Friday, June 30, 2006

Musician in the family

I'm pretty sure laughing is a prescribed medication. I spent the day with my girls again (Amy was laying in bed sick, but that didn't seem to stop Angie & I) Thankfully, Amy is feeling better tonight. Jacob and I spent the early evening together running errands and laughing. Hanging out with my family can be more of a workout on my abs than a pilates class.

Though my kids were all too busy with sports and other activities to take band in school, I learned today that Angie can play the "lip trumpet". This afternoon, I would sing a song and she would accompany me while humming through her lips. We could hardly look at each other while "performing" because the laughter took over and we would have to start over again. How could I have missed knowing about this talent? It is funnier than heck. The next time you see her ask for a mini-concert.

My friend Ann and her son Michael were here to visit today. They have been living in Arizona but will be moving back soon. It was nice to see them. I can't wait for the full time version again. Hopefully we will get to visit with them again before they head back to the "heat". I had coffee with Lindsay and her dad this morning and that too, was a great visit. It sure is nice slowing down long enough to visit people you care about.

I've been attempting to put photos on the blog but it doesn't seem to be working anymore. I'm not sure what the problem is but I'll keep trying. I never claimed to be really good on the computer. I am, however better on the computer than I am with math (though that's not saying much)

Hopefully Rick and I will be heading over to Desert Aire this weekend. The kids are all staying home (some of them have to work on Monday - Sorry kids) I have a couple of books I've been wanting to read and I can take naps better over there. Rick needs to relax more, too. He has taken on way too much since my diagnosis. Desert Aire is our place to get away from it all.

If I don't send any messages in the next few days, it's because I'm not near a computer. Please have a safe and happy 4th of July if I don't talk to you before then. It is always a dangerous time of year and since I don't have anything else on my mind I will worry about all of you until the 5th.
Doreen's 5 rules for the 4th-
1. Do not drink and drive (and light fireworks) Bad combination
2. Do not hold Roman candles in your teeth. (unless you've always wanted dentures)
3. Do not use a "lit fireworks" as a centerpiece on your picnic table
4. Do not light fireworks in a barn filled with hay
5. Have fun...

Love you more that all the illegal fireworks on an Indian reservation.

Dream Big,

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Is laughter really the best medicine?

I do not have stories about cancer, fundraising, insurance woes, etc. Today I want to talk about my afternoon and the amount of laughing that can be crammed into an hour long lunch break.
So, I was in Stanwood this morning working on an investigation for my job. Mom was at school finishing her “last day”… (although I have a feeling it is one of many “last days” of work for her). Angie, being a school employee, was home screwing around enjoying her summer off. Mom decided the three girls should meet for lunch. Mom picked the Chinese restaurant and told us to meet her downtown at noon. Mom and I showed up on time…. Angie was nowhere to be found. We ordered our food (and something for Angie). The food came….still no Angie. Eventually, after sneaking a bite or two of her food, we called her. She told us she had been sitting at the wrong Chinese restaurant. We laughed. In fact, as we sat down and ate our lunch, we laughed repeatedly about one thing or another. We laughed when a girl walked into the restaurant and asked me for an application….as if I worked there. After being extremely confused I directed her to one of the people in the maroon shirts with the apron around their waist. We laughed when it was time to open our fortune cookies and we went around the table reading our fortunes and making up every word of what it said. I asked Angie what hers said and apparently it read, “Pneumonia looks a lot like lung cancer.” If I recall, mine said, “Angie will be buying lunch today.” When we told mom to read hers she said, “Your new doctor is great and will provide many new opportunities.” We continued around the table as Angie informed us that she had another one on the back of hers. After 5 minutes of failing to read the real fortune, and laughing uncontrollably at the ridiculous things we were “reading” on our fortunes, I had a great idea. I took a piece of the orange that was provided as the dessert and dipped it in sweet and sour sauce and offered it to Angie…as a joke. Mom immediately said she would give us $5 to eat it. Neither of us cared about a five dollar bill, but we had just been challenged so of course we were going to eat it. I dipped a second orange in the disgustingly thick goop, and held it up toward Angie as if to say cheers. She apparently didn’t want to wait as she immediately put the entire orange slice in her mouth. Let’s just say that I never got a chance to put mine in my mouth because just as quickly as it went in…it came flying out. She was spitting up the orange and gagging at the horrible taste. I thought mom and I were going to pee our pants. I decided it was best to avoid the experiment and surrender the $5. Angie assured me that it was not worth it. We hugged goodbye and I left. Remember, I still had to work…unlike the school employees who began walking down the block to do some shopping. I decided the lunch hour wasn’t quite complete so I waited for Angie to get out of sight and I proceeded to write her a fake parking ticket for “parking in a handicapped spot” (even though she wasn’t). I put it under her windshield wiper and left. Angie called 45 minutes later saying, “You jerk, you scared the crap out of me.” I heard mom laughing in the background and that in itself was enough to make my day. Thanks girls for a great lunch, and even better company.

