Monthly Archives: September 2012

My Breast Cancer Benefit, what a sweet suprise!!

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Ok, I have to apologize for my blog, it is a little all over the place. This benefit took place 8 weeks post op hysterectomy and before my latest BC scare. But I needed to share this with the world, so please excuse my disorgnization of the order of my blog.

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My Friends,from left to right: Kira, Me, Jessica Boogie Brown and Genevive.

Amazing, incredible,wonderful, supportive,exciting,unexpected,thankful,grateful,surprised ,I am sure there are more adjectives and still wont express how Rick and I felt the day our benefit. Our dear friends and coworkers through for us On August 26,2012 to help with medical bills and to start our sugorracy fund! We can’t JB aka Jessica Brown and Charlie aka “Mr. Middletown” for coming together and putting together a spectacular, amazing event for us.

The following was what was put on flyers and in newspapers (I never thought my life sounded so pathetic until it was put into words,man I have been through a lot of crap lol)
imageThe story of Heather and Rick Morrill has touched many people, that we’re hosting this very special event in hopes that their story will inspire you too. Our goal is to help Heather and Rick alleviate some of the burden which resulted from medical bills and other tragedies.

Heather was raised in Middletown by her mother, Virginia, and father Arthur “Artie” Cerwin. She lived the typical “20-something” life until losing her mother when she was just 24 years old. Although this loss devastated Heather, she kept a smile on her face and did her best to lead a normal life. Along with her father, who was now also her only living family member, Heather filled her days the best way she knew how, with laughter, love and a positive attitude.

Heather later met the love of her life, Rick Morrill and it seemed as though things were finally turning around. It was clear from the moment they met that Heather and Rick were meant to be and were head-over-heals in love. After their courtship, Heather and Rick “set the date.” A wedding would be held in the fall of 2010, and it would be a time of great celebration for everyone. By the New Year in 2009, with the help of Rick’s family and Heather’s father Artie, the wedding plans were in full swing. The countdown to wedded bliss had begun.

Little did anyone know, another tragedy would soon overshadow what was supposed to be the happiest time in this young couple’s lives. In the summer of 2009, Heather would lose her father Artie, only a few short months before her wedding day. After already losing her mother, this loss only compounded Heather’s grief. “Who will walk me down the aisle?” “Who will I dance with at my wedding?”

Despite the loss of both parents, and a void that could never be filled, Heather and Rick were married on a beautiful November day, and their happily ever after seemed to be underway. Along with Heather’s son Branden, the couple looked forward to a future full of love, health and happiness.

In the Spring of 2010, Heather and Rick were elated to learn they were expecting their first child! Their new addition would arrive early in 2011 and they could hardly contain their joy. Sadly, this journey would end tragically as the result of an ectopic pregnancy. And because the resulting hemorrhage was a life-threatening complication, Heather would require emergency surgery to remove one of her fallopian tubes. Needless to say, devastation set in for the family. Doctors advised the family to hold off on any efforts to have more children, while Heather attempted to recuperate mentally and physically from this ordeal. It was around this time that Heather went for her first mammogram at the age of 35.

There were no signs or indications of trouble. It was simply a group of girlfriends going together for their first mammogram at their employer’s mobile mammography center. It wasn’t until a few days later when Heather got the call that the test came back and something was wrong.

Heather was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer at the age of 35.

Before treatment could begin, Heather and Rick were advised to harvest embryos because there is a high risk that the radiation and chemotherapy would cause infertility. The doctors soon placed Heather in a case study and began to follow her treatment. The plan was for her to endure several weeks of radiation then numerous weeks of chemotherapy infusion via a port. As the weeks went by, the chemotherapy, the multiple prescription drugs, and severe infections at the site of the port left Heather at her weakest and most fragile. As a result of these the complications, Rick had to rush her to the ER day and night.

One year later, and cancer free, Heather and Rick are left with an empty savings account and more debt than they ever could have imagined. They have no choice but to start their lives all over again.

In June, Heather and Rick were called into the doctor’s office with even more bad news. The complications from the treatment had left no choice for the doctors but to perform a Radical Hysterectomy. Heather and Rick learned that the embryos that they had stored would never be carried by Heather and that if they still wanted to have children that they would need to hire a surrogate. Heather was stripped her ability to carry their child.

Heather and Rick are now faced with not only the medical bills from the cancer treatment, but now will face even more hardship with Heather’s upcoming hysterectomy this summer. At the age of 37, Heather has been through what seems to be all that one person can handle in a life time.

