Cycle #8 and 2 AM thoughts


When I first received my diagnosis naturally I turned to the internet and doctor google for as much information as I could find. Through my research I came across a woman named Anne from California. This woman had the most infectious smile, one that just made you feel better when you saw it. I found that she was a married woman with a two year old daughter who had beaten early stage breast cancer only to find that her cancer had metastasized last March. This woman was a fighter and leaned on being fit and her faith to get her through. I spoke with her a few times through social media and she was someone who made me feel like I could get through this. Sadly, Anne’s cancer won this past week as she passed away leaving behind a two year old and her husband. As you can imagine hearing this news and news of so many other woman who pass on daily from the same disease that I have gets my mind racing….in the wrong direction.

I find myself waking up at 2am (why that time I have no idea) almost every night. Since the rest of my family is sleeping the only thing I can do is think. Think about what will happen to my family and how this cancer diagnosis is going to and has changed our lives. I think about the odds; odds are that with this diagnosis I probably will not get to grow old with my husband and retire somewhere warm. I probably will never be able to hold my grandchildren. I think about the milestones in life that people take for granted-seeing my youngest off to kindergarten, picking out a prom or wedding dress with Quinn, dancing with Colin at his wedding. These are all things that I hope and pray I am still here for (and many more obviously) but I just don’t know. Cancer has possibly stolen these things from me. Although I have these thoughts (kind of all of the time) overall mentally I am feeling ok. Physically I feel fine too. I think that these thoughts I have are very natural and expected given the circumstances.

I had my eighth maintenance appointment this morning. It was an easy appointment. The usual nine tubes of blood, an exam and my shot. All looks fine still and my sensitive toenails, steady weight gain and 2 AM wake ups are all normal issues for someone with this diagnosis. Next month will be a big appointment as that is when I will have my next set of scans and have what they call “re-staging” which just means that they check to make sure that their is no progression and that the cancer still remains under control.

While waiting for my appointment today, Sarah and I were chatting about how great some people are and how fortunate I have been to meet some wonderful people through this diagnosis. I hope that this Christmas season you are able to pay forward something good to someone who may need it and if you are someone who may need it then I hope that someone reaches out and helps you. In a world full of so much hate and bad news, it is nice to know that there is still so much good out there.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

Getting ready for my big shot in the bum!





This morning was my monthly “maintenance” appointment. Cycle #7! I cannot believe how quickly the time is flying by. I feel like my whole life is timed on these monthly appointments and it feels like they come sooner each month. Thankfully this mornings appointments went very easy, almost too easy! My girl Roxanne is out this week so I had a new male nurse putting my IV in. Luckily for me, he listened when I told him not to use the veins in my hands and he was able to stick me quickly and painlessly. Everything continues to look really good. More importantly, I continue to feel very good!! My doctor has decided that I no longer need to have the monthly bone infusion and that going forward I will only need to get the infusion every three months! Great news considering a little less that is being pumped into my body all of the time. Next month is another routine visit and then in January we have the next set of scans. All prayers welcome that things will remain stable!

This Thanksgiving (and everyday) I am incredibly thankful for so many things.  I am thankful for the two little, amazing people that have made me a mom. They continue to amaze me every day and I am proud of the people that they are becoming. I am thankful for an amazing husband that has been the epitome of love and support and reminds me daily that I can do this! I am thankful to have such wonderful family around us that has come to my rescue time and time again, whether it be helping me with my kids or just showing us endless support and love. I am thankful for so many wonderful friends who have proven how fortunate we are to be surrounded by so many who truly care about and love us. I am thankful to live in a place that houses some of the worlds best doctors and thankful that these people are the ones that are treating me. I am thankful for modern medicine for which is keeping me alive and living a normal life despite this diagnosis. I am thankful to have a job where the people I work with and for have shown me the utmost support and have worked with me through all of this.

Obviously I wish that I was not in this situation and that cancer has not found a home in my by body but I am thankful for what having Cancer has taught me. It has shown me that I am stronger than I could have ever imagined.  It has taught me that there are so many things in life that are not worth getting upset about or worrying over. It has shown me that things can change in an instant; be present and cherish moments with the people you love.

