Today's Verse

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Past Time for an Update

It's been a few weeks since my last update and I'm sorry. I am doing well for the most part. I had my third treatment a little over two weeks ago so I am at the half way point! YAY! My next round is next Monday, the Monday before Thanksgiving. I just told Mom that for the first time I am really not looking forward to the treatment. I think it's because it is so close to the holiday, my favorite holiday. By Thursday, I won't be able to taste anything and that is the day of big eats around here. I'll be fine and will just have to look forward to next year and enjoy all the things I missed this year.

I have only been sick three times, once after each treatment. So not bad!

Several friends and family have gotten on to me because I ended up in the emergency room one night and didn't let anyone know. It was not a very pleasant experience and I wanted to forget about it. It will be too much information for most but since I am trying to keep some records for Katie and Mattie, I guess I better get it recorded... so here goes.

If you don't like to read about poop and blood, you probably want to skip down a few paragraphs.

Since I started chemo, I have had issues having bowel movements. I will have a week of diarrhea followed by several days of constipation with soft stools. Both are accompanied by sever muscle cramps. About two weeks after the second treatment, I had the cramps that told me to go and had a terrible time. When I finally finished, there was a lot of blood in the toilet and on the tissues. I immediately called the on call doctor and she told me to get to the ER.

Not only did I not feel well, but it was absolutely the worst night I had ever spent in the ER. We were there a total of six hours!! Glad I wasn't actually bleeding to death because it was three hours before the doctor came in. After some test, one that I really don't want to talk about because it was so painful, they decided I had ruptured an internal hemorrhoid (sp).

I will say, since then, I have only had a couple of days of problems, but I knew to call my doctor as soon as they started. I now know how to get through these episodes with less pain.


Even though I will have my treatment next week, I am looking forward to Thanksgiving. And for those of you that know my families shopping traditions, I WILL BE JOINING THE EXCITEMENT OF BLACK FRIDAY!! I refuse to let chemo keep me from the fun! Frank told me tonight that he is going to go with us (YAY!)! And I think I am going to take my grandmother's walker with a seat on it, just in case I need to sit down in a hurry!!! LOL

Tomorrow, I will be taking Mattie to film a segment for KRBC. I will let you know when it will air. I am really excited about it, but not sure if she even knows she is doing it! She should be excited because she will get to leave school early!

I can't believe that the holiday season is already upon us. These past few month's have been a whirlwind of events and emotions. Even though some things will be different this year, one thing we all know for sure,

God is in control, and because we know that,

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Fifteen Minutes of Fame

October 24, 2012

I've heard it said all my life "Everyone gets their fifteen minutes of fame."

Tonight it was my turn.

Well... mine and everyone at AMMA Karate.

KRBC/KTAB came out and did a story on AMMA's efforts to bring awareness to the fight for a cure for breast cancer.

More specifically, my fight.

It was a great report. Click here to see it.

I know I am behind on my post, but nothing really has changed, other than I have lost my hair. I promise to do a post on that and post some pictures. I have to. I have to keep record.

But one thing has remained steadily the same.

I have a great support group.

They are fighting for me.

Through prayer.

That is so much more than I ever expected.

I have prayer warriors everywhere, literally world wide.

And if I keep telling myself, if I can just touch one person's life

Everything is going to be OK.

Until next time, God Bless.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Lab Work and Depression

September 24, 2012

Lab work day!! And an office visit with Dr. Melnyk.

I felt uneasy about.

I don't know why, I've done several labs lately.

This one is nothing new.

Mom picked me up and we headed out to oncology. Pretty normal day... so far.

We checked in, sat down and it wasn't long before they called my name.

I sat in my normal chair, I think I'm going to start calling it the vampire chair. It is after all the one where they always draw my blood.

I haven't learned all the nurses names yer, but I'm working on it. But it was the same one that always takes my blood and she is very good by they way. As soon as I felt the stick I felt sick.


Bless her heart, she couldn't stop what she was doing. But the other nurses stepped in, quickly. They were getting me juice and wet towels. I was sweating and freezing at the same time. I asked to lay down.

They brought me a wheel chair and started wheeling me to a room. Any room, I didn't care where it was, I needed to lay down.

Just as they got me in the room, I told them I needed something. They handed me the trash can, just in time!

When I looked up Dr. Melnyk was standing there, smiling. He told me that I had told him I was fine. And I had been. He came on in, did my check up and then looked at my counts. He decided I was a bit dehydrated and that was probably why I had gotten sick. Everything else was what he was expecting. So I am normal after all!!!

September 25, 2012

Nothing too exciting the rest of the week. Just a battle with depression. To read about that click here.

What really sunk in this week was that,

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My First Round of Chemo

September 12, 2012

Mom and I went to chemo class. It was just the two of us and one of the oncology nurses. We got lots of great information. I really learned what to expect. So we are preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

They gave me a notebook full of information, calendars, phone numbers, oh just tons of stuff! We also finally got to see what this port in my arm looks like. I was so nervous about how they were going to get a needle stuck in this "hard" thing in my arm, but after I saw it, I felt much better.

The funniest part of the class was when we got to the sex part. They tell you some of the changes your body will go through and how to handle that department. Three grown women sitting in a room, talking about sex, and I've been married almost 29 years. Let me tell you, this subject still makes me uncomfortable in front of my mom!!! LOL

September 19, 2012


I got this!!

My appointment was at 8:45. BUT, I also had to have labs. So I actually didn't get plugged in until about 11:00. Frank took the day off, which I am so thankful. And my dad just couldn't stand it, he came and spent the day with Frank and I. My "cocktail is Taxatere Adrimycin Cytoxan (TAC). I got the A first. It is a push drug that the nurse gives through a syringe. It's the bad one, the "Red Devil". It takes about 15/20 minutes.

Then it was the T, then C. Those take about an hour each. Love my hubby and my daddy, but they were just standing there,

staring at me.

They both looked like they wanted to be in my shoes and that just wasn't acceptable. I finally talked them in to going to get some lunch. I promised them I would be fine, that I had lots of nurses there to take care of me. So they finally left. They brought me back a Subway sandwich and it was very good!

Once those two were finished, they flushed my port and we were headed home! YAY!

It was about 2:30. It took the entire day.

Once we got home, I convinced Frank I was fine and wanted to watch my soap. He finally agreed to watch some fishing shows in the back room. It wasn't long before I heard him snoring. He had finally relaxed. So glad!

We had a great evening. The girls got home from work and karate, we laughed, ate and got ready for the next day.

September 20, 2012

Today I had to go back for a Nuelasta shot.

It goes in the stomach! Yikes! I wasn't expecting that! Never had one there before!

I just didn't look at the needle! It didn't hurt!!

This shot is the one that makes my bones ache. It starts the bone marrow to producing more white cells. Mom brought me back home and I rested.

It was a good day. And even though I didn't know how all this was going to affect me, one thing I did know was...

Everything was going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I Met Someone New Last Week, and I Didn't Like Her Very Much!!


Two weeks since my last post!

That is totally unacceptable!!

But I can explain. Someone new came into my life last week.

This person is someone I can say I never expected to meet.

This person wasn't very nice.


I hope I can keep her away from all of my family and friends in the future. Trust me, she is not very nice. Just ask Frank or Katie!

This person was me!!!! Well, depressed me!

Depression is something I have NEVER faced. I have always been able to find the good in everything! Even this beast cancer.

When Frank brought this to my attention, I kicked that b@#^% to the curb!!! I don't want her back in this house! Good bye and good riddance!

So now that we know what to look for, she is definitely gone!

I will get you all caught up on my treatment soon, but I ask, if you see this person sneaking back into my house, please help me get rid of her. She doesn't fit in here. Because in my house, there are no negative Nellie's. Because I've got this! Because I know...

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chemo Class Today

September 12, 2012

Today I have my first, extensive visit with Dr. Melnyk, then my chemo class.

My appointment is at 1:30. Class at 3:00.

They said we will break away from my appointment so I can go to my class, then we'll finish up when it is over.

Looks like it is going to be a long afternoon!!

But one thing I know for sure,

Everything is going to be OK!

God Bless!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fun Weekend and the Fair is in Town

September 8, 2012

It's Saturday and we have things to do!

Yes life goes on so we had to go have the inspection done on Frank's truck and a few other necessary errands that have to be done each month. We also decided to go to the fair hoping it wouldn't be too crowded earlier in the day. We had a great time. Mattie had entered two items this year, a necklace (fourth place) and a play-doh model of an ice cream truck (fifth place) and of course we had to have Aggie fries. We got to visit with a lot of people that we haven't seen in a while and just walk around.

