just ask that all of you say extra prayers for myself and the family.  It has been a very emotional few days. As I know more I will continue to post.

Monday, December 28, 2009


On Thursday (Christmas Eve Day), I meet with Dr. Berg and got my port removed.  It was infected.  Needless to say, the removal of the port was the worst thing I have experienced since I have started this journey.  The Doc takes the port out in the office.  It wouldn't have been so bad normally but I am infected.  And infection does not numb.  So during the procedure they had to try and numb it some more because I could feel pain.  One time during the procedure they went to numb the area and the needle was not screwed on to the syringe and the numbing med squirted me in the face.  It was quite the experience.  I have three stitches in that will need to be removed on the 4th. 

Please pray that the infection clears up and I can have my surgery on the 4th. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Troubled Port

Since I last blogged, I had just finished round 8! We went north to celebrate Christmas with the Pekny’s. We had a great time and the kids were spoiled by all their relatives. It amazes that Campbell has a natural tendency to be with Uncle Kyle and Chaser won’t let Uncle Jay go. I guess their personalities fit with their Godfather’s the best.

The taxotere turned me into an old lady again but that was it for side effects. Unfortunately, today I woke up and my port “tubing” was hard, and the skin was hot to touch. Over the weekend I had some issues with pain around where my port is under my skin. I called the surgeon who put the port in and was told by his nurse: that I could either go the E.R., get an appointment with another Doc on Wednesday, or call the Cancer Center. I opted to call the Cancer Center. They got me in right away. While I was sitting there waiting to see the Doc at the Cancer Center, the nurse from the other place called and said that I should be put on antibiotics and that she knew I got into Cancer Care Doc. At that point I was so frustrated, I handed my cell phone to Cancer Care Nurse. Then started to cry (I just feel like I got the run around from the surgery nurse) She graciously handled it for me. Cancer Care Doc ended up prescribing antibiotics and order two blood tests to rule out infection. I go back tomorrow to see Cancer Care Doc, at that time, they will hopefully know if it is an infection or an irritated port. Cancer Care Doc when then figure out if I need to be referred to Surgeon to get my port removed. Please pray that we can get this figured out soon. Delaying my surgery would stink!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Why I Wore Lipstick" and My Thoughts

Someone gave me this book by Geralyn Lucas Why I Wore Lipstick to My Mastectomy.  She got diagnosed at age 28 with Breast Cancer.  I just read it this past week and there were statements in her book that really got to me:

This is on page 123 of her book. "Now I know how Tyler must have felt, watching me in the hospital during all my pain.  It must have been even worse for him because he is a doctor and he was helpless.  He couldn't stop the cancer, the pain, the worry.  Maybe being on the sidelines is even more painful than getting the needles, the chemo, the surgery?"

She goes on to say...
"I feel so guilty that I have made everyone in my life go through hell. Maybe Tyler always insisting that I was cured was a huge vote of confidence? "

Tyler is Geralyn's husband.  After reading this part of her book, I realized that it is harder on all of you then me right now.  I am sitting in the middle being protected, cared for and loved.  I have been so lucky to have all of you in my life. 

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Pre-Surgery Appointment

Can Todd and I be more overwhelmed?  I doubt it.  Friday Todd and I traveled to Clarian North Hospital in Indy to have all of my pre-admission testing and consults done.  We first meet with Dr. Kennedy and her nurse, Mary Jane.  Mary Jane explained to us how the hand grenade (or drainage pump) works.  I am not kidding you... the thing looks just like a hand grenade.  I will have that attached to me for a least a couple weeks.  They even give you a chart so you can measure how much stuff is seeping out of you.  Then she explained about another tube that will be connected to me.  It is a medicine pump that has a catheter inserted in my chest where the breast is removed.  This med pump release pain meds into the incision site for a few days after surgery.  Mary Jane taught Todd how to remove this med pump after it is empty.  It is a pretty neat thing.  It is called an ON-Q PainBuster.  For those of you who do research the site

After meeting with Doc and Mary Jane, Todd and I went down to rehab. The PT's name is Dianne and at one point in her life she went to Manchester College for a year.  Dianne taught us all these exercises I have to do to help prevent Lymphadema and range of motion issues.  She gave us a print out of all the do's and don'ts.  Below is a list of things I can not do right away: no lifting of the kids, no vaccuming, no carrying groceries on that arm.  Then she tells me all the things that I have to change in my life to decrease my risk of lymphadema ( swelling that occurs when there is more fluid to remove than your lymph system can now manage): everytime I get a cut I have to put a antibiotic cream and a band-aid on it, use an electric shaver or a new razor everytime I shave, no more blood draws or blood pressure taken from my right arm, wear gloves when I do the dishes or clean (Melinda, Are you laughing?), avoid burns, and no hot tubs.  It was information overload. 

