Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday May 30th

No good news to report. Still painful and really itchy. Today I started my "boost" treatment. This treatment uses the same machine but they put this funny attachment on the machine that looks like an upside down microscope that gets very close to my skin. I always think that my chin is going to hit it when they move the table. They had to draw on my skin around my scar with a marker today though and it actually really hurt. It felt like needles on my poor burned and irritated skin. This treatment they also use a bolus on every time, meaning the wet rag on my skin so the treatment stays on the outer layers of my skin. Which I assume means that that area is going to get much worse as far as the burns. At least the rest of the burns including the ones that hurt really bad under my arm next to my lymph node scar will get better in the next week or so. The area under my arm and on my collar bone have blisters on them today. Jon is going to be home tomorrow morning so that will be good. I just said, I have to have your help this week. It just hurts too much to be all over the place with the kids.
My younger brother Mason is graduating from high school this weekend. He wants to design video games. I went to my parents this evening for dinner and for some help with the twins and Olivia stayed the night with my sister Heather. My brother Mason was looking for some gum after dinner and I told him that I had some Big Red if he wanted some and my dad said, he is talking about gum Eliza not your radiation burn. Ha! I can always count on my dad-e-o for a big laugh.
Jon and I also decided after this weekend that it was time to start looking for a bigger vehicle. Now that the kids are getting bigger it is just harder to fit everyone in the car and be comfortable. We have been looking at the diesel Excursion but they are pretty hard to come by. I think we will be looking for awhile before we find one that will work, in the area at least. Hopefully I will be able to sleep better tonight. I think I will say cheers before bed with an Ambien :-)

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Tues May 29th

Well things went from bad yesterday to horrible today. It is so uncomfortable and painful that I can't put my arm by my side or have anything against my skin without it hurting. Jon left this morning around 11 and a good family friend Nina and her daughter Leslie came over to help me get the kids lunch and put them down for naps. Leslie is my age and it was good to see her and her family. They took Olivia for the afternoon to play with her son Eli and let me have a bit of a break. The radiation machine was down off and on all day so after about 5 phone calls from the doctor they finally got me in this evening at 5pm. My mom took the kids to her house and I went to the doctor. The doctor looked at my skin and said at least I was done with the treatment to the chest area. Tomorrow I start my 4 day regimen of the boost treatment to the mastectomy scar area. My underarm still hurts the most. The new skin is exposed to rubbing of my shirt and my arm and is very red. They said to just keep a bunch of Silvadine cream on the whole area and hopefully it will improve soon. I have been popping the Ibuprofen every 4 hours too. I have just had a very frustrating day trying to deal with getting comfortable and not moving around a whole bunch. Hopefully it will be better tomorrow.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Monday May 28th

I thought this song was appropriate :-)

We have had a busy weekend! Jon brought all 3 of the kids with me to radiation on Thursday morning so all the radiation nurses and staff could meet the kids that I talk so much about. They were so cute and had a good time getting all that attention. They have some kids toys and snacks in the reception area so they were happy. Jon worked all day on Thursday getting ready for our camping trip. He replaced the ceiling in our tent trailer and fixed the heater motor. I had a Relay for Life meeting on Thursday night and Jon took Olivia to her last swim lesson.
Friday morning Olivia had her last day of preschool and they had a school picnic at the park. Olivia has just loved school and her teacher has been awesome. Here is a picture of Olivia and her teacher Mrs. Miller.

