Friday, July 31, 2009


Sometimes you just have to persevere. That's all there is to it. You have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and know that there is an end in sight. Life isn't easy, and I don't believe we were ever promised that it would be. Think back to when you were a child. Was it easy? Oh yes, there are those carefree summer days. Remember those, the ones you wished would never end. The friends and BBQs, lightening bugs and ice cream truck. Running free in the wind, riding your bike, no boundaries, the only rule to be back by nightfall. But even caught in that freedom is the knowledge that life isn't easy. That hill that was SO hard to climb, the mean word from the friend, the ostracizing from the kids in the neighborhood because of who knows what, the wrong clothes, the parents arguing, the wanting to fit it, the knowing you might not. The insecurity, the fear of the unknown. As easy as it was, in the details it probably wasn't. So why do our memories remind us of all the great stuff and its so easy, sometimes, to forget the bad? I don't know why, but I know I have to look harder to see the bad stuff than to see the good stuff. Maybe its just being a optimist, but I tend to write off the bad and focus on the good. Perseverance has its benefits.

I just knew I had to get through the night. That's all, somehow I would get through it and today would be better. And look, it is! I'm on my patio, its a warm summer morning, and I'm drinking coffee watching my animals play. I feel better, as I knew I would. It was just a matter of making it though the darkness. That's all any of us can do, persevere through the darkness. Because the darkness is going to come, its inevitable. We can't live without the darkness. If we did, we would have absolutely no appreciation of the light anyway. So we need the darkness. Think about that quandary?! If you never were never in the valley, if you never walked through the darkness, how could you even begin to appreciate the light? I don't think we would. We would forget all that there is that is good, and white, and loving and beautiful in this world. So when you really get down to the nitty gritty of it, embrace the darkness. For the darkness allows you to see the light.

I have to share this picture with you. My dear friend Sherri has a wonderful and loving little boy Noah and his heart is so pure. He made me this picture all by himself at daycare. He prays for me all the time. It humbles me that this little child could love me so, could care for me and bring my worries and my trials before his big God and lay them at His feet. What a gift that is. He reminds me to leave my cares at the foot of the Big Guy. They are too big for me to handle anyway, so why even try. Just lay them at the feet of God and say, here, YOU deal with it. Its way too big for me. And you know what, HE WILL. So thank you Noah, you bought tears to my eyes and a warmth to my heart that is irreplaceable. Thanks for teaching me how to handle the big stuff in life. Just let it go and let God. What a smart boy you are! You must have a wonderful mommy! :-)

So persevere my friends. Walk through that darkness with your head held high with the knowledge that the light is just there on the other side waiting for you. Don't worry, its not going to leave you, as long as you keep walking you will make it. One foot in front of the other, and if you stumble, just reach out and take God's hand. He's walking right there with you.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A miracle and a prayer!

My friend Deana does NOT have have cancer. OMG I am overwhelmed with joy!! There was a chance it was a big, fugly, honkin cyst, and guess what?? It WAS! I think God has answered prayers and performed a miracle here. Water to wine type stuff. Cancer to not. It just doesn't get much bigger than that!! Not that there was any doubt about God's ability to perform miracles. I mean he is in the miracle business, we just forget to notice. I see miracles happen every day and I'm sure you do to, we just tend to let them fade away and not acknowledge their existence. Do you see that? Think through your day. How many amazing random things happen that are simply the works of God and His awesome power over this universe and its inhabitants? I know that working at a hospital amazing miracles happen every day. People are healed when there was really no hope. Relationships heal as being sick helps us to get well in other ways. Just look around today, check out the miracles. You'll see them. I figure every day I made it through that roundabout on steptoe and don't get clobbered. Its a miracle!

Well I'm Day 8 Round 2. I go to the cancer center in an hour and have my blood counts checked and say a prayer that they are up and ready for another dose!! If all goes well I'll be another dose this morning, next week is my "off" week where I really get sick, and then I'll start Round 3 on August 13th. Dr. Rado indicated that I'd have another CT after my 3rd round to see how its working, so I'm hoping for a GREAT CT in early September!! Start praying for THAT miracle now! I am working on my outfit today, but I think a new pair of shoes, my new lucky jeans and my "you messed with the wrong bitch" shirt fit the bill today. I should look fabulous and very sassy!!

I'm feeling pretty good. I actully slept last night, thank God. I wasn't messing around either, I took an whole ambien before I went to bed. I wasn't going to risk waking up at 2am all achey and unable to sleep. No way. I didn't have to be up until 8 this morning and I planned on taking advantage of it!! And I did!

I certainly have a sense of peace this morning as I rest on my porch amongst my flowers, my new prayer shawl around my shoulders and I watch in amusement as Sophie plays with Betsy. Its the cutest thing in the world to watch this gangley all legs big puppy play with little tiny 2 pound Betsy. And that kitten can hold her own, trust me. When they first started playing so rough, I worried that Betsy might get hurt, but I think I should worry about Spohie, her claws aren't has sharp! They chase and roll and rough and tumble and I've had to relegate their play episodes to the back yard because they run into so much stuff in the house. Its really a joy to watch them. Its the little things in life. Watch for those today, that's your task. Try to notice the little miracles that are happening all around you all the time. Like God said in Bruce Almighty - BE the miracle.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Middle of the night ponderings.

Another sleepless night. Last night I was walking the dog at 2am, tonight I thought maybe I'd write a little. My body aches something terrible and I guess I could take a sleeping pill, but then I won't be able to get up and go to work in a few hours. I don't know if I mentioned it but this part time thing isn't really working so well for me!! I have tried to condense my 50-60 hour work week into three days while training someone to help me. In what world does that EVEN begin to work? I know it will get better, we had 5 major meetings last week and 5 this week, plus Deana's diagnosis, and to try to do training in there just doesn't seem to fit. I am still there 10-12 hours a day on each of my three days and feel like I'm getting so little done. Next week won't be so bad with only one major meeting and I'm hoping Wendy and I can spend some serious time getting the work caught up. I made a major oversight at work last week, something I have never done in my 7.5 years there and it really devastated me. Everyone was so awesome and no one was upset but me, but I felt I'd really let my board members and management down. So, I have to find a way to make this work. I don't want my board members and management team to even have to question or worry if something is going to be done or done differently, so I am trying to put a good plan in place. The fall out of a major illness is certainly widespread.

Since I couldn't sleep, I wrote a poem. I feel like my life has been derailed. I was bumping along, going in the right direction, my happily ever after just around the corner. And BAM, the whole damn thing has been changed. I don't know about tomorrow, or next week, or next year anymore. I don't supposed we ever really do anyway, but the cancer really brings that home. You truly don't know what is going to happen. Will I get sicker? Will I get well? Will I be able to go to work tomorrow, the next day? Am I going to be here to watch my daughter graduate high school? Am I going to watch my son graduate from college? Watch my grandson start kindergarten? Am I going to get to marry the man of my dreams? And although none of us truly know the answers to those questions with or without cancer, the cancer just seems to make the questions more real. More genuine. There is this blackness growing inside you and you can only do what you can do, the rest is completely out of your hands. I just pray and pray and hope and believe. That's all I can do. I suppose that's all any of us can really do. Keep the faith, even when faith seems to be the hardest thing to have.

