Tuesday, June 30, 2009

My dose of Reality

Doreen here. With a dose of reality. In case you hadn't noticed, I prefer to make margaritas out of limes (instead of lemonade out of lemons) but that's just a technicality.

This past week has been a little overwhelming for me, us. I know I've said it so many times before but we really have been LUCKY in the face of CANCER. Our battles have been fought with laughter, love and some toxins we can't seem to get away from. But lately, the battle gear has been a little more intense. I'm still trying to fight cancer with love and laughter, but I need something a little stronger than that. I need your prayers and some heavy artillery (chemotherapy).

Jake took Rick and I to our appointments today and was a trooper. We really enjoyed our time alone with you. Today's doctors visit left me again with a heavy heart. We've decided to cancel yet another drug that isn't doing it's job. (or to put it better, it's really do a job on me...not the cancer cells). I'm due for a blood transfusion soon, my port acted like it had a leak it in, so my chemo was given through my veins today instead (it took a couple tries to get a good vein...so I'm a little bruised up). I got another shot of Neulesta to stimulate my bone marrow (and cause excruciating pain in my pelvis and hips). They did a dye study of my port to make sure it was in working order and we're still debating what to do with it. When I got home I looked in the mirror to find my eyelashes have decided to make their departure (it's hard to have pretty eyes without mascara...and it's hard to put mascara on my eyelids). None of these things by themselves would cause anyone grief, but when I put them all together, I guess it is reason for some tears.

I prefer to share happy moments with all of you because I think it spreads hope that we can all beat this thing. I've been winning for over 3 years so I have so much to be thankful for. My glass is half full (of that margarita I was talking about earlier) and I plan on keeping it that way.

I must say that on Sunday when Amy was at the house and I was going through my morning ritual of gagging, coughing, sweating, coughing some more, etc., I didn't think much of it. I do it every day. Rick hears it and has adjusted, every once in a while he knocks on the bathroom door and says "hey, are you ok in there?". I forget that if you're not a part of it every day, it can sound scary and I'm sorry about that. Once, I finally get some of the fluid up from the bottom of my lungs, I actually feel better. Then, I take meds to keep the cough under control the remainder of the day and start over the next morning. This is my new normal.

Rick had another uneventful chemo day. He had lots of work to do once we got home so he went back to the office until after 7:00pm. He was bushed when he got home. He had a little dinner (thanks to Lindsay Smith) then went straight to bed. I hope he gets a good nights rest. He really needs it. I know he has a lot of pressure on him to stay as healthy as possible. He's still the breadwinner, the man who brings home the health insurance, and still tries to keep up with things that need to be done at home.

That is as much "real" as I can dish out in one day. I'm attaching a photo that my friend Cindy took (she came to visit me during chemo since she knew I'd be in town...I met here while she was a patient there and we became instant friends). The photo is how Rick and I were set up today during our infusion. He was in room 27 and I was in 28. Jake sat between us and kept us company.

I got this from a friend today and it's suppose to be about Sisters. I believe it's for all the people I love so I wanted to share it with you:

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.
So love the people who treat you right.
Love the ones who don't just because you can.
Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance,
Grab it with both hands.
If it changes your life, let it.
Kiss slowly.
Forgive quickly.
God never said life would be easy.

He just promised it would be worth it.

Dreaming Big,
The "Real" Doreen

Being Real

Most of the time Dor is very upbeat and positive when she is writing her blog entries. I guess to be fair, she is upbeat and positive about life in general. That is one of the many reasons why you guys love her. She has truly tried her best to make lemonade out of the lemons she has been handed the past few years. Lately though, mom and I have had the important discussion about writing for the purpose of being positive versus writing for the purpose of really showing what lung cancer looks like. I often ask her what the intent of the blog is... in her opinion. She is not "real" nearly as often as she could be. She paints a pretty picture most of the time so I often wonder if you are reading between the lines. I will stop by the house and see that she is shivering and wrapped in blankets, or sweaty and borderline delirious with a temperature of 103 (and has been most of the day), yet the blog entry the following morning will be about how she planted new flowers in the yard and had coffee with her friends. I appreciate her upbeat attitude but I try to remind her that it's ok to be "real". She tells me that she doesn't want pity from anyone. I try to remind her that she invited all of you on this journey with her and that it's ok to be honest when the flight has a little turbulence.

