Welcome to Bob's Spyder Web

Anne Discovers She has Breast Cancer:

Anne was having her annual mammography examination. Her Medical Doctor called and said those cryptic words, "we need to see you in the office" not " everything is OK and normal."

Turns out that the right breast is the one with the problem. The right one was the problem in Jacksonville when our health care provider there "JAX Navy Medical Center Hospital" found a micro calcification spot and went digging around and nicked her right implant necessitating removal of one but she decided both of them should go at that time. Every test since then has been "A-OK."

Anne Asks Everyone Not To Break "Rule One:"

Anne asks that everyone that calls not mention "including her in their prayers." Not that she doesn't want the additional support but to keep her from turning into a "watering pot" as she so affectionately calls it.

What has been done so far:

She has had another set of MRI's made at the request of the Surgeon besides the first set made on detection. We have sat down with him and discussed a course of action and are all in agreement with that and proceeding down the mapped out path.

The breast MRI's revealed that there is only one spot in the right hand one the left and all surrounding areas are clean. That is a good thing.

Surgery will be performed on the "Out Patient" format. Surgery time is approximately one hour with four hours of combined before surgery prep and after surgery prep including wake up time. It will be on the "colonoscopy style of anesthesia."

Remaining Time line:

  1. (Done) Go see the Radiation Oncologist - set for next week between the 17/23 of January.
  2. (Done) Radiation calls Surgeon and advises go or no go on radiation.
  3. (Done) Surgeon schedules Surgery.
  4. (Done) Surgery is over
  5. (Done) Pathologist submits his report and review by Medical Oncologist
  6. (Done) Re-Examine by Surgeon
  7. (Done) Radiation Oncologist sets up his plan of attack
  8. (Done) Radiation Oncologist initiates radiation for 6 weeks
  9. (Done) Go for daily shots of radiation for weeks not months as I first put out.
  10. (Done) Medical Oncologist visit was done on Tuesday 8 Feb, follow-up done on Tuesday May 10. Canceled Doctor was sick with the flu rescheduled until 20 May at 1300 hours.
  11. (Starting) 5 year program of pill taking, regular examinations and retesting.
  12. (Next visit) June 28.

Update Sunday 23 Jan:

Things are rocking right along at this time. Our, Anne and I, only concern right now is that "will she be able to shake this cold that she is trying to get?" If she can't shake it then will it impact her scheduled surgery date this week. Otherwise we are ready. She has filled out so many dad burn forms that her pen started to smoke the other day.

Update Tuesday 26 Jan 2-X:

Anne has developed a severe head cold so we don't know if it will be gone by surgery day or not. If she does not see significant improvement by Wednesday she feels like she needs to call and reschedule. Second Update of the day The cold is definitely getting worse. She has gone through almost a whole roll of toilet paper and a box of Kleenex today. Poor kid blows and blows then has to blow again. Even then she is constantly snorting there have been times today when I wished I was hard of hearing. [laughing out loud] If this keeps up tomorrow she is going to make the call to reschedule everything and free up her slot so some other unfortunate soul can take advantage of the Surgeon's time and talents.

Update Thursday Evening 27 Jan:

As was previously stated Anne came down with a cold that was mostly a head cold. She talked with the Surgeons office and it was decided to put off surgery for one week. So by this time next week she will be a nut case of pre-surgery nerve. We can only hope the cold will be gone for sure. Hopefully it will be gone!

As many of you know Anne has been talking up the Cadillac SRX Crossover vehicle. An I have been rolling my eyes to the sky. Tuesday evening her buddy the sales lady from Jon Hall Chevrolet called to tell her that she had just sold a 2011 RO1 Corvette to a lady in Sanford and she was trading in a 2010 SRX and she would have it Wednesday and wanted to give her the first refusal on it. Well would you believe it was the right a Metallic Red color with the dad burn 20 inch chrome wheels she wanted to. They played show and tell in the driveway for 3 hours . Drove it to lunch and brought it back home and played compare it to the Traverse and fit it in the garage giving us a couple more feet of needed garage space to boot.

