Sunday, January 31, 2010

made it through # 2

So we are snowed in - and Max is down for a nap - good time to fill everyone in on the last week!

Some of you know that i tried Acupuncture on the wednesday after treatment and i think that it really helped! Woo Hoo!!! it had helped me with other things before so i knew that it couldn't hurt, but i think that it helped with my nausea and over all achyness. so all in all i think that this one was easier than the last. i unfortunatley got a cold on top - so that was, and still is, NO FUN! and to top it off - Max got it - which then went into ear infections , which the meds is giving him a yucky tummy - fun fun at the brannons! he is still miserable poor baby, but atleast he is sleeping better - which makes it easier on all of us - especially Tad with getting up early.

Coop had a wonderful day with his buddy Natalie last Saturday. (I try to book something on treatment weekends for him to look forward to.) they went bowling and had a great time playing and was truly spoiled by the wonderful Morgan family!!!! we love you guys!

i want to thank everyone again for the food and errands that have helped us sooo much. Once again - we don't know what we would do without such a wonderful support system!

I had an oncology appt yesterday that went well. My Doc, Dr. Magdalinski ( who i think is one of the few people who roles his eyes more than i do) said "holy smokes" at how much the tumor has shrunk already! always good to hear. He is really happy with how i am so quicky responding. he is great - and has my sense of humor. I don't think that he gets many patients that he laughs with - but we have a grand old time! stupid cancer!!!!

I need to tell the oncology office that they need some new magazines as well! it must be a man who decides on them. It is a huge tower of Sports Illistrated OR Women's cancer mag!!! so men get to read about fun stuff - but i am stuck reading about my cancer - who wants that . i want to read about jen aniston and who she is dating this week - not Mastectomy options - Please! Just thought i would share the frustaration!

so anyway - stuck at home with the snow - (which is driving me nuts - i feel good now and want to get out.) One more good week before it all hits again - but then i am half the way through chemo - YEA!!!!!

Update soon -

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Preparing to start all over again....

Well, I am sitting here on a Saturday morning feeling like things are pretty normal - a pretty typical Saturday morning.
I woke up with Max for his normal 5:00AM feeding and put him back to bed. I then went straight into the office early this morning to catch up on some work - I feel much better if I can get things a little organized for the week to come. I got home in time to see Cooper as he was waking up and currently Max and Mommy(Sam) are getting their much needed rest upstairs. I expect Max to be waking up soon all ready to rock and roll for the morning! So, a pretty typical, somewhat boring Saturday morning. But these days, boring is just fine. This week has been a bit of a roller coaster for Samantha. I think the anxiety is building for next week, as it is Sam's second treatment on Tuesday. I can't believe it has already been three weeks. I think the first one was difficult, because it was the unknown of what was going to happen and how she was going to react. I think this time it is equally as hard, because she knows exactly what is going to happen and exacly how she is going to react. Sam has done amazingly well, considering everthing she is going through. She certainly has her ups and downs, but who can blame her. She is so tough and strong spirited, I am in awe of her every day! I am overwhelmingly in love with my wife and not shy about sharing it in such a forum. (Sorry Sam - I know you did not want these blogs to get too personal). She is an inspiration to me and is setting a wonderful example for our children. Someday we will be able to reflect on this "Lump" in the Road and be able to teach our children that there is nothing they cannot overcome. I think we are stronger as a family because of these unfortunate circumstances and I think I will become a better father and husband as a result of it. If there is anything we can take away from this as a positive, that is certainly near the top of the list.
So, as next week quickly approaches, we will enjoy the last few days of boredom before we start the roller coaster all over again!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Hi everyone - so i am officially 1 week and 1 day from my first treatment - and i am feeling pretty normal now!!!! Yea!!!! Other than some annoying, lasting little side effects, everything has gotten a lot better. So it looks like i will be yuck for 1 week and good for 2 - not bad right? i taught for the first time yesterday and it was great to see some of my kids! I miss them and i miss teaching - not to sound trite but you don't know what you got til it's gone!

