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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

In a word….I’m REALLY GOOD!!  (ok that was 2 words…..LOL)

It has been so fun to celebrate, not only the completion of my treatment, but also, getting back to “normal”.  I’ve had some wonderful friends who have treated me to some wonderful meals and lots of laughter.

As I’ve been looking back, I realized that my yearly mammogram was Sept. 6, a 2nd mammogram 2 weeks later followed by the biopsy and finally the diagnoses of breast cancer on September 28.  After that was surgery, and finally treatment.  Everything happened in a matter of 4.5 months…..18 weeks.  WOW!!!  No wonder my life felt like a whirlwind!  At times I was really impatient….wanting Doctors to hurry things along….wishing the healing was faster.  My good friend, Jayma, a colon cancer survivor, kept telling me it would all happen at the right time.  She was SO right…and I’m thankful she was there to remind me…often.

The last week and a half of treatment was rather brutal.  I ended up at home and in bed for 6 days.  And I’m thankful that my Mom could stay with me for a few days.  I couldn’t have made it without her.

It’s been 2 weeks (and 2 days….to be exact) since my last treatment and I’m happy to say that I feel REALLY GOOD!  All the burns have healed over.  The skin is still healing but I can wear clothes and don’t have to use the stinky salve anymore!  I’m beginning to be myself at school again.  Even my students have noticed!  My sense of humor is returning….just ask my 7th grade girls choir…..who taught me how to “Dougie” yesterday.  I was pretty bad but we all had a good laugh and that felt sooooooo good!!!!

I’ve started my “boot camp” workout again….sort of.  My friend, Steve, who is my trainer, is only allowing me to walk.  The first time we met (last Friday) I tried to convince him to let me do a bit more than walk…..he refused.  So I agreed to “just walk” for 20 minutes.  By the time we finished I was literally dragging my feet.  I hated to admit that he was right.  He’s been very protective of me…and I appreciate it.  I’m following his instructions and I’m feeling stronger each week.  Maybe by the end of the February I can start lifting weights again!

I feels wonderful to regain my strength, both physically and mentally!!!

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Just a glimmer….

I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I started radiation treatments on Tuesday.  I have 30 total…..and I’ve finished 3 as of today!  The nurses, technicians and staff at the center are just awesome.  So kind, compassionate and caring.  It makes having to go everyday so much easier.  The best part is that they have free valet parking…which I have used when it was really, really cold.  I plan to use it whenever the weather is bad.

Wednesdays are the long days.  After the treatment (which I failed to mention only lasts about 10 minutes) I have to check in with Dr. Radiation to just be sure everything is going ok.  And after 3 treatments, everything is OK.  I’ve been told that the skin reactions are supposed to show up after a couple of weeks.  I don’t think it will take my skin that long…..it’s already starting to be uncomfortable.

Each day is one day closer to being finished.  I’m looking forward to Christmas Break when I don’t have to get up and get dressed until the afternoon treatment!

 

 

 

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Today I did something I’ve never done before.  Here’s a hint….

 

 

Our school district has raised funds for the OMRF for many, many years and this is one of the events.  I’ve never done a “fun run” before (and NO, I didn’t attempt the 5K) but it was really fun!

My school put together a team shirt…..

 

On the front they honored women in our school who have or have battled breast cancer…..

 

(the picture doesn’t show the silver print very well, but I love that it sparkles!)

I feel very honored to be supported by such wonderful people.  I consider them my school family.  I know that if I need ANYTHING….all I have to do is ask.  It’s rather humbling.

Here’s some of my friends…

It’s also quite surreal to see my name on this shirt.  Even though I am reminded daily that my life has been altered….it’s always a shock to see it in print or have to check a box on a form that says “has cancer”, or to see a friend that I haven’t seen in a while and have to say it out loud.  I’m just weird I guess.

But as Thanksgiving Day approaches….My list of things to be thankful for is quite long.  But I am….thankful for family and friends that remember to pray for me and check on me.  I am blessed!!!

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Yesterday, I had my follow up appt. with Dr. Surgeon.  The final pathology results came back as ALL CLEAR!!!  Evidently a couple of lymph nodes “lit up” with the radioactive isotopes but when they were put under the microscope….no cancer!  I am incredibly thankful and relieved! (they ended up taking a total of 5 nodes….no wonder my arm pit has been so sore!)

I also found out that the cancer was caused from estrogen and testosterone…..I was taking both replacements at the recommendation of Dr. GYN.  I believe we’ll be having a bit of a discussion next time I visit him. This also means I can NEVER use any type of replacement, synthetic or natural, to help me deal with the hot flashes or emotional roller coaster……ugh.  Dr. Surgeon said that there are some things that Dr. Oncologist could recommend.  I hope it works!!!

Now, there’s more healing time and appointment with Dr. Oncologist.  Time to move forward and put this behind me.

Thanks for all the cards, prayers, positive thoughts and friendship…..I love and appreciate them all!!!!!

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Healing Time…

Monday was surgery day…..Started at 7:30 a.m. taking blood…..wire insertion……nuclear medicine…..and finally surgery.  I was waking up in recovery at 9 p.m.  It was a very long day for me and my family…Mom, Dad, David, Diane and my friend Connie. Jimmy, my brother, showed up after work.  I didn’t get to eat or drink anything from midnight Sunday until Monday evening!

