Monday, June 25, 2007

Dear friends,

Please forgive me for the gap in time since I wrote last. The entire pathology on what Dr. Haun removed was free of cancer. There is much rejoicing over those test results! I just would like to invite you again to join our Yahoo group to receive automatic email newletters from us. We are doing these instead of sending letters through the mail. That would be the most trustworthy way to hear the latest, and it comes to you without you having to come to my blog. Just wrote to and my husband will add you to our yahoo list. I will continue writing on this blog too, and I will write different things here than we would put there.

Now, I will give you an update on several things. First of all, thank you for praying for surgery. It took about an hour and 15 minutes. She used scars I already had- about 5 inches worth. She took the lump and surrounding tissue, so I can feel where she started and stopped. Everyone was very kind. I woke up in a lot of pain, but they got that under control and I was home at about 5:00. I had a drain which was taken out that Friday. That did not hurt at all. I still have some bruising that is healing, but I have been able to wait later each day for pain control meds. Now I probably wouldn't need them, except my right shoulder is so bad, I sometimes need them for that.

When I had radiation last November and December, they had my arms up over my head in braces for 20 to 45 minutes each of the 30 times I went. My shoulder has had problems in the past and every day it hurt more and more. When I had a CAT scan and MRI several weeks ago, they had my arms in that position again. That night my shoulder popped half out and then back into joint by itself (if you have had a shoulder dislocation, you know the pain) and has gotten worse since. I talked to my oncologist about it last week when I had my last appointment with him (I am sure going to miss Dr. Bourg!), and he ordered an MRI of my shoulder with an ASAP on the order. I had to drive an hour each way, but got it done last evening. Deb Sanders (Sister Luke) came over while I was there and made a fantastic dinner for me and the kids.

I called the osteo office where I have had an appointment about my shoulder scheduled for 2 months and asked if they could PLEASE get me in sooner than July 9th. When I told her how much pain I am in, she found an appointment tomorrow morning at 8:30 downtown. So at least I will have a consult and know what I am looking at. I am planning to get off of Kaiser at the end of this month (June) and am already on the Partners insurance which is Blue Cross. It will be 5 weeks until the kids and I are actually in Spokane, so I might have a long wait, but I will at least know what movements to avoid, etc. and how to handle the pain. My left side hardly hurts at all in comparrison.

My blood work from last week shows that my white count and platelets are below normal for some reason. He ordered a chest X-ray as there was some congestion in my lung on the MRI I had on my lungs several weeks ago that he wanted to follow up on. Dr. Bourg will be in touch about that. I woke up at 3:00 this afternoon, so I know something is wrong. I am just extra tired. So although I have such thanks to the Lord about having no cancer on my left side, I do have a few other issues to deal with. One thing a cancer survivor has to realize is that what I know is that I don't have cancer right now on my left side, and no where else that I know of. Since I have had a metastasis, we have to be extra vigilent. I am still thankful for every day that I have. There are no guarantees. I don't mean to sound pessimistic. Some would think that this is negative confession or that I am not trusting God. If anything, my faith is more intact than ever. I think it is just realistic to know that God is the author of my days and that He and not my positive thinking, is in charge. If the worse that can happen is death (which is true for all of us at some point), for me that means spending eternity in heaven with my heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ and all other believers. Not a bad alternative, and one I am looking forward to in God's timing. When someone asks a cancer survivor if they are cured, the only answer that is accurate is, "I know I will not die of cancer, if I die of something else." So it is a strange mode to be in, but it is really OK. God is still on the throne and I love Him and He loves me dearly. Enough about my medical stuff...

We rented our house last Friday to Susan. She is about my age and I really like her. She has a one year lease. We are thinking we will try to sell again next year when the property values are predicted to increase. We will be on a tight budget this year, but in the long run, it will hopefully pay off. We had the house on the market for 3 weeks and had lots of showings and positive feedback, but no offers.

Greg has 4 more days in Spokane until he comes home on Friday. He has been living in our new home and doing lots of cleaning and weeding, etc. The neighbors are telling him we got a steal of a deal, and the house is lovely. A family of 11 will be staying there before he gets back on the 14th. They are a Partners family with 8 girls and one boy. They will camp out there for a week and then will be staying somewhere else the rest of the time. We are so glad that worked out for them.

Greg took an air mattress, a few dishes and a pot and pan and some tools. So he works at the office in the day and at the house at night. I have the best husband ever! We talk every day and I feel like I am getting to know the neighbors already.

Jesse is getting ready for his trip to Kenya and is learning Swaheli. Jenni is packing for college. Allison is house and dog and cat sitting for a few weeks, so I feel like Oliver and Lola are pre-training for grand children someday. They are little white Malteses (sp?). Laura is still training at AT&T headquarters and is doing well. She finishes training in Sept. and then needs to figure out where to apply for jobs. My friend Kris Storey came up from the Springs on Saturday and helped me pack. I am grateful for that and for those who brought dinners the week of surgury.

Friends are having a good-bye picnic for us on the 7th of July from noon to 3:00. If any of you want to come, email Courtney Orrange for details at There will be a lunch at our church on the 8th for those who attend Cherry Hills. Email for details about that.

Our new address is 805 E Huron Drive, Spokane, WA 99208. We look forward to having company when we move! Spokane is a beautiful place. We will be a few miles from Whitworth College on the north side of town.

