Archive | November 2008

The clock is ticking…

th_portable-time-clockChristmas Day is less than a month away, and chemo is coming in even less time!  18 days left!  I feel like I’m being crunched into a time machine, with much to do in too little time!  People in the stores are running around like maniacs, shopping for THINGS and stressing about things that are really and truly meaningless.  (If they only knew).  I don’t want to be like that.  My list is short this year, both in things to do and and in things to want.  Keep it simple.  That’s what I want. 

 I am already trying to think ahead to the week of chemo and what I might feel like, trying to plan to already have all of Christmas DONE (decorating, baking, cards, entertaining) and out of the way.  I also want to be proactive about my hair loss, and schedule a get together with my girlfriends to be by my side as I rope it all off, cut it, then shave the rest.  If I don’t do this, I could wake up one morning and find it all over my pillow, or falling out down the shower drain and that would be very traumatic for me.  This is one way I can take back some control. I am donating it to an organization that makes real hair wigs for children <—click .  I’m sure some little girl would be thrilled to have a long hair wig!  It is 15 inches at its longest places!  It will take me at least 5 years to get all of that length back.  It took me 3 years to grow my bangs from their 4 inches to the  12 inches they are now!  I try not to think about it.  It’s all about becomming a new “me”, inside and out. 

This week I go back to the plastic surgeon and also expect to finally have my drain removed.  I dread it hurting, since it has been in there for 5 weeks.  I also meet the following day with the surgical clinic that will be installing the port under the skin, mainly for an informational consultation. 

Today is our 22nd wedding anniversary! We have a lot to celebrate! Four wonderful kids, and a full and blessed life, and much to look forward to!

Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving and that all your Christmas lights that you pull from the attic, plug in and turn on with no burned out bulbs! 🙂    th_thanimatedchristmastree

This entry was posted on November 29, 2008. 2 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving

Our son Curtis belongs to a Christian acapella group at University of Virginia, called ChoosE (Christian HOOS Exalt). “Hoos” is the school mascot name.  They just released their first CD this year, where Curtis sings backup vocals.  The CD title is Infinity.  This song by Nichole Nordeman, GRATITUDE, is my favorite. I hope you will be blessed by it! Curtis’  group hasn’t yet put their version on YouTube, but this is very, very close to their sound! The words have pretty deep meaning for me, personally, right now. Click the arrow to listen.  The lyrics are written below. Then, say a prayer of Thanksgiving all your own! 

Gratitude (a prayer)

Send some rain

Would you send some rain?

‘Cause the earth is dry

And needs to drink again

And the sun is high

And we are sinking in the shade

Would you send a cloud

Thunder long and loud

Let the sky grow black

And send some mercy down

Surely you can see

That we are sinking

In the shade

Or maybe not

Not today

Maybe you’ll provide in others ways

And if that’s the case…

We’ll give thanks to you

With gratitude

For lessons learned

In how to thirst for you

How to bless the very sun

That warms our face

If you never send us rain

Daily Bread, Give us daily bread

Bless our bodies, keep our children fed

Fill our cups, then fill them up again

Tonight

Oh wrap us up

And warm us through

Tucked away

Beneath our sturdy roofs

Let us slumber safe

From dangers

Through this time

Or maybe not

Not today

Maybe you’ll provide in other ways

And if that’s the case…

We’ll give thanks to you

With gratitude

A lesson learned

To hunger after you

Let a starry sky

Offer a better view

If no roof is overhead

And if we never taste that bread

Oh the differences that are often between

Everything we want and what we really need

So grant us peace

Jesus grant us peace

Move our hearts to hear a single beat

Between our alibis & enemies tonight

Or maybe not

Not today

Peace might be another world away

And if that’s the case…

We’ll give thanks to you

With gratitude

For lessons learned

In how to trust in you

And we are blessed beyond

What we could ever dream of

In abundance or in need

And if you never grant us peace,

But Jesus, Would you , please

If you would like to order a copy of CHoosE’s new CD, just contact me. Their web site is: http://www.student.virginia.edu/~choose/ To listen to snippettes of their sound, click SOUNDS, then click a title next to the record player (remember what those look like?) 🙂 .

