Hello, dear friends! Last Tuesday I went into surgery as planned, and boy what an experience it has been. My fears were not unfounded, and the procedure ended up being much more involved than we had hoped. My surgeons at The Cleveland Clinic, who are  a couple of the main guys in the world for this type of surgery, said I “win the prize for being the most difficult tumor to remove.” That was shocking to hear, since the size of the tumor was pretty average and appeared in the MRI to be manageable. I guess it’s really not the size that counts, but how much of its surrounds it has invaded. They had to do repair work to my arteries, and I ended up being under anesthesia much longer than we all expected- about six hours total. As I type this now, I’m staring at the keyboard, because my eyes can’t quite bear to look at the screen, and it’s already been six days since going under.

I am so thankful for life right now, but it’s a bit difficult to feel cheery when in actuality I feel miserable. I am so thankful for such skilled surgeons and for the insurance that has made all of this financially bearable. I am thankful that my nerves are still in tact and I will still be able to talk and swallow, but right now both of those are very difficult for me, and in combination with not being able to strain (I have sutures both on my arteries and on the outside of my neck) and not being able to talk, my interactions with Lucy are pretty limited right now. Talk about frustrating. My breast milk supply took a huge dive, and I’m dealing with the emotions of feeling like I am failing at providing for Lucy and losing my intimacy with her and also the emotions of waiting for pathology reports and wondering what life will be like if the tumor has metastasized to other areas of my body.

Right now I’m just focusing on getting healthy and enjoying lots of episodes of Foyle’s War on Netflix. I have to wait on my tumor’s pathology report and am going to have more body scans to rule out or confirm other tumors or cancer. The doctors said they are a bit more concerned about that than they were before surgery, because of my tumor’s invasiveness. But I’m trying not to think about that and keeping my head up above the cloud of gloom that sinks down on me every now and then. I had hoped to be two weeks ahead with blog posts before my surgery, but when my computer died, I lost one of those weeks and was only able to get one week ahead. I know you guys aren’t hanging around with baited breath waiting for me to update, but keeping this place lively is important to me, so hopefully I can get back to my regularly scheduled blogging. But for now, I’m just taking it easy. Thanks for all of your love and support!

88 Responses

  1. Don’t worry about us readers, we will all still be here when you are well enough to blog again. Focus on getting better and don’t ever feel like you’re not providing for Lucy, you’ve done the best thing by having the procedure done in the first place. Hope you feel better soon. xx

    • Jenn says:

      I second everything that Sophie said!

      Don’t worry about the blog, just worry about getting healthy and getting out of the hospital. Take it slow.

  2. Rosanna says:

    All my love Mandi, hope you are back home and back to being you soon x x x

  3. Naomi says:

    Your health is the most important thing, please take care of yourself. Your readers are here to support you and cheer you on!

  4. jennifer says:

    You are a strong and brave woman, heres to a speedy recovery!

  5. I am glad you came out ok. Focus on getting better for yourself, Lucy and your Phil. Don’t worry about blogging, we all absolutely understand! Sending out my positive vibes and be well, Mandi.

    The Young Bridget Jones

  6. Laura says:

    I can’t imagine what you’re going through right now, but try to take it one step at a time. Let your body rest & recover. Sending good thoughts & positive energy to you.

  7. Chloe Moon says:

    I’m so happy & glad the surgery was a success. Rest up and I’m sure we will all be here when you get back! Best wishes on your recovery! *Hugs*

  8. Lucinda says:

    I don’t know whether you guys say this in the states but ‘keep your chin up’ :) xx

  9. Sunnie says:

    Thoughts and well wishes coming at you. Sounds like you are in capable hands!

  10. rachel says:

    you’re in my prayers.

  11. emily says:

    Keep thinking those positive, grateful thoughts. Those are the ones that are going to keep you out of the muck and healthy. You will pull out of this and your little girl is just fine so don’t be worrying about being inadequate. Your touch and love is the most important thing. I’ll be sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. Much love!

  12. Kaitlyn says:

    Sending lots of positivity and love your way, your blog is so special and your little family is a real inspiration. Keep resting and don’t feel badly, you’ll do great and everyone understands if you need a little time off. Take care!

  13. kris says:

    So glad to hear from you and see your pretty face! I’m sure everyone agrees – we are so grateful you’re ok! Take your time healing and remember: this most important thing is that you are still here and doing well. Take care and give Lucy lots of kisses. :)

  14. heather says:

    You are an amazing mama! You are in my prayers and I’m wishing you a fast and successful recovery. Dont you worry about us readers, you take all the time you need for yourself to heal and be with your little family!~

  15. Kaarin says:

    love you girl, praying for you and phil and lucy. lots of peace, lots of healing in many ways, lots of awareness of His presence, lots of grace to let this be hard and lean and fall into it and keep moving forward. you are so loved.

