Me and My Family

Me and My Family

25 April, 2014

Guest #2 Uncle Grandpa! aka Danielle's father

I am extremely grateful that I've been able to spend the last three weeks with my daughter.  It was initially going to be 2 weeks but I extended it to 3 weeks. Now it is time for me to return home.
No father could possibly be more proud of his daughter than I am of Danielle.  Not even close!
And no father could possibly miss their daughter as much as I will miss her.
She's fought the good fight, but her Father in heaven is calling her and he's got priority over me.
I want to thank everyone for all the prayers, posts and love.  Keep them coming.


19 April, 2014

Guest Post by Susan

I visited with Dani a few days ago and she asked me to do a guest post about our time together that day.  First, by way of minor introduction- Dani and I met about 10 or 11 years ago.  We served in young women's together and that is when we got to know each other.  Neither one of us grew up going to young women's so we just figured things out together.  I helped her with her wedding preparations and then she and John moved away to start their married life.  We were out of touch for a few years and then reconnected several years ago.  One thing we both have in common is that we are tell it like it is kind of girls and are not afraid to ask and answer the tough question that come up in our conversations:)

When I went to visit Dani she already had two visitors one of whom rubbed oils on her hands and feet hoping to provide her some relief- it was a very tender and sweet moment to watch.  After her other friends left we had our time to chat- and chat we did.  I saw a peace in her eyes and told her about my observations during this journey.  We don't see each other much so when we do any differences are so noticeable.  I've seen her as a fighter, I've seen her angry, I've seen her hopeful about different treatments, I've seen her feel guilty thinking she should be better or do better, and finally I've seen her at peaceful acceptance.

We talked about hope and how as people we tend to focus on the exception- the 1 or 2% that something works for and then if it doesn't happen to us we feel less than somehow.  How when we do this it robs us of hope, joy, and peace.  We talked about a healthy kind of hope that looks for the good during the journey.  I've seen her have both kinds and can assure you the second resonates in her whole being.

We talked about prayers and how we often are praying for the wrong thing- the miracle we think we want or should have and then when that isn't answered we ask why me, what did I do wrong?  We talked about the power of prayers of strength, prayers of comfort, prayers for understanding, prayers for peace-

We talked about miracles and how she has had so many by way of time to prepare, people met during the journey, a faith deeper than she expected, the uncertain knowledge of what really matters in this life, truly knowing how much she means to people, the gift of her family and the care they have given her- really it goes on and on.

I asked her if she was afraid- she answered honestly and said a little but not in an overwhelming or scary way.

It was hard for me to leave that day but I found comfort in what I saw in my friends eyes- a certain peace and love that left me knowing in my bones she is ready for whatever is to come- she is at peace with all of it and I cling to that- the peace that is there for all of us to have if only we open ourselves up to ask and receive it-

To close I will share her one request- that is that we- her friends and family do not forget about her husband,son, and daughter.  That when time is passing and we are all moving forward with life we will stop and make time for play dates, dinners, phone calls, and whatever else we are inspired to do. I assured her that we will:)

I love you- my sweet, funny, loud, and courageous friend!

25 March, 2014

In case you are wondering. (caution: contents may not be as happy as you want)

Caution: The contents of this post may not be as positive as you want.

