Wednesday, December 30, 2009

What a week! I have now been home from the hospital for 2 weeks and each day am getting a tiny bit more spunk. I took the boys and my mom and mother-in-law to Lancaster yesterday to see a Sight and Sound show. It was remarkable and then we smorgasborded it afterwards.

This cold weather outside makes it very difficult for me to breathe when I go outside. I am figuring out some "tricks" to make me more comfortable. I do have oxygen at home and portable canisters for when we go out. Depending on the amount of walking, I don't always need them. David said, "I have seen grandmas with those tubes."

The swelling has returned to my face which may suggest more fluid issues. I see my oncologist next week and will see what the pictures show.

Two dear friends have reported that their cancer has returned this past week. Someone said that hearing you have cancer has to be one of the worst things you could be told. I said the second time was worse than the first because I knew what I was in for. My prayer for these friends has been sweet rest at night. The nighttime is the worst for me and I prayed that they and their families would be able to rest snuggly in their beds at night, even though they are facing these trials again.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I woke up feeling like a trainwreck and did my best to not look like it but there isn't any fooling those folks at the cancer center. I had an appointment with my oncologist and a follow-up with the thoracic surgeon today. Oncologist says, "take a 2-week break from chemo." Apparently, the CT scan done during my hospital stay continued to show shrinkage of the tumors around my lungs. Also, the fluid did not show cancer cells. Yeah! Next, surgeon says fluid has already come back to my left lung. My lung is not able to fully expand because of the cancer damage and the fluid likes to collect around it. We will follow-up in a month to see if it remains stable or continues to increase. He said we may not be done with draining this stuff. My breathing is still somewhat labored, especially at night or during activity. So, I will be getting some oxygen to help. I was told I may struggle with this for some time.

Well, I am PLANNING on not having anyone stick me for the next 2 weeks. I hope to continue to recover and feel better before the next round of chemo begins.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Fun santa video

Click on this Santa site and create a unique message from Santa for your kids. My kids loved it!

What we woke up to outside


and it is still coming down.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas!



Since I won't have time to do Christmas cards this year, we are sending electronic ones instead. Here are some photos taken of our family for the holidays. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and many blessings to your families in the upcoming year! You shoulnd't have to be a member of facebook to look at these photos. Let me know if you have problems.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=40110&id=1071175180&l=d526f87766

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Now that I am home, I guess I thought I would magically have recovered - wrong. It is pretty easy to sit around at the hospital and get better, but home has things that need to be done, stairs to climb, children who can't reach certain things, etc. The hospital staff asked me every shift, "How would you rate your pain level?" So, I now have a number in my mind and the stuff for home is NOT the same as the hospital meds. I will have a couple days with the boys at school, Dave working from home, to really adjust.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rumor has it . . .

there is a surgical team on their way to remove my last drain and I will be headed home today! I may even be home before David gets home from school. The plan now is to follow-up with the surgeon and notify him if anything changes - worsening shortness of breath, etc. Right now, I feel pretty okay and ready to get back into the swing of things. I see my oncologist on Tuesday and we will figure out what the cancer plan is too.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Surgery Update

It is now Sunday evening and I am still in the hospital. The surgery went okay and an x-ray yesterday showed that the tubes are draining the fluid as hoped. The 3 large drains hanging off of me show that as well.

I now have a private room because I need so much equipment! I am managing the pain well with a pump and feel a little better each day. No talk of going home yet. Need to wait until the fluid has drained. So far, I have drained about 4 L of fluid! No wonder I had trouble breathing!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Surgery today

My surgery is scheduled for today at 11 a.m. I don't know how long the procedure takes but I will have Dave update as soon as he can. I had to talk with my boys before I left for school. I called and David talked about how he has his least favorite special today and I asked Dawson to tell me his Bible verse he learned last week. (I got fussed at because that was LAST week's verse.) "Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

Monday, December 7, 2009

Surgery on Wednesday

I met with the thoracic surgeon today. Apparently, there is also fluid around my left lung so that will also be drained. I will be admitted into the hospital on Tuesday evening and will receive the surgery on Wednesday. I will be in the hospital for 4-5 days depending on the fluid drainage. I will have 2 drains while I am in the hospital.

Needless to say, my head is spinning with all of the logistical details. With this new development, the hospital stay is longer than we expected. Please pray that the surgery goes smoothly, no complications, and for a quick and easy recovery. Please pray for my men at home, too.

Friday, December 4, 2009

How a day can change things

I had the 2-D echo done of my heart and really had trouble breathing during it. I was on my left side and had to really concentrate on every breath - even had to take a few breaks. It seems that the pericardial effusion is now affecting my heart's ability to pump at its full capacity, which is what is causing my problems. The cardiologist contacted my oncologist and a cardiothoracic surgeon to schedule me for pericardial window surgery. I meet with the surgeon on Monday and am expected to have the surgery some time next week. I was told that I should feel much better once the fluid is drained.

I haven't had a chance to speak directly with my oncologist but it seems that the cancer is not the cause of my discomfort. I need to speak with him to know the specific plan but I am assuming chemo will not be happening this week.

When I spoke with our families about this, they asked if I had good news and I told them it was more of a curveball. I am still trying to wrap my head around this one. The links to the information about pericardial effusion and the surgery are very informative, if you are interested in reading more about it.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Never a dull moment

Well, over the weekend, I started having some trouble getting comfortable at night. Certain positions made me feel like I couldn't catch my breath. Today, when I went to the oncologist for Herceptin, just keeping up with the nurse walking down the hall had me winded. So, I am back on the chemo, had an x-ray and also have an 2-D Echo of my heart scheduled for tomorrow. There is fluid around my heart and that may be the cause of the shortness of breath. I will soon have a CT scan also.

I cried today like I haven't done in a long time. All I wanted was to get through December with no chemo - to feel good and be able to attend my boys' Christmas happenings. I am thankful for the very short time I had off but it is never long enough.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting there

We celebrated Thanksgiving with friends in North Carolina and really had a relaxing time (except for the holiday traffic). It has now been a week since I have napped. I don't know how I am going to break this to Dawson - he asks me when I am going to rest because he gets to watch TV then.

