Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chemotherapy - Session VII

Here I am again... just got back from my 7th session. 12-11-10-9-8-7-6.... Not that I'm counting down or anything... :o)

You know, I've heard people say before that they can't stand hospitals. They have to be practically on their death bed to go in to see a doctor and they won't go visit anyone no matter what. I always thought "What's the deal? What's sooooo bad about hospitals?" But today, the SMELL of the hospital grossed me out so much I thought I would get sick. It almost made me want to cry just thinking I was going to have to spend 5 hours in it... I've never felt that way about it before. Guess I was just sensitive to it or something. Uck!

Other than that, everything went well. It took the usual hour+ to get my bloodcounts back, but they were all good. I talked to Dr Azar about this side effect I've had... for several days after my treatment I get this restless feeling in my legs and arms. Like I can't get comfortable sitting, standing or laying down. If I'm standing, I'm pacing back and forth. If I'm sitting, I'm kicking my legs back and forth. And if I'm laying down, I'm turning from side to side. It was getting on my nerves quite a bit... enough to ask her about it. Anyway, she said it's probably a side effect of the steroids I'm taking. So I am gonna try a different anti-nausea medication this week. Hopefully that does the trick.

Right now, I'm tired. Hot. And my tummy hurts... so yep, I'm 'bout to take a nap.... maybe.

Oh yeah, hadn't updated about last week, but it was great. I went to lunch - with my friend Yvette S and also with friends Sue and Crystal (who did the Relay for Life with me). Wednesday I went to lunch with my friend Eric and to a Rockies Game. And Friday to lunch with Mondo, Darren & my friend Lisa & her kids. Then we went to the zoo and met up with my nephew and his family. His son Josiah told me last week "auntie, I want to go to the zoo!" I also saw a couple of movies with Darren - WallE and Journey to the Center of the Earth. And then Friday night I got to do my 2nd "mini-make-a-wish". Mondo and I went to the Capital Grille downtown for a really nice dinner. We even ran into our friend Andrew who bought us dessert! mmmm... It was awesome!

My numbers -


Actual Low High
3.5 11.0
12.0 16.0
34.0 47.0
150.0 450.0
1.5 7.5

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Relay for Life

Argh, I've been slacking again! I meant to post about the Relay for Life over the weekend, but I guess I just vegged out instead - sorry! The thing is, I don't really know where to start... it was such an awesome night, I don't feel like I can do it justice.

Let's see... First I will go with who was there...

Me, my mom, my dad, Darren and Mondo. Mario, Karen, Sophia and Mateo. From Sun (work) Sue and Crystal. And unexpectedly a day before the relay I found out that my cousin Tommy was coming with his whole family - Tammy, Taylor, Matthew and Landon. That was a great surprise as Taylor is my little cousin who is also dealing with cancer and who I walked in honor of. And although I don't think it was in their original plan to stay the whole night, the kids were having such a good time - they did!

Over the night, we got lots of visitors too - My friend Brooke stopped by to play a few games with us. My favorite PA from Kaiser, Theresa, stopped by with her husband to see if there was anything we needed. My friend Debbie stopped by with Mercedes and Lexus to play some games and bring burritos! And somewhere along the way, my son met a friend - Eduardo - who hung out at our camp all night.

After opening ceremonies Taylor and I participated in the "Survivor Lap" with our special "Survivor TShirts". It rained as we made our way around and it was so cool to see everyone clapping the whole way around - just standing in the rain and cheering us on. Taylor is truly a survivor type - this girl has been through 9 intense months of treatment and she comes out ready to fight some more. She's beautiful, full of energy and smiles and she is inspiring to me. Taylor, you will always be in my thoughts and prayers!

If you have a chance, please visit her site too -

What next? Games. Taylor taught us a card game called "Mafia" that everyone really enjoyed. I could tell cause even when I was napping in the tent, I could hear them laughing so hard I thought surely someone was gonna pee their pants!

