Sunday, June 29, 2014

A Positive Attitude

Since finding out that I have cancer, I've tried to keep a positive attitude. Not only does it help my state of mind, but I also think it helps my husband and parents. If I get worried and upset, I'm afraid it will carry over to them, and I don't want that to happen.

I'd be lying if I said I haven't had my moments. I've been shocked, angry, confused, sad, etc. I've had concerns about how this is going to affect my new job. I've questioned if there was something I could've done to prevent it. One thing I can say I haven't been is worried, though. Worrying won't change anything that's happening. It just won't.

I have my next appointment coming up on Wednesday. Part of me wishes that day never comes, but the other part of me wishes we could fast-forward to Thursday. We will get through it, though. Praying for good news! God's got this!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Oh Boy! My First Mammogram!

I was supposed to get my first mammogram before my hysterectomy, but I put it off. I kept putting it off because I have no history of breast cancer in my family. With the exception of my grandfather, there was no cancer in my family AT ALL! He was a life-long smoker who died of lung cancer, though, so I kind of figured that was expected. 

So at my follow-up appointment, my OBGYN told me it was now more important than ever to get a mammogram so they could go ahead and rule out breast cancer. She reminded me that even though I didn't have a family history of breast cancer, there always had to be a first person. Just like even though I didn't have a family history of uterine cancer, I was the first. That made it hit home for me! She also told me that my oncologist would want to see that report, too. So as soon as I got home, I scheduled my first mammogram. The baseline. Thankfully, they were able to schedule me for two days later. And the dreading began...

My appointment was this morning. A friend of mine works at The Breast Center, and she was able to recommend a good tech. After filling out the required paperwork, I only had to wait about five minutes before being called back. The tech gave me a hanger and two hospital gowns and told me how to wear them. I sat down in the back waiting room, and about as soon as my butt hit the chair, she was calling me back. Talk about quick!

While I was getting ready that morning, I took my pain medicine because I thought it would help me to not be so sore after the testing. For that reason, I'm not sure how bad it would've normally hurt, but the testing today was absolutely painless. The tech took four slides, and I was done. I was surprised how quickly everything was over! 

The tech said she got good slides. My friend also reassured me when she said that if there was something odd on the slides, the radiologist would've immediately ordered more slides. The tech also said that it wasn't unusual to be called back later for more slides on baseline tests and to not be alarmed if I got a call. 

So now the waiting begins! We're praying for good, cancer-free results. But I'm not worried because God's got this!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Unexpected Adventures

I've been away from this blog for a few years, because frankly, I got bored with it. I'm going to pick it back up to journal two unexpected adventures I've found myself going on...One good and one bad.

The good:  After 17 years as a classroom teacher, I was recently promoted to a TOSA (Teacher on Special Assignment) in our school system. I'll be an acting assistant principal while I pursue a degree in educational leadership. It's not a position for which you can apply. I was nominated by my principal and assistant principal, then I had to be invited to interview. It's quite an honor!

The bad: Five days ago, I had a total hysterectomy to remove my uterus, cervix, and fallopian tubes. I opted for the da Vinci hysterectomy because it would cut down my recovery time to two to three weeks. (I have to be back to school in three and half weeks!) I knew I would have one week of no activity and another week of building my strength back up with light activity.

I woke up on Monday morning in a lot of pain, and I would sob for no reason at all. I wasn't expecting that because I opted to keep my ovaries and thought they would regulate my mood swings. Apparently, they shut down due to the trauma of surgery and "restart" once the healing process begins. I was feeling a lot better on Tuesday morning and promised Marc that I wouldn't overdo it. I napped off and on all morning.

At about 11:00, I got a call from the nurse at my OBGYN's office. I was kind of expecting it because I forgot (medicine haze) to call to make my 2-week followup appointment. Instead, the nurse told me that my doctor wanted me to come in that afternoon. I thought she wanted to check my incisions because she is going out of town next week. I was wrong, though. She wanted to tell me that they found uterine cancer when they did the pathology. To say I was shocked would be the biggest understatement ever!

Thankfully, my OBGYN thinks that it seem the cancer was contained in the uterus, and a robotic hysterectomy is considered the best treatment because the uterus can be removed intact. My cervix and tubes came back clear. The ultrasound and pap that I had done five weeks ago also both came back with no abnormalities. Recent blood work has also come back normal. I'm hoping and praying that we caught it in time.

Of course, my next steps are lots of tests and making the decision about whether or not to remove my ovaries. I have my first appointment for a mammogram tomorrow morning, and then we'll be meeting with an OBGYN oncologist on July 2.

