Monday, December 24, 2012

Fun And Not So Fun

I think December is going to go down as the least posted month in history!  But it makes sense, I guess, since the whole month is jam packed with “stuff.”  Mostly fun stuff at least!

Let me break it down for you.

FUN-

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And the NOT SO FUN-

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Let me explain the not so fun…  Up before the sun on the morning of the 14th for my 3rd fill and my checkup with my oncologist.  Fill went well, and my appointment with Tim went well, but after the appointment he had scheduled a bone scan to check out some pain I had in my femur. 

Good news?  Femur looks good!  Bad news?  Another broken rib.  Seriously?!  He said it looks like a fracture and we will rescan in 3 months at my next appointment.  …sigh…

Of course all the “what-ifs” and such are running through my mind.  Mainly…Is this a metastatic break?  So that’s been weighing on my mind heavily.

So heavily apparently, that I now have shingles. [which explains the picture of my back in the picture above]  The stress from the unknowns of the scan plus all the goings on of Christmas and such, I guess was too much for my system. 

Tim identified the shingles immediately and put me on an anti-viral to help lessen the severity of the outbreak.  It seems to be working because my symptoms of intense itching, electric shock-like pain, and a burning sensation are all less severe than they were.  They are still there, but not as crazy, thankfully.

I was pretty bummed with the shingles thing.  I was like, “What else?!  Seriously??”  But now that I am feeling better, my mood has improved too.

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Another thing that has helped is a couple good runs. Smile  An 8-mile run on my treadmill yesterday morning before church, and a 7-mile run this morning definitely has perked me up!  Yay, endorphins!!!
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I’m going to take my happy mood to my mom and dad’s today to celebrate Christmas Eve with the family.  Tomorrow morning after we open presents here at home we will head to Jack’s mom and dad’s to celebrate and spend the day with family.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

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Merry Christmas!

God Bless!

xoxo

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

“If I Could Give One Gift”

It’s been a crazy busy week around here, with school winding down for the semester, basketball season in full swing, and Christmas is less than a week away…whoa! 

And the answer is, no, of course I’m not ready.  If you know me well, you are not surprised by this. Winking smile

To quickly update on Bulldog Basketball, we are now sporting a 7-2 record and have one more game (tomorrow night) before Christmas.  We have a Christmas Tournament that starts the 26th and is always big fun as well!  Here we go, Bulldogs, here we go!

Upward Cheer practices have started for this season!  I am helping with Katie’s squad this year.  Yes, my little girl decided to go back to her first love, cheerleading.  She wasn’t that impressed with basketball, although she was very good at it!  She has a cheerleader’s heart and more pep than most anybody so it’s a good fit.  We’re excited and getting ready for our first game which is in January.

So what made me put up a post TODAY, of all days…in between class parties, boys’ practices, and our girls night with Tiff and Gracey??

This:   Katie’s paper that she wrote for “If I Could Give One Gift.”

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I am speechless.  There are no words for how I feel.  Pride mostly.  I am so proud that my girl would give this most precious gift that would mean new life for so many of us.  I am also saddened that my baby girl has to know about a cure.  That she has to live with the ugly “c” word in her life.  But the beautiful hope that she has is inspiring.

Believingthat God is still using my cancer diagnosis for good.

Who knows, maybe one day Katie will be the one to discover that cure?       

Here’s to HOPE.

xoxo

Friday, December 7, 2012

Our Hope & Future

This is what comes to mind when I think of all the news that is coming out of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium -

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And this is what my life depends on - 213428469810915298PKSHRZvbc

Thank You, Lord, for the HOPE that Your promises bring us every single day.

Have a great Friday, friends Red heart

xoxo

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

SABCS, Another Run, & Bulldog WIN

Hey!

I am sitting in front of my computer checking out basketball pictures from last night’s game [WIN!!!], as well as keeping an eye on Twitter and the news coming out of this year’s San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS)

I love that doctors, researchers, and patients alike can all gather at this annual conference to talk about the latest and greatest developments in the treatment of breast cancer.  Tim (my fabu oncologist) is there, along with some other docs from Wash U, hopefully finding new ways to keep me alive for a long, long, long time. 

I have hopes to be able to go this conference someday.  But for now, I’ll just count on my BCSM and Twitter peeps to keep me informed. 

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Earlier this morning I enjoyed a chilly 6.25 mile run!!  I don’t know what it is with me and the .25s this week, but once I started it I figured, eh, why not continue the trend.  I know, I’m weird.  I cut over two minutes off my time from Monday’s outside run!  Getting faster!! 

Crappy news: my femur is a tad sore.  I don’t want to talk about it.  It pisses me off.  Sorry for the language, Mom, but it does. Humph.