As it got dark, we made a couple more rounds and we looked at the beautiful tribute of luminarias. A luminaria is a paper sack with a candle in it and people bought them in honor or in memory of a loved one who has been touched by cancer. As we found Taylor's, my cousin Tommy (yes, we have the same name) said "I wonder where yours is" and I swear I got a tear in my eye when we found it. It really touched my heart that Taylor made a luminaria to honor me. It was beautiful.

There was a point in the night when me and my mom were at the camp alone with the kids. Eduardo, who was also wearing a survivor tshirt shared his story of his fight with leukemia since the young age of 4 (he's 15 now). It is so very hard to explain how it felt to hear these kids - they're just kids for heaven's sake! - talk so matter of factly about these experiences that no child should ever have to encounter. And what was it that they had to say in the end? Eduardo's desire is to collect toys to give to the hospital so that they can give out to other kids going through what he went through, cause he remembers that they did that for him. And Taylor was on the same wavelength - "Yes!" she said "I want to do gift baskets!" Such big hearts.

As for the walk - Darren had a blast. I can't believe the energy he had for it after spending the day at Elitch's, but he walked alot. And he even won a bingo game during one of the prize laps. Taylor stayed up all night and walked alot too. Even after that first lap she turned to me and said - let's do another.

This night was filled with so much love and support, it's really why I say I can't put it into words. If I could translate how big and full my heart feels, you would probably be reading forever. It was a great night. An awesome night, and I am so glad we did it. And I am so grateful for all of the people I have in my life and had with me to share that night with...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Chemotherapy - Session VI

Guess what... I have GOOD NEWS! See how happy I am?!?!?!cheeeeeese!

I had my 6th of 12 treatments today. I am HALFWAY THROUGH! I don't know why, but I am really excited about that. I guess it's just another blessing I have to count that things have went so well so far. I still am positive and full of hope and what I think is really unexpected - HaPpY! You know what I did for my pre-chemo day? I went to the driving range with Scottie (pictures to come). I've never been before and I thought it was lots of fun. I even dreamt about keeping my wrists straight next time! I also met up with my friend Lisa and we had lunch at The Broker - never been there before... and then in the evening, had dinner with my friend Nina at La Sandia (another new restaurant). Three new things with three great friends all in one day - it was awesome!

Today, my mom and Darren took me to chemo and picked up lunch for me then headed out. It was the first time I stood there alone during treatment (don't get mad Sheila! It was unexpected!) and after I read a "Soap Opera Digest" - I fell asleep. That made the time go by pretty fast... but really, I was there from 10am - 3pm. My friend Angelo wasn't there, so I didn't chat with anyone. I hope he's okay - have to check on him next.

Anyway, no nap for me now. I have to go pick up T-Shirts and info for the Relay for Life we're doing this weekend. I am sooooo psyched about that too! This week we made breakfast burritos to sell at work (thanks Mario) to raise a bit more money for the cause. So, again - if you want to check details out, they're posted online at And here's a favor I have - if you're the praying type - please pray that I will have energy this weekend! I'm gonna need it!

Added after first post...
Went to go pick up our stuff for the walk and then went with Mondo and some friends for dessert. It was our friend's bday and he bought us dessert. Yummm.... Here are the pix I said I would post... click for a larger view...

My numbers -


Actual Low High
WBC 13.1
3.5 11.0
HGB 12.4
12.0 16.0
HCT 35.9
34.0 47.0
Platelets 168
150.0 450.0
Neutrophils 9.2
1.5 7.5

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Time for some Summer Pix....

Thought I would give a quick update for those of you who'd like to know what's been going on with me. I've felt pretty good this week and have done some 'fun stuff' with my family...

Tuesday, 7/8 - Took Darren, my godson Adrian and my niece Aubreyana to Adventure Golf and Go-Karts. Then we came home and played Uno & Monopoly.

Wednesday, 7/9 - WDP Board Meeting which turned out to be fun. I really like the group of people, they're easy to talk to and they make me laugh. It's exciting to know that we have approval to go ahead with the 2nd Middle School. YAY!

Thursday, 7/10 - Lunch with Scottie! Which was good to catch up... unfortunately, my back went out right after lunch. Ouch. So I took it easy for the rest of the day.

