Friday, May 7, 2010

U.C. Davis check-up

On Wednesday Micah and I went up to U.C. Davis for my three-month check-up. We ran into an obstacle trying to find a good vein for my iv. I have small veins as it is, but now have the added problem of scar tissue and over-used veins. The first nurse tried three times and was not successful - which meant pain and now bruising for me. :( She called in another nurse, and fortunately he found a deep vein that worked for the iv. Can I say ouch? Very awkward and uncomfortable spot. However, it allowed us to proceed with the ct scan and get it done. My poor arm looks terrible! We made a plan for next time for me to see a specialist first to start the iv before the ct scan.

My next stop was to see Dr. Calhoun, my oncologist and surgeon. He made me feel like a million bucks! Of course he saw me repeatedly at my worst, but I told his nurse I'd slip him a twenty every time I come back to pump me up the way he did. :) We looked at the ct scan images together, and I'm so happy to report that there is still no evidence of any cancer coming back!! My insides looked good. He is having the radiologist look even more closely just to be cautious, but everything looked great. I now only have to come back every six months instead of every three. We are planning on a ct scan every six months for about 2 years, then we'll "go from there"....
What a relief! We left his office encouraged and thankful.
Thank you Lord!!

Just wanted to share the good news with those who still check the blog sometimes...thank you so much for your continuous prayers and encouragement. We are so blessed.


My dad shared this with me this morning:

"Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in Him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun."

Psalm 37:3-6

Please pray:
  • God's continued protection over my body to stay CANCER-FREE

Sunday, May 2, 2010

beyond blessed

The H.O.W. dinner (Helping One Woman...At A Time) was amazing. On Tuesday, April 20th I walked into Five Restaurant to learn that over 120 women had made reservations for the dinner. Of course my mom and I teared up immediately. I'd estimate that about 1/4 of the ladies were friends and family of mine - mom, 2 mother-in-laws, 1 future sister-in-law, my "besties," and many amazing friends, most from River Bluff. I cannot describe fully just how special I felt! So loved, so supported, so encouraged. I got to speak to the group briefly, which gave me the opportunity to thank those that were there for the many things they've done to support me and my family these past six months. Of course we feel like there's really no way to truly thank everyone enough for all that's been done for us - but we really are so very grateful. Back to the dinner...delicious meal out at a restaurant (something I thought would never happen again just a little while back), time with amazing, special people - it was a wonderful evening I'll never forget. At the end of the evening H.O.W. presented me with a monetary gift, which was a huge blessing as well. It was gift to go toward whatever I choose - which for us is our U.C. Davis hospital bill. God is so good to us! His timing is perfect! He has used so many people in a variety of ways to make me feel blessing upon blessing...I could go on and on...


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning...
Great is thy faithfulness, oh Lord!

Please pray:
  • Blessings upon H.O.W. as they have entered their 3rd year
  • For my back - pain meds. have been lowered again, so my pain is up
  • For my right wrist - new injury that happened when I fell

Monday, April 19, 2010


One of my amazing friends (Molly, whom I job-shared with for 3 years) nominated me to be the H.O.W. "Woman of the Month" back in November when I was recuperating at my parents' house. H.O.W. is a local women's organization (stands for "Helping One Woman...At A Time"). In March, this group voted and I was chosen as the April H.O.W. "honoree." (Not sure if that's the correct word to use...) Tomorrow night - Tuesday, April 20th - is their 2nd Anniversary dinner, where I'll be "recognized." All ladies are invited to attend. It's at FIVE restaurant in Fresno at 6:00pm. To RSVP, ladies (or groups) can call FIVE restaurant and make a dinner reservation at 434-5553. The H.O.W. website is if you'd like more information about this wonderful organization. I am so excited for tomorrow night's dinner. It wasn't that long ago that I couldn't imagine even leaving the house, let alone going to a special dinner with friends and family! I'll let you all know how it goes, and post pictures later this week.

Love, Wendy

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Please pray:
  • That God truly blesses the members of the H.O.W. organization in their upcoming 3rd year.
  • Many blessings upon my friend Molly, who nominated me. Also, please pray for her husband, who has had 3 surgeries for the same problem these past few months.
  • That I have strength to enjoy the evening, and that my back pain is subdued so I can sit at a dinner table comfortably.

