Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Trip to the Hospital ... Friday all day!

When Pat, my sister, talked to the Dr. office on Friday morning about me not being able to take any of the pain meds, they wanted to see me.  She took me to see Dr. Kohlmorgen who wanted a pelvic sonogram which showed there could possibly be a hematoma from the surgery.  With that possibility she then sent me to Baylor-All Saints for a CT Scan on my pelvic area.  After drinking four cups of this gross stuff for an abdominal/colon CT Scan, the radiation therapist realized that Dr. Kohlmorgen wanted the pelvic scan and so evidently there was no need for me to endure four cups of that nasty tasting stuff.  For the pelvic CT Scan, I needed I am IV to inject the iodine or whatever solution is needed for that scan.  Keep in mind that I can only have IV/blood drawn/blood pressure taken in my right arm due to the removal of the 16 lymph nodes on my left side.  The first try at the IV in the bend of my arm proved futile.  The radiation tech missed the vein and it kept rolling so that was aborted by the nurse who came to assist.  The nurse moved further down my forearm toward my hand and found a teeny tiny vein and used a small needle and hit the vein.  Before she got ready to stick me ... I said  ... I think we need to pause for a moment of prayer.  Everyone bowed their heads and I said ... Father God, please let the nurse hit this vein.  She hit it and I said ... Thank you Father God.   I was very emotional during the day as I had not had any pain medicine since before I left the hospital on Tuesday.  The pain was wearing on my body and my last nerve.  The pelvic CT scan showed there was nothing wrong so indeed all I needed was pain medicine.  Praise the Lord.  I tried the Tramadol again with Benadryl close by in case I itched and praise the Lord that I haven't had to use.  It's amazing what pain medicine can do when you get to take it.  Today I feel so much better.  I am alternating the Tramadol and the Motrin 800 mg every few hours.  I'm so thankful there was nothing wrong on the inside and all I needed was pain medicine.  I am resting better and taking it very slow.

That's about all I have to report for now.  I'm thankful for such a good doctor as Dr. Kohlmorgen who left no stone unturned for me during this surgery and the recovery process.  My sister is a trooper as she took time away from her sons who are here for a couple days to take me to the doctor office and to the hospital.  She's one in a million.

Blessings abound ...

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday ... Where has the week gone?

You know how you make plans for yourself and then find out that your plans were not your plans at all.  Well I have just been through a week of my plans of having surgery and bouncing back didn't quite play out the way I had planned.  You know in my feeble mind, I was going in Monday afternoon, have surgery ... a mere total hysterectomy with one part of it laparoscopic ... no problem, right?   WRONG!   The part where I worked part of the day Monday, went home, got ready, went to the hospital, had a three hour surgery, spent the night at the hospital, came home on Tuesday afternoon ... well all that went that way.  The bounce back on my feet ... well that didn't work so well.  The surgery knocked me on my little tush ... big time.  The pain med I was able to take after my 'breast reduction' decided this time to make me itch so all I was taking was 800 mg Motrin every eight hours and that wasn't really stopping the pain.  I called the doctor office on Wednesday and they called me in another pain med, Stadol, that is a nose spray.  One squirt up my nose on Wednesday night and it went straight to the blood system or where ever it was designed to go and I was barely able to get back to the bed.  Decided that was not for me.  Thursday I tried half of a Tylenol 4 and it knocked the edge off the pain.  Also Thursday all I could do was sleep.  That was considered my third full day post op and so it's been said ... that's the worst day.  Hopefully all the sleep that I got yesterday has started healing my body and got it on it's way to back to normal.  I plan to take it easy today but also plan to try to move more.  Need I even mention how stiff my back and hips are from sleeping so much yesterday?  No ... I didn't think so.  I've prayed and cried out to God to help me get back up and feel better and I know He has heard my pleas.  Thank you for your prayers ... I know they are working.

When Bonnie got me home on Tuesday, the gutter guys were still here which I was happy about.  If you recall I was having my old gutters replaced and additional guttering added to the front.  All looked well.  On Wednesday morning, the painters got here early and began prepping the house to paint.  They did a magnificent job and the color I chose is so perfect.  I am very pleased with the outcome and feel much better knowing that I have gotten these two tasks accomplished.  Now it's time to save a little more money for the next project ... whatever that might be.  If you need gutters or a painter, please email me ... these family owned business' are great and will do a great job for you.

Alicia came in my room on Tuesday evening with a special little bear dressed in a smiley face gown and a little pink bow in her ear.  My friend, Fred (Alverna's sweet brother) sent me a precious Vermont Teddy Bear with the sweetest card.  Fred if you read this ... thank you and there will be a formal 'thank you' in the mail soon.  The bear brightened my day.  I thank God for such sweet family and friends who have supported me through so much since September 15, 2011.

The weather is taking it's toll on my gardens... I have not been able to get out and water, hoping to get to do that today.  The tomatoes are still producing the second round of tomatoes and I'm happy about that.  Not happy that I haven't felt like getting out to water everything ... have watered only the stuff on the patio.  I pray they hang in there until I can get out there.  I am not sure I am going to plant fall tomatoes.  It's dreadfully hot already and I know it's going to get hotter.  We will see.