During the interim Anne has the neighbor across the street wanting to get a price on the Travers as his Sister was wanting to give her monster Chevrolet van to her kids with a new baby. She drove up from where she works and Anne switches from buying to selling her Traverse to this lady. Well that was put on hold due to time constraints.

Then we had to go to Ritchey Cadillac as they had bought the traded in SRX from Jon Hall Chevrolet but while we took issue with that it did not do any good. While we were there it became National Guard reunion week for me as several Air Defense fellow soldiers were working there so we had coffee and BS'd while she got her first figures and kept shaking her head no deal you need to sharpen your ballpoint again. We drove it home knowing they were trying to lock in the sale.

During the evening we drove it to pizza and then she drove it all over Ormond Beach and Holly Hill. When we got home I worked up some prices off of www.kbb.com . Now almost all of this time Anne has been outdoors with a light jacket on and not coughing at all. Late night she slept like a rock.

Armed with her price sheets from Kelly Blue Book she hit the door with a deadly gleam in her eye and I went for coffee with she kept saying your ballpoint is dull. They scribbled and we kept initialing the paper which was looking like a national disaster site and they came to an agreement. So we started the paper war and finally got done and it was lunch time so we went to lunch and afterwards finished everything up. Friday we take it in for its detailing and wax job. She now has her cancer carrot get well wish fulfilled so now she can get on with getting well.

Tonight, she is blowing and snorting again, first one side stops up then it opens and the other side clogs up followed on by a nose blowing session that should render her brainless by tomorrow morning.

As I close this out this evening the SRX is in the garage, its garage door opener has been programmed and the On star account has been transferred over from the Traverse to the SRX. She is looking at getting a "bird dog fee" on the pending sale of the Traverse to the neighbors sister too.

Update Friday 28 Jan:

Things were good this morning. She slept good ALL NIGHT long. Woke up this morning with 1 tissue in the trash can. I on the other hand woke up sneezing with my head stopped up like a clogged drain pipe and snorty. The radio guys said I sounded like "nasal Ned" when I got on the air this morning at 7 AM She helped me with programming the SRX this morning and never blew one time in 2 hours. We took Mom to dinner this evening then Steve, her Nephew, and Christine, his wife, stopped by Dustin's BBQ in Port Orange strange and we had show and tell X 2 as he also has a new 2011 Tahoe with everything on it too; At this moment she's is having a "power surge" for you young'uns that is a hot flash since the surgeon took her off of hormones.

Update Thursday 3:45 PM EST

Today we have something to report. All week long we have our ups and downs with cold like symptoms bugging both of us. Which was the main reason for the postponement on last Friday. This week everything we did was geared to having her goals met on Friday.

First thing this morning the telephone started ringing its butt off. At first Anne was super hesitant to answer it for feat that some one in the medical chain was going to use her cold as an excuse to call it off for another week. Then the Medical Surgery Center (MSC) called to tell her she needed to be there at 9:50 AM EST then they called back to say something like 8 AM then it got changed to 7 AM EST where it has remained since 3:45 PM. Then they called her back to give her an itinerary of the chain of events. Which was sort of nice to know but it turned into the catalyst to undoing all of her reserves and she came apart for a little while but she got herself glued back together.

Friday being surgery day I will not be on the ham radio at 7 AM. Sorry guys, but your not as important to me as Anne will be on Friday!

Friday Feb 4th Updates:

# 1 - First thing this is so weird as I am writing this in pure HTML code mode. Anne slept good until approx. 0400 this morning then nature called and when she tried to go back to sleep it was off and on sleep. We got to the Surgery Center right on time and did all the un-necessary HIPPA paper work that is so redundant. The Prep Nurse came and took her in at 0744 and said come back in less then 3 hours and sent me out the door. The waiting room was not designed to wait in by any fig newton of your imagination.

