Updates on Kathy's battle with breast cancer.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Mammogram for Christmas.

I started out the week of Christmas with a mammogram—what every woman has on the top of her Christmas list—NOT. Unlike routine mammograms, which feel like you close a bare breast in a freezer door, hold it as tightly closed as possible, and then slowly pull yourself free-- diagnostic mammograms have to go deeper and look at more angles. After multiple angles and views, each one involving smashed and stretched tissue that is still sore from surgery over a year ago, there was wonderful news—no signs of cancer. Thank goodness for freezer doors. Now you know why old women sag.

I then moved upstairs to my surgeon’s office. After a thorough exam, he told me everything looked great and said to return in six months. I’m now seeing one doctor every 3 months (surgeon, oncologist, radiation oncologist). When I return in 6 months, they will do some kind of scan instead of a mammogram.

Though a mammogram is the last thing one would want for Christmas, it was a small price to pay for the fabulous gift of peace of mind AND a clean bill of health for 3 more months. When the doctor asked how I was feeling, I told him that sadly, I wasn’t at 100% yet, but felt like I was stuck at about 80%. He then told me it takes about 18 months to recover. I had never heard that part. I had thought it would take about 6 months to recover. So, it was nice to learn that I just need to give it some more time.

It’s probably good that I wasn’t aware of this 18-month recovery window this past August, when I started working at a wonderful public charter school that is Montessori based. I started out working 6 hours a day, and then after about 3 weeks a full time spot opened in the resource room, where I could move from room to room helping kids, of course the reading and spelling parts were my favorite. One of the highlights of the day was helping with the morning car line, greeting these 150 kids with their beaming smiles. I wore fun winter hats each morning, including a cow, elephant, and of course a Santa hat. It was a lot of fun, but as the weeks went by, I could feel the hours taking their toll on my energy. Instead of being exhausted after work on Fridays, I was feeling exhausted every afternoon. I loved the experience, but gave them notice that I would have to resign at the end of the semester, which was last Friday. It was a fun ride. I’m on their sub list if they are ever in a bind, and they said they’d love to have me back when I feel ready.  So it’s not the end of enjoying these great kids.

I met some wonderful people through the school. Two moms were going through breast cancer. I felt like God put me in place to be able to talk to them and cheer them on. Another friend at the school lost her dad to leukemia, the same way I lost my Dad. So even though it was a short time, it was an experience I appreciate and cherish.

Heath, my missionary son, made it to Argentina at the end of October. He's enjoying his opportunity to serve. You can follow his adventures at elderheathtenney.blogspot.com

Thanksgiving Day 2013 & Heath (left) in Argentina 

Ugly Sweater Youth Dance
I love the Christmas season. I love celebrating the birth of our Savior. I admire Simeon and Anna, featured in Luke chapter 2. They lived faithful lives, waiting to see our Savior in the flesh. They followed promptings of the spirit to be at the right place at the right time so they could see the infant king. I love knowing about Christ and watching and preparing for his return. I love knowing that he is watchful over each of us individually. I also love the way he places people in our path, to touch our lives and teach us more about Him by the way they serve others. It’s beautiful! I love having all of my kids home and making memories together. Enjoy your Christmas season as we all try to be His hands through out the entire year.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to hear wonderful news about my dear friend.
    I love you Kathy.. Happy New year to each of the Tenneys..
    xoxo Krista