Both my nephews are home for a couple days.  It's so good to see both of them and have special family time.

Thank you for your continued prayers, thoughts and texts.  You mean so much to me.  I will post pictures once I feel better and get out and take some.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Surgery ...

My surgery has taken a little more out of me than I expected.  I will write when I get feeling a tad better.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Got a call from the hospital ... getting in early.  Praise the Lord.  Prayers are most appreciated.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Ramblings ...

After writing my blog early yesterday morning, I realized I was in pretty bad overall body pain.  I could not figure out why I was hurting so bad.  Everything ... muscles and bones ... hurt from my toes to my shoulders.  Pain makes me feel bad and be grumpy if I let myself.  I got out my 'medication info' file folder and got to reading side effects of the Arimidex (estrogen inhibitor).  Well it seems that this little small white pill is probably the cause of all this pain.  I relate the med as taking all the estrogen out of my body (which it is designed to do) and a squeaky wheel.  Estrogen keeps a woman's body 'oiled and greased' and when you take that oil and grease away it wants to squeak ... just like a gear and chain.  I cannot take Advil right now due to the surgery so a couple of Tylenol it had to be.  It helped a bit.  My biggest efforts are continuing to move and not sit down and give in.  I know now why Helena at the Center is telling me to walk at least 30 minutes a day.  I've been awake since 3:30am this morning, got up about 5:15am when I finally realized I wasn't going back to sleep and got ready for the day.  I'm hurting but ... this will not get me down.  God is beside me and I'm leaning on Him a great deal.  Blessed!

The painter came yesterday and replaced the rotted wood on the back of the house.  He will return on Wednesday after the gutter guys get my new gutters up on Tuesday.  Pictures to come.   We got the painter to give my sister (across the street) a bid on painting her bathroom cabinets and his estimate is great.  She scheduled for him to come out Monday after next to get started.

Today will be busy trying to wrap up things that need to be tended and done before I am down for a while.  I won't bore you with all the details that need to be done and there's plenty.  I have to read the instructions about when to cut off my eating and then drinking that stuff to clean my innards out and start liquids only.

Bible verses from my Jesus Calling devotional for today.  God amazes me how He provides His word at just the time I need it.

Isaiah 41:10   So do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  

Psalm 62:5-6  Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.  Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, and I will not be shaken.  

That's about it for now. Stay cool ... I believe we are in for a hot summer.  Don't forget to get some soaker hoses for your house foundation.    

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Mustard in a Baggie ....

For a month now I have been meaning to post about the day Alicia got a zip lock baggie, got the yellow mustard out of the fridge and began squirting it in the baggie.  I was cooking or washing dishes in the kitchen and I said what are you doing?  She said ... It's like finger painting.  I said something like ... Not in the house with mustard, Alicia, it stains.  She proceeded on and of course I was freaking out.  All I could think about is ... mustard + finger painting = this can't be good.  As it turned out, she taped the baggie full of mustard to the back storm door so you could see through it and when you touch it, it shifts the mustard in the baggie and in effect is like finger painting without the mess.  It offers sense of touch, temperature (mustard is cold) as well as different designs.  It was a great idea that lasted for Madelyn at that time about 3 minutes.  One of the things I love about my girls and their profession of being a teacher, childhood development and their creativity.  It amazes me what they come up with ... makes me wish I had known someone with so many ideas when I was raising them.

Yesterday I got a text message with the following pictures.  More creativity ... pudding finger painting.

Above:  Two little angels

Above:  I'm a little young for pudding painting but I can
smile now.  

For the last two weeks I have been going out to lunch with a group of folks at work.  It is a lot of fun and getting out of the office for a short time and laughing really helps the mind.  Yesterday we headed from our end of town (south) to the north end of town to Riscky's BBQ.  On Friday's they have fried catfish and your choice of a side.  There were seven of us so a good fun group.  We all placed our orders and our food came and then the real laughter began.  I was rearranging my catfish basket and in my peripheral vision I saw Tracy, who was sitting across from me, pick up the ketchup.  Hmmm ... she had two brisket tacos and a bowl of mac and cheese.  Tracy proceeded to put ketchup in her mac and cheese and stir it up.  I could not believe what I had just seen.  It was truly a first for me.  You can imagine what the dialogue was like then.  After a few minutes, I shared I liked gravy and cantaloupe which caused even more dialogue and I was deemed the winner of weird ... and then Suhailly, who is in our office for six weeks doing an internship with the Univ. of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez, said she liked oatmeal with cheese.  She was the WINNER of weird.  As I said ... there was lots of dialogue and laughter.  Praise the Lord for laughter and light-heartedness.

It's going to be a busy weekend.  Lots to get done before surgery on Monday.  I'm trying to help my sister get her remodeling finished in her guest bathroom, and I have lots to do myself.  The gutter guys come on Tuesday to replace and add new guttering, the painters come on Wednesday to paint my house.  I continue holding on to my faith and knowing that this surgery will be much easier than the last ... hence me setting up those appointments when I did.  I have to remember to pick up pain meds from Sam's, get the 'bowel cleanse' stuff (lapriscopy requires this <smile>) ... keeping in mind when I have to cut off my eating and go to strictly liquids.  I look at the many things to do like you would in order to eat an elephant .... How you ask?  .... One bite at a time.

