Amy's Page

    This page is for updates on our dear friend Amy Hardman.

"A diamond is just a chunk of coal that made good under pressure" 
Source:  Unknown

  •  For the latest news on Amy's condition  click news

  • To send an email to Amy, Teresa and Charlie clickemail

  • For the Birthday Party Update click party

  • Team Cue 1/2 Marathon Update clickrace

Spring brings the joy of renewed life.

 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

We send a message of love and God's blessing
to you all during this holiday season.

Radiation Treatment Reminder:  As Amy progresses through her radiation treatments her blood counts will begin to decline and it will be necessary for her to resume her more restrictive isolation activities.  Please remember that this is temporary and while she would love to see all of you, it will be necessary for us to send our love and prayers through cards, letters and email.  This site will remain your source for regular updates and will continue to be your link to Amy, Teresa and Charlie.  Please continue your prayers of strength as they begin this final "round" of the treatment marathon.  

Reminder:  Many of you may want to visit Amy, bring food, send flowers, call, etc. when they arrive home.  However, the doctors insist that Amy remain in isolation and get plenty of rest at her home to prepare for the next phase of her treatment.  This site will continue to be your link to Amy, Teresa and Charlie and daily updates will be here for you.  Please keep praying for Amy as she responds to her treatment in a remarkable way.  

Please pray for Amy and Teresa as they hike through this very delicate bone marrow transplant process.  May our loving and gracious God give them wings to soar through the adversity. 

The following email was sent from the nursing manager on Amy's floor
to those who contributed to the remote and kitchen appliance project.  

THANK YOU !

I just wanted to write a brief note on behalf of the nursing staff at the Markey Cancer Center’s Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit. I wanted to specifically let you all know how gracious our unit is for the donation of the coffee pot and the universal remotes. The remotes are truly a valued asset to our patients who are confined to their rooms to protect them from their external environments during their treatment. It is always good to know that people are willing to do nice things for people in need….it is certainly the small things that get many of our patients through another day, hour, and minutes….your contributions will be put to great use by our wonderful patients who have angels in places unknown. Once again, thank you for your time and contributions.

Remember, it is not too late to contribute to the fund! Contact Julia Ann

 

GREAT NEWS: 
AMY CAN RECEIVE CARDS!
To send Amy a card write:
Amy Hardman
Markey Cancer Center/Bone Marrow Transplant Unit/Room 323
800 Rose Street
Lexington, KY 40536

Below is an estimated timeline of activities while Amy is in the hospital.  This site will be updated daily during Amy's treatment to help you stay current on her condition and her progress as she will be in isolation for the duration of her hospital stay.

June 28 Amy will enter the hospital today for the beginning of her final stage of treatment.  Amy will not be allowed to have visitors or phone calls.  Cell phones also do not work in the hospital.
June 29-July 4
(Days 1-6 in hospital)
Amy will receive massive doses of chemo
(10 times the strength of anything she's had up until now)
July 5
(Day 7)
Amy will receive the bone marrow transplant.  From this point on Amy and Teresa will be dealing with the expected side effects of the process and waiting for her blood counts to come up.
July 16 Projected day to return home
July 20 Amy went home from the hospital
August 30 Radiation treatments begin

The Hardman's ask for your prayers and specifically request that you pray for strength for Amy in the following areas:

  • that any side effects will be only non-severe side effects of the chemo

  • the ability of Amy to deal with the close confines of the isolation room as she is very claustaphobic

  • that Amy will suffer no infection

  • that angels will be hovering over their shoulders and all the shoulders of everyone who will care for Amy during her hospital stay

Tuesday, 6/28/05 (Day #1-arrive at hospital)

  • 6:50pm    We are having some server problems with MSU off campus email.  I will post an update as soon as I have received information from Teresa and Amy.  Please visit the site again. 

  • 7:00pm    It has been non-stop since arriving at the hospital at 9am this morning.  Actually this is very good since it offers some security to know "who's on first!"  There is no chemo today, just exams and regular IV fluids.  We start bright and early in the morning with "the fun stuff".  We have been busy decorating the room with posters that we brought along with some stuffed animals plus getting all the DVD's and VHS tapes organized for viewing.  Amy has a nice view of trees and Rose Street from her room so seeing the healing green of the living trees is great.  She also has a small treadmill in her room.  They encourage daily exercise and have the equipment for the time period when she can't leave the room.  We can walk in the hall on the unit this week during chemo as long as she tolerates the chemo so we'll be out as much as possible. 

        We've already had many beautiful and encouraging emails and we love to hear from you.

For more information on the Markey Cancer Center click this link.

 

Wednesday, 6/29/05 (Day #2 in hospital-chemo begins)

  • Noon        Chemo has begun.  Please keep Amy in your prayers.

  • 4:00pm    Dear Friends....As Amy says, "We're on the train and they've taken our tickets." That is in reference to the fact that chemo has started. She had the first drug this morning and tolerated well. We were able to leave the room and walk after lunch. Of course, Amy won't let me have a day off from our "marathon training" so I think we did about a mile. People look at us walking and some comment to Amy how nice it is for her to take her mother for a walk. I think that's because I'm pushing hard to catch up with her. We have been reading your energizing and encouraging emails this morning. We send you all hugs and appreciation for the love and friendship you give so freely to us. Sending each of you love, hugs, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and angels to tenderly care for your every need........Teresa

 

Thursday, 6/30/05 (Day #3 in hospital-chemo day 2)

  • 10:30am    Amy has begun her chemo for today so please keep her in your prayers.  She is receiving two different drugs today for the next four days. 

  • 5:00pm    Dearest Friends...Day 3 and God's grace prevails. Thus far, Amy's nausea/vomiting has been contained by the medication. Now, that we're into Day 3, we started the chemo sessions every twelve hours with two different drugs. Our target time each day is 9:30-11:30 then we do the same in the evening at the same time so perhaps you could send up some prayers especially at those times.

    Amy and I have identified a need here at Markey Bone Marrow Unit if any of your groups would like to take it on as a project. Actually, it would be not too expensive if a group effort took it on. Here it is. There are no TV remotes in these rooms and the TV is high, near the ceiling and it's a little difficult to control the volume well from the bed TV controls. We realized the first day that this was going to be problematic for us as Mom here, not known for her coordination skills, was climbing on and off the recliner and stretching to reach the TV controls. Amy, after observing my intensive efforts but low skills the first day, suggested yesterday that we call Charlie and send him to WalMart for a universal remote. Imagine that! Even more amazing, Charlie came right away with the remote yesterday afternoon. At any rate, there are 16 rooms up here ,and I think the little re! motes are around 5-6 dollars and you need batteries. This would be a great service project for someone and would be so helpful to the patients who have such long stays in these rooms. Amy and I had great fun last night just changing the channels and volume. I guess we are easily entertained.

    Thank you all for your continuing love and support and your beautiful emails which are so uplifting.  Sending all of you love, hugs, joy, laughter, focus, healing energy, and angels to surround you....Teresa

If you are interested in contributing to the "remote fund" email Julia Ann Hypes.  We will be purchasing the remotes and batteries for delivery by Saturday, July 2. 

 

Friday, 7/01/05 (Day #4 in hospital-chemo day 3)

  • 7:00pm    Dear Friends...Today is day three of the chemo and the hill is getting harder to climb. Amy is having to take more medication to control the side effects. She will get her two drugs again tonight at 9:30 and 10:30 pm. We really wouldn't recommend this as a bedtime ritual for any of you in case you were considering it.

    Amy felt like walking in the early afternoon so out of the room we went for about a 1.5 mile walk. We have a step meter. I have to say that whatever all of Amy's different athletic coaches instilled in her, she still has the discipline and heart of an athlete. At this point in the treatment, if I were undergoing it, I would have someone pushing me around in a wheelbarrow with a pillow so I could whine for everyone. You see, I can face the reality of my basic personality. Needless to say, I admire Amy's courage and if she said we had to walk the rest of the night (without my wheelbarrow), my admiration for her would inspire me to complete the task.

    Please continue to pray as we know the Great Physician is in the healing business along with the comforting business. Sending each of you love, hugs, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and of course every description of angel to attend you....
    Teresa

Thank you to those who have responded to the "remote fund".  You are all truly special people. 

 

Saturday, 7/02/05 (Day #5 in hospital-chemo day 4)

  • 11:00am    Unless there are changes in Amy's condition the website will not be updated until Sunday morning.  So "no news is good news".  Please keep Amy in your prayers as she undergoes her chemo treatments this morning and evening.  Also keep Teresa and Charlie in your prayers as they provide the love and strength Amy needs to complete her treatment.

Thank you again to all who responded to the "remote fund".  It is not too late to be a part of this project!  The remotes and batteries are being delivered to the Markey Cancer Center today.  With her usual passion, Teresa has identified several other areas where there is a need at the Center (new videos in their video lending library on the floor and they really need a new coffee maker in the family kitchen and they could use a toaster, etc.).  If anyone would like to contribute to the project, I will purchase and deliver these items with your donations.  If you would like to contribute, please send your checks to Julia Ann Hypes, 225 Potter Lane, Morehead, KY 40351 or you may email me with any questions.      

  • 9:00pm    Dear Friends...Day four of chemo is almost done. Amy will have her second round for the day at 9:30 and 10:30 tonight. As we expected, she's had more side effects but we've managed pretty well today. She was able to rest some, and yes...we were able to take our walk though not as far. Her blood counts are going down so we know that we'll be confined to the room probably before the weekend is out. At that point, I think it will be interesting to see what new and creative ways we come up with to keep ourselves entertained. Those of you who know me well, know that I may have trouble restraining myself from the more creative ideas that are bound to pop in my head after we stay in for several days.

    Thank you to all of those who took up the tv remote issue. Wow! Julia Ann delivered 16 new remotes with batteries to me at the hospital today. The unit is very appreciative and I know the patients will be delirious!!

    Continue to pray and send healing thoughts for these are the root of our ability to withstand the grind of this treatment protocol. God bless each of you.  Sending you love, joy, laughter, healing, and angels to hover so near you can hear the whisper of their wings...Teresa

Sunday, 7/03/05 (Day #6 in hospital-chemo day #5)

  • 6:30pm    Dear Friends...Amy has completed one half of our day's required chemo on day 5 of the chemo. She had her two drugs this morning for one hour each, and we will repeat the same two drugs tonight at 9:30 and 10:30 pm. As noted earlier, there are more side effects the further we go but she has lots of meds for the N/V that have been effective. She's much weaker as her blood counts are going down and one of the effects of this chemo is extreme fatigue but.....we went for a walk. This time we took the wheelchair though and she had to ride back but we enjoyed getting out of the room. When she's out of the room, she has to wear a very thick orange mask that looks just like a duck bill. I took a picture of her in it because she kept greeting everyone with a muffled "aflack". If I take many more photos like that, I may need AFLACK for myself!

    Tomorrow, day 6 of chemo, is suppose to be the worst drug of all that we've had, so please send extra angels that know a lot about helping with side effects.  Right now, Tuesday, July 5th is still set for getting her actual bone marrow transplant so we have some important days ahead of us over the next several days.

    We wish everyone of you a safe and fun July 4th holiday. I have a little picnic planned for the room here with rwb patriotic themed plates and such. Sending all of you love, hugs, healing, and angels.....Teresa

 

Monday, 7/04/05 (Day #7 in hospital-chemo day #6)

  • 7:00pm    Dear Friends...Well, today was the last day of chemo and it's been a real bear. It is nearly 5 pm and Amy has not been able to get out of bed due to the extreme nausea she's experiencing. However, she has just taken some more medication, and she has informed me to find a wheelchair because she's going to start out walking and may end up riding as we did yesterday, but she WILL go out of this room.

    Tomorrow is our big day as that is actually the transplant day. She will receive her transplant starting around 10 am tomorrow.  She'll be monitored very closely for possible reactions to the preservative they used to store the cells, but we're hopeful all will go well. I told her tomorrow will be another birthday for her as we are hopeful the transplant will give her back her life to start anew.

    Today, she has been unable to eat or drink anything but we have fluids going.  Hopefully, by this evening she will be improved enough to sample a bit of the room picnic I have prepared for us in the family kitchen on the unit. My kitchen resources are limited but I have not let that stop my imagination in the kitchen.

    We hope all of you are having a safe and fun fourth of July. Please pray and send positive thoughts for the balance of the evening and especially for tomorrow morning. We love you and send you all that love along with hugs, prayers, healing energy, and of course celebration angels for this special holiday...Teresa

Tuesday, 7/05/05 (Day #8 in hospital-transplant day)

  • 5:30pm    Dear Friends....What a wild day it has been. Amy was delayed in getting her cells until after lunch. They started the transplant at 12:40pm and finished a little after 2 pm. She tolerated the process well but did have some reaction to the process which was accommodated for with medication.

    Right at the moment, she's resting and not feeling too spiffy but we expected that too as she's still got the chemo effects going plus receiving the cells back. All in all, I'm very grateful at the way the day has unfolded thus far. We've passed a major milestone with completing the chemo and now getting the bone marrow cells into her. Our next challenge is recovery from these two events. Her blood counts are expected to go lower so soon we'll be confined to the room and of course we'll be watching for any infection and other side effects that might present. So...keep praying specifically for those things and for Amy's spirits to stay strong in this new "wait and see" limbo where the next step can't be totally predicted until we see what happens each day.

Last night Amy was able to enjoy her 4th of July hot dog and chips and even managed two chocolate snackwell cookies. When we get out of here, we're both going to have the biggest banana split they make!

I told Amy that we must look at today as a second birthday for her since receiving these cells represent new life, new beginning, and recovery. I shared that with Julia Ann and she mentioned aside from the positive slant of it all , a hidden benefit is that on her 50th birthday, Amy can truthfully reply that she's only "25".  At any rate to all you party hat folks, drag out your best party horn or whistle and give it a twirl for Amy today as she embarks on her new birthday year!

Thank you for your continued prayers and healing thoughts. Sending you all love, hugs, joy, laughter, focus, healing energy, and of course every description of angel to attend your every need...Teresa

 

Wednesday, 7/06/05 (Day #9 in hospital-day 1 from transplant)

  • 5:00pm    Dear Friends....Amy and I feel like we're on a forced march of some kind. We can't go back but going forward seems like an ify process at times. Amy is experiencing unrelenting nausea so we really need prayer for that to abate. They're using lots of meds but she's been pretty miserable from this side effect.

    She has apologized several times for being a "wimp". Excuse me. The rest of us should hope to be such a "wimp". I told her to stop being so nice and just have a fit about it all. Of course I did not see that prescription in any healing book, but I think it's written in the Mother's Book on page 42. There's times when you just have to melt down, then you get up and try it again.

    Her counts are lower, but not enough to hold us in the room yet so we went out for a while. She is very weak, but the little girl with the duck hair has "pluck".  Keep praying for us and especially for these tough side effects. They told us the week after the chemo would be the worse for side effects and they hit that one on the head for truthfulness. The milestones are there though with finishing the chemo and getting the transplanted cells into her so they can begin to work magic.  Right now, the side effects are so close on top of her that she needs binoculars to see what we've come through.

    We love you all and send you that love along with joy, laughter, focus, healing energy, and of course July angels to assist you with beating the heat....Teresa

 

Thursday, 7/07/05 (Day #10 in hospital-day 2 from transplant)

  • 8:00pm The website will be updated soon.  I am awaiting the note from Teresa.  I just left her in Lexington and all is going well....she just has several tasks to accomplish tonight and will send a message soon.  Teresa reads your emails to Amy daily and she is enjoying this very much. 

        Remember "no news is good news".

 

Friday, 7/08/05 (Day #11 in hospital-day 3 from transplant)

  • 9:30am  Dear Friends.... Sorry, I got a little behind yesterday and didn't get your update to you.  Yesterday was still a tough day with nausea but they started two new meds and Amy started getting some relief late yesterday afternoon.  We're still using four or five meds, but now the nausea is tolerable instead of incapacitating so that is definitely both an improvement and an answer to prayer.  We are so very fortunate to have a wonderful doctor who really listens to her patients and keeps working with the symptom until something works.  Be sure and ask God to keep angels around Amy's doctor as she works so diligently with these patients. 

