Our Sweet Sarah Beth

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Darling Little Debbie

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Monday, January 31, 2011

A Little Reminder

Meredith and Vic arrived safely in El Paso and are making the drive home. Meredith said she mentioned to God on the plane that she could use a little sign that He was still with her. Once the plane landed, a girl sitting in front of them turned around and admitted that she had overheard them talking and asked for their names. She told them that her boyfriend's father was a melanoma survivor, and she wanted to pray for them.

Thank God for small reminders.

Update on Meredith

Biopsy results will not be available until tomorrow. Her CT scan showed a spot of something on her liver, but the doctor did not know what it was. She will have to have an MRI to determine exactly what it is.

She and Vic are headed home for now, and the doctor should call tomorrow with lymph node and tissue biopsy results. The most important thing for now seems to be that the tissue and especially the lymph node is clear of cancer. Please continue to pray that way.

She will have an MRI in Midland sometime this week to get a closer look at her liver and determine what that spot could be.

Thank you for continuing to pray!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Initial Lymph Node Report

Meredith is awake but groggy and in pain, of course. She will get to leave the hospital today, which is great. She will have Vic plus both of his parents (a doctor and a nurse!) to take care of her over the weekend, which they will spend close to the hospital in LA. They meet with the doctor on Monday (I don't know what time) to get the final results as to whether or not anything has spread or if she will have to do any treatments.

One lymph node did light up on the pre-surgery lymph node map, so the doctor removed it during the surgery. From my google searching, I think that just showed which lymph node would be most likely to contain cancer, if the cancer has spread. They are rushing the results to have them ready on Monday. Please, please, please keep praying that this surgery has removed all the cancer and Meredith and Vic can return to normal, healthy life next week!

post surgery update

Meredith is out of surgery!! Doctor said he didn't see anything alarming or unexpected. Hope to have lymph node results Monday. Thank you for your prayers! God is good.

Surgery Day

We are all still celebrating the good news from last night that Meredith's PET scan was normal. I wish you could have seen the scene in my living room when I got the news and screamed out loud in joy. Sarah Beth and I danced around the couch while Jack and Mary Beth immediately began rejoicing with us. We thanked God for the good report, then we hit the phones/internet to let all of you share in the joy. So many of you have been asking exactly what this news means. I'm no oncologist, and someone smarter than I can correct me if I am wrong, but my basic understanding is this:

The PET scan shows that the cancer has not spread to any of her organs. This is a really good indicator that during the surgery today, the doctor can remove all the rest of the cancerous tissue from the original site. I believe he will also take some lymph nodes to test for cancer cells, so maybe the PET scan doesn't show whether the cancer has infected any of her lymph nodes? Or perhaps the doctor is just being extra thorough. I know someone out there knows the answers to these questions, but I'm certain we will know more after the doctor goes in today.

Meredith's surgery starts at 10:30 am central time. I asked her this morning how long it might take, but she wasn't sure. Please continue to pray, and I will update everyone as soon as we get word that she is out of surgery.


In family news, Meredith said that Vic has been handling everything regarding her medical care, and that he has been a rock for her throughout this entire ordeal. Vic, thank you for taking such wonderful care of my sister! We love you and are praying for you as well!

My parents have been taking care of Madeleine this week, and she is doing great, sleeping through the night and loving every minute with her grandparents! Vic's parents arrived in LA last night to be with Vic and Meredith during the surgery today. Vic's father is a doctor, and it was at his urging that Meredith had this spot investigated in the first place! Thank you, Dr. Victor, for insisting she see a dermatologist!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

PET Scan NORMAL!!!!

Just got the news: Meredith's PET scan is clear! Thank you, God!

A Message from Meredith

I spoke with Mere this morning, and she sounded great. Still no news from the PET scan but hoping to hear from doctor today. She asked that I post the following message from her:


Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, rejoice!


God is so good. We are amazed at the lengths our God goes to to take care of his children. Please know that Vic and I are doing very well. We have had the most amazing experience since we got the news of my cancer on Monday late afternoon. In a matter of 24 hours we had an appointment with the top melanoma surgeon at UCLA medical center, probably the top in the US. He saw us yesterday, on a surgery day, and moved things around and people out of the way to make room for my surgery, scheduled for this Friday morning at 8:30 a.m. [10:30 central time] Amazing! Some very dear friends moved mountains behind the scenes to make that happen. We are forever grateful.


On top of that miracle, a very close, wonderful friend who lives in LA put his life on hold to make Vic and I feel at home while we are in LA. He picked us up from the airport at 7:00 a.m. (and if you knew Bruce, you would know that it is a miracle for him to rise before 10) and has chauffeured us all over LA and given us his beautiful home in Manhattan Beach. Bruce - you will never know how much we love and appreciate you and what you have done for us!


We have received hundreds of messages from friends and loved ones who are so diligently praying for us. How I wish I could personally thank each and every one of you! We are so humbled. Please keep them coming as we feel the arms of the Lord embrace us and carry us through this valley. He is with us!


We've had nothing but good news so far. Yesterday my chest x-ray was clear and my blood work appeared normal! Today, as we await the PET scan results, we put our hope in the author and finisher of our faith, whose mercies are new EVERY morning. Thanks be to God.


Friday morning we will arrive at 6:30 a.m. [8:30 central] Lymphatic mapping will be done an hour later and surgery at 8:30 [10:30 central]. Please continue to lift us up in your prayers.
He has given us "Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow." Great is His faithfulness.


Love to all!
Meredith

Messages for Meredith

No PET scan results yet.

