Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


Tonight I decided that despite all this anxiety, uneasiness, dizziness, fogginess and confusion floating through my head, I just really need to take a moment and be so incredibly grateful to just be alive right now! I mean a little over a week ago my brain was exposed. Any kind of complication could have occurred, leaving me lifeless. But through medicine and the healing powers of Jesus, I am here today. And I really need to relish in that fact.

I made it to church today, and it just felt good to sit there and let the music just wash over me. I must admit, I have no clue what our assistant pastor was talking about half the time today, but I just felt God's presence and needed that sense of peace for the small amount of time that I was there.

After this holiday weekend, I'm getting myself on the phone to whichever doctor I'm supposed to be linked with now and we're going to figure out what's going on inside this head of mine. Surely this isn't some permanent condition, and we're going to figure it out...we are. Because I need me back.

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Saturday, August 30, 2008


I continue to experience very difficult anxiety. I can't even write about it tonight and just want to ask for some prayers.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

They're out

In all honesty, today has been a rather unsettling day. I'm not sure what to make of anything lately. I'd like to say it's the medication, but I was filled with nothing but anxiety this morning, and that was before I started taking any meds. Doing things like getting dressed and putting on makeup seemed incredibly overwhelming to me, and it scares me. I'm a jittery, nervous mess. And sometimes feel so overwhlemed I think I'm going to pass out.

On the good side, my staples are out. It hurt, but not as bad as I thought. Just toward the end a couple were a little stuck.

Now onto more important things.....like washing my hair!

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

I hope it stays together

Tomorrow I get my stitches out. ....I'm sorry, let me rephrase that. Tomorrow they pull these staples out of my head!

Despite everything that I've been through...I DO NOT DO PHYSICAL PAIN! Yeah, I know I've run a marathon and all...but I do that slow...it's not that painful for me. Now having sharp things pulled out of my head is making me want to vomit just thinking about it.

So tomorrow, at about 11AM, please think of me and send any kind of numbing powers through the air to my head. I know I will be in tears before they even begin. Can't they prescribe valium for something like this?

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting through another day

Well, I survived another day...excuse the pun!!!!!

Here's the problem right now. I wake up feeling fine and normal. Get me my cup of coffee and all is good. But then I have all these drugs I have to start taking, to keep swelling down, and to prevent more seizures, and those drugs are just messing with my head. I exist through my entire day in a daze...and I hate it! I go through the motions of doing everything, but I don't actually "feel" anything. Which is just a wierd state to be in. Kinda funny too. As I'm at Target with my kids, them eating lunch there, it completly doesn't bother me that they might be acting all loud and crazy.

I do feel bad that I seem to be avoiding people around the neighborhood. But right now, I just can't be social. I'm still feeling some anxiety, but it is disappating, so that's good. I do so continue to appreciate the dinners and treats everyone has been dropping by for me! So kind! I I jut need to get off these meds and get back to normal.

Now in my hazy state today, I brought Max in to meet his preschool teacher this year. They changed a bunch of stuff around on me already with teachers and the program I thought I was putting him in, so already I'm on edge about him starting the year. I'm giving it a month.

Cameron got to meet his teacher today and he found out some of the kids in his class. This will be the deciding year as to whether we keep him in public school or find something to push him further along.

Oh, and have I mentioned that I havent' washed my hair in a week! I can't until the staples come out....Friday! I'm sporting a pretty nasty, smelly due!!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A beautiful new baby

Congratulations to our wonderful nanny Sara! She gave birth to a beautiful little boy yesterday! How precious he is!

Ella wasn't sure what to make of the new little tike, but she managed to eventually touch him with one finger!

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Coming up

I get to go home today. Which is good, because there's nothing for me to do here in bed at the hospital anymore. But I'm also nervous. I feel kind of in a daze. But then an hour from now, I'll be feeling quite normal ready to take on the world. Not sure what that's all about. Probably just something that needs to work itself out.

My dad returns back to New Jersey today, so I pray for safe travels for him. I'm so grateful that he was here for all this and that he has a good job to go back home to. I really do have these amazing parents who will just do anything for me and I am so blessed by them. My mom is staying on as my caregiver until I kick her to the curb...but she doesn't realize that will be NEVER! I pray my kids won't drive her insane!