I dream of the day with no more fear
No more sadness, No more tears.
I dream of the day, of yesterday
Where life was easy and I was on my way.
Down the road of happiness, I remember heading there
Bumping along so merrily with nary a little care.
My happily ever after firmly within my grasp
The turn came very suddenly and it was ripped right from my clasp.
Happiness and joy were abundant and my cup just overflowed
And now I sit and wonder where the hell I’m gonna go.
But I know I’m on a path to lead me God knows where
I will just have to learn to trust, let Him be in charge of my affairs.
For I am sure where He is leading I have no choice but to go
So why hold back and fight it? Does the path require I know?
I must have the faith to follow wherever he will lead
He has never let me down before God will give me all I need.
I just need to keep on walking my happily ever after is still there!
It has just move a different direction; my life with him someday I’ll share!
I’m confident of God's promise of the life he will impart
I will keep the faith alive in me, His words are in my heart.

Be well my friends and keep the faith.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Choose Hope

One can never have too much hope. There isn't enough hope in the world and we need more hope in our daily lives. When I was in Heppner, Deana's 17 year old daughter, Erin had set this poem to music on her guitar and it brought tears to my eyes. Listen and learn:

Hope by Emily Dickinson
Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.


Hope asks nothing of us and gives us so much in return. No matter how severe the storm, hope, like the little bird, keeps us warm. Where is your hope? Do you keep it close to your heart? Do you protect it and nurture it and hold it in your soul?

Hope is the thing that is keeping me going right now. I have to admit I feel pretty yucky, good considering what they are doing to me, but sort of crappy considering how I would normally feel. So I hold on to that little bird. And that bird asks naught of me, but to keep believing in it. So I choose to believe. I chose to believe that this too shall pass and that God will see me through to a brighter tomorrow. I choose hope.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Where are you walking?

As promised, here is a picture of the amazing cake that Mindy made! Crazy! She could be a professional cake decorator. We'd better hold on to her at Kadlec! Jessie loved it and of course tried to grab it with his hands. We got this picture before he took off a few chunks of frosting and took a bite out of it. It was so fabulous and I am grateful for Mindy for taking SO much time to do this, I know it took a long time and alot of energy!

Deana is off to Seattle today. We had a wonderful day in Heppner yesterday, the delinquents went on a "ROAD TRIP!!" Fun was had by all, we laughed, we cried, we shared, we prayed. We found out that Deana really doesn't just have a one-butt kitchen, but a 7 butt kitchen designed just for prayers of the delinquents and junior delinquents. Keith and Deana are just the salt of the earth. People of great conviction and faith, they just are shining through all this. I am a babbling crying idiot, and they are just strong in their faith and their assurance that God will be glorified in all this. I could learn alot from Deana and Keith. My faith is strong, but the fear of seeing my friend go through this just tears my heart out! I want to be the only one in this club and don't want anyone else to have to join the cancer train. Its not fair!!! But, God bless Deana, she makes me stronger. She is calling me her Esther because I was where I needed to be years before she needed me to be there. I started in healthcare 7-1/2 years ago and it has been a huge help for not only me and my challenges, but it gave me the opportunity to help Deana when she needed it and for that I am so grateful. I am so honored I was able to help my friend, and hope I can continue to help and provide support. I can always keep praying, that is for sure.
They are on their way to Seattle, stopping to see their daughter Sarah at college on their way. The pre-op is tomorrow and the surgery is on Wednesday at Northwest Hospital in Seattle. Dr. Muntz is handling the surgery and he comes highly recommended. I've checked him out, of course, and hear that not only is he a brilliant surgeon, but he has a great personality. Wow, how amazing is that! So she is in good hands. Pray for safety, security, the hands of the surgeon, the peace that passes all understanding. That God permeates her very heart and soul and she finds healing and hope. I'll keep you posted.
My rash continues to stay away, but the steroids are a bit much to deal with. I seem to be either tired or wired, there is no in between! But, no rash, thank God!! I am still pretty tired when I get home and am finding the challenges of a three day work week to be slightly overwhelming. It doesn't appear that the workload has diminished at all, in fact it has probably increased since I am training Wendy. But I am confident it will be getter. We are in the busiest two weeks of the month, so by next week I'm hoping it will slow down enough to get Wendy a little more acclimated. She is doing such a great job but there is such a learning curve with the amount of years I've put in there. It will work out, but I have to admit I'm exhausted by the time I leave and feeling rather stressed out trying to get it all done. I am just doing the best I can and admitting, its NOT getting all done. And that is okay. I can only do what I can do, everything else will just have to wait. That is one of the lessons of this disease. I mean, what is truly important? Staying at work, or coming home to be with my family and rest appropriately? That is a rhetorical question. :-)
Donna Zulauf bought me the coolest gifts today. I got a pink t-shirt that says "Cancer, you messed with the wrong bitch." Which cracks me up, I love it and will wear it proudly. I also got a very special coffee mug with Rosie the Riveter on it and the saying I won't state here, but suffice it to say, its gets a certain message across! I love Donna!!
My friend Angela Ball's mother sent me a prayer shawl. I am so humbled. This person I don't even know, who doesn't know me, took the time to knit a shawl with each knot tied in prayer for me. As I put it around me I feel the heat of the prayers, the compassion of our Lord and His healing touch surround me. What a gracious and loving gift. I am truly overwhelmed.
God is so present in this disease. I know that sounds so weird, but He is in everything, the good and the bad. The service yesterday in Heppner was youth led, but Keith had a brief message asking the same questions he asked the youth in camp. Perhaps ponder your answers to these questions?
1) Are you willing to follow God? Even in opposition to the current culture?
2) Are you willing to be molded by God for the task He has in store for you? Would you wander in the desert for 40 years if God told you to? What task is He preparing your for?
3) Are you wiling to follow where God will lead you? Can you shut up, be silent and follow? (Near impossible for ME! I have a challenge in this one!)
4) Remember, remember, remember. What has He taught you so far? What has He already brought you through? What He has done for you before, He will do for you again. He has not failed you yet, and he isn't planning on failing you now.
What do you do next? Take the next step. It doesn't matter where you are and where God is, but if you are moving towards Him, you are in the right direction. just take another step, and another, and another... Now just look, you are walking in the right direction!
God bless!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just a little more retail therapy...

The birthday party was great. I handled the heat pretty well, and the cake, well it was downright amazing! Mindy - you ROCK! I still owe a picture, but being the lateness of the evening, I'll try to get it on here tomorrow night.

Feeling great. Those steroids are just doing their job, the rash is staying away but wow, am I wired!! I've done laundry, hung pictures, wrote thank yous, painted my nails! OMG! How do I sleep?!

Peyton and I had a little more retail therapy this evening. It mean, its not possible to have too much retail therapy, the best therapy around!! After some frame purchases at Michael's and dinner with the grandparentals, we decided to take a quick swing by Macy's just to see if there was anything we just couldn't live without. And what do you know, we found a few items that were just beyond passing up! I got an awesome pair of Lucky Jeans and Shirt, I love lucky stuff (all on sale, of course!) and Peyton picked up a cute pair of Betsy Johnson earrings, a flannel shirt and a great pair of shoes. On sale, of course too, and we got the floor model so they said an extra 10% off, I asked for 20%, we got 15%. Not bad bargaining! And then this pair of animal print pointy tipped Guess shoes just caught my eye. They WEREN'T on sale, so I asked the clerk, hey, can't I get these on sale? And guess what, he gave me a 20% discount! AND added the other pair of shoes for an additional discount. Then rang up the rest of the clothes separately for another discount. Joel from shoes is my new hero. I love extra discounts! Makes shopping so worth while! Hallelujah! The angels are singing tonight!!

We ran down to the Buckle and I checked out the Naughty Monkey's I am in love with, but they never seem to go on sale, and still, no luck. I'll keep watching though, eventually, they WILL go on sale!! (Go angels, work on those shoes!)

After appropriate therapy, we were ready to walk the dogs. I didn't wear my new shoes, of course, a little too fancy or high for the who dog walking episode. But Peyton, she got to wear hers! Our little pupperoos, walked really good, and it was a beautiful evening.

