Saturday, December 19, 2009
On Tuesday, December 15 my friend Joe Bennett passed away. Many posts in the past were written about Joe. Please see previous archive posts. More specifically...
2006 - December 29 - first meeting him* *
2007 - January 11 - how he coined me- peacoat Kate
August 9 - blessing him with birthday cards idea
August 16 - birthday card update
August 26 - update on his 1st lung cancer
Meeting Joe in the radiation waiting area of Siteman in December 2006 was a unexpected friendship journey. We would chat often & looked forward to radiation treatments (for what you could look forward to) from that point on. Our conversations were of interesting family stories. After finishing radiation in February 2007, we kept in contact through phone conversations and sometimes lunches (when he had St Louis doctor checkups). In August 2007, he ended up with lung cancer after his 2006 ear drum cancer and was given radiation to the lungs. This fall his lung cancer returned a second time full force. His lymph nodes were affected & enlarged, almost closing off his esophagus. He decided along with his family to not do any more treatment due to his age and already had gone through enough treatment. Joe was given 2 months to live without any treatment. The past few weeks he was at a local nursing home (his kids felt it best to have him closer to them in St. Louis). We had a good time talking in person the Monday before Thanksgiving. Joe was in good spirits.
This morning was his visitation and funeral it was good to visit with his children. His burial at Jefferson Barracks with full military honors is Monday at 1pm. The boys and I will most likely attend.
My heart is sad for I lost a friend this week. I do not regret getting to know Joesph M. Bennett. My life is fuller for it. He was a courageous kindhearted man.
I will miss you Joe.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
I am thankful for God's mercy. Please pray I stay faithful in God's will for my life. To listen, obey, & follow.
Amazing love that HE came as a child to save us from our sins. May your Christmas be Christ filled.
Tomorrow we cut down our Christmas tree. The boys are way excited about decorating our home for Christmas.
Off to rest before picking up the older boys from school.
Friday, December 04, 2009
Wednesday, December 9 = MRI
Friday, December 11 = oncologist report on the MRI
Please pray for a clear scan and peace throughout the week.
Thank you and sorry this is so short of a post...
Saturday, November 21, 2009
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:29 -31
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Stuart has been counting the days since October when his 5th birthday will come. We are happy to report... ONLY 2 MORE DAYS - That's right, Friday is the day! Woo Hoo. I am so thankful to be here celebrating his birthday. He is a joy.
I just scheduled my December MRI for Wednesday, the 9th at 9:45. It has been 3 months since my last scan. If this one proves clear the oncologist stated we will go 4 months. Please pray for a clear scan.
In October I experienced severe head & eyeball pain similar to a migraine. I'm not sure what was the cause. Just thankful it didn't reoccur. If so, the doctor would have most definitely been informed. ER could have been an option. Thank goodness for OTC pain meds.
My VERY FAVORITE holiday is just around the corner - Thanksgiving.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Carter participated in a punt / pass competition at a local school
Friday, September 11, 2009
Okay on to today's update from the oncologist, Dr. Needles. It was three months ago from my last MRI. Today the report showed no change. The next scan will be in three months. If that one is great we will go to four months after December. Do I hear some sighs of relief? I have been wanting to ask the doctor if I would ever be considered being in remission. Dave asked for me per my request. The doctors reply "Remission? You are better than remission." "Remission implies evidence of tumors. You have no evidence of active cancer." As I type this I am amazed at God's hand in my life during this journey. He is faithful. I am humbled as I am not.
Prior to seeing Dr. Needles I get a weigh in and blood pressure check along with temperature - normal stuff. The question of "Do you have any pain today?" is asked. I say no slowly while being weighed then change jokingly to "Well, yes after this discovery." Ugh! She was kind to say it is ___ and a half. Okay she could of said the extra one pound but didn't. I was grateful in a silly way. Half pound does that count on the charts?
Another answer to prayer was during my MRI on Wednesday. Many were praying for peace that passes all understanding. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7 I fell asleep or something during the actual scan as the time FLEW. MRI scans are obnoxiously LOUD - banging, knocking, clicking, etc.
Off to be a soccer mom this weekend along with basketball & fall ball. Life is good. I need one of those bumper stickers and shirts but they are costly (at least the shirts are).
Thank you for praying. I cannot thank you enough. And a half we go...
