Sunday, May 29, 2011

Gotta Love That Daughter of Mine!

Apparently, when Rachel was over here using my computer the other day, she decided to make a blog post for me!  It took me a few days to figure it out!  Some things never change :)
Well, yes, I am still alive!  It's been awhile since I've posted!  I have been busy with my grandsons, Shonna, my messy house, etc. 
Shonna is home for the summer, well, at least until the beg. of Aug.  Then she will go back to KC for another year of school at the International House of Prayer (IHOPU).  Today she sang on the worship team at church.  It's been awhile since she's been able to do that; it was good to see her back up on the stage.
The boys are doing great!  Charlie is gaining weight and is learning things fast!  Brennan is still a good little brother, but sometimes he gets a little tired of Charlie!  I still watch B often because C has had a lot of dr. appointments.  It'll be awhile before Charlie has any surgery though, there are other things they need to work on first. You can check out Rachel's blog (Love is Sugar Free) for more info on the boys. (Link is over there
I don't think about cancer much anymore. I do still get annoyed at the side effects I'm left with though.  I went over all the side effects in one of my last blogs. I think I forgot to add my sore shoulder though.  It has been stiff and sore since my mastectomy last May.  It got worse for awhile, but now it's slightly better.   It didn't hurt as bad when I had to lay it above my head for my last MUGA scan.  I was always going to get physical therapy for it, but I just haven't.  I think I'm just tired of medical appointments!  I still need to see the dentist too!  It's been over a year.  I see my primary doc on Thurs. to go over some things and get some blood tests.  Just routine stuff.  I haven't seen her in a long time.
I saw my oncologist the last time I was in for my Herceptin infusion.  My MUGA showed my heart is still doing good on the blood pressure med I am on.  I take the med not for high blood pressure, but because my heart function was decreasing from the Herceptin.  My onc was pleased with how well I was doing.  I will see him again when I have my last Herceptin in Aug.  I'll have another MUGA , ct scan, and bloodwork a few days before I see him.  Oh--speaking of bloodwork--my hemoglobin is finally back in the normal range!  The fist time since last April!  Everything else looked pretty good too--a few things out of whack yet, but nothing serious. 
It's been a year since my mastectomy--May 24th, 2010.  What a traumatic time that was!  I wish I could say that I'm used to it and it doesn't bother me anymore, but that's not entirely true.  It's, like my side effects, an annoyance.  I'm trying to find a good swimsuit now.  Insurance pays for bras and prosthetics, but not swimsuits, so it'll be expensive.  I just want one so I can go in the hot tub when we go to Duluth.   I did find some online, just haven't ordered yet. 
I have been seriously considering reconstruction, but that is a major surgery and I'm not sure I want to put myself through that. I will lose use of muscle, and the recovery is long.  I've put off any thought of that until next year.  If I decide I want recon, I can do it anytime I want, and insurance will pay for it.
When I went to see my onc I wanted him to say that I am "NED" (No Evidence of Disease).  I told the nurse that and I started choking up a bit.  She left the room and I started crying a bit--I had no idea I would be emotional about it!  Thankfully the doc took a while to come in and see me and I got myself under control, but I didn't want to bring it up and start crying!  So I didn't hear him say it, but since all my tests and scans have come back clear I am going to say I'm NED!!!
Time for bed!
May God bless each of you this week!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Still here

I am alive!! And I have super cute grandbabies. Their mom is so awesome.  I think I'll go make her some cookies.

Friday, May 6, 2011

It's May Already!

Well, I'm happy to say that Charlie came home from the hospital last Monday; he was there a full week.  He may have to stay on antibiotics for awhile. They think his urine is backing up to his kidneys, and that may be what caused the infection.  They'll do a test on him sometime this month to see if that is really what's happening. If it is, he'll stay on antibiotics indefinitely, and hopefully grow out of the problem eventually.
Today is the first day I have not had to watch either of the boys!  Yesterday Rachel had an eye dr appt. so I dropped her off and took the boys to visit grandpa at work.  Then I brought them here for a little bit.  Charlie was very happy and alert--playing with a toy and smiling a lot.  Rachel said we were finally seeing "the real Charlie".  They are both such good boys.  [Rachel just called and she is at a neighborhood garage sale with both boys!  I don't know how she does it!]
I talked to Shonna today and she will be home next Thursday!  Yay!  She'll get to be home most of the summer!  Her boss ok'd it (she works at a library in KC).  She'll be able to work as a sub at the library here, and hopefully get a few photo shoots too.  If you need a photographer--let me know!  She does weddings, grads, parties, families, kids...whatever.  She even took pics at a funeral--the family wanted some, but didn't want to have to do it themselves.  She edits the pics, then puts them on a cd for you to print as you want.  When Shonna goes back to KC in Aug. she'll be moving into a new place with some friends.  But that is a long ways away and we plan on enjoying the summer!
Last weekend Alyssa and I went to a women's retreat with our church.  We spent the night at a hotel together, and attended a women's conference.  It was a great time!  The worship and praise alone was enough, but the awesome speakers we had made it even better!  Friday night worship was by Kari Jobe ("Revelation Song"), and The Desperation Band.  I didn't realize how many songs the Desperation Band has written that I already knew from the radio or from singing in church.  I bought one of their cds and its really good!  The worship was Spirit filled and emotional.  God's presence was there!  It was nice to spend the time with Alyssa too!
I had my Herceptin infusion Wed., April 27th, and I asked the nurse to print the MRI results for me.  As I already knew, nothing unusual showed up.  I will have another MUGA, and see my oncologist the week of the 16th.  I will also have blood tests and get my next Herceptin infusion.
Yesterday I went clothes shopping for the first time in a long time.  I was in serious need of some spring tops!  It's nice not have to worry about whether or not the top will go with one of my scarves!  But I do have to pay attention to the necklines--they can't be too low.  And by too low, I mean barely low at all--something most wouldn't think of as "too low".  It's frustrating sometimes, and makes me think more about getting reconstruction.  I want to be able to shop and wear swimsuits and such without always worrying about whether or not the scar is visible.  Everytime I shop I am reminded of the cancer, and it makes it a bummer to shop instead of fun!
I was talking with someone recently about the side effects of chemo and radiation.  I think I've said this before, but I never realized what treatment does to a person.  I thought, like most people, that once you are done with treatment, you are DONE.  But, I now know that isn't the case.  I will have side effects for a long time--probably forever.  Radiation damage from the colon cancer, the threat of lyphedema from surgery for breast cancer, neuropathy from chemo, "chemo brain", and fatigue.  And I'm sure there's more--but with my chemo brain, I can't remember!  Speaking of that, it IS real, and I have it pretty bad some days.  Thinking of the right word, remembering names (which has always been difficult, but now is much worse), and just remembering everyday conversations and such, is difficult.
So this is my life, and I've just got to deal with it.  Overall, each day is a blessing!  As much as I hate (yes, hate!) gardening, I was thankful today to be able to do it.  I am looking forward to enjoying this summer!  I missed out on the last 2!  I'm hoping it's not too hot, but with my short hair, maybe I won't mind as much!  I plan on keeping it short, at least for the summer.
Hope everyone has a safe and blessed weekend.  Invite God to be with you as you go about your day.  You will see things a whole new way!