Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

...and she called His name Emmanuel, which interpreted means "God with us."

The pastor read this on Sunday and I read it just a moment ago. God has shown this promise SO many times this year. I don't write about it, but the church has sent us a check for varied amounts several times. God with us. It has always come at a time when we think there is no way the VISA bill will be paid (it has my deductible on it!). But God steps in as He always does and takes care of us.

God with us. At church I went without my wig. Suanne and many others encouraged me the week before, so I took the plunge and did it. It was awesome! I am always hugged at church, but this was very different this time. As always...God was with us. He uses so many people to make Himself known.

I was encouraged again just now. My brother sent me a video clip. Bing Crosby & David Bowie singing Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth. Yes, God makes Himself know through song as well.... could Doug have known that this is my all time favorite Christmas I used to cry through as it is so beautiful. It says "See the day of Glory." Look is always there, just look.

Merry Christmas. Thank you so much for such an awesome year. How great You are to be Emmanuel...God with us.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Graduation! No more port!

Seems strange...I wept after my biospies but did just fine following my port removal. God is good! I had THE most wonderful nurse. It took about 2 hours before I had the surgery done and once the doctor began start to finish was only about 20 minutes. Here is the procedure: I had to take everything off. Top and bra obviously, but earrings, necklace and jeans as well. The jeans had metal on them and you couldn't have any metal on you. So everything went into a large shopping bag. I laid on the gurney and she covered me up so I wouldn't get cold. I was offered an anxiety medication to calm me and make me drowsy. They order it standard for everyone so it can be given right away, but I waived mine. I asked if it would help with pain and the answer was no, so I said, Nah. Signed all the consent forms, then got prepped. First she did the alcohol swab all over my chest and neck. Strong stuff! Then, she put one of those large blue surgical blankets on me. It has an opening in it that goes over the port area. It also has some kind of sticky seal on it to keep it attached to your body. Oh yea, before this she put a ground on me. It was in a packet..she unwrapped was a large rectangular piece that attached to my right upper thigh. It was SOOOO cold! But they may use this machine to help get out the port and you needed to be grounded in case.

The doctor came in and explained what would happen and got started. First, he covered my face with the top of the blue blanket and said I wouldn't want to see the needles or knife or anything! I agreed!! He numbed the area with Lidocaine and said it would burn. I told him I had just had some yesterday! And yes, it burned again! He numbed it in several areas and started in. They go in through the same scar and said if needed they would make it a little longer. I could feel tugging and working, but no real pain. He did use the machine. It left a burnt smell and I could feel tapping as it did whatever it was doing! He asked if I was doing OK and I told him I was singing Christmas carols. Ever so often I would feel the tapping and say a short Ouch to let them know I could feel something! And immediately he would put in some more Lidocaine and tell me it would burn. lol He did have to make the incision a little longer and it eventually came out. He then stitched the area back up and put sterry strips over that.

Of course at the time it didn't hurt at all, but by the time we were headed back it ached. By the time we passed by the school (had to get ready for Christmas party) it ached a lot. Took some Tylenol and it got better, but it is VERY achy at the moment.

OH! MD is SO incredibly large. There are a zillion waiting rooms for both patients and family. Graland was waiting for me in the waiting room and when I came back out (from a different door) and called his name a man came up to us and said Hey neighbor! lol It was the fellow and his wife from down the street! The SAME waiting room! I couldn't believe it! So we visited for a while and gave the wife the rundown on what just happened. She was there to get a pit removed (had an infection and was taking antibiotics through it). I told her it wasn't bad at all.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

biopsy results

Our early day began with blood work and chest x-ray. With that done, we headed to the UltraSound floor for u/s on my thyroid. I have two nodes on either side of my thyroid. They prepped me for a fine needle biopsy, beginning with Lidocaine to numb the area. The Lidocaine is a small stick then a burn, then a big burn. OH, it burned! Then the needle goes in, some pressure, then I guess it gets swirled around?? At least that is what it sounded/felt like. After the first biopsy I had tears in my eyes. Then second one wasn't so bad as far as the Lidocaine part (which really was the "bad" part...not the actual biopsy). But the needle passed by tissue that was inflammed and it was very sensitive. By now, more tears, but not crying. I lifted the towel to dry my eyes and they realized I had tears. They asked if it hurt and I said No, just uncomfortable.

