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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Everything's Not Awesome

Following our lunch yesterday, I dropped David off to work and I went home for about an hour and a half. After blogging I laid down and dozed with my alarm on because the boys and I were meeting Betsy and cousins to go see the Lego 2 movie. The first one became a fast family favorite and so I was sure that I would enjoy the distraction. And, I hadn't been to the Marcus Theater since the recliners were put in. (And now I would have to say "why ever have I NOT?)

The theater did not disappoint, the movie definitely didn't disappoint (with the exception of one plot point that was not really believable). In fact, the movie ended up being quite the therapy. How catchy and fun (and slightly annoying after awhile) was the "Everything is Awesome" song in the first movie? I spent time laughing and to my surprise crying as it turned out. At one point when things seemed hopeless, there were new words to the song "Everything's Not Awesome" I am amazed at the way people can put music together, especially for kids shows and movies. Not ALL mind you, but many have been so clever. This is my favorite part:

My reclining feet

No everything's not awesome
Things can't be awesome all of the time
It's an unrealistic expectation
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try
To make everything awesome
In a less idealistic kind of way
We should maybe aim for not bad 
'cause not bad right now would be real great.

By the end I am laugh/crying as Dawn calls it because aiming for "not bad" because it would be real great right now was totally something I was relating to! The boys loved the movie and we talked all the way home about favorite parts and things that surprised them.

I am thankful that we weren't able to make it the last couple days so that the timing was just right for my heart.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The Results Are In

Not what you want hear for sure. Good scan, great report that compared with measurements but it all boils down to one thing...the cancer is growing. Mayo is getting my file to take a look at and in the meantime we are nixing the current protocol and starting something different next Thursday. A chemo drug infusion every three weeks and then three weeks of a oral chemo drug each cycle.

Anything Mayo suggests in the meantime will be taken into consideration. That is about all I know. I could get into more of the details like how my tumor marker number went from 157 to 273 since my last treatment. Or, I could give you all of the measurements of all of the lesions. I haven't even looked at all of that this time.

I was with this guy and he was a softy and took my suggestion that he take me to lunch. So we did that before he went back to work. It was wonderful comfort food. I just have to remember that I am not able to eat as much as I usually do when I am not on chemo. We talked and ate slowly though and I made it through.

I can't really tell you how I feel about all of this. I have to let God ultimately have control of everything in my life. Really, as a believer I should have already surrendered it all. There are places in my life I am finding that I am holding on to a little too tight. Studying Genesis right now has been a blessing. Last week we discussed Abraham sacrificing his only son of promise. What faith that took.

God sometimes asks us to sacrifice big things. Right now I feel a little whiny when I feel like I am sacrificing my normal life where I am up and subbing and helping kids with homework, cleaning house, making dinner every night. You know, like the good ol' days. These days the kids come home from school and climb up in my bed with me and tell me about their day. Don't get me wrong, a lot of good conversations happen in my bed with my kids, it just isn't the picture I had of my life. After a couple of fights with cancer I gave up my 40's thinking that "well, this was my bad decade". Now staring down 50 in a year I know that this fight will last my lifetime. That is where it gets mentally exhausting.

 As I was reading in Hebrews during my study time chapter 10 verse 38 and 39 "But My righteous one shall live by faith and if he shrinks back my soul has not pleasure in him. But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul".

It is not time to shrink back, it is time to live by faith...God traded my every sin for the righteousness of Jesus Christ on the day I repented and realized how wretched I was. So that part is done. It is truly time for His righteous one...me...to live by faith. You really have to when there is no other alternative. I don't know how people do this without Him and I am learning more every day about how to do this WITH Him!

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

The Sloans in Jekyll Island

We made a quick trip down to Georgia for Michelle and Troy's wedding. I did say that I would share a few pictures. The great part of the trip is that we had some really fun moments and made some great memories just the seven of us (or a combination of the seven of us) too. Here are some of our family favorites! There will be more wedding pictures later this week. I apologize, I stink at blog posts full of pictures, but you can see them all so that is what counts!
I will frame this one...the first morning

Matthew's first time in the Atlantic
Stacey and the sun

Matt does more exploring

Teenagers in the ocean

Stacey's view of the pool
Our breakfast table
Me by the pool!!!

A boy in the sand

A happy girl on the beach!

A little mini golf

Some more mini golf

Second morning sunrise

Monday, March 18, 2019

PET Scan Day

Okay sorry about the picture if you are squeamish around needles but this is a HUGE celebration for me today! (It didn't hurt if that makes it any better) I have had several PET scans at the PCI imaging clinic so I was very surprised when I went in there and things were a little changed up.