I had to go to radiation at 1:45 since we went to the picnic in the am. I am glad I don't have an afternoon appointment because they were running 45 min late from the schedule and I arrived early. Olivia said, "I could probably just go with you to the doctor and play with the toys since Cody and Alex are napping." So she came with me, but actually did awesome keeping herself busy with the toys and talking to the nurses. The even let her sit in the area behind the walls where they watch me on the camera and work the machine, since they can't be in the actual room when the radiation is being done. She had a ball. The rest of the afternoon we did our last min errands picking up groceries or odds and ends we forgot. Friday night we packed up our cars and the trailers so we were ready to bounce in the morning.
Saturday we got up and everyone met at our house to caravan up to the Mountain Home area north of Walden. Seth and Courtnee and their 2 boys Drew and Talyor came and also "uncle" Vernon and Kira and her son Riley came. It is a great area for the 4 wheelers because there are tons of trails to go on through the woods with lots of obstacles. We got up there about 1ish. It sprinkled on and off for a few hours but wasn't too bad. We still rode the 4 wheelers and played all afternoon. Olivia got to learn how to ride her four wheeler with Jon or I on the back and so did Courtnee's little boy Drew. The first time Drew and Courtnee started he turned really sharp and threw Courtnee off the back and then ran her over! It was funny to see, but it gave her a jolt and a nice battle wound on her knee. Needless to say Drew was done for the day after that.

We sat outside next to the campfire and hung out until bedtime. I got the kids these glo in the dark braclets from the dollar store that are always a huge hit when we are camping. I am not going to lie though, it was a COLD night. The heater only worked until about 4am and then we were freezing. The kids woke up at 5:45 and Jon got up and started the generator so we could turn the heater back on. When I woke up my skin had really been bothering me for a good part of the night and found out that it has started to peel where I was sleeping on my hand and it rubbed against the t shirt. My skin has turned a brownish gray color on the top and still red underneath. I was pretty uncomfortable most of the day. With having layers on my skin was constantly rubbing against my shirt and was the pits. I still managed to have a blast with the kids and Jon on the 4 wheelers. Our friend Kenny showed up in the early afternoon and was pretty familiar with the area and took a bunch of us on a fun ride through the forest and mud puddles. Jon was a trooper and stayed behind with the kids while the napped. I rode his Raptor and it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. It is has a lot of power and I don't really like riding it because the throttle is really touchy and takes off real fast. It was fun though. Here we are after we got back. By then I had had enough and was pretty miserable. Jon packed up our stuff and we left last night at about 7pm so I could sleep in my own bed and be a little more comfortable. We both had to drive since we pulled up the four wheelers and tent trailer. I thought I was going to pass out by the time we got home.
Today we played catch up and clean up. Jon cleaned up the trailers and four wheelers and I did laundry and put stuff away. I also did my grocery shopping in the afternoon so I didn't have to take all the kids with me tomorrow. Jon took Olivia to see Sherk 3 this evening. We were all going to go, but I just wasn't feeling up to going and the twins needed to go to bed on time. So much for that thought it is 9:30 and they are still getting in and out of bed and talking. Stinkers. Jon will leave again in the morning to go back to Montrose until Friday. I am pretty uncomfortably and trying to wear the biggest tshirts I can find so it doesn't rub in my armpit or my chest. Just very sore and taking Ibuprofen and using my creams. I haven't had the dizzy spells all weekend and have been trying to push the Gatorade and Powerade.

I put some pictures of our camping trip and Olivia's picnic on my snapfish link. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wed May 23rd

Things here are just getting a little harder each day. I am getting more and more tired and still having dizzy spells and headaches on and off. I went in again for hydration on Monday afternoon and that seemed to help some. My skin is still really red and I have peeling and some raw spots on my surgical scars, but no blisters or peeling on my skin. I have had lots of help from my parents and friends with watching kids. Sitting around is really the only thing that helps me to feel better, which is really hard with the kids and feeling like there are things that need to get done. Olivia got in her first bike accident on Monday at preschool. They had a bike day at the park where all the kids brought their bikes to school. Apparently she was just going to fast and not paying attention and went right over the handle bars. Both of her elbows and her hips have battle wounds on them and were scrapped up pretty good. But that afternoon she wanted to get back on and ride again for the afternoon so it must not have been too traumatic. Good thing she was wearing her bike helmet. Jon is supposed to be getting home some time today which will be nice. He has been gone for 10 days and I am defiantly ready for him to be home and help me out with the kids. So far we are still planning on going camping this weekend, but I suppose that could change if I get any worse. The kids are all really looking forward to it so hopefully it will work out.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturday May 19th

