Writings of a teachermom, choosing to stay home with her kids, while loathing all domestic responsibilities! In late Aug. 2008, I was diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer. After surgery, chemo and radiation, I was given theall clear. However, in the late summer of 2008, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which metasticized to other areas.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Three Hour Tour

I thought that when I stopped taking the Xeloda I'd feel better and more energized. Instead I feel the opposite....more tired and in more pain. My head and back have been hurting more, and I need to keep popping Tylenol every few hours. Not sure what that's all about, but I see my oncologist on Friday, and hopefully we'll get some answers then.

Yesterday was quite the interesting day, reminding me how kind people continue to be. Because I lost my keys when I was at McDonald's with my good friend Andrea and our kids, she ended up having to take me on a "3 hour tour" of the Twin Cities in her car. We happened to be driving as a snowstorm was starting and then eventually during rush hour. This combination, along with a few missed turns and the fact that to get my spare keys we had to go to one side of the cities to the other and back, was just insane! We were in the car with 5 kids, and yet they were actually quite good, considering the circumstances of my own 3 hour mistake.

When we were at McDonald's there was a lady there with a couple kids who offered to drive me anywhere, or bring me carseats or help out in anyway. We managed without her help, but I certainly appreciated the offer. There were workers who helped me look through the trash and checked the dumpster as well. Unfortunately, no keys appeared.

But the next day, I received a phone call from CVS. Apparently someone had found my keys, saw my CVS key card and the drug store was able to get my phone number. They called me and gave me the number of the man who had my keys. He worked at the Sprint store near the McDonalds. He told me that he found them on his windshield. Obviously, I dropped them in the parking lot...as it was snowing...and someone must have stumbled on them and put them on the windshield. Thankfully he didn't just toss them aside, and took the time to find out who they belonged to. That was so kind of him.

It turned out to be a very long and crazy day. My mom's flight was delayed, so we just stayed on the west side of town waiting for her plane to come in. I took the 3 kids to Chuck E. Cheese, and as soon as we got there, Ella wet her pants. We had to trek back out into the snow and below zero temps to find a place to buy her new clothes. And then trying to leave the rodent pizza place for a 2nd time was a disaster with Ella not wanting to leave, and me not being able to pick her up. But eventually we made it out, arrived at the airport just in time to pick up my mom, and made it home for the kids bedtime.

What a day. But without the help of my friend and a few strangers, it would have been disastrous!

When the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior ... Titus 3:4-6

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Monday, December 29, 2008


I am done with my chemo Xeloda.....for a week. My dosage is 2 weeks of taking the pill, and one week of not taking it. I didn't really feel any side effects, except maybe fatigue. I pray the chemo is killing the cancer. I am starting to experience some back pain, which is worrisome, since it's in the same place I felt it before.

My husband's grandmother from Detroit came to visit us for a couple days. She is the "Cleaning Queen." Your clothes will barely hit the hamper before she snatches them up and has them cleaned and folded! The kids had a good time with her, especially Ella.

I'm enjoying my time with my sister and niece. Saturday we went to the Mall of America, and yesterday they went with Melvin and the kids to the Waterpark of America (I opted out of that adventure.)

Max is now sick. Spent a couple hours last night vomiting, and continued this morning. He also has a fever. I do hope it's just some 24 hour virus and not something worse that he might have picked up at the waterpark. It's certainly not stopping him from playing Lego Indiana Jones on the Wii.

Psalm 27: 14
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.

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Saturday, December 27, 2008

What a trip.

Sometimes you realize how wonderful people can be. There was a large apartment fire a week or so around here. People came forward with so many toy and clothes donations that they had to donate many of the toys elsewhere and they had to eventually turn away clothes because they just had too many. One person even donated a million dollars to be split evenly among the families, who were basically left with nothing...especially since many of them did not have renters insurance.

Sometimes people are wonderful. And sometimes people need a lot of prayer.

My sister and niece are visiting from New Jersey. They had a heck of a time getting here with all the weather issues because they had to fly through Chicago. Because their flight was canceled, they had to come in the next day on a different flight and airline, (Midwest) through Milwaukee this time. But first they had a 3 hour delay out of Philadelphia.

