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♥♥♥ BLOG POSTS ♥♥♥

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January 21, 2014

WHAT'S REALLY UNDERNEATH WHAT YOU ALLOW OTHERS TO SEE?

As many of you know, I also battled a form of cancer called Hodgkin's Lymphoma in my mid-twenties. It was a very difficult period in my life. I was a young mother of three darling girls who are my world. At the time I was married to my babies' daddy, but had been secretly planning to leave him as soon as I graduated community college. Growing up in a blue collar/middle class family did not afford us any extras - don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about because you can eat Angus beef now instead of "something" called ground beef. Anyway, my being the 2nd eldest of six children which in my family meant you were on your own if you wanted to go to vcollege. And me not being a person to accept defeat, mapped my own way to achieve academic goals and career success. My dream was to complete an Associates degree in business and graduate Cum Laude so that I could transfer with a full scholarship to Emory University. Well I did accomplish 99.9% of my goal and graduated Magna Cum Laude because in my haste to leave my ex-husband I overloaded my summer schedule.  And that's when I started feeling ill. I had NO idea that my first day of class at Emory University would also be my last. By then I was severly ill, had lost over 30 pounds in the course of a few weeks, could not eat, and began blacking out. For the next six months I looked like walking death and many people I encountered during that time treated me as such. So this time I made up my mind that NO matter how I may look! I am STILL going to strut my stuff because I AM Toni Rey!


While on a cruise early last year after my very first chemo treatement, a friend put me on the spot during a poetry recital that I attended. So I pinned the poem below and after reciting it, I told them about the breast cancer. I  Let's just say that there was not a dry eye in the house. And I got SO caught up in the moment, I started to yank my wig off just for the added effect...Lol. But being the lady that I am, I restrained myself. On a more serious note, it was a huge boost to my ego and it created a platform for us to discuss the issue of breast cancer and more. It was shocking to learn of and see so many women of all ages and ethnicities, pour their hearts out about the devastation this horrid parasite we call cancer has had on many of our lives.

 

Stay encouraged my ladies and know that we are united in this together. Be strong and never give up hope.

 

Toni's Poem

 

 

~ Peace & Love


January 18, 2014

GO FROM CHEMO DRAB TO CHEMO FAB!!!

  

 

~ Peace & Love

 

January 13, 2014

HAPPY FABULOUS 4O+!!!

All I can say is YOLO! So live it to the fullest no matter what odds are stacked against you. After having chemo days before my birthday I was unsure of how I would feel on the day of, or if I would have the energy to get out of bed. The night before, one of my dearest home girl's flew in to visit from Chicago which was such a fantastic surprise. And on the day of I started the day off with an herbal tea regime and leafy green smoothie for breakfast which gave me a ton of energy. From there I was off doing my thing, opening gifts and capped off the night with dinner with my sweetheart and family. And of course I wrapped up my birthday with a little something extra special...Lol! Heck, this past year was one of the hardest with many obstacles and setbacks. Yet that does not define the joy and happiness I experience each day. I am a breast cancer fighter and survivor. Who is extremely fortunate to see another birthday. Especially after having such a dire prognosis. I am NOT living a terminal life. So HAPPY...Happy Birthday to me!!!

 

Happy Birthday Toni Rey

 

~ Peace & Love


January 10, 2014

HAPPY PRE-BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!

Hah haa! In your face cancer. Tomorrow is the day!!! Toni Rey has made it to see another birthday. This has NOT been a solo journey. There are many cogs that keep this wheel turning and with the continued unceasing love and support of my amazing partner, family, friends and followers like you...there's double more years to come. I wonder what tomorrow holds?!!! I will be sure to post a recap of this passing year to see how far I've come and share a montage of those who have kept me together and been on the frontline fighting equally hard.

 

Peace and blessings to you all and remember to ALWAYS..."See With Love!"

 

Happy Birthday Toni Rey

 

~ Peace & Love

 

January 9, 2014

PET SCAN & DOCTOR'S REPORT 

Well alright! Today finally came and I was not so happy to meet with my Oncologist about my PET Scan results. I was originally scheduled to have 4 cycles of Chemotherapy which basically is 3 weeks a month. So at the onset of cycle 3 we did a scan. I was originally super excited because that meant that I had 1 more cycle to go and I am almost finished. Well at least that's what I was a hoping and a wishing and a praying for. Let's just say the news was bitter sweet but NOT insurmountable. 