The finally meeting was with pre-admissions and the hosipitalist, Dr. Reeder.  He and his nurse asked me a zillion questions and did an EKG.  I was also told that my last mugga scan was good and I have not lost any more heart function!!!  Thank God!! 

Then after we meet with all of them, Todd and I went to the store in the hospital.   With our prescription from Dr. K, we got two cami's that zip up the front that also have two fake breast forms that come with each one of them.  The lady who fitted me was very excited and kind.  She showed us all the different types of fake ones and explained that as my skin heals after radiation Dr. K can write a new prescription and I can get new ones. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What A Weekend!!

Wednesday night my friend from Evansville came and visited.  It always feels like we never miss a beat when we get back together.  Chase remembered her and her dog.  He did not even hesitate when she got here; which is very rare. 

Thanksgiving was so much fun.  I was able to visit with all of my sisters and their families.  I always enjoy watching my kids play with their cousins.  Ava and Campbell play like Melinda and I did when we were kids.  Poor Evan got followed by Chase the whole day. 

Thanksgiving night Melinda and I plotted our shopping trip.  Mom, Melinda and I started shopping at 5:00 a.m. where we meet Michelle at Target.  The line was crazy long so we left and headed to Toys R Us.  Then we went to the mall.  After a while I got tired.  Then the adventures really started...Melinda and I went and got the wheelchair we borrowed.  Melinda insisted on pushing me; I wish I would have listen to my heart and said no!!!!  She totally dumped me on to the pavement..before we even got into the mall. 

Then Friday Mutt and Jeff (a.k.a. Todd and Melinda) decorated the house and tree for Christmas. While I helped them from the coach. But the lights on the tree didn't work, so Melinda and I took Campbell shopping  on Saturday.  The only problem we had is that Melinda is a super fast walker and I am not.  At one point I had to hollar stop at her because I thought I would never catch up with her. 

Sunday brought one of our favorite couples to our house. The Derifields join us for dinner. Wally and the kids never fail to make us laugh. My sister finally got to meet them as well.  We had so much fun....

As far as medical updates, my pre-surgery appointments are scheduled for December 11th. And my muga scan for my heart has been moved to December 10th. 

The Pekny Family got great news from two dear old friends we meet at camp.  Tracey from New Zealand is making a pit stop in Chicago and will be spending 24 hours with us.  It has been 6 years since we have seen her.  Lisa from South Africa is coming on December 28th and staying with us for several days. It has been seven years since we have seen her.  What a wonderful double blessing for us!!! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Adventures of Melissa

Round Seven was on Monday.  It was Doctor appointment date overload.  Dr. K leaves on vacation so I had to schedule everything for the next two rounds of chemo (blood tests, mugga scans, chemo's and more blood tests) on Monday.  Dec 14th is the last really rough round of chemo. Then I start back up on January 11th with Herceptin only for 8 more rounds.  Meet with radiation oncologist on January 25th. In hopes we can start radiation in February.

In a classic Melissa move, I fell up the stairs of the library on Tuesday.  I was trying to turn off my cell phone because it was ringing.  I wasn't paying enough attention and missed a step.  My phone ended up opening up so I sat on the steps talking to my sister.  It must have been a loud fall because the library lady ended up coming and checking on me.

The family went to the Frontier Basketball game last night.  We were able to support the boys in our youth group.  I think it may be the only time we can go...with all of my treatments.

Looking forward to relaxing on Thursday and attempting to shop on Friday.

Have a great Thanksgiving from the Pekny family.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fatalistic...I think not!!!

O.k. So Dr. K told me at my appointment that I was being fatalistic.  That was the slap in the face I needed to get grip and a better attitude.  Since my appointment last week my outlook on life has been a lot "glass half full" not "half empty".  Thank you to all who have sent encouraging words!!!!  Next Round on Monday...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Reasons Why I Am Choosing to Be One Mammy Melissa!!!

