Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year Resolutions


It's that time of year again when people make there big lists of what they want to be different in the new year. I've never been real big on making a resolutions list. Occasionally, I'll think of a few things, but I've never really liked the idea of writing out a list of things to do in the coming year - which is really odd because I am SUCH a list maker!

I think the main reason is - I DON'T want to fail and a list like that "usually" doesn't get done:

Here are some fun Facts I stole (from here):

During this week, millions upon millions of people around the world will be formulating their New Years Resolutions.

Here's how things usually end up.

63% of people are still keeping their resolutions after the first two months.

67% of people actually make 3 or more resolutions.

The top resolutions usually involve promises to exercise more (37%), increasing the time devoted to study or work (23%), losing weight, stop smoking or drinking (alcohol and/or coffee), and eat healthier.

People make more resolutions to start a new habit (84%) , than to break an old one (16%).

65% of people made their resolutions between the 28th of December and New Year's Day. The rest usually take up until the end of January.

Of those who successfully achieved their top resolution, 40% of them did so on the first attempt. The rest made multiple tries, with 17% finally succeeding after more than six attempts.

So yeah, I totally fall into that group, my only thoughts for this coming year have been the usual weight loss, get in shape type goals. But then this morning as I was reading all the updates on my blog list, I came across and interesting concept:ONE LITTLE WORDand it struck home with me. I LOVE this concept!

But now the search begins to find a word???
As I look back on 2009 and ahead to 2010, what is the ONE thing I want to focus on to be different this year?

I started brainstorming and the first thing to come to mind were the fruits of the spirit:


Yeah, thats as far as I got. I never can remember how that whole list goes - good thing I have resources to look it up :)

Galatians 5:22-23 (New International Version)

22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

Thats better!
Some of the other words I came up with were:


But now to choose?

There are too many to choose ducks over (inside joke for the ladies at bible study)
I still have a few days till I have to decide so, i am going think, pray and most likely pick one from a hat!

So check back in a few days to see what my word for 2010 will be!

Monday, December 28, 2009

MANism Monday



Recently, I started posting on Facebook the funny things my Men say and titled them "MANISMS" Then I started jotting them down in folder on my desktop - they really are too often to post on FB all the time but I thought they would be perfect for my blog - so here you go here is my first edition of MANism Monday:

MANism # 121709-2
Gryphyn - "Mom can I have some yogurt?" "Sure" "Woo Hoo!" He opens the fridge and says "Hi Mr Yogurt - Mom says I can eat you! HA HA!"

MANism # 121909
I woke up at 4:30am to Vahn crying - felt Zac stir and was going to let him get up but then the mom in me picked up that "tone" in the cry and jumped out of bed to see what was wrong. After a few minutes I calmed Vahn down enough to find out what was wrong - the problem ???? ........... "Me want cookies!"

MANism #122009
Gryphyn - "You can still sleep mommy! Don't get up, Daddy can get me breakfast!"

MANism #122309
Gryphyn was being crabby and I told him it was time to go to bed which of course he threw a fit about. So in trying to explain to him WHY he had to go to bed, I said "You are so tired that you can't even function!" To which he replied "I'm going to function!"

MANism #122609
Vahn was eating breakfast and he looks over to me and says "Me toe is different" turns out ALL his toes are different (none of them match) How very random!

MANism #122709
What do you want for dinner? Gryphyn- "ummm noodles" Vahn - What do you want? "Donuts!"
At least he is honest! :)


P.S. If you haven't already figured it out, the MANism # is the date :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Make a list Monday

So I've been thinking that I should blog more and have started following a lot of great blogs that really inspire me.
One of those blogs is:

On todays post, she wrote:

"This week's blog assignment at MGR is to make a list of what is on your Christmas list"

So of course I had to look up MGR to see what that was about - I'm going to need a lot more time to devote to that - it looked really interesting for the quick glance I took - and for some reason, I NEED to have my questions answered about blogs and how/ why you get assignments?

But I don't have the time today - INSTEAD, I'm going to "blog" MY to do list!
(which I should be doing instead of typing this)

I try to get as much done each day as I can - the rest rolls over to tomorrow :)

Go to the Gym - CHECK

Apply for membership - CHECK

Get Groceries - CHECK

Apply for FASA


Craft Store - stuff to make Christmas Presents with the Men

Edit Pictures

Get Drivers License

Take placement test for SLCC

Fix nails

Return Pans to Stacey

Bible Study @ 7

Ok - I know you are dying to know what MGR is as well - so I'll be nice and add the link for you - try not to waste too much time on there and ignore YOUR to do list!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Its no big secret that I LOVE Christmas!

