Saturday, December 29, 2007

A New Look!

So I saw a friend's blog yesterday and loved her layout. It was so much more spread out and everything was larger so she was kind enough to help me change mine. Thanks Jer! Also back to one of my favorite songs, The Prayer. This version is okay but I prefer the one by Celine Dion and Josh Groban. Although I couldn't find one to embed on the blog and have it auto play. A classic in my book! I also stole this survivor counter from another blogger I just met! Thanks Sue! It is up at the top on the header. Hope everyone likes the new blog make over.
More of the same going on around here. Jon had my 2 brother-in-laws that are in town come over today and help him hang dry wall in the basement. After the day they did 1 and a 1/2 rooms. That dry wall is a big pain! But it looks great. I spent the day at my parent's house with the kids and hung out with my sisters. My sister Toni has this game she brought called Ticket to Ride and then my other sister Amy got Ticket to Ride, Europe for Christmas. If you like board games it has been really fun. We have played it almost everyday. They did say that it was kinda pricey like 40 bucks and only found it at a game store in the mall. But I am thinking of looking for it. Jon isn't much of a gamer but maybe I could convince him to play with me sometimes. It's good times.
This evening all the adults went out to eat and we all got babysitters. It was fun to just hang out with my brothers and sisters and parents without kids. We tried out a new babysitter that was recommended, who did fine, the kids loved her but I made the mistake of not asking her in advance how much she charged. So I got home relatively on time to what I told her, between 8 and 8:30, and my house was a disaster. The kids had their toys everywhere, the dishes weren't done, they weren't in their PJs, etc. So a little flustered walking in the door and then asked her what she charged...hold on to your butts....4 bucks an hour per child.....WHAT?!? I must be really cheap but it isn't like she is a licensed day care provider...$12 an hour?!? Holy cow..... For 12 bucks an hour my house better be spotless and the kids put to bed plus my bathrooms cleaned. Yikes. My kids did like her but who can afford to go out and pay a sitter that? Not me. Good thing we were only gone for dinner, less than 3 hours. Wow. Maybe I am way off base. What does everyone else pay sitters?
I also so some friends I knew from high school that I haven't seen since high school. They have 2 kids and are awfully cute. It was fun to be able to see them. I didn't even recognize her until she said something to me, and I'm the one with a different hair style. whoops.
So after picking up the house, doing dishes, and putting the kids to bed I am finally sitting down again. It took us an hour and a half to get back on track for the 3 hours we were gone. Oh well, live and learn I suppose. At least the kids enjoyed her.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Fri Dec 28th

It feels like forever since I last posted. It has been an eventful week. Both my out of town sisters came to my parents and will be here through the new year. We spent Christmas eve with Jon's folks and Christmas Day with mine. I made a photo book from for my parents, Jon's parents, and also Jon's aunt and uncle. I think it turned out really nice and it was definitely a fun one to give and everyone loved it. If you want to preview it here is the link:
It's amazing how scrapbooking has changed. This is so much easier with digital photos and I am sorry to say that there is hundreds and hundreds of dollars of scrapbook stuff in my basement that might not ever get used. It is still a fun hobby though even though it is sitting and doing it at the computer.
Jon was gone for work starting early Wednesday morning and and is on his way home now. We had a huge snow storm yesterday so the kids and the dog and I went to my parents house yesterday morning and stayed the night there and just came home this afternoon. There were 15 people staying there between myself and my 2 sisters families, plus my little brother. Now that's a house full! It has been fun spending lots of time with my sisters and there kids this week. I know my kids have really liked seeing their cousins as well.
I am feeling a little better every day and still about the same at night. I started taking Aleve on Wednesday night and last night and that seems to be better at lasting more of the night and not keeping me completely uncomfortable. I still am getting tired very easily and have to be careful about not being up and about for the whole day or I am exhausted. I have another week until my first scheduled fill of the expanders. (next Thursday)
We have also had the kids pass all around this croup cough sickness. Cody lost his voice completely on Wednesday and all the kids still have a deep cough on and off. Hopefully it doesn't make it's way around to Jon and I. I uploaded a bunch of Christmas pictures to my picasa site and have to get the snow day pictures from my sister.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Dec 21

Rough is the only term I can use to describe the rest of my week. I have been very uncomfortable at night and spend most of the night tossing and turning from side to side to back to try and stay in a position that doesn't cause me more pain. It has been slow going for recovery and I have still had to deal with nausea.
At my doctor's appointment with Dr. Brewster yesterday she removed the rest of my sutures and said I could finally stop taking my antibiotic which I think has been the cause of most of my nausea and just generally feeling horrible. We decided that since I am still uncomfortable and the skin is still tight on that right side that we won't start expanding. I have 2 weeks until we plan to start expanding, which was good news since I am still uncomfortable. Hopefully this will give me a good amount of time to rebound and at least feel a little more at ease. I still get tired very easily and am beginning to feel like I am back on chemo! Let's hope it gets better in the next few days.
My sister Amy and her family flew into Denver yesterday and it has been fun spending the last 24 hours with them. My other sister Toni and her husband Doug and their new baby were supposed to drive here today but the weather has been bad so they are going to driver here tomorrow. Jon got home this evening and I am relieved that he is here to help me with the kids and I can hopefully relax a little. Chasing the kids really takes it out of you, especially when you don't have anything in you to begin with!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Tuesday Dec 18th

Well it is still slow going here tying to keep on top of feeling better. Seems some days are fine and others are terrible. Saturday I was sick to my stomach for most of the day so pretty much stayed on the couch the whole day. Alex decided to get sick on Friday with a really deep cough. it sounded like croup so she was and still is sick. She seems to feel fine otherwise, she hasn't slowed down at all. The dog also went back into his old habits and got sick again on us on Thursday. When we had him into the vet on Saturday they couldn't find anything wrong with him and just put him on this prescription food that is really bland. He seems to be back to normal now, but hates the food. Hope we don't have continual problems with him! Saturday Jon picked up the new Harry Potter DVD that came out last week so I watched that when I was on the couch both Saturday and Sunday. Alex stayed home from church with me on Sunday and when she woke up from her nap her arms and back were all red and she had these big white and raised areas that looked like welts. Jon took her to urgent care and they put her on an antibiotic and just said to give her benedryl for the rash. It went away within an hour of giving her the benedryl. Strange. Yesterday was a pretty good day. I felt great all day. I cleaned out my bathroom cupboards in the morning and then had to mail something yesterday and stood in line for at least 45 minutes at the post office. It was crazy. Last night Jon's aunt and uncle Clara and John came down to celebrate Christmas with us and Jon's parents came over as well. We exchanged gifts and then went to Red Robin for dinner.
Afterwards we went to Target where the kids all got to pick out a gift from John and Clara and then went back to their hotel and the kids got to go swimming in their pool at the hotel. The kids love to swim so of course had a blast swimming and spending time with family. Alex's mystery rash came back after about 30 minutes of swimming and so we had to call it quits and head home for some more benedryl. It's weird because it doesn't seem to phase her at all. It doesn't itch or anything. Hopefully she gets better soon. Today has been rough again. I woke up with an upset stomach and have been in the bathroom a bunch today. It's a vicious cycle. I stop taking my antibiotic on Saturday and hopefully it will be back to normal after that. By the way, mom did fine when I had my drains pulled out last week. I told her that I had been worried about me and she laughed. She just said she gets like that when she isn't sure what to expect. So no dizzy spells during the appointment, which was great since it sucked for me. I go in for my first fill on Thursday. Hope all goes well and it isn't too painful. I uploaded my recent photos of our puppy, Olivia's winter concert, and our evening last night onto my picasa site.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Dec 14th

It has been a LONG week. Man it is frustrating to be feeling awful and trying to recover. You are never comfortable always in pain or having to deal with nausea. Sleeping is the worst. Of course it is only comfortable to sleep on my back and I normally sleep on my side and then I wake up in pain since I sleep through my 4 hour pain pill cycle. I guess I could go on and on complaining about how much this sucks so I will stop at that. The one up side is looking down and seeing the making of new breasts. Jon managed to get the Christmas tree set up and all our Christmas stuff out this week. We are only getting out the necessities this year. Keep it simple. So the eyrithromyicin does also make me sick so I get to deal with that two times a day with an anti nausea med that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I am also taking vicodin for pain and flexaril which is a muscle relaxer. The muscle relaxer of course knocks you out.

