Sunday, June 29, 2008

What a great day!

This morning, our out of town guests arrived. Nancy Lee Grahn (from General Hospital), her daughter and a good friend of the family, Gillian (also known as the video girl) came to stay for 3 days. Amy picked them up at the airport and brought them to our house. I'm very happy they came to visit but I was hoping that our house in the middle of the country wouldn't disappoint these city folks from LA. The truth is, they haven't stopped talking about how comfortable they are and how much they love being here. Today we went to Camano Island and played at the beach for a little while, went to lunch and just talked about our lives. Tonight we barbecued steaks, had spinach/strawberry salad and ate on the deck. I hated to admit that we only get about 10 of these days per summer so enjoy it while it's here.

Nancy said part of her reason for coming to visit us was purely selfish. She needed to feel motivated about life and she knew she could get that from us. What a wonderful compliment. She is planning on making a web video for her site regarding our family. She has a really big fan base and likes to give them stories that will touch their lives.

Rick has been a work-a-holic these past few days. I thought he was done weed whacking yesterday, but he got up again this morning and worked for a couple more hours. I wish he would slow down, but he gets instant gratification from working in the yard and when he's feeling well enough to do it, he wants to get it done.

Tomorrow will be another fun-filled day. We're talking about going to a movie (Wall-E), then maybe to Pam's house and hang out at the lake.

Angie gets home from Desert Aire tomorrow (she's been over there since Thursday soaking up the sun and heat waves - I think it was over 100 degrees yesterday and today). She brought our couch and loveseat over to the house. She saw that our neighbor Steve was around so he helped her bring all the furniture into the house so we wouldn't have to. What wonderful neighbors we have. Now, the next time we head over, it will be all ready to go. I'm so glad Angie suggested taking it over for us ~ What a help that was.

Amy leaves for a little trip to New York in the next few days. She has always wanted to go and what better time than the present? She's going to see the musical Hairspray and visit the Statue of Liberty along with the many other things she has on her to do list. Except for a little humidity, she's going to have a wonderful time.

Megan will be joining us for dinner tomorrow night. We haven't seen her in a while and since Nancy and Kate are up, we thought it would be nice for her to join us for a little fun. Megan (along with all the other kids) had a chance to spend some time with Nancy and her daughter at the Lung Cancer Gala last year in San Francisco so I know they would all like to see one another again.

Hopefully, Angie will be back in time to have dinner with us as well. If not, she will be going to Seattle with us on Tuesday and playing around in the city until we have to bring our guest to the airport.

I'm attaching photos from today. Enjoy!

Dreaming Big (with a little sweat dripping down my neck)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Wedding Weekend

It’s been a busy couple of days helping with Anna’s wedding and visiting with house guests. It was really fun to spend time with my high school buddy Kathi and her daughter Heidi. They are so funny (and a lot like me…you can’t help but love them).

The wedding today was beautiful. The ceremony was so genuine and personal. (I took a few notes…even though I’m only the mother of the groom, I’m always looking for things I can share with Megan and her mom)

I’ve attached a photo of the brides parents with Rick and I. We’ve been friends for over 35 years…ugh. How can that be? We don’t look old enough. Or do we? The 4 of us used to get ourselves in lots of trouble. Thank goodness we've outgrown that.

Yesterday while I was decorating for the reception, I got a call from Seattle Cancer Care regarding my appointment on Tuesday. It seems the new spine doctor I've been referred to quit the clinic on Tuesday. Now, they are frantically finding a new doctor for me to see. I'm reminding myself that patience is a virtue.

Rick has been feeling really good the past few days. When I got up this morning, he was outside cutting the grass and weed eating. I’m sure he’s tired after all that work and our long day at the wedding (we went to Reid and Cathy’s house after the reception for a continued party)

I’ve got more guests coming in tomorrow from LA, so I’d better get some rest so I’ll be ready to play again. There's nothing worse than a tired hostess (except maybe cancer!).

Dreaming Big ~ Dor

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Live in the moment

"Live in the moment". That's going to be my new motto. Sometimes we worry too much about what might happen, or what should happen, or could happen down the road. Instead, I think we all need to spend a little more time appreciating the here and now, friendships, family, a good book, laughing until we wet out pants (ok, maybe that just happens to me).

