Tuesday, March 27, 2007

got a surgery date

We got a surgery date... Monday, April 9, 2007.

I'll go in on April 4th for a CT scan and a bone scan, then again on the 5th to meet with Dr. Ross about the results. I told the second grade team and the principal and assistant principal (we were in the middle of a meeting when I got the call) and we have Mrs. Evans coming to take over for me on the 4th until I can come back.

Talked with Debbie, the PA from Dr. Ross's office. She called during our conference time...wasn't that convenient?! Bonnie called Donna's room and asked if I was in there, that I had a phone call. They sent the call to the media room and I left with a "Pray for me" as I went to take the hall. I heard a "we already are!" as I exited.

Took the call and Debbie said we had a surgery date of April 9, the day after Easter. I noticed on the way home after reflecting on the call that she never mentioned the word mastectomy. That was very nice! smile.gif Anyway, as I said above, we'll go in for a CT scan and bone scan on the 4th. Since the cancer has metastasized to the lymph nodes, they want to make sure it hasn't gone anyplace else. So they do the chest and bone, which would be the next place it would go.

Then on the 5th we'll go back and get the results and talk with Ross. At some point we will go in and talk with the plastic surgeon, but at this time, I don't have a time/date for that.

Now, looks like it will be 12 weeks of chemo (Tamoxifen), which will come 3 or 4 weeks after surgery, so I can heal from the surgery. Then it would be followed with radiation...if that is needed. If I DO need radiation, then that will bump my reconstructive surgery 6 months. sad.gif They just can't do a reconstructive then shoot it with radiation and tear it up.

She said something about 4-6 intense courses of chemo, but I'm not sure what that means exactly.

She also said she is going to call in a radiation oncologist to speak with us if we have to do radiation.

Also, keep a good diet, no vegan diets or anything that will cause me to lose weight before I am back on "real" foods to get me back up a little before I go in for surgery.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Got a haircut.

I read to get your hair cut before any chemo, so that it isn't a big shock if your hair falls out, so today I got my hair cut!! SHORT! It looks great and I love it...and the girls love it, so I feel real good!

I went to WalMart to get it done and had a girl that I've had before. She was surprised that I was going to go short, but I told her about chemo and she caught right on. I showed her a couple of styles, one was VERY short that I just didn't have the guts to do, but it was gorgeous. The other was a short bob with a flip at the bottom of it...she did that one and was excited as she did it.

Oh wait!! while I'm getting my hair washed, I see this little girl (11 maybe??) getting her picture taken with her hair stylist. I'm thinking that's kinda odd, but then I see her holding up her hair!! So, I ask my girl if she just donated her hair and she said yes! So I told her, Run go get the girl, so she can see WHO she gave her hair to!!! smile.gif So they bring the girl over to me and I told her that I saw her getting her picture and that I realized she just donated. Then I said that I was about to lose my hair and that HER hair was going to someone just like me. I wanted her to actually HAVE that connection....what are the odds you'd get that? Told her how proud I was of her to do that, and how much it meant to people who will be on the receiving end. So it was really cool!

And in the end...I love my hair. Kaci said, OH! I hate for you to have to lose your new hair cut!! lol.gif

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Meeting the surgeon

It's Thursday, so PRE is wearing their We Believe shirts for me!! smile.gif I took off the day and have a sub, but went in early to make sure everything was ready to go. I also wore my shirt.

We took off pretty early so we'd beat the traffic in Houston. My appt was at 12:30 and we got there around 10:15 or so, pretty early. We went up to the 2nd floor where you check in and went out to the outdoor patio and just stayed there for about an was cool out and felt wonderful. When it got close to lunch we went inside to the MDAnderson cafeteria where we had a scrumptous chicken fried steak with gravy and a water. I have to say this is better than Luby's! We ate in no hurry, then went up to the 5th floor which is the Nellie B. Connoly floor (breast cancer).

It is now about 12:00, so we are nice and early, get checked in and wait. While we're waiting I look around the waiting room, there are puzzles, books, magazines, some Pink Ribbon Volunteers (they've had BC before and can talk to you about it), a coffee bar if you'd like...among other things.

