Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oncology Appointment.

Oh my goodness. What a day! We left the house at 8am and returned at 7:45pm. Ugh! I overdid it and I am literally lying in my bed all day tomorrow doing NOTHING. Working and watching TV is as much as I will do. I can’t wait for my mom to come over because my house is a mess. LOL.

Okay, so I am super tired but I want to give all the details I can about my appointment but I might miss A TON! But I will give you the important stuff.

First of all let me just thank those who have prayed for my handpicked doctors. I have been truly blessed with an amazing Breast Surgeon and Oncologist. God totally knew what He was doing when He paired us up. She is AMAZING!!! She came in the room, soft spoken, humble, reserved and very interested in me and my lump. She asked me about me, how long I have been married, how many kids, my job, when I found the tumor, what was my reaction, my fear, my concerns and my reservations about chemo. I LOVED THAT. When she asked me my main two fears of chemo, I started to cry. I said “my hair and the vision of my children watching me be sick in bed”. She went and got some more tissues because we ran out and I told her I was good and she turned around and said “no, I might need one too”. Dr. Obenchain really cared about me. I wasn’t just another patient. I was her new friend that I will see for a year on a weekly basis. So thank you Jesus for pairing me up with such amazing women!

Okay so here is my treatment plan. I first have to have 3 things done before chemo starts. I have to have a heart test to make sure my heart can handle this medicine, a pet scan to alleviate any “what if’s” and quick outpatient surgery to insert the port into my chest. This will be used to inject the chemo since my right arm can’t be used since I had lymph nodes removed and they don’t want to tear up my left veins so it’s easier to do a port. It’s a quick surgery…less than an hour. So..After those tests are done I will start the chemo. She said probably the 3rd week in October I will have my first round. So…depending on my heart tests will determine the medicine, but it’s basically 6 or 8 treatments. Once every 3 weeks.

Now because my tumor was estrogen negative, I have a different chemo that is separate from the 6-8 week treatment. I will receive that once a week. That is not nearly as harsh as the other treatment. So for one year, I will have chemo. Then I’m done.

Some other facts we found out. My tumor was graded twice on two different charactistics. When they removed my tumor they sent it to pathology and reviewed it deeper than they did when they did the biopsy of course. The grade came back as a Grade 3. This means that my tumor is aggressive. Was aggressive….haha, we cut that little sucker out.  Also, it was graded based on my protein receptors. You should have just a perfect amount of those. I have too many. So I will have medicine to block some of those receptors. All this sounds like mumble jumble right? Ya…after 2 hours…it did for me too.

Also I won’t be able to get my implants in till I’m done with my 6-8 treatment plan. Super sad. But whatever…I have my life..I’m not complaining.

Hair loss will happen about week 3 after my first treatment, and of course, I have to be super careful when I am on my “off” week because that is when my white blood count is at its lowest. Lots of sanitizer…no sick people…avoids germs, etc…

Anytime my body temputure rises to 100.4…I need to call the doctor. No fresh flowers due to the bacteria that I could breathe in if the water isn’t changed quick enough and no cat litter which that is taken care of.

You might wonder…how do I feel? Well….I feel blessed. I feel God has really given me great doctors. And I’m thankful. I am still emotional about the whole thing. Who wouldn’t be? But my support system is incredible and contagious. My desire in the next year is that Jesus would shine through me at each chemo treatment and people around me would crave the relationship that I have. That’s how I feel right now.

Game’s on. I’m ready to play and I’m ready to win. I’m ready to cut my hair, I’m ready to mentor other patients that are going through this and I’m ready to be a survivor.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Hi Everyone - Lisette Here (Gabbee's Sister),

I am putting together a Breast Cancer Basket for my sister Gabbee to raffle off at the "Del Webb Goes Pink - Breast Cancer Walk" on October 9th in Florence.  She is fundraising to help with medical expenses and loss of income during her personal journey with breast cancer.  I am looking for businesses who may be interested in donating coupons, free services or samples to include in the basket. OR if you would like to donate an item with Breast Cancer theme (like Pink Ribbon Pin, Pink Ribbon Water Bottle, etc.) you can do that too.  Breast Cancer items are all over since October is the month dedicated to BC Awareness.   If you are interested please contact me by FB, email: or phone: 480-430-9485.  I will need by 7th of October.  Thank you

"How do I feel about Tomorrow's Appointment?"

So I really want to talk about tomorrow and how I “feel” about the appointment with my oncologist but I will start with Dr. Admire's visit today.

So today I brought Hope with me. Each week is different because I know my friends will get a kick out of his office and the experience that goes with it. Last week Amy got to view my reconstruction for the first time with my husband and today Hope got to experience a drain tube pulled out of my body and to watch a boob expand. LOL

So….today I was praying that Dr. Admire would take my drains out. I was afraid he wasn’t going to just because I still have fluid but I was hoping it wasn’t that much fluid. I was also hoping that he would take the steri-strips off because…well I just wanted them off and nothing on my skin. I didn’t think he would fill them at all. I thought maybe a small chance, but I was not prepared for it. So we went there for our 11:30 appointment and I had a list of questions to ask.

Now let me now just modest I am. I hope I come off as modest as I talk about. However this experience has me showing my boobs to everyone. LOL…Well not men of course but my close friends. But even having people bathe me (full body) that is a big deal. Today when we were in the room waiting for the doctor, I had to put a gown on. Before all this happened I would ask my friends (even my sister or mom) to leave the room so I can change into my gown. Today when the M.A. asked, I didn’t think twice. I took off my clothing, and put the gown on. LOL…Hope has seen them many many times. No more modesty there. LOL.

Ok so he came in and said “ok, how do you feel?” Good I answered. So he said “ok, let’s take a look”. Gown dropped and he was happy with the look of them and the drain log we had going. So he said “great, we can take both drains out and we can even do a fill”. Ahhhhhh really? I totally didn’t think this was going to happen. He also said “a little” fill. Well let me just tell you that he filled me with 120cc’s each boob. Hope and Cory literally watched my boob grow from an A to a B. LOL! And the tubes coming out….OUCH. But doable. Pinch kind of like feeling. Actually it’s basically like they are pulling a tube out of your body. LOL. Not an easy way to say it. I guess after the surgery I just went through, I could take a simple drain pulling. I’m a trooper now. :) So, to fill the expander, he used a magnet finder cuz the expander has a magnet where the needle is inserted. He found it, marked it and then injected a needle which was attached to a large syringe filled with saline. I asked all my questions and he answered. Overall good visit. HOWEVER….when the fill was done…I seriously felt like Dolly Parton. LOL!!! I SO DO NOT LOOK THAT WAY….I probably look like I did before on a good “bra” day. LOL. But I felt like I was going to pop. It was crazy. This WHOLE new experience was crazy. Hope got up after the doctor left and came over to me. I looked at her and I was like “ahhhh, they are huge, I don’t want any more fillers, I’m done”. She had to feel and then feel hers. LOL!! We compared and we laughed and talked about how perky and wonderful it was going to be to buy bathing suits this summer. LOL!!! I looked over at my husband and said “sorry hunny do you want to look too” HaHa! This is my new life….it’s kind of funny. I have to admit.

We left the doctors and I called & texted my peeps with the good news about my drains and joked about my new size. I go next week for another fill which I am anxious about because I don’t want them to be much bigger but he is just stretching my skin and I know they won’t be as big as they are now, or will be next week. But I think if I have the choice I will tell him next week to stop, but he is one of the top surgeons in the state so I am going to trust him to fill until I will be the size of my choice once the implants go in. It might be totally different.

Okay…so the question on the title of my Blog. “How do I feel about tomorrow?” Good question. I really didn’t think about it because each time I do, I feel anxious. However, my friend Teresa asked me tonight on text “so how do you feel about tomorrow”. My answer seemed so quick and so real and I wanted to share it with you. I feel equipped and prepared for my treatment regime. I feel peaceful and comforted. I feel like God will be in that room with me and holding my hand and saying “I know you are scared, but I am with you”. I feel like “Jeremiah 29:11, for I know the plans I have for you.” I feel like I have been overwhelmed with friends and family supporting me that if I can get through a double mastectomy I can get through chemo and losing my hair. My friends are so supportive. My family is my rock. My husband has kissed me each day telling me how much he loves me and how beautiful I am and how proud he is of my progress. My kids hug me at my waist even more so now than they ever did. They ask how I feel. They pray for me every day. These are the things that are going into my doctor’s visit tomorrow. At times I feel so distant from God, but I feel His presence today and more so tomorrow. I am so thankful that he gets to come in the visit with me. When I hear my chemo regime and if it’s the same as we think, then I know I can do this. If it’s different because my tumor was smaller than expected which put me at a Stage 1 and my 1st treatment might not be as harsh or as long, then I can deal with that. If I don’t lose my hair during chemo, then I will rejoice. I will actually rejoice either way. Why? Because I am in survivor mode. I survived both of my breasts getting removed. I survived sitting in my room for 2 weeks recovering hearing my family tell me how horrible I looked when I came out of surgery and how my color and my personality comes back each day. I survived chest pain, drains, showers from people I have only known for less than a year, I survived, people taking care of my kids, cleaning their rooms, doing my dishes, my laundry, my shopping, making meals, my meds…..on and on and on. My controlling personality has survived that. And I am still recovering. I am still doing that. All in God’s name. I asked him to use me and I get messages from people all the time telling me how much I encouraged them and reminded them where to find their comfort. He is using me. And I am willing. I am at peace about tomorrow because of all of this. Because He gives me that peace.

