Thursday, September 2, 2010

Next Step

Now that chemo is complete and radiation just ended. What now? Well, I am still on Herceptin. I will continue to have to go to Kansas City every 3 weeks for the Herceptin infusion until early March. I still have many follow-up visits with the specialist in Kansas City. I also face one more major surgery, one more minor surgery and 2 more out-pt. procedures (these will begin in March). But, chemo is OVER - did I mention that chemo is over? lol. Yes, as you can tell I am grateful to be done with chemo! My hair is growing back in (very exciting).

Steps 9-36

Yes, I have neglected to update for some time now. My apologies to all. My last three rounds of chemo proved to be much more of a challenge. The accumulative effect of the chemo certainly gave me some challenges. I am grateful chemo is now OVER! My counts became very low and my energy was greatly affected. I also lost most of my hair (I referred to my hair as the Charlie Brown Christmas tree - lol). But, I still did amazingly well and I know all your prayers got me through that process and I know the Lord was with me every step. I also just completed my 33 rounds of radiation (6& 1/2 weeks). I also did the radiation in Kansas City and yesterday was my last day (yea!!!!!!). I traveled daily (Monday-Friday) to KC. I am grateful to Dad for covering for me at work - Thanks Dad your love is never failing. And thanks to my Mom, Sister, Cindy, Pat, Ethan, Hollee, Christi and everyone who went with me to KC. Your company made my long days seem fun!! ONE STEP AT A TIME...TOGETHER WE MADE IT THROUGH CHEMO AND RADIATION!!!!!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Sydnie. Happy Birthday baby:). I hope you have an amazing day!!!! My Sydnie is 12 years old today - where does time go? Sydnie you are so full of joy and your giggle is contagious to all of us:) LOVE YOU!!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I have had several requests to post the testimony I gave at Church Easter Sunday. So, here it is:

As most of you know, I am currently fighting cancer. My battle with cancer began in late December. I had an initial removal of the tumor and it of course indicated I did have cancer. Within 2 weeks of the 1st surgery, I had already redeveloped another tumor twice the size. Not only did I have stage 3 cancer but I had 2 different types of cancer one of which is a very fast spreading and resistant type of cancer. After this occurred I was shaken. Fear and lots of what if questions began to overwhelm me. The devil had an edge and he knew exactly how to wedge fear into my life. But I did not let the devil linger long. Just a few days of this fear was plenty long for me. As I was on my hands and knees praying I told the devil no matter what happens you still loose. I stand strong with my Lord and will forever keep the Faith. No matter the outcome, no matter the odds, and even if this cancer is a battle I can not beat, the Lord is my Savior. From that moment an indescribable peace overcame me and is with me today. I do not fear the unknown, but instead I trust in the Lord.

I then faced a second and much more invasive surgery in Kansas City. Once again our news and prognosis looked grim. The surgeon indicated at one point during the surgery they debated if one aspect should be continued. But something amazing also happened during surgery. One of the surgeons stopped the procedure and prayed. What a difference this made. At my first post-op visit with the primary surgeon she was amazed at the pathology report. she stated and I quote " I have performed hundreds of these surgeries and have never seen a case that the prognosis appeared so bad in surgery and so hopeful now. You must have had someone looking down on you". Although the cancer was in the lymph system and had the possibility to have already spread, I still stood strong on Faith.

After many more tests, Pet scans, MRI's, and much more, the Lord proved faithful. the cancer was contained and had not spread. Although I am going through Chemo and will be doing radiation and have at least one more surgery. I am hear to testify that prayer does change things. He is the Lord of Lords, King of Kings, the Alpha and Omega (beginning and the end). He is strong and forever faithful.

If you do not know the Lord as your personal savior today I urge you to seek him now. We are all sinners saved by Grace. There is no sin too big and no shame too deep that His blood can not cover. If you feel that lump in your throat, that beating in your chest, or the sweat on your palms. This is the Lord wanting you to seek Him. Don't wait, don't leave here today without His peace. come forward and find Him today. Grab the person next to you and tell them you are ready to make him your Savior.

Step 8

Yesterday was my 3rd round of chemo. I have been fighting an upper respiratory infection so my count had been running low. With lots of prayer, my counts were still high enough for chemo! (PTL). Once again, prayer did change things :). Other than the infection I feel good. I am still able to work and walk about 4 miles several days a week. I still have hair. However, it is getting thin. I do feel some minor side effects from the chemo, but I am grateful I can continue daily activities. I am now half way through with 2 of the meds (yea!!!!!). Once again, thanks for your continued prayers! One Step at a time TOGETHER we will climb!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Step 7

Monday (March 29th) was my second round of chemo. Exactly like the 1st round, all three meds were infused without adverse reactions (one of the chemo meds reacts on the 2nd infusion). I was able to complete this round of chemo in 4 hours -vs- the 5 & 1/2 with the 1st round. My side effects thus far seem to be just as mild as the 1st round. We will continue to pray for this! My blood counts are looking good to this point - another very positive note! My hair continues to fall out by the handfuls daily :(. I am still in the reconstruction process (this will take approx. 12 months for completion with one more surgery and then 2 more minor procedures). I feel very blessed to be able to continue daily living with minimal side effects. Again PTL (Praise the Lord!). And again, Thanks for your continuous prayers :). One Step at a Time, Together we will climb!