The average cost for a surrogate, including application fees, legal expenses, medical expenses, administrative expenses and psychological fees is $20,000 – $75,000. Heather and Rick can’t afford to begin this process. And sadly, without a surrogate, will never be able to have a child together.

Heather and Rick Morrill have been through so much in the last 2 years of their lives. At no time did either one of them lose their spirit or the positive attitude that they are both known for. They faced each and every one of the tragedies hand in hand and heart in heart and conquered not only the physical complications, but also the emotional ones as well.

Just to name a few of the donations:

Cream Ridge Gold Course donated a gift certificate for “One Round of Golf for 4 players” (Monday – Friday after 1:00).

One week reserved (7/28/2013 to 8/4/2013) at the Sheraton Broadway Plantation in Myrtle Beach SC near Broadway at the Beach. It is a 1 bedroom (queen bed) unit with a mini kitchen that sleeps 4 (full size sofa sleeper). The resort offers family activities such as indoor/outdoor pool, miniature golf, sand volleyball, tennis, a lazy river, and a seasonal pool bar. There s a Fitness Center with aerobic and free-weights that is open 24 hours.

John Dockery, a former NY Jet, donated a football signed by Joe Namath

Checks can be written out to “Hand to Hand Ministries”

Suneagles Golf Club Fort Monmouth donated “Golf for 4” up to $217 value – includes: 4 rounds of golf with cart Monday -Friday – Anytime/expires 12/31/2012…excludes

There is also link on http://www.eastkoast.com where peolpe can buy 50-50 and or make donations.

Many local restuarants also donted, examples: Salt Creek Grille, Melting Pot, Walter Mihms Steak House, Barncle Bills, Basil T’s………and many many more.

Please help us make a difference!!! Any and all donations are appreciate.

Please join us!!!!! ALL ARE WELCOME!!!

I told you my life sounds pathetic lol!!!

The funny thing as Jessica was fund raising for me. I was bugging the same people to sign up for the Strides walk for Breast Cancer. I was trying to get people to donate for a raffel I wanted to do when I returned to work. I just thought I was a looser an no one wanted to join me. LOL I couldn’t have been more wrong!!!

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Jessica working the silent auction table,doing what she does best!!

I can’t thank enough all the people who donated for the silent auction.Linda and Rich you are the kindest people I know and love you dearly, I am blessed to have you as my in-laws and it goes without saying thank you for supporting Rick and I every step of the way. I need to thank Mama Brown for helping with organization on the auction table,the raffle and helping JB set everything up and Erica to. I can’t express my gratitude to everyone who bought raffles (all my coworkers and people I don’t know who are just generous). Gen, I know you and JB worked your butts off to sell,JB I know how you sold some of yours lol. Also some old friends from High school I have not see in years, thank u,amazing.

The food was great compliments of Florentinos in Middletown, the burgers and hot dogs where out of this world!(your mom being a survivor is an inspiration to me), I have always loved your  sandwiches since I was in college they are the best,yum! www.florentinos.com/

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Those of you who know me,I just dont shut up!!

Chris Morrsey and his band mates, u guys rocked and thank you for taking time out of your weekend and spending it with us! The music was fantastic and people enjoyed dancing. Also thanks for letting me have the mic (big mistake I like to talk,I want one for xmas now lol) so I could express my appreciation to those who where there, some I knew and some I didn’t.

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The Harborside is an amazing place, I can’t thank the owners enough for loaning the parking lot for the event, it takes special people to have something at their place of business for somethinglike this.http://www.ahwinebar.com/harborside.html Your restraunt is fantastic and we love your wine bar!

And we def can’t forget the Top Shelf Tailgating!!! Thank you for the kegs and the wide-screen tv with the games on, so cool!! The corn hole games where perfect to keep the boys busy,awesome service.You thought of it all,a built in port a potty, love it!!
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My fantastic son Branden working the auction table,hes the other love of my life.I am amazed at how he has handled all the issues I have had. I am proud to call him my son.

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more friends/coworkers, Lorin,Me, JB, and D!

My husband and I are truly blessed more than we know. And we have so many people who love and support us. Thank you is not a strong enough word to show our appreciation. The way we can show our thanks is buy keep on smiling and fighting the good fight! We love you all dearly and when tragedy happens to a family it does not always have to make your life bad(I mean it does suck for a while don’t get me wrong). It can make you appreciate the little things,your friends,your family and even just the air we breath. Cancer has changed our lives forever,but for the better 🙂
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Some of wonderful and close friends enjoying in the fun.

