Thursday, April 30, 2009

Change of Plans

This afternoon I got a call from the doctor's office in San Francisco. They said they would see me at 8:00am on Monday morning. Oops, small problem. I don't leave Seattle until 9:30 on Monday morning. Everything turned out ok....I got a call from Bonnie and Sheila and they've made new arrangements for me. I'll now be leaving on Sunday afternoon, returning on Mother's Day morning. Besides my appointments, I really can't wait to get to San Francisco and be a part of the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. It is an amazing group of people working hard to help save the lives of people like me.

I visited with my friend Ann for 5 hours this morning/afternoon. She was gone for 95 days in Iraq and we had lots to catch up on. It's great to have her home~SAFELY.

We had a beautiful day in Washington today. It gave me an opportunity to wash my SUV (which also wore me out...but it was worth it). I love a clean automobile :)

Love you more than all the tulips that are finally blooming in Skagit County.

Big Dreamer Dor

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pet Scan

Thanks to Shannon, I had an HOV buddy and a pal to hang around with all day before and after my PET scan. She was also a stand in photographer/videographer for the next set of webisodes. So, now that the scan is over, we just wait. When I learn will you.

I'm getting ready to head to California on Monday to start a great week with Bonnie, her team of docs, and a visit with her family. I'm looking forward to my time with the gang from San Francisco.

Thanks kids for all your help today. Without your love and hardwork...I'm not sure how Dad and I could do it around here. (That goes for you too Shannon and Mel...2 more kids never hurt any family...ours is better because you're in it)

Tomorrow I'm going to visit with my friend Ann, who has just returned from Iraq after 4 months. Although she kept us up on what life was like via e-mail, I'm looking forward to seeing her in person. I'm so proud of her service for our freedom.

It was an early morning, so I'd better call it a night.

Sleep tight and Dream BIG,

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Taco Tuesday

I had a great lunch today with the ladies from work. We haven't gotten together in a long time. Well, they always go to lunch on Tuesday....I'm just not always there. (Chemo Tuesday/Friday routine got in the way).

Tomorrow is my PET/CT scan so I had a routine to follow today to prepare my body for the test. Low carbs, lots of water, no exercise or heavy lifting, nothing after 8:00pm. As with any restrictions, now that I know I can't have anything....I'm hungry for a snack! I'm going to go get a nice big glass of water and fill my tummy.

Thanks to all of you who've watched the Lungtube. Your comments and e-mails are very touching. So glad you've all enjoyed it.

I'd better get to bed. I've gotta get up at 5:45am tomorrow. Ugh!

Keep dreaming big,

Monday, April 27, 2009

Miscellaneous Monday

This morning I woke up to my friend Kelly who stopped by after she dropped her son off at school. We sat and talked for a few hours since it had been forever since our last visit. What a nice way to start the morning.

I'm sorry to say that my friend, Larry's son in law, Nick passed away yesterday morning. He was 38 years young with a wonderful family and friends who will surely miss him. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Here is the link to the To get to our story, click Love and Lung Cancer. I'm humbled by the story Carol Lin has put together. Check out all the links. There are some amazing stories.

Here is a little memo from Amy regarding Relay:

Currently we have two "Doreen's Dream team" relay teams signed up. We are allowed to have 15 people per team. We set up the second team when we got to 16 people but that is where we have stood... 16 people... for quite some time. The relay will be here before we know it (34 days to be exact) so we either need to get the teams filled up or drop the second team. I always look forward to seeing all of my favorite women in the same place at the same time so I would love for you to get signed up again this year. Please don't let the fear of fundraising be a factor for you. Our team is about raising awareness first, and money second. Please click on the link below to sign up for the team.

I've been feeling kind of cruddy this afternoon. Nothing in particular, just not myself. I think I'm going to call it a night and get my jammies on early.

Dreaming Big,


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Saturday's Scoop

Today in the mail I got my itinerary for my next visits to SCCA. On Wednesday, I'll have a PET/CT scan, then on Monday the 11th, I'll start my new chemo regime. I'm hoping the information I learn from the docs in San Francisco won't be too much of a conflict from what my oncologist in Seattle has scheduled. I'll keep you posted on how it all works out.

