Monday, February 27, 2012

Life saving information

Ryker's mama here, Hi to all our blogging friends and Thank You so much for all you well wishes during my recent surgery.   I have information that I feel obligated to share with you in hopes that you will pass it along.  Perhaps it will save a life with early detection.
I was diagnosed with IBC inflammatory breast cancer in late August of 2011.  I went through 5 months of chemotherapy and just had a mastectomy last week.  In a few more weeks I will start radiation therapy.
I was blessed with really good news from the pathologist.  He said that he saw no residual cancer, Hooray! But remission or not my philosophy is to live everyday to the fullest.  It's the quality or life that matters, not the quantity.  
This is information everyone should know about and so many don't.  Seems everyone I talked with at work or going about my daily activities had know idea what IBC was.
Inflammatory breast cancer is the rarest and most deadly of the breast cancers.  It strikes young women as often as older women, breastfeeding mothers as often as grandmothers, and women with and without a history of breast cancer in their family.  It does not always form a lump in the breast and did not in my case.  In fact I had had a mammogram in June that looked normal.  Instead, it forms in sheets and nests in the lymphatic system of the skin, appearing only after it clogs the lymph system with cancer, causing skin changes. Mine were very subtle, just a deeper pink crescent of skin about 2" by 5" that appeared suddenly and did not go away.  It did not itch or hurt, just pinker that the rest of my skin.
 Sometimes, the texture of the skin changes first, becoming tough, hard, or with little dimples like an orange peel.  Sometimes, it feels thick to the touch, or hot, or just … different.
 Luckily I headed to the Dr. in a timely manner and we diagnosed it early.
Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis, especially in nursing women.  The important thing to know is, if you are diagnosed with mastitis and it doesn’t clear up with 10 days of antibiotics, SOMETHING ELSE may be wrong.  Please, please go back to your health care professional and talk  again.  Ask for tests to rule out inflammatory breast cancer. Insist on further tests and a skin and/or core biopsy.  Because each week that you delay is a week that this cancer will grow and expand and be just that much harder to eradicate.
Survival rates for women diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer are grim.  Only 25 to 50 percent of women will survive five years.  Believe it or not, this is a HUGE improvement over the survival statistics of just a few years ago — when only 1-2% could expect to be alive five years after diagnosis.  Even with chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, 90% of women will suffer a recurrence.  This is a lifelong battle for those that are diagnosed, and it is a very difficult disease to battle, as it’s one of the few cancers that are obvious on the surface of the body; as it marches across a woman’s breast
For more information, please visit:
On a more pleasant note, Ryker and his therapy dog training has been put to good use.  He has been the best snuggle therapy a gal could ask for!  I am up and about and feeling good.  As soon as these darn drains come out later today I will feel excellent!



  1. Oh, bless you!! What a trooper you've been. We will continue to keep our paws crossed that you can continue to say "C you later!!" That was great info that you posted. I was unaware of this type of cancer. Ryker, you're a wonderful therapy guy. I'm sure you kept her calm and feeling loved throughout this process. My friend who survived leukemia and is 4 years cancer free owes much of her recovery to her dog!!

  2. From out of the blue...jees...I'm so glad your faring well. Ryker must have been and still is by your side every day...good dog...they seem to know exactly what to do. Please take care and waiting for more posts...Cheers!

  3. I too have had my dose of cancer (kidney), and a friend who had IBC, so I know what you are going through right now. You have a great support system at home and in the blog world...along with Ryker, who's giving you that much needed TLC right when you need it! Go, Ryker!! But, if you want, I'm only an email away!

  4. My mom is a breast cancer survivor, and even I have never heard of IBC! What scary statistics. I'm glad you caught it so early and are working so proactively in your health! We'll be thinking of you while you fight the battle!

  5. we are sendingyou all good vibes...mom is dedicated to all those breast cancer 2 and 3 day walks. Prayers to you
    Benny & Lily

  6. What terrifying statistics! I will keep my paws crossed for you as you bravely fight this battle!
    Dachshund Nola

  7. "This is good news. I have been afraid to ask. I am so glad Ryker is there with you as I imagine he is a great comfort.

