Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Morning Ramblings ...

Praise the Lord ... I made it through four half days back at work.  I never knew I could be so exhausted ... OK, maybe I did but man ... working is exhausting.  <smile>  It was good to be back among my co-workers and friends.  It was good to be back working on my desktop computer and not just the laptop.  It was good to get in my car every day and come home and rest ... literally nap almost every day.

Praise the Lord ... This is considered my third Saturday after my round of chemo and tomorrow 'would' be the day that I start the steroid regime along with all the anti-nausea medications ... but Praising my Lord this morning that I do not have to do that.  It is amazing how it feels to know that I do not have that dread of another of round of chemo.  If you haven't been here, you really don't have a clue... and I never ever want you to have to be where I've been.  You do not want this 'clue'.

Praise the Lord ... The weather has been so beautiful and my plants have grown so much and seem to be flourishing.  I will take pictures today showing the growth.  The cucumbers and squash have been planted  and have grown unbelievably.  I need to get about 10 bags of mulch and get in the front flower bed and all the garden beds.  Has anyone ever had a 'mulch fairy' come and do this for them?  If so, would you send the fairy this way.  I do not like spreading mulch ... why?  I don't know but I don't like to do it.  Give me the mower any day (you have to start it for me) and I will mow forever but spreading mulch ... yuck-o!

Praise the Lord ... I do not know what is going on with the water retention and swelling in my legs and ankles that I am experiencing but I know God is in control.  I have taken Lasex since Tuesday and I do not see much of a change in the swelling decreasing.  My weight has increased ... it is not all water weight ... but there is some.  Under my eyes is swollen a bit this morning ... very strange.  I am asking for prayer on this issue today.

Praise the Lord ... I will be able to go back to worship service now.  I have missed that so much.  I am praying for God to lead me to a church that He would have me involved in.

Praise the Lord ...  The Fort Worth Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is April 14 and I will be able to participate.  If you are interested in participating, here's the link to sign up.
You can join the team that I am on using the following:
The team name is:    Simply the Breast    
Team Type:  Medical    
Team Company:  The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.  

Praise the Lord ... Monday I go back for what should be my final weekly blood check.  I should also find out about having my port removed and also get an appointment with the Radiation Oncologist about getting the radiation started.

Praise the Lord ... I found out what date to use as far as an anniversary date for my survivor date.  It is the date I found out that I had cancer.  You know the fateful date that you get that call or are told in person or in my case ... read my own diagnosis on my medical file folder waiting to see my doctor.  For me that date is September 15.  The devastation that day was beyond measure not just for me but my family.  The look of despair in my daughters and sister's eyes as they rallied around me that evening, I will never forget.  I felt my world crashing down around me ... I had CANCER.  Today as I write, I want to ensure you that my world did not crash around me.  I honestly can tell you that I wouldn't trade being where I've been for anything in the world.  My cancer diagnosis has changed my life for the better.  My cancer diagnosis opened my eyes to forgiveness that I had been denying, loving deeper, not taking things for granted, asking myself in times of stressful situations - does this really matter, removing the stress out of my life and so much more.  I promise this was not the situation on September 15, 2011,  and many days and weeks that followed but getting through those difficult days and weeks has brought me to where I am today.  Praise the Lord.

Praise the Lord ... It's Saturday morning and there is an Easter egg hunt at the park down the street from our house.  My grand babies will be able to hunt Easter eggs this year as they walking.  Easter is my favorite time ... I love all the pretty little eggs and decorations.  Most importantly ... It is a time that Jesus rose from the grave to walk the earth for forty more days before He ascended into Heaven.  The beautiful hymn ... He Arose ... comes to mind during this time of year.  The chorus ..
Up from the grave He arose,
With a night triumph o'er His foes;
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign.
He arose!  He Arose!
Hallelujah!  Christ arose!  
1 Corinthians 15:14-20 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Praise the Lord ... I am here today to write and am able to continue to share my journey as I walk the healing path that God has provided me.  My life has changed .... so much for the better ... Praise the Lord.  I am blessed beyond measure ... even through the many difficult and troubled waters that I have and must continue to walk through, God has always gotten me to the other side and I Praise Him.  

Blessed beyond measure and I pray for you many blessings today ... this day that the Lord has made.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Evening....

One word ... Exhausted.....

I will catch up with you all this weekend.  It's 8:15pm and I'm pooped.

Blessed and praying blessings for you who are reading this.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday already ....

A little good morning news ... I was able to walk almost two miles with my girls last night ... albeit ... my pace was much slower than it used to be.  I was pooped when we got back to Bonnie's house but it was so good being out in the fresh air and spending time with my girls.  My son in law kept both the babies and they ran around and played in the yard while we were gone.