Still smiling-

It's me again..

Amy once said on the blog, "I can't think of anything good about my mom getting lung cancer". Though I agree with her...I feel so fortunate to actually feel good enough to do all the things that make my heart happy. Besides staying in bed longer in the mornings and staying at work for a shorter time period each life has been enriched with FUN. Yesterday in Seattle was a spectacular day. Janeen and I had a ball. Luck followed us everywhere. From great location in the parking lot, to the 1/2 price tickets, to our $5 appetizers (at a very fancy restaurant's "happy hour"), my "cheap" new blouse, then our final parking spot...we couldn't have hand picked better results. A blanket in the theatre might have helped (the air conditioning almost gave us frostbite) Menopause the Musical was delightful and very funny. Thanks Neener for your friendship and a wonderful day!

I think we may have decided on a vacation spot (In Canada). I'll tell you all about it later when we confirm everything. Thanks for all your ideas. Relaxation and family are what appeal to me the most right I think we're going to skip the airplane rides and crowds for a while.

I know I've been saying this for days, but I think today might be my last day at work for the summer. I have a hard time staying away from the place when I get to see my friends each day. Work shouldn't be a job. It should be your home away from home. Mine certainly is. I am blessed. :)

I was just going to get in the shower and fix my hair and make-up but, I think I might wear my Superman hat and flip flops to the office today instead. When you've got an amazing life like I do, it's hard not to feel like a Superhero!

When you laugh, be sure to laugh out loud, cuz it will carry all your cares away!

Dream Big,

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Good Morning

I was hoping to be insightful this morning, but I've decided that would be too much work. So instead, I want to wish you all a fabulous sunny day, don't forget yesterday's advice and think of me while I'm in Seattle playing with my friend, Janeen. Today's adventure (after a meeting at the District Office and a few last minute things at the office) will be Pike Place Market and "Menopause the Musical". Sounds like a day filled with laughs for me. Oh, and probably some good food. We can't forget that!

I got a call yesterday from Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and they want to see me on July 12th. I have a sense of calm now that we will be going there for care. Do you see how I said we? I feel like we've all been hit with this. Not just me. :(

I love you more than all the sunburned bodies that "forgot to put sunscreen on" this weekend.

Dreaming Big,

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Oops! I missed a day~

Yesterday came and went so fast I forgot to stop by to say hello. So, Hello...Hello I worked, went to lunch with my friend Pam, took a nap with my daughter Angie, made dinner, visited with my daughter Amy, went with Rick and Jacob to deliver a few items to my new boss and his wife's house, then stayed a while to help with their move. Another day. Another time to make a memory. (another moment to avoid housework)

The weather is beautiful. Don't forget your sunscreen. Wear a life jacket. Have a popscicle. Drink lots of water. Most important ~ Wear Flip Flops!

Except for taking medicine daily, I sometimes forget about the "C" in my lungs. Maybe someday we can all FORGET about IT! Let's help find a cure. :)

I love you more than all the people who called in "sick" to work yesterday but will come back with a tan today. :)

Dream Big,

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Nice ending to a great week

After reflecting on my life as it is, I've discovered that I'm pretty lucky. A couple of months after being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer I'm actually feeling better, not worse. I'm having some kind of fun everyday. I've visited with people that I haven't seen in a long time. I've laughed - A LOT!

I was asked the other night what advice I would give someone now that I know about my health. My answer was immediate. I said, live with no regrets. That doesn't mean we won't wish we had or hadn't done something that we did or didn't do, or taking careless risks, means once you've done's done. Get over it. Move on. Apologize if you need to. Thank someone if you should. But never be sorry that it happened. Everything we do in life helps mold our character. Helps us become the person we were intended to be. Regrets only stunt our growth.

Ok, enough serious talk. I bought 2 new pair of flip flops (thongs) today on sale. Life is too short not to wear flip flops everyday. (oh, and also I need to show off my new pedicure) My daughter Amy wears flip flops in the winter. I'm thinking about going wild and trying that too! I'll let you know how that works once the temperature dips below 50 degrees.

