Monday, March 29, 2010

You may be a redneck when....

I'm feeling a little under the weather today.  Nothing too bad -- mostly fatigue.

I just wanted to bring a smile to y'all's faces and wish you a happy Monday morning.

I washed my hair this morning and now I'm drying it.  Here's a picture of it drying.

Have a great day!

Love & Blessings from the top of my heart,,


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Double Digits

I've hit the double digits of my chemo treatments.  It's hard to believe I've had 10 chemotherapy treatments.  

I'm feeling great!  Dr. Green and Julia said my bloodwork all looks really good.  So I get to stay on the RAD at half dose along with the Taxol at full dose.  

My Yoga class with Deborah was wonderful this week.  I learned the rest of the Yoga routine.  I was rolling my neck, my hips, my arms and my shoulders.  Felt good!

Chemo went smooth this week.  Jim had a big meeting on Thursday so he wasn't able to spend the day with me but was able to make it down to MDA in time for me to have chemo.  I'm so thankful that I have an incredibly supportive husband.  Praise God with me for such a wonderful man!

Jakob, Kelli and Joey are all doing well.  Jakob had a little bit of a rough week.  Please pray for peace for him.  I don't write much about the kiddos in here but they are really doing great and also supportive.

Last night the teachers from Kelli and Joey's school had a "live" auction at one of the teacher's homes.  They are raising money for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.  A few of them are walking.  They invited me and a few of my Army generals to the auction.  What a fun time and for a great cause!!  We ended up leaving early but at the time we left $874 had already been raised.  I can't wait to hear the final amount of money raised.  Thank you Deerwood for including me as the guest of honor.  It truly was a humbling experience and an honor!!  

Thanks again for all your messages -- they definitely brighten my day.  I look forward to reading y'all's comments.  Thank you!

We are having a gorgeous weekend.  The boys are off hunting.  Kelli and I are having a nice relaxing girls weekend.  The weather is beautiful.  Sun is shining which is a remind that the Son is shining on me always.

God Bless you all!!

Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,


P.S.  Dr. Muscat (my Orthopedist) gave me permission to start running again yesterday.  Please pray I stay injury-free.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Philippians 4:6

Just wanted to share with you this beautiful morning!!

On Monday Mom and I went to meet with Dr. Perkins.  Dr. Perkins is my Radiation Oncologist at MD Anderson.  He is a wonderful man!  I am very blessed to call him my doctor.  I met with him because he needed to help me understand 2 different viewpoints of my reconstruction options.  I understand both viewpoints now.

Dr. Perkins and I talked about a 30 year plan and a 40 year plan and he then said, "you already have the infinity plan covered".  He also told me, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."  So that is why I come to you now to ask you to please pray for me about my surgery as well as reconstruction surgeries decisions.

I will be spending the day at MDA tomorrow for doctor's appointments, Yoga and for my 10th chemotherapy treatment.  

There is no doubt in my mind that I am in the right place and at the right time.  I am so incredibly blessed!

Please have a great day and remember that Jesus Loves You and so do I!!!

Love & Blessings from the top of my heart,


Saturday, March 20, 2010

Nummer neun

Number nine - Done!!  Seven to go.  Thank you all for your continued prayers.  I know I always say that but I hope you know that I feel like I really can't tell you enough how thankful I am to have y'all in my life.

We actually had a short day this week at MDA.  I didn't have to be there until noon for my blood draw.  Jacquelynn tried drawing my blood but my vein rolled so Michelle had to come in there and finish it up.  I really love all the phlebotomists up there.

At 12:15 we headed over to the Star to meet Ideen.  Ideen gave me a book with Yoga instructions and a CD to use at home.  I then met my Yoga instructor Deborah.  Deborah and I proceeded to the classroom to get started.  Tibetan Yoga is all about breathing it's not like the typical Yoga of poses and stretches.  It's more of a meditative type.  I learned to breath 3 different ways.  Very cool.  I used 2 of the methods the last 2 nights to help me go to sleep.  My Yoga class lasted for about an hour and a half.  It was a very relaxing way to make the time go by quicker while waiting for my chemo treatment.

At 2 o'clock I headed upstairs to meet Jim and Chad (Chad is a friend of ours from Coffeyville).  I then got to see Debbie (research nurse).  I was so happy to see Debbie, it's been a few weeks since I got to see her smiling face.  We chatted for a while and got all caught up.  It was so nice seeing her.

We waited about an hour and a half for me to be called back.  We got started at about 4 o'clock, with Elizabeth being my nurse.  First I get premeds (to prevent allergic reaction) and then I get the Taxol.  This week I also got the RAD at half dose.  Jim crawled into bed with me and took a nap, it's so nice to spend time together up there.  We got finished at about 6:15.  So all in all it was a pretty short day for us at MDA.

People are so good.  Someone dropped of food for us on Friday.  It was the only day that we didn't have anyone signed up for, so we have no idea who it was from.  It's been such a blessing to have all this food prepared for us.  Thank you for providing nourishment for our bodies to all of you.

