Saturday, October 25, 2008

follow ups from yesterday

Well today I met with Dr. Green and Dr. Kronowitz. I had to wait quite a while for Green. Apparently two patients either canceled or came in very late and it threw her schedule. She said the x ray and CT came back great! Also, she won't need to see me for another 6 we're doing good! She looks great...she has lost a LOT of weight.

Then off to Kronowitz's. Got taken to the back very quickly. Jennifer checked me out and said my symmetry was really good and that everything looked great! Asked again about n reconstruction and tattoo. I said, well, still just looking for the tattoo. She leaves, Brenda comes in and asks the same things... she said Kron will be there soon, change into the gown and know the drill....yeah, I know the drill! *rollseyes*

She leaves and I begin to undress to put the stuff on. I open the little plastic bag and notice that the ugly white string bikini panties are now black. Oh great! As if it weren't bad enough wearing the white ones in front of a man who is not my husband! grrrr So then I take them out and NO, it is NOT ugly black string is a sheer black THONG!!! I wanted to cry! I was completely offended! So I walk to the door where I know Brenda is standing on the other side writing in my chart.... Uh, do yall still have the ugly white panties? She says, not wearing the thong, huh? NO I'M NOT!! I don't think so! Had she not had them...i'd have stayed in my striped pair that I was wearing! So Praise God again, He gave me an escape and I got the ugly white things.

Looks like I don't have to come back for a while! yeah! So I get home and we talk about it some more and I change my mind about n reconstruction. If the appt comes through I will get it done right before Christmas so I can heal over Christmas break...and the tattoo will come at a later time. So, very happy here! :o)

Oct appt. xray and CT scans

Two days of appointments. The first day I will have a CT scan and Xrays of chest, plus bloodwork. Should be an easy day. :)

We get there early and get the blood work done first. Then off to get the chest x-ray done. That is just a couple of quick shots and you're finished. Then wait for the CT scan. You can't have eaten 3 hours prior to the scan. So I had an early breakfast to be ready for this properly. I sign in and get called back for assessment. I tell them I'd like an IV tech to do my IV for the iodine contrast part. I've had problems in the past..infiltrated once, too many "tries" on another visit and my veins just are small. She asked if they could give it one try before calling them in and I agreed. The nurse was great, got it in one try and it felt good.

When I got called to the back I was given a hospital shirt to change into. I changed and was ready for the CT. The tech takes me to the back and I lied down on the table. Arms overhead and feet off then end. She got the table in place and I looked up and saw some numbers. They were not too far off of what I THOUGHT was my weight! lol I laughed and said If that is my weight I'm gonna cry! :) She laughed and told me it was NOT my weight! Thank goodness!!

She sees a bit of blood coming from the IV (in the iv) and flushes it before beginning. I can always feel it and it kind of sensitive. She immediately says, OH, I'm going to have to start that off slow when we do the contrast so it won't burn.

She takes a couple of scans and comes into the room. Are you wearing a bra? I'm like, uh, .... I feel at my shoulder...yeah, I sure am! OOPS! So I unhook it there on the table and put it at the top of the table! lol whoopsie! (I'm sure insurance will get a big kick outta that!) So she does the scans again and comes back in for the iodine contrast.

Sure enough she starts it slow and then speeds it up and does the CT scans with the contrast. It was problems.

When we got back in the car I told Graland that I was just thanking and praising God while I was on the table. I wanted to tell the, could you start that off slow and then pick it up (I've been told by another tech to tell them this) but I couldn't bring myself to tell them how to do their job...even though it is my right to do so! Praise God for such a loving tech that God placed there just for me at the right time! She knew exactly what I needed and cared enough to give it to me.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Couch25k in 9 weeks

I started a C25k in 9 weeks program! I've done two days of the 1st week so far. I found out about Couch to 5k in 9 weeks from my ladies board. It is a running program for people just starting out. By the end of 9 weeks you should be able to run 5k (3 miles) in 30 minutes.

It is set up in intervals. For instance, this week, week 1, does a 5 minute walk, then 60 sec run, 90 sec walk, 60 sec run, 90 sec walk and back and forth for 30 minutes. There is a musical cue (like a bell) that lets you know when to go from walking to running. You can download a podcast that has all the music on it. I downloaded one from Podrunner.

Day one went great, but I wasn't able to finish the last few minutes. It was so hot and humid, I finally sat in a neighbors yard and rested. I wasn't too smart doing it in the heat of the day. On day two, I ran at school in the gym. Did the whole podcast. One more run this week and WEEK 1 will be complete! (it is for 3x/week)

follow up visit at MDA

everything went well at the follow up visit. They were happy with how everything was healing. They put a medical tape on me during surgery that the nurse took off while I was there. Apparently I am allergic to the tape. When it came off...and she did it very slowly...oh gosh, it hurt SO MUCH!!! Underneath was just raw skin, red, with blisters all over. So below each "surgery site" was a whole new thing to heal. But it is fine now. I had to be real gentle with it for a while.

OK...cute story. We're in the waiting room and I go to the restroom. I come back and then Graland goes. While I'm wandering in the room, I come across a pen...well, of course I need to have it!! lol It's just laying there on the carpet. So I pick it up and guess what?! It is from Central Baptist Church here in Livingston!! It has their makingGODknown logo on it. So I claim it and clip it to my purse...and can't wait to tell Graland about my find!! :o)

Graland comes back and sits by me and before I have a chance to show him what a small world it is, he says, OH! You found my pen!! lol

Well, it WOULD have been a really neat story!! ha ha

Saturday, July 12, 2008

the surgery

wouldn't you know it, my body just isn't the same as most bodies! lol So to achieve the uniformity some additional incisions were made. This wasn't your run of the mill, put in an implant kind of surgery. It was more of a musical chairs and hope that everyone finally finds a seat. I won't be going into the details of the surgery here. But I will say that when I am looking down, it looks wonderful! I fill in my swim top. Will go to buy a sports bra today. They told me to wear a sports bra or a camisole with shelf bra. You can very well tell the surgery from the front...(no bra). On the outside though, with clothes, it looks super! The implants will need to settle into their pockets and they will eventually appear rounded and normal.

I was given the option of pain meds. Vicaden or Darvocet. I said No way to the really threw me for a loop the last time. She said the V works better for the pain, but yes, it does have it's side effects. The D is good too, not as strong as V, but better than V for side effects.

The D gives me fuzzy headaches and I'm not liking it too much. So now (Fri morning) I am not taking them. Thursday evening was my last pain pill. I was only taking them twice a day. I'm not in a lot of pain, just discomfort. Mostly the right side drain...not even the surgery! lol go figure!