Step 6

My 1st chemo was on March 8th. I was able to tolerate both chemo meds plus the Herceptin infusions. PTL (Praise the Lord)! My side effects were fairly mild. The 1st and 2nd weeks I experienced mild fatigue and indigestion and of course losing lots of hair (I do however still have some - the one advantage of having very thick hair). I did not experience any nausea. All scans and tests have come back clear (PTL). I was able to continue working full time (very exciting!). I am grateful to have completed the 1st round without many side effects. I know the Lord is walking every step of the way with me. I am grateful to all of you for your continued prayers :) One step at a time, Together we will climb!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Good News!!!!!!

Today we received the results from the PET scan. It did NOT indicate the cancer has spread. We are overjoyed with this news:). Once again, an answered prayer...Thank You Jesus! One more minor surgery tomorrow; the port will be placed. And then chemo begins Monday. It has been a long week of testing but the Lord has been
Faithful. Together we will rejoice:).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


It's been a busy week. Okay, here are the updates. I had an appointment with my oncologist last week. My last drain came out yesterday (yea!! what a great feeling that is). I had a follow up visit with my surgeon last week and all looks okay. I did develop an external infection at the end of last week that prompted a stat run to the physician. But with the antibiotic and lots of prayer, the infection is resolving. I did an Echo-Cardiogram today along with lab work and my PET scan was also today (the PET scan will detect if the cancer has spread to other locations). This Thursday I have a brain scan - yes lol a brain scan. No, they are not checking to make sure I have a brain - lol - the type of cancer I have has the tendency to spread to the brain. Friday my port will be placed. And, Monday the 8th is the 1st day of Chemo (the 1st round of chemo will be infused over approx. 5-6 hours and from there hopefully 4-5). I will not know the results from any tests until Monday but we are keeping the Faith it has not spread. I thank all of you for your continued prayers.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nevada Show Choir -Awesome accessory!

To all the Nevada Show Choir singers, I loved the support each of you showed by wearing my 'Cate's Climb' bracelet today. Once again I was amazed at the support each of you showed! Now lets continue to show our "first in class" and "grand champ" ability at Carthage and again in Nebraska! Let's not forget our choir theme this year "...this is why we sing".

Step 5

Wow!! That was a big step:). The surgery went well. I had a bi-lateral (both) mastectomy. There was concern with the aggression of cancer once the surgeons were in the procedure. A new tumor had indeed grown back since the first surgery in December and was twice the size. More lymph's were involved than anticipated. At one point during the surgery, the decision to continue with the reconstruction was debated (due to the aggression of the cancer) but the surgeons decided to continue with the reconstruction as well. During the surgery, the primary surgeon completely stopped the surgery and felt compelled to pray. At that time both surgeons then prayed. The Lord truly guided the surgeons hands. IT WAS THE POWER OF PRAYER!!! Our news directly after surgery was worse than we were anticipating (hence the delay of any updates). However, we have now received the pathology report (still stage 3) and feel once again the power of prayer has changed things for the better:). I was up and moving both arms within 4 hours from being transferred from the recovery room. Wow!! Yes, 4 hours - that is amazing:). My ROM (range of motion) in both arms is truly incredible and where I am now as far as mobility is where I thought I would be in approx. 4-6 weeks. Once again, there is only one explanation - THE POWER OF PRAYER :). And I have ALL of YOU to thank for that. We know because there is an unexplainable feeling that came over us, multiple prayers were being said. Although we know the cancer is in the lymph system and had the potential to spread, I stand on FAITH the cancer was contained within the breast area and removed. I returned to one surgeon this past Monday and was able to remove 2 JP (drain tubes). I still have 2 JP (drain tubes) in. I will meet with the reconstruction surgeon this coming Monday and the primary surgeon this coming Tuesday. My first appointment with my Oncologist is this coming Tuesday as well. I am grateful for all the prayers! My recovery would not be this advanced without you prayer warriors:). The oncologist will be able to advise as to when the bone scans, MRI's, etc... will be performed and when chemo will begin and now it looks as if radiation as well. But, keep praying...prayer does change things. One Step at a time TOGETHER we will climb!!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

NLT - Crimson and Gray and PINK :)

Nevada Lady Tigers thanks so much for your show of support tonight! I was truly amazed and deeply touched to see all you girls and coaches wearing PINK! And what a great night of basketball:) A victory sweep with Varsity, JV and Freshman! Way to go Crimson and Gray and PINK :) Thanks to everyone for your continued support and prayers. Go NLT!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Alec

Hey Bub you are now in the double digits!! You will always be my little ground hog baby. Love you :). Wow!!!! 10 years old. My baby is 10. Thanks to all of his basketball buddies for a great birthday party!

