Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bring on 2007....

People celebrate on New Year's Eve because they look forward to a new beginning. The reason the Schmitt's are celebrating, is because 2006 can't end soon enough (it hasn't been one of our favorite years on record) Our family's new years resolution is to: Give up cancer. (Not giving up the fight...just the damned disease).

If you don't have a new year's resolution yet here are a few suggestions:
1. Quit smoking
2. Eat Healthy
3. Get your "Butt" to the doctor and get a colonoscopy
4. Don't put off til tomorrow what you can tell your loved ones today

We are sitting around tonight with family and friends, eating good food, laughing and playing games. Rick has switched from college bowl games to NBA basketball on the big screen, so he is enjoying himself as well.

2 and a half hours and counting until 2007... May the new year bring you good HEALTH, lots of LOVE, and BIG DREAMS!

Resolving to live strong,
Rick and Dor

Saturday, December 30, 2006

There's no place like home

My dad came home from the hospital this evening. He had a pretty good day although he is still having some significant pain (which is to be expected.) Not much has changed. He is still in sweat pants. He is still taking pain meds. He is still watching every college football bowl game that exists... only now he gets to watch it on his big screen TV instead of the little one at the hospital. I don't want to speak for dad but I think it's fair to say he is happy to be home.

We know we have a long road ahead of us. I'm not sure where we will find the energy to keep moving forward but we know there is no other choice. For the past eight months people have volunteered to help us but we rarely took them up on the offer. We tried to carry the load by ourselves but we know that has to change. We can't do this by ourselves. Many of you have offered to drive them to appointments, make a pot of soup, etc, and we might be taking you up on the offer. We are exhausted both mentally and physically.... and the second part of the nightmare has just begun.

We are all sitting in the livingroom at mom and dad's house so I guess that's a step in the right direction.

Goodnight for now.... and thanks again...

Friday, December 29, 2006

How do you mend a broken heart?

I want to take a minute and thank everyone for the support we have received in the past few days. From the constant phone calls at the hospital, to the visitors, abundance of food, hugs, and prayers... many people have gone out of their way to make our lives a little easier during this time of need.

Today was both mentally and physically draining. My dad was doing pretty well most of the day but he was having a tough time with his pain medicine this evening. They switched meds for him as his stomach couldn't handle the pain medicine and he was getting nauseous. Other than a little jello and broth, he hasn't eaten since Christmas dinner on Monday. Hopefully he will be able to get some food into his system soon. He has requested a cheeseburger and/or T-bone steak on more than one occasion but the nurses don't seem to understand as they continue to bring his popsicles and jello. Oh well, I guess it doesn't hurt to ask.

The past few days have been a blur. Days are running together. The numbers on the clock now just represent the hours until the next dosage of pain meds. Thank god dad doesn't have a room mate at the hospital because we have quickly turned room 114 into home base. Although I live 3 blocks from the hospital, my mom has refused to sleep anywhere but a chair next to my dad's bed. We tried to convince her otherwise but it didn't take long to realize that she wasn't going anywhere. We can't blame her as we know my dad would be in the same chair if the roles were reversed.

If things go well the next few days he might be able to come home on Saturday. It just depends on how his body reacts to the surgery and the pain meds. The next step in the process is to get him fully recovered from the surgery so he can start treatment. My mom was on the phone with the Cancer Care Alliance today and was able to set up an appointment for my dad. That's great news for us. We want to make sure that he gets in to see the best possible oncologist in a timely manner.

In the mean time, we will continue to be as positive and optimistic as humanly possible. I have to admit though, thinking positive hasn't seemed to get us very far lately. I told my mom that I was thinking about being naughty next year since I tried to be nice this year and all I got was two sick parents. 2006 isn't over yet so I still have a few days to decide whether or not I want to test that theory.