Their Milwaukee flight appeared be on time...appeared being the operative word. They were up in the air and almost all the way to the to Minneapolis when the pilot announced that they had to come home due to a mechanical problem. Why they flew all the way back to Milwaukee, when they were MUCH closer to Minneapolis makes no sense to me. But nonetheless, my sister and niece were delayed yet again.

They arrived back in Milwaukee, and had to wait for a new plane. Then they were delayed yet again because apparently an unhappy flyer wrote something on a comment card that he probably should not have, apparently posing a threat. However, after the pilots talked to him, they allowed hi to stay on the plane. Finally, my sister and niece were able to fly back, arriving in our frozen tundra about 24 hours after they were supposed to be here. But they were safe, and that's what's really important.

But the drama doesn't end there. When my sister came home and started unpacking her suitcase to put the gifts under the tree, she discovered some gifts missing. Soon she discovered over $300 worth of gifts missing...gifts for her daughter that she saved up for. Gifts like a digital camera. Somebody went through my sister's luggage, opened the gifts to see if they were worth stealing (apparently kids books are not), and then took what they wanted. We have NO IDEA where they were stolen from, and it has not been easy to try to contact someone to file a claim.

It makes me angry that somebody stole the gifts my sister bought for my niece. But really, staying mad won't help anything. We need to pray for them and hope they don't continue to steal people's items.

"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts 3:19)

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

A very merry Christmas

Four weeks ago, I spent a lot of Thanksgiving trying to cook. It was no easy task for me, and I never would have been able to do it without my mother. I had a hard time following recipes and there were a few dishes I make all the time that I had a really hard time remembering how to cook. I was very stressed out and really needed a lot of help. Now here it is twenty five days later. Except for the dessert and the Honey-baked ham that was already prepared, I cooked the whole Christmas feast, which involved most of same food as Thanksgiving. So when people ask me how I'm doing, I can legitimately say, MUCH BETTER!

Cameron was up EARLY this morning. Melvin told him he couldn't wake us up before 6:00. But that didn't stop him from getting up or from waking up his brother. Cam came down stairs and to take up time, starting writing notes on slips of paper and posting them around the room to direct each person where their gifts were located. Max was very excited to open his gifts and he didn't even complain that someone got something he wanted. However, he did spend a lot of the day playing with Ella's big gift. Once she finally "woke up," was out of her tired funk, and put a smile on her face, she started opening her gifts and had a lot of fun.

Overall it was a really good day. But now I'm very tired, and really ready to sleep.
Matthew 2
The NativityBible Story
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it, wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hustle and bustle

Yawn!!!!!!!!!!! These days right before Christmas sure are tiring. This morning, I had so much to do, but Ella decided to wake me me up at 4:00 AM. Usually she just goes back to sleep if I put her in my bed. But today she decided to roll around all over me for a couple hours until we finally went down to the couch to sleep and then she informed me that the sky was pink and not dark, so it was time to get up.

This was not the day for me to be so exhausted. All I wanted to do was go back to bed. So that I wouldn't, as soon as I made sure Cameron was on the bus, the only thing I did to get ready to go out was brush my teeth and put on a pair of jeans. I didn't wash my face, put on make up, or even change the fleece sweatshirt I slept in. I was looking pretty bad as I wandered through the mall trying to pick up all the gifts I waited to buy at the last minute. But I must say, I didn't care one bit. And the only people who sorta snubbed me were those working at Hollister.

Cameron was funny tonight. He kept wanting me to open one of his gifts. I kept telling him I was going to wait until Christmas. Finally he was bugging me enough that I gave in. When he gave me the gift, he was laughing. I opened what I could tell was a book, to discover a an old "teaching" book of mine. Cameron wrapped up the book somewhat as a joke, but what he doesn't know, is that it really meant something to me. Because I miss teaching. I was especially missing it this evening because I had just read some Christmas letters from some former colleagues of mine. But there will be time for teaching, when I'm healed, and my kids are all back in school.

Here's a picture one morning of Cameron doing a "Reading Lesson" with Max. I used the same book (How to Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons" to teach Cam how to read, and although Max and I have gotten a late start, he's progressing nicely.

John 15:16
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A couple more days

I had another good weekend. Everything seems to be improving little by little, except for some areas of numbness on different areas of my body. Along with my healing, I'm praying for restored feeling. I also find myself becoming tired more often...needing to nap during the day.

