Saturday, January 31, 2009

Staggering statistics (ie. why more money should go to Ovarian Cancer research)

Brought to you by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance

Each year, approximately 20,000 American women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer and about 15,000 women die of the disease. In 2008, it is estimated that 21,650 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer and 15,520 women will die from the disease.

Malignant ovarian cancer incidence and death counts
Incidence Count
Mortality Count








Approximately 174,236 women living in the United States have or have a history of ovarian cancer.

Lifetime risks
One in 72 women will develop ovarian cancer (lifetime risk).
One in 95 women will die from ovarian cancer.
A woman’s lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1.39 percent.
A woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer and dying from it is 1.05 percent.

Survival and stage at diagnosis
The overall five-year relative survival rate for all women with ovarian cancer is 46 percent. This means that compared to women in the general population, five years from the time of diagnosis only 46 percent of women with ovarian cancer are still alive.
However, the survival rate improves greatly to 93 percent if the cancer is diagnosed at an early stage before it has spread. Only 19 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at this local stage.
Approximately 75 percent of ovarian cancer cases are diagnosed at an advanced stage after the cancer has spread beyond the ovary.
The five-year survival rate for women with ovarian cancer has not significantly increased in the past 30 years—a mere 8 percent.
Women diagnosed with ovarian cancer from 1975 to 1979 experienced a five-year survival rate of approximately 38 percent. Today this rate is approximately 46 percent.
Ovarian cancer survival rates have not improved as significantly as those of some other cancers that affect primarily women. For example, women diagnosed with breast cancer from 1975 to 1979 experienced a five-year survival rate of 75 percent and today this rate is 89 percent.

The issue of ovarian cancer recurrence is complicated. Research suggests that between 70 percent to 90 percent of all women with ovarian cancer will, at some point, have a recurrence of their disease. The risk of recurrence varies based on multiple factors, including the stage at diagnosis.

Approximately 90 – 95 percent of patients with stage IV ovarian cancer will have a recurrence at some point.
Approximately 80 – 85 percent of patients with stage III ovarian cancer who are suboptimal (a large volume of residual tumor remains after initial surgery) will have a recurrence.
Approximately 70 – 80 percent of patients with optimal stage III ovarian cancer will have a recurrence.
Approximately 30 percent of patients with stage II ovarian cancer will have a recurrence.
Approximately 10 percent of patients with stage I ovarian cancer will have a recurrence.
Improvements in therapy are resulting in later recurrences. However, researchers are now trying to determine whether the treatments are just delaying the recurrence or whether fewer patients overall are having recurrences.

None of the registries track this information. It has been gleaned from research articles by Deborah Armstrong, MD of our Scientific and Medical Advisory Committee. The overall number is also in the Johns Hopkins Pathology, education piece on “Treatment of Recurrent Disease”
*Note: This was published in 2002 and is the most current information available.

Age at diagnosis and death
From 2001 to 2005, the most recent period for which data is available, the median age at diagnosis for ovarian cancer was 63 years.
Approximately 87 percent of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 45 years or older.
Approximately 68 percent of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 55 years or older.
Approximately 32 percent of the women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 54 years or younger.
Approximately 13 percent of women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer are 45 years or younger.
From 2001 to 2005, the most recent period for which data is available, the median age at death for ovarian cancer was 71 years.
Rank in relation to other cancers: incidence (PDF)
Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer among women in the United States.(2004)

Rank in relation to other cancers: mortality
Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among U.S. women.

Ovarian cancer has remained the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death among U.S. women since 1999.
Mortality rates are slightly less for minority women than for Caucasian women.
Trends in incidence and mortality
Over the past decade there has been a slight decrease – less than 1 percent per year – in ovarian cancer incidence rates, however, during the same time, the actual incidence numbers increased by approximately 3,000 women.
During most of the past decade (1996 to 2005), the ovarian cancer mortality rate has remained stable.
The breast cancer mortality rate has decreased 2.2 percent per year (1990 to 2005) and the cervical cancer mortality rate has decreased 3.4 percent per year in a similar time period (1995 to 2005).