i wanted to thank some families for their help this past week - The L'il Peeps moms have been so generous and amazing - THANK YOU. Tad, Coop and i appreciate your help through the tough times! Thank you to some First Savings friends and staff. We feel so lucky to have Tad work where there is such understanding and compassion for our family. From sending home meals to phone calls - we feel so blessed! Also Debbie - thanks for being there for us - you have been such an amazing friend to us in so many ways - but to be able to call on you on the tough days is more than i can say in words! Mary Kate - you have been more than great from keeping Cooper on tough days, to getting Max some Pjs, to helping with the dreaded hair thing - you have been incredible - i couldn't do it without you! Sally Case - thanks for the book - i received it yesterday - and i think it is great to have other references. I am not dealing with a just a cold - and i want to know everything that i can. There are so many others that have sent meals and well wishes - and it means so much to us to have such support. "Thank You" just doesn't seem like enough!

Last and most important - to my Mom who has been putting us first for the last couple of months. I don't know how we would ever get through this with out you. You have taken care of me and my kids through the toughest time in our life. I love you and appreciate everything you have done and continue to do for all of us! XO


Sunday, January 10, 2010


Hello all -

So some of you have been emailing me wondering details of my diagnosis. I guess you found out about the blog first - and we never put that "stuff" in! So here it is:
One night in October i was pumping (max was about 4 months) and i felt a lump in my armpit. I came down and showed Tad and both of us agreed that it was probably an infected milk duct or at least something to do with breastfeeding - so we didn't panic. I had an OBGYN appointment a couple of weeks later - and they said to be on the "safe side" let's get an ultrasound - still not worried. Well one test lead to another and another until we knew that the lymph node had cancer - but we didn't know where it originated - this was the toughest to go through - the not knowing. When we found out that it was breast cancer - and only on the left side - we were relieved and thankful! We laughed on the way home that the tech helping us was shocked at our pleased and upbeat reaction to hearing the news. I guess they don't get that very often - he he! After all is said and done - I am stage IIB. I am undergoing chemo first - (6 rounds every 3 weeks), then surgery, followed by radiation. This is completely beatable - just stinks to go through - but i am glad that I am going through this in 2010! They have made huge strides and i feel so lucky to benefit from them! I also have 2 beautiful and spirited little boys - so life is good! I am hoping that the worst will be over by my 35th birthday in September - what a party - right!!! To all women: I have no family history - make sure that you have regular screening - fight for it! The earlier you catch it the better. I still cannot feel the lump in my breast - I would have never found it if it didn't spread to the node - that saved my life!

So there it is! Tad and I will keep you all posted on the following weeks of fun!


Saturday, January 9, 2010

Day 5

So, we have made it to day 5. It is Saturday afternoon and we are just rejuvenating at home. Cooper is hanging out at a friends house - Thank you Becky E.! Max is learning to crawl - very cute. He is moving forward in a sort of lean and lunge mode right now. But if he wants to get somewhere, he gets there! I am doing my best Michael Keaten impression as Mr. Mom and cleaning and doing laundry. Sam is resting as she should be. The past few days have been pretty rough for Sam. She has been basically laying down either on the couch or in bed since Thursday morning. She is a trooper and I think she is handling everything very well! I think one of the hardest things for her is not being able to help with anything. But, we are approaching the one week mark and things are supposed to start heading in the right direction at the one week mark - so we are crossing our fingers. We appreciate the love and support we have received from everyone. It is amazing the messages we have received from our friends and family across the country. It is very helpful to hear from all of you and honestly does lift our spirits! So thank you and even if we don't have the energy or time to respond to everyone, I hope you all know we are sending our love and appreciation for your support back at ya! We are so fortunate to have such a support system coming from all directions. I am not sure how we would manage without all of you - so thank you!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

One day at a time........

