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!"

Funny Mammogram reminder

I got this email from a gal I know through my multiples club. She is a triplet mom. Thanks for the laugh Kim!! I picked my favorite comic to share...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Buddy Check 9 Day!

Hola!!! I did it and remembered buddy check 9 on the correct date! So, I thought that I would share the official "buddy check 9" email from the news anchor Kim Christensen that I received today:

Hello Everyone

Thank you, thank you, thank you for making this year’s Race for the Cure another smashing success! Once again, we turned the city pink with tens of thousands of people walking and running for a cure for breast cancer. Hundreds of breast cancer survivors joined the closing ceremony, giving all of us new energy for this cause and most importantly, hope. On Buddy Check 9 day we ask you to do a breast self exam and share that message with someone in your life, with the hope that any possible breast cancer be caught at an early stage, making it survivable.

Breast cancer is not selective. It chooses the young and the old, the rich and the poor, women and men. For more proof of that, I’m enclosing a message from a co-survivor named Dana. I hope you read it and remember breast cancer is everyone’s disease.

Dana writes,

My father, Henry Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer back in 1993 at the age of 55. He had a lump for quite sometime, however, it never crossed is mind or anyone else’s that it could be breast cancer. My mother was finally adamant that he be checked by his family doctor and was immediately sent for a biopsy which proved to be malignant breast cancer. At that time there wasn’t a lot of history at all on men getting breast cancer so by the suggestion of the doctor he did have a mastectomy and underwent several treatments of radiation. His sister Margaret Osborne also was diagnosed with the disease when she was 31 years of age and also underwent treatment which was more aggressive because it was in her lymph nodes.

We as a family have participated in the race for the cure every year because we believe there is hope in the future to find a cure. My father always wanted to go down and wear his pink hat and shirt and create awareness. It is rare that you would see a brother and a sister fighting breast cancer, but they always had hope of survival and fought to the very end. Margaret was a 22 year survivor and my father was a 12 year survivor but if it were not for all the research and awareness we wouldn’t have had them that long. It seemed like every time the doctor said it was their last hope for a treatment to work they would come up with something else thanks to the Susan Komen Foundation that donates so much money into research and treatment.

I know if my father were still here he would continue his fight and create that awareness to everyone that “yes men can get breast cancer too.” Unfortunately my father did pass away at the age of 67 and his sister seventeen months later at the age of 53, but they didn’t ever give up the hope!

Until next month,
Kim Christiansen

I watched this show on discovery last night about cancer. I can't remember for sure but I think it was called something like crazy sexy cancer? It was a documentary about a young girl that had a type of cancer that was not curable and her struggle with keeping it under control. She tried all sorts of diets and ended up doing one where she drank wheat grass a lot. I was laughing inside, since that is one thing my mom helped me do during treatment and have a healthy diet. They looked at her blood before and after and it really improved things. There is something to be said for that crazy wheat grass. Ha!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Slide Show take 2

Okay, I guess the 1st slide show file was too big and wasn't working for everyone so I split it in 2 parts. Let's try this again. I wasn't able to embed the slide show on my blog so you will just have to follow the links below to the google site to veiw them. The pictures aren't awesome quality since they are streached out, but you can veiw the originals on my picasa site as well. Enjoy!

