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, November 30, 2008

Kindness of strangers

I continue to be in awe of everyone's kindness. Today especially to the kindness of strangers. At church today a lady came into my row, looked me right in the eye and sincerely asked me, "Hi there. How are you doing today?" She looked a little younger than me and was wearing a hat. I didn't even realize until my husband told me later that she was dealing with cancer as well.

Toward the end of the service, my pastor called people up who needed prayer. At first I wasn't going to go, because I was rather tired and didn't want to wait in line. But a couple who I know from church saw me waiting and came up to pray for me. I am so grateful they did this.

And then while my husband was picking up all the kids from their Kid's Church rooms, I was sitting out in the lobby. Two different strangers saw me sitting and came up to me to tell me they would be praying for me and my family.

Really, people are good.


By the way, Ella wasn't sick at all today. Praise God!

Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer….Romans 12:10-12 KJV

Labels: , ,

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Despite the usual rocky begining, today turned out to be another pretty good day. No matter how much I want to just lie down in bed and do nothing sometimes, I must force myself to get up and do something...going somewhere helps.

Today my husband and I went to get a family portrait framed, and most of the rest of the day was filled with getting all our Christmas stuff out and together. I've always been the one in charge of the Christmas tree....especially the lights. Because of my weakness, I was not able to do my usual job. But my Dad is the light master as well...and the tree looks great with the lights (although we have a LOT of ornaments to "rearrange" from the kids' creative placement). My mom helped get the rest of the house decorated, and Melvin made sure the kids had fun hanging the ornaments on the tree.

To be completely honest, I was wanting to skip Christmas this year. Now obviously I wouldn't, and couldn't...not with 3 kids. But I just felt overwhelmed and anxious about it all....but I feel much better now that my family helped bring the Christmas spirit all through my home.

Besides the usual prayer request for healing, I ask that you pray for Ella as well. She had a fever yesterday and still has one tonight.

Proverbs 17:22 A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A day of Thanks

I was very worried about how this Thanksgiving was going to turn out, because these past few days have been very difficult for me in all sorts of ways. But through every one's help and prayers, I feel pretty good about how things turned out.

Here was the menu my mom, dad and I were somehow able to put together. Turkey (we cheated....ordered one from a local restaurant...but it was good) gravy, spicy green beans, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, black eyed peas, macaroni and cheese, stuffing, creamed onions, sauteed mushrooms, crescent rolls, cranberry sauce, and apple Waldorf salad. My mom did most of the cooking of course.

And then we have some desserts of course. A chocolate tart, peach cake, pecan pie, pumpkin pie and ice cream.

Along with my mom and dad, my godson Carlos, who goes to school in Minneapolis, had dinner with us as well. Although it of course wasn't our usual Thanksgiving travel circumstances (we usually travel over Thanksgiving and this year we were supposed to be in Atlanta), it was nice to still have family around.

My husband also printed out a Thanksgiving story for Cameron to read to us at dinner time. Max was asleep as we sat down to dinner, but I managed to eventually shake him awake. And Ella, well, she wanted nothing to do with eating. I think she had a bite of a roll, and then just went in the family room and played. We all wanted to just eat in peace, so we just let her play...that little munchkin!

I just want to once again thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all their prayers and help through all this. You are all amazing.

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good. For His lovingkindness is everlasting.” 1 Chronicles 16:34

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Happy Birthday to the most amazing mom in the world. She has tirelessly and without complaint helped me every single day with...........well......everything. And I am so grateful. Thanks mom! Happy Birthday!!!!

Labels: ,

Monday, November 24, 2008


(No Mommy. I like to pick my nose!)
I almost don't know what to write anymore on this blog because it's just the same thing happening everyday...or at least nothing exciting. So I'll just update.

