Thought it was time to give a more in depth update for everyone. I have been keeping busy with the kids and all this medical stuff this summer. And visiting with people stopping in to town for a quick visit and trying to get together with people in town for visits. The summer is in full speed but I wish I could put the breaks on and make it slow down a bit.
I had treatment #3 of 4 on Tuesday July 7th. It went great. Felt fine during treatment and all that night. Got to visit with my dear friend when I picked the kids up after the treatment. They weren't eager to leave but a lovely lady was bringing us dinner which turned out to be like 4 meals in one. She made us so much food that we ate it twice just the way it was and then we were able to take parts of the meal and add a few things to make a completely different meal and I did that twice with my mom's help.
On Wednesday July 8th we had a busy day. We drove to Iron Mountain for a routine checkup for one of the kids and everything looks great! No shots needed for anything because I refuse to get that HPV one. I know many people have opinions on immunizations and in general, we've gotten everything that has been recommended up until this point. There is something inside of me that is not at peace with this immunization and we will not be allowing our children to receive this one. Obviously I feel quite strongly about that. Sorry to digress. We then drove to Felch to pick up my mom so she could help us out for a few days in case I wasn't feeling well. We arrived in Escanaba and drove straight to the grocery store because we needed to get a cake mix and frosting to make Adam a German Chocolate cake to celebrate his 40th. I hadn't had much time to plan anything and I was not going to let his day go unnoticed if I could help it. The kids helped heat up leftovers for dinner and mix the cake so we could get it baked and frosted & sing to him. It was fluffy & moist & we took pics but they are stuck on my camera right now. lol
Thursday I woke up and felt pretty good for most of the day. I rested and fell asleep while Morgan had "Into the Woods" movie on. Glad I had seen it with the girls in the theater because it allowed me to doze off as I needed & get some rest.
Friday the 10th, it was beautiful outside and we finally had the chance to get the sunflower seeds planted after a neighbor had tilled the soil behind the garage and prepped it for us. I can't wait to see sunflowers popping up back there. Sunflowers are in my top 3 flowers and they're going to look beautiful. I sat in a camping chair with an umbrella perched above me for shade while the kids planted and watered. It was fun and I got to visit with a neighbor while out there. I started to get a little tired so I rested a bit and since we've been going to the school for lunch, we did that but I had my mom drive. I also had my mom drive us to the library before closing time to turn in the kids' summer reading program stuff. They had completed all their points and we wanted to get everything entered before other things cropped up. I expect them to still continue reading but at least we aren't obligated to keep track of things. Friday was our 16th Anniversary too! My dad came over to pick up my mom and they left after we had dinner. So very thankful for my mom to help us out. Please pray that her toe heals. She had surgery on it and has been dealing with some kind of infection and pain ever since. She's been on different meds but it hasn't cleared up yet and it can be quite painful but she did what most moms do and sucked it up and helped us anyway. Thanks mom, you're the BEST!!!!!!!!!
The kids received personal pan pizza certificates from the reading program so we decided to hit up Pizza Hut on Saturday to celebrate Adam's birthday and our 16th anniversary with some family. After we ate, we drove over to the marina to take a look from a distance at the Nina & Pinta ships that were in the harbor. So crazy to think that people came over on those ships, they were quite small to be crossing such a vast and open water. In the afternoon, we also made a trip to Menards to purchase 2 Zero Gravity chairs for Adam & myself to enjoy in the house and the yard. Adam & I both really miss the reclining part of our couch and agree that we love the look of our current couch but oh to have the reclining position while watching movies and relaxing....that would be great!
So far, this has been the easiest treatment I've had. God has been taking good care of me. The heartburn was not near as bad this round. I did take some meds for it and had to drink one dose of apple cider vinegar to combat the burn but eating ice cream helped and the power of prayer is what did it. I didn't have near as much fatigue this time either and I was concerned that it might be worse since they build on each other. The digestion system troubles are far less this time too so I am very thankful and grateful for God's faithfulness. And though my mouth and tongue are starting to have that rough feeling inside, I am confident that I won't have the mouth sores this time either. Chewing gum and rinsing my mouth helps but again, the answered prayers are key! I haven't had any acne either so that's nice because after the 1st time it was actually painful. I do however think that the chemo meds may be messing with my ability to process gluten and I am having to cut back on it. I may see if I can cut it out for a week and see how I feel. Anyone who has gluten issues....I really feel for you. I shaved my hair weeks ago when my head got far too itchy and I thought I was going to scratch it raw and bleeding but it never all went away. It seems as though the stuff I was losing was actually not coming from the root but breaking off from being so fragile and brittle. And though my hair is quite short and thin, it actually seems like it might be slowly growing again, kinda like my nails that I keep super short.
Next week I have a pre-op appointment in Ann Arbor. They plan on doing a mammogram as well and then will be discussing my case with a board of doctors and then they should be scheduling me for a mastectomy to happen in August. I am praying that God's hand be upon everything. When he orchestrates things to happen, they work out so melodiously that I don't want it any other way. The last round of treatment is scheduled for July 27th and then I'll have to get another PET scan done in Green Bay before surgery which should take place around August 20th.
