Friday, August 31, 2007


Okay, for all you folks that read my blog regularly, let me clarify one item. I want to go to the Oprah show and be in the audience...not be on it! That would be pretty boring!!! Lots of people get cancer. I am not the only one and if that is what she interviewed they would be backed up with cancer for three years! Yep, feelin' pretty sassy this morning. Nolan and I are going to go on an errand, meet my parents for lunch, and Mason and I have a fishing date after day care today. Feels like a normal day. I love normal. Have a great holiday weekend, we will. Love, Ang

Thursday, August 30, 2007


A few weeks ago Mason went to the cabin with my Aunt and Uncle. Included in the trip was Mason's first fishing trip. They went to Fish Lake, didn't spend much time on the boat, and didn't catch any fish, but Mason has not forgotten the trip and quite literally has talked about fishing ever since. Now at home, the giant green throw blanket from the living room has become his boat. He makes fishing poles from brooms and drumsticks, sticks and string, whatever he can find. He napped in the boat yesterday with Curious George. Then, when Dad came home last night we presented him with two toy fishing poles. That was it - we fished, and fished, and fished. Baby Nolan became the "quadropus" that kept steeling our fish, Grant took lots of pictures, and we caught the same fish several times. The sun came through the windows making everything glow with that the end of summer look. The temperature was perfect and we laughed and played as a family until bath time. Pizza for dinner even took a back seat which is big for Mason....he loves pizza. There was my moment brazed in my memory forever. Happy Thursday, Ang

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Almost normal

Well, I got out today. Had coffee with a long time friend, dropped off some dishes to another, and went to Safeway. Of course, all of this was possible because Sarah took the kids for a few hours. It was great to get out - the sun felt awesome, the coffee tasted amazing, and familiarity of old friends embraced me. I am thankful for this good day and it looks like I may have my "good week" back. Opps, Nolan is eating paper....better go...I am okay....please don't worry.....I am on the upswing of this round. If I could just get Nolan to stop eating paper, that would be great - I do feed him!!!! Love, me

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On the mend.

Well, today is much better than yesterday, so I am on the mend. The one good things is that I did keep my 6 month appointment for Nolan yesterday at 4:00. I love the boy's doctor. She is awesome. I walked in and she said, "Hey, how are you doing?" I was like, "Me, Mason or Nolan?" She looked at me and said, "You, of course!" So, it was on....and we talked and laughed. She is great. We did eventually get to Nolan. He is perfect. He is off the charts for height, 80% for weight, and 95% for head. My big, healthy boy. He is developmentally and physically perfect. And that smile - so amazing. Six months old - it went so fast. After that appointment, I went to the pharmacy to pick up my Rxs and drove home to my other boy and Grandma. The evening went well. Mason is having some bedtime rule issues and Nolan went to bed too late so he woke up at 11:00 pretty ticked off, but such is life with two little ones. I woke up to feed Nolan this morning at 4:30 and have been up ever since....first light was a little before 5:00. I am drinking hot chocolate, reading email, and the paper. Soon, the boys will be up and all will be chaos - beautiful wonderful chaos...... Have a great day - my is shaping up that way, Ang

Monday, August 27, 2007

Something I learned this weekend...

