Maybe hate seems a little strong. Lets try LOATHE instead.  I hate the prep for tests, I hate waiting for the tests, I hate waiting for the test results.  Suffice it to say then, that I LOATHE the whole experience of tests. 
    I am concerned that the chemo is not working.  I am still having pain in the same places (left hip, femur, pelvis, sternum,) and it is getting worse not better.  Plus I am having more headaches and more pain higher up my back.  So when I went to the doctor on Wednesday, I requested some scans be done so we can see if the chemo is working.  My fear is that if the chemo isn't working, we need to know that sooner rather than later so we can get it changed to something else before the cancer gets too out of control. 
     So, the tough gal Meridan at Dr.H's pulled some strings and got me scheduled for a PET-CT scan a mere two days later, when at first they told her the soonest they could do the scan was Oct.9th. 
     I have had a little cold, so I wasn't sure if Dr. H would let me have Taxol this week, but I insisted and he did. Problem now is, the couple of days after chemo, all I eat are rolls, bread, crackers, and 7-up and *gasp* coca cola.  Well, to do the prep for the PET-CT scan, you get no carbs the day before or the day of.  And you have to lay in bed and rest.  No physical exertion or stress.  Notice the word stress.  I am a mother of 5.  If I tell the kids I need to rest, and not to cause me stress, what are they going to do?  You guessed it.  Have fist fights, and fight, and yell, and argue, and cause me stress.  Sheesh. 
      So, I had the PET-CT scan on Friday, I took some cool pictures of being injected with radioactive dye (doesn't that stuff cause cancer?) and I had the pleasure of enjoying my beverage of choice, barfium sulfate.  Only 3/4 a bottle this time however.  Now I have to wait until Tuesday to get the test results.  I plan on getting to the hospital a little early on Tuesday so I can go to medical records and have my test results in hand and read through, so I can go in armed if we need to make a chemo change.  I just feel like you have to take your treatment into your own hands.  These doctors are so busy and have so many patients, and I just have one patient to look after.  ME.  I need to take the best care of myself, and know as much as I can, so I can help the doctors give me the very best care that is needed. 


I was so excited when I found a cute new short wig, and felt so much cuter wearing it than my out of control natural curls.  Don't get me wrong, I loved my curls, and much rather have them than be shaved and bald like I am now.  However, I had so much fun getting the first wig, I decided I needed to try out a couple of more styles.  So I went a searching on ebay, and found an ebay store that was selling close out beauty supply products.  I was able to buy 2 more wigs at really cheap prices, and it is SO OUTRAGEOUSLY FUN to change my look so totally, so easily.  So without further ado, I introduce you to:  Blond Amber; Do blonds really have more fun?  I will let you know!!

And here is red head Amber.  I always associated the name Amber with a red head person, so as a teenager I actually tried this hair color much to my parents shock and dismay.  I really love the color and cut of this wig, but you should have seen Dan's face when he first saw it.  You could literally see the wheels turning in his head trying to think of what to say that wouldn't get him into TOO much trouble.  He just gave me a big painful smile, and that just about said it all. 

And here is the wig I posted a picture of just a few posts ago.  This picture is me and Bekah at SO you Think YOU can DANCE?  Live tour.  Oh my gosh it was so fun!!!  The dancers were SO more amazing live, and the banter between numbers with the performers was hilarious!!!  I am so glad we went.  Even though the next morning my throat was about swollen shut from yelling and cheering, and laughing so much.  I have had a bit of a cold, and then I have sores in my mouth and throat from chemo, then add cheering on top of that, makes for one miserable girl the next morning!  I have more pictures from this event I will post over in pictures one of these days. 

This picture is of me a year ago at my sister in law's, Kellie's, wedding.  This wig had a very itchy irritating cap on it so I probably only wore it a total of 6 times.  The wigs I bought this time around are so much more comfortable, and not as itchy and irritating.  Also, I think wearing wigs during the summer months is just way too hot, and wigs seem a lot more doable during the winter.  

So which wig do you like the best?  Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know which one you like best.  Do I look better as a blond, brunette, red head, or dark rooted blond.  My personal favorite is the dark rooted blond, and the red.  I might have to get another of the red head style, but dark rooted dark blond color.  Oh what fun all these options are!!!!  Not to mention all of the options I have with all of my hats. But that is a post for another sleepless night!!!!!!!!


