Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sour Tude

Hello all. I am here to update you on the past few days. Chemo cycle ended on Tuesday night. Yesterday I was a total grump early in the morning. One sour 'tude. Poor Dave got the best of me early on. (Why is it that you can be a beast to the ones you love dearly and yet fine to others?) My day was fine till the afternoon hit and that is when the fatigue set in. This fatigue is an all over one. Very unusual. Stuart was the only one home with me as Cole was at a friends home and Carter at camp. Stuart loves to watch the movie "Facing the Giants" so that is what we did while I laid on the couch. I really thought if I got up vomit would have been all over the room. Zofran was then taken in hopes that it would help. I was hesitant in taking it due to the increase of constipation. That is one of the side effects. Yeah - NOT! Ok I chose to not vomit over constipation problems. As for the constipation-not like I like to tell the whole world .... My left lower pelvic area is painful. It usually occurs on the latter days of chemo like day 4, 5, and even 6. This morning in bed it was so bad that I needed to lay on my right side.

Today at noon I will be picking up Carter from an area church. He left for camp on Sunday with 100 other fourth- sixth graders. I am sure he will have some great stories to tell tonight at dinner. I heard if they received three or more mail in one day (snail or email) they would have to sing for their items. Not sure about care packages. I sent one last Thursday in hopes it would get to him by Monday. The camp was in Illinois. Snail mail was also sent last week. We will see what he says today. I plan on taking my camera today to have a before camp / after camp pic to show ya'll.

Oops. I forgot to tell you. I have a hearing test scheduled in August. I think I have a hearing problem since the last surgery. Of course it most likely is my slow processing/ thinking. I wanted to know so Dr. Needles scheduled a test for me to find out. I will try to let you know more later on.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Could it be Harry & David?

Just a few weeks ago my chemo provider was switched. Boy was that one confusing day for me. We were not informed that our insurance company decided to switch. My oncologist even used another docs script pad to write on (Later finding out my doc was out of town so another was filling in). Never heard of Dr. Finnie before. so... in short it was an ordeal prior to leaving for our Indiana trip. Phone calls, messages, etc. ya da ya da ya da... Our copay even changed. The above picture show how our first chemo provider overnighted the goods. On our front porch one might think they are getting a wonderful perishable surprise from Harry & David. But no that's not the case... not a delicious pear or chocolate will be had. SIGH. It's just poison for the brain. Kill those cancer cells Temodar! Oh joy. The new provider packages their bottles in a normal fed ex box and won't leave it on our porch. Understand. It is delivered to Dave's work for signage. Bottles pictured are in a biohazard bag. Lovely.
I am thankful for a few specific things in this blog:

1. God who so abundantly provides for our every need. (did you hear? EVERY one!)
2. Work insurance to help defray the cost of cancer bills: MRI scans, bloodwork, chemo, dr. copays, etc.
3. Friends and family being the hands and feet of Jesus. Thank you!
4. Dave has a job. Not just any job but one he enjoys. They are a great employer.
5. Temodar provider has been handled for now.
Below are verses that spoke to me in church. I put in italics the portions of importance. Not that it ALL isn't important- ya know?
2 Timothy 1.7-13:For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Couldn't ask for a ...

The doctors appointment today went well. He read over the MRI report and stated. "We couldn't ask for a better report." Whew! Hallelujah in the house? Do I hear it? My bloodwork also looked fine.

I am to start my chemo tomorrow night for the five day dosage of 350mg. Please pray for my constipation. I try my best to bulk up on fiber and lots of water. My lower left abdominal side hurts if I have constipation problems. It is not fun especially early morning. I also get headaches that tylenol only cuts a portion of the pain. Hey a portion is good. I am counting my blessings today on such a dreary rainy St. Louis day.

Thanks for praying. I hope to post sometime soon in regards to the chemo fiasco we had prior to Indiana as I have it already down on paper. Sorry for the run on. I do that well.

See you soon. k-

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weary & Fearful

I did have my MRI this morning and it went well till I decided to dwell on my fearful thoughts. It wasn't intentional. In the past weeks thinking about the "what ifs" I tear up. I really am fearful of my cancer coming in on the left side of my brain. I am wanting to be open with you in blogland. So here it is.... Yes, I have fear I am human. But, I hate the thoughts of possibly having another surgery if the cancer returns. The last surgery was too much as I have been thinking about where God has taken me since December. Please pray for my need of encouragement. Fear is not something I usually dwell upon. THANKFULLY

I like to think I will get used to the idea of scans/ bloodwork every few months yet it is becoming more of a chore. I am tired. I have mostly good days to which I am thankful.

A fun song comes to mind tonight (a wild youth song):

Fear not for I am with you
Fear not- fear not
for I am with you. Says the Lord.
la la la la la la la
Fear not for I am with you
Fear not - Fear not

Thursday see Dr. Needles for MRI update

k- I'm thankful for a wonderful weekend we just experienced in Indiana.

