Friday, January 30, 2009

Wow. Who knew???

I just had to share this little tidbit.

I love reading Amy's blog. I don't know Amy, but I feel like we are friends because she shares so much of her life with us via her blog. She has so many of the same interests, whether it be scrapbooking or Twilight. I have her to thank for the Crashed Potatoes that my family now loves! Anyways, I want to be like Amy when I grow up :)

I was honored that she acknowledged me and my "stalking" of her on her blog. Just had to share.
Check it out!!!


Reading tonight

The Write Around Portland Anthology Reading and Release party is tonight for anyone that is interested in attending.

Friday, Jan. 30th
The First United Methodist Church
1838 SW Jefferson
@ the Goose Hollow Trimet Max stop

This is rescheduled from when we were snowed in.

I promise to update my blog this weekend! I'm still trying to get caught up from my time away! I had the best birthday week ever and appreciate all of the cards, calls, emails, posts, gifts and love!!! thank you!!!!


Friday, January 23, 2009

In the City by the Bay (San Fran Day 1)

So to continue my 43rd Birthday festivities, and stretch out my birthday to a whole week, my best UCLA college friends and I planned a reunion for this weekend in San Francisco, the City by the Bay. I wasn't sure how I would feel or if I'd be able to go. It depended on my new Chemo side effects, which was unknown at the time. I'm handling the chemo really well so far. Biggest complaint is the numbness in my hands and feet and the fatigure.

So, I packed up and I Flew into San Francisco last night. Sheila flew down to Portland from Seattle so she could fly with me. Phil flew in from Maryland about the same time and we took a cab to the Palace Hotel. We unloaded our luggage and then went next door to Koyoya for Sushi.

And then we went to the hotel bar, The Pied Piper at The Maxfields and we talked about old times some more. It's fun how each person remembers different things.

We're waiting for Rachel (from DC) to arrive at the hotel now. Phil has a business meeting and dinner today. Joni (southern cal) arrives about 330pm.

Here are some photos from last night, day 1 of our adventure:

Phil and Sheila hanging out at the Pied Piper Bar in the Palace Hotel.
The 3 of us after arriving, getting dinner at Koyoya, a Japanese restaurant.

Phil and his California Roll dish.
I got the vegetarian rolls.

Sheila got the Sushi "Celebration" and boy, did it look like something to celebrate!!
Sheila and her Celebration rolls.

I'll try and keep you updated over the weekend as best I can!!! xoxoxox Shauna

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Off to San Fran!!!

I will bring my laptop and try and post photos and blog whilst I'm away! I have some catching up to do and need to share my bday festivities with you all!

My friend is putting us all up in the Palace Hotel. It looks amazing!!! Some of you can still reach me by text and phone if needed!!

Love ya!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Playing Catch Up and Guilty Pleasures

So I am feeling guilty for neglecting my blog lately for Facebook. I'm going to try very hard to check in daily or at least more than I have lately. Some of you may need to give me nudge or a POKE on Facebook to remind me to check in here on my blog so I can keep everyone up to date on my treatment etc.

I tend to be just "Shauna" on Facebook, and here on my blog, "Shauna with Cancer". My counselor and I discussed this whole guilty pleasure thing. It's an escape. A distraction. It's also a pain killer for me. Cancer has robbed me of so much of myself. Especially who I was and what I look like. Also memories. My memory isn't what it used to be thanks to Chemo Brain and surgical menopause. Reconnecting with so many friends from my past, from all phases of my life, gives me some of myself back. Through stories. Photos. It's like I'm rediscovering little pieces of myself here and there. I am in that phase right now where people and relationships are so important to me. Connecting with people makes me feel so alive. It is like a drug to me. I crave it. It dulls the pain. Anything to shut up the voices in my head and dull the pain has to be good, right?

I am on week 2 of my new Chemo regimen. I've been doing an oral chemo in the form of pills, 2x a day with food, 12 hours apart. I've experienced numbness in my hands and feet and some nausea, but mostly fatigue. So far so good. I've survived a whole week without too much trouble, but week 2 is supposed to be the hard week. We'll see how that plays out.

Tomorrow is my 43rd Birthday. There was a period of time there that I wasn't sure I'd even live to see 43. So I do not mind getting older at all. In fact, I like it. It means that I lived another year and had another year to love my friends and family and see my kids grow. I will celebrate each and every birthday like it was my Sweet 16, 18th or 21st. And I will look back and be grateful and thankful for another leg of my journey. My birthday just so happens to be on the inauguration of the new president, so everyone will be celebrating my birthday across the nation!! :) It is one for the making of history, that's for sure.

