Saturday, February 28, 2009

Home at last!

We finally got home today around 4:15. We set Tina up on the couch where she has been resting well. It was starting to seem like I was living at the hospital! It is so great to have her home - and Sadie was very happy to have Momma home. We had to keep her from jumping up on her! Alyssa made Tina some white rice - thank you Alyssa! Rachel called a while ago to check up on her momma. Shonna is home now to say hi to "momma bear" for a few minutes before she is off on another adventure!
Momma's HOME !!!!!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Pathology update

Hey everyone! Its actually Tina writing this time!
I wanted to let everyone know the results of the pathology tests, at least as much as I know. The surgeon took 21 lymph nodes total, and of those, only 2 had cancer cells. I consider that to be good news. As far as anyone knows, we may have gotten all the cancer. The problem, of course, is that there is no way to know for sure. Therefore, I'll probably have to have chemo. The only other thing I found out was that my tumor was "moderately differentiated", which apparently means it was not an aggressive tumor.
My surgeon said he will set up an appt. with an oncologist after my post-op appt., which should be 1-2 weeks after I'm released from the hospital. So, I won't actually know what the plan of attack is for a few weeks yet. I just need time to heal and thats all my surgeon wants me to think about for now. I was even told not to diet or place any restrictions on what I eat. Just listen to my body and eat whatever I think it needs. The only thing I need to make sure I get enough of is protein, because it will help my body heal faster. Too bad chips don't help the body heal faster!
I can eat anything I want, as of today, but am still sticking to soft-solids. I still have some nausea after eating because my "plumbing" is not all working quite as it should be, but its getting there. I'm getting 3 small meals and 3 snacks today.
I might be able to come home tomorrow, if my nausea goes away. They took me off the big drugs today and changed me to Percoset. I was very nervous to be disconnected from my pain killer, but the percoset works fine! I definitely can tell when its time for my next dose tho!
I have no more IVs at all now. I didn't know what to do with my hands when I went for my first walk without my "Sammy" pole. (I had to name it--we had a pretty intimate relationship!) Now on to a more "delicate" subject: Wed. they took my catheter (Foley) out, but had to put it back in. I was SOOOO disappointed!! It was depressing. But a urologist stopped by and explained that it is common to have this problem with the type of surgery I had. I'll have to bring it home with me, and then go to the clinic sometime next week to have it removed again. I write about this personal stuff in case there is someone else out there going thru the same thing I am, and maybe they'll feel little better knowing they are not alone. If any of you have had experiences with caths at home, be sure to let me know!
I have enjoyed reading everyone's comments, emails and cards. Thanks so much!!!
Love and blessings!

Quick Update

Hello everyone,
Mom is doing pretty well. They are going to try and start doing meds in pill form today - this needs to happen before mom can come home, and she's been nauseated lately so they haven't done it yet. Hopefully it will work just fine today!
Yesterday was a little boring for mom since all her visitors stayed home due to the weather. But she said it was ok since she wasn't feeling all that great. I talked to her this morning and she sounded great - you wouldn't even know she was in the hospital from the way she sounds!
Mom might be able to come home on Sunday, which would be wonderful. I will post another update when there is more news.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Best dinner ever!

Mom is looking like her old self! Grandma, Lys, Jaren, and I visited her this afternoon (along with Dad of course!). Mom went for a walk with Sammy (the IV pole!) and was visited by a therapy dog, Sasha. Her room looks beautiful with all the flowers and cards that were sent - thanks everyone!

The best part was when the surgeon said Mom could start having liquids! She had some apple juice and then for supper, some beef broth, which she said was the best dinner ever! She couldn't believe how good it was, she even made Dad taste it! hehe.

All in all, it was a pretty good day. Mom should be able to come by the end of the week, but she still has a few weeks of recovery to go.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Tina's Monday Update

Monday 23rd February
Typed by Rich as told by Tina!
Today has been a much better day! I finally got some actual sleep last night. I was able to wash my hair finally – yea !!! About 1:30 I walked down to the family visiting area where Rich, Rachel, Shonna and Heidi T. were waiting. We all visited there for awhile. Then I walked one time around the nurse’s station. About 4:00 I went for another walk around the nurse’s station and down the hall a short way and back around the station again!

I want to thank everyone for the prayers, thoughts, cards and flowers. I am still waiting for the plumbing to start so I can have something more than ice chips. I am finally starting to feel hungry! Rich is still here and we are waiting for Chuck to start at 7:00.
Love ya all

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday 22 February
Busy day today for Tina! I went to 2nd service today because the congregation prayed over Jaren since he is deploying soon and I wanted to be there for that. I got to the hospital about 12:30. Craig, Mary, and Donna were already here for a good visit. Then Jaren and Alyssa showed up! Shortly after Craig and Mary left, Terri, Aileen, Kelly, and Emma came up to visit. Rachel came up about 4:30. So there were many visitors today!

