Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yeah for 2010!

I am on the mend after surgery. The surgery itself was very successful and fingers crossed the cancer is gone! My recovery is also going well. I've had all of the stitiches and staples out. The worst part has been the donor site for the skin graft which is on the top of my right thigh. VERY painful! On the bright side, it has certainly kept me from thinking about how much under my arm hurts.

I'm still very restricted in what I can do and spend most of the time propped up in bed. However, once there and with the pillows arranged just right I am very comfortable and have been reading tons and watching food shows.

I really appreciate everyones calls, notes and gifts. It really helps me stay positive knowing you guys are there for me.

I hope everyone has a glorious New Years and that 2010 is spectacular for us all!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Happy Holidays

Still Amelia!

Mom is home!! She came home yesterday evening.

She's been getting some much need R&R after being in the hospital, and is doing much better!!

She asked me to type this up to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!!

Post-Surgery Update

Amelia here, hoping to give everyone a little update on how my mom is doing.

Yesterday Mom had her surgery and although it took forever, the results were positive across the boards. Everything went according to plan, apparently, with the exception of a skin graft that added about an hour and a half to the procedure.

Miles and I got to talk with her last night when she was awake, and again this morning. Though she hopes to come home tomorrow, the doctors think it may be Thursday morning before they can check her out because of the skin graft.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Good to Go

Well, no new illnesses or injury's, so I'm good to go for surgery today. I also got all of my Christmas shopping done and a friend is doing all of the wrapping. I'm just killing time until its time to go. Actually, I'm trying to avoid thinking about coffee, because I could really use a cup right now! Other than that I feel great and am anxious to get this over with. With the surgery completed, I'll be half way through treatment and hopefully my body will be rid of that nasty cancer!

I'm planning on having a guest blogger tomorrow - Amelia - so I can post an update on how the surgery went.

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm on the Schedule

My surgery is scheduled for December 21 at 12:00 pm. I guess I won't get lunch that day!

I wish it was sooner, but it seems everyone wants to get an operation in before the end of the year. Now all I have to do is stay healthy and injury free until then!


Wednesday, December 9, 2009


It is always something!

I met with my surgeon yesterday, and I have 2 things going on that are delaying scheduling surgery - my cold and the burn on my right arm.

What burn? Here is what happened. I haven't cooked at all since I began chemo treatments. I didn't have a lot of energy and the thought of food really wasn't pleasant. We have been very fortunate in support from friends here at the Lake and at BSE (the boys' school) who have brought meals by twice a week since I got my diagnosis. Jim and Amelia have been filling in the slack. So last Saturday I was feeling pretty good, and I actuallly planned a meal and helped in its preparation. Jim smoked a pork shoulder on the grill and I made coleslaw for Bar B Que pulled pork. Before I got sick, I'd been experimenting with making baked potato chips. I've got the flavor down, now I'm just working on the right amount of crispness. Anyway, I decided to try again on Saturday. I successfully got the potatoes sliced without slicing my finger(which is a major accomplishmment for me), but I wasn't so successful in getting the cookie sheet out of the oven.

I burned my right forearm. I thought it was nothing and hadn't even put anything on it. Although I didn't think it was a big deal, I showed the surgeon my burn, just so he wouldn't think it was some kind of cancerous lesion. He got very concerned due to the risk of infection and lymphedea. As part of the surgery, he will remove all of the lymph nodes in my right arm. This means that from now on any kind of wound to my right arm becomes dangerous because without the lymph nodes my ability to fight infections on my right arm becomes very difficult. I'll also run the risk of Lymphedema which can cause your arm to swell. As neither would be much fun for me, he doesn't want to start right off the bat with me having a wound on my arm. So it will have to heal before we can go ahead. He has given me a prescription for topical antibiotic cream which I have to put on 3 times a day. Hopefully, this will speed the healing process.

