Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Let's see what we can do in three days!

A little while ago I was asked my a high school friend of mine if I was busy on June 1st.  I wasn't and she told me about the Kent Relay for Life and how her son, Stewart, was a co captain for a team that they put together.  She also told me about the shirts they were making up and how they were toying with different funny sayings which brought up to my "What is up your BUTT?" T-shirt for colorectal cancer.  Anyway, it got down to me going to the the Kent Relay for Life and helping support their team on the condition that I would wear my famous t-shirt.  REALLY???!?!?!  Like that is a burden?  Don't have to ask me twice!  So, last week, I received the team information, etc.  Now, the inside story....I have been honored, represented, had luminaries, etc. on several cancer fundraising events.  I am always humbled by this and if I can help, I always do.  It seems that I bring hope to a lot of people by my story, my personality, and, or course, my hair.  I thought this was going to be easy - slam dunk, but here is the rub.  The last time I was at the Kent Relay for Life was the last time I saw Bob.  Okay, for those of you who don't know, Bob was my cancer Champion (notice capitalization).  He had been diagnosed one year earlier than I and he had a similar diagnosis - one rectal tumor and stage four because it was all over his liver and was inoperable.  He was funny, kind, and I could ask him ANYTHING.  We were both terminal.  The difference is the chemo worked better on me.  He was initially given three months to live, but his goal was to see his only child, Meredith, graduate from high school.  He did and he died three years after his diagnosis.  I credit him with how I look at cancer, how I look at myself living with cancer, and my determination to live strong.  So, this Friday will not be easy for me, but I will, as always, put my game face on, be there, and live strong for me and for Bob.  I am asking you to do this with me.  I know times are tough and that there is not a lot of extra money around.  The team that I am representing has a goal of $1500 and they are at $765.  I will be donating $50.  I am asking if you have $10, $25, or even $50 to spare, I would like to put it toward this - for these kids that are so impressive; for me because without all the advances, I would be dead; and for Bob the man that taught me how to do this.  Of course, by all means donate more if you can!  Let's see if we can get them to their goal, my goal, and more birthdays for all of us.  Here is the link.  http://main.acsevents.org/site/TR/RelayForLife/RFLFY12GW?team_id=1125701&pg=team&fr_id=38381 Thank you.  Humbly yours, Ang

I am posting twice in the same day

and you will see why, so read both!  First, my update....the last week has been the best and the worst....my Aunt came to watch over me since we were starting a new drug and I had send Grant on a golf trip (that was good).  When I was trying to call my neighbors to help us with the yard waste bin and I could not figure out how that was bad.  I watch most of Downton Abby (for the second and third time), that was good.  When I was sleeping for 15 hours a day, that was bad.  On Thursday I felt worthless, that was bad.  On Friday, Trina (my neighbor) called me and said, "We are going to Yogurtland!", that was good.  On Saturday, we went on a bike ride WITH MY NEW BIKE WITH A SEAT AS BIG OR BIGGER THAN MY HEAD, with all of us and Mia (neighborhood friend), and I was behind looking at my amazing, beautiful family and believing cancer couldn't touch us.  That was good.  When Mia wanted to ride beside me, which put me in the car lane and I said, "Mia, I have worked to hard to die by a car hitting me." and she responded with, "You are right.  I will ride on the sidewalk.  You can have the bike lane."  She is nine.  That was funny.  Sunday we hung out at my parents and Mason drove the "tractor" for the first time by himself.  I took him out and when I was leaving for the lower pasture I said to Dad, "Why can't he do this alone?  By seven, I was mowing pastures (for my Grandparents)."  He said, "Different time, different family."  He really shouldn't have sent me to Gonzaga if he didn't want me to learn logic arguments.  As soon as we got to the lower pasture, I got off, slowed down the throttle, reminded Mason how "wide" he was on the machine, talked about rocks and holes, and let him go.  By the end, he was weaving in and out of the trees.  He was glowing with pride.  Dad saw me up top and said to Grant, "Should have known she would do that."  Yep, he shoulda since I have HIS BLOOD RUNNING THROUGH MY VEINS.  Sunday night my colon rebelled.  That was bad.  Monday, I was up and Grant and I did a HUGE clean up in the yard.  That was good.  Grant is so funny - I say, "I think we should move that plant."and he says, "Yeah, that is a good idea."  After 17 years, I know that we will now "think about it" for a couple years.  So, I pull it out of the ground and stick it where I want it and he says nervously (because he is scared FOR THE PLANT), "I guess we are doing it now?!?!?!?"  If not now, when?  I could be dead!  That was funny. Monday night, I went to my Aunt Marsha's house (Alana, my cousin's Mom) and had Indian food.  YUM.  That was good.  The roller coaster was predictable, but not easier when you are in the low.  I see my therapist on Thursday - probably a really good thing.  Now, onto the next post......

