Archive | July 2012

Anxiety

I don’t know why I have it. I know what’s coming up, it won’t hurt. I will be fine. Yet I still seem to be anxious. I couldn’t sleep last night till almost 1:30 this morning. Sleepless nights do allow me to get caught up on past episodes of The Bachelorette though. ūüôā

When you’re praying for me, please remember a woman from our church, Liz Unser. She also has lymphoma, but the non-Hodgkin’s kind, and her prognosis isn’t as good as mine has been. She’s got a lot ahead of her still & I know she and her sister could really use your prayers as well.

Well, off to chemo I go tomorrow. Number 7 out of 12. About 2 1/2 months of ickyness yet and then it will be over.

The Great Clucker Caper

My, my, my. ¬†This has been a CRAZY last few days!!! ¬†I am so thankful that my last chemo session went so well. ¬†I’m sure now that it’s because of the extra fluids they gave me. ¬†I’ve been able to almost pretend I’m not sick. ¬†Well, and now being in remission, I guess I can technically consider myself “not sick” though there’s still so much to go through.

Let’s see, what all have I done in the past few days? ¬†Friday, I altered some pants for Blaine – you know the zip-off style cargo Boy Scout type pants. ¬†Would’ve been perfect if he were just 6 inches taller. ¬†And even after I’ve altered them, they’re too big. Sigh. ¬†I’m sure he’s going to hit that sooner than later. ¬†The kid’s already in size 11 shoes, I’ve assured him that he can’t stay 5’2″ with those size of feet. ūüôā Thankfully, today I found another pair that will work now – I guess he can grow into the other ones. ¬†Oops!

We had some minor (though it was major at the time) drama on Friday night. ¬†After going to a special “cancer night” at the Salem-Keizer Volcano’s Minor League Baseball stadium on Friday night, we came home kinda late. ¬†There had been fireworks and all kinds of fun stuff going on there that night. ¬†Sharolyn went out to put her chickens in from their pen on the grass, only to find that they were no where to be found. ¬†Not anywhere! ¬†There was no evidence of fowl play¬†(ok, I just HAD to do that). ¬†No abnormal amounts of feathers telling us that raccoons had been there. ¬†The pen was completely intact. ¬†It’s as if they had been picked up & stolen out of the yard. ¬†Sharolyn was crushed. ¬†Tom called the police & we ended up having two officers come and take a report on the missing chickens. ¬†I felt so bad for her, she had spent all friday prepping them for fair. ¬†She had even given them all baths. ¬†No kidding – it took 3 coolers to do it properly – who knew there was a “proper” way to bathe a chicken??? ¬†Anyway, I sat beside a devastated girl until she fell asleep. ¬†At 6:30 Saturday morning, the phone rang. ¬†Tom answered and it was Mark. ¬†As he was getting their garage sale stuff out from behind our fence that morning, he witnessed the missing fowl coming out from under the deck. ¬†Sharolyn heard the phone ring & when whe heard that the chickens were in the backyard, she went flying out to find her feathered friends. ¬†We were so happy that they were alive!

This weekend was Dog 4H fair showing. ¬†Sharolyn & Pixie did really well, they ended up taking Champion in both Obedience & Showmanship. ¬†Her club leader was really accommodating by letting her compete a bit earlier than the rest of her class so that I could sleep in the car between rounds. ¬†Sunday was a bit better in that it wasn’t so stinking hot (thank the Lord for clouds)! ¬†For some reason, heat has been the hardest thing for me to handle lately. ¬†You could pray that I could find creative ways to stay cool this summer, I could see it being a challenge. ¬†We do have a couple window a/c units, but those haven’t gotten installed yet. ūüôā

Today was hydration day, but before hitting the road for Eugene, we were surprised to see Sharolyn & some of the other girls on the front page of our local newspaper, the Albany Democrat-Herald.  (Click the image for a link to the article Рthanks for taking the picture Jesse Skoubo!!!) 

Thankfully, as far as energy is concerned, today¬†I was feeling pretty good to start with, so the change from the extra fluids wasn’t as dramatic as it’s been in the past. ¬†Tomorrow is the day we haul the chickens to the fair, and since Shary has to be at the fair every day at 7am, she’s planning to stay and camp there with some friends through Sunday. ¬†That’s gonna be a long time, but I think I might steal her home a few times during the fair. ¬†Who knows – she’ll have a great time though. ¬†Thank you Kelly W for letting her stay with you!

Halfway Celebration – Let’s Party!!!

Today marks the halfway point for my chemotherapy treatment!!! ¬†I am so happy to be at this point that I can hardly stand it! ¬†I’m sitting in my chemo lounge chair getting my feet rubbed. ¬†Life is good.

The best news is that when we met with the doctor today, he said that the PET scan was the best results we could ask for. ¬†In fact, I went back to him later before we left for the day and asked, “If I were to show up in your office for the first time today, and you saw my PET scan, what stage would you put me at?” ¬†Dr. Kovach replied, “Oh, I wouldn’t stage you because there’re really nothing that you can see there. ¬†Based on what I see, you’re in remission!”


