Thursday, January 26, 2012

3 day walk - the history of moms group

Krista's TaTa Sisterhood

The Growing Process That Became KRISTA'S TA-TA SISTERHOOD 2007!

Told by Bobbie:

Towards the end of 2006 Becky (Krista’s sister in law) told our office in the morning meeting that Krista's cancer was back! After 10 years of being cancer free Krista & David got the news no one wants to hear. The cancer was back not in her breast this time but in her rib, spine, hip & pelvis. In our office we all think of each other as family, so Becky kept us all up to date on Krista's condition because now Krista, David and her family would now be a part of our family.

In January the TV ads for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk had everyone thinking that this could be any one of our family or us. A few of us said, “you know I've always wanted to do that walk but I just don't want to do it by myself”. As January rolled into February, the mass mail for The 3-Day walk came to several of our mail boxes. Lynda brought her copy to work, then Crystal sent off for info. We were all still thinking, “yea right, can't you see us walking 60-miles”!

At the end of February, Dr. C, our boss, announced in the morning staff meeting that our office would be closed the week of October 15th. We all looked shocked because we knew the walk was October 12th to the 14th and our office would be closed that next week for us to recuperate. Crystal said this is a sign we have to walk.

So on Thursday March 1, 2007 Crystal Condon ~ Team Captain, Becky Carron, Teresa Jones and Bobbie Smith signed up for the 3-Day walk and became Krista's Ta-Ta Sisterhood Team. Dr. C let us put posters up in the office and our friend Lynda gave us our 1st donation (I think she felt sorry for us) toward our goal of raising $2200.00 each so we could walk IN HONOR OF KRISTA GIBBS our heart and soul sister for LIFE. Lynda, Shannon and Lisa cheered us on as we got donations and moved our stars closer to our goal.

We all worked hard to get our donations in different ways. Crystal had a yard sale and baked a 1000 brownies and cookies for her husband to sale at his school. Teresa hit all the businesses around Jefferson and in the end Dr. C and Mike Carron from Mike's Grill split the small difference she needed to reach her goal. Becky had help from her husband Nick, he sent out emails to everyone at his office and her other donations came from the love of her family and friends who all know Krista. As for me (Bobbie) if I sent you a Christmas card the year before, you got a letter from me asking for your help. My husband Rick sent emails to all the reps for his company and I went to Gibson Dental Lab in Gainesville and received alot of help from Darryl, Alvin, Don, Wayne, Shelia, April and many others. By July all 4 team members had reached the goal that is needed to give you clearance to walk the 3-Day.

I walked on the treadmill and at The Outlet Mall in Commerce, Crystal walked all over her neighborhood, but found out she was pregnant and her doctor's would only let her walk 5 miles each day on the 3-day walk which I know was very disappointing to her. Beck & Nick walked every night and Teresa walked with her husband Brian.

The closer the walk got the fear of the unknown was very hard to deal with. We didn't know what to pack or how much to pack because the weather was cold one week and hot the next week.

So Thursday afternoon before the walk Me ma & Pepa put Becky, Teresa and myself and about 300 pounds of gear (that's what it looked like) in the car and took us to our
Hotel at Northpoint Mall. Kevin brought Crystal so he could go out to dinner with us that night and it's a good thing because I don't think the car could hold any more luggage! We had a great dinner that night with Krista, David, Me ma, Pepa, Kevin, Crystal, Teresa, Becky and myself. That was a gift from Me ma & Pepa in thanks for us walking for Krista.

We awoke the next morning around 5:00 a.m. and all we wanted was coffee!!! We got ready and waited for the shuttle bus to take us to Northpoint Mall for the Opening Ceremony and yes it was cold. Thank God we had put pink feather boas around our necks because that kept us warm, but by lunch we were molting. We each walked to our comfort level and then some went back to camp or would walk a few miles catch the sweep van and we would meet up at the next pit stop. At the end of the day I was so glad to see Becky, Teresa and Crystal had our tents up, but then that meant it was shower time and the fear of the great unknown set in. We had no ideal what to expect but after using Port-a pottys all day how bad could this be. They had tractor trailer's set up with 8 stalls and small shower curtains, but by then you were so tired and felt dirty that you just did not care. We ate dinner and went back to our tents in hopes of a good nights sleep. WRONG! Becky had to get up around 2 or 3 a.m. to use the port-a potty and fell out of the tent. I think we woke everyone up laughing. Then it took us 20 minutes to figure out how to zip the tent up. Crystal being pregnant was up and down all night with her own trips to the port-a potty. We awoke the next morning to FROST on our tents and suitcases that we left outside and Teresa kept telling Becky to turn the heat up, but by lunch we were molting again.