Early Detection
Early detection of ovarian cancer can save lives. There are two main barriers to early diagnosis – the lack of an ovarian cancer screening test and a lack of ovarian cancer awareness.
Lack of Screening Test – It is important to note that the Pap test does not screen for ovarian cancer; it screens for cervical cancer and some infections. There is currently no test that exists for ovarian cancer that can be used on all women to screen for the disease, such as mammograms for breast cancer and the Pap test for cervical cancer. Methods are being researched to monitor women at high risk for the disease but currently no test exists to screen all women in the general public.

Lack of Awareness – Few women know enough about ovarian cancer and increased awareness is needed among medical professionals. Right now the best chance for early detection is to raise awareness about ovarian cancer among women and the health care community.

Current recommendations
Currently no routine screening test exists for ovarian cancer. If a woman is experiencing ovarian cancer symptoms or has a strong family history or genetic predisposition such as a BRCA mutation, doctors may monitor her with one or a combination of tests:

CA-125 blood test – CA-125 is a protein found in greater concentration in cancerous cells. Although a CA-125 blood test can be a useful tool for the diagnosis of ovarian cancer, it is not uncommon for a CA-125 count to be elevated in premenopausal women due to benign conditions unrelated to ovarian cancer. Uterine fibroids, liver disease, inflammation of the fallopian tubes and other types of cancer can elevate a woman's CA-125 level resulting in a false positive test. The CA-125 test is more accurate in postmenopausal women. However, in about 20 percent of cases of advanced stage ovarian cancer, and 50 percent of cases of early stage ovarian cancer, the CA-125 is NOT elevated, even though there is ovarian cancer present. As a result, the CA-125 is generally one of several tools used to diagnose ovarian cancer. One of the most important uses of the CA-125 test is to evaluate the disease’s progress and tumor response in patients undergoing treatment, and to monitor the levels of women in remission for evidence of disease recurrence. An elevated CA-125 can indicate ovarian cancer; however, as noted above, it may sometimes result in false positives.

Transvaginal ultrasound – A transvaginal ultrasound is a test used to examine a woman’s reproductive organs, mainly: the vagina, the uterus, the fallopian tubes, and the bladder. This is done by inserting a probe into the woman’s vagina. The probe sends off sound waves which reflect off of body structures. The waves are then received by a computer that turns them into a picture the doctor can examine.

Pelvic exam – During this exam a doctor places one or two fingers into a woman’s vagina and another over her abdomen to feel the size, shape and position of the ovaries and uterus. Ovarian cancer is usually in an advanced stage if it is found during a pelvic exam.

Friday, January 30, 2009

2nd Chemo treatment

As I said in an earlier blog, it was a 6 hour treatment that also involved the clinical trial of Avastin. She used a topical ointment to numb her skin over her port, so the hooking up of the IV was a breeze this time...yay! She started having problems pretty soon after taking the Taxol with her legs. First it felt like restless legs, and then the pain came. Sharp pains that effects her knees and legs. Her Taxol treatment is a total of 3 hours, so she was pretty miserable during that, but the other two treatments went fine. She was told she could take a half of a percoset if needed next treatment. I was not able to go due to the fact that I still wasn't sure if I was carrying a virus with me. Mom and dad were exhausted, but mom's not able to sleep well due to the steroid that they give. She doesn't sleep well for the first week after treatment.

Yesterday and today she's been feeling fine. Tomorrow is when things might start acting up. I will be heading out there tomorrow morning because I can't stand staying away any longer!! If you have messages you'd like to leave her, write them here and I'll print them out!

Mom's spirits are up and down which is, of course, completely normal. I just pray that her heart is lifted and she still feels the support she desperately needs during this time.

I'm in need of a drink

The hard kind. The "make things a little fuzzy" kind. The kind that allows me to laugh or to cry...and I need to do both.

I rarely feel this need, mostly because I don't handle liquor well (especially the next morning!) and also because I've learned to live without it.

But yesterday and this morning...gah.

I need a drink.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Little Picasso

Women...hide your Sharpies...and don't get too into blog searching. Finally, after having three kids, we had a kid use the walls and furniture to go Sharpie crazy.

Thank goodness it was on the cheaper furniture, not on the newly painted walls, and on Corrin's wall that was planned on being painted soon!! The only thing that hurts is the toy box that my mom hand painted. I'm hoping that Mr. Clean magic eraser won't let me down.

How I deal with winter

My earlier post labeled It's that time of year showed a quick sense of how I am really, really REALLY wanting it to be springtime.

