Monday, November 30, 2009

Sunday November 29

We went to church and did a little food shopping on the way home. I spent the whole afternoon resting. I needed to recuperate, after all the activities of the previous week.

Saturday November 28

Had brunch with friends, followed by lunch with other friends! A busy day... but fun!

Friday Nov 27 - at home

I rested today, after a hectic day yesterday. I found out more information on our travel insurance and options around our trip that has been planned for Dec 29 to Jan 23. I also talked to Stuart about the timing of our visit. Will I be well enough? After considering some good alternatives, we still think we'd like to go on the dates as planned, if we are able. Deb dropped in late afternoon, and then we had dinner with others.

Wedding Anniversary

Thursday 26th November
Yes, we've been married 32 years today! We had a lovely dinner out, after a busy day.
Today I found out that my appointment with the oncologist is later than I expected. It's not until December 17, so I have to be patient once more. At that appointment we will discuss the pros and cons of taking medication for the next five years.
I also went to my small group in the morning. This is always a good time.
I decided to show them how well the operation went!

Then in the afternoon Barbara took me to get a bone density scan. We also talked to another friend who is going through a similar experience.
A busy day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rick's new job and good results from surgeon.

Monday 23 Nov: Barbara picked me up to have lunch with friends at the mall. I realised that the weekend's activities had made me quite tired., but they were fun.

Tuesday 24 Nov: I eagerly awaited the 3pm appointment with the surgeon.
Rick and I were given the rest of the pathology report, which was very good. It confirmed that I did not need radiotherapy or chemo therapy and that I would be referred to an oncologist to discuss ricks and benefits of hormone therapy. The cancer was hormone positive, with no evidence of the cancer spreading to surrounding vascular or lymphatic cells. This is great news as it's the simplest to be treated. The surgeon also said that the wound is healing well.

Wednesday 25 Nov : I've spent the day relaxing, reading up on hormone treatments and resting.
Rick rang to say he has been offered a short-term job, starting Monday! This is wonderful news.
He is happy with this job, as it's sounds interesting and the hours are flexible.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sunday Nov 22

It was really good to be well enough to go to church, after only missing two Sundays! Also great to catch up with everyone. People have been so caring and supportive.
Lunch at a cafe, with Cameron, felt like nothing had changed! I do need to take it easy though. The wound is healing and is quite uncomfortable this week.

We came home to a lovely clean house, courtesy of the amazing bunch of people at school. They have generously given money, so that I can have the house cleaned. What a wonderful gift!
We are very moved by this and are thankful to all of them.
What great school community to be part of!

Saturday Nov 21

I rested at home all day, so I could enjoy the special gospel choir concert, that Rick was a part of, in the evening. The choir performed in front of about 6oo-700 people. They did very well. It was a lot of hard work, with so many words and special parts to learn! It was a great concert.
We celebrated at the after party and then Rick had to pick up the advertising signs that he had put out on Canberra roads, a week before.
Only one out of eight was found!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Second week after surgery

Nov 16 to Nov 20
This week has been busy.... well, busy for a person who has recently had surgery.

Monday morning, early, saw the community nurse come to take the drain out and monitor the wound. Such a relief to have the drain disconnected. Later that morning was my first outing. It was to Daphne's Thanksgiving Service. It was such a lovely service for Daphne. Following the service, I joined family and friends for lunch and then went back to Lee and Greg's for more food and chatting. I caught up with old friends, while Rick returned to work. I managed really well on my first outing!

Tuesday I rested and talked to friends. So many kind people have visited and sent cards and e-mails.

On Wednesday I needed the community nurse to visit to help me with a bad reaction to the dressing. It was a relief to know it was an allergic reaction, rather than an infection or straining the stitches by doing too much! A trip to the mall with a friend that afternoon, plus more visits from friends at home, helped to pass the time nicely.

Thursday proved to be a very pleasant day, full of social engagements. Morning tea and meeting with a special group of ladies, resting at home and then attending a baby shower for 4 women from school. Great to catch up with the school crowd. So hot! then in the evening, over to Cameron's with Rick, for a short visit. On the way home we had dinner out. I didn't stay up much past 9pm!

