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Our young family battling stage IV breast cancer one day at a time
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Archive for December, 2010

Christmas Reflection

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It’s pretty obvious 2010 hasn’t been our best year.  In many ways, we’re glad to see it go.  Still, we reflect back the journey and the ways that you’ve all come along side us during this time.  We thank God for blessing us through your kindness and support. 

I don’t think everyone will understand exactly what I mean, so I’ll give you a few examples from just the last three weeks: 

A few weeks ago a group of special Ridge Point Community Church members dropped off a huge box of food.  So much food, I couldn’t even lift it.  They circled us and prayed for us and showed such love and compassion. 

At the Ensing Family Christmas party, we were presented with a couple dozen sizable gift cards to use to offset takeout food expenses.  When Lindy is nauseous the last thing she can do is cook, so these come in so handy.

There’s been a group of 2nd graders from Holland writing letters to Lindy and coloring pictures and cards.  We get a new envelop filled with more of them every week.  It’s hard to be sad when you read/look at these honest and uplifting expressions by these little people. 

Yesterday, I was presented with an over-flowing gift basket from my Marketing coworkers at Herman Miller.  Inside, in addition to several goodies and movies, there was a certificate for a weekend away to Great Wolf Lodge and $500 cash to use for the trip.  Our instructions were to make memories and enjoy the time together.  Amazing. 

This past summer and fall, we were the benefactors of several fundraiser efforts.  Once again, we’d like to thank the For the Love of Lindy Committee for organizing the bake sale, our friends at Dutch Studios, Crazy Horse, Elhart Collision (Community FUNDay), Kibler’s Kreations, Beechwood Restaurant, Avon, Dress Code, Englesman’s Greenhouses and the list goes on and on. 

Also, for all those that have sent us money or other assistance this past year, we thank you all.  Your gifts had made life easier and allowed us to focus on what really matters.

Patty, your daily messages of love are so appreciated.  What a gift you are from above. 

Thank you to our family for helping care for our kids and for taking us meals.  We could not do this without your loving care. 

In the midst of an unimaginable situation, we are so blessed.  This Christmas holds a new meaning for our family; we pray it does for you too.  Merry Christmas. 

Spots

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I had a voice mail on Wednesday from U of M.  It was one of those voice mails that immediately put me in a panic.  It was the nurse practitioner, Joan, from Dr. Schott’s office.  She said they got the final report back on my CT scan and she would like me to call her back.  So I did. 

While I was holding for her I began getting really angry.  Irate.  How could this be happening?  Dr. Schott said everything looked good on the CT scan last week?  What is wrong with my CT scan?  This is not happening.  I’m barely back on my feet and now there is a problem with my CT scan. 

Joan got on the line and explained that the radiologist saw a “spot” by my right ovary and a “spot” by my left ovary.  I had a hysterectomy, but it was a partial hysterectomy.  Meaning…they didn’t take my ovaries.  She said not to worry (IMPOSSIBLE) and that I need to get an ultrasound by my local doctor to find out what the spots are.  They make her and Dr. Schott “uncomfortable”.  Uncomfortable! 

I hung up the phone, had a panic attack, called Dr. Taylor’s office and begged them to get me in ASAP.  They were able to get me in yesterday.  I didn’t tell many people because I was hoping and praying that the “spots” were nothing. 

Dusty and I went to Dr. Taylor’s offce and the ultrasound proved that the “spots” are cysts on my ovaries.  No big deal.  Thank God.  I cannot explain to you the relief that came over me when I heard that. 

Joan’s phone call reminded me, again, of how your life can change in an instant.  One phone call can stop you in your tracks and turn your life upside down.  Forever changing everything.  Nothing being the same again.  You never forget where you were, what you were doing and who you were with when those phone calls come.

Praise God it wasn’t one of those phone calls.  Praise God the “spots” are only cysts.  Praise God my disease is still stable.

Praise God.

All is well

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It’s been a LONG day.  Dusty and I left the house at 6 a.m. for U of M. 

Here is a breakdown of our day:

At 9 a.m.  I had an injection for my 1 p.m. bone scan.  She put an IV in me and kept it there for the MRI and CT scans later that day.  Needles don’t scare me, but since my lymph nodes were removed on my right side they can only draw blood on the left.  I’ve been poked so much on the left side that I’ve developed scar tissue around many veins which makes these pokes a bit more painful.   

At 10 a.m. I had an MRI with contrast.  Despite the arcade noises blasting in my ear I was able to snooze for a minute or two. 

At 11 a.m. I had to start drinking a nasty “smoothie” for my CT scan. 

At 12 p.m.  I had to drink another “smoothie” for the CT scan of my chest, abdomen and pelvis.  Then my IV was removed. Yea!

At 12:15 We went to the cafeteria because I wasn’t allowed to eat for six hours before my CT scan.  I bought a margherita flatbread pizza.  Apparently the chef’s at U of M like to douse the pizza in red pepper flakes.  So much that my lips were burning. 

At 1:00 I had a bone scan.

At 1:30 I ran into the nearest bathroom and vomitted everything out of my system.  Either because I forgot to take and bring my anti-nausea pills, or because I hadn’t eaten since last night.  If you read everything up until this point, you’ve read that I was injected with dye for the bone scan, injected with contrast for the MRI, drank two of the most disgusting “smoothies” for the CT scan, was injected with contrast for the CT scan and my body decided to rebel. 

Poor Dusty was stuck carrying my bag and purse from that point forward.  Such a good man.

At 2:15 I had my blood drawn.

At 2:30 I ran into the nearest bathroom and vomitted AGAIN. 

At 3:15 I arrived on Dr. Schott’s floor where I was given a pink hospital pan/bucket to vomit in.  The nurse was such a blessing.  She took pity on me and put us in a room with a couch, three warm blankets and a pillow.  I fell asleep.  It was fantastic. 

At 4:00 we met with Dr. Schott.  Great news is the scans came back clean.  I show no signs of new cancer anywhere in my body.  The CT was clear (stomach, ovaries, liver, kidneys) and the body scan was clear too!  My bones do not have cancer in them either.  Praise God!  The MRI showed my brain tumors continue to shrink.  I was hoping they would be gone, but shrinkage can be a good thing. 

The last time I saw Dr.  Schott I had purple blotches on my back.  They never went away and she diagnosed it today as lymphedema.  Typically people show lymphedema in their arms, but staying in true out-of-the-box Lindy fashion, I have lymphedema in my back.  Secretly I’m relieved it’s lymphedema.  I thought I was getting back fat! 

At 4:30 we left and had a drive home that was rough since I wasn’t feeling well.  Thankfully they let me keep my little pink tub/bucket. 

Thank you for your prayers.  I felt so much peace today.  I’m so thankful no new cancer was found and my brain continues to heal.  God is good and so are his people!

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