I took a picture of what I'm doing in my free time:

I told you...I'm reading contantly. Putting ideas in my head, trying to find certain things either online or beg Davey to order them!! I have serious cabin fever and the only answer is more flowers!! :)

Memorable quote

I read a book yesterday by one of my favorite authors James Patterson. Mr. Patterson normally writes suspenseful mysteries or murder crime books and I love them, but yesterday I picked up a book called Sundays at Tiffany's,

The book was written after a statement that Mr. Patterson's son had said when very young. "Love means you can never be apart." During the book, that theme resonated and it was actually a love story, but boy, did that statement affect me like no other.

What does it mean to love? For me, there are quite a few different kinds of love. You've got your agape. Your unconditional. Your eros. Platonic. Familial. Religious. The way a mother loves her child. When looking up the definition, it's hard to define what love truly is. To really know, is to have really loved.

"Love isn't blind, it just only sees what matters."

"Love is friendship, friendship is love.
If love fails, friendship should remain.
For friendship is the foundation of love."

"A meeting between two beings
who complete one another,
who are made for
each other, borders already,
in my opinion, on a miracle."

"Love is like an eternal flame,
Once it is lit, it will continue to burn for all time."

These are, of course, talking of the eros love, but the idea is the same with all loves. Once you really feel love, it won't leave you. It will stay with you forever.

With all that is happening in my life, I need to remember this. Loss is huge. All encompassing. However, the idea of love never being able to be taken away from you is so powerful, it heals my heart.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Playing with Photoshop

Brian was kind enough to get me Photoshop for Christmas this year and I'm slowly starting to figure out some of the features. Here are some very rough projects that I've worked on.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Missing out

I miss my mom. I haven't seen her since her last chemo treatment because she wasn't feeling great the first week after and then my kids have been sick the last couple of weeks.

Now I think I'm coming down with a cold. I just feel like the only thing I can do to help out is to go with her to her chemo appointment and now I have to miss that. I know dad will be there, but it will be her longest chemo treatment (6 hours) and I hate to miss it. However, talking to mom made me feel a bit better because she knows and I know that it would be terrible for me to go to the cancer treatment center with a cold. I could get a lot of cancer patients sick.

I know I've said it before, but I can't stand that they live so far away. With Riordan in school only half day, I can't just make a run over there, it takes 40 minutes to get there and 40 minutes to get back, and Riordan is only gone for 3 hours. Not enough time.

I also missed celebrating my dad's birthday. He needs some joy and some time off. I'm thinking of going to see Push with him, but I know he's afraid to leave mom for too long.

Brian was sick all day today and sleeping a lot. I didn't get too much done for fear my normal activities would wake him. When he gets sick, it really wipes him out. I'm tired of colds and just wish that everyone would get better!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's that time of year

Seed, flower, bulb and shrub catalogs are pouring in. It's like Christmas everyday when I go to check the mail! It's hard, because I know most of my perennial and shrub buying will be from Picadilly rather than anywhere else (can anyone say HUGE discounts?) but I love to get ideas for the new year, and I also love to share new plants with my boss, Davey.

With the snow falling, and it currently being in the teens, I pour over the catalogs wishing it was time to plant!! I love finding new varieties of used and tried plants. Any variety of agastache catches my eye. So drought tolerant, and a very long blooming time. Plus, the hummingbirds cannot stay away from it!! is a great place to buy different varieties of agastache if it's a favorite of yours!

Agastache "Ava"

Agastache "Acapulco Orange"

I'm also very excited to see the new bulbs that I planted last fall. I know I have a bit until they start poking up, but seeing the shoots barely poking out of the ground gives me great pleasure and the hope that winter is almost done!

I will also be planting more groundcovers in the spring to go around my bulbs. Too much mulch and not enough flowers. A couple that I have been reading about is the alyssum montanam which is a beautiful yellow gold.

Another is a type of Veronica that is a nice light purple which will be a great contrast to the orange from the Juan tulip that I posted up above.