I'm optimistic that I can beat this, and I'm excited about going back to my new job! Adventure is out there...some you want and some you don't!

Friday, January 11, 2013

One Week Down!

The first week of student teaching is in the books! 

Marc has had a wonderful week of student teaching! He was really nervous going into it, because you never know what kind of person you'll get as your supervising teacher. Marc lucked out, though, and it seems like he as a good one. That can make all the difference in the world!

All the student teachers I've ever had have always taken the first week to observe and get into our classroom routine. Rarely have I ever had one that was willing to teach a lesson or a group during that first week. Marc, however, started teaching on his first day! I'm so proud of him for taking the initiative to do that.

The kids seem to really like him, although he has had a few to try to test him. He handled it, though, which is great because that sets the standard for the rest of his internship. The kids seem really intrigued by the fact that he "owns so many pairs of shoes!" (If only they knew...) He said they also ask him all the time how he gets his hair to spike and stay up for the day. Hilarious! Kids notice all the little things!

One of the perks of him being so close to my school is that we can now carpool together in his Fiat. He's made two round trips to Athens, and we have driven back and forth together for four days on $25 worth of gas. And he still has a 1/4 tank! My gas-guzzling Explorer is mostly likely going to stay parked for the next couple of months! 

I'm so happy to see Marc finally doing something that he loves. He just said this morning that it's going to be awesome when he gets paid to have fun at work all day. I love that attitude! He's going to make a great teacher!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Eating at Home: Day 7

Well, the weekend is almost here! Both of us are exhausted so I thought I would make some comfort food for dinner tonight. I needed something quick, though, because both of us are running on zero energy!

We seemed to have lots of breakfast food in the fridge/freezer so it seemed to be the meal to make. I made some country ham, eggs, hash browns, and Sister Shubert's rolls. (Marc's not a fan of biscuits. Darn Yankee!) It was so good! You really can't go wrong with breakfast for dinner!

Speaking of country ham, I don't think I've actually bought any, with the exception of in a restaurant, the whole time we've been married. My mother always picks out a whole ham, has it sliced, and sends it home with us in labeled Ziploc bags. I always have a stash of it in the freezer, but we seem to eat more of it during the holidays and colder months. It's also a Christmas morning tradition that Marc and I have continued in our house, although now we invite my parents over and I cook it.

Dinner has been cooked and cleaned up after, my daily laundry is done, and clothes are ready for tomorrow. I think it's time to wind down...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Eating at Home: Day 6

This afternoon was a new one for us! Marc and I both had faculty meetings after school. My meeting wasn't very long, and I was finished by 3:15pm. Marc's meeting, however, was running really late so he had to leave school at 3:45pm. He had to be at ASU for a 6:00pm class, but before he headed over there, he needed to drop me off at home. 

Since our time was limited, I stuck with something simple for dinner: Brats and fried potatoes. They are quick to make and filling, just perfect for a guy who's about to burn a lot of calories learning how to teach dance. (I so wish I could've been a fly on the wall for that class!) 

Marc got home just before 10:00pm, and he passed out asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow. Poor guy!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Eating at Home: Day 5

Marc began his student teaching today! He had a great day, but he said it's going to take a little bit for him to get used to being called "Coach." He's also a little sore, but I think that will get better with time. 

Now, back to our eating plan. Due to church and our Bible study group, we always plan to eat out on Sundays. We didn't go to our study group on Sunday night, because Marc had to drive about an hour that night to meet someone for a sale. We ate at Logan's, and good grief, that meal was $40 and change. I had one of the best steaks I've ever had, though, so it was all good!

Last night, we were BAD and ate out again! We ordered pizza, and we had leftovers for lunch today. Nice! Tonight, though, it was back to the plan. 

I made some crispy shrimp po'boys, and they were so good! I used my favorite way to pan-fry shrimp, because it has a light, crispy coating of just flour and Cajun seasoning. We loaded up some fresh French bread with the shrimp and cocktail sauce, and it made for a quick, filling meal. I really was supposed to have lettuce for the po'boys, but I completely forgot to get some when I was at the grocery store this afternoon. Oh, well!

We'll be back on track through at least Friday night. We're going to switch out and eat in on Friday night, because we had a change of plans for Saturday night. My uncle's memorial service is also going to be on Saturday, and my parents are planning to feed everyone since they will be coming from Florida. I'm sure we'll hang around over there and visit for a little bit before heading out for the night. It will be good for everyone to have some closure. 

So, busy week ahead!