I had gone there with no anxiety or worries. Excited to get it behind me. In fact, as I was waiting in the room, I thought about MD and how there were no crying people there! For such a large hospital and every affected by cancer there, yet no crying. The doctors and nurses are so wonderful, put you at ease, and are very uplifting.

So here I am crying! My nurse came back in and put her arm around me and said "You don't have your results yet, you don't need to didn't look bad." As I waited I prayed and thanked my Father once again for His peace and calm. For being with me. And just as in my VERY first biopsy in Kingwood, I thought of the suffering Christ went through..and that what I was feeling...He had been through first for me. So I was thankful.

So my tears I suppose were of relief, thanksgiving, and just a weight maybe that I didn't realize was there. The doctor sent my biopsy off to pathology and they had her come back and do one of them again. ( one is about 2 cm and the other 3.5cm) The one came back clear, benign. The other they needed more tests as it had blood in it and it wasn't clear enough. So another biopsy. She put the needle on my neck and asked if it was sharp. Yes. Here? yes. Here? yes. So, we did the Lidocaine again, then the biopsy. This one was much gentler. The results of this second node came back benign as well. Praise God! There was a screen there for me to watch the procedure, but I wasn't interested and had no desire to watch, so closed my eyes instead.

Then off to the Infusion Therapy Treatment Pre-Procedure Assessment. She asked a lot of questions and said we were on for tomorrow. While she was going through my papers, I saw a xerox of my chest xray. It was so cool!! yet, creepy!! Here was my ribcage and all, and there was the port up near the shoulderblade..a larger than I had imagined port with a long tail behind it that hung down to about mid chest. I'll get the port removed tomorrow at 9, then will talk to SOMEONE???!!! I don't know WHO this person is or WHY I am seeing them! lol Guess I'll find out tomorrow!

oh, btw, they told me no lifting, no anything for the rest of the day, so I skipped out on therapy! Will see you guys next week!! :) Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


It is almost a month since the end of my last chemo and I think my hair is already starting to grow back! I shaved my legs last week for a test and sure enough...there is hair growing there! I've noticed it has already started growing back in other "areas" as well. AND...looks like I'm getting my eyelashes back and maybe some eyebrows.

Have to leave pretty early for tomorrow's appointments...will update then! :o)

Friday, December 14, 2007

yeah! nothing to report!!!

You know, that's gotta be a really GREAT thing when you don't have too much to report on! :) Still waiting for the fingernails to do their thing. I can see that the majority of the fingernails are now pulled away from the nail bed at least half way. It doesn't hurt and there is no sensation that I'm feeling or anything, BUT I'm being very careful with them so as not to pop them off! eck!

Can I just say that I am getting VERY good at drawing in my eyebrows! I mean, they are SO pretty! I am impressed that they look this good! You start to notice other people's eyebrows and how they are shaped...several ladies at school pluck or wax or just plain define their eyebrows and I have found a shape I like. Mine are partially above my bangs line, but they fit right in and are not noticeable. :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007


The eyelashes can officially be called "GONE" now! lol I am SO glad that I've always worn eyeliner. I told the little girls that my eyelashes were gone and had them look at it...always like hearing their comments! lol They said, No there's still some up there. I was like "No, those are eyebrows!!" Oh yeah! Abbie: wait... 4,5,6,7,8. She counts. I'm mistaken, I have 8 lashes left! That is close enough for me to call gone! I say you can't really tell it with the eyeliner. But OH MY WORD.... without liner! Yep! I look like I've been through chemo! :o)

Now, some would say, But you HAVE had chemo and it's natural to look that way. Yeah, you're right. And feel free to wear liner or not. I don't at home. But it's like I wouldn't go to Walmart without my lipstick either, so I see this as no different! yeah...still vain lol

So, in everything I do, whether it be eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, scarves, hats, or scarves...I don't feel the need to shout I had cancer! Nor am I wanting to cover it up. I've always worn hair, and frankly, it gets kinda cold without it! I am reminded of a verse that comes to me again and again:

From God's Word that says "Matthew 6:16": Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. "17": But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; "18": That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

