Her Spring

My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:20-23

Friday, July 31, 2009


I now have a Facebook acount, so you can find me there. If I would have any medical issues arise, I would get the word out through my Facebook account,
We had a wonderful time at the lake. The sun and water were so good for me. It was extra-nice just to be with family. My dad and I cried and hugged just because we both made it back there. Thanks again for your support over the last two years.
Love and Prayers, Jan

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 19th is Two Years Cancer-Free!

I will be celebrating my two-year anniversary at the lake with my family.

I was released from my plastic surgeon today. I will have one more visit each with my surgeon and my radiologist. I will continue to see my oncologist for seven years to monitor my meds and to do bloodwork.

I am continuing to see my LE therapist once a week. I go for water therapy 2-3 times a week, and I try to fit in my MFR therapy each day.
The "souvenirs' of BC for me are chronic pain and fatique and, of course, the lymphedema, which is also chronic. I am sure that no one is interested in continual updates on these topics. Chronic conditions just don't know when to go home!

It has been so good to connect with everyone and have your support the last two years. I couldn't have survived without so many thoughts, prayers, and physical acts of kindness.

I would ask that you continue to pray on my behalf - every time you see an apple, which is the shape that I now am due to swelling - would you continue to ask God that He take this lymphedema, and the pain and fatigue, from me if it is His will?

Updates on other issues: My dad is doing great! He is skinny, but healthy, and does whatever he wants. Kennedie Grace, my great-niece, still is dealing with the hemangeoma on her trachea. They are trying a new med to shrink the tumor. Hunter and Emily are making wedding plans, Sarah and Paul are enjoying their first year of marriage, and Katie is excited to return to Anderson soon. Thanks for your interest in my family.

Fall holds a class in library science for me, a Bible study at the church, and I may try to take up my mandolin lessons again. Add that to the mix of therapy and wedding planning, and I think my life will be pretty full again.

I plan to close this blog in the very near future. You can reach me at jan.veal@juno.com, and it is even possible that I may give in and start a Facebook account.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Anniversary

Tomorrow, June 19th, will be the second anniversary of my diagnosis of breast cancer. I could not have imagined at that time that it would change my life forever.
I am cancer-free and grateful to have seen Sarah and Paul's wedding, Katie's transition to college, Emily's graduation from college and her engagement to Hunter.
I still grieve the loss of my "old body". The lymphedema in my arm, back, chest, trunk, and abdomen is painful and tiring, and limits many of the things that I loved to do before. My fatique is still with me - I still rest after showering and dressing before I continue with my day. My day-to-day lifestyle is totally different than what it was before.
Also, during my illness, all of my girls left home and I finished 17 years of homeschooling, so as I began to recover, many of the constants in my life were gone.
I am still praying and searching that God will show me some purpose for this new body with all its limitations. I believe I was saved for a purpose, but I am not sure what that purpose is.
I am planning to take one course online towards my MLS this fall and see if I think that God still has that in mind for me. I also have some writing - homeschooling and fiction (not in the same manuscript!) that I plan to continue working on.
Thanks so much for your love, support, and prayers over the last two years. I could not have made it without the kindnesses of so many people.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Our Family Vacation

We had a great time in the Tetons, Yellowstone, and Jackson, Wyoming last week. There were four of us: Emily, Katie, Bryan and me. We hiked a couple of days, took a raft 10 miles down the Snake River, rode to the top of one of the mountains on a tram, took in a cowboy dinner/show, saw the geysers and the falls in Yellowstone and lots of wildlife everywhere. We stayed in a cabin in the Tetons, which was roomy and a good quiet option - no TV, phone, internet for a week. I had a great time, but it wore me out! I am just recovering in time to go to the beach with my mom, sisters, and the cousins tomorrow. Hopefully I will rest more there.
I am struggling alot with truncal swelling. I have stretched the fascia, but the swelling still goes to the point where it is painful. It is frustrating and I am trying to find ways to cope with it, but I have had a difficult week with it this week. I think part of my frustration is fatique from the last trip. I plan to continue my exercises at the beach and my water therapy to try to get it under control. I struggle with hope as there seems to be no end to the lymphedema and the fatique and pain it causes.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My Niece, My Dad, My Daughter, Me

Little Kennedie Grace had surgery yesterday morning in Cincinnati again. The tumor had grown back by 50%. They are inserting a tube for a few days to try again to block regrowth. Kennedie will be in ICU for a few days. Please pray for Jessica and Jarrod, her parents, and for my sister, Becky, and brother-in-law Wendell, the grandparents. Jessica and Jarrod were told that this could be a pattern until Kennedie reaches nine months. She is five months old now. Prayers for total healing and no regrowth would be appreciated, although we know that everything is in God's hands.

My dad got baptized today, just a few days shy of his 75th birthday. He was baptized years ago, but he has been studying Scripture very diligently since his cancer, and he felt that he needed to do it again. I am so happy for him and Mom.

Sarah called from Williamsburg this weekend. She and Paul are there for Paul's sister's (Laura)graduation from college. Sarah and Paul have turned it into a mini-vacation, touring Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown, Newport News, seeing museums, hoping for a beach day tomorrow. Paul found a really interesting historical B&B, which Sarah has loved. He is very good at researching and finding interesting places to travel.

Finally, about me. I have been off my narcotic pain med for 2 1/2 weeks, and it has been harder than I would have ever thought. I still have fatigue and depression, and of course, I have pain that I was not aware of on meds. Please pray that I will be able to keep up with my family next week as we go on vacation. We are going to the Tetons, Yellowstone, Jackson Hole, and I want to be able to have the energy and positive mindset to enjoy this special time with my family. It will be Emily's last family vacation with us before she marries, so it is especially important that I do well.
Thanks for continuing to check this blog and share in the lives of my family. Thanks for your many prayers on our behalf. We never had any illness in our family until my diagnosis, and now it seems to be a part of our lives for the moment. Thanks for lifting us up!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Emily is Engaged!

Hunter took us to lunch last week to ask for Emily's hand and to show us the ring, which is beautiful and just what Emily wanted.
Emily and her three roommates left Tuesday on a road trip to Estes Park in the Rockies to celebrate their graduation from UL. Hunter flew out there and surprised her. Her roommates took her hiking on a trail, and he met them along the path. He took Emily to a field where he had a picnic and roses waiting. He read I Cor. 13 to her, then got down on one knee and proposed. They knelt together and prayed, and then the roommates rejoined them. They had been videoing from a higher spot. Emily and Hunter called last night to let us know. I am excited about getting another good son-in-law! No date has been set, but they have been talking about May 2010.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Graduation/Mother's Day

We attended several events for Emily last week. She graduated magna cum laude Saturday with a history major and a religious studies minor. She and her roommates left today for a trip to Estes Park in CO for almost two weeks.
We celebrated Mother's Day by having Jean spend the night with us after graduation. Sunday she went to her church. Bryan, Katie and I went to Sojourn, Paul and Sarah's church, along with Paul's parents. Afterwards, we had a cookout at my sister Jennifer's house. We usually do the field, but Jen and Van have an inground pool at their new home and the younger cousins wanted to swim.
I am starting to come out of the depression and fatique that is a result of withdrawal from narcotics. I am two weeks out. It takes 30 days for the full effect of the med to be out of one's system. My LE is giving me fits right now, but I am fighting back by doing my home program and going to the pool when I am able. I don't swim, just float to get the compression for my trunk.
Katie is home and I am enjoying her company. She did very well her first year at Anderson, and is already looking forward to getting back to school.