Saturday, October 31, 2009

Another pair of fabulous shoes.

I wore fabulous shoes. I neglected to include that yesterday. Thanks to Amy at work I wore amazing shoes to chemo which will bring me lots of luck. I have worn fabulous shoes to every single chemo treatment, all 12 of them. But the last ones, well, they were pretty outrageous! Platform, bedazzeled, bejeweled, sequined, outrageous shoes! Did I look incredible? Of course! Did everyone love them? Oh yeah! No matter what they may do to me over there with that slightly toxic remedy, I will look marvelous while they do it. I will wear my fabulous shoes; bring my best purse and dress up for the occasion. For an occasion it is. It is a fight, and always bring your best shoes to a fight. Don’t let em know you’re scared and really want to run! Besides, you can’t run in platform shoes, you have to stay and fight. It’s a little insurance. :-)

The concert was excellent last night and the singers and bands amazing. I have to say that Todd Agnew blew me away. His songs, his messages, his very presence in that church filled me to overflowing. He talked about how we can run from God, but we can’t hide. God knows everything. He knows where we are and what we are thinking and feeling. And he cares about those feelings. And when Todd sang Grace Like Rain, it brought me to tears. It was beautiful. “Halleluiah, grace like rain falls down on me. Halleluiah, all my stains are washed away, they’re washed away.” God is there in the blackness, God is there is the light. His grace is abundant and fills your cup until it spills over. Bathe in his grace, let it wash over you and fill you completely. His grace is sufficient to get you through all trials, all tribulations, all times of sorrow and darkness. Halleluiah, grace like rain. I needed to hear the message last night and I needed to be washed in the Word of God and bask in His presence. I am so tired, tired of the cancer, tired of being sick. I am sad over my son and I worry about my daughter. I needed to be reminded that there is someone bigger than me that will bring me through. He will carry me through this trial, and the next and the one after that. For in this world there will be trials and sorrow, but someday I will go home and the sorrow will be left behind. I look forward to that day (but hope it’s a long long long way away) when I will be in the presence of God. Fall to the ground and just weep at His glory. When the sadness and tears will be left behind, replaced only with joy.

Two more days to my CT scan. Its gonna be clear clear clear clear clear.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday's News

Somedays I feel like its just another day at the salt mines. Another day in the dark underground, working hard, wondering when you are going to get to see the light again. I just want so much for this battle to be over, for this war to be done, that I sometimes have a hard time seeing the light. I had my last regularly scheduled chemo yesterday, I do have another round for good measure no matter what the outcome, but this is the last regular one. And now I wait. I wait for the CT and I wonder how it will turn out. I wonder if I will get the “all clear” that I so desperately desire. I hear of people battling cancer for 2, 5, 10 years and I ponder, how do they do it? How do they keep a positive attitude and keep battling every day? It is so exhausting. How do they keep the blues away and the despair and irritation from creeping in? I hope I don’t have to find out. I really just want to be done with this. I want my life back. I want my energy back. I want to be able to work and play and exercise and go out and have fun and spend time with my grandson even if he has a cold. I want to be able to work in my yard or climb my stairs without getting winded. I want to be Patty again.

So today is a recovery day. I will rest and relax and try to let the chemicals work their way through the cancer, killing every last nasty cell. Mike is kind enough to take me to a concert tonight at Calvary Chapel; Building 429 and Todd Agnew. I can’t wait. Building 429 has a song call Always that is simply amazing. The chorus goes like this:

I believe always, always, the Saviour never fails.
Even when all hope is gone, God knows our pain,
And His promise remains,
And He will be with us always.

Among other great songs, this is the one that I go to hear. To raise my hands and hear the words of validation that no matter what, God is there, and He knows my pain, He knows my sorrow and He is walking with me Always.

Saturday is Halloween and I am planning on attending the Don and Lori Watts Pediatrics Center Costume Party in the afternoon with my grandson and then staying home to hand out candy. I have never been home in this house on Halloween, but know that I will go through hundreds of pieces of candy. I have seen the number of kids in this neighborhood on Halloween! Its amazing! I am actually looking forward to it. Mike will be in Walla Walla all day doing soccer and will come by after to hang out with me.

Sunday I think is work day in my yard. The leaves are out of control, the gutters are full of leaves and its time to get it cleaned up. So my parents, Mike and I will do what we can to get it done. If you are up for a clean up day in Patty’s yard, come on by around 10-11 on Sunday, we’ll put you to work. Monte Ingersoll is having a concert Sunday night at Art Fuller Auditorium (if you have never heard Monte Ingersoll, pastor of The Living Room sing, it is totally worth it to go see him) and if I’m up to it, I’d love to go to that concert too. He is an amazing Godly man and a fantastic performer. So if you have nothing to do on Sunday night, I think the tickets are $12.

God willing, I’ll get to do all the planned activities this weekend. And if it turns out I can’t, well, I’ll rest up and get ready for Monday. My CT is at 1pm, I should know shortly thereafter the results of the CT. Our plan is to go see Dr. Iuliano when we are done to have a look at it, like I’ve said before; it’s nice to know your radiologist.

That’s my weekend. Pray for clear clear clear clear clear.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Love and inspiration.

Where do you find inspiration?

Love inspires me. The love of a dog for its master, a mother for her child, a woman for her lover, a child for their parent, a grandparent for their grandchild, a friend for a friend. Love has so many faces and wears so many hats. The face of love is sometimes tranquil and sometimes filled with passion but always carries with it a sense of peace and belonging. Love cannot carry a grudge, it does not know how, for it overcomes our petty transgressions and replaces them with a tenderness we did not know we had. Love does not resent other love, but links arms with it and marches forward creating a larger deeper love than was there before. Love never regrets, for it knows that it can conquer all through its prowess, fill all gaps and longings with its overwhelming sense of knowing. Love never apologizes for who it is and what it is meant to do. For love is love. It is pure and simple. It is not polite. It barges right in when it knows that its best interests would be served by being in charge. Taking over a situation and infusing it with a kindness and warmth that would otherwise be lost. Love keeps us patient when tempers want to flare and keeps us still when anger threatens to explode.

Love also has a darker side. For it knows when tenderness is not enough and our thoughts of reason are lost. That is when love puts on its armour and prepares for battle. For love knows that sometimes its must be strong enough to make the hard decisions. Love knows when it must guide you down a path that you may not want to walk, but loves source will carry you through. Love is not weak, it is durable and resilient, and it will hold you up through the rough waters, protecting your heart from irreparable harm, shielding your spirit and guarding your soul. For it is in the darkest of time when love wells up from deep within you and fills you with a sense of peace, knowing that the face of love is directing your actions. Though on the surface they may seem unkind, underneath it is love that you know makes you strong and sometimes, love must say “no”, even when it is painful to speak. Love is not only strong, it is tough, and it carries within it a voice of reason, seeking only to do what it right, even in the face of all that is lost. So, let it guide you. Let love be your guide. Let it be your inspiration. Let it carry you through when all hope seems lost. For in love we find our solace.

I have such a deep love for so many people and so many things. Sometimes my heart would threaten to explode for its fullness for the more I give, the more I receive and I am filled to overflowing, but the capacity for love keeps growing. Love is like that…you give it and it keeps coming back, like a boomerang, only it comes back bigger and stronger and more filled until it is spilling over everywhere, running down the sides of your heart and infusing everything it is path with its enthusiasm for life and living.

So love is what will get me through this trial. I saw my son yesterday and it is love that got me through the visit with him and it is love that will carry me through the tough decisions that I will have to make in order to see him through this ordeal. It is out of my hands now and I have a sense of peace of what I must do. It is time for me to step away and let the consequences of his actions carry him to his destiny. For he has made the choices that have brought him to where he is and his choices will carry him through to his next destination. It is not up to me to help him or recue him, for it is time for him to stand on his own two feet and face the world on his own. Its hard for a parent to let go under normal circumstances, but to let go when a child is facing so much trouble, well that can only be done by a monumental act of love. So I will continue to love him, always, but its time to let the future unfold before me.

I have my last regularly scheduled chemo today. So, this is the plan. Chemo today. Kick butt, fight, get every last vestige of cancer left. Monday I have my CT. This is a huge deal. This is THE CT of the treatment, the big kahuna, the most important one. PRAY FOR CLEAR! If the CT is CLEAR, then I will do one more round of chemo for “good measure” (three weeks) and then be done. However…if it is only “relatively clear” then I will do one more round for good measure and “take a break from chemo for awhile.” I do not know how long that break would be, it would depend on how “relatively clear” my CT was. Of course, if it is not clear at all…well then all bets are off and I do not know what the next steps are, those would have to be determined at that time. But I know that is not going to happen. Because we are praying for CLEAR. Not “relatively clear” but CLEAR.


Did you get the prayer message? In case you didn’t, its CLEAR.

Okay, go out there my loving and faithful prayer warriors who fill me to capacity with their love and devotion.

Pray for CLEAR.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Update

Although this dose has been difficult, I am starting to come through and feel better. I have to say that I had an excellent sleep last night, the best I have had in a long time. When my alarm went off, I was sound asleep and normally I’m awake by the time the alarm goes off in the morning. So that was a treat, but SO annoying, I wanted to sleep and sleep!! My energy level is coming back, so I figure it must be about time for another dose of chemo. I am scheduled for dose two of this round on Thursday and don’t think I’ll have any problem keeping my levels up to get that dose. I better not get TOO confident and jinx it, but I’m feeling pretty certain about this round. I just know its going to go well and lead to a positive CT on Monday.