This week will be bittersweet for me at work. I'll be done working for the school year with hopes that I will return in August feeling better than ever, but also knowing that my body might have a different plan for me. I promise not to think about work (very much) over the summer and just enjoy my life with family and friends.

I love you more than all the pee in a kiddie pool.

Dream Big,

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Bottle #2 - DONE

Can you believe it? It feels like only yesterday we were talking about my first bottle of Tarceva. It was so cute and friendly. Everyone wanted to see it and hold it. Now, it's 2 months old and kicking butt. Oh sure, we all still love it but no one wants to get in the way. (Especially my lung cancer)

This is going to be a beautiful weekend ~ so enjoy!

Love you to the moon (and back).


Friday Night with the Girls

I feel as though I have a new and exciting story to tell everyday. Here goes another one... Tonight, 9 of my dearest buddies and I watched a women's professional basketball game (Seattle Storm vs. San Antonio Stars) from Suite Seats at Key Arena. What a blast (Seattle won, but I hardly watched any of the game...I was too busy talking and joking around with my friends and making noise with the giveaway items they gave us on the way in) We laughed from Stanwood to Seattle and back. We met at Amigo's for appetizers then stopped at Dick's on the way home (for a Dick's deluxe and fries w/tarter). If you can't tie good food into a trip, I say don't bother going anywhere.

Thanks to all of you for spending the evening together with me. I loved every minute of it (especially sharing the backseat with Morgan - I've never felt safer:) My life is richer because of your love and friendship.

I love you more than all the mullets we saw at the game tonight....

Dream Big,

Thursday, June 22, 2006

My day of pampering...

Wow! Today I enjoyed a "Day of Beauty" in Bellevue at the Gene Juarez Galleria. It all began at 11:30 when I was escorted to the Spa area and given a warm fuzzy robe and slippers to wear. I had a bio-nutrient facial (with neck and scalp massage) until 12:45 when I took a Swiss shower (jets coming at me from all angles), catered lunch at 1:00, then at 2:00 I was whisked off to my amazing pedicure with reflexology, 3:00 was my foil (highlight), followed by a cut at 4:00. I left the building around 5:15 feeling completely spoiled. (Thank you for the wonderful day Dawn) After my day of pampering, my sister-in-law Dawn and my niece Darlena and I went to dinner at P.F. Chang's. (I've attached a photo of my new look. I'm pretty blonde, but I really love it! The cut is short and wild. Just like me :)

I told Rick that I intend to pamper myself like this once a year for the rest of my life. He's hoping I spend lots of money at Gene Juarez over the next 20 or 30 years....

I'm feeling fresh and rested and it's almost 9:00pm. I might have to do this spa thing more often. Love you more than all the BMW's in Bellevue.

Dream Big,
The new and improved Doreen

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's Gonna Be a GREAT Day!

Good morning friends,

The sun is shining, my health is improving, I feel great and I am loved. Does it get any better than this?

Have a beautiful day ~

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ok, Here's the DEAL....

I'm telling you...the power of prayer and love is doing it's job. At my appointment today the Dr. told us the CT scan showed signs of improvement. My blood work was good. The cancer in my right lung and the cancer in the upper left lung seem to be disappearing. This was a comparison based on a paper report not a visual report so we can only believe what he read to us. And...we're liking it.

I (along with my family) decided that I needed to go with my heart when it came to my health care. Though my Dr. has been giving me good news (I know I shouldn't be picky) I just don't think he's the best fit for me. I'm sure he is a very good Dr. but he is just a little too "clinical" for me. So, I've decided to head down to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (where I had my 2nd opinion) and join up with Dr. Eaton. He is a lung cancer specialist and Rick and I really clicked with him. I'll be heading down to see him in a few weeks so I'll keep you posted.

Keep those prayers a coming.

Love you lots,

Four Little Words

This is the third time that I have typed this message on the blog but I keep hitting the delete button. I dont want to tell sad stories and make people feel "sorry" for me or anyone else in my family. After thinking about it again this morning, I decided that I want to type the message again and this time hit the send button.

