The Not So Great Day Before More Surgeries
I tried, really tried to be optimistic today, but I couldn't manage it. The news I received Wednesday evening caught up with me during my visit today with Dr. Meric and Dr. Grubbs (Dr. Meric's fellow). When they entered my exam room and as they started explaining what was coming next for me, I struggled to catch my breath, felt tears spilling from my eyes and heard myself say, "I'm so scared I'm going to die from this."
And while they could make no promises, they encouraged me to think about the ever-changing landscape of medicine. New drugs and protocols are offered constantly, and in a year, five years, 10 years, I may have the good fortune to be the recipient of those - all of which may extend my survivorship.
I don't know if my scared self felt comforted by what they said to me, but I know my intellectual self heard them, positioned itself in the forefront of my mind, and pointed me in the direction of "what do I have to do next." And what about "what's next?"
Anesthesia assessment for tomorrow's surgery was next. It took seven people to do my assessment (I'm sure each person had an important job to do, right?), but the anesthesiologist really threw me over the edge.
More news: Blood work came back; now I am anemic. Anesthesiologist's answer to this? I need to eat more dark green, leafy vegetables and RED MEAT. To which I said I was a vegetarian, so no red meat for me. He promptly and very assuredly stated, "Well, that's why you're anemic. You don't eat red meat!" Did he not see in my chart that I had had a couple of surgeries a few days ago? It's probably a good thing he didn't see me flip him off when he walked out the door!!!
After this, I went home to try to rest before my 3:00 p.m. doctor's appointment. Unfortunately, my body is STILL trying to "do its thing;" peristalsis is in reverse, I swear!!! (I'm completely aware that I'm letting it "all hang out here," but at this point in my story, you can handle this...) Anyway - my system hasn't been in full working order for the greater part of the week.
To make a very long, taxing and truly emotional story very short - I'm "all systems go" again! My familial support group rose to this less than glamorous occasion to make runs to the pharmacy, call doctors and nurses, offer a hug, and walk and walk and walk some more with me tonight. In any case – today was a trying day. I’m ready to have tomorrow’s surgeries behind me. I’m ready for a break – at least until my body stops hurting.
As I said in yesterday’s note, I’ll be having additional breast tissue removed in the margin where the 2.5mm tumor was found. Additionally, I’ll have a port-a-cath installed. I met with Dr. Brown (the doctor who’s performing this procedure) today, and he’s convinced me of his highly proficient ability in doing this procedure. Once again, I’ll be in good hands.
My only still-standing fear is the IV person. I do hope that my left hand will be treated gently. I made it abundantly clear to Dr. Grubbs that I would really appreciate her advocating for me and making sure that the IV person is going to do everything in his/her power to keep me from being a human pin cushion.
As has been my routine, I will check back with you tomorrow – probably after surgery – and if I don't, someone else who's with me will let you know how I’m doing.
Lots of love, Lisa
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Just know how many people are in your corner! This is like those cheesy Verizon commercials, where the guy always has a few hundred people following him everywhere ("his network")! Although you may be in the OR tomorrow by yourself, you sure know by now how many people will be thinking and praying about you and Nat all day tomorrow - certainly count me as one. I can only imagine how ready you are to get tomorrow over with. I sure hope they hit the vein on the first shot!
Prayers and hugs for Lisa My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you.
My sweet Goodson daughter If the IV person doesn't do a better job today, you tell them that your "other mother" will be there to straighten them out. I don't put up with people who don't do what they should. Tell them before they start to use the smallest needle possible - an infant one. You were right to wave the anesthesiologist away. What a jerk. You can do whatever you want and say whatever you want because remember what you said, "I did that because I have cancer." No one can harass you then. Remember you were going to play it to the hilt. Today will be just fine. I am with you in spirit and surround you with love and light. Know you are loved. P. H.
Good Morning Dear Lisa, You just tell that doctor who tells you that you are anemic that there are plenty of Hindus in the world who also don't eat meat, as well as vegans, so there!! I'm praying for you to have the power and strength to go through all that you are going through. Meanwhile, stay strong and insist on people who can get a vein on the first try. Love you, D. T.
Thinking of You Hi Lisa, I just want you to know that I have been lifting your name up in prayer, and I hope you experience peace and healing on your body. You will get through this hard time! S.
Hang In There! Hey Lisa! I have been thinking about you so I am very appreciative that you are keeping us in the loop. My Art I students are looking in the mirror and drawing self-portraits. We are doing a value study using color reduction printmaking to show the highlights, mid-tones, and shadows of the face. Each print will be done in different colors and values of that color. I was thinking about making a series of prints from your beautiful picture titled, "The different faces of cancer" with various colors to illustrate the wide range of emotions that a cancer patient experiences. I was thinking that bright red and all of the shades thereof might be a good color for yesterday? Anger is good! It will give you the chutzpah to fight and to make all of your important decisions. You will get through this because you are a highly intelligent person with an inner self who always strives to be better. We love you and keep you and your family in our prayers. Thanks again for the update - with my fingers crossed for today!-J. T.
