Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Post Op Surgery Update

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support through my second part of reconstruction surgery. This surgery was WAY EASIER than the first, THANK GOD! I did stay overnight in the hospital because I am still on Chemo, live 80 miles away and because of my hematoma previously, it was much smarter to stay than be sent home right away.

Sunday night before surgery we enjoyed a nice dinner at Bucco Di Peppo with my BFF's and spouses. Then we topped it off with a starbucks and a cake pop. :)

This time around I wasn't anxious as much as I was the first time of course. It was more emotional to me than anything. I did alot of walking down memory lane while sitting in the waiting room or pre-op room.

This time was VERY fast. I was back there for about 45 min at most then Dr. Admire came and did his marking and then the Anesthesiologists came and gave me a "cocktail". The surgery took about 45 minutes and recovery was 90 minutes. LOL

The most uncomfortable part of my recovery was the incision areas. Then some pressure, but for the most part, very tolerable. I came home on Tuesday and was up by Saturday. Overall, not too shabby.

I am having some issues with the end results, and I have my post-op appt today to talk about all that good stuff. I unwrapped myself on Tuesday night because I couldn't wait and it just wasn't as magical as I hoped it would be. LOL. So...9pm I called Dr. Admire and expressed my concerns. Apparently over time, things will fall into place. However..since I was medicatated when I called him and couldn't fully process that, over time I have realized that I am not happy with that response. Sooooo I will be going in today, letting him know my thoughts and standing up for myself as a patient. I have been holding the tears back and so I know that when I see him, I will be letting them out.

Having this surgery does sounds so fun right? Well, it can be, however Breast Cancer takes alot from you and this is one area that I am sensitive in and I deserve to be happy. I have been through hell and back and as my hair starts growing back in, I want to be happy all around and move on. He is causing a hiccup in that process.

Anyway...other than that, we are doing as good as we can be. We are creating lots of fun family time during this summer (locally) and although the kids are at each other's throats every hour, I do hear them laughing and running through the house as I type this blog. So...I guess this is how I will spend my 55 days of summer. LOL. It truly doesn't matter if they faught all day, Im thankful Im here to listen.

We do have a busy summer ahead of us though. Jr. High Camp WOOT WOOT which allows Cory and I to do ministry together in the beauty of Pinerock (Prescott) and the joy of watching the lives and hearts of Jr. Highers change. My dad & Stepmom will be paying a visit at the end of June for a week along with my stepsister & brother in law who I haven't seen in atleast 5 years. I get to meet my niece Luna and watch as Dylan (my nephew) and Bella play their hearts out as they are 3 weeks apart in age. Yay! Im very excited! We are also having Bella's 7th Bday party. Its a Hannah Montana/Justin Bieber VIP party. Watch out! :)

Anyway, here are a couple of pics of our Camping trip in our living room last night. It was great fun!

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Hey All,

Surgery is Monday at 8am at Piper Surgery Center with an overnight stay. Just asking for prayers for quick recovery and a calm heart.

Thank you!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

District Assembly

This week I got to attend the Nazarene District Assembly for Arizona (Of course). This is a time when we (Local churches) come together and do "business, voting, licensed ministers, ordination,etc".. you get the point with all our local congregations together. I was really excited as this is was my first year and being in the current class of History and Polity at NBC it all worked out great for me to be filled up with more knowledge and get really excited about ministry.

Im thankful that God gave me this opportunity to be away from home for a couple of days to dwell in this Assembly, especially before Surgery. For one, it took my focus off being anxious and two I was reminded and encouraged by many that my passion to keep on going in ministry during my treatments is an inspiration. As I watched people from different congregations receive their district license (This will be me next year hopefully) I was reminded of my purpose in life and reminded on why God has pulled me through this trial. As I watched ministers become ordained I was even more excited and I can't wait for that to be me one day! I know the plan God has for me and I REALLY needed to be reminded of that for my healing process.

I have Jeremiah 29:11 on my wall in my office "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." I know what God has planned for me, and sometimes it takes something small for me to be reminded of that, but these past two months, I have been down in the dumps BIG TIME and this weekend was so refreshing for me and it was perfect timing. Thank you God!

I got to have great fellowship this weekend with new friends and old, meet new people, pray for people that I have never met before and listen to my Pastor as he spoke about the awesome ministries that God has gifted us at Mosaic. It was SOOOOOOOO cool to hear Kevin speak about the downtown ministries and to hear the local congregations in Arizona give praises to God for it and to have the connections afterwards with other Pastors.