FOCUS ---   I'm hearing daily people who focus on the negative rather than the positive.  Drowning yourself in negativity is never a good.  The more you focus on the negative, the worse the situation becomes.  I know we all face difficult situations in our daily lives but I also known that with God by your side, you can face-off with these situations and you can beat them.  Remember that He is going to take care of you.  He promises in His word, the Bible.  Matthew 11:28-30 says ... Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and burden is light.  John 14:27 says ... Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.  Not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.  Grab some scripture when you are facing an issue, hold on to God's hand.  My personal testimony continues to repeat ... I could not have faced, walked, gotten to the other side of the breast cancer troubled waters without my awesome God.  He is buried in my heart and there He will always be.

I listen to KLTY Christian radio and there is a song I continue to hear.  It is sung by Francesca Battistelli and the title is Angel By Your Side.  The lyrics ...

I can't say that everything's okay
'Cause I can see the tears you're crying
And I can't promise to take the pain away
But you can know I won't stop trying

I'll be the angel by your side
I will get you through the night
I'll be the strength you can't provide on your own

'Cause when you're down and out of time
And you think you've lost the fight
Let me be the angel, the angel by your side

I know it feels like you're running out of faith
'Cause it's so hard to keep believing, oh
But if I can bring the smile back to your face
For a moment you'll forget all about it, oh

I'll be the angel by your side
I will get you through the night
I'll be the strength you can't provide on your own

'Cause when you're down and out of time
And you think you've lost the fight
Let me be the angel, the angel by your side

'Cause this won't be the last time
You'll need a little hope
But I wanna be the first to let you know

I'll be the angel by your side
I will get you through the night
I'll be the strength you can't provide on your own

'Cause when you're down and out of time
And you think you've lost the fight
Let me be the angel, the angel by your side
Oh, let me be the angel, the angel by your side, oh
The angel by your side

Here's the link to the song...
My prayer ....  Lord, let me be someone's angel today.    Be someone's angel today. 

Blessed and praying blessings for you today.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Healing - Peeling -- And Moving Forward!

Let's see ... so much I want to chat about ... so much I've probably forgotten.

It's been a wonderful busy week.  The garage door opener guy got here on Monday morning and I am now the proud owner of a new garage door opener AND it works so well AD it's so quiet AND it has a keypad for outside the garage so I no longer have to take my door opener if I am going through the garage.  I do not hear it when it goes up or down when Alicia is coming or going.

Tuesday evening after dinner, I went over to my sisters and primed the walls in her hall bathroom that she is redoing to get them ready to paint.  I can't wait to get this finished because it's going to look so good.  I'm so happy for her that she's finally getting this done.  She started back when I was in the middle of radiation and I wasn't really in the mood to remodel but now that I've healed and peeled I'm good to go.

I finally finally finally called the painter and the gutter guys.  The painter is coming Saturday to replace the bad wood on the back of the house.  The gutter guys are coming on Tuesday to replace the old gutters that run across the front and the back of the house as well as add to the front guttering to run all the way across and I will have an additional downspout.  Then the painters come out on Wednesday to paint the whole house ... well the trim and stuff ... not the brick.  I just called Sherwin-Williams and the paint goes on sale this Sunday at 30% off.  Waaa hoooo!   Moving and shaking around here.

My surgery (hysterectomy) is scheduled for Monday at 2:00pm.  I'll stay in the hospital over night and come home on Tuesday.  I am praying this isn't going to be bad or difficult to get through ... I'm not expecting it to be.  I'm happy I am able to get in so quickly and get this done and behind me.  Tomorrow is pre-op with Dr. Kohlmorgen and the hospital.

I had my 3 week follow-up with the Radiation Oncologist on Tuesday.  All is well, the healing in continuing and unless I have issues down the road, I do not have to go back and see them.  Praise the Lord!  Another leg of the journey complete.

Tuesday was the day that the local farmers bring their produce and set up at the back of our building.  I was able to get down there and bought - peaches, plums, canteloupe, white egg plant and black eyed peas.  I have eaten some of all of it except the egg plant and I am anxious to try it.  I love grilled egg plant but I don't usually drag the grill out during the week so it will be this weekend before I get to try that.

I continue to be blessed by people who make the sweetest comments about my hair ... growing back.  I was told yesterday that I have the 'Demi Moore' hair thing going on.  I am so pleased that it is growing back and my eye lashes are long and pretty and my eyebrows are filling in well.  The Latesse really works on the eye lashes.  Praise the Lord.

Last week I was so blessed to share my Cancer Awareness presentation with our region at a Diversity Teleconference.  It was well received and I have had so many people tell me they learned so much from the info I provided.  I give glory to the Father.  I continue to pray that He opens doors in the speaking arena for me to share about Him first and foremost as well as the info pertaining to the 'do's and don'ts and what to say and what not to say' to a cancer patient.

We have a reprieve from the seven producing tomato plants.  All the first crop have ripened and now the second crop is coming on strong.  We have eaten all that we can and given the rest (which was a LOT) away.  Madelyn loves tomatoes and I am so happy about that.  She picks her one and wants to eat it right then.  I am always insisting that we wash it first but she doesn't care if it's washed or not.  Oh the sweet innocence of a child.