It was a COLD weekend here. We're talking below zero temps, and negative 20 with the windchill. One of my neighbors shoveled my driveway...I said he was an angel, but another neighbor was more precise when calling him Sainted!

I'm happy to say that I have no appointments until Friday of this week. I have some relatives coming into town so food shopping is on my "to do" list.....along with all my other last-minute Christmas things I need to do.

My littlest "MONSTER" wearing black fangs and some kid legwarmers that another breast cancer survivor sent me.

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Friday, December 19, 2008

A busy week

What a busy week for me.

On Tuesday, I had my bloodcounts checked. My husband thought it would be a good idea to have this done before I continued with my new chemo pill Xeloda . Well, it turns out my Red Blood Cell Count was low. In order to get it back up to a healthy level quickly so that I could continue with my chemo, I had to have a blood transfusion. So that took a few hours out of my day that I did not expect, and I was not prepared for (didn't bring anything that I could do while I lied there. There was a room available however, so I did get to lie down and rest. That was nice.

On Wednesday I was not dealing with any medical appointments. I had gotten a couple of my friends gift cards for pedicures for their birthdays a while back. So we planned a girls' pedi and lunch outing. It was nice to get out and be with my friends. I do miss all the time that I used to hang out with them and our kids. I used to be one of the "social planners" of the group....always finding stuff to do and places to go with our kids. And if someone sent out an e-mail asking if anyone wanted to meet up somewhere with out kiddos, I was usually game for anything. I haven't been able to do that in a long time, and it does make me really sad. Hopefully, now that I can drive, and with the medical appointments tapering off, I'll be able to do more. Wednesday afternoon I picked up my mom at the airport. SHE's BACK......YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Thursday I had the 2nd half of my blood transfusion. All went fine, and this time I was prepared...with Christmas cards to address. I still have many more to do, but at least I got a start. And, we didn't have any issues with getting the IV in. My veins are SO BAD with all the times they have to access them, that it's rare if someone can draw blood or inject anything in me without having to try a couple times. I'm pretty used to it now, and although everyone is usually very apologetic, most of the time it doesn't even bother me.

Also on Thursday we met with another Oncologist, Dr. Yee. When my husband told me about the appointment, at first I just sighed and said, "Do we really need to go? He's just going to say the same thing that all the other doctors we have consulted with have said." (And let me tell you, there are quite a few doctors we've seen in person, and dozens more that my husband has contacted by phone or e-mail). But Dr Yee is a breast cancer specialist from the University of Minnesota, and I am so glad that my husband set up this appointment. Maybe it was because I've seen so many doctors now I actually could understand most of what Dr. Yee was saying in terms of treatment. But also, he was just very clear, and personable. He spoke directly to me in mostly medical terminology that I understood. And if I didn't know what he was talking about, I was comfortable enough to ask. Dr. Yee was very clear about what treatment plan we should follow and why. And he seemed very positive about things.....where as many other doctors seemed like they were throwing in the towel. I'm sure my last round of tests had something to do with it. All the radiation that my great Dr. Vic had me do killed off a lot of cancer. So Dr. Yee had more to be positive about, but both Melvin and I felt we had a really good and informative visit. I am so glad we went and grateful that God led us to this doctor. He thinks I should have a bone scan, and another lumbar puncture.

Today, I FINALLY got to meet up with my Bible Study group (Mom's Spiritual Spa group). These are the same ladies that I meet when going to play places with our kids (as I wrote about earlier in this post). They've been SUCH a support to me during this time...even though I have not been able to be a very good friend to them. But as I get stronger and stronger and my mind clears more, I hope to be able to be there for them, as much as they've all been there for me.

And physical therapy today....let's just say that I might not be able to walk tomorrow. The therapist had me doing a lot of work on my quads to help me with my strength. I haven't worked my quads like that in a really long time...so I hope I can still walk around the stores and go Christmas shopping this weekend!

But praise God for a good week. It was busy...but overall it's good that I can be busy like this.

Matthew 7:7
Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

MRI Report

Below is the report from my last MRI that involved 2 areas of my spine. These areas were radiated several weeks ago. You can certainly read the report, and if you're medical, you'll probably understand it. But basically it says that the areas in my spine that were scanned....that in some of the areas the cancerous lesions completely went away. And in one area, they were diminished. So although there is one part of my spine that still has the cancer, the radiation did make the area smaller, and it certainly hasn't grown. And in another area it completely went away. A huge praise to God for that.