I go a little crazy decorating the house and look forward to the day the radio stations start playing Christmas music. I program all the "Christmas stations" on my presets and put Christmas CDs in the player for when they stations play commercials

I Love:
-bundling up in coats and hats and mittens because of the chill in the air
- the snow on everything & sledding (now that I live where it snows)
- driving around seeing all the houses with lights
- the Christmas decorations in all the stores
- caroling
- baking cookies and pies and breads for the holiday parties
- the Advent church services
- decorating the tree
- watching Christmas movies bundled up by a fire
-& the way everyone seems to smile at strangers (well for the most part)

Then there are all the things that I HATE about the holiday season.

- The stress & GREEDINESS
- the Black Friday Sales where people stand in line for hours and then push and shove to get the best deals
- the desire to buy MORE and MORE stuff that we don't need - just because its a good price.
- the feeling that you have to get something for everyone that just ads up to stacks and stacks of presents under the tree!
(You shouldn't have more presents than you do tree!)
- Then spending hours trying to figure out how to politely write thank you notes for all the things you didn't want & now have to figure out where then came from & stand in line to return.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we "shouldn't" buy presents for our families and friends. But it seems that the PRESENTS have become the meaning of Christmas.

I will be out with my kids and the big question from everyone we meet is -
"What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?"
During the holidays, are kids are "taught" to be greedy!
I know its only natural to want things, but I struggle with how to teach my kids to be givers instead of being so selfish all the time.

A few weeks ago,(by request) we were going thru the ads from the Sunday paper and circling what we wanted and Gryphyn was being super greedy to the point of throwing a fit when I declined some of his requests to circle. I knew then that I was encouraging his greediness. But didn't know what to do.

The next morning, while eating breakfast, he picks up the ads and starts with the "I want ...." So, I tried to turn things around, I asked Gryphyn what he wanted to get for his brother Vahn for Christmas and he says "umm maybe a magazine" and goes on pointing out the toys that "he" wanted for himself. So I took the ads away and we had a talk about giving to others and and asked him if he thought Vahn would like to have a magazine. I explained that it was selfish to give something cheap so that we can buy more expensive things for ourselves. I'm not sure how much sunk into his little 4 year old brain. But I decided then that we were doing things different this year.

The Men and I are going to make all our presents that we give away and I've asked everyone to not buy them a bunch of toys and stuff they don't need. I would love to do some sort of service type project with them but I think they may be a bit young for that still (at 2 & 4).

I want to spend more time together as a family, focus on Jesus, HIS story and to GIVE in what ever way we can.

I came across the following video on a blog I follow. It is primarily for a project that supplies clean water to those who don't have it but I LOVE the wording and meaning of the video. Christmas IS about Christ's birth -celebrating him - teaching THAT to our children.

I hope it touches you like it did me:

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Today I got my first tattoo. Heck I got 3 of them!
They aren't anything cool though- just 3 little blue dots for Radiation.


Thanks to the Web :0) Here are the answers to your questions!

Why do I need tattoos to get radiation?

Tattoo markings that are used for radiation therapy are very small (around 1 millimeter), about the size of a freckle or the head of a pin. They are necessary so the radiation therapist can precisely pinpoint the area needing treatment. These permanent markings are crucial for ensuring the accurate targeting of the tumor area. It also allows the technician to line up the treatment fields quicker making each of your treatment sessions run more smoothly.

What do the tattoos look like?

The tattoos are created by placing a drop of dark blue or black India ink on the skin and then using a sterilized needle to implant a bit of the ink within the skin layer. The process feels like a pinprick, much less painful than when you have blood drawn. Each tattoo is often smaller than a freckle, which, in most cases, would not be seen by anyone other than the patient who knows that they are there or the therapist.


Actually, not really! Its a quick simple procedure and so far I haven't had any side effects.
I do have to go EVERY day (except weekends) which sort of sucks but at least it doesn't take the 7 hours that chemo treatments did.
The whole thing takes anywhere from 30 min to an hour depending on the day and if I need to have slides, or ct scans done or if its my day to see the Dr.
X-rays or Slides are done on Mon and Wed, Mini CT scans on Friday and I see the dr once a week.

