Friday, February 23, 2018

Five on Friday (February 23, 2018)

1. Friday evening my brain MRI was not fun, but uneventful. Tuesday morning bright and early I had a note from the doctor saying the scan was clear. So no answers for the continuing headaches, but it's not cancer.

2. I could not be more proud of Camden, who has graduated to playing in the worship band Sunday mornings. He also leads the teens in a song or two on Wednesday nights. Because he's a perfectionist, he doesn't take as much joy in the music he creates as I would like. One of my greatest hopes for him is that one day he can let go of the drive to be perfect.


3. Basketball ended with a tournament last weekend and sports banquet on Monday evening. Camden's basketball coaches were just great this year, and he improved so much. He has plenty of room to grow, but he's a different player now than 9 months ago. Soccer started up Tuesday, but I can already tell soccer is going to be less strenuous in terms of practice time and number of games. Camden begged to play last year and we said no. He continued to not only beg to play but saved up and paid for the soccer sports fee (in addition to his $78 basketball shoes) so how could we say no.

4. I made supper twice this week with not one but TWO recipes with heavy cream. Both completely delicious: broccoli fettuccine with chicken and loaded crockpot potato soup.

5. My Friday morning Bible study girls took me out for ice cream this morning to celebrate my recent good scan news. Friday mornings continue to be one of my favorite times of the week. The ice cream was delicious, and if you're local - visit Roll'd Creamery.

(what you don't see is that there were as many kids present as adults)


Olympics have been fun, but I'm ready to reinstate my very early bedtime. Because we don't have cable, most of the coverage available to us has been late night. I've made it until about 10:30, but no later. Even Camden has fallen asleep on the couch a few nights. To make up for it, I've been listening to the Olympic Fever podcast every morning for a recap of the previous days events, and it's delightful to hear two women who love the Olympics the way I used to love the Olympics chat about the highs and lows.

Brian and Camden are attending a men's conference tonight and Saturday, but the weekend is pretty wide open for me. I'll take it!

Monday, February 19, 2018


Same $3.99 flowers from a couple of weeks ago - I took these over the course of 10 days or so. 







Friday, February 16, 2018

Five on Friday (February 16, 2018)

So here's the truth this week. I feel like crud, I'm drowning in work, I feel like a part-time kid chauffeur (this would be full-time but my parents help us out a lot) and maid, my house is a disaster, I'm not keeping up with any area of my life. I'm not even keeping up with the Olympics this time around, which is really sad!

And I am having a brain MRI tonight because of two weeks of headaches. Good news is that ovarian cancer rarely moves to the brain. Bad news is that it does sometimes and the friend responsible for hooking me up with Dr. C died 2 years ago when her ovarian cancer metastisized to her brain. Good news is that there are plenty of other things that could be causing headaches, and I feel fairly confident it's one of those other things. Not cancer. Also good news - we're hoping to use this Friday night MRI excursion to Nashville as a dinner date. I'm craving pizza.

Five quick things for the week:

1. Valentine's Day was uneventful. I didn't even see my Valentine because I spent it at Vanderbilt and he spent it at work and church (also work). Tuesday afternoon I arrived home to discover 4 very cute lemon yellow stacking chairs in my living room. We hope to use them as extra seating both in the living room and at the table when we have company, and I love them. After 20 years of marriage, Brian knows me pretty well.

(these chairs are much cuter in person - picture taken on an incredibly gloomy day)

2. I did my best to compensate for our non-Valentine's Day by putting together a pretty dessert last night using my fancy blue glasses (a gift many years ago from my grandma). 


3. I read 2 books this week and they were both good. Love and Other Consolation Prizes is a 5-star read for me, and I can't wait to read more from this author. I flew through Girl, Wash Your Face in one sitting. It wins the award for best cover.



4. Thursday was an early dismissal for the kids. Rory and I had about 90 minutes to kill because of Camden's basketball practice (we do this 3-4 times a week), but on this occasion, we decided to spend the time at Golly G's. She ate two ginormous scoops of ice cream while I had an iced Cuban and worked. We also spent time discussing the fact that she told a little boy at church this week, "Thanks for asking. You're a nice kid, but I would rather die than be your girlfriend." Yikes!

In her defense, it's not easy at any age to turn down a boy (who is standing right in front of you along with a wingman), and we certainly haven't had the discussion on how to do this at 11. Unfortunately, she has been put in this position more than once (and always at church, btw), which means that we should have already had this discussion. In fact, she has several younger boys who routinely tell her they dream about her and openly let her know how much they like her, think she's beautiful, etc. It was a good learning moment, and I tried to take full advantage of the opportunity to discuss boys. And kindness. Because let's be honest, she's going to have many, many opportunities to turn down boys over these next 10ish years.