Todd and I met with Dr. Kennedy today.  After discussing my options with her, we decided I would be better off removing only my right breast and lymph nodes.  Surgery has been set for January 4, 2010.  We will have a day of testing and meeting with other docs before then and to learn more specifics about what to expect.  We also talked with her social worker about Campbell and got some great ideas.

Below is the reasons why we decided to go with a single vs. double:

1.  Breast Cancer does not "jump" sides. Since I have no mutation of my gene it is not imperative that I get it removed right away.
2. If the left breast is removed during the January date. Dr. K would have to remove a lot of skin to make it look right.  If this was done, the reconstruction surgery would be more painful and I would not have a lot of options for the left side.
3. I can still get removed when I reconstruct my right one later in 2010.
4. It gives Todd and I more time decide what to do. 
5. Keeping the left breast still gives me some kind of feeling in it.
6. Easier to recover from single vs. double.  Plus I can still hold my babies, play games and wipe my own butt.

I am sure there are other benefits but I am in the car on the way home and I need a nap.

The only disadvantage is that I will now be called One Mammy Melissa and I have to still wear a bra!!!

It is tough to be four.

This is more like a free write...very hard to write about it.

Campbell was with my mom on Sunday.  My mom and Campbell were talking about Christmas and getting Christmas trees.  Campbell tells my mom that she may have to put up the Christmas tree this year by herself because she is afraid her mommy will die before Christmas.  I am not quite sure how my mom kept her compsure, but she talked to Campbell and told her that would I be around for Christmas. 

On Monday, mom told me about this.  Needless to say I think about the conversation and I cry; I called Todd and talked to him.   On Monday evening, I sat down with Campbell and talked with her.  She told me she is worried that I will go to heaven with Jesus before Christmas and it will be because of cancer.  I explained to her that my doctor will tell me when I am going to die.  Mommy and Daddy will let her know what the Dr. tells us and until then she does not need to worry about me dying.  I then told her that if she ever wants to talk to anyone about mommy dying she can call her aunts, grandma's or Ms. Beccie.

I hope part of it is that this past week I spent a lot of time laying down, not eating, and feeling just miserable.  It is hard for myself and Todd to understand what is happening to my body. I can not even imagine what she is thinking.  I am going to talk to the doc's today about how to help her.... hopefully, she won't be completely jaded and ruined from my cancer.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I feel like a thirty year old trapped in an eighty year old body.

UGH!!!  Taxotere the drug of the past two rounds and of the next two rounds is making me feel like I am trapped in the body of my grandmother. 

This week I have experienced a low grade fever on Thursday. And crazy cramps in my knees and hips.  These cramps last about 3 to 4 seconds and come on randomly.  Some are only annoying; others are absolutely painful.  On Thursday and Friday at work it was like I had Tourrette's Syndrome because every time I had a pain I yelped.  Friday and Saturday nights were awlful.  I could not get comfortable.  I am allowed one 650 mg pill of tylenol every eight hours.  Saturday night I broke down and took something else just so I could sleep away the pain.  My fingers don't function like they should.  I can not even open my pill bottles.  I called the doc on Friday about the fever and the cramps and believe it or not that is perfectly normally.

On the funny side, I really am walking like an eighty year old.  I feel like my grandpa trying to get out of my car, walking to the potty and trying to get up out of the chair.  I guess it is just practice for me when I get that age. 

When talking to my aunt she was so proud of me for comparing my body to an eighty year old instead of sixty!  I wonder old she is....

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Round Six and Chemo Angels

On Monday, I had round six of my chemotherapy.  Taxotere and Herceptin.  This was a much better and faster experience than the last round.  We were out of there by 1:00 p.m.  My wonderful friend Kim drove all the way from Evansville and spent the day with me.  We had a private room and were able to catch up with each other. We had so much fun.  Then her mom brought us a great lunch.

My skin is a little red from the steriods.  O.k. probably very red.  Five co-workers have made comments about how red I am.  I called the doc and they said that is normal.  It is when you get a rash that it is an issue.

Todd and I drive to Indy next week for my next appointment with my surgeon and my doctor for my Graves Disease.  This will be the first time I see Dr. Bane for Graves since I was diagnosed with IBC.