I got back from Mexico in one piece and am home with my family and friends. A week after I got home, John returned from work on the slope. The week after that we had our fundraiser. I feel so blessed by all the friends, family and even strangers who helped by showing up, helping out, and donating. Everyone who was assigned specific jobs really did great!!!! I definitely was feeling the love for me and my family. We made somewhere between $6,000 and $8,500. Just for that night, not including donations given to go fund me account.
I did have a CT scan two weeks after returning and the results were that there was growth since the last scan. The Doc gave me his little lecture on what his suggestions are, assuring me, that as always I am the boss and if I choose to not go with Chemo it's up to me. We then talked about pain relief. I came home and started a new pain relief medicine and that hit me about a week later with bad stomach pains (constipation)…despite my best efforts to avoid this.
I returned today for a follow up and asked about more options for pain relief, ones that might not have side effects of more pain. He also talked about chemo again..I told him in no uncertain terms that if I tried it again at all it would only be the one that is my last resort. The Irinotecan I will NOT take again.
Ok, we got that settled.
In between all this, my mom spoke with a surgeon on the phone ( a friend of hers who was my stepdad's surgeon for years) and he told her that no one would touch the mass in my abdomen. Abdominal surgery is risky, and with the cancer in so many different places it just did not make sense to try and tackle only that. He also stated it wouldn't buy me any more time, and would probably shorten it. This is basically what my oncologist has said, but we wanted to hear it from the surgeon. Not a good prognosis.
Another thing my doc said today was that if I wasn't going to return for treatment then I should get Hospice on board to manage my pain. This way I wouldn't have to keep returning to the doc's office for bloodwork and checkups. He never gave me a timeline, but I don't need or want him to. I have my own impressions and inclinations.
I have been praying a lot lately to God and I think I am as much at peace as can be expected at this time. Even though I have no doubt it will be hard on my son, he seems to be coming to peace also. At least his prayers reflect that. I know this could change in a heartbeat, and it's a far cry from the actual event. At this point though, I am trying to teach him that we may want this or that, we may pray for this or that, but the bottom line is, it's all in God's hands and we want His will to be done. If that means taking me, then He will find a way for my son and rest of my family to carry on and move forward as time passes.
I have been trying to be as tasteful as possible,, without being too blunt…but the point I am trying to convey here is that, if the 11th hour miracle doesn't come, my belief is that I don't have a lot of time left here on this earth. This all leaves me feeling pressed for time to wrap up my loose ends.
One loose end, maybe not mine, but I have to share if you don't already know….my beautiful, precious, sweet, wonderful, loving, helpful daughter got married!!!!!! She tied that knot right up for me. lol And her husband is a wonderful, sweet, wonderful, loving, and helpful man. They are so happy together. They are so good for each other. I am so happy that she now has Timothy to help hold her up and share his strength with her when she will be needing it most. Not only that, but he will be able to be there for John and Damon as well. I pray the four of them will take turns buoying each other as the need arises.
Well, I have rambled long enough. Since I have always been so honest in my posts I felt it only fair to continue that honesty, even though it hurts and you may not want to read it. I love you all!!!!

22 February, 2014

Home stretch

I am on the home stretch.
 I would be getting my "gripper" (the needle in my port with tube for infusions) out right now, but they talked me into one last infusion of Vit. C tonight. They wanted to do it in the morning, but I said no. Tonight or not at all. 
I did my last lymphatic massage therapy a bit ago. It was nice and warm. 
Now I just have today to get through. Lunch, maybe a shower, pack, sit outside if the sun comes out from behind the clouds, and then the last infusion tonight right after supper. 
I have to make sure my phone and Kindle are charged up for the trip. I have been reading so much, I have already charged my Kindle about 3 times. Maybe 4, I can't even remember anymore. 
I will see the Doc one last time in the morning, he will make sure the staff pack up my vaccines in dry ice and are ready for me. Then I take the Doc's shuttle service to the airport. Hopefully Sundays at the border, in the medical lane, are quick. 
I can't wait to get all checked in and settled at my gate so I can return to using my iPhone to talk to my family. And, of course I can't wait to board and begin my journey home. Tomorrow will probably be a long day for my family, taking care of business as usual, and then they won't even leave home until about 9:40pm to come get me. WE might get home by midnight. I think Monday will be a low key day. Maybe? I can hope.....? 
Well, I will catch up when I get settled at home. 
love and blessings, 

19 February, 2014

Making sense.......or not!

One of each treatment left. Four nights on a bed that isn't mine. Four and a half days until I see my Littleman, my Kaili girl, and my mom. Will have to wait another week to see my John. I am so grateful for the time I have had here. I am grateful for the treatments that are available to me here. I am grateful that I have a loving Heavenly Father who has been with me through this whole time and is always with me. I am grateful for a family, and friends who support my decision to persue alternative treatments.  
For all these things I am grateful for, I still feel torn. I sometimes feel lost. Like I mentioned in my last post, I feel like a prisoner who got life without parole. 
Another way I can explain it is a sense of feeling torn. Torn between picking up and chugging forward like a train on the tracks, oblivious to the landscape being left behind. Pretending that life is normal and just living with what I have been given....which I KNOW we all make a choice to do or not  with what we have been given. I won't ever "forget" I have cancer, but should I move forward like I have my whole life ahead of me? 
OR, should I just accept that I am very sick, chemo isn't working, my cancer is progressing and presume that God's will is for me to let go? Let nature take it's course? It would be so much easier of God could just tell me what His will for me is, so I can plan accordingly! lol I know that isn't how it works, but I can wish. 
Here is where the title comes in, am I making any sense at all? Or not? It makes sense to me. I always feel so clear about the feelings and thoughts that run through my mind and heart, but when I go to put them on the blog they sometimes don't come out the same. 
In the end I know I didn't come all the way here to come and and give up. I acknowledge that there are many people out there praying for me and my family. 
I just get scared sometimes because I know how fast things can go downhill. In the last year, three people I know and cared about, died from their cancer. I fear getting sick with something else that could drag me down, something I would have trouble coming back from. 
So in the end, I will come home, do my best to keep a positive attitude, keep moving forward, and continue to do what I can to fight this. I will continue making memories with my family, and for my son. 
In the mean time, I appreciate your constant prayers and positive thoughts. 

