It has been a while since I have last updated this blog. I have been doing pretty well. I taught art camp again this past summer and we had such a wonderful time sketching, painting and learning about Galveston County's history. I had an ArtWalk for my art students at the wonderful Fit TO Run and they had a blast. I am still smiling just thinking about all of my awesome kiddos! My grad classes have been wonderful too! I have nearly completed my masters - one semester/2 classes left. I can't believe it is already here. I have met some amazing people there too! Last Spring, a UNT friend of mine, Rhonda, and I partnered in our class to write a grant for our class project. We chose my school. AND WE WON! This means $3000 worth of supplies that are coming to our library to create a professional literacy library that will benefit teachers and students both bilingual and English in grades Pre-K - 4th. I can't wait to put it all together! I have loved learning and I have been so blessed to finally get to be the librarian at school. As my second year in the library, I am having a blast teaching and helping everyone. I love my students and my teachers. I love getting to teach and help everyone in the library. Life outside of school has been wonderful too with new babies being born, weddings, and concerts. My hubby, family, and friends have continued to amaze me with their kindness, support, laughter, and strength.
Ok, here comes the not so great part. Things seemed to have happened so fast. I do feel like the life above is mine, but that what I am about to say feels far away as if it is someone else's dream that I am in. We have been going for our regular check ups and Dr. Benjamin has told us that things have been just fine. That the tumor in my left arm was of no concern and most likely benign and that I have no signs of mets anywhere else. However, the end of September is when things really started to get hairy. Surgery missed a tumor in my right lung. It happens. Or should I say bleep happens. No sign of mets, but it is there and at some point we will need to do something about it. I don't know what yet. I don't know because that is all Dr. Benjamin said about it for now. And to make a long story short, a pulmonary blood clot went unnoticed and we got a phone call after our 9-29 appt. that it was a pretty good size and located in my lower left lobe. I was to immediately start the shot Lovenox twice a day for a week and then every day for 6 months. I learned a little bit more then about our new insurance that the district changed to then too. We had to meet the overall prescription meds/OOP $2000 deductible first and then we'd owe 20% every time after. Easy to do when the shots are more than $1200. I am not a candidate for the other, cheaper, stuff like Coumadin because Sarcoma patients have thicker blood and it is harder to break up the clot. Then, after all of the talks about my arm being fine, we found out on October 21st that the tumor was not benign. More so, it had doubled in size since the March scan. It is in my bone marrow in my humorous in my left arm. AND on Wednesday the surgeon, Valerae Lewis (SHE IS AWESOME!!!), said that I have to have surgery on Monday to remove it. As in THIS Monday. She put my left arm in a sling because the bone is brittle and if I continue to use it like I do....did I mention that I am left handed and severely left arm dominant....that it will break. SO here is what they are going to do. They can't scrape and radiate it like they first thought. Because that would not leave clean margins. My type of cancer can leave microscopic disease behind that the doctors wouldn't be able to see until it was too late and by then it would be back and have metastasized. So on Monday, Dr. Lewis is going to resect the tumor. She will make an incision from the top of my humorous down to almost my elbow. Then she will remove about 6 inches of my bone. Then she will put in a titanium rod that looks like a lollipop. The stick part will fit into my remaining bone and the ball part will attach to my shoulder joint stuffs. It will take about an hour to close, all in all 3 hours from start to finish. I will be at Md Anderson for a few days, then home, then I can go back to work! If you want and you have extra time during the week, please please please come help me in the library. I will honestly need volunteers to help me check in/out books and shelve. I can teach all of my classes, but I will have a harder time doing this part of my job. I will have lots of physical therapy, but we have been to the wonderful 23rd street location when I had to learn how to walk again after the first surgery and I promise you, I will do everything to gain as much mobility back in my left arm again. I like my arm WAAAAAAY too much to give up on it. :) Now - touch the top of your head with your index finger. Are you doing it? Ok, that is the range of mobility that I will have after physical therapy. I don't kow how long it will take to get there, but I don't care. I can handle that. SO I won't be able to fully raise up my left by my ear - that is why man invented ladders. :) And I do have my right arm....better learn to embrace that one more! I do feel like I am becoming more and more like the bionic woman. That's OK. I will have one heck of a powerful left arm after all of this! And more importantly, it will leave a clear margin, one that would remove that pesky bone tumor. This is still the same cancer, ASPS. This type of cancer does not follow the rules so much remember? No stages, slow growing, not real active, moves where ever it wants through tissue, bone, and blood. And while this has been there for a year, it was very hard for anyone to see what it was going to do until it started coming out of it's shell so to speak.
This is all we know so far. I know that more chemotherapy and another surgery will be in my future because of that little stinker of a tumor that must have been playing hide-and-seek when I had lung surgery in December, but we will cross that bridge when we get there too.
Stay Positive. Sean and I are and we know that everything will work out. We are willing to do what we need to so that we can get to be parents and so I can hang around for another 60 years. Even if it means that I become the Bionic Woman!
Positivity Is Power!