But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as Eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Friday, July 29, 2011


Isn't this so pretty?  I received this in the hospital before I went into surgery......I sure wasn't expecting any gifts and actually received 4 surprises!  They all brightened my day and meant so much to me!

This teapot planter was sent to me from my neice in SC and her family.  I know you read my blog, Susan, so I wanted to show you how beautiful it is!  I had a couple of sisters who have their eyes on that cute little teapot.....I'll have to keep my eye on them..LOL!  I'll let you guess which ones!  :=)  Thank you so much Susan and know that they mean a lot to me.

Well this is my 3rd day from surgery....not 3 full days since I had my surgery so late.  I've actually been home for only a day and a half.  I'm still at Sheila's house, but plan to go home tonight.  I'm at the point now that I feel I can take care of myself.  Plus, Sheila went and had surgery herself today!   She's wanted to have her ovaries removed ever since she was treated for breast cancer last year and she found out that breasts and ovaries can go "hand in hand" when it comes to cancer.  She's still not home from the hospital....taking longer than I expected, so I hope everything is going ok for her.  Please remember Sheila in yout prayers too.
Update:  Sheila is doing ok, but they went ahead and kept her at the hospital overnight.  It just took a little longer than they expected, but all is well.  Praise God!
My pain is very minimal......I'd say it's because of the pain pump!  I don't really have any pain across the breast area where the expanders were put in.  It's basically just numb.  But the pain pump is running dry and that means I'll probably be removing it tonight.  Yep, I remove it myself once it's empty!  I will vouch that it's been wonderful!  Once it comes out, I may have a bit more pain, but the worse pain is in the first few days.

My worse pain is under my left arm.  I also have discomfort under my right arm, but it's tolerable.  But. when my pain pills begin to wear off, a burning, stinging pain shoots up in my armpit area and it's excruciating until I can rearrange my arm.  So, I'm trying NOT to move that arm.  I did notice the pain seemed less this afternoonl.....right after I had asked my facebook friends for prayer.  Ahhhh, the power of prayer!  If you feel lead, will you also pray for this pain to lessen and subside?  Thanks so much!

I really can't complain about the amount of pain I have.  I have no pain just sitting or lying,  I haven't had a bit of trouble sleeping!  So, considering what I have had done, I think I'm doing really well!  The drains aren't even as bad as I expected them to be.  That being said, it will be great when I get them out and not have stuff hanging out of me.  LOL!  I go to Dr. Jackson already Tuesday and he will determine if they're ready to come out.

I've been sleeping a lot, but I don't think that's unusual at all, especially considering the meds I'm on.  I just allow myself the sleep and figure it's good for my healing.

God has been working with me on my emotional healing too and so much is happening in that area.  Forgiveness is getting easier and I just feel so much better emotionally.  God has been so good to me.  I know He will give me emotional healing too and the strength to forgive others.  He will set me free from this pain!  Already is!

As I was typing this, I had a "visitor" from Aisin (where Larry works).  They had taken up a collection to help us with the financial obligations facing us.  I have to say we do have really good insurance, but even then there is the deductible and out of pocket expenses that can add up.  Plus medicines and gas to go to the doctors, which are all an hour away.  Teresa delivered this collection to us tonight and I just don't know how to express our gratitude except to say "thank you", which seems so little.  It really means a lot that people care enough to do this for us.  I will never forget this and promise to "pay it forward" in the future.  Larry isn't home yet, so he has no idea of this "gift" and I know he'll be deeply touched too.  So, if you are an Aisin employee, I just want to say thank you sooo much!  Words don't seem like enough.....if you were here I'd give you all a GREAT BIG HUG!  :=)

So, until next time.......realize the goodness in people and praise God for His faithfulness.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Just another quickie update as I just got a phone call from Dr. Zusan's office.  My pathology reports are back and showed that there was still some residual cancer left in my left breast, even after my chemo.  That is a little worrisome to me, but I will probably feel better about it after my appointment with Dr. Zusan on August 8 where I'll be able to ask her questions.  I don't know if this is unusual or not. 