It is Saturday morning now, a couple days from my pain meds and my head is back to normal. I continue to empty the two drains that I have from surgery. You empty and mark it on a chart to give to the plastic surgeon when you return for your visit. I know I have friends who have prayed for my pain and I really appreciate it!! I am feeling SOO much better now! God is so good!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Had surgery..on to recovery

July 7 4:30am and we're on the road. Check in is at 6:00 and surgery at 7:30. I wake and recall the memory verse from journaling: 2Cor 1:3-4 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

I really like that verse! And all morning He has given me the comfort that He promised to give! :D I go in and get to the holding area pretty quickly. I ALMOST called Donna just for laughs, but I didn't! lol Figured I'd let them do what they were supposed to be doing on me instead. I get on the gown, the long white knee high hose and footies and get in the bed.

Dr. Kee, the anesthesiologist comes in and gets my IV going...he is awesome!!! Barely a prick of the skin. We wait a little while longer and some techs come in and get some IV stuff going in me. They say it is time to go. Graland gives me a kiss and an I love you. The tech tells me the stuff will burn a little and OUCH! Yes, it did! Dr. Kee tells me to take deep breaths and it will help. Guess it did...that was the last I remember and when I woke, I was in recovery!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

chronos time

Today in Sunday School we learned about chronos time and kairos time. Chronos time is by the clock, waiting, hearing the ticking go by. Kairos is God moments, time when you know it is God who is speaking at that moment.

Told them in class that I was sitting in chronos time...waiting for tomorrow to be here! The long weekend has really done a twist on me. I was out on Thursday (from school) and then there was Fri, Sat, and Sun. Well, I woke up Sat morning and the first thing that went through my head was, YES! This time tomorrow I'll already be in surgery and this will be behind me! Then I thought, OH!!! No, today's Saturday!! Gosh, this weekend has really been something! lol

So, spending time packing, writing, writing, writing, to get through this chronos time! :) We'll leave about 4:30am I suppose to get there by my 6am checkin. Surgery is at 7:30. Keep me in your prayers!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

got a myspace

It's computer related so I don't know WHY it took me so long to do it, but I got a MySpace account. I have had so much stinkin' fun working on that thing. I love, love, love the background. Mostly it's just been adding music, videos..learning what is what. Anyway, here it is.. Jo's MySpace

Thursday, July 3, 2008

2nd ps visit before surgery

I never understood...Kronowitz has my chest area (both sides) all marked up with Sharpie pen....a 'go-by' if you will, of the surgery on Monday. Ok...that's fine, no biggie. Then, they give you some antibacterial liquid soap for that area to cut down on infection, etc. But don't wash off the markings! lol I've drawn and re-drawn! lol Can't move...I'll perspire and wash it off! Can't exercise like I'd like to... Can't take a walk with Graland.... Can't wait for them to get it all wiped off of me! lol I'd like to sweat again AND take a standing shower! lol

Second visit. Since my last visit, I have decided to go ahead and get an implant on both sides. It would be nice to fill out my bra or swimsuit. I've never filled out ANYTHING before. I want to get this done and get it behind me, and do it during ONE surgery. Just looking at a B cup here..nothing fancy! I called earlier and they said it would be no problem. Well, when I got there, they found out the order time had passed (or something like that). So Brenda was running around phoning reps. By the time my appointment ended they had two reps who were going to hand deliver the implants Monday morning before the surgery. wow. Good news! I have not had that sharp pain in my abdomen! It has gone on for a year and now it is gone. So good!! I will not have to have the incision opened again. Praise God!

Monday, June 30, 2008

being transparent

OK...I'm at journaling class and we are going around the class introducing ourselves. We all pretty much know each other, but there are some that you don't know. It gets to me and I introduce myself..Jo, husband, children, teach, etc. Next... Then the leader says and She is a breast cancer survivor. Yes, I say. Next.

I go home and talk with a friend from class about it. Why does she do that? I want to put it behind me. Friend says, You can''s your witness. And I must agree!! It IS my witness to how God carried me through such a hard year. I absolutely could not have done it alone.

Fast forward...we get a new person in class. So we all introduce ourselves. It gets to me and everyone is just a grinning, cause just last week I told them all how I was offended weeks ago when the leader had 'finished' my intro. So YES...Jo, husband, kids, teach AND I'm a BC Survivor REAL LOUD!!! They all clapped and laughed. It was a great thing and I felt real good saying it!

Then they wanted real transparency so I told them the surgery was gonna be a little more than what I had said earlier and explained it all to them. You just hafta have a good humor with it all. Looking forward to my 'new me.'

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

1st ps visit

Here is the beginning of a "matching set". We knew from the very beginning that I'd have more surgery to complete the final outcome. With the first surgery, the mastectomy, you are reconstructed very nicely..Barbie style. It looks very nice. That's all well and good, except your good other side is still 42 years old and has nursed 4 babies!! lol So there is not a match there at all. Apparently many years ago this was fought in insurance, but they realize now that women HAVE to get the good side revised to match to be "altogether" again. So we discussed this and talked about an implant on the good side and lift to match the other. The only downfall was that I am so small chested! They really didn't have any implants my size! lol Then suggested I get the reconstructed side a little bigger to be able to get in an implant on the good side. I was like, NO!! I'm tired of surgeries! So they've ordered me a small saline implant for the right side and we'll be ready to go for surgery July 7. I'll have to come in for a pre-op with Kronowitz and the anesthesiologist. Another thing that has bothered me is a place in my abdominal area. A sharp pain there that comes from out of the blue. He is looking at reopening that incision to find out what is going on there. He will also do some liposuction on the reconstructed side to make a cleaner fold below the breast.

Friday, June 6, 2008

new haircut & guitar

I am loving this short hair!! I got another cut recently, colored, and highlighted. I was afraid of what it was going to cost and after I got to the register, I could tell WHY I was so afraid!! yikes! BUT, it looks great and I'm learning how to fix it so it looks very nice.

Well, got an electric guitar for my birthday!!! It was an Epiphone...from the local pawn shop. Used it a few days (had a 7 day return policy) and then picked up my cheapy Walmart acoustic and just couldn't stand it. We returned the Epiphone and the fellow who SOLD us the thing says, Yeah, it's got a bent neck on it...that could keep the sound from being just right! grrrr Thanks a lot for selling it to us! So, feeling real good about the return! lol

So we went to Houston and found one that is beautiful! It is a Takamine G Series... electric/acoustic. So I can plug in when I want or just go without. It's got a wonderful sound. I've gotten to take it to youth meetings and join in the band playing. It has been a dream come true to be able to do that. Learn the guitar and then to play with others. God is good!!!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Relay for Life

This was my first real Relay. It started with a meal given for survivors and their caregivers. The meal was great and we sat with one of my students from several years ago whose grandma also had breast cancer years ago. I also got a purple Survivors shirt.

At the appointed time the survivors & their families gathered at the archway. You went through the arch I guess as a way of saying "i've been through it!" lol But first the emcee (Officer Drake) had opening comments. Unfortunately the speaker system was BAD and you couldn't hear him at all. They had given him quite a bit to say, then the anthems, then some speakers. The people around us were getting was something I haven't really seen before! "Let us walk!" "Finish!" Bless his heart, I felt really bad for him. He did let up one speaker, but when it came for the second and they caused such an outroar, that he said we'd start the walk. And so we did.

