31 August 2009

American Idol Weekend!

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We took my mom to see the American Idol concert for her birthday present this year. We both watched it closely as we had different favorites. Mom's favorite was Adam and mine was Danny . I will say that the concert was fabulous, each of the singers was truly remarkable. Megan Joy was the stand out for me, as I love her smoky voice.

Adam, however, stole the show. His rocker style and coreographed moves were awesome. You can tell he was a dancer. He made his body work!

We stayed the night in St. Louis. We were on the 15th floor of the hotel. Mom had never stayed so high up before. We convinced her to see the view... we had a fab view of the Missouri River. She didn't like it much.

For dinner mom wanted to go to HOOTERS. No kidding. She had a good time!



28 August 2009

Bella Vista's Rooster Party!

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My rooster mug outside on our patio


Come and see the Rooster Parade at Bella Vista today! You will get to see plenty of rooster residing happily in their homes!

While I don't use any roosters to decorate, I remembered I had this wonderful mug that helps me start my morning every day. I love my mug as it is large and holds a lot of whatever goodness I decide to put into it!

Breakfast with my rooster mug... fresh tomato sandwich!

This is Barb's first party, so please go and check her out! I know you won't be disappointed!



27 August 2009

Lazy Days of Summer #9

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Summer ends for me when teachers come back to school.

I am busy handing out class lists, and talking to parents, and getting handbooks printed. School starting is always an exciting time for me. I remember getting new school clothes and school supplies and loving the smell of my crayons. My mom would mark all my stuff so I could be sure to know which things were mine. I don't think many parents do that any more. I still get new school clothes, school supplies and loving the smell of crayons.

Do homeschooling students have this same feeling? That school starts tomorrow and I am nervous about my studies? I would love to know. I wanted to homeschool Ashley but Bob didn't want to. In retrospect, it was a good idea not to homeschool Ashley. I could not have kept up with her!

How are the rest of you getting ready for the new school year?

26 August 2009

Results from Surgery

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As Bob put it in an email to his staff... The Good News is that Terri can now take a shower!

And, that is about where it ended! The final pathology came back that there was cancer in the lymph nodes, so another surgery will be scheduled to remove them. Bummer, but I want to be cancer-free so those babies have got to go! The bad news here is that chemo is now in my future.

Then the MRI showed another mass... the surgeon did not get this report in a timely manner or he may have chosen to do surgery at another time but hey, can't do anything about it now so we are doing a biopsy at 9:30 today. I'd really like to come back and tell you that the mass isn't cancer!!

If it is, I will have surgery to do a full masectomy. This will be combined with the axillary dissection (lymph node removal). The best news about this is that there will not be any need to do radiation!

So, biopsy today, meeting with surgeon on Friday to go over the results and a meeting with my medical oncologist, who happens to be returning to work after her own ordeal with breast cancer.

Also, I don't want my blog to be a downer so I am going to be optimistic and happy and post about the wonderful things that are going on in addition to what's happening in my cancer world!

Thank you so much to everyone who has offered love, prayers and support. What would I do without you??

19 August 2009

Invasive ductal carcinoma

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When I heard my doctor say to me, Terri, you have breast cancer, I was immediately numb and in shock. Thank goodness I had Bob there with me, to help me take in those words. The doctor went on and on about various things but I couldn't hear the rest. I remember faking being attentive and concerned.

Eventually I learned that my tumor is small, slow-growing, and estrogen-receptive, which are good things to hear when followed by the words "breast cancer." My doctor recommended a surgeon, made an appt for me and I met with him last week.

Surgery is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. today with a lymph node biopsy. They inject a radioactive ink into my armpit and let it lead the docs to the first series of lymph nodes. They biopsy those and a pathologist looks for cancer. Which ever nodes have cancer, they remove. Those that are cancer free remain.

Next comes the actual partial masectomy. The tumor is removed using a wire technique that I am not familiar with but that seems to guide the surgeon where to look for the tumor. The lump is removed, a test is performed that will show a pathologist the DNA of the cells to check for the likelihood of reoccurance, and the lump is painted with four different shades of ink, indicating which side of the breast that the tissue came from. If the ink touches any part of the tumor, more tissue is removed until no ink touches cancer. The very last thing that happens is that a balloon will be placed inside my breast so that I can receive radiation internally. Seeds of radiation are dropped into the balloon so basically I will receive radiation from the inside out!

Then I am stitched up and brought out to recovery. If I can hold down liquids, I am free to go home and recoop a bit. I hear I will be sore on Wednesday some and on Thursday even more but by Friday the soreness will be wearing down.

I am confident in my team of doctors but I would love to ask for prayers for God to guide their hands and minds while they work on me. I promise to come back on Friday and tell you all about it!

18 August 2009

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Giles Steffes passed away today at his home in Wien. We will miss him so terribly much.

15 August 2009

Prayers for our Family

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Jake is to the left of Irene in the blue sweater, Amos is to the right.


Bob's dear Uncle Amos passed away Thursday evening. Uncle Amos lived with Bob and his brother Gary and his mom and dad all of Bob's life. Uncle Amos was like a second dad (grandpa) to all of us. He made the best chocolate chip cookies and my all time favorite vegetable beef soup and chili in the world. He will be and already is, missed so much by all of us.

Bob's dad remains in the hospital after going in five weeks ago for a routine gall bladder operation. Mysterious infections set in and he has been transported to the University Hospital where they seem no closer to solving the mystery of his illness. However, Jake continues to worsen so he needs our prayers greatly right now. On Friday our priest administered Last Rites with nearly all our family present. When we were praying Jake made the sign of the cross with us. We clearly are not ready to let him go.

Please pray!

12 August 2009

Lazy Days of Summer #8

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It is about this time when we get to bring in the first of our garden tomatoes.

Summer would not be summer without fresh garden tomatoes. What is your favorite way to eat them? I truly think mine is straight out of the garden, with a little salt on the side, still warm from the sun. However, I have been known to take some homemade white bread, some mayo, slices of tomato with salt and pepper and eat it as a sandwich. I am drooling as I write.

What about you? Favorite summer produce from your garden? Or do you attend a farmers market? We love our local farmers market and get to know several very well. Bob loves nothing more than to decide our menus based on the produce available at the market.

05 August 2009

Lazy Days of Summer #7

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Bob and I like to fish but we do not do much of it at all. My dad was a HUGE fisherman taking hours and hours out of his weekend to fish. It used to annoy my mom when I was little, but I noticed as I grew older she didn't mind so much. Bob and I did some deep sea fishing once in Florida and once when we were on a cruise and plan to do some when we go to Myrtle Beach this summer.

How does fishing fit into your summer?

03 August 2009

Mosaic Monday!

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Las Vegas was sooo much fun! If you think that New York is the city that never sleeps, then you haven't been to Vegas!

Around the mosaic... palm trees surrounding the pool, Ashley and Eric, Bob and Terri, and the view outside our hotel room!