Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday November 28th

Ours wasn't a typical turkey day, but we are enjoying the Thanksgiving weekend. We are in St. George at an RV park and the weather has been nice, around 60 degrees. We packed up on Thursday morning and drove to Cedar City where we stopped to have our Thanksgiving meal at a restaurant. In St. George we found a nice RV park. The boys have enjoyed riding their bikes around the park. There is also a swimming pool here, so David took the boys out while I am writing on the computer.

The appointment on Wednesday with Dr. Shehadeh went fairly well. He said the CT scan indicated that my liver was slightly larger than the last scan. However, my liver enzymes and blood counts have been stable, even slightly improved. So, the Dr. proposed that I take 2 more of the three week treatment cycles, with the same medicine, just a slightly higher dose for the oral pill. Then, he wants to do a PET scan, which is more sensitive and give us a better idea exactly what is going on. So, even though I'm not looking forward to being sick for another six weeks, at least we know that the medication is keeping my disease under control. In fact, the scan indicated that my lungs are clear, so that is nice to know.

I have mixed feelings about doing more treatment, especially when I have a hard time in the winter months to begin with. There is something about Dr. Shehadeh that makes me want to follow his advice. I listen to him and he reassured me that I did a really good job of tolerating the last 3 cycles. After all, I didn't end up with an infection or even with a blood transfusion, the whole time I was undergoing treatment. As time goes on, I'm even learning to anticipate some of the side effects and keep them under better control.

This weekend, our family is together in our trailer, just the 5 of us snuggled up with our dog and watching movies and playing games. Today was our first day here, so we did some exploring around town and we drove around the bluff and up to the airport, which was a gorgeous view of the temple and the town, with more red rocks in the far distance. We found out about a Christmas gift expo, so we went down there to pick out our gifts, literally! Brenton, Jonny and Nathan are all getting Ipod shuffles for Christmas. I got a new mop and sweep system and David got a bottle of special cleaner, for computers, cds, jewelry, glasses, etc.

We came back to the trailer for dinner. Just like last weekend, David has been spoiling me by cooking all the meals and having the boys help him clean up. Every one of the boys, even Sandi, has come to snuggle with me in the big queen bed. I feel grateful to feel well enough to travel. I have been struggling with nausea up until the day we left. Dr. Shehadeh did give me some samples of a strong acid reducer and I think that has helped improve my nausea considerably, also with taking my medicine with food and little by little during the day, instead of all at once. It is nice to take a break from feeling sick. I won't have any more chemo until Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Tuesday November 25th

I'm still in limbo, waiting to hear my test results from the Dr. tomorrow. I still feel sick to my stomach, in fact I threw up yesterday morning just 15 minutes after I took my morning pills on an empty stomach. I don't know how many pills got absorbed or if they all turning to liquid. I am still worried about my abdomen where the liver is swollen. I wonder if it is pushing on my stomach or something. I've also had to take more pain medicine, like Advil, so that also might be hurting my stomach some.

Lately I have been really sad and I think of how little I can do compared with the life I used to live. I do count my blessings and I do hope for better days, but I have leave it in the Lord's hands. Today is the kids' last day of school before Thanksgiving break. At least I'll have them around to keep my company and help out around the house, or at least that's the theory.

I'll write tomorrow after I see the Dr. I'm having a friend drive me up to my appointment because Elaine is still helping Len, who has been sick with pneumonia. I here he is improving a little each day. Get well soon, Len! I am grateful for my caregivers and the angels around me helping my family each day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday November 23rd

A few people have asked me how to access my article and photos that were printed in the Daily Herald on October 26th. I've found that the original link still works. That is:

