Friday, December 26, 2008

Someone else's words

I've been reading this book called "The Victoria's Secret Catalog never stops coming and other lessons I learned from breast cancer" by Jennie Nash. I"m pretty sure she hangs out in my head because I can relate so well. I love chapter 6. It so sums up how I feel about the whole losing a boob thing. I am further along now than she is in this chapter but none the less I can totally relate to "longing for what I'd lost rather than envy for what I'd never had" So, I thought I would share:

"In the weeks before my mastectomy, in the long pre-Christmas season, the Victoria's Secret catalog never stopped coming. There was some sort of glitch in the mail system - or some special pre-holiday blitz- and I got two or three catalogs in the course of a few weeks, always on the day that I learned that something more-and worse-was going to happen to my breast. There I was, agonizing over the damage about to be done to me, and there they were-all those bare bodies, all those beautiful, smooth, and perfectly balanced breasts, all those pretty pieces of underwear designed to show them off.

It's easy enough to cancel a catalog-at least in theory. But if it wasn't the Victoreia's Secret catalog coming in the mailbox, it was thier models featured in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Tyra Banks in a tiny red bikinin on the cover of GQ, or the now-famous Victoria's Secret Web site ad in the middle of the Super Bowl. Idealized breasts were everywhere I turned and I couldn't help but stare.

I tried to make myself go back to the stacks of breast cancer guidebooks to look at the unlit and unposed photos of women before and after their surgeries, but now that a question of mastectomy wasn't philosophical, I didn't want to see those pictures The women they featured were not beautiful. They had cellulite on their tummies and fat on their arms, thin little rib cages and fleshy middles with angry red scars snaking across the skin. They had pendulous breasts and little pointy breast, huge-nippled breasts and dimpled breasts, breasts that were dented and cut and mashed and removed. Every one of the pictures made me turn my head as if I had been slapped.

"You're going about this all wrong," Lori insisted on one of the many afternoons she sat with me at my kitchen table so I wouldn't have to sit there alone. "These are hilarious. Look at this one," she said, pointing to a woman with droopy breasts. "She probably breast-fed about ten kids. And this one?" she said, picking out a woman with large dark circles around her nipples. "Perfect for target practice." I couldn't help but laugh at Lori's loopy sense of humor and was filled with gratitude for her willingness to say anything that had to be said.

"What's so funny?" Carlyn asked, suddenly appearing at my side.
"Nothing," I said, snapping the book shut.
"What?" she pressed.
"It's none of your business," Lori said.
This of course, drew the whole crowd of kids in the house-Carlyn and Emily and Lori's kids, Kimber and Sarah. "We want to see! We want to see!" the chanted.
"No way!" we chanted back. We owned those pages now, and we needed them. One of those surgeries was going to be the one I picked.


A few nights later Rob and I were back in the backyard hot tub.
"So do you think I should get breasts like Tyra's?" I asked-because what was I going to say: Will you still love me when I lose my breast? Will you still touch me? It's dark out there in the warm water, and you can say almost anything that has to be said-but there are something things even the darkness can't hold.
"They're nice on her, but on you? I don't think so," he said.
"You mean you wouldn't like it?"
"Sure I'd like it, but that's not why we have great sex," he said.
"They're kind of a critical component," I countered.
He shook his head. "I don't think so. I mean, what's great when we have sex?"
"Your smell, the mood, what you do," I blurted.
"Not breasts," he said, like a lawyer making a closing argument.
"That's easy for you to say- and it's also not what you said before this was a reality."
"That's not fair," Rob snapped.
The breeze blew; the fog rolled in over our heads.
After a moment, he asked, "What makes it hard for you?"

I took a breath and cataloged the things about my breast that I would miss: the sensation of having my kids lean up against me when we read books at night; the feeling of pressing against another person when I give them a hug; the pride I have that these breasts did a good job at what they were intended to do; the warm and comforting feeling of Rob's hands on them: the way the nipples respond to his touch: the exact shape, wight, and balance of them; the fact that they are mine. I stopped to breathe. Rob sat unmoving across from me-frozen as if we were sitting in ice.
"I never thought about half those things," Rob said quietly.
I looked out at the night, dry-eyed and grief-stricken.
"We don't need your breast," he said. "We'll get used to it."

He moved behind me and cupped his hands around me the way I like. It could have been any night, but it was one of our last nights, and all I could think about was what it would feel like not to feel that feeling and what it would be like to thumb through the Victoria's Secret catalog, the next time it came, with longing for what I'd lost rather than envy for what I'd never had.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Test Results

I know we all could use some good news so I'm so happy to have some to share!

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I had my follow up appt today and they took the drain tubes out I am so glad to be rid of those!
I also got the test results back and all the margins were clear and it had NOT spread to the lymph nodes So that means that they got all the cancer out and it hasn't spread anywhere else!