Chemo Angels
I was able to enroll in a program called Chemo Angels (  Here is the description for the program as seen on their website.

About the program...

Chemo Angels is a volunteer organization dedicated to adding a ray of sunshine to the lives of those undergoing IV chemo treatment. We believe people going through the physical, emotional and mental rigors of chemotherapy deserve some encouragement. Many of our Chemo Angel volunteers are cancer survivors themselves, or people whose lives have been affected by cancer in some way. Our common denominator is a desire to brighten the lives of cancer patients while they are going through this challenging time.

I have two angels. Erin from Georgia and Allie from Minnesota.  Their encouraging words and prayers have helped me through some tough times.  Allie works for a church and is a youth coordinator for their youth programs. Erin is a mom of two.

If you know someone who is going through Chemo this is a great program...

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Surgeon....

Clarian North's Breast Care Services Receive National Accreditation


CARMEL, Ind.—Clarian North Medical Center’s Breast Care program in Carmel has been granted a three-year, full accreditation designation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers (NAPBC), a program administered by the American College of Surgeons. Clarian North is the first hospital in Indiana to receive this accreditation.

“We are honored to receive this designation and believe it is a result of the hard work, dedication and commitment our staff has to each patient,” said Dr. Patricia Kennedy, Medical Director of Clarian North’s Breast Care program. “We plan to continue providing all of our patients with the high-quality continuum of care they deserve as they face breast cancer or other breast health concerns.”

Accreditation by the NAPBC is only given to those centers that have voluntarily committed to provide the highest level of quality breast care. To qualify for the designation, the breast care program and its staff undergo a rigorous evaluation process and review of their performance. The program must prove that it provides comprehensive care that includes diagnostic, treatment and support services. Clarian North’s certified breast health navigator personally guides each patient through the care process once the patient has been diagnosed. The navigator ensures that comprehensive care and support resources are available throughout treatment and beyond.

During the accreditation survey process, the center must demonstrate compliance with standards established by the NAPBC for treating women who are diagnosed with the full spectrum of breast disease. The standards include proficiency in the areas of: center leadership, clinical management, research, community outreach, professional education, and quality improvement. A breast center that achieves NAPBC accreditation has demonstrated a firm commitment to offer its patients every significant advantage in their battle against breast disease.

Unfortunately, the battle against breast disease is not one that will soon go away. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimated that there would be 192,569 women diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States in 2009 and an estimated 40,470 women would die from it. In addition, hundreds of thousands of women who will deal with benign breast disease this year will require medical evaluation for treatment options.

Receiving care at a NAPBC-accredited center like Clarian North Medical Center ensures that a patient will have access to:
Comprehensive care, from state-of-the-art digital breast imaging to survivorship care,

A multidisciplinary team approach to coordinate the best treatment options,

Support services, including complementary therapy and an oncology social worker,

Information about ongoing clinical trials and new treatment options,

And, most importantly,
Quality breast care close to home.

“The best defense against breast cancer is early detection,” said Dr. Kennedy. “It is imperative that women over 40 have annual mammograms to allow for early detection of cancer, which in turn, provides the best chance for recovery.”

To schedule a mammogram, see a breast specialist, or have a high risk consultation, please call Clarian North Breast Care at 317-688-3158. Learn more about Clarian North's Breast Care Services.

I should have known

I should have known that things don't get easier...

The other day I had to tell someone that I had cancer.  I guess I thought everyone knew about my health by now.  It was very difficult for me.  I could tell on the phone that they were upset.  Then I got teary eyed talking to them.

As my treatment gets closer to the end, the more nervous I am getting about everything.  I am starting to worry a little more about the outcome of the chemo.  I just continue to pray that things will go my way. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

Video About IBC

The following was posted on a bullentin board forum for young people with Breast Cancer. This is entry from a fellow IBC girl.

A new documentary from the creator of the award-winning film, My Longest Day, The IBC Project discusses the struggles of one woman's fight with Inflammatory Breast Cancer, and the general lack of knowledge about a disease that is commonly, and incorrectly, considered rare. Both the general public and the medical community are amazingly unfamiliar with this virulent affliction (the most aggressive form of breast cancer that is known), and the IBC Project is fighting against this ignorance.

No Lump. Still Cancer.

Get educated at:

I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I am afraid I it will be to emotional. Wanted to share it with all of you.