Made it through the weekend. It was not easy. I did get to church, and that is always one of my goals, so I am very grateful for my family who helped me get there, and then for my friends who hung out with my kids after church. I've been very depressed and jittery and bored and confused and just overall feeling lost and uncomfortable. I hate it. I don't want to feel this way. I want to just close my eyes, wake up from this nightmare and just laugh and laugh and laugh at this crazy dream.

But that's not reality. So I've got to continue to get a grip and grab onto the people around me who continue to enourage and uplift me.....so everyone.

Today I went to physical therapy for my right arm weakness. I have exercises to do each day now. My dad will keep me on top of that. Seems hard to exercise something you can't move!

I want to send out a special THANK YOU to all my former colleages at Crossroads Middle School in New Jeresy. Tony, what a wonderful video you made for me, and I so enjoyed watching it and seeing all of you. You all truly mean so much to me!!!!!!! Thank you.

Psalm 27:14"Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD."

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

always being helped

I continue to forget my pattern emotionally, physically and mentally. Saturday never seems to be a good day for me. So I ask for continued prayer requests to lift my depression as the week goes on.

I continue to experience such wonderful help from everyone as each day goes by.

My mom every day just gets everyone and everything moving like clockwork. I can't even begin to thank her enough for everything. She takes the kids to play places, gets them whatever tehy need, etc. Her birthday is Tuesday. Happy Birthday Mom!

My dad has been bringing me to radiation everynight...which is just a boring task in itself. It takes over an hour round trip, so I appreciate the time it takes to get me there an home.

My dear husband keeps plugging along with the kids as I become quite useless to the. He took them all to the Y the other night before we all settled down to movie night.....and this is while he's on call all weekend.

I need this cancer rebuked in the name of God. I just need it gone!


Thursday, November 20, 2008


My kids don't sleep in. Well, Cameron certainly doesn't. He thinks nothing about being up at 6AM. Usually he wants to eat of course. And then the TV comes on at some point. Today my wonderful mom was up with all three kiddos as they began their day.

And this morning they decided to take out their new "homework books" their dad bought them. I very much enjoyed just sipping on my coffee, letting any painkillers kick in, while Cameron worked with Max on some math. Ella kept wanting to do her "homework" as well.

Now there is a slight downside to this. Unfortunately the joy in the monring can often turn into crabbiness in the afternoon. But we'll work on that.

For now, try not to rush so much in the morning, and enjoy those small moments with your kiddos.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I have been continuing to flip flop between good days and bad.....actally, I should change that from good hours to bad to good, etc. Sometimes I'm in a lot of shoulder pain, other times it's something else, and other times it's nothing (like now). Sometimes it's physical, sometimes it's emotional. I wish I could just get it all undercontrol (and spell proprerly)!

My dear friend Shawn came to visit with her new little baby today, and what a blessing that was for me to see her cutie pie little face! She's so precious and just a gift from God!

My husband said I should be doing some mental work to get my mind going...and not to be so bored...thus leading to depression. Math and numbers continues to be my huge downfall right now, so I guess I should work with them, but I think I'm going to try to stick with some reading and see how that goes. I have plenty of books to attend to right now.

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you WILL restore my life again.
Psalm 71:20


Monday, November 17, 2008

More pics please

I guess I could call today a day of laziness.....or rest. Probably the latter would be a better term to use, but after seeing my friend Lanette off early this morning, I didn't get out of bed until long after the kids were at school.....thanks mom for getting them everywhere!
Today I saw my oncologist. Basically we're going with radiation until that is finished in a few weeks, then I think cut back over to the chemo again. I also need to go to physical therapy, so that we can get my right arm moving properly again. It's pretty odd to be looking at something and not to be able to move it as you'd like. I certainly would like for everything to move properly again, but I'll start with the arm.
Again, I'm so grateful for every one's time and help over these past months. I want to post some pics of the amazing Angel Benefit that my neighbors put on, so please feel free to forward them to me.
Below a picture of my family who came to visit (my husband, me, my brother from Indiana, my mom and dad from New Jersey and my aunt from New Jersey).