Actual Report
Indication Leptomeningeal metastasis from breast cancer

The small enhancing nodular lesions noted along the root of the cauda equine are no longer present. In addition, the small focus of nodular enhancement in the conus medullaris at the T12 level has slightly decreased in size and no longer enhances. No evidence of new leptomeningeal metastatic disease.

The lumbar vertebral bodies and interspaces are normal. No spinal or foraminal stenosis. Normal disk height and T2 signal. The facets are normal. The paraspinal loft tissues are normal. No evidence of skeletal metastasis.

Small focus of T2 signal hyperintensity in the conus at the T12 level has diminished in size since 10/8/2008 and no longer enhances.
Resolution of the previously demonstrated enhancing nodules along the roots of cauda equina.
Findings are consistent with improvement of the patient’s known leptomeningeal metastatic disease.
The lumbar spine is otherwise normal.

Now certainly you understood all that...right? Apparently, the cancer can still regrow in those areas, but I'm going to trust in the Lord and just know that He has healed me in those areas and I'm not going to worry about them anymore.

Nahum 1:9
What do ye imagine against the Lord? He will make an utter end: affliction shall not rise up the second time.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

On the road again....a slippery one

In my blog the other day I said that I thought I was going to try driving again. But I said I'd wait until the snow and ice cleared.

Well, I drove yesterday, and because of some medical issues that kept me at the hospital unexpectantly most of the afternoon, I ended up driving home in the middle of a snowstorm!

But I made it no problem, and it feels wonderful to be able to drive again.

I have some good news with some test results, but I need to find the paper to post the correct information.

Praising God for all his goodness.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Our daily grind

It was negative one this morning...with a windchill below negative 20. And it snowed last night. I am so grateful for our snowplow service!

Started my new chemo pill Xeloda today. So far, I'm fine. Here's some info about it. Apparently most people don't lose their hair. Now, my hair is already gone from the head radiation...so I'm not sure if this means it will still grow back. If not, the very sweet au pair (nanny) across the street who is a hairstylist and cuts hair and wigs for runway models and such gave my wig a new style. I like it much better, and even wore it to the movies last week. When I find the picture I took, I'll post it here.

Doing physical and occupational therapy twice a week. I have math homework! Cameron looked at it and asked me if I wanted him to do it for me....that little munchkin!

This was my first "school day" without my mom here. With the help of some friends, I had some drivers for my appointments and getting Max to and from school. Except for the physical stuff that I just can't do right now because of my arm...well shoulder actually...like lifting up Ella...I was able to do mostly everything. The kids were actually really good this morning....instead of the usual whining, screaming and begging. Today Cameron was teaching Max and Ella how to read. He was doing a really good job, and Max and Ella were actually learning from him!Next I'm going to try driving....after the roads are all completely plowed and free of ice. If I am able to drive again, then my mom can finally go back home to my dad (not that I want her to leave at all...but she does have a home and another "life" besides taking care of me and my kids). Please pray that things continue to go in a positive direction.

Matthew 15:30-31

And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus' feet; and he healed them; insomuch that the multitude wondered, when they saw the dumb to speak, the maimed to be whole, the lame to walk, and the blind to see; and they glorified the God of Israel.

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Long Ago

We had a very busy weekend! Friday night my mom got us tickets through my Uncle Chris to go see Disney on Ice. The kids really enjoyed it, and Ella keeps asking me what I liked in it. She decided that she liked Tinkerbell. Cameron and I liked The Lion King and Max liked The Little Mermaid. When my mom first brought up going, I didn't know how I'd be feeling, and I was tempted to just say no. But I decided that all family things will be a "yes" answer. Then if for some reason, on that particular day, if I'm not feeling well, well, then I might have to say no. But for now, as long as it's not too physical, and it doesn't require me to lift up Ella by myself, I'm game for going mostly anywhere.
On Saturday evening we took a holiday lights bus tour around our city. We saw over a dozen extravagantly lit houses. Last year I mapped out a route and took the kids around. It was more fun this year letting someone else take us around. And we won a bunch of door prizes, which is always fun.
Today we went to visit a friends' church that they just acquired. The church reminded me of the building where my husband and I were married. So that was fun.
Speaking of married, check out this picture:
That's my grandmother and grandfather. Cameron was doing a project for school about "long ago." My Aunt Nancy was able to scan in some old pictures and e-mail them to us so we could print them out. Cameron's projected ended up being about the old car. He learned that the car didn't have any seat belts, but there was heat. There was also a radio, but no navigation system.
Here are some more photos to enjoy. The baby is my Aunt Nancy and the girl is my mom. They're in Ocean City, New Jersey I assume.