So here is the real story about how things have been lately. I was at my parents house on Sunday morning as we all got ready to attend a BBQ at their neighbors house. The steam from taking a shower has been hard on my mom for quite a while but I had no idea how quickly it has gotten worse. I will tell you, it's one thing to SEE her cute bald head or SEE her fatigued and say "it's sad to see the cancer affecting her", it's totally different to stand outside of the bathroom door and HEAR what lung cancer sounds like. The picture is not nearly as pretty as mom tends to paint. It is 45 minutes of coughing, gaging, sweating, more coughing, leaning over the sink with her mouth open hoping the fluid that is drowning her will fall into the sink and provide some relief. Watching someone struggle and knowing there is nothing you can do to help is one of the worst feelings in the world.

She called me a little while ago to tell me how things are going down in Seattle today. I was in a meeting and couldn't talk long but none of the news sounded overly positive. Nothing was horrible, but there was talk of her likely having a transfusion soon, and how they are only giving her one of the two chemos today because her body seems to be having a hard time with one of them. They can't figure out why she keeps having problems with a high temperature, and it sounds like her counts are starting to fall again. As of my last phone call with her, they were still waiting for news about my dad but they did know that his CEA counts have continued to climb and have now hit 35. For those of you who don't speak "cancer talk", we want moms counts to go UP and Dad's counts to go DOWN but today it was just the opposite.

We know how lucky we have been as a family over the past few years. We have been given far more time together than the doctors ever thought we would. We have had lots of good times and a few not-so-good times. I have no doubt that their positive attitudes have kept them alive so I anticipate they will continue to find the positive in everything that happens. It's the hard times that bring a family together so we will continue to embrace this time.

Fasten your seat belts, we are experiencing a little turbulence-


Monday, June 29, 2009

Chemo Eve

My mom and dad are going to drive Rick and I to Lynnwood in the morning to meet up with Jake who will be our chemo boy all day tomorrow. He has a softball game in Mt. Vernon tomorrow night so we figured after the appointment he could just drop us off at our house before heading north. Now that he has the summer off from school, we hope that he can share in some of the "fun". I know the reality of treatments are something he would like to avoid, but I think it's good for him sometimes to meet with our amazing nurses and docs. They help him feel better about what's going on in our lives.

I'm pretty fatigued today so I think I'll finish this blog and call it a night.

Talk to you all tomorrow if I can stay awake long enough after I get home from Seattle.

Dreaming Big,

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Too tired to sleep...

You know how sometimes you're just so tired, it's hard to fall asleep? That's where I am right now. My eyes are struggling to stay open, but my insides are screaming "no not yet". So here it is, 5 am, jammies on, took my meds, Rick is in bed with the sheets all warmed up and my body is saying, "no, let's have another glass of water or a snack. Maybe we could a crossword puzzle then we can go to bed"? I said "forget it". Now it's time to wake up. I'll just have to take a nap sometime today instead.

Today we are going to our neighbors, Jeff and Ericka's house. Ericka's grandparents grew up next to my in laws and they will be in town for the weekend. We're all going down to their house to catch up on old times. Hopefully, both families will be able to make it for the visit. They used to have great times together. I'm sure many of the old stories will come out. I'm just not sure "which version" we'll get to hear. :)

I'm still feeling much better than yesterday. Let's hope it stays that way. Rick and I both have chemo again on Tuesday so I'd like to start the week on a good note. Jake will be our chauffeur to and from our appointments now that school is out.

Ok, I'm going to crawl back under the covers and o my best to fall asleep.

Wide awake but always dreaming,

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bad Day, Ugh!