Let's see, what's been going on in our little world??

Dave: Southridge HS girls continue to win and are ranked #3 in state. He'll be celebrating my birthday with a game at home vs Westview tomorrow! Dave is also starting up a room with his Rockwell Day Trading tomorrow. He's really excited about that. You'll have to ask him what that means/entails though!

Spencer: Is being a typical teenage boy. His voice is starting to deepen and he's growing out of all of his clothes! He looks like he's wearing his 9 year old sister's clothes half the time! He's about 1/4 - 1/2 inch away from looking me in the eye. Yikes. He's still doing Tien Tae Jitsu Martial ARts and is getting ready to test for his Green belt. He spent his Saturday at a Bat Mitzvah and is very proud of himself for winning the dance contest by busting out his "Inch Worm". He also happened to be the last male standing in the Limbo contest. Which says a lot! lol

Kaelin: Is now juggling 4 sports at once. Not sure how we're going to pull this off. 3 of the sports are year round. She's doing hoops on a 5th grade team her dad coaches. The Sting. It's basically her soccer team using their hands and a basketball ball. Her entire soccer team went Classic, coach and all. So that has started again now that Indoor soccer is over and is year round. She's still doing Rhythmic Gymnastics and Acrobatics year round too. That's an awful lot for a 9 year old to juggle! I wish she wasn't so good at everything! If she had her choice, gymnastics would be the first to go. She missed competing last year due to a broken hand, and this year we weren't able to afford the meet fees and traveling, so she's just training. But she looks really good and is just gorgeous and elegant and graceful out there. Powerful jumper too. I love to watch her. I hate that we have to start specializing and choosing sports at such a young age. It doesn't help that she is playing above her age level, so it's more competitive and time consuming. I feel like I'm getting a lifetime of memories in through the process, but I know she can feel overscheduled at times. She really enjoyed the snowed in days. or weeks. LOL

Shauna: I'm really not doing much lately. Except Facebook! LOL I feel like I am behind in everything. I can't seem to get any energy going. Or motivation. I just have no get up and go. Seems we're late to everything because of me. I am avoiding everything. Putting it off. And I really can't do that. I don't have the time! I'm in a slump. It doesn't help with that underlying nausea etc. It really takes a lot out of you. I just can't even get started with anything. I am so overwhelmed.

I am scheduled to fly out with my friend Sheila on Thursday to San Francisco using her buddy pass. 3 of my best friends from UCLA are meeting us there! It will be the first time we've all been together since my wedding, July 30th, 1995. I hope I feel ok to travel and that I am able to go. I'm not getting too excited and I'm trying not to look forward to it so I don't get disappointed. I'm sure there are a lot of things I should be doing to get ready, but I just don't even want to start. I've got no fire in me left!!! Hate that. In the past, I'd have lists made, schedules organized, child care arranged. I've done NOTHING. How can I leave on Thursday??? Some one give me a swift kick in the rear please!!! It's really sad.

Ok, so now my blog entry has turned into a woe is me post. Didn't intend for that to happen. Think I'll go jump over to Facebook where I can get lost in playing the puzzles and games and talking about old times! LOL HOpefully I will have more exciting things to report soon!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A New Year, a New Chemo. Same Old Stupid Cancer...

I met with my oncologist on Monday. My husband and 1st year OHSU medical student (I'm a patient teacher for a class called "Living with Life Threatening Disease") accompanied me. With my CA 125 going up again (it's at 81, normal is 35 or below) , CT scan showing increased fluid in my abdomen (most likely cancer cells), and the fact that my history shows that I can't be off of chemo very long because the cancer always comes back, indicated we'd be starting chemo again.

We discussed many options and have decided to stay with the same regimin, but instead of the 5FU in the pump intraveniously over 3 days every other week, we are going to try a new routine and have me take the oral form, called Zolota. Instead of infusing every other week over a 3 day period, it will be taken 2x a day (3 pills each morning, 4 each night with a meal) over the course of 2 weeks. I will have one week to recover and start again. I will continue with my Avastin, which is given intraveniously in the chemo suite every 3rd Monday, in addition to fluids (Saline) since I am so dehydrated due to the pressure of the fluid in my abdomen (it's so uncomfortable in there to eat or drink! Too crowded! I'm really winded too because it's taking up lung space. And it feels like sandbags on me if I try and sleep on my back).

