Monday, November 30, 2009

Doctor's Visit

I had a check up appointment today (1/2 way point for the clinical trial). After my exam and talk with Dr. West, he is almost certain that no good is coming from the trial. He gave me the option to stop the drugs, but I only have one more week until this round is over so I said I would just keep taking it and after my next CT scan, I'll stop. We talked a lot about all the discomfort I have breathing and the pain in my windpipe, so on Wednesday I'm heading to see a pulmonologist so he can scope out my throat to see what's going on. The Doc said the problem is most likely progression of the disease rather than a windpipe problem. I didn't especially like that answer, but I needed to hear it just in case they can't find anything new when they do the scope.

Val took me to my appointment today and we brought our knitting. In between each appointment, we took out our knitting needles and yarn and gabbed like a couple of old women. Oh wait, we are a couple of old women. Tomorrow, Dave is taking Rick to his chemo. It's wonderful having friends around who help break up the monotony of our day to day routines.

I'm ready to head to bed now and sleep off the news of today. I'm hoping things are brighter for Rick tomorrow and I learn some good things on Wednesday.

Keep dreaming big,

Friday, November 27, 2009

Apple Cup Eve

For the first time in many years, I did not get up at the crack of dawn (or before) and go shopping. As a matter of fact, I didn't even get out of bed before some of the "specials" were over. Oh well, I'll never know what I missed. When Rick got home from work tonight, he and I took a quick trip to Burlington and bought a few things on our list then went out for dinner.

My daughters made me very happy on this Black Friday...they've taken over where I left off. Amy and Mel were shopping at midnight, and Angie and Shannon were out shopping by 8:00am. When they were younger, I had to DRAG them shopping on Black Friday. The past couple of years Rick and Jake went with me. Thanks've made me proud :)

Yesterday we had a wonderful day at my sister in law Vickie's for Thanksgiving. The food all looked so tasty but I was nauseous most of the day so I only had mashed potatoes and some fruit salad. Later on I was ready for a piece of cherry pie that my sister in law Dawn made especially for me (cherry is my favorite kind of fruit dessert). Still feeling nauseous today....good thing I didn't bring a bunch of leftovers home. Thanks for your hospitality Vickie and Tom. We had a great time.

I really am thankful for all the family I have near me. So many families have too many miles that separate them during the holidays and I think the farthest away that anyone lives is about an hour. It's easier to hug and snuggle when you live close.

Tomorrow is Apple Cup, Huskies vs. Cougars. Rick, Jake, Megan, Amy and Mel are all going to the game. I passed on it. A little too fatigued lately and it would be a really long day. Bob and Dy are coming over tomorrow to visit so I'll be busy visiting them. Just for the sake of it, Go Cougs!

It's time for me to head off to bed. I'm hoping to take all the girls to the Skagit Nursery to see their Christmas tree displays on Sunday. It's a beautiful sight and worthy of missing a football game or two.

Dreaming Big,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Happy Sunday Morning

Last night was the 4th annual Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Gala. Although, I did not to go because of our new treatments and the way I'd been feeling, I had them on my mind all day. As Amy was helping with the set up during the day I called her to see how things were going and before long, I was crying, wishing I was on plane on my way to San Francisco to see my "other family". I'm sure the event was beautiful, successful and insightful...I'm just sorry I wasn't there to see it. Apparently I didn't win the car or bracelet because no one called to inform me. Maybe next year.

Megan and I went to a Bazaar yesterday morning to support my friend Kim's children's home in Bali. We bought some beautiful Balinese baskets and a few other things. By the looks of it, she had a very successful day too. Before we left Snohomish, we had to stop by a few of my favorite little stores in downtown...I ended up buying a couple of Christmas presents.

When I returned home, I laid down for my afternoon nap until Rick woke me for dinner with some friends in Mt. Vernon. We had a great time but all in all it made for a long day.

I just got up to take some medicine to stop coughing, but I think I'm going to head back to the bedroom and snuggle with Rick while we watch the Seahawk game.