I was honored to attend a wedding this evening. Jeremy and Kiwon (Mike’s son and girlfriend) got married tonight in a TeePee (she is Indian) out at her Uncle Joe’s house on Clodfelter Road. It was a special ceremony and very much fit the personality of who they are and how they live. It was followed by a wonderful dinner at their house with great food, fun and family. What an honor and a blessing to get to spend such special moments with the people that I care about. As I stood there, holding the hand of the love of my life, watching his son get married, it filled a sacred place in my heart and warmed my soul.

Yeah, I admit it. I’m a sap. Nothing I like more than a love story with a happy ending. Just wait, my happy ending is out there just waiting for me!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Thoughts during the night

Sometimes the pain will wake me right up in the middle of the night. The incredible ache that courses through the muscles and terrorizes my joints. It wakes me from a dead sleep to wield its awful sword. So I take my medication and I wait, and hope it will disappear soon, that the awful hurt will subside and leave in its wake solace and peace.

But in those waking moments the thoughts of the mind kick in and I wonder what the future holds and when this battle will be won. I pray fervently that it will be over soon, but know in my heart there are more battles to be waged. I feel the swelling of my face against my arms and wonder if the face that looks at me in the mirror will ever be mine again or if that round moon face is permanently etched forever. I question the wisdom of the doctors and speculate the outcomes of the tests. Do I want to know what the tests have to say or would I prefer to stay blissfully unaware? I marvel at my own ability to keep persevering even when I want to give up, but sometimes doubt my own power to continue the journey. But know I must keep fighting.

I worry about my son and wonder, where does someone lose their conscience? Where does the conscience come from? Is it a product of our heavenly Father or is it something that is deep within our souls that we either have or we don’t? Can we lose our conscience? Is it something that can be diluted by abuse or erased by addictions? How can a person make the choices that they do when they know how hurtful they will be to others? Where is their conscience? Where is their soul? Do they not look into the face of their child and wonder, “what will my actions do to the soul of that boy?” Maybe that is the root of the issue…they do not look into the face of others and see the pain and torment that they are causing because they can only see the twisted burning of their own souls. The demons that tear within them; gnashing their teeth against their spirit and dripping their poison into their minds. And they cannot see the light. They cannot see the brightness of God. They are lost in the blackness of their days and the anguish of their addictions. So, all that is left is to pray that God can raise them out of the darkness. There is so little mere mortals can do except lift them up to their Father and pray for their release from all that haunts them, for the suffering to be vanquished.

And so I pray. Passionately for my son’s soul. For him to be cleansed, for him to be freed from the chains that bind him. For his conscience to be restored, for his additions to be broken, for the demons to be cast out. It is out of my hands now. Safely in the hands of the Father. But my heart still grieves with the hearts of many mothers who walk next to me, praying for the souls of their lost children.

The pain is subsiding and the alarm is soon to be going off and it will be time to embark on my day, one more day in the battlefields one more day in the war. Come. Walk with me. Together, we're making it through.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Hope must spring eternal, even in the fall when all looks bleak and dying, hope must still be alive. Because hope is what keeps me going. Hope for healing, hope for a cure, hope for my son, hope for a better day. Hope. Four little letters, huge implications in my life.

As I start my day with my dogs at my side, begging for treats, of course, and a fire in the fireplace, I realize how beautiful my life is, I ache for the things that grieve me and rejoice in the wonderful things that abound. I know that some people will judge me by the actions of my son, and for those people, well I am sorry for you. For God not only commands us not to judge each other (is it not “he without sin may cast the first stone”) we are all God’s children and do you judge God for the waywardness of His own children? Does it not grieve Him greatly to watch all of us go astray in one way or another? Has He not done all He can for us, just as parents we do all we can with our children? But still, they turn into adults and live their own lives apart from our lives, our dreams, our hopes, our own values? And we help them all we are able; we provide the best assistance and direction that we know how, but they are their own person and make their own choices. Do not judge the parent for the child, no more than you would judge the child for the parent. Grieve for the loss and pray for the future. That is all we can do. People like my son are not unredeemable, they are simply lost.

I keep plowing ahead and look forward to my day. My grandson and Elena are coming over for lunch and a concert this afternoon. Battelle is sponsoring a children’s concert, woodwinds and flutes, and we are going to take Jessie. I think he’ll enjoy it, he loves music, and if he doesn’t, oh well, we will leave. I don’t know if I’ll see Jessie as much now with Houston no longer living here, so I will have to work harder to make a conscious effort to make dates with him and make sure he stays in my life. I am lucky to have a great relationship with Elena and know that she will always let us be a part of that beautiful little boy’s days. I hope she moves on, both she and my grandson deserve so much better than my son is willing or able to give.

As for my health, I am weak and tired and can definitely feel the affects of the chemo. I was up and down a lot last night, which is typical for the first few nights after chemo, and awoke early with some severe stomach pains, quickly alleviated by some Zophran. My body and joints ache, but not as bad as they will in another week, I’m at the beginning of the cycle so the affects aren’t quite as bad as they will be a week from now after another dose. My job now is to keep my counts up so I can have that next dose. I have tried to be very wise and not do too much and rest a lot, eat well, do my walking and yoga. I bought groceries yesterday with lots of high iron, high protein foods. This next round is critical with my CT scan only over a week away.

I must also keep healthy for an upcoming trip to San Diego. There is a business trip with the board every year and this year we are going to the Hotel del Coronado, which is one of my favorite places in the world. In January, my family was going to do a cruise, but with the uncertainty of my health and my lack of vacation time by January (it will be gone) we decided not to go. Instead, my mother and daughter will be accompanying me to San Diego; we are going down one day early to see my aunt and tourist about a bit and enjoy each other’s company. I am excited for the trip but concerned about my health holding up. I am fully aware that if this round is as hard on me as the last, I may not be up for the trip. So it has become doubly important that I stay healthy, I want this time with the two most important women in my life, my mother and my daughter.

Keep me in your prayers, as well as my family. For as hard as it is to go through all this personally, I know my parents heart breaks for their grandson and worries for their daughter and my daughter misses her brother and is frightened for her mom. May God comfort them and give them the peace that passes all understanding.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The "going's on" in the Taylor household.

I hesitate whether to write about the “goings on” at the Taylor household, but have decided that I set this blog up to share about my journey and I have worked to be honest with what I was thinking and feeling, so honestly is what I am going to continue to provide. Some of you know that my son has had some trouble with the law in the last 18 months and he has been in and out of jail. My parents and I retained an attorney to help him and for the most part he seemed to be doing well, staying out of trouble, complying with the requirements of the court. All that came crashing down yesterday when two US Marshalls and two Sheriff’s Deputies showed up at my house to arrest my son for Failure to Appear. You see, my son has struggled with drug problems, and his cases were put into drug court, but he chose not to comply with the requirements of the court. He was not here when the police came, he had left shortly before, but my house was searched and I had a nice talk with the police about the situation. They did eventually catch up with him yesterday and he is safely ensconced in our county jail as we speak. At first I think, embarrassing, humiliating, oh my gosh, my son is in jail. But then I think some more and I just realize, how sad. How very very heartbreaking. And when I share what is happening I find there are so many people out there with troubled children or siblings, some in jail, some not, but many making bad choices. And it breaks our hearts. I think this may be one of those blessings in disguise. Maybe he’ll finally accept the consequences of his actions and find the help he needs. Maybe he’ll be able to dig down deep within himself and find the strength within him to battle his demons. By sharing, I hope to release my own inner feelings of failure towards my son and perhaps also I can release the stigma of a troubled child, knowing in my heart, I did the best I could with what I had. And if you are the parent of a troubled child, know you did the best you could too.

I think when we are born our lives are set in motion and there is this path that we are going to walk. We may find a few places where we can change our destiny, but who we are and what we are going to be is so ingrained in us, that there is not a lot anyone can do to change the essence of who we were meant to be. I think of all I did to try to help my son and nothing helped, he is who he is and only he can change himself. I cannot do anything to change what he has decided to do with his life. And when you throw alcohol or drugs into a situation, anything can happen and that person becomes even more lost than before. So, now I pray and I sit back and wait and I wonder what will become of him, but know in my heart that it is out of my hands and he is in the hands of God. I was told yesterday that God has no grandchildren, my son is His son, and it grieves Him too to have him in this awful blackness. So, it is time for me to let go and let my son fall into the void of his own making. His choices put him there, only his own choices and actions can release him. And, truth be told, I know parents who don’t even know where their kids are, living on the street, at least I know where he is, that he is relatively safe with a roof over his head and has the possibility of changing his life, if he so chooses. And if he does not, then that is his choice, not mine. I did the best I could with the tools I had.

But Elena (Jessie’s mama) I am so proud of her and she takes such good care of my grandson. At 22 and less than a year on her job at Bank of the West, she has been promoted to Assistant Manager. I see her as a shining star, making positive choices, taking great care of Jessie and providing him with the future that my son cannot and may never provide. I see a lot of me in her, raising my own small children with a husband who provided no assistance, financial or otherwise. I support her and know that she will succeed and pray for the strength to see her through. Single parenting is no picnic. However, she has come through so much in her short life and pulled herself out of the blackness with her own grit and fortitude and she is a strong and beautiful woman. Jessie is lucky to have her as his mama.