  16. Dena says:

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers for a healthy and speedy recovery!

  17. Kristian says:

    Oh, glad the surgery worked, and you and your family are in our thoughts!

  18. Laura says:

    all the best to you, i hope you’ll be recovering and feeling better soon! x

  19. Susan says:

    I just started reading your blog- but just wanted to send wishes for continued recovery.

  20. Feel better soon lovely! I know it´s ´easy´ to say that you´ll be fine and that you shouldn´t worry but I still do :) You will definitely not lose bonding with precious Lucy. Just focus on recovery. Happy mama = happy baby!

    xo Martie

  21. My thoughts are with you! I hope you get a clean bill of health and everything turns out ok. Feel better soon!

  22. Dora Panariti says:

    I wish you all the best Mandi for a speedy recovery! My thoughts are with you, Lucy and Phil!
    Lots of love and a big hug from Athens, Greece,


  23. Jessica says:

    I will say a little prayer for you Mandi. :) Nothing is too great for God to cure or heal!

  24. Sara says:

    You just take all the time you need…we will all be here!
    Much love,

  25. Lieke says:

    Take care! x

  26. liz says:

    thinking and praying for you! when you get home i’m delivering lunch and a dose of nice hot french press…if you can have coffee ;)

  27. Meg says:

    I hope you feel better soon! I wish you the very best!

  28. bibi says:

    A big big hug from the Netherlands!!!

  29. Meredith says:

    Praying for your continued healing.

  30. Hannah says:

    I’ve been a silent reader of yours for 2-3 years now. I had to comment and tell you that I’m praying for you and that you make a full, complete recovery!!

  31. candace says:

    Wishing you a full recovery!

  32. Cami says:

    Oh dear… I am so sorry to hear this is happening to you. I am sure everything is going to be alright, try to rest and watch some cheery movies. Time will fly and when you least expect it you will be up and with you beautiful baby again.

    I hope you get better


  33. Katy says:

    Sending thoughts, prayers, and good vibes your way. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery, pretty lady!

  34. Tess says:

    I don’t know you, but I’m sending lots of good vibes and good health to you and your family! I admire your strength and will be waiting to read more when you’re ready.

  35. Jacqui says:

    Mandi, I have been thinking of you and praying for you since the 16th, my boy was born the same week as Lucy and I am feeling every step of your walk. I pray our God upholds you at this time and your family

  36. Casey says:

    I just want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers right now!

  37. paula strong says:

    God is in control call out to Him in need Paula praying for you still

  38. Megan says:

    Oh gosh, get well my dear! When you said speaking is a bit of strain for you right now, it automatically made me think of sign language. I went to school for interpreting sign language, and I would be happy to show you some signs to use with Lucy if the problems persist. Or just if you’re interested! It is rumored that children can learn to sign before they learn to speak. I’m teaching a baby sign class here in Akron at the end of April if you’d prefer, too. Anyway, I have faith that you will heal, chin up!!

    <3 Meg

  39. Jordan says:

    Feel better soon! I spent the summer in an out of the hospital 4.5 hours from home for post viral encephalomyelitis, not a tumor, but scary since they couldn’t figure out for months why I have lesions on my brain, optic nerves, and wrapped around my spinal cord and I kept getting worse and worse. I know the hospital sucks, and recovering at home can suck just as much but in a completely different way. I wish you the most compassionate nurses and the most patient family. I wish you no ill side effects to your medications. I wish you lots of time to rest and regain your strength slowly. Push yourself but know your limits. You’ve got this.

  40. Yamila says:

    Thinking of you, get better and stay strong for your gorgeous little girl. I am sure you will feel better as days past and you get mo rest. Don’t worry about your milk supply, your girl milk supplies can be easily made stronger. I had a thyroid op when my daughter was 3 months and kept bf afterwards and my supply probably nosedived during those scary bleak days but I persisted and got on track! Nature is wise! Mucha suerte and big hug from Patagonia!

  41. Lindsey says:

    I’m a newcomer to your blog and have loved reading your posts and seeing your pictures over the last few weeks. My heart goes out to you because my middle daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was 12 months old. She achieved remission but then relapsed a year and a half later when my youngest daughter was 5 weeks old. Even though I wasn’t the patient, I had trouble feeling like I was meeting the needs of both of both my girls and forging a strong bond with my baby. I had breast milk supply issues from then on. Now my middle daughter is 4 and has achieved remission again after a bone marrow transplant and my youngest is 19 months. I have the strongest of bonds with them, despite the hardships. I just wanted to let you know that you and your daughter (and your husband) will get through this and somehow be stronger and closer for it. I’ll be praying for a speedy recovery for you and a good outcome from your tests. Thank you for the beauty your blog brings and the peeks into your life that you share.