Have a fabulous day. Stay warm and dry!

Dreaming Big,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Newest Updates

So sorry it's taken me so long to get back on the blog, but life has been a little more hectic than usual.

Rick's appointment on Tuesday went pretty much as we had figured. The tumors are all bigger and he has some new ones as well. He is going to try 3 more cycles of a new combination and see how things are going. If his scans show stability we'll just keep doing the same thing. If not...we have a new game plan to look at. The most important thing is he's not in pain or discomfort. He doesn't feel much different than he has these past few years (except he's a little more fatigued than usual)

My clinical trial side effects are coming back, nausea, fatigue but with a little patience, I can tolerate all of that. My wide pipe problem seemed to be feeling better (last week), but I'm really struggling with it again. I wish I knew what was causing the discomfort, but again...we just need a little patience.

Angie had another successful "soup for a cure day". Our friend Larry Libby joined us and brought a batch of cod chowder (yummy). In only 2 short lunches, they collected over a thousand dollars. Pretty successful for lunch :) Today's lunch had some special guests, grandma Myrna, Grandpa Bob, Amy and Jana Shaughnessy.

Amy, Mel, and our friends Trevor and Lindsey are heading down to Bonnie's Gala this weekend. Trevor's mom passed away recently from lung cancer after her short diagnosis (2 months). I think it's important that they meet Bonnie and her family in person. There is nothing better than positive energy around a sad situation. I know my San Francisco family and my Stanwood family will take good care of them. (Thanks in advance).

Cancer can teach you so much. I've been learning about it for almost 4 years. But...days like today, I can't find any good reason to have it in my life. I've been sleeping all afternoon because a luncheon wore me out. Rick has been asleep in his chair since he got home from a hard day at work. Our friends and the kids help with clean up, bringing in firewood, general day to day chores. Those used to be our jobs but we have to start making choices to help with those kind of things or keep our energy for fun stuff. (I'm choosing the fun)

I know Angie wrote about it, but I wanted to give a special shout out to Jan Schemenauer for her fund raising efforts for the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation last weekend. Thank you Jan for helping raise awareness to Lung Cancer. We all love you.

It's time for me to get to bed. (Not because I haven't been there all day, but because I'm still tired). I'm getting an extra dose of beauty sleep :)

Dreaming Big,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Short Weekday Update

As you can tell, it's been a very laid back week. Back to taking the clinical trial (which keeps me sort of groggy), today I started getting a little nauseous today (nothing bad....yet). Besides a trip or two to the grocery store, a little knitting and a few visits from friends the week flew by.

We don't have much planned for the weekend except a little game of Bunco with some friends tomorrow night. I haven't played Bunco in forever so I'm looking forward to it.

Next week we'll get the test results from Rick's CT scan and I'll be sure to share what we learn.

Have a safe and happy weekend,
Big Dreamer Dor

Monday, November 09, 2009

Where we go from here

It turned out to be another long day in Seattle. First to Seattle Cancer Care for Rick's CT, then over to Swedish for my bloodwork, CT then follow-up appointment. We left around 6:45am and got home at 5:00pm ugh!

My CT scan shows only minimal growth so I can remain on this clinical trial as long as I chose to do so. Until something new comes along..I say, .keep me signed up. The CT scan didn't indicate why I'm having trouble with my windpipe, but Dr. West gave me 2 new kinds of medicine that will hopefully start working on my cough and breathing problems. I'll try anything once (ok, maybe twice). I know the appointment went fine, I wasn't told they couldn't do anything else for me, but I left the doctor's office feeling a little defeated. My breathing/coughing/shortness of breath is beginning to make me go a little crazy and I was hoping for a quick solution to the problem.

We won't know anything about Rick until next Tuesday at his chemo appointment. We do know, that what they're doing right now isn't working as planned so we need to mix his chemo cocktail a little stronger :) I've got a few ideas that involve a marachino cherry and a paper umbrella.

