Sunday, July 31, 2011

One last time...

The sheep will all be leaving for their new homes soon and I decided that I really should start halter training some of the lambs.

"Jack Daniels" 
(Shaela, HST)

As per usual, they were THRILLED...

But eventually came around.

(white, Alice grandson)

 This is one, VERY athletic ram lamb!

I wish  that I had caught some of Bacardi's flying leaps but the delay on the digital camera takes too long and I never clicked at just the right time. 

And then, there was:
 "Jim Beam"...

I REALLY like this ram lamb!
Then again, I think Bacardi is awesome as well.

Talk about "athletic" ram lambs! 

These three boys are still for sale. 
I was going to work with some of the ewe lambs as well but it was just TOO  HOT.
I've got ten more days before I go in for my mastectomy ~ I'll get the girls started

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's that?
You want to see SHEEP???

Well, OK then:

The boys are getting big!
This is Jim Beam, feeling frisky.

He is an awesome ram lamb!
Who should probably be separated from his mom...

Of course not all of the ram lambs are all that grown up...


Still cute as a bug and his fleece is coming in with wonderful crimp!

Both of these boys (as well as several others) are available for sale.
Email me for more information

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gifts from my BBG & her Husband!

Look at what I got in the mail from my Beautiful Baby Girl and her handsome husband!

I couldn't be more thrilled!
What a perfect addition to my 'heart rock' collection and it came from Belize ~ where Katie and Carter were married!  To know that they were thinking of me as they walked along the beach absolutely touches my heart.

I love, Love, LOVE this heart rock!

They also sent me a lovely wind chime! 
Shown here lying on my kitchen table ~ to show detail.

Isn't it beautiful?!

I think I'll be collecting wind chimes as well. 
 This is the second one from Katie.  She got me this one when she was attending the Defense Language Institute in Monteray, California:

It hangs between my storm door and main front door and sings whenever anyone opens the door.  I just realized, it's a Heart!  My collections are connected...

I thought the pink  was rather appropriate too!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Just a quick note before I head into a doctor appointment.  I'm sorry for being so out of touch the past few days.  I really need to stay in touch with my "blogging family" ~ your friendship and support means so much to me!

I've been doing tons of reading and research about treatment options and reconstruction options.  I've also started a CaringBridge Website    to keep updated with my progress and my thoughts as I embark on this new adventure.  If you'd like to follow along, sign up for email notification and you will be notified when I make a new journal entry.  You'll be asked to sign in with your email  address ~ this is to keep spammers off of my site.  I'll probably keep the majority of my breast cancer information on there but I'm sure some will spill over onto this blog as well.    ;-)

Gotta run ~ I have a doctor appointment in an hour!

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Poor Firecracker!
He may be a Fourth of July lamb, but the heat seems to bother him more than it does anyone else. 

And it's wicked hot!
Temps are supposed to be in the mid-to-upper nineties thru next Thursday with high humidity levels.  The weatherman is forecasting dangerous 'heat indices' of as high as one-hundred and fifteen degrees! 

It's a good thing there's LOTS of shade around here.
Still, I suspect the sheep will spend most of their time in the barns.

I on the other hand, am cleaning like a wild woman!
We're having the first "Open House" for my home tomorrow and I'm mopping floors, polishing what little furniture is left and trying to clean up the garage, yard and barns!

"On the Rocks"  (Rocky)

Rocky is sold.  Isn't he growing up to be a beautiful ram lamb?
I still have some gorgeous, HST rams (including Firecracker) available for sale.  I sure hope that I can find good breeding homes for them before it's time to move...

This little lady is also sold but I think that she's so beautiful that I just HAVE to post her picture:


Kahlua is a mystery to me!  She was BORN fawn.  Normally, fawn sheep are born looking moorit and gradually fade to fawn as they mature. 

Kahlua's fleece is the same color at the roots as it is at the tips.  Have any of you ever had a fawn that was colored like this?  I really don't know what to expect!   Kahlua will be shown at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival Shetland Sheep Show in September.  If you're there, be sure to stop by and check her out!