# 2 - What a morning! I sat here and tried to balance the old checkbook and kept making mistakes on the calculator by the finger full so I quit and got ready to go back to the Surgery Center. Just then the mail person showed up so I got it and took it in and started out again. Then the telephone rang. Hot damn! she's done! Wrong answer! She was just headed up! The Nurse did say that by the time I got there the Surgeon should be done and would tell us what went on. I said, "I am only 8 minutes away," then she started back pedaling. So I called "Pam, Anne's Niece," and updated her. She would be on the way in a flash. I got their three pages into my book faster then she did. But she had a good reason for being late. She pulled, a dummy thing, and spilled a whole glass of water right in the drivers seat just before she almost leapt in the Tahoe. So she had to mop and soak it up first.

We sat the in the waiting room until about 1200 when the Surgeon came looking for us, he put us in this little conference room and shut the doors and I was ready to "kill his butt if needed at this instant." But he told us, "it went well and as anticipated. But the end results were on the way to the "Pathology Lab" as we spoke and he should have the results by Tuesday. Wednesday at the very latest and he had sat up a meeting in his office at 0845. He relayed that she was still in the first recovery stage and it would not be much longer. So we went back to our respective books.

Finally a Administrative person came out and called for "Mr. Robert" I asked "do you mean Robert Ledford" and spelled it out. No, a Mr. Robert. Then my cell rang and I answered it to this cheerful little voice that said, "when you get here you can see you wife!" I said, "I am out in the waiting room." So she came to the door and called us in. Anne was lounging on the gurney all covered up in blanket's like a mummy. So we did fill out the forms game again and the tree lost again.

We got home around 1430 and Anne took a short nap from 1500 to 1545 and has been awake ever since. In no pain or exhibiting any signs of soreness or incapability to do whatever. More to come later. She will more then likely watch basketball tonight.

Saturday 5 Feb:

0925 - She had a good night and so did I. I relaxed so much that she woke me up at 0700. Anne is experiencing some minor discomfort in her arm to body connection area. She suspects it to be from the surgery position that her arm spent a lot of time in - over her head more or less. Says she may have to resort to a Tylenol before the day is gone. The bandages show some very minor blood leakage.

2200 - Anne had a very good day. She had to give up and take a Tylenol before going to bed at ten. Starting to show a little skin bruising in the surgical area.

Sunday 6 Feb:

1000 - The area where the surgery was done is still showing more bruising and some very minor blood leakage but no redness or heat has been detected. Trying to do some light laundry as she don't want me dinking with it. Guess she thinks I would scan it into the computer and scrub the dirty code out and recompile it or something to that effect. Boy doing this in code format is fun!

Monday Feb 7: 0900

Once again Anne had to wake me up at 0700. She had another good night. But misses half of her favorite sleeping positions. At this moment she is merrily rocking herself away on the back porch. Today is the day that, we are supposed to change the wound area dressings. She is having this big mental debate with herself as to exactly how we can do this with a minimum of discomfort to her

1900 hours - What a day this turned into. Nothing bad happened just some unexpected things popped up. Such as a telephone call from the "medical oncologist" to confirm her appointment this week to review and discuss their course of action. One thing that did come up that we both had a good chuckle over was the subject of blue dye. The Surgeon used a blue dye injection into Anne's body prior to surgery. Supposedly this type of blue dye is both blue and radioactive so they can see it on an ultrasound or with a Geiger counter to locate lymph nodes. Well he warned us that she would pee blue but did not tell us that she would poop blue too. She says it is a bright Petty Blue, wouldn't Richard Petty be proud.

Update Tuesday 8 Feb:

1830 hours - Whew, what a day! Started out with breakfast out. Then what we thought to be a short stop and chat with the Medical Oncologist a Dr. Kelly. Dr. Kelly turned into an hour plus visit. There was not one item that Anne checked or did not check on his 10 pages of information on Anne that he did not stop on, examine and/or discuss in great detail with both of us. Anne was so impressed with his genuine interest in her well being. I have to be truthful in my opinion of the man, he really seems to be an honest caring person. The Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center Cancer Institute has a first class show going on and they are really busting their humps to do what we both considered to be a first class job with their cancer patients there was a minor breakdown in communications between Twin Lakes Medical Center, which is a part of the Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, that resulted in the biopsy test results being thought of as the surgical lumpectomy removal report. Not true, but he took the time to explain the biopsy test results report to us. Breaking it down to the cell level of the report and what the numbers really meant and not what they were assumed to mean.

