Saturday, November 29, 2008

Party Day!

Mommy and the birthday girl!
Family Portrait...Katie always has to stand out!

Katie is 5!

Blowing out the candles! Yes, there are only 4...I ran out!

Well today was party day at our house! Katie's birthday party was today at noon. We had pizza and birthday cake and ice cream...yum-o! We only had family over, still trying to be in germ-control-mode, ya know! But with our families, it's still a pretty big crowd! Jack is the baby of 6 and I am the oldest of 4, so even if half of the fam shows up it's still quite the group! But it's ok, everyone was well and it was wonderful! Katie ran the show, per usual of course. She directed everyone when to eat pizza, when she was beginning to open presents, and when it was time for cake...oh my, the boys in her life will have quite the time with her 'tude when she gets older....MUCH older by the way! Anyway, it was a great time and a great way to spend the Saturday!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Top Ten

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!! The holiday has prompted me to list my:

"Top Ten Things I Am Thankful For"

1) That Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior

    2) My AMAZING husband, who is supportive and wonderful

    3)The 3 most fantastic children in the world: Tyler, Zachary, and Katie

    4) My family: my parents, in-laws, sisters, and brothers

    5) The best friends a girl could ask for: Kim and Michelle are my bffs!

    6) My health, and my family's health

    7) To have a roof over my head and food on my table

    8) FREEDOM! To be a citizen of the United States of America, the greatest nation in the world, where we are free to speak, choose, and live how we choose.

    9) Natural beauty. We live in "God's Country," where we wake up to natural beauty every day: forests, fields, rivers, and springs.

10) It all begins and ends with God, so I am thankful for His everlasting love and sustaining Grace, without which I would be lost. Praise God for freedom from sin: that He loved us so much that He sent His son to die for us.

I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving full of all the things YOU are thankful for!

"Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!" Psalm 100:4

Gearing Up

While many others are gearing up to take trips, or gather at families' and friends' houses, we are getting ready to settle in! Normally both my hubby's and my families all gather at our house for Thanksgiving dinner, probably 30-40 people in all. It is wonderful and I look forward to it so much, but this year it is going to be just us. Since we have to be careful of the whole germ-exposure-thing, we thought it might be "better" if we have a very low-key Turkey Day. As I am kinda disappointed about it, it will be MUCH easier on me I'm tellin' ya! My mother-in-law is bringing turkey and dressing and gravy; my sister-in-law is bringing the mashed potatoes, deviled eggs, and other sides; and my mom is bringing green bean casserole, corn, rolls, and salad. I think they've got it covered...AND I AM EXCITED! I won't even have the mess in my kitchen! Woohoo! Maybe those three should open up their own catering business! Ha!

The boys are out of school early today so Katie and I will be headed into town early to run errands and such. We need to go by the post office, bank, and drug store today. I did get to run this morning, 5 miles...before I took the boys to school. And when I got back, I didn't see Riley (the puppy) sitting in the middle of the driveway and I think I clipped one of his back legs! He just kind of yelped and took off running ! Oh, so not what I needed...or him for that matter! I felt SO BAD!! :-( I think he's ok though. My hubby checked him out and Riley's up and running around like nothing happened so I guess we'll just watch him for a little while. Hopefully he's alright.

Well, if your Thanksgiving plans require travel somewhere, whether near or far, I pray for safe travels for you and yours. Have a wonderful (and delicious!) Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday, Katie!

Happy Birthday to our sweet little princess, Katie! On November 25, 2003 at 9:10pm she made her entrance into the world and changed our lives forever! She was born a month early and still weighed in at 7 lbs. 3 oz. Thank goodness I didn't carry her full term...she would've been a ten-pounder! *lol* We were all in love with her from the moment we learned I was pregnant with her, and fell completely head over heels when we heard her first cry. Michelle was there for the delivery, being the most awesome L&D nurse you could ever ask for, and took the most amazing pictures! I can't believe our little princess is 5 today! It has gone by so fast! So today is all about her, of course...but then again, what day isn't?!? She woke up this morning and opened presents and now she is knee-deep in playdoh and a princess art set! I got up early this morning so I could get presents wrapped and set out on the dining room table. I figured while I was up and feeling good, I would go for a run. I did 4 miles before I even had to take the boys to school...good start to the day! I have a feeling the rest of the day is going to be spent painting toenails, fixing hair, and reading books...all things a princess enjoys! I hope ya'll enjoy your day as much as we will!

