Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring is bad luck for me......

First of all, Jared and I are now separated. For good this time.  I'm so stupid for believing him last time he cheated. And the time before that, and the time before that, and you get the picture.

A few months ago we were having a talk about him and his relationships with women after I pass away.  The women he cheats with are always sleazy white trash, and I don't want someone like that around or raising my kids after I am gone.  So I mentioned a few women to him and said, "please go for women like these." Just as examples. Well I guess he took me literally and forgot the fact that I am still very much alive.  I was suspicious that something was going on and so I checked his text records.  He had been texting one of the women I mentioned to him. He told her lies such as "our marriage was over long before she got cancer" and little things such as I take back every gift that he buys for me. (Never once have I ever taken back anything).  I guess he lied to make her feel less guilty about what they were doing?  I don't know. I looked up to this woman, and thought she was an outstanding person. A nice church going lady.  My girls would go to her house and play, and her girls would come here too. (for those in the Vale area....I know you are curious as to who this is.  I won't tell you. That would be rude.  But her first name starts with an "L" and her last name starts with a "Z" and she had a business in town that shut down a few months ago where you could go have sweets, or a nice sandwich for lunch. Shocked?!?!  Yeah, I was too.)

The thing that hurt me the very most about the text messages were in the beginning, she said " But your wife is sick, she needs you"  and his response was "so???"  And the fact that she obviously believes the lies he tells her about me.  Nothing in the world bugs me more than someone being blamed for something they didn't do.  And who knows what kind of things he is telling people about me to make what he is doing seem ok.

On a positive note, I got to go on a 4 day get away with my high school friends in Boise.  I had the most fun I have had in years.  They really are the best friends ever.

The first day I was gone, Baylee broke her leg by landing wrong on her Grandma's trampoline.  She had Surgery to put some screws in and she is out of school until at least the 15th.  She is a trooper though, and Dallin and Tyleigh are quick to fetch her things or entertain her when she is bored.

I have been doing pretty good with my health the last several weeks, but the dreaded CAT scan is coming up at the end of the month and that makes me nervous.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with stress with all that is going on in my life. But other times I feel a weird sense of peace :)  Everything is going to be alright!  And there are things that I won't have to worry about anymore.  I feel each of your prayers for me, and I appreciate them more than you will know. Hopefully the Summer will be a little less exciting.  Some emotional boredom would be welcome.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Everything is stable for the moment...

My CAT scan showed everything was basically stable. There were two tumors that had questionable growth (shown in the images below).

The Pictures with the arrows show the tumors that MIGHT have grown a little. I figure if they aren't sure if they grew or now, then I shouldn't worry about it.  Still lots of healthy liver left, even with at least a dozen tumors.  I'm lucky I guess that the cancer spread to such a large organ.
My oncologist didn't seem to concerned about it too much.  I am staying on the same chemo regimen for the next 3 months and then scan again.

I also talked to the Dr about my fatigue and depression.  He put my on Celexa. I've been on it a week now, and I seem to feel somewhat better.  Between the medication and the sun coming out after a month of inversion I think I can start feeling more like normal.

Basketball season is winding down for Dallin's Freshman year.
Baylee's Basketball and Volleyball seasons are over.

One one of Tyleigh, my Bride of Frankenstein. 
I am so blessed to still be here with my beautiful family, making memories. Many more to come.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Small update, Lots of memories and Girls Camp 1984

  So I decided I'm going to use this blog as a journal/memory keeper of sorts. Not just cancer updates.  I want to save memories for my kids to be able to read in 20 years :).  I'm going to go back in time and record memories of my childhood, my children's births, wedding day ALL that I can remember.  I also want to ask a favor.  Use my email address  and send me memories.  If you have a funny story, or any story that involves me I want you to send it to me. (PICTURES too please!!!) I am going to include those emailed memories in my blog. Not only will I get a kick out of it, but my kids will too. And it will help them know me better.

