Sunday, April 13, 2014

Recovery part 2

Today I'm feeling almost back to normal. Except for being sore when I move and not being able to get a deep breath to blow my nose, I feel fine.

This morning I got pancakes and a menu to choose the rest of my meals. I'm on a soft diet, but it's better than jello and broth. My colon is still healing so I need to go easy on it for a few weeks. Which means no insoluble fiber. So no whole wheat, bran, sunflower seeds, celery, potato skins, corn, fruit skins, nuts, popcorn.......

I had several visitors this weekend, and I'm so glad they came. It gets boring just sitting there in your room with only basic cable channels and no DVD player.

The doctor came in early in the morning and said that the plan was to send me home Monday, but he wanted me to have a bowel movement first to make sure everything was working properly. I figured this would be what would keep me in the hospital a few extra days. Late afternoon my stomach started doing something it had never done before. I could feel something moving around and I figured it was just gas. About 10 minutes later I had this weird feeling and decided to go to the bathroom. I hope this doesn't mean I'm going to feel it moving through me from now on, but I passed my last requirement so it looks like I should be able to go home tomorrow.

My IV started leaking so the nurse tried a few things to get it to stop, but it seemed like my arm just wasn't going to hold the IV anymore. So I asked if the nurse could just take it out. She looked to see if there was anything else they were going to have to give me by IV, and there wasn't, so she took it out. So now I'm free and don't have to work around the tubes or worry about unplugging the machine in hooked up to when I want to go for a walk or go to the bathroom.

I'm so excited to go home and sleep in my own bed curled up next to Jon and Bolt.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Last night wasn't as bad as the first night. I slept except for when the machines started beeping. No one seems to know why it keeps getting air in the line. I sent Jon home last night so he could get a good nights sleep, but Bolt wouldn't settle down because he was looking for me. I guess he finally curled up and fell asleep, but then woke Jon up at 5:00 to look for me again. He's definitely a mama's boy. Jon has gone out of town and Bolt looked for him for a few minutes and then went to sleep. Why can't he do the same thing when I'm not there? Jon even tried using Face Time to call me in hopes that Bolt would see me and settle down. It didn't work, Bolt didn't understand what Jon was doing with the phone. He did lick the phone though, so I got to see my baby and get a kiss from him. :)

I was starting to get tired of the liquid diet: juice, jello, and broth.
 I wanted to chew something. I wanted real food! I asked when I would be able to eat and they said as soon as I passed gas.
Well I finally did, and boy was I happy!!! I told my nurse and expected real good for lunch. But when lunch came it was jello, broth, and juice again. By this time I was starving and getting cranky. Commercials were killing me because it all looked so good! Pizza, ice cream, steaks, hamburgers, taco knew I was hungry because I'm not a fan of beef.
I asked my nurse if more food was coming and she said it wasn't her that could make the change, it was the doctor. The doctor had come in at 6:00 this morning, so I figured I wouldn't see him again till tomorrow. So I asked her if she knew when the doctor would be in and she went to find out. Turns out she saw him before he left for the evening and talked to him. He said I could start on soft foods at dinner.
I've never been so excited to not see the same thing. This time they gave me Cream of Mushroom soup (just the liquid), tapioca pudding, jello, juice, and milk.
I'm hoping for something better tomorrow, but I think it's gonna be a slow road to get back to eating normal.

Friday, April 11, 2014


I'm going to post the best I can. I'm really tired so this might not make sense. I'll go back and update this or write a new post once I'm feeling like myself again.

I had to be at the hospital to check in on Thursday at 8:15. I got checked in and then taken to a room to change into a hospital gown and wait for my turn.
They had me stay in a bed and wheeled me to pre-op. We met with a nurse, the anesthesiologist, and Dr. Waldron. The surgery would be between 2-3 hours. We asked Dr. Waldron few questions while the anesthesiologist hooked up my IV. He then gave me something to help me start to relax. They wheeled me down the hall, Jon went left, and I went right. I was out by the time we got in the operation room.

2 1/2 hours later I was done and Dr. Waldron went to talk to Jon to tell him how everything went. Everything went great, I was in recovery and he'd see me when I was awake and brought to my room.