I went into my breast surgeon’s office 7 weeks ago thinking I was going to get a simple lumpectomy and maybe some radiation and would be done. I walked out 2 hours later, with a possible double mastectomy and chemo for 20 months because my cancer is not hormone driven which means I am negative. Usually you want to hear negative but not in this case. Positive is what I would like to hear, but unfortunately my cancer didn’t work that way. I am not a cancer carrier, my cancer is not hormone driven so…..? Where did it come from? Ugh! I hate that question. But I will never know. Not now anyway. So when I walked out of her office that day I felt like my whole world just crumbled before me. Each time I thought about taking off my boobs, I’d cry. Each time I would think about my hair falling off I’d cry. Now…I have two new perky boobs. One step down…a few more to go. I also received some beautiful wigs that have given me some confidence if I lose my hair. Is it the new boobs and wigs that are giving me the peace about tomorrow’s appointment? NOPE! Jesus is my comfort. He is my All in All. I find comfort in nothing else. He does provide those things as blessings to me however I find my joy in Him. I can only rejoice in the fact that I am here with my husband, kids, family and friends. That is how I feel about my appointment tomorrow.

My prayer is that my drive and my passion continue each day. God is so much bigger than this. I hope that each blog, each picture of my smile, each day that I survive this disease is a testimony to you.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Good Ending

Well today was…..I guess just another regular day in the Bagby Household of recovery. Nothing fancy happening. I got my normal shower by my wonderful nurses Debbie and Tiffany this morning then laid on my bed with my laptop trying to work. I ended up falling asleep due after my pain pill while my mom cooked breakfast, did laundry, cleaned up my house and fed Isaac (Bella slept at Hope’s). She kept coming in to tell me that I was catching flies. LOL….Yup…pain meds will do that…but as long as I don’t feel like my chest is caving in, I don’t care what I catch. LOL. After a shower and momma’s homemade French toast….there is no better way to fall asleep.

Then I was blessed to have my Bestie Rachelle come hang out with me all day. I have known Rachelle for 6 years. I love her. We have totally opposite personalities which makes us great. She loves to just sit and be cozy and talk. We probably started several conversations and didn’t finish any of them LOL but it was so nice to just lay in my bed and talk with my friend. Then we had lunch with Amy and Isaac (lots of leftovers) then Amy left to do HW. Isaac read his bible and I had another pain med so I took a nap and Rachelle read her book. It was a nice calm day.

Hope came for my evening shift. She works from home which is a blessing because she could just bring her work here. I actually enjoyed watching her work to get to know in more detail what she does. She is so smart and an amazing educator. I’m blessed to have her as a friend and for her to share her knowledge with me to help give me my kids what they deserve in education. Then Alice, Aubrey and Sophia made us dinner and Aubrey brought it over. It was SOOOO YUMMY. Hope fed the kids, cleaned the dishes, did laundry, cleaned my bathroom, and probably so much other stuff that I have no idea about. She even made a list of what I need in the house. Am I blessed or what?? If this isn’t God working through these women, then I don’t know what it is.

This evening my brother and his family came over. It was chaos but deep down it warms my heart. Through this, my brother has softened his heart and showed so much compassion. He still is crazy which I actually don’t think I would change but he does care for me. He was teasing me that Hope was doing so much for me and that she or (they) are creating a monster, but yet when she left, he wouldn’t let me get up and then started doing things for me. Stinker, he just wants to torture his little sister. I asked him and my sister-in-law if they wanted to see the “operation aftermath?” Before this all happened I said that I was not showing people. LOL…I show everyone. Well its been all women but I am not ashamed actually because I have something there. Its not caved in like you would think. I have expanders which were filled a bit so I am about an A cup. Of course they are not gorgeous and look different, but they are a lot better than they could be. I knew he was nervous and if you know my family this is SO NOT something we would EVER do. My brother stood there with his eyes squinting as if he was watching a horror movie but didn’t know when he would be scared. Once I took my dressing off, he was like “what”!!! You have boobs! They are normal! Ewl, Im grossed out now, Im leaving!!! LOL!!...It was funny. We laughed and that is what I would rather have. Laughter over them, rather than tears.

We then just visited and I surpassed my pill and my due date for bed, but overall it was worth it. I enjoy sitting around with my brother (then my sister came) and we had all of our kids there. That lasted about 30 minutes and then I said BYE! HaHa….3 siblings, spouses and 8 kids. Yup, crazy! Time for pain meds and bed!

My husband came home pooped. Poor guy. He is next to me snoring away and I feel so bad. He said he could barely keep his eyes open at work. He gets up twice a night to give me meds (when he doesn’t forget) HaHa…and I get naps during the day and he is on his feet caring for others with a 2 hour drive as well. He did receive a blessing today though and has off on Wednesday which is my appointment with my Plastic Surgeon. If I get my tubes out, I really want him there. Its funny because when he leaves, I feel homesick. Something is missing. I don’t show him how much I need and love him nearly as much as I need to. I need to figure out something that will make up for it. He needs my words of affirmation and that is not my gift.  Any ideas?

Anyway, I am going to rest in God’s word tonight. Thank you for everything once again. Oh my, I can’t even think of doing this alone. I have people coming at 6:30am to shower and take care of me. I am beyond blessed.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Another day of recovery in the Bagby Home

So my in-laws left today. A Sad day for us. We had a great time though. Didn’t do much just talked and I was able to be encouraged in a different way from Paula being that she went through what I just have. I spent most of the time in the recliner being catered to. It’s so easy for me, LOL but yet very hard to not take care of your own home. Control thing I guess. LOL.

After they left, my mom came over and gave us some homemade meatball sandwiches. YUM!!! I loved those when I was a kid and it felt like a good home cooked meal today. She stayed and we just sat around and chatted. Cory took an extra day off because I need my husband. I can have everyone else in the room but my husband is the most important for me. I remember when I came out of surgery and I was drugged up I kept saying “Can I see my husband” over and over again. Although he tortured me this morning with no pain meds, I just love him to pieces. I just wish I can squeeze him tight and snuggle into his arms but I can’t. I just can’t lay a certain way or push up on my chest just yet but soon. I will find a way tonight. Even his wonderful biceps being around me will do. HaHa…That’s a private joke that some will get. I will tell you guys another time.

The kids went to my nephew’s bday party and Cory and I watched Clueless. He said he wouldn’t but I guess it was pulling him in. LOL…I love that movie. I truly want to go out and buy fuzzy cute pens and adorable clothes. And have long blonde hair. Hmmmm maybe I just will go blonde during chemo. LOL

Tonight I was on the phone with Nurse Debbie checking in for the night and all of a sudden I hear THUMP THUMP..BOOM BOOM BOOM….and a 9 yr old crying. Now before that happened I told Cory I was waiting a bit longer than usual to take my pain meds because I can deal with the pain at that moment. But after hearing that sound, I sprinted and ran up those stairs behind Cory and the waiting time for pain meds was OUT THE DOOR. Well my adorable crazy son…decided to get out of the shower, with a towel around him, sit on a stool and scoot from the bathroom to his bedroom. Well I guess the stool got too close to the stairs and the towel got stuck under the wheel and down the stairs he went on the stool. Cory was yelling, I was consoling and holding my chest because boy….running 6 days after surgery wasn’t SMART. But my kids come before me. I have pain meds to take care of that. Isaac was ok Thank GOD. He basically somersaulted down the stairs with a stool. LOL…Oh boy. Some Tylenol and he was good.

Anyway, we had dinner tonight. Isaac’s teacher Mrs. Walter brought us lasagna! Yum!! I love her and am blessed to have her has my friend and educator for my child. We ate and then Skype with my dad and stepmom. I showed them my drains but my dad turned his head. Poor guy…I will torture him and make him look one day.

