After talking with several people and getting the phrase, "oh, I didn't know that." I realized that I really was in dire need of updating the blog with the newest info. I'm hoping I can get it all typed and published tonight while I wait for Sadie to fall asleep. She took a nap so I might have a little while.
Last week Adam worked from 3:30am until about 3pm but on Friday, there was so much stuff going on at work that he didn't get home until almost 5pm I think. He then showered, packed, and we hopped into the van to travel to his Aunt & Uncle's house to stay a few nights. We arrived around 11pm. It was so late and I drove the whole way so Adam could try to sleep but that seemed near impossible with the amount of stops we needed to make for bathroom breaks for everyone.
We woke up a bit late and ate breakfast and then had the opportunity to check out Midland's hands on museum at their Center for the Arts. It was very cool! We all loved it. I especially thought that the computer that you could create fireworks on was neat and so was the periodic table that you could mix different elements together and get the product. such as making H2O for water and then it told a little about water. or making 2NaCl for table salt. Very neat! We did the dinosaur exhibit that had some neat things to learn too and some fun hands on things. I have pics of course but I may have to share those later in order to actually get this published tonight.
We hit up the splash pad, sooooooooooo very cool that I wish it was possible to put one in at say Royce Park in Escanaba. They had River Days in Midland that we got to watch lanterns and then fireworks for. They had live music and it kind reminded me a little of Rock the Dock in Escanaba. We checked out their Community Center Pool area and had a lot of fun on their water slide, with their water mushroom falls, a huge water table and outdoor splash pad as well as basketball and I tried to teach the kids how to do somersaults and handstands in the water and how to not get water up your nose without plugging it while going under water. We were worn out from all that water fun but Adam & I had to head to Ann Arbor, the main reason we were downstate in the first place.
On Monday, I had to have a mammogram and ultrasound done. Then I met with the surgeon that is doing the mastectomy. She is very nice and skilled from what I can tell from when she did the biopsy back in May. We had lunch at AppleBees and then one more appointment for pre-op instructions for what to expect before surgery and how the care for after surgery. We didn't get done with the instructions until about 3:30 or 4pm and then we drove back to Midland. The kids had done a fun video of them dancing in the dark while wearing those glow in the dark necklaces and bracelets on Sunday night. It was actually quite fun looking because they each had them on differently. It was sort of hard to guess which of our kids was wearing what. There was a lot of giggling in the video which made me smile so much and laugh. Before we went back to where the kids were, we stopped at Michaels craft store and I got a new floor light to help me while cross-stitching. It should help me be able to work on my project while watching tv but not bothering everyone with overhead lights that are hard on the eyes while watching a movie. And we picked up a few things because while Morgan patches her eye, she has to work on things and I'm going to teach her how to cross-stitch. We're starting with a cute watermelon.
On Tuesday, with sad hearts, we headed back home. Our dear sweet and sensitive Morgan cried, dare I say bawled, when it was time to leave. We all enjoyed our time with Aunt & Uncle for the few days we were there and it was hard to say goodbye so instead we'll say see ya in a few weeks.
So here's the medical update of things. I go on Monday July 27th for the 4th and LAST chemo treatment. I will have a PET scan done in Green Bay, WI on August 6th and need to get the results to the surgeon in Ann Arbor, MI to be sure that it doesn't change our surgery plan.
The results from the mammogram and the u/s that was done show that the tumor in the breast has shrunk but looks like something has elongated. The Nurse Practitioner said that what they saw could have been necrosis (or the death of tissue) in the breast which can happen with chemo. They will know more when pathology comes back after surgery. They also said that no lymph nodes showed up as inflamed (I think that's what they referred to it as), which is good and shows that the chemo is working. They will have a better view of things with the PET scan in August. Now remember that the 1st PET scan I ever had back in Nov of 2013 showed 1. the tumor in the breast, 2. the axillary lymph node AND about 20 other spots that lit up in the bones of my shoulders, spinal bones, hip bones, ribs, sternum, etc. The PET scan done in April 2015 showed only 3 spots and the rest of the bones didn't light up 1. The original tumor 2. the right axillary lymph node (probably how the cancer traveled (metastasized) to the bones 3. A new spot on the tailbone Even though there was a new spot that we weren't pleased about, because that meant something had changed or that the meds had stopped working, we praise God that all those other spots were not lit up, they were clear, even though the doctor says it is good that they didn't light up but that we don't know what is there microscopically. I know that God has healed those bones and that even though I am having this surgery, that God is directing my path and healing me.
The plan for the surgery is that we'll head down to drop the kids off and Aunt & Uncle's and then Adam & I will continue on to Ann Arbor and try to get a good night's sleep. I will shower and fast and then have a radial modified mastectomy with axillary lymph nodes checked out. It will be done as an outpatient and Adam & I agree that it is probably best that we sleep that night in Ann Arbor and then travel up to where the kids are the following day. We were given special care instructions for the drains that they will put in and when there is less than 30 ml of collection for 2 days in a row, we can call and go back to Ann Arbor to have the drains removed. They say it usually takes between 7 - 10 days to reach this point and I am believing that God will heal me quickly and there will be a smooth recovery. We are looking to stay within the area until the follow up appointment and then head back home in hopes that the several hour drive will be more doable for me and not cause blood clots or any other complications.
As much as this whole diagnosis and process sucks to have to deal with, we are so very thankful for how God is orchestrating the big and little things on this journey. We are blessed with so much wondering and helpful family members to make sure that all the details are taken care of, including our 4 precious cargo, I mean children. And we are also blessed with caring and loving friends who have helped feed us, watch the kids for the hours and hours that it takes for treatment, when we wanted to go on a few dates, cards and gifts of encouragement and practical things like new dish towels from all over the states, gas cards for the traveling expenses, etc. God is providing and we want to thank all who have headed his nudge to pray for us, to call, meet up with us, to help out in big and little ways. And honestly, nothing is really little. It all matters and means so much to us. So thank you all for helping us cope and keep going on this journey. You help me keep my faith strong and my eyes on God because of all the precious little things that He's taking care of and using you all to help with. Thank you!!!!!!!
I think I covered everything for this update but it is pretty late and I'm pretty tired because today I dropped my van off to have the oil changed and some work done to it and I walked back to the house. The kids and I walked to lunch and back. Then I biked with Morgan for her meeting about being baptized, and then I walked back to get my fixed van. I'm trying to get as much exercise and be as healthy as I can in this last few weeks before surgery because I won't be allowed to lift my arm above my head or lift more than 10 pounds for about 6-8 weeks. That's a long time to have to tell Sadie to climb onto my lap to get loves instead of lifting her up into my arms. Gonna be a change but we can do it.
As I was walking today and my foot was hurting and I knew I didn't have too much left to walk I did what I have been doing, I started speaking scripture out loud because it helps me remember to keep my eyes on Christ. I realized that I pushed the walking past my physical ability with my foot having issues but I did way more than I thought I could do. Trust God to help you with the BIG things and the little things. He will help things fall into place in the right way. He wants the best for you. He loves you deeply. Be open to Him and His ways. They are better than you could possibly imagine.