Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bobby and Dy...when I needed them most

After a long busy day of gardening, painting, crying out of the blue on more than one occasion. We were invited to a party at some friends who live in a beautiful adobe house down on the water. We went to the party with our friends and relatives...and had a wonderful time. While we were there, I lost Rick again. No one seemed to know where he had gone, but there were plenty of people watching him so I figured he'd be back soon. Sure enough, before I knew it, I was staring in the face of Bobby and Dy who made the trek to Desert Aire to see us(Rick went to pick them up to surprise me). It couldn't have come at a better time. Their sense of humor and love was just what the doctor ordered to get me out of my SLUMP...

We've been up visiting, watching movies and laughing all morning. Today is going to be a better day, I can feel it already.

The weather is very pleasant today. A little too much wind but the temperature is perfect.

Jake and Megan are going to stop over today on their way back from the Potholes.

Have a safe and very happy Labor Day.

Dreaming Big,


Friday, August 29, 2008

Happy 700th Blog

Can you believe it? 700 times I've blabbered about life as I know it. as I've made up.
I'm over at Desert Aire, sitting at Pat and Susie's wathing the Seahawk game. I'm drinking red wine that I believe has been made here in the Mattawa Valley, enjoying the company of friends and family.

I learned today that my Aunt Janet passed away. (actually, she was my cousin but I've always called her my auntie). As we get older and our families grow, we don't get together as often as usual. When I get back to the West side of the State I plan on stopping at their home and seeing the family. What I learned tonight from her daughter is, Aunt Janet took her grandkids on vacation during the earlier part of August, felt cruddy when she returned, when to the hopsital shortly after she returned home, and died in the hospital. My heart is so sad that I wasn't able to spend some time with her during her last days. I really loved her sense of humor. She will be missed.

I slept the entire ride over the mountain today. After a day full of crying and sleeping I was worn out. Hopefully, after a weekend of relaxing and laughing...I'll be ready to get back to the place we call the "real world".

I'd better go now so I can visit all our company.

P.S. It was a comfortable 92 degrees when we got here today.

Love you lots,

Thursday, August 28, 2008


I've discovered recently that wife-ing, mothering, friend-ing, neighboring and living are all much more important jobs than working. I've done my share of running myself ragged (which should not be confused with running myself "thin") doing all the things that matter most in my life. This afternoon, I ran into a glitch. After celebrating a nice lunch with my friend Kim, I went to Angie's school to help her with some last minute items before school starts next week. She had a little to do list that her mother couldn't screw up so I went to help out. I had been at Jake's school last night until around 8:30 helping him get ready for his open house tonight. During all of this excitement, I offered to cut Angie's hair after we finished at her office. We took a quick trip to her house, I cut her hair all the while I was fighting exhaustion. After the haircut, I apparently laid on Angie's bed and woke up after 6:00pm tonight with a blanket and pillow surrounding me. Angie said I nearly passed out from exhaustion, so she called dad who also agreed I'd been going at full speed ahead lately, so they just let me sleep. In the middle of the day. When I had things to do.

Oh enough rambling. Even after all the sleep I got this afternoon, I'm still very fatigued tonight. This is something new for me. Perhaps I should listen to my body and rest more often. BORING.

Tonight, Rick took me out for dinner and as I looked across the table I couldn't imagine a moment like that with anyone but him. This new chemo cocktail needs to pull through for us. I've learned a great deal about life in these past 28 months. I think I'm due for a break.

Our last few visits over to Desert Aire have been exciting, busy times, with a houseful of people. This weekend it will be just the two of us, a couple of new books, sudoku, some popcorn and movies... and our pajamas (or lounge wear, as I may be calling them if I don't change my clothes)!

Have a fun but CAREFUL Labor Day Weekend. Remember "The trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out as fun".

Love you more,

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Accentuate the Positive

Sometimes we read or hear something that changes the way we view an unfortunate situation. Yesterday was one of those days for me. I have attached the reading that brightened my day. Enjoy!

Accentuate the Positive

Two Physicians were overheard discussing a paper they were to deliver at a national meeting of cancer specialists. One was complaining bitterly. "I don't understand it, Bob. We use the same drugs, the same dosage and the same schedule of treatment. Yet I get a 22% recovery rate and you get a 74% recovery rate. How do you explain that?"

