Radiations, destroy more than skin

Quick recap since my last post. I finished my chemotherapy treatments on October 18th. It was a tough one but I managed. Had a nice break until my surgery on November 10th. My family and my in-laws came to be for a few days during my surgery. I was supposed to have a lumpectomy but after some complications, they had to remove my whole nipple from my right breast (where cancer was) and 12 lymph nodes from right armpit area. That was so hard to process. I thought I would have been ready for a mastectomy but my nipple was just as hard. I think because I treasure my breastfeeding years very close to my heart, I had to grieve for my loss.

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My family took boys with them to Delaware so I could rest and my niece stayed with me for a week after surgery to help me rest. During my time of being kid-free I had a lot of time by myself to rest, meditate and really appreciate my boys and husband. After appointments with oncologist, surgeon and radiologist, I was diagnosed cancer free. I was thrilled, almost speechless, but none the less very grateful for the opportunity (not many can say) to have survived breast cancer stage 3. I went to Delaware after Thanksgiving to see my boys and spend time with my parents and sister, after two weeks I brought boys back with me since the plan for them to stay thru radiations did not go too well (boys missed me too much). Then Christmas happened and it was wonderful, weekend after was my birthday, which was bittersweet to turn the big 30. Made amazing memories during the holidays that I will never forget.

Finally it was time to start radiations but of course there were some troubles with CT Scan and they had to re-write my treatment plan twice. Everyone that I talked to that has been thru cancer said that radiations were easier than chemo, because of their information I was hopeful to get them done. Think again. My treatment plan consists of 28 radiations to both areas where cancer tumor was (right breast and right armpit area) and 5 booster radiations to breast scar, 5 days a week in Atlanta (one hour drive from my home). Week one was awful because it was the first week home after the crazy busy holidays and I went at all different times each day to see which time worked best for my family (I have to pick the same time to go everyday for all 33 treatments). Going to hospital 5 days a week was not only had on my sanity but my boys too. They started having lots of fear which resulted in them sleeping with us in our room, and in lots of fights from them and my screams.

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Week two was better since I had found a time that worked best and I had no visible side effects yet.

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By week 3 I am already to get worn out, I was exhausted all the time, could not even do more than lay in bed or sit on couch after radiations. I had to accept that I just did not have the physical, mental or emotional energy to function normally. I started getting depressed.

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Then week 4 happened and let me tell you I was done with this, my skin was starting to breakout and it was so painful.

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When I was supposed to start week 5, I was literally crying, while my husband held me, because I did not want to go. I ended up going but when I got there doctor saw me and said my skin was too badly burned for treatment so he gave me 3 days off. I almost cried of joy. I was so broken, literally falling apart. If doctor wouldn’t have said that, I do not know what I would have done. I was supposed to return Thursday but the machine was not working so went ahead and took the whole week off.

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My week off was amazing, I rested so much. My skin was in real bad shape, only pain medicine made it better, even though medi-honey and other lotions helped too. I needed this week off so badly, I felt renewed inside out. It was an incredible experience to be at home resting with my boys. We have not been in routine, which was awful for our homeschooling (thanks to http://www.time4learning.com for saving my life lol), but doing nothing was also necessary for our health.

I am now on week 5 and have 10 more treatments and thanks to my Higher power, my family and all of my friends, I know for sure I will make it till the end. This journey has been so hard but radiations have for sure been the hardest part. I am fortunate to be alive and this is only part of the journey ahead, as a breast cancer survivor.

No hair…I am still beautiful!

This whole time I have know I have breast cancer my emotions obviously have been a wreck. Some days I feel as if I can not handle the day and want to stay in bed, some days I feel great and tackle anything that comes my way, and some days i just want to cry because I do not want to have cancer, I do not want to be strong enough to fight this battle, I do not want my life to change, specially how I am as a mom. But the sad reality is that yes I am strong enough to fight this battle, yes my life has changed, yes I am going to have days to cry and feel my feelings, yes I am going to feel overwhelmed dealing with my boys emotions, and yes I am not alone.

After almost a month of doctors visits and tests, I had my port put in and started my chemotherapy. I was so nervous and scared about chemo because all the horror stories you hear about it, the nausea, the weakness, the pain and specially the hair loss. Thankfully after my first chemo I did not have any crazy side effects and felt pretty good.

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After all the crazy emotions I have remained with a smile on my face and as positive as I can. I never knew I was this strong and knowing that I am not alone gives me great comfort. I knew there was a chance I would lose my hair so I went and got a haircut to get me ready for the transition.