Just to clarify....this residual cancer was removed when the masectomy was done.  So, even though the chemo had not killed it all, it did shrink it and Dr. Zusan was able to remove it all and get clear margins. 

The surgeon’s goal during surgery is to take out all of the breast cancer along with rim of normal tissue around it. This is to be sure that all of the cancer has been removed. During or after surgery, a pathologist examines this rim of tissue — called the surgical margin or margin of resection — to be sure it’s clear of any cancer cells.

So, the residual cancer was removed and the tissue surrounding the tumor was "clear", meaning it was free of cancer cells.  That's a very good thing!  I am sorry I may have confused some of you about the residual cancer....it was all removed.

The tumor did shrink about 1 cm though, so that's good.  And the really good news is that she got "clean margins", which means she was able to get all of the cancer out.  So I don't think I have anything to worry about.  I do wonder, though, if more chemo will be necessary.  I'll know more after I visit with her.

My right breast did not show any cancer at all.  I know some would wonder why I would remove it too, since there was no cancer in it.  I removed it because I felt it would give me the best chance that it would not re-occur in that breast.  I am at "high risk" since my mom and sister both have had breast cancer and now myself.....plus I've just had too many problems with my own breasts since last year.  So I feel it was the best decision for me and don't regret it.

Until next time....please go get your mammogram!


Isn't it amazing to have a double masectomy with immediate reconstruction and head home by noon the next day!!!  I'm actually staying with my sister, Sheila, right now and she's helping me with my drains and meds.  She's being an awesome nurse! 

Surgery day didn't start out so well.  The hospital is an hour away and we got on the interstate and the car began to shake.  Larry said it felt like a tire, so we managed to get off the road enough to check.  But the tires looked ok and Kim (my sister) said it felt like maybe a belt in one of the tires broke.  We still don't know for sure, but we had to abandon the car at the next exit at a service station.  Fortunately our daughter, Jennifer, hadn't left home yet, so she was able to pick us up and we only ended up being 15 minutes late.  So it worked out, but made me nervous.

Got to the hospital at 1:15 and the surgery was scheduled at 2:30.  They took me back to prepare me for the surgery.....IV and that cute little gown.  Then the nurse said she had bad news for me.  Oh my!  You never want bad news when you're preparing for surgery!  She said the surgeon was running behind an hour and a half.....not her fault, but because a surgeon ahead of her ran late.  Oh my, that would put my surgery at 4:00 PM!  But it actually stretched until 6 PM.  When they finally got me into the operating room, I asked them if they were too tired for such a late surgery.....they assured me they were not and they'd take good care of me.  LOL!  I think I got out of surgery around 9:30.  I was so drugged up I don't remember much of that time period, even though my family said I talked to them!  Nope, don't remember that!

I knew I was in very good hands and lots of prayers were being said for me across the country.  I was at ease and had a total peace.  I was just ready to get it done.

Dr. Zusan, my surgeon who did the double masectomy and removed that nasty cancer!

Dr. Jackson, the plastic surgeon who put my tissue expanders in and will be doing the rest of the reconstruction process.  He was able to fill me with 300 cc of saline, which he said was half of what I needed, so I think that's a good thing!  :=)  I will go back to him every two weeks (after I'm healed) to get a filling until I'm the right size.  He told me he'd be removing the portion at the sides, although they weren't part of my breasts!  I told him to feel free to remove any fat he wanted!  LOL!  After it was all over he told my family he removed my "puppy ears" under my arms so I wouldn't look strange!  You've gotta appreciate a surgeon who will remove your "puppy ears".  LOL!

And last, but definately not least....Dr. Parker, who administered my anesthesia.  He's very important!  It was my first time to meet him and he was very kind and compassionate.  He did inform me that my hemoglobin was down (probably from the chemo) and depending on the amount of blood I would lose during surgery, I may need a blood transfusion.  I wasn't expecting that!  So they brought in a consent form for me to sign, informing me that a blood transfusion could cause all kinds of things, including HIV, AIDS, and HEPATITIS......I can see why some patients are afraid of a blood transfusion.  Me....not so much, but it does make you really think about signing that paper.  I think it was less scary to me because I had to have 4 pints of blood after each of my children were born, and that was back when the blood wasn't tested so much.  As it turned out, though, I didn't have to have a blood transfusion, so that was good!  At least they were prepared!