When I read the June 10 devotional out of my Jesus Calling devotional book, I said to myself that I wanted to share God's word.
June 10
REST IN ME, MY CHILD, Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen.  Pray continually, asking My spirit to take charge of the details of this day.  Remember that you are on a journey with Me.  When you try to peer into the future and plan for every possibility, you ignore your constant companion who sustains you moment by moment.  As you gaze anxiously into the distance, you don't even feel the strong grip of My hand holding yours.  How foolish you are, My child!

Remembrance of Me is a daily discipline.  Never lose sight of My Presence with you.  This will keep you resting in Me all day, every day.

Scripture verses cited:
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ... pray continually ...
Psalm 62:5 ... Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.

This devotional drives home more and more that God does not want us to worry about tomorrow, this evening, 20 minutes from now ... He wants us to live in this moment with Him holding His hand.

Praising God and continuing to pray for those on this cancer surgery and treatment journey.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Oh Happy Day(s) ...

Take a few minutes and take a listen ... and ... watch.  These are happy days.  Praise the Lord for the good and the bad.  He loves you and will never leave you.

More info later ... I have so much to be happy and thankful for ... what about you?  Recognize it and thank God.

For now I leave you with prayers and blessings.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Quick Monday Morning Post ...

Yesterday proved to be busy all day.  I didn't get everything I wanted to get accomplished done but I will be working on those few things this week since my surgery is a week from today.  I am looking forward to getting this surgery behind me and moving on with all that God has ahead for me.

The garage door installer guy called last night and he will be here between 8:30 and 10:30 this morning. I wish I had ask him if he was installing one before me ... that can generally be a gauge if he will be right at the start time or later in the start time.  OK, so that's my way of gauging.  <smile>  I will go to work this morning and head home about 8:15 just in case.

For three weeks I have been saying I need to call the painters and the gutter guys and by George, today I am going to do that.  I want to get this done.  I am not usually so intimidated about doing or having work done but for some reason this has intimidated me.  The painters have to come first to replace at least one piece of wood in the back.  They will paint the raw wood and then the gutter guys come install the new gutters and then the painters come back and paint.  In my younger years, I would have attempted to paint the house myself ... note ... in my younger years.  These painters gave me a great price so I cannot see trying to do this laborious task myself.

I am very amazed at how quickly the area of radiation has healed.  It looks great.  I have about six seborrheic keratosis moles develop in the heaviest radiation area.  To get rid of these, I soften with warm water and put lotion on them.  They scrape off.  Here's a picture I found on the internet.

Above:  Picture from the internet - If you do not have a
dermatologist that you see every year, I suggest you get one.
When I found my first one years ago, I got in to my dermatologist immediately.  I go every year to have
my skin checked.  
I guess that's about it for me.  I got up early this morning (4:00am) and had a little time.  I hope everyone had a good weekend and that you look forward to the week ahead and all the opportunities it holds.  

Lamentations 3:22-24

New International Version (NIV)
22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, 
    for his compassions never fail. 
23 They are new every morning;
    great is your faithfulness. 
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; 
    therefore I will wait for him.”

Blessings sweet friends.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Sunday ... Where Does The Days Go?

It seems time is flying these days.  I am grabbing every second of life that I am given.  Thank you God for all the wonderful healthy active days that You are giving me.  Is that how you feel about your life?  My prayer is your answer is ... yes.  We all go through the dark valleys and there are times we are right upon the troubled waters but remember God wants us to look up with faith in Him when in those valleys.  When we get to those troubled waters, He wants us to grab His beautiful hand and let Him lead us across the troubled waters.  He and He alone has lead me out of the dark valleys and across the troubled waters.  Praise His name.

A little update about my radiation area.... it's healing and peeling and looking great.  Praise the Lord.  There's just one small brown area that will peel and fade.  The skin is not feeling as tight as it was.  I'm getting better ... day by day.

The garage door opener guy finally comes tomorrow.  I cannot wait to get this fixed.  I know I know ... I admit it, I'm spoiled.  But ... I still Praise His name ... it will be fixed before my upcoming surgery... speaking of which ...

Dr. Kohlmorgen called me late Friday afternoon and told me my surgery will be Monday, June 25.  I'm glad she is getting me in so quickly as I want to get this behind me, get back up on my feet and move on with all the great things yet to come.  I continue feeling better every day, I'm eating good (most days) and praising His name that I have a job to go to (if I was wealthy and did not have to work, I would be volunteering at The Center to help others who are walking the journey I have walked).

Today I've been to the grocery store, got all my fresh veggies washed, cut up and in baggies.  Have fresh green beans in the crock pot, re-roasted a roasted chicken and boned it and have a meat loaf in the oven.  Just getting ready for the week ahead as far as food goes.  I'm better when I am prepared.  I do plan to keep good tabs on my weight as I do not want to gain because of the Arimidex which has a side effect of making it difficult to lose weight.  Losing weight is difficult enough without having an inhibitor in that area.

