Friday, June 27, 2008

A mini-make-a-wish

Last night I took my first "mini-make-a-wish".

That's what I call it at least. I was accepted to a program offered by the Diana Price-Fish Foundation that allows adults actively dealing with cancer to "play hookie" from cancer once a month by doing a fun event. For this month's event, I got tickets to the musical Sweeny Todd that is playing at the Buell. I love doing stuff like that!

First we went to a Czech restaurant on Broadway and I had - I can't remember what it was called, but it was good. Mondo ordered a fried cheesesteak, and when it came out it was a thick slice of cheese with a layer of a little piece of ham, breaded and deep fried! He said it was gooood though and thought, it would be ideal if someone cut them into bite size sticks and served them with marinara sauce. Funny guy!

Well, that's it for now. Hope ya all are ready to enjoy a nice summer weekend!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Should have been....

You should have been getting your driver's license, going to proms, and graduating from high school. You should have known your niece and nephew light up my day when they say "I love you auntie Tommy". You should have got a chance to meet your cousins, and maybe even babysit a time or two ;o) You should be in all of our family pictures!! It's been a lifetime. Nine years is a lifetime of changes and things you should have been able to do. I miss you guys so much, but I know you're always with me too.

In loving memory of Leslie, Katheryn and Becca

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How 'bout some Orange Chicken?

Just a quick post to let you all know about my Friday night...

My favorite comedian (and I have seen many, many, many comedians) - Jo Koy was in town and doing a show at Comedy Works. Matthew got tickets and a group of about 19 together to go. We went to dinner at PF Changs first and then we headed on over for the 10pm show.

I've seen Jo Koy twice before. The first time he was touring with Carlos Mencia on the Punisher Tour in Sept 06. Mondo and I both said, "we've got to see this guy again." In May 07, when I found out he was coming to Comedy Works - we jumped on that with a big group too. If you get a chance, look up his "Orange Chicken" skit. He is so freaking funny!

He seems really to appreciate the audience and even stayed late while tabs were being added up. He probably hung out an extra half hour or so and then stayed around to sign DVD's! Well, it was a good night... and... I got a hug after the show!

But, I wore myself out too. I was one tired chickee yesterday. Today too. Ah, it was worth it!

Friday, June 20, 2008

A really good day...

So, I had a pretty awesome day...

First, I woke up at noon... nice. Then Christina H came over and we went to Heritage Square for some sun and mountain climbing exercise :o) I used to work at the Alpine Slide, so we walked up to the top and I said hi to my friend Debbie who is the manager there. I didn't just used to work for her, I knew her whole family. Her sister Claudia used to be one of my high school counselors and she had introduced me to her brother and sister-in-law who hired me as a nanny way back when I was just a year out of high school. Anyway, Debbie ended up giving me a bunch of tickets for the slide - FREE. Kristina and I took one trip, and I am going to use the rest to take up Darren and hopefully a few of my nieces and nephews. We also took some of those goofy photo prop sets. Click on the thumbnail for a bigger view of the collage.

Next, we headed over to the Coors Brewery for a 'short tour' - which basically means you skip the tour and head on to the FREE Beer. They give you a wristband which has punches on it to allow you up to three drinks. I tried a Blue Moon - I've heard so much about them. And also had a Root Beer with no ICE. I think if I lived in Golden, I might do that tour way more often!

After that, we went to Jose O'Shea's for their Happy Hour. FREE Taco Bar with the purchase of a drink. Even lemonade. So yep, we had a drink and some tacos, and chimichangas (I think), and enchiladas, and watermelon. Wholly cow! And this was just a few hours before I was supposed to meet some friend for dinner! The tab for this Happy Hour came out to $5.25! Can you believe it? What a deal!

I dropped Kristina off and finally met her nana that she talks so much about. Too bad, I was in a bit of a hurry to go and meet my Band of Sisters by 7pm at PF Changs. No, I didn't get a FREE dinner there - but that's okay. It was fun. Lot's of good conversation with my "sisters". It seems like it's been a while so it was really nice to catch up. Half of my band is going to Estonia next month, so this is probably our last get together until they get back. However, we did talk about a summer vacation to Panama next year. I am really psyched to think that we can do that. Fun huh?

Well - that was a really good day. I am soooooo tired, but here I am - making collages to post a blog. It was that fun! Hope you all are getting ready to have a great weekend yourselves.

PS - don't forget, still seeking support on....
CELL PHONES for the Diana Price-Fish Foundation and
The American Cancer Society RELAY FOR LIFE
Click links above for more information.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chemotherapy - Session IV

Okay, not sure if you noticed - but I'm slacking. Partially because I wanted to keep my pleas for CELL PHONES and attention to the American Cancer Society RELAY FOR LIFE at the top of the queue. (Please review the links noted to see if you can offer your support for either of these worthy causes). And partially 'cause I didn't really feel inspired to write while I was sick.

