Sunday, March 31, 2013

None Were with Him - I'm redeeming myself I hope!

Just like you.

Today, I am not amazing.  Honestly, I never think I am amazing.  We all just have to do what we have to do in certain situations, and surviving is not amazing... it's natural.  To be honest, I am having an awful day.  I just want to be normal.

I literally feel like my world is crumbling before me today.  I don't want to die.  Ya, that is morbid.  I think it's because I am tired and had a fun, but busy weekend.  It's a beautiful day, it's Easter Sunday, I have so many blessings, but I just feel awful.

I am maybe a little apprehensive about starting the new chemo drug... (instant tears.  I'M 32 YEARS OLD!!!  WHY AM I ON CHEMO DRUGS?  THIS ISN'T SUPPOSED TO BE A YOUNG PERSON DISEASE!) 

Heard of another person's funeral who's coming up was because of cancer.  Everyone
dies of cancer... or so it seems.  Why should I have hope?  Where is my hope?  I'm sorry I am not uplifting today.  I really wish you could have seen mine and Ken's conversation on our bed after church, which I missed because I was sick.  I think it would have helped me out a lot to able to be there today, not left to my own thoughts for an hour.  My sis was here until 12:30pm so she kept my mind busy and occupied, but when she left - doom and gloom.

I sobbed uncontrollably.  Voiced all my fears.  Which never really change.  I have blogged about them all before.  Same old depressing crap.  What bad news are the next set of scans going to bring?  How much time do I really have on this earth?  How long to I have to make a lasting and meaningful impact on my children's lives?  How long do I get to be in my husbands arms?  I know we don't know.  I know none of us really know.  But at least most of you don't have to think about how you are probably going to die.  How horrible is it going to be?  How much will it hurt?  I can tell you I am sure it will be mentally horrible, that's for sure.  I just don't want to die.

I feel like everything is out of my control.  I feel like there is nothing that I can do to make anything better.  Sorry to be like this, but, these days are very real too.  I am not happy and positive all the time.  I am terrified and faithless at times, as you can see.  I worry and wonder and - just - keep - breathing.  Seriously.  That's about all I can control some times.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Things you should think about before saying...

Well, this morning, I decided that I was going to go for a walk.  I ventured out with one boobie on, and my little Dexy gut, leading the way down the hill.... yes, I started down hill, then you have to go up to get home.  I wore Ken's shirt, and hoodie, a very stylish and cute hat with matching scarf, some yoga pants and my "fugs" (fake ugs...Costco).  Eventually, I decided to "jog".  No support in the shoes, and my knees are in pretty rough shape.  I may not be moving in the morning.  Plus, I looked like an idiot.  Oh well, it was so nice to get out and get some morning fresh air and hear the birds and listen to my music.  That is how I started my day.  I won't tell you I finished it with WAY too much Easter candy or McDonald's.  That's why I am awake right now... vibrating.

I wanted to share a few things with you that I have said over the past few weeks... I am not proud.  They are kinda funny, but come out totally rude and NOT at all what I mean to actually say.  I hope I don't offend by sharing these little sentences with you.

First offence.  At my Gramma's house.  So, K's GG.  GG watched K for us while we went into Vancouver for the pinpoint radiation.  K was having her lunch and went to get up from the table.  GG quickly and abruptly replied, "Sit back down until you finish your lunch."  K's eyes got wide, she looked at me like she had never been spoken  to like that, sat back down and continued eating.  I was totally shocked!  I replied, "Wow!  Everyone NEEDS a crusty GG in their house!"  OOPS!

Second Offence.  One of my gf's came over for a visit.  I hadn't seen her in a long time, and I always love seeing her... all my friends honestly.  You have no idea how you brighten my days.  Anyways, she brought me a beautiful necklace and on it is stamped, "Fresh COURAGE take".  I LOVE IT!!!  Classy Geneva replies by saying, "See "dear friend who shall remain nameless", this is exactly the kind of crap I need!"  WHAT?  Who says that.  Not what I meant.  I meant, I love it and I need these beautiful reminders that I can do this!  Was NOT executed in that way at all.

