September 29, 2013

What I love about Sundays.....

FOOTBALL!!!!!!  GO FALCONS!!!!  And a big "Come on man" to my Steelers!!!!

I love Fall...the cool breeze and temps...it is undoubtedly my favorite...hands down.  Today was perfect.  I made it to church...feeling great...just a little winded.  NO COMPLAINTS!!!!  ELVIS himself made an appearance...he "left the building" too quickly however and I was unable to get a picture with him!!!  Maybe I can reach out to someone and meet him again soon :)  **WINK**WINK**  When he came out, Emily sat there with her mouth wide open and her hands over her mouth.  It was awesome!  Thank you Elvis...thank you very much!

Our schools' varsity volleyball team made it through round 2 at the tournament Saturday.  That 2nd round was tough - I thought they were going to pull it out but it wasn't to be.  JV (Katy's team) plays round 1 tomorrow night at 7:00.  If they win, they finish up Tuesday with the final rounds.  We'll be there cheering them on.  I think they can win it all!!!!!  GO RAPTORS!!!!!!

No appointments this week...can you believe it????  Well, I do have chemo Friday :)  Nothing other than that though.  Doug and I will get the girls to school that Friday and then head on over.  Fun Fun :)  I can do this!!!  I AM doing this!!!!

Some VERY important 'Thank you's'.......to Lynda Newman of Balloon-A-Tics and her daughter April...THANK YOU for the basket.  It was lovely and the fruit is amazing :)  I appreciate you both and am proud to be walking this walk and fighting this fight right by your side!!!!  (Although I wish you were a part of it under different circumstances!!!!)  Thank you to Laura and Michelle for thinking of me and your notes.  I love you both dearly!!!!  BECKY....thank you for everything!  You are a friend that goes above and beyond the impossible to be the perfect friend.  I love you and appreciate you more than words can EVER convey!

I owe a million other thanks as well.....especially for each and every prayer you are all praying on my behalf.  They are all appreciated and I feel their awesome power.  Please keep it up.  All of this will be behind me in no time and we can all thank the Lord for his amazing grace :)  I hope you all have an awesome week.  I'll be back to update Katy's tournament outcome.

Hugs........XXOO




September 26, 2013

Back to the "Land of the Living"...

WOW!!!!  Yesterday...what a nightmare :)  I'm back though and feeling MUCH better.  Thank you for the prayers.  YIKES....I needed them in a bad way!

I do NOT like not getting things done!  I'm a mover and a shaker and I love being busy!  BUT....I know my limitations too and plan to take it easy when I need to....I just don't like it :)  Laura told me to keep a journal - that I can expect things to be similar from week to week.  The notes can help me recall what to expect and when.  NOTE TAKEN :)  Day 5 STINKS!!!!!

Anyway - lots of fruit and veges in the kitchen now and patience abounds.  Katy has her last regular season VBall game today (boo hoo) and tournament is Monday.  Sad it goes by so fast!!!  I so love watching her play!  Emily thinks she aced a test Wednesday...that's ALWAYS good news!!!!  God is good :)  I so love my family and I love all of you as well.  Thanks for all you do!!!

Success lies in this :
Do your best.  Then expect God's best.
All these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you,
because you obey the voice of the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 28:2

In my vocabulary there is no such word as "can't," because I recognize that
my abilities are given to me by God to do what needs to be done.
I can do everything God asks me to with the help of Christ who gives me the strength and power.
Philippians 4:13
A very special verse for my very special friend April......XXOO
I want to make us t-shirts that say "T C B" 
'cause we're takin' care of business :)

Both of these "success" references comes from a book I've had for years... God's Little Devotional Book - Success.  It's awesome :)

September 25, 2013

YIKES !!!!!

OK - last night totally kicked my butt!  I got so sick and so hot.....freaked out (just a little) and have not been myself all day!  I got very little done but did manage to get the kiddos to school......little victories are just as good :)

I did manage to get a load of laundry done; however, now our dryer isn't working......I have one load clean and dry and one load clean :)

I need a break :)  Hopefully, my day 5 will be my toughest.  If that's the worst then I think I am prepared.  If it's not.....I'm not so sure!!  LOL!

Anyway - I'm hanging in there.  I'll keep you posted.  A VERY special thank you to the Borton family....Lynn, Sarah, Phillip and Shannon.  Thank you so much for the card!!!  XXOO

Hugs................


September 22, 2013

Weekends go by way too fast!!!

