Wednesday, September 29, 2010


And that "most wonderful surprise visit" was from my Sister, Pam!!! She flew in from IN last Wednesday so she could go to Chemo #2 with me; and there's no way ... I mean it's impossible ... to tell y'all how wonderful it was to have her here. I'm telling ya that the Good Lord put her here in Davie at the most absolute perfect time!!! Her presence warmed my heart and kept a smile on my face :) Mr. Gene, of course, enjoyed seeing her as well :)

I gotta tell ya that she is absolutely gorgeous too!!! She's 2 years older than me, but she looks 10 years younger; and that not's an easy thing for a "little sister" to admit too (LOL). Anyway, this is the one and only picture I got of her while she was here ... she's on the left and my wonderful, life saving Sister-in-Law, Betsy is on the right, who I'm sure you will agree is also gorgeous :)

I was so happy that they met cuz they sure spent a lot of time on the phone together during the whole "brain thingie."

Betsy hand delivered some delicious homemade lasagna on that day, some homemade turkey soup and the most absolutely awesome "Scrapbook of Love and Support," which I will share in another post. You'll need to have your tissue ready when I get that one done :)

Round #2 of chemo was last Thursday and it took a whopping 5 hours. They were overloaded with gals fighting this wicked disease ... I've had the pleasure of sitting and visiting with some of the most precious souls you'd ever wanna meet during my last 2 treatments; and they truly try to accomodate the patient's family. In spite of the overload, they allowed Pam to stay with me the entire time. My chemo Nurse, Kathy, who is an angel here on Earth, just works her way around the "visiting folks" with a smile on her face :) Such a blessing!!!!

Pam got to stay till Sunday morning, so we had lots of time for visiting afterwards; and she took such good care of me!!!!!!!!!! She fixed us 2 delicious meals (chicken and rice ... tenderloin, mashed taters, green beans and fried apples), did the grocery shopping, drove me on some errands, took me back to Dr. T's office for that "dreaded N" shot and took me to pick out some scarves for this bald head of mine. Unfortunately, everyone in Davie was out shopping that day, so we were back home quite quickly. The economy is awful down here in FL, but I swear, you would think things were booming based on the crowds that were out.

Now for the bestest news ... she says she'll be back; and I am already looking sooooooooooo forward to it :)

On the medical front, it's probably safe to say that chemo kicked my butt the 2nd time around. It's strange really cuz it seems like it puts you on a roller coaster ride heading only downwards. It starts out really slow and then "wham bam," you're going at the speed of lightening. At least that's the way my body feels. The main issue I think would have to go to fatigue ... OMG, I've never been sooooooo tired in my whole life. That probably wouldn't be so much of an issue if it hadn't been for the steroids for the "brain swelling" trying it's dangest to counteract it all, so rest hasn't come easy. The "plumbing" seems to wanna shut down completely too (so sorry for that visual); and a couple of days ago, I started getting some pretty uncomfortable sores in my mouth ... way deep inside near my throat ... "Rootbeer Floats" help (LOL). The nausea has been much, much better than Round #1. They think that was due to the brain tumor. I did have to pull out my Compazine Script yesterday; but that's OK cuz that stuff really does work :) I'm also having a lot of discomfort in my knees, legs and hips, which I believe is from the "N" shot (can't remember the whole name) that they give you the 2nd day to build back up your white blood cells.

I went down to Miami for my follow up visit with the "amazing" Dr. Wolf on Monday (thank you Paul for driving me!!!!); and I have to say it was the strangest Doctor's visit I've ever been to. He walked in, asked how I was feeling, took the staples out (ouch) and then sat down to look at my chart. He was not a happy camper cuz his girls had not ordered a CT Scan, so within a matter of just a few moments, I was whisked off to that machine and back in seeing him. He walked in, said the "ventricles" (whatever the heck they are) looked good, that I could stop taking the medicine straight from hell (thank you Jesus), not to get my head wet till the next day and that he'd see me in 3 weeks for a MRI and visit. He proceeded to stand up, took my hand and said "take care sweetie." (LOL) His front desk couldn't get the MRI coordinated with him "being in the building" until November 3rd, which was AOK with me :)

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit. Sure hope all is well with all of you and we continue to thank you for your love, support and prayers :)

"And now these three remain: faith, hoPe and love, but the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


And that particular "he" would be my honey ... the wonderful man I fell in love with a life time ago :) After we received the good news on the spinal cord fluid last week, he came out dressed and ready to go somewhere. Many of you know that he suffers from "severe multilevel spinal stenosis," so this is not a sight you see often in our home cuz "going somewhere" doesn't come easily for him. Well, that's when he announced he was going to get his hair cut! He hasn't driven in quite some time now, so I said "I can't drive you today." He said "I know, I'm gonna drive myself." Well, I normally would have fussed about that; but since I didn't have a whole heck of alot of energy to fuss, I let him go cuz I thought he was just trying to do something to make his Bride happy cuz as you can see, it had been quite some time since he felt like going out for a hair cut!!! We were getting very close to "pony tail" status with a Santa Claus beard.