    So I have been having a big ol' pity party lately.  I guess I'm entitled because cancer and everything that comes with it really sucks.  Everyone is entitled to occasional pity parties as long as your life doesn't become a pity party. People that are in a bad mood or a "poor me" state of mind get on my nerves.  :)

    So I am feeling better emotionally (not so much physically, but I'm not going to go there right now).  I started taking my chemo pills again after taking a break for a few days.

   Part of my personality that really annoys me is that I have such a hard time asking for / receiving help.  No matter what kind of help it is.  I feel guilty.  Why is that?  Do I need help?  Yep.  But when someone actually does, it makes me cringe.  What is wrong with me?  I used to get meals. Gals would come over and straighten up the house.  I stopped it all.  Because I can do it myself.  I can cook, I can clean, I can drive myself to chemo. Even if I don't feel good most of the time I CAN DO IT.  I'd rather do it myself. It's not that I don't appreciate help. I really do.  I just have a hard time with it all. Always have. Any advice for me?  Why am I like that?

    Another thing that bugs me, is I am such a homebody.  It doesn't bother me at all to just be at my house alone. Don't get me wrong, I like being around other people (mostly my family). Being introverted bugs the heck outta me.  Such wedding day was horrible.  Not because it was a horrible day, it wasn't. It was an awesome day.  But I hate being the center of attention.  And a bride is the center of attention.  All those people, and having to talk to them. EEK.  I just wish that I was the kind of person that could just go up and talk to people. BUT....once you KNOW me, and I feel comfortable around you, the real me comes out. And to tell you the truth I'm pretty much a weirdo. ;)

     So I was talking to my kids this morning and somehow ended up telling them a few stories about Girls Camp.  I'll share them with you.  Advanced warning....I have a weak bladder. Always have.  Especially when laughing.  We were lucky enough to be in cabins. I had taken a shower and had come out with a towel wrapped around me. My friends Jenni and Shannon were looking out the cabin door, exited about something.  I think they said a snake or a lizard. So of course I wanted to see it.  So to the door I went to have a peek.  They proceeded to yank the towel off of me, shove me out the door and lock it.  I was laughing, banging on the door begging them to let my naked self back in.  When they finally opened the door, all that was waiting for them was a puddle. :)  I had peed, then ran to the back of the cabin where there were towels and bathing suits hanging. I had to take another shower. At least I didn't pee my pants ;)

      Stephanie, Kara, Chloe, Jessica in their side of the cabin

(Jenni, Shannon, Susie- Girls camp)

   The last day of girls camp we have a "testimony meeting".  Anyone who wanted to would get up in front of the group and described what they had learned, friendships that had been made, lessons that had been learned etc. It was a very emotional meeting, where most of us girls were crying and listening intently. The scene was a half dome of stairs/seating with a fireplace at the bottom where the girl/leader speaking would stand. I was seated at the top of the stairs next to my friend Shannon. We were 12.  She started complaining that she was having cramps and thought that maybe she was going to start her period.  I chuckled a bit and whispered to her that it was probably gas pains.  Not more that 10 seconds later the quietness was broken with a very loud fart coming from Shannon's butt region.  Of course everyone turned around to stare.  Shannon proceeded to shove me and say "LISA!" Everyone thought it was me!  Of course being me I start laughing. I peed. Again. My urine started cascading down the stairs/seats toward others.  I spilled my hot chocolate on purpose, trying to cover the accident.  My friend Jenni went and fetched me a sweatshirt which I tied around my waist so I could go back to the cabin and change. I got back at her that night with shaving cream and toothpaste filled oreos,

                                                        Shannon waking up to shaving cream :)

Jenni, Suzie, Shannon, Jana....with our camp flag. We were the "Giving Pack Rats". Every cabin had their own flag and animal for their theme.
 Me on my camp bed.....this must have been about 1984?  Loved my Cool Ranch Doritos. Notice the picture of my cat on the wall?
Jenni on her bed.  Love the fact that she brought posters.  Michael J Fox and Rob Lowe.  Jenni has been one of my best friends for over 30 years and was my maid of honor at my wedding.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

End of Summer update

  My last cat scan wasn't good. It showed growth in the tumors that are in my liver. We counted a dozen tumors and stopped there. Liver re-section is out of the question because of the amount of tumors I have and their location. So basically unless there is a miracle, I will just continually be on chemotherapy.