  42. Don’t worry–you just keep at being you–loving your little one and breastfeeding as much as you can and as you feel able to. You do the absolute best for you and the best for her will follow. xo Sending positive energy to you.

  43. Kris says:

    Fingers crossed for you.

  44. didi says:

    oh, sweet girl and mama and wife and blogger…nothing i can say will help. As a mama i understand that you feel sad and not knowing what future wil bring, worried. Doctors say a lot of things but never realy know. I say this because for five yearsi had no period and every time i had ecos done they looked different. Like magic. And then suddenly i stumbled on an ex boyfriend and i had loved him forever and afte three months we got pregnant. All things said i was not fertile. I thank science and doctors but i believe in our bodies. Please don’t ever think that you bodies against you or that you have to fight this. This was your bodies warning sign. Ask for how long you had the tumor and then try to remember anything that happened at the time. My dad has prostate cncer and he was told he had had it for 10 years. Ten years ago my mama left him. If you feel like it theres info on the net, i’ll b here if you have any questions…in fact, all your reades are here for you. Youre beauiful, sweet and amazing. With love.

  45. Robin says:

    please don’t be down I know that’s easier said then done since you’re the one going through this, try to stay as positive as possible and take one day at a time and just focus on getting healthy, because thats the most important thing. no matter what you can only do what you can do in this moment, I’m not religious but I’ll say a little prayer for you every day..sending out positive thoughts to universe.

  46. Rachel says:

    No one who reads your blog will be impatient and waiting. I’m sure we all just wish the best for you, and you should take all the time you need. My prayers are wish you at this time.

  47. Kit says:

    Take care of you first- we’ll be here when you feel better! I hope (for your sake) the recovery process goes smoothly and swiftly.

  48. Lara says:

    Hope you’ll feel like your old self soon.
    Best wishes and speedy recovery!

  49. irina says:

    I am one of the many readers for a long time now . I never left comments but now, in this special and hard moment, I want to transmit to you all my love, and I’ll have you in my thought and prayers as much as I can.

  50. Robin says:

    Just love and be loved by your little Lucy and hubby it is the best medicine.

  51. Krissy says:

    Wishing you a quick recovery!! Feel better!!

  52. I’m glad that the worst is over! Wishing you a quick recovery!

  53. Kimberly says:

    Ive been reading your lovely, inspirational blog for about a year now but this is the first time I have commented. I’m sending good thoughts your way!

  54. kate gabrielle says:

    I am so glad the surgery went well! I hope you have a quick recovery and don’t have to go through anything like this ever again! <3

  55. Carolina says:

    We will be here when you are ready to return. Take your time for healing inside and out. My prayers are with you so that you receive very good news soon.

  56. Kathy Opaskar says:

    As a recovery room nurse at the Cleve clinic(now retired), I know you were and are in good hands. Have recently discovered and enjoy your blog. Heal quickly. Many blessings your way.

  57. camille says:

    hoping for a good and quick recovery for yoU!

  58. katie says:

    you are so brave!!! thanks for sharing with us. i admire you so much… don’t worry about posting, rest and get well soon!

  59. Julia says:

    We’ll all be here when you’re ready to come back – don’t you worry or rush a thing!

    I wish you all the best and look forward to reading a post where you shower us with good news about your health – I can feel it, you and your little family are going to be just fine.

    Sleep, love, recharge – this is your time to work on you.


  60. Kersten says:

    I know it’s hard with loss of milk I have to battle it all the time the women in my family have issues BF and so far I’ve gone the longest (4 months). it’s a battle every day I have to nurse her constantly because pumping doesn’t work well for me. it’s a blessing you got to breast feed her and even for this long at least you know she is healthy and has her immune system built up from it.

  61. sophie says:

    You are one strong woman!!! wishing u the very best!

  62. Lisa L. says:

    You and the baby are in my thoughts. You are seriously so strong, and I’m wishing a full and quick recovery for you.

    Mostly Lisa

  63. Sarah says:

    Mandi, thanks for sharing such a personal post. I hope everything resolves with the best results possible. As for the breastfeeding issues, when I had major trouble with milk supply for my first child, I took it really hard. But we bonded very well and it’s your presence that matters most, so don’t worry about that. Supplement with formula for now and know that she is growing and fine. I’m reading in California, and I enjoy your blog. Know that you have people near and far rooting for you!

  64. Sarah says:

    Mandi, I am reading in California and I really like your blog. You have people rooting for you, from near and far. When I didn’t have enough milk supply for my first baby, I took it really hard. But I learned that bonding with my baby wasn’t dependent on breastfeeding. Your baby knows she’s loved, and if you have to supplement with formula for now, she’ll be fine. It’s your presence that matters, so don’t add to your worries! Good luck…

  65. Gillian says:

    Give it time. That baby is not going to be unconnected with you anytime soon no matter how you feed her. That feeling is normal what ever age the feeding regime changes.