It has been almost 3 weeks since my last chemo and each day, I feel better. I see my doctor on Thursday of this week. We will then schedule some scans. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! It was hard for the boys and me to adjust to school life this morning.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Well, I thought I had energy . . .

until I played David 5 times in tennis on the Wii. After each volley, I had to catch my breath! We had a good time. He won the sets 3-2.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I got a little teared up . . .

because I was able to help Dave rake the leaves. And they were tears of joy! Each day I am feeling more like myself and able to do more. I even did a little Christmas shopping the other day. I rested a couple times but made it through okay. I am so thrilled to be participating in life again instead of simply surviving.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I continue to slowly get more energy. It was certainly nice to not have chemo today. Praying it stays that way for a LONG time.

Random story - David has been coughing his head off for the past week and we were trying everything to get rid of it - orapred, nebulizer, inhaler, elevated pillows, humidifier - everything! He was still coughing a lot at night and it didn't seem to be getting better. So, we had an appointment at the pedicatrician yesterday afternoon (3rd time in 2 weeks) and I had to get him from school early. His class was lining to go to one of his specials when I arrived. After we left, I asked him what special were they going to.
David - "Music class"
Mom - "Oh, I'm sorry you missed music class."
David - "It's okay. I don't really like it."
Mom - "Really? You like singing and dancing at home and at our church's contemporary service."
David - "Mom, we rock out at home and we don't sing that kind of stuff in music class."

I guess I will have to introduce him to more classical instead of classics.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I think it's over (for now)

I had a difficult decision to make this week. The last two chemo treatments have really worn me out and I told my doctor this last week. He raised the question, "Should I not have the last 3-week cycle of chemo?" I have received about 15 treatments as of today and would 3 more treatments make that much difference? I know it would just wear me out more but how would it affect the cancer. I had to weigh lots of factors and have an appointment scheduled in 3 weeks for Herceptin. Unless I have some miraculous recovery over the next 3 weeks, I will not receive my chemo drug and will continue on the Herceptin. I will also have a new baseline CT scan done.

I attended Toni's funeral service on Monday morning and then went to the support group last night. We laughed and we cried as we talked about Toni and the memories we each have. One of the members brought flowers and placed them in her chair. She even joined us in our group hug at the end of the meeting. It makes me sad to think of her family's loss but I am also happy she is no longer in so much pain.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It is with a heavy heart that I write this. My dear friend from my support group, Toni, has passed away. I saw her at group about 1 month ago and she was moving slow. She participated in the discussion but was very tired. Since then, she went on a family vacation and started a new chemo. I received an email this morning from the group facilitator that she went on hospice last Friday. I had hoped to call or visit tomorrow. I received another email this afternoon that she passed away today. She leaves behind her husband of many years and 2 daughters. She always made us laugh when she told us stories of shopping at QVC and hiding the packages from her husband. We will miss you, Toni.

The boys walked in as I was reading the email and crying and I shared with them what happened. All 3 of us were crying and Dawson is saying, "I don't want you to die!" and I'm saying, "I don't want to either!" I explained that the medicine I get that makes my hair fall out also gets rid of the cancer. He was happy with that.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

They are hoodies with a zipper down the front of their face - pretty cool


That would be a Phillies cupcake he is eating
Red Power Rangers, in case you were wondering


Everyone has recovered from illness in our house and enjoyed the Halloween activities. Dawson's birthday was also this past week so we celebrated with a very proud 4 -year old. This was also a week with sadness and reminders of this horrible disease.

I received the results from an MRI brain scan and the tumors seem to be stable, which means no increase or decrease and no new ones. So, we wait and watch. Not bad news but not great news.

A woman I sat next to, on occasion during chemo, passed away this week. I remember my conversations with her and how concerned she was to leave her teenage son without a mother. His dad was not in the picture. Unfortunately because of my own chemo treatments and their effect on me, I was not able to attend her service.

I also had a few dear friends tell me of their diagnosis or their family member's diagnosis. It is difficult to find someone who has NOT been affected by cancer. My chemo this past week seemed to have an extra punch to it. When I got home on Thursday, I felt like I had been hit by a bus and only started feeling a little relief today once I figured out how to manage my meds.

Please continue to keep me in your prayers. These chemos are getting more difficult to tolerate. I will continue to pray for those around me who have suddenly been thrown into the world of cancer.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You know it has been a long day when . . .

I have been to the pediatrician twice and Target twice today and we are just getting home. I am glad I checked my bag before I left (the second time) because they charged me for a medicine for David but forgot to put in the bag - that would have been my 3rd trip to Target! David no longer has a fever but a barking cough now. Dawson got better but seemed to relapse today. I am happy that chemo was not scheduled for this week so I could be available to take care of the boys but I was also looking forward to a chemo free week AND some time to myself. Maybe next time.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Making Strides and taking temperatures

Thursday was a third week of chemo with the lovely Neulasta shot on Friday. Yesterday, Dawson came down with a fever and fortunately Pop and Gam took care of him while I tried to recover. This morning, I represented our family for "Team Barbara" at a very wet and cold Wilmington Making Strides walk. Needless to say, Dawson and I needed naps this afternoon. I hope he feels rested now - he only slept 4 hours!! I heard David coughing a lot this afternoon and now he has a fever too. Looks like tomorrow is pajama day in the Anderson household.










I was impresssed by the amount of people who came out for the walk on such a miserable day. I want to thank my team and also the husbands and grandparents who watched the little guys so we could do this today. We ended the walk with Pumpkin Lattes at Dunkin Donuts - very tasty!










Tuesday, October 13, 2009

My favorite pink ribbon product


Pink ribbon overload

Pink ribbons everywhere! October is breast cancer awareness month and it is hard to walk up and down the grocery aisles without seeing them. Unfortunately, I don't get to just think about it in October. My energy level is really starting to be affected by the chemo. I have learned that I have to rest every afternoon or I am not a nice mom. I don't need to sleep but do need to chill for a little while. That is the time when Dawson gets to watch TV and sometimes will ask me when I will rest because he wants his TV time.

We have signed up for the Making Strides walk in Wilmington this weekend. It is also the weekend of the 3-day walk in Philly and it looks like it will be cold and rainy. I will miss the experience of the 3-day but not the freezing tent. I'm not sure I will be able to walk in Wilmington because of my chemo on Thursday, but I can be a cheerleader!