As far as me, well, sometimes I cry, sometimes I pray, sometimes I just sit and stare at the place my son used to sleep. And I see him in my minds eye as that little boy, so full of promise or as that adolescent, so full of dreams. And I wonder, where did he go and will we ever find him again. And as much as my heart grieves, I know he is in the place he is supposed to be right now. This is the path he has chosen and this is the journey he will walk. I will love him, always, but in my heart I will have to find a way to let go and give him back to his Father, where he belongs. I have done all I can do.

I have heard from family and friends, how can my soon do this to me with all I am going through. But the truth be told, this is not personal, he is not doing this to me or anyone else. He is doing it to himself. I have to find a way to not let it affect my healing, and turn it into another reson to live. I want to live to see him out and free from the demons that haunt him. So the reality is, he probably just gave me another reason to continue to fight this battle.

So I fight. Together with you all by my side. I’ll fight another day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I want to grow old.

You might be sick of hearing from me in the last 24 hours, but I wanted to let you all know again how much all the prayers meant to me. I just know I wouldn’t be feeling so crummy today without all of you, thank you! Isn’t that crazy? Really, it means a lot to me to stay on track and I’d rather have only a few more weeks of feeling crummy and kick this cancer out!

I was catching up on my email and I received one from my aunt about the beauty of growing old. I want that. I want my hair to go grey, I want the freedom to retire and sit on my back porch all morning if I want. I want to sing, dance, and laugh with abandon and not care who is watching. I want to not care what I look like in a swimsuit and just swim anyway. I want to grow old and wrinkled and join the red hat society and hang out with other old wrinkly women who don’t care what people think. I want the beauty and wisdom that comes with age. I don’t want to leave this world before my time; I want to eek every last drop out of this existence before I go home to the next. I want to go to my daughter’s graduation and scream her name at the top of my lungs, I want to see her graduate beauty school and college, and watch my dad walk her down the aisle at her wedding. I want to be there when she has her children, and watch those children grow. I want to see my son get out on his own and bring his family together and see my grandson’s first day of school. Watch my grandson graduate from kindergarten and junior high and high school, like my parents got to watch their grandkids.

I want to outlive my parents; I don’t want them to have to every say goodbye to me first. That just wouldn’t be fair to them to lose their daughter. I want to marry the love of my life and grow old and travel the world, going to the opera, museums and sharing our old age together. I want to live long enough to retire from my job, not have to go out on disability because I’m too sick and can’t work anymore.

I’m not ready to face my death yet. It needs to be much much farther in the future than I can look right now. I need it to be 20-30-40 years from now. I have to make it through. There are just too many of us who get taken before our time, and I don’t want to be one of them. I have had a good life so far, it has been full of surprises and love and adventure, but I am just positive there is more of the good life to come. Life is good; I’m not ready to leave it yet.

So I fight. I stand tall in the face of the beast and I fight hard. As I sit in front of my fireplace that I love so much, with my animals by my side and my daughter texting me from school (doesn’t she ever pay attention in class?) I know that my life is still worth living, worth saving, worth fighting for.

So I fight. This battle is not over; the war is far from being won. But I have an army of soldiers who stand beside me and are fighting right along with me. I see that now, I see the power of their strength and their prayers. I am not alone. You have raised me up; the mountain isn’t quite so steep and tall after all. I can make it with all of you on my side.

Thanks for carrying me when I couldn’t walk anymore. You came through when I needed you the most. I am overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled by your love. God sent me angels, lots of them you know who you are!

Love and hope,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Its a miracle! A bonified miracle!

Thank you my faithful friends and prayer warriors. The doctors were blown away. I not only got the 33,000 platelets I needed, I got 72,000 platelets. I needed 100,000 platelets, I had 139,000. More than double the amount I needed to get my chemo today. The only way this was accomplished was through the prayers and positive thoughts of my friends. Of course, now I’m tired and nauseous and wondering…why did I want chemo today? Oh yeah, I want to stay on track so I can get this over with!

So I’m going to try to be really smart this round and rest when I need to rest and sleep when I need to sleep, try hard to eat right, even when I’m tired and continue with my meditation and yoga, even when it feels I can’t move.. Even tonight, I know I need to eat, I know it should be healthy, but I just don’t have the energy to get up and make anything. I have this nasty taste in my mouth and something cold and refreshing sounds so good, so I did have a nice orange, peeled for me by Mike yesterday, because I hate to peel oranges.

I just got back from my T’ai Chi Chih class and it went well. I find that I don’t have a lot of energy, but the movement seems to help sooth my spirit and I need to force myself to practice, even a little, even when I don’t have the energy.

So I have learned a lot in the last few weeks. This is an important battle. The most important battle of my life and I need to continue to do what I think is right for my body to heal, even when I don’t want to, feel like it or have the energy to do so and I need the prayers of friends behind me.. My CT scan is scheduled for November 2nd, so that is the big day. Pray for another phenomenal CT scan. I don’t want to be “relatively clear,” I want to be “completely clear.” So my faithful partners in this battle, I need to ask for you to pray for me again. I know this round is going to be tough. I have 11 doses of chemo in me, my bone marrow and body are tired, and hopefully the cancer is getting tired too and is dying off in droves. So pray for completely clear. I need to be strong the next few weeks, I need to battle strong, I need to keep faith in the drivers seat and courage riding shotgun.

I need all the help I can get. I am digging as deep as I can to find that strength and courage to keep going, so keep reminding me that I can do this, I can make it, that I’m going to win. I have to win; I have way too much to live for, so many incredible experiences still to come.

Thanks you my friends, you reaffirmed my faith in miracles. Let’s find one more. Clear. Completely clear.

Stronger Than Cancer

Sometimes it’s hard to be stronger than cancer. Cancer is pretty powerful and it claws and weasels its way into my body and mind and changes my life forever. Everything I do revolves around fighting cancer and treating the side effects; my mind cannot wrap itself around the immenseness of it and it becomes like a festering sore that is always there, always reminding me of its presence. I can’t get away from it no matter how fast I run or how much I might try to ignore it. Its there inside of me threatening to break all barriers and all boundaries. Threatening to take away not only my life, but to break my spirit on the journey home.

And it’s hard to be strong enough not to let it break my spirit. Yes, it may take my life. A bus may also take my life; we just don’t know how our lives will end. But cancer has this uncanny ability to take pieces of my spirit, my strength, my courage, my character, my determination, my very heart. It reaches into the very essence of who I am and works to twist and tear at that essence until it becomes someone that I cannot recognize.

And no one can find the strength in me, I must find it myself. I have wonderful friends who see my strength and remind me of it, they remind me of my fortitude, my will to live, my determination to beat this invasive disease, but only I can reach down deep into the depths of my soul to regain that strength and use it to fight back. And it is hard when this disease beats me down day after day after day. But fight back I will. My friends, you remind me of who I am and what I want to be, a fighter. I cannot sit back and slip quietly into the night, for that is not the essence of who I am. I will face this challenge with the courage of David at the face of the giant. I have in my arsenal much more ammunition than David ever dreamed of; I have a team of physicians who are brilliant, a family who loves me and stands behind me, a partner who supports my every decision and friends who got my back. I have much much more than David had when he faced Goliath, and he beat Goliath, and I will beat cancer.

I just have to make it through this day. And this day only. One day, one footstep, one thought at a time.

Walk with me. Let’s face this giant and kick its butt from here to Timbuktu and beyond. I'm counting on you to be with me!


PS: Its early on Thursday, I still need 33,000 platelets! Keep praying!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Keep praying for 33,000!!

I have found that the lower my blood counts get, the harder it is to keep the despair from creeping into my thoughts. And the longer my counts stay down, the deeper that despair becomes, a darkness that creeps into your spirit and threatens my very soul. So I am glad that they went ahead and did the blood transfusion today. Although the blood doesn’t directly affect the platelets that I need so desperately, they are important to my ability to keep my attitude positive. With low red blood counts, the exhaustion is so overwhelming that I have a hard time focusing on the positive in life and the awesome things that are waiting in my future.

In addition to having the transfusion, I have worked hard to eat foods that will increase my iron. I should be doing this on a regular basis, but when I am so exhausted that I can barely get up my stairs, cooking is just not part of the plan. So I am confident that my energy levels will increase quickly and I’ll be able to take better care of myself.

But, I still need 33,000 platelets by tomorrow. Its gonna take a miracle, but I just know that we can pray and positive thought our way to 100,000 platelets!! I did talk to my nurse this morning when I stopped by the cancer center to have them access my port before my transfusion, and she said that we might just be able to put the chemo off just one day. I might not be able to increase 33,000 in one day, but should be able to pump them up that much in two. So I may just have to wait one day rather than an entire week. I’m okay with that. I can wait one day if I have to, but I certainly don’t want to wait an entire week. I want to be done in 6 weeks, not 7!

I was reading today in CURE magazine about some great clinical trials going on for Triple Negative Breast Cancer. There are a lot of good trials showing some great results in battling this disease. So I can make it through this battle, then I just need to make it through until a cure is found. They are working on a cure, I want to be part of the it!

Just another good reason to survive this insipid disease.

I need your fevert prayers

I need your prayers like I’ve never needed them before. My blood is tired and it just can’t rebound this time. My platelets haven’t come up at all in a week, in fact, they have come down a point. My red counts have all come down, some more significantly than others, but the one that counts is the platelets. I have to get my platelets up or I don’t get chemo tomorrow. I need them to go up 33 lousy points. From 67 to 100. Can you help me? Can you pray fervently? I don’t want to be delayed again. I want to be done with my cancer treatment. I want this to be over. I have been resting like I should the last few weeks, but perhaps haven’t eaten as healthy as I should. Mostly because I am too tired to care what I eat and really there is no one to make me eat healthy and I haven't taken it seriously enough. When it comes down to my healing, to this battle, I have to find the strength within myself. I have to take care of myself. No one is going to do it for me. I am a single mother fighting this battle.. But today I really need YOUR help. I need your prayers, because that is the only way I’m bringing my count up 33 points in 24 hours is with prayers. Only God can fix this one.