Next stop- Chemotherapy-ville

forest

Yesterday’s nuclear heart scan came back very good (gee, must be all that working out I THINK about doing! ) , and my chemo therapy treatments are scheduled to begin Wednesday, December 17th.  They will install a medi-port under the skin first thing that morning, just on the underside of my left upper arm, in minor surgery , then proceed to infusion treatment.  The medi-port will be the place where all infusion injections take place so that my veins don’t get over abused. Treatment  lasts a couple of hours, and then we get to go home until round # 2 , three weeks later, with blood tests at my local doctor’s office in between, to be sure I am tollerating the effects okay.  Christmas day will be a week after my first treatment, by which time my doctor seems to think I will feel fairly ‘normal’and enjoy the time with the kids and Tim.  Treatment will consist of 6 total cycles, each three weeks apart, ending sometime near the beginning of April, a total of 18 weeks.  The least common of the  worst side effects with this particular regimine are numbness and tingling of fingers and toes, and ringing in and loss of hearing in the ears….but usually temporary.  More common side effects are nausea, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, compromised immunity,  and hair loss.  Kidney and liver function tests are given regularly due to possible side effects there, but they monitor chemo patients carefully.  Contact with people who are sick can be very dangerous for me during this time.  I got my flu shot yesterday, and the rest of the family gets theirs this week. Lucky for me, this will be wintertime, so I don’t plan on traveling, but rather, staying home a lot, crafting at my jewelry & card making businesses,  and being extra cautious about hand washing, cleanliness around the house, keeping Clorox™ wipes  everywhere, etc.  I will be prepared with my wig(s), and plan to cut and donate my long hair to locks of love  before it falls out on its own, so as to take personal control over a somewhat traumatic event for me. It will make me feel so good to know that some little girl will get herself  a long hair wig 🙂 .  My longest lengths right now are 15 inches long! (Locks of love makes wigs using human hair for children only.) 

Thanksgiving Day is this week.  We have both boys home from school now (to include a pet hedgehog of Kyle’s, who is in a cage in his basement bedroom – his name is  Dow Jones) Isn’t he cute!!! 019-1-1 We have a a fridge and freezer full of yummy food and soups made by loving friends, muffins, breads, all of the things I would be busy whipping up in my own kitchen, if only I had the energy.  I feel so blessed! Thank you everyone who is chipping in to help our family through this. I hope that you will be blessed with a Happy Thanksgiving!

Preparing for my new “role”

This week Tim and I met with my oncologist, and learned all about the chemo therapy regimines & clinical trials available to me.  His name is Dr. Patel, and we both really like him.  All of the nurses we met, from the research ladies in clinical trials, to the nurses in the infusion rooms, were very kind and put us at ease.  wonderwoman2They always make me feel like I am their only patient and would take all day with me if I needed more time with them.  Dr. Patel sent us home with a boat load of information to read this weekend, because so many of these drugs have side effects and benefits  that are different.  I’m hoping that with all of Tim’s science backgrounds, from 25 years ago, he can make sense of it all!  It’s very detailed and overwhelming.  Bottom line is this…I have to have a few tests before we get started.  I am having a heart scan Monday morning.  Then comes blood work, like liver and kidney functions, etc.  to make sure I am healthy enough to be “poisoned”.  Ha!  Ha!  (Well, that’s how I look at it ).  His guess was that chemo would begin in the next 3- 6 weeks.  Tuesday I have another appointment to discuss scheduling a minor surgical procedure where they install a port under the skin where I receive all of my injections for the next 12 months or so.  My particular cancer requires a year of one the types of drugs we know I’ll need for that length of time.  I also go back to my plastic surgeon Tuesday for some tissue expansion.  Then comes Thanksgiving and the boys will be home from college and we can take a few days’ break from doctor’s visits.  Looking at Lynda Carter (Wonder Woman) in this photo makes me think of wearing a long dark wig, and all I need now is the headband and I’m set! See her in action HERE

imgp51961My wonderful neighbor, who also loves dogs, took Colby for a walk yesterday and returned exhausted and out of breath.  Colby took HER for a walk, I suspect!  She is a gem, and went and got me a “Halty” restraining device at Petsmart to keep him from pulling.  If I can get it to work, I may be able to walk him without his constant pulling.  I could use the exercise and fresh air about now, although it has gotten quite cold here this week!  In case you were wondering, Christmas is in just  33 days! :0

This entry was posted on November 22, 2008. 2 Comments

An uplifting project!

