Saturday, March 31, 2007

Verse to claim with MRI's

We wait in HOPE for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.
In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name.
May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord,
even as we put our HOPE in You.
Psalm 33:20-22

As I was reading the posts and comments in November I was crying. It encouraged my heart to read what I was able to express while in a deep emotional fear pit along with the comments from many bloggers. The above verse was one of many encouraging scriptures. I would like to claim that verse for every upcoming MRI I will have. (Thanks Gracie!) As it will be in the back of my mind wondering if any growth is present.

If you haven't lately. . . go back and read the November archive postings. Especially Wednesday, November 22. It was the day prior to Thanksgiving when we received the news of 4 years median life expectancy. The past few months have seemed like a whirlwind. My heart has been filled with God's grace shining evidently in the pit of despair. God is good. Isn't he? I love him. I do hope you see his goodness in your life as well.

Friday night after grocery shopping I was pondering the past few months. Dave's actions, research, service and his unending love for me have been overwhelming. I was praising God for such a wonderful friend and husband. He is a delight to my heart. I can't thank him enough or even come close to expressing my appreciation. I did tell him today how I don't deserve a husband like him. He came back with a sweet comment. Oh so tender. The bonus is that he is becoming more and more good looking as the weeks pass. I knew he was hot when I met him but he just keeps getting better. Marriage is great every passing year.

Spring break is almost over. The boys return to school on Monday. Great memories were made! We had a great time on rainy Friday during Stuarts nap. Under the big blanket fort in the basement I read to them Prince Caspian with a camping lantern. All lights were turned off. A little uncomfortable for me but still a joy. We were on the second to last chapter. Very exciting! They were able to have one sweet while I read. Cole chose rootbeer jelly bellies and Carter Red Hot gum. I had water. They thought it was great! So did I.

4:10 to you Dave.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Peach Fuzz

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they exult in your righteousness.
Psalm 89: 15- 16

Last night I was noticing in my mirror that their was a dark area above my incision. I had Dave look at it. I was wondering if it was a internal bruise. Dave thought it looked like my scalp in the back where there is hair. It was a little odd. Neither one of us were sure what it was.

Ta Da! This morning looking in the mirror with my wet hair pulled back - low and behold are some more darkened areas. Peach fuzz! That's right I have hair beginning to grow back in spotty areas. I ran downstairs to show Dave. I am so happy to at least see the start of hair growth. It does look funny where it is starting to grow due to being random and splotchy. Dave mentioned that it is 3 -6 months ahead of schedule. At one time they mentioned that I could possibly see some type of growth in late June then switched to September a couple weeks ago. I am thankful. I truly believe that some of the growth is attributed to my healthy diet and also the multiple natural compounds that I am taking. Of course God is the true reason overall.

Take time to praise Him for this great news! I sure am.

PS. I did the scripture in brown due to my brown hair!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A call from Joe

Last night after dinner and during our badminton rally with the older boys (with Stuart kicking the soccer ball around our feet) Joe called. He called to tell me of his wife, Gen's funeral arrangements. I unfortunately cannot attend due to other important obligations on that day. I told Joe that I was sorry but wanted him to know that I would have attended in support of him on that day. I did tell him once more that I know God brought him into my life during radiation to encourage me. I looked forward to my conversations with him. After asking how he is fairing he said his right eye is slowly healing. Pray for his vision and encouragement in that area. Remember it is his right eye that was his good eye. He doesn't want to be legally blind. Who would? He had surgery on that eye during radiation treatments. One tooth that was radiated is giving him problems. He is coming into Barnes on Friday to have it looked at. It was so good for me to speak with him. I did tell him when he comes to St. Louis again to call ahead and I would love to serve him a late lunch or early dinner on his way back home. My mom mentioned this morning that when the boys are on summer break that we could take a day trip to visit him. I loved that idea as well. I will talk to him about that. He sounded very chipper on the phone.


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Can you come out and play?

The St. Louis zoo was our adventure for today. Their slogan is "Can you come out and play?" The Snodgrass clan minus daddy-o surely did. The elephants were out along with the cheetahs, all bears, penguins, hippos, hyenas and tiger. We stayed way past Stuart's naptime. On the drive home he was on my turned off cell phone talking to Aunt Dee Dee, Poppy, Caleb, Alex, Mema, Pop Pop and Grandma. It was a riot. We all were laughing. This is what he said during the multiple per person phone calls. "Hi this is Stoo- ert. I go in the water. I get wet. Goodbye." He did walk in the water area that is right outside the childrens zoo main entrance on our way to the van. Mommy is so thankful for crocs (shoes). Close to home he was falling asleep. The older boys worked hard on keeping him awake till we reached home. They were successful. Stuart does not transfer well from car to bed. He has hit that stage in his napping.
Poor Cole. His allergies are really affecting his eyes. He is allergic to every tree and grass. Not too mention other items like dogs, cats and horses. Spring time is so horrible for him. He really does not look like himself during the allergy season. I love the budding of trees and spring flowers except for how it affects dear Cole. I love spring break! Spending time with my boys is a privilege and a joy to my heart. The older boys are currently making forts with almost all the blankets they can find. Here is a picture of both. Carter calls his the cathedral of the house. You will find Cole's head popping out under his secret door. Disregard the messy playroom. It's a basement.