I did make the decision to stay home tomorrow from church. I do have a great outfit that I could have worn and tons of people to come and do my hair/makeup but I decided that God wants me to heal and I would be on emotional overload at church. SO Cory is taking the kids and my sister is staying with me. Cory is putting the service on speaker phone so I can listen and have church at home. Technology is great! I hope it works as well as it sounds. Goodnight all. Have a blessed Sunday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Its Gabbee Blogging

Geez, what a rollercoaster of a few days I have had. Just to clarify some stuff that I posted on FB I hadn't had a bowel movement in 5 days. I know that is TMI but I really dont care. LOL. So I tried EVERYTHING under the sun. I mean EVERYTHING. I even drank that stuff you drink before you get a colonoscopy. NOTHING. So My adorable wonderful Godsend of a nurse gave me a suppository. NOTHING. She came in the next morning and I was in my husbands arms crying because I was scared what this all meant. What was the next step. I was eating 3x a day and all this "crap" was building up inside me and just sitting. So Debbie came in with an enemia. YAY. LOL...Not what I wanted but whatever. Within 15 minutes.....TADA! 5 days of stuff came. I haven't had another movement since so enemia might be my new best friend.

I have been SUPER emotional. I have joked about this surgery, cried and even said I didn't care but bottom line is...I do. They arent the same and they arent mine. I do have something. Maybe a small A size but no nipple. I'll be honest, its hard for me. One minute I laugh, the next minute I am crying. I went to safeway with Amy yesterday and felt like yuck. An ugly ducking. No chest, hunched over, no make-up and a frilly shirt that wasn't filled up with boobs. Im trying to hard to find my beauty in Christ during this time. I really am.

I have been crying for several reasons. The loss of my boobs, the change of my life, the pain, the discomfort, the way I have to lay down, the way I have to hug my kids, the things I can not do, the thought of living my new life of cancer...all of this still is here. Yes my cancer is removed, but that doesn't mean I am cancer free. I am on my way to be cancer free. But I am still a cancer patient.

Today we showed our kids. I just felt it was time. I was tired of having to close the doors so they wouldn't walk in during showers or bandage changing. So we pulled the kids into the bathroom and I explained what to expect before I pulled my wrap off. When I did my son he responded "wow, it looks like a donut w/out a hole in the middle" LOL!!! We laughed as a family and it felt GREAT. I asked them if they had questions and basically they just wanted to know how long the tubes would be in and when they will look normal again. Overall Im happy I told them and they reacted as well as I knew they would.

Its Friday and Church is Sunday. I will be complelty honest with you. I NEED to be there but Im afraid to go. Im afraid to be starred at. Im afraid to look different. I want the perfect outfit that doesn't show my new (temporary) image. This might sound crazy to some, but its my heart. Doing my hair and my make-up is exhausting. I dont want to walk in looking ill. I know Jesus doesn't care what I look like and I am in His word seeking and getting reassurance in His word on what he see's me as. Im sad that the world has made our image so important on the outside.

Anyway, thank you for understanding me and understanding our visitor request. Last night I overdid it and I didn't have my husband home. He took his parents and the kids to visit their Great Grandma for the day. I had Amy stay with me and had some visitors in between but about 9pm I was in a ton of pain. I called my plastic surgeon and he said it all sounded normal. I had Debbie (my nurse) come check me out and she noticed that the drain was a bit clogged and could be the cause of the pain and swelling.

This morning I woke up feeling pain of course just because I am stiff from staying in one position but I was excited to get some homemade biscuits and gravy. I took a shower, my pain pill and sat at the table. About 5 minutes after we ate, I ran to the bathroom and vomitted. YUCK. Thank you Cory for chasing after me and holding my hair. After I was done, I looked up and said "I love you". He is just GREAT. He could have his head up his butt at times LOL....(if you know Cory, you know what I mean) but he is the best for me.

We are going to have our last family dinner tonight with my in-laws and just rest in God's word. Worship music is playing now and I just love the comfort it gives me. At times I am so grateful that I dont even know how to Thank Him. There is comfort and joy in His name and tender mercy in His name.

I pray that through this trial, my relationship with Him is shining even when I am crawling barely getting up, He is cheering me on. Today while my mother-in-law prepares dinner and gets everything set up, I am going to dwell in God's word. Something I haven't done in 5 days which is driving me nuts. I have either zoned out on FB, meds or sleep. Well Im up and am feeling His peace, I just want to keep reading it.

It was nice to catch up with you guys again. Here is my specific prayer request. That I find beauty in Christ and not others around me. That he fills me up with such beauty that I radiate his Glow no mattter if I am flat chested or not.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Still Recovering - Day 7

Hello Everyone, Lisette Here (Gabbee's Sister) blogging by request.  So I wanted some things to say 1st then I will try to continue where I left off.

A reminder that if you will be visiting Gabbee during recovery from surgery or during chemo please keep in mind that if your feeling a cold coming on or are sick or have kids that are sick if you can not come and visit as to keep Gabbee's germs at a minimun.  Even though she loves to see everyone we don't want her to get sick. 

THIS WEEKEND PLEASE NO VISITORS:  She will be spending the last days with her family and gearing up for next week with Cory back to work and kids home from school and recovering on her own. 

In regards to visitation, seems like the best times for Gabbee is mid morning or late afternoon.  She takes these meds that really can knock her out so if you do visit if you can keep your visit to around 30min that would be appreciated.  She get's tired very easily and still needs lots of rest. You can text me 480-430-9485 or Gabbee to see what works best for that day.

Thank you in advance for understanding! :)

Okay so I wanted to say Thank You again to everyone for your support and continued prayers.  Also I appreciate when I posted a list of some items Gabbee needed that within a few hours she had every item.  You guys ROCK!

So let's begin where I left off, On monday Cory's Mom and Dad arrived and when Cory's mom Paula went in the room to see Gabbee they embraced and shared lots of tears.  Paula was diagonsed with breast cancer 5 years ago this September and Praise God she is a survivor!  It has been great having them here because they are helping with emotional support for the family, taking care of the kids and househould for them.  Which is a blessing!  My mom, Amy and myself still pop in and help out giving Cory's parents a break as well.  A mega Thank You to Debbie Jones for taking care of my sister, she has washed her, medicated her and got her to go potty.  I would give you the details but I think you get the picture. Yeah Debbie!

Gabbee is still very sore and in pain but each day she is getting better.  Yesterday I even took her out and we walked around Wally World for about an hour.  Even though it was very exhasting for my sister it was good to get her moving.  She is now only laying in her bedroom for night time sleeping only.  My mom gave her a recliner that she can use to sit outside in the living room with the family, that is very helpful.

Gabbee did get her banadages removed yesterday and she called me to tell me she wanted to show me, I wasn't sure what to expect, well actually I was expecting not a nice scene.  But I must admit it wasn't so bad, they look good well as best as can be, now she is able to wear a bra but still has the drains in until her next visit with Dr. Admire.

Okay so again we are going to PRAISE GOD, why because the genetic test came back NEGATIVE and the pathology report came back NEGATIVE which means no additional cancer found and her lump was smaller than they thought.  Now this does not change the fact that she will still need chemo it just may change how much and what type of chemo she will need.   Also after recieving this news even though she is happy and I am too you still wonder okay so where did the cancer come from, was it something I ate, was it where I lived and so on and so on.  Plus this does not take Bella, Isaac, Elisa, Niko or myself out of the woods, we now have Breast Cancer in the family and will have to make sure we do all we can to prevent it happening to one of us.  Crazy isn't it!  Well I think so, Cancer Stinks!

Well that is all I have for now peeps, I just got home and am tired but wanted to make sure I did what I promised my sister and that was to blog for her.  Well Love ya Gabbee and stay strong, one step, one day at a time!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day # something...LOL I forgot

It is taking every ounce of energy to blog this but I hope its worth it. I debated on bloggin because I am not even sure I want to re-live this weekend over again but you have been by my side every step of the way so Its the least I can do.

Well i wont go back to every detail of how it went on Friday BUT I will tell you how God was working in my life on this chaotic day. First off, the night before surgery I cried myself to sleep. I couldn't imagine I was going through this. We prayed and then closed our eyes. I fell asleep at 11:30 and thought I would wake up with major anxiety. NONE! I repeat NONE! People made comments on how "calm" I was. I did some testing, and then they got me prepped for surgry and I had to wait in the pre-op room for 2 hours. I had tons of company. I wasnt nervous, anxious or scared. I was just sitting in the pre-op room hanging with my friends hooked up to the IV.

Please know that the calmness, lack of anxiety and nervousness all came from your prayers. "Where 2 or more are gathered" and let me tell you...I have over 400 Facebook friends so you can imagine how my FB was going wild. I didn't want it to stop. Because that what was keeping me going.

