Saturday, July 28, 2007

Dave's the man!

The score was five to three at the bottom of the last inning. The Chesterfield blue team was down by two runs against Covenant. They were competing for the chance to play against the #1 seated Chesterfield red team in the championship game. There were two outs and the bases were loaded. Dave Snodgrass was up to bat. He hit a line drive over the centerfielders glove. A triple! A triple! Go crazy everybody! Three runs were scored. Blue won the game!

Unfortunately the red team won the championship game by two runs. Many of the men were joking around about the trophy ceremony asking when it will be during tomorrow's church service.

It was said "Today is a sad, sad day for Covenant for they have won the tournament for the past couple years." Sorry Wade of Covenant, Dave is the man.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Visiting the two "B's"

So you have been anticipating the update on my day . . . .

This morning I was first privileged to see my cousin Luke and his bride, Nicole's first baby boy. One day old Keagan is oh so cute. I really don't remember my boys ever being that tiny. Well, Carter wasn't that tiny because he was a good 9 lbs. 9 oz.. Yes, you heard it right! Keagan weighed in at 9 lbs. 3 oz.. A big baby but, I still think he looks so small. Carter was huge. (Maybe his head was just bloated from me having so much water weight. I had gained a whoppin 54 lbs. during my first pregnancy with severe pitting edema.) Whatever the case - children grow up too quickly. Savor every moment for they really are a blessing from the Lord. Congratulations Luke and Nicole!
After the baby visit I went on my way to see my buddy, Joe. His casting appointment was completed sooner than expected so Kay and him were waiting for me to arrive. I welcomed him with some homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers and squash. He looks great and fiesty as ever. His coloring and weight is very good. We strolled over to Applebee's to have lunch. Two of his sons joined as well. The conversation was lively. I really was able to learn more about Joe and his family. All the antics a family of eight kids can provide living in the city of St. Louis. It was later that Joe and his wife moved to Bonne Terre, Missouri.

One of the first things Joe mentioned about the first sixty miles on their journey up to St. Louis today is that he drove! He was very proud of that fact. He later mentioned it to his boys and they joked with him asking him if they needed to give him lessons. I think they were a little surprised.

Joe will start his stereotactic radiation the week of August 20. It will be scheduled on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Kay mentioned that she will be in contact with the nurse case manager to see if he can stay at the Hope Lodge during that week. ON a funny note: Joe refers to me as Peacoat Kate. I mentioned to him that this radiation session he will not have a peacoat. He laughed. After saying our goodbyes I was able to chat with my Siteman parking attendant friend, Tomyra.
Today was a good day. Seeing a baby and my buddy. The two "B's".

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

All is well

Carter is a GO for camp tomorrow. He is very excited to say the least. He has been asking to go to camp since last year and has been pestering us for quite some time. The oldest has to pave the way for the siblings to come. Although Cole made it very clear last week that he has no desire what so ever to attend camp. I know he means it too. He is not one for spending the night even at grandmas house with a cousin. He likes the comforts of home. He even has difficulty sleeping in our home outside his bed. When we have company it is Carter who has to go to Cole's room to sleep on the floor. "Continuity is good" would be Cole's motto. He is not one for change. At all!

Great News! Cole was feeling better yesterday with no fever. He went with Daddy to the Cardinals game. They just arrived home a few minutes ago. The Cubs were spanking the Cards. Bummer! It seems that the Cards are hot one night then the next they fizzle. We do enjoy when the Cards score 6 or more runs in a game. The next day Mobil sells coffee, soda and slushies for 25 cents each. I am sure you know what the boys go for. Stuart will even mention "I want a slushie" when I drive by a Mobil on preceding non six run game days. Sorry Stu.

I was able to call Joe prior to my nap today. He sounded good. I asked him if he was discouraged. He mentioned that he was in the beginning for the oncologist first stated that he was going to just remove the tumor in the lung area. Then when Joe went in to discuss it at a further date the doctor changed his tune to stereotatic radiation. To say the least Joe was not happy. I won't divulge his thoughts. All is to say is that the doctor called him to apologize and to let him know that at his age recovery from surgery is not as easy to do.

