Thursday, April 28, 2016

Faith, Family and Friends

We've almost made it through another week, and we have successfully made it through surgery number two! After hearing Monday's news, we're feeling as confident as ever that anything placed in front of us from here on out is something we can handle. And truthfully, your support is giving us the extra strength we need when we can't seem to find it for ourselves.

I woke up out of surgery Tuesday evening with 23 emails, 48 text messages, 8 voice mails, and 9 facebook messages. The outpouring of love and prayer is overwhelming and I can't say thank you enough.
We woke up Tuesday and took the kiddos to school. Bennett's teachers have been THE BEST and have offered to keep our little Lainey and love on her all day so my parents are able to be at the hospital with Shane while I'm under. Their helping us with anything we need and the goodness of their ministry does not go unnoticed.

I was called back to my pre-op room and put on my garbage bag. Legit the HOTTEST (temperature wise) thing I have ever put on my body. Does not breathe at all. And this stud was of course waiting with me.
Before surgery my Aunt Toby and Uncle Dan drove all the way from Ohio to pray for me and over me during the surgery. And the most awesome moment was right before they took me back to the OR. My aunt shook my doctor's hand and said she was heading back out to the waiting room. she had just come back to pray over me. My doctor's eyes lit up and she said "Oh awesome! Do you guys all want to pray together?!" Of course we did! So, we all gathered hands and Dr. Kauffmann prayed the most wonderful prayer over everyone involved. It was the exact peace I needed before being carted back to the OR.
 Again, the nurses kept everyone up to date with the monitors in the waiting room. Shane requested exclamation points and smiley faces in our updates and that's exactly what he got :)

 A big shout out to my cheerleaders. LOVE you all!
 Once I was out of recovery and assigned a room for the night, I made my first request ... celebratory ice cream obviously!
 And then hubs and I snuggled in for a long netflix marathon on the iPad.

The next morning we met with all of the doctors and physical therapists to recap the surgery and discuss what's next. The goal of this surgery was to remove the remaining lymph nodes from the groin.  During the first surgery we discovered the cancer had spread to one of the three sentinel nodes that they had removed. Which meant there was an 18% chance the remaining nodes in the groin could be infected with the cancer as well. Therefore, we had to remove the remaining nodes to get clean margins in the local area.

The nodes they took from the surgery have been sent to pathology and we will have results in 3-5 days. Due to the invasiveness of the surgery I also have a drain inserted into my thigh to help remove some of the fluid and trauma left over from the surgery. The drain will get to come out in 2-4 weeks depending on output (we've got to get below a certain number for a couple days in a row before they will remove it - so focus your prayers on that!).  Essentially my body has to learn to reroute my lymphatic system since a giant piece of the chain has been removed. The sooner this happens the quicker the healing/less swelling/and lower risks of lymphedema (a major risk and side effect of this type of procedure).

After we know pathology results of the remaining nodes, I will meet with both my surgical oncologist and my medical oncologist May 9th to discuss options and weigh risk/reward of starting chemo or not.  At my last appointment the doctors seemed to think it was still very much being considered simply because of my age and the aggressiveness they want to attack this. But, the pathology from this surgery will let us know a lot more.

From what we have been told, the surgery went well.  They had to take a piece of my femoral nerve they were hoping to avoid because my lymph nodes were wrapped around it, so at the moment I am completely numb on the top of my thigh which is weird. And as part of the procedure they had to detach my hip muscle and reattach  it  in a separate spot to protect the underlying artery. When they removed the nodes they took all of the tissue that usually protects the artery, nerve, etc. so if they didn't move the muscle it would have no protection other than a thin layer of skin.

So, as far as how I'm doing ... I'm mainly just sore. I'm not in nearly as much pain as I was the first go round, but I am incredibly sore. But we're saying good riddance to any of the disease that was left and pray that this was the last uphill battle and the rest we'll get to fight down hill. Jesus is leading us down a path we do no understand, but we are learning to trust him. He knows what he is doing, the story he wrote is involved, beautiful and complete.  There is grace for the journey now and always and we're trying to remain faithful in that belief.
 "You don't understand now what I am doing, but someday you will" John 13:7
I am trusting that I am fighting this battle now while my children are young and will not remember, so that I get to be strong, whole and healthy when they most need me to help them fight their battles.  And even though it is hard, and I am struggling with that ... I am in some regards thankful I have been given this now. Because who better to bare witness to struggles in life than your children? As they grow and face hard times and their faith flutters, Shane and I have a great story to share with them. And as my cousin reminded me, my story is just as much a part of myself as it is theirs. When they go through hard times we get to remind them to put their faith in Him and know He is good all of the time.  He is always with us. And I can't wait to continue to teach these cuties all about it!

 And even more good news, I got a sweet ride out of the deal! Ha! Put together by my one true love.
 Just joy riding all over town (sarcasm font)
 And another shout out to my girlfriends for helping with my babies and making sure they are having fun so my family can help me. Andrea, Natalie and Lynn all deserve gold stars and once I'm back to healthy and bee-boppin around town we're gonna have a gals night on me!
And that's the latest folks, we're at home recovering and will be for a few weeks. I'll check in after we meet with medical oncology and let you know more. But, in the meantime I can't say thank you enough for your continued support. Kisses to all!

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  1. Katie, Awesome news! Glad everything went well. Prayers are still coming your way. Keep up the great work girl and know you are being thought about every day!

  2. Hey Katie, Terry Lynch and I (Deb Pinkerton) just read your latest blog. So glad things are going well. Keeping a positive outlook helps a lot!!! Terry and I know what a positive attitude can do. As Terryjust suggested, we all should get together and celebrate life. We are sending lots of love, positive thoughts and prayers.

  3. Katie,
    Reading this and the discovery of your news brought me to tears. I'm so glad you are doing well now and I will be praying for continued health and recovery. I will be at church tonight and we always do a large prayer circle. I will be sure to pray for you!
    Chi O love and all of mine,
    Allie Powers

  4. Jason and I are following along, eager for your updates. Your positivity and courageousness is awe-inspiring, Katie. I'm saying prayers for you every time I bow my head.
    Much Heart,


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