I have survived these 2 days post chemo cycle number 1 :)  Thank you for your messages and prayers.  They continue to move me forward, help me retain my faith and trust and SMILE along the way :)  I feel o.k.  Still very tired.  Stomach is not right but not bad.  Things are starting to taste funny.  I am not hungry but I am making myself eat.  Everything is o.k. and I continue to take this one day at a time.  Maybe this is the worse it will get!!  We made it to church this morning.  That always feels good.  I was able to work a little while and get some things caught up and started for the new week too!!!  Ahhhh, time to relax and get back to football.  Sad I can't see the Falcons play today!!  Oh well.......

Hugs to all..........volleyball Monday and Thursday.  Thursday is the last regular season game.....season is so short!  Katy is on the yearbook staff and is looking forward to all of that next.  She is also on Student Council so she stays VERY busy.  Emily is working hard on her TN Project....although at this moment she is skyping her friend Emily!!!  She needs to get back to work!!!!  :)

Back to Doctor Friday for weekly labs.  Other than that...looks like a light and easy week....looking forward to THAT for sure!

XXOO

You need endurance, so that when you have done the will
of God, you may receive what was promised.
Hebrews 10:36

Let us not get tired of doing what is right, for after a while
we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't get
discouraged and give up.
Galatians 6:9


September 20, 2013

Well, that was easy :)

Okie Dokie......I would venture a guess that those of you regularly reading this blog know me pretty well and therefore, you know that sitting in a chair from 9:00 until 2:00 is NOT my cup of tea.  OK, well....maybe it is because I sit at my computer all day working.....BUT......I was sitting and NOT doing anything today!  That was the difference!  I did take my laptop and did work for a while.  I checked my e-mail and got a report done.  But it wasn't the same.  

I feel fine....no different actually.  Tired as always though.  As I understand it, the crappy feeling will come in a few days.  I'll keep you posted though.  Maybe it WON'T come at all :)  I'm tough though so I say, BRING IT!  LOL!  Totally kidding about "bringing it".

Thank you for all the kind words today and the scriptures.  The strength and reminder they provide feeds my faith, courage and attitude.  You all mean the world to me and I thank you!!!!  XXOO

~ Brother Lawrence ~
I drove away from my mind everything capable of spoiling the sense
of the presence of God....I just make it my business to persevere in His
holy presence....My soul has had a habitual, silent,
secret conversation with God.

~ David Brainerd ~
In the silence I make in the midst of the turmoil of life, I have
appointments with God.  From the silences, I come forth with spirit refreshed, 
and with a renewed sense of power.  I hear a voice in the
silences, and become increasingly aware that it is the voice of God.

I am sharing a pic of myself.....be prepared....I look awful but I have no shame :)  You might can see my port and where the chemo is administered.  And just if you are curious...I DID carry by new bag :)  But I also covered my hair :)  Have a great weekend!!!!

Here is a pic of all of us on mother's day.....we make a beautiful family don't-cha think?  :)





September 19, 2013

Chemo - eve......

It was the night before Chemo and all through the house.....

OK - that's all I can come up with!  LOL!  So I got all my meds filled today.  Good grief!  NEVER in my wildest dreams did I think I would EVER have to take so much medicine.  I hate medicine.  Give me a shot!!!!  Swallowing pills is NOT for me.  YUK!!!!

On a much brighter note....look at the gorgeous flowers I got today:


A VERY big thank you to Uncle Jim and Aunt Linda, Megan and Matt and your families :)  They are just beautiful and what a wonderful way to start my day tomorrow - getting to look at and smell these!  Thank you!!!!

So I hope you all have a wonderful Friday.  I plan to!  If I only had time to paint my nails :)  Oh well.  Next time.  Love and hugs to you all.  I'll be back over the weekend to let you know how I feel.  

Just a couple thoughts:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

Faith, which is trust, and fear are opposite poles.  If a man has the one, he can scarcely have the other in vigorous operation.  ~ Alexander MacLaren

When a man has quietly made up his mind that there is nothing he cannot endure, his fear leaves him.
   ~ Grove Patterson

I have no fears about tomorrow.  I know I'm going to rock this thing!!!!!!  XXOO









September 17, 2013

Chemotherapy

...all you ever wanted to know......and more of what you didn't want to know :)

Let me begin my post by shouting from the rooftops..."I am in NO way complaining".  I consider myself the luckiest cancer patient EVER :)  I'm just letting you know what I now know.

