Thursday, May 28, 2009

Soon and very soon....

I will be back to work on Monday! Yesterday I met my b0ss for lunch so she could go over the changes since I've been gone, so it made me feel a little better.

Sounds like alot of bureaucratic red tape to get the job done, especially now with the government take-over. She said it is very stressful and gets more stressful by the day! UGH!

I'm excited to be going back but quite honestly, just driving over to the office yesterday made me very tired. I think stamina is going to be my biggest challenge but I'll survive! :-)

My brother and his wife are celebrating their 20th anniversary so they are headed to Florida for a few days. I have my niece, age 10 and nephew, age 6 here so of course the first thing they want to do is go swimming. Thank the Lord that my girls are here and can entertain. They are all out in the pool swimming. The water is only 76 degrees, which is still chilly but the kids say it is hot! You know kids.....I think we should be as flexible and resilient as kids are.

I have been tired all day, although I did sleep better last night. It just comes with the territory.

I have so much I want to do before I return to work but no energy to do it. How frustrating, I used to long for days like this to be able to get things done. Now I look forward to having a nap.

Speaking of that, I think I'll take one before all the kids come back in.

Have a beautiful day!
Love to all,

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Such a wonderful weekend!

Angela graduated Friday. The school set up her reception and made it so special! They had all the tables in the shape of an 'A' and then they had chairs to spell out 2-0-0-9. They even had lights streaming from the ceiling of the gym in the shape of an A. It was very classy decorated in red and black, which are the school colors.

The actual ceremony was wonderful! They of course try to make the ceremony formal so they don't want you to take large noise makers, etc. Well, Steve always breaks the rules and brought 3 air horns and then gave them out randomly so the noise wouldn't just be coming from our section. In fact, Steve initially was going to give Angela one so that every time a air horn went off that she would counter it with hers. We nixed that idea because it would be too obvious for her to carry it.

She won the highest honor for our school and that is the Pastor's award. It is given to the young person who shows true character, has a servant's heart and goes the extra mile. Well, Angela was so nervous just walking down the aisle, she said she felt like passing out. So when they called her up for her award, our Pastor was quoting the teachers who worked with Angela everyday as Angela, out of nervousness, kept tapping the bottom of the trophy. As he talked, he finally said, Angela is good at many things, such as her drum playing on her trophy!

One of former Principal's from our school talked with her on Awards night earlier in the week and said if she would dance on stage that he would give her $20 or $40. A few others pitched in and said they would give $20. I told them to be careful what they tell her to do because she is motivated by money. They all thought Angela was too shy and wouldn't do anything. Well, as soon as they announced her as a 2009 graduate, she took off her hat (we all thought she was going to throw it) but no, she went whooping and running down the aisle! We were all in shock, as we did not expect that. In fact, I had my camera up and was ready to take a picture when she jumped off the platform and took off. Everyone started laughing because it happened so quickly.

We asked if she had planned that all along and she said, "no" that she had decided on the spot to do something. I think she thought it was the fastest way out the door! Congratulations to Angela, she has worked so hard this year and missed "A" honor roll by 1 point and that is taking a very very full load (Chemistry, etc).

We had our famous large Memorial picnic yesterday at the church. I think we normally have about 500-600 that attend each year. We always start off with saluting the flag with the pledge of allegiance, sing the National anthem with the help of the Boy Scouts and American Heritage girls and then a moment of silence for those who served our country and are currently serving our country. We are a blessed nation no matter the financial crisis we are in! This is truly the land of the free and home of the brave.
We always have wonderful food. The kids have moon walks to play in, a roped off area to ride their bikes, sno cones, etc. The adults play raquetball, volleyball and the famous softball/baseball. The guys always start before our picnic and play all day. They have the famous singles against married men game and also the women's softball. There are those who play horseshoes, cards, just fellowship with others, or stay close to the food and graze all day. I always enjoy watching the guys/girls play ball. It rained at first but then the sun came out and was just beautiful. As it was all getting close to ending, the rain came down. It turned out to be a wonderful day.
This is my last week before starting work. Hard to believe how the time has flown by. I still have the nightly struggles with my legs but so does my grandma who had breast cancer the same time I've been going through all this. It makes you miserable, especially at night but we have so much to be thankful for that I try not to dwell on it and just make the best out of it.
Hope you had a great weekend too!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh my cannot be true!

Angela is graduating tomorrow!! I am officially old! My kids will be in college and on to a new chapter in life. I'm so excited for Angela, however she is not excited. Angela has always been my sensitive and sentimental child who likes to hold onto things. While Kimberly would love the adventure of moving to another state, Angela immediately says, "no!"

