Ann’s Health Update #13 – 11.06.09

Hi, Everyone,

*So many cards, plants, helpers, healthy meals, vacuuming, laundry, washing my veggies, milkingthe drain tubes, massage, advice, taking care ofShaklee call duties, changing the water in my plants, doing dishes, taking packages for me to the post office, picking up supplies. All has brought me along well.

Thank you so much!

*Helpers: Monday 26th – Vicki, Anita, Jennifer B., Marc. Jessica, Kristi G., Jill, Ronnie

*Tuesday – Vicki, Mary, Scott, James, Marc, Midori, Jade, Jennifer B., Kathy P., Ann P., Jeni, Jax, Jace, Josie

*Wed.-Jeni, Laura, Jean, Jacinda, Marsha H, Kay C, Joan, Esther J., Ann P. James, Marc.

*Thurs. – Ann P, Diana G., James, Marc, Loren, arriet, Francy, Jessica, Linda, Bek, Anita, Jennifer B.

*Friday -Ann P., Kathy S., James, Marc, Christy, Sally, Mary, Kathleen, Harry

*Sat. – Ann P, Kay M, James, Jeni, Jax, Jace, Josie, Linda, Esther,

*Sun.- Kim, Connie, Diane O., Doug, Tony, Solveig, Paula, Loren, John, Sharon, Jean, Laura, Delores

*Mon. 11/2- Kristi G., Linda, Midori, Jade, Marc

*Tues. –Jerry, Jessica, Jennifer B

*Wed. – Suzanne, Marlo, Kristi G., James, Shirley, Jennifer VG

*Thur. – Laura, John, Paula, Loren, Alana, Bob, Mary Lou, Nicole, Ann P., Larry

*Frid. –Carole, Marc, Jean, Teresa, Penny, Crystal, Jennifer VG

Please know that if I left your name off in my haste to get this posted tonight, I do appreciate your understanding.

*Today the staples were all removed, so I won’t be setting off any alarms at the airport next Tuesday on the way to the Mayan Rivera Shaklee trip. Jessica, Marissa, Suzanne, Kristi, Aaron and their 4 kids, John and Terri, and Christy and son are all part of our Shaklee family who earned the trip. Last year in Hawaii, I think there were 800 of us. Looking forward to it!

*The drains are still in, too much fluid yet, they’d like the amount to be under 20 cc. I think the difficulty is that the compression bra doesn’t compress well due to the torque caused by my scoliosis. Now that I’m aware of it, I’ve been adjusting the fit more often as it shifts. I’ll see Dr. Duven and his amazing nurse, Kathyon Monday and that gives me about 3 more days so pretty sure they can be out. If not, then to Mexico and if it’s ready to be removed there, Kristi G. is willing to do it there. We’ll be rooming next to each other on the trip as I’ll have a couple of the Gonzalez kids in my room, too. I’m not sure what to plan for clothing…at least with the cooler Iowa weather I can wear bulky that covers up the two collection bulbs.I’m just going to pack tentatively this weekend as if the drains were out and have to figure out the flat front look with skimpier warm weather clothing.

*Saw Dr. Sangha, oncologist this morning. Kathy had said to me that I live under a lucky star (and I agree) as she was able to schedule me to see him in the same week. Basically due to checking the lymph node out (he said that many women don’t opt for that. Huh???) having both breasts removed, clear tissue around, andthe small size of the tumor, he said I reduced the risk of reoccurrence by a large percent. Taking his suggested protocol at 5 yr. would be about 2% improvement, 10 yr. about 4-6% and lifetime probably no more than 10%. The drug is a estrogen receptor inhibitor and the side effects are mainly joint pain (knees mainly and sometimes wrists), and bone loss usually at 3%. I’ll see Dr. Sangha in 2 weeks with my decision, which I’ll ponder while on warm weather beaches.

*I had asked Dr. Duven before I left his office earlier what he would recommend if given an improvement percentage, and he said if 2%,”I probably wouldn’t do it, if 30% I would.” Kathy said that the breast cancer cells like to metastasize to the brain, liver, and I think she said kidney.

