Memorial Day

School’s out!  Biopsy normal!

Thank you to DeAnn, Danna and the smiling ladies and gentleman in Thursday night’s Zumba class at the MJCAA for letting me sub.  It was special for me to teach there again and I had a blast.

My trail race Saturday morning was more like a hike, but the weather was beautiful and I’d never been on those trails before, which run along the Etowah River and include some fun bridges built by Boy Scouts.

Today, Memorial Day, we’re enjoying our good health and freedom, and thinking about my cousin Mike and others like him.

Nicole

Welcome to Summer

This time last year, I was in the middle of chemo as our kids celebrated the end of their school year.  I’m grateful that this year I’ve been able to be right in the middle of the craziness.

I think this year I’m more tired :)

Swim team practice in MayThe kids froze through their first swim team practices.
A week later, we are all sweltering.

Indoor Rock ClimbingWe checked out an indoor rock climbing facility intown – very cool!

Geocaching!We spent last weekend (and the weekend before that!) geocaching.

The Tortoise and the HareSam played “the coolest animal in the woods”
in his class play, The Tortoise and the Hare.

Weekly drama class at Red Door PlayhouseAnd a fire-fighting dog at the Red Door Playhouse.

Brownies to JuniorsSara “bridged” from Brownie Girl Scouts to Juniors.

1st grade class portraitsI helped Sam’s class celebrate their truly wonderful teacher.

May 13 - Underwater Portrait, 3rd gradeAnd Sara’s class make underwater portraits.  They are all ready for the pool!

3rd Grade Candy AwardsI went to Sara’s end-of-year party (where she was recognized for being the class peacekeeper),
but sent Joey to her Math Carnival the next day.  I don’t do math.

Cyst on ultrasoundAnd I was stabbed a few times by the folks at Emory.  This is an ultrasound image of one of 3 cysts.  The darkness in the bottom half is my tissue expander (also liquid).  Pathology results in 3-5 days, but I am not worried.  And I had no problems teaching a fun kids’ Zumba class afterward.

The best news of the week?  My cousin powered through a dangerous surgery Monday in his fight against melanoma.  He and his family are constantly in our thoughts and prayers.

I’m looking forward to greeting our 3rd and 1st grade graduates at the bus, and teaching my first post-treatment, hour-long Zumba class tonight – with grown-ups!

Nicole

All is good!

The radiologist at Emory is “almost 100%” certain that the lumps in my chest are cysts.  Which, of course, is infinitely better than cancer and a little less gross than “fat necrosis.”

There are 3 – the one that feels irregular on my upper chest is actually 2 small ones.  Seeing them on ultrasound made me feel better, too – they show up as almost-black circles, with no areas lit up with blood flow.  I’m no doctor, but they look more like the harmless seroma I had after surgery than my original tumor.

Next week – in between 2 end-of-year class parties, 1 play, 1 Math Carnival, 3 Zumba classes, physical therapy, and taxi service to an audition, tumbling, Girl Scouts, recital rehearsal and swim team – I will go back for a fine-needle aspiration biopsy of all 3.

Thank you for your concern!
Nicole

Dead Fat & Clay Pigeons

I went to Emory yesterday to get 2 new lumps on my left side checked out – one between my skin and tissue expander and the other on my upper chest, near the site of my original tumor.  Dr. Torres said they’re likely “fat necrosis” or scar tissue.  I go back next week for an ultrasound to confirm.

Only someone who has had cancer would be hoping for “deposits of dead fat cells” in her body.

I found a good article at breastcancer.org about local recurrence and all of the different benign things that can cause new lumps.  My goal is to be vigilant but not paralyzed by the fear of my cancer coming back.  So far, I give myself a 5 on a 1-10 scale :)

Before driving to Decatur, I went to physical therapy at Turning Point, which I’m doing weekly until the kids get out of school.  (Happily, these medical-heavy days are few and far between now).

Other than that, the kids and I are busy with end-of-school-year festivities.

As for Joey, he’s skeet shooting today with his peers at work.  He wondered this morning what he should wear.  My response?  “Neon!”

Happy Mothers’ Day weekend!
Nicole