I was in Spokane this last weekend for a basketball officials camp. I had signed up for the camp back in February or March, well before mom got sick. As the camp approached, I felt guilty about attending it. I knew that I could not stop living my life just because mom was sick, but I also felt like I should be spending my summer vacation going on day trips with mom and enjoying her company. My friends Kevin and Glen talked me into going and told me it would be a great experience for me. I was learning a lot and having a great experience until Friday night when a camp evaluator encouraged me to attend a wonderful camp next summer in Seattle. For some reason, I lost it. I walked out of the Gonzaga University gymnasium and sat in the hallway crying. I had been strong for days, probably even for weeks without crying. But the unthinkable statistics about mom's cancer had obviously been floating around in my head and thinking about next summer was something that I hadnt done yet. I am living in the now because that is the only place to live. After I settled down, I did what I always do when I am having a hard time... I called mom. She quickly realized that I was upset (I'm not good at pretending). She told me that I must be doing a great job at camp if people were encouraging me to attend a try-out camp next year. That may have been true but I didnt want to think about the possibility of mom not being around to see it happen. She assured me that she has no intentions of going anywhere but more importantly she told me the four little words that will forever be in my head... "Honey, I believe in you". Right then and there I realized that mom will never be gone. She will always be the voice of reason in my head that is pushing me to pursue my dreams and follow my heart. She reminded me that she believes in me and that alone is enough.

I feel like the luckiest person in the world to call her "Mom".

Living Strong,

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Big Day

Tomorrow is the day in which we see the impact that Tarceva is having on the cancer in my mom's body. And that scares me half to death. I have been thinking about this appointment every second of the day today, hoping for the best. I have not yet been able to attend a doctor's appointment and I am not sure if my heart could take what the doctor would to tell us, whether good or bad, so it is probably a good thing that I haven't gone.

My mom is such a large part of my life and many of yours as well, and I can't take the anticipation of these results. I have been hearing too many statistics in the last two months about this type of cancer. I will tell you one thing, my mom will not be a statistic. I hope that she is in your thoughts and prayers tomorrow and the days following that. It will be the 62nd day that she has been a cancer survivor, you make me proud mom.

Thank you for all of your love and support,

This is ridiculous...

I went to Mom and Dad's house last night for a Father's Day BBQ and while I was there my mom was telling me about an article she had just read in the July addition of her REDBOOK magazine. She mentioned how ironic it was that she just started getting the magazine last month, yet right on the cover of July's issue was an article called "Women and Cancer, the #1 killer isn't what you think." I stopped what I was doing so mom could read me the article. The things she read initially made me sad... but then they began to make me mad. Here are a few of the statistics the article listed:

-Lung Cancer is the #1 killer in both men and women in the United States.

-Lung Cancer kills more women than breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers combined. 72,130 women in the U.S. will die of it this year alone.

- 41% of all lung cancer cases occur in women who have not yet reached their 50th birthday.

-20% of women sufferers have never smoked.

-Deaths from lung cancer among women skyrocketed more than 600% in the last 50 years.

-Last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDP) spent $204 million on breast and cervical cancer research, but not a cent on lung cancer.

After hearing the statistics in mom's magazine I decided to do some research of my own. I found the same alarming statistics in other publications. Lung Cancer is the deadliest cancer yet it is woefully underfunded, so help is not on the way. Here are more statistics I have found:

-Though lung cancer is deadlier to women than other types of cancer, breast cancer gets almost 10 times more research funding per death than lung cancer, because lung cancer is considered the "guilty cancer."

-Offspring of non-smoking, lung cancer patients have a 2-fold greater risk for developing other types of cancer.

-Relatives of non-smoking, lung cancer patients have a 68 percent increased risk of developing lung cancer.

The hardest part for me to understand and the part that makes me mad is the fact very little is being done to find a cure for lung cancer. Something has to be done to change the stigma that surrounds this disease. Unfortunatly for these victims, their disease is associated with smoking and that will continue to lessen their chances for adequate research. Cancer is a sad enough disease as it is, but imagine being diagnosed and then immediately having a stigma attached to you as if you did it to yourself. Something needs to be done and more people need to be held accountable for the inadequate funding set aside for the deadliest of all cancers.



I'm heading out soon for my scheduled CT Scan. I'm sure with all the prayers and well wishes that surround me, everything will turn out great. My follow up appointment is tomorrow, so we'll know more then. I'll update this page later today.

Love you more'll ever know.

Dream Big, Dor

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Not every woman is blessed to be surrounded by men in her life that she can truly call "heros".
Again, I'm the lucky one.

On this Father's Day I want to thank my dad who taught me to work hard and be proud of my accomplishments. He loves me unconditionally (and I gave him many opportunities in my younger years to change his mind - Sorry Dad) I love his creative spirit and how I can show him some wood working project that I think would be "cute", and by the end of the day...he's made me a sample (perfectly, I might add). Dad would do anything for anyone. He is a grandpa and father figure to many people. Times were tough for my dad when he was a young child, but through all those trying times he worked hard to make sure his family would be taken care of.
Daddy, you've done your job. Thank you for just being you. Love you more than all the peas at Twin City Foods.

