MOM2ACAT
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Kallie




Timmy, his eyes are not really blue, that's just the reflection of the flash off my blue carpet.




Me, July 2008


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My Story: Updated 7/2/2013

When I first joined Spark in July 2006, at first it was all about weight loss for me. I was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer in the spring of 2003, at the age of 39. I went through a bilateral mastectomy (without reconstruction) and chemo that year, and underwent radiation to the chest wall during the first part of 2004.

At that time, I was frustrated with my weight gain from being on Tamoxifen, and overeating after my appetite came back after recovering from chemo. My pants were getting tight on me, and I refused to just go up to the next size. I was 139 pounds when I started here, and in a little less than a year, reached my goal weight, which I am still maintaining, of staying within 120-125 pounds. I went from a size 14 in jeans down to a junior size 9. I made my changes slowly, a few at a time, starting with watching my portion sizes. I never looked at this journey as a "diet", rather I decided to make healthy living and eating a lifelong habit.

My journey changed again in April of 2007; my cancer returned, and spread to the bone. I have stage IV breast cancer, and there is no cure for it; the goal of treatment is to slow down and stabilize my bone mets. (Bone mets are tumors that are in the bone.) Since April 2007, I am on a monthly treatment called Zometa to strengthen my bones. I have been through 5 more courses of radiation treatments, and I've been on chemo since April 2010. My current chemo is Abraxane, which I started on June 25. I will most likely be on some kind of chemo for the rest of my life.

I also live with GERD and sciatica, and in the early part of December 2010, was diagnosed with gastroparesis.( Caused by the radiation I had to my upper spine,) I have had to change my diet drastically because of that, I'm basically on a low fiber diet right now, and many of my favorite fruits and vegetables I can no longer eat. I also deal with chronic pain from my various health conditions. My goals now with Spark are not to enable me to live longer, or to try to cure my cancer, but to have the best quality of life possible with the time I have left.

I try as much as I can, despite the limitations I have right now, to eat as healthy as a I can, and to stay as fit as I can. I can longer walk for exercise, but I enjoy chair aerobic DVDs, using my stability ball, and working out with weights.

I am single with two very spoiled indoor only cats, Timmy and Kallie, who are my babies. I no longer work outside the home, because of the health problems associated with my cancer, I had to quit working in November 2008.

I hope that by sharing my journey with cancer, I can help someone else going through the same thing, even if it's just knowing that there is someone else out there who understands.

8/2/2014 Update; I had scans done a couple of weeks ago, the cancer is now spreading to my liver, but so far it's still in the treatable stage.

12/22/2014 Update: It's now in my bones, lungs and liver. Starting a new treatment soon that won't be a cure, but hopefully will slow it down.

Update 7/31/2015 Made the decision to stop treatment for the cancer as of 7/15/24, body is just too worn out from the side effects, and it's now in my lungs also. Just doing palliative care now.

UPDATE 9/20/2015 Now under Hospice care.

I also have a blog at Caring Bridge related to the cancer: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/sharilar
sen



Member Since: 7/3/2006

Fitness Minutes: 41,579

My Goals:
* Work in fitness activities on my good days as often as I can

*Keep maintaining my goal weight

*Eat as healthy as I can within the limitations of my diet for GP


My Program:
Now that I am maintaining a healthy diet, I am working on improving my fitness. I keep a hand written food diary to keep me on track, and keep track of my exercise and other goals here on Spark.

As of 10/26/2012, I am still undergoing chemo, which I started again in April 2010. I am limited to what I can do fitness-wise because of the cancer and pain issues, but I do the best I can. My favorite workouts now are chair aerobics.

Life is a work in progress, and while we can never be perfect, that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to make our lives the best they can be.



Personal Information:
My name is Shari, I'm from I have 2 indoor cats and worked in retail until November 2008. Because of health issues, I quit work and I am now on SSDI.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2003, went through surgery, chemo and radiation. In April of 2007, I was diagnosed with bone mets, I am now living with stage IV breast cancer.

Update as of Jan. 2015: Now the cancer is in my bones, lung and liver. I can no longer have any chemo because my bone marrow is "worn out"; now I am on palliative treatments; the goal now is not a cure, but to give me a good quality of life with the time I have left.


