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 gregf@partnersintl.org 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 courtneyorrange@gmail.com. There will be a lunch at our church on the 8th for those who attend Cherry Hills. Email MHelton@chcc.org 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

2 comments:

regressivepresby said...

Nance,
Great note. Thanks.

In the reflecting you did on faith in God, I think you are very wise. Our faith is in God, not in our ideas of the future.

The first Q & A in the Heidelberg Catechism says it best;

1. Q. What is your only comfort in life and death?

A. That I am not my own,[1] but belong with body and soul, both in life and in death,[2] to my faithful Saviour Jesus Christ.[3] He has fully paid for all my sins with His precious blood, and has set me free from all the power of the devil.[5] He also preserves me in such a way[6] that without the will of my heavenly Father not a hair can fall from my head;[7] indeed, all things must work together for my salvation.[8] Therefore, by His Holy Spirit He also assures me of eternal life[9] and makes me heartily willing and ready from now on to live for Him.[10]

[1] I Cor. 6:19, 20 [2] Rom. 14:7-9. [3] I Cor. 3:23; Tit. 2:14. [4] I Pet. 1:18, 19; I John 1:7; 2:2. [5] John 8:34-36; Heb. 2:14, 15; I John 3:8. [6] John 6:39, 40; 10:27-30; II Thess. 3:3; I Pet. 1:5. [7] Matt. 10:29-31; Luke 21:16-18. [8] Rom. 8:28. [9] Rom. 8:15, 16; II Cor. 1:21, 22; 5:5; Eph. 1:13, 14. [10] Rom. 8:14.

Grace & peace to the Fritz's as you close the CO chapter of your journey. Wish the Moodys could be there.

blessings,
dm

Marti Smith said...

Thanks for such a thorough update, Nancy. May you know God's grace in this transition as you have in so many other recent challenges!

See you soon.