Friday, January 30, 2009

Fantastic Friday

Here's what's happening in the busy world according to "Schmitt".  Thursday was a great massage day, then an overnight trip to Seattle with my chemo buddy Cathy.  We spent the night at Melana's since she is on a vacation and we were able to get some extra sleep this morning before going to my appointments.  

Last night we had a wonderful dinner at Ivar's Salmon house on Lake Union, came home and looked at all the wedding photos, watched Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice then went to bed and slept like babies.  This morning we  got ready and walked over to a quaint little bakery and had a coffee and a danish.

Everything went well with Chemo today.  Every appointment was early and it didn't take much longer than an hour and a half in the infusion room.  I pretty much have this process down to a science now.   I told my doctor that I believe I'm living with just the right amount of denial.  It allows me to have fun with what ever friend or relative brings me down for my appointment, then I get "real" during the infusion....then it's back to fun and games.  Both of my doctors today said I had a healthy amount of denial.  I think they're very smart.

Yesterday before I left for Seattle, I spoke with Sheila from Bonnie J. Addario's Lung Cancer Foundation and they are working on a "story of lung cancer" and they asked if I was willing to share mine.  I share it with all of you everyday so, I said "why not"?  They really want to show the world that lung cancer doesn't have to look like a old unhealthy smoker.  I'll keep you all posted on how it's coming along.

My mom is still feeling well.  Let's hope that keeps us.  Rick is doing well.  He is really adjusting to the fatigue and the other side effects that came with this Erbitux.  I'm praying that this is as rough as it gets for a while.  We need a break.

Angie is in Tampa right now with Shannon celebrating the Super Bowl.  I haven't talked to her tonight but Jake did and she told him that she had her photo taken with 3 famous football players.  I can't wait to see her photo album when she gets home.  I'm sure she's having a ball.

Amy is finishing up her Mexican siesta and is due home tomorrow.  We are all spending Super Bowl at Jake and Megan's on Sunday (except Angie who will actually be at the game in Tampa). 

I had such a great time with Cathy over the past couple of days and I hope she knows how much I appreciate the time and love she shares with me when I know she has lots of other things on her plate.  You're a priceless gem.  

When I got home today, Cathy tucked me in on the sofa and I woke up tonight around 6:45 when Rick got home.  The sleep was just what I needed.  

I hope you're all rooting for the Arizona Cardinals this weekend.  (Don't forget how Pittsburgh cheated when they played the Seahawks a couple of years ago....I'm not bitter....)

Dreaming Big (and tired)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


1st - I must thank Derby Photography for allowing us to post the wedding photos. They were an amazing group of women who took beautiful shots of the bride, groom, and the rest of the party.

2nd - Chemo went well for Rick and I yesterday. I slept for 6 hours while he got his chemo so I was actually awake to drive us home. That was a first.

3rd - My mom's gall bladder surgery went well, but they couldn't get all the stones out. So, today she had another procedure that I took her to where they went down her throat and into her small intestine, pancreas and bile duct looking for free floating stones. They were still unable to get them all. She will need to go to Seattle for a special kind of ultra sound to try and remedy this problem.

I got home from the hospital with my dad tonight at 8:30 and I'm exhausted. Tomorrow night I'll be spending the night in Seattle again because I have early morning chemo again. This week has been filled with a little too much excitement and it's only Wednesday.

Amy is finishing up a trip to Mexico and Angie is getting ready to head off to the SuperBowl. I'm so glad they take time to have fun. No one ever died saying....boy, I wish I hadn't had so much fun in my life!

Until tomorrow, Dream Big and Sleep well.
Love you bunches, Dor

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday Memo...

They've scheduled my mom's gallbladder surgery for tomorrow morning. Bad timing for me. Rick and I both have chemo tomorrow so I'll have to keep in touch via the phone. I wish I could be at the hospital to ask questions and listen to what they have to say, but I'll rely on my dad and Aunt to take notes for me.

Jake dropped off the disc from the wedding photographer so I got to look at over 800 amazing photos from that night. I'll post a few at a time. They really are beautiful.

Rick and I are spending the night in Seattle so we can get a little extra sleep before our appointments in the morning. Rick gets his third treatment of Erbitux and so far he is tolerating it pretty well. We've really kept the rash under control and there's not much he can do about the hair so he's adjusting. I love to rub his really doesn't bother me at all. I just think it makes him cuter.