I have really good intentions to clean the house and get ready for my weekend guests but I keep finding more exciting things to do so I put house work on the back burner. My dear friend from high school, Kathi (and her daughter Heidi) are coming to spend the night tomorrow night so we can go to our other friends daughters wedding on Saturday. Then Sunday, my dear friend, Nancy (from General Hospital) and her daughter Kate are coming to spend a couple of days with us. It will be a busy weekend, but so worth it.

Rick got disconnected from his chemo today and is still feeling pretty good. I'm so thrilled that he didn't get sick this time around. Now we need to keep him healthy and get my hip to start feeling better. If we could accomplish that....we'd be in good shape.

Jake had 2 job interviews today for 3 different teaching jobs here in Stanwood. He is very excited about all of them. I'll let you know how it all went after everything gets decided.

I've got another busy day ahead of me tomorrow so I'd better call it a night.

Dreaming Big,

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Successful Chemo

Rick had a much better time today with chemo than on his last visit. No nausea or any of the other great side effects that come with the price of life. (he just woke up while I was writing this and he does have a little upset stomach...however, nurse Doreen just got him some medicine and he's already fallen back to sleep). Do you think I could get "nurse of the year" even if I'm not officially a nurse.

At my appointment with the orthopedic doctor, I learned that I have a compressed nerve in my spine (most likely they say from if I could quit coughing all my problems would be solved). He also showed me my MRI and there is a round shadow about the size of a quarter on my spine. We are not sure what this shadow represents, so I am going to see a spine specialist next Tuesday. What's another week with a pain in my butt?

My father in law had an appointment today regarding the leaky valve in his heart. Although the best case scenario would be to do open heart surgery to repair it, he isn't really a very good candidate. So, for now he is going to continue taking his meds, use his oxygen and take it easy. I hope if I make it to 83 years old that I will still have a passion for life that outweighs the consequences of the risks of surgery. Although Rick's dad hasn't decided what he wants to do, he still has the option to meet with the heart surgeon to talk about choices.

Life brings so many challenges to all of us. Sometimes, I just wish they didn't all come at the same time.

Good Night, Sweet Dreams~

Monday, June 23, 2008

Mess Around Monday

After weeks of wild, crazy, madness (I may have exaggerated a bit) I was invited to join my friend Cathy and her daughter Anna for a laid back afternoon having ice cream and talking about wedding plans. (Anna gets married this weekend) We really did have a nice time and before we
knew it, we'd been gone over 4 hours. Oops, no work got done today.

Once chemo is done tomorrow (and Rick is feeling good - positive thinking) we are heading back to Everett to meet his siblings and taking his dad to his cardiologist. Hopefully they have a plan to repair the leak in his heart valve. He hates taking pills, but I can't imagine that heart surgery would be a pleasant option. We'll just have to wait and see.

Rick sounds anxious tonight about tomorrows plans. He had such a bad experience last time that his mind can't let go of that. He's had 3 full weeks off from his last treatment and I think he'll do fine. His body has recovered, his counts should all be great, and he seems rested and ready to take on the fight again. Oh, and I like to believe only the best will happen.

I'm hoping for some direction from the orthopedic doctor tomorrow. I've had every test available to make sure I don't' have any spreading cancer, now I just want physical therapy, or more massage, or a prescription for a jacuzzi. I'm thrilled that my problem isn't cancer related, but I'll be much happier when I don't have this pain in my rear (literally).

I know it's only 7:30pm, but my lack of sleep is catching up with me. I think I'm going to put my jammies on and get into bed. If I start to read a book or watch some TV, I'll probably be sound asleep in 5 minutes.

Dreaming (soon I hope) Big,

Wide Awake

It's after 3:00am and I'm still awake from the drive home from Eastern Washington. Vickie and I left around 7:30pm tonight and were expected back home by 11:00. (She was such a help painting, sanding, cleaning, and much...much more. I'm going to keep her) After stopping for dinner and a detour (or two) we got home around 11:30pm. I went straight to bed (I was pooped from another long busy weekend) but my mind decided to stay up. So, here I am...on the computer trying to find something witty to say to all of you.

I told Rick when I got home tonight that my next trip to Desert Aire is for relaxation, ONLY. We've put too many hours into hard work the last few times over there. I'm ready to read a book, lay in my new hammock, and enjoy the sunshine.

We have grapes (edible green ones - not the tart red ones for wine) growing all over our new house. I can't wait for them to be ready for the picking. I may have to go over every weekend just to check on them.

