Friday, November 12, 2010

Fall in Full Swing

Fall is finally here in Arizona!  It has been an unseasonably hot fall and we are grateful for cooler weather. 

With our fall has come lots of fun activities:

Halloween:  We had one Navy Seal

 And one Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz
LaCrosse is providing good exercise (Caleb is the one in the Red Helmet):

Emma is trying synchronized swimming and is busy doing project after project and riding her bike:

We have been having fun with Scouts, Activity Days, school, piano, sports, and not having fun with homework.

We are excited for the holidays coming up.  We love Thanksgiving and Christmas around this house!  Caleb is making the Pumpkin Pies for Thanksgiving dinner again this year and we are looking forward to time as a family.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sending out all calls to voters!!!!!!

This is for NO political party.  This is for MY SISTER!!!!  She just had a mastectomy yesterday for breast cancer.  They made this video for a contest for early dectection of breast cancer.  So, anyone who votes for her would be greatly appreciated.  I adore her and miss her and worry about her!  She is amazing!


Playing Catch-up!!!

I have had numerous people comment that they are worried because I haven't posted in -ack- five months!!!  Where has the time gone?

THIS time, no news has been GOOD news.  That is my excuse for not posting.

Last May, just as school got out, I was starting to feel better and while, I didn't have much energy, what I had was NOT spent on the computer.  In fact, that is one reason I have not blogged -- I am rarely on the computer these days.  I have tooo much to do.  SUCH a nice feeling!

So......our summer was spent with swim team:
Friends, family and family fun:
We all did a little travelling:
Rick and I even did some camping and hiking:  sadly, I don't have pictures to prove I did this.  :)  I forgot to bring the camera to Girl's Camp, but I promise I DID go and I DID hike.  I have witnesses of what a sloppy sweaty mess I was -- but I was there.  :)  And, I have been asked to go next year.  I have until Memorial Day weekend to try to be in better shape to do the hike next year.  whew!  It really was the hardest physical thing I think I have ever done, but I did it and I can do it again!

Rick loved his High Adventure!!!!  They went up into the High Uintas hiking (and fishing).  He was in heaven -- cool crisp weather, big blue skies over high rocky mountains, roughing it. 

We had less than a week after Girl's Camp to get ready for school.  I thought at that point that I would have so much extra time for:  blogging, sewing, crafts, friends, Family History, reading.   I am laughing while I right this.  Where do the hours in the day go?????  I am still baffled by this. 

September came rushing through soon after school started, which means birthday time at our house.  And this year was another big birthday year!

Emma's birthday was a fun day. The night before, she had gone out to dinner and had a pedi/mani with Grandma and then spent the night at Grandma's house.  So, she started her birthday spoiled rotten and it didn't stop there.  She got a new bike for her birthday and is still adjusting to the hand brakes.  She also got a new dress and a few other baubles (like sunglasses from Caleb).


Two days before Caleb's birthday we had had a party for him and a bunch of friends (this is one reason Emma got to spend the night with Grandma).  It was a Nerf gun Capture the Flag party.  They played, ate, played, ate, opened presents, played video games, then back to Nerf wars.  It was loud and crazy and a lot of fun!

Then came Caleb's big day.  For three years now, he has known his 12th birthday would be on a Sunday.  So he has been asking for 3 years if he could be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood on the same day.  What a thing to ask for!  Our Bishop was happy to fulfill that wish.  :)  Caleb was so happy that day.  He got up early that morning and went to a Stake Priesthood Meeting with Rick and when he came walking out of his bedroom in his new suit, he looked very big and tall and handsome.  I did NOT give him permission to grow up so fast.  I am happy that he is happy about receiving the Priesthood.  We are so blessed!  And he is so loved -- we are blessed in that, too.  It was beautiful to see his Dad place his hands on his head, to have uncles there to help whom he looks up to and adores, to feel the Spirit as it came to rest upon Caleb in his new responsibilities. 

