Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oops, I almost forgot!

I saw my oncologist this morning for the first time all summer. It was weird, I sorta forgot how to be a patient. My insurance card was laying on my dresser and of course Debbie asked to see it. When the nurse asked me what meds I am currently taking, I realized I left my "pink ribbon bag" at home as well. Ten weeks ago I never would have gone to a doctor without it. It was shocking to realize that the only prescription meds I am currently taking are herceptin and a little somethin' to help me sleep.

The visit with Dr. Vanderwoude was very positive. She thinks taking the port out was a very good idea and was pleased with how great my hand and arm look. My blood counts are all good. The muga (heart) test indicated my heart is still in perfectly good shape, and she thinks the mastectomy/implants look very healthy. She even posed with me for a photo for my project. If you are reading this and have not yet been asked to be a part of my project, you probably will in the near future.

All three of my doctors have cleared me to return to teaching. I am very excited to start the school year. I stopped by the building yesterday morning and was able to go in and check out the new construction. I was so pleased to see how nicely my room had been packed up at the end of the year and how clean it was that I couldn't wait to start preparing for this year!

Keagan is feeling much, much better. Hopefully she will be back to her regular self soon!

Take Care!

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's been a while!

It has been a while since I have updated! Everything is going well. The recovery from the surgery went smoothly and Dr. Dodde started the expansion process last week. I am uncomfortable at times, but for the most part I feel great.
I even pushed the vacuum! My mind is starting to spin with things that need to get done before school starts. I have been able to do a great deal from home to prepare. I have lots of help lined up for Wed., Thur., and Friday of this week, so we should be able to pull the room together without too much trouble.

Keagan is feeling better. I have to call the doctors office to find out what the next step is. I believe they will want to do another blood draw sometime soon. Until then, she remains restricted from sports.

Take care everybody and enjoy the sunshine!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

darn it, Darn It, DARN IT!!!

The first darn it is because 2 of our 3 vehicles are in for repairs. Not only an inconvenience, but hard on the pocketbook. I had a 9:00 appointment with Dr. Porter today. I had to hurry home so I could transport Kylie to her new job at 10:00. At 10:45 I had an appointment with Dr. Hoberman which leads me to the 2nd Darn It!

I still have the left JP drain. For as anxious as I am to get it out, Dr. Hoberman assured me that if it comes out too early, they have to remove the fluid with a needle, and that doesn't sound too pleasant either. She went over the mastectomy pathology report with me. To my surprise, there was a "small knot" in the tissue of the left breast. A biopsy was done and it was found to be benign. This is all great news, but I can't help but remember that the original lump was also benign in June of 2009 and by January of 2010, it was cancerous. A small knot now could have been......Well, needless to say, I think the bilateral mastectomy was a very good decision.

Following this appointment, I flew home to get Keagan. She has not been feeling well and running a very low fever off and on for about a week. I looked at her this morning and knew she needed medical attention. The two of us went to Prime Care to find out that she has mono. DARN IT!!!

After my 2:00 lunch, I still had one more appointment and that was to the dentist. I could easily have fallen asleep in the chair, but I didn't. I am 9 days post op and exhausted after this very busy day.

Good Night,

Monday, August 16, 2010


I was able to get one of the drains out today, but only the right side. I feel very lopsided with one still in! What happens overnight tonight will determine if the left side can be removed tomorrow or if I have to wait until Wednesday. Tomorrow would be nice....taking a shower sure sounds good!

Yesterday was not one of my better days. I got very upset during the night and my negative attitude continued throughout the day. I am into lists, so here is a list of some of the things that made me angry:

1) Cancer - I HATE it
2) How I look - people no longer stare at my head, they stare at my chest
3) How I feel - sore and tired
4) The left drain was leaking and that was gross
5) I don't have a desire to be in big social settings - I'm good with a visit from a friend or two, but many more than that gets overwhelming
6) I haven't been a normal female since December

I was able to get some sleep last night and today has been a little bit better. Yesterday I cried quite a bit. No tears today. Yesterday I hung up on my mom. Today I finished all of my phone conversations pleasantly. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get the other drain out and continue to gain strength and energy. The weather does help, doesn't it! What a beautiful day!

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Recovery is coming along nicely. Here is a list of things I have done today:
*Had coffee on the deck with a friend for two hours
*Drove myself to get a massage. While I was at Body Perfections, I was recognized by yet another former student! They seem to be everywhere these days!
*Chair time - read the mail, facebook, looked at a magazine, did a little preparing for school
*Visited with a friend from church
*Returned boring movies to Blockbuster
*Took Keagan to the theater
*Went to Hobby Lobby
*Got some groceries at Mejers (had to ask for help three times!)

Here is a list of things I did NOT do today
*Make it to the Maxson family reunion
*Take a nap (yet)

All in all, not bad for only 5 days post-op.

Thanks for checking up on me! It was nice to run into a few of you on my outings today!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

What day is it?

I think it is Thursday today, right? The days are all just blending together. Recovery is going well so far. I feel good, but not good enough to get out and do anything and I don't like to be alone. I don't feel bad enough to be on the couch all day either, so I am going a bit stir crazy. Does anybody have any good movie suggestions? I watched "When In Rome" last night. It was o.k.

My hair is growing! I have hairy arms and legs again and the hair on my head is coming in slowly, but surely. It appears as though it is going to be darker than it was before with plenty of gray mixed in. My eyebrows look like they are going to be more black than the blond ones I had before chemo. Weird.

Kylie is finishing her internship at church this week. Next week she will start training for her new job at the Salt and Pepper Pub in Holland. This is a new restaurant opening up over by Eastern Floral on Lakewood. She has been hired to hostess and is looking forward to this new experience.

Keagan started volleyball tryouts yesterday. On Friday the girls find out whether they made the team or not. Between babysitting, sports, family and friends, she keeps plenty busy.

Randy is enjoying these summer days. He has been helping me out a ton, as well as taking care of the lawn, car repairs, roofing inspections, and transporting Keagan to various activities. He still enjoys running and I know many of you see him out there pounding the pavement, even in this heat! Crazy man!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm Home

It is currently 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday and I am home! Not quite ready for phone calls and visitors just yet, but it is good to be home. Interestingly 3 out 5 of my nurses on the third floor were former students!

Monday, August 9, 2010

On the Road to Recovery...

The surgery was a success!
After a late start and a 3 1/2 hour surgery it really was a long day for our mom.
But, in the end all that really matters is that the surgery went well.
Both doctors felt like it couldn't have gone any better and better yet, they said the tissue looked healthy!
Tonight, the nurses are going to try to get her to sit up and maybe even walk.

Our Mom wanted all you to know that she is resting comfortably in the hospital.

Please continue to keep her in your prayers as she is recovering.

-Randy, Kylie and Keagan

"The Lord, the God of King David, says, "I have heard your prayer. I have seen your tears. And I will heal you." " -2 Kings 20:5

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Surgery Details

Well, tomorrow is going to be a big day. I am scheduled for surgery at 12:30. Randy and I have to be at the hospital at 11:00, surgery begins at 12:30 is is expected to take 210 minutes. I'm a little anxious about it, but not too bad. Boating, visiting with friends, going to the beach and a "to do" list have kept me very busy these past two weeks. I have been feeling surprisingly well and have had lots of energy! Please be in prayer tomorrow thanking God for carrying us through cancer this far and that he will continue to be with us through the surgery and recovery. I appreciate all of the cards, flowers, and phone calls of well wishes that so many of you have sent.