Friday, January 30, 2015


My surgery went fine, my heart was ok. I had several different tubes in me from head to toe, all are out now. the surgeon said I could go home today....but then I noticed the fluid in the drainage tube was bloodier that it had been, thank to the blood thinners. There is bleeding inside and she wants to get the clots out.

The pathology report said only one lymph node had cancer so we are good there. Dr is not happy with the margin around the mass, cancer could reoccur or radiation could take care of it. She wants to go back in and take more tissue from the posterior.

Needless to say I am bummed. We all agreed that it would be best to take care of it tomorrow. I was all set to go home tomorrow. Still in ICU and feeling great.....but it's not my's HIS plan.

Keep those prayers coming!!!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pre-Surgery Update

I had an appointment with my 2nd cardiologist today, the one who prescribed the life vest. He also OK'd my surgery for Wednesday. Yeah!!!!! We're making progress, this is going to be a good year for me!
I have one day to straighten up the house and get myself clean....huh? you say...
I have to shower the night before my surgery with hibiclens and then the morning of surgery also. Since we are leaving at 4:30 AM I am going to be one clean woman.

One of my friends drove me to my appointment today, it was a breeze and if I wasn't concerned about my heart I could easily make the drive myself. One good thing about seeing a specialist (the ones I see anyway) is that I don't have to wait. It was rather humorous that after I checked in and while Carla and I were sitting and waiting the person at the counter asked if we had been checked in....and I thought 'You just saw me 5 minutes ago, maybe you shouldn't be working here'. I guess she didn't recognize me without my winter jacket and hat on.
Geez, since I've been wearing the life vest they know everything about exactly when I take a bath, etc. Talk about big brother....... I was told I still have a lot of extra heartbeats but we can't tell if my heart is better or not until I have another ECHO. I told them I am so used to wearing it that 'Jon' doesn't really bother me.....the nurse says men are not so receptive to wearing it. The dr told me to wear it until we get the report/ECHO from my other cardiologist. I may end up having a defibrillator implanted, but I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.
The nurse seemed surprised that I was smiling and happy today. Why not be???
After that it was almost lunch and I was hungry so we went to the Schreiner's restaurant. I had one of my standbys....hamburger and French fries "no salt please". A really good hamburger. It was snowing when we left and we weren't sure if we wanted to stop any where else but we did stop at the St Vincent de Paul store. It's a big, very nice place. I didn't look at the clothes....don't need anything...but did look at the 'stuff'. We each spent a couple of dollars. It was still snowing so we decided to come home. As we neared our area we saw dry roads.....that was OK, I had phone calls to make.....only one was completed. There's tomorrow yet.

This will probably be my last post for a couple of days. I'll be back after my surgery.

The card above is from my Red Hat group, we have one person who sends out cards to those who need one. Joyce does fantastic work. This card looks much better in person. The gold is metallic and the angel is a pin. Love it!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday's Thoughts

As my breast cancer surgery date nears I am not anxious yet......
I am trying to be realistic. The cardiologist could have a reason why we can't go through with it.(Although I doubt that will happen, after all I will be at a hospital known for it's cardiac care) I could wake up and find that I've had a much more intensive surgery than anticipated. I'm having a lumpectomy and lymph node (how many???) removal. I'm praying that my heart is strong enough to make it through without any problems.  I'm packing a bag for more than the overnight stay I am scheduled for....I like to be prepared. 
I'm requesting and thanking you for your prayers.

The defibrillator that I've been wearing since before Christmas has remained silent :-)
I hope that's a sign that my heart is improving. Although I do have episodes of light-headedness or just feeling weird occasionally. 

Yesterday I was reminded of my dream that I had shortly after my diagnosis. I was scooting over a river on a big log, once or twice I tipped but I did not fall off. I made it to the other side. I am confident that God was telling me that I'll make it though this. 

My hair is growing back.....very white/blond? but not the red/strawberry blond I am use to. So what do I do? I dream that when I brush it and fix it it is longer than it looks and it's my normal color.....but then I get up and look in the mirror and it's the same short, white hair it was the day before. I am getting braver and not wearing my wig. It's kind of a pain. I wear a winter hat when I go out (too cold without it) or a pink baseball cap if I am inside. At my girlfriend's stamping parity I did not wear anything, after all this is real life!

