Radiation Markers

Hello All!  For many reasons, I am switching back to using my private blog site for sharing my life adventures.  I promise, I will not ask for donations!!!

This week was an emotional roller-coaster.  I’ll give a quick synopsis of the week and then move onto Radiation Markers.

My oncologist told me that there were, “No more tools in the toolbox,” to treat the melanoma.  He referred me to City of Hope, which the insurance denied, which I appealed, which reversed the denial, which led to the City of Hope visit on Monday!  Whew!

Monday- I went to the City of Hope.  I was hopeful that I would find more options or resources available at City of Hope.  The oncologist gave me news I did not want to hear.  She told me there are no more treatment options or clinical trials available.  I cried all the way home, but by the time I reached home, I was determined to find another path to healing or persuade my primary oncologist to continue the immunotherapy.

Tuesday- I sent an email to my primary oncologist with a request to re-start the immunotherapy.  I also had an appointment with the radiation department to start the process for radiation to my shoulder.  My right scapula has been invaded with metastatic melanoma.  This has caused a lot of pain and limited range of motion.  Hopefully, the radiation will relieve the pain and decrease the mass size.

Thursday- I had an appointment with my oncologist.  When he walked into the office, he smiled and said he had re-reviewed my case and all my lab work.  He then said we could resume the immunotherapy.  Not only that, now we would be using both the Opdivo and Yervoy!  Plus….I was able to start the treatment that day!

Friday- Radiation Markers!  The Marker Process actually began on Tuesday, but Friday was the day to finish the job.  A CT Scan, X-rays, and Sharpie Markers are the tools for Radiation Markers.  Using the radiology images, the doctor and staff decide where to direct the radiation.  I was then marked with Sharpie Markers, so when it is time for radiation, they know exactly where to aim!  They also mark the sheet that I will be laying on for radiation and that will help them line up everything to me.  It is a very interesting process.

While x-rays were being taken and I was being marked, a thought jumped out to me.  I wondered if maybe the staff would come back and say there was no mass.  Wouldn’t that be amazing and wonderful?  That isn’t the case though.  They continued creating the Radiation Markers.

I will continue to move forward through all this with everything I can do.  I’m checking into CBD oils, essential oils, and healing through nutrition.  I still believe in God and the power of prayer.  I also believe that all the prayers, all the positive thoughts, and all the reaching out my family and friends have poured out on my behalf, has had an amazing impact on this journey.  You have all helped me find my courage and strength to keep moving forward.  Thank you!

With much love and gratitude, Cindy

he·ro [ˈhirō] NOUN a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities:

Keeping it light while waiting for the surgeon!

Without family, friends, and faith this journey would be very dark and dreary.  Thankfully, I am truly blessed with the amazing support that I am receiving from family and friends!  I count them as heroes in my life.

My adult children are amazing heroes in my life.  Through thick and thin they have always supported me.  Both have always had the ability to help me see the lighter things in life and to enjoy life with appreciation.  It they are available, they will always go on a hiking or beach adventure with me!

Bree has never been shy about calling things out that doesn’t seem right to her,  and has a deep sense of justice and honesty.  By her example, she has taught me to be more bold in life and to speak up! Brianna has gone to the majority of my medical appointments.  She makes me laugh while waiting, she gives me that look if I’m not being completely honest with symptoms, and she stands by bravely as the doctor or surgeon speaks those terrifying words!

Trevor has always had the ability to make me laugh, even in the darkest of hours! Through his medical journey and all the trials he endured before the diagnosis of Crohn’s,  and how he has managed his medical journey after the Crohn’s diagnosis, Trevor has been an inspiration as I work my way through my own medical journey.  How can one complain about scopes and tests and IVs, when your son has already endured without complaining  at a very young age?

Both of them work well as a team and come together to support and care for me.  After my first melanoma surgery, they teamed together to make sure I had my meds on time and one of them was always in the same room with me.  They even helped me to the bathroom before the skin graft healed.  I know that helping me heal from that surgery was gross on many levels, but they stuck it out!IMG_0150

My parents are heroes too!  They raised me so that I am not afraid of hard work, I am not afraid of battles, and I am not a quitter!!!  Much of that knowledge came from the horses we trained and showed and…Dad will love this…weekends cutting trees for fire wood.  Ugh!  I really must have given him a run for his money on that one.  I did not want to do that work and I know I must have complained and whined!  Sorry…!  Mom, I’m sorry I wasn’t so willing to help you in the garden.  It’s funny, because now I love to garden and I really did learn a lot from you about gardening!

Paul, my brother, I have not forgotten you!  We really stuck together as we were growing up and had a great childhood.  I would have been very lonely and scared without you in my life!

