Monday, January 28, 2008

Last chemo... for now

Hey everyone- Tomorrow should be my last chemo for atleast a month or more if everything goes as planned. I have to be off chemo for a month before surgery so I can regain my strength. So tomorrow should be it for awhile. yaaaa! I hope though that this weeks chemo isn't too bad. I wasn't feeling great today, my whole body hurt and I was just tired. I don't know if this is because the weekend events are catching up to me (dancing and staying up late on saturday) or if I am coming down with something. I hope it is the first one. That wouldn't be good to be sick and get chemo, but I guess if I was sick, they won't give me chemo anyway. I just dread chemo weeks. I feel so helpless and frustrated because I am so helpless. Doug has so much pressure on him doing all the work and then I have to call on everyone to help me out. Which I am very bad about doing. Oh well. I am glad I won't have to worry about it after this for awhile.
Oh, Ella has done great without her binky, she really didn't even have a fit the first nights we took it away, which surprised us! I had to rock her to sleep the first few nights, but she has done sooooo well! I am really proud of her. She is also still going potty on the big girl potty. But she isn't without her pull ups yet. When we do try to put her in big girl underwear she usually wets them fairly quickly.
We did get out yesterday and enjoyed the nice weather. The family took a walk. Lexi, the dog, had a great time, sniffing every wet spot around the neighborhood! Ella rode her tricycle, of course with the help of daddy! It was great to be outside and actually see some people around the neighborhood! I hope you all are doing well! you are always in my prayers. now ella and I are saying prayers together at night too! she is getting funnier and funnier by the day, as well as peskier and peskier. but it is too cute! anyway, goodbye for now. I will give you an update of how chemo week went when I am feeling up to it! shawndra

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Soooo tired

Hello everyone- Now that I am feeling better I can write more. I don't know what my problem was yesterday but I was extremely exhausted and just could not function. Thankfully my mother came to help me out with Ella, thank you mom!!! Even last night I couldn't do anything. Doug gave Ella a bubble bath, he does the bubble bathes with Ella in our big jacuzzi tub since I really can't take baths because of my ostomy. Ella loves those baths! She has so much fun. She definitely needed a bath too! Anyway, she is doing well without binky. She still wines for binky from time to time. She did sleep all through the night last night though. She wouldn't go down for her nap yesterday though, so she was extremely tired last night. The last few nights, I have rocked her to sleep and she does pretty well. She did wake up the first night though in the night and cried for binky. Again, I just rocked her and she went back to sleep. So it is going okay. She went back to daycare today, I am not sure how that will go. One of her friends there still uses the binky all the time. But her cousins, Keaton and Avery, don't use a binky. So we tried to rationalize it and tell her, well they don't have a binky. So, hopefully in a few days she will have forgotten about the binky for good! It is hard when she cries out "binky, binky, binky". It breaks my heart that I am not giving it to her but I have to have tough love and think that this is benefitting her in the long run.
I just got back from my weekly blood draw. The rest of the week is fairly low key. Nothing much going on. I have been laying low this past week, just because of the fatigue. I am feeling a bit more rested today so hopefully I can get back out there and be more productive and keep on livin'. I think the weather is taking a toll on everyone too, don't you think. By this time, we are all tired of the cold, being stuck inside and are wanting spring to hurry up and get here so we can get outside again! I miss seeing all the neighbors out and about. I need to start exercising more too in order to gain strength for surgery. It is hard to get motivated when I am cold all the time! Anyway, I am going to rest some today and get a few things done around the house. I am actually going to cook dinner for Doug tonight! Yaaa!
I feel like such a horrible wife, I don't really cook. Especially after all the neighbors and friends have brought over these great meals. I realized I really can't cook. I wish I could whip up these wonderful dinners everyone else makes. Ugh! I just don't enjoy it. I need to head back to dream dinners and make some meals. That is an ingenius place! I love it and Doug loves it. I feel like I can cook, hehe, and he thinks I can cook, hehe.
Have a great week everyone! talk to you soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Bye Bye Binky

