Friday, June 17, 2011


Today I had my PET scan. For me the actual scan is pretty relaxing. I was told to try and eat a low carb diet for 24 hrs before. I ate a lot of steak (thank you grill master Eddie). I wasn't allowed anything to eat after 7:15 this morning. I didn't wake up until 8:30, so I missed breakfast.

I was so weak and hungry by 1230 that when they handed me a sugery concoction of barium contrast, I was thankful. Mmmmm...fruit punchy. Then, I had an IV put in and some kind of radioactive dye injected into my arm.

Here comes the best part: They put you in a room, wrap you in warm blankets and hand you a remote to your very own tv for 45 min. Now, if you have small kids at home all day, you know what a treat it is to be able to watch something other than Nick Jr. I of course chose Maury. Well, wouldn't you know it, but the radiologist came to get me right before I was going to find out who the baby daddy was. Bummer. Oh, did I mention that if you tell them you don't like small spaces, they give you a little something warm and fuzzy and floating.

Then, you get to lay in a big tube that makes worley noises that are actually quit soothing. I fell asleep, so I'm pretty sure I got an A+ for holding still. After it was all said and done, the radiologist came in. She asked me if I had ever had trauma to my right chest area. Yeah, a port, but Ihad it removed in Feb. She said it looked like I had been punched in the boob (she actually said those words). Well, you know, that's pretty much how it feels--I am speculating here.

Here's the frustrating part: She told me that she had a dr come in to look at my boob punch, I mean removed port area. A DOCTOR WAS RIGHT THERE LOOKING AT MY PET, BUT I CAN'T GET MY RESULTS! He was right there. I did that thing where I was searching her face for some sign of "sorry it's worse" or "don't you worry old gal. You're just fine." Nothing.

So, I called my nurse and vaguely said I had a question. She called me back and I sheepishly asked if I could have my results today. No go. Looks like Monday it is. Hopefully, my next post will be a positive one. Until then, lets just keep on praying!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Wow is right! That worship time was just incredible! When they announced before services about the girl who just graduated from high school with cancer who is doing hospice, my heart just sank. It made me think how lucky I am right now. I mean what if this had happened to me at that age? What would I have missed?

  • Going to college
  • Working weird part time jobs
  • Vacations with just my husband
  • Hiking to the top of Mt. Washburn
  • Voting
  • Getting married
  • Having sex (yeah, I said it)
  • Having my beautiful babies (see above bulletin)
  • Holding and rocking those babies
  • Watching them grow and change
  • Arkansas last summer
  • All the times spent giggling with my mom and sisters
  • Spending time with my Dad
  • Trips with my in-laws
  • and so much more
Sometimes it is so hard to not think why me, woe is me or what if, but for right now I can be thankful because honestly, I have ALOT to be thankful for.

Please pray for this young girl and her family. Pray for miraculous healing and peace for her and her family.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Better Than a Xanex

Confession: I have panic attacks. Yup, full on crazy panic attacks. If you've never had one, I'm jealous. If you have, you know it's the worst. I've had them occasionally for years, but apparently getting a stage III MM diagnosis exacerbates the condition. Go figure.

I started feeling a little nervous yesterday around 5, but tried to brush it off. At about 2 in the morning, I was in full blown melt down. I've been having a lot of pain in my ribs and lower back, so I did what any normal cancer patient does and started thinking the worst. I just wanted it to be morning so that I could call my doctor. So, I laid there thinking I was going to die and imaging how my doctor would break the news and how I would react. All the while my chest was caving in on itself.

So what do I finally decide to do? Wake up every member of my immediate family of course. I started with Eddie. He was sleeping on the couch (see A Deal's a Deal post). I toddled out fighting back tears and squeezed in next to him. I like to smell his skin. It makes me feel better. I woke him up and at this point, I'm in tears. He didn't even have to ask what's wrong. He knows. He held me and whispered that I'm going to be ok. I laid there for a while and while my head and heart wanted to stay right there, my body protested. So, I went back to bed. A few minutes later I'm not better, so I call my mom.

Why is it that I can be an adult and handle hard situations, but as soon as I hear my Mom's voice, it's like I turn into a 5 year old? She answered the phone and I could tell by her gravely voice that she had been in a deep sleep. "Mom." I managed to squeak out. She also knows. She talked to me and reassured me in a way that only Mommas can. I hung up the phone. Now, I needed a dose of my sisters.

I called Katie. She has an amazing gift of answering the phone like she's expecting you to tell her she's won the lottery even in the middle of the night. Hello!!!! She also knows, so she starts in on talking about anything but cancer. I got an incredible story of Ryan falling thru the ceiling. I was laughing so hard. It was a perfect cure, but I needed a little more love to feel better.