Thanks to Amy who went with us today. She helped keep me sane and snuggled with me at the end of our appointment when we had to wait about an hour for the clinical trial coordinator. Rick did his fair share of taking cat naps throughout the day. He's much more fatigued than usual so it only takes a comfortable chair and a little peace and quiet...and he can fall asleep in a minute.

Thanks for all your love and prayers today. They lift us up more than you'll ever know :)

Dreaming Big,

Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Weekend of Goodness

A team of "Doreen Supporters" showed up at Seward Park in Seattle this morning at 8:30 AM to participate in the Free to Breathe Lung Cancer walk. Nine of us planned to walk the 3 miles as a group and Jake decided to run. We bundled up with hand-warmers, scarves and hooded sweatshirts to prepare for what was sure to take us a little while. The landscape was beautiful with leaves on the ground and the lake at our side. That is, until we noticed that there was a HILL on the course just before the 2 mile marker. Who in their right mind designs a lung cancer walk/run with a HILL? It was hard enough for Mom to walk that distance on flat ground with her compromised lungs!! With her determination and spirit, she wanted to try it anyway. With about a half mile to go, we were greeted by Jake and another group of Stanwood friends that were there walking in memory of Pam Smith and in honor of Mom. They walked the rest of the way with us and supported Mom as she crossed the finish line at 1 hour and 7 minutes. We have great friends and we appreciate their support very much. Jake, our solo runner, ended up finishing in third place (21 minutes) and won a medal. Way to go Jake! Mom struggled breathing today and kept telling us that she did "so much better" at Bonnie's walk in San Francisco at the end of the summer. Let's blame it on the cold, moist weather and nothing else.

Jan Schemenaur hosted a weekend of Southern Living at Home parties with the proceeds benefiting the Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation and the local Food Bank. Thank you Jan for all that you do to support these important causes.

Tomorrow both of my parents have appointments in Seattle. They will each get a CT Scan but only Mom is scheduled to find out the results. They will review the results and decide on her next treatment plan. It may remain the same, it may change. We will let you know tomorrow night. As for Dad, his results and future plan of action will be decided on at his appointment next week.

Dream Big my friends...


Free to Breathe

I'm suppose to be asleep right now because I'm waking up at 5:30 to get ready for the Free to Breathe Lung Cancer walk in Seattle on Sunday morning. As usual, I took a nap this afternoon and didn't wake up until 6:00pm. oops..... Now, I'm having problems falling back to sleep.

I hope to have stories and photos to share after our big adventure tomorrow (actually today). I'll share them in my next blog.

Love to you all,

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Good news...and not so good news....

With all your votes, the Stanwood Spartans will be the featured "Game of the Week" on King 5 this week. Thanks again for helping make a dream come true. I'm sure the staff and players on the football team are thrilled knowing that they will be featured this week on TV.

Angie wants to give a special shout out to all the people who made her Soup for a Cure debut such a hit. They raised nearly $900 dollars...for the fight against Lung Cancer. She has another Soup day scheduled in 2 weeks. If you're in the Marysville area on Thursday the 19th and would like to join us, stop by Shoultes Elementary School between 11:30 and 1:00 for some soup, bread and dessert. Amy came by on her her lunch break today and helped out. It was a special day raising awareness with my daughters.

We got some "not so good news" yesterday from Rick's oncologist. He is concerned about Rick's counts so they are scheduling a new CT scan for Monday to see what kind of changes are happening inside his body. The doctor already mentioned adding a new drug to his chemo cocktail to strengthen it up. We'll find out the results of his scan during his next chemo appointment. I'm already scheduled to have a CT scan on Monday, so we'll just get it all taken care of during one trip. We'll stay in Seattle a couple of hours longer so my doc can meet with me and give me some test results. If the clinical trial didn't work, we've gotta move on to something new. I also need to find out why my windpipe is feeling so plugged.

