Ver Beek Blog

Our young family battling stage IV breast cancer one day at a time
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Archive for May, 2009

Good Day

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We had a great day today.  Some of our friends came over tonight to watch the kids and clean the house.  It smells so clean in here.  I love that.  Dusty and I went out for Mexican food and I bought some scarves and a hat for when my hair falls out. 

It’s all becoming too real.  The fact that I have cancer.  That chemo is going to happen soon.  That my hair is going to fall out.  I know it’s just hair, but I kind of like hair.   Especially since I’m a girl. 

Technical Update:  I’ve had many emails stating that you’re having trouble posting comments to the blog.  None of you have threatened anything yet, but I could tell if we didn’t do something soon things might get nasty.  Dusty fixed it and  you won’t be asked mathematical questions anymore (it was for spam prevention).

Speaking of blog comments, I run to my computer like a kid on Christmas morning to read them.  I love reading them.  Thank you for taking the time to read and write. 

Have a great night and a wonderful Sunday.

God is good!

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Dr. VanderWoude called us moments ago to say the CT scans I had yesterday came back normal!  This means the cancer hasn’t spread to my head, chest or pelvic area.  I can breathe a sigh of relief now.  Thank you for your prayers.  God is great and you are awesome people! 

We had a fun night tonight playing with the kids outside, eating the best chicken soup in the whole wide world and chocolate chip cookies. 

Have a great Friday evening!


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The last two days have been overwhelming.  I spent yesterday morning coordinating childcare for the next two weeks.  In the afternoon I had lab work and CT scans of my head, chest and pelvis.  The phone is ringing with so many various things – well wishers (thank you very much!), doctor’s offices and hospitals confirming and setting up appointments, other people from the same offices and hospitals to ask me 50,000 health questions and get insurance information.  I’m trying to button up my Nursery responsibilities (thank you Anita Geurink).  I was able to accomplish childcare for the next two weeks, purchase a couple wigs and I played my cancer card to get Anita to agree to be the Nursery Director. 😉  So I’m glad I got those things done. 

Today I had a MUGA scan at Holland Hospital to see if my heart could handle the chemo that I will have next week.   I don’t know the results of that, but my heart couldn’t possibly be bad.  I mean, I have enough problems don’t I?  Okay that’s enough self pity for the day. 

The port surgery has been moved from Monday to Tuesday because they’re going to do the lymph node biopsy at the same time.  So that’s happening at 3:30.   I do not know when chemo will begin.

Aside from being absolutely exhausted I’m still feeling upbeat.  I have many things to be thankful for.  This cancer is just an inconvenient bump in the road of my life.

Please pray for my parents as this is a lot for them.  I can see it in their faces.  They need to get some rest.  I can’t imagine what it would be like to see your daughter/son go through cancer.  Then on top of that, my mom is taking care of our kids.  I won’t say how old my mom is because I don’t think she would appreciate that, but she’s a young one and awesome. 

Going into the weekend and thinking about next week with having the port surgery and then starting chemo we would like to spend it quietly with each other.  We appreciate the love, support and visits, but a phone call or e-mail would be great before stopping by.  This is so overwhelming right now.  We still can’t believe this is happening. 

Here is a picture of me and Mr. Max with my new hair cut.  This is the shortest my hair has ever been!  Yikes.  You can click on the picture to view it larger.

 Lindy & Max.JPG

Thanks again and we love you all!

“Wigging” Out

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I have this intense desire to “nest” before chemo begins.  To get everything in order.  I need to have the house clean, laundry done, the kid’s winter clothes put away and summer clothes out, etc. 

Since Dr. Vander Woude said my hair would DEFINITELY fall out I called our insurance company this morning and was happy to find out that part of the wig cost is covered.  She gave me three stores in Holland to go to.  Also, since I’ll have my hair for only a couple more weeks I always wondered what I would look like with short hair so I made an appointment to have my hair chopped off.  

With my best friend Jill in tow, we spent the afternoon going on a wig hunt.  After realizing the three stores my insurance referred me to were useless (one was in Iowa, the other sold compression garments and the third was closed for lunch and the only thing we saw in the window were orthopedic shoes) we decided to regroup and went out for lunch.  Then we went to the wig store on Lakewood Blvd in Holland.  It was actually kind of fun to try on different styles and colors.  After that, I got my hair chopped off.   Everytime I see myself in the mirrror I take a second look. 

Everyone I see comments on how cheery I am.  I think they expect me to be a wreck.  To be crying constantly or fighting back tears.  Scared or sad.  I’m thinking positively.  I know the prayers that are being said for me are giving me an intense peace.  I’ve resolved to enjoy the good days because I know bad days are coming.  Days where I won’t feel good or I’m too tired to play with my kids.  But the days when I feel okay are the days I’m going to enjoy.  So today was a good day.  I had a lot of fun with my friend wigging out and playing with the kids tonight.

