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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas





























We had our family Christmas on Sunday evening, and it was so much fun watching the kids and grandkids open presents.

Cayden was so excited. He bought us all a present. His mommy took him shopping at the Dollar Tree, and he didn't forget anyone. I think the funniest one was a hippo figurine dressed like a girl that he bought Bubba. He bought me a cute little clown, Clay an elephant, Cody a dog that ironically looked like Duke, Nancy a pelican, Clayton a duck, and Tonya a wolf. He stood by each of us as we opened our gifts anxiously awaiting our excitement. It's so wonderful when kids are still so innocent.


Shelby was a little doll, and the social Queen of the evening. We had a few surprises planned for Emily, Cody, Bubba, and Clayton that they were not expecting, but Clayton surprised us being so emotional over the letter we wrote him to give him clues about his gift. He had all of us crying, poor baby. He was happy in the end when he finally figured out that he had a deer stand outside. You see in the letter we wrote: "Deer Clayton, We are so proud of you for taking such a strong stand in your beliefs, and some more stuff."

Bubba had already received his Christmas gift as he wanted to attend baseball camp at LA Tech, but we decided to go ahead and get his graduation present which is a red Ford '05 pick-up truck. Cody sent him a pic on the cell phone, but it wouldn't go through so he just finally showed it to him, and he was just spellbound.

It was all a lot of fun for us. The kids surprised us with an electric grill that we almost bought a few days ago. LOL

Anyway, Christmas is for giving, and we were glad to be able to give to our kids for always being such good kids and not putting us through the grief and problems that a lot of parents have had to go through.

We are so thankful to have made it through a very tough year not just for me but for everyone. There are a lot of people that I miss so much, and having had the cancer, and the hardest surgery I could ever imagine, has made me miss them even more. I just don't think some people appreciate what they have these days.

So I'm praying everyone that reads this has a Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Year's, and many blessings from God.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eleven More School Days....

I am counting every day, and every day just drags. I still have a lot to do at school before I "walk" out the door Jan. 15, but it's better than it was. Clay and Clayton came and helped me last Monday (8th). I was so exhausted, and then had a school party Thurs. night, and stupid me wanted to go shopping Friday night at the Boardwalk since we haven't been in so long. I paid for it the whole weekend. I had really planned to sew, but it didn't happen. I did start feeling better Monday. I have sure missed my Christmas sewing this year, but just haven't felt like it with everything else going on.

We are having Christmas with our kids and grandkids here on Sunday evening. We are all so excited. This is my favorite time of year. It just goes by so quickly. It's so much fun watching Cayden and Shelby, and thinking back to when our kids were that age. Even as they grew up, we always tried to do something fun for them to "find" their gifts. They always tried to outsmart us, but they didn't always succeed.LOL
Bubba and Clayton are also excited, and we enjoy them so much. I wonder what Santa has in store for them!!!!

I am looking forward to my days off, and then only 9 more until the official retirement day. You will all probably hear me hollering!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nineteen more School Days!!







It's hard to believe that is all I have left, even though they will be some of my hardest days. The kids are getting so wired and hard to control.

We had a great Saturday with Emily, Cayden, Shelby, and Bubba at the Grand Cane Christmas Parade. It was an old fashined parade with horses, wagons, and buggies. The kids were so good, and they looked so cute. Cayden wore his snowman shirt I embroidered for him, and Shelby wore a darling outfit Emily bought, and her red coat PawPaw bought.
The pics are here at the house. Our friend, Jay Dawn. sent us this neat music box with the skaters going around. Shelby was just fascinated with it, and Cayden kept shutting it, so we had to limit their time listening so it will last until Christmas. LOL
In one picture, they are looking at my school pictures I left laying on the coffee table. It looks like they are in deep conversation - wonder what they're thinking?
Cayden wanted to open presents, but we finally convinced him it wasn't time. He has grown up so much this year. He talks enough for him and Shelby too, because she won't say much, but then she doesn't need to because Cayden will tell us exactly what she wants.
I hope everyone I know stays well through Christmas. There's been so much sadness lately, and the Christmas season seems to make people so much sadder when they've just lost a loved one. I know because I've been there.
God bless all of you!






Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

Today is Tuesday, and we've not slowed down since we left school on Friday. I am so thankful to have a week off from school. I had so many things to get done and never enough time. I pushed myself so hard, and today it all caught up with me. I fell asleep on the couch, and had a long nap.

We have so much to be thankful for, and I never want to overlook that fact no matter what happens. Even on my worst days, and when my body is hurting, and my mind thinks I can't make it until the kids load the buses in the afternoons, I am thankful that my outcome was as good as it is. Things could have been so much worse.

I made myself get up during church Sunday night and tell a little of my story. I've wanted to before, but I just didn't want to stand there and cry in front of the whole crowd. I prayed hard, and God helped me through it. God has been on my side and helped me through so much this summer.

I have had to face a couple of battles that I didn't expect, and was a little hurt by some comments made to me. Well, no one knows until they've walked in my shoes during that time. The people that were with me the most, and took care of me, and the people that kept in touch through emails and phone calls pretty much knew my emotions and physical pain. I thank God for them everyday.

My stamina is just not what it used to be even with my sewing. I seem to mess up and have to rip out a lot. I hope that part will get better with time. I love to sew, and I used that as relaxation, but ripping out is not relaxing. LOL

We are both looking forward to Christmas more than ever with all the grandkids and our kids. They don't know what is in store for them.

We have been decorating a little today. I did the tree before my nap, so maybe we can get more done tomorrow in the house. We won't be having Thanksgiving here this year.
I wish all of you that still read this a very Happy Thanksgiving and may God richly bless you all.
Hugs, hugs, and more hugs.
Shirley

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Another little update...

To start off, thanks to everyone for their prayers. Our family has had a lot to deal with in the past few weeks.
Tonya is doing better, but still having some problems. Cody and Clay succeeded in giving me their crud. I finally had to give in and miss school today. I coughed every breath yesterday, and I was just worn out. I slept half the morning and afternoon. I'm getting better, but I sure don't want to be sick for the holidays.
Emily is doing good with her arm. Luckily, it was some type of crack below the elbow, and it is the one kind that doesn't require surgery. She didn't have to have a cast, but has had some pain. It could have been so much worse. They all love their new home, and we are so proud for them.
We are getting ready to decorate for Christmas. It will probably take us several days, but that is one thing we enjoy. Christmas will be so much fun with Cayden and Shelby this year. Cayden has grown up so much, and we now have real conversations on the phone. He'll say, "What are you doing?" I'll say, "What are you doing," and he'll say, "Talking to you." LOL
Shelby gets on and says "PawPaw" or "Mimi", and of course, "Bye,bye". She's a drama queen for sure.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What a Week!

Thank goodness, Tonya finally came home from the hospital. She is very weak, but improving. Cody finally got over his crud/cold thing.

Clay called me on Wed. before I left school that he'd been in an accident. Apparently when he was leaving McDonald's in Mansfield, a group of teen girls were trying to cross the street, and one darted right out in front of him. He hit her, but she was ok. They didn't take her in an ambulance, but word is that her grandmother took her to the hospital later on. Clay didn't get a ticket, and the officer assured him that it was not his fault. He had some witnesses. One was an 18 wheeler truck driver that stayed to give his statement. Clay is ok, but I'm sure it shook him up. I know it shook me up.

I took off school on Friday to go to Cayden and Shelby's Halloween parties at daycare, and also it was senior night here at the ball game for Bubba. I've been so tired, I knew I'd never be able to enjoy these things otherwise.