Third Offence.  Another dear person who shall remain nameless, one morning says to me, "I'm going to run downstairs and have a quick shower."  To which I answered, "Thank you."  Ummmmmm - people actually still talk to me.  Are you surprised?  They laughed after I tried explaining myself and said, "Well, it's been a few days so maybe a thank you is in order.  Maybe I do stink."  NO, not at all!!!  Just me, trying to.... I don't even know.  But honestly, they didn't stink at all.  I felt so bad.

Fourth, and possibly the funniest and most embarrassing - for me anyways.  I asked C to get dressed the other morning.  Mom, please forgive me for sharing this story but it was funny-ish.  He brings his clothing upstairs, naked.  He get's all shy around my Mom-in-law and hides his wee willy wonka in his little hand and covers his but crack with the other.  So I say, "What's the big deal, Gramma's seen hundreds of those in her life." 

I am sure you can figure out what I meant to say... or at least what I was thinking.  My MIL has 5 boys and a billion grandsons, she has seen "wee willy wonkas" hundreds of times in her life.  THAT, my friends, is what I was trying to say.

As for updates, I am doing pretty good.  I have gone out twice this week on my own and it felt good.  I am still not comfortable being out for very long by myself, but it was nice to feel independent for a few moments.  Builds my confidence.  I will also be starting Chemo again on Tuesday.  I am not nervous, it's pill form and the same stuff I was taking before, plus a new drug that supposedly breaks the blood brain barrier, so we'll give it a try.  I am slowly coming of the Dex and I surprisingly feel ok.  I am pretty shaky, still, but I know, some of these things are going to take a while to gain ground on again.

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!!  I hope it's great and you are able to focus in, through all the little ones (and big ones too maybe?) excitement and rejoice in the ultimate sacrifice that was given for us, through our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I know I am thankful and abundantly blessed because of His love for me.

Again, we thank you all, and love you.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pop one out.

Today, I made pancakes from scratch.  It took me 3!!! YES, 3 freakin' hours.  Granted I ground all my flours up with Gerty (my Bosch whom I miss dearly).  But I swear on my life, I have had at least one of my children quicker than that.  Yup, that's my post for today.  Now your not sure what to do are you?  LOVE YA!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"Do you have the faith, NOT to be healed?"

You might ask "What an odd question?  And WHY would anyone think this way?"  Well, I have wondered many times over the past few years if this is the actual "will of my Father."  I have wondered as the news that keeps on coming always seems worse than the time previous.... I have wondered as I have had to endure things that I thought I would never have to face... I have wondered as my body feels like it is growing weaker at times instead of stronger, "Will I be able to get back to health this time and truly make a difference?"  I have wondered and asked Ken what the point is. Shouldn't I just give up and give into His will.  What is the point of fighting against it if he already knows His plan for me.  Ken always says, "If the Savior or our Father in Heaven was standing right here, would they tell you to give up?  Would they tell you to quit?  Would they tell you it's fine not to try anymore?"  Well, no, I don't think they would.  And to be honest, I feel, deep down inside of me that I will have a miracle in my life.  I don't know how many years, days or hours, but I feel and have been blessed with blessings to feel that it will be longer than anyone would think.  But having said that, I have to share this talk with you.  Because I most certainly have the faith, to not be healed.

This talk was given by Elder Bednar, one of the members of our church who is an apostle of God.  He is a man of great faith and love and as heart breaking and true as his talk is, I loved it.  He councils those facing adversity to "Shrink Not".  Again, I know this is from our church, and although it and I will be talking about it from my perspective, we ALL face trials and how we deal with them, no matter what they are, I believe it's important to do our best.

“Many of the lessons we are to learn in mortality can only be received through the things we experience and sometimes suffer,” he taught. “And God expects and trusts us to face temporary mortal adversity with His help so we can learn what we need to learn and ultimately become what we are to become in eternity.”

believe this with all my heart.  I know I was sent here to learn and live through the trials of my life to become ultimately what God wants me to become.  Not what I think is the best for me to be.  He has a plan for me and as heartbreaking and depressing as that plan might seem at times, I said I would take it on and do it.   

When I think of my husband and children I think, "How could me not being a part of this family possibly be the best answer for raising the family we planned to?"  "How could my children not having THEIR mother, be the best answer?"  Again, it comes down to complete faith in His plan.  And that isn't easy.  But like I said, ultimately, I want to become who he intends me to be.