Tomorrow is when all the testing begins.  I have blood work and CT scans tomorrow.  Friday I have the MUGA scan to test my heart.  Monday I have the surgery to implant the port.  Chemo will start on Tuesday or Thursday.  I haven’t heard when the lymph node biopsy will take place. 

I still feel a little numb.  It doesn’t feel real.  Everything is happening so quickly. 

I look forward to reading your emails and comments all the time.  I get so excited to see them.  They lift me up.  The verses and encouragement you’ve shared are extremely comforting.  Thank you for them.  I’m sorry I haven’t been able to email all of you back.  Things are pretty crazy right now. 

Ready? Ok!

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This has been THE LONGEST holiday weekend I’ve ever had.  It was a huge relief to see Dr. Vander Woude tonight.  She seems like a really nice doctor and I’m glad that I have her for my Oncologist. 

I’ve learned that I have a large 4 X 2 cm “aggressive” tumor (probably had it over 5 years).  It’s the worst kind of tumor (on a three negative scale), but the doctor thinks we can beat it with a long treatment plan.  The first step is to do a biopsy of a lymph node which looked suspicious on the MRI.  Then a battery tests will be done – head and body scans to check for cancer elsewhere, bloodwork, etc.  I will also have a port put in for Chemo.  It sounds like Chemo will start next week which will take about half a day every two weeks and will last four to six months.  Once chemo is complete, I’ll have  surgery and then radiation. 

I’m quite sore after last week’s biopsy and I have a lot of bruising.  Thankfully my mom was here all day today to lift the babies which helps a lot with soreness and swelling.   

After tonight’s appointment I’m optimistic because now we have a plan.   I was relieved to hear they will be able to control the nausea from chemo.  I was so nervous about that because Zofran (an anti-nausea drug they use for chemo patients) was given to me during pregnancy last year and it didn’t help me at all.  I’m freaking out about losing my hair.  Dusty and I will look like a very interesting couple now. 🙂  I’ve decided to cut my hair very short because I’ve always wondered what I would look like with short hair.   It is what it is. 

We’re ready to fight this with everything we have. 

Please pray that the cancer hasn’t spread to my lymph nodes.  That the scans, tests and putting in the port goes well.  Dusty had a shift in job responsibilities (all good) so please pray that the transition goes well for him and isn’t too stressful on top of all this cancer stuff. 

Brooklyn asked tonight what the cancer would do if I didn’t get chemo.  I told her that I would get to go to heaven.  After a long, thoughtful pause she said “then you’ll get to know what God and Jesus look like!”  Too cute. 

Max and Samantha are doing well and blissfully oblivious to all of this. 

I love reading your emails, comments, etc.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for them. 

In Shock

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Wow I can’t believe this has happened. This is how it began……I went to the doctor two months ago because I found a lump. The lump was confirmed and I was sent for a CT scan. It was diagnosed as Mastitis and I was put on a round of antibiotics, Amoxicillin. I went back to the doctor two weeks later and nothing had changed so we decided to try one more round of antibiotics, Keflex. After no change I was referred to Dr. Housekamp, a general surgeon. Dr. Housekamp ordered an MRI and put me on another round of antibiotics, Doxycycline. The MRI results came back last Wednesday and Dr. Housekamp suggested having a biopsy right away. So quickly in fact that he came in on his day off to perform the biopsy. They put a rush on it and Friday at 4:20 I was informed by Dr. Housekamp that it’s cancer. He didn’t have the full written report yet – just the verbal. He said it’s a ductal cancer. It’s an aggressive cancer. It’s an inflammatory type of cancer, but we don’t know what stage it is or whether it has spread to my lymph nodes. He said we would start with chemo and then do surgery. He referred me to Dr. Amy Vander Woude who I am seeing Tuesday evening.

So right now we’re wrapping our minds around this diagnosis of cancer. We’re trying to accept it. Life is so busy for us. We were looking forward to a summer without morning sickness and being pregnant (anyone remember last summer?). Without the store. We were looking forward to enjoying a care free summer with our 7-month-old twins and 5-year-old daughter. However, it is what it is (I say that a lot).

We know God has been faithful to us in the past. He performs miracles. He proved it last October with Samantha (our daughter) and he can do it again.We told Brooklyn about the cancer Saturday morning and she reacted exactly the way we thought she would. She handled it very well and then asked if she could watch a movie. 🙂

Please pray that the cancer hasn’t spread. Pray for Dusty as he is going through this with me. Pray for our children that their lives may not be too disrupted by this. I know God can heal me. We have put our faith and trust in Him. THANK YOU for your prayers, emails, phone calls, visits, cards and flowers. They are all so encouraging. I will let you know what happens on Tuesday.


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