We really didn't want any other "fair food" so when we left we went to Abuelos's for a great dinner. Then back home for a relaxing evening at home.

Katie spent the day with us and we had a great time.

We stayed up way too late watching a movie then off to bed. Church in the morning.

September 9, 2012

Church was great! I am loving this series Phil is doing on "The Story". If you haven't read the Bible as much as you should (just like me!) this is a great book. It is the Bible, only in chronological order. If you would like to hear his sermons, please go to the Southern Hills web site. Go to the "resources" tab and find the sermons. It is a great series and awesome to listen too even if you don't have The Story to follow along with.

Lunch was at Fazoli's with lots of friends and family from church. Not my favorite place to eat, but the fellowship make up for that!!! We had a great time.

Then of course it was Sunday afternoon nap day!! Football started this week and I sleep while Frank watches his most favorite sport ever!

We picked Mattie up from her dad's at 6:00 and since she hadn't been to the fair yet, we took her out to ride some rides, eat some food and check out her entries to see if they won (we never tell her!). She loves the rides and she gets really tickled when adults get sick on them and she doesn't. She wasn't disappointed tonight!!! LOL "Lolo! Did you see that guy barf?!?!" We had a great time and got home way to late for a school night, but this was the only night we would be able to go as a family.

So even with lack of sleep, as we start the week, we know that...

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Surgery Number Two - Medi-Port Insertion

September 7, 2012

All the antibacterial showers have been taken and now on to the surgery. So glad I've had my hair cut differently since the last surgery so even without makeup, my hair still looks cute!

We get to the hospital. My dad is waiting on us. I get signed in and pretty soon my mom gets there. I am not nearly as anxious about this surgery as I was the first. I think because it isn't my first surgery.

When I hear my name, I look up and see it is Meagan. YAY! Sweet young lady that went to high school with Katie. She is my nurse today! How exciting!!! I KNOW she has a great sense of humor and she can go head to head with Frank. Love her.

Again, because I am still of child bearing age, I had to have a pregnancy test. It doesn't matter that Frank has taken care of that, I could still be pregnant. Oh the joyous thoughts of not only having a baby when I have a six year old grand child, but having cancer and being pregnant?! Thank you Lord for not allowing that to happen! After this chemo, it might not be an issue. Dr. Melnyk said the chemo could throw me into menopause! It would be nice to get that out of the way!!

The anesthetist comes in to tell me what to expect, just as he did last time. He tells me I will not be as heavily sedated as I was last time. He asked me if I had ever had a colonoscopy, which I have. He then tells me that I will be sedated like I was during that. OH NO WAY!!!! I think I have a bit of a panic attack. Frank said my face turned white as a sheet! The problem was, they told me I would probably sleep during the colonoscopy but I didn't, I watched the entire thing on the monitor they had mounted in the room. That was so totally not like me. I could have even driven myself home after! So you see why the bit of panic. I did not want to be awake during this procedure. I barely made it through the biopsy!!! I wanted to be under! He assured me that I would be completely under during this procedure. Frank winked at me and told me I could this, so I settled down a bit.

Dr. Yost came in soon after that and explained the procedure a little bit more. Another surprise! We thought the port would be put on my clavicle. Dr. Yost said he decided to put it in my arm. I just looked at Frank and he took over. (It is so nice having someone that can just look at you and know you need help). He and Dr. Yost discussed the placement and what Dr. Melnyk had said. Dr. Yost was just concerned about the port being so close to my lungs and the still there incisions from the mastectomy. Frank's biggest concern was he was talking about a PICC line and that is something I absolutely did not want. Dr. Yost explained that it was definitely a port and not a PICC line, so we moved forward.

The surgery went well, but my arm is very sore. The incision is right in the bend of my left arm which is still sore and healing from the removal of the lymph node. The bruising is terrible, which they said it would be. This too shall heal, just another hurdle I have to get over. I can't really bend my arm, at all!! So most of the rest of the day I sit with it propped up on pillows and wiggle my fingers to keep some circulation going.

The other new thing is blood thinners. I have to take blood thinners to keep from getting clots. Oh joy! I have to take a pill three times a week at the same time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Thank goodness for technology! I have my alarm set so I don't forget! I am sure that I will have more weekly and daily meds to be taking soon, so this will be good "training" for me!

And as I look forward to what is in my future, I must remind myself, God is in total control and

Everything will be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Third Leg of the Journey Begins With the Story of a Weed

September 4, 2012

So the third leg of the journey is about to begin.

I had my first visit with Dr. Melnyk this morning. I think I really like him.

He started our visit with the story of a weed.

When a weed grows in your garden, you want it gone. So you pull it. Will the weed come back? It all depends. Did you get all the roots? Did the weed drop any seeds before it was pulled? We don't know. What do we do to make sure the weed doesn't come back? Well we certainly don't give it any fertilizer! We cover it with weed killer and include the surrounding soil to prevent it from spreading.

So...what does gardening and pulling weeds have to do with your cancer you ask. EVERYTHING!

Cancer is a weed that grows in our body and we want it gone. The first thing we do is pull the weed, mastectomy. Then we look for is the fertilizer and in my case, with breast cancer, that fertilizer would be estrogen and progesterone. It was neither one of these. He is not sure what is feeding my cancer. So now we have to kill any seeds or remaining roots with weed killer or chemotherapy.

Again, not exactly what I was wanting to hear, but this is the journey God has me on.

The cancer I have is a type 3, pretty aggressive and not very nice. So I will be getting chemo that is even stronger than the cancer. I think he said TAC. (I have my notebook started with questions to ask before we start treatment so I will be getting clarification on that.) He said that this chemo will have every side affect there is; sores in the mouth, nausea, hair loss! I will have to have six rounds of this chemo.

This Friday, I will be going in for day surgery to have my medi-port inserted. Not real thrilled about that either, but better that as being stuck for everything!!!

I will have my first round of chemo in about 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.

September 6, 2012

Last night, we talked with Mattie about me having to have chemo. It was pretty easy. We told her how the doctors want me to get better and get all of this cancer out of my body, but to do that, they will have to give me medicine that will make me sick. We talked about how it's funny that I will have to get sicker before I get better. I showed her where they will be putting the medi-port and why they have to do that. She really understood that part! She is about as big a fan of needles as her Lolo is!!!

Tonight and in the morning I get to take that wonderful antibacterial shower and then the day surgery at 8:45. Katie will again be keeping everyone posted with text and FB updates. You will hear from me again as soon as I can.

As you remember me in your prayers, also remember, this is God's journey for me and, yes...

It is all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!!!

Friday, August 31, 2012

One Month

August 30, 2012

Today is my one month anniversary. 

One month ago today, I received the official diagnosis that I have breast cancer. 

To commemorate, I have gone back and read all my blog post from the day I went "public" with the news. 

After reading the post, I can't help but think to myself "One month, is that all?" Some of the words I wrote seem to have been written not just months ago but maybe even years ago. So much has changed in the past thirty days. 

I wonder how distant those words will seem in one year? 

It's strange, some of the changes that I have been through are normal already. And some of the changes I am still trying to get used to. Some changes will change themselves before I have a chance to get used to them. And I have lots more changes to come. 

Other than change always being a constant in our lives, one thing will never change. 

God is good. God is in control. Always. I am so thankful for all He has blessed me with. He has provided me with the right people to help me and travel with me on this journey. 

In the past month I have learned many things but the one I am reminded of daily is that cancer is hard. But with God guiding me on this journey...

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God Bless. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Some Strange New Sensations

August 29, 2012  P.M.

I had a great day today.

I took Mattie to breakfast then dropped her off at school. From there, I went to my house!! It was the first time I spent more than 30 minutes by myself there in the weeks since my surgery. It was nice just to relax and catch up on my soaps! LOL Like I need a soap opera in my life!

For lunch, it was our monthly Ladies Lunch with a bunch of women that used to work at WTU together. It was very nice. I had not been able to attend since late last year and I really enjoyed getting to see everyone.

From there I went back home and watched some more soaps. It's hard to catch up after three weeks!! Late this afternoon I picked Mattie up at karate and we came out to Mom's where Mom and Mattie cooked supper. Mattie loves to help cook.

