Saturday, August 27, 2011

7 year Anniversary

On August 19th we celebrated our 7 year anniversary. In talking with many of you and discussing some of the challenges that we have gone through we would like to take this chance to also say how many good things have been going on in our lives. We feel like we have grown closer together through all of this, we have discovered a small inkling about the amount of love people have for us and our family, and we have felt the hand of the Lord in our lives at so many steps and turns it has felt like He has been guiding us most of the time.

This anniversary may become one of our most memorable as we were able to enjoy some time alone and talk about this crazy adventure we call life. Our tradition has been to go to P.F. Chang's because they were one of the first restaurants that we found that offered a Gluten Free menu. We talked about the kids, our marriage, our friends & family, and the future. We are looking forward to many more anniversaries to come.

Surgery is scheduled!!!

During August we have met with Anna's plastic surgeon and oncological surgeon and have scheduled her surgery for September 26th. Anna has decided to get a double mastectomy after consulting with the surgeons and looking at the various factors involved. We are trying to do as much as possible to prevent any chance of the cancer coming back in the future. From the beginning Anna has felt like this is the right thing for her to do.

After the surgery Anna won't be able to lift anything over 8lbs for 4-6 weeks. This generally wouldn't be an issue if Ryker & Daphne didn't weigh 30lbs each. This is going to be tough. This is going to coincide with Mabey's Pumpkin Patch and Anna is going to be limited in the amount of activity she can engage in during that time. She really will miss not being able to work the patch. This is something that she really enjoys.

Chemo's round 6 & 7

On August 2nd and August 16th Anna went in for chemo. These two were uneventful (YAY) as she dealt with the normal aches and pains that come with Taxol. On the up side of things Anna has been able to resume a somewhat normal life as she takes a few days to get back on her feet and then it's off to some activity for the day. Daphne asks each morning "What day is it?" Anna or I will answer her and then she asks "What do we do on Tuesdays (or Wednesdays...)"? Ryker thinks that every time we get in Anna's car we should be going to grandma's house and will say "This way! Grandma's house" Oh yeah, he cheers out loud when we take the 106th south exit. (Hence the posts being several weeks behind). Anna has a lot of numbness/tingling in her feet and hands. Her thumbs have been numb for about four weeks at the publishing of this post. If any of you get mis-spelled text messages from her she is officially blaming the numbness in her thumbs. :-)

August was a really fun time as we were able to spend a lot of it with Justin & Betsy's family from Texas. They brought with them: fun cousins, an unforgettable song (na na na na na na na na), and a really nice distraction during these two treatments. Matthew and J.D. had some trouble adjusting to Anna when she would take her wig off; if any of you need some pictures of a perfectly shaped bald head, Matthew can hook you up. He had no shame getting right in her face to snap the photos.

Garage Sale

Anna's family offered to put on a garage sale as a fundraiser to help with some of the medical expenses. As plans were developing it so happens that Anna's friend Stephanie has had a lot of experience with garage sales and offered her services in what turned out to be a big undertaking. It started by sending out e-mails and notices to family and friends for items that people were willing to part with. We were not prepared for people's generosity. The response was overwhelming as the week proceeding the actual event was filled with car, truck, and trailer loads of items people donated to help us out. Janet and Steve would come home each night to their porch and driveway filled with various items (clothes, T.V.'s, couches, toys, etc., etc., etc.). One ingenious neighbor even borrowed Steve's own trailer to park in the driveway filled with their donated items. It is hard to put into words the generosity we experienced. This has been such a humbling experience to be on the receiving end of such charity. We are so grateful to ALL those people who helped out; but an extra special thanks to Anna's family, especially Sarah, & Anna's friend Stephanie.

After the garage sale was over Daphne went shopping and put her treasures on display

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Chemo Round 5

July 19th we went in for round 5 of Chemo. The protocol at this point for Anna's type of cancer is to change from the Doxorubicin or Adriamycin or hydroxydaunorubicin or AC (I swear they have 5 names for everything) chemotherapy to one called Taxol. This kind of chemo doesn't cause as nausea as much but it can cause nerve damage. We were really excited about making it to the half-way point of chemo!

The side effects were....different. We don't really know if they are better or worse at this point because Anna's legs ache often and her feet will tingle and itch at various times throughout the day. The day after chemo Anna had a slight rash on her face and neck.