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Thursday, September 5, 2019

End of the Drought

Short but sweet post for today. I am at St Luke’s again because my temp was over the limit. When we got to the ER my oxygen was in the 80’s dipping down into the 70’s at times. They gave me oxygen and by morning I was at full oxygen again without help. I wish I would feel better to do better at blogging. So here I am not just reporting on me but sharing here how very thankful I am for nurses and the heart they have for the patience that are in their care.$!

Specific prayer requests:
That they could find anything that keeps bringing me here
That I could be feeling better and back home for next week’s birthday week.
That this won’t delay chemo treatments for long.

Thursday, August 29, 2019


I wouldn’t call it a vacation by any means but life can be put on hold as quick as a wink
when you are on chemo and you find yourself with a fever of 103.7. You would think that as an adult with a fever
that high they could just run a test or two and it be obvious what is wrong. Not so for me.

I have now been in the hospital for the 10th day and we have not pin pointed where the source of the fever has come from. So very frustrating! Today we are hoping to spring me out of here! I have gone through all the antibiotics they can run through an IV.

Thankfully I have had no fever since Saturday. But, I ended up in ICU because my blood pressure was tanking. It certainly has been an adventure! I hate the worry it causes my family. Lots of them came to the hospital where I could only see two people at a time.

My aunt Jo was able to come with my cousin. I told the nurse I would rather be out in the waiting home room where everyone was having a mini family reunion. Cool but not cool because of why we were gathered. It was a quick turn around in ICU and I was back on the main floor by Sunday working through the bags and bags of antibiotic.

I was waiting to get my new laptop last week and it came while I have been here. The upside is that David has been able to set it all up and move stuff from my old computer. So, something to look forward to when I get home and settled.

As I wait for 6:30 am so I can order breakfast, I thought I would share a little about what has been going on with me. I can tell more of the story once my awesome husband gets me going on my new computer.

Thank you all for the prayers. I believe that you all have prayed me out of the ICU so quickly and that there are so many prayers we don’t even know were prayed. I have some stories I hope I can share in future posts. For now, I am grateful and blessed by all of you!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Friday From the Heart: Henrietta Hippo and a Few Other Essentials

There are things that help me when I am in my house or in my room on my own on bad or quiet days. There are probably more that I am forgetting but I will share a few things that have brought me comfort. First here I am with my cozy fleece blanket that one of my sweet friend Michelle gave to me. I have it to use in the living room and another that some of my Arthur moms made me during my last time through chemo that I snuggle up with in my bedroom.

Next, let me introduce you to Henrietta Hippo from my dear friend Cindy who I still have a hard time believing she was right here in my house this summer! When I close my eyes I can still see her standing on my porch on that rainy day. Henrietta is wonderful because if you have had a surgery or have to rest for a long period of time, pillows are so important. This hippo (slightly under-stuffed) can be put behind my head, behind arms, or sometimes just hugged across my chest. I am very thankful for her.

 I got a special pillow from a friend six years ago that is shaped like a traveling neck pillow but it was made for mastectomy patients for under the arm of the affected side. It was very good and I sometime use it for my neck or under my arm too. I also met with a woman in my PT office who had a lot of ideas for making it easier to write and to stitch and a tool to button my buttons. Still looking for something to help with earrings. But this tool can do a lot of things as you can see. There are also foam gripper tubes that I can put on silverware to eat (so I don't drop my spoon or fork.) Just cut it the length you need.

Finally, a couple of very special things, my praying bear which I have had since I was infertile and prayed for children EVERY. SINGLE. DAY back when Beanie Babies were popular. And then, my VERY favorite encouragement came the very first day I heard bad news in June of 2013. Dawn in her sweet little heart wanted to help me and she glued these popsicle sticks together and painted my battle cry “BE BRAVE!”

I haven’t had the best month. I think the chemo is building up. I did not expect to still be on chemo in August when I started it last December but we do what we have to do. We do seem to be going down the right path. I will report though, my fat arm is smaller this week! I went to the stitch shop uptown in Marion to find anything I could that may help me to stitch. I found a few things and yesterday I was able to finish a hand embroidered quilt block. I am going to tackle another one today.

