Ver Beek Blog

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

Good News!

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I had very good results from the MRI I had last week Tuesday.  The words on the final report are “there has been response to chemotherapy.  Almost all of the enhancement (I think that means tumor) is no longer identified.”  When I asked Dr. Vander Woude what the measurement of the tumor is, she said it’s so small they didn’t measure it.  Isn’t that great news?  In May I had a 2×4 cm tumor and now it’s so small they didn’t even measure it.  Amazing.  Thank God!  This is because of our great God.   

Life is getting better.  Much better than what it was this past summer.  The side effects from the chemo that seem to linger are numbness and tingling in my feet and fatigue.  The fatigue is the most bothersome, but I’m still having a lot of fun.  Last Friday we went to Cranes in Fennville, Saturday was the Race for a Cure and Sunday I went to church (no more couch church!). 

Thank you to everyone for your continued cards, encouragement, generosity, love and support.  Not just for me and my family, but our parents and friends.  We love you all. 




Laps for Lindy

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Race for a Cure was awesome.  Thank you to everyone who participated either by running, walking or giving money to support a team member.   This meant more to Dusty and I than you’ll ever know. 

  • Thank you Clair for pulling this together. 
  • Thank you Livvy for designing such a cool Laps for Lindy logo. 
  • Thank you Jen for having the T-shirts printed. 
  • Thanks Nederveld and you-know-who for buying the t-shirts. 
  • A special thank you to everyone for coming and showing support. 

Personally, I think Laps for Lindy was the best looking team there (see photos below).  You all looked great.  A little tired at the end, but great!  I had a blast!

Here are some pictures for your enjoyment.  We’re running this one next year!

Prepay and save!

43 More Days

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I’ve been feeling really good lately.  It’s been SO NICE!  I’ve been doing some normal mom stuff.  I love it.  I’m still pretty tired, but overall things are going well.  I went to Brooklyn’s soccer game last Saturday.  Good times.

Now that I’ve been out and about more I realize most people don’t recognize me with my wig on.  It’s really funny.  I’ve seen some of you and you don’t know it’s me.  I’ll say hi and I get the nice smile and hello, but no recognition.  Others just look right through me.  It’s hilarious.  So if you were at Zeeland Christian, Meijers or church lately and a stranger said hello to you, it was probably me.  🙂 

I had an MRI at Spectrum last night to see how big the tumor is.  Getting an MRI is intense.  The machine is so loud it’s crazy.  It went well though.  I don’t have results yet.  Hopefully I’ll have them Friday. 

Today I met with Dr. Hoberman.  I really like her and now Dusty was able to meet her too.  I’m having a double mastectomy with a modified radical mastectomy on the right side.  This means they’re also taking my axillary (under arm) lymph nodes.  At the end of the visit, she even prayed for us.  She’s a wonderful surgeon.

Oh and guess what…my surgery was moved again!  This time it was because Holland Hospital didn’t have an OR available for the block of time they need.  My surgery is now on November 5.  I have 43 days left. 

School is going well for Brooklyn.  Max and Samantha are doing well.  I can’t believe they’ll be a year next month!  Time flies. 

I’ll see some of you Saturday at the Race For A Cure.  I can’t wait.

I’m fine

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The past couple days have been much better.  My heart is still beating out of whack, but it’s not as bad as earlier in the week.  It helps to know it’s not life threatening.  I’m also starting to feel better from the effects of chemo.  Thank God! 

Since there was a conflict in schedules with one of the surgeons, my surgery date was moved from October 23 to October 30.  This will be nice for Brooklyn, Max and Samantha’s birthdays.  Not so nice for Halloween.  Do you think I can trick or treat in the hospital?  I won’t even have to dress up!  🙂

I checked the goal for Laps for Lindy last night and we are over it!  That is so awesome.  I am blown away at how many people are participating.  It’s nice to know so many people care.  Not only about me and my family, but about finding a cure.  Thank you for signing up and your support.  I can’t wait to see the team next week Saturday.  I will be there cheering you on. 

This morning I’m going to watch Brooklyn’s soccer game and then hang out with the kids for the day.  I can’t wait. 

Have a great weekend! 


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My heart has been beating irregularly since Monday.  So this morning I thought I better call the doctor and figure out what it is.  They sent me straight to the E.R.  (sorry for freaking you out Kathy).

They ran an EEG, EKG, did a chest x-ray and lab work.  They found my heart is taking an extra beat and that I’m low on potassium and magnesium.  They gave me supplements and sent me on my merry way. 

So half the day was spent with the awesome people at Holland Hospital’s Emergency Department.  Jill happens to work in the E.R. so when she heard I was there, she drove over and hooked me up with all the greatest amenities (the cleanest bathrooms, disinfected x-ray room, etc – you know, the important things). 

I tell ya, just when you think you’re in the home stretch and it’s nothing but smooth sailing from now til surgery, something like today happens and throws ya for a loop.  I AM READY TO LIVE A NORMAL LIFE!  I was looking forward to bringing Brooke to school and spending the day with Kathy and the babies. 

