Friday, May 28, 2010

Portogram results

The portogram indicated no problems with the port. I was sent home with an ace bandage and instructions to keep the arm and hand wrapped, elevated, and follow up with Dr. Vanderwoude next week. So, for now, I get groceries, pack, camp, and enjoy my family and friends!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

You Won't Believe It

This morning I noticed my left arm and hand were much more swollen than usual. After my appointment with Dr. Dodde, I went to see my nurse, Darcie, at Cancer and Hematology. She thought it looked bad enough to talk to the doctor. After an hour there, I was sent to the hospital for another ultra sound. Two and a half hours later, I was told that the ultra sound was not showing a blood clot of any kind, but there seems to be a problem with the port. Now I am waiting for the scheduler to call to tell me when I get to go have a portogram. I have no idea what a portogram is and googling it isn't helping me!

After 5 hours in doctors offices today, I can hardly wait until tomorrow!

I will update as soon as I know more.


Monday, May 24, 2010

Man, it's hot!

Well, I don't need a hat, scarf, or wig to keep my head warm these days! I am feeling much better since my last post. Friday and Saturday I did not feel well at all. Yesterday I was feeling much better and did a lot. Maybe too much. Today I was very tired all day. Other than taking Keagan to school and running a couple of errands, I stayed pretty close to home and rested.

I talked to the sub who has graciously taken over teaching for me on the phone today. She said other than the heat, things are going well. I know the kids are in great hands, but I do miss them!

The next few days are packed with appointments. Wednesday we meet with the surgeon and on Thursday we have an appointment with a plastic surgeon. We covet your prayers as we talk with doctors about the next part of the treatment plan.

I hope you have a way to stay cool this week!


Friday, May 21, 2010


Hopefully I've hit the low point of chemo round 5. Last night I started to feel miserable and that feeling is continuing today. Seems like there is not much I can really do about it except wait for it to pass. Tennis regionals were today and I was able to see Kylie's match. Unfortunately, due to the weather, the event had to be played indoors at DeWitt. There were 10 teams involved, and they were planning on 24 outdoor courts. They had to settle for 6 indoor courts. Kylie's 3 set/tie break match took one of those six courts for almost 3 hours. She did not come out the victor, but we were very proud of how well she played.

Many of you know that I am a Savings Angel fan. I worked on my coupons for a long time last night and shopped this afternoon. Total savings = $88.00. That gives me a really good feeling :)

Time for a nap. Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Wonderful Wednesday

I had a wonderful day today. Let me start with last night though. Randy and I have volunteered to be a part of a back yard bbq ministry through our church. When I looked at the calendar and the first event was scheduled for the week after chemo, I was nervous, but agreed to TRY to be there. Fortunately, I was feeling quite well and we went to the event. It was awesome and I am eager to share the event with you in person sometime.

Given the history of how the side effects have taken place since I started chemo, I have been expecting some changes this week. Last night "it" happened and I was unable to sleep. My mom came this morning to help with some things around the house before the cleaning ladies came. I started crying because ?????? (You guessed it, there was no reason to cry.) My mom took me as a guest to her aqua fitness class at the Grand Haven YMCA. This is a class she has been attending for a very long time and I know many of the ladies have been praying for me. It was nice to meet many of them. We then went out for lunch at Kirby Grill - Outside!! How awesome! I took a little siesta at their house before coming back to Holland for an appointment with Dr. Porter. He suggested a couple of things to help me sleep better and get the emotions under control a little better. Tonight I will try a new prescription and we'll see what happens!

The last stop of the day was the wig shop. I wanted to get my wig trimmed a bit and I also had a tiara to pick up. Dinner was served on the deck and I am ready to say goodnight!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Past Few Days

Chemo was fine on Thursday. No problems, no surprises. After I got home, I took a nice little nap and then a 4 mile walk before we enjoyed dinner that my mom had brought. I slept like a rock during the night. On Friday morning, my neighbor took me to get my neulasta shot and then she dropped me off at Hamilton High School so that I could enjoy the remainder of track and field day with my fifth graders. We had a great time there. If you look closely at the picture, you will notice all of my students were wearing a pink ribbon. When we got back to school, my, oh my, what a party they had planned for me! It as all a surprise, so my camera was packed away and I don't have any pictures to share!

Last night I slept for 13 hours. I think I have been so deprived of sleep for the past couple of months, that my body is working on catching up. Today was conference tennis match right here in Holland. I was able to be there for most of it and Kylie played very well. Way to go, Kylie!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Round 5!

Well, tomorrow will be the 5th round of chemo. The only part about it that I am looking forward to is a visit with a friend that I have not seen in a long time. Now that I am into the routine, I think I know what to expect. I expect tomorrow and Friday to be fine. Saturday and Sunday will likely be days I will want to stay pretty close to home. Next week, I expect I will be really, really wiped out.

My verse for tomorrow comes from Isaiah 40:31: Those that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength....they shall walk and not faint. You know when to pray!

Last week I made a difficult decision to stop teaching. My last 1/2 day will be this Friday, May 14. This decision made me very sad because teaching is my passion.

I am just amazed at the outpouring of LOVE from family and friends. The meals continue to be delivered. The mail is loaded with inspirational cards and some new summer hats. Friends transport me all over town when I am too afraid to drive. Students make pink ribbon projects. My family spoils me in so many ways. My heavenly father is awake at night when I am so I have someone to talk to. The Beatles knew what they were talking about: "All You Need is Love."

Keagan read an interesting fact to me the other day. Fact: A female is diagnosed with breast cancer once every three minutes. Please pray for all of us who have been affected by breast cancer.

That's it for now!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Challenges of Chemo

Sometimes I wish I could see the cancer cells just being torn to pieces by this chemo. I can see it making my hair fall out, making my nails ugly and making my nose run non-stop. I can feel it making me sad and tired. It leaves its nasty taste in my mouth. If only I could see it destroying cancer. That’s where faith comes in. I just have to believe that through all of this, chemo is doing what it is supposed to be doing and one day soon I will hear those words my friend recently heard from the oncologist, “You are cancer free.”

As the weather changes and I realize I will be bald for quite some time yet, I have updated the gift registry on If you would like, you may log on by following these simple directions.
Go to
Click on Gift Registry
Click on Search
Type in my first and last name and Email
My name should show under search registry and click on view

I have also updated the calendar for meals.

That's it for now. Enjoy Tulip Time!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Making Progress

I actually had my first cup of coffee of the week this morning! That tells you I am feeling better. I am hoping to get the house looking presentable, take a bike ride with Randy, and then let the promo preparations begin! I love being a mom and I am so thankful that I can be a part of this exciting day with Kylie and her friends. I'll try not to over do it, but hey, my philosophy is to do as much as you can on the days you feel good!!