I think I now understand the term "war on cancer". Just as war, cancer takes its toll. Even when you "win". Last week, I sailed through chemo, unhook, nausea, etc. So, the chemo was fine, but a complication of the chemo happened again. Okay, here where details that you may not want to you are forewarned. See, between the chemo and the anti nausea drugs, I can go from severe constipation to diarrhea in a manner of hours. Fun times! Well, in this fun dichotomy you can get what are called fissures. That is a split in the anus that bleeds and is blindingly painful when you poop. More fun times! So, for the last three rounds, I have fought these off, but this time was awful. This time I tried to live my life in spite of them. You know, fight through the pain, go to my social engagements in spite of the pain, fight against the cancer taking those things away from me. Well, guess who won. Yep, cancer one; Angie zero. I stared going down hill Friday afternoon. Saturday I fought it and went to bookclub. Saturday afternoon I was taxed, but still fought through. Sunday I paid, and paid some more. Grant was so tired of taking care of all of us, he is home right now while I write this. So, today I call the doctor again and see what I need to do knowing darn well he is going to say, negotiate it as well as you can, watch your diet, and rest. Rest. I am so sick of resting. I am so sick of the inside of my house I could scream. I am so mad that I will not be able to go to a birthday lunch and scrapbooking I want scream more. See I didn't respect the cancer treatment and it is winning. So, I have to readjust my mind, my expectations to take care of myself, enjoy the inside of my house, to appreciate my treatment, respect my body's more limited ability to heal because of the treatment, etc. etc. etc. I have to do this even if I choke on it because then I will win the psychological warfare of cancer. I will win, but truth be told I cried a lot this weekend. Some from pain, some from pity, and some from acknowledging my reality that I can't do everything I want and this may just take more than I am willing to give - for now. Another thing I learned that when you are having your pity cry, no matter how much you are not paying attention NEVER and I mean NEVER mix up your nose tissue with your eye tissue. Why? Because when you are on chemo your nose can bleed and when you get blood in your eyes it sends the pity party to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. Yes, please laugh - I am. Today Mom is coming over to help. Tuesday through Thursday I have Sarah helping me. That will be good. Have a good Monday, I am going to try - Ang

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This week and a couple funny stories....

This week went pretty well. I had less nausea which was nice and I got a lot done so I felt somewhat useful. Even though I tried so hard this time, I still went to that place where I think of what life would be like without me in it. The weird/good part about it is, I have no regrets. There really are only a few things that I have left to do - go on the Oprah show (I enter the VIP tickets contest every time I think about it!), go the bourbon festival, and go to race car training school. That is it. I have always lived my life respecting that I would not last forever. I have traveled to far off places, made time for my family and friends, and enjoyed my role that developed for me. What I mean by that is that I have become the person that people call to help them figure out what is for dinner, figure out what car to buy, how to manage their finances a little better, help with their teenagers - I love teenagers!, find where to buy something (especially kid related), where to spend their birthday, where to go on their anniversary, etc. I love that - especially now - because I feel pretty darn useless. I makes me feel like I am helping somebody somewhere. Yes, you probably noticed that I didn't mention my boys in the above. How can I say this - they are the best things I have ever done (outside of marrying Grant). I can't protect them from this, but I can do everything in my power to get well. They are why I rally, they are why I go to Chemo, why I accept whatever the doctor's tell me I should do, and why am so thankful that I live here with excellent care, family, and friends. PAUSE. PAUSE AGAIN. Okay, now on to funnier is a couple funny things that happened this past week or so. The first one was when I was on my way to scrapbooking last week. I turned the radio on and the song, "Live like you were dying" was on the country station. I sang to it and, of course, cried, but not because I have regrets, because I have very few. BUT THEN, I changed it to a variety station and "Bust the Move" was on the radio. You know how music and transport you to another time and place....well Bust the Move was popular when I was in college and my college roommate (Cathy, if you are reading - this is about you!), loved that song. Whenever it came on the radio everything stopped and we would sing...especially the part that went something like, "...she says hello come sit next to me you fine run over there without a second to lose and what comes next - bust the move!" Cathy knew all the words - all of them. So, imagine four of the whitest girls in the world, jamming out to bust the move, and thinking they were pretty darn cool......I laughed and laughed and laughed. WHAT DORKS WE WERE! Next story, on the way back from Chemo Elaine, (my driver and long time family friend), said, "I don't know what the big deal is about Krispy Kreme is." I was like, "WHAT THE $%@#($*%($*%)(*$%?!?!?!?!" So I made her drive by the one on 1st Ave in Seattle and said, "If it says serving hot - we are getting some!" The signs were not on and I said, "DARN IT! Well, we can try next time." But Elaine, said, "I am going to go ask." I looked at her like she had six heads, but she didn't care. She went to the drive thru and asked, "Do you have any hot doughnuts?" and the lady was like, "Nope." I am sure she was thinking - that is what the 1700 3 foot by 3 foot signs are for lady!!!! So, we were going to drive away and then we saw pictures of doughnuts....that is all it took.....Elaine shifted in reverse (in the drive thru) and we ordered two doughnuts to go. Happily, we drove home promising that we would go back next time and only order doughnuts when they were serving HOT (r-i-g-h-t!) - only when there hot....good argument! Let's see what happens next time. Well, off to wash boys come home today and I can't wait. Love, me

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Off to chemo tomorrow...

