Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Silly Mama!

Okay, I am in the middle of getting all my advice from my team so I am not going to update you on that, but I will tell you an enduring story about my Nolan. So, remember how I had a day off yesterday? Well, two summers ago, Karissa and I came up with "Summer Adventures" where each week we plan a fun outing with all the kids (her three and my two) each week. This was a way for me to get out with the kids WITH back up. This once necessary procedure has turned into a coveted tradition. So, if the kids behave and do well on all the adventures, they get a GRAND finale at the end of the summer. So, the first week, I had a colonoscopy. Yeah, I wasn't there, but Karissa took the kids on adventure by herself. I know! She is WAY brave. If the situation was reversed, I would be like, "Yeah, no, sorry!" Anyhoo, yesterday, we had another adventure. We went to the Seattle Sculpture Park and had lunch by the water. The kids did GREAT! Funny part - Karissa's kids told me that they call the adventures "Angie's Adventures" because they don't like their Mom's choices on the adventures. Now, that really isn't quite fair. Karissa's choices last year did kinda stink, but it isn't ENTIRELY her fault. But now, the kids are convinced that she can't pick them well at all. What they don't know is that she has picked the Grand Finale this year. I have to say, it is brilliant. However, if in the unlikely event it turns bad, I am throwing her under the bus. I know, I am brutal! Anyway, we got home, Nolan took at rest, and when he got up Mason was outside with the neighborhood kids playing. Nolan was none too interested in playing outside, so he did some "work" and got a treat. I told him he could have five Swedish Fish (a bag I got from IKEA). When I looked at the size of the fish, I was like, "OMG, this is a lot for a three year old." But I said five and he can count, so you know the drill. He finished three and said, "Look Mommy, I have TWO left!" I replied, "Do you want to save them for tomorrow?????" hopingly (Is that a word???). And, he turned around, looked up and me and said, "SILLY MAMA! We will save the ones in the bag for tomorrow!!! I eat these today!!!" He turned back around shaking his head like, "What a loony tune!!!!" Message.....All we got is today - LIVE IT UP!!!! :) Angie

Monday, June 28, 2010

Great weekend and just in time....

We went away camping this past weekend. It was just what we needed. We were at Lake Chelan with John Knox Church group again this year. Last year, I was there four weeks after lung surgery. This year I had hoped for a one year celebration sort of thing, but we all know how that went. Maybe next year, yathink? We did Slidewaters water park on Friday and Lake Chelan State Park Beach on Saturday. I was REALLY nice. The weather was amazing. The kids had SO much fun. We had movies in our tent in the afternoon - it was REALLY crowded with five kids all our stuff and a portable DVD player bouncing around, but it was a hoot. We got away from all this cancer crap, saw friends, and I even stayed up at the campfire until 10:30!!! I know - I was OUT OF CONTROL!!! :) Yes, I talked about my cancer. How could I not? The important part was that it didn't dominate me or my time. So, as I was doing laundry this morning I got the call on the pathology. It is cancer. Deep down I knew it was. How could it not be? It GLOWED on the scan. The same cancer is in my rectum that I had three years ago. They matched it to the biopsy from my original tumor. My oncologist later called and said, "You know, I want to have you see everybody again and then decide. We want everyone's input on this." So, I have four doctor's appointments in the next three days with my oncologist's being last. And, yes, chemo is back on the table. Not happy about that, but what am I going to do. I also added one more colorectal surgeon on my list. I thought I should get a second opinion. This is one area of colorectal cancer that docs really have different approaches on, so I am getting a couple. It could change the way I live forever or at least, my forever. My appointments are on Wednesday and Thursday, so I have Tuesday off. I am going to enjoy it with the boys as today as been far to cluttered with doctor's calls, medical history form downloads, sitting by the phone, setting up appointments, and laundry. I will be better tomorrow with rest, love, and some time to lick my wounds. Take good care, Ang

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Done for the weekend....

Well, all the tests are done. My blood culture is fine which I assume is good and means that they infection is not in my blood. I really don't know, but I think that is a educated guess. My colonoscopy went well. There is a polyp in my rectum which I am not sure they removed or not - that is weird, but they are biopsying it and we will know on Monday. My new colorectal guy was like, "I will tell call Hank right after this as he is a bit impatient with you..." and then I don't remember anything after that. I was completely out of it even when I came home. I felt awful, but I was pretty keyed up before the test, so I think the "relaxing" hit me hard. I came home and didn't really remember anything but getting into bed. Karissa took the kids to the park and Grant went to work. The last thing I remember was my Mom saying, "You are sleeping a lot. Here is some lunch and I think I am going to take off, okay?" I didn't know if that was a dream of not, but I woke up and there was lunch and when I turned on the TV with was on the Spanish channel. Chances are it wasn't a dream. So, I have a little reprieve from all the stuff and I plan on enjoying the weekend - you should too! Love, Ang

Monday, June 21, 2010

More tests.....