In closing I want to leave you with a true story. I hope this story helps you smile the way it has brought both a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Angie just called me as she was leaving the hospital. She said she was leaving earlier than expected because the night nurse just came on duty and told my mom she had a surprise for her. The nurse closed the curtain in the room, then closed the door and began to re-arrange the room. She pushed the beds together and told my mom she wanted to give her an opportunity to sleep with my dad and hold his hand. Knowing that my parents are sound asleep, side-by-side, will allow me to sleep like a baby tonight.

Thanks to those of you who have helped our family to make it through one day at a time. And, may Karma reward the nurses who have broken the rules to help my parents mend their broken hearts.

Off to bed-

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Here's the deal....

Today was a very long day for our family and friends. Many of us arrived at the hospital around noon and most of us did not leave until 9:00 pm. The doctors performed the laproscopic surgery (rather than cutting him wide open) which will speed up his recovery time. They removed just under a foot of colon from his right side including the lymph nodes in the area. The cancer is considered to be a stage 4 colon cancer that has spread to his liver and lymph nodes. Unfortunately the tumors in his liver are a very serious concern for his team of doctors. Dad will spend the next 3+ days at the hospital while the doctors monitor his progress. During this time we will be contacting the wonderful doctors at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance to set up an appointment for Dad. We promise to keep you all posted on any changes that take place.

Thank you to the many friends and family that have been so kind and generous to us in this time of need-

Living Strong,


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Rick's Update

Rick, Amy, Angie, Jake and I went to Rick's appointment this morning with the surgeon. We were hoping for the pathology reports when we arrived but due to some glitch because of the holiday the report wasn't there. Here is what we know....

Rick is having surgery tomorrow afternoon where they will be removing a portion of his right colon, lymph nodes and maybe some of his liver. The doctor said he will not be able to cure Rick with surgery alone, so in a month or so (once he's feeling better) he will begin chemotherapy. This is going to be a rough couple of months but when cancer messes with a Schmitt, it messes with the whole family - So watch out.

I was reminded today by the kids that I need to take care of myself for all our sake, but it just seems impossible right now to think of anything besides Rick and our children. I'm tired tonight because I haven't been sleeping well. Hopefully tonight I can get a good night's rest. We have a big day ahead of us tomorrow.

Thanks for all your love and support. We'll try to keep you posted each day on the blog so you know what's going on. Keep us in your prayers.

Big Dreamer Dor

Monday, December 25, 2006

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Tonight as I sit at my computer in our fabulous new office I can only reflect on the magic of my surroundings. Although, this shouldn't have been one of our favorite holiday weekends, it turned out to be. We were blessed to have our friends and family around us at all the right moments. (And, Santa was very good to us, as usual).

I know I mentioned this yesterday, but I am still amazed that our friends would postpone their Christmas to be with us. Friendships like these are an honor to be a part of. Thank you so much Bobby, Dy, Dave and Val for distracting us from our everyday worries with all your love. I'm not sure how the saying goes but it's something like, "Shared joy is doubled joy, shared sorrow is half sorrow" That is my new way of thinking. If you share good times with people you love, it only gets better. If you share hard times with people you love, they can help us carry the load. Thank you for being our wheelbarrows without even knowing it.

We got a new game called Apples to Apples and it is a blast! We must have played it 5 or 6 times in the past few days. With games...comes laughter...with laughter comes smiles...and boy do we need them right about now.

Now that we are home alone it is time to face the realities of what tomorrow might bring. I am hopeful that Rick will start his treatment/surgery within the next few weeks so we can move ahead. I know it isn't going to be easy, but easy is over-rated. It's the hard stuff that makes us stronger. Those of you who know us well, can't possibly think this is going to break our spirit.

God Bless,

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Christmas Eve Morning

I'm better now. Not great...but much better. Our friends Bob and Dy postponed Christmas in Spokane to come and spend it with us. At first I was insistant that they stay home and spend it with Bob's folks, but they wouldn't hear of it. I'm so glad they're bossy. They did whatever they wanted to and flew over yesterday. Last night, just like 8 months ago, we spent the evening laughing, eating, playing games...etc. with Bob and Dy, Dave and Val and our kids. Nothing could have been sweeter. Nothing could have been better to take our minds off the worry of the day. Nothing could have been more precious than the love of our friends.