We have had a few snow storms this week. Olivia went to school on Tuesday and came home when I had medicated myself into a coma yelling at me that since she didn't wear her snow boots to school she had to stay inside with 1/2 the class from recess. Apparently the protocol is wear snow boots to school and bring tennis shoes in your bag for the class room. Excuse me for not knowing the protocol for kindergarten. Besides Jon sent her off to school that day. Oh the woes of a 5 year old. Jon was back in Colorado Springs working Wednesday through today. He drove back on Wednesday night so we could go to Olivia's winter concert. It was so cute. I wish I had this video thing figured out to upload these videos to my blog. Maybe after my sister is here at Christmas she can show me. (hint hint Toni) With lots of help from my parents I made it through the rest of this week. My mom came with me to my Dr. appointment on Thursday to get the other drain pulled out. Again, this is fun! A few clips of the scissors to remove the sutures and a few yanks. I am so glad they are out but man does that hurt. I have been dreading the experience since I had the surgery scheduled months ago. Dr. Brewster said she was pleased with the healing my body has been doing and would plan on doing my first expander fill at my next appointment next Thursday. Hopefully it won't take to long to get over the expansion each time. I'm sure it will be uncomfortable for at least a few days. She said her goal was to fill an ounce each time, which is 30 cc's. She removed 35 cc's right after surgery on the right side so I guess next week we will just catch up the right side. This should be interesting.
The healing process is slow but moving along. I feel a little better each day then I did the day before. Yesterday I was up and around a bunch because I was feeling better and today I paid for it. I sat on the couch feeling pretty junkie for most of the day. I was sick from my antibiotic both in the morning and this evening. But today was AMAZING in that I finally got clearance to shower after 10 days. WOW that was nice. I stood in the shower for probably 20 min thinking about how awesome it was to shower. Don't get too grossed out I did wash my hair a few times in the sink and have a nice washcloth bath a few times but there is nothing like enjoying a hot shower. It's funny looking back I had planned on getting all my Christmas cards done and working a bunch since I would be forced to sit on the couch. I suppose I didn't plan on being doped up on pain meds and muscle relaxers and feeling like death. Needless to say my short "to do" list never got done and I spent the entire week being worthless and recovering. I know I needed it though and I am glad that I didn't push myself to get a bunch done. Thanks to everyone who helped us out this week by running kids or watching kids and bringing us meals. It was a tremendous help and I really appreciate every one's kindness. No big plans this weekend, hopefully more of nothing and just relaxing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Dec 10th

First and foremost, I missed buddy check 9 day yesterday. I wasn't up to posting after hanging over the toilet for the entire day. So give your girls a squeeze and a good once over for the month!

Surgery on Wednesday went well. It was a little over 6 hours and lucky for me it felt like 2 seconds. The only thing I remember in recovery was thinking how much it hurt. Hurt to move, hurt to talk, hurt to breathe. Of course the whole rest of the day was pretty foggy from medications. I felt like there was an elephant sitting on my chest. I had the expanders in both sides and also drains in both sides and an incision where they removed my port. I look like a battlefield. Although it was kinda nice to look down and see "bumps" in my bra. I couldn't even move without help from someone. It is pretty hard to remember much because I felt like I was either wanting to be asleep or asleep most of the stay in the hospital. Just those painful thoughts of having to get up to go to the bathroom and sitting up to breathe into the inspirometer, which measures your lung capacity and to cough. I swear it was a torturing hospital. Okay not really but I definitely wasn't prepared for the amount of pain that came along with it. That hurt also to breathe so deeply. The first day I barley made it up to 500 meanwhile Jon tried it for fun and can make it all the way to the top at 5000. Ha! I had and still have to think about breathing deeply because it hurts to do that so instinctively I breathe shallow so it doesn't hurt. But apparently can cause pneumonia. I prepared myself for the amount of pain I had at my first surgery and this was 100 times more painful. I couldn't put weight on either arm so had to get up by my nurse or whomever was there with hugging me around my shoulders and pulling me up. My right side (cancer side that was radiated and used Alloderm on) hurt significantly worse than my left side. I seriously couldn't even move my right arm without sharp shooting pains in my right arm pit. Also during surgery my lip was caught between the intubation tube and my teeth the entire time and I woke up with a huge fat lip on the right side. I felt nauseous the entire time which was another bonus. When Dr. Brewster came back to check on me that night and I told her how much pain I was in she decided to drain some of the saline in my expander so there wasn't as much pressure on that side. My mom was there and she uses this instrument that looks like a stud finder to find where the right part of the expander is and then uses a syringe with a needle on it to suck the saline out. She said that with some patients they don't feel it because most of that area is numb from surgeries. Yeah, not me.... Apparently that is what I get to look forward to in getting them filled up the next few months. Needless to say, not a fun experience and then my poor mom had to go sit down afterwards because she thought she was going to be sick from watching. I guess she won't be able to come to my appointments with me to get them filled. I felt a little better after she took some saline out but it still hurt. She came again in the morning to drain some more off of it. So I got to experience that twice in 24 hours. I ended up staying 2 nights because I was still so uncomfortable after the first night. Of course the administration lady came up to my room and said that my insurance doesn't pre approve extra nights in the hospital and will determine if they will cover it only after they have the claim. Super. I can't tell you how happy I have been with my insurance company lately. On a funny note, I was saying how I was so sleepy. I fell asleep on Thursday in the middle of doing my inspirometer breathing with the thing in my mouth, also fell asleep in the middle of eating crackers once with a cracker in my hand, and also a few times with a glass of water in my hands. That would have made a pretty funny picture. I came home on Friday afternoon. My mom came to pick me up and when I got out to the car (she drives a suburban) I instantly thought, how the heck am I going to get into this car? Since I couldn't even stand up by myself, it was interesting. Of course I was in tears after I finally got in the car and had to pull myself in with my arms and the nurse had to lift me in by my arms. Then the car ride home sucked too. I could literally feel the expanders sliding across my chest muscle when we turned a corner. Every time we hit a bump in the road it felt like someone ripping open my skin. My mom tried to slow WAY down to go over the railroad tracks and of course it was still awful. I think I was in tears the whole way home and so was my mom, she felt so bad for me. Much of the weekend was spent on the couch and over the toilet. The pain has gotten a little better everyday but is definitely still there. I went in for a follow up appointment this morning and Dr. Brewster decided to pull out the drain on my left side. These are always fun and memorable experiences. For those who aren't familiar with drains it is a suction drain that collects extra fluids from a wound after surgery and then it empties into a bulb. Click here if you are really interested in what the Jackson Pratt drain looks like. As you can imagine it isn't much fun. There are a few sutures that hold it in place that she cuts and then one large yank and it comes out of your skin. Unfortunately for me, mine got stuck 1/2 way through and had to have 2 big yanks. Double ouch! Dr. Brewster also thought the culprit for my nausea was my antibiotic so she gave me a different one to try. I spent the rest of the day on the couch resting from the 2 hours I was out and about this morning. Jon picked up my new prescription for arythromyacin and I took one with dinner. Now about an hour after dinner the nausea in starting in again. Good times. I was teasing my mom whiles she was here dropping off dinner that it was a good thing she wasn't there to get my drain pulled out today because she would have fainted. Of course then I remembered that Jon would be at work on Thursday for my next appointment and then realized that she would be going with me to get the other one yanked out. I hope she does okay, I am more worried about her! After about an hour I am starting to feel queasy from the other med. Hopefully I don't spend the rest of the night over the toilet. Thanks for every one's prayers, thoughts, and phone calls. Sorry if I talked to you on Thursday or Friday and I was way out of it!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Surgery is a Go!!

