....chemo day.

What am I thankful for?! My bed!
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Perfect 'Summer' Day

Today was an amazing day! We started the day with a big Diamond Dawgs win, then headed to the waterpark for fun in the sun where I went down a couple waterslides, lounged on the lazy river, swam some laps, and watched the kids enjoy themselves outside of a hot, dirty ballfield, and finally we ended the day with a picnic with our Dawg family!
On the cancer front I am feeling well, but bummed about the constant hair thinning...looks like I need to look for a wig soon. Maybe on Tuesday.
Thankful for?!?! Fun in the SUN and waterparks!!!
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I talked with the nurses last night, and they got a doc in my room first thing this morning. Talked to the doc and worked my way out of the hospital!

I am now in KC with Dan and the boys! GO DAWGS!!!

Thankful for?! Fresh air and sunshine!
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End of Day 3

It looks like I might be getting out of here tomorrow! My fever is down, and while my while blood counts are dropping, I convinced them to give me a shot to boost those, so hopefully they will be looking better on tomorrow mornings blood draw.

I spent some time with mom, (mostly) dad, grandma Leff, Brandy, Kody, Skye, Laken, and Dan today.

Kody wrote me a book, so I read that this evening. Now I am waiting for my meds so I can go to sleep! If all goes well, I hope to go to KC for the weekend to see Skye play baseball. Keep your fingers crossed!

On a sad note, I got a message yesterday letting me know that this nice new patient that I had met and talked to my cancer center had passed away from pancreatic cancer. Her husband had informed me a few days prior that she was going home to have hospice care in her home, as her organ had begun to shut down, so I knew It was coming, but it sucks all the same.

Thankful for?! More time.
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End of day 2

Well, I am ending day 2 in the hospital and I got to see the boys tonight! Dan brought them over after he got off of work.
Laken is a trooper! His teeth were feeling okay tonight, but his lip was pretty sore. Dan had to run down and get him some motrin.
It is hard to hang with the boys in a hospital room, I could tell they wanted to get home, but I did get good hugs and kisses and they wrote little notes to me on the dry/erase board in my room.
With regards to my health, or lack there of, they don't know the cause of my fevers yet. My temp is back down to normal again. I continue to get IV antibiotics. My stomach is still upset. I haven't kept down more than a canned pear today. Mmmm! =) But, I am happy to not have the chills and shakes like I did yesterday. That was no good!
Thankful for?! A nice chat with Terri! And a lot of text messages from people checking in on me.
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Just saw the doc. I am going to be here another night. Fine with me, I feel horrible. Living alone and being sick is rough! Here I have help!
Cancer Sucks! When do I wake up and find that this is all just a bad dream?!
Thankful?! That Laken was able to sleep through the night and grandpa Harnly is looking after him today. Thank you, Jim!
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Well, chemo has landed me in the hospital this time. I started getting chills that I couldn't calm with both a blanket and a space heater. I called my doc and he sent me to the ER. While here my fever continued to rise despite tylenol, so they admitted me for IV antibiotics.
While here Laken ran into a pole with his face and chipped a bottom and top permanent front teeth, and pushed the other permanent front tooth back. They splinted that tooth, in an attempt to save it, but he will likely lose it. Poor thing!
Thankful for?! Emergency medical and Dental care!
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I was successful in getting chemo yesterday. They started over with Carboplatin and Gemzar, but have reduced the dosage of carbo by 20% in hopes of not killing all my good cells this time.

I have been sick to my stomach since about 9pm last night, but that is my only side effect, so far that I can tell. But, it is still early. Usually they don't hit till Wed or Thur.

What am I thankful for?! Nausea meds and time last night to spend watering my garden and flowers.
I miss Kim! =( Rest In Peace, Friend.
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Husker Baseball

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36 years old!

