Friday, October 7, 2011

Race For The Cure

Ash is taking part in the Susan G. Koman race for the cure this Sunday in downtown Phoenix.  Thanks for the support Ash, and hopefully next year I will have the strength to join in.  Can't say I like the number though, it adds up to 13! 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Did I say, "I'm done'?

Well, maybe I should re-phrase that.  I may be finished with the actual procedures, but I guess when you have a cancer history, you are never "done" with Doctors!!  I had my follow-up appointment with my medical oncologist today and we charted a path for the future.  I am to be seen every 3 months in her office for 2 years, then every 6 months for 3 years. I was put on Aramidex,(an estrogen blocking drug) for 5 years, given a shot of Lupron that stays in your system for 3 months.  I wish that I had researched this drug before agreeing to it.  I am not happy with the side effects it can cause, and knowing me, I get all of them. lol  I'll keep you posted as to whether or not I CHOOSE to receive another one. I have a pet scan scheduled for Dec 27th which will hopefully confirm the absence of cancer.  Dr. Meng suggested a liter a day of water, and begin yoga as a form of exercise.  I understand that yoga helps the mind and body, all I can say is, "its gonna take a lot of yoga!!!!  Bye for now, I feel a hot flash coming on, lol

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Coach, and Breast Cancer Awareness!! Perfect combination

Amber and Joel went to California last weekend to take Ellie to Sea World and Disneyland.  On one of their many shopping outings, they saw this key chain.  Amber, being a lover of coach, just couldn't pass up this adorable key chain. A gift for finally being finished with radiation.  Thanks for thinking about me while you were away. It means alot.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm Done!

When I left Dr. Quiets office, the girls handed me this little box of chocolates. The back of the card read,  "Man cannot live on chocolate alone,but.... Woman sure can.   Thanks girls for treating me special and helping me through the process.

Loving Hubby

I went to Walmat this morning, and when I returned, this beautiful arrangement of flowers were on my kitchen island. Twelve pink roses with a cancer awarness ribbon, and a lovely hand written card.  It brought me to tears. Bob wanted to make this day special for me, it's my last day of radiation, and hopefully the beginning of a new chapter.  Survivor mode!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

When life hands you lemons,

another gift from Ash
With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, Ashley hopped on the band wagon and bought this sign for me.  I have it on the pantry door in the kitchen which I see at least 50 times a day.  I promise to never give up.  Thanks Ash

Thursday, September 15, 2011

TKO in the 5th Round

For all of you who have been diligently reading this blog from the beginning, you have learned by now that nothing goes as planned, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that radiation had to come to an abrupt halt this past week, my 5th week.  I started feeling very tired on Saturday, but we had a busy day planned with Abby.  We took her to a workshop for her upcoming audition for Annie.  I had promised her a trip to the library,(her 1st) if she promised to do well in school.  Being as tired as I was I couldn't let her down, so I found the strength to continue.  Then Sunday came and I actually started to feel really fatigued and a bit nauseated.  I wasn't about to stay home from church, when it's there that I draw my strength.  That evening, after church, we went to get a bite to eat, and I had a severe pain from behind my eye.  I have had them before, but not this bad.  When I saw the Dr. on Tues, I told her I felt like I had just received a chemo treatment, slightly dizzy, tired and in a fog.  She told me that I have to realize this is a serious treatment, and if I don't take time to rest properly, I could end up in bigger trouble.  My body is letting me know, enough is enough and it's time to stop.  Easier said than done, as most mom's can attest to.  So, I'll try to give into rest, it's easier with Abby in all day kindergarten, and the plan is to resume treatment next week. At least you can say I'm consistent, and never boring!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grandma's are a gift from God

Grandma reading a few lines of the book I gave her.

Five Generations

Ok, so its not the greatest picture, but you know how it is when your trying to get a toddler to look at the camera.  It's something special to have 5 generations.

Happy Birthday, Grandma

Having lunch with my Grandma.  She is 90 years old today, and bless her heart, she's doing better than I am. Ha ha

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Special gift

Lisa Gaynor sent a beautiful basket filled with the most delicious cookies.  Two of the sugar cookies had courage in the shape of a star and the breast cancer ribbon on another.  Abby and I are sharing this special treat.  Thanks Lisa!!

