Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Well I have done nothing for Easter yet. My mom has purchased all the food and she is doing the cooking later. I have boiled eggs, but they haven't been dyed yet. I am hoping that Jessie can come over and dye eggs. I am stopping by after church to get his easter basket. Like I said, I haven't done anything yet!

I'll blog later. Happy Bunny day! He has risen. He has risen indeed!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Long Overdue Update

Sorry it has taken me a week to update you on my life status! Its been a rough round with the broken shoulder, it hurts like the dickens and just when I think its getting better, I trip and fall and hurt it all over again. I have fallen down the stairs again and then again on the patio when I was getting out of the chair. I just lost my balance and fell and couldn't get up. I was alone and almost hit the emergency button, but was able to use the chair to bring myself upright again. But it sure did hurt my shoulder. Again. I see the doctor tomorrow for another dose of chemo so I might have them xray it again to make sure I didn't do any further damage. I was waning myself off the pain pills and I am still working on that, but the additional falling has taken its toll on my pain threshhold. I am still down to the 20mg oxycontin rather than the 30 or 40 mg which keeps me from being so dopey and then I take the hydrocodone and oxycodone in between since they seem to keep me a little more sober. I got a leg brace the other day which has really helped my walking and sense of balance. You wouldn't know with me falling, but I feel more sturdy and confident. The brace goes under my foot to keep my foot from drooping, which will theoretically keep me from catching my foot and falling. Then it comes up and wraps around my shin and keeps my leg stable. I can really feel the difference with and without it. I get up in the morning and once I weasel my self to sitting upright on the side of the bed I do my exercises to strengthen my toes and feet. My PT gave me a series of exercises that seem to be helping a little, but its hard since my feet are so numb and droopy. But anything that might give me an advantage walking steady is worth doing. I then move on to my daily devotion that a friend gave me that really starts my day with the right attitude. Its Chuck Swindoll daily devotion and I read the devotion and then spend a little time talking to God very honestly about how I feel about the day, about Him, about my treatment. I plea for blessings and healing, for my family and friends. We have an honest conversation which is enlightening starts the day out right. Then the brace goes on and stays on the rest of the day until I go to bed. The fatigue gets completely overwhelming at times and I spend a goodly part of my day resting and reading. My parents have been such a help staying on top of things around the house, cleaning, cooking, walking the dogs. They are incredible and I can't imagine life without them. My arm is really starting to get sore, so I am going to knock it off for the night. I'll try to write again sooner. God bless you. Keep praying.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Well, this is the deal.

I saw Dr. Rado today and we addressed a whole host of issues from dry mouth to skin sores. It seems that every time I see the doctor my list of side effects grows along with the medications they put me on to fight those side effects. Today I left with four new medications to add to the 12-14 that I am already on. A few of them are short term, so they will go away in a week, but it seems so crazy to me the constant barrage of medications. It seems there is a medication to fight the side effects of the medication!


My platelets haven't moved one point. They remain at 44 which means I can't take the new chemo, Tramadol, which is just fine with me. I am sick of taking chemo and adding another one didn't fill my heart with happiness anyway. So no new chemo. Yea me! We spent quite a bit of time on when I should take a break from everything for a little while. The evidence of my platelets not coming up shows how tired my body is and that it is becoming unable to rebound anymore. Basically it needs a rest. We discussed stopping right now, but decided that I will do one more round (two doses) of Avastin in April and then assess after we do all my scans in May and if there is either no improvement or (hopefully) an improvement then I will take a month or two off everything. I will get to rest!!! Which means that when my family comes up for my birthday in late May I will feel good, I will be able to enjoy my family. I'LL BE ABLE TO TASTE AND ENJOY MY CAKE!!!! The plan is that both my brothers and their wives will be visiting for the weekend and I think we should just skip to my 50th birthday, that way I'll be sure to celebrate that milestone...

Okay, maybe not, but it sounds good. We will just go ahead and celebrate 48 and be glad for it. That is a good age too.

So dose one of my Avastin is in and I'll do another dose in two weeks and then in early May we'll do a bone scan, full body CT scan and an MRI of my brain. My prayer is that it will show an improvement in my brain and all clear everyplace else. We figured that it would be better to get one more dose in and working before the scans to give me the best chance of an improvement. Fight. That's my job for the next month. Fight and fight hard. Then I'll get to take a break. I know that I will be doing some form of treatment for this cancer for the rest of my life, so I'll do the best I can to make it a good strong fight. One worthy to be proud of; worthy to hold my head up and say look, see me, I can duke it out with the best of them. Cancer, you are not going to take me down, I may have to fight the rest of my life; but it will get better, I'll take a break and get stronger and I will overcome cancer. Its a fight I just can't lose. I have too much to live for and I plan on living good.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

