Wednesday, December 15, 2010


It's been a whirlwind week and a half! I'm going to try to start from the beginning - which was about 5:00 AM on Saturday, December 4.

All 3 of us were sleeping away when my phone rang. I had no clue what time it was, but I knew it was sometime in the middle of the night. It was my sister. My first thought was that her boss, who has been sick for awhile, had passed away. Then I thought, "No she wouldn't wake me up to tell me that." Then I figured something had to be wrong with my mom. These thoughts all happened in about 2 seconds between seeing the caller ID and answering the phone. I can't remember exactly what she said, but it involved her taking mom to the ER because she was having terrible stomach pain. Then she said the word. Tumor.

In my very confused state, tumor meant cancer. I wasn't thinking clearly (obviously - do you at 5 AM?) and couldn't really process what she was saying. I just knew I had to get to Bristol. Mallory told me the tumor was really big and in or on her uterus and that the ER doctor thought they would operate soon. I'm pretty sure I told her not to panic and that it would be okay. All while I was freaking out on the inside and thinking that surely things would not be okay. I hung up with her and just cried and tried to tell Jonathan what she had said, which wasn't easy since I felt like I couldn't breathe and that the room was spinning.

Of all days, our biggest winter storm of the year so far was coming that day. We waited around our house until my sister could give us some more concrete information about the plans, so we'd know what to pack and how long we'd be staying. This proved to be a bad decision. We left sometime after 1:00 PM when we found out they were taking her to surgery immediately - by this point realizing that the tumor looked to be on her ovary instead and was huge. We drove the 2 hours in snow/sleet/rain, but the Lord protected us and kept us as calm as possible.

We got to my mom's and fed Brenna and then went to the hospital. The nurse had called out to tell my sister that they were finished and her diagnosis was borderline. I found this out while we were in the drive-thru of McDonald's on our way to the hospital. That's a story for another, much more light-hearted, day. Mallory and I had no clue what this meant, so we, of course, feared the worse. When we got to the hospital, my sister, brother-in-law, Grandma, 3 uncles, 2 aunts, and my mom's boss and her husband were waiting. Turns out that the surgery wasn't finished and somehow the information got mixed up. We waited until after 6:00, whih put the surgery about the 4 hr. mark I think. Finally, the doctors came out to tell us what they found.

The tumor was on her ovary and it was big - 10 cm. by 14 cm. at least. It was twisted around itself and was gangrenous. The removed the whole tumor, her uterus, ovaries, and omentus. They also took some lymph nodes to run pathology reports on. The doctor said he was pleased with the outcome and felt certain it was what they call a borderline tumor - meaning it had malignant potential but wouldn't exactly be classified as cancerous. He felt she would not need chemo as long as the lymph nodes came back benign. This was almost the best news we could have imagined - right next to a completely benign tumor. Grandma Abel and I went back to recovery to see mom, and she was already joking around with the male nurses. Mom asked me if we knew anything about the results. So, I told her what we knew - even though her anesthesia and pain meds made it a little overwhelming and she just told me, "Wow, that's a lot of information." Ha! She went up to her room and we got to visit with her awhile before leaving her to rest for the rest of the night.

We stayed until Sunday night and she was already feeling much better. She had a rough couple of days after that - with some stomach trouble/nausea caused by an ileus from the surgery. Luckily, though, that resolved itself with no more surgery. I made it back there on Thursday and she was up walking around and drinking some liquids. My sister was awesome and stayed with her almost all day, every day - and still is now that she's home. She left the hospital late on Saturday night - more than 1 week after the original admission (after what was supposed to only be a 4 day stay!). She had to keep her catheter in for another 5 days, but she's feeling better and doing a lot better since going to her own home.

Did I mention that she hasn't had any pain meds since she left the hospital - and didn't take much while she was there. I did NOT get her tolerance for pain, that's for sure! She is going tomorrow to have her cateter and staples removed. I dread that for her, but I feel like she'll feel even better once they're out.

Now, we are waiting. Her surgeon, who specializes in cancer, doesn't feel that they'll have her do chemo. Her regulary gynecologist feels like they will. They found another small tumor on her omentus, which is the cause for his concern. She doesn't have an appointment scheduled with the oncologist yet, but we're hoping that will come soon. My prayer now is that there will be no doubt in the oncologist's mind about what to do. I do not want to see her have to go through chemo. I also don't want any cancer cells left in her body. Good thing I'm not her doctor! Feel free to pray for guidance for the doctors as they make this important decision!

Thank you guys for your prayers. We've seen a lot of answered prayers so far and are so thankful for the good news we've gotten along the way. I never would have imagined things would be this positive and have this great of an outlook when I first answered that phone call on December 4!


  1. So glad to hear an update and so happy that the outcome is so positive! I know this Christmas will be even more special for you, as you treasure your mama all the more! xoxo

  2. thanks for the update, I know there's only so much you can say in a text message. I'm glad to get the full story.

    So glad your sister was there and you guys could lean on each other, too. :)

  3. What an adventure. I'm sure this Christmas will be extra special in light of all the very tangible blessings you can see God giving you and your family. Will be praying that the doctors have a very clear understanding of what treatment would be best. But mostly praying that she doesn't need any at all.


Whispers in the Hallway