Friday, July 31, 2009

I need to start this out by apologizing to my sisters. I used this blog to "vent" my frustrations, and portrayed them in a bad light. I let Satan, who roams about seeking whom he can devour, have a victory. I am ashamed of my bad behaviour. My sisters love my mom every bit as much as me, and want only the best care possible for her, as do I. Although we have differing opinions on how that should be done, it should in no way hamper our relationship with each other, but more importantly, it should NOT hamper our relationship with our Lord. We are Christians, first and foremost, sisters in the Lord. I have shared that my prayer, in the past few weeks has been changed from "Lord please don't let this happen, or that happen", to "Lord, help me be content to drink from whatever cup you sit before me". I am weak, and in the stress of the past few days, I failed miserably. I have not acted Godly at all. I am sure I damaged my Christian witness. I am not making excuses for my behaviour. I accept the responsibility, and the accountability. I am accountable for my actions, and I am grateful when I am held accountable. It is a painful process when we are held accountable by other Christians, but the end result should always be restoration and reconciliation. That is my prayer, for myself, today. That I have not damaged the relationship far beyond their ability to forgive me. It is not enough to be held accountable. We, as Christians, must not look at that as an attack, but as someone trying to correct our very un-Christian like behaviour. It also is not enough to be called on the carpet, if we are unwilling to make the appropriate changes in our behaviour, so that others can see that there is not only repentance and remorse in our bad behaviour, there are changes in our behaviour. We do live in this world, and therefore, it is good to say, I have repented, and asked forgiveness from both the offended party, and my Lord, but it is also good that those that were a witness to that ungodly behaviour, see that change is being made. I am going to step up my game in that area. As my sister shared with me, some sin is easy to say no to. We are Christians, and it is easy for us to turn and walk away, and say, no way, not me, not ever to some sin. But there are other sins, those that "easily ensnare us", that we get sucked into in the blink of an eye. My daddy used to say, that our greatest weakness, is an unguarded strength. So, just about the time I begin to feel safe in my Christian walk, BAM, along comes bitterness and strife. I was not guarding that well enough. But once again, my focus has been restored, and I am asking you to join with me in prayer to once again, hold me up with your prayer support. Life is full of stress and pain. But misery, is optional. Please, pray that the relationships that were damaged will be not only restored, but this stressful time in my family will bring us closer together as a family so that we are able to work together as a team to help make my momma safe and comfortable. Please pray that our behaviour will bring honor to not only God, but to my momma, and my daddy's memory. This is a hard time, with hard decisions that have to be made. Hard for my momma to accept, and hard for me to watch her deal with the changes.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I don't even know where to start. The past few days have been such a blur. But God is in control of every detail, and although it is hard to see it in the midst of "the storm", when you get a chance to breath, it is much easier to see how the hand of God was in it. I have shared before that my mom insists that she can still live alone. Whenever I approach the subject of "when the time comes", she insists she wants to stay in her own home until she doesn't know anything, or who she is, etc. I know God is in control, and that God has a plan and I don't need to know the plan, but you know, sometimes, we "control freaks" just want to know!! Oh well, I am trying to be patient and allow God to work His plan, and for me not to mess His plan up. Pray for me in that area?? Before I get started on momma's life, let me just say for those of you that are wondering, I finally got the call about whether or not I have to do radiation! My doctor was supposed to call me on Friday with the response and recommendation of the tumour board, but I got no such phone call. Yesterday, however, while I was sitting in the hallway of St. Anthony's hospital, waiting on mom's EEG test to be completed, my phone rang. It was the Nurse Coordinator that works with my Oncologist. It was about a 45 minute conversation, but the short of it is, they are going to recommend radiation. But, they did agree, that since I am receiving Herceptin on a regular basis, they will work around my travel plans in September! YAY!!!!! I told them, I don't even care anymore, I am not upset. I will be there with bells on in October. They did ask that I make an appointment to come in before we leave for Florida, to go ahead and do the preliminary mark-ups, and tattoos. I am feeling stronger every day, and gradually beginning to lose most of the fatigue and feel "normal". Anyway, moving on. Mom and I got back from Memphis on Wednesday afternoon. I spent the night at my house with my family, awaiting the arrival of my