Besides all the medical stuff going on since school ended, we attended a Girl Scout ceremony, graduation party, got my hair cut short, got my hair cut super short, shaved my hair with no guard, went to rummage sales and got great deals for clothes for the kids, found a saxophone to buy for Braly to start his 6th grade band experience, picked out a free wig, went on a date with my hubby & some friends, celebrated the adoption of my niece & had a party with family for it, celebrated father's day for an amazing daddy to my kids, 3 of my kids were in a play that the production start to finish happened in a week, we had a Papa bear, Pixie, and Assistant Director that put in 32 hours, watched Rapunzel that the kids were in, ate nearly every day M-F at one of the schools for free, found what Sadie deems as the right wig (lighter red color and now she won't let me wear anything else), attended church at the park a few times on Wed nights, had my phone get used for all sorts of silly pics on more than one occasion (it's actually quite funny to scan through the pics sometimes), found a great game table for way less money than if we'd bought at a store and got it for Braly's birthday, found a great deal on a new bike for Morgan who has been content with a used bike for years, loved seeing her ride her new bike and be thankful for it, it has a speaker connector inside a pouch for an MP3 player, the kids have been doing activities pertaining to Heroes for the summer reading program, Morgan made a Lego Hero that is on display at the library, attended the Petting Zoo, met up with a former roommate from college, toured the Public Safety with some friends from church, kids tried on equipment and sat in fire truck, I held the belt of the officer to see how heavy it was, had cousins and Auntie visit for a few days, watched Inside Out at the theater, ate lots of popcorn and drank pop, had water balloon fights, went to the eye doctor for 4 appointments and then picking up new glasses,
cleaned up the weeds behind the garage in hopes of planting sunflowers, neighbor tilled behind garage and prepped it for planting, kids rode around in the kid truck we got for Braly's 5th birthday 6 years ago, visited Animal shelter with cousins & Aunt and played with 2 kittens and a puppy, then fed some of the bigger dogs some treats, visited the Sheriff office and received Frisbees, sheriff stickers, and the kids got to climb in the cars, turn on lights, the siren, and ask questions about all the buttons in the cars, the kids got to help try to name the wooden carved dogs at the lighthouse, celebrated Independence Day with breakfast in Felch and then parade where the kids received half a walmart bag of candy, then had dinner, pool fun and fireworks with family & friends, put a flag on Papa's grave to honor & remember his service, celebrated a 40th birthday, 16th anniversary, met up with another former college roommate, turned in all the points for 3 kids worth of summer reading program, received ice cream treat, personal pan pizza, and entries into drawing, Gabby won the Where is Buzz Lightyear hiding for last week, had Pizza Hut with family, saw the Nina & Pinta ships in Escanaba harbor, made it to the beach for a few hours, ran into old neighbors at the beach and stayed longer than we planned because we couldn't pass up a nice visit, made a sand castle, listened to Sadie say, "this is the BEST day EVER!" several times while at the beach and she asked on Monday if we thought it was the best day ever yesterday. Watched my son get excited and have fun cooking dinner for the family after I made him do it. Watched my son help his sister in the water at the beach. Watched my daughter help her sister get her Puddle Jumper life jacket tightened so they could play in the water. Watched my family work together to make a neat sandcastle and then not get upset when it was wrecked later. Watched my kids work together to make sure they got the dishes in the dishwasher. Watched several movies that the kids earned from getting A's in their classes. Heard my kids say, wow, this movie was way better than we thought, glad we finally gave it a try. Was told that I need to teach my kids how to cross-stitch this summer because they want to learn. Finally able to get into basement to go through junk that has piled up. Threw away 3 bags of papers (well recycled them). Threw away 3 -4 bags of trash that was stuff not worth keeping. Organized craft stuff so it isn't taking up so much real estate and downsized it. Organized school supplies and condensed so I know what we have and what we need, no more buying the wrong stuff. Went through some stuff in the playroom so I can figure out what things Sadie is interested in playing with and keep those things readily available. Went through kids clothes and took baskets of too small of stuff out so we can be on the lookout for what they have need of. Fixed air mattress (hopefully it holds). Did 4 days of PiYo with the kids. Need to keep it going. Ate another meal the kids made together. Took the kids grocery shopping and had them play "Bring Me" to get our list done quicker. Watched them work together to get all the groceries in the house and then put away together and quickly. Looking forward to witnessing the baptism of our 3rd in a few weeks and celebrating another birthday and heading on a family road trip that will be more fun then the reason that we're actually taking the trip. I am truly a blessed woman. God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and amazing children to make a family but He has blessed me with saving grace, healing, and a different way to look at life. I'm thankful that I get to see how even the little things are filled with good, amazement, love, life, goodness. He helps me see things in a positive way. I am grateful and I am enjoying most moments of this summer and looking forward to adding more memories to our archives.
Edited July 22nd: I wanted to add several pictures into this post but haven't had the chance to get them in here and I actually need to do another update so I'm just going to publish this as is. That's how it goes sometimes. ;)