It's chemo week again, so keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Rick has blood work tomorrow then chemo on Tuesday. I really hope his body handles it better this time around. I'm going to see an orthopedic doctor while Rick is having his infusion. Oh, the fun times we have at Seattle Cancer Care. Honestly, the care we get in Seattle is worth all the traffic, gas and time we have to encounter.

Love you more than all the sheep I've counted tonight...

Staring into space,

Saturday, June 21, 2008

90 degrees in Desert Aire

I know it's been a few days since you last heard from me, but like I told you on Wednesday, I have a bunch of things going and the blog was not in my top ten. Sorry. This week I celebrated the secretaries birthdays at school, had a doctors appointment, had a year end Relay for Life meeting, a surprise party for my friend Shelly...and now painting.

I picked my sister in law , Vickie up in Everett yesterday and we came to Desert Aire to relax, check out our new home, and paint our newly pressure washed railings. Not only did Vickie and I bake in the sun, but our neighbors Pat and Susie joined us. We finished what we could before we ran out of paint so we called it a day and now we've showered, had a little bite to eat and we're getting ready to explore the surroundings. Vickie has only been here a few times and things change each time we come over.

Tonight is going to be a laid back evening...perhaps a movie, popcorn, some fruity beverage, cozy blankets and pillows on the floor in the living room. (I forgot to mention that we haven't brought our furniture over here it's movie watching on the floor, or Wii at Susie and Pats.

I've got company waiting on me, so I'll try to write more later. If not...don't worry. I've probably just started another odd job.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Good News

The more I use the word STABLE, the more I feel like a horse farmer. :)

CT lung scan results, were: No new tumors, a little growth but otherwise STABLE. No new drugs, no new game plan. No new scares. All good news. Remember...cancer that isn't growing, can't kill you (or me).

I keep thinking that "next week" will finally slow down. But so far, I haven't had one of those weeks in a long time. Is everyone else feeling bombarded with STUFF to do? Sometimes I wish modern technology had never improved. Close your eyes and phone, no computer, no cable tv, bread baking in a wood powered oven, if you needed to get anywhere you hopped on a horse and carriage, you only owned 2 dresses so how much laundry could there possibly be? Oh wait, then my TIVO wouldn't work, when I needed to go anywhere I would constantly smell horse poop, how would I be able to write a blog, I couldn't play Wii, who would be in my FAV 5? Ok, I'm headed back to reality, I guess I do like the modern world I live in. But, simplicity would be nice every once in a while.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.

Dreaming Big,

Monday, June 16, 2008

MRI Results

I ended up getting out of bed around 5:00am and started working on DA house number 1 so I wouldn't wake Rick. I'm happy to say, just as Rick was getting out of bed I was finishing the rest of my duties on house number 2. Don 't get me wrong. I'm not bragging about what a hard worker I am, or how I could do this forever...No, I just meant by the time Rick woke up, he was able to focus on all the stuff he needed to do while I took a shower. Teamwork. You've gotta love

Dr. Eaton called today and told me that no significant tumors were found on my spine, however they did find multiple lesions called hemangiomas. 6 or 7 years ago I hurt my lower back picking something up out of my trunk and when I had an MRI back then, the doctors mentioned seeing lesions back then. They sent me to a neurosurgeon and an oncologist and brushed it off as nothing. It makes me wonder if I should have pushed my concerns way back then. Now I'm not sure if these "things" even have anything to do with my hip/back/butt pain (or cancer for that matter). But, now that we know there are no significant tumors, I'm heading to an orthopedic doc. Hopefully a little physical therapy, walking and stretching will ease the pain. I'm also hoping they learn a little more about what these lesions are doing on my spine, if anything.

Tomorrow I'm going in for my monthly (or every 2 month) lung CT scan. I'm suppose to get the results on Wednesday morning, but at $4.50 for a gallon of gas, I'd rather play around in Seattle and come back to the Cancer Care later in the day for results. Dr. Eaton will be in meetings in the morning but said he would try to make that happen. My friend Kim will be going with me for moral support and a little fun during our "down time".

Every day Rick gets stronger and stronger. I hope this is a good sign for whats to come during his next round of chemo. I'm so happy when he feels better.