Now, about my Ricky...I've always heard the best way for a father to love his children is to show them how much he loves their mother. Well, I don't think it gets much better than this. He is my best friend, the love of my life, works very hard to provide for his family, is proud of his children, tells me he loves me every day (many times), hugs me when I need it (and even when I didn't know I needed it), likes my cooking, takes me on vacations and makes me laugh. Rick too, would do anything for anyone. I believe this bump in the road that we're now facing will only make our love grow stronger. I know you've all heard me say it many times, but if he could trade me lungs, he would do it. He would walk to the ends of the earth for a cure. Rick will be 50 in a month and all he wants for his birthday is for me to be healthy. Honey, you are the most giving and loving man I know. And, YOU are my HERO.

Happy Father's Day to all of you amazing dads, grandpas, uncles, cousins, brothers, nephews who make your familys proud.

I love you more than all the remote controls in a father's hand...

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Newly Renovated

I thought you might be getting tired of the same old website so, I revamped it a little. Since my Cougar is home for the summer, I thought I would honor him with WSU colors. Hope you like it.

I'll be back on in the morning to wish my dad, husband, uncles, brother-in-laws, nephews, cousins and friends a VERY HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

Good night & Dream Big,

Just a weird kind of day~

Hi Buddies,

I'm not sure what's happening to me right now. I don't feel bad. I just feel different. I've been sleeping more, more emotional (if that's at all possible), lonely (but not alone), and feeling very uncertain. It's probably because I have my 2 month check-up on Tuesday. I don't have any reason to think they're not going to give me a good report, I'm just anxious. The kids are all gone this weekend and Rick has been cutting wood so I'm spending more time with myself. How can you guys all stand me? No wonder I'm tired....I bore myself to sleep.

I don't like to write in my blog when I'm feeling down because I don't want others to feel sad for me. But, I've realized that you are the ones who help lift me back up, so I guess you want to know everything...not just the candy-coated version of "Doreen's Updates".

We are going to a friends 50th birthday party today (He is actually a friend of Rick' friends are all so much younger...just kidding Reid) so hopefully that will bring my spirits up. It will be fun to get together with people we haven't seen in a while. And, anytime you can make fun of someone else's age....who wouldn't enjoy themself?

Our book is coming along great. You have all sent some really insightful & humorus "I love you more thans..." Keep them coming! We're going to be famous.

I love you more than all the gigahooters in my computer.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

School's Out For Summer

Today was the last day of school for the year. We had our customary end of the school year luncheon, with singing from a few of our teachers, a marshmallow food fight for Mr. Piccolo's last lunch duty, lots of laughs, and many staff members leaving the district, retiring, or moving to different positions within our school. We said our good-byes, sent our well wishes, and gave hugs...but this time for me it was different. I've never ended a school year with such uncertainty. I've always crammed to get my work complete by the end of June, but then couldn't wait to get back in early August. I'm not feeling that way right now. As a matter of fact, I'm having a hard time feeling anything. I get to work after everyone else has already started in the mornings, and leave before they are done for the day. Sometimes I feel like Charlie Brown's teacher is in the office....wah, wah, wah, wa....No real words or emotions. Just doing the work. Not near the fun. Not near the excitement. I'm sure this is just one of the phases I will go through during my journey with cancer...I'm just not liking it.
Did I just sound like Debbie Downer from Saturday Night Live? Ok enough of that!

We had fresh copper river salmon for dinner tonight and it was great. Rick went to Costco today and surprised me with it (I think I've been whining about wanting some for a week or so), and I went to Haggen and surprised him with some (since I'd been whining about it). The real surprise is...we'll be having salmon all weekend since we bought out the "Copper River". Love is funny sometimes...

I recorded my new favorite tv program (Windfall) on my TIVO tonight. It doesn't start until 10:00 and I don't think I'll make it that late. Gotta go get my pj's on. :)

I love you more than all the copper river salmon in my refrigerator....
Dream Big,

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Keep up the fight

I'm almost at the 2 month mark since my diagnosis. 2 months? 8 weeks? 60 days? Ok, you see where I'm going with this? (it's a math thing so I better stop) I can not believe it went by so fast. I love that. I know many of you wish time would stand still. Not me...I want to see it forge ahead with me at the front wearing boxing gloves. I've decided I want to be a fighter. When cancer gets in my way... "pow", "smack", "zap"...Wait, that sounds more like Batman. Let me start again. I am going to be a superhero when I grow up. "SuperDor"?