The News Journal had a good article today about my particular kind of cancer. It does a good job of explaining how my cancer progresses.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Gimme the keys!!

To make a long story short, my CT scan from last week showed fluid around my heart so my oncologist wanted me to see a cardiologist, who happens to be his brother. I went to Dr. Grubbs II today for a 2D Echo (ultrasound) and he said that the amount of fluid was not constricting the pumping of my heart. So, I will be monitored and if this becomes worse, it is treatable.

The passing out episode is now blamed on hypotension, which is basically low blood pressure. My BP has always been on the lower end but the chemo has my body reacting slower so I have to increase fluids and salt and slow down when I get up. I think I can handle that.

It was so nice to receive good news without a side of bad news attached. Thank you so much for your prayers and watch out because I am back on the road!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good news and frustrating news

I spoke with my doctor's office yesterday and the good news is the EEG did not show any signs of seizure activity. But, I still can't drive. My doctor wanted me to wear a heart monitor for 24 hours to make sure my passing out is not a heart issue. The chemo can do a number on it. So, I am sporting a fashionable necklace that looks like a small cell phone. Once we see the results from the monitor, the doctor will determine if my passing out was an isolated incident or something more serious. I know it might seem trivial to be frustrated about no driving, but I feel like cancer has taken so many things from me and here is 1 more. It gets old.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ugh - not again!

I had my third week of chemo today. I was feeling pretty blah about going. The doctor asked if anything exciting happened this past week and I had to tell him that unfortunately something did. Over the weekend, I got up out of bed to close the window because something was squawking in my ear. I walked over to the window and the next thing I knew I was on the floor. Apparently, I blacked out. When I came to, I was sitting on the floor, holding onto the bed. So, I have an EEG scheduled for tomorrow to see what is happening. The good news is it hasn't happened again. It also means no driving until we figure this out. My parents are visiting until Wednesday so that is very helpful.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

So we wait

I spoke with the nurse at my radiation oncologist's office who has communicated with the specialist and he agrees that we should continue to monitor the tumors and said to do another scan in 2 months. I love Christiana Care because he was able to look at the scans and reports through the network and all of this was done by email. One less trip to Christiana!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

He is faithful

I got the results of my brain MRI today. Originally, there were 4 tumors and this scan showed that 1 was gone, another was very small (so small they didn't measure it), another was smaller than the previous scan, and the final one was stable. I would have loved to here that they were gone but at least they are moving in the right direction. According to my oncologist, we keep watching them. I plan on speaking with another doctor in my team to see if he concurs or wants to seek a more aggressive approach.

When I have these appointments where I am expecting test results, I usually start worrying about a week before. My mood changes because I have this visit in the back of my mind. But, by the time I was in the exam room today, I was okay. I have learned by now that no matter what the news is, He is faithful to get our family through it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Our Beach Trip

How David boogie boards . . .

video

How Dawson boogie boards . . .

video

What happens when the 2 collide . . .

video

It was a little while before Dawson went back in the water. We also explained to David how to TURN the boogie board.

More waiting

I have really enjoyed this week off from chemo. We went to the beach earlier in the week with Dave's parents. My pain was pretty bad and my tolerance for the heat/sun didn't last as long as the boys', but we had a great time. We came home to no phone or internet service and it just came back today.



I had an MRI yesterday and will find out late next week the status of the brain tumors. We are praying that they are gone and never to be seen again. In the meantime, we are gearing up for David's first day of school on Monday. His teacher is the one he wanted and he is very excited.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I was showing the boys some different videos on you tube and showed them some of Michael Jackson's dance moves. It made me think of Weird Al and I tried showing them the parody videos. I was the only one laughing in the room. I asked them if they get it and both said no. Maybe in a few years.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Boy, am I glad I read this article AFTER David came home from camp.

I had my third round of chemo yesterday and am really feeling green today. I had to go to Christiana for the Neulasta shot which will boost my white blood cells, but also comes with some bone pain. As I was putting the kids to bed tonight, Dawson asked if I would sit in there for a minute. My reply - "No, I have to go puke." Dawson's reply - "Well, when you're done, can you sit in here for a minute?" It made me laugh.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Camp Stories

I thought after David had some rest, he might start spilling stories from camp. He told me about a girl, Audrey, that was in his age group and he had a crush on her. He informed her father of this at the ending barbecue and also told him that Audrey has told David that she doesn't like him. He told David that he thinks she is just playing hard to get. David still had to ask him what meant.

The other funny one was when I asked him if he had any problems with anyone at camp and he told me about one of his bunkmates, Jake. He said, "Jake has an aversion to making friends." (Obviously not something David came up with on his own.) He told me that is what Jake says about himself. But, by the end of the week, Jake signed David's shirt, "Best Friends." Some hard life lessons are learned at camp. First grade should be fun!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

David's back!

Well, we aren't at home yet but we are in NC and picked up David at lunchtime today. He was eating some lunch and I snuck up on him and he was so surprised. He squeezed me so tight and I just kept hugging him and didn't want to let go! I got a little weepy but Dave has told the boys, "girls cry when they are happy sometimes. It's weird." We have been asking him a million questions and we asked when was the last time you had a shower. He said they all had to get one last night or the parents might not let them come back next year. Robin and I got the joke - he really thought it was true. He doesn't get the sarcasm thing yet. Thank you to all of you who sent him e-mails - he really loved them.

Someone on Facebook asked me about the post camp laundry. Robin gave him a dirty laundry bag so he wasn't putting on the same clothes each day and some clothes ended up in the bag but so did wet bathing suits that sat in a dark, humid, tent -like structure. Robin is sparing me the smell of that bag and is on a mission to remove that lovely smell from the clothes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

How did this happen??



Well, my son is officially off to camp. Aunt Robin dropped him off about an hour ago and all was well. She said he was very excited and she met his counselor and then he was off. We can email him and view their Camp Kesem blog (just click on the link under "Blogs I Follow") to see what the camp was up to that day. I am so glad Robin dropped him off and not me. I don't know how long it would have taken me to leave the parking lot! I might have just sat in my van for a week until he was done!
I am planning on surprising him the last day of camp. There is an event scheduled for the families and David thinks we aren't coming. We haven't said so for sure just in case I can't get there.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Sesame Place

Dawson and I went to Sesame Place on Monday. It was a beautiful day, not too hot, and I only had to keep track of 1 boy! We arrived around noon and left when the park closed at 8 and had a blast. My physical setbacks became apparent when Dawson climbed to the other side of these ropes and I had to quickly get over there before he did. I honestly didn't think he could do it, but he proved me wrong. I ran over to the other side and up 3 flights of stairs and got there just as he did. But, I couldn't catch my breath. I stood there forever just trying to breathe. So, next time, he climbed back on his own.





