Break On Through… To The Other Side!

break on through


In the wilds of my crazy dreams (and pain killers, which I might add, I do keep at bay, from anyone with concern.  No need to offer “oils”. I got ’em already and use them like they’re goin’ out of style!  It’s all good, my friends) As I was saying…

In the wilds of my crazy dreams…  from, yes, a very intense (and more complex than ever before on my tired body) surgery, I’ve been playin’ this song over and over in my head.  Why?  Because although I’m bound from my shoulders to my hips with bandages, drains, and stitches,… I also came out of this surgery ON THE OTHER SIDE feeling no longer like a CANCER PATIENT!  (Yet, to all my fell cancer patients and friends still deep in the fight… My heart, soul, and prayers are forever at your side… No man left behind!!!  God’s got you, & Buna’s got yo’ back! ).  But why  do I feel different today?  I feel like I’m “on the other side” just by the very simplest portion of the ordeal of removing “Mrs.Peabody- the port”!  That’s right, folks, no more infusions, no need for a port anymore, so we gave the ol’ port the boot!

(And the crowd goes wild!  Yeah!!!!!!) 


My ode to my “Napoleon Dynamite” fans out there

Feelin’ pretty darn good about that one, I must say.

THAT FEELING… is keeping me going.  ‘Cuz I can’t lose my focus in this last little stretch.  I really need a lil’ overdose of everyone’s Holy Spirit super powers in prayer to get me through this last hump.  Keeping my head in the game, ya know?

From the beginning of this race, right down the last mark of this marathon, it’s taking every last push… every last breath… every last “get up and go”/ “mind over matter”/ “wing and a prayer” that I’ve got.



Friday’s surgery went very well.  6 1/2 hours.  They were able to clean out a lot of issues I was having from fluid back up from lymphedema and radiation scar tissue issues (Woke up feeling the difference in my arm and hand already! Relief! Woo hoo!).   Doc was also able to fix some other abdominal muscular and hernia issues, while starting over on both Phase 1 and moving on to Phase 2 of my reconstruction after the set back from the previously mentioned issues.   Basically, that means the majority of my core/torso (front and back) is under construction. Why this route?  My plan has been to remain “all natural” and avoid implants or anything foreign in my body.  (Please understand, I place absolutely NO JUDGEMENT on anyone else’s decision if different.  It was my personal feeling for my body and what that would mean for my life and upkeep of medical procedures, etc. down the road.) This is A LOT now, but it also means it ENDS now.  For my family, for me.  This is what we wanted.  This needed to be the end of the road for us.  I’ve kinda been the type this whole year to do things as tough as they needed me to do as long as it meant we’d be “gettin’ ‘er done”.  Ya know, like I’ve also mentioned here and there through chemo and radiation, Belushi-style



So where does that leave me NOW, post-op,


Basically, I’m waking up feeling like …




… with my 4 drains as my “tentacles”… although I can’t get them to cooperate to feel as cool and functional for parties as this table pictured above is.  Instead,  I get to wear a hospital’s version of an 80’s fanny pack to carry them in like a kangaroo under my shirt, only to appear that I’ve actually added a sagging belly during my surgery… just for kicks.  Why not?






… Yup.  Mesmerized by my “E.T.” finger that I insisted on showing all the nurses in the recovery area (which apparently baffled me that last time I was there, too!), I took the liberty of snapping a few shots in the middle of the night to text to my dear friend MaryAlong with many more pics of how cool I felt my hand looked now that it was wrapped up all night for lymphedema prevention, making my hand look “Just like Jimmy Fallon’s hand now, riiiight?!?!”  Thankfully, she was awake already.  Pretty sure we’re still friends.  πŸ˜‰





image image

… My family always has been, and remains my motivation, my heart, and my greatest support.  (You may see all of my kids, my hubbie, mom, and bro… but clearly, you’re still not gettin’ the big picture of ALL the fam that I’m talking about!)  Yet again, being in the hospital lent another opportunity for us to step away from the chaos of the daily routines and chores and spend time together.  As you can see above, we goofed off for pictures, I was showered with “very original” cards from the kids,  we played games, read stories and watched a few shows together.  I had one-on-one time with my husband and my dad for meals that we don’t normally get to do.  I’ll cherish those times in my memory forever!

There was even a point when my health took a little downward turn and my blood count dropped from what normally should be 14 and 36 and was 7 and 21.  Not so good!  I needed a second blood transfusion (after having one just after surgery as well) and needed to stay an additional day (now 2 days longer than what my family was originally thinking).  So what did we do about it?  We partied!  We took the kids straight over from school to the hospital for PIZZA PARTY in my room!  We made it fun with another round of charades and topped it off with making our very own MUSIC VIDEO for Dr. Sullivan at the end.  You heard me.  Our personal “How to Whip and Nae Nae” video just for him (involving kids jumping out of closets, a toddler dancing down to the ground, and even Mommy finding some kind of freak adrenaline rush just 30 minutes  after my transfusion ended and holding on to kids and chairs to get in on the action! What? If ya can’t beat ’em … join ’em!… Yes.  I am “that patient” that makes my nurses nervous.  But I also must say, I’m also “that patient” that doesn’t let the hospital bed mold around me and gets off my tooshy so I can get better.  I promise, though, I won’t make music videos a regular thing.






This is, as I mentioned, a major FINISH LINE, so to speak for me.  I’m paying no heed to the 5 years to the cure. I mean, naturally, I will take care of myself, continue with all of my check ups, etc., but it is my time (after I recover from this surgery-delio) to live my life as a SURVIVOR,  MOVE ON… and give back!  Dang it.. that’s exactly what I plan to do.  So, stay with me, and we’ll move mountains!

Because, as promised in my trust, hope, and faith that I felt in those little prayers and songs that God’s been singin to me since the beginning of all of this…




Again, I thank all of you for all of your prayers.  I thank everyone who have been so gracious to send meals and cards.  I’m thankful to my absolutely amazing doctors/surgeons and nurses and staff at the St.Charles Surgical Center for taking the best care of me AND SO MANY WOMEN THAT COME THROUGH THOSE DOORS.  I know I can say that you made me feel so at home while I was there.  I loved every conversation that I had with each and every one of you in the middle of the night and all throughout the day.  When we left, we felt like we were saying goodbye to family.   I couldn’t possibly say enough about you all.

Thank you, God, for answering my prayers this year so perfectly:



We haven’t walked through a doorway yet that didn’t feel perfectly anointed.



Thank You





9 thoughts on “Break On Through… To The Other Side!

  1. Still storming the heavens with prayers for you! Silly girl, nobody’s gonna stop…EVER!!! We’re so happy you are doing so well. Sending much love and hugs your way!

    Leslie, Scott, Matthew, and Shelby Stumpff


    • Well, THANK YOU for knockin sense in my head then. Y’all always have been and continue to be so faithful and supportive. God bless ya. And know the prayers go both ways, right back to ya.


  2. We will keep praying for you Elise, your husband and littles. Praying for a quick recovery through this. God Bless you!
    Julie Lowicki


  3. Pingback: Fighting the Fight…My Journey | Team Buna

  4. Thanks be to God for your progress and prayers for a “relatively” uneventful recovery from this last bout. Looking forward to seeing y’all at Mass in the near future. πŸ™‚


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