Saturday, September 26, 2009

And I am back! Sorry for the delay in posting but that hospital stay took a lot out of me. Thank you all for your concerns and compassion as always to me and my family. You are the reason for my healing and comfort knowing that you are praying and watching over us.
I was discharged on Sept. 15th and started chemo on the 16th. and another dose on the 23rd. We were not too thrilled to start chemo so soon but it is the only way to get rid of the cancer that is causing so many other problems such as labored breathing and the fluid around my heart. speaking of, my "window" or drain remains attached to me and will so until I stop draining more than 50ccs/day. It has begun to slow down but I still drain about 75-100. as pretty as this thing is and as much as I'd like it removed, I don't want it out too soon and have it put back in. Perhaps there is a new market for drain "bling"?
So what happened you ask? My oncologist seems to think that an accumulation of cells in my lymphatic system went crazy and caused my body to react with swelling and fluid. This is all just part of the cancer and until we find the right chemo will these pesky other problems dissipate.
Like I said, I have two chemo treatments thus far but will skip this next week until the drain is removed. Having a hole in my heart and suppressing my immune system with chemo is just asking for an infection. How am I feeling? Well, tired. The chemo is in my words doable as I was able to go to Grace's soccer game and Zoe's volleyball game this weekend. By the way, Zoe got her first serve over the net! very emotional moment for the proud parents I must say. we even joined the Book family at the Plaza Art fest yesterday okay so we used my new handicapped car tag and I walked a block and had Hal pick us up but at least we can say we were there! and Hal's sister and family were here for a quick visit from Minneapolis. I do a little rest a little.
Hal's mom has been here since I got out of the hospital and has been such a humungo help! she gets the girls ready for school, sporting events, life in general. Thank you Judith! grandpa arrives tomorrow and are both here to stay until they get sick of us.
Your prayers are needed for me this Wednesday as we are going to try and fix this vocal cord thing. my ENT will numb me up and shoot collagen to puff the babies up and get me talking again. It is really important to me to get my voice back as it has been nine months of me not saying everything I need to!!!!!
With all of this said, life is good and God is better. He continues to work through me to you and that my lovely friends is what this life is all about. Be good to each other. Love one another. Forgive one another. pray for one another. Spend time with one another. More later as it is time to pick up the lovely ladies from school.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Window To My Heart

Greetings everyone -- Hal here -- filling in for Ann on this entry.

The skilled and caring hands of the wonderful physicians and nurses at KU have completed the procedure to place a "window" to allow fluid to drain from Ann's heart region. The procedure went well and by late afternoon Ann was coming out of the affects of surgery. She is feeling better and has been up and out of bed. We look forward to having Zoe and Grace spend time with Ann tonight. Then, she is hoping for a good night's rest tonight and then of course talk of going home. The next step in the process will be to get started on chemo -- we're not sure when that would be exactly yet. Not sooner than Wednesday next week. We're praying that this next set of chemo meds will be effective -- and we know that you are too.

Ann and I want to express our thanks to everyone for their prayers, help with the girls, taking care of our pets, thoughtful gestures, calls, cards... We know that God gives us the graces needed for every challenge - we see it each day through you. Please do not despair or view this journey as a stumbling block to your faith -- when you are tempted to ask why does bad things happen to good people remember that there is an amazing amount of good that comes out of our suffering as well.

Our family has been privileged to be showered with so much love in this past week and God was there through it all. I want to encourage you to also know that God loves each of us, his children, and desires that you grow closer to Him through those around you. Be open that that closeness may come through adversity and in all things trust that God is at work.

As for Ann and I, know that our spirits are good and faith in God strong. Thank you God for all that you do for each of us today and everyday. We love you.


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Just Call Me Milk

As in 1% because if it has a 1%chance of happening then it will happen to me (as Sarah says). Things have changed since my last post. The love is not dissipating from my heart so I will now have surgery tomorrow morning to have a "window" created to allow the fluid to drain longer without having to remain in the hospital attached to all of the equipment. So, now I'll truly have a window to my heart....this means that I will remain in the hospital for a longer time (perhaps now until Sunday or Monday) and that my chemo will be delayed. Although I just got off the phone with my oncologist and she seems to think not. So, as usual I have made things a bit more complicated. Oh, I also met with my ENT doc amid all of this and found out that both vocal cords are "bowed out" and not working so I am scheduled for collagen injections to those areas on Sept 30th. Whew, I think that's it.
The main goal remains and that is for this chemo to work and get rid of the cancer and fluid.
The girls just arrived to my room and have all kinds of questions about whats hanging off of me and what that "gross fluid" on my hip. Perhaps Hal will be updating the blog with info from here on out until I am felling better. Love to all of you. Keep on praying!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What A Honeymoon!

My house on Tuesday morning was empty. No kids, no friends, no family. Just an abundance of flowers that let me know that it wasn't a dream. We just had the most incredible weekend filled with love, laughter, and yes lots of tears. It is now Thursday afternoon and the love keeps flowing out of me in the form of fluid out of a chest tube in my heart. I am at KU hospital and will stay here until all of the love dissipates.
I have had shortness of breath for some time now and have also had fluid around my heart that comes and gos. Wednesday night I was up unable to breathe and knew things weren't right. Long story short, the fluid had increased considerably and needed to be removed. We are not sure why I have the fluid in the first place but my health has been one big why for a while now. The outlook is good. The chest tube remains in for a few days to make sure we got it all so will be here until Saturday it looks like. Grace is very disappointed as I am that our trip has been postponed. I feel so bad but know that everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately a six year old does not get that. I too was really looking forward to seeing them Gators and my family. Love you guys!

Okay, back to the love. Last weekend was incredible, absolutely incredible. Thank you all for making it so special and did I say incredible? To Marisue and Sharon for making the reception so beautiful and organizing everything down to the last detail. You two are the best. To Melanie for the beautiful arrangement of flowers, to Sarah for organizing the dessert divas and to all you divas who brought the desserts. To my family and Hal's parents for traveling and celebrating with us, to Terry, Bill, and Tawnie for coming from so far on short notice.. the list goes on. I feel like I just won an academy award and am leaving people out. I DID win an award. HAL!
I just cannot tell you how awesome the weekend was.
I have to tell you that Hal and I did nothing but get dressed. Everything was provided by all of you incredible people and by God. His presence was everywhere and in everyone. I have to say that I do not even remember seeing most of you at the ceremony as my eyes were fixated on the crucifix and on Hal.
I will post more later ad hopefully have some pictures to share. I will also keep you posted on this fluid thing. Please do not worry. Just another bump in the road.'we love you all!!!!