Secret stuff and hockey

Yesterday was downtown eventful. The boys and I went to the DEA office. Wow, I have never known what really goes on in finding people who use illegal drugs. Lots of pictures were taken but cannot be shared here on the blog due to the secret nature of it. I guess they figure we are not a big risk of illegal drug taking. I was a little disappointed in the holding cell. I thought it was going to be like the town of Mayberry with Barney Fife - bars and all. I had an idea for a good picture of me behind the bars. That is not how they do the holding room. It is much more high tech and a solid door with just a handle on the opposite side with a peep hole for checking in on the convict.

In the evening we were given four tickets to the Blues hockey game. It was a great memory maker. It took some work to find a sitter for Stuart though. That was the first hockey game Carter and Cole have attended. The Blues were behind 4 to 1 with five minutes left when we departed for our car. I am not sure they were able to pull through. Don't ask me who they were playing. Not one for detail in hockey.
Everyone but Stu at the game!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fun on the Run!

Cole racin' red!

Carter ready to burn rubber!

Aunt Jeannie (Dee Dee) havin' fun! Bumped someone twice.
Where did she learn to drive? On a country road?

This morning was a fun filled day at NASCAR Speedpark. I had called three weeks ago asking for spring break hours of operation for the go carts. It was told to me that they would be open the last two weeks of March. Upon arriving at 10 that was not the case. After speaking to a manager about my phone conversation they willingly opened up the outside track for us. Thankfully! The boys, Aunt Dee Dee along with Jacob, Carters friend went around the track. We came inside to do some arcade games. An employee asked if we wanted to ride again free of charge. I thought I didn't hear him correctly. But it was true! Free of charge! Wow! That is a deal! Jeannie asked me if I told them about my cancer. I did not I just was being very talkative (go figure) to the employees in the beginning. So low and behold everyone rode another round. They were thrilled! I was thrilled to have such a great deal!

We had lunch at Chevy's and everyone was happy especially with filled tummies. I was able to shop a little for some more headbands. I have been searching for a solid black headband that is a summer texture - not too hot. Found it at a teenie bopper store. I don't go in stores like that due to 3 boys and not one girl to shop for. (I am not known to be a trend setter of any stretch of the imagination.)

It is nice to have some "normal" time with the boys. I actually have not thought a great deal about cancer which is a blessing.
On to the rock park to explore and throw rocks in the creek, see the drug detectives office and play other places this week.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It's a Go!

Dr. Needles is a go! He met all requirements and with some extra perks. One perk being the MRI location option. St. Johns Mercy has a medical facility off site that does scans / tests. It is really close to our home - less than 8 miles from home. It is actually the same location where I had my very first CT scan in October. My bloodwork can be done at that same location or the doctors office. Another perk was in regards to the emergency exchange - you actually are calling one of the oncologist cell phone numbers after hours not an answering service.

A thorough neurological exam was performed. Dr. Needles has great relations with Dr. Linette or "Gerry" as he would say. They work closely together in regards to patients and often refer patients to one another. Dr. Linette had already sent a note to Dr. Needles in regards to my care without me officially asking. It is also good to note that Dr. Needles is on the board at Barnes hospital as well.

As for the wait and see if cancer returns approach till I take the Temodar - he has absolutely no problem with it. He did ask for the list of what I am doing. Looking it over he said "I am not aware of any contraindication and certainly would not pass judgement on what you are taking." He mentioned something as well about a certain disease that has been found to have significant help / cure in what the Chinese use. I didn't write it down what he said as I felt it did not pertain to brain cancer but it was encouraging. Dave & I are content with this decision. I am elated! Today I was told that MoDOT will be shutting down different sections of hwy. 40 for a total of two years not one.

Dr. Needles does want me to have my April MRI at Siteman. He suggested that we not stick to the every 3 months approach and wait after each scan to make that decision. He wants to be very proactive in the event of growth and might suggest every two month scans. I jokingly told him that is not a big deal as we have already maxed out for the year with insurance. "Order as many as you like!" I will officially switch over mid April. I will have my June MRI with Dr. Needles as my oncologist.

Today was a good day. On to spring break fun!