Another milestone reached ... I am using my big girl toothbrush again.  YEA!  Remember when I got sores in my mouth and posted the picture of the baby toothbrush because that was all I could use at the time?  Last night I decided to try my regular toothbrush and all is well.  I will ensure my gums are ready before breaking out my electric toothbrush which I have dearly missed since beginning chemo.

The gardens are doing well.  I forgot to water the veggie gardens last night and pray they hold on until this afternoon.  Mulch ... I need mulch bad.  I'm thinking this weekend project as well as getting the squash and cucumbers planted in the new bed, and plant my mimosa tree.

All for now, gotta get going to work.

Blessed and praying many blessings for you today.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Kankles are Back

Yesterday the swelling in my eye lids, legs, ankles and feet started again.  I didn't even wear tennis shoes all day but instead sandals, thinking that would help.  NOT!  By last night, there were no ankles and my calves were about 12 inches in diameter.  I could not wait to get in bed to get my feet up.  By this morning, the swelling was down ... but I knew what was going to happen so I went ahead and took a Lasex.  During the day I noticed the swelling decreasing in my eye lids but my kankles are back.  I have to remember that I am just in my third week after my last round of chemo and this is about when the last swelling event happened.

My blood counts yesterday checked out relatively well considering it is the third week after chemo.  My red blood count went from 9.8 to 10.3 (chemo patience eat your raisins) and the other number they look at which is a combination of things was up.  Praising the Lord for good numbers.

Next Monday will be another blood check and my appointment with Helena, Oncologist nurse practitioner.  I am hoping at this appointment I will find out when I can get my port removed and also I believe there will be more information about radiation ... like when it will start.

Today I started back to work for half days.  It was a good day and as long as I was working, I felt great.  I left at 1:00pm and it was amazing how tired I got as soon as I got in my car.  All of a sudden, the tired hit me and I was extremely glad I didn't try to work all day.  Half days are good for now.  Praise the Lord.

Getting home was a blessing, just being able to rest.  I sat down in my recliner and leaned back and was asleep before I knew it.  So ... this tells me that while I feel good, my body is tired and needs rest.  I will comply with no problem.

Most likely I will not be able to post early mornings except on the weekend so please stay with me as my schedule changes ... I will most likely be posting in the evenings.

As always I appreciate you reading my blog and continuing on with me through my journey.  It's been quite interesting so far ... a few special events like being hospitalized in January ... having side affects begin to occur from the chemo ...  and always the many wonderful people I've met along the way who have blessed my life beyond anything I could have imagined.  Thank you Lord for blessing me and keeping me in Your arms as I continue to walk this journey.

Blessed and praying many blessings on all who read this post.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Saturday & Sunday Update ... Where does the time go?

I was a little late getting going on Saturday so it was noon before I hit the streets in search of a specific ground cover I wanted for my front flower bed.  While I didn't get what I "thought" I wanted which is called Thrift, I did get trailing phlox.  I have Indian Hawthornes in my front flower bed with elephant ears behind them and I wanted something that was low growing, heat tolerate and offered color.  When I found the phlox at Lowe's, I decided that is what I would use.  I added a large red (love me some red) geraniums to the corner by the front porch.  I also have been looking for a solar powered coach light to hang on a hanger I have put by the porch but have not been successful in finding what I want.  I found some solar coach lights on Amazon but after reading the reviews, I am not sure they will be 'good enough' for what I am wanting to accomplish.  If anyone has suggestions, please email me.

Above:   This is Thrift that I thought I wanted
but couldn't find.  (Picture from the internet)

Above:  This is Trailing Phlox that I got.  

Above:  The beautiful red geraniums and around the front
edges of the bed are the phlox.  To the right of the geraniums
is the hangar I want to hang a solar powered coach light.
(Note to self:  Move the tractor sprinkler. <smile>)

Above:  Knock out rose on the other end of the flower bed.

Above:  Opposite end of the bed.

Above:  See my little girl statue and also the elephant ears
peeking above the Indian Hawthornes.  
I planted marigolds in my garden beds ... they are supposed to keep the bugs away but they have their own issues like spider mites.  I am not beyond using some Seven Dust if that happens.  By now I figure I've got at least $250-$300 invested in these gardens and I don't intend to let the bugs have my plants or my produce.  <smile>  The birds seem to want to snap the limbs off my peppers and tomatoes and use them to make their nest so I got them their own special straw stuff and have scattered through the gardens and wagon so they will leave my plants alone.