Unfortunately, I didn't get pics of the nurses helping with my surgery, but I know there were several of them.  They were a very important part of my team too.  I got the doctor photos in my room before the surgery.  They were so gracious to let me snap their pics.

This is Nurse Debra who was my overnight nurse.  She was very friendly and kind and took great care of me!

And Nurse Amy took over in the morning until I left at noon.  She was just as wonderful!  Actually, everyone at this hospital is compassionate and friendly.....this was my 3rd surgery at this hospital and I am always treated by such caring individuals!

Aren't my pillows lovely?  I was surprised with a gift ftom Carin Henderson, who is another cancer survivor that I met at the "Look Good; Feel Better" program.  She has had her surgery and knew just what I needed!  What a nice surprise!  Carin is currently going through her chemo treatments and only has 3 more to go (yay Carin!).  I want to ask everyone to remember Carin as she finishes up her treatments!  And, Carin, I want you to know you really brightened my day when my gift arrived at the hospital while I was waiting around.  That was soooo sweet of you and I so appreciate it!

Ahhhhhh, they feel so good Carin!  I have found that my pain is under my arms and my pillows sure do help!

And thanks to Sharon for stopping in....sorry I didn't get to talk to you much....I had a date with some surgeons!  But I want you to know I sure appreciated it and the new camisole that was waiting on me when I got there!  That was so sweet of you to think of me and take care of me!  I am wearing it right now with my drains in the pockets.  You're the best!  :=)

Ok, me and my family had 5 hours to wait in my room before they wheeled me back for the surgery......and we had a camera....need I say more?  LOL!  This bunch kept me entertained so the wait didn't seem so long!  We had the party room!  LOL!

My good buddies, Linda and Martha were there.  I so appreciate them.....they've been there for me every step of the way!  My friends, Barb and Vicki and others have been there too, but were not able to be at my surgery due to work schedules, but I know they were there in "spirit" and thoughts and prayers.

And my family was right there for me.  My daugthers, Jennifer and Erin....my husband, Larry.....and granddaughter, Jenna!  And of course they've been wih me every step of the way too.

And my sisters.....Kim, Sheila, and Pam.  They've been great cheerleaders!

My sister, Kim......the "baby" of the family (and she never lets me forget that...she was always so spoiled.......LOL)

It was a long day for Pam, especially considering she had just flown in from Oregon where she was visiting with her daughter and her family.  So, I offered a portion of my bed!

Of course I'm not pushing her out of bed!  Would I do that to a sibling?  :=)   Actually, I think Dr. Jackson just walked in.

Well that was my surgery day!  I'm staying with my sister, Sheila, and she's being a fine nurse and taking such good care of me.  I'll probably go home tonight.  The doctors told me not to be alone for the first 24 hours.  Although I told Sheila she was taking such good care of me that I might just stick around for a week or two  LOL!

I'm doing really, really good!  The nurses told me before I left that I looked good and was doing great and I told them it was because I was covered in prayer all over the country/world!  My pain pump is working wonderfully!  I do not have pain in the masectomy area.  My only pain is under my arms, where he removed my "puppy ears".....and only when I move.  The right side isn't so painful, but the left side can really burn......that's the side the lymph modes were removed.  But, amazingly, I'm not in much pain at all.....only when I move the wrong way.  And I have pain pills I take every 4 hours.  I really am doing great!

Until next time.....I want to thank everyone for their prayers.  I definately felt them, as I had such a peace (and still do) through the whole thing.  God is good......all the time!

Monday, July 25, 2011


Now, I haven't even met my "new best friend" yet, but I already expect to become best friends come tomorrow!