The other responded, "We both use Etoposide, Platinol, Oncovin and Hydroxurea. You tell people you're giving them EPOH. I tell people that I'm giving them HOPE, and I work hard to emphasize that they have a chance."

Are you accentuating the positive in your relationships with others? If not, start now. It makes a difference.

-Norman Cousins, Head First

Dreaming and full of HOPE,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Where's Rick?

You know that feeling you get when your child gets out of your sight in a crowd? Or when you're suppose to meet someone at a certain time and they don't arrive, but you heard a siren and you're sure it had something to do with them not showing up? When your mind wanders with worry as mine sometimes does, a small bump in my road can become a crevice. Like yesterday.

My sister in law Vickie went with Rick and I for his long day of testing. Because Rick had appointments at more than one location, I dropped him off at the University of Washington (so they could get started on his 3 hour PET scan) then Vickie and I parked at SCCA and took the shuttle back to the UW. During those 3 hours, Vickie and I visited, read magazines, played Yahtzee (in the waiting room) all the while I kept checking in at the radiology desk to see how Rick was doing. They assured me that things were fine, and he would be done shortly. Shortly turned into another hour so I had them check on him again. They said he just finished and would be out soon. Another 20 minutes went by and Rick was due over at Seattle Cancer Care for a CT scan. I apologized for annoying the poor staff, but could they please call SCCA and tell them that Rick would be late because he wasn't done yet. After making the call, they paged me to say Rick had been released over an hour ago (at the University of Washington) and was already at SCCA drinking the contrast for his CT scan. ???How could that be. I was the faithful, loving wife sitting in the waiting room worrying that my husband would get to his appointment on time? I was the one who would hold his hand like I always do and check in for the next step of our journey. Apparently not! Instead, they sent Rick out a back door and pointed him in the direction of the shuttle so he could get to the right location for his next appointment. Deep in the dungeon of the University of Washington hospital there is no cell service. So here's what I learned yesterday... love and technology do not always work when you most want them to.

In the end, Vickie and I finally caught a shuttle, found Rick, held his hand the rest of the day so we wouldn't lose him again and made it out of Seattle alive. Once we arrived home, I made a little dinner for Rick and Jake, put my jammies on to relax after my stressful day and I just now woke up (at 5:00am). Apparently, I needed the rest after being on "Rick Alert" all day. We can laugh about it now... Thanks again to Vickie who kept me sane (or as sane as possible) during the Rick search.

In all seriousness (not that I ever am), Rick had blood work, a PET scan, more blood work, CT Scan, and an EKG yesterday. We won't have any test results until next Tuesday when they make their final decision whether he can be in the clinical trial. In the meantime, we're going to have fun, get some work done around the house, hopefully go to Desert Aire for Labor Day, and just keep enjoying life.

Laughter is the best medicine....once I remembered that yesterday, everything went fine.

Dream Big,

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Weekend Update

Got up Friday morning, did some cleaning, waited for Megan to arrive from Seattle, did some shopping in Mt. Vernon, tried on a few Mother of the Groom dresses, went out for dinner with Rick, Jake and Megan. Woke up Saturday, had my nails done, went to a wedding, had a wonderful time, got a good nights sleep, went to the early service of church this morning, drove to Mt. Vernon to try the mother of the groom dress on again (took my neighbor and good friend Lynell along for moral support), ordered the dress, went to lunch. Came home, cleaned and vacuumed out the car, cooked, did laundry, vacuumed the house, dusted, did more laundry, watched a movie and now it's time to go to bed because tomorrow is a very busy day for Rick in Seattle.

The first set of tests begins at 8:00 am at the UW and the last one of the day is at 3:00pm at the Seattle Cancer Care. Rick's sister Vickie is joining me for the day. I need the moral support and love.

I'll write more tomorrow night to let you know how everything went.

Dreaming Big,

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Friday

Today was a nice day as I ran errands, made deliveries of all the items I was giving away. I met up with Megan (the daughter in law to be) and she went to Mt. Vernon with me. Jake met us later, we checked out tuxedos, I tried on dresses for the wedding (and I may have found one).

After our quick trip to Mt. Vernon, we met Rick at Amigo's for a great dinner.