Don't have much to report this time other than I had a great weekend. I am starting to really like Saturdays. It is busy with people coming to help, dinner delivery, and lots of visits. It is my main social outlet these days! I also appreciate that people come in the morning, so I can nap/rest while my boys do in the afternoon. I also like Sunday because it has turned into a great family day. Today we went to my girlfriend's daughter's birthday. It was really fun and nice. Mason was a maniac, and had the best time. Nolan did well, but he is a bit cranky when he is not in 'his' bed for nap. So, off to chemo I go. Knowing that I am in the hearts and prayers of so many, it is an easy journey. Knowing that I will be sick for a few days and go to some pretty dark places, it is only temporary. The days after are forever. With friends like these I cannot fail - have a great week - love, Ang

Friday, August 17, 2007

On my own...(not really, but kinda)

Jane left of Wednesday this week. I cried off and on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday I got it together. I know that I can do this on my own with the help of all my family and friends. I guess it boils down to I didn't wanna. Jane and I had a great summer. She made me laugh all the time, sat with me when I cried, encouraged me when I needed it, and loved my kids as much as I do. How can anyone ask for any more? She really helped my family out too. See, not only did we have to get used to my new normal, but my Dad had knee replacement surgery in July. So, my main guy for Mason during chemo was down for a while. He is doing really well despite his, "This is taking too long! That is not what the paperwork said. Why don't they update their paperwork!" attitude. So, I think we will be able to do this, but I will miss Jane. She is coming to Kauai now too in March, so I guess it won't be too long before I see her again and we are planning a trip to North Carolina next summer (notice the attitude change.....I am planning next summer.....good sign). So, thank you Jane! You made one of the most challenging summers of my life, one of the best of my life. I love you and I will NEVER forget this - NEVER. Off to shower while Nolan is, me

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another grateful weekend

Well, Saturday was the best and icky all in one. The best because of all the friends I have supporting me like the very old friend that took care of me in the morning with yard work, a meal, and house cleaning. The icky part was the butt cancer part - sometimes painful but always taxing (but Leslie did say a looked beautiful, so all was not lost on Saturday!). Sunday, however, I felt great. So great that I went to Fred Meyer - by myself - and did my shopping. I love that store - everything under one roof! Then we went for a family walk which was sublime. REALLY it was. It was a perfect temperature, I could feel the air brush the back of my neck as I pushed the ever so bored Nolan saying (if he could talk), "So bored! Really can we get home so I can scoot around the floor and take Mason's toys?!?!?!?!" Yep, he is scooting and sitting up - all before six months. I told Jane to tie him to a board, but she didn't. JUST KIDDING CHILDHAVEN! ;) Mason and Grant were racing down the bike trail. Mason was running just fast enough to be ahead of Grant, but then a LEAF! Stop - get leaf - starting running again just fast enough to beat Daddy. WAIT - Blackberry bushes!!!! STOP - eat blackberries on my already dirty race, smear them on my leg and my shirt and then say, "HI!" to EVERYONE going by. That's my boy! When we got home, Dad and Mason rode bikes, Nolan still bored stiff watched in the stroller while I made dinner. Yep, there is the shocker! I MADE DINNER. For the first time since diagnosis, I MADE DINNER. It was just pasta with my alfredo/pesto sauce, but I did salad and dipping oil. I hope that counts! We all ate together and it was beautiful. Then, Mason demanded to go next door to visit Sam, Luke, and Grace. Nolan started fussing because he was DONE with being strapped into anything and it was life as usual - busy and loud. My moment was gone.....but I still got my moment. Have a great week. Love, Ang