 

 PET SCAN COMPARISONS (NOVEMBER - RIGHT) AND (DECEMBER - LEFT)

PET Scan


WAITING TO MEET WITH DOCTOR...nail biter

 
 

~ Peace & Love 

January 5, 2014

HAD A BLAST!

Last night was the first time I was actually able to go out and hang with the girls since being diagnosed over a year ago. Although I fell asleep in the limo on the way home, I managed to get dolled up, stay energized through dinner and have a good ole time just being me.  I must admit that I had a little splurge and indulged in a lump crab cake topped with Gulf shrimp and on the ride to the restuarant I just had to toast too my fabulosity! But today I'm loading up on broccoli sprouts, fresh papaya and pineapple juice, and Essential PH 9.5 water. This new lifestyle change of eating to live is REALLY working! Granted I am a little tired today because I was out late and doing my thing. After all there's no fun in being all nice. However, I have been resting most of the day and I am so thankful for the progress I'm finally seeing from the changes. Hopefully I will be ready for MY birthday this weekend!!!

~ Peace & Love


Toni Goes Out

~ Peace & Love


January 3, 2014

PHOTO CLIPS FROM CHEMO DAY!

Having chemotherapy several times a week, weekly, or every 3 weeks is extremely exhausting. It's like a roller-coaster ride that you can't seem to get off of for months and for some years. Yet I can attest having gone through this multiple times that a positive attitude and NOW I'm learning nutrition can make all the difference in the world. This is a short slide show so email me if you want more micro-details and I will be happy share what I can. And if I don't know it than we will figure it out together. Much love!

 


~ Peace & Love

January 2, 2014

TODAY IS CHEMO DAY.

Yes today is not one of my favorite days but since it's part of my road to recovery, I will not complain. I will share some pictures and insight into what a typical day getting chemo consists of to help demystify the process. I've also added a video of the type of tea that I drink to help detoxify, heal, hydrate and energize my body while I go through this process. If you ever have questions or need information you may send an email to info@seewithlove.com and I will do my best to respond to you as promptly as possible. Toodles and stay tuned.

 


~ Peace & Love

 

January 1, 2014

HAPPY NEW YEARS & HAPPY NEWS!

My 2014 resolution is to continue alternative therapies for my breast cancer and to help others do the same!

On yesterday I tweeted that my PET scan showed that the tumors have shrank/shrunk more than 75%!!! I am super-excitedlicious about this news going into the new year. So much so that I found this documentary that is the most eye-opening film I've found in my search for a cure. It confirms my recent commitment to take responsibility for my health and seek alternative means of treatment aside from the orthodox methodology that is based primarily on capitalism and the exploitation of the human condition. It's going to take some work for me to find MY cure; regardless I am up for the challenge. You MUST watch this and also SHARE it. It's life changing.

~ Peace & Love

December 31, 2013

MUST SEE MOVIE!

Ok...found it!!! The name of the movie that I was trying to think of (duh) in my last video post is called Forks Over Knives. As I mentioned it's available on Netflix as well as Amazon and the website. Simply click on the title above or the banner below to access the site. Peek the trailer...

Forks Over Knives

~ Peace & Love

December 30, 2013

MY ALKALINE SMOOTHIE RECIPE.

As promised in yesterday's video post, below is my Alkaline Smoothie recipe. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Add super green supplements and minerals as needed (spirulina, chlorella, shilajit, vitamin C, etc.)

TONI'S ALKALINE SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup Almond Milk (or optional coconut milk)
  • A handful of Kale and/or Spinach
  • 1 Celery stalk
  • A chunk of Ginger
  • 1 Pear and/or Granny Apple
  • 1/3 Mango
  • 1 sliver of Papaya (no seeds)
  • 1 ring of sliced Pineapple
  • 1/2 cartoon Blueberries
  • A handful of Raspberries
  • 1 tbl Flaxseed

Toni's Alkaline Smoothie

~Peace & Love

December 29, 2013

TAKING CONTROL OF MY HEALTH & LIFE!

