Archive for May, 2011

Next Step in Treatment

My very dear friends and family,

First, let me thank you for your continued love, prayers, email, cards, and encouragement. God continues to bless me beyond anything I could have imagined through each of you.

Friday, May 13, I had surgery to remove the mass under my armpit. During surgery, there were 17 lymph nodes removed. Sixteen of the nodes were cancer free. The melanoma was limited to the one node, and it was completely encased. Dr. Elia said that these results mean that they have GOTTEN THE CANCER. Because of age (yes, my youth) we will pursue preventive treatments very aggressively.

So, today, I went to meet with the oncologist to discuss the next steps in treatment. I anticipated scheduling what I thought would be five weeks of radiation followed by four weeks of interferons. Instead, Dr. Elia and I have decided to take step back. There is an oncologist that specializes in melanoma (apparently vary rare) at KU Medical. I am going to see Dr. Doolittle (yes, that’s right) and get his recommendation regarding treatment. There is a slight possibility that I could skip the radiation and just take interferons.  I will gladly submit to whatever is determined to be the best direction.

This last week was very difficult. The days prior to surgery moved very quickly.  I was filled with confidence and peace.  Following surgery, I had to wait. Wait and rest. Wait for healing, wait for consultations, and wait for the next steps. My preference is to move forward and get this whole ordeal behind me. Yes, I can be a control freak.

Again, I want to say thanks. I am surrounded by an amazing group of people. I love you all and thank God for you.

You keep praying, and I’ll keep taking care of myself and getting healthy.

With much gratitude and love.


Lesson from The Biggest Loser

I’m sitting here, wishing anything that I could get back to some of my routine.  I would like to be back at work, but “they” know better.  “They” have strongly suggested (read – INSISTED) that I stay home another couple of days.  OK, so I’m one of those crazy insane people who pushes themselves.  Good grief.  But let’s not go there. 

Since I can’t do too much yet – physically – I’m catching up on Biggest Loser episodes.  I am crying my eyes out watching these people find themselves; find the person inside who has been hiding behind the fat for so many, many years.  Good GRIEF!  You would think that I know these people.  But I do; they are me.

There are three ladies on the ranch who have lost over 100 pounds.  I’m close, but not yet there.  The cancer derailed my plan – well, really just a detour.  But, my friends; God has a greater plan.  God knew that a malignant melanoma was growing under my arm.  He knew that I would not have found the tumor 18 months ago.  So, in addition to finding this confident woman deep inside, in addition to growing stronger physically AND spiritually, I have gotten rid of 90 pounds of fat – fat that would have hidden a nasty, life threatening tumor.  Because the fat is gone, I found the tumor.  And within a month of discovery, the mass has been removed and I am healing quite nicely.

In addition to being smaller, I am much, MUCH healthier than I was “before”.  Six weeks ago, I ran a 5K.  I am running/walking 2.5-3.0 miles daily (well, I WAS before all this started.)  Healthy me is much more equipped to fight back.

I’ve never had major surgery before, so I don’t really know what to expect as far as recovery.  But I think I have done amazingly well.  I haven’t had pain medication since Saturday evening.  I can (albeit briefly) raise my arm above my shoulder.  I’m sleeping through the night.  I feel like I’m ready to conquer the world. 

Well, ok, I do get tired about noon.  My arm is still pretty numb from the elbow up.  I still have stitches in my armpit.  But, hey, I DID have surgery seven days ago. 

Who knew what God would have planned when I started my “reinventing” journey.  Who knew the many, many levels He would lead me in my reinvention.  No one else but God could have prepared me for this time.

No one else.  Not even me.  Especially me. 

God is so very, very good.  All the time.

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