The machine they use is pretty cool.
Here is a picture of a machine similar to the one they use


All I do is lay on the table while the whole thing rotates around me.
The head unit is capable of doing the x-rays, ct scans and administer the radiation.
Before we started, they did a complete CT scan of my chest and they used that to make a virtual "me" in the computer. From that image, they map my radiation treatments.
On Mon & Wed when they do the scans, they compare them to the virtual "me" to make sure that I am in the right place. Same with the CT scans - they compare those to the originals and adjust as needed. Prior to todays tattoos, I had permanent marker "x's" covered by little clear sticker. These are the external points that they line me up by to begin with. Then they can move the table or equipment to make sure they are in the right area. Pretty Cool!

As for that cool tattoo, I still may get it.
I never have wanted a tattoo before. But now I kind of do. Sort of a reminder and celebration of all that I've been thru.
I'm still not sure what or where but have been thinking of getting a pink cancer ribbon that dissolves into butterflies. I like the symbolism of the cancer dissolving into something beautiful. Cancer is just the caterpillar stage of my life. But I'm confident that I can transform into a beautiful graceful butterfly soon! At least thats my goal!

I kind of like this tattoo. Although I don't think I want mine to be really big or purple and of course this one doesn't have the ribbon. If any one can draw or comes across a picture, please send your ideas my way.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Smalls

On Sunday April 26th, my baby turned 2!

I can't believe its been 2 years already - where does the time go???

My last chemo treatment has been rough, I'm super tired lately and have zero energy - which totally sucks. I joked that it only makes sense to feel so bad the week before Vahn's b-day since that is how I felt 2 years ago waiting for him to make is appearance. However, this time, I got to sit back and relax while someone else did the work!

Thank you so much to my sister Valerie for all the work you did to make Vahns party happen. Zac was in Florida for a wedding for the weekend and my MIL Ann was visiting (which also was a BIG help) Thank you Mom! But Valerie was the one who did all the party prep and shopping (food, presents, decorations, etc...) Then made us super yummy dinner and baked and decorated the cutest car cakes for Vahn.




I wanted to have a big party and invite lots of people but I didn't have the money or energy for that this year - so I was happy to finally have family in town and be able to have our 1st "family" birthday party.

Here is a picture of all the kids on their plasma cars- well except Gryphyn - Uncle Josh sat in for him since he was busy throwing a fit because he couldn't sit on the "green" car! He is very much into the color green right now and everything has to be green. If there is a green option, he has to have it or he melts down.


Vahn on the other hand, is pretty laid back and generally happy with whatever.

His favorite presents were:

The plasma car - now we have 2 so they don't have to fight over it - however they both want the new one now

Ball - still a big fan of balls

and his new cup - it has cars on it!

Happy Birthday Little Man - I love you!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Yesterday I had some time to kill waiting in the drs office so I decided to use the time to catch up on my reading.

I should have brought one of the many books I have been meaning to get to, or at least chose the photography magazine that, I have been carrying around in my bag for months now. The one that Zac keeps asking me if I've read yet - yeah someday I really do intend to read that - Really I do want to. (Some how I don't think Zac is convinced)

But yesterday, I wasn't feeling up to anything that required a lot of brain power or deep though.
I mean how often to I get away by myself. Granted I was sitting in the waiting room at the VA getting ready to be stuck by needles and put in a machine to look at my heart, but to me this was relaxing - a little mini vacation - KID FREE.
No one crying or screaming or fighting, no one asking for more juice or to take them potty. No "what are we doing next time?" (meaning when we are done here), No "Babis" or "ba-ba requests". I was for once surrounded by adults who were content to nod and smile at my presence and not require anything more from me.

Yet somehow my focus was still on my little men. So after glancing thru the piles of magazines that were no kidding several years old (they really need to update those) I pulled a Parents magazine out of my bag and started flipping thru it.

Mostly looking at the pictures occasionally reading an article that sounded interesting.
One article I did read was about organizing the kids playroom - with the boys room STILL not finished, their toys are mostly in the living room and I'm always trying to find a way to make my living room NOT look like a toy store that was hit by a tornado.

The article started off with the author describing her kids playroom, saying it looked like a lego eating monster had barfed on the rug! I was dying laughing YES, that was SO my house - not legos (yet) but definitely some sort of preschool toy eating monster regularly gets sick in my living room!