Mike is out of town at a run in Spokane, so I guess it is only fitting that we have the appropriate girls night with shoes, clothes and nails. Now I think I'll have a giant bowl of ice cream and try to find some shut eye! Tomorrow, Its off to Heppner, OR with the delinquents!

Love you all!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Jessie James!

My grandson is TWO years old! Wow! How did that happen so fast. He was actually two yesterday and I found the energy to pick him up from day care and treat him to McDonalds and bring him home to spend a little time with him. Mike and I got him a cool outside little tykes mudmaking water and sand toy which is totally cool. We also got him a little "lightning mcqueen" chair that reclines to watch his favorite movie. He can say "I'm two", but I'm still working on the holding two fingers up! What a milestone, what a great day, what a wonderful reason to wake up and keep living, my grandson is two! Mindy Clapper gets HUGE kudos. She made the most AMAZING cake!! She made a Lightning McQueen cake, decorated it and its nothing short of incredible. I hope we can get Jessie to actually be willing to cut into it, and then to share it. You know at two everything is his. I am not just NANA, I'm JESSIE'S NANA! His party is today at 11am at the Grange Park by the Kennewick Library. I can't wait. This is just another wonderful reason to be alive, I am so grateful to be here to watch my grandson have this fantastic day. His mommy and daddy have done a great job with him and he is a joy to be around, he's two, no doubt, but what a joyful two! Stop on by at 11am and check out the party, we'll be there!! I tried to forward myself a picture of the cake to post on the blog, but I can't seem to get it to come through, so I promise to post a picture tomorrow.

I was pretty wiped out yesterday, but I muddled through. We hit the art in the park and I spent too much money, gotta love that retail therapy, and got myself a really cool tie die dress, almost like last years. I love it, and its comfy and cute. Peyton picked herself up some tie die stuff and I got myself this fabulous hat. I figure my hair is falling out anyway, might as well wear a funny hat. I ran into some of the ladies from the Red Hat Society, my goal when I'm 50 has always been to join. If you don't know about the Red Hat Ladies, their job is to wear outrageous red hats and have fun together. Wow, what's not to like about that?! But I was told I could buy a pink hat and become an honorary junior member, I think I'm going to check into that. Life is too short not to be a member of the Red Hat Society! I'll talk to Irene, I'm SURE she is a red hat lady!! And a pink hat, oh yeah! I'm going to do everything I can to accomplish my desires and goals, life is just too short to miss out on anything! I was reminded yesterday not to "wear myself out". While very good advice, I spend the entire day worn out, but I refuse not to live!

I came home yesterday and my ninja gardener has been back. My shrubs haven't looked this good since I moved in here. I love to plant and weed but pruning is not my forte and wow, is it Nancy's. Don't get near her when she has that knife!! It looks amazing. I had no idea how wonderful it could look all trimmed up. I wonder if she isn't overdoing it with her health issues, but I'm certainly not going to fuss. I know what it is like to want to do something, to want to help and not be able to. As long as she is able to help, my yard is her playground. I love to be outside and work in the yard too, and I'm going to have to get one of these knives and learn how to prune from a true ninja!

The delinquents are headed to Heppner, OR tomorrow to support Deana before her surgery this week. She bought a new car! Yea! Talk about retail therapy, I need to get me some of that! They really needed a reliable car for the traveling they are about to be doing, so cash for clunkers came at a good time. I am so relieved. You know I'd run to Seattle when the car broke down... but... I got to see both Deana and her husband Keith on Thursday when they dropped off my car and what wonderful beautiful amazing people (not enough adjectives to describe these two). Salt of the earth, true to their very core, amazing people of faith. My heart just aches to know that they have to go through this, but Deana is going to absolute kick butt. No doubt about it. That is her personality. Cancer has NOT met my friend Deana Price. That damn cancer better just move out of the way, because it has NO business in her life, and she'll let it know it!

Go Deana!!

OK, a quick medical stuff updated on me, boring stuff, but I know you all care how I'm feeling, and I thank you for that! I'm on Day 3 of my 21 day cycle. Feeling a little puny, but not bad overall. Like I said, I was really wiped yesterday. The heat really takes it out of me, so I don't know how long I'll get to stay at my grandson's party today, but as long as I can!! I'm going to get one of those wet things to go around my neck to keep me cool. This is an important party! The exhaustion and weakness is the hardest. My legs feel weak, its very strange. And I'm on the steroids for the rash, so that makes me a little shaky. So, everything is contradicting each other and I'm just muddling through. You take this to stop that and that to stop this. Its a medication crazy world. I have my little pill kit and I have all my little pills labeled and just take them on schedule! What else can you do. I am handling this chemo remarkably better than the one four years ago, and for that I'm grateful. I told Dr. Rado I am the healthiest Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient he has, and he laughed and said they would just have to do something about that! I told him, bring it on, I can handle it! What a journey. I saw yesterday at the park a sign that said "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning how to dance in the rain." Its raining, I'm dancing, please join me in the storm!

Well, when you see a crazy lady in a tie-die dress wearing a floppy hat with sunflowers. You'll know its me. I am sure my daughter will be rolling her eyes the way only a 17 year old can do when they are embarrassed by their parents, but I will proudly be wearing my get-up. I mean, truly who cares? Life is too short to care what people worry about what you wear! Dress up! Be outrageous! Ago Vita!! Vita Viva!! Vie in vie!! Leben se leben!! Ζώντα ζωής! Живите Жизнью! No matter what your language - LIFE LIFE!!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chemo Day and more fablulous shoes!

Today went well. My shoes looked fabulous, of course!! Since my counts were good, there was no need to wait this morning for blood to get back and we started by 9:30 and I was done by 11am. Lots of fans stopped by to see my shoes and Peyton wore a pretty fabulous paid of Steve Madden's herself, which were a hit. We made hemp bracelets and hung out and then went to lunch. I spent the afternoon with Carol Wingo learning to knit, and I am doing okay. Not as easy as it looks, that's for sure. But it will give me something to do while I am just sitting watching TV and don't have the energy to do anything else. I hate the lack of energy, and at least this way I feel like I am accomplishing something! Thanks Carol for teaching me something to do! So don't be too surprised if everyone starts getting scarves as thank you gifts!

I had the energy to go to my sweet friend Jennifer Curtis's going away party. Yes, for those of you who know this is Irene Curtis's daughter-in-law, and who doesn't know Irene! Jennifer is moving with her son Rolland to Savannah River, where she has been transferred by Fluor as General Counsel. Her husband, Nolan, is staying her to sell the house, find a job out there, etc, and hopefully will get to follow her soon. Then, we will also lose Irene from the active Kadlec family, although I know she will stay in touch with us and continue to change the world from wherever she is! What a sad day it is to know that we are starting to lose this amazing family from our community.

Unfortunately I only made it for about 45 minutes at the party and the stupid freaking chemo kicked in and I had to come home quickly. It was out on the back patio at Tigaris and the heat really kicked my butt. I came home and went straight to bed for about two hours. I woke up to the smell of the most amazing dinner. Well we received two amazing dinners tonight, Merri and Wayne Martin brought over Chicken Devine, which we have frozen up for a wonderful meal on Saturday night. Tonight, Tracy Klander brought over fresh halibut steaks, awesome asparagus, olive bread, lemon rice and a fabulous salad plum filled with the best blueberries. It was such a wonderful treat, I feel it had been catered from a top of the line restaurant, Tracy, it was amazing! Thanks so much!! The meals really have turned this into something to look forward to. The food has consistently been amazing. You all really know how to cook! Wow. you can keep feeding me indefinitely!