Seriously people, I cannot wait 'til spring!! I'm designing. I'm inspired. Just get here all ready!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I talked to my mom a bit the other day about prayer and praying to God that the cancer will go away. She hesitated a bit and said she was unsure to pray for that. We, as believers, talk about praying to God and asking things "according to his will". I, and my mom, have lost a LOT of people to cancer, and they were GOOD people. Fantastic people. People who died too early. It just didn't make sense. We sat over these people and prayed for them daily. Prayed that their cancer would go away. Is this how He wants us to pray????

So, when I pray, I pray that God will keep my mom's spirits up. I pray and beg to Him that my mom has more ministries to give here on Earth than up in Heaven. I pray that my dad can stay strong and will be able to deal with whatever comes his way.

According to His will.

God has a plan for each and everyone of us. We have no inkling what His plan is when it comes to our personal lives. We have to have the belief that He is in control over the situation and we just need to hang on for the ride.

On that note, please keep my friends Lena and Paul in your prayers. Their son goes in for surgery today. He is a baby who will be going under anesthesia.

Dear Lord, I pray that you calm my friend's Lena heart and mind. I pray that baby Austin's surgery goes quickly and effortlessly. I pray that she is surrounded by caring nurses that will say the right things to Lena to help her during the time where she cannot be with Austin. Please, Lord, hear my prayer. I pray this all in your son, Jesus Christ's, name. Amen.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I've been busy doing a project which means everything else falls to the wayside. Laundry piles up. Things don't get put away. I stood in one room today and realized I have many "piles" around the house that need to be taken care of. Do you guys do this? Pull things together all nice and tidy so they are sitting there for easy pick up? A pile of laundry. A pile of mail. A pile of water bottles to be washed and reused. A pile of games that need to be put away. A pile of toys. This common theme drives this OCD'er insane. Time to pick up and put away!!!

Potential problem

While trying to get Riordan up for school, I realized that there is no pulling him out of bed anymore due to the fact that he is on the top bunk! This makes mornings a little more difficult when he uses it as a power play.

The idea of ripping him out of bed and down the ladder quickly flit through my mind, but I used coercion instead.

I also forgot how hard it was to put sheets on the top bunk. I was grunting and groaning. A terrific site to behold.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Minus some awesome football pics that I have ordered and the boys' names that I have painted, painting the existing chair black and removing one of the dressers from the room, putting a closet organizing system in and getting new doors for the closet and door...we're done. Lol. We'll see if I get to half of those by next year.

More play area!!

New bunk beds

Look at those LINES!!

We'll be getting rid of one of these for even more room.

Been busy

Painting a room. Keeping the boys out of said room because of their asthma. Having one of the boys sleeping in my room which means I haven't been sleeping. Taking care of sick kid who talks constantly in his sleep and has been snorting like a pig because he's so congested. FUN!

When bed is up, I'll post pics. I'm pretty proud of the entire thing. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hard to please

Can't find pic of exact bed. Here's something really close.

Brian and I decided to start looking for a different arrangement of bunkbeds to allow the boys to have a desk in their room. This is something that Daegan has wanted as SOON as we got Corrin a desk in his room. With two boys in the room, every inch of the wall is taken with two beds, two dressers, a bookcase and windows. The room is actually a decent size with lots of room in the middle of the room, but that doesn't allow for a desk.

After searching online, we figured getting a loft bunkbed would be the best solution. You have a bed on top that runs sideways, and then the bottom bunk rests perpindicular to the top bed with a desk on one side and shelves and drawers on the other. This allows one side of the room for the bedding and desk and the other side for room to play. Great solution, right?

We knew the boys would probably argue about sleeping on the top bunk and wanted to discuss it after we had the boys look at the bed. We were wrong. Daegan got it in his head that the bottom bunk was bigger than the top bunk (even though we said they were both twin sized.) The spacial aspect makes the bed LOOK bigger and he was sure that that's the one he wanted. Well, when he made the claim he wanted the lower bunk, Riordan decided that's what HE wanted. We had to convince Riordan that the desk is both of theirs and they would share it. We tried to get Daegan to admit that he wanted the desk more than he wanted to sleep in the lower bunk so he'd sleep in the top bunk. Nothing happening there. He wanted both equally. The arguing got so bad that Brian and I both said forget it, we weren't going to get the stinkin' bunk bed. Alarm crossed the boys faces, and after discussing it more, that's when Riordan dedided to take the top bunk.