After supper, Mom and Mattie watered all the outside plants then we took a short walk. It was then time for Mattie to get her shower and in the bed. We called Grumpy then read our book. She didn't go to sleep during the book tonight, so we just lay there and she kept patting my shoulder while I rubbed her cheek. Why can't they just stay little longer?

I think I have kept you up to date on any news with the cancer. I have my first appointment with the oncologist Tuesday. I am so ready. I have had some new "sensations" around the surgery site. Around eleven this morning, I started having the feeling of being shocked. The first time I felt it, I actually thought I had busted a stitch. But there are no stitches on the outside to see. You know how it feels when you turn on a light and get a shock, or when the kids drag their feet on the carpet and then touch each other? That is how this feels. And it is in the same spot on both sides. Mom and I think it is the nerves getting the feeling back after the surgery. It doesn't really hurt, it is mostly annoying. If it continues tomorrow, I will be calling the doctor to see if this is normal. Again, it is not painful, just annoying. But this too is just one of those things that I know will pass and reminds me that...

Everything is going to be OK.

Until next time, God bless!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Not Much New

August 29, 2012

Yesterday was not a very eventful day. But we had some more good news!

I took Mattie to school. Not exciting but I did remember how much I missed our morning drives.

Just the two of us.

No radio.

Just Mattie and her "Mattieisims".

I wish she didn't have to ever grow up. But I know she does or we would have a problem! So I will enjoy her as she is as long as I can.

Mom and I just spent the day together doing things that had to be done and we had lunch together at China Star. Yum! It was so good.

See! Not too eventful.

But the good news...

I now have an appointment with the oncologist!!! They had told me it could be up to six weeks before they would see me, so when they called and told me next Tuesday, Sept 4, I was pretty ecstatic! So a bit more waiting but not the wait I was thinking it would be!!!! I just continue to be reminded...

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It WAS a Great Day!

August 28, 2012

School started.

It started even though I wasn't there to take pictures.

I'm alive.

I'm OK.

I knew I would be! It was just one of those changes I had to make it through. And thanks to technology and my sweet daughter, I have first day of school pictures, and I had them probably before the morning announcements were over! (Hopefully I will be able to get them downloaded soon!)

I had another doctor's appointment today.

For someone that has never been to the doctor very much in her life, I sure am starting to make a habit of this!

It was a great appointment!

I got the tubes out!!! YAY!! Doing a happy dance but no one is here to film me!!! But trust me, I'm doing it! It was not the most pleasant experience I have ever had, nor was it the worst! I'm just glad Frank was there to hold my hand to get me through it!!

So now I can drive!

I'm taking Mattie to school in the morning.

Like I have to keep reminding myself...

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Monday, August 27, 2012

It's the First Day of School - Again!

August 27, 2012


First day of school!

Always an exciting day in our home. But this year is a bit different I'm not there. When Katie was little, I always took the first day of school off or at least made arrangements to go in late so I could make her whatever she wanted for breakfast, take pictures of her getting ready, all dressed and on the way, and pictures of her arriving at school and getting to her class. Mattie started pre-k two years ago and so the tradition continued. But I'm not there this morning. Frank and Katie are getting her ready, and they promised to take plenty of pictures for Lolo. Mattie promised to smile for those pictures.

I won't even get to pick her up from school today. My doctor's appointment is at 3:00 today and that is exactly when she gets out. She will be fine. It's just me. I have had enough change for a while and I have never liked it when I miss milestones. But things will keep changing until I know my body is completely rid of this beast and reconstruction is complete. I will make it through.

I am ready for my doctor's appointment this afternoon. I am hoping the tubes come out! I have had enough of them. Late yesterday, I showered on my own, but with Frank within arms reach. He is leaving town after my appointment and he wanted to make sure I could do it by myself before he left. I think I proved I would be OK. Mom and Katie will be here too and I won't do anything I'm not supposed to without one of them nearby.

Whatever happens today, Mattie going to school without me and my doctor's appointment. I know that it is His plan. It always is. I shouldn't question it. I have so much to be thankful for. I will continue to pray, because whatever happens throughout the day, I always know...

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Happy Sunday

August 26, 2012

Sunday! Family day! Church this morning was great. It was so wonderful to hug and kiss all my wonderful friends that have been praying for my family these past weeks. I really just can't describe what a joy it was. Love always abounds at our wonderful church home, but it just felt "bigger" this morning. 

And my ladies class was glorious as always! We are not a big group but we are a close group. I love them all. 

After lunch, Mattie, Katie, Mom and I had a wonderful tea party hosted by Mattie. The "tea" was delish. This afternoon I think we are going to do some napping. At least me and my girls. And this evening some more wonderful friends are coming by for a visit, then it is time for an early bed and rest for the first day of school. Mattie tries to tell us she is not ready for school, but she has the cure, mischievous grin when she says it, so I think she's really ready to go back. She loves to learn. 

So while I am taking my Sunday afternoon nap, enjoy the last two videos from the pig pen. 

School starts tomorrow for the students.

School always starts early for Trina. No she is not a student. She works for AISD,

a counselor, 

in middle school! 

Yes! I would say she is a saint! I can't imagine having to deal with middle schoolers or their parents, and in a lot of instances, she has to deal with both!

At the same time!!!

Nope! Not me! No way, no how!!! 

You go girl and all the other people that are raising our "precious little darlings" while they are in your care!!

So after what I'm sure was a grueling day, I got this gem of a video...

I think she's tired! Such language! From an English teacher!!! Well that was her specialty. like I said, she is a counselor now! Wonder if she uses that same mouth when talking to her students! Hum...

Aw Trina you know I'm joshin ya! And anyway, I think I heard you kinda makin fun of me at the first of that video! Yes I had a restful day! Whadya expect? Me to get up and go to work or something?! Oh! Now that's funny!

So this next one I got the day I was heading to the doctor for my follow up after surgery. I just love her song writing skills!!!

And yes, this peppy little ditty was stuck in my head all day!!! I guess it could have been a worse!

Those are all I have right now. I'm wondering if she thinks I'm healed already? Hum...I guess she could come help me with my incisions! LOL No not her! That would be worse than asking Katie! I know your busy Trina! I have loved the videos and I know you will send me more when you have time! And even if you don't, 

It's all going to be OK! 

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Aww! Saturday! And Back to the Pig Pen

August 25, 2012


It is Saturday! 

The last Saturday of the summer! 

Where did the time go? 

Oh Yeah! I've been fighting breast cancer all summer!! 

Today Katie and I are getting manies and pedis! So nice! Mattie doesn't get one this time because Frank took her to Six Flags one last time for the summer and they are on a mission. 

We learned a few weeks ago that the Flashback and Texas Shootout (parachutes) are being taken down to make room for another ride. We first heard that the Shockwave was the ride coming down and that was the plan, Frank take her one more time to ride the Shockwave as many times as she wanted. Her record is 10 times in a row, but I do know someone whose record is 23 or something like that! Mattie loves that ride. But we soon learned it would be the Flashback that was coming down, and that was an even bigger problem. Mattie has always wanted to ride it but has always been too short! 

Katie did some quick searching online and re-measured Mattie, and we think she is now tall enough to reach the line and ride it! We certainly hope so. Frank plans to let her ride that and anything else she wants to and I know they will have a blast. And I think that beats pedis to a six year old anytime! 

I didn't post any videos yesterday. I'm sorry. It was just one of those days that something needed to be said so I said it! But today, back to a couple of videos!

We are not ashamed of a little boob humor! We have to laugh through some of this stuff to keep from crying and sometimes we are doing both!! This video needs no set up, it is pretty self explanatory! 

Sorry Frank and Katie! I laughed, but I have NEVER considered you boobs! Trina said it not me! LOL

And as all families do, our family has lots of inside jokes. This next video uses several of those and there is no way I can explain them all in a short amount of time. And it really takes all three of us, Trina, Traci & me, to explain them. That is half the joke, watching us re-hash what happened. So if you aren't in on the joke, just enjoy Trina's musical talents! You can ask us sometime to explain! Like on Black Friday, while we are standing in a freezing line waiting for the doors to some store to open!

Oh! One taco please! That gets me every time!!!

One night last week, Trina texted me at an inappropriate time (as one of us usually does) and of course we had to ask what each other was doing. I just happened to be online doing some shopping. What? Me shop? Well, yes. Just listen to the video and you'll see what an important shopping trip it was! 

Bwahahahahaha! I really do think we should go in there and see what they do when they get to me! If we film it, we could have the winning video on a certain show!!!  Oh, the tears are still rolling down my cheeks!