Friday, May 18, 2012

Last week.....

So, let's start with Sunday, Mother's Day.  All I wanted to do it go to the Flagship REI store, try out bikes (not buy one), and then go to lunch at Ivar's on Elliot Bay and throw french fries at the seagulls.  I did both with all my boys and, while it was difficult for Nolan to understand that we are going shopping for ME, he relented.   Throwing french fries was fun.  Nolan was, of course, doing it his way.  The boys tried calamari and liked it and after a walk on the waterfront and a visit to the Ole Curiosity Shop, I felt that my day was complete.  After dinner with my Mom and Dad, my head hit the pillow and I said to Grant, "Best Mother's Day Ever" (and last years was awesome, so the bar is getting a bit high!).  Monday, Mason had school and Nolan had a developmental study at the UW.  Nolan has been in this study since he was 2 and while my life is complicated, I always feel like I have a way easier life than most.  Here is why.....part of the study is based on his home situation so they ask me questions like, "Has Nolan ever seen you hit your spouse?"  Has Nolan even seen his Grandparents hit each other?"  "Did you steal things before Nolan was born?  After?"  "Do you have a boyfriend?"  (and I want to respond with no - I have a collapsed vagina from radiation damage!, but of course I don't),  "Has Nolan's brother ever been arrested?" (He is seven.) and so on and so forth.  Cancer has got to be cake compared to that.  On the way home, Nolan recognized Ivar's from the freeway and asked if we could go back and throw fries at the seagulls.  I said, "Sure, I am hungry."  He was MUCH better at it on Monday.  Tuesday - Mason school, Nolan swim lessons, Nolan T-ball game, me fasting for my scan on Wednesday.  Wednesday - scan and deliver Grandma's room frig to Mason's teacher whose daughter is going to Gonzaga in the fall - GO ZAGS!  Starving.  Thursday - Bible Study Year End Brunch, garden walk with one of my bible study gals, couple errands, go to school to retrieve the frig delivery wagon and then the phone call from Hank.  Friday - errands, a little work, and then now.  When I told my Dad the results of the scan, he got choked up and told me how proud of me he was for persevering.  When I told my Mom, she was fine.  When I told Grant, he was like, "Do we ever get great news on the first scan?"  So, here are the results.  THE SAME.  Everything is stable - no growth, no smaller.  Hank told me he had to bump/jazz up his game.  I was thinking he needed to get out more.  So, Monday, we add Avastin back in.  It will add a hour plus to my treatment and it may give me high blood pressure, not that it did before.  How do I feel?  Nothing really.  I guess I just feel like this pull between being sick and well, live or death and it gets a little dramatic for me.  I mean, don't get me wrong, I love being dramatic, but I prefer that to be with friends, stupid stories, and a drink in my hand, not this.  But I have learned that I have to give it time, have patience, and "just keep swimming" as Dory on Finding Nemo says.  How did I deal?  I cleaned out the garage, and I bought my bike.  My bike that I picked and no one else did.  (I have never picked my own bike and for some reason I needed to - especially since the stupid sandbags are coming down this summer!)  Lets be clear - I have no intention of giving up or giving in.  My boys just got really fun and, while my old goal was to see Mason so to school, my new goal is to live until they naturally stop talking to me.  I figure 13ish.  So, I got six to eight years on my back.  Who knows what will happen in six to eight years.  Enjoy your weekend.....I am ordering accessories for my bike!  Love, Ang

Friday, May 11, 2012

Five years

Five year ago this month, I found out I had this terrible wretched "condition".  Five years ago this month I didn't know if I would see Nolan's first steps or Mason's first day of school.  Five years ago this month, I raged at God for giving me these two precious boys and then taking their Mom away from them.  Five years ago this month, I met my oncologist.  He was the only one that gave me hope.  He refused to give me odds, but did say if I didn't get treatment, I would die.  He say to me without blinking that I may be the one to raise my boys and take care of my parents in their old age.  I clung to his words and, while wondering how good of a liar he was, believed him.  Monday he gave me a number - the odds I had so wanted so badly five years previous. It went something like this....(me cocky as ever) "Hey, you know it has been five years, right?  I told you I would be in the top 10%."  He smiled and said, "I just noticed that too."  pause "And, by the way, you are going in the top 1."  My cockiness gone.  Me silent.  That is a good number.  Exhale.  Happy Friday, Ang

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Chemo tomorrow...

Life seems to go at the speed of light....then we had to move Grandma to the Health Center.  I am always amazed at the things I find in her stuff.  Why after being in a Retirement Home for 13+ years does she still have a blender?????  My Dad will finish up this week and then we will have to do the painful task of sorting and distributing.  So, after Toss ball, T-ball, moving, planting...here I am again....chemo tomorrow.  Last one before the scan next week. Enjoy the sun!  Ang