brother-in-law and the kiddos. Thursday I spent the day being fitted for a Mastectomy Bra and a prosthesis, which took over 2 hours, and getting groceries. Friday morning, I tried to figure out a way to do mom's car stuff from home. I called Hillsboro and tried to get her Personal Property Tax Receipt info, and they told me the license office could get it on line, no problem...check. I then called Sapaugh and asked if they would fax me the state inspection and emissions form, yes they would.....check. I called State Farm to see if they could fax me her proof of insurance, yes they could.....check. Then, the a slight problem arose. Her home owners insurance was due...TODAY! The last day of the grace period, had to be done today. Well, fiddle sticks, that required a trip to Herky. So, God worked it all out, despite my efforts to not go to Herky on Friday, I got in the car and went. I got there about 11ish, and mom was eating lunch. I sat with her while she finished her ham sandwich with a big slice of home grown tomato, LOL. When she was done, she put her face on, and we got in my car and headed towards the license office. I parked, we both walked in and she took a number. We sat there for approximately an hour, waiting for our number to be called. Once called, it was pretty quick, and we were out of there with renewed license plates. From there we went to State Farm, and got her Home Owner's Insurance renewed. From there we went to Keith's job site, picked up the checks he had and headed to the bank to get payroll. I left Mom in the car, with the AC, and ran in, got the payroll money, and was back out in less than 5 minutes. We ran it back out to Keith, and then headed to momma's house. Once there, we went inside, went potty, and I went outside to switch out the plates on her car. She came out and was sitting in her swing, while I was taking off the old plates, putting on the new plates. I was finishing up, putting tools away, when momma stood up and said, "Deb, I am getting hot, I am going in the house." I told her I was finished, and was right behind her. We walked into the house, momma sat down in the red chair. I turned to look at her to see why she sat there and didn't go to "her" chair. She was sitting there, with a blank stare. Her arms were stiff straight and her hands were curled up like fists. I started talking loudly to her, momma, are you alright? Momma! Talk to me! I said, "Momma, I am gonna call 911". She grunted real loud and began to shake and shiver. Her face was twitching like crazy. I kept talking to her, and she grunted her answers. So I knew she was "in there", she just couldn't talk to me. I got a cold rag, and wiped her head and she began to come out of it, and talk to me. "Debra Faye, I am fine, I just got over heated. I used to do this all the time when I was a child. I am fine." I was kneeling at her feet, crying, momma, please, either let me call 911, or lets get in the car and let me drive you to the ER, and get you checked out. That was not normal. She kept refusing, saying she was just over heated, and she was fine. After a few minutes and yes, I was convinced she was "back", I told her I needed something out of my car and walked outside. I went down to Ada's and just cried, asking her what I should do. She urged me to call Keith, and call mom's doctor, Dr. Willey. So I called Dr. Willey, told him what happened, and he said to call 911, and they would check her out, and if they decided to transport her, have them take her to St. Anthony's. I then called Keith, told him what happened, and he said he was on his way, and for me to call 911, now. I then called 911, sitting right there on Ada's couch. She gave me a much needed hug, and I ran out the door back to momma's. I stood in the driveway until the "army" began to arrive. Within seconds, the Herky police rolled up, with lights going. He walked up to me, and followed me into the house. Momma said, "Debra Faye, what are we doing? Is he coming to arrest me?" She laughed and began to "put on the show" to convince him she was ok. Then, of course, here came paramedics, ambulance, and the fire department. And yes, all with lights and sirens. We had the neighborhood rockin'! And all the neighbors out in their yards I am sure. Anyway, the paramedics checked her out, then the ambulance crew checked her out again. Her blood pressure was low, and her heart rate was high. They decided she was dehydrated, and gave me instructions to pour the fluids into her. She opted not to be transported, and signed the appropriate papers. They all cleared out of momma's living room, and left Keith and I sitting there with momma. I went into the kitchen to get her some more water or orange juice, I don't remember at this point, but I went into the kitchen for something. Momma started to get up and follow me in there, and we stopped her and told her to sit back down, we would get whatever she needed. She sat back down, and I got her some more to drink. When I was bringing it back, I looked at her and she was doing it again. Only this time it didn't last as long, and didn't seem as bad. But, Keith saw it this time, not just me. She came out of it, and said, "what, I did it again?" I said, "yes, you did momma. It wasn't as bad, didn't last as long, but yes." Since it didn't last as long and wasn't as bad, we thought, ok, more