I'm looking forward to starting my treatment again. Let's hope the weather stays good and I don't get sick so I can have all 4 of my scheduled treatments. I can only get better as long as I'm taking the meds as directed.

Enjoy the photos...
Dreaming Big ~ Dor

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Glad to be home

First thing we did after we got home (and unloaded the SUV), Rick took be down to see my mom and dad. After talking with all the family members these past few days, I knew mom was feeling better, but I also knew they had released her to go home for a few days until they could get her surgery scheduled. What I needed...was to see her. And hug her. And scold my parents for not calling IMMEDIATELY. I brought mom a bouquet of tulips (since I couldn't find a sunflower anywhere in the state) and a box of campfire girl mints. (They aren't for her to eat, but I thought it would be a nice thing to offer her guests). Isn't it funny how just touching someone you love can make you feel better. That's how I'm feeling tonight. Relieved. Optimistic. Glad to be home.

We had a great time with Reid, Cathy, Bobby & Dy (minus the broken water pipe problem and the loose shingles). We all visited at our Uncle Mel and Aunt Jessie's new house, told lots of stories that some people will never live down and just had a genuinely nice time. We played board games, dice games, card games and liar's poker with a dollar bill at breakfast. (I LOST, surprise, surprise)

With all the help from our friends, we got the Desert Aire house cleaned up in no time, went out for breakfast, then headed home around 1:00pm. I can't wait to go back there again. I forgot how much I enjoy the peace and quiet (if that's what you're in the mood for), or the laughter and friendships (if that was on your agenda instead.) It's my Heaven away from Home

Love you more than all the goosebumps on my body right now. When we got home the temperature was in the 50's (inside...ugh). It's getting better now.

Dreaming Big,

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sorry I missed you yesterday.

Yesterday, after a busy morning of working on household repairs, I called my mom (Myrna) for our morning chat. What I'd discovered was that she was taken to the hospital at 3:30 the previous morning....she just forgot to call me (on purpose) so I wouldn't worry about it. Apparently, mom has a bad gallbladder and will be scheduled for surgery very soon. We couldn't rush right home because we had half our house torn apart. The kids have all been there representing our family and giving grandma all the love she needs. I've been keeping in contact with someone all day long. I think they're getting tired of me. :)

Everything is in working order, roofs have been repaired, any mess that we made was cleaned up. Today has been a wonderful day visiting with Reid, Cathy, Bob and Dy. We just came down to Uncle Mel and Aunt Jessie's new house to check it out! What a nice place they have. When we woke up this morning we'd had a dusting of snow. How beautiful it is!

I'd better get back to my company, but I promise to write more soon if I learn anything new about my mom.

Dreaming Big,

P.S. I forgot to mention that last night while we played Apples to Apples...Reid was the Champion of the World...not that we're competitive or anything.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wet Surprise :(

Rick and I had not been on a journey to Desert Aire since the end of October so we decided what the heck. This is our off week from chemo, the pass looks great, the weather is starting to warm up a little and we just needed a little break.

In the past few months, there have been over 2o robberies so we were pleasantly surprised when we unlocked the door and "no one" had stopped by to help themselves to any of our valuable household items. No broken windows, vandalism.... What a nice feeling to know that we were spared. But wait...did I tell you we hadn't turned on the water yet? Well, once we did....oh, la, la...we had sprung a leak. With all the water turned off, all the water mess cleaned up on the kitchen floor and the downstairs kitchen and bathroom floors we decided to head up to the "Sandtrap" Restaurant and enjoy dinner. There is nothing we can do about our little problem until daylight so that's just what we're going to do. Enjoy the rest of our evening, wake up early and try to fix the broken pipe.

Reid and Cathy are hoping to come over tomorrow and join us. Bob and Dy were coming over to Stanwood to see us as well. Now that we're halfway to them, I think they'll be coming here instead. Our intentions are to have our little "problems" fixed before our guests arrive.

I forgot to tell you about my friend Shelly who had the heart surgery on Monday. She is doing well and was able to come home to recuperate. Now lets hope she doesn't get anymore migraines. Our Cousin Eric, who was taken to the hospital from his work at Boeing this week, is also doing well. They haven't determined what made him so sick, but never the less, he's back at work and going strong. Let's hope it stays that way.