DREAM says...

"That's wonderful Mom.  We're all real happy for Kahlua. 
Now could you go get that FAN  that you promised me???"

I'm on my way, Dreamer!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mastectomy it is!

Pam and I met with my breast cancer surgeon today.  A very intense, serious, yet compassionate woman.   We also met members of my "team" who will work with me and support me during my battle with breast cancer.   It was decided that my best option will be to have a mastectomy and completely remove my left breast.  There are two other areas with clusters of calcifications similar to the one that was biopsied and the only way to know if they are also cancerous is to do another Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy.   After Tuesday's experience, I can assure you:  that just ain't going to happen!!!   The chances are good that at least one of the sites will also be malignant plus I have many individual calcifications spread throughout the breast.  There is no way to biopsy them all and with one cluster confirmed to be malignant, a "wait and see" approach is not a viable option.  For these reasons, with my doctor's agreement, I decided that a lumpectomy just wouldn't be a reasonable approach for my situation.  At the very least, I would need 5 to 7 weeks of daily radiation treatments (at a hospital 45 minutes from where I live) to follow up if I went with the lumpectomy. 

Dr. Johnson suggested that I am a good candidate for reconstructive surgery so Pam and I will meet with a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction next Wednesday.  After that appointment, we go back to see Dr. Johnson and set up my surgery.  It will either take place late next week or the following week.  I'm anxious to get it done with.  I feel good about my chances for a full recovery and I just want to get the surgical part over and done with so I can start healing. 


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fear of the Unknown...

I love the music set to this video.  It fits so perfectly.  It's also a wonderful example of how worked up we can get ourselves when we face something we've never dealt with before...

Yes.  There is a reason for my choice of this video today.  I am facing something I've never dealt with before.  The doctor called me a day early.  He called yesterday and asked how my breast was feeling after the 'nerve incident' on Tuesday.  I told him it was still sore but not nearly as bad as the day it happened.  Ice packs and ibuprofen kept me reasonably comfortable.  Of course I asked him if he'd heard anything back from the biopsy.  He had.  The samples are malignant.  I have breast cancer.

I'm meeting with another doctor tomorrow, to discuss my treatment options.  It appears my first decision will be lumpectomy or mastectomy. 


Now, I need to learn everything that I can about my cancer and my options.  Once I have more knowledge, I don't think it will feel quite so scary...

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy

No, Karma didn't have a SCN biopsy ~ although I suspect her expression looks somewhat like mine did when I was informed that I needed one!  I had a Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy done on my left breast yesterday. 

Prior to my procedure, I did quite a bit of online research and was not concerned about discomfort during the biopsy.  All of the literature I read said that it is relatively pain free ~ other than the "pain in the neck" from laying in the same position for so long.  The neck pain was real!  I was concentrating SO hard on not moving and trying to relax my neck and shoulder muscles because my neck was cramping up on me horribly.  I almost asked for a shot of lidocane into the back of my neck!

I'm getting ahead of myself here.  I want to make this a somewhat educational post so I'll start at the beginning...

When I arrived at the hospital, accompanied by my "Princess" (oldest daughter, Pam) we were escorted to a cozy waiting  room and I was given the key to a locker and taken to the changing room where I was instructed to undress from the waist up and snuggle into a soft, comfy robe.  In just a few minutes, a smiling nurse came to take me to the procedure room.  There, we sat down and the nurse explained what would happen during the biopsy.  She was warm and reassuring and open to questions.   As I said, I had done some Internet research on SCNB and even watched a Utube video on it, so I felt calm and prepared. 

When the nurse had finished explaining everything, including what options we faced if the biopsy results are positive, the doctor came in and went over every thing again.  At that point, I signed a  consent form. 

Let me tell you:  there is no graceful way for a half-naked woman to climb onto the table used for a SCNB.   You really don't even want to try to picture it!  Let's just say that the nurse suggested that I 'mount it like a horse'.  Once I'd found a reasonably comfortable position (lying on my stomach with my left arm at my side and my right arm above my head), the doctor and technicians began. 

