Monday, October 31, 2016


The results are in ---- the tumors have not grown or shrunk. There are no new tumors. I will go 4 more rounds on current treatment, then scans at end of December. If no change in tumors, will start treatment with a second drug added in at the beginning of January. I found a lump on my leg on Saturday and we will do an ultrasound of that this week. Keep sending the mojo;) xo

Sunday, October 30, 2016

weekend + here we go

our weekend was a good one.

catching up on 'the voice' and 'project runway' - love them both. reading. sleeping in. sauna appointment. green teas. finding the perfect sweatshirt at target. time in the hot tub. camp out nights. baking with malena. getting in a run/walk on both days. today i ran farther than i did yesterday, and yesterday i ran farther than i did last weekend. it was like my legs started to kick in and say "oh yeah, i think that we remember how to do this. just keep giving us some time to practice." having family up to celebrate my mom's birthday. lots of laughter with my family. getting to watch mom blow out the candles on another healthy year for her.
pumpkin carving with her and my dad. looking at our four pumpkins all lit up and loving them. watching the world series. eating good food. watching a powerpoint (she knows computers better than her mom) that malena made that was all about things that she loves.

so many good things.

so tomorrow (monday) morning we go in at 9:30 to get the scan results.

since tomorrow is my mom's birthday i can only think that will bring me good luck. it has to, right? right.

so we will know how these five rounds of treatment have gone. are the tumors larger? are the tumors smaller? are the tumors the same size? if they are smaller, i think that my oncologist will say that we should stay the course and stay on the same treatment cycle of the same drug every two weeks. if the tumors have grown or are the same size, i think that he will say that we will introduce in the second drug to the treatment cycle starting with my next round.

only time will tell. 12 hours from right now we will be sitting in the office waiting to get the results.

12 long hours.

but in between that time, midnight will come and my mom will turn one year older. and for that i am super thankful, regardless of what happens tomorrow. it means that we have got to have her with us for another year, and have so much more to look forward to in the year to come (and beyond). so for that, i am thankful to october 31st.

tomorrow will also bring the chance to celebrate halloween with malena, go to her party at school, and walk our tiger around for trick or treating tomorrow night. those are all really good things to look forward to tomorrow.

thanks for all of the good thoughts and vibes. i will write an update here tomorrow as soon as i can after my appointment.

anywhere i fight, you fight. xo

Friday, October 28, 2016

the day

long day.

when we went to the store this morning to get my cinnamon bears (superstitious tradition on scan day) the store was out.

i then went to three more stores.

no cinnamon bears.

then the tears started to fall because when my routines get off on scan days it throws me way off my game. luckily my kind husband let me come home to get ready to head to seattle and he then went on a bear mission and was successful. i knew that i kept him around for a reason;)

i got called back for bloodwork as soon as i got there. i got one of my favorite nurses this time and i really like him. so i thought that was a good sign for the day. i got my litocaine shot in my chest to numb the area for them to put the iv into my port. after they took all of the needed blood, they flushed my port (which is when they inject saline into it to clean it out) and i knew it was working because i could taste the saline in my mouth like always.

i drank everything i needed to and then headed back for the scan.

i did not get the room with windows. i got the room with those damn ceiling tiles. that was not a good sign.

this was my first scan with my port. so when they injected the contrast into my port it moved through my body so much faster than it did when the iv was in my arm. i had to take a ton of deep breaths because the nausea came on so much faster this time - makes sense since the port is connected to my main bloodstream.

we waited per usual to make sure that i didn't have a reaction and then the nurse flushed my port line again. 

we grabbed some lunch. by that time it was about 11:3o and since i had not been able to eat since last night i was really hungry.

we then checked in for my infusion. after my meds arrived and my nurse got the infusion going, we both took a nap. i was out like a light. i have not got a lot of sleep this week and was so tired at that point i could barely keep my eyes open.

i woke up to the beeping of the machine indicating that the infusion of the meds were over. then the nurse connects some saline and other liquids up to flush my port again which takes about another 10 minutes. the infusion itself takes an hour once it is connected to my port and started.

so we left around 2 and headed to a favorite bakery to get a little treat for the drive home.

we got home and i had to check in on work quick, and then i crashed again for a couple of hours.

i now feel really tired and the usual feeling of bloated and not feeling well. my body was pumped with so many liquids today that i just feel super sluggish. should feel a little better by the morning hopefully.

thanks for all of the good thoughts and love coming our way. we really appreciate it.