Consultation with Dr. Needles

Today at 12:30 I will be consulting / interviewing Dr. Burton Needles. I have my multitude of questions ready for him. I am more and more desiring a closer oncologist due to the fact that this week MODOT officially decided that they are going to close down a certain section of hwy 40 for a whole year! What a headache for those needing to travel hwy. 40. The effects of the shut down will be felt all over the area due to people finding different routes. Pray that if Dr. Needles is not the one for it to be evident. I have other doctors that I will interview if he does not work out. One of them being my dad's oncologist. He has multiple myeloma (bone cancer).

Hair is still detaching from my head. I think it is less than last week so that is great!

Thankful for the rain today. Hopefully I won't be running around like a mad woman at least for this Thursday. Both boys have baseball practice at two different locations and times. I do have two more appointments after Dr. Needles. One for me and one for Cole.

Tomorrow officially starts spring break for the older boys. They made their spring break wish list of things they want to do in the area. We will be go-carting due to the fact that was #1 on both of their lists. We are also going to see a DEA friend of ours at his work downtown. The boys are estatic about this one. He is a drug detective! Way cool! Bass Pro Shop was one as well. Am I a mother of boys or what? Lovin' it! The list goes on. I will be keeping the list in their keepsake boxes. I loved seeing their desires along with how they spelled them. So precious.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The Kiss and Neckhug

Just wanted to update you on Cole. I forgot to mention it in the last blog post what he did last night while I was praying with him. He had a great Monday at school! Routine is good for him. In the evening he played catch with Dad in the backyard. I think he was in the teens without dropping the baseball. Go Cole! He would turn to see if I was looking while I was pushing Stuart on the swing. Settling in for the evening upstairs in his room I was prompted to pray for the inward qualities that make him very special. I thanked the Lord for Cole's sweet heart, a good friend to others and loving to Mommy during spur of the moment times. After the Mommy loving part he interupted my prayer to give me a big kiss and hug around my neck. I am thankful for that affection. It carried me through the whole night and on throughout my day today. I am trying to figure out Cole's love language and affirm him. Carter is pretty easy to read for the most part. Cole is more like his Dad - introverted and processes many things prior to expressing them.

All in all I think Cole is doing well. Continue to pray for all our boys transition into having a Mom with brain cancer. Everyone is uniquely affected. It is maturing each one of us.

Growth is good just not with cancer.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Silver Lining

There is a silver lining in having brain cancer. My pants / shorts size used to be a 14 then on good weeks a 12. I am now officially a 12. I even bought some size 12 shorts last week and they were too big! I did keep some in hopes that the dryer would shrink the waist a little. Could it be when I exercise this spring and do my normal field trip mommy duty this summer that I will be a 10? I have never been a 10 not even in grade school. Well maybe I was a 10 in grade school but I sure don't remember it. It was the Dairy Delight cheese fries in high school that help the waist line increase no doubt. And hot fudge sundaes to boot. Oh to be young again. Shame on Dairy Delight being that close to the high school. No self control - what have I told you about me?

Even though the emotional roller coaster was huge this past weekend (possible more lows to come) God has not left my side. In fact He is making himself known even more. My faith is being strengthened. My Bible study this week was on prayer. More specifically Daniel 9 and his prayer. Did you know that Daniel took time to pray at least 3 times a day. Not saying mealtime prayers. Daniel knew that God desires a relationship. That is two way communication. The Bible is for God to communicate to us and we pray in response. It is like a phone - have you dialed lately? He is on hold waiting for you. I have had some sweet times in prayer the past 2 days. I am so thankful for my deepening relationship with the Lord. I have even begun a list of God's mighty acts in the past both in Scripture and in my life. I actually have more on Jesus thus far. It is encouraging my heart to see this list. I am glad I am His child.

The quote from Beth Moore study I want to leave with you this evening . . .
"If you feel that your prayers matter little, if any, can you accept the bibical truth that God can be trusted when our human reasoning often cannot? Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Prov. 3:5)! He knows you by name, and He recognizes your voice. Whatever you do, Dear One, don't stop praying. Heaven is affected even when you don't see answers on Earth."

I am most in awe about the following scripture in regards to our requests before the Lord;

Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD Psalm 139:4

"He hears and acts because of His great mercy - a mercy greater than our sin."
Thankful that God does more than just care for me!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Tenderness of Cole

"When is Mommy going to be done with treatment?" That was the start of many questions Cole had last night after I went to bed.

Last night Cole really wanted me to read Prince Caspian from the Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis. It has been delightful going through the series and sharing in the experience. The discussion of the characters and their roles have been meaningful. This is something I started doing just with the older two boys since brain surgery. I treasure the "lap time" with them. Unfortunately I was exhausted last night by the time 8 o'clock rolled around. I told Cole I was sorry that I needed some rest and promised to read it tomorrow. After explaining that sometimes I will need to have extra rest now and then due to everything going on with cancer.