I've found myself a little tearier that usual lately but I think that might be a normal response to the situation at hand. Tomorrow I think we'll go to the sidewalk sale in downtown Stanwood , then head off to a wedding of Jake's high school buddy.

Rick is doing fine. If you didn't now better, you'd think life at the Schmitt house was "just fine".

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Good Evening Friends and Family

Today I purged. In a good way. I went through closets, and drawers, and boxes...then had a fashion show with friends who stopped by. I made them try on clothes that no longer fit (and if they did...they had to take them home)I came to the conclusion that I am who I am and I must be happy with this body. She is alive. I'm not the sickly woman who wore a size 8. As a matter of fact I skipped right by skinny clothes as a kid. I've got a big heart and I need a body that can handle it. Ok, I think I'm done now. Dammit!

With all the emotion that's been running wild around our house, I had a mini melt-down last night that I carried with me throughout the day. I came home after my appointment, thrilled with the results but feeling sad for Rick that he hasn't had those same kind of positive appointments. I know Rick is happy that I'm happy, but I need him to feel the same kind of hope I do. Today, I never got out of my PJ's until Lynell called and asked me to go for a walk. I was more than happy to put on my walking shoes and get some fresh air.

I can't believe that Angie and Jake will be starting school next week. They have been working on their classrooms for weeks now, but they're looking forward to the kids that will be filling their rooms. Angie's school is still working on their contract (I sure hope they don't go on strike again...unless it's necessary) and I believe Stanwood's contract is all settled.

Next Monday will be a day filled with tests, scans, blood work, Pet scans, questionnaires, etc. Once that day is over, I think Rick and I have 5 days in a row without any cancer related meetings, events, or appointments to attend. Maybe we should take a vacation?

I'd better sign off now. It's time to get out there and walk 5 miles of frustration off. I have a lot more than that to work off, but I don't' want to mame my walking partner in the process.

Dreaming with my new walking shoes on,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Anyone for some good news?

We finally received the good news we have been hoping for. Mom is "stable". No new growth. No new spots. I take that back, one spot grew one millimeter. As a family we have agreed that a one millimeter growth every two months is acceptable.... for the next 20 years. No complaints.

There is something small showing up on the scan in one of her lungs which appears to be inflamation. They said it is very small, but it could be the reason she has been coughing more. They gave her some new pills to try and stop the inflamation, but they assured us that it is very minimal and should be gone within a few days.

With the extra coughing and more frequent headaches mom has been having lately, I think we were expecting some change in the scan. We were pleasantly surprised. Keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming our way. They seem to be working.

Smiling again-
The Schmitt's

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Scan Done. Results Tomorrow.

The scan was uneventful today and I had a wonderful afternoon with Cathy. We won't know anything until tomorrow but like I've said a million times (and I never exaggerate), I'm sure everything is fine.

When I arrived home, our freezer was outside the garage on the driveway. Broken. Apparently when Rick got home this afternoon, he noticed the problem and nearly everything was ruined. I was able to save some items that were still frozen solid but it made a terrible mess and I've been cooking all evening. We will be having turkey and steaks for the next couple of days. It too, was only a minor problem in this thing we call "LIFE". was the freezer with the good ice cream bars. They are now "ice cream soup". :)

I'm looking forward to my day tomorrow. Not because I'm going to the Seattle Cancer Care, but because Amy and Angie will be going with me. It's been a while since just the 3 of us girls made the trek. They are such good listeners and question askers. If anything new arises, they will be sure to get all the information before we leave the doctor's office. I'm hoping to take them to lunch when we're through and catch up on their lives.

Dreaming Big and Healthy,

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rainy days and Mondays

Today was another learning day. I swear I could get my Doctorate with just a few more classes. Here's what today brought. We hit a little glitch in the clinical trial area. Rick body has to be clear of all chemotherapy for 6 weeks before he can start this study/trial. His last chemo was on July 22nd so he won't be able to start anything until the first week of September. I'm hoping that the next couple of weeks will be a healing time for him so when experimental stuff starts, his body will be as healthy as possible. So far, Rick is still looking like a good candidate.

