Saturday, October 31, 2009

Home again

The surgery went well. They removed 2 of the cancer tumors. Will get the other 2 with radiation. Had a new hairstyle for a few days, the white gauze look. I am up and moving around, and I am at home!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

i'm up

Got back a few hours ago from the pre-op stuff for Thursday. That will be my new surgery date. I had to have some blood work done and sign papers and talk with the nurses and anesthesiologist. He showed me pictures of my brain. It sounds like they do a lot of my surgeries there and I will be in ICU for a day or so.

I almost cried when he asked if I had pain on my left side. I DO. It's my hip and I'm afraid that I'll break it like I did my right arm. He said that the cancer pressing on the brain is causing the pain. mmmmm, that rhymes.

They will definitely be cutting off my hair in back. Well. It's done its part, I guess. He hopes they won't get air into the brain, so they will have me facing down and forward some to prevent that. My broken arm will be up against my side. Supposedly there isn't much pain with brain surgery - the scalp is all. I just want it all to be over with.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday and no surgery...

Just got back from Dr. O'Grady's. He's the surgeon. He is very surprised that I am conscious and that I have no head pain!!! God works in wondrous ways!
The surgery will be more complicated, so it won't be today.. There are four cancers - one on top of my head that he won't touch (they'll radiate it later.) Three in back towards the cerebellum. He thinks that they are all three connected. A problem is the cyst - fluid sac that is the central one. That is the one that's supposed to be causing all the pain. It is also on my cranium - bone. But none of us can see anything - I made them look!!!

He said I could end up fine - I could end up paralyzed - and if we did NOTHING, I wouldn't make it at all. It has to come out.

Dr. Rege said No radiation until it's all over and done with. I've been working on my right arm and trying to getting it working. It's still being a baby, though. I am also babying my left hip since last week since it's been hurting like my arm did before it broke.

Friday, October 23, 2009

test results today

i just started working on right hand writing. Have sat all day on living room couch. happy. Got a call - cancer is in my brain. Cerebelllum. They think I have headache. Nope. It just likes to travel, I guess. I may have surgery on Monday.... Because there is fluid in the tumor, it's not a good candidate for radiation. But, Imagine half a head of curly hair. I will be able to walk better. No more crashing into you or the steps. Imagine I'll be able to think. ..... I'll get better grades on my BYU classes online!

Kyle's home -

Thursday, October 22, 2009

brain scan

Just got back from a brain scan - mri. It was LOUD. They held up my arm really well, but I break out into a cold sweat just getting to the bathroom and back. I'm sure I drenched their bed. My port is getting a good workout. They put the contrast in it tonight.
Mom Harward was gracious enough to go with me. Max had made dinner = and salsa, too.

I'm all snuggled in bed. just talked with Mom Rickords. Everyone is sick! Wish we were all better.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


i can hear a droning in my ears again. i used to get it with chemo but it went away until last week. haven't broken anything new all week. yea!!!

i can tell you what love is, tho:
love is having a sponge bath, helps up to the bathroom, shaving your legs. It's having your husband kissing you wildly every day cuz you're alive - one more time!

Friday, October 16, 2009

on and on and on....

this will be done one-handed for a while. Cancer docs warned that the bone spots that hurt might break due to the cancer. Last Saturday I lifted a blanket and it broke my arm!!!! The gory scene from Harry Potter don't explain it well enough to be "missing" a limb! Twice they had to put my arm in front of me so I could see it. I screamed buckets of tears and scared all awake. The ambulance folks tried to give me fentanyl and it still hurt terribly. After I was taken to KGH, I still couldn't calm down. They put me out and set it.
I was in a room straight out of WW11. Later when they put a rod in it (Mon.) I was in a newer room. Fimally got home and on reg medicatioms. Felt rather low yesterday but Mom & DAD have pulled me through!!
We watched 'Helllo Dolly' today and "Yours, Mine & Ours" for movie-night. Talked with Karen about her cancer-gone-to-the-bones. It really helped me out a LOT. Talking with Terre & Priscilla & Tifiny & Mom helped, too. Thank you.

I decided tonight (after a shower!) that our chances in life of staying alive are "x" (an unknown) and that having cancer and life must make my chance of being alive "2x" I'm just living on the dangerous side!

And just so you know it....dying doesn't make you a poet!!!!!! Tried and tried ALL night long to get words to rhyme so they could be read at my funeral..... no such luck! But, Lucky YOU!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

bathing beauties!

I copied this from my genealogy post today:

Yea! Hurray! It's only taken 3 days, but inbetween doctors and surgical procedures, I have managed to find the same three photos that hang in my bathroom. I wanted to share them with you. They are so utterly fantastic! Imagine these three women being photographed back in the day when scandalous photos as these just WEREN'T shown. They had to have been strong women. Women who were role models to me. Women to whom I still revere and look up to as I hang on with this cancer. If they could do something so everyday strong as this. I can keep hanging on, too.

Here's my Grandma Helen Anna Sanders Madsen (Mom's mom who with Grandpa, raised 8 children during the depression) - she's in the front & right in this photo at Utah's Great Salt Lake:

This one is my dad's step-mother's mother: Nellie Arnett Cheesbrough. She was a Wyoming school teacher from a wealthy family in Illinois. She married John Cheesbrough and created a cultured haven out in there in the wilderness! This photo must have been taken at one of the Great Lakes

My husband's family wasn't exempt! Here's his great grandma Jennie Eliza Jane Calkins Rickords at Soap Lake, Washington

Hope you love them as well as I do!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Yesterday Mike McDonald came by with flowers for me from KONA 610 radio! I feel so privileged!!! Thank you Lois for nominating me! I have flowers from Cleta and cards from Karen and Lorna and Mike. Each of them helps! Phone calls from relatives and Facebook luvs from everyone!

I've been on the phone today with doctors offices.... not sure with whom I have appointments and who's coordinating all this. Guess that's me. Heather's kitty is helping out tremendously - says I need a bath. I need a port put in... I need an MRI on my head, a PET scan....

Sunday, October 4, 2009

home sweet home

I'm finally home. Nauseous, but home. Dr Fewell saw the MRI's and knew he'd be out of town this weekend, so he talked with dr. O'Grady. He saw me right away. Said we had to do surgery right then. So, surgery was done - back of my tailbone removed. Released the nerves. Said if he'd left them any much longer and they would have been paralyzed. While he was there, he saw the mass of tumor through the nerves. He got most of it out. It's only from one spot, but it's one spot less that the chemo and radiation will have to get to.

I'm pretty sore now, though. At the hospital I looked at myself in the mirror and realized what a mess I was in. And then it came..... at least I didn't feel like this AND had a squirming newborn to add to it! Wo to women everywhere who go through this kinda pain and then have to care for a child, too.....

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Saw Dr Klarnet this afternoon. He rushed everything. He apologized for the earlier doctors missing it. It's breast cancer gone all over - I gave blood and also got to see the radiation doc right then. She will send me for surgery this weekend depending on the three scans they're doing tonight. I get my port put back in next week. After that, I will do 3 weeks of radiation and then start chemo... Radiation doc said that they were all talking about me. I told them that I needed the attention....