I’m sorry if this is boring and sounding like an Academy Awards thank you list!  In a way, it is!  I’ll try to condense the rest of my thanks to my heroes, but everyone on my hero list is near and dear to my heart.  It is important they know how much they mean to me!

My aunts, uncles, cousins, and in-laws are all heroes!  They have all come together and given me love and support and advice, that I usually take!  Everyday, I have a text full of love from at least one of my extended family.  Heroes all!

Al and Karen are amazing heroes.  They have always stood by me and Bree & Trevor.  They have included us as family and they have always spoken the truth to me with loving kindness.  They were there for the kids before I even realized the kids needed that kind of help.  Thank you!

My Life Quest Family!  Oh, how they have stood by me!  They have fed me, they have prayed for me, Jessica goes hiking with me, they text me and let me know I am in their thoughts and prayers.  The men of Life Quest came to the property and cleaned it all up for me so I can list it next week.  That was HARD work and I am very thankful!  They stood up for me and validated me.  Life Quest family will always be my heroes.

My Kimberly School Family!  Oh, my heart is so full for each one of you!  I don’t know how I could have managed everything I’m going through without your love and support!  I am thankful for your wiliness to come and work on the property on Saturday.  Everyday I am shown love and support at Kimberly and I feel that you are all family!  Thank you to the Lunch Group too!  What would I do without you?   Kimberly is an amazing staff of heroes.  Everyday they give their best to their students, their families, and to each other.  No wonder we are #1!!!  Lol!!!  (Kimberly retirees…you are included too!).

To my closest friends, I hope you all know that I count you as heroes!!!  I will acknowledge you in a more personal way!  And to my Nine Hour Away Friend, thank you for filling my texts with humor and real life stuff!

Oh, this isn’t meant as a goodbye speech or anything!  There will be many more blogs.  It has been on my heart for a long time to let people know that I am thankful for them and that I love each and every one!





Hiking and exploring the outdoors has always been a favorite activity of mine.  Recently, hiking has taken on a whole new dimension for me.  It is becoming an activity that is never far from my mind.  I’ve been researching hiking trails and I’m considering joining several hiking groups.  In short, it is becoming more than a casual hobby.  I’m even thinking about buying some “real” hiking equipment!

Beginning this new chapter of my life, is much like hiking.  I find it exciting and challenging.   When I find a new trail, there is the moment of wondering, “Should I really try this?  Will it be too difficult?”  That old enemy, Fear, whispers in my ear, “You don’t have what it takes.” Then my friend, Courage, wraps around me with encouragement and affirmation and says, “You won’t be sorry for trying this trail.  Go for it!”

Once on the trail, there are decisions to be made.  There are forks in the road, so to speak. Trails split and a choice needs to be made, “Which way?  Should I go up the steep trail, or should I take the easy path?”   Choosing the steep path usually leads to an amazing view and a sense of accomplishment.   There is a sense of pride for reaching the top, even when I’m gasping for breath!    However,  I’m learning that there is joy and peace when walking the easy path.  Sometimes we need the experience of pushing forward and upward.  Sometimes we need to just breathe and enjoy the journey.

Hiking has also taught me that there are times in life when we need to walk alone, there are times we need to walk with a friend, and there are times to walk with a group of people.  I find that there are times when I just want to get out and hike, but nobody is available to join in the adventure with me.  That was difficult in the beginning, but I’ve come to appreciate time alone.  I am able to just be.  I am able to still my thoughts and take in the beauty of our world.  Walking with a friend (usually my daughter) always brings new insights into a relationship.  It is opportunity to accomplish and explore with someone and build into a friendship.  I’ve solved many world problems while walking with a friend!  Group hiking is always exciting too.  With group hiking, I can hang back and enjoy the companionship of other people, without the worries that come with solo hiking.  I’ve made many new friends while hiking with groups.

I will be creating a page on this blog, dedicated to hiking and the trails I discover.  My hope is to encourage others to get out and explore the world!  To my personal friends, if ever you would like to hike with me, let me know!

Happy Trails!

Plexus Report #1

I began my Plexus journey as a skeptic.  However, I have been watching some close friends on their Plexus journey and could see the results of weight loss in their lives.  So when I hit 206 pounds, I decided to try it.  The results so far?

06/16/17 Weight 206 pounds; Blood Pressure 145/92

07/18/17  Weight 198 pounds; Blood Pressure 126/76

The best part has been that I actually feel better!  I had been struggling with nerve pain in both legs and my right arm.  My legs and arms were also stiff and I was having a difficult time just moving around.  Since I began the Plexus journey,  I haven’t reached for an anti-inflammatory  in over three weeks!

I currently use the Plexus Slim, Bio Cleanse, and Pro Bio 5.  I’ll be adding the Plexus vitamin soon.  I am becoming a Plexus believer!