Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happily Ever After

Mr. & Mrs. David Immel

Dave and Shauna at their Rehearsal Dinner July 29th, 1994

The Immel Family, aka "Team Immel" was established 14 years ago today when Dave and I were married in Kirkland, WA at the Woodmark Hotel on July 30th, 1994. We met on April 28th in 1990 (How I Met Your Mother), had our first date May 5th and moved in together 2 months later. We lived in Santa Monica California, Beaverton Washington, Ballina Australia, Kent, Magnolia and Lynwood Washington and Beaverton Oregon again since October 1995. We were engaged for two years because Dave wanted to get married on the 30th, because his basketball jersey number at UCLA was #30 (I think he wanted to ensure that he wouldn't forget the date! LOL). And July 30th was the dryest day of the year on record. We couldn't have asked for a better day. The wedding was perfect. We were two people in love surrounded by friends and family who we loved most. It was amazing.
Here's a walk down memory lane...
The bridal party in the bridal suite before the wedding. My coworkers Holly and Jennifer from Cascade Orthopedics and Sports Therapy in Seattle, the Matron of Honor, my best friend from 3rd grade Stacey Miller Steed (flew in from Texas) and the ring bearer, her son Colton. My best friends from Jr and Sr. High Schools, Janelle Brebner Reber and Loni Geseking Syltebo, my sister in law and flower girl, Ali Immel (from Sea Ranch California), and my three bestest friends from college at UCLA, Sheila Yates, Joni Doherty and Rachel Bae.

The Groomsmen in their tuxes and Nike Basketball shoes provided by Nike (Dave was product testing at the time and they set him up!). The best man, Dave's dad Jerry, my brother Brandon, Dave's middle brother John, Dave, my dad, Dave's oldest brother Dann, Dave's best friend from Seattle Gary Hansen and his best friend from college (UCLA) Geoffe Nathanson.

The bride (me!) in my dress. I was going for the princess look!

My dad walking me down the aisle (one of my very favorite photos!)

The ceremony, performed by a co-workers husband! Check out the view!

The guests blew bubbles at us as we walked up the aise after being pronounced man and wife!

Posing in front of the Woodmark Hotel, on Carillon Point in Kirkland, WA. We stayed in the honeymoon suite there and most of the guests stayed in rooms there too!

Cutting our castle cake.

The theme was a combo of fairytale wedding and basketball! The grooms cake was a basketball (g0ne a little flat I think! LOL). The party favors were crystal slipper ornaments with our names and date on them and a little bag of chocolate basketballs! The groomsmen wore basketball shoes with their tuxes. The ring bearer carried a glass slipper on a pillow down the aisle. It was magical! The ice sculpture was a Cinderella's glass carriage!

It was a night to remember. It was the perfect wedding to start our Happily Ever After.

Here's to Dave on our 14th anniversary. Thank you for being my best friend. For sticking by me in good times and bad (which we've had our fair share), in sickness and in health (which we've also had more than our fair share). Thank you for loving me, inside and out. For loving me body and soul. For standing by me and being my rock and strength. For walking in this world with me. By my side. Hand in hand. For being my husband. For giving me the greatest gifts and treasures in all of the kingdom...our two children. I am the richest woman in the world and I have been lucky enough to find my one true love, my prince. I love you to the ends of the earth and back. For all eternity.

"for it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.

it was not my lips you kissed, but my soul." - judy garland



Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ultrasound Results

:) oxoxox Shauna

Monday, July 28, 2008

Busy busy busy

I spent the weekend at the dog park and Stan's (co-worker) daughter's softball games. They were right across the street from one another! Fun to see Stan and Allen and to watch Haley's team win the championship! I also got to spend Sat. night with Laura (another co-worker) going to the movies to see "Step Brothers" (so funny but raunchy and sooooo glad I didn't take Spencer!) and then we went to Border's Books and hung out and looked at magazines and had ice teas and talked. Fun weekend! Kaelin had a party packed weekend too!

Today I was planning on staying home all day and finally working on finishing organizing my scrapbook stuff and cabinets (they are all over my living room!) but then we got a call from Travis and Trea (Travis used to live with us!), who happened to be in town from Southern Oregon. So we ended up spending a fun day with them instead! We had lunch together and Travis and the Spencer played Wii together, just like old times! (Travis was the one who brought video games into the Immel household with a Nintendo 64 back in the day!). He had a test to take so Trea and I headed out to Ikea (OMG that place is like 5 Costcos put together!), Pottery Barn Kids and Kitchen Kaboodle. We had a fun day together shopping. They are expecting a little Connick in Feb. Congrats!