Well that dear sweet man not only got his hair cut ... he had it all removed so we would be "twins!!!!" I had absolutely no idea whatsoever those were his intentions and was quite emotional and elated to say the least when I realized that's what they were!!! He looks pretty dern handsome, dontcha think!!!!

Because of a language barrier, he said he had a hard time explaining to the Barber what he wanted; and in doing so, the gentleman in the chair next to him heard the entire conversation. Well, when Gene got up to the Counter to pay, the lady informed him that it had already been taken care of by another customer!!!! The gentlemen sitting next to him paid for the hair cut and asked the lady to tell Gene that he would be praying for him and his wife. Shere, absolute and total proof that there is still very much goodness in this World :) The priceless moments in our lives continue to mount :)
Thank you my love!!!!!!!! My heart is with you every moment of every day and has been for over 35 years :) Love you most!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"For this Reason, a man will leave his Father and Mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh." (Mathew l9:5)

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Tuesday evening 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday evening 7:00 p.m. Soooooooo thankful this one is blurry!!!! (LOL)

Basically, it's been a "whirlwind" of a week down here in Davie where I'm supposed to be queeeelting but can't seem to get back to it ; and here's how that "whirlwind" has played out.

Friday ... MRI of the Brain.

Saturday ... Report back showing Brain Tumor. Radiologists thinking that it is benign.

Monday ... met with Dr. T (Oncologists). She sends me immediately over to
the Hospital for a CT Scan. She would not give an opinion just yet on whether we were dealing with a Benign tumor or a Metastasis (hate that word ... I'm not even sure if I know how to spell the silly thing) to the Brain.

Tuesday ... by the Grace of God, with the help of Dr. T and with the expertise of my Dear Sister-in-Law Tracey, who works with all the Doctor's at U.T. Hospital in our home town (Knoxville, TN), we managed to get in to see one of the best Neursurgeons in the Country, Dr. Wolf, down at Doctor's Hospital in Coral Gables, FL, which is about an hour, give or take, from our house. He said it was not a benign tumor ... that it was malignant and needed to come out immediately, so I went home, got some things together and we went back and checked in through the Emergency Room that evening.

After getting settled in the Room, I was blessed with a wonderful male Nurse, who happened to be ............................... yes a "quilter!!!!!!!!" Amazing :) There's a lot of paperwork involved in a "check in;" but it took us much, much longer cuz we couldn't quit talking about "queeelting!" (LOL)

Wednesday 5:00 am ... was taken down to the "Gammal Knife Room" and they miraculously and totally uninvasively sent that nasty tumor to timbucktwo with radiation galore and equipment that probably costs more than ... uhmmmmmmm, let me think ... let's say the "Tajmahal!"

Wednesday 5:00 pm ... Because the tumor had damaged my brain's normal ability to move the fluid around, was taken down to surgery for the insertion of a shunt in my brain and a long tube to push that fluid down to my tummy.

The following night was shere misery ... brutal headaches and the worse steroid buzz on the face of the Earth. I didn't think it would ever end; and all I could think about was our Daughter and all the steroids and pain meds she had to take through the years. That sweet child was definitely with her Little Mommy that night ... I felt certain she held my hand and got me to the other side :)

Thursday ... Made it back home ... absolutely no place like it :) We still had one more hurdle to cross, as we were waiting for the pathology report from the spinal cord fluid. There was a possibility that the brain tumor from the devil himself might have let go of some cells into the spianal cord fluid. We were told that if that was the case, there would be nothing anyone could do for me. I'm happy to report that I slept like a baby ... I had a sense of peace surrounding me that was so sureal. I felt like I was wrapped in the comfort of God's arms and that He spent the night listening to all the many prayers that I knew were going up. It's the most amazing feeling in the world to put all your trust in God and the people who are praying for you ... an experience of a life time!!!!!!!!

Friday ... Well, I'm happy to report that the spinal cord fluid was clear; and now that the evil malignant tumor is gone, I go back to fighting the initial culprit, the Breast cancer, next Thursday :) God is good :)

There are no words to describe the appreciation Gene and I have in our hearts for all the prayers that we know have been said on our behalf. May goodness and mercy follow all of you good folks all the days of your lives :)

There are also no words to describe the appreciation Gene and I have in our hearts for the love, support and help beyond comprehension that we received from my Dear Brother-in-Law, Paul, and his lovely Bride, Betsy, this week. They were our God Send's because we literally could not have survived without them. We are so abundantly blessed.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God, and the peace of God , which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phillippians 4:6-7)

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I've always liked that saying ... well, I didn't like the fact that they had a problem and I've often wondered what the problem actually was; but it does go along with so many things in life, dontcha think!!!

Ya see, it appears that I have a "Brain Tumor" of all things. Talk about bad timing; but it is what it is what it is!!!! At least we now know why I've been having all these extra problems ... bad vision for about 6 weeks, getting weaker every day, getting dizzier by the minute and headaches that without a doubt are straight from hell. I just couldn't phathom that this was all from the Breast Cancer ... it just didn't make sense; and now we know ... it's from that nasty tumor in my brain :( I think it's safe to say that I don't like that thing!!!!!

