Wednesday, March 26, 2008

It is the end?

Yesterday, I woke up to an amazing sunrise. The colors were pink and orange. The heat of the houses were putting steam into the air and all was calm in the neighborhood. Beautiful. The kids were great. I took Mason to Preschool for the first time this school year. What a treat! I saw many people that I knew and we were all celebrating my good news. By the afternoon, I was packing for Kauai - no easy task - and I was beginning to think that I should end the posting on the blog. You know, end the story on a happy note. I always like happy endings. I listened to my Hawaiian music and thought, no I need to finish with Kauai. The imagines, the stories, and the fun we will have. I had a treat yesterday too. I went for a facial to get all that chemo shading off my face. What an amazing job she did!!!! I look great, or at least great for a chick that has just gone through chemo for 10 months! While I was there my favorite Hawaiian song came on....IZ "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" that goes into "What a Wonderful World". I almost started to cry. I think I am just starting to feel like this is over. "Cancer Free by Kauai" I said at the beginning of this journey and I did it. I DID IT. For me this is huge, I have never had a project come in on time. Remember, I am a wife, daughter, mom, and HR professional. If a project with any of those titles comes across someones desk, it is always the last priority. Since when do those titles meet anyone's deliverables?!?!?! Yeah, I know - NEVER. I live it! So, for the first time in my life, I am on time with a project, probably not under budget, but definately on time. So, back to packing and listening to, Ang

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Forever Changed

So, yesterday, the day before Easter, I went to Fred Meyer for last minute food items. The Easter aisle was PACKED with people and among them was a woman in a motorized cart. She wasn't able to get down the aisle, but she was there with her husband who she sent down the aisle looking for Reese's Peanut Butter eggs. She looked tired and she looked like she really wanted Reese's Peanut Butter eggs. I thought, "A man will NEVER find them in this mess, nor will he be determined to do so." Sure enough, he came out saying, "They are sold out." That was it.....thinking of Linda's posts a few days ago, I approached the woman and asked what she was specifically looking for. Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. I pretended to be looking for those myself so it wouldn't be too much of a bother for me to look for her also. I went in. I emerged with no eggs, but also, the boxes that the man said were sold out were not the right Reese's product. Knowing this and knowing Fred Meyer like I do, I told the woman that they are not here, but they probably were moved to the cash registers....a typical Fred Meyer move so that they sell. Her eyes lit up and said, "You're right. We will check on the way out. Thank you!" I went on about my business, forgot totally about it, and 20 minutes later was in the check out line. All the sudden the man of the couple came up to me. "So, how many bags did you need?" holding four in his hands. Surprised, I said, "Only one." Remember, I didn't need any, but I had to say something. He told me that they were right were I said - at the checkout. "Thank you so much - you made her Easter." I said, no problem, smiled, and threw them on the counter to buy. Happy Easter, Ang

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A week of freedom and Nolan first haircut

A week of freedom! I am feeling stronger every day. It is slow, but you would have to expect it to be. I have gone four days without a sitz bath - now, there is progress!!!! I have been out and about everyday this week for short periods of time with the two boys. I take a rest in the afternoon with the boys and then we are ready for the evening. I even watched half a movie last night and went to bed at 10:15 - major break through - then, I slept through the night! Another major break through. Today, Nolan got his first haircut because it was driving my Mom crazy. Now, he looks like a real little baby is gone. He is actually very cute with the new haircut, so I can't be too sad. The poor guy in the barber shop that thought he was going to have a "nice quiet haircut" must have been very disappointed. Nolan screamed the ENTIRE time. Oh well! It feels really nice to have a normal week. My energy is getting better, my butt is getting better, and I can taste food again. Things are good. Oh, one last thing.....Sarah is doing one more month of the "Help Calendar" for me. If you want to get on it, please email her at After that, she and I are taking the money that was given (thank you) for this and going to Dinners Ready to pack the freezer with ready made dinners. So, with that, I will "be on my own" in May. It is time - I need it too. And, again, I tear up thinking of all the assistance that I have received these last 10 months. It is hard to believe and almost impossible to comprehend. I would have never believed it if I hadn't lived it. Happy Thursday - Love, Ang