Above:  Marigolds for bugs.  Brown patches
are the nesting material I put out for the birds
and squirrels.  I don't think either have taken
me up on my offer to assist building their

Above:  The third and final raised bed.  It's lacking dirt at this
time.  I ran out of energy.  

Above:  The third bed will house the cucumbers and
yellow straight neck squash.  The tiny rosemary plant at
the bottom of the picture will get it's own planter because
rosemary gets very invasive. 

I wanted to share a little something about washing your 'hair' when you don't have hair or much of it anyway.  Think about washing your hair in the shower.  You lean your head back and get your hair wet and straighten your head up and put your shampoo in and begin washing, right?   On occasion, you will have a drip that escapes and maybe get a little shampoo in your eye and it burns.  Well let me tell you what happens when you wash your hair when you don't have anymore hair than I do.  I lean my head back to get my short 'hairs' wet and straighten my head to put the shampoo and begin washing ... straightening my head up is entirely the wrong thing to do when you do not have hair to hold the shampoo on your scalp.  Just about every night when I wash my 'hairs', I forget that one little step .... KEEP YOUR HEAD LEANED BACK ... and if I don't, I get not one drip of shampoo but a flood of shampoo in my eyes.  OUCH!  <laughing>  Yes, I do have to laugh at this ... everytime.  You would think after four months of washing my 'hairs' and scalp, I would learn to keep my head leaned back.  In my Look Good, Feel Better class that I attended before chemo,  we were told to continue taking care of our scalp the same as if we had hair so I continue washing and conditioning and now moisturizing my scalp.  I keep looking for new hair appearance but I'm sure it's a little too soon after my last round of chemo for my body to be generating new hair.  Patience ... God's teaching me that patience thing again.

I am so very thankful to be feeling so good and having the wonderful God-given opportunity to enjoy the beautiful weather we are having.  It got a little warm on Saturday and Sunday both but not enough to keep me inside.  Both nights I was completely worn out but it is so good to be feeling good and up and about and outside sweating.  

3 John 1: 2  Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.

Every day is such a blessing.  Do not let the things of the world get in the way of your enjoying it.  Turn your worries over to God and let Him work in your life.  He has brought me amazing peace and comfort by trusting Him and allowing Him to work in my life.

Extremely blessed and praying many blessings for you today.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Appearance Isn't Everything ....

"Appearance isn't everything" can have several meanings.  The context I'm using it in parallels another saying ... you can't judge a book by it's cover.  We all have a tendency to do this and I find it happening with myself as I am now finished with my chemo and feeling so much better (Praise the Lord), people look at me and have said ... you're finished with chemo and now you're back to normal.  First of all, my life will never be the normal that I once knew and how thankful I am for that.  Second, if someone has not been through chemo, they do not realize the extreme toll it takes on your body.  (My prayer is that eventually no one will have to take chemo drugs.)  I must tell you that I look the same, well I don't have much hair yet, but physically I am getting around great. I talk and laugh and feel good.  The part that people do not understand when they look at me is when the fatigue catches up with me by the afternoon and early evening and I run out of energy.  In the book I am reading, After Breast Cancer, A Common Sense Guide to Life After Treatment, explains how you do not get over months of chemo in a week or two. This book was written by a woman who experienced breast cancer twice.  It has been extremely helpful for me dealing with my own feelings about my energy and other things in life, as well as, trying to explain to others about what is happening with my body.  Thank you to my survivor sister, Elizabeth, for suggesting I get this book.  If there are any survivor sisters reading my blog, I suggest you get this book.  Here's a link to Amazon ...

The weather yesterday was just beautiful.  After work I wanted to work in my yard and try to get it tidied up.  It needed mowing, weed eated (literally I've been invaded by weeds), and edges.  I am able to use the weed eater with  no problem.  Remember I still have my port and then there is always the ever present thoughts of lymphedema invading my left arm where the 16 lymph nodes were removed.  Once I got the front and back yard weed eated and edged, I had a dilemma ... how to start the mower.  I usually use my right arm to start the mower but that's where the port is and I am not taking any chances of disrupting that tube that is sewn in to my vena cava artery and I didn't want the trauma for my left arm because trauma can cause lymphedema so there I sat in my garage just staring at my mower.  My next door neighbor was home but he didn't answer when I called.  A couple guys down the street were home but I didn't really want to ask them so that left my neighbor, Carla.  She is off on Friday afternoons and is always willing to help anyone.  I called and ask her if she could help me and here she came.  I was a little apprehensive about the mower starting since it had not been used since last year before my surgery (October 18) and also it had been stored on the back porch all winter (boy, how I need a storage building ... that's another post).  Praise the Lord ... it started on the third pull.  It is self-propelled, of course, so that makes it easier but by the time I got finished, I had rubber legs and my face was beet red.  Carla stayed and sat in the garage while I mowed which I was really happy about.  After I got finished, I got some water and we chatted for a while.  As we chatted, the tears began to flow as I tried to explain to her how I feel helpless at times.  It wasn't a pity party by any means but a life reality for me right now.  I've never had anyone have to come help me start my mower so yesterday was my first and I'm sure until I get my port out ... there will be other times.  Thank you Carla for helping me and being my partner in crime to get my yard done.  I was exhausted last night after an extremely busy day at work and then getting my yard done.

