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..........

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