Sunday, July 19, 2020

So, off I go to a PET scan.....

Hey, so I know it has been a long time, but life is rolling along.  Bumpy at best with all the things going on.  Our transition from school to summer has not been good.  Well, let me say, my boys still think that I should do everything and they are on vacation.  So, okay step back.  My boys are good boys.  I got their grades which they manage.  I don't even know how to logon to their weird portal.  Mason 3.6 at Aviation no less and Nolan 4.0.  I have nothing to complain about EXCEPT they seem to think they are on total vaca.  I made a recipe for Mason.  Remember, I am in seven months of chemo and I am hit or miss with flavor and tasting food (I know one of the symptoms of covid.....people remind me of that daily) and he said, "Mom, the next time you make this it will be much better."  I was like, "Make it you frickin' self!"  Of course, I meant it in the nicest and kindest parental way.  Nolan is, of course, Nolan.  Everything is a negotiation.  "Why do we have to do poop patrol?  Oh, Grandma is coming?  So, she doesn't really roam around the yard, so we will just do it to the table......"  End of discussion (for him).  The next dialog probably won't make it into a parental magazine anytime soon.  So, with all this energy and sibling rivalry, I have started a every other day bake.  So, they have to bake something every other day.  Banana bread, cookies, scones, anything.  I call it baking.  Grant calls it bickering and baking.  I stay upstairs until it is over.  Grant goes to work and makes specialty coffees in the midst of it.  Sorry Grant.

And then, during my chemo which I love when they say, "Oh, that is your week off."  And then they schedule a PET Scan and I have my shot that ravishes my back all week and then I can't eat carbs for a entire day and then I get a scan where I fly home from because I have to be on the toilet for hours, but, yeah, that is my "week off".  It is totally restful and awesome - like a spa.  PET scan Friday - result next Friday before chemo meanwhile I have a major accident during the prep.  I always thought I could get through in, but no.  My new oncologist likes going over it in person.  I like staying home and ignoring I have cancer.  So, I am not going in for results, I will just go it for the chemo appt and see him then.  Don't get me wrong, he is lovely.

And then.........I get a call from one of my team of docs.  This is a great scan!  Only four points and we many be able to do them with radiation?!?!?!?!  I am like, "Wha?"  Okay, but Soma has to agree, have you talked to him?  "I sent him an email."  The only thing I have for that is this....."Wha?"  Don't get me wrong, I am THRILLED with the result.  This is the best thing I have seen in YEARS!  My family is tepid about it, but they are not really excitable.  I wish they were, but hey, you can't have everything.  So, my understanding is that they are all discussing and deciding what to do and I will find out on Friday before chemo.  YAY!  And YAY me!

So, on Friday, I go in for chemo and to talk to my oncologist.  Well, it is good news, BUT, I may have had more than I can stand of radiation making that therapy obsolete.  So, basically if I can do radiation, I will with a test that says my lungs can do it.  Then, I will continue on the chemo that I am on.  OTHERWISE, I will go back to to my originally chemo that kicked my ass every other week.  And that is when I cried.

And finally.....there is this moment in the morning when I wake up that I am not aware of the world yet, but I think...."Oh, it was just all a bad dream......"  and then I pick up my phone.  I know that everyone is casting their opinions.....thoughts.....dreams.....hopes.....disappointments...., and I am trying my best to educate and stay on top of the developments.  I watch GMA3 What you need to know every weekday.  It really gives good and insightful information.  Then I watch the TALK which keeps me current in a world that I am not current in.  Then, or before, I watch the local news and then I get on with my day of bills, food, cleaning, plants, laundry etc.

We will see what happens, I am hopeful that it is as good as they believe, but inside my heart I reserve a little piece of doubt.   I have to so I can survive.  We come into this world alone and we leave alone.

Happy Monday,

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Dr. Soma entered the room and says, "Well your scan was not satisfying."