This is a pain pump that will be inserted at the time of surgery tomorrow by the Plastic Surgeon.  Ahhhhhh, relief! 

This tiny tube will be run over the surgical area and continually automatically spray the area with pain medicine for the first few days after my surgery.  Ahhhh, relief!  Now you can understand why it will be my "new best friend".  Isn't today's technology amazing!

Now, isn't that attractive?  LOL!  But, hey, if it helps the pain, I welcome it!  I actually can't say for sure that I'll have this same set up or this particular pain pump, but I KNOW I'll be having a pain pump that will "soak/spray my surgical area" and being the curious kind of person I am, I did a google search!  LOL!  I only  found two such pain pumps, so it gives me an idea of what to expect!

Ok, I have to be at Community Hospital South in Greenwood by 1 PM tomorrow and my surgery will be at 2:30 pm.  The surgery will last at least five hours.....yikes!  At least 3-1/2 hours for the double masectomy  and 1-1/2 hours for the reconstruction part.  It will be an outpatient surgery....can you believe it?  But, I will be staying overnight and as long as I'm out of there before 24 hours, it is still outpatient.  So, I'll probably be gone by noon Wednesday.  I have already had two surgeries in the past at this same hospital (not as major) and they have been wonderful!  So, I expect the same this time around. 

My support team.....

Erin, Larry, and Jen.....awww, don't they look so sweet?!  Don't be fooled!  At least two of them were involved in the hair-do makeover after my last surgery and the other one just stood by and watched.  Remember that lovely hairdo?

Yep, here were the culprits!  Well, I know they won't be giving me a new hairdo this time around.....for lack of hair!  LOL!   So, I guess I'll let them come.

My sister,Sheila and my sister, Pam are planning to be there too.  And my good buddies, Linda and Martha.  And maybe my brother, Randy.  And Jenna, my oldest grandchild. 

I'm ready to get this done!!!!!!!!  I have great doctors and lots of praying friends, so I'm not worried.  Just ready to get it done and start the healing and get on with the "rest of my life"!

Until next time....please remember me in prayer tomorrow......and get your mammogram if you haven't already!


Thursday, July 21, 2011


My surgery is fast approaching....only 5 more days!  When I was so weak from my chemo I was so dreading it, thinking I just couldn't take one more thing!  But that was the chemo speaking!  Now that I'm past the chemo and getting stronger, my "fight" is back and I'm ready to get that cancer out of my body and kick it's butt!!!!

The part that has me the most apprehensive is the reconstruction.  I've had 3 major surgeries that cut every muscle in my stomach (up and down), so this is not my first rodeo.  To be honest, I can't imagine this surgery to be worse than that....other than the disfiguring of my body.  But, it won't be cutting through a bunch of my muscles!  If you've never had the muscles in your stomach cut, you just can't imagine it!  And you can't imagine how much you use those stomach muscles....for EVERYTHING!  So, I figure I can do this surgery.

But, the reconstruction is a process that begins at the same time as my masectomy, but the whole process can take up to a year!  The first 3-6 months will be spent filling the tissue expander that they place behind my muscle.  They will fill it every 2 weeks with saline.
I've "heard" there can be quite a bit of pain involved (or as doctors like to call it......discomfort...that DOES sound better, doesn't it? LOL)  Anyway, now that I'm feeling better and stronger from chemo, I have been doing some google searches and even found some YouTube videos of women going through the process and it's helped so much to put my mind at ease.  I keep reminding myself that I tend to have a higher tolerance for pain than most.  I CAN DO THIS!!!! 

Here are a series of photos that show the process (nothing gory, but nudity involved). 
This will show the reconstruction journey that I will soon be taking....except I will be doing both breasts!  I've opted for the "immediate reconstruction" because I knew it would be "now or never"!  It's much easier when you HAVE to have surgery rather than do it voluntarily later...LOL!  I'll just keep my eye on the prize....PERKY Cs....LOL!

I do feel much better about all of this after the videos I've watched and the research on Google.  I couldn't bring myself to watch an actual filmed masectomy....too gory for me!

