Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I went to see the RAD ONC on the 27th of last month.
Dr Caudell moved away, so I have a new Dr. that will oversee me now along with Doc S.
The visit went well. I like the new Dr just fine.
found out some good stuff...
the area that they radiated was so "Specific" (my word, not his) that there is a chance that I could have radiation again, should the cancer come back.
(before this I was told that the only thing we could do if it came back a 3rd time was to take out my this is VERY GOOD NEWS)
Also, there is a 95% chance that the cancer will NOT come back!
AND because the radiation was given in such a specific area, there was little damage to the surrounding tissues and thus I am at less of a risk for getting a secondary cancer in my salavary glands, thyriod, tonsils, etc.
AND I have "webbing" between my cords.
This explains Doc's concerned look, and why he acted so wierd AND why he would not let me see my cords when i visited with him last.
He did not tell me about the webbing (because he knows me and knew I would freak out), But Dr Pak told me very matter of factly, as though it is no big deal. I sent Doc S an e-mail and asked him about it. He said that the steriod inhaler he gave me should arrest the webbing, but wont correct it.
He also said that this what is preventing my voice from being normal.
AND he will have to surgically repair it.
I looked online and there is a 6-8 week total voice restriction following this procedure. They have to put a keel in to seperate the cords and prevent them from closing back together....(sigh) great. It stays in for about 4 weeks. So, I guess it is 4 weeks of voice restriction because of the keel and then 2 more weeks to heal. I am wondering, does one drink and eat with this keel in? If it is holding the cords open, then wouldn't you get choked? hmmmm...more questions for the good Doctor.
Anyway, we are all about hospitaled out and the thought of another surgery and more voice rest is not very appealing. I talked to the hubs about it when I got home and we are not going to make the decision to or not to do the surgery just yet. Going to wait and see what my voice does as it heals.
I could really use a miracle right now. Would be GREAT if I went in next time and the webbing was gone.
I feel like I have a lump in my throat. Feels very similar to whan I had the granuloma abck in 09....hmmmm....this is what I told Doc when i went in after I first started treatment and felt like my airway was restricted. I wonder if I had the webbing then. I will have to remember to ask him about that when I see him end of the month.
I don't have to see the Rad Onc again until January. The rad "burn" scar on my neck is still there. I'll post a pic later on the week. I will continue to see Doc S every month for a year like before. If the cancer does not come back, i'll see him every 2 months for a year and then every 3 months for a year, and then every 4-6 months for a year and then once a year for....well, for 10 years. 
Am leading Ladies Bible Study again and it feels so good to be back in the groove.
We are having 2 big ladies events at the church in November and December and I am over the top excited about the ladies who are getting involved! God is doing amazing things in the lives of so many in our congregation and i am excited to ba able to witness their growth!!!!
I still get really tired. (Only when i don't rest like I should.) For example, I did not rest Sunday afternoon like I normally do. Instead, i cleaned out the sunroom and moved all my painting stuff out there (so now I can say that I have a "studio" I guess!).  So, today I feel bad. not bad. Just really tired... and I am supposed to go tot the gym after work....ugh!
There are so many reasons that I am thankful that God has allowed me to have cancer.
I am continually amazed at the lengths to which our Father will go in order to make sure that we have what we need.
For me, He has given me the experiential knowledge of His trustworthiness to add to Scriptural knowledge.
In doing this, He has given me a marvelous confidence in His sovereignty and has blessed me with tremendous faith in His Plan (even when I can't understand what he is doing).
I would never have learned to trust Him so completely, had I not had cancer. I would not have had the wonderful opportunity to pray with the ladies I met waiting for radiation, had I not had cancer. I would not have met my Doctors, residents, and nurses, had I not had cancer. I would not have met Dr Schweinfurth and been able to share the love of Christ with him for all these years had I not had cancer TWICE... and I will gladly battle it again for the privilege of witnessing God's hand at work in the lives of so many people.
It has taken me longer than i would have liked for me to get to this point, but I am thankful that God kept working on me until I trusted Him fully.
A sweet friend told me when I was diagnosed this second time that we can't have a testimony without a test. I am thankful for this test because of the wonderful testimony of God's hand in my life as He carried me through this valley.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Anemia could be the cause of my fatigue!

School is out and summer is here!
Everything is absolutely great!!!!! I found out last week that I am anemic! This IS good news because it means that all this fatigue that I have been battling MIGHT not be from the radiation I got last summer. OH! To think that I might get my energy back!!!!  I am going to a few doctors to try and discover why I am anemic, but started taking an iron supplement and folic acid tonight.
I am super excited! I am so tired of being so tired!!!! I had resigned myself to being terribly tired for another year. I am so excited that anemia could be the cause!!!!

We have 2 new animals added to Izzy's zoo: Bugsy the Guinea pig and Bob the turtle. At least I think she named the turtle Bob....not entirely sure about that.

BDub made Student Council and the soccer team for next year. He still plans to play football and will try out for baseball too.

Still going to see Doc once a month until August. If I am still cancer free, I think I will be able to see him every other month starting in September. Last time I made it 2 years cancer free, so I expect I will get a little nervous as that 2 year anniversary approaches.

Still cannot believe that I have had (and beat) cancer twice.

I will go see Dr B tomorrow to discuss my anemia and will post about that tomorrow night.


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Everything is good!!!!

Things are going great and sometimes when things are going great, it is hard for me to find time to sit down at the keyboard and get my thoughts in print. That is certainly the case right now.

