Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Long Story-Part 3

Several hours later, I got a call from my mother’s gynecologist. He had left the operating room but the surgery was still going on. The oncologists were still at work.

Dr. Brucks explained that things did not look good. Cancer was found on the uterus, ovaries, bladder, and stomach lining. She had a long road. There was most certainly chemo and radiation in her near future. I asked him how much longer the surgery would take. He did not know. I asked, “How will she know that she has cancer?” He told me not to tell her anything when she got out of surgery but that he or his partner would come to her in the morning and explain what they had found. I was left clouded not knowing who to call or what to do. There were no tears, yet. This was the beginning of a journey, not the end. I called my pregnant sister in Atlanta who immediately made arrangements to come to Dallas that night. Then, in a haze, went to the waiting room to tell the others.

The surgery seemed to last forever. I kept asking the nurse at the desk in the waiting room when she would be done. I got very little help. Around 6 p.m., a nurse called to say that the surgery was over and they were taking her to recovery. We were not allowed to see her yet. We had to wait until she got to her room. (We were left to continue waiting in the now empty, cold, stark white waiting area because a room in the women’s center had not yet been assigned.)

The oncologist came to talk to me after the surgery. I had gone to the cafeteria to get a soda so when he called my name, I was not there. My grandfather and uncle went to the little consultation room with the doctor. When I arrived back in the waiting area to find that the doctor had come, I was furious. I had been sitting there for hours. How dare he talk to anyone but me!

I knocked on every consultation door looking for them. I had been the one with her. I had been the one waiting all these hours. I was going to see that doctor and talk with him face-to-face. Unfortunately, he was pretty much done with his explanation by the time I found him. He was not willing to go over it again and told me that my grandfather and uncle could fill me in. Turns out, it didn’t matter. He didn’t know enough without pathology reports to give us specifics.

There is still more...

Friday, August 29, 2008

A Long Story-Part 2

The oncologist came in to examine my mother after what seemed liked hours of waiting. It didn’t take her long to tell us that my mother’s symptoms had not come on like cancer. Her examination did not reveal anything that looked like cancer and her assessment was that my mother probably did not have cancer. Sweet assurance. She went on to explain that the oncology team would be “on-call” during my mother’s surgery the next day, but that they would only come in if cancer was spotted after surgery had begun.

Thursday morning came quickly. I had not spent Wednesday night at the hospital, but at a friends’ house with Adam & Olivia. A frantic call from my mother awakened me on Thursday morning. They were coming to get her and she did not want to go down to surgery alone. Luckily, out of breath, unshowered and sweaty, I made it to her room before they took her to pre-op. Her nerves had gotten the best of her and she was back to asking me if I thought that she had cancer. I confidently told her “no!”

A very kind nurse came in to explain that she would be by my mother’s side during the entire surgery. She would call me from the operating room when the surgery had started and then several times throughout the procedure. She said that I could expect the surgery to last between 2 and 3 hours and that she would be in recovery for about 2 hours afterwards. The surgery would begin around 1 p.m. and she would be back in her assigned room (this time in the women’s center) by 5 or 6 p.m.

At 12:45 p.m. I gave her a quick hug and the nurses rolled the bed out of the pre-op area. I was directed to the waiting area where I found my grandfather and his wife waiting. We decided to go to the hospital cafeteria to eat. The cafeteria at Baylor is in the basement so cell phone reception is not very clear. Around 1:45 p.m., as my grandparents and I were walking back to the waiting room, I realized that I had already missed a call. I was certain that it was just the nurse telling me that the surgery had begun. It was, but she said that the oncology team had already been called to the operating room. Funny thing… it still didn’t hit me that she had cancer. My world was still okay.

To Be Continued...


Things here remain stable. They are moving my mom to some type of hospice care and today we are trying to make decisions. So many decisions...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A Long Story-Part 1

***I mentioned several months ago that I was preparing a "cancerversary" story about my mother's ovarian carcinosarcoma cancer battle. I never posted it, but most of it was written. I have realized that the story is very long and it's not even complete yet. I am going to post what I have written so far in stages. Maybe one day I will finish the story, but in the meantime I am hoping that someone searching for comfort will come upon it and find it helpful.

The Beginning...Aug 2, 2007

One year was on Aug 2, 2008

It has been one year today.

It has been one year since I walked next to the gurney that carried my mother down to pre-op for her pending hysterectomy.

It had all started a few days before. My mother was in the process of redecorating her bedroom when she started having severe pain in her abdomen and running a low grade fever. She called her doctor who immediately had her come in for some testing. Several doctor visits later, the consensus was that she needed to have a full hysterectomy.

When she called to tell me about the surgery I couldn’t decide whether to take the time off to go be with her in the hospital or wait until she got home to help her around the house. After all, the nurses and doctors would care for her in the hospital. In the end, something told me to go.

