Saturday, June 30, 2007

Desert Aire Pit Stop

We are on our way home from a long, but great week. On the way home we decided to stop at Desert Aire to mow the lawn but we were pleasantly surprised when we got here. Apparently, our friends Denny and Craig stopped by this afternoon and mowed it before we got here. Thanks guys.

We went over to cousin Joe's when we got here and Rick's cousin Gary and his wife Julie were here visiting from Millcreek. So, we all had dinner together. What a nice way to end our week.

We stopped by Hoopfest before we left Spokane today and saw Amy and Angie. They are working at it and having a great time. I think this is Amy's fifth year working at it and Angie's first. If you love basketball and have never been to it, make it a point to go at least to go once in your lifetime. It's an amazing event.

Rick is feeling pretty good tonight, just quiet and laying low. Even though our housemates were wonderful in Spokane, we are looking forward to getting home and settling back into our normal routine. I've promised to talk to my doctor on Monday when we're in Seattle for Rick's appointment. I don't think the inhaler is doing much for me...other than the lump in my throat and the cough I feel super.

Love you more than all the fouls called at Hoopfest today!

Dream Big,

Friday, June 29, 2007

Home from the hospital

Dad was released from the hospital around noon today. He is feeling pretty good all things considered. His back and belly feel better than they did last night. That is probably due to the pain pills that they currently have him 0n. The incision site ( groin ) is more uncomfortable than anything else. If he does not have any new issues between now and tomorrow night/Sunday morning Mom and Dad will be heading home to prepare for Dad's chemo on Monday in Seattle. At this point we can all use a little bit of rest and quiet time. If anything changes we will let you know. Thank you for the emails and phone calls. We appreciate the constant support.

I love you more than all the basketball players on their way to Spokane for Hoopfest-


Thursday, June 28, 2007

Surgery Update - June 28th

Dr. Lui said the surgery went as planned with only one little complication. Because of the chemotherapy, Rick's vessels are weak, so during the procedure, one of the vessels in his liver(nearest to the gallbladder) formed a leak. They are going to put him on blood thinners for the next month to keep his body from forming a clot where this hole is. They are watching his gallbladder to make sure it doesn't react poorly in case any radiation leaks on it. Rick has been suffering from a sore back since he got out of surgery and is now having stomach pains. They gave him some pain medication before we left the hospital for dinner. I just spoke with him before I got to Bob and Dy's and he said he's starting to feel better.

I am going to go back to the hospital soon to spend the night. I can't stay in the room with Rick because he has a roommate who had the same procedure today and under a black light, the room is glowing. Actually, they advised Rick not to sleep with me for 7 days and to stay within about 6 feet of people. He can give us a quick hug, but we're not suppose to be close to him for any length of time for the next week. It's going to make the ride home from Spokane a little difficult, but I think...what harm could a little radiation do me? As a matter of fact, it might even help. I'll be sleeping in the family day (or night) room tonight in a recliner. That way, I can check on Rick throughout the night and Angie will be fresh to relieve me in the morning.

I came back to Bob and Dy's after dinner to write a blog, brush my teeth, and put something comfortable on (I didn't say slip into something comfortable...I was thinking more along the lines of sweatpants). I hope you can all understand my gibberish tonight. I'm mentally and physically exhausted so I'd better say good bye for now, before I say something that can be used against me in a court of law.

Love you more than all the radioactive beads they put in Rick's liver today...and there were millions!

Dream Big,

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Radiation Eve - Wednesday, June 27

We're having a little blog problem. Apparently, every entry looks like I wrote it on Sunday. I've actually written one each day since I've been here, so until it gets straightened out, I'll put the date on the title line. This computer stuff is a lot of work. I need to hire my own personal webmaster (or whatever they're called). Oooh, Webmaster....sounds like a powerful position.

Sometimes we're given potholes on our road of life, and we can either take a different route or stay on the one we're on ~ but with caution. It's the journey I look forward to, so I'm staying on the road that I know and love so well only I'll take it slow and easy. Take the time to say "I love you, thank you, I'm sorry, "hey can I have one of your fries?" Just kidding about the fries...but please don't skip the dessert if it looks really good.

Though I'm anxious about tomorrow, Angie came to Spokane this afternoon to be here for her Dad and I. She's staying here with us at Bob and Dy's so, as you can imagine, they've made her feel right at home. I made dinner for us tonight again. Bob and Dy said they're starting to get comfortable having a cook around, so they might not let us leave. I get the better end of the deal. They always do the dishes. Bob noticed that I make a mess when I cook...but he said he wasn't complaining. The truth hurts sometimes....I dirty a lot of dishes/pots/pans...utensils. He I need my own cooking my spare time.