Pain medication was adjusted to Morphine for awhile but that did not work so well. She was switched back to Dilaudid again.

Tina was finally moved to a private room one floor lower today about 4:00 which will give a chance to finally get some rest! While we were waiting in the family area, Tina surprised all of us by walking in the room for a visit! She was able to sit in a chair for a short while then I walked her back to her new room. That short walk really took a lot of effort – but she did great! Rachel and I are still here in the family area – will write more later!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hey all
I just got home from the hospital. Sat with Tina most of the day. Her day started with a lot of pain. For some reason the nurses said they were behind in the pain management – something to do with the epidural not working right for several hours. By the way, the epidural was removed today about 1:30. Today Tina said she wanted to try sitting up so about 3:00 this afternoon, she sat up on the edge of the bed for about 5 minutes which was a big milestone considering how the morning went!
About 4:30 she was wheeled down in her bed for a chest x-ray to check for pneumonia since her temperature has been up a little. When I left we did not yet have the results.
I feel horrible leaving her there alone – but I only have a few hours to try to get some things done, try to sleep, get to church, and then get back to the hospital.

Dee's note

Hi Tina,
Well, today is not a good day for you. You are in SO much pain and it breaks our hearts that you have to go through this. You don't want visitors so I spent my time talking to Shonna and Rich when they stepped out of the room. They weren't sure you even wanted them there.

The staff is currently working on pain management for you. Rich couldn't quite understand it all but he said they got behind on the pain management because of some issue with the epidural? Who knows. All Shonna knew is they gave you a differnt drug (Dilaudid?) for pain. I had hallucinations from that drug and I hope it's better for you.

As we watch you hurt, we want so badly to do something. And so we cry. Shonna cries. Dee Cries. Rich cries. It's all so hard. For today, it dampens the joy we had over a successful surgery.

I call on the ONE who is greater than all the pain, sickness and disease and ask Him to comfort you and to give you peace and rest and healing. In Jesus Name I ask. Amen and amen.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another update/prayer request

**PLEASE SEE POST-SURGERY UPDATE BELOW if you have not already read it!**

This was sent to me from Dee, Tina's sister:

"Prayer request:
Sounds weird, but pray for Tina's body to be able to pass *gas*. She won't be able eat until her body starts to function normally, which is judged by whether gas can progress normally through the system. The doc said it takes about three days. She said, "Pray cuz I'm hungry!" (She later admitted that she wasn't really hungry yet.)

She's very alert and seems totally 'with it' but as the anesthesia wears off, that might change. Please continue to pray for peace and healing as she and her husband and girls await the pathology reports."


Surgery update

Hello, all. This is Rachel, your update guide, speaking...

Surgery went well and the surgeon says he got it all. It was a little bigger than he expected, but there were no complications or problems. They were able to reattach the colon just fine. The surgery itself took about 4 hours. She went under at 10:30 or so and we didn't get to see her til after 6. It was a really long day, but we made it. Dad is still there along with my aunt and grandma. I'm not sure when they'll kick them out, but I am sure Dad will stay as long as he can! Mom was doing ok, but she was thirsty and sucking on ice chips. We won't know anything else as far as staging or if any lymph nodes are affected til the pathology report comes, which won't be til next Tuesday or Wednesday - looong wait for us! The best news would be that it has not spread to any of the lymph nodes.

We truly appreciate all your prayers and concern! Please don't forget to pray for my dad and sisters as they go through all this. Thank you! We'll post another update when there is one!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Surgery time

I just got the call--surgery will be around 10:30 am tomorrow (Friday). I have to be at the hospital at 9 am--kind of nice that its not 6 am!
I'm just sitting here eating some orange jello. Its all I've had today (other than the gallon of cleansing stuff I had to drink-yuk!). I've packed my bag--pjs, robe, bag of toiletries, makeup, socks/slippers, etc. I suppose I should put in some books and magazines, and my Bible. I'll put the bag in the car, but I'll have Rich bring it in later in the day, or even Sat. I won't be needing anything tomorrow. I also paid bills and have been doing some light cleaning. Don't have enough energy for much else!
I'm still feeling peaceful about surgery, and cancer. Of course I don't look forward to how I'll be feeling the next week or so, but its something I have to do, so lets get on with it!
I'll be resting as much as possible today (until I remember something else that needs to be done before I go!), eating jello, and drinking apple juice! Maybe I'll have some tea to warm me up....
Love and Blessings!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


