My 12th Surgery Next Week

9 Apr

Today is the 9th anniversary of this blog, the day that I informed my family & friends that I had breast cancer with my first post. I am so thankful to be sitting here writing this and I praise God for the time that He has given me. 9 years ago I sat in my breast surgeon’s office while he told me I should have my ovaries removed since I have a higher risk of getting ovarian cancer. I cried. I didn’t cry when he told me I had breast cancer, but the thought of not having children broke my heart. I wanted so badly to have children. Well, God has blessed us with 3 amazing kids through adoption and we (Kevan and I) have decided that now is the time for me to have that hysterectomy. I’m having some symptoms that also mimic ovarian cancer (the doctor does not think I have cancer) and endometriosis is still wreaking havoc on my insides so now is the time to do this. I have tried to put it off. I do not want to do it, but I had a doctor’s appointment about a month ago with the same doctor that tried to talk me and Kevan into a hysterectomy 5 years ago when he did my last laparoscopy. He counseled me again that I need to have it done. Especially for my children’s sake. I have been praying for several weeks since the appointment and was convinced that I was not doing it. I was just going to let happen what would happen. But, I started having odd symptoms again and I think the Lord is telling me that it is time. I don’t want to be one of those woman that ignore what is happening and then find out later that they have stage 4 cancer. I want my children to have a mother that is feeling well.

This will be the 12th time I’ve been put under anesthesia for surgery. I hate anesthesia. I hate the recovery pain. I hate that I won’t be able to take care of my family during this time. But, it is time for me to do it. Surgery is scheduled for Friday, 4/16. If you pray for me, please pray that all biopsies will come back cancer free if that is God’s will for me. If it is God’s will that the doctor is wrong and there is cancer please pray that I show my children Christ through it all. That they will know that God is good even in the hard. God blessed me so much during my breast cancer treatment and I know that He could do it again.

My Favorite Instant Pot Recipes

1 Jan

Some of my friends asked for my favorite instant pot recipes and since I was a fan of pressure cookers before they were cool I have a ton of recipes I love. Here are some of my favorites:

Rice dishes and tomato-based dishes never work out for me. I stay away now or make rice separate.

Potato salad:

Add 1 cup water and trivet… add peeled diced potatoes. On top of potatoes put your washed eggs, high pressure for 8 minutes…I do quick release…shell the eggs, then make up your fav recipe.

Corn on the cob (soooo good!!):


I make this regularly and is way cheaper for my family.  Everyone loves it.  I literally sleep while it is being made.

Turnip Greens:

They turn out wonderfully!  We grew our own this year and they were soooooooo yummy out of the instant pot.

Beef and Broccoli:

I make rice in my rice cooker for a side.

Instant Pot Chicken and Rice:

This is the only rice dish that has ever worked well for me.

Homemade Hamburger Helper:

My favorite soups in the instant pot:

Hamburger Soup:

I just cook the hamburger in the instant pot on Sauté, then drain.  I just throw everything else in there and hit the soup button (30 minutes high pressure).  I use Better Than Bouillon Beef instead of cubes and I also use lima beans sometimes instead of green beans.  I’ve also put turnips, cabbage and/or corn in it….whatever I have on hand).

White Chicken Chili:

I usually use leftover chicken or canned chicken.  Throw everything in the instant pot minus the cream cheese and half & half….hit the soup button (30 minutes high pressure).  Then, follow the rest of the recipe instructions.  I’ve used the slow cooker method on the instant pot for this one too…just depends on how soon you need it.  Both work fine.

Yummy ham and bean soup:

16 oz. 20-bean soup mix from Marlette store

4 C water

1 or 2 Ham Hocks (I used diced ham or leftover ham)

1 can tomatoes diced including liquid

4 Chicken Bouillon (I use Better than Bouillon)

1 med. to large onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 fresh sage leaf (I never add this)

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp Thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary or 1/2 tsp rosemary

salt & pepper to taste (I do this when the soup is done since the ham can add a lot of salt)

16 oz. Chicken Broth


Wash beans add to pressure cooker.  Cover with water.  Cook on High Pressure for 3 minutes.  Bring pressure down gradually (do not quick release).  (I rinse my beans to get rid of some of the gas).  Place all ingredients into the pressure cooker and lock the lid on the cooker.  Set the time for 45 min on high pressure. Do a quick pressure release. Remove the lid.  If you used a ham hock, remove bone from ham hock, shred meat and put back into soup.


Zuppa Toscana:

Cabbage soup:

I make this on the stove sometimes too. It is a very cheap meal and I double it for my family as they EAT IT UP.  Just cook the sausage first (I use the natural jimmy dean sausage that has no msg)…throw it all in the pot and hit the soup button (30 minutes high pressure).