Friday, January 22, 2010


I was listening to K-LOVE this morning (K-Love is an amazing Christian radio station. Locally you can tune in at 96.1 or 90.7 and anywhere on their Internet site at : if you don't listen to K-Love now, tune in. You can even listen at your desk via their web site ). But anyway, I was listening and they asked the question "what would be your 'word' for the year"? The word GRATEFUL immediately came into my mind. I am GRATEFUL Jesus Christ is my Savior, I am GRATEFUL we serve an awesome God, I am GRATEFUL for my amazing family, I am GRATEFUL for my Church family, I am GRATEFUL for my friends, I am GRATEFUL for my co-workers, career, and my job at Wilkinson Pharmacy. I am GRATEFUL the Lord is there to carry us through the valley and lift us high upon the mountain tops. I am GRATEFUL for the support everyone is giving. I am GRATEFUL for life each and every day. So now I ask you, what would be your 'word' for this year?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cate's Climb Shirts/Bracelets

Many people have asked about the "Cate's Climb" shirts/hoodies. These are available at BooBoo's Shirt shack. You have also asked about the "Cate's Climb" pink bracelets... more are on order. I truly appreciate all your show of support and think its awesome to see all the shirts and bracelets!!!!

Step 4

My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday February 10th at the Menorah Medical Center in KC. I have now consulted with both surgeons that will be performing the surgery. As far as Chemo, the exact start date has not been determined at this time but will be soon after the surgery. So, everyone gear up because our climb is about to begin. One step at a time together we will climb!

Thursday, January 14, 2010



Step 3

Yesterday was my first appointment with my specialist. I feel reassured and very comfortable with her. Our news yesterday was very disappointing. The type of cancer I have is a resistant type of breast cancer. So, we had slipped back down to the base of the mountain (very discouraging). With this type of cancer I have not only chemotherapy but I will also be on Herceptin (a monoclonal antibody) which has a very ugly side affects profile (specifically cardiac related). I will be going back in for major surgery within the next two weeks. I will let everyone know the exact date when I find out next week. The typical breast cancer patient usually will have 12-16 weeks of chemo, I will have an entire YEAR of Herceptin! I was ready for a 16 week "climb" but a YEAR? Yes, indeed it is going to be a tough climb and much longer than first anticipated. But, I have Faith the Lord will carry me to the top :). I thank all of you for your continuous prayers, show of support and helping me on my "climb". One step at a time together we will climb!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Step 2

I have now completely recovered from my first surgery. I have an appointment with a physician specializing in breast cancer and she is also a surgeon. My appointment is on Wednesday January 13th in Kansas City. So, for now life resumes as normal. I was very excited to return to work yesterday :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Step

As the words Stage 3 cancer rolled out of the surgeons mouth, I felt as if I had been blindfolded and thrown at the bottom of a massive Mountain. As I began to process this information, the Lord picked me up and gently removed the blindfold. There we stood at the bottom looking up at this amazing, enormous, and at times overwhelming mountain. I can't see the top, I can't see anything but obstacles from my point of view. But, the Lord has assured me he will lead me, guide me, and at times carry me to the top. I stood there with the Lord by my side and realized I have only one option...One step at a time together we will climb. To those of you who know me well, know I am much better suited for the short hurdle jump type of sport. I like to know what obstacles are in my way, what I will be facing, who is my biggest competitor, how can I improve my game, and most importantly... I like to see the finish line. Or, better yet basketball (my favorite). I prefer to know who I am up against, see the score board, know when I am in foul trouble, and be able to call a time out. I quickly realized odds are not in my favor (bummer!). No luxury gondola ride to the top, not even a lousy ski lift chair ride (lol). No, I will have to arm myself with lots of gear (my family and friends) and Faith. And all of us together...some of you will be leading, some pushing, and I am sure at times some of you dragging me. But one step at a time together we will climb.
Although our journey is yet at the base of the mountain and our journey will be long,
The Lord has promised the view at the top is an amazing site to behold. So, everyone (yes, even you) lets huddle (as in before a basketball game). One hand in and repeat after me: One step at a time...together we will climb!