I should probably make phone calls today: 
an appointment with the radiologist
call to Jill (whom is a cancer survivor I met at the hospital)

I've been making arrangements with friends to drive me to doctor appointments for the first week that I am home. I won't be able to drive for at least a week. I am not sure what to expect. I was told that I will be able to use my right arm (the one where the lymph node removal is). That's a relief, I am soooo right handed.

Cancer is such a thief; a very stealthy thief, silent, possible deadly, persistent, and just plain nasty!
It's a life changer to be sure.
Thankfully I have heard from so many people who are survivors!!!! I am so happy for you and will join your club (with God's grace).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Scrapbooking Getaway

Last Friday and Saturday I and a couple of friends attended a scrapbooking retreat.
We left late Friday morning and had to make a couple of stops so it was after 1 in the afternoon. After getting set up and working for a couple of hours one of our other friends got there and we were off to Panda Express to eat. I had checked online earlier to see what was safe for me to eat. I'm on a low sodium diet so it's a must do for me. We went back and scrapped some more. I'm not sure when we went to our room, but we were up late talking. I was not tired so was the last one to fall asleep....not for lack of trying. I was the last one to wake up and would have loved to sleep later...but it was almost 10. We went out for breakfast and made a quick stop at Goodwill (we got a tip on 12 X 12 scrapbook bins....I found the last one) and finally went back to work on our projects. 

 The room we all 'played' in.

 'My' group.

Below are some of my pages. I completed 17 double sided pages (34 layouts) and am very pleased.
ON THE ROAD TO NASHVILLE was cut out with my Cameo.
That's the sunrise as we left town to get to the park n' ride.

My pages are pretty simple. 

The city skyline was also cut with my Cameo. I was surprzed to see my photo is exactly like the cut out. If I had know that when I ordered the photos I would have ordered a 5 X 7 photo.

Simple page, I cut the guitars also.....each is a different size.

I like to put all the info in my scrapbooks....itinerary and cost. It could be interesting to look back at.

I had an appointment with my oncologist this morning and then ran some errands. Tomorrow I have to go to Milwaukee for a mammogram and Wednesday I have a dentist appointment - lucky me huh??? The weather isn't too bad (high 20's to mid 30's) and gas is not so expensive so those are good things. Next week I'll be in Milwaukee twice (if all goes as planned).

I'll keep you updated as much as I can. Thanks for stopping by and your kind comments on my other posts. I truly feel loved. :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday's Thoughts

Two weeks from today I will be returning home to recover and heal from my breast cancer surgery. That is as long as I get clearance from my 2nd cardiologist on the 26th. Yes, I'm cutting it close but I can not get in to see him any earlier and the surgeon (and I) want this done. The original plan was much simpler....but now with my heart issues it has changed.  The anesthesiologist will be a special, cardiac anesthesiologist and I will stay overnight, possibly in ICU.
The first hospital (where I was originally having my surgery) has a pre-surgery regime, I was told to wash with Hibiclens and also given special wipes to use on the surgery area. I was also tested for MRSA and prescribed a salve to put in my nostrils before surgery. We picked up and paid for those prescriptions......oh well. Oh, and I already have some pain pills too.....better make sure my present surgeon knows that!

I'm not sure how to explain it, but I have a 'bad' attitude of late. I'm not crabby, depressed, or angry. It's just that my attitude is bad, as opposed to good.  I know I'l get through it, I'm just not happy with it right now. 

This should be a fun weekend. Tomorrow morning I'm leaving for a scrapbooking retreat, it's only in the neighboring city....but I'll have a table to myself and can work on my scrapbook as much as I want and only take breaks to eat or whenever I want. I won't be home until Saturday night. The retreat ends on Sunday but I and Carolee only stay one night. For a change I am prepared and organized.....but I am sure once I start working I'll think of something I wish I'd brought along.

Next week I have several doctor appointments....and the week after, even the week after that. Let's hope all goes as planned.