My blood culture is fine or at least that is what my oncologist's office said when I told them my new colorectal surgeon wanted to schedule a colonoscopy next week which they said, "Yeah, that won't work, find someone else that can do it." And miraculously, my new colorectal guy is available at 8:30 tomorrow.....that keeps happening.... Silver lining....weighing myself tomorrow morning. It is a happy moment when you are dehydrated and there is NOTHING in your colon. I put that weight on my Driver's License. My new colorectal surgeon is actually pretty funny. He was funny the entire time and I like that he said, "Hank (oncologist) told me to do a colonoscopy and I do whatever he says so I see NO point to poking around up there today if I am just going to see everything anyway." Bullet dodged. BUT it was especially funny when he said, "Okay, so now I usually say something like we don't know what this is, so lets not worry until we know etc. etc." pause...looks at me....looks at me again....."but you look like you are pretty good at this 'dodge the reaper' game, so do you want the pep talk or not?" I shook my head no. I lost my voice this weekend, so he didn't have the pleasure of my gab. He said, "Well, hopefully, you are just a vomit." I looked at him like, "Yeah, whaaa??" "Oh! You don't know that one yet?? Victim Of Medical Imagining Technology. VOMIT!" Yes, let's hope for vomit......gotta go!!!!! Ang

Friday, June 18, 2010

So, here I am in my VERY clean house....

Cleaning is therapeutic for me. And, as I was scrubbing the tops of my kitchen cabinets, I started to think about how things have unfolded. If I didn't have the two spots, we would have never done the PET. If we never did the PET, we would have never found the whateveritis in my right lung and butt. And if we never found that, who knows, maybe it could have killed me. So, before I start feeling 'thankful' for the cancer in my left lung. I am thinking that it just made a bad move. Cancer plays to destroy and conquer, but everyone has a bad move every once in a while. So, sorry cancer, didn't take the fake. LOSER! Today, I am scheduled for blood cultures and on Monday I see my 'new' colorectal surgeon. Funny, he was totally booked through July 1st when they were scheduling me and then with no explanation he was COMPLETELY open Monday. So, I get the first appointment. Weird, but in a very good way. Have a great weekend, Ang

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I got that bad 50% and, guess what, there is more to deal with..

I got the call last night - 9:08pm. After it, I had my moments, cried in Grant's arms, woke up in the middle of the night shaking, couldn't get out of bed, Grant got me an anti anxiety pill, and I slowly went back to sleep. I did wake up in my favorite way with Nolan yelling from the bathroom, "Mommy! I didn't pee the bed!" and then two boys came into my room, snuggled up on either side of me, and told me to be careful. Why? Because they had their slippers on. I am told that slippers can be VERY dangerous. When I was first diagnosed, there was part of me that didn't ever want to know. I wished sometimes that I had just died because then I wouldn't have to deal with all this. Three years later, it is better that I did know. This will be that way too I hope. Unfortunately, when you ask what is wrong with you and go to the machine that will tell you ALL that is wrong with you, sometimes, just sometimes, you don't want the answer. So, here it is.......the two spots in my left lung are, in fact, cancer. However there is more stuff to deal with. Yeah, this is the part I still am spinning from. It appears that there is a hole in my right lung that is, and I am using the technical term, "weird". And the only other word is, "infection." And then, there is "activity" in my rectum again. The tumor is not back. I repeat the tumor is NOT back. There is just activity. It could be inflammation, but he just doesn't know. I asked, "Is it fixable?" And I get, "Ang, you are ahead of me now. The lungs for sure are, but I don't know what the bottom (yes, he uses 'bottom') is so let's just wait and see." And I am thinking, "that means no" but I really don't know what it means. So, the next little while my life will be filled with tests, cultures, and a new colon rectal doctor. Yep, one of my favor docs, finally retired to go work in Africa, so now I get to show SOMEBODY else my butt. I am so happy and grateful to him, but I am feeling so sorry for myself. You get attached to these docs and then you realize that they have a life. I tell myself, Ang, remember, he put his life on hold for you once. NOPE CAN'T WONT. Not today, maybe tomorrow and surely the next day. Anyway, my oncologist needs to talk to my lung surgeon again, now, about the hole/infection/whateveritis in my right lung and he will call me with a "new" colon rectal doc today sometime. So, what am I going to do today? Clean my house probably. That's what we do in my family. Have a baby? Clean the house. Get cancer? Clean the house. Can't sleep? Clean the house. Consequently, my house is usually pretty damn clean. I will let you know when I do from my VERY clean house. Love, Ang

Friday, June 11, 2010

Not the news I wanted....