Other things on the horizon right now:

I'll have these staples taken out on Friday. I am REALLY panicing about this. The nurse said that each staple will feel like a pinch. Um...yeah....that's what they tell you when you get a shot...it will just hurt for a second. I think I'll just not think about what's to come until Friday.

Next week I'll have to start looking into radiation of my head. They need to make sure all the brain tumor is out of there. I don't know what all this means yet, but it will be happenening.

And then we may be looking at more chemo.

Whatever we gotta do right now....that's just the simple plan at the moment. Of course there's so much more entailed. But that's the basic plan.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

A few owies!

This WILL gross you out!

Surprisingly I'm only on Tylenol right now. I had to have some big doses of Percaset last night. But I'm feeling better today physically. Mentally and emotionally I'm still all over the place. But we're working it out. Please excuse my disjointed posts as I try to find my voice in all this.

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First Post

I am attempting my first sign in to my blog. I wish it could be upbeat and funny, but right now I'm just trying to get the letters in the right order. This has been a very humbling experience. Everyone has been so supportive and wonderful. I thank you to everyone who is supporting me and my family.

With Love in the Lord.


Good Morning! Just received an email from my sister and she sent this song. Un beknowest to her one of my favorite Christian artists. Hope it blesses your day.


Update: Cari gave the okay for phone calls at the hospital . She just wanted you to know that she cannot work with numbers and that she would not be able to return calls.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Updates of today................. see below

Good News..................Cari is now out of ICU and into a private room. Her first night after surgery was one of medical personnel in and out of her room constantly. With the trauma of brain surgery and the combination of the narcotics she is on, that was very difficult for her. She becomes very anxious and agitated...............which is so contrary to Cari's personality. So Melvin returned back to the hospital around 11:30PM and stayed with her all night to give the comfort and security she needed. Then he came back home early at sunrise to get some sleep himself and then went back late morning and took Cameron with him this time. And they all hung out for most of the day. Cari also made a phone call to home and got to speak with Max and Ella briefly. Then we had the change of guards around dinner time so Tom & I could visit with her in the evening. And of course we watched the Marathon with her, which I think gave her some delight and conversation other than her condition.

All in all she is amazing. Please continue to keep her in your prayers and pray that she will feel a sense of calmness with all these changes and most of all not expect too much from herself.

We are at the hospital visiting Cari. She was able to take a shower and was enjoying every second of that time. She wanted me to let everyone know that when she is ready to receive phone calls, I will post that information on the blog.
She get's confused and her thought process is slow and she is having trouble with reading words. Everything is jumbled for her. Hopefully when her surgeon comes in tomorrow she will get some of these concerns answered. The question is will they be permanent or is this just part of the side effects of surgery and will this confusion subside with time? They removed her headwrap today and they are even talking about her possibly going home tomorrow. She is really getting bored and our marathon runner actually walked around the hospital campus (very slowly) this afternoon enjoying the sun and outdoors. Again, she is amazing!

If anyone would like to speak to me personally, please feel free to call my cell phone (609-892-7425). When she arrives home she will need lots of rest so her brain heals and the swelling can go down. But I also know she misses the contact with her friends. Thankfully, Melvin will be home all next week with the exception of surgery days of Wed and Thursday. Our challenge will be to keep the kids occupied so she can rest and once school starts that will allow more quiet time. The kiddos are coming this afternoon to spend some time with their Mommy and she is looking forward to their visit.

So until tomorrow.......................................

Friday, August 22, 2008


One of the first comments from Cari shortly after surgery was...................Mom, have you posted my blog yet? Cari may have lost a tumor from her brain but has not lost her spirit and sense of humor.

It was an early rise this morning and off to the hospital at 5AM (and without coffee!!!). Surgery was scheduled for 7:30AM, however, the incision was not made until 9:30AM. Cari jokingly said that it took so long to get her all hooked up with wires and tubing because she had so many brain cells to be attached to. I guess she felt she had some bragging rights. On a more serious note Melvin was being updated throughout the surgery and they finally finished at 4:00PM. They removed the tumor and preliminary results are that it is the breast cancer kind. The final pathology report should be completed by mid week. Course of treatment will be decided by an oncologist, but most likely radiation.

We were all just so relieved and most of all thankful for the successful surgery. And an added bonus was to see her "smile "and fiesty spirit.

