Updates on Kathy's battle with breast cancer.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Back to School & Phase II

I’m thrilled to report that Phase I of this fight is behind us!!  I wasn’t as worn down at the end of round 4 of chemo as I’d expected.  The fatigue gradually increased, but not as severely as I had anticipated.  We met with another surgeon to learn more about our options and now have our plan in place.  A week from today, Monday, August 13, I’ll start Phase 2 of this adventure, 12 rounds of Taxol, given every Monday, ending October 29th.  Scott can drive and work from the room.  Following Taxol, we wait 3 weeks, and then start Phase 3--surgery, probably on the Monday before Thanksgiving.  Surgery will consist of a lumpectomy (removing what remains of the shrunken cancer and enough surrounding tissue for clear margins), as well as removal of the lymph nodes associated with it.  They say recovery will be from 10-14 days.  My mom is coming into town for surgery, Thanksgiving, and recovery.  Three to four weeks after surgery, I’ll start Phase 4--radiation, 5 days a week for 6 weeks.   I’ll have family in town to help throughout the holiday treatments.  After that, team Fishers 1st ward (my local church congregation) will step in to help with rides and other needs.  Phase 5 consists of drugs taken for several years into the future, which will block the hormones that feed my type of cancer. 

Looking at the entire process, it is still a bit over-whelming to see how much is still ahead, but taking one day at a time works really well.  The previous 12 weeks flew by.    

It’s been an amazing summer.  I feel so blessed to have enjoyed most of the things I’d looked forward to this summer.  The only big things I missed were two weddings—Jared’s in Texas, and Brett’s in Louisiana, due to plane trips and the risk of germ exposure.   Our family reunion, youth conference, girls camp, and the Color Run were events that provided a lot of memories. 

The Color Run was July 28th in downtown Indy.  The Indy Star said there were about 10 thousand runners.  Maybe not the best germ avoidance location, but it was out-doors, and the crowd dispersed quickly as the race started.  Garrett drove 10 hours to join us for the race.  It was so fun having him for the weekend.  For the race, runners wear white clothing.  At each “K” of the 5K race, volunteers douse runners with a different powdered color.  At the end, runners are covered with 5 different colors.  At the finishing area, there’s a big field, and every 10 minutes or so, they have a count-down where everyone throws their packets of color, adding more color to the rainbows runners are already wearing.  It was a wholesome, family friendly event.  There were lots of strollers and wagons, kids of all ages with their parents, and even more young, fun, high school and college age kids (including some trapped in older bodies like me!).  It was a fun morning.

The summer is winding down.  Kirsten & Weston are returning to school today.  Heath leaves for school at the end of this month.  Scott Jr. starts classes on the 21st, and Courtney starts her sophomore year of high school on the 15th.  My special forces team is shrinking!  It was such a blessing having a house full this summer.  Everyone has helped keep the house clean and the laundry running.  Besides preparing wonderful meals, Kirsten took on the role of personal trainer.  Every weekday morning at 6:45, she was ready to drag me on a run.  During TV commercials, she’d say, “On your feet everyone!” and lead us through some type of exercise during the break.  Commercials will never be the same at our house!  Courtney planted a garden and has kept us provided with tomatoes, sweet basil, carrots, and a few other herbs and vegetables.  Heath is our home organization pro—cleaning out the garage, the cubbies, and the pantry.  These areas have never looked better!  Scott Jr. has been our full time landscape manager.  He’s kept the flowerbeds weed free, the bushes nicely trimmed, and the grass mowed.  It’s been wonderful having 3 extra drivers!  They’ve been great!  I’ve only been to the grocery store probably 3 times this entire summer!        

I’m so thankful for my Savior and His loving, watchful care.  I’ve experienced miracles that have allowed me to participate in things that were important to me.  Two different times I started to come down with a fever that would have prevented my participation in events, and both times I was blessed with the fever entirely disappearing.  Many prayers and pleadings have been answered.  My heart is full of gratitude for the loving watchful care of my Savior and for the kind, loving words of support and encouragement from so many friends and family members.  Thank you for being a part of this journey!


  1. I'm so happy to hear about your wonderful summer and all the blessings you've received are well deserved! I hope the next phase goes smoothly and you have extra help in the process. Thanks for inspiring all of us!

  2. Wow, you are quick, Heidi! So fun hearing from you! I'm still posting pictures! Hope your summer's been great! Our ward family has been waiting on the sidelines for their turn to step in, so we are spoiled and well taken care of.

  3. I'm so glad you got through phase 1 and the future looks so optimistic! I'm praying for you and your family. It was so fun to read about your summer. My testimony has been strengthened because of your faith and strength.

    Alex (and Logan)

  4. Thank you, Alex & Logan! Your prayers are felt and so appreciated!

  5. I'm so glad to read that you are done with Phase I and doing so well. Your family is amazing - I'm glad that you had so many around for the summer! You continue to inspire so many! Looking forward to February!

  6. Team Tenney- Las Vegas edition wants to be added to your list of helpers after the holidays. Just tell me what week you want me to come out and I will be there to drive, cook, clean, whatever you need! We love you Kathy and want you to know that we think of you everyday and pray for you constantly!

    XOXO Alyse