Lunch break

I had lunch today with Amber and Ellie before my radiation treatment.  Do I look radiant?  If so, it's not from the rays of a machine, but from spending time with sweet little Ellie.  Her smile is contagious.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rain drops on roses.....

.......A few of my favorite things, Abigail and my hat!!  I love Hunter and Ellie also, just need some pics with my other babies.

Our newest addition

I have the greatest husband in the world.  He surprised me in April with a Maltipoo.  He was only 2 lbs and isn't much bigger still.  We named him Kimmo, it has a duel meaning.  After the hockey player and of course to remember the period of time I was going through Chemo.  Thanks baby, for giving me everything.
I have recieved  visits, e-mails, gifts like this one and over 155 cards. I could not have imagined how truly blessed I am to have so many friends and family that care about me. God has given me much peace and comfort through this trial.


Dear friends and family,
     For all of you who have been reading my blog, you will notice that I have not posted in a while.  As they say,"No news is good news", right?  Things are moving  forward nicely. I had a few weeks where my breathing was not good and I feared my asthma or something else was going on.  Normally, I would treat myself, (for asthma) and think nothing about it.  Now, I am a little more cautious and take my health a bit more seriously.  So I made an appointment with my pulmonologist who told me that my asthma was again acting up, but in a different way.  I was glad that no fluid had gathered around my heart or lungs, which was her first concern, a possible side effect from chemo.  Back on prednisone and an inhaler to get things back under control. 
     I started radiation on Aug 1st and will continue for 6 weeks everyday.  My radiation oncologist explained the process of how the radiation works.  It really is quite the process to have everything be so precise.  The medical field has always intrigued me, so I ask many questions.  So far, so good.  I feel my ribs getting a little sore, but once you've gone through chemo, nothing else compares.
     My hats are still my closest friends!!  Wigs are nice, but too hot. My hair is growing back, but at a slow rate.  I look at our latest family picture and still morn my long color treated hair.  Oh well, nothing that 3 years can't correct.
     Many of you have told me that its hard to post a comment on the blog. I appreciate you taking the time to read about me, and I love hearing from you.  If you would like to comment, you can use my e-mail at  In the meantime,  I'll  work on getting those pictures loaded.  Where's my kids when I need them? ha They know mom's not the greatest at computer technology!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Change of pace

I have to admit that I am quite excited about our upcoming trip to Las Vegas! NO, not to gamble but to watch Caleb as he shows off his talents to scouts who are coming in from all parts of the country.  Caleb is now at the age where he has to prove himself in this area, or its off to other things.  As for me, I am looking forward to a change of scenery.  Since Feb, our lives have been dictated by Dr.s visits, test, port draws,operations, chemo,and side effects.  So imagine my response when Bob asked if I wanted to go.  After checking with all Dr.s and carefully packing my medical portfolio, my answer was a hearty, AMEN!  It will be a nice diversion since my last chemo appt. is on Thursday.  We won't be getting in until Wednesday night so I'm sure I'll be tired, but I usually sleep after chemo anyway.  I am scheduled to begin radiation treatments on July 18th.  I wanted to keep the ball rolling to get this over with and resume a normal life again.  I realize that I will always be at risk, and have to keep in touch with Dr.s on  regular basis, but I am looking forward to the day when I have the energy back that I once had.  Lets hope I can keep up with the pace these next few days in Vegas, if not, I guess the view from the room will have to do!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Chemo, Round 3

I met with Dr. Meng on Tuesday 6-7 to discuss upcoming chemo and also to discuss the massive amount of blood work they did while I was in the hospital. Most was within normal limits, but there was a real concern for 2 of the test. I don't have all the specifics, but to keep it in Layman's terms, I am at an increased for a heart attack and stroke.  My blood tends to clot too quickly making it possible clots to stick to the arteries and veins.  She has repeated some test and added additional ones which I have not received back yet.  She has advised me to take an aspirin everyday and to add an organic potion that will help, I'm guessing to help thin the blood naturally. We then moved on to the horrible sides effects that have been happening with the chemo.  She decided to move my date from Thursday, back one day and add 2 days of extra fluids.  It seems the chemo really dehydrates me quickly, and makes it harder for the organs to function.  So I spent 8 1/2 hours at the center on Wed, and then 4 hours on Thurs and now back today from 6-10 to do the same.  I only felt drugged on Thursday, and tired yesterday, but it seems to be working, because I feel OK so far.  Tonight and tomorrow real be the true test.  That's when the lovely Nuelasta shot kicks in.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, May 27, 2011

If it's going to happen....