fluids, apparently that is working. Keith sat with her while I ran to Shop N Save, the closest grocery store to momma, and got some Gatorade, and some other grocery items (mostly fruit). When I got back, I fixed us all something to eat, because by this time, it was like 5 or 5:30. Keith declined, said he was going to head to the farm. Mom and I ate a Caesar salad, with some sliced tomatoes and cucumbers on the side. Mom ate good, and drank some more Gatorade. We watched some TV until bed time, and mom found me a sleep shirt and a toothbrush, we went to bed. I can't say I slept well, but mom did. I kept running all the events of the last few days through my mind and my mind would not shut down. Saturday, I put my momma in the car and drove her to St. Anthony's hospital. All the way, momma kept saying, Deb, we don't have an appointment, why are we going now. I said, momma, we will go in through the Emergency Room, we don't need an appointment. She kept saying, what day is this, is this not Saturday? I said, yes, it is mom. She said, there is not going to be anyone there until Monday. I said, yes, mom there are always doctors at the hospital. She said, you know what I mean. I said, yes, I do, we need to do this. She said can't we wait until Monday? Nope, we are doing it today. I pulled up to the door of ER, momma got out and went in. I parked the car, and then joined her at the front desk. She had already given them her name and insurance card. I explained to them what happened and how we needed her to be checked out to see why this happened. They did look at me funny when I told them the seizures were yesterday (Friday) and this was Saturday. They got us moved through the system, and before you knew it, we were back in a room in the ER. Memories. That is where we took daddy, back in December 2007. And yes, momma kept repeating that as well. Momma asked me to call Bennie, so she could start the prayer chain. I did that, and allowed her to talk to Bennie. When we first got there, she was alert enough to tell them why we were there. It wasn't very long, and she was showing signs of confusion. The memories of daddy, and ER, and St. Anthony's hospital, and "this is where your daddy died", began to take over. Repeating the events that led up to that day, over and over. Her short term memory may be bad, but her memory of history is clear. And when she gets rattled, she repeats over and over the past events that she remembers. I can't even begin to tell you how hard that was, not to mention emotional for me. My mom is NOT a doctor person, and once we got there, we spent a lot of time doing what you do in hospitals on weekends...."hurry up and wait". And I had to continually remind her why we were there, why we couldn't leave and come back on Monday, why we needed to stay and find out what was wrong. They did an EKG, which showed that yes, a seizure had occurred. At some point, I don't remember when, they came in and told us they were going to keep her, until she could be seen by the Neurologist. Some time around 5:30, my daughter Kelly showed up, and she offered to go get us some food. We had not eaten for hours!! Kell went across the street to St. Louis Bread Co. to get us some soup and salad. Yummmmm! Kelly stayed with us until they came in to say they had found her a room. Momma had been saying whatever they do, I hope they don't put me on the 7th floor. Kelly was there, when they came into the room to tell momma, they had found her a room........on the 7th floor. Momma teared up. About a half hour or so, they came to move us, and Kelly picked up her stuff to go home. She said she needed to go let Jen's dog out anyway. Sometime around 7:30 or so, they came and moved us from ER to the 7th floor. We had not been in the room very long, when Jen and Cole came in. They visited for about an hour before they left. I don't think we ever turned on the TV. We both just did our "bedtime routine", and turned out the lights. I barely had the lights turned out, when my phone lit up with a text. It was my friend, Susan Vaughn, texting me that she was in the ER with Naomi. I picked up my phone, and slipped out quietly to go downstairs and visit with her. I sat there and talked with Susan until about midnight. I then went upstairs, got in my recliner, pulled up the covers, and tried to go to sleep. I couldn't sleep. Mom was sleeping soundly in her hospital bed. However, my mind would not shut down. I was running all the events of the past few days through my mind. Momma driving to my house by herself. Our trip to Memphis to visit our dear friend, Janice Dugger, and to get mom's hair cut and permed. My brother-in-law and nieces and nephews all being at my house, with just my husband and my kiddos. Two men with 14 children, and no mom! My Thursday fitting for the mastectomy bra and prosthesis. The seizures, the 911 call, BLAH!!! It was just crazy spinning. I talked with the Lord for a long time, only it seemed more like screaming and crying than talking. Before I knew it, morning was here, and they were bringing in mom's breakfast tray. I left and went to get me some breakfast and to find some coffee somewhere. When I returned, they were telling mom that she would be going for her MRI of the brain in a few minutes. I walked down the hall and waited outside in the hallway for mom as she