Friday, August 10, 2007

Operation Hair Dye/Update

Well, I dyed my roots with over the counter hair dye and my hair is still on my head. Previous to Operation Hair Dye, I asked my oncologist if I should and he looked at me like, "Do I look like a dye technician? I am trying to save your life here. Not really concerned about the hair." Luckily it came out, "{Term of endearment like sweetie, but he didn't use that}, if you still have your hair at this point, do whatever and see what happens." He is pretty savvy. So, I dyed it and crossed my fingers. I guess crossing your fingers really does work! for this week, thanks to Bob making take the anti nausea drugs I faired pretty well this round. The boys came home yesterday afternoon. Nolan is in a growth spurt and eating his head in solids. Mason happily went to day care today because it is "Camping Week" and he gets to nap in his sleeping bag. The weekend should be pretty quiet, as I am still a bit fatigued for the chemo. It doesn't help that Nolan still gets up twice in the night to feed his thunder thighs! Jane is coming over for a bit today to help with Nolan and I am going to go out like a normal person and run some errands. I might even get a coffee. Yes, I am wearing the sexy jeans! Funny story on that front...I was wearing them yesterday and playing with the boys outside. I squatted down to help Nolan with something and apparently my t-shirt didn't cover all the way to my jeans. So, Mason, got off of his bike and came over to cover me up. He was all in a thither yammering on about my t-shirt and jeans. Not all of it was understandable, but I got the gist, "MOMMY! Cover up!" The jeans do cover me, but apparently not enough for Mason! Have a great weekend and watch your jeans! Love, Ang

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Celebratory Weekend

Last weekend was full of celebrations. Rob and Jen came down from Kelowna, BC with the girls, Nadia and Natasha, for a visit. We made stepping stones with the girls and went "little girl clothes shopping" - not something I get to do often. The rules were it had to coordinate well, but it must have glitter!!!!! We had so much fun. They did so well! Where was Mason? Well, Mason got to go to my Aunt and Uncle's cabin from Thursday to Saturday. My Aunt Donna helped me out all last week because Jane got the week off. Nolan was with me and we did okay. Jane's family came to town to do a whirl wind trip of the North Cascades and Vancouver. Anyway, Mason loved the cabin. Mason got home about 4pm on Saturday talking only about riding in the boat with Uncle Doug and sleeping upstairs. He quickly got into playing with the girls and they were off - a few sharing problems with Mason and Natasha, but they worked it out. My son is not the saint I thought he was......oh well something to work on! Saturday night, my girlfriend, Sherry made an amazing celebratory dinner for all of us - Canlis Salad, with an amazing polenta dish with three different cheeses and a Fran's chocolate dessert with coconut granache (sp)! Too bad Robin ate most of it, but most of you know ROBIN! They brought wine so I guess it is fair. Sunday, the guys went golfing and Jane watched ALL FOUR of the kids so Jen and I could do some big girl shopping. I was Jen's personal shopper. We got running shoes, causal shoes, and sandals. I was SOOOOO in my element! Outside of her choking me once because she was only "authorized" for two pairs and we bought three - WHATEVER - it went well! She then insisted on going to Fred Meyer - the only place I needed to go for errands before chemo. She pushed the cart and that was nice. I much preferred shoe shopping! Oh, I almost forgot - we had lunch on a patio with a beer and I could drink it!!!! THANK YOU JANE! Jen and I realized that we hadn't been alone together since before Mason was born, but they guys always get to golf......mmmmmmmmm......that is going to change! Monday morning Grant had a training early, but Rob and Jen stayed until I went to chemo so I could pack up the boys properly for them to go to Grandma and Grandpa's with Jane on - all the support, all the celebration, all for! Well, back to the couch, having a bit of trouble with the joints so I need to drink more water and relax a bit. Chemo went well - I have a new appreciation for it. Have a great day - Love, Ang

