Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Son

What can I say about Josh? It is hard to know where to begin. Josh was raised by college age kids...which I think is probably the equivalent of being raised by wolves.

He started talking before he started walking, and really hasn't stopped to take much of a breath since. The first two words he really put together were "Cawolee's awful" - and if any of you know Carolee - she is ANYTHING, but awful! Sorry Carolee...he was prompted I'm very sure!

I'm not sure how much of a childhood he had. He grew up with us, and we just took him along wherever we went. As a result, he has friends of all ages and rarely meets a stranger. When he was 4 1/2, along came baby sister Jenni and he became a big brother and hero, and she became his side-kick.

Josh is very much my "extreme" child. He has always been very active, and loves to try new things. Whether it's martial arts, hockey, cycling, scuba diving, rappelling or jumping out of a plane - he has tried it. Josh has always had a large circle of friends. If he said, "hey Mom a few friends are coming over for a movie night" - we quickly learned to expect 15 to 20 cars when we arrived at home. When we moved him to the larger basement room, he immediately started building his own furniture. Little did we know...this would become his life's work when he was making such a noisy mess downstairs.
When Josh was 17 he met Chassi and fell in love. They got married when they turned 19 and since then have taken on "extreme parenting". They quickly found out how fertile they were... and they have 3 beautiful girls to show for it. Anna Belle 4, Morgan 3 and Emri 9 months. They are all very precious and energetic and Emri is already beginning to talk at 9 months. It makes me smile to hear him saying the same things to them that I said so many times to him.

Chassi has been one of my biggest supporters these past few months. She has kept my house clean, grocery shopped and kept me positive every day. We are blessed to have her in our family.

Josh worked for a couple of cabinet makers for several years, and now he is running his own business "Wildwood Custom Furniture". He makes beautiful tables, desks, chests, cutting boards, etc... He is currently making a broadcast desk for WSM and the Grand Ole Opry. I'll add his website to this blog, as soon as it is up and running fully. His email is , if you have any custom furniture needs.

Of the billions of questions Josh asked me when he was a child there are a couple I never could answer:
  • "What does the giraffe say?"
  • "If Wonder Woman put her golden "lasso of truth" around you, would you tell the truth as you knew it, or the absolute truth?"
 Feel free to help me with these.

I have said it many times, it has been physically and mentally exhausting to raise Josh, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world!

So many things to do...

I promised in an earlier blog, that I would write about "The son" and "The daughter" so I'm finally going to try to get to those, as well as return about 20 phone calls and about 40 emails.
I had a good nap after church today, so I am trying to tackle some of those overdue tasks now. Please be patient if you are waiting on me to return your call or email. I get overwhelmed easily, but I have every intention of getting back with everyone. Going back to work has been very good for me, but has also been exhausting. I'm hoping all my strength and energy returns very soon.

Happy Birthday Karen

My friend Karen and her husband Mark had a birthday party this weekend. It was on Friday the day of my last chemo, so we stopped by to celebrate with them. They had our friends the "Mulch Brothers" play for entertainment, and instead of presents she asked everyone to give a donation to the American Cancer Society or Gilda's Club. Karen's father and father in law have both been affected by cancer. They received over 1300 dollars in donations at the party.
Great party idea Karen and Mark!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Chemo over, finished, DONE!

12 weeks of chemo is finished! Yipee! I am so relieved to be finished. Tammy got my IV on one try, and after a bit of a wait for the drug to arrive from the pharmacy, I finally got my last dose of chemo. I've been tired this weekend as usual, but so thankful to have this over with. Hopefully my strength will return quickly and I'll be stronger every day!
Once again I was spoiled with great meals this past week. Carmen sent roast, carrots and potatoes. Mike and Lori brought Pei Wei and then had us over for steaks on Saturday. I appreciate all the great meals we have been blessed with these past few months. It certainly has made this all go easier.
I really want to thank everyone who has held me up in your thoughts and prayers over the last 12 weeks. I couldn't have made it without all the love and support I've been surrounded by.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

3 month follow up appointment

I had my 3 month follow up appointment at Dr. Whitworth's office today. I got great results, no signs of recurrence to be found! For the next 2 years, both my Surgeon and my Oncologist will check me every 3 months.

Friday...this Friday the 26th is my LAST chemo treatment! #12 here I come! I am SO ready to have this over with.

Thank you again for all your love, support and prayers!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hope on Wheels HOW 100 Ride 2008

The HOW 100 Ride is a 30 mile ride down the Natchez Trace Parkway that around 450 women rode for women who have had breast cancer in their lives. Lisa Wynn rode this ride in honor of Pam Walch and myself. I've never personally met Lisa, she is a friend of one of my friends (Kathy Bright). I know from talking to her on email, she is a great person and I hope to meet her soon. Pam and I signed bandanas that she carried with her on the ride and she also signed our names on the "Wall of Hope" at the end of the ride. I have some pictures that Lisa sent me, but my internet is up and down these days so I'll add these as soon as I can.