As far as staging, It is stage 2 - technically, for those of you who care or know what it means, I am a T3N0M0. For those of you who now what to know what that means :)
T3= The cancer is more than 5cm in diameter
N0= The cancer has not spread to the lymph nodes
M0= No distant cancer spread

So the next step is oncology treatments. I am still waiting for the consult to oncology - they are super backed up so I will probably be referred to a cancer clinic somewhere outside the VA - which is also a good thing - I'm happy to go somewhere that specializes in that - not that the VA doesn't (they do have a primary oncology clinic at the VA)

The Dr today said that they will probably be aggressive in the treatment because I am so young - so I am curious as to what oncology recommends for me treatment wise.
Earlier this week we were at the pharmacy picking up a prescription for Gryphyn (3rd round for this double ear infection :( ) and it was super late so we were talking to the pharmacist. The whole cancer thing came up and she said that her mom had cancer and that she had told her NOT to get chemo unless it was a life or death choice - she explained that chemo is so bad for you body - yes it kills the cancer but it also attacks so many good things in your body as well. You can only have a certain amount in your body because it makes you toxic. Once you get it you can never do it again. So if I choose to do chemo now and the cancer does come back, I'm screwed I can't do chemo again. So I'm really considering NOT doing it now. I don't have all the facts yet but from what I have heard, I am thinking of just doing radiation and an estrogen blocker. The more estrogen you have in your body the higher your risk for cancer - so the less you have the better.

So, yea! for good news finally

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Photos

I have been waiting to post till I had more info from my drs and I also wanted to add some pictures since the last few posts have just been long posts about me.  With all the hectic holiday-ness, I just got around to editing some photos the other day.  These are for my mom who doesn't have a computer.  Every now and then I will sit down and get a bunch ready to print off and mail to her - honestly who does that anymore :)  LOL  Gotta love technology!  

Some of these Zac posted on his blog already - He loves sharing pix of the men so when he got some new ones, he couldn't help but show them off even though, they were suppose to be our christmas pictures  (Oh yeah) That okay, since he put them out there before I had a chance to do cards with them, I got him to take some more.  Last night we braved the cold and walked all the way across the street and were able to get some more - which turned out even better than the first set so,  "THOSE" will be our Christmas - or probably at this point New Year cards.  Stay tuned for those to come soon!

This is one of my favorite photos of the men and I :

Gryphyn - YES he is pretty much wild and crazy all the time :)  

Vahn- aka : Mr Smalls -  

As for me,I am doing good - I'm up and around and my friends i've seen say that I look great! This past monday, I went to a prosthetic place and got a camisole type shirt with a pocket that you can "stuff" to look like a breast. It makes me look more balanced which is nice. It also has a place to hold my drain tubes - so it is much more comfortable to wear. The drains are actually the most annoying and painful part - they go under the skin and are stitched in place. They are starting to get scabs around them and hurt if they get moved at all. I can't wait to get them taken out. As far as other pain, I am down to 2 pain pills a day. I hurt the most when I wake up - I think from not moving all night and again before bed. During the day it isn't too bad if I don't try to do too much and the men don't crawl all over me. Other wise It sort of feels more like sore muscles during the day which isn't too bad.

> I am still waiting to hear back about the test results for staging and further treatment. I have a follow up appt tomorrow the 23rd so I should know more then. I meet with the main surgeon Dr Lee -who has been there for all my procedures but I never met - actually he came to see me this time when I was in recovery. I'm not sure I will know anything yet about if I have to do chemo or not since I was told that oncology will make that call but they will tell me the results of the test to see if it has spread to the lymph nodes.   So more updates tomorrow or the next day when I know more.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Back Home

So, if you haven't heard yet, all went well with my surgery - Here is what I can remember of the past few days:

We got to the hospital at 6am and waited about 30min before they came to get us (so totally could have slept in)  They took us back to a little dressing room where I changed into a hospital gown and bagged up all my clothes to be put in a locker - then they came and got me and took be to the pre-op area.  Got me all set up in a bed and asked me a bunch of questions, took my vitals etc -  then zac kissed me goodbye and they took me off to see anesthesia.  

Once there, they got me all hooked up with an IV and gave me something to help me relax.  Then they realized that they didn't have a current pregnancy test on me.  Such a pain - they did one the day before during my pre-op appt but when I went to have my chest x-ray, the  results weren't back yet so they x-ray tech called the lab who said that it had been cancelled - so I just told her verbally that I wasn't preg and we went with that - but before surgery, they had to be sure - so they wanted me to give them a pee sample - of course I couldn't get up to try because they had already given me something by iv -so I got a bed pan instead -  yea right! Of course I couldn't go it - you try to lie down and purposely pee in bed - You lose that ability around 4 I think :)  So meanwhile, they figure out that they need a blood test anyway so they drew that and checked that way - we had to wait about 30min for that results big shock, it came back negative.  So then it was off to surgery - I got a cool little hat and they switched me to the operating table and immediately I was surrounded by people all doing their job and given oxygen and more drugs which quickly had me drifting off to la la land.  

When I came too - I was missing a boob - what the?! - Oh wait they were suppose to take that.  I was still pretty out of it and nauseous - not as bad as the last operation - but still not much fun. I didn't actually puke until they gave me a pill to settle my stomach.  Go figure.  They quickly got me all set up in a room and gave me pain med by IV.   The pain hasn't been too bad - it was more of the headache and nausiou that was getting to me.  I had two roommates who both had their TV's on so I kept my curtains closed to try and block out the light and tired to sleep as much as possible.  Zac stayed with me most of the afternoon editing pictures while I slept.  He went to get mom and the kids later that night and my boss Tina and my friend Sabrina came to see me and brought me flowers and balloons - I was sort of out of it - but it totally made my day - It is a rule that if you have to be in the hospital, you get flowers and balloons :)  Thanks guys!  
Shortly after that, Mom, Zac and the Men arrived.  Gryphyn wanted to know what everything was and mostly wanted to run around and check out stuff.  Vahn immediately climbed up in my lap and gave me a hug - such a sweetie.  They didn't stay long since it was bed time for them and I was drifting as well.  I had waited to get some pain med till right before they got there because my nurse said it would make me sleepy and I wanted to be awake to see them.  So after everyone left, I tried to lay down and realized that the pain was still the same and I couldn't sleep - so she gave me some different stuff and I was soon out.  However that didn't last long - due to the constant IV fluid I was getting, I woke up every hour all night long to pee.  So annoying!  Around 3am I was up peeing again and my nurse was making her rounds, I told her I was starving - they hadn't given me any dinner since I was so nausous before - so the nurse got me some animal crackers and some milk then said that they had just had a christmas party and there was a tray of left over meat, cheese and fruit if I would like any of that - so she made me a plate - I ate some of that and drank my milk and juice - when she came back to check on me she said "good news - you have kept down enough fluid orally that we can take your iv off - so you won't have to get up so often to pee"  So then I went back to sleep and got a whole 2hrs in until that came around to check vitals and stuff. - so over all, it wasn't a very restful night.  