This weekend as I played Wii boxing at Desert Aire I noticed for the first time that when I get winded, it takes a long time for my body to recover. I guess since I have lung cancer, that would be a normal occurrence, but I had never noticed it like I did this weekend. Walking doesn't fatigue me, but whenever I do something with lots of cardio I can't get air back into my lungs fast enough. You know what that means? Slow down :)

Tonight I had a wonderful time at my friend Jana's. She invited a bunch of girls (ok, we're women) over for conversation, games, food and friendship. I think we should do that more often. The only problem I see is that we'll need to start earlier in the day, because when you get a bunch of women together...we can talk for hours. The gathering started at 4:00 and I didn't get home until 9:40pm which is why this blog is coming so late.

Tomorrow is scan day for me, and my dear friend Cathy will be going with me to SCCA. We've decided to do a little shopping on the way home if everything goes well. The results come on Wednesday and for the first time ever...I've been thinking of every possible excuse I can come up with to skip these next couple of days all together. As much as I'm sure that I will still be "stable", there is always that "chance". Honestly, I'm still grasping what is going on with Rick and I find that much harder to do than dealing with my own cancer.

I'd better go to bed now. I have a big day ahead of me and I need to do well on my "tests" tomorrow.

Dream Big,

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Holy Heat Wave

Just before we left to come home today, Rick checked the thermometer....109 degrees. Ugh! Oddly enough, we started getting used to it, so by the time I got home tonight and the temp was 65 I almost needed a parka.

We're hoping to hear from Seattle Cancer Care tomorrow the plans for this coming week. The anticipation of what's to come can be overwhelming at times. Just give us dates/times/plans and we'll go where ever you need us.

Here's what I learned as I read the paperwork that Rick signed on Thursday for the clinical trial. He will be one of only 50 people across America and Canada in the study (and only 5 from Seattle Cancer Care). The study is in phase 2 which means it's still fairly new. Let's just hope and pray that Rick can tolerate what this new drug will bring.

Thanks again for all your e-mails and comments on the blog. Your love is like aloe vera on a sunburn....soothing and comforting.

Keep Dreaming Big,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

We're melting....

We're over here at Desert Aire (what I loving refer to as our Heaven on Earth...only today it feels a little more like hell) where the weather is currently 103.3 degrees. We've been sitting around our blow up pool, drinking frozen fruity drinks and enjoying the company. This weekend, Rick's sister Vickie, her husband Tom, Rick's brother Jeff and his wife Dawn and their 2 daughters joined us for a little family bonding. It's nice to be distracted with things that make you happy when the option is to have a bunch of idle time to worry.

This afternoon, back on the coast, Amy, Angie, Jake, Shannon, Melana and Megan are all going to the Seahawk game. It's nice when the kids can just get together, laugh, play, enjoy the things they used to do B.C. (before cancer).

I'd better go visit my guests.

Love you more than all the beads of sweat running down my forehead.

Dreaming HOT and Big,

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I've gathered my thoughts and here they are!

Here I am in front of the computer hoping to find deep and meaningful words to share with all of you about hope and courage. It may take a while to come up with some, but I'll keep working on it until I muster something up.

Here is what we know: Rick's chemo is no longer working. The cancer is spreading in his liver and the tumors are all getting bigger. The next step is to try a drug combination which includes a drug called Erbitux (it has some nasty side effects...but if it gives him quantity and quality of life I think he'll try it) Before they try that drug however, they have to check his DNA to see if he is a good candidate. (They need to look for a certain gene) In the meantime, he is a good candidate (they think) for a clinical trial. Dr. Whiting says they'll move quickly on this leg of the journey which will include a PET scan, blood work, DNA testing, EKG and drawing straws. Rick won't know until we get a little further into the clinical trial if he will be one of the 25% who has to have chemo one last time before the trial begins, or if he can forge ahead and start the trial next week. We hope to have some answers about the timeline of this trial by tomorrow.

All of this is so surreal to me because when I look at Rick he seems healthy, he's still working, and mowing the lawns (when Jake doesn't get to them first). After the initial prognosis today, Rick got very quiet. However, as I looked into his eyes I could see his mind working harder than ever. He wants to make sure that everything is "taken" care of. He's the provider. Only now, he's uncertain about his future, the unknown, the "new stuff". Lucky for him, he has me to hold his hand, be inappropriate at all the right times, make him laugh, snuggle with him when he's not feeling well. Love is an amazing medicine. I'm going to start doubling up on his dose.