It takes forever for me to wake up from anesthesia. I woke up in the recovery room, glanced around the room, and fell back asleep. This happened again and again for an hour, and then one of the nurses started taking with me. She said they'd take me to a room as soon as one was ready. The hospital was remodeling so they were a bit behind. When they finally had a room for me they called Jon to tell him what room I'd be in. She handed me the phone so I could talk to Jon and let him know I was ok.

They wheeled me to my room (I was still trying to stay awake)  and tried to put me in someone else's room when Jon saw me and said I was supposed to be in this other room.

I was trying to stay awake but I kept falling asleep. I told Jon to turn on the tv so he wasn't bored and I was also hoping it would wake me up.
My parents, my sister, and Jon's mom stopped by to see how I was. They didn't stay to long because I couldn't stay awake. Just long enough to hear what the doctor had said.

Jon spent the night with me, sleeping in the not-so-comfortable reclining chair next to my bed. We didn't get much sleep because they kept coming in to check my vitals every few hours. And the bags and things I was hooked up to kept emptying or getting air in them so the machine kept beeping. It was a long night and we were both exhausted. I finally fell asleep around 6:00 in the morning and slept for about an hour and a half.

Breakfast was liquids: jello, juice, and chicken broth. ( So was lunch and dinner, just a different flavor jello and different broth).

Then the physical therapist came to get me out of bed and walking. It really hurt and I was dizzy from laying down for so long. I barely made it half way around my walk when I told them I needed a bucket because I was sick. They sat me down, handed me a bowl and a cold wet cloth, and waited. I eventually felt better and we walked back to my room. I was supposed to get up and walk or at least sit in a chair for 3 hours that day, I had only done 15 minutes.
I kept trying to eat and to sit up so I could go sit in a chair or go on a walk, but every time I did I would throw up. It wasn't until about 6 or 7 that I started keeping jello down, and then I started working on the broth.

I'm finally starting to feel normal again, except for the fact that my stomach hurts and I'm sore.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and sending good thoughts and vibes my way. I know they helped.

I continue to post my progress.
We will get the results of the mass back late next week.


Feel free to come visit me while I'm in the hospital or after I'm home.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Biopsy Results

We've been waiting all weekend for the biopsy results. We were 95% sure that it was colon cancer because both Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Waldron were so sure that it was cancer.

I got a call this morning from Dr. Schmidt, the result: Pre-Cancerous, so NOT CANCER!!!!! :)

This is good because it means that its hasn't spread. If it was cancer I was going to have to have CT Scans to see if it had spread to my liver or lungs. If it had, then I'd have to do chemo for a while to try and shrink it, and then I'd have surgery.

Now there's still a 20% chance that it is cancer. But going from 95% sure to 20% possibly is great!

The reason there's still a chance is that the sample they take for the biopsy is from the surface of the mass in my colon. There's a 20% chance that it is cancerous further down inside the mass. Which is why I still need to have surgery to take it out.

So tomorrow I go in for some blood tests, and then surgery Thursday unless we have problems with changing insurance. Jon is going to call today and get the rest of our questions answered.

I will continue to update and post as we find out more.

Thank you so much for your thoughts and prayers, I know they are why the biopsy results came back as negative.

Colon Cancer

A lot has happened the last 2 weeks. We've gone from normal to I'm having surgery to remove part of my colon. I guess I'll start at the beginning so you can see how we got where we are today.

Tuesday   March 25
I had a horrible sore throat and couldn't figure out why. I thought it might be a cold or sinus infection, but my nose wasn't stuffed. My ears hurt, my throat was on fire, and I ached all over. I took ibuprofen to help with the pain and dealt with it.

Wednesday   March 26
Gave up and went to InstaCare to get a strep test. I was surprised that the test was positive, I haven't had strep since I had my tonsils removed 16 years ago. At the end of the appointment the doctor asked if I had any other questions and I asked if having black stool was a bad thing. I had had black stool for about a week and didn't know why. I now know that getting strep was a blessing because I never would have asked about my stool if I hadn't been there. I would have just ignored it and thought it was something I ate.
The doctor said that black stool was a bad thing, it could mean blood in the stool. She said I needed to have it tested.

Friday March 28
I took in a sample to get it tested. The lab at InstaCare wasn't very helpful. The doctor I had seen for my strep said that it was a quick test that would have results in minutes. The people at the lab said they didn't do anything on site and everything went out to a lab to be tested. Someone came by every few hours to pick up the things needing to be tested and they would be by in 2 hours. They said I should get a call that evening.
I never heard from them.

