Saturday, July 30, 2011


I fly out in the an amazing ranch between Vail and Apen, CO...and will train all week with the top whitewater kayakers in the world.  It is through an amazing young adult cancer program called FIRST DESCENTS.  Day one after breakfast we'll be learning to roll and taking on the river...and it will be full speed ahead from there.  Fun will be hiking, horseback riding, and more.  I can't tell you how excited I have been since I was accepted into this program.  I don't know anyone that has ever done it.  No doctors ever told me about it.  I found it about 6 months ago through a web search and a series of links.  It happened to have been the week before they started taking applications.  I feel like I was led to it...and the timing was that I actually got in!!!  More tender mercies...
(here is the link and video I posted before...but it gives you an idea of what I am doing...)

I wasn't sure I could go with recent events...but I met with my surgical oncologist Thursday and begged him to wait.  Due to logisitical issues we can't do it until Sept. 21st...but it gives me time to get ready.  ALL of my other surgeries have been emergency surgeries.  I feel quietly relieved that he is letting me wait.   It will be similar to my other huge ones...and we will be ready to do the heated chemo again as well if they find more cancer involvement.  The incision will be the same huge one I have had... and it will be in spokane again.  All the same, except one crucial thing...I am SO much stronger this time.  It will brutal and another long hospitalization...but I've done it before...and will do it again.  I'll update more later but need to finish packing.  My pain isn't going to stop me from taking on the Colorado river...and I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Another Surgery...

 I don't know the dates or details yet as my oncologist and surgeon are working that out.   They did an outpatient procedure with an injection yesterday to shut down my remaining ovary.  We are hoping that decrease the pain while I await surgery.  I am trying to put it off so that I can go on the cancer survivors kayaking retreat I mentioned.  I am supposed to leave next Sunday...and despite pain....I WANT TO GO SO BADLY~

My CT was inconclusive (as expected) regarding any cancer involvement...but showed large cysts(over 2 inches) again on my ovary and a few other things that need to come out.  Last August I was taken in for emergency surgery because of ascites and severe ovary pain. That was the beginning of a pretty bad spiral that I barely made it through.  It sounds routine, but my body is so ravaged inside that it isn't a small surgery like it would be for someone else.  That is typically done laparoscopic, but I am no longer a candidate for those because of all the scarring and chaos in  my abdomen.   I will likely be cut open following my larger scar from breast area to pubic bone as usual.  I will know for sure next week.  I was supposed to have a total hysterectomy with my first heated chemo super surgery, but after coersion the doctor allowed me to keep those organs in the miracle chance that I might heal enough to have another child someday.  With all that has happened, that is no longer an option and it is a sore loss for our family.  We consider ourselves so blessed to have the amazing girls that we do.   In an effort to save my ovaries from the cancer, the surgeon sliced off the entire outside (or peeled) them and then poured the heated chemo on them that caused severe burns.  THey have tried to heal, but the damage was too great.  I tried to keep them... obvoiusly shouldn't have.  I am so glad I am stronger now than the last time I had surgery.  I will let you know the details as they evolve.  We will not know if there is more cancer until the surgery, after the pathology is determined.  I am convinced there won't be cancer...and that this is just another bump in my road to recovery.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

If you don't mind...

I would really appreciate your prayers.  Tomorrow is a big day full of lots of Ct scans, tests and another draining of the stomach fluid (ascites)that has been filling up my abdomen.  The last few months, my stomach has been growing and is full of fluid again...looking similiar to pregnancy.  It has grown quite a bit in the last week since I got sick...and the pain is near constant now. 

I have been trying to keep my fears on the down low... but I am really starting to try to mentally prepare myself for what is next.  They will drain the fluid again and test it for malignancy.  We don't know the cause of it.  Last August I had it really bad and was taken in for emergency surgery that I barely made it out of.  It is typically caused by cancer...but we can't seem to find where it is.  It is usually produced by the liver, but mine seems to be produced lower by my remaining ovary or something around it.  Organs don't typicaly weep...this is a bit exteme, but my abdomen has endured severe trauma.  I hope that is the cause.  That's also where the pain is centralized.  It is a deep, sharp pain that often takes away my breath and stops me in my tracks. I know it isn't normal...and I need to get it fixed.  My cancer usually spreads on the outside of organs and shuts them down...this feels much deeper.  The difference in the pain worries me in all honesty.  I am still very hopeful and know I will WIN this darn battle.  I have to admit, though, that I feel like I am possibly at the beginning a scary cycle again.  If you can remember, please keep me in your prayers.   I will share the results as soon as they are known.  My mind is FULL of positive self talk. Here we go!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Just thinking...

Another experience I had today.  I was talking with a group of ladies and I had a conversation so seeped in irony that it made me think.  One insisted that she will never go to church because she doesn't like feeling pressured to service others or to give anything of herself.  She said she does enough for her kids...and that there was no way she would give more to church. I had never heard such calloused selfish declarations was strange.  My heart pounded and I knew I needed to say something  but I wasn't sure what to say.

I explained in the best way I could that my faith has added so much to my life.  Giving of myself to others has been such a source of joy and true happiness to me.  It is what has kept my mind off my own trials and frustrations.  I recognize the Lord's hand each day in my life.  She spoke with such an attitude of indifference that it made me sad for her...but as she kept talking she explained how she struggles deeply with depression,   I wish she could understand that charity and following Christ are such a source of joy. Not the fleeting joy that is felt by superficial worldly things...but true, lasting joy.  My faith doesn't mean that my life will be easy each day, perfect, or without just means I will know my purpose and feel his support during those trials.  I know without doubt that the Lord didn't make us and send us to Earth just to have a little, and die.  Our universe has too much brilliant organization and order for life to be so haphazard and so senseless.  I know our lives have purpose.  I am so grateful for that knowledge.  Our conversation was brief...most of the "aha" moments were in my head as I listened to her.

Fantastic Day!

Sometimes I have wonderful moments that I think I will never forget.  Today I wanted to record this one so that I don't forget it.  (I was hurting all morning pretty badly, but decided to try to play tennis anyway.  I have figured out that if I keep myself moving and as busy as possible, sometimes what I am doing can overshadow the pain.)  Anyway...

I was a FUN doubles match of tennis...the court to the right of me had Aana playing with friends of hers.   I could hear her laughing...and saw a big grin on her face.  Addie was on the players bench cheering me on and making sign language "I love you" signs each time I looked at her.  It is a moment that I felt truly ALIVE.  I have a lot of those...and don't want to ever take them for granted. 

Treasure those simple moments...think about the abundance of things that make you smile each day.  Count your blessing.  I am... and I hope I always DO! :)