After being sick and staying close to home for 2 1/2 weeks, it felt invigorating to have a family outing yesterday. The day was cold and sunny and we drove to Salt Lake. On our way, we drove along 1300 East and saw all of the people dressed in red, walking toward the stadium for the BYU - Utah game. Our destination was the Salt Lake City cemetery. I looked on the internet to find out where Pres. Hinckley's grave was. Unfortunately, I found the cemetery but didn't know the exact place to look when we went there. The afternoon was getting late, so we gave up looking and drove up to Honeyville in northern Utah to camp in our trailer at Crystal Springs.
We arrived around 5 PM and the kids still had enough daylight to ride their bicycles around the campground and float some wood in the pond. David cooked hamburgers, then he took the boys swimming in the hot spring. They also have a colder pool and a waterslide, so Jonny and Nathan used the slide again and again. When David tried the slide, he was surprised to end up in cold water at the end! He had been soaking with Brenton in the hot pool most of the time. I didn't feel like swimming, so I stayed with our dog Sandi in the trailer and read a book.
It was cold in the night, but our trailer stayed warm and toasty. This morning we had breakfast and packed up so we could arrive home before church started at 1 PM. I was able to attend sacrament meeting, then I came home to rest. I've been taking it easy all day and I hope to start feeling better this week. I am glad to have a chance to go out with our family. When we are out in the trailer we are forced to be in close quarters and there aren't so many distractions. The children actually play with each other (meaning they even play with Nathan) and they also learn responsibility when they help David with the hitch or setting up the trailer. I love bringing my own bed and bathroom and kitchen wherever we go, so I have all of the comforts of home. Plus, we can load and unload it at our leisure, unlike going to a hotel when you have to pack your things in the car, take them in the hotel and then repack again to go home. While we are out, I try not to think about my illness, but just enjoy being together as a family.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday November 21st

Hello to all of you blog-watchers! I haven't been as diligent in writing in the last couple of days. Thanks to those who left comments, especially my #1 fan, who is my dad. It was a sacrifice for him to let my mom come out to help me and now I'm sending her back to be with her husband again for a while. Mom just left a few minutes ago, and Brenton just made an offhand comment "This is the best our house has looked in a while!" so I know he noticed what a great job Mom did around the house. Mom left plans for Brenton to make hamburgers for dinner, but he decided to make beef burritos instead. Even Jonny got in the cooking spirit, though he stayed home from school with a stomach ache. Jonny is making homemade vanilla ice cream in our ice cream maker.

We are all glad that it is the weekend and we hope to take our trailer out tomorrow night. Soon we'll have to winterize it, unless we take it somewhere warm over the Thanksgiving break. Physically, I am feeling better. I went to the pain doctor, Dr. Garner, yesterday and he helped me regulate the doses of my medicine. So far it is working well. I would like to get to the point in a week or two where I will be able to drive again. One of the hardest things about being sick is that I can't take care of my children. I am worried about my appointment with Dr. Shehadeh on Wednesday. When he tells me the results of my scan, he will either change my medication or keep it the same depending on the test results. Either way, I don't want to have chemotherapy on the day before Thanksgiving, so I am going to postpone any decisions for after the break.

I've been feeling kind of sad this week. Dr. Garner recommended I begin light therapy with a light box, since I often feel depressed in the winter. I can't afford one, but if anyone has one they are willing to let me use, I'd be grateful. I wish I had something more interesting to talk about, but I suppose I'll have some sort of news next week. I am looking forward to doing more things with my family, once I get feeling better again.

P.S. I forgot to say that I am updating my wish list. Brenton is interested in getting some guitar lessons. Nathan is interested in playing soccer, perhaps for a team.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday November 19th

I had my CAT scan yesterday. It went fairly smoothly, except it took 4 tries to get an IV in my left arm. Normally I can use my port for infusions, but not for the contrast medium they used in the CT scan. I had to fast before the test and drink a sour tasting juice, so my stomach hurt a lot. When I got finished and got home, I had lunch and felt nauseated and threw it up. After I felt better, I took a nap.