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Wednesday, September 9 - MRI (last one was in June)
Friday, September 11 - doctor appointment with results
Saturday, August 29, 2009
School started this past week. I just now had the time to post pictures. Our home is in full swing with fall activities. Bible study starts soon for me. It was a difficult decision deciding which one to do on which day. I am so thankful for the options.
Wednesday, September 9 - MRI (last one was in June)
Friday, September 11 - doctor appointment with results
* clear scan is the desire of our hearts
Have a great rest of the week!
Monday, August 17, 2009
My next MRI is scheduled for Wednesday, September 9 at 9:45. The results will be known on Friday, September 11 at my doctors appointment. How am I feeling? Well, is my best response. Cannot complain. ...God is my strength and my portion... Psalm 73:26
Sorry for the lack of updates as I was busy being a mom for the summer. Also facebook has allowed me to do daily one sentence updates when possible.
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Thinking about celebrating at the zoo with the boys tomorrow to see the new stingray exhibit.
Thank you for going on this journey with me,
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Today my church cancer support group met. We meet on the first Sunday of the month. Everyone has different cancers yet similar struggles & trials. Some spouses also come to the meeting. It is great encouragement.
Yes, my MRI along with blood work were on Saturday. Tuesday the results will be made known by my oncologist, Dr. Needles. (on a side note: every time I write Needles, I chuckle and think it is quite odd to have a doctor with that sort of name-aghhh. Ok, on to the post...) That will hopefully be the time I will know how he (you know who) wants to proceed with my care post chemo. Scans every 3 months? is my guess. Blood work was taken during chemo to monitor the WBC. Brain cancers do not unfortunately exhibit "markers". Scans are the most informative. I will try to post the information as time allows after Tuesday. Our prayer is that it is clear - no change from previous scans.
I have been enjoying summer with the boys. We have gone twice to the library and only once to the pool due to weather. My fatigue is getting somewhat better. I am tired mid day but I have always been that way. Brain cancer did not bring that on. I have to rest for about 20 minutes after lunch. Stuart is slowing cutting out his quiet time which is making some days difficult. On those days, Dave (to no surprise) has been great to help so much at night when I am oh so tired and want to expire by 8pm. Please pray for his stamina & energy as he is doing double time.
This past weekend was a bustle. Carter's 11th birthday celebration was at Nascar speed park on Friday with friends. Lazer tag, go carts and cookie cake you cannot go wrong. Last night Dave & I hosted some of my moms friends for dinner to surprise & celebrate her 60th birthday which is mid June. It was great!
Thanks for checking in,
Friday, May 22, 2009
Need to make breakfast, I'm taking the boys to school. Busy morning!
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Today has been one of rest for me. The heavy rains last night gave way to canceled ball games for today. Although, Cole had team pics early this morning. Thankfully, I was able to plant my flowers this afternoon. More to go for my back patio containers. Are you not amazed to see the beautiful colors God allows us to enjoy in creation?
Carter & I took the time this afternoon to plan his 11th birthday. Whoa. Eleven years in early June. I am happy to be here to enjoy his upcoming day.
Thank you for praying continually for my evening energy and the upcoming June cancer stuff. On the MRI - Need a "no change" report. I really desire to know how the doctor will proceed from here since I haven't been on chemo since March. Scans / blood work every X months? What is to come... ???
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Lately I have needed some extra energy during the evening hours. Umph is desired. I really tucker out by 7:30. If it is a good day 8:02 pm. I thought :02 sounded good. ;) ; ) :)
June is fast approaching so here are some prayerful dates for you.
Saturday, June 6 is my MRI & bloodwork
Tuesday, June 9 see oncologist with results
Monday, April 27, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Easter visitors.... baseball...Zoo days (when the weather is NOT raining)
Last Friday, Stuart & I ventured to the zoo. He was elated once there. Stu has been neglected in the excursions (like I did with the older ones). I often went on "field trips" with Carter & Cole to expand their horizons. My computer is not allowing me to crop pictures so you got the real deal above.
Cancer update: Saturday, June 6 - MRI & blood work taken
Tuesday, June 9 - oncology appointment - results given
A great quote...
No place the will of God can take you that the grace of God cannot sustain you.