I kinda knew that.  Too many oxygen issues, too many pains, too many weaknesses.  So, the tumors in my lungs have gotten smaller, YAY.  There is a gray mass in my upper right lung that they now need to follow, but I have been having sternum pain.  Before in October, when Dr. Flashy (Gordon) worked on me I was hospitalized with severe sternum pain. He believed that his process activated it.  Well Flashy, I think you are off the hook, not that I put one on you.  I could breathe so much better I wanted to kiss you!  But now it is back, not as bad but annoying and with the scan we may now know why.   This is why EVERYONE needs to stay on top of their treatment.  It is easy to ignore.  I personally hate it.  BUT I have seen more of my boys, my family, and traveled all over the world with them because I fight.  My eldest is so surprised at how calm I am in chaotic markets because I choose tours that show us that because I love them and so does my family.  He says, "They touch you on the hips and moved you.  Doesn't that bother you?'  I reply with, "I traveled early on and found that people are really kind, but you have to open.  All the people at the SUPER chaotic fish market were looking out for me and doing their job.  I have to let them do it.  They also never asked me to put away my camera which was an honor.  We were allowed (by the fish sellers) to go all the way to the end.  That was the biggest compliment of all."  I don't want my boys to be afraid of travel.  When I went to Mexico to volunteer after college, I was not only escorted in Spanish at the airport.  I got a six month visa, not a three, because I knew "how" to ask.  And when I was dropped to my driver I asked why the officer spoke to me in only Spanish and my Spanish was BAD.  He replied, in Spanish, "You were very comfortable here.  I knew you loved or lived in Mexico."  I hugged him and went with my escorts.  Love was the right answer.  I have been treated amazingly in all countries (outside of France during a train strike - where TOURIST INFORMATION WOULD ONLY SPEAK IN FRENCH.  Mom was able to ask the questions and we both could get the answer and for some reason I could understand the train station intercom because they were changing tracks all the time.  Not going back there.......)

Anyway, so beyond teaching my kids to not be scared traveling.  Also, teaching them the ins and out of remote work.  Things have been okay.  I will continue to Chemo until Julyish and then get a consult with Cyberknife and Dr. Landis after a PET and if my Sternum sites are hot.  I told Dr. Soma, he adores me and I adore him, so be prepared!  Dr. Soma is like, "Great, so I am going to call him, ask him and he will want to see you next week, when I need him to see you in July."  Pretty much, "Yup!"

Not the news I was hoping for, but pretty much expected.  Next time I will tell you my plan if I had a two month to live scan.......has to do with living legacy and righting wrongs......Soma said, I will live past November so it is probably out.  DARN!

Happy Friday,

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Here is what I have to say.....

So, I have been living in this pandemic as you have.  I have been Netflix bingeing, Prime bingeing, and cleaning out my office.  I have done Christmas Cards, Christmas Gifts for 2020, and will probably do something else I have not thought of yet.  My kids need me a little because they don't know what it is like to work remotely.  I do.  Can't send six attachments to one email.  Might want to check if your recipients can accept attachments.  All the inconveniences of working from home......

And then, I read things on Facebook and the Internet.  People will not go back to work because they are getting more on unemployment with the Covid 19 supplement.  Or I can't afford the medical bills from Covid 19 so here is my gofundmepage.  Etc. etc. etc.  Pause.  Breathe.  Swear.  My husband and I hit a horrible financial burden two or two and a half years ago.  There was no unemployment, and least of all a subsidy for it.  I still had cancer. I still had bills.  We were stressed and we NEVER asked for money.  We figured it out.  We borrowed against the house.  Now, we are fine and even more than fine and I am shocked at all the help that goes to those for Covid 19.  Our demise was just like anyone else's, bad timing, home repairs, illness, medical bills, etc, but apparently cancer doesn't matter even though the bills are JUST as GREAT.  The most we have even spent is $19,500 in one year.  And that is every year - just the highest.  Our bills are real, but just not popular.  WHATEVER.