This afternoon when we returned from Eastern Washington, I went to our end of the year birthday celebration for the office secretaries who will be celebrating their birthday's over the summer. We were laughing way too hard within the first 10 minutes of the party. It was the best ab workout I've had in months. Thanks ladies.

Time to get to bed. My day starts early. I'll be in Seattle traffic around 8:30am...I can't least we'll be in the carpool lane. Another, one of the perks of having friends :)

Dreaming Big,

Accomplished Weekend!

The only way to describe how we're all feeling tonight is totally exhausted. Since Saturday morning, Cherry Street in Desert Aire has been a hopping place. Our family, plus Shannon and Melana (and Eric too), painted, moved, repaired, vacuumed, painted some more, cleaned, pressure washed, and organized both houses (oh, and did I mention, painted?) Something I've failed to mention...We are an instant gratification family. We like to see results...yesterday. So, until the entire job was complete, it was hard to slow down. I kept getting mad at the kids telling them they needed a break enjoy the sun. They said "when we're finished". I wonder where they got that attitude? Honestly, what the kids and Shannon, Melana and Eric did for us this weekend would have taken us all summer to accomplish. I hope once we've settled into our new place, they will all spend some time here playing golf, tennis, pool, horseshoes, swimming, and soaking up some sun (with sunscreen of course). I think that will be the greatest payback we can give them. Oh, and a million dollars each, but the probability of that happening isn't good.

There was still so much sorting and cleaning to do that Rick and I didn't come back with everyone else. We're still at Desert Aire and hope to be home early afternoon on Monday. We are really going to enjoy the little move we made. I wish you could all spend the weekend with me (well not all at one time). It's bigger, just not that big.

One great thing about this move is our wireless internet just got better. We don't have cable or phone service over here (hence, the relaxation) but this 100ft move got us closer to our friends wireless internet and they are more than happy to let us use their connection. I'm more than happy to use it as well.

It is 2:21 on Sunday night (Monday morning) and as tired as I am...I can't sleep. Maybe it's all the excitement, or the quiet. Whatever the reason, it just gave me a window of opportunity to let you know how things are going.

We took a break tonight after dinner and visited a friend (Barb) who is building a house over here. Her brother and his wife purchased a home earlier this year, on the water. Barb's house is going to be beautiful (it should be done in August). As we walked around to see the progress, she kept telling Rick "this is your wife's fault. We wouldn't have even known about this place if not for her." I love it when I can share a little joy with others.

I'm going to crawl back into bed and count sheep, or tumbleweed... Hopefully, I'll get a little shut eye before it's time to wake up.

Wide Awake with a DREAM in my heart....

Friday, June 13, 2008

Congrats Graduates!

Cancer that isn’t growing can’t kill you. That’s how we stay satisfied with the word “stable”. At Rick’s appointment today we were hoping to hear news that the chemo had been working extra hard to kill the cancer (which is why he got so sick last time). Instead, we learned that there were no changes. Being the cry baby that I’ve been lately, I found myself sobbing in the exam room. In my head I knew that stable was a good thing, but my heart wanted so much more. I want happy endings. I want to see lights at the end of the tunnel. I want dessert after dinner.

Rick is feeling better every day so they are giving him one extra week off and he’ll start back with the chemo on June 24th.

Hopefully we’ll learn something new from my MRI today. I won’t hear back from a doctor until next week but, cancer is taking a break from our family this weekend anyway. We’ve headed over to the Desert to check out the new house.

Last night we were trying to decide what we were going bring from home to put in the new DA house and we realized we’ve only been inside it for about 5 minutes. We hardly remember what it looks likes so we thought we better check it out before we start dragging things over the mountain.

The weather is supposed to be fabulous this weekend and I’m looking forward to the sun. Hopefully the sun cooperated in Stanwood as well as it was graduation tonight and there’s nothing worse on graduation night than soggy caps, gowns and graduates.

I’ll write more this weekend.

Love you more than graduates love their diploma.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A penny for my tears...

Rick had a scan yesterday, however, we won't know any results until Friday afternoon. I'm having an MRI of my spine before his appointment to look for anything unusual that might be aggraviting my hip. If they can't find the culprit there, perhaps they should look in my head...maybe that's where my problem is stemming from.

When the scheduler called today to talk to me about our appointments, she said "is everything ok?" at which point I broke down and started crying like a baby. She was so kind to me and said, "I often wonder how the 2 of you keep it all together when I see you. It's nice to know you're normal." I apologized for the next 10 minutes all the while she kept assuring me that my feelings are expected.