After I prayed with Cole and kissed him goodnight Dave came in to pray with him. He asked Dave "When is Mommy going to be done with treatment?" Daves response was that Mommy is done with radiation. Cole asked "When will Mommy be done taking medicine?" Dave told him that I would have to take it for a long long time.

Fifteen minutes or so later Cole came downstairs and told Dave he couldn't fall asleep due to "bad dreams". He asked Dave "Is Mommy going to die from cancer?" Dave gently told him that all of us die at one time we don't know when we are to die only God knows. He also encouraged him that we know that God is in control of every aspect of Mommys health. We are praying that God will heal Mommy.

They went upstairs to finish the discussion in Coles room tucked him in and pray. Dave told him that Mommy went to the doctor this week because a picture was taken of her brain (MRI). The picture showed no signs of cancer. Cole wanted to pray. His sweet prayerwas as follows;

"I pray that Mommy's cancer never returns and that she lives to see her grandsons." He was tearful while he said this - the first time he has cried openly since this trial began for our family.

After hearing of Cole and his tender heart I cried this morning. I have been struggling emotionally with the unknowns of my cancer. Last night after tucking the boys in I was feeling a little blue. I am impatient and want to know what the future holds - only if it is positive mind you. My heart hurts because my boys hearts are hurting. Even Carter this morning during breakfast preparation asked me if I was going to die from cancer. I truly am hurting emotionally for them. I am weary and broken and crying more often.

On a positive note: I need to depart from the blog. Purdue basketball is starting in a few. The boys already are dressed in their t shirts from last year to cheer on Daddys team! Their signs are made as well!


Friday, March 16, 2007

Home and Well

The procedure went smoothly. I was home by 2:15 and just woke from my nap. My snack tasted oh so good. In the waiting area my heart was touched by the thoughts of November 7. The front desk lady said she had remembered Dave and the large group of people. After asking him he told me the area where everyone was gathered to pray and wait. I was crying out of sweet rememberance of God's mercy and love for me on that day. It is amazing that I had surgery on my brain not long ago. Almost too amazing!

Out Patient Procedure Today

Dave late last night thought it would be a good idea to let the bloggers know about my day today. I told him I thought it wasn't necessary since it is not anything big. Well after thinking about it he is probably the more wise one in the household. Prayer is always a great thing.

Today at 11 am I am having an out patient procedure done at St Johns Hospital. It is very minor. I should be done with the actual procedure in less than 15 minutes. Not at all related to cancer. It was something that I was going to have done last fall prior to finding out about brain cancer and was put on hold due to the urgency of brain cancer. The great thing about it is that it is free! We have met our deductible and the maximum other 20% portion that is our responsiblity for the year. Just a doctors co pay is what this will cost. Dave and I are to arrive at 9 am for pre op. Pray that this is an easy non complicated procedure. I should be released sometime after 3 pm. I was going to have this procedure done at an out patient low key facility but due to being a high risk patient it was wise to have certain doctors on call and close expecially neurosurgeon, Dr. Forget. I will be tired for the weekend due to the anesthesia. The biggest kicker is that I couldn't have anything to eat or drink after midnight last night. I am going to be one hungry chick after the procedure. Dave might need to make a Bread Co. run off Ballas. Pray also for Dave he was asking details about the location and thoughts of the brain surgery came to mind. Reminders are sure to come.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

After 5 o'clock

Don't you know that when 5 o'clock hits one of your children needs to see a doctor. That was the case yesterday evening. Stuart woke from his nap a little crabby. It continued to worsen as the hours went past. I thought he was exhausted from spending the morning with his little friend Caleb. Once outside in our backyard he was crying a lot and holding his right ear saying my ear hurts, my ear hurts. I proceeded to take him upstairs hoping a bubble bath would cheer him up. That didn't work. I gave him some tylenol to tide him over till I called the exchange. By this time it was 5:45 pm. The doctor on call told me to go to an urgent care to have him looked at. She informed me of a pediatric urgent care fairly close to our home in the Chesterfield area. After I had some dinner he was seen by a doctor. He does have the beginnings of a right ear infection. She put some numbing drops in his ear to help with the night. I filled his first official antibiotic since he has been born. The other scrips were for conjunctivitis. He has been somewhat of a healthy boy. I am very thankful. The odd thing about all of this is that the cold he has had wasn't that bad. It threw me for a loop due to the fact that the drainage wasn't severe - at least I didn't think severe enough for a ear infection to take place. I am so glad I took him in.

I forgot to mention in my last blog a few items. Joe was concerned about his vision. The surgery he had on his right eye was his "good eye". His left eye is not well. He is concerned that if the right eye doesn't heal he could be considered legally blind. Pray for his vision.

After asking Dr. Simpson about my hair regrowth he stated that June might be too early to see any growth. He said it most likely will be in September. I know he originally stated June or I would not have that set in my mind. Oh well hair or no hair I am alive and feel fairly good.