It has been a long, but successful, day. We held the garage sale for Relay for Life today at my parents house. I am happy to say that we raised $1000. I can't believe it! Thanks so much to everyone that donated items or their time to make this a success! The rest of this week has been pretty challenging.
On Wednesday afternoon I walked down to the mail box with Olivia. Our mail box is only 1/2 a block away so I didn't think to much of it. It was about 75 degrees out so not too warm. On the way back I had to stop and sit down at least 4 times because I was getting so dizzy. After I made it back to the house I had a headache for the rest of the day and tried to take it easy and drink a bunch of water. I had a radiation appointment in the evening since I was the parent helper in Olivia's class on Wednesday morning. I had them look at my skin because it is starting to break down and peel off on the couple areas where I have scars from my surgery. The nurse gave me some aquaphore with zylocain in it to keep on my scars. When I told her about my symptoms with being dizzy she took my blood pressure and it was pretty low so they told me to go home and go to bed and make sure I keep up on drinking my water.
Thursday morning I had to go right back in for radiation treatment in the morning. The nurse took my blood pressure again and it was still very low. I had to go in for Herceptin that afternoon and she told me that I really needed to stay for hydration. I still was feeling dizzy every time I stood up after sitting down for any amount of time and still had the headache. She also told me that I needed to take it really easy and try to rest as much as possible. Jon's parents were nice enough to stay for most of the day while I was at my various doctors appointments. I went in for hydration and Herception. My blood pressure still had not improved very much. It did get a little better after I received the hydration but they still wanted me to come back the next day for more. They just said that the radiation can effect everyone differently but it wasn't uncommon to get dehydrated with treatments. I think I do pretty well on keeping up with water but some times it just isn't as beneficial as IV fluids can be. My parents came over on Thursday night and helped me out until the kids went to bed.
Friday I did radiation again in the morning and had to stay and see the doctor about my skin. It is defiantly RED now. The scars are all peeling away so they are a little concerned with that. The doctor wants to see me again on Tuesday before treatment, since I am scheduled to have another "bolus" treatment that day. This is the one with the wet towels on my skin that brings the radiation dose closer to the surface of my skin and it the one that most effects that damage on my scar tissue. They gave me these soaks to do that I keep gauze on my skin for about 20 min. and I am supposed to keep that aquaphore on my scar to keep it moisturized. Back in for hydration at 1 on Friday. I felt a little better as far as the dizzy spells went on Friday but was still VERY tired. After I did 1 liter of hydration my blood pressure was still at 84/63 which is low even for me that runs low. Unfortunately they took the tap out of my port before they took my blood pressure and then wanted me to stay for another liter. I said that I would try to take it easy and drink lots of Gatorade this weekend and then go in to the hospital for more fluids if I felt bad. I just hate for them to have to re-tap it again right away. Not very much fun. Jon's parents took the twins for me last night and so I was just left with Olivia. We stayed the night at my parents house so we could sort through the garage sale stuff and be there bright and early to get things going. There was SO much stuff to go through, much more than I thought we had. Between about 6 or 7 of us working from 5pm to about 9pm we still hadn't gone through all the stuff. But by 9pm I had to go to bed. I was spent and pretty useless at that point.
We were up bright and early at about 6:15 getting everything set out in the driveway and set up. I spent most of the day sitting at the cashier table taking money. Like I said before though it was a HUGE success and I think we all were a little surprised at how much money we raised. I was so tired the rest of the day though. I left my moms with Olivia at about 2pm and the twins came home and napped for a few hours. My mom came over this evening to help me with dinner and the kids again. I know I wasn't sitting in bed the last 2 days but I did think that I took it pretty easy. I just can't believe how tired I actually am. It is funny to feel exhausted all the time. Even when you wake up in the morning and you should be raring to go....still tired. Hmmm. Hopefully this doesn't stay this bad for the rest of my radiation treatment. Well, I can't say thank you enough times, so THANKS AGAIN, to everyone that helped with the sale. I have an awesome family and group of friends!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wednesday May 16th