I had several moments of being overwhelmed with the whole business but everything came out ok.  After the surgery, I was having pain and nausea that we couldn’t seem to get under control.  I was begging to stay overnight….so they called they Dr. and he agreed.  It was the best decision.  Mom and I were so exhausted that staying there was certainly the best option.

Mom stayed with me until today, Thursday.  It was awesome having her here.  I had friends that brought food, so she got our meals on the table, we napped everyday, we crafted a bit and had a great time together.  Today she felt the need to be useful so she straightened my garage a bit.  It was a very nice gesture!  That and vacuumed the floor for me.  I am thankful for both!

I meet with the surgeon for a followup appt on Tuesday.  Everything seems to be healing well.  The incision under my arm is the most uncomfortable.  but it gets better everyday.  I’m hoping to go back to school on Monday.  It will be hard and tiring but I need to do it.

I think the cats like it when I stay home!  They have been quite entertaining!  I’m glad they are here to keep me company.

On another note, My sister, had her mammogram after I found out I had cancer (she had missed a few years).  They found a abnormal lymph node, did an ultra sound, then a biopsy, and Hallelujah, it was NOT cancer.  They will keep it under a close watch but I’m so thankful she doesn’t have to live through this same experience.

waiting..again…for the next step.

 

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A New Journey

This past week I was diagnosed with Infiltrating Ductile Carcinoma aka Breast Cancer.

Things I know—-

It’s the most common type among women

surgery can often be a lumpectomy possibly followed up by chemo and radiation

I’m scared

I have amazing and incredible friends and family

that it was discovered through my yearly mammogram

I’m thankful for cancer research

I see my surgeon next week which will determine the schedule and plan for surgery and treatment

that I am tough and determined

I have faith in God

I have two cats who keep me company

I’m allergic to bandage adhesive…found out the hard way

I am soley supporting the Puffs Tissue company

I’m not sure how much I will blog about this but check back with me from time to time.

I’m glad I can knit myself hats

I’m overwhelmed by the outpouring of prayers from family, friends and people I don’t even know

My students and my job are important to me and will help keep me focused and give me purpose

If I need the tiniest little thing….there is a long line of people who are willing to help me.

I have a really top notch cancer policy

I’m thankful for the mammogram machine even though it’s uncomfortable and awkward and somewhat humiliating

No one in my family has had breast cancer

Things I don’t know……

Too much to mention…..but hopefully I can continue to add to the “Things I know list” as I travel this road.

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Crossing Over….

There’s something about turning 50…..I decided I could wallow in self pity or celebrate……I chose the celebration!

My good friend Dawn and I took a quick trip to Granbury, TX (at the recommendation of my friend Michelle) and we had a wonderful time!

We stayed in a charming B & B called “Manor of time”, (can you believe that I FORGOT my camera…so all of these are from my iPhone….sorry!)

It is listed on the Historical Register of Texas and is BEAUTIFULLY furnished!

and it had beautiful stained glass windows!

The second night, we were the only guests so Dawn tried out the pump organ…you can see the video here..(can you name that tune???)

It was just WONDERFUL!!!  We had a lovely room…which we stayed in a lot of the time because of the excessive heat….and because it was just so relaxing!

Granbury still has their original town square and it is full of nice shops, cafes and restaurants.  I think we checked them ALL out!!! (and brought home some lovely fudge!)

They were working on the town hall so we didn’t get to go in.  But I think the clock tower reminds me of the scary mansions in the old scary movies!  LOL  I kept expecting to see bats going flying about!

Our breakfasts we beyond delicious…and very elegant….

my favorite part of the breakfasts were the Dutch Babies…..total heaven on a plate!  Ours were filled with cherry preserves and chopped walnuts and a little whipped cream…..piping hot…right out of the oven…..O M G!!!!!

We had a wonderful time but the celebrating didn’t stop there….A week later, my nieces and sister and sister-in-law….put on a wonderful party!

It was filled with wonderful food…

family….

and friends….

Thanks everyone….for helping me cross over into a new and exciting chapter of my life….

(Donna made this collage of pictures ….it was way fun!)

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Being Aunt J

It’s always fun getting to be the Aunt.  No responsibilities and getting to do anything we want for the day!

We started the day at the park with our new friend Ryan….In the crik…(that’s redneck for creek)

We started off with shirts….but that didn’t last long…”shirts….we don’t need no stinkin’ shirts!)

 

turning into turtles…

 

 

went to the pool for a while…

 

and became friends!

Sang the Dinosaur song (that was created on the spot)

And that was just before lunch!

Then we came home…cleaned up…went to McDonalds and had a picnic in the living room while watching a movie. We made chocolate chip cookies…entertained guests and watched another movie…(all while trying to avoid closing our eyes!

We had a GREAT time!  It’s fun being Aunt J!

 

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Baby Karver

In just a few weeks we will be adding another baby to our family!  Donna and Dustin are having a baby boy….Karver!

I got myself busy and knit this cute little sweater!

You’ve seen this patter before…I love it and it always turns out cute!

I’ve been knitting other things that I’ll be showing you soon…just need to finish a few other projects first.

School is almost out…just 12 more days with kids.  But I’ll be packing my room and moving back to the stage in the auditorium.  I really dread it but I think it will be good in the long run.

Lots of projects on my list for the summer…hope I can get them all done!

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Pictures

Here are some pictures I took at the farm that didn’t really fit into the other post…..but I really liked them and wanted to share them with you.

Torture…..

Can you pick out the city boy?

Blue is my color….

Preacher or farmer?

Hot Dog Art

How are you, friend?

Best Buds…

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