Up and About

Clare’s been enjoying being a homebody. Though the whole hospital stay was nescessary and healthy, there’s no place like home, eh? She’s getting up and walking to table and facilities quite well. I even washed her hair last night (while wearing my swim trunks; no free shows, if I’d needed help). She felt so much fresher after the first shower.

She’s getting around to reading the Tons of well-wishes, cards and email. Thanks folks! We All rise with the abundant tide of your kind attentions and Love. -Jay

Feel Like a Whole New Person!

Hi all,
I’m headed home from the hospital in a few minutes. The surgery went great, and I am flying through recovery. I had a couple days of nausea at the beginning. Those days were rough. Turns out I don’t tolerate pain meds very well. But now I get an anti-nausea medicine every time I take a pain pill, and that seems to have done the trick in making me feel good enough to eat, drink and walk around the hospital. A huge thank you for all your prayers, the rides and meals my family has enjoyed, and the love you’ve given to all of us. It all has been amazing.

My doctors were such and incredible team. Dr. Barber, Dr. Boutros, Dr. Ma and Dr. Webb worked together carefully and thoughtfully to make sure every detail was accounted for. More importantly, each docter was extremely personal, caring and loving to me and my family. I can’t express what a difference that makes! Piedmont Hospital gave me stellar care. Their nursing staff are so gentle and kind.

A huge shout out to dear friend Lisa Landry who is an oncology nurse. She took the first night shift which I’m pretty sure is the worst shift ever because I was so nauseated that first day. She was instrumental in identifying I wasn’t doing well on pain meds.. And needed more anti-nausea meds and Xanax as well. I just couldn’t turn my brain off.

Hubby Jay has been with me almost the entire time. I think I’ve used up all my foot rubs and back scratch coupons for the next 20 years. He was tireless and oh so loving.

Mom and Dad have truly babied me, spoonfeeding me jello and brushing my hair. I’ve gotten to hear lots of stories on what I was like when I was a baby. Pretty neat!

Sister Hayley has arrived and is in full nurse mode. She’s competent and funny as hell. I know these next two weeks will go swimmingly now that she’s here.

Sofi came to visit and showered me in love and compliments: “you look beautiful, Mom.” She updated me on all the Halloween excitement I missed!

This was my Halloween costume for 2015, compliments of
My cousin Suzie Ditto and Kolb clan. Wish I could have trick-or-treated in it. Instead, I got to freak out the nurses and make them laugh.

I’m so glad to be on the other side of this surgery. Will keep you updated as things go.


Up and Around (a bit)

Clare had a better rest last night. Getting her meds balanced early, and after her maiden long walk, she was sleeping deeply for 2 1/2 hours. Then, more intermittent good rest throughout the night. She’s just had another walk this AM, and is now in her new (non-ICU) room!
The ICU staff had never seen a Dr Ma patient walk around the unit as Clare has. We may have to slow her down.

Moving Experience

Clare took a walk around the perimeter of the Intensive Care Unit this afternoon! The staff are ‘not used to seeing this kind of behavior in the ICU’. Moving got her blood and spirits up for the best evening yet. She was actually considering another walk this evening, but maybe keeping the lights low and stomach settled will let her slip into more rest. No need to push it.

But going into this surgery, she was in very good shape from regular exercise, four days a week. She could do a six minute plank! ( I’m lucky to do a minute and a half.)

So the lights are low and she rests. Your prayers and best wishes surround her. She knows they do.

Jay Schexnyder


I spent the night with Clare, 6p-6am. It’s been a challenge resting, because she’s had a warm air-filled pad on her chest, ever since surgery Friday (it’s like a small pool float). She needed a cold washrag-dabbing regularly. Her circulation is doing very well (tiny arteries in her chest had to be reattached in surgery; really amazing work). So, at 5am, Dr Ma ok’d removing the hot pad, and Clare slept so much better; about 90 min straight through!

Last night, she stepped about two feet to a chair for supper, and spent about 45 min there. A bit more walking is scheduled for today. Many thanks for all well-wishes and prayers! -Jay

Resting Still

Clare is spending her first hour in a chair, next to her bed. She’s coping well, but not eating much, as can be expected. Now she naps.

The outpouring of love and support for Clare, and us all, is heartening. We do feel your well wishes and caring. It does make a difference! So, thank you all and have a fun Halloween!


Clare spent the evening trying to get comfortable and settled after the day’s stress. What a thing to put a body through! But when I left at 10:30, she was finding a balance in the medications and heat pads and…everything. I think she wasn’t long for being awake, once her stomach settled down. She’s grateful for all the well-wishes I read to her. And thank you to Andrea and Jenn and Guy for keeping vigil in the waiting room while family rotated and rested.
Tonight, (all night) good friend Lisa Landry is close by and comforting our Clare. She’s a wonderful oncology nurse in her own right. Thanks Lisa! And good night to a good day! Thanks everyone!


Surgeries Complete!

Dr Boutros has told us all the procedures have been completed! Clare will go to ICU to begin recovery. We will first visit her in maybe two hours (7pm, Eastern), to give her time waking up from a full day of surgery and general anesthesia. She’s been run-over by a very Good ‘truck’, but a truck nonetheless.

The outpouring of love and support for Clare and family (and blessedly skilled Piedmont Hospital staff) has helped greatly, I’m sure of it. Prayer and beloved intentions work wonders. Now, on to healing.

Endless Thanks,

Mastectomy Complete! More to go.

Dr Bill Barber has informed me that Clare’s double mastectomy is now completed; she is doing very well.

Clare is now facing a few more hours of reconstructive surgery to rebuild her breasts, using her own tissues; much of it from her abdomen. She did not want implants.

For procedure details:
DIEP Flap – Breastcancer.org
Breastcancer.org › types › autologous

So, maybe 5+ more hours ‘on the table’ for Clare.