Even though it is an oral form of a drug I've previously had, it has different side effects. It's given in smaller doses over a longer period of time. It has to go through my digestive system and can be very hard on the stomach lining. It may cause nausea, vomiting, diarreah, mouth/gums/lips/stomach lining sores, hand/foot syndrome (naropathy/numbness + sensitivity/redness/cracking of skin on hands and feet). With the intravenious 5FU, I usually felt really bad days 4-5, but then felt ok to go about my business. With this oral form, I may feel nauseous over a longer period. It will get stretched out.

So far it's day 2 and I was really tired (but I haven't been sleeping, so don't know if that is due to the chemo or the lack of sleep). I slept on and off today until 3pm! I've been mildly nauseous. I do notice numbness in my fingers and feet. I'm not sure I'm going to like this better than being hooked up to a pump for 3 days. At least I know with that, I can handle the side effects. This increase in numbness in my hands is effecting my typing and texting (heaven forbid!!) and the foot thing is getting annoying. It's constant buzzing. I'm not liking it!! And I'm terrible at taking pills. Plus, I have to space them 12 hours apart, which means I have to get up at a certain time to eat, and if I'm asleep I want to stay that way!

I did find out that my first oncologist, who retired in April, is back filling in because they are so busy!! I was excited to hear that, since he knows my history and has been with me since Day 1. My new doc is out of the office next time I go in Feb. 2nd, so I'm going to reconnect with my retired doc!! It will be like getting a second opinion in a way, and validating what we are doing. I value his opinion and he was head of oncology before retiring, so I'm not the only one who values it. So that's good news.

I'm not going to ramble on any more about cancer and chemo. I just am sick of the whole ordeal.

Let's see what else have we been up to?

Kaelin's holiday program at school, Revels, was postponed due to snow, and was rescheduled for last week. Here's a few photos:

Dave coached Kaelin's 5th grade Hoop team, The Sting, to 2nd place in the Canby Basketball Tourney.

My beach trip to Pacific City with Loni, Paris and Sam, scheduled for last weekend was cancelled due to the rain and Highway 101 and I-5 being closed. :(

My trip to San Francisco next weekend with my UCLA college buddies is still up in the air depending on how I handle the chemo side effects. I am flying standby (my friend Sheila is a pilot for Horizon and I'm using a buddy pass and we're flying togehter).

I was invited to go to the Galapagos Islands for 9 days in May for a photography trip. World reknown photographers will be there helping us set up and take shots and critiquing them. We will be staying on a boat and traveling around to the different islands. A friend's husband pulled out of the trip and she wants me to take his place. It's already paid for. How can I pass that up?? It's so hard for me to plan anything though. Who knows what my health will be like. How I'll feel. I asked my oncologist about it and she said that she would help me make it happen. That 4 months would have gone by on chemo by then. Hopefully we'll get the CA125 down and the fluid reduced by then. I'm at risk for blood clots from sitting for long periods, like on long flights. The doc said there is an injection I can give myself an hour before the long flight to thin my blood. And I'll be traveling with a doctor. I should be in good hands. I can't even dream that big. It was so big I didn't even dare put that on my bucket list. How crazy is that?? What an adventure that would be.

Spencer is going to Japan with his Japanese class in March for 12 days. We need to do a fundraiser for it because I'm really not sure how we're going to swing it financially. It seems we've had the worst luck lately with the dryer dying, and having to repair all 3 of the cars around here. My jeep is in the shop for like the 3rd time. When it rains it pours. I'm really tired of getting rained on. So if anyone has any good suggestions for fundraisers Spencer can do on his own, send them my way. If anyone needs a 13 year old boy for hire, give me a hollar. He's really good at video games, the computer, soccer, entertaining children and reading. LOL Oh, and he has good phone manners.

Thank you to everyone for their Holiday cards (hopefully ours will go out in the spring!) and gifts from near and far. We appreciated them all. And we love you all with all our hearts. xoxoxo

To those of you whom I owe emails (LeNae, if you're reading this, that means you girlfriend!!!), please be patient with me. I get so frustrated with my email, as I'm still having problems and it kicks me out and it's so frustrating trying to answer them! It's darn near impossible! Better to text me if you have texting, or find me on Facebook and leave a message! You can find me under Shauna Berglund Immel. I apologize for my lack of communication in that medium these days. It's just so frustrating for me!!!!

Loves to all!!!