Pray for platelets. 33,000 of them. By tomorrow.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Fall

I’m back out on my patio and what a beautiful fall morning. As I sit here enjoying the crisp fall air with a cup of Doma Fair Trade coffee I look around and realize that it is a perfect morning. The air has a cool bite to it that makes me fully aware of the inevitable winter but grateful for the encroaching fall. The leaves are just starting to turn, and the radiant greens are mixed with warm shades of yellow, red and gold in a brilliant autumn tapestry. The breeze brings with it the promise of a storm with the scent of rain mixed with the undertones of the earth. The sun peeks through the trees, its rays creating a kaleidoscope of colors. I immerse myself in the sights, scents and sounds around me, enjoying every moment, for there will never be this moment again. Once it is past it is gone, and I cannot regain it. There is only one now, one present, one today. I grab on to it with both hands and hold on to it with all my heart. For, while looking towards tomorrow, I don’t want to forget about today. About all that today has to offer, all its beauty. Today is a day that is filled with hope.

So while looking towards the promise of a bright and brilliant tomorrow, don’t forget to stop and enjoy the perfection of this day, of this moment. Don’t let it go by unnoticed. Stop and take a look around, taking in all this day has to offer. Smell the roses, look at the clouds in the sky, feel the cool breeze caress you cheeks. The day is filled with wonder. Enjoy.

Friday, October 16, 2009

A little bit about courage.

Courage is not the absence of fear; it’s the affirmation of faith and life despite the fear.

That’s a quote from Walter Payton. He was afraid facing cancer. Who wouldn’t be afraid when you are staring into the dark eyes of the beast? Its only natural. But courage is standing tall in the face of the beast and looking him right in the eye and declaring, you shall not win. You cannot have my life, you cannot have my soul, you cannot have my laughter and my song. You may be a cruel, hideous, horrible beast, but you cannot triumph over my spirit. My spirit is greater than your horror, my determination is greater than your blackness. My faith is bigger than your darkness and I will not cower in your presence. You will not win.

Sometimes it takes courage to just open your eyes in the morning and face another day, and somedays it takes courage to get out of bed when all your body wants to do is stay under the covers. But you do it. You get up and face your day. Whatever beasts are stalking you, and we all have them, you still get up and face the day. And when you drive on through your day with the beast nipping at your heels, it doesn’t mean that fear isn’t in the car with you, it simply means that faith is in the driver’s seat, while fear has be relegated to the back and courage is riding shotgun.

Faith and courage are powerful emotions and get us through those times when we think we just can’t go any further. When you feel that you can't take one more step, not even a small one, that is when you step out in faith. And you face your demons with courage knowing that all that is good and pure is on your side. Confident that the power of God and the angels of mercy and hope are with you. You step out in faith and courage will follow.

You, my friends, restore my hope and give me faith for a brighter today. Together we will triumph over this beast!

I just received an email from a dear friend in response to my ding dong ditch blog yesterday and it made me laugh and cry and lifted me up so much that I wanted to share it with you:
A game with you cheatin' death??? YOU BET I'M IN! Brrrrinnnngggggg! Goooo! Oh, I'm winning, cuz I'm wearing sensible flats, and you're wearing Naughty Monkey heels! Haaaaa! Catch me if you can! Oh, wait...there you are. Right with me. We're arm in arm now, cuz I know you're tired. Lean a little more. I can hold you. Oh, and there's someone on the other side of you, too.

What's that noise? A shuffling of feet all around you--from all your friends and family forming the healing circle that holds you up! We're taking as many turns as we need. Lean a little more, Patty. We've got ya.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Ding Dong Ditch

My friend in Seattle, Chris, bought me a book "stronger than cancer" that was written by the family of Walter Payton. Walter Payton died after a courageous battle with a rare liver cancer in 1999. The book is a series of snippets from cancer patients, families of patients and children of patients and is full of wisdom about cancer. One of my favorite quotes is from a 16 year old son of a breast cancer patient…“ Never knock on death’s door. Ring the doorbell and run. Death hates that!”

Well, that’s sometimes how I feel. I feel like I am playing ding dong ditch with death. And if I run fast enough, death won’t find me. When you are battling cancer your life is a continual series of medical treatments designed to almost kill you, but not quite, just enough to beat back the cancer without doing too much damage to the healthy cells. I look at this latest round that has caused me to be neutropenic. The counter-treatment is shots to boost your white count, and the shots make you feel sick, so you begin to wonder, am I sick from the shots or am I sick from the cancer? Ding dong ditch.

Each round gets a little tougher to handle as the cumulative effects of the treatment build up. I mean, that is the reason that they do round after round after round. They want to beat down your body’s resistance to the point where the cancer just gives up and dies. In the meantime, the side effects are also wearing you down and you are trying to keep strong, trying to be courageous in the face of all the sickness, but the running game isn’t as easy any more. Your speed and swiftness have been compromised by the continual onslaught. But you know there is an end in sight. Ding dong ditch.

I think this is the point in the treatment where your friends and family become so critical. I share this with you so you can help not only me but people you know who are also battling this disease. We want to keep playing ding dong ditch with death. We want to keep cheating death, but after months and months our resolve starts to wane. We want to be strong, heck, we ARE strong, but we are tired. Tired of the battle, tired of the war. Because for us, it is every moment of every day for months, sometimes years, on end. I don’t think I’m doing to die, in fact, I know that I’m not going to die from this battle, but I’m tired. And I can see how people fighting cancer can get to the point where they start giving up, getting depressed and losing their ability to fight.

I want to make it clear, that I’m not there yet, and I don’t plan on going there! I plan on playing ding dong ditch for as long as my legs can carry me. I am no where near ready to end this fight, but I’m tired. And this is where you come in.

When someone is battling this disease they need your prayers, your words of love, your encouragement. Its not the big stuff, it’s the little stuff that gets me through each day. A card from a co-worker, an email from a friend, a word of encouragement from my family. Its knowing that there are people out there who are willing to play ding dong ditch with me, and if my legs falter, they will pick up the slack. Knowing that people are praying for me, knowing that they believe in my fight and they got my back…well that makes all the difference in the world.

I have people ask me a lot what they can do to help, and I frequently have people come to me because their friend or family has cancer and they want to know what they can do for them. The simple answer is to let them know you got their back, you are there if they need you, you are praying, you are thinking of them. Those simple words mean so much. Send them a card or an email every now and then. I can’t tell you how those little things brighten my day and give me that little extra boost I need to make it through. The battle makes us weary but our friends make us strong.

So don’t be afraid to say something, to encourage, to let us know that you are praying. Those prayers lift us up and give us a supernatural strength that we need when we are in the midst of the battle. When I least expect it, sometimes I just feel the strength and the power of the prayers going up around me. And it is there I find my running legs.

Ding dong ditch. Watch me run!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

No transfusion! Yea!

Well, my red counts are not as bad as I thought. I’m low on my reds and platelets, but not as low as I have been in the past, so I won’t need a transfusion. However, my whites are very low and I’m very neutropenic, which is the first time during this treatment that I have been this neutropenic. Neutropenia is when your immune system is compromised and you are unable to fight off infections. I knew something was wrong, I just didn’t know what it was except that I knew I wasn’t feeling right. So between the low, but not dangerously low, red counts and the very very low white count, I guess that explains why I’m feeling pretty crappy.

Even though I don’t need a transfusion I will have to have a few neupogen shots which are designed to boost my white count. When your white count is compromised, they recommend that you really don’t go out much, just stay at home and chill out. So…I was supposed to have some famous Juan Sanchez Carne Asada tonight, but no go on that, and I think my lunch at the Club tomorrow is also canceled. Unless I want to wear a mask, and eating lunch with a mask might be a little bit difficult.

I’m stuck home for the next few days while I try to get my blood to rebound. I did take the dogs for a quick walk, it’s a bit chilly out but feels good to be out in the sunshine. I’ll keep plugging along, finish my book and maybe start another one, check email, talk to my daughter, snuggle with my dog, catch up on my TV shows. All in all, it won’t be bad, maybe just a bit boring! I’ll try to write some inspiring stuff to share with you while I’m sitting around.

Talk to you soon.


Not doing too well this week!

I do not think the blood is doing well. Yup. That’s my expert medical opinion. I came home from work yesterday and went straight to bed for a few hours and just can’t seem to perk up. I feel like my body is made of lead and my head is full of air. When I try to move around I get dizzy and short of breath. I went to bed at 8:30 last night in the hopes that a good night sleep would set everything straight again, but no such luck. I woke up this morning still exhausted, short of breath, dizzy with the lovely addition of a massive headache.

I have to admit, I was somewhat scared last night. I was wondering how far can my blood counts drop before I'm in serious trouble? Was I close to danger or is it my imagination? I hate to overreact, but at the same time, I know what it feels like to have low platelets and hemoglobin. And mine are low. I said a prayer before I went to bed asking God to watch over me and to please not let me die in the night and he answered my prayer…here I am. Still alive and kicking. Whew. I’m relieved.