I've probably refered to it before, but today I felt let again to this psalm:

Psalm 118
1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
2 Let Israel say: "His love endures forever."
3 Let the house of Aaron say: "His love endures forever."
4 Let those who fear the LORD say: "His love endures forever."
5 In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free.
6 The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
7 The LORD is with me; he is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.
8 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
9 It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.
10 All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
11 They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
12 They swarmed around me like bees, but they died out as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them off.
13 I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me.
14 The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
15 Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The LORD's right hand has done mighty things!
16 The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done mighty things!"
17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
18 The LORD has chastened me severely, but he has not given me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter and give thanks to the LORD.
20 This is the gate of the LORD through which the righteous may enter.
21 I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation.
22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone;
23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
25 O LORD, save us; O LORD, grant us success.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD. From the house of the LORD we bless you. [
27 The LORD is God, and he has made his light shine upon us. With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession up [
b] to the horns of the altar.
28 You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you.
29 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, November 16, 2008


A very good weekend. Pain controled. Lots of friends. Family visiting. Plenty of help. Benefit went very well. Much encouragement. Went to church. Relaxing and hanging out. Humbled by everyone. I'm very thankful.

Labels: ,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Treatment change and continue

It has been a series of highs and lows around here, that's just the honest truth. Sometimes I'm fine just hanging out with my kids, but other times I'm sad. Actually lately, things have felt worst than better. The weakness/paralysis is really bringing me down emotionally. There's a lot I can't do now, or that is very difficult..like even putting on a shirt. Having to rely on anyone for such a basic need makes me cry. And I know that my flip/flop attitude is driving my family crazy.

Like now. I was a blubbering mess earlier. Then a neighbor came over to tell me about all these people involved with the benefit and all the donations being made and interest being generated for the Angel Foundation.....and I feel good and happy again. Still loopy and confused about a lot, but not depressed.

Anyhow, back to the medical plan.

After the results of the latest MRI, it was decided that I would have radiation down my spine again where I didn't have it before. This at first was to be in addition to the pill chemotherapy, But this morning that game plan even changed. Basically, due to the toxicity of the situation, I'm only having radiation now.

So let me recap for myself. I had surgry to have the Omyya resevoir put in, which would drip chemo directly onto my brain. Although the surgery was done, and I've had one injection, we're not going to continue with it until we have to. That includes the lumbar puncture that I was going to have to endure once a month as well. Don't ask me to explain....I have no idea. And now the regular oncologist is taking the advice of my radiation oncologist of stopping all chemo until radiation is done...which is daily for about 3 weeks...minus weekends. Is your head spinning yet?

Again, I'm just so thankful I have so many people around helping me figure it all out.

More family, friends and other visitors coming in tonight through this weekend. Looking forward to seeing everyone....hopefully with a clear mind and all my necessary physical plumbing in working order!!!!!...believe it or not, I'm not joking.

(I'm "stealing" my bible verse from my cousin Dayna today because I really like it, and I'm excited about her new job offer. She really stepped out in faith and is an inspiration to me.)

"God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us." Ephesians 3:20 The Message

Labels: ,

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Benefit Reminder

So far I'm feeling good and believe all pain will be under control so that I can attend this event with all of you. I'm very excited about all the work my friends have put into this and I hope to see you there to raise money for a great cause The Angel Foundation.
We are hosting an event benefiting Angel Foundation and you are invited!

Come see C. WILLI MYLES perform live at StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater on November 15, 2008, and provide support for this local charity.
The event will honor a local mom of three young children, wife, friend and former teacher who is battling cancer while maintaining the spirit of giving and an unwavering sense of strength and humor.
The proceeds from the event will benefit Angel Foundation, a local non-profit organization that provides non-medical financial assistance to the many cancer patients in need of food on their shelves, clothes on their backs and rent money in their pockets.
A partial list of the silent auction items is listed below; ALL proceeds from the silent auction go directly to Angel Foundation. TICKETS ARE AVAILABLE and can be held for payment at the door!