It was the most moving experience. As you went around the track, all these people were just clapping for you! And you'd see so many people you know from town from one thing or the other.. church or school, etc. They played songs like "the Rocky Theme" or "I Will Survive" or "the Chariots of Fire song". It was so cool! At one point we just threw our arms up as winners.

I did stay the whole night...till 7 the next morning. We caught Mardi Gras beads, sang with the karaoke, participated in the audience for an Ellen show. We learned to dance the Superman song and just had a really good time! Didn't win a darn thing though...and there was coolest Relay bookbag!! lol Every time they call for anyone who was walking at that time, we'd all run to the track like we were walking!

I hope to be more involved in it next year and am contemplating different Relay fund raisers like I did this year. Can't wait to be there again in 2009.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

outted myself - Kids Relay for Life

This week was Relay for Life. Our school also has a Kids Relay for Life where the kids make banners and walked down to the track, make a lap, and come back. It is a big event for us. That Monday, as we talked about what Relay was and where the money that we were raising goes, I talked about chemo, cancer, etc. One girl wanted to know how you got it, so I talked about bad cells...and that there were many kinds of cancer. They asked what do you do for cancer? I talked about chemo and what it does to the cancer and that that's why some people lose their hair. We talked about their family members who have or have had cancer. I told them You know, most people who have cancer.... (and they replied Die.) I said, No..they just don't hear about hear about they people who have died. I told them they would be surprised to know how many people actually had it and they didn't know about it. At this point one of my little girls says, "Like you!". I smile and said That's right. The group just looks at me WHAT?! I smiled and said Yeah, I had it last year. But I had the kind of cancer that you could have surgery to take it out. And after that I had chemo. Remember Meet the Teacher Night? I had on a wig! WHAT? NO WAY! yep. And when I came back with the haircut after Christmas? My hair was finally that long again and I wanted to wear it like that. WHAT?! I told them it was neat to be able to look online and find any kind of hairdo that I wanted...any color, any style, any length. I asked them to think about it: did I ever come to school moping or crying? No. Did I ever say Oh, I think I'm going to die? No. I asked several things that let them know you can have cancer and still be OK!! Functional! Play frisbee! Be Normal! They asked why I hadn't told them sooner...why did I wait until the end of school? I said...cause we just now had Relay for Life. :o) So we made our Relay banner...and put our handprints on it. Those who had family members or friends who had dies we remembered. And those who were still with us, we honored. I told them if they didn't know anyone, to put my name down. It was a great walk and I think much more meaningful to them with them knowing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

hair tragedy

I may have told you I wasn't happy with my hair. Well, I had a meeting at church on Sunday that lasted til about 2. Afterwards I went by WalMart to get a cut and highlights. Their sign up sheet said No Chemicals, so I knew I wasn't getting highlights! But, still wanted the cut. Good thing I REALLY wanted it, the wait was over an hour. Only two stylists back there.

So, while I'm sitting there a little girl, not sure if I knew her or not from school or where, but, we got to talking. She showed me the picture from her hair book for her hairdo. It was Jamie Lee Curtis' picture!! I told her I had THAT picture on my board at school!!! And that it was the one that I was coming back for today! it's finally my turn and I go back and tell her what I want done. I know I can't get color, but here is the style. Longer on top so I can do the front section that lays down and to the side, and poofy in the back and short on sides over the ears. She reiterated the whole thing and knew exactly what I wanted. She gets to cutting and I'm thinking UM...WHAT are you doing?! The top..the part I wanted to be longer was CUT!! I didn't say anything...I mean once you have a cut there's no going back! lol

As I was talking with her I told her that I had wanted to have gotten highlights. That my hair had come back white/gray after chemo, that I colored it BROWN but it came out RED..that I highlighted it BLOND, but it came out LIGHT RED!! lol She laughed then turned to the lady at the counter...We're going to go ahead and do a quick cap on her...She's had chemo and some hair tragedy lately and we need to get it taken care of! Oh my gosh!! I couldn't believe it!

So while she is off mixing the color I flick my fingers through the she has it all combed to the front (no style-about to color it). So I make it go to the side and across the head like normal. I thought OH MY GOSH!!! I love it!! Dang, they know SO much more than I do! It was styled and shaped perfectly.

She does the highlights on top and it turned out really pretty!!! I went home..ALMOST went by Donna's first, but your family first!! I go in and Graland's mouth about drops! I ask Is it OK?! He says YES!!! I love it!! It's you again! I told him I almost went by Donna's cause it's NEVER going to look like this again!! lol He says Get in the car and go over!!

So, I am feeling good about myself. I learn more and more to keep my mouth shut. God has such bigger plans than I do. He wants so much more for me..and for most I would think...but we want to have it our own way and we just mess things up.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

covenant bracelet

I've been reading Believing God by Beth Moore...awesome book!! It talks about a shield of faith encompassing 5 beliefs: 1 God is who He says He is, 2 God can do what He says He can do, 3 I am who God made me, 4 I can do all things through Christ, 5 God's Word is alive and active in me. There was also a part about finding a weak part of your life and giving it to God and making a covenant with Him. It is funny...Donna has been reading the same book and called and said I need an accountability partner...and when she told me what hers was...I said "I want that too...count me in!" The weakness was self-control in the area of sweets. Now, this started the weekend before Easter (March 16) so it came at a perfect time. I had already eaten everything there was to eat since Christmas and Valentines and I knew how bad I was in the candy department. Buying whatever candy bar was there when I checked out of WalMart and whatever I had for rewards in my classroom. Part of the book suggested wearing a covenant bracelet to remind you of your promise to God. So Donna made some bracelets and we've worn them since that day, never taking them off. At the end of the covenant you make the bracelet into a bookmark. You set a date for however long you want your covenant to last..and we chose 3 months. Have I done it? YES! Well, I can't get the all goes to God. It has been amazing that I have not wanted or desired anything sweet. I can go through the checkout and not buy anything. I can have chocolate bars in my classroom and they remain there UNeaten! It HAS to be God as I have NO will-power. My covenant will end of my birthday: May 31. I'll be able to have birthday cake to celebrate. I have not had any cake, cookie, candy, pie, etc for this time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Life Flight

I have a student "G" who has changed medications several times since coming to our school. Very ADHD, loud, argumentative, doesn't let things drop. He is very bright, but I have a hard time keeping him focused..he'll sleep (meds) or stare into space. Mom/doctors changed his meds again. So it is his 2nd day on this medication and we've already had some going back and forth during class...not doing work, etc. I say that's fine, whatever you don't do in class can easily be done during recess. (Usually gets any student to finishing their work in record time!) We come back from lunch and he's got his head back and looks like he needs to vomit. I ask if he needs to throw up (while other student's are coming in getting their seats) and he says no. But he looks strange to me...not his usual strange-ness (smirky looks, mad faces, head rolling...which I know are all med related) I'm not calling him strange...but his mannerisms... Anyway, he doesn't look right and his arms are out and frankly he is scaring me to death. I take him by the arm and tell him to put his arm on mine and we leave to go to the nurse. I normally just send them down with a note, esp if I have a class in there. But I left w/o even having work on their desks...which I have NEVER done!!