OK, that might be a weird name for a blog of someone who has cancer, but today has been a good day, overall. I started a little down (I suddenly got overwhelmed last night--I had been mostly ok before that), but all the wonderful people I work with (and the kids too!) lifted my spirits. Thanks for all the hugs and cards!
When I got home there was a big package for me that came in the mail. It was a wonderfully SOFT robe sent by a dear friend who lives up north. We've been friends since about 9th grade. It was the PERFECT gift, since I still haven't bought a robe, and was going to go out tonight to look for one. Thank you Diane! Love you girl!
About 5pm Rich and I went to church (Bridgewood). They were having their leadership meeting and invited us in for prayer. It was sooo powerful. I left there floating on a cloud and so excited! God can and does do miracles. Wouldn't it be great if the surgeon gets a big surprise when he opens me up? I'll be sure to tell him where it came from!! I'm glad they prayed for Rich and the girls too, because I worry about them. I hate causing anyone any stress. One lady prayed for peaceful, restful sleep for my family. Rich had just told me on the way to church that he hadn't been sleeping well, so that prayer was directly from God. I'm hoping this feeling carries me through until I'm put under Friday.:-) No matter what path God wants me to walk, I'll be fine knowing He is with me always. Its worth it to go through this, if just to feel God's presence. If anyone is looking for a Biblical, Christian church, I highly recommend Bridgewood Community Church.
One thing I've discovered about myself is that its best if I don't read about colon cancer. Which is sort of weird for me because normally I like to research medical issues, and I definitely like to be informed about anything that is happening to me. But everytime I read something, I start feeing down. There is so many different ways this can turn out, I've decided I'm just going to wait and see what's in store for me, instead of worrying about all the different possibilities. Like I've stated before, its in God's hands.
Well, I've told some people at work to keep me posted on everything, and they've assured me they will. I'm looking forward to lots of e-mails to read while I'm recovering!! I'm really going to miss everyone and the kids (except one particular group in the lunchroom--right Sandy??) And Sandy, I owe you one --big time!!
Love and Blessings to you all! I'm remembering your kindnesses in my prayers! (you can send prayer requests my way, because I'll have plenty of time to pray!)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting nervous

Hey everyone!
Thanks for the comments and e-mails!
I have to say I am getting nervous about this surgery. I don't feel sick, and I'm not in any pain, yet I have to go and get my colon resectioned! Weird! When I get to the hospital Friday, I'm going to tell them to get me on some drugs ASAP. Something to help me relax :-).
The last few days were very normal, and at times I could forget that I have cancer. But then, of course, something would remind me. I went to see my primary care doc for my pre-op, and that even made me nervous--just another step closer to making this surgery a reality. She (my doc) said she was surprised when she saw the results of the colonoscopy. She was very kind. I asked her if I was doing the right thing, because everything has happened so fast I haven't really thought about if there are other options. She definitely felt I was doing what I should. She said the time I might want a second opinion is after surgery, when we are deciding on a treatment plan. It was comforting to have her opinion. All decisions have been made for me, and I wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.
Sunday I went to church for the first time since this has all happened. I was nervous about going because I knew I would cry. I often get tears during worship anyway, and this time was much worse. The awesomeness (sp?) of God is just overwhelming. I know He loves me and cares for me. After service I went up for prayer and Pastor Tom annointed my head with oil and prayed for me. I felt soooooo much better afterward. It was worth the tears! I felt God's peace so strongly! All I really need from God is to feel His presence and know He's there. I can handle anything if I know that. Wed. Rich and I are going to church during their staff meeting to have them all pray for us--like the verse James 5:14 says. Thank you to all the people at Bridgewood! What a wonderful church!
So now I want to put in a plug for Facebook! Any COUSINS of mine reading this should start a facebook and search for my name and "friend" me. I've been wanting to start a group where we can post pics and keep in touch, and I think facebook is the best way cuz its private, easy, and alot of people have them anyway now.
So that's my update for now. I'm off to work soon--only 2 days left, then I'm off for about 6 weeks.
Love ya all!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009