Today my stomach still hurts. It is my last day on the oral pill, so I'm hoping to feel better soon. I was pretty anxious before my CT scan, and now I am anxious to see the results. I had my blood tested on Monday, but the Dr. office hasn't called me about it. I am still wondering if I might need a blood transfusion, so maybe I'll try to call the Dr. again. The only thing I don't need to worry about is the house and the kids, since my mom has stepped into that role. I'm just trying to get rest and hoping I'll feel better.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Monday November 17th

I am still feeling emotional and overwhelmed by my challenges right now. I pray that God will give me the strength to help me overcome my fears. David gave me a blessing of comfort last night. That helped me get to sleep. This morning, I still felt sad, almost depressed, and I kept crying on and off. I'm asking my Dr. to increase my anti-depressant dose slightly. I was also supposed to get my blood tested this morning, since I have been feeling extra tired. The Dr. said they faxed the order to the lab, but when I got there, the lab couldn't find it. That meant that I had to go home again, take a nap, and call the Dr. to try to arrange the order to be faxed a second time. Finally, I called the lab and they said I could come on down. Depending on the results of the tests, I might need a shot to boost my red or blood cells and possibly even a transfusion.

Speaking of tests, I am scheduled for my CAT scan tomorrow morning. It will take a week to get the results, but I am still worried that the results will be bad, just like they have been with every other scan this past year. It is helpful to have my mom here for moral support and also so I can rest and sleep when the kids get home. We are applying for social security disability, which could help pay for someone to come in and help from 3-6 in the afternoon, at the time when my mom needs to go back to California.

I have plenty of reading material. Today, Jennie came and helped my mom to sort some of the books in my bedroom. I found all the pamphlets and fliers that the social worker gave for me to read last year, so I'm sure that will be beneficial to read again. Thank you for your nice comments and stories.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday November 16th

Thank you to everone who reads and comments on my blog. I truly get inspiration from your words. I loved the penny story from Glen, especially. As for having faith, Cindy is so kind to say I inspire her, as I do have faith in God. My life is in his hands. I believe in the gospel of Christ, as I truly believe I can return to Him when my life on earch is done. Yet, I still have been crying off and on the last few days and I'm not sure why. I think I'm feeling sorry for myself. Mostly I think I am sad that I can't be well enough to take care of my children or to do anything very fun (exept go to the store and try not to spend too much..) Even then, I am worried about money and this huge bill hanging over our heads. Each year I must pay $3000 out of pocket before my insurance will ctart covereing everything at 100%. Iapplied twice for financial consideration in the spring and summer, but the clinic won't reduce my year 2008 bill. I have been making payments toward it. Now I am looking at the new year and realizing that I will soon have to meet another deductible and owe another$3000 starting on January 1st, 2009. I wish I didn't have to worry about money. I feel like I have enough to wowrry about right now when I am supposed to concentrating on getting better. David's work is going well, but his paychecks are sporatic: meaning he only gets paid when he closes a loan.

Another reason I am sad is because I haven't been able to get downstairs and work on my family scrapbooks. I would love to finish them, as all the books are now 2 years behind, but I don't know if I'll ever feel up to working on them. Most of the time my nausea prevents me from going out to dinner. David and I got to attend an informal dinner party for Sam Bushman and some of their friends and family (grown ups only). David broght over a copy of my newpaper article, so that was nice to be able to show it to people instead of telling each person what is going on. I was wearing my black cap, instead of my wig, so it was obvious that I had no hair. we stayed and visited, ate dinner and dessert, then I was ready to go home because I wasnt feelling well. I've been feeling really tired lately. It could be that my blood cells are low again. I've been taking a nap everyday and I even doze off while watching tv.

On the 18th I am scheduled for a CT exam of my chest and abdomen, so the Drl will be abel to tell if I had any impovement from this chemo medication or not.

I'm all dressed for church, so hopefully if I lie down just before it starts, I'll have the energy to go at least fpr sacrament meeting. I'm glad my mom is here to help our family. When I need to rest, I know the children are doing what they should (or at least trying.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday November 14th

After going to the optometrist twice this week, I still can't see very well up close. My vision has been changing because of the chemotherapy. This happened last year, but the new contacts made everything better. Mom thinks that I might need to wear reading glasses. Maybe I need bifocal contacts if such a thing exists!

