April 30, 2013

Dr. Laura Is Speaking My Language!!!

[Sighs, looks up and shakes head.] Janice, Janice, Janice. Your mother is destructive. You have a moral obligation to protect your family (that means your husband, your children and yourself) from people who are destructive and dangerous. And your mother is just blatantly mean. ~Dr. Laura

Sound Familiar?

April 29, 2013

The 24 Hour Waiting Period

Get your mammogram people BECAUSE mammograms pick up things you can NOT see or feel. Please make it part of your yearly routine. Do NOT put it off! XOXO

By now you've read these two posts: Double Whammy (Part 1) and Double Whammy (Part 2)

The day before my yearly OBGYN and Mammogram appointments I had seen this status update and liked it so much I shared it on my own Facebook wall: Every unfair situation, every sickness you've endured, God is saying, “It's not the end. I have something great in your future.” ~Joel Osteen

On that day I had thought about all of the unfair situations I have endured in my life including sickness and how God always provides. In this life and in the next He keeps His promises and we can most certainly walk in the knowledge of the fact that we belong to Him. I had no idea how significant Joel Osteen's post would be until my doctor's appointment the next day.

After I got home before I received that heart-wrenching phone call I had heard Amy Grant's song Don't Try So Hard on K-Love Radio. These words specifically spoke to me:These words specifically spoke to me: Don’t try so hard – God gives you grace and you can’t earn it – Don’t think that you’re not worth it – Because you are – He gave you His Love and He’s not leaving – Gave you His Son so you’d believe it – You’re lovely even with your scars – Don’t try so hard.

My AWESOME husband reminded me of Luke 12: 22-26 NIV: Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Then he posted  Isaiah 41:10 on my Facebook wall: Fear not for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Ironically my friend Becki of Momma's Time shared the same exact verse with me! Coincidence? Nope!! It was a blessing.

Isaiah 41:10 then made me think of the verse that Aunt Barb shared with me in Summer 2010: The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. ~Zephaniah 3:10

Then I heard this song by Kutless: Even If

Here I am a week later completely changed knowing God is still the same. He keeps His promises and He provides even when we don't understand His plan.

April 27, 2013

Even If

Even if the healing doesn't come
And life falls apart
And dreams are still undone
You are God
You are Good
Forever Faithful One
Even if the healing doesn't come

Double Whammy (Part 2)

My wonderful husband came up the stairs right away to hug me and tell me that he took the afternoon off so he could come with me to the hospital. I was very relieved that they got me in as soon as they did because waiting to find out what in the heck is going on is torture.

After bringing my husband up to speed I Skyped with my BFF in Belgium who assured me that everything was going to be okay. She said that they just want to take more pictures so they can see what they need to see. She helped to ease my mind a bit by explaining the classification numbers to me. Apparently you are classified 1-5 with 4 being suspicious and 5 being cancer. We then discussed what she had been through and what her mom had been through and how wonderful her Mom is doing 5 years out.

I then called my sister-in-law who I knew would completely kick my butt if she had to hear about what was happening to me second hand. I’m not gonna lie, I cried. I cried when I talked to my BFF and I cried when I talked to my sister-in-law. I was scared. What do I do when I’m scared? I cry. She continued to reassure me that they are just running more tests and they want to see what they need to see. I also called my mother-in-law who also reassured me even though she herself had not had a biopsy on anything ever, she had been asked to come back a second time many times to take a closer look and stated that was pretty standard.

Then before I went to bed I called my BFF in Texas who has been my BFF since we were 12 years old. That was a HARD conversation to have and yes, I cried. Of course I cried because cancer is a tough conversation to have and I know how hard this would be for her to hear about all this from me because she had lost both her parents at young ages to cancer. But, I know deep down she wanted me to tell her about all of it so she could pray for me. She said everything she could to reassure me that they were just going to run more tests.

You know, I have to say that it really sucks when the hospital calls you at home and they can’t really talk to you about what’s going on over the phone. You’d think after all the privacy papers I’ve filled out that they could at least handle that initial call a little better. But, in their defense when you have to tell a patient the doctor saw something and needs to take more pictures what else could they have said? It’s only obvious they want you to come back because something doesn’t look right. She couldn’t tell me which side because then that crosses into the doctor’s area. But, come on – there had to be a better way to break it to me.

Then there is my brave Aunt. What an amazing faithful woman she is. I couldn’t help but to think of her when she first found out she needed to have her breast removed in her early 70’s. I know she was scared. But, through it all she remained steadfast. She told me at that time whatever happens whether in this life or the next God always provides us with a safe landing. You know what? She is right on!! Incidentally, she did have to have her other breast removed. Today she is healing and cancer-free so that’s good! I am grateful to my Aunt because she was able to help me fill in the blanks as far as family medical history goes. It’s important to have as many family history facts as you can because that can sometimes be a problem solver.

