Monday, March 31, 2008
My 2nd round of carboplatten chemo is this Friday. Ugh. Man the time inbetween treatments goes so fast. Im hoping it takes a few days before I feel like doo-doo so I can go to Kaelin's 1st soccer game on Sat. and her dance performance on Sunday. I'm hoping I 'll be good to go again by Wed, so I can go to my support group.
Kaelin's 9th Bday is tomorrow. She's my little April Fool.
Say a little prayer for my friend Penny from my support group. She had surgery this morning at 730am. They were going to remove her spleen, one kidney, resection her liver and do some other things. It's pretty major. I've sent all of my angels to look out for her. She'll be in ICU for a few days before she can have visitors.
Also, another lady from my support group, Jackie, who has stomach cancer, just was put on hospice. She needs your prayers and angels too. Both ladies are very special and will be missed by the group. They are in my heart this week.
Thanks for the walk this morning Paris. Finally some good walking weather! Also had a workout at 24 hour Fitness and then sat in Starbucks today and read a book (Uglies). What a great way to spend the day. Now I am off to pick up my kids, take Spencer to a hoop lesson (by his dad, with some other boys from his class) and then take Kaelin to Rhythmic Gymnastics. Not quite ready to get back into the crazy school week routine!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
And Dicks Sporting Goods just opened and that place is like sport heaven! It's like going into the Nike employee store, but better! Like 20 times bigger! (not as good prices though!). Loved it. Paris picked up a gift for Kaelin. She wanted to buy her a shirt that said "I look even better on the instant replay." But the shirt was in pink. :( Pink and Kaelin are like oil and water. They don't get along!
Below is some journaling that was on a doorknob hanger by "philosophy" that also had step by step instructions for doing breast exams. It really spoke to me and put into words how I feel. I could really relate.
she is a mother who can think only of the welfare of her children.
she is a wife who wonders if her husband will still love her.
she is a daughter horrified of the thought of breaking the news to her aging parents.
she is a sister, a soulmate, the best girl you know.
she is a friend; a real bossom buddy.
she is a neighbor who now needs a friend.
she is an executive who has lost her control.
she is an employee who wonders how she will keep her job, pay her bills, take care of her child, while trying to recover.
she is a patient who fears losing her life.
she is a doctor who must now save her own life.
she is a beauty who will always be beautiful.
she is a woman who never did feel beautiful.
she is famous and now wishes she wasn't.
she is a stranger who you can't see, but she can see you.
she is a person whom you have yet to meet.
she is you, she is me.
Isn't that cool?
Know what else is cool? UCLA going to the Final 4 Baby!!!! Woo Hoo! Go Bruins!
I'm thinking about being irresponsible and buying tickets to the Cirque de soele before it ends April 13th. Everyone is telling me how much Kaelin would love it. Hard to believe since it seems that Kaelin doesn't love anything right now! LOL
So any of you out there readers? Paris and I are having the best time with Good Reads. Let me know and I'll sign you up as one of my friends! :) I'm totally a book worm right now! Having a great time reading for fun. No self help or diet books! LOL My email is email@example.com if you want to invite me to be a friend! I'm reading "Marley & Me" and "Uglies" right now.
Hope you all are having a great end or start to your spring break. It's snowed here 4 mornings in a row!!!
Friday, March 28, 2008
It's weird not having any hair. You don't realize how attached to your hair you really are. And how naked and bare you feel without it. Not to mention cold!!! I'm really enjoying the process of it growing back in though. And appreciating what I have when I have it. Like my eyelashes! And dolling them up with mascara while I can. Because it's no fun not having eyelashes and eyebrows. I'm even more attached to those than I am the hair on my head! But in reality, it doesn't matter really. It's not what counts. It's not who you are. Or what you are. It's just hair.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
He goes undetected.
Stalking my every move.
There is no where to run. No where to hide.
He doesn't give up. Doesn't back down.
A relentless hit man.
Stealing life without a second thought.
Protect and Heal by Shauna Berglund-Immel
Protect my heart and soul because it is under attack.
It is the center of my being, giving life to my body and soul.