For all of you guys who email me and don't get a response - please be patient with me! My email boots me out every time I try to respond! It also takes me about 5 tries to log on! I don't have a problem with my internet or blogging, it's just my verizon email! ARgh! It's been going on for awhile and I get so frustrated with it I could just scream (and I do!!!). Dave has tried to fix it numerous times, even calling tech support. I get started writing emails and I get a pretty long one going and bam, my computer either crashes or boots me out and I am so frustrated and annoyed! I usually walk away frustrated because it takes me about 5 tries to log back in and I've lost most of my email that I started to write. I have no patience, so this a BAD thing!!!

If you're reading this Susan, thank you for the nice card and gift that you left on my desk at work on Friday. It was a nice, thoughtful suprise and I really appreciated it! And yes, I'm starting to enjoy "Big Brother" too! I'm not really invested in anyone yet though. Thank you Laura and Jacie and Stan and LeNae for the emails and Sherri for the big hug and support! :) Love and miss you all!!!!

I owe so many people emails, it's not even funny. I think I better get my laptop out and have a marathon session!

Hope everyone has a super week! DAve and I are celebrating our 14th Wedding anniversary on Wed, July 30th!

Big Hugs!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Thank god it's Saturday and Friday is behind me!

I went into work and cleared off/out my desk. I tried to be discreet because it was going to be too tough to do it with people around. I didn't want to lose it! I had several visitors and they provided nice distractions, talking about the Fantasy Football leauge draft and NCAA hoop games in Portland and how hard it is to get tickets! So it took me longer than I thought and I missed my eating window!

Due to my 8pm Ultrasound appointment, I wasn't allowed to eat/drink after 12pm noon. After clearing out my desk I was late to pick up my daughter from her gymnastics so I didn't have time to stop and eat before I picked her up at 12! So I didn't have anything to eat/drink since 10am!! And when you are told you can't eat/drink, that is all you think about!!! All day and night long! It was amazing how hungry and thristy I became knowing I couldn't have anything! LOL I had a hard time focusing on anything Friday. I tried taking a nap. That didn't work. I wanted to go see a movie to kill time, but my movie buddy Kaelin was off to the fair and swimming with Alaina and Spencer didn't want to see anything except "Step Brothers", and that is rated R!!! I was so desperate I toyed with the idea of taking him to an R movie. From the previews it didn't look like an R movie. It seemed more PG13. I tried getting Paris and/or Laura to go with me, but they were busy getting ready for horse shows and campouts. At least Paris had the good sense to look online at reviews and talk me out of taking Spencer to see it! I think I would have died of embarrassment anyways. He refused to go see "Journey to the Center of the Earth", "Hellboy 2" or "Mamma Mia" with me. We've pretty much seen everything else. Except for "Space Monkeys" because Kaelin wants to see that!

My Ultrasound was quick and painless. In and out in 10 mintues. I made Dave take me to Red Robin for dinner and I scarfed down a Teriyaki Chicken Burger, my fave! But then instead of constantly complaining about how hungry I was, I complained about how full I was! And I didn't know which felt worse, being hungry or being full. I think I needed a happy medium. Next time, remind me to only eat half of my dinner. No matter how good it is.

I didn't get the chance to visit my dad in the hospital after his Gall Bladder surgery. His 4pm Thursday surgery was delayed a few hours so it was too late to visit him afterwards. I called around 830pm and he was just getting back to his room and needed to sleep. And when we spoke on Friday, he was doing so well they were going to release him! He said he was sore but he was walking around and could eat, drink, pee and poo. :) That's the checklist to get released from the hospital and the reasons why I was stuck in the hospital for 12 days after my surgery to deal with my cancer two years ago! Glad he didn't have to spend his weekend in the hospital and he's home recovering! :)

This weekend is pretty quiet for us except Kaelin has a couple of parties to attend on Sat. and Sun. nights. I think I'm going to go to the movies with Laura and hopefully Paris if she survives her horse show and wants to join us? Gonna hit the dog park and maybe visit my EXcoworker Stan at his daughter's softball game, right across from the dog park! :)

Ooh, shout out to Murray Hill's U13 boys baseball team! They won the State Championship game in Pendelton yesterday and are headed to California for Regionals! 3 boys on that team are brothers of girls on Kaelin's soccer team and the coach, Scott and his son are our neighbors! Way to go MH!! So proud of you!!! You rock! So very exciting. However, after being gone all week in Pendelton, how do they take more time off to travel and be gone again? I mean, it's easy for the boys, but what about the coaches and parents??? But what an opportunity!!! Woo Hoo!

Hope you all enjoy your Saturday as much as we're going to!!!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday

Jaci emailed me this photo today and I didn't have it on my desktop to share last Friday when I highlighted Kaelin and Alaina's friendship, so I wanted to share it! One of those rare momemts when my girl actually looks like a girl! I think they must have had their Rhythmic Gymnastic Team photos or something that day, as they have on makeup and Kaelin would never wear that blue/white fluffy thing in her hair unless she had to be in competition attire. lol I love this photo!!! Aren't they pretty????

