5 Weeks Post Op

Progress is slow, but good! Today marks five weeks since Dana’s last surgery, and she is on her road to recovery. She’s not technically driving on that road, since driving still hurts her arm, perhaps Morgan Freeman is chauffeuring her Miss Daisy-style along the recovery road (this road metaphor has gone totally off the rails, ugh, now I’ve mixed them).

Dana says she’s up doing simple tasks around the house (who is making this fine woman do chores?). The right side of her back and arm are still pretty uncomfortable, but she’s slowly getting more use out of the arm each day. (Perhaps this is her chore-delegating arm and she can use her increased range of motion to point out things she needs done?)

Recovery from this surgery has been the most difficult one so far, but she says she is working every day to get her life back in order. (Is anyone’s life really in order? Mine isn’t. Don’t stress too much about that part.)

She continues to be thankful for her family and friends (YOU!), and is very much looking forward to getting back to school!


Dana up and about


I’m 82% sure this is what Dana means by “back to school”


Dana’s Home

Just a quick update – Dana came home from the hospital on Saturday and has set up court on the couch with her favorite jester, Tigger.  She continues to do well. Wishing her happy and healthy healing for these holidays! dana home from hospital

Surgery went very well

Dana’s surgery went very well yesterday (the doctor said “perfectly!”). She went in at about 7:30 am and came out of the operating room at about 1:15 pm. Now that she’s awake and talking, she says she is doing OK with the help of a morphine drip and anti-nausea patch, which both seem to be working to keep the nausea at bay and the pain manageable. She is appreciative of the quiet hospital room and trying to keep still.
Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers–they were and are very much appreciated!
Onward to recovery!
dand surgery

This photo is from pre-op yesterday, no one should have to smile for a picture *after* surgery! 

Last Surgery Tomorrow

Dana’s last surgery  starts tomorrow at 7:30 am and lasts about five hours – that should give everyone plenty of time to get your prayers in 🙂 Dana is grateful for all of them and could really use some tomorrow. This is the toughest surgery out of the three with the most difficult recovery, but will be the last one! She will stay in the hospital for a short time after, 1 or 2 days, and then return home. We all know how strong she is inside and out, which she credits to you all, and to Zumba!

She continues to feel blessed for all her friends, family, and Prado View families and staff who have prayed for her and encouraged her through this rough year. She was sad to say goodbye to her sweet students yesterday and she misses them already!

Good luck tomorrow Dana – you are and will continue to be both a rock and a rock star! We love you.


Run/Walk for the Cure – September 27th!

Calling All Dana Fans!

Dana, her friends and her family will be walking together in the Susan G. Komen Orange County Run/Walk for a Cure Event at Fashion Island on Sunday, September 27th at 7:15 am. If you would like to walk with her (and who wouldn’t?) this is a friendly reminder to register soon and to join the “Ralph’s Sparks Hope” team so you can all walk together. Jimmy (& happy birthday to Jimmy today!!) works at Ralph’s grocery store #135 in Anaheim Hills and they generously set up and are sponsoring the team. Besides “walk” or “run,” there are also other options like “Sleep-in for the Cure” for those who wish to donate but prefer to do it from the comfort of your own bed (or from the comfort of Colorado).

To register:

  1. Go to the Susan G Komen Orange County race website here and click “Register” on the left-hand navigation.
  2. Agree (or disagree, I suppose) with their terms and conditions.
  3. Select “Join a Team.”
  4. Be sure to select the “Ralphs Sparks Hope” team in the drop down menu, and then press “continue.”
  5. Fill out the rest of the form with your information. Registration is $35 for adults, $25 for breast cancer survivors, $25 for kids 5-7, and $5 for kids under 5.
  6. Other options include “Sleep-in for the Cure,” making a larger donation, discounts for seniors, etc.
Walk in support of Dana and all the other women in your life!

Walk in support of Dana and all the other women in your life!

Last Radiation Treatment Tomorrow

Three cheers (or more!) for Dana!! Her last day of radiation treatment is Friday, after going almost every day for five weeks. She’s felt well enough during the treatments to teach in the new school year – and being back with her kinders has been a nice treatment in itself. While there are still a few other steps necessary to go on this journey, it must feel great to have these major milestones in her rear-view mirror. On a less serious note: a bit of progress has been made on the hair-front (line?). Her hair is finally starting to grey, er, grow back slowly. Dana continues to thank everyone for their wonderful support and prayers.

Taylor Swifties: Dana and Sarah!

Taylor Swifties: Dana and Sarah!

Last Scheduled Round of Chemo

Today is Dana’s last scheduled round of chemo (her 4th) – Yay almost there! Each round is a bit more challenging than the last, and we wish her the very best today with her treatment and ancillary medications. She is certainly ready for a break from being poked! Please send your prayers, hugs and love her way today.

Dana and her cousin Natalie at Natalie's recent bridal shower - both so beautiful!

Dana and her cousin Natalie at Natalie’s recent bridal shower – both so beautiful!

3rd Round of Chemo and Class Visit

Dana has her third (of four) chemo treatments tomorrow at 10:00 am, so please continue to send supportive thoughts and prayers her way on Thursday! On Monday, she had the opportunity to visit both her kindergarten class and her teaching partner’s class – she wanted to let you all know that seeing all of her sweet kinder kids really lifted her spirits!!  In addition, she got to visit with some dear friends, colleagues, her principal and the wonderful ladies in the office.  Her trip to school was the highlight of her week and helped her re-energize in preparation for the challenges this next week may bring.  A special thank you to her church group for all of their prayers – keep ’em coming! She continues to be thankful to everyone for all of their sweet messages and cards – especially from her kids on Mother’s Day!

2nd Round of Chemo

Dana is debuting two new looks as a result of shaving her head last week: a stylin’ beanie cap and a sweet new wig. Both looks are great and of course the combo with her beautiful face doesn’t hurt! Dana joked that the beanie looked like Aunt Jemima, but I swear I’ve seen pictures of Elizabeth Taylor working a similar head-wrap on a red carpet. Monday (4/20) was her birthday and also her first day officially off of work. In Colorado we celebrate 4/20 a bit differently, perhaps Dana could use a special “card” for her birthday 😉

Her second round of chemo starts tomorrow (Thursday) and this should put her half way thru her four scheduled chemo treatments. She wanted to thank everyone for the birthday and well wishes!

Dana new hair

Fabulous haircut that won’t grow out

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

Starting Chemo

Dana is starting her chemo this week. Her doctors have cleared her to start on Thursday, and then continue once every three weeks until June (four cycles total). Since this is her first round, she doesn’t quite know how she will react to the treatment and how it might affect her daily activities. In the best scenario, she hopes to keep working until later in April, but that will, of course, depend on her symptoms related to the chemo treatment. Since she has to be very careful with what she eats, it will be difficult for her to accept food prepared by others. But she continues to be appreciative of everyone’s well-wishes and prayers, so please keep sending those! Joel will be joining Dana for the treatment, but for extra support she is thinking of sneaking in something a bit more – how shall we say it – fuzzy. Perhaps if Dana wears furry tiger-print pants they won’t notice. Tigger couch