Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Again, it's been awhile since i have updated the blog. Life happens! Anyway, I had surgery on Feb. 24. For the sake of being symmetrical and less worry down the road, I had a double mastectomy. Foolishly, I thought I would be very much healed up after two weeks post op. Wrong. Remember, this was my very first experience with surgery, and actually being cut on. It's now April 6 and I am still in the healing from my surgery mode, but things get better every week. If I so choose, I can have reconstruction surgery towards fall, but I will have wanted to forgotten all about this last surgery before I undertake another one. For now, being flat chested is just fine, and my shirts now fit without gaping at the chest if there are buttons. Paul is fine with whatever decision I make in the end. I know my surgeon would like to see me go all the way through the process, but she is not me. So, right now, I am in Denver and staying with Kayla Mondays-Fridays so that I can get radiation therapy, 30 treatments in all. My last one will be May 3. Paul plans to spend the last week of it with me and do some fun things up here. This past Monday was the start of my 3rd week. Had a visit with the radiology oncologist yesterday and everything looks normal. She asked me if my skin was turning pink and I said No, but she said it was a little pink, that she knew what to look for. At any rate, it is not uncomfortable yet, and I have not felt any fatigue. That may still be to come, but those side effects are minor to me compared to doing chemotherapy. It's been an experience for this country girl to be flying around on the freeways up here, not my favorite thing to do, but so far have survived. After all, I am a survivor.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Chemo Completed.

Its been quite awhile since I have updated this blog. I guess I was just trying to get through all the chemos that were scheuled. I ended up have the last two chemos at the infusion center in the SLV Regional Medical Center, and that worked very well for all concerned. Last friday I completed my 6th and last chemo treatment, YAY! Now to get thru the annoying little side effects that go along with all of that. This coming week on the 9-10th of Feb I will be visiting with the oncologist, radiologist, and surgeon. I also have to get a breast MRI to check the progress there. Most of the women I have talked to (and my oncologist) have advised me to go the double mastectomy route...easier to dress, you will be more symetrical, easier to make the reconstruction the same size. Truthfully I still have trouble with the idea of cutting something off that is normal. Now, just because my big chemos are done, it doesn't mean that things are quite finished in that respect. Every three weeks for 52 weeks I will go and have a Herception chemo tx at the infusion center. It is a very little thing and should take only about a half hour to get done. There should not be any side effects involved. So...once I visit with the surgeon I should have a good idea of the surgery date...I think they give you about a month to 6 weeks to get beyond the chemo and then do it. It will be done up in Denver at either the Littleton Hospital or the SkyRidge Hosp, where my surgeon operates out of either place. I am thinking the surgery maybe getting done sometime the first week of March. To me it seems like this whole process is taking forever!! I will be so glad to get going on the next part of it. Thanks to all who have come along beside me on this journey in so many tangible ways...prayers, emails,  food, company, cards, encouragements, cleaning my house for me, taking care of my animals when I have to be gone, helping me pick out a wig, taking me for rides, getting me out of the house. You all can't know how much this has all meant to me. From the bottom of my heart and Paul's...Thankyou!!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I am starting to think ahead to surgery a bit. I have only talked to one surgeon so far, and that was at the beginning of things. She agreed with the oncologist that chemo be done first, and surgery/radiation later. I am very glad to be getting the nasty chemo part out of the way first, now that I think about it. There are so many options to look at. Do I do a double mastectomy and just be done with it? Do I go for reconstruction surgery? There is another surgeon I will have to talk to soon to get some second opinions. Questions, questions. I believe they give your body about 6 weeks to heal up after the chemo before surgery is done. That gives a little time to figure things out.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

third chemo done

I had my third chemo yesterday and it all went okay with a few little delays here and there. it just took a very long time because the alamosa lab sent the wrong report and they had to be called to send the right one. i was at the hosp early at 7 and didn't walk out till after 4. all the nurses have been great. neulasta shot today at about 4 and then onward to home. this is now the halfway point thru chemo tx. maybe i shouldn't say halfway till i am done with the nadir this coming week. looking at mastectomy surgery being done sometime around the first week of march if all the chemos get done on schedule, and that all depends on having good lab works come back. so far so good. home again, home again this afternoon. bob and carol are bringing lunch tomorrow after church and i am looking forward to the visit and the food. we had a great thanksgiving with doug and wendy, at kevin and danielle's house. she cooked her very first turkey and it turned out beautifully. kayla and paul and i made a stuffed pumpkin to bring along. she got the recipe off of the npr website and that turned out so well too. after we were done with dinner we ran up to see rick and caryl in loveland and had pumpkin cheesecake and pecan pie. pretty sure i didn't lose any weight this week! hope you all had a nice thanksgiving and thanks once again for your thoughts and prayers!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Round 3 coming up

Round 3 of chemo will be the day after Thanksgiving, and that's the half way point for the chemo. So far I have tolerated it fairly well with just a few side effects. One rather annoying one is that I get a rash on my cheeks, and we are talking bright red...a butterfly rash, and it itches. Nothing I seem to do for it helps it go away or stop itching. I guess that is less worse than having nausea, so I will deal with it and live with it. Thanksgiving this year will be at Kevin and Danielle's house, and we also plan to visit Rick and Caryl since they are only an hour away from Denver. We are really looking forward to seeing everyone. Josh is staying home because his room mate is cooking dinner, so his job will be to hold down the fort. It looks like the weather will be cooperative, we can go between storms. I feel grateful for so many things. My husband, Family, friends, church family, and feeling rather well most of the time, my doctors. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Round 2

I had my second chemo yesterday and though it took a long time (8 hours at the hosp) it all went fine. The nurse that I had this time decided to run everything more slowly than the last time. The visit that I had with my doc beforehand went well; he was pleased with everything except for one thing. This is unrelated to the breast cancer in any way, but he found a non malignant tumor on my pituitary gland on my brain mri that will have to be looked at further. If it grows it can eventually affect your peripheral vision. Paul sees this occasionally at his practice and people go to have them removed and all is well. Sometimes they just watch them and do nothing. So, I had some blood tests yesterday to find out what's going on with it. Whichever it is, nothing will happen with it until the chemo, surg, radiation is all done with, and Paul can monitor it at the office with visual field tests. Somewhere along the way there will be a visit with a neurosurgeon. Just one more unexpected bend in the road. I had a very nice visit with a good friend, Marie Silverstein, at the hosp yesterday. She is as good as any nurse holding my hand, taking care of me, giving me a facial, giving me some awesome Arbonne products and advice on detoxing after the chemo is all done with. Thanks Marie, I loved your visit!

Friday, October 29, 2010


I went to Littleton yesterday with Pam Bricker and Shawna Tolsma to Hana Designs and picked out a wig. They did all the driving for me. We had fun with the wigs, and did a lot of laughing. It was great having two friends along helping me not to make any mistakes. Since my hair was starting to come out, I decided now was the time to have my head shaved, so it's done. I found out that I have a very round head, and it's kind of strange to see myself without hair. Guess I'll get used to it. Hana said that my hair will be coming back 6 weeks after the chemo is done, and that by July I will have a "short" hair style again. Louise Tolsma and Barb Terpstra arrived a little while ago to do some cleaning for me, and also brought supper. I am feeling so spoiled and loved. My church family has blessed and lifted me up so much!