Let's pray for a little sunshine on Sunday for our Free to Breathe Lung Cancer Walk at Seward Park in Seattle. We're all from the Great Northwest, so a little rain won't hurt us...I just don't want it to mess up my hair. Oh wait, I don't have enough hair to mess up. I think I'll just wear a cap and we should be good to go.

Keep Dreaming Big,

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Vote for the Spartans :)

Although, I've retired as the athletic secretary for Stanwood High School, my heart can't forget about all the kids and coaches I've worked with. So, I have a favor....

In the past, my blog followers have helped me achieve all kinds of goals so I'm asking for your help again. Our high school football team made it to the playoffs and if we get enough votes, the game will be covered by King 5 sports (see the attached information below). So, if you have an extra minute, please follow the link listed below and vote for the STANWOOD vs. BOTHELL game to be the featured game of the week. The voting closes at 1:00pm tomorrow.

*At King-5 TV we are committed to covering High School sports and try our
best each week to cover our region, but we have also started up something
called "The King-5 Big Game of the Week", where we give extra time to this
game with live reports from the game during the 5, 6:30, 10 and 11 news on

To vote log on to and click on sports or go to the link below:

Thanks for your vote.

Go Spartans,

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Chemo day for Rick

Rick's doctors appointment went well today...the CEA count continues to rise but he still feels good. I think it was the fastest chemo treatment we've ever been to (we were in an out of SCCA by noon). They have a new system at Seattle Cancer Care...I think it's working :)

With November being Lung Cancer Awareness month, I have a few things lined up (just in case I forget I have lung cancer). Thursday is soup day at Angie's school (I'll bring a soup, my appetite and money), Friday through Sunday is Jan Schemenauer's annual fundraiser for the food bank and The Bonnie Addario Lung Cancer Foundation (I'll bring food, my appetite and money), then on Sunday morning a group of us are participating in the Seattle Free to Breathe Walk at Seward Park (I'll just be bringing my lungs...let's hope they have some extra air in them). If you're interested in learning more about it, go to

This is the week when I'm suppose to be feeling a lot better. I'm not as nauseous, but I am VERY fatigued (when we got home from Rick's appointment today around 1:00 I laid down and woke up around 6:15pm - oops, there goes all my sleep for tonight). On Monday I have a CT scan and the test results to see how this drug is working.

Time to get my jammies on and settle in for the night. Sleep well :)

Love you more than all the leaves blowing around in our yard.

Dream Big,

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Happy Halloween

Not much excitement went down this Halloween. I went to the grocery store and the only thing that scared me was the amount of money I spent. I only went to the store for 4 items and spent ninety dollars, oops!

We had a total of 7 trick or treaters (6 of them had special bags with extra prizes and toys in them) and one poor little kid I didn't know was coming got half the basket of candy instead. We had 2 ninjas, 2 fairies, the bride of zombie, a monkey and a lion. We all just took showers and went as clean versions of ourselves (no need in scaring the kids).

Yesterday, Shannon's office dressed and decorated their offices to look like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. She was an upaloompa. (I'll post photos when I get some). Her office won an award for the best decorated room. Megan's office was dressed as Three's Company and she was Mrs. Roper. She looked pretty cute too...gawdy jewelry, dress and strawberry blonde curly wig. Angie went as Fred Flinstone for all her students....I'm sure they loved it...even if they didn't remember who Fred Flinstone was :)

I'm hoping the kids are all coming by for a day of football tomorrow. We haven't celebrated a football Sunday in a couple of weeks and I look forward to those days. Since the Seahawk game is at 10:00am, I think I'll make waffles....

Rick has chemo again this Tuesday and I'm hoping to have all my energy back by then. I'm finding myself asleep around 3:00 everyday from a little batch of exhaustion. That is suppose to be getting better ever day. Let's hope by's gone. :)

I guess I'd better get back into bed. I woke up with a little coughing spell and figured there's no better time than now, to say hi.

Hope you had a safe Happy November...Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Love you more,