Sunday, August 30, 2009

Visitors, Salmon and Relaxation

We've had a busy weekend with lots of visitors. A couple of aunts from the mid west are here for a few weeks with Uncle Delmar and his girlfriend Myrna, Pat Yeoman, and old family friend was here for 3 hours today catching up on what's been happening. While I was at a party this afternoon, Uncle Chuck and Auntie Fran stopped by.

Dave and Val left early Saturday morning to head over to Lake Wenatchee. They are hoping to come back tomorrow to pick up another load of their items. Then all next week they'll be working on flooring, lights, and other miscellaneous home builder projects.

I've really been enjoying my time of feeling well. This week will be a little stressful with Rick having his chemo embolization, but I'll sleep right next to him in a hospital chair and hold his hand. That will calm my nerves. (This time I think I'll bring my own pillow and blanket).

Amy left yesterday for a funeral for one of the soldiers in her old troop. He died of complications from colon cancer. The service was being held in Los Angeles with a full military procession. She was very close to Curtis. According to Amy, he will truly be missed.

Angie and Shannon are becoming addicted to fishing. Yesterday (and again today) they were at Shelly Rubatino's house and caught 6 salmon and/or humpies. Perhaps Shannon will put some photos on the blog later so you can really get a feel for what these women have accomplished (Done, hope you like the pictures -Shannon).

I did a little bit of Christmas shopping today at the party I went to. 3 down - 100 to go :(

Dinner is about done, so I'd better say good-bye.

Love you more than all the kids out school shopping this week :)

Dreaming Big,

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Enjoying our house guests :)

We've had lots of fun the last couple of days with our house guests. Dave and Val are so easy to live with...I think we'll keep them.

I got an e-mail from a friend today who is also battling lung cancer. She told me that I shouldn't think of it as doing "nothing" with my cancer right now because I'm actually doing more than I think. I'm giving it a rest. I'm playing hard. I'm feeling good. My spirits are high. All of those things are great healing tools. My dear friend Diana, thank you for making me look at this in a whole different light.

Last night after a great halibut dinner, (and before dessert) I surprised Amy and Angie at their friend Allison Reid's house. Allison's kids, her sister, Erin and her mom were also at the house. When I got there, they were all playing Rock Band (the Wii version). It didn't take much persuasion and before you knew it, I too was a part of the band. I didn't stay long, but I sure had fun while I was there.

It's bedtime for the old folks so I'd better crawl under the covers.

Keep dreaming big,

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Exciting Weekend

Yesterday we spent the day at our friends Tom and Jana Shaughnessy's river cabin. It was absolutely beautiful. The grounds looked like a golf course and it sits right on the Skagit River. The girls all camped there on Friday and Saturday night. They spent a great deal of their time in the river with wading boots on trying to catch fish. Amy caught her first fish this morning (a 4 pound humpie). She was very excited to say the least. It was a team effort getting her little fish in. Angie stood on the rivers edge coaching her, Shannon netted it and the whole Shaughnessy gang cheered her on. Thanks Tom and Jana for sharing your little piece of Heaven with the Schmitt's. I hope we behaved ourselves and you'll let us come back.

Today Amy helped me cross one of the items off my newest bucket list. We are not gun people but I've been wanting to shoot a pistol. So, today Amy took me to the shooting range in Bellingham and she let me shoot a whole box of bullets. It was adrenaline was pumping after I hit the target on my first 3 attempts. After those first three shots however, my aim was a little low and to the left. If I was trying to shoot a robber, I would have hit his liver. I still don't have any desire to own a gun, but I would go back to the range and shoot again (after my arm stops throbbing and my lower back quits hurting - apparently my stance was a little tight)

Our friends, Dave and Val will be staying with us while they finish their house in Eastern Washington. They'll be working on the house 4 days a week, then spending the other 3 with us. There is never a dull moment when we're together...I'm really looking forward to spending time with them. Bring on the laughter :)

Rick has been a little worn out this week from the chemo. I'm hoping this next week gives him a break before it's time to have the next chemo embolization. I realized today how much better I feel when I'm not getting chemo. Maybe I really did need a break after all.

Love you more than all the salmon waiting to be caught this week,

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Here's what's happening with the Schmitt's

The movie was a blast. If you ever get the chance to participate in an outdoor movie night, jump at the opportunity. Bring your blankets, chairs, cooler filled with goodies and most importantly, good friends (thanks Janeen) . I don't think it even matters what movie is's the atmosphere that counts.

Wednesday afternoon, I met my buddy Shelly and my daughter Angie out by Kayak point and they picked me up via dingy and we went out fishing in Shelly's 34 foot boat. What a blast we had. Angie even caught her first fish...a salmon. She was so excited. But like all fishermen, she was mostly disappointed by the BIG fish that got away. She had it all the way up to the boat and before we could net broke loose.

This morning Angie and I helped our family friends Dave and Val prepare for the final move out of their house. They have until tomorrow morning to get everything loaded. Dave and Val will be our guests for 3 days a week until their house in Plain, Washington is finished. They'll be sleeping in their trailer on our property...but I'll have them in the house visiting everyday :)

Nothing new in the health department. Just waiting for Rick's next procedure and for my hair to grow back. Surprisingly, I have about a 1/2 inch grow-out (and most of it is gray).