Interesting FRiday for me. I'm going into work to clear out/off my desk and turn in the key. I'm going to go visit my dad who had gall bladder surgery Thursday night and I'm going in at 8pm to get an ultrasound to check my gall bladder. I can't eat after 12 noon. Kaelin has gym 9-12pm and then is going to the Washington County Fair with Alaina.

I think I may try and talk DAve into seeing "Step Brothers" this weekend if it's out. It looks hilarious to me. At least the trailer did. Kaelin's got parties with girls from school both Sat and Sun nights. I'm sure there will be trips to the dog park and house cleaning/organizing.

Anyone watch "So You Think You Can Dance?" We love that show. We all watch it together. We were devastated tonight to see Will go home!! That dude can dance!!!! Boo Hoo!!!

I hope you all have a great weekend full of fun and laughter and memory making moments!!!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

When one door opens...another one closes.

First of all, here are some photos of my red door (it's called "Seattle Red")!

I'm going for the beachy/cottagy house look. This is a start!

And the front of my house, which used to be yellow but after living there for 13 years, we had to paint it in the fall to preserve our LP siding! I love the color combo! All of the newer neighborhoods that I've been seeing are dark colors like this. And I've always wanted a red door. ALWAYS! It's on my list of things that make me happy. :) Our front door was vandalized years and years ago. Someone (they suspected a young boy across the street who has now moved) took our red watering can and kept banging it on the front of our door, so it was all banged up and dented and had red paint marks on it. So that door is gone (bu-bye!). I still want to get some shutters and hang them around the windows above the garage and paint them red too! It's hard to really get a good photo of the front of my house due to all of the trees in and around our yard! Our house overlooks a cul de sac. We used to live on a dead end (one house away from the dead end) but then they sold the land/field they said they'd never sell and built through, so traffic is more than it used to be obviously. But it's still a nice place to live and great location. Good neighbors. Lots of parks and walking trails. Easy access to main highways, the mall, etc. We need to get our windows replaced too, but that's really expensive! Dave needs to sell alot more houses to afford that! Oh well, baby steps. One thing at a time.

They say that when one gorgeous red door opens, another closes. The door closing being the one at Hot Off the Press, where I've worked as an in-house designer for the last 9 years (on and off the last 2 due to my cancer/chemo schedule). The temp that they have had working for the summer is going back to France. My boss called me today and asked if I could work the 32-40 hours a week they needed to fill that spot. Obviously, with my every other week chemo schedule, I can't do that EVERY week. I could pull it off every other week, but not every week. "Fillup" has needs you know! Here's a quick photo of "Fillup" and me, photo by Kaelin:
The black thing in my hand is the pump. It is filled with a chemo agent called 5FU. It pumps the agent directly into my port, where the tubing is connected via a needle into my port-a-cath. It can't be disconnected. So I'm stuck with it until I go back into the chemo suite on Wednesday and have the chemo nurses disconnect me. He goes everywhere with me. The bathroom. To bed. The only place we can't go is to shower, bath or swim! So I get to get really smelly for the next 3 days. You might want to avoid me until late Wednesday! Just a warning.

Also, Please disregard my "fatness" in the photo. I asked my doc about that, about gaining weight (I've put on more) and she said that is the case more often than not with chemo. It destroys your metabolism. Great. Another great side effect. Anyways, back to the subject. My job.

She then decided that due to the circumstances, she needed to take me off of the payroll and put me on a contractor status. If they need help, she'll call and I'll work as a contractor. So now I need to go into work and officially and finally take down all of my belongings from my desk and bulletin board, etc. All of my photos. It's going to be hard. It's so final. When all of this stuff first happened, they told me I'd always have a place there. But things have changed, the market has changed and it's been 2 years. You can't expect them to wait for me forever. I totally understand and don't blame them. My situation is just so uncertain and doesn't ever go as planned. I can't guarantee anything. Life turns on a dime for me. I'm hurt because I feel like that gave up on me. And I love my job. I loved working there. I love my co-workers. They've all been so good to me. How can I give that up and say goodbye and walk out the door and not look back? What pisses me off more than anything is that here is an example of just another thing that cancer has taken from me. Hasn't it taken enough already?

What about karma? When does it turn around and come back and let some really good things happen and go my way? I'm a good person. I've always done the right thing. I've treated people nice. Given 110% to almost everything I do. Why can't I catch a break? Why can't things go my way for a change? This cancer crap is just so darn old I tell ya. I'm tired of it. I want my life back. I want security back. Normalcy. Routines. My job. It's not fair. It's a hard pill to swallow I tell ya.

So I'm going in on Friday to clean up my desk and collect my belongings. No one will really be there on Friday so I think it will be easier and best for me to do it then. And I'll leave my key. And then walk out the back door because I still can't bring my self to walk past Kate's desk at the front door.