This morning, I had a bunch of staff come in and see me, my dr, the main dr, nurses, techs, social worker, high school students (taking vitals) and my pastor Kevin came to see me - I sort of drifted in and out all morning.  I didn't really find out much info yet, they will call me with the test results in about a week, I have a follow up appt on the 23rd, Skland Prosthetics will contact us about a fake boob and I will be getting a letter to fee base (meaning the VA will pay for it) to the Cancer Center - so for now, I just take my drugs and rest.  I don't have any restrictions as far as lifting or moving - I'm not allowed to drive while I'm taking pain meds and I can take the bandages off and shower starting tomorrow.

So, I think that is everything - Thank you to everyone who has been there for me - your prayers and support mean the world to my family and I.  :)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008


So much has happened so fast that I can't keep up with who I've told what to.  So, here is all the latest info:

On Monday (Dec 1st)  I paged my dr about getting an MRI and a different dr answered and said that she had taken over for him - she reviewed my info and called me back and wanted to see me to talk in person. So, the next day (Tue Dec 2nd), I met with plastic surgery and then with her - it was a long day with lots of info and questions and decisions - It left me exhausted mentally and physically! 

Here is what we decided 
- Next week (Dec 9th) I will have a modified radical mastectomy (on my left side) - this removes all the breast tissue except for the skin - they do remove an oval shaped portion including the nipple and then they will sew the skin back together (sort of like a football). They will also remove lymph nodes from my arm pit area to test and insert a drain to make sure I don't have any blood or fluid build up. About a week later, they will remove the drain and I should also be getting my test results back to determine the staging and how to proceed from there. At this point, I will be referred to oncology and they will make the decision on the chemo and radiation treatments. Once radiation is completed (about 6-12 months out) I will go back for the breast reconstruction. After talking with plastic surgery, we feel that it would be best to wait to do the reconstruction. They said that I would have better results if I waited till after radiation treatments. Radiation destroys tissue and that isn't a good thing for "new" healing tissue - they said they would do it now but most likely I would have to have further surgeries to repair and "fine tune" the breast - so, not what I wanted to hear - I don't really want to be breast-less for up to a year but what do you do - its the best option for the most realistic outcome. We did decide to go with the tummy tuck method over implants - so at least I have on good thing to look forward to :) -  we have time to figure out all those details later.   

Other questions I have been asked - and the answers :)
Are you positive you know what type of cancer it is? 
Dr Turner (my 1st dr) made them double check there findings so yes - when I spoke with Dr Diesen (the new dr), she said that it was invasive ductal carcinoma - which means that it started in the duct and moved beyond them. The section that they took was 2cm and tested negative on the top but the bottom was positive to the edge meaning that they didn't not get all of it out. She also said that the surrounding area was precancerous -meaning that if  I left alone, it would become cancer.

Do you know what stage its in?
NO - and they won't know until they remove the lymph nodes. Staging is based on 3 factors - the T (tumor), N (node), and M (metastasis) - currently the T is a T2 which means the mass is larger than 2cm but not larger than 5cm. The N, is whether or not the tumor has spread to the lymph nodes - which they will removed to test during the surgery. The last factor the M -which is if the cancer has metastasized to other parts of the body - again the lymph nodes would tell them this. If the lymph nodes come back negative for cancer then it has NOT spread anywhere else - they always go there first. So if they test positive, then they will do additional tests to see where. I forget the order they "drain" to but the cancer could spread to the brain, liver, lungs, and bones. All of these would not be treated with surgery but with chemo and radiation - so that doesn't change the surgery aspect either way - as for the other breast, they already know it doesn't have cancer in it because the mammogram shows that it doesn't. 

Can you positively say its nowhere else in your body?
NO, not yet until we get the lymph node testing back.

Why did you get it? What caused it? Was it job related? Hormones? Bad Genes? Hereditary?
No one knows the answer to this one. I don't have any risk factors that would be an indication that I was a risk for cancer:

You can check out the following link for a list of the risk factors:

Was the lab wrong?
Always possibe but he dr DID have them double check the results because he didn't think it was possible based on factors and what he saw and felt.

Was a proper cancer biopsy done?
Partly yes - they should have removed a larger section as well as lymph nodes - had they know it was cancer.  I could go back and have the larger portion and lymph nodes removed and tested then have additional surgery as needed - but essentially, that is what we are doing in the mastectomy (at least I know they will be getting it all) :)

Emotionally, how am I doing?
SIGH - I'm a mess - I think - I'm not really sure on this - all I want to do is sleep and cry, neither of which I have time to do.  Two little men require all my time and energy so I have to be there for them.  So, I'm just kind of ignoring everything else.  I really don't want to lose a boob, I think it will make me feel less of a woman.  I already have enough self conscious issues I don't really need this added on top of it.  I don't want to be "helpless"  I'm really bad and asking for help and letting anyone do things for me.  I'm tired of people telling Zac that he is going to have to step up and be my crutch.  I hate that he feels like he is going to have to quit his photography (which he loves) and get a traditional job.  It breaks my heart that I can't pick up my kids - they don't get that mommy is sick and it hurts to hold them.  I so don't want to be - see now I'm crying - enough of that!