Mom drove me to the chiropractor for a massage. After that, we went to Big Lots to stock up on snacks for the kids' lunches. We also ended up getting a pair of jeans, a red shirt for Brenton and some t-shirts and boxers. I was feeling pretty worn out after the errand. I've been trying to rest more today and so I'm saving up my energy for the next time I get up and do something.

I seem to be kind of emotional lately. I feel a lot of fear, but I know it is ok to be afraid. I will try to replace my fear with faith by reading in the scriptures and praying to comfort. What else do you do to increase your faith?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday November 13th

Today my symptoms were very much the same as yesterday. I am feeling sick, but the side effects are lessened by medication. It was fun to get out this morning and run errands. Mom drove me to the pharmacy, then we went down to the Provo clinic and picked out some new head coverings. One is a cute straw hat with flowers on it, and the others are soft head coverings. In fact, they had a lot of beanie knitted hats which must have been donated as a humanitarian project, since they looked like the kind you make on a circular loom.

I had to go back to the optometrist today, since I was still having problems reading small print. I think the contacts he gave me should help, but I picked up a pair of $3 reading glasses which seemed to help me read better, even with my contacts on.

This afternoon, I was able to take a nap. It is blissful to know that I can sleep when I need to and my mom is caring for the boys. Mom's help is also a wonderful way for David to get more work done, since she can help in the mornings, as well asrun effrands and things. I just let her drive our Sequoia, since I can't drive right now, but I do have the handicapped placard, so we can park up close.

I'm glad to feel cheered, instead of sad. I am grateful for too many things to count.

Wednesday November 12th

Everything has gone smoothly since my mom arrived yesterday afternoon. Thanks, Chissie, for delivering her right to my door. My mom is comforting and sweet and I love to have her hear, even though I miss my loving and hard working Dad. Maybe he'll drive out here to pick mom up in a week or so, and we'll get to see him as well.

The 3 boys were invited by a young couple in our ward, Brother and Sister Willis to go to dinner and an activiy. My boys were delighted with the trip to Boondocks and the chance to get out and about. Jonny has a special connection with brother Willis who has been his teacher at church. At Boondocks, a fun center, the boys played laser tag, mini golf, go-carts and they had unlimited tickets, so they could go from place to place and do each activity over and over again. Thank you Brother and Sister for providing the wonderful outing for my boys. Now I am learning why heavenly Father said that when we serve others, we are serving him. For me, those who give love to my children are also showing their love for me.

My mouth sores are getting better already, as I starting using the mouthwash from the beginning of my treatment,which ws last Wednesday. Now I have to get more rest because I am feelihng tired. I also have a bit of a cough, but only at night and we're using the humidifier in our bedroom. have been feeling more nausea eachday, so I am carefully taking my pills to manage it and keep it under control.

Well, that's enough for me. I don't want to be long-winded. One reason I had never considered having blog was that I didn't have much to say. Now, it seems,I have something new to report every day. Thanks to those who care and are listening to what I have to say.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday November 11th

I've been feeling sick to my stomach all day, but if I lie down for a while, I usually feel better. My visiting teacher, Peggy, drove me to the Optometrist in the morning where he changed my prescription. The same thing happened during the past year on another chemo drug. Anyhow, I got a new pair of lenses to try, so I can be sure that they will work well for me.

Peggy then took me over to Lincoln Academy so I could check the children out of school early. Brenton and Jonny both had complete physicals. Brenton even got a flu shot. I didn't speak with the Dr. at the end, as I was greeting my mom and David who had come to pick me up. So, I'll need to find out if they have any serious health problems to report. In this case, no news is good news. I wanted the boys to have an exam since it is the end of the year and we have met our deductible for the insurance. Luckily, today's exam will also count when they go to scout camp in the summer.