Friday, April 2, 2010

zoo day

I decided to brave the zoo this morning, knowing full well it was a spring break day, and it actually didn't get too busy until we left. It was a great mama-son morning with the boys, as well as their buddy Brady and his mommy (Sarah - one of my besties for 16 years now). We had a wonderful morning, but I was beyond exhausted when we left. Of course it was worth it though! I'm trying to do things each week that build my endurance and that slowly get me back into the real world. I'm so thankful for my sweet boys and the pure joy they bring to my life every day.
Children are a gift from God, a blessing from above.
-Wendy Manzo :o)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

lesson learned

The past week has gone pretty well for me physically. The more faithful I am to my home exercise program, the less pain I'm in and the more progress I make. (duh, right?) I had a pretty good weekend and fairly good day on Monday, until I made a "not great" choice. Skyler wanted something from a high shelf, and instead of waiting for Micah to get home to get it down like I should have, I climbed on a stool and got up on my tippy-toes. Well....the stool fell out from under me and I went crashing into a shelving unit in my closet. I hit it so hard I bent a metal bracket with my lower back. I scraped up my back, including parts of my larger incision, and my leg as well. As a result, I had to lay down for over 24 hours. My lower back is pretty bruised. My doctor checked it today and doesn't think there's any more damage than just the bruising, skin abrasions, and soreness. I have been reminded several times by several people not to climb any more. Lesson learned...I won't. Not worth it. I'm still sore but am moving better. I'm hoping these bruises will heal quickly because it hurts to lay on my back, which is the only way I can sleep. Hopefully my physical therapy sessions this week will help as well. Other than that setback, I have made good progress this past week physically. I have been blessed with a physical therapist (which I know God had planned all along) who has really helped me understand pain, especially chronic pain, in a whole different light. I am thankful for the continuous prayers of so many. They are a big part of what continues to get me through each day.


Please pray:
  • That my bruises will heal quickly
  • That I continue to make progress in my physical healing
"For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens,
and let your glory be over all the earth."
Psalm 108:4-5

Thursday, March 25, 2010

nagging numbness

As my nervous system, muscles, and body continue to heal, adjust, etc. I have different "issues" with my body. One of the present issues is numb arms. I wake up several times a night or during naps (which are growing more seldom!) with a completely numb arm. The strange thing is that it's not just my right arm, like you'd think, but my left as well. It's definitely affecting my sleep, so hopefully by continuing with my physical therapy and the "exercise homework" my doctor gives me my nervous system will settle down soon.

Other than that, the past few days have gone pretty well. Micah and the boys are battling allergy issues, and Jadon is getting over a head cold, but thank goodness I haven't been affected by any of that. Just doing my best to try to get into a routine somewhat on days when I can, and rest a ton on days when I can do nothing. I still have a lot of those!

Thanks for the continuous prayers and support.


Please pray:
  • That this numbness in my arms will stop
  • That my little Jadon gets all the way better soon
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust."

Psalm 91:1

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

physical therapy

First of all, thank you for the continuous prayers that I know are coming from so many people. I feel them, and I feel God working in my body. I see Him working in my life! Thank you!

I am currently going to physical therapy three times a week. When I first started in the beginning of February, it was very basic. I could hardly stand for my right "numb" leg to be touched or moved. Many movements were almost unbearable. Over the past several weeks, however, I have made much progress in therapy. My legs and knees have been retrained to squat again (that was huge for me!), and I have better use of the right side of my body. However, I do have a long way to go. Because of the amount of time I laid both in a hospital bed and on the couch (months!) my body lost so much muscle and natural strength/ability. When I leave p.t. each session I can hardly walk and am in pain. When I do all of my exercises at home the pain continues. My current worst physical "ailment," if you will, is pain that starts in my right shoulder and shoots down through my arm into my fingers. I also have constant pain in all of the right side of my middle/upper back. I sound like such a complainer, I know, but want to be honest about my continuous recovery. What gets me through every physical therapy session without crying/complaining is thinking of my big brother Wesley. I remember as we grew up he'd go through AGONIZING physical therapy every time he had surgery, which was often, and he even learned to walk again more than once. He NEVER complained, but instead encouraged his therapists, doctors, and family like only he can. He is my physical therapy inspiration!

Please pray:
  • That I continue to make good progress each session
  • That I have the strength to do my home exercises
  • That I regain feeling in my right leg
  • That I can run again someday!
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
Romans 8:28

Sunday, March 7, 2010

many, many meals

This is my first time blogging myself and I'm pretty excited! I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU (from the Manzos and the Becketts) for the many wonderful meals that have been delivered to us over the past six months. It has been such a blessing and we are beyond thankful. We pray blessings upon all of the family, friends, and people we didn't even know that have sent meals and gift cards. We have been so blessed.

I have MUCH more to say and will continue to update the blog this week.

Much love,

For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:5

Sunday, February 14, 2010

two special days in one

Wendy's birthday and Valentine's day all in one. All of us who follow The Manzo Family blog join together to pray and wish Wendy good health, much love and a very happy 31st year.

"Love is a friendship set to music." - E. Joseph Cossman
"And in the end it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
- Abe Lincoln

Friday, February 12, 2010

physical therapy underway

Wendy is working hard in physical therapy. It is a big job and most of it is pretty painful. Her physical therapist commented that she has a lot of work to do. Two months in a hospital bed is extremely tough on the body.