Wow, finally over my busy days with work. I am always working a bunch around the 15th and the 30th. My sister and her husband were here this weekend and it was fun being able to see them. They came on Friday and my sister's roommate from college was here with her husband and kids. We took the kids to Bounce on Friday and then tried to go ride the 4 wheelers on Saturday. We drove all the way over the the Pawnee National Grasslands and their OHV road was closed. Man that makes me mad! Especially when you drive so far away and then they don't even post the closure on their website. So we ended up coming back and playing and picnicing at Fossil Creek Park. Jon and I went out to eat and did some Mother's Day shopping on Saturday night but we had to come home early around 8:30 or so because I was so tired. The fatigue is definitely starting to set in. We had a fun mother's day doing brunch in the morning with my parents, sisters & and their families, Jon's parents, and my grandma Mondy. We went to church in the afternoon and then just hung out at home until Jon left for work again on Sunday evening. He will be out of town until next Wednesday. This is out of town stuff is getting old. Especially now that I am so tired all the time. Olivia also learned out to ride a "2 wheeler", as she calls it, on Sunday. Jon took the training wheels off her bike and 30 minutes later away she went. I couldn't believe she picked it up so quickly.

We have been outside everyday practicing since Sunday. She tells everyone now, "I can ride a 2 wheeler". People are just like, what is this kid talking about? It is pretty amusing. Alex also learned how to peddle her tricycle. Pretty exciting weekend at our house.
Radiation is going okay. Yesterday at my appointment the nurse was getting me lined up with the machine and said, "Who did your surgery?" I told her my surgeons name and she said, hmm. I was thinking, oh no does that mean it looks goofy or something. I haven't seen a bunch of mastectomy scars but was thinking that is what she meant until she finally said that the surgeon did an awesome job and it was one of better ones she has seen. She said my skin was holding up great. Then I also saw the doctor yesterday and she made the same comment. Asking who my surgeon was and saying he did an excellent job. She said some scars get bunchie in places or there are fluid pockets around the surgical site. Mine is very smooth. That was good to hear especially twice in the same day. My skin is definitely on the red side now. After I got out of the shower last night I noticed that the scars under my arms and the one across my chest are now peeling and have some raw spots on them. Of course it starts breaking down the day after everyone tells me how awesome I am doing. Today was the first day that my shirt has really bothered me from all the rubbing. It has been tender in spots for a few days, but today it actually hurt to have my shirt on. I switched to a really loose tank this afternoon and seem to be doing somewhat better. Before ya know it I will have to walk around without a shirt on to be comfy. Ya right...... I have tried to keep aquaphore on my scars for most of the day so I hope that helps. I went to parent help in Olivia's classroom this morning and they took a trip to her teachers house. She lives on 35 acres up by Carter Lake. It was beautiful there. Tranquil. It would be nice to live in the country or mountains on some property. The kids went for a little hike and loved seeing their teacher's house. It was a fun day to help out. I don't have my radiation appointment until 5:45 this evening so hopefully they will have some miracle pointers for me to help out my skin a bit more. I guess we will see. I have also been having problems with low blood pressure. I think it is slowing beginning to disappear. They are always asking me if I am drinking a lot of water or getting dizzy. I have been trying to drink a bunch of water, but heck you can only drink so much. I haven't really had the dizzy problem until today. After I put the twins down for a nap Olivia and I walked to the mail box. On the way back I had to keep stopping and sit down. I didn't know if I was going to make it home or not, kinda scary. I guess I will be sitting down the rest of the afternoon with a glass of water permanently glued to my mouth. Sheesh!
So I am still trying to collect donations for the garage sale/ bake sale this weekend. If anyone has anything they would be willing to donate please let me know. The sale will be on Saturday at my parent's house. 7851 Whitney Ct. Fort Collins 80525, so stop by and support the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life teams, We Cancer-vive!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Wed May 9th

