Thursday, July 31, 2008

Things NOT on our Summer Wish List

At the beginning of the summer, David and I made a Wish List of all the places he would like to go this Summer. The list had 13 places on it. We have knocked out 6 things and will hopefully cross off 2 more this weekend. Well, on our way to a wish list place this morning, Dawson shut the van door on his finger and it turned about 5 different shades of purple. So, we headed to the Silverside Medical Center (I love that place for this kind of stuff!) which was NOT on the list! The finger is not broken and we went on with our day.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Not good news

This is a tough one to write. We found out today that the cancer has metastasized to my lungs. There are a few spots on each lung, in addition to lymph nodes in the surrounding areas. Fortunately, it was caught early and I have had very little physical symptoms, just an occasional cough.

We are taking the boys out of town this weekend and then I will begin chemo next Thursday. The drug I will receive shouldn't hit me as hard as the last round did. I will receive it 1x/week for 3 weeks and then get the 4th week off. After about 3-4 months, the doctor will run more scans to see how the cancer is responding and then determine how much more to give me.

We are trying to wrap our brains around this. I have Stage 4 cancer and I can't get past that label yet. The doctor has approved me to continue training for my 3-day walk. I asked him if he thinks I can walk 60 miles and he told me to simply do the best I can. I really feel a burden for this cause and hope to be able to cross that finish line, having walked the whole thing. But, I need to just get through this first cycle of chemo first.

This has broken our hearts and we are squeezing our boys a lot tighter and longer these days.

I was determined!

I was determined to get that photo card! Photos of the boys at the Philadelphia Zoo yesterday.

My monkeys!

I couldn't believe Dawson rode this camel and the ponies without protest. He is really turning into a little boy.

The boys checking out their Spiderman and Pirate faces in the mirror.

Translation: web shooting and "Argh!"

I took the boys to the zoo yesterday. I had all of these great pictures to post and I was trying to do it in the semi-dark so I wouldn't disturb when family. Well, I put the picture card in my computer and it seems to have "eaten" it. Apparently, I slipped it into one of the larger slots and now don't see it. So, at almost 2 a.m., I have a tower in my lap and am shaking it, trying to get this thing out. Anyway, the boys rode on the camels and ponies and had their faces painted.

I see my doctor in about 7 hours to see what the scans show. I think I have bitten down almost every nail I have and have had some brutal headaches over the last few days. Oh, and I can't sleep, too. I don't think I will be winning "mom of the year" anytime soon either. My patience has been very thin. It is just hard to have sympathy for a screaming Dawson who can't reach his toy while in his car seat when I am facing much bigger problems.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Physical challenges (or impossibilities)

I thought it was time for a funny story. But, I am warning you - I will be discussing the practical use of certain female parts.

We had our yard sale over the weekend and we were talking today about how I sold my breast pump at the yard sale. These things sell for over a $100+ in the stores and I told Dave how much someone paid for mine. His response was, "So you don't want to try nursing again?" My response: "Um, how would that work exactly? I don't have that equipment anymore!" I honestly didn't think he was being an insensitive jerk, but rather found it encouraging that he doesn't think about the physical changes that have happened. Anyway, we had a good laugh.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thank you, thank you!

We have just closed shop on our yard sale and did better than ever expected! We had people just driving by to drop off a donation and many people had us "keep the change" when they had paid well over the asking price. We sold a majority of the things and can actually see our garage floor again.

Thank you to everyone who helped and donated. We are amazed at how well this went. The weather was perfect and all of the customers were very generous. THANK YOU!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Yard Sale

I finished my testing today and am now racing around getting ready for our yard sale tomorrow. This is a reminder that we are having a LARGE yard sale tomorrow and Saturday at our home from 8 am - 1 pm. Thank you to everyone who donated their treasures. We have enjoyed seeing the variety of items.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

No real news

After meeting with the oncologist today, we don't really know any more than before we arrived. A series of uncomfortable tests will be run next week and then we will meet with him again the following week to see what we are dealing with. He wants to know if more cancer is showing up other places. Best case scenario is it is only localized to the spot that was removed and we will treat that. Some course of treatment is in my future, just not sure what yet. It will be close to 2 weeks before we have any real answers.

