Archive | August, 2010

Surgery is September 27th . . .

31 Aug

Hello all,

Surgery is now scheduled for September 27th. I am happy with this date.

I will write more as I know more. Pretty tired right now. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Love and peace,


Thank you everyone . . .

31 Aug

Thank you everyone for your emails and messages. It means so much to me to hear from friends and family. It is always so encouraging and very, very uplifting.

I am waiting for a surgery date. I am tired. The past couple of weeks have been a bit painful (even though I have definitely had some days in the past couple of weeks where I was able to get out and have some fun). I try to focus on those days, actually, it is quite easy to focus on those days. I am very good at forgetting the bad ones and even not remembering the bad days. That is a gift for which I am extremely grateful.

I sometimes go back and read past blog posts and I am shocked by what I experienced on a given day of treatment or just reading about past shenanigans with doctors, insurance etc. All of those difficult and sometimes horrible days, are for the most part a blur to me. Instead, it is the times that friends and family came and stayed with me or extended some kindness to me, or the days when I could run again, or ride my bike again or lift a friends baby high up in the air again, or chase after my nephew . . . those are the days that I remember and cling to and it is those days that I am so grateful for. Thank you.

I am so grateful to all of you, my friends, my family. I know I have yet to reply to emails this week, please forgive that, I am still exhausted from everything of the past few days. I have work to catch up on and will have to do that first and of course there is the pre-op hop that I need to do . . . getting ready for my next surgery.

I will let you all know the surgery date as soon as I find out. Thank you again for your love and support.

This Saturday I will be attending the memorial service of a friend. I am sad that he is no longer with us. Life is short, go live it.

Much love to you all,


Ticking time bomb diffused . . .

30 Aug

I saw the surgeon at Cedars Sinai today. He has agreed to take me as a patient and believes he will be able to provide me with a great result (he is very experienced in dealing with radiated skin . . . my prior surgeon was not and that is how we ended up with some complications).

So, my new surgeon (YAY, I have a new surgeon, one I have confidence in, I am so ecstatic) took some fluid out of my right expander to relieve some of the pressure so I am no longer at a high risk of my skin breaking open (having the expander break through my skin). Surgery still needs to be soon, but, it can wait as long as three weeks now. The hope is to get a date in mid September. However, my new surgeon has a number of conferences to attend in the next month, so, scheduling something is the challenge. But, they seem to be confident that they will be able to get me in for surgery within the appropriate window.

This surgeon is fantastic. Everyone in the office – from the front desk person, the nurse, the physician’s assistant – everyone was just so nice. I felt as though I was absolutely their priority. It was a great experience. So, I feel really good about my decision. Now, I have to deal with my prior surgeon . . . that will not be so easy. I have had a relationship with her for almost a year and a half now. It is going to be tough – telling her that I am letting her go. But, I have to do what is best for my body as I am the one that has to live with it.

Thank you everyone for the prayers and positive thoughts.

I am so tired right now . . . still up in Los Angeles, waiting for a ride, fortunately I have a late check out . . . 2 pm. I think someone is coming to pick me up, but, not exactly sure. In the meantime, I am going to get some rest. I am so relieved and so, so tired.

Love and peace,


Meeting with surgeon at Cedars Sinai . . .

30 Aug

Well wish me luck, in a few hours, I will be meeting with a surgeon at Cedars Sinai. I am staying up in Los Angeles, just a few minutes away from Cedars. My appointment is early and so I didn’t want to deal with the commute early in the morning. My Mom is here with me, we are staying at a nice hotel.

We will leave from here at 8:00 am in order to allow plenty of time to get to Cedars.

I am really hoping that everything goes well . . . obviously. I worry that this surgeon will say that he can not help me. I hope that he will be able to take me on as his patient and fix what is wrong.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . . the “okay corral” where I don’t think of such things or worries . . . I had a wonderful weekend. Friday evening I had a nice long visit with a friend (on the phone, while I was horizontal, resting). I learned a lot about my friend . . . this past year has been one of . . . I suppose to some degree . . . by necessity . . . a bit of self absorption . . . yep, I have been a bit of a it-is-all-about-me-cause-I was-diagnosed-with-cancer type of person.

But, Friday I got to learn some things I never knew, listen and enjoy my friend’s stories.

Saturday I did what I could to get my place ready for surgery. Physically I wasn’t able to do a whole lot, so I brought in a cleaning team, they were great, progress was made!

Then, Saturday afternoon, I was able to join friends of mine on a Dufy boat (an electric boat). We cruised the Newport Harbor. It was really nice and real relaxing.