With all of this new information to digest, I'm not ready to go for my scans and results next week. I'm feeling good and I don't anticipate any changes, but we NEVER do. Let's hope after a fun weekend at Desert Aire that we'll be refreshed and recharged to take on whatever our new battles are.

Thanks again for all your love and support. Our lives are so much richer knowing that we have so much love coming our way.

Dreaming BIGGER than EVER!

Blog #688.... is not that great.

It is not a good day for the Schmitt family. Rick's scan results were not what we were hoping for. All of the cancer spots have grown and there are new spots as well. He will likely stop his chemo and begin a clinical trial. Everything seems to be moving in slow motion for us right now so please bear with us as we digest the lastest news. We will come up with a plan and write more later. In the mean time, please keep our family in your thoughts.

One day at a time-
The Schmitt's

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Janeen

Today was my buddy Janeen's 55th birthday (she still looks smokin' hot) so we celebrated by spending the day at Pam's house on the lake. We had ate, laughed, went boating, ate a little more, had birthday cake then called it a night. I love spending time with my friends. It really is good medicine. Angie spent the day with us at Pam's as well. Sometimes I think she looks at me and wonders???who is the parent and who is the child??? I know she loves me even when I'm goofy. :)

After I got back from Pam's I called my favorite walker and dear friend Lynell and we went for an evening stroll. Last week we didn't miss a day, and this week we hadn't been once. It felt so good to get back out on the pavement again. I am so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life.

We get results tomorrow from the scan Rick had on Tuesday. Angie is going to meet us down there, Amy will be joining us next week for my results. Jake might join us next week as well.
After the doctor's visit, we are hightailing it over to Desert Aire for a fun filled weekend. Rick's sister Vickie and her husband will join us after work on Friday. It always proves to be silly when Vickie and I get together.

I'm very tired tonight and I'm not done packing for our weekend, so until tomorrow (someone will write on the blog as soon as we get a chance - I promise) Keep Dreaming Big,


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Waiting for Results

Scan day was pretty uneventful. We arrived in Seattle at 7:30 this morning where Rick had blood work done then had to drink 2 bottles of icky tasting contrast before his CT scan. Like usual, he tried to get me to drink some of it (no such luck). Rick's scans are always with a contrast so they can measure the growth (or shrinkage) of his tumors better. Oh, how I wish I didn't know about all this stuff! No results until Thursday. I'll let you soon as I hear something.

I booked my flight tonight for the Relay for Life Summit in Reno this year. Because I have a team that raised over $20,000, I've been invited to this special event (as a top fundraiser in our region). I'm excited to meet the amazing people my daughters have talked about all year.

After my long weekend and a busy day today, I ended up taking a nap this afternoon. Oh, how I wish I were 3 again and it was mandatory to "rest" in the afternoon. I feel refreshed...perhaps I'll do that more often.

Dreaming Big,

Monday, August 11, 2008

Made it home safely :)

Well, we made it back from Portland and I must say, we had a wonderful time. Yesterday was jam packed with fun, then we got home and started watching the Olympics and before I knew it, I was asleep in the chair and Angie had to wake me to go to bed. I had a bad hair day the entire time I was gone, but lucky for me, I have a sister in law that is a miracle worker and she gave me a really cute haircut tonight. I had her cut it short and I love it. I'm attaching a photo (although it's much cuter in person).

Tomorrow is scan day for Rick and like usual it's hard not to think of all the "what ifs?". I'm hoping that because he hasn't felt his best lately, that means the chemo is really working. We'll have the results on Thursday and I promise to post them when we find something out. Please keep us in your prayers.

Though Rick is feeling better than he was a couple of weeks ago, he just doesn't' feel like himself. I hope this chemo vacation is giving his body the rest it needs.

I know I haven't mentioned Lung Cancer lately and it's not that I don't think of it every day but, sometimes it just overwhelms me when I have to be "real" about it. So every chance I get, I try to pretend that it went away like it did for my friend from General Hospital. (I know it's a soap opera, but I told her once I'd like to take the medicine they were prescribing her on the show). I have a scan next Tuesday and results on Wednesday. These next couple of weeks will be emotional ones, but I believe we'll hear good news from both of our doctors.