Corrie ten Boom
Hope your spring is going well,
Monday, April 06, 2009
I want it to be intentional so all know that there is life with brain cancer. A new life. Since having the cancer diagnosis our family has gone through continual adjustments.
I will do my best as family time allows to blog post. Thank you for your patience.
A friend recently asked how she could continue to pray...
1. Energy for me - I am attempting to not nap as much. Also I am walking 3x during the week. Dave thinks it is two miles. We will see. All I know it has been a long winter. Need good weather.
2. Time Management in the house
3. Great family togetherness
CANCER INFORMATION: June will be my next MRI & bloodwork before the June 9 oncology appointment.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Saying goodbye to chemo doesn't mean goodbye to the cancer fight. I mentioned not long ago that I was somewhat of mixed emotions ending the chemo. Yes, excited but also weary of what is to come. I was totally reminded (I am a slow learner) of God never leaving my side no matter what is to come in the months ahead. Fear did grip me last week.
'Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'
It is a reminder that being off chemo, Temodar is one step closer to being known as "in remission". This is another branch in my journey of brain cancer. I am confident He will carry me through. A little fearful but glad, so so glad He is with me.
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. John 15:5
Thank you for all YOU did in the past years. I am humbled by the hands of Jesus through you. Prayer, meals, notes/emails of encouragement, watching children, carpool, prayer, friendship, a listening ear and prayer, are a portion of your love to me and my family. I am loved. You are loved.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
The March MRI scan was "Couldn't ask for a better report." After questioning the doctor about the comparison date (not to rain on my parade) of December 08. He agreed it needed to be compared to a later date like March 08 (1 year). He doesn't have any concerns. Ishould hear from him sometime about the new comparison. So in turn that leads me to the chemo update. SHOCKER!
My eyes probably popped out of my head when Dr. Needles questioned the duration of my chemo. One year in January. He said he would like for me to discontinue the chemo after March due to studies that show it is not more beneficial to stay on it longer. Dave asked if Temodar is a option if there was a possible cancer reoccurrence. The doctor said oh yes, but first a biopsy would need to be performed. (Okay boys - lets not talk about cancer returning here!)
No more monthly bloodwork, chemo stops after March.
Next MRI & bloodwork is in June along with a doctors appointment.
Earlier this morning I was reminded of the following Bible verse prior to my appointment. God ordains my days. All news is up to Him and Him alone.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Tomorrow is my oncologist appointment in the morning. I will know my MRI results from last Thursday.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
I also went to a Walgreeens take care clinic this morning after my MRI to get tested for strep. Negative! I am so thankful.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
My mom will be watching him tomorrow during my MRI. He normally attends school on Thursdays. I am considering rescheduling my scan to the weekend while Dave is home. I will see how Stuart fairs tonight. He may need to see the pediatrician tomorrow to get tested for strep if the pain / fever meds don't help.
I'll keep you posted,
Tomorrow, Thursday is my MRI along with bloodwork. - Want a clear scan!
Results will be given next Tuesday, March 10 during my oncologist appointment.
March chemo will be Friday, March 13 - 17 pending my bloodwork results.
Cole's 9th birthday is Wednesday, March 11. The school is off half day! I am so looking forward to his special day. He has requested burgers & hot dogs on the grill. Hmm a cold March grilling?
He plans on having a sleepover that Friday. Carter will be at a retreat with his Sunday school class. Little Stu will enjoy the third grade boy sleepover party. Sleeping bags, cake, boys, games, What fun! Dave will stay up late with them as I need my sleep due to chemo.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
** side note: 7 kids in his class have missed this week. It brings some comfort to him to know others are going through this.
hope all is well with you,
Monday, February 23, 2009
Everyone but Cole is better.
Oops forgot to mention...Cancer wise info.
1. next MRI & monthly bloodwork - Thursday, March 5
2. oncology follow up - Tuesday, March 10
Sunday, February 22, 2009
The stitches are out! I pulled one that was undone yesterday and the other as well.
I have some wonderful notes from church that I really wanted to share. Maybe in a few hours. Hopefully it doesn't turn into days.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Well, it seems that the February chemo cycle...
...was better than all the rest
...best one yet
...bowels a workin'
...fatigue? YES that's a given
...a tongue sore - uncomfortable but tolerable
Thank you for praying over this month it is a delight to share the blessings. Yes, I said blessing in regards to chemo. I had a great last few weeks spending some time in contemplation. I am considering a blog on "Can a person get used to having cancer?"