My Aunt Nancy in a stroller and that's my Uncle Jimmy behind her (I think).

My grandmother standing next to another car...probably in Camden, New Jersey.

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. Proverbs 17:6

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

One therapy over, another starts

I finished my upper spine radiation yesterday. It's always bittersweet when I finish my radiation because oh I am so thrilled that I don't have that daily often unpredictable (timewise) appointment. But the radiation therapists and other radiation nurses and support staff I see on a daily and/or weekly basis are so incredibly nice, I'll miss seeing them.

Great news about my brain scan. According to the report, there is no cancer in the brain. The surgery, or chemo, or radiation worked. I say this cautiously because my husband said there can be cells that are too small to be seen. But for now, we are very happy. And praise God for his healing and the talent and knowledge and guidance that He gave the doctors.

The next step is do get an MRI of my spine where they radiated several weeks ago. That will be happening tomorrow. And I'll probably be starting a pill form of a chemotherapy soon called Xeloda. It's not supposed to have a negative effect on my mental function, so that's really important to me...especially right now.

(Psalms 30:12 KJV) To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Getting Scanned

The breast cancer I was diagnosed with is called Triple Negative. It basically means that my cancer will not respond to the usual hormones or medications that prevent it from returning. It affects a lot of younger people, and I read not too long ago that it often metastasizes to the brain. It's a new kind of cancer, so not much is known about it...which is why, last year when I was given the "all clear" for cancer, my brain was never scanned. I don't know if it would have made a difference. Who knew how long the cancer has been forming in my brain...or how fast...but my point is, if you've been diagnosed with Triple Negative, insist on getting a scan of your brain.

I think I'll be getting another scan this week. Although I finish my spine radiation on Wednesday...one less daily appointment...I have just started to exhibit some concerning symptoms apparently. My tongue is starting to get numb and tingly again on my right side (yes, I did just write a few days ago how it was better....but that's how crazy and confusing this cancer is). When asked if we should radiate more, my doctor said that we can't keep radiating the same spot now because it could paralyze me. It's all so confusing to me. And on Thursday we go to see my oncologist, where we'll have to make major decisions on chemo and the best options right now.

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Monday, December 08, 2008

Party Time

Because of my anxiety surrounding anything to do with numbers, and time and schedules, I was incredibly nervous about having Ella's birthday party. I did get the time wrong, and showed up with my kids 40 minutes early, in the middle of another party. And the pizza was never ordered, (not my fault) which started to put me in a panic with 20 hungry kids, but even the pizza ended up coming came just in time.

The people at Rolly Pollies are incredible. I heard it was their 4th party of the day, and believe me, you'd never know it. The two guys who ran the place had so much energy and didn't show an ounce of frustration. They did everything....from hanging out with the kids, to serving all the party stuff. I would highly recommend this place if you live in the area.
If this cake looks familiar, it's because it is the exact same cake Ella had last year. She wanted the Backyardigans again, and although I presented her with several other character options that she enjoys, she had no interest in Dora, WalE, Tinkerbell, Dinosaurs, WonderPets, etc. So Pablo, Tasha, Uniqua, Tyrone and Austin it was....again. The kids had fun hanging from the rings, holding on for dear life to the zipline, climbing the net, and dropping into the foam squares.

In other news...the medical kind...I'm feeling good today. A little sluggish, but I feel sounder in mind. I've devised a calendar system to help me keep my schedule straight. And I'm now trying
out some vitamin supplements and other "brain" foods and drinks.


Joel 3:10

Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008


Good morning birthday girl with your WILD CHILD hair!Here's her first gift...a Dora blanket from Aunt Dana. Ella insisted on making her own peanut butter and jelly sandwich...what a big girl!Ella loves dinosaurs and enjoyed playing with the one her grandma bought her and sometimes she even shared with her brothers. Someone from my husband's work gave Ella an ice cream cake. It was so yummy! (And yes, there are 5 candles on the cake. Ella had them all in her hand and insisted they go on the cake as well...we only lit 3 of them though.
Tomorrow is her actual party. Around 20 kids are invited. Should be an exciting time!

