Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Well, the Dr. was excited yesterday! I had lost 35 lbs by their scale (in the afternoon and with clothes on), but I'm still going by mine...which has me, as of today at 41! Woo Woo Woo! I'm really ok with this pace...but I know that it won't stay at this pace. I haven't been able to walk near as much (which is going to effect my pace) as I did last week...I'm a busy girl when I work! :::How many times can I say pace in one thought process??:::  I'm on the liquid diet until Tuesday when I'll meet with the nutritionist who will hopefully tell me I can have the egg I've been craving! I'm pretty sure it will be mushy, blended food.  Apparently it has nothing to do with how well I'm doing and everything to do with healing my stomach on the inside. So, I'll just keep following directions...and hoping that i'll keep doing as well as I am for a long long time!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Big Night Out!

Folks...I have been waiting for this night out since BEFORE the surgery...and I was desperately afraid that having surgery was going to slow me down and I wouldn't get here! Ya friend Elizabeth Wills plays in Dallas about 4-5 times a year and every one of them is absolutely worth seeing.  What I know about Elizabeth is that there is not a song that you would be unable to relate to in one way or another.  She can sing a song that will speak right to your heart and it will stay there until you process all that it means....and it truly can mean something different to you each time you hear it. Or there are the songs that she sings right to your heart that touch...grab you...and make you re-feel all those feelings from that lost love or your best love. It's truly amazing and something that you must experience to really understand.

This show, though, I knew she would be be singing a few Christmas tunes!  She gets the audience involved with Jingle Bells, then she will bring you to tears with her rendition of "Oh Holy Night!" Listen to this and tell me you're not suddenly in the mood for Christmas and the true meaning of Christmas...this will bring you to your knees.

What I learned tonight is that you have friends who will do absolutely anything for you. You have friends who are like family who you have known for 35+ years and you see them for the first time in years and years and years that it is still very easy to pick up where you left off and love them like you did. I learned that pizza smells really good and that Campisi's is first on my list for when I can start eating again! I learned that no one is going to say anything to you if you eat a cup of sugar free chocolate pudding in the middle of a show...and that it will now have new meaning to eat that pudding, as I will be taken back to just that right moment in E-Dub's song that conjured up an emotion of one kind or another!
I love that I really did feel well enough to go and enjoy the show...and enjoy I did! It was an epic night...I am a big fan of epic nights! More please....

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tough Day

So, I knew that eventually I'd have a bad day, right? Bad day is probably strong...I'm just exhausted. Worn out. I think I may have pushed myself too hard the last couple of days.  Today I just sat and watched my friend Tammi and my Mom successfully clean out the guest room closet.  They would just show me things and I'd tell them to keep it, give it away or sell it!  This wasn't exactly what I thought the day was going to look like, so overwhelm kicked in pretty quick.  The ladies talked me off of the proverbial ledge and I hung with them until the deed was done.  I now have a very clean and organized closet that you could actually dance in if you wanted to! :o)

Point of the story...I'm wiped out. I have to rest up so that I'm good to go tomorrow night for Elizabeth Will's show tomorrow night at Poor David's Pub in Dallas! It's my first big outing and I'm very very excited! Good friends...good music...and a glass of water...maybe cranberry juice! :o)  If you're looking for something to do, come on's going to be a great show!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving has never really been the most traditional holiday with our family. The boys's Mom's high school I had Thanksgiving Day basketball tournaments..etc etc etc. So, today, my 40th Thanksgiving stayed within that real.  Considering the only way I'd have been able to eat turkey and dressing today would be blended and through a straw (bleck) I opted out!  Dad took Mom to Cracker Barrel (where they waited for an hour and a half) for her birthday!  I desperately wanted a bowl of potato soup, but they didn't make any today! :o(    So, I spent the day today stretching my legs.  That's what I like to call my walks that I take.  The walks that started out as one lap around the nursing station this time a week ago have turned into 35 minute walks around the newly found pond! I squeezed in a little nap, then had a visit from my very dearest friend in the world! We've known each others since 1st grade! That's like 34 years! Crazy!  Bless her heart, she's an Aggie and I've spent the last 30 minutes gloating! How about those Longhorns!?!?  Mom and I  watched Lady Gaga until 10:00, then switched it over to the end of the loved it! Great way to go out UT!!