Oh! I forgot! My reading for Write Around Portland is this Thursday!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

CA125 and CT Scan Results are back...

from my doctor:

Hello Shauna. I am sorry for the delay in my reply.

There are some slight changes in the results but not dramatic changes.

The CA 125 is slightly higher at 81.

The CT scan shows a small increase in the amount of fluid in the abdomen. Nothing else is changed.

Given these changes, I think we should continue with the plan to restart the chemotherapy this month. We will of course talk in more detail at the upcoming appointment.

Normal CA125 is 35 or below. Mine has been rising steadily lately. And the fluid in the abdomen would explain my increasing waistline, which is pretty much non existent. On top of that, it feels so crowded in there. It's hard to eat or drink anything, as I feel so freaking full all of the time. And my lungs feel like there are sandbags laying on them when I'm laying down. Ugh. The cancer in my abdomen hasn't been the type to form tumors, but like a glaze over the walls. A "thickening" of the abdomen. BAH HUMBUG to you cancer! Leave me the !@%^&*<>? alone and give me a freaking break!!!! sigh...

My girls weekend to the coast with my friend Paris and her BFF Sam from college and my best buddy from Jr. & Sr. High, Loni, was cancelled due to the rain and flooding. I-5 and Hwy. 101 are closed. It was going to be my "Last Hurrah" before starting chemo again on Monday. My mom has been stuck up in Washington as well. Unable to get home. I hope I can still go on my planned trip to San Francisco with my college friends Jan. 23rd.

Big hugs going out to Paris and her family. It's never easy to lose a pet. They are family too. The Immel family will miss Ginger too.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

See Jan. 4th for New Post

I just added a post tonight, but it showed up 2 entries down because I started it two days ago! LOL So have a peek at What Was GR8 about 2008 according to Team Immel!!!


Halftime Entertainment

The Sting provided the halftime entertainment during the Southridge High School Boy's Varsity game vs Camas tonight. Fun for the girls to play on the big court, in front of a cheering crowd, announcer and all! They were playing in the big league!!!
Still waiting on the results of my CT Scan and CA125 blood work. Hoping no news is good news.

Hard to get back into the swing of things with school and sports schedules after having 3 weeks off pretty much completely. I'm worn out!!!

I hope you all survived your Monday!!!


Monday, January 5, 2009

The Sting Swarms the Gladstone Hoop Tourney

Dave is coaching Kaelin's basketball team this season for the first time. They are the same girls as most of her Red Magic Soccer team, plus two others. They are called "The Sting". Scott Zanon is helping coach as well. Our kids have grown up playing on the same teams since we live in the same neighborhood and have kids exactly the same ages. They are mostly 5th grade girls, except three of them (Kaelin, Claire Zanon and Bella) are 4th graders. They are all very athletic and what is cool is that they know each other so well from playing on the same soccer team for years. Most of them will be going to Southridge High School eventually (where Dave coaches the varisty girls), so they are learning early the fundamentals needed to play in that program!

Kaelin missed last hoop season because of her broken hand. And these girls have never played a game all together and the snow has hindered their practice time, so we weren't sure how they would do in this 5th Grade tourney this weekend. I have to admit, we were all very suprised at how well they actually did! They came out and played hard and took a lot of us by surprise and ended up winning the tourney!

They proved to be more of a defensive team than an offensive team, winning their games 25-14, 22-6 and 14-6. But that will come with time and just goes to show you how defense wins games! :) I have to say they played much better on Saturday than their 8am Sunday morning performance, but hey, we were all still asleep so I can't blame them!
Dave was very proud of his girls and HIS girl in particular. He loves coaching her! She thinks too much out there on the floor, not really having a good feel for the game yet, and taking everything so literally, but she'll do fine. She's got a good looking shot, some great defense and great rebounding skills already. I'm sure she'll be taking after her dad in the hoop deptartment. We have to remember that she is a year younger than most of the girls too. And as she adjusts to the speed of the game being so much quicker than soccer, she'll fit right in.

After the games on Saturday, almost all of the girls from the team had to run off and play a 220pm indoor soccer game too! They did great, winning 11-3! Dave's SRHS girls team won that night too, so it was a very successful, sports filled weekend! (not to mention our BRUINS!) Tonight The Sting gets to play at the half time of the SRHS Boys Varsity game, that should be fun!! Gotta remember the camera!!! I'll be sad to miss the tournament next weekend, as I'm going to the beach with Paris, Sam and my friend Loni for some girl bonding time. :) Can't wait!