Update on the stitched finger: It is sore but improving. A band aid is covering it most of the time due to the stitching catching on clothing, towels, etc. It pulls which makes it uncomfortable. I am a little freakish on cutting things since the accident. A friend brought over a bread loaf. I was relieved to see it was already sliced. Whew!
A little tired, time for bed.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Yes, this is my left hand as of noon today. While making sandwiches I sliced a tiny portion of my middle finger which required two stitches. Ouch! The two needle pricks to numb it were painful along with the stitching. The lidocaine obviously didn't work. I really do not know WHY they put such a HUGE bandage on my finger (a band aid is covering the stitches). I felt it was picture worthy - All but my non manicured hands. Oh well. Not much typing in the near future. 24 hours of keeping it dry with original band aid. In 7 days the stitches can be removed.
Tonight is my 3 of 5 chemo pills. I am so thankful that it will be halfway over. No headaches thus far. Pray it continues. The constipation & fatigue are another issue.
Oh, I also received a tetanus shot as I wasn't sure of my last one. My arm is sore as well. Oh well.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Thankfully, my WBC was the same as last month a good 5.1. It needed to be over 4.0.
I will have my MRI next month in March prior to seeing the doctor again. My normal labs will also be taken at that time.
Monday, February 09, 2009
Dave's parents left Sunday around noon for their drive back to Indiana. It was a wonderful weekend spending time with them. Each boy won their respective basketball games and 5 Guys burgers & fries was a sure winner. A little noisy but what do you expect for such a trendy place. I was able to take a nap after the long Saturday once home. We made homemade pizzas for dinner with a great easy dessert. My mom told me about a weight watchers dessert with only 2 points (of course ours were more due to the whip cream) yum yum. A rasberry was also a delight on top. This cake was a box of angel food mixed with a can of crushed pineapple in its own juice. Bake for 25+ minutes in the correct degree oven (check the box directions). Once complete take out of the oven and turn upside down on an elevated container to cool. I was wiggin thinking the cake would fall out but mom assured me it wouldn't . She was right! It is great for breakfast as well. Or at least I think it is.
I have a oncology appointment tomorrow morning with my labs taken prior to that time. I am hoping my white blood cell count is still at a good level - above 4.0. Please pray accordingly. I have a busy day as I have another doctors appointment after the oncologist. Yippee - not. I was trying to save on gas money & my time as they are in the St. Johns area with staggered times.
Hope your day is well...
Friday, February 06, 2009
Blue wig & sprayed painted
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
Last night after ordering the boys eats I left for Chic Fil A. I just couldn't bring myself to eating McD's. I went to our van after unlocking it with my keys and noticed a tote on the passenger seat. "Hmmm who got in my van to give me the tote?" Oh my goodness these are leather seats! This is NOT our van. I totally went into someone elses vehicle. I was alarmed to say the least till I figured out it was a family from our school who has the same van as us except with nicer seats. I laughed all the way to Chic Fil A. Only me. That reminded me of a time when I went into a mens restroom at the Old Spaghetti Factory downtown. Ha ha ha.
Heres to good laughs...
I am working on a more in depth post in my head. It will take some time to compile my thoughts. I so need a notepad by my bed at night.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
We spent a good hour in the morning & afternoon shoveling snow from the driveway. The afternoon hour was more productive - thanks to the sunshine.
Today, Stuart even went down by himself (normally it is with a brother). Although, he ran into a dad's ankle at the bottom. The red coat dad was not nice to Stuart as he said to some extent "Why don't you yell as you are coming down?" I so wanted to yell at him for his idiotic response to a four year old on a sled. Like a toddler can warn someone at the bottom. Grrr, mama bear here....Man why don't YOU move out of the way for the young sledders are coming down. Ding dong! I didn't say anything (bit my tongue) but gently to Stu "Sweetie lets watch it." He is so not aware of sledding etiquette. Give the four year old some slack. I so wanted to....Cannnot share on here. Thanks for lettting me get it off my chest. Enough about sledding.. All in all we had a blast! Yesterday AND today.
With wind burned faces..
