Wednesday, September 30, 2009


It has been quite some time since I've had anything of note to write here. My days have been pretty much the same....some exercise, some housework, then off to Debby's in the evenings. It has been great to feel useful for at least part of the day.

Tonight Debby and I are off to Houston for what I hope is my final round of chemo. I have two issues I need to let my doctor know about, and one or both could affect my treatment plan, but I am optimistic that this is my last round. If you would pray with me that my two issues are minor and unrelated to the cancer, I would really appreciate it.

I lost a friend to cancer today. Jason, who had been battling liver cancer for over a year, died today. He was about my age, was married to Sarah, and they have a 10 year old son, Max. Words are hard here. Yes, I know he is in a better place, but the days ahead will be hard on Sarah & Max. Then, there is the reality for me...people die from cancer every day. Reality is hard, and it's real.

I hope your week is full of blessings, and that you love on your family & friends a little extra this week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

This & That

Mental note for future not, I repeat, DO NOT, attempt multiple workouts per day in the days just after chemo. If you could help me remember that, that would be great.

Over the weekend we had perfect weather for just lying around & being lazy. The days were gray and rainy, and the nights were cool. I think our warmest temperature was less than 85 degrees, so we even turned off the a/c...a real feat in September here in Texas!

Although the weather was inviting me to be lazy, I tried to fight it. After Curves and ballroom dancing on Friday, I attempted Curves and walking on Saturday. Boy, did I pay for it. My body hurt...not just in the joints or muscles where I'd expect it, but it hurt all over. You know it's bad when you lay down and your skin hurts from just touching the couch or the pillow--it makes sleeping pretty tough. I know it's not from the exercise that I hurt, but from the chemo. One of the meds I get is made from platinum, and its primary side effect is muscle and joint stiffness. I guess I thought if I ignored it or battled it, it wouldn't affect me. Ha. Ha.

Sunday, I gave in a little bit. I made it to church, had lunch with some sweet friends, then maxed myself out by watching some NFL and napping. In case you didn't know, NFL games are the perfect background noise for a nap, especially if one of 'your' teams isn't playing :) Later in the evening I walked the dogs...not a workout type walk, but a leisurely, 'let's go appreciate the neighborhood park' type walk. A good sabbath day, for sure!

So far this week has been fairly routine. Home & workouts during the mornings/early afternoons, to Debby's in the evenings. Last night I spent the later part of the evening at my friends' house, working on a book we started months ago. I won't tell you all about it here, but I should note that you will LOVE this book. We've been working on outline & plot for a while, but last night we actually started writing the pages of the book, and it is lovely. The book is designed for kids, but I think adults will enjoy it, too. I know I do!

All right, I'm off to do something productive. I hope your day goes well!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Round 5-Check

Round 5 of chemo is now over! I think I took two photos to commemorate the event, I will try to post them soon. I am thankful for Debby taking the time to come with me to Houston & sitting with me through the hours of chemo. We did a few other fun things to pass the time. Between appointments on Thursday, we walked back & forth from the clinic to the hospital a few times. Rumor has it that it's about a quarter of a mile each way (on their fancy, air-conditioned catwalk) so I think we got a least a mile of walking in. The trips back & forth were to get a wig (dark brown, longer hair than I have had in quite a few years, but the most "normal" looking I tried on) and to go to a scarf-tying seminar I had wanted to visit on each trip, but had somehow missed until this week. It was worth going to, I learned the primary reason I couldn't get scarves to stay on my head was because I was folding them wrong...who knew?

We got back home Friday around 3. Since being home, I have worked out twice, had dinner with friends, and gone ballroom dancing. I am attempting to not take any of my post-chemo meds to see how I do without them, and so far so good. I am thinking about taking a nap now, but that may be because we have a beautiful gray day outside that I want to take advantage of. Ahhh, how I love the rain! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

You Asked for It...

I have had a couple of people ask why I haven't posted anything here lately, and I guess I'd have to say it's because things feel so normal that I don't think I have a lot to say. What follows are the highlights of my life since I last posted, in no particular order.

I started the "Couch to 5k" training program. The last time I started this, I was in much better shape. I am now in week 3 (out of 9 weeks), and though it is not hard yet, it is getting harder. I plan to run a 5k in DC with some of my sisters on November 8th, to celebrate the fact that my cancer is gone (which is what I am expecting to hear from my doctor before then). Ooh, and I hate that I just called it "my cancer." Can it be THE cancer instead? I'd like that...then no one has to own it and it can just go away. Anyhow, back to how I was in better shape...For two years (prior to May '09) I had really focused on getting healthy by exercising and eating right. Sometime in the last year, I got this wild hair that I should be able to run a 5k. For as long as I can remember, I have hated running/jogging--anything faster than a walk was just detestable. However, I told myself that since I was 50 pounds lighter than I used to be, it wouldn't be so bad. And it wasn't. I was strong and healthy, with the muscles to prove it, and jogging wasn't my favorite thing, but it wasn't horrible either. This time around it is different, I haven't really been exercising since May, and the jogging seems much more daunting...but I'm doing it. Yay!

I have been baking. Nice choice to go along with the jogging, right? I don't have to be healthy all of the time. I have tried out some family favorites, as well as some new recipes with potential. Thank God I have not been eating all of these baked goods myself. I have been sharing with Debby's family. If you'd like to get in on the action of free baked treats, all you have to do is show up at Debby's house in the evenings and try it out. For family--Mom's Gooey Butter Cake recipe from the family cookbook was a HUGE hit! The biggest hit, though, were brownies I wanted to make, but didn't have all the ingredients I modified, and modified a little more, and then I frosted the brownies just in case they didn't taste quite right, and everyone who had them loved them. I have tried to recreate the recipe, but I guess I lost the touch, because I haven't been able to get them quite like that again.

I have seen lots of friends. I got up to Greenville to see my friends, the Fields. I have had a couple of lunches and dinners with friends (mostly after church on Sundays) to keep up with their goings-on. I am walking later today with my friend, Jennifer, for the 2nd time. I spend weekday evenings still with Debby and her kiddos, helping with homework and making supper. I love having someone who is counting on me, and to feel at the end of the day I have contributed something.

What else???? I have been walking the dogs several days a week, and I may have learned the way to keep those giant chocolate labs from pulling my arms off when we walk. I organized my guest room closet/storage area, I re-organized a few of my kitchen cabinets, I cleared the storage shelf in my garage so I can find stuff when I need it, and I've been playing tennis a couple nights a week with Jimmy. I have been to church two Sundays in a row, and feel blessed to be able to be there and hear the Word preached and to have fellowship with my church family. Plus, this past Sunday I even made it to Bible study here in my little neighborhood. I am glad to see our little church plant growing into something more....who knows what God has in store for us????

My apologies to you who did NOT ask what I've been up to. Sorry you had to read this far just to learn that the past few weeks have been very regular & non-eventful. I am thankful for that, most of the time. I occasionally feel tired (or lazy?), but mostly I feel good. I head down to Houston tonight with Debby. We'll stop in College Station to see Angie & have dinner, then we're staying a couple of nights in a hotel the American Cancer Society found for us, for FREE--praise God! I will try to keep you more updated so you don't have to ask to hear my ramblings.

Have a great day!