When Alicia and Madelyn got home yesterday, I got to take Madelyn out in the backyard to explore.  She doesn't leave anything unexplored.  She samples every bit of dirt in my planters, tries to climb into the garden beds, picks up river rocks and relocates them, and loves for some reason to walk right where there is no grass but plenty of wet dirt.  Anyway as Madelyn was exploring, I looked around at all the trees budding out and the grass that is turning green again (hence my needing to mow), all the plants I have in my garden beds and the beautiful little chickadees visiting my bird feeders.  They are so beautiful and when one comes to the feeders, there are several.

When these little birds fly, they have a wave type flight pattern.  Almost like they are riding a roller coaster without the tracks.  Watching these as well as all birds that visit my feeders, I am reminded once again of God's love and words ...  Matthew 6:26 ... "Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in bards, and yet our Heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?"  Think about it ... we are much more important to God than the birds, yet they are provided for.  Before cancer, these things I noticed but not to the degree I notice them now.  I have a greater degree of 'notice' now ... may I suggest you take a longer look at things such as the trees and grass, birds and butterflies and see the beauty and never ever take these things for granted.  P. S. I caught the grackles ripping the lower limbs off my tomato plants this week ... I didn't like that.  Shoo grackles shoo!

Something that has weighed on my conscience for a while is the time I spend on Facebook.  I have decided to take a sabbatical from it and spend more time doing things that matter.  If we all spent as much time studying God's word, praying, doing things for others as we do on Facebook, there would be much more meaning in our lives.

*  God continues to work in my life and guide me as to what He wants me to do and where He wants me to be.
*  The many opportunities that I have had to share my God and my journey through this blog.  Having no hair, opens a door of opportunity that is amazing how many people I have gotten to share not only my journey but my awesome God.  I have given out almost 100 of the cards I had printed for my blog.  
Thank you Lord for no hair ... it has been a blessing.
*  Good energy and feeling better.
*  Great family and friends.
*  Energy to mow my yard and have gardens this year.
*  Getting stronger every day.
*  Opportunity to share my journey on this blog.
*  Upcoming arrival of my third grandbaby.

Prayer Requests:
*  My sister survivor friends and all those who still face future chemo treatments.  Pray for their strength and the ability to hang on and know the end is in site.
*  Those diagnosed with a debilitating disease and not sure what their future holds.

Blessed and praying blessings on you ... this beautiful Saturday that God has provided.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Inconclusive ...

I got the results back from my thyroid biopsy late yesterday afternoon and they were inconclusive.  I ask why that happened and was told that there could have been too much blood in the samples or not enough tissue or who knows.  We will now watch the nodule for three months and I will see Dr. C on July 5 for another sonogram.  When ask if I'm OK with this ... my reply ... yes, I don't think I have much choice and besides, I do not want to have five more needles stuck in the nodule.  They might get mad and make a big deal or something ... like turn into cancer.  God has this under control so I have no worries.

It was a busy day yesterday for work and I was exhausted last night.  After my bath at 8:00p, I laid down on the couch and slept until 8:45p, at which time I got up and went to bed.

That's about it for this morning.  Busy day ahead ... and ... it's Friday!!!!

Blessed and praying many blessings for you as you read this short post.

Psalm 55:22

 22 Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; 
he will never let the righteous be shaken.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Garden So Far ...

I haven't posted any pictures of my garden in a while so decided today would be a good day to do that.  Hope you enjoy!   

Above:  The chard, bib lettuce and Chinese cabbage and
spinach has grown so much.  

Above:  The bib lettuce.  I've cut off this twice.  

Above:  The pepper and herb garden.  

Above:  My morning glory and hyacinth bean seedlings.
Above:  The tomato garden.

Above:  See the blooms!!!! 

Above:  Herbs .... yes!!!! 

