Date

Ver Beek Blog

Our young family battling stage IV breast cancer one day at a time
Breast Cancer Ribbon

Archive for July, 2012

Another One Wins the Race!

posted by:

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the Ellen VanOss family.

We had the privilege of meeting Ellen and Jack for dinner a while ago.  Ellen and I had/have the same type of breast cancer.  The beast known as Triple Negative.  She was diagnosed seven months before me.  She and Jack have two small kids.  She won’t be forgotten.

In the words of Jack on 7/20/12:

A little before noon today Ellen crossed the finish line. She won the race and is in heaven right now receiving her prize. Well done good and faithful servant! She was a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, sister sister in-law and friend. She has taught us all so much about life, death and grace. She will be greatly missed.
I’ll post the arrangements when they are set. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement.

My Thoracentesis last week went well.  It wasn’t a fun procedure, but I’ve had worse.  I would say having a halo screwed into my skull is worse than having a needle to numb and catheter put into my back for 15 minutes.  They drained 900 ml from my right pleura.  Afterwards felt a tad sore, but mostly better and able to breathe.  Everyone at Spectrum was great.

I had my labs drawn this week and found out my white blood cell count is too low at 0.9.  This means I should avoid large crowds, touching people, wash or sanitize my hands as much as possible and basically avoid contact with anything or anybody.  Does anyone have a bubble I can live in until my count rises?  My hemoglobin was at 9.4 or 9.6 (can’t remember).  With my red and white cells working against me, I am VERY tired and could sleep all day.  Yesterday I practically did.  I have to pick and choose how I use my energy.  I don’t like living this way.

12.26.11-Max-Sleeping-with-new-blanket

Thank God for Dusty.  He takes the kids to the pool nearly every night.  If he needs to run an errand, they all go along with him.  One night I was putting Max to bed and I said “You have a really great dad”.  He said “Yeah he takes us places with him.  I love him”.  So sweet.

Next week is chemo.  Please pray with me that my WBC and Hemoglobin are at a safe level so I can receive chemo.  That my fluid does not accumulate.  That my pain will lessen.  For my family.  For our support system – we would be lost without them.

Thank God for doctors, family, friends, insurance, jobs, and things that make you smile.

All in a week

posted by:

My blood transfusion I had last Friday gave me a boost.  I went from 7.6 to 9.0.  Still low, but I’ll take it.  The bottom of normal is 12.  All in all, my energy has improved slightly.  I thank God for that.  The color in my face returned a bit.  I don’t look as creepy as I used to.

Wednesday I had another round of chemo.  It went fine.

Today I woke up looking like I was punched in the nose.  No bruising, just a puffy nose bridge and eyes.  I have no idea what that’s from, but I’m too tired to care.

Later today, Dusty and Brooklyn are taking me to Lemmen-Holton Cancer Pavilion to have a Thoracentesis.  This is to drain the fluid from the space between my lungs and my chest wall.  I’ve been told they do this “all the time” and “they’re really good at it”, but I’m still nervous.  Any prayers you could provide today around 12 noon or 1 o’clock would be greatly appreciated.  Please pray my lungs and/or no other major organs are accidentally punctured.

We thank everyone for their kindness.  Whether it’s taking care of our kids, prayers, cards of encouragement, meals, gift cards, etc.  It’s all so uplifting.

Thank you for walking through the desert with us.  Cheering us on.  Reminding us that you’re in our corner.

We are to pray in times of adversity, lest we become faithless and unbelieving.

We are to pray in times of prosperity, lest we become boastful and proud.

We are to pray in times of danger, lest we become fearful and doubting.

We are to pray in times of security, lest we become self-sufficient.

-From one of my daily devotion books Hope for Each Day by Billy Graham

ixna on the loodba ansfusiontra

posted by:

After waiting three hours at the hospital for my blood transfusion yesterday I was sent home.  Without a transfusion.  I have antibodies in my blood.  You may be asking “what” “why” “where did those come from” “never heard of it”.

After I gave birth to Max and Samantha I was anemic and had a blood transfusion.  I remember towards the end of the second pint feeling “not right”.  Me being me decided not to make a big deal of it and brush it off.  Apparently that feeling of “not right” was my body having a reaction to the transfusion.  I was building antibodies against the donor’s blood.  OF COURSE I WAS!  WHY WOULDN’T I BE!

Yesterday my nurse said I’m “special”. I’m going to take that as a positive and go with it. From here on out, whenever I need a transfusion I have to go in for labs, go home and wait for the hospital to call me.

Meanwhile, my special blood is driven to a place in Lansing where very smart people try to match it with a donors blood.  I imagine once they think they have a match, my special blood and it’s new friend go through rigorous tests and exercises and questioning.  If they are considered a true match, someone is called and they come with their Prius (again, just imaging) and drive my special blood in a cooler on an ice back to Zeeland where they give my special blood special treatment until my special self arrives for it.

When I get the phone call, I come and get the transfusion.

So today I go back to get my special transfusion.  So tired.

so tired

posted by:

I’m writing this on my kindle fire so once again bear with me. I’m going to have spelling and grammatical errors.Thank you for your prayers since my last post. We met with Dr. Schott at u of m on Tuesday. The Ct scan I had last week hasn’t been read by a radiologist yet. Dr. Schott could see that the chemo is working. The spots in my lungs are shrinking! Praise God for hearing prayers.Dr. Schott could also see that I have more fluid in my lungs compared to a few weeks ago. This explains my pain and breathing difficulties.My hemoglobin also dropped to 7.6. This brings me back to the spelling and grammatical errors. I’m sitting in the hospital waiting to get a blood transfusion.The next step will be to decide if we are going to tap my lung to drain the fluid. I’m so glad I have doctors I can trust with those decisions.I’m tired. Of everything. In every way. Sorry I have no light hearted humor today. I’m just too tired. So tired!

Scale of 1-10

posted by:

When you go to a medical facility, hospital, medical office, etc., you will be asked “On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad is your…”  I hate that question.

Last week I had a routine CT scan of my chest, abdomen, and pelvis.  Tomorrow Dusty and I will go to U of M and meet with Dr. Schott to get the results. Please pray the chemo is working and doing what it’s supposed to do.

I haven’t been feeling very well lately.  Over the last few days, I’ve had more pain in my chest making it harder to breathe.  Which means more pain meds, which means more sleep.  I’m more nauseous and my hemoglobin is at a 9.  Nine is the number that sits on the fence.  If I get below nine I need a transfusion.  If I stay above nine, I can avoid one.  I feel terrible for Dusty when this happens because this puts more weight on him to bear.

Please pray for:

  • Our kids.
  • Thanks to Aunt Jana and Jill who are watching the twins and Jen who is watching Brooklyn tomorrow.
  • Dustin as he has a lot on his plate.
  • Safe Travels for Dusty and me.
  • No New Cancer.
  • No More Fluid.
  • Pain Will Be Controlled.
  • Hemoglobin will rise so I don’t have to get a transfusion.
Notice: My hosting company 1&1 recently upgraded the back-end engine that powers this blog. In doing so, they deleted all the existing images on the site. They are not assisting me with replacing the images they deleted, so I will be adding the images back as time allows. Thank you for your understanding.