Gotta hit the sack...big day of purging the apartment tomorrow! Salvation Army is coming and we're getting rid of a lot of stuff! It's time!!!

One by One

This morning I hadn't taken 3 steps out of my house for a walk on this beautiful Thanksgiving morning...turn on my music...Elizabeth Will's "One by One" (which might just become my anthem)

and I start crying.  Not big crocodile tears...but sweet little tears.  Funny thing is I don't really know why. I look around trying to figure out what it is...but no, I just start walking and keep crying.  Regardless I did have the wherewithall to recognize that I'm a lucky girl!  I walked for almost 30 minutes this morning and am home now watching the Thanksgiving Day parade with my's her birthday today! Lucky. See. Lucky girl.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

One Week! Ahhhh!

I am one week post op today! Wow! Who'd thunk 1 week after surgery I'd be out on my 2nd day of shopping for furniture! I am so excited that I feel so good! I'm also very thankful for my parents. I don't think I can say that enough! This is not their first rodeo with me.  In 2006 I had brain surgery and they were here for the duration.  I truly can not imagine what I would do without them.

That being said...after 1 week jeans are already starting to fit differently. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but I weigh in the morning and have lost 2-3 pounds before I go to bed! It's so backwards from the way I've always done it before...and it's amazing!  Remember when I talked about not sure how I could be excited about having half my stomach ripped out? Well, I do believe I'm excited! Yep..I said it! So, those of you who stood by your "I'm excited for you" stance...thank you! I'm there now! We have a long way to go and a lot of excitement to come...but for today, thank you...I'M EXCITED!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

5 Days

I finally slept through the night last night! I'm gonna say that it's because my sweet friend Jessica came and stayed with me! :o)  I'm sure she didn't sleep a wink...but I sure slept good!

Things are continuing to go well! I'm walking 3-4 times a day for at least 15 minutes each time.  This just kind of helps keep things moving and situating to their new spaces inside once the swelling goes down and of course it's just good for me! It's a little chilly outside, but I enjoy the walks...especially when Mom or Dad goes with me.  I'm anxious for Neighbor Bette to get home so that we can walk some...and of course her dog Robbie.  Walking always makes much more sense if you have a dog with you.  I saw on someones FB the other day a cat leash.  I am not opposed to harnessing up Grey Kitty and giving that a try if I could just find the leash!

I just feel like I need to say that I feel so very blessed that this has all gone so well.  It hasn't even been a week and I really could go back to work. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I have this week off, but I think I'm going to be ready to get back.  This was pretty major surgery...even though it was laproscopic...and I'm in shock at how good I feel.  All the prayers and well wishes are felt for sure!

I'm still waiting for my pants to fall off as I walk across the room. My psyche is going to need that to happen soon, please and thank you!  I know it takes time...and the last 5 days my body has been just trying to get rid of the 20 lbs of gas they pumped inside me and the fluid build up...but come on! I only have a half a stomach...surely it's going to start dropping soon, right!?!?!  Patience, again, is not one of my strong suits.  I can be patient for other people...and encourage others to take their time and be patient...but when it comes to me, I'm an instant gratification kind of girl.  I know it's going to happen.  I also know that it's not going to help at all if I cross my arms and stomp my foot! So, I guess I'll just let nature run it's intended. Big sigh.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It's 3 A.M....

Ok, it's really almost 4:00 and I can't sleep! I woke up to the sound of Milo puking!'s that time again.  Every 6 months he does this puking thing. I also think that there is a correlation between his puking and the stress levels in the house.  I don't know if it's the extra people in the house or if it's getting that innate feeling that I'm sick...not real sure.  He had to go to the vet when I had my brain surgery too. Nothing like an old cat with IBS! Guess we're taking him to the vet next week!