By the way, we had planned on having some friends over this weekend. The question came up if we were still going to have this event. My doctor's orders are to have the party and have fun. Must follow orders!

I shared with him what David said to me after we received the results of the biopsy. David said, "Mom, I'm sorry your cancer came back. I hope you don't die from this one because I really love you." The doctor told me to tell David that he is going to do everything he can so that doesn't happen.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A thorn in my flesh

I have been asked frequently "How am I doing with all of this?" That is a hard question to answer. Sometimes, okay, simply because life has taken over and these boys have needs. Other times, their "needs" (or what they consider to be needs) are overwhelming and I find myself speaking with volume. I also find myself cherishing a moment with them.

When I can steal a quiet moment, I just cry out to God and that moment is interrupted by a little boy and his potty needs (which apparently already happened in his pants). Life goes on in the midst of this.

I keep coming back to the verse in Corinthians when Paul pleaded with God to remove the thorn in his flesh and God responded, ""My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I would like that grace super-sized please.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Unfortunately, more heavy stuff

When my surgeon was trying to track me down today, I thought that it couldn't be good news. The cancer has returned. I have an appointment with my oncologist on Wednesday afternoon to find out what happens next. I am having difficulty finding out information online. Googling my specific circumstances isn't working that well. We will update the blog as soon as we know more information.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Who needs some cheering up?

Boy, that last entry was a real downer, huh? I just read it again and thought, "Man, that was some heavy stuff!"

Honestly, I am relieved that the surgeon biopsied it and I am feeling much better now. Just knowing that something is being done relieves a lot of anxiety.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I visited with my cosmetic surgeon today. The incision is still needing some extra help. Another spot on the skin has surfaced within the last couple of weeks, and has not gone away. She did a biopsy. I should know by the end of next week what this is.

Last night, while lying in bed, searching for some kind of peace in the midst of this, I came across the passage where Jesus calms the storm in Luke 8:

One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we're going to drown!" He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him."

The gospel of Mark writes that the disciples said, ""Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

I have heard this story so many times. David's Toddler Sunday School teacher still tells me the story of David reenacting it, wanting to be Jesus sleeping and then stands and with great drama tells the storm to "Be Still." This is a story even the toddlers know. But, they don't face too many storms at their age.

The thought that came to my mind is that the storm still came. It wasn't smooth sailing under blue skies all of the time. But, don't You care that I am sick over the thought of what this spot could be? Don't You care what this will do to my family again? He cares, but this is where my faith wavers. If He can calm the storm, He can certainly calm the storm in my heart.

Please pray for this situation. It could be nothing or much more.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Some June Highlights

We wanted to show some photos from our adventurous month of June (the good adventures). Enjoy!

Our Kindergarten graduate and his buddy Benjamin.

Our visit to Thomas the Train in North Carolina.

The Italian Festival (Dawson was having a good time, really.)

The boys at the lake in Arkansas. I believe this was taken before the snake incident.

Our unexpected stay in Cleveland, Ohio. Dawson was trying to get the last drop of MILK out of the glass. Really, it was milk.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Feeling the aftershock

I met with my surgeon yesterday. The incision from my Arkansas surgery doesn't want to close completely. We are giving it some extra TLC (and stitches) to help it along. She would like me to become a weekly visitor so we can keep a close watch on it.

I also saw my family doctor yesterday. I have had this cold forever and now it has moved into my chest and seemed to set up camp. I go for a chest x-ray today. I also start some antibiotics (my third course since the beginning of June). The radiation has left my immune system "compromised" (as they put it) and my lungs are more susceptible to things like this. I don't really care how I got this way, I just would like this elephant to stop sitting on my chest! Dawson heard me use this expression yesterday and then kept saying I was like an elephant, complete with sound effects.

My heart is heavy over all of the headaches I still have to go through. It seems like anything slightly beyond the normal needs to be taken seriously and requires even more doctors' appointments and more tests. I have come to the point where I realize that this is a part of my life now, but it doesn't mean I like it.