  Once the chemo stops working I am a candidate for Y-90 radiation (I think I explained this in an earlier post. But if you are interested you can look up the information on it here:

  When I first started chemo I brought home a fanny pack full of chemo that pumped into my body for 48 hours. This time I am going that again, except it is in pill form. I still go in every other tuesday and get an infusion of avastin. Then the pills (called xeloda) are 7 days on, 7 days off.  My insurance (whole story in itself) was being a pain in the butt, but I finally got them (can we say expensive?).  They aren't too bad. I take 3 pills in the morning and 3 with dinner. They make me tired and nauseated but that's it. I can take anti-nausea pills and usually I'm fine. (I did get sick once.)

  So my insurance was Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon. Awesome insurance. Premiums were $520 a month, but they paid 100% after I met my deductible (which I did after my first appointment in January). Then come July 1st I got forced to switch to some federal  pre-existing condition insurance. My premium dropped to $417 a month, but this insurance sucks. They only cover 70%. When your medical bills are over $10,000 a month this leaves a mighty chunk left for us to pay. Not gonna happen. We would starve. So I do my best to ignore the bills. (Not the best way to deal with it, but at this point I don't know what else to do.) Plus I had to re-pay the deductible.   It's total crap. Luckily the insurance stuff changes come October 1st. I'm hoping to get back with BCBS. But that also means re-paying my deductible. (That will be 3 times I've paid my deductible in 2013 if you've lost count.)  It's just crap that people with cancer have to worry about all this financial BS when we should just be focusing on fighting this nasty disease.

  On a better note, I am going to Washington D.C. and Florida in October. Mostly paid for! (Colon Cancer stuff, more info later) I am so excited! I will need a little money.

  I am thinking about selling a few quilts to help out with the costs. I have a blog, where I have pictures of some of the quilts I have made/sold in the past. (You can see them here :   If anyone is interested get ahold of me through facebook, or emailing me:, or you can send me a text (541) 212-0606.  They make great Christmas presents!

  I'd like to thank everyone for your continued thoughts and prayers.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

I'm a slacker...

So I've really been slacking with my blog. I'm going to try and be better about it because I know that quite a few people use this to keep up with what is going on with me.

Right now I'm still doing the "every 3 weeks treatment". My schedule for June is chemo on the 3rd, CAT scan on the 17th and chemo/CAT scan results June 25th.

I'd been not feeling too well. I have had 4 episodes of bad upper stomach pain that would last for a couple days, accompanied by nausea and an all around feeling of yuck. The first time it happened was March 30th (Saturday before Easter). I was sick all day Easter and finally went to the ER  Monday April 1st after getting the kids all in bed (didn't want to worry them). I had bloodwork done, and an EKG. Chemo can wreak havoc on your heart so that had me concerned. It can also cause blood clots, but all that was ruled out. They gave me strong IV heartburn medication which did nothing and sent me home.

We attended the NNU cancer awareness baseball game on April 20th. I got sick half way through the game with the same pain. It went away on it's own after a few days. When I went in for Chemo I was dehydrated and had protein and bilirubin in my urine. I got two bags of fluids along with my Avastin and was told to come back if my pain didn't go away.