Well it was time to head up to surgery and the doc said "Ok, hugs and kisses" so I kissed my husband, my mom, my siser in law and my brother who was sobbing in my arms. Thats when I lost my composure.  I headed up, the doc told me to tell me how many kids I had and that is the last I remember. 4 hours late I woke up in pain, and total cofusion.

My sister blogged all the in between but I want to concentrate on now.

Now Im in pain. I got my bandages off today, but drains are still in. They will come out in 2 weeks. I saw my new boobs or "expanders" and well they aren't model like but they are atleast something. They are temporary.

I will get my final results from my lymph nodes testing this week plus my gene testing. This is a big week. Im just trying to rest and get better. I have a long road ahead of me.

I will keep you posted. Thank you for all of your prayers, support and gifts. Sometimes I have to ask twice who it was from bcuz I was drugged up but I do eventually remember. Thank you

I love u all!

Monday, September 20, 2010

This is Mr Bagby

Wow what a crazy life this has turned into!  There has been more excitement in theses last two months than in 10 years of my Life, and yes I have had a pretty exciting life at times :).

As you see by the post this is not Gabbee this is her husband. I am by no means a very good writer but I'll do my best.

My wife and I love you all, we would be struggling without the friends like you. some of you might think "I have not done anything for you, or says what I have done has been very small".  Let me reassure you all, the simplest hello or word of encouragement is a very large thing it lets us know you care, and I know all of you have been praying. So again thank you you support has made a difference. Old friend we know you are far away but we feel your love and you words of encouragement are a blessing. Local  Friend Thank you for stopping your lives and hanging out with me and calling me at the Hospital that was a challenging couple of days.

Everyone can visit don't be scared to stop by she does sleep a lot but when she is awake she likes to see her friends. Don't worry about overstaying your welcome we will let you know when she needs her rest please do text before you come of course.

To my helpers last night thank you for taking over and letting me rest I was running on overdrive and I would have went till I dropped if you have not saved me.

Special Thanks to Debbie Jones who left her husband back in Florida on vacation to fly back early to help me you are a amazing woman and Dee is a lucky man.

Amy your a great friend  thanks for staying the night with Gabbee and letting me sleep last night.

Hope you are also a great friend the snack thing is working great by the way.

Rachelle thanks for taking the kids.  Paula the hotel was a blessing. Roger the cain is already being used and the picture is haing in our room. So many of you to thank i can not rember so we will do it this way Thank you to all who have donated sacerficed gave gifts or sent meals.

To Gabbees new friend KIKI. I have never met you but your blogs and text and experence has helped us. I have Thanked Susan Padilla for telling me about you.

Love Cory Bagby

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Recovering - Day 3 - Finally Home

Hello Again, Lisette here (Gabbee's Sister) going to do my best to keep everyone updated. :)
So I am just going to start where I left off I think that would be best way to begin.
Gaby was transferred on Saturday around 11am to the hospital side, they gave her a big room and it was much more comfortable than where she was at.  The nurse was very nice, we started out by asking we will be having lots of visitors is that okay?  She said sure we don't mind over here there is not set # or schedule for your visitors.  Yeah!  So we get the room redecorated and I started rearranging chairs and tables for company (I know I am a wacko but it's in my genes - Me, My Mom and My Sister we are all like this - haha).  Now I feel settled and hopefully my sister did too - LOL.  Amy and I did our best making sure Gabbee kept walking every hour and did her breathing every 10min, she was not happy but we didn't care, she needed to do what we said or else. hee hee!  Gabbee did do very well but got tired quickly and the pain and discomfort was still there but her spirit was good.  Gabbee is very excited that she has cleavage, how does she know this b/c she keeps peeking at her bandages.  I feel like it's a scene from pretty woman when she goes to the opera (look there's a band) Gabbee:  look I have cleavage, look I have little lumps!  Um, Gabbee Dr's order's no touching bandages, so STOP peeking!  Due to the bandages being wrapped so tightly she is very sore, and itchy!  She really likes when we give her scratches's!  I left around 7pm to pick up Bella and Isaac from Rachelle's house in Gilbert.  Thanks Rachelle for taking them I really appreciate you giving me the time to spend with my sister!  So I don't really know what happened from then on.  I do know that my sister text me early am and said she fell asleep about 9pm - 12, 12-3, 3:30 - 6:30.  She is on a pain regimen which is helping.  Dr. Admire came in around 8am and discharged her, she would be home around 11:30.  Cory did it all helping her to the car and heading there long journey back to Florence.  Cory as your sister-in -law I must tell you, you are one amazing husband!  We were all in church when we received a text from my sister saying 10min till we are home and Cory is exhausted physically and emotionally, need help!  So me and my mom left church and headed to her house.  You could just tell when we walked in they both were just overwhelmed.  Then Amy and Debbie arrived and we all got them settled, got the med's where they needed to be and schedules, redecorated her room with all her new presents, did some food shopping and so on.  Gabbee got very emotional when she saw her kids but they were very loving and couldn't wait to help.  Especially Bella she thrives off of helping her mommy!  Everyone being here for her was a huge help for them to all transition into the new household routine.  Elisa my daughter, cleaned her room, cleaned her bathroom and even painted her Aunt's Toes.  After everyone left, I am still here helping her prepare for bedtime before they are all alone.  Gabbe is still in pain it comes and goes in waves, but when it comes it comes hard.  So today is almost over, the house is clean, the kids are fed, Dad and son are on the couch watching TV, Bella and I are in the DR, Bella is coloring an "I Love You Book" for her mom and I am blogging, oh yeah and Mommy is sleeping, for now!  Before I say goodnight, there are a few things Gabbee needs and before we purchase if anyone has an item we could borrow that would be great!

1.  Baby Monitor (this will help when she is sleeping, and we are in the other room and don't want to bother her, she can just call us)
2.  Bell (this is so when she needs us she can ring the bell into the baby monitor incase we did not hear her the 1st time - ha ha only kidding)
3. Step Stool (this helps her get into the bed and out of the bed easier)
4. Cane (she still needs support when walking around b/c she is still getting dizzy, this will help her feel more stable)
5. Neck Pillow (like they use on airplanes - b/c she has to sleep sitting up we are having issues keeping her head/neck comfortable in that position)
6. Timer (she is taking many meds at all different times so this would be helpful to make sure we don't miss anything)

Also I wanted to mention about Visiting Hours as of Tomorrow Cory's Parents will be here for a week helping them.  Gabbee would still love to see everyone, if you can just text Gabbee or Me (480-430-9485) we will give you an idea of when the best time will be for that day.  Hope that Helps, again Thank You to everyone!  God Bless!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Surgery Update

This is Lisette blogging for Gabbee.  As Gabbee went into surgery she had a overwhelming sense of peace.  She constantly said she felt the prayers of everyone and that she was so appreciative of all the support.  She came through surgery with the intital tests on her lymph nodes all clear NO CANCER.  Praise the Lord!!!!! We will be waiting three days to see what the pathology report says to have a 100% guarantee.  When we were told that we could go see Gabbee she was totally loopy (which of course is expected) she asked me to sit by her side by tapping her hand on the edge of her bed and took my hand and held it to her chest and she just wept.  My heart went out to her b/c I knew the shock of what just happened was hitting her in small wave due to the wearing off of the pain meds.  She kept her eyes closed most of the time while we visited but she could hear everything we were saying.  Gabbee was very uncomfortable and in pain, she expressed it felt like someone was sitting on her chest, she had dry mouth and her lips were chapped.  Her skin was pale but eventually her color started coming back and her lips were getting pink again.  We had a rough night with the night nurse, Gabbee's heart rate kept going up and the nurse felt it was b/c she was being stimulated by her visitors (whatever!).  Gabbee had alot of questions did not feel like herself and I think that is why, she just did not sit sill, she was worried too that she was going to be all alone, she had no controll which also freaked her out.  Anyway the night nurse finally had enough and let us know we needed to go!  I did not care for the night nurse, neither did my sister or Cory, actually none of us did.  She did not have compassion, grrr! So Hope, My mom and myself decided to stay at a hotel across the street, which was a very good idea b/c we were able to be back to the hospital by 7am (which the night nurse I'm sure just loved) our point just to be here when Dr. Admire arrived.  I wanted to make sure it was understood that she was not ready and will not be going home today, period! LOL  So as soon as we arrived the night nurse immediately stopped us and said she just gave Gabbee her pain med's and she had a rough night.  Um, I don't think so I will be seeing my sister I wanted to say but I knew the shift change was coming and would be the polite girl that I am and let it slide (hee hee).  Okay so Nurse Toni (a woman) is our day nurse I really like her, she has compassion and her goal to is to get Gabbee up and moving around, the more she lays in bed the harder and longer her recovery will be.  She has shown us how to change the drainage pumps, explained about this breath exercise she has to do as to not get a pneumonia, given us tips on helping her not be nausea and so on.  Now that is a nurse!  Dr. Admire arrived at about 8am, dressed in his Saturday attire, nice Puma Golf Shirt, and Puma Shorts with matching Puma Belt.  He was sweet and said everything went great during surgery he was very happy and said she can stay the extra day (good b/c I thought I might have to go all NY on him -lol).  He checked her out, Gabbee asked some ?'s and he said he would be back in the am, and off he went to enjoy his weekend.  So Gabbee got dressed into some nice pajama's looked at all of us sitting in the room and said Ok I'm ready for presents! LOL  Her room I will mention is filled with Purple and Pink balloons, Purple and Pink Ribbon and Flowers!  Her 1st gift was from Amy and it is this cute shirt from "Tina's Treasurers" I have to have her post a pic.  Hope then gave her a beautiful "Angel of Strength"!  Then Hope and Amy got her a beautiful Breast Cancer Pink Bible, inside there are certain scriptures highlighted in Pink for moments in her journey that she can reflect too.  On the front cover they had it engraved "Pastor Gabbee", she absolutely LOVED IT!  My mom then gave her a gift from "Tina's Treasurers" as well, my sister just looked at my Mom and you could see the excitement in Gabbee's eyes, she received a baseball cap with medium brown hair (this gift was requested by Gabbee in the hope's that someone would get for her) Gabbee just LOVED IT! She tried it on and it looked just like her real hair, we showed her how she can wear cute pig tails with it and it tied back, she got a mirror and really liked how she looked.  Whew! I'm so glad she was happy!   Okay so now we are just waiting to be transferred to the other end of the hospital to a room and get settled.  She is sleeping now but is still in pain and trying to get used to her new norm.  I will do my best to keep everyone informed I have given you all the info.  Right now if you plan to visit I think it is best to visit her after 1pm today.  If you have any questions you can reach me at 480-430-9485.  Thanks everyone for your continued support and prayers! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Last Day Of My Natural Born Boobs