No thanks to blue cross of CA, I will be able to go forward with my surgery as planned. My surgeon is beyond frustrated with my insurance company for their unwillingness to cooperate and provide me with the product that is necessary for me to be able to complete this surgery. They basically told her that their standard of care doesn't ever include providing this to their patients. The surgeon from my insurance company that she did her peer review with even admitted that their standard of care is below par and not up to date. When she was explaining that surgery and especially plastic surgery is always cutting edge he admitted that they were not up to date on their standard. This is so frustrating to know that they are denying people the right to have the use of alloderm when it is medically necessary. That should be for your surgeon to decide not some insurance company. Unreal. Dr. Brewster told me if I wanted to pursue litigation or write letter she would be happy to sign whatever I need her to. I am for sure going to be looking into do this possibly during my down time. At least I would be helping the next person in line get this. So due to the generosity of the company alloderm for donating the product, my surgeon for donating her time to sew it in, and the surgery center for donating a time block I will be able to proceed with that part of the surgery to use the alloderm which is necessary to help strengthen the radiation area. So tomorrow I will go in and have my surgery to do the mastectomy on the left side, get my port removed, have the alloderm sewn in on the radiated side and then the tissue expanders placed on both sides. This time I am having it at the Harmony surgery center rather than Poudre Valley Hospital. I am not sure if I will be there 1 night or 2 nights. I didn't do well coming off of anesthesia last time so I had to stay 2 nights. I guess we will see. I am really nervous and really just want to get it over with.
On another note my weekend went well and was busy as always. Jon ended up working both Saturday and Sunday so we would be okay to take off a week for me to recover. On Saturday night we went to my girlfriend Alyssa's surprise party for her husband who is 40. It was a blast. She did this amazing video slide show for him of pictures of his life put to music, it was really neat. She also made up these hilarious lyrics to the friends theme song, The Fireman by George Strait, and YMCA that fit with his life and that evening. It was Alyssa, myself, Aislinn, and Michelle that performed the skit/song and it was hysterical. We had someone video tape it so I will put it on my blog when I get it. The puppy is doing much better. We had him at the vet on Monday and he had a parasite. After a day of antibiotics he has done a complete 180 and I am feeling much less overwhelmed with him and actually starting to like him, a little. (ha!) Now I am trying to get my house in order and all the last minute things done. I will blog again this weekend and let everyone know how I am doing. Thanks for every one's support and make sure you keep me in your prayers...I am really nervous about it. :-(

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Nov 30th

It has been a long week. Let's see if I can remember an entire week. Monday we had the city inspector come over and inspected the basement. He gave us the go ahead to start with the drywall phase of the basement. Hopefully we can actually be close to finishing it up by the end of winter. Monday I also got a new laptop. I have been in the market for one for a few months and actually got a good deal on one but had to drive to Thornton to a Circuit City that had it in stock....that bugs! Why do they always advertise it and never have it in stock. Whatever. I have it so all is well. Although I have spent a good part of the week trying to figure it out and get all my files off my old one and on to my new one. I am excited to finally have it though.
The puppy was Jon's responsibility for the first part of the week taking him outside and playing with him and what not. He has done pretty well with potty training and only had a few accidents. He did start getting sick on Tuesday night. From what I gather it is from switching his dog food. Jon was up with him almost every hour on Tuesday night before he left for work at 4am. He slept for me most of the rest of the morning though. He was fine most the day on Wednesday and then sure enough again Wednesday night I got to be up and down with him going outside in the frigid temperatures to watch the dog do his business, thinking to myself after almost no sleep the entire night what in the crap was I thinking agreeing to getting a dog. We had him eating brown rice and chicken stock for the rest of the night Wednesday until this afternoon when I started mixing back in the dog food. Hopefully this will clear him up. Last night was okay though, he only got up once. That is nice compared to about 5 the night before. I was glad to see Jon this evening at 5pm and said this dog is back in your court of responsibility. (Until he goes to work again early tomorrow) Oh well!
Wednesday I had a follow up with the NP at my oncologist office. This really bizarre thing happened the previous weekend. I wok up on Saturday and had this pain in a line starting in my armpit and going under my bicep through my elbow down my forearm and into my wrist. It wasn't a sharp pain just felt sore and bruised. But I never felt like I pulled a muscle or anything Friday, just woke up on Saturday and there it was. The advise I got from a nurse was a possible pinched nerve. It hurt though whenever I stretched my arm to far or bent my wrist back. Well it hurt this whole time and then woke up on Wednesday morning with this yellow bruise down my arm in this perfect line. So weird. I asked the NP about it being a possible blood clot and she thought I better go in for an Ultra Sound and didn't have any other ideas about what it could be. Possibly a pulled tendon? I went in for the Ultra Sound on Thursday am and she said no clot and no other signs of a problem, so it was good news but still really baffled about what it could have been from. Maybe I slammed my arm in a door in my sleep......I guess we will never know. The NP also confirmed all my blood work looked good which are the tumor marker tests to identify if my body is possibly creating tumors somewhere. Also the Brain MRI looked good. She told me something about having large tear glands that was noted on the MRI. That would explain why I have always been a crier. I cry when I laugh and have always been really quick to tear up. Perhaps that is also why I had a terrible time when I was on Taxotere with constantly watering eyes. Hmm, good times! Let's not ever repeat that! Thursday I also called my reconstructive surgeon to find out if they had gotten the go ahead from my insurance carrier to approve the use of alloderm with my surgery. She said that she had left them a few messages and they haven't returned her calls. She said they were still denying it and that Dr. Brewster would speak with a physician that works with my insurance company and that is usually all it takes. She was supposed to do that on Friday and then call me back. So I called to check in with her this afternoon and the gal from the office said that Dr. Brewster has spoken with them and they are denying the claim. They are not going to cover the use of alloderm in my surgery. Dr. Brewster is frustrated and I am frustrated. The alloderm is anywhere between 6 and 10 thousand dollars so it is very expensive and she said that is usually why they don't want to pay for it. She also said she has been using the product for 12 years and has never had a company deny coverage for it. Makes me wonder if it is worth it to look into filing a law suit. It is just so unfair that I have the opportunity to do something less invasive for reconstruction and they won't pay for it. Her office is going to look into a few other options for acquiring the product either as a donation by the manufacturer or a third party. I am very impressed with how helpful Dr. Brewster and the gals in her office have been. They are so sweet and compassionate and I am so glad that I found them! They have for sure gone over and above to help me. It is down to the wire for the go ahead on my surgery and I will have to wait until Monday to find out for sure if we will go ahead with it next week or not. Besides all the drama I have been trying to stay on top of work since this was my busy week, but life kept getting in the way...imagine that! Ha! Today was my anniversary, 6 years. Wow. Happy anniversary to me! Jon came home with a dozen pink roses and a pink bag from Victoria's secret...Happy anniversary to Jon!

PS My brother in law who does computer support said he is running a holiday special so check out his website if you are in need of IT support at

My girlfriend Abbey who does vinyl lettering also has her website up and running and these are perfect Christmas gifts and she can do just about anything if you want something custom made. Her site is

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Nov 25th

Another week gone. Sheesh. I had my brain MRI last Monday. That went fine. The nurse that did my prep was fine and only had to poke once, which is always nice. It went by fine with no problems.
We had our first real snow of the year on Wednesday morning. The kids were of course really excited about it and couldn't wait to get out and play.
We did Thanksgiving at my parent's house on Thursday which also went well. Jon's parents came over and my sister and brother and their families were also there. We took the kids to see Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium in the afternoon and they did pretty well. The twins were still up and down a bunch.
On Friday I did the unthinkable with my girlfriend Alyssa and went to stand in line at Circuit City at 3 o'clock in the morning. Mind you it was only about 20 degrees here at that time. Brrrr! I was hoping to score a laptop for a killer deal and she was shopping or a new TV. Sadly since people stayed the night in line and they only had a limited number of computers I did not get mine but my friend was able to get her television. It was very crazy. I ended up picking up some DVDs and had to wait in line to get out of the store for another hour. It was ridiculous. We went to some other stores as well since we were already out but didn't pick up too much else. I tried to nap in the afternoon on Friday and Jon finished up some loose ends in the basement so we can do our rough inspection tomorrow. Hopefully we can start on the drywall soon! Friday night we went to a party to celebrate one of our friends being 5 years out from his diagnosis with testicular cancer. Way to go Matt!