This could be a rough night. We decided tonight was the night to finally get rid of the binky. We have been trying to for weeks, but it just never seemed like the right time until now. We told her we were giving her binkies to babies who need them and that she is now a big girl and doesn't need them anymore. I just finished rocking her to sleeping because she was having a fit crying out, "binky, binky, binky..." I hope she doesn't wake up all throughout the night wanting binky, it could be a long night and a long day tomorrow.
Sorry I haven't written in so long. THis last week was chemo week. It actually went pretty good. Brandi, my friend and neighbor went with me to chemo. Time seemed to fly by, thank you Brandi for going with me. I was tired this week,per usual but no other major concerns! I did get my surgery scheduled for March 6th. So I will have one more round of chemo in a couple weeks, then I will stop for awhile before the surgery. I have to be off chemo about a month before surgery to build my immune system back up for surgery. I will be having the surgery in Omaha, so I need to figure out arrangements with Ella. That is going to be very difficult to be gone from her under these circumstances.
I am kind of between a rock and a hard place with the surgery. But ultimately I hope I have the more indepth surgery and longer recovery because that means they were able to remove some of the cancerous areas and possibly prolong my life. If I have the shorter surgery and recovery, that means they couldn't do much because the cancer is too wide spread in my body and not much else can be done besides chemo keeping me alive while it still works for me. Please pray this next month and a half or longer that the cancer is contained enough that the doctors can get rid of some of the cancer whether by debulking or doing intraperitoneal chemo.
I want to thank all the families in my neighborhood who have brought meals to us on chemo weeks. You all are a blessing to us. That helps us out tremendously on those weeks. Especially Doug who has to come home from work and take care of everything, that is one less thing he has to worry about. So thank you all! Thank you Jenny E. for organizing it all too, we appreciate you all so much!
anyway, I am freezing in this front room right now so I am going to say goodbye. This week is an off week, so I hope to make the most of it! happy Martin Luther King Jr. day tomorrow to you all! Take a moment to reflect on what the day means. Good night to all. I hope you have a restful night, we may be restless tonight running back and forth to check on Ella if she cries out for binky throughout the night. Hopefully she will do well without binky though. Good night everyone! shawndra

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ski Trip

Hey Everyone- I hope you are all doing well and having a great weekend! I just got back from a week in Snowmass, Colorado. My parents, sister with her family, my great grandma, Doug, Ella and I all went together. It was absolutely beautiful up there with a lot of snow. I mean A LOT of snow! We used to go to Snowmass every year growing up. Andrea and I haven't been for several years, since starting our families. So it was so good to be back there and see how things have changed and stayed the same. I had been wanting to take Doug there for so long to show him the mountain. He is a snowboarder and we are pretty equally matched so we have a good time skiing/boarding together! It was a great time. I bet you are wondering if I skiied, I did a little bit! I only skiied a few hours at a time and only 3 days out of the five but I did get to ski a little bit. A couple of the days I was feeling pretty good and felt like my old self skiing fast down the hill. One of the days, my body was pretty tired and it was frustrating that my body couldn't do what it used to be able to do. I also didn't ski more because my body was pretty sore and out of shape so I didn't want to push it and hurt myself. This again, was a bit frustrating because again, I am not my old self. I did wear a helmet, my oncologist really pushed this, especially since I am on Coumadin! So I did wear it and only fell once.
I don't know if I told you, right before we left, I fell picking up Ella from daycare and twisted my foot. I didn't break it, thankfully, and it healed quickly so it didn't affect the skiing. Whew, i was concerned about that.
Now, we are back, that was a long driving trip, but Ella did so well. We were so proud of her. I head back to chemo this week, starting Tuesday. I did talk to Dr. Foster this past week. It sounds like the surgery is a go for probably early March. I have to talk to my oncologist and make sure he is on the same page but if all works out okay, I will start to wean my chemo. This means I will drop one of the drugs for the next two rounds of chemo, the Avastin. Then I will be off a month from chemo before I can have surgery. So that will probably fall early March.
This will be a bit of a challenge since the surgery will be up at Creighton in Omaha. It could be a major surgery it could end up being just a laprascopic procedure depending on what they find when they look. I hope they can do a lot, but that would then require the more difficult recovery. So it is a bit of a catch twenty two but if they see that they can't do much when they get in there because it is so bad and wide spread, then my recovery will be much easier and I will get back on chemo sooner. Anyway, I will about that later, or not at all, I can't do anything about it so why worry, right? Well, I will let you all know how chemo goes this week. Have a great week! shawndra