Please RSVP your attendance to pjr.ryan4@gmail.com; See the attached flyer for more details and/or go to www.freewebs.com/eveningofcaring.
Silent Auction Items Include:Round of Golf for 4 with Cart at StoneRidge Golf Club (Value = $410), Carpenter for a Day (Value=$560), Radiance Spa 3 Hair Removal Facial Treatments (Value=$325), 2-Hours Private Golf Lesson at StoneRidge Golf Club (Value = $120), Family Movie Night Basket with Snacks and Blockbuster $20 Gift Card, Green Fees for Two at Oak Marsh Golf Course (2), "Ride-Along for One" with a St. Paul Police Officer K-9 Unit currently being highlighted on "Animal Planet", Sporting Goods Gift Basket, Photo Session with Professional Photographer (Value= $325), Two Nights at Wisconsin Dells CHULA VISTA RESORT, Microsoft Vista Soft Ultimate (Value=$199), Kowalski's Markets $200 in Gift Cards, Private Tennis Lesson, Restaurant Gift Cards ... AND LOTS MORE ...

Fast Facts about C. Willi Myles:
C. Willi Myles was born and grew up in Mobile, Alabama. He attended St. Cloud University, majoring in Theater and has been performing professionally for 10 years. Willi has performed in 49 states and 3 countries, and a couple of performances that he considers to be his career highlights are performing at the Legendary Apollo in NY, and the Surf Ballroom in Iowa.
Willi Myles has performed with the following acts: The Temptations, the O'Jays, Fleetwood Mac, Bill Cosby, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Dennis Miller, Toby Keith, and Bonnie Raitt. He has been featured locally and nationally on the Fox Network, Comedy Central, and Showtime at the Apollo, and he has released a DVD and a CD. The DVD "My House, My Time" was released in 2004, and the CD "Respect" was released in 2003.
The best thing about C. Willi Myles performance: he is TRUTHFULLY FUNNY!
Just a few of the clients C. Willi Myles has performed for:
Flint Hills Resources
General Mills
Best Buy
University of Iowa
St. Cloud State University
Michigan State University
The Pantages Theater
The Paramount Theater
Treasure Island Casino, NV
What's the best thing about being a performer? "Bringing humor to people's everyday lives and putting a smile on their faces."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Good news. As far as the MRI's have been read, the radiation has worked on my brain. That means that there should not be cancer in my head right now! Hallelujah! Again, who knows if I'm remembering/reading things right....but overall it's good news. YEAH!

Now the cancer is still in my spine. The new plan is to stop the "direct chemo injection into my brain chemo" right now until we need to start it up again (which should be no big deal with the Ommaya drip already in place from last surgery). We'll continue with the pill form of the Xeloda, which is the "everyday twice a day chemo" and we'll start the spine radiation next Monday. I visit with good Dr Vic on Thursday to discuss the daily radiation plan. Good thing I really like my radiation therapsts. Except it is kind of embarassing seeing all of them when I'm not so lucid and appear quite confused half the time. That's not the way I used to be. I'm hoping that the change of treatment will ease up on my stupidity!

Painwise was better today as well. The night was bad, but with a few adjustments throughout the day, I think we finally might have it under control. I've had a lot of people/friends/strangers suggest different options for pain, but it's really something I have to work on directly with my doctors. Believe it or not, it's the pain that is helping tell whether the different chemos are working or not. It might not make sense, but if we start throwing something else into the mix now, we have too much more to sift through...which could be better, or it could be worse. So I think we're just going to work with the plan that we have right now, and pray on it until we hear/feel otherwise. I thank you everyone dearly for your concern and suggestions.

Just wanted to let you know that depending on my arm/shoulder pain / numbness, my posts mights be shorter....as true also with my individual messages. I can wiggle my fingers in my right hand, but I can't independently lift up my right arm. I'm right handed....so this really is humbling . We're hoping the new radiation will help with this. But if not.....and I'll get through it.

