Tuesday, March 30, 2010

#2 Surgery Success

Mom had her second lumpectomy yesterday. When I spoke with her in the afternoon she was in pretty good spirits and was even able to laugh a little. We joked when she told me how she didn't completely "go under" this time and how she heard the conversations of the surgeons throughout the whole thing. Things like, "How are your kids doing?" and "I'm so glad it's warmed up so I can work out in the yard" and "Did you have much of a chance to go skiing this winter?" Of course, those seem like such slight conversations compared to the task at hand--at least she felt a little of that, but reiterated as well how grateful she is for good surgeons who know what they're doing--and can even carry a little conversation while they're busy at work saving people's lives!

She was also given a port {click for further information} on her right side chest and neck that will help during chemotherapy and blood sampling throughout the process. It's a little painful she said, but will be so helpful as it takes the trauma out of all the needle pricks she usually has to go through. Our Mom has lots of good things but one thing she doesn't have is lots of good veins. Sadly her ONE good vein wouldn't be able to take the brunt of chemo, so having a port will be the absolutely best thing for her.

She meets Friday with the Oncologist, and is looking forward to a weekend of spiritual rejuvenation as she watches Conference. Chemotherapy will likely begin the next week sometime but we've heard no set date or schedule as of yet. We will keep you updated via this blog throughout the whole process. Thank you again for all your support!

Friday, March 19, 2010

More Surgery...

Mom found out yesterday she's got to go in for more surgery. After being tested, the peripheral tissues of the tumor were found to have a bit more cancer--and one more lymph node as well. She has done splendidly this week--and though it's no thrill to find out she'll be going in for more and living this week {or step} all over again, she's doing relatively okay with the news. They have an MRI planned for next Monday--just a regular precautionary measure, and then the surgery is planned the following Monday {3.29.10}. Thank you to so many who brought meals and came by for a visit this week--who sent cards and well wishes, brought flowers, and just showed love to her. They have been greatly appreciated and Mom feels so touched by your thoughtful words and actions.

She got her hair done yesterday {Thank you, Kerry for your in-home service!} She feels like a new woman, well--almost...but really, I'm sure all of the women out there can attest to what "having your hair done" can really do for you. We've got big plans this weekend as we host another Dunford Women's Retreat at her home. For those of you who don't know what this is, it is a retreat for all the women from our mom's side to gather together for a weekend of total fulfillment. We teach, we learn, we laugh, we cry. We share struggles and strengthen one another. We talk about being better wives, mothers, and grandmothers. We share stories about each other, our ancestors, and how we can do better. When the question was raised on whether or not our Mom would be up for hosting this retreat in it's 8th year, the only conclusion was that we don't dare NOT do it.

Coming soon. More posts and pictures!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The First Big Step

Last night we gathered as a family to be with our mom. We laughed, shared thoughts and feelings, and ended our evening together with prayer. This is something we have done many times together and it was nice to be together on the eve of her first big step in this journey.

Mom handled everything beautifully today. I called her at 6:20 a.m. this morning to give her what we called the "pre-surgery warm-up". (It's the "pump-you-up talk" you get before you enter the big game that always ends with "go...fight...win"). I promised her I would do it and she was waiting for the call. She was upbeat and anxious to get things going. Bentley met mom and dad at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. Everything got going right away and she headed into surgery. By 12:30 p.m. Mom was recovering from surgery and Dad, Bentley and I were visiting with her. She was still upbeat but was surprised to hear that there were 8 lymph nodes found to have been infected with cancer. Mom instantly talked about what was going on this week and what she needed to be worried about. We of course reminded her that her new job was to only worry about herself and getting better. That perhaps might be the biggest challenge of this whole journey.

Mom is now recovering and preparing for the next step to come. Thank you so very much for your kind words of love and encouragement.

Friday, March 12, 2010

So, It Went Something Like This...

Last September, Mom went in for a routine mammogram which she's done faithfully for many years. She knew about a lump and was anxious to have it checked out. When the tests came back she was assured that it was nothing. Over the past several months, however, she had felt that it had been growing, and took it upon herself to go get a second opinion. Last week, after her second mammogram, she was asked to come in for an ultrasound and later a biopsy. On Wednesday, March 10th, she received the results from the biopsy that it was indeed cancer.

We feel so fortunate with the help of Bentley {whose wife, Sue, is a cancer survivor} helped Mom get right into meet with the doctors at the Huntsman Cancer Hospital in Salt Lake on Thursday. She met with a fabulous team of doctors, and she feels so comfortable and blessed with the beginning stages of this process.

She is scheduled for surgery on Monday, March 15th, to remove the cancer. The plan is then that she will recover from that surgery and will start her first round of chemotherapy the beginning of April.

Making Lemonade

So, our Mom has cancer. Breast cancer. You hear of so many who have women in their lives who have it. You hear statistics all the time. But you never know how you will feel when you hear your own Mom say it for herself, "I have cancer."

So we've started this blog--a place for family, friends, and loved ones to read the latest on how our Mom is doing. We hope this will not only be a place to keep you informed, but that it will provide an avenue to leave comments of encouragement to help her along the way. She needs our love and prayers and support during this entire process--and we know how much it will mean to her to have so many rallying for her.

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If you were to ask our Mom what her favorite drink is, she'd probably tell you root beer, but she's got a special little place in her heart for lemonade. As a family, we'd spend long summer days at a special little place in Midway and with each family meal, she'd serve lemonade. You've all heard the old adage, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade." Well heaven knows there's not a better person that represents making something sweet that was once sour--than our Mom.

Mom, we love you, and dedicate this blog to you and to the many lives and life experiences you've made sweeter through your experiences.

When life hands you cancer, make {pink} lemonade.