The only things he asked me to buy for him all day were a soft pretzel (shaped like Elmo's head, of course) and an ice cream cone.




I start chemo tomorrow. I have had trouble sleeping at night either due to pain or breathing difficulties. I pray that this dose helps relieve some of the problems I have been experiencing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

More tests

I have now been home from the hospital for almost 2 weeks, but went in for some testing this past week. While I was in the hospital, I developed some serious pain in my right shoulder that seems to be radiating from my lower neck. I thought maybe it was a different bed but the pain is still there and I am taking pain meds round the clock to keep it tolerable. I wasn't scheduled to see my doctor until next week but went in on Wednesday to see one of his partners (my doctor is on vacation). The pain could be related to my port, or some bone mets that is pressing on a nerve, or residual pain from the shingles. (The pain is near the path of the shingles.) When I return for chemo on Thursday, I should have some more answers.

I am ready to get back on this chemo. Sounds funny, right? I have started experiencing symptoms again - coughing, shortness of breath and lower back pain. The chemo might wipe me out but at least I feel better.

David went to visit his Aunt Robin in North Carolina last week. He will be gone for another 2 weeks. The last week in NC, he will be attending Camp Kesem, a camp for kids whose families are coping with cancer. He is very excited about it and I know he will be okay there - it's me who isn't okay! Dawson and I have enjoyed our time this past week, just the 2 of us. Today, we were listening to a CD David brought home from a VBS he attended. I really started missing him today because he was always singing with the CD and dancing with it. Right after I started thinking about him, his aunt sent me a photo of him in a pirate costume. He is with her at Bald Head Island, NC for a pirate weekend. I miss my baby.

Some have asked how Dawson is doing without David. He asks where he is everyday, even though he already knows the answer. One morning, I saw Dawson climbing the ladder on their bunk beds and I asked him what he was doing. "Just checking." He was making sure David hadn't snuck in during the middle of the night. We talk to David every night on the phone and Dawson always wants to talk to him, too. One day, they were just making silly noises at each other. We had a good laugh. Some things never change.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I'm home!

I was discharged this afternoon and am feeling pretty good. The shingles are really clearing up. The swelling around my eye is not resolving as quickly as I would like but I have a med for that. So nice to be home!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I'm still here

I had to start taking a steroid today because the skin around my eyes was so swollen. The shingles are improving since they upped my antiviral dosage last night. The pain started getting more serious yesterday and I had to start taking a stronger pain med through IV. It has made me feel much more comfortable. I may be able to go home tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pirate Barb

Now I know how a pirate feels - I woke up with my eye swollen shut this morning. The last couple of days, it was swollen but today was the worst. Usually as the day goes on, the swelling reduces and I can open it some but not yet today.

The nurse last night told me how cute I was and I had to laugh. She said she could see it on my good side and I told her I feel like a monster. A friend joked about getting me a Phantom of the Opera mask. It really does look bad and Dave hasn't even seen the worst of it yet. He has never had chicken pox so I told him to stay home while I'm here.

A discharge tonight is possible but I would be okay with another day. It isn't fun here but I am glad this is being treated in the hospital. I am on the oncology floor so I am not allowed out of my room since I could spread this loveliness to other cancer patients. I understand, but pacing the room isn't quite the same as walking the halls.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

So much for a few days off . . .

I am sitting in a hospital bed at Christiana, waiting for IV antibiotics. I have come down with a lovely case of shingles that have seemed to spread into my eye. I noticed my skin over my right eye feeling tender on Sunday morning and by the afternoon some red dots had appeared. I tried some cream one night and Benadryl the next night and nothing was helping. When I woke up this morning, my eye was almost swollen shut. After visiting my oncologist and ophthalmologist and my oncologist speaking with an infectious disease specialist, they decided a couple days of IV antibiotics was the best course of action.

After being in treatment off and on for 2 years, this is the first time I have been hospitalized and it wasn't planned. David really was shaken by this today. He said as I was leaving tonight - "This family just doesn't seem right when you aren't here." He will be so busy tomorrow with swim lessons and playing with friends, I hope he forgets where I am.

I was scheduled for chemo this Thursday but the doctor said we have to get this taken care of first. We have seen good progress with the chemo so I am hoping it isn't delayed too long.

On a personal note - just about the time we are getting into a rhythm, a wrench gets thrown into the works. When the doctor first told me the plan, I just had a sinking feeling in my stomach. I couldn't wrap my head around the details and what I needed to do to prepare for this. I did get it together and I had time to spend with the boys before the hospital called. Fortunately, Dave's boss is very understanding and flexible with his schedule. It has been very helpful to be able to call him and he can help me whenever. This is our lives.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Must be lookin' good

I just got home from my second treatment - pajamas are already on! I have felt pretty great for the last couple of days. We weren't sure where the energy was coming from but I wasn't complaining. I must have looked like I was feeling good, too because the doctor and nurse both told me that I looked better this week. I have been able to breathe a little easier and the doctor was impressed with the improvement from just 1 treatment. I look forward to being able to run up and down my stairs again without feeling like I am wearing a corset that is tied way too tight.

I have (very, very few and tiny) hair! I frequently examine my head for something and there is a little bit. I feel like a preteen boy carefully looking for a few dark chin hairs. It isn't evenly distributed but it is still hair. We'll see how this chemo affects it. It might take the few microstrands I have in a couple weeks.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Big Day for David

Today was the first day David rode his bike without training wheels. This has been something we have been trying to work on for the last 2 summers but life kept getting in the way. It ain't pretty yet but we are going to keep practicing.


video

One down, ?? to go

You would think it would get easier, right? It doesn't. The doctor's office was behind on Thursday because they were closed for the holiday on Friday so they are trying to cram 2 days worth of appointments and treatments into 1 day. I wasn't feeling great before we even started. I explained to my doctor the problems I have been having with pain and breathing and coughing. His thoughts are the treatments should relieve a lot of that. I hope so.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Whew!