My emotions are under control a little more today. We had a restful night, didn't rush the morning, then I went to a mall close by to waste a little time. Rick stayed home and watched the Mariner game. I had so many nice e-mails today from all of you; sending me encouraging words, ideas on how to grow limes in our climate, words that made me laugh...a few that made me cry (but what's new?) You will never know how my spirit is lifted just by knowing what incredible people we have rooting for us.

I'd better get to bed before the sun comes up.

Hopefully, my husband will be glowing with radiation tomorrow after this procedure. I can tell you from experience, he's always been glowing in my eyes. Let's hope it works like planned. :)

Dream Big,

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Too much time to think

Not much went on today. We slept in. Went to lunch (Rick is still moving slowly), ran a few errands then came back to the house. We surprised Bob and Dy with dinner tonight, New York Steaks, red potatoes with garlic, sauteed mushooms and onions....They did the dishes. It worked out perfectly.

What I did have today was...way too much time on my hands to think. I guess when I'm at home, I have multiple things going on all at once so it doesn't give me time to sit and reflect. Or face reality, whatever you want to call it. Today, I worried about greiving. I feel like I've already been greiving, but for what? Our life is pretty great, all things considered. Is it ok to grieve about lost health? I watched the movie signs last night so I worried that I was suppose to notice a "sign" about life and I haven't figured it out yet. Then I worried about aliens (because they were in the movie) I worried about how sad my parents and children get when we talk seriously. I've been worrying about Thursday and hope that Rick's body will handle the procedure well. I worried that we would run out of gas before we filled up (honestly, our gas light has been on since we got to Spokane). Enough about all this. We filled the tank, that's one thing to take off my worry list.

I didn't prepare very well for this trip. I packed a sad book, no knitting, nothing humerous, a Suduko book with only hard puzzles left, oh...and some work from school. I've read all Dy's magazines, her house is spotless so I can't clean anything for her, Bob just added 83 new channels to their already 590 it takes all day just to find Ellen and Oprah. Perhaps I should work on that book I started a year ago "I love you more than".

I love you more than all the things I worried about today. (You ARE LOVED)

Dream Big,

We're home from the hospital...

Everything went as planned today at the hospital. We arrived at 7:00am and got home (back to Bob & Dy's) tonight around 7:00pm. It was a draining day mentally & emotionally...yes I was a ball-bag again. When they mapped out Rick's liver the doctor found some vessels that led to other places in his body, like his lungs & stomach, so they sealed those vessels off with some kind of plug/pellet and then did a trial run of the radiation. He got to leave the hospital tonight so he was happy about that. Dr. Lui said he was planning on keeping Rick overnight on Thursday. I will feel better if he's at the hospital just in case there are any major side effects. Rick is pretty sore tonight, but he's reclining downstairs watching the Mariner game so life isn't too bad.

The swollen throat feeling is back in full force again today. But, like I said yesterday...I'll worry about that when we get back to the Westside of Washington. So far, it hasn't stopped me from eating. What's that all about? At least if I'm going to have some problem...couldn't it give me a little weight loss? I think a milkshake sounds soothing on my throat right about now. See what I mean? Life isn't always fair. On the flip side, I could be craving salad without much fun would that be?

I heard once that if life hands us lemons, were suppose to make lemonade. So, does that mean when life hands us limes, we're suppose to make margaritas! I say, get out the blender...I'm planting a lime tree. :)

Love you more,

We made it!

Bob and Dy welcomed us with open arms and chicken. (They saved leftovers for us) They re-arranged our bedroom downstairs, so it felt like home, only cleaner. On the dresser is a framed photo of our kids so we don't feel alone. Friends like this are hard to come by. Don't even think of taking them. You may borrow them for a day or two as long as they're available. But otherwise, they belong to us.

I've been a little emotional today. With all the excitement of tomorrow and the uncertainty of what to expect, I'm having trouble keeping it all together. Maybe after a good night's rest, I'll be better.

Gotta go now and visit....

Love you more than all the blades of grass on a golf course.

Dream Big,

Broken Internet

God grant me patience, but hurry it up! Just kidding.

Our internet has been sketchy to say the least since Wednesday. Wavebroadband had an appointment to come on Thursday to see what the problem was (they were suppose to call first since Rick was being disconnected from chemo). Instead, we got a call saying "we came by to fix your internet service but you weren't here". So, I'm going to post something quickly on the blog just in case it goes out again this morning.

We are going to leave for Spokane this afternoon. It's a bittersweet trip. These are going to be some trying days for Rick (he doesn't like to be knocked down) but we'll have Bob and Dy around to keep our spirits up. The kids are all anxious because they won't be there for the surgeries, but I'll be in contact with them the whole time. The results of this procedure will be worth the whole journey. I'm so excited! Chemo is scheduled for Monday the 2nd of July so we won't be going to Desert Aire. That's ok, we'll be heading to South Dakota before we know it...then maybe to Australia as a family. I'll tell you more about that later.