I'm trying my best to enjoy the next couple of months off from cancer treatment, so with that I'm also finding that I've been a little lazy in the blog category.

We're hoping to join our friends the Shaughnessy's up at their property on the Skagit River tomorrow. The girls have all gone up to the river tonight. Amy and Mel are going to set up the tent. Angie and Shannon are going to show them how to fish. I wish I was a mouse in the corner of the tent. Oh wait, there might already be a mouse in the corner of the tent...ick.

On Thursday, Megan finished (and passed) her last day in class at the University of Washington. For the next year she'll be working on her internship at various physical therapy locations. One private location, a nursing home, then a hospital. We're very proud of our little Dr. Megan.

Jake has been working in his classroom to get it ready for his next group of students. This year he'll teach 7th and 8th grade science, and 7th grade math. He starts coaching high school tennis on Monday. Let the fun begin. :)

This afternoon, my dear friend Pam became a grandma for the 3rd time. Her daughter and son in law, Erin and Cody had their first little son, Levi. He was 8lbs, 8oz and 20 inches long. Congratulations to all of you.

Ok, I think I've mentioned everything I could think of for the moment. In case I haven't said it lately, "the trouble with trouble is that it usually starts out as fun". Have a safe and happy weekend.

Dreaming Big,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sorry about the blog malfunction :(

I wrote a blog before I left Desert Aire yesterday. I just noticed it never posted. Oops sorry. We were gone all day, today for Rick's chemo. Nothing exciting happened (which is a good thing when you want it to go smooth). We learned however, that Rick's next chemo embolization of his liver will be on September 1st now, not the 25th of August. Just gives Rick a little extra time to feel better.

During the summer, Jake works for a company (Epic Entertainment) that does outdoor movies on 40 foot screens. Tomorrow night, a whole group of us are going to Marymoor Park in Seattle and watching the "Goonies". I can't wait. It was a favorite at our house many years ago. I just learned from Jake that it's Pirate Night...Argh...

The house is still pretty warm after the daily heat wave. So, I think I'll call it a night. Get some lightweight jammies on and head off to bed. It was a long weekend, and an early morning. I could use the rest.

Dreaming Big,

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beautiful Desert Aire

The temperature is perfect over here at D.A. but the wind is a little wild. Not much action over here this weekend, but Bob and Dy will be joining us tomorrow and the fun will begin.

Tonight we're visiting with Uncle Mel and Aunt Jessie. They got a new puppy named Molly. A miniatureCheck Spelling Boston Terrier. What a great dog. They rescued it from a puppy mill.

Rick and I are both doing great. When my dad stopped by this morning to help us get ready to leave, I discovered that it was a little easier to get ready for the trip before cancer joined our lives. By the time we're all ready to go, we're exhausted and need a nap. Oh well, we're here now and that's all that matters.

Keep Dreaming Big,
Love you more ~ Dor

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Good Morning

I haven't had much to say these past few days. Now that I can forget about my cancer for a while, I've been busy doing other things. I went to Taco Tuesday with Pam, Janeen and Jacob. Yesterday I worked on a flyer for our Desert Aire house. All the while I'm doing dishes, cooking, cleaning. It feels like a normal life :)

I didn't write a blog yesterday, but I want to make sure that my "other" daughter Morgan had a fabulous 21st birthday. I've loved little Morgan since I first met her at a little cheer camp 15 years ago. Hope you had a great day.

Today is my buddy Janeen's birthday. She is not 21 and I am not allowed to publish her age :) I'm taking her to a movie today to celebrate. Happy Birthday, Neener.

Rick has chemo again on Tuesday so we've decided to head over to DA this weekend for a little rest and relaxation. We'll be meeting up with Bob and Dy (who we haven't seen in long time). I'm really looking forward to seeing them. We haven't seen our friend and neighbor Pat at DA since she turned 50 so we'll probably be doing a little celebrating with her while we're there too!

Dream Big,

Monday, August 10, 2009

Great Scan Results

Cancer is a funny thing. It takes hold of you when you least expect it. Then, like sits idle. Stable. No changes. So, the plan we're on is called "watchful waiting". I'm thrilled to be having a break from all the poisons and drugs BUT...doing nothing seems like a very scary way to do business with and evil client like cancer.

Dr. Eaton and I talked at length about what our upcoming plan will be. He told me of some options at Swedish Hospital in a clinical trial, and a new drug combination (that I haven't tried) Avastin and Alimta. We discussed how I feel about doing nothing, and he explained that as long as the cancer isn't actively growing it's good for my body to take a break. I keep in close contact with my team of doctors, so if anything changes before my next scan (in 2 months) then we'll change our direction sooner.

The scan shows that all the cancer is still in my lungs and lymph nodes and it still lights up on a PET scan. Since June 22nd, there seems to be no changes. Apparently it's just waiting for a day to come out and play. So until then, I'm going to just keep living and laughing.