But since I had a chemo appointment today, I thought I would share for those of you who were wondering how that went... and for my records too.

I have to admit, I was a little bit nervous that my cold might have put a damper in the plans for today. Maybe effect my bloodcounts in a negative way that wouldn't allow me to receive treatment. I went ahead and took my shot of neupogen (the WBC Booster) on Monday - and it turns out that that seemed to do the trick! Neutrophils were where they needed to be and I have received my 4th chemo treatment! YAY! I am now 1/3 of the way through!!!!

To think that the last one marked 1/4 of the way and then just one more changes it to 1/3 of the way. Mondo said the math is just going to get weird on the next one - so I probably won't note the fractional measure, but then again - maybe I will.

As for the appointment, it went well. Results from blood draw came back within the hour. My appointment wasn't until 10:45am, so it was a late day. But I had good company again. Kristina H (visiting from NM) made it there despite my bad directions and she brought me lunch! Imperial Dragon - yummmmm. And then Jessica (from my Band of Sisters) stopped by too. It was nice to chat and catch up.

Kristina brought me home and we were going to watch the season finale of Grey's Anatomy, but turns out it was deleted from our DVR. So I will need to see if I can find a recording somewhere or wait for the DVD release. I was pretty tired though, so I'm not sure how far I would have got through it :o) Since the movie plan was nixed, I went ahead and crashed on the couch - right in front of the AC ahhh... and I didn't wake up until about 9pm. Nice nap.

So that's the story. I'm doing all right and my cold is pretty much gone... a lingering sniffle here and there, but nothing unmanageable.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Relay for Life

I've decided to take part in the American Cancer Society Relay For Life. It's an event that brings together the whole community and helps raise funds for the fight against this disease. I know you care about cancer, too, and I'd love for you to join me as part of my Relay team.

At the event, we'll camp out overnight, walk around the track, and meet lots of new people. There is an incredible tribute to cancer survivors and caregivers that starts off the night and a moving ceremony honoring those who have fought the disease. I have heard that the Relay is unlike anything else you'll ever do. It's a night full of fun, hope, and remembrance.

You can get more information about Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society by clicking the links below.

My Team Page
My Personal Page

Click on the names below to visit members of the team so far -

Darren Karen
Mondo Mario
Tina Mateo


I would like to walk in honor of two people who have helped me beyond their knowledge in my daily dealings with cancer. These kids and their families who have openly shared their stories... their lives. By reading their blogs I find inspiration to not just fight cancer or deal with chemo - but to LIVE. To enjoy life to the fullest and to gain strength from the friends and family who surround me and love me. And to keep a positive attitude no matter what challenges occur.

My cousin, Taylor Rivera, diagnosed just under a year ago at the age of 12 with cancer of the peritoneum. Please visit her and see her story at

And Coleman Larson. I don't even know this kid - never met him. But I found his story and I read up on it as often as his mom posts for him. Coleman's (cancer) story began on Sept. 21, 2006 when he and his twin brother Caden were only 2 and 1/2 years old! What an amazing kid. What an amazing family! Please visit Team Larson at
CP Name: ColemanScott

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ya got some cheese to go with that whine?

Ugh... still sick. Nothing horrible, just enough to get me whining. Wah wah wah...

I guess the only reason I am dwelling a little bit longer on it (2nd paragraph) - is 'cause yesterday was supposed to be the start of my "up week". I had been growing in confidence that this roller coaster ride will have it's "ups" to go along with the "downs". And I suppose I should feel lucky that the "ups" have been so good... instead of bumbed that the "downs" are over staying their welcome this week. It's not like this is going to be the new norm. It won't! ITS NOT EVEN THAT BAD - I'm just a real baby when I get sick!

And anyhow, sick or not, I did get out of the house yesterday. Darren and I went to a movie - "Kung Fu Panda". I managed to stay awake (even laugh) through it.

Allright, enough whining. But not really... Can I just say that I am a little disappointed that NOT ONE PERSON has told me that they have a cell phone lying around that they can donate. Not even one person has told me that they don't. Just no response. Sad sad sad. - But you do have the POWER! You can turn me happy happy happy. I am still planning to collect phones through the end of the month. Please let me know if you can help out. I'll keep lovin' ya either way!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


It's June, and I have a cold... ick!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Chemotherapy - Session III

Weeeeeeee! I completed my 3rd chemo treatment today! I am now 1/4 of a way through!