To clarify my brain cancer and the possible outcome - Dr. Linette stated that the cancer statistic (emphasis mine) is that a person will live up to 4 years. I misunderstood and wrote previously that the cancer growth might not return till about 4 years with the Temodar. Dave straightened me out yesterday. I guess I am going to look at it as if I live past 4 years that will be "icing on the cake". I will have to take my concerns day by day to God. It is my only choice. Pray for encouragement in my heart. I still claim that God is mighty, bigger and greater than this brain cancer.

Off to the dentist this morning then tomorrow to see more medical staff of another sort for the day. Never lacking in the medical arena any more. I was laughing while filling out a medical history form. The question was - How many doctors I have seen in the past year? It was at least up to seven from OBgyn to cancer. I am well represented.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Further Explanation of MRI

Today was a big visit at Siteman Cancer Center. Dr. Linette further explained the MRI thinking there is no reason for concern. He is wanting me to have another MRI in a month to be on top of the growth if it is to return this quick. He said it has been known to return this fast in about 5% of patients. Dr. Linette is fine with me not taking the Temodar till necessary. I will have my next MRI on Wednesday, April 11 at 8 am followed by bloodwork then see him afterwards with the results. He will read it himself prior to the official reading from a Barnes radiologist. Dr. Linette said he is very good at reading the scans and is 80% accurate with what the radiologist would write. After the April MRI Dr. Linette wants a scan in June then every 3 months indefinitely. I was a little shocked to hear that it will be for the rest of my life. Relieved though that he really wants to stay on top of the cancer growth. We are looking at meeting our deductible with no problem every year.

Dr. Linette understood why we might be looking into an oncologist closer to home and Dave's work. He said that Dr. Needles is a fine doctor and that we have his blessing if we decide to switch over. Pray for wisdom. As for now I will see Dr. Needles next Thursday and discuss it further with Dave. Siteman has me trained so well with all their procedures.

Dr. Simpson was his same old self. He wasn't concerned with the eye ache and didn't think it was related to the RT. He said people get headaches all the time it is normal. I did ask him if a person is to go blind from RT what does that entail. He said he is not concerned with that as well since my eyebrows are still intact. The gamma rays that hit close to the eye area were minimal. I am thankful for that answer. I am still concerned why I am having infrequent head/eye aches. He also asked about the chemo wondering if I will be taking it. He was all in favor of me waiting till the growth returns and mentioned a certain study coming out about if there are any benefits to cancer patients who take the chemo right after RT with no growth visible. I was intrigued. Will see Dr. Simpson again in September for my next follow up.

I almost forgot . . . Guess who I saw today in the waiting area down at radiation? Joe! That's right Joe. I was thrilled to see him. I hadn't spoken to him since he completed RT. He looks great! He said he feels pretty good except for being nauseated in the morning. I told him his burns are healing very well. He did say he is eating well. Joe took some time to speak with Dave. He hasn't yet been home. He is living with his neice. The funeral for his wife has yet to be scheduled. He did cry in front of Dave talking about her and meeting me during his rough time at Siteman. It was so good for my heart to see him today. God did that for me. It was not a concidence.

As for Carter last night the conversation went well talking about Mrs. Cornwell. His only concern was how she died. Was she in pain or did she just fall asleep? I did tell him she was in pain from what I knew but now she is not. She is in the arms of Jesus. He was Ok with it all. His prayer for Mr. Cornwell and Natalie was truly precious. I wish it was recorded.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Words to Say to Carter

Today in Bible study I was informed that Sue passed away. She was the lady I wrote about a while back with 10 tumors alone in the brain and her cancer originated in her uterus. Last week she was given 3 weeks - 3 months to live after finding out it had traveled to her bones. She literally found out she had cancer a little over 4 weeks ago.

Carter has been praying for her every night along with Bob from the Houston airplane ride, Joe from Siteman (he says Mr. Bob & Mr. Bennett) and me. He has been so faithful to lift every one of these precious people to Jesus. Pray for me as I need to inform him of Mrs. Cornwell. I think I will use the analogy of trials and how there are three basic scenarios. I think I shared this with you some time ago but it is worth repeating. We all need a good reminder when it comes to major life trials and heartache.

1. We can be delivered from the fire.
Dividend? Our faith is built.
2. We can be delivered through the fire.
Dividend? Our faith is refined.
3. We can be delivered by the fire straight into His arms.
Dividend? Our faith is perfected.

Praising God Sue loved Jesus and is straight in His arms today. Pray for her husband Mark and three year daughter, Natalie.

Remember I am praying for #2. You can do the same. God is more than able.