have a good weekend peeps, make it a good one. we plan to.


scans + round 5

today will be a long day.

i check in this morning to get bloodwork done through my port.

then i go through the scan process, you all know how much i love that. the contrast that makes me sick. the ceiling tiles, hoping i get the room with the windows again.

after i am through with the scans, i check in for my infusion assuming my bloodwork is ok.

i was supposed to have my next infusion on monday after we get scan results. but the timing of the infusion was too close to the time i am supposed to be a halloween party at malena's school. and there was no way i was going to risk not making it to her party on time due to infusions. so i worked with my scheduler to see if we could get it in today. i felt like i was going to already feel like total crap coming out of scans, so why not just add an infusion to it  and make it one long day.

i am still waiting for my oncologist to give me the final approval on the switch to today, but i would surprised if he was not ok with the plan for some reason. i will take it as it comes.

monday morning we will get results from the scans. these will be big. will we see whether the tumors have shrunk due to the treatment? will they be the same size? will they have grown? ugh. so many different possibilities, i am sure you know which one i am hoping for.

i will let you know how today goes.

thanks for all of the good thoughts and mojo you continue to send our way.

anywhere i fight, you fight.


Monday, October 24, 2016

make it one more

"take a shower. wash off the day. drink a glass of water. make the room dark.
lie down and close your eyes. notice the silence. notice your heart. still beating. still fighting.
you made it, another day and you can make it one more.
you're doing just fine."
(charlotte eriksson)

for a monday, lots to be thankful for:

+++ for my friend kris's mom judy (who i have wrote about here before) making it successfully through a 9.5 hour surgery today which was a follow up procedure due to some complications from previous surgeries related to cancer that she has successfully fought. she is a tough cookie so i know that she will make it through this recovery as well as she has the previous times she had to rebound from surgery. but please send your good vibes and prayers to vancouver and to judy and her family as she moves forward. you can do this judy, that i know for sure.

+++ for laughter with malena on our way to school today.

+++ for green tea.

+++ for my sauna appointment that always makes me feel a bit better.

+++ for the start of a new book, and liking the ones that i have recently read which included a man called ove (one of my favorite books i have read in a long time) and love warrior (so good and so happy i bought this one so i don't have to take it back to the library) and sweetbitter (couldn't put it down towards the end).

+++ talking to my mom

+++ nice text messages on my phone and emails in my inbox

+++ finding the perfect addition to our home

+++ the woman at the local mail store telling me that they wouldn't charge me more than the post office would to mail my package to my nephew because they don't take profits on packages going to military service members

+++ malena's homework officially starting for 2nd grade and her being super excited to do reading, spelling, and math problems. reminded me of how much i loved studying for spelling tests when i was a kid. the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

+++ avocado toast for breakfast

it was a good one. hello tuesday.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

waving the white flag

this week i felt a little bit rougher than previous weeks.

could just be the treatments starting to accumulate. the meds hopefully working their magic. my immune system in overdrive. my body being pretty wiped out.

on thursday i was supposed to go down to portland for a concert. but i knew by wednesday that i wasn't going to be able to do it. i just wasn't feeling well enough to be able to go. that was a really hard decision as it felt like i was waving the white flag a bit and surrendering  (which i do not like to do). so that was hard but it was the right decision to make. i knew that when i made it, but it didn't make it any easier. i was angry at the tumors. for having to do treatment. for not being able to live my life on my terms. in truth, i am still kind of pissed about it. but i am reminding myself that waving the white flag on a certain day doesn't mean that i am keeping it in the air. just during the times when i have to.

this week the side effects all seemed to remain the same, just more tired this week which is understandable as time goes on and the fatigue increases.

the other daily part of all of this that is pretty frustrating is that when i am driving the car, the seatbelt comes right across the part of my chest where the port is. and it hurts. so i drive with my seatbelt down a little bit on my arm. but it is frustrating and annoying, and a reminder every time i get into my car that i have the port in my chest. these meds had better be working their magic.

this weekend was low key, which is how i like it these days. the weather was beautiful so i got out both days for good walks, and a little bit of running. malena and i went today and she was a good walking partner, and even wanted to jog for some parts of it. i can definitely tell that i haven't been running for months, i am pretty sore from the miles i put in this weekend. so training for the 5k in december is going to be a total and complete grind. but that is ok, i have done it before, i can do it again. i just have to put in the work.

i hope that your weekends were good too. i don't know about you but i am kind of hoping that monday takes its own sweet time in getting here.

have a good one ( good as mondays can be).