Walker Family Reunion 2008

We just spent a long weekend in Indiana at the Walker reunion. We came home late last night. Dave's dads mom was a Walker and was one of nine kids. The reunion is held every three years. We had a great timeunofrtunately the time seemed to fly by so quickly. This year a total of 106 people attended. Lots of pictures were taken. We also enjoyed our time at Grammy & Pop Pop Snodgrass home. They have two horses with lots of land. Stuart and Cole delighted in giving the horses treats and their food. Stuartcalled the horse treats "tummy yummies" Trivia here 1. Why and where does he get this from? Stuart was also given the opportunity to "ride" Joey. No camera was around at that time unfortunately. On Sunday afternoon we spent some time with Mema Snodgrass bowling. It was Stuarts first time. Among multiple gutter balls he actually knocked a few down by himself. With our help he knocked down even more.

Cole and Stuart playing in Grammy & Pop Pops loft area with their "pully". It was made of a plastic like rope with a plastic mug tied to it. We would give them surprises when they lowered it to the main level of the house. A cookie or lego piece would be one of the surprises.

Carter enjoyed doing his normal bb gun shooting.
Cousin fun at dinner. The Mary Snodgrass clan at the Walker reunion. Stuart's bowling attempt.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

MRI prayer request

Now that my MRI is a few days away...I would appreciate your prayers. It is our desire for it to be a "no change" from previous scans. If that is the case, we will proceed with scans every 3 months instead of every other month/two months.

MRI - Tuesday, July 22 at 9:45 am.
Dr. Needles consult - Thursday, July 24 at 11:15

Talk to you soon. Have a great day!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here With Me

This song is a blessing to me today.
Here with Me by Mercy Me.

May it bless your heart.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A week in review

It has been a good week.

On Monday we went to each library for our reading programs. We do two. The Kirkwood library is the best around. St. Louis county libraries are good. Hey if you read - might as well get the credit for it. The boys enjoy the treats they receive. Carter had a big game that night as well to which they lost. The opposing team is so polished that they literally practice at least 3 nights per week. They have an "A" & "B" team they rotate. Tournaments galore. Too serious for us. I am grateful for the team Carter plays on. The coach plays to win but, it is graced with grace. The body language of the other head coach was Horrible(with a capital H). When a player struck out, he would be so disgraceful to the player. Whatever... They are ten years old. Get a life! Sorry for my tangent. Priorities!

Tuesday proved to be a great one of fellowship for me. The boys and I went to a friends home to play and eat lunch. Stuart had a delightful time in the backyard looking for/avoiding bugs while his buddy Ryan was doing the same. A fly was a spider. Hmmmm. Three year olds are so fun!
Stuart fell asleep on the way home. So much for my quiet time. (That's another story for later.)

On Wednesday I awoke to not liking my hair and called to see when a next available appointment would be in a weeks time. Tonight at 7. Yeah! It is remaining short till the surgery hair/bangs to grow back in. I am at a good 3+, 4 inches. There is freedom in telling your hairdresser to do whatever she wants. Within reason. Dave complemented the hair when I returned.

I seriously did not shower on Thursday for my hair to look decent. I received an email that I was reading at 7:45 am so... Spur of the moment literally at 8am I decided we would go to see a free movie. We had to be at the movie theatre by 9 for the10 showing. Free tickets "sell out". The boys had fun watching Charlottes Web. Yes, it was fun although locking the keys in the van was a sight to behold. Yes, the Chesterfield police came to the rescue. I was too excited in seeing our friends that I totally left keys in the middle console. Cole needed to put his lovie- Super Junior back in the van prior to the movie starting. So it was good to not linger in a hot parking lot after the movie. Yes, my car alarm went off after the cop was able to manually unlock the van. Look everyone at the lady with the cop! A good laugh was had. Cole had a ball game later in the evening. They hadn't played in about a month. His team was a little rusty. All in all they had fun. When asking Cole "What was the score?" He replied "I don't know." He has had a good season. A totally different response than what Carter would give. I love that they are so different. They both are having fun. Carter more if he wins. He is just like his mother. Cole on the other hand has fun even if they lose. Good job, Cole.

On Friday the boys were a hoot to watch while cleaning the play room/ basement to party music (Thank you Aunt Sherri) Stuart joined in. I have to say it was good to listen to when I had a vacuming break on the second floor. Loud and fun. By the noon hour we ended up at the pooland stayed till two. I forgot to put sunscreen on my face. So welcome to racoon face for the weekend. A BIG announcement here! Stuart has been swimming off and on without his life jacket. Today he officially jumped off the diving board and swam to the ladder. This pool is a small one so a life guard allows me to be in the deep end to be there for him. He did great! We also tested to see how he did with the slide. He mastered that as well. My little swim bug. I knew last year that this would most likely be the year he swims. Whopppeeee! I will still need to be close by to monitor his progress. Crowded pools will not be my thing. Too much of a risk. When jumping anywhere into the pool, he has been instructed to curl your toes and jump straight out! This has been engrained into his little mind. At the slide he asks "Are you ready, Mommy?" He cannot come down if he doesn't hear a response. He obeys well. Thankful for that! I am serious about the pool and kids behavior. The older boys know I do not tolerate monkey business. They are disciplined accordingly. Stuart knows as well.

