Friday, January 29, 2010

Snow Day

Work was cancelled today due to snow. I got the call at 5:55 a.m., smiled and went back to sleep. I slept in until 9:30 and it felt fabulous. I've been feeling sort of yucky all week, not bad enough to stay home, but just not myself. I'm thinking now I may have just needed a day to sleep in and relax.

I will think about all the work deadlines on Monday- today is a SNOW DAY!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


I started my Actonel on Saturday morning. You have to take the tablet with water, then stay upright for 45 minutes before having anything more to eat or drink. I did some laundry and cleaned a bit and then had my breakfast. I will take one tablet each month and hopefully this and weight bearing exercises will heal my bones. No side effects I can tell, they said I might have flu like symptoms the first few days after, so far so good.

I remember when these medications first came out and I was working as a health coach. I had a lady call in and ask if she should start taking the medication the Flying Nun was taking. It took me a minute to realize she was talking about Sally Field's commercial for osteo. I guess that just shows that those commercials do work for some people, they hear them and actually ask their doctor if they should be taking those medications. I like Sally and all, I just didn't want to have this in common with her.

Oncology visit

I had my January follow up with Dr. Peacock and she entered the room carrying meds and I knew something was up. She said my bone scan showed osteopenia in one area, and osteoporosis in another. I knew the chemo could cause my bones to take a hit, but I guess I was hoping that would not be the case. I have gotten used to her coming in the room and telling me that everything looks good and this caught me off guard.

When I left the office I was very bummed out by the news about my bones. Then I got upset with myself, for letting this news upset me. Osteoporosis is small potatoes compared to cancer, and it can be treated and hopefully reversed with the medications. Thank you God for letting me remain cancer free!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Scan and MRI

Today I had a bone density scan today to check the status of my bones. The chemo tends to thin them out some, so they wanted to get a baseline. I have been faithfully taking my calcium and vitamin D and trying to get in plenty of weight bearing exercises.

After I finished at Baptist, I was off to Premiere Orthopedics for an MRI. Dr. Law wanted to get a follow up on that spot on my T-spine. He doesn't expect any change this year, but wanted to be safe and scan it again this year. I don't consider myself claustrophobic but being in that little tube for 20 minutes is not very comfortable. I have learned to keep my eyes shut and try to meditate. Hopefully that is my last one for a while. I should hear the results in a week or so.

Tomorrow it's off to the oncologist for my routine labs and check up. I always breathe easier once she gives me the all clear.

The week of Bryan

It's become an annual event. Bryan takes the week of his birthday off from work and does pretty much whatever he wants all week. He slept late, stayed up late, took a cycling journey, photo journey, jammed with his best buds, watched movies and ate lots of Mexican food with friends and family. This year the week of Bryan also fell on Nashville's restaurant week, so we ended the week celebrating with friends at Jimmy Kellys.

Happy Birthday Bryan!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year's Resolutions...

Laugh more, Love more, Pray more

Vacation with the people I love - 1 honeymoon trip, 1 family trip, 1 girlfriends trip

Drink more water - if you see me, remind me to have a glass

Budget and save money

Create one piece of art each month

Exercise more - the abs and tush are not going to take care of themselves; I am going to have to intervene

Happy Birthday Chassi

Chassi is a New Year's Day baby and I am afraid often her birthday gets overlooked since it is at the end of the big holiday season. We had a celebration birthday lunch at Rafferty's on New Years Day and then she and Josh went to see Sherlock Holmes.

Happy 26th Birthday Chassi!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Years Eve

We had some friends over to help us ring in the New Year. We ate delicious food, played "Shout about Music" and Jammed our way into 2010. Well, some of them jammed their way into 2010 and some of us just sang along and laughed. We have very patient neighbors who didn't complain about drums and guitars at midnight - thank goodness.

Jenni surprised us by coming home to help celebrate, and brought Erin with her. Josh stopped by after work and took heaping plates of food for him and Chassi. I haven't made my New Years Resolutions yet, but I'm working on it.

Lori brought an inflatable fruit cake - it was the hit of the party! Because who doesn't need an inflatable fruitcake?

Missing my Mom

December 27th is my Mom's birthday and I always think of her even more on that day. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss having her here with us. When I am in a store, or hear a song, read a book and think - oh, Mom would love this. I know she would be having a great time with Josh's girls and I am sad they never got to know her. She was a very big part of Josh and Jenni's life and I am thankful for the time they had with her. They loved their "Reba" and she was crazy about them. She and Jenni used to love watching musicals, talking fashion and analyzing all the available princes in the world. Before Jenni came along Josh used to make Mom be his side kick. If he was playing Captain Hook, she would have to be Smee. She was always such a good sport about it.

I see pieces of Mom in Linda, Lisa and Jenni and even in myself. Even though she cannot physically be here with us anymore; I do feel her prescence with us everyday and that is comforting. Thank you for being an awesome Mom - I love you!

