I hope you all had a very MERRY CHRISTMAS! I did not get around to sending out Christmas Cards but hope you will all give me a “pass” this year. 🙂 We had a wonderful December and Christmas! It started with me finding out my voice returned so no surgery for February 2015. Next, I met with the Genetics team again and learned a little more about my CHEK-2 Gene Mutation. My specific mutation does NOT have an increased risk for Colon Cancer (Yay! Means I do not have to repeat a Colonoscopy every 2 years!). My risks are for breast, thyroid, kidney and skin (melanoma). My doctor will do a urinalysis every year to check for kidney cancer (just got checked and it was negative) and I will faithfully have my annual skin check (just recently cleared that). Also, this mutation means I do NOT have Cowden’s Syndrome. With this recent information, my geneticist and oncologist agree I do NOT have an increased risk for uterine cancer now. So, the hysterectomy planned for January 2015 is being cancelled.
So basically this means…I am DONE with surgeries and cancer treatments for the foreseeable future!! I will have follow-up appointments with my thyroid surgeon and breast surgeon every 6 months. Also will be seeing my Endocrinologist on a regular basis. I will continue to take tamoxifen once a day (to reduce estrogen which therefore reduces risk of recurrence breast cancer). And I will take a thyroid hormone replacement every day of course. Other than monitoring those medications and having annual and semiannual check-ups…I’m clear!! It was a crazy ride for 9 months but thankfully it appears I am done (aside from maintenance and monitoring). And I’m SO grateful that all of my outcomes (from surgeries, etc.) have been as good as is possible.
My strength is coming back (aside from some mild flu and colds that have been going around our house). I am working to get back on track with eating “clean” (little to no sugar and gluten) and exercising on a regular basis. Otherwise, we are ENJOYING life!
One place to visit that has been on my MUST VISIT list for many years is Leavenworth, WA during December. It has been voted one of the “Most Christmas Towns in the US”. Earlier this month, we took the kids and drove the 5 hours to Leavenworth. We were able to break-up the drive for the kids and stay one night in Yakima to visit with family friends. Then on to Leavenworth. I have to say that this town during Christmas is….magical! It is a fully Bavarian town at the base of beautiful mountain scenery. The owners of our hotel were so hospitable (dressed in authentic Bavarian dress, spoke some German, and served us breakfast including German meats & Cheeses and Hot Pretzels). They loved the kids and brought them hot cocoa and treats. They loaned us sleds and Embry had a blast going down the sledding hill in the town square. We enjoyed the quaint shops, some good food, beautiful lights covering the whole town, seeing Santa, and taking a carriage ride. It was a wonderful trip!
We have had a relaxing Holiday Season (aside from the turmoil going on in this country against Police). It does affect Jeremy and me but we try to turn off the horribly-biased news and focus on enjoying each day that we are given. It has definitely increased our concern for the safety of his profession but as we have learned to do this past year…we have to focus on things we can control and finding the bright side of each day. We are excited for 2015 to be a great year! As always, thank you for your continued love, support, and prayers!
Leavenworth, WA (December 2014):
From our family to yours…we hope you make lots of SUNSHINE in 2015!! Happy New Year!