Sunday, March 30, 2008

Spoke Too Soon

Okay, so maybe I spoke too soon about feeling so great, but maybe also too I overdid it yesterday. Perhaps it was Grace's soccer game at 8:20am in the tundra of Kansas that did me in, but I got hit hard with a headache and was on the couch the rest of the day. This morning after 13 hours in bed I could have slept another 10 but forced myself out and down the stairs. By the time we were getting ready for church I thought I wouldn't make it but felt God's presence telling me that I could. I did make it and had such a wonderful time being with Him. I felt Him so strongly today and it was an added bonus that it was Divine Mercy Sunday. The second reading especially made me smile and cry at the same time...
1 Peter 1: 3 - 9
who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may have to suffer various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
It's all about having faith and trust. Unfortunately we all must suffer trials in our lives, or be tested by fire but it gives me such joy to know that it is not wasted or of no use to me or anyone else. Suffering doesn't just happen for no reason, it happens for your salvation. I can actually be responsible for helping someone go to heaven. If that is not accomplishing something I don't what is. How many of us would love to get just one thing accomplished in our day? I've also realized that it' s not just in our sufferings that we can obtain salvation but it's in our actions. Our goal or perhaps question each day when we wake up in the morning is "How can I bring someone to God's Kingdom today"? How can I let go of my needs and help someone else? How can I serve?
Okay, sorry to go on like that but like I said, I felt God 's presence today and I can never stay quite about that!
The rest of the week includes another echocardiogram tomorrow, two more rounds of PT, an acupuncture treatment (really excited about this) and chemo. Having cancer really is a full time job! Hal's parents arrive on Thursday which will give me time to rest. We are all excited about Zoe doing the reading at all school mass on Friday. She is so excited but also nervous. I really don't think she will even need to bring the reading up to the altar with her as she should have it memorized by now!
Another big hug and abundant thanks to all of you who are wanting to help our family. The amount of love is overwhelming and so appreciated! Thanks to Sarah and Linda for revamping my calendar and "taking over". Everyone have a fabulous week and remember to help someone get to the kingdom today! Love, Ann

Friday, March 28, 2008

One Great Day

You probably think that I didn't have chemo yesterday judging by the title of this blog. But it truly was a great day. I finally started physical therapy yesterday and most definitely felt the presence of Jesus through my therapist. When my doctor suggested PT I admit I thought that all they would do is make me move my shoulders and hips until I screamed but that was not the case. My therapist knew exactly what to do and was able to get my shoulder to raise almost 90 degrees. Before I couldn't even put my jacket on. That doesn't mean that I am able to that this morning however, I do feel the difference and am feeling so much better just knowing there will be an end to this pain!

Chemo went as planned and didn't take as long as we expected. Thanks Sarah for coming again. And thank you Hal for always putting me first and surprising me with just what I need at the time I need it. You never cease to amaze me with your devotion and unselfishness to me and our girls. Thank You. I love you.

Anyhow, this morning I was starving and feel as though I could even jump on the treadmill (don't worry Hal I won't). I take this as great news and a reason to scream Alleluia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'll take it easy and will follow the rules I promise.

Next week I go in for another echo cardiogram. The frequency of these should start slowing down unless the amount of fluid has increased. My blood pressure has been running high lately and it could be due to the fluid. If he were to remove it I am sure that would end my fatigue and weakness as well.
Thank you brother Tim for your post. I like to be reminded that God has a plan for me and for my salvation and not just for me but all of you as well.
Have a great day! Ann

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Ready! Set! Come Back Tomorrow