So, I know I need to NOT do this, but...I can't wait until it's time to wake up (for real) so that I can weigh myself! Crazy huh? I had this vision in my head of the weight just melting off (literally) of me with little effort.  I know that's kind of coming, but I literally expected to leave the hospital 10-15 lbs lighter. Nope. I actually gained weight with the water retention, etc that my body went through.  Interestingly, however, I weighed yesterday morning, then again, randomly yesterday afternoon and I'd lost 2 lbs.  That's way backwards from what I've always seen the scale work...but I'll take it...and it's only been 4 full days. I need to just chill.

Have I mentioned how lucky I am to have Mom and Dad here? They are quick to play High Protein Bartender for me and of course gopher as I send them to the store for something at least once or twice a day! I think Dad likes getting out of the house! I secretly told him when we were walking our laps at the hospital that there is a Cabella's no more than 10 miles away from my house (don't tell Mom)...and he doesn't have to fight the Grapevine traffic (to get to Bass Pro).  So, there's another excuse to get out of the house.

I was very lucky to have special friends come visit me last night! Monday is my friend Amy's birthday and she was kind enough not to share the fact that she had a birthday party with me, so I wouldn't be sad that I was missing it...especially once I learned that the Austin crew came up for the party! So, when Amy and Cheryl came to visit yesterday, Dad opened the door and I was in the kitchen getting ice...Amy walked in...then my friend Cari (form Austin) and I was way excited.  I guess I looked down at my glass to put the ice in it, looked back up and my friends LaDon and Paige (also from Austin) were standing in my living room..and local Cheryl came in lastly.  Holy cow, I couldn't believe it. They were all here...then it hit me...they were all here for Amy's birthday. Big sigh. So we all went next door to Neighbor Bette's house (she's at her daughters because she had a pace maker put in on Monday) and just chatted and laughed for a bit before they continued on with the birthday festivities.  I assured them I was there in spirit and that coming to see me meant the world to me! Great, great friends, I tell ya! I'm a lucky girl!

Oh, and the realization that the weight isn't going to just FALL off of me hit me when talking to them. I don't know, I think I was little embarrassed that there hadn't been more weight loss....which prompted the conversation about it NOT just falling off of me....which prompted discussions about where they were going to eat dinner,  Blah de blah de blah... Big sigh that I'm not hanging out over there.

Which leads me to the fact that Mom wouldn't LET me walk around the apartment complex after dark. I tried to assure her that Keller crimes only involve folks selling drugs or people trying to cover for their husbands suicides! She didn't seem to really care.  I am very loved...but I can assure you there is no reason for me to NOT walk in my parking lot.

Ok, I'm getting a little sleepy again! Woo Wooo woo! Night all...morning some...and so on....

Friday, November 18, 2011

No Place Like Home

That Dorothy had it right..there is no place like home! It feels so good to be here in my own bed, on a real computer!

I've had an exciting 3 days! I never, ever expected to stay 2 nights, but, the Radiologist who had to read my swallow study ( the way) was running behind, so I didn't get that done until around 1:30 yesterday, then the nurses had to monitor my fluid intake, which is what kept me there over night.  I wasn't sure the Dr was going to release me today...I figured he was out playing golf somewhere! Nevertheless, I was released and we're all home!  Well, Mom and I are.  She's sound asleep on the couch, Dad's out and about and probably shopping for things he doesn't need to shop for! And I am sitting in my bed and about to take a nap. I have to nap between 4 oz of fluid breaks. 4 oz at a time. That's it.  That's all I can put into my tummy. Oh goodness.  We bought a bag of sonic ice to munch on because that is the BEST!

I'm not really in much pain...but then again, they gave me my last Morphine shot yesterday afternoon and have been on liquid hydrocodone after that. I have 4 incisions on my tummy. They are between 3/4 and 1.5" long.  Not too bad...and they don't seal you back up with stitches anymore, it's this glue and I think I like it! I also have a hole in my side from the drain. Apparently they don't stitch that up after they take the 2 foot drainage tube out! She just kept pulling and pulling...bleck!  I'm glad it's out though because I didn't want to have to deal with that....but now I just have a hole...with gauze and a bandaide keeping it covered it. I will chunk the first cat that steps on my tummy though!