He then goes on to talking about picking up one of the other Apostles one day at the airport who was also going through cancer treatments, Elder Neal A Maxwell.  Elder Bednar asked him, “During the course of our conversations that day, I asked Elder Maxwell what lessons he had learned through his illness,” Elder Bednar stated. “I will remember always the precise and penetrating answer he gave: ‘I have learned that not shrinking is more important than surviving.’”

Sharing scriptures from Doctrine and Covenants 19“concerning the Savior’s suffering as He offered the infinite and eternal atoning sacrifice,” Elder Bednar reminded those listening that “the Savior did not shrink in Gethsemane or Golgotha.”

During difficult experiences—often filled with pain and suffering—character is built, hearts are purified, and souls are enlarged as individuals gain experience and spiritual tutoring, Elder Bednar explained. Just as Elder Maxwell faced tribulations with an understanding of God’s plan of happiness, grace, and dignity, so can all valiant Latter-day Saints, Elder Bednar assured, as they “shrink not” and allow their individual will to be “swallowed up in the will of the Father” (Mosiah 15:7).
And that is not easy to do.  Especially when we have our own plans in mind.  "Not shrinking" and becoming our full potential of who we really are I believe is one of our greatest triumph's here on this earth.  No, I don't believe that we are only here to learn and not have a good time, but I do believe that we are here to learn difficult lessons and endure things that will teach us who and what we really are and what we can truly become.  
Elder Bednar then goes on to talk about a young married couple that after just three weeks, her husband was diagnosed with stage 4 bone cancer.  Elder Bednar shares some of their experiences with us through their personal journal enteries.
Elder Bednar told of visiting this couple in the hospital, being asked to give a priesthood blessing, and asking the husband an unplanned but inspired question. “If it is the will of our Heavenly Father, do you have the faith not to be healed?”

As Elder Bednar counseled with this faithful couple, they “increasingly understood” that a blessing of healing could only be received if they had the faith not to be healed and were “willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [them]” (Mosiah 3:19).

“In other words, they needed to overcome, through the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, the ‘natural man’ tendency in all of us to demand impatiently and insist incessantly on the blessings we want and believe we deserve,” Elder Bednar explained. “We recognized a principle that applies to every devoted disciple: strong faith in the Savior is submissively accepting of His will and timing in our lives—even if the outcome is not what we hoped for or wanted.”
Quite often, such is the case for most of us.  We always seem to think we know what is best for us, but don't quite have all the puzzle pieces that complete the whole picture.  And that is frustrating, heart wrenching and can cause us to become angry at times.  "Shrinking" I would call this.  But again, we are human, and I think we all "shrink" a little before we grow a lot of the time... when we see what we are really made of.
Elder Bednar shared the words of the young husband from his journal: “Having faith is not necessarily knowing that God would heal me, but that He could heal me. I had to believe that He could, and then whether it happened was up to Him. As I allowed those two ideas to coexist in my life, focused faith in Jesus Christ and complete submission to His will, I found greater comfort and peace.”
I find this too in my own life.  When I just let things go and have the faith that I need in my Father in Heaven's plan for me, whatever that plan entails, I have peace.  And that peace goes so much farther for me than fear.  That is not to say that I don't feel afraid at times.  Although I try not to picture myself as a sick and dying person, those images do come to my mind and break my heart.  How would my last moments be?  Would I want my children there?  What would I say to them?  What would I say to Ken so that he and my kids know that I will love them from beyond this life, that I will be there for them, that I will always be in their hearts and be a part of them no matter what.  Would it be scary for them?  Of course I don't want them to remember me like that, but would be all just be laying on some well used hospital bed in a pale blue, depressing palliative care room, crying together and me not wanting to slip off, close my eyes and take that last breath, that last look into the eyes of my loving husband and children or would I be to sick to even know they were there?  