Compromising with a 6-year-old and 8-year-old. It'll wear you out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It has finally happened

Corrin is taller than me. Yesterday morning, I wasn't wearing shoes, and he was ready to leave to walk to school. I felt myself having to get on my tippy toes to give him a hug goodbye. I noticed, but thought it was because I didn't have shoes on. In the evening, I gave him another hug, and realized I was still on tippy toe and he didn't have his shoes on.

Oh boy.

I know the doctors said they saw him to be 6'4" or 6'5" but to see it actually happen (and so FAST!!) blows me away. He's not my "little boy" anymore! He LOVES it and says that I'm shrinking...

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm done with the jury duty so I can speak now. In a nutshell, it was a case about a woman who had two dogs that got out in the late evening without her knowledge and scared her neighbor. The neighbor called the cops to see if they could round up the dogs so they wouldn't terrify anyone else and when the cop found the dogs, one of the dogs ran right up to the cop, lunged at the cop, and the cop shot the dog.

Was the owner responsible for the dogs getting out of the house? There wasn't enough evidence to show she was. Was one of the dogs "vicious"? Well, it lunged at the cop and bit at his foot, so, it fit the legal description of vicious. 6 counts, only one guilty.

Minus the amount of time involved and the duplicity of testimonies, I really enjoyed the whole process. For those that try to get out of jury duty, I would suggest doing it once. I was really surprised the attorney's picked me due to what happened in the past with one of my dogs, but, hey, maybe they thought I'd be more impartial. I don't know.

I talked to mom last night. She's been doing great. For the past week she's been having problems sleeping and when she met with the doctor, she talked about what other drugs she could take to help her sleep. Mom is taking so many she was afraid to mix one more into the bunch. With the help of a strong sleep aid, she was able to sleep the night before last and felt a lot better yesterday. She even walked over to a neighbor's house and visited. She's definitely feeling cabin fever, and I just hope she can start getting out before next week when she has chemo again. All of her tests came back great. Her blood count is good. It seems the chemo mix is the way to go. She's also a lot more upbeat, which is wonderful. She has so many people telling her not to give up, and giving her stories of survivors...she's not ready to throw in the towel.

I'm supposed to meet with a friend of mine for coffee today and have to cancel
(this is like the fifth time) because Riordan has a fever and was up all night. I'm hoping he's just catching a cold and it's not anything worse than that. I'm exhausted because I was up all night with him. He wanted me to lay down in his bed to help him fall back asleep. I have GOT to get that boy a better mattress. I have no idea how he sleeps on that thing. My sides, shoulder and back hurt from the amount of time I spent on it!!! Because Riordan has a fever, I will have to put off visiting my mom with the boys. She can't be around sickness while doing the chemo. My dad's birthday was on Monday, and I wanted to go see them this weekend. Not sure what will happen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What are the odds?

Today has been...interesting. Not all in a good way, not all in a bad. Quite the mixture of news. First off, I had jury duty today. I went in thinking there was no way they'd pick me, and out of 20, 3 were chosen with me as one of them. Insane. I've never even had a notice for jury duty, and to be picked the first time was a shot in the dark. I'm enjoying it immensely and will be going back tomorrow.

Secondly, I received a phone call from my MIL. Her mother was in the hospital because of heart problems and would be receiving a pacemaker. I then get a text message from my MIL while waiting for jury selection that a good friend of the family passed away during the night. Devastating. I then find out that my SIL's grandmother had a heart attack (but was recovering). All of this transpired in 12 hours.

Brian tells me he's getting a Lotto ticket because, well, it's been an interesting day.

Monday, January 12, 2009

We received the results

of the fluid around mom's lungs. It indeed had cancer. Mom now has Stage IV PPC. She just can't seem to catch a break!

Dad's down...the first time since the beginning and I think we're all trying not to think of the percentages and such that we know that comes with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. I'm just really wishing mom and dad lived closer. I want all the time I can have with the both of them. Short visits don't happen, which means the visits aren't very often.

I don't have a lot more to add. I just felt as if you needed an update.