Friday, January 4, 2008

Staying steady

Hey everyone- Well I got my CEA done this week. It is about the same as last time, around 17, so I guess that is good that it is atleast not getting higher, but staying steady. I thought I was getting another urinary infection but had it tested today and there wasn't. It must be that darn ureteral stent bothering me, ugh! I am going to check that out with my urologist. Nothing else to report. I hope everyone has a great weekend! Ours, as always, is going to be eventful! Talk to you all soon. Love, shawndra

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy, Healthy New Year!


Ella and Cousin Keaton sledding on Christmas Day (click for larger photo)

Well, we definitely started the new year right! We had a great new years party with a few friends and family! It was also my friend Sara's birthday on New Year's Eve and Angie's birthday today, New Years Day. I want to wish both of you a very happy birthday. Both of you are special friends to me and I wish you all the best as you age and droop, hehe. I bet you weren't expecting that were you. No really, I love you both and happy birthday.

New Years eve was a blast, we just had an outright fun time! Some of us got a little quirky, some of us got a little tipsy but I think all in all everyone had a good time! We just let our inhibitions go and had fun!!! Thank you all who came to celebrate the new year with us!

I didn't get your name, the girl who wrote and said she saw me at the gas station! That is so interesting. I remember turning around and seeing you and catching your eye! I was on the phone wishing my father a happy new year but I remember distinctly seeing you! I think you were wearing a blue jacket, weren't you. I think that stood out to me because I was wearing a blue jacket, a new jacket I just purchased for skiing! weeee. Anyway, thank you so much for telling me, that is... I guess the only way I can describe it is cool. I wish I got to talk to you! It is such a strange thing that people recognize me. I actually had a woman say something to me in the grocery store once, she was like, are you Shawndra, I read your blog. I think that is so great! I am just amazed that people read my blog, especially people who have no connection to me, they just somehow started reading and continued. Thank you to you all! I am just so amazed by you all as well as family members of people who know me or friends of friends. I am soooooo blessed to have you all touch my life. It means a great deal to me to know you all are out there.

I think 2008 is going to be a great year! I hope to have a surgery that can potential get rid of a lot of the cancer in my body and hopefully prolong my life. I look forward to spending time with my friends and family. Lately, I feel like I have lost touch or don't see a lot of my friends anymore and I miss that. I know the holidays can do that, make things so busy you don't have time to see everyone. But I look forward to having time to see all my friends and get to spend time with each of you! That is one great thing about this, I have learned what my priorities are in life. I am lucky that I can focus on those priorities when I am feeling well...that is spending time with people, the most important thing to me! Time! I hope you all enjoy time this year with your friends and family as well! Here's wishing you all a very happy, healthy, safe and fun 2008! Talk to you all soon. I am heading to bed early, last night was a bit too much fun for this girl!
Sorry, especially you baby, I just proof read this blog and there a lot of sentences that aren't complete, run on's, etc. oy-ve, I also apologize to any of the English teachers reading this. I don't claim to be good at English or grammar, I am just trying to get my point across from the thoughts that pop into my head and come out through my fingers. so please forgive the bad writing. 2008 is going to be great. (that rhymes) Have a nice short work week everyone! Shawndra