My girls little brother, Colton, entered a picture in the Star Telegram honor your Dad for Father's Day contest.  He came in second place.  He and his Dad are hunting partners and Colton is so smart of all types of guns.  He wants to live at the deer lease when he grows up.  Her3 is the picture he drew of his and my girls Dad, Paul Morrison.

Above:  He loves to hunt and takes Colton as
much as possible.  
Gotta go check the meatloaf and then head to my sisters to help her with her bathroom project.  Thank you for stopping by.  Let me hear from you.

*  My newest grand daughter, Brooklyn, is thriving and doing well.  Her check up last week showed she was up to 8 lbs.  Her Mommy is now using a swaddle blanket at night so she is sleeping better.
*  Bonnie is feeling and doing great as the Mother of two under the age of two.
*  Braxton and Madelyn continue to thrive as they are growing and learning all sorts of new things.
*  God continues to walk and carry my survivor sisters through their treatments.
*  God continues healing my body and mind.
*  Life ... it is good.

Prayer Request:
*  Anyone recently diagnosed with breast cancer and feels lost and scared and abandoned.
*  My friend Wendy in Amarillo, who bravely continues her treatments. 
*  My friend, Judy, as she continues to the next phase of her journey.  I haven't had an update since Judy saw her Oncologist, but I rest assured that her sister, Janice, is taking good care of her as well as her hubby and two daughters.
*  My friend, Shirley, as she battles the leukemia that has taken a hold on her body.  Her hubby, Steve, who is caring for her. 

Blessings to all.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Time Is Flying ...

It's already mid-June.  To me it seems as if time is flying by and I'm hanging on for dear life.  Being busy is ... to me ... the sign of a healthy life now.  I couldn't say that two months ago because most all of my busy was still revolving around treatments and doctors appointments.  How I Praise my Lord for today ... this day ... the day that I am able to get up and get out and around.

Let's see ... there were two funny stories that I wanted to share and now I can only think of one of them.  Doesn't that just figure?  Can I still claim chemo brain or do I have to find another excuse for not remembering?  OK, I'll find another excuse ... I just forgot.  I'm sure tonight in my sleep it will come to me.

Speaking of sleep, I have been sleeping really well.  I wake up at least once a night and that's because my hips are hurting so bad and I need to turn over.  Once I get comfy again, I'm back out like a light.

Monday night garage door opener broke.  Alicia called our friends, Bruce and Greta, for him to come take a look at it as it seems he has fixed their's before.  He did everything he could but when the shaft that holds the gear that turns the chain that raises the door is broke off, there was nothing he could do to fix it.  So Tuesday morning found me bright and early at Home Depot buying another one.  The young man who helped me I have to question now because he did the paperwork wrong and the installers never called me.  I called Home Depot today to find out all this and finally got a call from the installers and now it will be Monday before they can get out to put it up.  Uggghhhh!!!!!  I'm spoiled ... I admit it.  I miss my garage door opener and I cannot wait until it is replaced.  Quick story:  Alicia and I ran a couple of errands on Tuesday night which is the night she decided she would leave her car parked in the driveway locked up and not move it inside ... since we are having to manually ... wait, I am having to manually raise and lower the garage door.  Well I like my car parked in the garage at night for what ever reason, I just do so I life the garage door manually and park it at night and lift it again manually in the morning at 5:15am to get my car out.  Anyway ... when Alicia said she was going to leave her car in the driveway over night, I ask her to get her garage door opener out and bring it in the house.  She said .... what for, the garage is broken anyway.  DUUUHHHHH.... we laughed.  Another quick story ... last night she went to the gym and when she got home, I heard the motor running on the garage door opener because she had pushed the button.  I had to laugh ... old habits are hard to break.

We have now signed a contract with Del Monte to buy some of these tomatoes we are growing in our 4' X 6' raised garden bed.  Who knew that seven tomato plants could produce so many tomatoes.  Not me.  I planted them with the hopes we would get a few and a few we are getting ... quite a few as a matter of fact.  I've taken tomatoes to work twice to give away, we have given the girls Dad so many tomatoes that he told Alicia he was eating tomatoes at every meal.  My sister has taken as many as she can eat and I usually eat two at lunch and dinner.  God has blessed our garden this year.
Above:  I think this guy is laying tomatoes on the window seals
when we are asleep.
Above:  This window seal is full.

Above:  More on the other window seal and on the ledge.
I was telling my brother about all the tomatoes and being able to give them away and he said ... Isn't that a good feeling?  ABSOLUTELY.  If you come visit, you can take home some home grown tomatoes.  <smile>

Today I had my appointment with what will now be my new gynecologist.  Dr. Kohlmorgan is wonderful.  I love love love her just after this one appointment.  Thank you Lord for putting Dr. Kohlmorgan in my life.  Her surgery scheduler person will call me tomorrow to get the hysterectomy set up.  I ask what I could expect as far as how I would feel after having this done.  She said primarily ... fatigue.  I thought to myself ... nothing new, piece of cake, I can do this.  I ask her about how long I had to stay off work and she said usually four to six weeks ... I said well if I feel like it can I go back sooner?  She said yes, as long as I wasn't take the pain medication any more.  I definitely want my body to heal properly and I don't want to push things so my prayer request is that this doesn't take me down too far or too long.  I could probably let myself get down in the dumps knowing that I will go through another time of feeling bad but ... I am not going to let that happen.  NOPE!  Not going to get down in the dumps.  I will be just fine.