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But a day after I got haircut I woke up with crazy amount of pain in my scalp and after massaging my head I got some hair and as I pulled my hair started falling in chunks. I have not cried that much for weeks. It was a horrible sensation to realize that one of your worst fears was actually happening. I quickly called my husband and told him he was going to have to buzz my hair. He then called kids for a family meeting and told them what Mami was going thru and they were sad but happy to help buzz my hair. I cried the whole time they were cutting my hair, it was an overwhelming feeling but it happened, I had no hair.

I had to take a picture and smile to show my family, friends and specially myself that I can still smile in the midst of this tough new journey and that I knew that I am still beautiful. That same day a sweet mama friend came by and showed me how to wrap my head and I love it, it makes me feel so empowered and gorgeous.

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I am so grateful to have such amazing mama friends that not only support me but keep my boys for me and hold my hand thru texts and phone calls to make sure I am okay. Thanks again for all the love and support from my family and friends. I hope my new journey helps you remember how blessed we are and how quickly your life can change so always treasure your loved one and be a Mami Making Memories.

My new journey…I have breast cancer

There I was driving to a friend’s house when I received a phone call that I never thought I would get specially at my age of 29. When the words, your breast biopsy came back positive for cancer, came out of the doctor’s mouth, my heart stopped, it took all of me not to stop my car in the middle of the road. I cried so much, called my husband and my mom and told them, I was devastated. In that moment my life had completely changed, as if being bipolar and homeschooling mom of two spirited highly sensitive boys was not enough to keep this mami busy and in a constant battle with her emotions. A wave of fear hit me for a few days, the fear that I am not ready to leave my boys and my family, fear of being alone in this process and not being strong enough to handle this decease on top of my already busy daily life.

The diagnosis according to the oncologist is that I have ductal carcinoma on my right breast with metastasis to the lymph nodes, I have stage 3 A breast cancer with ER/PR positive and Her2 negative. Those are some big words and have been for sure hard to swallow.

After a few days of letting the news sink in my mom came to stay with me while I go thru the beginning of this process. I was so grateful to have my mom with me, there’s nothing like their warm, comfort and love to make a hurting daughter feel better. She helped so much and gave me a whole weekend for my self to help get in touch with my spiritual self and come to terms with God knowing that I am not alone.

I am so impressed at the amount of love and support I have had from my big family Blanco and Repollet. As soon as I told them the news they all pitched in to send me financial gifts and so much love. Then all of my friends from all the places I have lived came together and sent me their payers, good vibes and love. If I ever thought I was alone, God really showed me His love for me thru all the outstanding people that surround me thru this new journey.

For a while now we have been changing our eating habits and implementing more healthier choices such as organic foods, non-gmo, alkaline kangen water and eliminating sugar as much as possible. So when I found out I had breast cancer my husband, some friends and family started helping us research healthier options to help the fight of cancer like the Gerson Therapy. After long days of getting information we decided to drastically change my diet to, vitamins, tumeric, cinammon, viatmin D3, fruits and veggies smoothies, greens and carrot juices from a juicer, organic coffee enemas, kangen alkaline water, soups and eliminating sugar completely. I think that diet has helped my body fight this cancer and keep me feeling great with energy and strength.

My husband and kids have been an amazing support. My husband is my Rock and I can not imagine going thru this new journey without him. He has stepped up to the plate and been outstanding, helping me with the kids like never before, helping me prepare my meals and holding me every time I fall emotionally. I have made sure to answer any questions my boys have and assured them there’s no need to be afraid because Mami will do her best to keep her faith strong and be there with them for as long as God allows. I started taking them to counseling to make sure we all deal with our emotions in a healthy way.

Thanks so much everyone for being there for me thru this new journey with breast cancer.

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We all need a refresh button

This morning I had a conversation with someone that had me feeling all twisty inside about the choices I make for my kids regarding what we eat. Then Giancarlo, my 4 year old, decided to draw dots with permanent marker in my fabric place mats and i just lost it. I mean I got in the red zone real fast, (to learn more about what red zone is go here: http://sallieborrink.com/identifying-understanding-red-zone-spirited-child/). I had to take some time away from everyone to cool off so I went into laundry.

After all that I got ready to go to crossfit and take husband to work. Once I took him to work something happened to my emotions because I started crying, the whole thing this morning really hurt my feelings. I could not go to gym in that state so I decided to go home and get in my comfy pijamas. Finally I was home but the crying persisted, I opened my computer and quickly talked to my best friend about what happened this morning. She listened and said some awesome words of encouragement.

I was feeling a little better when my boys came and asked me why I was crying, I replied by saying: “That sometimes I feel like I am not a good Mami to you guys, I try so hard and read so much to be the Best Mami I can be but I didn’t feel too confident I was doing a good job.” They gave a hug real fast and said: “Mami you are the best Mami”, then they ran to their room. When they came back they had two notes that said: “You are the best mom”. I cried and hugged them tightly.