Thinking of You Hi Lisa, I just wanted you to know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers each and every day. Keep thinking positive thoughts, stay strong in your faith, and know that brighter days are just around the corner! J.
Wishing you well! Lisa, You are such an inspiration to all of us. We hope that your inner strength will sustain you through the difficult days to come. S. and A. C., Ann Arbor
Thinking of you Hi Lisa, I'm thinking of you today! Hang in there...and try not to flip off any of the doctors BEFORE they do any routines on you! LOL, I love that fighting spirit! You go, girl!! ;)
Hey Girl Your unbelievable inner and outer strength are going to get you through this, along with all the love you have surrounding you.
MINUTE OF SILENCE Good morning, Lisa! Mrs. Hamilton gave a sweet reminder this morning to think of you during our minute of silence. As I was praying for you, I had the most beautiful image of you. You were walking through a field of white daisies and the sun was really bright. You looked so peaceful yet STRONG!!! I am continuing to pray that your i.v. nurse is gentle and gets the job done quickly and painlessly!!! As always, I am wearing my pink ribbon bracelet for you every day, which keeps you in my constant thoughts. ((((HUGS))))
Good Morning! My thoughts and prayers are with you! Hang in there! Thought of you today during our moment of silence.
Love to you Ha ha ha. I love that you flipped off the guy who told you to eat red meat! I am going to share this story with my seniors at school today. They will love that I have such a strong friend! On a different topic, yesterday I was getting my mammogram (strangely enough, I had made this appointment months ago, before you discovered your little cancer friend) and I spoke to a couple of women who were also in the doctor's office recovering from breast cancer. Let me tell you, they looked great! One woman had the cutest haircut. I told her I loved it and she told me when her hair grew back in it was completely different than it had been (well, hers came in silver instead of brown...I don't think that's going to happen with you) and she now had a new style she had never had before and she LOVED it! So, I saw this appointment in two positive ways: you're going to possibly get a whole new cute style (hey, you're really having a makeover right now! That's kinda cool...), and two cancer survivors with me yesterday tells me you're going to come out of this ready to flip off other rude people you come upon for the rest of your life! On a more serious note, yesterday morning I cried in J.'s arms because I feel so badly that you are going through this. However, I'm so thankful you are surrounded by Nat and your family and friends. What a blessing! Remember that even though I'm in a different state, I think about you every day, and I smile when I remember the belly laughs and the tears we have shared together. I cherish who you are as a person and a friend, and I feel so lucky to have you in my life. Focus on the good in the world, focus on your healing. Remember, if you need me, I will be there in a second anytime. I love you, C.
Good Morning Hey Lisa. I know you go in for another surgery today. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I could give you a big hug right now and I know I'm not the only one wishing I could do so at this very moment. I hope you feel covered with all of the thoughts and prayers coming from your Goodson family. Love you bunches! I hope you get the best "needle pokers" they have to offer at the hospital today!
sending love, from more of your extended family Just as our kids grew up with so many "extra-moms" and dads and siblings, friends, relatives, neighbors.... you have a magnificent posse caring about you and wishing you well through these difficult days. R. and I are very much among the group, sending love, hope, prayers, thoughts, well wishes, and deep admiration for your courage and your honesty. Those don't always go together -- you continue to give us an endearing and truthful window into what you and Nat are dealing with. We're lucky to know, honestly, how it is, day by day, episode by episode, helps us to share and to empathize. This is just a quick wish that the surgery, and all its not so wonderful prologues and epilogues will go as smoothly, expertly and well as possible. All of us (Ann Arbor) send love to you both. – M. & R.
We send love Hello from Sanibel. We are all thinking of you today. We are part of the old Ann Arbor gang and that is a life-long definition of love and support. We are following your care pages and your courage and great spirit is terrific. With love to Lisa and Nat- J., C. and Co....
Some thoughts from Wisconsin Lisa, you don't know me at all, I'm a friend of your folks, but I feel as though I've known you for years. One of the 'things' in teaching writing these days is 'voice'. Well, you write with about the best 'voice' I've ever read. When I pray for you and your family every day, I know I am praying for a young woman with courage, determination, etc.; and all those strong qualities......but the part of her I truly like is that sense of humor :-) I have a feeling it is going to serve you well as you recover. I count it as a blessing that you are sharing this chapter in your life. PLEASE know, all of you, that I care deeply about you and will continue to hold you up in prayer. Love and hugs, D.
