The death of my mom

My mom passed away on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, and we buried her on Friday, November 22, 2019.

She will be missed by all who loved her and respected her.

Our family spent the evening at the homestead in Pearland, Texas that my sister and I grew up in. Our oldest son Joshua and his wife Cori ordered Olive Garden which was my mom’s favorite place to eat and we just sat around and talked. It was really nice to be around family & friends who felt the same way about her as I did.

When an elderly person loses a spouse their life is forever changed. My mom’s life pretty much started declining when my dad passed away five years ago in September.

This made her very vulnerable to some family members she trusted with her life.

My mom was emotionally, psychologically and financially abused and I will spend my lifetime getting justice for my mom who never deserved that treatment from anyone.

In the state of Texas, all wills have to be probated this takes about 45 days and NOONE is allowed to take anything jewelry, money or personal belongings until that happens. I had taken pictures of all my mom’s jewelry during Hurricane Harvey so it will all be accounted for down to every single ring and necklace.

Mom, I hope you find peace and happiness with my dad and grandparents.

I love you today, tomorrow, always and forever and until the end of time.

 

Sonya

 

 

Dr.s and Testing

My next week is very congested with doctor appointments and testing but I am a strong woman who will persevere and get through it all.

Instead of being frustrated over next week controlling my life I am grateful we have very good insurance to cover all the testing I am currently undergoing.

I will be seeing the oncologist for the 1st time since going off the Exemestane. This will be a long visit full of me explaining the side effects and giving explanations about MY decisions to do this.

I will be demanding more answers about the Prolia injections I have had over the last   1-1/2 yrs and what this drug has done to me and my body.

I will be wearing a Holter monitor to that visit from the new cardiologist. This is what I call multitasking.

 

 

 

 

Things in the attic

If you have lived in your house for quite a few years chances are you have lots of things in your attic you do not need or have forgotten about having.

For us it has been over 40 yrs worth of stuff. Our weather is cooling down so its a good time to go into the attic.

We had 4 kids and I liked saving their stuff for some reason. I have not idea why I saved it because they left it all here lol.

As a child we moved a lot I remember at least 8 times and this was hard for my sister and me.

I wanted our kids to feel grounded and grow up in one home we are still living in the same home today. I always thought it was special my husband and his family grew up in one home and today his mom is still in that home.
My sister and her husband also raised their two boys in the same house and they still live in that same house.

From the beauty pageants, there were trophies, crowns and capes at least 3 years worth of these wins from our older two kids. Favorite stuff animals, dolls, toys, clothes and shoes.From baseball and softball, there would be jerseys, pants, belts, and trophies.

From 4H there would be livestock combs, boxes, halters and ropes.

Fast Forward to Jr High there would be stuff from football, track, volleyball, basketball, and tennis.

During high school, there would be stuff from softball and tennis. As well as stuff the boys made in wood shop.

School papers, poems reports, and drawings. I will keep the artwork.

Then there is special stuff to me like my great aunts dining room chairs antique ladder back wooden ones. An oak table with glass inlay my grandfather made with a beautiful pedestal. A tall oak end table my grandfather made. A few other odds and ends my grandfather and my dad made for me through the years.I will keep all this stuff.

I have some gords really big ones hanging in the attic my grandfather gave me 30 years ago. I was going to paint on them then I was going to make birdhouses out of them. I have never done anything with them but I think I will make some birdhouses.

My grandfather was able to get me some saw blades from a paper mill they are very large. I also have some vintage Avon bottles my grandmother gave me one time.Milk cans I have collected along with other things over the years. Vintage tins lots of Coca Cola stuff. Some vintage signs and some remake ones.

We will say goodbye to old trophies, capes, stuffed animals, dolls and anything else that was from our kids younger years.
Goodbye to clothes, shoes, uniforms, etc. They do not want it and we do not need it.

The stuff that I have collected I will go through and keep only what I feel the need to keep. Anything my husband, dad, grandfather or either grandmother made I will keep.

This clutter I never see but it bothers me a lot even though its in the attic.

They say when you declutter a space like your attic you feel freedom from what has been weighing you down.

 

 

 

The sounds of the ocean

This is a repost from my old blog August 2015.

The sounds of the ocean cleanse the body, mind and soul and let it seek balance.

The waves that come crashing into the shore represents my life, love, joy, tears, grief, stress, pain, and anger.

Life is all about the love, joy and happiness you have in your life that is what makes it special. It is also about the many tears you have shed over those who have let you down.