Doctor's appointment today. White blood cell count is too low. Dr. K prescribed antibiotics just in case I get sick. She also said that I have to stay away from sick people for a week. I asked her if I could still go to the play (Mama Mia!!!) and she said yes. I think she knew I would be really upset if she told me no.

This past round Dr. K opted to not give me the nulasta shot since I did so well in Round's 1-4. Now, since my count is so low, I have to get it again for the rest of the rounds.

They had problems accessing my port again, Chase hit it so hard that day. Dr. K said that when they take my breasts the surgeon could fix it if necessary. The poor nurses end up having to push on my chest after the "stabbing" to get the i.v. started.

This weekend was an emotional roller coaster. I called what I had chemo rage. Would not have gotten the award for Mother of the Year. I think Chase, Campbell and I ended on the floor a couple of times just crying. Then we baked cookies with chocolate and peanut butter chips in them. Then Campbell and I decided to make a crust less pumpkin pie. They both got up on the chair next to the bar and helped measured ingredients. It was so cute.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Indy Strides Against Breast Cancer

We were a small team down in Indy, but a mighty one! We raised around $700 between the five of us and had a great time!

Friday, October 16, 2009


O.k. Here is the latest....

1. X-ray was negative. Dr. K ordered a bone scan for the 22nd of October just as a precaution.

2. One more week till Mama Mia!!!! I am so excited. I bought tickets for a myself and a friend in May. I can't wait to dance and sing to ABBA tunes.

3. The new drugs have made me extremely sore!!!! Today I felt a little better. I just can not wrestle with the kids.

4. I got a grant from the . It is an organization that gives breast cancer patients money for certain services. Todd and I selected housekeeping. We met our lady last night. I can't not wait for her to get started. It will be such a relief for Todd and I. One less thing to worry about.

5. I also got selected for a program called . I got two chemo angels who send me cards and encouraging words for the next few months. Will explain more at a later date.

Chemo this week with Melissa

As Melissa said, I wanted to take her to chemo this week. I didn't really know what to expect, but everything went well. It was a long day, this was a surprise to Melissa as well. I did get to meet Dr. K, which I did want to do. (Of course, I had already done my research about her online, I had to know who was treating my sister!) The treatment(s) itself was not bad, not painful. From what I understand, these new drugs should be a piece of cake compared to the first two Melissa received. The nurses seem to think she shouldn't have any major issues because she did so well during the first round.

The nurses all know Melissa, and I have to say there wasn't one that didn't smile or laugh when they saw her. Just another testament to Melissa's positive attitude. From her leopard print jacket, to her contagious laugh she has the ability to make everyone feel more at ease, or maybe it was just me...

Didn't get emotional until the next day at home. Had a little breakdown, haven't had one of those in a while. I know she is going to get through because of her strength and because of the many prayers (thank you) from all of you. But sometimes it just hits and you have to just let it out...

Oh yeah, one more thing - thank goodness we have laptops. To keep ourselves busy we did some shopping online, facebook, blog, email, etc. Of course, can't forget about my introduction to Cash Cab!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chemo Round Number 5

Melinda brought me to chemo today. She said she wanted to experience it with me.

Below is what I have learned:

#1: Chase two weeks ago moved my port. Poor Nurse Jackie had to really work my port to get the infusion started. It was the most pain I have experience to date.

#2: My mugga scan showed a decrease heart function from 71% to 56%. This means they will monitor my heart function now every 2 months instead of every 3 months.

#3: Dr. Kakani said that I need an x-ray on my hip. So today after treatment I will go get an x-ray.

#4: My infusion will last a lot longer than those in the past. The drugs are taxotere and herceptin. Each drug today will take at least an hour and half each. After today, an hour each. They are also going to put a blood pressure cuff on me during one of my drug treatments.

#5: Doc confirmed that the lymph nodes are shrinking. She believes I now have calcifications in my breast. She sounded positive about it.

I will update you on the x-ray later.

Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk

Walked in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer on Saturday. What an emotional ride!!! I made it 2 miles. I felt like that was a huge accomplishment. I have been having hip pain for a few weeks. So I was excited that I could walk it. My team raised 1200 dollars. The opening ceremony really got to me. A survivor was talking about her children. That topic tends to be the one that sends my over the edge.