Deana was able to get my car back to me this afternoon, which was good. I don't remember if I told you but on top of the Cancer mess she was haven all sorts of car issues and was having difficulty getting home so I told her to take my car. So she was able to get up here and get me my car back which is nice. I am hoping they are going to be able to replace their current van with a most reliable vehicle. They are really going to need that as they walk this challenging road. Please keep praying for her.

I missed a few other outings i would have liked to join into, Mindy was making my grandson's birthday cake tonight and I would totally enjoyed learning to make it, and Stan Spohrs 80th birth party was tonight and I missed that too. I was sleeping, but I wish I'd been both places, but am having to acknowledge that I need to be where my body is requiring m to be. And sometimes, I just need to be resting. As much as that sucks.

Tomorrow I'm going to try the Art in the Park, at least for a few hours until it gets too hot. I'm going to be there early and be gone before it really heats up. There are a few things I want, mostly another one of those tie die dresses. I love those!!

Sleep well my friends, know that God is watching over you. Dream of happy things, healthy bodies and long Bright futures, and of course, wearing fabulous shoes!

Cancer can strike anyone.

My dear friend, Deana Price, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer yesterday. God put me exactly where I was supposed to be, at her side, holding her hand, navigating this confusing and impersonal health care system. My heart fell when the radiologist said the world “malignant” and I put my arm around her and pulled her close. You can’t imagine what it feels like when that word is spoken aloud in reference to your body. Everything around you shuts down and the moment becomes very surreal. How can this be happening to me? How can I have cancer? Cancer is something that other people get, but not me, I am strong and healthy.

Well, cancer can strike anyone, anywhere. It has no ability to discriminate and it has no boundaries to which it is beholden. Young, old, black, brown, white, it doesn't care. It invades your life and makes itself at home. Changing your daily routine, the way you look at yourself, your God, your friends, your family. It requires you to reassess the things that are important to you. In certain weird and strange ways, it can be a blessing. Because it makes you think of so much more than yourself, you begin to think what is important in this life. If, heaven forbid, I don’t make it, what will matter the most? And if you listen to that voice, you will start to focus on what is important and it will enrich and enhance your life, as it takes pieces of it away. I guess it’s a trade off, so you take what you can get in this world and make the best of it. I like what Deana said yesterday, true to her faith and spirit and her determination to survive – “God is an expert at making lemonade out of lemons.” Go Deana. Her surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday in Seattle, so include her in your prayers and her family, Husband Keith, son Jake, daughters Erin and Sarah. I was honored to be with her yesterday to hold her hand and love her with all my heart, I hope in some little way I made an awful day a little easier.

I am off to start my second round of chemo. I am going to wear my new shoes, not Naughty Monkey, but “Not Rated” which is still pretty good, maybe “X-Rated” would be more fun, but probably not appropriate for outside wear!! As I said last night, my mom bought them for me and they are fabulous, of course, purple flowered with a cute bow on the side. I have matched them up with a cute purple sundress, the appropriate purple bracelets making me look like a gypsy and a good Chinese good luck coin around my neck from my dear friend, Chris Brinton, in Seattle who is currently fighting her way through leukemia. Yeah Chris, I love it, and it will be me lot of peace and luck!! I am ready for the next round, ready to let it do its work.

My kids are stepping up and taking care of so much around here lately, when I come home my son has walked the dog, watered the flowers, picked up the house. They joined in with my parents on Monday and cleaned my house top to bottom. I can’t say enough what all that means to me. The other thing cancer teaches you is that it is okay to let people help you. Well thanks to my family and all my friends out there who seem to bring something to me everyday. It is you who are all getting me through and because of you and God’s awesome power, I will climb this mountain and I will see the view from the top. I'm doing all I can to enjoy the sights along the way, there are some pretty amazing experiences to be had. Say a prayer, I'm off to kick some ass.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Onward to Round 2!!

My counts have rebounded! Oh yeah! My platelets needed to be above 100 (they were 63 last week) and they are 174 today! Woo hoo! So I am starting round two of chemo tomorrow. Bring it on baby, I'm ready to get this over with. This one and then another one and we'll be doing another CT scan to see the improvement!! Its going to be a great day. Mommy bought me some new shoes, and I am going to look fabulous! I'll update you tomorrow on how it goes. I love you all!!

Bring on the next round!!

I'll just give a little status update for my friends out there keeping track of me. I am feeling pretty good. I'm still more tired than usual, but my energy is really coming back and true to Patty form, I'm working too many hours and trying to pack everything I can into these good days. When my platelets got so low I got terribly bruised from everything and those bruises are finally starting to subside. My rash never completely went away, but it became nothing but little tiny bumps and they started me on steroids yesterday to mitigate the break out that they think will happen with my next round tomorrow. It appears that I have that rare 1% allergic reaction to chemo. I dare to be different! I see Dr. Rado this afternoon and we'll run my blood counts and hopefully I have rebounded enough to do the next round. I hate the thought of getting off schedule! I feel good, so I am confident that my counts have rebounded. I am emotionally and physically ready for tomorrow, bring it on! Peyton is coming with me to chemo and she is busily picking out our outfits so we both look fabulous for the chemo party! Like I said, I may get sick but I refuse to LOOK sick! I will wear fabulous shoes!

Update on the puppy - Sophie is fabulous. She was meant to be a part of our home. She is such a sweet and mellow puppy. She has only had a few accidents in the house. Peyton is doing a great job taking care of her and watching her closely and is getting up a couple of times per night to make sure she goes potty. We are in love!! As you can see she has the cutest little face in the whole world. Kyra is adjusting to her and Betsy (new kitty) likes her sometime, but when she gets too rough she hides under the deck and Sophie gets made that she can't get under there. She got under a few times and got stuck, so we hopefully have it fixed so she can't get there anymore!
I am honored and humbled by the love and support of my family and friends. Everyone of you has sent me good thoughts, food, cards, gifts, helped at my house, my office, prayed, uplifted me. It is your love and support that gets me through each day. I save all those cards and emails and when I get a little down, I read them and they lift me back up. I glean energy from those around me, so when I don't have any left, I soak it up from all of you and it replenishes me. Thanks for sending me your energy, it is felt and appreciated. I reciprocate my love and energy back, and hope you feel it too!
Because of all of you and your love, I will have the strength to get through this and win this battle. You are God's love and the light of the universe at work in my life.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Retail Therapy

I love retail therapy. If you haven't figured that out by now, let me throw it right out there, I love shopping. I love everything about it (except when the bill comes in). I love the sale signs above the racks of clothes, the clearance racks, the beautiful shoes with all those little sale tags clipped to them. The fitting rooms where you can try on stacks and stacks of clothes, all to find that perfect outfit. The one that makes you look and feel fabulous. When you do, the angels in the heavens sing "hallelujah" and you just know the pair of shoes that match perfectly are just waiting for you in the shoe department, and they are probably on sale with an extra 20% if you use your store charge card. Woo hoo!! I love shopping.

I have been exhausted. It really sucks. I am not a lay around and do nothing type of girl, so this has been very taxing for me. I hate to be tired! So on Sunday I started to feel better, but the thought of doing laundry or housework just didn't do it for me. I knew what needed, retail therapy. Oh yeah. Even better, retail therapy with my shopping soulmate, my daughter. It was a beautiful and perfect day. We hit Macy's and believe it or not, they were having a great sale, go figure. And the pair of Steve Madden sandals that Peyton has been wanting for months were not only on sale, but they were an extra 20% off since her size was the "floor model". The angels were really singing now. Then she found the sunglasses, the perfect sunglasses. Betsy Johnson sunglasses that match her Betsy earrings and necklace perfectly. OMG, she looked so cute in them, and again, they were totally on sale!! I found three perfect dresses, with two perfect pair of shoes, Peyton got two pairs of shoes, shorts, a shirt and those fabulous sunglasses. Every penny well spent. You can't put a price on that time we spent together. Clawing through the sale rack, filling the fitting room and trying on dress after dress to find the perfect ensemble.