Mom got in town yesterday.  She's here to take care of me and help me around the house.  I am honored to have such a wonderful mother-in-law.

I hope you all are having a great weekend, spending time with family and friends.  I am!!

Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,


Friday, March 12, 2010

Great day for an anniversary and the rodeo

Dear Army,

Yesterday was a great day!  Yesterday was proof that prayers are answered.  Thank you for continuing to pray for me.

Julia (my research nurse) and Dr. Green were so excited because my liver numbers were back within the normal range.  Do you understand how big a deal that is?  My numbers were 400% above normal just a week ago.  I was so worried about it and had my breakdown on Monday and then realized only God could make that better.  And He did!  Thank you Lord!!

Dr. Green put me back on full dose Taxol (remember she cut me back 25% a few weeks ago) and kept me off the RAD001 (trial drug) for one more week.  Next week she will run the same liver blood tests and if the numbers still look good I will be put back on the RAD at half dose.

After my appointment with Dr. Green I had an appointment with the plastic surgeon.  I first met with one of the Fellows Dr. Milas, who explained the reconstruction process to me.  He asked me many questions and I answered and vice versa.  He was a very sweet man!  He high-fived me a few times.  One time was when he talked about 10 year survival rates and I told him I'm fighting for the 40 year survival plan.

Dr. Skoracki then came in.  We had a lot in common before we actually ever met.  He's from Canada and is also German.  He explained more specifically what will more than likely be the plan for my reconstruction.  I'm very happy with the plan.  He's doing something for me that he doesn't normally do but said he would for me.

I missed out on my first Yoga class because my appointment with Dr. Skoracki went longer than we thought it would.  We'll reschedule the Yoga class for next week.

I walked over to Texas Children's Hospital to go meet my friend's baby.  Baby Avery was born 5 weeks early and has been in the hospital for 19 days now.  Please pray for that precious angel and her parents and that they get to go home soon.  Her Mama allowed me to hold her precious gift in my arms for about an hour.

I walked back over to MD Anderson for my chemotherapy.  We didn't get started till about 5 o'clock.  All went well.  Having this port is so much easier than having to use the veins in my arms.  It takes no time at all to get the IV started.  Jim and I were both tired and tried taking a nap but it didn't work out neither one of us could sleep.

We had a great day yesterday, healthwise and we celebrated 16 years of marriage yesterday as well.  We got to end the night by going to the Houston Rodeo with Tim and Danielle.  Brad Paisley was in concert and we had 2nd row seats (thanks Tim & Danielle).  And guess who I got to touch? ... Yup Brad Paisley.  That's how close we were!

I thank you all once again for your prayers.  Without your prayers I would not be able to make it through the day with the strength that I have.  God has brought you all into my life and for that my dear friends, I am thankful.  God Bless You!!!

Love and blessings from the top of my heart,


Monday, March 8, 2010

Answered prayers

Just wanted to thank you all for your prayers.  Julia (research nurse) called me at 2:50 to let me know that everything came back normal on the liver CT and I'm negative for hepatitis.  I am so happy!  Once we put our burdens into God's hands we can make it through anything.  That's what happened to me today.

Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,


My dearest

Dear God,

I'm really struggling right now.  I feel satan trying to attack me.  I've been shedding so many tears today.  I know that I'm in your hands.  Please grant me patience while I wait to hear from my doctors this week.  You are Awesome Lord.  I know that you will not give me more than I can handle.  Please remind me that this is not my battle, it is Yours.  I'm falling on my knees asking you to please heal whatever may be happening to my liver.  A miracle is something that only can come from You!  Lord please use me this week to shine Your light.  You are The Light!!  Thank You for the wonderful friends and family You have given me.  I pray that they all may have a truly blessed day and that they may see You in their day.  Lord thank You for Your amazing Love and Sacrifice.  You are my Rock!  In Your Name I pray, AMEN.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Long and interesting day!

Howdy!  Today was an amazingly beautiful sunshiney day!!

The day started out with my chest x-ray and blood draw.  Today I didn't go to Lina, I went with who I was actually assigned to.  Good thing, I got a gal named Gladys - a very wonderful person.  Michelle (the lady that runs the blood lab) is so sweet, she always calls me baby.  Michelle bought me a box of chocolates today and kept giving me hugs.

I still hadn't heard from Kayla or Ideen about the Yoga study so I thought I'd pay them a visit to see what's up.  Ideen was paged and came out to see me.  Are you ready????......good news!  I'm in the Tibetan Yoga group.  Yay!!!  She had no instructor for today that's why she hadn't called me yet.

I then met with Julia (my research nurse).  She informed me that my liver counts were off the charts -- by a lot.  Blood counts were good though so thank you for those prayers.  Julia told me that Dr. Green was consulting with some of the senior Doctors at MDA.  There were a few possible options but Dr. Green would tell me shortly.

