Thursday, June 21, 2012


"The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.  My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song."           ~Selah~

Psalm 28: 7-8

Dr. Arora is my NEW BFF!!  Went to see my Oncologist today.....and received GREAT NEWS!!  It is confirmed that I will NOT have to have chemotherapy!  My 'oncon type' test which is given a score on a scale of 0-100, was a 10!  Meaning it is on the low end....and  translates to no chemo! 

My CT scan did show several pulmonary nodules in my left lung.  Dr. Arora is not concerned at all about this finding.  He explained that they are very small in size (too small to even biopsy) and are common in most people who have ever had inflammation, infection, or just breathing here in the mid-west.... could also be residual scar tissue from past radiation.  He will monitor and will follow up in one year with another scan to see if any changes. Just need to begin a regime of a hormone blocker daily pill and some calcium supplements and I'm in the clear!!!

Thank you to my Father up above for answering our prayers and carrying us through this! I am so very thankful that he gave us this opportunity to teach us and remind us of His promises and His goodness.  I have been reminded that He is my strength and a fortress of salvation. That He is always alert and active.  His presence watches over us continually, protecting us from both known and unknown dangers.  My heart leaps for joy and I will daily give him thanks!  My vision is different....I'm looking at life through very different lenses.  I am truly grateful for the people that He has put in our remind me of His Son Jesus....who I saw every single day in so many of you.  Thank you for being His hands and feet.  

Ding...ding...fight's over....K.O..BABY!!!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

"Worrying is like paying interest on borrowed troubles~Beth Moore~

"Trust Me and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song"  ~God~

It felt SO good to walk at the park today....and for 35 mins!  I also worked out my arms more today with exercises to strengthen them....I can almost raise them up towards the sky.

Other Goals accomplished:

-Sleeping on my sides
-Fix the back of my hair  (so it doesn't look like bed head)
-Most days I have NO naps
-Wearing most anything.... not just the button down the front!
-Went back to Church!

Still have a few more goals to attain, but I'm getting there!

Tomorrow I visit the Oncologist to discuss further treatment.  The temptation to be anxious is constantly with me.  I'm thankful of the awareness of God's presence that fills my mind with His Peace.....leaving no room for fear.  ~Selah~


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
Romans 15: 13

As I was looking for a verse to type, my dear friend had just text me this verse.  Thank you Gina, perfect verse- perfect timing!

Had a little bit of a rough day today.  My right side filled up with much, much fluid. (Sorry, I know that sounds disgusting,)  I thought I had grown another breast on my right side.....instantly.  There was so much swelling and tightness, I thought if I were to be pricked with a needle, I would pop.  The 2 ton elephant had returned....he decided he liked to hang out and rest on my chest a bit longer.  Called my surgeon, Dr. Neblock.....she says, "oh dear, sounds like a 'seroma'."  I'm thinking, what the heck....I have a what?  She explains that it's very common after such a major surgery, and my body is just making fluid to fill in 'empty' spaces where tissue used to be.  She suggested that I come to the office and have it aspirated and drained out.  To the office we go.....yep, definitely a seroma.....aspiration of fluid, and booo-yaah - INSTANT RELIEF!!!! Everything shrunk back to my new normal, and the elephant ran down the hall-  I felt SO much better!  Doc informed us that we may need to do this several times until healing is complete.  That's just fantastic.

I walked a bit further tonight....we were out for about 20 mins this time.  Pretty good, since normally its only about 6 mins.  I am progressing each day, and gaining more energy all the time. I  still can't lift much......(I miss watering my flowers.....for some reason that brings me great joy.)  But, my range of motion is improving, which is really nice.

A few goals I'm trying to achieve:

1) Walk for 30 mins.
2)  Fix the back of my hair
3)  Sleep on my side
4)  Sleep on my tummy
5)  Reach both arms up to the sky
6)  Go the entire day....without a nap
7)  Put on certain clothes
8)  Run the vacuum
9)  Get back to Church
10) Drive
11) Get back to work
12) Give tight, big hugs!

I can do it....I will do it...soon....very soon.

Until then, I will carry on and just  pause, rest, be still........~Selah~

Monday, June 11, 2012

 "Trust in Him at all times, O People;   pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge."  Psalm 62: 8       

Enjoyed my Mother being here for a short time, we hated to see her go back to Indy so soon.  She has a gift of 'serving' and 'caring' for others....even though I'm 50 years old, she still takes good care of her little girl.  It truly was great to have my momma around.....We ventured out some, the best was our pedicure!  The pictures below show her priceless face as she laughed during the scrubbing of her feet....that are very ticklish....that was entertaining!  Love and miss you already momma....hope to see you again soon!