More great news is that his right eye that had the surgery is doing much better. If you can remember it was his right eye that was his better eye prior to surgery. Later he was informed that he could be considered legally blind if it didn't improve. Well, it has improved so much as to say that Joe is going to get another eye exam and take it to the license bureau. Write that one done as a definite answer to prayer. Carter will be thrilled to hear it as well. He has been so faithful to pray for Joe and his eye.

I am so looking forward to seeing Joe on Friday. I mentioned to him that we should go out for lunch at Bread Company since it is right across the street from Siteman. He said he is at the mercy of Kay his neice. I told him I am sure she wouldn't mind. He agreed.

This is totally not on the subject . . . My dad, known as Poppyto the boys has a garden of goodies that he has been delivering on an ongoing basis the past few days. We are up to our ears in produce. Last year Carter and Cole went door to door selling the tomatoes, squash and cucumbers. This year we are not finding the time to do it. They were able to go up our street but it was during the day and not very many people were home. I was able to shred the zucchini and freeze for muffins to be made at a later time. Yummy, I can smell it now.

. . . if you know where we live come on by and pick up some produce on our front porch. Look for the red wagon. We have cucumbers, three varieties of squash, 2 fresno peppers, zucchini and lots of tomatoes. There is even some yellow tomatoes which are known to be less acidic.

Again thanks for not just reading this blog but taking the time to pray. God hears our prayers. This blog is proof of that. God is good.

Reminiscing to tears

I had an afternoon yesterday of some weeping. Carter and Cole were watching the movie Barnyard during Stuart's nap. In between cleaning the kitchen and folding laundry I sat and watched the first portion of it with them. A certain scene in the movie made me weepy. The main leader cow, Ben who "adopted" Otis is a kind cow. He mentored and parented Otis well. There was a sweet scene of them talking on the hill and Ben recalling Otis as a young child. In short, Ben was killed by the coyotes while protecting the chickens in a storm. The preceding moments in the movie moved me to tears. Otis was remembering back at a young age - Ben fishing with him. I was recalling the coming moments of my boys reminiscing their memories of me. They didn't see me cry. Carter was laying on the floor in front of me while Cole was behind me on the couch. I went outside to the back patio table and finished my sadness while shaded under the umbrella. I just spoke to God and relayed my concerns along with my desires.

It seems that any story or movie clip that I see where a child has a lose of a parent I am moved to tears because it hits so close to home. It even happened while watching the previews of Ratatouile a few weeks back.

I called Dave to let him know what kind of afternoon I was having. He was so tender with his words and encouraged my heart. He had a Trader Joes run after work and surprised me with a bouquet of red roses.

Last night I had the worst right eye ache. Enough for me to take Tylenol. I guess the crying and no nap did me in. I went to bed by 9 pm.

Pray for a low key day of finalizing Carter and his packing for camp. I hope to find time today to call Joe.

Disclaimer: The Barnyard movie is Ok. Some disrespect is in it but the overall theme is good. Be sure to read all about it on

Monday, July 23, 2007

Joe, JAM Camp & Fever

This Friday Joe will have his cast made for the upcoming stereotactic radiation treatment he will receive. His appointment is at 10 am and will last for a couple of hours. I am grateful to soccer Gram and her willingness to watch Cole and Stuart so I can be at Siteman. Carter will be away at J.A.M. camp for the very first time. (J.A.M. stands for Jesus and Me.) The theme at camp is Jesus is my super hero. The camp is for two nights and three days for rising third and fourth graders. Just enough for Mommy. Probably not long enough for him. Already have my "I miss you" card ready to mail tomorrow.