Amy stopped by tonight and stayed to have dinner. I invited Angie over as well, but she's been eating spaghetti (which is what I made) for the past 3 days for lunch (her leftovers). It was nice to see Rick's appitite back to normal tonight. He went back for seconds... and thirds. I'm embarrassed to say it, but I actually cried when I saw him eating like that. Gosh, I'm such a baby today.

We became official owners of Desert Aire Dos. That's what I've named house number 2. We are going to paint this weekend (I'm saying we, but it might be everyone else actually doing the work and I'll just boss them around). I don't think my hip can handle a lot of movement. I'm actually concerned about how it will feel just sitting in the car on the way over there.

Well, I should get off of the computer and get some stuff done around here. I should also drink some water because I'm probably dehydrated from all of the crying I've done today.

Dream Big-

Monday, June 09, 2008

Massage Monday :)

I started my day out with a massage. Though it was wonderful while I was having it, my hip has been giving me a fit all afternoon. I broke down and called Dr. Eaton to report that I was still whining about the same problem. Though we know it's not a tumor, we don't know what is causing the intense pain. Dr. Eaton is bringing my MRI and CT scan to an orthopedic colleague of his tomorrow at the UW to see if he has any suggestions. I have a suggestion...figure it out!

Tomorrow was supposed to be chemo day, but instead it's going to be CT scan day for Rick. We'll find the results out on Friday. Let's just pray that the chemo has been working and we can go back to the same routine he's been on. I'm hoping to go with him, but I'm not sure how I'll be in the car. We'll just play it by ear.

My dear friend Cindy who made the silver bracelets as a fund raiser for Relay, was happy to report to me that she is donating over $2,000. She ended up making 81 bracelets. What a thoughtful gesture on her part.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my new computer? It's so fast, and smart, and cute. All the things a girl wants from her computer. :)

Ready to get under the covers and start Dreaming Big,

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Fabulous Weekend

From the moment I got up early yesterday morning until I went to bed late last night I felt happiness running through my heart. We spent the morning at a Jr. Livestock Auction (where Rick bought a herd of cattle) as kids and their parents saw their dedication and hard work pay off. We arrived back home in time for me to freshen up and meet Janeen for our first Relay adventure of the day. At Oak Harbor I spoke at their closing ceremony. When I first arrived at the stadium, I was greeted by someone saying "Doreen, Doreen". As I turned around it was JoAnn Wichers an athletic secretary from Oak Harbor. We walked a couple of laps and talked about old times in the athletic world. She's one of the many people I miss now that I'm not at my job.

Janeeen and I left Oak Harbor and stopped for a little lunch then headed to the Burlington Relay. What a classy, amazing event that was. Clearly, Burlington has an incredible group of people working together for one great cause. We got some great ideas from them them that we are sure to "borrow" for our event next year. We returned just in time for me to get in the car, pick up Angie and head to West Seattle for the Highline event. They hold their event at a beautiful stadium and I spoke right before the luminaria lap. It was a powerful way to start the lap to honor those we've lost and those still fighting the battle. Amy and a fellow officer joined us at the event (since they were at drill in Tacoma). We had a wonderful time but didn't leave the event until we were very tired. We planned on getting up this morning and helping with the clean up at Burlington but we all slept through the alarm. (Sorry Burlington)

When I was first asked to speak at these events I thought, "what if I'm too tired, or what will I have to say", but I am so glad they asked because it brought me so much joy to share our story if it helped motivate others.

Who would have thought that the most rewarding job I would ever have, would be the one I volunteered to do that doesn't pay anything, but rather fills my heart as full as a bank vault?

This afternoon I've had a couple of meltdowns. Every time I move I'm reminded of my DAMNED HIP. I needed to swear because I think it helps with the pain. I don't usually cry from pain, but I can't stand the limits it's putting on me. I'm sure we'll get the problem figured out soon. Either that, or I'll go crazy and I wont' even know I'm hurting.

I guess I'd better sign off for now since it's dinner time and we don't have a chef.

Please remember to pay your gratitude forward. It's actually more rewarding for you than the recipient.

