Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Oncology check up

I saw Dr. Peacock today for an exam, x-ray and blood draw. She is very pleased with my progress and gave me the all clear again! I will see her again in October. She wasn't as pleased with the weight I've gained, but I assured her that I was getting back into the exercise and healthy eating routine. She is a firm believer in exercise 5 days a week to prevent recurrence.

I lost weight during chemo treatments, and got into the pattern of eating whatever I wanted - to the tune of 14 unwanted pounds - yuck! Hormone changes also played a bit in the weight gain as well, but I have to be honest - I have really enjoyed the taste of food the last few months as well. I told her about the Helping People Thrive program that I will be starting on August 10th and she thinks it is fantastic and just what I need. I also talked to her about my eyelash issue. She recommended a b complex for that. There is a new prescription med (Latrisse), but she said it is expensive and to try the vitamins first. 

I also went by and got my blood drawn for my Vitamin D level. Of course it was at another location, so I had to be stuck again. I feel like I've been sucked dry by the lab vampires today! I should hear back from that test in a week or so.

Thank you for everyone's continued prayers! 

Monday, July 27, 2009

Eyelash frustration

This blog may sound a bit vain and whiny...so forgive me in advance.

I inherited my Dad's long black eyelashes. His have much more curl, some curling in a complete circle, but mine were always long and fairly full. I remember in high school Amber and I gobbing the mascara on, and then separating each lash with a needle to get that definition we wanted. We never had the Farah Fawcett hair, so we focused on our eyes. Well...since chemo my eyelashes have returned, but when they finally get to a decent length, they seem to break off. It's getting very frustrating. I keep reminding myself to be thankful they returned at all. Some people never regrow them at all.

Tomorrow will be my 1 year and 3 month appointment Dr. Peacock (Oncologist). It's also time to have my vitamin D level checked for my Orthopedic doctor. I'll update more after these appointments.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Daycation to Lynchburg

Some of my friends at work have decided we should start taking "daycations" whenever we get the chance. There are several options for day-trips from the Nashville area. This weekend was our first and we had a lot of fun. We headed out early Saturday morning to Lynchburg. We had lunch at Miss Mary Bo Bo's boarding house and then toured the famous distellary that put Lynchburg on the map.


The food at lunch was traditional southern fare and our northern friend Sean got his first taste of sweet tea and country ham. Our hostess Lila gave us a history lesson on the town of Lynchburg.






Jamie brought walkie talkies to use between cars and made a music road-mix to keep us entertained. I think our first day-trip was a huge success and we are exploring options for the next one already. Maybe mammoth cave?

Jenni's home!

Jenni arrived safely home to America on Tuesday! She had a wonderful trip to Europe and really enjoyed her time with Lauren in Amsterdam and Erin in Dresden. They made stops in Prague and two trips to Berlin. They had some interesting stays in hostels and while traveling. Jenni and Erin also got to see U2's stadium show in Berlin! I think Bryan and I were as excited, possibly even more so than she was, about this.


Upon her return, Jenni wanted Mexican food - so we headed out to our favorite spot, La Terezza, to have chips and salsa. Anna and Morgan were especially happy to see their Aunt Jenni!



Monday, July 20, 2009

Home again...

Our trip home on Sunday was pretty uneventful, just long. We had breakfast with the family at Jewel and Nancy's house. Then we stopped for lunch at "Ta Mollys" and then headed back across Arkansas. We had plenty of music and snacks to keep us awake and content.

About 10:30 last night, I sure was thankful to cross over the Mississippi and see those Memphis lights, welcoming us back. We arrived home to Nashville about 2am, and I was exhausted. I slept in today, but tomorrow it's back to work bright and early and back to training.

Family Reunion at Jewel and Nancy's house

All the family gathered at Jewel and Nancy's house on Saturday for lunch and to spend time catching up with each other. We try to have reunions every two years, but a lot can happen in two years time. It certainly has for me. I was so glad all my aunts and uncles could be there and several of my first cousins. I needed to see those faces and hug their necks after the year I've had.

We had about 30-40 family members show up, which is a pretty good turn out considering we are spread out all over the country. We have a very loud, loving family and even though we don't see each other very often it's never awkward. We just pick up where we left off at the last gathering. Chadd (Lisa's boyfriend) came and Bradley brought his new bride Stephanie. I wonder what they think of our family - they seemed to hang in there and fit right in.

After lunch some of us headed to the grassy knoll, the sixth floor museum and to see the Los Colinas horses for an outing. It's a bit surreal to stand in the area where people saw Kennedy get shot and see all the documents and hear all the theories.