We started the morning kind of laid back (like most days) then Rick went to work and I did a few things around the house while I was watching the NFL draft. Tonight, Dave and Val picked us up and we went to a Relay for Life fundraiser auction. We had a nice time and got some great items. After the event was over, the 4 of us went out for dinner and talked about how much fun we had last week in Palm Springs. We've all agreed that it's a trip we'd like to take again...maybe every April?

Amy and Melana went to Desert Aire this weekend for some peace and quiet (and they both have studying to do....Mel for her work and Amy for the Air Force). Before they started studying Mel painted the front door to Desert Aire house #1 a beautiful dark red while Amy mowed and weedeated the yard. It's so nice to have the kids volunteer to help with the upkeep. Maintaining 3 houses can be a lot of work. We need to get house #1 sold so we have a little more time to just enjoy ourselves when we spend time over there.

The webisodes I've been working on for Bonnie's website are now up and running. I'll attach a link to the sight tomorrow. In the meantime, you can get on the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation website: and look around for it. Our story is under the Lung Tube site, and it's called Love and Cancer. I know the story and I still cried when I watched it.

I hope you get a little rest and relaxation tomorrow before you head back to work. R & R is always good for the soul.

Dream Big and Laugh Out Loud,

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sadness strikes again

This morning I woke up to a phone call from my dear friend (and 2nd dad) Larry. His family is going through a really tough time right now as his son in law is losing his very short battle with gallbladder cancer. There is nothing I wouldn't do for Larry and his family, but I also know there is nothing I can do right now to help them through this tough time. I spent the better part of my morning thinking of Larry's daughter and her young children and the hard times they'll soon be facing. I also couldn't help but feel survivor's guilt. Here I am 3 years after my diagnosis and not much has been altered in my life. Please keep their family in your thoughts and prayers....they could use a little extra right now.

This afternoon while I was cutting Angie hair, Jake taught Shannon how to use the riding lawn mower and she turned into a farmer. We looked outside and she had put on a flannel shirt and a Wolfkill hat. It was hilarious to watch...I took photos but I can't seem to get them to download. I'll keep working on it.

Rick and I went to our first Relay for Life fundraiser this weekend, a spaghetti feed. We've got another event tomorrow evening, silent auction, then a breakfast on Sunday morning at the Duck Inn. It brings us pleasure to participate in other people's fundraisers because all the proceeds go to the same great cause.

We're both feeling really good this week. I think the trip to Palm Springs was just what the doctor ordered.

Tonight I skyped with my friends Steve and Toni in Boise. It feels like we're in the same room chatting with one another. If you aren't a Skyper yet, you should try it out.

Time to head to bed. I haven't been sleeping well lately and I could use a little extra beauty sleep.

Dreaming Big,

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Research Study

Amy spent the night at our house last night so we could get up "really" early. We didn't want to be late for our 7:40am appointment (hence, the wake up time at 5:30am). After all the showers were taken, we were dressed and loading into the car, I "double-checked" our start time which was actually not until 8:40am....oops! We ended up being a little early but we actually hit traffic so my goof up worked out perfectly. Thanks for being another set of ears today, Amy.

After meeting with Dr. Eaton today, I realized how lucky I had been considering I have been able to avoid "standard" chemo for the past 3 years. The week following Mother's Day I will begin a research study (the drugs are standard) but the tests they do to see how the drugs are working are different. The drugs used in this study are Taxol and Carboplatin. They are chemo drugs that have been around for a long time. They have some ugly side effects (but new meds have been developed to make the side effects milder). I will lose my hair (but by the time we start the treatment I'll probably be needing a new haircut anyway).

Today was the first day I didn't feel afraid of the unknown when it came to chemo treatments. I just want a plan and now we have one. Actually, we have 3 plans (2 others that we'll try if this first one doesn't work). I'm a little anxious about the nausea and low blood counts, but I'm going to do my best to stay as healthy as possible.