Above:  Those are not just sticks ...
they are treasured mimosa trees.
One of them is my brothers.  

Above:  These are the leaves and blooms for a full grown
mimosa tree.  Hummingbirds love the flowers.  I think it will
be awhile before ours are big enough to flower.  

Above:  See the trellis I found on Pinterest?  Evidently hog
wire fence panels have been used for some time as trellis'.
I will be getting me a hog wire panel at Tractor Supply and
using it for my green beans and cucumbers.
(NOTE:  This is not my yard.  Mine needs mowing!)

Above:  See the mess the squirrels made digging in the
planters to get to the straw to build their nests?  I am going
to get them some straw or something and put in the yard,
perhaps it will keep them out of my planters.  The little
chickadees also love the straw.  They are just not as messy!
Blessed and praying you have had a blessed day!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Story of the Thyroid Nodule Biopsy ...

Yesterday morning, Dr. C., Endocrinologist, office called and told me they had a cancellation at 1:00pm and would I like to come in then (my appointment was not until April 4).  I just about jumped out of my computer chair and told her I could pack a picnic lunch and be there by 11:00am if she wanted me to.  <smile>  If you remember a couple of weeks ago, I had an appointment with Dr. A, Internist, to discuss the thyromegaly that was reported on my PET scan last October.  While all my thyroid blood work came back good, Dr. A. wanted a sonogram to take a look at my thyroid.  The sonogram showed a nodule, possible two so she wanted me to see Dr. C. for further review/biopsy.  The earliest Dr. C. office could get me in was April 4 ... so the elation of getting to go earlier to see Dr. C. about getting on with the thyroid nodule biopsy was real.  It is hard for me to have to wait on appointments ... God continues to work on my patience ... as well as ... answering prayers.

I got to the appointment 15 minutes early to complete paperwork as directed.  I took my paperwork to the waiting area for Dr. C. and began completing it.  Of course I completed the forms that I didn't need to complete ... the diabetes patient forms.  I am not medically educated and have a tendency to just complete forms even if they do not apply to me.  <smile>

At 1:00, the Medical Assistant (MA), Hillarie, came and got me and took me back.  She took my vitals, heart rate 68 (I'm glad my heart was beating, seemed a little low to me but she liked it), blood pressure 118/68, good.  Of course everything is in the computer now, so she updated my medication list to show nothing that I take on a regular basis except magnesium (ladies I've taken this for 30 years for PMS ... it now helps me with a different PMS ... post menopausal syndrome.  Magnesium helps control your central nervous system).  Hillarie finished up with my records and left me to sit in the room and wait for Dr. C.  Now I had taken a Lasex (water pill) yesterday morning because my ankles had started swelling again ... and if you're thinking I was needing a bathroom, that was not the case.  I needed some water in the worse way.  My mouth was so dry and the dryness was spreading to my lips at a fast rate.  I got my iPhone out for distraction and played Hanging With Friends, read my email, googled side effects of Lasex, text my daughters and my sister and then finally there was a knock on the door and in walks this young 'girl' or so she looked and introduced herself as Mary Beth C.   She looked all of 24 years old .... and ... do you know how bad I wanted to ask her how old was?  Don't worry, I didn't but I sure wanted to.

We started discussing my ugly thyroid and the nodules.  She ask me if I had experienced any effects from the nodule(s).  Well since I do not know what type of effects I would be experiencing because I didn't know that I had nodules until a couple of weeks ago, I had to ask what those effects might be.  She said have you had any trouble swallowing?  No, my food hits my mouth and doesn't stay there long and I swallow and it seems to go down just fine.  She was sitting about 4 1/2 feet from me and she looked at my neck and said it looked normal.  I thought ... that's good, since I know I'm getting a little loose skin on it.  She was actually looking for any swelling which she didn't see.  She told me that with all I have been through with breast cancer, this thyroid thing was just a little bump in the road.  I wanted to say that I really prefer smooth roads myself but I didn't.  She showed me the sonogram report and it had the size of the nodule(s) which both measured less than half an inch.  Of course the medical field uses centimeters and I had to get her to convert that to inches for me.  I only learned inches when I went to school, I don't think they had developed centimeters back then. <smile>  She said we could watch these nodule(s) or we could biopsy.  AND she said the worse thing that could happen is ... if the nodule is malignant, I will have my thyroid removed and be on thyroid hormones the rest of my life.  KEY word here ... hormones ... I'm thinking lady, they are getting ready to give me a medication to kill all the hormones in my body and you want to give me more ... she said no, these hormones do not have estrogen in them.  Whhhewwww ... thank goodness.  She ask me if I wanted the biopsy and I said ... if it were you and you were sitting in my chair, would you want it?  She said absolutely ... I said ... absolutely I want the biopsy.  So away she went to get Hillarie to set up the procedure room.  Again ... I pull my iPhone back out and repeat the play on the phone process and wait for Hillarie came to get me.

