Saturday, September 30, 2006

Got Syrup?

Next Saturday (October 7th) from 8am-11am there will be a pancake breakfast at the Stanwood Middle School. All proceeds from the event will be used to support lung cancer research and screening.

If you are interested in helping with the event, or donating items, please send one of us an email so we can add your name to the list of wonderful volunteers. We look forward to seeing everyone there! or

Dreaming Big-
Doreen's Dream Team

Happy Saturday

Finally, a weekend with no plans. Though I love all the fun things I've been doing lately, I'm really looking forward to just hanging out around home this weekend. I'm hoping this beautiful weather holds out until I get my outside jobs done. The kids are coming over for football tomorrow for a day of food and fun(let me clarify that...we'll be watching not playing football). Jake will be in Pullman but we'll talk to him a time or two during the day :(

I'm feeling great, but I do have a rough time getting up in the mornings. I used to pop out of bed and get I'm Puff the magic draggin'. Maybe I can grab a nap today. That always helps.

I'll write more later (when I actually wake up). Enjoy this beautiful autumn weekend and keep dreaming big.

Love you more,
(Hey, I'm a poet...and I didn't even know it)

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Cancer Sucks

When I attended the American Cancer Society Conference a few weeks ago I saw people with a shirt that said "Cancer Sucks." I agreed with them, and it brought a smile to my face. When I returned to Washington I went to the Eagles Nest Embroidery Shop in Stanwood and asked them if they could help me design something similar. I received a phone call today that the prints were in. I have attached a picture of the first one off the press. They look great. :)

When it was time to pay, I asked them how much they were. Mike, the owner, said they would charge $10 but donate two of it to the American Cancer Society. I thought that was a great gesture. The prints are available in this green color above as well as bright pink. They both look great. They only ordered 50 prints (25 in each color) so if you want one I would try to get down there right away.

I wanted to make the shirts to bring awareness to cancer and put a smile on someone's face when they read it. It already worked. Less than 15 minutes after buying the shirt I was walking thru a parking lot at the high school and was stopped by a cancer patient and her husband. They both had smiles on their face and asked where I got the shirt. They thought the shirts were great. I stood there and talked to the couple and was touched by their story. I'm learning that too many of us have a "cancer story". I think I accomplished my goal of making somone smile, and they certainly touched me with their appreciation. I handed the lady the Cancer Sucks shirt I had just purchased and told her good luck with her battle. With her optimistic, grateful attitude... she will be successful in the battle that lies ahead.

Thanks again to Mike and his crew at the Eagles Nest. Whenever we have a new shirt idea pop into our heads, they are always quick to make the wish a reality. My family, and the community, thank you for your support.

Dreaming Big-

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

What a wonderful evening

Today after work I had the pleasure of joining some friends from work on our friend Shelley's, 34ft. boat. We boarded the boat in Everett and traveled around the Everett Harbor then down to Edmonds. The weather was perfect. The food was great (we had chicken and ceasar salad). But best of all....I was with my wonderful friends. While the boat was coasting, they let me catch jellyfish in a net...I know it doesn't sound exciting but when you put them on crackers they make a wonderful appetizer. (Just kidding...) I felt like a kid at the fair trying to win a goldfish. We laughed almost non-stop, admired the scenery, and marveled at the sunset. We really are surrounded by beauty. It's easy to forget that I have cancer on days like today. Perhaps I should do this more often.

Tomorrow night is my support group again but I haven't decided if I'm going or not. I think tonight may have been all the support I need for now. Thank you friends for making my day so special and thank you Rick for understanding how days like today make me so happy.

Dream Big, Dor

Happy 16th birthday Leah....I love you like one of my own.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Oops, I missed a day

Good morning. I don't have anything exciting to share with you today so instead...let me remind you to soak up the sun, laugh out loud and love with all your heart.

Though I still have the tightness in my chest and back, I somehow feel better. Perhaps it's because I know it's nothing serious. I've been sleeping very well lately. I fall asleep early and I always sleep past the alarm. Trust me, I must be tired...because it certainly isn't beauty sleep.

It's TACO TUESDAY...lunch with Pam and Janeen, my favorite lunch day of the week. :)
Reason number 7,453 to live - Lunch with Pam & Janeen.

Enjoy your day.