I hope everyone has a great Saturday. I am so looking forward to Sunday! I am going to try my hardest to go to church, balls and all!!!

It is all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Praise of Thanksgiving!!

August 24, 2012

Well I can not say I am disappointed. I had my follow up appointment with Dr, Yost yesterday, If you didn't see the update to yesterday's post here, well it was good!!!


Praise God! He gets ALL the glory on this one. He has guided me on this path from the very beginning. And I know He Himself was in that operating room with me guiding the doctors, nurses, and anesthetists (that was the big one for me!) and anyone else that had something to do in that room. I have never felt as at peace about something as I did when I woke up from surgery. 

For more than a week, everyone has been praying, bringing food, calling, texting and sending cards and letters. There is no way I will ever remember to tell everyone that I appreciate what they did and how much love I feel for them. I guess when you live in a small town as long as we have, you friends turn to family quickly, and we do what we can to show we care. 

But I think what I appreciate more than the prayers for me are the prayers for my family. Like I've said before, cancer is hard! It's not just hard for me, it is hard for the ones that are closest to me. I know many of you have prayed for Frank. He has done so much. Most of y'all don't see him like I do, and he may say he's OK, but I know his eyes. I also know what those eyes said to me before and after the surgery and during the days after. I didn't think I was ever going to get him to go back to work. He gave me courage before and so much comfort after. 

And thank you for the prayers for Katie and Mattie. Mattie has been so worried and full of more questions than usual. Katie has needed strength to help answer those questions as honestly as possible without terrifying her! But she is doing great and ready to meet the teacher tonight and start 1st grade on Monday!!!

The rest of my family has received numerous prayers too! This has been hard on all of them too. I guess it would be easier if we weren't all so darn close!!! My mom and dad have received lots of prayers. Worry for your children doesn't get easier just because they are adults. It is the same worry for the child whether they are infants, middle aged, or older! Our children are our children. 

So what's next?

Good questions. 

I still have to see an oncologist to see if there will be any other treatment. If the answer is yes, we will continue to pray and go from there. If it is no, well I really don't know. I know we will continue to pray, prayers of thanksgiving, but I don't know how long I will have to wait to start the reconstruction. Once that starts, it will take about a year to complete. Then hopefully I will be able to get back to life like it was; karate, fishing, and just having fun with my family. Whatever it is, I know God is in control and he hasn't let me down yet! And we also know...

Everything is going to be OK! 

Until next time, God bless. 

More Videos from the Pig Pen

August 23, 2012

I am still healing well. Today is the day I go to the doctor! I am so ready. And anxious! We are hoping they have the results of the test so we can move forward with my treatment. But I am also anxious in finding out about these tubes. I just wonder how long they will have to remain with me? We will find out this afternoon!!

Before I go to the doctor, Mom and I are going to a movie. She has not been in a movie theater in probably 20 years or more!!! We are going to see "Hope Springs" with Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep, two of my favorites! We are hoping my aunt Hysti and Traci, my cousin, will go with us! Have a girls morning out!! LOL Sorry Trina and Katie, someone has to work and it ain't gonna be one of the four of us! LOL

But now on to the videos!

Trina and her children have had surgery before. It was really fun getting instructions on post-op food from an eleven year old and what would happen if I happened to eat some "gassy" foods! So when she sent me this video on surgeons asking about M's tonsils I really got tickled...

BaHaHaHaHa!! No the surgeons didn't ask me if I wanted to keep any souvenir from my surgery! So you think, he'll ask me if I want a souvenir when he removes these balls?! (bulbs for you Kyle! LOL)

And we really do have a couple of houses, mine included, that we refer to as "pig pen". My grandmother's is the other. We started trying to get everything ready for an estate sale back in January but we haven't made much progress. She had so much stuff!!! The closets were stuffed full and the attic a catch all for whatever could be lifted through the hole. OK, the truth is, all this stuff stuffed in the closets were mostly her grandchildren's. I don't know why we thought we needed to hang on to this stuff, but now we have to get rid of it. But some of the things she has in her house are equipment needed to make life a bit easier for an elderly person. Hysti knew Frank had given me one shower and knew he would have to give me more before all this healing was over with, so her suggestion came in the form of a pig pen video!

Aww! Old people humor! Gotta love it!

UPDATE: August 23, 2012 4:43 PM

I just got back from the doctor. and the verdict is ------(wish I knew how to draw a drum roll!))-------


Now, what does that mean? It means we caught it early and it hasn't spread! I still have to see an oncologist for him to decide treatment. So I am waiting for them to give me the appointment date! AND, I am also still sporting these beautiful tubes and balls! He said he could take them out today but if I still had fluid build up, I would have to have them drained with a needle. Still, after all this, I don't like needles. So I choose to leave them in and he will look at them Monday to decide if they can come out! 

So when you say your prayers tonight, say a little prayer of thanksgiving for me! And say a little prayer for everyone you know that has been touched by this beast! Please do it for me! All the time, God is good. God is good, all the time! Amen!     

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God Bless!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Family Healing Videos from the Pig Pen

August 22, 2012

Yes, I am still doing well! For a recap of my healing, you can click here for the shortest update ever.

But now on to more videos!

Yay ---Clap Clap Clap!

This was the third video I received on the Thursday following my surgery

I love it!!

Then later in the day, after she and the kids had been to see me, I got another one...

Maybe she is the next Al Yankovick! What do you think?

It's all going to be oik!

Until next time, God bless!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

This Is My Families Idea of Healing

August 21,2012

I am still healing, and I'm sure most of you are bored with those updates by now;

   I woke up
   I healed
   I emptied these balls
   I had supper & walked.
   Good night.


Part of my healing process has been my cousin and an iPhone app she promises to give me later (you better not forget Trina Lou!). Every day, at least once a day, starting on my first day after surgery, she texts me a cute little video

of a sock puppet

a pig sock puppet!!!

Each video is around 30 seconds long, and is usually a song, or joke, including boob humor! That's just how we roll in my family!!!

Here is her first installment, sent to me at 7:30 AM, the first morning after my surgery. (I guess she knew there was no danger of waking me up that early in a hospital!),

Talk about put a smile on my face! It certainly did!

And a bit later in the day, I got this gem...

I can't say it enough! I have the best family ever!!!

And it's working, I am healing up great!

Except for these balls!!

It's all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


August 20, 2012

I can't believe this marks a full week, seven days, since I had my surgery. My emotions have changed so much in that short amount of time. I think before the surgery, I just wanted to get that horrible beast cancer out of me, even though it meant going through  surgery. I did not want to do that but what option did I have? I worked myself up so much just thinking about the surgery that the cancer really wasn't what was scaring me. I can't tell you the feeling of peace I had when I woke up knowing it was over.

I can't believe I have been walking around with these stupid tubes hanging out of me for seven days! Oh they are such a pain. But I know they are just temporary, a transitional time in my life and that soon they too will be gone.

I can't believe that I have looked in the mirror for seven days and seen the scars of my surgery and no boobs and it doesn't bother me. I just knew the first time I saw them gone that I would cry, but I didn't. It really hasn't bothered me. I guess me and the girls just weren't that close!

I can't believe the outpouring of love and support from all my family and friends. Everyone keeps telling me how great I look! I guess now people see my face since there aren't any boobs in the way! LOL

Not much to up date from today. I rode into town with Mom. It was nice to get out for a while. Had another amazing meal brought to us. Frank went with us on our walk tonight, a bit further than what we went last night. I got to stock up on some hugs and kisses from Mattie and she called me to tell me good night too!

I know this cancer is part of God's plan for my life. I am still trying to figure out how I can get more people to make sure women are getting their mammograms and doing their monthly self checks. And God is such a part of this for me, I want to bring Him to more people through this too. I know there is a way. And I know God will lead my way, in his time. I just have to be patientt. And listen.

It's all going to be OK.

Until next time, God bless.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Healing Continues

August 18,2012

It was mostly an uneventful day. Frank mowed at our house and at Mom's. Mom fixed breakfast and my Aunt Medrice made an amazing chicken spaghetti! I think Mom and I fought to lick the pan. Frank fixed the front door lock. Mom and I took two walks today. We watched a lot of TV and took lots of naps.

Such an exciting life! I think I'm going to pick up a book and read! I KNOW! SHOCK!!!

August 19,2012

Woke up at seven this morning, strange for me without an alarm!