Ahhh, so much has happened in the last few days and I haven't really posted. Maybe because I haven't been inspired or maybe I just haven't felt that the natural things that were going on in my life weren't "blogable". LOL....We had some ups and downs this week. Just emotions gone crazy. Reality once again of this awful disease affecting my family and those around me including myself. Sometimes I try to put myself on the outside looking in and I just can't. I know its not my job but I want to try and understand what everyone is going through but the energy that requires that is far to much for me to handle. So...I guess Its good that I laid low for a few days. Gathered my thoughts together now preparing myself for tomorrow.

Last night however was a very encouraging night. I had our Pastoral Staff from Mosaic and my family come lay hands on me and pray for a successful surgery, prayer for healing, prayer for comfort, prayer for strength and prayer for everything in between. :) I was very encouraged and blessed to have that time of prayer as a family of God before I undergo what is by far the most emotional thing I have experienced.

Today I am trying to keep busy just to keep my mind occupied. I leave at 5 to meet Cory in Scottsdale so we can get checked into the hotel but before that we will have dinner with John and Amy and then enjoy some chocolate covered strawberries. ALONE.  HaHa! :)

As I am going through my day I find myself zoning one moment and laughing the next. I actually feel less anxious than I anticipated. I mean..don't get me wrong, I am nervous..I have never had surgery before but I feel more peaceful than I was worried about. That only comes from Jesus. I am surrounded by prayer and a supportive family. People keep telling me that they know I am going to beat this. I think Im starting to believe it. LOL...Of course I have my fears but they are not of God so I have to keep pushing those thoughts out of my mind so I can think positively. I don't know the result of this..but I can only pray that I am a survivor and my "medical" chances show a positive role in that case.

My specific prayer request is that cancer has not infected my lymph nodes. And also for when I wake up, I respond as Sleeping Beauty did in the story. Beautiful, Glorious and rested. :) Sounds silly but that is my request. :)

I won't be able to blog before I go into surgery and I wont be blogging till I get home (atleast) but Facebook is always my other option. Thanks to my IPHONE. :) Maybe I will let my sister blog my update for those I do not know on Facebook. :)

So Im off to get some work done, and spend time with my kids before I leave them for a few days.

This is the day we have been waiting for. 7 weeks after my diagnosis, my cancer will finally be taken out. No more lump. :) Just two expanders and me. Maybe my new blog title can be My Expanders & I. LOL....

Also, I got my shirt that I created. Not really created...but I had a vision and Scott from artizen organics designed it based on my vision. He is awesome. You can order a shirt online and a percent will go back to us. I hope you can find comfort in the shirt. I know I do.

I love you guys and I look forward to waking up to a good report. :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Surgery Information (Revised Location Address)

Hi All,

Tons of people have been asking about my surgery and location, so I thought I would post the information.

Virginia Piper Surgery Center
9007 E. Shea Blvd
Scottsdale, Az 85260
Surgery is at 11:30 on Friday September 17th.

Also a BIG THANK YOU to everyone that purchased a Breast Cancer Gold Canyon Candle. We did great, raising $77.00!! If you are interested in buying one you can still do it! A minimum 10 item order is needed before an order can be placed. Please contact Hope Terhaar at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 45 "Overtaken with Anxiety"

Ugh, I have this OVERWHELMING anxiety. I just took a pill so hopefully it will kick in so I can sleep tonight. I laid down next to Cory explaining my thought process but of course I woke him up and he is answering me and then falling back alseep. GRUGH! I HATE THAT! I know he is tired, but I need to talk. :( So I got up with attitude and came to blog.

So I started to have fear about Friday. No duh right? Then I checked out my friend KiKi's blog which is a good thing...but it just is reality that I think I underplay sometimes. I wonder what it is like to see this situation from the outside in? I wonder if I have this much anxiety on Monday night, how will I be on Thursday night or the day of? I also wonder...if I dont eat for atleast 8 hours prior to surgery and then no food or drink all day Friday, how will I not vomit up all those pain meds? Dont I need food? I also want to know what type of chemo will I have since my cancer is not hormone driven which puts me in the negative status. Will my cancer be anywhere else other than my "lump". Will I know where I am when I wake up? Ugh, Im probably totally over playing this all, but for someone that has never had surgery before I am kind of freaked out. I pushed a 9lb baby out but apparently getting drugged up before all this happens is much more fearful than having a baby. I guess I rather be in pain giving life to a baby than getting my breasts removed. :(

Im sorry that this blog is sooooo out there but these are my thoughts right now and this is what my blog is for. Sometimes I dont even know what to pray for other than peace. Peace, Peace, Peace, Comfort, Comfort, Comfort. Last night I did pray for the PERFECT NURSE. I did notice that I kept praying for clarity in the beginning of all of this and that was shown to so I guess that is what I can pray for. A clear, precise surgery with no aprehensions from the doctors.

I have SOOOOOOOOOO MANY thoughts running through my head. Why am I so scared of all a sudden? GRUGH! I start to think about chemo. Will my drug be different because my cancer is not hormone driven? Did I say that already? I promise that this is not the meds talking. This is truly my thought process. I just need to take one step at a time. Surgery...healing...then chemo. Im always trying to be prepared....have a plan of action...a schedule. But I feel like I am turning around in circles and nothing is being achomplished. In my home especially. The kids rooms were cleaned top to bottom today and I threatened their life if they messed them up. (not really)  but I did put the fear of something into them, to keep them clean. I want everything clean when I get home. A clean house makes me happy. A messy, disasterous house makes me frantic and cranky. I want my house in order before surgery so when I come home and I have everyone and their neighbor coming in my home to tend to my house, my kids, my husband at times....I will not think twice about the tidiness of my home.

Man...this totally sucks. I imagined myself walking outside of the surgery center..and my family/friends looking at me thinking "how did this happen, when did this happen, look how fast it happened." Well I guess not fast because its been 7 weeks since the diagnosis. AHHHHHHHHHH that is pure torture. However...God has the perfect timing. I do believe that. He chose September 17th. I will learn to accept it.

I wonder how Cory is going to do. I think about my family in the waiting room for all those hours. UGH, I can't imagine that. If I smoked, I'd probably smoke a pack or two....if I drank I'd probably be sipping from my flask. But I dont think anyone that is in the waiting room will be doing those things...well maybe a few. LOL...but Im praying that they are finding comfort in God's word at that moment, what I really should be doing now. I feel like the more I am honest with God and my true fears, the more peaceful I feel. I'll be honest though...death is not a far thought in my head. It comes and goes. The thought of leaving my children, something going wrong in surgery, finding out my cancer spread, or it coming back...I dont know...but it causes a knot in my throat and tears to roll down my eyes. It hurts so much to even think about leaving them. I KNOW every mom reading this blog understands me. I just dont want them to be confused on why this happened when I am telling them that Mommy is going to be ok. Im just going to get my "boobs removed so they can get the cancer out of my body" and I will be better. Is that wrong? Am I supposed to be saying something else. GRUGH! I don't know. I have so many fears that I dont even want to share..becuase they will sound insane. Its just something that I need to work through.