Christmas Day at the Halls

After we opened presents from Santa, we headed to Lebanon to Bryan's family gathering.
Dan is in Iraq this year, but we were able to talk to him through skype. Technology is so good - it was great to see his face and hear his voice. Dan said they were well fed for the holidays and the company that is running their cafeteria went out of their way to make it festive for the troops. We miss having him here with us, but are so proud of him for all his hard work and sacrifice. Deanna is doing an amazing job juggling everything while he is away. Lauren and Logan seem to be well adjusted and happy with their new school. I know Deanna is thankful to have Bryan's parents near by for an extra layer of support right now.

We had a delicious holiday dinner with turkey, ham and all the trimmings. Once we were all well fed, we moved to the living room to open presents. I think we all got everything we wanted and then some. We should all have plenty of toys, clothes, music and electronics to last us a year or two. Fabulous day - Fabulous family!

Santa has arrived!

Christmas morning was loud and exciting at our house. Jenni was home and Josh, Chassi and the girls spent the night as well. Santa ate his cookies, drank his milk and left lots of presents. Anna, Morgan and Emri got Disney dolls and lots of other toys. Josh got a replacement Teddy Ruxpin, Chassi got the Annie DVD, and Jenni got a driedel bear.

When Josh was little he loved his Teddy Ruxpin. He loved listening to the stories that Teddy would tell him. Then one day Josh put a Van Halen tape in Teddy and the poor bear couldn't keep up with the lyrics, his mouth stopped working, eyes rolled back in his head and that was the end of Teddy. Hopefully this replacement will fare better.

As for Jenni's driedel bear. When Jenni was in first grade her teacher had them celebrate every holiday on the calendar. We learned so much that year about other holiday traditions and celebrations. Jenni made a driedel that year and for several years after that wanted to make sure we played it each year. This year I was able to find her a dreidel bear - and she loved it!

Christmas Eve at our house

The Thomas side of the family gathered at our house this year for a Tacky Christmas Eve dinner and gift exchange. Dad arrived wearing reindeer antlers and a red glowing nose. Everyone did their best at finding outrageous holiday attire. Jenni found a shirt that had a huge bow covering the whole front of the shirt, and Josh has a cousin Eddie (Christmas Vacation) outfit, complete with white shoes.

Dad ended the evening by reading "The Night before Christmas" to all the grand and great grandkids. It was a great night - I LOVE being with my family!

Holiday Dinner Club and Dirty Santa Party

Bryan and I are a part of a dinner club with a group of my co-workers. We started dinner club several years ago and we rotate each month or so with a different host and theme. We've had Italian, French, Mexican, Cajun, Tapas, and even Redneck feasts. Our group has been growing recently with new baby additions, pretty soon we are going to need to add a kiddie table to dinner club.

We hosted Holiday Dinner club recently and everyone brought a Dirty Santa gift to exchange. I think the most popular gifts this year were a yodeling pickle and a snuggie.

Dr. Ray - annual physical

I went to see Dr. Ray for my annual physical. I hadn't been to see him since that fateful day I had my mammogram and he called me into his office, and told me I needed a biopsy. We had a nice visit and all my labs came out normal. He was very pleased with my progress and we discussed the few side effects from the treatments that I am still battling. The chemo drugs sent me into menopause quickly, and then once the treatments were over my hormones changed back again. I continue to have trouble with sleep and memory and these could all be related to those changes as well as the chemo drugs themselves.

It makes me think of that commercial from the 80s - your brain on drugs - some days I think the chemo scrambled my brain. I don't mean to complain, because I can tell improvement as time goes by, but I have also learned to take notes, make lists and try not to let myself get overwhelmed. It's very frustrating, because I used to be able to remember phone numbers and dates and now I often have to look things up. Dr. Ray encouraged me to give myself plenty of time to let my body and my mind recover from all that it has been through. He encouraged me to cut back my hours or at least take breaks. I am going to try and take his advice and set limits at work and home as to how many projects I take on this year. Of course, that is always easier said than done.

I have known Dr. Ray since he was doing his residency at Baptist. He was one resident you knew right away was going to be a fabulous doctor. We often have to wait a bit to see him for an appointment, but this is because when you have an office visit he never rushes in and out. He really cares about his patients and wants to do his best to make sure you are taken care of. Dr. Ray was telling me that about half the patients he sees are stressed out because they have been laid off, and the other half are stressed out because they were not - and they are doing the job of 3 people.

Holiday party

Gordian held their annual holiday party at the Marriott this year. The food was delicious and they had a photo booth with props for everyone to commemorate the event. Max Headroom (an 80s band) provided the entertainment. I think everyone had a fabulous time.

Thankful, Thankful, Thankful

December 10th - I am now officially a 1 year and 6 month cancer survivor!

I won't lie - I still analyze any headaches and pains I have, but that is probably normal at this stage of the game. I am sure with each passing year I will breathe a bit easier. I do remind myself daily of how lucky I am and how much I have to be thankful for.

Thank you God for continued good health!