    Thank you for all the information. It is scary, but sometimes we need to be scared in order to take care of ourselves.

    Your a very brave woman.

  8. What a brave warrior you are! So glad that you're feeling much better and hope you have a speedy recovery!

    Thanks so much for sharing the information of IBC, I didn't know about it at all. In fact I've some concerns about the big C and your post told me I should get a second opinion as soon as possible.

    Ryker is such a good gal and she's definitely the best therapy dog too! Bless you both!

  9. Ryker you have one very tough Momma! So sorry to hear she has had to go through such a nightmarish ordeal :( VERY HAPPY that the outcome is so WONDERFUL! :D I know you will keep providing her with the best of therapy through her remaining recovery :D We will be keeping her and your family in our thoughts and sending you tons of healing vibes!

    Wags and Hugs,
    The Roo Family

  10. glad to hear the op went well. we've got everything crossed for you xxx live life to the max every day, i like that :) me and stormy are doing that every day. quality not quantity!!! my dad had bowel cancer for about 6 years and even when they told him it was terminal he still lasted 3 more. keep thinking positive, thats what he did. not one day did my dad act like he was ill. he was such a fighter and with Rykers help you will beat this xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  11. Ryker's Mom,

    Sorry we have missed your last few posts. Last we saw..you were all playing in the deep snow. Sending healing vibes your way and thank you for that important information. I'm always so worried about skin cancer, with all my moles, fair skin and time in the sun...I forget to check the boobs..

    Wyatt's Mom

  12. Wow,...:( I can't imagine what you have been through just lately. That is one hell of a disease. Glad you sound so upbeat after your surgery, and I'm sure it helps to know that there is a big group out here in blogland that are cheering for you. And good dog Ryker for being there for your mom.
    I have never heard about IBC, so thank you for educating me. That's information that all women should know, and I'm going to mention it on my blog and link to your's. Thinking of you lots, Sandy, lots of hugs and positive thoughts.

  13. I am so happy to hear how well you are doing. Thank you for sharing your story and this important information with us, it is something we all need to be on the look out for.

    Hugs and Wishes for good health in the future. XO

  14. Wow. Thank you for sharing your story. I had never heard of this disease. It sounds like one doctors should warn us about...along with the other ones they always tell us to get checked for. I hope you get well soon.

  15. We are so happy to hear you are doing so much better! Our thoughts and prayers are with you and we know you will do great at beating this thing! Glad to hear Ryker is there for you :)
    Maddy and Owen (and their mommy too)

  16. Sandy, I'm sure you've shared information that will save someone's life. Sending healing prayers your way. I know you will win this fight.
    Ryker, you are an excellent therapy dog. Take good care of your mom!

    Critter Alley

  17. Thank you for sharing this valuable information. I am so very glad to hear your news is good...and sorry you had/have to go through this - how terribly scary. My mother is a breast cancer survivor for over 15 years now, and I know the thoughts and feelings she was experiencing. I had never heard of IBC before, so thank you for bringing awareness to it, I only wish you didn't have to go through this yourself. Ryker is the best medicine! Continue to feel good, get strong, and know we are sending all of our healing thoughts and prayers to you as you fight this. Big Husky hugs to you!

  18. I'm glad Ryker is there to take care of you... I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this. I'm sending lots of cancer beating vibes your way.

  19. Oh my! I'm so sorry you've been dealing with all this. I'll keep you in my thoughts, and wish you brighter days ahead. I bet Ryker is one pawesome little nurse! Hugs!!! xoxoxoxo

  20. Wow! I had no idea. I am so happy to hear that your surgery went well and you're going to be okay. That must have been so scary for you. Ryker you are doing a great job taking care of that mom of yours, keep up the great work buddy!

  21. I had never heard of this, and I keep up with breast cancer info because it is in my family. I'm going to read the links that you provided.

    Thanks so much for sharing this info at a time when you are in midst of your battle with cancer. We are all thinking of you and sending you strength.


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