Chemo begins at 8:00 Friday morning.  They will begin by giving me some anti-nausea meds.  I will sit for about 30 minutes to an hour to let it kick in.  Then I start with the chemo.  I am getting ABVD.  Each letter = one drug.  I get one at a time...one after the other.  First comes "A" = Adriamycin.  Then "B" = Bleomycin, then "V" = Vinblastine and lastly "D" = Dacarbazine.  It all sounds so official right?  And to think I thought I would be a nurse when I grew up...HA!  I'm so much better at crunching numbers!!!

Are you ready for this?  Here are all of the "possible" and some "probable" side effects:
Pain along the site where the medication was given
Nausea or vomiting...definte but controlled with medication
Low blood counts....definite
Mouth sores
Hair loss
Eyes watering
Urine may appear red, orange or pink......the chemo meds are red...at least the "A" is
Darkening of the nail beds
Problems with fertility.....although I'm pretty sure my family is complete :)
A serious but uncommon side effect of "A" can be interference with the pumping action of the heart
There is a slight risk of developing a blood cancer such as leukemia years after taking "A"
Diarrhea
Fast or irregular heart beats
Unusual bleeding or bruising
Extreme fatigue
Swelling of the feet or ankles
NOW.....these are JUST associated with "A" :)  Doesn't this sound like FUN??  LOL!!!  NOT!!!!!

Under "Self Care Tips" it includes, "Avoid contact sports or activities that could cause injury."  Sooooo, I will not be cooking, cleaning, or doing any activity that "might" injure me!  I told you I was lucky!!!  LOL!!!

I won't carry on about the side effects of the other 3 drugs......they include these and many others though.

  I was shown the "chemo" room today too.  WOW at all the people there.  It's so sad.  Everyone with a different story.  I feel guilty walking around there with a head full of hair and feeling good...I haven't felt bad at any time...just very tired.  Lots of these people are not like me and it's heartbreaking.  I'm totally having second thoughts about carrying my new chemo bag too!  Oh well, I'll just throw caution to the wind and carry it :)  When I'm done maybe I'll even "pass" it on to someone else that could march in there and feel powerful...and fashionable :)  Thoughts?

Amy, my chemo teacher, told me today that they will serve me a light lunch.  There are all kinds of snacks there and drinks too.  I am allowed to help myself to any of it.  It all sounded so lovely...I asked if they had waitresses too.  She laughed and told me that in fact they do - sort of.  They have volunteers there in red shirts or aprons on that will assist you :)  I was totally kidding, but was still curious.  When I am well, I'm marching right down there and volunteering too!  What a way to pay it forward!!!

I've kept you way too long already.......but let me just real quick share the best of all news today.  Amy said I might not lose my hair.....my chemo regimen is short and the "A" is lighter than most due to type and stage of cancer.  I will see thinning but should not lose it all :)  YEAH!!!  After round 2, my oncologist wants me to go for another PET scan.  Depending on those results and much consideration....I might go right on with radiation and NO MORE CHEMO :)  I told you I was NOT complaining today!!!!!!!

A VERY special thank you to my Lymphoma sister, Laura.  I got my box today and LOVE LOVE the hats.  I will be wearing them and carrying my new chemo bag all while kicking cancer's butt!!!!  LOVE YOU!!!! XXOO



September 13, 2013

It's Friday!!!!!!!

Remember that song....."I don't want to work - I just want to bang on the drum all day..." blah blah blah.  Before I moved here, the Atlanta radio station 96 Rock played that every Friday at 5:00.  I hated that song!  LOL!  But I do LOVE Friday's :)

I forgot to tell you that the type of Hodgkin's I have is called Nodular Sclerosis.  It is the most common type of Hodgkin's and Wikipedia says that it affects male and female equally and has a median age of onset of 28.  Yee Haw!!!!  My body thinks I'm 28 - approximately!  LOL!!!!  Even though I am 46......my inside is acting like I'm 28 (almost).  YEAH ME!!!!!!

Anyway - not too much to do this weekend...stay caught up on work so I don't fall behind and take the girls to a birthday party tomorrow night.....bowling...YEAH!!!  We all have so much fun bowling :)

I made an executive decision last night too.  I have decided NOT to cut my hair.  I am going to wait and see what happens.  Chemo-schemo.........I'll just hang tight.  I'll cut it when I need to or maybe I'll just walk around looking like I have really bad hair :)  HA!  Can you imagine?  OK - me either...I would never do that.  But it is funny to think about.