Thursday I celebrated my birthday at work and with girl friends past and present! I had a wonderful day and hope they all stick around in the future! I got lots of flowers and gifts...I wish they all knew that getting to SPEND TIME WITH THEM was the gift! In my life, I consider time to be the most coveted gift of all! So, tonight the boys and I spent quality time together at the Husker Baseball game! Nothing' better than that!!! The Huskers won and we enjoyed our time together! Saturday I will be spending time with my boys and my family! We are going to roast hot dogs and marshmallows! I am having a great birthday WEEK!

I also have something great to look forward to! In a week my BFF is moving in with me for a while! It will be so great to have her around!!!

I am so very blessed! In the midst of so much pain and uncertainty, I can still say and be happy that I have so many, many things in my life to be thankful for!

I hope to enjoy the weekend to the fullest, as chemo is just around the corner on Monday, and I need to be prepared for the 'TKO' that comes with it....*sigh*

What am I thankful for?! I am thankful for flowers, pez, M&Ms, rock candy, cards, rubbermaid, Faith, massages, leather pants with pink paint, $, GCs, active shoes with toes, CDs, bubble bath, cameras, more and more and more flowers!!! And, most of all, your TIME and friendship! Hope and Love! -T
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Watching my boys sleep...love it!!!

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Lipstick and Earrings

Today is a great day!

I feel more healthy today than I have in 9 months! Just in time to celebrate my 36th birthday tomorrow!!!

4 more years and I have promised myself a trip to NYC! I CAN do this!

I didn't sleep much last night, so I spent most of the night watching my boys sleep. It was a heavenly view!
Hope and Love to all!

What am I thankful for?! Sunshine and blood donors!
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Today is a better day! Two units of red blood yesterday and some sun, fresh air, baseball, and time with the kids today = Much Better Day!
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More Quality Time than He Expected

My dad drove me to Omaha for lab and chemo today, and again they are putting off my chemotherapy. All my lab was low. White blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. Plus I told him about my evening fevers, and my lightheadedness.

I will receive daily shots for the next week. One to boost RBCs and one to boost WBCs. I will also get lab every other day to keep an eye on what is happening. I will take antibiotics and will track my temperatures. Chemo will hopefully be next week.

Today we left for Omaha at 9am and we are just heading back to Lincoln now, 9:38pm. When I get there I will have a trip to Walgreens and then finally home to crash! Dad will still have another 40min drive after I hit my bed!

What am I thankful for?! HELP.
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Tomorrow I am scheduled to make up the chemotherapy (Gemzar) that I had to put off last week. If my white blood cell counts have not rebounded to at least close to the low end of normal, then it is possible that chemo could be put off again. With that comes mixed emotions. I need the chemo to survive this deadly disease, but I HATE dealing with the side effects! This has been worse than the first go around. I suppose that is because my body isn't as strong as it was in the beginning due to having been in treatment for the last 5 years straight.

I have been getting light headed a lot, but I have not passed out since that one time in the middle of the night. I also took my temperature a couple of times this evening and it was 100.8* and 100.4*. They said to call if my temp went up, so I am kinda glad I am going to see my doc in the morning. I am already on antibiotics, so I am not sure why my temperature is up.

What am I thankful for?! Time spent with my parents this weekend. They are spending a lot of time with me and have been so helpful around the house, keeping my spirits up and taking me to Omaha. Brandy also helped by dropping off Gatoraide in every color!
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End of grade school

Tonight Skye had his 5th grade musical. He did fantastic, and I was unable to hold back the tears. This was Skye's last event before heading off to Middle School! What a blessing that I am still here to see this transition, as he was in Kindergarten when I was 1st diagnosed with cancer. While I was happy to be in that seat, the new developments in my cancer definately made me worry about whether I would be at more events in the future. Cancer holds you hostage with thoughts of "when will I die?"...I hate it!!! Anyone could die at any time, but I have to worry about it all the time! I don't want to, I just can't help it! Cancer Sucks! Speaking of cancer sucking, my thoughts are with you Mel! Prayers to you!

Thankful for?! So happy to have spent tonight watching Skye sing! He is my STAR!