Rick's chemo went as planned. He's laying down right now taking a little nap before dinner. I think I'll go join him. A nap never hurt anyone.

Dreaming Big,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

We're Home, Happy and Rested

I could go on for weeks about the fun we had only I don't have enough time. I will assure you however, that this will not be the only time the 6 of us go to Palm Springs in the April.

As much as I want to ramble on about the trip, I need to get to bed. Rick has chemo in the morning and we have to get up at 5:30am. Amy and I will be meeting with Dr. Eaton about my scan results and what our next plan of attack might be. You'll hear from me tomorrow after these appointments, I promise.

I'm adding some photos from my camera. None of them will include a bathing suit (those are the only ones Bob sent Angie on his cell phone). The first photo is of my new haircut. I love it. The next photo was the 6 of us at a show in a Casino. Shortly after the show was over we were all given $10.00 of Casino money to play with and I won $66.60. Yahoo. The next photo is the 6 of us playing putt putt golf. I won't mention the cheating, but the game was a lot closer than 13 strokes. And lastly, we stopped at the Cancer Survivor's Park in Palm Springs last night before dinner and this is Rick and I being a part of the sculpture.

I've missed you all,

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Vacation Update

This is Angie, giving you an update on my parent's vacation. Mom called me early this evening to tell me all about their weekend. She told me that they don't have easy access to the internet and wanted me to make sure the blog was "up-to-date." Mom spoke quickly and told story, after story, after story about the great experiences that they are having with their dear friends.

Mom informed me that the weather has been in the 90's, they are getting a nice tan (except for dad who is supposed to stay out of the sunshine because of the medication that he is on) and that they just cant bring themselves to get out of the pool! She said that they had dinner reservation at a fabulous restaurant that was at a high elevation on Saturday night and that she worried all day about how her lungs would tolerate it. It ended up being a great meal and she did not suffer from any breathing problems. Mom said the evening was a blast and it ended with mom getting "tipsy" and feeling a little silly. Sounds like fun to me!!

Today the six of them played a very competitive game of miniature golf which ended with the guys beating the girls by 13 strokes. Mom is pretty sure they cheated...but said they enjoyed themselves anyway. Tonight they planned to stay in and cool off after a hot day of playing around. She did not tell me what their plans are for tomorrow but she did mention something about driving go-carts or something before they come home. Mom always told us kids that she wanted to be a race car driver so my money is on her!

Consider yourselves "up-to-date" by Dor.

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Update

Unfortunately this is still Amy. It is not looking promising that my parents will have Internet access anytime soon. That means that mom will call one of us with information and then we will update all of you. So far today we have gotten a copy of the written scan results. They consist of 4 pages of "doctor language" but I will give you the plain talk version. There is increased airspace around some lesions in the lung which could represent a developing superimposed infection or hemorrhaging. With all of her coughing lately, none of us would be surprised if she has begun to hemorrhage. Also, there is minimal progression in the number of lesions from her last scan and definite interval increase in size and number of lesions compared to her January 2009 scan.

Mom was pretty emotional this morning when she called. It's hard to hear her crying. When she's not getting enough oxygen it only leads to more coughing. Her tears this morning started when she told me about her nurse that called just to say hello and see if there was anything she could do to help. My mom couldn't get over how wonderful her nursing staff has been during these rough days. She knows that she is loved and she is just as positive as ever. She knows that her body will be going thru some changes soon and that makes her sad, but she knows that it is her next step.

Again, she has asked me to thank everyone for the well wishes and then said, "No more tears... I'm headed to the pool". Good for her-


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Bad News

Just four days short of Dor's three year anniversary with cancer she got the bad news we have been dreading. Her cancer has progressed and they will be taking her off of the clinical trial. I didn't get a lot of info but it sounds like her right lung is worse as are some lymph nodes. She got the phone call this afternoon shortly after arriving in Palm Springs for their much needed vacation.