It will happen to me.  That is what I was told this past week when I was once again admitted to hospital on Thompson Peak.  Saturday evening I started to feel pretty bad and went to bed around 9:00.  Bob and Abby were watching T.V.  I started to have pain in my stomach and, long story short, Bob found me lying on the floor in a semi conscience state about an hour later.  Bless his heart, he once again scoops me from the brink of death and rushes me to the E.R.  After a 3 day stay, test, and enough blood draws to drain my entire body, I was diagnosed with Iscehmic colitis, which means blood flow was absent in the lining of the colon.  They do not think it was caused by the chemo, although the hospitalist tried to blame it on that.  It may be something that I have in the future. I'll have to watch my diet better and take some OTC medication.  The GI doctor also recommends I drink a sports drink everyday. Friends, once again by my side.  Lisa Gaynor spent Tues eve. with me so Bob could go to Abby's birthday, Mary Jo made a fabulous Mexican dinner for us on Wednesday, and Jeannie Taylor brought me lunch and a yellow lemon cake!!!  Bob and I have been joking that if I have 9 lives, I only have 4 more to go. He has literally been there though thick and thin, and I would not be here today if Bob wasn't as protective and proactive as he is.  The nursing staff commented, I am very lucky, I know I am.  Your my everything Baby!  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

2nd Chemo Day

It sure didn't take long for this day to roll around!  I met with Dr. Meng on Tuesday and we discussed the reactions to the chemo and Nuelasta shot last time.  She said that she is gong to reduce the reg dosage of Neulasta from 6mg to 3 mg and if the WBC drops too much, she can always bring me back in for another injection.  She is also adding a bag of extra fluids before we began treatment to help with dehydration afterwards.  I usually don't feel like drinking, because everything taste like metal for a few days, and then the sweet and salty sensation becomes less.  I had  dear friend Gwen, come over last night and brought homemade chicken pot pie with a salad and banana, choc, chip muffins.  I have plenty to warm over for this evening, which is perfect.  I won't be home until around 6:00 pm and it makes it easier for Marsha to warm things for Abby and I won't have to cook.  I have planned ahead a little more this time and do have things in the freezer to avoid fast food outings on my bad days.  But trust me,  as soon as I am able to move around, is restaurant time for me!!!  Treatment today about 7 hours so I'll try to post this evening.   Much love,

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Good Friends

I was blessed to have dear friends stop over last week and bring lunch.  We enjoyed Subway sandwiches and fresh fruit and best of all quality time spent  talking and solving the worlds problems.  It is really a pick me up when your not feeling great emotionally, to have friends care.  This past week was a little hard for me.  I am now very fond of hats, turbans and scarfs.  Many thanks to Ruth and Glenda for taking time out of their busy lives to show they care, and to the countless others for the continued calls, cards, texts and emails.  You will never know how special they are to me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mothers Day

It was a wonderful feeling to wake up on Sunday and feel like myself.  I was concerned about not feeling well and missing church.  I was able to make it Sunday morning, and then we went to Chili's for dinner.  I didn't care about going anywhere fancy, I was just glad to be out, and spend time with my children and grandchildren.  Caleb had an afternoon hockey game, and I haven't been able to go to many of them lately, so I decided to take a nap in the car on the way to the game, and that gave me enough energy to make it a few more hours.  The guys on Caleb's team placed pink hockey tape around the tops of their sticks and blades in my honor.  I was touched to say the least.  By the end of the day I was beat, but when I look back on the day, I was glad to have the energy I needed, to do the things I enjoy doing.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Not taking any chances... and I'll spare you the "all done" picture.  Not pretty.  I felt very drugged any my eyes reflected that.
The Process
Right before my first chemo