Part 1: Click Here

Part 2: Click Here

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Sunday Oct 7th

What a busy weekend. I had to go to a web conference at work on Friday morning and afternoon and then Jon didn't get home until about 9pm on Friday. Saturday I spent the whole of my day at the Hilton in Fort Collins running through the fashion show and then getting ready for the evening. They did our hair and make up and the gala was from 4:30 to midnight. We had a blast. It was great spending the day with my fellow survivors and then celebrating at the gala. The fashion show went really well and and I saw a lot of people that I had met in treatment such as doctors, nurses, other people from the doctor's office, and patients. All the survivors were given these pretty pink ribbons to pink on their dress. The other 2 girls that I had treatment with that I have pictures of from throught my treatment were there and we took another picture together. Much nicer than the one of all 3 of us bald! It was wonderful. Jon's parents were able to come with us last minute as they had a table donated by a local bank and gave them the tickets. They had a live auction and also dancing. Since Jon and I haven't been dancing in awhile it was really fun to be able to do that. The band was amazing. They had 15 people in the band with an entire horn section and everything. They were probably one of the best bands I have ever heard locally. They were called After the Fire. I spent the afternoon today putting together a slide show of pictures that I took yesterday. The purple dress is the one I wore for the evening, it was one I wore for my brother's wedding. The pink one is the one that I modeled for David's Bridal. When you look at the pictures remember we all had to wear "stage" make aka a ton of make up for the fashion show. I also got to wear this beautiful necklace and earrings from a jewelery here Sather's,and they were hearts on fire diamonds. Wow, they were amazing. Those won't be in my drawer any time soon at a price tag of over 5 grand. I don't think I have a very good picture of them, but they were beautiful! Click here to see the slide show. Just to warn you it is about 8 min. long. They also distributed the local magazine I was in called Lydia's STYLE. I had my dad come over today and help me with my scanner so those who aren't local I will try and scan it in to share in the next few days. The pictures of everyone turned out really great. All I can say is that it was truly an amazing experience to be allowed to participate in and I was grateful for the opportunity.
WE didn't get home until about midnight and Jon and I were both exhausted for the entire day today. We took turns napping and mostly just relaxed the entire day. The Denver race for the cure was today and I am bummed we had to miss out, but I didn't see us all getting up at 5am to do it when having such a busy day on Saturday. They had over 60,000 race this year I think closer to 62,000. The news coverage is amazing from 9 news. If you are interested in reading the article or watching the new video on that story click here. It is pretty amazing, all those people fighting the disease. Speaking of which it is cool to see the breast cancer badge number increasing on the side bar. I think it is up to 360. We did watch the 2 sessions of conference today on BYU tv, but I also put them on my DVR since I was so out of it all day. I will have to watch them again to get more out of the talks that were given. Good thing we have a dish and we can watch it at home instead of going to the church to see it. I feel like an old lady being out until midnight and taking a full day to recover. I will post all the pictures from the gala yesterday on my Picasa link. Enjoy! I know I sure did.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thurs Oct 4th

My trainer officially kicked my butt last night at my cancer well fit class. Or should I say my legs! I could barley walk out to my car from the gym last night so you can imagine how sore I am today. My hams are killing me, I can hardly get around today. Hopefully this will be MUCH better by Saturday to do the cat walk! Although it was nice to feel like I got a good workout. I had to go buy some new jeans this week after trying on every pair I own and realizing that they are all skin tight on my thighs. Not that I am feeling over weight or anything just frustrated with having my weight switch to weird places like my thighs and hips. Since I have been married almost 6 years ago (wow I can't believe I have been married that long already!) I have always had to buy new pants every year. Either being pregnant, getting over being pregnant, being sick....Talk about some fluctuations of pants sizes. Kinda a bummer for the pocket book too. Just a part of it i suppose.

So it is officially breast cancer awareness month and I find myself immersed with the BC merchandise everywhere I go and can't help but be SO thankful that I am not in the midst of being sick anymore. My girlfriend Abbey and I were shopping at Kohls yesterday and she reminded me after seeing the BC area by the register that it was a year ago this week we shaved my head. Now that was a crappy day, probably one of the hardest emotionally of the whole journey. I am thinking about shaving it again just to commemorate the occasion....NOT! I saw the slide show that they are putting on before the fashion show on Saturday night and it is a tear jerker for sure. They have it set to that Craig Morgan song Tough and it is pictures of all the survivors in the fashion show all through treatment, surgeries, etc. I wish I could get a copy of it and post it but I would probably have to get every one's permission... I will see. I am hoping that someone will be taping it but if not getting pictures for sure. Maybe I can bring our camcorder and bribe someone to film it. Speaking of which our camera got "accidentally" dropped this last week so we had to go and get a new one this past weekend. Who can live without a camera with all those cute kids and frankly I am obsessed with having a camera just in case. I had to have one for this weekend and our trip next weekend. So I was playing with it the other day at the park and it has some sweet features. You can take a picture and tell it to only have one or two colors show up and the rest black and white. Here are the 2 I tried with the green grass and wagon. It did pick up a little other color but all in all pretty neat. See what you think, I think it will be a fun feature to use.

