Friday, February 26, 2010

Well, this has been my last week off before I go back to work. It's been a busy couple of weeks! Looking at my calendar there is something written on almost everyday. Today was the first day in awhile that I didn't have anything planned. So I did laundry! And went out to lunch with Alyssa and Shonna--won't be able to do that for awhile!
Last Sunday my friend Pam wanted to get the elders of the church to pray for me. So after the service she tracked a few down and the senior pastor, Tom, anointed my head with oil and they prayed for me. It felt so awesome! I really have nothing to fear--God is watching over me, and He loves me and cares for me. I need to put on the full armor of God and stand strong against Satan!
Today I talked to my Primary doctor and she will set up the biopsy for the calcifications in my left breast. I told her I either want to do it during Spring Break (the end of March), or wait until school is out in June. She thought it best if I get it done during Spring Break. She didn't think it was a good idea to wait so long. So, I guess that's what I'll do! I just don't want to miss anymore work than I have to.
Next week I only work 3 days. We have Friday off so I scheduled my colonoscopy for then, but I need to take the day before (Thurs.) off to prep. Weird prep this time. Instead of just drinking the large jug of "go-litely" stuff, I have to mix Miralax with Gatorade, take 2 dulcolax pills, and drink some other stuff 4 hours before the test (which means I have to get up at 5am, because my test is at 9:15!). Sounds alot more complicated!
Really tired tonight. Not sure why--I don't think I slept too well last night. My mind was busy thinking about going back to work.
Brennan is cute as ever and getting big! I think he's over 16 pounds now. He's 5 months old today. He's getting strong. I've had the chance to babysit him a few times the last 2 weeks. That's the worst part about going back to work--now I won't be able to watch him for Rachel if she needs me during the day. Shonna's happy tho--she figures she'll get him more often now!
Alyssa and Jaren are doing well. He's back working as the CSO at our local police station. Alyssa had a bridal shower at Jaren's Godmother's house on Sat. It was very nice, and she got lots of great gifts.
Hope all is well with everyone!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nerves and Nausea

Today I had to go to the Cancer Care Center to get my port flushed. I remembered to put the Emla cream on my port (numbs the area so the needle doesn't hurt so much), and I remembered to bring the treats we had bought (if anyone still wants to donate treats, we'll be going back in a month). Before I went out the door I felt like I was forgetting something. Do I need my scarf to protect my throat from the cold? No. Do I need my bag with books and snacks? No. I better drink cold water now because I won't be able to later. Oh, wait, yes I will still be able to have cold stuff because I'm NOT getting chemo!!!
My stomach started tightening up with all these thoughts. I just kept taking deep breaths, and reminded myself that I'm done with the bad stuff. I started feeling nauseous as soon as I left the house. I brought my Ativan with, just in case, but didn't want to take anything because I figured since I wasn't getting chemo, the nausea wouldn't last long. (3 hours later my stomach still feels a little yucky!)
It felt so weird being back there. My nurse, Andrea, was there, but she wasn't the one flushing my port. But she did come over to see new pics of Brennan, and to see how I was doing. That's the good part about going in--the nurses are so nice! Rich went with me, even tho I assured him I would be fine going by myself. But I'm always glad to have him there with me!
While I was there I asked my oncologist's nurse to ask him what he thinks about the mammogram report. She talked to him then came back to the infusion room to tell me what he said. Basically, he agreed with the radiologist and I should go ahead and get a "stereotactic" biopsy. I'll have to look that word up--but from what the radiologist said, its a thin needle that will take some of the calcifications out so they can be biopsied (sp?). He said it doesn't hurt. The nurse gave me a copy of the report, and it says that one group of calcifications looks like it may be DCIS (a non-invasive type of breast cancer).
DCIS is a cancer that doesn't spread, and doesn't grow very fast. The radiologist said if I left it for a few years, it may become a lump. So its not life-threatening. The worst part about it is I will be at higher risk for other types of breast cancer. I'm still annoyed at the whole thing, but not worried. :)
I hope that anyone reading this who has cancer, or is going through any other deep valley, realizes they don't have to go through it alone. God is there to hold you and carry you, all you have to do is ask! On this earth we will have troubles, but if we believe in God and His son Jesus, we can spend eternity with them, where there is no sickness, no pain, and no tears. That is so amazing to think about! God is so good!
Love you all!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2nd Mammogram

I went in this afternoon for more pictures of my left breast. The radiologist saw some calcifications, and needed a different view and higher magnification to see them better. He doesn't know if they are pre-cancerous or not. I will have to have pieces of them removed and looked at. He said there is no hurry, they are contained in the duct and won't spread anywhere. He said something about DCIS, which is a type of cancer that is non-invasive. So if it were cancer, that's what it would be. Even though its non-invasive (doesn't spread), once you've had it you have a higher risk of getting DCIS again, or an invasive type of cancer.

I'm having the report sent to my oncologist, as well as my primary doc. I go in Friday to the cancer center to get my port flushed, and I'm thinking about calling tomorrow to see if my onc. will have time to see me on Friday. I'll feel better after talking to him. Not that I'm really worried right now, but I just trust his judgement and I want him to tell me what I should do.