Sunday March 30
I finally called and asked for the results since it was obvious they weren't going to call me.
The results were positive, there was blood in my stool.
Next step was to set up an appointment with my doctor.

Monday March 31
Called my doctor, Dr. Eberhard, and set up an appointment.

Tuesday April 1
Went in to see Dr. Eberhard. After some discussion he said I needed to get scoped in both ends. I was bleeding in my stomach or in my intestines and we needed to figure out why.

Now here comes more chaos:
Jon was offered a job at the University of Utah. He'll be doing pretty much what he was doing at Johnson Controls. His last day was supposed to be April 11 and then he'd start his new job April 16. We were even planning on taking a short trip between that time. Since our insurance would be changing I asked the doctor if we could rush things because I didn't know if the new insurance covered pre-existing. The doctor had his nurse call and get me an appointment for a colonoscopy the next day.

I never want to have another colonoscopy. The procedure isn't bad, but the stuff you have to drink to clear yourself out is horrible! You have to drink 4 cups the night before and 4 cups four hours before the procedure. It's nasty and tastes like salt water. I was able to get down most of it Tuesday night. I got a few hours of sleep before I woke up because it was working, and then was up every hour for the rest of the night.

Wednesday April 2
I had to wake up early to start drinking it again. I had from 5:30 – 7:30 to drink the last 4 cups, and then I wasn't supposed to eat or drink anything after 7:30. I hadn't been able to eat anything because I was on a liquid diet to prepare for the colonoscopy. I could have clear liquids, broth, and yellow or green jello. Because I hadn't been able to eat anything I was nauseous. By 7:00 I had only gotten a few sips down and I didn't know what to do. I started looking online to see if anyone had any tips on getting the nasty stuff down. I ended up putting ice in it, mixing some Crystal Light white grape in it, and sipping it through a straw. I was able to get 2 cups down by 7:30. I was supposed to stop drinking then, but I figured if I could get the rest down by 7:45 I would be okay. I ended up throwing it all up at 7:40 so there was nothing I could do. They would probably tell me to go home and set up another appointment, which would mean drinking the nasty stuff all over again.

I got lucky in the fact that they didn't make me reschedule, but my luck ended there.
The scope of my throat and stomach showed everything was normal. The colonoscopy found a mass the size of a ping pong ball in the top right corner of my large intestine. Dr. Schmidt said he was pretty sure it was colon cancer. We asked if there was any chance that it was my endometriosis. The doctor said there was a slight chance, but he was pretty sure it was cancer. He said that whatever it was, it needed to come out asap. He connected me with Dr. Jill Waldron who was a colon and rectal surgeon.
Dr. Schmidt had taken a biopsy of the mass and said we should have results Friday afternoon or Monday at the latest.

Friday April 4
We met with Dr. Waldron in the morning. Her nurse kept calling trying to get my results, but never could. The computer systems had been updated in every office we had been to in the last few weeks, which meant they were running behind because there had been problems with the update. The nurse was told that the results had not been transcribed so she couldn't have them. We thought that was ridiculous. We didn't need them to fax or email the results right this moment, all we needed was a yes or no. The results of whether or not it was colon cancer was holding up everything.
If it was cancer, then I need to get CT scans to see if it has spread to my liver and lungs. If it has spread then we'll do chemotherapy for a bit before surgery. If it hasn't spread then we'll go straight to surgery. We need the results so we can set up the CT scans.

Right now the plan is:
Monday – get the results that it is cancer
Tuesday – get some more blood tests and the CT scan
Thursday – Surgery

We're pretty sure it's cancer because Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Waldron both say it is. We asked why they were so sure it was cancer and not endometriosis or something else. Dr. Waldron says it's like reading a book by it's cover. They've seen enough over the years that they know what the cancerous masses look like. So it looks like I have colon cancer.