Saturday morning we left to go out of town for our anniversary and Jon's parents watched the kids for us. Jon had this crazy idea about going to look at some puppies that he had been researching online all week. We went to look at some at a breeder out in Byers (which felt like driving to Kansas) and then one in Westminster. We picked one out in Westminster and picked him up this afternoon on the way home from Denver. He is a golden doodle, which is a mix between a poodle and a golden retriever. He is pretty cute, but we will see how I like him in a few days. Ha! We met our friends down in Denver, Brad and Patti, and spent our time down there together. We did some window shopping and then went out to eat that the melting pot in Littleton. It is in the old public library building and is a really cool atmosphere. The melting pot is a fondue restaurant and is absolutely amazing. It is so yummy! We went to a dueling piano bar in Denver afterwards called Sing Sing. It is pretty funny. The guys that play are just amazing that they know so many songs and play and sing from memory. It is always pretty funny. This morning we got up and did some more window shopping. We were hoping to be able to pick out a new duvet cover and bed set up didn't find anything that we fell in love with. We picked up the dog from the breeder and then went to pets mart to get all the stuff for him. All the employees were instantly in love with how cute he was. It was pretty funny. He sat in Jon's lap on the way home in the car (since I was afraid he would pee on me), I drove. I never had dogs growing up so this will be my first experience with them. Hopefully it is a good one since it is pretty permanent, ha! We are going to try the crate training so hopefully that goes well. We will see how long of a night Jon has....I will let you know. Of course the kids were over the moon about him when we brought him home. He wasted no time in making himself at home on the couch. We have been kicking around names all night and I think the kids decided on Bailey. I am pretty apprehensive about it being a laid back next few weeks, especially with surgery coming up in a week and a half. Hopefully he will be a champ at potty training and become part of the family quickly. I am keeping my fingers crossed.
I added some other pictures to my Picasa link as well, so feel free to enjoy!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Sunday Nov 12th

Wow, it has been a rough week. I have stayed very busy with work this week which has been a nice distraction. It has been hard dealing with the questions of why with my friends sudden passing and worries of how this drug has affected my body and my other friends that have been on the drug Herceptin. They are saying that her death was from the affects on the heart of this drug. It has all just been very sad and hard. There was a beautiful song preformed at the Hope Lives gala back in October that I loved that seems appropriate for the time being. It is called the prayer. I was able to post it at the bottom of my blog but you have to scroll to the bottom and hit play to hear it on the video, it doesn't start automatically. So scroll down and hit play and enjoy it while you read the rest of my post.

On Thursday I went in for my pre op appointment at the doctor's office with my mom. The 2 gals in the office and Dr. Brewster had not heard about Karin's death and so I was the lucky one to break the news to them. She was a patient there also. That sucked. My appointment went fine and Dr. Brewster said not to worry about the alloderm issue with my insurance company. They sent another letter last week saying they weren't going to put my appeal in an expedited process since it wasn't imminent to my health. Dr. Brewster said that she would take care of it, but it still makes me very nervous. It is expensive and that is why they don't want to cover it is what the doc said. But according to her I have to have it since I am not having skin moved from other parts of my body. Stupid insurance, just cover it and shut up! She also gave me 5 prescriptions to fill before surgery. Time to break out the wallet for drugs! Ha! We don't have too bad of prescription coverage so that is good.

Friday I had someone over to stretch our carpet. We had this horrible spot from the living room to the bedroom that had a huge ripple in it that we finally got fixed. It is nice to not trip over the carpet while walking over that spot anymore. Friday afternoon I spent making fondant. (the center part of the chocolates I make with my mom) It is a pain and you have to boil it to a certain temperature and then stir it until your arm practically falls off. I had to make 3 batches and wanted to rip my arm off by the end of the day.

It is a family tradition that started with my grandma and now my mom and my sister and I make chocolates every year during the holidays. We did our chocolates on Saturday and it takes a whole day to do, but man are they good. I took Olivia with me and she had a fun day playing with her cousin Caylee. My parents are building a shed in their back yard and when we pulled up Olivia was like, "Mom! Is grandpa building us a playhouse for Christmas?" I thought that was funny. I bowed out early to attend Karin's memorial service with some of my other girls from chemo Lanie and Karen. It was a pretty service. There was this really neat quote they read:

I have always known

That at last I would

Take this road, but yesterday

I did not know that it would be today.


Man, that's the truth! I pray that this is the last funeral we will all have to attend for a friend met through treatment. At times like this I am very grateful for my faith and my testimony of the plan of salvation. I am so grateful to know that I will see Karin again and feel peace in the fact that I know she is in a better place. There is a hymn that we sang at my grandmother's funeral that I love. This hymn comes to my mind in these situations and brings me peace to know that we will meet again. Here is some of the song:

God be with you till we meet again;

By His counsels guide, uphold you,

With His sheep securely fold you;

God be with you till we meet again.

Till we meet, till we meet,

Till we meet at Jesus’ feet;

Till we meet, till we meet,

God be with you till we meet again.

God be with you till we meet again;

When life’s perils thick confound you;

Put His arms unfailing round you;

God be with you till we meet again.

I decided to start my wheat grass and apple/carrot juice again. I thought I would do it for a few weeks before and after my surgery to hopefully build up my immune system and just be a little more healthy going into it. We will see if I am feeling any "healthier" than normal. I did my first wheat grass "shot" this evening. So far I feel like I need a tums to keep it down. Not a great thing to keep tasting all night. Yuck. I have to go in for a brain MRI in the morning. I am crossing my fingers that I don't get a nurse that can't get the IV on the first try. It is always fun to have bruised arms, especially since I already feel like they are going to fall off from doing the chocolates this weekend.

My sister taged me!

I was tagged by by my sister Toni!

The rules of the game should be posted at the beginning of the post. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog. So here's a few interesting things about me you may not know:

1. My big dream is to be a county singer or songwriter. I would love to learn how to play the guitar and write music. I have an okay voice but would love to be a songwriter. I can play the piano and have a passion for all kinds of music.

2. I am seriously thinking about going to nursing school. Through this whole experience I have been in contact with so many nurses and have been so lucky to get some of the best in my opinion. I think it would be a fun career being able to help people and also be able to relate to them through my own experiences with cancer.

3. I would love to be on the Amazing Race! My favorite reality TV show, and I think it would be a blast to be on it and win a million dollars. My sister Amy and I are always talking about applying for it.

4. I was on the diving team for 3 years. I started in 8th grade and did it through sophomore year. It was a bunch of fun but I was never super great at it.

5. I hate my nose. If I was every going to have some sort of voluntary plastic surgery it would be on my nose. I think it is too big for my face.

6. (I stole this from my sister because I completely agree!!) I hate email surveys and forwards. Unless it's a funny joke, I can't stand those emails that say things like, "You have to forward this to 5 people or you'll have bad luck..." or, "Send this to all your friends including the person that sent this to you." Ugh, I have enough to do. Speaking of which, this almost qualifies as part of the things I hate, so I'm not sure why I did it...

Also why I am not tagging anyone else and putting the burden on anyone, ha! But if you do it let me know so I can read it!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tues Nov 13th

I spent most of the morning on the phone with the insurance company and the doctor's office, but finally have everything mostly straightened out. The doctor is in network or contracted by blue cross and is fine to use but they have to write an appeal to the insurance company to see if they will cover the alloderm. The gal at the doctor said they have never had a problem with insurance not covering it so not to worry about it. So hopefully everything will turn out fine with that. Yesterday afternoon I went to my girlfriend Courtnee's who is in beauty school and she did highlights in my hair. It is a nice switch to see something different then the plain dark blond.

Jon took the twins on some errands with him yesterday morning and they all got new cowboy boots. Ali's are so cute and they both picked them out. Ali's are pink with flowers and rhinestones.

The twins have now figured out how to open my child proof door locks, unfortunately. They figured out that they can stick their little fingers into the plastic and turn the handle. I guess there is no keeping them out of my pantry or other rooms any longer. They are officially past the child proofing stage.