So, I decided I’d been in bed for over 9 hours and maybe it was time to get up and around. The around consists of a cup of coffee and parking my butt in my rocking chair in front of the fireplace. But hey, I’m vertical. I was hoping maybe a cup of coffee would help the headache, so far, no luck. But I’m hopeful. I talked to Mike and I’m going to call my chemo nurse at 8am and see what she says. See if she wants to draw blood today or wait for another 24 hours. One thing is for certain, I’m probably not moving far from the chair today. I have already decided that there is no way I’m making it to work, I simply don’t have the strength and besides, Wendy is there and she can take care of anything that needs to be done. I have a few things to take care of that can be done from home later. That’s why I have a laptop and wi-fi. The world will certainly not end if I stay home today.

So I will rest and relax and try to rebound. The big R’s. There is nothing I can do to get my platelets up except rest and let them rebound on their own, unless they decide to do a transfusion. I just keep remembering I’m on the homeward stretch. I’ve been lucky to have felt so good for so long so I guess its about time that my body would simply say, no more. I have cruised through 15 weeks pretty easily, considering what they are doing to me, and I certainly cannot think that eventually I wasn’t going to be able to bounce back with no trouble. There is a cumulative effect of the chemo and I have had 10 doses. So its my turn to just feel puny. At least the weather matches my mood and it is a perfect day to snuggle up under the covers and just rest.

I’ll post later and let you know what the counts are if they decide to do some blood work today. In the meantime, send good thoughts and lots of prayers. I need every single one!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tuesday's Update

I woke up flanked by my animals with a nosebleed. Yeah. What a way to start my day. I came through the hazy fog; you know that bleary eyed state between sleep and wakefulness, aware of pressure on both my sides. An investigation revealed Kyra pushed against me on my left, Betsy my right. I appreciate their dedication to me, especially because I’m not feeling very good, but a little too much togetherness is not always a good thing.

I extricated myself from the animal cluster and became aware that it was hard to breathe. My throat dry and cracky, my sinuses filled with concrete. So I did what any one does, I blew my nose. Hard. That’s when it started to bleed. And it bled and bled and bled. And I tried as I might to get it to stop, it wouldn’t. So I went ahead and spent the next 30 minutes putting makeup on while trying to keep my nose from bleeding down my face. If you have never endeavored this type of activity, I don’t encourage it. It can be slightly frustrating to put on makeup with a Kleenex sticking out of your nose. (Are you getting a great mental picture here or what?!)

Mike and I meet every morning for coffee at 5:30am, and I made it only a few minutes late. Seeing Mike is always one of the brightest spots in my day. We got to spend the next 20 minutes sharing about the morning and the opportunities the day has to present. Unlimited possibilities. That’s what every day has to offer and that is part of the reason that I love to see Mike in the morning. He has that type of attitude, that type of perspective. He sees the possibilities in the day. The hours unfolding ahead of you with the all the potential and promise that only your imagination can foresee. It’s a blank slate. You create all the colors and designs. It’s all up to you. They day is yours to behold.

So, based on the morning so far, I’d say my platelet count is very low, my reds are teetering below where they should be and I’m fighting a cold. Hmmmm….. But…..I’m awake, alive, breathing and surrounded by those I love. Its gonna be a great day!

Monday, October 12, 2009


Sometimes exhaustion just sets in. You just turn around and its there and you can’t stop it. It doesn’t creep up like a burglar; it jumps out like a cat. And boom, its upon you and you have to sit down. You don’t want to, you want to keep going, keep moving, keep on track with all the things that you want to accomplish, but the exhaustion makes you completely unable to move. Its not fun.

That’s what happened. All the sudden it was upon me and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t hardly make it down the stairs. But I wanted to, I needed to, laundry had to be done, dinner had to be cooked…but there was nothing left inside of me. No reservoir of strength to draw on. I tried, but my daughter saw me and sternly sat me down. Whose the parent now?

So I am learning to sit down and rest and ask for help when I need it. That is hard for me, to ask to have someone else do something that I am perfectly capable of doing, but unable to for whatever reason, be it circumstance or physical duress. I’m catching up on my TV shows and watching the clock for the time I can go to bed and hopefully be more energetic tomorrow. My body feels like it is dragging and I wonder how my counts are this week. I’ll be getting blood drawn on Thursday, and I’ll know more then. Maybe by then I’ll rebound!

Mom made dinner tonight, chili and cornbread, and it was awesome. So I’m glad I didn’t have to cook and was able to just enjoy the company of my parents. Off to bed.

For now I'll keep smiling. Chat with you tomorrow!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Quality time with my dog.

It’s hard to explain quality time with your dog if you aren’t an animal lover, but I will attempt to share. As way of explanation, I am a dog person. I like cats a lot, especially ones that act like dogs, but I love dogs. They are pure and simple and wear the range of emotions right on their faces. There is no hiding what a dog feels. I turn to absolute mush around a dog. And dogs love me. They feel my unabashed joy when I am around them and look right into my dog-lovers soul. I don’t trust people my dogs instinctively don’t like. You can not be a dog person, and a dog will still like you. Mike is a good example. He is definitely not a dog person. He likes them okay, I mean he can take em or leave em, but my dogs adore him. They won’t leave him alone and it’s always been like that. Dogs just know a persons heart.

Anyway back to the quality time with the dog.

Red wine and steroids don’t mix. Yeah, sounds like a good combo, I know, but the truth be told, it’s hard to sleep on red wine and steroids. Which is where the quality time comes in. I was real tired when I got home last night from a fabulous Foundation dinner at Anthony’s Events Center. I was on my last day of steroids for the week, had finished painting my room (which looks AMAZING!), and had a great time socializing and sharing shoe stories and a few glasses of some nice Syrah. My daughter is out of town and Sophie just can’t sleep by herself, and we KNOW Kyra always sleeps with me, so not long after coming home the dogs and I climbed into bed and I was soon fast asleep in an alcohol induced haze. Well, unfortunately, alcohol turns to sugar, which we all know, but fail to acknowledge when drinking. So about 3am, I’m wide awake. I try to get back to sleep, I really do, but the sugar is coursing through my veins along with 5 days of steroid usage and there is just no sleeping. I could take ½ an ambien or something, but then I’m out for the next 5-6 hours and I just didn’t feel like being comfortably numb for that long. That would be a waste of a great Sunday morning. So I turned on the light and surveyed my domain and there is the kitty, Betsy, right next to my head and Sophie and Kyra at my feet.

I would like to make it clear right here that Kyra is my dog. Peyton talked me into getting her 7 years ago, with all the promise of a 10 year old who is going to take care of a dog…needless to say, she became my dog. Especially when I was diagnosed with cancer four years ago. Kyra went from sleeping with Peyton to never leaving my side and its been like that ever since. She is my companion and protector. I have no doubt in the world that Kyra would fight to the death to protect me and anyone in my family.

So…I’m awake and surveying the domain and Kyra noticed that perhaps, Sophie might be a little closer to me than she is. Kyra is the alpha, I am her mommy, she has to be the closest. So she dog crawls up the bed until she is right next to me with her head on my shoulder and those chocolate brown eyes looking right into mine. If you’ve never seen my dog, she is a black lab/Rottweiler with a beautiful black face complete with expressive brown rottie spots above her eyes. And when she looks at me, yeah, I’m mush. So, I wrapped my arm around her, let her lay on my shoulder and there we stayed for the next 45 minutes. Just me and my dog, talking, her listening raptly, about how I feel, my fears, my hopes, my dreams of recovery and my appreciation for her never leaving my side, yet again. That’s the other thing I love about dogs. They are non-judgmental, listen without comment and are always there when you need them. And I need Kyra. I’d be just lost without her. She walked this road with me all those years ago and she is walking it again, faithfully, with no hesitation.

By about 4am we decided to just go ahead and get up and have coffee and treats in front of the fireplace. Sophie and Betsy got to join into our little middle of the night party and we moved to the living room, where I sit now, sharing with you. My friends out there in cyberspace.

I hear about a lot of people reading this blog and I hope that I continue to make it interesting, inspiring, enjoyable and informative. I found out last night that there are those of you that are battling your own cancers and have been referred to my blog. Well to you, rock on. I know its hard. I know the war that is being raged can be completely overwhelming and at times you swear that you can feel hopelessness and even death knocking quietly at the door. Don’t answer that door. Remember that death is there for all of us, not just those of us with cancer. I mean, the only thing that is certain about life is that it ends in death. Everything else is just the journey between the two. So when you feel the cold tendrils of that despair creeping down your back, remember, this is your journey and you can choose to make it whatever journey you want. You can live it in sadness or you can live it in hope. There may be no cure for your cancer (there isn’t for mine) but that’s okay. There is also no cure for diabetes and heart disease and yet people with those diseases live very long and enjoyable lives, if they choose. Choose to live with abandon. Choose to live with pure, unadulterated joy. Choose to live with your hopes and dreams still alive, well and kickin’. Don’t let go of them for one instant. Hold on to them as tightly as a mother with her baby child, with all that passion for the future and the beauty that it holds. This life, this journey, its worth living. Live hard and live good.

Paraphrasing (or butchering) this well known quote - I don’t want to finish this game of life in a perfect well kept body after a perfectly well manicured life. I want to be running the bases with wild abandon and then sliding into home, barely under the catcher’s mitt in a well worn body, sweaty and full of joy, saying, oh yeah, what a ride!

Lets play ball!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Change your world!

“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure its worth watching.”