16 February, 2014

Life, with no parole

I have been mulling over this entry for a few days. I wasn't sure what I wanted to say, or if I wanted to say it. 
Here goes. 
I feel like a prisoner. 
A psychological prisoner. 
My psyche is dependent on the warden. 
LEt me explain;
The warden is my Doctor(s), and I feel that my psychological wellbeing is dependent on news they give me. If it's good news, I feel more hopeful, more happy, more optimistic. If it's not so great news I feel less of all of those, and more like a prisoner. A prisoner of them, and of this cancer. 
My Doc down here felt my tummy the other day and said it was his opinion that the "mass" in my abdomen was a bit bigger. Well, I took it hard. That day I spent all day in my room. I read, rested, read, and watched T.V. 
That night I didn't sleep well at all. I tossed and turned and my back muscles started hurting really bad. From around my right shoulder blade all the way up to my neck was screaming. Then I got a headache. During the next day it got worse. Pain meds didn't really help a lot. Then the nurse rubbed some stuff on my back like icy hot, and gave me a tylenol. At about 10pm he came in and gave me something he said would help me sleep and was for pain too. At midnight I was still awake. 
But let me back up here a moment to the morning...I was feeling so lousy about what the Doctor had told me, I was weepy and in total honesty, I thought maybe it's time to give up my fight so that my dear, sweet son can go on with his life. He can stop having to feel worried and afraid every day about when his mom might die. He could just grieve and move forward. 
I confessed these feelings to my husband and my mom and cried a little. Then my headache grew because I really had a lot more crying to do, but I hold back here because there are always people knocking on my door. I don't want them to walk in on my weak self crying. 
I spent a little time outside and it didn't do much to help my psyche. 
Anyway, I will still awake at midnight. Then at some point fell asleep for a few hours at a time, till I finally made it through the night. 
Awake at 6 a.m. My back is a little better, but my whole neck hurts! Just so much tension I think. 
Maybe this week I will start to find my old "strong" self as I look forward to coming home soon and holding my kids, and crawling into my own bed. Seeing my mom and getting a nice, strong, loving hug from her. Unfortunately I will still have a week before seeing my John as he will have left for work already. 
I have plans to follow up with my oncologist when I get home to request a PET scan to determine exactly what is going on with this "mass" in my abdomen. I also have plans to follow up with my naturopathic doc to come up with a maintenance plan. And I will still have 6 months worth of "my" vaccine to take. 
Today I will look forward with more strength and try not to feel like such a prisoner. A prisoner with a life sentence. If I think about it, that's how my son could feel too. Not that he knows what a prisoner with a life sentence is, but he probably feels trapped in his fear with no way out. It's like a life sentence, without hope of parole. I know it doesn't have to be, or feel that way. My faith can make me stronger. Faith can help my family and my son get through this, moving forward every day...with or without me. 
Today I pray for all who feel the way I do, that they might find their "parole" and be released from feeling like a prisoner. 

11 February, 2014

More than half....

Hi all!
I haven't written in a few days. I couldn't think of what to say. I had a few days of feeling pretty down. This past Sunday was my halfway mark for being here at the clinic, though today is 2 weeks until I come home.
I thought getting half through would feel wonderful, but I just didn't get that feeling. I have been the only patient here the whole time and spend most of every day in my room. Alone, with two beds, four pillows, a TV where I can occasionally find something in English, my Kindle, some crocheting, and every meal is brought to me here.
Some days the treatments take longer so I am out of my room longer, but the only other thing that gets my out of my room is the sun.
The first week I was REALLY homesick, and the second week I was really homesick, and feeling like maybe I made a bad choice coming here. I was feeling afraid that I made this huge choice to spend a month away from my family and what if it wasn't helpful anyway? Then I have just spent too much time away, when I could be spending it with my family. I just couldn't write when I was immersed in those feelings. I had to get a handle on them first. I wasn't even sure I wanted to share them with anyone, but here you are. It's all out there. The truth only.
I can't really say if I am feeling better or not. I haven't gotten any exercise, until today when I actually walked 20 minutes on their treadmill. It's hard, being cooped up in the room.
I pray every day, most of the day for Heavenly Father to work miracles with these treatments! All things are possible. I just pray He has a purpose for me to stay on this earth longer. With the end of tomorrow, this third week will be half over for me....and maybe then I will start to cheer up. I know it's important to keep positive as much as possible, it's just so hard when  you are homesick, lonely, bored, etc...
Here are a few pictures.
getting Hyperthermia

Getting ready, see I am still now imagine laying under all that for hours, sweating!