Keep dreaming big,

I've attached a photo of the girls and I at Highline last night.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Another Busy Day Coming Up

Tomorrow is another very busy day for me. In the morning, I'm going with Rick to the Jr. Livestock Auction where I'll cry, as kids sell their animals to businesses and other sponsors. The kids know that most of the animals (their pets) will likely be in someones freezer in the next couple of weeks. I always get emotional as the kids say good-bye to the animal they've been raising for the past 6 months. I'm not sure why I keep going back...I just can't help it!

Then in the afternoon, I'll be doing the closing ceremony at the Oak Harbor Relay for Life. Janeen is going with me and we'll make a fun afternoon of it. It's also nice to see how other events work. We're planning on stopping by the Burlington Relay to say hello on our way home. Then, I'm meeting Angie and well be heading down to Seattle where I'll be speaking for the Highline Relay. Honestly, after this busy weekend...I'm taking it easy.

The sad part about the day is that I'll be missing my little niece's 1st birthday party. The good part is, she won't remember I wasn't there and I'll do my best to be around for many more birthday celebrations. Out of the 5 of us, Rick is the only one who'll be going to the party. The other 4 have prior commitments. This family needs to slow down :)

I'm making an old German dish called Kase Knoefla for the birthday party tomorrow. I know Rick and his dad will be happy to eat it. Angie and I will probably have burgers and milkshakes at Dick's...and call it dinner our way through Seattle.

Because the night will be so late, I won't be writing a blog tomorrow. You'll hear from me on Sunday and I'll let you know how everything went. Unless, I'm sleeping all day. Then you'll hear from me on Monday.

I'm not sure what's going on with me lately, but I fell asleep around 5:00 today and I didn't wake up until 7:30. Thank goodness Jake ordered pizza for he and Rick for dinner since I slept right through it. I think the hip and the cough are taking their toll on me. Perhaps, I need a week at Desert Aire in the sun, having that sounds like a remedy I could use.

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Happy Thursday

Rick's dad had a TEE today (an echo cardiogram from inside his body) to see what is happening with his leaky heart valve. Well, it it's leakier that they suspected so we have an appointment the end of the month to discuss possible options for him. Open heart surgery is the way to fix this problem, but the doctor isn't sure his body is strong enough to handle that procedure. The medicines he's taking are helping to keep his heart rate stable. He is feeling better than he has in weeks so for now we're just hoping the medicines keep doing their job.

I thought this week would be so much easier than the past couple of months. Who was I kidding? This week has been as wild as ever... Besides all the other things I've been doing, I'm speaking at 2 different relays this weekend and really looking forward to it. I have decided however, that next week my answer to everything is going to be NO. (I'll believe it when I see it)

I'm heading to bed now to put a heating pad on my hip. How romantic does that sound?

Keep dreaming BIG,

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Change of Plans

Next week was supposed to be chemo time for Rick. Today we talked with his oncologist and we're postponing it at least a week until he starts feeling better. Quality of life is important and as a cancer patient you get to be in charge of your own destiny. I've been noticing lately that Rick is a little disoriented and quiet. We talked about it tonight and we know it's chemo brain, but it's still a little scary so he wants to take a break and recover. I don't blame him. Next week he'll have a scan instead to make sure the treatment is working as planned.

Rick and I went to Everett today to have his shoulder re-evaluated. It's getting better (slowly) but at least he's making progress. More physical therapy. More exercises at home. When we got out of the car today to go to the orthopedic surgeon, I looked like the gimpy one (limping on my bad hip while moaning). It was a pretty sight. Maybe I'm just having sympathy pains for him and there's really nothing wrong with my hip?

We sign the paperwork for our new Desert Aire house next week and we'll be the proud owners by Father's Day weekend. I'm already getting excited to paint (not that it needs it, I just have a thing about painting...)

I have so many thank you cards to write, 2 speeches to work on as well as a handful of other jobs I'm suppose to be getting done. I'd better call it a night so I can get started on my other projects.

If you took photos at Relay and would like me to post some, please send them to my e-mail address at:

Love you more than all the money raised this weekend...
Keep dreaming big,

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Photo Album

I try very hard to write a blog every day, but I'm so distracted by LIVING, that I sometimes forget.

Yesterday I had an MRI of my pelvis. I'm happy to say they didn't find any metastasizes in my hip or the surrounding areas. We still don't know what the hip problem IS, but I'm grateful that we know what it ISN'T. Dr. Eaton's nurse Karen reminded me today that just because you have cancer doesn't mean you can't get the measles. Or a herniated disc. Or a bad haircut. Her point...Our body doesn't have a limit to what it gets. It doesn't care if you already have an ailment. So, I guess we'll keep looking for the culprit of the hip pain and be thankful the cancer hasn't spread.