I don't think I feel any different because of this. I will say that I'm amazed by the support, love and prayers I received over the last few days! I am such a lucky girl.  Before we got out of the car at the hospital the day of my surgery Dad wanted to say a prayer...I told her yes, but be sure you throw in "pray for no excessive gas or nausea" and guess what? I had neither!!!  That was the best thing ever! So very excited about that!

So, now I just follow the clear liquids diet for a couple of days while the swelling goes down, then I can start in on more of the protein type foods. I'm excited to get to see Cottage Cheese and Greek Yogurt again!

Ok, I think my pain medicine is kicking in...I can't hold my eyes open!  Love to you all and thanks for a lot for reading my crazy stories!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Well folks...I survived!!! I have walked the "sleeve walk" which is 2 laps! I just got my pain meds and am happy to report that I'm doing really well! I'm actually a bit surprised...pleasantly surprised! I'm sore, as expected...but I do believe I'm going to make it! Woo woo woo! Watch out world...The New Callaway is coming!

I wish I had a funny story to tell...but for tonight a celebratory story will do!

Thank you all so very much for your prayers and well wishes...they are working!!!!

So picture this....(WARNING...long and lots of rambling)

First of all...a disclaimer: I love my parents with all of my heart and would not be the person I am today without them. So, if Mom should be able to figure this out and get here, please know that I'm just having fun with this,'s funny...ask Kellie Casse...she was cracking up earlier.

So, I come home from work today knowing that Mom and Dad would be here, anxiously awaiting a trip to the store.  I come in the front door and I feel like I'm in some Army Barracks.  Dad has his boyscout cot spread out in the "dining" room at my house.  Mom's asleep in a camping chair and I, well, I was looking for the campfire! Dad presumes that this will be much more comfortable than the couch, so cot it is!

We ventured to the store, which I've done several times in these past 2 weeks without event, and I felt like we were on the hunt for the craziest things...water chestnuts, pistaccio's, etc etc etc.  Once I got what I needed and convinced them that it was time to jet! Hanging out at the grocery store these days is not my idea of a good time!

Back home for a packing and going over the directions for post-op with my mother. I had to remind a friend that we have 2 special ed teachers and a kindergarten teacher trying to manage this process! I do have a couple of tutors on call, and you know who you are! :o)  We'll figure it out though...lots of 1 oz cups and lots of protein! I'd like to keep my hair, please and thank you.

On a serious couldn't get more real than this. I'm closing my eyes for the last time as the Stacey that I've known since I was an infant. I was born 9 lb 9 oz (I try to convince myself that God made me this way!)  I was always the chunky girl in dance....the one who had trouble with the bars in gymnastics...the one who WANTED to play the big tenor sax (because I was big and tough enough, but wasn't allowed to)...the one whose highschool volleyball jersey always had to be special ordered because the regular order didn't fit. There has always been something. Something that made this weight always and forever an issue. Now, it's a different kind of issue.

Do I anticipate that this is going to change me...yes, but only for the better.  As my friends, I want you to tell me, whew...ever since that surgery, you are just different...especially if different isn't a good thing.  I want to be the same happy girl...funny girl....studying girl....grading papers girl....loving her job girl...loving my friends girl...loving my family girl...and loving who I am girl and I may need your help in doing that!

It's actually morning now, as I fell asleep last night trying to finish this. I was exhausted. I'm awake now, early, probably anticipating....but I'm awake.  I will go to work this morning for half a day, which is probably a good thing. It will get me out of the house and away from thinking about not eating!! No food or drink until the surgery. None. Sure does make a girl thirsty! :o)  So, I'm going to go distract myself by going and doing the thing that I love the most in the world....working with kiddos....then it's time!

I will be taking my computer with me to the hospital. I told mom it was non-negotiable.  I don't know what my time is going to look like there, but I hope to keep you all posted somehow.  I'm certain there will be a fb post after surgery and maybe just maybe a blog tonight!

Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers as I begin the latest adventure in my life!!! Love to you all....HERE WE GOOOOOOOO!!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Great quote

I got this quote from a friend tonight...I think she might just have made it up...she's full of great quotes!

The new you will be the old you with new geography.

That's pure genius...and that's what I'm banking on!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Here we go....