I am so thankful that my MIL - Ann is willing and able to come out and help.  She gets here tomorrow and will be staying for a month.  We don't see eye to eye on everything but I know she loves me and my MEN and always has our best interest in mind.  We have always had a good relationship which isn't common in Mother and Daughter in laws :)  I am truly blessed that I got Ann as mine!

I am also thankful for all my friends who have been there for me.  My church - Underground ( is already putting together meals for us and countless people have offered to help however they can - childcare, cleaning , hanging out etc...

God has truly blessed me with family and friends that love me  -  I have every intention of beating this dumb cancer and living a long healthy life!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I don't need a new hobby!

I told Zac recently  that I don't need a new hobby!  It seems that all my free time is devoted to cancer now.  All I do is talk to people about cancer, search online for cancer stuff, and today I even went to the library and got some book - guess what subject - YEP cancer! "Sigh"  

I so want to just crawl into bed, pull the covers over my head and make this all go away.  Unfortunately, its not going away so I have to do what I can to become informed and fight this!

I am still at such a loss as to what to ask the drs.  Its like being stuck in a foreign country where you don't speak the language.  
What?  HUH?  Uhhh - No habla cancera!?!?!
What should I be doing right now?  How do I  ensure that the decisions that I make now are the best ones to ensure we don't have to go thru all this again in a few years?  Will I still feel feminine with fake boobs? 

I obviously don't "WANT" to lose my boobs - I am a girl after all.  But at the same time, they are just boobs and don't really serve a function (anymore).  
Right now, I am all for doing a mastectomy, and really would like to do both breasts. Especially if I can get reconstruction done, (again the whole girl thing)  I  don't want to be selfish about this and not make the best medical decisions based on my emotions and body image.   I feel that making the most radical decisions NOW will help ensure we don't have to go down this road again in the future.  

Last week, I had coffee with  my friend Deb.  Last year, she was diagnosed with breast cancer - (her situation is scary similar to mine - same kind same size etc...) she told me that I should demand a Breast MRI be done prior to surgery. She also gave me a bunch of literature.   Its all so overwhelming - but like she said I have to be my own advocate. They wanted to put me on stronger antibiotics when I asked for the biopsy to be done - had I not they wouldn't have found the cancer. 

I talked to my dr on Friday and asked him:
If they were going to do a CT scan, Breast MRI and Bone scan?
-He said that there wasn't a rush to do those until after the surgery and they knew better what they were dealing with.  The results wouldn't change what they did surgery wise only the treatment afterward.  
Deb however, told me that the Breast MRI shows if there is any additional cancer they need to remove and if it is present in the other breast as well.

I also asked him if they were doing both breast why or why not? 
- He said that he didn't think it would be beneficial at this point to do both. Again, they don't know what the heck they are dealing with yet. Most women choose to have both done to reduce the chance of reoccurrence but he said even if you do remove the breast tissue, it could still come back in the chest wall or sternum area.

Another question I asked him was if I could have a port for chemo put in during surgery? (so I don't have to have it done later) 
-He said based on the size of my mass, he didn't think I would have to have chemo - Again, when I told Deb this she totally disagreed. Her cancer is stage two and was just over 2cm - mine is already 2cm and they know that they didn't get all of it - so I don't see how I wouldn't have to have chemo also - not that I want it mind you but what the heck??? I have no clue what to think or do about all this!

So, I read and ask questions- find others who have been thru this and talk to them on the phone for hours.  I spend all my free time searching the web - wow there is a lot of stuff out there.  One of my favorites that adds humor to a not so funny subject is: It opens with a video of the grim reaper going into the cancer ward of a hospital and ends with a cancer patient chasing him out. Dying has never been an option in my mind with all this but something about the video makes me feel empowered.
Another site has a video about a girl named Anne.
~ "Anne is lonely. She lives with her mother, has no friends, and is fighting cancer. Her escape from reality exists in the form of The Aviatrix, an intergalactic superhero alter ego who rockets through space to fight the powers of evil on distant planets". It ends with her riding off in her bathrobe (the official uniform of the U. S. cancer team - standard issue) with the lawn man - Cheezy- true but fun none the less! So, while doing all this research isn't my first choice, its where I am now and what I need to be doing - so - I've got a new hobby! Who knows maybe someday I'l make my own short movie! :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Today I had my follow up appt  and unfortunately despite all the prayers, hugs, office supplies, candles etc, I DO have cancer :(

Here is what I remember from the whirlwind of thoughts and decisions that I faced this afternoon:

Its called invasive ductal cancer. Even the dr was shocked that the test came back positive. I have no factors that would indicate a possibility. So, because we hadn't expected it to be cancer, my last operation wasn't to the degree it should have been - basically, they were just doing a biopsy - what they did see concerned them so they took as much as they could see but when the tested it, it came back positive to the edges. Had they know that they were dealing with cancer to begin with they would have taken a much larger sample so the the edges (or margins) would have tested negative. 