The parties were fun. After that Emily took the kids home for naps, and I came to Logansport.

She brought them down here to trick-or-treat. They were so cute. When she was getting out of the Hummer, she must have missed the foot board and slid to the concrete hitting her arm on the foot board. She wouldn't go to the ER Fri. night, but Clay took her on Sat., and her arm is BROKEN. It just makes me sick for her. It will be hard having a 3 yr. old and an 18 month old to care for. She can only lift Shelby with her right arm, and can't even attempt to put her in the carseat. Cayden can do for himself mostly.

This MIMI needs to be retired NOW!
Clay has a terrible cold, so I'm trying to stay clear of him hoping not to get sick.

Just remember us all in your prayers, please.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Please Pray for My Daughter-in-law

My daughter-in-law, Tonya, has been sick this week, and she went to the doctor Thurs. to get a shot. While there she had an asthma attack and had to be rushed to the hospital.
She is very ill, and hasn't made any improvement with her breathing. We are all very concerned and appreciate your prayers.

Thanks so much.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

5 Month Check-Up

Today was my 5 month check-up with Dr. Ghali and Dr. Kim. They did a very thorough examination poking and checking all around my neck and throat, and then inside my mouth. As sensitive as my skin is, it really hurt.
At least everything looked ok. When I go back in February, they will do lab work. Please keep me in your prayers.
I got some sweet hugs from Dr. Ghali and Dr. Milton when I left. They were so excited to know I was getting to retire in January.
I also got some sweet hugs from my grandbabies on the way home. I can't wait until I can spend more quality time with them.

3 months and 1 day until retirement

I would like to pay tribute to 4 of my true and faithful friends. These people: Jay Dawn, Jerry, Bettye, and Carlene have been holding me up throughout this whole ordeal of surgery and recovery. Your care, concern, and positive thoughts have kept me going many days when I thought I couldn't go any longer....Especially since school began, I know my whining and complaining got worse. Thanks from the bottom of my heart. Click on the link below.
http://www.link4u.com/angelfriends.htm

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's Official!!!

I will be RETIRING in January. I had to wait to make an announcement after I informed my principal and co-workers.
I had hoped to make it until the end of the year, but after my surgery it is just too physically exhausting. I am so drained mentally and emotionally as well.
I know things will work out just fine as God has helped us to come through so much. I am just taking each day and week as it comes while doing my best as a teacher. I really hate leaving in the middle of the year, but I'm sure whoever replaces me will also do the best they can for my kids.
Thanks again for your continued support and prayers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

5 months Ago Today...

It's just hard to believe it's been 5 months. It some ways it seems like yesterday, and in others it just seems like a dream. I know I am so blessed as things could have been much worse, but it has been quite an ordeal some days just to get through the day. I don't know how people who have to work can do chemo or radiation and continue to work.
I am so exhausted most days that I can hardly drag home. Clay has been doing most of the cooking when there is any cooking in this house. When I do, it's something I can cook quickly in the oven.
By the way, I wish I could think of something great to get him for his birthday, Oct. 24. (Don't worry, he seldom reads this anymore.) I just want it to be special since he's been so great to me.
Emily and her family are getting ready to move into a bigger house. I am so excited for them, and I can't wait to see it.
I wish it was next door to us so I could see those babies everyday.
This Mimi had better get to school. Thanks to all of you who still check in, and to those who call or email to check on me. I've come a long way.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Four months ago today....

...I was still in surgery. It still seems like a bad nightmare at times. The last month has flown by because of school starting and being so busy.
I do get very tired by the end of the day, and this will be our first full week of school so it will definitely be a challenge.

Our pastor today was preaching about the body of Christ and comparing that to our bodies saying that one part of our body can't do the work of another. I wanted to stand up and say, "Ummm, mine does! My arm now does the work for my tongue!" Clay said he would have died if I had done that. LOL

Since my surgery (surgeries as one of my friends always reminds me), I feel like my life has changed a lot, and some things will never be the same. A few things happened that I never expected, and I am still trying to reason with, but with God's help I'll be able to overcome and move on with my life.

I had so many friends affected by Hurricane Gustav, and now we are threatened by Hurricane Ike. I do pray that it will fizzle out or stay away from Louisiana. I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but South Louisiana just can't take much more.

I am ready for fall weather to arrive. I love the fall temperatures.
Love to all,
Shirley

"GOD SENT EACH PERSON INTO THE WORLD WITH A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO DELIVER, A SPECIAL SONG TO SING, AND A SPECIAL ACT OF LOVE TO BESTOW. NO ONE ELSE CAN SPEAK MY MESSAGE OF SING MY SONG OR OFFER MY LOVE...THESE ARE ENRUSTED TO ME." Author Unknown

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Back in School and Out for Hurricane Gustav!

I mean I haven't even had time to learn my kids' names (I have 5 classes) in 4 days, then comes the hurricane. We were already out for Labor Day, and then Gov. Jindal added Tuesday and Wednesday.
I totally understand why we had to be out, and some of the worst hit parishes are still out, but it sure is hard to keep up with our lessons.
I enjoyed my 5 days of rest. I surely needed it, but now I'm overwhelmed again trying to do lessons for next week, and I haven't even finished the ones for this week. Of course, I'll have to carry some things over. To make this clear, lesson plans for next week were due yesterday, but of course, we weren't at school. Wednesday will be coming up again real fast.
I've been telling my classes about my surgery, and it's so funny to watch the expressions on their faces. Some are just in awe, and some are full of questions. One boy said, "Well, at least you didn't have to use parts from a dead person!" Another boy said, "Man, we've got to be good!" Ummmm, I need to focus on that one.
I've just glad to be able to talk about this so openly. It's taken me a while to be able to do that. Only one class so far has asked to see my tongue. LOL
As always, thanks for the many prayers and taking the time to check on me.
Hugs,
Shirley

"GOD SENT EACH PERSON INTO THE WORLD WITH A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO DELIVER, A SPECIAL SONG TO SING, AND A SPECIAL ACT OF LOVE TO BESTOW. NO ONE ELSE CAN SPEAK MY MESSAGE OF SING MY SONG OR OFFER MY LOVE...THESE ARE ENRUSTED TO ME." Author Unknown

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Back to School!

We have officially started back to school, but our students don't come until Tuesday.
The hardest part is having to get up early and wear clothes (not pajamas!)
I had to stop therapy for a while as my shoulder was starting to hurt worse. I made an appointment with another orthopedic dr. - Dr. Googe. He's very young, sweet, and caring.
He sent me to have an MRI, and I have a slight tear in my rotator cuff as he suspected. He does not want to do surgery at this time because he said I had been through so much this summer, and I was so relieved to hear that. He gave me a shot, and he said I could have one every couple of months, plus some antiflammatory meds.
I can continue my stretching exercises because they help and are not damaging to my shoulder.
I'm sorry I've been so long updating, but I was waiting to find out the results of the MRI. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.

ShirleyC

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Just a little update...

Hello everyone,
I've been back to therapy twice. We went to New Orleans for 4 days so that's why I've only been twice. I will be going 3 times a week for the next 2 weeks, and then I'll just have to see what I can work in since school will be starting. It sure was nice to go somewhere as I have been homebound for so long. We really had a great time.

I am always sore afterwards, and some of it hurts a little, but I can tell it is helping. How do I know this? Well, when I thread my sewing machine I can now reach higher to get the thread through the thread guides, so I guess that is an accomplishment. I haven't got to sew a lot, but I am trying to get a couple of pillows monogrammed for my bed. Then I hope to start something for Shelby.