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Friday, December 05, 2008

Up and Down

I didn't get "zapped" during physical therapy. And I have some really great physical and occupational therapists that I see. They did some testing, and none of it surprised me with my mental functioning. Had trouble with numbers, patterns, memory.

Everyday I can lift my arm a little bit higher.

I could feel warmth in my left toes this evening (before they just felt freezing numb).

I just realized that the right side of my tongue isn't as numb anymore either.

My brain continues to not work correctly....I think it's a lot of constant memory loss. It could be from radiation, could be from surgery, could be from anxiety. I'm glad I'm getting some physical abilities back, but I do pray more of my mental functioning comes back as well. It's especially frustrating when as a teacher, you can't even help your kids very well with their homework. Or even have what I'd consider a normal conversation with friends.

But again, I'm alive. And tomorrow I get to celebrate Ella's birthday with her.


(Luke 1:37 KJV) For with God nothing shall be impossible.

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Baby steps....sorta

When you're used to being "very" right-handed, and you lose your ability to use your right arm, it's hard. My husband kept telling me to try to use it so that I wouldn't lose anymore function. I was to lift my right arm with my left to do things. Or struggle really hard to do something like wipe the counter with my right hand. This involved all sorts of awkward, uncomfortable movements. Eventually, I naturally just started using my left arm to do things..I couldn't help it.

But praise God, now I'm starting to gain some of my right arm function. It's VERY slight, but it's an improvement. I didn't notice it at first, because of memory issues and because I'm not even close to being back to my normal function with movement, but I can now start to lift my arm with extreme effort. I can tie my kids' shoes, and put on my own jacket. I don't know if it's radiation shrinking the tumor that's causing the nerve problems or what, but I'm grateful for any improvement right now. I go to a new physical therapy place tomorrow. We'll see what they recommend.

I also have a cookie decorating party with Max and Ella in the morning, then my physical therapy appointment downtown, then a radiation appointment, and lastly an appointment with a counselor. Rather busy I'll be. I get very anxious still when it comes to times and schedules, so I pray I don't get overwhelmed by it all. I've been trying to write out schedules with exact times for everything....as specific as the exact time I need to get in the car to be someplace. And I'll have to ask my mom about 5 times for each place/trip about where and when I'm supposed to be....and that memory thing keeps messing me up. But in the end, we (my mom) manages it all and we get to where we need to be and do what we need to do.

Two terms I find humorous about my day tomorrow. One is that at physical therapy, my husband wants to see if they'll do electrical stimulation to the nerves. And secondly, the counselor I'm to see tomorrow has the title of a Psychotherapist. I'm having flashbacks of the book/movie I read in high school One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Scary!!!!

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008


I am exhausted today. Not because I'm fatigued and lying around doing nothing. But rather because I did a lot today, (well, according to my latest standards) including going for a longer than usual walk. So instead of writing the blog I should write, I think I'll try to get some sleep.

My dad leaves tomorrow...we're all sad around here about that...but probably no one sadder than Ella is going to be when she wakes up in the morning and sees that he's gone. He was quite the playmate to her these past couple weeks. She didn't like to leave his side.

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A nice knitter, a fat face, and some cute kids

A really nice lady who reads my blog RuthieJ knitted me some very beautiful, comfortable and warm hats. Perfect for this Minnesota weather! I was just going to post a picture of the hats, because I HATE the way I look right now. Of course I have no hair, the steroids make my face fat and and my eyes puffy as well. But you know what, there's nothing I can do about it. It's just the way things are going to be right now, so I'm finding myself just learning to be okay with it.
Now for some cuter pictures. Here's a rare moment of Ella actually smiling for the camera. She was so excited when she woke up from her nap and saw the tree...you'd think it was Christmas morning already she just couldn't stop smiling. We don't have one of those "department store" Christmas trees where all the ornaments match. But the kids and I, and Cameron especially, like to look at the different ornaments that they made over the year. He and Max also play "I Spy" with the ornaments on the tree.

Max wanted to be like his big brother and see how high he could climb the ladder when putting up the ornaments.


Depart from evil and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. Psalms 34:14

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