And if anyone in the area is looking, HOTP is looking to hire a full time in house designer. Their offices are in Canby. Good luck. :)

So that is my sob story. I'll be fine. I always am. Can't say it doesn't hurt though. Right now it hurts alot. But it'll pass. That's my bad news for today.

After I got that call about my job, I came home and got some GOOD NEWS! An email from my oncologist. My CA125 results are back. They were 54 last time I think. Normal is 35 or below. And don't forget I stopped the oxcilliplatin due to an allergic reaction, so I'm only doing avastin and 5FU. My CA125 has gone down to 36!!!! I'm one point off of a high normal!! How cool is that???? That made my hurt just a little bit less. :) That's encouraging.

After my appointment with my oncologist on Monday though, she's concerned about my gall bladder. I guess that's a common problem with chemo/cancer patients. I'm going to get an ultrasound Friday at 8pm. No eating or drinking anything after 12 pm noon on Friday! I'm going to starve! Maybe that will be a good time to start a diet??? LOL So wish me luck. I'm kind hoping it's not my gall bladder (don't want/need another surgery) but then again, kind of hoping it is since that will explain some pains/symptoms and not be cancer taking over my body.

Finally, I'm going to leave you with a photo of Kaelin and Simba with his haircut. It's grown out a little bit.

Enjoy the rest of the week!!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I HATE Chemo Mondays

As if Mondays weren't bad enough.
I'm off to war tomorrow to fight those nasty cancer cells with chemo.
Wish me luck.
"Fillup", my chemo pump with 5FU, will be accompanying me home and staying until Wed.
Will be glad when my unwanted guest is gone and my chemo side effects have worn off and I feel somewhat normal again so I can go about my business as usual.

Weekend wrap up:

Dave and I went and saw "The Dark Knight" at 10:10pm Friday night. Good movie!!!! Great acting by Heath Ledger as the Joker. Amazing.

Saturday we went to a going away party for a school family moving to Chicago. We will miss them! They had the party in their empty house and it was a BYOC (bring your own chair!) party!

Sunday Kaelin and I went to see the Batman movie together (she wanted to go so badly and Dave and I thought she could handle the disturbing stuff in the movie. No swearing or sexual content. The violence was mostly implied. It was a lot of mental stuff that went over her head.) We wanted to see it at the IMAX. All the shows said they were sold out except the 1:40pm show. I asked for two tickets to that. She says to me "you do know that's 1:40 am right?" Um...NO! Who would have thunk that? So we saw it in the regular theater at 12:50pm. At least it was a big screen. Spencer didn't want to see it so he and Dave went and saw "Wall*e". Spencer's 2nd time, DAve's 1st.

I also met Paris for coffee and a little shopping trip to Linens and Things and Kitchen Kaboodle (she was looking for a salad spinner and I tagged along!) and I took Simba to the dog park.

I did a lot of cleaning of bathrooms and kitchen floors etc. I like to get everything in order like that before my chemo day. Change the sheets and stuff like that.

I made ground turkey tacos for dinner. Spencer and Kaelin actually both ate one (they don't like tacos), but complained about it the entire time!

I finished the book I was reading too. Didn't rest much though. I was go go go go. I usually do that. Run away from things. If I'm running around and watching movies, etc. I'm not thinking about chemo and cancer. I'm distracting myself. But I must admit, it's exhausting and no matter how busy I keep myself and how fast I run, it's always there when I slow down and have to stop eventually. :( Can't seem to run fast or far enough.

I'm also very excited because the guy that painted our house in the fall, finally returned to finish our doors! We finally replaced our vandalized front door with a beautiful door with a window and I've been wanting a red door forever. I mean, the door being red was more important than the house being painted in my opinion! lol And it was left undone. Primed only. And my back door, in the kitchen, has had blue tape all around it masking it off and only one coat of red on, which without primer looked pink! So today he painted the back door and prepped the front door and tomorrow he's supposed to return to finish the front door. Cross your fingers and toes! Won't it be so exciting for me to come home from chemo to a bright "Seattle Red" door? Oooh it just tickles me all over thinking about it! I hope I can take a photo and post the finished project tomorrow!!!!

I can't believe it's mid July already. Summer is going way too fast and I don't have a lot to show for it. I have so many projects etc. on my to do list and they aren't getting to done!

I hope you all had an exciting weekend.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Flash Back/Favorite Foto Friday

I thought of a new thing...Flash Back Friday! Here we're flashing back to Boston May 2007, focusing on the friendship between Kaelin and Alaina, highlighted in our trip to Level 5 Rhythmic Gymnastics Nationals.