This next week will be a busy week with doctor's appointments and therapy. It just amazes me that I am still getting some nice little surprises in the mail. I have been so blessed receiving tons of cards, flowers, and gifts. Thanks again to all of you who have helped me travel this unexpected journey. I could have never made it this far without you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

I know its late in the day but just wanted to say Happy Anniversary!

I hope you had a great day and great dinner! Here is to many, many more!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Starting Therapy

Hi everyone,
I met with a PT today, and he did an evaluation on my shoulder. I definitely need therapy. He showed me a few things to do at home in between visits. I can tell it is really going to help.
I feel good otherwise, and I'm thankful for that. I go back on Thursday, but then I won't be able to go back until Friday week - the 1st, as we are going out of town for a few days.
I will also be getting the synvisc shots in my knees again starting Aug. 6th, and then 2 after that.
School starts on the 21st, but I will be going before then to work in my classroom in between therapy and doctor's appointments. I can't believe school is almost here.
Again, thanks to those of you who check my blog and keep me in your prayers.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Two Month Check Up

Hello everyone,
I went back this afternoon for my check up. Today I saw Dr. Ghali, Dr. Kim, and Dr. Milton.

They were very pleased with the way everything is healing, and especially pleased with the way my tongue has healed and with my speech. I can tell it's getting better all of the time.

I explained the problem with my left shoulder being so stiff and not being able to raise my arm very high. Dr. Ghali said that is fairly normal for this type of surgery as I lost some the muscle in my neck area. So that makes more sense to me as to why it is so stiff.

He said I could have therapy, and I'm going to check into it asap. I think I probably need it with school starting August 21st.

I appreciate how many of you still email or call to check on me. It feels so good to know that so many care and still pray for me.

Hugs to all,
ShirleyC

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Still Trying to Heal...

I thought I'd leave a little update. I'm doing pretty good, and I'm trying to get out more and build up some stamina. I'm able to eat pretty normal now. It just takes a while for me to chew my food.

I still have one place on my forearm that hasn't quite healed. Plus I've been having problems with my left shoulder. It's been really stiff, and I can't lift my arm up all the way. It is also very uncomfortable.

I went to my knee doctor today so I got him to check it. He thinks it is all related to my surgery and all of the cutting they did around my neck area. He gave me a steroid shot and said he thought that would help. I sure hope so. I am ready to get back to some normalcy.

School starts August 21 so I've really got to work at getting all healed. I know it will be hard to get back in a routine.

Please keep me in your prayers, and also an internet sewing friend of mine that has also had a major surgery.
Thanks so much,
Shirley

Monday, June 23, 2008

Thanks to my Friends...

I would just like to say thanks to my many friends who have helped me through this challenging ordeal in my life. I wouldn't even to begin to list names for fear I might accidently leave someone off the list.

I have depended on my friends throughout my life because my own family was never very close when I was growing up.

I am so touched by all of the love and support you all have shown me through phone calls, emails, cards, flowers, and gifts. I hope I have been and will continue to be as supportive of you all.

So many of you I have never even met, but we have shared a common bond through sewing and embroidery. I want to thank www.secretangelstitchers.com for all of the wonderful embroidered angels you have sent. They will be displayed at Christmas on my angel tree. What a wonderful blessing you have all been to me!

I want to leave you with a quote, and I may add to these from time to time.
Love you all,
Shirley

"A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else." - Len Wein - Sent by Paulo Louro

“Friends are angels who lift our feet when our own wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” Author unknown

“Truly great friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget.”

I'd like to be the sort of friend that you have been to me, I'd like to be the help that you've been always glad to be; I'd like to mean as much to you each minute of the day, as you have meant old friend of mine, to me along the way.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Six Weeks Doctor's Appointment

Today was my 6-week follow-up appointment. I got a good report. They said I was progressing very well.
Dr. Kim seems to think my arm will heal on its on, but if anything changes just to come back.
My neck is healing good, and I can now take a full body shower including that part of my neck. The scars on my neck are still a little puffy, but he said that will eventually go away.
My neck is still pretty stiff, but I've been working on that with some forced neck movements.
So maybe it won't be long until I can get back to some sewing!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Little Update...

For those of you that still read my blog, keep checking in because I will try to update a couple of times a week.
I had a little scare on Fri. Well, actually Thursday evening I noticed what looked like a blood blister on my arm where they took the flap for my tongue. It was worse by Friday so we made a trip to the doctor's office.
I saw one of my favorites, and he sliced it open and let it bleed. Gross, I know, but it had to be done. It hurt too!! After all I've been through, I shouldn't even complain.
It looks some better today, and I just pray this arm will heal soon. I go back on Tuesday for my regular appointment.
I had a great birthday with my kids and grandkids, but today I got really stir crazy sitting in the house. I got dressed and made Clay take me to the dollar store for a couple of things, and then we went to eat. I know he was relieved since he didn't have to cook. It was just good to get out.
That's about it! I'm just here waiting to heal.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy Birthday to Mimi!!! (06.11.08)



HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIMI!!!


We have a little treat for you on your special day!





video





Saturday, June 7, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CODY!!

I just have to wish my sweet baby boy a HAPPY 31st BIRTHDAY. I want you to know that we are so proud that you have grown up to be so caring, independent, and such a great dad.
I don't know what your Dad and I would have done without you, Emily, and your families these last few weeks.
Emily, since your birthday is already past, I have to let you know also how proud we are of all your accomplishments and being such a good mommy.
I can't even begin to name all of the people that have praised your efforts to keep up this blog during my surgery and hospital stay. It was so uplifting to me to be able to read all of the posts when I got home.
We love you both,
Mom and Dad
I am one month post surgery today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another Doctor visit...

Or maybe I should say "doctors". I walked in and there were 5 or 6 of my doctors standing in the hallway. They said, "Pick a doctor!" Well, I couldn't stop at one.
I had 3 hovering over me at one time. One was checking my tongue, and one was checking the packed place on my neck, and the two of them were checking to see how my trac was healing. I had a few stitches removed in my tongue because they were a little abscessed, but they said nothing to worry about. It's just gook that accumulates around those stitches. They said it was healing just fine.
My arm is doing better also. I keep asking about the numbness in my thumb, and he said I would probably always have some numbness, but the tip of my thumb should get some of the feeling back, but it may take a while. At least it's my left hand.
I had a little more pain in my neck over the weekend, but it seems to be better now, so they are cutting down on my pain meds, or rather changing them to something else, and I can also take some ibuprofen in between.
I don't have to go back for 2 weeks this time. They said in 2 weeks I should see a lot more improvement.
So please keep the prayers coming. I know those prayers have gotten me this far.
Love you all,
Shirley

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Some Other Prayer Requests

I'm asking all of you wonderful people to please pray for some special people in my life.
My sister-in-law, Alvern, that lives in Pasadena, TX had a stroke on May 17. I had just talked to her the day before. They did surgery, and she is responding some - opens her eyes and will answer yes or no by shaking her head, but she has a long way to go. She will go to a rehab soon. She was married to my oldest brother that died in 2000.
My friend, Lynda, that has posted on this blog, fell and hurt her shoulder really bad. I met her the summer my mom died, 1997. Her daughter was in the ICU where my mom was and we sat together in the waiting room for over 5 weeks together. We have kept our friendship going, and I have always felt we were both put there for a reason.
The other request is for one of my teaching buddies, Kristy. She had back surgery on Tuesday. She did OK, but is in pain, and she has 2 young girls who want their mommy up and running.

