Sunday, October 21, 2007

Here's the scoop ....

Photos: Bonnie and Family; Rick relaxing at our "table"; Tony and Bonnie in their kitchen; Me, Lisa (my new friend), and Bonnie at the party

I feel very fortunate to have wonderful, amazing, funny friends and family whom I surround myself with on a daily basis. Tonight however, I'm sad. I always talk about Bonnie, but what I haven't talked about it her family. These past couple of days I've had the chance to spend some quality, silly times with them, and if I didn't know better I would guess we were related. I miss them already and I can't wait for the rest of our family to get to know and love them like we do.

Bonnie’s family holds a place in my heart that I can’t explain. Sheila (her assistant who takes care of everyone), her children (whom I would be proud to be their Auntie), and the grandchildren (who are all adorable and they already like me) husband Tony, who is funny, and caring, and generous…and then Bonnie, my hero – This group of people will forever be attached to me (whether they like it or not). Bonnie has an amazing life, and still takes the time to let us in. We laugh at the same things. We both have a passion for our families. The best thing that every happened to me because of lung cancer was Bonnie J. Addario. Remember that name. She is the Susan G. Komen of Lung Cancer. She will and is changing the face of "you know what"…

Someday, when you’re at the grocery store buying cough drops during the month of November there will be a pink and green ribbon on the package with “lung cancer matters too” written on the front of the packaging. (That was just an example...don’t think we’re stopping at cough drops). Proceeds will go to a foundation that understands what the world of lung cancer is missing. Awareness and screenings. The very things that have changed breast cancer survival rates are the things we are missing. Very few people know that it is the #1 cancer killer (for both men and women), people are unaware that you don’t have to smoke to get lung cancer. Most of us are oblivious that the 5 year survival rate for cancer has improved from 13% to 15% in the past 30 years. In my short time as a member of this community of lung cancer patients, I’ve already seen a change and I'm happy to be a part of it!

Now, let me tell you about our past few days. Rick and I left early Wednesday morning on a road trip (with only a few people knowing were going). We stopped in Redding, CA on Wednesday night, then got into San Francisco Thursday early afternoon. Bonnie’s party wasn’t until Thursday night, so we checked into our hotel (which was spectacular), Rick took a nap, Sheila and I walked to Union Square and did a little shopping. After shopping, I went back to the hotel to get ready. Sheila was picking us up around 7:00pm. Since I had the time, I soaked in the marble tub, with the luscious bath gel that was provided and watched the bathroom flat screen TV to waste a little time. Once I came back to reality, I got out of the tub and and tried to get pretty (I guess I should have skipped the soak in the tub and worked on the pretty a little longer:) Rick, like most guys, took a shower, dressed and got ready to go in about 10 minutes.

The party was at place called the Supper Club. There are no tables and chairs, only walls of beds, fluffy pillows, and tray tables. (I’m attaching a photo) Bonnie’s family had reserved the entire club for her party so everyone there (80+ people) were there for the party! The food was a piece of art. We were served a 5 course meal over a 3 hour period. Different entertainment was supplied all evening, from a special song dedication to Bonnie, an acappella singing group, to an acrobat who preformed above our heads. We met many of Bonnie and Tony’s friends (many who already felt like they knew us because Bonnie has them all reading my blog). Oh, and don’t forget about the massages that we also got sometime during the evening.

Friday we had a nice lunch with Tony and Bonnie at Rockaway Beach then spent the night at their home. It's beautiful. Their kids all came over for Wii and appetizers (I talked Bonnie into getting a was a hit). We were going to order Chinese food but by the time we were done grazing, who wanted to eat anything else?

I’m looking forward to attending the Gala in November because this time we’ll really feel like we belong. I’m excited for them all to meet our children as well.

In closing, at Bonnie’s party I had a chance to visit with her amazing doctor, David Jablons. He knows about my case, and asked if my oncologist had suggested adding another drug in conjunction with the Tarceva since it’s no longer doing exactly what it’s suppose to do. He says it’s a fairly new concept, but he thinks I would benefit from it. I have an appointment on Wednesday, so I’ll be asking Dr. Eaton what he thinks. Dr. Jablons also gave me the name of a Dr. at Swedish Hospital in Seattle who is doing a study on Bronichioalveolar Carcinoma (my kind) and he thinks I should speak with him as well. If you want to survive in this crazy world, you need to check out all possibilities.

Rick has chemo on Tuesday and we have lots to share with his doctor. This past week (when we thought his body would feel the best) has been his worst week ever. Besides the pain in his feet, mouth sores, and tooth ache, he has had a terrible pain in his belly. We’ve been on the phone with his doctor in Seattle (I thought we might even need to take him to the emergency room) and they’ll give him a thorough exam when they seem him this week.

Very glad to be home doing my laundry, but bittersweet leaving Bonnie and the gang ☺

Dreaming Big,

1 comment:

Debi said...

Hi Doreen. We miss you too!!! We were so happy that we were able to spend time with you this weekend and cannot wait to do it again soon! You all are definitely part of the family... :) We also need some more "schooling" on the Wii. ;) We hope you and Rick are relaxing at home and that Rick feels better.
Miss you and xoxo,
Debi & Jared