Right now we're trying to decide whether to do the surgery next week or wait until after Easter. Dr. Waldron will be out of town for Easter so we'd be working around her schedule. The other thing to consider is Jon switching jobs. Let's say I have surgery next week, I will have to stay at the hospital for 4-7 days, and then let's throw in the chance that something goes wrong and they have to do surgery again to fix something. We'll hit the deductible with one insurance and then we'll be switching to the other. We don't want to have to hit the deductible twice, or have to pay for everything with the new insurance. So it would be a good idea to just wait until Jon starts his new job. (We're still trying to figure out all the details with the insurance, but we should have all our questions answered by Monday).
Dr. Waldron said we're okay to wait a little bit to do the surgery, like a few weeks, not a few months. Even if the results come back as negative, the mass will eventually turn into cancer so it has to come out. Also, if the biopsy comes back as negative, there's still a 20% chance that it is cancer because the sample for the biopsy is taken from the surface of the mass, it could be cancer at the center of the mass.

So that's where we are now. We're doing okay, just trying to stay positive and not think about it to much. I'm in high spirits. I'm doing what I've done in the past when life gets tough. There's nothing you can do about it, worrying or stressing about it won't do any good. So just laugh and smile and keep going. I know I should be panicking and crying, but I'm not. I get teary eyed every once in a while, and I get nervous sometimes, but it passes. I don't know if it's Heavenly Father comforting me to let me know that everything will be okay, but I'm not worried. I know Heavenly Father is watching over me. I haven't had strep throat in 16 years, if I hadn't gotten sick I never would have asked about my black stool and never would have found out that I had a mass in my colon. So getting sick was a blessing.
I've seen miracles in my family and friends lives during my life. I know prayer is a powerful thing. As soon as we have a surgery day set, I'd like to ask my family and friends to join me in Fasting the day before surgery and praying that they get all the cancer, that the surgery and recovery will go well and with no complications.

Thank you for all your love and support. I'm gotten so many messages through texting and on Facebook and it means so much to me. 
We will keep you updated as we find out more and get things set up.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Home Owners!!!

We're officially home owners!!! We bought a condo in Taylorsville and moved in on July 16 (which also happened to be Jon's birthday).

Here's a bit about our place:

-2500 square feet

-3 levels

-4 bed, 2 and a quarter bath

-mostly finished basement

-Furnace, water heater, and air conditioner are all original. How they lasted 28 years, I don't know. But we'll have to replace them soon.

The main floor has a bedroom, quarter bathroom/laundry, kitchen, formal dinning area, and the living room. Upstairs is the master bedroom with a walk in closet, and the master bath has a tub and shower. Down the hall is another bedroom and a full bathroom. In the basement is the forth bedroom and the family room. The part that's unfinished is framed for another bed room, and there's rough-ins for a bathroom.

The previous owners had some very interesting color choices. The master bedroom is the "Green Bay Packers" room with dark green and bright yellow-gold walls. The other upstairs bedroom is the "Patriotic" room with red, white, and blue walls. The kitchen is an interesting pink or tan color depending on the light. And the old country cottage looking cupboards have got to go. And then there's the bathrooms, you've gotta give them points for trying, but they didn't do a good job. One was a creamy yellow color with brown sponged on. And the master bath is similar in color put instead of using a sponge they used a rag to brush on the other color.

Well in the 3 weeks that we've lived here we've found things wrong with the house and had some issues, let me take you through our last few weeks.......

Friday July 15, the day before the move -

Jon and I slept in till almost noon because we had gone to see the final Harry Potter movie at midnight. After we finally got up we packed everything we could until about 11:00 pm and then went to bed.

Saturday July 16, moving day -

We got up at 7:00 so we could be at the new place by 8:00 for Comcast to come and install everything. While taking the multiple trips from the apartment to the car we had Bolt on a leash so he didn't run away. At one point he jumped in the car while we were loading the TV and he refused to get out. Poor little guy, he was getting really nervous because he didn't know what was going on.

Jon's sister Diane and I had gone to the condo the night before to decorate for Jon's birthday. So he got a surprise of balloons and streamers when we walked in. Well I headed back to the apartment with Bolt to finish packing, and to tell everyone that was helping us move what was ready to take to the new place. Poor Bolt kept getting more and more frantic, he started to whine when we had to tie him up so he couldn't run out the door. And when he was off his leash he would either go lay on the pile of flat boxes or actually jump in a box that had some blankets in it and refuse to get out. It's like he was saying if the box was going, so was he.

Well we finally got everything moved out and we spent the rest of the day and most of Sunday unpacking and finding places to put things.