Ugh! I really hate missing church. Phil is starting a new series today and I really wanted to be there for it. I guess it's best I didn't try to go. Although probably no one would say a word, I don't think it would be real appropriate for me to wear my yoga pants and pajama top to church and remember, I still can't raise my arms to fix may hair! I might have scared a small child if I had gone! Traci helped me get to the SoHills web site so I could listen live, but I didn't have all the plugins I needed so I missed it. Oh well, I can listen sometime this week from the archives. It's not like I don't have a lot of time on my hands!!

Part of our karate family brought us lunch and joined us as we ate. It was delish!!! We had a nice visit and the rest of the afternoon we had friends and family visiting. It was great. But the best part of the day was that Mattie May got to come home from her dad's for the summer. I just miss that little toot when she is gone even for an hour! She was the cherry on top to a perfect Sunday!

When Frank, Katie and Mattie went home for the evening, Mom and I took a walk (we are going a little further every day!)  then sat out on the patio until it got too dark. What a wonderful weekend I had.

It's all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

I Can't Forget Roxanne

I have to tell the story of Roxanne, or what I can remember of it!

My day nurse was Ann and they changed shifts at seven. A CRNA came in telling me who she was and that she was going to take my vitals and that my nurse would be in later. We thought no big deal about it.

In a bit some one tapped on the door and came on in. She had dark curly hair and the happiest face I had seen in a long time. She said her name was Roxanne and she was my nurse for the night. She asked me what I had done and I told her. Her next comment took me by surprise for just a second and then I fell in love. She said "Oh you've got this! It's no biggy! I am a one year survivor, just on the last bit of my reconstruction. You are doing great and have nothing to worry about!"

Then she did all that she had to do then stood at the end of my bed and said "Now tell me your story!" It wasn't a request or an order, but something she knew I needed to do. So Frank and I began. She stayed with us about an hour and a half. When I finished my story I asked to hear hers. And we listened.

Her cancer was no great surprise as it runs in her family.She chose to have a bilateral mastectomy also with reconstruction after her treatment. When she finished her story, she looked me square in the eyes and said "You want to see them?!" Frank told her to wait until he could get out of the room! He walked Katie down to her car and Roxanne and I continued to talk.

Roxanne was the best medicine I could have had that night. God's angle dressed in blue scrubs and dark curly hair sent to help me through.

Frank and I both slept well that night. Thank you Roxanne.

It's going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

And So The Journey Continues...And It's Not Real Exciting, Yet

August 17, 2012

Frank slept at home again and I stayed at Mom's. Her house is just easier to get around in. It's bigger and she is a much better house keeper than I am! I hate cleaning! I woke about 7:30. I didn't sleep as well last night as I have been. These balls are really starting to be annoying! They stuck to me all night long and when I woke up this morning, one of the caps were poking into my arm. I tried to be a quite as I could when I got out of bed because Mom was still asleep which is strange for her, but she was awake shortly after.

I sent Frank a text to come on out when he got ready. Mom fixed us a wonderful breakfast of eggs, Canadian bacon and English muffins. It was so good.

Poppa called on his way into town, and I asked him to bring me some more gauze dressings so I could get a shower and clean jammies. We enjoyed visiting with him as always.

After he left, Frank went to help me shower. I learned very quickly, I can not do that by myself. We put a chair in Mom's shower and used the handheld shower head. He gave me one of the best hair washings I have ever had! And the shower was typical Frank and Brandi. He was sweating and I was shivering! It is true for us that opposites attract! I tried really hard not to get his clothes wet because he didn't bring any others with him. I decided that if I got him too wet, he could wear one of Mom's robes while we dried his clothes.

The toughest part of the shower was changing the dressing where these tubes are attached. Not fun! I'm not sure where the hospital gets their surgical tape but it must be a Super Glue product! I think it pulled off a layer of skin. The scariest part was Frank was having trouble getting some of it off the tubing and we soon realized the gauze was wrapped around it!

After we got all the gauge off, he continued to help me clean. I really felt he missed his calling as a nurse! Other than him squirting me in the face and trying to drown me, it went well.

By the time he got me dried off, I was exhausted. I felt like an old lady!

We tried to watch some more movies but we both fell asleep. Mom made a lasagna for supper and Katie joined us again. We wanted to take another walk but the lightning prevented us from doing so. We watched a little (a lot) more TV then headed off to bed, Frank and Katie at home and Mom and I at her house. It was another good day.

It's all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Getting to Wake Up at Home

August 16, 2012

WOW! I slept until almost 9 AM! And I woke up with very little pain. The biggest pain of all are these stupid drainage tubes. I have three of them, one for each breast and a third where they took the lymph node They just get in the way. And they are not very comfortable to just let them dangle. They are surgically sewn in and they told me they won't just come out. But like I said, just a discomfort and in the way. And these "balls" have to be drained. Not our favorite thing to do, but it has to be done and the amounts recorded so I can take it to the doctor next Thursday.And Frank has really enjoyed adding some of his "man humor" about my balls as you can imagine!

It was a rather quite day. We had a few more visitors and Mom went to the grocery store. Frank and I napped a lot. Two sweet sisters from my Sunday Ladies class brought us supper. Katie joined us when she got off work. After we ate, we went for a walk up to the road. It was a nice night.

The funny for the day was Katie!

We are always trying to get her to go to school to be a nurse. She has a really caring heart and we have always thought she would be very good at it. Until tonight! Before they left for home, Frank was going to show her how to help me drain and measure these balls. She came to the restroom all ready to go. He showed her how to put some pressure on it before you take the cap off and then to turn it into...and that's as far as she got! Her face turned white and she had that "I'm fixing to puke" face and left the bathroom! We couldn't help but laugh. She came back and told us she really didn't think she could do it! It's all good. I can actually do it myself and Frank knows that. He's just insistent on helping me do it. We just enjoyed the laugh at our poor daughter's expense.

It is all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Friday, August 17, 2012

What About the Women Who Don't Have Anyone?

I've had something troubling me, and these are the only words I have to help me through:

I have such an amazing support group with my family and friends, it has got me to wondering, what do people do that have no one? And when I say no one, I am not necessarily talking about the friends and family that I have.

I know not everyone has the wonderful and supportive husband that I have. It takes a real man to wash his wife like a baby, cry with her when she cries for no reason, and makes her laugh just because he can. I know I have a very special man.

I'm not talking about children who grow up faster than they really want to because reality has hit them right up beside the head. Katie has really stepped up and taken charge in a few situations.

And I know not everyone still has their parents, or maybe they don't have a very good relationship with their mom or dad. I have both and both have been right by my side from them minute I told them about the lump I found.

I am an only child and I know others out there don't have siblings they can talk to either. But I have my cousins who have been here to keep me focused on what needs to be done, that I need to focus on me, and that wake me every morning with a funny video to make laughter an important part of my day.

And I have two very special aunts that have been constantly in prayer and making sure I do everything right. And uncles that have been doing the same.

And I have so many friends from school, work, bass clubs, church and karate that I don't even consider them friends any more, they are family. Family is so much more than blood.

I have had prayers, cards, letters, food, visits, phone calls... the list goes on and on. I will never be able to thank all these people nor let them know what the simplest of prayers have meant to me.

But of all these people, that is not what I am talking about.

What about the people that don't know my God?

I pray for these people. I worry about them. How do they go forward from the moment they find the lump? How do they tell themselves that everything will be OK? What do they have faith in? I know God will never forsake me. I know he is with me every step of this journey and that when there are only one set of footprints, they are his because he is in control. I know that as bad as this nasty cancer is, he has a plan for me.

How do those with no faith know they will be OK? I know that even if I die, I will live! That is my faith. God is that faithful. I know he has a plan for me, he tells me so in Jeremiah 29:11.

I am no Bible scholar, I have trouble finding the simplest of scriptures. But I know the story of Jesus. I know what he can do for you. And I just want to tell you, if you are one of these people that want to know my God, let me know. I would love to tell you what I know about Him. He is the greatest healer I know.

I think sometimes this is the plan He has for me. Maybe I can help you find the faith that you need to know what I know, and that is...

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Day Two Post Op

August 15,2012

We both slept very well. I don't remember the nurses coming in more than twice during the night and I was expecting them every two hours at least. I was still on a liquid diet so breakfast was cream of wheat and a mystery food we later discovered was yogurt. I had never had yogurt that kept its shape! Rather strange!

Mom made it back to the hospital and Frank went home to take a shower and change. I just sat/laid around again and had more visitors. They told me I could take a shower but decided to wait until after Dr. Yost came in. He was in surgery all morning so it was after lunch (tomato soup and pudding) before he came by. He told me he wanted me out that day! I begged to stay (LOL) because insurance had approved through August 17, but he explained how my chances of infection actually were greater the longer I stayed in the hospital! Who would of thought that!