Many people in your life will come and go, but those who matter the most will always be there by your side. 

When the waves go back out that represents letting everything negative go so I can find inner peace, relax and most of all just breathe. Life can be quite suffocating at times letting go of all the negative people and clutter in my life gives me space for more happiness and joy.

Never let others bring you down be strong enough to withstand the wind from their storms.

The sand that is behind me represents my life and the footprints I have left behind on this long journey called life. I have been a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and a grandmother. Those things define me, but they are not who I am. Somewhere while on this journey of life I lost me.

The sand in front of me represents the future and it is only about the two of us again.  Our life together has done a complete circle.. We will do the things we want to do when we want to do them without planning around anyone else. While on this journey, I will find me again, discover who I truly am and figure out why I lost me in the first place.

The sea shells behind me represent the people’s lives I have touched and those who have touched mine. There have been so many people who have touched my life over the years family members, friends, and acquaintances.

It is great to be there for everyone else but sometimes you need someone to be there for you.

The sea shells in front of me represent the people who’s lives I will touch or who will touch mine. This gives me the inspiration for the future, where we’re going and what we’re doing with the rest of our lives. The future is bright, beautiful and full of new experiences.

I sit silently, listening to the ocean, watching her waves come crashing into the shore, feeling the sea breeze as it surrounds me, tasting the salt water as it sprays me in the face, and I breathe and then I can relax and find the inner peace I deserve.

Balance and inner peace

Often times we walk past something without noticing it.

Then one day we look down and see the beauty in the Verbena that is cascading across the moss rock. It is those days that let me know my life is in balance and that I have inner peace.

Life is simple but sometimes our minds are so cluttered with things we never get to find that balance.

Take a deep breath walk outside and look for something that brings you joy. Stand there and enjoy the moment.

Fitbit Versa No Warranty

In June 2018 I had bought myself the Fitbit Versa and I paid $200.00 for this watch. This was my gift to myself for completing my cancer treatment.

At that time I wrote a review on here about the watch & how much I liked it. If you want to read that review it is here:

https://sonyalira.com/2018/06/03/fitbit-versa/

I liked the size of the Versa and I could see it good at that point the battery was lasting 5 days and that was a big plus.

I had to contact Fitbit this week for the first time about my Versa because now the battery last 1 – 1 1/2 days at the most. I only use for tracking my activity and my sleep. There is nothing else causing it to drain down so fast.

They informed me there is nothing they can do but give me 25% off a new watch.

I informed them I think at this point I will NOT be buying another Fitbit product. I will be trying out some other brands that advertise the same thing or better at a cheaper price.

Paying $200.00 for something that lasted for 13 months is a JOKE. If a company can not warranty their products for something like this they need to change the wording on the battery life to say “warning after this product is about 10 months old expect for the battery to decline.”

My original review of this product was good but I will no longer support any Fitbit products.

Life with two boxers

Daisy and Zoee play like this from the time they get up in the morning until they go to bed at night.

Being outdoors works out the best because they can run and run and do not have interference.

Inside they drag two baskets of toys from the den to the office.

This was the best thing for Daisy she was very lonely for dog companionship and now she has Zoee. She is not the least bit jealous she is the mother/sister and takes her job quite seriously.

I know Zoee has gained some weight in the last 9 days. Yesterday I added some pumpkin in her diet because that is supposed to help with weight gain.

I hope to get some really good action shots of them running soon.

Dogs2Dogs1

 

Memorial Herman Cancer Journal

I was asked if I would do an interview for an article in the Memorial Herman Cancer Journal. It is published a few times a year.

At first, I was a bit hesitant about sharing so much of my story but then I decided maybe if I told my story it might help someone else.

I hope this gives every woman with breast cancer some insight on genetic testing and how important it is, after all, it saved me from having to do chemo and that is a really big deal. Most insurance will pay for this testing because if you do not need chemo it saves them a lot of money.

This article just went online Wednesday I have copy/pasted it below as well as put the link to the actual article on this page.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thanks to Advanced Genomic Testing, Breast Cancer Survivor Skips Chemotherapy

Sonya Lira has a strong family history of multiple cancers, but when she was tested for genetic mutations that might be linked to her breast cancer, there were none.

“We did comprehensive genetic testing involving a complete gene sequencing of her DNA, testing for all known mutations,” says Anish Meerasahib, MD, a medical oncologist with Texas Oncology, who is affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital and Memorial Hermann Pearland Hospital. “None came back positive.”

