Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Update

I have had people asking me how I am doing since my neck surgery and my nurse just called me today too so I thought I'd give an update.

My neck is still really sore. However, as my nurse told me today I need to be wearing my neck brace more than I have been. Basically anytime I'm up for any length of time and when in a vehicle at least until I see the Dr. in a few weeks.

My throat is still soar and I still can't really talk well, but the Dr. told Corey the day of surgery that because of all the damage from my past radiation he really can't predict how long that will take to recover. So I'm still on ice packs, pain meds and back to wearing my silly looking neck brace. Blessings, Holly

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Recovery

Thank you everyone for praying Holly. The cervical surgery was successful. She is home resting. We didn't realize she would loose her voice for 8 weeks. The swelling has put pressure on her vocal cords and she can barely whisper. Because of all the scar tissue they had to do a lot more navigating around in her neck.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Surgery

Holly's Surgery went ok yesterday. The surgeon said he had some issues with the scar tissue in her neck from all the radiation she had done. She is still in the hospital.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Prayer Request

As I'm sure most of you know I have chronic pain. Most of which is in my back shoulders neck and arms. I see a pain specialist wanting to try anything besides pain meds, (which is what every other Dr. wanted to just give me). I have tried everything with him and everything has lasted anywhere from a week to almost 2 months, so I have been left with taking pain meds, which only take off the "edge" of my pain. 

He decided that I should get an MRI. I went to a Spine specialist with my results which were 2 pages long, basically showing my low back has significant degeneration for a woman my age (and I have arthritis) herniated discs and nerve compression for which he advised no surgery could fix. My neck however is a different story. They found that my cervical vertebrae has herniated and created a bulge that is compressing my spinal cord and has started to damage it. 

I go in on March 2 for surgery to repair it. They will go through the front of my neck and remove the damaged cartilage and disk, replacing it with a plastic spacer and titanium splint. After years of back pain, Corey had an MRI about the same time. He went in to a spine Doctor the day after me. We found out he has spinal stenosis and degeneration for his age and herniated disk in his lower back. The doctor advised that after physical therapy and injections, surgery could be done to elevate leg pain, however surgery would not fix the lower back pain. 

Please keep us in your prayers. Blessings, Holly

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Our Latest Story

After completing radiation treatments I am considered in remission and am transitioning to a new adventure. I have not been working outside my home because of the treatments and my Fibromyalgia. I was recently also diagnosed with Myofascial pain syndrome. The Doctor's have told me that I am in the high risk category for the cancer coming back and with not feeling great, going back to work at a traditional job is just not a good option right now. Starting a home based business seem the perfect solution.

We are in the process of remolding our home to create a spa with aqua massagers, infrared sauna, and a lap pool. These services will not only help with my health, but offer a unique service to the area. Corey and I purchased a Sentry Pool in 2007 to help with my Fibromyalgia. It has been a great benefit for my muscles and our family has enjoyed it. We have dreamed since getting the pool about having our own business. This just seems to be the right time and opportunity to do this.

I thought that given the fact that we are a home based business our customers would appreciate knowing some of our background history and how we came to the decision to open Simply Serenity Swim and Spa LLC. My husband Corey Nolan and I are the owners. We have grown up in the area and live here with our two daughters. The following is just some tidbits so you can get to know us better. We look forward to meeting you and getting to know each other.

I have an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and have been trained in CPR, Life guarding, as an Emergency Medical Technician, and have taught swimming lessons. I worked at the State Hospital for 10 years as a Rehabilitation Therapy assistant. I quit there to finish my degree. In 2007 we decided to get our Exercise pool due to the frustrations of trying to find a place to swim. I have always loved swimming and have found it to be the best form of exercise for me. I have back problems from accidents years ago and have Fibromyalgia.

Massage has always been a form of relief as well and a few years back I had tried out the Aqua Massage unit while out of state and fell in love with it. I have dreamed of opening our own business ever since we purchased the pool, but I never wanted take the risk of quitting my job to do it. Just as I was finished with my degree I was diagnoses with Malignant Melanoma and have been fighting with it for almost two years now. Thankfully I am now in remission, however through this process of fighting the cancer my preexisting conditions have been made worse.

