Thursday, August 28, 2008


I wish I had new news to give to you dear readers and supporters but fortunately for me, I have been doing well. I don't have my next treatment until September 5 in which I will undergo two treatments in a row again. Hopefully the last! Yeah! Yeah me! Yeah chemo! Yeah cancer....I shake my fist at that one. Ggrrrrrrr...

I will start radiation I estimated somewhere around the beginning of October. I will know more later on that one.

On kind of a somber note, my heart goes out to those families of the 10 victims of the plane crash. I got online the other day and noticed that one of the victims was the little sister of a really good childhood friend of mine. Her name was Mandi Johnson. I will always remember her as a really bubbly and compassionate five year old girl. I am sure she carried a lot of those beautiful attributes into her young adult life. My heart goes out to the Johnson's and all the other families mourning their losses.

And, as a final note, this is just a picture I found of my and my siblings. From left to right:Sona, Adam, Aaron, and me in the front.
Shannon hadn't entered our life yet so she is not pictured. For those of you who don't know, Shannon is my adopted sister. Oh! Here is a picture taken a few years back of Shannon, Sona and myself:

I am off to a fabulous vacation in Alaska! I am escaping this heat to go deep sea fishing, and whale watching. It will be a wonderful break!
Thank you all!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Prayers from strangers

I had my 2nd treatment in a row last Friday, August 15. This was the second half of my treatment from last week. It was also Karen Esplin’s last treatment. We had a party. She brought homemade cinnamon rolls and I brought a cheese roll and chips with salsa. It was fun party. I was done with my treatment pretty quick but stuck around for a while to visit. It was a great experience.
When we decided to leave, my mom, sister and I wanted to go grab a bite to eat, despite my nausea and lack of appetite. We picked the nearest place of convenience which happened to be ARBY’s. America’s Roast Beef, Yes Sir! After ordering our selections, my mom and I searched for a table. Along the way, I passed a young gentleman who smiled a subdued sort of empathetic smile. I am kind of used to this, now. By this point, I have no eyebrows, no eyelashes and I wear a head wrap to conceal my bald head. It still doesn’t cover up the fact that I am sick. I smiled back and proceeded past him.
A few moments later, as we were waiting for our food, this same man walked up to my mom and me and said, “Would it be all right if I played with you?”
Wha?! I was thinking this guy was a registered pedafile or perv. What stranger says that to 2 women.
Thinking I had mistakenly heard him, I said, “I’m sorry?”
“Would it be alright if I prayed for you?” He repeated.
Okay, now I felt like an idiot. Oops.
“Sure.” I replied.
So there we were, in the middle of a fast food restaurant, heads humbled and eyes closed, offering a prayer to God. It was a beautiful prayer. I don’t know what faith this young man was but he truly was inspired to comfort me that day. He prayed for my health, for the doctors and for those around me to be comforted. It was amazing. When he was done, we all said our quiet “amens.” He gently patted me on the shoulder to assure me that everything would be okay. I graciously said, “Thank you,” and he went to sit and enjoy his meal, alone.
My sister approached during the middle of the prayer and didn’t want to interrupt so she carefully placed our food down and backed away.
When we opened our eyes we saw that our food had miraculously come but my sister had disappeared. After the man left, all I could was point at the tray and look inquisitively at my mom to see if she had an answer to this mysteriously appearing food. Then I saw my sister over the booth and she just gave me a simple nod to confirm my suspicions. If we had been praying for roast beef sandwiches at the moment, our prayers would have been answered faster than we could say amen.
It was a great day that day and I will never forget the perfect stranger who was inspired to offer a simple prayer on behalf of my health. To him I will always say thank you. And not just to him but I know of all the many hundreds of people both strangers and not, who have offered multiple prayers on my behalf. Thank you.

Monday, August 11, 2008

my family...

Well, I feel a little bit guilty reading back on all these blogs. I have done nothing but talk about myself. I read other people's blogs and see how the entire family is doing but when I return to mine, I realize how selfish it sounds. I will first update on the cancer and then on the family.

They had to switch up my treatments because of the severe neuropathy effects I was having. They cut my treatments in half and do them one week right after another to hopefully minimize those side effects. I had my first last Friday. So far, so good. I still get nauseated but all is well. After this Friday's treatment I will have a 2 weeks break and do the same thing over again. I also had my blood taken for my cancer marker and am waiting for the results on that. Hopefully it will tell me I am in remission.