Yesterday would not be considered one of my better days in life. As a matter of fact, it might be near the top of the bad ones. I started the morning with a low grade fever (nothing out of the ordinary...this has been happening since I started on chemo), but by noon it had shot up to 103 degrees. Oops! A little too high. I spent the rest of the day at the doctor's office having blood work done, a new chest x-ray and a urinalysis. They needed to find out what was generating this fever. It appeared I was heading for the hospital, until my fever broke while we were waiting for some results (and I was packed in ice). I wasn't very happy about going to the hospital (that is where sick people go and I wasn't ready to give in yet!). Once I got home, I slept the remainder of the day.

Today has been wonderful. No fever over 99.6. I feel good. I've been taking it easy all day only doing odd jobs around the house. Tonight Rick went to play cards with some old high school buddies so, Reid picked him up and dropped Cathy off at the house to play with me. Actually, we've made cookies, watched a movie, talked, laughed, talked some more. All in all, it's been a great day.

While I was laying in bed yesterday, our dear friends Ann and Michael came up and worked in our yard for an hour. It looks great. Thanks guys!

Gotta go check on my cookies (and my guest).
Dreaming Big,

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Clam Digging?

I was feeling pretty good this morning, rested, not queasy.... So I thought I would go clam digging with my Dad and Angie (Mom stayed in the car). My original thought was that I could dig some clams, perhaps be helpful, bring the clams back to the van, (just do whatever was needed of me). I have told you lately how much lung cancer sucks? I was winded before I ever got to the beach, I helped Angie get about 30 clams, walked them back up the hill (while sucking breath), then sat in mom and dad's van for the next 30 minutes trying to catch my breath. Clam digging was nothing like I remember.

Something great happened due to the clam digging... When we got back, we cleaned and ground the clams for chowder. Once I got back to the house, I made a huge stockpot filled with chowder (some for Angie to take home) and I must say...it was delicious. Fresh clam chowder on a blustery day. Now that's what I call a joyous afternoon.

I'm attaching some photos. It's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it.

Love you more than all the clams we saw spitting at the beach today.

Dreaming Big,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pet Scan Results

I heard from Dr. Eaton this morning about my PET/CT scan and this is what he had to say: The tumors are all stable in size according to the CT scan. 2 areas of concern are my lower left and lower right lung. Though they have remained the same size, the activity of the cancer is higher than it was a couple of weeks ago. Because the activity didn't change dramatically, I will remain on this program for 2 more cycles. That should put me at the end of July.

I felt pretty good most of the day. I got some odd jobs done, napped for a good portion of the afternoon, had dinner made for Rick when he got home in case I was napping (which I was) and didn't have to rely on anti-nausea medicine to get me through the day. I hope tomorrow will be as successful.

Rick is feeling good today, as well. When he feels good, it helps me feel better. No news yet from the specialist who is going to do his liver procedure in Seattle, but we just heard about it yesterday. I guess I need to be a little more patient. :)

Amy added a link on my blog site for anyone interested in joining our team for the Bonnie J. Addario "Golden Gait 5K" - 5K Walk/Run. The girls in California have assured me that they'll send our shirts whether we go the event or not. Just know that your $25 entry fee will sign you up and start adding towards our goal. So far, I think we have about 10 team members and have raised $550 dollars. Bonnie says "Walk. Run. Sit. Sprint. Sprawl. Crawl. Dance. Prance. Stroll. Cajole. Saunter. Meander. Hop. Skip or Jump" Whatever your choice ~ Break your stride for Lung Cancer. I love that Bonnie Girl....I wish you all had the opportunity to meet her. You would understand why I have such a passion for eradicating lung cancer.

Until tomorrow...
I'm just dreaming big,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Updates

Hi everyone! I'm going to make this quick and head back to bed...but here's what we learned today. My PET scan results did not make it back to my doc so we don't know anything new about me. (they are read by someone other than the regular person because it's a research trial and that guy is gone right now so hopefully I'll learn something tomorrow. It doesn't matter however because I was going to get the chemo anyway) . I told Dr. Eaton that I've had a rough couple of weeks and he offered me the opportunity to stop...I said no thank you. I'll adjust to the inconveniences.

Rick's CT scan showed that most of his tumors were stable or a little smaller except for the ones in his liver. So, the new game plan is to inject chemo directly into his liver as a condensed version of the drug. We're hoping that this is just what his body needs. We'll learn more about it in the next couple of weeks.