I think Relay for Life Kick-Off was a great success last night. There were quite a few people there. Many faces looked new to me. That's what I like to see. Strangers I haven't met yet. By the end of the event gets here I'm sure I'll get a chance to become acquainted with them .

Rick and I are tired already. I think discovering that we have more work to do than we though was the straw that broke the camel's back. I'm getting my jammies on and starting a new book. I'm sure I won't make it past page 5, but I've got a long weekend to work on it.

Sweet Dreams (keep us in your prayers that we find the broken pipe tomorrow morning on the first try)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Welcome Mr. President

Today as I watched our 44th president being sworn in, I felt an overwhelming sense of a hope and change in our country. I know that we won't see changes immediately, but I'm hopeful that we will work as one nation and make these changes together.

Senator Feinstein (from California) was the woman who was the "host" of today's inauguration. What pleased me most about this was that I've met Senator Feinstein each year at the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Gala. On August 3, 2007, Senate Resolution 87, a resolution expressing the sense of the United States Senate that the president should declare lung cancer a public health priority was unanimously reconfirmed. Senator Feinstein, along with Senators Chuck Hagel, Hilllary Clinton and a few others brought this resolution to the forefront. Knowing that Senators Feinstein, Hagel and Clinton are such an advocates for this disease gives me hope that cancer will be a priority in our country's health care problem.

This past week when I had my newest scan I found out that my lungs are stable, but other parts of my body are falling apart. I've got some new problems in my pelvis (cysts...not cancerous), my bladder is a mess from all the coughing I've been doing, and I pee every time I cough, or laugh, or giggle or walk... just kidding. Ok, it's really not that bad, but Rick asked me today if I was going to tell the world about these problems since I tell you about everything else. I told him absolutely NOT. Somethings are private. Well, I changed my mind. This is the way it is. Leaky bladder, cysts on my ovaries, rash on my chest...a husband with a bald head a rash on his face and head.... BUY WE'RE ALIVE. So, I'll take all those reminders if I can be here with all of you longer. I'm pretty sure I just shared TMI (too much information) with you, but I hope you'll love me anyway.

Don't forget tomorrow at 5:00 at Starbuck's is the 2009 Relay for Life Kick-Off. If you haven't signed up or don't know much about it, tomorrow will be a great opportunity to learn more. Hope to see you there!

Dreaming Big,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

What a great weekend it turned out to be. Yesterday Rick and I slept in and got some much needed sleep. In the afternoon I went to a movie with my sister in law. When I got home Amy was here putting a puzzle together with her dad. I made dinner then joined them at the puzzle assembly. We had such a nice time, Amy ended up spending the night here. This afternoon I helped Angie and Shannon recover a seat cushion, visited with them while we all watched football. Dave and Val showed up around 3 and we went to see "Grand Torino" (great movie) then went out for dinner.

This is my week off from treatment and I'm looking forward to recuperating. My body has been really achy this time. My biggest problem is how I can's stop coughing so even if my body starts to feel better, I throw it out of alignment. Lucky for me, I get a massage on Tuesday.

Tomorrow my friend Shelly is having heart surgery to repair a hole. The doctors are hoping that this procedure will eliminate (or at least lessen) her migraine headaches. Pam and I are planning on going to the hospital to be her cheerleaders. Good Luck Shell. We love you.

Rick has been extra tired ~ as have I, so we are heading to bed early. Have a great week and enjoy the sunshine.

Dreaming Big,

Friday, January 16, 2009

Great News

As many of you knew, I had scans yesterday (which would determine if I could continue on this clinical trial). Remember my favorite word, stable? Well that's what my scan reported. Stable disease. Something I did learn was that the chemo has been wreaking havoc on my liver so if my liver the report came back with my counts being 5 times the normal range, I would have to take a few weeks off before beginning the treatment. Lucky for me, I missed 3 treatments due to weather, wedding and liver enzymes were back in the normal range. I worried about missing them for NOTHING. All is good here at the Schmitt house. It appears I'll be on the trial for at least 2 more months. I'm thrilled...

After my scan yesterday, my friend Kim and I spent the night in Seattle and went to an early dinner and a movie. Then, back to the our jammies on and talked until the wee hours. Friends need to get together like this more often. It's good for the heart. :) Thanks Kim.