We woke early to clean up the kitchen mess (and it was messy from last nights appetizer fest), wrap some more presents (which is very unlike me...I usually come right home from the store and wrap them), and spend some quality time with the ones I love.

Now, I must tell you about the GIFT. Besides the everyday pride and joy our children bring us...this year they brought us a little piece of heaven. Rick and I spend a great deal of time in the "ROOM" where I write this blog, iron, store presents, listen to music... I must admit... it is also the junk room. The room I least want to spend time in, even though I love to write to you and iron (I'm not kidding). The kids knew this. So, as our incredible children do so well, they followed their guts and gave us a room we never want to leave. (again...I'm not kidding)
They emptied it. Cleaned it. Bought new office furniture and the trimmings then organized it. They gave it to us a little early because they thought we could use a happy moment.
We were shocked. Amazed. Overjoyed. Proud. I've added a few photos so you can see it. When they gave us the present, it was in an envelope with a "before" photo in it. If I had that photo in my computer, I would let you see what an amazing transformation this was.

Now, from the Schmitt's to all of you...Have your Merriest Christmas ever.

Dreaming Bigger and Better than yesterday (but not as much as tomorrow),

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Mad as Hell

Well, it hit me today. That smiling face, it's gonna be alright, we'll beat this thing....blah, blah... I'm sick of it. Today, I just want to be mad. I'm not sure who I'm mad at. But apparently, it's one of the emotions I've be supressing and it's time to let it OUT. AAAHHHH.... I just don't want to have a "nice" attitude today. I'll have an "attitude" but it's not going to be a nice one. Dang it!

Just about the time we adjust (if that's what you call it) we get kicked in the gut with the news about Rick. I'm wondering if we built our house on a toxic landmine? We work hard everyday, love others with all our heart and soul, pay our bills, laugh out loud, eat healthy, root for the hometeams...and we get this?

How do we make this okay for our children? They're amazing souls who deserve to have both parents around admiring their accomplishments, guiding them during times of trouble, watching football on Sundays with them. They're so sad. It's hard for them to smile right now, and I love it when they smile. Those pearly white teeth brighten my days.

I know we'll find out more information on Tuesday, but today I'm impatient. Surprise, Surprise. I promise we'll keep you all posted.

Ok, thanks for letting me be a whiner. I guess sometimes I need it. Like today.

Dreaming MAD.

Friday, December 22, 2006

When it rains...

I am writing this message with a heavy heart and sad eyes. Today brought another major blow for the Schmitt family. Today as I wrapped Christmas presents at mom and dad's house with Angie and Jake, mom called from the hospital. She had taken dad to his doctor's appointment. During the Colonoscopy they found a large tumor. The doctor was concerned with the size of the mass so he immediately sent dad for a CT scan. The three of us met mom at the hospital and we sat with dad while he waited for his test. We just got a phone call from the doctor and have received confirmation that my dad has Colon Cancer. They know this, because it has already metastisized to his liver. There are also a few lymph nodes in his abdomen and around his aorta that are concerning them.

This is surreal. He has an appointment with his surgeon on Tuesday. As of now, they intend to remove the tumor and start Chemotherapy immediately. Best case scenerio is that the cancer spread from his colon and not from Lymphoma. We will learn more soon.

Please pray for my parents as they begin this unfortunate battle together. All of your prayers have been working so, please add my dad to your prayer list.