So, I have a 2 year old.  I love him dearly.  He is so much fun.  But the last couple of weeks, um, not so much.  He has decided that he has to do everything by-him-self.  He wants to brush his own teeth, dress and undress by himself, climb up and down the toilet by himself (still working on that potty training thing), and if I dare try to help him, he answers with a shriek and yelling "NO, men do it!!!" (translate men to Ammon, his name) Then he has to start all over again to prove that he can do it.
   I was quite frustrated this afternoon because Ammon kept wanting to go potty and then get his pants back on.  It was taking FOREVER!  Usually, I am like fine, whatever.  I could do this so much quicker, but if you need your independence, fine. But then it was time to run Blake and Bekah to golf, and Ammon was insisting on doing it himself.  I didn't have time to wait for him.  We were going to be late!
   I finally get his clothes put back on him, all the while he is kicking and screaming.  Then it is time to get in the van.  And what happens?  Ammon wanted to climb in himself and buckle his own seatbelt.  Well, he really has a hard time doing that, so I forcefully did it so we could get on our way.
     As I was driving, I began to think about that.  I was so frustrated because Ammon wanted to do things by himself that I could do so much easier.  Because of his abilities in this point in his life, he is not very capable of doing certain things.  He really would like to do these things by himself, but he just isn't physically able to do them.
     And then it struck me. I am a 2 year old.  I am insisting on doing things all by myself, even though I am not quite physically able to do them.  Sure I can try really hard and push myself, but some things would just be easier if I let someone else do them.  OF course I can take myself potty, and get dressed all by myself, but I need help in other things.  Like having my house cleaned, having help with the kids, having dinner made for me (sweet 10 year old Bekah cooked dinner for us tonight.)  I can do housework, it just takes me a long time, and causes a lot of pain.  I can cook, but while undergoing chemo the smells of food is sometimes very unappealing, and it is hard to cook when nothing sounds good to eat, or when you are just plain tired or in pain. 
    So I need to step back, and accept help.  But please understand that sometimes I do want to do things ALL by myself.  I guess the wisdom would be balancing out what I NEED to do to feel needed and productive without totally exhausting myself.  hmmmmm.  Just something I have been thinking about.


This post will just be a random list of 10 things that have happened in the last 10 days.  A readers digest version, if you will, of our lives the last 10 days.   I would love to add pictures to all of these events, but quite frankly that takes too long, and I just want to keep you faithful readers and friends and family up to date.

1.  I can't sleep at night, and I can't stay awake during the day.  I am tired all the time, and take a nap almost every day......  Sometimes I will lie down to "rest" during the day, and I end up sleeping for several hours.  I guess my body needs the rest.

2.  My kids have officially begun summer vacation.  We have survived almost 2 weeks.  I have enjoyed most things about them being home, but unfortunately I am the only person in the world whose kids bicker and fight.

3.  We rode the new Front Runner train down to Salt Lake and went to dinner at Tuccanos at the Gateway Mall.  Really yummy Brazilian food.We took all 5 of our kids with us, and they had a great time.  The little boys loved making "choo choo" sounds.  It was comfortable and very nice train ride.  Blake who is now 13 is now an "adult" when we go out to eat.  Good thing he has a big teenage appetite.  He ate, and ate, and ate. He said "This place should be renamed the man cave!"  huh??  What does that mean???

4.  We had 2 tadpoles.  One of the tadpoles who had just finished morphing into a frog died last night.  This froglet was my 5 year old Caleb's.  I was so scared to tell him, because I thought he was going to be so sad.  Well, he took the news rather well.  When we told him that his little frog was dead, he looked stoic for a moment, and then his eyes lit up and he said, "Do I get to flush him down the toilet!!!!"  a little too excitedly.  So he happily flushed the frog down the toilet and asked, when do I get a new frog?  I sure hope he doesn't act like this if his mom dies!!!!!

5.  We redid the floors in our living room. We tore out the carpet and base boards, laid laminate wood floor down, painted some, and it is looking fabulous.  We still have some painting to do, but once that is done we will get new leather sofas.  This is all made possible by George W. Bush's economic stimulus money.  So,  THANK YOU, George W.

6.  Saturday is mine and Dan's 11th wedding anniversary.  I am taking him away for a romantic getaway, but he doesn't know where. 

7.  My kids also have caterpillars that are supposed to change into butterflies.  I got these "nature science" kits so that the kids can do some fun learning during the summer.