I walk G down the hall and as I walk in the nurse's office I say that he is scaring me. She sits him down and immediately asks for his emergency card and the phone. You would think Christ Himself was there...and He was. Our nurse is the most amazing person I know. She sat so calmly with him and just was so upbeat and happy when it was evident to me that she was screaming inside...she knew the seriousness of this and never let on to G.

We try calming G, but he keeps putting his head way back...he is afraid his tongue is going to fall out. We're keeping his arms back in his lap and stroking his back and face to keep his attention and focus. She calls Mom and gets her on her way. He continually puts tissue in his mouth..I guess so he can feel something there...I don't know. Nurse says he is having a bad reaction to this new med. ( this time Principal has come in and other aids, room has been taken care of though they have no idea what has happened to me...just that I need someone in my room)

We wait a few minutes on Mom and the nurse says, I can't wait any longer...I need an ambulance. They came immediately, assessed him, and said We're not taking him local, he needs to go to Hermann in Houston.

Paramedics put him on the stretcher and roll him down the hallway, which was completely empty..thankfully. I didn't know until later that they had kept classes from coming down the hall so they wouldn't see anything and be scared. Much longer story...short...he was lifeflighted to Hermann and by then they had given him something to take away all his bad reactions. I saw him the next day with Mom...we had an ARD for speech for him. He was doing great, but Mom kept him out for the day to rest him up again. Our morning work for the day was to make Get Well Soon cards, which was neat. G was able to tell the class about his helicopter ride and he got to pick up all his cards. He is now completely off all his meds and I feel he is easier to be around now. Yes, he has his tendencies, but he is OK. The Lord taught me a lot about love and patience. G and I play frisbee everyday at recess (well, a BUNCH of us play it). I see how fragile each of these students are and keep a keener eye on them. I just thank God so much that He allowed me to see past what I would normally call "please go sit down" behavior. I beat myself up thinking "What if I attributed this to just how he is?" and told him to go sit down. I have to think that God's spirit interceded and took control over this situation.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Liking it now!

OK...this is STUPID I know, BUT...I like my hair now! :) We watched Freaky Friday with Jamie Lee Curtis in it and I HAVE that hair!! lol So I did some curling in the back and some waxing in the front on the bangs and it looks really cute! I just needed to do something with it. I've grown fond of the color. Got some eye brow pencil and using that now too. My brows just didn't come in very dark and they are rather hard to I was kinda blank there! So feeling real good about the whole "look"! :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

no more white hair!

Well, this weekend I dyed my hair a golden brown. If you know my hair, that means it is RED! I can put in pure blond and my hair comes out red! :( I had really thought it would come out brown and am not particularly happy with it. I didn't want a red tint to it, but that's what I've got. I know people are being nice when they say they like it, but I hear Oh, but I liked the looked so good! It made me feel old and it made me LOOK old. I wish I could lighten what I have now but it would probably make it worse than it is.

One year! 04/09/08

It is hard to seems as if it has been forever, but then like it was just yesterday... but one year ago we drove to MDAnderson to remove the cancer. Ironically, I got a phone message on the machine yesterday from our local hospital from mammography...saying something concerning last years mammogram. I just wanted to, WHAT?! Did my mammogram come back bad or something?! lol Playing phone tag at the moment with them. Really DO want to know what she wants to tell me!

Guitar is going great! I am still loving it! Learning more chords and able to read music pretty well. Try not to play anything with a B or an F in it though! lol I am looking like mad for a guitar the pawn shops and on ebay. I'll be teaching summer school this summer to pay for my guitar!! YEAH!!! I am SOOOOOOOOO excited!!!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

made the 15 minute club!!

We finally did it...the 15 minute club! We did it on Friday, and I made it then...but had 3 kids absent. So, ran it again today with them and made it again. I am really going to miss my runs with them. I am very much considering running in the mornings before school to keep this up.

a bit of depression

I went pretty low last night. I wore a blouse that had a band on the sleeves near the elbows and could feel that it was a little tight on the left side. Had kind of felt it a couple days now. I looked all over for the fabric tape measure and couldn't find it. Finally told Graland why I was looking for measure my arm girth. Told him I think I know what MAY be causing it, but didn't want to tell him what it was. I showed him my fingertips. "You have a cut?" No, but I've been working my fingers every day and they stay a little sore from practicing on the guitar. I practice every day...I love it!! I just started crying. I found something that I may be good at, and it comes back to bite me. :( When we went to bed all I could ask Graland was "Why does God hate me so much? It's bad enough that I sleep in sweat every night, but take away something I've grown to love?!" Then I cried some more because I knew I was sinning by even thinking something like that! I am SO thankful for how far He has brought me...I could not have done this alone.

At first I thought I had to give it up entirely. But we agreed that I would just cut back on maybe every other day or shorter session when I do practice. And I had JUST learned "B"!!! And YES!!! that was a HUGE accomplishment! It's a doozie. So today was the first day in about a month that I haven't picked up the guitar. So, in the meantime, I am still browsing through ebay "shopping" for just the right guitar. Acoustic, Gibson Epiphone... as if I know ANYTHING about kinds of guitars!! lol But, I did ask around on my ladies board and it happened to be one that I had kept looking at on ebay and one of the ladies said her husband has it and loves it. I have a little in my ebay account and am waiting for just the right steal.

Doing better today though...and actually my arm is doing much better as well!! At first glance you wouldn't think there was any swelling at all, but it is something I can feel, and I don't want it to get out of hand.

Monday, March 24, 2008

running again

I ran this past weekend to try to keep up my stamina for the 15 Minute Club. I enjoyed the run...plugged in my music real loud in the gym at school and took off! This morning, our first day back from Spring Break (work day) I put in some new music, cranked it up, and had the BEST time running. I can't believe I just said that!!! I PROMISE you I could NOT run to the end of the hall last year without feeling like I was going to pass out!

