Wednesday, October 27, 2010

3 Month Post Op Visits

The past two weeks have included many fun activities, but listed among them was my 3 month post-op visits with both my surgeon and my endocrinologist.
First up, I saw my surgeon. Let me just reiterate how much my family and I love my surgeon. The morning of my visit, Caleb was full of questions and curiosity (more than normal) and Piper peed on me (she's potty training and in Pull-ups, but that's another story for another day). My doctor didn't even bat and eye and we were able to carry on a conversation and get a physical exam in during all the chaos.
During my exam, my doctor was checking my incision and also checking for other swollen lymph nodes or lumps. He found none and felt that my prognosis was very, very good.
The next week I visited my endocrinologist and this visit I had the opportunity to see the nurse practitioner, whom I just love. In fact, I have opted to see just her from now on, with the exception of my once yearly visit with the "head" doctor. The last time I saw this NP, I had made an emergency appointment for a racing heart rate and the inability to write or hold a scalpel due to a severe tremor. During that visit, she put me on a beta blocker, a potent heart and blood pressure medication. So, needless to say, this visit was vastly different from the last.
Basically, she went through a long laundry list of symptoms, asking severity and if I was experiencing any of them. Mostly, these symptoms are negative, indicative of disease.
I explained to her that I have felt so terribly bad for so, so long that I wasn't even aware of how bad I was feeling or how sick I was and that now I felt like a totally different, well, whole person. Seriously guys, I haven't felt this well and good since I was probably a young teenager. Anyway, she took a look at all my blood work from August, the day of my whole body scan after my in-patient radiation treatment, during my appointment. Based on that bloodwork, it appears that the cancer is gone. I will have the blood work again in January at approximately 6 months. The only other thing that we had to do was the monitoring of my hormone levels to ensure that I have the correct amount from the synthetic hormone that I will take for the rest of my life. Right now, I am in suppressive mode, meaning that I'm taking a bit more hormone than the average hypothyroid patient. This type of therapy, for at least one year, decreases, dramatically, the ability and chance of any more cancer cells to grown and multiply. From what I gather, after a year on this type of treatment I will be retested, maybe by scan, and my medication will gradually be decreased to normal levels. I just had to up my dosage by a half a pill on Sundays and that's it.
So, that is the long and short of it all. Essentially, I'm well and healthy and waiting for my appointment in January. All in all, I'm super happy and forever thankful that I'm as well as I am!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Homecoming 2010

About a week and a half ago, the family and I packed up the car and headed out to East Texas for my college homecoming weekend. It also, just so happened to be the 10 year anniversary of our graduation from said college.
Friday night, we drove to Tyler, about 2 hours east of our place in McKinney. For some reason we thought that driving half way there on Friday night and staying in a hotel would be easier on us and the kids than just getting up super early and driving all the way out to Marshall, about 4 hours from our home. Let's just say that we won't be trying a visit to a hotel again for awhile. Caleb, being the kid that he is and super laid back about sleeping somewhere other than home, did just fine. Piper, on the other hand, was a holy terror both Friday night and most of the day on Saturday due to sleep deprivation. Eventually, around 11pm Friday night, 4 hours after her normal bedtime, Jes put Piper in the car and drove her around until she fell asleep. He then had to hold her most of the night and then she was up super early.
Just suffice it to say that she was a real joy the next day. Can we say tantrums 'r us?!?

Here is the boy wonder and his spit fire side kick in front of the sign at my alma mater, ETBU. I had forgotten how homey and comforting the campus was. When my parents and I were looking for a college, while I still in high school, we visited numerous schools, none of them feeling quite right. As soon as we pulled onto campus and got out of the car I knew that ETBU was where I was supposed to be. As it so happened, my future husband was a short 30 minutes down the road in Longview at LeTourneau, so it all worked out! :)

Here are the kids in front of the student center. This building holds the bookstore, the cafeteria and the mail room and boxes. I spent many a late night in this building studying, eating many and memorable (not necessarily in a good way) meals, and burning myself out on Chick fil A, our only on campus food choice that wasn't cafeteria food. The place smelled exactly the same and took me back!

We took the kids to the bookstore, thinking we would emerge with t-shirts for both, but both wanted some sort of stuffed animal. Caleb also got a cool camo ETBU hat and I got Piper a hooded sweatshirt that she'll be able to wear for a couple of years, so everyone was happy! Here they are with their new friends, Beary and Ribbet.

Caleb got to hang out with his friend Dallas,

and I got to see some college friends that I don't get to talk to near or see often enough.
Even with the sleep deprivation it was a super fun weekend.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


I know that I've not been updating this here blog as often as I should/have been, but, in the interest of full disclosure, there are some reasons for that.
First and foremost, this place that I started to post photos of my adorable children has kind of turned into my medical drama. However, I have come the conclusion that that is an issue that I can change and will.
Second, I have been inadvertently, on my part, been drug into some family business that really have no business being in. To top it all off, this family member has made me swear to secrecy all the while putting me in between a rock and a hard place and in between this person and another close family member, who happen to be warring on a regular basis on the topic of choice. It's hard for me to write here when one of these family members could potentially read about it and then I would be drug into the issue even more. So, I'm keeping my mouth shut and trying to censor myself, but the by product of that is I feel censored in my writing too.
Lastly, Jes and I have some pretty big decisions to make. He has an opportunity that would be huge and in some ways fabulous and in others potentially disastrous. So all in all, another thing that I can't really talk about. If you are inclined, just pray for us and for clarity of mind and peace about whatever decision we come to about this particular issue.
I'll be back soon with some uber cute photos of the kiddos soon! We are going to my 10 year college reunion Saturday, as well as a quaint little festival dubbed The Fireant Festival. It's a whole level of craziness that many of you have never experienced, but is deeply beloved by my college friends. I'll have lots of fun photos of all the fun and craziness for y'all when I get back here!

Saturday, October 02, 2010


Have y'all seen that American Cancer Society commercial? It's the one with Justin Bieber (did I spell that right?) singing happy birthday. The next screen is the statistic that 11 million cancer survivors will celebrate a birthday this year. Mine comes in 16 days. I can say that this year I will appreciate that day more than I think I ever have!