One Week

As you can see there have been a few days since I was able to post something.  It has been a tough week to get through.  It seems like the mornings start out well, and I almost feel like I am getting back into the swing of things.  Then the afternoon hits and I am suddenly reminded that the strength I thought I had, is now gone.  I have experienced several side effects from the chemo.  Bone pain, and severe muscle spasms that required stronger pain meds.   My taste have changed as well. Strawberries taste like weeds, and the salsa that I love at one of the local restaurants taste like vinegar!!   Foods I have never really liked before, I now crave.  Go figure. Jeannie Taylor brought us a wonderful salad with all the fixings, and sourdough bread.  Again, one of my favorite breads, but when I tasted it, it was though I was eating flour.  Remember when I said I needed to loose those additional pounds a few post ago?  Well, now might be  good time to remind me of that.  Maybe this taste thing isn't all that bad.  Thank you to Carole Wright who gave up going to church last night to sit here with me.  I am so thankful for that, because Bob had to attend to helping with the Dr. call and pain situation that crept up on me so quickly. He is becoming quited the Dr. and nurse.  He can spot pain of fever coming before I actually feel it.  Strange, I know. I am learning to slow down and take advantage of the moment that is front of you, because the next moment may bring something totally unexpected.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Days 3 & 4

The past 2 days have been spent on the sofa.  I have been in too much pain to move around much.  Marsha has been on hand once again to help me through the bad part and does a wonderful job of keeping Abby occupied.  I have to go to the Dr. tomorrow for blood work and possible fluids.  I don't feel like drinking that much and they want me to stay hydrated. I am on pain meds around the clock.  Hopefully things will start looking up.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 2

This morning I was able to make banana and blueberry pancakes and made enough for Abby this week.  I did a few things around the house, but as the day wore on, I started to feel more achy.  The Neulasta shot has side effects of bone pain, I can certainly vouch for that now.    I'll have to call it an early evening. I wanted to try and make it to church in the morning, but I'll have to see if this pain lets up.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Day After

I woke this morning feeling tired and a little lightheaded, but was able to do my early morning routine.  Bob took me back to the Dr.'s today to get my Neulasta shot, which is now starting to hurt my bones.  I didn't let that stop me from attending Abby's gym program tonight, it was only an hour, and then we went to get a bite to eat. Food is tasting a little funny, and not able to swallow quickly.  I am taking things really slow.  Hopefully tonight I can get a good nights sleep.  One day at a time!  Slow and steady wins the race, right?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

1st One Down

I'll keep it short and sweet.  My treatment started right on time at 12:00 noon and lasted till 5:30. Quite a long day and I am feeling very tired.  I had 6 different bags of meds and chemo.  My only symptoms during the treatment was a metal taste in my mouth and a rapid heartbeat which the nurses kept a close watch on. We made it home by 6:00 and faithful Marsha, (the nanny) was keeping Abby busy.  I was able to eat dinner, post something for ya'll, and now I'm making my way back to the sofa.  Catch up with you tomorrow.

Here We Go

Hope bear and me, taken by Abby.
Well, the day has finally arrived and I am scheduled for Chemotherapy to begin at 12:00 noon.  They will start by giving me steroids, Benadryl, and anti-nausea medication.  Then they continue by hanging the first bag of chemo called Texotere followed by Cytoxin.  The whole process should take approx 3 1/2 hours.  Dr. Meng has promised to have all hands on deck to ward off any possible complications.  Thank goodness the local hospital is not far away.  I am usually an optimist, but lately, lets just say, not taking any chances!!!
I will post this evening how everything went.  If you don't hear, well, you know what that means.  Start praying.
I will also post briefly on  a daily basis just to keep everyone updated.  I'll keep it lighthearted, and sparing of TMI.  Thank you for the phone calls and text I have received this morning.
See ya soon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So Thankful