Today I went out to brunch with a friend and then we went to the Sawdust Festival. It was a really great day.

So now I am sitting up at 1:30 am. I NEED to get some rest! Hopefully it will be very soon!

Please keep me in your prayers!

Love and peace,


Cedars Sinai . . .

29 Aug

Hello All,

Tomorrow morning I see a specialist up at Cedars Sinai who will hopefully agree to take me on as a patient and get me into surgery asap. Please say some prayers on that for me, I greatly appreciate it.

My parents and I are driving up to Beverly Hills this evening and will stay the night there (about 3 or 4 miles from Cedars Sinai) so that we do not have to try to make the commute from Orange County early in the morning (I have to be there at 8:30 am) on Monday.

In the meantime, I am taking it pretty easy. I saw some friends yesterday. And today I am having brunch with a friend of mine and probably a walk at the beach. I am not sure, I am told there is a surprise (a surprise that is within my physical limitations, I am assured). So, it looks to be a relaxing day I think. There will be the drive up to Beverly Hills of course. That is going to be a bit far. But, better to make the drive tonight than to have to struggle with it, and all of the traffic, tomorrow morning.

Please keep the prayers coming. I really need it. I am feeling pretty desperate right now . . . this ticking time bomb and all and not yet having a surgeon qualified to handle this complication on board, taking me on as a patient yet. So, I am very nervous about what the surgeon tomorrow will say and do. Prayers, prayers, prayers . . . PLEASE! 🙂

Much Love and Peace,


What a week, what a day . . .

27 Aug

This past week has been a rough one. Complications have come up necessitating that I have an earlier surgery date and also a new surgeon . . . one who has the expertise to deal with the complications that have developed.

It has been a really intense week. Just so much to deal with and my head is simply reeling. I am truly overwhelmed. But, it is coming together I think and I even think that tonight (although it is already 12:30) that I may be able to get some sleep. Sleep has been a real struggle the past couple of weeks. It has been especially difficult this past week.

In spite of the week I have had, today, I had a really good day. I sent out an email update on my status, received lots of nice notes back from friends, had lunch with a dear, dear friend (who found a lunch spot just blocks from my afternoon medical appointment . . . how sweet is that?) and had a very successful appointment with the pain management doctor.

I experienced a lot of pain with the past surgery, it was the most pain I have ever experienced in my life. It lasted for weeks and nothing seemed to control it. So, this time I decided to be proactive and see a specialist for the pain. I feel really good about this . . . I was able to discuss my concerns and then my doctor came up with a plan for pain management for me. I have already picked up the prescriptions and have several options and combinations of things to utilize. I am not a fan of taking any medication . . . so this whole cancer ride has really been kind of surreal for me . . . I never thought I would every take any kind of strong medication . . . I rarely have every taken aspirin or tylenol. So, this whole experience has forced me to be willing to take medications . . . as much as I don’t like to take any medications.

I don’t know if the plan will work or not, but, I have to think that it will go better than the last time, since last time I didn’t have any kind of plan. I wasn’t even aware that there were doctors that specialized in pain management.

Anyway, all in all, it was a fabulous day. I am very happy about it being the end of the week and I am very how for how nice Friday turned out to be.

Now I just need to law low for a bit. I need to figure out how I am going to get all of the way up to Cedars Sinai at 8:55 am on Monday morning . . . ugh.

I am going to see about staying over night with my parents somewhere near Cedars. I think it will be easier than driving up there on Monday morning and having to deal with all of that traffic. I cant drive that far by myself anyway, so my Dad is planning on driving. But, we would have to leave so early in the morning to get there and the traffic would be so heavy at that time of day.

Well wish me luck and please continue your prayers. I greatly appreciate it!

Much love,


Some pictures from this summer and last summer . . . what a difference a year makes :)

27 Aug

Me and my cousin Suzanne . . . two weeks ago at my nephew's 2nd birthday party

My parents, love this photo, they just celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary!

Two weeks ago, celebrating my nephew's 2nd birthday!

Playing with my blues group a few weeks ago.

Playing with "Huge Blues" at Bistro 400, July 30, 2010

July 2009, almost done with chemo

Goofing around with my brother and my nephew, Bowers Museum, July 2009

Dana Point, a break from chemo to hear some music with my cousins, June 2009

I felt like crab . . . thank you David 🙂 July 2009

Dana Point concert last summer

Early on in chemo, last spring, sometime in April 2009 . . . My brother Steve shaved his head . . . awe 🙂