Ver Beek Blog

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

One year…

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I can’t sleep.  I couldn’t sleep all night.  We had great groups of people visit us last night.  We had a marathon day of tests and meetings with doctors that I thought we would fall right into bed and zonk out for the rest of the night.  The last person of the night to stop in was Dr. Vander Woude (oncologist).  She was the doctor we were waiting to hear from for my prognosis.  She stepped around the questioning at first.  I said “do I have three days”?  She said “oh yes, you have three days.”  Then I said “is it months or a year?”  she said “probably a year”.  There it is.  There it was.  It was put out there.  Like a sucker punch in the gut that knocks all the wind out of you.  I have about a year to live.  I never thought I would say those words.  The radiation and any other procedures they do are to buy time.   

Just as we were going to bed, Dr. Hoberman called our room phone.  She spoke with Dr. Song (reconstructive plastic surgeon in Chicago) who happened to be on vacation, but was very happy to talk to her about me.  Dr. Hoberman is going to place some calls today to see what she can find out about alternative treatment at a bigger hospital or the Mayo Clinic.  Dr. VanderWoude is coming back in today (I’ts her weekend to work) and we are going to talk more about getting me to Mayo Clinic on Monday.  Does anyone have a private pilot’s license and feel like taking a trip to Mayo?  😉

Dusty and I are devastated.  We are beside ourselves upset with this news and don’t know how to process it.  I believe in the prayers that are being said.  We feel a peace at times that we know only could come from God. 

Please pray that we are led in the right direction for treatment.

Please pray that as Dusty and I look to the year ahead we will have two different outcomes so pray for him as he is the one left behind to be with our kids.  To raise them. Love them. Clothes them. Feed them.  Be a mom to them.

It breaks our hearts.

We need your help so if you know of alternative places such as mayo or chicago that do extensive/miraculous work with multiple brain tumors we would appreciate the information.

God Bless

Not good…

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We are settled into our room at Spectrum (Butterworth) Hospital.  I had a CT scan of my abdomin and pelvis last night around 10 p.m.  I don’t have the results of that.  They did a brain MRI at 12:30 a.m. and we got the results of those today.  It turns out I have six tumors.  Three are quite large and are the ones causing the headpain and nausea.  Two are “normal” size and one is very small.  The PA from the neurosurgeon’s office said since I had so many of them that surgery isn’t an option in their opinion.  She said they would just grow somewhere else in the brain or grow in the same spot. 

The PA from Dr. VanderWoude’s office came about an hour ago and said it’s Stage IV cancer and the prognosis isn’t good. 

We still have to meet with the Radiation Oncology Team. 

My bone scan is scheduled at 3 p.m. 

I’m terrified.  I cannot bear the thought of leaving my kids without a mom.  I know I shouldn’t go there yet because we don’t know the exact prognosis, but that’s where my mind goes.  They’re too little.  I have to raise them.  I’m their mom.  I want to be there for them.  This is a horrible thing to have to process.

Please pray for:

Results of my bone scan to be cancer free.

Peace and God’s prescence, love and comfort in our lives.  I want to hear his voice.

Our kids.  Brooklyn is only six, Max and Samantha are 1 1/2 years old.  Even if the prognosis were good, this still isn’t fair to them to have their mom away from them. 

Our parents.  They are our rock for our family.  Please pray for strength, peace, endurance and energy to keep up with our kids (my parents are taking care of them right now).

My friends.  I have great friends and Jill has been with me every step of the way.  She’s even here right now. 

Pray that we will not grow weary.  I HAVE to beat this.  It’s not a choice.  God is the great physician and can work miracles. PRAY FOR A MIRACLE!

It’s back

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The headache and nausea didn’t go away so I called Dr. Hoberman’s office this morning. She consulted with Dr. VanderWoude and together they decided to send me to Holland Hospital. After they did a head CT, they found two brain tumors. At least now we know what’s causing the headaches. They admitted me to Spectrum and that is where I’m sitting now. I have a night full of tests ahead of me-MRI, CAT scan and bone scan.

Please pray we caught the tumors early and that the cancer hasn’t spread. Pray for Dusty, the kids and my parents. Pray that I can beat this cancer too.

We will update again after the tests are done and we meet with the neurosurgeon.

Impatiently waiting

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Do you ever have anything that consumes your thoughts?  Something you can’t shake from your mind?  I wish I had something profound, deep, spiritual or thought provoking that consumes my thoughts, but I’m sorry to say it’s my upcoming surgery.  It’s always on my mind.  I’m anxious.  Nervous.  Excited.  I can say one thing – I’ll be happy when my boobs are attached to my body again.  Do you know how many times I’ve left the house and realized I forgot my boobs?  That is something I never thought I would have to think about. 

I try to think of every possible scenario and find a solution to it.  What if Dr. Song finds he can’t do the DIEP procedure because of my crash c-section?  How long will the surgery take?  What’s recovery going to be like?  Since I can’t lift for six weeks, what about my kids?  Will I be able to walk Brooklyn to her first day of school?  Will I be able to do laundry?  Will I be able to get groceries?  If I can’t stand straight up, how will I sleep?  How will I take a shower? 

Here are my solutions:  Dr. Song won’t know until he opens me up whether I have damage from the crash c-section.  There is a 90% chance that he will be able to do the procedure despite my medical history.  The surgery takes roughly eight hours.  I’ll spend about three days in the ICU.  Recovery is about six weeks.  I won’t be able to stand up straight or lay flat for two weeks.  I can’t lift for six.  I have childcare lined up for Max and Samantha – thank you mom, Jill and Kathy!  I am making freezer meals so my family can eat.  Since I missed Brooklyn’s first day of kindergarten last year, I will be there on her first day of school this year even if I have to crawl.  The laundry and groceries will get done and I’ll sleep in a recliner.  I still can’t stop my need for controlling things!

Information on Dr. Song

Information on the DIEP procedure

I am going to Chicago on Monday to meet with Dr. Song for my pre-op appointment and to meet with Anesthesia Department.  I’m making the most of it by taking Brooklyn, Jill and Avery along.  We’re going to the Shedd Aquarium when I’m done.  Fun!

I would like to think that cancer doesn’t exist now that I’ve beat it.  It’s still out there and still attacking young women/moms!  I’ve met a new friend at the end of my cancer last year who was just diagnosed at the time (hi Amy!).  I’ve been in contact with Lynette Bell who I know many of you are friends with or have heard of.  I met another young mom in Meijer a few weeks ago (hi Heather) who is going through the same treatment as I went through last summer.  How I met Heather is amazing and only something God could do.  Since this post is quite long I will blog about that meeting another time.  So now I follow their blogs and pray for them the same way people prayed for me.

Pucker up!

Pucker Up!Snacktime Maxblog-61310-samantha-with-juice-box.jpgblog-63010-3.jpg blog-61310-isnt-he-cute.jpgblog-samantha-61610.jpg

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