The Relief Society sisters brought us a delicious dinner. I can tell if the kids like things when they ask for seconds! It is nice to have my mom here again. She takes over much of my responsibilities so I can rest, knowing that the house and kids are safe in her arms. She is also good at cooking and preparing meals, so I know she is good at a lot of things. How do think I learned to be the person I am today?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday November 10th

I've been feeling sicker today. As you can see from my Aunt Sally' comment, nadir is the low point for my blood cells, before they start building back up. I think it must be connected to how I feel, since I have been feeling a little worse each day since my treatment last Wednesday. Today, Brenton and Jonny both stayed home from school, with the same complaints as yesterday. They both had naps today and don't have a fever, so I think I'll send them back to school tomorrow. I let them watch some educational TV today, but now I'm having them sit down and do homework.

Jennie came over to help again today. I had to rest a lot, but she kept busy downstairs while I slept. For lunch, we went over to the Kneaders Bakery, which is just west of us on the Highland Highway. They are well known for desserts, so I just looked at the kinds they had. The line for the register was huge, more than 10 people in line. Those people were waiting to get lunch and sit at one of the tables. Jennie and I went around to the drive through and there wasn't a line at all! Lucky us! I had a delicious soup called artichoke portabella and it was served with a sourdough bread bowl. Jennie had the tomato bisque. I can tell I am going to have a new favorite lunch restaurant. The food was perfect for my stomach, because the soup was smooth and it made the bread soft and easy to chew. So, if you're passing by Kneaders, you know what to do! (Just kidding) I like pretty much any cream-based soup. I noticed from the menu that Kneaders also has smoothies, so I will have to try one of those sometime.

I am glad that my mother, Bonnie, is coming tomorrow to stay with us for a while. I'm sure everyone can identify with the need for your mother's care when you are sick. Husbands are great, but mothers seem to kow just what to do and they know what you need before you need it. For example, I always have a car here at home, but I am not supposed to drive in my condition. So, I just need someone to drive it for me. Three cheers for Bonnie, my new chauffer!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday November 8th

It is nice to have a Sunday, a day of rest each week. I like it when our family is together, here at home, and then at 1:00 the children come to church with us. I like feeling the spirit of God when we worship. I like meeting the other members of the congregation who ask how I'm doing and tell me they are glad to see me at church. I like having friends in the ward who pray for me and put my name on the temple prayer roll. I want to give my will to Heavenly Father so that I might do what he asked me to do. I am humble and willing to learn and to change for the better.

My brother Dave was really kind to take all 3 of my boys on a hike yesterday afternoon. In the past, he only brought Brenton and Jonny, but I was touched that he was willing to take little Nathan and choose a path that would be easier for him to climb. They also brought Sandi, so that encouraged Nathan as well. David and I enjoyed watching a movie together and I made some orange chicken for dinner. In addition, David spent a couple of hours working in our yard, getting things prepared for winter. It was nice to have some quiet in our house for 7 hours!

So far, I haven't been feeling too terribly bad, but I am managing the side effects from my chemo by using my mouthwash and anti-nausea pills. I've been wearing head coverings and soft little hats when I am home. The hats are stretchy, almost like a beanie style so they are quite comfortable. When I go out, I usually wear my wig, but I also have a fall (artificial bangs) that I can wear with a hat, so it looks like I have hair. Thank you to my friend Janet who gave me 3 hats! I don't think I would ever want to go out with just a scarf on my head, because then you can tell I am bald. I have sneaked a peak here and there at my bald head. I am still adjusting to it. Maybe someday soon I will be able to look at it and let the reast of my family look at it as well, but right now I am too embarrassed.