Okay, so this project began with just a few teen girls in our church and has grown beyond belief!  hpim2290-fullinit_It has nothing to do with breast cancer, but with another type of suffering in the world, and there are many.  It sometimes helps just to take the focus off my own suffering or trial, and look to someone else in need.  If you get the chance, click to see what some very special girls are up to in their spare time! And if you find yourself struggling with something in your own life, remember there is always someone else worse off, or who needs your prayers, and sometimes focusing your energies there helps you heal too!

Purses With A Purpose  <—click

Battles lost and battles won

tristetraifeliciToday was my first day driving in more than 3 weeks.   I finally decided to try going without narcotics for a few hours, so that I could get myself to my dental appointment and do some grocery shopping.  I took some 800mg Motrin and off I went. No problems.  After my check up at the dentist, I went to the military base commissary (grocery store for you non-military follks).  When you first walk in, there is a counter where you have to display your ID card to get in.  There’s been a woman there checkin ID cards for 3 years named LeeAnn.  She lost her hair a couple of years ago, I assumed to cancer, and she always had a pink ribbon pin on, and a head scarf, or nothing covering her head at all, but I never actually talked to her.  When her hair grew back last year, I thought, hurray for her!  She’s beat cancer!  I saw her there every week for the past 3 years.  I haven’t been to the commissary in probably 6 weeks or more.  I wanted to tell LeeAnn my story today, in short form of course, to just let her know she’s been an inspiration to me since she continued to work her job throughout her ordeal.  Well,  that chance was never to happen.  Unknown to me, LeeAnn had a reccurance 3 months ago , this time in her brain, and she lost her battle with cancer last Friday.  She was 46 and has left behind 2 small children.  I managed to fight back tears the whole hour I was shopping.  By the time I got to the check out, I asked for some help from a clerk with the heavy items I had, as well as a second cart (I have two college sons coming home next week and Thanksgiving dinner to think about!)  so she gladly helped me, and we got to talking.  She asked if I knew Lee Ann, and I said no and asked if she did.  She said, no, that she had started working there just recently.  When I told her I was fighting breast cancer too, she asked if I would lose my hair, I said yes, and she said she doesn’t even have cancer and wears wigs because she just loves ’em!  I couldn’t believe she was wearing a wig!  She looked great.  I thanked her for her help and then it was time to pay the cashier.  I asked her if she knew Lee Ann and she said ‘yes’ ,  with a very sad face.  I leaned forward and showed her my pendant necklace that says “Fight Like A Girl” , and I said, “I’m fightin it myself”.  She took my hand in hers and said to me, “I’m an 8 year survivor, and you will be too!”  So that was my day from beginnning to end.  Battles lost, battles won, and hope for the future promised to me by an angel I don’t even know, but who knows that it’s possible, and promised a prayer for me.  And I believed it!

Tomorrow (Thursday) is my first consultation with oncology hematology where we discuss my chemo therapy plan.  I have a second opinion consult at the Naval hospital in 2 weeks for the same therapy.  I also see my surgeon tomorrow about the drain problem…the output is still too high for them to remove it, but they normally come out after just 2 weeks and here I am past 3 weeks!  I don’t know what he’s going to do but last week he mentioned possibly having to install another drain tomorrow….that doesn’t sound too fun.  It would have to be a semi-surgical procedure.  I have a friend taking me again, Tim coming along as well from work. I’m ready for that part to be over…it’s just in the way of everything like getting dressed, etc.  The worst part is, though the area where there is no drain and fluid build up causing pain.  I’m really ready to get that problem resolved.  So I should have news of some sort to report after tomorrow.  A big thanks for your prayers and help with everything.  Stopping by to walk the dog, checking in with a quick “howdy” on e-mails, cards in the mail…..they all lift me up and carry me through! ♥