    Well, this morning's labwork brought the news that the counts are below the magic mark so Amy is in the room now.  She's already spied the door in the ceiling that goes to the air ductwork and has said that it's going to be an escape hatch.  Of course I notice it takes a key to open, but that may not be much of an obstacle as it looks sort of like those luggage key locks that anything can open! 

    We're expecting a better day today.  Breakfast bagel was tolerated along with tea so we're on a roll!    We love all of you and thank you for your precious spirits that have so faithfully prayed for us, cried with us, and rejoiced with us.   Today is a great day for rejoicing so just sing out, dear friends. Sending you all love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, and angels....Teresa

     

  • 7:30pm    Dear Friends...Today has been a challenge ,but with God's grace , sunshine outside the window, and your prayers, we have almost made it to bedtime which happens about 10 pm. As noted earlier today, the news that she is now a full time resident of room 323 was not unexpected but also not what Amy wanted to hear. We knew it was coming so now it's here and hopefully, it will not be a lingering guest . So far my creative abilities have been tested and I don't think I've done very well at distracting her although I did get a smile out of her when I suggested I could get out on the four foot ledge outside her window and entertain her with my spider woman abilities.

    The four nausea meds are helping her be able to eat and keep liquids down which is very important for eventually leaving here.  We know that this side effect will eventually depart so we're trying to be patient.

    Each morning when I wake up on the chair bed by Amy's bed, I'm reminded of all the times I slept in her room when she was a baby and had a cold or cough or ear ache or all the things babies have that scare their mothers. In remembering those all night vigils, I was reminded that our Heavenly Father keeps an all night, all day vigil for each of us. I was immediately comforted to know that both Amy and I have someone much greater than an earthly mother looking over us day and night. Truly, there's no need to count sheep when we can just talk to the Shepherd who will be up all night.

    Since we're confined to the room now, she still needs to exercise. Her room came equipped with an older model manual treadmill. Today she got on it, and it malfunctioned so out it went, and we brought in a little stepper machine for exercise. I've already been told that this would not be an appropriate tool for me to use. I guess I'll have to settle for the "Walk Away the Pounds" video tape we brought from home. That should be very safe since you're basically walking in place.   One of these days, when Amy and I actually train for and complete that walking marathon we plan to tackle, everyone will be amazed at my skills. Of course, I am hopeful that none of you will take photos of Amy carrying me piggyback across the finish line!

    We send you love; we send you joy; we sent you laughter; we send you hugs; we send you healing energy; and we send you weekend angels to help each of you find just the things you need to do to refresh your mind, body, and spirit....Teresa

To learn more about treatment procedures for Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma visit the National Cancer Institute.

 

Saturday, 7/09/05 (Day #12 in the hospital-day 4 from transplant)

  • 6:00pm    Dear Friends...Today has brought new side effects to the chemo. Extreme nausea has crossed over to more pronounced and unpleasant gastrointestinal disturbance. We're working with changing the times on the meds in hopes that we can create better coverage for the symptoms. Amy's white blood cell count is almost zero today so that is adding to her extreme fatigue. She has not had the strength to sit in the chair today, but maybe this evening she'll be able to manage that.

    Well, I guess the above paragraph probably gives you a very specific idea of how to focus your prayers for the evening. My grandmother was fond of saying "It's a long road that doesn't turn." Amy and I are definitely ready for this road to turn, and I am confident that it will. And...if it doesn't turn on its own, I'm prepared to get out my sledge hammer or jack hammer and bust up the concrete and pour us a new curve in the road! Of course, I do realize that God has many angels to help accomplish this without my going completely nuts so maybe you better also pray that none of the angelic nurses we have leave anything like a sledge hammer near our room!

    Thank you for your continued prayers and healing thoughts and emails. I read all the mails to Amy so she can be reminded that being in this room does not separate us from the love of all of you. I have learned in my life just how powerful the love and prayers of others can be, so I think of that love and know that walls cannot contain it or keep it out. Just thinking about all of you being "on the loose in the ozone" with your healing thoughts is great. Just imagine the electrical interference we are creating for the "towers".

    Sending you love, joy, healing energy, prayers, appreciation, and of course the most special angels to surround you....Teresa

 

Sunday, 7/10/05 (Day #13 in hospital-day 5 from transplant)

  • 9:00am    Dear Friends...I'm sending an early update this morning because I'm hoping all of you will offer an extra prayer this morning in Amy's behalf.  We've reached the part of the journey where the pilot comes on and says, "Fasten your seat belts for extreme turbulence ahead."

    Amy's temp went to almost 103 last evening and she's on IV antibiotics now. Our greatest danger now is an infection. At this point, her lungs are clear and the x-ray does not show any pneumonia. Of course they've taken blood cultures and those won't be back for a day or two. When the temp goes above 101, they go ahead with antibiotics and don't wait for the cultures to get back.

    As stated in yesterday's updates, almost all bone marrow transplant patients experience some temp rise but not all have to go to the protocol for temp greater than 101. Hopefully, the temp will stay under control. It is down some this morning but still greater than 101.

    I am calm and centered but definitely feel like a pilgrim whose path has taken her into a deep ravine with high canyon walls and she notices she's wearing flip flops which don't seem very adequate for climbing. Please pray for these two pilgrims as they try to find their hiking shoes. If no shoes can be found, I am confident that your prayers will provide us wings.

    Sending you all love, hugs, prayers, healing, and Sunday morning angels to remind you of the glories of creation and the Creator.....Teresa

  • 6:30pm    Dear Friends...Thank you for your extended prayers and healing thoughts last night and today. I believe they have helped.

    Amy is still running a temp but it is staying below the alarming number of 103. They have kept her more sedated today to try and deal with the N/V. A little while ago, she was able to keep down an Italian sorbet so that's definitely progress. Other than that, she's had a little gatorade. Of course they are supporting her with IV fluids, antibiotics, and lots of other meds. So....I guess at this point, I believe we have passed the immediate crisis of last evening. Of course, all of this has to unfold at its own pace, so I'm not running too far ahead. I think it's best just to say thank you for each 5 minutes we have that doesn't involve a worsening side effect.  I'll feel much better when the fever goes down and stays down and her blood counts get off zero. They did give her platelets today as her red blood count and platelets are also negatively affected by the intensity! of the chemo she has had.

    Thank you for your emails reminding me to stay steady (flip flops or not). We haven't found the boots yet, but then we probably won't until it's time to start climbing so I'm just thinking we have those flip flops on so we can enjoy the beautiful stream that runs through the deep ravine with the high cliff sides. As is with most things, we humans try to run way too far ahead. The Father provides what we need when we need it at just the right time so I'm trying to claim that promise and relax into its comfort and sanity.

    We hope all of you have a good week ahead, and we thank you over and over for your walk beside us on this journey. You are all incredible people and we count each and every one of you as blessings and precious gifts given to us.  Sending you love, joy, laughter, healing, prayers, thanksgiving, and canyon angels to remind you to look up and see the eagles soaring overhead!  Teresa

 

Monday, 7/11/05 (Day #14 in hospital-day 6 from transplant)

  • Noon    Dear Friends...We had another rough evening with Amy's temp climbing again to nearly 103. This morning she is cooler, but her red count, platelet count, and of course white count have gone lower. She will be getting platelets again this morning and following that she will have to have packed red cells as her hematocrit/hemoglobin have dropped enough to require that. All her meds are now IV due to the nausea/vomiting and that has helped. Swallowing a pill when you're already nauseated is not a fun activity.

    I will send another update this evening. Hopefully, the day will go a little smoother for her. Your prayers, positive thoughts, emails, and healing words are definitely adding beautiful light to our path through this maze we find ourselves in. Thank you for taking the time to care so tenderly for us. All around us here, I see families who seem to have very little support, and my heart breaks for them while feeling so eternally grateful for all of you.

    Sending you love, hugs, joy, laughter, healing, prayers, and Monday angels to give you the push you need to start a good week...Teresa

  • 7:30pm    Dear Friends...Once again we've had a busy day. Amy has received two units of blood and 1 bag of platelets. She's holding her own with the N/V and other GI disturbances but not a lot of improvement on those yet. Everyone has their own unique reaction to chemo. For some the main problem is GI. For others, it's extremely bad mouth sores, etc. Amy's is going to be the GI problems.

    A new development that's been a little tough to take with all that's gone on the last three days is her hair is coming out again. We knew it probably would, but I hate it had to begin the process when she's feeling so bad physically. We may use the clippers tomorrow to ease the transition. She'll just have to be "bald and beautiful" one more time.

    Her temp is starting to go up again. We're hopeful the Tylenol can hold it in check. So...you have lots to stay focused with in your prayers. A thanksgiving we can give at this time is that her first blood cultures have come back negative. Keep praying and giving thanks for all things as time will make even the worst things understandable.

    Sending you love, joy, focus, healing energy, prayers, and angels to hover very near each of you...Teresa

A valuable resource for those of us whose lives have been touched by cancer (and this would be all of us visiting Amy's site) is cancer.com.  This site contains resources for cancer diagnosis, treatment, coping, support, and many educational resources. 

 

Tuesday, 7/12/05 (Day #15 in hospital-day 7 from transplant)

  • 11:00am    Dear Friends...For the past several days, we've been trying to float and relax as much as possible during these challenging days. This morning, we have a new challenge before us that I think is going to require putting on a life jacket and swimming because the water has gotten a lot deeper. Thus, I'm sending this early update.

    Amy has developed significant shortness of breath and congestion in her lungs. They are suspecting a pneumonia or possible a blood clot so she's going to have a scan shortly to try and determine what's happening. Of course in the back of our minds is that this could also be our old friend, pulmonary toxicity which she had after taking her fourth chemo. The drug, Cytoxan, caused that scare, and while she is not taking that drug this time in her chemo protocol, she has had another drug that also has the potential to cause pulmonary toxicity.  So...our first focus this morning is getting a good scan, a good reading, and a clear diagnosis so I am asking for special prayer to that end. We should be getting the scan between 11:30 and 1:00 .

    This morning during my prayer and meditation time, I was looking out the window at the tree leaves which were blowing uncontrollably in the wind that was coming up right before the gentle rain started. As I watched those tree leaves, I noticed that
    there are several tree varieties where you really can't see the underside of the leaves except when the wind blows violently. The turning upside down view of the tree leaf really makes it look like a different species of tree. But... the tree knows it's still the tree it was born to be so it goes with the wind and knows that when the turbulence ends, it will regain its usual appearance. I think that's sort of how we feel right now. Our hair has been turned inside out by these challenges but we know that the Hand that stilled the wind on the Sea of Gallilee long ago will eventually still this wind and we can trust that despite our dishelveled appearance, we are still who we are -children of our Heavenly Father and that thought alone is total comfort.

    Thank you, dear hearts, for continuing to walk beside us even if our hair is falling out or just standing straight out in response to the winds of today...Sending you love, healing, peace, and angels to attend you as we know they attend us...Teresa  

  • 7:00pm    Dear Friends...Thank you for your continued prayers on this day. Amy did not get her scan until about 2 pm so we are waiting for final results of the scan. The preliminary report does not seem to indicate a blood clot so that's very good. I think I would rather treat a pneumonia, if it turns out to be that, than a blood clot.

    At any rate, we've been able to keep her temp under control through the day and her iv meds going. She's had no vomiting but still severe nausea, but wonders of wonder, she wanted Kool Aide so a friend went to the store and we now have our own container of such so I can make it up as she wants it.

    Her hair was coming out in massive amounts today so she requested nurse to go ahead and give her the "buzz" cut. Of course, she's just as beautiful with the buzz cut as she was before the buzz cut. Her spirits are not down about the haircut as it was her choice because being the meticulous accountant, she did not like all that hair floating around. Hopefully, this will be the last time she ever has to have a buzz cut unless she decides to make an occasional "buzz cut" fashion statement.

    Hopefully, tomorrow, I'll have more to tell you, but I am grateful that she seems more stable than she did this morning so once again your beautiful prayers have encircled us with a cloak of love, protection, and healing. Thank you.

    Sending you love, hugs, joy, laughter (with giggles), prayers, and of course angels to give you sweet rest and beautiful dreams...Teresa

 

Wednesday, 7/13/05 (Day #16 in hospital-day 8 from transplant)

  • 6:00pm    Dear Friends...Well, it's been another exciting day in the land of recovery. If we could just find the "yellow brick path", this might all be a lot easier.  Here's where we are. The scan does not show a blood clot in the lungs, but there is still congestion in the lungs which at this point is hard to pinpoint whether a pneumonia or pulmonary toxicity. She spiked a temp again last night to almost 103 so two additional antibiotics have been added to the several she's already taking. Our old GI side effects remain. I think we're going to have to name them as they have taken up residency and become such daily friends.

    Along with these problems, Amy started breathing very rapidly last night with an increase in heart rate and that has continued. Most of today she's breathing about 35-40 times a minute. You will recall that 16-20 is about right for an adult. This new symptom has to be evaluated so we just returned from a Heart Echocardiogram to see if the chemo drugs may have done some damage to the heart. She was placed on oxygen last night and remains on it as her oxygen saturation is down at room air. All of these new treatments will help support her until we figure out exactly where the infection is and until her white count starts up so it can help her fight the bad guys. We won't have a report on the echo until tomorrow. This road will turn and when it does, I do hope I see yellow brick around the corner.

    This morning before dawn I was watching Amy sleep and counting her breathing and I started thinking about different times in my life when I or my family has been in crisis. Part of that thought process was to consider the question, "just exactly what do we learn in crisis?" Here's the answer (at least from my experience). I believe crisis leads us to clarity in all areas of our lives (personal, professional, and spiritual ). In short, we glimpse a vision of what is really important to us and why it's important for these areas. Clarity then leads us to insight and understanding. Insight leads us to new and meaningful goals, a renewal of our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and an appreciation and awe for all that is good in our lives. Whether we want to or not, the crisis points give us the potential for great learning. Of course, I don't advocate asking for crisis. In fact, many times (including this one), I pray the prayer, "Lord if I have not learned what I needed to learn in all this, could you just give me an Incomplete? I really don't want to repeat this course!"

    For our family, this current crisis has definitely reminded us of the incredible love of God and the incredible love of others. How much better can it get than to go to bed each night knowing God is in control of the universe, and our friends are sending healing thoughts and prayers for us. The love of friends during this time has given us a soft pillow to lay our weary heads upon; a billowing cloak that wraps around us and keeps out the coldness that fear and anxiety try to expose us to; and a gentle hope that sings us to sleep. Thank you , dear friends.  We send each of you the love, joy, hope, and healing that you have so generously extended to us.  Hugs and Angels...Teresa
     

Thursday, 7/14/05 (Day #17 in hospital-day 9 from transplant)

  • 9:00am    Dear Friends...I find that early morning is a great time to count blessings and I wanted to put a quick update on this morning to share an answered prayer. Amy's temp stayed down all night last night and she is temp free this morning. We don't have any other tests back yet, but I know she's better so ...keep praying.

    Once I had cancer two years ago, every day I wake up I consider that day to be icing on the cake. Anything that comes after that is just blessing, blessing, blessing. So, this morning the icing is very sweet and with Amy's progress, I think there's even whipped cream and a cherry on my "daily" cake. God's grace is so very good, isn't it?

    I'll give my regular update late this afternoon after we know more about the test results, but I just wanted all you brave hearts to know about this progress for our little duck girl.  Sending you morning angels to add a little whipped cream to your day!  Teresa

  • 6:00pm    Dear Friends...I'm most happy to report that Amy has made some additional progress. The biggest news is that the tiny, tiny, tiny elevation of the white blood cells that we've been watching for has happened. We're on the way back up!! Dancing for joy on this news!

