Things I am grateful for today.

I'm grateful that I am still alive 3.5 months after being diagnosed with breast cancer.  (Honestly when I was first told I had stage 4 metastatic breast cancer, I thought I was going to die, soon) 

I'm grateful that I am feeling so much better than I was before treatment because the cancer is getting it's butt kicked. Yeah me, yeah herceptin, yeah Taxol, Yeah, Doc Hansen, doing a happy dance here!  (And yes, I DO feel well enough to do a little happy dance...carefully.  I wouldn't want to fall and break my cancer eaten hip)

I'm grateful that I can walk normally without pain, and that includes stairs and walking from the parking lot into Walmart without feeling like I ran a marathon.

I am grateful for a husband that is dating me now more than ever.  I treasure our Tuesday night Bargain Movie night at Walker theaters.  I love that he goes and buys me lunch during chemo so I have something to look forward to while I am spending 4-5 hours at the Doctor's office every week. 

I am grateful for the drugs they give me to help with the side effects of the chemo treatments that make it possible for me to eat for a day and not feel sick.  (Even though those same drugs make me wired and unable to sleep for 24-48 hours)

I am grateful for those who take time to care for my children so I can crash and sleep after not sleeping.

I am grateful that I had a desire to wake up at 5:00 am to go see a lunar eclipse.  The next one isn't for 3 years, and I didn't want to miss my chance.  I have an attitude of live in the NOW and TODAY, and I get excited about beautiful things in this universe.  It was awesome and if you missed out, you'll have to wait 3 years.

I am grateful for the 3 delicious meals a week our friends and neighbors bring us.  I am also grateful (and so are my kids) that I feel well enough to cook a favorite meal that they get to choose once or twice a week. 

I am SO grateful that the kids are back in school with wonderful teachers stimulating their minds and filling their days with knowledge and learning, and thus filling my days with relaxation and peace!

I am very grateful that I don't have to go to Chemo next week, and will hopefully have some time to scrapbook and relax, and maybe go shopping.  (It's my birthday in a couple of weeks.  I told dan that since I am a druggie, he can just buy me some drugs for my birthday.  -Legal-medically necessary-physician prescribed drugs- He just laughed. I wasn't kidding.  I don't think he has ever had to spend so much money on me.  I've tried not to be a high maintenacne wife with manicures, pedicures, monthly hair highlighting etc. Now I require thousands of dollars worth of drugs every month to keep me alive)  Which leads me to my next thing...

I am grateful for our Health Insurance and Catastrophic coverage.  Without this, we would be DEAD.  (Or at least I would be).  We have hit our yearly out of pocket maximum, and, now they are paying everything at a 100% until the end of the year.  It is such a blessing that Dan is a wonderful provider for our family, and works so hard to provide everything that we need. 

I am grateful for YOU all of our friends and family.  Thankful for your well wishes, prayers, small gifts of bread, flowers, and other things that brighten our day. 

I am grateful if you read this long post.  This blog is more for me than anyone else so I can have a journal of my journey and experiences.  And if some small way I can make a difference in someone else's life, that is just a bonus! 


So, GREAT NEWS!  We got the results from my Pet-Ct scan, and things are looking good!  The cancer has shrunk remarkably and is no longer metabollically active.  There is still some way to go in getting the cancer shrunk all the way down, but my response to the chemo has been very good!  The Doc says as long as things keep progressing at the same rate, I will only have 1-2 more months of chemo.  I still have a long way to go before I am done with all of my treatment (I still have to have a mastectomy, and 5-6 weeks of daily radiation) but the progress is great.    

After I finish Chemo (Taxol & Herceptin) I will still have to be on Herceptin the rest of my life (or until the cancer starts growing again).   I have read a lot about this relatively new treatment, and based on what I have read it keeps the cancer from growing an average of 7-21 months, and has limited side effects.  I.e. it doesn't cause hair loss or nausea.  If you are intrested you can read more about herceptin on the following website:

All in all, I am doing pretty good.  I have good days and bad, but I am grateful for the good times, and grateful that there is treatment out there that can keep me alive.   It has been a "cool" summer without hair, glad I don't have to spend time messing with hair when I feel lousy.  My eyelashes and eyebrows are almost gone, but thank heavens for eyebrow pencils and magnascopic mascara! 