Other Information:
I am an avid reader, and I love writing book reviews! I also love crafts, crocheting, needlework and knitting with Knifty Knitter looms.

I love cats; I have 2, Timmy and Kallie, and I consider them my family. So even though I am single, I am not living alone!




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Comments
  • v FLORIDASUN
    Sending your page some love dear Shari! emoticon emoticon
    190 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/22/2015 8:11:58 PM
  • v ANAWESOMELIFE
    I was saddened to hear of your death but know that you are now free and whole, without pain. emoticon
    206 days ago
  • v MEWHENRYSMAMA
    emoticon
    Missing you, my friend!
    Hugs,
    Mary
    208 days ago
  • v JUDITH316
    To All of Shari's Friend's, I copied this tribute written from her friend Penny on Caringbridges where Shari was a member....My prayer is this will truly bless your heart..

    FOND MEMORIES OF SHARI

    By Penny Ray — 4 hours ago

    I wanted to share a few of the memories Shari left me with as well as some of her Eulogy, in which I read.

    "I have had the blessing of knowing Shari for 7 years, but only as best friends the last 11 months, as I was Trustee for her dear parents estate. Shari was a rare gem to me and as I discovered through her family history while cleaning out her childhood home, I was privileged to see how much she accomplished! I fondly keep her 5th grade art project, a soap dish, made to look like a set of attached dentures, at my kitchen sink to bring me smiles each day, she told me to toss it, no way, it was treasure :-) as I am a 31 year soap maker! Her interests were varied from crocheting to sewing fancy Martha Washington ball gowns for her Barbie dolls, she was multi-talented.

    Shari gave of her self to fight cancer by making project to sell and head-coverings for others battling this horrible disease. She, her Mom and sister walked the Relay of Life and she and her Mom, Doris, the Survivors Lap. She lost her dear Mom on November 8, 2014 and that was the last year she was able to participate in the Relay Walk.

    Her devotion to finding a cure led her to try every known treatment available, however, the cancer was not responding and she was told to contact Hospice, which we did 2 weeks previously.


    She had a flair for life and love, her 2 fur children, Timmy and Kallie were always of her utmost concern, and were loved with all she had, they benefited by her hand sewn toys from Candy Corn to Goldfish Cracker shapes, they were never bored. One of the sweetest moments I witnessed toward the end of her life was Timmy stretched out next to her and Kallie curled up by her feet, she was lovingly scratching Timmy's head, (they knew Mom was sick and leaving them). (After she passed, both kitties "gave up" Timmy got sicker and sicker and Kallie quit eating, and they both joined her in Heaven, a very sad decision I had to make but it was the right one).

    She and I had many friendly competitions from playing Celebrity Jeopardy during a transfusion to watching Big Bang Theory and laughing. She pranked me many times but I always told her I would have the final say! The Holy Bible tells us Laughter is good medicine, and she was my cure many times!

    The Lord may have taken her home but she will forever remain in my heart and in my memory.
    On a final note I want to say i reference to her song she picked out for the final song at her funeral, "Good Riddance" by Green Day, "I hope you have the time of your life!"

    She will have an internment service on May 28, 2016, the same day as her precious Mom was interned this year, when the King Alfred Daffodils are in bloom and birds are singing and beauty surrounds us.

    "Death is only temporary to us as Christians, until we meet again, I love you my Faberge' Egg"

    This was only part of the Eulogy, but she wanted it more upbeat and the words, brave, courageous were NOT to be used, trust me, she drilled that into my head!

    It has been nearly 2 months since she went home, but the experience of watching your best friend leave a sickly frail body and her spirit soar to Heaven was one that I will never forget. I know she watches us all and is praying for us. I do miss her terribly. She asked that I not ever close her accounts so people will know about her and her honesty when it comes to living with metastatic breast cancer. The end was swift, I had only seen her 18 days before and she went out peacefully, the sunrise was extraordinary, pink, magenta, and just amazing color, that night, we had a bad storm, it was as if the Lord washed away the chaff and pain for a short time...I don't feel we ever really get over losing such a friend who impacted our lives in a way that changed us, in a good way. Forever I am grateful I was blessed to be her friend...
    209 days ago
  • v BETHUMZ
    RIP Shari. Your light will shine on us all. May your spirit soar.
    211 days ago
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