So, most of you know that I am a pretty big sports fan. OK - in my case you can't really shorten the word to fan - yes I am a fanatic! Go Blue - You'll get 'em next year Tigers - And Go Lions - yes I said it - I am a Lions fan! Any of you that follow sports also know that no matter if a team is going through good times or bad times, there is always one common theme that resonates throughout the team - "We've just got to take it one day at a time!" That is a thought that keeps running through my head over the last 24 hours. Yesterday was somewhat surreal. Sam had mentioned the pity looks she got - at the infusion center - from the other patients! I couldn't help but think while we were sitting there for over 5 hours laughing, joking, watching Ellen dance, basically relaxing - that this was not in our plans! At 33 and 34, we did not expect this. (Yes Sam, cancer and all, I will take this opportunity to remind you that I am indeed a whole year younger than you). I mentioned this was not in our plans. Many of you also know that Sam and I are the biggest planners I think ever! Yup, I am going to go out on a limb and say we win the award! I have caught us planning on how we are going to make plans! Christine, stop laughing! So, while sitting there during Sam's chemo treatment, I of course start planning on how I am going to take care of things in the coming days, weeks and months while Sam is not feeling well. I find myself starting to get overwhelmed with all that is about to come our way. Then I remember the famous sports analogy: "We're just going to take it one day at a time." And for us, right now, I am not sure there is a better way to handle things. We didn't plan for this to happen. This disease has a mind of it's own and why should I think it will be any different going forward. We can plan all we want to, but it comes down to the fact that Sam is going to fight this and get better - and we have to take it on one day at a time!

1 down!

Hey everyone - this is Sam signing in at what is now 5am! I've been awake since about 2am due to the steroids they give you to help with side-effects. I don't have 2 little ones hanging on me - so a good time to fill you in on yesterday. I had my first round of chemo - which strangely enough was rather relaxing and enjoyable! It is a very cheery environment - and ALL of our doctors and nurses have had great personalites and humor - a huge bonus to us! At first it is what i hate and i guess have to get used to - the dreaded pity look. I was new and young - everyone having their treatment was eying us up - but we got over it with some laughter and a little Ellen on TV. the first one took about 5-6 hours - but again - kinda nice to HAVE to just sit there - i am usually not so good at that! I have so many medications to help with ugly side effects -that i hope that all i will feel in the next days is tired - fingers crossed - but i Will get through whatever. Cooper thinks it is hilarious that i will have "no hair like Daddy" i think he thought i was coming home that way yesterday - you never know with kids - you think things will scare them and they just surprise you! That makes it easier on us though- i worried in the beginning how he would take all of this - but i feel he is as prepared as he could be. i Was sick for months with Max - so he is somewhat used to it - silver lining?

So i don't have the flair with words that Tad does - but a lot of you have been emailing and calling - so i thought this gets to everyone!

thanks for your love and well wishes - it means the world to all of us. Tad and i feel so privileged to have such a wonderful support team around us.

Hopefully the next update will be how fabulously grateful we are that i feel great!!! A girl can dream!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My first blog

Hello all! Welcome to the first posting for Brannon's Blogs.
This is my first attempt to post a blog. So, if you are reading this, I will claim some sort of degree of success!
So, perhaps you are wondering why I would start a blog? Good question! Well, many people have asked me to keep them posted on Sam's progress and status as she begins her fight against breast cancer. I thought the best way to do that might be to create a blog, so I can submit one posting and people can check in at their leisure. And I think it might also serve as some sort of therapy for me to spill my guts in such a format. Words have always come easier for me through the pen (or keyboard as is the case here) than the spoken word. So, being that she starts her treatments on Tuesday, I thought there is no time like the present to figure this thing out and start "blogging!" (Is that even a word)? So please, check in when you are looking for some info or if you are just wondering how we are doing. Please comment and share your thoughts and encouragement at anytime. We would love to hear from you and I know Sam will need the positive vibes coming her way! I will share everyone's thoughts and comments with Sam as we progress through these treatments in the coming months.
OK - first blog is complete. I think that was relatively painless - at least for me!