I had the opportunity to share about my cancer journey during a Diversity Teleconference at work.  I wanted to share the what to do and what not to do... what to say and what not to say information.  I didn't want to make the presentation about me but since I am the one who has walked the journey, it was hard to keep me out of it.  I pray that folks took good helpful information with them at the end.  I pray God opens more doors for me to do this type of thing.

Tomorrow is Friday and I have to tell you that I am glad.  This has been a busy week and I'm ready for some rest and a trip to Bluebonnet Cafe on Saturday morning for breakfast and the opportunity to see my friends and/or make new friends.

Well I haven't thought of the other funny thing I was going to share ... may come to me later or it may have left the city by now... <laughing>

I continue to praise my Lord for all He has done for me and all that I know He has ahead for me.

John 15:13

13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Stay Tuned ...

I have lots to say but been busy and I'm too tired tonight to write.  Please keep checking ... I have some funnies to tell.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

My My My ... Summer Has Begun In More Ways Than One!!!

Yesterday was day 1 for the Arimidex, the estrogen inhibitor that I will take for the next five years.  It is a great inhibitor because I had hot flashes all day and expect them to only worsen. Nothing is too tough when you have God on your side.  I continue to remind myself that this med is killing the estrogen that feeds cancer.  This may sound sick but .... I cannot wait to have the hysterectomy and get all the plumbing removed that makes estrogen.

The day was good and busy.  I planted the hydrangea I got last week at the luncheon.  It seems to be thriving this morning.

Today I leave you with this thought ... Be aware of how you speak to people.  Everyone has feelings.

Blessed .... praying blessings for you.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Happenings From Friday ...

The day started with rising at 4:00am.  Yeppers, that's me ... the early riser.  I love early mornings so to be up doesn't bother me.  I was able to write my blog, get myself ready and go take Braxton to the babysitter, come home and grab Tootie and take her to the groomer, get back and grab some breakfast with Alicia and Madelyn.  Then, as always, I do a sweep through the house making sure things are neat and of course the dishes were done or put in the dishwasher.  Alicia and Madelyn headed to Bonnie's where we were going to help get Brooklyn's room put together.  I grabbed some things that Bonnie didn't need for Brookyn and took them back to Kohl's for her.  And then headed to Bonnie's.

I had to get my Grammy time in with Ms. Brooklyn before I could do anything.  She's the littlest, sweetest thing.  We found a picture of Braxton while cleaning out a closet and they look exactly alike.  She's such a sweet baby.  Spending the day with my girls makes my heart sing.  We got Brooklyn's room decorated, of course I had to fold all the crib sheets in the special way I fold them to make them lay flat and neat in the chest and organized her chest so there was more space.  All the decorations that Bonnie and Alicia worked on are so cute.  Pictures to come as soon as I can get some.

About noon we headed out for an excursion to eat and a trip to Hobby Lobby.  Eating was first on our list.  The girls were famished and while my lack of appetite still  lingers, I'm always up for some Taco Bueno.  Don't say yuck ... it's not bad for fast food.  We were in line behind this couple who was ordering.  The man ordered his food and handed the lady a $20 bill and headed to the restroom.  She ordered and the worker gave her the total and she handed him the $20 and he held it up to the light and it did not have the special markings it needed.  He mentioned it to the girl and she said ... are you sure.  He went to get the special marker pen and marked it in front of her and he said ... This shows it is not real.  She was furious.  She told him to cancel the order and went around the corner to the  restroom and got the guy.  As they were going out the door ... she was stomping and furious with the guy.  It was the belief of all the witness' including myself that this young man who was trying to pass a fake bill so he handed it to the young lady and walked away.  The man behind us said he looked outside and the couple passed by in their car and he said she was giving the guy what for.  Since this is a felony ... I would have been so scared.  Things like this unnerve me.  I feel sorry for people who feel they have to do things like this.  Get out and get a job and make an honest living and do things right.  It's not that hard.

After lunch we headed to Hobby Lobby for a little shopping.  I had not been there in forever.  My sister and I used to go just to browse and we haven't had that opportunity since my diagnosis.  It's wonderful that life slowly but surely is getting back to normal.  Praise the Lord.  The shopping/looking for me was wonderful.

After leaving Bonnie's, I came home and broiled some thin steaks, baked a potato (it only takes one nice potato to feed Alicia, Madelyn and I), and made us a nice crisp salad.  It was good ... I could have done without the steak though ... which leads me to my next subject.  Has anyone ever heard of the book ... The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter's 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds?  His plan takes focuses on whole foods, including whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.  I'm interested in this plan, of course, due to my diagnosis.  I'll keep you posted on what I find out when I get the book.

