Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Vitamin D

I got the results of my vitamin D level - it was 31.9, normal is 32-100 so I have some work to do. The chemo thinned out my bones a bit, so I need to work on getting them back to normal. The doctor wants me on calcium and vitamin D twice daily and then I will have it rechecked in 3 months. I'm also to continue my weight bearing exercise and walking.

I actually had to get my hair cut again this past weekend. The back seems to grow much faster than the top and the ends were looking split. I think I'll keep it shorter than it was pre-chemo, it is so much faster to get ready in the morning.

Earth Week

Earth week, shouldn't we celebrate our beautiful earth every day? We were given this amazing planet with beautiful mountains, valleys, streams and oceans and we often take that for granted. I'm trying to do my part. We started recycling last year and I've been trying to compost what I can. I am thinking of investing in a rain barrel and compost bin to make this all more efficient. I've been watching lots of DIY tv and I love the idea of edible landscapes. The idea behind this is - replacing all or part of your lawn with edible plants and vegetables. I already have lots of rosemary, thyme and oregano.

Josh has agreed to build me a raised bed garden, but I have to wait my turn. He has lots of paying projects at present - which isn't a bad thing, it just means I have to add my name to his list. I hope to get this in soon, so I can plant some of my own veggies.

The 11th hour video really makes you stop and think, and really...who doesn't love Leonardo? I have decided to take the gorgeously green pledge, which includes supporting my local farmers market for my vegetables this year. It is amazing how much better these vegetables taste in comparison to the grocery store offerings.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dr. Peacock (Oncologist) visit

I saw Dr. Peacock today for my 9 month check up. They drew blood and she examined me and gave me a clean bill of health. Last time I was a bit anemic, but that has resolved itself. 

I am on the every 3 month plan with Peacock (Oncologist) and Whitworth (Oncology surgeon) for 2 years. These appointments seem to fall about a month apart, add in my plastic surgeon occasionally, and it feels like I'm constantly going to the doctor. Oh well, as long as I continue to get good news I won't complain. I am very lucky and blessed.

Thank you for your continued love, support and prayers!

Monday, April 20, 2009

9 month Oncologist visit tomorrow

I have an appointment with Dr. Peacock tomorrow, just my routine check up. I see her and my surgeon every 3 months. The appointments usually fall about a month apart. I am feeling fine, so I am not expecting a long office visit. I'll update more tomorrow evening.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Very sad week

On Tuesday we lost our friend Gregg Fulkerson. I can't remember ever not knowing Gregg. He is a few months older than me and he is woven in the fabric of my life. We were faculty kids together, which meant we were one big family- birthdays, school events, youth group activities, summer camp, graduation, etc...always together. Some kids are latch key kids, but when your parents worked at Freed once you reached a certain age you just got off the bus there and hung out on campus till your parent's finished for the day. Before we were old enough to do that, Gregg's mom Joyce kept us. I remember Gregg playing his guitar and singing Elvis songs and we couldn't have been more than 10 or 11. If you grew up with Gregg, you probably have at least one cassette with a song he wrote for you. Music was in his blood from the beginning.

When we were seniors in high school, Gregg joined a band with some college guys-one of them was Bryan. So I guess I actually met Bryan through Gregg. Mike, Bryan and Gregg played together for many years - several bands in college and after - Misfit, Nonstop, Sahara and then Blue Tears. So many memories of those years have come flooding back these past few days. There were many past band members, friends from childhood and college at his funeral. If anyone would have enjoyed having all those people in one place it would have been Gregg, but I'm sure he was watching from above and feeling very loved. At the end of the service Jessica Miller played "Sanctuary", one of Gregg's songs - the cd she sang with was him on piano. It is a beautiful song - here's the link:

After Blue Tears dissolved we didn't see Gregg as much. Off and on through the years we would re-connect. He came to some of Jenni's shows during her band years to show his support. Gregg was one of the most highly creative and emotional people that I knew and that caused challenges for him in all aspects of his life.