You are amazing! I have always known that you were a strong person, but in recent times your strength and courage have AMAZED and encouraged me! The short story "The Oak Tree" just comes to mind when I read your blogs. Always remember... you have lots of "roots" and we are here for you and love you! "THE OAK TREE" A mighty wind blew night and day. It stole the oak tree's leaves away, then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark until the oak was tired and stark. But still the oak tree held its ground while other trees fell all around. The weary wind gave up and spoke, "How can you still be standing, Oak?" The Oak tree said, "I know that you can break each branch of mine in two, carry every leaf away, shake my limbs, and make me sway. But I have ROOTS stretched in the earth, growing stronger since my birth. You'll never touch them, for you see, THEY are the deepest part of me. Until today, I wasn't sure of just how much I could endure. But now I've found, with thanks to you I'm stronger than I ever knew." Author unknown MISS AND LOVE YOU! J.
Thinking About Y'all Lisa & Nat, Thinking about Y'all today, with the 2nd surgery at hand; wishing for the best on this next round. Happy to come over a cook up a steak for Lisa, per her Dr.'s orders :) (just want to do my part). If you guys need anything over the weekend, we have a fairly light schedule so just give the word. Lots of love, D. Hi Lisa - We are praying that your surgery went well for you today and you have a speedy recovery, it is so very unfortunate that you have to go through this all again!! Your strength, determination and positive attitude are very important at this time. Always know that you are kept in our prayers every day. All our love, J. & D.
Gets Her Way I hope your recovery is quick and easy and since "L. Gets Her Way", I'm sure it will happen. I've been praying hard. Take care and let me know if there is anything I can do to help. P. doesn't know about my administrative position yet. I'll try to explain it to her.
Hang on Sweet Lisa, Having read your latest, I know you must be feeling at the end of your rope. As they say, "tie a knot at the end and hang on". When we think we have been handed all we can take, there is strength from Above to be had as a gift. Having been through the cancer ordeal a few years back with my husband, I relate to your situation in many ways. My husband tells everyone that he would not trade his cancer experience; he and many others learned and grew so much through it. I hope you will continue to find His blessings each day amongst the worldly turmoil. Always in my prayers, D. D.
Love you AND your friends Lisa, I love reading the messages from your family and friends. If I love it, I can just imagine how much strength it gives you. I love G. M.'s analogy of your "network" - that completely sums up the people you have around you. I love Nat's brother's quip about picking on the weak and old because of their less snappy responses. I love J.'s oak tree story. I love S.'s prayer. YOU KNOW SOME COOL PEOPLE! We all have one thing in common - YOU! These amazing people are a reflection of you. Feel the love, girl! (Can we all have a great big party after you whip this cancer-thing? I want to meet these people!)
Electronically by your side!! I've been thinking about you and praying for you, your family, and your doctors. What a trooper!! I am so inspired by other people's examples of strength and you are exhibiting a heroic amount of strength as you face this current challenge. Whether it feels like a blessing right now or not... probably not, I just wanted you to know that your courage is affecting many people and they are re-evaluating their life and priorities because of your situation and the grace you are exhibiting through it. (I think that is a run-on) Oh, and I feel sooo much better now that I am not the only IV phobic person. In my opinion, the worst part about having a baby is the IV. I am right there with you sister!!! I am such a weenie, I ALWAYS cry during that part. I hate it!!! I agree with whoever posted we need a party once you recover so we can all celebrate your beauty and the beauty of all of your supporters. Cancer is ugly, but life is beautiful, and there is a quote, but of course, I can't remember it exactly, but it addresses one of life's paradoxes. Happiness and beauty are more evident because of the misery and ugliness we experience. You are such an inspiration to everyone. We love you very much!!
We are all thinking about you Hello Lisa, I have not gotten to know you well, but even though this is the case, I can honestly say that your friendly smile and warm personality is missed at Curriculum Council. I was at Goodson this week and asked about you. You have many fans there. Everyone is praying for you and hoping to have you back soon. Remember that there are many out here in Cy Fair land that are pulling for you and will continue to have 'direct talks' with the Lord until you come through this with flying colors. Many, many hugs and prayers...A. L.
Blast from the past Lisa, D.'s been keeping me up to date. I wanted to say hello and let you know that I too hold you in my prayers. (I've been on Carepages before. It truly is a wonderful means of communication.) I've read all of your updates and have been right there with you so far. You seem to have a great "family" and we are all here for you. Think of yourself as the General and we are your army. If you need anything you call on us. Enough of the serious stuff! One last piece of advice. "Don't sweat the petty things, but more importantly... don't pet the sweaty things." Love ya, M.
Best Wishes... Dear Lisa, My prayers are with you and your family. I pray your surgery today is a success and you recover well. I take comfort in knowing that you have such a strong support structure in place to help you get through this bump in the road of life. Regards, B. p.s. Cyborg's rock!