We just found out this morning actually and it was a bit of a shock. They wanted me to check into the hospital to remain under observation over the weekend; but I gotta tell ya, I'd rather eat a green fly and managed to convince Dr. T (Oncologists) that my honey could observe me and I'd be a heck of a lot more comfy here at home :) She called me in some meds that will hopefully reduce the swelling in the brain. She will go by the Hospital Monday morning and pick up the actual films, which is how she likes to see things; and then I will meet her at her Office at 9:00 a.m. She has spoken to two Neuro Surgeons who she highly recommends and it sounds like they might all agree that it will be better to do Radiation to try to shrink the tumor before considering any surgery, which is AOK with me :)

At this point, she does not even think that it's related to the Breast Cancer; and they don't even know if we're dealing with a malignancy or a benign tumor. I'm hanging my hopeful hat on the "benign peg." Eight years ago, both of my ovaries were covered with monsterous masses ... all of which was benign, so I'm thinking we could be blessed once again :) I did ask her if my life was in danger and she said "yes it was." Now that I think about it, it probably wasn't a smart question cuz a brain tumor would have a tendency to put your life in danger, dontcha think!!!!!

Lawdy daisy, just a few short months ago I thought I was healthy as a horse; and now look at me. We truly do not know what tomorrow will bring so I say "enjoy each day and graciously accept it for the wonderful gift it is; and speaking of gifts, would you look at what my friends sent me!!!

Not just one, but 2 of 'em, which I wore to my first chemo ... well I actually only wore of 'em, but you probably knew that (LOL). Now the nicest and most loving part of this story is that all these friends also ordered one for themselves and those beautiful women wore them on the day of my first treatment as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know there were over 60 shirts ordered, so can you imagine!!!!! These wonderful friends are located all across the Country too ... the same group of friends that made those 3 gorgeous quilts for us in Micki's memory. Our group has grown since then and we meet daily on-line. I've had the wonderful pleasure of meeting quite a few of them in person through the years and I cannot tell you how much I love each and everyone of 'em :)

In closing, I humbly ask all of you for your prayers and I thank you for all the ones that you've already sent up on our behalf :) I also thank you for your lovely comments :) God Bless :)

"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." (Phillippians3:10)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


Please forgive me for staying gone for so long and for another "photoless" post!!! I have soooooooooo many people to thank and so many lovely things to show you all, but I'm afraid I need a few more days to get my act together.

Chemo started last Thursday; and as much as I hate to admit it, it truly kicked my butt ... still kicking it actually and I never dreamed those nasty side effects would be hanging around so long. I do think today was a tad bit better though, so I'm hopeful for even more improvement tomorrow :)

I do believe all of this would be so much easier if I could see properly. I got my new lenses last week, but they unfortunately did not do the trick :( In all fairness, I can see somewhat better; but it's a far cry from my normal vision. I go back to the Eye Doc tomorrow, so I'm praying hard he can fix me!!!!!!!!!!

I also have a Brain MRI on Thursday to make sure this Triple Negative Cancer hasn't gone anywhere it's not welcome. Two days ago, I got the worse possible headache imagineable; and I will have to say that it scared me. I've had headaches off and on my entire life, but I have never ever experienced one so brutal. It finally subsided when Gene wrapped my head and neck in ice. God Bless him cuz I know that wasn't easy for him to do!!!

We got the results of the Pet Scan; and unfortunately, the left tata lit up ... it's either new disease or remnants of the infection I had for so long. The remaining axillary nodes that weren't removed lit up as well, which I truly hated to hear. I think it's probably safe to say that I will end up with a mastectomy before all of this is over; but for the time being, Dr. T. wants to continue forward with the chemo. I also had 2 small nodules in my lung light up. They are too small to biopsy (thank you Lord!!!!). Dr. T says that if they shrink, she will have to presume they are malignant ... if they remain the same size, then everything should be OK :) It's no wonder cancer patients fear scans sooooooooo bad!!!!!!!!

I have to send out a very special thank you to my Dear Sister-in-Law, Betsy. She insisted upon going to Chemo with me and I was soooooooooo grateful that she was there!!!! She made the whole process so much easier ... she even picked me out an adorable wig, which I'll show you soon :) Dr. T has lots of them to choose from and says to "help yourself :)" Isn't that nice!!!! Betsy also did our grocery shopping on Sunday and came over and cleaned our bathrooms and put new sheets on the bed. There was no way I could have done any of those things and I will be forever grateful for all her help all the days of my life :)

I also need to send out a very special thank you to my Dear Friend, Diane. Another God Send in our world :) That beautiful lady has so many problems of her own, but she puts the needs of everyone else before her own on a day to day basis. She's bathed Dolly several times, cleaned our kitchen and living room, fixed my hair and carted me all over town to Doctor Appt after Doctor Appt; and she's gonna do it again tomorrow :) I keep telling her I can drive, but she doesn't trust my eyes (LOL). I'm sure the good folks of Davie would thank her :)

The thank you's will continue as I haven't even begun to talk about all the love and kindness that has come our way. It leaves me totally speechless each and every day :)

Blessings to you all :)

"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of lifte that God has promised to those who love Him." (James 1:12)