I continue to heal and I'm getting out and about a little more.  I'm still not able to drive, being the controlling person that I am, I LOVE to be the driver, and it is killing me to being the passenger all the time!  Dave is loving that one....he just looks over at me and gives me his cute little grin. God is really stretching me and teaching me a lot through the smallest of things! Car rides are still 'challenging', who would have thought of all the muscles used when riding in a car?  Little bumps, jolts, turns, etc...tend to remind me that I'm still in the healing process.   I still get out and walk...I'm not ready for a walking 5k just yet, but I do go to the end of our court and back.  I'm a little 'stir-crazy' ready to get back to work or at least back to some sort of a 'normal' routine.  I'm learning a LOT about patience and just abiding ('settle-in') with HIM!

HUGS....well, lets just say they don't get enough credit in life.   We take hugging for granted. Those who claim they are 'not huggers', I'm convinced beyond a shadow of doubt, that hugs are truly a gift from God. We must not miss out on that little gift in life.  Let me encourage all of you to hug the daylights out of those of whom you 'hug.'  I miss those tight hugs, and I look forward to 'embracing' them again one day.  I know for a fact that I'm better off without my breasts.... than without arms to hug!

I have a CT scan this Friday, to make sure there are no cancerous tumors anywhere else around my organs.  Then, I see my surgeon next Monday for another follow-up, and my oncologist next Thursday to talk about the last piece of the puzzle...the conclusion of all pathology results.  This is where I will learn the direction of recommended treatment involving chemotherapy....or not.  My Oncologist (cancer doc.) is awesome, he doesn't mess around.  He sat and talked with Dave and I for quite sometime.  He is compassionate, but doesn't 'sugar-coat' anything.  That's what I like.

My prayer is that I will not have to have any chemo at all....or at least just the 'mild' pill form to take at home.  Or....that if I do have to have the 'strong' stuff, that I can press forward and endure.  I believe that HE is ABLE, and will not give us anything we cannot handle, and that HE will continue to carry US through! 

God has designed us to need Him moment by moment each day.  My desire is that as I am focused on the awareness of my increasing neediness, that I also remember that His abundant sufficiency also increases.  May I not depend on self-sufficiency, but depend only on Him and receive His PERFECT PEACE with a very thankful heart.  And that, is what I strive to do each and every day.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Draw near to Me with a grateful heart, and My Presence will fill you with Joy and Peace." 


And they're out!!!!!   The drains, that is.  We are celebrating the removal of the two drains that have been attached to my sides and they are now GONE!  I am very thankful that they did their job of....'draining'.....but, we have no hard feelings of departing our ways with each other!

My healing is going well, and I'm gaining strength each day.  We've had our Sons and their families visit us...which has been great medicine for healing (for all of us!)   Our 3 oldest grand kids were informed by their parents of my surgery and situation....they have been very up front and honest with them.  They've been talking about it at home and preparing them as much as possible for the day they see me for the first time- post surgery.  They were cautious, and a little apprehensive at first....but after a few short minutes they were energetic, lively and full of joyful noise!  They've continued to give precious gentle hugs and fill me in on the latest details of their world.  They have seen with their own eyes, confirmation that I'm still 'Nana' and that I'm ok, and nothing is really all that different.  Paige actually said to me, "Nana, your chest looks like mine!"  Yep....she's right about that one! They seemed to have forgotten the whole thing at this point, and have gone on with 'normal'.   It's been real good having them around these past few days indeed...really good for them too, which is answered prayer!   I continue to get adorable photos and videos from our sweet boy Isaiah (who lives in St. Louis) and they surprised us with a short visit recently while they were in town for a wedding.  They walked right in our front door.....what a wonderful surprise that was....smiles, and lots of kissing on his sweet little face!  My mother is visiting with us for a while, and I'm looking forward to our time together.  She truly is a big help and I'm so thankful for my mom and her heart that reflects the love of Christ. Dave is back at the office this rest.