I am doing pretty good. It's just a slow process. My husband and my daughter-in-law are trying to come up with some more ideas for my meals. Not everything tastes good pureed, but Clay has done a great job trying, and for the most part, I've had some good mushy meals.
Just keep the prayers coming.

Shirley

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Visit with the Cardiologist

Today was my follow-up visit with the cardiologist. I'm glad to say that everything is ok. My heart rhythm is still normal, and I don't have to go back for 3 months.
I will continue taking the medicine he gave me, and if all is still fine after 3 months, then he will gradually take me off of that.
Thanks for your continued prayers. I still have a lot of healing to do.

Tribute to my Husband

I can’t let another day go by without saying this. I would have never made it to this point without my husband, Clay.

I can hardly find the words to express my feelings. He has been my rock and my caregiver around the clock. (Well, almost, except he did have to have a few breaks when I was in the hospital.)

I sure when we repeated those vows almost 37 years ago “for better or worse” that he never dreamed the worst would be like this.

Clay has always been a very dependable and independent person; so being in authority is part of his personality.

He will tell you real quick that tending to sick people and being in hospitals is not one of his best traits. During this time, he has come through like a trooper and has done everything he can that could be done for me (expect change the dressings, but he has helped a little.)

He’s always been great to help around the house, but right now he is doing it all. He does all of the daily chores. Leading up to the fact, that he has prepared everything that I have eaten, and constantly seeks to find different things so I would have some variety with all of this pureed stuff. He has cooked fresh squash and green beans, and talked his aunt into cooking me some peas. I have eaten like a Southern queen this past week. He is the master of smoothies, and now everyone in town is making smoothies. (The store had a good sale on Blue Bell).

I think the one thing he is the most proud of is that he washed, dried, and styled my hair, and it looked great. What more can I say!
I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

So, Clay, this post is to show my unending gratitude for your loving care and devotion.
I love you so much.

Shirley

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Follow Up Appt. with Dr. Kim

Today was my official first follow-up appointment, and it was with Dr. Kim. He's the one who took the flap from my forearm and built my tongue.
He was very pleased with my tongue and the healing process. I still have to clean and pack the place where the 2 staples got a little infected, but it is getting better.
Dr. Him cleaned up my forearm area, and when I say cleaned, that means he took off the scaly dead stuff. I have 2 places where the graft hasn't quite taken. I was given instructions on how to clean and wrap that area. He says it should be fine, but will take a little longer because of the tendons. He said I need to limit the use of that arm a little more.
The best part is that the vent hole has healed together, and I can now wear a smaller dressing. It is still healing, but this is a major step for me.
Just keep praying for all to keep healing. My worst pain is in the neck area below my chin for now. I am getting some feeling back in other areas of my jaw. It is just a long process, and everyone is very pleased. It will be 3 weeks tomorrow since the surgery, and my voice is nearly back. Of course, when I'm really tired and have just taken a pain pill, my speech is a little sluggish. Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers, cards, and emails.
Love you all,
Shirley

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Team of Doctors

For those of you that have kept up with the surgery from the beginning, I thought you might be interested to know a little about the doctors.
Dr. G. Ghali.DDS.MD.FACS is my main doctor, and the other doctor is Dr. D. David Kim. They have a team of interns working under them. There were at least 9 or more that worked on the surgery. One of the nurses asked Clay one day just how many doctors I had because they had counted at least 9 going in and out.
Dr. Milton and Dr. Ringeman were the 2 that I saw the most, and they are at the top of my list. They were so caring, and so careful, and always tried to make me laugh about something. As I told many of you from the beginning, being good looking didn't hurt a bit either.
I had to make a trip today because a place where a staple was still in my neck was kind of getting infected. I saw Dr. Milton. He went ahead and redressed my trach area so he could look at it (and it's doing good). When I was asking where I should hold it to talk, he said, "Do you want me to mark it with an "X"." I rolled my eyes at him and I thought the nurse was going to fall out laughing. Their little humorous comments along the way have really kept me going.
They assured me today that I should not expect any kind of major problems. This was so very minor, but it's good I got it checked.
I'm enclosing a link about Dr. Ghali. It's kind of interesting. He is one busy man.

http://www.oms-education.org/faculty/ghali.html
I go back on Tues. to meet with Dr. Ghali and Dr. Kim for my first follow up appointment.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

SECOND WHOLE DAY AT HOME!!

Hello Everyone!
I can't even begin to tell you how good it is to be at home, not in my own bed yet, but home. I sleep on one end of the new couch we bought with double recliners. That was a good decision since I have to keep my head elevated. I keep my cell phone by my side so if I need to get up, I can just call my dear hubby.
I have been sleeping soooo much better. I know a lot of it is getting some of those drugs out of my system. Oh gosh, that was the worst time those first few days after I woke up in ICU, and then a few days in the room. Everytime I closed my eyes, I was hallucinating - just awful stuff - so I just couldn't rest much.
My incisions are healing nicely for now. I go back to the doctor on Tuesday. The nurse called today and I had to answer the phone as hubby was outside the back door. She was amazed at how well I can talk. When the trac hole heals up completely, I'll be non-stop because right now I have to cover it to talk and to cough.
My nurse/niece, Robin, comes everyday to help with my bath and dressings. She washed my hair yesterday, and I felt like a new woman.
My husband has been wonderful making anything I request to eat. I'm still on puree, but there are plenty of good things to fix (if you are at home.) Yesterday I had some really blended potatoes, and my daughter-in-law brought some purple hull pea juice that I put on top of those, so I felt like I was eating from the garden. I have 2 recipe books of smoothies which have been a tremendous help, and of course, coke floats.
I've had some company today and yesterday, which is nice to break up the day.
I will just be glad when the worst of the pain is gone.
Thanks again to all who have sent beautiful cards, emails, and flowers. I really feel loved.

Love you all,
ShirleyC

Now to Alexis - my precious little student, if you can, please send an email to my school email. Your mom should have it, and I will try to read it at home. I want to write you a note, and the Webmail doesn't show addresses I have at school. I appreciate all of the sweet notes you wrote to me. My daughter would tell me everytime you wrote, and that really meant a lot to me.

Monday, May 19, 2008

We Are Home!!

We are finally home! I thought this day would never come. I was so overwhelmed when the nurse rolled me out to the car, and the sunshine hit my face for the first time in nearly 2 weeks, I could not stop crying. It was just so wonderful to be OUT!

Can you believe that I am typing - with both hands. Not too fast, but typing.

I haven't had a chance to read all of the messages yet, and when I do I just want to be able to absorb every encouraging word.

There are no words to express how blessed I am to have such a wonderful, caring, and concerned group of people to support me (us) at this time.

My kids and husband have been my rocks, and my strength. It has been a long, hard journey, but thank God, it is going downhill now. I want to thank all of my friends and other family members who have held us all up in prayer and kept encouraging everyone.

To my niece, Robin, I just don't think I would be at this point physically and mentally without you. Oh girl! You are the best nurse/friend ever.

I am not through. I have so much to say as I get stronger, but I just couldn't go to bed without writing something.

Again, thanks sooooo much, and I love you all.
ShirleyC

Going Home!

After a very long stay in the hospital, mom is being released today.

They had to do the conversion (shock) and after 2 tries the heart when back into a normal rhythm. She said it hurt.

They were still at the hospital when I left at 3:00 and waiting on Dr. Ghali to get over there to sign her release papers. They cardiologist had released her and Dr. Ghali is ready to....he just has to get there! Busy man I'm sure!