Is your life worth watching? When you look back in 1, 5, 10, 50 years are you going to be pleased with the life you led or are you going to be filled with “I wishes” and “what ifs”. I saw this quote and it got me thinking about that. When I look back on my life is there enough time with others or too much time by myself? Did I spend enough time reaching out or too much time reaching in? Did I laugh enough? Did I cry enough? Did I share my tears with others? Did I bring the world into my joy or did I keep it all to myself? Did my actions make this world a better place and enhance the lives of the people around me?

Looking back from right now I say, not enough. I can do more, you can do more, we can do more. I don’t know if we can ever do enough to make this world a better place. There is so much negativity, sadness, disease and despair and it’s hard to be a beacon of light in the midst of so much darkness. But we can try and we can try harder. It comes down to being kind to ourselves, our earth and our fellow man. I think I succeeded yesterday in changing a clerk’s attitude. I was buying paint (the paint project is going well, by the way, more on that later) and she was just not very nice. She was rude and snippy with me. I just didn’t have the answers quick enough or understand what she was saying, and she quickly became annoyed with me, my request and the questions I was asking about the paint project. My instinct was to get nasty right back at her. And for a fleeting moment, I thought I would, but I was tired and felt pretty puny and honestly, didn’t have the energy to be mean. How’s that for tired? So I let her be rude and I just kept being nice, smiling, staying calm…even when she messed up my order. By the time the interaction was complete, the clerk had changed her tune and was apologetic and agreeable and thankful for my patience. So I had to think, maybe it wasn’t really me she was being nasty with, maybe it was the customer before me who wasn’t patient and who was rude to her and set her day on end. What a lesson. “Thanks for your patience.” My pleasure.

I think sometimes when people communicate with us we forget that their attitude is a direct result of the previous interactions that day and the things going on in their lives. Like when someone cuts you off in traffic. I am the first person who wants to yell “idiot” and give them the finger, but I try to think…I have cut people off too and I didn’t do it on purpose, it just happens. You aren’t paying attention, you have too much on your mind, your kid just ask you where babies came from…whatever. But something distracted you and you made a mistake. Can’t we give each other a little break? Next time you interact with someone, try to take into consideration that there is something more going on in their lives than just that association with you. They may have had bad news today, their shoes may be hurting their feet, their baby may be sick, their mom may be dying, their lover may have left them, their mortgage may be overdue, it could be one of a thousands things that affect our lives everyday. So bring light into their day. Be the sunshine, not the sorrow. Be the rainbow, not the rain. I know that together, one person, one relationship, one interaction at a time; we can make this world a better place. I want to look back on my life in 30 years and say, yes, this was a life worth living.

So, update on the painting project. I had to switch the green yesterday and I went with a deeper “tree moss” green which I was worried would be too dark. I put it on the wall and loved it and went off to buy a gallon. I consulted with LaNinya, my interior design expert, on which wall to paint dark and she told me to do the wall with the biggest piece of furniture. I was a little apprehensive how it would turn out, and I love it!! Great advice, LaNinya! So I got a green wall in my bedroom now and a green wall in my bathroom. And all I can think is, wow, I love it, why has it taken me so long to do this! I listened to a book on CD while working and the day just flew by. I took lots of breaks, visited with my parents, my kids, ate Scooby Snacks and drank tea. It made for a wonderful day. By the time I was done, I was tired, but not overtired and I slept well last night with a sense of accomplishment. And woke up to a darker room…Gotta get the yellow up now! I have lots of touch up work to do, I’m pretty OCD when it comes to straight lines and the painters tape just doesn’t cut it. Most straight lines are done best by hand. So today I’m off to walk to dogs and then to set up for the next color…”End of the Rainbow.”

Before signing off for the day, I wanted to take a moment to brag about my son. He is working now, which I am so thrilled about, and is trying very hard to put his life together. He has such a brilliant, creative mind; I look forward to seeing what he will become when it finally all comes meshes for him. But he has had a lot of hurtles to go over and still has a lot of roadblocks in his path. But, he is trying. I see it and it makes me proud. He is working at Pizza Hut and this week he was named Employee of the Week. He wins a few movie tickets and gets his name up on the wall. A little recognition goes a long way, not to mention it’s an opportunity for me to watch Jessie while they go to the movies! Just my little contribution to his success. (I know, so altruistic of me.) I see him trying, I see him working and as frustrated as I get, I see hope and light and love. Those are good things to see.

So I’m off to bundle up and walk my doggies in the cold fall weather. Its crisp and refreshing and just a perfect way to start the day. Go make this a great day. Change someone’s world.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Update, and a little about hope.

Chemo went just fine yesterday. My platelets are up right there where they are supposed to be; it’s my reds that are still taking a beating. They gave me an Arinesp shot to try to boost them back up in hopes that I won’t have to endure another transfusion. If I do, I do, it’s really no big deal, except the nurse was explaining to me that you want to have as few transfusions as possible because your body will build up antibodies. I don’t really understand the whole thing, but I’m cool with no transfusions. I think they are incredibly boring.

I met a woman with Triple Negative Breast Cancer yesterday. I was excited to meet someone going through the same treatment as me! Her name is Mary and her husband is Earl. What wonderful people. She was having her first treatment and I got the feeling had a little trepidation about the whole process. She told me that I encouraged her and she was feeling a little better about the prospect of her treatment when we parted. My prayer is I gave her a sense of hope that she didn’t have when she started and helped her to be a little less frightened as she embarked on this journey. I gave her all my contact information and encouraged her to call or write if she needs me. I mean, why go through this if we can’t help each other along the way. She shared with me that her recent conversations with Dr. Rado indicate that the clinical trial he is doing for TNBC is showing great promise. I was really excited to hear that. I know I can make it through this series of treatments, but with metastatic breast cancer, there is a good chance that there are more treatments, and I’d like to eliminate those if possible.

I have another friend, Cheryl, who is in my Tai Chi Chih class, who is having a bone marrow biopsy today. Also a cancer survivor, her blood counts are low and they are checking to see if her cancer is back. I am praying extra hard for her, so say a prayer for Cheryl today, that her biopsy comes back negative. I have heard that bone marrows are really painful, but she said they aren’t really too big of a deal (only cancer patients can say stuff like this is no big deal) so she wasn’t worried about the biopsy itself, just the results. I’ll keep you posted but say your prayers for this courageous woman!

I started a little painting project. Those of you who know me know I really enjoy painting. I love the transformation a room takes when it’s painted with brilliant new colors. I have not done much painting in my “new” (gosh I’ve been here three years!) house. I did my daughter’s room very dramatic with stripes and bold colors, but have never really taken the time to carry colors into my other rooms. I have spent a lot of time the last three years working on my yard and the outside aspects of the home and finally decided my bedroom and bathroom need a facelift. Peyton and I picked out some paint samples yesterday and I bought the cutest little cans of paint that you have ever seen! (Have you seen those little pint cans? They are too freakin cute!) I put some splotches on the walls last night while watching Grey’s Anatomy. I am now really grateful for those cute little cans of paint. The green that I selected, while a lovely green, is more baby poop green once it dries on the wall. That’s a vision, isn’t it? I’m glad I didn’t do the entire wall. So I’m stopping by today to try a deeper green with a less yellow tint. Especially since my second color is a yellow/gold, if my green has too much yellow in it, its gonna look like poop. No way around it! I got my kids involved and their opinions, and I’m in absolutely no hurry. Just a little diversion project that I can do over the next month or so. I know me and I know it won’t take me that long because I won’t want to have that much disarray in my life, but I am not pushing myself and there is no time limit. I will do what my body will allow me to do! I am carrying the green into my bathroom and accenting it with a lovely rose color. A girl has gotta have pink.

I would involve Mike in the selection process, but since he is completely color blind except for yellow, he’ll like whatever I do. And he hates to paint, so this is definitely my project! I could paint the entire room pepto bismo pink and he’d never know unless I told him. It’s either light or dark. I think it is sad that he is color blind. I think of all the things he misses, but he has been like this his whole life, so if you don’t know the brilliance of a blue sky or the radiant reds of the leaves, you don’t realize you are missing anything. They still look beautiful in his world, just different than through his eyes than mine. Beauty is beauty, no matter how you look at it.

I read a great quote yesterday. “When the world says ‘give up’ hope whispers ‘try it one more time’.” That really struck a cord with me. Hope is what we live by. The hope and promise of what is to come. Helen Keller said that “each day comes to me with both hands full of possibilities.” And I see that every moment of every day. All the possibilities in our lives. I try to live in each moment and enjoy every experience no matter what the circumstances may be. It’s all about attitude. Do I look at things with a smile on my face or see them with a frown? Life is way too precious and short to not enjoy everything that comes my way, no matter how challenging it may seem. But there are those days when it all becomes a little overwhelming and the weight of the world seems to fall heavy on my shoulders and I wonder…when will it end? When does it get easy again? And that is when hope comes in. And hope says, keep trying, keep going, there are better things out there for you, just waiting. Open your heart, your eyes and your hands and take the next steps in faith, for hope is there waiting just around the corner. Can’t you see it? And so I take those steps, in faith, and there it is…like a lovers mistletoe hanging from the ceiling, the promise of hope comes into view. And I grasp it, with all my heart. And my soul sings and rejoices for it is full again. Overflowing with the promise of hope.

Never lose hope. No matter what the world throws at you. May your day be filled to the brim with its promise!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A little about my kids...

