Back to Reality

Tonight it is back to reality! We got off the cruise ship yesterday and then went to Disneyland and California Adventure. I feel like the past 2 weeks have been a dream . . . A vacation that we most likely will not ever be able to duplicate again.

Lots of thoughts about the future and what it will be like . . .

  • Has it spread?
  • What will treatment be?
  • Is the suit we bought for Tom to wear on the cruise the one he will wear to my funeral? (We both thought that).


Back Home

It’s been a hard transition back to reality after being on vacation for almost 2 weeks. Yesterday I had my PET scan and was really sick because I couldn’t eat before the test. The test itself was not bad at all, but I’m glad it’s over and now just await the results of the test.


Final Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

Well I finally have a diagnosis, and unfortunately it’s not a good one. (Not that there is a good one. But if there was one, mine is definitely not one of them.)

I have Stage IV Breast Cancer. There are 3 tumors in my left breast, one of which is very large (5.6 cm) and then there are 2 smaller ones (2.2 cm and .7 cm). I also have an infected lymph node under my arm. It has also spread to my sternum and the PET scan shows a lovely pink glow in a small part of that bone on the right side. Because it has spread, there is no cure, but we will try and kill what’s there and when it comes back (which the Dr. said it will), we’ll try and kill it again.

I am having a port put in on Thursday and then will start chemo on October 21st. Sometime in the next couple weeks I’ll also need to have a heart test done, but that is not scheduled yet.


Telling your Children you have Cancer

Telling your children you have cancer . . . Ugh!

I have been dreading this day since we first got the news.  How in the world do you go about explaining everything that is going on to your 10, 7, and 6 year old?  I remember hearing my parents tell me my Mom had cancer, but I was an adult. 🙁

We decided to wait to tell them until we knew as much as possible.  So today was the day.

The day started off with many people praying for us as they knew we would be talking to the girls.

I took the younger two out to get doughnuts while my husband talked with our 10 year old.  We figured it would be the hardest on her and she would have the most questions.  We were right.


I’m on an Adrenaline High

I had the pleasure yesterday of enjoying lunch with a sweet friend and then meeting one of my MOPS mentor moms who has previously been through breast cancer. She was so encouraging and had some great suggestions for dealing with chemo. Oh, and we talked about cruises. I’m ready to be back on a ship. Anyone want to join me?

Also, the news is out. . . Sent out a big email yesterday, posted on Facebook today, posted on my blog today. . . Sigh of relief.


Port Surgery

It’s about 12:45 and I’m already home from having the port put in today.

Tom and I were up about 5:30am and he skipped out to Starbucks to enjoy his coffee so the smell would not torture me since I couldn’t have any!

We had a 7 am check-in time, so my sweet friend Amy sacrificed some sleep to be at our home at 6:15 and help get the girls up and ready for school.  That’s early!!  We prayed together, chatted about the morning and then Tom and I headed out.

During registration, a man came up to us and asked us if we were S’s parents.  (Protecting the privacy of our girls on here.  He obviously used her name.)  Once he said that, I recognized him in his scrubs.  James (who has 2 girls that are friends with our 10 year old,) works there and it was nice to see someone familiar, even though we have only met a couple times.  He went into the surgical prep area ahead of us and told everyone he knew us and to take good care of me.  So funny.  Even the surgeon mentioned him!


October 16, 2015

Friends who come by and pick up your curtains that need to be hemmed and hem them so your bedroom looks nicer, friends who carve pumpkins with your kids, a Dad who gives airline miles to a friend for a future trip up, flowers from college friends, a last minute meal when I was feeling overwhelmed, a breast cancer bracelet in the mail, lots of texts, blog comments and emails with verses and encouraging words, emails from total strangers who are willing to share their story with you and how God has used their journey with cancer to draw them closer to Him, a husband who gives up most of what little space is next to his side of the bed so you can be more comfortable . . . I am overwhelmed (in a good way).

Carving pumpkins with 6 kids on the driveway - I have one brave friend!!

Carving pumpkins with 6 kids on the driveway – I have one brave friend!!

I had trouble sleeping last night because it wasn’t comfortable to lay on either side.  Hopefully that will change, but we’ll see.  Also managed to pull a muscle in my lower back while up in the middle of the night. 🙁  Good times . . . happy to have pain meds and ibuprofen.


Enjoying the last days of what I know as “normal”

I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that on Wednesday, I start Chemo.

Over the weekend, we enjoyed time with friends and family in our home, I took the girls out to get pedicures, we went to church as a family, the girls went to a birthday party, we enjoyed time together and got frustrated at the kids because THEY DON’T STOP TALKING . . . you know . . . normal life as a family.

What’s not normal is the changing of the guard. . . Tom switching over to taking care of meals, bills, etc.  It’s funny how organized I thought I was with all our bills until I had to sit down and explain it (or attempt to) to him.  I offered to run to the store today since he was going to work, but he nicely said he needs to start doing things now so he can ask questions if he needs to.  For the past 20 years I have tried so hard to take things OFF his plate and support him and his career in any way I can.  He’s commented a few times that he only is where he is today in his job because of my support at home.  But now I am giving everything back.  That’s really hard.  I can tell he’s concerned about what the future looks like.  It’s killing me!


Open House on Saturday

On Saturday we opened our home to local family and friends to come hang out and spend time in prayer with our family.  What a blessing it was to see so many people and lift up this diagnosis to the Lord in prayer.  I also love receiving texts and emails from friends, letting me know they were praying at the same time from their homes all over the country as they were not able to be here. 🙂

(Special thanks to my sweet cousin Amie who snapped a few pictures for me.)


Surrounding the Smalls with prayer (20 of 20) (500x333)

Encouraged by the prayers for Tom as he supports and takes care of our family during this tough time

Surrounding the Smalls with prayer (19 of 20) (500x285)

Surrounding the Smalls with prayer (18 of 20) (500x333) (more…)