So, the next day Don and I drove to the hospital for my follow-up appointment. A completely different technician took me back and the pictures were completely different. There was a different machine, different positions, and closer images. This makes mammogram #5 at the young and tender age of 43.

After those images were taken the doctor called both Don and I back to his office where he showed us what he was looking at. He began to explain that previously he had seen a white mass on my right breast. He actually pulled out that picture and showed it to us. Yep, there was a white mass on my right breast. At this point I teared up. The doc grabbed my hand and told me not to worry because the new picture, the close-up picture, the most current picture that he showed me indicated NO WHITE MASS on my right breast. Where did that mass go? There is no explanation. The only thing I can muster up is the right people, including myself, were praying like there was no tomorrow for healing, wisdom, and answers. You know, I’d like to think that suspicious white mass he saw was just my breast tissue, or maybe it was a smudge on the machine? He showed it to me. I saw it with my own eyes. And then I saw with my own eyes the white mass not being anywhere in the most current pictures. Perhaps it was a modern day miracle? All I could think of for a split second was: BUT GOD. Either way I am grateful and thankful there was no more white mass to see.

Then the doctor showed me all the little dots scattered through my breast tissue. Those are called calcifications. Apparently, the doc likes to see them spread out and not in a cluster. The largest calcification that we saw was about 2 mm. The rest of them were 1 mm or less. He then explained to me that they would be keeping an eye on these calcifications and that he wants me to come back for another mammogram in 6 months. He then dived into the classification numbers that my BFF in Belgium was telling me about. There is 1-5 he said with 1 & 2 being almost impossible for anyone to achieve at my age, 3 is pretty normal with calcifications that need to be monitored, 4 is suspicious with a biopsy needed, and 5 is cancer. He then said told me yesterday I was a suspicious 4 with a white mass and today I am a clear 3. I was overjoyed!!

I asked him to show me a picture of a breast that had cancer in it and he could not because of dumb HIPPA but he did take the time to draw some cancer for me on a piece of paper so I could get an idea of what it looks like. We then talked about the fact that I had a double whammy with my OBGYN who he said is wonderful when it comes to figuring out what’s going on inside the body. I let him know to please check with him because we were waiting on more blood work to rule out uterine cancer and to find out if I am premenopausal. We talked about my thyroid problem. We talked about my lungs. He assured me there is no cancer in my body and that having me come back in six months is completely precautionary because he just wants to keep an eye on those calcifications to see if they change much between now and then. But, when we compared the pictures from today to the pictures from 2010 it shows the calcifications relatively the same in size and shape. So we are good and he told me absolutely not to worry. What a RELIEF!!

By the time Don and I got home from the hospital appointment I had received a call from my OBGYN’s nurse that my blood work came back and everything is fine. My blood work showed that I am premenopausal which explains why I haven’t had a period since last November. Because of that my doctor does not need to put me on medicine to make me have a period after all. The nurse did tell me that if and when I do have a period I’m supposed to give them a call because my OBGYN is going to want me to come in but not to worry. It’s all standard routine follow-up by the OBGYN. That sounds good to me!!

Incidentally, we talked about the fact that my thyroid is putting my body into a tailspin. We talked about the fact that I am having a hard time getting the weight off, too. He encouraged me to do a lot of walking and strength training. I’m going to need weights because my muscles are confused. As far as hormone replacement goes, I decided I’m not doing any of that. I don’t need to. At this point the only side effect of being premenopausal that I’m experiencing are the hot flashes, which I can stand, and no periods, which I cannot complain about. Who doesn’t like not having a period at the young and tender age of 43?

It’s so important to stay on top of your yearly screenings. OBGYN docs and BREAST docs know what they are doing and what they are looking for. Your FAMILY doc knows about everything else, too. See your doctor and please do NOT wait until you are 50 to have a mammogram. It’s important to have that initial picture so the doc has something to compare the rest of the pictures to. Screenings save lives people!!! Do not hesitate to stay on top of your check-ups. If you have a history of breast issues in your family you need to tell them so they can take precautionary steps to keep an extra-special closer-than-normal eye on you.

I don’t have Uterine Cancer.

I don’t have Breast Cancer.

What a seriously crazy roller coaster of a week!! I’m glad it’s over. In my next post I will share some of the things I focused on to help me get through the 24 hour waiting period between the two appointments. Thanks for being patient with my longer-than-normal-sized blog posts. XOXOX

April 26, 2013

Be Good OR Be Gone

Double Whammy (Part 1)

I had my yearly OBGYN and Mammogram on Monday. Let me just say that it was a double whammy day for me and not a lot of fun. I guess my body is going through all sorts of changes at the young and tender age of 43.