Teresa, Becky & I got so cold Friday night that Kevin picked both of them and Crystal up and went to Target to buy us warm pj's. When I walked into camp that night Becky, Teresa & Crystal had pulled sleeping bags out of the tents (it was hot in them by then) pulled them up on a hill in the shade and took a nap. We had our showers, ate dinner and stayed at the dinner tent for about 30 minutes and then we went back to our tents and talked about the ups & downs of the walk, but mostly we laughed together for hours and then it's lights out at 9:00. We bundled up in all our clothes to stay warm. Becky & I stuffed the clothes we would wear the next day in the bottom of our sleeping bags so they would be warm the next morning. Again WRONG it's hard to change when you can't stand up or don't want to get our from under the covers. We packed up all our luggage for the final day and it didn't matter what went in which suitcase the object was to just stuff it in and get your tent down (of course we didn't listen to the instructions on how to do that). For some reason the tent in that little pink bag didn't look like it did when we pulled it out.

They put us on buses and took us to our final day of walking. We would be walking down Peachtree Ind. Blvd to Buckhead and then to Peachtree Street and then into Piedmont Park for closing ceremonies. Crystal & I walked in together at the end. We all got our victory shirts and started to line up for the victory walk. That's when the tears begin and they don't stop no matter who you are. When you see older , middle age and young girls & men in pink survivor shirts your heart lets you know why you just walked 60 miles!

Becky, Teresa, Crystal & I had a sign painted by my mom that said KRISTA'S TA-TA SISTERHOOD MOTEL NO VACANCY TO CANCER! We carried this into closing ceremonies. I did fine until I looked up and on the hill standing on a cooler was our heart and soul sister Krista that's when you can't stop the tears if you wanted to. To see how proud she was of the 4 of us for walking for her will be in my heart and mind forever. After we walked in the cancer survivors that walked came in and we all held up 1 tennis shoe to show our support and dedication we had for them. Then the crew walked in behind them and we just passed tissue's all around the group because there were no dry eyes where we stood.

After the ceremony was over David had packed us a cooler of very refreshing drinks that we had requested if we walked. Thank you Nick for driving us girls home, stopping when we needed a real restroom and helping Kevin with our luggage. Thanks to Mema & Pepa for the snacks, chairs and hugs & kisses we all needed. Thanks to Kevin for cheering us on and helping to get our 300 pounds of luggage. But forever in my memory will be the LOVE David shows to Krista as they fight this battle together. To my sisterhood Becky, Teresa and Crystal we could not have done this without each other. To Krista my heart and soul sister I will sign up and walk the 2008 3-Day walk again in your HONOR because you put everyone first and never think of yourself or show your pain. You give everyone the inspiration to go on and live life to the fullest. I pledge to you I will walk if you will fight! My Love to you and your family, Bobbie

Monday, January 23, 2012

part 2

Chapter 2

Told by Krista:

That night after we got home we had to make the calls to the parents, I let David (My Husband) do it. I wasn't capable. I can remember calling my Mom in Savannah and the only word I could get out of my mouth was ~ Mom, after that I cried and David talked to everyone.

The next morning we went to the Surgeon's office and met one of my favorite Drs. His name is Victor Pavamani and his nurse is Nancy. They were so wonderful to us, (and still are) explained everything, all of the options for surgical procedures. I had what apeared to be mirror image lumps in both breasts and we decided on lumpectomies and node removal for testing. After alot of discussion with the Dr we decided to schedule the operation for January 3rd, it was 2 weeks away and would not make that much difference in my health, but cancer surgery right at Christmas was more than we wanted us or the rest of the family to handle.

Shortly after all of this we left for Savannah for Christmas, gosh it was hard to face my Mom, but she is so strong. My parents were born and raised in the midwest and have that very "we can handle/face anything" attitude. I can remember her saying that it would be okay and my Dad saying not to worry he had already spoken to God and it would all be fine so there was nothing to worry about. My daughter Erin, was strong (like always) and David's family was wonderful.

It's really funny, I don't remember that much about how the holidays went after that. My brain just skips to right after Christmas, telling the office about the next steps in my care and the surgery on January 3. I had the lumpectomys the left side was positive for cancer along with 3 out of 12 nodes. The right side was negative. My Dr was so sure that the right side was positive that I later had a needle locator biopsy on that same side and he sent the tissue off to a different lab just to be sure, but Thank God it was only positive on the left side.

Once I was healed from the surgery it was off to meet my Medical Oncologist, Dr Freedman, there was a question of radiation first then Chemo or the opposite, since I had to have both, but we decided on Chemo first. I can remember 2 things very specifically that he told me, 1. Except for the Cancer you are very healthy,that works in your favor, and 2. We are going to make you very sick in order to make you better. He then asked me when did I want to start? I said how about right now ~ so that was my first treatment. So pretty much in one month I went from not even knowing I had cancer to being diagnoised, having surgery, beginning chemo and oh yeah ~~ 10 days later my hair fell out.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

the beginning

Chapter 1

Told by Krista:

It was December 17, 1996, a couple of girls I worked with ~ Carole and Jeanelle talked me into going with them to get Mammograms. I had had them in the past but like most women had canceled a couple of appointments. We scheduled them at the Women's Wellness at DeKalb General which is about 15 minutes from the County Courthouse where I worked. Well, we all had the tests and they asked if I would wait a couple of minutes, I did, then they asked me to come back in for additional films. I didn't think anything of it at the time and they gave me no clue that there was anything wrong.