Bolt has since settled down, it took him a few days to realize that this was our new home and that he wasn't getting left behind.

July 17-23 -

We discover that 3 of the 8 lights in the family room don't work. We thought the light bulbs had just burned out, nope, we have to get a ladder and investigate above the cans. (Put on the to-do list).

Garbage disposal sounds weird, better check that out too.

Oh, and of course the water heater sounds like it's 28 years old, wonder how long that will last?

Friday July 22 -

I started painting the hideous bathroom/laundry room. We decided to go cheap and just paint it white. It's better than the sponged brown.

I was able to get a second coat on most of the room before I ran out of paint. We'll have to buy more so I can finish it next weekend.

Monday July 25 -

Jon broke the tip of his finger at work.

Tuesday July 26 -

Utah gets hit with rain. And I don't mean a little bit, I'm talking cats and dogs, cloud bursts, monsoons, streets turned into canals, basements flooded....

Speaking of basements flooding, we came home on Tuesday to find the carpet drenched in the basement. As bad as that it, let's add to the fact that it was the one room in the house that was actually set up completely.

So what happened was that our rain gutter was full, it over flowed and washed away the dirt that had been built up as a slope away from the windo seal. The slope now wend toward the window seal, which built up and then leaked into the basement. Since no one is aloud on the roof, we weren't the only ones that came home to wet basements. So far we've heard of 2 other condos that had the same problem. We later were able to find out that the rain gutters should have been cleaned out last Fall, but the snow came early so they weren't able to. Uhh...last I checked Fall came before December.

Wednesday July 27 -

We realize that the floor is a lot wetter than we thought it was and we end up having to move everything out of the family room that we had just set up the night before, and pull up the carpet. We borrow 2 gigantic fans and have them blowing for days.

Friday July 29 -

I finished painting the bathroom so now we can put in the used washer we got from family.

Sunday July 31 -

Jon finds out that not all garbage disposals are created equally. At least that's what I say, Jon says that it's old and would have been fine with a bunch of potato peels if it had been new.

Also we went and cleaned our old apartment since it was the last day of the month and we weren't able to clean it theday before. When we were about 5 minutes away from being done it started to pour. So we had to drop everything, run out to the car, drive the 10 minutes home, and run into the house to see if the basement was flooding again. The basement was ok for the moment, but we had to do something about the rain gutters. So we went out on the deck that's attached to the the master bedroom and take a broom handle to push out all the leaves.

Friday August 5 -

Our dryer that we bought a week ago finally arrived! I can do laundry without leaving the house!

Our projects:

-Paint the master bedroom

-Paint the "Patriotic" bedroom

-Remodel the kitchen (someday)

-Remodel the master bath (someday)

-Paint upstairs bathroom

-Pick a color for the bathroom/laundry room

-Set up the office/craft room (and possibly paint it)

-Figure out what's wrong with the lights in the family room and fix them

-Get Jon a work bench in the garage

So we're pretty much loving have a place of our own (minus the flooding, of course). It's so nice to have back the things you take for granite... dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer, dryer, and central air. Now if we can just get some painting done the place will look good enough to invite people over.

Monday, March 7, 2011


We have a new member of the family. His name is Bolt. We got him from the Humane Society on Saturday. He's a chihuahua schipperke mix. He's about 18 months old an full of energy. He came to the Humane Society on January 25, and before that he was in California in the Jason Debus Heigl Foundation which was founded by the actress Katherine Heigl and her mother in honor of her brother.

We've come to the conclusion that he's deaf. I took Bolt to get his shots at the Humane Society vet and they said there's a good chance that he's deaf. Then I went Petsmart to get a name tag, some toys specifically for chewing, and those stick treat things. The vet there agreed that he's probably deaf. So I guess the next step is to get him trained. The Humane Society gave me the name and number of a great trainer that also trains deaf dogs. So we'll see how that works.

He loves to chew. He's destroying the stuffed animal toys we got for him, and today he destroyed a tennis ball. Luckily he hasn't gotten a hold of anything that he's not allowed to chew, yet.

We found out today that he can jump over the baby gate that keeps him in the kitchen. After getting back from the vet I put him in the kitchen and we went to do our laundry. When we got back he was asleep on the couch. So much for buying the highest gate they had at the pet store.

So the adventures of Bolt begins, wonder what will happen next...