My dear friend Kim will be home this week from Palm Springs and I'm going to miss seeing her. I guess I'll have to take a quick little trip down there to see her instead. Darn. Sometimes, a girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do. :)

I slept like a baby yesterday (played, took a nap), got up from the nap did a few things (took a nap again), went to bed early and now I think I'm caught up from Thursday night.

I think my steroid inhaler might be helping a little. Except for the big coughing spell I had yesterday (and threw a rib out) I feel less constricted. I don't really have time to worry about my stuff right now. I'm worrying about everything else. It's much easier that way. I'd better say good bye for now and go finish packing.

Have I told you lately that I love you more? Well I do....

Dream Big,

Friday, June 22, 2007

Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband Concert

I had a fantastic time last night at the Tractor Tavern with 8 friends (I wish all of my friends had gone...we would have packed the house). Honestly, I'm not a groupie, but they were so fun to watch! Every song was entertaining...we laughed...we cried...we bought CD's. When they played Dream Big, they dedicated it to Doreen and the Dream Team. I talked to them on the radio yesterday and told them we would be wearing our Relay Dream team shirts. Once people spotted us, they knew who we were immediately. I've attached a couple of photos. This place only has about 15 chairs, and our group took almost all of them. What a fabulous way to end a school year. Great music, good friends, and a Dick burger on the way home :)

Isn't it a shame that it takes something like cancer, to motivate us enough to have fun just for the heck of it on a work night? Though we were all exhausted today, none of us would have given the experience back for a good night's rest.

This will be a busy weekend as we prepare for our journey to Spokane. I'll try to write a blog each night when we're in Eastern Washington just to keep you posted on how things are going. Rick will be having his surgeries/procedures at Sacred Heart Hospital. Thank you for all your love and support. (By the way, I think this steroid/inhaler I'm on might be making a difference - I'll let you know next week for sure)

Dream Big,

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Don't just talk the talk

This morning on my way to work (which is only a 3 minute drive) I listened to Oprah and Friends on XM Radio. I stayed in my car a few extra minutes in the parking lot because the guest speaker had something interesting to say. She said, "we try to say the right things, and do the right things for others, but we sometimes forget to do this to the people closest to us". It made me think about all the little things I take on and wonder if I'm leaving those I love in the dust so I can do the right thing for someone else... I would never do it on purpose, but I evaluated my life (right there in the high school parking lot) and I am guilty. My friends and family know that I'm happiest when I'm doing things for others (or knitting if it's winter time) so they just stand back and let me go. I'm going to work on reminding them how much they are loved, appreciated and admired. Starting RIGHT NOW. If there is anyone out there who I've kicked to the curb...I'm sorry.

Today at work Kevin Plambeck gave me a "complaint free world" bracelet to wear. If, you complain, you have to switch it to the other wrist. I only moved it once (not because I was complaint free but because I kept forgetting to move it) Actually, I don't think I complain much, and if I do, it's about myself....Geez...what's going on tonight? This self evaluation thing is a lot of work. Pay more attention to those you love and don't complain? Isn't this asking a lot of the woman of the year who has cancer? Just kidding... I'll do anything for you.

Tomorrow night is my Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband concert in Ballard. I'm really excited to go. I might need to take a nap during the day since the music doesn't start until 9:00pm. Perhaps I'll sleep in a little too! For those of you who've forgotten...Ryan Shupe's band plays my favorite song, DREAM BIG! I'm hoping to talk to them tomorrow morning while they're hosting the KMPS radio station.

Rick slept terrible last night. He kept burping Chemo. I think he finally fell asleep at 5:00 this morning. Hopefully tonight will be better for him. No change in my cough yet...Patience Doreen, Patience. You only went to the doctor yesterday.

Love you more than all the times I've played DREAM BIG on my IPOD, or in my car, or at Desert Aire, or on my computer, or in my head....

Go ahead and say it...
Dream Big,

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

New Friend, Different Chemo, Great Day

Today started off a little rough. We left the house at 6:00am (like usual on chemo day for our 7:30am appointment) but the appointment was actually at 10:30am. So we were only 3 hours early. Rick snoozed in the recliner in the waiting room while I worked on purchase orders for school. It wasn't wasted time, just wasted sleep. While Rick was being injected with magic poison (chemo) I was having blood work, chest x-rays and a doctor's appointment. The chest x-ray looks good but there is something going on in my throat/upper chest area. I am going to use an inhaler with a steroid in it for the next week or so, to see if there is any change. If I'm still feeling the same, Dr. Eaton wants me to see an ear/nose/throat doctor to have him look in my throat to make sure nothing new is forming inside. I feel completely fine about it. Pam said I should have been taking Zicam and everything would be ok. I don't know how Zicam works on Lung Cancer but I could give it a try.