Mom, Melanie and family, tons of friends, co-workers, and Curves ladies walked for our team. See photos.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mammogram Today!!!

Went and got my breast squished. They did a mammogram and an ultrasound. The mammagram had no surprises, the cancer is there. The ultrasound showed that my lymph nodes are shrinking. The lymph nodes used to like they had little fingers off of them. Now they look like they are balls. Yahoo!!! So at least, the chemo is working on the lymph nodes.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I wanted to put chemo brain on my list yesterday, but I forgot.

So #11 of Things I Need to Remember Is...

That is o.k. to blame chemo on your memory loss.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ten Things I Need To Remember....

1. That I cannot change the outcome of my mammogram on Monday.(Please Pray!!!)

2. That it is o.k. to ask for a chair and sit down.

3. That I will probably cry everytime I get news that someone else has got diagnosed with breast cancer. Then cheer when I find out that it is not Inflammatory.

4. That I will get letters from people I have never met and the letters will make me cry.

5. That I love watching people make fools of themselves dancing on T.V. and it is o.k. to laugh out loud to yourself.

6. That people do really mean well and have wonderful spirits.

7. That sitting down and watching my kids play is o.k. and that I don't have to play with them every second of the day.

8. That is important to pray.

9. That Mary's Magic Mouthwash really does work on mouth sores and I need to use it every day. Not quit after the sores go away....

10. That brushing your teeth with a light up toothbrush is really cool even when you are 34. Especially when you turn out the lights in the bathroom.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Little Things

Round #4 kicked my butt today...came home only after working 3 hours. Took way too much energy to even walk to the bathroom. Then I had to take some meds for the nausea.

Tonight my dad came over and helped out because Todd had to leave on official police business. I came out to the living room and my dad was letting Campbell serve him "strawberry juice and cookies". So the emotionally basket case that I am, I started to cry. I remember back in the day when Melinda and I used to serve him the same. It was so cute to listen to them interact with each other.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Halfway Done!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am halfway done with the really stong drugs. Round 5, 6, 7, and 8 will consist of taxotere and herceptin. Round eight should be December 14, 2009. Herceptin will be given to me through October 2010. I am excited and nervous. Mammagram scheduled on October 5, 2009. This will let us know if everything is working. I am scared....

Monday, September 21, 2009

What is Chemo?

I was talking to a friend of mine, she wanted to know what happened during chemo and what the day was like for me. So here it is a play by play of the day...

1. The nurse accesses your port. Which means the "stab" you in your port and draw your blood. The tube thing is only five inches long that stays with you until I am connect to the IV machine. The little tube gets taped to my chest.

2. Doctor's appointment. Dr. K checks everything out and makes sure I am doing ok.

3. They connect you to the iv drip. I get an inject of a steroid and a bag of steroids in my IV. This takes about an half an hour.

4. A nurse sits next to me and "pushes" one of the chemo drugs into my iv. Takes about 15 minutes.

5. I get another chemo drug by iv. It takes about 30 minutes to drip into my iv.

The day starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 12:00.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Acts of Randomness!!!

Act #1 Tongue swelled up last night. O.k. only the right side of my tongue swelled up. When I told Todd that it swelled he told me it was probably a popcorn kernel; until he looked at it. Called the Doctor she prescribed Mary's Magic Mouthwash. I hope it is really magic.

Act #2 Cried at church on Sunday. I saw all these people with Melissa's Crusaders shirts on and lost it emotionally.

Act #3 Today I went to Bonnie's to drop off the kids. The little girl from yesterday, looked at me again. I took my hat and asked her if she wanted to touch my head. She said no! Then as I was leaving I heard her run to Bonnie and say, "she still doesn't have any hair!!"

Act #4 I went to the bathroom at the office on 629 North 6th (where only women work). I went to sit down and ended up in the toilet bowl. I yelped then started to laugh so hard my belly hurt. I came out and our Health Officer said, " That was my bad!". The poor man was so red faced.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Never Forget Your Hat..

I walked in the sitter's house to pick up the kids. After being there a few seconds I realized that the kids were staring at me. I thought to my self that is really odd. I then realized that I didn't have my hat on my head. OOPS!!!

One little girl was really staring. So I bent down to Taylor's level, and told her that the medicine I take makes me lose my hair. I asked her if she wanted to feel my head. She said yes and told me it felt rough. I asked her if I look like Campbell's daddy and she said yes. I think they were all shock and I hope that me making light of it won't give any of them nightmares.