    The state of her lungs and heart is still in question. Her lungs still are congested, the antibiotics continue, her fever has stayed down but a lung specialist is now on her case in addition to her bone marrow transplant team. Her heart rate is still too fast and she still requires oxygen and is very short of breath. But...I am confident they'll get to the bottom of it all. One step at a time.

    To celebrate our good news, we brought along a yellow pom pom as yellow is Amy's favorite color and it's also the color of energy. We have it hanging in her room, and any time we get good news about anything, I am required by the Mother's Book of Instructions, page 43, to do a celebration dance and cheer. Now, those that know me understand that this is not the type of entertainment they're looking for on any new reality tv show, but it does seem to cause Amy to smile. No, I will not do the dance outside this room.

    Sending you all love, joy, laughter, prayers, healing, and giggling angels to celebrate our day of good news....Teresa

 

Friday, 7/15/05 (Day #18 in hospital-day 10 from transplant)

  • 8:30pm    Dear Friends...Sorry to be a little behind with my update. It's been a busy day with both good news as well as frustrating news. But...isn't that fairly typical of life? Rarely does life or the news media, or doctors deliver only good news. So.. we've decided to stay in the rejoicing mode for the good news and in the problem solving mode for the frustrations of the day.

    On to the good news! Amy's tiny little improvement in counts yesterday multiplied itself 7 fold in this morning's lab work. Her neutrophils (the one that determines if she can get out of her room and today was our 10th day of room confinement) were .3 yesterday which was up from zero. This morning it was 2.2!!! All I could think of are the many times in the Scriptures that the number 7 is often associated with God's miracles. And yes....I did the pom pom dance. I managed to restrain myself until the medical folks got out of the room, but it was hard.

    Our second piece of good news was that the count was high enough for Amy to go out of the room again. She wasn't up to the journey until this afternoon and wasn't strong enough to walk, but she and the expert chair pusher (also pom pom girl) enjoyed the outing.

    Our third good report was from the Echo cardiogram. The doctors were a little worried about whether her heart had been damaged from the chemo but the test is absolutely perfect. No damage whatsoever and the heart appears in excellent health. This is truly great news because we could have been in serious trouble if the heart was damaged, so that's one less thing we need to pray over.

    Now, for the lung update. We still don't know exactly what we're dealing with. The lung specialist wants to do another scan on Monday and see if there are any changes from the one we did a couple of days ago. Basically, we could be dealing with infection, pulmonary damage from the chemo, or some other condition. They may have to scope her lungs before its over but we're hoping the scan will give us the diagnosis without that procedure. They're going to continue the antibiotics because she improved after the two new ones were added two days ago. The best case scenario would be that the scan shows improvement over the one from a few days ago. If that were to be the case, we could feel fairly good that we have an infection that is covered by one of the five IV antibiotics she's on. If the problem appears to have worsened, then the scope of the lungs will be the next step. So...our brave hearts and prayer warriors, let's lift this specific focus up over the weekend.

    When we came in, we had a date of July 16th for possible discharge if we didn't have a complication. Well, obviously we've had a few complications along the way (which I must point out our Father has resolved) so we will not be going home tomorrow. We won't know how much longer we'll have to be here until after the test on Monday so I'll update later on that.

    One of our favorite nurses here has called Amy "The Kid" almost from the beginning because of her fighting spirit. One of Amy's favorite movies is Rocky and I remember that his trainer, played by Bergis Meredith, called him Kid. I think that's a common term for fighters. So..our little Duck Girl, aka The Kid, still has a few steps to climb. Of course we will have a new twist for the successful climbing of the stairs. Remember in Rocky when he got to the top of the stairs, he was dancing and jumping with his arms in the air in a very victorious manner? Well, if you saw the movie, you know it was quite moving. Amy will definitely be doing that while off to the side where the cameras can't pick it up will be .....the seriously challenged pom pom dancer doing the most grateful dance of her life!

    God bless you all for hanging with us. We love you and hope you all have a refreshing weekend. Sending you joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, love, and weekend angels to give you all the elements you require for body, mind, and spirit...Hugs, Teresa

 

Saturday, 7/16/05 (Day #19 in hospital, day 11 from transplant)

6:00pm    Dear Friends, Today brought us more increase in the white cell count so Amy's body is definitely getting in gear down with cell production. She is still very fatigued and we continue to fight with N/V and oxygen continues but I think her shortness of breath may be a little better. Just keep praying.

Amy has a central IV line in her chest and it has two ports through which meds can be given. It's been in since January and we have babied it along all these months. Last night one of the ports malfunctioned and actually came apart. Right now, the other port is still good so they're continuing to give the IV meds through that. They may have to take the line out although they think they might be able to repair it on Monday. Right now it's clamped off with two clamps and it makes us a little nervous as that line is in a very big blood vessel and we don't want to to bleed or be open to the air where it could cause new infection. I think I've checked it 50 times since it was clamped off last night just to be sure everything is secure. If you don't mind, please pray for some "clamp" angels to sit on  it tonight so I won't keep disturbing Amy peeking at the thing.

We did get outside the room again this afternoon in a wheelchair, but any outing that takes us out of these confines lifts her spirits. The other thing I did was to paint her toenails with some bright red nail polish. I think looking down at cheerful feet could only help. Okay, this could be a little like the pom pom dance.  Maybe I am more out of control than I realize!  By the way, many of you have written to ask about my giving lessons in pom pom dancing or at least giving a demonstration. You are very clever, but I'm not falling for the line of you just want to further your knowledge. Remember, I'm a teacher and can spot a "real snow job" at a good distance.

Hope all of you are having a good Saturday. We send you our love and wish for each of you incredible joy, laughter, healing, focus, insight, and angels abounding, Hugs, Teresa

 

Sunday, 7/17/05 (Day #20 in hospital, day 12 from transplant)

  • 6:00pm    Dear Friends, Your prayers are sooooo effective! Not only are Amy's white counts coming up; they're leaping up! This morning's counts were well within the normal range! Her red blood cell count is a little slower coming back as is the platelet count but both are coming up so maybe she won't have to have more blood or platelets.

    I appreciate the "clamp"angels many of you prayed for last night. No problems during the night and we'll know tomorrow if we can repair or if it will have to be taken out. If it is taken out, they've told her she'll probably have to have another one put in and she's a little disappointed about that as she is looking to be rid of this appliance she's had for 7 months. Keep on swimming, keep on swimming! Also, tomorrow will be the CAT scan of her chest, so please pray for a clear diagnosis on this lung condition. I think her shortness of breath is better, but she still requires oxygen to keep her oxygen saturation up and she's still very fatigued.

    Fatigued or not, we got out for our walk. That's my duck girl, aka The Kid. She's getting ready for the top of those steps, and me, I'm polishing up my pom poms and wondering if I could put enough pancake makeup on to disguise my face a little so I won't embarrass my friends and students too much. Of course, you all have been knowing me for a while so I guess you're used to it by now. I know my children are. They hardly ever flinch anymore!

    This morning during my quiet time I was looking out the window and watching a bird.  Amy's room faces Rose street and there are very large utility poles on this street to accommodate all the university power needs. These poles are very, very tall and I can count seven different levels of lines attached to the pole. At any rate, I have noticed every day birds at different times of the day sitting on the top line. Usually, I see large numbers (25-30 all in a row) . I have wondered if this is the "chirp klatch" instead of the "coffee klatch". At any rate, this morning I saw a solitary bird perched on the high wire. I thought "What in the world is he or she doing out there all alone? Wonder if it's a "loner bird" or "did it miss the message that everyone was meeting on another wire two streets over" or "did the group just not want to be with this bird". I started feeling a little sorry for the bird, then... my thoughts began to take a new direction. What if this bird is the leader bird and goes first to "show the others the way" or "sits alone to demonstrate its confidence in the ability to do so" or "comes early to enjoy the first pinks of the dawn in peaceful meditation before the merry chirping of the group begins". Well, needless to say, I started admiring this bird and didn't feel sorry for it.  So...I still don't know what was going on, but eventually other birds came along. Assumptions get us into trouble all the time, and I am reminded by this bird to keep an open mind and look at both sides of life's unusual appearances as there is often many possible messages there to be understood. Certainly, the challenges that this BMT process is bringing to us will be easier if our family can stay away from assumptions about any of the challenges. Our Heavenly Father will unfold each of them in due time without our resorting to assumptions which are uncertain at best and often anxiety provoking and incorrect at worse. I'm grateful that God gave us all of creation to learn from. 

We send you love, gratefulness for your many prayers and cards and emails, hugs, prayers, and laughing angels to sweeten your week. Teresa

 

Monday, 7/18/05 (Day #21 in hospital, day 13 from transplant)

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends, As I write this, I am absolutely blown away by the power of prayer!   Yes, Amy is much better and let me tell you "the rest of the story".  

    You will recall that our focus this weekend was to pray for the abnormal CAT scan of Amy's lung that showed a spot that her doctors feared would be a very bad fungal pneumonia which none of the antibiotics she was taking would cover.   They said on Friday, " The area will be better or it will be worse.  If worse, we will biopsy the lung.  If better, we'll continue current meds. "  Their manner in saying all this seemed to be preparing us for the strong possibility that it would be the fungal pneumonia which would have required several more weeks of IV antibiotics then a long term of oral antibiotics.  They said that if it were the fungal pneumonia, the scan would stay the same or be worse. 

    So....we had the enhanced CAT scan this morning and they just came in and told us that the abnormal congested area they saw on Friday is gone, completely gone!   She still has congestion and infection which is so much better,  but the area they had prepared us would probably be this serious pneumonia is not better, it's GONE!   We are elated and so grateful to our Heavenly Father and to you dear hearts who have prayed so faithfully for each challenge that has been placed before us.  Thank you for your concentrated prayers of faith this weekend that I believe with all my heart made the difference in this scan today.

    They believe the rest of the congestion will clear with continued antibiotics and they're going to try and put her on oral ones tomorrow, cut back IV fluid, and if we can maintain with the nausea they might consider letting her go home since she's here in Lexington and I'll be with her.  Can you believe that piece of news????  We could be home before the end of the week and maybe as early as Wednesday.  

    Of course, she's very very weak yet but we expected that and I really think we could handle home if she's eating and drinking and the oral antibiotics stay down.   She still needs oxygen when she's moving around, but her lung doctor thinks that will change as her lungs finish clearing of infection.  

    We are singing the happy song, doing the happy dance, slapping the high fives, and anything else we can do to show our joy over this turn of events.  I got so winded this time doing the pom pom dance that I thought we might have to call the medical folks back in here!!

    We send you love, great joy, eternal gratitude for your faithfulness to our family's prayer requests, hugs, and angels to surround you.  How will I ever sleep tonight????  Somebody better send me some "sleep" angels to calm me down....Hugs and Angels, Teresa

 

Tuesday, 7/19/05 (Day #22 in hospital, day 14 from transplant)

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends, Today, we have been involved in activities to get Amy ready to sleep in her own bed tomorrow!! We have had the IV port repaired, all the IV meds have been switched to oral ones, and instructions given for the rest of her recovery at home for the next several months.

    To say we're excited is too mild a statement. We'll be dreaming of "home recliners", sweet pets waiting, and no one coming in our room throughout the night.

    Once we get home, Amy will be homebound as far as visitors and crowds go. She will also begin her radiation in about three weeks so once we start that, it will be everyday for about 5 weeks. So....we have a ways to go, but we are very optimistic as we have just come out of the deep ravine on the wings of your prayers. We know you will continue to pray for us and we will continue to thank our Father for each of you and the incredible strength you have given us on this journey.

    God bless you this evening as we pack our bags for home. The yellow pom pom will be on top of the heap as I may have to dance all the way to the car!! Love, hugs, and angels, Teresa

 

Wednesday, 7/20/05 ( Going Home)

  • 4:30pm   Dear Friends, We are back in Kansas?  We finally found the yellow brick road!

 I was slowly dismantling Amy's room when they came in and told her all the paper work was complete and she could go.   Needless to say, I stopped my slow dismantle task and went into high gear.  I could make a documentary for the weather channel in how to pack a room in 15 minutes and leave before the hurricane strikes!  Now, I know you don't believe it could be that big of a deal, but when have any of you ever had to take 4 carts of stuff to the car after your hospital stay?   I realize most of you are sensible and only take a small overnight bag.  Not the Hardman girls.  Once we knew we would be in that room 3-4 weeks, we tried to turn it into Spa Markey.  Of course at the real spas, they don't stick you with needles, give you yucky meds to take, and wake you through the night, but we did our best to minimize these distractions.   We had beautiful posters on every wall, your beautiful cards on the closet door, afgans on every chair, lots of dvd's and videos, a tea pot for brewing tea, books for reading, games for playing, stuffed animals and other gifts given to us before we came to the hospital,  yellow pom pom for celebrating, and....a very few clothes.   So...now that you know what we had in the room, you can understand how good I was at getting all that stuff down and packed and loaded in about 30 minutes total.

Once we pulled out of the parking lot, we were so excited and I turned to Amy and said where do you want to go?  I'm sure the doctors thought we were going straight home.  I knew better.   Amy said let's drive by the horse farms off Richmond Road so off we went.  My baby needed to see beautiful green fields and tree lined country roads so off we went on the small detour.   A dark cloud was trying to come up but we didn't get rained upon.  Just as we came over the top of one of those beautiful rolling hills, the beautiful green fields with the little foals and their mamas were set against the dark clouds.   What a visual impact!   The storm cloud was threatening, but the mamas and their babies were quietly eating and moving through the field.   Sometimes, we have to move through the field and experience the beauty of the green even if the sky is becoming dark.

Eventually, we got home and what a homecoming with the two dogs.  Reilly, Amy's Yorkie/Maltese , pretended to have an asthma attack which he always does when he gets very emotional.  And Tippy, my dog, raised her Reindeer Chihuahua bark to a pitch that probably cannot even be measured!  Then, it was onto the recliner and collapse for a little rest.

Our day has been filled with getting prescriptions filled, arranging home health appointments and supply deliveries, and getting myself organized again.  Now, I am the Mom, the nurse, the cook, the laundry person, etc.  Of course, we have Charlie to help us and he's very glad to do so. 

For the next month, Amy is still on a very strict BMT protocol of diet, activity, rest, and isolation as far as visitors up close.  She cannot have flowers or fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, or concentrated sweets so....I'll be cooking within the limits.  The first month she will be very prone to infection so that's why we stay strict with all this until the counts are staying up.  Of course in Amy's case, she'll have to begin radiation in about a month and all the counts will go down again so we've still got a little ways to go but she has come so far, we know we can see the finish line.

Please continue to pray for us and we will continue to use this site to update you as we work on recovering from this BMT journey.  Love, hugs, prayers, and angels to all of you, Teresa

 Thursday, 7/21/05 (Day #2 at home)

  • 6:00pm    Dear Friends,  Our first full day at home has been rather exhausting, but we're surviving. I think it will take us a day or two to get into a routine with all the meds, nap time, bath time, etc. etc. I think Amy thought the magic of home would immediately erase all the nausea and GI problems she continues to have, but even the reality of that has not dampened our spirits at being away from the hospital setting.

    I have resorted to lists to keep up with all the stuff we have to do. There are meds every two hours, breathing treatments, personal hygiene, cooking duties, daily cleaning of kitchen and bath, and seeing that Reilly gets his "treats" on a regular basis. This last item is top of the list as far as his mama, Amy, is concerned.

    Actually, all this craziness reminds of what it was like to bring a new baby home! In a strange sort of way, that's what we've done. Hopefully, Amy has been given a new life start. We're already counting July 5, day she got her Bone Marrow Cells, as her second birthday. I think everyone should have several birthdays. We'll also celebrate January 21 which was the day she was officially diagnosed with cancer. That will be her survival birthday. Today is six months exactly and what a six months it has been.  The wretchedness of cancer has illuminated the beauty in Amy, Charlie, and all of you. Isn't it remarkable that beauty can not arise but flourish in the face of such a bear as cancer. Thank you dear friends for your beautiful faces, smiles, hearts, and prayers that have helped to light our way through the dark days. We love all of you and will long remember your loving spirits.