Then as I am reading like we all are and people are "learning how to cook" now because they have the time.  REALLY?!?!?!?!?!  When you rent an apartment or a house there is this thing called a kitchen.  Have you never thought to maybe on the off chance turn on the stove and see what it does?  You are paying for it........OMFG.  When I left for college I didn't know a lot about cooking, but I understood kitchens and grocery stores.  I now know that many many people have no idea what those are.  As most of us, we had to learn.  I didn't not learn from my Mom, she sent me to my Grandma's.  I could have taken Home Econ, but I qualified for Shop because I knew enough about cooking and sewing to go the boy route.  So, during a pandemic, FYI, it is not the time to learn how to cook - you should have been curious about that before - it is the time to be creative and cook the crap in your freezer so your family will eat it.  On the other hand, great that it took a world wide pandemic for you to do oatmeal.  Don't stir by the way - SERIOUSLY.  Add blueberries, brown sugar, and cream.  DELICIOUS!

Also, I shaved my head today.  My hair has stayed in for 14 years.  Over the last 6 months it has slowly come out.  Today, I was done and while I had ordered a shaver, Grant told me his razor could do it, but not well.  It did fine.  I took a picture of the remaining hair and it was a lot, but I looked ridiculous.  Better to own it than to fake it.  For the first time in 20 years my hair is shorter than my team mate Carol Clingans hair!  HA!

So, I guess I am ending with learn from, saving for a rainy day, illness, etc.  Keep thinking about what is important even when things are good.  Health, living within your means, and family - chosen or fraternal.  Ten commandments work too.  Be well.

Happy Tuesday,


Thursday, April 2, 2020

Life during a Pandemic

LOTS has happened to all of us since my last post.  I, just like all of you, have been swept up in it.  I watch too much news, I roll my eyes at our leaders yet are thrilled with others that have taken the lead, and I actually even like my governor for standing up to the crap from back east.  I think most of us are doing fine and the couple I know you got it are managing.  Of course, economically this is not great, but I have a pantry as I hope you do. We have food and it is not like an earthquake or tsunami that takes out all the infrastructure.  It feels a lot like the ice storm in the late 1990s.  No power, no planes, no cars, no travel, no nothing.  And that is where we had to cook on the porch!  Of course, this is MUCH longer and MUCH higher stakes and MUCH more wide spread.  I am proud of the job we are doing and the way we have altered our lives.  My neighborhood is great as usual and we leave things on porches and let others pick them up.  One of my neighbors put his house up for sale because he got married and moved to North Seattle.  Only one couple has looked at it and I did not do my normal "sales job" because of social distancing. :)

Because of my cancer treatment, I am taking social distancing VERY seriously and at the beginning my Mom was a little cavalier about it.  "It is just like the flu..."  And then I said, "Mom, if you get sick, we cannot care for you." and "If you keep going to Walmart, Costco, TJs, etc., you can't come here." which she listened to, but finally succumbed later.  It is hard to keep that woman down.  I almost put her in a time out!  Since, she has been a model citizen, not because of me, but because it is best for all of us.  They say this hasn't happened since 1918 which I have read tons about of late, but we have had scares.  One Polio.  That was HUGE.  Then, AIDS.  SARS.  Covid 19 is a scary thing and, as I have said for 13 years, I would hate to die of the flu when I had Stage Four Cancer.  Some people (my Mom and Husband) are CONVINCED that I had it in January when I was hospitalized.  No one knew what I had, they were throwing drugs at me and taping oxygen to my face (cause I was pulling it off).  It is not their fault.  I was delirious, so what did I know?!?!?!  I thought rats were running up the curtains and it didn't bother me in the least.  Not the signs of a sane person.  I don't think those are the side effects of Covid.  But in any case, I am looking into it, at the request of my family for COVID antibodies so that they can know and I can recklessly go in the neighborhood free of fear.  LOL.  The part about that that scares me is how many people did I infect and I didn't even know it nor was in the right mind to know truly scares me.

