Monday, October 18, 2010

Back to School... I hope!

This morning started out with a new list. What do I need to do this week to be able to register for classes the beginning of November?

1. Fax copies of my transcripts to a nursing advisor at WTAMU.
2. Contact Amarillo College to find out my admissions status.
3. Talk to an advisor at AC to see what else they need so I can register in November.
4. Fax copies of transcripts to AC.
5. Call AC back and go see the advisor this week.

This is my list for this week and I am happy to say all but 4 & 5 have already been accomplished.

The next part of my list will take me leaving the house to accomplish.

1. Buy pumpkins for JB to decorate for class and for at home
2. Find something to wear to the symposium this weekend
3. Date night with Cody
4. Join JB's school PTO program (there is a meeting coming up)
5. and I am sure I am forgetting several things that will be added later this week.

Needless to say though it looks like I will be going back to school in the spring!

Wish me luck!!

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Fox 34 Interview

Here is the link for the Fox 34 Interview.

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Learn a little everyday...

Yesterday was a long day for me, but a good one. It started out behind schedule and very fast and frantic but was latter met with a little down time in doctors waiting rooms. My never ending pilgrimages to Lubbock usually give me something to reflect on during my time driving back home at the end of the day.

I met with both my plastic surgeon and the surgeon who performed my mastectomies. My PS was the first appointment and everything looks fabulous and I do not have to report back for 6 months!! Second appointment went equally as well, next visit will be in June for an MRI. Everyone was very happy with my progress including me.

My moment to ponder on happened while reading posters on the wall at my second doctors visit. There were posters for skin cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer on the wall. I am sure that I had seen the breast cancer poster before, but had not taken in what it really said. One word stuck in my mind "Metastatic." I have heard the word many times and never really given it a second thought.

Metastatic is used to describe cancer that has moved from the primary location in the body to other locations. So this time while I was reading the poster it hit me. During my Mom's first encounter with breast cancer I never heard this word, but doesn't it describe her? I was able to look past this thought in my mind for the time being because my doctor was knocking on the door to see me.

On my way home I made the decision to look up the stages of breast cancer and dive in a little further. After I made it home, played with the kids, gave baths, and got everyone off to bed I sat down at the computer. This blog was waiting for me. It is a very powerful video, and my second source of WOW factor for the day. There it was again "Metastatic." This time it really felt like a punch to the gut. This video really gave me the feeling of being in the dark 10 years ago when Mom was fighting the battle for her life. Was I just naive, not willing to hear the truth, or did they just not use the same terminology back then that they do now.

If you have taken the time to watch the video clip you know that Metastatic Breast Cancer is incurable. When you are given this diagnosis the best option is to give you as much time as they can, but even at that there will come a time when treatment no longer wins the fight. You can still have a quality long life with metastatic cancer, but it will never completely go away. Treatments will be administered throughout the duration of your life to keep the cancer under controll and at bay as long as possible.

In February of 2000, Mom was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She had two brain tumors, surgery was performed to remove them and radiation therapy was administered. I always thought there was a chance for Mom to once again beat the cancer and be back in remission. Later on that year in November it was back. Ten years later I cannot completely say that the doctors never informed us that Mom's cancer was incurable or that it would be back it was just a matter of when.

So what are my conclusions today? Maybe it should be that cancer can be cloudy. Cloudy in the sense that when we are visiting with our doctors and attempting to hear what they are saying there can be a dense fog present. What we think we are hearing is what we want to hear. We pick and choose specific words that give us the most hope and forget about the rest. If Mom's doctors did say that she could not be cured this time I chose not to put that part in my memory. I wanted her to be fine and live a long life with me. At the same time though there is another lesson here. In the past 10 years cancer perception, treatment, and classification has changed. Technology is more advanced, treatments are fine tuned to each patient, and each case is specific. The knowledge and information our doctors are able to pass on to us is much different than it was back then. Mom's doctors did what they believed to be best for her back then, and Katie's doctors are doing what they believe to be best for her now. Self is a very powerful thing, and in stressful times self preservation kicks in to protect us. All of these factors contribute to why I may not have taken in everything that was said back then.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Great Link

Here is a link to a blog that I follow. The post has a video about the JAMA article.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

KLBK TV Interview, Lubbock, TX

Here is the link to the interview with Katie and I. It also gives the details for the symposium we will be speaking at. Would love to see all of your faces there!!

Once you get to the link click on News and Info within the Cancer - A Call to Action video screen. We are the interview for October 11th.

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