Happy Thanksgiving. I wish you all a great day with your love ones. XOXO



One Week in Disney

We recently returned from our week long trip to Disney. A full week of park hopping, character dining and the Halloween Party. I am exhausted! It was a great trip filled with so many wonderful memories that I know my children will always remember. I am so thankful to my parents that took us on this trip and allowed us to escape our reality for a week and make these wonderful memories.

For one week, we did not discuss my cancer or even acknowledge its presence and it felt AMAZING! I felt wonderful for the majority of the week and was able to walk almost 10 miles a day…..there is A LOT of walking involved in a trip to Disney. Since my diagnosis I have been trying to eat healthier and have eliminated sugar. Well for one week in Disney I allowed myself to eat whatever I wanted! I am not ashamed to admit that I had two Dole Whips a day!!! If you have never had a Dole Whip it is a must try item!!

It was a wonderful week and I look forward to the day when I can return again and make more memories with my family. For now it is back to reality- back to work, school and working on being the healthiest and strongest cancer fighting girl that there is!!





Cycle #6

Yesterday was my monthly appointment at Dana Farber. My first appointment was at 7:00 so we decided it was better for me to go in alone and have Trevor get the kids up and ready for school to maintain their normal routine. I am the one that normally drives to and from my appointments b/c Trevor hates city driving and I know my way around (and I’ll admit I am a horrible passenger!).  Not sure if it is my increased anxiety this past week or if my head is just somewhere else but I missed my exit forcing me to take Storrow drive during rush hour,  had to move my car three times b/c I could not park properly, and then I tried to check on the 8th floor! All of my appointments are always on the NINTH floor!!!! Luckily Sarah was me for the whole day which helped and we were able to chuckle at my craziness! In my opinion they really need to stop making every floor identical b/c it very easy to get confused as to where you are!

All still looks good. All of my test results are still showing that the treatment is working. The main concern for me at this appointment was the fact that for the past week I am having a hard time breathing. I can’t catch my breath and feel like I have someone sitting on my chest. I had a chest x-ray done and my lungs and chest look fine.

Bottom line is I think this is all catching up to me. This heaviness and hard time breathing is anxiety and is causing me to have panic attacks. My questions is why. Why now am I feeling this way? Is it b/c for the past 6 months I have tried to put on a brave face for everyone around me? Is it b/c I don’t want anyone to see how truly saddened and scared I am through all of this? Is it b/c my baby turns three tomorrow and I am not sure how many birthdays I will get to celebrate with him or if he will ever remember me before all of this? Is it b/c next week I am travelling to the happiest place on earth (which I am so excited for), Disney, with my family and I am not sure if I will ever get to go back there with my kids? Is it b/c no matter how many times I try to pretend that this is not happening the horrible reality of it all is that I have a Stage 4 incurable cancer? Is it b/c through all of my research about this disease and through all of the people that I have met it is a sure thing that a very long and hard road is ahead of me?

I don’t take for granted that I am feeling fine still and that the medicines are doing their job and working for me but there is so much uncertainty to my life and it is weighing down hard on me right now. Hopefully I will be able to snap out of this soon on my own and will be able to make some really great memories with my family next week.




October- Think Before you PINK

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.

Breast Cancer has become synonymous with pink ribbons and the color pink in general. Companies have made millions of dollars off of these pink items claiming that these funds go towards breast cancer research. Did you know that last year the largest breast cancer fundraising organization contributed approximately 19% of their proceeds to breast cancer research. Metastatic Breast Cancer research received only 2% of total contributions to breast cancer as a whole. Metastatic Breast Cancer WILL kill me. Hopefully not for a long time but someday it will take over my life unless……..a CURE is found. The only way that this is going to happen is if more research is done. While I completely support that early detection is important, a CURE is really the only way to eradicate breast cancer and it taking the lives of people like me.

So before you pink this month and donate, please make sure that you are giving to an organization that gives all of their proceeds to cancer research and not to boost the salaries of their already overpaid board of directors.