Hugs and kisses,
Doreen the Dreamer

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Another fantastic weekend

Yesterday was certainly a day to remember. From the gathering in the Haggen parking lot at 9:00am to the incredible Elton John concert (3 hours opening act...he played my favorite - "tiny dancer") the day was perfect. Thank you to all the people who made it possible. Thanks Angie and Erin for trading your tickets with Bob and Dy so we could sit together. We stayed in a suite in Seattle with Bob and Dy (our friends from Spokane) after the concert. It was nice to spend a fun little weekend with them (especially after an encouraging doctor's visit).

Amy has been trying to share the flier with you that was handed out yesterday and it also seems to be their tool for lung cancer awareness. Let's see if I can give you a replicated version.

My friend has lung cancer but she refuses to quit smoking...

Because she never started.

Did you know?
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the US
  • The under-funding of lung cancer research has kept its survival rate almost as low as it was in 1971.
  • Lung cancer will kill more people this year than:
Breast Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Colon Cancer
Liver Cancer
Kidney Cancer
Melanoma .......... combined
  • Lung cancer will kill 3 times as many men as prostate cancer this year.
  • Lung cancer will kill nearly twice as many women as breast cancer this year.

Total research spending per death & the 5 year survival rate
Breast Cancer - $23,474 - 88%
Prostate Cancer - $14,369 - 99%
Colon Cancer - $5,216 - 63%
Lung Cancer - $1,829 - 15%

No more excuses. No more lung cancer.

For further information go to :

Ok, now it's me again. Everytime I read the words in this flier, I'm shocked. I am thrilled that as a nation we got on board with research for breast & prostate cancer and clearly those funds have made a difference in the patient's survival. Now it's time we did the same thing for all cancers. Dream Big and Breathe Deep!

Love you more than a pumpkin farmer loves Halloween.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Today was a success!

I don't know how, but sometimes I forget how loved my mom is until we hold events like the one today. The Stanwood Health Club held one of its "Body Pump" classes in Haggen parking lot and I am exhausted.... from watching it. :) I want to thank Kat from the club for putting on such a great event and inviting my mom to be a part of it. Thanks to Kat and her crew we were able to bring more awareness to the issue of lung cancer. Bringing awareness was our goal and I'm pretty sure we did that with the 300 fliers that were placed on cars in the parking lot. Thanks to generous people, we also raised some money which was a bonus. Thanks to all who participated!

See you tomorrow at Haggen-

P.S. Since posting this message I have received two e-mails from friends asking me what the fliers said. I have tried everything I know how to do but I can't attach the flier to this page. If you want a copy of the great flier we put on cars just send me a quick e-mail and request one. I think they turned out great and really get our point accross.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Have I told you lately how much I love....Tarceva?

Though I've been feeling a little under the weather lately, the good news is that it is not cancer related. Apparently, it's ok for me to catch a bug just like everyone else. My CT chest scan showed that Tarceva is still doing it's job. Each CT scan has showed improvement. That is great news. The doc says it's nothing to be alarmed with but they are going to watch a couple of lymph nodes in my chest. The CT tech noticed a small change from my last scan but they say it's nothing to worry about at this time.

I'm looking forward to a great weekend now that this appointment is over. I plan to enjoy the weather and the fun things I have planned for the weekend (aka: a date with my hubby at the Elton John concert tomorrow night). If you are out and about tomorrow morning, stop by Haggen in Stanwood and say Hi. The Stanwood Health Club is doing a promotion for their new "pump" class in the parking lot of Haggen. They are donating the money they make between 10-11 to my charity of choice. A bunch of us will be there collecting donations for Lung Cancer research. I'd love to see you and share my happiness from today's test results.

The group will also be raising money on Sunday from approximately 10am-4pm at Haggen so if you don't get a chance to stop by tomorrow, come and see them on Sunday while you are doing your shopping.

Thanks again for all of the phone calls and words of encouragement today. We have all been worried about the words we might hear, and the overall fear of the unknown. We couldn't be happier with today's results. Keep dreaming big because it seems to be working.

I love you more than all the Tarceva I intend to take over the next few years.
Big Hugs and Kisses-
DOR (and family)

Appointment Day...

It's early on Friday morning and I'm done sleeping for the day. I've been thinking about this appointment a lot lately. I'm confident that everything is going to be ok, but anytime we do lab work or scans my anxiety level raises a few notches.

The girls are coming with Rick and I to the Seattle Cance Care Alliance today. We've promised to call Jake, and Grandma and Grandpa, and Aunt Vickie, and Pam, and Janeen, and Peggy and Kim, and Dawn, soon as we know anything - good (or not so good - which won't be the case). I am so fortunate to have my family's support all the time. They know I would do the same for them, but they still amaze me - everyday!

