Sunday, August 29, 2010

Still Trying

I was hoping that today was the day that I would feel better, no such luck. I only got down a couple of bites of soup and a few bites of a peach. I am taking in plenty of water, so dehydration is not a concern. I wish i could lower the number of meds I am taking, I know they dull the pain and allow it to be at a manageable level, but I also believe they contribute to the utter exhaustion I am constantly feeling. My head hurts all the time, its just a matter of degree of pain. As long as I stay on quite a few meds I can keep the pain down to a level that allows me to function minimally. I want to function normally. Today is day 7 of my chemo treatment, and the hardest days are up to day 10, so in a few more days I think I'll start to feel better. I hope to at least get a few days of feeling good before i get struck the the next dose of chemo next week.

So pray for me to have the strength and fortitude to keep making it through each day. One day at a time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Feeling Crummy

There is something to be said about “quality of life”. I look at my life since I returned from vacation and started up chemo again; hoping that this is not my permanent life, I pray that this life is only temporary until the chemo is over. I wish I knew when the chemo was going to be over, I wonder how much longer I am going to have to endure this chronic stomach pain and complete listlessness. Every day I think I’m going to feel better, and everyday nothing changes.

I get up in the morning take my medicine and go back to bed in the hopes that when the meds kick in and I get up I’ll be better, but truth be told I usually end up just taking more meds so I can make it to the couch and then I lay all day sleeping, barely eating, watching TV. If I feel really good I might check my email. I don’t respond very often because I’m so tired and my right side is so weak that my typing skills are seriously lacking. But the good news is, I’m still here, still alive, still fighting. I try hard to keep my attitude positive, knowing I can beat this and there is an end in sight, I just have to keep my eyes on the horizon, knowing that there is a better sunrise for me, its coming, I just have to be patient.

Mom is recovering really well from her surgery. Dr. Fewel said she had a lot of scar tissue that he had to get through and he told her to take it easy or she could easily reinjure her spine. She stayed overnight at Kadlec and got to come home early the next day. The great news is that she is already getting movement back in her foot and her pain is subsiding. I hope she heals up quickly they want to head to Colorado to see my nephews in mid-September.

Off to bed, its taken me all day to write this in small segments. I’ll try to write again tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Believe it or not I have not fallen off the face of the earth and into the brilliant sunshine of the Bahamas. Although it was tempting to simply stay behind and enjoy the warm clear waters of the Caribbean; treatment was calling and it was time to go home. I was finally setting into the relaxing attitudes of the Bahamas and by the time I left I was actually starting to feel better. The last day we walked with the stingrays (not fun) and Peyton walked with the sharks (which she loved!) I didn’t go on the shark walk with her but watched from outside the tank, and it was awesome. Neither one of us liked the stingrays, there were over 100 of them and they swarm you when you enter the water. They assure you that you won’t get stung but that’s’ hard to believe when they are swimming all around you between your legs, touching you… its totally creepy. I got out right away and within a few minutes, Peyton was out too. It just wasn’t an experience we wanted. I was paying for it, so I could walk away from it! And we did. The shark walk was very cool and Peyton wore a breathing mask that allowed her to simply walk along the bottom of the tank while the sharks swam around her. I wish they had taken more underwater pictures, but they only took a few. I got a few from outside the tank. It was an awesome experience, probably the best of her trip.

I wanted to share with you a great experience on one of the shuttle vans on the resort. There was a little girl, probably about 6 or 7, on the bus with us. When we got on the driver asked where we were going and I said “Reef” and this little girl got so excited “yea, we are going to The Reef” with all the enthusiasm only a child can muster. It cracked me up! When we got to The Reef, she cheered and got off the bus and skipped and sang “we’re at The Reef, we’re at the Reef” with a few “yeas” thrown in. It was so dang cute. It made me think that we should all be that excited for our destination. Wouldn’t the world be a better place to be if we were all exclaiming our joy over where we are going and jump up and down once we get there! Maybe try it next time you go somewhere think Yea, I’m going to the grocery store, yea yea yea!!! Maybe it will be a better trip!

Our trip home was long. Getting through US Customs in the Bahamas was chaotic and disorganized and took forever. I though 3 hours was too early to leave for the airport, thank goodness we did, except the flight left late anyway, so we would have been okay after all. Then there was a tropical depression that hit Atlanta and our flight was hours late leaving so we missed our connection in Salt Lake and ended up not getting home until Saturday afternoon. It made for a very long trip. I was pretty wiped out and continue to struggle with exhaustion, stomach upset and bad headaches. But YEA, I’m so glad to be home!