Friday, January 9, 2009

An "oh shit" moment

I bought some jeans that were 70 % off at JCPenney. I just love deals like that and can't pass them up. Anyway, since I've been sitting on my butt since October, I've gained a bit of weight in my derriere. I'm in between sizes right now, and jean fitting is not a fun thing to do. Anyway, went with the larger size forgetting that jeans S-T-R-E-T-C-H and now they're hanging on me. This made me think of an earlier blog that I wrote at myspace. I then thought, OH MY GOD, when I deleted my myspace page, I deleted 3 years of blogging. What was I thinking?? I've gone back to my blogs to find dates of things that happened (my lumpectomy, when mom's problems started, Brian's trip to England, etc.) and I've LOST THEM ALL. I'm feeling a loss and there's nothing I can do about it.

Anyway, my blog essentially talked about trying on jeans and when you're built like I am (thin waist, big ass) jeans don't fit correctly. Ever. You've got a big, gaping spot around your waist that a belt doesn't help with. Every time you bend over, you're afraid your butt crack is going to show because they only sell low waist jeans anymore. Jeans were not made by women. I know this. It was an excellent blog if I do say so myself, and one of the first that I had ever written.

I'm mourning my loss, even though it seems silly.

Day One

Mom is doing fantastic. She ate several small meals yesterday without any problems of queasiness. She had more energy than she thought she would. Kept it simple, though, just to make sure she didn't wear herself out. The nurse told her not to sit around and think, "When is it going to happen" but to live her life like she did the day before chemo. She has it in her head that tomorrow will be the day of tireds, so just pray for her today and the rest of the week. I have GOT to make something for them to eat that is light and that has no chicken in it. The nurse told mom that for the tired days, she won't feel like eating, but dad will and I want to make sure there's something there for them to snack on. If anybody has any recipes they'd like to shoot my way that is nutritious and tasty, please do so! I am not a cook, but am willing to try...

Mom and I talked about eating more organically and how expensive it is. How do you choose what foods that you change to organic? Living off retirement does not allow you to spend tons of money on food. Does anyone have any good books out there to help newly transformed dieters?

Yesterday was good for me, too. I didn't do alot and I think that I may have staved off the cold. I'll call my dad this morning to see how mom is doing and then call Karen to see if she still needs help with picking out window treatments. The Lollar's move in date is January 31. How exciting!!

Tomorrow Brian and I have a "day date" with each other. Just the two of us. I'm very excited to be able to have the chance to spend time with him.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

First chemo treatment

I wasn't there for it all, but I'll give you the rundown about what I heard and then what I saw.

Mom and dad got to the Front Range Cancer center at 9:45 a.m. They started her on the premeds and then laid her down for a massage (how's that for relaxing before chemo??) She then had the needle inserted in her port for the IV which wasn't a pleasant feeling, but after yesterday's pain from the drainage removal, she could handle pretty much anything.

I got to Fort Collins around 12:30. Mom was sitting in her chair quite peacefully. I sat down and we talked the entire time. Dad went out to get some lunch and mom and I talked about what happened yesterday and then she gave me the run down what happened in the morning.

Her chemo treatment consists of two drugs- Paclitaxel and Carboplatin. This is the standard treatment that seems to work the best. The Paclitaxel takes the longest to administer, and then the Carbo takes between 30 minutes to an hour.

Mom's next chemo is scheduled for January 28th. This is when she starts her clinical trial of the Avastin which will add 90 minutes to her overall chemo round. This will be the longest chemo treatment (around 6 hours). She will receive 6 rounds of chemo total with a doctor's visit every week this month (checking her vitals and blood tests). We did get her CA125 which was 130 before her first round of chemo. Dad feels as if the CA125 is a good source to see the cancer levels since it has moved from the original number before the surgery. It didn't move in the right direction (those numbers were around 50-80) but dad assures me it's a positive sign that they can use that test to see if the chemo is working. It doesn't make much sense to me, but I'm new to this and dad's been doing a lot more research than I have. I do know that both numbers are very low compared to other cancer patients with PPC that I have read about. I try not to compare because there isn't much of a point, but I do it anyway. We'll find out in a couple of days why there was fluid (a LITER of fluid!!) on her lungs. Her doctor seems to think it doesn't matter if it's cancer or fluid that collected after her surgery because she has started chemo and it will attack whatever cancer is in her body.

We start the waiting game. In about 48 hours we'll see how her body reacts to the standard chemo. We feel good that her body responded as she was receiving the chemo today (no visible signs of problems) and just pray that everything will be okay this coming week.