I joined the girls at Starbuck's yesterday afternoon for a little brainstorming meeting. They (along with their team of strong women...have some wonderful ideas to promote awareness and a cure for lung for upcoming events) For those of you who don't know our daughters...they don't give up, EVER!

I've been sitting at my computer for about 20 minutes now because I keep writing, then erasing whatever it is I've written. I want to give you all the candy coated version of today, but in all honesty, I'm SCARED. Not because I'm feeling sick...but because I'm feeling different. I know different doesn't have to mean bad but at all my other appointments I've usually only felt better or didn't have any change. If nothing else, we might get to stop by Dick's for hamburgers on the way home, so it can't be all that bad. :)

I was given some incredible hope last night on the phone when I spoke with my newest friend Kay from Lung Cancer Alliance. She is going to hook me up with a couple of phone buddies (women in their 40's - never smoked- stage 4 lung cancer- 2+ year survivors). I knew there were others out there that I could connect with. They live in Boston and Maryland. I'l keep you posted on my chats with them.

I'd best be heading off to the shower so I can go to work for a couple of hours. It will keep my mind off the rest of the day.

Love you more than all the money spent on cigarette sales in the US everyday.

Dream Big,

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Better Days are Sure to Come - Starting Today!

Mentally I'm feeling a little better. My mom and dad brought me a beautiful bouquet of flowers to help brighten my spirits (It helped). Amy stopped by on her way home from work to give me a love (I took it). I went to bed early (again) and woke up next to my sweetie.

I'm sure that half of my anxiety is from the unknown. I've been feeling great up to this point but now I'm beginning to have a tightness in my chest like I did in December when I was diagnosed with pneumonia. Though I don't cough much the rest of my symptoms are slowly creeping back. I'm hoping it's just a bug I caught now that I'm back at school with all the new germs.

Don't forget to keep dreaming big. I do - EVERYDAY! And you know the old saying...Dreams Do Come True...

Love you more than a tub of chocolate covered raisins from Costco (and I do love chocolate covered raisins) Dor

Monday, September 18, 2006

Gloomy Day

I've never been one to let weather effect me (except when I have to cancel games because of rain) but today it did. I guess I am going through a new phase in my life. When the sun is shining and it says light out until 8:00 or 9:00 I just go about my life until it's time to go to bed. Now, it's getting dark early, it's dark when I wake up, and lately I haven't like the darkness. Maybe it gives me too much time to think. And...thinking can be a bad thing for a busy mind. :)

I know that many of you have said, call me if you ever just need to talk. I know you all mean it, but tonight I called the cancer lifeline. It helped. I spilled my guts. I cried, I laughed, and Stacey on the other end of the line didn't tell me everything was going to be ok, or not to worry. Instead, she just let me talk. When I was finished rambling, she said "Doreen, don't hesitate to call again whenever you feel the need. That's what we're here for". I believe that. What's that old saying? "No one is a stranger. They're just a friend we haven't met yet. " I think Stacey was just the friend I needed tonight.

My doctor's appointment has been changed to Friday so they can do a CT scan as well as blood work. I promise to let you know what the Doc has to say. I believe it will be good news! Tarceva hasn't let me down yet.

As Forrest Gump once said, "Never wear a belt and suspenders at the same time; people might think you're paranoid". I'm not really sure what it's suppose to mean but it makes me smile. :)

Good night,

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Great Sunday

Another week has come and gone and I'm approaching the 5 month mark. April 19th seems so long ago. I know I say this every month but, who would have thought that things would be going as well as they have been? Let's hope for many more to come.

Though you would never know by the way I look or act, I'm starting to feel some change within my body. My headaches are more frequent, I'm having some "squeezing" back and upper rib pain. Before this diagnosis I would have just shoved those aches and pains aside and refered to them as old age or twisting wrong. Now, with each little tweak, I ask myself if it could be something deeper... I have an appointment on Wednesday so I'll mention these little issues. I'm sure they're nothing a little Tarceva can't fix. :)

I had a wonderful weekend with Jake home. We had an emotional morning before he left. We danced to "Dream Big" (which by the way still turns us all into mushbags) and hugged a lot. It was nice that he came home Thursday night. It gave him a chance to visit me at work, see some relatives, tailgate with friends at the Coug game and just spend quality time (not to mention, all the laundry he folded and all the tidying he did around the house on Friday when I went to work). We really do have some great kids.