Dreaming bigger than ever,

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Do Not Enter

I feel so far behind in my Christmas preparation that I'm starting to hyperventilate , will be here in a few days whether I'm ready or not. Today, my dear friend Janeen picked me up at 9:00am and we headed out to the Bellis Fair Mall to do a little power shopping. We had a productive day, then came back to my great nephew's 6th birthday party. After the party, Jake and I stopped to help "Santa" out and pick up a few stocking stuffers. As I walked into the house, I noticed a sign posted on the computer room door, "Do not enter or you'll ruin Christmas", then right next to that door is Jake's room with another note that says "Nope, try another one". Apparently, for the next 3 or 4 days I'm limited to which rooms I can go into in my own home. Lucky for me, the computer room is also my ironing I guess ironing is also out of the question. Shucks!

Did I forget to mention that yesterday was Massage Day? Well it was...and it was spectacular.

Remember high tread count sheets, massages and doesn't get much better.

Gosh, I love life.

Dream Big,

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Month #8 and Counting

Lots of time has gone by on the calendar, but nothing has passed ME by. I really love life and tonight was a fine example.

Megan (Jake's girlfriend) is here until Wednesday when she returns to Seattle to spend time with her family. She knows our family and still loves us. I think that makes her a keeper! So, tonight we had "our Christmas" with her. Amy, Angie, Erin, Rick, Jake, Megan and I had dinner then exchanged gifts. The dinner was ok (not one of my best) and the presents were lovely (I got a chef's coat from Megan's parents with "chef Doreen" embroidered on it in green...I love it...I'll tell you about everything else later) but it was the entertainment after dinner that I want to share with you. For as far back as I can remember, whenever anyone would say the word "wrap" (as in wrap a present) I would give my version of "rap" (which I might add is terrible) so the kids always drop the word "wrap" in my presence so I'll do my little hand jive and rap noise. Tonight, I felt the need to get everyone involved. Angie played her lip trumpet, Amy sounded like a record that was being played backwords, Jake played his armpit, and I "rapped". Megan and Erin sat across from us laughing with tears rolling down their faces and wondered what kind of family medications we were taking. But, before long we got them involved. Erin twanged her water glass with her fingernail and Megan used the fork on her wine glass. We sounded amazing (NOT) but it was a funny sight to see. I also added in my version of Ray Charles playing the salt and pepper shakers but that will be another story all together. Rick was already in the livingroom when the entertainment started. I wanted to share this all with him, but we were laughing so hard by the time we got his attention, that he didn't get the "full effect". The laughter we shared tonight was priceless as well as being an incredible ab workout. Moments like these are golden treasures.

While I was preparing dinner tonight I had a small emotional breakdown. 8 months ago I had no idea if I would be here at Christmas (or Thanksgiving for that matter) so as each day has drawn closer I am so thankful that not only am I here, but I'm here and shining bright.
So, I cried...happy tears. Tears of joy. Tears of relief. Amy reminded me how silly this will feel when 8 years go by and I remember how excited I felt after only 8 months. But for now, I'll be getting this excited after each passing month....that's a guarantee. As a matter of fact, I'll get this excited after each passing day. Who am I trying to kid?

Thank you "family" for making tonight very special for me/us. Let's hope that Tarceva and prayers keep our family together for many years to come.

I love you more than all the presents that have been shaken & peeked into by impatient recipients... Don't forget what I said a few days ago "Santa knows if you've been naughty or nice" don't touch the items under the tree!

Dreaming Big and loving life,
Ho, Ho, Ho ~ Dor

Monday, December 18, 2006

The vacation has officially started...

Jacob is home. The girls are only 15 minutes away. Rick can come home whenever we need (want) him. I'm happy to be here. I'm happy to be feeling good. I'm just happy.

I went to Everett this afternoon with Jacob and his girlfriend, Megan. I met my good friend Kim for lunch and as usual I enjoyed our visit. I attempted to do a little shopping and I failed. I couldn't find anything at the mall. It's sold out! Ok, it's not sold out, I just didn't bring a list and I have a bad memory so I forgot what I needed. I'll try again tomorrow afternoon (with my list in hand).