Monday, March 17, 2008

The weekend

Well, my happy dance lasted about 12 hours and then went straight into a head cold. Maybe it was the release of tension or the anxiety let down, I don't know. I completely lost my voice, but I slept through the night for the first time in ages. All I know is that this weekend felt good. Our furnace stopped working on Saturday so thank goodness Grant was here to manage that because I couldn't even make phone calls. I woke up tonight so I must be on the mend, but only to hydrate and go back to bed, but I should tell you about Thursday........ My oncologist was beaming as soon as he came in the room. I told me twice that I was in remission before I "got it" and he hugged me hard - in a good way. I guess I wasn't ready for such good news. I left the office with hugs and high fives from his staff and went upstairs to treatment to tell Bob. I saw some of the nurses - especially Maura who was my first chemo nurse. She looked so deep into me I wanted to cry all over again. I saw Diane from Radiation who I made promise to tell everyone down there. I then went up to the surgeon's office to check in with him about follow ups. By the time I left, the news had spread like wild fire. So much for HIPPA and who the heck cares. And, then, I started the phone calls on the way home. Maybe that is why to lost my voice?!?!? The one thing I didn't do was cancel my chemo appointment for the 17th, today. I was there - you think I would run up to that desk and say something eloquent like, "SEE YA!!!" So, I called on Friday and two nurses said, "I HEARD - WHAT FABULOUS NEWS!" and ".. your attitude was amazing..(only because theirs was) were good for so many people here..(I was - you're kidding?!?!?! WHO?) stop by sometime when you are around and LIVE YOUR LIFE." Better get to bed...I have a big day tomorrow WITHOUT chemo. Love, Ang

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Well, it all played out like the first dream I remission. No lung biospy, no lung surgery, no nothing. I will have monthly appointments with my oncologist for six months and a PET/CT scan every two months for six months, then we may go to quarterly. The chances of it coming back are high because it was Stage 4, but then there are those home run patients (which I reminded him that I was going to be one....) There are no words to express how I feel right now - free, grateful, joyful just start the list. I will blog more when I stop the party dance. Have a great evening - I WILL. Love, Ang


The scan went well on Tuesday except they made me drink Barium again!!! I hate that stuff. What is worse is they flavor it now with Banana or Vanilla and call it a "smoothie". Do they think I am high????? I chose Banana so that Vanilla wasn't ruined for me forever. So, I hadn't eaten in 12 hours and the previous 24 I only had protein and fat. Yummy. Then, I get to have a Barium Banana Smoothie and a radioactive dye shot. Sit for one hour without doing anything including TV, reading, etc. I mean NOTHING and for those of you who know me that is a bit of a trick. After that, they get me on the hard table put your hands over head and stick you in a tube for 40 minutes, inject you with more crap that makes you feel like you wet your pants, take more pictures, and finally you are done. This time I opened my eyes in the tube and said to myself, "This is pretty roomy, why does everyone get freaked out?!?!?!" Oh yeah, on the way out they give you peanuts that are IMPOSSIBLE to open especially since you are SO hungry and want to vomit. By 6:00pm, I felt a bit better and Tuesday night I slept so well. Wednesday was pretty good. Karissa helped me with the kids and we went to the park. I didn't think about the scan until 2:00 this morning. I had woken up after having a dream about today. I was sitting in the room with Dr. Kaplan and Grant and he gave me great news, then it rewound and he gave me good news, then it rewound and he gave me bad news. I was watching myself from the corner of the room. I cried in every episode. I least I know I shouldn't wear make up today. Needless to say I didn't sleep much after that, so I am a bit tired. I finally fell back to sleep around 5:00, but that is a lot of time to think. Probably too much. Grant said to me as he left, "It is okay to be nervous, but we don't know so don't worry too much." I remember telling that to employees that I worked with and now I think what a gigantic load of crap! Clearly, I never had anything like this. That is why I always liked hiring older people than me. They didn't sweat the small stuff and I always admired their life experience. Well, there was one I didn't like, but let's not focus on her. Anyhoo, the stream of consciousness has come to an end. I will post the results as soon as I can. My appointment is at 2:20. Have a great day, Ang

Monday, March 10, 2008

The last few days....