Mom's spirits are high and she told me today how she has received multiple letters, emails and phone calls and feels so supported during this time...and that she wouldn't have been able to get this far without the love that you all are showing her. Keep it up!! Keep praying, and know that your prayers are working.

14 years

Yeah, I'll toot my own horn a bit. I think it's huge to make it this far in this day and age. Divorce still at 50%. Absolutely asinine. People ask me how do we do it, and so I'm going to write a bit of sage advice that I've learned from 14 years of marriage. Here goes:

1. Communication. All old married couples say this, but it's absolutely true. I don't care if it's a knock down fight or quietly expressing your views, you've got to communicate. WITH this, you have to listen and respect the views of your spouse. If it's all one-sided, it ceases to be communication and becomes nagging.

2. Absolutely believe your spouse is capable of anything. My hubby is my warrior. The smartest and most talented man on the face of this Earth. I believe if he wants something, he can achieve it. He's superman. I'm his biggest fan.

3. Don't belittle your spouse. Respect one another with what you say to each other.

4. Love them with everything you have so it withstands the bad days. You're gonna have them. Annoying little habits. Saying trite things. This is YOU I'm talking abnout. You expect your spouse to love you even though you make mistakes, don't they deserve the same love back?

5. Make your spouse number one. I have a hard time with this one. Three kids to occupy my time. Family everywhere. He still needs to be the first thing I think about in the morning and before I go to bed.

6. Find things to do together that you both enjoy.

7. Love their mother-in-law or at least put up with her with a smile on your face.

8. Make time for each other.

9. Say "I love you" everyday before they leave for work, the house, etc. You never know if it's the last thing you'll say to them.

10. Don't ever let them hear you talk ill of them in front of another person.

11. Having God in your marriage.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A quick update about mom.

Dad called today to let me know that they found fluid on mom's lungs when they took the scan. So, she had to go back to the doctors to have the fluid sampled, and then they ended up just taking it all out.

There are quite a few reasons she could of had the fluid, and I'm trying to just stay calm and hope the cancer hasn't spread. No matter what, she'll still start chemo tomorrow. Same treatment. We'll find out what the fluid is in a couple of days.

Mom was pissed. Just "another thing". I don't blame her, truthfully.

Edit: I added "could of had the fluid". Big difference. I'm sorry about that.

Monday, January 5, 2009


Hear that? Absolutely nothing.

The boys are back in school! It was actually the best holiday break that I've had. The boys had plenty of things to play with (it could have been nicer outside so they got a bit more excercise, but, we live in Colorado) and they kept their fighting down to a minimum.
However, I like to go out by myself once in awhile, and I was feeling like that didn't happen. I might just take a drive this morning and enjoy the quiet in the car.

Last night I went to a couple of colleges online to see what courses they offer for Horticulture and Landscape design. I think I'll have to go the Community college direction due to the fact they offer more night classes. I also am debating on whether or not to do online courses. It's been a long time since I've been to college and have had course work, and I'm not sure I have the discipline to do it at home. I'm getting excited, looking around. Anyway, I won't be starting this spring, but will be aiming for summer start. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

What now?

The New Year. 2009. Not much to look forward to if you read the papers like I do. More jobless people, more lost homes. It's really been kind of a depressing holiday.

When I was younger, the New Year equaled getting smashed and kissing my man at midnight. lol. Then kids came into the picture, and I don't think I've made it to midnight in about 8 years. We went over to a friends house so we could bring our kids and have their kids and be safe during the holiday. Since my new found enjoyment of "being with other people" has come to a head, I made my entire family suffer with me. I loved it. The cacaphony of sounds and the merriment of children who had no idea why there were so many people gathered. Just being happy with each other.

We came home and told the boys it was time for lights out. Daegan didn't understand why we weren't staying up until 12 to bring in the new year. I couldn't keep my eyes open, and Brian seemed to be having the same problem as I was. Disappointment all around.

It might be the pessimism for the new year that has come.

I refuse to make new year resolutions because it has been my experience that no one ever keeps them. Making promises to yourself that are out of reach never seems like a good idea to me. We have enough heartache and stress in our daily lives. Why add to it?

So....I just hope that this year my hubby finds a job. My friends and family stay happy and healthy and that we survive what will be a difficult year.