Once Jake left, I started preparing for my Football Sunday with the girls. This week we cooked fried rice & sweet and sour chicken for lunch/dinner and we also made chicken/cream cheese enchiladas for each of us to throw in the oven one night this week. I love cooking when the girls are here. They admire my talent in the kitchen (whatever that might be) and I admire the way they clean up behind me. As Martha Stewart would say...It's a good thing. Oh, and besides our productive afternoon, the SEAHAWKS won!

I'm going to iron a few items for the week (I call it hot iron therapy) then head to bed. I'm sure it will be another busy week.

Love you more than all the money spent on beer today at NFL games...


Saturday, September 16, 2006

A note from the Party of 5 (The Schmitt Family)

Tonight, the five of us are sitting here together for the first time since the end of July. We've all seen each other, just not all 5 of us at once. It's nice to have Jake home, even if it's only for a day or two. Today, Rick and Doreen joined Jake for the Cougar football game at Quest Field. Angie locked herself in her house with the second season of Grey's Anatomy... trying to get caught up before the new season begins. Amy stayed home and did as little as humanly possible. We all enjoyed ourselves and took advantage of what it was we needed most. Rick and Doreen needed to see their baby, Amy needed to turn off her brain after an emotional day yesterday, and Angie needed many hours of Dr. McDreamy and the gang.

Now a little side note about yesterday. The blog came from deep within the heart and soul. We admire Amy's willingness to say the things that aren't easy to say. They weren't intended to hurt anyone's feelings or point fingers. We don't hate smokers. Though we don't understand why anyone would want to smoke, we do understand that smoking is often a coping mechanism just like overeating or alcohol addiction. It's important that everyone knows how proud we are of friends and family who have quit smoking. Not for my cause, but for their own health and the health of their loved ones.

One thing I (Doreen) would like to mention is that one older woman at the meeting also was a lifelong non-smoker. Though the support group was filled with people who had smoked at one time or another in their life, they were amazing people who are all still fighting the same battle I am. I do understand the concerns of my friends and family however. The the stigma that lung cancer= smoking, is... more times than not, the truth. So, I think the only way we can beat this disease is for people to stop giving their money to the government by way of tobacco tax, and focus our spending on a cure. Ok. I'm done now.

Back to the family talk. The Cougs won, Amy slept until 10:00am, Angie was up at 6:00am to begin the Grey's Anatomy marathon and now we are sitting in the livingroom with Grandma and Grandpa watching college football and making each other laugh.

I (Jake) had a wonderful weekend with my family. It was a little reunion tonight as everyone came over and watched football. I need to have more weekends such as this one. Maybe next time I will bring my girl over with me. Thanks for all of your support, we appreciate it more than you will ever know.

The Schmitt's

Friday, September 15, 2006

I know... I know... I'm going to be the bad guy.

Sometime I go weeks without writing a message. Mom gives me a hard time about that but at the same time, she knows that I only write when I have something meaningful to say. Today is one of those days. It may not be meaningful to any of the people reading it, but it is meaningful to me.

Lately I find myself wearing many different hats and I enjoy that. I definately feel like I am burning my candle at both ends... and maybe a few places in the middle as well. My fear is that I am doing a lot of things yet doing none of them very well. I need to remind myself that it's ok to say NO sometimes. I don't know about the rest of you but I certainly do my best thinking when I am driving and that has been the problem lately. I live in Mount Vernon yet drive to Everett and Shoreline for work almost every day and I find myself with hours to think. Lately, I am wondering if we are doing enough to find a cure. When I say "we" I mean those of us reading this blog. We all know the Government isn't doing nearly enough to fight this "invisible cancer" (which it is accurately nicknamed.) I also find myself wondering where the money we raise should be going. Should the money be going to the American Cancer Society... or something lung cancer specific? Most importantly I wonder how our fundraising efforts are helping to make a change.

The thought that goes through my mind every day is, "Will $10,000 be better spent in the hands of the lung cancer researchers, or motivated, passionate people who will educate the public and eliminate the stigma associated with this disease?" Most of the time I think this country would be in better shape handing the money to a small group of friends and family who have been touched so deeply by this experience. Law makers and government officials think it's about money and it's not. It's about opening your eyes and seeing lung cancer for what it is. It's a deadly disease that is killing people at a faster rate than any other disease.