    Amy will be at very high risk for infection for at least another month until her counts hopefully get close to the normal range for all aspects of the blood components. We'll see the doctor 2-3 times a week for blood tests and of course we're into taking the temp several times a day and have our strict instructions to beat it back to Markey for certain temp elevations.

    The pom pom has been unpacked but we're keeping it where we can see it because the day the nausea disappears will definitely be a dancing event. Keep praying for that to happen soon as we are really tired of the GI house guests.  Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing energy, prayers, and angels to surround you and yours, Teresa

 

Friday, 7/22/05 (Day #3 at home)

  • 6:00pm Dearest Friends,  We've had a little better day today. Amy has been able to walk a little further but still needs lots of help with the stairs and bath. She gets a little frustrated with her lack of strength. She was unable to open a plastic bottle of pop today. Then she tried to open a package of cookies and couldn't do that either. Needless to say, this is tough for a young woman who enjoys running five miles a day and when that activity is not available, taking me for 5 mile walks. We'll get it all back in small increments. I won't say pray for patience, because every time in my life that I have done that, God gives me situations that demand patience. So...instead, I will ask you to pray for Amy's strength to return in a consistently, improving manner each day.

    The GI problems continue and her doctor changed one med today so maybe that will help. I think if we could get past the nausea problems, the rest of it would be much easier to take. I guess that's another prayer focus.

    As many of you know already, I am being treated at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida since last December for a serious problem with my pancreas.  Basically, the pancreas is failing. I was there in December, January, and March and was suppose to go back in June but delayed it due to Amy's BMT. At this point, I'm suppose to return August 1. Of course, Amy wants to go with me, but we'll have to see how things are by that time. My logical daughter has pointed out to me that we will be at a major medical center if she develops any problems. I plan to stay out of this decision and ask her doctor to make the call. She sees it as a opportunity to have a small break before starting radiation about mid August. Maybe we better pray about this one too. In some ways, it might be a motivating goal for her. One of these days, our lives are going to be soooooo boring! . I can hardly wait!!  Last night I phoned the mother of another young adult patient at Markey who also had a BMT.  Her child received the BMT the day after Amy's transplant.  They are still in the hospital and having a very hard time. Please pray for them tonight as a morphine drip has had to be started to deal with the pain of some severe chemo side effects.

    Amy and I were discussing how many times she had walked past Markey Cancer Center as a student at UK since it's right on campus. She said she would never be able to see it again without praying for those inside. I feel that way too.

    Often we go through life with blinders on to the suffering all around us. It's not that we're insensitive as much as it is that we have been spared the experience so we don't have it in the forefront of our minds. One of the big lessons for any pain (physical, emotional, or spiritual) is to raise our awareness of our blessings and encourage us to pray for others - even if we don't know them. I think Amy has the right idea. Let's just pray for all those inside the hospitals, schools, stores, that we pass everyday as we go about our daily activities whether or not we know the specifics of the individuals inside. God knows the specifics and will hear the petitions raised.

    We hope all of you have a wonderful weekend. We're looking forward to our first weekend home and I may have to dance again even before the nausea leaves as it begins to really hit me that WE ARE HOME.  Sending you love, joy, laughter, hope, prayers, and summer angels to refresh you, Teresa

 

Saturday, 7/23/05 (Day #4 at home)

  • 7:00pm    Dear Friends, We've had a really good day today. This morning I was suppose to go to Morehead to take Amy's baby, Reilly, for his haircut. She decided she wanted to come with me so away we went. We dropped him off and went to our house to wait in the recliner until Baby was finished at the spa! She did well with the drive and being up most of the day and yahoo, she even managed to open a plastic pop bottle this morning!

    There's always a fine line between enough activity in recovery and overdoing it! I don't think we overdid it, but she's really tired. Of course, she has a sense of accomplishment that she tolerated the drive and being up for most of the day. I think the real issue was that she wanted to go and "hold Baby's hand" or at least hold his hand when we picked him up!

    Hope all of you are keeping cool. Take care of yourselves because you are all precious to us. Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and angels to stand ever ready to meet your needs, Teresa

 

Sunday, 7/24/05 (Day #5 at home)

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends, True to the recovery process, one day can be great and the next the pits. Yesterday was great and today is the other extreme.  Amy has not been able to keep any food down and we're barely keeping liquids down. Things are going to need to improve rather drastically if we're going to avoid going back to have IV fluids. So...just when you thought it was safe to ease up on the praying, I'm asking you to focus again on this nausea/vomiting problem.

    You know, Amy and I were discussing last night how absolutely cute the Baby (aka Reilly) looks after his day at the spa (aka Precious Pals). As we were discussing this, I pointed out that there is something really wrong with this picture when the Baby looks adorable with his shave and blow dry while all the other females in this household need some serious help. I mean check this out - Amy has no hair, Tippy has short, straight impossible hair, and my hair has gotten so much grayer over the past month, that I am fairly certain some of you may only recognize me by voice recognition. When things lighten up a little around here, we're going to address some of these inconsistencies in the household! In the meantime, I'm considering wearing the yellow pom pom on my head!

    Hopefully, all of you have had a refreshing weekend with lots of angels to assist you and care for you. We send you love, joy, laughter, focus, prayer, and Monday Angels to smoothe the way tomorrow. Hugs, Teresa

 

Monday, 7/25/05 (Day #6 at home)

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends, Your prayers are focused and helping. We've had a much better day today. Food is still limited to cereal, yogurt, sprite, hot tea and toast, but...it's all staying down so we'll continue with this menu for a while.

    Several of you have written to say that I should give up the thought of Amy and I taking turns wearing the yellow pom pom. Okay, you could be right about that, and my feelings are not hurt at all. I think we'll just plan on a nice day of beautification when she's well enough to do so. Such a day will probably have to wait until after radiation but if we get started on that as planned in mid August, we should be able to go by Amy's birthday in November. Radiation will take about 5-6 weeks, then you have to wait another 5-6 weeks before you get in hot tubs, etc. Plus, I don't think they'll take her central IV line out until after radiation.  So...November seems like a long time to put off beautification. I may have to come up with a mini version of the spa to encourage us.

    We go for a checkup on Wed and they'll test her blood counts again. They prepared us that it's not unusual on the first visit to have to have platelets or additional blood. But...we're hoping for the best so that is your next prayer focus. By now, you know I believe in praying for whatever we need as our Heavenly Father's children. For me that has always meant praying as earnestly for the little things as the big things as all of them are part of the daily fabric we call Life.  Thank you for joining us in these petitions.

    Sending you love, joy, laughter, healing, prayer, and angels to surround you, Teresa

 

Tuesday, 7/26/05 (Day #7 at home)

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends, We hope all of you are in where it's cool as we wait for the thunderstorms to bring us some relief! Amy has had more vomiting today but she's better this afternoon. We've identified a breakfast food that is not agreeing with her so perhaps tomorrow will be better as we delete that from the menu. She goes to see the doctor tomorrow and they'll do blood work so keep your focused prayer going.

    I'm on again, off again about going for my Mayo appt next week. Amy has told me I'm going with or without her and that it's not negotiable. She must be getting better as she is promising me a lashing with some very big noodles if I don't go. I'm waiting to see what her doctor has to say tomorrow before I make my decision. Let's pray for clarity for all concerned as we're all a little tired at this point.

    God bless you everyone as you pray for us and tenderly hold us up with those prayers and positive thoughts. We send you love, joy, giggles, prayers, hugs, and cooling angels to keep you "fresh". Teresa

 

Wednesday, 7/27/05 (Day #8 at home)

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends,  We just got in from the doctor and lab work. Overall, things are pretty good. Amy's counts have gone down some since our return home but apparently that is not unexpected. They're still okay to be out of the hospital but she'll still be wearing her mask outdoors and isn't suppose to have a lot of contact with others until the counts are higher.

    She's been taking 5 antibiotics and several of those have been discontinued and we believe this should help with some of the nausea problem.

    Best of all, she wrangled permission to go with me to Florida for the Mayo visit. Of course we'll be keeping all the rules of daily temp taking, dietary restrictions, fluid needs, medications, wearing the mask, and calling immediately to UK if any problems as well as seeking Mayo's help if we need it. As she put it to the doctor, she could be nauseated anywhere and being at the ocean's side early in the morning would be very restorative! Amy has always known herself pretty well, so I trust her call on this and don't believe she would try to go if she didn't believe she could make it in good shape. We'll drive and take two full days to go and two to come back so that will be comfortable for both of us. At any rate, I know we will have all of you praying for us so....what could possibly go wrong??????? Don't answer that!

    Okay, I have to admit that there were a few photos taken while in the hospital of the pom pom dancer. Amy is pressing me to share the glory of the "fabulous" pom pom dancer with all of you. Now...that could happen, but I am a little concerned that doing that might result in someone sending to a tabloid that specializes in unusual stories. Or...at the very least, I might expect to see a blown up version placed in a strategic location in Morehead . I may have to think about this a bit longer.

    Well, have a good evening. Thank you for your continued prayers. Today, we believe we have made some progress. Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and of course the most beautiful angels to sing you to sleep and give you peaceful dreams, Teresa

 

Thursday, 7/28/05 (Day #9 at home)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends,
    Today has been a good day. Amy actually felt like reading the newspaper. Up until now, she's felt too bad to concentrate on much reading so this is a great sign of progress. We have the new Harry Potter book ready for her to begin and I think today is a good sign she's almost ready for the largeness of the new novel.

    Our plan today was to have lots of mini meals and that has helped with the nausea and it's our first day with the decreased number of antibiotics so maybe we're trying to turn that corner now.

    Another sign that recovery is happening is that Amy put on a pair of earrings for the first time in 6 weeks! Now....when a woman starts caring about her hair, make up, and earrings, we don't need a lab report to tell us things are improving!

    We will leave early Saturday morning and start our trip to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. Knowing how strange little things seem to happen to me, I'm hoping for a minimum number of them on this trip. Maybe you all better pray for  that minimal number! I'm taking the pom pom in case I need to do any dancing during the trip.

    We hope all of you have had a successful day and that your Friday will be a great one. God bless your hearts for all the kindness and optimism that you have shared so gently and consistently with us. Sending you love, hugs, peace, encouragement, joy, giggles, and weekend angels to give you a special lift.  Teresa

 

Friday, 7/29/05 (Day #10 at home)

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends, Today has been a middle of the road day for Amy. She continues to have nausea and a rough headache today, so she's sort of taken it easy and watched me flying around gathering up things for our trip to Mayo early tomorrow morning. She's really looking forward to the trip and seeing it as a challenge, goal, and reward all at the same time. I guess I feel the same way.

    We'll continue to send updates from the road trip so all of you can know how your prayers are working and I do expect them to work as I have witnessed their power over the past 6 weeks.

    Hope all of you have a beautiful weekend. We send you love, joy, friendship, peace, and beautiful angels to keep you company. Hugs, Teresa

 

Saturday, 7/30/05 (Day #11 at home-day #1 Mayo road trip)

  • 8:00pm    Dearest Friends,  The Road Trip is in progress and we are a little behind getting this posted. We made it to just past Atlanta (about half way) and have had dinner and checked into our hotel so we consider this to be a very major accomplishment.  The day has been long but Amy has done very well. We took lots of breaks, small snacks, and stretch the leg breaks. We're both very tired and I think we'll sleep well. Tomorrow, we'll go the rest of the way and have plenty of time to get there. We were a little late getting off this morning so didn't get quite as far as we had planned. We hit Atlanta at the wrong time (5 pm) and just let me say that Amy and I both were sweating profusely after going through the crazy traffic and that perspiration effort was in spite of the ac going full blast! Even on a Saturday, folks were driving all over the road in and out and all around at the most unexpected times! We even had to turn down the oldies to keep our nerves under control and we NEVER turn down the oldies!

    Amy had to take her nausea meds today but she has been able to go a little longer between doses so that's progress. We're so grateful that she is slowly going forward. The other young adult patient I asked ya'll to pray for has had another setback and went back into the hospital after only two days at home. Please continue to pray for that family as they are very discouraged.  Amy and I were discussing her friend's set back, and Amy said she knew that could have been her if her mother had not had so many "watch dog" qualities.  Okay, I'll admit that I have been and continue to be a little over the top with my insistance on following the discharge protocol even if it gets on the nerves of others.  I think it's a side effect of all that pom pom waving near my head! I think they're going to investigate that phenomenon next , right after they finish the effect of cell phones near the head.

    Of course, I know without a doubt that it is the prayers of all of you that has kept our family moving forward. Thank you once again for your faithfulness.  Please share with your various groups that you have praying for us that we are making progress and we do thank them for their precious petitions in our behalf. Well, I'll close and get this posted. Tomorrow will be another long day but so far, so good. God bless each of you with peaceful slumber and bright eyes for the morrow. Sending you love, joy, laughter, prayers, and angels, Teresa

 

Sunday, 7/31/05 (Day #12 at home-day #2 Mayo road trip)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends, The wings of your prayers have brought us safely to our destination. We got here about 4:30 this afternoon and have had a rest and a short walk to the beach where we sat and enjoyed the cool evening ocean breezes and fresh salt in the air.  Amy has had a good day though very tired as I am from our journey but we are grateful to be here. We got started earlier this morning but after about 20 minutes back on I 75, Amy remembered that she had left her pillow that she brought from home in the hotel room where we stayed. Totally confident and to reassure her that we would get the pillow back, I said, "Don't worry, I'll use the cell phone and call the hotel and they'll hold the pillow for us." It was only when I reached for the cell phone and it wasn't there that we feared we had also left the cell phone. I took the next exit and after a 20 minute search of the car, we finally found it. I'm afraid by the time the pillow and phone were rescued, our early morning lead had evaporated, but it was only a "tiny little disturbance" so we just went with the flow.

    This morning at the hotel, Amy wanted to walk down with me to get my coffee at the continental breakfast so keeping all the rules, she wore her mask and she had a little bucket hat on. Of course the staring started immediately. Amy said, "Maybe I look like Michael Jackson with this hat and my mask." I said, "Don't worry, if any of them start over to ask for autographs, I'll immediately begin the pom pom moonwalk and I'm sure that will clue them in that they have mistaken you for the "gloved one". At least we laughed in the face of such rude behavior.

    Once again, Amy was able to stretch out the time between her nausea meds so that's impressive and who knows after a few days smelling this ocean, she may be lots better.  She'll stay here and rest while I'm at Mayo in the morning so we have good things planned to facilitate recovery. God bless you all and thank you for the travel angels. We felt them near us all day. Love, hugs, and angels, Teresa

 

Monday, 8/1/05 (Day #13 at home-day #3 Mayo road trip)

  • 8:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Amy has had a good day today. Her progress continues even with our ever present friend, nausea. How do I know progress is being made? Well, the little duck girl pulled out her study material for the CPA exam. She's determined to take the second part of it this month! Did I or did I not tell you what a slave driver she can be? Honestly, this is the part that is really worrying me about promising to do this marathon or half-marathon that I've promised to do with her next summer. Something tells me, (actuallly shouts at me) , that as my coach during training for such an event, she will not cut this "flubby" person any slack! However, her discipline and spunk is also one of the most incredible things about her. Just give her a hill, tell her it can't be done, and watch what happens! I should also mention that if I were you, I wouldn't watch from in front of her or you might be wearing a New Balance print on your face.

    So far, I would say the sea air is good for her. Keep those salty angels working on the special project of "seaside recovery".

