Holding Space

With Shelly Vaughn

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A few random things:

I’m still waiting to hear from the radiation oncologist to set up my radiation schedule. I’m not looking forward to it, but I’m also anxious to get it over with.

I’m back to work full time; and so thankful that I work with amazing people who have made the transition as good as it can be.

This picture shows how happy I am to have my port out!! My arm is still just a little swollen and tender, but it’ll feel so good once it’s back to normal.

It’s been really nice outside so I’ve been soaking in the beautiful weather, knowing it won’t last much longer. If you’re reading this and it’s nice where you are- you should really get outside and enjoy it. Even just a walk around the block will be worth it. If you’re healthy enough to go do something- do it! 

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Deportation Day

“Deportation Day”- it happened today and the port is OUT! I’m so happy that it’s out… and that they let me keep it! If you look at the picture- the purple part was in my arm where they injected needles for every chemo treatment (and any other time I would’ve otherwise needed an IV.) The white part is the catheter that was thread through my vein- up and around my arm then the tip rested next to my heart. The numbness from the procedure is wearing off and my arm is pretty painful so I’m done for the night. Thanks for sharing in my excitement to get this out today. 


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No More Port!

Great news- I am getting my port taken out on Friday!! This Friday! Two days from now!! I’m so excited (if you can’t tell). I had an appointment scheduled for later in the month, but they called today to bump it up earlier. I know that treatment really isn’t done until radiation. But this port was so symbolic of the beginning of treatment… and the removal of it is symbolic that the end is near. That thing was my lifeline- I hate it and I love it all at once. I’m so glad to get it out of my body. OUT!! GONE!! Along with the cancer!
(Oh- and my return to work went well today. I had an appointment in the morning so it was a shorter day than usual. It was a nice way to ease back into things. And it was really great seeing my co-workers. Seeing them meant getting hugs from friends- which was actually really energizing and uplifting. I am thankful.)

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Good Day

Today was a really good day. It’s the first day that felt good since my diagnosis 2 weeks ago. Though I didn’t sleep much last night, I was excited to wake up this morning. I started with an early morning haircut- with a great friend who got hers cut short, too. Then headed to meet a special group of friends for brunch. It felt so comforting to be surrounded by friends and be able to laugh and enjoy their company. Then we just hung out at home with the girls doing regular Saturday things- coloring with Liana, watching Olivia do her cartwheels and dances. The girls had a friend’s sleepover tonight so Rob and I had a nice evening of dinner and a movie (both with coupons which made it even sweeter). I needed a day like today- no medical procedures, not much pain or discomfort from my port anymore, and a true feeling of contentment that I’ve been missing. I’m sure it’s fleeting, but I’ll enjoy it while it’s here.

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January 30 Update

Thank you all for the messages and prayers today. It was long, but good. The port placement was actually really cool. Painful, but neat to watch them doing it (it was just a local anesthetic). The surgeon even turned the monitors toward me so I could see them better and watch what he was doing. They also had a nurse there to hold my hand and scratch my face if anything was itchy during the procedure! It was a really great surgical team. Then I had my chemo teaching… so i know what to expect for treatment. I’ll list the schedule below so that if you’re not interested in details you don’t have to read the whole post. 😉 Last was the biopsy of some lymph nodes- on the side opposite of the port placement. So I’m sitting at home with ice packs on both arms trying to relax. My mom and Rob were both there to help with everything today.
Best story of today- I was laying on the bed while the nurse was prepping me for the biopsy. I happened to look over at the pocket of her scrub top that had a small label on it. Guess what that brand label said- “Liana”. No joke! Who knew that was a brand of scrubs?! It was not a coincidence, i know that. It reminded me of why I have to be ok with this (and thankful it’s me going through it and not one of my children.) Like my friend Megan reminded me this morning- every step I take forward is one closer to putting cancer behind me. It helped me feel much more relaxed going into everything today, anxious but eager to take each step. Sorry that I don’t have time to write thanks and replies to everyone, but know that I’m reading and cherishing every message and card I’ve received. I feel so loved.
Chemo schedule:
I will start next Thursday 2/9. I’ll be given a combination of 2 drugs every other week for 2 months. I think they said around week 2 is when I’ll lose my hair. (at least i won’t have to shave my legs!) There are a ton of potential side effects- we’ll see which ones my body responds with. (ugh… none of them are much fun.)
After those 2 months, I’ll start a different drug weekly for 3 months. It’s not as hard on the system and shouldn’t have as many side effects. So after 5 months I should be done with the drugs and wait a few weeks after that to plan for surgery. That is determined by my lab results from genetic testing and how much the cancer shrinks with chemo.
This week: EKG on Thursday morning for a baseline. (chemo can have some negative affects on the heart) and MRI on my liver on Friday evening (not a concern, just ruling out a probable benign cyst that is common for women “my age”– I still haven’t figured out if that means I’m young or old).

Love and hugs to you all! 🙂

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” (This was going through my mind all day.)