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The breast cancer fight continues

Part II

After Zanniyanwin (Zanni) was born, I physically felt great!  I took her on the Crazy Horse Volksmarch, to the top of Black Elk Peak, Flag Mountain, and to see Pe` sla.  I started a new chemo called Taxol, it comes from a tree in South American and saves many lives for people who have cancer.  It is also the same tree we get latex from.  Well, I have a sensitivity to latex.

One afternoon I decided to go look around at a craft store I looked in the mirror and my stomach was so bloated that I did not fit in any of my clothes except this super comfy Zebra dress.  I was in so much pain.  I was home also with Zanni, and my family was all camping.  The pain in my stomach was so bad, I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I called a friend in the middle of the night and asked her if she could take Zanni until my mom got back from camping.  The Emergency room decided I needed to be kept overnight, overnight turned into 14 days.  I was diagnosed with pneumonia, and it was discovered that I was allergic to my chemotherapy medication.  It was excruciating pain and I struggled to breath.

After that was all over, I felt so much better.  For my 40th birthday I decided I wanted to go to my favorite place, Grand Cayman.  I had some family go with me and I had a blast.  My body needed it.  When we got back it was radiation time, it was rough.  Zanni was there every step of radiation.  The technicians would hold her while they hooked me up to the radiation machine. They loved her almost as much as me.  I remember getting the worst blisters but soon it was over and I healed.

The fight was not over, not realizing it, I enjoyed the next few months.  I had great support from my family, and friends and co-workers who became the closest people to me.  They were my sisters, they were there every step of the way.


(Contact Terra Houska at

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