Some good news is, I have completed most of my Christmas gifts for 2020.  The boys have helped me put them together and no we just have to do the perishable ones later.  During this time, Mason got in a fight with the sewing machine and split open his finger which I butterfly striped.  Grandma always said this was the toughest sewing machine on the planet.  She was right - not a mark on it.  Mason is not good with blood, cutting, etc.  I cut my finger and thought, again, we should go to the ER.......but you can't!  So, I cut off the flappy part which was hard because of all the bleeding and nursed it.  Because I am on blood thinner, it bled for two days straight.  It is good now.  Happy and healed, but it was a bit touch and go and I still have to get all the blood out of my sheets.  Can't know what is happening when I sleep!  Mine actually looks better than Mason's except for there is a slant in how my finger grows now.  OPPS!  Dad taught me the method.

On another note, I am also doing my 2019 Christmas Card!  Lord knows I have time.  I have been plowing through my study and catching up, but also I have done a fair share of binge watching and game playing with the boys.  Nolan really did not have a break.  Private school just went plowing ahead.  Teachers available 10-2:30, assignments due, etc.  Mason is getting to that, but only because the OSPI guy is requiring it now.  Mason, however, has been busy the entire time.  He is the one that has a million projects and tons to do.

What I have also learned is do not update your will during a pandemic.  It seems like a good idea because you have so much time, but it is very, "we are all gonna die......were not gonna make it...." attitude and it just makes things weird!  DON'T DO IT!

Last thing, is that I am okay.  Treatment continues to happen.  Hank did retire, but I like my new oncologist who was with me during the January debacle on the weekends, so you have to love his tolerance!  It was funny because he said to me, "If you want to go home because you feel compromised, I understand and your cancer is stable enough that I think that is okay."  This was last Friday RIGHT before treatment.  I looked at him and said, "My blood is good, I put on make up, and this has been my only social outlet for two weeks - I am staying!"  It looks like they might shut down the cancer center to stable and routine patients like me in April.  The peak of the pandemic.  That is fine, but let the pandemic decide my break, not us.  However, I do get how sad it is that I LOOK FORWARD TO GOING TO THE CANCER CENTER FOR TREATMENT !!!!!!!!!

Be board one another.

Happy Thursday,

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

So, I was going to post

but then it got very emotional with lots of feelings like anger, sadness, bittersweet joy, and I didn't post it because it scared me as much as it would scare anyone else.....and then I did my taxes. Cue fading cheers into darkness and quicksand.......

Here is what you need to know:

FIRST, thank you!  Thank you for all the meals, gift cards, (even a Starbucks card!), etc.  It keeps up running and the boys strong.  Mason is currently finishing up hockey and playing Baseball for KM.  In addition, he is in Driver's Ed.  HE IS NEVER HOME.  Nolan made the AAU Basketball team in our area (THANK GOD) and our commute to practice is 10 mins.

Second, THANK YOU!  Thank you for all the help getting my kids to all of their stuff.  I particularly lose steam at 5:00pm.

SCAN - I had a scan and it shows some traction.  The tumors they were concerned about have stopped growing; the ones that they don't know are tumors may be growing, but they may not be tumors (WHATEVER!); and my CEA number is way down and approaching normal levels.

Future - We begin a with the last chemo, I will most likely lose the last 1/3 of my hair and we keep going.  I start again on Thursday.  The schedule is two 3 hours treatments a week from each other for two weeks and then a week off.

Okay, that is what you need to know.  Do know it is not without feeling that I had on the written page, I just choosing to focus on the "living" ones.

Happy Tuesday,


Wednesday, February 12, 2020


Home....I have been here a lot since discharge from the hospital, Home Health Care came and then are done.  I loved the nurse, so it was nice, but I still home.   Now that I think of it, the word "home" and "jail" both are four letter words.....but I digress!