The man really got into the details and explained everything to us in such a manner that we the unknowing know more now then we ever did.

Our next visit will be after the surgical removal of the suspected tumor report comes back from the pathologist's report has been read and dissected by Dr Kelly and others so that they can present the best plan for consideration for Anne's program.

Thursday February 10, 1009 Hrs.:

Good News Department - Wednesday morning the telephone rang and the voice at the other end says, "Dr Kelly needs to see you and we have an opening at 3 PM this afternoon." Gulp! What now? So we figured, it was or should be good news. Guess what? It was not only good news it was FANTASTIC NEWS! The little nasty tumor was only 0.7 centimeters big. The thirteen (13) Lymph nodes taken all tested clear of any nasty's. What does this mean to Anne? It means that she does not have it spreading around and she does not have to do "chemo therapy" after the radiation therapy.

That was the good news Wednesday afternoon this morning she had a visit scheduled with the Surgeon as a follow-up. His overall evaluation of the situation after he did his re-assessment was it's "a good deal continue to march on!"

We want to thank everyone for their prayers and support up to this point. We could not have been as lucky as we are without them. We both believe that such support was a key player in the success we have had up to this point. Anne and Bob

Update Friday 11 Feb @ 1934 Hrs.:

Well this one will probably be short and to the point. We went back to the MDs office today for me and not Anne. I still have the cold or its remains that I got from Anne. She listened to my heart, chest, front and back, had me breath through my nose then my mouth. Passed that test but for the coughing she decided on giving me a dose of Prenedsislone (Steroids) guess my coughing muscles are going to get bigger and more developed. I won't be able to participate in the Spring time Olympics and I so dearly wanted a Gold Medal in bikini untying. But now I won't pass the drug test.

Anne had a good day until about 1300 Hrs. We were at Hampton's Restaurant and were ready to leave and the chairs there are all old and heavy wood construction "captain type chairs." Well, my foot got tangled up in my chair legs and when I swung my other foot around to get my balance the carpet or the chair behind me hooked it and I went backwards into the seat backs of the booth behind me. Anne made a grab for me and got her right hand between my back and the seatback making that a wrong move. I put my weight on the hand and she went to jerk it back and discovered it was her right hand. She is alright but for a while was a hurting puppy. The nerves and nerve ends must be trying to hookup again as her right arm and side has been a bundle of tingling all day long.

Wednesday February 16 @ 1400 Hours

Anne's slight swelling in the right arm pit continues to go down every day some. It should not be to long and it will be all gone. All the bandages and Steri-Strips are now gone. The reconnecting nerve ending activity continues to make her feel kike her arm area is just crawling with electronic nerve welders. It bugs her to no end at the moment but I just keep telling her that is how progress feels. And I keep getting one of those looks. You know the one!

Friday February 18 @ 1900 Hours:

Anne continues to improve everyday that goes by. I gave her a scare this week by having a major reaction to a script that I was taking to break up some congestion from a cold. My system went totally whacko but it is slowly normalizing now.

Sunday February 20 @ 1914 Hours:

Anne continues to complain about the pain under her arm but says it is getting to be less every day. But it still hurts! My drug disconnect is improving by the hour. So taking everything into consideration its a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

Wednesday March 02 @ 2000 Hour:

Had a visit with her internal medicine doctor along with Christen, the FSU medical intern, they went over Anne's previous lab results. This doctor wants a CT Scan of the area of her lungs that showed up on the lung X-Ray she had to take to make sure her chest cold had not developed into something else.

Christen and Anne have sort of adopted each other since the day Anne was told she had breast cancer. She is a third year medical student that is thinking OB/GYN at the FSU College of Medicine and doing a time period here with a variety of medical professionals to round out her experience exposure. Most of which Anne is frequenting with on this cancer thing. We even met and stopped to chat in Publix the other night while grocery shopping.