My bones. My brains. My muscles.
It breathes life into my very being.
Heal my body and spirit because I want to live and breath.
I want to experience life's treasures.
I am not done living yet.
I have so much to give. So much to do.
Two children to raise.
Roads to travel.
Journeys to take.
Avenues to explore.
Mountains to climb.
Heal my body and make me whole again.
Give me my dreams and future back.
Fill the emptiness that is growing inside of me.
Light the darkness that is falling.
Heal my body and spirit.
These pieces came out of a timed writing at the begining of our writing workshop today. We focused on the body. We first made a list of different parts of our body that came to our mind.
We were then asked to pick 1-2 parts and write. Or we could use the prompt:
"Praise my ______ because...." or exchange "praise" for "thank/celebrate".
We then listened to a piece of jazz music and were asked to write a piece afterwards. Or we could use the prompts: "The memory is..." and "Inside the sound..."
The Orchestra by Shauna Berglund-Immel
The orchestra of organs inside of me
keeps beat with the beating of my heart.
A base drum for the rest of the instruments
that play together to create the tune of my life.
Only one more workshop is left and I am so sad! I am loving the writing workshop. I love the writing. The sharing. The listening of others works. The feedback. The prompts. The time alloted to write. What am I going to do when it ends? I'm going to go through withdrawals! I'm going to try and keep the group together. I just don't know what's going to happen with me and my health, so I am afraid to officially organize a group and run it myself. Maybe we can all participate and each bring a prompt or something?
Brain MRI update: still waiting for the results. My oncologist is going to try and track it down for me and get back to me tomorrow.
CA125 update: the last CA125 before I started my chemo last Monday was 127. That's up from 97. But it should be going back down with the chemo I just did and hopefully follow that trend.
Spring break update: it snowed today! What's up with that? We've been laying pretty low. The kids are enjoying time at home to play with the neighbor kids. They've been playing outside, playing boardgames (Spencer is into Dungeons and Dragons and finally found someone to play with!), playing video games and computer games and just being kids and having fun. We've been going to the movies (Drillbit Taylor - Spencer's kind of humor!) and hanging out at bookstores and reading books. Staying up late watching American Idol and Big Brother together. Going to soccer practice (in the rain, hail and snow???). I was hoping to get a few things done around the house but still haven't gotten to it!
Birthday alert! Kaelin turns 9 on April 1st (next Tues!) and I have yet to plan/organize anything! I don't know what to get her. Where to have her bday party. Or when. Birthdays are always so overwhelming for me! They just seem to come bam bam bam right after the other in a very busy season of wrapping up before schools out. So I need to figure that out before the week is up.
I hope everyone is enjoying their spring breaks!
Monday, March 24, 2008
The happiest dog in the world, Simba...
Saturday, March 22, 2008
I always fill out two brackets for work. One with my head, and one with my heart. Although, whenever UCLA is in it, I have a hard time thinking with only my head. One bracket I always fill out with the Pac 10 teams going as far as they can. So in that bracket, I have UCLA, WA, Stanford and USC in the Final 4! In my real bracket, I have UCLA beating NC, with UCLA, NC, TX and KS in the Final 4. So we'll see how it all plays out. I love when the underdogs throw in some upsets. I was 23/32 and 22/32 the first round. Not doing so well the 2nd round with Duke, Pitt, Vanderbilt and UConn bowing out. But my Bruins pulled through and that's all that really matters!
My mom drove up to Seattle with my kids after she got off of work today. I'm still feeling really off from my Chemo on Monday, so Dave and I decided to drive up in the morning and get to my brothers about 8am! Not sure how that's going to play out. I have a feeling I won't feel any better at 5am than I did tonight! But we did get to see the Bruins play. I think that was worth it.
We're going to drive back tomorrow night, since we have appointments etc. on Monday.
I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
"off" in the head so it's a precaution. Wish they would do a full body MRI as my cancer doesn't seem to show up on PET scans and CT scans so well. But at least I got the brain MRI.
I've handled the Carboplatten chemo well so far this week. Went to my support group today and then my Writing Workshop. Will share my writing later in the week.