I had a comment on Saturday's blog from a student at Purdue. Here's what he had to say: My name is Justin Guild and I’m a graduate research assistant currently working with Dr. Jeong-Nam Kim at Purdue University on a health communication study. Specifically, our research explores how information sharing behavior through online communities (such as blogs) influences coping strategies among people with chronic conditions including cancer, diabetes, depression, etc. and their family members.

I'm going to let him use our blog for their study and hopefully he'll learn some really great things. He has asked me to put a link to his "study site" on the web page and if you get a chance to do so, please take the little survey. Thanks for helping make a difference in this students life, as well as mine. (update: I just took the survey and it's directed more for people who are you know anyone like that? For now, I'm not going to put it on the blog, but instead, I'll e-mail him and let him know that my blog is for people who pretend not to be sick) Seriously, I think it's a survey for medical blog sites not "life sites".

Love you more than all the steps Lynell and I took last week (over 20 miles worth)

Dreaming Big,

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Walkin' the Talk in Longview

What a busy day! Angie, Shannon and I woke up this morning and drove to Longview Washington to listen to Angie speak at the Cowlitz county Relay for Life. We spent 3 hours walking the track, meeting other inspiring volunteers and getting an abundance of hugs from their survivors (2 of them adopted me as their "new best friend forever" - NBFF). Angie and I were greeted with beautiful hand made necklaces from thier committee and thanked repeatedly for participating in their event. Little did they know we were the ones who felt thankful for being invited.
Angie's speech was phenomenal! There wasn't a dry eye in the house (including hers) and you could hear a pin drop. It was so quiet and it felt like the crowd was hanging on her every word. Shannon videotaped the entire speech and we will do our best to post it on the blog for your viewing pleasure as well. As we have done with the other Relay's we've attended throughout the summer, we took photos of the many great ideas that the Cowlitz County ACS volunteers had to offer. I was thrilled to be greeted by my blog friend Sonya who lives just 15 minutes south of Longview. We had never met but had communicated online for months. I think she adorable and was so excited to meet her! I have invited her to Stanwood's 2009 Relay and I know we will get her hooked on Relay in no time.

After returning back to Portland, we went out to Shannon's mom's house in Hillsboro, Oregon for a meet-and-greet BBQ. The food was fabulous and I got to meet Shannon's entire family. We talked for hours, watched Angie's speech video (and cried...again) and enjoyed the Olympics. I only had one clutsy moment where I smashed my fingers on the lawn furniture but after a few bloody napkins and a couple of band-aids I am basically like new.

I am attaching some photos of today's events; hope you enjoy them. Tomorrow I plan to wake up and make the girls a yummy breakfast before heading off to the Saturday Market (on Sunday) and eventually to the Bite of Oregon. Angie and I will be heading back on Monday morning in order to get me back in time for my Physical Therapy appointment. It seems like there is always something planned...

I have been in contact with Rick througout the weekend and he seems to be feeling much better. When I talked to him tonight he was out in the field trying to pick up bales of hay in the rain. I hope he remembers not to over do it.

Enjoying Portland and Dreaming Big-


Friday, August 08, 2008

Let the weekend begin

It's been a busy weekend already and it's only Friday night. Angie and I came to Portland (and we're staying with Shannon) so we can get ready for the big speech tomorrow. When we're done at the Relay for Life event, we are going to a picnic at Shannon's mom's house. I hope I won't be quizzed on all the people I meet tomorrow. I'm afraid I won't pass the test.

Since we'll be down here all weekend, we are going to the Bite of Portland, the Saturday Market, do a little shopping, and eat at some fabulous restaurants.

Rick continues to get better every day. I am so thankful for that. I tried calling him tonight but he didn't answer. That's a sign he was feeling really good so he's outside working. :)

I'm not sure what I did to my foot, but I've noticed that it's been swelling. It doesn't hurt very bad, but it feels really tight. Hopefully it's just from my little stumble yesterday while I was in LaConner. It needs to get better by my walk on Monday or Tuesday. This week Lynell and I walked over 20 miles. Not bad for 2 old ladies.

I'm really sleepy after my long day, so I'll say goodnight. I'll let you know how the day goes tomorrow. I'm sure I'll be a proud mama listening to Angie tell her story in front of all those folks from Cowlitz County.