Finding myself

Today was the big day. The day to go shopping in a place for that person that looks most like myself. A wig shop. My friend Vicki picked me up for the ride up to Fairfax/ Vienna, and being the oldest (I mean the longest 🙂 ) friend I have here, she would be an honest onlooker, making sure I didn’t make any poor decisions! First stop was 004-1-1-2The American Cancer Society, where their inventory was very low, and they had only one wig in my hair color and absolutely none without bangs or in long styles. So I took what I could get, after all, it was free, and I was happy to have something fun and youthful and spunky. 002-1-1-2-3(<—here at left.  It’s pulled back in this picture but it doesn’t have to be worn that way) Below is me 3 1/2 weeks ago, here at right is , well,  a new longer style wig I found

imgp50603at the “Cadilac” of wig shops, only I wasn’t going to buy the Cadilac! I settled for this , mmmm, Honda of sorts, reliable, conservative, reasosnable,  and attractive enough.  A wonderful gentleman helped us out, a man in his 50s, very fatherly – like, and

003knowledgeable and really low-key he was, helpful, not pushy, just really genuinely wanting to hep me find the best choice for my style, and also knew how to file for reimbursement with my insurance company.  In the end, I found the one here at the above right, where I need to work a bit more on the front hairline, part thingy, –> which I found can be worn several different ways with headbands, barrettes, down, parted on the side, whatever.  It takes some working at, which I haven’t had time time yet to experiment with. SOlon stylists can help me do that too. It looked most like my current style, of all we looked at.  It’s actually pretty  long in back too!  Cool!  Instant extensions! I came home to dinner waiting for me on the counter, brought by a woman from our church whom I don’t even know .  What a great day!  One step closer…feeling more prepared for upcoming chemo hair loss, just a sense of peace.  Alles gut!

Please say a prayer for my friend, Lisa, whose breast cancer surgery is Wednesday (today) at UCLA Medical, Center.  She has an extensive 12 hour surgery, so really needs a lot of  people lifting her up to the Ultimate Physician (God)  today! Our paths crossed unexpectedly, and I feel God has a special plan for her life and for our new friendship across the miles.   Thanks for saying a quick prayer as you think of this young mother of 2 today, and her husband David and children Lauren and Andrew.

Trying to be strong

Today I find myself fighting feelings of fear, vulnerability, doubt, confusion.  fightI guess it’s all part of this road, but I know I shouldn’t fear, and yet I DO!  And so I have no place to turn except to prayer, and finding that place within where I know I can draw upon strength I’ve found before, at times when I’ve discovered God was faithful, and when He’s been present.   This road has so many twists and turns, and nobody has ever been down the exact same path, so that’s the hard part.  No one can say “This is exactly how it’s going to go for you, here’s what comes next.”  Because every patient’s situation is unique. Not even doctors can predict how I’ll respond to this or that, or what will happen.  So the unknown is scary.

All I know is that some days I’m just a big wimp.  Sometimes that shows up as anger or sometimes as isolation, and I can’t even explain to myself what I’m feeling.    But today, I’m puttin’ on my gloves and fighting back at that enemy who wants to pull me down.  Inside I may not feel a “fighter”, but I’m diggin’ deep to find her!

tha-1-11   Isaiah 41:13
For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Thursday, this week is my Oncology (chemo treatment) consultation at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Dec. 4th is a second opinion Oncology consultation at Bethesda National  Naval Medical Center in Maryland. They are both equal distance from the house.

Yesterday I took a walk by myelf just to catch some fresh air ( I feel like I have been inside for 3 weeks!) Here’s some snapshots of my little excursion with Colby:  imgp51942imgp5181imgp51782imgp51822imgp51922imgp51972imgp51962

God Uses Regular People

mpj043894200001This was written by a Metro Denver Hospice Physician, and well worth the five minutes it wil take for you to read.  I hope it blesses you like it did me:

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die – I barely managed to coast, cursing, into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn’t even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the quickie mart building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay .  When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.

I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying ‘I don’t want my kids to see me crying! ,’ so we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, ‘And you were praying?’ That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, ‘He heard you, and He sent me.’