Thank you everyone for increased understanding and patience. I'm going to end here while all still feels good....and with a couple pics.
The first pic is from my "Finally Fiesta" a couple years ago. When I had finally earned my Masters Degree in English Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. The next pic is just a reminder of WARMER DAYS as we begin to tackle this frozen weather. Okay, this was in the Bahamas...so maybe that's cheating....but I could use a little warm pick-me-up. Psalm 150
1 Praise the LORD.
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourine and dancing,
praise him with the strings and flute,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another MRI, results tomorrow I guess

Just continuing to try to figure it all out. The pain is not going away. I didn't even make it to church this weekend, and for me, that's heartbreaking. My family and I were able to take the kids to see Kung Fu Panada on Saturday, so that was a big plus.

But the rest of the weekend was spent mostly in bed. Today, because of new paralysis in my arm, I had a long MRI I had to lie through. But I was so drugged up, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. I do pray we can get this worked out a little by the weekend, so I can see my visiting relatives and attend the Angel Benefit.

John 9:31
If anyone is a worshiper of God, and does His will, He hears him.

Labels: ,

Friday, November 07, 2008

New Chemo

I took my new chemo today...Xeloda...it's a pill kind. I can only pray that it works and doesn't add to my side effects....especially my diminishing mental capacity. It's hard for me to even type this message. I can't seem to keep my train of thought. I know I'm repeating things. A simple question can set me in tears. I need to get this under control. I can also just stare at this screen trying to decide what to do. Or I can be totally fine.

I really want to be upbeat and happy and with all the good that is going on. And not erase this message for the 5th time because I worry about how it sounds. Today is going to be a good day. It is.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

Bits and pieces of info

I am feeling MUCH better today. I just decided that I'm going to have to stay on top of my pain medication. That every 4 to 5 hours I'm going to have to take a high dose of Vicodin. I don't want to do this, but even when I drop it a little, I start to have a lot of pain. So until my guests go away, I'm going to keep to this pain medication regiment. Or else I'll just be lying in tears all day, worthless.

Tomorrow, I start a 2nd chemo, called Xeloda. This is a pill I take by mouth. I have to read up on all the side effects and how often I take it, but I THINK it's a daily pill. Obviously I'll make sure I know tomorrow when it's delivered. Here's what's most ironic about this kind of chemo....I won't lose my hair! Except I've already lost my hair from radiation, AND I'll lose my hair from the other chemo...so it doesn't matter!

My Canadian friend Dana set me up with a link to http://www.4women.com/, which has some pricey...but worth it....scarves. They just plop so nicely on your head, are comfortable, and very cute. She used them when she was going through chemo, and I'm definitely going to get at least one more. I do believe that this was the kind Lynette used for her character in Desperate Housewives last year. If you know of someone else losing her hair, this would be a good gift for her.

My sister and 17 year old niece arrived today from New Jersey. It's so nice to be with them, but I hope my kids don't drive them bonkers! They're hoping to go see Madagascar 2 this weekend. Goodness, my kids are having so much fun, they're going to be quite mad when I get healed!

I also have some friends visiting from Utah. I was supposed to be out there visiting THEM much sooner than now, so I feel bad that they're making the trip out here. But it will be great seeing our kids playing together. My friends are so smart, I hope my newfound chemo/brain/radiation fogginess doesn't throw them off too much. A very small price to pay for my healing, but one that I do think about.

Next week I'll have more friends and family to see with the Benefit for the Angel Network.

And on a final note, I have to type that Cameron finished his first Harry Potter book. Now I have a lot of hesitation in writing this. Because I can tell you that he read the words on the page. Did he comprehend it....very little. But that's okay right now. He was SO EXCITED to read it, he was up late trying to sneak in reading by the aquarium light, and he read at every spare moment on the bus, in school, etc, that at this point I don't really care much that he didn't get most of it. He did understand some of it, and after tried to talk with him about it yesterday, (while I was lying flat in bed) he picked up more information to help him comprehend. He's now excited that he finished because I told him last year he had to read each book before I'd let him watch each movie. But I do think that he's extra excited because he finished the book, and he knew that's important to me! I am proud of him.