Lately Gregg and I had stayed in touch mainly through email. He contacted me when I was diagnosed and during my treatment. We had recently found out we worked almost on the same street and had planned to do lunch. We never had that chance. This reminds me once again to not put things off - let the people around you know how much you care for them every day.

Gregg leaves behind a precious little 8 year old boy named Carter. He was so proud of Carter and really tried to be a good dad. Jennifer (Carter's mom) was telling us how excited he was when he came in his room and saw Gregg's guitar. He said "you mean my Daddy left me his guitar!" I'm sure this is something he will cherish his whole life. (this picture of Carter is from 2006)

Gregg - you will be missed!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009

We had a great Easter this year. Dad and Sherry were here in town and we went to church with Lisa, her friend Chadd and his parents at Harpeth Hills. We then went for a delicious lunch at Carrabbas.

Josh, Chassi and the girls came over after they had lunch with her family. We attempted to get a family photo for Josh and Chassi, but getting three little girls all looking one direction and sitting still is quite a challenge. After the photos, Josh headed to work and the rest of us hunted eggs and played the day away.

The girls are crazy about their pink easter dresses, they call them their pink princess dresses. Elizabeth, Rosalee and Isabel picked those out for them and they love them!

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spending the night with Aunt Lisa

Anna 5 yrs
Morgan 4 yrs

Big shoes to fill

Emri - 16 months

Monday, April 6, 2009


Today was an odd one weather wise. We had rain, then snow and then sleet - all after a beautiful warm weekend. Oh well, at least it waited until the work week to turn cold again.

It is the end of the season for butternut squash, but here's a great recipe for some fabulous soup. It is one of my favorites and it's full of nutrients.

by: Catherine Bass

1 butternut squash
1 large can sweet potatoes
4-5 shallots
1-2 cloves garlic (to taste)
1 carrot, peeled
1 box of chicken broth
Black pepper
Cayenne/red pepper
milk or (half & half)

Cut butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds and discard. Rub both halves with olive oil, salt and pepper each half. Bake in oven 400 degrees for 1 hour or until fork tender. Remove and let cool so they can be handled.
Rough chop 4-5 shallots (or 1 onion), 2-3 cloves garlic, and one peeled carrot. Saute in olive oil until somewhat tender (10 minutes). Place mixture into a food processor, add 1 cup of chicken broth and puree. Place puree back into saucepan.
Scoop out the pulp of the squash and place in food processor with 1-2 cups of chicken broth. Start with 1 cup and then add the second cup as needed to make the mixture smooth. Once totally smooth, place this in the saucepan.
Place one large can of sweet potatoes (drain off any liquid) into the food processor, use the same process with chicken broth to make smooth puree. Add to saucepan.Stir in ½-1 tablespoon of salt, depending on quantity of sweet potato and butternut squash. Add several big shakes (1/2 Tablespoon maybe) of cayenne/red pepper. Stir in ¼ - ½ cup of milk (depending on quantity) and bring whole mixture to a boil. Stir frequently. You can change consistency with additional chicken broth. Reduce to low heat until ready to serve.


Beautiful weekend

We had a beautiful weekend here in Nashville. I was able to work in the yard on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and enjoy the beautiful sunshine. My flower beds got a little overgrown with weeds last summer, so it will take a little time to get them back into shape again.

I hope you were able to spend some time today with the sun on your face!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Tornado weather

It was a bad weather day here in Nashville/Franklin. About 3:30 the tornado sirens were blaring and they sent us all to the interior rooms. We stayed for about 30 minutes until the storm passed over the area. I waited until a lull in the rain and headed home. We have storm warnings out until 2 am - sounds like it is going to be a long night. I'm thinking this calls for comfort food, the couch and a good book.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Story of the day

I always wanted to invent something that would move around and make funny noises and would change the world as we know it. I forgot all about that until we had kids, and now I see I came pretty close.
-Story People