Wendy is happy to report that life is slowly but surely becoming "normal". She is finally starting to feel like a wife and mother again. She is beyond thankful to be back in the game of life. She feels like she was away for far too long.

Continue to lift her up in prayer as she works hard to regain her physical strength.

Monday, February 1, 2010

tedious tuesday

Wendy has a long Tuesday ahead of her. She starts physical therapy bright and early. She is nervous and scared to experience intense pain during physical therapy. Please pray for her strength and endurance to work hard without too much discomfort. She has an appointment with her gastrointestinal doctor at 1:30 pm for a colon check-up and possible follow-up testing. Wendy's body continues to work hard to fight infections. An overall prayer for physical health and healing would be greatly appreciated.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

Thursday, January 28, 2010

back to back doctor visits

Wendy has been to the doctor twice this week. Her first appointment was for a pain checkup and to get a referral to start physical therapy. She was prescribed a second pain and anti-inflammatory patch for her upper right back. She ended up having to go back the following day because she felt like she was coming down with a bad cold. She is thankful she listened to her body because her doctor put her on antibiotics for an ear and sinus infection and a severe red throat.

Please pray…

  • She is healed from this infection quickly.
  • Her family does not catch this infection.
  • Wendy's immune system is strengthened.

Monday, January 25, 2010

team wendy tees

Good news! If you ordered a "Team Wendy" t-shirt they are now available for pick up. Please see Mrs. Gunstream in room 16 at River Bluff. Another HUGE thank you to Hard Driven for designing and producing these t-shirts and for generously giving back to their community.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Wendy has been "okay" the past few days. She's suffered with nausea in the morning but has not been vomiting. She has a very small appetite, but is thankful that she is able to eat something, as little as that may be. She's been experiencing increased back and incision pain the more she's up and around. Wendy has to choose a physical therapist to help her work on her leg, torso and right arm. She is prayerful that she will be led to pick the ideal physical therapist. Her right leg still has a lot of numbness, nerve pain and discomfort. She's hoping to be able to drive in the next month but has a long way to go. She would appreciate your specific prayers for nausea, back and incision pain and for selecting a physical therapist.

Friday, January 15, 2010

exhausted, sore and so very tired

The day following a long trip in the car and a full day at UC Davis Medical Center proved to take it out of Wendy yet again. Yesterday was physically the worst day for Wendy since her surgery. Wendy is in remission, yes but is still recovering from a most horrific surgery and her body still has so far to go. Please continue to hold Wendy up in prayer. She needs your prayers now more than ever. Even though the severity of her situation, a devastating cancer diagnosis, an extensive surgery, and removal of her right lung is behind her prayer for nausea, vomiting, chronic pain, her colon and left lung, infection and peace and protection for their little family is still greatly needed. Sweet Wendy could really use some extra prayer today.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

wendy is in remission

It is official, Wendy is in remission!

Wendy had an emotional, yet overall positive meeting with Dr. Lara her new oncologist. Wendy was especially anxious to meet with him because of the prospects of chemotherapy, radiation, and or both. At this point both Dr. Lara and Dr. Calhoun are not recommending chemotherapy or radiation! Dr. Lara did say there is a good chance that the thymoma cancer could come back. As scary as it was for Wendy to hear those words she is choosing to believe that it won't. She is choosing to live differently. To live a preventive life and to say, "whose report will I believe? I will believe the report of the Lord."

Because her specific type of Thymoma, subtype B1 is such a slow growing cancer if it does come back it won't happen over night. Because it is a slow growing cancer it would most likely respond well to chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Dr. Calhoun believes that Wendy's continued nausea is due to her unhappy colon and gut. With time and TLC her body will regain a sense of normalcy. Please continue to pray that happens sooner than later. The daily nausea and frequent vomiting is definitely slowing down and adversely affecting her continued overall recovery. Dr. Calhoun also recommended she start physical therapy as soon as possible. At this point her leg function has plateaued. Both incision sites looked good. Her CT scan went well. The nurse that inserted the IV was respectful and skilled. He listened to Wendy's concerns and successfully completed the procedure for her without too much pain. Wendy will return to UC Davis in three months for another CT scan and check up. If everything looks good at that time she will return in another three months and only a chest x-ray will be required.

Wendy is in remission.
Wendy is in remission.
Wendy is in remission.

Wendy Ruth Manzo is a cancer fighter and survivor.
Thank you Heavenly Father.

a day at davis

Wendy needs your attentive and special prayers while she and Micah are at UC Davis today. She has three appointments and is feeling scared and overwhelmed. Pray she isn't nauseous, especially in the morning. She is hoping for good insight from Dr. Calhoun on the nausea and vomiting. She will be meeting Dr. Lara, her new oncologist. She hopes he will be happy with her scans and will not have to recommend chemotherapy. Please pray she has a painless IV and that the CT scan is quick and easy. Pray especially for Wendy during the following times today...