Blood Counts

I got the results on my bloodwork, and my white blood cells seem to be rebounding, slowly but surely. They are still low, but they feel that they could be fine by Monday without having to give me the dreaded shots to boost their production. Woo-Hoo! I am not a fan of those shots...the poke I can handle, it's the bone pain that follows that I don't like.

The bad news is that my platelets have plummeted since Monday, so they said if I start to have any bleeding, like a bloody nose, that I should go directly to the ER. If they continue to be this low when I go in on Monday, I will have a platelet transfusion.

Thankful for?!?! Naps.
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Reseaching Drugs

Well, I have been doing my research and the drug that is going to help me get and stay positive is T-DM1.

Hopefully it will be available to people such as myself in a year to 18 months (I hope, crossing fingers!). It was just in stage 2 of clinical trials and was doing so well on my type of breast CA that they stopped the trial and gave it to all the women. They are now trying to rush it through the FDA, but there is still a lot that needs to be done.

Right now they are allowing everyone in the clinical trial to be on and stay on the drug. They are also allowing women to take it on a compassionate basis. In order to get on the drug that way, you half to have failed all types of standard chemotherapy, and have progressive disease. Since, there are types I haven't tried yet, I can't get on the new drug, until it is available to everyone. (12-18 month, hopefully)

What I think is so good about this drug, is that it uses both chemo and biological therapy. Biological therapy allows the combination drug to seek out just the cancer cells and then the chemo component kills them. This is much less toxic on the system, therefore causing fewer side effects! AMEN!

Anyway, that is my simple explaination of what is going on in my head regarding my cancer treatment. My goal is to use these old school standards of treatment to get me through until this new drug combination comes out! The new drug should allow me a much better QOL (quality of life) (if it works for me), than the drugs I am on now.

What am I thankful for?! Dan came over tonight to help us get the video games hooked up. Skye and I have tried for (sadly) months and just couldn't get It accomplished, so Dan so kindly came and got them going. Skye and I were able to plug everything in right, but when It didn't work, we weren't able to discern which component was the problem. Dan was quick at It, and the kids are very happy now! And I am too, maybe they will play a game or too and allow me a little nap time after chemo day. And I can't wait to kick their bootys in bowling! And get started back on the Wii Fit! Fun stuff!

Hope and Love, T
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Holding up Half the Sky

One day an elephant saw a hummingbird lying on it's back with its tiny feet in the air. "What are you doing?" asked the elephant.

The hummingbird replied, "I heard that the sky might fall today, and so I am ready to help hold it up, should it fall."

The elephant laughed cruelly. "Do you really think," he said, "that those tiny feet could help hold up the sky?"

The hummingbird kept his feet int he air, intent on his purpose, as he replied, "Not alone. But each must do what he can. And this is what I can do."

Holding Up Half The Sky- A Chinese Folktale
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Two beautiful flowers for two amazing little boys!

My favorite flower bloomed at my dad's house on my boys' birthday!
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Chemo Update, set back

‪I went into Omaha for lab and treatment today only to find out that I am unable to have chemotherapy this week.‬ The biggest problem is my white blood cell count which is down to almost nothing. Also, my blood pressure is very low, they had to take it three times to get it to even read on the machine, and my weight is down 7 pounds in a week. I have been having chills and I have a low grade fever, so I am also on antibiotics for a week.  They gave me a digital thermometer to keep by my bed to remind me to occasionally take my temperature.  They were not too happy that I had those symptoms and then was around an entire baseball team all weekend (mostly I was in my hotel room, so they seemed pretty ok with that)‬‪.
I will get my blood drawn in Lincoln this Thur to see if my blood counts have gone up any on their own, and if they have, GREAT! If not I will do shots on Fri and Sat to help boost them up and then go in on Monday again to see if they are up to a satisfactory level. If they are, I will have week 2's chemo that day, and then a break the following week before starting my next round. 
They also said I might lose my hair because I have been in so much treatment over the last 5 years and they are giving me a high dose of Carboplatin.  They gave me a script for a wig today incase I want to get a wig ahead of time...to "be prepared".‬‪. Cab anyone really be prepared for the instant hairloss that chemo causes?!
So, the saga continues…‬‪