I went to hear a physician speak last night on “Healthy Brain Healthy Life, Creating Healthy Families”, Dr. Daniel Amen. It was a fascinating study into the processes of the human brain, but really, when it comes down to it, its pretty common sense. The old adage is true, garbage in - garbage out. If we feed our brain a steady diet of TV, videos and fast food, what are we going to get? A dysfunctional brain with no attention span and all sorts of problems. And that is what we are creating in our world. The fast food nation of instant gratification. I wish I’d known more raising my kids, or understood more. The information was out there, but I don’t think I realized the impact of diet and TV on my kids. I think my son still would have grown up to be ADD, but maybe I could have mitigated some of the issues, but I simply didn’t believe that ADD was a true diagnoses. I believed that it was one of those catch all phrases that we gave our kids who got in trouble or couldn’t behave. I remember half the kids in school seemed to have some sort of ADD or ADHD diagnosis. I wish I wish I wish. I wish I’d understood.

Now at almost 22 he struggles with the disorder with no help or resources for an uninsured adult male. I can only help so much; my frustration level with him is so high after so many months of him living here and so many years of this undertreated disorder. Not to mention, I’m the mom, the root of all evil, the knower of nothing. It’s sometimes amazing how little I know! I went ahead and bought a book from the speaker about curing ADD and thought I’d read it first and then give it to him. Maybe if I was more understanding, had more insight. Like I said. I wish I wish I wish.

I learn from my mistakes though, and have been more acutely aware of my daughter. And while she is not ADD, thank goodness, she has her own issues which I made sure to recognize and get diagnosed and treated. A little anxiety and OCD, which we all have, just a matter of learning about them and trying to use them to the best of our abilities. I mean, it can be good if you want things to be “just so” all the time. Sometimes bad, but used correctly, you can produce some pretty outstanding work! Four years between kids made me a better mother, a better parent, a better person. At least I’d like to think so.

So I learned a lot last night and was glad that I went. He talked about how when we have bad thoughts they turn into bad chemicals, stress and whatever, and can in turn become disease. I hate to say that one threw me. I am not a bad thought person. I am a very positive thought person. I have always tried to look at the world with a half-full kind of glass no matter what the circumstances. I have taken all the curve balls that life has to give and tried to put a positive twist on them and be joyful no matter what the situation. So, why do I get to have cancer? I don’t get that at all. Mike said its stress and the way my body internalizes the incredible amount of stress I have been in for most of my adult life, but we all have stress like that, but only some of us get sick. Makes you wonder. I guess one size does not truly fit all and we can never understand the intricacies of the human body. I take an aspirin and you take an aspirin and we would never metabolize or react exactly the same. Our bodies and minds are true miracles of God. All we can do is take what we get and live our lives the best we can. We can not know the mysteries of God or the big universal plan of life.

I have to take a few minutes to brag on my daughter. She is such a great young lady and most of you know that we are very close and I am incredibly proud of her. She is just one of those women that people love. I think that the dancing and Debra Rogo get to take a lot of credit for who she has become, because Debra isn’t just teach dancing, she is raising strong independent women who happen to dance. And all these years spent at the dance studio under her tutelage was time well spent. It gave her a poise, grace and confidence that the average 17 year old doesn’t have. She was also lucky enough to spend time traveling with me on Board activities and as 12 years old was having dinner with CEO’s and doctors and having to interact with them as a young adult. I remember one story that I have to share. We are at a 5-star resort in Palm Springs and I have a dinner meeting with the Board. So she is on her own for dinner to order room service or whatever. Well, all the spouses are going to dinner and they decide they have to take Peyton. Let me tell you, she was the hit of the dinner. They absolutely loved her, and talk about a proud mama. How can you not be proud when you have all these people telling you about how your 12 year old held her own at a dinner with a bunch of adults, influential adults, that she barely knew. She has repeated that many times over the years, and I always think, wow, what a kid, I don’t know if I could have done that at 12 years old. So anyway, back to what I was talking about.

Its pink week at school and my daughter has spoke at two different assemblies about how cancer has affected her personally, both my brother’s almost 10 years ago and mine 4 years ago and most recently now, and how important it is to raise awareness of the disease and most importantly, to raise money for our local cancer center and cancer research. While I was not able to see the assemblies, the first one was the whole school and she didn’t want me there to make her nervous and the second one was at 6am and I had to be at work, I heard about it from people who saw her and she went over her speech with me and wow, am I am beaming proud! She made people cry, she tugged at their heartstrings, she made them think, she let them in to her life and to who she is and shared a piece of herself for the greater good. How awesome is that?! I am truly blessed to have her in my life and she is like sunshine on a cloudy day. She is not perfect, I still can’t get her to clean her room to my standards (ack!) but the issues I deal with are so minor because all her goodness just shines through.

Ok, enough bragging about my daughter and worrying about my son. I love them both with all my heart and they bring different joys and experiences to my life. I am a better person because of them. We have all raised each other. It was a group effort. When you parent on your own, you all raise each other, since that is all you have. I made a lot of mistakes, but I did a lot of stuff right too. My kids both have compassionate hearts, and you can’t ask for more than that.

Well, its chemo day. At least I hope so, I think so. I am feeling much better than I did earlier in the week. I still have a tightness in my chest but the overwhelming tiredness is mostly gone and am just the normal chemo tired. I picked out my outfit last night, so I wouldn’t be stressing if I was running late this morning and have a little red skirt, brown sweater (gotta think, easy port access without stretching out the clothes) and these fabulous little leopard print shoes with red heels and a red bow and a tiny peep toe. No fancy name, just “style & co”. I was going to try to post a picture of them, but I’ve had them for years and I can’t find them on the internet. Suffice it to say, they are just freakin’ FAB!

Well I’ve rambled on for long enough! Dose two, round five, here I come!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday's Update

I was good today and took care of my health. I didn’t go in to work until noon and only worked until about 5:30, so I would say that’s a pretty good day for me. I am still not feeling well, but I am not feeling as awful as this morning. Better living through pharmaceuticals! I have taken an adequate amount of medication to ensure my ability to keep on keeping on going forward. I am going to bed early tonight and will start early tomorrow. My son has a nasty cold, so I’m trying to stay away from him and I have purchased some essential oils called “on guard” which used on a regular basis is supposed to help fight colds and viruses. Poor Jessie had his flu vaccine today and he was over tonight and was so cranky! I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with him, poor baby was so out of sorts, and I was asking Elena, did he get a nap, has he had dinner, etc etc and she mentioned he had the flu shot today. Explains a lot. We gave him some Tylenol and he went home to get some rest. But at least he is vaccinated against the seasonal flu. The best defense is still hand washing and staying home when you are sick. Common sense! What a concept!

I was talking with a co-worker today about bad attitudes. I interact with some people on a regular basis who are so negative and unhappy. I think that is so sad. I would hate to go through the world full of negativity and having a scowl on my face at every turn. I had a friend indicate that she felt I was feeling the weight of the world lately, and I have to say that I am feeling a little overwhelmed. But I hope and pray that my attitude is staying positive and that I continue to inspire and provide a good example to all those who come in contact with me. It’s okay to have a bad day. For example, today was not one of my better days. Its even okay to indulge in a little self pity every now and then, but what is not okay is to continue to wallow in it. To immerse yourself in that black hole and not to see the sun that is shining, even if it is only a little pinprick of light. So my prayer is that I am an example of how to react when faced with overwhelming adversity. I hope I can be a positive model of how to face darkness with a smile on your face and joy in your heart, regardless of the possible outcome. I know that I have my moments, and sometimes its good to be reminded that this is only temporary. There is an end in sight and its not that far away. I have a CT coming up in no time and only 2-1/2 more rounds to go, I can do this! Each round gets a little more challenging as my body struggles to keep up with the toxins but each day brings me closer to the end of this leg of the race.

So if I get a little down, bear with me, remind me that there IS an end in sight. Remind me there is light out there, it is shining, and its not a freight train in the tunnel!

So very tired again.

Well its Tuesday morning, a work day, and I'm sitting in front of my fireplace trying to figure out if I'm going to go to work today. I know that shouldn't even be a question, I mean, why wouldn't I go to work, right? But that is how crappy I am feeling. I am battling an overwhelming exhaustion that I cannot shake. I seem to think that if I get up and moving, I'll feel better, so I try that and it doesn't work. Going up the stairs seems to be more effort than its worth (except for the fact that the bathroom is up there) and it is only 10 stairs. I tried to walk the dogs around the block last night and it took monumental effort to just go that short distance. My body is aching horribly and I kept getting these awful stomach pains in the wee hours of the morning. I took some Zophran (anti-nausea, don’t you love that name?) and that pain has finally subsided and I am left with the exhaustion and the achiness.

When I was talking to Sara yesterday she asked me if the world would end if I put my head under the covers for a day or two. I mean really, what would happen? Would anyone notice? Probably. Would they care? Definitely. Would they mind? No. They wouldn’t mind if I checked out for a day or two. I think everyone has been waiting for me to do just that, and I haven’t been very accommodating. I have been plugging along despite everything and missing very little. I stay on my work schedule, I cook, I clean, I take care of my family. I do everything I am supposed to do. But maybe that has caught up with me. Maybe I just can’t do it this week. I am too tired, my body is just wiped out and it wants rest rest rest.

So I will do whatever my body tells me to do. I’ll get up and around and we’ll see what happens. If I can’t make it to work today, well then, I can’t do it, and I’ll stay home and rest. And if I’m able to make it to work, well then, that’s okay too. I think we spend our lives thinking that if we are sick and can’t go to work or school or do our chores that the world will come to an end, but that is so far from true. The world keeps spinning with or without us and the best thing that we can do is to step off the carousel and take care of ourselves. Each one of us is vital to the universe and each one of us contributes to the universal energy and when we are down, we pull everyone around us down. So maybe the best thing to do when we aren’t feeling well is to go back to bed, pull the covers over our heads and get well!