endured the 45 minute test. We then went back to the room. The rest of the day was full of company. Word had spread, and mom was getting phone calls and visitors. Her Sunday School teacher called first thing, even before the MRI. The Hargis's came after church, then the Southard's, then Bro. Imhoff, then Nick and Jess and Ruger (my son and daughter-in-law and grandson). Somewhere in all this, the "lady" Neurologist came in. She explained that mom had moved into a different stage of Alzheimer's, and she was no longer considered "early stages". She also informed mom that she could not drive for 6 months. She then said they were going to order one more test, and a meeting with her partner in the morning. What that meant, was another night in the hospital!! Monday morning, mom's Primary Care Physician came in, Dr. Willey himself. The last time either one of us actually saw him, he was explaining to us that he was going to execute daddy's last wishes as far as his health care directive, meaning, unhooking him and taking off his oxygen mask. Yea, again, memories flooding over me. Same hospital, same floor, same doctor.....blah. Anyway, he went over all the suggestions for mom as far as her immediate care, her long term care, etc. This is long enough, so I think I will save all those details for another day. Right now, I am at peace with all the decisions that are being made for mom, and I know God is in control. In the midst of all this madness this weekend, my doctor's office called and informed me that yes, they are going to recommend radiation. They do agree to go along with my travel plans in September, and not start until October. So, if I didn't have enough on my plate, stuff just keeps getting added. But, I changed my prayer a long time ago, from "please don't let me have to do radiation, to Lord, just help me be ok, with whatever cup you sit before me. I trust the Lord. He loves me, and I know He wants the best for me. Whatever Lord, whatever. I'm ok. I truly am. I am feeling stronger everyday, I am. Thanks for all your prayers.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Can you believe it is the end of July already? This year has just been flying by. Let me remind you how my year has gone. On New Year's Eve, I had my first chemo treatment. While the rest of the world was celebrating the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, I was laying in a recliner trying to deal with the fact that I was about to begin a very long and very emotional trip down the path of cancer. Every time I cried, every tear I shed, was always more about the familiar road I was on, than the actual fact that I had cancer. The terminology used, the drugs used, the type of doctors, the infusion room, having a port installed, etc. All of it was way too familiar and way too painful to remember. And to top it off, I could not share it with my mom, because it was worse for her! It brought back way too many oh so painful memories. Here she was trying to put that behind her, and BAM! It was here again, only this time, in me. No, I didn't ask her to ever go with me to the hospital, or doctor appointments, or even let her know when I was going. I didn't want her to worry, or even think about me at all in terms of cancer. When I finally did tell her, she went into a tail spin and cried for several days. She didn't get dressed or put on make-up at all. She just cried, sobbed, for days. Her sweet neighbor went over to try and console her and reassure her that I was going to be alright, that Breast Cancer was NOT Leukemia, and that Deb was going to be ok. None of that seemed to work. As soon as I was able to get up off my bed, talk with a clear strong voice, I drove up to my mom's and sat in the recliner with her and watched TV with her. That was all it took for her to realize I was not "dying" with Breast Cancer. Still to this day, we do not talk about it much, unless she brings it up. But occasionally, on her good days, she does ask me about it, how it's going, where I am in my treatment plan, what I have left to do, etc. She even watched my younger girls while I was in the hospital getting my mastectomy! Although, I have been told that she told some people that I was "getting some female procedure done". But, on her good days, we laugh about it, and she tells me how I can just "get a padded bra". When she asks, I will share. I don't bring it up. But yes, I have told her all the good news as well. I told her when they could no longer feel the lumps by physical examination. I told her that after the mastectomy, they got clear margins, and found no evidence of cancer in my lymph nodes. She just said, "did you tell them they were just earthly physicians and you know the Great Physician?" I laughed and told her, "yes I did mom! I told you all along, this was not Leukemia, and that I would dance at my Grandson's wedding!" We have not taken a road trip in a while, and I noticed that mom was getting restless, and her hair was getting long, and her perm was all but gone. So, yep, I called her friend in Memphis and said, you up for company? She said, "Ya'll come!!" I said, you know the drill! You have to call my momma and invite her, then I will drive her down there! She laughed and said, I'll call you back! About an hour later, she called and said, I talked to your momma, she was in the