PET Scan Image BEFORE (4/23/2012)


PET Scan Image AFTER (7/12/2012)
 (the dark spot by my bladder is the ovarian cyst I just found out about today)


Side view PET Scan BEFORE (4/23/2012)



 PET Scan Image AFTER (7/12/2012)


CT Scan Image Before (4/23/2012)


CT Scan Image AFTER (7/12/2012)


So please, party with me today Рthis is a day to celebrate!  Praise the LORD!


“10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)”

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning
It’s time to sing Your song again
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me
Let me be singing when the evening comes

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

You’re rich in love, and You’re slow to anger
Your name is great, and Your heart is kind
For all Your goodness I will keep on singing
Ten thousand reasons for my heart to find

[Chorus]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

And on that day when my strength is failing
The end draws near and my time has come
Still my soul will sing Your praise unending
Ten thousand years and then forevermore

[Chorus x2]
Bless the Lord, O my soul
O my soul
Worship His holy name
Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name

Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
Lord, I’ll worship Your holy name

Sing like never before
O my soul
I’ll worship Your holy name
Jesus, I’ll worship Your holy name
I’ll worship Your holy name

Wonderful News!

So you may remember that I had a PET scan last Friday. Well, while I was outside at the gas station today getting the propane tank filled for our family BBQ tonight, Sharolyn calls to me from inside the car, “Mom, it’s your doctor!” I grabbed the phone and expected a reminder call about this Thursday’s chemo appointment. When I answered, it was a nurse with my scan results. She told me that it showed my mass has shrunk to HALF the size it was before, and there is NO abnormal activity in any of my lymph nodes!!! To quote her exact words, “None of the lymph nodes lit up!” I actually had to have her repeat the results to me a couple of times in different ways before it really sunk in.

I started crying during the call and the poor service station woman was wondering if everything was ok, so I had to explain it all when I got off the phone. It turns out that her sister had died from cancer, so she could really relate. It’s amazing how many people’s lives are touched by this awful disease.

What does this mean now? Well, to be honest, I’m not exactly sure, but as far as I know, it will be business as usual in regards to chemo. I should have my last session on October 4th if everything continues as planned. I’ll find out a little more this week, and I promise to pass it on when I do, but until then, please be praising God with us for this wonderful news!

Rip Van Winkle Days…er…Nights?

Ever had those times when you think you could sleep the day away? ¬†Well, after this last chemo, that’s exactly what I did. ¬†This time, chemo was on Friday. ¬†My white blood cell count is down to 610 (from 6000 prior to starting my chemo regimen). ¬†Because of this, I have a lot of fatigue. ¬†Normal white blood cell count is within the range of 4000-10,800, so you can tell that before this whole journey started, even doing a blood count on me would not have shown abnormalities. ¬†That’s what makes this disease so sneaky.

I didn’t really feel a huge difference in this session until Sunday morning when I nearly passed out in the shower, then when I was doing my makeup – oops, I started typing “hair” there and had to delete it! ¬†Old habits die hard I guess. ūüôā and then almost threw up. ¬†I decided at that point, that I probably shouldn’t go to church. ¬†Ya think? ¬†I ended up sleeping off & on until after 2:00pm, and then pretty much stayed in bed dozing the rest of the day as well.

I pulled a bit of myself together yesterday to go to a walk-through with some buyers I have been working with since April. ¬†Their house is almost done & it’s so beautiful! ¬†I am excited for them to be able to get their family settled at last.

Today we went back to Eugene & I got more fluids. ¬†You’d think that I could stay hydrated, but no. ¬†The chemo nurses actually told me once that they wished more of “us” would come in for fluids because it makes us feel so much better. ¬†I can tell you, that by now, 6:45pm, I am feeling SOOO much better! ¬†I was actually even singing earlier! ¬†I thought it was kinda ironic though – the song that was spontaneously coming out was from “West Side Story” – “I Feel Pretty!” ¬†It actually made me laugh because right now, I don’t think that’s quite accurate – at least for the world’s standards. ¬†Thankfully, that’s not the standards I’m aiming for!

Remember, as a child of God, we’re all PRETTY!

3 Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles,
expensive jewelry or beautiful clothes.  
4You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within,
the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit,
which is so precious to God.

1 Peter 3:3-4

(photo from http://bibleversephotos.tumblr.com/)

A Brief Fundraiser Summary

Check out this minute long slideshow of photos from the fundraiser last Thursday night!  Thank you to everyone that contributed to it!  Click on the video below to see the pictures.

 

I honestly don’t know how much was raised, but what I can tell you is that we ended up selling out! ¬†They had to quit selling tickets at the door around 7:15 or so and our event was supposed to go till 9! ¬†Tom, the kids & I ended up staying until almost 9, but most people were gone by 8:30. ¬†The prize winners were all thrilled with their goodies and it was a lot of fun visiting with everyone. ¬†I’m really glad that I didn’t try to have chemo on the same day though – that would have been way too hard on me. ūüôā ¬†Hope you enjoy the pictures!