Several things have happened since i posted last....

Doc did my (first) surgery to remove the webbing between my vocal cords. I was terribly sick after surgery again...bad reaction to the anesthesia again. Will NEVER again fail to tell them that I get terribly sick after being put to sleep. I was sick for 3 of the 5 days that I took off of work to recover, but did okay when I went back to work. Everyone at work is so used to this process by now...they take very good care of me while my cords heal. The surgery opened the webbing about half way and Doc says that is good for the first try. After being on complete voice rest for 22 days, it was not what i wanted to hear. Oh well, we plan on doing the surgery again in 6 months.

He did biopsy while he was in my throat during surgery and ALL THE BIOPSIES CAME BACK CLEAR!!! Now THIS news was totally worth 22 days of voice rest! I am so relieved to know for certain that the radiation worked and that we are starting over with a clean slate...sort of.

Went for my quarterly visit to see Dr Pak and got to visit with all the folks in Radiation Oncology. I am recovering well from the radiation and have very few lasting side effects. The Radiation scar on my neck is still fading. The skin on my neck is tight, but Dr Pak said I should stretch it like he told me to before (oops). The most obvious reminder to me is the dryness in my throat. I cannot express how THANKFUL I am that all the folks at UMC worked together to prevent my salivary glands from being damaged. I have no dry mouth. The mucosa on one area of my vocal cords was damaged, but only my vocal cords are dry. I am truly blessed! I am so thankful to be on this side of that journey. It is so nice to get to visit with the radiation oncology folks now. I'm sure they enjoy seeing those of us that are healed. Aside from the clear biopsies, I do FEEL better. It will be 1 year since my last radiation Treatment on August 31, so I am now 8 months Post Radiation. I have just recently started having many more good days than bad, but I do not hesitate to take a weekend nap if I feel tired.

Since I wrote in March, both my children have had birthdays and Calvin and I have celebrated another anniversary.

We are less than 2 weeks away from the Ladies Ministry's Spring Fling. This will be our only fundraiser for the year and I am so excited to see how different ladies have really stepped up and used the gifts God has given them to help pull this event together. My good friend Debi Green is going to talk to the ladies that day and I cannot wait to see how God will use the story of her life to bless others. My mom and grandmother will be traveling from Tennessee to visit with us too and I am over the top excited to be able to see them for a little while!

So, that's what's been happening.
My family is sleeping soundly and I think I will join them.
Good night!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Been too long!

I am amazed at how quickly time flies!
I have been trying to keep up with the FLO Blog for the Ladies Ministry and have totally neglected my time here! This is not a good thing, because writing here is like therapy for me. For some reason, writing has been a great outlet for me all of my life. Even as a girl, I kept journals. Getting my thoughts in print not only helps me be objective, but also allows me to keep a record of what God has done!

I have the journal where I recorded meeting Calvin and asked God to "please, please, please let him be the one". We have been married 15 years today.

I can look back over the posts here and see where God has done so many amazing things in my life over just the past three years and am thankful for the reminders that "God's got a plan and a purpose and His ways are ALWAYS best."

We have had revival at Pearson this week and I was truly sad to see it end last night. Although I know that true revival is ongoing in us individually, it is still sad to me to see the meetings end. I have looked forward to getting off work each day and worshipping with our friends each day. Our good friend Matt Jones was with us and it did our family good to visit with him. I enjoyed the dinner discussions with Calvin, Matt, and Gary and other friends after we left the church as much as I enjoyed the sermons. It is always interesting to me to hear Calvin and his "preacher friends" discuss things... their view of things is quite different from what I hear from others and is refreshing. It is nice to be able to rest in the assurance that Calvin surrounds himself with Christian men who lift him up and hold him accountable. Our friends influence us as adults just as they did when we were kids. I am very thankful to be married to a man who truly seeks God's guidance every day and doubly thankful that the men who he surrounds himself with do as well.

Tonight I will go home and do some MUCH needed house work and laundry! I have neglected our home terribly this week. Ha! I guess I will cook dinner too! As much as I have loved being at church every night this week, I am tired and ready for the weekend.

I know that I am rambling and that this post is rather pointless, but things are pretty uneventful right now.

So far as my throat is concerned, I am doing great until Doc tells me otherwise. I'll see him again on the 16th and we'll discuss another surgery to remove the webbing that formed between my cords and correct other danage that was done during radiation. I am really hoarse right now and not sure the exact cause of that. Probably just means that i need to consider going ahead with the surgery rather than waiting til the end of the year as I had planned. At any rate, I will be glad to let Doc look at my cords next week. It is reassuring to have him tell me that all is well.

Great things are going on at Pearson. Our friends are growing in their realtionships with Christ and THAT is exciting! Moreso for us than for them at the moment, because spiritual growing pains hurt our hearts just as physical growing pains hurt our bodies. BUT, on the other side of these valleys, they will be stronger, more mature Christians and THAT is cause for total excitement!

God has pressed me these past weeks as well. He has forced me to choose to follow Christ in more and more ways. During revival, we were challenged to ask what Pearson would look like in order to be "the talk of the town". Gary challenged each of us to choose to be "all in" and make God-Sized goals.

I am ready. I'm all in. I'm also ready for battle...because that is what usually happens when I ask God to let me do big things for Him. My idea of big things and HIS idea of big things are obviously very different. Still, I am all in, ready for Him to use me however He sees fit.

Til next time,