But I had in the Newsboys, Matthew West, Leeland, TobyMac, Casting Crowns to name a few artists. I timed the 15 minutes and ran it, but the music kept on I walked a few minutes to cool down some...then when a good TobyMac's One World came on...I had to start running again. I flew (arms out), I danced (was like being in jazz again) and just had the best time. The CD was a little more than 30 minutes long..and I quit when it quit. It was awesome! Wish I could do it every morning. I DO have to say that I have to wear a knee brace thing because my left knee hurts VERY bad the rest of the day. I used a knee band today, but it didn't seem to do much, so went this evening to get a long knee support. I'll use it tomorrow and hopefully it will make a big difference. Somehow I am going to HAVE to keep this up once the 15 Minute Club has ended.

hair cut

I don't think I mentioned that I got a haircut last week during Spring Break!! I'm sure the lady was must be with someone else... lol But it was getting kind of flippy on the bottom in the back and it just needed to be cleaned up, esp. around the ears. So, got the trim and it looks much nicer. It has gotten very thick again!! AND...I think it might have some curl/wave to it. :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

1 year checkup: Day 2

Let me just start off by saying what you might want to know right off: I got a CLEAN bill of health! :)

First appointment wasn't until 1130 today, so we got to enjoy our morning. Actually, it started GREAT!! The piano tuner came this morning. The poor thing hadn't been tuned for at least 10 years, plus the fact that it had sat in storage for several years.

I went to Dr. Green first. She hadn't gotten the results of the CAT scan yet and will call me Friday or Monday. Talked about how Tamoxifen was going (going well). Night sweats that I can take meds for, but I opted out of it. Even thought they do come almost every night, they don't last long. The med she'd put me is actually an anti-depressant, but apparently takes care of the sweats. We talked about chances of recurrence and she said that right now I have a lower percentage chance of getting cancer again because of the Tamoxifen. Where most people (w/o cancer) have a 12% chance of getting breast cancer, mine is lowered to 10% over my lifetime. She said the choice to have a prophylactic mastectomy was pretty much a personal fear thing at this point, but that my odds looked great. I had gotten this from my plastics guy and PA as well.

Then off to mammography. They were running a good hour behind and I should have enjoyed it while I had it!! lol Oh gosh! She took her first set of scans. Four of them. (For anyone wondering, NO, you do NOT get the mastectomy side scanned! I always wondered myself and you really just don't know if you don't ask!) Anyway, she took the scans back to the person that reads the scans and she had to re-do one....looks like calcification in the breast. So takes that scan back and comes back again..need some more scans..the calcification is on the chest wall. That is why the mammogram is so awkward and painful..she's not really having to get the fleshy part..but near the chest. AND!!! After the first round of scans she asked me if I had lost a lot of weight over the past year. I laughed NO!! She said comparing the scans from my last set...I looked smaller! Is that possible?! Could I be ANY smaller ?!!! lol Anyhoo, she comes back with with need a magnification of the last scans, so she does 2 more. When she finishes I ask how many scans she did. Seven. Seven? I say. It felt more like 20. She does tell me that everything looks good on it. The calcification looks vascular, which was good.

Then to see Dr. original doctor. I see his PA first, who does an exam, then talk with Dr. Ross, who also does an exam...oh brother. So I've had THREE breast exams today PLUS you don't even want to know what all went on doing the mammograms!!! He says the mammograms came out good and that he was pleased with everything and talked with me a while. I was talking with him about the insurance company accepting/not accepting an elective surgery. He said they (insurance) would accept it...he would have to say that I was emotionally distraught from the fear. Well, after talking with other patients and hearing what all the doctors recommended, I am not going to do anything more than the "balancing act" with the right side. Dr. Ross said I wouldn't be able to take anything from the tummy again and I do NOT want to do it from my back. I do remind myself that fear is not from God, so I leave this burden to Him to take for is not mine any more.

Personally, this is a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation. Everyone has their own opinion...and each think that their way is best...and make you feel as though theirs is what is best and that you're getting a lesser treatment. I do know I am comfortable with what my doctors have told me about my particular case.

So, we're coming down the elevator to leave and I get a call from Dr. Kronowitz' nurse who is working on getting down appointments. She pencils me in for August 25th. I say, uh, that's like the first week of school!!! So, she finds a place in July instead and recounts what all Dr. K would like to "fix" including whatever is wrong with the abdomen where it hurts. Looks like I could still teach summer school and be able to get this surgery done and have recovery time before the next school year starts.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

1 year checkup: Day 1

Early start...1st test is at 8am, so we leave home around 6 to get through traffic. We get there without any problems.

First test is a bone density scan. The bones can become weaker with the Tamoxifen so this is something they keep an eye on. OR the tam can strengthen the bone!!! go figure! I've not had this scan done before and a girl sitting beside me tells me it's no big deal and the less offensive of all the scans you can get. She is SO right! Unlike the CAT scan or MRI, the bone density machine does not go all the way around you. You still lay on the bed, but the machine has an "arm" that goes along your body slowly from above. It's almost like the metal bar they use at airports to wave over you to see if you have metal on you. But this metal bar goes parallel to the bed. Took just a few minutes. The results came back NORMAL! It scanned my hip/abdomen area, then one hip, then the other hip. I had to put on scrubs for the test and instead of changing back into my clothes, the fellow gave me a bag for my clothes so I didn't have to change each time today.

Then I had the bloodwork and chest x-ray. The nurse taking blood asked if I had had chemo yet. Yes. Thought so, your veins are real scarred from the chemo and it's hard to get to them. She did a great job though...I don't think I've ever had one that I didn't like. Chest x-ray is just standing in front of the x-ray machine and get a front and side view scan. Came back good!

Next I went to Dr. Green's office and asked for a prescription for the IV team for my CAT scan. I do not normally have good success with the IV's, so she suggested this several months ago. And after hearing what the girl said during bloodwork I was really wanting one! So I speak with one of the PA's from her office and she said Yes, definitely get the IV team, but that I did not need a prescription...just to ask. So when I signed in I requested the IV team do my IV and they wrote it on my chart. When they called me to the back they said they'd get someone for me and instantly someone was there...they had happened to be there and were about to leave when they snagged her for me! :) She asked about my other experiences and I said I infiltrated once and they both just kinda smiled, Yeah...I can see why you want the team here. lol Also that the last time they tried numerous times to get it and had to finally put it in near my thumb, which hurt immensely (still have a scar). She looked and looked and slapped and put in a warm towel trying to find a vein. Finally she looked closer to my wrist area and found one there. One stick and it was in. Yeah!

So, off to the CAT scan. Took a few short naps while waiting for this to come about. Finally called back and told them the same thing...infiltrated they took good care. Did the initial scans, then told me it was time for the iodine contrast. It hurt initially just a bit, but the scan took less than a minute to complete...and then it was over. was time to eat! Couldn't eat 3 hours prior to the CAT. It was regular lunch time, so I wasn't in dire straits thankfully.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


I had such a good night the other night! I sewed a few pillows that needed to go out, I practiced the guitar (Lisa is giving lessons after Youth), AND I practiced my piano! It was such a good feeling. Once I started sewing pillows the piano got dropped completely.. I had NO time at all to do it which was a let down for me.