So I went over to this giant wall-hanging of a pink ribbon quilt that a group had made for one of their ladies. It is sooo pretty! Beneath it is a basket full of heart pillows. There is a little plaque inside that says they were made from the Girl Scouts in LIVINGSTON!!! My town!! smile.gif Beside that is a book of information, but on the front of the book is a picture of some girl scouts and one of them is Ciara...from MY CLASS this year!!! I was so excited and ran the book over to Graland to see her!! Then, of course, I had to share that with one of the Pink Ribbon volunteers!! smile.gif We haven't told the kids at school I am sick yet, so I wasn't able to tell Ciara. Can't wait until I can tell her! She'll be so proud!

Well, finally am able to go back in the exam room...took my weight (120) and height (5'6), and blood pressure (always low!). Then off to the room where we wait and wait and wait in a little open to the front gown. Finally get off the table and rest over with Graland and take a couple of snoozes.

fast forwarding... cancer in lymph node is 2 cm...that is new to me. Kingwood saw 5 tumors and MD found 3

I'm too small chested for a breast sparing surgery, so will get skin sparing
Waiting for plastic surgeon to call to set up appointment there to move forward.

This is just bits and pieces, it will be filled in very soon! smile.gif

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

1st MD visit

What a LONG LONG day this was!! But we survived!!

It is spring break and 4am. We're up and ready to get going! I am dressed and ready to hit the road and Graland is taking a shower! lol.gif Hurry, while I'm still OK on going!

We get there fairly easy, made one bad turn, but got right back on the correct road. Since it is our first visit we get FREE valet parking. Feeling very special today. We go up to the 2nd floor and sign in and are ready to wait. They call me back before my time is even here and I'm like, WAIT I haven't made a run to the bathroom yet! lol.gif

The girl gets our insurance information and other school/home/whatever information. We go back to the waiting area until I am called back for the mammogram.

The mammogram takes a while..she wanted to get every angle she possibly could and some of the positions were quite awkward, but needed, so it wasn't any problem to do. I had a nice technician who was humorous and upbeat. She thought she had all that was needed but knew the radiologist would make the final decision so I had to wait a little bit while we waited for him to look through the slides. Sure enough, he needed a few more magnified images, so we took those, waited again, and we through with that part of the day. She walked me through the back hallway down to the ultrasound room.

Here I am in the ultrasound room, gown on and on the table. They covered me with a heated blanket which felt SOOOO good!!! It is a little chilly in the room with nothing but a gown, so the blanket was heavenly. The first tech came in and did a very long ultrasound exam. She scanned both breasts with the emphasis on the left. I watched the whole time on the 2nd screen and while I could see the tumors, I couldn't tell anything about them. She did a lot of measuring and measuring the distances between them. Also some long pictures that showed the line of tumors all in one shot. She also checked the underarm for the lymph nodes and up the neck to the scalp.

When the Doctor came in, she too did scans of her own, highlighting where the tech had done hers. The tech noticed a lump in the lymph node and had the doctor check it out. So, we are now calling in the lab, signing papers to do a fine needle aspiration biopsy. We get that problem, a little sting, but nothing worth mentioning. The lab gets back with us in about 10 minutes. By now, the doctor is gone and they have called Graland in to be with me. The doctor comes back in and we find out the cancer is also in the lymph nodes, dad-gummet!! sad.gif I'm now upped from a Stage 1 to a Stage 2. Stage 2 includes the lymph nodes. sad.gif

After this, we head off to lunch at the cafeteria there...which I must say is absolutely delicious!!! I am off my normal diet and have a scrumptous (sp) chicken fried steak with gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a water. No dessert! I AM good on that one! No sugar!! Graland has a roast beef sandwich and is wishing he was eating what I had! lol.gif

Now, we go ahead and go to the 2nd floor where the lab is. There I have an EKG, a chest x-ray, and some blood work done. WE ARE FINISHED!!!! We did it!!

We get back on the road, worn out, and ready to be home. We get back on the right roads and feeling ok. Before we get home, we decide to go out for dinner at the Shrimp Hut where I have the big 15 shrimp meal. Oh, it was so good!

In the meanwhile, Karen had come over just as we left the house and delivered pizza to the kids!! smile.gif That was SOOO sweet!! So we came back and they were so excited. Zach wanted us to watch a movie he had (I-Robot), so we watched that, and YES, I DID have TWO wonder slices of Karen's pizza!! and loved every bite of it! lol.gif

Off to bed, and slept like a log! What a day it has been.