In order to assign a stage to it, they also need more information. There are 3 factors the T - N - M. I forget what they all are - I got so much info today my heads swimming. But we only have the T which is the diameter (2cm) which will be more than that since they didn't get it all. One of the other factors is whether it has spread to the lymph nodes or not and I think the third is depth but i'm not sure on that. As far as the lymph nodes, there are 2 options in removing and testing them - one would be to remove several at different levels (close to the breast, a bit deeper, and close to the muscle wall) the second option is to inject radiation and dye to track where the drainage is and then remove the infected lymph nodes based on what "lights up" 

So at this point, I have 3 options to remove the rest of the mass (by following x-ray, and mammogram findings) plus one of the two lymph node options or option 3, to remove the entire breast (mastectomy) 
After weighing our options, recovery, chance of reoccurrence etc... Zac and I decided to go with the mastectomy. "sigh" While its not my first choice, we DO believe that it is the best option to make sure that we remove all of the cancer in 1 surgery and severely lessen my chance of reoccurrence. 

When my dr went to consult with the other surgeon and check the schedule for a date, he found out that they may be able to do reconstruction at the same time - Which I am totally for! Hey if I can have one surgery instead of 2 and not have to go with out a boob for months waiting for the reconstruction, I'm all for that! They are checking with Plastic Surgery to see if that is an option and if the date will work. So right now we are looking at do the surgery in 3 weeks (Dec 9th)

As far as chemo and radiation, because they won't know until they remove it and test it what exactly they are dealing with, they can't tell me if or how much I will need. Most likely there will be some just as a preventive measure. 

On a somewhat positive note, a few people have told me that they can take the fat from your stomach and butt to do the reconstruction with - I SO hope that is the case! That would be the most amazing thing to happen for having to go thru all this crap! Although I'm sure the recovery would be hell. Heck of a diet plan - throw in some chemo and I'll have the body I've always wanted - Not sure I'm up for the price I have to pay for that though.  I'd much rather just stay fat!

For now, there are all sorts of test and stuff that need to be done prior to the surgery - so I'll have a busy few weeks ahead of me.  Thank you so much everyone who has been there for me already in all this.  Not feeling alone in all this is a huge deal to me.  I can't bear the thought of not being there for my Men - they are my world!  Although I don't know why this is happening - why me?  why now? etc..  I am confident that I am strong and I won't let this get me down.  Cancer won't win - I WILL!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Surgery Update

I just realized its been a long time since I updated my blog - things have been crazy the past few weeks!

If you are new to my blog, you may want to scroll down a few posts to the original post (Boobs!) to get the full story.

So last week, I went in and had surgery to remove the mass - I think they called it an biopsy extraction. The surgery went well and I went home the same day with pain medication. However, I never had any pain and didn't like the way the medicine made me feel - (everything was dream like all the time) so I only took it for a day and a half. Thankfully my MIL was able to come and stay with us to help with the boys - I mostly slept the first few days. Even after I quit taking the medicine, I still had a headache and felt nauseous all the time. That lasted for about a week - boy did that suck.

On Thursday afternoon (nov 13th) I received a phone call with my pathology report I'm not sure who I talked to because I was just leaving work at time and things were crazy around me. I think it was some guy from the lab because he kept saying that he probably shouldn't be the one telling me this???

What I do remember him saying was "I WILL need to have additional surgery because they didn't get it all out because the "margins weren't clearly defined" - (I could have told them that - I still can feel at least 1/2 of it in there) He also said something about it being precancerous or could be cancer - they weren't really sure at this point but was pointing toward cancer"

The following day, I called and spoke to the dr driectly who said -
He didn't have all the test results yet and couldn't give me a definitive answer - what he did know was, the part they did remove was 3 sections - the top palpable lesion, the middle part that appeared to be a cyst and deep margin that looked precancerous. They were still waiting on the final tests on that section. I have a follow up appt on tue (18th) where I should know all the findings and where to proceed from there.

I am quite anxious to know what this is and how to proceed from here - also a bit upset that the didn't' take the whole mass in the first surgery and wondering why?

Last night, I came down with the flu or food poisoning or something - that was so NOT fun - I'm not a big fan of puking! Thankfully Zac was able to take the boys today so that I could sleep. I don't know what I would do with out him - he is amazing! I just keep thinking that today was just a preview of the months to come. If this is cancer and I have to do chemo and all that, I have many more days like today in my future. I so don't want it to be cancer. I'm not scared that I can't fight it, I just can't bear not being there for my little men. I don't want them to have a sick mommy who stays in bed all the time. I'm trying to be brave and just take this one step at a time. I am so thankful that no matter what I won't have to go through this alone - God will be there every step of the way holding my hand and giving me strength when I don't have it and Zac will be there telling me that I CAN do this and to "suck it up" I know that sounds cruel and sometimes I don't appreciate it but Zac knows me and that I refuse to be sick - so sucking it up is what I do! It is his way of reassuring me that I can get through anything.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Our Halloween

I kind of forgot it was Halloween yesterday - we decided to save our money and skip it again this year. The men aren't old enough to know the difference so it would have been more for mom and dad anyway. I'm sure next year - Gryphyn at least will want to have a say in it and know all about the candy factor involved.

I filled in at the front desk at the gym yesterday afternoon - I was rushing to get out the door and was upset at zac - men just don't get girls feelings sometimes :( anyway - I was mad and running late so I blasted the music and was speeding along when I spot the cop up ahead - OH NO! I so deserved a ticket so what could I do - I was going over 80 in a 60 (he said it was 79) but dropped the charge to 75 so that I wouldn't have to go to court. Man I miss Germany and the no speed limits!