Rick seems to be adjusting to the new treatment. He's still a little bummed about the hair and the rash, but I think with time he'll start to understand that these exterior challenges are only the beginning for a healthy inside. He usually agrees with me in the end..... :)

Jake was my chemo buddy today and we had a great day. Have I mentioned lately how much I love the team of people who work at SCCA making us better? We are so blessed. On our way home from Seattle, we picked Megan up at UW, stopped in Everett for them to get their "official" marriage license, then headed back to Stanwood. They all went to Jimmy's for pizza (while I laid on the couch and slept). After dinner they came home and picked me up and we headed over to watch Angie officiate a girls basketball game at Stanwood. It's still fun to watch her even if she isn't playing.

I think I'll be able to sleep better now that I know things are working as planned. Isn't it about
time for a vacation? I bet I would sleep better on the beaches of the Caribbean.....

Happy Dreams,

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad

I'm so sorry that I didn't write sooner to tell you about our day yesterday. When I got to my appointment, I pleaded to Dr. Eaton to let me have chemo (because I had already missed 3 treatments due to weather, wedding and infection). I didn't need to plead very hard, because he had already decided I could have it. Everything went as planned. I slept like usual, woke up this morning feeling sore in the joints but otherwise pretty good.

Rick had his second treatment with Erbitux (and some other toxins) and he too was sleepy all afternoon and into the early evening. His problem was after midnight when he couldn't sleep at all so he was pretty exhausted today.

Angie and Shannon were little angels with us throughout the day. I need to stop being so stubborn about Rick and I going to these appointments alone. It is so helpful to have another set of ears listening and someone else there to ask questions that we might not think about.

My parents brought dinner to us so when we finally woke up, we had a nice dinner waiting for us. My dad sneaks to our house regularly and does little odd jobs to help make our life easier. Isn't it suppose to be me helping my parents as they get older? This just doesn't make any sense!

Tomorrow is a big day for me. It's a follow up scan that will determine whether or not I can continue with the clinical trial. No matter what the outcome, I'm certain that I will have more options to choose from. If all goes well, I'll have chemo again on Friday.

In closing, I want to wish my Mom and Dad a happy 53rd wedding anniversary. What a wonderful example of love you taught me.

Dreaming Big,

All is Well

We have all been busy the past two days trying to re-coup. Mom and Dad are both doing well. Both of them had chemo yesterday... which is a good thing. Both of them feel pretty well today, except Dad didn't sleep much last night. Dor will try to get on-line tonight to fill everyone in. In the mean time, know that yesterday went as well as could be.

Dreaming Big-
The Schmitt's

Got Yarn?

The Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is collecting hand-made scarfs and hats for cancer patients. The items are given away, free of charge, to patients who need them. For the past year we have received emails from people who said they were willing to help knit and it has been wonderful.

Two women volunteered to knit hats last year, and they haven't stopped. They just gave us 4 bags of hats and scarfs today to bring to Seattle.Most of us aren't knitters, but if you have extra yarn laying around the house or are willing to purchase some yarn, we would be happy to collect it and ship it to their homes.

If you can help, please contact Angie Schmitt at:

Thank you for helping to change lives-
The Schmitt's

Monday, January 12, 2009

Monday Night Update

This year has been challenging. Is it too early to talk about "this year"? Although we are only 12 days into it, I feel comfortable saying this is not exactly the way I was hoping to start the year. Jake's wedding was a great day for our family and friends to get together. We laughed and cried and forgot about cancer.... if only for the day. Since the wedding, cancer has hit us hard and with a vengeance.

Mom's lungs have been working hard for a few years now. It's not just the cancer in her lungs that is bad. She is getting fibrosis which causes the soft spongy tissue of the lungs to get hard. It's difficult to breath when your lungs are hard and refuse to fill with air. On top of that, she has this cruddy infection that is magnifying the whole thing. This pneumonia is causing her to cough more than normal and I see that her lung capacity is compromised if she bends over too quickly or moves up and down stairs. Her lungs don't fill up like ours do.

My dad is just as wonderful as always. He is just as giving and just as loving, but he just doesn't seem like himself. The fatigue and hair loss were bad enough for him to deal with, but now this horribly irritating rash really seems to be a low blow for him. I find myself wanting to say, "It's just hair" or "Who cares about the rash on your head as long as it's working on the inside" but then again, it's not me battling those side effects. I know my dad doesn't care about these issues out of vain, he just wants to live a normal life without having to look in the mirror and be reminded of the cancer. When you are satisfied with the way you look, you feel better. It's that simple.