Like I said, I try not to think in this way. I like to picture my future, building another home, my kids as teenagers having friends over and K bugging her big brother and his cool friends while they are throwing lunch meat at one another while C is up to something somewhere doing something he probably shouldn't be.  I have to have faith and live from this point, but it is a conflicting feeling when I also have to have the the faith in His plan.
Elder Maxwell gave a talk in October of 1997 and I just wanted to share a portion of it with you as I find it is so true as well.  He states regarding Jesus: "As He began to feel the awful weight of the approaching Atonement, Jesus acknowledged, “For this cause came I into the world” (John 18:37). We too, brothers and sisters, came “into the world” to pass through our particularized portions of the mortal experience. Even though our experiences do not even begin to approach our Master’s, nevertheless, to undergo this mortal experience is why we too are here! Purposefully pursuing this “cause” brings ultimate meaning to our mortal lives. And we are greatly helped if we enter with faith that pavilion of perspective—the plan of salvation. Then the search for meaning is ended, even though further and resplendent discoveries await us. Alas, as Church members we sometimes behave like hurried tourists, scarcely venturing beyond the entry point.
Next, as we confront our own lesser trials and tribulations, we too can plead with the Father, just as Jesus did, that we “might not … shrink”—meaning to retreat or to recoil (D&C 19:18). Not shrinking is much more important than surviving! Moreover, partaking of a bitter cup without becoming bitter is likewise part of the emulation of Jesus.

Continuing, we too may experience moments of mortal aloneness. These moments are nothing compared to what Jesus experienced. Nevertheless, since our prayers may occasionally contain some “whys,” we too may experience God’s initial silence (see Matt. 27:46).
Certain mortal “whys” are not really questions at all but are expressions of resentment. Other “whys” imply that the trial might be all right later on but not now, as if faith in the Lord excluded faith in His timing. Some “why me” questions, asked amid stress, would be much better as “what” questions, such as, “What is required of me now?” or, to paraphrase Moroni’s words, “If I am sufficiently humble, which personal weakness could now become a strength?” (see Ether 12:27).
I want to be like Moroni and ask, "Which personal weakness could now become a strength?"  BUT, I am not going to lie, sometimes I would like a few minutes to regroup and rethink and refocus.  Then again, I want to become who He wants me to be.  In quoting Elder Bednar again, I want "[My] individual will, to be swallowed up in the will of the Father."
Elder Bednar then instructed, “Even with strong faith, many mountains will not be moved. And not all of the sick and infirmed will be healed. If all opposition were curtailed, if all maladies were removed, then the primary purposes of the Father’s plan would be frustrated.”
Trusting in the Lord’s will and timing is essential, he said. “This story is both ordinary and extraordinary. This young couple is representative of millions of faithful, covenant-keeping Latter-day Saints all over the world who are pressing forward along the strait and narrow path with steadfast faith in Christ and a perfect brightness of hope.” Elder Bednar emphasized: “They were not serving in highly visible leadership positions in the Church, they were not related to General Authorities, and sometimes they had doubts and fears. In many of these aspects, their story is quite ordinary. But this young man and young woman were blessed in extraordinary ways to learn essential lessons for eternity through affliction and hardship. … They came to understand that not shrinking is more important than surviving. Thus, their experience was not primarily about living and dying; rather, it was about learning, living, and becoming.”

So do I have the faith not to be healed?  I think it is pretty evident that I do.  But I also have the faith that His will somewhat aligns with mine, and that I will be around for a while and be able to accomplish certain things in my life.  I very much believe in miracles, and pray for one in my own life.  I have keep living from the standpoint that I am living and  very much alive and need to be  thankful for each and every day.  And ultimately, whatever His plan is, I know it is the best plan, that was laid out for me before I choose to come to this earth... for me to reach  my full potential and become as He needs me to be.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Our hearts are full.

Ken and I are, yet again, amazed by the generosity and love towards our family.  We realize that many of you have already donated to our family, monetarily and in other ways, the outpouring of love and generosity is nothing less than amazing.

We want to thank all who have given so much to us. We wish there were more eloquent words to say thank you but we haven't found any yet. We are forever thankful and pray daily that the Lord's blessings be poured out upon each and everyone of you for your charity.