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald’s and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn’t have money to pay rent Jan. 1, and finally, in desperation, had called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there.

I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, ‘So, are you like an angel or something?’

This definitely made me cry. I said, ‘Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.’

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else’s miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I’ll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won’t find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings…

Psalms 55:22 ‘ Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.’

This story really touched my heart today to help me realize that nothing goes unseen by our God. He sees our hurt, our suffering.  I am in still in a lot of pain because of some of the surgery complications of fluid build up, but I know He is beside me, helping me be comforted, providing what I need, day by day, always just enough to get me through that day. When Morphine just doesn’t handle the pain, a friend, a smile, a good laugh, a hug, a prayer, can sometimes make all the difference.
♥Thank you to all you “regular people – angels” that  God is using in my life.♥

This entry was posted on November 15, 2008. 2 Comments

Good Days & Bad Days

wecandoitI am two weeks past surgery, and though I feel like I should be feeling a whole lot better by now,I am on morphine and muscle relaxers round the clock.  I’m still in a fair amount of pain.  I am limited as to what I can do each day.  Most days I just lay around on the couch or sit at the computer.  (Like playing around with graphics I like to  create like this) one shown here—->

Yesterday I had another doctor’s appointment, and the good news is there are no infections but I am still having pain at the lymph node biopsy site with fluid build up.  The doctor believes that should begin to subside this week.  I saw the plastic surgeon and he always seems to brighten up things when I feel down.  A great sense of humor is  a must for a doctor in this field! I have a referral to get a second opinion at Bethesda’s National  Naval Medical Center Oncology department, so after next week’s consult with the Walter Reed oncologist I will meet with Bethesda’s.  It will still be another few weeks before that treatment begins. 

My parents left Monday this week, and I hit an all time low the next day.  I felt like I could not even get up off the couch.  I don’t know if I had  a virus, or just an extreme case of the blues, but I slept and cried most of the day.  Our trip to the doctor the next day, my dear sweet neighbor, Deb,  drove me a different route, through beautiful Rock Creek Park in Washinton D.C., which saved us 25 minutes and loads of traffic stress!  (Tim met us there on the metro train from his work.)  Wish I had started driving  this way weeks ago!  It will now be our new route to Walter Reed Army Medical center, for which there will be many trips!  The serene beauty there is a nice  change to the beltway nightmare! We actually drive right over this rock bridge!rocr_rapids375x180 Who knew such a beautiful place existed right outside D.C?

 

 

Today I finished making my medical alert bracelet for a condition I may experience called Lymphedema. It is  due to the lymph node removal I  had during surgery.  I cannot have blood drawn or blood pressure taken on my right arm for the rest of my life.  I am currently working on 4 other bracelets for my Bosom Buddy sisters who have all had or will have their surgeries this fall.  If found unconscious, it would be very helpful to an EMS or paramedic.  So anyways, these and other cancer awareness items I am adding gradually to a new site i opened Bosom Buddies , (and that’s keeping me busy too, while my jewelry business is sort of on “hold” status). It’s also a way I want to give back to a charity that supports breast cancer through my sales there.

Each day now, I am reading through a book called Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  On the very day received this book from my  friend, Betty, the quote for that day said this:   Amazing Grace 

“Grace fills empty  spaces, but it can only enter where there is a void to receive it, and it is grace itself which makes this void .”  – Simone Weil

Maybe God Himself wants to fill us with His grace.  He allows the voids so He can do that for us! I know I’m feeling the need for more of His grace each and every day. Your prayers for pain relief are much appreciated.

Thank you to everyone who has so generously given of your love ♥ in so many tangible ways to our family. We, again, feel very blessed. ♥

A new look?

Last night I went with  a friend to the American Cancer Society’s program,

Look Good Feel Better3192505_1a5d1fb0d3

This is a nation wide service free to all cancer patients, which address the common concerns of hair loss and skin care during treatment.