Well, tomorrow is back to work for David and back to school for the boys. I expect to be feeling about the worst theis next week. The Dr. indicated that the medicine's worst effects are felt between days 7 and 10 and it is called "nadir." It's a funy word, maybe I'll look it up sometime. If you do, post a comment on what it means. If I get feeling too bad, I'll go over to the lab and get my blood tested to make sure I don't need any shots or even a blood transfusion. My mom's friend, Alex Heinzen, recommended I take wheat and barley grass juice, since it helps keep your blood counts up during chemo. I bought a big can of the dried supplement and have been mixing it with my Reliv. Perhaps it has helped me avoid any blood transfusions so far! It is hard to know which supplements are doing what for me, but I will continue to take the ones that people give me.
Love from me to you! Emilee

Friday, November 7, 2008

Friday November 7th

I went out shopping for an hour today, thanks to my neighbor who drove me. I had fun shopping, riding my cart around the grocery store, picking up sale items and markdowns and using my coupons. I'm afraid I probably bought more than I need, but perhaps it is because I have been cooped up so long and not able to shop for myself.

I need to watch how much I spend. David read my blog the other day and wanted me to correct the fact that besides the closing he had this week, the other 2 loans have since developed "issues" and it is doubtful that they will close. Of course he is always working on new ones, but many of the problems are out of his control, such as pricing from the lender, requirements from the underwriters, the appraisal amounts, loan limits, and other such things. So, David needs me to do less shopping, I'm sure, as we are still required to pay the oncologist our "maximum out of pocket" expense for the year, which is $3000. (It is the amount we have to pay ourselves before the insurance will then step in and pay the rest.) We have been making payments on it since April, just like last year, when we had the installments come out of our checking accounts. It is one thing to be sick, but another thing to worry how you will pay for the medical bills. I don't want to be a drain on my family, but on the other side, they would be paying a lot more for a nanny and someone to replace the duties that I am still able to perform in our family.

While out, we also stopped by the school to check on Nathan, as he was having a hard time with one of his assignments. I guess he refused to do it and started to cry, but he was better by the time I arrived. I remember Jonny had a similar problem 4 years ago when I was having radiation treatments. Did I tell you that I got a handicapped placard? Now I can hang it on the rear view mirror whenever someone drives me around. It is quite handy.

Elaine came today and helped with the boys in the afternoon, and David arrived to take Nathan fishing, just as planned. They didn't catch fish, but at least it was an outing for them. I was able to get a massage at the chiropractor and my visiting teacher drove me there. It is hard to enjoy many parts of life when you are sick, but I do enjoy the massage therapy that I get every week or so. The relief society sisters brought us a yummy dinner. Mindi called in advance to see what we would like and she took our "order" perfectly. We all loved the grilled chicken, potatoes and broccoli. Tonight, we have been watching the "Sound of Music." It is fun to see the beautiful mountains in Austria and the city of Salzburg, which we visited less than 2 years ago. The kids were interested in the first half of the movie and now that it is ending, they are all asleep!

I miss my parents. They have been gone over 2 weeks now and I hope they can come and help me sometime soon. If anything, it cheers me up to have them around, as they are so good to me and to my family. I'm putting up with my sores and stomach aches and trying to hang in there for my kids and my husband. Still, my liver is swollen and I have to adjust what clothes I wear so they will be loose in the front. Here's to better days ahead...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday November 6th

Today has not been as bad as I thought it could be. I had my treatment yesterday afternoon and tried to do a few more things in the evening, since I was worried I might be really sick today. Fortunately, the nausea is under control with medication and the worst side effect is the sores on the sides of my mouth, also inside on my tongue and throat. I am using the magic mouthwash from last month and that helps a lot.