My doctor's appt. went well yesterday.....healing is going well and the doctor said she was pleased with the surgery.  She removed all the cancer and lymph nodes were clear.  She did tell us that my left breast was full of cancerous cells that had not formed tumors yet, and were 'brewing an ugly mess.' She said we were fortunate to find this tumor and take care of things before prognosis would have been worse.  She agreed with a panel of physicians that I should see an oncologist to pursue chemotherapy treatment.  They are doing a new test that is now available, that involves the cancerous cells and tumor that were removed in surgery, to see if this cancer could come back again or not.  This will dictate what kind of chemo I will most likely need.  So......PRAISE GOD for this tumor.....  It may have saved my life!  I meet with the oncologist this Thursday, but will most likely not know what chemo will be used until the pathology tests come back in 2 weeks. 

I want to again say thank you to all who have sent so many cards of well wishes, gifts, messages, flowers, food, and prayers our way......YOU ALL ARE SO LOVED!

God continues to carry me through....He continues to be present in every detail of my life....and I am so very thankful for his healing- physically, emotionally and spiritually.  I am once again reminded that a life of praise and thankfulness becomes a life filled with obvious miracles. 


                                                 My little buddy, Maddox
                         Surprise visit from Justin, Crystal and Isaiah
                                                  Our sweet boy Isaiah
                                            A pedicure from Paige and Alexis!
                                               Pretty Paige applying lotion
                                                          Pretty toes!
                                                    Zion and Nana

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"He stilled the storm to a murmur, and the waves of the sea were hushed. "
Psalm 107: 29    ~Selah~

I'm thrilled to be back at my computer again.  I just have to say that my awesome husband/caregiver/nurse/cook/housekeeper/shopper/and HUNK OF A HUSBAND has been so amazing!  I don't think he had any idea what he was in store for....but, he has handled it with such gentleness, confidence and skill! My 2 nurse daughter-in-laws would be so proud!  He truly has been a champ with everything, even when I'm not so 'pleasant' to be around.  He's so cute too.....he documents every pill, food I eat, how much fluid is draining (and he cleans both my drains too....yuck, I don't watch.) to give a report to the doctor.  He changes my dressing, serves me anything I need, lowered everything in the cabinets to my arms reach (since I can't raise my arms up yet) and tucks me in at night.  He always tells me I'm beautiful....even though I know that is not even possible at this time.  He's the best husband a gal could ask for..... I'm truly thankful for him. 

I'm humbled and overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support system that God has placed around us.  My entire family feels the peace and comfort that can only come from our Father.....He is apparent in people around relationships.  I understand more than ever that we were made to be relational.  We need people. My Church family is so special, I cannot even imagine my life without them.  I see Jesus in everyone of them...they truly are 'THE CHURCH' as it should be! God has introduced me to some new friends that I am so thankful for. His bringing our lives together is worth it all! I have re-connected with dear friends of whom I miss terribly, and I realize how important they truly are to me!  This whole thing has completely stopped me in my tracks and have slowed my life down tremendously.  I get the opportunity to just spend time with my Daddy and look for growth especially in areas where I need to let go and leave my cares and worries in His able hands.  I'm grateful for this time to reflect on HIS daily, detailed work in my life that I'm sure I might have otherwise missed.  I am reminded that HE is the God of abundance.  He will never run out of resources, His capacity to bless us is unlimited!  

My days are quiet and restful, I still wear out quick which implements long naps (the medication dictates that as well.)  I get out and walk a little with the corner and back.  We've gone out a couple of times for a quick 'get out of the house' drive for ice-cream.  I appreciate laughter more than ever, thanks to my office and Dr. Steen who put together a series of comedy gigs for me to listen to.  A dear friend recently told me that she is praying that laughter will come into my life in the next couple of days......I received with a wonderful meal (last night) a book titled, " Wake Up Laughing" from another friend.....the first chapter was about a girl name 'Tammy', (which she wasn't even aware of...BTW) is hilarious!  

There is still a 2 ton elephant sitting on my chest....I'll be glad when he decides to vacate the premises.  I go to the doctor next Monday for a post-op check and hopefully removal of my drains as well as some 'good news.'  I love getting daily text/photos of my little Isaiah, and sweet phone conversations from my 3 adorable grand kids in Joplin. My days are good.....I am very blessed.


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Update 5 from Dave

Tammy is still experiencing discomfort, but she is gaining strength each day. We were able to go for a 10-15 minute walk this morning before the temperature could get too hot. We continue to feel the prayers from our beloved family and friends. Thank you so much for heeding Paul's advice in 1 Thessalonians 5 when he told the church there to "Pray continually."  We missed worshiping with our church family and look forward to being with them soon.