While I was away at my dr appt, I think our "monster" called some of his friends because later that evening, the play dough eating monster visited my kitchen. Maybe HE should have been the one at the dr -because it didn't take long for him to spew brightly colored play dough bits everywhere!






I know tonight when I run the bath for the men, the water monster will sneak into the tub while I am not looking and splash water all over the bathroom requiring a minimum of two giant super absorbent towels to mop up the mess.

I'm sure some part of me will miss all of our "MONSTERS" when they are gone, but for now,
I'm considering posting some "no monsters allowed signs"


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes!


Lately, I have been writing down the funny things Gryphyn says and Vahns new word.

I thought I would share them in a post.


Are you done sweeping? - "No, I'm still scooting"

"Have to sweep the rug , there are germs on it"

When Vahn woke up from a nap and walked out to the living room - "It's the smalls! Hi Smalls!"

When looking at my prom picture - "I don't want you to be a princess"

"Mommy what's today?" Umm Wednesday "Wednesday? Thats cool"

When apologizing to Vahn - "I'm sorry for saying bad choice words for him"

When I asked him if he was excited to sleep in his own room again - "It's going to be COOL! It's going to be a little scary sleeping in there"

While looking at one of my fitness magazines - "What she doing? Why her not have clothes on?" (she was wearing a swimsuit)

After pausing a movie for a potty break - "Don't pause it back"

"There's Oh Tea Toe" - R2D2 on Star Wars

Zac asked him - Should we ditch you somewhere? "No, I'm not a plate" Not a DISH, Ditch :)

We have been working on not telling everyone to shut up - from the other room, I heard - "Vahn - You shut down"


We taught both of our boys sign language before they could talk - Gryphyn signed a lot more than Vahn does - and now that Vahn is starting to talk more, he isn't signing as much either.

Here is a list of words that he still signs on a regular basis:

Thank you - Sleep - All gone (all done) - Diaper

The following words, he signs AND says together:

Hat - Please - Apple - Milk - Juice

Words that he says:

Mama - Dada - Done - Ball - No - More - Shoe - Owww - Flower - Bye bye - Go -Stop -Snack - Cheese - Apple - Please - Butt

Additional words in his own language:

Ahh Haa (for Yes) - Ba ba (for his pacifier / sucky) - Ba-bis ( for Bob the builder) Shoe - shoe ( for train / choo choo ) and most other things are some sort of version of "Ba-bis" or "shoe shoe"

He is very interested in talking and tries to say the words right when you tell him what something is - but hasn't quite figured out how to make his mouth make all the sounds yet - its cute to watch him try - :)


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2nd round of Chemo

Oh the joy of Chemo days!

Yesterday, I spent another 6hrs at the oncologist office.
Everything went well - all my blood work was good and I had no problems with the treatment - it just takes FOREVER to get it all.

Here is a quick run down of the day

~9:15am - finally get everyone packed up and out the door
~Drop the men off at school along with all accessories & car seats
( they went home with Gryphyn's teacher afterward)
~Stop and get breakfast for Zac
(who wasn't up in time to eat before we left - in typical Zac fashion)
~Arrive at the oncologist office for 10:30 scheduled time
~Wait in waiting room forever to get called back
~Move to new room with 3 others and wait my turn for vitals (all good)
~Move to exam room down the hall to see nurse
(quick check up, answer questions etc.)
~Finally move to chemo treatment room
~Get all hooked up to port


~Draw blood through port
(to make sure it's in the right place and to test my levels
and see if I'm "well" enough to receive treatment)
~Results all came back good - so they start mixing my meds
~12:00 - finally ready to start chemo
~Take tylenol, benadrly and 2 antinausa meds

Chilling with a magazine while getting anti-nausea iv

~ 1pm (ish) Start on the 4 ivs of chemo and HER2 drugs
Getting sleepy (thats my nurse Sharon in the back gound)

~Slept for a bit while Zac took off to drop off my prescription at the VA pharmacy and get us some lunch and a few things from Wal-Mart
~ 3pm - Zac back with lunch - Chick -Fil-A - YUMMY!
~5pm - finally done for the day
~"YAWN" what a long day!

Then we still had to go pick up my meds from the VA and get the lil men from Jennifers house.
Thank you again Jennifer for keeping them for me - You have been such a blessing to us - especially on these long treatment days!