Dreaming Big (and tired)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Charlie's Angels Take Over LaConner

Pam, Janeen and I (aka. Charlie's Angels) left this morning (after my 5 mile walk in Conway) for a beautiful day in LaConner. We had a great time and finally looked at our watches (thinking it might be 3:00 or so) instead it was already 5:30). It's funny how time can just slip away from you when you're having so much fun.

Rick is still feeling pretty good. His medications are giving him a few side effects, but they tell him that's to be expected. I'm a little anxious that I'm leaving him alone this weekend when I head down south, but he assures me that he's a big boy and he'll be fine.

It just dawned on me that the Olympics are right around the corner. I forgot how the Olympics are also a good way to track our survival. I should find out where they will be held (4 years from now) and buy some tickets to watch an event or two. That's a guarantee I'll be around in 4 years. I would never let a ticket go to waste!

My sister/brother in law woke this morning to: car after car honking as they drove past their house. Rick and I were a little sneaky last night and posted signs in their front yard that said, HONK, IT'S OUR 25th WEDDING ANNIVERSARY. Vickie finally jumped out of bed this morning to see if the neighbor dog was on the road or if their house was on fire. Instead, she was surprised by our artwork in their yard. She's not mad (anymore). I think she's just relieved that the house wasn't on fire. :)

I'd better say goodnight. I've got a big day planned tomorrow.

Oh, by the way...I'm doing great!

Love and Sweet Dreams,

Happy Anniversary Vickie and Tom

Tom and Vickie (Rick's sister and her husband) are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary today. I've been a part of the Schmitt family for nearly 35 years so I look at Vickie as my sister and friend, not just my sister in law. When I think of all the good, fun, bad and sad times we've been through I couldn't think of a person I'd rather share those experiences with.

They are planning on celebrating this occasion on a cruise to the Caribbean (Belize, Cozumel, Key West). I've been thinking about stowing away in their suitcase (problem is, there's a weight limit).

Here's wishing them many more years of love and laughter.

Dreaming Bigger than Ever,

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Late night report...

We set out today for a "normal" morning walk/talk session. Over 2 hours later and 5 1/2 miles, my neighbor and I finally arrived back home. If we keep up this madness, we'll be walking a marathon every week. :) The funny thing is the time flies by while we're out there enjoying the fresh air, birds chirping, and each other's company.

Rick has felt much, much, better today. His appetite has already improved, no sick feeling and he's feisty. I'd say...normal (but that would be a stretch of the imagination). I'm so happy to have him up and running as usual.

I decided that I'm going to tag along with Angie this weekend while she is the guest speaker for opening ceremonies for Relay for Life in Vancouver (unless Rick starts feeling weak again). We are going to stay with her dear friend Shannon for the rest of the weekend in Portland (for what sounds like a fun filled couple of days).

I had a nice lunch with Amy and Angie (and Rick) at Jimmy's Pizza today. Jake stayed back home and weedwacked (but we brought him lunch so he didn't go hungry). Angie and I spent the rest of the day finishing up the bag of fun stuff we made for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law for their 25th wedding anniversary. Rick and I brought it to them tonight and they loved it. We have another special surprise for them tomorrow when they wake up. But's a secret until then.

It's another late night, so I'd better get to bed. I think tomorrow we're taking a new route for our walk. Perhaps along the Skagit River.

Hugs and kisses,

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Things are looking up!

After a long day in Seattle and a couple of bags of fluid, Rick is feeling better. He's back to his old self again with no signs of feeling sick. Amazing what a little liquid can do for you.

I've added a new photo on the side of the blog of my new buddy Jaxon and I the day we went to the zoo. Now you can tell why I had such a great day...just look at that face!

Angie came by tonight for a haircut and I had her stay for dinner. She's speaking in Vancouver at a Relay for Life opening ceremony this weekend so we had to get her hair looking good. You never know who you might meet :)

Thanks for all your love and concern today for Rick. We're not used to having side effects at our house so when something out of the ordinary happens, we feel like we're in a foreign country.

Dreaming Big (and tired),

Here's what's happening...