This has been an amazing week for me and I wanted to share my inspirations with you through video. I am simply astounded at which the smallest changes we make in our daily lives can effect our overall wellness. If you know of anyone experiencing the life drenching impact of cancer or any chronic disease, please share the video links below. The name of the movie that is a MUST see that I was trying to think of in the video is http://www.forksoverknives.com/. It's also available on Netflix. I will see if I can add the trailer in a future post.



~ Peace & Love

December 15, 2013

SO THANKFUL... DESPITE THE UGLY SIDE OF CANCER!

I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to share Thanksgiving with many of my friends, family and loved ones. They were all so gracious and giving in-spite of the fact that I was literally ill the entire time. This first round of chemotherapy effected me in many different ways from the previous. Fortunately, I kept my hair and my skin has not burned. However, my immune system has been really suppressed and I have caught colds and viruses. But the worst thing I got was a touch of pneumonia and along with that staph around my abdominal incision that had healed months ago. My doctor said that the scar tissue under the incision was not fully healed and when my immunity was suppressed the staph invaded. Anyway I had to have an abstraction and it was extremely painful. He wanted to put a drain in upon my follow-up visit but thank the LORD it burst over the weekend and drained on its own. It freaked me out when it finally burst. The pus was running for about an half-hour. Then it started bleeding like crazy and I thought I was going to have to go to the emergency room. It left  a pretty good sized hole in my upper abdomen and all of the skin where the swelling occurred peeled off. So with all of that the second cycle of my chemo was delayed a week. But the worst thing of all is when I was weak and bedridden with fever for two weeks my lower back began to hurt and spasm. After the spasms started I was unable to sleep for nights on end because my entire left side began twitching uncontrollable. So at my follow-up with my Oncologist, I was promptly informed that my body is becoming convalescent. I'm like HELL NO! I do not accept that. Luckily the twitching stopped during the last week that I was off of chemo but I am still experiencing the back spasms. 

The most fantastic news is that the tumors that broke through my skin on my left breast have and are dying...whoo hoo! Of course there's a nasty side to it as well. My reconstructed breast are literally decaying and rotting right in front of me. But I'm dealing with it and my doctor put me on antibiotics to keep from getting another infection and to kill the odor. The good things is that boobies can be replaced. But the biggest gift is that I thank God/dess that the cancer is visibly dying and I am still ALIVE!!!

~ Peace & Love

December 12, 2013

FIGHTING LIKE A CHAMP!

Whew!! As many of you know the past few weeks have been a roller-coaster ride. Unfortunately the PET Scan results were not as I had expected. The breast cancer has metastasized to my left chest cavity, left lymph nodes, spine, liver, right shoulder and left hip. Additionally the tumors have become extremely painfully and grown outside of my skin, impairing the movement of my left arm. At this point the doctors are saying that my cancer is stage IV and incurable. Although the battle is tough, I am continuing to move forward and fight with all my strength. In addition to making lifestyle changes and seeking alternative methods of non-traditional treatments.

See With Love

~ Peace & Love

November 6, 2013

STILL FIGHTING STRONG!

I know it has been a few weeks since I provided an update but October proved to be a very challenging month for me. Not only was I dealing with post-op pain from my last surgery that left me with several open wounds along my tummy incision and a large hole in my right breast that I had to do a wet-to-dry procedure on twice a day; but several tumors popped up under my left armpit and stretched over the top of my left breast onto my chest wall. At first we thought it might be scar tissue or keloids, but we watched it for a few weeks and as the masses grew larger my entire breast became inflamed and other smaller lumps started popping up so we did a biopsy. Let me tell you, I was completely devastated when the results came back that it was cancer. That diagnosis knocked the wind right out of me and I was like, "Wow, this devil is trying to KILL me!" After the shock lessened, I prayed for peace of mind and strength to endure what I was up against. And at that moment I made up my mind to do whatever it takes to beat this parasite of a disease. I did a complete diet overhaul and added a group of cancer fighting supplements to my daily diet.  I PROMISE you, almost immediately the cancer STOPPED growing at the alarming rate it had been (I will be sure to follow-up with another post to share the details of my new eating habits and which supplements I am taking and why I chose to take them). In addition to changing what I consumed, I also met with my medical oncologist and talked about next steps. Given that this will be my third time taking chemo and surgery is not an option at this time, my options are somewhat limited. So I will have 4 more cycles of chemotherapy followed by 6 weeks of radiation. One cycle of chemo will be an infusion every Monday for two weeks in a row and one week off to rest. The chemo drugs that are being used are Carboplatin and Gemcitabine both drugs have shown to be effective in fighting advance stages of breast cancer. Fortunate for me and pending the PET scan the cancer is still localized. I went ahead and decided to have a portacatheter this time since I will need more infusions than my last round of therapy where I opted for an IV. I had that done yesterday and have included a video link of me at the hospital right before the procedure. After it was over I was so glad to see that the port has changed and looks nothing like the one I had 17 years ago. It is a much slimmer version that is hard to detect and barely noticeable. Keep the prayers and love flowing and I will do the same for all of you.

