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Debbie’s Story

Okay, here goes. Call me the Reluctant Blogger.

This site is being set up for our sweet friends to get information on my treatment. Thank you for your phone calls, e-mails, and visits. I hope this keeps you informed. Also, I sincerely hope you will use this to pray for us over the next few months. I'm not going to be bashful in asking for prayers!


Oh, my gosh! I just glanced over in the margin of this site and saw "Read the caring tributes in honor of Debbie". Let me tell you. I will be hacked if none of you write a caring tribute to me! And remember, it's "in honor of" . . . not "in memory of".

Okay, here's the info:

I found the cancer myself in mid January. I actually thought it was nothing more than fibrocystic tissue. You can imagine my surprise when the doctor said she was concerned and sent me for a mammogram. It took an agonizing 2 weeks to get the final report, but it is malignant.

After talking to wonderful doctors at both Baylor Hospital and UT Southwestern, I've decided to go into a clinical study at UT Southwestern. It was a hard decision because I really liked every doctor I met. It's unbelieveable how caring the doctors and staff are who deal every day with cancer patients. I don't know how they do it. I would be in the worst mood if I were in that profession. (Instead I married Bill and had five kids so that I could always be cranky!)

Anyway, it is a neoadjuvant therapy which simply means that I will have chemo before surgery to remove the tumor. The chemo will last 6 months. Depending on which arm (or group) I'm randomly put in, I could have chemo once every three weeks for 12 weeks and then once a week for 12 weeks (Arm 1), or just the opposite (Arm 2). I'm waiting now to find out which arm I'll be in. Bill and I can't plan our social calendar until I know how often I have to go for chemo.

Here is the info on the cancer the best I can explain it: (In my life, I never dreamed I'd know this much about breast cancer!)

It is a stage II invasive ductal carcinoma. It measures 2.5 cm (may be a little larger). The breast MRI showed no invasion of the nodes. I tested Estrogen (72%) and progesterone (7%) positive. I also tested high for Her2/neu. It's because I'm "lucky" enough to have all three positives that I can go into this trial study. This study is out of MD Anderson in Houston and the previous two phases have yielded very good results. I am hoping for a lumpectomy at the end.

So that's it. Now for prayer requests.

Please pray for the final tests that I will be taking this week before starting chemo. I will have the port put in on Monday. Then, I should start chemo on Wednesday or Thursday. I'm dreading every bit of it.

I actually have an overall peace about the chemo, but when I allow myself to think ahead, I start feeling a little panic. So, please pray that there will be no more anxiety.

Please continue to keep Bill and my children in your prayers. I think this is probably harder for them than it is for me. At least I can take a good book and read while I'm receiving treatment. They have to just sit and wonder. I will say, though, it's been nice hearing from my boys so often. Kady has always been good about calling (obviously, she's a girl!), but the boys are a little more "reluctant" to check in. If I had known this would get them to put me in their speed dials, I probably would have used this sooner! (I am a big believer in parenting by guilt.)

Finally, it probably goes without saying, but please pray for complete healing. Pray that God would wipe out every last cancer cell.

God is faithful and I have no doubt that His plan is to draw us closer to Him as He walks our family through this ordeal. I'm sure His plan is actually bigger than that, but for now, I am dependent on His Spirit to get me through each day. And I am dependent on the prayers of our friends. Thank you.

I hope this brings you up to date on what feels like, for me, a complete out-of-body happening. All the best, Debbie