Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mass Investigation

This week started with a trip to the ENT. By the end of the visit I had hoped that I would have the surgeon talked into performing the thyroidectomy with the mastectomy or at least a few days after. I wasn't able to persuade him into seeing things my way because he was preoccupied with a 4cm x 2cm mass that has yet to be identified. I was scheduled for a biopsy on Friday, however this was canceled and a technetium study in now scheduled for Tuesday. I'm not totally sure what the study's purpose is, but hopefully we get to the bottom of this.
I have renewed my internet searching as we get closer to surgery and subsequent chemo/radiation. I was excited to find the First International Inflammatory Breast Conference. It is Dec 5-7th in Houston. Hopefully we will find some life saving information at the conference.
On Wednesday, my mom was able to come with me to my 8th chemo treatment. All went well and as usual, I was able to catch a couple of z's. I was tired on Thursday, but Friday and Saturday were a better. I am looking forward to the long weekend with Bruce and the boys.
Saturday I made the sad trip to the airport with my mom. She returned to TN after a much appreciated extended stay with our family. I will miss the care, companionship, and concern. No matter how old you get, it is always comforting to have your mom by your side when things aren't going well. I already miss her.
Landon and Xander had their first full week of school. Landon is enjoying his class and by all accounts he is making the grade. Xander's teacher says that he is happy and making friends. Ryker and I have enjoyed him being an only child 2 days/wk.
Love to All!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Landon Turns 6. Thyroid Cancer Too?

This has been a crazy week! On Monday I had a biopsy to see if the nodules on my thyroid were cancerous. On Wednesday we found out that not only are they cancerous, but they are a completely separate and independent form of cancer. I was fortunate enough to meet with the endocrinologist on Thursday (they are booked out until November). She was able to help us understand how this affects our current picture. Unlike most cancers, thyroid cancer is actually curable- if it hasn't spread. I will need to have my thyroid taken out, followed by a radioactive treatment. I am meeting with an ENT tomorrow to see how this can be coordinated with my mastectomy. I have also decided to have a bone biopsy to see if the cancer in my ribs/vertebrae is from my thyroid or breast cancer.
Bruce and I have wondered how this new news would have affected us had I not already had breast cancer. As is, it is just another bump in the road, but I was a little offended by the oncologist thinking the finding was "interesting".
I had my 7th chemo treatment on Wednesday. Things continue to plug along. My skin continues to look more normal, the tumor is harder and harder to find, my blood counts are really good and my energy level is pretty good. My tired days are Friday and Saturday, but better than expected.
On Friday we celebrated Landon's 6th birthday. I was able to go to his 1st grade class and play hangman with his classmates, as well as share his birthday treat. His cousin, Wilson, was also able to spend the night. On Saturday, Landon had his first big party- we went to a gymnastics gym and had lots of friends and family there to celebrate. Kim helped me make a Pokemon cake decoration- Landon loved it! Landon is an amazing person. I learn from him every day. I love how he is so bright and full of life. He is bursting with things to say and wants to experience life to it's fullest. He is so sweet and loves to be my helper. We have a special bond and I am so blessed to have him as my first baby.
Thanks again for your love and support! I can feel the strength of your love and support!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Huntsman Update

It was a very busy week this week and much was accomplished. On Wednesday I had chemo in the morning and went to Huntsman in the afternoon. As usual, I slept through most of chemo and felt pretty well. We had an hour or so before we had to leave to Huntsman, so I finished making a comparative chart of my test results because there is a lot of variation from test to test. Huntsman was all that we had anticipated. We are on a good treatment path and the tumor continues to shrink and the skin looks better and better. The only difference suggested by the Huntsman doctors would be to push through chemo (if my blood counts stay high enough) even if I have sensory/motor loss in my hands/feet or have heart problems. I am planning on returning to Huntsman after my surgery which is projected to be the first part of October.
We are continuing to work on the house. On Saturday we had lots of help emptying out our basement and staging the house. I had tired days on Friday and Saturday, so the help and understanding is even that much more appreciated. Thank you to all those who pitched in to lend a helping hand or even an awesome trailer :)!
As I begin to feel the affects of chemo I continue to be more humbled and appreciate that every thing is in the hands of the Lord. Thank you for praying and helping me fight the good fight!
Love Jeanel

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Bald is Beautiful!

This has been a good week! Thanks to the Routson's for hosting the shaving party!! A fun time was had by all. I hope that people did not regret their decision once they went home and looked in the mirror. (Some people are even more beautiful bald :)) I really appreciate the support!
Thursday-Sunday was the Otto Family Reunion. We began the weekend by decorating pink t-shirts with the "fight the cancer" theme. It was great to see every one's creativity come out and feel the love and support. We had a great time playing games, hanging out, talking, and of course eating good food. Thanks to everyone for playing your parts, believing in my miracle, and helping us through this. I look forward to many more!
This week's chemo went well. I was actually anticipating not feeling well, especially after last week) but was happily surprised. On Wednesday, I am going to have one more chemo treatment before having a break next week. That will be treatment #6. Following the chemo I will head to Huntsman Cancer Institute with Bruce and my dad for a second opinion. I am so excited and grateful to have this appointment. I am happy with my current treatment, but want to know that we are doing everything that we can and also want to be prepared if we run into any road blocks down later.
Keep praying! Love, Jeanel

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Head Shaving Party!!!!!!

Some of the men and boys, from Jeanel's Wonderful Ward, BRAVELY shaved their heads.I have to say, they all looked great and have nice domes!!!! Including Jeanel!!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Not So Bad

Now that we are a little further down this road I am going to try to do an update every Sunday.
The big shave was on Friday, August 1st. It was a day that I will never forget. I am so grateful that my mom and Brooke were with me. When I got home I was wishing that the boys were in bed so that I could take the wig off because it was/is extremely itchy. Quickly it became too uncomfortable to care who was around. I had yet to see myself, so Bruce I and went together for the unveiling. Again, the sadness came, but so did relief. It is a part of the journey that I expected and now can check off the list.
After Bruce and I had our moment, we took the boys up to our room and let them see my new doo. Bruce had just taken them to get their hair cut so they were able to relate. They took it in stride and didn't seem to be emotionally scarred. Landon thinks I have a boy's hair cut, Xander says I'm beautiful but occasionally asks me to put my hair back on and tells me he can't take his hair off, and Ryker pets me and says, "hair".
The wig itself is passable if you don't look to closely, but I don't think I'm much of a wig-chic. I much prefer throwing on my new pink Park City baseball hat. Too bad the scarf/bandana market is skewed towards grandmas.
Anyway, in relative comparison my hair is of little consequence. But at the same time, the big picture continues to be overwhelming. In order to keep functioning as normally as possible, I try to focus on today and the immediate future. I am mindful of taking time to enjoy the boys a little more and marvel at how blessed I am to have such a wonderful husband and loving and supportive family and friends.
Thanks and God Bless!
Love Jeanel

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Doo deed is done!!!!

Today was an eventful day!!! Jeanel decided the clumps of hair falling out was to be no more. She was sooo brave to have her head shaved and get a new doo. What an AMAZING women!!!

It was fun watching her try on all the Doo's!!! Doesn't she look GREAT!!!