Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday, February 27, 2009: A New Web Site

I've had this past week off of work. I didn't accomplish much around the house but I did spend a little time creating this website. Check it out. It's a little different than just a's an actual web site. Hope you enjoy...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday, February 26, 2009: Feeling Better

Kristi felt much better today. Thanks for continuing to pray for her.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009: Nausea and Fatigue

Round 3 has brought nausea and fatigue for Kristi. We suspect it's just a cumulative effect of the chemo. Hopefully it doesn't get much worse. Please pray that she bounces back soon! Thanks.

On a positive note...the kids and I have all bounced back from the flu bug that ran through our house!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009: Celebrating!

We had an uneventful day at chemo...with the exception of the good news we received at the end of the day...Kristi's CA125 level dropped to 42!!!!!!!!! That's tied for the lowest it has ever been.

Praise God!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009: Round 3

Tomorrow we go in for round 3. First we meet with Dr. Downey at 9 then off to the chemo clinic. Tomorrow will the the long day because she gets both kinds of chemo. She will also get her CA125 level checked. We hope to have it again before we leave. We'll post a quick update tomorrow night.

Update on me and the kids...well, all the fevers are gone at least. Nathan and Emily are still coughing like crazy. Ashley is mostly better. My stomach still feels quite queasy most of the time. We're hoping Kristi doesn't wake up in the morning with the flu.

Prayers for a good day tomorrow and a low number!!! Thank you!!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009: Still Going

Man, I think this virus could outlast the energizer bunny! Ashley's fever returned this morning. I took her to the doctor and she has a sinus infection. They also tested her for the flu virus and thankfully she failed that test!

Nathan is coughing quite a bit tonight but he at least made it through a day of school.

Emily slept good last night and was fine when she woke up this morning but around ten I found her curled up on the floor - not a good sign. She has had a fever all day and at one point it was up to 103. She has been laying on the couch and has been miserable all day.

Brian felt sick when he came home tonight but he's doing better now. He had a really long day at work yesterday which wore him out. (Any day that starts before 5:00 AM would wear me out!).

I wish we could open up the windows and air this germ pit out but it looks like we will be blessed with yet another winter storm. Will this winter ever end??? As I was whining to myself earlier today the verse popped into my head . . . When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other. Ecclesiastes 7:14.

I have been coughed on, sneezed on and puked on more this week then I ever want to do again! I've also spent more time and money at Walgreens then I would like. But, thankfully this was my week off from chemo so I did have the energy to take care of my family.

Okay, time to stop whining and get to bed now. Thanks for listening and praying.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009: Four Down, One To Go

I'm officially the sole survivor of this bug going through our house! Emily woke up this morning throwing up. She couldn't even keep water down today. Thankfully around 7:00 tonight, about 12 hours after it started, she started to feel much better. She went from not able to keep a sip of water down to eating soup and crackers with no problem. She was laughing and happy and it was so good to have her back. She had become so out of it that I was anticipating a doctors or hospital visit tomorrow.

Ashley and Nathan still have a cough and stuffy nose but are doing much better. They would have gone back to school today if it hadn't been a snow day. They have been out of school all week and are going a bit stir crazy (and so is mommy!).

If I stay healthy it will only be because of God's grace. I had the joy of holding the bowl for Emily today and let's just say I was in the splash zone. Keeping me healthy is no big deal for God though.

Emotionally I am doing better. I have been exercising and can tell already the difference it has made on my mood. I am anxious to find out what my new CA125 level will be on Monday but for now I am going to simply enjoy a quiet weekend with my family and without this nasty bug that seems to really enjoy spending time with our family!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

99 cents

I forgot to mention the cost of the backgrounds...$0.99 each. What a bargain!! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009: A New Hobby

First, Kristi is doing great these days. Me, Nathan and Ashley all have the flu. Ashley has a fever of 103.6 and Nathan threw up this morning. We all seem to be getting better tonight. So far Kristi and Emily have avoided catching it. Emotionally Kristi is doing a little better. She has decided to quit some things she was involved in and just take it easy for a while. She needs some "me time" where she can spend some time reading her Bible and just veg out for a while.

As far as my new hobby. It's not really new really. I have always enjoyed photography and the hunt for capturing that "million dollar photo". I have taken some of my pictures I've taken over the years and made them into backgrounds for my computer. I've had several people say "you should sell those" but I never knew how. So I investigated and figured it out (with some help from Kristi's brother). I will be posting links to my backgrounds to the right on our blog. The pictures on our blog will be reduced quality about 12kb's. I do this to speed up the uploading time for me. The files you download will be high quality. If you click on the "buy now" link it will take you to the original file (usually from 700kb - 6M depending on which camera I took the picture with). The money we raise will be used to off-set medical expenses we incur and will also be used for a "new van fund" for Kristi. Her 2000 Grand Caravan is getting quite rusty and making some interesting noises. Over the next few weeks I will be uploading more backgrounds. Eventually I will turn these into calendars and other things. If you know of a better way for me to do this I'm open to advice. Also, if you have any issues downloading the files let me know. The downloads should be instant. I walked through it tonight with a friend and it wasn't too difficult. Anyway, thanks for supporting us and I hope you enjoy them. I'll put info in the files so you know where and when they were taken. Thanks again and have fun looking!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009: Another Round Behind Us

Yesterday wiped me out as chemo typically does. Today is much better though. With the exception of a very itchy face, I almost feel . . . normal! I have an appointment with a dermatologist tomorrow and hopefully they will be able to tell me how to deal with the rash on my face. I've had it since before I started chemo but chemo definitely seems to flare it up even more.

