Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friends, Pinnacle Mountain State Park and Breast Cancer

Welcome "Karen."  So happy to have you as a new follower.  Thanks for stopping by -- hopefully, you will find something here that will keep you coming back.  

I moved with my family to Little Rock when I was nine years old.  I grew up here, I graduated high school here, I married, I had both my children here.   Alan also grew up in Arkansas -- we have friends and family still here.  No matter where we roam, Arkansas will always our home.  

Last Wednesday, October 5, I met four friends at Maddie's Place.

There are several other small restaurants in a row near Maddie's.

Maddie's Place serves various comfort foods with a New Orleans influence.  For instance, I had fried chicken livers as an appetizer and then a fresh spinach salad as my meal.  I know what you're thinking -- "and that's comfort food??"  You don't find many places that serve fried chicken livers and it doesn't sound very New Orleans, but it was yummy!

Meet Lisa, (Me), Sabrina and Mary -- The Fab Four as we used to call ourselves!

If you will remember, I worked with Lisa at Little Rock AFB.  When Katrina hit New Orleans, Sabrina and Mary were friends with Lisa and evacuated to Lisa's house and that's how I met them.  Sabrina and Mary worked at the VA Hospital in New Orleans and now work at the VA Hospital in North Little Rock.  Before we became fulltime RV'ers, we four girls would get-together on Friday nights to check out various eating establishments around the City.  These ladies have over 50 years collectively serving our Veterans every day, with Mary having spent the most -- 35 years -- as a drug and alcohol counselor.  Since we left the area in '09, Lisa and Sabrina have both married some good 'ole Arkansas boys.  It was great seeing them again -- I miss our Friday night outings.

On Friday, October 7, fellow bloggers, Jim and Gayle, stopped off at Maumelle Park for a few days.  They were able to get a prime site that backed up to the river.

They drive a 50 Year Anniversary Lazy Daze Motorhome.

They enjoyed the Little Rock area, riding their bikes over 30 miles on Saturday and climbing Pinnacle Mountain.

We found time to sit by a campfire.

It's always fun to meet fellow bloggers.  We first met Jim and Gayle in Branson over Memorial Day weekend.  They were on their way to workamp at Wappapello State Park, near Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  They enjoyed Maumelle Park so much they stayed an extra night and left on Tuesday morning.

Tuesday night, October 11,  I had dinner again with five friends I have known a very long time -- we were friends in high school and two of them (Carolyn and Clara) I have known since the 5th grade.

Marilyn, Lynda, Carolyn, Linda, Me and Clara

Clara and Me

Me and Carolyn

I am blessed with so many wonderful friends.  We had so much fun laughing, reminiscing about the good 'ole days and catching up with each other's kids and grandkids.  What a blessing these ladies are to me.

One day last week, we decided to check out Pinnacle Mountain State Park -- since it is just down the road from Maumelle.

We knew we would never make it climbing up the mountain so we chose to walk up to the overlook.

I completed my testing on Tuesday and also met with Dr Hagans to discuss the results.  All scans were good, except my pancreas was swollen -- no mass, just swollen.  Could be something I ate, maybe gallstones, but he didn't think it was anything significant.  My diagnosis is Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma, Stage 1 -- Stage 1 is good.  Tumor is low grade and non-aggressive.  Choice is 6 weeks of radiation and if ca is found in my nodes, then chemo.  I'm concerned about radiation and the effects it may have on my heart, since the ca is in my left breast.  I could have a double mastectomy and not be chasing breast cancer another day.  Since I have a family history of breast cancer, I'm leaning towards the double mastectomy -- they're just boobs, right?  Sound radical?  Probably, but I do not want to worry about the "C" word for the rest of my life -- I have way too many places to go, too many things to see, etc, to be worried if there will be another cancer scare in my breasts.  My first reaction in discussing it with Dr Hagans was take them off, but afterwards, I began to waffle on that first gut reaction and have gone back and forth all week. Then a friend told me something very interesting -- she said when you have a first gut reaction as I did, she felt it was the Holy Spirit whispering, telling me what to do.  When doubt starts to creep in, it's the dark side trying to twist and confuse.  So, as radical as it may sound, I'm probably going to opt for the double mastectomy.

Thanks for stopping by.  I hope you will come back again.  As we continue to travel this journey, we know how blessed we are to have family and friends who love, encourage and support us.  Life is good, God is good and we are thankful!


  1. You are truly blessed to have so many great friends. Wonderful pictures of your get togethers.

    Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as you and Alan weigh your options carefully.

    (Jer. 29:11)

  2. My thoughts are with you. Your decision, one way or the other, makes my worries seem inconsequential.

  3. It was so good to see you guys again! I know you will make the right decision. You're in our thoughts.

  4. We'll say a prayer that you make the decision that will be the best for you! Both of us have had little non-serious skin cancers, so we are always alert to that. Not a fear, but just being watchful. We need to spend more time in Arkansas. The only time we were in that state, we were called away too early, and didn't see all we wanted to see.

  5. You will make the decision that's right for you. I am praying for you!

  6. Whatever decision you make will be the correct one for you. Take care.

  7. Great time with friends, I think I would like to try the cross eyed pig;)

    I have some idea of what you are going thru as I had to make a decision on cancer treatment almost ten years ago now. It was tough.

    We will be keeping you in our thoughts.