I love time with my daughter. It is so special we just love each other so much and we think the same, we like the same stuff, she is my fashion consultant and when I can't figure out what to wear, what shoes go to that suit, she lines me out. She has a gift when it comes to fashion. She has alot of gifts. She is a special young lady and I treasure the time with her.

It was the perfect afternoon, topped of with a pretzel and a starbucks and some people watching and further discussing of our good sale fortune in the food court.

And yes, I found a fabulous pair of naughty monkey shoes!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday on the Patio

It’s my favorite time of the week. The sounds of the quietly waking neighborhood surround me; bells on the collar of the kitten, sprinklers chattering, a distant lawnmower, dogs barking, laughter just over the fence, squirrels scampering in search of breakfast, birds chirping and flying overhead to unknown destinations. My senses are alive bringing in every detail; the smell of the flowers, their dazzling and colorful glory surrounding me, colors beyond words, bursting with life, teeming with abundance as they erupt out of their containers, spilling down the sides, sliding along the ground. They sing out to me. The smell of rich coffee tickles my nose, my mouth waters just thinking about how amazing it will taste. Even the buzz of the fly makes me smile, for it too is a creature in this world and God knows its purpose and its name. The pond murmurs tenderly as the water spits and spills and memories flood my mind of babbling brooks in distant places and camping as a child near the bitterly cold and fresh water of the Rocky Mountains.

I love Sunday mornings on my patio. It’s still cool and comfortable. The sun hasn’t had time to heat the air up yet. The day is quiet yet full of potential. The breeze gently caresses my skin bringing with it sounds of children already awake, enjoying the carefree summer. That too brings its own set of memories of summers past, as a child in Colorado, the thin crisp air of the mountains; as a young mother in Wyoming and all its small town glory; as a parent in Badger Canyon with horses and dogs and the freedom of country living.

I take it all in, trying to capture every single small detail. I don’t want to miss anything. For once this morning is gone, this instant is gone, I cannot capture it back, it is gone forever, just a memory caught in the winds of time. I want to make the most of each moment, eating them up like a juicy summer watermelon, savoring every last bite, letting the juice drip down my chin and stain my clothing with its exquisite remembrance.

Go and make the most of your day, taking delight in each moment, filling your life and your mind with joyous memories and experiences. A life, a day, a moment, well spent.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Concert and a NEW Puppy!!!

After sleeping all afternoon yesterday and having a wonderful dinner delivered by John and Angie Matheson (incredible brownies!) I found myself with enough energy to go to a concert. Nancy and DJ invited me to join them at the Red Room to see Helio Sequence and Josh Ritter. Excellent concert, and what a cool venue. We thoroughly enjoyed our time together and the bands were obscure and excellent. Josh Ritter was so full of joy and just smiled the entire time so thoroughly enjoying what he does. It was wonderful to see someone enjoy their craft so much.

We got a puppy. Okay, we were "test driving" a puppy but I know we are keeping her. She was just meant to be with us. We met her when she was about a week old and Peyton chose her. Then I decided that I really wasn't up for a puppy and we decided against it. When I found out I had cancer I was glad about that choice, I thought, I don't need a puppy right now! So when they were about five weeks old we went to see them one more time, and Sophie (the puppy that Peyton had chosen) climbed in her lap and just made herself at home. But, still I was certain we didn't need a puppy. Then Joey shared with me that she has never seen a puppy do what Sophie did, she just kept waiting for us to come and get her. She didn't want me to feel like I should get the puppy against my wishes. But, I felt like God was telling me something, so I asked to borrow the puppy for the weekend, and I tell you, it just feels right. She just fits right into our family. We are in love. We are keeping this baby girl, she is a part of her family just like she was meant to be. Princess Sophie and her mommy, Peyton are pictured here! So we have a new puppy, a new kitty, and our "old" cat and dog, so we have a house full. But they all fill my life in ways that cannot be described. Animals are faithful and true and will love you unconditionally no matter what. I aspire to be as wonderful as my dog thinks I am.

I am still tired, but getting slowly better. I had a full day with lots of friends and love surrounding me. I sat in Dr. Rawlin's infrared sauna this morning which is supposed to cleanse the toxins from your body, that was after LeaAnn came over to walk Kyra (she feels a little left out so its good that LeaAnn did that, it makes her feel special), Nancy McMurray came over to work in my yard a bit and I had lunch with my friend Belinda. Mike's granddaughter, Amrea, had a birthday party tonight so we got to go over and celebrate with family. Always a joy. Family is a treasure.
I am planning to be better this week, looking forward to getting that energy back. I love you my friends. Your prayers and love make me strong.

Friday, July 17, 2009


I hate cancer. I hate it. I hate the way it makes you feel and the way that it systematically steals away your regular life. I'm tired. I'm so incredibly tired. All I want to do is sleep, and I'm at work, so that makes me want to cry because I want to be at work, I want to be doing MY life. I don't want to be at home sleeping because my platelets and blood counts are so low that my body can't keep running. I am so angry over this. I work hard to stay very positive, and I still am, I have no doubt I'll beat this stupid frickin cancer, but the anger is there today. Its burning in my belly. Anger. Pure, unadulterated anger. How DARE this cancer take pieces of me and my life away. How DARE this cancer threatened to take away that which I hold most dear, the time with the love of my life, Mike, my daughter, my grandson, my son, my family, my friends. How DARE it even enter into my life and take away any of my precious time!! How DARE IT INDEED! I HATE CANCER!!!

Thanks for listening to my tirade. I need to get this out. I will use this anger to fight this battle. I will turn the anger against the blackness inside me and force it out. The cancer will not win, it is a sneaky and cruel nemesis, but it is in for a hell of a surprise. It messed with the wrong girl this time. I am a determined person, I do what I set out to and this cancer has no chance against me. I think its okay to feel this way. I think its part of the process. I want to yell and scream and kick the wall (although because my platelet's are so low I'd probably ended up in the emergency room!). I want to scream at the top of my lungs THIS IS SO NOT FAIR!!! I know the platitudes, life if not fair, but it still pisses me off! Why????? Why do I have to walk this road? I know there is a reason, I know that something good will come of this, but its such a hard road. Its so exhausting. Couldn't God have found a different way for me to learn whatever lesson He is going to teach me? Why why why????

I don't think our little human brains can understand the complexities of this world. God knows whats going on and I know there is something bigger and better for me out there, but for now, I'm just tired and angry. And that's okay. I've thrown my little temper tantrum and now I feel better. Thanks for joining me and thanks for listening. Together, we will get furious and beat this ugly disease.

But to end this blog up a little lighthearted and funny, because I never want to leave you in a dark or unhappy place, you should know that tired people drive slow. So when you see me on the highway and I'm only going 45 in a 60, please don't flip me off and call me an idiot. I'm just tired. Mike said he's going to get me a cotton sundress and a little hat, so people will just say, awwww..... its just a little old lady.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Sunflowers.

Sunflowers make me smile. They are the happiest flower I know. How can you not feel joy when you see their bright sunshiney faces smiling at you. I have a sunflower garden just to the north of my driveway so I get to enjoy them every morning and night as I go about my day. I have from small to tall; red, orange and yellow; each one is just magnificent in its own glory. They peek over the fence at my neighbors house and she appreciates that I planted some of them backwards in order to allow her and her family to share in the sheer joy of their beauty as their faces peer towards the sky, soaking in all the sun's radiance.