I received two calls yesterday from Dr. Young's office.  I must admit when I see any of my doctors offices name pop up on my cell phone, my stomach does a little flip flop even though I know that I am OK.  The first call was Sandy who had made me an appointment with Dr. Kohlmorgan, the Gynecologist who I will be seeing this coming Thursday to discuss the hysterectomy.  I plan to use Dr. Kohlmorgan as my Gynecologist in the future.  Helena, was the second call and she was letting me know that there was no need to call the office on Monday and check on my 'menopausal' state because she had the blood results already.  They show that I am definitely post menopausal.  Helena said I was good to go as far as starting the Arimidex.  So this morning along with my Vitamin D and Calcium, I added the Arimidex.  I just know it's in my system killing any estrogen that might be floating around.  The Arimidex will continue every day for five years.  I will be eating a good diet (which I've done most of my life) and beginning some type of exercise regime since the Arimidex does inhibit weight loss.

Good news ... my radiation area is healing very nicely and the pod of fat/breast tissue/what ever was left under my arm is shrinking.  I have to wonder if it's using my left arm more or if the lymph node drainage procedures are draining fluid from the area.  What ever the case, I am please with the little lump going down.

All in all my Friday was a great day and I was extremely blessed.  I am looking forward to what today may hold ... thinking my sister and I will do some work in her bathroom that she is re-doing.

I love hearing from you.  Thank you Kristi and Patti for your comments on my blog yesterday.  I cannot begin to describe what it means to me when I see a comment.  I love you both.  I appreciate all who take the time to read my on-going  journey.  Thank you so much.

My heart is filled with joy this morning.  I have already been out side with Tootie and heard the cardinals singing.  I love the beautiful birds that frequent my yard for the sunflower seeds we keep out.

Blessed beyond measure and praying blessings for you today.

Friday, June 8, 2012

What Happens Now ... and other stuff!

Thursday I had blood work and an appointment with Helena, at the Center for a check up/review of progress/additional information.  My blood counts look great and Helena checked my radiation area and said it looks good.  She says it will eventually pretty much all peel, it has started.  It's primarily under my arm where I got the higher does of radiation.  The tenderness is not as bad as it was so I know it's healing.  Praise the Lord.

Helena and I discussed the appointment last week with Dr. V., for the consultation about my hysterectomy.  She was somewhat surprised about the two hour wait and that I still had not been seen.  I shared with her that I didn't think that Dr. V. would be a good fit for me and she totally understood.  She shared a story about a physician she saw 'once' during her breast cancer journey.  She had one appointment and said she never went back, so it does happen.  If you are walking the breast cancer journey or any other health journey and you do not feel connected to your physician, do not feel you are locked in to that person, you can change.  You can request your records and find someone you feel comfortable and confident in.  Helena sent the referral to a gynecologist, Dr. K., that she and her daughters use.  She feels that I will like her so I am anxious to meet her.  I need a gynecologist as I will not be returning to the one I was using.

We discussed an exercise program and Helena has referred me to the Moncrief Center as they have a free program that includes a trainer for patients like myself who are ready to get back in to the physical fitness  again.  I told Helena that I had thought about joining the gym here close to my house and just jumping in to the Zumba and other classes and she suggested I start with the program at the Moncrief Center first.  I am in agreement with that.  So I will give them a call and see what they offer and when.

Helena was having the lab check my blood work to see where I am as far as the menopausal phase of my life.  She didn't want me to start taking the Arimidex (estrogen inhibitor) until she saw the numbers for the hormone levels that are still in my body.  I got the Arimidex prescription and had it filled at the Center pharmacy but will not begin taking until I call on Monday for the results of the blood work and get approval from Helena to begin taking the Arimidex.  We went over the side affects of the Arimidex and I was happy to know that it does not cause weight gain but rather can make it difficult to lose weight.  Here again ... people who tell you things that are not really true.  I had someone tell me the estrogen inhibitors cause weight gain and that doesn't seem to be the case.  I so appreciate the thoroughness of the medical staff at the Center.

I look back now as to how far I have come since my diagnosis and it truly seems a distant memory.  I am so thankful that I have written my blog and captured everything because it is amazing how God removes the memories of all a cancer patient goes through.  I did not think that could possibly happen but it does.  I can pull from my memory bank but I do not sit around and dwell on what my body has been through.  I now am looking to the future and all the goodness it holds.

On to my new grandbaby, Brooklyn.  She's doing very well ... has had her nights and days kinda reversed but hopefully that is getting better.  I'm off work today so I am going over to help Bonnie to get her nursery fixed up and decorated.  This is right up my alley.  <smile>

Madelyn and Braxton are growing and really talking more and giving more hugs to Grammy.  My heart melts when one of them walk up to me and grab my finger and want me to take them outside.  It is sometimes a little warm but I try to get them out there as much as possible.  They both love the outdoors.  I'm happy about that so that they do not sit around and become couch potato TV watching kiddos.

Yesterday the devil thought he was going to visit my world but I slapped the fire out of him and said ... be gone!  I was sent a fairly big research project at work and I could feel the tightening of my body and almost panic in myself when I saw the amount of information needed and was due today (Friday) but after saying ... God, you've got this ... a calm came over me and I got the project completed and sent on its way.  I am telling you if you are not slapping the devil away and talking to God, the devil will take control of your world and upset it.  I  refuse to let that happen.
Matthew 4:10-11  Jesus said to him, "Away from me Satan!  For it is written, 'Worship the Lord your God, and serve Him only.  Then the devil left and the angels came and attended Him.  