She is thrilled to go home. Ready to begin this part of her recovery! She has come so far but has a long way to go! We are just so blessed that she will be us for many, many years!

Once again, I cannot even begin to express the gratitude we have for ALL of you. The messages, emails, calls, cards, visits, flowers and gifts have all been so much more than we could have ever expected. But we truly believe it was your prayers that have worked more than anything. We have learned so much about Family, Friendship & Faith during these two weeks. We know that God is a good God and he still our Lord & Savior. And we truly believe that he has been with every doctor and nurse that has take care of mom. Thanks again for all of your love and support!

And the next post just may be from the woman of the hour herself! :)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Day 12....sitting.....waiting

They are still there. The cardiologist came by this morning. Heart rhythm has not gone back to normal. They are trying one more round of medicine tonight and if it doesn't work they will do the shock treatment in the morning and she SHOULD be able to go home tomorrow afternoon.

Her heart is good and strong, just a little out of sync. So PRAY PRAY PRAY it starts beating normal. They insist the shock treatment isn't that bad but there is a possibility the trache would have to go back in during that time and she really doesn't want that.

Robin is coming back tonight. Mom has really enjoyed her. She said they laughed and laughed. There is a story that has to do with mom using the bathroom and and some EKG cords getting caught in some undies. Mom said they got so tickled. Thank God for Robin! She has been a true God-send!

With Cody's new job and my crazy work schedule and two small kids it has been nice having someone to give dad a break that also makes mom happy. I think a bond has been created between them that no one ever saw coming. For those that don't know, Robin is dad's niece (Aunt Nancy's daughter.) She also took care of MaMaw in her final days. It was nice having someone in the family able to do that so we didn't have to send her to the nursing home.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 11, still at Schumpert

I was there earlier. Nothing new to report. Her heartrate seems to be a little bit lower which is good. They are waiting on the cardiologist to come by. She is MORE than ready to go home! Her tongue doctors are ready for her to go home too but they have to get this heart stuff straightened out first!

Nurse Clay (dad) will stay with her tonight! Pray for both of them, lol!

Friday, May 16, 2008

A most special gift from Cayden's friends!

The sweet teachers had the kids at daycare put together a book of their nursery rhymes at school today.





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Just another note, something that has been on my mind

When dad told me that Ms. Rabalais and Mrs. Long were at the hospital I just thought to myself what wonderful friends my parents have. Mom's friends have been so sweet and supportive but dad would have never gotten through all of this without HIS friends.

One day, years ago I went to eat lunch with a friend at a restaurant. My dad was there with about 8 teacher friends, ALL WOMEN. I introduced my dad to my friend who quickly asked, "which one is your mom?" I just laughed. "Why, none of them actually" was all I could say.

But through thick and thin there have been 4 amigos that have been there and stuck together through it all. Ann, Martha, Dad, and Mrs. Wilma Abram. I walked into ICU one day and there they all were. As great friends should be.

I remember Ann and her daughter's coming to the house when they were elementary and junior high school. Now Ann's "baby" just graduated from college. Ann was concerned about who was going to take care of dad while she was gone.

When these ladies haven't been able to be at the hospital, they have called to check on dad and mom, of course. They have been his rock and been there for him so many times and this latest hurdle was no exception.

So from me personally, I would like to thank each of you. Ms. Rabalais, Mrs. Long and Mrs. Abram for being the best friends that my dad could ever ask for. You have always put your friendship with him and each other first and foremost. And for that I will be eternally grateful, and I know mom is too!

Day 10, yes 10

Well, the trache is out. She has to cover the hole to talk. The doc says this will heal naturally. Makes it hard to talk on her phone though since her left arm is still in a cast.

I hear Robin was a great nurse. Mom says now she knows what mamaw went through those last days with Robin by her side. Robin will be back tonight and is going to wash mom's hair. Dad said when Robin came in last night she wasn't expecting mom to be able to talk and almost had a heart attack when mom said, "hi, Robin." If you know Robin, you can totally picture her expression! Dad said they were laughing so hard!

The heartrate is better. But still needs to be down a bit. Mom is still hanging in there. Looks like another weekend stay in the hospital. I know mom is so ready to be home. But we don't want to rush anything.

Dad said she got some beautiful flowers from Cayden and Shelby's day care. It was addressed to Cayden & Shelby's Mimi. Norma Padgett also sent some beautiful flowers. I know she got to talk to Aunt Alvern (her brother Ralph's wife) today on speaker phone.

Cayden's class all colored nursery rhyme pages and put a book together for her. I will take that up there tomorrow. It is so sweet. They made a cover and put Cayden's handprint on the front!

I haven't talked to dad this afternoon so if there were more visitors, I'm not sure yet. I know mom is anxious to get home so she can read all of your sweet comments for herself. I have told her what many of you have written. She is like me when it comes to her computer and internet and internet friends and right now that is probably the biggest withdrawal she is having.

Anne Rabalais and Martha Long are visiting right now. As well as Cody & Tonya. She also just received an ivy from Dad's school. And he just told me the name so I hope I don't get this wrong, Desoto Career Academy & Alternative School.

Pray the heartrate gets back to normal!

If she can get over that she will be good to go! Literally! As in home!

It is just too elevated right now. With it being elevated, it is making her feel tired and short of breath. The cardiologist says this happens in about 25% of people that have surgery. He is hoping to control it with medicine so she can avoid the shock treatment! This is also hindering the amount of walking she can do.

I believe I forgot to mention that they took out every other staple in her neck and all the staples in her arm. They are *supposed* to take out everything else on Friday. We shall see!

Mom called Cody tonight! She was also sending text messages out or so I hear!

Robin Sue stayed with her. Dad tried but he is just not good at being in the room with her. Mom agreed that he tried.

I am working all night so I will be sleeping until 1 or 2 on Friday so there won't be any updates until after then.

Thursday visitors were Mary Giecek, Janice & Dale Morvan, Jenny Mourad and I think that is it. I will double check with dad to make sure I didn't miss anyone.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 9 - We have a voice!

It is just after lunch and Cody just left. Dad and I are here. Mom is sitting up in her chair and she can talk! And we can hear her!!!!! Pretty cool!

So since yesterday, the feeding tube is out. They took the trache tube out and put a cap on the trache which means we can hear here when she talks. They had to put a trache mask on her though because she was having a few issues with her breathing.

The only problem we are having is her heartrate is a little elevated. They just came in and did an EKG to see what needs to be done to get it back regular. They talked about possibly having to give her a little "shock" to get it back regular. But the cardiologist wants to try some more medicine before having to do that. They keep insisting it is nothing to be alarmed about but she can't go home with it elevated.

Yesterday visitors were Ann Rabalais and Cynthia Riser. Mom has received some beautiful flowers from her friend Jenny, Bob & Vanessa Lawrence & Julie & Rick Sanders, Centha, Johnathan, Tracy & Kinsey Bryant, Dorris & Jimmy Simmons.

This morning Coach Waggoner and Mrs Waggoner from Logansport came by after his doctors appt. They got to see mom during her physical therapy session which consisted of a morning walk in and out of her room

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 8 - Update #2

Sorry for the lack of updates today. We have been without power since 4pm. Troy, the kids and I were headed to his moms and the neighbor called when we were about half way there to tell us the lights were back on so we turned around. We are now at home with lights.

I will be at the hospital tomorrow so I can give you some real updates. Cody is with mom tonight. Dad is home.

Day 8

Well, I am home today because yesterday day care called and said Shelby was running a fever. Lovely. So I had to miss another day of work today. She slept all night and seemed fine last night. Probably teething but now I can't work today because they can't go back for 24 hours after they have had fever. She's still asleep so I'm not sure what today is going to be like.