I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all of you out there who are lifting me up in prayer daily.  I find that when I start to wallow in a little self pity, I am reminded by a text, phone call, card in the mail, old friends, new friends are always there.  Lisa Gaynor came over last week after my "close call" to stay with me while Bob had to be away.  I have'nt seen her for a year or so, and it's as though no time had passed at all.  Cathy Schwanke dropped of Chinese food from Jade, while running an errand.  Meals have been brought in by dear friends at church. Hugs and well wishers are close by.  Most importantly, I have faith to get me through, a strong supportive husband, and my children showing more love and affection than ever before, ok, that just started the water works!!  HA.   Love to all.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chemo Education

I went to Dr. Mengs office today for my Chemo Education.  What is Chemo education?  Basically, it's having an highly skilled person sit across the room, and tell you everything you have already researched on the internet.  Words the PA was discribing, I already knew.  Like Nadir, for instance.  That's the period of time that your white blood count is at it's lowest, and you have to be careful about being around anyone who is sick. I have never been one to stay down very long, so this is really going to be a challange.  Just knowing I may be house bound for more than a day is unconceivable. We discussed medication I will have to take before each treatment, blood draws, shots and of course the lovely side effects. If loosing your hair isn't bad enough, how about fluid retention, weight gain? ugh!   On a positive note, they were able to acces my port today for a blood draw, ( a little unnerving) no more needle sticks in my batterd arm!! She did say scar tissue is forming on my neck, and that's what is causing the pain when I lean my head backwards.  It's all a part of the process and I  have to keep reminding myself, this isn't forever, and this too shall pass. I'll let you know how Thursday goes.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Disney on Ice

We took Abby to see Disney, Princess on Ice a few weeks ago.  I thought this was a cute picture of her, and I was having a good hair day!  I think I'm having a moment here!!  Can't let the tears fall on my computer.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Close call

As you can see from the date of my last post, I was not able to post immediately after the port procedure.  I went in for this procedure that was to take approx 45 min to an hour.  Things seemed to be going well, I was able to eat a few bites of a sandwhich, and thought that I would be  leaving for home around 2:OO pm.  I picked up a grape, and then looked at Bob, and said, I have to lay down, I feel sick.  And with that comment, I was out.  My heart when into an irregular pattern, respiration failure followed ,and a code was called in the hospital to get to radiaology. People don't usually code in the radiology dept.  I don't remember much, just a feeling of being here, but not able to communicate and see those around me.  I know my poor husband was subjected to all that was going on. He had to walk away at one point, He thougth I was gone. He remained cool, calm and collected, able to answer any questions the Dr.s were asking him.  After a blunt hit to  the center of my chest and shocking my heart into a normal rhythm, the Dr. in charge reversed the drugs with 6 shots of Narcan, and established a normal airway. I was transferred to the ICU to be obseverd throughout the night. I remained pretty much out of it for the remainder of the night. It has been established that I am extremely allergic to most narcotics, and some drugs used for anesthesia.  I think I will have the paramedics follow me to the first Chemo appoint, lol.  Don't want to take any chances!!!  So, as ususal, I never do anything the easy way, and I love to keep the nurse's on their toes. Thank you for the many prayers that went up that day.  I know the Lord was probably a bit tired of hearing about Marie Drinkhouse, He said, "Fine ya'll, you can keep her for a while.  Love ya,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Well, here I go again, heading off to Scottsdale Shea for my 3rd procedure.  This process is starting to feel all to familiar.  I will be having a port-a-cath device installed this morning to help with the administration of Chemo.  My left are is not able to be used any more, and I did not want to take the chance of having my right arm harmed by the effects of the chemo. Dr. Meng strongly suggested having the port installed.  It will also help to spare many needle sticks in the near future. I'm scheduled for 11:30. They tell me it takes approx 45 min to an hour.  If all goes well and the anesthesia doesn't reek havoic on my body, I should be home around 2:30-3:00  I feeling a little tired, but I am calm and at peace with this whole situation, (make sure you remind me of this when my hair falls out!!)  ha  While it can be a daunting process, I realize the end result will yield a cancer free diagnosis, and like I said before, maybe 20 lbs lighter and a new hair style.  I'll let you know how I am this evening. Till then.................