I just found out last night that one of my girlfriends from chemo passed away on Sunday. She was out hiking with her husband at Horsetooth reservoir and she became tired so they went home so she could lay down. She never woke up from her nap and I think they said the autopsy said heart arrhythmia. She was finished with treatment and just had her last reconstruction surgery awhile ago. It has been a hard 12 hours. She is the first person that I have known on a pretty personal basis to pass away from cancer or from issues with her chemo being hard on her body. I suppose it is lucky that there are so many of us that are doing great. So I am feeling really fragile and on the verge of tears this morning. I went to the grocery store after I dropped Olivia off from school this morning and came home and was putting the groceries away and noticed I had a voice mail. The school called and left a message that Olivia was marked absent and I needed to call and excuse her. Of course feeling as I was this morning I hung up the phone before listening to the rest of the messages and was already in tears thinking she had been kidnapped or something. I had watched the girls walk into the school yard this morning so I knew they were there. So I called the school and before I could say anything past my name the gal in the office said, did you get my second message? Um, NO!! I thought my child was abducted and laying dead in a ditch somewhere I figured it was best to call you right away and figure out what was going on! Anyway I guess they go straight to the library on Tuesday morning and the kids turn over their names on their chairs when they get there in the morning and Olivia had forgotten to turn hers over. Well her teacher ran down to the office after the attendance was taken to say that she was there and just forgot to turn her name over. Super, like I needed that this morning. She was like I am so sorry I am sure your heart is racing, I didn't mean to scare you. Of course I wasn't angry at her but needless to say I am a train wreak this morning now and would like to check out of life at the moment!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Nov 11th

I hope every one's self checks turned out with nothing. I was going through my cards that I had received during treatment the other day and found this one with an inspirational quote that I thought was cool and would share. "You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.....Do the thing you think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt. I agree, that you grow and learn the most in the difficult situations.
I got 3 letters in the mail yesterday from blue cross. The first one said that they had reviewed my case and determined the procedures were medically necessary and that they would go ahead and cover expenses for my surgery and hospital stay. The second said that I had chosen a surgeon that was deemed out of network and could end up costing me a large out of pocket expense. Then the 3rd said that they weren't going to cover the cost of the acellular allograft since it is investigational and not proven to be deemed medically necessary. This is the alloderm I was talking about that is technically cadavar skin used as another layer over the radiated side of my body. This was the alternative option to having the latissumus flat surgery. Why is it that when I have been to see how many people and finally chosen a surgeon I feel comfortable with and a direction to go I am running into all these walls? It is frustrating. I will be calling the surgeon's office tomorrow to see if I can get these things straightened out. I don't understand how she could be considered to be out of network when she is 5 min from my house and accepts blue cross insurance? Hmmm..... More fun times to come with fighting the insurance carrier.
I went to a fondue night on Friday at a girlfriends house and we also did facials, paraffin hands, and soaked and painted our toes. It was a fun treat to just hang out and visit. Jon came home yesterday afternoon and then I ran out the door to an open house my friend was hosting for her and some other home businesses. She does vinyl lettering and I have gotten some really cute gifts from her that I have in my home. Her website is supposed to be up here in the next couple days and is Like I said she has some very cute things and great gift ideas for the holidays so check it out!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Buddy Check 9 Day!

It's that time of the month again. Time to complete your monthly self breast exams. I was in the shower last night completing my self breast exam and thought, wow this is the last self breast exam I will ever have to do. This time next month I will be down 2 boobs and up 2 tissue expanders. Hmmm, and fresh out of surgery for buddy check nine day. I had one of my girlfriends warn me to be prepared for this to be a really painful surgery and not to think I am ever going to be comfortable with the tissue expanders. From what I had heard before I didn't think that it would be fun but hopefully I won't have to go 8 months to a year with them and can get this over with in 6 months. I guess we will have to see how my skin does. Yesterday afternoon when the kids were being restless after naps I decided to take them to go get the new Disney Ratatouille movie. We went to McDonalds and had a picnic on the floor and movie night. The kids were so funny about it. Here they are camping out on the floor.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday Nov 8th

So I did something on Sunday that I thought was funny and would share. Mind you I haven't done this since I was a teenager, but had a brand new razor out to shave my legs and wasn't paying close enough attention and skeined my leg on the tendon that sticks out right above your ankle bone. This was no small nick either, it is about an inch and a half long. I was immediately on the floor of the shower whining like a baby. I couldn't believe I did that! For those of you have have experienced this, you know how horrible it is! I haven't been able to wear socks for almost a week. It still hurts today and it has been 5 days. Jon actually pulled the skin out of the razor. OUCH!! There was some benefits to not growing leg hair during chemotherapy! No chance what-s0-ever of shaving accidents.
The nurse called me yesterday to let me know that I was due for another brain MRI this month. I must have to do this every 6 months. Good times, I will be doing that a week from Monday. I have my pre op appointment next Thursday with Dr. Brewster to get final things buttoned up before my big surgery date.
I am happy to say that most of my Christmas shopping for the kids is done. I only have one more thing to get that I am waiting to see if it goes on sale for Olivia. I am glad my kids aren't old enough to be into the more expensive things yet like Ipods and game systems. Although I am not sure if Santa is going to be visiting Olivia this year. I think sometimes she is going crazy (or maybe I am). Last night her brother finished dinner about 1/2 hour after everyone else and was picking out a candy out of his Halloween stash when the fit started about wanting a candy too. Oh course she had already had one after she finished her dinner a 1/2 hour prior so she was told no and her eyes got big and eyebrows were crossed and she clenched her fists. She physically laid down on the ground and was thrashing around. I told her she already had a piece after her dinner and she didn't need another one. Then proceeded to ignore her for the next 5 min while the fit continued with rolling around and screaming and yelling. Then all of a sudden she became interested with the cartoon on TV and was quite for about a minute before she got up and came over and said, "Mommy I was just kidding, I don't need another piece of candy." HUH?!? I am at a loss. It is so hard not to get frustrated about it in the moment and now I am finding myself laughing about it while I relate the story. Wow, I think I have a Dr. Jeckel and Mr. Hyde on my hands!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Tues Nov 6th

As thing normally are, we were pretty busy this weekend. I volunteered to serve on the board a few weeks ago for my local twins club and had a board meeting on Saturday morning and was able to meet one of my old roommates that I haven't seen in awhile for lunch. Jon took all 3 of the kids to the Bee Movie on Saturday and said they did pretty well. Brave soul, it was the twins first movie in the theatre. We had our friends Vernon and Kira over on Saturday night and Vernon helped Jon finish some of the bar we are building in the basement. Then we hung out and played Yahtzee. I love playing games, so that was fun. Jon usually isn't a big game person. Jon is getting sent to Colorado Springs for work tomorrow so he was off Monday and today. Jon's parents decided last week that they wanted to spend some more time with the kids so they came and got the twins yesterday morning and kept them over night. They said they did well but were a little nervous last night when I called to say good night about sleeping over. I am sure they did fine and we had fun yesterday with Olivia. We went out to eat at Red Robin and to see the 3D movie nightmare before Christmas. I think they all probably enjoyed the individual attention. My sister Toni is doing pretty good and trying to adjust to a new baby in her home. She told me yesterday he has his days and nights confused. I am so excited to meet him at Christmas! I have my follow up with the nurse today about my chest x ray. Nothing else too exciting to report...

Friday, November 02, 2007

Stressin over nothing

Well good news. The X Ray was clear and I just need to follow up with the NP next week. Thank goodness. Now hopefully off to a nice and relaxing weekend! Hope everyone else has a great weekend too!

Baby Jack is Here!