"Children are a blessing and a gift from the LORD." Psalm 127:3

Monday, November 24, 2008

BFF Time

Here are a couple pics of Kim and I having fun! We always have so much fun when we all go out together...sometimes too much! We are just hanging out here at my house today, chillin and catchin up. I was feeling "questionable" this morning when I woke up, so I asked her to come over for the day; she said she was going to anyway. She's awesome like that. I have felt better as the day has gone on, though. Still kinda tired and moving slow but I'm feeling better. So Kim has made dinner already, a lasagna that just needs to be baked tonight when we are ready for it, washed dishes, made phone calls, and sent faxes, and made me toast. :-) She will do pretty much anything I need...she would try to do a backflip in the floor if it would make me smile! Thank God for best friends, and I am lucky enough to have more than one. I hope ya'll have some good bffs to pass the time with, too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Sunday

We have had a great Sunday. My first chemo treatment, 3 weeks ago, left me feeling like I had been hit by a car on days 3 and 4. But today, day 3, thankfully that has not been the case! I have been up and about doing my usual stuff today, even running! I started to just take it easy and go for a nice short walk, but of course, found myself jogging before I knew it! I did 4 miles! Praise God! I started week 7 of Beth Moore's Believing God this morning...I am just so blessed every time I listen to her.

I found this video on YouTube today. I just love this song...I can feel myself worshipping at the feet of our Lord every time I hear it. So I though I would include it today. You know, I took a spin class once on a Sunday afternoon with my sister, and the instructor played all praise and worship music, an ended with "I Can Only Imagine." Beautiful, truly. I hope you have had an happy Sunday as well!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Steroid High

So it seems that the day after chemo will now be referred to my steroid-high day! The day before the 2-day crash! Today I have cleaned my bathroom, done a load of laundry, and stripped all the beds and I almost have the last one remade. I have also made a pot of creamy chicken and wild rice soup that smells sooooo good! I have picked up the mail...and I got 2 new scarves in, woohoo! It seems the only thing I haven't done today is run! I am about ready, though, to hit the couch for the afternoon, after I do my Bible study. My "high" may be wearing off! Coming.down.slowly!

Thank you to all of you who have offered prayers and thoughts for my friend. She found out that it is a recurrence of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, only 5 months after she finished chemo and only 3 months after a clean pet scan. Ugh. So her protocol is for her to do more chemo, a stem cell transplant, and then radiation. The only thing I could think to tell her was that we are a team. We are going to beat this together. And the Lord worked it out perfectly that my next 2 chemo treatments and her 1st two chemo treatments are at the same time! And by the time she does radiation, we will be also ready to start radiation. So that will awesome to have somebody to share the trips and the experience with...although I wish she wasn't having to do any of it! But, you must look at the positive. Attitude is everything with something like this. You can't let it drag you down, or let it beat you. You have to fight, fight, fight! So she and I are gearing up to FIGHT TOGETHER! Hope ya'll have a wonderful Saturday!

Friday, November 21, 2008

2 Down, 4 To Go!!

So here we are in St. Louis at Siteman, having our 2nd chemo treatment! I am in the recliner as we speak, getting all loaded up with pre-meds at the moment. I wanted a bed because we will be here for about 4 hours, but there wasn't one available. I was kinda disappointed about it, because when they assign "pods" to patients (the areas where treatments are given), they should make sure they have both beds and recliners available so we can choose. Ugh. Anyway, that is my only rant for the day so that's good!
I was enjoying my pre-med phase of the treatment, which includes lots of Benadryl! I had no idea he took this pic...obvi!
My appointment with Dr. Pluard went great this morning. He said my blood work looked fantastic and he was extremely impressed with my activity level. He said he didn't think he had drove as many miles as I had run these last 3 weeks (which was 58 miles if anyone's counting). So he told us to go do it again! Repeat exactly as before. That is what I wanted to hear, of course minus the sinus/congestion stuff we spread throughout our house last time!

My in-laws got to the house this morning to do the "grandparent thing" today. They took the boys to school and then Nana Norma and Katie were going to the dollar store to do some serious shopping. It's Katie's fave store, ya know! And then I think they were going to bake a cake and do girl-stuff. They will have a ball today. And they they will pick up the kids after school, too. They are making dinner for us as well. Praise God for helping hands!