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Abby's herbs

Savoring the moment

What does one do when your feeling fine for now, but realize that will change in the near future?  You savor the moment.  My new found hobby is cooking like Paula Deen, (not hard considering my southern roots, just more butter!) and scrapbooking every little detail of this journey.  Abby and I went to Lowes today and bought fresh herbs to make a little garden.  Everything really does taste better with fresh ingredients.  I'm told that you loose some of your taste while on chemo, but hopefully that is temporary. At least I can make things tasty for everyone else.  I'm having a good day today, not really thinking about what's ahead.  My mood changes often, but I try not to let my situation get me down, its just that hair loss thing!!  What a bummer.  I am on a crusade to make hats fashionable once again.  As long as the package looks good on the outside, it hides what your feeling on the inside.  That's what I'm shootin for.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chemo survival basket

The Wingo family surprised me today with a CHEMO SURVIVAL BASKET!!  I was incredibly touched by the thought, effort and generosity that went into making this gift so special and unique.  Coming from a cancer survivor, Sharon knew first hand exactly what I could use. This gift has all the items that I could possibly need to brave the next few months.  I am so blessed to be surrounded by friends, and family,at a time when I need shoulders to lean on, ears to listen and arms to hold. God bless the Wingo's

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chemo bound!

If there is one word that I have spent a great deal of time researching lately, it's ONCOTYPE DX.  I knew when Dr. Quiet (radiation oncologist) wanted me to see Dr. Meng (medication oncologist) that probably meant the possibility of chemo.  However, I went into that appointment thinking my number was a 15, when the results were placed in my hand, thanks to my reasearh, I knew that the number 25  I recieved, would guarentee my spot on the recliner!!!  I wasn't quite prepared for the news mentally.  I know it has to be down to reduce the reaccurance rate, but is any women happy about loosing her hair?  I have been growing it out for the past 3 years and it now reaches the middle of my back!  It truly is as thick as a horses mane! lol lol  Not only that, but I have the habit of twirling my hair, which I have done since birth.  How do I break that habit now?  I don't think twirling a wig will have the same calming effect.  I plan on shopping for a wig next week before chemo even begins.  That way I can hopefully have something that resembles my own style.  Or think about this, I could do a different hairstyle everday.  Blonde, brunette, red head, long, short or in between!  The choices are endless,  and nothing to shampoo, curl, or flat iron.  I knew if I wrote long enough, I would fine a silver linning somewhere.  I think I found it!!!  Love to all.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Radiation Day...

Or so I thought!  I had an appointment yesterday with the radiation oncologist.  I was prepared to start the process of radiation.  They had me scheduled for a CT.  Dr. Quiet asked me if I had received word from my blood test, mainly the Oncotye DX?  I told her that the report was at the medical oncologist office, but I had to wait until next week to hear the news.   She called over to the office and was told that my Oncotype number was 15.  That means that while I am considered a lower risk of it returning, its still a risk.  I'm considered in the "gray area"  With that news, she wanted me to discuss chemotherapy with the medical oncologist.  I am trying not to think of all that entails, but at the same time, tryting to talk myself into it.  I am not at peace with the fact that all of the cancer is gone.  My brother died at the age of 42 from lung cancer, which began on the chest wall.  Mine is close to the chest wall as well.  I would rather have a 100% guarentee that I am free and clear, than to always be guessing, what if?  I'll update the information next week when I hear from Dr. Meng.  My next appointment is April 6th

Monday, March 21, 2011

Still Waiting

I am in what I call the honeymoon phase.  I am waiting on test to come back which takes about 2 weeks.  I can't move ahead with radiation until then, and the drug, Tamoxifan can't be started until the radiation is finished. Right when I start to feel back on track, we'll have to start all over again.  I'm told that once radiation is over, I'll feel like I have my life back again.  I went to lunch with Amber and Ellie today.  It helped make the cloudy, rainy day seem brighter. More pictures to come.  Keep checkin back.

Looking ahead

When this is all over, Bob promised a relaxing little vacation, this was taken last June at Intercontinental Montelucia in Scottsdale.  Very nice.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Office visit

My poor veins are shot, a simple blood test takes several attempts.