Saturday was so much fun. I decided I needed some more shorts to help end the summer. Carter and I went to Goodwill among other stores on a search. We found at least 5 shorts for Stuart less than $2.99 each. Some were $2. None for me. Carter was thrilled to find madris plaid shorts for him. Two dollars as well, can you believe it? I will need to find someone to take in the waist. He doesn't mind that his underwear line shows but Mom and Dad do. He is just too cool for words. The afternoon was spent at the ball field. Coles team had a forfeited game to which we as families played against the Eagles. Everyone had a blast! You should have seen the moms and dads along with siblings play. Aunt Jeanie even joined in the ball game fun. She stopped by our home so she was invited to play. She is a great third baseman/ woman. That pitching machine is so fast. My word. Another mom and my friend, Melissa and I were chanting a cheer. Carter had a home run while I was in the outfield- WAY over my head. I think it was totally intentional. He ended up playing with the Eagles which was good. Dave had one as well on a half swing with Carter's new birthday bat. I think he hit the bats sweet spot. He even batted left which is not normal. I personally was thrilled to be able to run and catch a ball. I was thankful to be reminded of late December 2007 where I have come from since surgery. God is good. After the family game an end of season BBQ was held at a players home.

This morning was a great time of worship. After a good lunch a long nap was overdue. I was reminded that it is only by God's grace that I am here. No headache last night after a long day. Praise God! That is big!

Along those lines... Stuart is cutting out his nap which is making it hard for me to rest during the day. Please pray for me to be able to have some down time. I used to do mandatory quiet time with the older boys in years past yet find it hard to do for my energy level is lacking. Once the two o clock hour comes around here comes the draining of energy. Not to leave out the chemo days... I have bits of energy at spur of the moment times and yet draining moments as well. I look forward to my mom helping out at the end of this month as she has been away. Chemo starts on Friday, July 25 for five days. My MRI is on Tuesday the 22nd.

Thanks for praying. God clearly has blessed our week with so many good things - Thank you for being one of those blessings!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Treatment plans till 2009

I have been asked "What are the treatment plans (Tx) from here on out?" (The "Tx" was for you LJ) I am going to lay them out for you. Keep in mind these are the doctors plans so I am holding on to them loosely knowing full well they change in a instant if it is not the Lords plans. I am learning not to hold on tightly to plans with white knuckles. So here we go. Be sure to ask questions in the comments. I will be glad to answer any.

In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
Psalm 16:9

See oncologist, Dr. Needles monthly with bloodwork results. MRI's are prn (as the doctor deems necessary), lately they have been every other month- basically every two months. My next scan is Tuesday, July 22 at 9:15. If that is a good report Dr. Needles stated that he would most likely spread the scans out. Hopefully meaning every three months. The Temodar (chemo) will be taken at least up till February 2009- 5 days on, 23 off, dosage could change depending on the bloodwork. So in short visits, more visits, even more visits. cancer, cancer, cancerland. I look forward to the day I do not have doctors visits every month. Dave said to me that is how we would want it. To keep track with the cancer. Yes, it gives us a peace of mind. He is correct.

Chat with you later...


Thursday, July 03, 2008

What to Say?

I wanted to come to the computer earlier today yet, Dave forced me to take a nap for good reason. He is off work today due to the holiday. I am extremely grateful that he is home due to fatigue. This morning I felt fine after emailing a couple of friends then BANG... not so good I totally crashed. As the noon hour approached I was in no mood to cook or eat. For breakfast all I ate was a slice of poppyseed almond bread so I should have been hungry. Dave and I took turns making the smoothie, breakfast potatoes & eggs for lunch. That is one meal we love eating anytime during the day. He also made me eat a small plate. O what would I do without him? After eating I took a much needed nap while Stuart took his.

I was going to tell you this morning how the chemo cycle went this time around for it was tolerable till this morning. Some items included a mild headache Saturday morning where 500 mg. of tylenol just took the edge off. Also the constipation was not a problem till the last days. All in all chemo was tolerable for this cycle... except for todays fatigue. I cannot complain.

The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? . . . Though an army beseige me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.
Psalm 27 1, 3

I guess taking the boys to the zoo yesterday did me in. I felt fine thankfully just moved slower than normal. I could tell a difference from previous visits. I haven't been to the zoo in about a year. The boys had fun especially Stuart. I am having problems saving my pics to the computer lately so sorry for you and me alike.

Please pray for Cole as his long time fish, Ron Jon died yesterday in a aquarium filled with a bar soap. It was so cloudy I couldn't see a thing while taking the water out. Cole is devastated. This was his first pet. A curious Stuart was involved is all I can say. ...We plan on having a burial for the fish later. My heart hurts for Cole. Long story here.

Welcome to life in the Snodgrass home