Thanks everyone for all of your prayers and well wishes!  It makes all the difference!!!! 


So, I had a PET-CT scan done on Thursday.  Not a too fun test.  Had to fast for a day, and then they give you a radioactive sugar dye and make you drinking a disgusting 20 oz drink so appetizingly named "Strawberry Flavored". Just pretend it is a strawberry milkshake says the tech while I try to gag down this thick warmish chalky subject. Oh, what's that you say, I get to do this again in a couple of months.  FANTASTIC!!  Yum!  Please excuse me while I throw up....  (Don't worry, I kept it down otherwise I would have just had to drink it again.)

Then they scan your body, looking for all those lovely invading cancer cells, and see where they are setting up colonies, and check to see if any of them have vacated the premises.  (Leave cancer, you're being evicted!  You've been a bad guest!  You weren't welcome in the first place, and you certainly have overstayed your welcome"  Just a little positive mental imaging  there.) 

Anyhoo, it is now late Monday night (or early Tuesday morning if you want to get technical) and I am having a hard time sleeping because I will get the results tomorrow from my DR.  They will be able to tell if and how well the chemo drugs are working, and be able to give us a better idea of how much longer we get to continue the weekly Chemo-treatments. 

Sometimes I ache at the fiber of my being that life could just be NORMAL again.  I wish I could just go and do and be free like I used to be.  Now my life revolves around DR's visits and "sick" chemo days "wired days" and "tired days".  I hope someday I get to that point again where we aren't so dependant on so much help, and I can do things for other people for a change.  (beginning with being able to take care of my own family.) 

So here is a funny joke I heard:

Say's the patient to the Doctor, "How long have you been practicing?"

Dr says:  "Almost 20 years"

Patient replies:  "When do think you'll stop practicing and treat patients for real?"

Ha ha ha.  Okay, it is too late, and I need to get some sleep.  Just didn't want this post to be all gloom and doom.


We need to say thank you to SO many people, so I have posted a "Thank You" card to all those out there who have done so much for us!  I wish I could make a card for each of you, but please know how grateful we are for your continued support.

It has been way too long since I have posted.  Just a quick update on what has been going on in the last few months. 

I have completed 3 cycles of my Chemotherapy.  I go once a week for 3 weeks and then get a week off. I receive two medicines:  Herceptin and Taxol.  So I have had a total of 9 treatements.  My side effects are mostly fatigue, some nausea, and flu like aches and pains. 

The Doctor has been THRILLED with the progress he has seen from the chemo.  The cancer has visibly shrunk to a fraction of the area it was.  I will have a PET-CT scan next week to see how much cancer is left in my body.  We are hoping for good news! 

This next week is my week off from treatment, so we are headed up to Bear Lake for a few days. 

I have a shaved head now because my hair started falling out like crazy 2 weeks into my treatment.  Caleb calls me his "Fuzzy Head Mom" and will come and rub my head and say "I love you fuzzy head."  Leave it to a 4 year old to love you unconditionally no matter how you look!


My neighboorhood and my family had a hat shower for me.  I have 56 different hats and over 20 different scarfs.  It is so fun to come up with different combos to match my clothes, and it really is GREAT not to have to worry about doing my hair.  I do miss it though, so I bought a really cute wig that I wear every once in a while when I want to look "normal".

Here is a picture of me and all of my "fuzzy head" supporters.  The day I shaved my head, my brother Patrick came over and let me shave his head, Dan shaved his the day before, and then Blake and Caleb wanted their heads shaved too.  It was so fun to laugh and have a good time with what could have been a very sad and distressing time.