Showing posts from January, 2013

Chemo Brain

I frequently stop in the middle of a sentence because I can't remember what I was talking about.Of course, my friends tell me that's old age, not chemo brain.
I watched the ending to a current episode of Beauty and the Beast THREE days in a row because I could not remember what happened the next morning.
I received responses Sunday from 3 emails I sent Saturday night. Unfortunately, I do not remember sending those emails.
I recently ordered duplicate sets of hair products. On the same night. From different retail stores. And didn't remember until they showed up.
I ordered Lush bath bombs for Mom, Becky, and Liz. Too bad I have no memory of placing that order, but it was a nice mail surprise.
Notice a shopping theme here?
I've stopped playing Draw 4 Free because my drawings were so bad my mom was taking pictures of them with her phone so she could remember and laugh.
So if it weren't so scary, it just might be funny.
Week 4


Our weekend was very uneventful besides game night Friday, Pooh day with Rory Saturday, and the stomach flu Sunday. Hurray for me. Thank goodness for leftover anti-nausea chemo meds.
This morning starts a new week, and I'm determined to get some kind of schedule going in the cooking, exercise, cleaning, laundry departments. I've been in (low) maintenance mode since (before) Christmas, but now it's time to get serious about getting things done around here. And with no chemo until at least February 20, I've got several weeks to develop some better habits.
And I'm just writing it here in public to help keep me accountable, but I'm trying to get back down to 1 cup of coffee a day and no soda (diet caffeine free Mt. Dew is my drink of choice) except on the weekend. So far, my weekends have started Thursday night so we'll call that both a win and a lose. Also trying to get in some exercise 3 times a week. All left-over sugary Christmas items and candy are finall…


I've been resisting posting these pictures because I know Becky will want to kill me, but every time I open up my December 2012 picture folder, they are just taunting me and make me laugh every. single. time. So I have to share, right?

My personal favorite. ;)

The Night I Scrapped

When I got the news at 10:00 last night that Brian had a snow day and the kids had a 2-hour delayed start, I headed right upstairs to scrap. I typically stay off the computer that time of night, but I knew I could take advantage of having another adult in the house and sleep in. ;) I haven't scrapped in forever, and I have to say it felt good to make something pretty.
Go ahead and laugh, all my northern friends. Yes, this is what we have snow days for in Tennessee.
Traci Reed/Emily Merritt: Look at You Grow
Gotta love these bright colors, right?
Lauren Grier: Silly Little Monsters
Traci Reed/Jacque Larsen: Love is in the Air
And Week 3 of Project Life.
Left side
Right side
Emily Merritt/Lauren Grier: I'm the Princess

My Big Girl Lens

So my beloved big girl lens (this 70-200 2.8 lens - Nikon mount) is up for grabs if you happen to be in the market for a fabulous zoom lens in great used condition. I'm sorry to let it go, but I am just not using it enough to justify keeping it, not to mention both our cars are nearing death and we could use the money. It's tough being a grown-up sometimes. ;)
Email me at if you're interested.


At 10:58 this morning, I looked at the clock and realized that I had done absolutely nothing today. Nothing. And I liked it. :)
I had arranged this week's schedule around two things: (1) my doctor's appointment on Tuesday and (2) the "fact" that I'd be starting up chemo again today. Well, there's no chemo, and I could not be happier about that. I woke up not feeling particularly well this morning. Honestly, it kind of happens alot. And on the days I do feel well, I can almost guarantee that by suppertime I will feel as if a truck has run over me. Repeatedly. Dr. W says it's normal since I've had poison running through my veins for 14 out of the last 20 months.
So this morning I feel very grateful that I am not sitting in a not-quite-comfortable recliner hooked up to chemo, but instead have had the privilege of laying on the couch with my snuggly body bean catching up on last night's American Idol. (And can I just say Nicki Minaj =  train. wreck.)


How about a quick history lesson on my cancer.
March 2011
diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer; surgery removed all but very small pieces from the peritoneal wall and a small spot on my liver
September 2011
completed 6 rounds of platinum-based chemo (a.k.a. the best there is for ovarian cancer)
September 2011
discovered there was absolutely no change in my cancer after chemo; resumed chemo
January 2012
after a day in the hospital and gall bladder attack, CT scan shows that cancer appears to be calcified/dead and we suspend chemo on a month-to-month basis
May 2012
big surgery and 7 day hospital stay for gall bladder; cancer biopsied and found to still be active
July 2012-December 2012 
January 2013
CT scan shows there is still no change in cancer

(I should get some kind of reward for being able to condense the last 2 years down to just this short list.)
So after hearing my latest CT scan news and that Dr. W wanted to see me in person, I definitely went to worst case scenario in my he…

It's D Day

Brian is off work today so he's in charge of carpool, and he and the kiddos are gone leaving me snuggled on the couch with an extra cup of coffee, my body bean and the morning news (something I rarely watch).
I've taken a little unintentional blog break. I sometimes feel (especially the last few weeks) that it reads a bit like a roller coaster. I feel good; I feel bad; I feel calm; I feel depressed; I'm crying through it all; I'm brave. Well, if it reads like a roller coaster, you should try to live it. ;)
The truth is that surprisingly enough I've had a good 7-10 days and have been able to mostly put thoughts of my doctor's appointment this afternoon out of my mind. Between a snow day and now a 3 day weekend, we've gotten some work done around the house, I've cooked some meals, we went bowling with a church group Sunday night, had supper with my brother, watched some football (yet again, I always choose the wrong teams). And last night my brother took…

Snow Day

So yesterday the kids (and Brian) had a snow day. I have to say that it wasn't the best day . . . for me, not the kids. I was a total cranky pants all day. Not exactly sure why, but I'd like a do-over. I think a small part of my crankiness is that as a stay at home mom, a snow day really isn't any different. There are still 3 meals to be fixed, house to be cleaned, clothes to be washed, etc. But it feels like it should be a break and when it's not, I don't react well. Anyway, maybe the crankiness is out of my system for a while.
I did finish up a little DIY project, and I'm very proud of myself for doing it. Trying something new not to mention tackling a craft project on my own is not really my style. I'm a big wuss, but I kinda like how it turned out. Here's a little peek.