While going through the YouTube videos, I found this one that was just filmed in Texas in June and I loved it, so wanted to share it with you.  It made that "fight like a girl" well up inside of me!  I wanted to join them in that mall and dance with them!  These kind of things just inspire me to fight, fight, fight....


Until next time....whatever you're going through, be a fighter!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


My friend, Linda, was here the other day and when the light hit my head, she exclaimed, "I see your hair growing back!"  Really???  Could that even be possible?  I DO feel little stubbles....is it really beginning to come back???  So, I did a google search to see if could come back that quickly and this is what I found!

If you had chemotherapy, here's a typical timetable:
  • two to three weeks after chemotherapy ends: soft fuzz
  • one month after: real hair starts to grow at its normal rate
  • two months after: an inch of hair
Well, tomorrow it will be FOUR WEEKS since my last chemo!  So, according to this, it's possible!  Wow, I'm getting excited and am curious......will it be gray? (I hope not).....will it be blonde? (that would be ok)....or what color will I get?  Will it be thick like it used to be?  Straight or curly?  Curly would be nice!  :=) 

And then I have to wonder if the pill I will begin taking (for 5-8 years) will make it fall back out, or at the very least thin it out.  Whhhhaaaaaa!  I don't know what pill I'll be on, but it will be a newer one instead of Tamoxifen.  And I know Tamoxifen has made people's hair fall out/thin.

Oh boy, oh boy......I think I'm getting hair!!!!!  You probably couldn't tell it unless you catch me in the right light (like Linda did), but I can feel those litte stubbles!   This should  be interesting!  :=)  Of course I'll document the progress in pictures and share with you!

Until next time...be thankful for any blessings, no matter how small.  I know I am!  I love feeling my stubbles!  :=)

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Nothing much new today, but thought I'd give you a short update.  I'm tired today, but feeling much, much better than I did!  I can take "tired".....it's different than weak!  I had a great time at the convention and I believe God used it to minister to me.....but it's always good to be home. 

Tomorrow I have to go to Community Hospital up in Greenwood to get prepared for my surgery.  It's coming up really fast....a week from Tuesday!  I'm kind of dreading it on one hand, but on the other hand, I'm ready to get it over with.  Tomorrow I will be getting an EKG, chest xray and blood work done in preparation for the surgery.  When I was feeling so bad I was worried that I may not be strong enough for surgery, but I feel much better about that now. 

Now that I have my chemo over, I've been thinking about my hair coming back and wondering how long it will take!  :=)  And....what color it will be (will it be gray?  LOL)....and will it be straight or curly?  I am just so thankful to have the chemo done and hope nothing changes that!  I have to go up to the chemo doctor's office on Wednesday to get my port flushed.  I will have to have it flushed once a month as long as I have it and I'm not sure how long I'll have it.  They sometimes leave them in quite long....even years!  My sister still has her's from last year.  I won't mind a visit to the chemo doctor's office once a month though.....it will give a chance to see everyone and say "hi"!  When you go through this, the doctors and their staff become an important part of your life.

I'd like for you to meet one such person who became an important part of my life after being diagnosed.  This is Sharon, who works in the Breast Center with my surgeon.  She has been with me every step of the way....to encourage me and answer any of my questions.  I don't know what her official "title" is, but I refer to her as my "advocate".  She has been wonderful, even calling me at home and talking for at least an hour.  She is a bundle of "cheer" and always puts a smile on my face when I see her.  She's there to listen to me and any of my fears or questions and has meant so much to me.  Oh, and I have to show you her office!  It makes me smile!

I may just have to make myself one of these "pink Hope trees"!   Isn't it cute!  Sharon, you crack me up!  Sharon has had both breast cancer and thyroid cancer, so she knows what I'm going through.  She has blessed me by being there for me.  I know I can call her at any time and she'll be there for me.  Thank you so much Sharon! 

Like I said, not much new today.  Nothing much will be happening until my surgery next week, but I'll keep you updated. 