Saturday was the first day in this 8 days of the liquid diet that I actually felt hungry. Today...on a clear liquids only, I thought that I might just die. Ok, die is a bit dramatic...but good lord! FYI, fat free chicken broth tastes like dirty water. Yes, I said dirty water...nasty dirty water! Goodness. I sustained myself through the day with staying busy, and apple juice and grape juice and water!  However, when I got home I had the very best broth from Ramen noodles! So so so so good!

I'm really ready. I really really am ready. This whole process has been eye opening and I'm learning a lot about myself and the people around me. I'm so lucky to have loving family and friends...people who support me and who are willing to hold my hand (or hands) through this process.

While I am posting this blog, I'm not really advertising this whole surgery thing. I figure there are folks who will infer the meaning of some of my FB posts, some who will read these, and some who won't even notice...and that's ok. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed...just trying not to muddle the FB world with my ramblings. And we know that I can ramble! So, go ahead and start sharing your prayers and well wishes to whichever power you pray more day of liquids, then it's off to the hospital! Surgery Wednesday at 2:30 at Baylor Trophy Club! I'm ready...HERE WE GO!!!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Last nights post

I really hope no one was offended or upset by my post last night. I want to make sure that everyone knows the gist of the post was more about the nature/type of surgery rather than the intent of your comments. You guys are wonderful and I LOVE the support I'm getting! Thank you!!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I've been on this liquid diet for one week now. One week! I'd kill for a Pringles right now...or is it a Pringle? I'd be happy with just one....but I digress.  So, I'm blogging as a way to say what I'm thinking, right? So, I can say what I want? Right? Before I go on, I need for you guys to know that this is not directed at's just me unloading. Unloading is even a little strong. I'm just sharing.

I've had 5 surgeries in 40 years. 3 ankles, 1 gall bladder and a brain. Not once in 5 surgeries has anyone said to me, "Are you excited?" Nope, when I was waiting on results from my MRI, no one said, "are you excited?" Headed back to have the gall bladder removed, no one said, "hey, are you excited? Are you ready?"  And the ankles...nope.  I absolutely recognize that this surgery is different. Absolutely.  I guess if I was getting a boob job someone might say to me "are you excited?"  And with that, I suppose I might be.  I love, love, love the support I'm getting from everyone. The love that I feel is invigorating. You guys are amazing. But am I excited? No, not really.  I know that good things will come from this surgery, as it was when I had my brain surgery.  Sometimes there are things in our body that just don't do what they're supposed to anymore....and that's how I feel about this surgery. Bottom line, my stomach is more trouble than it's worth!   If I want to make it to old age, it's gotta come out, just like that cyst in my brain and just like my nagging old gall bladder! So, if I make a sour face when you ask me if I'm excited, please don't be offended.  If I smile and shrug and say, "Yep...I'm excited"...know that in that moment, I am.  It's an emotional ride...and will be for quite some time! Hang on and enjoy the ride, right...because I'm nervous and scared and overwhelmed and sad and shocked and surprised and amazed...and yes, a little excited.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Missed a Meal???

Ok, so I didn't miss a meal...that's really only happened once or twice in my 40 years...but, I really didn't even want to "eat" tonight.  I know that's not a good thing and certainly not a notion I need to entertain, especially after surgery, but it is interesting.  And then...when I made my shake, it just didn't work out. I failed miserably at it! It's like horribly watered down chocolate milk.  Big sigh. I'll drink it...because I'm supposed to.  Pre-op bloodwork at the hospital in the morning...good times! No "eating" after 9:00. It's real's happening! (can you see both the fear and excitement on my face???)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Getting better...

So, today, life and work took control of when I got to "eat" today.  There was a slight chance that I was going to fall out around 3:45, but luckily I had a thing of cottage cheese in the car! Saved my life! Whew! It wasn't the end of the world though...which was very nice to know!  I also know is that this is working. I'm down to a set of numbers I haven't seen in a while....which makes it really exciting at the notion of what's to come! I wish that I had this blog thing going on 5 years ago when I had my brain surgery. I said I was going to write in a journal, but never did. Granted, my brain was pretty tired, so it might have been harder.  I think this is going to be nice for me to look back on and reflect on where I was when I started and every step in between.