We spent this afternoon swimming with Jaci and her kids, Alaina (9) and Alexandra (13), who happen to be the same ages as my kids! Alaina and Kaelin do acrobatics (she's a fellow "spider")and used to do Rhythmic Gymnastics together. Jaci has been such a great friend to us and did all of the driving to and from practices when I got diagnosed with cancer and was down from surgery and chemo etc. She saved us so many times! Anyways, Kaelin and Alaina became great friends and developed a neat bond. This photo is from our trip to Boston for Nationals last year. They are so cute together because they look so much alike! They are basically the same height and build and have the same coloring! The only difference is that Alaina is a girly girl and Kaelin is very much NOT! But they complement each other nicely. We have been trying to get them to do a duo together for dance, but Kaelin doesn't want to do more than one routine because she doesn't want to have to change clothes during a show! lol I'll leave you with a couple other photos from that trip from May 2007...

in the hotel pool:
walking to the car:
With Kathyrn and Abby in front of the Duck Tours boat:
lined up to march in at Nationals with Abby: with Abby at Plymoth Plantation:

in front of the Mayflower:

a photo at one of the meets:
It's nice to spend the afternoon with good friends making more memories! I should have brought my camera today to the pool! I hope you all get to spend some great time with family and friends this weekend!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quick Check in

Not much going on this week, besides gymnastic and dance workouts for Kaelin and martial arts for Spencer. No photos to share :( and soccer is on hiatus until mid August.

Chemo for me on Monday. NOT looking forward to it. It's gotten so old. I can hardly stand it really. I'm so done with it already. Ugh. Wish it would all just go away and stay away and leave me the bleep alone! Hmmph.

We went and watched our neighbor Jacob play in the district championship game last night for U12-13 Little League. It was so fun and exciting! His dad coaches and Jacob was the lead off batter for the game and started the game with a home run! He had some great catches in centerfield and pitched the 2nd half of the game. They ended up winning 8-3. I wished I had taken photos but the Alpenrose ballpark was so crowded and we ended up sitting behind the backstop and the fence wires would have been in all of my photos. I wished I had captured them throwing up their hats and dousing the coach with the cooler of water! Spencer and Jacob used to play on the same baseball team back when they were little tykes. Scott was the head coach and Dave was his assistant. Spencer lost interest in it. It could be because he got hit in the head with a baseball hit by the coach one practice! Who knows. I miss baseball.

Speaking of baseball, how about that All Star game? Wow, was that a long game! My kids couldn't believe they were still playing baseball at 130am!!!

Today I spent a good part of my day at the vet with Simba. He woke up with a cloudy and gooped over and red eye. He's also been shaking his head alot, like his ears are bugging him. Turns out he has a MASSIVE ear and yeast infection in his left ear. Not sure what's going on with his eye though. It didnt' appear to be scratched, and they didn't find any debris in it. He talked about allergies (for this time of year) and maybe just an infection. He didn't think it was pink eye. They did a bunch of tests on Simba's ears and eyes and gave him a pain med shot to relieve the pain from his ear. I also had to buy ear cleaner and special ear drops and eye drops, along with the flea control program (Advantage) that we use cause we are out and it came out to be $275.00 when it was all said and done!!! That's insane!!!! I feel bad because I didn't even know Simba had a sore ear because he's such a trooper and doesn't complain or moan or groan and he was his usual happy self! Except for the flopping of the head back and forth and shaking the ears lately, like he's drying off. Now I have to stay on this aggresive eye and ear drop program with him and clean his ears out every other day. Like I have time to do that. I can't even take care of myself on a regular basis! Just one more thing to add to my to do list that never gets done!

We're looking forward to Batman the Dark Knight coming out in theaters tomorrow. We'll go see that sometime over the weekend. If Kaelin didn't have gymnastics at 9am, we might go to the midnight showing tonight!

We pretty much have a quiet weekend at home this week. I need to get my living room back in order after pulling everything out of the cabinets to get ready for the scrapbook garage sale my friend laura had. I gotta get everything organized and put back. Not sure that will EVER happen. Would love to get it so I can start creating scrapbook pages and cards again. A girl can dream.

Well, enough rambling. Glad it's cooled off.

Enjoy your weekend!!!


Sunday, July 13, 2008

U11 Girls Portland Cup Champions!

Congrats to the Red Magic, the 2008 U11 Girls Portland Cup Champions!

Three days filled with soccer in the blazing hot sun! I think the game scores were:
9-1, 3-0, 4-1, and then 7-1 in the semi finals. (My memory may be off a tad??)

The championship game ended in a 1-1 tie and had to go down to penalty kicks. We tied after the first round, so they went into sudden death. The coach's daughter, Summer, played goalie, made the winning penalty kick and then saved the next goal to win the game! Exciting! Here's a great photo of her running into her dad's (the coach) arms after the win!
The girls played their little (BIG?) hearts out and showed great composure and control!Kaelin played defender, midfield and wing and had some great kicks, passes, corner kicks and a great header, which I missed with my camera because I was watching the game!

