Welcome & Thank You for Visiting

Welcome & Thank You for Visiting

On August 16th, 2011, three days before her 44th birthday, Connie was diagnosed with "Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma, Grade 3". In other words, breast cancer.

Battling cancer, no matter what form, is a difficult and frightening time for both those with the disease and their loved ones. Having strong moral support is important for everyone involved.

As the reality sinks in and we adjust to the new landscape, we realize we can't do this alone. We're reaching out to ask you for your moral support as Connie prepares to do battle with breast cancer.

Through this blog, we'll post updates on Connie's progress and offer a place for you to send words of encouragement and messages of support.

The burden of added medical expenses on top of day-to-day living expenses is mountainous. As a family, we're doing everything we can, but still it isn't enough. We're calling all angels who might consider donating to a fund for Connie and her family to relieve some of the stress so that Connie can concentrate on her recovery and get back to doing what she does best as loving mother, partner, sister, caregiver and friend.

Friday, September 23, 2011

MRI Results

Hi Everybody,

Connie got the MRI results yesterday. The MRI showed another tumor in the same breast and more DCIS (small suspicious spots found in the periphery). Connie and her physician agreed that a mastectomy should be the next step. She could have opted for another lumpectomy but that wouldn't guarantee that the DCIS wouldn't become tumors at some future point. If I'm away when the date for her second surgery is determined, I'll make sure someone else posts an update. Chemotherapy will follow surgery after a few weeks of recovery.

Thank you to all of you who have shown your support through words of encouragement and monetary donations. Connie and her family's financial situation will depend on newly found sources of income that we investigate and seek out daily. A fund raiser will be a priority come mid October. If you can offer experience in fund raising we can use your help. We can't do this alone and will need a team of angels to help organize an event of some magnitude. If you're able to make a donation, in any amount whatsoever, or perhaps donate from proceeds of your own fundraiser on Connie's behalf, we would be forever grateful. If you'd like additional information that could help with any fundraising effort, send me an email at ktlandes@yahoo.com and I'll provide you with any information I can. I'm out of town Sept 27-Oct 8 but will respond as soon as I possibly can. Thank you, thank you...

With love and deep appreciation for your kindess and support,

Monday, September 19, 2011

MRI Update

Hi Friends,

Just to update you, Connie went in for her MRI today. It will be a few days before the results are sent to her doctor and then read to Connie. At that point a second surgery will be scheduled. The extent of that surgery will be determined by the MRI results. We do know that chemo will follow the surgery. Hopefully we'll know more by the end of the week. I'll post another update at that time.

My primary care physician, Dr. Janelle Hupp, had almost the exact same type of breast cancer, even down to the size of the tumor and treatment protocol. I asked her to call Connie and share her experience and gratefully she did. She and Connie spent a fair amount of time talking one evening this past week. Three years cancer free now, Dr. Hupp, reassured Connie that she's on the right path. The advice given that meant the most was to simply relax. It's not only what Connie needed to hear, but what I needed to hear as well. It's been such a stressful time; the fear of the unknown always lingering in our thoughts most every minute of every day.   

The timing is bad, with Connie’s upcoming surgery, and we’ve certainly debated whether to cancel or not, but in the end John and I have decided to move forth with a trip we’ve had planned for over a year now with John’s folks in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary which was this past Sept 9th. We’ll be gone from Sept 27-Oct 9 and will most likely miss her surgery. I’m asking you to send your best to Connie during this time. If you’d like to post to the blog, send your email address to me at ktlandes@yahoo.com before Monday, Sept 26 and I'll add you to the list of bloggers and send you a link to follow. If you’d rather send a message via email. Her address is cmhicks100@yahoo.com. Send to her your positive thoughts, prayers, good karma, funny jokes, carrot cake... whatever you've got. Please help lift her spirits with the knowledge that you're thinking of her; that she's not alone, that this too shall pass.

All my best to you.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Wine Glass Donations

We have started our first fund raising effort here at my winery....

I started offering random wine glasses to any of our customers that donated 2 dollars or more to help Connie. So far it has been a great success, with many donors returning the glass for the next donor. We are contacting friends around the area here to chip in by donating any old, new or used
wine glasses that we can offer.
If anyone in the Geneva Lakes area would like to donate some glasses, they can drop them off at Ma and Pa Kalb's house 406 Maxwell St. Lake Geneva WI

We have a fall festival on Sept. 24th on which we will be doing a silent auction with all proceeds raised going to help Connie and her family ..... so far many of my friends who have never met Connie but understand how much she has touched my life are chipping in to help in this effort.

Also October is Breast Cancer Awareness month...and my wife Laura is working hard to arrange a month long membership drive for the "Snobby Little Wine Club" a group of cancer survivors who are dedicated to erasing this menace from our lives. Our hope is for every membership we sign up a portion of the fee will go to help Connie. Details will be forth coming.....

I urge everyone who has been blessed by having Connie grace their lives will take a moment to find a way to help.

On a lighter note....I do have some funny Connie stories and maybe a picture or too I might be willing to share if we reach our goals.........(shhh Connie I'm just bluffing....or am I ? :) )

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Permissions to Post

Hi Friends, I've been getting notes from folks saying they want to be able to post to Connie's blog as opposed to only commenting below one of the existing posts. If you're one of those people, send me an email at ktlandes@yahoo.com and I'll add your email address to the permissions list. You'll receive an email from me or John then with a link. Click on that link and follow the instructions. You'll then see at the top right of the blog a "New Post" menu option, available only to those who have requested permission. Click that option and post away. If you know Connie and know her sense of humor I know you'll come up with ways to make her laugh or at least smile.

If you don't care to Post, become a "Follower", shown at bottom of blog page and show Connie that there are many people thinking of her. The road is long. We're still waiting for an MRI before the next surgery can be performed. Waiting is so very hard.

Thank you for all the messages, prayers and well wishes received thus far. It means the world to us.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Test results

Hi Everyone,

Test results came back from the surgery. The nodes removed from under Connie's arm were found to be negative, which is good news. That tells us the cancer is contained within the breast. The cancerous tumor was removed during surgery. There are still some questionable spots that should be removed and tested. An MRI has been scheduled and should provide additional information and also determine whether the other breast is affected at all. Nothing was found during the first ultrasound. A second surgery, after the MRI, will be scheduled to remove the questionable areas on the one breast's perifery, followed up by radiation therapy. In the meantime, a second opinion will be sought to confirm what we think we know so far. At this point, Dr. Adam Dachman, the surgeon from Upland Hills, feels that Connie is on the right track and could very well be a candidate for breast conservation, meaning a mastectomy may not have to be performed. So we're back to waiting...

Connie is still experiencing a fair amount of pain from the first surgery. The tumor removed was approximately 6 cm by 4 cm deep. She's experiencing some numbness in her arm, which is said to be termporary.

Connie would love to hear from you. Post a blog! If you're having trouble, let us know. I think you have to sign up or become a follower in order to post a blog. This is my first time with blogs, so if anyone out there can shed light on this, let us know through a post.

Thanks for your prayers and well wishes.