They gave each of us a  bag filled with “top of the line” cosmetics donated by companies.  Then we did complete make overs, which I have never done in my life!  Too bad I had to come home and wash it all off and go to bed!  Actually, we get to keep all of the products  so now I can begin experimenting at home with a new look!  (Hope I don’t get hooked on this new $20 eye shadow!) Next, we tried on wigs, and each of us gets one free from the American Cancer Society!  No, the one in this photo is NOT my new wig!  The wig I thought looked best on me, they only had in a petite head size that evening, but will reserve one for me in the correct size which I can pick up this week.  It doesn’t even have bangs!  I was very happy about that.  I thought all wigs had to have bangs.  It looks a lot like my current hair style.  It was a night of lots of laughs, information that was new to me, and and all around pick me up after a crummy start to my day.

Back to the hospital…

th_bandaidLast night it had become quite evident that my pain had increased more recently, and the morphine wasn’t helping.  Taking a closer look, a baseball sized cyst of fluid had built up under my arm pit at the lymph node biopsy site. Pain had begun to radiate down the underside of my arm.  When they had to remove the drainage tube last week because it had become clogged, they knew this was a possibility since the fluid would now have no place to go.  The doctor had hoped it might resolve itself, but no such luck.  th_sad_dog_face

I called the doctor first thing this morning and he said to come in right away.  So off I went with my friend Carin driving in 1 1/2  hours of Monday morning traffic (I can’t drive while on narcotics), and thankfully he took me in as soon as we arrived.  He was able to drain the fluid and instructed me how to care for the now somewhat open wound there.   I went from feeling like a baseball under my arm pit to a brick of thick gauze bandages under there!  Oh the joy!  I return Wednesday this week to see the plastic surgeon again.  I think I deserve a personal single traffic lane all my own on highway 495, better known as the D.C. Beltway!

This entry was posted on November 10, 2008. 2 Comments

Saturday

visittovirginianov2008008Great day today vsiting Curtis at Univ. of Virginia!! The 2 hour drive was really beautiful for this time of year, and my parents and I enjoyed the scenery and peaceful drive down.  It was really good to see Curtis again too.  visittovirginianov2008006He’s far exceeded his Opa’s height, as you can see!  Being on campus made me wish I could be 19 again!  (Do you think I could pass for a college student there?  Not even a grad student?) 😦 Such a great time in life!  We’re all so proud of him, and of all the kids, really.  Feeling good physically today and getting stronger each day, but realizing my limits.  It’s only been 11 days and doc says give it at least 6 weeks but that is so hard!  There’s much I’d love to do!  Looking forward to going to church tomorrow!  What blessings are in store!

Pathology Complete

My doctor called yesterday to say that all of the pathology has returned mpj043890900001showing that they got all of the cancer during the surgery, no malignancies at the outer margins and our surgery decision was clearly the right one. Curiously, however, they found three additional areas of cancer that they hadn’t known about through any other tests, not even MRI. This is concerning (especially to me, since I have the remaining breast to think about !) because they don’t typically see this type of thing, and so they will discuss my case further at a tumor board next week with my oncology team. I will meet with oncology Nov. 20th to discuss treatment path with chemo therapy, etc. We can’t begin any of those treatments until I am healed from the surgery. On a positive note, he said none of the areas were larger than a centimeter. I am sleeping really good at night, and tire easily during the day, but waking up feeling so blessed and so ready for the day! There’s so much I’d like to tackle, but physically just can’t. Day by day. We had our dog, Colby come back home last night and he was very happy and I was happy he hadn’t forgotten me. 🙂 How could you not just love this face? (Except for the fact that he is 65 pounds of pure energy!) Thank you to the McCaw family for taking him for us for these two weeks! They deserve a gold medal !

100_8860

To Everything There Is A Season

mpj043891900001My one online business I have been able to continue working at during my recovery has been my greeting cards at Heavens Blessings . It takes minimal effort for me at my computer and helps heal my spirit as I am able to create and inspire! I hope to  resume my more detailed jewelry designs in a couple of weeks.

My parents and I are certainly enjoying this “peak” week of fall colors on the trees here right now!  We plan a drive to the Shenandoahs to visit Curtis at University of Virginia on Saturday ,where the foliage should be really beautiful!