Monday, October 17, 2016

round 4

round 4 is in the books.

my liver levels are holding steady.

the only thing that came up today was that my potassium level was low. i wasn't surprised by that one as i had some wicked charlie horses in the middle of the night a couple of times last week. so i have been eating some bananas which have helped, amazing how those bananas can quickly help with muscle spasms.

the swelling is a little better due to the meds i started two weeks ago. hopefully it will continue to get better as more time goes by. i am on the lowest dose possible so that i don't have other side effects start to increase, so i guess i can tolerate the swelling in order to not have some of those side effects added into the current mix of fun.

my mouth is still like the sahara desert but i have found some lemon drops that help to break up the monotony of tea and water on a non-stop basis and get my saliva glands working for a few minutes. i seriously don't know how camels do it. but i feel like i could totally hang out with them at this point. dry mouth, moving slow, yep -- pretty much belong with them these days.

i haven't lost too much hair recently which is good news. i got my hair cut on friday and my hair angel jeremy and i were high-fiving that i still had hair to cut. oh the little victories, you have to celebrate them along the way.

since my legs hurt so bad, i haven't been getting out to do much any walking/running. actually i haven't done too much exercise at all since surgery in february because by the time i recovered from that we were into the treatment starting, and then the steroid phase hit and there went my summer.

so you know me. my legs hurt. they are swollen. it hurts to do much at all.

so of course i needed a good goal.

i signed up for a 5k run in december.

because if my legs are going to hurt, they might as well hurt while i am running with them.

right? right.

so last weekend i got my first walk in for a few miles, and plan to make it happen a couple of times this week too to work back up to running. i got zero walking in last weekend since stormapalooza was in effect here and i am not going to run in the rain and chance getting sick. my immune system needs to fight the tumors, not a cold. so when the weather cooperates i am all about it.

i read this article by tom brokaw last week and thought it was so well written (which was not a surprise because look who it was written by). i could relate to a lot of what tom talked about in the article. maybe like every word. and of course you know that i loved the last line.

like tom says, cancer hasn't been invited to a lot of things around here lately either. pumpkin patch trip. reading books. tickle fights. camp out nights. a lot of laughter. trips to the library. making some crafts. watching project runway. watching the voice and cheering on the singers (btw, is anyone else besides me so excited about the cartoon movie "sing" that comes out at christmas? can't wait). teaching art to malena's class. having a pumpkin carving party with our fun neighbors (and of course we had some photo props. you know that was a given).

there is a lot more to come that cancer won't be invited to around here.

and that is just the way i like it.

happy tuesday peeps.

thanks for all the continued love and support

four down. who knows how many more to go.

today the nurse asked me if i am ready to go back on the second drug if i have to.

i told her that i am scared because i am worried my liver will not take it and i will have to go back on steroids (which i really, really, really, really do not want to have to do again). but i told her that if that is what i have to do, then that is what i have to do. there are just no other options but to keep going.

but you all already knew that, didn't you?

anywhere i fight, you fight.

onward we go.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

round three

round 3 is in the books.

my bloodwork was good yesterday and all of my organs are cooperating. which is of course really good news.

so we were a go for the infusion.

we are going to do scans again on 10/28 and will see what is going on with the tumors. if they are shrinking, we may stay the course. if they have stayed the same or increased, we may start in with the second drug again. we will cross that bridge when we get the results on the 31st.

the side effects continue. a lot of swelling and pain in both of my legs and feet. i got some meds prescribed yesterday to hopefully start to decrease that, i am really hoping that they work. i am also hoping that they don't have side effects of their own. i can only hope.

my saliva glands have for some reason stopped working so my mouth is pretty much like a desert, even when i am eating. we have no idea why that is happening but it is a drag. so i am drinking a ton of water and tea everyday and have started using lemon drops to try to help a bit.

i am still really, really tired which is why i haven't wrote much (or at all) in this space in the last two weeks. i have been going to bed earlier than normal (my brother will love that) and so i have not had the energy to write or stay up any later than i have to.

but i do miss this space so I hope to get back to it more often.

i hope that your days have all been good, and thanks for all of the mojo and good vibes -- my liver and kidneys and i all thank you):

happy wednesday, we are half way there peeps.

ps) rozanne - great minds think alike, saw your comment just as i started to write this;) xo