After reading what I posted last on Joe I really didn't make it clear that the new cancer spot found in his lungs is a totally different cancer than what was in his ear. I guess that is a praise that the ear cancer did not spread but all the same it sure must be discouraging for Joe. I haven't phoned him yet. I plan on making a call prior to Friday to check in with him and his neice, Kay. I was preoccupied today with Cole. He was up at 3:15 this morning with a "headache". Throughout the day he had a fever of 102. Thankfully Tylenol helped. I along with him are praying it is a short virus. He was crying earlier this morning for he is looking forward to his Daddy date on Wednesday eve to watch the Cardinals play the Cubs. Dave ended up getting two free tickets from work. Also praying that Carter does not get the virus prior to leaving for camp on Thursday morning. Major disappointments will be had by all if this virus is not out of the home lickety split!

Just a little update on my cancer saga. . .

. . . My hair continues to grow yet it also continues to fall out. Not complaining - just seems odd that it continues to fall after my completion of radiation in early February. I also think I am going to have a cowlick right in the very front. I think it is related to the skin being put back after surgery. The hair folicles were probably turned. There is a good possibility that my new hair growth will have some curl to it. Not surprising as I have some wave underneath in the back. It will be a challenge though having curl in just the radiated section. What fun I will have in styling it.

. . . I still take a nap every other day. Not waking up as early in the morning. Yippeee!

Continue to lift up Joe and his new diagnosis. Praying that I will be a blessing.

Looking forward to Friday,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Joe's Discouraging News

Today I was in contact with my friend Joe's neice, Kay via email to ask how he was doing. She called me late tonight to let me know of his condition. I am typing it to the best of my understanding in the conversation I had. She gave me permission to post this on the blog.

He had a PET scan as a follow up to see if any cancer from his ear (squamous cell) had spread to any other parts of his body. The scan showed a "hot spot" on the lower left margin of one of his lungs I think she said left. Don't hold me to it. A biopsy was performed last week Thursday. It is adeno carcinoma a grandular cancer. The hot spot is a primary tumor yet not a positive type of cancer due to being grandular and high risk of spreading.

The plans are to prepare him for stereotactic radiation. He is to return to Siteman next Friday the 27th to have a "band" or body cast made for his abdomen. It will shape to his body.

Stereotactic radiosurgery uses sophisticated computerized imaging to precisely target a narrow X-ray beam. Using this method, it is possible to effectively destroy small tumors or close down abnormal blood vessels.

This technique, which is accurate to one millimeter or less, does not require surgery and can be done on an outpatient basis. Radiation can be delivered using either the frameless
CyberKnife, or a framed system.

Stereotactic radiosurgery includes the participation of both the surgical and radiation oncology team who work together to evaluate and treat each patient. Please see the following web site for more information -

Joe's radiation will be performed on three consecutive days. It is a precise radiation that will be given in huge amounts - equivalent to 33 radiation treatments. I do not have the dates of his treatments for Kay did not have it. I am sure once they make his body cast they have to set up the computer and beams just like they did for my radiation. I will keep you posted once I have information.

It is my desire to go down to Siteman on Friday to see him or have them over for lunch or dinner. I am waiting to hear what time is his fitting appointment. It is supposed to take about two hours.

First pray for Joe. Pray also for me as I am discouraged for him. My heart aches. I literally am down after hearing this. He is my friend. He was a true blessing to me during the whole radiation time period. A great companion. I am thankful that his oncologist for his ear ordered a PET scan otherwise this new cancer could have gone undectected for some time. Also thankful to hear that his ear tissue is finally healing correctly after they removed some RT ear neucrosis (dead tissue).

For those of you who are new to this blog and want to know more about my friend Joe be sure to check out the archive section to the right. Please look at the December 29 post "Joe" and the January 11 post "More on Joe".

Many thanks to a little mouse who prompted me to contact "my friend".
You are a sweetheart! I miss you too!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Stuart on the mend

Today Stuart was able to see Dr. McKinney. You know it is your third child when you wait almost 10 days prior to discussing it with the pediatrician. Here is the run down of all that has happened to precious Stu.

Thursday, June 5 - woke from nap with crying that wouldn't stop for a long time. He mentioned his "mouth hurts".