I had a few more visitors then Frank and I decided it was time to tackle the shower! Wow! What a trip! Thank goodness for the handheld sprayer! I was no help whatsoever! All I could do was hold these drainage tubes and he did the rest. If I ever questioned whether he loved me or not, he certainly proved he does with that shower. Thank God again for blessing me with such a wonderful, loving husband.

I was exhausted after the shower and getting dressed, but we managed. The nurse came in and with the help of Poppa and Lorraine, Frank and I made our way to Mom's for the night.

My Aunt Hymonda provided us a yummy dinner of brisket, sausage and potatoes. I finally got to eat and it was one of the best meals I ever remember! We had a few more visitors that evening and lots of phone calls. Frank decided to go home to sleep in our bed and get another shower in the morning.

Mom and I made our way to bed not long after he left. I slept well. Not really much pain, but I was still taking my pain medicine.

God is so good!

It is all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Second Part of the Journey Begins

August 14,2012

Today is the day! 
        (Sorry if some of this is TMI, but it is my story and I'm going to tell it the way I want!)

We got up at five and I headed to the shower, my last shower before surgery. I would never take a shower with this body in this form again. It was really starting to sink in. I was beginning to think I couldn't go through with this, but what options did I have? I had to get rid of this cancer and if I didn't do the mastectomy, it just left more fuel for the fire so to speak. I knew the option I had chosen was the right one for me, I was just scared. Why did I keep trying to take this away from God? He has it in control. I knew that, I just had to really let go this time. I put a smile on my face, got dressed and out the door we headed! 

We got to the hospital a few minutes after six and Mom, and Poppa and Lorraine were there waiting for us. We hugged and talked for a little bit, then they called my name. We hugged and talked some more then Frank and I headed back to the OR. 

OH I was so not ready for this! 

The first thing the nurse told me was that I had to have pregnancy test. Really? Why now? Why wasn't this part of pre-op? Well it was, but my test was one day old for the anesthetist. If it was positive they wouldn't put me under and no surgery. Really? God, I really love your sense of humor, but I wasn't quite sure about this one! I hadn't had anything to drink or eat since before midnight and had already emptied my bladder before taking my shower. Seriously, where was this going to come from? Well, I managed to get just enough in the cup for the nurse and she started getting me ready for the surgery. So glad they let Frank come back there with me. I don't think I could have managed by myself. I was scared and full of nerves, but I kept telling myself that God was in control, it was going to be OK! It had to be OK.

I don't know if everyone is like this before surgery. This was my first ever and I just couldn't help it. 

She got the IV in my arm on the first stick, and I never looked. I just kept eye contact with Frank and again he got me through. The nurse told Frank that she was going to give me something to make me drowsy and if he wanted to kiss me, now would be the time. She gave me the meds, Frank leaned over to kiss me, and when he stood up, I asked him who he was! He laughed, the nurse grunted. Obviously she didn't have the best sense of humor in the mornings. 

I vaguely remember them putting the oxygen mask on my face and then the next thing I knew, there was a new nurse in front of me, spoon in hand full of ice chips. He was the man of my dreams at the time! He told me I was doing great and that it wouldn't be much longer before they would take me to my room, and it wasn't.

They rolled me down the hall in all my glory and into my room with Frank, Mom, Poppa and Lorraine all waiting to see me!! I think I was still pretty doped up. Mom said I tried to show everyone my incisions, even my dad!!!! Yeah! I don't remember that!!!

I can not tell you of all the flowers, goodies and visitors that started pouring into mt room!!!It looked like a florist on one side and a bakery on the other! My goodness the blessings continued to flow all around me!!

Frank decided he would stay with me the night. We got all situated and it didn't take long for us to fall asleep! It was a good day! Filled with blessings and loved ones all around me.

It's going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Almost to the End of the Beginning

Sorry I haven't posted in a few days, but it has been a whirlwind of events. I will try my best to catch you up. It is close to the end of the first part of this journey.

August 9, 2012
I had made the decision to not have the immediate reconstruction done and I had to call Dr, Yost's office to verify when my pre-op was to be done because the hospital had called the night before saying is was on Thursday and I had it down for Monday. They were right, it was on Thursday. But then the bad news - because I had decided to not have the reconstruction started at the same time, they said they might have to change my surgery date because I was scheduled in Dr, Bennett's time not Dr. Yost. I lost it. I had to leave work. I lost all composure I had and reverted to panic mode. I was thinking I couldn't go through with that part of the surgery but felt forced to so I didn't have to postpone the surgery. I didn't know what to do! Once I got home I just continued to wait for one of the surgeons to call me. It was about lunch time when Dr. Bennett called. She said the time may be in her name but it is my surgery block and I was having my surgery whether she was there or not! Praise God again! I was set to go!!

Mom picked me up to go to my pre-op and Frank met us when he got off work. He walked in at just the right time, they were taking me to x-ray and to have my blood work done. I hate having my blood drawn. He always knows how to distract me through that. We were finally done about 5:30 and he took me out to the dojo to see some of the kids I had been missing!!

It turned into a great day!

August 10, 2012
Frank went to Arlington for another Texas Rangers game with Dennis and I had planned to just spend the evening at home getting somethings ready for the next week. I received a surprise phone call from Buddy asking if I wanted to spend some time with Mattie May  before my surgery! My heart just melted! How sweet! And of course I jumped at the chance to get her for awhile. I can never thank him enough!! We surprised Katie and then we had a girls night out!!

August 11, 2012
Saturday Frank was in a shoot for Habitat for Humanity and we, the girls and I, spent the day shopping and having fun. Frank and I went to the dinner Saturday night and had a blast laughing and cutting up with most of the O'Dells. I don't remember when we've laughed so hard!!

August 12, 2012
Sunday was church, family lunch, then we met with the elders for prayer over me. It was the most at peace I have felt in a long while. I love my family.

Auguast 13,2012
It was a long day at work but I made it through, upset stomach and all. I guess I had a huge case of nerves because my stomach had ached all weekend. I didn't eat much and wasn't hungry, but after work, Frank and Katie wanted to take me to dinner. We went to Olive Garden (thanks Michelle!) and had a great time. We got home and I started packing and had to take my first shower in antibacterial soap from head to toe. I had to get up at five the next morning for my second antibacterial shower and be at the hospital by six!!

Frank and I both had a hard time sleeping, but we made it through the night with a lot of laughter and a few tears. I can't imagine being on this journey with anyone other than him.

Until next time, God bless.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Dear (Name Here)

Dear Person that this letter is to, but you don't know it's about you, and probably wouldn't figure it out even if you did happen to stumble upon my blog,
I am so sorry for the inconvenience that my cancer is putting on your life. I know the adjustments you have had to make are tremendous and you shouldn't have to deal with the added stress. Again I apologize. Next time a diseased cell tries to take over my body and kill me, I will do everything possible to make sure it fits into your schedule better than it has this time.
I still can't tell you how long my recovery time will be nor what my treatment will be or how long that will take. I know this is of great concern to you because it will have such a great impact on your life. As soon as the results come back from all the test they will do after my surgery, you will most assuredly be on the top of my call list. I know you need that info to schedule the rest of your life. This disease is all about you after all, it is barely having an impact on my life.
Again, I hope you accept this sincere apology and I will try better next time I have cancer not to interfere with you.


As you my family and friends can tell, this letter is not to you. It is to the one person that will probably never read this. I can't tell the rest of you how much your love, support and words of encouragement mean to me. Thank you all so much. I can never tell you how much I love each and every one of you.

It's all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

It Doesn't Always Go My Way

August 8, 2012

Today has been another hard day. It just seems that yesterday and today, nothing has been going my way.

After finding out last week that I was not a candidate for TRAM-flap, I had chosen to go with the immediate reconstruction and implants. I was set and ready to go. Or so I thought.

I had a few questions for both surgeons and gave them both calls. I found out that I can't have saline implants, they have to be silicone. Not what I wanted to hear. It got me to thinking if I even wanted to have the reconstruction done at all. I just want this cancer out of me and right now and not to worry about anything else, but that is not possible. There are just too many decisions to be made in too short of a time. I wanted to laugh but all I could do was cry. I really needed to get home and get a hug from Frank.

