Sunday, June 29, 2008

Well, I finally got to go home on Wednesday. I was so glad to be home from the hospital! Little did I know what was waiting for me for the next few days. Because one of the Dr.s in the hospital had been sooooooo controlling with my medications, I was a mess. So, I went home and started drug withdrawal for the next few days. Whew! what a mess! The last few days I was in the hospital this particular Dr. upped several meds. I kept saying I didn't want that and she went against me and did it anyway. There were several medications she wanted to start that I declined and I think it upset her, so the ones she had control over, she started controlling. So, the night I got home, I started throwing up, sweating, shaking, feeling like I was going crazy in my head, etc. 'The next day was worse. My Aunt Ethleen came over and TOOK over -- to the relief of my mom. She is an RN and she worked with Dr. Lodi and Mom got fluids, minerals, other things to give me. Things weren't perfect for the next few days, but I woke up this morning feeling like me. I don't need to go into detail, but drug withdrawal is a very scary experience.

I am so glad to be feeling better now, because my sister Deborah is here for the next week and my sister Angela is coming in a few days for a few days. We will have so much fun together. I am so grateful they are here. Sisters are the best! My cousin Bryan came last week and I hated being sick while he was here. It was still good to see him and I am so grateful to him for making the trip.

Learning to do things with one leg is a whole new world for me. I am determined to get it all, but I have to admit that there are way too many things I took for granted. Just getting in the shower is quite the to do. But I will get it. I appreciate Rick and all the work he is doing on the house. Regardless of where we end up we have to sell our house. I have to do a one story. And I appreciate all the people in the ward who have helped. It is very humbling.

Thanks everyone for the love and support. I appreciate it. We love you all!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Here are a few pictures from a “photo shoot” the kids and I did to surprise Rick for Father’s Day and one of Emma and Abby enjoying the AZ heat. I wanted to include a picture of Caleb coming home from Cub Scout Day Camp, but he was always sooooo tired and WE were usually so tired (it was usually 11:00pm before he got home), we always forgot. But he had a GREAT time and we are grateful! The shirts and hats were darling and a great hit! He was always filthy and smiling and stinky. Is there any other way to spell success with a Cub Scout activity?

As far as the surgery, I am recovering ok. Everyone says I am progressing at miraculous speed. I just think I am impatient and anxious to GET GOING! I can get myself dressed all the way from the skin out. I can go to the bathroom by myself, I can get into a wheelchair and use it (same with a walker), I am getting there. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging. I am very grateful!! As far as Stake Conference, thanks to everyone who was so helpful!

Stake Conference will be amazing, I know there will be a General Authority there. Enjoy it for me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Preface: Rick is writing this post. It's not the drugs talking... ;o)

First and second surgeries went well. Dr Seidel said things went really smoothly and her vitals were really strong through the procedures.

There's still a lot of pain, but Anna's spirits are up. Anna has enjoyed everyone's ideas on the benefits of having only one leg. She's put together quite a list. The humor has been good for all of us and it falls right in line with Anna's coping mechanism. However, I think I took it over the top on the humor though when I suggested we change her name to Eileen.

Physical and Occupational Therapy is progressing nicely. I have been so impressed with Anna's ability to take on the challenge of re-learning how to perform daily activities. Unfortunately, she doesn't give herself enough credit on the victories she makes everyday, but she's getting better at it.

There's still a long road ahead, but we've got lots of help from above.

Thanks to everyone for your prayers and support. We have felt your faith and are grateful for this miracle.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This post will definitely pop a few eyes out.

After being sick all last weekend, I was admitted to the hospital Mon morning.
Dr Seidel (the surgeon) is monitoring my care until surgery. After having a myriad of tests (x-rays, CT scans, a MRI, a PET scan, and bloodwork), we had a difficult choice to make.

The first choice was the amputation of my leg, which would remove the tumor and infection at once. This is because the tumor inoperable because it was so large and twisted around muscle, nerves, and tissue. This option would have a faster and easier recovery.

The 2nd choice was to "leave it alone", "enjoying the time I had left", and "going whole". After discussing w/ Dr. Seidel what the prognosis was for "time left", I realized that if I just left it alone, I wouldn't see a lot of "time left" because the infection was so bad that it would be a matter of a few weeks not years.

So… we have decided on getting the amputation done. It will happen Monday morning at 8am. I am scared, but I feel so at peace with this. And that did NOT happen overnight. J There are 3 Orthopedic Oncological Surgeons in the State and none of them take the insurance we have, so we will have to figure that out, too. I am still in the hospital and will be until after the surgery – about 3-5 days after. I don't have a lot to do, but the pain medication makes me loopy and VERY sleepy, so I spend a lot of time sleeping. I am afraid I haven't been good company for anyone who has come to visit, since I have either been crying or falling asleep when they come.

We told Caleb and Emma on Thursday afternoon. Emma started to cry and Caleb's eyes got very large and he got very serious for a minute. Then, he aksed, "Mom, will you get one of those robotic legs?" Emma got very interested in the conversation at that point. Caleb was disappointed that I wasn't getting a robotic leg, but then he said, "Well, at least you can get one of those Handicap Parking things for going anywhere." J I love that!

Here is a list we came up with of reasons that having one leg is great or why using a wheelchair or crutches are better:

I only have to shave one leg
Maybe pedicures will be ½ price for me
My socks will last twice as long
Going to a place like Sea World or the San Diego Zoo will be great: we will have a place to hang bags, etc and a lap for little people to sit on for a ride when their legs get tired of walking.
If I fly Southwest, I can always pre-board if I want to.

Here is our challenge to YOU:

We want you to send as many reasons that I will have it so easy. I could use reading them, and what a great list it could be. SEND THEM IN!

I have some really cute pictures of the kids. I will get them on soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

We found a surgeon. Let's hope he can do this. I am getting scheduled for an MRI -- hopefully, on Monday -- so I can meet with the surgeon on Tuesday. He is an Orthopedic Oncological Surgeon, so this is up his alley. I am praying for him or any other surgeon we come in contact with. I don't know who is going to actually do the surgery, but Heavenly Father does, so I am praying that whoever does it will be prepared and kind and extremely knowledgeable to best help me. From what we can tell the tumor has separated a lot from the rest of my leg in the back (there aren't fingers wrapping around the front that we can feel anymore), so hopefully the surgery will be less invasive than it would have been 6 years ago. Plus, we have the chemo treatments we are doing now to catch anything the surgeon can't. I am petrified when I think about the surgery, so we have been trying to think of all the good things: being able to fit in pants again, being able to SIT in a chair, not lugging around 30 extra pounds with me when I can walk again. :) AND, hopefully, we can be DONE with this infection that continues to plague me and keep me sick. I am so done with fevers and all the junk that comes with infection.

The kids are enjoying summer life here. They swim every day and play lots with cousins.

Thanks for all the prayers and encouragement. I appreciate it. It is working.