Friday, June 6 - raspy voice - assuming a sore throat - lasted 3 - 4 days turned into a cold with a wet cough -
One day early in the week his bowels were . . . hmmm . . . not normal.

This Saturday - fever 102 axillary with cold & wet cough

Sunday - stayed home from church with Dad with Saturdays symptoms yet fever was lower

Monday - No fever and congestion was much better. He seemed much better this morning and I wasn't going to take him in yet, nurse Camille thought it best for Dr. McKinney to see him.

He checked ears, lungs and Camille swabbed for strep. All came back fine. Stuart seems to have a sinus infection. Amoxicillin should do the trick. Dr. McKinney usually doesn't give an antibiotic for a sinus infection but "since it has been going on for some time" he decided to kick it out of Stuart sooner. I knew it wasn't the ears and didn't think it was strep (of course I have been wrong about that one).

Glad to have Stu hopefully on the mend.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Always with You

Lately Stuart has been wanting the same books each nap and bed time. He has a good rotation of favorites. This past week the two favorites have been Little Red Hen and Little David & Big Goliath. He always mentions that the other animals weren't willing to "help him"(the red hen). In the David and Goliath flap book it shows David and his mighty trust in the Lord in a huge circumstance. I am always amazed each time I read it the trust he had in God. Me of little faith. The book ends with -

David knew God would help him. Even if you are small and have a big problem, you don't have to worry. God helped David and he will help you. He is always with you.

Jesus promises: "You can be sure that I am always with you."
Matthew 28:20
I love knowing God is always with me! What comfort.
May your Sunday be one of praise to God Almighty. I am looking forward to serving in childrens ministry as I haven't done in a long, long time. Each time I serve I am so energized with the kids. I really loved serving this past Tuesday for the Twin Oaks VBS. The rising first graders were a delight to my heart. I unfortunately couldn't serve on Thursday due to Stuart being sick. If you think of it - pray for his fever and body. He is miserable. I might be visiting Dr. McKinney on Monday if Stuart isn't any better.
Little David & Big Goliath by Tracy Harrast Illustrations by Carl Moore

Thursday, July 12, 2007

No Greater Love

This past Sunday in church was a special song written by Rachael Lampa. It touched my heart to the point of me being teary eyed. I am so amazed day to day the love that God bestows to me of all people.


No Greater Love

Before I knew your name
You knew my every breath
Before I found my way
You knew my every step
Before I knew everything that I need
You gave it all to me

No greater love than this
That you should lay down your life
For someone such as me
I'd spend a life time wondering why
The beauty of heaven is here in my heart
And I know there can be
No greater love
Than this

I never understood
How merciful love could be
Until I felt His flame
Light every part of me
And I would give everything that I am
Cause I have been saved
Yes I have been saved



The beauty of heaven is here in my heart
And I know there can be
No greater love
For someone such as me
No greater love
Than this

Fun with our cousin

Nice foot, Carter!

This week has been spent with cousin Joe. The boys love having an extra guy in the house during the day to play with. We have spent some of our time at the library and pool but mostly they have had fun attending Summer Bible Camp at Twin Oaks church. The theme this year has something to do with racing. I served on Tuesday and was privileged to make a pine wood derby car with my group of first graders. The boys mentioned that they will be racing their decorated cars this Friday.

Here is to summer fun with cousins! - kate

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

7-7-07 = 8

This past Saturday was the 8 month post op anniversary from brain surgery. Wow! It is hard to believe to this day that I had an operation on my brain of all places. All I have to do is look into the mirror to see the reminder though.

I thought I would give you the run down of what has gone on in the last eight months.

Had hair then didn't have hair. Now have short hair and even shorter hair.

Seriously the hair ordeal was a big hurdle for me for all of you who have been faithful to follow this whole time you already know this to be true.

Ok, here is a summary of the past eight months. It has been one BORING winter/ spring. ha ha ha! I am amazed looking at all the dates and seeing God's faithfulness unfold each time. I praise Him!