A few recent events have transpired lately I need to mention as they have touched our family. There are actually two fundraisers going on right now.  One was set up for our family to be able to take a trip to Disneyland.  This was set up by an old friend from Lethbridge (Riley) and my sister. Riley and his wife are pretty amazing... and so is my sis.  When I posted on FB that we wanted to go on a trip as a family, we NEVER a million years expcected you to help our dreams come true!!!  The money was raised in less than four days for our entire trip. We were completely shocked when they told us about it this weekend.

The other fundraiser is set up by our friend Kaylee.  Her hair is longer than our youngest child.  She is beautiful and cutting her hair off to donate.  Again, I always hear how "amazing" you think we are, but you have no idea how amazing we think all of you are.

Like I said, I wish we had better words and more means to thank you for all you have done.  Like Riley said on his website he realizes that times are tough right now for people, so for you to think of our family and donate, and some of you, donate again on either website, is so appreciated. We love you and are so appreciative of your thoughtfulness.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Geez! That was dramatic!"

Well, today was yet another big day.  For me, anyways.  Like I said to Dad and Mom, "Another notch on the belt."  I was VERY nervous for this procedure, I am not sure why.  Maybe all the build up to have the last thing finished up and over with so I can get on with my life again, I'm not sure, but I was having a tough time.

My Gramma watched K for us today and she had a nosebleed.  She always gets them, and I forgot to tell "GG" that she gets them, so it was quite the ordeal, not so much for GG, she is a retired nurse so it was handled just fine, I just wish I told her K gets them a lot.  Apparently it was a good one, but they all are!  K's a trooper.

Dad, Mom and I headed into Vancouver at about 1:15pm.  We were there early for my drugs and they were behind so we waited.  I finally went in and took my drugs, anit-nausea and one for my stomach because I will be back on the high doses of "the steroid"; this way I won't get an ulcer, which I am very thankful for.  If I don't take this medication my stomach literally burns, it's awful.

I was supposed to be in at 4:15pm I think but they were late like I said so I didn't get in until 5:15pm.  Before they strapped me down they told me that I could have a break half way through if I needed it but they would have to start all over again.  I decided that no matter what I would be tough and just get it over with.  WELL, let me tell you that was a mind game for sure!!

I have never in my life (ok, honestly having a baby is worse but this was crappy) felt pressure like that in my head.  The radiation tech told me to move around until the pressure is gone.  But the whole point is not to move and to stay very still.  So you are moving around mm's and it doesn't help.  They had a problem with their lasers/markers so they had to come back in and adjust a few things with the physicist.  It was cute because the tech said to me, "I'm sorry, I just have to touch your left breast."  Being strapped to the table with a mouth guard thing in my face I couldn't say anything smart but I wanted to tell her to feel away!!!  There is nothing there!  I at least did a chuckle.

They finally got everything working and left the room.  They did the first spot and then came in and asked me how I was doing, I did the thumbs up and then started to sweat.  I was SO uncomfortable and it was starting to hurt really badly but I just wanted out of there and was trying not to panic.  The machine did 5 zaps the first time so I thought I would count out 5 for the second time.  After three I was ready to freak out.  But instead, I started to sweat some more and play some mental mind games to keep myself calmer... but number 4 and 5 were tough.

They came in quickly and told me they would get me out of there, and also that I did very well.  Seriously they couldn't undo that stupid mask fast enough!  When the one guy took it off tears were streaming down my cheeks; I didn't even realize that I was crying until the mask came off.  Mom was in the room at that time, with my peppermint tea she picked up for me that I swear had a pickle taste to it, and she looked alarmed.  It kinda freaked me out, but she was just looking at the wicked indent in my forehead and nose from the mask.  I could have won the "beating from the ugly stick contest" for sure!

But it's over with now.  I don't know how long we'll have to wait now to see how it all went.  I honestly feel pretty good.  I don't really feel anything like I did after the full brain radiation.  I have had supper... twice, but I only had soup for lunch because I wanted to keep things light and not have a lot in my gut just in case.  I do have a headache and probably will tomorrow too, but that's ok.  I am very tired and am looking forward to getting to bed, but I just wanted to let you know how it went.  Thanks for thinking of me today!  It means a lot.  Love you and hope your day was a great one!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A whole new kinda strapped in!

Well, I made it through all of my appointments yesterday and they went pretty well.  Very, VERY, organized at the cancer center. 