For those of you who read this blog earlier and were worried that I'd had a stroke (all the jibberish) I want to assure you that I'm fine. The computer starting typing it's own letters and I couldn't shut the computer off. Sorry if I scared you.

I slept for about 5 hours this afternoon so I think I'll be up most of the night. It's ok though because I'm feeling pretty good and I have lots of things TIVO'd.

Dreaming (with my eyes wide open) Big,

Monday, June 22, 2009

Here's What's Happening...

I've been worried for the past few days that I wasn't going to have a really good day before it was time to have chemo again. Yahoo, I woke up today feeling GREAT. Today, Rick's sister Vickie took Rick and I to our appointments. We both had scans so we won't know anything until tomorrow.

Now for some news:

I got a wig (cranial prosthesis) today. (I'm attaching a photo of me with my sister in law...I'm the blonde one on the left)

On Wednesday night, June 24 during the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants game it will be the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation night. Bonnie (and a little girl, Emma who won an essay contest about lung cancer) will be throwing in the first pitch. Bonnie also told me that a little tease of the lungblog (with Jake and I in it) will be on the big screen. So, if you get satellite TV you might be able to watch it. She said there will be a big group of people with green shirts and lung cancer signs all over the stadium. Hopefully the cameras will zoom in on them. I am so excited that her foundation has brought so much awareness to this disease. Keep up the great work Bonnie. You're the best.

Amy and Melana ran a 5K in the Lance Armstrong Livestrong event that was held in Seattle on Sunday. I'm so proud of them for participating. Amy brought home a shirt for Rick and I that says, Game on, Cancer. I love them.

I forgot to mention this last week. Jake got a job back with the Stanwood Camano School District for next year. He's so excited to know what his future looks like. Megan just has a year left at the University of Washington, then she'll be done.

Angie is taking Rick and I to our appointments tomorrow. It's always so nice to have someone else at our appointments with us. They are great at taking notes and being moral support. I have chemo (as long as my counts are good) and Rick has a follow-up appointment to see if his chemo cocktail is working. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

I'm attaching a few photos from father's day as well. I hope you enjoy them.

Dreaming Big,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Father's Day is a very special day for me because most you you know...I have the greatest DAD in the World. Not just because that what his card says, but because he displays all the qualities needed for that honor. He loves us ALL unconditionally, would do anything for ANYONE, he is EVERYBODY'S GRANDPA BOB, still loves my mother after all these years, forgets that he's 76 years old and wants to do everything he can, to help Rick and I. He doesn't take no for an answer, he's honorable, loving and the kindest man you'd want to know. He's my Hero! Thank you Dad for being who you are, all you've done, and all you'll continue to be.

To all the other Dads in my life....thank you, too. Thank you for being coaches, mentors and shoulders to cry on. Thank you for taking a firm stand (when you know it's for own good), giving hugs when we need it most, believing in us when we know we can do something, and forgiving us when we apparently couldn't. Thank you for your love. Thank you for your time. But, most of all...thanks for being you!

Let's take the time to Celebrate Dads ~

I've attached a photo of my dad and I right after my diagnosis. Isn't he cute?

Love you more,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday night insomnia

It's been a few days since my last post but I haven't been in much of a mood to share. Since Tuesday, I've been housebound (working hard at getting my blood counts up) all the while....keeping my spirits up! With all the pain I've been having in my lower back, hips, pelvis I think that the bone marrow shot they gave me last week is doing it's job. I finally got out of bed 10 minutes ago because the pain is so intense I keep waking myself up from the trembling.

This evening, Amy had a few people over to the house to have a "little spa treatment" She purchased the spa basket at a Relay for Life Auction. We had a great time and bought a few items to keep us all looking and feeling our best. Thanks Amy for letting us be a part of your spa adventure. My feet feel fabulous and one side of my face looks amazing....now I need to do the other side so I don't look like I've had a stroke. Hopefully, my products will arrive soon :)

We don't have many things planned for the weekend. Maybe a little work around the house, a movie, dinner reservations?, trip to Costco, then we're wrapping up Sunday with a BBQ for both of our dads.