I have gone through many changes emotionally in the past few month. First it was shock and sadness, followed by anger. I needed a reason why it happened to her. I needed answers. None of us ever got the answers we needed. I tried to follow the anger with motivation and passion for the cause. Cancer is not going to go away on its own so I figured I could sit on the bench and pout, or get up and get in the game. That's where I am at the moment. I am in the game and running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I know I should be doing something but I have no idea if it's the right thing. One of my mentors in the military once told me, "You are the leader of this group. The worst thing you can do is stay here and be content with where you are. Be proactive and move in one direction or another. In time you will know if it was the right direction or not, but there is definately no future in the present." He was right. That is exactly where I am. I am trying to move full steam ahead but I don't know if I am doing the right thing or focusing my attention in the right areas. I just keep reminding myself that bringing awareness to every person I know is a step in the right direction.

This is where I become the bad guy. I am trying not to revert back to the "anger" stage and let me assure you that I am only speaking for myself with these thoughts. By no means do I represent the thought of my family. Last night my mom was at her first lung cancer support group and I know it was exactly what she needed. She met other people who shared the same concerns about lung cancer funding that the rest of us do. My mom called me on her way home and she was so happy about meeting new people that understood where she was coming. My first question was, "were any of them non-smokers?" Normally, I hate that question. I hate when people hear my mom has lung cancer and ask me that question as if she did it to herself. BUT, I asked mom that question to see if she met someone she could connect with on a different level. She said she was the only non-smoker at the meeting. She started to tell me about the different people and mentioned that one of the guys is still smoking. I quietly listened as she told me everyone was frustrated with the lack of funding and the "stigma" associate with the disease. I finally lost it.

I told my mom that I have a hard time hearing about a group of people who smoked their whole lives (knowing it was likely to give them lung cancer) bitch about having it. Mom said, "Honey we are all in the same boat... smokers and non-smokers. We need to get rid of the stigma." Yes, we need to get rid of the stigma, but where did that stigma come from? I don't blame the American people for thinking lung cancer should get the least amount of money when 15 out of 16 people in the support group likely did it to themselves. It's the smokers (85% of lung cancer patients) who are making it difficult for the rest of the country to get behind the disease. I am committed to finding a cure for cancer. I will forever be committed, but I am very torn on the lung cancer issue.

I can't think of a more tragic position to be in than to be a non-smoker who has lung cancer. Smokers know they are likely signing up for the disease with each new puff of the cigarette. Nobody deserves cancer, but the difference is... everyone else and every other type of cancer gets adequate funding.

Smoking makes me sick. Tobacco companies make me sick. More importantly, the fact that the U.S. makes millions (if not billions) of dollars taxing tobacco products (yet spends almost none of it to support lung cancer research) makes me sick.

(Please send my hate mail to and not post it on mom's page.)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

So much to share

Tonight was a very special evening. After work, my friends Pam and Janeen (and I) went to dinner at Macaroni's (and we put a feather in our hat...)

After dinner, we headed off to my 1st (of many) lung cancer support groups. Much to our surprise, when we got there, cameras and microphones were everywhere in the room. Apparently, Jean Enersen from King 5 was coming to film some of our meeting for a health program that will be airing in October. I'll let you know when we find out the specific date. Lung cancer funding is well below all other cancer funding. I hope this program will relay that message to the public. "Food for thought": While Richard Nixon was our president, he declared "WAR on CANCER". At that time, the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer was at 13%. It is now 2006 and the 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is at 15%. It appears we are losing this WAR.

I met some wonderful people who, much like me were being treated for pneumonia or asthma before they were diagnosed with lung cancer. Some had no symptoms at all, but had a routine chest x-ray and a tumor was discovered. Some of their stories were much too familiar to me. I think we must have all been given a script when we are diagnosed because many of us said the same words. "We're blessed, cancer has changed us for the better, we really appreciate life". I intend to find hope and information with my new found friends. I think this meeting was good for Pam and Janeen as well. I believe they have a better understanding of what's happening in my world (though sometimes I don't have a clue). For those of you who know me well, YES, I CRIED AT THE MEETING. I tried not to, but you know I cry at commercials, and during the Olympics, and at every movie I go to....So take these tears with a grain of salt. I really had an awesome time.

Now for my little pity party....I was a tiny bit jealous tonight...sounds dumb, but everyone in the support group has had a lung or a part of a lung removed, radiation and/or chemotherapy. I sat in my little chair and said "I take Tarceva and I have no side effects". Again, I know it sounds stupid to say that but I sometimes feel like we're not fighting hard enough. Once I heard the stories of the horrific side effects people are still struggling with after their chemotherapy I started to re-think my jealousy. How do we know if we're doing the right thing? When do we grasp on to every voodoo medicine, tea, herb and cure-all that someone gives us?