Thursday, October 19 – unusual headache began at a pain rate of 9+, not like normal migraines in the past. In the following days, headaches occurred up to 5 times a day for 10-15 minutes in duration.

October 24 – adjusted by chiropractor thinking the pain was from reverse curvature of C1 & C2.
* Pain did subside a little after adjustment.

October 25 – Dr. Stephen Sanders, my primary care physician, examined my symptoms. I did tell him that the headaches were not as intense since the adjustment. I also let him know that I didn’t fill the script for Darvicet since the headaches came on suddenly and lasted only 10 – 15 minutes in duration.

Tuesday, October 31 – intense pain in morning – called Dr. Sanders – he suggested that I have a CT scan performed in the next few days.

Wednesday, November 1 – CT scan w/ contrast at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center.

Thursday, November 2 – Dr. Sanders called to state that I needed to see neurosurgeon, Dr. Thomas Forget, immediately. No appointment needed. Dr. Forget explained that I had swelling in the right frontal lobe of my brain. He also stated that an operation was necessary to take out what is causing the swelling. He gave us a time frame of less than 3 weeks to do the operation. He also encouraged us to seek out a second opinion in the St. Louis area. List of names were given.

Friday, November 3 – MRI performed – After some consideration, my husband, Dave, & I decided to see if the "growth" was an urgent matter or could we really wait the full 3 weeks.

Friday, November 3 cont'd– Directly after MRI a consultation with Dr. Forget occurred. He stated that it looked like a tumor with teardrop shaped water under the growth. He also stated that it wasn’t urgent yet, he had Tuesday, November 7 free for surgery & encouraged me to think seriously about the surgery. He did say that I could NOT wait till after Christmas or he would not continue to be my neurosurgeon.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 – Craniotomy for resection of brain tumor on right frontal lobe surgery. Stealth MRI performed prior to surgery.

Thursday, November 9 – MRI performed to see post-op results.

Saturday, November 11 – discharged from St. John’s Mercy Medical Center.

Thursday, November 16 – staples in head removed by Dr. Forget.

Friday, November 17 – consulted with hematologist / oncologist, Dr. Leonard White. No confirmed second report from Barnes – Jewish (St. Louis) pathology. After visit with Dr. White, it was decided that a second opinion oncologist would be necessary.

Wednesday, November 22 – visit with Dr. Gerald Linette, oncologist with a brain tumor specialty, of Washington University Physicans (Siteman Cancer Center – Barnes Hospital). He explained the tumor pathology report in detail. He encouraged us to go to MD Anderson for a second opinion of possible treatment options. Report from Barnes showed anaplastic oligoastrocytoma with limited gene markers.
Dr. Linette’s suggested treatment plan: Start in 2 weeks
140 mg. Temodar daily for 6 weeks with simultaneous radiation therapy M-F for 6 weeks
Break for 3 weeks
Continue with Temodar at a double dosage 5 days a week on a 28 day cycle for 1 year
MRI scans every 3 months

December 5 – Dr. WK Alfred Yung (MD Anderson – Houston) did a neurological exam & stated tumor was anaplastic astrocytoma not oligoastrocytoma. His treatment plan differed from Dr. Linette.
XRT alone wait (rest) period of 3 wks. Temodar 380 mg for 1-2 years

December 14 – MRI at Barnes for RT set up purposes mainly

December 27 – started RT 54 Gy (IMRT) with 140 mg Temodar – Dr. Joseph Simpson overseeing RT

Discontinued Temodar after 7 days into RT due to personal choice – approved by both Dr. Linette and Dr. Simpson

February 9, 2007 – completed 30 Radiation treatments (RT) - PARTY DAY!

March 2 – first MRI with contrast since RT. No visible signs of growth, cavity bed is smaller and rim around bed is brighter.