I slept most of the day on Sunday, mom made dinner for us, which I was able to eat quite a few bites and it was nice to see the family. I had chemo yesterday so its back to the grind again. This is the second half of round two. I will get round three in two weeks, and have another CT scan at the end of September.

In my absence my mom got into see the wonderful Dr. Fewel and it has FINALLY been determined she has a ruptured L5 disc in her back. So all these months of seeing an orthopedic surgeon, the whole time her disc was ruptured. Sort of makes me mad she had to struggle with pain for so long needlessly. But at least they are fixing it now. She has surgery on Wednesday, so the family will be taking care of mom for a little while. Dr. Fewel said it will be outpatient and she should recover quickly and we all know that she is a tough old broad, so I don’t anticipate any problems!

So I’m home and recovering from the long travel and trip, so if I owe you a return call or email or text, please forgive me, I’m slowly opening the mounds of mail and taking care of insurance issues and enduring another round of chemo, so I do the best I can to be in touch soon.

Yea! I’m so glad to be a home in my chair writing to all of you!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Sun is Shining!

I am actually awake before Peyton this morning which is the first time since we have been on this trip that this has happened. So, maybe I am not quite as tired as I was and I am actually going to try to have a cup of coffee this morning. I doubt my stomach can handle it, but its worth a try. I miss my coffee. I'm going to wake her up soon and we will grab some breakfast and then we are snorkling the Atlantis Ruins at noon today. I know its just a tourist trap thing but it looked fun so we signed up. I actually don't want to do it given my last snorkling experience, but Peyton still does, so we will. I may just stay on the surface and watch her snorkle, which is fine too. After we are heading over to the water slides and see what fun that has to offer. The sun is out today, it has been hiding for the last few days, so its probably going to be a good water slide and lazy river day.

I wish my stomach felt better. I woke up and it was already upset which has been my only complaint this whole trip. If my stomach would feel better and I could enjoy meals it would be perfect. My energy level has been okay, not great, but okay, enough for what we are doing, but the upset stomach is just taking its toll on me. I just want to lay in bed and curl up in a ball and hope that it goes away. But this is the one and only trip to the Bahamas that I am going to get with my daughter so I am going to make it count the best I can and perservere through the discomfort. I have a couple of bites each meal and don't talk about how upset my stomach is so as not to ruin the meal or the mood, but I know Peyton knows that I don't feel good and I know it is bumming her out. We have agreed not to talk about the cancer while we are here so we just pretend its not there and talk about everything but cancer. That's fine with me, I'd love to forget about the cancer for awhile and if my stomach would stop hurting...maybe I could!!

I was thinking of my aunt this morning and it just made me cry. I was thinking of the fragility of life. One day we are here and the next we are gone and there is nothing any of us can do to change that fact. All we can do is live life the best we can while we are here and hope that we make an impact in the short time we are on this earth. Think of all those souls that have graced the earch since the beginning of time. Each one has made an impact in someway, be it large or small, they made an impact. Millions of souls, a human chain, each one some how connected to the next and if any one was missing, the chain would be forever changed. So each life is important to the next, we are all meant to be here, to impact those around us.

Go make an impact on today. Enjoy the sunshine and change the world around you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Enjoying the local Fare

A brief update on the Bahamas. Is there such a thing as a bad day in the bahamas? I don't think so! Even with the rain or wind its still the bahamas which is awesome. We have been really enjoying our time here and have spent time with the dolphins and sea lions and spent today at the spa being pampered. The food is good, it is very expensive, but we have enjoyed all the restaurants too. The resort is absolutetely beautiful and elegant, done up with all the grace and style you would expect. We did take a terrifying taxi ride to downtown Nassau yesterday and Peyton got her hair braded and we had lunch at Senior Frogs which was a blast!

I have been concered about eating, It seems I can barely eat a few bites at a sitting and then I'm sick for the next few hours. I have chemo on Monday so I'll discuss it with him them and see if I did different medication or if we just need to wait it out. I am sure glad that I am vacatioining with a teenager who doesn't mind sleepng fo 10-12 hours at a stretch because I am certainly tired and sleep long periods of time.