One of my best friends (we have been friends since kindergarten) met me there AGAIN, we have to stop meeting like that and actually go somewhere fun for once!!  But it was so nice to have her company and talk while waiting for various appointments.  She made me laugh and reminded me to be positive without the negative spin off... lol  She is totally right.  We had some good laughs.  Just what I needed, I don't really love being in "sick" places or "cancer" places.  Mom and Dad and K (we brought her so we could have some mommy/daughter time and it's been fun.  She's been so good.  I was thinking the night before, "I wish I could bring one of the kids, but who?  C is a busy little fella and I still have to wipe his bum and force him to eat and I get frustrated with him easier and him with me... K!  She can feed herself and wipe he own bum!"  Then I left the thought until we were getting ready to leave and her and I were crying on the kitchen floor together when Mom suggested we bring her!  GREAT idea!) were there too throughout various appointments; it was just nice to not be alone - and also have a full functioning brain on hand at all times!

Dr. N looked at my MRI and said there was nothing new... bloody well better not be!  It's only been a week.  He said doing this type of treatment pushes your odds up of re-occurrence (the tumors coming back is what I think I am trying to say.  When I told Ken he said, "You mean there is a  90% chance they will come back because you did this?"  No, that is not what I was trying to say) from 50% to 90%; meaning it is a very effective treatment.

He did some neurological tests with me and I passed with flying colors.  But my eyes have been bothering me.  Again, when I rest I am ok.  But when I am tired they are a horrible mess.  Once these two spots on the right side are taken care of I think my eyes will be a lot better... I hope anyways.  I know it's still going to take some time.

I found out that I am actually only strapped to the table for an hour.  That is ok.  But let me tell you the "mask" this time is a whole new kinda mask!!!  I have a, not a mouth guard, but and impression was taken of my teeth, I guess it's a bit like a bite plate??? not sure, but I have to wear that and then there is the mesh mask piece that fits the back of my head and then on the front this time there is two pieces, one that is a more solid piece of plastic that runs over my face like a serial killer mask, and then the mesh piece that goes over top of that.  Let's just say it's a snug fit, especially across the forehead and nose.  If there was a fire and they left you there you would not get out for sure!!  Of course I will take some pictures... you need EVERY detail of my life right!!  Wink, love ya, your all such good sports!

Again, they talked a lot about me being tired... I hope that is the only side effect I have this time.  They will give me nausea meds and I WILL be taking those for sure!  Today I felt really awful and had an early nap and tried my best not to barf up my spinach shake... I was successful!!

I seriously just got down to a 1/2 tab of the dex and on Thursday I have to start right back up on 12mgs, but just for two days and then I start to wean off again.  Another month of me dex complaining - SORRY!!!  And then I should be ok.  Well, Dr. N did say that the only problem with me being on them for so long (wish I knew this before but seriously don't think I could have done anything about it) is that I may have burnt my adrenals right out and I might have to be in dex for the rest of my life if I did... or else I will die.  First question, "How much?"  and "Am I going to look like this forever?"  Minimal amount, like 0.05mgs every three days or something, the normal amount that our bodies would naturally produce, and no, I wouldn't look like this because it would be a minimal dose.... well fine then.  I still would rather my body make it's own and I don't 100% believe that we can't reverse things in our bodies if we take care of them properly.  But, we'll figure that out.

Today was low key.  Like I said, I had a nap and then we went to visit my Gramma.  It is so nice to be able to see her.  She is 90.  I want to be 90 one day.  K was a typical kid, playing on an electronic device the entire time, I know, that is my fault because I have it!  But seriously, they are a life saver, especially in the vehicles!!  We are staying at my Uncle and Aunties and it's been nice to visit with them and my cousin came home from school for supper on Sunday night so we got to see him too!  It's just nice to be around family, well, anyone that I love to be honest.  :)

I am not sure what we are going to do tomorrow, just see how things go and see how I feel.  OH, I want to tell you something funny.  C, I swear has the movie "Paranorman" memorized.  In the evenings, I am usually "done" for the day and I frustrate (is that a word?  it is now), get frustrated, whatever, really easily.  So I am usually snippy with him because he is the biggest terd!  Yes you are but I love you still...  W always listens and helps out, K does whatever we ask, and C just pushes buttons and does this horrid fake cry that makes me want to beat him!  So I usually snap.  And then he says (from the movie in a really snide tone that makes me bust a gut every time thankfully!), "Geez, that was dramatic!"  Then we all start to laugh.  Just had to share because it has saved his life on numerous occasions and like I said, makes us all laugh because he is such a little smart arse!

