Ver Beek Blog

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

Archive for the ‘Feeling’ Category

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!


posted by:

September 4

My dear, sweet, loving, ever-by-my-side husband celebrated his 37th birthday.  On Saturday, the day before his birthday, we enjoyed a Tiger’s game in Detroit with Dale and Jana (Dusty’s dad and sister).  It was sweltering in the stadium, but thanks to Jana who froze water bottles, all was well.   We hadn’t been to the new stadium before and I was so impressed.  I had been to the old stadium as a kid and this one is so much better.  Oh and the guy I sat next to in the stadium is from Zeeland and delivered mail over 40 years!?  Not only that, but he used to play ball with Dusty’s dad.  Small world.

This picture was taken with my cell phone.


Don’t you love the look on the kids faces.  I read their faces as saying  “Mom!  Take the picture already! Did you see this cake?”


September 24

Race For the Cure!  Thank you to everyone who participated on my team, but also to those who participated on someone else’s team.  Thank you Jen Dykens and Jill Graves for organizing the team again this year.  

Brooklyn walked the whole 5k!  Go Brooklyn!

92411-brooke-at-race.JPG  92411-brooke-and-jen-at-the-race.JPG


September 27

First Day of Chemo at U of M.  Jill was my chemo buddy the first time around and she demanded to be my Tuesday chemo buddy this time too.  She really did demand it.  I told her I could drive myself to U of M, but she wasn’t having it.  Good thing too…more about that later.

Instead of showing up in comfy lounge pants and a T-shirt like a normal person I wanted to look good.  Why not right?  So I did my hair, put on make up and wore earrings.  

We are ready to go!


Here are a few sights we see on the way to U of M.  I’d like to thank Jill for her photo taking ability and please keep in mind that I was going around 75 to 80 mph when these pictures were taken.

Here is the gas station and restaurant in Fowlerville that made me think of the word gastaurant:



Now this always makes me laugh.  If you look close it says DADS INN.  Not DAYS INN.  It used to be a Days Inn, but some poor person bought it.  I’m guessing they didn’t want to buy into the franchise and couldn’t afford a whole new sign so they bought one new letter.  You can still see where the “Y” once was and at night the new D shines orange instead of yellow, but so what, right?  It’s funny and it makes me laugh.


We finally arrive at U of M.



Jill’s most favorite thing at U of M isn’t the grandness of their campus.  Not all the learnin’ that’s going on inside those buildings.  Not the cool artwork displayed in their corridors.  Not even the cafeteria food.  Jill’s most favorite things are the buses.


So we go inside and after a while they start my chemo.  Here I am getting my first infusion at U of M.


We watched a movie while I was getting my drip.  My thumbs were up because I was feeling good.  The last hour of chemo didn’t go as well as hoped.  I started feeling very nauseous and wound up vomiting and being sent home with a puke bucket and some ginger ale.  Oh well…such is life with chemo.

Today I feel very tired and for everything else I have a prescription.  I can tell it’s going to be a long road ahead.  Going to U of M twice a week isn’t going to be easy, especially not feeling well.  It is what it is.

Thank you for the prayers and support you give our family.  We are blessed by you.

Happy and Angry

posted by:


Happy Birthday Kathy Timmer!

If you see Kathy, today is her birthday and she deserves the best birthday in the whole wide world.  So if you see her, give her a hug, a high five, a card or a 50 dollar bill (I will not reimburse you) because she is awesome.  She has cared for my babies since they were born and doesn’t want to stop.  She is the most selfless, giving, kind, caring, compassionate person.  If you don’t know her, you should because you’ll be a better person for it.  We love you Kathy.



Let me remind you that cancer sucks.  Say it with me…CANCER SUCKS!  Say it with force, anger and vengeance.  It’s okay kids, I think you’re parents will let you say “sucks” when you put cancer in front of that word. 

I went to U of M yesterday.  I am going back tomorrow to meet with Dr. Schott, but I called this morning to find out the results of the tests.  Here we go…


Previously I had three spots on my lungs.  They noted “multiple” spots on yesterday’s scan.  They have measurements for six of them.  The nurse practitioner isn’t sure if “multiple” means six or if it means more.  I guess we’ll know more tomorrow.


A new spot has been found on my brain in my right cerebellar region. 

So in a nutshell, I have more cancer.  This means that I have more options they want me to consider for treatment.  One of them is still the chemo pill and the other two are clinical trials (chemo) through an IV. 

Please pray for:

  • Guidance for what treatment to go with

  • Clarity

  • My Family 

Good Friday

posted by:

What Cancer Cannot Do

posted by:

We just heard that the MRI scan showed no new tumor activity, so we’re dealing with something far less serious.  Praise God–this is such welcome news!  Thank you all for your prayers of intercession for Lindy and my family.  