Monday is a busy day. I have a PET scan and CT scan at 8:45am at the University of Washington, then at noon Rick has a CT scan over at Seattle Cancer Care. At 1:00 that day I have an appointment to be fitted for my "cranial prosthesis - wig". I'm not sure if you'll see me wearing it much, but you never know. Stranger things have happened. On Tuesday, we both get results then I'll get chemo. (Rick has this week off from chemo treatments). As usual, we are anxious for the results. I just need to hear the word STABLE so I can continue the treatment plan I'm on. We would like to hear the word SHRINKAGE from Rick's oncologist. His counts have continued to raise slowly, but we're hoping the tumors are shrinking in size. Again, we'll know more on Tuesday afternoon. When we know something...so will you.

It's now almost 1:30 and I think the Tylenol (arthritis strength) is kicking in. I'm going to try the sleep thing again. If it doesn't work, you might be hearing from me again tonight.

Sleep well, and if you're lucky enough to still have your daddy...don't forget to let him know how much you love him.

Dreaming Big,

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Early Morning Update

Thanks for the blog update, Amy. It's 3:00am and my "wishbones" woke me up so I thought I'd stay up long enough to drop you all a little note. To all of you blog readers, thanks for keeping Rick and I in your thoughts and prayers...we can feel the love surrounding us.

This chemo is quite different than anything I've had before. Not that it's so terrible, it's just very different. The first week is a quick dose of a drug that I barely even know I've gotten. By week 2 however, the dose is longer, stronger and they've added 2 additional drugs. At the beginning of week 2 I don't feel much different than fatigued, but by this time in the treatment, I've really got to watch the low grade fevers, ACHY hips, pelvis, knees, thighs (they gave me a shot so my body would over produce bone marrow to keep me healthy...I think it's working), nausea, loss of appetite (finally a new diet plan) and just an overall feeling of not feeling like my self. I've done a lot more resting than usual and it seems to be helping.

I've gotten used to the bald head (though I still have follicletis - an inflammation of my hair follicles) so my scalp has a little rash on it. I'm getting more and more accustomed. Now I don't scream when I see my reflection in a mirror or window or a glass of water :)

Today (technically yesterday since it's now 3:15am on Tuesday), I got an incredible gift of kindness. As you all know, I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and support I get from so many of you. From dear old friends, to some I only know through the blog, to some of you I've never met. Here's what happened: About a month ago I received the most incredible flower arrangement I had ever seen from a dear friend of Amy and Angie's, named Sabrina. It was sent to me from the Tulalip Casino's new flower shop, Salal Floral (I didn't even know they had one there). When Sabrina ordered the flowers she shared the "story of our family" to the shop owner and shared how much she loved our family over the years and what great people she thought we were. Long story short, they decided to "adopt" us and I got an e-mail from the flower shop saying they would like to send me a fresh bouquet twice a month as a kind gesture in hopes that it would keep our spirits high. Oh, my goodness. Me and fresh flowers? Are you kidding? I'm going to be elated. They will bring them every other Thursday...Am I blessed or what?

We were hoping Dave and Val would be moving in this week but it looks like there is a little glitch in the 3rd parties money. Too much feet dragging. I believe it's all going to work out, they just need our good thoughts to help push everything in the right direction. I guess it will be a little longer before the "partying starts"...Just kidding, our partying needs to be during the daylight. Otherwise, we've all fallen asleep in our chairs or on the couch. Don't worry about stopping by and interrupting our parties...you might just be waking us up :)

Well, now that's it's 3:30 and my tylenol has kicked in a little, I think I'll wrap my hips back up with a heating pad and try the sleeping "thing" again.

We're hoping this week Jake learns something about his job. They re posted a bunch of them and I think he applied for all the was qualified for. School is officially out on Wednesday, so let's hope they learn something soon. Megan has the rest of this week off then it's back to school again for her. I think the kids are going to spend a few days over at Desert Aire for relaxation and sun before Megan has to go back for her last set of classes. Once summer quarter is over, it all just hands on stuff for her. 3 months at 3 different sites. Then...she's done :) It's been a long journey, but well worth it.

