Ver Beek Blog

Our young family battling stage IV breast cancer one day at a time
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Archive for July, 2011

Busy and Fun

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I can’t believe summer is halfway over.  I’ve been trying to do what I purposed this summer for – enjoy my kids.  This is what we’ve done so far…

1.  Moved into our house.  We are settled in.  It’s starting to feel like “home”.  We see a little grass in the yard and we can’t wait until it’s all filled in.  The pool is across the street and we love it. 


2.  We had a week at a cottage:



3.  Enjoyed the Herman Miller Picnic:




4.  Survived Swimming Lessons:



5.  Had a blast at Great Wolf Lodge in Traverse City



The night before we left for Great Wolf in Traverse City, I had Max at Urgent Care where he was diagnosed with half an ear infection and half swimmers ear.  Poor little guy.  So here he is getting drops in his ear.  🙁



Put your paws up


I’m feeling pretty good.  I have a lot of back, neck and shoulder pain.  I don’t know why I have pain in my back.  My shoulder pain is due to arthiritis.  My neck pain is due to a muscle that won’t stop spasming.  I’m still tired, but the NEED for a nap is gone.  Yea!  Since I had so much radiation done to my brain, we are watching for neuropathy in my arms, hands, legs and feet.  I’ve been having some pain in my arm, elbow and all the way down to my pinky finger.  Not fun, but I can still function.  I mean hey, I’m still typing right? 

I’m having this inner battle lately.  I don’t know why.  I don’t know what it is.  I don’t know where it’s coming from.  I have this terrible feeling that I’m not going to win this time.  There I said it.  I feel weak.  Physically and mentally weak.  Faced with breast cancer a few years ago I knew I was going to beat it.  I stayed positive and kept fighting. 

A year ago when it reappeared in my brain, I was sitting wide awake on a gurney at Mayo.  I had a doctor on each side of me turning screws into my skull for a halo and I thought, this isn’t for nothing we’re gonna blast those tumors outta my brain.  We did.  Except for two little spots that remain and we can’t prove they’re tumors. 

This time it’s in my lungs and the plan is that I will start the chemo pill Xeloda in September.  This time, however, my body has been poisoned, it’s bruised, it’s battered, it has seen battles and I don’t know if it’s physically ready to handle another one.  Mentally I’m not as strong as I once was.  I never minded needles before.  I didn’t like them, but I wasn’t phobic.  Now I have anxiety every time I need to have blood drawn or an injection given!  Time magazine recently had an article entitled Scanxiety and it described exactly how I feel.  When did I become so weak?!  I’m such a wuss.  This isn’t who I was.  I don’t even know who I am anymore. 

So for now I wait until September when I go back to Dr. Schott for more scans.  Three things could be seen:

1.  The spots in my lungs are gone – MIRACLE! With no new spots found.

2.  The spots haven’t changed.

3.  The spots grew. 

There is never a time that cancer is free from my mind.  Never.  It’s ALWAYS there.  It weighs me down.  It’s a burden.  It’s there when we’re moving into our new house.  When I watch Brooke swim like a fish on her last day of swimming lessons. It came along to Great Wolf with us and hung over me while Max and my dad figured out every little wheel and lever on Fort Mackenzie.  It’s there when I watch Max and Samantha go from staying on the steps of the pool, and now with beaming faces, jumping in without abandon.  It’s robbing me of full joy and I hate it for that. 

Cancer has, however, brought some really awesome people into my life.  It has shown me ways to serve others and how to show love.

Prayer Requests:

1.  I will be strong enough to face the journey ahead – findings, treatment, etc.

2.  Pray for a miracle. 

3.  Our family as they endure cancer with me. 

4.  A cure!

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