Zac called while I was at the gym and asked if we wanted to meet him for lunch so we met at Applebys and then took the men to a pumpkin patch to take pix and get some pumpkins. Here are a few of the pix from the patch:








Friday, October 24, 2008


Most of you who follow my blog already know about my boob issues - but just in case, here is a quick overview:

In Oct of 06 I was 3m preg and found a lump in my left boob - in Feb I had an ultrasound done of it. The dr could feel the lump but didn't see anything in the ultrasound so the weren't sure if they should do a mammogram or not (since I was 7m preg by then) After consulting with the area specialists, they decided to go ahead and do one - those findings were inconclusive and eventually chocked up to possibly and clogged milk duct and pregnancy hormones. Once I gave birth and my milk came in, it wasn't noticeable anymore. Fast forward 1 year and I was done nursing and my boobs returned to normal (well somewhat) :) and I again felt the lump only it was twice the size now.
This past Sept, I developed an additional large mass that hurt to touch and was raised and red. I went to the dr and they diagnosed it as mastitis and put me on antibiotics for it. With in a few days, the redness and pain went away - however once I finished the meds, the mass was still there - so my drs ordered another mammogram be done. Shortly after, I received a letter from the breast center saying:
"Your recent mammogram showed an abnormality that warrants further evaluation by your physician or healthcare provider. Please contact your physician as soon as possible to discuss the results of this examination." I already had a follow up scheduled for Wed (15th). It had started to hurt again so I must admit that I was and am curious a bit scared as to what it could be.
At that appt, the breast center faxed a letter to my dr saying:
Ultrasound Findings
Sonographic study of the left breast limited to the upper breast in area of a palpable finding was performed. the study showed a solitary hypoechoic nodule measuring 1.35cm in its largest diameter. It is fairly well localized but sharp demarcated especially posteriorly. it shows minimal distal shadowing. It does show low level homogeneous internal contents. Its nature is uncertain and biopsy would be recommended.
So we scheduled a biopsy for today. Which I just got back from a few hours ago. I'm not sure if I'm upset or relieved. They didn't end up doing a biopsy after all. The Dr was so busy with other patients that the resident (student?) did most of the exam. He kept leaving to consult with the dr and would come back with more questions. Eventually, the dr came in and did an exam then left to consult with a breast specialist.
So the deal is, my boobs are really fibrous - which I'm told is normal for someone my age. This usually changes with your montly cycle but since I have an IUD, I don't have a monthly cycle to compare it with. The concern is that it is tender to touch. So it could be an infection still hanging on or ??? No one seems to know! So after 2 hours of sitting there in a robe showing people my boobs, the dr comes back in and says - we can either start a stronger antibiotic or schedule an appt to remove it. I asked him if he was going to do a biopsy and he said that if he removed it then he wouldn't need to - so i'm still confused as to if they were going to do it if I chose antibiotics? Anyway, I told him to just take it out. I'm tired of dealing with this and not knowing what it is. Its been 2 years now that I've had issues with my boob - I don't want it to be weird and hard and hurt and possible be something that I should have dealt with so I told them to just take it out. So by the time all this was decided, everything else in the hospital was closed so I left my info with pre op and they are suppose to call me. The procedure is suppose to be on the 6th of Nov - but I don't really know anything about it - not even the time! "Sigh"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New Background

So today, I noticed that one of my friends had a cool background for her blog so I went to the site and downloaded my own - very cool - they have 269 backgrounds to choose from. I found a few I liked and was playing around with them - thus the mess my page now is :(

I got most of it to work but now my pictures are too big - which is one thing I liked was that I could have big pix - I resized the last post but am leaving the rest for now - I may still play more later but for tonight, I'm tired, zac wants to watch a movie and I still have a sink full of dishes to get to - why can't things just be easy!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Here are a few of my favorite pictures that I took of my kids at school this past week:


And a picture depicting something Gryphyn said last week:


Monday, October 13, 2008

Fun Times - New pix added

This past weekend was a good change of pace for us
On Thursday Night I finished up some Pumpkin tie-dye shirts for the kids at school - (I just did the faces - someone else tie dyed them)

Here they are hanging up to dry

Fri morning, I worked on my lesson plan for school and Zac caught up on some editing while we were waiting for my new phone to be delivered.
Then we packed our bags and headed to Tenn.

About 15min into the drive, we stopped in Woodfin at a park that Zac had found recently:
Here are a few pix of the men playing:



After that, we piled back in the van for the drive. We ended up taking a very indirect route thru a very curvy mtn in the dark AND our gas light came on! Luckily the men fell asleep but I was trying very hard not to throw up as Zac did his best to conserve what little gas we did have and coasted as quickly as he could! God was watching out for us because we made it to town and Zac got gas (at 60 cents less than we pay at home) while I walked around getting some fresh air - although it was dark you could tell it was fall. The air was crisp and there were crunchy leaves on the ground. We made our way to the hotel and ended up going to bed early since we weren't really sure where everyone else was (for the rehearsal dinner) and we didn't get very good cell phone service.

The next morning, we got up had breakfast and headed to the B&B where the girls were staying - Zac started his day there getting pix of them getting ready:




(I took the above pix out of the slideshow folder Zac put together to play at the reception)

While Zac was working, the boys and I headed to the farm (where the wedding was) and played and explored while we were waiting for the wedding to start.