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But regardless, it felt SO GOOD to get out the cold morning air and run.  It just makes me a happy, happy girl. IMG_7079


Like I said before, last night’s game was a WINNER!  The Varsity Bulldogs are 5-0!  I can’t remember the last time we started the season undefeated! 

The team we played didn’t have enough players for a JV game, so there was just the Varsity game last night.  Zachary got some minutes in the game and had a couple points.  I don’t know how many Tyler had last night.  I rely heavily on our school photographer extraordinaire (and friend) for many of the pics of the kids, but there weren’t any of Zach last night. Sad smile  Tyler was all over the pictures though!

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See the gold arrow in the picture above??  I just had to point out that that is MY name on a cheerleading banner hanging in the gym!  Our squad during the 1993-94 year (I was a sophomore) got 1st place at Regionals and qualified for State Competition where we took 2nd place [or Runner up, as the banner reads]!!  So fun!!

Did you have a good high school experience?  Do you ever wish you could go back and relive some of those days??  I know I do.  Jack and I talk about it all the time…I think we are reliving it through our kids now. Winking smile

Ok, Ladies: Here’s your friendly reminder!  Check your breasts, schedule your mammogram, and be your own advocate.  And tell others to do the same!  Early detection can SAVE. YOUR. LIFE.

xoxo

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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Today I Ran

(note: this post was supposed to go up yesterday (monday), but I got busy midway through and forgot. imagine.)

There have been a few posts that have had a title similar to this one.  Not like “I’m going to take a vacation from running,” kind of thing [Gosh, NO!], but a “Something is going on in my life that is forcing me to stop running.” 

I hate those.

I would much rather decide on my own to take a vacay from running, I’m not a fan of being told what to do…just ask my parents…or my husband. Winking smile 

No, every time I have had to stop running it is a must.  Ugh.

But oh happy day, TODAY I RAN!!!  Thank You, Jesus, for my feet, my legs, my lungs, and the beautiful scenery that I observed on my 6.25 mile run this morning!  It.was.glorious.

GLORIOUS.

At the time of my run this morning exactly six weeks ago, I was having my bilateral mastectomy and beginning the reconstruction process.  Meaning, all the breast tissue and “other stuff” was removed, along with a lymph node, and tissue expanders were put in.  You can check out this post to read more about it.

So in my six weeks of recovery I’ve done a LOT of walking…5-6 miles/day, 5-6 days/week.  And it’s felt great to just be moving.  Anything else was basically off limits-no weights, no pushups, nothing crazy that involves too much upper body movement.  I was also not supposed to get my heart rate or blood pressure up either-umm, I’m going to assume that my sons’ basketball games don’t count.

But yesterday, I emailed my amazing PS and her response, 2012-12-03_1648rundr

I was super excited, and a little nervous when I got her answer…why?!  That’s crazy!  I’ve been dyingggg to run for 6 long weeks and now I finally get permission and I’m hesitating! 

Truthfully I guess I just didn’t know how things would feel.  Would I have the stamina?  Would it hurt??  Would it feel like before?  Will my expander end up in my armpit if it bounces too much??

So I decided to test things out yesterday afternoon.  I wore a sports bra over the top of my surgical bra and padding that I wear every day…believe me, NOTHING was moving.
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And I hopped on the treadmill.  For 5.25 cautious miles, I alternated between running and walking.  For 61 minutes.  And everything felt good!  My boobs didn’t fall off, they weren’t sore, they felt normal!  And I felt back to normal for the first time in six weeks.

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Since my test run felt so good, I decided that I would try running OUTSIDE today.

The verdict?

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6.25 miles in one hour.  Yippee!!!!! 

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Thank.You.Lord.

Even though the skies were cloudy and gray, it could not dampen my spirits at all!

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Flying high on endorphins today!

Love y’all!

xoxo

Monday, December 3, 2012

THE County Rivalry–Yellow Sucker Game 2012

Friday night was the basketball game that everyone in Carter County looks forward to all year- the county rivalry between the West Side and the East Side,

the Yellow Sucker Game!!!

No matter the talent level of the teams, or if one is deemed better than the other, it is ALWAYS a close game; which just goes to show how much both teams “get up” for this game!

First up for the night- the Junior Varsity game!

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The JV Bulldogs lost their game, but Zach had 11 points and only played the first 3 quarters of the game! Since he also plays some Varsity and players are only allowed 6 quarters a night, Coach needs to save 3 quarters for the Varsity game. 

Zach did a great job, and represents the Bulldogs so well – he plays hard, with focus, and never takes a possession off.  I am so proud of him!!

Our boys-

Gosh, I love them so much.
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THEN, it was time for the Varsity game.