Isaiah 41: 8-10, 14-16
But you, O Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendents of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
From its farthest corners I called you.
I said, "You are my servant:"
I have chosen you and I have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand...

...Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob,
O little Israel,
for I myself will help you," declares the Lord
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.
"See I will make you into a threshing sledge,
new and sharp, with many teeth.
You will thresh the mountains and crush them
and reduce the hills to chaff.
You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up,
and a gale will blow them away.
But you will rejoice in the Lord
and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I'm having a painful day. Please forgive me if I can't respond to anything today.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Hey, I voted!

Cameron came home from school today insisting that Barak Obama had won the election...and he even gave me the numbers. It took quite some time for me to finally convince him that it was a "mock" election his school did...not the actual election. I'm sure this morning I'm going to hear a big "See....I told you!" He likes to be right.

Today started out well. I voted. And I went for a slow, short walk. I checked a couple things off my "to do" list. But after dinner, much went downhill. The pain started...head throbbing and with neck pain when looking down, added to all my other usual pains. And they wouldn't seem to go away. I was mostly upset because I couldn't even go in my kids room to kiss them goodnight I was hurting so much. And the more upset I'd get about something, the more my head would throb.

I'm better now. The pain killers finally picked up some. Please pray for me that I can get through this night without so many problems....and that my husband doesn't have to worry so much about this dumb cancer and its effect on me. And give my mom the strength she needs both emotionally and physically to deal with all this as well.

Tonight...the Lord's Prayer.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.
On Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day, our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses.
As we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation.
But deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.
In Jesus name. AMEN.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, November 03, 2008

Mommy's halloween costume

WARNING: Picture with staples in my head at the bottom of this message. May not be for those with a queasy stomach.

I had my first chemo treatment into my head today. A little needle prick, but that was it for pain. Injecting the chemo took about 5 to 10 minutes to administer. I then had to go home and lie flat for a couple hours. There was concern about headaches, like one would get with a lumbar puncture. However, so far, no side effects. Praise God!

I still have all my other aches and pains, plus a few more that have developed recently. But we're praying that the chemo will help take those symptoms away...without taking away anymore of my brain function.

And as I look at this picture, I was thinking, hey, I'm going to have a scar of my initial "C" on my head. There are people who pay big money to have such scars made...oh, it's not like my surgery was cheap. I guess I'm more shocked that people CHOOSE to do crazy stuff like that....having letters carved into their body!

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” Psalm 91:1-2

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Surgery Recap, plus 2 monkeys and a ninja

I arrived at the hospital at 5:30 AM as scheduled. After I got all settled with checking in and putting on my hospital attire and such, they had to draw blood, put an IV in me etc. As what often happens, there were problems finding a vein and I had to be poked a few times.

Next, I had to have my blood platelets checked...as they were low earlier that week. (As I always say, I'm not medical, so half my medical information could be wrong. Plus, I feel the brain radiation or tumor has been doing quite the number on my shortterm memory, so that doesn't help my inability to explain things correctly either.) But anyhow, I do believe the blood platelets have something to do with blood clotting. So if they were to cut into my head, it would be important to have the correct number of platelets so I wouldn't bleed all over. One thing that could bring my platelets down would be certain medication...like the Celebrex I had been taking. Although I had stopped taking it as soon as I found out I was having the surgery, I really needed to stop it sooner.