Dad said they got a little sleep last night. They came in and bathed her at 2am and changed the bed. He said she was awake anyway. The doctors have already been by this morning. They are going to start taking every other staple out today (on her neck) and are going to make the trache smaller. He said as soon as she could drink 2 cups of water they would take the feeding tube out. I think that may be easier said than done.

The team of doctors that did mom's surgery have another surgery just like hers today. One of them told dad that it was a worse case though. I can't imagine. I hope that person is okay. We know first hand how hard it can be.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Interesting

Dad just called. They are without lights at Schumpert! All of the machines have battery back-up but no lights and no a/c. He said mom was hot. It's storming here. Oh fun! I'm glad she isn't still in ICU and he is able to be there with her.

Day 7 - ICU Graduate!

Mom will be going to room 470 today! Yay!!! More later!

Monday, May 12, 2008

DAD JUST CALLED IN TEARS!!!!

Seems all the tests came back NEGATIVE FOR CANCER!!!! It is NO WHERE ELSE! They took out what they needed to and the lymph nodes and everything else is clear!!!

THAT MEANS NO RADIATION!!!

PRAISE GOD!!!!

When she leaves, she is finished with anything having to do with cancer!!!!

The doctor is saying she may get to go home by the end of the week!!!!

This day just became fabulous!!!

Day 6 ICU Update #2

At 1:00 mom was still sitting up. Still looking good. Tired. Everyone just keeps going on and on about how well she is doing. I really think she is tired of hearing it. She said when they tried to stand her up today she was shaking and wobbly. They had to get a guy to come and help her. I guess 6 days with no food and a major surgery will make you just a little weak!

Dad asked her if the recovery was what she thought it would be. She shook her head no. He asked was it worse. She nodded yes.

Just pray that the weaning off of the vent continues to go well. If she can get off of that and start walking they will be able to put her in a room. Then she won't feel so alone. The one on one care of ICU is nice. But when you are awake more it is harder.

Dad will be there for 5. He told her earlier to get ready he was going to rub her feet down with lotion. I almost gagged and assured both of them that I was glad I would be gone! LOL!

Cody is going to come in tomorrow after work. It is hard to get up here everyday after working all day. Plus with gas at $3.55 a gallon doesn't help. Mom is totally fine with that. I told him it would be better since I may not make it up there tomorrow.

PLEASE NOTE: I will go back to work tomorrow. There may not be any updates until AFTER 7pm unless I am able to get to a computer at work. Which is possible. If anything major happens (like going to a room) I will try very hard to get it posted! I work Tuesday and Wednesday (6:30am-6:30pm) and when I get home, things are usually a little crazy. But I will do my darndest to you all posted!

Day 6 - ICU ....still....

Dad and I got here for the 10am visit. She was sitting in a chair. She looked so tried and well, not great. They were putting her on this t-piece as part of the weaning off of the vent. The nurse said if she does well on that, it lets them know that she is ready to come off the vent. She was coughing a lot so she was miserable. The coughing is good even though its not fun. Once she got settled, she looked better. Dad and I were ready to run out of there but we toughed it out and she started feeling better so we had a nice little visit. (Thankfully, Cayden always does something funny so there is always a story!)

They want to try and get her walking tomorrow (as long as all of this goes well today) and then possibly she will be able to go into a room. We don't know for sure yet.

She can swallow. That's pretty cool. The nurse said she could have some ice chips if she wanted but she didn't want them at that time. She got some rest last night.

We were worried yesterday. One reason I never came back and posted last night was because I was just down and out and didn't want to worry anybody. She seemed down so that was making me so sad and crazy. I know she is so ready to get everything out. She seemed in better spirits today. I really just don't think she was expecting 7 days in ICU.

We know its going to be a long road. We are in it for the long haul! Thanks for all of your prayers and support. When you post comments, I always tell her and it makes her smile! We love each and every one of you!!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Day 5 ICU Update #1

I was there for the 10am and 1pm visits. She said she didn't really rest well again. When we got there, an intern of Dr. Ghali's was there checking her tongue and said it looked great. He brushed her teeth for her. We got to visit for a little bit. I can tell she is tired. They changed her pain medicine so she can relax a bit more. She had trouble digesting the food coming into the feeding tube so they have stopped that and will try again later today. I told them if they could put some cheese ravioli from Olive Garden in there, she would digest it just fine! She smiled.

At 1:00 we walked in and she was in a chair. A special chair so that she can sit up a bit. She started having a little bit of trouble breathing so they thought this way she might breathe easier. She said it was easier to breathe. The ICU doc came in when we were there and said sometimes when they lay down for that amount of time that its hard for them to breathe deeply so it is common and didn't seem alarmed. They also said the trouble digesting the food from the feeding tube is also very common.

Nathan came to visit dad. I am thankful for that. I know dad would have to be stir crazy up there all day everyday. He, however, has not complained once.

He laughed today saying he told his friend that mom would probably lose 50 pounds, get a tummy tuck and leave him. I told him not a chance. Mom laughed when he told her.

Got to see her tongue today. It looks like a normal tongue. The things they can do these days. Truly amazing!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Need a smile? I know I do....

Happy Mother's Day Mom! Sorry you are have to be in the hospital today but at least you are going to be with us for many, many more. There are plenty of years left for us to go to Olive Garden on MD! Here are some videos of the kiddos.

My silly boy

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And my little drama queen!

video

Day 4 ICU Update #2

Dad stayed today for the 1:00 and 5:00 visits. I know he is so stir crazy sitting all day at the hospital but he doesn't complain. I am so proud of him and I know mom is too. Hopefully I will get to sit with him tomorrow a little longer than I have been able to so far. Cayden's little sickness and kinda put a damper on my plans. Troy has been so great helping in all ways possible.

Mom is resting between visits the nurse said. That makes me feel better. I am always worried she is just laying there waiting for the next visit.

She is getting more and more agitated with everything connected to her. I know once they get the trache and feeding tube out she will feel better.

Dad came by to see the kids for a minute on his way home. Cayden showed him all the new potato heads we bought at a garage sale today and Shelby just grinned but didn't get too close.

Day 4 ICU Update #1

I got there for the 10am visit a few minutes late. Dad was already in there. The nurse wrote out the alphabet. She will point to the letters to tell you things if she doesn't feel like writing them. She was aggravated with dad because he couldn't tell what she was spelling. We FINALLY figured out she was saying Margaret Ann, her principal. Then she asked if we had been keeping Kristy updated. Dad said, "do you want Kristy to come see you?" She nodded yes, with a shrug which we took as if she has time. So Kristy, no pressure or anything but you have been summoned! LOL! She wrote your number down and I think dad tried to call you.

She was hot. The nurse told her she could get a fan if she didn't cool off after we turned the air down. She was sitting up a little bit in the bed and had her glasses on. She had the remote in her hand and was trying to find something to watch on TV. Not much on a Saturday.

Said she didn't sleep good last night because there was another man in ICU that hollered all night. Dr. Kim said if it got to hard for her to rest in ICU they might move her to a room before Monday but I doubt they do. They are going to put her in a chair tomorrow. She hopefully will get that trache out on Monday. I know she is ready to have that out.

The nurse that I really like (Cherry) is with her today. Cherry said mom is doing well "ABOVE THE CURVE" (her words not mine) so that made us proud of her and how strong she is.

Friday, May 9, 2008

You know what I hate the most

Is when my kids do something really cute or silly and I just want to call mom and tell her but I can't. We talk many times during the day. And she never minds me talking about the kiddos.