All the ladies in the house.......BUDDY CHECK 9 DAY!! Be sure to do your monthly self breast exams. Early detection is key! I finally remembered on the right day this month, can you believe it. I don't think I have done that for a few months.
There isn't too much exciting to report for the last few days. The weather has been beautiful which I love. I love driving the big Jeep when it is nice out, so I got that out of the garage today and drove it around. Also because it has a full tank of gas and I am freaking out about gas prices being 3.20 here. The kids and I also washed it this afternoon and they ran around in their swim suits or as the twins say swim soups. I am looking forward to having some nice 80 plus degree days here this weekend. The kids love riding in "Daddy's Jeep" so we also took it to the grocery store this morning to buy to buy some juice. I forgot to get more at the grocery store this week and we were completely out. Speaking of the grocery store I have been totally scoring on previously viewed movies at King Soopers lately. They have all their previously viewed DVDs buy one get one free most of the time and they are 7.99. Sometimes I only find one but they still give them to you for 4 bucks, which is only a little cheaper than renting so why not. I've gotten the DaVinci Code, You, Me & Dupree, and The Guardian in the last few weeks. I am a movie-holic. For anyone that knows me or my family, we love to quote movies. Good times!!!
My skin has gotten gradually worse this last week graduating from pink to a light red and has been itchy. So I try to keep cream or lotion on it a few times a day. It is funny to look at myself and see one white side and one red side. Looks like I wore a long sleeve shirt on the left half of my body and went naked on the other half :-) That would be a funny site!
Oh, I also got this box of pre-made scrapbook pages and scrapbooks from Robyn and some gals that she does stamping up with. I LOVE THEM!!! All I have to do is put my pictures in them. They are all so cute, Thanks a bunch ladies!!
I am still looking for garage sale items that people are willing to donate for my Relay for Life garage sale next weekend. Please contact me if you have anything I can come pick up or you are willing to drop by.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Monday May 7th

Well technically it is Tuesday but we will say Monday for kicks. I have such a hard time sleeping when Jon isn't here. Good thing I have work to keep me busy if I want. The weather this weekend stayed overcast and chilly and was perfect for staying inside and hanging out. I went in for a massage on Saturday morning which was nice and relaxing. Jon spent all day Saturday finishing the insulation work in the basement. It is funny to walk down there now and actually see rooms and not be able to hear your voice echo. I can finally see more of a finished product. Saturday night we were able to go out and spend some time with our friends Tim and Traci. They are awesome people and I wish we could see them more often. Traci actually called this morning and said they would be going camping with us over Memorial Day! Should be fun if anyone is interested in going let me know. We are going to go a little north of Walden so we have somewhere fun to ride the four wheelers. Sunday was pretty laid back as well. I wasn't feeling well so we just hung out at the house. I also found out that my grandpa's wife, Jeanie, passed away on Sunday morning. She had stopped eating almost 2 weeks ago, so it was just a matter of time. My mom is out there in Salt Lake until Saturday. She was a sweet lady and we will miss her. My sister Toni and her husband will be coming this weekend for Mother's Day because her old college roomie is coming to town to visit. Should be fun to see her husband for a few days. Jon went back to work this morning after I got home from radiation. I did treatment #13 today so 19 to go. My allergies are still horrible and I am wondering at this point why I pay so much for my medication that really doesn't seem to be helping much. I am going to try a new one tomorrow. I did my grocery game shopping again this morning. It is still going well, cutting coupons and saving a bunch of money! I would recommend it to everyone! If you sign up remember to use my email address and I can get some free weeks as well. The site is I see the Dr. tomorrow so we will see if anything changes with my treatment "plan".