Well, the last few days have been rough and wonderful all at the same time. So, many things have happened here is a sampling.....I had fun with friends on Friday, Saturday AND Sunday, but it was clouded by the phone calls to my Mom about my Dad and his trip to the hospital. He is on the mend and home, but it was a scary for all of us. This will be a long road for him. So, I started today taxed with a trip the doctor's office for a rash that wasn't going away on Nolan. When I got there I met with a nurse that wasn't my usual nurse so she didn't quite get why I didn't know what went on with Nolan last week. I gave her the abridged version and she got it. By the time I got to, you guessed it, Fred Meyer, for food that Nolan ate last month (in case it was food), a prescription, and OTC drugs that the nurse recommended, I realized that Grant had the prescription card. So, I called him on my dying cell phone, and asked him to fax the info to them. All sounds okay, right? Wrong. I didn't know when my phone would die, but he picked which was great, but then he needed me to repeat the number 14 times. That is when I LOST IT. Yep, right in front of the Fred Meyer Pharmacy. They anxiety of my scan, my Dad, and Nolan all was right there. I think I scared them a bit. Thank goodness the info came through to them and they told me 15 minutes on the Rx. So, I raced off to get the food and OTC drugs for Nolan. Mason, of course, wanted to go to Playland which was supposed to be open, but wasn't. That is okay, they lady manning it was the only one that has ever kicked Mason out for "not listening". Don't worry - all the boys were kicked out for not listening that day, but the only girl got to stay, but I digress. So, I get the stuff while I feeding them both crackers because it is WAY past their lunch which Nolan was spilling on the floor. By this point, I just picked them up and fed them to him. Then, I couldn't find an infant version of one of the things the nurse wanted me to use and I didn't want to go back to the pharmacy and ask because remember I just FREAKED OUT on them, so I call my pharmacist girlfriend with my phone going dead, but she doesn't answer. Lucky for her - I probably would have started crying and then the phone would have been dead. I go back the pharmacy get the Rx, ask the question, get an answer, and then apologize for my behavior. I gave them the abridged story too. Everyone's jaw dropped and they said, which I quote, "I would have freaked out too....You get a pass today....You kept your hair that has to be a good thing!" What is it about my hair?!?!?! So, I got home, fed the boys, put the medicine on Nolan, put him down for nap, gave Mason a video, got in the bath tub for a sitz bath, and regrouped......unfortunately, the day didn't get much better and I am not telling you that part. Even I have a few boundaries left. I did however get a foot massage from my neighbor and Mom and I figured out that she has used fabric softer on Nolan's clothes last week (she had never done that before) which totally explained the rash and its behavior. And then finally, after Grant got home, we ate, I cried, and we got the boys ready for bed, the boys started a game where Nolan threw a ball down the stairs, Mason went to get it, threw it back up the stairs to Nolan who grabbed it and ran down the hallway to our room, to be tackled (in a nice way) by Mason, only to turn around with the ball to throw it down the stairs again. And they laughed. They laughed that beautiful baby and child laugh that makes your heart sing and you let go of everything to listen to it. And all was right in the world again. Man, I am tired. Off to bed, Ang

Friday, March 7, 2008

PET/CT Scheduled and now....

the anxiety begins. Tuesday at 12:00 is my PET/CT. They can have results to my oncologist in 24 hours, but that rarely happens so my appointment with the oncologist for results is Thursday at 2:20. I have already been up nights wondering what the results will be, wondering if I am done with active treatment or if there will be more. I know that they will monitor me for months/years even if I am "done", but will I get out of chemo for now? Will I have to do lung surgery? The questions go on and on. It is what it is I suppose and me worrying about it won't change the results on Tuesday. Karissa seems to believe that I am done. In fact, on the way back from getting unhooked on Wednesday we went through the Arby's drive thru and got potato cakes and Jamocha shakes. Two guilty pleasures. She, with all the confidence in the world, was celebrating my completion of chemo. One of my biggest fans. Right up there with Emily, the first nurse that unhooked me back in June. She told me with all the confidence in the world that, ".....20 years from now you will not even remember this....." I remember looking at her like she was high, but I hung on to what she said with both hands and thought about those words during my darkest moments. What I do know is that I will cry on Thursday - for joy, for bad news, in exhaustion, and for the pain and suffering my friends and family have endured over the last nine months. So, if you will for one more time think of me and say a little prayer on Tuesday I would appreciate has worked so far and it definitely can't hurt. Have a great weekend - don't worry I will distract myself with my boys - all of them. Love, Ang

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This time is already better

Chemo yesterday went pretty well. My blood recovered from everything over the last two weeks. While it was not as strong as in the beginning, it rebounded to allow full chemo and only drop a little on the oxiplatin (sp) which is a double edge sword. That is the additive that makes the chemo work better, but it is also the thing that gives me the HORRIBLE temperature sensitivity. I was also able to rattle some cages on when my next PET/CT scan will be. Finally, the week of March 10th. When I told Micheal and Karen that this was the one that may tell me that I am done, they both got on the stick fast! So, sometime that week I will be scheduled and we will be in business. I am confident that this we will be good scan, but just like in fertility I am reserving that little part of my heart (and intestinal fortitude) just in case. I just feels like it is gone - at least for now. When my oncologist and I were alone for my exam, asked him what he thought and he said, "Let's wait for the scan." I shot him a look and said in my mommy voice, "Listen buddy, you were the one that made me believe that this could be and now I believe, so you need to to." He looked at me as I was still shooting the look and smiled. He said, "I do believe, I just don't know when." Fair enough. FINE. WHATEVER. And with my biweekly hug, I went off to chemo. I am so lucky at chemo. I don't bring reading anymore. I don't have time. I have great stories from Elaine (She walked on a an old lady in that bathroom yesterday. Nanette and I were crying when she was telling us - truly a classic.), Nanette brings me whatever food I desire and brings real plates for us to eat it off of, and Susie, in all her glory, stops by and sees me, so really the 4 hours goes pretty darn fast. Today, I feel like my normal self, on steroids of course, so the only challenge today is to not do too much which I already had to monitor and it is only 7:15. Forever my challenge. Happy Tuesday, love, Ang