The Varsity game is where the coveted Yellow Sucker trophy is up for grabs.  It is a traveling trophy that goes between the two schools year after year, although VB has had it now for nine years!  Go Bulldogs!!  The trophy has a yellow sucker fish mounted on it (hence the name).

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The game was held at East Carter HS this year, with the location alternating every year.  Fans from both sides crammed into the gym and, as usual, there was standing room only.  Fans randomly broke into chants and cheers before and throughout the game, adding to the electric atmosphere!  We were pumped!!  And as parents, pretty nervous!

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Here we go!

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I didn’t take too many pictures during the game because I was just too nervous, but here’s Tyler, shooting free throws in the first quarter with the score tied 2-2.  He had 20 points on the night. Open-mouthed smile

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Score by quarters-

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Yellow Sucker Game WINNERS for the 9th year in a row!!!!!

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And post-game fun-

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The Yellow Sucker trophy is apparently quite happy at VBHS!  Will next year be #10??

Here’s hoping!!

Peace, Love, & Bulldogs

xoxo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Girls Day-Fill Number TWO!

My sister, Jessica, were up and at ‘em bright and early yesterday morning for our day of doctor’s appointments in STL.

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I had an appointment to get my second fill and Jessa had her annual mammogram.  It really was a “Girls” Day!  Ha!

We loaded up with plenty of coffee and hit the road.  My appointment was first, at 10:30.

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First of all, I got to see my “sister” Ally, her Mom Cindy, and her boyfriend, Justin!  That totally made my day!  Ally and I talk and/or text all the time, so how on earth we did not know that each other were going to the PS office today is beyond me!  We had our “Oh my gosh!  Hiiiiii!!!” moment in the waiting room and since the appointments were running late, we got to have a little while to visit.  Yay!  Somehow, we managed to completely forget to get a picture...humph.  Imagine that…us forgetting something?! Winking smile

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I got to visit with my favorite nurse, Marilyn, while she put 60cc in each side.  Let me just say again, I am SO GLAD that I can’t feel the huge needle that injects the saline into my expanders.  Whew.

Hey, I have some shape!  Sweet!!

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Marilyn said that everything looks good and I’ll come back in two weeks for my next fill.  I actually made my appointment for 2 1/2 weeks because on the 14th I go to see Tim (oncologist) to get checked out.  Two appointments in one day…score!

Jessa’s mammogram appointment with Julie was up next.  I used my mad city-driving skills to get us downtown only 10 minutes late for her 11:30 appointment.  Here’s what that appointment consisted of:

  1. Mammogram
  2. Get called back for more mammogram pictures
  3. Go have a 3D mammogram done to check out a specific area.
  4. Ultrasound of that area to verify that all is well.
  5. Visit with Julie to get the news that “All IS well!”

Dense breast tissue (which is common in young women) was the area they were checking out repeatedly.  They want to be sure that they get all the best images so they can see through the dense tissue.  So while extra pictures also mean extra anxiety for a few minutes, extra pictures also ensure that nothing gets left unnoticed.

But everything was perfect and she’s good to go for next year!  Yay Jess!!


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We headed to eat around 2pm…we were starving!  We scarfed down salads at Cheesecake Factory and then each ran a couple of errands. 

Can you guess which store I was heading to?
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While I’d actually love to visit all these stores (!), I really needed to grab a couple of things at Whole Foods and get going.  We had a long drive home, after all.   Ack.

Unfortunately our long drive home started out like this-

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Gah.  Love 270.  Not.

We eventually made it home around 730pm; I was completely exhausted. 

And I still am.  Seriously, I have had four cups of coffee throughout the day today and they haven’t done a thing.  I was able to have a pretty great walk this morning though, despite my tiredness-

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6.5 miles of pure freezing bliss! 

NOTE: It’s now about 445pm.  I started this blog around 1130am.  Coffee, a mini-nap, and chemo-menopause brain have all interrupted me today. 

Love to all.

xoxo IMG_6823

Monday, November 26, 2012

Current River Challenge-Bulldogs vs. Seymour

I am back with a second post today so I can get in a post about ANOTHER BULLDOG WIN before I get any further behind!  Uh, like I have ever gotten behind before…

…never mind.

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Anyway, I’m here to update that we are now 3-0 !!!!!

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(This is a cool shot of us watching Tyler with the ball.  It may be harder to find us in this picture because we look like all the other calm fans. What can I say, I was tired.)


The boys defeated Seymour, 48-38, in the second game of the Current River Challenge on Saturday night!  Again showing a lot of heart and not one ounce of quit, all five starters played the entire game.  No subs, no foul trouble, just lots of hard-played minutes.  Tyler had 15 points!

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We are SO PROUD of our BULLDOGS!
Keep working hard, boys!

xoxo

Bulldog