This past week I was pretty down. I am usually okay but when I have my down times, I tend to go way down. I also stopped reading the bible and spending time with God and my prayers felt very hollow. I was thinking God had stopped talking to me but in reality, I had just stopped listening. I've had depression for as long as I can remember. Combine that with pulling away from God . . . . let's just say it's not a good combination!

Sunday night I started to journal. I started by writing things I hate about me. I was amazed at how quickly I could fill a page. It was good therapy to write it all out though and let it go. It actually turned into a prayer. I gave up trying to fix myself and asked God to take back everything that I was trying to do on my own (that list was pretty big too). I filled up two pages! Monday morning I was reading a devotional and was as if it was written directly to me. It started by talking about how God created us. If we don't like ourselves, what are we saying about our Creator? (Ouch!). The paragraph that really hit home was where the writer was imagining what God may have been thinking when He created her - her words are italicized.

I'm going to make her tender-hearted and full of compassion. (Mercy is one of my spiritual gifts) I know she'll have a leaning toward laziness and inconsistency (two if my top struggles!), but I'll give her victory over that when she's ready. (I asked God to help me with these Sunday night) I want to use her to point people to me and to the power of prayer. (the fact that I am still alive is because of the power of prayer) I want her to be there to lift up the downcast and point the defeated to triumph through My power! (I want to help others going through cancer see how important our faith is).

As I read that devotion it was as if God was using a megaphone to talk to me. I know God never gives up on us but it is so wonderful when I get such a vivid reminder. I would appreciate prayers that I would be able to slow my mind down (it's been going non-stop) and make spending time with God a priority.

I also need to give up my "cancer card". I have been avoiding doing things like exercising, having meals ready and keeping the house picked up because "I do have cancer and am going through chemo and deserve to just sit and do nothing". It is sooooo easy to rationalize my way out of anything. I do need to go at a slower pace because of chemo but I've been taking advantage of the cancer card way too long and my extremely patient and loving husband has been more than gracious. I told him the other day that I wanted to give up my cancer card and asked what he would like to see me try to tackle first. His reply was that he wanted me to start exercising so I would have more energy and feel better. Before cleaning the house or having meals ready he wants me to take care of myself. (Just for the record he wasn't saying exercise because I'm gaining weight). They don't come any sweeter than him :)

I know some of you are thinking right now "you are going through chemo, give yourself a break". Many people have told me "take it easy, you deserve it". I know this may sound weird but please don't encourage me to take it easy. I have no willpower as it is and it will just take a little push and I'm on the couch vegging out! I appreciate your love and concern for me. I'm not going to go crazy and clean the entire house or wear myself out. I need to learn how to set a routine for myself and stick to it. This new chemo is no where near as draining as my first chemo was.

I have been seeing a psychologist once a month which is very helpful for me. She even reads the blog which I think is so cool (hi Krista!). I have made an appointment with a psychiatrist as well because I think my medication isn't quite cutting it anymore. I don't like the extremes that my moods have been lately. My downs have been very low. If anyone reading this struggles with depression or what they think may be depression I would highly recommend talking to someone. I had depression even before cancer and it is just a very lonely and painful place to be.

Thank you for reading through this very long post! It is so helpful for me to write it all out and hope that maybe someone else can learn through my ups and downs. Thank you as always for your continued prayers.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009: Chemo Eve, Again

Christmas Eve only comes once a year. Why can't Chemo Eve come once a year? Or never. Physically Kristi is doing OK (all things considered). The nausea and fatigue have worsened with each round. To say she is dreading tomorrow would be an understatement. She had a 2 page update all typed up but then deleted it because she said it was too much of a "downer". I guess we are just getting tired again of the cancer story. Everything we do revolves around the cancer. Cancer cancer cancer. It's everything we do. 24/7. I guess we're just a little burned out. Kristi just wants to run and hide. Some days I do too.

About 2 months ago I upped my "happy pill" dose (per my doc's recommendation) and I say it has helped. Some people are surprised I'm so open about taking an anti-depressant. I say "who cares"?! Depression is the invisible side of any struggle that people don't often see or hear about. But - it can be just as difficult (or worse) than the physical struggles. It's so hard to see her down like this. Tonight, please pray not only for Kristi's physical well being, but also specifically for her emotional well being. She really needs a lift.

I've been sitting here staring at the screen for 15 minutes and have run out of things to say so I will end the update for tonight and we'll update later in the week. Thanks again for your blanket of prayers.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, February 2, 2009: WOW!

Things went smoothly today starting with Dr. Downey's visit this "lumps or bumps". That was good news. Chemo was uneventful. Everything was on schedule and we should be out of here within the hour.

We just got her CA125 results...her CA125 level PLUNGED to 98. Praise God!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 2009: Chemo Eve

Tis the night before chemo and all is quiet. We enjoyed a fun night at our friend's house watching the Superbowl. Now the kids are in bed and we are just sitting on the couch reading. Boring, I know. But it's the night before chemo so we're just enjoying quiet time. Kristi has already taken her Ambien and I will be taking mine shortly. We have to take Ambien on the night before chemo or we just lie in bed and toss and turn all night. Chemo days are kind of a drag.

We first meet with Dr. Downey at 9:00 for her monthly physical exam, then off to the chemo clinic. Tomorrow she will get both chemos so it will be a relatively long day. She will also get her CA125 level checked. Hopefully we get the results by the time we leave. This will be the first CA125 level check since she began chemo. We'll update tomorrow night. Sorry to keep it short but I need to get to bed.

Thanks again!