I'm sure as soon as Cari's head stops hurting, she will be back on the computer posting her blog. I expect that to be very soon.

As a mother, I would just like to express my sincere gratitude for everyone's prayers, comments and support. She is truly blessed with the true Body of Christ!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The night before

Today was a LONG, but good test day. The amazing doctors did an angiogram this morning and discovered that there are not a lot of big blood vessels I have to worry about around the tumor. That's great. So they didn't have to embulize my brain...clogging it up with a bunch of dust to stop any potentional bleeding. My head is supposedly clear...ha ha. And I got to come home and spend tonight with my family.

Because they had to puncture an artery to do the test, I had to lie flat for 4 hours to allow the wound to heal. I even had to pee in a bed pan. I felt like Ella on the little girls' potty...except I feared I was going to overflow into my bed!

Later I had to have a few small areas of my head shaved for some cheerio looking fixtures to be glued to my noggin. Alien like, but whatever. It's important for guiding the surgeon tomorrow. Hey, if they need to shave my whole body...so be it. Do WHATEVER you gotta do!

I also had a final MRI today. More noise. More needles. More of the usual.

Tomrrow I have to be at United Hospital in St. Paul very early. I'm not sure exactly when the surgery will begin...but it will last several hours. Some have asked, so I'm just letting you know that I'll be fine for visitors in a day or so. Not sure how coherent I'll be, but I'd love to see some of my dear friends faces.

Besides the usual prayers for the doctors and healing and such, my biggest prayers are for my husband and children...especially my husband. He's been my rock. He will continue to be my rock. He is my everything, and has been nothing but amazing through this entire experience.

I won't get anymore sentimental. No need to. The Lord is there for me, and I can feel his healing powers and everyone's amazing prayers.

With love. And now for one last glass of wine before my brain tune up!

Romans 5:2-5: “And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character hope. And hope does not disappoint us

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Trying to get in some fun for the kids

Today, despite only having a few hours of sleep and waking up with a horrible headache, I refused to let this cancer ruin my free "no medical tests" day. Today I was taking the kids to the zoo, and I didn't care what pain I was in, or what drug side effects I was going to be dealing with, we were getting to that zoo, and we were going to have fun!
And we did.

Thanks to the help of my parents, cooperative weather, and the Lord giving me the strength, it was a lot of fun seeing the kids become so thrilled about the same animals they've seen about a million times already. The excitement of my 2 1/2 year old is nothing but priceless.

I spent the rest of the evening just sitting out in the backyard, sipping a margarita, making some phone calls and just enjoying watching the kiddos play.

Tomorrow is an early day, and depending on these medical tests that deal with the blood vessels around my tumor or something like that, I might be admitted to the hospital on Thursday before my surgery Friday morning. I'll also have to have another headbanging MRI tomorrow.
I'm a little on edge. Not really worried about the surgery or anything
yet. Just not looking forward to the whole process of it all. I'm whining right now because I can't eat past midnight, I have to get up early to be at the hospital, and I'm sure I'll be stuck a million more times with needles. What silly things to be annoyed with right now!

I'm also thinking about next week and all that needs to be put in place as my kids venture back to school the first week in September. I know Melvin and my mom can handle it...but school...well, that's sorta my thing. So it's hard for me to just let it go.
As a last note, several of you have wondered if I'd have access to my blog during all this. I don't know. I gave my mom instructions on how to update, so hopefully she can give you some info...or else just check in the comments section and maybe she'll have included something.

As usual, I thank you for all your prayers and thoughts of healing. We continue to be surrounded by such love from everyone. And I truly feel at peace that all will be well. I feel the Lord doing amazing things amongst my family...moving so many people closer to Him...and that is what this life is all about.

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Maybe next year

Just a little pick-me-up...for me anyhow.

Last year, just before my breast cancer diagnosis hit, I was offered a really great part-time job teaching middle school students again. Obviously, I had to quit before I even got started.

Now I had already decided that this year that I was not going to return to work. With all the reconstruction I was going to have done, and just a newfound peace about staying at home and not working, I was actually quite content with my decision. Something in the back of my mind (ha, ha) just clicked and I realized that being with my kids right now was just what I needed to do. Obviously, God was preparing my heart and mind for what was to come.