I can't drive as yet, so people have been driving everywhere!
Friday ( today) I've had a pleasant day at home. A few more visits and phone calls too. I am so glad we have air-con ! I think it got to 38 degrees.

Rick had a job interview today. This sounds positive.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Resting and relieved

Friday 13th Nov & Saturday 14th Nov
It was a great relief to know that I won't be needing those heavy duty treatments. Friends came to visit, including our dear friends from Nowra. I talked to others on the phone and via e-mail. It was so great to celebrate the news with them all.
I have been given beautiful flowers, gifts, dvds and meals from wonderful people. Some lovely friends even delivered fresh fruit and veg to the door!
We feel very fortunate indeed to have such a wealth of supportive friends and family.
Thank you everyone!

I forgot to mention that on Thursday morning, Nov 12th , I had my first visit from an ACT Health Community Nurse, to check on my progress ( drain and wound). I had the BEST nurse!
Some of you may know who I am talking about. I have known her for many years. How great was that?

Fabulous results - back early

Thursday 12th Nov 2:30pm
Where was I when I heard the news?
Well, I was lying down having a rest, when the surgeon rang.

I thought it was a lovely gesture that she should take time out to ring and check up on me.
After I told her "I was doing well and resting like a good girl", she said that she had some good news for me.
It was a wonderful moment, that was totally unexpected. I was told it would be the following week when I would get the results.

I wrote this e-mail below and sent it to lots of people:

"I have great news!

The pathology report came back quickly.

The surgeon just rang me to say I will NOT be needing Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy!

The cancer was a Grade 1 (slow growing) and was 2cm in size, as in the original pathology. They checked a bigger suspect area around that, and it was found to be clear of cancer.
The 2 lymph nodes that were taken out were completely clear.

The only wait now is on the "receptors" report (hormone- related etc). These findings will determine whether I need to take a daily tablet for the next 5 years . The specialist will have those results on Nov 24, when I see her.


Thanks to all of you who have been thinking of me and praying for me etc.!

Much love and celebrations here,

from Janelle."

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Taking it easy at home

Thursday Nov 12
I am resting at home. Yesterday I had some lovely visits from friends. I also had phone calls and received cards. Lots of people are thinking about me!
Friends came to baby sit me when Rick had to be at is choir meetings.
I am finding that I get tired easily and I can't think as clearly as usual!!

Rick had a job interview yesterday, as well as a couple of hopeful phone calls about jobs. This is good news for him.
He is here today and is looking after me very well.
Today the community nurse is coming to check on my progress.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home from Hospital

It's great to be home!
I am sitting back home in my reclining chair, sending you a message to say all is well.
Rick came and got me from the hospital this morning and I arrived home about 1o:45am.
I got a good report from the nurses, even though my blood pressure was a little high. They said that it's a MUST that I rest and not resume normal activities for a couple of weeks. This is to recover properly from the effects of the anaesthetic and the assorted other drugs I have been given.
The surgeon saw me yesterday, Mon 9 Nov. She was pleased with the surgery and my recovery so far.

I found that my stay in hospital was very pleasant indeed. The surgery was relatively painless, compared to others I have experienced. So much support has been available from the health system, which was both surprising and overwhelming at times. I am grateful to be living in a country such as this!
Thanks to family and to friends, who have shown their love and support in all different ways. This has been very much appreciated.
My job now is to rest and wait patiently for the pathology results, which will determine the next step in the treatment. All looks positive so far, but no firm conclusions can be drawn until all the tests are done. The results will be available within the next ten to fourteen days.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday November 8

Deirdre is here in the hospital, typing this for me:

Today, my family from Sydney came to visit. They were very pleased to see me so well and able to have a joke or too.
They caught up on all the news of the big op and are extremely happy all went so smoothly.