My sister had her baby this morning. They named him Jack and he was 7lbs. 20 1/2 inches long. Big boy for being 3 weeks early. Mom and baby are both doing fine.
I talked to my Oncologists nurse yesterday about my cough and they wanted me to go do a chest X Ray so I went in and did that yesterday afternoon and then they should have results by this afternoon. I asked the nurse to call me with the results so I wasn't stressing out about it all weekend. I don't see the NP until Tuesday to follow up and after I got to the imaging center yesterday and the technologist was asking me all these questions I started freaking out. Are you having shortness of breath? Do you feel constricted when you breathe? I just couldn't help be thinking, oh my goodness, what if it is back? What am I going to do? My oncologist had originally said if it comes back it is most likely to be in your lungs, liver, or bones. I couldn't help but jump to extreme conclusions. I held it together until I got into the car and then I balled the whole way back to my moms to pick up my kids. I guess I am going to be a hypochondriac for the rest of my life. Of course that is an extreme conclusion for a cough, but how do I not let myself go there? Needless to say I got home last night and took my anxiety medicine and was worthless the entire night. I am feeling a little more at ease this morning but anxious to hear from the doctor. I guess we will see this afternoon.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

New Aunt!

Okay so I haven't blogged in almost a week and this is the 3rd time in 24 Well my sister called last night trying to decide weather or not her water was broken. She went to the hospital and indeed her water bag was broken but still as of this morning she hasn't even dilated yet. She is a bit early, I think she is 37 weeks today or tomorrow but they started her on pitocin (help start contractions) and hopefully she will be having the baby today sometime. I am glad she doesn't have to deal with the itching and stress of hoping the baby is doing fine in utero.
I am going to call my oncologist this morning. I have this persistent cough for the last couple of weeks that doesn't seem to be attached to a cold or anything and I am wondering if I have that radiation damage on my lungs or even worse things.....You really can't help but wonder and think every symptom could be cancer again. What is that phobia called? I can't think of it right now but I feel the stress level rising just thinking about it.
also posted our Halloween pictures on Picasa this morning. Follow the link on the side bar of the page.Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Chemo Brain??

There was a few things that I keep forgetting to blog about so I am posting again tonight so I don't forget on my next post.

1. I got a post card in the mail a week ago about Loveland Relay for Life. When Relay was done back in June the total was over $65,000 raised, and the post card said $145,000. Can you believe that? THAT ROCKS!!

2. My friend sent me this article about how Chemo-Brain is a real thing. In the cancer community we are always joking about chemo brain and just having a fog on your memory but apparently it is a REAL thing. Crazy huh? Here is a link to the article from Cancer Compass.,13145,00.htm?c=1003:5:1:2

very interesting I thought...

Happy Halloween!

Wow, I feel like I haven't posted in forever...because I haven't! Man I have just been so busy with work and trying to keep up. Crazy! So let's see, what have we been up to. Jon had last Thursday night off and also Sunday night off so he has been at home doing some "honey do" things. Got the sprinklers blown out (for those who don't know what this is you have to clear the lines with air so they don't freeze in the winter). My girlfriend from CA had never heard of this before so I thought I would just throw out the FYI! Winterized the yard, and cleaned up the basement so we can start working on that again. It has just become our storage area since we haven't done anything to it in so long. I am hoping we can finish it in the next few months since I feel like we have really grown out of our home and it will double our square footage since we have a ranch. On Friday night we took the kids to a church activity they call Trunk-or-Treat. It was a lot of fun. Everyone just backs up their cars to the side walk and the kids trick or treat around the parking lot. They really enjoyed themselves. I worked a bunch on both Saturday and Sunday and actually got all my coupons cut out on Sunday. I did my grocery game shopping done yesterday afternoon and saved 57% at the grocery store. I got free 8 Loreal shampoo and conditioners this week since they were buy one get one and had a buy one get one coupon. It's awesome saving money! Who can beat free?? Jon helped the kids carve pumpkins on Sunday night also. He did some really neat ones with a lot of detail but when we put them out tonight they were all wilted, bummer. Olivia had one of her friends over from school on Monday afternoon and they found this purple lip gloss and smeared it all over their mouths. It was hysterical! This morning I got to go help out in Olivia's classroom. That was fun. I can't believe my daughter is old enough to be in school. The kids all dressed up in their costumes and had a party. Jon is out doing the trick or treating with the kids and before they left my friend Jenn came by with her boys. They are all so cute, I can't get over it.
The kids all just came home to get on hats, gloves and coats. It is only 40 degrees outside. Brrr! I am glad I got to do candy duty!
I haven't been taking my anxiety medicine since it doesn't seem to be working very well since I can't take it when I am by myself with the kids, which is pretty much all the time. And it doesn't really seem to do much when I take it before bed. It still doesn't knock me out so I have just stuck with the Ambien to sleep at night.
Jon and I are looking at taking the kids to Disneyland and Sea World next Oct, since that is their down season and a few of my sisters might go with us. It will be a ton of fun and we are looking forward to it but we are going to have to save until then for it. I can't believe how expensive it is to go on vacation for a family of 5. We will only be doing family vacations every few years.
My sister Toni in Salt Lake who is 36 weeks just found out on Monday that she has Cholestasis of Pregnancy. I had this with both my pregnancies and it was horrible. I guess they told her that if her mom or sisters had it she had a much higher risk of getting it so it must be genetic some how. I feel so bad for her but at least she is almost done. The horrible thing about it is that it makes you itchy everywhere, and not just a little itchy SUPER itchy to where you can't sleep at night and it makes it really hard to function. It is a liver problem where your liver just can't keep up with keeping the toxins out of your body and the babies so the toxins are relesed into your blood stream. There is also a still birth risk so she is being monitored every few days. Keep her in your prayers and hopefully it doesn't get super bad for her! That is about it for stuff going on with me. Glad that the end of the month is over and work isn't going to be so crazy the next few days.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Surgery Scheduled

I have the official date of my next surgery as Dec 5th. We will go ahead with trying to do the expander and implant route rather than the LAT flap and then go back to the LAT flap if that fails. Hopefully it won't! So on Dec 5th they will do the mastectomy on the left side and then place the tissue expander's on both sides. They will also remove the infamous port. I think I will have a drain on both sides also. Fun! Okay not really. I know for those that have asked also I will share...I don't get to just keep expanding until I have reached Baywatch potential either. Ha! Not that I would want to but being an average women with small breasts who wouldn't want a little bit of a benefit for all I've been through, right? Okay so I would love to be a bit bigger but the plastic surgeon said that honestly I can only go to what I was before and MAYBE a bit bigger but still in the small B range due to skin damage and what not. So no "perks" there. Jon ended up not having to work tonight so I am going to "try out" my anxiety med because it can make you drowsy I wanted to make sure I didn't take it until I knew I could crash if it came down to it. Will let you know tomorrow how it works :-)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cool song

I just heard this song yesterday on Meet the Robinson's, and it goes along with how I am feeling right now. Here are the lyrics if you cannot hear it on my blog for some reason

let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder
don't you know the hardest part is over
let it in,let your clarity define you
in the end we will only just remember how it feels
our lives are made in these small hours
these little wonders,these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,but these small hours,
these small hours still remain
let it slide,let your troubles fall behind you
let it shine until you feel it all around you
and i don't mind if it's me you need to turn to
we'll get by,it's the heart that really matters in the end
our lives are made in these small hours
these little wonders,these twists & turns of fate
time falls away,but these small hours,
these small hours still remain
all of my regret will wash away some how
but i can not forget the way i feel right now
in these small hours these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away but these small hours
these small hours, still remain,
still remain these little wonders
these twists & turns of fate
time falls away but these small hours
these little wonders still remain

I think I might make a slide show of my pictures with this song...since I have been so into slide shows lately. When I get a new computer I might switch over to doing videos but my computer right now isn't high tech enough to work with video editing programs very well. :-) We will see....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

On with the show

First off, I have to say that it rocks that the number is still increasing for the "I fight cancer" button on the side of my page. If you want to add this button to your blog or website click on the bottom right of the button that says join the fight and it will give you the html code to post it on your site. Watch the numbers grow with me and raise awareness. You can also join the fight but copy a button for different types of cancer, not just breast cancer. Check it out!