March 14 – follow up with Dr. Linette and Dr. Simpson
Dr. Linette suggested a MRI in one month (April 11) then in two months (June) afterwards a MRI should be every 3 months indefinitly. He is fine with waiting till the growth appears to start the Temodar.

March 22 – consultation with Dr. Burton Needles, St. Johns Cancer Care Center

April 11 – MRI scan at Siteman – Scan is clear!

June 11 – MRI scan at St. Johns off site

June 13 – Dr. Needles reports scan is clear! compared to 11/9/06

June 25 – Consultation with radiation oncologist, Dr. Julie Mai, St. Johns Cancer Care Center

June 26 – Baseline Eye Exam performed by Dr. Bruce Cohen of Siteman / St. Lukes

September 11, 2007 - MRI to be performed through St. John’s

I still to this day have soreness at the site of the radiation / surgery. I cannot sleep with my head leaning on the pillow. The eye exam showed no signs of radiation damage. I am thankful for many things. One of which is the loving support of my husband. He is dynamo.

I feel better today minus the soreness than I ever have. I attribute it all to God. I am sure my change in diet and all the non conventional pills that I take have also helped.

My life has been altered forever since having been diagnosed with brain cancer. It was a much needed change. God is good even in the refinement. Continue to pray for 50 years of living cancer free. - Kate

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The weekend visitors

Can Stuart's rear end be any higher?

This weekend we loved our visit from Pop Pop and Grammy Snodgrass. They arrived on Friday afternoon just in time for dinner and Dave's softball game. The team lost by one point for your information. Bummer!
Saturday was fun! The boys enjoyed stockpiling on Pop Pop (Stuart called it "Get Pop Pop"). The older boys along with myself went with them to see the new movie Ratatouille on the big screen. Dove Foundation gave it a good rating. We look first at their website prior to seeing a certain movie on or off the big screen. They were completely right on. We ended the day with many rounds of a card game called spoons.

Of course we had a blast with our Indiana relatives. Only wish that the stay was longer or they lived closer.

Hope your weekend was great as well. Unfortunately I didn't get a great pic of Grammy to post.
Carter are you looking for something?

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Community Group Relationships

Tonight was spent with our longtime friends the Haguewood and Pott families. We have known each other since pre-kid days. Dave and I facilitated a community group in our home for many years. Both families were part of that community group studying God's word together. It was a wonderful time of in depth learning and living life together. From adoptions, deaths, births and family learning it was great sharing our lives together. The deep relationships continue to this day. All the families started having kids at the same time. It was great to learn infant parenting together as well. Even though we all attend different churches now, we continue to get together around July 4th and Christmas (Happy Birthday Jesus party). I love them dearly.

The gals of the group try to get together at least 3 times a year for a "girls night out". We all are at different stages in our life - from homeschooling to one working full time. Lots to talk about. Marcia and Patty were the gals I had dinner with last fall on October 19. The very first day I started having my headaches.

The kids having a blast! Where does the time go?

Independence Day Celebrations

The fam at the fireworks display!
Parade fun! Mom look at my tootsie roll.

Last night was a fun night with our pool pal friends along with the King family. The town of Twin Oaks put on a wonderful display. It is great to have such a close display to our home. They were magnificent! Stuart was mesmerized by the colors.

This morning we enjoyed the Webster parade. It is always fun to see the kids taking in the sights and sounds of a good parade. The Wichts joined in the fun. Ramona and I had our picture taken with a clown. No, it wasn't Wade. It was taken on her camera so I won't be able to post it on todays blog. After the hot parade we took a splash in the pool. Dave had fun getting the kids wet on the side during the adult swim time. When looking at the picture notice Cole with a blue swim shirt. Dave spent most of his childhood at the pool. He tells the boys often of him riding his bike to the pool, eating candy, drinking soda and getting the lifeguards wet in the little town of Wabash, Indiana. Today I am sure it brought back memories.
Today I am grateful for all the family traditions we have. The fourth of July is no different. I am so thankful to God for allowing me to be here for my family. It is a joy to my heart.
Thankful for the freedom we have in the United States.