I wish everyone had been there to watch him walk up to the stand when the Bishop called him up.  He was adjusting his collar and tie and trying to look so grown up and tall!  I wish every Primary teacher who ever despaired of him EVER being reverent could see him pass the sacrament.  He takes it so seriously and looks forward to it every week.  He does a fine job!
Because Rick is so tall, you can't REALLY see how much Caleb has grown until you see him by my Mom and by me:
So, now that I am caught up, I will try to do better at keeping up. 

I think most people know by now, but I am not showing any cancerous "activity" at this moment on tests.  It is the first time in 9 years!!!!!  The masses in my abdomen are still showing up, though they are much much smaller, but they are just "junk" now that needs to be gotten rid of.  So, I am still doing a low-dose chemo treatment every 3-4 weeks and am also working with another doctor who has run more tests and is getting down to the root of why I got cancer in the first place and how I can prevent getting it again (we hope, we hope, we hope).  He is doing a bunch of stuff with my hormones, after testing me and seeing that I am not make even trace amounts of progesterone, way way way way way (his words) too much of one of the estrogens and not any cortisol.  I am starting to take bio-identical hormones and I am starting to have more energy every day.  I am very hopeful!

My prayers and thoughts have been with my sister Rebecca who just had surgery yesterday for breast cancer.  They caught it early, she loves her Dr. and I have been inspired by her attitude and her bravery!  I am grateful my wonderful sister Deborah is now only 10 minutes from her!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Still Hopping Along -- for a while longer

I finally had my counts high enough to start chemo again 2 weeks ago.  After the first round of chemo, my counts went down below 4 again; but not so bad that it stopped the Dr. from doing chemo again this week.  So.... we'll see what happens when I get my blood test this week.  Hopefully, they haven't fallen any more. 

I was on a temporary high this week after seeing a show where it looked like a guy had a total hip disarticulation (like me) and had a prothestic that allowed him to ride a bike, run, and walk almost normally.  He was an avid biker and had a very active life-style.  I was so excited!  I had been told two years ago that most people in my situation reject/refuse prothestics, if they even try them, because they are terrible.  There isn't enough hip muscle left and no joint to move a prothestic comfortably and it is hard to sit, get onto and off the floor, walk, go up stairs, etc.  Most people in my situation just do what I do:  crutches, wheelchairs, walkers.  After seeing this, though, I was so excited!  Well, I was wrong -- after watching the show again, I saw that his amputation was just above the knee and he had enough of a stump for the whole works.  And, after doing a little more research and talking to some drs., I heard the same thing I heard 2 years ago.  I was sitting at my desk, when I hung up for the last time and started to cry.  It was a pretty rough moment.  I know I am allowed to be sad and mourn over this;  it just doesn't solve anything. 

While I was trying to get myself together so I wouldn't worry Caleb and Emma, I looked up over my desk to the above picture.  It is one of my favorites.  We have it in a beautiful frame and it has come to mean a lot to me.  As I looked at it I had such comfort!  Because of the Savior, I will not go through eternity with crutches, wheelchairs or walkers.  When I am resurrected, I will step out with two legs and it will be such a happy moment, I am sure I will laugh and dance and sing.  At that moment I was grateful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost to comfort and remind me of my Savior and what He has done for me.

So, for anyone that thinks I don't have moments of self-pity, I do!  I am truly grateful to be alive and to be blessed in so many many ways each day!  At the same time, there is so much I want to do and I wonder how to accomplish it.  I truly believe the Lord will not ask anything of me, "save he shall prepare a way" for me to accomplish it (like being asked to go on the 4th year hike for Girls Camp? -- that will be interesting). 

Excited for glad to have my kids home!  It has been a nice few days!  I am afraid summer will fly by too quickly and then school will start again. I thought I loved the toddler stages the best, but the older my kids get, the more I find to love in each stage.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Whoo hoo!!!