During my wait in the radiology department I kept looking at a woman who was sitting across the room from me. She looked familiar. Or safe. Or comfortable. Or like a friend I hadn't met yet. Never the less, I got up, walked across the room and apologized for staring (which she hadn't noticed I was doing) and we talked for a bit. We searched all the avenues we could, to find some thing. or place that we had in common ~ but we couldn't find anything. Later in the day, she and her husband were sitting in the waiting room where I was just heading to see Dr. Eaton. We started to talk again...and before you knew it...I realized we were suppose to meet. She told her husband to go to the cafeteria without her, she wanted to stay and visit. On her purse, she had a fuzzy crown dangling from the handle, and I asked what that meant. She said her name was Elizabeth and they call her Queen Elizabeth. She has lots of crowns in her collection. I got goosebumps. I told her how I was Queen Doreen and I showed her my crown necklace and the permanent red crown on my foot (tattoo). I found out her husband had been diagnosed with colon cancer at 40, was cured, but it found it's way back 11 years later in a different form. We talked until I had to go in for my appointment. The whole time I was in my appointment, I wished I had gotten her full name or an e-mail address or something, because I just felt a connection. If for nothing else, just to share fear, or laughter, or success stories. When I got back into the waiting room after my appointment, there she was. With her husband. She told him the story about our chance meeting, so when I arrived before them, he said "hey, you look we know you"? Long story short, we exchanged names, phone numbers, e-mails, stories and hugs. It might not sound as amazing in writing as it did in person, but I know it was a Divine Intervention. We must need each other for something.

Rick chemo went very well (once we actually got into the appointment). They will be skipping one of the components (Avastin) of his chemo cocktail while he is having the Selective Internal Radiation Therapy because it makes his blood thin. He seems to be feeling better than usual tonight. Maybe it's because he had a little less poison today. Whatever the reason...I'm smiling about it. :) When Ricky feels good. Momma feels better :)

We had a Wrap Up Committee meeting tonight for Relay for Life. As of today, we have raised over $165,000 dollars. How proud we should be as a community!

Love you more than popcorn at the movie theater.

Dream Big,

Monday, June 18, 2007

Everything is moving at a rapid pace - except me

We just saw Rick's newest doctor on Thursday (in Spokane). He assured us he would know something from the insurance company within 48 working hours. I thought, isn't that nice that this young Doctor is a wishful thinker? His office called our house this morning (less than 46 business hours after we'd been to see him) with an ok from the insurance company. Can you believe it? Wait...there's more. He was ordering the radioactive microspheres today, Rick is having the angiogram on Monday the 25th, we're staying in Spokane and they are doing the first treatment on the 28th...just as he said (only now we don't have to drive back over to Spokane 10 days later - we'll just stay there until the first radioactive treatment is complete) Thank God for our friends Bob and Dy. It's so nice to stay in a familiar place with people you love when you've got so much on your plate.

My cough is really kicking my behind in the mornings and evenings. I've promised Rick that I will stop by Dr. Eaton's office tomorrow to have someone listen to my lungs while we're at SCCA for his chemo. I better make sure I'm not getting "pneumonia" or something awful like that. That's not funny is it? Ok, I'm sorry. I just want to lighten up the conversation.

This past year I've learned more about lungs, colons, livers and breasts than I ever thought possible. I swear...if I learn about one more body part, I will have my physician's assistant certification. Oh, although I know a lot about these body parts...please don't ask me to check yours for you. There is only so much I can do for my friends.

Remember....Dreams do come true,


Link to the Relay for Life Slideshow

Double click the title (Link to the Relay for Life Slideshow) and you can watch the slideshow that Bev put together for us. I hope you enjoy it as much as much as we did. Don't forget to turn up your volume, get a cup of coffee, and watch this during your lunch break or when you get home. It's worth watching without interruption.

Keep dreaming Big,

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Let me start by saying...I went to bed late, got up late. My mom and dad came by our house this morning and we celebrated Father's Day. We went to brunch at my sister-in-laws to celebrate Father's Day on Rick's side of the family. Immediately after leaving Vickie and Tom's, we went to 2 different graduation parties... Congratulations, Zach, Nicole and Krystle. Whew....Long day. Good times. Amy, Angie, Jake, Rick and I spent the day traveling from one event to another. Just like old times.