But yesterday, the principal contacted me again to see if I'd be interested in returning this year. Of course my answer is no, and I would have said No with or without my new tumor, but it did lift my spirits to know that professionally, I'm still wanted. Well, maybe. I think possibly a prerequisite for teaching adolescents is to have a full brain!

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Details can be too much

The brain mapping was done this morning. It's sorta scary to think about the fact that they can map out my brain by simply having me tap my fingers over and over again, point out when I recognize a word and just stare at a red dot while black and white squares move up and down a screen. That's what they did for about an hour today. That's how they'll know where to cut and not cut when removing the tumor. Scary.

In the afternoon I had cranial teaching and prep. Basically they took a few vials of blood and had me answer a bunch of medical questions that I've answered a million times already. Then this wonderful nurse went over everything they were going to do from presurgery to post-op. They're actually going to drill holes in my head, lift up part of my skull, and get at the tumor. I can't even grasp my mind around this. The nurse kept asking if I had any questions, but in actuality, I just don't. The only thing I can think of is...do what you gotta do. Get it out. I'll be here. Just do whatever. I feel quite distanced from the whole ordeal right now. It's the only way I can deal with it. It's just not something I want to think about really.

The actual surgery could last six hours. My brain could be exposed for six hours! See why I can't even think about this! Whenever I try to even begin to write about it, I go blank, and I don't want to write about anything else anymore.

I think I'll use the Olympics to distract me right now.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not to thine own under standing. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Maybe they just lost my brain

Tomorrow they are mapping out my brain.

Does that not sound funny or what?

I mean really. It's supposed to be some test that takes a few hours, but I don't think it should take that long. I can't help but giggle that there's not much to map out. I mean come on...do you know how often I forget things, can't pinpoint things or just plain blank out on information? It's comical really...and this was BEFORE I was diagnosed with any kind of tumor.

I told my dad the test won't take long. He told me otherwise. He said you'd be surprised what they might find in my brain. Possibly we're thinking there's no tumors there after all. Maybe, just maybe, there's a bunch of little brains smashed up in my head causing all this ruckus!

Can't wait to see these results!

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Happening this week.

So this is what I THINK is going on this this week.

This morning I had a 3x magnification MRI. It was very loud, and painful because I had to lie on the back of my head for over an hour. But it's done with.

This afternoon I have a preop physical. Easy.

Tomorrow morning I have some major brain mapping going on, so they make sure they don't cut the wrong stuff when in my head.

Tomorrow afternoon, my parents, husband and I will be gathered for cranial prep and teaching. Should last about 2 hours. Not sure exactly what it is, but it's happening. I think it's kinda funny that they're going to try to teach me anything while I'm drugged out on Percaset!

Wednesday should be a free day.

Thursday in the morning they'll do an angiogram, and if I need to be embolized (mind you, at this moment, I have no idea what any of this stuff is), then I'll need to be admited to the hospital.

Friday surgery is scheduled for 7:30 AM...to remove the tumor.

I'm just kinda numb to all this right now.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just a brief list

I want to document my experience better.

I want to write all about the wonderful people at church and at a local restaurant (Khoury's) who embraced me with their love and prayers today.

I want to tell everyone how grateful I am that my parents are here to support me.

I want to tell everyone how Cameron reacted, sad because he doesn't want me to have cancer again.

I want to thank all my friends and neighbors for just everything.

I want to write about my frustration about getting numbers all mixed up, and my inability to recognize my "normal" confusion with my tumor confusion.

I want to write all about how incredibly grateful I am to my husband for all the phone calls he's making and appointments he's setting up and just his patience with me.

But my head hurts...bad. Sometimes it's better than other times, but mostly it just feels like someone took a baseball bat and smashed me in the back of my head.....not that anyone has ever done that...but it's how I imagine it must feel.

I want to continue to be honest.

So I'll keep writing...but it might be limited.

Deuteronomy 31
31:8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

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Wanna see it?

In case you like to see things, here's a poor scan of my tumor. It's the white circle-type thing you see on the right hand side. One is a view from the top of my head, one is a view from the back. I guess it's about 3 centimeters. And the swelling around it is what's causing all the pain.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Which pill do I want today?