Some days I wonder if all the changes I have made, all the books I am reading, all the tools I have found, are really making a difference in my life and the life of my boys. However, days like today show me that in spite of the chaos and the mistakes, they love me and I love them no matter what. All I needed was to hit the refresh button and start my day over. Always being a Mami making memories!

Recap and Christmas

I have been off here for a long while because i didn’t have a computer but mostly because I have been busy growing. I now got a computer for Christmas so I can finally blog freely.

There’s been a lot of changes since my last post. I started working at a Christian Preschool. I teach the two year old room for three days a week for 4 hours in the morning. You would think that a part-time job wouldn’t change some ones life that much but let me tell you it took me thru a new journey. I hurt my back very severe at the end of July so had to be on bed rest for a week. Then trying to start and prep for my class was very difficult because I could not lift anything or move much. It completely made me feel hopeless and powerless. God knows I needed to surrender to Him so he made it happen for me to reach a point of complete defeat and complete trust in Him. I started work and at first it was a much harder change than i thought; there was a lot more expected from me and I had my own expectations of what I should do. Time went by and I kept feeling uncomfortable where I was, I had to do some deep searching and found that I just take longer to adjust to changes than some. I just needed to sit in my mess and embrace it.

I now love my job and still trying to figure out Gabriel’s rhythm with homeschooling. He has been having a hard time adjusting to our new routine. Thanks to help from my mommy friends I have let him at least just read a book or two a day for his school time while we find a new routine that works best for him. That is why i love homeschooling, I can take a break, find a new way to teach, learn from his learning style and just embrace our homeschooling for what it is. I think the teacher side of me wants our style to be very structured and rigid but the reality is that we are more unschoolers that anything, we are very flexible with our learning strategies and relaxed. I even got me a new planner that will help me focus on my goals. I am very content with where I am in life right now and look forward on my new journey that keeps changing with time.

Now that I have catched  you up on my life let me tell you about this Christmas. Every year, for Christmas, since i was married we would go to my parents, visit in-laws or have friends over, but a couple of years ago we moved due to husband’s work and we had to start our own little family traditions. Starting new traditions have been hard for this girl who takes for ever to get used to change. It’s been a year now that my parents and sister moved away to Delaware and I did not realize how much I missed them till I put up our Christmas tree. Not having them around has very hard on me, specially since my boys got so used to seeing them frequently. However this year I started a new hobby of crocheting and I was determined to make something special for my family, so I made a crochet hat for my dad, a scarf for my sister and had a nice crochet hooks and tools case made for my mom. Picking out special gifts for them really made me feel good and it was almost like I was sending them a piece of myself with those gifts. Now that I have realized that they are far away I decided, like I said before, to start our own family traditions so I am excited that this year we will do our matching pijamas we do with my whole dad side of the family (we all pick a pattern from old navy, buy it, take a pic with it on Christmas eve then post picture on facebook and one of us makes a collage, making it look like we are all together even tho we really are miles apart). Also I wanna start opening a board game present on Christmas Eve for us to play games as a family and open Christmas books on Christmas Eve to read a book before bed. Christmas for us this year will be all about spending time with each other and being grateful to God for keeping us together thru the storms and thru the happy memories. Christmas for us is about not forgetting our loved ones and treasuring every memory made with them. Christmas for us is watching movies together on Christmas day and remember that it is Jesus Birthday and we are very grateful that He was born to give us the greatest gift, life.

I hope you all have a wonderful Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Many blessings from La Familia Perez-Munoz, hopefully we can take a picture that has daddy in it lol

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The Sun Shined for Us Today

The sun shined for us today and that makes me happy. That is one of, my son Gabriel, favorite thing to say. Our days are usually spent outside, as highly sensitive persons and spirited children that we are, we connect better with nature and sound. Connections with nature’s best sunshine, rain, breeze, bugs, animals, plants, etc, trigger our whole nervous system in an incredible way. It can be positive or negative depending on the magnitude of the sound.

For example: I am very sensitive to loud noises but if I’m outside where there’s water, the water noise takes the edge of the sounds, making it soothing for my body and soul. My kids enjoy being outside as well but it took me a while to be okay with that.

I used to be very paranoid about what my kids did or didn’t do. I had to get informed amd be aware of their world and surroundings, and learn what’s their passion. I discovered that the sun is very important for not only us but every living thing, I know it sounds dumb, but it was very awakening to realize how important it is for our emotions.

This week I took them to the “beach” in Jackson for the first time and it was AMAZING. It proved one more time how much my boys love the sun and the water, especially when they are together because they make rainbow.

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Don’t let your emotions rule your day. Go find some sun, water and create your own rainbow.