So mom, if you were home tonight I would have called to tell you what your grandson told us tonight at El Chico.

Our waiter was a man but he had long hair so it was in a bun. When he walked away Cayden said, "That man is a lady." haha. He knew he was a man but the hair just confused him. We tried so hard not to laugh at him.

He's running fever again. Gosh, are we going to get over this?

Day 3 - ICU Update #2

Dad was there for her 10:00 visit, Jenny came for the 1:00 visit. I'm not sure what all they "talked" about but I know mom was glad Jenny was there.

Cody, Dad & I were there for 5:00. Mom is able to write on paper. But she is writing blindly. So the first thing she wrote, we couldn't read. We all got so tickled and she was trying so hard not to laugh.

She asked about Tonya, Robin, Cayden and some others. I told her Shelby spilled Coke all over her bumble bee dress and that made her smile. We talked about her meeting her cousin she hasn't seen in forever and ever. I told her they could take Cayden and Shelby when they go. Dad said no. Mom said yes. HAHA.

She is very coherent and was mad because the nurse from this morning said she was hallucinating and doesn't know or remember what she is saying. Dad asked her if that made her mad and she shook her head yes.

Once the trache comes out she will be able to talk. It will be slurred at first but the doctor said we would be able to understand her.

She wanted to know who was going to be there Monday. (when they move her to a room) We decided she was obviously coherent or she wouldn't have remembered what day they were moving her to a room.

She looked so much better than even last night. I know she has a long road ahead of her but she really has come so far it just a couple of days.

Day 3 - ICU

Dad went in at 10:00 and mom was more alert today. They are weaning her out of the sedation. He talked to her a bit and put some eye drops in her eyes. The nurse asked her if she knew where she was and she did. Told her she had been there 3 days. They are going to start feeding her through the feeding tube today.

I am still stuck at home with a sickly boy. Talk about timing. Will try to make it up there tonight when Troy gets home. I am going crazy here. Not much I can do there but even less I can do here. BUT, such is life! :)

The doctors are still very pleased with her progress. Praise God!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Ever had a BFF?

Well, mom's is this crazy lady from Minden named Jenny. Last night Jenny and her daughter Emily (great name) showed up right after we came from seeing mom for the first time since her surgery. Mom opened her eyes when Jenny was looking at her. Jenny calls mom "Ole Girl" so she called her. Mom jumped. I was traumatized then, I can't lie. But now its so funny to think about.

She was probably dreaming she was at Jenny's house sleeping in the guest room and Jenny was waking her up to tell her breakfast was ready.

Jenny, I know mom loves you like a sister and will want to see your smiling face very soon!

Day 2 ICU Update #3

I just got back from the hospital. Dad and I went back to see mom for the 5:00 visit. We had just walked in when the nurse came in to introduce herself. Her name is Cherry. Oh my goodness, she's a blessing. The best nurse. Dad asked her if they had put mom's socks on her. Mom immediately started moving trying wake up. She knew he was there.

She opened her eyes and dad told her not to try to talk. He told her to blink twice if she wanted her socks on and she blinked twice. The nurse put them on for her.

He told her Cayden tee-teed in the potty. She blinked twice.

He asked her if he could go home to Logansport to sleep tonight and she blinked about 4 times, lol.

He asked her if she remembered Cody being there today and she blinked.

We told her how great she was doing and how much we loved her.

She looks so much better today than she did last night. That in itself was so reassuring. The nurse said the doctors had been in several times during the day today and said they are more than pleased with how well she is doing and healing. They may begin putting food in the feeding tube tonight but more than likely tomorrow.

The FUNNIEST thing! Dad told the nurse he was going to bring vaseline in tomorrow so her lips wouldn't dry out. (MamaLisa, mom had already prepared us!) The nurse said she had already been putting it on there because she knows how bad it can get. She said it was on the table if dad wanted to put some on her. So he grabs the NEOSPORIN! LOL! The nurse is like "oh, no, not that one!" ONLY DAD!!!

I called Cody when we came out. Any of you that know me, know that I am my father's child and when it comes to hospitals, we just don't do well. So, I called Cody at 5:10. Since visitation is for 30 minutes he assumed we wouldn't be out until 5:30. So he said he was going to call at 5:30 and I said, Cody please, it's dad and me you are talking about. I thought we did good to last for 7 minutes!!!

We love you, mom! I know you will be amused when you read this. And wouldn't expect any less!

How could I have forgotten?

I ran to the grocery store with the kids and it dawned on me that I forgot to post the most important thing!

The doc said that mom's tongue is pulsing and the color looks good. They are very pleased with how well she is doing.

Please forgive me. I ran home, put the kids to bed and came here to post this. I am kinda in a daze today. Think I may try to take a nap before I head up there. Troy's mom is going to keep the kids when she gets out of school so I can get there for the 5:00 visit.

Day 2 ICU Update #2

Dad, Cody & Tonya were there for the 10:00 visitation. They are sorta letting mom come out of her sedation. She opened her eyes and Cody said she nodded her head when they were talking to her. She nodded back off. The ICU doctor came in asking questions about how she could have gotten this, history, etc. Cody explained there was no history and she wasn't a smoker. He asked if she worked (I think) and Cody explained that she only had a year before she retired. Said at that point, her eyes popped back open! LOL! Yep, that was the magic word.

She was trying to touch her mouth. Cody told the nurse it was because her mouth was dry. So they went ahead and upped her sedation so she could get some rest.

Cody said she looked a lot better than she did last night which makes me feel better. I am going to get up there this afternoon.

Day 2 - ICU

I don't know how many updates I will have for you. But I will post anything I know. Dad said he rested pretty good last night in a comp room provided by the hospital. Cody told him that he crashed and I did as well.

When I called dad he was eating breakfast so that would make mom's heart happy. Her biggest concern was that he wouldn't eat. But he did, so yay.

Dad got up around 5:30 and got ready then headed to see mom for the 6am visit. Said she looked like she was resting better than when we saw her last night. From what we understand, they don't want her moving at all for 24 hours so they probably won't even begin to try to wake her until tomorrow. Possibly this evening but it could be tomorrow.

I am at home with the kiddos. Cayden seems a little better but still wanting to sit with me which means he isn't 100% just yet. But he had some motrin a little while ago and it is beginning to kick in. When that does he will be bouncing off the walls.

Dad said his friend Ann Rabalais is coming to hang out with him this morning. She is one of his teacher friends and a true blessing. Ann knows dad so well and knows when to just sit there and not say a word. Thank you, Ann for being so wonderful. You will never know how much I appreciate you being there for dear ole dad!!!

In times like these you realize what wonderful friends you are surrounded by. People that will just come sit with you and take the time to get by a hospital even if for a few minutes just to say hi. Or those that call, or email or just sit home and pray. I know we will never be able to show each of you how much we appreciate what each of you have done for us. But it is greatly appreciated....more than you will ever know.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hardest Part of the Whole Day

Cayden called me to tell me that he had gone potty. Yeah, he should be potty trained, but he's not SOOO anyway, I asked him if he wanted to tell PawPaw. My thought process was something happy to end a very long day. So PawPaw asks him if he wanted to tell Uncle Cody. Of course he did. But guess who Cayden wanted to tell next??? Yep, his Mimi. Cody just handed me the phone. He couldn't talk. I couldn't talk. I was trying to tell him that Mimi was night night but I couldn't say anything. It was the end of a very long day and the tears just started flowing. I couldn't stop. I haven't stopped.