I would like to write a book but I'm going to need your help. I'm going to call it "I love you more than..." Here are some examples. I love you more than all the chocolate in Hershey, PA. I love you more than all elves at the North Pole, I love you more than all the sand in Iraq... Can you invision my idea? Send your "I love you mores" to or put them under the comments. I think it will be the perfect gift to let someone know how much they are loved.

To all my associate authors:
I love you more than officials miss calls,

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Passing the torch....

I haven't had the opportunity to get on-line and post a message for a while so I thought I better take a few minutes and do that right now before another day comes and goes. It has been a week and a half since the Relay For Life took place. For many people... and many teams... it may be a time to relax and celebrate a great event. I for one, think the event was an amazing experience. I had never seen one and now I intend to never miss one. Sitting there at the ten o'clock hour and listening to the names being read over the intercom system was tough for me. That moment changed my life. Cancer has always been a horrible thing but it used to be something that happened to the "other family" not mine. I lost my grandma to cancer in 1991 but I had not been touched by it again until Davis Carlson was diagnosed with it last year. It was difficult for me to see a child battling the devastating disease. It was the first time I had witnessed a community come together in support of a family and a cause. People saw that cancer doesn't just affect "old people." Then, my grandpa was diagnosed with cancer in February of this year and it was a blow for my family. Just when we were down and out, along came that dreadful day in April when mom got the news. Nobody was prepared to hear that "C word", but who ever is?

Let me tell you how quickly a life can change. Let me tell you how quickly priorities can change. My life was given meaning. I will never stop doing my part to find a cure for cancer. Never.

I took on the role of team captain for Doreen's Dream Team for a few different reasons. Number one I wanted to make sure we were really going to step up and do it. There was a lot of talk about throwing together a team but the deadline was approaching and I was afraid we would be too distracted to make it happen. The second reason was simply to occupy my mind and find something positive to focus on. Sure, I was still thinking about Cancer but it was FIGHTING CANCER and that sounded like a step in the right direction for me.

So, a bunch of wonderful women raised their hands and signed up for Mom's dream team. We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we smiled, and we cried a little more. The Relay For Life turned out to be perfect (although we could have done without the rain.)

After the Relay I was approached by the Chair of the event and she asked me if I would be interested in being on the committee for next year’s event. I was honored to be asked and we have been in contact ever since. I have decided to accept the position of co-chair for the 2007 Relay for Life with the intention of being the Chairman of the Event in 2008. Again, it's an honor to be asked and I look forward to the challenges that lie ahead. I will be passing the "Captain" torch to a gal who I think will easily step into the role and lead the Dream Team in next year's event. She is also very attractive, comes from a good family, and has excellent siblings. Angie Schmitt will be taking over as captain. :) I'm not going anywhere. I will still be on the team and I will still be cracking the whip to make sure we raise the most money for cancer research.

Sure, the event has come and gone for 2006 but don't forget that Cancer hasn't stopped. I hope everyone continues to keep this devastating disease in their mind and continues to search for a cure. Be a part of something that's bigger than you. Find a passion in life. I've found mine.

Dreaming Big-

Monday, June 12, 2006

Back by popular demand

Ok friends,

I know my memos have been lame lately, so here goes an attempt at something deep:
Wells, The Grand Canyon, oceans, volcanos, a generous man's pockets and my love for all of you. So how was that? Not so good? Ok, Let me try again.

Each day I sit here at the computer and wish I could tell you that I'm healthy. Since I can't do that, I want to bring you hope. But, I'm not sure how to do that either, since I'm still working at it myself. So instead, I'll bring you my humor. Ok, I know some of you wouldn't consider it humor but rather goofyness, but who cares? Laughter is Laughter. And it is the sweetest tasting medicine I take.

Yesterday I re-read all the cards and letters I've recieved over the past 6 weeks ( it took a while...because there were 253 of them) Can you believe that? 253 times someone has taken the time out of their busy life to let the Schmitt Family know how many thoughts and prayers are coming our way. That amazes me. That warms my heart. That brings me hope.