Oh man, its only Monday......My nurse at my plastic surgeon's office told me that I will be having lots of anxiety and she gave me a Rx for vicodin. I told Cory...I will NOT NEED THAT. I will be fine. LOL!!!! Its only Monday and Im scrambling for my nighttime magic pill. However I hate vicodin and the way it makes me feel. I might just need to take a full pill of my magic pill instead of half, but I dont think I can bring myself to take vicodin. Im a lightweight. This shall be fun with all the drugs I am on after surgery.

You know I actually waited so long for this surgery date that I thougth I would be fine by the time it came around. LOL!! I probably said that in this blog too.

Maybe I should stop writing. Im just rambling now. Anyway...Im off to listen to God's word on my earphones to put me to sleep.

Sorry if I stressed you out.

Day 45 "Countdown begins"

Just a thought.....Why do massage therapists leave the room so you can get "undressed" when they are going to be massaging your nude (almost in my case) body? LOL I think we already broke the normal boundries on privacy. :)

Anyway today my massage was amazing! 1 hour of of pure bliss. Dreamy. So relaxing. Thank you KIKI!

When I was taken back to my room the therapist said "So your a breast cancer survivor?" I responded...."well, um not ye.....well I was just recently diagnosed." "Oh, ok I misunderstood the notes." Then I explained my  treatment plan. But I was proud of myself for not jumping at the chance and saying "NO, not yet". I stopped myself because I refuse to think that way. :)

I made my list today...probably list #5 since yesterday. Gotta get my quilt dry cleaned, I want to wash my couch cushions, get all my Rx's filled before surgery, get my medicine in my new medicine cabinet, pack my hospital bag, pack the kids bags for a 3 night stay away from home, pack Cory's bag since he is staying at the hospital with me, get all the laundry put away, get my mail bucket organized and filed and pay any necessary bills before surgery. Whew! That makes me tired.

I have alot to get done before Thursday's departure to Scottsdale. Please continue to pray for peace, comfort and to feel the presence of God with me today and through my journey...of course especially on Friday. Thank you for all your continued support, prayers and donations!!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 43 "Pottery, God, Family & Teens"

Whew what a day! A day of tears, praises and laughs.

Today was my day to take Bella on our Mommy & Me date. We went to "As you wish". It was really fun. I wondered what we would talk about and most of the time she babbled and I just listened. On the way into town she asked me how to blow a bubble. I tried to show her as I was driving, but then realized the reason she wasn't able to do it wasn't because I couldn't give her face to face instructions, it was because she has no front teeth. LOL...I told her to try again when they grow in.

Bella was able to pick out her pottery and she chose a kitten. She painted him like Bam Bam. I found a ribbon so I painted it for me! :)

We chatted about first grade, had lunch and didn't mention cancer at all except when she found this ribbon I could paint and said "mom look just like your cancer". LOL
As we were checking out I took the pottery to the cashier dude and he asked me what my ribbon said. I assumed he was wanting to know so he could type in the description but then when I said "Jeremiah 29:11 he said "oh cool, what does that say". So I told him. "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you Hope and a future." His response was "wow thats pretty awesome." I thought it was super cool that I got to speak God's word as I had tons of people behind me in line and around the tables at As You Wish. :) When I walked into the parking lot, tears rolled down my face. Just a hit of reality once again. I guess it comes in waves. Thankfully I had sunglasses on so Bella could continue to enjoy the day without seeing Mommy cry.
Our drive home was peaceful. Not much talk just silence. Just being with eachother and enjoying the time alone that we had.

Later in the evening we went to my sister's for dessert and games. Elisa had her friend over which is also my Jr. Higher so that was cool to just hang out and play games with my sis, niece and student. Well...just to clarify..Elisa is my Jr. Higher too. (She was a bit offended that I dont refer to her as that) LOL

We had some good laughs. Actually Bella was the one making us laugh. She must have had too many chocolate chip cookies and her shyness went out the window tonight. She felt very comfortable being herself and being super goofy. It was fun to watch.

While I was at my sisters one of the teens called and asked if I had some extra patience for a few teens to come over. I jokingly said no and I am out clubbing. HaHa...They knew that wasn't the case. I thought that was a good enough excuse but when we got home, there were the 4 amigo's. Well 2 amigas and 2 amigos. The thing is...these 4 teens are a big part of my life. I look at them like they are my own children. You can ask them that too, especially when I start nagging at them about their life. LOL

They came in and just hung out and we chatted for awhile. Layton (center stage boy) LOL..wants to make me laugh so he asks what he can do so I can laugh and forget about cancer. So one of the things that gives me a good belly laugh is when Kohner practices his "Law enforcement moves" on them. Sometimes it works, and sometimes is doesn't but no matter what, we end of cracking up. My whole family is in the room just laughing our butts off. It truly is a blessing to be able to have teenagers at my house late at night. I rather them here then at places they don't belong. :) (There goes the mother in me again) LOL

So...overall..I have to say.....It was a Pretty God Day. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 43 "September 11, 2001"

It's amazing how we can go 9 years later and maybe not remember all that we were doing in the year of 2001 but we will always remember what we were doing on the morning of September 11th 2001.

I figured I would change my blog up a bit today and talk about where we were as a family. I know my story doesn't even compare to many, but I thought I would share it.

Just to give you some history if you haven't known me very long. I am originally from Staten Island, NY. I have been to Manhatten many many times growing up. I have been in the World Trade Center many times. I used to go to work with my dad in the city when I was very young. He is a seamstress and he used to take me to the factory. My sister worked in the world trade center during the first terroist attack before 9/11 and my stepmom Sandy worked there during 9/11. A memorable story for us during this time was that Sandy bought Isaac a leapfrog during her lunch or something on Friday 9/8/01. She forgot to take it home to mail out to Isaac so it stayed under her desk until she returned Monday. Monday morning our Country changed and Isaac's leapfrog went down in history too. The World Trade Center was a familiar place and a place of classiness. I loved walking into the buildings. Big & Tall and full of business men and women. I used to go to work with my sister many times playing on her computer while she walked around making copies and getting things done in the office. I went to work with her once on the Friday after Thanksgiving one year. I was about 14 years old. Just a funny story...and maybe TMI for some, but that day I went to work with her, I got my period. LOL...That sounds so silly. But I remember freaking out in the bathroom and my sister came in after me because I was gone for a long time and I was trembling. LOL. After we went home that day, I told my mom and her response? "No wonder you have been so grumpy lateley". LOL....

Now when this all happened Cory was in the USMC and we were stationed on Camp Pendleton, Ca. On September 11th I experienced something that I never experienced on base before. Lock Down, and fear of the unknown. It was scary but nothing compared to what they were feeling at "ground zero"

My sister called me about 7am California time. I was still sleeping, as was Isaac (8 months old at the time) and Cory as already at work. I picked up the phone and heard "Gabbee, the twin towers have been hit, turn on the news". My first thought was "where is Sandy" (my stepmom) My sister and I tried reaching my family for hours upon hours upon hours. Busy Busy Busy. No calls could get through. Not even on different Islands in NY. I immediatley called Cory told him that we couldn't get ahold of anyone so he immediatley came home and waited by my side. He came home talking about the "talk" that was going on at his work. War. I just remember feeling so scared.

My mom and stepdad lived on Staten Island and you can see the city from their house so I could only imagine that they could see everything going on if they watched. We couldn't reach them either and it was so frustrating. About 3:00 in the afternoon California time, my phone rang and it was my dad. "Sandy is ok and she is here at home". Whew.....those hours were so intense. Here is her story...I hope I dont mess it up.

Sandy was running late that morning. She takes the bus in and it drops you off right on the street of the World Trade Center. Moments after she pulled in either the first tower was hit or the second one was. People were jumping through bus windows, and pure chaos was happening from the towers itself. Sandy made it off the bus and literally ran to the ferrry to head back to Staten Island. She explained that people were trampling the ferry trying to get on. Pushing and shoving eachother so that they can get out of the city. She made it on and turned around as the ferry pulled away and she watched the first tower go down. When she explained it to me I couldn't help but cry as I could still hear her trembling. I thank God for saving her but my heart was and is still so sad for those that didn't have that chance.

That day has a different meaning to each and everyone of us, because of where we were, what we were doing, where we lived, work and family that we knew. More lives were affected than others but as a country that day, we all fell to our knees in pain.