He met me at the door, and even though I had my sunshades on he knew something was wrong and that I had been crying. He gave me exactly what I needed, a great big bear hug, holding me until I had gained my composure. We went back over everything both surgeons had told me, and what we thought were the pros and cons of the immediate reconstruction.

I still have not made my decision as to what I want to do, but I will. I have too before the surgery. But I have talked to Frank and Mom has made some phone calls to friends that had their mastectomies at around my age or even younger. Two ladies that chose not to have immediate reconstruction when they had their mastectomies. I feel a bit at piece tonight knowing that I can chose to have the reconstruction done later, which I knew this all along, but I had lost sight of that fact and was trying to rush things along. There is no rushing through this.

Frank's biggest concern is my self esteem after the surgery, I mean these girls have been with me since before high school. But they are not who I am. OH I will cry the first time I see them gone no doubt about that. It is going to be a major shock, of course. We know treatment could have many different side effects on top of loosing my breast. But I have never had a problem with vanity. He knows how I feel about loosing my hair. That has never been a big deal to me. Hair is hair, if I loose it, I loose it. My theory is it will grow back eventually and until it does I can rock some cute scarves and hats!

So as I go off to bed, I think I am leaning more to just having the bilateral mastectomy and leaving the reconstruction until later. Have the surgery and focus on treatment and getting healed. There is no time limit as to when I can start the reconstruction. I have so many friends and family who will love me with or without breast, just having me well and being the person I have always been. I have Katie and Mattie to get well for and they don't really care if I have breast either, as long as they have dinner every night (LOL) and a story at bedtime. And I have Frank! He is my biggest supporter of all! He loves me too for me, a healthy me that can get back in the boat and net his fish. And I have God, my faith in him tells me I will get through this. He has been and will be with me every step of the way.

This cancer is hard!

But it is all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Please! Remember What Thumper Said!

Please people! Cancer is hard! I have learned this in just the past week and my heart goes out to those that have had it so much longer than me! But remember in my first post when I said I was not going to be a Negative Nellie? Well I meant it. But today it has been a bit hard.

I was reminiscent of when I was pregnant with Katie. People would come up and start telling me horror stories about their second cousin twice removed's third wives mother's daughter's third pregnancy and how terrible it was! Come on people! I didn't want to hear those stories then and I don't need to hear them now!

I know what the outcome could be. I know it's not going to be a walk in the park everyday. But I really don't need to hear that right now. If you don't know what to say, a simple "I wish you the best" will suffice, I promise.

This ends my rant of the week. Now back to my regularly scheduled optimistic outlook.

It's all going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless!

Day Seven

August 6, 2012
Well, it has been seven days since I received my diagnosis. A week that has flown by. Not much happened today. Just the regular things; work, grocery store, supper and a quick shopping trip with Katie. I bought a new bracelet! It was just a nice day.

I still have a lot of thoughts running through my mind, adding questions to the list to ask the surgeons. If I don't write them down, I forget to ask. I get strange looks sometimes because I carry my note pad with me everywhere. How do I know when a question will pop in my head?!

I keep remembering more people that I haven't told and that aren't plugged into any of my networks. So I did make some phone calls today and sent a couple of emails.

I have received two cute, cuddly pillows from a survivor that I have know since my school days (I know they will get plenty of use), a woven bracelet from a new friend (woven to represent breast cancer and diabetes to which she lost her husband) and a sweet card in the mail from cousins expressing their concern. I have been so very blessed all my life and the blessing continue to fall down on me.

Thank you God for everything I have and all the caring people that will be helping get me through this journey. I couldn't ask for better family and friends.

Everything is going to be OK.

Until next time, God bless.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Hardest Thing of All

August 3, 2012
Finding out I had breast cancer was hard. And I know that things are going to get harder. I have surgery, recovery and reconstruction to go through. We won't know about chemo until after the surgery and they check the lymph nodes. I know I am going to have to be tough. But there was something I had to do that I was not looking forward to. And I was the only one that could do it. It had to be me. I had to tell Mattie that I had this horrible disease.

She is a smart girl. Her understanding of things is so different than other six year olds. We just never know how she will react to things. With Mattie, there will always be questions no matter what. I've always said that is why she is so smart. She asks questions and her brain hangs on to them like a sponge.

Every summer Mattie spends a month with her dad. We can call her any time we want, he is good about that, but it is hard to get to see her. It is after all his time and we try not to interfere with it as much as we can. And not to mean, but I didn't want to tell him what was going on because I couldn't take a chance on Mattie finding out from him. This is my journey and I wanted to be the one to tell her. I had to be the one to tell her. I guess I was being a little selfish.

I called him to see if she could spend a little time with us while Ralph was here. He agreed and I was elated. I picked her up on Friday afternoon before anyone else got off work. This gave me a chance to talk to her. UGH! How was I going to do this? God give me strength!!

I asked her if she remembered feeling of the lump I had found in my breast. She did.

I explained to her how I had gone to the doctor and he deadened my skin so I couldn't feel anything and cut it out. I asked her if she wanted to see where it came out and of course she did. She felt of it being careful not to hurt me. She asked me if it hurt. I explained how he gave me a shot so I couldn't feel anything but that it would hurt if it got bumped so we had to be careful when she would snuggle with me, but that it really didn't hurt.

Then we talked about the doctor sending it off the part they cut out so they could find out what it was. We talked about the word cancer and explained to her how they are bad cells, how they make people really sick. I told her these cells, this lump that she had felt was cancer and the doctors had to get rid of this from Lolo's body. We talked about how I would go into the hospital and the doctors would get rid of this cancer by taking the tissue (yes, she knows what that means) out of my body. She asked me to explain what they were taking and I told her how they would take both of my breast and send them off to some other doctors that could test them and see how bad these cancer cells were. We talked about how I would look different for a while but that the doctors were going to build me some more breast to take there place.

She thought about this for a little bit and this is the only time she started to cry. I told her it would be OK and the Lolo and Grumpy had both cried because we were upset these yucky cancer cells were in there. "But," she said "I don't want you to have to have fake boobs for the rest of your life. You'll get tired of the straps falling down!"

OK I must admit, I was very lost!! I asked her what she was talking about.

"Well Lolo, you know Mommies bra with the fake boobs, the straps fall down sometimes. I don't want that to bother you forever."

LOL Lolo got a little tickled, grabbed her up and hugged her as tight as I could. I explained to her that these fake ones wouldn't be on the outside of my body, but that the doctors would put them inside my body where they can't be seen and that they would do several surgeries to make them look as real as they could.

She gave me that precious smile with her eyes lite up so that I could tell she understood.

Again I knew that everything was going to be OK.

Tonight as we drove back to her dad's, we talked about how she could tell anyone she wanted to that Lolo had breast cancer and to tell them that she was going to be OK, but if she had any questions, that she was to only ask Lolo, Grumpy or Mommie because they are the only ones that can answer her questions about what is going on with Lolo, and that if we didn't have the answer, we are the only ones that can call the doctor and ask.

Now I can go into my surgery knowing she knows the truth and will prayer her sweet little prayers for me to get better.

Everything is going to be OK!

Until next time, God bless.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

I Have a Surgery Date!

August 1, 2012
After having talked to Dr. Yost yesterday, I still had a lot of things I had to talk over with Frank. From the very beginning when I found the lump, I thought I would want to have both breasts removed, but I just had to talk about it out loud and get Frank's thoughts. I still feel the same. Today I called Dr Yost to let them know I wanted to have the bilateral mastectomy and start the reconstruction at the same time. Cene said she would contact the plastic surgeon to see how soon we could get the surgery scheduled to work on both surgeons schedule. Ralph and his family are in town for the Youth Bull Riders World Championships. Frank, Katie and I went to watch E.J. ride and spend some time with the family.

August 2, 2012
After lunch, I realized I had not heard anything about an appointment with the plastic surgeon. I called Dr. Yost's office and she gave me the info I needed and said she would have Dr. Bennett's office call me ASAP. They called me right at 3:00 PM, just as we were getting to leave for Arlington to watch the Rangers. They had me an appointment scheduled for the next day at 9:15 AM! I found out that they usually don't see patients on Fridays, but when Dr. Yost told Dr. Bennett about my situation, she insisted that she would work me in! I knew I was really going to like her.
We had not been to a game all year and were really looking forward to it. It was a great game, but long!! It wasn't over until almost 11:30 PM! We got home around 3AM!!!