When we got home from the last party, around 6:00pm we had a visitor. Beverly Wheeler-Kopp. She has been a family friend for many years (she also used to babysit for us). Cancer brought us back together. In August of 2005, Bev's mom died of lung cancer. 1 day after she was diagnosed. This year she became very involved with Relay for Life in Stanwood (although she doesn't even live here anymore). You may have seen her carrying around 2 cameras most of the event. Long story short....which I don't do very well, Bev was waiting for us to give us 3 incredible gifts (besides the 3 we already have in Amy, Angie and Jake). She made a video of the Relay (over 300 photos) that includes people I never saw, angles I never envisioned, and a view of this amazing event in a way I had never imagined. I am going to add a link for you to view it as soon as she sends it to me. It is wonderful. She also gave us a frame with 2 photos of our family in black and of the 5 of us holding hands looking forward, and one with the back of the 5 of us holding hands, and in the middle is the saying "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away." This give was a moment that took my breath away. Then she brought 2 photo albums filled with all the amazing photos she took during the event. I've attached a photo of Bev with Rick and I tonight. If you look at her very carefully, you can see a halo over her head. I'm pretty sure she's our angel. Her acts of love and kindness will stay with our family forever. Thanks Bev, for the best gifts ever...the one's from the heart.

I hope your Father's Day was a memorable one. I got to see the greatest father's I know today. My Dad & My Ricky. How lucky can a girl get?

Love you more than all the Dad's in the World...
Big Dreaming Dor

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Late Night...I'll write in the morning

When we left Spokane we had to stop by Desert Aire for some property upkeep and peace. We've had an exhausting, but great week. We didn't leave Eastern Washington until after 7:30pm tonight so we just got home. I'll write more in the morning.

I hope your Father's Day is a happy one. :)

Dream Big,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Here's what we know, so far....

We met with Rick's Spokane doctor, David Liu, who specializes in a procedure called SIRT (selective internal radiation therapy). The doctor thinks Rick will really benefit from this so he is sending for a preauthorization to start the ball rolling.

Here's how it works. Rick will go into the hospital and have an angiogram (like they usually do for the heart) only his will be in the liver. They want to see how his vessels work and they need to map out where they will be shooting the radioactive beads. Once they have him mapped out, they will order the beads called Yttrium-90 Microspheres from Australia (it was invented there in 1987). The doctor is hoping that the first treatment will be done by the end of June. Rick will have to continue doing chemo during this process because they say radiation works better when given with chemo. The doctor said they have a 3 hour window in which to put the radiation into Rick's body. So, it gets set up very carefully. All of this will take place within 10 days of his angiogram. They will do one lobe of the liver at a time. So, including the angiogram, Rick will have surgery 3 times in 40 days. Amazingly, it makes perfect sense, even to me. Other than severe fatigue for about a week and perhaps an upset stomach, he should do very well.

The seal on this deal was when Dr. Liu said, we are not doing this procedure "to you" Rick, we are doing it "for you". I knew then, that we were in the right place. He is apparently very well known in the vascular world of oncology. I know we were impressed. Smart, knowledgeable, witty, young. You don't usually expect to find all those qualities in someone so specialized. I'm telling you...the Schmitt's are LUCKY people.

We had a long day with the Doctor, but it was worth it. Tonight we had dinner with Bob, Dy, and Bob's parents. We haven't seen them in quite a while so it was great to visit. We drove by a murder scene on the way to dinner (well ,we didn't know it was a murder at the time - we found out when we watched the news tonight)...Spokane is a hopping city....Lovely to visit and have medical procedures, but I'll take Stanwood anyday.

Sorry that the blog is so clinical tonight, but that's the only thing I have to talk about.

Love you more than all the money in a wishing well...

Dream Big,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Heading to Spokane

We're very excited to be heading to Spokane this afternoon. Rick has an appointment tomorrow morning with Dr. Liu or Lui??? who specializes in the procedure I talked about the other day. After the consultation and exam, they'll submit a request to Regence and we'll hope for an approval. Everything now-a-days needs the approval from a dozen people. But we'll be patient. I'm sure it will be worth the wait.

We have the added bonus of staying with friends while in Spokane. Bob and Dy have now moved into their new house. It's beautiful, but we haven't seen it furnished. They're happy to have us (or so they say...) Bob is like an older brother to me, who makes me do things I get in trouble for. He speeds when I'm in the car with him, makes lots of noise when we're in quiet places so people look at us in disgust, encourages me to ride on dangerous rides in Vegas. Dy and Rick try to keep us doesn't always work, but they mean well.

Last night's banquet was delightful. We transformed the gymnasium into a beautiful hall and celebrated the accomplishments and hard work of our senior athletes. I was very proud to be a part of it!

I'll borrow Bob and Dy's computer tomorrow evening when we get done with the Doctor and let you know how the appointment went. After Relay and the banquet, I'm ready to just lay low for a couple of days. Jake is home holding down the fort so we're ok about being away from home.

Dream Big, Keep us in your prayers, and don't forget to laugh out loud!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Take a break mom...