2010 Spa, Heat therapy/Lymphatic massage, table vibrates gently and it gets warm, not hot, warm.                                

Like this! It's usually very relaxing. (1hour)

03 February, 2014

A season

This is me. I think Monday, the day after I arrived 

here in Mexico. The sun was shining and it was 

warm out. 

I heard that little hummingbird this day, then saw it. 

I saw it again just a bit ago when I ventured outside

 even though the breeze was quite cool. I went out 

wrapped in a blanket and saw that sweet hummer 

sitting in a low branch of the tree. 

Mmm, these might be tasty one day soon.  

Here is the view from outside the front door. 
 Above, and below. 

And here is a picture of my bag of Vitamin C, laetrile, amino acids, and many other good for me substances. I get this every takes about 4 hours. 

More pictures to come soon. Until then I want to share a message written by Roy Lessin, co-founder of DaySpring Calendars. 
I got a package in the mail today from a loving, kind, wonderful cousin, Kim and her husband Jeff. In it were several cards, and a beautiful hummingbird calendar. 

"Just think,
you're not here by chance, 
but by God's choosing.
His hand formed you
and made you
the person you are. 
He compares you to no one else-
you are one of a kind. 
You lack nothing
that His grace can't give you. 
He has allowed you to be here 
at this time in history
to fulfill His special purpose
for this generation."

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. 
Ecclesiastes 3:1

02 February, 2014

I did NOT see that coming

I may have used the title of this post before, but given what happened yesterday it seems fitting for me to use it again.
I had my hydro 2010 spa, heat / lymphatic massage therapy and was in my room getting my infusion of vit. C.
The nurse, Christian, came in and hung another bag on the rod and said it was my vaccine, then came in with some shots. I had to expose both upper arms and my upper thighs. So I lay on the bed and did as I was told. He gave me a shot in each arm, and each leg. I went to lay back down on the other bed in the sun, as my room was chilly yesterday.
Christian told me I might feel a bit cold later. Ok, no biggy. I was already cold. So I would stay in the sun.
Well, about 5 minutes later I was shivering uncontrollably from head to toe. I couldn't have controlled it for anything. If I opened my mouth my teeth would chatter together, if I closed my mouth I would grit my teeth. Everything hurt from shivering so hard and at the same time trying not to; my back, my stomach, my mouth, my head. It really threw me off guard. When Christian came back in I told him I couldn't stop. He got me a blanket and then came back again in a few minutes. I hadn't slowed down at all, so he then got me an antihistamine. He put his hand on my arm and spoke soothing, comforting words to me for a minute. He left and when he returned, he brought the Doctor with him. By this time I had almost stopped shivering, but then felt like vomiting. I didn't, thank goodness. I remember them telling me that this sort of thing happens sometimes with people. After that I slept, and slept, and slept. The antihistamine they gave me was the "may cause drowsiness" kind.
I feel like this went on for 20 or more minutes, in reality it might have been more like 10. I don't know. All I know is I hated that feeling. I can maybe,  sort of, imagine how scary it might be to have a seizure after that ordeal.
This morning I woke up feeling so much better. Not only was I rested, but I wasn't achy. I have been achy since getting here...since before getting here. I actually felt good this morning. I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that today is Sunday, or because I shivered it all out of me. lol
The only problem with this morning is it's cold. Cold outside, and cold inside, and I couldn't get my little heater unit to work. I asked Christian to help, and he had to ask someone else to come help. We got it working and now my room is nice and comfortable.
I have been face timing family and crocheting, while finding the right channel on TV to watch the Superbowl in english.
I have been in contact with members from my church down here and will get picked up next Sunday for church. Even though the service will probably be in Spanish, it will feel good to go.
May you all have a Blessed week!!!

31 January, 2014

Walk uprightly!

The Savior taught that the sun rises “on the evil and on the good, and … rain [falls] on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45). Sometimes we cannot understand why difficult, even unfair, things happen in life. But as followers of Christ, we trust that if we “search diligently, pray always, and be believing, … all things shall work together for [our] good, if [we] walk uprightly” (D&C 90:24; emphasis added).

I was reading a talk on our church website, and this paragraph is so appropriate. It really hit a cord with me and what I want my family to know/hear. All things shall work together for our good....that doesn't mean all things shall work the way we want them to, or according to our plan.....but good can come from every situation. It might take time, lots of it, but it is possible. 
Already good things have come since my diagnosis. I have made new and wonderful friends, my testimony has increased, as has my faith. I have researched and learned things I would not have otherwise. 
My family bonds have strengthened and I have become more of a realist,,,though my family might disagree about this being a good thing. lol 
Times are still hard, challenging, and difficult. I still get sad, frustrated, and discouraged, however, I know that God's will is being done and I continue to pray for peace, safety, comfort, and love to surround me and my family and friends. 
God Bless!