So today I went shopping. Rich had to go in to work, so I headed to Kohl's! I decided I wanted some cute pajamas for the hospital :-) (on sale and 20% coupon!). I'm bummed over the fact that I can't wear mascara or even deoderant (the most nerve-wracking day of my life and no deoderant???), or anything in my hair to the hospital. I had planned on putting some mousse in my hair after I washed it so it would hold its shape a little bit until I could shower. My husband (and probably most of you) thinks I'm being ridiculous, of course. But, hey, a girl's gotta think of these things--I bet many of you females out there would think about the same things--right?? But I was happy to get pajamas (3 different outfits). It made me feel good to be out doing normal things. I still have to get a haircut tho, but the place was too busy.
I ran into my cousin Brenda at Kohl's. It seemed so odd and out of place--she lives in Osceola. Maybe there was a reason we randomly ran into each other? It was nice to see her. I also got a call from aunt Helen this morning. That was very thoughtful of her--she let me know her and Jack will be thinking of me and praying for me.
Some people have asked me how I feel physically. I feel fine! The symptoms I am having aren't even bothersome. No cramping or stomach pain--nothing. This sort of makes it more difficult to go in for surgery. I know when the drugs wear off I'm gonna be in a lot of pain, and its hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I have a tumor in me!
I was happy to see from my pre-op tests that my hemoglobin is back up to 12.6. It was only 10.5 in Oct. due to some "female" trouble I was having. (Ladies if you want to know about the wonders of ablation, just ask!) I have definitely been feeling less tired after work. All the other tests came back fine too--white blood cell, kidney and liver function, etc. I'm hoping this all means the cancer hasn't spread.
So, hope this finds all of YOU doing well.
Love and blessing!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Its elementary my dear!

Hey, just wanted to say thanks to everyone at school for the thoughts, prayers, HUGS!!, and laughs. What a wonderful group of people I work with! I came in feeling down, and left with a smile! A couple of funnies to share with you:
The lovely Mrs. V was telling me she was going to call on her angels to help me, and just then up walked a certain 5th grade teacher in his pink sweater. My thoughts? If this is my angel I'm in BIG trouble. (Just kidding Mr. T!!!)
The equally lovely Mrs. Johnson, in her sweet sensitive way, told me I would soon be the perfect asshole!! Don't wanna think about that one too long, but it sure made me laugh!!
Everyone was offering to help, but thanks to my mom, sister, daughters and hubby, I won't need much. But if you have a chance send me an e-mail after my surgery. Let me know how you all are doing, and tell me stories about the kiddos. You can use the contact info here or send it to my work e-mail.
Thanks also to everyone else thinking of me, it really helps alot!
My morning was a little rough--you know--one of those days you want to stay in bed and have a good cry. I prayed and read some Psalms and God really gave me His peace. I'll be reading alot of Psalms this next week! I will also be doing alot to get ready---I'm already making lists! Gotta buy a ton of mac 'n cheese for #3 daughter, make sure bills are paid, clean, teach daughter #2 how to properly load the dishwasher, show hubby where my passwords are, etc., etc. I keep thinking of little things that need to be done. It'll be interesting to see what happens around here! Might make for some funny stories!
Love and blessings!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What a week!

I'll start at the beginning...
Last Friday, the 6th of Feb., I had a colonoscopy done due to some problems I was having. Since everyone asks, I'll tell you the main problems I was having--blood and mucus in the stool. Sorry if you didn't want to know that, but so many people have asked. And if you have these problems you'll know not to wait and get it checked out ASAP!! Anyways, the doc found a tumor in my colon. He set me up for a CT scan that afternoon, and made an appt. with a surgeon for the following Thurs. (which was today).
On Tues. the doc called me and said the tumor is cancerous, but there were no other tumors on the scan.
Today I met the surgeon. He's a nice enough guy. The nurse said I'll be in good hands. She, Michelle, was REALLY nice, and spent alot of time with us, answering all our questions and going over everything with us. Rich went with me, of course. (He's been by my side through this all, and I know its hard on him too.) After spending alot of time with Michelle, I had to have some blood drawn (pre-op stuff), and got a chest x-ray.
The surgery will be done next Friday, the 2oth of February. Apparently there were a couple other "nodules" on the scan that I didn't know about. Well, one I did, and the doc thinks it might just be a fatty deposit, but the other one is near the tumor and the surgeon thinks it could be a lymph node. He'll find them both during the surgery and remove if necessary. The location of the tumor is in an "ok" place. Not the best, and not the worst. The surgeon (His name is Dr. Wolpert) thinks he'll be able to reconstruct everything, but there are no guarantees. He expects to remove about 12 inches of my colon.
I'll be in the hospital (Regions)5-7 days, and unable to work about 6 weeks(!). I'll have the results of the tests from the removed tissue and lymph nodes 2-3 days after surgery. That is when they'll have all the info they need to stage the cancer. From there we'll decide whether I need an oncologist, and whether I'll need chemo. Dr Wolpert said chemo is quite common for colon cancer. Some people even need radiation too.
I'm holding up ok. This has all happened so fast! Today was really tough. Surgery scares me. For you prayer warriors, I'm praying that the cancer hasn't spread, that the "nodule" is just some blip--or gone by the time he gets in there! And I really just need peace. My biggest fear, of course, is the colostomy. I don't want to live with one for the rest of my life!!
God is with me, and no matter what happens, remember He is good! ALL THE TIME!!
Love ya all,