We get to the procedure room and there are these procedure tables with all these shot things (syringes) laying there, slides just waiting and ready for some nodule juice to be put on them, a jar with liquid just waiting for the rest of the nodule juice.  Hillarie got things all set up and gave me a gown to protect my new t-shirt from the iodine that will be used to clean my neck.  Now I gotta tell you, I had one of my new t-shirts on from my Kohl's trip last week and I didn't think that gown was going to keep iodine off it because it was a crew neck but what did I know ... I've never had a needle biopsy on my thyroid, maybe it's higher in my neck than I thought.  Hillarie says ... I'm going to go get Dr. C and let her know you are ready ... she leaves me in this room sitting on this table with this heavy gown over me.  I wear an undershirt and t-shirt every day and you add a heavy medical gown on top of that in a room where I do not think there was any ventilation and not much air, I was about to cook.  Being the good patient and wanting to be ready when Dr. C. came in, I left it all on.  I read every thing in the room and then thought I would take advantage of being on this table.  I leaned back and did exercises for my core, leg lifts, ankle rolls.  The table I was sitting on was kind of leaning back and my back was getting tired of sitting on the angle so I decided to lay down on the pillow (that seems to always bring the doctor in).  After I laid down, I had a hot flash ... after all I had three pieces of clothing on my upper body ... so I had to sit up.  Then I thought ... get your phone and take some pictures ... so I did and just as I was finishing up my photo shoot, in walks Dr. C.

Above:  The table I was sitting on.  See
how the end of it has a little rise?  And there's
the gown that I was wearing.
Above:  See all those shot things, there
were 10 of them.  See all those slides, there
were 10 of them. See that little cup with
the white lid, that was for the left over
nodule juice.  See that piece of gauze on the
right, that was for all the blood I expected to gush
out of my  neck.
Above:  These five shot things were for the
other nodule.  
Above:  The sonogram machine used to
find the nodules so she could stick the shot
thing in my neck to get the samples.
(NOTE:  She was very good with using all this
equipment and sticking those needles in my neck.)

Above:  The osteoporosis poster that I read while waiting.  It has a list that says:
You Might Get Osteoporosis If ...  1)  You are over 50 and post menopausal - check,
and the last one was ....   If you have had chemo - check.
Great news ... I had at least two of those things on that list.
NOTE:  The figure in the picture has hair and it turns gray.
After about  45 minutes of entertaining myself, Dr. C comes in to get this procedure started.  She looks at all the clothing I have on and I explain that I am perfectly OK with taking my new t-shirt off and that I have an undershirt. She thinks that a good idea ... I was so glad.  At least I got rid of some of the clothing.  She puts the pillow I had been laying on under my shoulders so that my head was now laying at an angle so all the blood could run to it. <smile>  She needed my neck sticking out and tight (all that loose skin gets in the way).  She began by giving me the lidocaine ... you know the deadening stuff.  It burned nicely as she injected it in to my neck and I don't think it worked.  She got the sonogram wand and started looking for the nodule(s) and found the one in the middle of my thyroid (on the bridge... that's the part that connects your two thyroid lobes together).  She looked for the 'other possible nodule' and couldn't find it.  I told her I had been praying and maybe God took it away ... Dr C. and Hillarie both said ... absolutely.  I said .. Praise the Lord.

Dr. C. is now ready to begin sticking those shot things in the nodule to get nodule juice.  She gets shot thing number 1 and said ... OK, are you ready?  Yep ...  She finds the nodule on the songram and stuck needle #1 in my neck and either completely missed the supposedly deadened area or the lidocaine honestly didn't work.  Yes, the needles was small and I have to tell you ... I felt all five sticks.  On stick number 3, she hit a blood vessel and told me I would have a bruise.  Hillarie is wiping the blood off my neck after each stick and I'm laying there thinking ... I'm sure glad I took that new t-shirt off.  (laughing)   After the procedure is finished,  I'm thinking now I have to sit up and all the blood is in my head and my neck is probably bleeding profusely.  Hillarie put a bandaid on my neck so I have something now for show and tell for all those shot sticks.  NOT ... It was what I call a 'dot' bandaid.  NOTE:  See how pretty the color of my new t-shirt is.  It has decorations down the right side of it.  <laughing>

It will take about a week to get the results back from the biopsy ... that's if the samples are good enough.  Evidently thyroid nodule biopsies are kind of tricky and not real easy to get good samples for biopsies.  If the samples are not good enough to get test results, we will watch this nodule for the next several months.  I am so thankful this procedure is over and will wait patiently for the results.  Thankful ... for being able to get in earlier than April 4.  Thank you Jesus.