God is so good at holding me and He does it through all of you. So many times we were told by our doctors and surgeons that if we do "this" there would be a 98% chance that this cancer won't come back. There is a different plan for me it seems. As the Mayo report said in the first paragraph "This is an interesting and challenging case".

I thank everyone who has brought meals to us and our “secret school supply fairies”, those who have picked up my kids or dropped them off too. (you all know who you are). And for those who are far away, who throw a card in the mail every so often I say thank you! I am serious when I say each one of them arrive right when I need them most. Then there are some who I have never met in person, thank you for your prayers and for following our family through this. I love you all!

“The promise was when everything fell we’d be held.”

Natalie Grant

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Today is HERE!!!!!

There is someone in this house who has been waiting patiently since May for August 13th to come around. Here we are August 13th and the first day of summer introductory lessons for the 5th grade band! Matthew got his saxophone today and he had it in and out several times today!

All three boys had their instruments out within minutes of Matthew getting home with his saxophone. So there has been music all over the house today. Two more days of introductory lessons and I know he will learn a lot.

And how does all this affect this young man’s mother? I am so proud. It is hard to imagine that time can fly so fast, but here we are!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

She Wanted Lasagna so She Made Lasagna

Last week was rough for me. I had about three good days and then Saturday hit and I could hardly get up and walk to the kitchen without feeling like I was falling over.

My feet are worthless. I can’t feel them and around six or seven at night they start hurting. I love my arm pump! If I do a session with my arm and then put it right into my sleeve and the pain throughout the day has been greatly reduced.

I have to be reminded often to take one day at a time.  I say it enough but I still need to be reminded. This is a post that I thought I had published on Tuesday, but when I went to post my treatment update I realized I didn’t actually publish it.

So...on Tuesday I wanted lasagna - my lasagna (I have been known to make a mean lasagna!) Well I was thinking how long it had been since I have blessed my family with their favorite meal. I love and am thankful for the friends who so kindly have blessed us with some great recipes while I have gone through treatment.

I had lasagna on my mind but didn’t have all the ingredients and I knew if I went on a grocery trip I wouldn’t have the energy to make lasagna. It takes a little time and energy to put it together. So instead I put together a shopping list, got online and ordered Aldi to deliver.

And ta-da! In hardly no time at all I had two full lasagnas ready for the oven. Each day I want make goals. Not a “to do” list but a “done” list. I would rather focus on my accomplishments than on everything that didn’t get done. Some days there are a few things on the list, and some days maybe only one thing.

Tuesday it was lasagna and boy was it good!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Treatment and PET Scan Results

Today we got the results of Monday’s PET scan. Cancer is still decreasing so that is good news. Mayo also added to their report after checking the biopsy samples. They agree with the molecular testing we had done earlier this year as to the type of cancer we are fighting.

Two people rang the bell today and I clapped along with everyone else. Then I pondered back to 2017. It was January and I had my “last” chemo treatment after six months of chemo.

We talked about pain management too and added a couple options for me. We are going to continue this protocol until we no longer see a change in the PET scans. It isn’t
really the kind of plan I like. So we will be patient until we can get more details.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hurray for the Sleeve!

It’s here! It’s here!! I received my pump a week ago this past Saturday. I have used it a few times. As you can see, it is quite the set up. I have a video link that explains the whole process if you would like to watch it here.

I met with the nurse yesterday to make sure I knew what I was doing. I hadn't adjusted anything myself and so she was able to get it velcroed so that it does the most good.

This will get me to stop and rest some during my day. If I can, I like to be busy on days that I feel good. It has been my habit to overdo it on those days.

I don't remember if I have mentioned this or not, but my next scan is going to be on August 5th. Then consult and next treatment on the 7th.

When I have two good scans in a row we will talk about what I will be on for maintenance to keep anything from attacking again. Stage 4 metastasized breast cancer is not curable but it is treatable. Hopefully we will hear from Mayo and what they found in the pathology that they have been working on.

It would help me mentally if someone would just tell me what kind of cancer I have. Thankfully this "shot in the dark" protocol has worked pretty well. We will see on the 7th.

Psalm 16:11 

You will show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.