I'm getting tired now, I was going to post a pictue but Peyton wans me to way until we are back in town to post any photos, so I will respect her wishes and wait. So this weekend, youll get to see pictures.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Off to the Bahamas

I know its been a while since I blogged and thought I'd better get on the computer and let you all know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I came back from San Diego and like all other trips I have taken, I ended up really sick when I got back. In fact, I was sicker this trip than any trip I had taken. I literally slept for more than two solid days. I was unable to eat for days and today was the first day I was able to eat anything substantail since last week. And just in time, since I am in the Salt Lake City Airport awaiting the flight to Atlanta which will take us to the next stop...Bahamas!! I can't wait. This is such a dream come true. I never, ever, thought I would take a trip like this with my daughter. This disease has allowed me to take this trip but the truth be told I would choose my "old" life in a minute. The life that didn't include things like brain tumors and breast cancer, even though it wouldn't include this trip either. But since I have been gifted with this trip, I'm going to make the best of it and enjoy every minute of every day we get to be in the Bahamas.

So we are in SLC, Peyton is asleep in the chair beside me and there are screaming children everywhere. I don't know if its just me, but there seems to be more screaming kids than there used to be I don't know if families are traveling more or children are more misbehaved, but I am litereally surrounded by screaming small children and kids running around with no restraint whatsoever. I traveled a little with my kids when they were small and I remember one instance where my son was screaming and it was extenuating circumstances and I shut him up as soon as possible. I was always so worried when I traveled that my kids would disturbe the other travelers, but its like these parents don't even care, they coddle and just give them more candy or whatever they are screaming for, which explains why they are screaming to begin with! It has made for a long day.

Thanks for all the well wishes and for the prayers for me and my family. Bobbi was recognized at the most recent city council meeting in addition to her "day" in San Diego. I know today is a hard day for mom and Bobbi's family for today is their birthday. Mom is 75 today. This will be the first birthday she has celebrated alone. I can't imagine how that feels. It has to be a really empty feeling. We got to see her this morning before we left town and I wish I could spend more time with her today. But we got her a spa day at Nuveau so she'll get a little pampering for her birthday.

The plane is about to board and tomorrow we fly to Nassau. I don't know if I'll have internet access and if not, this will be the last blog for awhile. But know that I feel your prayers supporting me, and urging me on to a great trip with my daughter. One that will give us memories that will last beyond my lifetime.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Passing of a Beautiful Lady

We lost Bobbi Jo Monday at 5:31pm. According to my cousin she passed away quietly and peacefully without pain. They had put her on a morphine drip on Sunday morning and we knew it would only be a matter of time. She went fast, and for that we are grateful. I am so glad that we were able to get down to see her before she passed and that we got to be there to take part in her special day of recognition. I wish she could have been able to be there when they recognized her, but we were able to bring everything to her and she was aware of the honor that was bestowed upon her. And when the time came, she went peacefully with her son by her side. My mom wishes she could have stayed, but how would she have known that Bobbi was going to pass away only two days after she left. She was there when she needed to be, holding her hand, giving her love, sharing life and love when it mattered most.

Bobbi didn’t want any sort of service. She wants to be cremated and her ashes scattered and told her son he better not spend a bunch of money on an urn. I have to agree with Bobbi. It’s ridiculous what they charge for those urns! It’s expensive to die, and I know I don’t want a bunch of my estate spent burying me, so I am totally on the same page with my aunt. I told my kids, they’d better not be spending a bunch of money on urns for me someday either!! We won’t be going back down to San Diego for anything, we were there when she was alive, which is the important part. We can say “I wish I wish I wish” but we did get to see her alive and she knew we were there, and that is what matters.

As for me, I am just exhausted. I feel like I have to just drag myself around and it takes every bit of energy I have to just get up and down out of the chair, much less move around the house or climb the stairs. But I made it to and from San Diego and back in time for the fundraiser on Sunday which went amazingly well by the way! I was so humbled by the turn out and the number of people willing to help me and support me. Thank you thank you! Eddy wrote me a song, which was amazing, and if I can get a video of it, I’ll post it on my facebook (if I can figure out how). It was heartwarming and brought many of us to tears. Amazing.

My goal over the next week is to just get as much rest as possible so that I can go to the Bahamas with as much energy as possible. This trip is so important to me and to my daughter and the loss of my aunt brings it home how precious and limited this life is; we need to take advantage of every opportunity we can to share time together. Life is too short not to hold hands and hearts. Hold tight, never let go. You never know when you will run out of time. Life is a beloved and treasured gift, handle it with care.