My girlfriend Alyssa emailed me earlier and her son had gotten out of his diaper during his nap and needless to say smeared the contents of it everywhere, and when I say everywhere I mean everywhere. I will post the pictures if she says it is okay, but I was dying. I have never seen anything like it. Cody did this 2 times but never to this extent. Jon is flying home tomorrow and I am excited to see him. It has been a long week without him, for some reason the kids are extra crazy this week.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tues Oct 2nd

I forgot to post about the new addition to my blog. In the upper right corner there is a badge from American Cancer Society for breast cancer. It is a "virtual fight" against cancer. If you have a blog click on the "join the fight" ribbon under the badge and it will take you to a page where you can copy and paste the html code into your blog. It will increase the number that currently says 350 strong on the badge each time someone adds it to their blog. Not only that but you can paste on for all different types of cancer, not only breast so they have different colors. Join the virtual fight now!!
My sister wanted me to post some pictures of the new TV we got this weekend. We had our carpets cleaned and decided that our living room space would be so much more open if we got rid of the big TV we originally had in the corner of the room blocking the built in shelves we have in the room. We broke down and picked out a plasma TV to hang above the fireplace and it looks so much better, although I am still not sure what I am going to put where as far as the shelves so ignore the mess all around it. My couches fit much better in the room and don't hang over the wall anymore either so I love that.

Jon just got called to go to Missoula, MT for the rest of the week to help out since they are behind there. He will be gone until Friday, just in time to be back for all the things we have to do for the Hope Lives! Gala.
I put a song on my blog again, so anybody wanting to view the video from a few posts back just scroll down to the bottom and pause the music.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Mon Oct 1st

I had my friend Alyssa scan in the ad out of fit pregnancy magazine so everyone could see it. Here I am! I can't say I love the picture, my hair blends in with the background, but cool to have my picture in a magazine. We spent most of the weekend putting the house back together from cleaning the carpets on Friday. We had a big screen TV that took up 1/2 our living room and once we had it off the carpet we realized how much it opened the room up not to have it, so we bought a new TV this weekend to put on top of our built in fireplace. It really helps to open up the room and make great use of the big built in shelves and space we have in there. I really like it much better and it doesn't feel so crowded.
I can't believe it is Oct already and turning to fall. Olivia brought home this journal that they do at school everyday and it was so cute. They practice writing the date and something fun the did or were thinking about that day. It was so fun to see that she really couldn't copy the word September in the beginning and then did pretty well towards the end. There were a few pages with just letters and I asked her what does this say? She was like I don't know I just copy Mrs. Kaufmann's letters on the board. It was so cute. I will have to see if I can figure out my scanner this week and show them to everyone.
We also had a practice for the gala fashion show next weekend. I think we finally have it down have almost 3 hours later and Jon wanting to shoot himself. Good thing I have such a supportive husband!
On Saturday night I went the Relief Society general broadcast. This is the women's organization in my church. They had a lot of great things to talk about. Being strong and immovable in faith and strengthening our families, nurturing and loving our precious children, and strengthening our faith and testimonies and not to be ashamed our of testimonies of the gospel. It was a great broadcast and I am glad I was able to attend. This coming weekend is general conference for our church where they have the prophet and other general authorities speak and it is broadcast world wide at church buildings and on BYU-TV if you have dish network or directv. It is so comforting to hear words of guidance from the leaders of the church that give us guidance on things that are happening in the world today. It is the 177th semiannual conference and will be on Saturday and Sunday both and have different speakers at each session. You can also stream it online at