We all celebrated afterwards at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse! What a fun, exciting, stressful, nailbiting game! What a weekend filled with soccer! And sun!
On Friday the kids and I went and saw the movie "Meet Dave". It was ok. Spencer really liked it. His kind of sense of humor!
On Saturday he spent the day/night at a Bat Mitzvah and won the dance contest! He was so proud of himself and came home so hyped up and happy! It was very cute. Wished I had gotten some photos of his smile and his showing us the "coffee grinder" moves he did!
Hope everyone else had a great weekend!
Go Red Magic! Now we have 4 weeks off of soccer!! Woo Hoo!!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday

I don't have very many photos with me in them. Here's a photo of Kaelin and I on the first day of school in Sept. 07. The school counselor, Anne Santa, offered to take one of us together. This was back during my chemo break, the week before going to Disneyland. I was to start chemo again after our trip. So I am happy and much healthier here. A lot thinner too. I had been working out with a trainer during my chemo break. It's much harder getting into a workout routine when you have chemo every other week. Anyways, I love this photo. We both look so happy and I love that we kind of look alike! I'm glad we have a photo of just the two of us. I know it will be a treasure. We need to take more of these kinds of photos!!!

Update on chemo day was very long on MOnday. They were so crowded and busy that day, after the 3 day weekend. All of the Friday people were there I guess. They had a problem with my blood sample, so I had to redraw it. I was two hours behind schedule when I finally got hooked up to infuse. I thought it would go faster since I wasn't getting the oxcilliplatin, which takes the longest (3 hours), but I guess one of the other drugs I get is the same amount of time, it was just given at the same time. So I was at Kaiser from 11am - 415pm on Monday! Then I went home with "Fillup" my portable chemo pump to infuse with 5FU until Wednesday around 130pm. I was suprised at how fatigued and exhausted I've been this week. I've totally felt run down. I've also had this underlying nausea all week. But I can't really complain. I wasn't bed ridden and I could function. I figured out that minus the steroids and pre-meds, which usually pumped me up and gave me lots of energy and a kind of "chemo high", I was quite "spent". I didn't have that get up and go. And since I didn't get the nasty chemo, and I've been driving around etc, I haven't been taking any antinausea etc. meds except for bedtime. So that explains the nausea and the fatigue I think. I haven't had much of an appetite and nothing sounds good. And I've been crabby and feeling overwhelmed. Like I should be getting things done and I'm not.
Don't have the energy and don't feel like it. But since I'm not bedridden, like usual, I feel like maybe I should be doing stuff ya know??? I gotta ease up on myself!!!

I've spent the week driving Kaelin to various activities. Her new summer schedule for Level 7 gym/elite acrobatics started. She had gym M & Th from 12-4pm, acro W 12-130pm and then soccer MTW 5-630pm. She's been a busy girl! Tomorrow she has gym 9-12pm and a 310pm soccer game! It's a soccer tourney so she also has 2 games on Sat and hopefully Sunday if they make the finals. She's been nursing a bum elbow after bending it backwards today doing a "butterfly" in gym (kind of like an aerial?). So she's been icing it and keeps asking me if it's broken. That doesn't sound good does it? Hopefully it won't mess with her soccer. We might skip gym in the am.

Spencer has a bat mitzvah to go to all day Sat and Sat. night. He's been going to alot of those this year. A lot of his classmates have been celebrating. Dave's been busy doing basketball lessons and working on real estate. I've been running around with my kids and reading lots of books!

My kids and the boys across the street have a serious water war going on. Each night, starting about 5pm when it starts to cool down a little, they go outside and play squirt guns, water balloons and hose fights. The 4 boys have been ganging up on Kaelin so she got her dad to be on her team and he took the hose to them all last night! It was fun for everyone, me included. Kaelin thought that was pretty cool and the boys got a kick out of it.

I don't know about anyone else but I've been struggling with dinners lately. Don't want to cook and nothing sounds good. It's been too hot! Tonight I cooked up some corn on the cob and oh my was it goooooood!!! Made some chicken and spinach salad to go with it. Nothing hit the spot like the corn though.

I've rambled enough. I hope everyone has a great Friday and weekend!
Stay cool!

Monday, July 7, 2008

More Good News (CT Scan results)

7/3/08 CT Scan results (compared to previous scans on 5/16 & 3/7)

CT of chest: lungs are clear, etc.

CT of abdomen: The thickening of the omentum in the gatrohepatic and transverse colon region appears similar to prior exams without thickening. A small amount of fluid adjacent to the left aspect of the stomach has improved since prior exam and only a minimal amount remaining. There are no abnormally enlarged lymph nodes. No other fluid collections are seen. Bowel is not dilated.

CT of pelvis: Bowel appears unchanged. No masses or fluid collections are seen. There is no bowel diltatiion. No abnormally enlarged lymph nodes appreciated. Previsouly seen thickening of the urinary bladder is no longer identified with a normal appearance to the urinary bladder wall. Fluid collection previously seen in the musculature anterior to the left hip is no longer present.

