Monday, June 15, 2009

Tonight is the night before the big day!!!!! and I'm ready. Need to be in bed, but I am ready. Can't eat or drink anything past midnight, will wake up hungrier than ever. Amanda is spending the night, and she's trying to take good care of me, except I won't go to bed. Had lots of visitors and helpers around the homestead today. House is clean and organized--thank you Sharon! Mira has Trevor and Brooke is in Florida with her grandparents.

SO, How am I feeling? Anxious. Just anxious.

Surgery: check-in @ 10am at New Hanover . . . 11am procedures . . . 2pm surgery (expected to be four hours or so) . . .

Amanda is driving me in the a.m., my mom and aunt are meeting us at the hospital, then several friends/family are coming to pray at 9:45am . . . only two people are allowed with me, so yes, I'm already breaking the rules! I Will HAVE My ENTOurAGE.

JoLynn is staying overnight. . . then have friends and family taking care of things the rest of the week/weekend. I should be discharged Thursday.

I probably need more help than ever in the next couple of weeks . . . don't know what to expect, but will make it through thanks to all of you.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"Rock for Life Concert"
Benefit for the
One Love Foundation
MARRZ nightclub
Sunday, April 26th, 2009
Donations of 10:00
One Love Foundation is helping Lavanda Howard overcome the financial burdens of fighting Breast Cancer. The benefit bands include Wes Sayer, Laura McLean & the Fine Night Souls, Fried Lot, Without Until, Fred Flynn, Daniel Parish Band, Silver Judas, and Medusa Stone.
Tickets available at the Soapbox Laundro-Lounge, Salon Beyond Basics, Music School of Wilmington, Capt'n Bills,, and For ticket info call: (910) 251-8500
AUCTION @ 7:45 pm including:Autographed Guitar signed by Edwin McCain, pink Fender Strat signed by Greg Howe, and guitar and drum package!RAFFLE @ 9 pmSponsored by: Marrz Nightclub, Soapbox Laundro-Lounge, Salon Beyond Basics, Music School of Wilmington, Edwin McCainb/Harrington Artists Management, Auction Co. of Wilmington, North Chase SPALON, Capt'n Bills Seafood, Bangz Hair Salon, American Cancer Society, Tropical Tans, Just Because Chocolates, DanceWorks Dance Studio, Shelia's Wig & Skin Care Salon, Diane Martin-Esthetician, Lisa Haskins-Hairstylist, Apple Annie's Bakery, FitUnique, Wilmington Sharks, Abercrombie & Fitch, Firebelly Lounge, Finklestien's Music, Cape Fear Jewelry and Pawn, Jenny Culbreth at Solar Hair, Tarheel Paramedical, Inc., Atlantic Dermatology, Medac
$10 donation gets you a PINK hair extension OR Head Shave OR Locks of Love Ponytail Haircut by: North Chase Spalon from 2:00-4:00. Come pay to have your friends head shaved...... Come on Guys, how many of you are gonna do it?
FitUnique is collecting donations for the One Love Foundation in honor LaVanda until her PayPal account is up and running.

T-shirt for LaVonda's benefit

Order your t-shirt today!
Lv's Hope --- T-shirt Design
$15.. brown, blk, pink, white, or grey... cranberry logoor black with white logo

Monday, March 30, 2009

I have posted some pictures.. some I do not like, but can't figure out how to DELETE them. Haven't gotten them all up, either. So bear with me!!! Some are from the benefit at FireBelly's and the others are from chemo 1 & 2 and the wig shop. There are more to come... some of them are not so appealing so don't hold it against me!!!!
I gave Trevor the chance to choose if mommy would wear her wig or just a wrap, and he chose the wrap... until we got in the car, and he says "I like your wig". Hehe... it was too late to change his mind. So, we've gotten used to it, I guess.
Enough about hair, and lack of it!! On March 25th I met the Kemo-Shark for the second time..and to be honest, knowing what to expect didn't make it any easier!!!!! Same side effects this time, and just more of a sick feeling all over. Nausea set in.. migraines.. all over body aches (hard to describe the pain and how your bones ache) .. horrible metallic taste in my mouth..sensitive to touch and smell...and emotionally not being able to be the "Indepenent" person that I am used to being is very hard!!!!!
Thank you to ALL my friends and family who have been there for me!!!!! I cannot do this without YOU ALL.. and I cannot express my gratitude enough for all that you've done!!
Okay... so I have some catching up to do!!!! I last wrote that my hair was falling out on the 14th day... and it kept coming out in handfuls. By the sixteenth day, I had lost about 3 trashcans (bathroom) full. My scalp was very, very sore!!! I still had some left, but decided it was time to get rid of it... so, off to the wig shop we went on Friday, March 20th to have my wigs fitted and my head shaved. Well, that was an experience....a little emotional.... the kids went with Grandma, so they were able to experience it as well. It was that day that I was able to talk to a lady that had just been diagnosed. She actually thanked me for being so positive and complimented me on being so beautiful. (Bald-head and all) She said she had been in the bed crying for 3 weeks and was soo down about her diagnosis. I assured her, the best I could, that it was going to be okay and that she would get through it. It was at that moment that I realized why God has me here.
Since then, I have had some stares in the line at Wal-mart.... one man coming from behind and just turned around and looked, haha, normally I'd think he was "checking me out", but I think he was trying to figure out WHAT I was!!!!! Some kids have done the same thing, to be expected.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

So, today is the fourteenth day from my first Chemo treatment. I have avoided the nausea by keeping the meds down. I have been extremely tired and a little achey!! I am having migraines periodically and chest pains (a side effect from the booster), and that is my biggest complaint. Today is the first day that I have noticed hair loss, and it is coming out in handfuls. I still have a lot left, so I guess I have a lot of hairon my head to lose!!. Just maybe it won't all fall out!!! I will keep you posted.