Thanks to Ellen for bringing dinner and some fresh produce by my house tonight. Always enjoy her company, as well as Casey's. Our boys are doing the Experiential Days togehter. They are building gas powered and lithium battery powered go carts and racing them to find out which is better. Kaelin went snow-shoeing and sledding today at Mt. Hood for her Experiential Days. Tomorrow they hit the beach and Mo's Restaurant for lunch. Great way to lead into Spring Break.
Enjoyed watching Kaelin do Acrobatics tonight, as it was Parent Watch. Always fun to see her work on her aerials and back handsprings.
Tomorrow March Madness begins...my favorite time of year! Go Bruins!!! (both Dave's and my alma mater. Actually, Dave is a former Bruin Basketball player himself, so that's near and dear to his heart! We were there (pregnant with Spencer) when they won the National Championship in Seattle in 95!) Also, Go Portland State University! The coach, Coach Ken Bone, used to coach at Seattle Pacific University when Dave and I were going to Grad School there and Dave was his graduate assistant and coached a couple of years with Ken Bone! We wish him and his team the best!!!! Woo Hoo!! Bring on the Madness, the big dance!!!!!
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
I felt great yesterday after getting my carbo ONLY, minus the taxol (side effects=hairloss and muscle achels and naropathy). Minus the taxol, it only took 1.5 hours to infuse. So I was done by 10am i think. that was a bonus. My mom drove me and waited for me and then we went to New Seasons and did a big grocery run to stock up (the kids have Experiential Days at school this week and Kaelin needs to bring lunch and snacks every day). I made chicken in the crockpot and took Kaelin to gymnastics while my mom and Spencer went to see "Horton Hears a Who" (Kaelin and I saw it on Friday) and Dave had hoop tryouts for his AAU Allstar team or whatever. I then went to REI to get a few things Kaelin needed for her Experiential days (rockclimbing Tues., Snow shoeing Wed., The beach on Thurs and Kyaking on Fri.). I got to the Bridgeport REI and I could't find my purse anywhere. I had to drive all the way back to the gym. At that point Kaelin only had about 30 minutes to go (I've been picking her up 1.5 hours early since she broke her hand) so I waited for her to finish before going back. We spent awhile at REI and then we had to rush to Kaiser because the oncology pharmacy forgot to give me my anti nausea/anti vomiting pills and i was all out at home. The pharmacy closed at 830 and that's what time we walked in! whew! then spent the evening making lunch for Kaelin, organizing her attire and back pack for the next day.
I did fine until I woke up this morning, all nauseous and crampy. I hadn't taken any pills at all yesterday or last night. I usually stay on top of things taking Ativan and Compazine and I just thought I didn't need to. So I did't. I felt fine. Well, I really didn't feel so well when I woke up at 7am! I took some meds and slept until 1230! felt good for most of the day. Took it easy and laid in bed reading. Got up and going when Paris brought us dinner (broccoli/red pepper crustless quiche and homemade applesauce muffins). yum! Thanks P! She had brought back the Twilight Series books she borrowed and read so quickly! Now we're (as in Natalie, Paris and I) all looking forward to the 4th book coming out Aug. 2. And the movie. When does that come out? I helped Kaelin get her stuff gathered and packed and her lunch made for her Snow Shoeing trip to Mt. Hood tomorrow and I made Miso Soup for the kids, although they both ate the Quiche! :)
Ending up getting a bit queasy and tired around dinnertime myself. So rested in bed. My mom brought me dinner in bed, she spoils me so! And tea. She's got even my kids drinking tea!
Now I have my favorite blanket, my kids are tucked in (althought Spencer's not feeling well. Had to take his temp and give him Motrin) and I'm going to lay on the couch and watch Big Brother, American Idol and/or Dancing with the Stars.
So far, so good with the Chemo effects today. I was a little suprised not to feel so well this morning though. Usually it's Thurs. before I feel the effects. hmmm...????
Sorry for rambling. Thanks for listening.
ps. Go Bruins and PSU in the NCAA tourney!!!