Thursday March 03 @ 2014 Hours:

Today was another day at Radiation Oncology where they actually re-marked some of the previous marks and made the tiny tattoo alignment anchor aiming points and did the first of the radiation treatments. Anne say's they have the neatest ceiling design it apparently changes scenery during the treatments which will take exactly 15 minutes a day on Monday through Fridays at 1545 hours every day. No adverse reaction to anything other then the right arm muscles were not happy being stretched overhead for 30 minutes worth the mapping and treatment.

Friday March 04 @ 1515 Hours:

This mornings CT Scan while not directly a part of the breast cancer problem is indirectly the result of the breast cancer screening protocol. Took all of 2 minutes to complete once she got in the room. No results yet

March 07 - 11 Consolidated Update:

This week was pretty normal as far as Anne was concerned everything went pretty much on schedule except for Wednesday (09) when one of the treatment units broke a computer chip putting everything behind schedule by 1:45 hours. Normally a typical day takes 15 minutes of total time to get undressed, treated and dressed to go out the door.

March 11 - 21 Consolidated Update:

Every day last week went as smooth as silk. Today was the long visit day where they do the weight, BP and 20 questions thing. She came home with a new type of under arm deodorant and some "Udder Cream" brand of skin cream to keep from getting dry skin in the treatment zone. The only ill effect noticed is she is starting to be tired a lot of the time. So she is reading a lot more then usual even though she wants to be outside dodging things now that the weather has turned nice.

March 22 - 26 Consolidated Update:

This week was almost a complete copy of last weeks update. The only significant changes would be the addition of "radiation sunburn and tiredness" is more noticeable. But the plus side is she is overcoming it by the use of skin care creams and napping. Next week she reaches the half way point in this battle and she is still up mentally and physically.

March 27 - April 01 Consolidated Update:

This week is still pretty close to the others. The one exception would be the fatigue factor is some what worse. But her spirits are still good and she is still napping everyday without fail. The radiation sunburn factor is still there too. However, the skin care treatment is working. She had a spot come up that they diagnosed as a by product of the radiation and supposedly will disappear with time.

Interesting side note. Anne always parks in about the same spot everyday in their parking lot. So much so that the Reception Staff have taken to looking for her and when they see the car arrive the word is "Anne's here lets go!"

April 2nd - 10 Consolidated Update:

This week starts "hump week" in the radiation treatment. The "sunburn and tiredness continues to be an aggravation . The "hot flashes or power surges" as she so affectionately calls them are continuing to be a problem as the weather gets warmer. They were sort of welcome while it was cool to cold. I have almost started to call her "flapper" at night time.. She will be sitting in the living room watching television and all of a sudden you hear this flapping sound as she fans her robe to evaporate the sweat off her skin. But Sunday evening we did start to notice that the frequency of flapping episodes was going down so maybe the alternative medicine to using hormones is starting to pay off. Stay tuned for the next update. Two more weeks and radiation is done with.

April 11 - 14 Consolidated Update:

The new "hormone replacement" is actually had a noticeable impact on the "hot flashes or power surges" as so affectionately calls them. Wednesday she only remembered having four down from ten the day before. "Radiation Fatigue" is increasing significantly enough for her to bring it up to the staff which then entailed a brief visit for the "Doctor." They feel like Anne has done exceptionally well in resisting the fatigue process.

Starting Thursday (14th) she goes from general radiation to the entire breast area to pinpoint radiation treatment of the cancer location itself. The staff says this should be less fatiguing to her. She asked them if they could furnish her with literature on the machines used in the treatment so that I could see what the procedures were like. They went a step beyond that an extended an invitation to me to come and observe the whole operation to include a visit to the control room during the actual procedure process. I am going to do it for sure.

16 & 17 April 2011:

Thursday was get the magic marker out day and draw all over Anne's chest day plotting the location of the next two weeks radiation area.

Today (17th) is the last day of the heavy duty radiation treatment. Monday start the light duty version. Anne was very active this morning running around and getting things done.

19 April 2011:

Tuesday afternoon I got to go with Anne to see the big machine in action. What a huge apparatus that thing is. The working staff at the Cancer Institute are the most friendly and outgoing folks I have ever seen in the medical community.