I hate taking drugs. Well, unless you're about to have a baby, then I say BRING THEM ON! But other than that, I usually try to do without taking extra pain killers, cold medicines or other medical and natural remedies.

But today I have taken the following:

Zoloft...for obvious reasons.

Decadron...this is the steroid that is supposed to be reducing the swelling around my tumor, which is causing all the pain. It doesn't seem to be working very well. It keeps me up and wired, but the pain is still there.

Tylenol...right now I'm taking some extra strength stuff, but it's not working. I might be switching to some Vicodin or something stronger tonight, but I really don't want to be all drugged out.

Keppra...this is anti-seizure medicine. There is concern that until the tumor is out and all has settled back in, I could have convulsions or something. This is actually the same medicine that was prescribed to Cameron last year when he had that lone seizure. I'm so glad we decided to take him off the meds, because this Keppra is some strong stuff. On the good side, it seems to have counteracted the jitteriness of the steroids, but on the flip side, it makes me lightheaded and a bit dizzy. No driving for me obviously.

At least I can seem to relax abit now with the Keppra added. I so just want to be fine for my kids. Right now I have shuffled them off to a friends' house for a few hours, but really, I don't want to keep doing that. Melvin and I still need to talk about what we're going to tell the kids, as they have no clue yet what's going on. We have quite a few appointments next week as well, doing testing for surgery, and also looking at other options down at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, just to get a 2nd opinion and to cover all our bases.

But I feel the Lord getting things in place for us, and I know he will not abandon us.

"Nay in all things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." Rom 8:37

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Just the facts.

Disclaimer: Please allow me to preface this with a reminder...except for being married to a doctor, I have NO medical background. So my information will be vague, probably quite elementary sounding, and hopefully at least somewhat correct!

Praise the Lord my husband is doctor. Which sometimes can be a pain...when they know too much...but mostly it's such an incredible blessing. Without his level-headeness, knowledge, patience and calmness, I would never be able to decipher all the information being thrown at me.
My husband and I went see Dr. Jerone Kennedy today, a well-recommended neurosurgeon. Looking at all my scans, he said the tumor is too big to remain and it will need to be removed. Fortunately, it looks like they can resect it (resect is my new medical word of the day) because of its location, and because it appears to just be a solid mass.

Until they actually take it out, they won't know what it is. Very best case scenerio, the miracle one, when I have all my tests done next week, the tumor will have miraculously disappeared. Next best case scenario, it's just some benign tumor that will just be removed and all will be well. Most medically likely, it's breast cancer mestasticised to the brain. Or it could be a completely separate tumor, which could actually be worst, depending on what it is. So those are the scenarios we're looking at here.

The surgeon doesn't feel that getting the tumor out will be a problem. They'll actually be doing all these crazy tests next week where they'll map out different parts of my brain so that they make sure they don't cut out the important fuctions of my mind. I could possibly have some vision and math function issues as a reult of the surgery.

The earliest the surgery could be is next Friday, but most likely the following week. I'll be in ICU for a couple days and then in the hospital for a week.

Those are just the facts. Obviously, there's so much more going on...even a lot that I'm finding quite amusing, but I just need to TRY and get some rest, and not be long winded here.

As usual, thanks so much for all the well wishes and prayers. They're so needed. I'll be posting some of the verses people have been sending me. They're such a comfort.

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You along, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.Psalm 4:8

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Of course I have a headache!

Needless to say, it has been an emotional day for me. From being quite content, completely relaxed, unbelievably tired, completely frustrated, quite confused, very irritable, overly anxious and completely at peace.

But isn't that everyday for everyone, especially when you have young kids?

On a good note, I had my PET scan today, and like my earlier scan, it came back clean. Nothing new has popped up. So the only cancer they need to look at and confirm now is in the brain. It's quite possible that the cancer was always there, we just didn't know it. It just started showing its symptoms recently. I'm not sure if that really matters or not now. It is what it is.

We meet with the neurologist tomorrow. I'm eager to get this appointment over with so we know where and how to proceed from here. Not knowing what the hell is going on is what's really affecting me negatively right now. Will I need surgery? Can they even do the surgery? Will they just biopsy it? How will this tumor affect me mentally? Physically? When do I start radiation? What about chemo? Should I go elsewhere for treatment? So much to think about...but nothing I can really deal with until I have this initial appointment.