We hope to hear something this morning. Thank you all SO MUCH for your encouraging comments. Knowing that so many people are thinking about and praying for Meredith and our family means so much. I'm going to tell Meredith to stop by this site whenever she needs a boost, so you can feel free to leave messages for her here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Meredith Update

Meredith and Vic met with the oncologist today and he reviewed her chest x rays, which looked good! The doctor scheduled her surgery for Friday morning 10:30 central time. He warned her that it would be pretty invasive and she would be under general anesthesia as opposed to the outpatient procedure we were hoping for. However, Meredith and Vic liked the doctor and the initial results seem to be encouraging. No word yet on staging. PET scan scheduled for this afternoon at 4:30 central, so hopefully we will know more soon!

PLEASE PRAY for clear PET scan! Results should be available tomorrow.

I will keep posting updates as I receive them.

Prayers, Please

This is a really difficult post to write. I'm reaching out into the blogosphere looking for prayers and support for my sister, Meredith and family. Meredith was diagnosed with skin cancer this week, specifically melanoma. God has been working for her already, and thanks to the efforts of some dear friends, she is actually in an appointment with a top oncologist at UCLA right now. They are moving people out of the way for her to have surgery on Friday.

For those of you who don't know Meredith, she is a wife to Vic and a new mom to 5 month old Madeleine. Every time I have talked to her this week, she has sounded strong and upbeat. We are hoping to get good news this week that the cancer has not spread and that the surgery will be all that she needs to remove all the remaining cancer cells.

As you can imagine, this is a scary time for all of us, but we are trusting God and know that He, unlike us, is not afraid. We appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers. I will be keeping everyone updated here as often as I can.

Thank you!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Nesting and Resting

Ok, mostly I'm resting. Jack says SB is nesting. We can't ever seem to get through Wal Mart without passing the baby section. Every time we pass by, SB stops to check out the merchandise.

"Mom, we need diapers for Baby Annie. We don't have any."
"Mom, wait, we didn't get any bottles."
"Hey! We need this for Baby Annie! Can we get it, mommy, please?"

SB has also been ultra concerned that our crib wasn't put together. I suppose she thought we'd just put Annie on the floor. So we (saw to it that my brother) got that taken care of this weekend. Sarah Beth is relieved to have that done, but she's still concerned that we don't have any pacifiers. Because Annie is going to need those.

Thankfully, SB is taking care of most of the worrying, so I don't have to. I've been busy managing my heartburn and keeping my feet up. Overall, this has been a pretty easy pregnancy. But last week I decided that I was over it. I'm ready to get this baby out. While this pregnancy was for the first 2 trimesters pretty similar to my first- very little morning sickness, no gestational diabetes or other major issues- it has brought with it more aches and pains than I remember having with SB.

I certainly jumped out there a lot faster with the weight gain, and I said goodbye to my belly button weeks ago. But sleeping has been so much more difficult with chronic hip pain. I can't sleep on my back or my blood pressure plummets, but my sides hurt so bad that I end up rolling over every 45 minutes or so. Getting in and out of bed is a five minute routine, as is putting on socks and shoes. Now I know what it feels like to be an octogenarian.

Mercifully, the leg cramps have been much less frequent than they were with SB, but the heartburn is raging. With SB I drank Mylanta like water, but for some reason I decided to read the back of the bottle this time. Active ingredient: Aluminum hydroxide??? I didn't love the idea of gulping aluminum, pregnant or not. So I've switched to Tums, which seems to do an okay job. Although I have to admit, I may be onto a new and improved method of beating the burn. I call it ice cream, and so do you. I just had a bowl, and it was both delicious and effective. I don't think you're advised to take more than 10 Tums / day. I wonder if the same is true for number of bowls of Jamoca Almond Fudge? I'm only trying to do what is best for Annie.

Monday, January 17, 2011

All I Want for Christmas is Poo

I know Christmas was weeks ago, but what can I say? January is a very busy time for me. Not to mention, we were in Jacksonville for a few days for the Gator Bowl, which was awesome. Once we got back, reality set it. Since I am all things except a shingler for our roofing company (I have been known to mix it up on a rooftop, but not since I became a mom), the business of all the monthly, quarterly and yearly tax garbage falls to me. Once a year, it all happens in the same month. I call it the perfect storm.

January to some means new beginnings, a fresh start. To me, it means I have to file December's monthly reports, our fourth quarter reports and taxes, and our fiscal year end report PLUS fill out W2s for everyone who worked for us last year. And those are in sixlicate. I don't know the real word. It's like triplicate, only times 2. What I mean is that each form has six carbon copies, and I have to press down really hard to make the ink go all the way through. I have blisters. Feel sorry for me. I just finished those last Thursday. I found out on Friday that you can now fill out and submit those online. Brilliant.

Anyway, since things have finally settled down in the office, I realized it was time to make my post-Christmas post. I know you're all dying to hear how SB reacted to the poop dog. Unfortunately, I don't have one good video to post. I videoed the opening of the poop dog; she jumped up and down for a little while, then had to turn off the camera because it took ten minutes to open the package and get all the pieces out. I turned it back on to film her first attempt, but we experienced some technical difficulties on our first go round. Once we got it figured out, I turned the camera back on just in time to hear SB say, "It's even better than I thought it would be." So I'd say it was a hit. She already wants another one. Thanks, Uncle Robby.

Since we got that out of the way on Christmas Eve, SB was able to be excited about all of her other presents on Christmas Day.

Here she is running into the oven in her new Barbie Jeep. She has since figured out how to steer.


Also, we got snow on Christmas Day!! It was so exciting. SB loved it.



And while Jack and I decided to go with Gator Bowl tickets as our Christmas gifts to each other, my brother came through with the second best gift of the year. He gave me a chance to be Kelly Kapowski for the night. And the opportunity to step out in Bayside style whenever I get the urge.


Thanks, Andrew. I feel so cheerleaderish!