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katana600

Gilbert is home

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On 11/12/2018 at 9:59 AM, SRSeedBurners said:

Glad to see you're back.   All these long running threads have stopped as many of the members have left.  I think someone was inquiring about this thread just the other day.

Regaring the breast cancer, how did you catch it so early?  Regular exam?   I need to get my wife in there to do hers...

Thanks for the welcome back.  I think we just get into a rut where nothing seems to be changing in "grey time".  It is in fact changing and Gil is thriving.  She is trying new things albeit very very cautiously.  She is starting to make yummy noises and acknowledging special treats.  She kept her poker face for a LOT of years but is starting to show me some acceptance.  As far as the breast cancer, my sister had it and other close family members.  I was tuned in but annual tests were just "watching".  I have been really tired and trying to sort that out for about three years.  I went on Weight Watchers two years ago and was successful in losing about 70 pounds. I really thought that was going to increase my energy levels.  I was walking upwards of five miles every day.  I was stronger but not more energetic.  When I felt a change in the monthly self exam, I made an appointment and they had me in for mammogram, sonogram, and core biopsy by the next day.  I think the main thing I learned from my sister was to stick with annual exams because waiting is lethal.  She found hers and talked herself out of exams for three years and was in stage IV at age 47 when she passed away.  I had genetic testing and don't have any hereditary genetic mutations which would cause me to be predisposed to breast cancer even though we have a strong history in my family.  It's just so important to have annual testing and to be vigilant.  Yes... nag her, it helps.  Catching it early changes everything.  

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On 11/12/2018 at 10:55 AM, Timbersmom said:

So glad to see this post! Also glad your cancer was caught in the earliest stages. Prayers for a speedy and total recovery.

Thanks Karen.  I have navigated through surgery, was recommended for chemotherapy but opted for an oncotype genomic test of the tumor cells which indicated it would not be a significant benefit and I am in a very low risk group for distant recurrence or metastasis.  I started radiation therapy and opted for the double dose for half the time and will only have three weeks of it.  Gil has been a real sweetheart.  She knows I am quieter and slower but apparently absence makes the heart grow fonder...  well, that and some turkey soup I cooked up and put in the freezer.  She hears me get some and gets all excited.  I didn't put any spices in it and its mainly veggies, beans, turkey broth and pasta.  When I heat mine up, I get a little martini glass and a tiny spoon and feed her a little bowl of soup while mine is heating.  It is the most excited I have ever seen her to eat, ever.  I pretend its because she is happy to see me out of my room.  I love her little self just as much as the day she came home.  She still finds a way to surprise me daily and I still have great hopes that she will relax and get out of her cage to follow me around the house.  

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On 11/12/2018 at 12:59 PM, Greytness said:

So many women I know are battling breast cancer right now. It's disconcerting to see its significant up-tick within our society. I'm so sorry to hear that you are now facing this new journey towards achieving good health. It's a battle, but you shall be triumphant.

 

I'm not sure if we are having an uptick or that so many of us are in the baby boomer group that is accounting for more cases, but not an overall percentage increase in our age group.  Also, our testing is become more and more precise and catching this much sooner, so there are a lot of check marks in the plus column.  New test results have been released to the medical community in June 2018.  The horizon looks a little brighter.  Its really a very individual diagnosis and has so many factors to consider.  Making informed decisions is better now to avoid over-treating.  I'm going to finish radiation therapy by Christmas, stay home for a quiet holiday with just my husband.  We did get a treadmill and a safety harness to connect myself to a guide wire in the basement ceiling joists so I can exercise when I am home alone.  That's a huge improvement.  We are still awaiting the set up of the treadmill.  Moderate activity and healthy nutrition will go a long way toward rising to the better end of the statistics.  Funny how getting Gil was the beginning of developing better eating habits.  I eat like a bird.  😉  

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I'm sure glad you were able to avoid chemo. Your case is much like one of my best friends. She has several female close family members who have had issues, but is negative on the gene tests too. She has an MRI and mammogram yearly, and so far has been good. I'm so thankful they can catch it so early and do so much now. I'm glad Gil is dealing with things so well. Can you imagine the angst the routine changes would have caused a few years ago? She has came so far...

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This morning Miss Gilbert had a wonderful breakthrough and I immediately thought of everyone here who gave us advice to go slowly and give her time to get settled and choose her own path on grey time.  We are on our tenth year together.  We traveled by van to Texas and back three times this year.... a couple of weeks of packing, a week of whirlwind travel and a week of rest, unpacking and doing it again.  Gil has been the best traveler.  She just loves the smaller travel cage and even better, the back pack.  But slowly slowly over time she has been letting me reach my hand in with food for her on the one perch she has designated as okay for approach.  It is way back in the cage and up high where she definitely has the upper hand.  But this morning....  I reached in to hand her an orange segment and she chortled.  It was quiet, understated but it was definitely a chortle of delight and her face blushed pink.  Folks this is a real sign of affection coming from her.  She has been much more calm and predictable and will step in and out of her travel cage or her big cage to my hand with no drama.  We still just love her and accept her but to have her show me a little love back was a huge cause for celebration.  I just know someday that all these floor stands and perches and toys will someday be accepted and she will come out and join the family.  Verbally from inside her comfort zone she is very much active in her own way.  She is hilariously sarcastic and her timing is impeccable to lay out a reminder of her superiority and how we humans are never going to rise above her disdain.  But then... on occasion she will summon me, make the one sweet sound of a request for a head scratch.  When I am awake in the wee hours and can't sleep she makes a low sound of a foghorn she learned on the base in Biloxi.  In the darkened room she lets me rub her head and neck, through the cage bars but ever more she is leaning in and closing her eyes and as long as I don't look straight at her or make any sound, she will rest gently on my hand.  It is intoxicating.  I love her so much.  Sorry for my absence and sporadic check in on the forum.  Life just makes me "pull in" and learn to slow down a little.  But Gil Girl is living a good life and we are enjoying her so much.

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What a wonderful update. :)

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Thank you Katrina.  Day by day it seems progress is slow.  We are often amazed with her brilliance and wry sense of humor.  The rare moment when she reaches out with affection are cause for celebration.  

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