Me and My Family

Me and My Family

29 October, 2010

All in a Days Work, right?

Such Hard work....mmm hmmm right!


The Two Guys I live with! What an adventure.

And all in a days play..........learning how to play "sorry".

Taking my kitchen accessories to a new level.

Such a poser.

I just wanted to share a few pictures with all of you before writing.

We have been having fun in our new home, our new neighborhood, our new town. John of course loves his toys, and the dogs love to play too. As far as Damon and my kitchen accessories or utensils, he doesn't need toys...he can turn anything in my kitchen or house for that matter into a gun, plane, car, boat, a rocketship, or whatever tickles his imagination at the moment.

We spent one day bumming around and went to Lowes, so I took Damons picture next to this wonderfully scary witch. He had a hard time leaving her. He was fascinated.

I just went Thursday for infusion #10. 10, what? where did the time go? Not that time always flies when I'm going through infusions and the 5 days afterwards, but for real? I have 4 more and then the next CT scan, then discuss a BREAK.

A BREAK.... just what I need. And not a week too soon. It will be nice to feel "normal" for a few months.

Let me break it down for my own sake, I'm pleading "chemo brain"..LOL

Diagnosis: April 22, 2010
Surgery: April 26, 2010
PET scan: May 13, 2010
Lung Biopsy: June 2, 2010
Chemo begins: June 17, 2010: after teaching appt with FNP Kim.
seven,(up through this one I was having to travel from Kodiak each and every time! spending 4 days away from home and John, Damon, and Kaili.)
And somewhere in there, a delay of treatment by one week due to blod clots and low white blood cell count due to a bad virus I had.
WHEW..............what a journey so far.

Everytime I see Doctor Anderson, or Nurse Beth, they comment on how well my body is handling this. With the exception of when I had the virus, my blood counts, and my levels look GREAT! My blood pressure is always within a normal, healthy range which is wonderful considering the fact Avastin, one of my meds is notorious for raising blood pressure. Now if I could just lose weight. I know the nutritionist said not to, but I need to. Not a ton at first, but enough to make me feel better and move better, and have a better outlook. I have gained weight in the last 3-4 weeks and Nurse Beth says it may be due to one of my anti nausea meds I am taking which is a steriod, but I don't take it often, and not much.
Either way, one thing that I am doing is working out again. It will take a few weeks to kick in since I have been more sedentary lately because our bodies usually rebel when we start an exercise routine.
Wow, I always get off topic. My dad is probably lauging now...he knows just how true this is, and he gives me a hard time about it, or just about rambling in general. hahahaha
I am guilty as charged!!!

Time for bed, soo soo tired. Tomorrow is Saturday and for that I am grateful.
And I am grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing my in so many ways, good health (despite cancer), is that an oximoron? but really, good blood pressure, good blood counts, and levels, and relatively minimal side effects.
I am also very grateful for each one of you and your prayers!

20 October, 2010

Wishful Thinking...

I've been thinking a lot!!!

About time, events, past, present, future, going back, do overs, second chances, FAITH, HOPE, LOVE, mending, healing, and many other things.

Let's look for instance at this:

Or this:

Pictures of my before I knew I had Cancer. I was most likely sick with it then, in these pictures, but didn't have a CLUE. Not one bit of reason to worry.

I wish......

WEll, I wish I could go back to even before then and heal myself. Why should I have to go through this to heal myself? Why couldn't I just have been healthy then, and stayed that way? WHY???????????????????????

We don't really ever get to go back and do things over. Not big things like this. We can plead, and beg with God, but it's not in the cards. There is a reason, or many that we go through what we go through. And reasons why some of us have harder trials than others, or more complicated ones. All of our trials are significant, don't get me wrong..I'm not trying to trivialize anyones trials and challenges.

But, keeping it real...some are just more life threatening than others. For REAL.

I want a do over! I want to go back not to before April 22nd, but to the year 2006 or 2007 when I most likely started growing cancer cells in my body. What the heck, how about 2005 just be safe? nope, no can do!!! So what do I do? I make do. I move on, forward, keep going. Fighting every day! I want a clean bill of health in the next year. And then I want to treat my body better starting now and through the years.

I always get the same feelings for others who have passed on....mostly when it's due to self inflicted means....I think, God, they made a mistake, they weren't thinking clearly, they would like a do over. HAHAHAHA well that's impossible. We might get do overs in relationships, as parents, with friends, with car insurance companies, in learning, but not with life itself. We get ONE (1) life!

When this all started for me I was given all kinds of advice on diet and lifestyle. I laughed most of it off. Now I have been reading a lot about macrobiotics and the miracles it apparently has worked for some people who follow it. I am not in one pasture or the other, but on the fence still. I would love to be able to what it takes to get that clean bill of health, but there are some things I just feel I don't want to give up. Chocolate being one of them. However, I could do it in moderation. I am more inclined to listen and research now and take options into consideration. I have not only myself to think of but my siblings and my two children. I want my children to adopt as healthy a lifestyle as possible so they can maybe avoid going where I am, and stay healthy. If that means adopting a certain diet and lifestyle to some degree then I will promote it. I will never be a vegan to 100%, but I do think there is room in my diet to avoid and even exclude certain things like meat, most dairy, and a lot of sugar! I could eat fish, and will likely still have ice cream in my future...but in major moderation.

I want my kids to be able to say they did it right the first time and not feel like I do and wish they could go back....if only feelings.
We all have them I am sure. And I truly wish it was as easy as eating right or exercising daily. But sometimes, things just happen!

They just happen.......

I will leave you with my favorite scripture.

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." Isaiah 41:10

I love it! I love God, I love all of you. thank you for your prayers!