Definitely happy today!  My counts are officially above 3 -- Barely.  They are at 3.1.  But, hey, it is over 3.  So... not good enough for the dr. to start chemo again this week, but good enough I can take my mask off (at home), good enough to hold the puppy, and sooooo glad to be able to sleep without it!!!!!!  When I picked Dobby up for the first time (in over a month) he wagged so hard he almost fell out of my arms.  What kept him in was that he was trying to lick me all over my face (I really really hate being licked, but I could relate to his feeling of joy).  Isn't it nice that dogs are so forgiving?   Emma is back to being a little more open with me.  She really felt like the mask was a barrier to her Mommy, poor thing.  She told me today, that she really hated it.  She never told me that when I was wearing it, but I could tell.  Isn't it great that kids are so forgiving?  What great lessons we can learn from both -- kids and dogs.

So.....Church on Sunday?  It's looking good!  Can't wait!  So excited! 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Getting ready to hold up a bank

Okay, well, I am still on "house arrest", as my white blood cell count has STILL not gotten over 3.0.  And, at first, it was absolutely marvelous to have an excuse to not have treatments.  I thought it would be a week or so and back to the schedule we would go.  I am at three weeks now of looking like I am going to rob a bank.  At first, it was just annoying......who wants to wake up to their own morning breath?  A little inconvenient to wear the dumb mask.  I have to admit, now, I am seriously having a bad attitude!  Here is me on my birthday-- at least the mask helps to hide some of the wrinkles of turning 40.  Except, I am actually proud to be 40.  And the gray hair I am now sporting????  Well, at least there is still some hair there.  If you look really closely, you will see how thin it is......By June I may need a wig at the rate it is falling out.  Nice to not have to fix my hair, but a wig in AZ in the summer, doesn't sound super appealing.

So, here is where my bad attitude took me.  On Monday, I found out that my WBC count was finally over 2, so on Tuesday, we took the kids down to go through the Gila Valley Temple Open House.  They both had coughs, so I made them wear a mask, too, while we were in the car.  But, I guess they are effective.  I haven't gotten a cough at all -- which could have been scary.  I took off the mask for the picture here -- I just couldn't stand taking a picture in front of the temple with a mask on.

Am I sorry?  Not a speck!  It was a wonderful experience for all of us.  When we got to the end, Emma said, "I don't EVER want to leave!"  Caleb is getting anxious to go to the temple to do baptisms -- just a few months away. 

I am the biggest boob ever -- I couln't stop crying.  I am truly grateful for temples.  I don't like to think about not living until old age (they said I wouldn't make it 5 years and look -- we are at 9), but to know that the bonds I have with my family will not end with this life is my biggest comfort. 

So, enjoy seeing the picture of me enjoying my rebelliousness.  Other than that, I have been a pretty good girl about not going places and about wearing my mask.  I am feeling so much better, though, after 3 weeks of no treatments, though, that I am getting antsy.  This home-body actually wants to go somewhere.  If this keeps up, hopefully, I will not only feel better, but will have energy to get some things done.

Friday, April 16, 2010


Whew!  Well, it took a bit of a mess, but I got a reprieve from radiation this week.  I did go on Tuesday, before I got told to stop, but that is it. 

My white blood count dropped to 1.3 (1300) this week -- anything below 3000 is danger-level.  And I wasn't responding to some quick treatments to bring it up.  I guess after a couple of weeks of not keeping down food or water, my immune system screamed help. Dr. said, "No more radiation or chemo until we can get it back up."  I am NOT broken-hearted.  I want to be done with radiation, but I may not be.  When I get a little more stabilized, we will see where we are at and determine at that point if I still need the radiation, or if I can get the results I want with just the chemo.  Cross your fingers for me that I won't need anymore radiation.

The good news is that with this reprieve, I have only thrown up a few times this week and I am starting to eat occasionally.  Sometimes it even tastes good.  Hopefully, all of that will continue.  For food to not sound good to ME?  Well, that is new.

I have had a much better week.  I hate the mask I have to wear and I am not allowed to go to Church for a while, but today I drove to get the kids from school (the first time in about 3 weeks I have driven anywhere) and I did laundry today.  I cried doing the grateful to be feeling up to doing laundry.  Isn't that funny?  But, as I folded my families clothes I was incredibly grateful for the people who wear them and bless my life each day.