30 January, 2014


Just did my second hyperthermia. Made it 2 hours this time. Barely.
This time Christian put cold clothes on my face over and over. In that heat they don't stay cold for long. Now sitting on the bed near the open window in my room, enjoying the feel of a nice summer day breeze against my hot, wet, sticky skin. When my IV drip is done I can shower off the sweat.
Next weeks goal is 2 1/2 hours. hahaha!
I made Christian no promises.
I was asked by some if I could provide a mailing address. yes I can.
Here you go!!!!

Danielle Gilbert
c/o Jose Henriquez, M.D.
482 W. San Ysidro Blvd. #1561
San Ysidro, CA 92173

It warms my heart to see your comments in my blog and on my Facebook. thank you and keep them coming.
Love and hugs and Blessings to you all.

more for my soul

Yesterday was long......
I had hydro2010 spa massage, which is heat therapy and lymphatic massage at the same time. Lay on a covered table (at a slight angle), they pull a hardshell cover over me, except for my head. Then the table starts vibrating quickly and the inside starts to warm up. I lay there for an hour and it felt so good I fell asleep.
That was so nice.
Then the highlight of my day...later I was sitting outside and the hummingbird was in the tree, I could hear it. As I swung my squinting gaze up, he flew out of the tree right towards me, passed me, and over to a bush with one lone flower on it. So I got to see him in action for just a few seconds before his/her fast moving, almost impatient body took off again in flight. I smiled and remembered fondly all the days of spring I would sit on the porch in Ketchikan and the hummingbirds would come and go repeatedly. I was able to get so many great pictures then.
Later the Doctor came outside to say hi and see how I was doing. I told him honestly that I was homesick, but I was ok. He is finding out today if anyone is coming next week. One person who was coming, cancelled, but there are two other possibilities. He said then I would have someone to visit with.
What I would like is a puzzle to work on. I might suggest the have a table in the living room somewhere with a puzzle for people to work on. It would bring people like me out of their rooms more. In the meantime, I will enjoy books on my kindle, time on the patio when I can and resting.
Today,.....Hyperthermia again. I will make it 2 hours this time....I promised Christian, the nurse, and my self of course.
Doesn't look like a day to sit on patio, so far it is very foggy outside.
Updates later.
love and blessings to all.

28 January, 2014

Extracorporeal Photopheresis

I have had a busy day.
Started with a full body physical exam by the doc. Not a favorite thing of mine to get done. Well, it's out of the way now!
Then breakfast. After breakfast I went downstairs to get hyperbaric Oxygen therapy. You'll have to google that one. But it's a little "capsule" I climb in and they zip it closed. The material is comparable to what an inflatable boat is made of. There is a little plastic window above my face so I can see the ceiling...woo hoo.
Then it starts to inflate, I had about enough room in there to bend my knees up while laying on my back. I stay in for 1 hour.
After that the nurse started my daily IV full of Vit. C and laetrile and amino acids, and all sorts of other good stuff. While getting that I read, had lunch, and started the Photopheresis. The IV takes about 4 1/2 hours.
I get the photopheresis again next week and then from that they will create a vaccine for me...I will come home with a 6 months supply of that to inject myself with each week. Yay for me that I am not afraid of needles.
So, now relaxing and writing. I am getting a smoothie soon. Ra`mon, my favorite cook is here and he is making it for me. I wish I spoke Spanish! More than Si, and Por Favor, and little things like that.
Thank you to all who are supporting me and my family! WE love you.