Thank you to everyone who has sent e-mails, blog comments, phone calls, and given offers of help. I appreciate you all and thank the Lord for placing such amazing people in my life.

I'll continue to update.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not what I expected.

(See Update Below)

For the past month I've been having headaches. I didn't think too much of them until a bad migraine last week and then just continued headaches throughout the week. Yesterday it was bad. I felt that my head was going to explode! A couple times I could feel my head throbbing.

So I finally called the doctor, and the nurse said that although it's probably just my body adjusting to all my running and exercise, we'd do an MRI of my brain just to make sure and put myself at ease.

Well, it's not something I can just brush off. The doctor who read the scan (it was late at night so it wasn't my regular oncologist), told me that there's a 1 1/2 inch spot on my brain. That's what's causing all the pain. They gave me steroids to relieve the pressure. It feels better. But I was up all night last night.

I will probably have the lesion biopsyed or removed entirely.

I know nothing else, except that if it's the triple negative variety breast cancer mestasticized to my brain, then that's not really good. If it's a totally separate kind of cancer, that's actually better news apparently. Or maybe it's just some cute little adorable dot just decorating my brain...I heard that's the latest style!

I'll update when I have more info.


So here's the deal. After my oncologist and general surgeon looked at the report, they said it's most likely cancer.

You're probably wondering how that can happen if I just had a scan that said I was all free and clear....well, what I thought was a full body scan, was only a scan in the breast and chest area. They only do the whole body if there are other symptoms. I didn't know that obviously. With my cancer being Triple Negative breast cancer, and being so aggressive, I'm surprised that they didn't do an entire scan. Needless to say, I'm not happy about that, but oh well.

I will have a PET scan tomorrow, that will scan me from my knees to my neck (they don't need to do my brain since the more precise MRI was completed yesterday). I sure hope no cancer in my tippy toes appears, since apparently that area will be bypassed.

Then on Friday I will meet with a neurosurgeon. He'll read the scans and then we'll decide a plan of action from there. If the tumor can be removed, then that will be the plan, along with radiation. If not, I will just have radiation.

I have no idea when I'll have the surgery, or where I'll even have it. How do you know who the best doctor is? We have the renowned Mayo Clinic nearby, but is that really the best place to go for my situation?

So we obviously need some serious prayer.

On a good note, the steroids are sill working and my head doesn't hurt. On a bad note, they keep me up....I can't sleep. But on a good note again...with my new found steroid induced energy, I'm being very productive!

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Hiding my head

Being married to a doctor has a lot of advantages. I can get connected to the right medical people pretty quickly, I probably get more time than other patients at my appointments and I generally feel more comforable knowing that my husband is close by in case of any issues.

But it also has its disadvantages. Like when you attend the same clinic where your husband works, almost everyone knows you. Which can be good, or bad, or downright embarassing.

Because when your 7 year old is getting allergy testing done, and the nurse tells him that she's going to rub alcohol on his back...well, I'd really rather his emphatic response not to have been "Oh, you mean the stuff that my daddy drinks!"

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Summertime Smiles


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Proud of my little one

I hope I'm not too presumptuous in announcing this. But I do believe, my little girl is potty-trained! It took Sara and I a week and a half. I felt bad physically forcing her to sit on the toilet those first couple days as she cried in complete agony. But once I decided to potty train, there was no going back. I was going to be more determined to get her out of diapers than she was to remain in them. I knew she was ready...she just needed to know it as well!

She had a few accidents the first few days. But we dealt with them...with Resolve carpet cleaner. The next few days, she stopped battling me and if I requested her to, she'd sit on the toilet. She stopped crying for a diaper, and was finally happy to wear the Dora underwear she had rejected for so long. Then she actually would sit on the toilet and pee everytime I asked her to. Finally yesterday, she decided that she didn't need me telling her what to do. By evening time, she was initiating her own bathroom breaks.

I knew we had finally nailed the potty training this morning, when I couldn't find her anywhere. I finally looked into the bathroom where the door was closed. I found her sitting on her little potty, trying to poop. She looked at me, quite annoyed, and said, "No mommy. Close the door!" I guess she likes her privacy.

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! I just want to do some back flips...if I could!