And he wants me to be totally over my cold. I'm actually feeling pretty good, but still have some congestion and a little cough. Just so nothing else comes up, I'm going to be very paranoid for the next week and avoid going out as little as possible. I've been fairly careful during chemo to avoid germ situations. I've avoided shaking hands and hugging and have tried to limit visiting places like hospitals and schools. Jim has been taking Michael to physical therapy, so I haven't had to go to Children's Mercy, and I've only gone to one school event where Miles had a reading part. I've not even been to watch the boys' swim practice, and I really miss seeing them swim. I had hoped to get out this week and do a few things including finally getting together with friends I've been missing, but I guess I won't do that either. I guess if I want to look on the bright side, it has turned bitter cold here for the next couple of days, so being forced to stay in won't be too big a deal.

I'll go meet with Dr. Sclar again next Tuesday and hopefully I'll be cleared for the surgery. If so, he said we would then schedule it sometime that week. I hope it is sooner because we'll really be pushing into Christmas. The good news about the surgery is it is a pretty easy one because its not like they have to open my chest or abdomen. Dr. Sclar said I'd have to stay in the hospital for 2 nights and once home I should be able to move around.

The yoga thing is STILL hanging over me! Ugh!

Stay warm and enjoy the Christmas weather.

Late breaking news: I was just getting ready to post this when I received a call from Dr. Sclar's office. They are going to go ahead and put me on the surgery schedule. If for some reason, I'm not better we'll just move it. She is going to try for Wednesday, December 16.


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Headed in the Right Direction

Good News! Looks like everything is on track. I saw my Oncologist this morning and he is very pleased with my progress from chemo and felt I can go ahead with surgery. I have called the surgeon and will meet with him next Tuesday. Now I just need to hope he feels the same as Dr. Neubauer and can get me scheduled before Christmas. Dr. Neubauer thought I'd need about 4 weeks to recover from the surgery and then we could start my second round of chemo. The next round will be a different drug which I'll get 4 times. There is a chance we'll do it once a week instead of every two weeks. Dr. Neubauer also said this drug should not be as bad as the last ones. It will not mess with my white blood cells, so I will not have to take the Nulasta shot.

Now that I've shared the good news, I'll tell you my chemo break isn't going quite as well I'd expected. Last week I thought the effects from chemo should be wearing off and I'd start feeling pretty darn good. Then on Tuesday or Wednesday, I started having horrible problems with my eyes. There were constant tears - even when I'd wake up in the middle of the night, tears would be streaming down my face. Jim and the kids kept asking why I was crying and I'd have to explain I wasn't crying but that my eyes just keep watering. After several days of this my eyes were puffy and swollen and I was stuffy, just like you'd feel if you'd cried for 3 days straight. I did discover for some reason that wearing my contacts actually helped. I had read that dry eye could be one of the side affects and had also had people warn me this could happen. But I thought dry eye would mean my eyes would be dry and that especially wearing my contacts would be difficult. Now I know it should really be called "crying eye" instead of "dry eye". I finally figured this out on Friday and got drops to help with the dryness and this has helped some.

Then Jim caught a cold on Friday and I had it by Sunday. Sore throat, headache, cough, achey - ugh! I think by now my cold has developed into a sinus infection and Dr. Neubauer agreed that a round of antibiotics wouldn't hurt, especially since we're trying to get surgery in the next couple of weeks. So, hopefully just a day or two more and I'll feel somewhat back to normal. In the mean time, Amelia came down it with it yesterday. The joke around here is that Miles and Michael are the only healthy ones left, which is similar to the lunatics running the asylum. I asked Michael what was for dinner last night and his response was "does everyone like M&M's?" We did manage to get everything together to celebrate Miles' 11th birthday on December 1st. No, he did not get a cell phone and therefore, remains "the only one at school" without a phone. I think the suffering and humiliation will make him stronger!

And no, I haven't started Yoga yet!

I hope you are all doing well and getting into that Holiday Spirit!