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.

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