Monday, March 17, 2008
Wish me luck.
p.s. Hasta La Vista cancer cells!
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Here's a photo of classic Kaelin, leading the pack of boys at recess! (photo by Liam's dad, Tom) Notice her great running form and technique! I can see track and hurdles and relays in her future!
Tonight we were picked up in a limo (my camera battery died just as we were to take photos!) by our neighbors Steve and Berit. Steve suprised Berit with a limo ride to her 40th Birthday party! What great fun we all had! Awesome limo ride (thanks Steve and Berit for sharing the wheels! Hey guys, please email me photos from your NEW camera so I can blog them!). The host house was beautiful! What great food (Ernestos) and fun (sorry we didn't know Berit well enough to win any prizes! Dave got 2 right and I got 3/10 right!). The American Idol Kareoke was a hit. Steve and Berit, you both rocked! Made for some great entertainment. I'm sorry we missed the opening of the presents. You'll have to tell me what you got! I'm sorry we were party poopers and some of the first to leave. We just can't party like rock stars anymore! I turn into a pumpkin! We enjoyed our limo ride home with Ben and Kim. I'm still kind of expecting Steve to come to our doors around 3am looking for Dave and Ben to play Halo on XBox 360 with him! LOL We hope you had the happiest bday ever Berit! You totally deserve it! We really enjoyed meeting your brother and his wife and all of your friends. What great friends you both have!
Kaelin and I went to see "Horton Hears a Who" yesterday. Cute movie! We give it 2 thumbs up!
I start chemo on Monday. :(
Just finished reading the young adult literature "Twilight" series books (Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse). They filmed part of the movie here in Portland. Did I already write this in my blog somewhere? I'm having deja vu. Anyone have any good recommendations for books to read now? I'm kind of liking the adolescent lit books as they are easy, light reading and a great escape.
Friday, March 14, 2008
For all of you out there that might have someone in their life that need a little hope, consider sending them a custom made "Box of Hope" to brighten their day/life!
Thanks Natalie and Paris. Love you both!
ps. for a great description of my friend Paris, revisit my Mis-Adventures in Wig Shopping!
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
We had a 5 minute write, the prompts were:
"In my dreams..." or "Underneath it all..."
In My Dreams
by Shauna Berglund-Immel
I see you in my dreams. You visit me every night. Gently taking my hand and walking with me along the winding path. Beside me, a strong presence. Comforting. Reassuring.
We then did a long write, along the theme of "life's lessons" in which we had numerous choices. I chose to start a letter to my 12 year old son, Spencer. It's only a start, a work in progress. I hope to write one for all of my loved ones. For all the special occasions that occur throughout one's lifetime, and put them in a box in case I'm not here to experience them in person. I think I'm going to keep this one to myself for now.
We then only had 5 minutes and one of the girls threw out a prompt idea: "I need..." Our assignment was to write one sentence that started with "I need..." I made it a long one! :)
Flicker of Hope
By Shauna Berglund Immel
I need to reach deep inside of me and grab the hope that flickers there and shelter it from going out.
I hope to see you all "in my dreams" tonight!
Monday, March 10, 2008
ps. thanks for going to the movie with me tonight Paris. Pettigrew Lives For a Day was cute! And it had a happy ending. I love happy endings.
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Piglet asked Pooh.
"I don't have to spell it, "
"I just feel it."
Thank you to all of you who fill me up with love. I am totally feeling it these days and I totally appreciate it. Thank you for showing me in all of the different ways that you do, however small.
Here are some more "works in progress" from my writing workshop (http://writingaround.org) class last week:
3/5 We were given a list of words ( a sheet of qualities) and asked to circle the ones that spoke to us and to add any that we felt needed to be there. The words I circled were:
the words i added were:
then we were asked to double circle the word that stood out the most.
i double circled: hope
and then we were asked to write about this quality to bring them onto paper.
here is what i have so far for hope. it's not finished and i'm not happy with it yet. but i plan on working with it more. it is a total rough rough draft. there are some good parts, but very few!
by Shauna Berglund Immel
Hope walks through the door and into the room. A silence falls over the room as everyone stops what they are doing and looks up. Unable to look away, mesmerized by the warmth that Hope eminates. The sparkling light both dazzles and blinds as Hope glows, growing brighter by the minute.