Mom and Dad shared the news with us and then said we will talk about everything later. They want to ejoy the trip and deal with reality when they get home. Dr. Eaton told mom the same thing. He told her to have fun and that they will discuss her next treatment options when she gets home.

Mom doesn't have internet access tonight so she asked me to thank everyone for the prayers and good thoughts. Mom hopes to be online tomorrow to fill everyone in on the details.

For now we are just taking one day at a time.

Dreaming Big-

Monday, April 13, 2009

Anniversary Eve

Tonight, Vickie and Tom took us out for dinner to celebrate our anniversary. Tomorrow (our actual anniversary date) I have a haircut (to get ready for our vacation) and a scan (to make sure the clinical trial is still working) then back home to celebrate with my honey. We don't have anything special planned, but I'm sure we do lots of fun things once we get to Palm Springs. I'm thinking "a mud bath", or a trip to some "hot springs"...

I'm really looking forward to warm weather, a good book, and great friends. We've been counting down this trip since we booked it 3 months ago. Bob and Dy send weekly reminder text messages (like we've forgotten) to make sure we're ready to go!

Rick and I have been feeling pretty good. I've been sleeping terrible lately, so last night I used my meditation to get me to sleep and it worked. Or so I think...I was asleep right before I woke up this morning ~ that was the indicator that the meditation is working.

Vickie took a photo of Rick and I at dinner tonight. I thought it was pretty cute (even with us in it) so I've decided to share it with all of you.

Sweet dreams,


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I asked Pam to call and wake me up this morning to go to church with her. Apparently she called. It appears I talked to her. But somehow there was a miscommunication. I went back to bed and she waited for me at the Bank of America. Oops. She stopped by afterwards and told me what I'd missed. She also brought me flowers (even though she was still mad at me for standing her up).

I had the kids and my parents all over for brunch this morning. I was going to get up early and hide the eggs, but you all know the story of their fear of Easter Eggs. I promised I wasn't going to bring it up again so that's all I'm going to say.

I made the kids favorite breakfast/brunch meal. Eggs Benedict on croissants, fruit and mimosas. Megan brought some homemade raspberry crumble muffins to add to the meal. It was a wonderful morning.

The kids bought us a locking mailbox for our anniversary and gave it to us today. It will be nice for us to not worry about getting our mail picked up on days we're gone. I think Rick and my dad are going to install it before we leave for Palm Springs.

While we were laughing all morning (some of the laughter came from lack of sleep) my dad had his camera out. I'm going to add some photos of my crazy family.

Whenever we get together for any kind of photo shoot, one of my kids always says "hey we should do a pyramid". We laugh every time we hear it's some new idea, but today Amy, Angie, Shannon and Mel did it for us. Jake and Megan had already left or I'm sure they would have been in on the fun as well.

I've added a photo of my mom and dad since they were looking like love birds.
Rick thought he was just having a nice photo taken with his daughters, but they thought he looked better as a rabbit....

Easter always feels like a new beginning, so enjoy the rest of your day...and start fresh tomorrow.

Dreaming Big,


Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Waiting Game

When I woke up this morning, the first thing on my mind was my CT scan on Tuesday. I dread waiting for it, then waiting for the results. I've discovered that WAITING has really become a bother to me. After a little daily meditation and careful thought, I realized...waiting is nothing more than a word.

When I sat in line behind 2 cars and WAITED for my tall, non-fat, no whip, extra hot, 1 pump peppermint, mocha this morning, it didn't bother be. As a matter of fact, I didn't mind the wait. Then, I went to the bank to make a deposit and WAITED behind 3 people who were also doing their weekend business and I thought, this wait isn't bad (and how lucky we are that we have money to deposit). Wait #2, painless. I just put dinner in the oven and it should be done in about 30 minutes. Again, a WAIT without grief. When my wait is over, we'll have full tummies and the peace of mind that we are able to have food on our table.

I know each time I have a scan that I'll have to wait for something. The truth is... I'm always waiting for the same thing. It shouldn't hurt. I doesn't hurt. The results might sting a bit if they don't turn out like I'd hoped but then we just go on to a new plan.