I called Nan. She does NOT have that gift that Katie has:) Sorry Katie, but we got to giggling so hard thinking about Ryan's legs dangling from the ceiling. I finally let her get back to bed and I was able to drift off to sleep.

Now, Xanex works great for anxiety, but nothing beats knowing you have a family that will take your calls at all hours of the night. My PET scan is scheduled for Friday, so keep your phones by your beds ladies:)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Gimme Gimme Gimme That Sweet Cancer Swag

I did not know about all the free stuff and special treatment that having cancer will get you. I don't know if there is some kind of cancer code that I'm breaking by revealing this, but it's true. I'm kind of scared to post this cause I'm pretty sure that Susan G. Komen will come kicking my door in trying to confiscate my treats and goodies. (Google her non cancer losers:)

Back to the loot. I've gotten meals, cards, letters, monetary dontations, slippers, jammies, blankets, foot creams, inspirational jewlery, chicken soup, candy, books, magazines, clothes, A LADY COMES TO CLEAN MY HOUSE!!!, stuff for my kids, my sister has visited me 3 times and my dad once, another sister comes over most Tuesdays and we sit and watch movies and she watches me sleep, my mom comes over to help me clean and again watch me sleep, my MIL watches my kids on Tuesdays and any other day I need her to, my sweet cousin and FIL mow the grass every Saturday (that may seem like something for Eddie's list of loot, but actually it's more for me. Eddie is impervious to the evil glances and passive aggressive comments about the yard. In their defense, they do not know about my cancer and cannot be expected to treat me accordingly with helpful offers, heart felt smiles or inspiring stories of someone they knew that had testicular cancer and lived).

That reminds me, I have gotten so used to people treating me in this manner, that now, it surprises me when they don't. Like how dare the lady at the check out counter glare at me when my children misbehave? I have some other examples, but for some reason, all of them involve my children misbehaving in a public place. Weird.

So, back again to the loot. I am seriously amazed at how giving people are. At first, I felt guilty about the obscene amount of giving, but I slowly started to realize something. Cancer is a tricky (insert your level of obscenity here--I've got a wide variety of people reading this). Melanoma is especially tricky. Treatment is hard and not very effective for my stage. Ok, that part I knew. Here's the realization: People want to cure you and make you better. They can't do that, so it makes them feel better to help you. But guess what? All you people have NO idea how much it actually does help.

Every smile, pat (just don't pat my left arm or any part of my know what can we just quit with the pats already? Though well intentioned, someone's gonna get a reflex slap.), prayer, prayer, prayer, ridiculous treatment option you know of that so and so took when his body was riddled with cancer, but now they are cured, but the doctors told him he wouldn't live past the year, all of the above mentioned things plus more I probably forgot, make this doo doo situation so much more bearable.

I'm gratful beyond words and even though I have only written one thank you note (that is addressed and stamped somewhere in my van), you can't blame me because in case you didn't know, I'm that sweet young mother of 3 small children who has been stricken with *hushed tones* cancer.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Deal's a Deal

I was sitting in the waiting room at one of my many dr appointments on Monday perusing a celebrity rag mag. I came across an article on a certain celeb couple who had the inside of their rings inscribe with the words "A deal's a deal." That really hit home with me right now. That pretty much sums up where my sweet husband and I are right now. We are supporting each other not because we are so happy and in love (don't get me wrong, we absolutely LOVE each other) but because that is the deal we made. We've agreed to stick it out.

I was thinking about our wedding day and wondered how things would have gone if when the preacher said in sickness and in health, the micro machine guy popped up saying:

"Sickness will include but not be limited to a bout with malignant melanoma that will leave your wife scarred, sick, grouchy, uninterested in sex or even being touched for that matter because her body will constantly be uncomfortable. Her hair will come out in clumps and it will bother her so much that she will complain about that the most. She will struggle on and off with depression, but refuse to accept help the doctors will try to offer. She will spend alot of time sleeping and leave you to care for the children. Most days she will be unable to do menial tasks. She will be unable to remember important things you've asked her to do and as a result, you will be in charge of most of the household responsibilities. Things will basically be miserable for an undisclosed amount of time."

Right now there are no deep, meaningful kisses, snuggles on the couch or date nights. Smiles and laughter are few and far between. Many nights we don't even spend in the same bed because I can't bear to be touched or moved. Things are not carefree. We used to talk about our future or where we would be in in X amount of years. Now, we talk about treatment options, friends who have received bad scans, upcoming appointments, who will take care of the children and how I'm feeling, or we simply don't talk at all. There is always a nagging feeling of worry.

I worry alot about cancer and recurrence and the future. One thing I NEVER worry about is getting through this with my marriage in tact. I also know that this experience has and will continue to make us stronger. We are in this and I know that he will be right there with me through whatever happens in this life together because after all, a deal's a deal.