So, not what I needed right now, but not too bad either. I'm not worried, just annoyed! I read in 2 Chronicles how the Lord was unhappy with Asa (King of Judah) for relying on other Kings to help fight Judah's battles and relying on physicians to heal him. God wanted Asa to rely on HIM, as Asa had been for many years prior to this. It was a good message for me. Doesn't mean I shouldn't see doctors and let them do their thing, but I need to rely on God, and trust that HE is in control. Whatever happens to me is His will, and He is ALWAYS good!
Thanks for checking in!
Love and Blessings!

Monday, February 15, 2010


I wrote in my last post about my mammogram, and how I was a little nervous. I thought I was reading too much into the things the tech said (and what she didn't say), but somehow I felt I'd get that call come Mon. or Tues. And sure enough, I got a call from radiology today and they need me to come back in to get more pictures done. Of course the scheduler lady didn't say why. But she did say the radiologist would be there to look at my scans right away, so I wouldn't have to come back in again. I have had many mammograms, due to a family history of breast cancer. My mom has had it, 2 of her sisters, and several of her aunts. I've never had a call back before. So, yes, I am nervous. I wanted to cry after getting the phone call--that's what I do when I'm nervous. I know it could be nothing, but after what I've been through this past year, I really didn't need to get that call! Its just too soon.

Wed. afternoon is when I go back in, so feel free to pray for me! Its human nature to be nervous, but I've got the Holy Spirit in me to help me overcome my fears. I've tried not to think about it most of the day, but now I need to spend some time praying. God will get me through this!

On a happier note, I sure laughed hard at little Brennan today! Jaren was making funny noises at him and Brennan's reaction was soooo hilarious! Even when he's fussy, he's such a joy!

I'll let you all know how things go on Wed.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Life is Good!

I've had a busy week. I like being busy, but the house sure suffers when I'm gone alot! And it makes the days pass too quickly. There are still things I'm hoping to get done before I go back to work on the 1st of March.
Wed. I went to church to do some copying for the Children's pastor, who happens to be a good friend of mine. It was nice to visit with her! I used to help her out once a week after work, and it felt good to be able to help out again! I plan on going there every week again like I used to.
After helping out at church, I had lunch with a retired friend from work. It was a nice lunch, and I'm glad we could finally get together!
After lunch I went to Target to get groceries. By the time I got home, my legs were really tired! Too much standing and walking around. I guess I still got some work to do on building my strength back up!
Today I had my mammogram. It was 6 months over due. I was more nervous than usual. I guess knowing that there could still be cancer cells floating around in my body made me wonder if they could end up in my breasts. I have a family history of breast cancer, and always assumed if I did get cancer, that's where I'd get it. The tech that did the test on me today told me that if more pictures were needed they'd call me Mon. or Tues. She said a couple of times that she can't read the scans, the radiologist did that. I kept wondering if she saw something and just wasn't telling me. I think I was reading WAY too much into it. :)
After the mammogram I had lunch with Rich, Jaren, and Alyssa. I had been wanting Chinese for awhile and there was a good buffet nearby. After we were done eating Rich took a lens cleaning wipe out of his pocket to clean his sunglasses (I think). The smell of alcohol from the wipe immediately made me feel sick to my stomach. I was surprised at my response. Its from having the nurses wipe my port with alcohol (or something that smells like it) before chemo. I don't like
having psychological responses to things--it makes me feel like I'm not in control of myself. I expected to have that response when I get my port flushed, but not everytime I smell alcohol, no matter where I am!
I am sort of looking forward to having my port flushed, because it'll be nice to see the nurses again, but I am nervous too, because of the nausea. And it'll just be weird being back there. I would like to volunteer at the cancer center, if I didn't have to work. I might do it in the summer, when I have off.
Tomorrow I'm having lunch with a former classmate that I haven't seen since 1982! I found her on facebook and found out she is a cancer survivor too. She has a very positive, supportive attitude that has helped me through some rough days. There are many others that cheered me on too!
Friday night Rich and I are having dinner with friends that used to be our neighbors. Its been a year or 2 since we have gotten together with them, and I expect it to be a fun evening. Its soooo nice to finally feel well enough to get out and see people again! I used to put off getting together with friends, thinking there would always be time later. Now I know that there might not be time later, and friendships have become much more important to me. Especially those who have stood by me through this past year.
Its been more than 3 weeks since my last chemo, and I still have the neuropathy. It hasn't faded much. My cold sensitivity is hardly noticeable. I just can't hold frozen items for long, but I can have ice water, and ice cream again! Also, my eyes are still watering, but it seems to have slowed down a bit in the last few days.
I've been using the Wii Fit to try and build my strength up and keep from gaining weight. Its been helping my legs get stronger, but not so much the weight! I'm really trying to eat better, but all this going out to eat makes it difficult. I'll have to work harder at the exercise!
Oh--Brennan is coming over in the morning. Shonna will be here to watch him when I leave for lunch. He really brightens my day!
Well, that's my rambling update. Life is good!
Love and blessings!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My First "Cancerversary" Tomorrow