I'm still smiling from my amazing weekend. When I think of all the hard work and effort that goes into any event of this nature, I can't help but ooze with pride for being a part of it!

This weekend I'll be sharing our story at 2 more Relay for Life events. I've been asked to speak at Oak Harbor and Highline. I'm looking forward to seeing some of the people I've met at different American Cancer Society events.

Rick is feeling better, but the fatigue is knocking him down. I'm really hoping that his blood counts come up and his energy level returns before they start the next round of chemo. Sometimes our body needs a little break so it can be re-charged. I know mine does and and I only take a chemo pill (but I play VERY HARD and that wears me out)

I've attached some photos that people have been sending me. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Keep Dreaming Big,

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Wow, what a weekend!

My weekend was one of the best I've ever had. Bonnie, her daughter Andrea, and her granddaughters Bella and Charlotte arrived on Thursday around 7:30 pm. The kids were all her so we talked, laughed, ate, laughed some more, had some red wine and stayed up until midnight so we could celebrate my birthday. It was nice for me to have them at the house visiting because it kept me from spending too much time at the high school stadium getting set up for the Relay. Instead, we had coffee, went on a little tour of Stanwood (which only takes about 10 minutes), visited and rested before it was time to go to the BIG EVENT.

From the moment Jan Schemenauer rode a bicycle onto the track with her wicked witch of the West costume and broom, until the final total was announced on Saturday night we had a spectacular time. I'm a proud mother, wife, friend and committee member. When the final announcements were made, the top five fundraisers came down on the track. 4 of those 5 were Schmitt's. Amy and Rick were the top female and male fundraisers, my sister in law Dawn was second, and Angie came in 4th or 5th. The Dream Team came in as the top fundraising team with just under $25,000. As a community, we have raised over 203,000 dollars. Unbelievable!

Because Friday was also my birthday, the day was magnified with fun. My dear friends, Pam and Shelly had fireworks brought in to help with the celebration. What a delight that was for everyone. It felt like my birthday celebration went on for days. Angie had a beautiful book made for me. It was a book of photos (of my life), then bound and personalized. My friends the McCune's had a amazing gift made for me. It was a framed display of 100 things I love. Things listed on this piece of art, are things like: Taco Tuesdays, my children's names, Rick, my mom and dad, family tattoos, Desert Aire, and so much more. I also got a Chatty Cathy doll. Now, I know you're thinking...Chatty Cathy? Why would anyone want one of those? Especially, someone who is turning 50. But here's the story behind that. When I was 4 years old and my sister was 6, she got up on Christmas morning and opened all her presents and mine because she had asked Santa for a Chatty Cathy. When I awoke, I didn't have anything to unwrap. Over the next few months, my sister's doll broke, so when I wanted to get one, my parents said, no...they don't last long. I was devastated. (well probably not devastated, but it makes the story sound better). I've talked about this story many times and apparently someone heard about it, because on Friday night at the Relay there was a present wrapped for me with a note on it that said "You've been a good girl for many years, love Santa". And, you guessed it...inside was my very own Chatty Cathy. What I don't remember was how creepy she looks. No one has confessed to finding it for me, but I'll get to the bottom it. :) When the Relay was over, we had some friends and family over for a birthday celebration and BBQ. I was so exhausted by the end of the day I didn't know if I would be able to stay awake until my guests went home.

Bob and Dy surprised us from Spokane which was so thoughtful. Yesterday was such a busy day that we didn't' get to see much of them, so tonight we went out for Chinese food and bowling (and LAUGHING). We had a wonderful time. I wasn't sure how my hip would hold out because it's been bothering me so much, but it wasn't too bad and I didn't want to miss out on the fun.

I have an MRI tomorrow morning. My sister in law Vickie is going with me, then she'll want to stop at Dick's for lunch. We'll try to make a fun little day of it and maybe do a little shopping as well.

Rick is feeling much better than he was last week. Hopefully his health will just keep improving so he can continue to do the chemo as planned.

I'm so tired right now I keep nodding off while I'm typing. I promise to write more tomorrow.

Love you more than all the money raised this weekend,