27 January, 2014


joy to the soul

I got a chance to sit outside today on the back patio/yard. The sun felt SO good and then as I was sitting there reading/relaxing I could hear a hummingbird. I kept looking up in the tree and couldn't see it. Then by chance, one time I looked over at the same time that little beauty was coming in for a landing. I got to watch it there in the tree for about a minute before it took off again. Wish I had binoculars. 
Feeling the sun and hearing as well as seeing that hummingbird did bring joy to my soul and heart today. 
I have been feeling lonely and homesick. Everyone I left behind has all that is familiar with them, I have everything unfamiliar. With two exceptions. My homemade quilt from my dear friend Audrey, and Damon's "bear bear". It's really our "bear bear". We share him, always have. 
When I got here and opened my suitcase I was delighted to discover that Damon and Kaili had made a card for me telling me how much they already missed me and how much they love me. What a wonderful surprise. I have that sitting up on a table in my room. 
Today I had my first Hyperthermia treatment. 
What is that you might ask. 
It's when they raise your core body temp to 108. 
It is supposed to kill cancer cells. I guess they can't take the heat. 
Now I will tell you what it was like. 
Imagine laying in the sun when it's about 85. That's warm after awhile right? Now imagine laying in the sun when it's 85 and you have a sheet and blanket or two on you from the neck down. Add to that you are all encased to keep the warmth in ( I thought of it like my lizards all around to retain heat, and screen on top for ventilation). My face was protected by a cloth as the lights are bright, and the nurse had access to my face so he could wipe the sweat off every now and then. I made it about 1 hour and 40 minutes. next time I have to go 2 hours. Both my arms fell asleep and I got really sore laying there on my back for so long. I also thought of it like sitting in my sauna all wrapped in blankets. 
Both days now I have had the infusion with high doses of Vitamin C and Laetrile, and many other good and healthy things in it. That takes about 4-5 hours. It doesn't make me feel sick or anything, I just have to be hooked up to the IV pole and run to the bathroom often. So it's a little confining. But what's a little confinement now if it gives me much freedom later? I'll take it. 
Tomorrow afternoon I will get my blood taken, run through a machine, I think to sort out the white blood cells, from which they will make a vaccine for me. I will explain this more tomorrow night after I get explanation from the tech who is doing it. Or the Doc, who's English is easier to understand. 
Have a safe week everyone. 
Thank you to you all. 

25 January, 2014

Down to the wire

Well, it's down to the wire. I leave tonight/tomorrow morning. Before my church friends even get to church tomorrow I will be in San Diego!
That is barring any difficulties on the way...I don't anticipate any trouble though.
I have been way too busy this week to be nervous or even excited. I just know I am anxious to get there  as I don't feel good and I want them to start infusing me with the good stuff and giving me a fever. hahaha
I can't speak for Kaili, John, or my mom, but I know Damon and I are tense and stressed out. Bless his heart, he was SO tired last night he fell almost right to sleep and has been sleeping since. He so needed that.
Me however, well I was up in the night with a tummy ache, took a hot bath, crawled back into bed and had one particularly white lump of a dog leaning against me (immovable) for the rest of the morning. Makes it hard to roll over or stretch or anything. She might be petite compared to other labs, but she is not light, especially when sleeping. And she is rather pushy!
Then I got up and took the dogs outside and the pulled me right off the porch sideways, thank goodness I retained my footing...if I had fallen it would have been into a puddle of pee water and mushy, poopy grass.
I cried.
Like a baby.
I did.
Then stood there while they took care of business (me back on the porch appearing to be in control), crying and imagining all the places I could take them and leave them, FOREVER. I need small dogs who can't pull like that. Or no dogs who don't poo like they do. Or a fence around part of the yard so I don't have to stand there being pulled by dogs on leashes, into pee and poo infested puddles that form when there is rain and warm temps in Alaska in January!!!!!!
Enough about the dogs.
I still have a lot to do before leaving but I think I can get it all done today. I better.
IF not, it just won't be done, and I will have to let it go.
I will update when I get settled in.

24 January, 2014

Wow, can it be possible

Wow, it's been a busy week. I don't know how I entertained any thoughts of it being otherwise. I have to get myself ready for my trip as well as get the house in order, get work samples ready to turn in for Damon (they were due last week)!!!!! I also have to get all the laundry done, and try to get some sleep.

Sleep? what's that? Damon has been awake into the late hours of night for over a week now, though thankfully sleeping in each morning. Until last night! He was up late, then woke up early when the dog was whining at me to take him out. Damon woke up and never went back to sleep. By early i mean 3am. Not 6 or 7, 3 AM!!!!!! Now how is this boy going to function today? How am I going to stay sane?

I have a suspicion he might be getting anxious because I leave tomorrow night. We have talked about it, and at one point last night he was whimpering, I hugged him and asked what was which he replied, "I am sad cus you will be gone for a whole month, I am going to miss you and I don't want you to go."

Can it be possible for us to get through the day without naps, or nagging one another? It's too bad that when tensions are running high and we are feeling sad to be  parting ways, at the same time we are grumpy and treating one another badly because of that tension/stress, and in our case lack of sleep in addition to the stress. oooooh bad sentence, I know.

I DO feel bad though and will try to be as loving and understanding of his emotions as possible today without also letting him be disrespectful and try to run all over me. I have to keep him busy.
It's a wonderful thought to take him to Bouncing Bears to play, but then that means I am out of the house and not getting things done that need doing. I will think on that.

In the mean time, it's 45 and raining and blowing outside!! Where has winter gone?

I have not doubts that when I return from Mexico winter will be in full swing again here in Palmer.