I met with Hank last week.  He is happy with my progress but I need to time to be at jail....sorry, I mean home, so I will do a scan on the 17th and then meet him with on the 6th of March.  He encourages me to stay home/jail, jail/home, jame, hoil, whatever you want to call it.  So, for now, I am resting.

Thank you all for the great response to help out.  This round is all taken care of, but toilets get dirty and plants grow, so I will let you know.  Thank you again!!!  The sheer volume of support is great.

That is it for now.....send good thoughts for me resting at hoil....

Happy Wednesday,


Saturday, February 1, 2020


So, weird.  Not had this happen. Let's start at the beginning.....

Our family was going on another Christmas Cruise.  We went to Thanksgiving at our friends house and we briefly made a Christmas wish before we left.  I packed lights and for the room on the cruise ship to give the right look.  The cruise ship is totally decked out.  It is pretty impressive.

The boys were frantic to get their work done knowing we would have only two times to get internet (Dad's work) to get their stuff done.  The time change was brutal.  12 hours difference.  OUCH!

First Singapore, then Phuket, Sri Lanka, Goa, Cochin, Mumbai, and Dubai.  Oddly there was not a lot about shopping, but I did get a fair amount of things.  I started to get sick and needed cough drops.  I engaged the first person I could at the market.  I only had US dollars and I just needed cough drops.  After the first person engaged me  (who studied in Baniff, Canada), another older gentleman engaged me and said I was being ripped off, I said to him, "I don't care.  I am sick and have to get through this trip."  He  took a step back and said, "I will help you too.  I am so sorry you are sick."  Little did he know.  By the end, I had cough drops and bubble gum for the kids and two hearty, beautiful goodbyes.

I kept getting better, but by the last day, I said to Grant, "Just get me home."

Got home.  The flight was AWFUL.  I was fine until the kids to the side of me were screaming for 11 out of 14 hours.  And then the poor woman was puking at the beginning of the flight.  SERIOUSLY.  I was going to help out the family, but then I saw the 18 month slap her across the face and nothing was done which meant I was done - this is a parenting problem NOT a kid problem.  Has she not heard of Mommy Code?!?!?!?!  Plus, you have to be trained to scream that long.  Most kids collapse.  I had one day to recover and then off to chemo.  Chemo went well.  Numbers were great all was good.  Then three days later.....

This is where I start to lose my memory.......I got an infection in my blood.  I saw weird things like bugs all over me, dirt in my kids room, little toy men....luckily the friend that I said, "Come if I call you no matter what!" clearly that statement with others that knew what was going on!

Two weeks I lost.  I scared many.  I made many laugh.  I made many cry.  I am sorry.  They say you don't die of the cancer it is something else.  I don't want that something else.

As many of you are asking, "How was the trip?"  It was great.  We really just let go this time.  We have learned to love ship days, we swam, enjoyed the music bands, the talks (I am so into those - you learn so much!), meeting up for lunch and dinner, etc.  We played a lot of cards.  You should have seen Grant's face when I played a combo of rules that I thought was okay and he did not.  He was almost stuttering......."You can't do that...."  I explained that my Grandma did.  Pause.  So there it is - piss me off or my dead Grandmother that would follow him until death.  He took the high round and stayed mute.  We clarified the rules and played happily after that.  Nobody wants Virginia on his/her tail.

So, I am home with pneumonia.  I am trying very hard to get better.  My next trip is not until May.  We cut our trip in February to the Taj because of all if this, so I can heal for a while.

As for help......The meal train and Grub hub have been AMAZING.  THANK YOU.  My boys have not been hungry for weeks!  Other ways.......we need a little yard work email me if you want to do that (, and I could use some housework help again, email me at  Thanks!

As for now everything is on hold until I get better.  I see Hank on Friday to make a plan!

Happy Friday, Ang