Angie is officially out tomorrow so she'll join me at my next "result" appointment next Tuesday. It's nice when summer vacation comes around. The kids have more opportunities to join us at appointments and ask questions. It's also nice just to spend quality snuggling time with them. They can crawl right into the hospital bed during the infusion and no one cares.

Sorry to say this, but Amy doesn't just "get time off". She's got a great job and they will let her take time off and make it up as she needs to, but like the other 2 kids....she doesn't have an assigned "summer off". She does however join me at lots of appointments and I'm happy they give her the freedom to do that when needed.

Vickie is taking me on Monday for my PET scan then we're going to a "get beautiful" class that the University of Washington puts on for cancer patients who've lost their hair. We should have a great time. And you never know. I might come home with a cute blonde wig?

Ok, enough blabbering...time to head to bed. Someone (ME) needs their beauty sleep desperately. I should have been in be by 7:30 tonight :)

Dreaming with achy hip bones...which are connected to my pelvis bone, connected to my thigh bones, connected to my knee bone, connected...well you get the picture :)

Love, Dor

Monday, June 15, 2009

Checking In

Dor hasn't been writing much lately so I thought I would give everyone a quick update on their status.  Dad seems to be really tired these days.  I haven't heard him complain about being in pain or having chemo symptoms, but we can all tell that he is tired from the constant treatment.  He has been going thru treatment for a long time without a break.  Personally, I think the guy deserves a week on a beach in Mexico.  

Mom has been under the weather the past few days.  For those of you who saw her at the parties on Saturday, you know that she over did it.  She spent most of Sunday in bed with a fever that hovered around 101.  She told us that she felt a little better today but was having a hard time getting used to the new treatment.  She said her hips are sore.  She keeps mentioning that her hips feel like a wishbone, ready to break at all times.  The new chemo is known to mess with a cancer patients bone marrow so this will be something that we keep an eye on.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that mom is sick because she is so upbeat and funny.  Other times, like the past few days, she has been a normal cancer patient.  These side effects aren't expected to last forever, but as long as the fever continues we will keep a closer eye on her.

We are hoping tomorrow will be a better day for both of them.  Dad has chemo in Seattle.  His sister Denise has volunteered to take him so mom can stay home and rest.  It's always hard to tell how my dad is feeling because he has always been so quiet.   We are hoping that mom takes advantage of her day at home and gets some rest.  She should stay off of her "wishbones" and keep an eye on her fever but she will probably end up at Starbucks with one of her friends.  Oh well, life's too short to pass up a cup of coffee.

Sleep tight.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Over did it and I have no one to blame but myself :(

As you all knew, we had a very busy weekend planned. a baby shower yesterday morning as well as 2 graduation parties yesterday afternoon. I had a wonderful time at each of them but but last night at Ally's graduation party, I was beginning to feel warm and laid down until we were ready to leave the party. By the time we got home, my temperature had spiked to 101.2 and I was feeling pretty lousy. Thought I didn't sleep well last night, I must say I'm feeling much better this morning.....

Sorry for not listening to you Eric, and leaving the party earlier. I could hear your little voice in my head all night long....

I'm going to head back to bed and try to catch up on my much needed sleep from last night.

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Quick little update

I started out yesterday morning feeling pretty good. By the afternoon, I could feel the effects of the steroids working on my body and my skin felt like it was crawling. Today, I woke up feeling great, my friend Kim stopped by for a visit and by 3:30 I was feeling pretty cruddy again. I could feel a fever coming on and I was a bit queasy. I just need to get my body adjusted to these new drugs and then I'll be ok. I'm just not sure what to expect from week to week yet. Dave and Val stopped by to talk about the new adventures of the "4 Musketeers".

Dave and Val are in the middle of building their retirement home in Plain, Washington. We are so excited for their journey, but they are running into a few glitches along the way. We are willing and able to help with some of their problems, by inviting them to stay with us while they finish their building. Housemates at 50? We'll have the best time.... They accepted our offer (though Dave thinks he's going to make a bunch of the rules). We were hoping they would move in next week, but there are still a few things to work out with their buyers. I think we are all excited to spend more time together. I'm very sure that having them around will be as helpful for Rick and I as it will be for them.