We had to go down to the school today to set up a table of picture/accomplishments etc. for the reception after the graduation. The entire time she had her ipod in her ear and paced. All she kept saying was, "I'm not ready yet, I'm not ready yet". I told her that at least she already knows what she is going to do (she is starting medical college June 11th) while many others are still trying to figure it out. It did not comfort her any. Oh to be young again with limitless possibilities.....

Just being gone from 11am. to 5:30 pm. I came into the house so tired. I laid down on the couch and fell asleep for almost 3 hrs. I get tired so easy. However, I did have another bad night with the pain shooting up and down my legs so I didn't sleep much at all. I even took Vicodein and it didn't touch the pain last night. My body must be starting to get used to the pain killers so they aren't as effective. I never thought I would see the day that I would take over 200 mg. of tylenol.

The past few days running around and trying to find things for graduation has put me on my feet more than usual. I've been trying to build up my strength because I'm going back to work in a couple of weeks. I may have to use my lunch break for a power nap until I get my body up to speed. ugh! If I were using pain killers all day I could make it but I'm trying not to do that!

Kimberly is on her break in between semesters from college. She was so excited to have this week as she had planned on swimming and laying out by the pool but it has either rained or too windy. Believe it or not, the water needs to be about 80 degrees before it is comfortable to swim.

I'm sorry that I've not blogged much lately. I've just been busy with Angela's prom, nephew's kindergarten graduation, Awards day at school and now her graduation all within a week's time. After I've been out for awhile, I come home and crash. I've fallen asleep on the couch every day this week early. This is the first night that I've been up this late but I slept all evening and knew that I probably had ruined my night for any real good sleep...... so I'm trying to wear my brain down.

It still feels strange not having much hair. I have the worst time trying to fix it because I'm not used to so little. Last Sunday, I decided not to wear a hat to church and just go with the hair that I had. It sticks up really easy because of the length so I put mousse in it. Steve told me my hair looked like it was stuck to my when we got to church, he got his brush out and started fixing my hair beside the truck in the parking lot. It was so funny because everytime I would see someone pull in, I would start acting like we weren't doing anything. You know it is bad when your husband tries to do your hair for you. :-) I knew that people would do a double-take when they saw me without a hat so I didn't want to look totally ridiculous. I have to hand it to Steve though....he didn't mind at all helping me out....or maybe he didn't want me to embarrass him! ha.

Hope everyone is doing okay. I will get back on track soon. The testing on my liver is coming up in June and I expect everything to be fine. If so, they may be removing the port from my chest in July or August. I have a hard imagining them taking the port out after being there for a year. The cath runs across my chest so it seems like it would have grown into the tissue already there (sorry to be grose). It just seems like it would hurt. They took me into surgery when they inserted it but to remove it the Surgeon is doing it in his office, I'm told. That doesn't make sense to me. I would rather they put me out again.

My testing will continue at 2 month intervals for several years. So, this truly has become a journey....but I'm thankful for prayer, technology, good doctors and all of my support!! It makes my journey much easier to bear. Thank you!
Everyone have a wonderful weekend!
Love to all,

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beautiful morning but not a fun night....

I feel very tired this morning so this blog will be short. I've been up most of the night with leg pain and my legs jerking. I'm going to have to get some other kind of medicine. Living on pain killers is not good. I put them off until I can't stand it anymore so I finally took pain meds around 3:30 a.m. and it took another hour for them to start working. Steve's alarm was going off as I started to doze.

The past couple of days I've started having nose bleeds again. My eyes have felt like I've gotten soap in them. The chemo affects are so weird. You think they are gone and then they come back for no reason.

As I type this, I again see the sun shining through the room and the birds chirping right outside my window. This always makes my mornings feel so serene and peaceful.

I have so much left to do for Angela's graduation Friday. They also have the Awards Banquet and Kindergarten graduation tomorrow at 1 p.m. so I am going to lay down for another hour and then out the door to get things finished.

I pray that you are having a blessed day!

Love to all,


Monday, May 18, 2009

Time waits for no man....

I've been reflecting on the fact that this week will be my youngest daughter's High School graduation! It is hard to believe that I will no longer have children in High School but in college. Kimberly (our oldest) is still finishing her pre-dentistry classes and Angela will be attending a Medical College to start her degree.

  • Time is more valuable than money because time is irreplaceable!

  • One thing you can learn by watching the clock is that it passes time by keeping its hands busy (Proverbs 18:9 says, "He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster)

  • If you feel "dog tired" at night, maybe it's because you "growled" all day (Romans 12:18 says, "If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men").

  • What counts is not the number of hours you put in, but how much you put into the hours (Ecclesiastes 9: 10 says, "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with they might....").