Friday, 7/11 - Feeling much better! Took Darren and met up with Mondo & Tyler at Belmar to see "Hellboy II". Did you know first movie of the day is only $5.50? What a deal. That afternoon, we (mom, dad, Darren & Mondo) went to Pueblo to visit family. We got to see my dad's aunt Jenny - she's 94! She looked like she was doing pretty good. I met up with my cousin Maria and we went out for a Red Beer (mmmm) or two. Short visit, but it was nice to see a few people we hardly ever get to see.

Saturday, 7/12 - Left Pueblo early to get to Canon City to purchase tickets for the 12:30 train ride in the Royal Gorge. It was a two hour ride and the kids really seemed to have fun. They got a big kick out of seeing the rafters and especially when they waived back to them. After the train ride, we went up to the top of the gorge. I stayed in the van and took a nap - I was not going near the gorge - way too afraid of heights.... but Mondo, Mario & his whole family and Darren walked across. Yikes. AND THEN, after that, we went to Pizza Madness in town and met up with my nino (Godfather) and some cousins. That was really cool 'cause I hardly ever see my nino and he is the best.

Anyway, it was a pretty great weekend and it truly felt like we were on vacation even though we were only two hours away. Needless to say, I was exhausted when we got home last night. We all were.

So, anyway - I thought it was time for some pix...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Knocked. Me. Out.

Wholly cow! This past treatment kinda knocked me out!

My "norm" has been to come home, blog and then sleep after a treatment. This week, I didn't - I had to run an errand so that cut into my nap time. I don't know if that is what knocked me out of whack, but I couldn't catch up. I was so tired - I felt like all I could do is sleep whenever I could.

On Thursday morning, I did manage to catch a flick - "Hancock" - with mom, dad and Darren... On Friday, I went with Mondo to a BBQ for the 4th of July, but just ended up laying down on the grass with my eyes closed... then off to the Outlaws game, which I don't know how - but I slept through it! I did manage to wake up for the fireworks though! Saturday - I rested all day - and missed Kristina's Bday bash :o( - which brought me to today...

It felt good to make it to church this morning. Had a nice lunch with Mondo, Darren and friends - Beth and Dave and their new baby Zane, who I got to hold for the first time today. He loves me.

This evening I went with friends to the Spaghetti Factory and then to Comedy Works. It was a great evening and I don't know if it's ever felt so good to get some energy back.
Awe well, Cheers to a new week!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chemotherapy - Session V

Just a quick note about my treatment today...

Everything went well, but it was a long day. I went in at 10:15am and Dr Azar saw me early. Then my blood draw went in and as usual, took an hour to get results.
My numbers -


Actual Low High
WBC 13.0
3.5 11.0
HGB 12.7
12.0 16.0
HCT 36.7
34.0 47.0
Platelets 243
150.0 450.0
Neutrophils 10.3
1.5 7.5

While I waited, I talked to my friend Angelo and his wife. He is a couple treatments ahead of me, plus doing the trial drug on (my) off week. Poor guy has really bad side effects on his fingers. They are dry and cut. His mood has changed and his taste buds too. I thank God that mine haven't gotten that bad and keep praying that if and when they do, I can still keep a positive attitude.

No problem with that today. Rebecca S (from my bible study group) came to keep me company. She brought me lunch - Chinese food, yummm and we chatted the day away with Angelo. I know I could take my treatment alone and it wouldn't bother me much as I would probably sleep through it mostly. But it is reallllllllly nice to have company. It seems to make the day go by so much faster.

Well, that's all for now. I don't have the terrible headache I usually do, but my jaw hurts and I am tried so I am going to go lay down. Hope you all have a great holiday weekend! Happy Independence Day!


PS - Thanks to those of you who responded to my requests for CELL PHONES to support the Diana Price-Fish Foundation. Please keep in mind this is an ongoing need and your phones can be donated through a link at the site at any time.

And I hope you'll remember that I have a team that will be participating in the American Cancer Society RELAY FOR LIFE. Please review the links noted to see if you can offer your support for either of these worthy causes.