Tomorrow is a double-chemo day with both of them getting treated in Seattle. Angie and Shannon have both taken the day off of work so they can take them. I have been there on double-chemo days and it's hard to relax if you're by yourself. You are going back and forth between rooms checking on them. I'm really happy that both Angie and Shannon could get tomorrow off so mom and dad will each have company throughout the day. We won't know until mom gets down to the hospital whether or not the pneumonia will prevent her from getting chemo again. I know the missed chemo has been disheartening to her lately. She has missed three chemo treatments since Christmas due to bad weather or feeling ill. If this treatment is held up, she is scheduled for chemo on Friday as well. Jake will be taking her on Friday. She actually has scans and blood work on Thursday and then the results on Friday. If the growth of her tumors is significant they will be pulling her off of the clinical trial. I haven't heard any mention of a backup plan, other than standard chemotherapy, so I certainly hope we get some positive results on Friday.

Lately, I find it difficult to turn off my brain. I think too much and it leaves me overwhelmed. We are all experiencing the same types of things, in our own way. I have seen cancer change people from the inside out. We can't change this process but we can move through this process with them and support the ones we love. In closing I will leave you with a quote I stumbled upon today by Bernie Siegel.

"Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires-disruptions in our lives that seem to be disastrous at the time but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way".

Thinking happy thoughts-

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Time to Cash My Reality Check

Most days I wake up and I'm thankful for everything. Yesterday, not so much. Instead it was tearful, emotional, angry....what an ugly way to spend a day. I woke up coughing so hard I ended up in the bathroom throwing up. My temperature was up for a few days but it seems to be stable now. Although the doctors didn't use the word "pneumonia", I'm pretty sure that's what it is. It's an infection in the area of my lung that has the most cancer in it. I guess antibiotics and rest is the best medicine.

On a side note, I want to thank all of you who sent us Haggen gift cards to use toward the co-pays because we have started with a new insurance company this month and my co-pay for the one antibiotic was $70. Yikes. Thanks again. Knowing that co-pays are covered allows us to focus our attention on other things, like getting well.

Rick's rash continues to worsen and he hates it. His hair has virtually fallen out. He continues to work but he is really fatigued. And all of this is after only one round of chemo. It is amazing how hard this erbitux has effected his body. Although hes not thrilled with the reaction it is causing, he still wants to go forward with it.

Rick and I missed brunch at Jake & Megan's yesterday morning, and then we missed Dawn's 40th Birthday Party. We were feeling down and tired. We thought we could use a day resting around the house more than we needed anything else. Exposing ourselves to extra germs was our biggest concern. Missing these events made me emotional because I felt like cancer won for the day.
Cancer could keep us in the house, but it couldn't keep our loved ones out. Vickie stopped by to visit. She was like a little angel. It seemed as though she brought her beauty shop to our house. She cut my hair and gave rick a pedicure. Angie and Shannon stopped by around that time so they got hair cuts too. We played guitar hero, laughed, and had a good time.... considering. My friend Lynell stopped by to check on us and it was much appreciated. I know we are surrounded by good people and we don't take that for granted.

Today we had another day of lounging around the house. Just so you don't think I'm really a slob, I cleaned up and changed into clean pajamas. :) Jeff and Dawn stopped by tonight with the girls to visit. Amy stopped by on her way home from military training in Tacoma. I've attached a picture of Darlena and Amy, sharing her uniform. Rick went to the office for a while tonight to work on a quick project. He promised not to be out long.

I will write more tomorrow. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Dream Big-

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chemo Free Friday

I wasn't feeling well when I went to SCCA on Friday (with Pam and Jake). After my blood work they discovered that my white count wasn't right and it sounded like something was going on in my lungs (duh?). My doc sent me to x-ray and it was discovered that I have something (infection) going on in my lungs so instead of chemo they put me on an antibiotic.

The good news is, Pam's 6th month check-up was GREAT! Clean bill of health for the next 6 months.

The bad news, Jake was in with me while they accessed my port and drew blood....I thought he was going DOWN>>>> his face turned white, he started sweating and said, Mom "I think I'll skip that part from now on".

Our town is still fighting the flood with hopes that it is going to subside soon.

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Where is the little dutch boy when we need him?

