Updates on Kathy's battle with breast cancer.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Birthdays in Heaven

Happy birthday in heaven to my dad.  He left us three years ago today.  In celebration of his birthday in heaven, for his gift, we enjoy doing service for someone else in his honor.  His advice for a happy life was to do something to serve someone else each day.  He actually said you're wasting the Lord's time if you don't do this.  We have this family poem we say after singing happy birthday to a family member:  "Many happy returns on the day of thy birth, may sunshine and gladness be given, and may the dear Lord prepare you on earth for a wonderful birthday in Heaven."  This poem has taken on new meaning as family members have passed over to Heaven.  So, it's nice to think of the celebrations that must be happening every time someone arrives in their heavenly home, and as their birthdays occur.   The photos below were from when I was bald.  I wondered if we looked alike, since he was bald the whole time I knew him.  Now that I'm NOT bald, I'm comfortable posting these:  
My favorite picture of my dad.
Photoshop fun--when I was bald.  Look alikes?


I’ve had 14 of 33 radiation treatments!  Things are going well.  They said starting treatment #11, I may find some pinkness of skin.  I’ve been doing all of the preventive skin care and so far, my skin is healthy and normal.  I see the doctor once a week so she can monitor how I’m doing.  My eye brows and eye lashes are growing back!  My hair is about one inch long all over and it's keeping my head warm at night without wearing a hat.

I had my first visit with a physical therapist that specializes in lymphedema—a condition I’m at risk for due to the lymph node removal.  As long as I’m careful to avoid infection in my left arm, I should be fine.  If I get an infection, the arm can collect fluid and swell.  I’m to carry anti-biotic ointment and band aides in my purse in case I get a cut.  I will meet with her 5 more times, as she works with me on exercises to strengthen my left arm and also stretches to ease the “cording”-- tightness of connective tissue.  It looks like there’s a tight cord running from my wrist to my waist.  I will need to stretch that area daily for the rest of my life to keep it from tightening up and to keep up my flexibility.  

They say the fatigue starts to set in at about the half-way point, so we’ll see if I start to feeling later this week.  So far, things have been great.  They also say the rebuilding of energy takes longer with radiation than chemo.  The two to four weeks following radiation are supposed to be the hardest, and then my energy rebuilds, but I should give myself a year before I feel like I’m 100%.  So, we’ll see how it plays out.  Friends who have been through it say it took them 4-6 months, so I’m hoping for that range instead of a year.  Right now, I’ve loved feeling like I’m at 80% after the chemo.  It’s great!

Christmas Eve, Indianapolis

I really enjoyed Christmas and New Years.  It was so nice having everyone home.  Heath, Kirsten and Weston hit a bad blizzard on their way home, delaying their arrival for a few days, but thankfully they were able to arrive safely—plus enjoy two nights in Kearney, Nebraska while the freeway was closed off due to snow.  Garrett, Kirsten, and Weston left on January 2nd.  We have Heath home with us until he leaves for his mission in February. 

I’m thankful for 2013 and the adventures it will bring.  I’m also thankful for 2012 and the lessons we learned through our adventures.  We grew closer as a family, and also grew more appreciative of the spiritual blessings life provides us.  We could feel of the strengthening power of so many prayers in our behalf.  We came to better recognize and appreciate some of the many tender mercies that the Lord continually blesses us with.  We also learned a lot about serving others—lessons we learned from so many who served our family in so many different ways.  We plan to pay it forward this year and in the years to come.  It is exciting that the finish line is within sight!  Deep thanks to everyone who has climbed along with us and cheered us on along the way.   


  1. Great post Kathy! I can't wait to see you in Feb. - although it sounds like the shopping trip to Macy's may be a little tougher for you this year. We're there to help you carry out your 25 bags!!! Can't wait!

  2. I think it will be easier--I have a handicapped parking tag that's good through mom's trip!! Can't wait! This will be my first flight since May.

  3. Love reading all your posts, Kathy. This is such an endearing photoshopped picture, what a sweet idea.