Friday, May 04, 2007

Friday May 4th

Okay I love it that it is May already and the warm weather should be fast approaching. I can't wait to get out and enjoy the sunny weather again soon. Although today was a drag, weather wise. Pretty chilly and overcast, but no rain yet. Jon is home this afternoon and we had our pre drywall inspection done this afternoon for the basement. Only a few minor things to fix. Jon is down there now putting up insulation. It is nice to be moving forward again with it. We don't have any big plans this weekend, which is nice. Our last few weekends have been jam packed with plans and schedules so it is nice to just be going with the flow.
My week was pretty busy. Olivia had swim lessons on Tues and Thurs night, which she is loving. I feel so crazy having to get up and be somewhere every morning. It is defiantly a switch from having no set schedule in the mornings. I would probably be disastrous in getting kids ready and out the door every morning if I worked and had to have them at day care. I suppose it wouldn't be any different than having them at school at a certain time every morning, which isn't too far off.
I have had to completely stop wearing my bra because it is irritating my skin to have the tightness on it all the time. It is even uncomfortable to wear a camisole with a lined bra. At this point I am just wearing a cotton tank and t shirt over it. This seems to work the best. I am still just pink on the side being treated, not red. I have one rib that seems to be pretty sore most of the time, which sucks. They are thinking it is just from having surgery in the area and now radiation. The doc just said to take Ibuprofen or Advil and we will see how it is next week. Although I remember telling my mom that same rib was sore for awhile before surgery and they couldn't find anything wrong with it, so who knows what the deal is. It went away for awhile but is back now. Just feels bruised. So far I am just using the Aveeno lotion on the treated area and it seems to be doing OK. If it starts getting bad I will try something new. Today I did treatment number 12 and I have 32 so 20 to go. The treatments themselves are not too bad. The only time it sucks is when they have to do films and "tweak" things in my plan. Then I am stuck with my hands up above my head for at least 15 min. Needless to say, my arms are totally asleep by the time I put them down. And laying on the hard table with my bony back and shoulders gets to wear it is very uncomfortable after a few minutes. They put this wet towel over my chest every other day they call a bolus. This is supposed to "fool" the machine into thinking there is an extra layer of skin there and not penetrate the body as deep. Like I have said before it is all a very technical and precise process and I am always amazed at learning all of the details that go into each individuals "plan". I have had a few people ask me if my hair is growing back yet, and I am happy to report that it is finally growing. The downside is that I have a million cowlicks on my head, so hair is out of control and growing in a million directions. I will post a picture when I have one.
On another note I found out this week that my grandma Jeanie is not doing very well. This is my mom's step-mother. She married my grandpa after my grandmother passed away probably about 15 or so years ago. They are currently living in Salt Lake and don't think that she will be here much longer. I am not sure that there is anything specifically wrong with her, just that her health has been going down hill for awhile and now she has been sleeping most of the time and only eating ice chips for the past week and a half or so. I think my mom said that hospice comes over in every morning to check on her. She is a very sweet person and I am glad that we have been able to have her in our family for as long as we have.
The only other thing I did this week was meet my girlfriend Heather and her 2 girls for dinner with the kids at Red Robin last night. It was the 2 of us and 5 kids. My nightmare table when I used to wait tables. :-) Oh well!
Relay stuff is still going well, but I have gotten 0 fund raising ideas. The only idea I have come up with is a "stolen" idea from my twins club. We had a rummage sale or garage sales a few weeks ago where club members donated items that they were otherwise going to get rid of and all the profits went to the club. So I thought we would try and do this over at my parents house since they have a landing strip for a driveway. The weekend I am looking at is May 19th. Between graduation and holidays there just aren't very many open weekends to do it before Relay. So I am thinking that we will have people bring by items that they would be willing to donate to the sale on the 18th or that week before and then do the sale on the 19th. All the profits would be donated to Relay and then anyone that wants to make a cash donation on top of that can do that. I have the "cash receipts" from ACS to hand out so people can write it off on their taxes if they want to just make a cash donation. Leave me a comment if this sounds like something you would be able to donate items too. (if you are in my area, of course) I think I will also put an add in the paper and on the community message board. Please pass the word around to your friends and family members and see if we can get some garage sale items to use and raise money. I will start collecting stuff from people now if they want it off their hands. Also if anyone comes up with other ideas, please let me know.