Monday, November 29, 2010

Love WIll Bring Him Home

As many of you know, Rachel and Ken are having a fundraiser to raise money to help them adopt "Joshua" (not his real name) from a Eastern European country.  Joshua is 3 1/2 years old,  has Down Syndrome, and needs heart surgery as soon as possible.  We are all excited to bring him home to his "forever family".
The event will be this coming Friday, Dec. 3rd, at Bridgewood Community Church in Blaine. Tickets are $5, and if you get them ahead of time you will be entered into a drawing for a door prize!  You can also get your ticket at the door. The silent auction starts at 6 pm, and the concert starts at 6:30.  The event will end at 8pm.  Music will be provided by The Marty Rosendun Family Singers and Tricia Bownik. I've also heard my son-in-law (Ken) might be providing some intermission piano music.  I hope so because he plays beautifully!  There will be free cookies, and some yummy treats for sale. 
Some wonderful items that will be available in the silent auction are:  Chocolate lover's basket, a baby wrap, handmade birdhouse, free fruit pie from Baker's Square, Betty Crocker basket, Thyme products, Avon products, an American Girls doll wardrobe, baskets for children, and MUCH MORE!  There will also be Partylite candles for sale.
Please stop by!  There are many of you I would love to see! Family, friends, fellow survivors!  Even if you can't stay for the whole event, stop in and buy some homemade treats for your family!
If you would like to financially support Joshua's adoption, but can't attend the event, you can click on this link:

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress"  James 1:27a


Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Hate Cancer

Just in case you were wondering how I really felt about it!
This morning, as I checked my e-mail, I found 2 e-mails from colon cancer survivors that now think they may have breast cancer.  One woman I've "known" for a while through her blog, and the support she gave me while I was going through treatment for colon cancer, and the other I just "met" today, when she contacted me through my blog. What a bummer!
I will be praying for them both, and doing what I can to help them and answer their questions.  I've mentioned the website,, to both of them.  There are women on that site that are going or have gone through just about everything.  It can be a little overwhelming at first, because, of course, people on there share their bad experiences, but when you get connected with some others (like I am part of the "June Chemo" thread)  it can be incredibly supportive.  I wish there was something similar for colon cancer.  None of the colon cancer sites I've found compare to the bc site.
I've found there are differences between the 2 cancers.  At first, the bc didn't scare me as much as the cc.  And, it still doesn't, but the it's the treatment that scares me.  I hope to NEVER go through chemo again!  The cc (colon cancer) was less disfiguring, and when I was done with chemo, I was DONE. With bc, the treatment seems to go on forever. Everyone is different, but many of us will have more than one surgery, chemo, radiation, and then possibly Herceptin(1 year) or an estrogen inhibitor(5 years!).  I had no idea there were so many different types of bc.  Then, of course, there is the loss of hair and eyelashes, which makes you look like a cancer patient--something I didn't have with cc.  For me, though, the loss of my breast was the most difficult.  It's not such a big deal to me now, but it sure was difficult at the time.  It's something that I had to work through with God.
Then there are so many other cancers out there!  We lost one of our bloggers this past week.  I think it may have even been on Thanksgiving.  A young woman, early 30's, who has been battling lung cancer for the past 2 years.  She was such a vibrant, adventurous woman.  So sad.
Well, that should give you some reason for the title of my blog!
On a better note...
I had a very nice Thanksgiving with my family.  Our group was Rich, me, Rachel, Ken, Brennan, Alyssa, Jaren (he was in Iraq last year!), Shonna, and my sister, Dee.  I've come down with some sinus crap, so everyone really chipped in and helped me out.  Rachel and Jaren both had to work, so we had an early dinner--about 1:30.  I have soooo much to be thankful to God for!!  He is so good!!!
I'm starting to feel a little better today.  I slept in and stayed home from church.  Shonna just left to head back to Kansas City.  I haven't done any shopping yet--just some looking online and gathering ideas.  Hope my head clears soon, so I can get things done and not get too far behind.  I'm going to have Rich get the Christmas stuff out from under the steps, and I'll work on that this week.
I've had 20 (I think) out of 33 radiation treatments so far.  I've had a 4 day break, and my skin is still pretty red.  My hair is coming in, but it's so light and fine that I still look bald; it'll be awhile before I can go without a hat or scarf!  My eyelashes are growing, but still too sparse and short for mascara--hopefully soon!
I had my MUGA (heart function) scan on Friday, and I will get the results of that on Wed. when I see my onc.  After rads on Wed. I will go to the cancer center (all at Regions Hospital), and get labs done, see my onc., and then get another Herceptin infusion.  I'm hoping I will find that my hemoglobin is back up near normal, and my other counts are all ok.  My Rad Onc said this radiation should not affect my white blood counts, because it's not hitting much of my bone marrow.  This will be the last time I see my onc. for a while (I think), so I will ask him what the plan is for future scans and tests, for both cancers.  I'll also talk to him about going back to work. 
Rachel and Ken's fundraiser for their adoption is coming up on Friday.  I will post more about this tomorrow, but if you click on Joshua's button on the side of my blog, you will find info there and a link to Rachel's blog.  On her blog, there is a tab at the top with fundraiser info.  There will be a concert, silent auction, door prizes, free cookies, and other items for sale.  Hope to see many of you there!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Radiation Going Well