For those of you that were unable to come out to FireBelly's on March 10th, you really missed a great time and great music!!!! A huge thank you goes out to Dan, the owner of FireBelly's Lounge in downtown Wilmington for donating the space for our "fundraiser"!!! A special thank you to Wes Sayer who has stood by me since I was diagnosed and has done an amazing job at organizing the benefits....even shaved his head in my honor!!!!! Thank you to all the musicians Wes Sayer, Daniel Parish, Cary B., Justin Foxx, Dave Meyer, and Alex and Eric of Fried Lot for donatining their time and talents for the cause!!! We held a fifty/fifty raffle and John Altman was the winner...who won $94.50, which he donated back to the One Love Foundation.....helping me overcome the financial burdens of fighting Breast Cancer. Thank you to all who were able to come out and support this was great to see all of you and it was a lot of fun just hanging out!!!! The benefit was very successful and we were able to raise $1,000.00 for the One Love Foundation. Thanks for coming out and donating!!!!!!

If you're interested in attending the next benefit..... we have one scheduled for April 26th beginning at 2 pm. There will be a number of bands, silent auction, and raffles. Lots of great items to bid on including an autographed guitar signed by Edwin McCain!!!! Stay posted for all the info on upcoming dates of all the benefits!

Thanks for all the love, support, and prayers!!!!! I am truly thankful for all of you who have shown that you care!!!! It's sooo amazing how it has made me feel! It has definitely helped my spirits and how I've reacted to the chemotherapy. Lots of Love....LV

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Well, here we are 5 days out and feeling a little achey and tired... still have not lost my dinners, though!!! I sure did miss my dance families this weekend!!!! I was able to enjoy this beautiful weather yesterday at the park for a little while.... have been resting today and kinda catching up on some rest. The kids have been having a ball with all their friends and are enjoying their sleepovers. Thanks to all who are just taking charge and making it happen for them... I have had constant migraines since chemo started, so the doctors have given me something for them/pain.... so, we are just going to wait and see what else the Kemo-Shark brings.... hopefully only attacking all the bad cells!!!!!!! Keep praying and sending the love.... it is greatlly appreciated!!! Please don't forget that FireBelly Lounge (downtown) has donated their facility to help raise money for the "cause". There will be food, live music at it's finest, and lots of great socializing!!!!! Hope you can all come out and enjoy!!!!!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Well, today I received a "booster " of some sort for the aid of my white blood cell count. I have been feeling good, just a little tired and "icky" from the meds and a constant migraine. Not complaining though, haven't lost any of that great food all the FT families have been sending me. It's been so good that I've actually gained weight!!! Thank you all for that and for helping out with the kids!!! Thanks for all the prayers Donald Smith for dedicating his time for our prayer group... the "Kemo-Shark" is hard at work and so is My Lord and Saviour!!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Well, today was a good day... for a chemo day, anyway. I took pictures and people thought I was crazy, but you never know... I may need to write a book one day.. So, now I'm going to try to rewind for those of you who are just finding out about this ....... I went for a yearly check-up back in January and had been feeling a little something that wasn't quite right. So, ladies... do those exams thoroughly every month!!!! It could save your life!!

I was immediately sent in for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound at the radiologists. The results were sent to my doctor and ordered an MRI. Ya know what is wild is, the mammo and ultrasound did not detect it. Only the MRI did!!!!! (food for thought). So, then on the way to a dance competition, I get the phone call that the results were in and they were sending me to a surgical oncologist!!!! Well, how nerve-racking is that?? Just happened to be on a Monday they could get me in. Needless to say... it was an extremely long weekend!!! Although, God is everywhere and our studio was picked from a hat to donate $250 to the charity of our choice. We chose Breast Cancer Awareness ( at this point we didn't have a diagnosis) but how ironic is that!!!!!?????

So, Monday I met with surgeon, who gives me the low-down..orders a biopsy.... and here we are!!!! Tumor is malignant, growing in a funny-shaped starfish -looking pattern so cannot do lumpectomy.

That brings us to today, when I met the "Kemo-Shark' for the first time. I have been extremely tired and a little whoozie feeling, but there are meds for that, too.. I will go though three months of chemo for the Stage 2 cancer.

I know this is only the beginning , so keep all the prayers and positive thoughts coming!!!!!! I feel extremely loved and cannot thank you all enough for what you are doing and how you are touching me and the lives of my children!!!!!

A benefit concert is scheduled at FireBelly Lounge on Tuesday March 10th
from 7-until. They have great food and the music is sure to be awesome, from some local acoustic artists. Come out and show some love and support for LV!!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Hello Everyone!!!! First of all , I'd like to thank all of you for the wonderful thoughts and
e-mails . And I thank God everyday for the prayers that I am feeling. I will be meeting the "Kemo -Shark" tommorrow morning about 8:30, so start wearing out your knees now...... I will have a little more time to elaborate a little later. Love to all of my family and friends!!!!!!!