16 October, 2010

My Dad visited from Minnesota and I took him to Title Wave books. This while we were waiting for REI to open.

We moved into out new home too.

We took a road trip together....

It was a good visit. With the CT scan results being good and the Doctor visit going well, having a little fun for this visit was crucial. We still have boxes in corners, and stacked in garage, but I feel confident it will all get taken care of in time. Time I presently want to spend with family and friends as much as I can.

I know I haven't even finished blogging about the journey that got me to today, but I will. Right now I feel like blogging in the present.

Before we left Kodiak, while staying in the dinky hotel room with two dogs and a four year old, Damon was terrible. Full of tantrums, and whining, crying, being mean. I hadn't seen him so wild and upset. Then we get to Anchorage and it continued while we are staying with my generous, patient brother. What in the world?!!! I should probably be blogging this on my other blog, journeys in motherhood. But I have been overlooking that blog for the sake of this one. So, parenting goes here today. Wooooow weee. I was almost at a loss as to what to do with this boy. I didn't feel like taking him out in public at all.The best I could think of was let him ride his bike as much as possible and hopefully he would go to bed at a decent hour in a decent manner.

Through all this, we were trying to close on our home, I was going to get infused, and John and I were trying to stay in communication with one another. Not an easy task when there are tantrum throughing four yr old around and handheld electronics ALWAYS within reach. I was beginning to hate, yes HATE Iphone, Ipad, Itouch...grrrr.
(not to worry I am better today).

I know right now Hate in my heart is not a good thing. I have to carry love love love.

So, we moved into the house finally and DAmon seemed to changed instantly. I just thought of this the other day. I was telling my mom and dad how he is a different boy since We moved in and he has his toys back, his new room, a nice yard, new friends at church.

We are currently talking paint samples to decorate his room. He wants a Coast Guard C-130 room. So I will paint some red, with a blue stripe and print out pictures a friend took, to frame and hang on walls. then I have to figure out what to do about bed sheets and blankets....hmmm maybe just stick to white sheets, blue sheets and a red comforter.

Well, I am just glad that he is doing better, because that means I am doing better.

Dad came, like I said, and Mom came to town and we all went to my doctor appt to find out what the visiting specialist had to say. The lesions are shrinking and Doctor Anderson seemed to be in a positive mood, feeling optimistic. The other Doc suggested CT scans every three months, and Dr. Anderson agreed. He hinted at the small possibility of the lesions disappearing altogether.....prayers needed here.

He also said that surgically removing any left would be that won't happen. Again...prayers needed here. They are working so why not keep them coming. I so appreciate any and all prayers, and please know that I return them, and keep you all in mine.

At this point the plan is to continue treatment until early January at which time I
will have another CT scan. Then Doctor Anderson and I will discuss the possibility (necessity) of taking a break. Either from one of the meds, or even quite possibly from all of them for several months. One of them is more toxic than the others so I would definitely need a break from that one for sure, or the time would come when I would be more sick from that med, than from the cancer itself.

Something I have been researching is Macrobiotics....does anyone have any suggestions or interesting info on this diet/way of life.???? I have read many uplifting stories in the book I am reading, but have much more research to do. I have already given up most dairy, meat, and trying my darndest to cut back on sugar. Thats a tough one. I need to know more about getting good whole cereal grains in my daily diet. The book unfortunately said oatmeal doesn't count,,,,darn cus I love oatmeal. I need to know what "misso" is. or Miso soup???? help.......

Well, Blessings to each and everyone of you!!!! Thank you for ALL your positive thoughts, prayers, and kind words. Keep them coming while I continue to kick butt.

love, Dani

06 October, 2010

Today was a Good Good Day!

CT scan.

I had one today. It was time to see what is going on compared to when we started this journey.

Let me start by saying it has been a long wait. An anxious wait. The closer we got to this date, the more anxious I became...having bad dreams, negative thoughts, increasing my prayers...I'm sorry to say they were slacking. It's so easy to get comfortable. Even in times of stress.

On top of all the anxiety about the CT scan...we were in the process of moving. Packing, cleaning, organizing, living in a hotel for 10 days with a 4 yr old and two dogs. That was a whole different breed of stress and required careful consideration of stress relieving options. To cover all my options, I was getting massages. For me, besides working out at the gym, there is nothing like a massage to get my mind off life.

Ooops, sorry I got sidetracked. I could talk all day about stress relieving options.
The real reason for this post is to talk about my CT scan.

Well, I went in this morning after drinking two bottles of berry flavored ct contrast drink. Not too bad. WAY better than Magnesium Citrate. Remember my thoughts on that? So wrong!!! False advertising at it's worst.

Anyway, the gentleman trying to get the IV in had difficulty. He called in a colleague after 3 tries. She got it right away. So in I go...into the tube. Then out, and Forrest, put the iodine in through the IV. Whooooooo, that feels weird. It starts hot in the throat, then down to the chest...and on down till you feel like you have wet yourself. In I go again. Hold my breath, scan...repeat 2-3 times. Then I'm done. We waited all day for a call from the Doctor. At around 4:15 she finally called.


She said the report showed a "marked reduction in size and number" of nodules. GREAT!!!! This is what we wanted to hear. This means........there are fewer nodules than there were when we had the first CT scan, and the ones that are still there have shrunk in size. woooooo hoooooo.

The Doctor said we will continue with a few more treatments and then give me a break. We will then do another round most likely. While that doesn't sound fun to me...I'm tired of the side effects, it works because if the medicine is doing what it's supposed to do, I want to do this till the nodules are GONE altogether.

All in all it's a good good day! We are in a new home, getting unpacked, my Dad is visiting, John is working overtime to help unpack, my Mom is coming and it's a good WEEK.

Blessings to each and every one of you.