Time to do some cleaning before I leave tomorrow morning.
Have a great weekend and thanks for visiting!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Latest News

Our grandson was here again overnight on Saturday. 
He's always so cheerful when he comes over.....that's because he loves to come over. Since he's the only child here he can do almost anything he wants to do.
Yesterday he pulled out a bin of memorabilia of his that I've saved since he was a baby, he enjoys looking at it.
He worked on his scrapbook some more again this weekend.
Of course he has to wrestle with grandpa before the day is over.

Jalen kept trying to 'flick' Kev's cheek and Kev was pretty darn good at preventing that from happening. Jalen doesn't cry anymore when grandpa gets the best of him....thankfully grandpa knows when to stop. They have fun....boys need that.
Grandpa took a nap afterward.

Friday afternoon Kev and I went to talk to my new surgeon. I liked her.....I really liked  my other surgeon too...but I need to have the surgery at the facility that can handle any possible problem with my heart. She's tentatively scheduled surgery for Jan 28th. First she wants a bilateral mammogram because it's been almost a year since my previous one and a clip put in the sentinel node. She also wants me to see if I can move up my appointment with the cardiologist who prescribed this defibrillator I am wearing. They all have different specialties. My other cardiologist wants me to spend the night of surgery in ICU....fine with me. I must be pretty special to have TWO cardiologists.....although I am not sure I like being so special. I'm not nervous yet, but I am sure it will come.

That's the latest from me!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


This is a brave post for me.
I'm not sure if it's necessary.
I am coming to terms with some of the things cancer does to a person.
This photo was taken after I had already started loosing my hair, it's pretty thin.

Here I am today.
All summer I wore turbans if anyone was around, even Kev, but finally I got braver and thought 'this is me, take it or leave it'. There are many people who have lost their hair due to chemo treatments. The color in the above photo is my natural color, it used to be darker when I was young, but red hair turns lighter (usually blonder) as a person ages. 
As you can see it is coming back white (hmmm) and I have a naturally forming mohawk (which I will color pink when I am brave enough to go w/o a hat and it's not freezing cold outside). 

Last night at red hats, my silly pose again.

Unfortunately the hair on my legs is coming in faster than anything else....wish my eyelashes would grow that fast. One other gal in our Red Hat group said hers never came'd she get to be so lucky? She never lost all of her hair either. Sandi must have had different chemo than I did. 
There ya go folks....the whole truth and nothin' but the truth.

It's too da** cold to go out (-1) so I am staying in again today. I did go out for Red Hats last night. We just ate and visited but it was a fun night.....maybe b/c I won 2 prizes??? Actually it is not about the things for me, but the friendships. I still have Christmas decorations to put will get done. I am feeling pretty good and am enjoying retirement and some lazy winter days. I can't wait to get this chapter over with!

Kevin and I are seeing my new surgeon on Friday....come back and see what's happening then.
In the mean time - stay warm!!!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Update After Today's Doctor Appointment

A person's body is a very complicated, intricate, will planned machine.....everything is connected and affects everything else.
I had an appointment with my cardiologist today and Kev had the day off so he was able to take me. The good news is that my labs are consistent, the doctor said he is pleased....that means I am too. I have been feeling pretty good, although I do move much more slowly than usual. It's easy for me to forget how serious my heart and cancer issues are sometimes. 
The bad news.....I wasn't aware of it, but I also have stage III kidney disease, that's not surprising considering all the meds I am taking.
I have made my decision about where I am having my surgery. It will be at St Luke's in Milwaukee. With all my heart issues I am at high risk for a general  anesthetic and that is the best place for me....if something happens the cardiology team will be right there! At first I thought I'd have it under a local at Green Bay, as originally planned, but I think changing my mind was the right decision. I know it's silly, but I worry about hurting my original surgeon's feelings.....after all, we have developed a relationship and I do like him. Another surgeon has been recommended to me and she has high ratings too. Monday I will make my phone calls and schedule appointments.
One thing that influenced my decision was the fact that Jon (my lifevest alarm) sounded twice in the wee hours of New Years Day. I called ZOLL this afternoon and found out that it was not cardiac related (relief) but caused by movement. Those were my first thoughts when it sounded because I had been scratching my back (moving the sensors) and readjusting my blankets. 
I want to get this surgery over with and get the healing started as soon as I can!
I haven't thought about New Year's resolutions....but I guess that is mine!