Saturday, September 25, 2010

Where have I been?????????

Time really does fly!!!  We have been so busy since arriving in the States.  Doctor appointments, buying a car, finding a place to live, doctor appointments...  You get the idea!  I will have to go back in time!  We moved in with one of our wonderful Air Force women on August 20.  The Lord has really worked in her life and she has allowed Him to.  She is such a testimony.  Deb, thank you for allowing us to take up space and steal your bedroom!!  Monday, August 30, I had my last evening with the ladies of the church.   

The night before we flew out of Okinawa, 29 people joined us at our favorite restaurant, Sam's By the Sea.  It was a wonderful time and we miss each of them so very much!

Our flights on September 3 to Cleveland went very smoothly.  When we arrived in Cleveland, our dogs were with us, but we were missing a few pieces of luggage.  No big deal, they brought them to the house the next day.

September 9th was my first appointment with my new oncologist at the Cleveland Clinic.  Dr. Moore took all that I brought with me.  As we talked, she made the comment that I was in a gray area and probably didn't have to have the chemo I just finished and she wasn't sure about continuing the herceptin.  After leaving the appointment, I was upset as I wondered if I misunderstood the Lord's leading in this situation.  I also was upset that I might have lost my hair and health for nothing!!!  Before my next appointment, which was this last Thursday, I had a CT scan, mammogram, blood work, and an echo of my heart.  Dr. Moore sent all the pathology slides I brought from Japan to the pathologists at Cleveland Clinic. 

When she walked into the room this last Thursday she said that I was NOT in a gray area.  The pathologist at Cleveland Clinic measured the tumors and they were actually larger than Japan had measured.  Also, I have multifocal breast cancer that was in the lymph vessels.  This means I had several tumors of invasive breast cancer mixed with a huge non invasive tumor.  So chemo was a must and the herceptin will continue until at least next April.  My CT scan showed the spot in my lung, which means that it did not respond to the chemo.  This is a good thing as it means that it is most likely not cancer.  That puts me at stage 1b!!  Whoo Hoooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They will continue to watch the spot in my lung and if it grows, I will have to have it biopsied.  Please be PRAYING about this.  The lymph nodes on my collar bone are no longer showing up, so the chemo worked on these as well.  God is good.  When I left the office to go downstairs for my treatment, I couldn't help but thank the Lord for giving me just the right doctor in Okinawa and for directing Dr. Ueda in his findings and treatment plan.

Now, treatment was soooo different!  I was in a private room with windows and sitting in a fancy recliner!  The nurse came in and so started the long ordeal about my Japanese port which does NOT allow a blood return!  After much research on the internet, a consult with their "legal" people, and a call to Dr. Moore; it was determined that they could use my existing port.  However, if at some point I need to have more chemo I will have to have a new port put in.  In Okinawa, they push my herceptin at a rate that takes about 2 hours.  At CC, they push it over 30 minutes!  I was out of there and we were on our way home by 2:30 pm.  Of course, we had started the day at CC by 9 am!!

Thank you to all that have prayed for my father and madrasta.  The stroke had a wonderful side effect in that my father now talks a lot about what he is feeling.  He has many obstacles to overcome.  Please be in much prayer for Annetta, my madrasta.  She has much on her shoulders.  I am so frustrated at my inability to help due to my own medical issues.  Annetta is a fighter and will continue, but I know her journey gets wearying and she needs strength to continue.  She needs a ramp built to the house as it looks like they might be discharging dad soon.  If you live in Minnesota near Minneapolis or know someone who could help get a ramp built, please contact me through this website.

Well, I guess I better close.  We are living in a small, but nice apartment in Dr. Cox's basement.  The place we will be basing out of will not be available until after October 4th.  We have had two meetings in supporting churches already and will be in a missions conference at another one this coming weekend.  Due to my fatigue and pain, we are trying to do meetings within just a few hours of driving.  Thank you again for your prayers, cards, love, and support.  They help more than you know!