Last night around 9:30 Rick started vomiting (sorry about the description but that's what happened) and had a rough time of it until around 11:30. I finally got a anti-vomiting pill down him (that stayed down) and he was able to come to bed. I called this morning and spoke with the oncology nurse and they had us come to Seattle for Rick to get hydrated again. The nurse says once Rick gets filled with fluid, he'll feel 100% better. Let's hope so. It doesn't look like he'll have to stay in the hospital more than a couple of hours.

So, for now...We're thankful that he's starting to feel better and that we have doctors and nurses who give us such great care.

I'll post more later when we get home.

Dreaming Big,

Monday, August 04, 2008

Monday Night Update

Rick is feeling better tonight though his appetite isn't anything to write on the blog about. Amy came by for a visit (and a haircut) so I made Chicken D (a family favorite) for dinner. Rick tried his best, but couldn't gag it down. I didn't take offense to that. Instead, I made him scrambled eggs and fresh peaches. It sounded better and went down much easier.

After I wrote the blog this morning, Rick ended up going to work. He figured, I don't feel good so I could stay at home and get nothing done and feel icky, or I could go to work and get something accomplished and feel icky. He chose the latter. Tonight after dinner he ventured over to his brothers property to see how his new building is coming.

No word back on Rick's blood count, but the nurse assured me that we're going to skip at least one week of chemo for Rick until he's up and running again. I think that's a fabulous idea.

I was nice having Amy stop by tonight. She's been really involved with a job in Tacoma so we don't see her much. The two of us snuggled on the couch and caught up on life. She's now off for another exciting adventure.

Tomorrow, I'm spending a good part of the day with Angie. She too, needs a haircut (as do I).

It's time to call it a night since I have a big walk scheduled again in the morning. Lynell drove it after our walk and it appears we put in 4 1/2 miles today. If I keep this up, I could get a marathon done in a week :)

Dreaming Big,

Chemo postponed?

We had a great time at Desert Aire this weekend with Megan and her family, but through it all Rick was feeling pretty cruddy. While we went to the river and played, Rick stayed back and slept. His appetite wasn't great (at times it was actually terrible) and he just wasn't himself. By the time we got home yesterday he was feeling worse. Upset stomach, low energy, overall sick feeling...that's Rick in a nutshell today.

I just got off the phone with his oncology nurse and it sounds like they are going to postpone chemo for a week then see how he's feeling next week. Because the doctor's say Rick's chemo is to keep the cancer, from growing he will likely be on some kind of chemotherapy the rest of his life. With that scenario, they want him to have quality of life and when you're feeling crappy...that's not good quality. I'm glad he's going to have a break. This new kind of chemo tends to build up in his body each time he has a treatment so by the time we get to the last few doses, he has way too much in his system.

I was able to put my tennis shoes back on this morning (the blisters are getting better) and go for my daily hour and a half walk with Lynell. What a beautiful morning we had for it.

I'd better go for now. I have flowers to water, clothes to wash and a book to read.

Love you more,

Friday, August 01, 2008

Welcome to August

We've had great Washington weather lately. Let's hope it stays with us in August!

My day at the zoo yesterday was awesome. I had such a nice time with the Novotny and Hunter families. After the zoo, we had a really good sandwiches from the "Other Coast Cafe" (OCC) in Ballard. Baby Jax is adorable. I think he really liked hanging out with me. I can testify that I liked hanging out with him. :) I was Cole Hunter's "Zoo Buddy" all day (even when we weren't at the zoo). Little Faye Hunter was an angel. She barely made a sound, just enjoyed the scenery.

We had planned to head over to Desert Aire last night (for the weekend) but Rick had some work business to finish up. We ended up coming over here this afternoon instead. Megan and her family joined us this evening. We BBQ steaks and shrimp. It was all delicious! Rick and I don't have anything planned tomorrow. Jake, Megan and her family are all heading over to the Gorge for a Steve Miller Concert. We'll probably watch a movie, have a little popcorn, and go to bed early. Another exciting night at the Schmitt House.

Our new friends and potential house buyers (they call themselves, Desert Aire Want-a-be's) stopped by tonight with a pound of "morning sunrise coffee" and to say thanks for our patience regarding the house. I'm still holding out for them to be our new neighbors. You never know, banks might start loaning money again soon :)

Rick has been asleep on the sofa for the past hour so I'd better wake him so he can go to bed.
Until tomorrow...sleep well and dream big.

Love you more,