It was a long day at the Cancer Center yesterday. First to the lab to access my new port which was NO FUN. I am still pretty tender since they just put it on Monday, so when they come at you with a big needle and put it right where it is sore, ya tend to jump a bit. The good news is they were successful and the chemo nurse can now use the same spot without sticking me again.
An hour in between was a nice lunch break. Sarah came with me and spent the day keeping me smiling. After lunch it was on to meet with my doctor. She was swamped as usual and way behind so we ended up waiting quite a long time. When I did finally see her we talked about my pain. She remains stumped as to why I am still in such dire pain. She plans to contact the arthritis doctor again and talk about possible cortisone shots in the joints. She made mention that she doesn't think that the pain is from the drug I was taking but possibly from the tumours themselves. I really doubt that since the onset of the pain began when I started taking the drug. I just have to believe that the pain will disappear at some point. I do start physical therapy today so I am hoping that it will help somewhat.
Well, by the time we got to the infusion room for my chemo it was already 4 o' clock and too late to start. It would take three hours to infuse and by that time everyone would be gone home.
So we have rescheduled for today at 2. I think the nurse was ready for me to complain and give her a hard time but the reality is everything happens for a reason and the good lord was helping me out in some way.
Thank you Sarah and mom and dad for arranging your schedule around me. Thank you all who are jumping in and offering to pick up the girls and get them to where they need to go. I have said it before and I will continue to praise our wonderful Sacred Heart community for your unselfish love and devotion to our family.
Take the time today to slow down, be still for a moment and give thanks for the many blessings that you have.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Mom's got a Big Boo Boo

Grace was impressed with the bandage on my chest and thought I deserved to watch what I wanted to on TV.

The procedure was pretty uneventful and I was home by 11 am. I am still very tired and am laying here with Grace because she woke up at 5 am with the stomach flu. Yuck!

Thank goodness I have the world's best husband as he took care of her needs so that I could sleep. Tomorrow will be my first round of chemo. People ask me how I'll do. The answer is I have no idea. Only time will tell.

Thanks to all of you for helping our family. All of the meals, childcare, inspirational cards, letters, and e mails are all such blessings to us and we so appreciate you!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another Day at KU

I had another echo cardiogram on my heart today. No change fromlast week but he would like to keep an eye on it still so I will have another next week. The fluid remains but has not increased. I like to think of it like my sweet Sarah does. "Think of the fluid as being Jesus, then your heart will be surrounded by Jesus". Thank you Sarah for your continued optimism and smile. You always make me feel better!
The plan of action continues as planned. Monday morning back to KU for a port placement in my chest. This will be helpful as they will not have to stick me with a needle each time.
Wednesday will be my first chemo treatment. I am not sure what to expect this time around but I am ready to do what I always do in a difficult situation.. roll up my sleeves, close my eyes and start swinging.
You may have noticed that I attached a note to this blog with Sarah and Linda's e mail addresses. My lovely ladies have volunteered to coordinate my calendar. Mypinkcalendar was created by a local gal who wanted to create an organizational tool for families in need of help during an illness. In order to view my calendar you have to be signed up on the site. Sarah and Linda will get you started and guide you through the process. Thanks you friends!
Happy good Friday everyone and a glorious Easter.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Round 2 Ready For The Fight

Some of you know that my breast cancer came back in October of 2007. We were shocked at the news and just like last time prepared to fight. Although the cancer is not in my other breast, the little demons are in several lymph nodes behind my chest wall and in my sternum. They are fueled by estrogens that still remain in my body even though I had a partial hysterectomy when I had Grace. Since October we have been able to control the cancer with anti hormonal meds. The meds however were hard to handle as they gave me severe arthritis in all of my joints. I've been off the drug for over two months now but the pain remains. Last week my PET scans showed that though the nodes in my chest were shrinking, the sternum was not responding to the meds. It's time for me to attack with chemo. I really did not want to do chemo again but it's not a choice at this time. The plan is six months of chemo. I will get a port a cath put in my chest on March 24th and have my first chemo treatment on March 26th. The plan is to have weekly treatments for three weeks with one week off. I saw a cardiologist last week because the PETis showing increased fluid around my heart. I had an echo cardiogram that confirmed this. Another one is scheduled for next week to see if it continues to rise.If so, they will have to extract it via a needle. You may remember that I have been having severe pain in my joints due to the oral meds I was taking last fall. Well, fluid is showing up on my joints as well so the fluid around my heart could also be due to the Femara drug I was on.

Zoe and I talked this morning about mom being bald. She cried because she thought mommy would look weird. This broke my heart but then we talked about how we love people because of how they are on the inside. She perked up a bit when she came up with the idea that I could wear her Hannah Montana wig. My hope is to let the girls be a part of the head shaving ceremony and make light of the situation.
I will let you know what the cardiologist has to say whenI see him on Friday.