I'm heading off to bed now with big hopes of waking up feeling great tomorrow. I've got a busy weekend planned with baby showers and graduation parties. I need to start feel better soon.

Love you more than all the beautiful flowers blooming on my porch :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Blog Post number 900...

I either need to start talking less or have my blog printed in book form. Somehow, I'm running out of space. Ugh.

Chemo went ok today. It was a long day and I fell immediately asleep when I got into Cathy's car this afternoon. I don't think I was much fun on the ride home. (Well I don't remember anything if that gives you a clue). I've been sleeping ever since I got home so now I'm awake and thought I would drop you a line to get you up to date on what's happening.

After the 2 doses of chemo, they shot me in the arm with Neulesta (a drug to build up my bone marrow over the next couple of weeks since these drugs tend to do a number on your blood counts). That seems to be the only thing that hurt tonight. The needle shot in my arm. I woke up around 7:00pm feeling a bit nauseous but I took something for that before it got out of hand and I'm already feeling better.

Tomorrow, Rick and I go in for eye exams and new glasses. My vision has gotten worse over the past couple of years, I think that's an AGE thing. I forgot I can actually blame some of my faultering body on age rather than cancer related stuff.

I'd better get back to bed before I wake myself up completely.

Dream Big Happy Dreams,
Love you MORE ~ Dor

Monday, June 08, 2009

Photo Shoot

Today I had a little photo shoot with my friend Noel. She spent a couple of hours making me feel beautiful (with or without something on my head). I try to be the person on the side of the camera taking the photos...not the one in them...so the first few minutes seemed~oh, so uncomfortable. I've posted some pictures from today's adventure. Hope you like them.

This afternoon, Amy and I went to Mt. Vernon to sit with some friends at the hospital. Their mom/mother in law has just been diagnosed with lung cancer and they needed some 1st hand guidance. Those first few days after diagnosis are so scary. Ok, all the days are scary, but we just learn to adapt as time goes on. We were there to help ask some of the questions you wouldn't necessarily know if you didn't know much about lung cancer. I wish them all the best on this new journey their family will be taking.

Tomorrow is another busy chemo day. I'll get the 2nd part of my Gemzar/Taxotere treatment. I've got a busy weekend coming up with Pam's daughter's baby shower and 2 graduation parties. I hope this treatment doesn't knock me down too much. I'm a busy woman with things to do, places to go, people to see :)

It's getting late so I think I'll go fold some laundry and get ready for bed. 5:45am comes early for me. I have to be ready to leave by 6:30 and since I don't have any hair to fix...I can get up 15 minutes later than usual :)

Until tomorrow, Dream Big~

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Wide awake at 3:20am

Late night at Desert Aire. Our friends Mark and Debbie and their daughters joined us over here today to take a look at house number one, visit, and spend the night before they went on to their next journey (a graduation party in Qunicy). We BBQ'd then sat outside in our courtyard chatting until midnight. The only problem I have...no such luck with falling asleep since we came in the house. Everyone else is sound asleep (sawing logs) and I'm wide awake with no one to talk to.

Rick had a successful morning at the livestock auction (I didn't go with him since I woke up with a headache, but it went away before he returned home and I had the car packed and ready to go). He bought 5 steers from some deserving young kids who had been raising them since they were calves. He however didn't feel well when he got home. So I fed him some lunch and we got in the car and headed over. He was feeling much better this evening. He thinks maybe he was just a little hungry (and needed some of my cooking).

The weather over here today when we arrived was a beautiful 73 degrees. Nice...Not to hot...not too cold. We took advantage of the heat (or lack of heat) because those days over here come few and far between.

I guess I'll go back to bed and see if my luck changes in the sleep department.

Dreaming (ok, not really) Big...
Love you MORE,

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Hot June Night

The temperature outside appears to be just like yesterday, but for some reason I'm not feeling as miserable from the heat today. Perhaps it's because I've been hit with a fatigue bug that has me just laying around. This afternoon, I unloaded my dishwasher and could hardly lift the dishes up into my cupboard. I know...it's sounds ridiculous. I actually have a little more energy now. Perhaps it was just a warning to slow down in the heat.