OK - so 2 very serious notes and 2 very personal requests:
1.) Doug's Aunt Jan and Uncle Dick..along with Cousin Diane and her husband Tim and 2 daughters - Ashley and Kelsi - live in Ft. Collins, CO where all of the flooding is going on.  Along with all of the others affected out West, please include them in your prayers.  We are hoping they are safe and free from flood damage.
2) A VERY near and dear friend JUST found out she too has cancer.  Please pray for her and her family!!!!  I will be praying non-stop and standing by her side the entire journey...please pray that I will have the stamina and the ability to do all I can for her.  I refuse to let her mind wonder or be scared for one brief moment.  (I love you friend :)

"If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong."  ~~Masaru Emoto~~

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  
2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Be strong.....I love you all.......thank you for your continued love, support, generosity and sweet words.  You are all a blessing to me!  Have a wonderful weekend.  

XXOO


September 11, 2013

Radiation Oncologist

He's a Harvard graduate :)  That's GOT to be good right?  I say YES!!!!!!

He was very nice and he was very informative.  Did you know that - including himself - a team of like 40 doctors...including my oncologist....meet regularly to discuss my diagnosis and my treatment and how things are with me.  How special am I?  LOL!  Just kidding....they do this for all of their patients....but I still think it's cool.  This is how the "young" ones learn as well.  Anyway, I will have a lull of about 3 weeks after chemo and then radiation will begin.  He is currently calling for 15 treatments.  This means I will go every day Mon - Fri for 3 weeks.  Appointments are short and don't take very long so I should be in and out of there in no time.  
Things continue to look awesome and it's still just one day at a time.....and a hop, skip and a jump on to complete recovery :)  GOD IS GOOD....all the time :)

Thank you all for caring for me like you do and for taking the time to stay caught up.  You are all a blessing to me....all of me.

Hugs............


Romans 5:2-5 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
WOW!  

"I am not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today."
~ William White ~


September 10, 2013

Finally a plan :)

Saw my oncologist again today.  I asked lots of questions and in turn got lots of answers.  Each time I leave there I feel a little more at peace and confident!  

I will for sure have 4 rounds of chemo......they start next Friday the 20th.  I have to be there at 8:00 and plan to be there for 6 hours.  Now, let me tell you what I learned today.  When I hear 4 rounds of chemo, I think 4 doses...4 visits....WRONG!!!!  LOL!  One dose is given over 2 visits.  Four rounds means a visit every other Friday for 4 months....yep!  4!  A little different than only 2 months!!!  Good thing Doug always goes with me.  It's funny what you hear and what others hear.  Having a second set of ears there......besides the love of my life......is a blessing.  So, I can look forward to nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, mouth pain (and other stuff)...........sounds like a party right?  HA!!!!  

Doug and I left the Doctor and went for some lunch.  There's a little boutique next to the restaurant and as I walked by .... there in the window ... a tote bag caught my eye.  I need a new bag for chemo right?  DUH!!!!  Doesn't every girl need a "chemo" bag??  Again, DUH!   LOL!  I know I don't need to tell you that I went into the store after lunch and bought it right?  Oh, good!  I didn't think so :)

OK - back to business.......I go to the radiation oncologist tomorrow morning at 8:30.  I think at this appointment I will find out how many rounds of radiation I can anticipate.  I go on for my heart study at 12:45.  Lung study is Thursday and nothing Friday.  Yeah - a day off from having to go anywhere!

Busy Busy Busy!!!!  So, that's the plan.  Now you know what I know.  If anything changes I will let you know.  


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.   
John 14:27

Just so you know...I am in no way troubled and in no way afraid.  I am very much at peace and confident that in time this is all going to be o.k.  I have my faith and the most amazing friends and prayer warriors on my side...how can things be any different?  Keep up the amazing work you are all doing.  My heart, mind and soul are touched and moved beyond measure at the power of all of your requests on my behalf.  I remain grateful and faithful :)

A very special thank you to the teachers and staff at Ridgeview.  Your prayers, support and kind words mean the world to me and I appreciate each and every one of you...for everything you do...but especially for taking care of my children (and the million others you tend to) every week!

So, go and be happy...don't worry about things.  Live each day to it's fullest and be faithful....SMILE :)

Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.

Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is bliss, taste it.
Life is a dream, realize it.
Life is a challenge, meet it.
Life is a duty, complete it.
Life is a game, play it.
Life is a promise, fulfill it.
Life is sorrow, overcome it.
Life is a song, sing it.
Life is a struggle, accept it.
Life is a tragedy, confront it.
Life is an adventure, dare it.
Life is luck, make it.
Life is too precious, do not destroy it.
Life is life, fight for it.
Mother Teresa





September 9, 2013

Have I told you how much I hate the dentist?