Stanwood needed a little dutch boy to put his finger in the dike and save our town from a flood. I guess he had other plans. I'm going to attach some photos of what our little community looked like today (and I'm not sure it's as high as it's going to get). Most people have done a good job preparing for the flood to come, but others just prefer staying at home and riding out the storm.

I'm attaching some photos I took while I was out on a drive with Cathy today. We had a funeral to attend today and it was cancelled, so instead we accessed our town and took photos!
Notice in the first photo how much of the street signs are actually sticking out of the water...The little blue thing on the right of that photo is a bus stop. I don't think a bus will be picking anyone up anytime soon. :( Photo 2 was taken near our fire station at Forest Land Service. Pretty much everything at their business was underwater. Oh, what a mess they'll have when the water clears. Photo 3 is Jacob's classroom at Stanwood Middle School. They've placed sandbags near the doors, but he may have a mess when he returns to school on Monday. (school was cancelled again tomorrow)
I'd better get to bed soon since it's chemo day again tomorrow. Pam is taking me because she has a follow up appointment around the same time I have my infusion. I've gotta meet her at 7:30 in Smokey Point.
Angie and Shannon came over tonight and brought Rick 2 new hats. We had strawberry topped waffles for dinner, watched the National Championship game and played Apples to Apples. It was a great night. I want to start having family game night more often.
Stay safe and dry. Don't drive your car through standing water. Help sandbag if you've got some free time. Preform a random act of kindness. You'll be amazed how much better you'll feel after you've helped someone else.
Love you more,

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Great Day at the Doctor's Office

Before we arrived at the doctor's office this morning, I told Amy and Rick..."no matter what we hear today we can't get "down" about it". We knew that Rick's tumor marker (a blood test called CEA) was rising each time they did blood work. That is generally a sign that the cancer is growing. We just didn't know how bad his body would look inside. What we found out was although some of the tumors looked a little bigger, they also appeared to be empty cavities. That was a sign that the cancer was trying to grow but the old chemo was apparently do some work. We also know that in the past 10 days (after his new drug Erbitux) Rick has been losing his hair and getting a rash. (Both of these are typical side effects) These are both great signs that the new drug is working. The doctor was really pleased with the reaction Rick's body is already having. He said he doesn't' usually see results like this until at least the 2nd round of treatments. It's been proven that people who's bodies develop the rash have better results on the inside of their body as well. I couldn't be happier....Rick is just wearing more hats and will start taking some new meds to try and keep the rash at a minimum.

My chemo was uneventful yesterday. Today I feel achy and fatigued, but those are easy things to deal with. Take some Tylenol and a nap and you're good to go. I learned at my appointment yesterday that next Friday (after my scan on Thursday) they will assess my progress with this treatment and determine whether or not they will continue it. I've assured them that I'm feeling great and I KNOW it's working so we could just skip the scan if they such luck. This is a clinical trial and they have to check EVERYTHING.

You know that old saying "when it rains it pours?" well in Stanwood we say, "when it rains, it floods". They have started to evacuate the downtown area (where my parents live), and they've taken all the people from our "nursing home" to the gymnasium of our high school. The Red Cross has set up camp at the high school as well so, school in Stanwood has been cancelled again. The way it's been going around here, they'll be in school until July. Ugh! A few years back, Rick and I were at the High School helping set up cots, hauling in food and gear and nursing home patients until the wee hours of the morning. I know our help was appreciated by the Red Cross and the School District. I would love to have the energy to be over there again tonight helping out but ~ I know my limits.

Thank you for all the prayers you've sent these past few day (and years). We are so grateful for the support and love we get from all of you. I'm not sure how we would have survived without you :)

Love you more than all the rivers cresting in Washington...

Dreaming Big,

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Sleepy in Seattle

It's Amy. I am with mom and dad at Melana's condo in Seattle. They have both been sleeping in the livingroom, uncomfortably, for the past hour. I was afraid to wake them for fear they wouldn't fall back to sleep, but mom woke up a few minutes ago and they are both resting comfortably in the bedroom now.

Although mom is the one who had chemo today, dad isn't feeling very well. Mom seems fine, just a little bit tired. This round of chemo, at least the first few hours of it, doesn't seem to be knocking her off of her feet like the past few rounds have. The couple of treatments she had off around the wedding probably helped to lower the toxicity in her body. I hope this round continues to cooperate with her body... while still continuing to work!