I thought a lot about life today and about cancer and what large part of our lives “it” has become.   Here’s what I do know: 

What cancer cannot do

Cancer cannot weaken our faith.
Cancer cannot steal our will to live.
Cancer cannot keep us down; we will get back up.
Cancer cannot diminish the love we have for each other.
Cancer cannot erase our memories.
Cancer cannot make us forget where we’ve come from.
Cancer cannot cause us to loose hope.
Cancer cannot crush our dreams.
Cancer cannot ruin this day.
Cancer cannot overcome God’s plan for us.

Happy Fall

posted by:


What an awesome weekend we had.  Friday night was the bake sale at the Zeeland East vs. Holland Christian game.  The bake sale went great.  If you’re a Holland Christian fan, the game – not so great.  Thank you to everyone who baked.  Thank you to Keely, Wendie and anyone else who spent time organizing the event.  Thank you HCHS for allowing the tent in the parking lot. 

Since I’m still not 100% and I promised Brooklyn I would go along to see Hannah Montana on Saturday, I didn’t go to the game.  My parents, Clair and Jane did go and they had a great time.  We stayed home and had a pumpkin painting party.





Saturday was the Community FUNDay at Elhart Collision.  That was SO FUN.  It was great to see everyone.  Despite the cold weather (I went back home to get warmer coats and hats for the kids) we had a blast.  The kids loved jumping in the Moonwalk (I think that’s what it’s called), eating hot dogs, taking a swing at the cancer car (see video of Brooklyn taking a hit in the videos section), having their face or hands painted.  There was so much to do.  Brooklyn would say the best part of the day was watching Hannah Montana (impersonator) and I would have to agree it was pretty cool.  The kids loved it.  I would say the best part of the day was seeing all my family and friends.  Thank you Tony, Carissa, Elhart and all the community donators who made that day so memorable.  It was definitely a day for the memory bank. 

This week Thursday I have an appointment with Dr. Schott at the University of Michigan.  She is an oncologist who specializes in breast cancer.  She is the doctor that Dr. Blackwell from Duke suggested I see since she is in Michigan.  She has an aggressive approach and is up on all the latest clinical trials.  I am looking forward to learning what my next steps will be. 

Correction to previously published information:  I recently received a letter from Mayo Clinic stating that I will need an MRI in four months to find out how the procedure worked.  I thought it was two months, but hey, I have brain tumors. 

Prayer Requests:

  • Please pray for safe travels to U of M and guidance for Dr. Schott with how to treat me.
  • I’ve had more intense headaches the last two days and I hope this is a sign that the tumors are melting away and nothing serious.
  • Continued energy for my parents as they support our family.
  • Thank you for all the people who have touched our family – there are SO MANY. 
  • Pray for a cure.

Yikes and Thanks

posted by:

In two days it will have been a week since the Gamma Knife procedure.  Overall I feel okay.  I have occasional headaches, nausea, lots of fatigue and I look like I was punched in both eyes.  They’re very swollen and I look terrible.  Nearly unrecognizable.  Yikes.

I was able to squeeze contacts in my eyes this morning so I could wear sunglasses to walk Brooklyn to school.  I would make small children run and scream for their mothers if they saw me.  I look a little scary.  When Max and Samantha first saw my eyes, they kept pointing at them and saying “eyes?  eyes?”  Poor kids.  First they see me without hair and now my face looks contorted.  I’m glad they won’t remember this.  They still love me the same. 

You know what I can’t wait for?  Crane’s.  It’s not fall until you go to Crane’s and drink some cider, pick some apples and get an apple dumpling or some other delicious apple treat.  As soon as I start to look “normal” we’re packing up the kids and heading to Fennville! 

This coming Friday, October 1 is the big bake sale at the Holland Christian vs. Zeeland East Football game.  Thank you Keely, Wendie, bakers and everyone who is taking the time and effort to put this together.  I know this takes a lot of work and we appreciate it. 

This coming Saturday, October 2 is the Community FUNDay at Elhart Collision.  Thank you Tony, Carissa and everyone at Elhart who put this together. 

The rest of this entry is a big, giant THANK YOU to everyone – so many people – who are supporting and praying for our family.  People we don’t even know are reaching out to us.  You are God’s people and such blessings to our family.

Thank you to those of you who are donating and returning pop cans.

Thank you to everyone who ran or walked in the Susan G. Komen Race For the Cure on Saturday.  What a great cause and let’s pray for a cure.  I heard it was a great turn out and I wish I could’ve been there. 

Thank you to the awesome cook’s who are bringing us meals.

Thank you to everyone who has donated money to us.  It takes a huge burden off our medical expenses and we are so humbled by your generosity. 

Thank you to the prayer warriors who are boldly praying for complete healing over me. 

Thank you to the card senders and little present givers. 

Thank you to everyone who hosted a party or sale.

Thank you to anyone I mistakenly overlooked. 