1. No change in omental thickening in teh gastrohepatic and colonic region.
2. Decrease in the amount of fluid to the left of the stomach with only a minimal amount remaining.
3. Resolution of previously seen urinary bladder wall thickening.
4. Resolution of previously seen fluid collection anterior to the left hip.
5. No new masses, fluid collections, or adenopathy seen.

:) Seems the Folfox was working! However, had to stop the oxcilliplatin of the folfox due to the allergic reaction. Spent from 11-415pm today doing blood tests and infusing with the other agents. Came home with "Fillup", but am glad to be free of the nasty side effects of the oxcilliplatin for now. I'll go back in on Wed. and get unhooked and then be able to enjoy Kaelin's soccer tourney this weekend! :) Should only have mild nausea with this regimine. :)

Hope you all had a happy Monday!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

2 years ago today, I was released from the hospital after a 13 day stay. I had gone into the hospital for surgery to diagnose and treat my cancer. Going in all we knew is that I had a tumor on each ovary. We didn't know which stage or if it was malignant or benign. I was expected to be in there for 4 days tops. I woke up from the surgery to discover I had Stage 4 (out of 4) cancer and that it had spread to my intestines and my lymph nodes. They did a total hysterectemy, removed 10" of my intestines and 6 lymph nodes. I had trouble getting my digestive and elimination system going again and I ended up staying quite awhile in the hospital. I was released on July 4th, Independence Day, 20# lighter after not eating for 9 days and for being on a liquid diet. My whole life changed. Along with my family's.

Here we are 2 years later celebrating Independence Day with a whole different perspective than before. Priorities shifted. Lives altered. Thankful to share another one with my family and friends.
We spent today together. We went to Borders Books and got my favorite coffee drink. And then we went to go see "Hancock" at the movies. AFterwards we bought some fireworks and groceries for our neighborhood party. We headed over to the Klings house, just down the street.

There we enjoyed football, water balloon and squirt gun fights, water balloon launching, skateboarding, BBQ ribs/sausages/hamburgers/chicken, S'mores, American Idol on the Wii, fireworks, laughs and good times!

My 13 year old son was obsessed with lighting fireworks. He was all about holding the lighter. At one point the big boys (the men/husbands) had him holding a roman candle and a cop car came around the corner! Roman candles are illegal in Oregon, but people go over the boarder to Washington and buy them and bring them back. This year the cops seemed to be cracking down and driving around the neighborhoods, trying to give out $500 fines. Luckily, they came around the corner just as they were getting ready to light it and they stopped to let the car by and realized it was a cop car!

We had a great time and enjoyed our 4th of July very much! Thanks to the Klings for hosting!

Happy Independence Day! And Happy Anniversary to Dave's dad, Jerry and Ann!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

CT Scan

They called today and tried to schedule me for next Tuesday, but I am getting chemo on Monday and will have a pump hooked up to me on Tuesday, so the whole CT Scan thing won't work then. So they then said they had an 8:30pm appt. tonight! Who in the world has appts that late??? What are they thinking? I took it though. So I will drink that crap at 615 and 730pm, check in at 815pm and get my CT scan at 830pm. It will be nice to get it out of the way and get a baseline before the new chemo plan on Monday. I just had to drink that crap each time before the CT scan. It's awful! They then hook you up to an IV and administer stuff that makes you glow inside. It doesn't take long at all. And it's not painful. It's a pain in the a$$ though. Afterwards, you have to drink a lot of water to flush your system. That might be challenging that late at night. Everyone keep your fingers, toes, eyes, legs and heart crossed for good news to go along with the lowered CA125!

Simba got groomed today and I'll post a photo later. He's not so cute anymore! But I still think he's happy! The groomer said he was such a good boy!!! :) I was suprised since Petsmart asked me to never bring him again after the very first grooming he got when he was a puppy. They said we needed to go to a vet who would put him down to groom him! Thank goodness I found somewhere else and he behaved himself!

We had to reschedule Kaelin's appt. because I had to go to the doctor and couldn't be in two places at once.

Hope everyone has a happy 4th!


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Some Good News

Went to the oncologist today. My CA125 (cancer marker) has gone down from 139 on 5/27 to 54 on 6/23! Normal is 35 or less. Which means my new chemo (folfox every other week) is working (hopefully!)

As some of you recall, I have developed an allergy to that chemo and had to stop it last week after only 30'. My doctor said there are precautions I could take and we could continue with it. There are premeds (steroids and adarax, which is like Benedryl, that I am allergic too also) they could give me and they could administer it over a longer period of time (6 hours) and keep an eye on me.

She suggested another option of continuing my program without the oxcilliplatin. That would mean Avastin and 5FU (the chemo in the pump), which are synergistic, every other week and then monitoring it to see if my CA125 continues to drop. If this doesn't work out, we could add the oxcillaplatin back in.