And this girl is getting sassier by the day. She asked if she could pose for me. ;) This was Sunday afternoon, and she spent the afternoon changing clothes, adding layers, s…

House Pictures

I've had lots of requests for house pictures, and the truth is that I wanted to wait until it was all decorated up and pretty. But let's be honest here. That just might never happen!
So after spending Christmas Eve making everything all sparkly and clean in preparation for company, I snapped a few pictures. And then never shared them. ;) And now we've spent the last several days actually hanging pictures on the wall and making some changes so I thought I better post them now as a kind of "before" and then in the next couple of weeks I'll hopefully post "after" shots.
And just a general disclaimer: we clearly don't have things decorated, and the poor kid rooms still have boxes because Camden doesn't have a dresser and poor Rory doesn't have a toybox or bookshelf. We have a 3 day weekend coming up, and we're hoping to do some rearranging and more unpacking. Oh, and the house is not nearly as dark as these pics make it look - it was af…

"A Real Breakfast"

The kids had a 2 hour delay this morning due to some icy roads (which doesn't mean a whole lot in Tennessee). Basically they had an extra 2 hours to argue. Mornings aren't our strong suit. After dropping them off, I headed to Hobby Lobby and aimlessly wandered around putting things in my cart and then removing them. In the end, I came home with a couple of things for a little DIY project that Brian is none-too-excited about. ;)
Since we had extra time this morning, I actually cooked breakfast instead of sending the kids out the door with a granola bar. Camden asked if we were going to have "a real breakfast." These pancake muffins were good, and as I looked over the recipe, I realized they aren't too much of an indulgence. I'll definitely make them again. You can serve them with butter and syrup, but we ate them plain. Oh, and I forgot the sugar and they were just fine without it.
Chocolate Chip Pancake Muffins 1 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 t…

Our Weekend

Our weekend got off to a rough start when the kids asked me on the way home from school if I had scan results. It is so hard to deliver news that is not what they've prayed for. Rory cried and cried. It is beyond difficult for their little hearts to understand why God doesn't answer their prayers in the way they want. And while I certainly did not bring this up, Camden quietly said, "losing you would be the worst thing in the world that could ever happen to us." Sigh. And tears.
In typical kid fashion, by the time we got home they had moved past the bad news and were planning what to play (temps were in the 70's Friday) so it was definitely outside. We ordered a pizza for supper, played a 3 hour game of Monopoly (oh. my. stars.) and enjoyed a renewed sense of staying in the moment.
Saturday was just lovely. Brian typically spends the majority of Saturdays doing church prep and/or grading papers. And because chemo is typically on Thursdays for me, I'm genera…

A Little News

Talked to my nurse today and Dr. W wants me to come in so he can discuss my scan. This is a little bit of new territory for us because he's never discussed before - just put me on a new treatment plan. The nurse said there was a note on the scan saying that there were no new masses and my original nodules remained unchanged, but my CA125 was 19.4 this month so that means an increase 2 months in a row.
If I had to guess, I would say that Dr. W is going to tell us that he's got nothing left in his chemo arsenal to try since I've now had a total of 6 different chemo drugs and they have had no effect. I suppose I should feel lucky/grateful for a slow-growing cancer. I would rather feel grateful for no cancer, but that is clearly not going to be my story.
Unfortunately, because of the office/hospital switch, his earliest "discussion" appointment isn't until January 22. The nurse is going to try to fit me in so I don't have to wait for 2 weeks, which I appreci…

5 Things

1. Why would I ever, ever, ever make the decision to give up caffeine and sugar the week before I have a CT scan to find out, you know, about CANCER. 
2. I have cheated more times than I can count.
3. I still haven't heard from the doctor's office, and I'm pretty sure that waiting 4 days for test results is cruel and unusual punishment.
4. I'm putting on my big girl pants and making myself call tomorrow morning and demand ask very sweetly for answers.
5. Seriously. I've cheated alot.

Documenting 2013

*For those of you waiting on an update from my CT scan, I have no real news. I had an appointment with Dr. W scheduled for tomorrow morning, but the nurse called me this evening telling me not to come in because my scan results weren't available. She also mentioned Dr. W has been on vacation so I think that's probably a better explanation for the missing results. She said hopefully someone would give me a call tomorrow with more information. I'm sure I should be upset about this, but mostly I feel a little sense of relief. At the very least it means no chemo tomorrow.
For the last 3 years I've participated in Project 365 - a photo every day of the year. I decided to take this year off and use Project Life (and the blog, of course) as my way of documenting 2013. Because I am slightly OCD, the thought of not taking a picture every day has driven me slightly crazy and while Project Life is supposed to be a much easier and low-stress way of documenting life, so far I have …