I put Graland's laptop on the piano and bring up some videos I downloaded from YouTube. I've downloaded the chords from several Christian songs and am able to play along with the band. It is the neatest feeling. No, not ready to go on tour or anything!! BUT, I am getting better...having never learned how to do chords until recently.

Now, the most AWESOME thing that happened was that Kaci came in while I was playing. I asked if she wanted to play along with me and she said yes. So she pencils in the keys on the piano an octave above what I am playing. I show her the D..C..G...etc on the music and she plays it one fingered. After she gets it down, I show her the actual chords (which repeat themselves). And she was able to play through the song. I was SO proud of her! Now, if we could only get the piano TUNED!! lol We are waiting for someone to come, but he has his own schedule...

Speaking of tuned...I can't wait to figure out how to tune the guitar...I'm sure my strumming will sound less "cat screech-y" once it is tuned! lol This week we have to be able to lead from a D to a G and back. It is very uncomfortable and clumsy, but I'm getting better at it. I'm sure the family is looking forward to me adding another note to my 2-note repertoire. :)

made my goals

I've sold about 43 pillows so far!! It has tapered off a bit now which is consumed a week that I was sewing as soon as I got home until I went to bed. I've made about $860., have gotten several donations to cover part of the supplies. The only thing is that WalMart keeps running out of what I need and it's too expensive to run to the next Walmart 20 miles away. So, I wait for them to re-stock. In the meanwhile, the ribbon that they've been out of for a while now should be coming in the mail tomorrow!! It is ribbon for my pet pillows. I've had people waiting over a week now for these pillows, so I'm thrilled that it is finally coming in.

The other thing I've thought about doing/sewing is pillowcase dresses. I made one for Abbie out of a camouflage fabric (so Polk County!) and it turned out SO cute!! She can wear a brown long sleeve shirt under it. This would be a fun project, but it takes so many different sizes that I'm not quite sure how I'd go about it efficiently. Take fabric to show? But then...not just a lot of teachers with little girls...which is why I went with the pillow idea in the first place.

We interviewed a second candidate for Youth Pastor today. Honestly, either one will be delightful. They both showed a genuine love for making disciples of Christ and both appear to have a heart for youth. I think that God is opening doors that need to be opened in this situation. I pray the youth can see how He is working once everything is completed.

Monday, March 3, 2008

thank you God!!!

God is SOOOO good!!! I had some donations come in today to help with the cost of the pillows. I DO know that one of them on a very special day of a very special woman whom we will never forget. She and her family have such a powerful witness...pressed down and overflowing.

I am starting to put just an assortment of pillows in the lounge..they did very well today. Tomorrow I will put in a "special edition" to speak. Black tweed! Quite the opposite of the cream canvas that I've been working with. The black is beautiful, but not very easy to work there will not be many from that fabric.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

sewing, sewing, and more sewing

The photo pillows have sold very fact, it is taking every waking moment to get them all done! That's a good thing, don't get me wrong! And thankfully, I've got it down and streamlined the operation. I did have to go online this weekend to order some supplies. There is apparently a favorite color and ribbon which all the WalMarts from here to the Woodlands are either out of or not carrying. Graland drove to each one on Friday looking for the supplies.

I went online and found them in bulk. I am thinking that whatever supplies I still have left over at the end of all of this, I will bring back out to sell during Christmas or even go to Trade Days or something. Also, I think I'll start just making pillows with the supplies I have and sell them rather than take orders. At the place where I go the idea...the pillows were there to buy...not order. So, I'll see how it goes. I'll ask the church if I can have a table to sell them between services or go to WalMart and see if I can sell outside there. Also, go to the other schools...

Talked with Bea at the Torture House and she suggested I wait til Monday to go to businesses for it would be the beginning of the month. It was good to see the ladies there again. :)

Saw a sad thing this morning at church. A small boy hurting went to the alter to pray. He came back to the pew and was held in his fathers arms. Is that not what our Father wants of us? When we are come to Him? His arms are always open to take us in and hold us.

By the leave a comment..just click the 0 comments and it SHOULD take you to the page. :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

My Relay for Life Project

I came up with a Relay for Life project that I could actually do on my own. I'm sewing photo pillows. A pillow with a frame on the front where you can insert a picture. They are turning out really pretty and I'm so excited about them.

I began last Saturday with this idea. I went to the Dollar General to get a pillow form as WalMart's were a little high (4.77). After a while the girl at the DG asked if I needed help...then directed me to the pillows. They didn't have a price tag on them so I asked and she said they were 5-6 dollars. So I laughed and put it back. I told her I was working on a Relay for Life project and was looking for something less expensive. She immediately says OH, it's for Relay? I'll donate it. I about cried! We took it to the checkout where she had brought some of her personal money (not the stores). She rang it up and it was $8. She was so happy to donate it!! I told her I'd be back with the final project.

Went to WalMart and gave them a letter I had typed up for donations and was given a $20 gift that helped some too! :)

I showed the pillows at our faculty meeting and got 11 orders. :) I've been going back to WalMart again and again getting more supplies....Zach's bed is full of pillows right now!

At this writing, I have made my PRE goal of $100. and am working towards my Survivor goal of $500. I am hoping to exceed it...and I know I will because I serve a very big God.

In the meanwhile, I will go to different businesses in town to ask for donations to cover the cost of the supplies. Each pillow costs about $7. to make...$5 of that being the pillow form and I absolutely will NOT sell these without the pillow inside. Anyone wishing to donate towards supplies??? I have a PayPal button over on the right. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Should have been doing more.

Relay for Life is coming up in May and it has occurred to me that I should have been doing more this year for Relay. I was just sent an email from our school's team to start donations and sent it out last night. I also signed up for the Survivor's Lap. I'm looking forward to being there this year, esp. since I had to miss it last year. It's hard to believe a year has gone by and I am at the place I am now. Anyone is welcome to click on the badge to make a donation to Relay. The badge takes you to my page.

One thing that has been a boost for me is running every day. I can't believe I just said that!! lol I have NEVER been a runner...couldn't run down the hallway without getting winded. But I run with either my class on our PE days or another teacher's class when it is their day. I've unofficially made the 15 minute club, but you need to officially make each mark. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, then 12, and 15 minutes. I have promised the kids a pizza party if the ENTIRE class can make it. I do think we have a chance. And I hold the hand of anyone who looks like they are tiring.

The other thing that has been a boost is playing the piano again. Graland lugs this piano around from house to house and it gathers dust. I have always wanted to play praise music and learn how to do chords. Always...well, at least for the past 10 years I've wanted it, but just didn't know how. Well, I looked up on YouTube some tutorials and found a guy that does a good instruction. I've printed out a good handful of current praise songs and have been practicing every day. I told Graland that it was kind of funny...I look forward to the end of the school day to come home to practice and then I have to leave the piano grudgingly to go eat dinner. I have Graland's laptop sitting on the I have the music video of whatever song I'm playing to get the rhythm and full band effect. I have a long way to go, but it's been good for my heart. Abbie sings with me and she is a doll.