*  Thyroid biopsy complete
*  Wonderful medical team
*  Feeling good
*  Good appetite
*  Thrush going away
*  Wonderful rain we have had the last couple of days
*  Sense of humor to get me through these side trips of my journey
*  Sooooo many more praises

Prayer Requests:
*  My friend, Wendi, as she is now day 3 after her round of chemo
*  All those who have received a diagnosis of a life changing disease

Blessed and praying for many blessings for you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Rains Came ....

Dr. C, Endocrinologist, office just called and they have a cancellation today at 1:00pm.  I will be having the needle aspiration on my thyroid nodule today.  Please pray for good results ... that it is just a nodule.  Thank you so much.

It seemed the latter part of last week, every time I turned around there were weather predictions for massive amounts of rain.  When the weather people tell me it is going to rain, I trust them.  Every day ... no rain so I would water my garden and flower seedlings to ensure they did not dry up and die.  Last evening about 5:45ish pm, the rains came and they have stayed through the night and will be here until mid-morning (per channel 5 weather people).  This morning rather than worrying the garden and flower seedlings are going to dry up, I am praying they are not floating in my neighbors pool.  <smile>

Yesterday got away from me and I didn't get a chance to post.  Work was busy, two appointments mid morning and more work in the afternoon.  After work I wanted to get dinner ready early.  I wanted to grill fresh salmon fillets and I didn't want to grill in the rain so I opted to do that early.  I made Quinoa which I wanted to cool so I could add fresh veggies and make a salad.  The Quinoa was good and took on all the flavors of the fresh veggies and the salmon, as always, was delish.

My first appointment yesterday was a base line bone density test.  Dr. Y. wants to get a baseline of my bones before I start the Arimidex (aromatase-inhibiting drug), it kills the estrogen in your body.  Breast cancer feeds on estrogen so this drug will kill it.  One of the big side effects of the Arimidex is bone weakness.  Praying my bones are as strong as they have always been and that nothing invades them.  After the bone density, I had to go to the Center for my blood count check.  I got to see my friends, Leslie and Wendi and all the medical staff at the Center ... all these ladies are such a blessing to me.  My blood count report came back pretty quick and the report was good.  Cindy, the sweet nurse who gives me my report, said my counts were right where they could be expected for where I am ... where I am ... the week after chemo and my Neulasta shot ... counts are where they have been for all six treatments.  Praising my Jesus.

I am strategizing on how I want to plant my cucumbers and squash.  I have an arbor trellis in my back yard and I have some big plastic whiskey barrel type planters that I bought at the end of last season cheap (Big Lots).  My thoughts are to put a planter on each side of the trellis ... one with cucumbers and one with squash and let them grow up the trellis.  I have looked on Pinterest for ideas of trellis' and there are several unique ideas.  I have two starter plants of cucumbers and squash so when the floods leave, I am going to get these veggies planted.  Gardening this year is all trial and error and I know I will learn much from the 'error' part.  <smile>

*  Good blood count report
*  Good energy
*  Good appetite
*  Thrush is getting better
*  Got to see my friends at the Center yesterday
*  Rain
*  Many many more praises ....

Prayer Requests:
*  My friend, Wendi, took another round of chemo yesterday.  Please pray for her as the chemo has a tendency to make her sick.
*  My friend, Leslie, who recently had pneumonia.  Getting over pneumonia combined with chemo really knocks your body down.
*  All those who have recently been diagnosed with a debilitating disease such as cancer.  The diagnosis is so scarey ... trust me I know.

Praising and praying this day ... another day God has given me.
Blessed and praying blessings for you on this soggy Tuesday.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Praising My Sweet Jesus ...

John 14: 1-4
"Do not let your hearts be troubled.  You believe in God; believe also in me.  My Father's house has many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to to prepare a place for you?  And if I got there and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the place where I am going."  

I find comfort in the above scripture, do you?  My prayer is that you know my precious Jesus and realize and understand what He did for you and me.  He died on the cross to save us.  He loves us no matter what.  I am thankful this morning that He took the nails in my place that day on the cross.

