Sunday, December 27, 2009

time flies

I can't believe how quickly Christmas came and went this year. Its almost 2010 and it seems like only the other day that I was blogging about 2008.
Since I last wrote....
On Monday Dec. 6th, Mom got a call from her doctor. He had the pathology results of her D&C. It wasn't what we wanted to hear...malignancy.
So, he scheduled her surgery for that Friday, Dec. 11th. Mom was admitted on Thursday morning. That was the last time she had food or water for 5 days! They took her in for the surgery at around 8:15 on Friday morning. Dad and I were there along with Pastor Jim. He said a prayer for her and we kissed her goodbye. We spent the next few hours talking in Mom's hospital room on the 3rd floor.
They called for us to come down to the 2nd floor at around 1:30. After a few more minutes of waiting, Dr. Schiano came out to talk to us. Dad, Pastor Jim, and my aunt Jo were there with me. Dr. Schiano said that they removed a very large malignant tumor from Mom's ovary. She had a complete hysterectomy. They also took her appendix and her omentum. Dr. Schiano said that they cut open her uterus and found a small amount of cancerous tissue there too. Then he mentioned something least it was to me.... He said that he believed Mom had 2 simultaneously occuring malignancies. He thought that she had developed uterine cancer AND ovarian cancer at the same time! This meant that it could be possible for Mom to be in Stage 1 of both cancers.
On Friday, after they brought Mom back from the recovery room she was soooo thirsty. It was really tough not to give her some water. We could only swab out her mouth every once in awhile. Why could she not have water? Well the problem is this; when they manipulate your intestines (and they looked at every inch of hers) they go into "shock" and won't work. So if she ate something, even an ice cube, she would have thrown up. Not exactly something that you want to do with 200 staples in your stomach and an NG tube down your nose!
When she got back to her "step-down" room, she had an oxygen/heartrate monitor, a port in her chest, an epidural, a drainage tube, an NG tube and a urinary cathiter. She rested the first night.
While she was laying there, I started talking to Dad. My heart started pounding and I knew I was supposed to talk to him about salvation. So, I said, "Dad, you believe what the Bible says is true, right?" and he said yes. This led to a short conversation....that ended up with me praying with him!! I looked up and Mom's heartrate had rose 20 beats per minute and she said, "I want to shout, but I can't!" She had Dad call Pastor Jim to tell him. Praise God! God works all things to good for them that love Him!
The next morning when Dad and I got to the hospital, Mom was sitting up in a rocking chair in her room! She looked pretty bad and I could tell that she was in a lot of pain. She got up and walked 4 times that day! The next day she walked down the whole hallway 4 times! They don't let you lay around after a surgery anymore. After a few days Mom started to look better and feel better. By Tuesday she was planning shopping trips! haha... Then they took the epidural out. She didn't realize how much that thing was helping! So, her pain was pretty bad after that, but she finally got to eat and then the next day, Thursday, they let her come home!
Last Monday, Mom had an appointment to remove half of her staples on her incision. She asked them how many staples they used and they said, "too many to count!" Her incision looks around 2 feet long! Its huge! Her tumor was around the size of a football, maybe bigger.
Mom has been doing really well now. She says that she feels a little better every day. Tomorrow she has another appointment to remove the remaining staples, and we are fairly certain that Dr. Schiano will be telling us the results of her pathology. We imagine that he will know more about her plan of treatment as well. He already told us that Mom will have to undergo chemotherapy. We are dreading this, but we are willing to do anything he feels that she should do. I will post more after I know it tomorrow.
It is amazing to me the amount of peace that I have had throughout this entire ordeal. I praise God for peace that passes all understanding. I have really felt God's presence. He keeps sending me messages that I'm not alone and that He is wirth me. The one scripture that I keep hearing over and over is Isaiah 43:1-2 Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, Nor will the flame burn you."
It makes me think of the Hebrew children, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who were thrown into the fire but were not burned....and the Angel of the Lord was with them!! The Christmas season also reminds me that Jesus is with me. Emmanuel means God With Us!
Jesse and I went to church at Faith Christian Fellowship with my Mom and Dad this morning. I haven't been to church there in YEARS. There was a visiting minister there, Mike Manuel. At the end of his message, he began walking around the church, giving words of knowledge. He walked up to ME! (scary! haha) I cant remember his exact words, but he basically told me to have PEACE during my storm. He said that Jesus spoke and said "Peace, be still" I have to admit, it was a very amazing experience. God has always been so good to me!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

so much has happened....