We then gathered again at dinner time for a full Texas spread of Brisket, Shrimp and all the fixins'. It was all delicious and I ate way to much. Jewel and Nancy did a great job playing hostesses for the event.
The group picture is of my generation of cousins.

Saturday in Texas

The day started with a committment ceremony for Greg and Markanna. They wanted to pledge their love in front of family, so we went over to serve as witnesses. Ron got ordained (online) so he could preside over their ceremony. Olivia sang a song and they stood by the fountain and promised to love and cherish each other.

Six Flags over Texas


Friday we caught the trolley at our hotel and headed to Six Flags for a day of roller-coasters, log rides and carousels. It was hot, but there were misting fans strategically located all through the park. We kept our drink bottles refilled and stayed hydrated and happy. After riding the Texas Giant and Runaway Mountain I decided maybe I had outgrown the big thrill rides. I felt a bit bruised and shaken. I remember as a teenager running from the exit to get back in line to go again - I didn't have any desire to do that on this trip.


After our full day at Six Flags we hurried back to the hotel to change and head to dinner at "The Blackeyed Pea" to meet up with the family.

Road trippin' with my sisters



Road trips are nothing new to me, I grew up in a family that firmly believed in road trips. We were raised to see the road trip as a time for exploration and adventure. Linda, Lisa and I decided it would be an adventure to drive to Texas and see the sights along the way. Linda brought her sons Franklin (13) and Michael (5) along with us. Also, one their cousins David, (also 13) came along. We did a lot of searching and there is just not a lot to offer between here and Dallas without going an hour or so off the interstate. We did find a few things to break up the trip.

Our first official stop, was at Graceland in Memphis. The boys had not been to Graceland, so we educated them on all things Elvis. We had pictures made by the gate, visited the shops, and ate at the diner. Lisa even ordered a peanut butter and banana sandwich. Then we headed across the Mississippi to Arkansas for a long rainy drive through that state. We did stop in Texarkana to visit the state line marker for photos. We also got a little lost in Texarkana - and not in the best part of town, but we found our way out and back to I-30. After a long 14 hour trip we arrived in Arlington and found our hotel. Dad and Sherry had flown down earlier that day, so they were tucked in and resting by the time we arrived.

Next time I will remember it is a very long drive from Nashville, Tennessee to Dallas, Texas!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Upcoming Reunion

Linda, Lisa and I will be driving to Texas later this week for the Hendon Family Reunion in Euless, Texas. Luther and Jewel Hendon were my Mom's grandparents, and the reunion is for all their descendants. I feel so lucky to be part of such a large, loud, and loving extended family. In this big uncertain world, it is so comforting to know that I have family all over this big country that loves me and has my back. 

Thoughts

I was promised that cancer would not always be the first and last thoughts of my day. More and more I'm finding this to be true. I am really trying to begin and end my day focusing on all the things I have to be thankful for. I will always have doctors visits and scars to remind me of what I've been through, but at least it is not a constant focus these days.

It seems every week I meet or hear about someone who is just beginning their cancer journey and it breaks my heart that others are having to experience this. I really hope a cure for cancer will be found in my lifetime, so the future generations will not have to go through this. 

I reserved the "Fight like a girl" team name for this years Komen for the Cure race in October. I'll post more details on this soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another round of doctor visits...

Today was my routine every three month check up with Dr. Whitworth (breast surgeon). There was a mix up in my appointment times, so I had an hour and a half before they could see me. This actually ended up working in my favor, because my friend Kathy works very close to his office. I called and she met me at J.Alexander's for some delicious spinach dip and salad. 
Once back at the doctor, I saw Norma, the Nurse Practitioner and she did a physical exam to check for any signs of recurrence and pronounced me healthy! 

I'll see Dr. Peacock (Oncologist) on July 28th for lab work and yet another exam. I won't complain - as long as they keep giving me good reports.

Thank you for your continued prayers, love and support!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence day 2009

Happy 4th of July!

"What is the essence of America? Finding and maintaining that perfect, delicate balance between freedom ‘to' and freedom ‘from.'" ~ Marilyn vos Savant

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty." ~ John F. Kennedy

Thank you to all our service men and women that have, or are proudly serving our great country!

26th Anniversary

26 years! Wow, we've been married 26 years! We had hoped to go to Monaco last year for our 25th anniversary, but life had other plans, and I spent the summer with surgery and chemo. This year we are still catching up financially from all that happened last year. Maybe by our 30th anniversary we will make it to Europe.

We did meet after work on our anniversary and Bryan agreed to see "The Proposal". It is a very cute movie and it was nice to have a date night during the week. Happy Anniversary Bryan - I love you!