    My day at Mayo has been long, and I can honestly say that I am not nearly as gracious as Amy is when it comes to all the prodding and poking and needles and scans. I've said several times today to myself, "Is this only Monday? How long do I have to do this???" By Friday, when I'm suppose to be through, I may do the pom pom dance. What do you think? Maybe that would be a bad reflection on Kentucky. You know how everyone thinks everyone from Kentucky is a bit off? I wouldn't want to reinforce that, but if I were to dance, I promise I won't give any of your names as emergency contact people!

    Tomorrow will make two weeks that Amy has been out of the hospital. I can't believe it's only been 2 weeks and she's in Florida. Well, all I got to say is I hope she doesn't decide to go on a NASA flight between now and when radiation treatment begins in early September. I really don't think the pom pom queen can handle the dance in zero gravity conditions!

    We love you and continue to ask for your prayers. We hold you all in warm remembrance and send you joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and angels to put a special pep into your steps tomorrow and sweet peace in your dreams tonight, Hugs,
    Teresa

 

Tuesday, 8/2/05 (Day #14 at home-day #4 Mayo road trip)

  • 7:00pm   Teresa was unable to send an update this evening.  We will post updated information as soon as possible. Please be patient and continue to pray for Teresa and Amy as they coordinate recovery time with doctor's appointments. 

 

Wednesday, 8/3/05 (Day #15 at home-day #5 Mayo road trip)

  • 6:30    Dearest Friends, Thank you for your patience in my not getting an update to you last evening. We've had a rather exciting 24 hours. First, I'll give you the Amy news.

    Amy told me to be sure and report that she officially has hair now. She counted five (5) new hairs on her head in the mirror this morning so she's pumped! This morning instead of just sitting on the beach, she wanted to walk a little ways which we did and then rested and then walked back. It wasn't a great distance (maybe 50 yards) but it was a breakthrough. Of course, I'm realizing that this means my resting days are nearly over........! Soon, we'll be back to the part where Amy's Mom is desperately trying to catch up to the "walking" Amy. I love it!!!

    I am preparing most of Amy's meals as we have fridge, microwave in the room, but yesterday, she thought she wanted to try some outside food. She actually ate it and said it tasted like food instead of cardboard so another step for her. Once we get the nausea to leave, that will be icing on the cake, but I admire her for continuing to eat even when she doesn't feel like eating. You know, there are so many times in life when we have to do things whether we "feel" like it or not if we are to progress.

    A little side note on the food preparation for you. The maid came in yesterday to bring our towels as I do the cleaning as another way to keep Amy safe. At any rate, the lady did come in with a big stack of towels and laid them on the bed. She looked around the room at all the large shopping bags (the kind with twine handles) and with big eyes she said, "My goodness! You all have done some serious shopping! " I shook my head and said, "No, we brought all this with us so I could cook for my daughter." Her eyes got big again and I'm sure she thought we were really strange! Whatever, it takes is my motto!!

    When we were sitting on the sand for our rest this early morning (6:30 am), I was watching the surf crashing in its beautiful way onto the beach and I started thinking about the sand. In particular, I was thinking how each grain of sand is blasted from its resting place, churned over and over, then redeposited in a new place with new neighbors, new environment, etc. This doesn't sound very pleasant since I'm not sure the sand requested this "moving adventure", but as I considered it, I also realized that in the process of "relocation", each grain of sand was lifted, totally cleansed by the water, given a new view, and returned to a state of equilibrium.  Amazing, isn't it? I think we can learn from the sand that when our equilibrium is disturbed, do not despair for we will reach equilibrium again.

    One of the reasons I didn't get an update to you last night is that I had a little unexpected drama. I've had a major bleed in the retina of my left eye. About a year and a half ago, I had three such bleeds in my right eye but no problems with the left. Yesterday afternoon, the flashing lights started in the left eye, and I tried to take it easy, but when I got up this morning, the symptoms of a bleed were there so I called my GI doc who called the retina specialist and the retina specialist saw me early this morning. The danger with these types of bleeds is that the retina might become detached. At this point, that has not happened, so I'll continue with my other tests, we'll watch the eye for the rest of the week, and if it's not any worse, I'll see my specialist in Lexington when I get back early next week. If the retina starts detaching, they'll laser the eye here so maybe, if you feel like it, a little focused  prayer on this would be greatly appreciated.

    This evening, I am doing a prep for a colonoscopy early in the morning then I should get some of the results on Friday and hopefully, we will be out of here. It's not really a vacation even though we're in a nice, beautiful place. I would love to come down here and just be a tourist instead of a patient, and I know Amy feels the same way. One of these days that is going to happen.

    We hope all of you are well and happy and moving on your paths as you need to. We send you love, joy, healing, prayers, and angels to surround you, Teresa

 

Thursday, 8/4/05 (Day #16 at home -day #6 Mayo road trip)

  • 7:00pm   Dearest Friends,  We've just about reached the end of our week here in Florida. I still don't have all my tests results back, hopefully, they will be back tomorrow before we leave. We're going to take a little more time driving back due to my eye and the problem it has caused with seeing clearly especially at night. There will be no night driving so I expect it will be Sunday before we get back to Lexington.  Amy has a doctor's appt on Monday and I have one Tuesday with the retina specialist there.

    Today was another day of better strength for Amy. Once again, she was able to take a walk on the beach with me as opposed to sitting on the beach. She also has enjoyed her food today even with the nausea which is less than it was at the beginning of the trip, so all in all, I think she's made some progress this week. We hope the blood counts show progress when we test on Monday.

    Everyday has had a thunderstorm but even the storm clouds are beautiful down here, and this morning as I left early for Mayo for my colonoscopy, there was a full rainbow right at daybreak as the rain was clearing out. It was a spectacular way to begin the day. Such beauty exists everyday for our enjoyment if we can get ourselves to slow down and experience the "now".

    Hope all of you are well and happy and looking for all those angels we are sending you with love and hope and healing, Teresa

 

Friday, 8/5/05 (Day #17 at home-day #7 Mayo road trip)

  • 7:00pm     Amy and Teresa are "on the road again".  They have begun their return trip home and all is going well.  They do not have internet connection at their hotel so they are unable to send you a personal  message.  Teresa wants everyone to know they are doing fine.....although a bit tired.   They have had a nice dinner and are settling in for the evening.  Please continue to keep them in your prayers and send angels to watch over them. 

 

Saturday, 8/6/05 (Day #18 at home -day #8 Mayo road trip)

  • 8:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Greetings from Macon, Georgia. We have just stopped for the night and eventually we will make it home. We started home yesterday but have not been able to travel too fast due to my eye and due to the fact that Amy has developed a rash (looks like poison ivy) due to photosensitivity caused by several of the meds she's on. She didn't have it until we started traveling yesterday during the day. Prior to yesterday, she had only been out early morning or late afternoon. We left about mid morning yesterday and just riding in the car with the sun, she started itching and we could see the rash so we stopped early and have tried to drive today when the sun was not so bright. Due to the decreased vision in my left eye, we are not going to drive at night so tomorrow we'll get up early and drive early and stop somewhere during the heat of the day and then drive again when it's cooler.

    Amy said to tell you she's gone from being stared at because she looks like Michael Jackson with his mask to being stared at because she looks like a cat burglar! She begged me to stop and buy a ski mask so she wouldn't be able to scratch her face. I pointed out that we were in Georgia and this was going to be a little hard to come by!  Well, that's our update for the evening. Hopefully tomorrow evening we will be back in Lexington. Sending you love, joy, focus, healing, and angels, Teresa

 

Sunday, 8/7/05 (Day #19 at home -day #9 Mayo road trip)

  • 7:00pm    Teresa and Amy are still on the road, trying to get to Lexington before nightfall.  Teresa reports that Amy goes to the doctor on Monday where they will check on what we hope are blood counts climbing toward the "normal" range.  Hopefully Teresa will not be too tired to do the "pom pom" dance if Amy's counts are up!  Depending on these blood counts, a plan of action to begin radiation treatments will hopefully be determined.

    Tomorrow's update will bring you much anticipated news of the Florida trip and a progress report from the doctor's.  Please continue to pray for Amy and Teresa as they continue their journey home and as they approach the next phase of treatment. 

 

Monday, 8/8/05 (Day #20 at home)

  • 6:45pm    Dearest Friends,  We rolled into the house last night at 9 pm. from the road trip. I had to drive just  a short distance (less than 8 miles in the dark) so that was good as my vision is rotten after dark with the goofy eye problem.

    Today has been a busy day with Amy's lab work and doctor's appt. Her blood counts are slowly coming up, but they decided to give her some more of those injections that stimulate the production of the blood cells so she got one today and will get another one in two weeks to see if that will bump things along. This Friday, she will be having the central IV line removed that has been in her chest since January. That will be done in outpatient surgery so Friday will be a busy day too. She's really excited about this progress because once it is out, she'll be able to shower, swim, and begin to exercise again in all the ways she was doing before all this chaos started. Of course, we'll be starting with simple walking but it's a real boost to get this apparatus out. It's been a life saver and kept her from being stuck over and over again for IV's, chemo, etc. but it is a real hamper for her and she has endured the weekly dressing changes and flushing the line with grace.

    We will meet with the radiation oncologist next week and start setting up the process for the radiation treatments. We anticipate radiation will start about the first week in September and there are some pre-radiation markings, etc. that have to be completed before the actual treatment starts.

    While her counts are slowly coming up, the doctor advises a few more weeks of being careful with masks, etc. . We think the continuing nausea will also improve as her blood counts get better so the current plan is for her to continue to rest, study for CPA exam, and steadily improve.

    We're still waiting for my final reports from Mayo. The radiologists wanted to compare the scans they completed on Thursday with all my other scans so I hope to hear something by tomorrow. I see the retina specialist here tomorrow for another evaluation of the bleeding left eye.

    Thank you for your continued prayers as we go forward on our healing paths. We are learning a great deal with these challenges and we are comforted by your willingness to pray for us while we're in this intensive classroom! Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and angels to surround you, Teresa

 

Tuesday, 8/9/05 (Day #21 at home)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends,  It's been a hot one and Amy has stayed in most of the day. We got out very early this morning and actually took a short walk on her street (the first one since early June) so she was pumped about that, and informed me we would take another one this evening when the hotness of the day is gone. Did I or did I not tell you all that my resting days were over!! She's definitely mapping out our renewed exercise and training program. I have to say though that it is a joy to have her considering exercise options as opposed to chemo side effects!

    My appointment with the retina specialist was about what I expected. The eye is still bleeding behind the eye but the retina is still intact. As long as it stays intact, we won't have to laser the eye so keep asking for those retina angels to be on duty. My final reports from Mayo also came in and we got a good report on the scan that we took to see if I had a rare neuroendocrine tumor. At this point, it looks like that is a no, and they'll keep watching the small tumor that is there and keep treating the severe pancreatic insufficiency and chronic pancreatitis. To me, that means I'm stable and even with the increasing pain of it all, I am satisfied with the report for this point in time.

    Tonight, I'm cooking some fresh vegetables for Amy. She still has to be careful of anything raw, but she can have her cooked fresh veggies so it's grilled pork chops, cornbread, fresh tomatoes, fresh green beans, and corn on the cob. She is delighted  to be able to taste things again.

    Remember the young adult I asked you to pray for? He's better, but his Mom and I spoke today and her husband has just been diagnosed with cancer of the larynx and will be starting chemo later this week. Please pray for this family as they are in the middle of an ocean of challenges.

    We send you love, joy, friendship, peace, healing, and "cool" angels to keep a heavenly breeze floating around you on these hot days of August. Hugs, Teresa

 

Wednesday, 8/10/05 (Day #22 at home)

  • 9:00pm    Dearest Friends,  I am behind this evening. I can't seem to get caught up! Any of you having the same problem? Today has been a good day. Amy has walked outside early in the morning and again this evening and she ate a good supper.   We've been running around today arranging to pick up xrays for the radiologist next week who will determine the radiation treatment schedule. We're also trying to get our taxes filed since we got an extension with all that was going on during April and of course the extension is up August 15th so now we're trying to get the taxes done. Amy is ahead of me, but then she's the accountant so I don't feel badly about my slowness at finding all my junk to make the computations. Every year I say I'm going to get more organized!

    Amy's regular oncologist told her it would take much longer for her hair to come back this time due to the extremely strong chemo they gave during the BMT process. Amy is not dismayed and everyday checks out the five (5) beautiful, new hairs she has found on her beautiful bald head.

    Friday is the big day for getting the central line out, and we are really getting happy about that. This morning we changed the dressing for what we hope and believe will be the last time. Of course that generated a high five. I'm getting pretty good at those in addition to my pom pom moves!

    Today, I was trying to vacuum up a lot of loose, black particles and couldn't get them up. It took me several minutes to realize that I was trying to vacuum up what I'm seeing from my left eye!! Now, you know why I did not want to drive any after dark on our return trip.

    We send you love, joy, laughter, healing, prayers, hugs, and incredible angels to bless your hearts, Teresa

 

Thursday, 8/11/05 (Day # 23 at home)

  • 8:00pm  Dearest Friends, Well, today has been an excellent day as we have been busy getting the final details together for Amy's procedure in the morning. We have to be at the outpatient surgery clinic at 7 am with her procedure scheduled for 8 am. She is walking on cloud nine at the thought that this time tomorrow night, she will not have the central line. It's been a God send in many ways but has also severely limited her activity level which has been very hard for her to take. Of course, she sees this as a major step forward in returning to a more normal way of life.

    She can't seem to detect much effect from the injection she had on Monday to boost the blood cells, but I'm sure it's helping in its own quiet way. I think if we can keep the nutrition going well with her protein intake, that will also help. I'm encouraging the protein at every turn.  I think I may sound like a broken record, but then Moms don't really mind being repetitious when it's appropriate to do so!

    Hope all of you are having a great week and looking forward to Friday and the weekend. When next we write, it will be a "song of freedom".

    Sending you love, joy, focus, healing, prayers, and angels, Teresa 

 

Friday, 8/12/05 (Day #24 at home)

  • 8:00pm    MSU email is currently down and will not resume until late this evening.  We will get an update posted as soon as possible on Saturday.  Please be patient as we wait for these technical issues to be resolved. 

 

Sunday, 8/14/05 (Day #26 at home)

  • 3:00pm    Dearest Friends,  The pom poms are waving as Amy waves goodbye to her Groshan port. Her procedure went well this (Friday) morning and other than being sleepy for most of the day, she has tolerated the whole thing very well. Tomorrow, she will get to get into a full shower for the first time since January. After they put the line in during January, she's only been able to take a bath and then had to have the site wrapped in saran wrap and be very careful. Something tells me that Charlie and I might not get any hot water if we don't hit the shower before she does tomorrow!

    We're expecting to have a great weekend and actually look forward to meeting next week with the radiology oncologist so we can get this last treatment piece lined out. All of that will happen Tuesday and we expect her treatment to start about the first week in September if the blood counts are up and ready to go. They will be depressed again with radiation so we want them to be as high as possible before we start radiation.

    Have a glorious weekend and stay cool with these very hot temps. I'm hoping to get things unpacked from the trip as we've been on the go with doctor appts (mine and Amy's) since our return. God bless you all and know that we send you love, peace, joy, and angels to surround you and yours, Teresa

 

Monday, 8/15/05 (Day #27 at home)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends,  This past weekend was almost a normal weekend! Amy walked, ate well, and drove the car for the first time in nearly 8 weeks.  She slept most of Friday from her procedure but on Saturday, she showered for a very long first shower since January! The shower seemed to really perk her up and thus followed the brief drive. She drove me to Walmart and back.

    Tomorrow we see the radiology oncologist to get set up for her radiation treatment plans. We know this is the final piece of her treatment, but it's hard to willingly go back for more of anything!! We expect to start about the 6th of September but will know more after tomorrow.