swing eating her ice cream, and said she didn't have anything to write with to remind herself to tell Deb, so she gave me permission to call her chauffeur. We planned the trip for the next Tuesday and Wednesday. We were cutting mom's grass on Friday, and we talked about the trip. I called her Saturday morning, Saturday night, Sunday morning, Sunday night, Monday morning and Monday night. Every time, we discussed the plans for the trip to Memphis. Monday was my husband's birthday, so I decided not to drive up there and spend the night with her on Monday night. The plans were, I would be at her house on Tuesday morning at 9am. I got up on Tuesday morning, put some things in a bag, put the bag in my car, and headed towards mom's about 7am. As I rounded the curve, on my gravel road, I noticed a car coming towards me, which, on my road, at 7am is uncommon! As it got closer, I noticed it was a really nice car. As it got closer, I noticed it was a Cadillac. As it got closer, I noticed it was MOMMA!!! I stopped, and momma rolled down her window. I said, "Woman! What are you doing here?" She said, what was the plan? I said, I was supposed to meet you at your house! She said, oh well, I am here. So, she drove on to the house, and I turned around and went back to the house. I got my bags out of my car, put them in hers, and down the driveway we went. We stopped in Cape, went to Sam's, mom got some bananas and I got me a belated birthday present. We didn't have any money to spare in May, so I waited. I got me one of those GPS thingys! It's a cheap one, but it does the trick! I had forgotten to print out the directions to Janice's, and I didn't want to rely on my memory. Although, I must say, I could have done it! All the way down there, I was way ahead of the "voice from the box" on my turns, exits, and what have you. When we got to Janice's, her daughter Johnna was there and it was so good to get to see her and visit with her, while momma was getting her hair cut and permed. Janice is a beautician, and she has her shop in a little room off of her garage. After the cut and perm, we went into the house, and Janice had supper in the oven. Her husband, John Earl, was not home, so it was just us girls. We watched some of daddy's DVD's that I had in my laptop bag! We got some good preaching and teaching from the best preacher teacher I have ever heard in my life! That's just my opinion of course, but I have heard my fair share of preachers in my lifetime! I feel I can make an adequate assessment! I enjoyed seeing that tall skinny man, that healthy man, preach with energy! Momma enjoyed pointing out all the people in the choir, all the people in the pews, how the church was packed! How the choir was full and they were wearing choir robes!! Janice was making comments about how everything we were hearing was so very relevant today. We listened to a sermon on unity in the church! We listened to a sermon on being a "real" Christian not a Carnal Christian. We listened to a sermon on being a serious Christian, a set apart Christian, a sober Christian. Yes, three points and a closing!! Good stuff, I don't mind telling you. That man, Dr. Richard Adams, can preach!! I miss him soooooo much. Anyway, I digress.... We sat up and talked, laughed, cried, had a wonderful time. We discussed many serious issues and problems in the world today, LOL, and did our best to solve them! I don't even remember what time we finally went to bed. I do, however, know that I heard Janice laugh downstairs around 6:45 am!! I got up, got dressed, and checked momma's room, and yep, she was gone, and the bed was made. I went downstairs, and joined them two ladies on Janice's back porch, where we drank coffee and laughed and told stories some more. Such sweet memories I will forever treasure. Seeing my momma laugh so much is a priceless memory I am so grateful and blessed to share. After we ate our breakfast, we got our bags loaded in the car around 8:30. As we were standing there saying our goodbyes, Janice noticed momma's license plates were expired!! "Debra Faye! Are your momma's plates expired?" I looked at them, and sure enough, there were the stickers that said APR 09. Bejeebers!! Are you kidding me? Her plates have been expired since April? Clearly, I was not on top of my game in April! Every month, I help momma do her bills, and yes, we have kept up with them all, and kept them all current. But, I don't remember seeing the reminder card come in the mail, and to tell you the truth, didn't look for it. When I would come to her house, I just look for all the "normal" bills, like electric, phone, water, and satellite. I did not look for the reminder post card to renew her plates! So, after having a good laugh about how many places that car has been since April, on expired plates, we said our goodbyes, and momma and I were rolling up the road towards home. About Cape, I called Sapaugh's and made an appointment to get her car inspected and emissions tested. According to my GPS, we were going to be in Herky by 2pm. I convinced momma that it would only take 20 minutes or so, and needed to go ahead and get it done while I was there. Then I could take the paper work, along with her personal property tax receipt and insurance card, and didn't need her car to get her license plates renewed. I could do that for her, and bring