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Home is where my familia is

Home is where the family is. When our lives took a 360 degree flip, back in December 2012, I thought we had lost everything but no we had each other. At the time of us moving to Chattanooga (February 2013), we gave a lot of stuff away because we went from a big house to a small apartment. So for a long while we had the main appliances, necessities, and minimun decor around our home. Slowly, as time passed, we adquired a few things and it shaped our place better.

Once we moved to Georgia (April 2014), I had a vision of how I wanted my home to look, what I wanted on the walls, how I wanted things organized, etc. So I started pinning some ideas on pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/unique4mygs/

Well a year later (May 2015) I have to say I’m FINALLY happy to how my home looks. No matter how my emotions say I feel, I can look at my home and feel joy and the beauty my husband and I hard sacrificies has paid off.

It is very important for u to love ur home because it is where the people you love the most, you family, lives. Find joy and grace in the little things. Ask for help if you need someone to guide you or partner with you to clean and keep it breathable. Also don’t stress if it’s not always clean, as long as you made it alive each day and smiled, is all good.

Bedtime is FINALLY here

Oh how ALL moms count the seconds to bedtime. Even if your bedtime is messy, those seconds after they have finally laid their energies to rest and close their eyes to sleep, r sacred.

I do not know about y’all, but I thought I had to be super mom and do it all before bedtime. I thought I was supposed to always read them a bedtime story, cuddle with them, do all this bedtime rituals and day after day I would stress myself that I would miss a step and mess up their memories  and dreams of bedtime with Mami.

A couple of months ago I started becoming aware of my bipolar triggers, my mami stressors. Started letting go of the people, places and things that were taking my peace away. One of those things was stop trying to be this unbreakable mother and start connecting with your children more, specially before bed.

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A couple of weeks ago I started a routine of by 830pm, boys start brushing teeth, putting on pajamas. By 9pm I start laying them down, and covering them. If I was feeling ok I will cuddle with them and reading them a book but knowing that they will survive if I didn’t. Some days I would use a For SLEEP playlist from Pandora to start setting the mood, mainly for me because really is ME and my mind that need to unwind from the daily struggles and joys.

Always remember that you mom aren’t perfect, by being aware of your emotions daily and using your words to your children, you can change the scene from disaster to peace when it comes to bedtime.

Here are my reasons to live each day, my boys Gabriel Armando & Giancarlo… oh how I love #MamiMakingMemories !

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the sound of Nature

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As a highly sensitive person my body reacts well to peaceful nature sounds, even tho the lightest loud noise will trigger it I carry ear studs just in case. I don’t know what is it about being outside and the sun is shinning for us as Gabriel calls it, that brings a smile to my face even if I’m struggling on the inside.

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As an unschooling familia, we do not use curriculum, we just let our kids explore and learn from nature, surroundings indoors and outdoors and always get a book about what they want to learn.

I have been learning to let my kids be kids, especially outside because inside the mess is when I know they enjoyed and explored the most. I wasn’t always like that tho, for the longest time I let my fears as a parent reflect in my words, each time I told them: “be careful, don’t jump, watch out for that messy water” I was afraid of them getting messy, it’s funny now but I really thought that. Awareness is key.

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This article changed how I exposed my worries and fears to my kids in a healthy way: http://www.ahaparenting.com/BlogRetrieve.aspx?PostID=469806&A=SearchResult&SearchID=8737573&ObjectID=469806&ObjectType=55

Here are some pictures that show what an AMAZING time we had exploring Nature and learning. This #MamiMakingMemories experience was incredible and I’ll treasure it forever.

IMG_20150424_132756By the way, our nature journey this week was with amazing mami friends and our beautiful children. Hardly ever we go enjoy outdoors by ourselves, connecting with people makes a big difference.

Why is Mami Angry?

When my children make me angry, is usually my inner child screaming for healing. My anger is based on fear, the fear that something may happen to my children. It’s quite ironic since obviously I can’t control everything and need to let God help me shape my children according to his will.

However dealing with anger in a healthy way has been truly awakening. I used to let my fears, anxiety and sadness rule my behavior towards my kids and everyone else. I learned that pausing, taking time for myself, being aware of the things that trigger my anger is vital for my recovery.

Awareness is so important because with it we take the power emotions have over us and start embracing them in a healthy way. Whenever you find yourself in the midst of raw anger remember to pause, breathe and ask yourself: Why am I angry?, am I tired, hungry, dehydrated, frustrated or lonely? Then take action according to the signals your body sent and read some refreshing insight like this:

http://www.ahaparenting.com/BlogRetrieve.aspxPostID=469966&A=SearchResult&SearchID=8729165&ObjectID=469966&ObjectType=55

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