At my OBGYN appointment I couldn’t remember the first day of my last period. Plus, my old calendar/planner didn’t sync all the way back on my new mobile phone. I knew it was some time in the fall but I just couldn’t remember the exact date.

Come to find out that I’m supposed to call my OBGYN if I don’t have a period in three months. As a result of not having a period for so long he needed to do blood work on me to find out if I am premenopausal. If I’m not premenopausal then more tests need to be run so we can rule out uterine cancer.

Yep, double whammy #1: ruling out Uterine Cancer

At this point in the session I’m thinking it’s going to be fine because my thyroid is bringing on menopausal symptoms ten years earlier than normal. I’m okay with them running blood work. It needs to be done. I wasn’t too rattled with this information because I have been averaging 3 to 4 periods in 1 year as well as experiencing hot flashes. To be honest, nothing that goes on with my thyroid or anything at all “down there” phases me. You want to run blood work? Go for it! The only problem with the blood work is my nurse couldn’t get any of my veins to cooperate. So, I decided to head off for my mammogram and have some lunch before going back to try again.

My mammogram seemed fine at the time. If you’ve ever had a mammogram then you know it’s extremely uncomfortable but totally necessary. I’ve been having yearly mammograms like clockwork so this was mammogram #4. Finished that up and left to go have some lunch so I could hydrate myself and then maybe my veins would cooperate with the nurse.

After lunch I went back up to see my nurse. My veins still would not cooperate. So off we went to the lab to get the nurse with the “big guns” to go for it. She got a vein in my right arm to cooperate right away! These ladies were awesome. I was stuck with the needle so much that day and it didn’t even hurt.

After that I left the hospital, came home and found out the first date of my last period, and called my OBGYN to let him know it was Nov 24th and it lasted for 3 days. They let me know that I should have my blood work results back in a couple of days. Cool, right? Well, not so cool. After I hung up with my OBGYN peeps I got a phone call back from mammography letting me know that I need to come back to the hospital to have more pictures taken because the doctor saw something suspicious and they want to take a closer look. My heart sank.

After swallowing my throat and my lip quivering set in I scheduled another mammography for the very next day. When I got off the phone I just threw my head in my hands and cried. I kept thinking to myself how everything bad always happens to me. What’s next?

Yep, double whammy #2: ruling out Breast Cancer

Before I end this post I want to tell you that I am fine and everything is going to be okay. With that clearly stated come back tomorrow to find out what happens next.

(To be continued)

April 16, 2013

Happy Birthday In Heaven

Happy Birthday, Rocki! You’ve been in heaven almost two years now celebrating in a ways we will never fathom until we meet again. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think of you and pray for our family. You are greatly missed and I know your smile shines down on all of us. How Awesome that you get to see the face of Jesus in spite of the way you left us. At the end of the day – LOVE wins!!

April 14, 2013

Listen to Him

What it means that Jesus Christ is the Word: 1) Jesus is the clearest revelation of God 2) He's the reason for living 3) Jesus is the guide for life (John 1:1) Listen to Him (Matt 17:5)

April 12, 2013

Who Says You Can't Go Home

I can't get this song out of my head. #iloveomaha


Before the Bon Jovi concert

Not the clearest pic but still pretty cool

The entire stadium sang livin' on a prayer word for word. It was incredible. I probably burned 2,000 calories. The guitarist was amazing. Jon Bon Jovi was Awesome. AMEN!!!!!

April 8, 2013

I'm going to the Bon Jovi concert!

I hope they play this tonight just because...:)

Takes me back!:)

CLASSIC!:) I'm getting excited and it's only 2:00 PM. Ha!!!:)

Did you know Jon Bon Jovi is my birthday twin? :)

April 4, 2013

Silver and Gold: Israel

I am proud of Fiona. She finished all of the Silver and Gold from her Truth and Training book for AWANA on Wednesday nights. One of the projects was to find 5 pictures of Israel. We worked on this together and this is what we came up with. She brought her pictures to class yesterday and shared them with her friends.

Flag of Israel

A satellite image of Israel

Treasures, including the Menorah, carried in a Roman triumph after the 70 CE siege of Jerusalem

The Sea of Galilee and Tiberias

The Star of David in the Leningrad Codex, 1008 CE

Masada, a national symbol

Hat Tip: Wikipedia.org

April 1, 2013

165 Facebook Notifications

When I logged into Facebook for the first time yesterday that's how many notifications were waiting for me. Yes, I went through all of them! LOL :)