Friday, December 30, 2016


"in the end, we'll all become stories"
(margaret atwood)

if you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that at the end of every year i pick a word to focus on for the year ahead. it is a word i carry with me throughout the 365 days .

for 2016, my word was fight.

i chose that at the end of 2015 because i knew i was going to be heading into surgery and i didn't know what else was going to come. but i knew without a doubt that in 2016 i was going to have to fight.

now we know what the year held.

lung surgery.
the recovery.
more scans than i can count on my two hands.
more ivs than i care to remember.
a million needles.
1 dose of dual treatment.
a summer of fighting steroids.
swelling of my legs, face, arms.
muscle cramps.
steroid rage.
joint aches.
surgery to install my port.
8 doses of single treatment.
muscle cramps.
joint aches.
dry mouth.
dry skin.
lack of appetite.
taste buds totally out of whack.
good news.
bad news.

so there is no doubt that fight will stay with me, i will carry that word with me for the rest of my life. no doubt about that. there is not one day that goes by that i don't think about that word. it is the reason that i get up each day and keep going. i have to keep fighting, there is just not any other option.

so in looking ahead to 2017, i have decided that my word for the year will be "magic".

i am choosing this one for a couple of reasons.

first off, i think that we can all use as much magic as we can get. but i also want to look for more opportunities to create magic this year too --- doing special things for loved ones ---  making time for the people and activities that are the most important --- creating new memories in our home that include lots of laughter and love --- looking for opportunities to make days brighter for others.

i also know that our family needs magic in 2017. i will be continuing treatment. kim will have surgeries in february and march. my grandma has spent the last two weeks in and out of the hospital (because the fates just couldn't let our family have a noneventful holiday season), and tomorrow she will transition to a nursing home. which will be a transition for all of us as she moves to a place that we hope is the right place for her with the care that she now needs to have. so we already know that there will be tough times ahead, and i am sure that life will throw more at us because it always does. so i think that we could use some magic in 2017, and i look forward to seeing how it shows up. i believe that it will.

and i guess that i also feel like i need a little more magic myself. this year has been one hell of a year for me. i am really tired. i am hoping that 2017 brings me some medical magic. i don't want to jinx myself with any predictions of what could come, or what i would like to have happen. but i really, really hope that this year brings some magic and good news.

i think i deserve some magic.

i think that we all do.

i hope that however you ring in 2017, whether quietly or loudly, the upcoming year brings you what you are wishing for.  and i hope that it brings you good health, laughter, some new adventures, a chance to give love and be loved, and gives you many opportunities to thank your lucky stars for each day you get to wake up and start a new day.

i thank you for reading my words through this year as my story continues.

i thank you for all of the love, prayers, mojo, and kindness you have given me and my family this year.

there are not enough words to say how much it has meant to us.

happy, happy new year to you and yours.

may 2017 be a good year for all of us.

any year i fight, you fight.

onward we go.


+++ if you are thinking about a word for 2017, you can go here to read about ali edwards's "one little word" class, and to her blog to read about her word "connect" for 2017
+++ my friend liz has her amazing talismans again this year so you can carry or wear your word throughout the year, check out her shop - i will be carrying a heart talisman with "magic" on it throughout this year. liz also just wrote about her 2016 word "gentle" on her blog
+++ elise blaha cripe has her 2017 goal tracker available, i am printing mine this weekend. i already know what the goal will be - but i might end up having more than one;)
+++ another blogger i follow has chosen peace for her word for 2017 (and her shop is great and i got many gifts from her shop this year for the holidays).

Thursday, December 29, 2016

last one of the year

today was my last scan of 2016.

things were pretty standard until they injected the contrast in my port during the scan.

i wrote last time about how the contrast moves much more quickly through my system with the port than it does when it comes through the iv in my arm. i felt some nausea last time (which was my first time getting the injection through my port) but nothing like it felt like today.

as soon as the contrast starting moving through my body (it feels warm so i can literally feel it moving inside of my body) it was like a massive tsunami of nausea hit me. i felt like i was immediately going to throw up all over the inside of the machine and myself. in my head i was thinking of yelling at the tech "pull me out! pull me out! pull me out!" because i was inside the machine. but i knew that was the exact moment they were going to take the scan. so somehow i stopped myself from vomiting while holding my breath. as soon as i rolled out of the machine i started taking huge breaths trying to stop myself from getting sick.

