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!