Then tonight my step dad and mom came over. I told them that story. My step dad says, "Well when I pulled into your drive way, I thought it was Todd sitting in the chair. Then I looked closer and realized it was you" . .Again, they do say you start to look more like your spouse the longer you get married. I just thought it would take longer than seven years.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Chemo Update

My chemo doc (Dr. Kakani) told me today because I am HER2 + I have to have a year of a drug called Herceptin. HER2 + means that you have this antibody in your body that is bad. This drug Herceptin is started with my fifth round of chemo and continued for 12 rounds every three weeks. Herceptin can be taken at the same time that I have surgery. I have heard that your hair can grow back while on this drug.

We got Campbell's doll (Kimmie's Care Doll). She has already named it and took it to church on Sunday. Today she fought me for a bandanna. I gave in and let her wear it and I picked a new one.

Today I am feeling tired. But I can handle it.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Survey

Please participate in the survey. Campbell told me last night she thought my breasts would be purple. She may be right for a while they very will may be.

Meet My Surgeon!!! Information Overload

Todd and I meet with Dr. Patricia Kennedy a surgeon who specializes in breast oncology. We loved her and her staff. Dr. Kennedy sat down with us for an hour and explained so much about my type of cancer. Then her staff sat down with us for another half an hour. The following is what we learned:

1. I do not carry the BRCA genetic mutation. Which means that I get to keep my ovaries!!! I also now have some big decisions to make about my left breast. I can choose to keep my left breast or get it removed. I now have .5% chance of getting cancer in my left breast for every year I survive. Basically, I survive 10 years I have a 5% chance.

2. I will have surgery sometime at the end of January. Last chemo being January 4th with three weeks for healing before surgery (removal of right breast and lymph nodes for sure).

3. There is so much information out there for breast cancer survivors. The one they stressed for me to contact is the Young Survival Coalition: .

4. My lymph nodes are shrinking!!!! Praise GOD!!!!! This is huge deal. My surgeon could not feel my lymph nodes on Wednesday. When I had my original biopsy my lymph nodes were huge. Dr. Kennedy feels that this is a sign that the chemo drugs are working. Keep praying it stays that way.

5. There is a doll out there called Kimmie Cares ( )She is doll that you can take her long hair off, put a bandanna on, then put on short hair. Just like Mommy during her chemo treatments. It is so cute.

6. I have Brooke Warford's twin. The social worker at Dr. Kennedy's place is a spitting image of Brooke. It was unbelievable how much they look like.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Biopsy, a prayer request and a something funny!

My biopsy: Last Friday turned into an adventure for me. The biopsy of my throat required that they put something down my nose. When they went to take it out, my nose would not stop bleeding, which meant I had to have my nose packed. Friday was an adventure trying to figure out how to breath through my mouth when I was sleeping. Needless to say I did not get a lot of sleep on Friday. Results will come back on Friday.

A prayer request: I am asking that you pray for Judi, she is getting ready to have surgery for colon cancer and is struggling right now.

Something Funny: Last night I was changing and Campbell said something about my breasts. I told her soon mommy won't have any that the doctors were going to remove them. She asked me if they would grow back. I told her that they may depending on what mommy may decided. She then asked if they would come back a different color. How do you answer that question?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If Only...

I hope you will laugh as hard as I have over this story...

This morning I was looking in the mirror and I noticed a hair that was half in my nose and half out. So I thought to myself, oh no my eyebrows have finally decided to fall out. (Which is something I have been dreading.) I decided to get it off my face and wouldn't you know it the stupid thing is attached. (Just a really long nose hair.) The question of the day: Why is is that the hair on your body you would like to fall out won't?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Weekly Update

I had my second chemo treatment on the 10th of August. Emotional I really struggled on Monday and Tuesday. Then I talked with my "sista" and realized that the doc's didn't tell me anything I don't already know. So, I felt much better. I worked every day during the week. I was exhausted by the time I got home but was able to do it. Which I must say is much better then sitting at home thinking.

This weekend was rough. On Saturday, it took all of my energy to just walk to the bathroom. But I made it to church on Sunday. Then just took it very easy the rest of the day. Thank goodness I am not nauseated.