Tomorrow I am to see Dr. Linette at 9:30 with the official reading of the MRI. Afterwards I am to see Dr. Simpson. At this time I will be telling Dr. Linette that I am looking to find an oncologist closer to home and Dave's work. I am presently looking at Dr. Needles who practices at St. Johns. Pray that my words are gentle and sincere. Dr. Linette is a fantastic, precise and genuine doctor. I only wish he was in west county. I have an appointment with Dr. Needles next Thursday at 12:30 to discuss many areas of my treatment.
On a funny note: Dr. Needles could be the doctor for me. Who can have a neurosurgeon of Dr. Forget (yes it is in french but it looks funny) and not have another with an odd name? Only Kate Snodgrass.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Kate Snodgrass Trust

In light of our current and future medical expenses, several people encouraged us to form a trust in case anyone wanted to make an anonymous donation. One of our banker friends set up the trust, free of charge, with the proper legal documents. We are very grateful for their help with this. If you are interested in making a donation, please make the check payable to the "Kate Snodgrass Trust" and send it to:

Kate Snodgrass Trust
c/o Champion Bank
Attn: Katie Edema
10552 Old Olive Street Road
St. Louis, MO 63141


Dave & Kate

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Over Doing It

Yesterday the family birthday party was fun except for a few glitches. The first mishap was with the big surprise gift – the bike. We had a scavenger hunt planned outside for him to find it. Dave at 4:30 went out to where it was hidden between the neighbor homes to inflate the tires. Dave is my quality control man if you didn’t already guess. After Dave completed the back tire and waited a few seconds the tube inside exploded! Dave came into our home and found me upstairs putting on my makeup "We have a problem." He proceeded to explain how he aired the front first then the back tire. He waited and then a "shot gun" sound went off. His ears were awake by that point. I quickly asked what time it was and for him to get a different bike or figure out how to fix this issue. Dave quickly went to the bike shop to get the original bike that Cole wanted. There was one left and to my delight Dave talked them down in price. He is a man after my own heart. I even received a phone call to tell me he did just that. Love you Dave! You did good. We will return the red bike today or tomorrow. The hot yellow bike after the scavenger hunt!
The next two mishaps were in the kitchen. The garlic red potatoes were suppose to be done in 40 minutes. Not! I increased the temp to 400 and they finally were cooked after opening the presents. We did a reverse party of opening the presents first then eating. It’s called flexibility.
Onto the lava cakes - I waited to prepare them till after everyone ate dinner. Their tummies were settling and while having a good conversation – something about lupper dogs. Ask soccer Gram about her new business idea she got from a PBS documentary. Back to the cakes- I was happily at work in the kitchen doubling the recipe due to eight little cakes that needed to be made. All was well but when the 13 minutes were up the cakes were not set. Another two minutes – still not set. Two more minute, etc. Not set. Finally after so many extra minutes they ate hot chocolate soup of sorts with fresh rasberries and whip cream. I sat there while everyone was eating their soup and finally devised that I forgot to add the 12 tablespoons of flour. Oh well. I guess I was so engrossed with the lupper dog conversation that I wasn’t totally concentrating.

For the most part all were well in the Snodgrass home after the party. Cole went to bed content and happy. Mom went to bed with a severe eye ache. I actually went to bed immediately after they did. It had been hurting for some time during the day. Thank you Dave for cleaning up after the party. I was out of commission. At 3 am I woke with an intense headache behind my eye and at the right back base of my head. I took two Tylenol and woke up Dave. I was crying. My body was shaking – nerves I assume. I told him that I was scared. It hurt quite but not as bad as the headaches prior to brain surgery. I was debating in my mind whether or not I should be seen at the hospital. We decided to wait to see if the Tylenol would kick it. Thankfully it did.

I over did it yesterday. My eye was fatigued towards the end of the day. I am realizing I cannot do as much as I did in a days time. I have even noticed when I sing with Stuart in the morning the Praise Ye the Lord song. I cannot go up and down in fast motion. Carter has already told me he wants a football theme party in June with an obstacle course of sorts. Will need to pace myself for that day. The easier the better on June 5.

As odd times of fear creep in pray that I will not dwell on that fear and be able to give it over to Jesus. Also needing encouragement in my heart at those times. I am praising God that this cancer is so much bigger than me. It forces me to give it over and not hold on. Thankful that the Lord delights in me before I even give my fear over.

Birthday breakfast tradition of a candle with your pancake!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Birthday Lava Cakes

Cole is anticipating a fun evening tomorrow of opening presents. He has decided his birthday dinner to be fried chicken (also wanted fish but needed to choose just one), special gourmet shaped pasta, veggie tray that had to have broccoli and grape tomatoes, dilled red potatoes, leafy salad and for dessert - Lava Cakes with rasberries. He requested that they ooze really good. On Valentines day they didn't ooze like we had all liked them to. I will only bake them tomorrow for 13 minutes for that special request.