 I want to share a song with you.  This is one of the songs that the Praise Band played/sang at the Conference.  Imagine thousands of us singing this song in a Hockey Arena!  It was so awesome and God ministered to me right there in a Hocky arena!  He will meet you ANYWHERE!!!!  I hope you are blessed and ministered to as you listen to it.

Until next time....expect God to meet you right where you are!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Well, I think you can tell I'm feeling better here!  When I came to the convention, I was feeling so weak and "low".  It's just hard to have fun and be socialble when you feel bad.  But I only spent one day in the wheelchair and it turned out to be a good day thanks to some wonderful women I met on my "team" who wheeled me around everywhere.  They blessed me more than they could imagine.  Then the next day (the day of this picture), I woke up and felt "different".  You don't know from one day to the next when on chemo if it's going to be your "turn around day".  I got up that morning and "felt it" and decided to leave the wheelchair back at the hotel and give it a try!   I did it!!!!!  It was definately my "turn around day" and I was able to walk places around the convention center.  I was careful not to overdo and listened to my body for my limitations.  It was so much less hassle without the wheelchair.  I have never had to use a wheelchair before and I only used it for ONE day (well and for a short tour one day).  I can't imagine having to use a wheelchair all the time....God bless anyone in a wheelchair for their strength and courage!

Yes, when I feel better my goofball personality comes out!  LOL!  I can't just stand and pose like a normal person!  :=)  But, this is a sign that I am feeling better!!!! 

And here are some of the wonderful women I met and ate with at the Sr. Consultant dinner!  I met women from all over this great country and was so blessed by them!

And I also had the honor of meeting our Founder of Thirty-One Gifts, Cindy Monroe.  It was such a "treat" to find a ticket in my convention bag for a photo with Cindy.  I thought everyone got them, but found out later that they were put in bags randomly!  It was such an honor to get a picture with her!  I have a confession to make....I got TWO pics with her!  I was there on Thursday night without a wig (just a hat), but was afraid I might not make it back the next day at the scheduled time for the picture.  I wanted to have hair in the pictue, but decided I better go ahead and get it with the hat in case I didn't get back in time on Friday....rather than to miss it altogether.  I asked them if I went back to my hotel that night and grew some hair and could make it back on time Friday if I could have a "do over" and they were so kind and gracious and said I could!  So, I got the picture in a hat that night and got back in time the next day to get a "hair picture".  Cindy remembered me too!  They were just wonderful!  I had several girls with me the first night, pushing me down there in the wheelchair and after they took my pic with Cindy, they asked if we'd like a group photo!  YES, YES, YES!!!  They treated us so well at this conference!

I joined Thirty-One Gifts last August, knowing they were a faith-based company.  The company name is based on Proverbs 31.  I'm telling you, I felt that "faith" the whole time I was here.....His Spirit shined in the people I met.  Another thing that I was so blessed with was the fact that they had a Praise Band perform some songs at the arena.  It was so awesome....I was so blessed by it!  Even though my business is down a little now because of my illness and just being unable to do parties right now.....I know I'm in the place God wants me. 

I am sooooooo going to do this!!!!!!!!!!
Now, don't tell my daughters....I want to surprise them!  So, shhhhh!  Isn't this an awesome tatoo!  This lady I met and was visiting with had this tatoo on her ankle and she graciously let me take a pic of it.  She said she designed it herself and the stars represented two family members fighting breast cancer.  I'm soooooo going to do this!  My daughters (Jen and Erin) will be shocked, because as a mother I didn't want them to ever get tatoos!  You see, I grew up in the 60's and tatoos were not a good thing then.  They were really seen as very negative.  Only "bad people" would get a tatoo!  LOL!  Well, my baby Erin went and got one and hid it from me (many, many years ago) and I accidentally saw it one day and said, "What is that!!!!!!".  It was soooooo funny.  She turned beat red and her dear sister, Jennifer, was dying laughing, singing, "You are busted....You are soooo busted"!  LOL...good memories (now).  So, for mom to actually get a tatoo will be a BIG thing to them!  They won't believe it!  I never wanted one....until now.  I'll have to wait until next year after I'm done with all of this cancer treatment, but I am soooooo going to do it!  But, hey, it won't be my first tatoo!  Nope, it won't!  I will get two tatoos with my breast reconstruction!  So by the time I get this one, it will be old stuff to me to get a tatoo!  LOL!  This one will be prettier though.  And I'll get 3 stars...my mom, my sister Sheila, and me.