Jacob just reminded me that tomorrow will be my 8 month mark. Wow! I knew I was a fighter, I knew I had no intention of going anywhere anytime soon, but who would have thought that I would feel this strong 8 months into it? I was just complaining tonight how I had to fill my weekly pill container and how it makes me mad that I take so many medications...then I remembered...Hey, I'm alive, so stop whining. Now, I'm just smiling and dreaming big.

Love you more than all the money owed on credit cards in January. :(

Doreen (the survivor)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Good Morning my friends

What a good morning it is! Winter (Christmas) Break has just begun. Amy had her little sleep over with us on Thursday night (and I must say we had fun), we watched Angie officiate a couple of basketball games last night (and she did a great job) , Jake is on his way home from Pullman (and it looks like the pass will be cleared off before he journeys across it this morning).

Now in my defense. There was nothing to do when the lights went out and I could still see with the candle light, so why not be productive and knit? Thank goodness we only lose power in increments of 8 hours or less. I'm not sure if I would be as jolly about it as I am if I was one of those folks who had lost it for a week.

Our Spartan basketball teams won last night against Marysville. I'm sorry I missed the games but I got to watch Angie and our cousin Ally instead. I'm glad I made that choice. It confirmed how proud I am.

Jake won't be home until Sunday (he's staying in Seattle tonight), so tonight we are going to babysit our niece while her mommy and daddy attend a couple of Christmas parties. She's really fun to have around (and we get to give her back when we're tired). I think we're going to take her to a basketball game in Mt. Vernon. Tonight, Angie will be the official at her old college so we thought we'd go watch. As long as we have snacks and water, Darlena will be just fine.

I'm not done shopping yet, but thankfully I have a few days left. Maybe I'll do it during the week while everyone else is at work... Today, I'm going to clean house, do a little baking, (knit of course), and make some mulling spices for cider. Oh, I'm tired already. Just kidding. It's amazing how much energy I can find when I NEED to get some WORK done.

Yesterday was the 15 year mark since Rick's mom died. She was an amazing woman who loved her family with all her heart ~ We still miss her very much. This time of year is always so bittersweet. This year will be expecially hard on our community and friends, because Davis Carlson, and incredible 11 year old boy, lost his battle with cancer last Christmas Day. Please take this time to remember just how precious life is. I'm reminded each day by all of you.

With love and well wishes,

Friday, December 15, 2006

Let it Blow.. Let it Blow... Let it Blow?

What in the heck is going on with our weather here in the Pacific Northwest? This is crazy. A few weeks ago we were snowed into our homes, now heavy winds are blowing, and trees are falling faster than the seahawks in the NFL standings.

Mom called me at work yesterday and said she felt stongly that I needed to come spend the night at their house in Stanwood. She said she was getting a bad feeling about the HUGE pine trees that my neighbor refuses to remove from his property.... not that I'm bitter about it or anything. I too had a bad feeling about them. I knew I wouldn't feel safe in my home so I packed some clothes and had a sleep over at mom and dad's house. We watched the Seahawks struggle, and then shortly after we lost power. It was off and on for the rest of the night. That's why none of us had the opportunity to write last night. Sorry about that.

My mom wasn't kidding when she told us she was addicted to knitting. She continued to knit by candle light like something out of Little House on the Prairie. I finally convinced her to stop knitting so we could lay in front of the fire and play the handheld game, 20 Questions. I hate that game. I mean... I love it... but every time it guessed our word we would toss the thing away from us and scream like a little kid who just saw a spider. It's creepy.

I am still in Stanwood but I am thinking about driving home to Mount Vernon and assessing the damage that was likely done to my property. One of my neighbors promised to call if a tree flattened my house so I feel confident it's still standing. Now it's just a matter of hauling large branches out of my yard. Not something I'm looking forward to.

I hope all of you managed to make it thru the storm without any significant damage.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

So much to share

For starters: I was the big winner at Bunco on Monday night. We had a great time as usual, and we all took home a great gift from one of our friends. My stomach and ribs usually hurt the day after bunco because we laugh so hard. This time, I just didn't feel good. I think I may have been going a little too strong all weekend and it caught up with me on Tuesday morning. I went to work late and came home early. I got a good night's sleep so I really am feeling better today.