Speaking of surgery, I was supposed to have an appointment with Dr. Hoberman (surgeon) today, but had to reschedule due to the E.R. visit.  It sounds like my surgeries are scheduled for October 23.  That also happens to be Brooklyn’s 6th birthday.  Don’t tell Brooke that my surgery will be on her birthday.  We’ll figure something out for that.  I was hoping to have the surgeries sooner, but they need to wait at least six weeks after my last chemo to perform the surgery.  It gives my body time to recover I suppose.

Thank you Kathy for taking care of Max, Samantha and Brooke today during all the drama.  Thanks mom for taking me to the E.R., bringing Brooke to and from school and being there.  Thank you Jill for coming to the hospital even though you knew I’d tell you not to.   

This is so exhausting.  I’m sick of cancer living my life. 

However, I know I’ll feel better soon and will rejoin society.  Go to Brooke’s soccer practice and games.  Seeing our small group Monday night.   Normal stuff.

And my heart is still beating irregularly…

Goodbye Chemoland!

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I’m all done with chemo.  I cannot believe it.  Done.  All done!  It feels awesome and surreal.  My last treatment was today and not only that, but I don’t need to have a Neulasta shot tomorrow!  Yippee! 

Here are pictures of me receiving my first chemo in June and my last chemo today.  Please excuse how I look.  I look terrible!



This is Kendra.  She’s my nurse that has been with me since the beginning.  She always gave me my chemo and usually my fluids (when I needed them), my Neulasta shots, answered all my silly questions and held my hand through this. 


Wow…what a summer it has been.  I was diagnosed Memorial Day weekend and finished just after Labor Day weekend.  My summer was literally doing and dealing with chemo.  Even though chemo was torture, I had some pretty good highlights too.  This summer I got to see Max and Samantha start crawling, say “dada”, start standing, start cruising and feeding themselves.  I got to see Brooklyn swim all by herself and take ballet class and develop into a sweet and caring little girl.  She is such a good big sister to them.



The other thing I learned this summer is that I have really great family and friends.  I mean, I always knew all of you were terrific, but you’ve gone above and beyond what I could ever imagine.    

Part of today’s appointment was meeting with Dr. VanderWoude.  I was relieved to hear she disagrees with needing to take my ovaries.  She explained that because my BRCA tests (genetic testing) came back negative that I am not at increased risk for ovarian cancer.  I have the same odds as everyone else.  So I’ve decided not to let them take them.  I am so glad about that. 

Thank you for the flowers that you sent me today (you know who you are), the cookies, cards and emails.  I could not have made it without your support.  All of your prayers have kept me moving forward.  At my deepest darkest moments (and believe me, I had many) it helped to know that I had people pulling and praying for me.   Each of you are a part of our lives for a reason and we feel blessed to have you.  God has been good to me.


The next step is to make it through the last effects of chemo which takes about two weeks with the worst of it being this weekend.  Then an MRI to see how much the tumor shrunk.  I meet with Dr. Hoberman next week about the mastectomy and hysterectomy which will happen in October.   We don’t have a date set for that yet. 

I’ve made it this far and I believe through the worst of it.  I know surgery will be tough and radiation isn’t fun, but chemo was really hard and I’m so glad it’s done. 

Happy Birthday Dusty!

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Today is Dusty’s 35th birthday!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DUSTY! 

This last round of chemo was a tough one.  Starting last Friday I started feeling like I was beat up or in a bad car accident.  Everything hurts; even my teeth.  Today is a little better.  Other than that I’m fine. 

Dusty and I met with Dr. Gootjes this week.  She has been talking to Dr. Hoberman and Dr. VanderWoude about the genetic testing.  I was under the impression that since my genetic testing came back negative that we wouldn’t have to remove my ovaries.  They’re considering removing them because of my survival rate and the triple negative status of my cancer.  They ordered a CA125 blood test to check for abnormalities in my ovaries.  If it comes back that there are abnormalties then we’re removing the ovaries at the same time as my mastectomy.  Either way, I’m having a hysterectomy and a mastectomy at the same time.  I feel like I’m going to be gutted like a fish! 

This is very overwhelming.  Sometimes I feel like I can’t wrap my mind around what’s happening.  I feel like I’m living someone else’s sucky life.   Within the next month or two I’m going to finish chemo, start growing my hair back (yeah!), have a mastectomy, hysterectomy (with possible ovary removal) and begin radiation.  The recovery for the surgeries is 3-6 weeks with no lifting for 6 weeks.  I have two babies.  This is very hard for me to accept.  I can’t lift my kids for six weeks!  My mom, Jill and Kathy tell me not to worry about that because they are giving excellent care to my kids.  I agree that they are – the kids are so happy, but as a mom it’s a really difficult thought. 

I know this sounds crazy, but I can’t wait for my last round of chemo.  I just want the chemo part over with.  Jill says she’s going to bake a “last chemo” cake and we’re going to have a party in the chemo room.  Sounds fun doesn’t it? 

Brooklyn started Kindergarten this week.  It was so strange packing her a lunch and having her gone all day!  She had a great time and seems to be enjoying it.   

Max has finally given up his army crawl and is crawling “normal”.  Samantha is still cruising and crawling.  They’re doing great.  They like to go on walks and sometimes they fall asleep. 


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