Hi Dee!  :D  and anyone else reading this....
I have been very busy!  I go to radiation every morning at 9:45, then the last few days I've also been shopping after.  I've been planning and organizing for Thanksgiving, and of course spending time with my little grandson, Brennan.  He was here twice this week--he's 13 months old now, and a funny little boy.  Likes to make people laugh!  There were a few other things going on this week as well-- like I said, busy!
Radiation is going well, so far.  I am getting red skin, and it's a little sore at times, but most of the time I don't even notice.  I get tired in the afternoons, and by 9pm I'm ready for bed! But, overall I am enjoying feeling better, and being done with chemo!
I still have my neuropathy in my hands and feet.  I think it is slightly better than it was right after chemo.  I have a lot of aches and pains--everytime I get up from the chair I walk funny until my legs and hips get moving again!  This happened to me last time after chemo too.  It seems to happen to a lot of women after chemo, and our oncs don't seem to know why--they attribute it to other things.  I eventually will go see a rheumatologist.  I had some arthritis and RA pain before all this cancer crap, but not this bad.  Other than that, I still tire easily-an hour of shopping and I'm pretty tuckered out. But there was a time when I couldn't even shop for half an hour!
I didn't really plan on feeling better until after radiation, and I've been noticing that I am doing much better than I expected at this point.  This makes me very happy.  :)   I went up to church this week and spent an hour and a half doing some copying for the children's programs, and it felt good to be up there helping out again.  And the hugs were nice too!
On Thanksgiving I'll be having my kids over here for dinner.  This will be the third year that I've done that (instead of spending it with my mom and siblings), and it's really nice.  Not that I don't enjoy spending time with my family...I just like having this one holiday for Rich, me, and the kids.  I'll see everyone else at Christmas. :)
Rachel and Ken have most of their paperwork done for the adoption.  Everything will be sent to "Joshua's" country, and then they wait until they hear something--probably not until Feb. or March.  They are having a fundraiser event at Bridgewood Community Church on Friday, Dec. 3rd.  There will be entertainment, a silent auction, and free cookies! Also some door prizes and probably some other fun. You can get a ticket for a $5 (or more!) donation.  There are many items in the silent auction, like gift certificates for salons and restaurants, and  many other items!  Great Christmas gifts!  Everyone is welcome--doors open at 6pm.  E-mail me if you would like a ticket, more info, or just want to donate.  This little boy needs a "forever family" to love him and take care of him.  He has down syndrome, and needs heart surgery.  He'll be 4 years old soon, and at risk of being put into an institution, where he will soon die.  Read about him by clicking on the button on the side of my page.  I think there is a link there also to Reece's Rainbow, the organization that helps these kids get adopted.  As Christians, we are called to care for the orphans.  Every child deserves to be loved and cared for.  Not all of us can adopt a child, but we can support those that do, and the organizations that help them!
Have a great weekend!
May the Good Lord bless you all