8.  Ammon, my 2 year old went pee pee on the toilet for the first time this last week!!!!  YIPPEEEE!!!! 
I won't really push the pottie training until after the summer.

9.  Bekah, Abby and I watched the movie High School Musical 2 last week while doing pedicures and manicures.  They were FAB-U-LOUS!

10.  My tumor marker tests, which is a blood test that checks to see if my cancer is growing is elevated from what it was in November and February.  Could mean something, could mean nothing.  I will talk to the Doctor about it on Tuesday.  Could mean something, could mean nothing.  We will see.  I hate waiting.



Did you ever play with a jack-in-the-box when you were little.  You know the toy, where you crank the handle, and the song "Pop goes the weasel" plays.  You know what is coming, you know this scary-funny looking clown thing is going to pop up, and you are going to be startled.  You just don't know when.  You turn, and turn, and turn the handle, waiting for the inevitable to happen.

That is how I feel.  I feel like a ticking time bomb.  I just know that the day is going to come when my cancer is going to rear it's ugly head again.  I just don't know when or where.   Some days  I can almost forget that I have cancer, but the reality is that those terrible little cancer cells are still there, just waiting to "POP" into growing and spreading again.  The fear is always there in the back corner of my mind, no matter how hard I try to shove it out my head.  I can't forget.  

I try to just enjoy turning the handle of life, enjoying the music and happy times.  And hopefully I won't scare too bad when "Pop goes the cancer!!!!"


Benefit concert held for Amber Chase May 16th 2008.  Given by Abby Chase, and friends Savannah Anderson and Riley Davis.

Savannah Anderson, Rebekah Chase, Ammon, Me, Abby Chase, Keigely Davis, Riley Davis. 

Anyone who has children understands how EXASPERATING they can be.  Some days they just drive you absolutely CRAZY!  And then some days, they do the sweetest, most wonderful things.  Yesterday was one of those crazy days, and today was one of those precious sweet days.

My 8 year old daughter Abby, and her friends, Savannah and Riley gave me a benefit concert.  They have been planning this for weeks.  They wrote and practiced songs during recess at school.  Then they made fliers and handed them out around the neighborhood.  They wanted to do something to help earn money for my cancer treatments.  I thought the sentiment was sweet, and so heart warming!  The fact that they came up with the idea themselves, and spent so much time preparing and were so excited for it.......  Words can't describe how precious it was.  I received a bouquet of wildflowers, and the girls made a heart shaped envelope for donations. 

It was so touching and sweet, and totally adorable.  They sang some original songs, and then sang along with a couple of Hannah Montana songs and Alvin and the Chipmunks songs.  They danced and did gymnastics.  My face hurt from grinning.  We only had an audience of the girls' parents, grandparents, and siblings, as well as a couple of neighborhood kids, and it took place on the lawn of the elementary school, but it was the BEST concert I have ever been to!!!!!!!

I am humbled, and awed that these young girls cared so much to do something so special for me.  It just goes to show you, that no matter who you are, or how young or old you are, you can make a difference. 

So next time I go to the doctor, I am going to pay the $84.72 donated at my benefit concert towards my thousands of dollars of doctor bills, and this will be the biggest payment I have made because it means the most.  I don't think those girls and their families, and the people who donated will ever know the difference this made in our life.   But I am once again humbled and amazed at how blessed I am.

Savannah and my daughter Abby.  Savannah made the most adorable envelope that said "donations for Amber" on one side, and "We love Amber" on the other side.



It seems like everywhere I go, people tell me how cute, darling, fun, etc. my hair is.  If only I would have known, I would have chopped my hair off a long time ago!!!  It is really fun to "do" my hair.  I am trying out different styling goops to find the one that works.  This is a hairstyle I never would have chosen for myself, but I'm glad that people seem to think it suits me.  Who would have thunk. 


I just wanted to share Abby's (My 7 year old daughter) letter to Santa.

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas is my Mom to get all better from her cancer.  And I really want a paws off diary.  Cause I have wanted one for a really long time.  I want a really happy Christmas with my family.  I want a webkin too.
Abby Chase
p.s. I've tried to be really good.

Doesn't that just bring tears to your eyes?  Well, I hope she gets what she wants for Christmas.  Dear Santa, I want to be all better from my cancer, too.  I've tried to be really good....