Friday, March 9, 2007


So, I walk in the door after school today and there is this gigantic box on the inside step. I say to dh, We got a big box in! I figured he had ordered something. lol.gif He says No, it's for you! So I look down and there is Christine's label on there!!! OMG!!! I was so so so so NOT expecting this!! bcry.gif (Can't find the happy cry code!!)

I told dh, Well, here I was saying how incredible my school family was, when you guys were just waiting for my package to get to me! hug.gif I wanted to all to know what the final package looked like, so I took pictures! DH says, Do they all live near each other? I was like...NO!!! They are from all over the US!! Then when DD came in from high school, she saw me and said I love your shirt! Where'd you get it? This was while I was sitting here typing this post! I swung my hands to the screen...MY LADIES!!! So I ran her downstairs and said, Look what else!! She was so floored! I really think this outpouring of love is as helpful to her as it is to me! She has SO needed to see God working and it is just touching her heart!!

Of course, being a teen...she immediately says, I SOOO like that one!! The one that says Cancer Sucks!! lol.gif She says, I would SO wear that!! I hadn't even THOUGHT about younger kids cancer books. I told DH about Julies DH and said When she gives this sweatshirt, she REALLY means it!!

I am also a big blanket fan!!! And I DO know you guys are wrapping me in your arms..thank you sooo much. (Amber)

I love the Chicken Soup books and hadn't seen the Cancer one!! It is perfect...I really need to hear these healing stories! And I will also have something to take on my visits. I buy journals all the time for my girls, but NEVER buy them for myself. I am glad you thought ahead for me! (Paige)

I am going to have to have ds transfer the CD onto my mp3 player. (Christine) It is so soothing and uplifting and as you know EXACTLY my style of music!! hug.gif

And I SOOO would have worn my HOPE shirt (Sue) if this had come a day earlier!!! We had a school hoe-down today and we very hot in the would have been more preferable than my 'duds' I was a-wearing, puhd-ner.

You are amazing women, oh my goodness!!! You have touched my heart (and dh) like you would never know! I stand in awe of you love for a cyber-sister. You KNOW I will think of the whole group when I use any one of these most precious gifts.

As I wrote to my principal this do you say thank you for something like can't! Just know that you have helped make my journey sweeter and lighter.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Incredible day at PRE

God is SOOO good!! He put me in the midst of such an incredible group of people at school. Each week I were my Believe shirt. Another campus was selling them to raise money for Relay for Life and I thought it was pretty and bought one for me and Zoe....this was way before my diagnoses. BUT, since my diagnoses, I have worn it each Friday, forgoing my opportunity to wear jeans at school, so I could wear it instead.

Little did I know, but for the past 3 weeks the campus has been planning a surprise for me. Colleen came up with a design for a shirt in my honor. It is pink with a ribbon on it. At PRE is at the top of the ribbon and We Believe along one of the sides of the ribbon hanging down. It is just beautiful!!!

Well, yesterday Donna asked if I'd help with a project Thursday morning since we get there at 6:30. Sure, no problem. Zoe came with us this morning to meet with her friend, Lacey. Anyway, Donna tells me as we get out of her suburban that she is a bad lier, that we don't have a project, but she needs me to stay in my room until she calls me out. OK.

(So instead of talking all morning, I GOT SOMETHING DONE in my room!!!) howling.gif

I'm stapling things to my back board when the door opens and my team (6 other teachers) and Zoe & Lacey come in with their pink T's. I quickly turn around and start crying! They come in and tell me how much they love me and how much they believe that everything will be OK. Also, that if I'd look around the campus today, I would see that there are MANY people who love me and have been praying for me. (Then they give me my shirt!)

So, I make my way (eventually) down the halls and everyone has on a shirt in my honor!! OMG It is the MOST amazing thing I've ever seen! So, why wear makeup to school!!?? lol.gif

I give hugs to everyone and they are just so supportive. EVERY teacher, every aid, every support person... 100% of the campus bought a shirt! Can I just say that I was floored?! God has just absolutely placed me in the most loving arms.

I am thrilled that Zoe was there today to be a part of this. Thank you Lacey that you made sure you and Zoe were there. That is very special to me.

After school the campus gathered in the gym and took a group picture..I can't wait to post it, it is such an inspiration and an emotion that I cannot describe to know so many are praying for you.