This afternoon I met with my general surgeon and seems to be a go for doing reconstruction. He said that since there isn't cancer on the left side they will do the mastectomy as a nipple sparing where I am able to keep my nipple and they will also do the incision below my breast on that side rather then through the middle like on the right side, that way the scar will be hidden below my breast on the left side. He will also be "de-porting" me during the surgery. Ha! Good bye Mr. Port. It really isn't that big of a pain but enough that I will be glad to be rid of it, hopefully never have it back again!! He was fine with the plan from the plastic surgeon and they just have to get together and establish a date for the party. My sister is due around Thanksgiving and my mom will be flying out there for a week to help her out so I told him I would prefer to wait until the first week of Dec. Then I will have mom here to help me out, since I know I will need it. The general surgeon (Dr. Chiavetta) said that I will more than likely have drains again on both side....yipee. For those that remember, they suck. Especially having them ripped from your body afterwards...I still have a vivid memory of that thinking it shouldn't be too bad and then it was horrible. So all in all lots of really fun things to look forward to, bringing me to the pharmacy to get a prescription of ambien and also atavan (anit anxiety). I haven't tried the anxiety one yet but sure I will be using it frequently. She said (my oncologist) that it should help "lift my mood" since I have been feeling really hmm...depressed I guess I should just come out and say as bad as it sounds. I like to "cover it up" by saying uneasy and anxious, um feeling like I could get sick again at any second, wondering when and where the cancer will come back, etc., etc. Anyway, I just like to brush that whole bit under the carpet and pretend it doesn't exist and keep myself busy with work and the kids. :-) I should hopefully hear back sometime this week when the party will take place and begin counting down the days. Mom also reminded me that if I was still questioning if this was the right thing for me that I needed to fast and pray about it. Sometimes I just want to smack myself. Duh, why is it that the easiest things at times don't come to me. How could I have forgotten to go to my heavenly father about this. Sometimes the adversary does such a good job at chipping away at us that the simplest things like praying and asking for help and answers don't even come to our minds. Good thing for moms!

This weekend we stayed busy. I was able to go out again with the "cancer chicks" on Friday night and although there wasn't as big of a group as before we still had a great time. We went to Rock Bottom Brewery and ate and then Lanie and I went to see a movie. Saturday Olivia had to go to a practice at church because the children or primary did their children's program on Sunday. The twins, Jon and myself went went to a Halloween get together with my twins club in the morning. Alex and Cody both picked out their own costumes this year. Cody picked Thomas and Alex picked Elena (a princess from those barbie fairytopia movies).

Okay what's up with the fingers in the mouth...silly kiddos!

That's better!
The gal that had the party had bunnies and the kids thought that was so neat. I can't believe Cody kept that hat on almost the whole time, he hates hats normally.

Jon and I were able to sneak away and have an adult night with some friends, Seth and Courtnee, on Saturday night. They brought along another couple that they have been friends with since high school and we all just relaxed and hung out. Always good to get out with friends and catch up. Sunday we actually had our fist snow storm of the season lasting only through the first part of the morning and not really accumulating anything to talk about. The kids wanted to get their snow suits on and play outside but it was really windy and the snow melted almost as quickly as it fell. After church the kids and I went to my friend Abbey's and celebrated her son's first birthday and was able to see her nephew that was here from Washington. I can't believe her son is a year already. I remember going to see her in the hospital after he was born and she almost didn't call me because I had just had treatment and wasn't feeling well. He had to be taken to a different hospital because he was having some trouble breathing and I went to hang out with her for the morning so she didn't have to be alone. I have to say, Jon and I were pretty lucky with our kids. None of them ended up in the NICU after birth, even the twins. Abbey has had 2 of her 3 in the NICU.

Yesterday I had my visiting teacher over in the am. At church all of us are assigned a partner and we visit another women at church every month to bring her the spiritual message for the month and just keep tabs on how she is doing. The message this month was pretty good. If your interested in reading about it click here for the article. My visiting teacher is Ellen, and I just love her. Their family is so neat. Her husband is actually Jon's boss at work and it is funny that it worked out that they were in the same ward as us at church. Their daughter Kylie is also one of our favorite babysitters too. Their family did relay for life with us this summer, too. Anyway it has been really neat getting to know her better through visiting teaching and I always enjoy the visits we have. She brought me this really cute precious moments figurine yesterday of 2 little kids holding hands with shirts that say walk-a-thon and breast cancer ribbons on them. I also had a neighbor bring me this basket that she got for me during October with a ribbon weaved in the front, so I decided to put those out with my framed ad from Fit Pregnancy. I think it is a cute little display.

I spent the afternoon yesterday catching up on all the leftover stuff I didn't get done this weekend like laundry and cutting out my coupons for the grocery game. I did end up getting my grocery game shopping done this morning and I am still saving a ton of money doing it. If your interested in trying it out it is and they give you a trial period for like a buck. Use my email address as being referred at and then I get free membership for a month or something too if you end up joining. I use only the stores in my area that double coupons for maximum savings. Here they are king soopers and Safeway. Funny that I get all excited about saving money on groceries. Ha! Except the grocery store that is always having previously viewed movies for 4 bucks got rid of their movie section this week. I am bummed. I must admit I am addicted to buying movies. Guess I need to find another place to feed the addiction because who can afford to have an addiction like that when normal priced movies are like 15 bucks a piece. If anyone has suggestions on where they get good prices on DVDs pass it along!

Olivia and my mom came with me to my appointment today and then we got Meet the Robinson's on the way home. We took Olivia to see it in the theatre and then watched it with the kids tonight. It is a really cute movie, if you haven't seen it I would really recommend it! Oh, and I am sad to say that even with the "malicious attack" on the servers for the Colorado Rockies we didn't get tickets to the world series after they reopened ticket sales today.... Darn! Okay just kidding, I wasn't trying to get tickets and could really care less about baseball, but it is neat that our team actually is in the world series. This stuff is all over the news here of course, so I suppose I will jump on the bandwagon and say, Go Rockies!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Plan of Action

Today I met with a different surgeon here in town. Her name is Amy Brewster and she came recommended from my good friend Lanie who I went through chemo with. She was very happy with her and so I thought that I would go and see her. I went in pretty set in thinking that my options for reconstruction were pretty well set in stone for doing the LAT flap surgery where they harvest the tissue from your back. After she talked to me and examined me she said that she felt pretty confident that we could try the option of using alloderm, which is basically harvested cadaver tissue, between my skin and where they would place an implant rather than doing the LAT surgery. I have decided that I want to go ahead and have the mastectomy done on my left side and then do the reconstruction on both at the same time. I just feel this constant paranoia about getting cancer again. I feel like if there are things I can do to prevent getting it again, I want to do that. With this new "plan of action" I would in theory go into surgery and have the mastectomy done on the left side and at the same time have the tissue expanders placed in both the right and left side. This would involve both having my general surgeon and plastic surgeon working together in the first surgery. Then the plastic surgeon would fill the expanders slowly over 8 or so weeks once a week or slower if necessary. Leaving plenty of time for the radiated side to slowly expand allowing room for an implant. They would fill the expanders with a syringe, but tell me it isn't too uncomfortable. Uh, yeah right. Because that usually seems to hold true all the other times I have been told it's "nothing" or "not that bad". In my mind though compared to cutting open my back, if this works, I would much rather try this option. Dr Brewster said that if it doesn't work out and the tissue doesn't hold up then we can always move on to do the other surgery and it wouldn't cause any damage in the end result. After the expanders are full then we will wait 6 to 8 weeks to allow time for my body to get used to them and heal and then go back in for surgery to replace the expanders for implants. I will go into to see my general surgeon Dr. Chiavetta next week to see what he says about doing the mastectomy on the other side and then move on from there. I am not looking forward to having the surgery again and the recovery process for sure but do want to get it over with and move on. I was just telling Jon today that I feel like I am in a funk this week that I can't get out of. I am not sure if it is just thinking about the surgery or what but I have been having trouble sleeping again and am feeling just funky. I don't know how else to describe it. Hopefully I will be feeling more like myself tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Wed Oct 17th

I just noticed that they posted our stories on the bright starts website sometime in the last few days. If you want to check it click here Or copy and paste this in your browser

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Back from Atlanta!