My medical oncologist, Dr. Meng.  Very sweet and incredibly intelligent.  We spent an hour or so going over test and treatment plans.

Her office is more like a day spa instead of a cancer center.  Very soothing and comforting.

Many awards line her office walls.

Pink bow, pink dress, pink shirt!  Abby and I are making a statement.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Clean Margins

I met with the medical oncologist yesterday and she confirmed that the surgeon has removed the cancerous area and clean margins have been obtained.  We all breathed a sigh of relief.  She wanted to run a few more test to see if the chance of recurrence is high, and also what the tumor was compromised of.  I feel as though a huge weight has been lifted, but at the same time an incredible sense of emotion.  I think it is the combination of no estrogen in my body, and the mere fact that I have been on an emotional roller coaster the past month.  When I think back on all that has taken place in a short amount of time, it suddenly overwhelms me, and I can't hold back the tears. I want to feel like myself again, but I am too impatient and want it now.  My only complaint, is the fatique that has a hold on me right now.  I have so much to be thankful for, I try to press on and think of only the positive.  The plan for the moment, is 6 weeks of radiation and if the blood test are good, then 5 years of Tamoxifan.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Dr. Nancy Piper, the best anesthesiologist.  I requested her on Monday, and she was there on Friday.  Amazing since she only works part-time.

The look of a concerned hubby watching his wife being wheeled away for the 2nd time in less than 2 weeks.
State of the art ordering system for food!  By the way, Scottsdale North Hospital has the best food.
Breakfast for Bob
and then there is breakfast for Marie...No I didn't eat all that.  I ordered extra for Bob later.
Tying shoes is suddenly not so easy, Hubby to the rescue.


One of the things that makes you feel like things have changed, is when your not able to do what is the norm.  For me, that is being able to go to church.  I enjoy teaching, singing in the choir and just being around those who are closest to me.  I consider it a joy and a privilage to serve the Lord at North Valley Baptist Church.  Today, I had to stay home, and I hate that. I know that pushing myself right now is not a good thing to do, although it's hard to keep me down.  Bob insisted that I take it easy and stay away from any possiblility of getting germs from anyone.  Ashley is working, the kids are with her, and Bob and Caleb are at church, so the house is quite and erie, again, anything but normal!  lol  I'll take this time to chill a bit knowing that tomorrow we'll be back on tract with normalcy, hopefully that is.  I wouldn't have is any other way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Another one down

It's Saturday evening and I am just getting around to posting.  The 2nd surgery is over and Dr. Bourne said she hopes this is the last time.  She said that the third time is not a charm when surgery is involved.  There is still no way to be completly sure until the pathology report comes back, so another waiting game.
I feel more tired this time and in more pain, but nothing I can't handle.  I can't wait to feel like myself again.  Abby said, "Gammy I wish you didn't have cancer"  It kills me to hear her mention those words.  It sounds so grown up for such a little kid.
Recovery went a little better thanks to the anesthesiologist, DR. Nany Piper. God answered my prayers by allowing her to put me to sleep.   She studied my past surgeries to see what might be causing the myoclonic siezures.  Although that still happend, I was not sick this time and my head didn't hurt.  The spasms leave me tired and sore.  Bob never left my side, bless his heart. I do have pictures to post, but I have to wait for Ashley to come home for that! Hope to have those tomorrow.  I'm taking my pain pills now and calling it a night.  Thank you for your prayers.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Through It All

I'm on my way to the hospital shortly, my check in time is 12:00 and surgery is a 1:45.  The song "Through It All" popped into my head last night, and I am once again reminded that I am not enduring this alone.  If you have never heard the song, take a moment and google the lyrics and read through them.  Please pray for Bob, as this is hard on him emotionally.  He's the only one that sees me at the worst part of it.  They say that an illness such as cancer is often harder on the spouse than the one going through it. I believe it.  He has been by my side every step of the way.  He's my rock, my comfort, and my best friend.  I love you baby!  Couldn't do it without you.  God blessed me with you.
I'll try to post tomorrow afternoon, see ya'll then.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.... Helen Keller