To make a long story short, after several episodes of this pain, nausea and feeling like crap I did a lot of research because I knew it wasn't heartburn and I was getting scared and frustrated. When reading the side effects of all the medication I am on I came across Cymbalta (which I am taking daily for peripheral neuropathy, and one of the most common side effects is "Upper stomach pain, and gastritis". UGG. I hate the fact that I take one thing to help combat something and it seems to cause another issue which leads to another medication to help that issue etc. It's a vicious circle. So even though I knew from reading that there would be not-so-nice withdrawal symptoms from stopping Cymbalta cold turkey (mostly because it is also used for depression and anxiety) I quit taking it.  I have a little more numbness in my hands and feet but I haven't seemed to lose any motor function. I felt like I was losing my mind for a few days, but now....what a difference. No more chest/stomach pains! No more constipation. I feel like a new woman and things are looking up! Now as long as my scan results come back good I feel like I have a renewed hope. I was beginning to get really worried that something was just not right with my body and I thought something horrible was going on. I feel so much relief now, physically and emotionally. :)

My mom and sister came to visit for a week in April. We had a really good visit, but it is really hard to see my mom in the physical/mental state that she is in. She's in her 80's so I guess it is to be expected to some extent, but none the less I wish that she were in better health and it is hard to see a parent in that condition.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Not sure what to think.....

     Heard news I hadn't heard before. Everything is stable. No shrinkage, no growth. The same. The Dr. seemed happy. The nurses seemed happy. It wasn't what I wanted to hear but it wasn't the worst I could have heard. Keeping up the same regimen for the next 3 months then scan again. My red blood cells are almost normal (yay!) but my white blood cell counts were up a bit. Just going to keep a eye on things. My kidneys were hurting after my CT scan, so he thinks I probably had a small kidney infection that is clearing up on its own. (From the contrast stuff they have you drink before the procedure).

    I've been asked to give an interview for MSTI (Mountain State Tumor Institute) which is associated with St.Lukes. I think it's an on camera thing to promote the new hospital they are building in Fruitland Idaho where MSTI will be located in.

    Also they invited my family to a Northwest Nazarene University Baseball game on the 20th. It's a cancer awareness game. They will have activities for the kids, and a balloon release to honor those who have been touched by cancer. They are getting us t-shirts and hats to wear :) It should be an awesome experience.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Chemo #21

    Twenty One! Unless I have miscounted. ( Which knowing me I very well could have.) This week things went very well. When I went in for treatment three weeks ago, I had a lot of trouble with my port. They had need doing a lot of moves which made me look like I was doing Jane Fonda's workout. The moves did nothing but make me look like an idiot, and entertain my fellow chemo getters. :)  They put in some blood clot medicine, and after about 45 minutes in started working. It made me a little nervous, because if it didn't start working right I would have had to have a surgery done to put in a new port.

     In less than two weeks I have cat scan number five. And then on April 2, I will go over the cat scan results with my oncologist. I am still only on avastin which makes me really nervous for the cat scan results. Avastin is really easy on me.

The most common side effects of Avastin are:

High blood pressure
Inflammation of the nose
Too much protein in the urine
Taste change
Dry skin
Rectal bleeding
Tear production disorder
Back pain
Inflammation of the skin

     I haven't had any nosebleeds in a few weeks now.  My nose still hurts occasionally, which must be the "inflammation". I get tired easily, and get headaches on occasion. But other than that, I don't have any other side effects. Knock on wood. In my head I think because I don't feel like crap maybe the medicine isn't working. But my last cat scan I was "only on avastin", and it showed that my tumors in my liver were still shrinking.

     The neuropathy in my hands and feet seems to be getting better with the cymbalta. The negative side to getting the feeling back is that I have pain. The doctors are helping me manage it pretty well.

     One thing that scares me a little bit, Is the pain that I get occasionally in my upper right abdominal area. I'm sure it's my liver. I can only hope it's the pain of the cancer shrinking away.

   Anyone want to fork over a Hawaiian Vacation for Two in June? Jared and I will be having our 20th wedding anniversary!?!