Next week will be an important milestone for my progress. I have a CT Scan on Monday and a follow-up appointment on Tuesday. This will tell them "HOW WELL" (power of positive thinking) the Tarceva is working. I still believe in my medical team and I feel a National Championship in my future....If nothing else, I know I'm going to make it to post-season play :)

You know the drill...
Dream Big,
Love ~ Doreen

Making Memories

Today was "Field Day" at my school in Marysville. It is a day where I am in charge of setting up stations of field games for the students to participate in. I had mentioned it to my Mom a few days ago in passing but I didn't bring it up again. Five minutes before the event was scheduled to begin, my Mom came walking up to me with a smile on her face and her "visitor" pass on her coat pocket. She came to volunteer in any way that she could. I love that about her. Throughout the two hour event, I scanned the field looking for my Mom and wondered what she was doing. Every time I located her I began smiling. One time I found her challenging a group of fourth grade students to a bubble gum blowing contest. They were really getting into it. At one point she said, "See that boy in the black Alcatraz shirt? He thinks his bubble was bigger than mine! I don't think so!" Later I found her eating a popsicle with the second grade girls. Throughout the afternoon I watched and absorbed every bit of her. I noticed her laugh, her interaction with others and her sincere smile. She was able to meet a few of the wonderful teachers who so graciously donated to "Doreen's Dream Team" and finally put a face to many of the names that I often mention. Thank you for making today so memorable Mom!

I love you,


Saturday, June 10, 2006

Friendship Heals

I read this in a book today from my friend Cindy and I thought I should share it with you...

The very best friends
have the kind of relationship
where each one thinks
they're getting the better part
of the deal.

All my love,
Dream Big~

P.S. In this photo, I'm surrounded by some of my "oldest" and "greatest" friends.
I Love you lots, Cindy, Cathy & Molly

Friday, June 09, 2006

Just another rainy graduation day in Washington

The website was down yesterday so I was unable to send a new message. Sorry :(

I've believe that NO NEWS is good news. So, I have GOOD NEWS.
I hope that good stuff is happening internally since externally I feel fine.

It's graduation day here in Stanwood and it's raining. Sorry kids. I did my best with the weathermen but it didn't work at the Relay for Life either. Congratulations to all of you in the class of 2006 who have impacted my life so positively. Best of luck in your future endeavors. I believe in you! Dream Big~

Love to you all,

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Vacation Ideas...

We're thinking about a family trip this summer and we're looking for some ideas. We've had some great offers but many of them are too hot at this time. Do you have a favorite spot you like to visit? If you have any thoughts, drop us a comment. I'm thinking Disneyland because it's the happiest place on earth...however, every kid and their parent who will be out of school (in a matter of days) also like the idea of Disneyland. So my timing isn't good.

I feel good about taking time off from work now. My part-time replacement will do a great job (plus she'll have the help of Pam, Janeen, Krystle & Morgan - whether she wants it or not :) Before long they'll be running the place. It really does make taking time off easier to deal with when you can count on the person who takes over for you. Thanks Pam R....

I've only had one small nap in the past 3 days and I'm nearly falling asleep at the computer. Apparently, I'm still feeling the aftermath of this past weekend. Gotta go to bed now!

Dream Big,
With Love ~ Dor

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Want to Share?

I set up an account on a website called Snapfish for all of the Dream Team to save their Relay for Life pictures on but I was talking to mom last night and she thought it would be a good idea to open the site up for everyone.... so... here it is.

If you took digital pictures this weekend at the Relay for Life and want to share them with the group go to:

The login name is: and the password is superman.

That is all you need to do. It will take you directly to a page where you can view all of the pictures our team has already uploaded, and there is an upload button you can click on to add your own pictures to the page. If you are denied access to the page or an "error" message comes up, it means that somebody else is currently on the page uploading or viewing the photos. Don't give up! Eventually it will be free for you to view. I encourage everyone to check it out!

Thanks again to everyone who made the weekend a special experience.


Monday, June 05, 2006

My "Dandies"

I know I've talked about the Dream Teams a lot lately, but make no mistake that the Dandie's hold a very special place in my heart. The team consisted of some amazing men in my life. Our dear friend, Bill Gum instrumented this group of gentlemen who did whatever was asked of them, whenever it was asked. Many of them stayed through the night honoring those they had lost or who were still fighting the battle of cancer.

I hope that one day (10 years from now) I will stand before you as a strong survivor and thank each of you personally for being a part of saving my life. However, no matter how long I live, please know that you have made my life rich in love and hope just by being you!

Thank you Bill, Rick, Jake, Dad, Uncle Richard, Nate, Tod, Zach, Dan G., Dan L., John, Dan H. (and Linda for the goodies), Dick, Terry, Stan & Curt - You're my heros!