I am still dealing with health issues and am in the high risk category for the cancer reoccurring especially since it was found to be genetic. This is what led Corey and I to make the decision that now is the time for us to open our business. This way we will have a second income again and I will be at home should I not be feeling well. Not to mention the fact that what we provide for our customers will be helping me with my recovery as well.

Corey is a Paramedic and Firefighter with the local Department. Without him this venture would have never seen the light of day. He has been the most supportive husband and friend. He has been there to take care of everything when I am not feeling well. I have always worked and been involved with so many things. Just like the typical mom, we just think we need to do it all. I have this strong need to be useful and help out and to act like I feel fine even when I feel awful (stubbornness as Corey would call it).

I just want our kids to be as unaffected by cancer as possible so I just try to put on a smile (and my crazy big hats) and try to do everything I can for my kids, even though most days I “crash” (as Corey calls it) by the end of the day. I don’t think I will ever get past that since I enjoy helping and staying busy, but I have promised Corey to do better at learning my limits so that I can give more to my family at the end of the day (Corey now you have it in writingJ). I am just now getting to the place of accepting the hand that I have been dealt.

It has taken awhile to accept that this is God's path for me; and to realize, no matter what the circumstances, things do happen for a reason. Deciding to do our business I think has really helped give me something positive to focus on in moving forward. Knowing that this will be helping our family and that it is something I had previously thought of as just a pipe dream which I never really thought would come to fruition.

I also have to give credit to our incredible support system. We have the most amazing friends and family! Our parents have been essential in our business opening. They have helped us with building, taking care of the girls, decorating, creating a website…and the list just goes on and on. Our friends and church family have been incredible as well in so many ways. They have helped us with building, prayers and so much needed moral support; and bringing us food which has been so appreciated especially when Corey is busy and I am exhausted it is just the best thing!

As for the fun stuff we love the outdoors and camping (hence the tee pee in our back yard) and playing board games with the kids (involving a 4 year old in Scrabble is a challenge, but fun). Our kids are involved in 4-H, Sports, Camps and, of course, so are we. Corey and I volunteer with our daughters schools, church, Red Cross, and at Camp Tecumseh. This is the reason we have our volunteer program. We know that without volunteers our community would not have nearly as many opportunities as it does. So it is just our way of thanking all you who take the time to volunteer. May God Bless you and your families, I look forward to meeting everyone that God puts in our paths.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Treatment

I have decided to take the Interferon treatments for the next year. I went in for a PICC [peripherally inserted central catheter] line January 5th...then I will start IVs everyday for a month and shots for a year. Because my tumor went so deep my cancer was rated stage IIB Melanoma. Melanoma is a very aggressive cancer, so they have to take drastic measures. It doesn't respond to traditional chemo or radiation. Interferon works on speeding up your immune system. It is not as toxic as traditional chemo, but still has lots of side effects and lasts for a year.

I was hesitant to get the treatments since they only are 10% more effective and have a lot of side effects, but they convinced us I was too young not to get the treatments. They told us..."think about your daughters...how would you feel if a year from now the melanoma came back and you hadn't done all you could." They also said there was a genetic factor with Melanoma and now the girls are at high risk for getting it.

I had the first chemo treatment January 10th. They said the first week shouldn't be too bad and next week will hit like a brick wall. It is a long process, about 2 hours, of blood tests before they start... IV fluids and nausea medications... Tylenol for the pain... Then they mix up the chemo. That only takes about 20 minutes to drip. It made me really cold and gave me a terrible headache. It still made me nauseated and I threw up the first night. I can't imagine what next week will bring.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Recovery



December 13th My surgeon called and said that the tissue removed from the second surgery was clear, so I don’t need another surgery.

December 14th I had my follow up appointment with my surgeon from my second surgery. He said that I was looking good and healing well. He said that one of the reasons that my case is so hard to pinpoint is that when they looked at the tumor that was removed from the first surgery, they found not only Melanoma but Spitz Nevus and scar tissue. This makes staging my case difficult because one of the factors used in staging is the size and depth of the tumor. We asked him to refer me to another Oncologist, he gave us a few names, we decided to go with Dr. N who is at IU as well.

December 23rd I meet with a new Oncologist.