Our next writing prompt was offered up by someone in the class, inspired by someone else's piece.
In My Knapsack
by Shauna Berglund-Immel
which was once filled
with trinkets and treasures and dreams,
now sits empty.
My dreams for the future
stolen like a golden pocket watch.
Thanks for reading and letting me share here.
Her Elite Acro group performed at 815am and won a high silver (whatever that is!) in their category. They also received a special award for something or other overall - how they took a theme (spider) and ran with it - from the costumes, to the music, to the props (hoops with webs - incorporating some rhythmic gymnastics moves!) to the choreography.
It was very cool. They walked onto stage in back bends, like spiders! It was very fun to watch! They will be performing at the Spring Showcase on Sunday, April 6th (I think???) at St. Mary's and again the 3rd week in June at their recital. Email me if anyone is interested in attending!
Saturday, March 8, 2008
Wish them luck!!!!
I'll check in with updates and photos tomorrow!!!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
On Sat., Jan. 26th at 630pm, Todd and Janelle hosted a "Pass the Hat" fundraiser for my cancer treatment at their house in Kent, and they invited our school friends. They served appetizers, desserts and drinks and hosted a Casino Night. They also showed a slideshow (Todd and Janelle - please send me a copy!). Some people attended the fundraising party, and some people just sent in donations which Janelle collected and delivered to my house here in Beaverton, Oregon, along with a big poster signed by all the attendees and many sweet and thoughtful cards, notes and messages (now that I have your phone number Janelle T, I'm going to call you!).
I need to thank the following people:
Janelle (Brebner) and Todd Reber
Loni (Geisking) Syltebo
Emily Patzman Swanson
Ryan Jutte (Kentridge HS)
Dale and Sherry (Ness) Wilson
Bill Crook (Kent Meridian HS)
Tami (Wilkerson) and Geoff Dunning
Together they raised $4,000 to go towards my cancer treatments! Isn't that amazing?
I am so totally touched. I am at a loss for words to express my gratitude. There are no words befitting enough to convey what my heart feels. Thank you all for taking the time, energy to attend and/or contribute to the fundraiser. Thank you for your generosity,thoughtfulness and spirit. Thank you for your words of encouragement and hope. Thank you for the memories that each of you brought back to me. Fond memories of the good ole days back in Kent and beyond. Thank you for being my friend throughout the years, in good times and bad. Thank you for opening your hearts and touching mine. Thank you for caring and making me feel so very special and loved. It means the world to me and makes all of the differnce in this battle. To have all of you in my corner and on my team as I go to war each and every day. Thank you.
I hope to see you all at our 30 year reunion so I can give each and every single one of you and big fat hug!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo (I totally don't want to be one of those people in the photo displays on the side, "In Memory Of...").
Please feel free to send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org . I'd love to thank you each individually as well and to keep in contact and catch up. Send me your snail mails too! I'll send you a 2007 Christmas card since they haven't gone out yet! LOL
Shauna aka Scrawna/Scrabby/Scrappy to some of you (who have tortured me for years with those! I haven't decided yet if I've forgiven you!)
Monday, March 3, 2008
thanks to elizabeth, my mom and dave for being my entourage to meet my new doc today. and thanks to elizabeth for having lunch with me today.
thanks to ellen for calling me and inviting me to the movie tonight. we went on a total whim, spur of the moment and saw "Definately, Maybe".
thanks to paris for walking and talking with me this morning, despite the rain. and thanks to both paris and natalie for the big box of hope. (more on that later). it really was perfect.
thanks to my mom for picking up kaelin and driving her to and from gymnastics today so i could take a long nap and go to the movies.
thanks to all of you who called, emailed and offerend support today. i know it's getting old!!!!
love to you all. sweet dreams.
ps. remind me to sit down and post about my great high school friends who threw a fundraiser for me and raised a ton of money for medical expenses!!!! they deserve a post all of their own.