The family will love the lava cakes. I think Cole wants them to experience what we do on a normal love day.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved,
clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
Colossians 3:12

The above verse spoke volumes to me on Sunday after I watched a DVD by Nancy Leigh DeMoss on the topic of forgiveness. I have had some personal things to deal with. (Some of you might think this cancer blog is extremely personal - Why yes it is!) My heart was prompted to act on a particular situation. It should have been done a long long time ago. I have been putting it off waiting for the right moment to seek forgiveness. I am thankful that cancer has humbled somewhat my pride. It is a process. I want to try and start each day with Colossians 3:12 in mind. I wrote it out on a sheet of paper and will put it on my bathroom mirror as a daily reminder. It can be used with parenting as well. You can hear a similar script online at . Click on audio then past broadcasts. Once in past broadcast page type in March 2007 and Nancy Leigh DeMoss as speaker. I don't think you will be disappointed.
I have been having some mild headaches during the day. I think it is still a post surgery complication. The pain is most often in the same two locations. As for napping, today I took my first nap in about a week and actually fell asleep. Still having middle of night issues at 3 ish and waking at 5:30 ish. Hopefully the nap today will help for tonight.

Trying to clothe myself as in Colossians 3:12.

Fred Bird Pics

Thought you might enjoy some pics of "Red" bird (according to Stuart). We were able to see him last Saturday at our insurance agents open house. He was crazy as usual and it took Stuart a little getting used to. As you can see by the end Stuart really enjoyed it. I think Fredbird handing out mini baseballs had something to do with it.

Yum! Yum! Carter tastes good!

Cool Cole along with Cool Fredbird!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Some News

JoAnn did call at 6:20 pm with the reading of the MRI scan. She read the official notes. Basically the cavity is smaller and the rim around the cavity has brightness. Dave and I suspect that is due to radiation. Cavity is smaller due to swelling and the brightness is the radiation as well. JoAnn also thought that was the case. Radiation does play a vital role in this MRI. She stated the next one will be alot more informative. I think it will be in June. She did say that nothing is worse if so Dr. Linette would have called by now. I will get the official word on next Wednesday, March 14 from the doctor.

So I guess all is good. I will keep you informed on what he says on March 14.

For the record: I am not going crazy. My cell phone never recieved a call from the nurse yesterday. I looked closely this morning at the incoming missed calls and there was no record of her calling. Whew! Ok I could be crazy in other ways. I knew I would feel a buzz in my jeans. I have been known to jump when I feel the bee vibrating.

Monday, March 05, 2007

No News

Well I came home from Cole's party with a message on our machine from Jo Ann, nurse of Dr. Linette. She said she tried my cell phone with no answer. I had it in my pocket with the vibrating mode on. Not sure how I missed it. Anyway she said "The notes don't really say much. Call me in the morning. I will be in clinicals but will try to return your call." Basically if I don't get her early in the morning I will hear from her after 4pm. The answering machine was timed at 5:20 pm.

Mom with Cole eating his birthday cookie!

Cole had a great party. He was so happy! Great memories were made.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Getting Ready for Cole's Party

Today is a great day of looking forward to Cole's kid birthday party tomorrow. His official 7th birthday is next Sunday the 11th. We will have a family party next Saturday to celebrate him! I really cannot believe he is already seven. Time really does fly.

Tonight is the basketball awards ceremony. Our last game was yesterday. Carter scored 26 points! (How's that grandpa Johnson?) Mr. Hot shot also dribbled behind his back to trick the kid who was guarding him so closely. I was laughing. He has never dribbled behind his back in a game before. It made for good video footage. Cole is such a great defensive player. You cannot get past him too easily when you are trying to throw the ball in. He is so happy on the court. Cole feet are always moving. He almost is doing a jumpy dance of sorts. He is a delight to watch. Thank you to Corri and Uncle Tom for coming and cheering them on.

I will be busy as usual on Monday with school field day stuff and his party. I try to not do any "school stuff" on the weekends. That is family time.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Will then be at peace

I do hope the readers of this blog know that our family is very thorough in our quest for all medical needs. After conversing with another St. Louis doctor friend today she confirmed that many oncologist closer to our home are most likely just as intelligent as Dr. Linette. We will take time to consult, interview and make a final decision when the time is right. We are not ones to jump into any decision especially the possible change of oncologist. If Dave and I are one in this decision and we seek God's face then we will be at peace.

Results of the MRI will be called in to us on Monday by JoAnn, Dr. Linette's nurse.

Thank you for understanding our concerns with the overall burden of cancer. My words at times seem futile. I know I have stated previously that I am not the best of writers. Please know that my lack of humility is being refined as well during cancer. Be patient as I try to express the as best I can this journey.

Possible Change in Oncologist

Dave and I are discussing the option of changing oncologists to a site closer to home and his work. There are many reasons for this discussion.

