Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This last week has been busy busy going back to the Dr for treatments, working with a home health care nurse, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, and trying to be somewhat of a presence in my kids' lives. Sleep was better for a few nights and I found myself starting to build up my strength a smidge. Rick was here until Friday and we missed him right away when he was gone. We are sad that he won't be able to work from Mesa anymore, so anytime we see him will be on a weekend he can come or at the end of August when he will take some vacation time to be with us. It just all seems so far apart.

My hair didn't lose anytime falling out faster than ever with starting chemo treatments this past week. I made my sister and sister-in-law promise me on Sunday that they will tell me when I need a wig. Ugh. It is too hot here, but I will never go completely bald - so I won't do the shaved thing.

On a good note - I drove the other day for the first time. Easy as ever! AND I finally got to get in the pool on Saturday!!!!! It felt soooooooooo good! On Monday my Occupational Therapist worked with me on balance doing exercises in the pool. It made it more fun and less stressful since I knew I wasn't going to fall over, but it was hard - very good for my flabby stomach.

My Mom, Caleb and Emma and I are driving to Austin for a few days this weekend to go through some house things and see some people (like Rick). We are excited, even though we know we won't get to see even half the people we want to see in this very very quick trip. I am so glad I am feeling up to it and feeling more able at doing more things. It is exciting to be getting a little more independence.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Okay, it is 3:00am and I have been trying to get back to sleep for 2 hours now and am giving up. I am about ready to have Rick go get the hammer to put me out of my misery. :) Some nights are better than others and this one will not go down in my history as being one of the best. And after SUCH a terrific day........

Yesterday morning Lauree Strong came to visit from Austin and it was great to see her! And with her she brought presents from the Round Rock ward. I couldn't believe it! The kids were thrilled with their boxes and notes (Emma was still packing her box around last night at 8:00) and I LOVED the notes from the Relief Society and the picture Lauree brought that Jamie had made. I am so grateful for all that Round Rock Ward has done for us! They have surely gone far beyond the call of duty to help our family. I am overwhelmed and it gives me something to work for so I can be of service to others someday. I know the Church is the Church everywhere, but I will always, always, remember Round Rock Ward with such happiness and love -- as a great example of what a ward can be when people love the Savior and want to serve His people.

As far as me, I have been working on my crutches (they are the kind that go around your arm- not the ones that go under your arm). They are harder for me and very scary. With a walker (which makes me feel like I am 85), if I am doing something and I lose my balance, I can grab the walker. With the crutches, if I lose my balance, I am going DOWN! But I am determined to get used to using them, because going somewhere like Church would be easier with crutches.

I also start chemo again this week. I have lost enough hair, so I am not anxious for this to start again. BUT the PET scan they did in the hospital compared with the PET scan they did in
April showed HUGE results. I went over it with my Dr. this week. I was amazed. And I feel so much more hopeful.

I will end with a funny little story. On Friday, I finally got a Port put in. It was NOT fun going back to a hospital, but at least I knew I would be leaving in a few hours this time. Anyway, when the Dr. doing the procedure came to talk to me, he said, "you are little enough that this will show through your skin". I could have kissed him! It has been years since anyone has said I was "little" enough for anything. I know I still have a little ways to go, but to be told that was great! It is too bad I had to get so sick to lose all the weight without even trying after years of struggling sooooo much with trying to lose weight and not figuring out why it wasn't working.

I am grateful for the peace that came to me today in Relief Society when we were hearing a lesson on prayer and personal revelation. I am so grateful to know that I can pray and receive answers to my prayers. I don't know where I would be without that. What a loving Heavenly Father we have who hasn't left us alone on the earth -- no matter how alone and scared we might feel at times.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Okay, here are some pictures. None of them are flattering of me, but I put them up anyway. This last week has been full of memory making moments that I will treasure forever. Having 2 sisters here and having Rick come and having my kids come back has made for a great week!
It was so fun to have Angela here, but I didn't get any pictures with her here and I am sad about that. I missed her as soon as she was gone. Deborah leaves today and I will miss her terribly. She has been attentive and has even slept with me several times when my Mom was worried about me and needed some sleep herself. My kids sure love their aunties!!!!!!! Speaking of which, my kids came home from Aunt Rebecca's house so loved and treasured! They had a huge lunch for the plane and toys to play with and they made memories at both Deborah's and Becca's houses that will last them for their lifetime.
We went to see "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl" on Friday as a HUGE group of girls. It was such fun! And it was fun to go see a movie for the first time in a long time. Emma now loves the Kit doll and likes to look at her on the American Girl website.
On Saturday, Rick and I went for a little date. We went to Macaroni Grill and for the first time in several years I was able to sit in a booth. Such a silly thing to make a big deal about, but it was so nice! Then we stopped at Seagull Book and had a good time looking in there. It was just nice to be out together.
This morning we went with Sarah and her kids to the Mesa Temple grounds and Visitor's Center. We saw the art exhibit of the Savior that is up now and it was a very touching and spiritual experience for all of us -- even my kids just loved it and want to go back to see it soon before it leaves the Visitor's Center at the end of July.
I feel so blessed. When I saw the picture in the art exhibit of the Savior walking on water, I felt very emotional. When I took my first step off the hospital bed, I was nervous and not sure what to expect. I have felt the Savior's support and comfort so much in this new journey. He has surely been beside me and helped me to do more than I ever thought I could do. The physical and occupational therapists still are surprised, but I know where my strength comes from. Heavenly Father wants me to be a mother. He is allowing me to stay here on earth to be with my husband and kids and I need to learn to be as independent as possible for them and for my confidence in being a mother and wife. This is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I cannot ever say I have been alone. Help from the other side and help on this side from family and friends has helped me to get up every day and work hard.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

I do have a few pictures, but I haven't put them on my computer yet -- so they will have to come on next time. I have had a few more drug withdrawal "episodes", but the last one was 3 days ago and it was short. So, hopefully, I am done!!!!

My kids came home today!!!!!!!!!!!! It has been GREAT to see them. I think they each grew 6 inches while they were gone, they each look so big! Rick surprised me at the airport -- he is here for the 4th of July weekend. What a great weekend it will be. I am so excited.

I am learning to get around the house better. I can shower completely by myself now. It seems so silly to be excited about something so simple, but it is a step towards independence. Getting dressed, getting in the car, showering, getting around the house, etc. I am getting there. I am so impatient. I want to be able to do it all NOW!

Right now I am so lucky to have some sisters here. Deborah came from Spokane, WA and Angela came from Bluffton, SC. It makes me miss the other sisters, but it is fun. On Wednesday morning all the sisters and sisters-in-law and Mom went to the temple. It was sooooo nice to be there after so many months of not being able to go, but I have to admit, I was anxious because of not knowing what to do and where to go in a wheelchair.

Happy 4th of July!