This entry was posted on November 7, 2008. 1 Comment

Blessed

Funny thing happened a couple of days ago….I got a phone call from a call center 42-15545846(“Oh brother”, I thought…”another political phone call….JEEZ! Enough already!” ) , and the lady on the phone said to me, “M’am, I’m calling on behalf of the Breast Cancer Relief Foundantion™” <–(link) and I kinda chuckled and she said, “What?”, and I said, “Well, that’s kind of ironic, because I could use a little ‘breast cancer relief right now”. Then I told her that I was recovering from a breast cancer surgery, and she said she was so sorry and asked how I was doing. Then choking back a few happy tears, I could think of nothing else to say except,

“I’m very blessed”.                         (No, —–> this is not really me) LOL!

Psalm 103:1 I will bless you, God. From head to toe, I’ll bless Your name!
I won’t forget a single blessing!

A Good Day!

aqua-flower

I just have to share the good news we got today that the preliminary results are in from the lymph node biopsy and they show no cancer in th 6 nodes they removed! That means no further lymph node removal and radiation will most likely not be required! AND I got one of the drains removed (didn’t even hurt! Praise God!). Whew! I was worried because oddly enough the pain is worse under my arm where they removed 6 lymph nodes last week! I didn’t want another surgery THERE! Also one of the drains, the one he took out, had clogged and so fluid has built up under the arm pit area. It is swollen causing some pain but it isn’t infected so he says it should resolve itself. Final report on pathology won’t be signed off by the Chief of Pathology until Friday, but the doctor sounded pretty confident that this will be the end result. He says if nothing changes that puts me at stage 2 cancer..tumor sizes 1.1 cm and 2.2 cm respectively. We expect the chemo therapy will begin in about 6 weeks. So anyhow, another week on morphine and valium to control this ongoing pain, so I am pretty loopy and I keep having to retype this posting cuz I can’t keep my letters straight. Both of my parents went and met my doctor which was a comfort to them to see where I’m being treated and also understand the extreme lengths it sometimes takes for us to get there….today it took two hours and 20 minutes in morning rush hour! We took them to Wegman’s afterwards – they were in Heaven! If you’ve never been to a Wegman’s grocery store / bistro/ deli, you are missing out on one of life’s great pleasures! Thank you for your continued prayers and encouragement cards and emails. I just can’t tell you how much they mean. Some days are rough and emotional and you really lift my spirits.

~Koryn

P.S. Don’t ya just love the little felt brooch pictured here? That was made by my “Bosom” buddy, a.k.a. sister cancer survivor, in New Hampshire who makes and sells hair clips and pins at her online shop at Happy House Quilts!

This entry was posted on November 5, 2008. 7 Comments

Time Heals

imgp5096My Mom and Dad arrived from California last night, and are here for a week to help while I recover. (Thanks for picking them up at the airport, Carin!) It’s so good to have them here! Whenever we have an owie, every little girl wants her mommy, so I am feeling very blessed today. Then, my “Mr. fix-it dad”, was able to get my grandmother’s antique clock working for me. This was a clock that my grandma gave to me after she passed last January, but in the cross country transport, it had stopped working. I received the replacement part it needed months ago, but somehow the thought of trying to fix it myself was emotionally draiining for me. I just wanted it to work, and I remembered its beautiful chime in my grandma’s house as a child. It broke my heart to think that what she had given to me might not ever work again. Well, today, like the miracle worker that he is, my dad got the clock working again! It’s keeping time and sounds beautiful! A healing beautiful sound. Restoration…ah!

Still awaiting lymph node biopsy results which they say should be in later today. Sleeping well at night, drifting off to sleep during the day, but was able to get out and vote today, thanks once again to Carin my political cheer leader! 🙂 Follow up appointment at doctor is tomorrow morning and we can give my parents a tour of the hospital and wards where I am being seen, and give a better idea of what we go through just to get there and then also to meet my wonderful physicians. It will be eye opening for them to see all of the young war amputees. Another chance to count our blessings.

To All My Angel Friends…

Psalms 91:11 says:  

He has ordered his angels to guard you wherever you go.  If you stumble, they’ll catch you;
their job is to keep you from falling.

SO many of you have lifted me/us up during this most difficult time in mine and Tim’s lives

I dedicate this video to YOU and THANK YOU!