I need to go and get ready for Bible study tonight but wanted to catch you up on what is happening. Thanks again for your interest and prayers. Blessings- Nancy

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Preliminary surgery report

This is a quick update to thank you for your prayers for Nancy and to let you know that surgery went well yesterday. They immediately tested a sample which was benign. This is a good sign and we should get the full report in a couple days.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Surgery tomorrow 6/12/07

Dear friends,

Today I am thinking about tomorrow. At 11:30 a.m. I check in for surgery which is scheduled to take about an hour starting at 12:30. I will be sleeping, which is OK with me. Dr. Haun has become a friend. She and I have sons in H.S. together and she has been my surgeon for 7 years. Last year at about this time she and I decided she needed to biopsy a scar that had gotten thick (I thought it might have anyway) under my left arm where my nodes were removed 7 years earlier. Two other times, similar biopsies were negative and last year’s seemed like another routine check “just to be sure.” The next day the startling news came that it was actually a metastasis of one of the cancers I had originally. It was lobular, medium aggressive, loose on my chest wall. It was considered metastatic and therefore “loose” in my body. That is why my treatment was so aggressive.

I did chemo again last July, August and September, and then radiation last November and December. I hadn’t done radiation before. I am still recuperating from all of the side effects of those treatments. Now I (and my oncologist and surgeon) am feeling a lump on my left side in the field where I had radiation near last year’s cancer. I had some tests which haven’t shown anything. My lungs are OK and nothing showed up on an MRI of my reconstructed breast tissue. My original cancer didn’t show up on these tests the first time I had cancer either, and that is why Dr. Haun feels she needs to do this surgery. The only way to be sure is to take it out and check it. Scar tissue could develop a lump like this, or it could be some other cancer growing. It is tender (sore) like last year’s small tumor was. But scar tissue can hurt too…

I will share some of what is going on inside me today. I know that the Lord asks us not to borrow trouble from tomorrow and that each day’s worries are enough for that day. I am hoping and praying, and ask you to join me, that this will only be scar tissue. A friend told me yesterday that she and another friend fasted and prayed for me last Sunday. Wow! I feel honored to have such wonderful friends. I would say that I feel less cocky than last year. Having just gone through it, I sure wouldn’t like to go through it all again. Greg and I are going to take things as they come. We will let you know as soon as we get any information. Hopefully it will be nothing of concern. Last year we found out results the next day, but sometimes it takes several days. Dr. Haun is going to come in on her vacation day to do it tomorrow.

I was in Spokane last week with Jesse visiting our new house, new friends and his new school. It will be nice to have time to develop these new friendships once we get there. We are now about a month out from our move, so things are getting real.

Regardless of biopsy results, we are going to move to Spokane, WA for Greg’s new job with Partners International in July. We are planning to close on our new house in 2 days. We plan to say good-bye to friends at our church on July 8th, and to everyone else on July 7th in the afternoon at a park. Denver folks will be hearing more details soon. Some friends are planning these times for us. We might be loading the moving truck on the 13th of July, and then Greg heads back to Spokane to work the second half of July. Jesse will be going to Kenya on a mission trip the second half of July and will meet us in Spokane. All of his money has come in for his trip to Kenya. Jenni, Allison and I will be going to 2 family weddings at the end of July and then heading to Spokane. So it is going to be a busy summer.

Thank you for your love and prayers and concern. We are blessed by an amazing group of friends! We will be in touch when we know the outcome.
Blessings on you! Nancy Fritz

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Houses, tailbones and surgery

Dear friends,
I did it again. I got this all written and just deleted it by mistake. I hate when I do that. And with my memory, who knows what I said! I will try to summarize for you...

First of all, Jenni graduated, 100+ people came to her party last Friday night including Laura, who flew in to surprise her on Wednesday night. Jenni was genuinely suprised for the first time ever. We had great family times together for the first time since Christmas.

The house was on the market starting last weekend and we have had about 6 showings this week. It is priced to sell, so please pray that that would happen quickly. Getting everything ready wore me out and I have slept a lot his week. Greg is still getting projects done around the house. It looks nice although I still have boxes in the garage to deal with and some in the storage room.

I am scheduled for surgery on June 12th at 12:30, although sometimes they take me in early. I think it will take Dr. Haun about an hour to 1 1/2 to do what she needs to do to clean out the suspicious tissue. That area has been hurting on and off for weeks, so I am glad it is getting checked. She is planning general anesthesia, but I should be home by dinner time. Last year we all assumed it was nothing, and this year I am less presumptious. I know that God loves me dearly and will take care of this situation in His most perfect way. We might ask friends to bring meals for a few days that week.

My tailbone is healing very quickly. Since I broke it flying backward into a step rather than falling down onto one, the break was higher than I have had before. I had it adjusted over the inch it was out of place the day it happened, and it seems to be healing really well. I can sit fine and just get sore after staying in that position for too long. My right shoulder is causing pain these days and I am scheduled to have it checked in a few weeks. It popped half out and then back into joint last week, and that sure hurt! Hopefully they can figure it out and fix it. Exercizes, PT and a cortizone shot haven't worked so far.

Greg returns to Spokane on June 17th. He will be there until the end of the month, and then back here for the 1st 2 weeks of July. We are planning a good-bye, send-off time on Saturday July 7th in the afternoon. Details will follow for anyone in the Denver area who would like to come. That is our last weekend here all together before movers come.

I probably said lots of other things the last time I wrote this, but I think this sums it up. I am sorry for taking so long to give an update. I will try to do better. Thank you for your interest and prayers.
Nancy Fritz