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All of the boys!!

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Mark, Rich and Catriona

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Of course we ended it with a bang!!

 

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Today I am happy to be Negative! Negative for cancer that is!!

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Friday evening I got the long-awaited phone call. As I lay in bed buried in a pile pillows and a oxy to take the edge off the pain my phone rang. I knew it had to be my doctor because of the ominous unknown phone number that came up on my caller id. Once again he had a cheery sound in his voice, but this time it was for real. The second biopsy is cancer free!! I feel like I was just pulled off of death row. Now my life can get back to normal.(However, I still will dream of those magical boobs that are in a far off land, I can still have reconstruction via my insurance company lol, but not for a while my body is a hot mess from all of the surgeries.) I just can’t believe the amount of pain I am in from this. My surgeon said he did have to go in deep, and I did also had the other biopsy last week. My poor beat up boob, it might as well be a pinata at a 7 year olds birthday party with all the abuse its taken over the past few weeks! Except mine is filled with scar tissue and bumps not candy and noise makers.

Ok, this pinata is def not for a 7 year olds birthday party. However with me and my friends this would be perfect to beat the hell out it to celebrate breast cancer awareness month!

But is your life ever “normal” after having cancer?? Will I always live with the fear of is it back? When will it be back? Do I have it again and just don’t know it yet? Has it matastsized?I feel like for the rest of my life I will be on the edge of my seat when it comes to my breast health. I know these questions resonate with other survivors, but how do u get over it? I just feel like that damn “C” word will be hovering over my shoulder,always. And every now and then just for shits and giggles it will rear its ugly head just for attention. Just when you are happy and feel healthy, along it comes just to let you know its there ,and there will always be that slight possibility of it coming back. However, I am a fighter, I have won this round and won my title of “survivor”. I plan to keep it that way! DON’T MESS WITH ME CANCER, I HIT BACK!!

Another ride begins… next stop Jeresey Shore University Medical Center for surgery!! Woo,woo!!

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Well, today was the day of my second biopsy. My breast has now become a pin cushion rather than a body part. I went at 8:30 am to have the dye injected into the area of where the marker was placed last week. This was so the cells could be removed more easily when the dye was placed. Once again I find myself face to face with that damn mammo machine, (I know a man invented it, and he MUST have had a true dislike for women lol). When they said they would be injecting dye into my breast while it was in the mammography machine,it just sent chills down my spine! My poor beaten and bruised breast would now be squished in that tourture device called a mammgraphy machine. To my surprising after last weeks biopsy it was not bad, a piece of cake, thank god! (plus mommy’s little helper, Valium was along for the ride lol). Still, my nerves are still rattled. I am giving it the old college try of being positive. I do find being positive is contagious and will hopefully rub of on my husband and others around me. I feel that it takes more energy to be negative then positive, so why not just go with it!

As I was sitting in the dressing area getting ready to leave a woman over heard me speaking to the tech about how I had found my first mass and what I have undergone since. She was in shock at my age that I already have had stage II BC , a hysterectomy and now possibly facing BC again. It goes to prove not many people are educated on who and how many young people get the evil “C” word. EDUCATION,EDUCATION, EDUCATION!!!! Check out this link for more education info: http://www.youngsurvival.org, also http://www.americancancersociety.com.

Now, my poor husband, how I love him dearly for being my biggest cheer leader and trying to comfort me (sometimes also the biggest pain in the a** , but arent they all). I just feel incredibly guilty for him to be on on this roller coaster of a ride with me again ( now he does get motion sickness lol), it’s not fair to him, I know this is what marriage is about. However, I am disappointed to be dealing with this crap again and pushing his nerves to the brink. I guess god gives difficult things in life to only certin people, because in life if you don’t have what i takes to survive you will become more ill or just won’t make it. I know I am a fighter. But when people tell me i am strong I question that. What does it mean to be strong through out this??? Just because I have not curled up in a ball and are in the corner of a room balling?? (another topic for another time). Anyway, at this time in our lives we were supposed to be preparing ourselves to meet with the surrogate agency again to rent a uterus and freeze out our 8 little ice pops ( I prefer to use renting instead of using medical terms,makes me laugh every time lol I have nick name one of them Clair for eggclair ). And yes, I do send my husband a fathers day card from the frozen embroys,he only gets one because I would I cards would be nuts lol. Everything happens for a reason, im sure in a few weeks i will see what that reason is. I really want for him to be able to have his own biologic child. He already is so very close to my son and is an amazing stepfather, I can only imaging how he would be with his own children. I feel that many young women are not educated in the area of fertility who have cancer. I did my research and this is who I used. They are amazing,compassionate people at this facility. http://www.valleyhospital.com/fertility.aspx I am so happy I chose them to help with my future child.
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This is Rick and I in Novemver 2008 just weeks after we where engaged. We are at Yankee Stadium on the field, a Yankee’s fan come true!! Go Yanks!!!

