Saturday, March 17, 2012

Mid-March Update

Hope everyone is doing well!
I'll start with the procedure I had for my fistula.  It was called a Seton Placement.  Not a drain, like I thought, but something similar to an open rubber band laid through the fistula to keep both ends open.  The surgeon was pleased that she was able to find both ends and do the placement.  In a few months I'll have to have some more procedures done, but I don't remember much of what she said after my surgery. I see her for a post-op check up on Thurs., so I'll find out everything then.
In other health news, my mammo and MRI came back clear.  So I'm done with tests for awhile!  I saw my onc., for my 3 month check up, and everything looks good there too.  My wbc were a little low, but he said that could be because I was a little sick, or could just be from all the chemo I had.  I also complained of being tired, and he seemed to think that was to be expected also.  He still wants more labs and a visit with him in 3 months, and ct scans again in 6 months.  He said there are protocols that suggest I could go longer between scans, but because I've had the 2 different cancers, (and the fact that I was young for both), he wants to keep a closer eye on me.  That's fine with me! Speaking of being tired...I've been on Spring Break this past week, and have still been really tired--but I think it might be from allergies, because they are really bothering me with this warm weather we are having. The maples are starting to bud, and that's always when I start having trouble!  I still enjoyed the time off though! We've gone for lots of walks, and gotten a few things done (but, a lot less than I planned on because I've been so tired!)
On to other news!  Rich has been keeping busy house-cleaning!  He has vacuumed EVERYTHING. He even found some lost socks behind the dryer in the laundry room!  :)  He has applied for several jobs and has an interview for one that sounds promising on Monday.  The bad part is it's about double the distance of his last job, so he'll have to spend more time driving.  Maybe we'll have to get the Bible on cd and with all that time in the car he'll be a theologian in no time!  :)  I'm secretly hoping they hire him, but give him a few more weeks before he starts----there is a lot more stuff around here he could do!!
I'm sort of looking for another job/2nd job too.  If Rich doesn't get another job soon, I will definitely need to work more.  And if he gets a job, but it doesn't pay as well, then I'll still have to work more. And, really, I just need to work more!  I did apply for a different position at the school, but didn't get it. (I needed more computer experience)  So, not sure what to do, but I've been looking and keeping my eyes open.  Anybody want to hire me for anything??  :)
My girls have been keeping me busy as usual.  Rachel and Ken are getting ready to put their house up for sale--they need more room.  I still watch their boys at least twice a week.  Brennan is growing so fast and learning so many things!  Charlie too!  Charlie can stand with help (and even for a few moments on his own!).  His heart is doing well, and he is healthy.  
Alyssa and Jaren are busy house-hunting.  Rich and I went with them on Wed.  They found one they really like--hope they can get it for a good price.  It's only a few miles away.  Now if we can just convince Rachel and Ken to stay in the area it would be so perfect!  
Shonna is thinking about coming back to MN to go to college next year.  She applied to a Christian college in CA, and got their best academic scholarship for her GPA and ACT score.  She is a smart girl!  But now she is thinking of going back to the college she went to for her senior year in high school.  It's a good, quality, Christian school. There are a lot of different ministries she can get involved in here, and maybe get on a worship team somewhere.  She has enjoyed her 2 years at IHOPU, but feels it's time to work on getting her degree.   I will be SOOO happy if she comes back to MN.  Even better--she plans on living with my sister!  Shonna would be close by, but not under my roof--perfect! ;)  
Some days, I just feel like the most blessed woman on earth.  My husband is so good to me, my girls are close by, and so are my 2 grandsons.  I sometimes feel like I don't deserve this.  But that's the way God is.  Even when we didn't deserve it, He sent His son to die for us.  For you, for me.  And, the thing that I love best--His love is UNFAILING.  There is no one on earth that you can say that about.  Only God.
That's all for today!  
Blessings to all!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Guest Blogger Talks About Mesothelioma

What Is Mesothelioma and What is the Mesothelioma Center?
Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by an exposure to asbestos. The Mesothelioma Center is the most complete, up-to-date resource – like an Internet encyclopedia – that can explain anything you want to know about the two.
An estimated 2,500 to 3,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with mesothelioma, one of the few cancers that can be attributed solely to man-made exposure. It develops in the thin layer of cells that surround the chest, abdomen or heart.
And it is caused by an inhalation of microscopic asbestos fibers that get lodged in that mesothelium membrane. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that was once used in thousands of products, including anything related to construction to anything that needed some heat resistance and flexibility. Unfortunately, it was toxic, and when disturbed or ages, it becomes airborne.
Although the prognosis for a mesothelioma diagnosis is usually poor – six to 18 months to live – strides are being made slowly. There are exceptions, too.
The Mesothelioma Center has documented survivors who have lived five, 10 and 15 years with the cancer for which there no cure.
Mesothelioma often is viewed as an occupational disease, most prevalent in construction, ship building and among military veterans. The majority of patients are male. Yet it also strikes women who never stepped into the workplace, breathing those asbestos fibers from floor or ceiling tiles.
The Mesothelioma Center is a one-stop resource for patients, families and friends. It has free informational packets, a Doctor Match Program to sync patients with doctors, nurses on staff to answer questions, and patient advocates to help people through every step of their journey.
Because mesothelioma is rare compared to many cancers, only a small percentage of physicians have seen it enough to fully understand it, and properly diagnose it. They just don't see it enough.
Mesothelioma has a latency period of anywhere from 10 to 50 years between exposure to asbestos and diagnosis, which is why the disease can be so puzzling. Many of the symptoms – fatigue, a persistent dry cough, shortness of breath – are often confused with other, less serious illnesses.
It is important to find the best possible care, and as quickly as possible when the cancer is in its earliest stages.
Bio: Tim Povtak is a senior writer for the Mesothelioma Center. Prior to joining the center, Tim was an award-winning journalist at a daily metropolitan newspaper.