I think that's about it for now.  I still feel at peace and I am thankful to our Heavenly Father every day for that (when I have time to actually construct some decent lines and good mental thought paths, I have a really neat talk to share with you that one of the Apostles in our church gave at a recent fireside, but I want to do it up right).  Just wanted to keep you in the loop.  Hope all is well, thanks for your love, support and continued positive comments and encouragement.  It means so much to me.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

What's coming up!!

Well, we got the "call" today about our appointments... and there are a lot, in Vancouver.  Literally on Monday I will be in appointments ALL day.  I start at 9:30am for a blood test, then 10:30am another MRI, 12:00pm another mask fitting (yay arts and crafts!  ya right, I am sure I will hate masks after I have to wear this one for two to three hours straight!), 1:30pm IV contrast, 2:00pm meet with the Dr, 3:00pm CT scan...  that is one busy day.  Then I have the actual radiation on Thursday.  I have to be there are 3:00pm to see the nurse to get my meds and then treatment starts at 4:15pm.  Like I said, it is 2-3 hours that I am literally strapped to a table for this duration of time...

Here are some of my pics of me in all my glory strapped in for radiation last time.  What am I going to do to pass the time, it's not like the bed is comfy!!!

Smile, why not...

See, they put the mask on, white edge rim...

And then literally clamp you down so you can't even open your eyes with the nice black plastic piece.  You aren't going anywhere when that thing is on!!

I lay on a piece of hard plastic and I am so thankful that I am almost three months post surgery, well, I will be getting this radiation on my three month anniversary, how lovely, because I would not be able to bear the pain of laying on my head for that long.  I still have a hard time at night with my pillow.  Enough whining already... I will be just fine... bored, but fine.  I will be dreaming of summer and having my face back.  That's all I want.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A little ray of light...

Well today  we heard back from Dr. M again.  I just love him.  Have I told you that before!!  He calls, doesn't introduce himself and says, "What, it's been a week since I've talked to you?"  LOVE IT!!!  He's great.  Anyways, he presented my case today to his colleges and got into the explaining of things.

Apparently one of the tumors in my cerebellum was lobular in shape, like a dumbbell so part of it was taken out and the rest was missed?  I am a little confused but that is why the third spot has shown up.  It was always there.  To me, that's good, it's nothing new. 

He also explained that it was just over a month from my first MRI to my last which was on Friday so he is not concerned with the tumor growth.  He said that the tumors very well could have grown in size in that time so they have probably shrunk from the radiation.  Bottom line, I am still a good candidate for the stereotactic radiation.  All three spots can be done and that makes me happy.

Now we just wait to hear form Vancouver as to when it's go time.  We are getting there!!  And I am feeling good about life again.  Just thought I would keep you in the loop.

Monday, March 4, 2013

MRI Results

Well, like most things, it seems we weren't lucky enough to be able to have called the light brain radiation to have been enough to take care of things.  In fact, both the spots have grown, one doubled, and there is another spot in the cerebellum that is still small enough to be taken care of by the stereotactic.  So it looks like we will be heading out to Vancouver at some point soon to have that done.  Dr. M is putting me on the urgent list (freaks me out a little but I want to work with these buggers while we still can) to get me there quickly.  They can only do this type of thing up to a certain size so I am anxious to get it done.

We talked to the Dr here today about starting chemo again, but Dr. M wants me to wait to start on the chemo...  Dr here also said that the tumor markers could be up because of die off from the surgery, and also quite often my markers might continue to go up while I first start chemo again because of cell die off.  Whatever, I don't know what to think anymore. 