Love you all!

Home Again

posted by:

 Duke University Clinic Building

I’m happy to say our trip to Duke was successful.  We met with Dr. Blackwell who specializes in breast cancer and she not only agreed with Mayo in treating my brain with Gamma Knife, but also suggested treating me with either an oral chemo pill that can pass the blood brain barrier or a clinical trial or both.  She said my brain is one thing that we know needs treatment, but she’s also concerned about the rest of me.  She said if one cancer cell could survive all my prior treatments and was smart enough to take up residence in my brain, then she wants to make sure there are no other smart cells to take up residence from my neck down.  She would follow me very aggressively seeing me every three weeks and having scans run every nine weeks. 

Duke Medical

She gave a lot of great suggestions and advice.  She also suggested that I begin working with a major cancer center in Michigan, such as U of M, and with a doctor who specializes in breast cancer and is on top of all the clinical trials.  She said it didn’t matter where I get my brain tumor zapped (Mayo or Duke), but that being a 33-year-old YOUNG woman I need to work with a major cancer center. 

I made the appointment with Mayo to have the Gamma Knife surgery next Wednesday.  I’m nervous, scared and excited.  Thank you to the Pugh’s for flying us to Minnesota for this procedure.

Right now I am so sick of cancer.  I’m sick of talking about.  Reading about it.  Hearing about it.  Learning about it.  Remembering I have it.  My life has been consumed by cancer lately and I’m sick of it.  So sorry this isn’t a really great posting, but I’m trying to rebalance my life so that cancer isn’t the center of it. 

Thank you to everyone who helped out with the kids while we were gone.  It’s hard to be away from them and it’s hard to think I’m leaving again.  We couldn’t do this without everyone’s help.  Thank you!


Mayo Marvel

posted by:

We arrived safely at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota yesterday evening.  Due to the high winds, we were not able to fly as originally planned.  Instead, we had a nine hour road trip here.  We had a good time watching the country side and reflecting on life.  By the way, where are all the cows in Wisconsin?  Lindy napped (even with me driving), so I must have been well-behaved.   For those that have rode with me,  you’ll understand how big this is. 

Lindy is in getting a MRI as I write this post.  We’ve been here about 10 hours getting several tests ran and meeting with medical professionals.  Mayo runs a tight ship.   This MRI will tell us how well Lindy’s brain received the radiation and if the tumors have shrunk at all.  This is pivotal to next steps determining treatment.   Please pray the tumors have shrunk or are gone completely.   We hold out hope for a miracle.  

Tomorrow we meet with a famous Neurological Oncologist (they were booked six months out yet still got us in to see them).  Amazing how God opens doors.  Depending on the results of the MRI, there may be special clinical trials that she may qualify for.  We have a summary meeting late in the day with Dr. Goetz, her Oncologist to discuss possible next steps. 

The gravity of this situation is sinking in for us.  Seeing all the sick people here is scary.   It’s too real.   Gravely ill people from all over the world coming together here for one thing: HOPE.  We were greeted by a man vomiting all over himself and the lobby when we arrived.   This is where we are.  Here. 

Tonight will be difficult.  It’s hard to wait until tomorrow afternoon for MRI results.   Satan has a way of putting doubt in your head.  He plants anxiety and ignites fear.   There’s too may ‘what-ifs’ that pop into your head when you wait for these test results.  

We will post more information as soon as we can.  We love you all and thank you for supporting us in so many ways.  We are so blessed. 

Back to Reality

posted by:

 Thank you for making Dusty’s 36th birthday extra special this year. 

Dusty Birthday 2010

From decorating his desk at work and posting his little kid picture all over Herman Miller (including bathroom stalls), to making an awesome cake (thank you Joni Gibson), money for dinner, 50 cards, treats, balloons, beer “with roots”, barbie and smurf cakes, 70+ Facebook messages, etc.  He was even gifted a special Eames birthday throne (thank you Brian Van Kley). 

He had a perfect day.  Thank you all!

 Max Eats Cake Sept 2010

This week we’re going to Mayo in Rochester, MN.  Thank you to everyone for your advice and help on getting there.  Thank you to the people who are staying at the house taking care of the kids while we’re gone. 

I wish I could say I were excited and hopeful about the trip, but my guard is up so I’m scared, nervous, worried and anxious.  I hate feeling this way.  I want good news. 

This is also Brooklyn’s first week of school.  New school, new grade, all day.  It’s a big deal and I’m not going to be here for it.  You can probably imagine the guilt. 

Please pray for:

  • God to go before us and set the path for all we do  – Mayo, work, first day of school, etc.
  • Safe travel to and from Mayo
  • Good treatment options offered to me from the doctors at Mayo.
  • Good first week of school for Brooklyn.
  • Safety for the Samantha, Max and Brooklyn as they spend time with family and friends. 
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.