i made it to the recovery area and for about 30 minutes i just sat on the couch, hunched over on my side, wrapped in a blanket, trying to breathe, and i did not move a muscle. i could not even talk i was so nauseas. i was finally able to get some apple chips down and a string cheese and took one of my nausea pills that usually knocks me out. but because i was behind the nausea, it didn't immediately help. i was able to get into the car to head home. i walked in from the car and went straight to bed. i couldn't even take the 10 extra steps to tell malena hi because i had to lay down as soon as possible. i was in bed for most of the afternoon.

the nausea got a tiny bit better through the rest of the day, but even as i write this, i am nauseas.

we get results on the 4th and those will determine next steps.

so we have a long wait this time around.

thanks for all of the continued good vibes and love.

anywhere i fight, you fight. xo

Sunday, December 18, 2016

long time, no write

it has been awhile since i have been on here.

i had my 8th treatment last week, my bloodwork was good and so things were a go.

i have scans coming up next week, and then we will get the results the first week of january.

if the tumors are the same or have shrunk, we will stay the course on the current treatment.

if the tumors have not changed or have grown, we are going to double down on treatment and we will add the second drug back in again.

i will have infusion the same day as i get results, and we have it scheduled so that i can do an infusion with both drugs if needed that day.

as you can likely imagine, i have about a million emotions about scans coming up and what the results will be.

in the meantime, tomorrow i head back to seattle cancer care alliance with kim and my brother. tomorrow she meets doctors from scca and on tuesday she meets with surgeons at the university of washington.

so please send your good thoughts and prayers and mojo to kim tomorrow and tuesday (and everyday really).

we so appreciate it.

i hope that your decembers are treating you well so far. xoxo

Sunday, December 4, 2016

beth + kim + those damn joints

thanks for all of the love and good vibes for beth and kim last week.

beth got her results on friday, and while they were not the all clear we wanted, they weren't the worst news she could have got either.

i will let her tell you in her own words because it is her story.

well I still have spots and they are still growing.  Albeit slowly.  So the fact that they are growIng my radiation oncologist wants me to come back for another scan in 3 months.  He knew I wasn't going to like that news.  I did cry.  
We still don't know what the spots are.  They are still half the size of what they would need to biopsy which is 1 cm.  
He said they aren't acting likely a typical cancer because they are growing so slow.  But it doesn't mean they aren't cancer.   
I did also ask about the construction at my place and since there is mold there If it could be fungal.  He said it was plausible and seemed intrigued with all the construction at my place.   He is going to ask some pulmonary specialists and let me know.  

I didnt think the lung spots would be gone but assumed I would stick with a 6 month scan.  So I am not happy but we still don't know what it is. I promised him I wouldn't live the next 3 months like it's cancer doomsday.   Because we just can't.  
In some ways I never want the spots to be big enough to biopsy.   But there is a chance I have to have scans longer than 5 years and may live for a long time wondering what these spots are with no definitive answer.

all labs looked good which is a good sign.  
We are on our way to Vancouver and I will try to enjoy myself and live the next 3 months like I planned on anyways.   (I am not going to lie that I am very disappointed however)

On a good note my very great repairman came over last night and all is fine with the oven.   

I couldn't do this without you.  Thank you all for your ongoing love, support and prayers.

so please keep the good mojo going her way so that those spots stay right where they are over the next three months, or even better, shrink!

kim had her MRI on friday, and she meets with the surgeon tomorrow to talk about the results and next steps. so please send love, prayers, and all of your good mojo to her tomorrow morning as she learns more about what comes next and when.

as was to probably be expected, my joint aches have got worse since the latest infusion on monday. i was sore on saturday but was doing fine. then by saturday night, my joints hurt so bad that i was in tears. i took some advil to try and get some sleep during the night. my kind husband woke me up at 5am so that i could take an advil and get ahead of the pain for the day. i had a sauna appointment and a fun afternoon planned with friends. i had cancelled both of those plans by 8am because i was in so much pain. i had to have barrett come up and help me get out of bed because i couldn't put any weight on my arms to leverage myself up.

so it has been a rough 24 hours. but the advil has helped a small bit to numb the pain.

i hate having to cancel plans. it feels like throwing up the white flag. but tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully there won't be a need for me to throw up the flag again.

so we will see how tomorrow goes.

one hour, one day at a time. that is what i keep reminding myself.

thanks for all of the love that you are sending my way as well. as always, i really appreciate it.

happy monday.

here we go again. xo

+++ for all the local peeps, there is a great holiday pop up shop at the historic shell station on front street in issaquah, more info is here. and the christmas cabin is open at timber creek in redmond and more info is here. you are welcome.