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Since my white blood cell count was still low 2 weeks ago, my oncologist ordered more bloodwork to be done in 2 weeks.

Two weeks has passed, and my WBC count is still low. It's slightly higher, but still below normal. But all the other blood count tests that they do came back normal. So I don't really know if I should be concerned. My doctor was on vacation, but the nurse said I can call and speak to her on Monday.

The thing is, aside from my newfound paranoia that the cancer will return and some recent migraines/headaches, I feel totally fine. Actually, I'm not sure how a low white blood cell count affects your health, except that I think you're more prone to infection. But I haven't been sick at all. I'm still running and looking to get into a more consistent pattern with my marathon training workouts.

Yes, in case you forgot, I'm still training for a marathon in January. Which might lead some people to believe that I'm quite sick after all.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

First photos

Introducing.... UGLY BETTY...our 1984 Sunray Cabin Cruiser.
These photos are VERY kind to the old gal, as you can't actually see the faded and worn vinyl, the chipped and splintered paint or all its other little oddities. Here's a view of the cabin underneath. However, since there's no air conditioning on the boat, we can't spend too much time in the sultry "den." Here's where the kids can sleep. Check out all those cupholders!
There is a little working kitchen, complete with a sink, two burners and a tiny fridge. But currently, the water is not connected...so I guess I won't be able to wash the dishes!
I'm not sure how much food will be served here anyhow, since we couldn't fix the broken table. All we have where we'd normally be serving food is space. There is a toilet on board, but I haven't figured out how to work it yet. It has something to do with adding water to it and having to pump it or something before you can flush it. Now this should be interesting. I THINK the bathroom functions as a shower as well. But I do believe I'll just drive the 6 miles to my own hot shower to wash up. Our outside seating is very limited. You can't physically sit on this couch, or you'll find your bum flat on the floor!

It's actually been kinda fun getting it all "cleaned up." The boat was so bad, the people who were servicing it to get it running again actually asked my husband if the boat had been submerged!

How dare they talk about my Ugly Betty like that! Surely they're just jealous!


Monday, August 04, 2008

Look out Gilligan!

We have a new addition to our family.

No, not a child.

Not a dog.

But rather, a boat. Kind of an old boat. Let's call it...vintage!

My husband and I have acquired my father in law's former cabin cruiser. We're renting a boat slip on a river that's only 6 miles away. It's a perfect location for us actually.

Now the boat...well, it's less than perfect. But I'm trying to embrace it. I think of it like I used to think of my first car...my 84 Jetta (which might be newer than the boat). It had a lot of issues. It made a lot of odd noises. It didn't always work. But I loved it. It had character.

This boat, with its 80s textured uphostery, brown formica paneling, and worn and torn vinyl seating, well, let's just say it has a lot of personality.

Despite the pristine vessels that surround our humble ship, I'm quite excited about our new vehicle.

Although.....I am hoping that when we're out on the river....we're not embarking on any "three hour tours!"

Pictures of "Ugly Betty" to follow tomorrow.


Friday, August 01, 2008

My own performance review

One of the most difficult things about being a Stay-at-home Mom, after having the experience of a career, is the lack of recognition you receive. When you work at a job, people see what you do. You get praised, you get "thank you's", you may even get a raise. At the very least, you get a paycheck. Something tangible to show the results of your labor.

When you're a stay at home mom, most of the time no one sees what you do. No one recognizes the daily dishwasher unloading, no one notices the spills you're constantly cleaning up, no one pays attention to the driving back and forth to the kids' various functions.
And that's fine. I've come to realize that the screams for attention, the need for too many kisses to prolong bedtime and my kids' begging me to push them higher on their swings is my reward...whether anyone recognizes my work or not.

But today, I just need a little recognition. Because on a BEAUTIFUL summer day like today, I spent a few hours doing work that I will NEVER get recognition for. So I'm just going to pat myself on the back for all the time I spent cleaning out my junk drawers/cabinets that have cluttered up my kitchen for way too long! (Since I'm a packrat, this is a HUGE accomplishment on my part...parting with 3 grocery bags full of crap!).
And since none of you had the privilege of being a part of this cleaning extravaganza, I'll post some pictures for you to enjoy! Ha. Ha.

Now please, take this time to post a comment, recognizing yourself for some unnoticable chore you did today!

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