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prayers For A Friend

I'm not sure how I feel today. I, physically, feel fantastic! I got up this morning and ran 4 goal was to run 30 miles this week before my treatment tomorrow, and I did it! And things are running like clockwork around here. Laundry is done, floors are clean, etc. But, I am very sad about a good friend of mine who did not get good news yesterday. She went to the dr yesterday, at Siteman-same as me, for her checkup. She had chemo from Jan.-June last year as treatment for lymphoma. She was considered cured, but her scans yesterday showed a possible recurrence. She is awaiting biopsy results before they make a final determination and a plan. She is 24 years old and she and her husband have a 1-year old precious little girl. My hubby is building their first new should be completed in about 2 weeks. Just in time for Christmas! But I know all they are focused on right now is her health and getting well, again. Please be in prayer for her. She has been the greatest source of help to us since we were diagnosed. In fact, the day we got the diagnosis, she and her hubby came over and sat here with us until almost midnight, answering questions and just talking. She had been there...and now she is there again and I am just sick for her. Just please keep her in your prayers, that she would be healed once again.

The day we went to Siteman for our first dr appointment, she and her hubby went with us for moral support and to show us around...just to be there with us. The evening before we left, she gave me a copy of the Serenity Prayer to keep with me:

Grant me
The serenity
To accept the
Things I cannot change,
The courage to change
The things I can,
And the wisdom
To know the

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thank You

I must start today by saying a big "Thank You" to those of you that have left sweet comments or sent me an email of encouragement, regarding my loss (of hair, that is)! LOL I have to tell ya, I've never felt more beautiful, per your words! I promise I won't let them all go to my head...ha! pun intended! Can ya tell I'm feelin' it today?! Anywho, thank you all so much for your awesomeness! You all continue to mean more to me than you know!

Today started out with another great, and cool, 7-miler. I have done 26 miles already this week; my goal was to get to 30 before I have to go have my 2nd treatment on Friday...looks like I'm going to make it! Praise God, He continues to give me the strength that I need, I get my dose from Him daily. He is always walking (or running!) right beside me, holding my hand...or carrying me if necessary. Thank you, Lord, for continuing to guide and direct me in all ways! There's not tons to do around here today. A load of laundry or two, and just the general picking up stuff. I think I am going to make chicken fettuccine alfredo for dinner tonight. Michelle has an awesome recipe, tastes just like Olive Garden (Yum!), so I am going to call her to get it. And what italian meal would be complete without garlic bread and salad...yeah I'm all up in it today! Hope ya'll have a wonderful Wednesday!

"Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart's desires." Psalm 37:4

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going Commando!

Busy busy day here! The boys went back to school today, out yesterday for deer season. So Katie and I enjoyed our usual routine today. Except, I ran commando this! My head, anyway! It was so cool...literally! I could feel the cool air blowing on my head, I'm telling you, I ran a mile further than I planned, 7 miles! I don't know if was actually the "no hair factor," but whatever it was, I enjoyed it immensely!! Then another new experience, a shower where I didn't have to wash my hair! Loved it too!! My hubby said I would like it, I'm beginning to see why. But seriously, my get-ready time has been cut in half, at least! And I just now put on my wig, to go get the boys. I have said since the beginning of all this, that I would have my wig on all the time; I wouldn't be seen without it. But I don't feel that way anymore! I feel free, and beautiful (!), without it...not to mention cooler! And I think it's a good thing that Katie is seeing me comfortable with it, she's getting more used to it too. She keeps feeling my head!

After breakfast I did a lesson in my Bible study and began to clean, clean, clean. I did the floors, dusting, and finished the laundry. Whew! So now I am sitting here relaxing for a minute in my peaceful house, before going to get the boys and the ruckus begins! But I enjoy the ruckus most of the makes our house home-y! I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bald Is Beautiful!

Boy was it an exciting day around here, or what?! I got up this morning, shedding like crazy! My hair was shedding pretty bad yesterday, too, but I just knew that today was the day. I went for a 6 mile run this morning and every time I would wipe my sweat on my forehead, I would have hair all over my sweat rag. Gross. So I informed everyone when I got done, that we were doing the shaving today! The kids were excited, especially Katie. She walked around with scissors for 3 hrs. asking "Now? Can I cut your hair now?" I let the kids all take cuts of my hair before Jack started in with the buzzing. They enjoyed it! My sisters were here, and my dad, and we just had us a good old fashioned head shaving right here in the dining room!

