Tuesday, January 6, 2015

goals + some updates

you know that i am a sucker for a good goal.

in 2015, i have two main goals.

one is to be active each day.

one is to spend time documenting our lives each day.

the active one may be walking, running, lifting weights, jumping, etc. whatever it is, it counts.

the documenting one may be sorting through pictures, downloading pictures, capturing a moment on instagram, picking up pictures, getting pictures into albums, writing in a book for malena, whatever form it takes, i just want to make sure that i am always thinking about documenting in one way or another.

will i be active every day? definitely not.

will i document some aspect of our lives every day? definitely not.

but i can tell you this, there will be more days that i do both than there will be days that i don't.

and that is what matters to me.

more days that i do, than i don't.

i will track my days of progress on the goal tracker show in my instagram pic above. i linked to them before, but if you are interested, you can download one for $4 at elise's site. you know that i am all about crossing the days off the calendar -- love it!

i am a sucker for reading about goals, like this one and this one, but i also loved this meet me at the bleachers, you new year go getters, you post. a different perspective on the new year and i loved every word of it.

if you have goals, or if you don't, i hope that the new year is starting just as you hoped it would.

+++ i also wanted to give some updates ---
-- judy was in the hospital over christmas due to an infection, but she is home now and the infection is healing. she plans to hear on friday when her six weeks of radiation will begin, and she is ready to get started fighting. go judy go!
-- thursday will mark the one year anniversary of beth's diagnosis. so please send her lots of prayers and love this week (as usual) as she comes up on that milestone. here is her latest update:
"Purpose. That is my word of 2015. I want to live my life with purpose, purposeful in how I spend my time, in my relationships, in my work.
When I got diagnosed with cancer, I viewed and faced mortality in a new way. A much more real way. I had dinner with some friends over Christmas, and their young daughter came up to me and said "You are the friend with cancer?" And I answered "Yes, I am." And she said "You are alive." And I responded "Yes, I am." I am alive, and I've been given a chance to keep living.
I view 2015 as starting a new chapter in my life. I have no idea what it will bring, but I open to the future that is unrealized. I do have some things planned for this year. Quite a bit of traveling the first 6 months. Maybe the second 6 months as well. I was supposed to volunteer for the Humane Society last year, so I want to go back and do that this year. I also plan on serving breakfast at the SCCA House, it's where either patients from out of town stay or his/her family while a relative is being treated at SCCA. And who knows what else, maybe taking an art class, work my way back to taking my Barre class. In 2014 my whole life centered around cancer and I am hoping in 2015 that lessens. I still think about it a lot, my heart skips a beat when I hear someone mention the word cancer (which seems like all the time!!), I tear up when I hear of someone dying of cancer. I hope that will not always be my life.
My appointments went well last week. I met with my radiation oncologist on Monday. My labs looked good. The tumor marker test isn't back yet, it takes a few days. But I guess my tumor marker was never elevated even before so I asked him how will he know if something is going awry in my body if that doesn't show anything and they only do scans once a year. I guess there are other markers that will show abnormalities, for instance how my liver is functioning. Because rectal cancer is likely to travel to the liver if it travels. He said with how my body responded to radiation it is unlikely it would come back at the same location. And I remember the statistics my oncologist told me too, it was more likely to show up somewhere else. My blood count and weight are up, he thought everything was looking good. He kept commenting that I looked good. I responded by reminding him the last time he saw me I was in the hospital before my surprise surgery.:) And I was not in a good place. I had been in the hospital for a few days and was so sick after radiation. That was the one time this year that I thought I couldn't do this. Yesterday when I was out I got another compliment on my hair. A woman was thinking of getting a cut like mine. I think I get more compliments on my fake hair than I ever did on my real hair! But I know I don't look like I just finished chemo and am thankful for that.
And the genetics test came back negative. Thank goodness. Not that I was too worried. But they tested for the 14 most common genetic causes of colorectal cancer that they know to date so it's nice to know I or my family is not pre-disposed to get cancer. So unless me or someone in my family gets cancer there isn't much more reason to do anymore genetic testing.
So now I move on to my port getting flushed and some labs this week and then getting the port out. Hopefully by the end of the month, it's starting to bug me and my skin is irritated. Then I will have labs and meet with my oncologist in March, then on to scans and colonoscopy in June.
I had a very nice new years. Spent it at a party with dear friends, the perfect place to be to ring in the new year. And I had a good weekend catching up with friends, seeing a few movies, starting to shop for a new couch, and getting ready for this new year. I started my new year by taking a nice walk in the cool Seattle sunshine. It was a gorgeous morning new years day.
This Thursday marks the Cancerversary. I am still figuring out how I want to spend that evening. I don't believe the way my diagnosis happened was a series of coincidences or chance. And I think about that. The conversations I had leading me to go to the doctor, me mentioning the discomfort to my doctor as a side thought because I didn't have a lot of pain, my doctor recommending me to the surgeon and the surgeon telling me before even taking the biopsy that I had cancer, and then way the tumor grew so that I knew something was off to begin with. So I don't believe the way that this played out can just be chance or luck. And how fortunate I was it hadn't spread. Then came that feeling, the world stopping and this fear and anxiety building and pressing down on my chest in a way I have never felt before. But I never thought I was going to die, I never thought this was the way I was supposed to go down, even though I was so scared.
Now I move on to this new chapter. I wish to you all a happy and healthy 2015. Thanks for your love, support and prayers."

--- i also wanted to share the latest on chaser, his surgery will now be february so as always keep sending the love and prayers to their family.
"The house is finally Flu-free! Ava is back dancing, Tanner is back at hockey, Lisa is putting make-up on again, and Chaser is doing great! Looks like my Sioux blood fought it off before it had a chance to get me- as I am the only one in the house that it didn't run its coarse with. Chaser kicked in the New Year today, starting with PT and Speech therapy early this morning. He was given the choice of a nuk brush or one of the vibrating toys we often use to get his attention. It was no surprise that both times asked he looked right at the a yogurt dipped nuk brush(spoon), as he doesn't not like the vibrating jiggler at all. Lisa and Jen (his therapist) said there was no doubt he knew where he was looking. As he tasted the spoon, he did plenty of good swallows and alot of good tongue movements, which we havent seen many of previously. In PT, he sat criss-cross and held his head, neck and back up really good. When his head would drop, with mom cheering him on, he was able to pick it back up and hold it there several times. He rolled over, once from side to back, and once from back to side- although it took awhile, he was able to do it with minimum help. And to show he was really in it, he did some suttle kicking movements while he was trying to roll. Our little dude is definately trying as hard as we are to get back!
He had a great day in school today as well. With his new nurse Deanna by his side, he played some interactive games on the smart board. Being star of the week for the class this week, she and Chaser presented the poster about him that we made as a family last night. The kids were very attentive and curious about it and him today. Lets hope today is the start of very progressive 2015. Unfortunately because of his flu, Botox and surgery have been reschedualed until Feb 4th. Although its a bummer we have to wait, we need to make sure he is healthy so he can recover from that as quick as he has everything else. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers..

God is Good!

PS. There has been another tragic near drowning on the Royal Carribbean cruise ship. Ascanio- a 4yr old boy, was pulled from a wave pool after being under water for nearly six minutes....please send some up to the Big Guy for the family, as they are just starting the journey that we have been living."

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