Monday, February 11, 2008

7 minute club

OK..each year the students have to do the 15 Minute Club. It is an above and beyond the 4 minutes that they are REQUIRED to do. And if you make the 15 min. club, you get a t-shirt and recognition. It takes many weeks to prepare the kids to make that run...beginning with getting them to run for 4 minutes, then 5, etc. Last week we began the club. 6 Minute Club. I usually run here and there with them to encourage them from dropping out. I have NO endurance at all!! I made the SIX Minute Club last week and it about killed me!! After 3 minutes I passed the coaches and said there was NO WAY I was going to make it! But I felt so bad that I was going to be the first one out, that I kept going.

So over the weekend I went to the part and ran. Half mile jog and half mile walk. I can jog maybe 2 minutes and that's it! I talked later with Donna and she said that I needed to do a baby step jog while I work up the endurance. It is very slow BUT I don't get out of breath...because once you do that, you can't recover from it. So today for the 7 minute club, I did the baby step jog and I MADE IT!!! (I also requested High School Musical music for our run!) I was so proud! I was going back to my room afterwards and ran into Donna. Well, she had a meeting to go to and wouldn't be able to run with HER kids (right after mine) and asked if I'd go in there and root them on to keep them going. So I ran ANOTHER 7 minutes...i did do a couple of slow walks and looks arounds, but I couldn't believe that I was able to do more so soon after. Getting ready I guess for the 8 minute club! :) It was funny...last week at the lunch table they were talking about Heather's husband running 20 miles (OK..he "only" did 15) and I interrupted with, Yeah? Well, I did the SIX Minute Club!!! Yes...I DID feel it was comparable!! :) I can't run down the hallway without pooping myself this was a huge accomplishment! :) yeah, me!

the torture team

I went to therapy today and got a picture of my "torture team". lol The pictures are on my camera at the moment, but I'll be posting them soon.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

genetic testing results

What a beautiful day for a drive! couldn't have been better! We got to the hospital early as I wanted to question the oncologists nurse about something unrelated...which turned out to be nothing. yeah! We visit the genetics person first. I am suddenly saying Oh great...I don't have a pen to write down all the information. She says, Well, there might not be much for you to write down...your test for gene mutation came back NEGATIVE! OH PRAISE GOD!!! I had prayed the night before for it to be negative...that if my girls got wouldn't be my fault they got it. And so it won't be!!! Now hopefully they just won't get it at all! She said the chances of my getting the cancer in the other breast are very low. But I didn't write it I need to call to get it mailed to me.

Then another genetics doctor spoke with us...I think we were just double booked on this thing. She told us the same thing the first consultant told us. I talked with her about getting the right breast removed and she looked kinda surprised..and said the risks were very slim, but that she wouldn't be against it, but to talk with my doctor and oncologist.

Next was plastics..Kronowitz. Visited with him quite a while. Graland said I definitely got my money's worth this time. ha ha They asked if I was interested in various "clean ups" (my terminology...not theirs). He showed my different things that needed to be done. Getting an injection underneath on the left side to make it more defined. I asked about my stomach indents...I asked if he could inject whatever there as well to smooth it out and he said he could. He told me it was my small size that makes it just draw in like that. I also have a small painful area on the right side of the stomach STILL that I can't get rid of. He said he could check it out when he does surgery next...which may be the end of July....waiting on a date.

I talked with him about removing the right breast and he was a bit taken back. I REALLY thought it would have been something they went for without question...but he is so realistic and said I should really talk with Dr. Green, my oncologist, about statistics. After getting my genetics back and looking through ALL my records, he did not advise it...that I could be doing more to the morbidity (?) I think that was his word. That I could be causing myself more harm than good if I did. But to do some research and see..according to MY personal records..if it is the right thing to do.

Then we talked about other surgeries. I said I was open to the nipple surgery and getting the right side "to match" with a lift and implant IF I decided against the removal. I DO go in during March for my one year check up when I'll see Dr. Ross and Dr. Green there will be lots to talk about then. The nipple surgery takes about 45 minutes in one of the offices there...not too big a deal. The other surgery would be an overnight stay and tenderness for about 7-10 days.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

my final therapy

The day finally came--I graduated from physical therapy! Talk about bittersweet. I first went there June almost exactly 8 months. Sherry measured my arm and it was normal. She checked my range of motion and it was normal. I don't remember if I mentioned before about not wearing my arm sleeve. I was getting an idea that it may be blocking the lymph in the elbow...when I take it off it just leaves a ring there like it is constricting. So I left it off for more than a week. That is when the measurements starting looking better. So I'm leaving it off until I feel I need it.

So after about 10 minutes Sherry says, Well I can't keep you anymore...we're through! I said, Oh shoot! But I didn't bring my camera! I wanted a last day picture! So we planned for next I could tell her the results of my gene/plastics appointment. I am forever grateful to that wonderful group of ladies. ((hugs))

Monday, January 28, 2008

1 year

Today marks my 1 year anniversary of my diagnosis. It was nothing big, but I commemorated it by wearing my pink Believe t-shirt that PRE made for relay for life.

After school I went to therapy. We did some measuring to compare to previous times and it looked like I was doing VERY well!! The elbow was still a little puffy, but the other parts were good. Sherry said to come back in a week just to monitor, no exercise. Did a range of motion on my arm and I couldn't believe it! The exercise where I am lying down with left arm extended and at a right angle...she was able to rotate it all the way to the mat. I have not EVER been able to do this--a first time. I was SO excited about that! She left for a while and I kept at it. When she came back she said, You're kinda liking that now, huh?! I couldn't wait to come home and show Graland. :)

Almost a year...

Wed., Jan 30 marks the one year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. It has been quite the year. One of so many blessings. Yes, it was rough, but God showered me with blessings that I would have either never had or maybe just never noticed. He has revealed the most remarkable promises through His Word. And given me friendships and prayer warriors that I did not know were possible.


I haven't gotten my test results back from MD about the bad gene possibility, but will hear more about it during my Feb 7 meeting.
Speaking of meetings!!! We had our faculty meeting today after school. During the positive comments time, several people voiced their thoughts. Thankfulness for aids, for Carla (our nurse), and for other things. I noticed that Heather was wearing a Believe shirt, so I said, Oh I have one and stood for my comment. I said, "I want to thank administration for letting us wear our Believe shirts on means a lot to me!" I sat down and all the second grade teachers are just looking at me with huge grins on their faces and laughing..."We're NOT!" I know I must have turned all shades of red and was like WHAT?!! So after another couple of people went, I stood back up, "SORRY! I THOUGHT WE COULD!" And sat back down! I was SO embarrassed.