This post has been all over the place. Must be I am a little tired. And a little anxious myself. It is my deepest and most sincere prayer right now that my Faith along with  these alternative treatments work enough for me to feel good, and stop the growth of my cancer. Maybe even shrinking some of it.....? Wouldn't that be grand. I know my Savior is the Master Physician and it is possible, just pray it's so with me.
We watched a little video clip last night with the Missionaries called "Mountains to Climb". It was very good. It's about enduring to the end and moving forward even when all seems lost. About trying hard when we feel like giving up. Getting up each morning when we would rather stay in bed and feel sorry for ourselves. Putting on a smile even when we feel we have nothing to smile about. Heavenly Father is testing our Faith. Will we be faithful? Will we stay true to our own faith or let the advisary invade our lives?

Keep Moving Forward!!!

21 January, 2014

way too early

It's way too early to up, but I just can't sleep long in the morning. My new "normal" routine is up between 4-6am, look around on the computer for awhile, then I might lay down on the couch and go back to sleep.

I am just not as comfortable on our mattress as I used to be. Especially if I have pain. I kinda love my new spot on the couch with my heat pad against my back. I say love, but it's all relative. 
I would love to love my mattress. 
I would rather love getting up and exercising, or being more active during the day with my son.
 I would love having no pain or discomfort. 

I have had pain the past, but never the kind that stayed long. IT would be something like a sore muscle, a slipped disc, a sore spot from bumping into something, never a chronic pain. I never understood what people with chronic pain went through until lately. It's really hard. It messes with your psyche. It can bring you down if you let it. For me it really emphasizes who I am "not" anymore. I used to be an active, strong, healthy woman. 

Now I have to be strong mentally because I am not strong physically. 
Some friends of mine came over yesterday to video tape me and asked what my hope is for the future. I mentioned spending time with my family, creating more memories, etc...I also want to be and feel strong again so I can actively participate in fun activities such as Kayaking, hiking, biking, even long walks. My son and I love to take bike rides. My daughter or husband and I love to kayak. And we all love to go 4-wheeling. 

Last fall I put Damon in horseback riding lessons, I got to ride too and learn things I didn't know when I was a teenager and had a horse of my own. I am hoping this summer to join the instructor on some long day rides. It would be so fun for me, but I have to be comfortable. 

I hope and pray that the treatments I get in Mexico will afford me these things. 
I pray it will buy me time I don't have right now.
 I pray it can at the very least help keep the cancer at bay, stable and not growing or spreading. 
I pray while I am gone my family will be watched over and have peace in their hearts. 

Cheers to a healthy future!

18 January, 2014

It's becoming real

Fundraising efforts are underway, ideas are rolling and people are stepping up to help. In many ways besides just fundraising. 
I am feeling so very Blessed today! Despite my aching back, my painful spots in abdominal area, I know I am truly blessed. There are not just good people out there, but GREAT people. Humble, charitable, generous people. I am thinking of the Widows Mite right now, even though she had virtually nothing, she gave all she had. 
Heavenly Father is working in my life now and always, and I am so grateful for his love, sacrifice, and support of me. 
A few sites to go to if you want to read about where I am going: (click on Integrative Whole Health)

This next one I just found, and Marla Manhart is the woman I have been speaking with to coordinate my stay. It's worth reading.

So if you are wanting to read more about what I am doing and why, visit these sites. 
Have a Blessed weekend. 

16 January, 2014

Almost there

Now that I have been researching and talking to family and gathering a fundraising team, things are really starting to roll. 
I had a meeting at my house last night to brainstorm fundraising went GREAT!!!! So many showed up with good ideas, lots of support and love, and helping hands. I think this is actually going to be fun. 
Also, through my research I have made a decision on which clinic I want to go to. There were more than I originally thought, so I ended up talking with Doctors from a total of four clinics. I prayed about it, and I discussed each one with my family and have made my decision. Now I have to make sure they can take me the dates I want to go. 
I will actually be taking a loan to go and continue fundraising to pay that back. Timing is everything and the longer I wait, the less success we may have. I need to go sooner rather than later. 
for me that we get positive outcomes from this. 
I will continue with my positive attitude and build on it, make it even stronger. I have to admit it has been flagging lately. 
If anyone has a special talent that could be utilized for a silent auction or any sort of fundraiser let me know. If you have connections, we have ideas. Today I am writing up a little bio on myself (not necessarily my favorite thing to do) and one women who knows the manager of the local credit union (all in the area), will put up cans in each branch for collecting donations.  If you are motivated and would be interested in doing things in your community let me know and I can make sure you get a copy of my bio. 
In any event I thank you for your prayers, positive thoughts and love. 
Please continue to share this blog with others.
I will be posting a video story soon. 
Love, Dani

10 January, 2014

picture memories

These pictures are in no particular order. I have just been reminiscing about old times. Happier, healthier times.  

fishing in Ketchikan

Me and Kaili

Fun catch and release times, and look at my long hair. Miss that.