The doctor administered 'lidocane' (a numbing agent) prior to inserting the large biopsy needle.  Just as when getting a local before having dental work done, this feels similar to a mosquito bite.  Doctor Ellis advised me that if I felt any more pain that the sting of the local anesthesia I should let him know.  With the guidance of the mammograms being taken as the procedure was done, Dr. Ellis injected lidocane in first one site, and then another.  Except that when he injected it into the second site, I felt the mosquito bite and then a bee sting!  I informed him of the more intense stinging sensation and he said that there must be a nerve in that spot and withdrew the needle. 

Returning to the original site that he had numbed, (and giving the second site more time for the lidocane to take effect)  the doctor extracted a number of biopsy samples.  I am happy to say that I didn't even feel the samples being removed!  I was so relieved that I actually said:  "this is better than having to go to the dentist!"   (I confess to having a true phobia about going to the dentist ~ but STILL!) 

We had to wait a few minutes while one of the nurses took the samples in to Xray ~ to make sure that they did, indeed, contain the crystallized cells we were looking for.  I had to stay lying perfectly still, on my stomach and was unable to move even my arms or head.  My neck was beginning to get extremely sore.

When the nurse returned and confirmed that we had captured the suspect cells, the doctor informed me that when there are multiple suspicious areas (apparently I have three) they like to remove samples from at least two of them. 

No problem.  Other than a very sore neck, I was doing fine.

The machine thumped and bumped as it took more mammograms and the doctor & staff got the needle lined up to penetrate just the right spot.  I felt the mosquito bite as Dr. Ellis injected the lidocane.  I joked that I wished he could give me a shot of lidocane in my neck!   Unfortunately, before the mosquito bite subsided, I felt the bee sting...and then excruciating pain!  I am not exaggerating when I say that it felt like someone had grasped my nipple firmly in a pliers and was trying to tear it off through the inside of my chest!  Needless to say,  I did NOT lay still...

If my left breast had not been held between the panels of the built in mammogram machine, I think I would have hit the ceiling.  And then ran out of there as fast as my legs could carry me!

As it was, the doctor immediately withdrew the needle ~ without having collected a sample.  He was SO apologetic  ~ explaining that I apparently had a very powerful nerve running through that area of my breast and he must have 'hit' it.   I was still in intense pain and the nurses were trying to calm me and help me up off of the table.  Everyone felt terrible.  What had been a very simple, almost painless procedure had turned into a nightmare.    The doctor assured me that he had never had this happen before.  I felt like I must just be a big baby but the nurse assured me that there was clearly a nerve involved and that the doctor had simply never hit a nerve before.  She said that anyone else in the same situation would have reacted just as strongly ~ if not more so. 

The bad news is we only got samples from one location.  I'm not sure if that will be enough to assure us that the other two areas are safe if this biopsy comes back negative.  I know I will NOT have another Stereotactic Core Needle Biopsy performed!  Dr. Ellis said that if we have any doubts, I will probably have to have a surgical biopsy done. 

Today, I am still sore but not as bad as I was last night.  I'm using ice packs (fortunately I have plenty of them left over from my arm!) and taking ibuprofen.  That keeps me reasonably comfortable.  By tomorrow I should be pretty much back to normal.  What ever that is!

The doctor will call me tomorrow with the biopsy results...

I did some more research online last night.  Looking for information on "pain during a SCNB".  Most of the sites I visited said that it is very unusual ~ less than 2% of the women surveyed who have had the procedure have complained about significant pain.   So if you ~ or someone you know ~ ever needs to have a breast biopsy done, please don't let my experience make you aprehensive.  For the VAST majority of women, it is a relatively pain free procedure with the main complaint being neck pain!

I guess I'm just lucky...

Monday, July 11, 2011

What ever will Sable do...?

The Babysitter:

She's going to miss "her" sheep!


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