Off to meet with Dr. Green.  More good news.....the tumor has shrunk some more.  Dr. Green did still feel a swollen lymph node under my arm.

After consulting with three senior docs it was decided that I would be taken of the study drug for this week only.  Then next week if my liver counts were better we would know it was because of the RAD001 (study drug) and if not it's a possibility that it's from the Taxol.  Or there could be something else going on with my liver, like Hepatitis.  Tomorrow morning I'm going back for a CT on my abdomen to make sure there is no cancer in my liver.

I then went back downstairs to have some more blood drawn for the Hepatitis panel.  This time I got Jeannette who was also wonderful.  I got more hugs from Michelle and Gladys came to visit with me.  I love them in that blood lab.  I saw Lina too and apparently she had asked about me today.  She said next time I better come back to her.  It's nice to know that they love me too.

I went upstairs to meet with Renita -- Dr. Green's scheduler who confirmed my CT appointment for tomorrow.

The possibilities of what may happen are as follows.  Depending on what my liver test shows next week plus the Hepatitis test, I may be taken off the RAD001 all together.  If it doesn't improve by next Thursday I may be taken off Taxol and be started the second chemo drugs FEC.  I will be taken off the study if that is the plan.  Please, please pray about this situation specifically.  It is very frustrating because I feel so great!  I just can't believe that this is happening with my liver.  I really feel like satan is attacking me at this time.

My chemo treatment went smoothly.  We can now cross number 7 off the list.

While I was waiting today I spent time outside praying.  It was so pretty outside.  Even the cars eight floors down in the parking lot were sparkling.

My friend sent me an email today with words to a song by JJ Heller.  Well she didn't know it but it happened to be the song on my iPod that I fell asleep to last night.

Thank You dear LORD for bringing Your Word to me at my time of need.  Thank you for Susan and that You used her to deliver those Words.  You are amazing and I thank You for all the alone time I had today, so that I could spend my time praying to You.  Lord you are my Rock!

Thank you Army,  for the time you spend with God on my behalf.

I love you!!

Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,

P.S.  Here are the lyrics to "Your Hands" by JJ Heller
I have unanswered prayers
I have trouble I wish wasn’t there
And I have aske
d a thousand ways
That you would take my pain away
You would take my pain away

I am trying to understand
How to walk this weary land
Make straight the paths that crooked lie
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine
Oh Lord, before these feet of mine

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things right

When my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

Your hands that shaped the world
Are holding me
They hold me still

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Prayers for Tomorrow

Good Evening.

I'll be leaving home early in the morning -- my first appointment at MDA is at 7.  I have a chest x-ray first, then bloodsucking, an appointment with Dr. Green at 11:30 am and then chemo at 3 pm.

Please pray that all my blood counts are good so I can have my 7th treatment tomorrow.  I went on my 3 mile walk again today.  I'm so thankful that I still feel so well.  It's amazing how God is taking care of me on this journey.  I mean I'm not surprised by it but in awe!!  In awe of His mighty love!!!

Once again thank you for your prayers and for all the encouraging messages you keep sending my way.

I still haven't heard from those Yoga girls, I'm thinking I won't be doing Yoga tomorrow.

Jakob had a great first day back at public school, TAKS test and all. And Joey is feeling better (he's been sick since Saturday) -- he'll be back at school tomorrow.

Love you very much my Army of Warriors!!

Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Yesterday's appointment was a lot of waiting.  The song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller kept popping into my head.

We got to meet with Dr. Hunt's Physician Assistant first off.  She gave Jim & I a lot of information and answered questions we had.  Plus helped us to think of other questions to ask once Dr. Hunt came in.

Some of the info we received wasn't exactly what we wanted to hear.  Dr. Hunt will be performing my mastectomy sometime in July.  At that time she will also be removing about 15-30 lymph nodes.  Dr. Hunt indicated that at first only my left breast will be removed (that's the one with the cancer) and then after radiation, about 6 months to a year later my right breast would be removed and then both breasts can be reconstructed.  Unfortunately the type of reconstruction I can have is very limited due to the radiation. Apparently I don't have enough tissue in my back or in my tummy to reconstruct my breasts.  Sorry for all the graphicness of this post.  I want you all to know what's going on.

We will be meeting with a plastic surgeon some time in the future to discuss my options.

I have an appointment with Dr. Green on Thursday and will have several questions to ask her as well.

We really liked Dr. Hunt.  I feel confident being in her hands.

Here is a link to the song I mentioned above -- I really like it, I hope you do too!!

Thanks once again for your continued praying for us on this journey. I still haven't heard which group I'm in for the Yoga study -- as soon as I find out I'll let you know.

Would you also please pray for my friend Ingrid who suffered a stroke 9 days ago -- she's working really hard so she can get back to her home.

Please pray also for Jakob -- tomorrow is his first day back at school, he's really excited!!

Love and Blessings from the top of my heart,