My sister and law, Vickie and her grandson Jeffrey went to my appointment with me today. While we were waiting in the lobby, Jeffrey found origami cranes in a container. He brought one to each of us for good luck. I'm going to keep it with me for all my appointments. It seems to work :)

Dreaming Stable and Big,

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Weekend Update

We're having a relaxing weekend. No where to go. Nothing to do. We slept in this morning. Had french toast. Watched some baseball. Janeen and I went to a movie and had a great time. That's about it.

I get my scan results on Monday morning. I'm not expecting any changes but I'll let you know once I get home from my appointment.

For your information, we have a new e-mail address:

Until later, keep dreaming big,

Thursday, August 06, 2009

I'm Back

The Internet is up and running, we have 700 TV channels (whatever happened to just ABC, NBC and CBS? was so much easier but not near as much fun). The phone works (I think) and now I'm just waiting on my TIVO cable. Enough about this technology....

Our Dream Big Bed was delivered while I was gone. So when it arrived on Friday, Shelley, Pam, Angie and Grandpa Bob were all there to help get it set up. We now have an incredible bed to sleep on. Thanks for all your help and love. Rick had the pleasure of sleeping on it a few days before I got home, but let me tell that I'm home, it's hard to get up in the morning. With my knees up and my head up, I sleep like a baby. I wake up in the morning exactly as I started the night before. I don't think I move a muscle (or cough for that matter). It was just what the doctor ordered...

I have so many stories and photos to share of our trip. Honestly, it was one of the greatest times I've ever spent "on the road". These girls had me laughing (and coughing) the entire time. I think I may have done my share of making them laugh as well. We didn't get to spend near enough time with Bonnie and the gang, but the Gala is coming up in November so I'll be seeing them soon. Kim Mains was the best tour guide we could have asked for. Thanks again Kimmy!

Rick had chemo on Tuesday and while at his appointment, he learned that his CEA count has dropped from over 40 to 18.5. That is terrific news since normal is between 0 and 2. That's the first time it's dropped in months thanks to the hepatic artery embolization (to his liver). We met with Dr. Kooy yesterday (the physician who performed this procedure) and he is planning to do it again to the other lobe of Rick's liver within the next month. He said it will be much easier on Rick the second time around.

I had a PET/CT scan yesterday and I'll find out the results on Monday. I don't like the wait and watch game (which is what I feel like we're doing right now) so after I hear some results on Monday, we might be starting up a new program. I'll keep you posted.

I've missed you all since I've been gone. Sorry the blogs were sporadic but I was having so much fun that I knew you'd understand.

Thank goodness the weather calmed down while we were gone.

I'm attaching a photo of my bi-monthly flowers that were delivered today. They are just beautiful. Thanks Salal Floral :)

Happy to be home,

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Made It Home Safely

Mom made it back safe and sound last night, but she won't be blogging for a couple of days. Directv and Verizon came to their house yesterday to install internet and tv. After 9 hours with the Directv guy mom's Tivo doesn't work and we have no internet. They forgot to send the correct equipment. So........either Friday or Saturday she should be getting the correct setup for internet and she will be back in the swing of things.

Dad's appointment went well yesterday. Thank you again Grandpa Bob for taking him down there! Mom has a pet scan this morning, and I will keep you updated on the details of that.

Keep Dreaming Big,

Monday, August 03, 2009

I refused to pay $14.95 a night for internet

We just stopped at a hotel in Roseburg, Oregon on our way home from the best girls road trip EVER. It is a 13 or 14 hour drive (or so mapquest says) and honestly, the time has flown by when we're together.

Our 2 days in San Francisco were so memorable. We did our best to get in every possible thing on our wish list. When we first arrived, we met Bonnie and her daughters for lunch at the World Lung Conference. After lunch, we put other peoples name tags on and toured the lung conference. Amazing things are going on when it come to keeping those of us with lung cancer alive. Thanks to all of the research scientists and doctors who are working together to make great things happen. We spent all afternoon and evening at the waterfront and got back to the room at 10:30 that night. The next day we spent walking all around Union Square until it was time to head over to Golden Gate Park for the walk.

The 1st Annual Bonnie J. Addario 5K Golden Gait Walk for Lung Cancer was a huge success. In it's first year they raised nearly 130 thousand dollars. Janeen, Cathy and Donna got to meet my San Francisco extended family and friends. The all had a wonderful time.

Kim Mains, our old family friend (who lives near San Francisco) met us and did the walk with me (by the way I finished 8 minutes before Janeen, Cathy and Donna...but who's counting?). When we were done with the walk, Kim took us over the golden gate bridge, down Lombard's crooked street and gave us lots of opportunities for photos. We were going to meet up with Bonnie when we finished, but we never connected. She had a busy day and still needed to get some sleep for the Lung Conference today.

This morning we headed out of the city around 11:00am and made a few really important stops, the Jelly Belly Factory and the Olive Pit. The car is filled with souvenirs, jelly beans and jars of olives. We need to get home since we can't fit another item in the SUV.

As much fun as we've all had, I know we're all ready to get home to our families. We miss you and love you :)

I need to go now so I can get some shut eye.

Dreaming and Laughing Big,