20 - 22 April 2011:

The "radiation phase" is all over. She even got a "Certificate of Completion" from the Staff at the Cancer Institute. The last couple of days were the worst that she had to deal with. Personally, I think the dosage and tiredness that goes with are accumulative and she was also tired from the "general area" radiation phase and it is just got to her big time.

24 April 2011:

We did breakfast t out with friends, came home, changed clothes, went to church, left there met Mom for lunch out, and came home. Anne went to the couch immediately and said, give me at least 45 minutes to take a nap.

25 April - 6 May 2011:

Boy does the time go by ever so quickly. The fatigue still is a continuing problem. The radiation sunburn becomes less of a problem every day that goes by. Which is really a good thing. Anne made a comment that she almost felt guilty that things had gone her way so easily the whole way through this whole ordeal. I told her that a lot of it was her attitude "we can beat this thing."

7 to 20 May 2011:

No noticeable problems were detected during this time period. The hot flash medication is working. The fatigue continues to be a factor in how her days go along. It is amazing she will be right in the middle of a task and just runs out of gas or energy. So she just quits or I finish it up for her.

Friday the 20th was her rescheduled day to go to Dr. Kelly for a re-evaluation of everything and to make a decision as to what medication to start up in the final treatment phase. The appointment was for 1 PM and we were 15 minutes early. She finally got to see him at 3 PM. He had been all that time with another patient with a huge melanoma and her family explaining all the why's and what for's. But he is such a kind and concerned doctor that you can't fault him for not being timely. The staff filled a lot of that time with doing tests that they knew would be coming up so it wasn't to bad sitting around. Between Anne and him they mapped out a plan of continuing preventative maintenance plan.

21 May to 10 Jun:

Basically Anne , cancer wise, has been holding her own and even making a lot of progress on whipping the cancer bug. The sunburn is gradually fading into the sunset. The numbness in the right upper arm is still with her . But, she swears some of the feeling is coming back. She has a real hard time remembering not to use the right arm for heavy lifting or sudden movements. Being a hard headed Virgo may have something to do with that too.

During her yearly eye check up the week of May 23 - Jun 3 it was determined she had cataracts that needed to go in both eyes. Tuesday 7 Jun by 0800 the left one was history. The only side effect is blurry vision in the left eye which lessens by the passing of each day. The first 24 hour checkup with the Surgeon found everything to be within all parameters making it A-OK!

10 June to 20 June 2011:

On Wednesday 8 June Anne had her left cataract removed from that eye. Everything went super well. She was there at 0615, on time, and we were headed home by 0815.

She had an appointment on Friday the 10th at 0800, and everything was well within the parameters of normalcy. She had a slight case of "blurry vision" and even that has almost all gone away now.

The one thing she is having trouble with is the nagging thoughts that she is going to do something stupid, which would more then likely be from an act of pure reflex action, with her right arm and have it start up "start lymph edema or lymphatic obstruction.." There was an article in today's, 20 June 2011 News-Journal, that scared the pants off of her.

21 June to 21 July 2011:

It has been a hit and miss month for the two of us. Basically there has been little to report in the way of non-progress or progress.  Everything has just been running along with the same nagging type of ,medical problems.

Cancer Treatment:  The progress is still running on the same levels.  The cancer maintenance drug is still causing her blood sugar to go up and down like a yo-yo.  The medical internist Doctor says her sugar is to high.  The medical Oncologist for the cancer says you cannot take this drug or that one.  The Pharmacist says this one will counter-act that one and this one will react to your Cardiology drugs.  Where does it end?

Cataract Removal:  The one eye got done last month and the remaining one got removed on Tuesday the 12th of July.  Now she has 20-20 left and 20-40 but improving daily in the left eye.  They are saying she has to go three more weeks before they can test her vision and give her a script for her new lenses which even if they both get to 20-20 she must have because of her astigmatism. Hers is so severe that she did not prove to be a candidate for them.  So now her arms are to short for some things and not long enough for other things.  She has been trying different strength eye glass cheaters in the interim and making lots of trips to return those that don't work.  Which is almost every pair she brings home.

Life in general is still good as we look around us we see people or friends with more severe ailments then what we are putting up with so why   We are ever so thankful for what we have regardless of its size.