Another option she presented was switchinig from the 5FU in IV form, to pill form, which is Zalota. I would take it twice a day for 14 days and then have a week off. I would do the Avastin through my port once every 3 weeks. Which would be nice, but the side effects kind of scared me. There usually is no hair loss, but then the diarreah is usually worse than the IV form and there is a risk of mouth sores and the hand/feet syndrome (redness and peeling of your hands and feet). I already know what to expect from the 5FU and I've tolerated it this long. And besides, I would have to go in and infuse with the avastin anyways, so I could easily be hooked up to the stupid pump ("Fillup") while I'm there. I can handle it for 3 days. And without the oxcilliplatin, I won't be as fatigued or nauseous and I won't have that darn cold trigger (can't eat/drink/touch anything cold). Also, it won't make my naropathy (numbness in hands/feet) worse.

The doctor wants me to do a CT scan to get a new baseline so they can track whether the new program/plan of only 5FU and avastin is working. They will call and schedule that asap.

I will go ahead and do my chemo on Monday 7/7, but it will be only 5FU and avastin and not the oxcilliplatin. Good news is that I won't need the usual premeds (steroids), which means I'll hopefully start dropping some of the weight I have gained.

I feel good about this plan. I needed a break from the oxcilliplatin and this will allow my naropathy to hopefully get better and not worse. It won't be so devastating every other week because the side effects will be so much less. That oxcilliplatin is very aggressive and nasty. I also feel good about the CA125 going down as much as it has.

Here is my CA125 history lately:
6/23/08: 54
5/27/08: 139
5/5/08: 143
4/7/08: 134
4/3/08: 112
3/17/08: 127

Normal is 35 or less. So I'm getting closer!

She also mentioned that there is another drug that is geared toward colon/GI cancer that we could try if the other options don't work out. I don't remember the name exactly, but it was something like arytna.....?????

I also asked about being eligible for clinical trials, and since my cancer is of unknown origin/primary, I don't really fit any profiles for those. I don't meet any criteria. Which is unfortunate. My cancer is just sneaky and tricky and doesn't get wrapped up neatly in a pretty box.

I have to thank Paris for accompanying me today to my appointment and taking such good notes. It helped to make my blog post more accurate! Thank you for the support Paris! I love ya!!!!

I also have to thank my daughter, Kaelin, who I dragged around today to first my support group adn then my appointment. She was so patient.

I also have to do a mommy brag...while at my support group, I gave my kids $20 to go to the cafeteria and get some lunch/snacks. They sat in the lobby and played Gameboy while I was in a conference room from 11-12:30pm. After the support group, I went through the line at the cafeteria to get some lunch myself. The ladies behind the counter said to me "are those your kids?" I said, "yes." She then said that her and the other ladies were so impressed with their lunch choices, that they are such good eaters! They got a house salad, a veggie tray, hardboiled eggs and they split a snickerdoodle cookie for lunch! And they did that all on their own! I was so proud!! I felt like I have done something right! :)

I was kind of scared to go to this appointment today. Nervous of what the next plan would entail. I was expecting the worse and I got better news than expected and a plan that I think is doable for me. Something less strenuous. Something lighter for the summer. I'll take it. So I'm feeling good about things right now. I hope my CT scan follows along the same lines. Wish me luck with that. Cross your fingers/eyes/legs/and heart!!!


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Armed and Dangerous

The kids arrived home from Seattle with my mom just in time for Spencer to make it to his Martial Arts class (Tien Tae Jitsu) and then they couldn't wait to get outside with their new squirtguns that Uncle Brandon (my brother) bought them while they were up there for Ella's (my niece) 3rd Birthday party!

The three boys across the street were armed as well as they had an all out squirtgun war in our cul de sac! Spencer made sure he was all covered up with sweats to keep himself dry, even in the hot weather.

Spencer didn't stay dry long.
Here's a photo of him on his way in to take a shower because he was cold! But he was planning on going back out for more!

Here's a photo of Kaelin after she had gone in and changed her clothes and came back out!

What a great way to spend a hot evening! They had loads of fun! I sat out taking photos and ended up catching up with 3 sets of neighbors!
Tomorrow is my support group and then I meet with my doctor at 3pm to find out a new plan of attack since I can't have the same chemo (developed an allergy to it). So I'm kind of nervous to start something new. I enjoyed having this week off, feeling/pretending to be somewhat normal. It sure makes a difference!
Dave and I went out to eat at Macaroni Grill 2 nights in a row while the kids were gone, since I had a gift card for there! We also went to see "Wanted". It was violent, but action packed and even humorous. I guess "thrilliing" would be a good description.
I also spent my time reading a book, magazines, having coffee with friends, taking the dog to the dog park, catching up on tivoed "Smallvilles" and getting a manicure while they were gone. The time sure went fast and I didn't get anything done really that I wanted to! Nothing productive at least!
I hope you all are enjoying your summer and the first day of July, can you believe it's July????? Wow!!!