Dream Big,

The Reason

For the past 6 weeks I've played this diagnosis over and over in my head. I've tried not to do the "Why Me?" approach. I've tried to keep a positive and upbeat attitude about my future. I've done my best to appreciate EVERYTHING at EVERY MOMENT of EVERYDAY. It is now 4:30 in the afternoon and I just woke up. Literally. I know now why it was me. It takes someone we know and love to be inflicted with something of this magnitude for us to get serious about awareness and a cure. And you my friends and family GOT SERIOUS! Between the 2 Doreen's Dream Teams and Doreen's Dandies (my all male support staff) we rasied over $22,000 in just 3 short weeks for research, support and aid for cancer patients.I was so moved by how many people stayed the duration of those grueling 18 hours. Many of you walked at least 26 miles ( a marathon) for the cause. My 73 year old dad walked off and on all 18 hours (though I'm not sure if he's doing any walking today), my daughters and son gave me a million reasons never to give up, my sister-in laws, aunts, uncles, cousins and niece (aka auntie's girl), friends and my other "daughters" walked through blisters, pulled groins, sore feet, rain, loud music, and determination without a whine and without much sleep, my amazing husband proved that he would walk to the ends of the earth for me (I would do the same for you honey, if I could). I've never been hugged and kissed and loved more than I was these past few days. I think "Dream Big" must have been played 10 times over the speaker system by the D.J but the most special version I heard was the one played by my "girls" Alicia Aufai and Julie Baker on their guitars around our "campsite".This event moved me like no other. I thought I was done "crying about cancer". I thought I just wanted to "live". But truthfully, I'm scared. I'm mad. I'm determined. But mostly, I'm Proud. Proud to have all of you (whether you were there participating, cheering us on, sending well wishes or donated to our cause) on MY TEAM. You are MY INSPIRATION. MY REASON.

Team Awards given by the American Cancer Society at the Stanwood Relay for Life 2006:

Most Money Raised - Doreen's Dream Team One
Most Laps Walked by Anyone - Rick Schmitt - 132 laps (33 miles)
Most Money Collected by a Male - Rick Schmitt - $1,525
Most Spirited Team - Doreen's Dandies (they also got the best costume award)

All my love and admiration,

Sunday, June 04, 2006


I’m not going to pretend I am walking in my usual manner or that my feet don’t have blisters all over them (if I recall, it was about midnight when I switched to flip flops for the remainder of the event.) My body took a beating (I can’t even imagine how my dad “AKA Marathon walker” must be feeling.) I am so thankful to have had such a great group of women on our team. I think the weekend was a success. Not only did we raise the most money of any team ($14,054.20), but we also had many touching moments that we will never forget. From the warm sunshine to the pouring rain, we experienced it all. After seeing the looks on everyone’s face I would have to say there are very few regrets about signing up and participating in this event. Thank you so much to the women who gave their time before, during, and after the event. I also want to thank our great friends and family who came and experienced the event with us. So many people deserve recognition for their help in making this event so memorable but I especially want to thank MaryAnne (who made the Doreen’s Dream Team sign and brought us Banana Crème Pies at the perfect time), and Larry Libby (who took some photos of our team early in the day and had them developed and returned to the tent a few hours later). Those are the types of things that make me proud to come from such a great community and have such great people surrounding my family. I look forward to next years Dream Team. We have a title to defend ladies.....

From all of the Schmitt Family.... We Thank you.


Saturday, June 03, 2006

It's Here...

After a month of anticipation, the weekend is finally here. The weather will stay nice until Sunday afternoon (I talked to Steve Pool, Jeff Renner & Harry Wampler...and weathermen in our area are NEVER WRONG) We've raised a great deal of money in the short time we've been working together. Hopefully, this is just the 1st annual Relay for Life for Doreen's Dream Team and Doreen's Dandies (with many more to follow).

Thank you everyone for your participation in helping to find a cure. Your support and love are overwhelming.

Don't forget to take a nap this afternoon before the event starts. You'll need your strength :)

Dream Big,

Friday, June 02, 2006

Health Update

Good morning friends,

This website was originally set up to let you know how my health was doing. So here's the latest...My cough is virtually gone. I breath without discomfort. I'm adjusting to my acne/rash (most people say it just makes me look younger - like I'm going through puberty). My dry/itchy skin drives me crazy because I feel like my nerves are at the surface (so I just keep lots of lotion on). I bruise easier. I'm still fatigued but I try to nap everyday to overcome that. My heart is healthier than ever because it's overflowing with love (for clairification...this is not a medical evaluation...but rather an emotional one)

Like I've said many times, I feel better than I did a few months ago. That is encouraging. I know not to get my hopes up too high, too fast, but it can't hurt to keep believing in miracles. :)

Hope to see you tomorrow at the Relay for Life.

Dream Big,