Hi to my family and friends,
Just a note to let you all know why I haven't posted anything for a while. Well, back in March I had a very serious health issue. I suddenly started cramping and bleeding (hemorrhaging actually) and had to call an ambulance. The initial exam that I had showed pre-cancer in the uterus. On May 6th I had what was supposed to be a 2 1/2 hour surgery that turned into a 6 1/2 hour surgery for a complete hysterectomy. My main concern going into the surgery was waking up in AWFUL pain like I did after my children were born. My surgeon assured me that that would not happen. I woke up and the whole time from the surgery through recovery my pain level was never above a 4. The surgery went very well and I had an awesome OB GYN surgeon ...a sweet, sweet doctor that I really like, Dr. Sadighi from Kaiser in Antioch. The reason it took so long was a result of having two caesareans in the early 1970's and there was a LOT of scar tissue. The surgery was done laparoscopically so the doctor didn't have to cut me completely open. I am so glad she took her time and was able to do the surgery this way. Well, the lab tests came back and the result was uterine cancer and one microscopic cancer cell in the first of 10 lymph nodes that they took out. As a result, I am now on chemotherapy. I had my first chemo on Monday July 7th. After my treatment I felt a little tired and weak, but not too bad really. I woke up today feeling like normal and very pleased with that.
I have had a LOT of support from my family and friends. My oldest son, Todd and his fiancee, Megan, came down from Oregon as soon as they heard that I would need surgery and stayed with me for nine days and totally took EXCELLENT care of me. When I came out of surgery my head was hurting sooooo bad from the hard pillow in the hospital and Todd and Megan went all the way back to my house and got me my really soft pillow for my head. (They actually brought three pillows because he wasn't sure which one I meant!) I was in Kaiser Hospital in Walnut Creek and I live in Brentwood, about a 45 minute drive each way. Wow! It meant sooooo much that he would do that for me! Todd's two youngest children were here with me too and were a big help for me too...they're AWESOME grandchildren!!!
My youngest son, Corey and his wife Amanda and their children, were all sick right before my surgery, so they were not able to be with me physically before, during, or after my surgery. Also, they had a cruise planned about 2-3 days after my surgery, and I told them not to cancel it. The money wasn't refundable anyway and besides it was a vacation that they really needed to go on. They hadn't been away on a nice vacation since before their 9 year old son was born. After they got home they came over and spent the day with me and brought me a wonderful dinner. They called me whenever they could while on their cruise to check up on me and make sure I was doing well. Also, Corey has his work schedule planned so he can be with me for every chemo treatment. Am I blessed, or what? I have some pretty awesome sons and I thank God every day for them. Knowing my children are always there for me during hard times is such a wonderful feeling and a huge blessing. I am overwhelmed!!!
My awesome brother, Ron, has been here for me also. He too is going to all my chemotherapy treatments and took me to one of my doctor appointments. He brought Linda and I lunch one day, took us out to lunch another day, and brought me soup, fruit, and some awesome dark chocolate peanut butter cups!!! I had an awesome nurse, Cathy, who took care of me during chemo. We were all being goofy and had her in stitches laughing. I asked if I could put my order in to have her for my nurse from now on, but she said no. All the nurses there take turns so they can all take turns with the good patients. But she did say she had a really fun time with us!!!
I also have some awesome friends. When my neighbor/friend, Shirley, found out I was in the emergency room, she came right over to the hospital and stayed with me until about four in the morning and then drove me home. She also brought me flowers and dropped off fruit to me a couple of times. My friend Phyllis took me the 2nd time and stayed with me for a long time also. And then Shirley took me the third time and stayed with me again. My doctor said that she didn't want me to be alone at all from the time I had my surgery until after my post-op appointment which was a month later. I wasn't allowed to cook, clean, do dishes, no bending, or anything else except take care of myself and take it easy. After Todd went back to Oregon my friend Sue came over for a day and a night to stay until my best friend Linda got here. Sue had actually planned on being here for a few days/nights, but after my surgery Todd decided to stay longer. Also, Sue's daughter whom I don't even know that well volunteered to take me to my first oncology appointment after my surgery. WOW!!! She is a really sweet lady and, like her Mom, is always willing to help wherever she can. Linda came down on the train from Redding, Ca which is a four hour drive by car. Linda stayed with me for three weeks and five days!!! I was sooooo blessed to have her here. She helped me out sooooo much with cooking, cleaning, laundry, driving me around, etc. My neighbor/friend Caroleene brought breakfast and dinner, flowers, etc. My friend Phyllis was here on the weekends when she could be and also helped me out sooooo much bringing dinner and doing cleaning and laundry. And all of them prayed for me!!! My church was also very supportive: Pastor Chantelle came to the hospital to pray with me and my family. She also made a trip to the train station to pick up Linda. Pastor Chantelle and our secretary, Janet, made many phone calls to make sure I was alright, and many, many prayers were said by the Pastor and the board. Another friend, Beth, came over this past Wednesday and took me out to lunch as she has an elderly mother she is taking care of and couldn't get over here sooner. Another friend, Pat and her husband Ken, told me to call them before EVERY cancer treatment so they can be praying for me night and day. And I also have the prayers and support of many, many other people across the nation. My sister Ginny whom I love very much...and her friends in New York , my friends Mila and Mike (Mike is a Southern Baptist Minister). I met Mila online almost 15 years ago, visited her once in Wyoming. They are AWESOME friends and I wish we didn't live so dang far apart!!! My son posted my situation on Facebook and tons of his friends from all over the U.S.A. are praying for me. WOW!!! I am completely overwhelmed at all the support I've had. Even today a friend is with me for three days. I went to a chemotherapy class and they suggested that someone be here for three days after each of the chemo treatments as that was the time I would most likely not feel well and would have a hard time cooking, etc. So, my friends have all set up a schedule to be here for the three days following each chemo treatment. My son Corey also said that he would be here anytime I need him, even if it's in the middle of the night!!!
My family prayed, my friends prayed, my church prayed, and I prayed...that this would not be cancer and that it would not be in my lymph nodes, and that I wouldn't have to go through all this. Well, sometimes we don't understand exactly why God allows things like this to happen to us. But, I do believe that there is a reason behind it and that it's all in His plan, and that one day I will understand the reason why. When I first learned I would have to have chemotherapy I was pretty upset, but as time when on I've learned to accept it, and now I am actually thanking God for it. One of the oncologists I saw said that my chances were very good of the cancer not returning after the chemotherapy treatments.
Through all this I've often thought of Job in the Bible and all that he went through. God was with him just as I know He is with me. If you are going through a hard time in YOUR life, I would suggest reading the book of Job. You will really see How God was always with Job and how He will always be with you too! I don't blame God for this. I blame the world we live in...disease is in the world and it has no favorites! Without my faith in God and all the support I've had this would be an almost insurmountable task.
Right around the time all this started God gave me this beautiful Christian song called "Oceans" by Hillsong. If you haven't heard it, look it up on You Tube. You will LOVE it!!! It has helped to sustain me. I love to sing (although I can't very well...but God only requires us to "make a joyful noise...and I HOPE mine is joyful...I'm sure it is to Him...) and God has often given me just the perfect song at times when I have gone through different phases of my life...whether good or bad.
A SPECIAL THANK YOU to all my family, friends, and church, who have been with me through this whole ordeal. I KNOW I could not have done it without you. You are all AWESOME and I know God has placed each one of you in my life for such a time as this!!! God is good...all the time!!!
Oh, about the freebie: this is the first drawing I've done on the computer! I hope you all enjoy it!
P. S. If you're a Christian believer, please say some prayers for me.
God Bless you all!!!