I hope the Relay for Life meeting went well tonight too. I'm sure we'll get the lowdown from our Co-Chair Amy very soon. I am so proud of my family and friends for helping with this fight. They have no idea how many lives they have (and continue) to touch.

Jake is home for the weekend (to watch his Cougars at Quest field & to see his mother). I hope to have a terrific couple of days with my amazing family by my side. :) I love them all so much.

Remember, we're just a breath away from a cure....

Dream Big,

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Life is good!

Somedays I'm at a loss for words. Today is one of those days. I just want to say...everything is great. I'm not sure how true that is, but I still want to say it. EVERYTHING is GREAT!

I'm going to my first Lung Cancer Support group tomorrow night so I won't be at the Relay for Life kick-off. I don't want to miss the kick-off but the closest lung cancer support group for me is in Seattle. The sessions are only 2 times a month and tomorrow night is the first one for this session. Again, I find it incredible that lung cancer is the #1 cancer killer and no one wants to talk about it (or at least not in a 60 mile radius and only twice a month). That my friends will have to change. If I do nothing else in this life, I'm going to bring awareness about this horrible disease. Cancer Sucks (the wind out of life) and I don't like it one bit!

I really am doing well and Life is Good.

Dance like there's no one watching
Sing like there's no one listening
...and Dream Big

Love, Dor

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where do I start... and will I be able to stop talking?

For the handful of you who have had the opportunity to talk with me since I have returned from the American Cancer Society Conference in Reno... let me apologize again for getting up on my soap-box and preaching the need for awareness and support of cancer research. :) For the rest of is the watered-down version of my excitement, motivation, and determination to make a difference.

First of all, let me say that on this 5th Anniversary of the September 11th attacks on our country, I have not forgotten. I fly a flag in my yard everyday and proudly support the brave men and women who keep us safe. What does this have to do with cancer? Let me give you some facts to help put things in perspective. We all know that troops are dying everyday to defend our freedom overseas. Some may think the cause is worthy, others may not, but I think we all agree that too many of them have died. As of 9:23 this morning, 2,666 American troops have died while fighting this war on terrorism. During the same period of time, approximately 2,737,500 Americans have died of cancer. That’s right, 1,500 Americans die from cancer everyday. If this country can spend billions of dollars fighting a war in Iraq, why is the federal government cutting funding for cancer related causes? Think about it folks. More Americans have died in the past two days from cancer than have died in the ENTIRE war on terrorism. If that doesn’t give you goose bumps and make you want to make some changes, I don’t know what will.

Take a moment and remember the attacks of September 11th, 2001, but I also encourage you to remember that there is something else out there that is “terrorizing” people around the world. Only funding will provide medical researchers with the ability to fight this thing. I learned this weekend that cancer diagnoses dropped this year for the first time in our history. The research is making a difference and that is what it’s all about! I heard an inspirational speaker on Saturday morning and I am going to quote him. He said, "Although cancer had a small decline this year... think about a woman in labor. When she gets close and the baby is almost there, does she stop? No. What does everyone say? PUSH! The cure we are looking for could be right around the corner." Now is the time for us to PUSH a little harder. Push while we have momentum.

On 9-14 (Thursday night) at 6pm, we will be forming the committee for this year’s Relay for Life. The meeting will be held at the American Legion in Stanwood and it is open to anyone who wants to participate. I encourage all of you to come and listen, or sign up to volunteer. We will be brainstorming ideas, assigning groups of people to different committees, and answering any questions related to the American Cancer Society. Please take the time to plan ahead and be a part of something that is important.

I look forward to seeing everyone there-

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Seahawk Sunday

The girls came over for our first of many Seahawk Sundays together. Rick was at work again this morning, so for most of the day it was just us girls watching football. I whipped up a little brunch (baked carmelized french toast with warm cinnamon apples and pure maple syrup). It was yummy! Perhaps this kind of cooking is the reason I've put on 15 pounds? It's days like this when we all get together that I miss Jake the most. He would have had a great time snuggling with us while yelling at the big screen :) Rick made it home later in the day and we all had lunch together (while we watched more football)...

