Friday, December 31, 2010
I woke up not wanting to make the drive to Nashville yesterday, but Wendell insisted we go and wouldn't let me cancel the appointment :( I couldn't help thinking, during the drive and the wait, how wonderful it was to be there without that sick feeling of doom in the pit of my stomach. I had made the appointment for 8:45 am hoping to avoid the normal 3-4 hour wait to be seen. We arrived around 8:30 and left the parking garage at 12:00!!!! Dr Netterville and his wonderful nurse, Jill, could not get over how well I look. They just kept commenting on it which really lifted my spirits and made me feel really good. I asked Dr. Netterville what he thought of my chances for a recurrence. His only answer to that was... it is unusual for this cancer to spread to the lymph nodes and he has felt as if mine showed up in that one lymph node, on the PET scan, (it was in three, I think, but was only visible in one), to give me more incentive to have the reconstruction surgery. He wanted to do the reconstruction surgery because he felt as if it would give me a much better quality of life. So I didn't really get a clear answer to my question but he did release me and said he hopes he never sees me again unless it was out on the street in Knoxville while shopping or something like that. I know the Lord led Wendell and I to Dr. Netterville as an answer to the many prayers that were being prayed for us. Dr. Netterville kept saying how glad he is that I am alive!!!! I honestly believe it is by the grace of God and through seeking His will, and trying desperately to follow His will, that I did survive and am alive!!!! I also believe Dr. Netterville is a good christian man and that it is truly his desire to be used to heal people and help to give them the best quality of life as possible. I know he has a deep heart felt desire to heal and help those who come to him. His "bed side manner" is remarkable!!!! If anyone ever needs a wonderful Otolaryngologist, Head and Neck Surgeon, Dr. Netterville is in the top 5 in the country. To me he is the best of the best!!!
I have a PET Scan scheduled for January 10, 2011. This will be the first one in six months. I have no visible signs of a recurrence. I have had to adapt to a new way of life and have some physical limitations but this has all became a "new normal" way of life for me and nothing too overwhelming that I can't deal with. My only real physical complaints would be the ever present bone pain and the overwhelming fatigue. Even with these two "ailments" I am extremely happy and blessed to be alive as we get ready to say goodbye to 2010 and welcome in the beginning of 2011!!!! I hope and pray that the PET scan will be "clean" and 2011 will begin on an upbeat.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Our fellow workers: Punky, Jonathan, Jess, Shana, Justin, Wendell, Spot, Kiah, Me and Lindsey. Aunt Linda had left before we took the picture and two others, Kayla and Dexter, were unable to attend.
I was browsing through my pictures and found this one of me, a year ago at the store party. What a difference a year can make!!! How good the Lord has been to me!!!
We celebrated Christmas with our kids and close family on Thursday, December 23rd.
Punky, Stephanie, Michael, Renee, Misty, Josh, Mikiah, Me and Wendell.
We celebrated Christmas with Wendell's side of the family on Christmas Eve at my mother-in-laws house. I failed to take any pictures there :( We all had a really good time.
Then on Christmas Day we celebrated with my side of the family here at my house. We had 31 here!!! We were missing 14 others that are usually here. My living room was packed but everyone seemed ok with it and we all had a great time. The food was delicious as usual. My Dad fried the turkey and I baked the ham, Teresa made the dumplings and Misty made the sweet potato casserole then everyone else cooked and brought other dishes and desserts, It was all wonderful!!! No one went away hungry!!!!
This is a picture of my kids and Teresa's boys. Rachel, Teresa's daughter was unable to be here, one of her children were sick :(
Seth, Punky, Stephanie, Josh, Kiah, Malachi, Jason, Lucas and Aaron.
All and all, we had a wonderful Christmas this year. My family has been blessed with health this year which is one of the biggest blessings we could hope for. As this year draws to an end I am thankful for the Lord's blessings on my family this past year. 2009 and 2010 have been the hardest years we have gone through. There have been many ups and downs both physically and emotionally. We have faced trials that we could not have imagined would come our way. Kiah dealt with a diagnosis of Histoplasmosis, and the treatments that followed. She went from 20/20 vision, to off the charts, worse than 20/400. She endured injections in her eye and has came out with 20/20 vision once again, which is pretty much miraculous!! To God be the Glory!!! Then my Mother unexpectedly passing away the day before my first cancer surgery. Then, I have dealt with the oral cancer diagnosis and the surgeries, radiation and chemo that followed. My Mother-in-Law and I were discussing the other day the fact that I have came through it all so well when so many others have not. We both agreed that it was due to the fact that the Lord led us to Dr. Netterville, one of the best ENT surgeons in the country, and the fact that sooooo many people have prayed for me!!!! I am still in awe of how so many people prayed for me, friends, family, aquaintances, and many many people I have never even met!!! God sure has been good to me and my family.
I sincerely hope everyone reading this has also had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, health, good food and most importantly the Love of God. As I think about the upcoming new year my mind becomes a little leary thinking of the unknown journey that lies before us in 2011. No matter what may come our way, I know by and through the Grace of God, all will be well. What ever our future holds, it is such a comfort knowing that our future is held in His hands!!!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
One health issue that I have failed to talk about in any of my blog posts, I once again experienced this morning. It's a very embarrassing, not to mention unpleasant, issue to experience or to talk about. That is why I have failed, or I guess more accurately "chosen not" to speak about it here on this blog. It is worse than any of the surgeries I have had, more painful than all the radiation I received, makes me more nauseated than the chemo ever did. That is why I decided to finally speak of it here in the hopes of saving someone else from ever having this problem. I know it is a side effect of the new medication I am taking. So if anyone else has started taking or have changed any of the meds they were taking, I just wanted to give you a little heads up on a possible side effect that you can take precautions to prevent. Well I guess at this point you may be a little curious? It's constipation. This is the second time I have had it to an extreme point. I won't go into great detail here but when I am in the throws of it's violent grip, I find myself thinking of Elvis!!!! I have honestly felt my heart stop beating, I was told by a nurse that it could actually be happening, caused by my Sciatic nerve. Today after about seven hours I finally got relief. By then I was running a temperature of 100.1 and just feeling miserable!!!! It is something that if you have never experienced to an extreme degree, you can not possibly understand.
It's hard sometimes, living in a body that doesn't function as it should. When my mind, although disputed by some :), functions normally, it's hard to deal with the effects of a less than normal functioning body. I couldn't hold back the emotions, I am normally so could at controlling, today.
I broke down sobbing in front of Punky today. I couldn't hold it back and even my will or resolve to hold it back just disappeared. My strong exterior became non existent today. I felt as if I had had all I could endure. I hate doing that. I hate placing that burden on my children. I realize how helpless they must feel. She went in the other room and I heard her dial the phone, Wendell arrived shortly after that. Wendell...what more can I say about him.....he has endured so much....more than a husband should ever have to...but oh how I thank God for letting Wendell be my husband. When he is taking care of me I feel so safe.
Once again, tonight as I write this, looking back over my day, I can still say Thank-You God for your marvelous grace!!!!