    We've been trying to walk a little more each day very early (7am) or late (8:30 pm) as Amy is still very skin sensitive to the sun, and I just can't take the heat and humidity of these days. While we were walking one day over the weekend, I was thinking about our marathon training that we're hoping to start for real in January, and I suddenly realized and expressed the thought to Amy that we have already run the marathon. Cancer plunges you into a race that takes you to hell and back so there's really nothing that a little 26 mile race can do to us that will top what we've already been through. When I realized this, I suddenly felt a lot more confident that I'll be able to complete the training for walking a marathon. I think most all of you have experienced a few of "life's unexpected marathons" and I applaud all of you in surviving the difficult treks.

    As the pace of Amy's recovery has slowed to a less dramatic pace, I may go to a Monday, Wed, Friday update instead of every day. I know that all of you are still praying for us and I know you have many other things to do beside tune in each day, so unless I have a pressing matter for your consideration and prayer, we'll begin this week trying the MWF update. Sending you all love, joy, laughter, focus, prayers, and angels to each of you.  Teresa

 

Friday, 8/19/05 (Day #31 at home)

  • 8:00pm      Dearest Friends,  Well, it has been a very busy few days with my returning to school and our getting ready for Amy's radiation. She has received her markings, had a CAT scan today, and will have a PET scan on Monday. We anticipate that she will actually start her radiation treatments a week from today though we won't know for sure until the doctor reviews the CAT and PET scans .

    Because Amy's tumor was so deep into her chest, the doctor has advised that the radiation is very likely to cause some major inflammation with her esophagus which can result in difficulty swallowing and eating so we may be in for a difficult 4 or 5 weeks.  Please focus your prayers on her esophagus staying as healthy and unharmed as possible as these side effects can be very unpleasant and difficult to deal with if they develop in a severe manner.

    Several of you have asked about my eye. The good news is that the bleeding has stopped but the light show (flashing light) continues which means the vitreous is still pulling away from the retina and could still result in another bleed. So...we're still watching the eye to prevent a retinal detachment. Seeing is still like looking through an old screen door so you can imagine that reading and driving and close work gives me quite a fatigue headache after a few hours.  If you still want another prayer focus, then the left eye of the pom pom queen needs some help.

    We hope your weekend is a wonderful one with rest, fun, joy, laughter, focus, healing, and angels to surround you and yours. Hugs and prayers, Teresa

 

Monday, 8/22/05 (Day #34 at home)

  • 7:00pm  Dearest Friends,  Well, a new week has started. Our weekend was a fairly good one though Amy still tires very easily and she overdid and ended up having to rest in bed for about 4 hours. That's our athlete-always driving toward the goal but not always pacing herself enough.

    We were supposed to have had a PET scan today, but due to a scheduling problem, that was changed to tomorrow at 7:30 am so until those results are in, we still don't know when the actual radiation will begin. We see the radiology oncologist again on Friday and she will complete the permanent markings or tatoos as they're called after she reviews the CAT scan and the PET scan. We anticipate starting the treatments probably a week from today.

    I want to share with all of you something that still amazes me. Before I share this, I want all of you to know that this encounter did not happen with any of you or any of our close friends or family. In fact, that's what makes it even more amazing (someone I don't know well was confident enough to do what I am about to relate). I should also say that I had a similar encounter when my only sibling, a brother, died while on active duty with the Navy in a terrible accident in 1982.

    Okay, here's the recent encounter. This person said to me in inquiring about Amy's wellness the following, " Do you think anyone in your immediate family has done anything that God needs to punish them for through Amy?"

    Wasn't this the same question asked thousands of years ago "Master, did this man or his parents sin?" as the questioners sought to determine why the man was physically afflicted.

    When faced with this question, I can only share my belief and that is as follows. We are told over and over that nothing can come to us that our Heavenly Father does not know about. I believe trials come to us so that we may grow spiritually and that it is not a punishment but an opportunity that has been given to us. In some ways, even if I don't understand why the opportunity is presenting itself, I have to believe it is there with God's knowledge, His permission, and His grace to walk through the challenge. I do not feel punished. I feel empowered as we have seen God's hand throughout this time in our lives. We have seen that hand in the presence of faithful friends who pray for us, cry with us, walk with us, and lift us up on a daily basis. We are empowered by answered prayer, comfort in the middle of the night when things go bump, and peace in the middle of the storm. We are not punished. Far from it, we are blessed, and while we might not have chosen the timing of this challenge, we are loved and protected by the Father in the midst of the storm, and I want all of you to pray that this dear person who made these comments will find the loving, strong, wise Heavenly Father that walks with our family and yours. I cannot even imagine how life may appear to them if they believe Amy is being punished through this challenge called cancer.

    Sorry, if I have gotten on a soapbox, but I wanted to share this experience just to first of all share my opposite view, and second, to suggest that when we encounter others in crisis, we all need to be so very sensitive to our words. I can only imagine how crushing this question would have been if I did not believe what I believe.

    Sending all of you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and angels to surround you and yours, Teresa 

 

Wednesday, 8/24/05 (Day #36 at home)

  • 8:00pm    Dearest Friends, Today has been a good day. Amy is with me in Morehead for a couple of days before we begin radiation next week so we've been doing relaxing, fun things at home between my being at my university office for classes which began on Monday. We'll go back to Lexington tomorrow evening after I finish up here and we'll see the doctor on Friday to get our dates, times, etc. for the radiation process.

    That's really about the extent of the update today. Thank you for your continued prayers, cards, and thoughts. We're a little nervous about proceeding to the final stage of the treatment plan but we know we are not walking this path alone and that gives us so much courage.

    Sending each of you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and angels to surround you and tenderly care for your every need, Teresa

 

Friday, 8/26/05 (Day #38 at home)

  • 8:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Well, we have our schedule for next week. Amy will begin her radiation treatments next Tuesday, August 30th. We are expecting about 5 weeks of daily (M-F). We dread it, but are also anxious to get this behind us.

    This morning I was outside sitting under a tree and looking up through the leaves.  There was a light mist falling, and it really was a lovely early morning. As I was admiring the underside of the leaves and the branches, I could see that some leaves are just beginning to fall and turn color. Soon, the entire tree will be bare as the autumn progresses. I considered that it is in the winters of our emotional lives that just like the bare tree in winter, we are able to fully appreciate our foundation form that gives us shape and support for the spring, summer, and fall. During the other seasons, we are too busy to notice the beauty of our support system and only when we are as bare as the winter tree do we understand the strong but incredible beauty within each of us. Of course, I believe it is our spiritual selves that provide the real foundation for our lovely clothes of spring, summer, and fall and without that foundation, our clothes never really fit or feel like they belong to us.

    We send all of you love and hope, joy, laughter, focus, healing, and tree angels to remind you of your inner beauty each and every day,  Teresa

 

Monday, 8/29/05 (Day #41 at home)

  • 8:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Well, we're into the final stretch tonight before radiation begins tomorrow. Amy has had a good day. She visited her co-workers at Precision Staffing and enjoyed the visit greatly. She had not seen any of them since she left in early June to start preparations for her bone marrow transplant.  This morning I gave Amy a little plaque to begin radiation with. This is what it says: " To Become a Champion, Fight One More Round"- James Corbett.

    I thought this would be a good reminder that often championship are won or lost in that moment just before the next round starts and we face ourselves with the question of whether we can get up one more time. I think this radiation treatment is "one more round" and I know Amy is a champion at heart and will give it her best. Please continue to pray for her as she stands with courage to face the "round" ahead.

    We wish you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, and angels to surround you. Hugs and prayers, Teresa

 

Wednesday, 8/31/05 (Day #2 of radiation)

  • 6:00pm  Dearest Friends,  Well, two radiation treatments down and soon we'll be to Friday and will have completed the first week although we didn't start until Tuesday. I say, claim the week and we'll worry about doing one more day at the end!!

    One of you dear folks just sent me a wonderful visual image that I want to share with all of you. She closed her email to me by wishing for Amy, Charlie, and I to have "angels with rainbow flashlights to shine on the rough parts of the path". Isn't that an incredible image? I can just see white wings with reflections of rainbow colors dancing across their surface as the angels bend and hover in whatever position is needed to illuminate the path. Thank you Patricia. I'll remember this image for a while and in closing tonight I will do a good turn and send the same group of angels to each of you. We love you all and are blessed to have you in our lives.

    Hugs and love, Teresa

 

Saturday, 9/3/05 (Week #1 of radiation complete)

9:00am   Dear Friends,      Sorry that I'm late with this update.  Yesterday got a little goofy. 

    Amy successfully completed four treatments as of yesterday afternoon.   She is already experiencing some esophagus side effects so keep praying for this particular area of her body during these treatments.  Radiation has many side effects.   Some are seen at the time of the treatment and some may not appear for up to several years after the treatment.  It's really not a situation where you have the treatment and it's over.

     Amy is receiving radiation to the very center of her chest (where the large tumor mass was) and on each lateral side of her chest due to the lymph node involvement on each side.  Due to this extensive area for radiation, one of the certain side effects will be some lung damage.  They're very precise where they deliver the lateral radiation and hope to minimize the lung damage.  As with all treatments for catastrophic diseases, the treatment/cure has the double edged sword of  both helping and hurting.   So...your second focus for prayer during these treatments is the lungs.  Personally, I'm trying to envision radiation angels (who thoroughly understand what needs to be protected) standing  during each treatment to shield the healthy tissue from undue damage.   As you can see, I live my life believing there is an angel waiting for anything that happens and I truly believe in asking on a daily basis (sometimes every five minutes) for our Heavenly Father to send in the angels!

       I hope all of you have a safe, restful, and fun holiday.  We send you love, joy, focus, prayers, and every description of angel to be in the wings and assist you with whatever you need,  Hugs, Teresa

 

Wednesday, 9/7/05 (Week #2 of radiation)

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Well, we're to the middle of the second week of radiation. Amy is experiencing more burning sensations in her throat and esophagus so her doctor has ordered "Magic Mouthwash". It's a really awful tasting concoction of antibiotic, pain med (xylocaine), benadryl, and something else and you don't really wash your mouth out with it. You have to swallow it. Amy had to use this very briefly during one of her chemos and really hated it so I'm hopeful she'll be able to tolerate it. I tasted it myself, like a good pediatric nurse, and really does taste terrible. Maybe you better pray for taste bud angels to dull the taste buds just when she takes the stuff. I know we may have a few unusual requests for certain types of angels, but I've always believed in being specific with prayers and angel requests!

    At the radiation oncologist office where Amy goes for her treatments, they have a dressing room and each person who comes to that office for treatment is given a little clothes cubicle in the dressing room. They ask you to put a nickname, not real name, on your cubicle. They don't use real names in order to protect privacy. Right now, there are only four ladies coming on a daily basis that have a cubicle. Amy was quite amused to see all the names at one glance. Here they are: Granny, Nanny, MeMaw, and Cue. Of course Amy is Cue because I've been calling her "my little cue ball" since the last hair loss and for short I say Cue so that's what she put on her box. Before any of you thrash me, she's okay with the nickname and thinks it's okay because I tell her she has such a beautiful, bald head that is perfect just like a cue ball. I can see I may not have convinced you, but the purpose of telling you this story is not to save myself from the wet noodles, but rather to point out that this terrible disease of cancer goes across all age spans as is highlighted by just this one little section of a dressing room. Three women who have been mothers and are grandmothers and great-grandmothers and Amy who is young and has never had a child. Different walks happening in each of the four lives, but all have been brought together by this disease called cancer and part of this healing path called radiation therapy. Please say a prayer for Granny, Nanny, and MeMaw, and of course I already know you are faithfully praying for my "little cue ball".

    I hope all of you are enjoying the gorgeous weather with its cool nights. I'm reassured by the coolness as Amy and I still think it's suppose to be January (when she was diagnosed). At least, the current cooler weather will help our sense of disorientation of how we jumped from January to August! It seems most of the time like one long day.

    We love you and send you that love along with our hope, our prayers, our friendship, and every September angel we can locate to give you a beautiful fall. Hugs, Teresa

 

Friday, 9/9/05 (End of Week #2 of radiation)

  • 4:00pm   Dearest Friends,  Yahoo, we've completed week two of radiation! Amy is taking her Magic Mouthwash and so far so good. Her skin is holding its own at this point so keep those prayers going for skin, stomach, and esophagus angels to keep the side effects to a minimum.

    We hope to go to the UK ballgame tomorrow evening so that will be a nice break for little Cue. We hope to have something nice to do each weekend as an incentive to get through the week and a reward for getting through the week. So...reward time tomorrow.

    Hope all of you have a beautiful weekend. Please remember to pray for Granny, Nanny, MeMaw, and Cue as they refresh this weekend in preparation for next week's treatment.

    Sending all of you love, joy, healing, prayers, and angels to surround you, Teresa

 

Monday, 9/12/05 (Week #3 radiation begins)

  • 8:00pm    Dearest Friends, Well, Monday of the third week has started with tears. Amy's side effects are worsening, and I suspect the ride for the next few weeks is going to be rough. The skin, underlying trachea, esophagus, muscles, and soft tissue  are very irritated. The mouth wash is helping but she's having a lot of pain now. We're going to try over the counter meds first but if that doesn't work, she may have to go to something stronger as she's very uncomfortable. Keep praying for healing of those tissues and that she will be able to rest at night. If her sleep gets off schedule, that will only make it all worse.

    I can't say that I am surprised by this as my own experience with radiation had the ugly symptoms showing up by the end of the second week of treatments and her doctor had given her warning on this though we were hopeful, she might get to skip some of this very unpleasant part of radiation treatment.

    I have been staying in Morehead on Tuesday, Wed, and coming back Thursday evening, but as these symptoms get harder to deal with, I'm thinking about starting the daily commute. There's nothing worse than being alone with your misery. As you all know, I may not know how to do a lot of things, but we know I can dance with yellow pom poms and believe me, that's always good for at least a brief distraction! At any rate, maybe you better ask for some traveling angels for me . I'm going to see how things are tomorrow, but if she feels the same or worse than today, then I'll probably come back tomorrow evening after class is over at 8:45 pm.

    The weather is inspiring and I hope many of you have been able to enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunset opportunities afforded to us by this September glory.

    Sending all of you love, joy, healing, prayers, and angels to surround you and yours. Hugs and love, Teresa

 

Thursday, 9/15/05 (Week #3 radiation)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Sorry I did not put up an update last evening. Amy is having some major symptoms and we have been working with various tests, etc. today and I thought it better to write you when I knew something specific.

    So..here are the specifics. Amy has developed acute pleurisy which is extremely painful. She has also developed shortness of breath and the tests today have revealed she does have fluid forming around her heart. At this point, it is a small amount of fluid, but we will be watching this very closely between now and tomorrow as it may have to be removed if very much develops.

    She did not sleep any last night due to the pain of the pleurisy so the doctor has started her on pain meds.

    This is definitely a crisis point and I'm asking everyone to pray specifically for all these new challenges but especially the fluid around the heart problem as this one could land her back in the hospital.

    Sending you all love, joy, focus, healing, prayers, and angels to surround you and yours, Teresa

 

Friday, 9/16/05 (End of Week #3 of radiation)

  • 6:30pm    Dearest Friends,  Amy is not in the hospital and we're hoping to keep her out. She has had a cardiology consult today and they've decided to try and treat things with Prednisone to hopefully get the inflammation down as he believes the inflammation caused by the radiation is what is creating the fluid around her heart. She is more short of breath and still in considerable pain, but we're hopeful the prednisone will be helping within the next 24 hours.

    Please keep your prayers especially focused on her heart, lungs, and esophagus. Her pulse rate has been running about 120 so we know she's being stressed physically. We are confident this road will turn just as it did during the crisis of the bone marrow transplant experience. Keep praying and we'll do the same and sooner or later, all of us will come out on the other side of this challenge.

    Sending all of you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, hugs, and angels to surround you and care for you constantly, Teresa

 

Monday, 9/19/05 (Week #4 of radiation)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Well, your prayers, spells, hotlines, toes crossed, angels, and all other things requested in our behalf seems to be working! Amy started improving over the weekend with her pain and shortness of breath. We know the Prednisone kicked in, but we also know all of your positive thoughts and prayers were the second half of the equation. Thank you.

