Thursday, June 16, 2011

Secrets to a Long Life from Walter Breuning

Not too long ago, Walter Breuning of Great Falls, Montana passed away.  He was 114 years old.  Last October, he was interviewed by an un-named AP reporter and left his keys to a long life.  They are as follows:

1.  Eat two meals a day.  "That's all you need."

2.  Work as long as you can.  "That money's going to come in handy."

3. Hlep others.  "The more you do for others, the better shape you're in. 

4.  Accept death.  "We're going to die.  Some people are scared of dying.  Never be afraid to die,.  ecuase you're born to die.

I don't think that Walter meant to roll over and give up fighting, nor that we shouldn't try to live a long life, just that death is a part of living and we shouldn't fear it.  Frankly, I have a lot I want to do before I die.  But that's a lesson too...we should try to do as much as we can while we can.  Time's a wasting folks and time is something  you can't get back. 

Tomorrow I go in for the beginning of my last series of chemo.  I'm hoping that I am able to make it through the next three sessions OK.  This last one was really hard.  Evidently that decadron buzz I used to get is a thing of the past...we'll see.  I've been really tired and my eyesight continues to degrade.  That supposedly will come back after quitting the chemo. What do I miss most? Not my hair (I did laugh when I was in the doctor's office last week and a woman said to me "that's alright dear, it will grow back."  I don't know what gave her the idea that the hair loss bothered me...especially since I was sitting there in my pink Old Navy baseball cap.

I'd rather my breast grew back if we were talking about growing things back.  I do hope, however, that some of the numbness in my hands and feet goes away. The inability to get information from my feet means that I'm unsteady.  I fell in the garden a couple of times this week and whacked off the cover on the electrical to the fishpond.  I'm just grateful I didn't fall IN the fish pond.

Hopefully, the muscle/nerve/bone pain I have will also get better.  One can always hope!  And I do!


  1. Hi, Just found your blog the other day.
    Thank you for sharing your experience.
    What type of breast cancer were you diagnosed with?
    Mine was originally diagnosed as ER+, found "early", mastectomy and adjuvant chemo, 0 out of 21 lymph nodes were positive for cancer etc. Only to have it do the unthinkable and return a little over a year later having metastasized to my liver and bones.
    It is now a triple negative. Apparently those sneaky tumours can change from + to- or the other way around.
    Its been 9 months since my metastatic diagnosis. I just finished chemo but the last week I am having a lot of pain and discomfort so tomorrow I will see if I can go back on the chemo

    Thanks again and I hope we can be in touch!

  2. Thanks for stopping by MzElle. Yes, cancer is VERY sneaky! in 1994, I had the garden variety infiltrating ductile carcinoma, I think it was close to 3 cm (yeah, big and a surprise because they could only see .4 on the mammogram--it was deep). I had a lumpectomy, CAF, and 7 weeks of radiation. 1 lymph node was involved, but I was triple negative. In 1997, (December) they found microcalcifications on my mammogram which was just the tip of the ice berg. When they analyzed my breast after the mastectomy, they discovered many many multiple loci micro other words, the breast was just a farm for little tiny tumors. They did a bone scan and discovered a spot on my illiatic crest of my pelvis. Bone biopsy showed cancer. This time, the cancer tested strongly positive for progesterone, so after 9 courses of Taxol administered over a 24 hour period and radiation to the pelvis, I had my ovaries removed (along with my uterus and my cervix because I figured I didn't need those without ovaries) and went on arimedex. A couple of years later, they thought they saw something in my lumbar area of my spine and so I was on Aredia for a while. In the fall of 2009, I fractured my pelvis (acetabulum this time) and they looked and saw something suspicious, but didn't do anything until Feb. when my tumor markers started rising out of the high end of normal. They started me on Faslodex and Zometa. When the markers got even higher and the PET scan showed activity in my shoulder, spine, rib, sternum, in Nov (more spots than in May) they put me on Abraxane.

    Keep your chin up...the arsenal seems to be bigger than it once once...the trick is finding how to combat out own personal situation. It sucks, but make sure that your oncologist knows exactly what's going on with you.

    Here's hoping that the pain you have is something else. Hugs. Lisa