We went to San Antonio, Texas last week to attend my younger brother, Frank's wedding. We had a great, relaxing trip. It was the boys' first wedding and they did pretty good.




They are breaking cascarones at the end of the night.
video

We got home from the airport around 1 a.m. Friday night and then attended another wedding Saturday afternoon. The boys came with us to the ceremony because the bride is a friend to our whole family. She lives in our neighborhood and whenever we took walks around the neighborhood, the boys always wanted to stop by her house. She would then chase them around the yard.


I started not feeling too hot on Friday. I have been coughing for a month or so now but Friday seemed to be worse. Today, I just felt bad - not any one particular thing but everything was uncomfortable. I start chemo on Thursday and hope it will make this uncomfortable feeling go away (but the chemo does come with its own set of problems.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Puddle jumpin'

We had some serious rain yesterday and our street usually floods when this happens. We went out during this and when we returned, the street was back to normal but our sidewalk remains a large puddle for awhile. The boys discovered the puddle, turned around and looked at me and I said, " Go ahead." I don't think my neighbors were as happy with me because all of their kids wanted to do the same thing.

This is moments before the other kids joined us . . .


video

Eventually, there were 10 kids in the middle of this mess . . . but, they had fun!

video

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Feeling Better

It has been a couple of days since we found out the plan for the MRIs and the chemo and I finally feel like I can breathe again. Even though everything wasn't great news, there is now a plan in place and everything is scheduled. We can move on with our lives. I even exercised yesterday and today and have started really feeling more like myself.

I am enjoying this summer vacation, not the rain and cold weather, but no alarm clocks and no clock-watching in the afternoon for the bus stop. The boys and I haven't hurried much.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

No change

I had my MRI yesterday and the doctor called today to say the tumors were stable. Meaning - no change. This was not what I wanted to hear but the doctor was pleased that they hadn't grown either. He spoke with the specialist and the plan is to do another follow up scan in 2 months. That sounded like a long time to wait to me but there are 3 doctors who agree on this plan. If I begin having any symptoms again, the plan changes.

This isn't good or bad news. But, I sure could have used better news than this.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Life goes on

It is with a heavy heart that I say, "The cancer is back." The CT scan showed an increase in size of some lymphnodes and nodules on my lungs. The positive part is that it returned in the same locations and there were not dramatic changes in size. SOOOO, I am scheduled to begin chemo in 3 weeks. Ugh.

Now we wait to find out about my brain. But before that, I have 2 little boys who are very excited that we are about to fill water balloons. I might get wet.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The boys and I have just returned from a trip to NC. We visited family and also had a "Day Out with Thomas (the train)." We just walked in about an hour ago after 9 hours in the car so the photos will have to wait.

I see my doctor tomorrow to find out the results of the CT scan and then I have an MRI of the brain scheduled for Monday. I guess my vacation is over.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

3-day walk - continued

Well, I think I figured out what is holding me back from registering - and there is an even a term for it. I went to my support group this week and talked about it and the group facilitator called it "apprehensive grief." I am leaving for an hour for a CT scan of my torso to see if the cancer continues to stay away. In another 10 days or so, I have another MRI of my brain. I believe I am just apprehensive to make any plans beyond these 2 tests. I know in my head that I could do this walk on treatment, but just can't think beyond these test results.

I can not express the sadness and fear I feel before going into these tests. It overwhelms me as the test approaches. I hate living my life from one scan to the next, knowing that the report will determine my fate for the next however long.

Please pray that within the next couple weeks, I will get the news that there is no cancer and to enjoy my summer.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The 3-day walk

I am sure you have seen a few commercials for the 3-day walk by now. I certainly have received several phone calls, emails, etc reminding me to sign up. I just don't know. I remember the amount of time it took to train and that was time spent away from my family. On the other hand, every time Dawson sees a pink ribbon, he talks about me walking. When I see the commercials, I get emotional just recalling the experience. But, it does take lots of time and effort to raise the money. I know Dave would not be walking this year. Because of his school schedule, he wouldn't be able to commit to the training. I don't even know if I can do the training!!

Today, I got an email about signing up and it had a video attached where the group was singing, "The Greatest American Hero" after the first day of walking. That was in San Diego, but we did it too. It brought back all of the memories of the walk (good - like finishing it! and bad - like the sleeping arrangements.) Not sure what I am waiting for.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The ice cream bell

We haven't told him what that bell means yet

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Catch Dawson's face plant in the cold ocean at the beginning . . .

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Beach weekend


We were given the wonderful opportunity last weekend to go to Avalon, NJ. Both boys had off on Tuesday and Dave was able to work from the beachhouse on Tuesday so we had an extra day down there. The weather was great throughout the weekend (little cool on the beach) but Tuesday was a mess - cold, windy and rainy. That had been the day we were planning on visiting the OC boardwalk but had to come up with plan B. What to do with 2 boys when I am not familiar with the area and outside is not an option? I pulled out the phone book. This will sound like a public service announcement but we ended up at the local library. The boys had a good time - the children's room was empty and had some computer games they really enjoyed. We later drove into Stone Harbor and visited some stores and got some fudge. When they came home, they told me how much fun they had. I guess mom did okay.




Friday, May 22, 2009

What a difference a day makes!

I was not feeling good for the last week or so. I had nausea, lots of fatigue, general body aches and some serious headaches when I would sit up quickly or bend over and then straighten up. Unfortunately, my life does not always happen on the vertical and the headaches happened pretty frequently.

Today, I woke up feeling very refreshed - like a new person! The nausea was gone and the headaches are gone (for today) too! I had lots of people tell me today that I looked like I was feeling better. It's amazing how happy and alert you can be when your head isn't throbbing!