  • Learn from other's mistakes rather than making them all yourself (The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise, Proverbs 12:15)

Time can be a friend or foe. It is how we use the gift of time, which will determine whether we view time as a gift. We all have the same amount of hours in a day, how do you handle those hours? Have you ever noticed when 2 people are doing the exact same thing with the exact amount of time, how different the responses are? One immediately focuses and gets busy with the task at hand, while the other procrastinates and only has half of the work done? Or they both finish and one appreciates the opportunity while the other whines about how it wasn't their job? One smiles as they go about the task at hand while the other grumbles and tells everyone else about how much they have to do and waste the time given to complete the task and then grows upset because they didn't have enough time to get the job done.

Or take for instance, two children who are asked to clean their room. One is happy to have the time to get it cleaned, while the other finds it a hefty chore and complains how unfair it is that they have more to do than the other......and they are the ones who made the mess!!

Time waits for no one. Notice when you are vacationing that time seems to fly by but at work when you want time to move, it seems to sit still? Or you have alot to do at work and you have to leave earlythat the work seems like a mountain with time flying to fast?

Beauty products used to slow down the age processing of our bodies fly off the shelves. Everyone is looking for a cure to slow down the natural cause of time. Why do we want to look younger? At 40, I'm glad that I do not have the mind of a 20 yr. old, why would I want others to view me as a 20 yr. old? With time comes wisdom and I would rather have wisdom........however, it would be nice to keep the younger looking skin that is aged with time. :-)

It only seems like yesterday that the kids were playing on their swing set, jumping on the trampoline or sleeping with Barney and Baby Bop and singing the, "I love you, you love me, we're a happy family with a great big hug and kiss from me to you....." song. The time we invest into our children is the greatest investment of all time. You are preparing them for a future of the next generation. You are preparing them to succeed and one day become parents. Just think if your grandkids were raised exactly how you raised your children, would you be pleased?

I pray that we've instilled values, moral and good character into our children. We've given them the gift of time to the point, that sometimes we don't know what to do with ourselves when our kids are off having fun or at college. I think as parents, we all tend to do this.

Speaking of kids, Angela went to her prom this past Friday. She looked absolutely beautiful in her baby pink dress. It is hard to think that is the last prom that I'll be running around shopping for dresses, flowers, etc. She has a good head on her shoulders and is a hard worker so I know she will do well. She has a great big heart for others, as evidenced by her time she spends at a free medical clinic as a volunteer for the past 2 years. She always thought she wanted to go into nursing and having this experience has made her dream become reality.

As for me personally, I'm still struggling with pain in my legs. I do not sleep well at nights but can't keep my eyes open during the day. I've slept alot lately because I just feel so tired all the time. The neuropathy in my hands and feet have gotten better. I still freeze all the time but I hope that starts to go away. I drive my family crazy with the heat during the summer. However, when I get cold, it just causes me to have more body aches. I try to be thoughtful and just pile on more clothes and blankets but sometimes I don't feel I'll ever get warm.

Yesterday the sermon at church was awesome!! We always have good services! I'm so thankful and greatful for a wonderful church to attend, wonderful church family and all my family and friends. Attending church is always worth my time. I always leave uplifted and encouraged! "-)

May today find you as sunny as the weather outside. It looks so beautiful with the sun peeping through my windows and the birds chirping.

Just remember before you start to grumble and complain, that you are wasting the gift God gave to each of us.......time.

I think I've rambled enough. Please have a wonderful day!

Love to all,


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hello, I'm baaaacccckkk!!

Well, it was great to hear from those of you who actually missed me. It wasn't intentional to go on a blog vacation. My computer hasn't allowed me into the application and our family also was able to fulfill my 90 yr. old grandpa's dream.

So let me start off by saying, I'm going back to work in 3 weeks. I can't hardly believe it. I've wanted normal for so long but now, I'm a little worried about it. I think I'm getting the first day back at school jitters. My first thought is how far behind I'm going to be and can I fill the shoes of the person who filled the shoes while I was gone? Silly stuff that I used to tell others not to worry about...well, stupid crosses my mind. Secondly, I wonder how I'm going to hold up going into work day in and day out. I still get very tired from being out for a few hours...and I know that it usually takes a year or so to really get your energy back so I'm trying not to stress to much about that. I'll work my hardest but do what I know that I can do.

Secondly, some of you know that we had a surprise birthday party for my grandpa's 90th birthday last year. I asked him what was one thing he had always dreamed of but never got to do. He said every since he was a little boy, he had always wanted to go see the Redwoods in California. We had a money tree at his party and I started making plans. His birthday is in June so I, always trying to be pro-active made our flight plans, hotel and car rentals for 8 people. Well, after the plans were made in June.....I was told I had the Big "C" word in July of 08. After my diagnosis, my grandpa said that he would wait until I could go. Others offered to take him and I strongly encouraged him to take them up on his offer but he was adament....he would not go until I was able to go.