Today, I rested this morning, but was also itching to do a few things. David asked me right before Halloween, "What part of a pumpkin is pumpkin pie made from?" I was amazed that he really didn't know, so I gave some sarcastic answer like, "Well, it isn't from the rind or the seeds!" Today, to show David, I cut up and baked one of our Halloween pumpkins (one that had not been carved). I also cut a few remnant roses in our yard and did some organizing in my closet for about half an hour. It was tricky to come up with an outfit for this afternoon: I have some DI jeans that I got on Tuesday and they fit great, just needed a little hemming. After that, I had to find a shirt that would cover my swollen belly (I feel like I'm pregnant or something. Did you see that TCL show, "I never knew I was pregnant?") In my case, my ovaries are gone, so the swelling comes from my liver which is located on my right side, just under the ribcage. Ironically, it is the same side where I had a TRAM flap reconstruction for my right breast, so the main muscle (rectus abdominus) is missing on that side and was used instead for the blood flow of the newly reconstructed breast. Ok, long enough explanation!

My new friend Shirline offered to drive me around for my errands this afternoon. First we dropped Brenton off at his appointment, then drove to a new dentist that David's parents recommended. Each dentist I visit (This is the 3rd one) has a different opinion of the small sore located in the gum of my front tooth, above the crown. Also, the dentist gave me a prescription for the small sores in the corner of my mouth, kind of like cold sores. I can't believe how quickly they started, in less than 24 hours from my treatment.

Then, we picked Brenton up and went to a store called Allison's pantry. The owner graciously sent me a gift certificate to check out her store and pick up some items for our family. In fact, Shirline, bought some things as well. I liked this store, so if you live near Pleasant Grove, please check it out. It is at 580 W. State in Pleasant Grove, kind of set off from the road, on the east side of the street, across the road from Timponogos Cyclery and the uniform store. Allison's pantry has quality and fresh pantry items in bulk, including mixes, soups, nuts, dried fruits and snacks, as well as seasonings, frozen fruit, and more. We picked out some hot cocoa mix, yogurt pretzels, nuts, dried fruit and candy, plus a package of frozen soup (this is the kind the restaurants serve to patrons, just reheated). I'm looking forward to feeding the soup to my family. I'd love to get another gift certificate and try other items. Thank you, Allison!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wednesday October 5th

I wanted to hold off a day and wait until the election results before writing my next entry. I just got up an hour ago and the children brought me the newspaper. I cried for several minutes when I saw the result. Then, I had an interesting thing happen. I started feeling hopeful and I got a warm feeling all over which comforted me and calmed me. I don't know if it means that Obama will somehow fail to take his oath in January due to his legal problems, or perhaps it means that Heavenly Father is in control and I shouldn't worry because this is all part of his plan. Regardless, I want you to know that I now am at peace with the results.

Also on the internet this morning, they were still counting the ballots for California's proposition 8, which would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. With 96% of the precincts reporting, the results were 52% yes and about 48% no. They are predicting that the proposition will pass, so when I get the final news, I hope I can also feel peaceful with that.

The past 2 days I have been working hard, in preparation for getting my treatment today and because I know that I will be sick for the next 2 weeks again. I have organized bills and sorted through papers and made sure the boys all have enough school clothes that fit them. I went shopping, once with my neighbor Jennifer and once with Chrissie. At Costco, I was able to buy some food that the kids can heat up for snacks or even for meals when I can't help them.

David's business has been going fairly well. He had a closing on Monday and expects two more within the week. We feel blessed that our needs will be met for November, so I don't worry so much about money as I used to. After Halloween, the boys are finally calming down and applying themselves at school. They have also helped with chores around the house and have been playing better with each other. It's amazing what the correct amount of sleep and healthy food will do for your children!!

After getting my head shaved (Thanks for the VEET tip, by the way, I may use it.), I have 2 scarves at home that I can use for head coverings. In addition, my friend Janet, a breast cancer survivor, brought me over two cute fuzzy hats and a turban. I especially like the hats and I'm wearing one today instead of my wig. The wig is fine for going out, but around the house I would rather use a hat. Today I know I'll be sitting there in the chemo chair for four hours, so I'm opting for the most comfy choice, the hat. Also I have a fall, which is a little bit of hair on an elastic band. I position the hair or the "bangs" on my forehead in front, under the hat, so they poke out and look like the hat is covering real hair. The fall is blonde, but it works fine for now until I get another one that is light brown, like my real hair is ....uh was.