I just had an all-around good day. I went to the DMV (that wasn't so good) but everything went smoothly. I had a nice visit with a friend who is recovering from surgery. I surprised David at his school and he took me out to lunch (at the cafeteria). I had a good nap and then spent the evening with our neighbors for an impromptu cookout. I also made my first pitcher of margaritas tonight (for the cookout). Considering the pitcher I brought home was empty, I guess they were a hit! Some of the children almost sampled them as well because the pitcher was commonly mistaken for lemonade.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Things are moving in the right direction

I saw my radiation oncologist yesterday and was able to see the progress of the brain radiation. All of the tumors responded to the radiation and are now half the size they were. Even my untrained eyes could see the difference in comparison to the MRI done in March. The plan is to do another MRI in another month and see if there is any residual left. If there is, I will be referred to the neurological radiation oncologist about targeted radiation. The doctor seemed pleased with the progress.

I am still not feeling great. By the end of the day (even with a nap), I am pretty wiped. The doctor said it is normal considering the radiation and the steroids. But, each day is a little better than yesterday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mothers' Day & MRIs

When David came home from school on Friday, I usually look in his backpack and was told I couldn't because there was a surprise for me in there. When he got home, he immediately went to his room to hide something. As soon as he woke up on Mothers' Day, he brought me the present he made for me at school. It was a book where he wrote things that he loved about me and a picture frame he painted. My favorite was, "My mom is smart because she can do math problems that I don't know." Dawson also presented me with a picture of a bunny where the ears were his footprints.

We had a great dinner with both of our parents. My parents are now on their way back to Arkansas. I have been doing okay on my own. I even started exercising again. I have been sleeping better at night, too.

I had my MRI of the brain yesterday and have an appointment with the radiation oncologist on Thursday. I don't expect to hear anything before then.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our anniversary

Today, Dave and I have been married for 9 years. I told David at breakfast and he had all kinds of questions about this. Last night, Dave and I reminisced about celebrating our anniversary 2 years ago in Ocean City, MD. We spent the weekend there and it is one of our last memories before I was diagnosed one month later.

We will be celebrating tonight by attending David's baseball game. Oh, but we will go out to dinner over the weekend.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Good, but exhausting day

I had quite a day today. David had his Spring Music Program at school this morning. Picture 70+ Kindergartners standing on a stage singing and doing the Hand Jive . . . and remarkably very few were hitting each other! He was able to lead the motions to one of the songs and took it very seriously. There was a bake sale after the show, so I bought him a little something for after his lunch. When I saw him after the concert, he informed me that he found a dollar in his pocket and bought Dave and I a cookie to share. He didn't buy anything for himself. It made my heart melt.

Then, I had an appointment with my oncologist this afternoon and was also scheduled for Herceptin following the appointment. My visit went well. I am cleared to drive!! I was very excited to hear it and then a little nervous since I haven't driven for almost 7 weeks! An MRI of my brain is scheduled for the middle of May to see what progress has been made and then we will do a follow-up CT scan to check the rest of my body the beginning of June.

By the time I got home from everything, I was so exhausted. I usually rest after lunch and didn't get a chance to today. I did get some rest late this afternoon and was able to enjoy dinner with everyone. Oh, I drove earlier this evening. Dave announced to the neighbors as we walked out the door that everyone should stand back because Barbara has the car keys. I also appreciated another neighbor directing me as I backed out of the driveway. We arrived to our destination safely and with no events along the way . . . and it felt so good!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Steroids - BE GONE

On Friday, I held up my last pill and said, "Please, I don't want to ever have to take this again." The first day without it presented its challenges, but compared to the symptoms I could have experienced, the day was tolerable. Yesterday, was a little easier. I even went to a bridal luncheon for 2 hours. I napped both before and after and all that was really required of me was to sit, eat and enjoy. And I did. I think part of what made yesterday a better day was just getting out and doing something fun.

Today, was a little easier too and I know each day will start to feel that way. I meet with my doctor this Thursday and then the MRI will be scheduled for the next week or so. I have had no symptoms for weeks now. My memory is certainly not what it was but that is why I have lots of lists around the house! I also did a field test at my ophthalmologist's office last week to see how my glaucoma was doing since I had been on the steroids and he called today and said there were no signs of it. The steroids could have put additional pressure on my eye and actually made my glaucoma worse. But they didn't and that was great news to us!!

We also found out today that Dave's class for the summer can be taken in New Castle instead of Dover. We are just getting lots of good news today and we sure you can use it!

Monday, April 20, 2009

She's in there somewhere . . .I am beginning to see her

Yesterday and today were really a turning point for me. I have been tapering down on the steroids and actually started feeling more like myself. I am still not quite there yet, but I am seeing glimpses of the person I know. My energy level has been more than the past couple of weeks. I was actually having a catch with David yesterday and sliding down a sliding board with Dawson! I kept waiting for the feeling like I was going to crash to hit but we came home from the playground and I needed to lay down but didn't have the crash.

Only 4 days left on the steroid! The problem is that my ability to handle stress is difficult right now and "life" things that I would normally be able to handle are not for me. So, Dawson decided now would be a good time to become a difficult 3 year old. Nice timing, kid.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Pajama Day

We had a pajama day at our house yesterday. Both boys have been home for Spring Break and yesterday was cold and rainy all day - perfect for PJs all day!

I have been tapering down on the steroids this week and have not yet had any of my original flashes/pressure come back. I pray that this continues as the week goes on and I can get off these things and quick!

I was helping Dawson get dressed for bed last night and had a baseball cap on my head that kept getting in the way. I asked him if I should take it off and he said he didn't want to see my weird hair. We have done bald around here before but I think the swollen face along with the head is a little harder on them this time. Even David has asked me to not go baldy because it makes him sad to see me without any hair. Nothing like kids to give it you straight.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Treasures of Snow

A friend sent me this incredible book, Treasures of the Snow by Janet Paschal. It is written similar to journal entries. It talks about her breast cancer journey. She also started getting Herceptin the year it was FDA-approved, which is the drug that is keeping the cancer out of the rest of my body! I read something last night that was so inspiring and needed -

"There are treasures in the storms, opportunities in the interruptions. They issue mandates to uncover what we really believe in the marrow of our bones. They wrest from us our schedules and plans, and lead us to a place of surrender. When the storm is spent, our brokenness stands tall, like the old oaks and hickories and maples. We bend and bow and shed our excess layers, but we do not lose heart. We are not unlike Paul who wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:8, We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

Even in our brokenness we see more clearly who He is; that even as we wrestle in turmoil, we discover a steely resolve that we are not alone; that, even as the storm rages, we discover what we suspected all along: That He is in the storm, in the turmoil, in the brokenness. And we declare , "Oh Yes, I am sure. Thou art the Christ."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Who am I?