her stickers back on Friday, when we come to mow her grass. Yea, well, that was my plan. Her car didn't pass inspection, due to ball joints had some play in them, and yes, warranty covered it, and they went ahead and replaced them. Two and a half hours later, we were leaving Sapaugh's with the needed paperwork. To say momma was "fit to be tied", is putting it mildly. She went to that window more than once and questioned them about what they were doing to her car. Once she even said, "if you have not started on it, bring it around, I am ready to leave!" I mean, you gotta remember, we had been in the car all day, we had left Memphis, or actually Collierville, at 9 o'clock that morning! It was 4:30 when we finally pulled into mom's garage! Keith was waiting for me, and because it was so late, I didn't go inside to find the personal property tax receipt, or insurance card, or do anything I had planned to do when we returned. I had also planned to take her to State Farm, because her Home Owner's insurance is due, and actually slightly late. We are still in the grace period, it has not cancelled yet!! Momma had said, she would take care of it, and did not want to do it, when we were writing out all the other bills, she still had time. So, I let it slide. That is what we are going to do tomorrow! Tomorrow will be a full day. We will mow her grass, re-fill her bird feeders, renew her license plates, and renew her home owner's insurance. Anyway, today, that is the plan. We will see in the morning. I do have my sister's family here from Chicago. Bryan and six of the kiddos came in last nite. Lois did not come. Lois has not been here at all this year. She works full time as a church secretary, for the church that has a Christian school. It is the school where her kids attend, and because she works there, it allows them a significant discount on the fees to attend there. They just got back from family vacation to California for two weeks, and she is about to take off more days to take her daughter Sarah Bean to California to get her settled into college. But, Bryan is able to work from home, so to speak, so he brought the kids to the farm to play and visit with their cousins, before school and all its activities get started back up in full swing. The kiddos are sooooo excited to be together. They came down this morning, for breakfast, and it wasn't long after that, they were asking if they could go swimming! It was 9 o'clock in the morning! LOL! I don't care!! So, I figure they will all sleep soundly tonight! I did have an appointment today, with the Mastectomy Specialist in Farmington. She took the appropriate measurements, and fitted me with one bra and one prosthesis to bring home today, and ordered another 2 that will be in next week. That was an experience. It wasn't as emotional as I thought it would be. I guess, I am getting used to the fact that I can't have modesty anymore. Everyone and their "sister" has looked at me, poked around on me, measured me, etc. I will be so glad when I have my life back. On the up side, though, we are down to six weeks until we leave for Florida!! Today, is the day the Tumor Board is meeting to discuss my case, and whether or not they will recommend radiation. Karen, the Nurse Coordinator for my Oncologist, called today to reconfirm my appointment schedule for August and September, and said she would call me tomorrow, as soon as she knows something. I will let everyone know, as soon as I know! I hope I don't have to throw a temper tantrum, but I have told them, if you recommend radiation, fine, I will be there with bells October! But please, give me September, give me Florida, give me Daytona Beach! I am praying hard. Hopefully, this will all work out. Momma is looking forward to Florida, and so am I. And after the year I have had.....I NEED FLORIDA!! Keith is grilling tonight, and the smell is about to get the best of me, so I need to get off of here and eat!! Pray hard folks, that I am ok and content with whatever God's plan for me turns out to be. I know what I want it to be. God knows what I want it to be. But, God also knows, that what I really want, in my "heart of hearts" is whatever HE wants for me. I trust HIM. I know He loves me, and I know that HIS plan is the best plan. God's got this. Whatever, Lord, whatever. Let that be my prayer. Let that be your prayer!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Finally, I am able to get on. First off, let me apologize to those of you that I sent an email too. I wasn't able to get online for some reason, so I sent out an email to some giving them an update on my condition and goings on with my cancer and my health. To those of you that got that email, this will be somewhat repetitive.