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

A while back my social worker told me that I needed to do something just for myself like go to the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale that was coming up. Her intentions were good, but at the time I was still like, "Why do I want to buy clothes if I am just going to die?" I am WAY too practical!!!! But, with her voice in my head when the catalog came, I did look through it with Mason over my shoulder. He saw some Keen sandals that were just like mine and said, "Mommy, Mason want deeese ones." That is all it took and off to the sale I went. I tried to look for myself, but I just couldn't UNTIL yesterday. With the good news of my progress, I had a lot of energy and quite a bit of hope that I wasn't "just going to die." I told my Mom that I really needed a new pair of jeans and since my Mom has not liked the one pair of jeans that I bought after Mason was born she was here in a flash to babysit. Off I went. As I was driving there I remembered a conversation with my book club about one of our members buying a ridiculously expensive pair of jeans, loving the experience, and the jeans. I remember saying, "As soon as I loose the baby weight, I am so doing that!" Well, here I was, months later, with no baby fat (butt cancer makes you loose weight), an entirely different shaped body after two babies, and a desperate need to make butt cancer into the cute, sexy, fashion trend setting cancer that breast cancer is. If you don't believe me, just step into the Cancer Institute. It is like Pepto Bismol painted the joint and EVERYONE IN THERE except me of course. I got the cancer whose color is CHOCOLATE BROWN. NO JOKE. But I digress..... As I thought about it, I said to myself, "If I am going to have butt cancer, my ass is going to look really good." And so it was, me in Nordstrom with Jackie, the sales lady in t.b.d., who had the charge of finding me any jeans that would make my butt look good and be comfortable so that I can run after two boys. I tried on so many pairs I had to sit down I was so tired, but I persevered and I found the perfect pair of ridiculously expensive jeans. Jackie informed that they were the jeans featured on Oprah and her favorite. I told her about the cancer, the good news, and my new revelation of changing butt cancer's bad rap. She took it really well - probably not a conversation she has everyday - and said, "I love your attitude!" I told her that with every positive test I would be back for another pair of jeans which should be in about two months. We finished up and when she said goodbye, I said, "See you in two months!" She smiled, nodded and said, "Two months - see you then." I came home and showed Mom the jeans. She loved them. I ripped off the tags, washed them, put on my chocolate brown T-shirt from Target (6.99), and waited for Grant to come home. I told him what I did and, par usual, he was glad that I did it. The best part is he loved me in the jeans. I guess my social worker was right after all. Love, me

Thursday, August 2, 2007

I woke up this morning.....

and it didn't seem like a bad dream anymore. Everyday I have woken up since diagnosis I have asked myself, "Is this really real?" and then I answer myself, "Yep, butt cancer. Fun times." Then, I go along my day trying to live WITH cancer, rather than against it, for it, about it, etc. My projects, outside of scrapbooking, have fallen to the side, my garage is a MESS, my study is piling up with papers, etc. This morning it was different. This morning I woke up, checked the sunrise, smelled behind my boys ears, and when I asked myself the question, "Is this really real?" I answered the same, but this time I answered, "Yep, butt cancer, but I got CRAP to do." Pun not intended, but it is ironic how much the average person (even one without butt cancer) refers to poop. Anyway, I am now in my study, plowing through my inbox, organizing my piles of projects, recycling, tossing, and making tidy what once was a power house of a room. A little part of me is back this morning. I missed it. Have a great day, Ang

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My Doctor Said....

"You should be very happy. I (meaning him) am ecstatic." His version of ecstatic is very calm in my opinion, but everyone is different! YEP - I GOT GOOD NEWS! So, here is where we are at.....the dots on my lung are now so small that they are not measurable. There are still three measurable masses on my lung, BUT they are considerably smaller. The tissue and lymph node by my rectum (remember the tumor went through the rectal wall) are considerably better, and the tumor in my butt is less than a 1/4 of a inch. It was about an inch when we started. Again, my oncologist is ECSTATIC - that is a VERY good thing. Now, here is the plan....we continue with chemo for two more rounds (4 treatments - eight weeks) and then do another scan. No radiation or surgery at this point. As my oncologist says, "It is working. Let's exhaust this first." As for me, I am so happy it is like a ton of brick is off of my shoulders. It is working. It is the first good news I gotten since May 23rd. I am going to celebrate with a luke warm Mike's. I can only handle one these days if that! Then, on Monday, I am back at chemo and LOVIN' IT!. BRING ON THE NAUSEA!!!!!! Thank you again for all of your prayers, thoughts, notes, cards, emails, and voicemails - they are making a difference and it shows. Now, I am off to the fruit stand with my son, Mason, to watch the bark loaders - he needs some attention! All my love, Ang