Had a little excitement in the house this morning - apparently, the steroid I am on can raise my blood sugar levels quickly and unexpectedly. Even though I have been on it since 3/13, I hadn't noticed this problem. I had been eating sweets when I wanted and feeling okay. Well, the other night, had some dessert and was later talking to Dave. He was telling me that I sounded out of breath and something wasn't right. It passed. Today, I ate a cinnamon roll with the boys for breakfast and I started sweating, feeling light-headed and just not right. Called the doctor's office, the nurse said start drinking the fluids now. After chugging 2 bottles of water, I started feeling okay again. I had to go to Christiana today for Herceptin anyway so they checked my blood sugar when I was there. The blood sugar level was within normal limits by that time. So, I can't drink caffeine (makes my heart jump out of my chest), can't drink alcohol (made me feel extremely weird) and now no sugar. I cant have any fun!!!

I am also having trouble with coordination issues these days. Sometimes my legs don't want to go in the direction I want them to. I almost knocked Dawson over outside the other day when we were walking!! He goes, "Whoa, Mommy!" I joked with my mom that I am not drinking but I probably look like it when I am stumbling around. Just trying to tie my headband in my wig became challenging. I am having trouble with short-term memory right now too. I can balance my checkbook but I have no idea what happened to the piece of paper that was just in my hand!!

It is very frustrating to not be myself. I pray that this all comes back. I went to my cancer support group last night and one of the folks didn't recognize me. She said, "Is that Barbara?" I thought - I don't recognize me either.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Trip to Linvilla


Well, we went to Bunnyland yesterday at Linvilla Orchards - didn't blow away and had a great time!


Our boys just looked extra handsome today!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

And it's gone.

We were having a movie and brownie ice cream sundae night at our house last night. We watched "Bedtime Stories" (much better for the boys than I thought it was going to be), had an itch on my head, and next a big clump. So, I had an extra bowl of ice cream in honor of it :) Once all were in bed, I had a good cry, sat in the shower, got comfortable and went to work. (We have a shower chair that I take in with me sometimes for the more wobbly moments). Most came out from the roots and then Dave helped me shave the leftover patches. The previous hair losses seemed to last for a week and I was not having that this time. I just wanted it done and wanted to move on. Before we would have been finding little hairs everywhere forever.

So, I have my new wig and some new hats and will go buy some accessories today. We are laughing because we wanted to take the boys to Linvilla Orchards later today for a bunny hayride and it happens to be a CRAZY WINDY day. I will NOT be wearing the new wig. Seeing it fly across an orchard and chasing it down is not how I want to spend my time. I have some hats with adjustable bands and it will be on tight!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update

When I woke up from my nap this afternoon, my eyes landed on this picture. This was taken 10 years ago on the night we got engaged. Not a care in the world!!!!

We tried decreasing my steroids earlier this week (not a good thing to stay on for a long period of time) and found out today it was too soon. The flashes and pressure came back with a vengeance. So, the dosage went back up again. When you see me, my face is getting a chipmunk look to it which will go beautifully with the bald head I will have in the next week or so.



Here are boys, so excited with the Easter bunny.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A day off from treatment

It was very nice to not have treatment today. A dear friend of ours lost her mother and we attended the funeral today. David also was sick earlier this week and we were so happy to have 3 additional family members in town to help with taking care of a sick boy, getting to all of my appointments and just watching our boys so we could help our friend through this difficult time.

I need to sleep a lot but am able to still enjoy my wake up times with the boys.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Brain Fog

I have been asked a lot what it is like to get these treatments. They aren't horrible, but the side effects are upsetting. They have me in a fog a lot of the time, with moments of clarity throughout the day. I feel like I have shown up at the party and am physically standing in the middle of it, but not a participant. Those around me have said they don't notice a difference in me, but I do and it is upsetting. The chemo and radiation I have had before had their definite downfalls, but this is a different beast. I feel like it is affecting the me I know. I pray that when the cancer is gone and the radiation treatments are done, I will be back.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Encouraging story

We enjoyed a great weekend - taking pictures of mommy with hair and celebrating Dave's birthday. David said to me when he came home from school today - "I see you still have your hair!" I told him I didn't know when it would come out (maybe a couple of weeks?) but he might leave for school and I have it and then come home and it is gone! He always draws pictures of me with spiky hair and I told him I don't think there will be spikes left this time.

I was encouraged by a story of a woman around my age, diagnosed with breast cancer 1 month after her 5th child was born and then found out it had metastasized to her brain when the baby was 5 months old. That baby is now 5 years old and she has been on a preventive drug ever since with minimal difficulties.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Radiation update

We got some great news today - no signs of cancer elsewhere in my body! The Herceptin seems to be doing the trick. So, I started brain radiation today. Little scary - I sit under a mask looking much like Jason and get my head cooked. The treatment isn't long, just a little uncomfortable. Hair loss will take place in a couple weeks and apparently take a lot longer to come back than with chemo. I am scheduled for 15 treatments (5x/week for 3 weeks). It will take a few weeks following the radiation to see if the cancer is gone. Hard to believe that this time last Friday, we thought I just had a bad headache.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Unbelievable news

Where to begin? . . . Last Wednesday, I experienced vision problems while on the computer. My peripheral vision started flashing and it eventually became my full range of sight. Dawson was sleeping and Dave was out with David at the time. I thought the best place to be (so I wouldn't harm myself or anyone else) was in bed. I checked on Dawson first and couldn't see him lying in my bed. I knew Dave and David would be home soon. Even when I closed my eyes, the flashing continued and then a massive headache followed. Migraine, right? Unfortunately not. I debated on whether to call my doctor and wanted to downplay this as a little headache (I was perfectly happy forgetting about the flashes) and realized that I don't have "M.D." after my name and I called his office late Thursday afternoon. I went in for a CT scan of my head on Friday.

We have just returned from a whirlwind of information from my oncologist and now know there are 4 tumors, 2 of which are near the occipital nerve which may explain the vision issues. I had another episode of flashing this morning while out on a walk with Dawson. We now have a week full of tests ahead of us to see if the cancer is somewhere else also. I started taking a steroid on Friday to reduce swelling in the brain and received a dose through IV today. The treatment plan for this is whole brain radiation. We meet with the radiation oncologist tomorrow and it appears that the radiation will begin in the next week or so. I also meet with my ophthalmologist tomorrow to look further into the vision problems to see if I am having optic seizures.