I have a throat biopsy scheduled for Friday August 21st at 8 a.m. They are going to make sure these abnormal cells on my throat are not cancer. When the E.N.T. Doc looked at them in the office, he thought they were fine. For me that was not good enough, I am making them doing a biopsy for peace of mind. It will take a few weeks to get the results. I will post them.

My daughter is so cute!!! On Saturday she looked at me and said "Mommy I wish you did not have cancer!". I told her I wished I didn't have cancer too. And that was the end of the conversation. Over all, she is handling it well. It is hard for her to understand how medicine that heals you also can make you tired.

Please keep praying. In a few weeks, we will have another mammogram to make sure that the treatment is working.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lint Roller

Last week at work a co-worker told me to use a lint roller on my head. She had heard on a soap opera that it works. On Sunday night, my hair was falling out like crazy. For those of you who have watched Breakfast Club...remember Ally Sheedy when she makes her dandruff look like snow. That is exactly what was happening to me today over the sink. Until....I made Todd use a lint roller on my head. The funny thing is it worked. I did get a little teary eyed when I looked in the mirror. My new shaven head is now a little patchy. And dang it not as pretty as Todd's anymore. But then I started to laugh when I realized I just let my husband use a lint roller on my head. Only in the Pekny Family!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Story

I have been asked several times in the last few days about my story and how I figured out I had cancer. I figured I would just lay it out there for everyone.

Todd and I went on vacation on June 8th. I noticed then that my breast looked swollen and bruised. I just figured Chase had hit me there and it was bruised. It never got better just worse. So on July 8th, I went to my ob-gyn thinking I had a bruised breast. He order a mammogram that day. During this mammogram, the lady who did it insisted that I get a special mammogram ordered by the end of the week. She kept telling me it is very important. On July 9th, I called my doctor and told him that I needed this special testing. He ordered it and I was at the doc by 1:00 p.m. by 2:15 they told me I had cancer. The following week was a blur.

Here are the symptoms of Inflammatory Breast Cancer:

Symptoms of IBC may include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast, often without a distinct lump in the breast. The redness and warmth are caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin. The skin of the breast may also appear pink, reddish purple, or bruised. The skin may also have ridges or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange), which is caused by a buildup of fluid and edema (swelling) in the breast. Other symptoms include heaviness, burning, aching, increase in breast size, tenderness, or a nipple that is inverted (facing inward) (3). These symptoms usually develop quickly—over a period of weeks or months. Swollen lymph nodes may also be present under the arm, above the collarbone, or in both places. However, it is important to note that these symptoms may also be signs of other conditions such as infection, injury, or other types of cancer (1).

I was not aware that the symptoms I was having was cancer. I always thought that breast cancer was a lump.

Monday, July 27, 2009


This is Melinda in the Rod Stewart wig. For those of you who know my sister, this is what her hair looked like when she was 10!!!!!

Wig Photos

Mom being Dolly!!!

My best impression of Rod Stewart!!

Melinda had this same hair cut when she was in the forth grade.

Do Blondes really have more fun??

The above is my pick. Although this photo is not good.

Todd would call this one the peacock. Although

you can't tell it is three colors.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Week One Update.

What a crazy week!!! The chemo has been kind to me so far. I have been just a little nauseated. No hair loss yet. Thank goodness.

On Tuesday, I got a shot the nurse said was worth $6000 in my arm. Melinda and Campbell went with me. Campbell got the star treatment from the nurses. We figured it up and by the end of all this my arm will have been injected with $48,000 of medicine. How nuts is that? The injection is supposed to stimulate white blood cells.

On Tuesday night, mom, Melinda and I went and got my wig. As soon as Melinda sends me the photos I will post them. We had a great time. The American Cancer Society gave me the wig. I will then donate it back when I am done using it.

I went to my surgical oncologist today. The port incisions are healing well. Dr. Berg told me that my skin did test positive for cancer. So we know now that I do have Inflammatory Breast Cancer. (Breast Mass, Skin and Two lymph nodes are all positive).

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Chemo Trip

Today is a big day. I am sitting here getting my first chemo treatment. For those of you who do not know I got diagnosed with Inflammatory Breast Cancer just a week and half ago. Time has just flown by since then. In a mere week and a half, I have meet my surgical oncologist, chemo oncologist, had a port put in, a mugga scan, cat and pet scan.