The highlight of Gryphyns day was when his friend Tatum showed up - She is our Pastors daughter and Gryphyn absolutely loves her. A few weeks ago he said: "Tatum is my friend - I like her, she has soft hair" LOL


All Vahn wanted was his Daddy - which made it a bit difficult to keep him quiet during the ceremony


The following day, Zac had two more photo shoots in Tenn so the men and I drove around and found parks to play at.
Here are a few more pix of them at the park:




Now we are back home and back to real life - I wish we could stay on Vacation Forever!
Coming back home always sucks - piles of toys, mtns of laundry, never ending list of things that need to be done
SIGH - It was Fun to get away for a few days anyway :)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rest in Peace!


This past weekend, the boys and I flew to AZ to attend my Dad's Memorial Service. The ashes weren't ready in time for the ceremony and one of his sisters couldn't make it, so we are planning on having an ash scattering ceremony planned at Apache Lake. He spent a lot of time there growing up fishing and water skiing with his family.

Its sort of bitter sweet. I know he is in a better place now and not in pain anymore but at the same time, I was just starting to have a normal relationship with him and my kids will never get to know him here on this earth.

It has been an emotional week! I'm exhausted from crying so much. Zac has been super busy with weddings and editing so I've pretty much been and single mom on top of all of this. Man I don't know how single moms do it - it is so much work not ever having a break - I guess you just manage and do what you have to in order to get by. I sure don't envy them!

In keeping with the theme of my week, on the flight back home from AZ, I missed my flight and lost my phone - Early Sunday morning we left for the airport to catch our flight back home - we thought 30min would be plenty of time to check in for an early morning flt - WRONG - You must check in 45min prior and they won't send your bag with out you - so even though I could have made it to the plane in time they wouldn't let me because they "couldn't send my bag on a plane that I wasn't on" So they gave us standby tickets for the next flight which we had to wait , 3hrs for. Although my bag still went on the original flight (go figure)

Once I finally get on the plane - we of course don't have seats together - no biggie someone moved for us so we are sitting in the very last row of the plane. The guy next to the window - never uttered a word the whole 5 hour flight but the super rude couple in front of us made sure it was well know that they weren't happy about having kids seated near them. Every time the kids would kick the seat or be loud they would huff loudly or turn around like they were going to do something - the flight attendant on the other had was wonderful - she helped a lot - so anyway - after 5 hours of trying to keep the men contained in a small space and quiet, we were all ready to get off the plane. I dug my phone out of the bag and placed it in the seat back pocket so that I could get to it easier once we landed. Then once we landed, it was too loud in the plane to talk so I decided to just wait till we got off the plane to call zac - by this time, I had 20min to get from B terminal to E terminal so the flt attendant called me one of those electric cars to take me - once I got us all situated on there, I went to get my phone to make my call and realized that I left it on the plane - MAN

So do I go back for it and risk missing my plane or rush for the plane???? The man driving the car called the gate for me and said he would go back and look for it and bring it to me so I went ahead and headed to my next gate - however, I had standby tickets from missing the first flt and there were already 6 others in front of me - so I didn't make the flight anyway. So I head back to the 1st gate and checked with the gate agent just in time to see the original plane taking off again.

Of course its a new gate agent and she doesn't know anything but I'm welcome to wait for the other to return from her break - after a few minutes, of waiting the gate agent tells me that if it HAD been turned in, it would be taken to the customer services desk - so I head down to the desk to check with them. They make a phone call back to the gate and are told that it was turned into baggage. By this time, I have about 30min. I think this will be enough time to get down to baggage and get my phone and run back to the gate to board - so I make the long walk (as fast as I can) to baggage - once there, they look thru their phones and don't have it so they call back to the gate who tells them "NO -we said IF we had it we would turn it in" AHHHHH!! So now I have NO phone and about 10min to make it back to the gate AND I have to go back thru security with the kids. So more rushing, I make it back to the plane (getting a blister on my foot from running in sandals) I didn't have a chance to find a pay phone and call zac back so he has no clue when my flt is getting in - Thankfully, the flt from charlotte to asheville was only 30min. We get off and call zac and then wait for him to come get us.

So, the next day, I call back to Charlotte and check if my phone was turned in - NOPE - so I get the list and #'s of where the plane went and call all of those stops - no luck - so I repeat the phone calls the following day still no luck - so I call Verizon to put a hold on my phone and find out if it is being used - sure enough, I lost it on the 5th and the last phone call was placed and 11pm on the 6th. So then I call my insurance and file a claim but still can't get a phone until they receive and approve my application. Meanwhile, Zac has to go out of town so I am phoneless for a few days

How did I survive before without a phone? I use it way more than I thought I did. I still can't get over that someone else took it and was using it - I guess I'm too nice - If I found someone elses phone (or anything else) I would do everything I could to return it to them. Well at least I get a new phone out of it - It is suppose to be delivered tomorrow during normal business hours - meanwhile it sucks not having one!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Today -wasn't so great :(

If you are one of my "friends" on myspace then you've probably already read this - I'm not feeling very creative right now so I just copied and pasted what I wrote earlier:

Early​ this morni​ng,​ my Dad died!​ He had been sick for some time now so we sort of saw it comin​g - but thing​s were looki​ng up latel​y and we expec​ted him to prove​ the drs all wrong​.​ He has been in and out of the hospi​tal since​ June when he was diagn​osed with liver​ and kidne​y cance​r.​ He also has a histo​ry of heart​ disea​se but hadn'​t been havin​g any troub​le with is heart​ latel​y.​

Aroun​d 3am a nurse​ helpe​d him to the bathr​oom and he wante​d to sit in his chair​ for awhil​e.​ Somet​ime short​ly after​ that the alarm​s all start​ed going​ off and they found​ him on the floor​ with blood​ comin​g out of his nose & mouth​.​ They said it was cardi​ac arres​t.​ That was his 15th heart​ attac​k over the past 20 years​ or so.