When I stop by mom and dad's house in the evenings there are a few things I can always count on. Dad will make eye contact with me and smirk while he shakes his foot at me as if to say "I think you should come over here and rub my feet." I have to admit.... I rarely give in to his request.... only during Chemo week. :)

The other thing I know I can count on is mom saying "I need to get in there and write a blog." Now that there is a site meter linked to the blog she can see how many people have checked it during the day and that makes it even worse. Now she says things like "Oh my gosh, I need to write something because 105 people have checked it today and I haven't written anything yet. I don't want to disappoint people." So... tonight while mom and dad are enjoying themselves at the awards banquet at the High School I will give her a night off and let her rest. I might not be as "entertaining" or sarcastic as mom but I will do my best. As long as I end it with an "I love you more than" I should be just fine. Here goes....

I was going to write about medical updates with my dad but I don't have any additional information. I know we are waiting to hear back from the doctor in Spokane to see if they will be heading over there for a consultation later in the week. When they hear more I'm sure my mom will let you know. In the mean time, If you're going to pray for someone please add my dear friend Noah to your list. At the age of 23, started his first round of Chemotherapy today and is already very sick from it. He was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer about a month ago and it appears to be in the lymph nodes around his kidney as well. His Chemo is many hours a day, five days a week. He has a tough road ahead of him with this chemo but he's a tough guy. I know he'll be just fine. Happy thoughts and a few prayers can't hurt.

I don't have any updates about Pam either. I DO know that she has been cracking the whip on those of us who hadn't completed our quilt squares for my mom's fancy quilt they are making. I will admit that I was one of the people who kept putting it off. I'm not going to pretend like I have a clue about how to sew or make anything for a quilt. She called while I was sleeping to remind me that I was a big loser and that my mom wouldn't know that I loved her unless I told her in a quilt square. She has a sense of humor like no one else. If you are reading this and you haven't made a quilt square... you might want to start screening your phone calls. :)

Signing off...

Oh wait... I almost forgot....

I love you more than Democrats love the next election day. :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Promising News

We heard from Rick's oncologist today and it looks like he might be a good candidate for a procedure that shoots radioactive beads into his liver and destroys some of the tumors that still remain. The only doctor who performs this procedure is in Spokane (he just recently moved there from Portland) and he said he could get Rick in to see him this Thursday. We are so excited. This is great news. Now, we have to hope that the insurance will approve this procedure once the doctor sees him and decides he's a great patient. The bad part is, I might not make it back for graduation. I've gotta get my priorities straight. Family First.

I'm feeling better today, but the throat is still sore. I've been gargling with warm salt water. I'm not sure if that really works but my mom always made me do it... I thought warm whiskey and lemon juice was suppose to be good for you too (I'm just not sure what that cures, but I would have to die first because the smell of whiskey makes me gag)

I need to get going because I'm still working on the program for tomorrow night's award banquet. If it wasn't for the last minute...nothing would get done.

Dream Big,

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Flu bug hit...

I woke up this morning with achy joints, a sore throat and feeling kind of cruddy. I think I may have caught a little flu bug so I'm going to lay low today. I have plenty of things to do in the house (work on banquet stuff, take a nap, vacuum, fold some clothes). I had a couple of graduation parties to attend but I think I'm going to call and send my best wishes instead.

I'm not worried about me getting sick, I'm just worried that Rick will catch it from me. If he's sick, he can't take chemo. That sounds stupid. Of course sick people get chemo. That's why they get it, because they're sick. I mean, if he gets a cold or flu and his blood count drops, they won't let him have the chemo until his numbers come back up. That makes more sense. I think!

By the way I'm writing, it sounds like I may also be a little delirious. If I sound like a goof today, please disregard this message. I'll write more tomorrow when I'm feeling better (or smarter).

Love you more than all the blogs I've written,
Dream Big ~ Dor

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Blog 101

I've been sitting on the floor of the computer room assembling silverware in a napkin and tying it with a ribbon for a banquet on Tuesday night. I asked Jake to write the blog tonight since I was already doing a job. He insisted that you don't get on here to learn about his day but rather, mine. So here goes.

I had a take care of Doreen day. I slept in while my boys went outside and worked. After I got cleaned up, I met my friend Cathy in town for a Starbuck's (someone was sitting in our overstuffed chairs...we almost had to use brute strength to get them out of it...but they finally left on their own), I had a semi-pedicure (I had them be very gentle and I only have 7 nails left so it didn't take long), did a little grocery shopping, then came home to get ready for Alyson Piccolo's graduation party. While I was out and about today, my dear friend MaryAnne brought a banana creme pie by the house. I think it's suppose to be for my dad, but we all had to try a piece (just to be sure it wasn't poisonous). It was amazing.