The meeting ended and most went home. I went to my computer to email Dr. Sewell an apology and let her know how embarrassed I was at my error!! But it upset me SO MUCH! I got to thinking that it almost sounded like I was "downing" them for NOT letting us wear them. I just started crying and felt like such a heel. I talked with Donna and Heather afterwards and they were "What's wrong?!" They assured me admin wouldn't have taken it like that! That is was just so funny (which is WAS!!!). They were still laughing. "You were just so innocent when you said it! Like oopsie!" Dr. Sewell DID email me back with a lovely note which assured me that that everything was fine...and that she musta gotten a kick out of it too! lol I LOVE my school!!

Did I mention I got a new car?! A Nissan Sentra. We traded in Graland's Bronco for it. It is very snappy and the girls love it. Sad to say, but the BIG thing for the girls about the car was that it had electric windows!! lol

Sunday, January 13, 2008

the hair

hmmm....I seem to keep coming back to the hair, don't I?! I understand not wanting to scare the students, but right now I think it would have been easier that the students knew my history. Instead of "why did you get your hair cut" or "it makes you look old" or whatever, they could be saying "It's coming back in" or "look how long it is". Could be seeing someone come THROUGH cancer and live. I guess those who will be there will wonder when I take the survivors walk at Relay for Life. I have not wanted to keep my illness a secret, but will -in school- out of respect to those who've given me so much.

Two sides of the story...
boy student I had last year: During bus duty. Did you cut your hair? (yes, during Christmas) It freaked me out! (oh, yeah?) Like this side looks like a girl and this side looks like a boy. (Another teacher steps in...uh, I don't think so! I think it looks nice. The teacher later tells me she can't believe the boy was so rude esp. since he knew.... that is when I interrupted her and said, No, he didn't one does.)

teacher of student I have in class this year: K is so excited about your hair! (really?) Yes, she says you have the Freaky Friday haircut! (Yeah, I showed them a picture of Jamie Lee Curtis/Freaky Friday lady before I showed them the haircut. I'm glad you told me...I really needed to hear that!)

The first couple of days were difficult. It was a lot to throw on the students without warning. Although I could have gotten a "haircut" like this on my own and not thought anything of it. But it was time for me to step forward...I don't want to be like the other person who wore her wig and no one ever knew. I want more to be the one who went without to be a witness to the others who need the strength to be "themselves".

HOWEVER...wearing the wigs have been THE most fun!!! I loved shopping online for just the right one and getting to wear it. It didn't itch, it wasn't hot...but it WAS fun to wear. I would encourage ANY woman who want to "keep her hair" to definitely shop for a wig!! And I would also those around her to be supportive of whatever she decides to do....being with or without a wig. I had so many bad vibes from those who thought they were being supportive. "You should go's your head." When I had already gotten a wig and LOOKED FORWARD to wearing it! I mean, dang, I went through enough me in what *I* want to do with my hair! Sorry, this has been a sore subject with me that only a couple people knew about.

Spiked hair update! lol Tried it a couple times this week and I must say...I think it needs to be longer to do anything! Someone from church gave me some wax today and I will try it tonight before my shower. She says it really we'll see!

Monday, January 7, 2008


So, trying my hand at spiking my hair! I did the top spiked today and laid over the "bangs" to the side. It was fine for a VERY first try. I looked online just now and saw a style with more of the Drake look (coach at school). It is combed over on the top/front of the head and the spikes (so to speak) are on the perimeter. Will try this one tomorrow. Keep in mind that my hair is still WAY too short to get an actual spiked look!!! It doesn't really want to spike at all...but as long as I have this extremely short hair, I'll have fun while it lasts. Once it gets to a proper short length, I'll probably maintain it there and not go longer. It seems to be taking its time. But according to my eyelashes and eyebrows and regular body hair, it IS that is a comfort.

Speaking of comfort...I didn't eat Sherry's apple cobbler today at lunch!! Yeah me!! I am trying not to eat the school lunch and having soups instead...I need to fit back into some of my clothes!

Elaine REALLY worked on my scar today at PT. Graland thought my arm looked so much better today. I think she must have gotten a flow going from the arm. We've worked on the arm, but after therapy I always ache above the the lymph is THERE and not moving maybe? So, it was nice to NOT have that ache when I left today. I think something must have happened! yeah!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I fell.

Getting ready for a party last night and stepped up on the chair in the closet to reach the shoes I wanted from the shelf. I have NO idea what happened, but the chair tipped and I tried grabbing hold of the clothes and bar, but I think I just hit the wall with a yelp. Then when the wall didn't catch me I continued on down to the floor where I was met by the corner of a plastic box. Now THAT hurt. I checked and it wasn't bad. Graland said, Yeah, you'll get a bruise from that.

We go to the party. After an hour or so I go to the bathroom and check it out (the bruise, not the bathroom!) And OMG it is SO red/purple and gigantic! It looks SOOOOO bad!! When I got home I had to go to everyone's room to show them! Remember I fell? Well, take a look at THIS baby!!

*I'm* doing better today...but the bruise is just horrid!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Back to school with my own hair!

The kids were cute...I came in with my leopard skin/black pattern hat to start the day. I passed around a picture of Jamie Lee Curtis and told them I'd gotten a haircut similar to hers and that I am in the process of getting that hairdo. They liked it and mentioned that it looked like me. But one person mentioned, yes, but that I don't have white hair..mine is blond. I said, well, actually mine IS white! Gray really, but white sounds so much better! lol

I called up the kids who had buzz haircuts..which is half the class. Told them we had the same haircut. Then took off the hat. They were very surprised. Of course, a kid that already had a grown out buzz, who gets it cut gets the You got a haircut, snicker.... So I didn't worry about this too much. lol The kicker though was this PRICELESS comment!!! "Is that a wig?!" lol What a hoot!! Nope, not a wig! So I took my hat on and off at times throughout the day...still afraid of getting sick and it is too cold to not want to keep warm!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year 2008

What a year! But with every year, I get to end it with an Anniversary! Twenty-one years this past December 27th. We tried the new restaurant in town, Buster McNutty. I had the Mauhi-Mauhi (sp?) It was fabulous!! I've never had it before and it is now my favorite!

A funny statement from this week: Kaci says This was the BEST year ever!! I just kinda looked at Graland and we look at each other and smile. lol I'm like, well, not exactly THE best ever, but .... I am glad for her though that despite everything that has happened, she has remained optimistic and loving. Enough that it WAS a great year for her and you know I should have known that about her! For every day without fail she has come MANY times during the day to tell us she loves us. God DID make this a great year for her...she listened to Him and shared the love that could only have come from Him. She did her "job" so to speak...she SHOULD feel great! Her love overflows.

We had a good New Year's! We watched old Lucy shows..the kids have never seen them and these are episodes I've never seen either! So lots of laugh and a good time for everyone to ring in the New Year. Here is to an even better BEST year ever. ((hugs))

I cannot say how much I appreciate the time and effort people given me...through prayers, finances, food, words of encouragement, and time. This HAS been the best year ever..had I not gone through it..I would have missed so much that was right before my eyes.