Are you a sunflower? Do you try to bring sunshine and smiles into peoples lives? Do you know how simple it is to just smile at a cranky store clerk rather than to buy into his or her crankiness and feed it back to them? Maybe they are just having a rotten day and YOU can be the one that turns their day around. And if you aren't, well then at least they didn't turn your day around. Next time you feel like the world is closing in around you, that life is just crap, remember the sunflower, be the sunflower. Let your light shine.

Enough philosophising. These thoughts were from a journaling class I took at the cancer center. We wrote about something that made us happy and I thought, sunflowers. No doubt. They just make me smile! Its starting to get a little rougher, mostly due to fatigue. I woke up this morning and felt like I had hit a wall. I was SO tired, I just couldn't keep up today. I got my blood work done this afternoon and my platelets are extremely low. Not dangerously low, just very low. I'm at 62,000 and I have to have at least 100,000 to have chemo, but I have one week to rebound before my next treatment. The rest of my counts, white blood cells and red blood cells are low and I am very susceptible to infection right now. I had a friend who was supposed to have lunch with me today and she was coming down with a cold and I appreciate that she canceled. I really can't afford to be exposed to any infections right now. So thanks for thinking about me!

Starting next week I'm going to go to a reduced work schedule working Monday-Wednesday taking Thursday and Friday off. As much as I hate the thought of reducing my hours, I have to admit it will be nice to not have to rush off to work before my chemo on Thursday and worry about getting back right after. Rand was right. :-) My incredible friends are scheduling meals three days a week, people are offering to walk my dog, do my gardening. And up until today, I thought, nice, I'll do it so people have a way to help me, but as of today, the thought of having the help is awesome. I simply have no excess energy.

Thanks so much for all your love and continued support. Remember, this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!!!! God loves you!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

An Umbrella in the Rain

I was doodling in a meeting today, when I should have been paying attention! I was drawing this and that, rainbows and sunshines, doodads and doohickeys. Between riveting tidbits of information from one of our nations top speakers, I drew an umbrella. Not just any ol' umbrella, but the "Traveler's Insurance" type of umbrella with the cane shaped handle. I was thinking about my life right now and added some fluffy but water-laden clouds. The speaker droned on. I added drops of rain, pouring down, around the umbrella and then splashing up from the ground. But the underneath the umbrella, it was dry and fresh. And I looked and pondered what I had drawn. Hmmm. Deep in reflection I knew, it was a symbol of all of you.

"An umbrella made of love and friendship keeps you dry during life's storms."

Thanks for being my umbrella.

A Good Sign

I was ready early this morning, which for me is nothing short of a miracle. I am not exactly a morning person, so to be up and ready and out the door by 5:18 is not the easiest thing to do. But, I was. So that's the first miracle of the day! I had given Kyra her medicine and then she followed me downstairs, which she doesn't usually do, she normally just stays in bed. But she followed me down and I gave her a treat and she wanted to go outside. Now, most of you know that I have doggie doors, so leaving her out wouldn't be a big deal, except with new kitty, Betsy, we have the doors shut. So, I figured I'd let her eat her treat and call her in through the garage man door before I leave.

So I was leisurely moving this morning, not in the rush I normally am, other wise I might not have noticed. But I did... everything happens for a reason. I opened the garage door and something caught the corner of my eye. It was a beautiful butterfly. Huge, gorgeous, full of life and color. It flew right by me and landed not 3 feet from me. Just sitting there, daring me to explore the fullness of the meaning of this chance happening. And it was not lost on me, the newness of life, the cocoon blossoming into a beautiful new life. The new life exploding inside of me. I feel it. I feel the healing and the growth of new tissue. I know it is working. God has given me a sign to confirm my beliefs.

It truly is the simple things in life that make a difference. We sometimes miss these subtle signs that cross our paths everyday. I thank God that I was able to catch it, to see His sign and get His meaning, to understand His divine work. Slow down, keep your eyes and hearts open, its a new day and a new life is just around the corner.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Ack - I itch I itch I itch!! (July 13th)

Yes, itching is the word of the day. My rash continues to plague me and I am on day 3 of the predizone with no major change. I have tried everything, I think I might just have to drink heavily! Actually, I have resorted to ice packs and they seem to be helping the most. Either I don't itch anymore, or my skin is frozen, either way it works! I am hopeful the predizone will kick in and it will be fine. This will be a tough side effect to deal with for months. I never realized that itching could be so awful! I got a little (ok, maybe alot) nauseous this afternoon, but I worked through it and thank goodness for the wonderful people in the cafe who provided me with some ginger ale that got me through the afternoon.

Nikki Weldin (and Walt and Josh) made us such a wonderful dinner tonight. Baked Ziti with Putanesca Sauce and a fresh salad. She even made sure I had a nice wine to go with it. Wow, yummy. Perfect dinner. It was especially nice since I was really tired and dinner would have consisted of maybe an apple tonight. Nicole at work as asked if people could start bringing me dinner like last time and I have to concede that it would be awful nice to have dinner made for us on a regular basis. When I get home at night I just want to do nothing. It seems to take all my energy to just work these days, so I guess my family is going to get dinners delivered a few days a week. I have such awesome friends.

I sat down when I got home and was opening mail and got cards from friends encouraging me and inspiring me. Its amazing. I have so much love and support from my friends. It just never ceases to amaze me how many people are out there praying for me. It warms my heart and makes me push just a little bit harder. I want to be able to continue to encourage everyone and let them know that every prayer is heard, every kind word, action or deed makes a difference in someones life. I heard tonight that here is never a testimony without a test. Well, watch out world, I'm up for the test. Peace and light to all of you.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Day 11 - So far so Good - July 12th

A tattered and comfy bathrobe is the attire of the day. Since I've spent most of the weekend sleeping, the fact that I am actually awake is a great accomplishment! This round (given on Day 8) has made me only a little queasy but has made me very tired. The horrible rash continues, and I have to say I have never experienced anything quite like this. I suppose chicken pox would come close, except that it’s not going away. I finally broke down and started the steroids yesterday, anything to make this awful itching stop, but so far, all they have done is make me more tired. Mike and I are reading the side effects of prednisone, everything from mild mood swings to psychotic breaks. I’m hoping to stay on the mild end and have made Mike promise that he would rescue me before I have any major mental events (other than my normal “mental” episodes!). So, I’m apologizing in advance for any crummy moods I might be in during the next week. So, if you interact with me, don’t take offense, its not me!

I talked at length with Mitra (my ARNP who partners with Tom Rado, MD) and we discussed that I don’t really feel sick for being so sick. I mean, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. The doctors say I have a serious life-threatening disease, when do I get sick? This week will be the key to how I’m going to feel the rest of the treatment. I am going into the full effects of the chemo this week with both doses under my belt. Mitra said that the Carbo-Gemzar combo doesn’t have near the nausea effects that my previous AC Dose Dense did four years ago, and I have already found that to be very true. The biggest problem is that my blood counts will drop, which we will manage with shots. BUT, the other biggest problem is platelet counts drop and there is nothing we can do about that but to let them rebound. When the platelets are down I have to be careful of injury, and since I work a desk job, the biggest worry I have is not running into my desk and bruising my legs! Any of you who know me well know I bruise like a banana anyway, so this will be very challenging.