I've always loved hats and God gave me the desire of my heart! I get to wear them anytime I want! lol On the other hand. Not sure if the hair I have now is staying or leaving, but at the moment it is a beautiful length! I was very tempted to go "natural" to church today...but knew I'd come home with a cold if I did! lol I find it very beautiful! Looking forward to the day when I go natural to school. But...I do keep a cold room, so will wait til it comes in a bit more. :o)

Zach comes home for Christmas break on Wednesday!! (((Zach)))

Friday, December 7, 2007


I am back to 3 days a week at therapy. Getting the lymphedema under control. Although I have to say that it is feeling better and not as tight lately. The compression machine is still not gone through is just a VERY expensive machine. I wouldn't doubt I get this thing under control and not need it before it comes through! Which that will be fine if that happens.

Bea about killed me the other day. She kinda laughed as we talked..she said "it's just the way it is...the lymph massage is so very gentle, but we need to work on the scars which is a little more intense and also to be stretched which is very aggressive!" So, she let me have it! She also let me borrow a book on lymphedema massage, which we subsequently bought from her. It is excellent. The household has been too sick to TRY any of it yet, but I look forward to starting the massage...some of it I can do easily at school.


I'm thinking I'm gonna be losing the nails. Where it was so dark and I kept feeling like they'd pop off if I scratched too hard...well, there IS a void under the nails. A couple of the nails are more prominent at the moment, so not sure if they'll all do this, but I assume they will. I showed them to Carla (nurse) and she said yes, she thought they looked like they were lifting up as well. I will probably have to wear band aids to keep the nail bed protected as it will obviously be sensitive without the nail there. The jury is still out with the toe nails. I'm not seeing it like I do with the fingernails.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

fever update

Went in again on Thursday with a fever. It was a little over 100. I took some Motrin and went ahead and went in. I figured if it got to where I just FELT bad as well and couldn't teach, I'd go home. But by lunch, I was much better and have felt normal since then.

Kaci, on the other hand, missed another day of school. :( Three days straight. But she is better now as well. BUT...Graland got it and got it bad. I only got the fever plus a small amount of upset stomach..if you catch my drift. Kaci had the stomach, the throwing up and fever. Yep, Graland got it all. :( He's had it for two days now.

Our family was asked to light the Advent Candle at church this week. Graland was still VERY MUCH not able to go. But the little girls and I read the readings and Zoe lighted the candle. It was very nice. :)

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

keep getting a fever!

Well, crud! This is the second day in a row that I've come home with a fever!! It's just over a 100 each time. I try to turn in early and rest it off during the night. You never know in the room if it's just the room temp or YOU?!

Kaci has been home from school the last two days as well. First day she never left the bed. Fever and just not being able to function. She slept so much that when we were getting her ready for bed last night she thought it was morning and that she was getting ready for school. She seems to be doing better this evening though, praise God.

I did have my genetics testing on Monday. They do a picture of who has had what in your family and show you the percentages of it being passed down. And also choices if I have the mutant gene. However, my bing on Tamoxifen puts me at a 90% chance that the cancer will not return. That being said, I'm only on Tamoxifen for two years...then after that another pill. OR I could go the prophylactic route and have the other breast removed, which puts my chances down to almost zero.

So we did the blood test, it'll take two weeks for it to go through insurance approval, then 2 weeks to get the results. Hoping I know something by Christmas.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

genetics testing in the morning

We will finally get the genetic testing done in the morning. It takes a month just to get IN to the geneticist. I understand that they are very thorough with you and take as much time as needed for the interview. Although I do not have a blood test on my schedule, there MUST be a blood test sometime during the interview.

Had my appraisal this went fine, but paled to the news of a friend who has a tumor on her spine and perhaps a spot on the brain. She'll be going to MD as well. I know the uncertainty that she is facing and the fear of the unknown, esp with children (older) and family. Many people have come to me reflecting on God's miracles of healing. Peace was His greatest miracle to me. It is not my personality, so I know it did not come from me. Many can do this "on their own" and that's fine. I love that I was able to identify that it was God Who was with me..and not myself. I am praying this for my friend...that she'll see God and how big He is..and how He can lead her each step of the way...and be her comfort. After all, is that not Who God left us, but the Comforter?