So confident, so ready to have an amazing summer, so ready to be done with cancer. But cancer is a funny thing....... The CT showed two tiny tiny spots on my left lung. They are not sure if it is scar tissue or if it is cancer. The PET will give us better information. The good news is that if it is cancer, we will probably cut it out and be done with it. So, here is what I am thankful for.......the PET/CT office has to call the insurance company BEFORE they can schedule the PET scan, they did at 4:15 (Chris - thank you for getting right on it! Holy COW man!), and amazingly the insurance company waived the preapproval. I know, I was like, "WHA?!?!" but I am going with it. PET/CT scheduling answered the phone at 5:06 on a beautiful Friday afternoon to schedule my appointment. They offered me a PET on Monday, but said, "You know, it is going to be a fabulous weekend, do you really what to not eat on Sunday???" TUESDAY it is!!! My prep starts Noon on Monday. In 50 minutes, I was approved and scheduled after hours even. The lung surgeons office has been called to review the CT scan. I feel the wagons circling and I could do without the attention, but I am so so thankful for it, them, everything. Yes, I am disappointed, but I will get over it. What "it" can't take away from me is this beautiful weekend, Mason's last T-Ball Game of the season (he is getting a trophy!), a play with my Mom and Aunt (I hear it is awful, but I am with them, and we may ditch and go shopping!), the sun, and quite frankly....ME. Have a great weekend and enjoy the weather! Love, Ang

My scan experience this time....

First, there is no news yet. I will find out this afternoon. This week actually went quite well. I was so busy that I didn't think about it much. Plus, when I did, I was oddly calm about it. I took no sleeping aids, no anxiety pills, nothing. I slept well and only had one dream of, "It is back" which was not very convincing like the others where I wake up sweating and breathing hard. On Wednesday night, the boys were out playing with Grant in the street. They were on their bikes playing race track. Nolan, of course, could not stay on course, and Mason was "winning". For those of you that don't live here, we have been having the weirdest weather. We don't normally have thunder storms. We are too mild for that. But this week was different. Swim lessons were almost canceled. It POURS rains - like that doesn't happen here. We are just in a never ending mist. It was just really weird. As I was watching the boys each in their own races (on the same track), I looked up and there is was - a FULL rainbow. Not half, not faded, not a little one, a full on rainbow. My eyes filled up. A long, long time ago I was at a funeral of someone that I cared for very much. She died of cancer - bad bad cancer. She fought a very valiant fight, but as we all know, sometimes that just isn't enough. At her funeral, the pastor said, "When God puts a tear in your eye it means he wants to put a rainbow in your heart." I still have the program of which I wrote that down on the back. I was 12. The rainbow - was it her? Then, as most of you that have read this, one of my favorite songs is by IZ a Hawaiian singer who sang the famous, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" Hawaiian style. I used to visualize Kauai when I was first sick and this song, I have played that song every time I have been back. Why is that important? Well, that song was the last scene on the season finale of Glee which I watched last night while holding the phone waiting for my oncologist to call. (I am a little embarrassed that you now know that I watch Glee, but it is REALLY good and it is starting over again this summer if you want watch it too. Episode 4 will have you peeing your pants - guaranteed!) Anyhoo.....I digress..... So, again, the tears. Right before my scan I was with Shelly in chemo. I drank my yummy yummy juice for my scan with her. What I sight. Two blonde women with all of our hair; one in chemo and one drinking contrast. Oh, yeah, and crying we are laughing so hard. Then, Susie found us because she had an MRI that day. She added a whole new element of hilarious. It actually was fun. I will let you know the results when I do...... Love, Ang

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Birthday Week

In my family, my birthday is three days before Grant's and four days away from my Mom's. Today is my Mom's Birthday and the end of the 2010 string of family birthdays. I had a GREAT birthday day. It is funny because I truly forgot, but my sweet son brought in my coffee with whipped cream and sprinkles on it and in a five-year-old kinda way said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Fishy sprinkles are your favorite, right Mom?" I guess so I thought, but I corrected and said, "Of course they are!" still waking up. I went to the Y, put the boys in childcare and worked out. When I picked them up, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, said, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!" Swim lessons were great. Both boys showed off their stuff and my Mom brought them back home for me because as I told her, "All I wanted to do was get my book from the library." She replied, "Well, then you shall. It is your birthday." You are probably thinking, "Why don't you just take your kids to the library?" I used to. I don't anymore. It is kinda like not taking them to stores during the holidays. I just don't. It turns into this, "Mama, can I check out a book?" Then it is two, three, etc. Then it is, "NO, I WANT TO CARRY THEM. NO, THAT IS MY BOOK. NO!!! NO!!! NO!!!" That isn't me talking - it is them. All I can think about is, "How many books will NOT make it through this process and how much will this cost me??? In books and therapy????" I am MUCH better off using used books from Amazon, friends, buying them from scholastic catalogs, etc. It is AMAZING how cheaply you can get GREAT books. Anyway, I got home, the boys were jacked for my birthday party, we got out the candles, Grant brought home salmon to cook for dinner, I got my ice cream cake, I made a wish and then, as everyone was doing the party thing, I saw the computer with all the cards, birthday emails and I thought back to last year.........Besty coming out of my chest (chest tube), surprise birthday party, hope, recovery, serious pain killers, joy, relief, the list goes on but this time it ends with me here, healthy, 41 when there was thought I would make it to 39. Happy Birthday. I think about my upcoming scan (June 10th) and I push it out of my mind. I just want to enjoy today and I did. The scan has loomed in and out of my mind all week, but looming is what it does best. I wanted this week to be just as it should be. Today, we are going down to my parents to celebrate all of our birthdays together and my Dad is treating. It is easier for him that way - WAY less complicated! Cheers, Ang