The nurse who usually just puts in my IV actually also did the radioactive injection as well. AND the BIG celebration is that she found that big ol' vein in my elbow joint and jammed the needle in. (I have always been told that I need to tell whoever is doing the IV or blood draw to jam it in because that vein rolls.)

Seriously...every time I have gone somewhere in probably the last year where they can't use my port, they end up in my left hand. UGH! I hate that, it hurts for days. The last two PET scans, in the hand. I now still have hope that there are times when they aren't limited to just my hand. (I can't take blood or blood pressures on my right side anymore - where there are several BEAUTIFUL veins, because of my lymph node removal on the right side)

Anyway...not much to report but we have an appointment to go over results on Wednesday. So I will have more to report then. I felt very confident that the test was done well. She even came back in and ran some saline through the radioactive syringe and into the IV just to be sure she got it all out. (At that point I was wondering if maybe they had some notes on me and my test)

After that I proceeded right home because the boys are home on spring break and I told them brunch would be donuts from Casey's since I hadn't been able to eat any carbs the day before my scan! I got to Casey's, bought the donuts (and a carton of chocolate milk), went out to the van and guess who put her keys in her purse and then only took her phone into the store because I had my debit card in my phone case? Yes, this girl!

So, thankfully, Casey's is about three blocks from my house. It truly is uphill the whole way but I made my way on foot to my house and we ate donuts and drank chocolate milk. Later I grabbed the extra set of key and got a ride down to unlock my van.

It has been an eventful day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Back to the Plan #5

We got home yesterday at about 12:30 p.m. and that was wonderful! It was great to be there and great to be home. The travelling in between wasn't really that great. But worth the memories and the short and sweet break from the norm. I will share some more pictures and fun in the days to come.

Today however, it was time for #5 so off to the clinic I went. I got all the blood tests and everything was a okay for treatment. One little bit of good news, I was about 5 pounds down on the scale...at the docs office! Neulasta again so stink about that but at least I know that routine! As of right now I have a PET scan scheduled for next Monday and a follow up with that report on Wednesday.

All of that will be submitted to Mayo and they can look at things and see what their recommendations would be. Including the molecular testing results. With that we can know how to move forward. For now, we just work the plan we have. I continue to have great days and rough patches but I appreciate the notes and cards that people have sent. Many come exactly at the right time. So thank you so much for thinking of me and the whole family. It means so much to us!

Not much new to report other than I am done with #5, but I will keep you posted when we here more. Until then, we will continue to trust when we can't see.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Ding Dong the MOUSE IS DEAD!!!!

We have always joked about our master bathroom, with it's 90's brass and forest green tiles, with it's floor to ceiling wallpaper and it is very interesting in-the-floor whirlpool tub.

I do enjoy a good bath but I never imagined I would love this tub for another reason. We have been gone all weekend for a very quick trip to Jekyll Island, Georgia for Michelle and Troy's wedding out on the beach.

We drove straight through to get home for tonight's girls basketball banquet that we didn't want Stacey to have to miss if we could get back. We made it!

When we arrived home, David walked into the master bathroom. Imagine his surprise to find our resident mouse that has been trapped what we thought was a couple times, DEAD in our bathtub! Ha Ha Ha!!!!! He could get in but could not get himself out! I won't be making fun of that silly tub again! (once I get in there and totally bleach it out clean!)

And...to have the mouse already dead there would be NO WAY that the girls could talk their dad into letting the mouse go free. The Sloans FINALLY won the mouse war in the end!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Celebrating Art

A few weeks ago we received a note in the mail that one of Dawn's pieces of artwork would be on display at the Veridian branch by Target in town with some other classmates of hers. I told her I was really excited for her but she wasn't so sure. 

She told me she was sure that it was a ceramics project she did because it was the only thing that she did not get back from her teacher. She said it like she was disappointed or not very happy about it. I asked her why and she said that the only art that gets recognized for her is the things she makes as a joke!

It is a working whistle in the form of an anteater. I love it, and by the time we got to the grand opening of the display tonight she was pretty happy about how it turned out. It really is something that is all Dawn. She really does take a different look at things and sees really cool things in her head that sometimes come out in the form of something silly.

I think tonight when she had people asking about it seriously that she believed that it is truly a cool piece of artwork. I told her that when you are doing something for fun or as a joke it takes off the pressure of having to make it turn out in a certain way.

And, it really does whistle!