I’m excited because today I get to be nana. Elena and Houston went to the coast to celebrate her 22nd birthday and originally I was going to watch Jessie all weekend, but given the little health issue I’m having, we decided to split the weekend between the grandmas and Michelle (Elena’s mom) had him yesterday and she will bring him to me today around noon or so. Even tired, I am so excited. There is just nothing more uplifting that that little boy yelling “my nana” and running into my arms. He has outgrown his port-a-crib here so I can’t wait to show him his new “Lightning McQueen” sleeping bag, pillow and night light! He’ll stay the night and then we’ll take him to daycare tomorrow. Peyton will be here today to help out too, and mom, dad and Mike will be over for a BBQ later, so I’ll have plenty of help if I get too tired. But I just can’t give up this special time with him, how many chances do you get to be nana all day and night? He is truly one of the greatest joys in my life.

So, kick back, relax and enjoy your weekend. I know my floors need mopped and the bathrooms need cleaned, but they are so secondary to the time with my family and friends. I think we all know that relationships are more important, but sometimes they get put off to the side to our chores and activities. Relationships ARE everything. When the going gets tough, your friends and family will be there to help do those chores, so put your time with them above everything else. That is an investment in your future, its all about love and relationships, everything else is secondary.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Chemo and a pair of fabulous shoes.

Oh yeah, they are fabulous shoes. The greatest shoes I've ever owned. The type of shoes that people stop you in the store and say, wow, those are fabulous shoes. The brand name, even better..."Naughty Monkey" does it get any better? Fabulous shoes with a great name. I may lose my hair, I may throw up, I may be sick, emancipated or dying, but I will wear great shoes. Shoes never let you down, they always fit, are non-judgemental and make your legs look great. Shoes glorious shoes.

So, I had my second round of chemo today. God Bless Mike, he was with me, of course, and mom and dad stopped by to say hi. It was a little tough, mostly because I just hate to leave my life to go sit in that chair in that little room and know I am in a fight for my life. It makes it more real. I would much rather be going through my day, working, interacting with my friends and family, watching my cat totally freak out with an empty pill bottle skidding across the hardwood floors (its hilarious!). They also switched me up a little today and decided that rather than do the carbo and gemzar day 1 and just the gemzar day 8 they would split the carbo dose and give 1/2 day one and 1/2 day 8, so I had both again today. That sort of threw me for a loop since I had a plan today and it really messed my plan up, I didn't make it back to my meeting at noon and someone had to cover for me. I know Lisa didn't mind covering, but it is my life and with a sickness like this your control and freedom is systematically taken away from you. That's hard for a control freak like me; I'm sure there is a lesson in there. :-) But, I still was wearing fabulous shoes, so I looked great when I got that chemo.

So... I finally made it back to work had a minor meltdown and went on with my day. Felt pretty good and we (Rand) may have identified an individual at work who is willing to fill in for me should I have to go on disability. I am hoping this is an unnecessary exercise, but should we need it, I know we will all be better for it. And she will benefit from learning new skills, so I think in some weird way, we all win. Maybe God has a plan, ok, I'm sure he has a plan, I just may not like it.

Had a nice post chemo party at Bookwalters. Tina, Mel, Janice, Mindy, Lori and Kelly and Kristen happened to show up, and Kelly sprung for a bottle of protagonist. Oh yeah!! Great friends, a fine red wine and a few bags of chemo... and a pair of fabulous shoes. Not a bad day after all.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Onward and Upward - July 7th and 8th

(Pictures are from the Delinquent trip to Ellenburg)

These were very good days and I worked alot. It felt really great to have the energy to be useful. I am treasuring each day I can get. Today a good friend came in from Heppner Oregon and 4 of the 5 original delinquents from Richland Baptist Church met at Barracuda's for a cuppa fabulous coffee. The fellowship was amazing, we won't see each other for a year and when we get together the years all fall away and it is just like we were together yesterday. Pretty cool friendships, we laugh, we cry, we pray, its amazing. The way got the nickname is a very illustrious story on the way to a women's retreat. We felt like being a little mischievous and stopped and purchased Bottles of Root Beer and candy cigarettes and came bursting into the retreat with all our finery. Most of them thought it was pretty funny, some others, not so much. Those poor people with no sense of humor we offered to give them some of ours but they declined. Party poopers. The original delinquents from Richland Southern Baptist Church. Hold your head high ladies, we have paved our own way! Anita Hall, Ruth Taylor, Deana Price, Lasunda Muse and ME. THAT is a truly loving and long term relationship. I am very very blessed.

Back at work plugging along, handling lots of quick changes that people want to make right before a meeting when everything is already set up. I politely say, of course I can do that, and you go make it so. My job is to say yes and then find a method to accomplish! It is going to be very challenging to teach someone else to do my job while I am off healing. So much of what I do is because I just know that this goes there. I've been doing this for 7 years, so it will be very hard to walk away and leave enough information for my replacement to know what to do! Rand assured me that my job will be here waiting for me upon my return, He is the most kind and generous boss anyone could have. He doesn't want me working all the time like I did last time, he wants me resting and healing. He is a one of a kind Boss and human being, Rand Wortman, you are the best.

Remarkably I continue to feel pretty good. I still haven't taken anything for my rash other than benadryl, which helps a little. I don't like the side effects, they make me real shakky, but its sure better the steroids that will make me nuts. The rash hasn't really spread, but it is mostly on my torso, hips and upper legs. Very strange. They have no idea what it is from. I also ended up with a bladder infection yesterday which may be the first sign of immunodeficiency. This chemo is real hard on your immunities, so I am preparing for daily nupogen shots to boost my blood.

I was pondering today why I am not more upset. Alot of people are surprised I'm in such a good mood for someone going through this. But I figure, whats the point? These are the cards I'm dealt, its the cards I'll play. I'm not happy, but will persevere through this with the faith of My Father, my family and my precious friends. I am so Lucky to have so many friends. It simply overwhelms me! You all reading this, I want you to wrap your arms around yourself, squeeze and pat your back. That's from me, a hug and a pat on the back that you greatly deserve!

Love and Light to all.

Monday, July 6, 2009

LG - Life is Good

So far the Chemo isn't too bad. My energy level has picked back up and I worked all day today (woo hoo!) My co-workers were glad I am sure (at least I hope so!!). I picked up a weird rash today which we aren't sure what it is from, an allergic reaction or a reaction to the chemo, so I'm trying a little benadryl first and if that doesn't work, then I'll have to take steroids. The steroids aren't the preferable option since they tend to make me a raving bi-otch and my daughter has threatened to move out for the duration of the medication. I would move out too, but unfortunately, I have to go with myself. (-:

I'm feeling a little spacey, which I hope isn't the start of "chemo brain" if it is, I'm in big trouble as it is sarting very early. I'm hoping to hold on to my brain a while longer. I am betting its just the benadryl!

Peyton has finally turned the corner on her healing and seems to get getting back to normal. She's eating again and is getting bored, so that is a good sign!

I am completely overwhelmed by the kindness of my parents. I mean wow. Mom has done laundry and mopped my floor (numerous times), dad put together a pantry for me, they walk my dog, water my flowers. I am so incredibly lucky to have them in my life. Then there is Mike, he drops everything he is doing to be with me and care for me and run to doctors appointments. How could someone be as lucky as me? If it wasn't for the whole cancer thing...

Life is Good. Pass it on.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!!

I so enjoyed my fourth of July with a BBQ at Mikes and the whole local family was there. Just before the BBQ I got to go swimming with Jessie, which was a slight bit problematic because he thinks he should be able to do it all by himself, whereas we know, he really DOES need some help! The "I do it" really shines through in him lately! We are going to get him some water wings so he can feel a little more independent and maybe go try again today. I can't really get in the water with my port scars so fresh, but I can still be there to have fun with him I also need to be careful in the heat and the sun, so I'll temper my enthusiasm. But it is hard, I mean how many first times do you get swimming with your grandson?!

