Me and My Family

Me and My Family

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.