Oh yeah, then I get home, in my mailbox is a Mother's Day Card from my mom. It read, "Enjoy your day, I'll be fine. Love, Mom" Yeah, that didn't help stop the tears!

I am just praising God that my kids will have there Mimi here to love them and take care of them and be there for them!

I am okay now. My kids were so sweet and loved on their mommy and it was just what I needed.

Cody seemed to be okay and dad assured us he was fine. I know he is exhausted but I am so proud of him. He was so strong today. I know he had moments where he was dying inside but he didn't show it.
I am signing off for tonight. Thanks again to everyone for your prayers. I know mom feels your love and God's arms around her!

We Are Done!!!!

Everything went as planned. The doctor is finished and they are finishing cleaning up her trache and getting her feeding tube inserted. He said she had a short arm so it didn't give him as much vein as he is used to working with. But he made do.

We will be able to see her in about an hour and half or so. She will have a splint with a drain, drains coming out of her neck as well as the trache and feeding tube.

Thanks again for ALL of your prayers!!!!

5:30

Still nothing and we are getting just a liiiiiiiiiiiiittle anxious! Dad is starting to get nervous but we are surrounded by great friends.

Here: Dad, Cody, Janice and Dale, Aunt Nancy, Sharon, Ann R., Cynthia, Debbie, Terry, Sissy and me!

4:30

Haven't heard anything since 3:00. Thinking they may be getting close to finishing up. They didn't call at noon and came out shortly after with her update. I will post as soon as we know.

Here: Dad, Cody, Aunt Nancy, Sharon, Terry, Joanne, Janice & Dale Morvan (from Logansport) and me!

3:00

All is well, still working on the reconstruction.

Day care called Troy and Cayden has a fever. Troy went and got him and Shelby since he was there and all. I may not get to come up here tomorrow. That stinks just a bit. Unless I find a babysitter. Any volunteers???

Here: Dad, Cody, Terry, Sharon, Aunt Nancy, Sissy & me.

2:00

Reconstruction is going well. No other news.

Cricket, Jamie, Bonnie & Katie are now here.

PRAISE GOD IN THE HIGHEST!!!

DR. GHALI JUST CAME BY AND ALL THE CANCER IS OUT!!!! WE ARE ALL CRYING HAPPY TEARS HERE!!!

This part went faster than they said. All the cavities are CLEAR!!!! He still thinks the lymph nodes are clear but won't say FOR SURE until they get the tests back on them which will probably be on Monday.

Oh PRAISE GOD!!!

Thanks for all the prayers!!!! PRAYER WORKS!!!

Oh and now that they finished early, they think possibly Dr. Kim will be finished between 4-6 which is alot better than 6-9!!!! God is Great!

Sissy is here now. Wilma & Bruce Abram came by.

Still here at almost 1:30. Dad, Cody, Aunty Nancy, Sharon, Ann R., Terry, Sissy & me, of course.

12:00

No news yet. I haven't forgotten about you all. Waiting patiently.....

Just meant to add that we have received calls from Geraldine Holmes, Tina Graves, Brother Al, Norma, Cynthia and I think that's all.

11:00

At 11:00 everything is still going. They are still working on her tongue and neck.

Aunt Nancy and Sharon (our cousin) are here. Terry and Jenny are still here.

We have had a few laughs. Aunt Nancy, Terry and dad were discussing knee problems and the general consensus is that it just stinks getting old. I thought Aunt Nancy was going to pass out when she walked in. It was a long walk up to the waiting room from the parking lot. But she got some water and seems better!

11:20-Ann Rabalais is here. She and dad taught school together for years and are great friends.

Mary Eason (from Logansport) stopped by to say she is praying for mom. Her husband is here doing physical therapy.

Forgot to mention that Cody's boss' (David & Tina Graves) sent a nice basket filled with cakes, danishes and cookies from Julie Anne's. What a nice surprise.

10:00

All is going well. Nothing new.

Ashton, Martha, and Ann Long came by around 9:30.

Terry Mason is here at 10:00.

9:00

They just finished doing the scope (checking all the cavities for cancer in other parts.) They are getting ready to start on her tongue. That's all we know.

8:00

They just called and said they did the trache at 7:38 and she went to sleep just fine. Jenny came in around 7:30. Said she had been waiting in the day surgery room. She didn't realize we had walked over to ICU waiting room.

Forgot to add that the doc said mom will be in ICU until at least Monday.

7:00 am (central time)

It is now a little after 7 and they have already taken mom back. They had given her some medicine to calm her so she was pretty much out of it. We are so happy they didn't make her wait around. The nurse told dad & Cody that Dr. Ghali will do the removal part and will not be finished until between 1-3 and then Dr. Kim will do the reconstruction part and that can last until between 6-9 tonight. Yep, it is going to be a long day! I will post more as I know it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Thank you!!!

We just want to thank ALL of you that are praying, have posted comments, sent emails and cards, and have called! Each and every one of you are so precious to mom. She can feel your love around her.

She said the phone hasn't stopped ringing and people have been coming by all day and night. This is such a blessing to her.

Thanks again. You all will never know just how much it means to all of us!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sewing Mimi!

Mom never ceases to amaze with with her talent! With less than a week to go until her surgery she managed to whip out this little outfit for Shelby. It's just adorable and Shelby was proud to model it.


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We had a great day with Mimi & PawPaw as we headed to Logansport for River City Fest! Ate lunch on the river and then came home and played in the backyard. Cayden just came in and told me he had to go to Mimi & PawPaw's again.



Here's an updated picture of Cayden and Mimi at RCF today.

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Who is this hottie, you ask??

This is Bubba! Cody and Tonya's oldest son. He was heading to prom! He's just a hottie! And running neck and neck with Cayden on favorite grandson! Just wanted to share.

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Purpose of this blog!

We are going to do our best to update this blog as we get updates! We feel as a family this will be the easiest way to be sure everyone is updated. The day of the surgery is going to be a very long day. And we surely don't want to forget to email or call anyone. We will do our best to let you know as soon as we know! So please check back often!!!

And please feel free to leave your comments! As soon as mom is up to it, I am sure she will be surfing the internet and would love to hear from you!

What's a blog without pictures of Mimi and her babies?

Mimi and Shelby, Easter 2008
Hard to tell she had just gotten her diagnosis.
I guess even in the hardest of times
grandchildren will make you smile!

Mimi & Cayden, Fall 2005
(He doesn't sit still anymore for
pictures so this will have to work!)

The Diagnosis

On March 17th, my mom, Shirley Clark went in for a biopsy for a spot on her tongue. The news was not what we expected. She was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Or otherwise known as tongue cancer. We were obviously devastated by this news. We know nothing about this or what is about to come. But we do have faith that Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior is going to get us through this and she will be okay.

Surgery is set for May 7th. This will be a 10 hour surgery. Hospital stay will probably be 8-10 days with up to half of that time in ICU. They want to keep her as immobile as possible those first few days after surgery.

Dr. Ghali is her doctor and is the best in this area. He is so personable and uplifting. He assures her that in 3 months no one will ever know she has had this surgery.

She will have a feeding tube and a trach. They will cut a piece of her tongue, the test it and will cut until the cancer is gone. At that point they will begin reconstruction of the tongue by taking a flab from her arm. Sounds so tedious and amazing all at the same time that they are able to do this. Dr. Ghali talked as if he does this all the time and come to find out, he says he does about one of these surgeries a week.

Please pray for all of us. We know it will be tough. For mom and for us. God is still on His throne and this is just one more testimony we will share as a family.