Unfortunately, my insurance will not pay for the BRCA test so I won't ever really have a conclusion as to what sparked this whole thing. It does worry me for Drue though. If I carry the gene there is a good chance both her and my sister do as well. It is an ongoing debate with Josh and I as to whether or not we should just pay for it or not. Time will tell.

As for the family? We are all doing really well. It rained here a couple of days ago and my kids decided to dance in the rain. It was truly a memory I had to capture and did. They are such joyful little spirits. I have been so blessed.

Ethan is now 4 months, sleeping through the night and weighs almost 14 pounds. Much bigger than any of my other kids ever were. We guessed the formula. Josh teases me now and says, "See, doesn't that make you feel bad that you were starving our other children with your breastmilk?"
Drue starts 1st grade tomorrow. I think I am more sad about that than I was Kindergarten. Now she will be gone a full day. I don't know what I am going to do with myself. She is so smart it scares me

Josh has been super busy at work. He has building pools with my brother The pool side of Cutting Edge Landscape has really taken off. They did a home in the Parade last year and are already planning on a couple for this year as well.

Sorry, this blog isn't as exciting as the others but I still do appreciate all your thoughts and prayers. They are always helpful and loved!


Friday, August 1, 2008

Little Josh decided to stick his nerf sticks to his forehead. I don't think I need to say anything further. Good thing he is a mild baby.

I have to say, this blogging thing is kind of fun. Mostly because of all the comments I read from all of you and then I can click on your blog and read about you. I am reading about people I haven't heard from since high school and it is truly wonderful to see how all of you are doing! Amazing. The bad side is that I see how cute and organized your blogs are compared to mine. So for that I apologize on behalf of the plainness of my blog. Some day I will figure out how to make mine cute too. I guess it is how I am in life too. Pretty plain. I actually had to have my mom and sister-in-law come over and decorate my house because I had no pictures or wall hangings. I have lived here since it was built over 4 years ago! Pretty sad.

We had Drue's birthday party last week. Her b-day isn't until Aug. 19 but I combined it with her cousin. It was a pool party with all her friends and she had so much fun.

Things are well. "Par for the course," has been my motto during all my treatments. My husband, as always, is wonderfully supportive.
I was suppose to have my 7th chemo treatment today. The doctor's office called yesterday and told me they were going to postpone it for one week. Phew! I got off the hook. I had an echocardiogram which revealed that my "ejection reception" in my heart is down from 70% to 55%. For those of you who don't know what this means, join my club. I had no idea. They had to explain it to me. My heart was beating normally but it means that the force in which it expels the blood from the heart has dropped. This explains why I am lightheaded or short winded all the time. I have also been having stabbing pains in my heart. I didn't ask but I suspect that this could also be the explanation. They said it is a reaction from the Taxol drug they were giving me. They are going to rethink my drug dosage and hold me off another week. The other severe reaction was my feet. They were plumping up like a Ballpark Frank and it felt like I had razor sharp rocks underneath my toes and balls of my feet. I don't know how else to explain the pain but it was pretty excruciating. Josh toted me around for a few days. It was too painful to walk. So, to say the least, I am actually happy to have another week free of chemo. I am almost back up to my regular walking speed.

The last thing that happened was pretty minor. One of the three incisions from my hysterectomy popped open. I was out to eat with my husband, looked down and noticed blood oozing through my clothes. I wasn't extremely alarmed but went to the ER anyway. They bandaged me up and told me to keep a close eye on it. I obeyed but the incision healed up nicely, managing to avoid any more trips to the ER.

I took my kids to Hogle Zoo this last weekend and then to Cabela's. My opinion? Just take your kids to Cabela's. They have everything the zoo has and it's free. I think my kids enjoyed it there more. Plus, they got to shoot the guns. I have to say, I made my husband proud. I shot a perfect 20 out of 20. Watch out Bambi! Here I come!

I had a block of cheese out on the counter and came back into see my son taking chunks of bites out of the block. I decided to take pictures as evidence. Apparantely, Josh's mom has a similar picture of him doing the same thing at this age. My boy loves his cheese.

As always, I feel your prayers and love. This whole experience has made my testimony and love for the church grow so strong and I know I couldn't have done it without any of you!