    Today we had two doctor's appointments and additional tests and everything is improving. We also managed to have another treatment and I think our family is starting to really think that we may be seeing an actual end to treatment and a beginning to full recovery from all treatment and the cancer itself. At this point, if we can get through this week in the shape things are in today, we'll be sitting very good to hopefully finish up radiation next week sometime. We don't have a final day yet, but you can be sure we're looking forward to whatever day becomes the celebration day for finishing all treatment. Amy had her first chemo treatment on January 21, 2005 and there's been a lot treatments since that first one. I'm starting to get giddy just thinking about all that is behind us. I don't think Amy can really envision it as it has gone on so long, but I think there will be a great pom pom dance when we walk out of her last radiation treatment next week.

    Thank you for the extra prayers over the weekend. Please continue to pray that the stability she's having right now will continue through the end of these treatments. Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, and angels of every description to hover near you and yours.  Hugs, Teresa

 

Wednesday, 9/21/05 (Week #4 of radiation-hump-day)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends,  The train is moving toward the station platform. Yesterday, Amy found out she will most likely go through next Thursday, Sept 29th with her radiation treatments. Of course, that date is dependent on her continuing to be stable with her Prednisone treatment for the side effects. She is not pain free, but much better than last week so we're all for staying level here.

    She was hoping to be done earlier in the week, but as I pointed out to her this morning, we have 263 days of treatment behind us, and only 7 treatment days in front of us. Now, as of tonight, we have 264 treatment days behind us and only 6 days in front of us! I actually believe the train behind us is going to push us all the way through those 6 days, and if it doesn't, I'm prepared (as Spider Woman of course) to pull the train, Amy, and myself toward that platform! We will arrive! As you can see, I have a very strong opinion about this as Thursday of next week sounds like a thrilling day to wave pom poms to me!

    Hopefully, all of you are having a good week and progressing toward the goals that are important to your well being. I often find that in my own life too often I am making progress on goals that have nothing to do with my wellbeing. I've done much better on that one since my own round with cancer, but I'm not where I want to be yet so...let's all just keep reminding ourselves of just what is needed for our wellbeing then being brave enough to try and pursue those things.

    Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and of course angels to surround you and keep you company day and night, Hugs, Teresa

 

Friday, 9/23/05 (End of week #4 of radiation)

  • 7:00pm   Dearest Friends,  Yahoo, we've finished week four of radiation and now we're looking toward that train platform, and I can actually identify people on it! Things are steady and to celebrate finishing the week, Amy and I just got back from a movie. Tomorrow, we have the UK football game to watch and then next week, we just have to march confidently through four (check it out...FOUR) final radiation treatments.

    Thank you for your continued well wishes and prayers as we keep putting one foot in front of the other. I think it's all of you that are praying and willing our feet to move toward the goal that keep us going. Your prayers encourage us to lift those feet and our Heavenly Father places them firmly and securely on the path. What a team!

    God bless each of you from our grateful hearts. We send you love , joy, laughter, focus, healing, and weekend angels to give you refreshment for your spirits.  Hugs, Teresa

 

Monday, 9/26/05 (Begin week #5 [the final week] of radiation)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Well, we're riding high tonight as we look toward the train station and see only three treatments in front of us! Amy is stable and at this point is beginning to smell the finish line.

    Today , the 70+ aged lady who gets her treatment just before Amy, finished her treatment today. When she came out of the radiation room, we all applauded her, and the big smile that hit her sweetly lined face brought tears to my eyes. She even turned loose of her four prong cane long enough to stand in her own strength and gently applaud herself with the rest of us. I loved the spark of victory in her eyes, and I found myself wishing that all of us whose limbs are younger, eyes stronger, and faces less lined could take a page out of her spirit book and face our challenges with her courage and dignity. Oh, the power of the spirit that moves mankind and womankind to move the mountains before them.

    Thank you for your continued prayers and I hope all of you in your individual places will do some sort of celebration dance (with or without pom poms) about 10:30 am Thursday morning. That's our anticipated completion time if the morning appointments are on time. Somehow, I just love the thought of hundreds of you whirling in joy at our arrival at the station. I'm a little afraid I'll go completely out of control about the whole thing and you might yet see my photo in the Lexington Herald for inappropriate behavior.  If so, none of you have to acknowledge me in public. Of course....if you all dance too, all of us may be in the newspaper!

    Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, prayers, and pom pom dancing angels to give you just the steps you need to celebrate this victory with us.  Hugs, hugs, hugs! Teresa

 

Wednesday, 9/28/05 (One treatment to go!!)

  • 7:00pm    Dearest Friends,  Well, here we are at the eve before Amy's last radiation treatment. We're all feeling like it should be declared a national holiday! 
    Part of what will make tomorrow so glorious is knowing that all you from so many walks of life and location will be celebrating with us. Remember, the pom pom queen will be dancing at approximately 10:30 am as that is the approximate time that Amy will walk out of that radiation room with the treatments behind her. So....if any of you find yourself bursting forth in song or dance or unbridled enthusiasm for "being alive" at that time, please do so and know that we will feel your joy from whatever part of this planet you might be sending it!

    I'm sure I'll have to send an update tomorrow just to express to you the details of our celebration. I believe this is one time that the anticipation of the celebration will not be able to live up to the "real event" . More on that tomorrow.

    Suffice it to say that I will sleep tonight not with "...sugarplums dancing in my head", but with "...team cue running their marathon or half marathon late next spring"! By the way, Amy has practiced with the whistle now and is quite good at getting my flubby self to move more appropriately (in step?) with the training plan. Several of you have already expressed to me that most of my "flubbiness" is in my brain for agreeing to do the Lymphoma Teams in Training program for raising money for Lymphoma Research in these marathon events. Of course I totally agree with you that I have bitten off more than I can chew with such a project but with the Little Duck Girl blowing that whistle, there's no way I'm going to back down or change my mind on purpose.

    Sending all you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, and marathon angels to help each of you with the marathons you all run on a daily basis with life's challenges. Teresa

 

Friday, 9/30/05 (Treatment is Over!  Let the Pom Pom dance begin!!)

  • 10:00am    Dearest Friends,  Too much celebrating yesterday left me befuddled and exhausted so I did not make an entry last night as I had intended.

    Thank you all for dancing with us yesterday in celebration of Amy's last radiation treatment. I have to tell you that I decorated my car with 30 yellow pom poms so when Amy came out to go for the treatment she was greeted with what she immediately dubbed "The Pom Pom Mobile". And yes, the pom poms are still on the car today. We drove from Lexington with them yesterday and we'll keep them on today for our return trip to Lexington later this afternoon. If I get stopped by the State Trooper for having pom poms on my windshield wipers, I'm hoping I can explain adequately without dancing, but the celebration bug is still very strong and I might just break into a dance during the explanation!

    Of course, I couldn't stop with the 30 pom poms on the car (of course you all know this before I give you the rest of the story).  When Amy went in for her treatment, I adorned myself with extra pom poms and when she walked out of that room, the first sight she and the radiology techs saw was a whirling dervish dance of yellow (aka, the pom pom queen dancing). The techs laughed, Amy laughed, then when she got to me, we grabbed each other and hugged and cried for several minutes! I knew I could stop dancing and just concentrate on hugging since all of you were dancing, singing, reciting poetry, or whatever you do to celebrate, and I promise you that we felt your positive intentions even though she and I were the only ones in the waiting room. When the tears stopped and the smiles started again, I put a new watch on Amy's wrist and told her, "Time has become precious to you now. Use this to mark the new times of your new life."

    This morning I was reading and found a perfect quote from Robert Frost to sum up where Amy, Charlie, and I are this morning. Here it is. "I can sum up in three words everything I've learned about Life: It goes on."

    Isn't that a great beginning for a new chapter of life? I think so. We've spent 9 months in treatment and all that that entails (tears, fears, pain, problems, love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, determination, and hope). Now, we begin the day after treatment and we must work to call back our spirits after the challenges of the last 9 months. After you have a serious illness, you get up, start putting your life back together, and part of that process is "recalling our spirits" of mind, body, and soul that have been affected and changed by the illness. No, we will not be the same, but having endured, we are stronger, hopefully wiser, and definitely more grateful for Life itself and the gifts in Life of family, friends, nature, opportunities, and just air to breathe.

    All of you through your loving support have been a part of this journey, and we know we could not have made it without each of you. We thank our Heavenly Father daily for the love and compassion given so freely to our family by each of you in too many ways to count. I also ask our Father to return to each of you the compassion and love you have extended to us as you face the challenges that present themselves in your own lives.

    One of the best parts of Life, is that we don't have to try and get through everything alone. Learning to receive is one of the greatest lessons of serious illness. It's easier to give than receive. Both are necessary in order to learn great spiritual lessons. We give and learn to extend ourselves to others as a way to learn compassion, empathy, fulfillment, etc. When we receive, we have the opportunity to learn about humility, gratitude, the effect of compassion expressed in word and deed, etc. Gifts are given to us but we must learn to receive them. Part of receiving is admitting that we actually need the love or whatever is being extended to us. Our egos often try to keep us from experiencing the extended gift, because we may see it as a failure that we need anyone or their gifts.  When we truly receive, we are blessed not with a feeling of failure because we are in need; but with an incredible sense of being loved unselfishly by another. Receiving allows others the joy of giving and it creates in the receiver a sense of wanting to also give. Isn't that a wonderful cycle?

    Healing also requires receiving and part of our journey now is to receive the healing that we believe our Heavenly Father has provided in this experience. As you know, healing and cure are not the same thing, but healing is necessary if we are to get to cure, and if we do not get to cure, healing will provide the strength and peace to walk whatever path will be ours.

    We love all of you and send that love to you. I will continue to write a weekly update on our progress at calling back our spirits since some of you are still wanting to wave us on with yellow pom poms. By the way, if anyone needs one, I have several.

    I'll try to post each Friday to let you know the recovery process. Amy will have her first follow-up CAT scan in mid December and that will be an important test. Please continue to pray for us as we pray for all of you. Certainly, you all are among the choicest spirits on the planet.  Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, and angels waving yellow pom poms!  Hugs, Teresa

 

Saturday, October 8, 2005

  • 2:00pm    Dearest Friends,  We are out one week from radiation treatments and guess what we've done four times this week? We've been swimming, and what a joy that has been to Amy who has been so restricted physically for over 9 months. We're both making good progress with our swims, and just as I predicted, she's outdoing my feeble efforts already. Either I must take more vitamins, or I have to sew weights in her swimsuit!

    Tonight we will be walking in the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society's Walk in Lexington. We're really pumped about being able physically to do this walk. It's sort of another victory lap for us. Actually, everything is a victory lap after the past nine months. One of the really neat things is that Amy's oncologist and also her bone marrow transplant physician will also be walking. That makes it all extra special.

    Our goal for next week is to keep swimming and keep walking. Amy's skin is still peeling both front and back from the radiation, but her swallowing is better so we'll take any improvement and be very grateful. Thank you for your continued prayers as we continue to try and call back our spirits on this path of continued recovery.

    Sending each of you love, joy, laughter, focus, prayers, and walking angels to put some pep in your step as you face the challenges in your lives, Hugs, Teresa

 

Thursday, October 20, 2005

  • 2:00pm    Dearest Friends,  We're into our third week of recovery after treatment and Amy is killing me as my swimming coach! We're swimming three days a week and walking on the days we don't swim. Yesterday I swam 20 laps and Amy did 26. Of course we have to rest a lot in the process and we give ourselves a full hour in the pool to get the job done. I'm convinced I've reached my maximum lap level, but Amy just rolls her eyes when I hint at that so I guess next week, I'll be looking at 21 laps.

    So....the exercise portion of recovery is going well. Amy still has a great deal of fatigue and still needs about 12 hours of sleep out of 24 but I think we're doing extremely well for our point on the path.  This weekend, we're going to take a short trip to Hot Springs, North Carolina (a quiet little place about an hour from Knoxville) where we can see the leaves , take walks, and drink in the quiet beauty of Autumn.

    Thank you for your continued prayers and well wishes in our behalf. On the days when neither of us feel like swimming, walking, or making progress, I know your prayers encourage us to get up and keep trying. On that note, I should ask you to pray for my lead feet to work a little better if I'm going to get to a lap level that my swimming coach approves of!

    Love, Prayers, Joy, Laughter, Focus, Healing, and Angels are sent to each of you, Teresa

 

Thursday, November 3, 2005

  • 9:30am    Dearest Friends, Our road to recovery continues. Amy still surpasses me in our three times a week Olympic swims! Okay...Amy would not call these Olympic swims but this is the flubby girl speaking and I can call them anything I
    want to (at least until Amy reads this).

    Amy hopes to return to work part time next week so that will be a very special milestone as we continue the recovery path.  Please continue to pray for her as each transition is both a celebration as well as a challenge. Speaking of celebrations, you're all invited to one. Here's the background of the invitation and then I'll write what Amy told me to write. (I do seem to have problems following directions sometimes. I'm sure you 're all sympathetic with Amy , as my coach and partner for Team Cue!)

    In January when Amy was diagnosed as Stage IV Non-Hodgins lymphoma, she turned to me on the first day of chemo and had this to say, "If I make it to my birthday in November, I want to have a celebration party." Of course I agreed as all of us were feeling pretty overwhelmed with the diagnosis and the potential that she might not make it to that birthday.

    Well, she has made it so we're having a little birthday gathering and we want to invite all of you. The chosen theme is Harry Potter because Amy likes Harry Potter and because we want to celebrate the magic of recovery that has been created in large part by the prayers and well wishes of all of you. So, here's the Party Info.

    Date: Sunday, Novemeber 20th 2005
    Time: 1:30 - 3:00 pm
    Location: Crossroads Christian Church
    "Town Hall Room" 4190 Todds Road
    RSVP: By Friday, November 11th to either 606-776-1415 or
    ukchikin@yahoo.com

    These are Amy's words that she has written to accompany the above invitation specifics:
    This is a celebration party for "making it"to my 26th Birthday! I'm celebrating that Victory; I'm celebrating Life; and I'm celebrating all the Friends who helped me get to this birthday party! I hope all of you can come-even briefly, to celebrate with me.  Instead of gifts for me, I invite you to bring a non-perishable food item that will be donated to Feed The Hungry of Lexington. Immediately following the party, join us for a "Dutch Treat" viewing of the new Harry Potter movie at 3:30 pm at Regal Theater in Hamburg Shopping Center. Tickets are $6.50 and we'll pre-purchase a ticket for you if you let us know to do so in your RSVP.

    **Address for Church:
    From I 75: R on Man of War, Left on Todds Road, Go Approximately 2 miles, Church will be on Right. Enter Lobby and follow Amy signs.

    From Nicholsville Road: Man of War to Todds Road, Right on Todds Road, Go approximately 2 miles, Church will be on the Right, Enter Lobby, Follow Amy signs.

    As always, our love is sent to you along with prayers, hope, focus, healing, and of course November angels to remind us all of the incredible blessings in our lives. Hugs, Teresa

 

Friday, November 11, 2005

  • Dearest Friends,  Well, Amy has made it through her first week back at work (half days). She's been pretty tired but happy to be back with part of her normal routine. I am grateful for the continued prayers in her behalf that I know continue to give her strength to pick up her life in all dimensions that that life needs to be picked up.

    I want to remind any of you who plan to attend the "Amy celebration" on November 20th to let us know as we will be getting ourselves organized this weekend for food and fun. You can email to the address given with this site or email to ukchikin@yahoo.com or phone to 606-776-1415.

    The day is beautiful outside and reminds again of Life greeting us each day with so many opportunities to exercise our minds, our bodies, and our spirits as part of our journey with each other. I certainly wish each of you the best on your journey today, and for those unexpected things (positive or negative), I am requesting all description of angel to be around you that you might have heavenly guidance for your steps.

