Thursday, October 23, 2008


The new round of chemo began on Friday. The day following treatment I need to go in and get a shot to boost my immune system, so on Saturday we went in as a family and had breakfast at the hospital. It's amazing that the boys think the hospital cafeteria is so much fun...
On Saturday afternoon I began to feel the affects of the new chemo, with the expensive anti-nausea meds. I was pretty nauseated for 2-3 days and slept a lot. Gratefully, my parents and Bruce were able to take care of the kids and let me rest. I have gradually started to feel less nausiated and have gained strength. It sure has been a reality check.
The boys have been enjoying the fall weather, halloween parties, and running around in the basement. Landon had a field trip to the pumpkin patch and played his last soccer game. Xander is really enjoying pre-school and having friends. Ryker is talking more and more each day. My favorite thing is when I hang up the phone he always asks, "Who's dat Mom?"
My dad left on Wednesday. We will all miss him!! Dad, thanks for everything you have done to help us!
Thanks to all of you for your continued support!
love, Jeanel

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Starting Chemo Again

We have had a change of plans this week. On Wednesday I went into my oncologist to get a maintenance drug and my bone treatment, which would have been followed by radiation in a few weeks. Instead we decided I should start the dreaded chemo they call the "Red Devil". I will have a treatment every other week, for a total of 4 treatments. My last treatment will be the day before Thanks Giving. I will then start radiation in December. This will be the year that my holidays are spent fighting the fight so that I can enjoy many more holiday seasons to come!
I was unable to start the chemo on Wednesday because my neck incision was not healed sufficiently. So I began the chemo on Friday and so far so good. For the cost of the anti-nausea meds, I hope to continue feeling pretty well...
On Wednesday I also met with my general surgeon. I have had some considerable amount of fluid build up in both breasts (we affectionately call them "side boobs" because ,most of the fluid build up is toward my sides), but the right one was the only one that bothered me, so to limit infection risk, it was the only one drained. My doctor was able to drain more than 9 ounces.
Both of my parents are in town so my mom has been able to take care of the kids and the home front, while my dad has been able to go with me to my medical appointments. We are so grateful for their love and support.
I started physical therapy for my arm range of motion and swelling after my surgery. I am hoping to do the majority on my own, but if I get lymphedema I will need more help. I really like my new PT and I'm on the hunt to find the right guy to set her up with. She is 30, cute, skinny, brunette, and very pleasant. I've already got a person in mind, but suggestions are welcome.
I have really enjoyed being back at home with Bruce and the boys. They have done well being soft and keeping things to a dull roar. It's amazing how much better I feel just being back with family.
Thanks! Please keep praying for us. We've been blessed with many miracles along the way.
Love, Jeanel

Monday, October 13, 2008

Recovering Well

Yesterday was a wonderful day! My mom and I had a great time talking about the gospel,life, and how the Lord watches over us. Bruce came down to Suzette's with the boys (Landon stayed overnight so that he could have some much needed cousin time), and Jeff came down for a visit with his family. It was so nice to see Bruce, Landon, Xander, and Ryker. The boys aren't much for gentle, snuggle time but it was great to have them in my space and hear their craziness. I can't tell you how the much I miss things that used to drive me crazy. I can't wait to get well so that I can take care of my boys, husband, and home.
Take time to enjoy the blessings of every day life! Thanks again for your faith and prayers. Miracles happen every day, especially with friends like you!
Love Jeanel

Friday, October 10, 2008

Silver Lining

I am home (or I should say, at Suzette's)!
Yesterday was a big day. I got my calcium levels checked 6 times, the tubes pulled out of my chest and my throat, my IV out, and all of the stitches out of my chest. I continue to have fluid build up in my chest wall on both sides-- I'm not sure how or when that will be resolved...
The pathology is back from my neck surgery and shows just thryroid cancer (no breast cancer). Yeh!!!!
Upon arrival at the hospital I was asked to put on the hospital garb, including the tight white stockings. I'm not suppose to use much force with my arms, so Bruce had to put them on me. It took us so long (with great effort and lots of laughs) that the nurses kept checking in on us to be sure we were ok... I'm so glad that we still have plenty of things to laugh about.
My nephew, Sam, counted the stitches in my neck-- he is pretty sure there are 24. I will get them out on Monday. On Tuesday I will have my next treatment with the oncologist and have a follow up with the general surgeon. I will also start physical therapy next week to help get rid of the swelling and gain more arm range of motion.checking in on us.
Bruce has been a great help in attending to all of my needs and keeping my spirits up. I am so grateful that one of his gifts is to see the silver lining in our circumstance and help me do the same.
I am grateful for modern science, medicine and surgery. I am grateful for a surgeon who has sacrificed so much time and effort to be skilled at taking care of the hard stuff. I am grateful for caring staff (not the phloebotomist) and a clean hospital. I am grateful for my wonderful family. Last night I enjoyed a nice, cozy room with soft linens, no mid-night blood draws, no machines and lots of loving concern. I am so indebted to my friends and family who have jumped in with everything they have to take care of me and the needs of our family. I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who gives me all that I can handle and takes care of the rest.
Love Jeanel

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Yeh! I made it through my neck surgery. It hasn't been nearly as bad as I thought it would be. My voice is pretty raspy, but has gotten better throughout the day. I have a tube poking out of my neck (which is a little alarming) that will get pulled out tomorrow. I will also be getting discharged tomorrow and will head down to my sister's for a little R and R.
I am so relieved to have this sugery out of the way. One more thing to check off my list on the road to recovery.
Thanks for all of your thoughtful gifts, cards, flowers, prayers, and love. I am so grateful for your friendships. I can't tell you how much it has kept me going and helped me when things seem overwhelming.
Love to you all!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Hospital Shots

Here are a few photos from my first hospital stay.
Things continue to progress well. My left arm is doing great, my right arm continues to be a little swollen and numb, especially under my arm, but I do see progress.
We got the surgical pathology back on Friday. My left breast came back normal and the right breast came back with minimal invasive ductal carcinoma and extensive in situ carcinoma. Only one out of six lymph nodes came back positive and there were good margins on all the samples. We aren't really sure what that means, but I will send the results to my doctor at Huntsman to get things rolling for after my recovery from the neck surgery on Tuesday.
Thanks for all your thoughts and prayers, and a special thanks to all those who are helping with the boys while I am out of commission.
Love, Jeanel

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm Home

My surgery went off without a hitch. I slept so much during the day on Tuesday, that zzz's were hard to come by at night.
Wednesday was a family day. Jeff, Suzette, Paul, Amy, and Bruce kept me entertained. We had the end room on the med/surg floor and right outside my room was a little sun room area, which was perfect for our little family gathering. My mom flew in on Wed and was able to stop by before visiting hours were over.
Bruce brought Xander and Ryker by for a short visit Thursday morning. We went down to the cafeteria for a treat. The boys thought they were so big and had a great time.
I came home in the afternoon and have enjoyed the comforts of home. Xander and Ryker are at Jeff and Joni's for a few days. Landon has been enjoying a little alone time at home with his parents. He helped Bruce put up some Halloween decorations.
My sister, Suzette, is off to St. George to run the marathon. On her shirt she wrote, "One day at a time, one mile at a time." I am so proud of her! Go Sister- I love you!
My recovery is going well. I haven't been on pain meds since Wednesday. My right arm is more sore (mostly due to numbness) than the left because of the node dissection. I am working on gentle range of motion and good positioning.
We are working out the details for Tuesday's surgery at LDS Hospital.
The Lord has blessed me with peace during this time. Thank you for all of your prayers!
love, Jeanel