Well, I'm sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for my roommates to get back from the convention center so we can head home.  Just thought I'd use the time to give you all another update.  I'm definately feeling BETTER!!!  It's so much easier staying positive when you feel better!  I said I should have called my blog "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" because I think I've shown all 3 sides.  LOL!  Just keeping it "real"!  I think you can tell my "down days".

Until next time.....be blessed and bless someone else!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Ahhhh, the good life....even if just for a few days! 
This would have been the day I returned for chemo....except I'm done!  Yay!!!!  This sure was better!!!!!
We made it to Columbus, Ohio around noon today and the first thing we did was take a tour of the Thirty One facilities.   It was interesting to see where it all comes together.  And I had the sweetest gal, Jeri, who graciously pushed me around in a wheelchair for the whole tour.

Three weeks out from my last chemo and I'm still so very weak.  This has been the worst and I just keep hoping every day I'll be stronger, but I'm not.  It's frustrating and I so hope I gain my strength back before my surgery!  I came so close to not coming to the Convention, but I earned it for free and just hated to miss it!  So, I've arranged for a wheelchair to use the rest of the time.  I just do not have the strength and stamina to be able to walk far.

Man, I look sick in these pictures!  Oh wait....I am!  I actually had to get up at 5 AM and didn't mess with make-up and wore comfy clothes to travel, hoping to have time to fix myself up a bit before having to dive in....but it wasn't to be!  So, I probably look even sicker in these pics.  These gals are part of a "31 Ya Ya Sisters" facebook group I'm on.  I travelled and am rooming with two of them.  We didn't know each other before.....met on facebook....cool, huh?

Nope, not MY Office!  We got to tour the office of Cindy Monroe, the founder of Thirty-One Gifts!

There....that's better!  I got to go back to the hotel after the tour and take a much needed nap and then "clean up" and pop on some hair before heading to supper with roomie, Vicki Parr.

Until next time.....


Monday, July 11, 2011


Nothing much new to report tonight, but I thought I'd update before I head to Columbus, Ohio (not sure if they'll have wi fi and if I'll have time to update the rest of the week). 

I'm still feeling very, very, very tired.  I went and picked up groceries a couple of nights ago (badly needed) and after getting my groceries in the cart I didn't have the energy to check out....seriously!  I sat on a bench for about 20 minutes to rest before I could continue on.  It's hard to know how much you can do until you try.  I'm at least able to get out a bit now, but I just don't last long.  And I feel like I'm sleeping my life away!  I get out of bed in the morning and go to the recliner or couch and within the hour I fall back asleep.  Arghhhh!  I've been told that my body is healing when I'm sleeping and to think of thaT as a good thing.  I'm trying, but it sure is frustrating!  I leave bright and early Wednesday morning for my convention in Ohio and at this point I hope I don't spend all the time in my hotel sleeping!

Tonight I finally got in the pool and I have to say that it did me a world of good!  The weakness seems to dissappear in the water and it felt soooo good!

Tomorrow I need to gather up the strength to pack for my trip and go to Wally World for some essentials.  I haven't even begun to pack!  Yikes!  I'm really praying to have more energy by Wednesday.  I've questioned whether I should even attempt this trip, but I think it could do me a world of good mentally!  I won't be driving, so I guess I can sleep the whole way there!

We went to Erin's tonight for Jenna's 13th Birthday party.  Yikes!  I'm grandma to a teenager!  How did that happen?  This is what we found when we came home....a party at our house!  LOL!  Only family can get by with this!  :=)  It makes me feel good to see them enjoy our pool, especially on a 100+ degree day!