The surgery was scheduled for Wednesday in the early afternoon. Adam, Olivia and I rushed to Dallas on Wednesday morning trying to make it to the hospital before she went into surgery. When we got to the hospital, I had Adam drop me off at the front door and I ran as quickly as I could up to her room. The hospital was full and so they had assigned her to the geriatric ward. The halls smelled of urine and hospital food and there was a constant low howling sound coming from one of the patients rooms.

I found her in her room, surrounded by friends. She didn’t look like a lady about to go into surgery. I soon discovered the surgery had been postponed. The doctors wanted her to visit one other specialist before they operated. The surgery would take place on Thursday morning.

When the commotion died down and the friends had all gone home, my mother explained that the surgery had been postponed because they wanted her to see an oncologist before the surgery. I wasn’t surprised, but didn’t think that she had cancer. The doctors were most certainly crossing all their T’s and dotting all of their I’s. What I really thought was that she had been working too hard pulling wall paper down in her bedroom, painting walls and moving furniture. I was sure this was all related to the pulling, stretching and lifting that her petite body was just not used too. Around 3 p.m. a transport tech arrived in my mom’s hospital room with a wheel chair to take her to the oncologist’s office across the sky bridge from where we were. I walked behind the wheel chair and sat with her as with shaky hands, she completed the paperwork required of her at the oncology center. She asked me several times, hoping for a thread of reassurance, if I thought she had cancer. I confidently told her that she did not have cancer. I believed with all my heart that I was telling the truth.

To be continued....

Another Day to be Thankful

Last night I laid in bed thinking of all the things that I wanted to say here today, but now that I am sitting in front of the has all escaped me. My mother is still hanging on. Things are slowly progressing and I am thankful for the "slow" part. It is hard to watch, but at the same time, I am so grateful for every conversation and every little laugh. (And we have had a few...)

We had a relaxation therapist that came to visit and ended up tipping my mom's bed almost completely backwards and locking it in that position. It was not funny at the time since my mother has 2 growing tumors in her belly, but we continue to laugh about it now. Once my mom was rescued, the therapist wanted to continue her "relaxation" session...Go figure!

There was the lay visitor from the church that could not hear and walked into a wall...literally!

Adam, Elissa, and I got stuck in a hospital elevator with 7 other people for over 10 minutes. Then we got out and immediately got stuck in another elevator. (I know, why take the elevator again? We were on the 15th floor!)

It has been one thing after another. Some funny, some sad, some bittersweet, but all worth it!

I appreciate the continued prayers, good wishes, phone calls, e-mails, text messages etc...I am sorry that I have not returned calls and text messages. I don't think that I have ever been so tired. Between spending nights at the hospital, being pregnant, and being emotionally gets hard! Please know that I am so grateful to ALL of you and will never forget this outpouring of support and love.

Until later...

All My Love!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Nothing to Say...

Nothing to report, but I am still here in Dallas. I appreciate all of the love and support.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Thank You

I just wanted to say "thank you" to everyone who has called or e-mailed in regards to my last post. I really appreciate all of the love and support. You have no idea how much it means to me and to all of us. I will keep everyone posted through the blog as much as possible.

All My Love...


My sister has done a better job of updating her blog about our current situation. Please feel free to read it by clicking on the link from my page. "The Lindsey's"

"I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ." -Philippians 1:6

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A Recent Turn of Events

Due to a recent turn of events, Adam, Olivia, and I have been in Dallas and do not have a scheduled return date yet. Though the circumstances surrounding our stay are extremely unfortunate, we do have a bit of good news to share.

Thanks to a very kind doctor who went out of his way to do us a special favor, we have found out the gender of "baby brudder."

Please continue to pray for my mother as she battles ovarian cancer. Please pray for Olivia's baby sister that she may continue to grow and arrive healthy in January.

...say to those with fearful hearts, "Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you."
-Isaiah 35:4

Monday, August 11, 2008

5:51 a.m.

It is really 5:51 a.m. on Monday morning. Olivia is not feeling well. Adam is out of town and it has been a long weekend. My poor little girl has had a high fever and is terribly congested. Unfortunately, congestion makes her vomit. It has been fun! She is finally sleeping bed next to me, ofcourse!

We are off to Dallas later for work, Olivia for family time. The good news is that she is on medication and won't be contagious (per the doctor) by the time we reach DFW.

I figured I was way overdue for a blog check-in. Now I am off to try and get at least a few more minutes of rest before our day really gets going!

P.S. To any neighbors that might be reading this...I am sorry that my dog is such a jerk and is barking his head off at 6 a.m.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Last night Olivia, Adam, and I were watching my new favorite show,

Tori & Dean Home Sweet Hollywood!

Olivia was playing on her little V-tech computer and Adam was helping her. After he assisted her in successfully winning her math game, she gave him a nice pat on the head and said "Thank you schweetie!"

Adam and I do not call each other "sweetie" or call Olivia by that nickname. She must have heard it from someone at school. It was so funny!!! After we laughed, she began petting both of us over and over again and calling us "schweetie!"