When we got home from the party, I made beef stroganoff for dinner (Jake's 2nd favorite dish, but tonight's version might have been my best ever), then I watched the movie "Queen" while the boys watched the Mariners. As much as I love being the "Queen", the movie didn't do anything for me.

Today when I was at the store I must have run into 10 people I hadn't seen in a long time. It's always nice to hear that they think I'm looking well (even when I'm not) and I think it makes others feel better just to see me in person. We're always more assured that someone is doing well when we can see it with our own eyes. That's why I look in the mirror when I get up in the mornings....I say, "yes is going to be another great day, but please do something with that hair of yours".

Love you more,
Dreaming Big Dor

Friday, June 08, 2007

Sorry :(

It's been a busy couple of days. I'm sorry I didn't write sooner. I keep saying it's going to slow down soon, but WHEN? I only have a few weeks left in the school year so I'm hoping to have a little free time on my hands very soon.

I've attached a photo of Rick and I with my brother-in-law Jeff and our new niece Jacqueline. Jeff is happier than he appears, he just hadn't had much sleep at this point.

We have a couple of graduation parties to attend this weekend, but other than that....we are free to just do nothing. I'm thinking about working outside in my flower beds (unless it starts raining), I need to give the house a little cleaning, but I don't have to iron (since my mom took all my ironing to her house). I didn't even notice my ironing basket was gone until I reached for a shirt out of it, and I found it missing. I put up a little fight, then I thought, "ok, if it makes my mom happy to do my ironing...I'd better let her do it". So thanks mom. You're the best! How do you feel about windows? Just kidding :)

We were at my brother-in-law and sister-in-laws house tonight visiting when we starting talking about our trip to the Dakotas. I discovered tonight that cancer can be a lot like going to the Dakotas..... The trip is long. The road isn't always smooth. It's not necessarily a vacation you signed up for. But if you take the right people with you on the journey, you'll still have a memorable time. I'm going to have fun this summer no matter where I'm at (or what insect is nibbling at my skin - if I'm really lucky, it will be Rick nibbling at it) Ok, enough dirty talk.

Pam got great results from the doctor today about her Boob problems. She meets with the radiation oncologist next week and hopefully gets to start right away with her treatments.
Rick is feeling better each day. He's still burping chemo which he says is disgusting, but he's happy that's all that he's dealing with. My "shingle" ache is under control. It only really bothers me when I slow down too much and start to think about it. If I stay busy, I can work through the pain. Most of the time I try to ignore it.

I think it's time for me to head off to Dreamland.

Oh, before I go, I bought some tickets to see Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband (Dream Big) in Ballard at the Tractor Tavern on June 21st (it's a Thursday night). It's chemo week for Rick so he might not feel up to it, and Amy might be going to Atlanta, so I might have a few extra tickets. I would love to put you on the list if you're at all interested. Let me know.

When you laugh, be sure to laugh out loud.

Dream Big,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

News from the Schmitt House

Just a little health update. Rick had a rough night last night. He didn't sleep well and kept belching chemo. I guess the taste of toxins isn't something I want to put in my recipe book. I went to work (a little late) after I got Rick some anti- nausea medicine and some sleeping pills. I called at 2:00 to see how he was feeling and I woke him up. He was feeling a little better but not great. He was glad I called however, because otherwise he wouldn't sleep again tonight. Once he has the chemo pump removed tomorrow, he'll start back on the road to recovery. He only has one more treatment until he takes a little break. I told him yesterday that if he's going to take a break to get more energy, I want him to remember it is not so he can do more work around the property or over at his dad's farm. I want him feeling rested once he starts back with the chemo, not worn out from excess work. It's hard for him to understand that because he is such a hard worker. Feeling sick hasn't been near as painful for Rick as his lack of energy.

Apparently shingle symptoms can reappear at anytime. I think I may have overdone it recently, because I woke up this morning feeling the shingle ache again. When will this madness end? Just kidding. I can deal with a little pain now and then, it reminds me I'm ALIVE.

I've received some of the nicest letters or notes about inspiration, since the Relay. Everyone deals with cancer or other types of life threatening disease a little differently. Apparently, the way I've announced it to the world has inspired others to share their story. I think if you have others to share it with, the burden seems so much lighter. I hope I can continue to inspire others for another 20 years.

I'm attaching a photo of the girls and I that was taken at the Friendship and Chocolate event and a photo of the 3 of our kids this past weekend after the Relay. Gosh, we have beautiful children. (I might be a little biased)

Love you more than strawberries love shortcake.