~ Peace & Love

October 6, 2013

PROGRESS UPDATES.

Things have not gone exactly as planned. Please check out the link below for a video update.



~ Peace & Love

September 24, 2013

POST-OP SURGERY PANGS!

~ Peace & Love

September 23, 2013

RIGHT MASTECTOMY with DIEP FLAP RECONSTRUCTION (JUST SAY NOOOO!!!).

I wanted to share this video of what I looked like right after the surgery. The surgery lasted 10 hours. I can't even begin to explain the amount of pain that I was in. They kept me in ICU for 4 days until I was in the clear which is normal procedure. I was not allowed to move for the entire time accept to have a drink or eat. During my stay in ICU I had a catheter, the stickies all over for mointering my heart rate like an EKG, of course the clamp on my finger for my pulse and 4 drains - one for each breast and two in my tummy area. Oh my God one of the worst parts about it were the constant blood thinner injections that were given in my belly and thigh area. It stung and burned like crazy. But that GOODNESS for the morphin pump because had I not had that I don't know how I would have coped. So check out the video and see what a hot mess I was during that period. Oh and I forgot to mention that on the 5th day they got me out of bed and tried to make me walk to the restroom. They ended up bringing me a bedside potty because I could barely lift my upper torso up. So they sat me in a chair for a few hours and then sent me home to manage on my own with very little instructions.


~ Peace & Love

 July  29, 2013

SIMPLE BREAST MASTECTOMY UPDATE.


~ Peace & Love

July  2013

THE DAY AFTER!


~ Peace & Love

July 11, 2013

FOLLOW MY JOURNEY ON THE DAY OF MY 1ST MASTECTOMY (VERY TOUGH DAY!!!).

In other words they cut it all off. So I wanted to share insight into what my experience was on the day of surgery and post-surgery. I know I look an awful hot mess but battling cancer has taught me that outer beauty is not what makes one beautiful! I hope my story will help you or a loved one who may be battling any type of illness. But if you ever need to have a mastectomy watching these videos may encourage you and let you know what to expect and you can get through it too!!


~ Peace & Love

June, 2013

POST-CHEMOTHERAPY HAIR REGROWTH


~ Peace & Love

 

March 21, 2013

 LUMPECTOMY AFTER CARE.

There is much care that has to be given to the breast area after having a lump removed to keep it from hardening. In this video I share my massage tips. It was my first time and I'm certainly not an expert but I hope it helps. XO


~ Peace & Love

January 25, 2013

STAY STRONG AND YOU WILL STAY LONG!

I woke up this morning and thought it would be encouraging to have a single place to showcase women and children who have survived breast cancer or any form of cancer; as well as all of us who are battling this disease. Sometimes while you are going through treatment you feel as if you are the "only one" and you get tired of all the poking, probing, scanning, cutting, medications, weakness, fatigue and other symptoms that are part of becoming cancer free. But you are NOT the only one. So please don't give up hope! Now you can see that others have overcome, are fighting the good fight, and actively promoting and seeking a cure. Stay strong and you will stay long! I promise from my own feelings of hopelessness and helplessness at times that this will someday be a distant memory and you can beat it too!!

Please check out our "Show Cause" Pinterest board to see pictures of fellow survivors and those who have lost the fight. Together we can continue to fight for the cure.

~ Peace & Love


November, 2012

PINK PARTY PRE-CHEMO PARTY!

From top to bottom my baby doggie Gizma, my youngest baby girl Ching, my middle baby girl Drea, my oldest baby girl Rece, ME, and the matriarch my Mom!

 

See With Love

~ Peace & Love


November 2012

THE OMINOUS DIAGNOSIS.

 

~ Peace & Love