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
(of course, Carter is the one who thinks he is cool in the pic. He is at a stage where he thinks it is fun to make a cool look. - NOT)
My only hesitation with snow days is the sleet. One year I almost slid into a gas pump. Yep, Yikes! I see now why they have the poles near the pumps. It is because of young chics like me who cannot drive on ice. Of course, who can or should for that matter? I went to my grandparents home nearby to calm down. Grandma with loads of lovin' food was a delight to my heart and calmed my fears of seeing a explosion before my eyes. Yes, probably unlikely but my young heart and lack of knowledge(immaturity) thought it would have been possible.
Cole & Stuart have enjoyed today by using Tonka construction vehicles (diggers, backhoes, dumptrucks, etc) in the snow. Cole even put a heart in the snow with a warming message to me. He is my tender one.
Cool Carter went sledding near our neighbors home.
Here's to boys, snow, hot cocoa, marshmellows and NO school....
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Well, the verdict is in... January's chemo is now complete / over. Check that one off my list. Aside from Sunday nights migraine it was tolerable. The migraine so NOT tolerable. Don't want to repeat that in February!
February chemo cycle:
Friday, February 13 through Tuesday, February 17
Monday, January 19, 2009
Thankfully, my constipation issues are not as bad as Decembers cycle. I guess this is a trade off.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
My January chemo starts on Friday.
and in his word I put my hope.
Taking it month to month or (really day to day)...
Monday, January 12, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
I am tired and need to get to bed (or at least get Stuart to bed). Sorry for being so short.
Just wanted to give you an update. . .
Monday, January 05, 2009
It has been busy weeks around the home with the boys. Christmas break ended today with school starting up. Today especially was a flurry of activity. Stuart had his long overdue four year check up. Three shots later he seems to be a normal growing boy. I am thankful. I don't take good health for granted.
This past weekend we enjoyed Carter's basketball tourney. They lost one but won two. Not bad. Cole is looking forward to starting his seasons first game this Saturday. Mom is as well. I hear he is working on his block out move. I so love basketball.
I have my eye doctor appointment downtown at Siteman tomorrow at 11. My mom will accompany me at that time. I did have the eye pain tonight. I truly think it is from fatigue. After I write this I am going to bed no later than 8:30. Stuart's checkup was at 2 this afternoon during his quiet time. (aka: my quiet time.)
Thank you for praying for my mom.
Thursday, January 01, 2009
I have been indecisive about what to do about my hair. My hair is so due for a trim (probably major cut) if I want to keep it a shorter length. Longer or shorter....I like it either way I have found. When asking Dave the other day what he prefers he said to my surprise. "I like how you are growing it out." I was thrilled to have a defined answer from him who matters most. I will let it grow till the bangs get too much on my nerves. I have cut my bangs twice since I last saw the stylist.
Enough on the hair saga.... Yes, as you can remember I didn't want short hair in the beginning of the cancer trial but, that has changed. Or I guess you could say I have changed /let it go. Refined... Adjusted...(whatever terminology you choose). I am just glad to have my hair.
Last night (New Years Eve) a friend asked how the December chemo cycle went. I hadn't really told the blog community. Sorry. Here it is if you wanna know. Not too exciting that is for sure.
1. labor like cramping due to constipation (the yummy rice pudding and hoppin' johns black eyed peas (Friday morning & Thursday evening) prior to chemo didn't help I am sure. Cut out the carbs - cut out the carbs prior to chemo - I forgot that chemo was approaching It happens.)
3. joint pain
Yes, #1 was a killer for sure. It felt as if I was delivering one of my babies. Please know I will attempt to cut out the carbohydrates prior to chemo. Zofran & Temodar side effects include constipation along with headaches. Thank you very much.
I have my eye appointment with Dr. Cohen downtown at Sitemans on Tuesday, January 6 (my sister, Jeanie's birthday) at 11. He is to check the pressure of my eye. Thankfully only minor aches in the right eye have occured since seeing the oncologist. Pain due to fatigue? Possibly teeth grinding in my sleep? We will hopefully see. I am just thankful no serious pain has occured in a long while.
January schedule includes an oncologist appointment on Tuesday, January 13. Possible chemo on Friday the 16th - Tuesday the 20th. It soley depends on Dr. Needles. I'm assuming he will take me into June. That will be a year and a half on chemo. I hope he'll be more decisive at the January appointment.
Here's to hair and chemo. . . Have a great 2009