I struggled my way up this morning and made the decision to go to church no matter how tired I was or how hard it was to move. I knew God had a message for me, and maybe for you too. I was right. I have to admit that I am angry with God right now. Why me? This is so unfair that me and my family have to endure this horrible cancer this incredible burden. Why, when I did everything right, living a good healthy life and was struck with this horrible disease. And it doesn't just affect me, it affects my whole family. It is unfair to my children, my partner, my parents and my friends. I have shared this with God too, that I am mad at Him and I don't understand why He gave me this burden to carry, it is such a heavy load and is wearing all of us down so much. But today I was reminded that He knows the burden He has laid upon me and He has a purpose, I just can't see the big picture. God knows my past, present and future. He knows if I am going to survive, He wants me to learn to trust in Him and carry His torch no matter what the cost or consequences. My favorite passage is in Jeremiah 29:11-13 "For I know the thoughts I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and go and pray to Me and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me when you search with all your heart." I was reminded of this promise today. He does have a plan for me, even if I can't see it clearly. I just have to keep fighting every day and keep my faith strong. Its waning some days, my faith, and it is a heavy load to just keep my chin up and keep believing. But that is what I am called to do. Keep faith that God sees the bigger picture and that He will direct my path, no matter where it leads. Even if it leads to a place where I don't want to go. I have to trust God will go there with me.

We are all going to die. Its a matter of when and how. And when we do, God is going to be there with us. He is going to walk across that void with us and we will not be alone. We will meet our maker and the reasons for our trials will become evident. The Plan will become clear. I wish I had that plan now. I want to know if I am going to live or die; truly I want to live and I want to live long and good. There is more I want to do and see and say and write and experience. But that is not my decision, All I can do is keep fighting every moment of every day and trust not in my own understanding. Cuz, you know what? I really don't get it. I don't get the unfairness of it all and I probably never will. That's not my job. My job is just to trust God, no matter where He leads. And to show that trust to others. Be a beacon of light on a dark cold night and give light and love where there has been sorrow and pain. I need that in my life and I need to share that in yours.

So that is what I heard in church today. I think it was worth getting up and dressed for. And I believe I was meant to share it with you. I am working on forgiving God, He can handle my anger, but He needs me to forgive and trust. So that is what I am working on. Forgiveness and trust. I pray for it fervently; along with healing. More than anything, I want to be healed and go back to my life but in the meantime; I need to trust and forgive God the burdens He has lain on me. There is a reason, even if it is very unclear. Hopefully I am helping someone along the way, showing light and life where there is darkness and pain. So I pray for healing while I work on forgiving God the burdens He has lain on me. Its the best I can do for now.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Pray for Life

I know I haven't posted in a few days, its been a really rough week. The broken shoulder has caused me alot of pain so the medical team upped my pain medication which has made me totally listless and lethargic. I can barely move this week. I go from my chair to bed and don't do much inbetween. I did go to my exercise class this Thursday hoping it would pep me up, but it just made my legs more tired and I was even more lethargic than before. So I am taking the pain medication back down regardless of my shoulder pain. I would rather have a little pain than have my head so full of fog. So I am contending with pain in the hopes of clearing my head. I don't like this indeterminable mist I am living in so we are hoping if I don't take as much pain medication the fog will lift. I sure hope so. This continual fatigue is getting very old. I don't know how long I can live like this.

I see Dr. Rado on Monday and we have a list of questions; first being - when can I take a break? My body is overwhelmed. If bringing the pain meds down doesn't clear my head and make me feel better, than maybe I need a break from treatment. I haven't really had a break since we went to the Bahamas in August so I think my body is just plain worn out. So what Mike and I are hoping is that we do this next treatment, I suffer through another month of chemo and after I get my scans in early May there is enough of an improvement that I could take a few months off and recover a bit. If my platelets don't come up I won't be able to take the Tramadol, which I am okay with. I am so sick of being on chemo that skipping the Tramadol is just fine with me. I am banking on the Gammaknife working.

I am beginning to wonder if this is my life. Am I going to spend my remaining days on this earth fighting this disease. When Kim lost her battle so suddenly it sure made me wonder if I might suddenly lose my battle without warning. I hope the fatigue and lethargy I have been feeling are medication related, not symptom related. In other words, I hope the tumors are shrinking not getting bigger and the only way to know if the tumors are growing are an MRI which is not scheduled until May. Until then I just hope I can deal with all these damn side effects and start feeling a little better so I can get around and have more of a life. My life consists of simply existing right now, and I want more from life than that. I want to live. And the way I feel, living isn't what I do, I simply take up space and oxygen. I want more. I want a life not just an existence. I am ready to take up my sword and live again. Even though I can't go back to work, there are things I want to do and I have to feel better to start doing them! So pray for me to feel better soon and be able to start living again. This current life is sure getting old.

I am ready to have my energy back and be able to walk the dogs and work in the yard and be a productive member of society again! Pray I can get my life back!