This is all so sudde​n - I just spoke​ with him brief​ly last night​ - I could​n'​t hear him very well becau​se I was at work so I told him I would​ call him back and when I did a few hours​ later​ he was in dialy​sis so I never​ got the chanc​e to talk to him again​ :(

He along​ with the rest of my famil​y are in AZ and I am still​ in NC - so being​ so far away has been hard - I may try and make anoth​er trip out next week for the memor​ial servi​ce - no plans​ have been made yet - I am thank​ful that I did get the chanc​e to go and see him last month​ and sort of say "​goodb​ye"​

thank​ you in advan​ce for your thoug​hts and praye​rs - pleas​e feel free to write​ or call anyti​me - being​ alone​ is harde​r than I thoug​ht it would​ be - my littl​e men keep me busy but zac sill has to work and all I want to do is cry - I'm sure it will pass soon but today​ has been hard.​

I had to get out of the house - I couldn't take the toy tornado that had hit and had no desire to pick it up myself so I packed the kids up headed to Burger King for some comfort food - my favorite - a number 1 with cheese minus the tomato and onion :) Then we drove to the park to play - I wanted some more pix of Gryphyn since I didn't get many the last time we were there - I did take more of Vahn as well but I haven't made pages of those yet - so here are a few of my BIG MAN Gryphyn taken today:





Saturday, September 20, 2008

Pictures from yesterday and today

I'm trying to figure out how to get the slideshows to play in my blog - so if you come across this and it won't play, click on the view full size (in the bottom left of the slideshow) and it should open it in a new screen for you - Ok, off to make more pages :)

It is now 11:30pm and I should really be in bed - in fact Zac just got home from a wedding and told me so :)
Here are a few more I just finished - I took the boys to Amboy Park this afternoon and followed them around with a camera. I realized when I got home that most of them were of Vahn - Gryph is getting big enough to run off on his own but I still stay pretty close to Vahn so most of my pix ended up being of him - don't worry, I still love Gryphyn :)




Sunday, September 14, 2008

Digital Scrapbook Pages

I am in love with this new site I just found out about. One of my friends recently told me about scrapblog - It is the greatest ever! Thank you Jade!

I have been wanting to make scrapbook pages for such a long time now - but don't have the time or space to get out all my stuff and do it. Till today when I discovered - if you like to scrapbook at all - you MUST check out this site - it is so easy to use!

Here are a few pages I just put together in the last few hours:





I so should be in bed - but I just couldn't help it I had to do a few more pages - Did I mention that I LOVE this site!!!
Here are two I made from photos of this past Fathers Day:



Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Back to real life!

The men and I got back from AZ about a week ago and life has been nonstop crazy since then. There is a 3 hour time change between AZ and NC so that has been fun trying to get the men to go to bed and get up 3 hrs later. I think we finally got that down. Didn't help that Gryphyn slept with me for the two weeks we were gone so he was very reluctant to sleep in his own bed alone again. Aside from the jet lag, there was the life stuff that piles up while you are away - such as yard work, cat box, dishes and laundry to deal with. Zac does a great job helping out around the house but he is kind enough to leave those for me :) Isn't he sweet!

The main purpose of our trip to AZ was to see my dad - Here is a quick update on him:
His cancer has spread to his Kidneys and they have shut down. He is on dialysis 3 times a week. They are also looking into starting chemo but are waiting on approval from the insurance to do that. He was released from the hospital but went back in twice - the first time, he couldn't breath - that turned out to be something caught in his throat that he ate and the second time for what ended up being diagnosed as severe indigestion. When he went back home the 2nd time, they called him after receiving the results of his labs and wanted him to come back in because his blood was too thin. There is a lot of stuff going on there so I don't know how much longer he has or what new surprise will come tomorrow :(

My little man Vahn - had his final Dr.'s appt for his feet a few days ago on the 15th. They look great! His dr okayed no more medicine or bandages and Vahn is relived to be barefoot (in the house) again! (more pix to come)

This past weekend we did some more work to the house. I nagged Zac long enough to finish my pantry and finally I have shelves to put food on. I ended up painting the inside red because I had a whole can of red left over instead of the white that I thought it was. So it is now red walls with white shelves inside. We still need to hang a door on it but now my cabinets are free to unpack the remaining kitchen boxes that have been stored in my bedroom for months now.

In continuing the craziness, Thursday morning we are driving down to Florida to photograph and celebrate some friends wedding. Well, that depends on what tropical storm Fay decides to do. So far the weather looks good so I'm praying that it will stay that way and we can have a little mini family vacation.

So thats the latest here with us - stay tuned for more to come and pictures to be posted as well!

Friday, August 8, 2008

For MOM - who is going thru withdraws with out new pictures:

Here are some photos of the last few days.

We have been spending most of our time at the Anthem waterpark - here is a picture of the small slides:


Lauren and Jared waiting in line to go down the BIG slides:



Gryphyn and Mimi (Aunt Mandy) swiming at the water park:



The men and I outside of my sister Danielles place:



Playing in the pool:





And just to insure that things don't get boring, LOOK what I found inside Val's house:

Its a little squished since I had a great need to kill it before I photograhphed it :)