I forgot to get a print out of my exact counts today, but apparently my neutrophils were where they were supposed to be! Dr Azar sounded happy that it worked and I will keep praying that one shot of neupogen per session will work for the entire regimen. That is very very good news!

My appointment was at 9am. Yuck! I am soooo not a morning person. My mom wanted to go, but Darren is out of school now and I didn't want him to be alone all day long. Really, I didn't even mind the thought of going alone this time - I had a little craft project to work on to keep me busy and pass the time. As I promised her I would - I called Sheila to let her know that I was probably going to go by myself. Of course, - and I knew she would - she offered to keep me company. I suggested that maybe she could meet me for lunch, and that way she wouldn't be there the whole day, but then I would have a ride home. But she ended up picking me up bright and early and staying for the whole appointment (9am-1:30pm). Thank you Sheila! And thank you mom for taking care of my kid! Love you both!

When we got to the clinic, the line was out of control running out the lobby and down the hall. I've never seen it that long! I asked Sheila if she would hold my basked of crafts while she waited for me to check-in. She took the basket from me and said "sure, but I will stand in line with you!" I felt bad, and she wouldn't let me take it back from her! While we were waiting, I saw my favorite PA - Theresa Capaci and she came right over to give me a hug. It's always nice to see her! And, thankfully, the line went pretty quickly!

Here's a photo of the view from the wing that we receive chemo in. Today we faced west.
My nurse was Johanne. I really only saw her once - but Charla, Laney, Julie and Lisa all stopped by to see me, as well as my new friend Angelo from last session. I got to show off my newly stitched fanny-pack, and they were oh-so-impressed - hahaha! Sheila and I were making roses out of PartyLite votive candles for an open house I am having later this month. I handed them out to some of the nurses and it seemed to put a nice smile on their faces. I told Sheila, "it makes me want to just carry a basket of them around to hand out to people". The nurses told me it looked like we were having a little party in our corner of the wing. I guess we kind of were. At least I was having fun.

So the good thing is - things flowed really well today. I didn't have to wait long to see Dr Azar. Got my labs back quickly. Didn't have to wait long for meds.... and the time seemed to fly by - comparatively. Since we got out earlier than normal, we stopped for lunch afterwards. But not before Sheila ended up carrying ALL of my stuff out to the car - the craft basket and two bags of supplies, while I carried - a Coke! It was kind of funny so of course, I wanted to take a photo. As Sheila (carrying basket and bags, shuffled for the camera to take a picture too), gets told that "photo taking is NOT allowed at Kaiser!" by a security guard who happened to be passing by. Oops! I wish I would have gotten a picture of her! Next time...

I'm home now. My headache has not kicked in full force, but I can feel it coming on. I am hot and I am tired and my jaw hurts. I can feel some of the neuropathy (tingling sensation) in my fingers, but it's not too bad. I wasn't able to drink an iced drink for lunch - but I am learning to deal with that. I have a big bruise on my arm where I got my neupogen shot two days ago (thank you Sheila for giving me the shot, and remember, I don't blame you - so don't feel bad) - but the bruise makes me even more thankful that I don't have to take that shot 5 days a week! And - my side effects of it were not nearly as bad as two weeks ago! So things are going good... and, I am a quarter of a way through! I feel like I should be planning a party or something?? Hahaha! Nice try huh?

Allright, I need a nap. Hope all is well with all of you! I know if you read this often, you know what's going on with me. Hope you will still keep in touch and drop me an email or a comment at least.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Everyone has one, don't they?

The question is - What are you going to do with your old cell phone?

If you're looking for a charitable way to recycle it - I would be happy to take it off your hands! I would like to collect as many cell phones as I can to donate to the
Diana Price-Fish Cancer Foundation. I thought that this was a great way to support this awesome foundation and even better, it won't cost you a dime! In talking to a few people - it seems that almost everyone has an old cell phone lying around the house that they will never ever use again.

Okay, I admit, finding out that my young cousin, and then that I, have cancer has given me a personal interest in supporting groups like this one. But check this out - this donation is a double-whammy as it also can lead to support for battered women's shelters (another cause close to my heart) and other worthy organizations!

Please let me know if you have a phone or phones to contribute and I will make arrangements with you to collect them. I would like to have a ton of phones to turn in by the end of June - so you have plenty of time to ask your friends and family if they have any they would like to get rid of as well. BTW - it's not necessary that all the extras be donated, so as long as you have the phone - we'll take it!

Thanks so much!!!!


Diana Price-Fish Cancer Foundation has partnered with Charitable Recycling to help the environment AND adults who have cancer. For every used cell phone received, DPFCF gets a donation. Charitable Recycling refurbishes the phones and distributes them to organizations and people in need, such as battered women's shelters and veterans assistance programs.