Now that I have all of the technical stuff off my fake chest, let's make it personal. I have been feeling fantastic! The best I have felt in the past 2 years!! How can this be? I drove to Williamsburg last weekend and had no problems. I sat in my boys' room for hours last night and just wept. We had to have an open conversation with my oncologist today about how this is going to affect my mental capacities. Whole brain radiation can cause "early aging" of the brain and I may qualify for a clinical trial to try and reduce the short term memory loss. I just keep thinking about my children and the fear of becoming someone they don't recognize. The oncologist showed us the scan and doesn't feel that any of the tumors are pressing on areas that could cause this. But this is my brain we are talking about !!!!!

I have thought about so many things - my 3rd hair loss, my brain getting cooked, my inability to drive until all of this gets under control, the side effects of the steriods - including weight gain (which really makes me angry because I just worked my tail off to look good again) the time and energy that is taken away from my family so I can go to treatments and recover from them and my head is spinning. We have asked God a lot of questions. But, I can see His grace in the handling of all of this - the timing of the vision loss, our trip to Disney, the return of my Ipod (I lost it late last summer and we just found it again and it was my sanity through radiation the last time).

I know this may seem like rambling but it is only a few of the thoughts raging through this cancer-infested brain of mind. I received Herceptin today and the male nurse was making a joke and said he didn't want my head to get too big - now that was bad timing! We will update as we know more info.

Please pray for no more cancer. Please pray for a complete and miraculous healing of the cancer that is present.

Tie-dye fun

So, we tie-dyed with our boys this afternoon. David decided to do a pillow case since he won't grow out of that and whatever David does . . . Dawson does! It was a lot of fun and my fingers are stained from the paint. I would recommend it on a day when you can do it outside (not cold and rainy like our day)!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Surprise! You're going to Disneyworld!

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We surprised our kids with a trip to Disneyworld on February 11. This was not an easy secret to keep! We had an amazing time and returned on February 17 to cold winter weather. We are all daydreaming of that Florida sunshine. Dawson has asked almost every day, "When we go back?"
The boys loved the Star Wars ride and posed as the characters.




Thursday, January 29, 2009

No news is good news!





I had someone tell me recently that they have missed my posts. I told them I was too busy living life and enjoying life without treatments! I was experiencing problems with my cable last night (about 1 hour before Lost came on) and I told a friend how frustrating it was. She asked me this - isn't it refreshing that my cable is one of my biggest problems right now? She gets a "Bravo" for that one!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Now that you've received good test results . . .

what are you going to do?? (We are gearing up for the Superbowl.) First, I have nothing substantial planned for today. We are headed out of town for the weekend, so I am planning on getting a good book to read. I probably will rest quite a bit today simply because my mind has been put at ease. I feel like I have been holding my breath for so long and now can finally let it out and relax. It is quite unusual for me to have a day with no appointments and to not be recovering from chemo. There has been talk of planning a family vacation soon, too. We haven't been on one (where I wasn't on chemo) for 2 years.

Within the last week or so, I really was at peace with whatever was going to come. I talked openly about my thoughts, whether the news was good or bad. I looked to these verses in Psalms daily to comfort me:
Psalm 139: 13-18, 23-24

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

I ran into our pastor on Wednesday and told him I was pretty calm and didn't know why. He put it simply - grace. I really felt prepared for whatever was going to happen. But, I am so happy it turned out great!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's good!

So, we told the doc when he walked in the room - "You have us shakin' in our boots!" He said, "Oh, your scan is fine." That wasn't exactly how I envisioned the moment, but it certainly is the news we wanted. Everything is resolved and nothing new popped up. I will remain on the Herceptin every 3 weeks and will have another CT scan in 3 months. The scans will then be compared for any changes in the lymphnodes, etc. This is such wonderful news! I desperately needed a break from treatment and am looking forward to crazy things like energy and hair!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

It's that time of year . . . for sickness!

Ah, yes - it has probably invaded your home too. All of the lovely sicknesses that come during the winter months. Some of the members of our house seem to be mucously challenged right now. I was scheduled to have my CT scan on Thursday and woke up Thursday morning barely able to move. Fortunately, Dave worked from home that day and took care of getting David to the bus stop. I took Dawson to school and stopped by the pharmacy on the way home for good meds. I came home and was so tired from my adventures! I knew the prep for the CT scan would push me over the edge and was able to reschedule for late Friday afternoon. I wasn't feeling fantastic Friday morning, but was able to get to the scan. This morning was a rerun of Thursday morning and I was the second patient at the medical center down the street. Now armed with Dayquil AND Nyquil and good antibiotics, I hope to be better soon and ready for the next hurdle.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A necessary evil

Grocery shopping. It is not the highlight of my week, but if we want to eat . . . Well, Dawson and I discovered a new way to shop. We went to Giant today because I saw they have a feature called Scan It. You get a scanner when you walk in and you scan all of the groceries as you place them in the bags in your cart. This sounded brilliant to me because grocery shopping really makes me tired from putting the groceries in the cart, taking them out to be scanned, putting them back in, taking them out and putting them in the van, etc. Dawson loved the scanner and did a pretty good job with it. Oh, and the Starbucks guy came around with samples of their peppermint hot chocolate (which Dawson drank more than me). This is my new favorite store!

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's over (for now)!!

I recall the day I went in for my last chemo in October of 2007. I felt like the Rocky theme song was playing in the background and I was ready to fight and win. Today, when I walked in for my last chemo, I didn't hear that music playing in my head. Instead, I feel like I have fought 17 rounds and am tired and just want it to be done. I came home to balloons and dinner from a friend and Robin took the boys to pick out balloons. I was told that Dawson really wanted the black, over the hill Happy Birthday balloon and David wanted me to have the Batman one, but they settled for "Congrats" and "I Love You." They were so excited to give them to me - it made my day!

In about 2 weeks, we will know if I am really done for now. I have a CT scan scheduled for next week to see the progress that has been made. When the scan comes back clear, then I feel like I can really celebrate.