Yep, tomorrow is the day. One year ago my gastro doc found a large tumor in my colon. I was given some "happy" drugs to relax me, but I was awake during the whole procedure, and watching on the screen. When you have a colonoscopy (at least mine was this way) the doc puts the scope all the way in, then looks closely at the colon as he slowly pulls it back out. He zipped past the tumor, stopped, backtracked a little and said "See that? That's not supposed to be there". Then he went on with the scope and did a biopsy of the tumor when he got back to it on the way out. I didn't question anything at that point. I knew he'd talk to me after, and I wanted all the info at once. Thankfully, when he told us (Rich and me) it was most likely cancer, I was still under the affects of the drugs, so it didn't upset me too much. As we were leaving to go get some food, I told Rich to stop being so mopey about it! Poor guy, of course he was upset! We went out to eat, went home for a bit, then went to get a ct scan. Thankfully the scan didn't show anymore cancer--just a lymph node near the tumor.
I doesn't feel like its been a year, its feels like it was just a few months ago. I've been through so much this past year--My first ever surgery, chemo, radiation that put me in the hospital 2 more times, and more chemo. Some of the highest highs, and lowest lows I've ever had in my life. The highs are from all the people that cared about me, prayed for me, and sent us meals, gifts, and cards. Also feeling God's presence and the love of my family were definitely highs!
Earlier this week I experienced some anxiety over the thought of going back to work in 2 weeks. I just didn't feel that I would be ready. Everytime I thought about it my stomach would tighten up. I was mostly worried about my neuropathy and being out in the cold doing recess for an hour each day. I finally called my doc to see what he thought. His nurse talked to him, then got back to me. He said he thinks taking 2 extra weeks off would be a good idea, and he doesn't want me going back until I feel ready. I was so thankful I called. So, I'm going back on March 1st, instead of Feb. 16th. I think I'll be ready by then--I'm just hoping for an early Spring!
Another weird anxiety I had was thinking about the upcoming Wed. It was 2 weeks after my last treatment, and if I had more treatments to do, Wed. would have been the day I had to go get my labs done, see the doc, and possibly get treatment. It just felt so weird to think that I didn't need to go in this time. Everytime I thought about it I would get that yucky feeling in my stomach that the alcohol and saline flush cause. I got the same feeling now just writing about it! I think there are going to be lots of little reminders and anxieties in the days and weeks to come!
On a good note, I bought a Wii Fit last weekend and am happy to say I have some sore muscles already! I've been trying to build up strength in my legs, and today I am taking a break because my legs are still tired from yesterday's workout!
I keep finding things around the house that I needed this past year, and then I realize I don't need them anymore. A few days ago I put away all my drugs that have been in a little wood box on my bathroom counter. I don't need all those pills anymore!! Yay! I only kept out my iron pills, because my hemoglobin has been low since my surgery. I'm sure I'll find more things in the days to come.
Overall, I think I am doing very well. My fingers and toes still tingle, and I still have a little cold senstivity. I can get things out of the freezer, but not hold them for long. I'm REALLY hating this winter. Can't wait for it to be over!
Well, that's all for today!
Blessings to all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

"Fear Not"

Our church is starting a new sermon series, called "Fearless Living". Yesterday I learned that the words "fear not" are in the Bible 366 times! I guess maybe I should pay attention, because its apparently important to God that we hear those words! I jokingly said after the service that I should have heard that message a year ago--when I was diagnosed with cancer. But, really, God has given me a tremendous peace and an almost child-like joy in everyday things through this whole ordeal. I am so grateful. Over the years I have had a hard time believing that I'm important enough to God for Him to pay much attention to me--I mean there are wars and disasters, and other things going on that are much more important than li'l ole me, right? WRONG! Each one of us is God's top priority! If He knows how many hairs are on my head, I can believe that He knows ALL my needs!
I was reminded yesterday that God is bigger than ANY problem I face, including the dreaded cancer. Therefore, I don't need to fear ANYTHING--EVER!!! I hope I remember this when it comes time to have a colonoscopy, or especially a CT scan. What will I do if they find more cancer? I will do my best to live out my faith, and trust in HIM. I really feel like my cancer is gone, but I can't see into the future and know what will happen. I just know that no matter what, God will carry me through.
I often get tears in my eyes during worship at church, and yesterday, during one song, I almost lost it. The name of the song is "Came to My Rescue", and the words "I called, You answered, and You came to my rescue" really hit me. That's exactly what happened when I heard that I had cancer. He came to my rescue--isn't that awesome?? You know what? WHATEVER struggle you face right now, if you call out to the Almighty God, He'll come to YOUR rescue too!!
For those of you who have different beliefs, and just come to this blog to hear about cancer related things, I hope I didn't turn you off. For me, God is a BIG part of this walk with cancer, so I can't NOT talk about Him, and all He's done for me.
Time to make supper!
Talk to ya all soon!