Saturday was a busy day around our house.  My sweet sister, Pat, Alicia, Madelyn and I worked all day to get Madelyn's room fixed up and beautiful.  Yes, it was a mighty busy day and we were all exhausted last night but how very worth it was.  P. S.  If you ever ever ever need an 'organizer', let me know ... my sister is the best.  She loves to do that type of thing.  She has a special gift of organization.  Thank you Pat for all you do for us.

I am feeling better every day.  I still have the thrush in my mouth and am continuing to take the Diflucan to get rid of the thrush, in the meantime it is so strange what I can and cannot taste.  We had Mexican food last night (take out) and all I could taste was the guacamole and chips and salsa.  My main dish which was bean dip with hamburger meat had no taste.  I know the thrush will go away soon and I will be back to tasting things again.  It is so funny (kind of) to experience this fungal stuff.  Oh and I brush my teeth about nine times a day just because I feel like I need to do that.  I don't really have to do that and I have to be very careful not to hurt my gums but it just makes my mouth feel better.

If you are or have been a chemo patient I would like to hear from you about the following.  It seems starting with my fourth round of chemo, I began having weakened legs.  I am figuring it is the lack of regular exercise, the accumulation of the chemo drugs in my system after so many rounds, and in general just a weakness of my body.  Yesterday with all the activity, I did pretty well.  I know that this will get better and I must be patient.  After all, my activity level for the last five months hasn't been my norm.  And as I look, today is the fifth month anniversary from my breast reduction surgery.  Praising sweet Jesus on how far He has brought me.

I will be happy when I am able to attend worship service again.  I attend a mega church satellite service near my home ... Gateway Church.  I miss the worship service, the music service ... the whole worship experience.  I am able to listen on my computer to the sermon ... for that I am thankful.

Yesterday in the mail I received a card from my friend, Peggy.  Peggy and I went to school together and didn't really run around with the same people but in the last year or so have connected and find we are similar in so many ways.  She lives in south Texas but when she is in town, we try to get together and visit and catch up.  Anyway ... the card read:
On the front -----   Chemo Sucks ...
Inside -----   But if it sucks the cancer right out of you, then "yay, chemo!"

Thank you Peggy for such a unique card on chemo.  It might me chuckle and I had to share it.

I close today with a very thankful heart ... so many blessings in my life.  I pray you feel the same way no matter what you are going through.  Remember ... Jesus is walking beside you and He carries you on those occasions when you cannot make it on your own.  Let Him ... He loves you and knows your heart.  Talk to Him ... He loves hearing from you.  Jesus and I chat all day long.

Blessed and praying for many blessings for you.  Thank you, as always, for your continued support and reading and staying in touch with my journey through my blog.  Remember ... share share share with any and all your friends.  Knowledge is priceless.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Absence of a Hug ...

After my four day hospital stay in January and I was told by the doctors to keep a distance from others as much as possible, I try to do that primarily on the weeks of chemo.  It is so hard as I see my friends and they come to visit and I am afraid to hug them.  This morning I was visited by a friend, Jeff, who came just to check on me and see if I needed anything.  He and his family lived down the street from us for years and still owns their house.  He comes to check on things down there and is so sweet to stop and see if I need anything.  Thank you Jeff and Kim ... you are the sweetest.  This morning there was an absence of a hug.

My long time friends, Bruce and Greta, came by to visit and bring me something that Bruce had made.  We have been friends for 35 years and their love and support through many areas of my life have been priceless.  They totally understand the hugging thing and I am so appreciative of that.  They were so sweet and said ... there will time for hugs when you get better.   Again, there was an absence of a hugs.

Below is a picture of the most precious basket that Bruce built me to harvest my vegetables with.  Greta filled it with a spade, hand rake and gloves and of course embellished it with breast cancer ribbons.  No words can describe how much I love you guys.
Above:  Isn't it just the cutest?  I absolutely love it.
Above:  The three pots of greens I planted about three weeks ago.
I was thinking earlier that I wanted a good homemade
sandwich for lunch but didn't have any lettuce ... WRONG ..
the middle planter is bib lettuce.  YEA!

Above:  I hope the swiss chard on the left gets
going.  I have never tasted it.  

Above and below:  Our flower seeds are coming up.
Morning Glory and Hyacinth Bean ... 
Above:  My pepper plant bed.  I will use the remaining
end of the bed for my herbs rather than building another bed this

Above:  Seven tomato plants in a 4'X8' bed should
get a little crowded but I just know I will have tomatoes.

Today I tell you ... never miss an opportunity for a hug... you never know when you might not be able to have another one.  Bruce and Greta ... I love you both so much.  

Blessed and praying blessings on you ... this beautiful Saturday.