Rick had a doctor's appointment today and will go in for some tests next Friday. The doctor said "now that you're 50 we should check "everything". I'm glad he's getting a complete physical. I'll be able to stop worrying once we know he's healthy.

I went to the ankle doctor today as well, with hopes he would take the boot off. No such luck. I have to wear it for at least 2 more weeks but my ankle is getting a lot better. I have a new brace that I can wear when I'm around the house. I'll start physical therapy in a week or two.

I hope to get back on the computer a little later to write more.

Love you more than all the wind blowing through the great northwest!

Dream Big,

Monday, December 11, 2006

Early Message

Tonight is my Christmas Bunco Party...many of you are thinking what the heck's a bunco? Well, most of us don't even care what it is, we just like to get together. 12 dear friends meet once a month and play a dice game for money and prizes (sounds a little bit like the Price is Right). The money doesn't buy much but the friendship and laughter are priceless.

But~ before I head out to my gathering on the Island, I'm going over to the high school to watch Angie officiate. This is the first game I've seen her ref this year so I thought it would be nice to surprise her. I'll sit in the stands and yell things like... "come on, call the foul", or "how long does she get in the key?". It will be just like old times. I can't wait. She'll be so proud of me.

I've gotta go now, but if I get any photos I'll post them later.

Love you more. 'nuff said.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Another great weekend...

I can't believe it's already Sunday evening. Where does the time go when we're having fun?

We had a great time last night at the Christmas party we attended. We didn't get home until around 1:00pm (I was the designated driver so everyone was safe...) We slept in until 9:00 or so then started another whirlwind day.

Rick and I took a quick trip to Costco this morning, then came home in time for the Seahawk game. I didn't stay through the whole thing because I really did need to get some Christmas shopping done. The problem was, I stopped by Angie's to look at her tree topper (she thought I should get one like hers because it would be perfect) and I ended up watching the end of the Seahawk game. We lost...and I lost time. I got a big chunk of my shopping done once I put my mind to it and I've already been wrapping them.

Please don't share the following information with Rick or the kids... I think I've been on my bad foot too much lately because tonight it hurts like heck. I promise I'll make a follow up appointment tomorrow. I was suppose to do that last week, but I've been kind of busy. They all bug me everyday about taking care of it, so the last thing I want to hear "I told you so". I know they're right, but I don't want them to know that... Shhhhh!

It's Desparate Housewives time (not me personally) so I think I'll go catch up on Wisteria Lane.

Love you more than all the last minute shoppers I saw today. Ugh!

Dreaming Dor

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Holiday Visitors

This week at work I had a couple of visitors who I hadn't seen in a while. Rick's cousin Shellee and her little boy Landen stopped by (Landen actually fell on his nose on the way in so he wasn't as happy to see me as I was to see him). I've been promising Shellee that I would get down her way to visit, but she couldn't wait any longer. I'm glad she got impatient with me...

Today, Kellie (Heuett) Barton came up to see us from Tacoma. Kellie is a friend of the family who lived with us for a while when she first moved over from Spokane. She brought her little step daughter, Chloe who was a little charmer. We went to lunch at Kellie's favorite spot...Jimmy's Pizza. Angie, Erin, Amy, Kellie, Chloe and I had a wonderful visit. We need to do it again soon. Kellie promised me we would do it again within the next 2 years. Reason #12,785 to live.

Rick has been out putting up Christmas lights today. I wish I could be more help outside, but between the cough and the "boot on my foot" he might be better off without my assistance. Amy is still at the house so maybe she can help her dad.

My new meds are helping with sleep and the cough. I know it seems foolish sometimes to just take a pill for discomfort or minor problems, but I also think this isn't the time to change my health care plan. So, I'm sticking with whatever seems to be working.