Ken and I had another really good talk yesterday... teary and realistic, but good.  I said I am just tired of cancer.  Not fighting, I will never stop fighting.  But I just want to get a job, make some money so I can spend some money (LOL), have fun, not talk about cancer or think about it every single day.  I want to laugh with my family, watch a million movies and snuggle up with them.  I want to feel normal and happy and do things that you all do.  I can't wait to do my hair again and feel like me.  I just want to focus elsewhere.  Cancer is exhausting.  Physically and mentally.  And thinking about it all the time doesn't do anyone any good.

Plus it seems my heart breaks every day for another person who's battle just got harder, or a new person with a diagnosis, or someone who lost their battle.  It is very hard not to compare my life to theirs and wonder if that is what is next for me.  The good ole', "don't look at the train wreck" thing.  I pray for these people and their families.  I hate what they have to go through because I have to do it too and I know how they feel and I wish there were some way to take it away.

I am thankful for the peace that I do find within the arms of the Savior.  I can honestly say I would be living in hell if it weren't for Him... and family, and all of your prayers and positive thoughts.  Well, I am going to run, fold laundry like a normal mom, I guess that's kinda fun... and watch a movie.  God bless you all and thank you for your continued support.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Mountains to Climb

We all have them.  What's yours?  After I got my tumor marker results I was very saddened.  I then decided to read my gf's blog and she had this video posted.  I wanted to share it with you because I believe it with all my heart and it gave me great peace.  I hope you enjoy it and I pray amidst your trials you can find "your twig of faith" and know that you are NEVER alone.

No snappy headings.

Well, yesterday proved to be a little discouraging for me.  We found out that my tumor markers have almost doubled since Christmas.  They were 61 and now they are 127... I guess that is more than doubled.  But, like Ken said, tumor markers can fluctuate all the time, tumor markers can even be high in people that don't have cancer and it's not like when you get to a certain number your dead.  But like I said to Ken, it's kind of like gaining weight, the lower the number, the better it is.

We learned a few things through this process.  I most certainly need to take my diet seriously.  I completely believe that it can and will make a difference.  Taking two months off to do whatever I want/ed is not the best idea I have ever had.  But, it has been a difficult few months of process and trying to get my body back to what I was doing before, which is really hard when all of the doctors that I have seen have basically told me to stop doing everything I was doing while doing what I did do... got that?  :)  Little confusing.  Like, stop taking my supplements, not juicing, not a lot of anti-oxidants, no chemo...  I feel that, obviously, I have taken a step back, but I have my new resolve... again, and I am good to go.  I really just want to feel healthy from the INSIDE out again.

I am still slowly cutting back my dex.  I think I might have forgotten to take it today so I have felt a little off, just a bit dizzier than normal and a bit of a head ache, but this week was a busy and emotional week.  We had a funeral of a very special woman in our lives, all our lives.  It was hard on the kids and hard on us.  But it was a beautiful celebration of her life and all I could really do was think of all the times she made me laugh, and how she loved and what an amazing woman she was. 

I am still very tired and confused easily.  I really feel like a kiddo again.  And I often act like one.  I really try very hard to act like an adult and most importantly, be a happy Mommy and wife and if I am well rested then this is usually the case.  I just really miss feeling like myself.  And honestly, I am tired of making decisions regarding cancer.  I want to think about building a home, where to vacation in the next year or so, doing my hair, running, feeling strong... the list goes on and on.  I think it's best for me to head off to bed. 

I forgot, I had my MRI yesterday and we meet with the Dr on Monday to discuss two new chemo drugs.... the one drug is the drug that I have already been on from Reno.  Wow hey!!  Conventional meet conventional and more natural.  It was just kind of funny to Ken and I that our oncologist  here in Canada wanted to put me on this "drug" that I was already taking.  And then adding another one to it.  I will try it out I think and see how I feel.  Like I said, I can tell from their eyes they aren't that hopeful, just giving me "time".  Again, no one knows how much that is and I don't want their estimates.

Hopefully we will know more from the MRI results... I am not expecting anything great, bad attitude I know, but I feel like the silver lining is just too hard to reach for sometimes and I am just prepared for the worst.  I am good at that.  I am sure it will say that I need to have the stereotactic radiation.  But a small part of me is waiting for worse news... I guess I always do.  Again, time for me to head to bed... this isn't going anywhere good.