One hour to go and it is quite snowy today in Utah. David is going to drive me to Salt Lake. I'm hoping the snow will stop and the sun will come out. That way the sun will melt the snow on the street and it is a lot safer to drive. The rest of you, drive safely as well!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Monday October 3rd

Lots of activity today, as I "count down" the hours until I'm sick again. A neighbor took me shopping, and as we started driving, I decided to get my head shaved. It was buzzed on Saturday, but now those little pieces are falling out and getting itchy. They make my hat full of little hairs. Now that I'm bald, I haven't looked at myself in the mirror yet. I tell myself I am still adjusting. I had my wig with me, so after the shave, I just put my wig on and went shopping.

One reason for shopping was because I had to make an emergency pants trip for Nathan. Through the past few weeks, his waistline has been increasing, especially with having school lunch and eating candy all week. He now can't fit into any but a few of his pants, which is hard, since he needs to wear uniform pants to school. So, we stopped at Target for pants and then went to Costco for some groceries. It is nice to get a good deal on staples on Costco, but also be able to buy some convenience foods that my family can enjoy while I'm feeling sick at the end of this week.

David took the boys to the Rec. center tonight and they did weights and swimming. I hope they will be able to go more often and get in shape. I feel like I got a lot accomplished today, and I hope for the same tomorrow, with minimal down time.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday November 2nd

I don't know what it is about Halloween, but my kids have been bouncing off the ceiling and haven't come down yet. Blame it on the candy, but I also think there is a bad spirit lurking around and whispering in their ears. Losing my hair that day didn't help my emotions, so I had an up and down Saturday as well. Jonny was supposed to attend a boy scout pow wow in the morning, but I didn't realize that it was down at BYU, which is about 25 minutes from our house. Plus, from the moment he woke up, he refused to go, so David and I had to combine efforts to get him there. On our way home, we were able to greet David's niece, Anna, who was baptized in Pleasant Grove. David's parents and siblings were there and we missed the ceremony, but arrived as everyone was leaving the church.

A kind neighbor offered us the use of their family cabin on Saturday night, so we brought the kids up and stayed until late this morning. Thankfully, it was daylight savings time, so we had an extra hour to sleep in. All 3 boys were fascinated by the pinball machine at the cabin, so that was their favorite activity. I also played ping pong with them, but mostly I drifted in and out between naps during the whole evening. The boys stayed up late, and I woke up in time to say goodnight. Brenton and Jonny did fine, but Nathan had a late night tantrum and refused to sleep in his bed and wanted to sleep in our room. That was fine, but he was also panicked about bugs and he had a stomach ache (too much candy??). About 11:30, he finally ended up throwing up on the bathroom floor and taking a soothing bath before he fell asleep at midnight. See what I mean about the spirit?

Anyhow, we enjoyed the cabin and played a family game there this morning. David made french toast for us all and we came home in time to attend church. I took my mini nap before church, like last week, then got dressed and was able to stay for about an hour and a half. It was fast Sunday, so I got a chance to bear my testimony. It was fun to greet people, as I haven't been out much in the past 2 months.

On our way home from the cabin, I shared with David and the boys the possibility that I might just feel well enough during the first week of December to take a family trip, assuming my 3 week cycle of chemo goes as planned and I have some time to recover. I almost don't want to get my hopes up, but I would love to go on a Carribbean cruise. I calculated that cruises cost about $100 per day per person, so a week's cruise for 5 people would cost $3500. Then, the airfare to the embarkation port would be about $500 per person or $2500. In addition, I know you need to pay extra for excursions and additional activities. I don't know how much to estimate for that. Maybe my parents, the seasoned cruisers, can give me some advice. If not December, then maybe January or February, as it will still be cold in Utah but warm in the south.

Bye for now. I'll try to put a photo or two up for you to see. Emilee