A few details that I know some of you will ask :)

I got some new meds for heartburn and Zac also picked up some head and shoulders type shampoo for me to shower with - I forgot what they called it but I broke out on my hairline everywhere - first under my arms mostly on the left side so I thought maybe it had something to do with the lymph nodes being removed from that side but I also now have it on the back of my neck, chest, bikini line and a few on my legs - so they said to shower with the anti dandruff stuff since it also has a med in it to prevent breakouts - humm who knew - worth a try a least. I so don't want to be the bumpy, pasty, bald girl. LOL

I go back tonight at 5pm for the nulasta shot (to stimulate white blood cell growth) It was quite painful last time - so I'm anticipating lots of pain killers and sleep for tomorrows schedule.

Thank you in advance for the prayers- I only had about 4 bad days first time around - so I'm hoping for the same or less this time around!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shaving Party

A few weeks ago I posted that I was going to have a shaving party when my hair started falling out. It proved to be pretty difficult to get everyone together for a shaving party - especially when I didn't know exactly when I would start shedding. Luckily, my sister in law, Mandy, was able to fly out to see us around the time the doctors said I could expect the transformation to begin.

I was hesitant to shave it if it wasn't going to fall out - so on Wednesday morning when it DID start to fall out, I was actually relieved. That morning, when I ran my hands through my hair I got 4 or 5 strands each time - but by that night, it was around 20-25 each time. So we decided it was time to shave it.

We had so much fun - we laughed A LOT and joked that "THIS" is why you should always have a professional cut your hair. Zac was on hand to capture everything in photographs and add a few creative designs himself.

Here is the video of this step in my journey:

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Smoochbooth Soiree

Last night I got to go to a party!
I was so excited - I NEVER get to go out.
We sort of forgot about it - till Zac checked the calendar yesterday afternoon
- Great no way am I going to find a babysitter last minute.
But after several phone calls, someone finally said YES!

Thank you so much Jennifer and Blake for being available and willing to come over on very short notice. I had the most fun I've had in a really long time - thanks to you guys keeping the kiddos so we could go out :)

So where did we go???


Why the Smoochbooth Soiree of course - it was the official release of the Smoochbooth.

What the heck is a Smoochbooth? - Its sort of like those little photobooths in the mall where you take pictures with your friends - only MUCH MUCH cooler.


Check out the website at:

Here are a few pictures we took in the booth.




To see more, you can register at : http://www.pictage.come/611671
The event isn't released yet - but you can sign up to be notified by email when it is -if you want.

Oh and you may have noticed that I don't have any hair - Yeah that happens with cancer :)

I'm working on editing the photos from the shaving party and should have those up soon.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Today is Zac's Birthday and in celebration, Gryphyn and I made colorful cupcakes.
Here is our adventure in photos. ENJOY!
(thanks for the idea Crystal)

Getting ready:

Mixing Colors:

Ready to bake:


Now about that mess.....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Are we done yet?

So today - definitely NOT one of the best days of my life! Did I mention I'm not such a big fan of all this cancer stuff???

Thankfully, the symptoms haven't been too bad - mostly tired and everything tastes like crap! Then yesterday, I had to go in to get a shot that stimulates the white blood cells. And today - MAN does everything hurt! All my big bones and joints hurt so bad. I'm pretty tough so if I'm complaining of pain - you know its gotta hurt! So I've been spending most of my day in bed sleeping while Zac is being a trooper and taking care of everything else. The men aren't letting him have an easy time of it either.

It all started at 7am when Gryphyn woke up and had said he had to throw up. Thankfully he made it to the bathroom. However, that was just one of many times thru out the day - not all of which made it to the bathroom :( Somewhere in there, Zac put Vahn in bed with me so he could deal with Gryphyn's mess and Vahn drifted off to sleep - a bit later however, he apparently was feeling left out because he woke up and puked all over the bed - Gee Thanks! Being the good wife I am, I quickly called Zac in to deal with that as well and moved over to the boys bed so I could stay out of the way!

Its been several hours now and things seem to have settled down - I'm praying that tomorrow isn't as eventful! However from my perspective, I got to sleep all day and the boys got baths, the beds all stripped and washed, laundry done, bathroom cleaned and the men are all tucked in sleeping peacefully! Somehow, I don't think Zac sees it in the same way!

I couldn't do this with out you Zac - Thank you so much for everything - I DO!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

MUGA test and CHEMO starting!