Lisa and my friend Kathy will be riding the "Jack and back" ride for MS on October 4th, while we are at the Komen walk. We will all be with each other in spirit that day.

Thanks again Lisa!

Chemo # 11 done!

Only one more chemo treatment to go! I am trying very hard not to whine, I have SO much to be thankful for, but I'm tired of being tired.
My sister Lisa took me to this last treatment and I sat by a lady who was just starting her 12 wks of the same treatment that I am finishing. I tried to encourage her and give her hope that she will get through it. She was scared and weepy, just like I was 11 weeks ago. I hope she has a fabulous set of friends, family and coworkers like all of you!!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Two more chemo treatments

The last chemo was a two drug dose and it took it's toll on me for several days. I am just feeling back to slightly normal and it's time for another treatment. I keep reminding myself though, I only have 2 more to go!!

I had fabulous Chicken tetrazini from Lindy last week and tonight we had a wonderful Italian dinner from Katherine. The gourmet blessings...they just keep coming. Thank you girls!!

Team Fight Like a Girl

Tomorrow, Sept. 19th is the deadline to officially join the "Fight like a girl" Komen Race for the Cure team for the Oct. 4th walk. Actually I think you can join late, but you have to pay a late entry fee of 10.00. 
So...if you want to walk with us, sign up NOW!! We have over 20 members already. I just heard that some of our Verizon friends will be joining us in the walk. I am so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful supportive people! I also greatly appreciate all those that couldn't be with us to walk, but sent in a donation anyway. 

All of this just gets us one step closer to a cure! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Dad's coming to visit

My Dad and Sherry (stepmom) are coming to visit this weekend. I can't wait to see them both. They have been so supportive through all this, and there is nothing like a hug from your Dad when you don't feel well. 

Chemo #10

Chemo #10 is over! Only two more to go! This was my last dose where I get both drugs (cytoxan and abraxene) and it's already taking it's toll. I had to have treatment on Thursday this week, because my doctor was out of town on Friday. Catherine took me and it took longer than normal, the chemo room was full of people. It took 3 tries to get my IV started this week, but all went well when they finally got it going. We had plenty of time to talk and catch up. It's been such a busy summer at home and work we haven't had much time to do that lately. Catherine has been my organizer for everything, and I don't know what I would have done without her. She reminds me of appointments, has food set up and helped organize my ride list for chemo treatments. Everyone should have a friend like her.

Today I worked from home between naps. We have training next week, so there is lots to do to get ready for that. I just can't seem to get enough rest today, hopefully I'll be up and going by Sunday.


I saw my plastic surgeon this week again to get my expanders filled. That is never fun, but it's necessary to get to the next step. We set a date for my reconstructive surgery - November 24th. I will have surgery on that Monday, be able to shower by Wednesday and have a very thankful Thanksgiving!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Not so great day

I didn't go to work today, although I did work from home some. I woke up shaky and with a slight fever. Since my counts are down I have to report in if my temp is over 100.5, and it never went over 100. It just hung around all day to make me feel miserable. Jenni got me a mango smoothie that certainly made me feel better. I'm hoping a good nights sleep will revive me, and tomorrow I'll be up and around again.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Done with Chemo #9

Chemo #9 is over and done!! Only 3 more to go. My WBC was 1900, and my Hgb 12, so I'm not anemic anymore but my low white count probably accounts for all my fatigue. I just have to stay away from sick people and monitor my temperature for any signs of sickness and get plenty of rest.

Elizabeth took me today, I always enjoy being with her and once again the time passed quickly. Joyce and Elizabeth (Landon) are like my satellite sisters. My dad and her dad were roommates and my mom and her mom were roommates when they all first went to teach at Freed over 40 years ago. They double dated and then married and were always best friends. I can't remember a time in my life when we weren't all together. We lost my mom (Reba) and their mom (Ouida) to cancer several years ago. I miss them both every day. I am sure they are up in heaven sitting on a cloud watching over all of us and giggling. Because that is what they did when they were together- giggle like schoolgirls. My dad (David) and Bob are still best friends. Bob has been having some health problems, but he and dad still go out to movies and to eat whenever he is up to it.

They renamed the Home Ec. house on campus the "Thomas-Landon" house. It is where my mom held all her Nutrition/Foods/Fashion classes when she taught there, it's also where I had my wedding. We just like to call it the "Reba-Ouida" house. : )

Once again, keep those prayers going. So far my veins are holding out and I am still doing very well overall and I know it's because of all the love, support and prayers that I am receiving from all of you! God is so good!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Doing ok

I know I haven't been as faithful at keeping up with my blog recently. It's taking all my brain power and energy to go to work every day. I do think having a daily routine is good for me, but I am exhausted by the afternoon and tend to go to bed early. I'm still feeling fairly well, although my appetite is not as good. I'm trying hard to keep up with my water intake to keep hydrated. Thank you for all your prayers, only 4 more weeks of chemo left!