What am I thankful for?! Thankful for my dad who took the kids to school for me this morning and drove me to Omaha to meet with my oncologist, and for my mom who tipped him off to the idea that I might need help with that today! I have FANTASTIC parents! And, thankful for my sis who called to check on me tonight and talked until her heart monitor started going off in toy-r-us! Haha! That place makes my heart race too! Hers must have been racing so much that her battery was starting to die! Sweet dreams my crazy family!
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Chemo Update

Well, Chemo hit me on Thursday instead of Wednesday, like I had expected. Fortunately, my mom was able to help out and the kids and I had a great day with her at the zoo for their birthdays. Skye commented once that I looked miserable, so we sat out the bears and the aviary and got something to drink while mom and Laken did those. We ended the trip with cupcakes in the parking lot! All in all, I think it turned out well given the situation. We made it back to Lincoln in time for baseball practice (during which I curled up in the Jeep and slept, I was beat to say the least but I would do ANYTHING for my kids) and then we went out to dinner with Dan.
Friday I woke up unable to walk to the bathroom without having to lay down on the floor. I was so weak. It took everything in me to shower....while sitting on the floor of the shower, put some clothes in a bag and brush my teeth by 4pm.
At 4pm Dan and the boys came and put me in the Tahoe, and we headed to Des Moines IA for baseball. When we got here Dan headed to his room, the boys headed to the pool and I hit my room to lay down.
The highlights of the day were: receiving a letter from Skye for mother's day (which made me bawl because he is too grown up for his age sometimes), flowers from the boys in bottles they had decorated, and 9:30pm when the boys came back to the room to snuggle!
At 12:42am my chemo fog seemed to lift, and I am hoping that means a good day of watching baseball tomorrow! (Well, I guess today, since Skye has to be up in 4 hours!)
Luckily I have great support from the other baseball parents, so if things don't go as well as I am hoping, I can always count on them!
What am I thankful for?! A weekend full of baseball with Dan and the boys! Life can be good! Thanks to Heidi S for helping me through the bad times today, because I was having a hard time remembering that, and that is a bad thing to forget!
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Now I get to share photos with you all! How fun! I love photos! YAY! Even better when I can do this from bed! =)

marathon shoes.jpg

My sisters marathon shoes! She ran for me and for Lil Ben who lost his battle with a childhood brain tumor.
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The two best things that have ever happened to me!!! My Boys!!!
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Heidi S's marathon shirt! How awesome for her to support me like this! Brandy and Lori B did similair things, but I don't have their pics.
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Brandy and I at the Lincoln National Guard 1/2 Marathon
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I would like to say that my heart hurts for all of us that loved & were touched by our friend Mary Beth who just lost her battle with cancer. RIP! We will miss you! xoxo!
1st treatment today! The chemo I will be on should NOT cause hair loss! Wow! 5 continuous yrs on cancer treatments & still no hairloss! Sorry my hairless buds!
I'm going to be treated with Carboplatin/Gemzar/Tykerb. I was on C/G in 2005 and have been on Tykerb since Nov 09. I will have 2 weeks on and 1 week off.
Thanks to all who texted good wishes today & to everyone who has been commenting on my BLOG. In this time of sadness/fear/ frustration your words really help!


Tomorrow is the big day... I will meet with my oncologist, make a plan, and hopefully get the chemotherapy started. I found more swollen lymphnodes today! =(
Had ton of support this weekend from my family, The DDDivas(& dads), & my friends running the marathon! I'm blessed to have these great people in my life! xo
Thankful for?! A lot of fresh air this weekend! The DD's had a great baseball Tournament- 2nd place (YAY Skye), & my sis kicked butt in the 1/2 marathon! Proud!