I'm taking the power out of the word WAIT. Think of all the joyous things we get out of waiting; babies and puppies, airplane and ferry rides, heating up the BBQ. Each of these things gives us something to look forward to. A future, a vacation, a good meal.

Now that doesn't mean I'm not still a little anxious about test results, but I'm hoping after this little talk I've had with myself that I will be able to let go of the unknown and patiently wait for whatever comes my way.

Feeling better every day and looking forward to our little vacation in the sun with Bob, Dy, Dave and Val.

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Great day with the Titus Girls

This morning I was greeted by my 2 cleaning ladies. The house is sparkly and clean and I'm ready to start my next week with a beautiful house. I could get used to this pampering.

Once the cleaning crew left, the Titus girls picked me up and we left for Seattle for the day. We started the day at Dick's drive in for lunch, then checked in at our hotel. By 2:20 we were at Pike Place having the best day ever. We couldn't have asked for better weather...the sun was shining all afternoon.

Tomorrow morning they'll be accompanying me to my chemo appointment and we're sure to have fun there as well. The staff can't wait to meet my friends (only this time I'm bringing 4 of them with me at once)

I'm attaching a photo of the 5 of us at the market.

Keep dreaming big,

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Long, Long, Day at Chemo

Today's chemo appointments lasted from 7:30am to 6:15pm. Everything went well just the timing was a little spread out.

I took advantage of the beautiful weather and after my chemo (while Rick stayed back at SCCA waiting for his chemo to start) I rode the new trolley system to downtown Seattle. It was beautiful. I bought a couple of gifts, walked to Pike Place Market to get some fresh flowers (but they were only selling daffodils and I can get fresh ones right where I live) then headed back to meet up with Rick in infusion. I got a couple of warm blankets for him, then a couple for me, wrapped myself up in the reclining chair and woke up when Rick's chemo was complete.

We stopped for dinner on the way home. We immediately crawled into bed and are just about to fall asleep so I 'd better say goodnight.

Dreaming Big,

Monday, April 06, 2009

Meditation Monday

I was pleasantly surprised to wake up to such beautiful weather again today. My day was filled with visitors, first my friend Kim, next came Jake, then my sister in law Denise and great niece Shailee. My company lasted until about 3:30 – 4:00 when I got ready to go to my first MEDITATION class. I met Janeen and we both really enjoyed it. What an easy way to calm your body, soul and mind.

After class, I arrived home to a houseful of March Madness Maniacs. (They were not really maniacs but that sounded better than March Madness watchers). Sarah Schmenauer brought dinner over (that her mom had prepared) then stayed to watch the game and have dinner with us. What a houseful we had. Jake, Angie, Amy, Rick, Shannon, Mel, Sarah and me (Megan had a late night so she couldn't join us). If you didn’t have your TV on, North Carolina won. So did Shannon in some pool she was in. Luckily it was in Oregon, or Amy would have confiscated all the money and called it illegal. Ok, maybe not, but she would have teased her about it.

It’s chemo again for Rick and I tomorrow so after our houseful of people left, we headed down to Seattle for our early morning appointments. It’s so much nicer to wake up 10 minutes from our destination than fight the early morning Seattle traffic. Thanks Mel for making our life a little easier.

April is a busy month for us. Today is my nephew Jason’s birthday, my niece Darlena’s birthday is coming up fast, our anniversary, Jake’s birthday, Palm Springs vacation, Easter, tax day, & CT scans. With all this excitement…we’re bound to have some great days ahead.

It’s getting late, so I’d better call it a night. Rick and I have been feeling pretty good lately. Finally healing from the RSV and upper respitory infections. We've got friends to play with on vacation. We need to get better FAST!

I’ll write more tomorrow if I’m not asleep all afternoon.