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Herceptin #10 and Another Rad Delay

As I was eating breakfast this morning, I got a phone call from Regions.  I thought "uh-oh, another delay", and I was right! They are having more trouble with the computer that runs the radiation machine.  She told me to come in at my regular time tomorrow.  Then later this afternoon I got a message from Radiation that said don't come in tomorrow until we call.  Hopefully they'll get it fixed right away in the morning, and I can go in at my usual time (9:45).
After I got the phone call this morning, I thought I could have a relaxing morning without having to run anywhere.  Then I remembered I had to get my Herceptin infusion at 10:30.  So I still had to make that trip to Regions!
My Herceptin infusion went well.  I feel tired, a little nauseated, and have a little headache.  I might take a pill (Compazine) for the nausea, and maybe a nap would be a good idea!
I have my next infusion in 3 weeks, on Dec. 1st.  The day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26th), I have a MUGA scheduled after my radiation--I'll be glowing by the end of the day!  The MUGA is done in the Nuclear Medicine dept. because of the stuff ( a tracer, I think) they inject me with before the scan.  They can watch it go through my heart to see how the heart is pumping.  I'll get the results at my next infusion as I will be seeing my oncologist then and getting blood work done too.
Speaking of blood work, I asked my radiation onc. yesterday (I see him every Tues.) if radiation lowers the blood counts. He said that is not something he is concerned about because only about 2 percent of my bone marrow is in the radiation field.  If more marrow was being hit with radiation, then there might be a problem with low blood counts.
After 10 rad treatments, my skin is a little pink and sore, and I still get little shooting pains now and then.  So, really, I am feeling pretty good.  The further away from chemo I get, the stronger I feel.  Soon, I will be dealing with painful skin and fatigue, so I am enjoying feeling good while I can!
Time for a nap!  Getting too tired to type anymore.
May God bless you and keep you!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Radiation Delay

Last Thursday I went down to the hospital for treatment #4, and they told me they were waiting for someone to come fix the computer for the machine.  They gave me a $5 coupon for the cafeteria, so I decided to get something to eat while waiting.  Then the nurse came in and told me I could see Dr. Bisignani first (I was scheduled to see him after radiation).  After seeing him I went to the cafeteria and had a danish and orange juice.   When I got back they were still working on the machine, so I sat in the main waiting room.  I chatted with another woman for a bit (she liked my scarf with the sparkles on it!), and then the tech came out to tell me that the machine wouldn't be fixed until the next day because they needed to get a part for it.  She said "wait a minute", and left and came back with a $10 gas card.  I thought that was pretty nice!  I really didn't mind waiting, but the coupon and gas card were very nice.
When I met with the doc I told him about my twinges of pain and he said the radiation is causing some inflammation, and that is what is making the nerves have those "twinges".  He said that's normal and will continue until a week or 2 after radiation is done.  If it gets bad he said I should take ibuprofen.  He looked at my skin and said everything looks fine! 
Tonight as I sit here I can feel some little twinges again ( I had radiation #4 today), but they are very mild so far.  I do worry about what I'll be feeling like in a week or two though.  But, I shouldn't worry, right?  "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34  God's looking out for me--I just need to lean on Him!
I just talked to Shonna on the phone.  She is getting ready to go on a mission trip to California.  They leave on Thursday morning.  God sent the money for her to go, and I know He'll be watching out for her.  I can't wait for her to come home for Thanksgiving.  I REALLY am not liking this being so far away from her.
Jaren and Alyssa are going on a mission trip also!  They are going in January with a group from church to Cabo San Lucas (I think that's what it's called).  It's a very poor area.  Members of our church have been there before.  Please pray for the funds to come in for Alyssa and Jaren to go.
There are many exciting things going on in our church these days.  Actually, I think many churches are experiencing this.  Many things are pointing to revival.  Hope you all want to be a part of it!!
God loves you, and may He bless all of you!!