John and I got to attend a workshop for work and witness trips to other congregations and learn about lending hands for the a variety of community services. I am just so excited to be a part of this and so excited to jump into this all!

After being on a high for ministry, I got a call from my Instructor at NBC. He told me that he called the college and "vouched" for me in order to get full credit on an assignment that is due on the day of my surgery, get full credit for participation the week of recovery and an extension on my final exam. He told me that I have been on top of all of my assignments even during my chemo treatments and that I am a "stand up" student. HaHa. I was definitly digging this phone call! He told me to not worry about a thing with my grade, that I will come out on top and just concentrate on recovery! Whoo Hooo!!! Thank you Reverend!

So as I come off my two day high, I come home to reality. But instead of feeling overwhelmingly anxious, I feel excited to get over this hill and to see the light so clearly on what God has planned for me! I am TRULY so excited!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The past is creeping back in this week.

6 days from now I will be having my second portion of my reconstrutive  surgery. This surgery would seem so much easier and a bit more fun, which it does at times because the expanders are very uncomfortable, however the whole emotional process of it all is creeping back into my life.

Gearing my family up for this next week of recovery, babysitters, hospitals, recovery time, pain medicine managments, limited showers because of the bandages, meals, lack of work which is more lack of income, and of course the healing time. Going into surgery this time feels like it would be better than the first, however I am starting to feel a ton of anxiety just going back in there, which is understandable in my mind.

I see my breast surgeon today at 11:30. I haven't seen her since my first surgery in September 2010. She will feel around today for any suspicion and give me the clear for surgery on Monday. Im anxious and afraid, mostly because of the history with her and where I started with all of this. As I think about driving to the appt today, I remember that day I drove to her office with my sister, mom and Debbie (my personal friend and nurse) Cory was in the hospital with chest pain. What a disaster that day was. I remember feeling so angry and frustrated at everyone that didn't understand. I remember thinking I was going to go in there, here the word lumpectomy and be done. Instead I heard Masectomy, Chemotherapy and I simply couldn't breathe. I came home that night emotionally exhausted and wondering how I got here. I just can't believe it. As I write this, tears are falling from my eyes, remembering those days of disbelief and uncertainity.

Wow, I guess I needed to blog more than I thought. Well at this point, I just ask for prayer. Prayer for my anxiety, prayer for our family as we go through another hiccup in the home and prayer for my surgery on Monday.

I will update later today.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Isaac's World

So this post has NOTHING to do with Cancer thats why I thought it was a perfect post to write. :)

When Isaac went for his 10 year old check up at his new pediatricians office, he had an option to particpate in a research study. They (FDA) are wanting to give 10 year olds their TB shot a year early because of the age group/Jr. High dilema and immunizations. Basically Isaac would get his TB shot 6 mths early (at this point). No side effects have been shown yet by giving it early thus far. Isaac would get paid $100 if he participates. His doctor told him to go home and think about it and we did and Isaac said as long as the money goes into his bank account, he would do it. LOL...As if we transferred money out of his account into ours before. LOL

Anyway, Thursday was his first of two appointments. They just draw blood and give him the shot and we keep a diary of his life the next 7 days. Pain, swelling, discomfort, etc. So far so good. He did whine and say that he couldn't get dressed this morning because his arm was sore, however he told me this afternoon that he climbed the rock wall with one arm. Hmmmm interesting. LOL

So this whole time I keep asking Isaac what he would like to get with his $100. I gave him suggestions like SAVING IT or Using it for summer camp, but he isn't falling for that. Normally my child would have this money spent already in his mind but he is being very careful. Until Tonight.

Isaac came to me after watching 3 hours of TV which means many great commercials for toys and electronics and says "mom, you know that black ball that gives you the answers when you ask it a question?" So I said "Ya the magic 8 ball." He said "ya, I think I want to use my money and buy that." I said "You have $100 and you are choosing the magic 8 ball?" He smiled and said "why not, you can ask it 2+2 and it will give you the answers to everything." Laughing out loud, I kindly brought him back to reality and reassured him that it doesn't give you the answers, it only tells you Yes, No, Not at this time and other stuff I can't remember.

So he said "well, is it true?"

"No Isaac, its not true, its fun to think that way, but we don't get our life's answers from a magic 8 ball, Im sorry to bust your bubble."

So he said "awe man, I was really wanting to buy that so it could tell me the answers like a magic computer or something."

So I said "Isaac, what world are you living in?"

He said "Isaac's world."