Rick and I will be heading out to a Christmas party this evening, so I'd better go get ready. I promise to write more tomorrow (between Christmas shopping and football). Have a safe rest of the weekend.

16 days 'til Christmas ~ don't forget to be NICE, not NAUGHTY... Santa's watching!

Dreaming Dor

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Quick Relay for Life Update

I just wanted to send out a quick message to those of you who read this blog on a daily basis. For those who participated in the Relay last year, please click on the website attached and sign up for the 2007 Relay, if you haven't already. There is no cost involved at this point.... just sign up and start building your team. For those of you who weren't on a team last year but are interested in starting a team for this year's event... you too can sign up on this link. Even if you aren't interested in walking around the track, I encourage you to look at the link and see which businesses and individuals have already signed up to help find a cure. The Relay is not until June 1st, 2007 but there are already 11 teams signed up. If you've never been a part of it, I encourage you to get involved. I hope to see many different groups from the community gathered around the track that evening.

Here are some ideas for teams:
-Church groups
-School Faculty (sign up and challenge another school)
- sports teams
-families, etc.

We had 30 teams signed up last year and our goal is to reach 50 this year. If your business is interested in being a sponsor for the event and having your name/logo on all of the shirts, the official website, posters, newspaper ads, etc, please let me know. For 7 months of advertising, you won't find a less expensive way to support a good cause.

Add your business to the list of 2007 Sponsors:

North Sound Physical Therapy
Stanwood Camano News

Enjoy your holidays-

If you have any questions:

Here I Am!

I've had a busy couple of days so my webpage update slid to the bottom of the list. Sorry :(

I had my follow-up appointment yesterday in Seattle. There are no changes with the cancer- Yahoo! I'm on some new meds for low potassium, sleep and my cough...and they made me get a flu shot. Other than that...I'm doing great. I took my sleeping aid last night and I don't think I moved once. I may have a permanent pillow mark down my face where I was laying. It's looks "really pretty" but I feel very rested. I think he may have been right...I need more sleep.

Rick got a call from his doctor last night about all his tests and they say the tests came back inconclusive so he'll be seeing a cardiologist sometime soon. Stress can do strange things to our bodies. Let's hope that's all it is. We'll keep you posted.

I don't know about the rest of you but I'd better get busy with Christmas shopping. By now, I'm usually way ahead of the game (however, everything I've bought so far is wrapped) Maybe I'll journey out this weekend. Wish me luck with all those crazy people.

Lots of work to do today so I'd better head over to the school.

Dream Big,

Monday, December 04, 2006

Call from Dr. Eaton in Seattle

Rick had a few tests today to check out his heart. I told the technician that I can guarantee it's a BIG one (by all the love he gives me)... but apparently that's irrelevant when they're doing ECHO cardiograms. We don't really know anything except he has to go back tomorrow for one more test, then hopefully they'll assure us that his problems are all stress related.

Now for the good news (which will hopefully help Rick's stress level). When we got home tonight there was a message on our recorder from Dr. Eaton (cancer care alliance) who said my scans from Friday "looked well". I still have an appointment on Wednesday but that is just for a check-up and to go over the results. "Looked lung cancer terminology...means nothing has gotten substantially worse, and to us...that means "LIFE IS GOOD".

Thanks for all the thoughts and prayers.

Dreaming Well ~

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Restless Night

It's 2:40 am and I can't sleep. Perhaps, it's because I fell asleep on the couch about 7:30 tonight and I've already had my quota of sleep for the day. Now that I'm wide awake, I'm thinking of you...and I thought you should know.

On Friday night we visited Uncle Chuck, Aunt Fran, Kevin, Andrea & Bella (in Snohomish) before joining and Angie and attending cousin Aly's basketball game. We hadn't seen this part of our family in a while so it was nice to talk and hug and laugh. I know we always say it, but those times are so important. We really need to do it more often.

Before I sit down at the computer, I have a ton of things I want to say. Then, once I get here...writer's block. I might be more motivated if I had a million dollar book deal on the table. Just kidding. You're all the motiviation I need.