My heart goes out to every family that has lost a loved one on September 11, 2001. And a THANK YOU to all of our men & women in uniform risking their lives for others and for their country. Thank You!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Day 41 "Singing in the car never felt so good"

This morning started off a bit rough. And for this time around it wasn't me who needed the emotional support. My dear mother. Sometimes I forget that my loved ones are going through this in a way that I truly can't understand. Since the diagnosis my mom has just been an emotional mess. Nerves, stress, a common cold turning into more just probably because of stress. I kind of been "ignoring" the issue just because I seriously can't take myself out of my mind, and place it in theirs to try and understand the pain they are feeling. I just can't. At times I can't even understand my own emotions.

This morning my mom texted me and said "Can you please come by, Im feeling down". My first instinct was "ugh, I don't have the emotional stability to support anyone" but then I realized how much my mom has done for me and how quickly she drops anything that she is doing to be by my side. So I got dressed and went. Now...let me back up a minute. Before all this, I was woken up by a text message this morning. My father. It said "Did you get a cat scan of your whole body, because I read thats its protocol, did you get one done?" Ugh...seriously? Dad if you are reading this...remember the time difference please. :) As I was texting him and telling him to STOP reading articles online I stopped and realized "wow, they do go through this pain in their own way, they do wake up thinking about me and spending time reading up on cancer so they can try to understand it all". I need to keep reminding myself of that. So I woke up this morning from a text showing concern from my father and a text pleading for company from my mother. Here we are...25 years later after a divorce and my parents are 3000 miles apart and on the same day, within the same hour, their hearts are hurting for their daughter. I was frustrated at first at the thought of trying to ease their worries, but I truly stopped to appreciate their hearts for me. So if you are both reading this.....Im sorry that your daughter has to go through this. I can't even IMAGINE going through this with Bella...and I wish that it didn't have to be this way, but here we are. Your baby girl now 31 has breast cancer.

After some time, I calmed my father down...and later on, I think I calmed my mother down. I got her organized with her med's, got some groceries for her and demanded that she rest up and to PLEASE try and take it easy. My hurt is heavy for both of them as I write and think about them. Im glad that God has opened my eyes to their pain because I have been so selfish. My sister, my brother. I know they are breaking inside and if only I could assure them that I will be ok. I only pray that they find comfort in knowing that God is BIG and my prince of peace.

Whew...let me wipe my tears away for a minute. :(

The day went on fairly well. About 4:00 Cory and I were trying to think of when we could take the kids to the movies before surgery and the only night was tonight because of plans on the days that Cory is off. So, I worked for a bit then off we went to see Nanny McPhee. Awesome movie. The kids and even us...LOVED IT. After the movie we stopped into RUE 21 because Isaac has money in his account and if that boy has money in his account, he wants to spend it. Bella however does NOT want to touch it. Im not even sure if she's saving for a reason...but Isaac is supposed to be saving for a pair of Vans but as fast as he gets $$, he spends it. I let him so he can see first hand what its like to spend and not save. So far it's not working. LOL. So we looked around. He wanted another bracelet as if 18 isn't enough. My little man is finding his own identity. I just love him to pieces. So here he is with a hat that he wanted and sunglasses that I thought were super cool. He bought neither. Just more bracelets.

So we left the store and headed home. We all started talking with accents as if we lived in London. The kids sounded so funny. Cory's accent sometimes went from English to Australian to Hindu. LOL. Then Bella requested that we sing "Go tell it on the Mountain". So it started a wide range of song singing. Cory and I sang one song that they didn't know that we knew from grade school. Mozart I think. Bella said "Can we please sing songs from church" we did. A lot of them. We sang all the way home, just jamming in the car without music through the speakers. Cory reached over and grabbed my hand. He felt the same happiness I was feeling. Praise God for this night, and this time with my family. I can't thank you enough for this blessing! Singing in the car with my family NEVER felt so good!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 40 "Bamboo, Botox & Boobs"

Today was a day of laughter and frustration. Today was my appointment with Dr. Admire on Princess Drive. :) Last time I had my appointment with him, he was very personable and gave me one on one time. I left feeling confident that he was going to be my plastic surgeon. I even found out later on that he is a pretty well known doctor in Arizona. Chief Plastic Surgeon in Tucson and on the board of Plastic Surgery something or another. LOL.

This time around I assumed it would be the same way or even better because now I was for sure having surgery. Last visit, we didn't know what I was going to have. Single or Double.

So, this time Cory came with me. As we walked up the stairs I said "brace yourself and keep your eyes where they belong" LOL. He just laughed and shook his head because he knew how obnoxious I was being.

We went into the office and was escorted to the waiting room. As you can see it is a very nice office. I is in Scottsdale on Princess Drive. We sat there for about 15 minutes. We just sat there and chatted as we watched the patients and "nurses" do their jobs. Botox, Boobs and Bamboo was our view. We tried to figure out everyone's story. Especially Dr. Admire. His age, his marital status, how he got so successful, if he himself has any botox on and on. LOL.. Then as we got quite and waited Cory says "So, have you decided what your going to get?" I looked at him like he had ten heads. Im like "as in what we are going to get for dinner, like what?" LOL...He said "No, I mean like size, tattoos, nevermind that was a dumb question" LOL!!! Yup sure was.

Anyway, after our goofiness in the waiting room we got called back to the "consultation room". We had to fill out paperwork and the nurse was going to talk to us and IF I had questions for Dr. Admire then I can request to see him. Ahhhhh really? Request to see him. GRUGH! Of course I want to see him. He will be assisting in the removal of my boobs in a week for goodness sake AND giving me new ones. So I told the nurse that YES I want to see him. So she did her evaluation pre-op thing and went and got Dr. Admire. He came in, with his nurse and a student intern. He sat down and said "So you had some questions for me?" OMG! I thought I was going to slap him. I said "well, last time I was here we were unsure of my surgery options so now that we do, I want to know what the expander looks like, when I will get filled, bandages, aftercare, blah blah blah blah blah! I held back my NY ITALIAN ATTITUDE since he will be cutting me open pretty soon. :)

So he showed us the expander and implant. Ahhhh such a whole new world for me. So he said "some women choose to stay at their size or go bigger" so this was my chance to let him know my thought process. I said "well, here is the thing, I am pretty modest and I dont want to be bigger and I really just want the same size as I have now." So he said "no problem, when we fill them, you just let me know what your comfortable with". Deal. LOL

So...after chit chat of questions, he rushed out and said "see you next Friday". Yup...we sure will. :(

Anyway so a bit of frustration there. Im not sure if it was just an off day, but I pray to God that I do not feel that way in the office everytime I go there. After my surgery I go to a post-op with my breast surgeon and then that's pretty much it. Dr. Admire takes it from there aside from the oncologist. Whaaaaaa, I want Dr. Liu. LOL

So the plan is. Sept 21st I go for my check up with him. About two weeks later I get the drains out and once the incisions heal then we will start expanding. (The fun part I guess). They will poke a needle into the expander and insert saline salt water stuff. LOL. Once I feel comfortable, I go back and say "im good" then we plan on the surgery for the implant. Pretty simple right? If I dont have radiation, then yes its pretty simple, otherwise I have to wait a LONG time before implants go in. Probably a year or more. GRUGH...Im praying NO RADIATION.

So off we went to buy my "support" bra for after surgery. They were very detailed on the style. Zipper or clips in the front, thick straps and very supportive. In the consultation I said "I hope this doesn't sound like a dumb question but why do I need to wear a support bra if I dont have anything to support" LOL. He gave me an answer but Cory nor myself can remember what it was. Oh well. JcPenny had a great sale so I now have my sports bras.

Before my doctors appointment I had to do some shopping. I learned that my shopping doesn't include the fun stuff I used to shop for. Nail polish, clothes, shoes, hair clips or whatever. Now its a shower head that comes off so I can wash myself w/out getting fully wet, pajamas that can button or zip on or go on from my legs, sports bra's and guaze pads. That is my new shopping frenzie. Oh well...atleast I am here & alive shopping.

Cory and I had a good time today. Lots of laughs, talks about surgery, future, worries, fears and even a few jokes here and there. We left the house at 9am and returned at 4:30. UGH I hate these type of days. Its so draining. We were welcomed home with a bouquet of flowers from my stepmom that she made with paper.

Thank you Sandy!! They are beautiful AND they wont die. :) We also had dinner delivered to us because I knew that the last thing we would want to do when we got home was cook. Thanks Storey for a DELICOUS MEAL. She made us our very own cups of chocolate mousse. YUM.

Thanks again Storey! Super Duper YUMMY!