This message is being typed in the hospital lounge, on Jeni's laptop (my sister-in-law). We have taken up the whole lounge. It looks like a meeting of some committee... but it's my lovely family who travelled a long way to see me.

I will be back home on Tuesday.

Thanks for all your prayers.

Love Janelle

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Saturday November 7

Janelle rang me this morning to say that she had a decent night's sleep and that the surgeon came to see her.

The surgeon said:

- the op went very well
- her patient looks very good.
- Janelle should go for some walks in the hospital garden today (presumably the hydration drip comes out).
- the anaesthetic would wear off by tomorrow and that some tiredness might set in.
- three lymph nodes were removed and tested. They were all clear.
- in about ten days Janelle would get a phone call from her with the pathology results for the removed tissues

Here is a picture I took of her in the morning, just before they removed the drip:


Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday November 6 - The operation

Janelle and I arrived at John James Hospital at 7:30AM and various tests were carried out on her. The main one was to pinpoint the sentinel lymph nodes. At 2:45PM she was taken into the Operating Theatre wing of the hospital. I then went home because it was too upsetting, waiting there and thinking about it all.
I got back to the hospital at 6:15PM and Janelle had already eaten her tea. Cameron had arrived. She had a drain bag and a drip, both of which will probably come out tomorrow so that going for walks won't be quite as hard. She has been told to use her arms normally except for reaching up high. She is very happy about it all. I left her at 10PM to come home. She was dozing off.
Her phone number is 02 6281 8709. Please don't ring her until after 9AM so that her sleep is not disturbed. Visiting hours are any time except between 1PM and 3PM. If visiting please do not stay too long. To get to her ward, go in the main driveway of the hospital grounds and proceed till you reach the end of the main hospital building. Turn right and park in one of the visitor spots. Go to the door which gets you to the Curtin Ward, go in and up the stairs. Find C21.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday November 5

It feels like I am packing for an exciting holiday starting tomorrow! I am thinking of the meals being prepared and I am imagining being able to rest in a bed with a view. There's bound to be lots of kind people looking after me too. I am not dwelling on all the other bits that will accompany this "holiday".
Today I am off to spend time with some lovely women from church. We will have our normal small group time this morning ( some people would say it's never "normal small group time" ha ha) and then we are having lunch together at Kathryne's place. They are such supportive friends, who are a delight to spend time with. I am very lucky. We have lots of laughs, which is really important, I think.

A cake made for me, by Kathryne. She made a delicious lunch to go with it.

Wednesday November 4

Today I had the morning at home. I met Roz for lunch and visited the kids at school, to see them practise for their big performance on Friday. The kids had made me lovely cards and messages and I was given flowers, chocolates, sudoku puzzles , origami and hugs. It was really good to see them all, and their teachers. Deb dropped in and I talked to others on the phone. Everyone is wishing me all the best for Friday and beyond. Lots of people are praying for us.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dragon Boats and Melbourne Cup

November 3
Canberra has a public holiday for Melbourne Cup! It's apparently the last year it will be a public holiday in Canberra.
This morning at 6:10am, my lovely friend Leanne took me to the dragon boat paddling on the lake. What a lovely way to start the morning ( even though it was quite early!)
I suppose we will watch the Melbourne Cup this afternoon. I won't win. I know that because I haven't put money on any horse!

Visiting Lugarno Nov1&2

Sunday started off with church, and then lunch with Cameron.
On Sunday afternoon, Bruce, Sylvia and I travelled to Sydney. We visited Mum and Dad. Paul and Jeni, and later on Deirdre, were able to drop in and see us too. We had a very nice time and seemed to fit a lot in to the one -day visit. We returned home on Monday night. It was good to be able to see the family before I have the operation this coming Friday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Saturday October 31

We had a busy day catching up with things at home and helped Cameron, for a little while, move his stuff to his upstairs bedrooms. He is getting ready for his two boarders to move in a weeks' time. They will be staying there for three months.
Rick had a concert/gig with his Canberra Men's Choir and I went to two parties, celebrating with some and farewelling others.
What a big week I have had!