National Metastatic Breast Cancer day is October 13th this year. There are currently over 155,000 people in the US living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. This special group of people and I like to call ourselves Metavivors! Please  visit is you would like more information on this disease.

** I also realize that we recently did the Jimmy Fund walk clad in PINK t-shirts, with PINK bracelets so we are guilty of the PINK movement as well. The difference is 100% of the funds that we raised were donated to the Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber for Research and pink just happens to be one of my favorite colors!


“We have two options, medically and emotionally: GIVE UP OR FIGHT LIKE HELL”-Lance Armstrong

FIGHT LIKE HELL IT IS!! I cannot and will not give up this fight.

I walked this past weekend in the 2016 Jimmy Fund walk to benefit cancer research with an amazing team of over 60 people. Together we raised over $27,000 and donations are continuing to roll in. We had a great day and I am so proud of our accomplishments in our first year participating and look forward to making this bigger and better for many years to come. Trevor and I are so blessed to have looked out on Sunday at the sea of people in pink Cabral Crusader’s shirts and then to have photos sent to us of people who couldn’t make the walk but wore the shirts to show that they were with us in spirit! WE thank each and everyone of you. This situation that we have found ourselves in with this diagnosis is awful but each and everyone of you have brought a smile to our faces and have helped us through this in some way whether you realize it or not.

A couple of weeks ago, my friend Eileen passed away from cancer. When I was first diagnosed Eileen told me that having cancer is a marathon not a sprint and she helped me with some positive words that got me through the initial shock of my situation. This year I walked in Eileen’s memory.


Here is a video of our walk that was put together by the amazing Melissa Scungio!!




pic-2I had my first set of scans since my diagnosis on Monday. What a long day! We got into Boston around 7:45 and did not leave until 6:40 at night! I was poked, prodded, and scanned all day long. It was all worth it though! My oncologist said that all of my scans look great! There are no new spots in my bones and it actually looks like my bones are starting to heal. During the physical exam, my oncologist stated that she could not feel the tumors in my breast and that my lymph node, which was originally how we found this, had returned to its normal size and consistency! All great news. While I will never be cancer free or in remission, the goal for me is to be stable and have control of the cancer and these test results confirm that I AM stable and the cancer is under control!! Now we will stay on this regimen of medicines until they no longer work…….hopefully in many, many years.

This photo here is of my “Dana Farber Support team”!! Trevor as previously noted has been a rock for me through this whole ordeal. Sarah is my close friend who not only pulled some major strings to get me in with the best of the best at Dana Farber but managed to get me an appointment faster than some would dream possible! She has not missed one of my appointments and has provided Trevor and I great support while we are at these appointments. Keeping Trevor company while I am in my scans, hanging out with us in waiting rooms, showing us where to go b/c DFCI is not an easy place to get around and just basically being there! For this, she will never understand how much we adore and love her and how appreciative we are for all that she does for us! ( I know this is an awful photo but I think at this point we were on hour # 6 at the hospital!)



Cabral’s Crusaders

When I started this team for the upcoming Jimmy Fund walk last month, I did not expect much to come of it. I thought this was going to be our trial run as it was our first year participating. Maybe I could get 10 people to join me, raise a couple thousand dollars and sell some shirts! Boy was I wrong! As of this morning OUR team has 30 members, has raised over $20,000 towards a cure for all cancers and has sold 95 t-shirts!!! I am amazed by this! We have started off at an amazing place and I cannot wait to see how this will grow over the years! This is going to be my way of giving back to me new cancer community and when I am gone (hopefully in a really long time) this will be a way for my kids to keep my memory going!! So thank you all for the support. You will never know how much this truly means to me.

Someone in one of my support groups recently described my diagnosis as having the sand timer flipped over! I am essentially watching the sand and waiting for it to run out. While I am waiting for the sand to run out (I am confident that my sand timer is HUGE and that sand is flowing really slowly!), life in general is short! No one’s tomorrow is guaranteed! So live life to the fullest every day! Surround yourself with people who bring the best to your life and get rid of all of the negatives! I have always tried to live this way but now more than ever see how important it is!