Last night I was reading some literature from the Lung Cancer Alliance. While reading this, I was again reminded of how VERY lucky I am. I used to be angry that people would ask if I smoked? Now, I can only find sadness in my heart when I think of the pain that smoker's must face when they have to tell their family and friends that they are diagnosed with lung cancer. My family has never accused me of doing something to cause my cancer and I've been blessed to have a support system that has had nothing but sympathy and concern for me. Imagine what it must be like to have been a smoker (who's family has nagged at them for years to quit) who has to tell their family they have lung cancer. I can't imagine they would get much sympathy. I would guess they would be angry, not only at cancer but also their parent or loved one for the choices they had made. It's lightbulb moments like this that remind me how fortunate I really am.

I'm a little restless tonight. My "stupid" headache is still with me (I can't think of a better way to describe it without a swear word). Oh, how I love a dull pound in my brain when I'm trying to sleep. I'd better go now.

I love you more than all the "little favors" my parents have done for us over the years. :) (I'm telling you, I really am lucky!)

Dream (thump) Big (thump, thump)- (Sorry, that's just the head talking)

Saturday, September 09, 2006

I'm back

Hi everyone. I just finished watching the WSU game and our friend from Stanwood (Romeen #19) kicked an extra point...Congrats! Oh, and the Cougs won,too! We looked for Jake and Megan in the crowd but didn't see them. :( Maybe they left early and went to the "Coug"...

I met Angie and Erin this morning for some "Starbucks" caffeine courage then came home and watched my granddog while the girls went to Costco. Grandpa Rick gave Claira (the granddog) too many treats while they were gone. Please don't tell on us.

Amy called from her conference and couldn't stop talking. She learned so much at this Relay for Life event. I am really glad she is involved at this level. I believe she is going to make some amazing things happen with the help of our community, family and friends. We are so fortunate to have such an amazing support system.

I still have a headache...dang it. It's tolerable, but annoying. I'm going to lay down for a little bit and see if I can rest it away. How lucky I've been to feel so good for all these months with very little side effects. I think I can handle a headache every once in a while so long as the Tarceva keeps doing it's job.

A thought for today: Count your blessings, not your troubles.

Dream Big,
Love ~ Dor

Sorry :(

I missed writing to you yesterday and I'm sorry. It was Friday and I was a little pooped . Rick took me out for dinner and on the way home we stopped by some friends house for a visit. We didn't get home until 9:45 or so and I went straight to bed. I've got a few errands to run this morning but I hope to be back in time to watch the WSU game on TV. Nothing much to say this morning other than I've got a little headache. I think the headache is from the letdown of the busy week - nothing a couple of Tylenol and a nap can't fix. I promise to write something interesting later. Maybe Amy will have some exciting news to share with us when she gets back from her conference?

Love you more than all the raindrops that fell last night. :) I'm so happy it's raining...our grass is very thirsty!

Dream Big & Go Cougs!
Hugs & Kisses, Dor

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Good Evening Friends...

I just got off the phone with Amy (who is in Reno at a Relay for Life convention). Apparently, all the leaders attend this big gala and learn how to motiviate people to raise money and have a successful event. Apparently, they don't know Amy, because I think she did a pretty good job motivating people without taking a class. Actually, all of Doreen's Dream Teams and Dandies were motivated. I couldn't have asked for better team mates.

After many requests to see Angie's new "do" I thought I should post it. At first glance you might ask yourself "is this Doreen I'm looking at". Let me assure you, it is Angie (a younger and much cuter version of her mother). It's funny how we handle situations sometimes. In this case, Angie thought she needed a change. What she wanted was a cure. What she got was a new, a"dor"able look.

Rick and I went for a peaceful walk this evening. It is always nice to check out the neighborhood from a walking position. If you haven't been to our area lately, you won't even recognize it. Where there once were cows...are now $400,000 homes. A far cry from cow poop.

For those of you who have been asking, I still have the "tightness/cold" in my chest. It hasn't gotten worse, but it hasn't gotten any better either. I'm sure it's nothing but I'll keep you posted when I find out anything. As you've noticed, I'm an open book. I try to skip some of the boring chapters but like with every book some of the chapters aren't as interesting as others.

Love you more than I love sunflowers and...I LOVE sunflowers.

Sleep tight,

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Maybe we should have given it more thought....

Last night Angie stopped by the house after a trip to Mt. Vernon. I suggested that we trim her hair (which we didn't do before school started like I promised). From a trim came "maybe I just need something new, mom". Well, before we knew it, Angie's all one length blunt cut became a short, wild haircut (with some highlights in it). Though she looks adorable, I don't think we may have thought about it long enough. Angie discovered this morning that what she was really looking for was a way to cut lung cancer out of our lives. (not necessarily her hair). Oops! It's a little late now but I think she's going to love it. I think she looks a little bit like me for a change.

