Fight like a girl

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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Top 5 must have homeschool items

With this school year creeping up really fast I though I would start blogging about homeschooling again.   So here it goes.......

My Top 5 MUST HAVE homeschool items:
(they are not what you think)

#5   Storage (baskets, drawers, canister, etc.)

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You can never have too much storage.  If I have extra bins/baskets left over, I store them.  Through out the school year we accumulate things and I need a place for them.

#4   Flashcards

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Yep.  Flashcards.  Anything they need to memorize, put it on a flashcard.  I use index cards.  You can buy them in several different colors.  They are great on the go!

#3   Interactive Games

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My son has an HP and there are so many great learning games on there like Sudoku, hangman, etc.  Even the race car games, crossy roads game or the parking games are pretty cool.  I'm not a fan of 'busy work' for the kids.  This is a great alternative.  It helps with eye and hand coordination and great exercise for the brain.

#2   Internet

Internet is a must in my home when it comes to homeschool.  There are so many FREE printable worksheets and helps, it's unreal.  I also use a web site called
to put together my own homeschool planner.

#1   Sleep
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Yep, I said it....sleep.  
My children and I must have a good amount of sleep for a successful homeschool day!  The saying is true in our home that 'if Momma 'aint happy, no body's happy'.  I need my sleep and so do my children.  We are late sleepers compared to many. We don't get up until 8:30am, sometimes 9:00am.  We stay up later as well, but this works for our family.  Whether you are an early riser family or late sleeper, you need to make sure your family gets the correct amount of sleep even if it means taking a nap during the day!

Feel free to leave any comments on what your top 5 homeschool items are!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Oncologist visit post op surgery

So I made it!  Back to the Oncologist after surgery visit.  Things went well and learned something new.  I'm not out of the chemo. woods yet.  
I was cheery, and positive in my thinking that no chemo. would be needed but apparently cancerous tumors create genes while inside our bodies.  I say this next part half jokingly- Please don't judge me.  I knew nothing about cancer until I was diagnosed and I am FAR from any expert for sure!  But I really would like to know where in the world I was when this information was first told to me.  ????   Seriously.  Was I in lala land?  For those that have been in this situation (with cancer), there is so much information given to you at these appointments that it is nearly impossible to remember all of it. So somewhere along the line, my husband and myself, missed that memo about tumors creating genes.  

Anyway, as you know my BRCA1 & BRCA2 tests both came back negative.  So when the Oncologist was talking about 'genes', I associated that with the BRCA's.  After correcting me and explaining this to me, he goes on further to tell me that "we only get one chance at beating this cancer".  Um, ok.  I thought I was beating it.  But apparently these genes stay inside my body after the cancer is removed.  So here I am again, thinking I am out of the chemo. woods on my way to the radiation trail to open fields.  No, I'm not......not yet.

So he ordered something called an Oncotype test.  This test will determine how much the risk of recurrence of this breast cancer.  I read a brochure about this and I was very impressed that our technology has come this far.  (Again, please don't judge.  I really haven't lived on a deserted island somewhere.)  For more info. on this test, click the link below.

The Oncotype test will result in a score.  A low number would mean that chemo. wouldn't benefit due to a low recurrence.  A high number would mean that chemo. would benefit due to high recurrence percentage.  An intermediate would mean the doctor and I must decide if the side effects from the chemo. would out weigh the benefits.  Sigh.  

I am glad that my doctor ordered this test.  He wouldn't have ordered if I said NO chemo. for sure, but what good is going to a doctor if you don't take his advice or take advantage of this research and testing/technology?  I know sometimes doctors don't know what is best.  Trust me, I am one of those who don't go to a doctor or take medicine unless I absolutely need to!  I don't even like taking Tylenol for a headache for goodness sake. However, I DO believe that God gives these men and women wisdom to fight and help cancer patients.  I DO trust God in giving me a clear number from this test.  I DO trust that God will give me a clear treatment plan.  I DO believe that I will know EXACTLY how to go about fighting this terrible diagnosis and I DO trust that God will give MY doctor the wisdom he needs to suggest a treatment plan.  

One other thing is that due to my larger than calculated tumor size, I am now Stage IIa.  Go figure.

Though out this cancer process, I have heard several things such as:  'do natural things, not chemo.' or 'people get cancer because they have sinned'.  Yes, it's true..... I've heard it.  Some people are trying to help with suggestions of natural remedies while others are just spreading the lies from satan himself.  So take the good and throw away the bad.