So my husband and I have time to kill before I go for the surgery. We decided to go have a good breakfast and pick my son up from home so he can join us. As we are driving home my son sends me a text message with the following picture of our big bad Pitbull Boomer(we rescued him right after my radiation to help me recover) and this was a much-needed good laugh!! I think Boomer figured everyone else in the house has a big bed, why can’t I?? He to is also one of the other loves of my life, besides Rick and Branden. This dog is the biggest “p” word there ever was! Afraid of his own shadow lol. If someone broke into my house I think he would assist them in carrying out the items for them lol.

This is the message I received with the photo:
Dear heather,
hey it’s me boomer woof woof.i thougnht that it was a good idea to wrap myself up with the blanket on the bed and relax. ps I farted in the bed and drooled on the pillow. Sorry about that.
from boomer

I love this picture of him so much. Now you can see why I am in puppy love lol.

After breakfast I take my much-needed Valium as the anxiety of the surgery isnbuilding inside me.  As we are driving back to the Hospital I am trying the meditate with my ipod on to spa music. I feel my husband grab my hand. That was the exact thing I needed at that moment, no words just the warmth of his has to let me
know it will be all right. He knows what I need at just the right time. Truly my husband is a wonderful guy ,(no I am not kissing a*s in case if he reads this 😉 , but if I was not married to him I would say the same thing,  A-M-A-Z-I-I-N-G is how I spell Rick.

My doctor comes out to the waiting room to get me. We hand over my 10 lbs of films and off we go to the surgical room. I have been in it 2 times before so I know what to expect. I get strapped on the table which is now tilted and my right arm over my head. I have my ipod in one ear so I can hear his instructions in the other. First 3 injections of novocaine  and let the cutting begin. The aroma from being curterized smells like burning hair, not bad but I don’t recommend Yankee candle creating this sent anytime soon. The procedure took about 20 mins and about another 17 shots of novocaine. The nurse said the doctor would call me thursday night with the new biopsy results. I was then stitched and wrapped up and sent on my merry way to drift off into my percocet induced sleep for the afternoon. As I did my superman of a husband took my son to the Pediatric  doctor, we now think he has pink eye (fantastic all I need now is swollen red eyes with stitches in my boob, perfect for Halloween but that’s 4 weeks away). Again as a family, as a whole we are a “hot mess” lol, but that’s ok I would not have it any other way because this is our path in life!

And to quote a favoriate move of mine, Old School and Will Ferrill our family will “keep on truckin!” To be continued.

I may not be in remission!! The breast cancer could be back???

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Well my results are in from my biopsy this week, and there is no drum roll with these kind of results! When things go bad, they go really, really bad lol. This is something you just cant script!

I was on the way to a wake Thursday night and suddenly my husband realized my car had flat tire just as we where entering the parkway. We tried to change the tire, but our dismay we where unable to get the bolts off my wheel. So as my husband is calling a tow truck I sat in the car in the AC. As I did this strange number came across my phone, I answered it and to my surprise it was my breast surgeon and he had an up beat tone in his voice. I didn’t think that my results would be ready until tomrrow. I start to think good news??? Nope I could not have been more wrong. My report showed “atypical” cells and then that damn”C“word crept in my head. My doctor said,”with these findings we can’t rule out recurrent cancer”. That moment my stomach dropped and I felt a warmth coming up from my feet, to my knees, all the way to my head. After hearing those words that went to the core of my spirit, everything else he said just sounded to me like Charlie Browns teacher,just noise. Nothing at that point was comprehendable. So I reached in my purse for a few zanaxs to aid in the soon and fast approuching anxioty attach that I knew was headed my way.(I have a purse full of stuff. Usually a large Coach or Michaels Kors bag. I pratically can preform surgery on someone if I had to with all the crap I carry lol).
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The first thing I said to him was, mastectomy! Like I said before I am so over my breasts, TAKE THEM OFF ALREADY!!!!. My doctor did say that will be the next step, however we need to confirm that it defiantly is recurrent breast cancer.  So,I am now having a surgery to have more tissue from the area removed, kinda like a lumpectomy but without the removal of the lymph nodes on Thursday. I choose to be awake for the procedure(yea sounds scary but they drug you up, Ill enjoy the legal drugs while I can lol) because 9 weeks ago when I had my hysterectomy my lung partially collapsed. I don’t want to take any chances and end up with pneunomia and inpatient in the hospital Also, to have the preop test and wait 4 weeks for the surgery?? NO THANK YOU, let’s get it done and over! If you have not relazied it by now I am very aggressive when it comes to this.