So when I was tested again surgery morning, the platelets were not up to par. Therefore, they were going to have to do a transfusion of platelets. Which ended up being a bigger ordeal because they were giving me platelets for A+ blood, but I am B+ (or maybe I'm B-). Regardless, they had the wrong blood type dripping in my IV. My dear husband had to call several places, including his own clinic to find out if it was okay for me to proceed with the transfusion. It was ridiculous, and I have to say I was very disappointed in this hospital with regards to this, and I began to think that maybe this was a sign that the surgery shouldn't be done. It took awhile for it to be verified that for platelets, it's okay if the blood types aren't the same, as long as I don't have more than a few bags of them. Which would not be a problem if there were no major complications.

After waiting for the transfusion and the retesting, and more poking, it was discovered that my platelets went up some, but not as much as the doctors wanted. By this time, my surgeon had started his other surgery. And I was in A LOT of pain. I couldn't eat or drink anything,...no coffee.....and the pain meds that they were putting in my IV would only work for about 5 or 10 minutes, more or less just giving me a little anxiety relief, not really taking away the pain in my neck, back, arms, head, just lessening it some. But then the pain would quickly come back.

All the while I'm just waiting for test results and such surrounding this blood issue. It was then decided that I would have another transfusion of platelets, which they would start right away as I was being taken back to the operating room. So at around 3:30, a new anesthesiologist came out to tell me that he was taking over, since the other one was now off duty....that's how long it had been. They still had other prep to do, so the testing and such would be done while I was in the OR, sedated and out of pain. Actually, just before they wheeled me out, they administered me some medicine to "help me relax" as they put it, and relax I did. Before I even got to the OR, I was knocked out. Finally!

At this point my mom, who had joined us at the hospital, went home to take Max and Ella trick or treating. (Thanks Katie for taking Cameron). My husband and dad stayed at the hospital until my surgery was over....or something like that.

I don't really remember too much directly after surgery. I was sent to the ICU, but honestly, I didn't need to be there. My nurse Ruth was very surprised at all that I was able to do. Any pain that I had was gone....the morphine worked quite well. And my sweet husband had brought me a Caramel Machiato, so I had my caffeine fix that I so very needed. I was up on and off all night, but that's normal for me these days. And that gave the opportunity to talk to my nurse a little read some scripture to lift my spirits and give me hope for healing.

After some confusion, especially since it is very rare for someone to be discharged from the ICU, I was finally able to come home after lunch.

I was able to go to church today, and but also spent a lot of the day resting. My dad went home this morning back to New Jersey, but my mom is still here. I am so grateful that my dad was able to be here for the surgery, and so thankful for all my mom's continued help.

Now tomorrow, they do the first round of chemotherapy. I'm actually going to a new chemo place, with a new oncologist. That makes me a little nervous, because I liked my old oncologist. But I just couldn't bring myself to go back to the chemo area. I had written on my blog when I first started chemo over a year ago how chaotic the environment was. And I just felt like I needed something more relaxing, especially considering all my anxiety issues. The chemo regiment I'm receiving is basically the same one suggested by my first oncologist, so I just felt like I needed to make this change now...although I do feel bad leaving my other doctor.

The chemo administration is not supposed to take long. They'll just inject it into the little "bubble" that you can't even see under the skin of my head. I am nervous about the process though. Please pray with me that this chemo works. Everyday I seem to get a new symptom of my worsening condition, so we need for this chemo to kick in and do it's job....pronto! God gave the knowledge for these medical advancements so we know they can work!

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers, desserts, meals, cards, well wishes, help with the kids, patience with me, etc. I am so grateful that God had placed you all in my life.

First John 5: 14, 15 (be confident in your prayers)

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.

Labels: , ,

Home at last

I'm finally back home. Thank you everyone for all your prayers. As my mom alluded to, my experience before surgery was horrible, but once it was done, everything went very well. I had a wonderful nurse who took very good care of me throughout the night and gave me a little book by Dodie Osteen titled Healed of Cancer. God definitely had me in good hands. I'm going to get some rest now and hopefully get a chance to write more about my experience tomorrow.

Jeremiah 30:17
For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds.

Labels: ,