Sloppy Joes:

Pork Chops:

Green beans:

I don’t use pearl onions though. I just cut onion slices since Kevan doesn’t like onions and he can pick them out.

OHS: Update Day 1 Post op 7pm

20 Apr

Malachi needs your prayers. Please flood heaven. We want good results. Please Lord.

We got some not-so-good news. They won’t be taking him off the ventilator today. 😭 They did an echo and the right side of his heart looks good. The left side looked great after surgery yesterday but after the bleeding issue it diminished and is depressed. They believe his heart may be having an issue or it could be because he had high blood pressure earlier today. It could be that the conduit is stretching his coronary artery or a clot. PLEASE pray it is not the latter. That the CT he is about to have reveals that everything is fine. If it is the latter a temporary injury could turn into a permanent injury. It would not be good.

Also, he is so pitiful. He wakes up and cries. He gags and tries to talk but he can’t with the ventilator in. It is breaking my heart.

OHS: Day 1 Post-op 8am

19 Apr

I wanted to give an update about what happened yesterday. Malachi came out of surgery and was doing great. They moved him to his room and then his blood pressure was dropping and his heart rate was high. They did an X-ray and they could see a lot of blood pooling around the back of the heart. They did an echo and could see the pericardial effusion more clear and thought he had a bleeder. They prepped his room so they could reopen his chest to find the bleeder and burn it. First, the doctor opened a small part of the incision at the bottom in order to suction out the fluid/blood. 100mls came out. It looked like it was no longer accumulating so they inserted another drain to monitor the flow. It slowed down so they didn’t actually have to open him back up. Praise God! It was everyone praying for my sweet boy!

He had a high fever (102.7) last night so he’s been on ice. Still has a fever off and on this morning so he’s still on ice and uncovered. I hate it. His feet and hands are so cold. Beautiful (no longer blue or clubbed since October’s surgery) but cold.

His blood pressure is still fluctuating but they think it was because he needed blood products and then when he finished getting the blood products which then made it go the other direction.

We are hoping they get the tube out this morning. He keeps trying to talk or remove the tube. He’s had tears running down his face. Breaks my heart. They are trying to keep him sedated but when they need to move him he usually wakes and acts like he’s choking on the tube. 😢

He develops bed sores on his bottom (bony tailbone troubles) very quickly so we’ve been telling them to watch him. The are is already getting discolored so they’ve taken some preventative measures.

I was able to sleep about 5-6 hours. Kevan got more I think. I am having terrible leg cramps though and it woke me up several times. Kevan has been helping me remember my thyroid pill each day. I’m guessing I’m getting high and it’s causing hyperthyroid symptoms. I usually only take it 3-4 times per week instead of 7. So, with Kevan reminding me my body is probably wondering what’s going on. Lol

We are waiting on doctors rounds to get an idea of when the tube can come out. I miss my sweet boy. Please pray with us that he won’t have swallowing issues. We don’t want a feeding tube or thickened liquids.

OHS: Update 8:15pm

19 Apr

Malachi is stable now! The surgeon just called. He said we should be able to see him soon. Thank you for praying for him. I was so scared!

OHS: Update 7:15pm Please pray!

19 Apr

His cardiologist just came down to see us and called us into a room. Malachi is bleeding. On the back of his heart. Blood pressure is low. Heart rate is high. He was already moved to his room so the doctor is reopening his chest in the ICU to find the bleeder. Please pray he finds it and that Malachi will stabilize. I want to see him so bad. I love my sweet boy.

OHS: Update 4:14pm

18 Apr

The doctor came out to talk to us. He was glad they opted to change out the conduit. It was thickening a lot and would’ve required intervention sooner than later. The one he used this time should last until adulthood and can be ballooned if needed via a cath. The VSD closure was successful. No arrhythmia issues. He looks so tired. He told us to go get dinner. We will probably get a call around 6pm to come see our precious boy!

OHS: Update 3:52pm

18 Apr

TEE looked good! They are closing him up. We should be able to meet with the doctor in 30 minutes and see Malachi in about 2 hours. Thank you Lord. We are so blessed.

OHS: Update 3pm

18 Apr

He’s off the heart/lung bypass as of 2:40pm! His heart is beating on its own. PTL! 🎉His body temp is back up to normal (they put him into hypothermia or something during the procedure). They’ve ordered a trans-esophageal echo (TEE) and if everything looks good they will be putting in his drains, etc. and closing him up.

OHS: Update 2pm

18 Apr

They’ve finished closing the VSD (re-closing). The doctor is replacing the pulmonary artery conduit now. They’ve had to give him some red blood cells and the post-op blood products have arrived and are ready for post op procedures. It is nearing the time he had a bleeding episode the first time. Please say a prayer with us that Malachi’s body will not have any bleeding issues. He’s still on the bypass machine.