I started this blog earlier today...and I think I may have spoken to soon. It ended up being equally as hot as yesterday. They say, tomorrow is suppose to be 15 degrees cooler. Yahoo!

We've got another busy weekend planned. I guess it's a good way to keep our mind off all the things that can bring us down. Tomorrow night is our niece's 2nd birthday party, then it the annual Livestock Auction, then a quick trip over to Desert Aire. Then, I start the next batch of toxins that are going to change my life. (Positive Thinking)

Have a peaceful night and keep dreaming big,

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

We're having a "heat wave"

When I wrote yesterday, I was feeling a little bummed that the chemo didn't work as planned, but I'm feeling better about it today. The reason I opted to do this research trial was so I didn't waste time on a treatment plan that wasn't working. In my case, this first batch didn't work, so I'm on to the 2nd plan. I had to remind myself what the purpose of this option was for. I'm ok now. Just waiting for the drugs to start doing their job :) Unless the tumors start growing in size and activity, I know I will get to remain on this plan for the next 3 cycles. That will be almost 3 more months. And in cancer time...that's almost 7 years :)

I woke up around 5:30am needing an anti-nausea pill. I've been feeling fine ever since. Maybe it was just a reminder to get up early and water my plants outside before the temps get up to the predicted 90 degrees....what's that all about anyway?

Chemo went as planned for Rick yesterday. Same stuff, different day. We keep wondering why his CEA counts aren't going down (knowing that the tumors are shrinking), but the doctors aren't concerned about it. They say the numbers are still low (it's just that we know they've been lower...) we just want it all. Smaller tumors AND lower counts. Patience, Doreen...Patience....

Enough about us...hope you're all doing well. Don't forget to ~ Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate during this heatwave.

Dreaming Big (and very warm)

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Starting Over....

Not the news I was hoping for, but perhaps the new plan will be better than the last. The activity of the cancer didn't slow down enough for me to continue on the Carbo/Taxol Chemo routine. So, today I started something new. Then next Tuesday, I'll be back for another dose of this and something new. I'll give you all the details tonight when I write again. I'm already done for the day, Rick is still upstairs for another 1/2 hour.

Rick's CEA count is creeping back up (but very slowly). No one seems to be alarmed by it, so I'm not going to worry yet either. He is very tired but doesn't plan on giving up the fight anytime soon.

I'll write more later.

Dreaming Big,

Monday, June 01, 2009

Chemo Eve

About the photos from yesterday...I did not give my permission for that terrible photo of me driving the boat to be put on the blog. The one with Angie holding her fish...now that was nice. After I wrote the blog last night and went to bed, Angie (who is now grounded until she's 35) got back on the computer and put those photos on the blog...boy is she in trouble. She did try to explain it away by saying it was the only photo she had of me on my own birthday party.

Today was sort of laid back. I spent the afternoon with my sister in law. We did a little job at her work, then went to lunch, stopped by Amy's work to say hello, then finished up by doing a little grocery shopping. I got home early enough to open all the windows to air the house out before Rick got home. The weather was beautiful today...but inside the house it was 80 degrees. (it felt a lot like an easy bake oven)

Tomorrow is a big chemo day. Hopefully all is going well with Rick's treatments, he seems a little more worn out than usual, but we've been doing a lot of things lately to cause fatigue. I will find out if the PET scan showed shrinkage in the tumors. If not, I will most likely start a brand new chemotherapy tomorrow instead. We'll keep you posted on that when the time comes.

I feel asleep on my bed around 6:30 tonight and woke up to a phone call from Jake. Megan just found out where all her internships will be next year. The first one will be at Northsound in Mukilteo, then at a nursing home in Arlington, and she will finish out in Spokane at St. Luke's Hospital.

Ok, it's time for me to say goodnight. 5:45 am will come early tomorrow. The really good perk is, I don't have to spend a lot of time on my hair :) Shower, make-up, clothes...I'm done

Dreaming Big positive thoughts for tomorrow,