Tuesday, July 20, 2010

This is Ida Skeen and me.  Ida was my nanny when we lived in Port Arthur.   Because both of my parents worked and Ida, my mom's friend Judy's mother, needed employment, Ida came to live with us during the week where she looked after the house and me.  Mostly she looked after me.  We loved each other very much.  When my dad took a job in San Benito (down in the Rio Grande Valley), Ida moved with us.  Sadly, she missed her own family and grandkids so much that she only stayed with us for a year, then moved back to Bridge City.  I missed her terribly and when we would go to visit family in Orange, we always made a trip to Bridge City to see Ida and her big, affectionate family.  They became very dear friends and I loved spending time at their rambling old country house.  There was a screened sleeping porch and lots of big old comfy furniture for curling up in and reading.  The back yard was huge, with enormous trees, a badminton net, and a big vegetable garden.  Ida's grandsons,  Ricky and Butch, who were a few years older, would actually play with me sans complaints! 

I was thinking about Ida today because when I looked at this picture this morning,  I realized how beautifully it depicts love.  I'm feeling a lot of love right now for Morgan and our family and friends, and I know how healing that is.  

My lumpectomy was yesterday.  Three lymph nodes were also removed.   Some hopeful news is that the sentinal node (http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/guide/sentinel-node-biopsy) does not appear to be cancerous.  If no cancer is found there, chances are that there will be no cancer in the other two that were removed.  And if it's not there, then it's safe to say that it's not in the lymph system.  Cancer is happiest in the place it originates.  The next place it wants to go is someplace neutral--the lymph nodes.  It will usually move to another organ only after going to the lymph system.  So now we have to wait for the pathology report to make sure the edges of the mass that was removed are cancer free (known as "clear margins") and I'll meet with my oncologist.    If the margins are clear, then I'll move on to radiation.  If not, more surgery.   There's a lot of time spent not knowing with cancer.  I've been getting friendlier with that frame of mind.   It's teaching me to live, if not in the moment, at least in the day!  

The surgery recovery period is going to be longer than I'd anticipated.  I'll be able to move around this week, but I can't lift anything heavier than 5 pounds, can't drive for 2 or 3 weeks, and have to wait until my surgeon authorizes it to begin exercising.  I've cut my pain med dosage in half and that seems to be fine.  Yes!  
I'm going to stop typing now because that seems to be making the affected arm sore.  


  1. I love that photo! what a lovely story. We are sending you all our happiest thoughts and best wishes and THANK YOU for sharing all of this with us.

  2. That photo is indeed the picture of pure love! Good to hear that it doesn't seem to have spread--I know you don't know absolutely for sure--and that you've already felt okay with a lower pain med dose.

    I really love your living-in-the-day sentiment because it seems less intimidating than living in the moment!

  3. That photo is priceless and you are as adorable now as you were then. I am happy for the good news and hope the pathology report provides more. Love the blog, and I'm learning, too (my sis had a lumpectomy in 1994, so I know some). xoxo

  4. I too love this photo, but I mainly love that you posted it. Ida Skeen, love her! Lynell, I remember some of your childhood stories-one about you, a vacuum cleaner, and the Virgin Mary?

  5. Beautiful picture and lovely story, Lynell.
    Hang in there... Hugs and love ~ Liz B.

  6. what a sweet picture. You both look so contented.