It is expected that I will have an MRI and see an oncologist every 3 months for the next 5+ years. If my cancer returns or changes the doctor visits will increase as well.

1. Hwy 40 construction that is slated to begin soon and last for many years. Traffic will be quite heavy even if I took I-44.
2. Closer to home and Dave's work. Since Dave will continue coming to the MRI follow-up appointments it would be best if the doctor's office is closer to his work.
3. No parking fee at St. Johns or Mo Bap.
4. Less gas & vehicle expense.
5. Time away from home would be less as well.

Please pray for wisdom. I have discused this with one doctor friend last night. He said if I am not on any experimental regimen it probably would not make much difference. I will consult with one more doctor friend. We will not change over till we hear the results of the MRI. I will still see Dr. Linette on the 14th. Dr. Linette is a great and thorough oncologist. Dave mentioned that one option would be to make my appointments in the afternoon to avoid the morning rush. That is fine except since Dr. Linette is so thorough patients in the afternoon usually wait up to one hour past their appointment time to see him. We then see him for about an hour.

If the oncologist office is closer to home I could ask a friend to watch Stuart in the morning and be home in time for his nap. Yes, I realize this one is a minor issue.

Did speak with Deb, Dr. Simpson's nurse to ask his follow up protocol. Dr. Simpson usually sees his patients 6 weeks post radiation then usually 3 or 6 months post. It all depends if the patient is exhibiting any clinical symptoms like a headache.

I desire to have an oncologist that will follow me without taking the Temodar till absolutely necessary.

Friday, March 02, 2007

MRI Analogies & Police Chase

Traffic on 40 was not great down to Siteman. I guess this is only the beginning of the construction mess. The bloodwork and MRI went smoothly. For the first time the MRI machine shook my whole body at times. They also asked that I not open my eyes during the testing. Not sure what that was all about. All in all the scan took about 35+ minutes including the IV contrast. I didn't get to listen to my CD.

If you have never had an MRI is is unusual. I have heard some say it is like you are being rolled into a toilet paper tub with racket & click sounds at odd times. Another person described it as "I felt like I was a one-person audience for a really bad rock band---very strange noises and rhythms!" Very true. For me some of the sounds even with ear phones sounded like a jackhammer was right above my head. All I know is that some of the clicks made me jump. A little startling. I did ask the man running the MRI what they did when a patient cannot fit in the MRI. He stated that it has happened. Cramped quarters at times for some. A new machine is on its way to accomodate situations as such.

Another exciting part of my day was seeing a police chase. As I drove out of Siteman a man in a Carhardt type coat (tan color) was running along the sidewalk, across Kingshighway north, the median and over Kingshighway south with the police officer in pursuit. Quite exciting for a country gal like myself. Remember I grew up in the country. Honestly I have never seen a real chase. Just on TV. I was hoping to see the cop tackle him. My light turned green - - Bummer! A one point I thought of following the man and trying to wedge my van in front of him to stop him. After explaining to safety Dave the whole ordeal he said "That would not have been a good idea. The runner could sue." Duh! Isn't it good to marry someone who is wiser than you. I just have more of the adventurous spirit. Opposites attract.

Gotta Go! Tonight is movie night. The two older boys along with myself are going to the Veggie Tales premier of Moe and the Big Exit - A lesson in Followin' Directions. It is at a local church.

MRI and Police Chase - I couldn't ask for a better day!

Mind over Matter

Well last night I tossed and turned. I had to make myself lay in bed till at least 5:45. I thought I was at peace but my body is saying another thing. What is the saying? Mind over matter? That might not be the saying or it could be out of context. I am known to quote things and Dave laughs saying it was another word or for another context altogether. He is not in the room for me to ask.

I will leave the house at 7:30.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Short hair discouragement

I will have bloodwork at 8:30 am then my MRI at 9 tomorrow. Dr. Linette will see me on Wednesday, the 14th. Not sure of the time. It is written upstairs on the calendar. It is best he see me for clinical purposes.

Please pray for me. I am very discouraged about my short hair. I really don't like the way it looks on me. Thank you to the many who have said it is very becoming. I just don't like looking into the mirror seeing me in short hair. Don't get me wrong, I am glad I did cut it due to the fact that I would have been vasicilating. Should I cut it or should I not. I would have been going back and forth. No issue now. I just have to wait for it to grow. I was hoping today to give you an update that my hair is not falling out anymore. Sorry that is not the case. Still falling but possibly not as much. Can't tell.

Carter is back to sleep walking around the 10 o'clock hour. He goes to bed at 8. The pediatrician told me it comes in waves. The gate that was intended for Stuart at an early age is back. It is a great gate that the certain parts attach to the wall yet the main gate itself can be stored. We don't want an escapee. Carter is known to walk around the home. Never a dull moment.