So thats it! No more doctors till the day of surgery. Ahhh 8 more days. I hope I can find some good stuff to blog about. I do have a fun filled weekend ahead of me. I planned a mommy/daughter date with Bella at As U Wish and then a mommy/son date at the dirt bike races this weekend as we watch one of the teens in our youth group race. Next week my plan is to just "be". Its a big week and I want to take one day at time and truly cherish the days leading up to surgery. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Day 39 "Stress Level was in the RED ZONE"

Oh man WHAT A DAY! I knew I was super cranky but wouldn't admit to it. I just labeled it as "stressful" but Cory defines it as living in Hell on days like these. LOL. I told him tonight that when he is at work and I have days like this, I have no outlet and that is why I am an emotional basketcase when he comes home. Unfortunatley he was here to receive the daggers coming from my mouth.

My sister came over this morning to get "organized" with my scheduling for the 2 weeks after surgery. That took me 3 hours. I know that sounds crazy, but when I have my kids, here there and everywhere I have to text, email, message everyone and their neighbor to help out. Its not only mentally draining but emotionally draining. Asking people for help is not an easy task.

After the scheduling we went over bills and medical needs. Ugh...this makes me crazy. We just made all the expenses with minimal left. That put the stress level even further. Cory and I just kept barking at eachother and when the kids came home that just caused more stress. Then I get a call from APS to warn me that my electric was being shut off tomorrow. Now..I dont know if you remember this, but last month I made a $350 payment to the wrong account. Well, even after calling in and "transfering" the money over to my account, they really never did, so that balance was still there and therefore my bill had a past due amount. So I called APS to clear it up (Thank goodness I kept my reciepts) and my phone dropped the call 3 times!!!! UGH At&t cell phone towers and monsoon season SUCKS! Anyway I got it all worked out, but this was all in the middle of dinner. So as we ate, I had APS on speaker because I didn't want to put it off till tomorrow since tomorrow was shut off day. Anyway...We have a zero balance. YaY! So as this was all happening, we had a knock on our door. A chocolate cream pie and a $250 donation! Whew God is Good. So in the midst of all this craziness, God still reigns. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to see it and feel your presence.

Minutes later we had to head out the door for youth group. The crankiness was wearing off which I was thankful for because I needed to mentally be there for the kids. It was a great group and we had tons of fun. I love them!

We got home, watched some TV and then Bella asked the question that put her over the edge. "Can you please make sure you pick me up tomorrow". So I responded "Actually honey, Auntie will pick you up because I have a doctors appointment". That is all I needed to say. My baby girl is finally getting it. Doctors visits are not going away therefore she is coming to terms with our "new" life. I got down on my knees and she hugged me tighter than she has in a LONG time. Crying and telling me that she doesn't want me to go to the doctors anymore and that she is afraid they will hurt me. I explained to her again what they will do and what will happen but her 6 year old heart just felt sad for mommy. My heart broke and I tried so hard to fight back my own tears and I was trying to stay strong for her. She asked if we could please pray for me tonight so we did of course as we do every night. This isn't going to be as easy for them as I assume it will be. I wish I could take their fear and pain away.

Tomorrow is a new day. Cory gets to accompany me to the plastic surgeon's appointment. Yay! LOL....This SHALL be interesting.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Day 38 "Cancer comes with you wherever you go"

I COULD NOT wait to blog this weekend. I hope you guys find as much comfort in these blogs as I do. Even though they are not always uplifting, it tells the world of my thoughts. Sometimes blunt, sometimes vague.

I have been taking notes this weekend of my thoughts so I can have an easy time to put them on "blogger". :) I hope I can go through them and put them in a "story" for you to understand.

Before I start, I want to apologize for my sporaticness. I know that isn't  a word, but I tend to make up my own. :) I also want to say that even through this blog, I want you to know that my faith is never questioned. I am never angry or confused on why this is happening to me. I stumble and I fail alot, but Jesus is patiently waiting for me with open arms until I come back around.

Here it goes.....

Last year we went to family camp. Cory had a broken ankle from when he fell off the diving board. He got his cast off the day we went up to camp. He walked around with a cane. It was quite the picture. We had a really GREAT time. We were going through a time in our lives where we were constantly being stomped on my medical issues. That seems funny to say now but it was one after the other between Cory and Bella. So Family camp was a big release for us. We had such a relaxing time, great fellowship and the sermons were awesome. I felt so close to God and I came home pumped.

This year....was different however Cory and I didn't think it would be. I thought that this would be a great release for our family to "get away" from Cancer. I think that was true for the kids, but for Cory and I, that wasn't the case. I posted pictures on Facebook of our trip and I even had comments on them saying how relaxed and refreshed I look. Give me a camera, some make-up and a smile and Wham...I have a picture that tells a story that isn't necessarily the truth. I am relaxed. Maybe even too much. Am I refreshed? Probably not in the way I wanted. Spiritually refreshed was what I was hoping for, but I had a wall that was put up that I struggled with all weekend.

I think that Cory and I and.... let me pause for a second. Through this blog I will keep referring to "our" feelings (Cory and I) because we talked about this alot this weekend that we both felt the same way and we took awhile to really understand the meaning of it. anyway...I think that Cory and I assumed to have our cups filled with God's spirit. I think that we assumed it would be easy to walk onto Camp Pinerock and act as if we both aren't hurting inside. I think we both assumed that we could do all the activities and laugh and smile and consume God's word without cancer running through our minds. We were wrong. We did laugh, and we did smile, but we were hurting and it caused a wall to go up so that we could not receive God's word in our hearts.

I sat in service with a straight face. No singing, No praising just zoning off. I thought at first, that was my "hint" from Him to just "be still" but something wasn't right. I was emotionless. This happened for 3 services. I kept my feelings to myself until this morning. We went to Family Communion service and the Pastor was talking about gathering around God's table for communion, the way we do in our own homes. He talked about how his family has a tradition that when their day is running crazy, they meet around the table and play "Hi's & Low's" Basically they go around the table talking about their Hi's and Low's of the day. Cory and I have family nights with the kids alot. The kids love it. Mostly we watch a movie, play a game or have a fancy dessert. Whatever it is, its a night that we dont have plans or commitments to anything or anyone else. Just the 4 of us.

When I imagined family time around the table this was my vision. Me in my room feeling sick, bald and fatiqued. The kids coming in my room to hug me or just hang out with me and us not really having "family time" the way we used to. I have this vision in my head that doesn't give me peace. It gives me fear that my life is turning upside down. So during this vision as the music is playing and we are to take communion, I start to cry. Tears rolling down my face as quickly as I wipe them away. On one side of me I have one of my Jr. Highers, and the other side I have my baby girl. Suck it up I tell myself...not now. So when service was over, Cory and I sat on the park bench while the kids played and we waited for breakfast to start. I shared with him my thought process and I started to cry once more. I love Cory. He has learned so much through this trial. A quiet husband is a great one. :) All these years I prayed he would open up and be more talkative and now I pray that he is just still and listens. LOL....

I got up, brushed off my emotions and headed to breakfast. After we were done eating, I was introduced to a women that is at her 5 year mark for breast cancer. She was so happy. She said something to me this morning that brought my emotions right out. Not because it was hurtful by any means, but because I was "tender" at that very moment. She said "your in for a rough road". She's right. This isn't going to be easy. Can I do it? Of course I can! But its a new life that I wasn't prepared for. After she left, I started to cry once more. At this point, Cory had left to go watch the kids at the playground since they were done eating before us. I went down to him and said "I needed you up there with me". Then I explained and I started to cry some more. LOL..poor guy. We knew then that it was time to go home.

Here is where our problem was. We walked onto Camp Pinerock thinking that we could conquer more things this year than we could last year because of Cory's ankle. We also thought that we could walk there and act as normal as we want to be. We were away from home right? Away from the house, away from my "recovery" room, away from people, attention, life, bills, doorbell ringing, school, routines, and on and on and on. But we weren't. Cancer came with us. Therefore our thoughts, our worries, our fears, our stresses and our hurts came too. I wish they would have all stayed in Florence but that isn't reality is it.

This is my new life. When will I accept and embrace it? This I wont know until it happens. BUT I refuse to go through this trial feeling blocked from God. I can't function that way. It wont work. So I need some down time, just Him and I to get real again. To get re-fueled again, to feel Hope & Comfort again. I NEED Him and I NEED his everlasting love. I CAN NOT AND WILL NOT go into that operating room without him holding my hand. Even though I believe He will be there, I need to feel His presence. That takes some time just being still in his word. That is my plan this week and next. My cup shall runeth over. :0 Right now, the water has evaporated into the glass, leaving it dry and frail.

I ask for prayer. Prayer that I do feel that overwhelming peace I did when I was first diagnosed. Comfort and filled. I want to be bloated. HaHa...:)

Thank you for taking the time to come into my head tonight.