Thinking of you Hello Miss Cutie Pie and Her Handsome Hubby (Don't want Nat to feel neglected...), I've been thinking of you all day. My brain is mush so I've done dumb things all day because of it. I've slammed my finger HARD in the door AND I was attacked by my dog this morning. To make matters worse, a student at lunch rammed right into me and I spilled tea all over my Arnold shirt. It was kind of like a terrible, horrible, no good, awful day. Each time something would happen I'd tear up and think "...and my friend has cancer!" Such a pitiful day, but I snapped out of it. When I smashed my finger I did think that if my finger hurt this much from a door what in the world it must feel like for you to have your body picked, poked and smashed around? I do hope the doctors were gentle with you this morning. The mother of a good friend of mine had breast cancer. All of her children and their spouses went to a doctor's appointment so that the doctor could see all of the people that his decisions affected...she wasn't just a boob being mutilated! I can just imagine all of us showing up on Dr. Meric's doorstep so that she can see all of the people that are affected by the things that happen to you. (Somehow I think Dr. Meric knows that.) I know that we would cover every inch of MDA. Giirrrlll! I just had a thought...I used to volunteer at MDA. I still have my jacket and badge that I was required to wear. I think we could get into some serious trouble with that thing on! Imagine the places we could go! I can even get a discount in the cafeteria. I could use my badge to get you a discount on a big hunk of beef!!! (Don't barf!) I love you bunches!
Hi Again Hi Lisa, Just checking in on you. I wrote a note yesterday but I am not sure it went thru so excuse me if I am repeating myself. I am sorry to hear that you have to go thru surgery again, but I am glad they found this now and not later. I can't tell you I know how you feel except for knowing how it feels to be talking to doctors and waiting to hear good news instead of more questions or more testing or more surgery. As you may have heard we have been going thru a lot with A., but I don't want to burden you with all the details. I just do understand what it is like dealing with hospitals and doctors a lot lately. I can also sympathize with you feeling like a pincushion, it was awful (and still is) to watch as someone was trying to find a vein in our little boy. He was stuck so many times and then prodded to try to find the vein. He had an IV in his right arm and they tried to draw blood from his left. They stuck him in his heels, fingers and wrists along with his arms to try to get blood. There was no one who could get a vein on the first try. We even requested that someone from the NIC Unit do it for they are supposed to be better at it. I couldn't even count all the holes in him. I do hope that they do it right the first time for you. You are in my thoughts and prayers and if we were closer, we would be there to help in any way. Hang in there and God Bless you and all the family. Love, L.
Hey toots I have come to the end of another lovely day in the Goodson zoo. My last effort to challenge intelligence was talking to a father in Russia about his son's fight and ticket. It was on my nickel, too. Good grief. Being the kind and compassionate person that I am, he didn't change my mind, and we agreed to disagree. One this morning would have curled your toes. A student with 41 discipline actions, mother defending him because she said the teacher called him a jerk. I said what about the other 40 times. She said she didn't know there were that many. She is going to take him to get a lie detector test to see if he is lying or the teacher. And the beat goes on. You can't have this much fun anywhere else. As I always tell you-you have to be a little crazy to be in middle school. I hope that you are home now and resting. I want to come to see you, but I think I will wait until you feel like company. I will just keep writing for a while. I am going to go home now. Can't believe it is already Friday. About noon, I was saying only four more hours. Who does that sound like? HMMMMMM! Know you are loved. P.H.
Miss You More Each Day After reading your news and messages for the last 2 days, I am reminded of the highly literate descriptive term I expressed to you the day before you left....again I say to you, "This s_cks!" I am so sad that you'll have to suffer another surgery so soon and have the added treatments to get to your cure. But I know you'll get there. Today we had kids riding bicycles thru the cafeteria at 2:25 p.m. Sorry you missed that! Mr. C. enjoyed chasing the 2 eighth grade boys down, but he's not as fast as kids on bikes. Mr. G. joined in the race....and they finally apprehended the culprits. See what fun you are missing....and next week you'll miss TAKS! Darn! I KNOW you are sorry about that. I miss you. We love you. Get better every day. Love, C.
Good wishes from California Hi Lisa- I have been thinking about you today. I hope the surgery went well AND the IV went in smoothly. My parents have a "great" story about me shrieking bloody murder in a hospital as a nurse tried to get an IV in me. I still wince when I get blood drawn. I always seem to get the burly German nurse who pounds my arms and complains about my bad veins. And yes, I was a small child when the IV incident happened. It wasn't last year or anything. :) I luckily don't remember. So I hope you didn't get Bertha the Bruiser for your surgery prep and I really hope your surgery went well today. K.
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