I saw this quote today from Helen Keller, and I thought for a moment of how true that really is.   We can look at situations as though it is the worst thing ever, or turn it into a positive, and realize that everything is in God's hands, and he makes no mistakes.  I couldn't sleep last night and the words I kept hearing over was "why me", "why now?  It's as though a soft voice said, why not you!  I know that from experiencing trials, it's when I grow the most and become more dependent on the Lord. I step back and realize I can't fix everthing, and I'm not a superwoman.  I may never know the real reason, but I do know that I am at peace with it, and I will use this time in my life to learn,be patient, and be willing to help others who may be going through the same thing.  Writing these thoughts down and sharing them those I love, has really become a source of therapy.  Here's hoping for a good nights sleep!  14 hours til surgery #2

The sweetest things...

Uhhh Gammy, is it ok to use my support bracelet as a teether?  I do have on my "I love Gammy t-shirt"
It's a wonderful thing to have friends stop by and bring you quiche, muffins, and fruit!  We had a much neede girl time.
Thanks girls, love ya

Don't you just love kids and the things they say?  I made breakfast for Abby this morning, and made a happy face in the toast.  She said to me, " Gammy, I'm so happy your my Gammy again," not quite understanding what she meant, I said, "Abby I'll always be your Gammy, she responded, "yeah, but your not broken anymore".  Broken to her was me not being able to pick her up and play as much for a few days.  Little does she know, Gammy is going to be broken again tomorrow.  The hardest part about surgery, is not knowing how to explain to a 4 year old, Gammy may be sick for a while oh well,  that's why God made good make-up!!  It hides the fatique.  Thank you Clinique!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy birthday to Amber!  We had a fun lunch at El Encanto.
Bestest daughters ever!!
Talk about permanent support!! It looks like my diagnosis has brought out the wild side of the family.... Thank you Katie, xoxoxo
All I wanted was a hug Hunter, but I see that ball in the corner took priority.
I can always count on my Abby, who gives hugs all the time...and kisses

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I went to see Dr. Bourne today for my follow-up visit after surgery.  She is the type of Dr. that could make a 5lb tumor seem like a piece of cake.  She is very calming and reassures me that the next surgery should yeild clean margins, but if not, they could do a 3rd.  It's not uncommon to do that.  She gave me my pathology report, and of course I came home and looked up every word that I didn't understand.  That's probably not a good idea, but I want to become educated about the diagnosis and the progress.  My 2nd surgery is scheduled for this Friday at 1:45.  I'm sure I'll be saying overnight.  I have requested the same anesthesiologist that I had before, hopefully this will allow me to have a better recovery.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Charting my course, and keepin the faith

As most of you know by now that I was diagnosed with Infiltrative Ductal Carcinoma on February 10th.  What that means is, I have a common form of breast cancer that has spread from a closed cell to the surrounding tissue.  After completing many test,scans and procedures, my surgeon went into action and removed part of the tumor on March 1st.  Dr. Bourne called me on the 4th to advise me that the margins of the tumor were not clean and that I would have to undergo an additional surgery.  I am told they usually allow 3 times for success.
I had a meeting today with the radiation oncologist to discuss fruther treatment.  That has to be on hold until the 2nd surgery is complete.  Dr. Quiet is on of the top Dr's on radiation in the country.  I feel blessed to have assembled a wonder team of Dr's.
So why the blog?  I have been amazed by the outpouring of love that has been showered to me, my husband and children.  Many inquire daily about the way I'm feeling, what lies ahead, and how are the children handling the stress.  I am fortunate to have relatives and friends all over the country who are praying for me.  I thought this would the be the most efficient way to let everyone know how I am.  We want to make sure that no one is left out concerning the accurate and up to date information.  We all know how things get twisted when information is relayed several times!
God bless each of you,
I love Ya'll

Ashley's way of handling stress and showing support!

She bought this for me to take to my appts. and procedures.  Hope was with me in the hospital last week.
The office of Dr. Quiet.  Very nice.
Horrible picture of me, especially when the Dr. is 6'4'' 120 lbs, lol
My supportive husband by my side, checking on last e-mail before being called back.
By the Dr's own admittance, she is one of the best in the country.  Many consult her on her techniques.