LOL, I just couldn't do anything but laugh and tell him to keep thinking of other things he might want to buy. Oh my son. He is growing up fast. Conversations like these make me appreciate parenthood 10x more than the moment before.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Short & Sweet

I don't want to go into details, honestly I'm not sure it matters but I just need prayer.

A lot of it. Anything that you could think of, I need.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

2 1/2 hours of Counseling Intake Today...woah!

So, as you all know I am doing some grief counseling. Actually both Cory and I are. I started last week and he started this week. It was pretty emotional for both of us. Cory told me that he doesn't remember much from the day I was diagnosed to the day he went to the hospital for chest pain. I asked him "Dont you remember crying ourselves to sleep that night I was diagnosed" and his answer was no. Amazing how people deal with things differently than others.

Today I went for my counseling session intake with a Psychologist. Cory will go on Monday. We met for 2 1/2 hours. She asked me every question in the book. I was fine up until the question that broke me. She said "What does "better" look like for you?" I took a deep breath, or at this point, I tried since my anxiety hit, and then the tears fell and said "I can't see better right now."

We talked about a ton of other stuff. From childhood stuff, to family, to my support and then the hardest part. Anxiety/Fear and all that comes with Cancer. She asked me how I deal with it, what makes me feel better when Im feeling anxious and what makes me feel worse. After talking through it, I realized that I hate being alone. When Im alone, I feel anxious because cancer consumes my every thought. Not so much the fact that I have cancer, cuz technically I don't, but what I went through, how my life stopped, what I am still going through, and the fear of the unknown. When I talked about what I do to help me day by day, I told her that I am constantly trying to fill my life up with people. Whether its a walk, or a coffee date, or a meeting, events or family time. It fills my time so I dont think about all the yuck. When I am at home working, Im alone. Im full of fear, distracted, not movitivated to do housework or phone calls. We went back and forth for awhile talking about each of those things and when I was discussing this with my sister tonight I said "I never realized how being alone affected me so much." She said "Gabbee, you have said from day one to please never leave you alone, that your biggest fear was to be alone." LOL I don't remember that but it makes sense. For 10 months I have had people in my life, at my home, taking care of me, eyes on me all the time. Now I don't. Now I have people when I ask for it. This is how it should be in a normal life. But I don't know how to function without it. I should never feel anxious or depressed because Im alone. Ahhh, anyway this is what I will be working through. I feel good that Im on track. I am in two different counseling sessions, I have great support and of course I have the hands of Jesus walking me through it all.

Praying each day is a better day.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Petscan results: NED "no evidence of disease"

Thank you all for your prayers and support this weekend. I sat down with my oncologist this morning and she said "no evidence of disease" Yes! I could take a deep breath. They did find a gallstone but that is the least of my worries. She said that is part of the new "normal" things that might come up.

She asked me how I was doing and I told her I feel fine physically but am having a hard time emotionally. Of course she understood and was really happy to hear the counseling regime I have going.

I did ask her two questions. 1. If no cancer is present, then tell me what the Herceptin is doing? (even though this was all explained 6 months ago)  She explained to me that the Herceptin is targeting my cell receptors because I (my tumor) was hormone negative. The Big Red and Taxol targeted any cancer cell that could have been beginning to form or was floating around somewhere they couldn't catch. I feel confident once again, and my petscan results gives me the affirmation that I need.

2nd question was "Because my lymph nodes weren't infected am I out of harms way of a recurrance"? The answer is never a simple one. No, Im not, however I have taken every modern medicine and surgery to give my life longevity. I just have to rest in that.

After our meeting, I went in to get my chemo and I was talking with my nurse. I just love her. She knows what I am going through and she basically took my thoughts right out of my head and put them into words. Im rejoicing of course of the results, but I am also afraid and will probably be for the rest of my life. Im trying really hard to get past that. Im working on it.

I have a 2 hour counseling session on Wednesday, and another one on Thursday. It will be good. Its a process that I never thought I would have to go through and to feel these emotions 6 months later is something that I didn't expect but my doctor reassured me why I am feeling this way and its TOTALLY normal.

Anyway, Cory and I have some exciting things coming up that I will share with you at a later time. I need some cool exciting things in my life, and I think we are on track.

Speaking of Cory...he too will be on the same counseling regime as myself. Its so important for both of us to go through this with a helping hand. We are both excited to work through this as a married couple and parents of two amazing children.

Tonight, we are hiking up "F" mountain. Im dragging about the thought, LOL but the family is really excited and I thought it would be a cool way to celebrate the good news today. :)