Quick update - today I went and had a MUGA test done it checks to see how much blood pumps out of my heart when it contracts.  Anything over 50-55% is considered normal - You will be happy to know that mine was in the 60% range :)    Folowing is a description of the test I stole from someone elses blog (  Gotta give credit where it is due!  I did change a few details that weren't the same as my experience 

"They weren't looking for anything wrong, just a baseline for comparison to make sure it doesn't get damaged by the poisons medications they're going to start injecting into me tomorrow.

As the tech said, this is probably the easiest procedure I'll endure during the next few months. It started with a needle, as they injected something into me (I forget what). Then I had to wait 20 minutes, while whatever they injected into me bonded with my red blood cells (a little tango perhaps). Then another injection, this time with radioactive stuff (and no, unfortunately, I do not glow in the dark). They attached three sets of diodes and wires. Then took three sets of pictures of my heart, spaced 16 min apart based on my heart cycle.  And then I was done. "

I did learn that I have a slight irregularity in my heart beat.  Its not a big deal -nothing to be concerned about I never knew it was irregular -but its been there for as long as I can remember.  Basically, on every 4th beat, my heart beats twice - so when you are listening to it on a monitor, it sounds like - BEEP -- BEEP -- BEEP -- BEEPBEEP-- BEEP -- BEEP -- BEEP -- BEEPBEEP.  No wonder I've always had a hard time trying to find my heart rate at the gym - ya know when you are suppose to stop and count for 30sec - Mine goes 1-2-3-45-umm I think 7-8-9-1011 - Yeah, I never had a clue trying to figure it out - NOW I know WHY!

Tomorrow, I start my Chemo and I'm slightly nervous about it - I think it will be fine and usually you have no side effects the day of treatment (they show up the next day) its just he uncertainty of which side effects if any I will have.  

I was accepted into the test study program for the test drug for my  HER-2 status so I will be getting 4 drugs now (I know I said 5 before if you keep up with these posts - but they decided to drop one of them)  So I will be taking:

Taxotere, Carboplatin, Herceptin, & Avastin 

and for those of you werdos who I know will ask what drugs I'm taking LOL - here is what they have prescribed currently:

Dexamethosone - I take this one 2x daily the day before chemo, the day of, and the day after - it helps to prevent side effects that chemo causes

and 3 different nausea meds:

Granisetron, Lorazepam, & Promethazine  - these are all take as needed.

The Granisetron, I am suppose to take for 3 days following chemo and the Promethazine is sedating so take that one if things get too bad

Fun stuff - I'm hoping and praying that I won't need to take any of them!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Shaving Party

Come one, come all - be the first to shave my hair off!  Tickets starting at.....  NAH it's free!  

No doubt it will be an emotional event but I figure - if I have to loose my hair I may as well have some fun doing it.  
A few weeks ago I saw this photo in Zac's Professional Photographer magazine:

It is a ceremony of a young boy becoming a Buddhist monk.  Which I have no intention of doing - (becoming a monk that is or a young boy) but when I saw it, it was moving to me and I instantly wanted to photograph my journey.  

Then Zac started talking about me putting a tattoo on my head - which I think is a really cool thing to do -  but its not really "ME" - I was looking around on line to see if I could find some pix of others who had done that and he was right - seems no one has.  However, I did find some cool Henna stuff that I just may have to do :)  

On the Chemo Chicks website, there was a woman who had a shaving party - she invited over some friends and they helped cut and shave her hair off.  I don't want to sit alone in my bathroom crying as I watch my curls fall to the floor  -  lets celebrate - laugh - carve some strange designs and hair styles - lift our glasses and celebrate!  

I don't want this to be a scary time in my life or my kids.  Gryphyn in particular I think will have a hard time with mommy loosing her hair - He is all about hair - he gave up his "blankie" quite awhile ago and replaced it with playing with hair.  When ever he drinks, he curls his hair around his fingers.  When you buckle him in his car seat or he sits in your lap he says "I want to touch your hair"

Somewhere I was reading that to lessen the shock for you family, you should get a short hair cut so that you, and those around you, can get used to seeing you with shorter hair.  So I'm thinking I may do that this week - Zac thinks that I should ask for a "high and tight" flat top with the bald spot and all :)  I was thinking a tad more feminine for now.    

As for when, my hair should start to thin after the first treatment and start falling out after the second so I have about 6 weeks to make the plans.    