    Wishing you all the best for a speedy return to your chirpy ol’ self.


    Gillian, @look_mama

  66. Nataliya says:

    I cant tell you how glad I am to read this post from you, to know that you are doing okay. I have been following your blog for a while and ever since you shared about your surgery I kept thinking of you and our baby girl and hoping that you will make a complete recovery. My heart goes out to you and all the emotions you must be having currently. Please stay strong and look ahead. I’m sure there are better things ahead, and this way you’re feeling right now will be gone very soon! Have faith and know that we are all praying for you!

  67. Ellen says:

    I am so sorry to hear that my favorite little buckeye has hit a rough patch in the road! I wish you strength and courage to get you through. All the best to you!

  68. Valerie says:

    Hello Mandi, I hope your recovery is swift and uneventful. Sending much love and healing thoughts your way.

  69. Mandi! So glad to see that you are doing better. You are one strong lady! We’re all rooting for you!

  70. Cristiana says:

    You are a strong lady

  71. Annie says:

    Mandi, I am praying that you in your weakness God’s strength will be made perfect through this ordeal. And an ordeal it is. Thank God for the mercies of what has happened. I wish I could know you better in order to be there physically to help you. I am a new reader of your blog. Please know that I am sending spiritual strength your way by praying for your speedy recovery and peace in the midst of these circumstances. The peace that passes human understanding. – A new friend Annie

  72. Monique says:

    Feel better lady, rest up and eat well. Sending lots of love, positive vibes and a big hug your way!

  73. sarah says:

    I’m watching Foyle’s War as well. the box set is redic. cute (small filing cabinet). I love it. Great for recovery. try Land Girls and Call the Midwife for some other excellent British period dramas.

    I hope your recovery goes well.

  74. Lisa W. says:

    OH Mandi…you are a trooper. Your positive attitude is wonderful, and very difficult AND every reason to not! GOOD for you, that’s a great thing! I pray you recover quickly AND all is ok. Little Lucy loves you , and very soon you will be better:) AND we all thank you for taking the time to post, we truly appreciate it very much!!!!!!!

  75. allison says:

    will be praying for you mandi!!! much love and healing your way!!

  76. Julia Wise Lambert says:

    Hi Mandy, Just wanted to say I saw this post and had to write and let you know that I’m praying for you and Phil and Lucy as you go through this. Many, many congratulations on your baby! She is, from the photos on this blog, quite beautiful. She looks a lot like you!

    We actually have a little girl as well, can you believe it? Her name is Sophia (we call her Sophie) and she is 13 months old now. She was actually born on our first anniversary – our Annivers-a-Baby.

    I’m sure you’ve probably already heard of it, but Mother’s Milk tea by Traditional Medicinals can be helpful for reduced milk supply. Just a suggestion.

    All that to say, praying for you, and if you feel like it sometime, please shoot me an email.


  77. Much love mandi… Ill be sending prayers your way xxxxx

  78. Di says:

    Mandi, checking in on you to see how you’re doing. Hope you’re feeling better and had a blessed Easter. God’s love is great! I’m keeping you in my prayers! Take care.

  79. Shannon says:

    I have had you in my thoughts since reading about your upcoming surgery and I am so glad to hear that you are on the road to recovery. <3 <3 <3

  80. Oh, mama. Proud of you for being so brave through this and sharing how hard things are. Thinking of you and Lucy and Phil.

  81. Alice says:

    Don’t even let yourself think about us readers until you are feeling 100%. I’m sending lots of positive thoughts and love to all of you xo

  82. Stephanie D. says:

    I know your surgery was a little while ago, but (without sounding creepy?) I can’t stop thinking about how you might be faring! I think back to when my boy was younger and I couldn’t imagine not being able to speak with him. Lucy will be just fine though! She already knows and loves you and also, from what you post, has a kick ass dad to be there for her as well.
    I hope you are doing well and recovering speedily. Your readers will be here when you get back so don’t worry about us : ) All of your feelings are valid so embrace them. When someone has great things and people in their life it is natural to feel down when you can’t be right there in the thick of things.

  83. Sabine says:

    My thoughts are with you, Mandy. Hold on to your little one, she will give you hope and strength.

  84. Sara says:

    I recently stumbled upon this little blog only a few days ago. Perhaps I’ve been brought here to send you encouragement and all of my good juju, just one more stranger wishing you hope and strength and courage. I hope the best for you and your little family. My thoughts are with you!

  85. Bonitiful says:

    Honey, feel better soon…praying for you <3

  86. Bianca says:

    Hope you’re feeling better, I remember when the whole thing came out, I haven’t been on the blog much since, but I’m glad your back to “normal”