I was so excited last week that I would be done with chemo, and then I would have a break from going to the hospital for 9 days.  I guess I must really love the hospital, because I just can't stay away.  I had to go have lab work done Monday and get pre-registered for surgery.  Then Tuesday I had an appointment with the doctor who will be doing my hysterectomy, and then I had to do more blood work.  Today I meet with the doctor who is doing my mastectomy.  And then Thursday is THE day.  I will be having a laprascopic hysterectomy the same day as my mastectomy. They need to get the ovaries out so they will quit feeding the cancer.  I need a sign that says:  DO NOT FEED THE CANCER.

I wonder if they will let me keep my breast in a jar, like they do with tonsils...  Or at least my ovaries....  hehehehe!  I will have to ask.l...

The thing I am dreading most is the bowel prep I have to do today before surgery.  A clear liquid diet only today....  What kind of last meal is that....  Jello and broth....... As if my nerves aren't bad enough already, now I get to be hungry all day too. 

I feel like Abby (my 7 year old)  when she cries and screams and kicks her feet and says, "It's not FAIR....."  I really feel like having a temper tantrum. 

I can't wait until this is over....... 


Through all of my treatments and illness I have tried to stay positive and hope for the best.  However something my Oncologist said to me at my visit last week (10-2) really bothered me.  He said that I only have to have chemo a couple of more times and then I can have a break from chemo to have my mastectomy.  He said that he thinks that the cancer is as small as he can get it with the chemo, and that it would be okay to take a break from it to have surgery.  I will have to continue with the Herceptin and Zometa.

He then said that sometimes the cancer can grow back as fast as it shrunk.  This really threw me for a loop.  I thought in my head that I was doing this to get the cancer in remission, as in I would have months, maybe years until the cancer grew.  I know this is a really aggressive form of cancer, but I was really hoping that it could be gone for good.  Not temporarily.

I wonder if I will have to go through treatment again and again, only to have a couple months of break in between treatments.  I am so discouraged that I will never feel whole and healthy again.  I wonder if I will always have to depend on others to help me take care of my family.  Was I unreasonable to think that I could be in remission for an extended period of time?  I have read that time to progression studies of people who had the same chemo is a median of 7-21 months.

Life is so precious, and I know there are no guarantees.  I could die in a car accident on my way to treatment.  I know I need to just remember to be grateful for each day that I am alive, and everyday that I am able to make more memories with my family.  I need to just live each day, and not worry about the future.  My heart is just breaking for all who walk this road with me, and those who leave this life early because of it.  I'm very sad today.  I guess I just need to be grateful for what I have, and live each moment to it's fullest.

I still have quite a ways to go in my journey.  I need to remember to only try to deal with one day at a time, otherwise it is so overwhelming all that I will have to go through to fight this disease.  

I have tried to be strong for my family, all happy and hopeful, but last night I sobbed to my husband about all of my fears and frustrations.  It felt so good to just get some of that pent up emotion out.

I am feeling a lot better about things today.  I had my 16th treatment (But who's counting) and spent a good 15 minutes talking with my doctor's PA about long term treatment plans, etc.  She mapped out the different options (both chemo drugs and hormone inhibition etc.) and it really helped put my mind at ease.

I only have 1 more treatment of Taxol to go, and then I go see the surgeon to get on the schedule for my mastectomy.  I am scared to go off the Taxol, and just be on the herceptin.  I really hope that the herceptin can keep the cancer in check.  I did get the results of my MUGA scan (heart test) and my heart is performing just as well as before I started treatment, so that is good news.  Sometimes the Herceptin can cause severe heart damage, and then you can't take it anymore.

I read the other day about a company that makes t-shirts for breast cancer patients.  It says "yes they are fake, my real ones tried to kill me."  I think I will get one of those shirts so I can laugh about losing my breast, the same way I have tried to use humor to be okay with the fact that I lost my hair.  I learned this example from my Grandpa more than 20 years ago when he was battling cancer. He lost his hair from chemo and radiation and used to say "Now I look like humpty dumpty"  He was such a good example, and back then treatments were so much harder.  It has been almost 20 years since he passed away, but his example still sticks with me.

Anyway, thanks again for all of your support. It helps so much to not be riding this roller coaster aloud.  We can all scream together, laugh together, and cry together.  I don't think any of us are racing to get back in line to ride again, though!