I now find myself again faced with my own mortality again at the age of 37. (I think in a previous life I was a cat because I seem to have 9 lives lol). I am so done and over it all, however I will never say I cant do this, because I am a fighter. I will survive there is no other way.(This is the point where I would add back ground music of Gloria Gainers unforgettable hit, I Will Survive.Yes, it may be little cheesey but hell it works!!)
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However, this is coming at the worst time (not that there is a good time for cancer and not that you can plan to have it when you choose lol). I just returned back to work this past Wensday and now next week I will be going back out on disability! I think I am gonna buy a lottery ticket because no one can have this much bad luck lol. Again, my positive thought is a new perky pair of C cups 🙂 if worse comes to worse!
www.americancancersociety.com

The waiting game for my life begins again. I some how found myself on that bus ride again!(SOMEONE LET ME OFF PLEASE!!)

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It is 7:30 am Monday September 17th and I anxiously await to have the biopsy of my right Breast. Along with my nerves about going back to work tomorrow (fyi I has a total hysterectomy 8 weeks ago,yet another story,and yes I had another surgery, I am the definition of HOT MESS lol). I question will this madness with my body end ever end? I am glad I go back to work tomorrow it will help me pass the time for the next two days until my biopsy results are in.  I do miss my friends and having a laugh with them. But its the pending doom of my right breast that is eating away at my good spirit today. I have packed my ipod with my spa music, no P Diddy for this procedure, this is serious work :)! I walk in the breast center that I was at the previous week but now I am greeted by a nurse who will assist in the procedure(yes!! a person in this place who has not seen my breasts!!!). I think to myslef  how bad could this be?? wrong. I had to lay on my stomach for about 45 mins in what I can only describe a device was from the movie Saw(ok I am being dramatic, bu really it was nuts). The procedure is called a stereotactic needle biopsy. The last biopsy I had was done right in my breast surgeons office with out all the machinary because my tumor was so close to the surface. As the procedure began I tried to meditate, I was at  beach in Turkes and Cacios with the island boy bringing me spiked beverages, ahhh to be there now. And then the novicane hits me, wow how it burns. My mind is now back at this damn room. They give me one further inside. After taking what seemed like 50 mammo films they finally got the right position to start the procedure, of course the spot was on my scar tissue and hurt like hell!!(not for nothing but I believe men need to have something like this done to them just once in their lives to appreciate what we women go through for good health lol). I now hear the machine clamp down and I hear something going in and out of my right breast, each time a little further in and at times I would feel a little zing as it hit a nerve. After they confirmed they got the calcium deposits they then put in a teny tiny titanium rod in (smaller than a tic tac). Of course my first question was can I  use my breast as a post it board??? good question right? I figure if I have it I might as well use for reminders, grocery lists things like that. But to my dismay it is not. So I then was bandaged up and told not to lift anything heavy and they would have my results in 3 days which is friday. I hope and pray for good news, but like I said before if it’s not the” magical breasts” will soon be on their way to their new home with me! POSITVE THOUGHTS FOR NOW 🙂

This is a image of the machine that does the biopsy, see I told you it looks like its from the movie Saw!! lol

PLEASE REMEMBER OCTOBER IS BREAST CANCER AWARENESS MONTH. HELP SAVE SOME LIVES! If YOU LOVE EM, THEN CHECK EM!

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I am happy to say I am walking for the first time with the American Cancer Socitey, Making Strides walk on October 21st. If you would like to show your support and donate for my walk you can go to www.makingstrideswalk.org and look up Heathers Rack Pack. Every dollar helps!!!
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This is an amazing group of people who from the bottom of their hearts care. I have used many of their services. I want to give back so others fighting this horrible disease also have the chance to have access to the same services.

Some of the services include: free wigs, transportation to chemo and radiation, look good feel better programs, education and much more.

ALL IT TAKES IS ONE DOLLAR TO MAKE A HUGE IMPACT ON SOMEONES LIFE!!! II DID MINE!!