Monday, August 24, 2009

Three Times... not a charm. Yes, I did it again, and this time it was my fault. Thurday, I was driving the rental car home from the hospital, and as I was turning into my very own cul de sac, I got distracted and began watching what was going on in our yard. I hit a Cadillac Deville that was coming the other way. Thankfully the elderly gentleman who was driving maneuvered almost completely out of my way, and we got away with just scratched paint on each of our cars. But I sure felt stupid. He was pretty mad at first (and I guess I don't blame him - I was mad at myself), but when I started crying, he calmed right down and apologized repeatedly for not being quick enough to get out of my way. Now that's backwards.

We had a damage waiver on our rental vehicle, so the insurance stuff, again, is going smoothly. If I mail in my fine, it will be reduced by quite a bit and the points on my license will be reduced from three to one. There are so many traffic violations in a city this size, they pay you not to come to court. Where I grew up, you could only get your fine reduce if you showed up for your court case.

The next day was my last radiation treatment! We loaded up the whole family, and while I held my breath and used the assistant brake pedal on my side way too much, we drove down I-25 one last time (at least the last time for about a month). The nuns have a graduation ceremony for each patient on the last day of treatment. I'll try to post pictures later. They provided me with a cap and gown and had me march around the waiting room while Sister Marie played Pomp and Circumstance on her tape player. I even got a diploma. Then Sister Marie told me I had better not ever come back, except for check-ups. I wonder if she has a fine for violating that rule? They did give me one last rule. Check-up appointments must be made for the morning hours when they will be in the waiting room.

I move on to five years of hormone therapy now. I'll be taking a daily Tamoxifen pill. That will reduce my chances of a reoccurance another few percentage points. After the surgery, my reoccurance chance was about 70%. Now, with the radiation, chemo and hormone therapy, my reoccurance risk is about 40% over the next ten years, so it's come down quite a bit, although its still high. We will certainly appreciate your thoughts and prayers.

I'll continue to post - probably about as often as I have been. Our lives will be full of happenings. It couldn't be otherwise with seven growing children and at least one accident prone adult. I plan to post a series of pictures of Gilead from his birth till now so you all can enjoy his progress with us.

Friday, August 7, 2009


We were almost home from Dr. Roland’s funeral when a lady ran a red light in front of us, and we slammed into her SUV with our much larger Suburban. I remember thinking, right before we hit her, that we would kill whoever was sitting on that side of her car. Thankfully, no one was. Although the accident happened in a busy intersection, and her car spun quite wildly, no other cars were involved, and no one was injured seriously. Five of our family were in our car, but no one even got a bruise. In fact, Gilead slept through the whole thing. But our Suburban was totaled, so we’re in the market for another vehicle. Everything with the insurance companies is going smoothly since there was no question about whose fault the accident was. My kids are still enjoying telling how scared they were and exaggerating the details. Gilead must be intended for a long, healthy life. What other 12-week-old has been in two potentially deadly car accidents, survived chemotherapy, and been through all the other things his little baby self has already endured?

The other car looked much worse than ours...lots of broken glass and crunched metal

We went to Dr. Roland’s funeral on Wednesday. I’ve never really thought of funerals as encouraging before, but this one was. It was held at Red Rocks Baptist Church (formerly South Sheridan Baptist) where the Rolands have been members for many years. The church was completely full of hundreds of people who have been touched by Dr. Roland’s life. Most of his nine children spoke briefly, and what they said about their father challenged us to leave such a love for God with our children also. One thing his children remember him saying was this: “Only two things in life will last forever – people’s souls and God’s Word, so invest in those.”


When my radiation treatment was finished on Tuesday, and I went back to the waiting room to hang up my name tag and say good bye to Sister Owen and Sister Marie, I had quite a surprise. Jon and all of the children had sneaked in and were waiting with a cake and some gifts to celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Everyone in the waiting room sang “Happy Anniversary” to us, and the sisters sang us a lengthy medley of songs asking God’s blessing. It was a special treat and such a sweet surprise. All of us who have radiation around the same time each day get to know one another’s families, so I enjoyed sharing our little celebration with our waiting-room friends.

I learned that at least three of the children had kept this a complete secret for several days. Not even the slightest hint of what was coming. I was one impressed mommy.