As for today, keep pulling for me and keep the prayers coming my way. I know that this too shall pass and it is simply a side effect of the chemo. I will feel better eventually. Maybe all my meds will kick in and I’ll get out and about today, but then again, maybe not. The day will unfold as it is supposed to and time will tell. In the meantime, I’m going to do the thing that most sane, rational, American’s don’t do when they are sick. I’m going back to bed.

See ya.

Monday, October 5, 2009


There are miracles everywhere; I think sometimes we just don’t see them. I think we are sitting back and waiting for Lazarus to be raised from the dead or for a blind man to be healed. I am not saying those miracles don’t happen, because I think they do in the quiet stillness of hospital rooms and homes, when you least expect. I am sure every medical professional can tell you a story of a miracle that took their breath away.

But what about the everyday miracles? What about the fact that no matter what the darkness of the night, the sun still rises and shines. Who hung the sun there and told it to rise? Who told the moon to rotate just like that so we can share in its brilliance? What about the oceans? Who put them there so their tides would shape our world? Nature is astounding, a miracle beyond belief. How does that butterfly hang there in the air, or that hummingbird, how could it possibly be so fast? How do the flowers know when to shine their faces to the light, or the venus flytrap know when to close its bloom? The trees are starting their change towards the winter cold. How do they know to change? How do they know it is time for us to see the intensity of their gold, reds, yellows, brown and all shades in-between?

What about the everyday miracles in our life, not just in nature. What about the fact that I woke up this morning, I was breathing despite the disease that is ravaging my lungs. I could open my eyes and see the sun peering through the edges of the curtains and hear my dog breathing next to me, her paw on my shoulder. Awake with the knowledge of my family secure inside my home, food in the cupboard, water in the pipes, heat in the furnace. All they need safely ensconced inside the walls of our home. And across this town and this country, my friends and family, safe in their homes, waiting for their days to begin. Fighting their own battles, their own demons, but secure in the fact that the day has begun. The sun has risen, as promised; the dawn has brought new hope.

The miracle of a child’s love. Pure and unselfish. The unbelievable miracle of a parents love, second only to God’s love for us. We model our love after Him but can only come close to the wonder and purity of its glory. God makes miracles in our lives everyday. We just fail to notice. Quit watching for the big bang, and instead become aware of the small wonders of life. The little things that make your life worth living. The love and companionship of those around you. The majesty of our world. The grace that abounds from our heavenly beings. The grace we give each other.

Watch for those every day miracles. The simple things, the beauty that surrounds you as you walk along this daily journey called life.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A little about Love

Love is such a beautiful thing. It’s a cliché, I know, but it is so true. Think of those people in your life that you love, the power of that love can be so overwhelming, so pure and genuine.

My children and my grandchild instill a powerful protective love so tight and secure that nothing could ever break it. And though there are ebbs and flows to the intensity of that love and sometimes the behavior is not what you love, the love it still there, just as powerful as ever.

My parents instill a heart wrenching love in me. I think of them and my heart just fills full to bursting with an ache that will never subside. To think of the love and energy that they have put into me for the last 46+ years without ever thought of a break. They do so much for me, and always have. My biggest cheerleaders, my biggest supporters, my biggest confidants. It terrifies me to think off this world, my world, without them. How would I ever survive? How could I make it though this trial without their love and support? I can’t imagine my world without Red and Jean in it.

When I think of Mike it’s a love that fills me to overflowing. He is my best friend, my lover, my heart and soul. He loves me when I am most unlovable and sees my beauty when I am sure there is none left. A simple man, he says what he thinks and does what he says. I trust him with my life, with my heart, with my entire world. My heart just flips when I see his smile and it stings when he is gone. My world is not whole without him. He makes me, my life, my universe, complete.

My brother just gets me. He’s been there through all those secret kid times and shattering adult times. He has seen me through sickness, health, marriage, divorce and heart busting parenting. He knows all my secrets, and he loves me anyway. His wife of 20+ years sends me her constant thoughts and prayers, and though they are 1000 miles away, I feel as if they are here with me always. And when we are together, I know I am safe and loved.

Girlfriends. Words just can’t describe them. They are the power of the universe. They keep everything going round and round. When you need them, they are there, whether it be to cheer you up or plot revenge. They are there, loving you, holding you, crying with you. Girlfriends have this uncanny unconditional love. They will be the first ones to tell you that outfit looks like crap, but the shoes, well, fantastic. Or that guy, maybe you should rethink that, but I’ll be here when he breaks your heart. Girlfriends are a gift from God. Irreplaceable in the hearts of women everywhere. I am so lucky to have so many wonderful girlfriends who fill my life. They make the world a better place because of their presence. I know that they make my world a better place, that is for sure.

My animals just give love. That’s all they do. They don’t judge or speak or expect anything but a kibble now and then, and in return, they give the unconditional love only a pet can bring. When they look at you, you are the center of their universe and no one is better than you. I am not joking when I say I aspire to be as wonderful as my dogs think I am. Those animals just love me. And when I am sick, they are with me by my side, caring for me, making sure I have the warmth of their company.

And although I just touted all the virtues of love, sadly there can be a darker side to love. A side that is so painful it would threaten to shred you into pieces. What can you do when you love someone so much and that love just isn’t enough? When, despite that love, you have to take a course of action that will break your heart in two? Well, I think that is when love sees you through anyway. Love will break you and heal you both. Where one is hurting, the others will come in by its side and make it whole. Don’t be afraid to reach out to those who love you and tell them what you need. Let them come beside you and comfort you and hold you and dry your tears. Let them be there for you as you would be there for them. For as much as love can be one-sided, it is so much better when it is reciprocal. Let it be shared. Let those in your life love you too.

And when life takes you where you might not want to go, hold out your hand, those you love are there just waiting there to grasp it.

All my love to you, always.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Saturday's Thoughts

Update on the animals! They both got spayed yesterday and I can tell that today will be a difficult day trying to keep them from doing too much, playing too hard with each other, trying to get outside to play. They are both feeling quite well and I can see want to do too much. They want to lick their incisions, they want to wrestle, they want to climb on things, they want to run. Sophie is not going to like it when she has to stay on her leash for new next few weeks of walks, but there is no unrestrained running for the next 14 days! That is going to be like torture. And Betsy, the kitty, she is crazy, she climbs the fences, runs around the neighbors yard with the kids, she is into everything. And her incision is much bigger because Dr. Menks was concerned about blood in her urine and when she opened her up to look at her, she had a bruised bladder. So, she 1) either plays WAY too hard with Sophie, which is what we think. Those animals act like they are going to kill each other sometimes or 2) fell off the fence or 3) out of a tree… Its hard to tell. But she has quite the incision and we are supposed to keep her quiet and calm… yeah right. No way.

So it’s a good thing that I’m home this weekend and able to watch them carefully. I’m not feeling too great anyway so it will be a good opportunity for me to hang out around the house and read and rest and get some household duties done. I have a stack of bills that need to be paid, filing that needs to be done, papers that need to be sorted. You know, I am sure you have the same type of stack at your house. I have found that with the cancer, I just don’t want to take care of that stuff. Bills are overwhelming, the mail just piles up, my work sometimes just sits. I just can’t deal with it sometimes. So, I’m going to have to get serious or something is going to get shut off! My dad mentioned my car tags the other night and thought, oh yeah, I remember seeing that envelope. Guess I’d better find it.

Its doubly hard since I no longer have my office. When my son moved in he took over my basement which is where my office is. So my office has become a chair in the living room with a little table next to it, and although I have done the best I can with that type of work environment, it isn’t ideal. Then, my wireless went out and now I can’t even do the Internet from anywhere but downstairs, so that has made it even harder. Oh well, just small hurdles to overcome. I am hoping my son can start working towards moving out and I can get my house back to normal before too long. I love him, but as anyone with adult children know, sometimes, its just time for them to be on their own.

Cancer is a funny thing. You are up and then you are down and sometimes you don’t know what you feel. I guess that isn’t just cancer, its life. That’s how I was last night and again today. I don’t feel awful, but I don’t feel great either, sort of just blah. I got my flu shot but still worry about getting the H1N1 or other type of sickness that would be devastating for me. I talked with infection control at Kadlec and they said it will be 2-3 weeks before we have the vaccine, meanwhile it’s in the community. One of my dear friends is fighting H1N1 and we have the first confirmed case in our Child Care Center at work. You have to love our government. They HAVE the vaccine, but drag their feet with pages and pages of paperwork to get the vaccine out to the people, meanwhile, people are sick and dying. I was told at the cancer center on Thursday that they are not sure if they are going to get the vaccine because they don’t have an “at risk population.” What the heck does that mean? How are immunocompromised patients not at risk? Like I said, gotta love the government.

So I am just plugging on through. I got a few of my Halloween lights up yesterday, maybe I’ll do the rest today. My daughter has about 600 senior pictures and we need to decide which one goes in the yearbook. Mike is out of town in Portland ready to run the marathon tomorrow, so I am solo this weekend, so nothing but time, sweet time, on my hands. Maybe I’ll finish a book. Maybe I’ll take a nap. Skies the limit!

Like each chemo before, the side effects get a little worse every time and it takes a little more grit to overcome. So, I’ll grit my teeth and persevere. That’s all any of us can do anyway.

Enjoy the fall!