Katie finally getting to cut mommy's hair!

He looks a little too excited! Ha!

Zachary taking his turn with the scissors!
The finished product! My new motto is "Bald is Beautiful!" I actually have a pretty head, if I do say so myself! It doesn't have any weird lumps or bumps, my ears don't stick out, and I don't look like an alien! All good things! I was very impressed with the head God gave me!
Here's me in the bathroom fixing my wig. I still have some playing to do with it, but I really like it. It is HOTT!
And I kept saying that I didn't think I would be rockin' the scarf...but I think I totally will be! I really like it. It is so comfortable and soft. This black and white one is my fave!
So that's our big day! I prayed for strength to take this next step today. God definitely came through for us, yet again. Even my sister said, "I thought I'd cry, but I didn't even want to!" The kids handled it great and we just kept it upbeat and positive, just like everything else. And I am very proud that I took this step...chemo didn't make the decision, I DID. I hope ya'll had as good of a start to the week as we did! God Bless!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Girls Weekend!

I have had such a busy weekend...and a GREAT one! My sisters, Layne and Jessica, have been here all weekend and yesterday we went shopping and eating and were gone all day. Then last night the 3 of us went out to dinner; no men, no kids. We had such a great time! It was such a perfect day.

Then today, we had planned on going to my mom and dad's for dinner, but Jack called me on his way home from the woods (it's opening weekend of deer season here) and he had thrown his neck out while bending over to pick up his deer! Oh boy. My dad had to drive them home, and by the time he got here he was in so much pain. So I gave him some of the pain medicine that I had left over from my surgery and got him propped up in bed, alternating heat and cold ever since. He is still not having any relief, I think what he really needs is a muscle relaxer but we don't have any of those! Darn it! I pray he feels better tomorrow. But before he called, I was at Lacey's salon getting my hair cut again. It is going, going, almost gone! It has been really thinning and shedding the last couple of days so I thought if I wanted to experiment with another shorter haircut, I had better do it today! If it even made it through the cut! It did, but it won't last much longer. Before we know it, it will all be gone! I'm just trying to hold on as long as I can, while still being in control and shaving it while it is still a choice!

This evening I wrote some of my favorite Bible verses on notecards, as a part of my daily Bible study "homework". It's going to be great way for me to keep my inspiration close at hand. What a great idea! I'm very excited to work on it some more again tomorrow. And I also hope tomorrow will bring much less "excitement" around here!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Let Go And Let God

"Let Go And Let God." It is the phrase on a simple cross visor clip that I have had in my car for several years. As I sat here tonight at the kitchen table, doing my Bible study, and trying to have my "quiet" time in the midst of the ruckus that is my home in the evening (!), this simple phrase hit me square in the face. I have been worrying and fretting myself to death about this pain in my abdomen; asking Michelle to run every test she is capable of running, and I even called my ob/gyn today (who is also a very good friend of ours) and had him ultrasound my belly to see what could be causing my discomfort. Of course, every test is coming back fine and they show no evidence of what could be causing it. So while I am running around trying to do everything I can to fix it, I have come to realize that I need to "Let Go And Let God." He is so completely capable! I am so thankful that the God we serve is the same God who has performed miraculous works and healings since the beginning of creation. Mark 11:24 says, "Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours." I just need to let God be God and let Him work. This is an important lesson for anybody who is struggling, trying so hard to "fix" something, or "work something out." Quit wearing yourselves out. Give Him the opportunity to work. Give Him your faith. Give Him your belief. Give Him your troubles. And BELIEVE that He WILL do the rest! He is faithful and loves us so much.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another Day, Another Sick Kid

Good Thursday Morning! As I sit here and type, I am looking at yet another sick little one. Oh how I wish this thing would hurry up and pass through. Zachary is home from school today with, you guessed it, a sore throat and congestion. Ughhhhh! And bless his heart, there's nothing I can do for him but offer popsicles and pudding to try to soothe his throat. :-( The motrin helps his sinus headache, but that's about it. Katie and I are continuing to improve, other than the sore spot on my abdomen. It's never ending!

I got up this morning and did another 5 miles. After I got cleaned up and ate breakfast I changed the sheets on our bed, trying to rid the house of germs! At wake up time, it was pretty cloudy and gloomy looking but it's supposed to get prettier as the day goes on and reach a high of 65. Perfect! Wish everybody felt well enough to get out and enjoy it! I hope it's pretty wherever you are!