I was able to call and get our tickets held for a year because of my medical condition but after a year they would expire with no refund. I started making the plans back in March knowing I still had chemo and testing and based on those things might make or break this trip. Well, as you know I got the good news at the end of April and I had set our vacation May 2nd.

I asked my oncologist about traveling with all the sickness, etc. and he said, be very careful but there were not any restrictions on me to take a pleasure trip. So, we had to get a couple of wheelchairs for my grandpa and dad and off we flew.

It was the most I had moved in almost a year. We flew into San Francisco and stayed for a couple of days and then drove to Fresno, which is a great stopping place to visit Yosemite Park and Kings Canyon State Park and then back to San Francisco for a couple of days to rest for our trip back.

I must say it was the most beautiful, breath-taking trip I've ever taken in my life. Yosemite Park was absolutely amazing. The redwoods at Kings Canyon were another moment of wonder. Grandpa got tears in his eyes just looking at these trees. There is not a picture that you could ever take to show the grandeur and magnificant show of these trees. It is something everyone should experience. We saw so many but we saw General Grant, the 2nd largest structure in the world I think and the Giant Grizzly. These trees had limbs bigger or as big as the largest trees. They stood so high that you had to bend your head all the way back just to see the tops of these trees. Some of the limbs were 5 ft. wide. It looked like trees pushed into the side of another tree, the limbs were so large!

The trips over to Fresno was groves and groves of grapes, Pistachio and Almond trees, strawberries, cherries, garlic, artichokes, orange trees and sometimes I wasn't sure what was being planted. At one of the farms, we couldn't tell if they were grapefruits or lemons. We stopped at several of the fruit stands and had the most delicious fruit. The strawberries were huge and were very sweet compared to any we get around here. We passed dairy farms with hundreds of cattle....and then you would pass those most beautiful rolling hills with the sun sparkling over a large lake in between seeing all the didn't want to close your eyes because you would miss something.

In San Francisco, we did all the touristy type of things....visiting the Golden Gate and Bay City Bridges, drove down the crookedest street, shopped in China Town, went to Ghiradelli square, watched all the sea lions on the wharf, ate at Boudin Bakery, shopped and dined at Fisherman's Wharf, drove over to Sausilito, was at AT & T Park, was 2 exits away from Candlestick but didn't have time to visit except to take pictures as we passed by, rode the trolley up Hyde street, rode the public trolley to Union Square and took a boat tour to "The Rock" Alcatrez.

I had to buy a coat in San Francisco because it was cold and very very cold to me. I wore a coat, sweat jacket, extra shirts, etc. the whole time we were there. However, it was in the 80s when we got to Fresno. Everyone tells us that San Francisco Bay is always cold like that. Grandpa, dad and mom ended up buying a coat too!

I must admit the only way I was able to hang with the big dogs on this trip was constantly taking pain medication. As soon as I got home, I stopped taking it and every bone in my body ached so badly that it has taken me several days to re-coup. I find myself finally getting up at night and taking something because when you lay down it gets worse. The past couple of nights have been worse than normal.

This is why it worries me a little bit about going back to work...I worry that I will be able to keep up but I have to try....

The past few days I've heard and read more stories about other's who had cancer and was given a NED (no evidence of disease) diagnosis cancer coming back worse than when they first got it. I wouldn't normally put any thought into those things knowing I have the promise of the Lord and honestly, I don't feel that is going to happen does make me think....what makes me better than anyone else? Why would my cancer be gone but others die from a reoccurence. I guess it is normal to think these things?? I saw where Farah Fawcett is having her last days being filmed so others can really see what you go through with cancer. It is an unsettling feeling that I've not had before. I think when I go back and have my liver tested again in June, I will feel better. Although the doctors say they think it may be an enlarged blood vessel, it had not shown up in any prior tests. Cancer traveling to your liver is the last thing I would want....

I always remind myself that it is normal sometimes to think about these things but not to dwell and know that this battle is not mine but the Lord's. There is nothing that I can personally do to change things but that is when miracles when we, as flesh cannot do anymore and we turn it over to HIM.

I always remember that I need to tell my storm how big my God is rather than telling God how big my storm is.

The days have been so beautiful outside. Angela's prom or Jr/Sr. Dinner as we call it is this Friday so I hope it doesn't rain. Next week is my nephew's Kindergarten Graduation and then next Friday, the 22nd is her graduation. My last child graduating from High School. Where does the time go?? Starting the 2nd week of June, I will have 2 in college....ugh, see why I have to make this work thing work?? ha. I love my work friends and love to contribute so I know I'll be glad to go is the anticipation.

Well, that is alot said, huh? For those of you who've been wondering, asking and waiting....hopefully I've made up for some lost time. I hope all of you are doing well. I've missed the interaction. Steve, my wonderful husband spent his evening getting me back on and rolling.....
Have a great day or night, whenever you might read this!
Love to all,