I had my right modified mastectomy on June 26th. Tomorrow, that will be 3 weeks. I am still somewhat limited in what I can do with my right arm. I have not yet gotten my range of motion back yet. The feelings that I have are kind of weird, and hard to explain. The weirdest feeling is when I drink something cold, I can actually feel it going down!! Yea, and the feeling is like someone is pouring cold water down my shirt!! It takes my breath away every time! I have read on-line it is still happening to those that are 6 months post mastectomy, and they are saying "you get used to it". Yea, whatever! The first 13 days I had these drains coming from my body that I had to empty twice a day of the drainage from the wound from "inside" my body. So, they were basically bottles of blood that needed to be emptied. I had to keep track of the drainage and when they got down to 30 cc's in a 24 hour period, I could call the doctor and come up and they would pull them out. They hurt and they were awkward. It was very hard to find any kind of clothes that would cover them, and not look really really weird to the outside world, like I was concealing something under there, teehee, or at least trying to. I was taking the pain pills they gave me, because, well, for the most part, I needed them! I have not had such on going pain in my life. I have birthed 10 babies, and 6 of them at home, without medication of any kind!! Nothing like this pain. But, I am getting used to that as well. I am able to function and do my day to day activities, just take lots of breaks in between. I am not staying on top of the house cleaning functions as well as I need to be, I am sure. But, that stuff can wait. Right now, my house is being cleaned by a team of children, Ha! They don't do a bad job, just not as good as adults. So, keep that in mind when you come to my house. We had a full weekend this past weekend. I went up and had the drains pulled last Wednesday morning. I took 2 Vicodin to prepare myself for that. I didn't feel a thing, LOL! I had my daughter Katy (18) and her friend, Jessica (almost 18) drive me up to the hospital. After it was over, we stopped and had a nice late lunch at a Pasta House on the way home. It was fun to have lunch with the young girls for a change!! Teehee. That evening, we learned that a dear old friend of ours, Erma Peters had gone to be with the Lord. She was very dear to our family, so we made plans to go to the visitation and the funeral. On Thursday, the kids and I went up and mowed mom's grass. The kids mow, I sit in the swing with mom. Calm down, don't get alarmed!! I know my limits! It was good to spend some time chatting with mom. I miss her when I don't get to just chat with her in her swing. That is usually when she opens up and really talks about what's bothering her or what is going on in her mind. Anyway, Friday we were back up in Festus, the whole family. First we went by to visit with Keith's dad, since it was his birthday and he was turning, hope you don't mind me telling, Fred.....he turned 82!! He is still very active and continues to amaze us all! I hope I am as healthy as Fred and Jean at that age! They are remarkable. We enjoyed a nice visit with them, then we left there to go to Vineyard's Funeral home to spend the rest of the evening there with our friends Bill and Janet Peters. It was Bill's mom that went to be the Jesus. She looked beautiful. And she went the way we all want to go if we were to be given a choice. She laid out her clothes for church Wednesday night across the bed. She then went in and laid down on the couch, to take a nap, and woke up in the presence of Jesus. Perfect. She was not sick, just spending her days like she spends every day. We were there with Bill and Janet until the last visitor left, and we helped them pick up the pictures and walked out to the cars with them. We then came home and went to bed. The next morning, I got up and Jessy and I went to Wal-Mart to try and find some of those sports bras that I had been told I could wear without pain. I bought a couple, and we came home to get ready to head back up to Festus for the funeral, which was at 2pm. I called mom to see if she wanted us to pick her up, but she said she would meet us there. Sure enough she was there first! We walked in, greeted many people, and found our place beside mom. It was a beautiful service. They had a choir, and we sang many hymns. Mrs. Erma was a member of the choir for many years. It was neat to see them honor her in that way. As soon as the service was over, I slipped out to go to a surprise birthday party of my best friend, Susan Vaughn. I was to ride with her mom, Lequeta, so I left Keith sitting there beside mom, and slipped out as they began to go row by row to allow people to leave. I arrived at the Blue Owl Restaurant in Kimmswick in plenty of time for us to find our seats in the back room, before Susan got there and we were able to surprise her! It was fun! Keith ended up doing the full funeral thing, and went to the grave side service, and then back to the church to hang out with his buddy. Bill has been a long time family friend, and is also one of Keith's hunting buddies that comes down to our farm and hunts from the hunting cabin. They are very close, as are all of those boys. They had a good time sitting and chatting over memories of mission trips with their mom and daddy back when we all had campers and went on all those mission trips. Those were some good memories. Sunday morning, we got up and all went to church. By the time I got home from church on Sunday I began to drag a little, and spent the day on the couch, watching tv with the family. Monday I was still feeling a little more tired than usual. Tuesday morning I woke up with a really really bad headache. I tried to drink some coffee, thinking it was just needing some caffeine. That came right back up. OK, hmmm, tried to drink some juice, some water, nothing stayed