Prologue | Breast Cancer | HMOs Suck | Treatment Choices | Battling Bertha

Battling Bertha Blog


I don’t enjoy writing.  Seems silly to have a blog when one does not enjoy writing.

Don’t get me wrong!

I love the podcasts and video interviews we do each week!  I love disseminating great information for others to enjoy and use.  I love sharing my personal experiences as a business owner, entrepreneur, internet pioneer, network marketer, public speaker, Toastmaster, Girl Scout leader, archery instructor, and mother to a teenager.  I just don’t love writing about it!

Well, now, I have something that makes me want to put my thoughts to words.  Around mid-April of 2014, though I did not know it at the time, I began preparations for war.

Meet Bertha

Bertha is a 2.9 cm x 2.7 cm mass residing in the upper section of my right breast.  The doctors tell me she is 95% estrogen-receptive and 70% HER2 positive, which to them means she is aggressive and fast spreading.


Bertha is an unwanted guest in the temple that is my body.  I have served her eviction notice.   She is not welcome here.

HMOs Suck

I do not want to dwell on the negative.  I will tell you this, if you currently have an HMO, look into PPO alternatives right away!  Most of the tears I have shed these past few weeks have been due to the HMO.  That’s all I am going to say on that subject.  It isn’t relative to the overall battle plan.  It may, however, be the cause of a few unwanted mini-skirmishes along the way.

“Pedicure by Amy” by Shane Rodarte

Treatment Choices

I like looking at health holistically.  In 2010, I watched 2 people that I loved dearly, die from chemotherapy side-effects.  Both contracted infections their bodies could not fight.  So chemo was not my first, nor my gut, choice.  However, the words “aggressive and fast spreading” persuaded me to choose chemo for the first round of battle.

I have been doing research on supplements and alternative treatments for later.  I will share when I find something noteworthy.

Patient Perks

One of the perks the facility where I go for treatment offers is complimentary spa services for patients.  Monday, after my doctor’s visit, he walked me down the hall to the spa and “ordered” a pedicure for me.  It was heaven!  Amy, the pedicurist gave me an amazing calf and foot massage that included acupressure to the feet.  Then, as a special treat, Lauren gave me a new, sassy short haircut.  I figure I’ll be losing hair soon, might as well have less to lose.

My husband, Shane Rodarte, chronicled the pedicure with his pencil and sketchbook.

It Begins

Today, is the day.  Chemo begins.  I’ll be intravenously fed Herceptin, Carboplatin and Docetaxel over the course of 6 hours.  I’ll let you know how that goes in my next installment of Battling Bertha.

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