Friday, September 4, 2009


I had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon today. He said everything looks good and set me free to increase my activity level as I am able to tolerate it. He even said I could swim!!

He discussed the pathology report in detail with us. As I told you before, there were no residual live cancer cells found. They did find two lymph nodes that had dead cancer cells in them. One was 100% cancerous and the other was 50% cancerous. He told us that would indicate that I did initially have stage 3 cancer as they thought. The normal course of treatment for stage 3 rectal cancer would indicate 4 months of chemotherapy following surgery. That call will be made as we meet with the oncologist next Tuesday.

The surgeon told me that if I have more chemotherapy then he will wait until that is finished before he reverses the ileostomy. He does not want to interrupt any chemotherapy treatment that I might have. If it is decided that no further chemotherapy is needed, then he will reverse the ileostomy in two months.

So, we continue to take things one day at a time. We will wait to see what the oncologist recommends next week. Please pray for wisdom as these decisions are made.

I also visited the ostomy nurse again today. The adhesive of the appliance that I was using was really irritating my skin causing a lot of itching! It was also a very long bag that hung down my leg and flopped around - not very comfortable! She applied a new appliance for me that is much more comfortable and should be less irritating to my skin. She also fitted me with a short bag! I feel much better!

In other news:
  • Mark preached a very special funeral for my Grandmother on Tuesday. I was not able to attend the service, but my parents and family members have all said that it was a personal and moving service, and a great tribute to my Grandmother.
  • Ashley is settling in well at OU. She is enjoying her classes, making friends, and having fun with her sister.
  • My mother's arm has healed well. She is still doing some physical therapy to help increase range of motion, but the doctor is pleased with her recovery.
  • Stacey is back at work in the classroom as well as starting radiation treatments this week. Please pray for her strength during the next 6 weeks.
  • Bruce is continuing his chemotherapy treatments. Please continue to pray for his healing and pray for minimal side-effects with his treatments.

I hope you all enjoy your long weekend! Happy Labor Day!


  1. Another 4 months sounds really agonizing. I can't imagine them opting out of doing the chemo as they are going to want to be on the super safe side but, maybe if its just wholly unnecessary.

    Either way, this year is certainly carving out a big chunk of you and also pouring in new emotions, thoughts, insights, wisdoms & knowledge of different things into your soul and heart that you will almost be a brand new Laura in some areas! :) It hurts getting carved up but, just think of the newness that comes... your going to be good as new... still pretty as a daisy and living life to the fullest before God this time next year.

    Hang in there, its getting further behind you every day.

  2. Dear Laura,
    I know you are getting opiniions from everyone, so here is one more :) I know right now four months of chemo seems like an insurmountable mountain range, but it will go by like a blink of an eye (remember I know first hand). You need to be as aggressive in your treatment as you can. You need to be around to be as wonderful a Grandmother as yours was! Rememeber one set of footprints in the sand right now. Let God carry you and let your dear family and friends help along the way.
    Much love and prayers!!!

  3. Laura, I especially like the two comments posted so far, and I am in total agreement with both Libby and Debbie. You've come this far, and you can do this because you've got a long life to live, you've got places to go, people to meet, and things to do! So good! And you know, not every day is a good day, but there is good in every day! ~Author unknown~ Jeanne