So, anyone who is up for a party - let me know and we will figure out a date when Zac the fabulous is available and have an extreme party for him to add to his photography collections :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Well, we were hoping that I could possibly get out of having to do Chemo - but after meeting with the Oncologist yesterday, we feel chemotherapy it is the best course of action at this point.  

Right now, if I chose NOT to do the Chemo, I have about a 60-65% chance of the cancer coming back - If I choose to DO the Chemo treatments, my chances drop to 15 -20% for reoccurrence. They won't ever be able to make the numbers zero because everyone is at risk for cancer (some more than others) already having it, puts me at a greater risk.  

So, tomorrow,  I have to be at the VA @ 12:30 for another surgery.  I am having a small operation to have a port placed just under the skin below my collar bone.  This will help to make the chemo treatments easier.   Well at least less needles in my arm anyway.  It looks like this:
The handout they gave me on it describes it this way:
"The PowerPort Implantable Port is a small device with a hollow space inside that is sealed by a soft top.  It connects to a small, flexible tube called a catheter.  When a special needle is put into the soft top of the PowerPort device, it creates "access" to your bloodstream, meaning that medications and fluids can be given and blood samples withdrawn."

Like this:

I'm not sure of the exact date I start Chemo yet - My oncologist wants to start next week but is still waiting on a final HER2 test results.  When I was originally diagnosed, one of the blood tests , called an HER2  was inconclusive - they are now running a more specific test called fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) test.  This test provides information related to the number of copies of the HER2 gene in the tumor cells.  

About 15-20% of breast cancers have too much of a growth-promoting protein called HER2 and too many copies (more than 2) of the gene that instructs the cells to produce the protein.  Tumors with increased levels of HER2 are referred to as "HER2-positive."  HER2-positive breast cancer tumors tend to grow and spread more rapidly than other breast cancers.

My test originally came back as a 2 - which is boarder line - If I do end up being HER2 positive, then they will add a drug called  Herceptin to my other chemo drugs. 

Herceptin is a protein  that fits like a lock and key on HER2 cells.  Once it attaches to the cell, it bring other immune cells to help kill the cancer cell.

The other drugs, I will be taking as part of my chemo are:
Cytoxan, Adriamycin, & Taxotere
Cytoxan and Adriamycin both work to stop the grown of cancer cells, causing the cells to die.  Taxotere is a mitotic inhibitor that effects the cell during mitosis keeping it from splitting into more cells. This drug is given every 3 weeks.  Which sets the time frame for my treatments.  Right now, I am scheduled for 6 sessions (every 3 weeks)  

On a sad note, today was my last day at work for quite a while.  The oncologist recommends that I limit my time around kids  (other than my own) because my immune system will be weakened by the chemo treatments and a common cold could become deadly  - I am going to miss the kids in the 2 year old class that I teach and all my friends at Trinity Presbyterian's MMO program!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Breast Cancer 3 Day

As you all know, a few months ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer - and I have been struggling with the whys and what do I do with all this. There must be a reason God allowed this happen - am I suppose to learn something? 
DO something? WHAT??

I remember doing a breast cancer walk with the girl scouts many years ago and thought I should do that - since I have boys, I was thinking I would fly to AZ and do this walk with my niece's girl scout troop - so I was looking on line to see when the next one was and instead, came across the huge 3 day walk.
How is it even possible that I have never heard of this? 
So many women all over the US raising money and trying to get the word out to find a cure - and I miss it!

So now I'm even more compelled to help get the word out. 
Before I was diagnosed myself, I was so naive to breast cancer and its effects. 
I always thought - yeah that sucks - but its not like anyone dies of breast cancer! SO WRONG! It could have been me this time if I hadn't insisted the dr's do a biopsy when they wanted to try stronger antibiotics. More and more people I know personally or thru a friend ARE being diagnosed with breast cancer. The numbers are astonishing!

"In 2008 alone, it's estimated that nearly 200,000 American women and nearly 2,000 men were diagnosed with breast cancer. Unless we find a cure, within 25 years more that 5 million Americans will develop the disease and over 1 million could die."

So more than ever, I am up for this challenge! 
The 3 day walk covers 60 miles in 3 days time. You are required to raise a minimum of $2,300 to register other than that, I'm not really sure of the details yet - but I am convinced that I HAVE to do this. For me and for other women - TO FIND A CURE!

My sister Valerie is joining me in this challenge. 
We will be walking in AZ on November 13-15th

If you would like to join our team, make a donation, help us train, or be a part of this in anyway, we would love to have you along on this journey!