I hope that blogging this information helps others who are going through this or those who are walking with a loved one through this.  I'm not fond of my cancer story being an open book but I feel the need to share. I have some pretty special ladies in my life who have shared with me and if it wasn't for them I would have never been prepared for all these steps and trials.  I believe God plants 'angels' in our lives to keep our spirits up, give us help, give us hope and to remember to trust in him.  

My next blog will probably be my treatment plan but I would really like to get back into my homeschool blogging with this new homeschool year creeping up so fast.  My middle son has now graduated homeschool and will be off to OVU in one month!  I only have one son (7'th grade) this next school year.  I am looking forward to our time together.

God Bless!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pathology report is in .....

My nurse called today and the good news is ................... NO cancer found in ANY of the lymph nodes that they removed!  Also, NO cancer found in the margin where they removed the tumor!  That means no more surgery and possibly no chemo.! The not-so great news is that the tumor size was thought to be a 1.5 cm, but it was actually 2.1 cm.  That shoots me up to a T2 grade.  The T grades are:  T1 = 0.1 - 2.0   T2= 2.1 - 5cm.  So I am just a smidge into the T2 grade, in my opinion.  

I am really praying that the Oncologist, whom I see next week, doesn't leave the Chemo. decision up to me.  Who chooses to do Chemo right?  Well, I have been told by a very wise woman who has been through this that I need to do what they recommend.  I don't want that decision up to me.  Is that wrong?  I am not a good one to make decisions anyway.  I have a hard time and often second guess myself.  I am going to pray, of course, for wisdom from the Lord to help me in the decision making part.  Honestly, I don't think chemo. would be recommended with the BRCA 1 & BRCA 2 being negative, no cancer in the lymph nodes and no cancer in the margin or found anywhere else.   But the Oncologist takes all kinds of things into consideration such as: my age, % of recurrence, tumor grade, cancer stage, my health, etc.  So I'll know more next week but for now I will REJOICE!

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Monday, July 6, 2015

Surgery Day!

Surgery day is here and as you can see I'm all pumped up ready for surgery.  Ready for my 'on-hold life' to get back on track and this all behind me.  

My mom came with and of course my hubby.  Had our dear friends (pastor and his wife) come up to see me and another dear friend whom I've known for about 21 years.  I've had a lot of prayers on social media.......I am very blessed.

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Surgery went just fine.  The Lumpectomy (partial Mastectomy / breast conservation) & the Lymph Node removal (Axillary Lymph Node Dissection) went really good.  The hospital staff were awesome!  

Something that was a little different than the other surgeries (different hospitals) I've had was that they gave you the 'knock out' med in your IV before they wheeled me back to the OR.  If the past, I have been wheeled into the OR first, then given the med. The med worked very fast and I was out before I even made it into the hallway to the OR.  I like it that way.  I didn't have a chance to get worked up.  :)

Here I am back at home, same day.  Surprisingly a little sore but very little pain.  I was given some pain meds in my IV before I left the hospital and of course got the prescription pain med filled before coming home.   

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But one thing about me is that I HATE to take pain killers.  I was in an auto accident about 5 years ago and was on a popular pain med for 2 weeks.  I had extreme withdraw symptoms for 2 full days after cutting this med out.  I had the jerking, restless legs and arms, shaking, etc.  It was awful! So I don't take them unless I cannot bear the pain.  So even after the IV pain meds wore off, I just had to use Ibuprofen (occasional Tylenol) for the pain just for a few days.  AMEN!  Also, ice packs are my friend.  

The only main issue I have had since the surgery is constipation.  I've tried all kinds of over the counter things, but I found that the combination of Mira-lax, suppositories, and then one Correctol (female laxative) before bed finally got my system moving 3 days after surgery.

I have 2 different incision sites.  One where the doctor removed the cancerous tumor, the other where she removed the lymph nodes. Both are sore, but look very good!  They are clean, healthy with mild bruising around the sites.  

The hospital put me into a surgical bra to come home in. I left this on until I took a shower the 2'nd day home.  I also removed the bandage the 2'nd day after surgery when I took a shower (doctors instructions).  I have been wearing a stretchy bra called the 'genie bra'.  The pads can be removed for a very comfortable, relaxed fit.  For those that have to have this kind of surgery, this bra is very inexpensive at Dollar General.  They also have one that is not named the genie bra, but it is the same bra.  

So all in all the surgery went great.  I should know by the end of this week what pathology found from the tissue taken at surgery.  If more than 2 lymph nodes have cancer, then I'll have to have another surgery to remove the remaining lymph nodes, then have chemo.  If less than 2 (a few) have cancer, then I'll just have to have chemo. and radiation.  If NO cancer is found, then just radiation. No matter what the outcome is, I will be ready.  God still has my back.