How could you, I am not even awake yet. Thanks mom!!! Not. 

Love that girl. 

Looking forward to meeting Christopher

Oh look, here he is, a few months old already! and such a handsome lion. 

Brother and Sister love!

This pretty much sums  up my son. Even these days, and he is 7 1/2 now. He has just moved on from dogs water to other things. lol 

MMMM Mommy loves you son. 

Our Ari girl before we even knew she would be ours. 

09 January, 2014

Home At Last!

After three weeks on the North Slope, my husband is home. He missed Christmas and New Years Eve with us. As well as a one night visit from one of his older sons. We missed him. Now that he is here he is up to his usually antics. Riling up my dogs, vacuuming, cleaning in general; and taking care of me. I think my body realized it was okay now to let go. This morning I woke up not feeling so great. We were getting ready to head to Anchorage and I told him to go without me. He took Damon and I just slept and slept. I haven't been able to do that for three weeks. 
It felt good. 
We then had a good friend in our neighborhood bring dinner over. It was delicious. 
Tomorrow evening John and I will be going on a movie date.                                                   
Thursday: It's now Thursday, so date night is tonight. Or movie night. That's what I am more inclined to call it, since that is all we will be doing, going to a movie. Next date will be my choice and it will not involve a movie. 
My low back on left side has been aching like crazy since yesterday afternoon. Advil barely takes the throbbing away. Don't know what it is, but it's very discomforting. 
Thankful to have John home to fill in when I can't, and Thankful for my kids whom I love and adore. Thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who helps give me the strength i need each day. 
Thankful to be here today! 

06 January, 2014

Can't think of them anymore

I had some decent titles for posts, but now that I am actually sitting here with my computer I can't think of any of them. Figures. 
I have been going through a vast array of emotions the last week or more. Each day is varied. I can start off feeling good and end the day feeling like crap. Or I could start off feeling like crap, then end the day feeling better. Emotionally, I am up and down also. More up than down. Thanks to my loving Heavenly Father, who's tender mercies are around me every day. 
Sometimes, more challenging than my health, is the challenge of my son. This morning, like most mornings, he was LOUD, screaming and yelling just to make noise. We got off to a bad start with him not listening and I got frustrated. So, I told him while he was going to be noisy and disrespectful, I was going to crawl back into my bed. When he was ready to do some learning, he could come get me. He came in right away and said he was ready. I informed him he wasn't, and for that matter neither was I. He said he was hungry so I suggested he go downstairs and get himself a bowl of cheerios. He ran off while sounding excited to do that. I lay in bed and listen while he continued to yell and holler at full velocity for at least 20 minutes. MY throat was getting soar just listening to him. All of a sudden, it was quiet! I waited another 5 minutes before venturing downstairs to investigate and make sure Damon was indeed ready to remain quiet enough to start some learning! He was. Finally! I don't know what is going on in his mind/body to possess him to be SO loud like that. It's unnerving. I had to really force myself to stay in bed and wait it out. I wanted nothing more than to go down, grab him by the ear and put him out on the front porch! I restrained myself. This time. haha
I don't like times like that. I want so much to treasure every moment, but moments like this morning are very trying, and difficult to treasure. Thank goodness we were able to move on from there.  We started with a prayer, then some scripture reading before diving into his curriculum. The rest of the day went better. 
I am looking forward to John returning from work as we have so much to discuss. The results of my scan, whether or not to return to treatment, the possibility of going to Mexico for their alternative treatments. And so much more. Not to mention having my hubby back, and another adult around all day to give me a quick break as I require one. Or a long break! 
Speaking of my scan, there was growth! I hate the idea that there is growth while on Chemo. It doesn't sit well with me. I have one more chemo drug to try and I am contemplating trying it while I am making my plans for Mexico. It comes in a pill form that you take for 21 days then have 7 off. There would be no going in for infusions! I like that idea. I just have to research again the side effects. I would hate the thought of it making me nauseous and sick for 21 days running. 
Then again, I may just opt to not return to chemo before going to Mexico. Some of the side effects are cumulative and are still effecting me from another drug I took over a year ago.  Maybe even two years ago. 
It does make me nervous to think about not doing chemo, but at this point I feel like quality is what I have to shoot for.Quality of life, Quality time with people. 
At this point I want to thank each of you who read my blog for your support, love, prayers, happy thoughts, good wishes, friendship. If you feel my journey can help someone else, please feel free to share my blog site with them. I want others to find the hope, the tender mercies, the strength to endure well what we have been given, (as hard as it may be). 
Love and peace.