I haven't posted on my blog for a long time, but I have been very busy.

School has been really good lately. I'm feeling more comfortable and getting more and more into a ruitine. I'm looking forward to next semester because I may not have to share my classroom AND I only will have one class of Art 1 instead of 2. Less freshmen is always a good thing!! :)

About a month ago, my mom told me that she had been feeling strange lately. We were sitting at the kitchen table. I was eating some chocolate chip cookies. She told me her symptoms. She said she had been feeling kinda bloated. She said that she hadn't been able to eat much. Normally, my mom would be all about some chocolate chip cookies. She didn't even take a bite. We had eaten steaks for dinner. She didn't finish hers. This was very unusual behavior.

She told me that she had been losing weight...but she felt like she had gained! She had been feeling tired and actually having some back and pelvic pain! I was concerned, but honestly, I thought that it might just be that she was going through menopause. I don't know much about that topic. I think she thought the same but she decided to make an appointment with her gynocologist. The soonest appointment she could get was for Dec. 1st.

I absolutely LOVE Dr. Oz and I record it on my DVR everyday. I always have at least 7 episodes saved on my DVR. So, I don't usually watch it on the day that it airs. However...on Veteran's Day...for some reason... I did. The first 15 minutes was about the early signs of ovarian cancer. I tried to find the video online, but couldn't. However, here is a video from the lady doctor that was the guest on the show that day...

Here is a link to Doctor Oz's website on the topic.

After I watched this show.... I was scared! My mom had ALL of these!! As soon as I watched it.. I called her.

Heres about how our convo went....
Me: "Did you watch....." (she didn't even let me finish!)
Mom: "YES!.... I taped it because I thought that it was going to be about Alzhiemer's.
Me: "I'm scared!"
Mom: "I have ALL of those symptoms, but I have an appointment. Its going to be ok, but it is weird how compelled I felt to watch the show today." (Mom never watches Dr. Oz)

So, that was on a Wednesday. Mom decided to talk to her Pastor about it that night at church. He encouraged her to make a trip to her general practice doctor to see what was going on. So, she did.

The next week, she went to her doctor. They took some blood and told her that they needed her to have a CT scan. She did this on Wednesday the 18th. They told her that she had a mass in her pelvic area that was between the size of a grapefruit and an orange.

She was given some pain meds and told that she should just wait until her gyn. appointment. Cysts, etc. on the ovaries are very common and more than 90sih percent are benign. So, I guess they weren't very concerned.

So, thats what Mom did. Until the following day, Thursday the 19th..... she was at school in the afternoon, teaching about 60 6th graders. When she started having severe pain. She had to call someone in to watch her students. Her principal had to drive her home! But she DIDNT go to the hospital then. She went through the whole night, in pain, until the morning. She called my Aunt Jo, who is a nurse, and she (and my cousin Danielle, who is also a nurse) told her to go to her gyn. right now!

I was in my classroom, when my Dad walked in and said, "Your mom is in a lot of pain and I have to take her to the hospital." But, I decided to stay at school and just go to the hospital at the end of the day.

I called them a few times to check on them. They took her to her gyn. office (which is at Womens and Childrens) first and they did a sonagram. They admitted her immediately.

She called me during my last class of the day. She said, "Its a lot bigger than they thought and we're probably facing a little bit of a fight. They referred me to an oncologist." Then she asked me to bring her some chapstick and her pillow.

After school, I grabbed her stuff she wanted and headed right to the hospital.

She was in there from Friday through Wednesday. They took a ton of photos...CT scans, barium stuff, etc. On Tuesday she had a D&C. Then on Wednesday they sent her home. We asked Dr. Schiano what the mass was...and he said that he had no way of knowing until surgery. He told me that she would probably have the surgery some time in the first 2 weeks of Decemeber.

Since then shes been doing ok. She's still losing weight and her stomach is actually getting larger.

We are now just waiting on her doctor to call us back about the results of the D&C. We are looking forward (reluctantly) to the date of her surgery. We want that junk OUTTA THERE! The surgery is pretty rough. Dr. Schiano is supposed to be EXCELLENT though. He takes out pretty much everything and looks for cancer. Because of that, its very hard after the surgery. Mom will not be able to eat or drink for about 4 days.

If you have made it through reading this whole story, you have shown that you care. So, I want to ask that you pray for my mom. I'll be posting when we find out the date of the surgery. Also, pray for my dad. He needs some peace. He is realizing how much he depends on my mom for just about everything. Mom also needs to rest and let him take care of her. She is not used to that!