August 3, 2012
Mom had left for Wichita Falls again on Thursday, so I called Traci to see if she could go with me to the appointment. She was with me at the hospital the night we were hit by the drunk diver, and I knew she wouldn't miss a thing the doctor was telling me. She is a great second set of ears!!! Again, I went in thinking I knew exactly what I wanted, a TRAM-flap reconstruction. After visiting with Dr. Bennett and going over all the different possibilities for reconstruction and learning I was not a candidate for TRAM-flap, I decided to just go with the regular silicone implants. Dr. Bennett did a lot of explaining and measuring. She is great and I think I am going to be very please that she is the plastic surgeon that will be doing the work.
I did learn today that no matter what type of reconstruction I chose, an immediate reconstruction is a bit misleading. Even though the reconstruction will be started the same day as the mastectomy, it will take at least a year to finish the process. Some things I am learning make me feel like I am not very smart, but then I just remind myself that I have not ever been through this before and it's OK to not understand completely, but to just keep learning!

My surgery has been set for Tuesday August 14. I feel so blessed that I have had the presence of mind to stay on top of this. Since finding the lump on June 29, I am already set for surgery. And I received proof in the mail yesterday that that doesn't always happen. I had my mammogram on July 10, kept calling the doctor's office after a week until they could schedule me with surgeon to do the biopsy, and had the biopsy done on June 26, less than a month after I found the lump. But I received in the mail yesterday a letter from the women's center telling me that the mammogram came back with a reading that needed further evaluation!!! Fifteen days after I had the mammogram! Had I not stayed on top of what was going on, I would be three weeks behind where I am!!! I plan to continue to be very proactive. I just hope I don't drive all physicians crazy!!!

Until next time, God bless.


There! I said it out loud as I was typing just to be able to say I could say it! So I guess it's time to tell my story, or the beginning, because it is certainly not the end!

June 29, 2012
Getting ready for bed, I felt something like a hair on my left breast and just like anyone else would, I reached to brush it off. And that is when I felt it. Then I felt it again. And again. Then I called Frank to come in and feel of it. It was 10:30 at night and we had a wedding to go to the next day so we agreed not to worry about it until Monday because truthfully there wasn't anything we could do until then anyway. We enjoyed the weekend and celebrated with my family at the wedding of my cousin.

July 2, 2012
I started calling the doctor's office at 8:30, knowing it would take awhile to get through since it was Monday. But I got right through. They tried to put me off until later in the week, but I wouldn't let them. I knew the PA had worked in oncology before and with a lot of women so I asked to see her. I had an appointment at 2:00 that same day. We went through the normal questions and breast exam and she told me what I had known would be normal procedure. I had to have a mammogram. She said she would try to get me an appointment before we left for vacation the following week.

July 5, 2012
I had not heard back from the doctor or the women's center where I was to have the mammogram done. So I started calling. I finally got to talk to Sandra (the PA). She made a few calls and had my appointment scheduled for Tuesday July 10 at 3:00 PM, less than 12 hours before we were to be at the airport for our vacation.

July 10, 2012
I love the women's center at ARMC! Every time I am in there, no matter how many people are waiting, they are friendly and loving. I had the mammogram done and they decided, as per Sandra's orders, that a sonogram was needed also. WOW! I could see the lump and another one much smaller below it. I got all dressed and was told to wait back in the dressing room, that the radiologist would be in to see me shortly. At that moment I just had a feeling of what was to follow and at that very second I decided I was not going to be a Negative Nellie no matter what the outcome may be, because no matter what the doctor's tell me, God is in control of it all!!!
When the radiologist came in he told me that it was definitely not a cyst and would need a biopsy to determine what was in there. I called Frank and told him what they said and he agreed that we were going to stay positive and enjoy our vacation.

July 11 - 18, 2012
And vacation we did!!! We traveled to Orlando, Florida for the US Open World Karate Championships, just like last year only this time, things were different, Katie got to go with us, we flew instead of driving and God had given us something to think about instead of what was going on inside of my body. Frank won 2 world titles, 2 second places, and a 4th. I won 1 world title, 2 seconds and a 4th, and Mattie May won 2 seconds and a 4th. After the competition, we enjoyed 2 1/2 days at Walt Disney World. We had a blast. We got to ride many of the rides that we didn't get to last year and just really enjoyed our time together.

July 18, 2012
The first thing I did after we got home was start calling the doctors office to see if they had made my an appointment for the biopsy. This is the only day I can say I have had any type of frustration. They kept giving me the run around saying they hadn't received a fax telling them to make the appointment and that I would have to call the women's center to get them to fax it to them. I did call and Michelle told me that she had faxed it twice and she faxed it again while I was on the phone with her. Once she got the OK transmittal I called the doctors office again. Again they told me they hadn't received it and that I would have to call again but even if they received it they would have to wait until the doctor was in to make the appointment. And this is the point where I lost it. I told her that they needed to call the women's center to see why they had not received the fax because this is after all one of the reasons I pay for their services. And that the doctor did not need to be there because Sandra had already told me she could read the fax and make the appointment. I also told her that if this were her breast she would not be happy getting the run around either. My! How fast her attitude changed and how quickly they found the fax and Sandra called me back! Sandra had called the surgical center and they were going to schedule the appointment (I had already told her that I would be available at any time.) but if I had not heard back from her, to call on Friday before they closed at noon.

July 20, 2012
At 11:30, I had still not heard of any appointment being scheduled for me so I called Sandra back since they close at noon on Friday's. She told me she would call me back and in less than five minutes she called with an appointment scheduled at 1:45 the following Monday with the surgeon that would do the biopsy. We enjoyed the weekend by going out with some friends and renting movies all weekend.

July 23, 2012
My mom was out of town, so my Aunt Hymonda went with me to the appointment. He gave me the options on what type of biopsy they could do, needle or incision. I opted for the incision. I know! Weird for me! I hate to think about any type of procedure and usually go for the least invasive, but Hy and I both agreed that not only would he be able to get more tissue to test, but it would be possible he could get the entire lump. That would leave that little surprise lump in there but he wouldn't be able to get to it either way. The biopsy was scheduled for the following Thursday.

July 26, 2012
My appointment was at 2:30. Mom was back in town so she met me at the surgery center. I'm not sure who was more nervous, Mom or me. Her worried about her only baby being cut on, or me worried about her passing out on me! LOL
If you know me, you know what a wiener I am. I have a very low tolerance for pain. I was not looking forward to getting that shot in my breast. I can't stand it when I have to get my flu shot every year and here I was about to have a lump cut out of my breast. I made it fine through the shots and didn't even know when he made the incision, but I did know when he started to cut the lump out. I could feel it and it didn't take me but a couple of seconds to let him know I could. He stopped and did some more deading and we proceeded with the procedure. They told me I would probably get hot from the deading shot but I wasn't expecting to be in an oven. When it was all over, I set up and mom and the nurse, almost at the same time, said I was looking a little pale. They got me some cool water and a fan. I was pretty shaky and mom said I was not driving home. I had to sit in there for a bit until I got some color back. While we were in there by ourselves, we decided to look at the incision together. Neither one of us passed out!! Yay us!
I called Frank. He was just getting off work so he met us at the house and Mom took him back to get my car. That evening we just relaxed some more and enjoyed the cool air in the house.

July 31, 2012
Dr. Yost had told me it could be late the end of the week or even the first of the following week before we heard anything back from the biopsy. So when my phone rang 10:15 with a local number I was not familiar with I really didn't think much about it. But it was Dr. Yost himself. He had the results and they were not what we wanted to hear, it was breast cancer. He wanted me to come in as soon as I could, so I was at his office at 11:00 am. Mom met me there, but I recorded the entire conversation so Frank could hear it when he got home. I am really surprised Frank didn't have me call him when Dr. Yost walked in the office. That's just the way he is. He wants everything to be OK and he wants to be with me to hold my hand through it all.
Dr. Yost went over the results. We still don't know what type it is, this is just the early reading. We will get the rest of the results later on. But he wanted me to be able to start thinking about what I wanted as soon as possible.

So that is the beginning of my story. I sit here watching the Olympics and waiting for Frank to get home from work. I have called the insurance to see what my coverage is. Not only is it good, God lead me to a breast cancer survivor in Mary, the CSR that handled my call. She was just like me, absolutely no history of breast cancer in her family, but she was the lucky number one that got it, then her sister three years later.

I know God is in control and has an awesome plan for me. I just hope I have the patients to give it to him and not try to take it back like I always do. If you catch me doing that, please give me a gentle reminder that He is taking care of it all.

Until next time, God bless.