Until next time....enjoy the sunshine and find you a swimming hole to cool off!  :=)  I'll update from the convention if I'm able to!  Pray for me to have strength and energy!

Friday, July 8, 2011


I'm beginning to feel better!  Still tire out very easilly, but the past couple of days I've finally felt like getting out to go to lunch or visiting.  Now after an afternoon out I came home wiped out and slept the whole evening.....but it's a start!  And it does wonders for my emotional well being!  I spent almost TWO WEEKS in the house, just laying around, unable to do anything, even eating (I guess that's why I've lost 33 lbs!).....that takes a toll on your mood after awhile and as hard as I might try, it starts to bring me "down".   So, I'm so happy to have turned the corner now and know I'll just get stronger from here and I won't get hit with chemo again!!!!!! 

So, now it's time for MY summer to begin!   My summer has kind of sucked up to this point, but it's also been full of blessings!  It was kind of a "mixed bag".  With the help of my two sisters, Sheila and Kim, our pool is finally open and even though I haven't been in it yet, I've enjoyed sitting out there and watching others enjoy it.  And I couldn't resist sticking my feet in!

It was great to just spend some time outside watching everyone else enjoy the pool.  It did me a world of good!  And before my surgery, I plan to get in too!  I have to stay out of the hot sun while on chemo, so will have to wait until evening for my swim....but I WILL get in the pool before my surgery! 

Larry had helped to get the pool cleared up but we were having a lot of trouble with cloudiness.  Basically the water was safe but no one had been in it.  So, we needed people to come and jump in and stir it around!  Some family members were happy to help us out!  :=)

Here's my two "angels" who came over and helped get the deck cleaned off and swept and ready for swimming. 
Ok, straighten up girls.....the whole world will be able to see you!  :=)

For those of you who don't know them....this is my sister, Kim, and my sister, Sheila.  Of course you've seen a lot of Sheila already on my blog.....usually eating with me....LOL!

I have had other "angels" who have helped me too....with dishes, my classes, food, errands.....and believe me, when you go through something like this, you need the help!  It can be hard to just sit and watch others do your work, but you are very thankful for it.  I want to thank everyone who has helped me in any way.  I have also received cards and words of encouragement and have so appreciated them, as well.  So, if you have sent a card or called or sent me any message of encouragement, please accept my sincere thanks!  It has helped me more than you can imagine! 

"MY SUMMER" just began and I have surgery coming up on July 26.  Wow, it's coming sooooo fast!!!!  So, I have such a little bit of time to fit my summer into....17 more days!  Yikes!  So, I have to make the best of those 17 days!  Next Wednesday I'll be making a little trip to Columbus, Ohio to a Thirty One Convention.  I sell Thirty-One Gifts and had earned the convention for free and was soooo hoping I'd feel up to going.  Even though I know I'll tire faster than usual, I now feel confident that I'll be ok to go.  I'll be gone for several days with some other gals and plan to have some fun!  I've been to Longaberger conventions in the past, so I have a good idea what kind of fun to expect.  FUN, FUN, FUN!!!!

Then the following week, I will be taking another trip to Ohio with my good pals, Linda and Martha.  Linda recently visited a "House of Prayer" over there and is excited to take us to visit it.  It will only be an overnighter, but it will be so good to have some "girl time" with two of my bestest friends!

And outside of these trips, I'll just enjoy being able to get outside and do some every day summer stuff, including swimming and cooking out.  I've got a lot to do to pack my summer into 17 days! 

Then it will be time for my surgery....July 26....!  When I was so weak from the chemo I was so dreading it.  But now that I'm feeling better, I'm ready to get it done!  I will have a double masectomy with reconstruction.  It was a tough decision, as I could have chosen to only have a lumpectomy.  But, this will give me a better chance of no reoccurence, so I've opted to do everything I can to not go through this again!  It's no guarantee, but will cut my chances of reoccurence greatly.

Until next time.....ENJOY YOUR SUMMER!!!!!!