9:20 appointment with new oncologist, Dr. Lara
10:45 CT scan
1:30 appointment with Dr. Calhoun

They will wrap up a long day with a long drive home. Pray she is comfortable during the drive and they arrive home safely. Be in touch for updates and pray continuously today.

Words from a beautiful song that continue to bring Wendy comfort...
"When my world is shaking heaven stands.
When my heart is breaking I never leave Your hands."
- JJ Heller

Saturday, January 9, 2010

christmas and progress

Wendy has been adjusting to the lowered pain patch pretty well but is definitely feeling more back and incision pain. She's had to increase her oral pain medication slightly because of this. She has not thrown up in three days and she thanks the Lord for that! She will be heading back to UC Davis next week for a few appointments. She has to meet with her surgeon again, as she hasn't seen him for almost two months. She has to see an oncologist who specializes in thymoma cancer to make a plan for the next few months. She also has to get a CT scan to make sure all is "still clear." She is apprehensive about the long car ride and a very long day. Please pray for Wendy's nausea to continue to lessen every day, her back and incision pain to lessen as well, and in advance for the long day she'll have at Davis next week. Wendy has yet another stye in her eye. Pray for healing. Pray she doesn't get anymore styes!

Wendy, Micah, Skyler, and Jadon want to say THANK YOU once again for all who took part in making their Christmas amazing. They also want to say thank you, thank you, thank you for all of the meals that are being delivered. It is such a blessing for them and they are truly grateful.

Monday, January 4, 2010

moving right along

Wendy met with her local general practitioner today. Nothing was accomplished but the conversation was promising and Wendy has a lot of "next steps" to take. Her doctor is going to prescribe a lower dose Fentanyl patch. The high dose might be what is making her nauseous. Her doctor also felt it was time to start weaning her off such a strong dose of pain medicine. She has been on the Fentanyl patch for pain management for over two months. She is extremely scared about the prospect of being in a lot of pain if the dose is too low. Please pray the dose is strong enough to ward off pain and at the same time lessened enough to eliminate nausea.

She is going to make an appointment with her gastroenterologist. She has a list of questions to ask him and she might need to have an endoscopy done. She is anxious about ANY procedure. Just talking about the test put her on the verge of tears during today's appointment.

They are waiting for biopsy results to know more about the severity of Wendy's C. difficile. It might actually not be the cause of her nausea. She doesn't have any other major C. difficile symptoms so her doctor thinks it might be on the verge of being gone on its own. The biopsy results will be more specific than the blood test results she received last week.

She is making an appointment with her local oncologist to have some much needed dialogue, post surgery. She will also need to start getting scans done every three months to make sure the cancer is completely gone and is staying away.

Her wound is not infected. It has opened a bit so pray that it closes on its own and doesn't get infected. Scar tissue underneath the wound is causing it to tighten and open. Pray for that wound. Oh that awful gone!

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let your heart not be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Sunday, January 3, 2010

a new year and health requested

Happy New Year from the Manzo Family! They pray that 2010 is filled with
health and joy for all they know and love.

Wendy transitioned home in time for Christmas. It has been a big adjustment. She's had some good days but overall she still doesn't have much energy. The boys long to climb on her, play, and engage with her non-stop. Unfortunately Wendy just doesn't have the energy to fully devote herself to them yet. It has been hard for Wendy to not pick up at home where she left off. She is definitely still in major recovery mode.

Wendy has been showing signs of complications recently. She saw her local doctor and had some tests done. Blood tests show she has Clostridium Difficile again. Wendy first had C. difficile while in the hospital. C. difficile is an infection of the colon caused by C. difficile bacterium that occurs primarily among individuals who have been using antibiotics. It is the most common infection acquired by patients while they are in the hospital. She is on antibiotics to treat the C. difficile but is having an extremely hard time swallowing and keeping them down. She continues to have little to no appetite, vomits often, and is continuing to lose weight. She is hoping to get an appointment with her local doctor tomorrow. In addition to antibiotics, she needs to know what she needs to do to get better. Wendy is definitely not well right now. Pray her doctor can give her some good advice and help her get healthy as soon as possible. Wendy's state of "not-well" is exhausting.

Wendy was discharged from her home health nurse because she no longer required wound care after the Wound V.A.C. was removed. Unfortunately in the last couple of days her wound has started to show signs of possible complications and isn't looking as good as it was when she was released from her nurse's care.

Micah could use your prayers for strength, patience, and endurance as he is Wendy's full time nurse, cares for the boys, and runs the household. Pray for Skyler and Jadon that they understand that there mommy is healing and still can't give her full self to them. The Manzo family is still in a valley. Pray for them.

He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases. Matthew 8:17