down. I tried to take some of the pain meds, again, same result. I could not keep anything down. I ended up just laying down and trying to go back to sleep. I did sleep off and on all day Tuesday. Every time I awakened, the kids were trying to bring me something to eat or drink. And offering to call dad. I kept telling them there was nothing daddy could do that they were not doing, so let dad get some work done. My two older daughters called, and I told Kassy to tell them i would call them back when I felt better. After a couple times of that message, Kassy filled them in on what was really going on with mom. Thanks Kassy.....the informant. Anyway, one of them called Keith, filled him in, and yea, I was busted. He came home, and tried to do the same things the kids had been doing. Trying to get me to eat something, drink something, sit up, anything. I was as weak as a kitten, couldn't open my eyes, or talk. I did reassure him that we were going to the docs in the morning, lets just wait and go in the morning. If we go up now, we go to ER and different docs, lots of explaining, lets just docs, know what is going on. Let's wait. FINE! So, the next morning, I get up and after several attempts, and several "bucket" episodes, I was able to get in the car. We headed straight for the hospital. It didn't take long for them to get a clear picture of how I was doing. They sent me straight over to the transfusion room, I heard my doctor telling them to give me a bag of fluids, and put some anti-nausea in it, and lets get her up and feeling better. We have lots to discuss, and she is in no condition to have a conversation! I was thinking, my head hurts so bad, that nothing in your little bag of fluids is gonna touch it! But, by George, it did! By the time the bags were finished, I felt 100% better! We went back over, had our discussion with the docs and then we were leaving the hospital by 4pm. We had arrived there by 9am, so yea, it was a full day. A long day for my husband. But the good news is, the pathology was good. They found no cancer in my lymph nodes, and very tiny spot in my breast that was removed. So, they say I had a dramatic response to the chemo therapy treatments. They are still discussing radiation. Apparently no one person, no one doctor wants to make this call, because I am a "complicated" patient?? Because I signed up for the study, the chemo has removed all the cancer that was there, and therefore, deciding if I need radiation is a complicated situation. Anyway, they again, are taking my case to the tumor board to discuss it again. I told them, I would do whatever they decided to do, just let me know. But yes, I feel better knowing that it is being discussed and not just routine. I did ask them if they come back with a recommendation of radiation, could we start it in October? They said they would present that request to the tumor board as well. So, after asking all to pray for an answer by July 15th, here I am again, saying, please keep praying, because they still don't know what to do about me. I do have to admit, that this particular part of the path has been harder than everything so far. It has proven at times, to be hard enough to make me cry. I am a pretty tough cookie, and have a very high tolerance for pain, but this, well, it has gotten the best of me at times. And throw this into the mix of my life, well, it makes everything difficult. When I went to do my morning call to my mom on Monday morning, her line was busy. An hour later, busy. Two hours later still busy!! By that time I had decided her phone was out of order. I called her neighbor, and asked about the storm that went through on Sunday. She said her phone was fine, and couldn't imagine it knocking out mom's, but she would walk over and check it out for me. Thank you Ada!! She did walk over, and yes, mom's phone was out of order. But she did tell her (remind her) about her senior luncheon at FBC Festus. She said, mom was walking out the door when she left. I called the phone company, and they couldn't promise me it would be fixed before Wednesday, July 15 between the hours of 8am and 7pm!!! GRRRRRR! I told them that was not acceptable at all! My mom lived alone, and that was my only contact with her! They promised to put an "expedite order" on it, and that was the best they could do. But due to the recent storms, they had an overlog of orders. Ya think?? Anyway, I tried to call her Monday night, busy. I called her Tuesday morning, busy. I don't remember anything else about the rest of Tuesday, sorry. Wednesday morning, while sitting in the waiting room for my treatments, I called her, and she answered!! Praise the Lord!!! I reminded her it was Wednesday, and she had Bible Study today! She said, well, I had better get up and get out of here, I have 12:45, what time do you have? I said, that's what I have mom! Short conversation, but wow, it felt good to talk to my momma. And yes, I called her again last nite. We do have our routines don't we? I need to talk to my momma every day, twice a day. Please continue to pray for my cancer walk, as well as my momma. And, there are a couple of "unspoken requests" in my heart as well. I cannot talk of them here, but God knows what they are, and if you could just pray some strong, mountain moving prayers that way, I know it would help. Thanks..........