"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Having Faith

Things are on the upswing in our household! Praise God! My hubby went to see Michelle yesterday and he got an antibiotic shot plus a round of oral antibiotics, and Katie got worse the night before last, so now she is also on antibiotics. Geez, I think we all need to be on a steady drip of iv antibiotics until my last treatment! Trying to keep everybody well is stressful! I am continuing to feel much better, but now I have this lower abdominal tenderness that we are not sure what it other symptoms, nausea, fever, etc. Because of course I was convinced that it was my appendix at know I'm a hypochondriac now! Ugh. So I am watching that for new and different symptoms, per drs orders. Please pray it is absolutely nothing, certainly not my appendix...I do not need to deal with anything else right now! But, despite everything, I got up and ran 5 miles this felt amazing! My whole day gets started off on the right note when I feel like getting a run in. The day is not very pretty here today, cloudy and cold. All the boys in our house are watching the weather reports like crazy this week...firearms deer season opens this Saturday for 10 days. It is like a holiday around here. Seriously, school is out on Monday because there are so many kids gone that they thought it would be better to just have it as a scheduled day off rather than have so many absent! And it's been like that as long as I can remember...Crazy, huh?! But that's how we roll around here!

I still have my hair as of now. I am watching it very closely these days! Everybody I've talked to says 14 days-ish is when it starts to fall out, today is day 13. I feel kinda like I am waiting for the other shoe to drop! Of course I would prefer NOT to lose it, but I know that's probably not likely. So if it's going to fall out, I kinda wish it would start already so I can break out the clippers and just shave it...get it over with! It's driving me crazy waiting and not knowing what it's going to do. So we'll see. I know that God knows exactly what's going to happen, and it gives me so much comfort that He is in control and He is forever faithful. I will continue to lean on Him and believe. Hope ya'll have a great Wednesday!

"Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23

"God is our refuge and strength, a helper who is always found in times of trouble." Psalm 46:1

Monday, November 10, 2008

Passing The Bug

And by bug, I mean virus, illness, sicklies, etc. We are in the process of passing some sort of sinus-cold-cough thing around our household. Tyler started it about a week ago, then the middle of last week I started with the congestion, and lo and behold Katie woke up with croup yesterday morning, and Jack woke up with an incredible sore throat. Huh. Yesterday my throat felt like I was trying to swallow sandpaper, so we met Michelle at her clinic and she called the oncology fellow on call (nothing is easy anymore) and recommended that since I had been sick for 6 days and not getting better, and progessively worse, that antibiotics should be started...Praise God! I was so glad to get some medicine! And I think I am already starting to feel better. Jack, on the other hand, is feeling pretty crappy with his sore throat and Katie was croupy again this morning. Unforunately croup is usually caused by a virus and there's nothing you can do for it, medicine-wise, so it's humidifier-city and steamed up showers around here for the next 2-3 days. Zachary hasn't come down with anything yet...I was passing out vitamin C like candy this morning! I hope it all moves through the household quickly.

So our weekend was extremely low-key! It was spent passing the motrin around and taking temperatures...yeehaw. I hope ya'll had a better weekend than we did! This, too, shall pass.....

Friday, November 7, 2008

Freezing Friday!

Geez it is cold here today! The highs are in the 50s! It is sunshine-y and beautiful but then you step outside and brrrrr! So I am getting ready to go and sit in front of the fireplace to warm up. Sorry I didn't post yesterday...I was feeling too good! I had close to a normal amount of energy yesterday and kept myself busy pretty much all day...yay me! And I've had 2 good nights of sleep in a row and that always helps.


Yes, you read that right, a RUN! I was feeling so good when I woke up this morning so I got up and put on my workout wear...think I surprised my hubby! Then I trotted off downstairs to the treadmill and punched out 4 miles. It.felt.awesome.
Then I got showered up and had breakfast and went to the office with my hubby to do payroll. Another thing off the list...check. I have got my billing done for the day...check. Sent my faxes...check. I still need to do my Bible study, some laundry, and clean my bathroom but now I'm tired! Ha! No, I will sit down and do my Bible study, but the cleaning may wait. ;o) The rest of the day is pretty slow. Katie and I will go and get the boys at school later and check mail and all that jazz. I think the boys are going fishing tonight so she and I may have the house to ourselves. Girls night! Have a great Friday everyone!

"Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD, is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Long Night

Good Morning all! It was a long night for me...bah. I am having this whole sinus-drainage thing going on and it's making my throat a little sore, and basically, freaking me out a little bit because when you are on chemo you have to be vigilant about getting sick. Now, I am getting the Neulasta shot, which helps, but it won't absolutely protect you from picking up any bug. Any fever of 100 sustained for an hour, or a fever at any time of 100.4 means a trip to the dr or ER, because my body is limited in what it can fight off right now. So, as I sat here last night with my legs aching (from the shot, but not being able to take a Tylenol for the discomfort as it will mask a fever), watching the election coverage, I was taking my temp like every 30 mins or so. The highest I recorded was 98.9, Thank You Jesus! But I still woke up intermittently through the night to take it, to make sure it was ok. And my legs were aching and I couldn't get was just a long night! I didn't take my anti-nausea meds yesterday afternoon and evening because I wasn't feeling sick, but this morning I was a little queasy so I popped a pill. Within 30 mins I was feeling better, but now I'm just tired and I'm still taking my temp! I hope that I never do run a fever, but IF I do, I hope it is during the day when things seem easier to manage. Our closest ER is 45 mins away and getting kids up and around in the middle of the night So please pray that God heals my little sinus thing-y and that I will feel much better by this afternoon.

So far this morning I have worked on my Bible study. I started week 5 of "Believing God" by Beth Moore. Powerful stuff I'll tell ya! It seems like she is speaking directly to me each and every time. Praise God! Today's lesson highlighted 2 beloved verses:

"...I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you." Joshua 1:5
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

I know I have posted the second one before, but it means so much to me that I had to include it again. I am so grateful that God has me in His grip and will not let go. And He reminds me time after time, "I got this." I only pray that my grip on Him is as tight as His is on me. Have a great day!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Someone Voted for Sunshine!

Wow! I think someone definitely voted for sunshine today! It is a beautiful day, doesn't feel like November here at all...well, maybe in the morning, but this afternoon it's supposed to be 75! Perfect day to get out and do our duty...VOTE!! And can you tell I'm feeling better today?! I woke up feeling so much better than the last 3 days...Praise Jesus! I am still having some bone aches due to the Neulasta shot, I'm assuming, and I'm worn out just walking into the kitchen, but hey, at least I FEEL like walking to the kitchen! But seriously, much much better!

I'm not quite sure what today will bring as far as activities go, but I know there is no basketball game tonight because Tyler's team lost the first game of their tournament last night. :-( I think all the boys were just worn out. His first jr. high season has come to an how time has flown! So, no basketball means we will probably be sitting in front of the television watching the election coverage this evening. I'm actually excited to watch it! It is a historic election no matter your view or how you look at it: we will either have the first female vice-president or the first African-American president of the United States. Wow. I just pray that regardless of who is elected, that he will look to God for guidance as he leads this great country of ours into a new age. I pray that when he says "God Bless America" that he in turn, blesses God and gives Him the Glory and Honor for his position. I pray that he will never take for granted the great privilege that has been given to him and that he will lead us with dignity and strength. That is my prayer going into this election day...hope ya'll have a good one!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Pampering Mom

I had such a nice surprise this morning. I woke up feeling all blah and yucky and shaky, and looked outside and my boys were cooking a feast of a breakfast on the grill! Tyler got his deer yesterday afternoon (it's youth deer season this weekend here) so they were cooking that with eggs, biscuits and gravy, and hashbrowns. They didn't cook it inside because they weren't sure if I felt like smelling it or not...good call! Zachary made me a plate and brought it into me and it was fantastic! I had my feast and my strawberry powerade (a new fave!) and I felt a little better. I am pretty tired today...not sick, just blah-feeling. So I am all kicked back in the recliner, typing away, watching Evan Almighty, yes again. I have done a little bit today, got up, got dressed, put makeup on, made my bed...but I'm definitely not scrubbing floors today! I have been told that this blah/tired phase only lasts a few days...I hope so! Hope ya'll are having a good Sunday!

"The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." Isaiah 58:11

Saturday, November 1, 2008

One Down, Five To Go!