Relay for Life in Stanwood will be held the first Friday night and Saturday day in June this year. I'm very excited to be a part of it. On Wednesday the 6th of December at 6:00 at the Stanwood Sports Club they will be having a meeting. If you or someone from your business, organization or club would like to be involved, have them stop by. Community involvement is crucial for an event like this to be successful. When we all do a little, no one has to do a lot! If you have any questions, give me a call and I'll get you the names and numbers of someone to reach. Hope to see you on Wednesday night! (P.S. I'm working with SURVIVORS for this special event, so please let me know of any cancer survivor who might like to join us...all they have to do is show up...we'll take care of the rest)

Another plug...when you get the chance... log on to to meet my new friend Bonnie Addario and her incredible family. This is the amazing woman I met in San Francisco who will be my lifelong friend. If you ever need to be inspired, she is the woman to talk to. Bonnie's organization is making changes everyday in the face of lung cancer and I'm proud to be a part of her world!

I've attached a photo of my new Christmas tree. If you take a deep breath you can almost smell the pine (or aspen) (or plastic). Top 5 reasons why I love our new artificial tree...

1. It took 5 minutes to put up (and that included dragging it in from the garage)
2. It doesn't have to be watered.
3. The lights were already on it.
4. No daily vacuuming of pine needs required.
5. No bugs (big bonus)

Oh, now I remember what I was going to write about. I mentioned to Rick that I really love the way the Christmas tree lights up the living room so I was thinking about leaving it up year around. In January, I'll decorate it with Martin Luther King items... Anniversary photos of my parents, pictures of my sister-in-law Dawn in celebration of her birthday... Then February, We'll do it up for Amy & Angie's 30th birthday... Valentine's day...Vickie's & Pam's birthday.... Do you see a pattern? Rick put the "I don't think so" to that idea. So, while I really do love my tree...I guess I will have to wait for December each year to put it up. Reason #12,458 to live. Christmas 2007, 2008, etc.

Dreaming Big,

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Pressing Question?

First, let me say that I know "nothing" about my test results. I'll know more on Wednesday. And you'll be the first 1,000 people I tell....

Now for my pressing question. You know how when you break a mirror, it's 7 years bad luck? If I break one, will I be guaranteed 7 more years to serve my sentence? Well, I didn't break the mirror, but I broke the handle on I need to know if that counts for something? I sure hope so. Any experts out there on this sort of thing?

I'm heading out to work at a High School Wrestling Match (not the kind on TV). I won't be doing the wrestling...thank Goodness. Imagine me in one of those spandex suits? Yuk. Sorry if you got a visual on that....

Any Hooters, I've gotta go! I'll write more later.

Hugs and kisses,
Big Dreamer, Doreen

Friday, December 01, 2006

Test Day

Thank goodness I'm only having a CT scan and an MRI. Imagine what kind of stress I would be under if I had to take the WASL? I hope I pass my tests today. I've been studying hard.
As usual, I'm a little anxious (but that's to be expected, I'm sure).

Yesterday I had the pleasure of spending some really nice quality time with each of my girls. Amy stopped by and we snuggled on the couch, wrapped some presents, talked and laughed. Then she left to put up her Christmas tree. (I think our fake one inspired her) Then early evening, Angie came over. We had dinner, she helped me with a project I've been working on, we laid on Jake's comfy bed and giggled and talked about silly things, then she went home to watch McDreamy. It's nice to be able to spend one on one time with my kids. Jake will be home soon so we can do it again too!

I had a cruddy little headache all day yesterday that turned into a doozy last night. I was miserable by 9:15 or so, but Rick laid by me and rubbed my back until I dozed off... I woke up this morning feeling much better. I don't remember anything after 9:30pm. I'm sure it's all stress related.

I'll write more later. I'm going to get in the shower so I can go to work for a couple of hours before my appointments in Seattle. Wish me luck.

Love to you all,