Lira’s cancer experience began when she got a call back after a 3-D tomosynthesis mammogram at the Memorial Hermann Outpatient Imaging Center in Pearland. Her biopsy showed early-stage invasive ductal carcinoma of the breast.

At the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Southeast, she met with Oncology Nurse Navigator Krystie Fenton, BSN, RN, OCN.

“I wouldn’t have made it through without Krystie,” Lira says. “She provided enormous support and also connected me with my amazing treatment team – Dr. Meerasahib, Dr. Garner and Dr. Yang.”

Glen Garner, MD, a general surgeon affiliated with Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital, scheduled her for surgery in December 2017. “Given the small size of the tumor, we thought it would be an uncomplicated lumpectomy,” he says. “We removed six sentinel lymph nodes, and when our pathology team examined them, one of the nodes was positive. The tumor biopsy came back with three margins positive for microscopic ductal carcinoma in situ. This was unusual and unexpected in Mrs. Lira’s case, because none of the evidence we had pointed to it.”

“Dr. Garner said we could go back to surgery and try to get clear margins, but if we didn’t get them, I would have to go back to the OR again for a mastectomy,” Lira says. “I said, ‘What if we just go ahead and do a mastectomy?’”

Dr. Garner removed her right breast in January 2018. “I was dreading it because I don’t like to take pain pills,” she says. “But to my surprise, I had no pain after surgery, which was wonderful.”

Her multidisciplinary treatment team recommended radiation to that area of the breast, and as soon as her scars had healed, Lira was scheduled for 33 radiation treatments with Ted Yang, MD, an affiliated radiation oncologist at the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center-Southeast.

“A few years ago we automatically gave patients like Mrs. Lira chemotherapy, hoping that the cancer wouldn’t return, but new data has given us a different perspective on treatment, which has evolved remarkably in the last few years,” Dr. Meerasahib says. “We did the Oncotype DX® test on the tumor sample, which calculates a breast recurrence score that quantifies the risk of recurrence and shows the potential benefit of chemotherapy.

Her score was low, which means she would not derive any significant benefit from chemotherapy. She was fortunate. If we had not ordered that test, reflexively we would have given her chemotherapy.”

Testing showed that her tumor was positive for estrogen and progesterone but negative for HER2/Neu. “When there are microscopic cells, they could evolve into cancer in the future. We started her on Letrozole®, an aromatase inhibitor and anti-estrogen medicine used in the treatment of hormonally responsive breast cancer.

Her chance of cure is in the range of the high 90th percentile. My plan is to keep her on Letrozole for at least five years, and we may extend it longer depending on her how well she does.

“Mrs. Lira’s case was unusual in that she presented with a small breast tumor that involved the lymph glands,” he adds.

“Generally when there is involvement of the lymph glands, the tumor is aggressive, but in her case it wasn’t, as confirmed by further testing that told us more about her very favorable tumor biology. These newer tests help us choose personally tailored treatments that are more effective.”

Lira says she knew she had cancer even before the biopsy. “I knew it from the time I got the call back from the Outpatient Imaging Center. But I was always positive about the outcome,“ she says.

“I’m really pleased with all my doctors. I couldn’t have gotten through my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment without them and without surrounding myself with supportive, positive family and friends – and most of all my husband, Jack, of almost 40 years.”

During the course of her treatment, Dr. Meerasahib ordered a bone density scan that revealed mild osteopenia. He prescribed a new medication delivered by injection every six months to prevent the disorder from progressing to osteoporosis.

Lira, who is 58 and a former smoker, also had a low-dose CT scan for lung cancer. She met the criteria: ages 55 to 77 years, asymptomatic of lung cancer, tobacco smoking history of at least 30 pack-years and a current smoker or one who has quit within the last 15 years.

The scan revealed a few spots that are too small for a PET scan or biopsy.

“It’s extremely unlikely that the spots are related to breast cancer, and most of the time lung nodules are benign,” Dr. Meerasahib says. Lira is seeing pulmonologist Mohammad F. Siddiqui, MD, also affiliated with the Memorial Hermann Cancer Center- Southeast, who will have the nodules rescanned at three months.

“Mrs. Lira has a comprehensive idea of her disease process and is always willing to take the extra step to improve her health,” Dr. Meerasahib adds. “She’s a joy to work with.”

Memorial Herman Cancer Journal

WordPress.com.

Up ↑