Sorry I didn't get my blog updated right away, I know lots of people have asked about our big trip this last weekend. It was a blast! We left early Friday morning to try and catch our 7:45 flight out of Denver, but leaving an hour to go through security wasn't enough. We ended up missing our flight and having to take the next flight out at 10:45. It was around 75 degrees in Denver when we left and about the same temperature in Atlanta when we landed up it felt a much hotter from the humidity. We were told over and over the whole weekend that the humidity wasn't high for the area but it felt much warmer to us. When we landed the airport was extremely busy. Apparently the BET music awards were last weekend in Atlanta. It was crazy. We had a driver waiting for us at the baggage claim with my name on a board. It was kinda neat. I could get use to someone else driving me around and carrying all my stuff :-) Our driver from the airport was from Jamaica and showed us all the sites between the airport and our hotel. He was telling us where all the stars stay there. There is a Ritz Carlton and he said lots of the stars stayed there. Our hotel was down the street from the Ritz, the Grand Hyatt, and I told him all the stars stayed there since that is where we were staying. We met the other winners and the people they brought with them for the weekend that evening at 7:30 where we took a limo bus out to eat at Emerils. We also got to meet a few of the ladies, Sarah and Carrie, from Bright Starts that were part of making this weekend happen.
We had a great time and the food was wonderful. We got to meet and hear each other's stories and background. We also found out that there were between 250 and 300 people that were nominated for the Pink Power Mom contest. The restaurant itself was pretty cool and the decor was really neat. I am not sure if this restaurant is all over but I would definitely recommend it. Here is a picture of all of us on the stairs at the restaurant.
We didn't get back to the hotel until about midnight and when we got back they had a nice gift bag for us in our rooms.
It was a really nice canvas Land's End bag stuffed with all sorts of pink goodies and merchandise that a portion proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen . After going through it there was MUCH more in there than first appeared!

They framed the advertisement we were in for us and gave us gift cards to go shopping.
And loaded us up with breast cancer merchandise and also souvenirs from Atlanta. I didn't realize that Coke headquarters are there. Interesting.

The company that put on the contest, Bright Starts, also had a team formed to do the Komen 3 day which also took place that weekend. It is much like any other fundraising walk where you form a team and raise money for the cause but this lasts for 3 days. I think the women I met from Bright Starts that walked the first day, Claudia, said she walked about 17 miles. Wow! So they also gave us a few T shirts that their team was wearing during the walk. Here was my favorite.

Jon and I tried to get up at a decent hour to go down and eat the yummy breakfast the hotel provided and get some time in to do something in Atlanta before we went to the spa that morning, but we were just too tired. We did get up at 7:30 but our motivation only carried us to the mall across the street. We did get to walk around the stores that we don't have around here and could only imagine ever shopping in like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Coach, etc. Spending hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars on those things is so far out of my realm of reality it isn't even funny. But fun to look none the less. We also walked around the Japanese Garden at the hotel. They had a really pretty waterfall and landscaping there.

The limo bus picked us up at about 11:30 on Saturday morning and Jon found himself the only dude in a bus full of chicks! Ha! He was like, what have I gotten myself into? The spa we went to was closed to everyone except us.They had a deli sandwich for each of us and a whole spread of food to snack on during the afternoon. We all hung out in spa robes and slippers all afternoon. Jon and I both got a facial and then we did a couple's massage. I have never had a facial before but it was delightful. I could get used to going to the spa on a regular basis. The facial lady told me that it is good to get a facial about once a my dreams lady. It took my 27 years, breast cancer, and winning a contest to get this one, I don't think I will be back in a month. Ha! It was a wonderful afternoon and also another great opportunity to get to know the other ladies better. We also got to hang with another gal from Bright Starts, Claudia, who was also a part of bringing us all together. Everyone was so nice and each one had an amazing story to share. We got back to the hotel and had to be back downstairs an hour later ready to go to the Susan G. Komen Pink Tie Ball. Since the only formal dress I own is the same one I wore last weekend, I wore it again :-) I got lots of complements on it though. It is a pretty dress. Here is Jon and I in front of a pretty pink floral arrangement.

At the pre party for the event we were able to meet all the wonderful people from Bright Starts along with their CEO. They presented each of us with our check that we were able to donate to the breast cancer charity of our choice. I donated mine to Susan G. Komen.

We also got to meet Jane Fonda. She is very nice and also funny. When Jon and I got to meet her she told my that I had a beautiful old fashioned and classic face. I am pretty sure that was a compliment but not quite sure what exactly it meant. So I got her autograph and felt silly and like a kid asking her for it. Oh well, it was exciting to meet a celebrity.

She also did the live auction during the dinner. She had a bunch of funny things to say while auctioning items. There was one to a spa called med spa I think and she said "My favorite ex husband buys me a gift certificate there every Christmas." Yikes! I am not sure how many times she has even been married but it was funny. She reminded me a lot of her character in Monster In Law. Not that she was mean but just funny. They had a really nice dinner at the ball and then had dancing afterward to a Motown/R & B group. We had another late night so we opted to sleep in on Sunday morning. We had to check out at noon so we left all our stuff with the bell man and when across the street for a quick lunch. They had the 3 day route right in front of our restaurant and hotel. It was great to see all of the walkers and all their pink paraphernalia. The driver came at 1pm to pick us up to bring us back to the busy Atlanta airport. Again a nice pleasant ride back to the airport and the driver was very friendly. When we got out at the airport I realized that I left my "big" check at the hotel. The Bell man that I tipped to get all my luggage into the car FORGOT my big check. Darn! I guess I wouldn't have hung it in my house or anything but I still was bummed I forgot it, or the bell man forgot it. I want a refund on my tip! The airport in Atlanta was a zoo again. It took us a full 1 hour and 15 min to get through security and walked up to the gate right when they were boarding. We left Atlanta at 79 degrees and arrived in Denver at 39 degrees. BRRRR. Only raining but wow. It was cold. We had a great weekend and I was glad we had my mom and dad here to watch the kids. I was glad we were able to leave them with them and knew we didn't have anything to worry about! I uploaded all of my pictures on my picasa site which you can get to by clicking on the link on the side bar of the blog. You can also view my picture slide show by clicking here if you would rather watch them to some tunes. There was a professional photographer at the pink tie ball that has a website with a bunch of pictures. We are in a few. To look at his page click here.

I have stayed busy since coming home since the 15th is my busy day at work and today I had to catch up on all the picking up I should have done yesterday. I am off to bed now that I got the blog updated and can check that off the to do list!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

STYLE magazine

I got my scanner business worked out and scanned in the pages that I am in on the STYLE magazine. It is the magazine that is distributed locally here in the Loveland and Fort Collins area. In October they feature women that are breast cancer survivors and have many articles about breast cancer treatments and stories of survivors. I was asked to be a model in the October issue this year and we did the photos in Aug. They distributed the magazine at the Hope Lives! gala last weekend. Here are the pages I am on. I tried to scan the page itself and then zoom in on the me or the copy about me. The first section here they did head shots of everyone and then told a little about them.

This one is the Title page and start of where they have all our individual pictures. We did a group shot of all the models.

Other 1/2 of the title page and here is a message from Lydia Dody the founder of Hope Lives! and publisher of Lydia's STYLE.

Here is my main model page. I am not sure that the "copy" will be legible on the published copy of the blog so if you click on any of the pictures it will blow them up for you or I have them on my Picasa photo website and you can zoom in on those. This was such a great experience and I love the dress I am wearing. Isn't it fun!?!

This last picture is one of the pictures that they took of me at Sears and I thought that they would use the one that I picked for the Fit Pregnancy ad. I like this one much better so this is the one that I ordered since they were free. Who wants a bunch of pictures of themselves anyway? I just like taking and looking at ones of my kids or us as a family. We are leaving on our trip to Atlanta early on Friday morning. I can't wait! Hopefully the kids will be good for my mom who has graciously volunteered to watch them the entire weekend. Oh PS, don't you love the new song on my blog? Ha! Okay so this isn't "VOGUE" and I am not "on the cover of the magazine" but hey...close enough. I thought it went well with the current post and it made me laugh. At least we are all "ladies with an attitude!"