Well, I never will...ever again...because I don't hate the dentist any longer!!!!  I had a root canal 2 weeks ago and it was the best "dental" experience EVER.  Seriously!  Crazy right?  If you need a root canal I know the place to go....call me!

So, my weekend was great.  I got a jump start on a lot of work and was able to make some cards.  Sunday was 1 accomplishment shy of being perfect...making it to church.  I am so very tired these days it's sometimes so hard to get out of bed.  Other than having started my day without church, I did have a day full of football :)  

I'm back to the oncologist tomorrow.  I hope this is my treatment consultation.....so I can know my course of action and have a plan.  I meet the radiation people Wednesday morning at the hospital than go for my heart study after lunch.  I hope to have more info for you tomorrow afternoon about what to expect next.  

I'm also trying to decide if I will cut my hair before chemo or just do a wait and see.  I can't decide.  I don't plan to shave my head or anything.....was just thinking about cutting it really short....just so I am prepared.  This is at the very bottom of my worry list however so it's NO big deal.  I have more important things to worry about first like helping Em with her homework, volleyball games, PTO meetings, football, etc.  Not having to fix my hair every day and just throwing on a cap or scarf will free up my time.....I can sleep a few extra minutes!!!!!!!  DUH!!!!  LOL!!!!!!

I hope your weekend was fabulous!  I'll be back tomorrow with some more info for you :)


"Every moment you get is a gift.  Spend it on things that matter.  Don't spend it 
by dwelling on unhappy things."  ~Author Unknown


Now, go and be happy :)  That's what I'm doing!  Love you all.......Hugs...............

September 5, 2013

Thursday night football :)

It's been a good day!  I feel good, Katy won her volleyball game and the Broncos are playing the Ravens.  Go Peyton......I mean, Go Broncos!!!!!  LOL!

Surgery went well.  Was back home around 12:30ish yesterday.  I stayed in bed all day and my personal nurse (his name is Doug and he is AMAZING...and quite handsome as well :) took VERY good care of me!!!!!  I am a lucky girl!..............in a million and one ways!

The girls have dentist appointments Monday morning at 8:00...fun fun that early!  I go back to the oncologist Tuesday morning.  I think this is my treatment consultation.  They should have all the info they need by then to set a course of action.  When I was there on Tuesday, he did mention that he would like 4 rounds of chemo....he did not mention the number of radiation treatments yet.  I guess it's possible I won't know until the chemo is complete.

Very special thank-you's to all of you...calling, checking, texting......my heart is on fire from the warmth of it all.  I love you all and am appreciative of each and every gesture - no matter how small.  THANK YOU!!!!!!!


"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your 
attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering
change rather than allowing it to master you."  ~Brian Tracy

If I don't post tomorrow, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  I'll be in touch after my next Doctor's appointment to let you know what's going on.  I have a wonderful verse to share too....I found it in a book I am reading:

God is good and "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine."  (Eph. 3:20)  I know for a fact that this is true and I hope you do too...jut by seeing what all he is doing for me :)

Hugs...............

September 2, 2013

a new card to share...

Can you believe it?  In the midst of all this...I finally found time (and energy) to make a couple cards.  My friend's father passed away recently and another friend has a father in the hospital.  I was moved to make these for them.  I think they turned out nice.  Hope you like them........I crocheted the cross on the front as well.




...amazing things will happen...

...STAY TUNED...

Last week my neighbor (and friend) Cindy, brought me the sweetest little plaque that said that.  I have it sitting on my desk and look up at it often.  It is so true for me.......and daily :)

I took my girls, my niece and a friend to see the new 1 Direction movie today.  Those boys are so so cute.  I can see why all the young girls go" CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY" over them.  I might be old but I still know cute!  LOL!!!!   

While there I ran into a girlfriend I hadn't seen since Katy's birthday.  We took a few minutes to catch up on what was going on with me and guess what?  (Oh never mind, you'll never guess anyway........she is a cancer survivor herself!!!  Woot Woot!!!!!)  Her surgeon.....he's my surgeon.  Her oncologist.....he's my oncologist.  Her nurse....she's my nurse!!!!  GOD IS GOOD!!!  WOW!!!  We could have gone to any other show time today...or next weekend....but we didn't.  We went to this one.....the one she was at.  Isn't His plan amazing?  I am blessed.  I am confident.  I am faithful.  I am thankful!

Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually
happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:1

Don't listen to the voice of fear, listen to the voice of faith.

As always, thank you all for your kindness and most of all for your prayers.  I am so very thankful for each and every one of them.....and for you.

Hugs.......