    Love, hugs, focus, healing, presence, joy, laughter, and prayers are sent to each of you,  Teresa

 

Saturday, November 19, 2005

  • 6:00pm    Dearest Friends,  We're in high gear, looking forward to seeing many of you tomorrow at Amy's celebration. I know it will be a great day for her and very symbolic of reclaiming her life after these ten plus months of "dancing on the edge of the volcano".

    I get up very early each morning before dawn and one of the things I enjoy doing is watching the sunrise from the beginning of early light until the full body of the sun is visible. Every morning presents a different sky (each with varying degrees of possibilities ) for the Creator's paintbrush. I am never disappointed as each element is used to create a masterpiece to welcome the day. Each one of these "magical" dawns reminds me that our Heavenly Father can take each element in our lives and create a masterpiece if we allow Him to handle the paintbrush. Our family has certainly learned through the years that just when the colors are running all over the canvas, the Master's Hand can create a rainbow!

    Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and rainbow angels to add beautiful color to each of your dawns, Hugs, Teresa

 

Monday, November 21, 2005

  • 8:00am    Dearest Friends,  I knew all of you would want an update on the celebration yesterday afternoon. About 55 of us celebrated together and had a greattime wearing the Harry Potter glasses that the gamemaster, Amy, gave us all to wear. She had a good time leading the games, and I have to say that it was a fantastic image to see her laughing, animated and encouraging friends to participate and actually enjoy games of broom riding and eating Harry Potter jelly beans in such flavors as dirt, earthworm, sardine, etc. ! Of course we also had tamer food like cake! I insisted on the cake after the gamemaster coerced me into trying all the jelly beans with her to select the seven worst flavors in the box in preparation for the party.

    For all of you who could not be with us, we felt your spirit and knew you were celebrating with us on this most joyous occasion.  Many of you called, emailed, and sent cards and we thank you for those greetings of joy. The food donation for Feed the Hungry was substantial and we thank all of you for your generosity. Amy was as excited about the amount of food collected as she was about the fun of the day.

    For those that were present, I want to thank you for not throwing tomatoes at the pom pom dancer! Fortunately for me, others at the party got in the spirit and danced with me. I, along with everyone there who has now seen the pom pom routine, hope that I will not have to dance the dance again. Amy said I had to do it one more time as this was a major celebration as she goes forward with the rest of her life. Being her mother, I could not refuse, but I do apologize to everyone as I know my strengths and one of them is not pom pom dancing! Hopefully, your Harry Potter glasses distorted most of it for you. I actually think her secret reason for having me do the dance was just to have all of you have great sympathy for her that she was trapped in an isolation room with me for 4 weeks and had absolutely no control over my deciding to do the pom pom dance for whatever we could celebrate!

    Well, this week is Thanksgiving and our family's hearts are full with thankfulness for all of you, Amy's doctors, God's grace, and all of those who have prayed for Amy and our family. We have heard from churches in many other parts of the world who have been and continue to pray for us: Switzerland, Cuba, Canada, Mexico, and others. God's people know no geographical boundaries and prayer in any language is an awesome power! I pray for each of you daily and whether I know your full name or not, God knows who I'm praying for when my thoughts turn to all those who have read this web site.

    Amy will have her first big CAT scan (after bmt and radiation) on December 19th so we're looking forward to that follow-up visit. I will be returning to Mayo Clinic the week of December 12 for a week. So...that gives you some more focus as you pray. May God bless you all this week of Thanksgiving.

    Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and Thanksgiving angels to lift your spirits with song as you realize the special blessings and gifts in your life for life, even with challenges, is a gift. Hugs, Teresa

 

Saturday, December 10, 2005

  • 9:30am    Dearest Friends,  We had a great event this week! Amy had her first haircut in a year!!. Of course, it was more of a tiny trim and shaping, but Amy had a great time pampering herself with a "real " haircut. She plans to grow it out long again, but I think she looks cute with the short style.  When I get back from Mayo, we're going to put a couple of photos from the birthday party up for you to see.

    Often I get up in the wee hours of the morning and take a bubble bath. Usually, this happens when my various aches and pains wake me up. This morning was such a morning. I was in the tub at 3 am. If I'm going to bubble bath at 3 am, I try to make it as spa like as I can given the ridiculous hour, so I always light a good smelling candle. This morning, I soaked to the delicious smell of hazelnut cream and listened to beautiful music.

    As I studied the candle's soft light, I was reminded anew of the impact of light- even if only a single candle flame! It's really quite remarkable. My thoughts led me to consider the sources of light in my life and here are some of them: Light of our Heavenly Father's Love, Sunlight, Moonlight, Light sparkling on sunlit or moonlit water, Light of Friendship, Light of Love, Light of Understanding, Light of Pets and all of Nature's Creatures, and I'll stop there. Isn't it amazing how much light we have and obviously need in our lives?

    For all of you, I wish many lights to shine on your spirits and in your life as we complete this Holiday Season. My second wish for all of us is that we will receive the Light in our lives , absorb it, and when people look into our eyes, they will be blessed by the shining light they see there. Thomas Kincaid paints houses with beautiful lights in the windows. I'm suggesting we each work on a human version of that! Hope to see all of you "lit up" for the new year!

    Love, hugs, healing, focus, laughter, joy, and angels are sent to each of you, Teresa

 

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

  • 8:00am    Dearest Friends,  Well, our Christmas morning came early yesterday when we got Amy's CAT scan report back. Absolutely no sign of cancer anywhere and her lab work was also within all the normal limits for the cancer screens! Needless to say, we were giving each other high fives all over the place. Of course, I am somewhat challenged in my coordination of high fives but I certainly had the "spirit" part of it down!! I know you are rejoicing with us in this great milestone. She will have another CAT scan in 3 months. I think the plan is a CAT scan every three months for the next year as the likelihood of her particular cancer coming back is very high in the first two years so they'll watch her closely. One day at a time.

    I got back from Mayo late Saturday night so I'm still recovering from the trip and my procedure there. It will take about a week for things to settle down from the procedure I had to try and lower the pain associated with my pancreas misbehaving but I am optimistic that it's going to result in improvement. I have to say though that the permission to treat form I had to sign for the procedure was a little thought provoking. The potential problems listed for the procedure included: infection, acute pancreatitis, bleeding, stomach perforation, liver damage, cardiac or respiratory arrest, or death. I have total trust in my doctor and his expertise and of course you know that I am quite certain of the capabilities of the Great Physician so I signed the release though I was tempted to cross out and initial the "death" phrase as there is no "death" for the believer.

    Well, I wish for all of you a blessed holiday season as you visit with family and friends and renew the love and joy that you feel for those family and friends. Learning to love and allowing others to love us is definitely one of the major lessons of this life.  Our family sends each of you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, light, prayers, and angels to surround you and lift you up, Teresa.

    Thank you for your continued prayers for our family. As I have said many times before, I know it is your prayers that have sustained us over these past few years and especially this past year.

 

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

  • 4:00pm  Dearest Friends,  I fully intended to post yesterday but didn't get it done so here I am today. Before I give you any additional thoughts, I want to say thank you to all of you who sent our family cards, calls, and well wishes for the holiday season and the new year. As a family, we had a quiet, very happy holiday season. Now... the update.

    Amy is up to six hours a day for her work day and we are rejoicing over that progress. Any step forward is a rejoicing step.  Yes...I'm keeping the pom poms handy though I am trying to reserve them for major milestones. (less embarrassment for the family that way). Of course, the mother in me wants to dance for joy at the tiniest steps (must go back to those days as a mother when I acted ridiculous for each of my children over the tiniest motion in the right direction when they were learning to walk.) I guess old habits die hard, or maybe it's just that I've grown fond of pom pom dancing even though I have not a shred of talent for the endeavor.

    Yesterday, January 17th was the one year anniversary of Amy going into the  hospital at St. Joe's with the collapsed lung. What a difference a year has made! I look back to that day and remember anew my fear, stress, anxiety, frustration, worry, and oddly enough hope. In the many days to come after that, our family received incredible messages of hope from so many of you. I must pause my friends to say thank you, thank you for all those messages of love and hope.

    I have always enjoyed reading the thoughts of others on hope and I'll share some of those with you on another occasion. After experiencing this year of hope messages from all of you, I've come up with my own definition of hope and here it is:
     

    HOPE IS:

    • Heavenly
    • Optimism
    • Providing peace and
    • Empowerment

    I have absolutely no doubt that hope comes to us from our Heavenly Father as well as Heavenly Beings such as angels, and from Earthly Beings called friends. When we are able to live in the presence of HOPE, it crowds out the fear, anxiety, and other negatives. I don't believe having hope is being in denial. Rather...I believe having hope is problem solving the despair that reality often presents to us.

    Sending all of you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and hope for the new year, Hugs and angels, Teresa

 

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

  • Dearest Friends,
    It's been a while since I've done an update but Amy and I have been busy little bees! I have to say it's nice to be busy with something other than treatment appointments.

    As I write this, Amy is working about 7.5 hours a day at work, and I'm working in Morehead with my teaching responsibilities.  Amy will have another CAT scan March 20th so until then we are holding positive thoughts that her body is continuing to heal and move toward a permanent remission.

    On January 21, Amy celebrated her one year survivor anniversary date as it was on January 21, 2005 that she received her cancer diagnosis and that was also her first day of chemotherapy. To celebrate this momentous achievement, we officially went to a Teams In Training Sign up and signed up to walk a half marathon in Nashville, Tenn on April 29, 2006. You will recall that I told you all along that Amy was determined to walk to raise money for a cure for the blood cancers, and she asked me to be her partner.  So....push has come to shove and I, the Flubby Girl, am now in more training than I ever imagined would even be possible for me.  We're up to walking 5 miles three times this week and a distance walk on Saturday of 6 miles. Each week, the numbers go up by 1 mile for the regular walk and the distance walk! In addition, I am swimming one hour on alternate days and going to a gym to try and work on my upper body strength which is pitiful. To say I'm in over my head is putting it mildly. Amy, in her weakened condition is already ahead of me, which I fully expected. After all, she is a tri-athlete while I can only claim fame as a challenged pom pom dancer.

    On the up side of all this is that mentally, this is going to be great for both of us as we have talked about it for the past year and it has become part of Amy's recovery of her physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self. The other up side is that we have a chance to raise money for an incredible organization that wants to find the cure and better treatments and prevention. One of the drugs that Amy received was funded several years ago in part by the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society and it's a drug that wasn't available 5 years ago.

    All of you have been such a support to us over the past year in every possible. We know you will be praying for us as we tackle this challenge (please pray extra for the flubby girl as I don't think pom pom dancing will count for any mileage in this marathon). I am also enclosing a link that you can go to and read the letter we are sending out to friends and family that  details our project.

    I'll keep you all posted on our progress at this site over the next several weeks. And if any of you who are very athletic think you look enough like me to be a double, please contact me immediately as I have a nice opportunity for you.

    Sending you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, and Valentine angels, Teresa

Click this link to review Teresa and Amy's TNT (team in training) Project

 

Thursday, March 23, 2006

  • Dearest Friends and Family,  We have a great report to give you! On Monday, March 20th, Amy had her second CAT scan since finishing treatment last October. The CAT scan is clear -that means it does not show any sign of cancer. Keep praying. They won't speak of permanent remission until she is at least two years out, but we are pretty happy just hearing "No evidence of cancer" at this time.

    Her lungs are still not up to normal yet due to the scar tissue from the chemo reaction and the radiation treatment. However, the doctors say we're still not that far out from treatment and it may take up to a year or longer for us to know if she'll be able to get back into a normal range on lung function. Keep praying.

    In the meantime, our training for walking in the half marathon continues. We're up to 8 miles this week and will increase to 9 miles on Saturday. I have suggested to Amy that she is not to tell me when we actually start walking double digits. I just want her to tell me how much time to walk instead of using numbers like 10, 11, 12, etc. She says it's a mental thing with me. I agree, but I don't think this is the time to remind the Flubby Girl of her mental disabilities when it comes to marathon training.

    We think of all of you often and offer a prayer of thanksgiving each time we do so as we know it is your continued prayers and positive thoughts for healing that have helped us stand upright again after the blow of cancer these past few years.

    We send each of you love, joy, laughter, focus, healing, prayers, and angels to carefully guide, love, and protect you on your daily walks, Teresa

 

Tuesday, May 2, 2006

  • Dearest Friends and Family,  Well, the Race Day was last Saturday, April 29th and we made it just fine. We were not last, as I had predicted. There were 20 more people behind us. We finished in the 14,000 plus numbers! Twenty-two thousand began the race and a little over 17,000 finished so we were glad to be in the finishers. We did it in 4 hours, 29 minutes, and 41 seconds. There were lots of hills and I have to confess that I whinned on every one of them. And...yes, Amy did blow the whistle several times and everytime she did, it scared all the spectators and the other walkers. There are probably several cases of whiplash among those folks as a result of the whistle method of motivating your partner!

    We want to thank again all of you for your prayers, donations, and well wishes. This was a major event for both of us in calling back our spirits (physically, emotionally, and spiritually). We're still finishing up our donations and we don't have a final total yet, but I can tell you that we have definitely passed 15,000 dollars. Our goal was 10,000! We'll have a final total in about two weeks and I'll let you know.

    As soon as we get our race day photo, I'll post it on the web site. The weather was good though very windy so Amy says she knows her short wavy hair will look like an Afro style, and I can tell you that I will definitely look like a brillo pad, so when you get it, just laugh and say the people in the photo look a little like your friends.

    Amy is now resuming study for the second part of the CPA exam. She'll take it about the middle of the month. I have one week of class left then finals so we'll both be swamped until the middle of the month. The trainer told me to rest for at least 2 weeks before resuming pre-race exercise patterns. I didn't have the heart to tell her I plan to sit as much as possible for the next several weeks even if she wasn't advising it.

    We hope to get up to West Tenn/Ky sometime in May or June so if that opportunity presents itself, we'll let you know, and maybe we can do lunch or at least say hi to all our buddies in that region. Amy loves Smokehouse B-BQ in Fulton so I know that will be on the agenda.

    You know going into the race, I didn't want to totally embarrass Amy or others with my behavior. I think I did pretty good, but I did have one action that might have been considered inappropriate by the "real" marathon folks. Along the race route  were official refreshment tables with PowerAde, water, and orange slices. However, since we were going through the neighborhoods, many folks were sitting at the end of their driveway and they also offered us various refreshments. So...at this one place, this guy held up a tray with little sandwiches, etc. One of the etc's was quiche so I left munching a big slice of quiche. Okay...I did show some restraint because he also offered me a mimosa to go with it which I turned down! I guess other than the Quiche , the two liters of Mt.Dew I had in a backpack on my back, and the whistle event, I did better than Amy thought I would.

    Amy will have another CAT scan in mid June so pray toward that result. We love all of you and send each of you that love along with joy, laughter, healing, and angels to tenderly care for you and yours, Teresa

 

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Special Note:

Amy will not be allowed visitors, flowers, food, or phone calls upon her return home.  She is still in isolation and is home due to the care she can receive by Teresa and with her special watchful eye.  Please respect Amy's need to continue her successful recovery and regain her strength.  She will continue to receive your prayers, cards and email messages. 

Amy will not be allowed visitors or flowers/gifts while she is in the hospital. 
She will also not be allowed to receive phone calls in her room or on their cell phones. 
She will be receiving your prayers, cards and email messages.

Please send Amy, Teresa, and Charlie messages of love and encouragement at the following email link.  brievenbus11 (1K)

Teresa is trying to personally reply to all of your emails so please be patient if you do not get a response right away. 

To find out more information about Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.

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Hello - I have created a web site for updates on the condition of Amy Hardman. I will keep updating the information as it comes in from the family. Please keep checking it and forward it to people you think will be interested.  Thank you, Julia Ann Hypes