The chemo hasn't really made me very sick. I was a little sick to my stomach the first day, and since then not too bad. One of the side effects is flu-like symptoms and I had that full force about 5am on the 4th of July. So, I took 1/2 a sleeping pill and went back to bed! That's one way to battle the achey flu! When I finally got up I have been battling fatigue. I just want to sleep. I slept late yesterday, then got up and had some juice from my new Jack LaLane Juicer (Wow, thanks Tina & Gary - I LOVE IT!) and a little fresh fruit and went back to bed where I slept all afternoon. After the BBQ I came home, watched a little Twilight Zone with Peyton (her favorite show) and dozed on and off on the couch. Then finally went to bed for real after "Terror at 20,000 feet" our favorite episode. Man, William Shatner was so young! Not the Denny Crane we have come to know and love. :-)

Not quite as tired today. Sitting and enjoying my back porch, which is one of my favorite Sunday morning activities. I love my backyard, the trees and my pots and pots of flowers overflowing with abundant color! I think its one of my favorite places in the world, to just sit here and enjoy the sights and sounds, with the water flowing from my fish fountain and the quiet sounds of the neighborhood. The neighborhood kids finally quit playing their obnoxious music at full volume after numerous complaints last year, so it is much better this year! Its so fun to watch the squirrels run around and terrorize Kyra (my dog), taunting her and talking to her before they run up the tree out of her reach. Really, quite amusing.

I love my life, there is so much to be grateful for. I have a happy home, an incredible family and friends that are simply amazing. I am determined to continue to enjoy these wonderful gifts for many many years to come!

Friday, July 3, 2009

So far so good, July 3rd

I guess I should start off, God Bless our US of A. I am so grateful to live here where we have the best of everything. We have the freedom to speak our minds, practice our religions, and I honor the men and the women who defend our great country and gave the greatest loss which allows us to be free. Feeling a little sentimental, I am, I guess life-threatening illnesses can do that do you. Anyway, I am proud of the servicepeople in my family, brothers Bob and Bill, sister-in-law Rhonda, cousin Brian, dad Red. And my special lady Kami, marine woman extraordinaire!

I woke up this morning and was so glad to see the sun shining through my windows. Another beautiful day here in the hot desert we call the "other" pacific northwest. No grey skies and rainy days for us, no siree, we enjoy hot sunshiney days!

I am feeling really great. I was a little nauseous last night but quickly got on my oral anti-nausea medicine and got some good rest last night and felt pretty good this morning. Quickly took some medicine this morning and have had a wonderful day. My baby girl, Peyton, is feeling a little better, she took care of herself last night and I got to sleep most of the night. I got up about 4am to check on her and other than that, she made sure she took her meds. She is better but it still breaks my heart that I can't take away her pain. I just want her to be all better.

I am so blessed and honored to have so many people in my world who love and care for me. I was out and about today and it is just amazing the people I see and share with who are caring and genuine and only want what is best for me. It is humbling to have the love surround you like that, where you just know there are many who you could call on and they would be there, no questions asked.

I know my prayer warriors are out there, I feel the power of their prayer lift me up and I know that God is listening. I am not ready to leave this world, I have much to do. I have my melancholy moments, as I am sure we all do, but I know that this world is not done with me yet either. Why God has chosen me to fight this battle is not for me to know, but only to have the faith to see if through. Which I will. If I can encourage and inspire, then it is time well spent.

I love you my friends and family. Keep me in your thoughts and prayers, and I shall keep you in mine.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ground Zero, Chemo, day one

The first time you get chemo it is almost anticlimatic. You are so tense and apprehensive and when it actually happens, it just an infusion of drugs. The fun comes later.

It only took about 2 hours to get both drugs and they included some IV anti-nausea medicine which should last 10 hours. I'll start on an oral anti-nausea this evening and then take it every 3-4 hours. I hope to stay ahead of the nausea. I shouldn't feel too bad, a little tired. I am not sure when my hair will start falling out, but we are pretty sure that it is going to fall out between 14-21 days. So I got a few weeks to die my hair bright pink and cut it into a butch cut!

Peyton seems to be on the homward stretch too. She is a little better today. I was up most of the night with her last night with a fever and sick stomach, so I hope I can get a nap today.

Say your prayers that this comes off with few sideeffects and the cancer gets kicked OUT!

I remain confident of my successful outcome!

7-1-09 Update

This has been a rough week. Peyton got her tonsils out on Monday morning and I saw Dr. Rado on Monday afternoon. He confimred that I have a recurrence of triple negative breast cancer which has metasticized to both lungs. He has a regimen of chemo already set out, Day 1 I take Carbo Platin and Gemzar, Day 8 I take just the Gemzar and Day 15 I rest. So its a three week cycle. I was hoping to get into clinical trial that has shown great promise with my type of cancer but it doesn't start for two weeks and given the aggressiveness of the cancer, Dr. Rado simply doesn't want to wait, nor do I.

Monday night was a hard night, up every few hours with Peyton, she is just in so much pain. Tuesday wasn't much better, but I was down resting and eating protein and veggies getting ready for my PET scan on Wednesday. I got the call from Rado's office that my medi-port placement was also scheduled for Wednesday at 9am. Mom and dad came and cooked dinner for me and watered my 197 plants (ok, not really but that's what my father says) they walked my dog and took real good care of us. I got a little sleep and was only up with Peyton twice.

Wednesday I started with at PET scan at 7am and then they put the port in at about 10 in the cath lab. Both procedures went well, except that this medi-port goes through my neck and down to my heart artery so my neck is really sore. I have a massive bruise on my chest. Chemo starts tomorrow, so I have a feeling its going to be very sore when its time to access the port!

Peyton has been so sick tonight. My poor baby. She is running a low grade fever, her throat is killing her, her stomach is upset. I just don't know what to do to help her. I feel so helpless. I guess this is in preparation for how people I love will feel when I am sick. Its so hard to watch those you love so much be sick and you can't take it away. I would take her pain in a second if I could. But that is just not an option. So I stay close and watch her and do all I can.

I hope to get a little sleep tonight, I need all the rest I can do be ready to face Chemo at 9am. I am scared. No way around it. Accessing that port is going to hurt and I don't know what these drugs are going to do to me. Mike has meetings but he is supposed to meet me there in time. I hope so, I just don't think I can face it by myself. Mom and dad will stay with Peyton and I am worried about her, she is so sick I think her mama should be here with her.

I'm trying to keep my attitude good, but am feeling pretty overwhelmed right now. Cancer just doesn't fit in with my life. I have too much to do and too many things to take care of. I am a mom, damn it, and it pisses me off that I can't focus 100% on my daughter this week. Is she gorgeous or what??

Biopsy and on to the weekend!

Its been a whirlwind of activity. The biopsy was on Thursday and on Friday I was lucky enough to get to go actually look at my slides with Dr. Brian Staley. It was very cool, and would have been alot cooler if they hadn't been mine! He is 95% sure it is a recurrence of Breast Cancer. I looked at the CT Scans with Dr. Tim Gormley, but I think he speaks techno/radiology, and didn't really learn much. Really nice, but hard to understand his doctor speak. I think this is why they don't usually have radiologists talk to patients. :-)

On Saturday I was lucky enough to get to go to Portland with my daughter, her friend Katilyn and her photographer friend, Annie Miller, to do senior pictures all day. We had a wonderful time. We shot photos at Maryshill, Stonehenge, Horsetail Watertall, Chinatown, Anthropoligies and Powells. Ended up with 700 pictures, I am sure the perfect picture is in there somewhere!