*In books I read about the difficulty people have going to cancer care centers hundreds of miles away, and to coordinate records and all that. We are blessed here in the Cedar Valley area thanks to Dr. Duven starting this breast care center that everything is so easy access and local. I drove a half a block to the blood disorder center to Dr. Sangha’s office after first going home in between to get my tape recorder so I could relisten and take notes. He needed some additional records and they were faxed to him within minutes.

*Have a nasty rash only on my throat. It looks like a burn— pink, and darker places, very wrinkly and very itchy. Confirmed by my anesthesiologist and Kathy that because of the breathing tube, they were lightly cleaning the antiseptic solution area off, thorough otherwise so just the throat has reacted. That’s really been worse than any pain or recovery otherwise. Happy that today it’s beginning to heal thanks to Shaklee Calming Complex serum, and Basic H, and the Diaper Rash Cream recom. by Kristi G. for the zinc oxide.

*Learned a new technique of getting laundry baskets downstairs to the washing machine since carrying things esp. up and downstairs is ill-advised. Toboggan style works!

*Spoke tonight with the one person I mentioned in an earlier update who had opinions about my lack of faith and Shaklee vit. and eating healthy. We have to cross paths due to our circles and this time her tone of voice was reprimand-ing about not calling her back for her Shaklee order. I tried to explain her answering machine wasn’t on, but, of course, she had to be right which was fine. She’s been the only grouchy person in the last week for my being behind, there were 6 others who were forgiving. Tonight, I’m finally getting caught up. Yay! Business is brisk and I’m very happy to see it! We, self-employed really understand and appreciate those who understand the buy local concept.

*It’s a lot happening with extra appt’s., learning not to faint at the sight of my blood 3 x a day (milking the drains), and negotiating the backlog of communication, directing them to the blogsite. I feel a bit like a penguin, too, so things take longer to dress, to cook, to carry things, even walking is uncomfortable.

*I’m so grateful that my piano studio has been so willing to allow me to makeup, catchup, and teach ahead so we have Nov. covered. We are doing 4 recitals in College Square Mall for the Festival of Trees, and I have 7 students in Festivalwho will be practicing extra hard while I’m lounging. When Solveig helped me get my forms ready, she said, “Gosh, I don’t even have that many doing Festival!”

*Jennifer VG called tonight to thank me for letting her help me. She said she felt like she really made a difference, and she really felt good and praised me for asking for help. Well, the fact is it has taken an army to have this miraculous last 2 weeks even work. And we ain’t done yet…..

*I feel like I’ve landed tonight. It’s like hitting a breathing space after swimming in a black abyss. And all you can do is keep swimming believing there’s land out there because there is so much to do. It’s like a never ending tide. And then we get here, stop and look back and marvel at the teamwork, the outcome of the surgery couldn’t have been better. Now the work begins. To figure out how to be so healthy those cancer cells can’t take up shop again. I’ve already had to field “Don’t die on me”, “Don’t do chemo—it killed my sister, “Do chemo—my sister didn’t and it killed her.”

*Not to single out anyone too much, but I am so proud of my sons, Marc and James for holding their own during my trials. James got an offer on their home the night he got me back after the surgery and there’s been a lot on he and Jeni’s plate with normal birthdays, Halloween. Marc was working his two jobs with very little sleep time. Thank you, both, so much for being there for me. I love you!

*And thanks to all of you. I’ll check back in a little tanner!

6 thoughts on “Ann’s Health Update #13 – 11.06.09

  1. Hi, Shirley,
    Sorry, I didn’t see this until now. You know how much I appreciate you.
    That’s high praise on detail coming from you!

  2. Hi, Ann… Thanks SO MUCH for all the detail…I’m so grateful to know that all is going according to your phenomenal plans. I smile gratefully that you’re getting a trip where you’ll have time for R&R, so so so much deserved. Good luck figuring out the clothes! I say go for the mumu!! And get in lots of laughter, too! I have you at the top of my prayer list for the best outcomes about the tubes and rapid and complete healing. Feel the biggest of hugs!!!! Your S

  3. I have followed your journey and pleased to know that your recovery is going well. You are so special, so determined, so courageous–I am in awe of your inner strength. Continued blessings to you, Ann!!

    • Gloria, thanks for reading this. I am very blessed with the early detection, small size of tumor, good friends and God’s timing. Thanks for writing! Ann

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