P.S. Congratulations Carlson family. Karen and Terry are 1st time grandparents. Hey, didn't we graduate with each other? Can you be that old? Enjoy that baby boy. He's a lucky one:)

Dream Big,

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I'm a new Auntie

Today was chemo day and so far everything has turned out pretty good. Rick is exhausted as usual, but not feeling nauseous or any other discomfort. He had leg cramps during the treatment (they're not sure why that happens for him, but he's suppose to start drinking tonic water... without the gin - it's suppose to help with the cramping)

We had an added little excitement this afternoon when Baby Jacqueline joined the family. I'm not exaggerating when I say she has more hair than I do. She weighs 8 lbs.10 oz and is a cutie patootie. Her Mommy is doing well. She's just resting before they make her go home and start doing housework. Her daddy is doing great too. He just gets to hold her and promise her nice things when she grows up (as long as she doesn't talk to boys).

Our bodies are starting to feel better after the long weekend, Thank goodness! Now if I could get my house cleaned, yard work done, and clothes ironed I might feel like I'm back to normal.

By the way...Cancer Sucks!

Have I told you lately that I love you more than all the socks lost in the dryer?

Dream Big,

Monday, June 04, 2007

Blah, Blah, Blog

It was about a year ago this time that I talked about how bittersweet it is to finish out the year at school. I look forward to the time off from the hectic office, but I never know where those months will take us, physically. I can guarantee we're going to have a great summer.

This summer we might take Rick's Dad back to the town he grew up in, in the Dakotas. I've agreed to go along as long as they'll take me to Disneyland, Mt. Rushmore, Sturgis (the motorcycle town), Disneyland, and buy me some jewelry in the Black Hills. Honestly, I have no idea where any of these places are in conjunction with the town we're going to, but if I act really sweet and promise to drive every once in a while, I'm sure they'll cooperate.

I've heard nothing but positive comments from people these past couple of days, about the Relay. It was AMAZING. Now, we'll take a little time off to recoup then start again in September. Oh, my feet hurt already just thinking about it!

I'm going to be a new AUNTIE tomorrow. Jeff and Dawn are having girl #2. I had a dream a few nights ago that it was a boy with red hair, but Dawn assures me I'm wrong. We'll see. :) I'm not sure if my niece Darlena is willing to share me with some "newbie". I have enough love to share with both of these sweeties, so I'll make it work.

When I spoke this weekend at the opening ceremonies, my speech was how cancer is a lot like the game of baseball. I've been asked to share it online, so I might just do that tomorrow.

Love you more than all the graduates with SENIOR-ITIS!

Dream Big, Doreen

Sunday, June 03, 2007

We made it!

Ok. We're alive and kicking at the Schmitt house. I'm hurting in spots I didn't know I had. We got home around 2:30 yesterday afternoon. I took a soaking bath then layed down for a few hours. Our friends were here from Spokane so we all had dinner at Dave and Val's. Didn't get home until 11:15pm, so even after a good night's rest, I still feel drained.

We've posted lots of photos on
To see them ~ go to:
password: superman

Then view Relay '07 and enjoy! We'll keep posting photos as we get them. If you have any you would like to share, please feel free to upload yours to this site. Thanks!

Here are the highlights of the event (as I can remember)

Top money raisers: Women - Angie Schmitt - over $6,000
Men - Bill Gum - over $2,000
Youth - Lauren Hansen - $250
Team - Doreen's Dream Team - Over $19,000
Rick and Doreen's Dandies - over $10,000
Crystal Titus walked 131 laps (one more than last year)
Karen Hushagen walked 132 (one more than Crystal Titus...ouch that hurts)
3 boys (not sure of their names) walked/ran over 160 laps
32 teams made over $1,000. (last we we only had 30 teams in the whole event...this year we had more than that raising big money)
Beautiful weather
Wonderful prizes (I won the pajama lap...It was a fleece Mariner blanket)
Great friends
Lots of people
Good Food
A whole bunch of laughing

If this doesn't have success written all over it, I'm not sure what does!

Rick starts chemo again this week. We have the next two chemo treatments scheduled, then we don't know what Rick will do. He might take a little break. Let his body heal. See if any major changes happen.

I'm getting a little loopy right now, so I'd better sign off.

Love you more than hummingbirds loves sugar water.

Dream Big,

Saturday, June 02, 2007


That's all I can say about this weekend. I just got home and I have so much to tell you. I'm just so exhausted that you'll all have to wait until I wake up. A sneak peek of the event...
Over $157,000 raised. Our goal was $102,000.

I am so proud...I have an amazing family and my friends are top notch. Jana Shaughnessy (the Real Estate guru) is now one of my new best friends and I promised to mention her regularly in the blog. She is a breast cancer survivor (her diagnosis was one day after mine) and we make each other laugh. As a matter of fact, when I think of all my friends...that is one of the best things about all of them...We laugh together (as much as possible).

Ok, I'm going now, I promise.

Hugs, Dor