It was picture day at school today. As soon as I get my picture packet back, I'll post the results. I'm sure it's lovely. NOT! As usual, this first week back with the kids is a hectic one. I know it's only Wednesday, but I'm already looking forward to Friday night! (Nothing special is happening...but that's what I'm looking forward to)

We're sitting here eating dinner provided by our friend,Ann McCune. She called right as I was mentally preparing to cook and said she made us lasagna and a salad. I couldn't turn her down. (I didn't want to hurt her feelings and it sounded great) So now that I have a full tummy, I think Rick and I will head out for a nice evening walk.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Dreaming like there's no tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I need a calgon bath....

Calgon, take me away..... Wasn't that a commercial? If so, I could be the star! Well, now that the staff and students are back I remembered how worn out a school full of people can make you. I'm dragging around the house this afternoon (but don't tell my family). It was a lot of fun seeing the kids but I sure get more work done each day without them around (except for my T.A.'s - they're amazing).

At the beginning of each school year we all tend to catch a little bug (cold, sniffles, cough, etc.) I'm hoping to steer clear of one this year. I'm sure I'll do just fine, but I don't want to take any chances. I really do forget about the lung cancer throughout the day. Wouldn't it be nice to just forget about it all together?

Gotta go start dinner.

Dream Big, Livestrong & Breathe Deep ~

Monday, September 04, 2006

Summer vacation is officially over...

Labor Day has a way of finalizing our summer vacation. No matter if you have kids in school or not, we tend to use Labor Day as our "last" big weekend of the summer break. I for one am putting my foot down. I intend to make every weekend a BIG weekend. So call it what you wish, but next weekend we will be having "nappers weekend", then the following weekend it will be "salsa and chips weekend"...etc. See how easy that was? Extend your fun each week just by naming your time off.

Desert Aire weather this weekend was very pleasant. We had a great time at the river/lake and had dinner each night with relatives. Have you ever noticed how good food is when someone else prepares it? Dinner was at our house last night then we sat outside and talked until after 10:00pm.

I went to work today after I got home and straightened up my office. There is nothing worse than coming to work with your office looking and feeling cluttered. I still have lots of work to do,but now I can do it without feeling anxious. I'm really excited about seeing my "other kids". I think they're excited to come back as well...Most of them have stopped by the office already. :)

I sure missed Amy and Angie this weekend. Though we would have had a great time I'm sure, they had lots of other things to do. No doubt, Angie was gettting ready for classes to start tomorrow and looking for a new dining room set, while Amy was out test driving and buying a new automobile...Oh, and they were choosing their fantasy football teams (which I think may have been the most important reason they stayed home) Don't deny yourself nice things girls. You work hard and should get the things that bring you joy. I am very blessed to have such hard working children. Where did you get that DRIVE?

I'd better get going now so I can iron everything I own. What to wear, tomorrow? Even though I just celebrated my 30th class reunion, I can't wait to lay out my clothes for the 1st official day of school each year. Am I a dork or what?

Love you more than all tardy slips Janeen (attendance secretary) will be writing tomorrow morning.

Dream Big,

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Happy Labor Day Weekend

It's the last hoorah for the summer and I intend to get my fill of fun. Rick and I are spending the weekend with Jake and Megan (though I plan on talking with the girls everyday...I promised never to leave them out of my fun). I think they will be back over the mountain for the Coug game at Quest Field on the 17th. That should be fun.

For those of you who remember Romeen Abdollmahamadi... (he graduated with Jake and was a great soccer player at Stanwood High School & played a little football his senior year)...Romeen has always wanted to play football in college, so he walked on at WSU and according the the paper is the starting kicker at today's game. If you get a chance to watch, they are playing at 4:45 on ESPN2. Good Luck Romeen! We're all rooting for you.

I got a good night's rest last night after the Stanwood football game. Our Spartans beat Lake Stevens. Great way to start a season. I plan on taking it easier this year than I have in the past. Though I still plan on attending games and events, I don't intend to work at all of them. Instead, I'll be sitting in the stands, watching the game, perhaps knitting a scarf or holding my husband's hand (I know, hand holding isn't for sporting events...but, I love it and he says I always get what I it works for me)

I can't tell you enough how good I feel and how lucky I am that Tarceva is working. I promise to keep you all posted on my health, but there is nothing much to report. Thank goodness.

Don't work too hard (even though it's LABOR DAY WEEKEND).

Dream Big,