IMG_0275This past Tuesday was my 5th appointment at Dana Farber and my 4th treatment cycle. No news is good news I guess!! Everything still looks good, the NP who did my exam said she could not feel the tumor in my breast anymore!! Huge news!! Next month I will have my first set of scans since beginning treatment. This will be when the doctors can confirm that the meds are working and that I am on the right path!!!

Our Jimmy Fund walk team, Cabral’s Crusaders, has raised $16,074 as of this morning which will all be donated to finding a cure!! I am so humbled by all of the support from so many and am honored that we are all walking together against this awful disease. Since my diagnosis, the more people I talk too about my situation, the more I realize that there are so many people affected by this. In my direct circle of friends, I have two friends that have recently fought and BEAT breast cancer!! I recently learned of a girl from my hometown whose young son is battling cancer as well. I am glad that we are giving back, not only to find a cure for me but also for all the others that are battling this!!!

I wanted to give a shout out to my hubby, Trevor. He has been my rock through this whole ordeal. We all know that I am a control freak and that I am usually the one in the drivers seat of our life (figuratively and in real life, since I get car sick when he drives!) so it is hard for me to let him take charge but he is wonderful! He has not missed an appointment, takes notes and asks questions when needed, reminds me to take my meds and hydrate and is there constantly to remind me of how many positive things are on our side with this! I know my constant eye rolls and short fuse with him is not easy to deal with but I am so grateful to have him by my side with this diagnosis and in life!!! XOXO


Something good?

One week ago, I decided to join the Jimmy Fund walk to benefit cancer research and Dana Farber. I went back and forth on whether I wanted to announce that I was walking and why and at the same time announce my blog. Doing so would leave me exposed and vulnerable. Ultimately, I decided to post it and I could not be happier, as I know I made the right choice.

In the past week, I have heard from people I have not heard from in years, had people say wonderful things and show so much love and support, had some bring back great memories, opened up my prayer network, had someone share a story of someone living well with this disease, had over 300 hits on my blog, and raised almost $10,000 for cancer research through my team Cabral’s Crusaders!!!! All in a WEEK! To say I am amazed by all of the wonderful people in my life is an understatement.

When I first received this diagnosis, I naturally questioned “Why is this happening to me?” “What did I do to deserve this?” While is still ask these questions daily, this IS happening and I have to make something good come from it. Something that one day my kids can look back on and be proud of. Maybe I can raise awareness of this awful disease.

SO. Here are some facts on Metastatic Breast Cancer: (from

1. No one dies from breast cancer that remains in the breast. Metastasis occurs when cancerous cells travel to a vital organ and that is what threatens life.

2. Metastasis refers to the spread of cancer to different parts of the body, typically the bones, liver, lungs and brain. ( in my case, it is the Bones)

3. An estimated 155,000 Americans are currently living with metastatic breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer accounts for approximately 40,000 deaths annually in the U.S.

4. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer is lifelong and focuses on control of the disease and quality of life.

5. About 6% to 10% of people are Stage IV from their initial diagnosis. ( i am in this group)

6. Early detection does not guarantee a cure. Metastatic breast cancer can occur 5, 10 or 15 years after a person’s original diagnosis and successful treatment checkups and annual mammograms.

7. 20% to 30% of people initially diagnosed with early stage disease will develop metastatic breast cancer.

8. Young people, as well as men, can be diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer.

9. Like early stage breast cancer, there are different types of metastatic breast cancer.

10. Treatment choices are guided by breast cancer type, location and extent of metastasis in the body, previous treatments and other factors.

11. Metastatic breast cancer is not an automatic death sentence. Although most people will ultimately die of their disease, some will live for many years. (Hopefully MANY, MANY years)

12. There are no definitive prognostic statistics for metastatic breast cancer. Every patient and their disease is unique.

13. To learn more about National Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day on October 13 and to access resources specifically for people living with metastatic breast cancer and their caregivers, visit