I'm waiting for my oncologist to get back to me on my CA125 and CT scan results. Hopefully they are better than I expect. I meet with her and chemo is supposed to resume Monday, the 12th. :( Boo!!! HIss!!!

I am in the process right now of writing a long blog post, summing up the great of 2008, so check back soon! It's taking me awhile as I have to read through the last year and link events and download photos etc! But I promise you it will be a fun one!! And I think I'll make a version to send out as our Christmas (aka Spring) cards! ;)

Loves to you all!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What was GR8 About 2008

What Happened Gr8 in 2008...

January 2008
  1. Weyerhauser donates laptop to Crusaderz Car Club, who in then donates it to me for my trip to Reno and my days spent in bed after chemo. (All thanks to Tami Wilkerson Dunning)
  2. I crossed off 3 1/2 things from my Bucket List: #6 We renewed our wedding vows, #10 my bedroom was redecorated (thanks to help from my friends!), #18 one of my 2 kids, my son became a teenager and #20 I took Kaelin to see Cirque de Soliel.
  3. Thanks to my family, friends and community, I got the opportunity to spend 3 weeks at an alternative treatment clinic in Reno.
4. I lived to celebrate my 42nd Birthday in Reno.
5. I met the songbird, Laura Allen @ the Reno Clinic, whose voice touched my soul.

February 2008

6. Shanna from California visited me in Reno.

7. My family was able to come visit me in Reno.8.. I married the man of my dreams, for the 2nd time, on February 1st, 2008!
9. Paris visited me in Reno.10. My best friends from Jr. and Sr. High in Kent, WA held a Pass the Hat fundraiser for me that raised over $4,000 for my medical and alternative treatment expenses.

March 2008

11. Southridge High School Varsity Girls win their 4th straight 6A State Championship!

April 2008

12. My daughter, Kaelin, turned 9 years old!!

13. We got to celebrate our neighbor and friend, Berit's 40th Birthday with her in style!!!
13. My mom, Kaelin and I went and saw Cirque du Soleil!14. We become proud owners of a Wii!

May 2008

15. I got our Christmas cards out in May!!!16. I got some cool new glasses!!!

17. The Kamin Family, some friends from our days at UCLA, came for a visit!18. My writing, In the Valley of the Shadow of Death, was published in the Write Around Portland Anthology and I was chosen to be their featured writer on their website.

19. Spencer celebrated his 13th Birthday!

June 2008

20. I became a 2 year Cancer Survivor!

July 2008

21. Dave and I celebrated our 14th Wedding Anniversary!August 2008

22. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyers was released and I reread the whole Twilight series again!!
23. We attended the 3rd annual Wilkinson Family Reunion!

24. The Murray Hill, Beaverton Little League Team represented Oregon in the Regional Finals in San Bernidino, CA!

25. The 2008 Bejing Summer Olympics.

September 2008

26. Stand Up to Cancer aired on all of the major networks.

27. Kaelin and I went and saw So You Think You Can Dance Live!
28.Sheila came for a visit.27. The TCC Gals came for a visit!

28. Loni and her family came for a visit!!October 2008

29. A baby elephant was born at the zoo.30. Catlin Gabel's 8th grade soccer team was runner up in the championship after a great season!
31. I was asked to be a patient teacher for the OHSU class "Living with Life Threatening Diseases" for the third year in a row.

November 2008

32. I got to escape to Seattle for the weekend and attend the Seattle Scrapbook Expo!
33. Kaelin and I went and saw Twilight at midnight on opening night! And then we saw it again!!
34. I got to see Spencer all dressed up in a suit and tie!!!
35. And Kaelin all dressed up in a skirt!
36. We got to spend Thanksgiving with our family.
37. I discovered Facebook and texting and Blackberry cell phones.

December 2008

38. SRHS Girl's Varsity Hoop team played my high school alma mater, Kentwood, here in Oregon!

39. We got a brand new Dryer!!!

40. We were snowed in for 2 weeks and Christmas Vacation was stretched to 3 weeks!!!

41. The "Not Saint George" 8th Grade Play was hilarious!!!

42. We had our first White Christmas at home.43. I got to spend New Year's Eve with my brother, his family and friends.44. Our house was painted, we got a new fence and a new red door!!
45. The Red Magic Soccer Team had a very successful year!!!

46. We reconnected with old friends and made new friends!!!

I wonder what 2009 has in store for us????