Dream Big,

Sunday, April 05, 2009

All is Well

For those of you who are having withdrawls from reading the daily blog, sorry about that. I have been too busy living (and loving) life to write a blog. On Friday I had chemo and it went well. I no longer have RSV so I am safe to hold your babies and kiss the elderly.... or something like that. :)

After chemo Rick and I drove over to Desert Aire for a wonderful weekend. We were delayed for 30 minutes on the way over the pass due to avalanche control. Internet is touchy over there so even if I had stopped having fun long enough to write a blog... there is no guarantee I would have had any service. I didn't want to risk wasting time so I enjoyed life with my Ricky instead. We watched a movie and spent a little while touching up the white paint on the other house (which is still for sale). We had a few people stop to look at the house this weekend but still no offers. If you or someone you know is looking for a vacation house with a view and awesome neighbors (that would be us) please let us know. They won't be disappointed in this darling place.

We enjoyed the beautiful weather all weekend and had a wonderful time visiting with our friends and family. Our plan was to leave around noon and head back across the pass but those plans were quickly changed when we heard about the new avalanche issues. Snoqualmie pass was shut down for hours and when it finally opened, the back-up was over 18 miles long. It re-opened with only one lane moving westbound. We heard the news and decided it was a sign that we were meant to stay a little longer in our "paradise" and avoid the mess on the road. We did exactly that (thanks to a few phone calls and updates from our friends who were stuck in it).

We are looking forward to a great week at home. I'm hoping to have all of the kids over tomorrow night for the NCAA championship game and a yummy dinner. I hope all of you had as wonderful of a weekend as Rick and I.

Rested and Loved-

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Webisode Mania

Today I was determined to work on some episodes for Bonnie's website. Tonight I'm going to attach a little snippet of what's to come. Bonnie has some amazing people working on this project so it's bound to turn out spectacular.

Here's the problem. Me. My job is to get on my web cam and talk. You would think this would be a simple job for "she never shuts up" Doreen but today I couldn't make it happen. Cathy came by and helped me set the "stage" for my background. We laughed so hard just trying to figure that out, that I'm surprised I got anything done. Luckily, Amy came by the house and with her infinite wisdom just said...don't make this so hard. Be yourself. Follow their directions. Gosh she's smart. I actually accomplished a lot more than I had imagined.

Just so you know, I'm not sure if webisode is even a word, I just use it to explain that I'm doing an episode of something on the web.

It is apparent by last night's photo that Angie and Shannon brought home the trophy. All the bowlers and Rick and I went to dinner tonight. Rick asked where the trophy was (assuming that someone might bring it along just to rub it in) and Angie answered with, "we're having it polished" or some smarty pants answer like that. Janeen said she would be my bowling buddy the next time they go....I can't wait! That trophy is coming home with us....

Here is the link to a "taste" of the Lungtube.....We hope you enjoy it. There's a lot more to come!

Gotta say goodnight. It's getting late and I have chemo tomorrow. Depending on the pass, we might head over to Desert Aire when I'm finished. I could use a change of scenery.

Dreaming Big,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Bowling Night

After yesterday's busy day, I decided to stay in my jammies all day so I wouldn't be tempted to leave the house. I had plenty of things to do to keep me busy. It's been almost a month since my last treatment so I had almost forgotten about the achy joints that visit me the day after chemo. Staying home and laying low was just what my body needed.

Angie is on spring break this week so she has plenty of time on her hands. She called me this afternoon with this great idea to go bowling. So, Angie and Shannon went to the Goodwill, bought "bowling shirts", a trophy with a woman bowler in a skirt, took the shirts home and turned them into "real bowling shirts" then called Amy and Mel and invited them to go along. When Angie and Shannon showed up at our house tonight to meet up with Amy and Mel, the laughter was contagious. The girls looked hilarious. Our daughters have been competitive their whole lives and now tonight they started their "new bowling league". Whoever wins each night will get to take home the "ugly" trophy. We're waiting patiently for a call from the winner...because I know someone will have to rub it in. They told me I could bring a friend as my partner some time and we could work hard for the "trophy" if we're interested. I'm looking for a ringer of a bowler....give me a call if you can help me out :)

We are still really thrilled by the results of yesterdays appointment. Each great visit like this gives us hope for many more months of health and happiness.

Time to head to bed and dream big,

Hugs, Dor