Whew! Check out those drugged up eyes! Let's see, it could have been from the Emend (for nausea), Tylenol, Adavan, Dexamethasone (steroid), Aloxi (nausea), Benadryl, Prevacid, I think that's it...and that is all pre-meds! All before the chemo even started! I took more drugs in that first hour than I have ever taken in my entire life! I'm a Tylenol and Motrin kind of girl, ya know. Our wonderful nurse, Renee, said they give you all these beforehand to suppress your body's reaction that it may have to the chemotherapy drugs. Well, that's a good thing I guess, but it knocked my butt out for about an hour! After all this stuff finished running in, the Herceptin started and my loading dose took 90 minutes. The subsequent doses will take 30 min-1 hr. Then the heavy-hitters, Taxotere (1 hr) and Carboplatin (30 mins) started. I guess I sailed right through it. I was up to pee probably 5 times while I was there, but in my defense, everything is ran through with saline and we were there 5 hrs! But it went just fine. Since it was Halloween, everybody was dressed up, Renee was a boy scout, and so there was a lot going on around us. The mood in the treatment center was light and positive, could be because that's how I felt too. Then we left and made our 3 hr drive home to our babies who had gone trick-or-treating with my parents. They had tons of candy and smiles all around, so good to come home to!

Before treatment started yesterday, we met with our drs. First the surgeon, who said the incision looked great and is healing nicely and gave us our beautiful path report that stated that no residual cancer had been found in what she re-excised. Praise God over and over! She also told us that after chemo and radiation our recurrence rate is only 5%! So low! And that she will be monitoring me with mammograms and breast mris from now on. Perfect. Then it was on to our oncologist and we had tons of question for him! Seriously, like a whole page full. So we talked for forever about them and then he told us that my echo that I had on Tuesday was a little off! What?! Well, yeah that's pretty much what they said, too. I guess a normal heart when it squeezes and pumps the blood out, will pump out anywhere from 50-75%, mine was pumping 50%. They said for someone older, it would be normal, but for a healthy 30 yr old who runs 30 miles a week, they were just really surprised. They said they didn't know why it was that way, but they are just going to monitor it very closely. They are going to do a repeat echo after my 3rd treatment. They are doing this because the Herceptin, the most crucial of the drugs I am taking, can cause this number to go down. And mine is already at the lower end of normal. So please be in super-prayer that either the first test was a fluke (they told me the test should take 45min-1 hr and it only took the tech 20 min), or that if it is right, that it is just my normal and that the Herceptin will have no effect on it. It is a small percentage that it will affect it, but it is possible. And this drug is the one that essentially makes my condition CURABLE. I am going to stay on my knees that there is only better numbers or no change for the next echo. So I now have a cardiologist on my team, too. I must say, though, that they are so thorough. I love knowing that I have a whole team on my! Are you ready for the third shocker of the day??! I know, how much more can you handle, right??! We were getting all our scripts filled there at the pharmacy in the treatment area (so handy) and our insurance company was denying payment of the $6000 (yeah not a typo) Neulasta shot that I have to have the day after chemo. It is to boost the white blood count that is beat down after chemo. So finally, about 30 mins before we were getting ready to leave, they sent approval, Praise Jesus!!!, but said that we would have to pay a percentage. Now our prescriptions are in tiers $15/30/45/60...but this shot is some sort of specialty drug and our part is $770 per shot! Oh my gosh! Yes, they totally paid the majority, but we were in no way prepared for this! And then all my other scripts were, or course, in the $60 tier, so by the time we had left we had wrote a check for $1000 worth of meds. Depressing. So worth it, but man! At least I only need 5 more of those Neulasta shots. I guess I will be getting good drugs for Christmas! Ha! But oh well! God will take care of us. God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and (BONUS!) He helps us handle what we have been given. Praise God!

The Lord has guided us through this entire experience. We have taken hold of His hand tightly and are not about to doubt what miracles He can perform. We are not wavering in unbelief, but believing that God will lead us through the fire, unscathed...and actually come out better on the other side. I am already a better and different person than I was 6 weeks ago. I have learned to put God first before ANYTHING and to trust Him without relationship with Jesus Christ has grown so much. I value my time with my family more, and I appreciate my friends for everything they have done for us. I have learned to completely rely on God and trust that He will provide.

"Thank you, Lord, for using cancer to draw me closer to You and put all my perspectives in the right place. Please let this time in our lives, as well as the rest of them, be used for your Glory and that others will be able to see you through me. In Jesus Precious Name I pray. Amen."

Survivor Spotlight Saturday

Hello!! Is it absolutely beautiful where you are this morning?!  Holy cow, if not you should high-tail it to southeast Missouri, ‘cause it...