I close today with love, compassion, and prayer for those continuing to walk the journey of cancer and treatments.  I promise you all that you will get through this and come across the troubled waters and look back realizing that "you did it" ... that the waters didn't sweep you downstream and you are alive and moving forward.  Time will heal our body and the memory of all our bodies have endured and we will become stronger in the process.  Praise God today for the strength He has provided thus far during your journey.

*  My little grand daughter, Brooklyn, is thriving and doing well.  Hopefully she will get the days and nights turned around and adjusted.
*  Bonnie is healing and doing very well.
*  Braxton and Madelyn continue to thrive as they are growing and learning all sorts of new things.
*  God continues to walk and carry my survivor sisters through their treatments.
*  God continues healing my body and mind.
*  Life ... it is good.

Prayer Request:
*  Anyone recently diagnosed with breast cancer and feels lost and scared and abandoned.
*  My friend, Michelle, as she finishes out the week after her final round of chemo.
*  My friend, Wendi, as she is four weeks after last round of chemo.
*  My friend Wendy in Amarillo, who bravely continues her treatments.
*  My friend, Judy, as she continues to the next phase of her journey.
*  My friend, Shirley, as she battles the leukemia that has taken a hold on her body.  Her hubby, Steve, who is caring for her.

Romans 12:10  Be devoted to one another in love.  Honor one another above yourselves.
When we put others first, we find joy and peace within and we do not concentrate on our aches and pains or things that are of no real consequence in our lives.  You can find joy in doing for others.  Give it a try ... you will be glad you did.

Blessed and praying blessings for you today... this day that the Lord has made.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What A Wonderful World ...

Tuesday I had the privilege of attending the first Cancer Survivors and Caregivers Luncheon hosted by Mary and Dick Lowe at Baylor All Saints Medical Center in Fort Worth.  It was a wonderful time.  There were tables set up that we visited before the lunch began.  We chatted with women I have met along my journey.  These women are all breast cancer survivors and such an inspiration to me... just their very presence has inspired me.  I met new friends and was able to share my blog so the information can reach as many as possible.  I continue to Praise my awesome Lord for all that He has provided me.

Above:  Alverna, my friend and adopted sister
accompanied me to the lunch.  She looked absolutely
beautiful.  If you remember, Alverna took me to
all my chemo treatments.  When I started
chemo, she helped me make it through many days by
bringing me groceries that I thought I could eat, fixing me
food, calling and checking on me.  Thank you does not
seem to be enough for her support during those difficult
days when my family could not be with me.  

Above:  One of the most wonderful things that
Alverna and I got to experience was a chair massage.
Joni was the massage therapist and might I tell you,
that she was wonderful.  For all that Alverna does
for her family and friends, she deserves a much longer
massage than five minutes.  

Above:  Everyone was assigned a table and we were at
 table 17.   We were seated with others who had the same
type cancer as me.  I was the recipient at our table of
the beautiful hydrangeas 

Above:  Looking across the area.

Above:  The speaker is Sherree Bennett,
the sweetest lady you will ever meet.  I met with
Sherree before my journey began.  

Above:  The North Texas Laryngectomy Society Choir
graced us with the song...
What a Wonderful World.
It was so emotional for me.  I watched this group of
five who fought throat cancer and won.  Here they are here today,
pressing the buttons on their necks singing.  They were truly a blessing.

Above:  Dr. Alan Johns, Survivor and Author
of "The Lump".  A man's journey through
breast cancer.

Above:  The incredible Joan Katz herself.
Three time breast cancer survivor and one time
bladder cancer survivor.  She was an incredible speaker
with so many inspiring words.  Her topic ...
We Have, We Will and We Can ...

I forgot my real camera and was using the camera on my cell phone.  I just had to have pictures so I could share on here although they are not the best.

Sherree reminded us 'not to waste our cancer'.  I knew early on that I was not going to waste the opportunity to 1) share my awesome Lord and 2) make available as much knowledge as I possibly could to other women and men regarding breast cancer and treatment.  God has provided many open doors for me in both areas and I always take the opportunity He gives me.  My passion is to share Him with others as I do not know how anyone could walk this journey without Him.  And I love being able to educate women in all aspects of this disease.  I will continue this until the day the Lord calls me home as I know I am doing what He wants me to do.

At the end of the luncheon, Sherree announced that the newest diagnosed person at the table would get the potted hydrangeas and at our table that was me.  You might have guessed it ... and I'll admit it ....
I cried.  I have come so far since my diagnosis on September 15, 2011, but my emotions continue to run very high when I think about the love and support that I have received.  People say that my words bless them ... I say that I am the one that is blessed.

Cancer and cancer treatment is a journey.  The journey we would not have chosen to take but some of us have to.  Attitude is so important when dealing with this dreadful disease and it's dreadful treatment but if you look around at all you have, you will see the blessings as you go through.  Hold on to your
HOPE ...

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Do not allow anything to steal your HOPE ... not even cancer.  Cancer put a bump in my road, a mere detour but it will not steal my HOPE, my FAITH, my LOVE, or my JOY.  

Blessed and praying blessings for all.