Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday, August 31, 2010: Update

I just wanted to give an update on Kristi. She has stopped taking her chemo pill for now. She spoke with her nurse yesterday and since we already have an appointment next week her nurse agreed that was the right thing to do. So physically she is feeling a little bit better each day. She still gets fatigued very easily and has to take breaks often. She over did herself today and when I came home from work she was crashed in bed.

Emotionally, she is also a little better but she still has several aches and pains and rashes all over that are concerning. Her nurse said that none of the symptoms Kristi described are common with this chemo. So that of course gets her mind going. Saturday (or Sunday - all the days blend together these days) we had a brief breakdown. Basically, we talked about how much reality sucks. Cancer sucks. Have I ever said that before? After nearly 4 years we have become excellent liars. When people ask "how are you?" we can reply "OK" or "good" in a pretty convincing way. I have to admit, Kristi is way better than me. I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeves, Kristi is the quiet one. You have to watch those quiet ones. Reality is we're not really OK. We're anything but OK. But what are we supposed to do? If we just dwelled in self pitty the days would be miserable. So we try to make each day better than the last. We know we only dwell in these temporary shells for a limited amount of time so we're thankful for every additional day we're here. That sure is easy to type. Now walking the talk is the tough part.

On a lighter note, the kids had their first day of school yesterday. We now officially have a middle schooler. Where did the years go?!

A couple weeks ago I went on my annual "man trip". This year we went to the Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. We spent a week canoeing, hiking, more canoeing, well, mainly canoeing. We did of course find a nice 33' cliff that needed to be jumped from. I took a couple pictures during the week. This is one of my favorites. The loons were incredible!

Here's a short video (1 minute) of our jump. And for the record, I wasn't the only one that chickened out on their first attempt. But I was the only one that plugged my nose. Oh well. After hitting play, click on the 4 little arrows in the lower right corner for full screen HD.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday, August 29, 2010: One Week of Being Weak

It's been one week now. I'm still tired and weak. I have very little energy, occasional bouts of nausea and I'm achy. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am going to call my oncologist tomorrow morning and ask to have blood work and a ct scan done.

On a more positive note ~ it's Nathan's 10th birthday today ~ Happy Birthday Nathan!!!!!

We've added a new link to the blog ~ it's a meal schedule. If you would be willing to bring a meal click on "Bring a Meal" and it will bring you to a website where you can sign up. Thank you!!

I need to keep it short tonight because...I'm tired.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010: In Need of Prayers

Please pray extra for Kristi as she continues to struggle with nausea and fatigue. In her usual fashion, she way understated her side effects in her last post as “feeling crummy”. I can tell you she feels worse than crummy but she doesn’t want to have everyone worried about her. She’s always thinking of everyone else. :) Seems like she has been sick more than not the past couple months. She gets out when she can but then usually pays the price when she gets home by having extreme fatigue and nausea. This is really hard on the kids as Kristi is usually too tired to go on bike rides, play outside, etc.

Her mind (and mine) has been spending a lot of time thinking about the “what ifs”. This is mentally draining on top of her physical fatigue. We also have had 3 deaths recently that were pretty close to us. 2 out of the 3 were cancer related. Those really hit close to home.

So as we go into the weekend, please hold Kristi and the family up in extra prayers.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010: A New Journey

I have been feeling crummy the past couple days. Yesterday started with me throwing up all the water I had drank that morning. Gross. I was very weak and tired but by the end of the day I was able to eat food and keep it down. I was still very fatigued though.

This morning I was still very tired. I was able to eat and wasn't nauseous but I still had that weak/tired feeling. My dear sweet husband stayed home from work to "babysit" me. We ended up going in for blood work this afternoon to see if maybe my counts were low. My nurse just called me with the results and apparently I am "fine". My counts are good.

So, maybe I just have some sort of bug that will hopefully go away soon. The kids start school next week and a lot of things need to happen between now and then - no time for germs!!

On a completely different note ~ I have started a new blog. I've been wanting to do this for quite a while now. Most of my updates on this blog aren't really cancer related - they are more about my relationship with God. I wanted a place to share the things He is teaching me that was completely separate from cancer. We will still keep this blog going when we have medical information to share. All my other postings will be on my blog. The address is www.krogalske.blogspot.com. A new journey has begun!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010: Grumpy

If you look up the word grumpy in the dictionary I think you would find my picture right next to it. I looked the definition up online and it sums my attitude up perfectly:

grumpy: surly or ill-tempered; discontentedly or sullenly irritable; grouchy.

I think I've been on a downward spiral for a while now and didn't realize it. I'm not depressed, just grumpy. Tonight I googled "what does the bible say about being grumpy". (I know, I'm weird). Nothing really came up (not that I really thought it would) but one of the sites that came up talked about contentment so I searched biblegateway's website for the verse about being content in any situation. Here is The Message's translation:

I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. Philippians 4:12

I know that being content in every situation can only come from God. But, what do you do when you are stuck in a deep, dark pit of grumpiness? When the last thing you feel like doing (but know you should be) is reading the bible and praying? Well, in my case you blog. I can feel when God is tugging at my heart and telling me to share a brutally honest update. So, that's what I'm doing.

I'm not sharing this so people will leave comments telling me that it is okay to feel this way because life has been hard for us. Cancer has definitely brought some ugly moments our way but in reality, we are so extremely blessed. Things could be worse. A lot worse.

The reason I'm sharing is first because God told me to. Secondly, I'm guessing I am not the only person to ever feel this way. So, if you are a fellow grumpy person out there - know that you are not alone. Finally, by typing this all out I am able to process things better. As I was reading through Philippians earlier these verses really hit home ~

Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:4-9

If I didn't feel the tug to do an update I don't know that I would have gotten my bible out. I probably would have just stewed in my pity party. I'm still grumpy . . . but I'm reminded once again that I serve a very awesome God. And with Him ~ all things are possible.

(Aaaaaahhhhhh!!! I've spent the past half hour trying to add lines between paragraphs. Sooooooo not helping with my grumpiness. Perfect spacing is just not meant to be with this post though so I'm letting it go. Okay, so I'm trying to let it go.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010: Consider This

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-3 NIV

We've faced a lot of trials and I know there are a lot more to come. I have to admit that when I read that verse my initial response is always "trials are pure joy ~ I don't think so!" The other day when I was reading this verse the word "consider" jumped out at me. Here's a couple of definitions I found online for the word "consider":

To think carefully about, especially in order to make a decision; contemplate; reflect on. To regard as or deem to be. To think, believe, or suppose, to bear in mind; make allowance for, to pay attention to; regard. To regard with respect, thoughtfulness, honor, etc.

This verse isn't telling me that I need to accept trials as pure joy but I should consider it. God knows that my first reaction is typically 'trials = bad, hard, difficult, stressful ~ anything but joyful'. This verse has challenged me to think about our trials from His perspective. In my heart I understand it but my mind is still ~ well ~ considering the possibilities.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:3-9

Hmmmm ~ trials come to prove the genuineness of our faith so that we can reach our ultimate goal - the salvation of our soul. Yikes - instead of whining to God about my trials I should be thanking Him for them? Something to consider . . . . .

Monday, August 2, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010: Going, Going, Soon to be Gone!

Slowly but surely my CA125 is coming down ~ three months ago it was 598, two months ago it was 544. Today's number . . . . . drum roll please . . . . . 440!!!!!!!!!! I'd type a longer update but we're busy celebrating :)