Monday, November 7, 2011


My tummy is growling.'s not pretty!  But it's bedtime and I know I don't NEED food. I got my protein in for the day, and actually went over a bit. I do love those Smoothie King drinks. I like them so much I feel like I should ask the Dr. if it's ok for me to drink them! :o/   The good news is I'm getting through this! We (and by we, I mean me) have 6 more days of this diet, then 2 days of clear liquids only diet.  My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, November 16th at 2:30...yes, 2:30.  That's awfully late! My poor parents will  have to tolerate my crankiness.  Or, maybe I'll go to work in the morning , then just leave there for surgery.  Why does that seem odd?  Might as well save a half day, right??  While I am struggling with all this craziness, I can still see 2 months down the road and how excited I am going to be about the weight I've lost! How exciting will it be to go shopping at Target...and Old Navy! I can't wait...and I'm gonna be so stinkin' cute!  Hahaha!  I need moments like this so that when my tummy is growling, I know that it's all for a reason and all because there is a bigger plan!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Today...The 3-Day Walk

So, distract me and give me something positive to do, I headed to Dallas to a cheer station for my friends walking the Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. Folks...if you haven't done this, do it! This is such an amazing a spectator! I can't imagine what it must be like for the participants! The stories we heard just standing there...absolutely gut wrenching and inspiring and absolutely exceptional.  I watched these women walk and I thought to myself....I'm bitching about only getting 1 "meal" a day? Seriously?  How selfish of me. I am about to embark on a journey that, while necessary, is elective.  I realize that long term it might be a different situation, and the choice will not be mine to make, but today...November 16th... it's elective.  So, tonight I'm grateful for the choice.  I'm grateful for the friends and family who support me.  I'm grateful for the hundreds and hundreds of women and men who walked this weekend so that many of us won't have to make a choice some day.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 2 - Not a very creative title!

So, today was better. Much better. I was a lot busier today too...I think that's the key.  I'm still very excited and the support I'm getting is amazing.  Thank you to everyone! Thanks to Glenny at work who made me some soup to have! It'll be nice to have something other than Chicken Noodle. Now, I did buy some Disney Princess Chicken Noodle Soup! I'm certain that there will be a day that I NEED to feel like a princess in the next 12 days!  I still can't believe this is happening.  The last time I was 12 days away from surgery, I was preparing for brain surgery!  This was a surgery that was not a choice.  I feel like what I'm doing now is a choice. It's a necessary choice, but still a choice.  That seems to make it a little bit more difficult to swallow, so to speak.  I know this is what I need to question about it.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

First Day of the Rest of My Life

So, today I've had a grand total of 630 calories, all in the form of protein shakes, soup, cottage cheese and yogurt! The fact that noone got hurt at work today is pretty exceptional! This is a good thing. This is a good thing. This is a good thing.  The behaviorist in me is trying to pair this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day with something positive...but I'm not having much luck! This will get better. This will get better. This will get better. Right?

I really do think of this as the first day of the rest of my life.  13 days and counting...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Last Supper we go.  November 2, 2011.  I'm headed to Texas de Brazil to eat the hell out of some meat! Tomorrow begins my 2 week liquid diet and my surgery is November 16th.  This is something I've thought about for over 10 years now.  The whole "God made me this way" schtick isn't working anymore. It's time to get healthy. I have little people I need to stick around for! I need to feel better. I want to feel better. So, I'm doing it...and hopefully I can/will keep up with it and you guys through this blog. I considered just journaling and that's what this may turn into...we'll see. 

I'm nervous...excited..scared...petrified...anxious...and any other word you can find that means the same as scared shitless! Scared because it's another surgery.  Scared because it's such a huge lifestyle change. Scared because I don't want to change WHO I am.  Scared because it's going to smell good at lunch when people bring in Chinese food.  Scared that I'll make myself sick somehow if I don't follow the directions. Just scared. I don't think I was this scared when I had my brain surgery! Big sigh. I have to throw my faith up to the Big Man and pray that he will watch over me and calm all my fears. So, if you're the praying type...throw one up for me...I'm going to need it!!