My dad had blood work and a CT scan today. I will join him and mom tomorrow morning back at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance for the test results. He sure doesn't seem to be feeling well this past week. We are hoping that means the new stuff is working. He is starting to get some of the side effects of this chemo. Side effects are never good, but if it means it is attacking the tumors the way it is attacking the rest of his body, we are moving in the right direction.

Sometimes it's tough to find something positive to write about. I must say, it helps to know that we are surrounded by so much love and kindness. Cancer is a crippling disease for not only the cancer patients, but the people in their lives as well. We can all use a dose of "medicine" every now and then. Sometimes it's chemo, sometimes it's ice cream, and sometimes it's just a big hug or a thoughtful prayer. Thanks again for being the medicine this family needs to get thru another day.

Holding strong-

Monday, January 05, 2009

Chemo Eve

It's going to be an early night tonight since we have to be in Seattle by 8:20am. Rick is already asleep on the couch. I don't think he's been feeling well lately but he never complains and when I ask, he just says "I'm fine". It has been 2 years since he started chemo and I think the routine is starting to take it's tole on him.

Jake stopped by on his way home tonight. Just as I had imagined, he's very tan from his honeymoon. Those Schmitt kids only have to be in a warm location and I swear they start to get brown.

Angie and Shannon came over after dinner tonight and visited for a while. I haven't seen the girls in over a week so it was nice to see them. We watched the Fiesta Bowl together (because football never ends at our house)

I've been feeling good lately and I just realized that I haven't had chemo since the Tuesday before the wedding. I'm sure the break was good for my body but I need to get back on track so these drugs can do their job.

I'm not sure if you'll hear from me tomorrow night (I could be usual day of chemo behavior. I promise to write on Wednesday to let you know how Rick's scans turned out.

Thanks for all your love and support,
Dreaming Dor

Sunday, January 04, 2009

800th Blog

Wow. Can you believe that I've written 800 blog entries? That is a lot of rambling, oops, I mean typing. When I first started writing this blog in April of 2006 the blog site said it could only hold 1,000 entries. My next goal....outlive my website limit.

Last night we celebrated with our friend Ann who will be leaving for Iraq on Friday. Ann is a longtime friend who is in the Air Force Reserves and is the mother of 2 sets of twins. Although she's been preparing for a journey like this for a long time, it's hard not to worry about her while she's gone. She is a nurse and assures me that she'll be in a safe area. Safe area in Iraq? Is that possible? Well, I'll worry about her the entire times she's gone anyway.

This will be another busy week in Seattle. I have chemo on Tuesday, Rick has scans on Tuesday and will get test results on Wednesday. My hope is that the tumors have remained stable... But no matter what, they have started the new chemo routine so we should see some changes soon. I have scans next week so we'll learn more about how my clinical trial is working then.

Jake and Megan made it home safely from their honeymoon. They had a great time, but tomorrow it's time to get back to the daily grind with work and school.

We still have snow from the past couple weeks and it's starting to come down again. As much as I love snow...I'm done with it for the year. It makes me nervous to have my kids all driving to their jobs and it makes me nervous to drive anywhere.

I tried to download some photos to share with you but somethings not working tonight. Maybe it's the computer operator?

Love you more than all the snowflakes that are falling...
Dreaming Big,

Friday, January 02, 2009

Date Night with Dave and Val

Every year we promise to get together with Dave and Val more often than we do. So far, we're on track for our best year ever. Rick and I went out for dinner then to see "Marley and Me" with our wonderful friends. When the movie was over, Val and I had to go to the bathroom to freshen up our faces. We sobbed like little kids...along with everyone else in the cinema.

Rick is feeling good tonight. Still no terrible side effects, thank goodness. Just fatigue and he can handle that.

It's my week off from chemo so the week has been kind to me. We start up again on Tuesday!

A longtime acquaintance, Carolyn passed away yesterday of cancer. Rick and I had just seen her at the luncheon we attended at Camano Chapel a couple of months ago. Carolyn told me that she used to read the blog everyday. I hope her family finds comfort in the days ahead. I know she will be greatly missed.

Jake and Megan arrive home tomorrow night. They've called a couple of times and they're having a wonderful time. Yesterday they laid in the sun a little too long. Megan has a little sunburn and Jake probably just has a TAN. I can't wait to hear all about their trip.

Dreaming Big,