We left and drove back to the office, like I said, a 10 ~ 15 minute drive and there was a message already on my desk to call my Doctor. I called and they asked me to come in right away, the Doctor needed to see me and it would probably be a good idea to bring my husband ~ fear is beginning to creep in.

We saw the Doctor about 5:30 that evening, he told me I had breast cancer and that he had made an appointment for me to see a surgeon the following morning. I remember being devastated, wondering how bad it was and of course ~ was I going to die? That couldn't happen to me, I had a daughter I wanted to see grow up, get married, have children, a husband I wanted to grow old with, 2 stepsons still in high school, parents, in - laws, other family and friends ~ a host of things I wanted to do with my life.

I remember walking out of the Doctor's office, bursting into tears and telling my husband, "Its not supposed to happen to me, its supposed to be you". I didn't say it to be mean, I said it because he has cancer on both sides of his family and we have always kind of joked that with his family it isn't if they will get it but what kind they will get and when they will get it. Then we went home and continued with the worst night of my life ~~ telling the family.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

he holds her purse

this is an old post from my moms old blog. we arent updating that blog anymore but some of the posts are worth reposting. this is one of them. its from october 2009

Dad, OB, David. Thanks for holding moms purse over the years. You are the best :) We love you!!

Will he hold your purse?
"Everything I know about marriage I learned in my cancer clinic." I've been known to say this to my friends, maybe more than once, maybe even causing some of them to grind their teeth and grumble about Robin and Her Infernal Life Lessons.

I can't help myself. I've worked as a breast cancer doctor for 20 years, I've watched thousands of couples cope with every conceivable (and sometimes unimaginable) kind of crisis, and I've seen all kinds of marriages, including those that rise like a beacon out of the scorched-earth terror that is a cancer clinic.

It's a privilege to witness these couples, but the downside is I find myself muttering under my breath when my single female friends show me their ads for online dating. "Must like long walks on beach at sunset, cats," they write, or "French food, kayaking, travel." Or a perennial favorite: "Looking for fishing buddy; must be good with bait." These ads make me want to climb onto my cancer doctor soapbox and proclaim, "Finding friends with fine fishing poles may be great in the short term. But what you really want to look for is somebody who will hold your purse in the cancer clinic."
It's one of the biggest take-home lessons from my years as an oncologist: When you're a single woman picturing the guy of your dreams, what matters a heck of lot more than how he handles a kayak is how he handles things when you're sick. And one shining example of this is how a guy deals with your purse.

I became acquainted with what I've come to call great "purse partners" at a cancer clinic in Waltham. Every day these husbands drove their wives in for their radiation treatments, and every day these couples sat side by side in the waiting room, without much fuss and without much chitchat. Each wife, when her name was called, would stand, take a breath, and hand her purse over to her husband. Then she'd disappear into the recesses of the radiation room, leaving behind a stony-faced man holding what was typically a white vinyl pocketbook. On his lap. The guy -- usually retired from the trades, a grandfather a dozen times over, a Sox fan since date of conception -- sat there silently with that purse. He didn't read, he didn't talk, he just sat there with the knowledge that 20 feet away technologists were preparing to program an unimaginably complicated X-ray machine and aim it at the mother of his kids.

I'd walk by and catch him staring into space, holding hard onto the pocketbook, his big gnarled knuckles clamped around the clasp, and think, "What a prince."

I've worked at cancer clinics all around Boston since then, and I've seen purse partners from every walk of life, every age and stage. Of course, not every great guy accompanies his wife to her oncology appointment every day -- some husbands are home holding down the fort, or out earning a paycheck and paying the health insurance premiums -- but I continue to have a soft spot for the pocketbook guy. Men like him make me want to rewrite dating ads from scratch.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

zoo with friends

man what a beautiful day. we had an awesome day out with some friends. these little girls are such buddies but since one of them is now in kindergarten and i am not working anymore they dont get to see each other much as they did when they were in school together at buckhead church.

the animals were all out today because it was a little chilly and overcast. since we live way way far north we dont usually plan a day out to the zoo unless the weather is perfect, warm and sunny. well the animals dont like that, so if you are looking for a good zoo day go when its chilly and overcast or even a little rainy and you will see them all!

 the crew sans one little girl :)

 these babies are only 6 months old!

 goats love to eat christmas tress! who knew?
 here is bella brushing bella the goat :)
sweet friends!