5. Our weekend is jam-packed. Camden has a basketball tournament this weekend; we're hoping they make it to the final game tonight. Saturday is parent's night out at church. Brian has a slime night planned, and we currently have about 45 kids scheduled to attend. In addition to church, of course, we're celebrating my Grandma's birthday on Sunday. Happy Friday, friends.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Five on Friday

1. The Lewis/Lemons annual super bowl party (our 10th?) was fun as usual with the added bonus of having my parents present. I think most of the group was rooting for the Eagles but sure the Patriots would win. We were wrong! The food and company are most important, of course.

(notice the two little girls in their matching p.j.'s - they spent the night upstairs watching a movie and playing because football is not high on their priority list)

2. The annual team celebration for my job was Monday night at Rodizio Grill: A Brazilian Steakhouse. Neverending meat was Brian's dream, and we were lucky to have a good tablemate for him. They tried every single meat that came our way - all 17 varieties.

3. The kids had a district choir competition Thursday. They also both competed in the district spelling competition since they were each the winner in their age bracket at school. I neglected to take a picture of them all dressed up in their black and white, but they looked quite official (and not themselves). Rory finished 3 out of 14; Camden 8 out of 10 (which is very representative of how much they studied).

4. We picked up this coffee syrup at our Trader Joe's run last week. Camden approves as an add-in to his Saturday morning glass of milk, and we're going to put it to the test with ice cream this weekend.


5. Speaking of food, while my mom kept me company at chemo this week my two grandmas made my favorite chicken and homemade dumplings for supper last night to have the day after chemo. And speaking of chemo - the port is giving us issues to the tune of an added 2 hours Wednesday while they tried to make it work. The good news is that it did work, but not perfectly. My nurse says not to worry so I won't.

Weekend plans include the opening ceremonies for the Olympics Friday night. Camden and I are always big fans, but I would say everyone is a little extra on board this year because they are taking place in South Korea. I'm planning to cook Korean food for supper! Camden has a basketball game Saturday morning followed by a youth group event in the afternoon. Sunday holds a Valentine's fundraiser for the youth group after church. Happy Friday, friends.

So I didn't quite get this post up on Friday, which isn't too unusual - the weekend was busy and Sunday I spent about 7 hours in bed sleeping. This has happened a couple of times since I first started chemo 15 months ago - where I literally just can't wake up and get moving. It's super frustrating, but I can only guess that it's my body's way of saying STOP. REST. Anyway, I'm up now on this early Monday morning and feeling better. I guess an extra 7 hours of sleep really can do wonders. :)

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Because the kids are cute and the light was good

(He read all 3 of these 1000+ page books over Christmas break/snow days, and he's quite proud of his first 1,000+ page read.)








Friday, February 02, 2018

Five on Friday (February 2, 2018)

I love having fresh flowers in the house, but not the expense of having fresh flowers. Trader Joe's $3.99 bouquets to the rescue! I pulled out the big girl camera for pics as well, but this one is just from my phone.

1. January/February generally tend to be the quietest months of the year, but that is not proving true for 2018. As parents, we try really hard not to overschedule the kids, but basketball tournaments, guitar lessons, spelling competitions, music competitions (both church and school), etc. are all hitting at once and I can feel the stress from the kids. Camden, especially, since he's my perfectionist. All of the kid activities are in addition, of course, to just regular life so balance feels out of reach at the moment.

2. After a particularly difficult week last week, I received the loveliest package in the mail - a Kantha throw from Dignify which is a beautiful blanket made in Bangladesh from recycled saris. The blankets are sewed by women who have been rescued from poverty and slavery and take 23 hours to stitch. The group of women who gifted the blanket to me have been blessings in my life from the moment I was diagnosed. The unexpected package very much felt like a sweet group hug.


3. Yesterday was Africa day at school for Rory. Her teacher, whose parents were missionaries, let her borrow an African dress and she came home full of stories.


4. I completed 7 books in January:

Of Mess and Moxie by Jen Hatmaker - I found myself snorting in laughter several times, usually in the Vanderbilt waiting room
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan - historical fiction and I kept waiting for this book to get better
The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris by Jenny Colgan - a sweet, light-hearted read
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green - angsty YA
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng - thoroughly enjoyed this one
It's Not Fair: Learning to Love the Life You Didn't Choose by Melanie Dale - a quick read with lighthearted ways to cope with an unexpected life
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel - this book was on everyone's best of 2017 list, but not mine

5. For a variety of reasons, I have had very little sleep in the past 48 hours and the fogginess is disconcerting. Camden has a game in KY tonight then riding home with a friend to go to the youth event where Brian is speaking. They probably won't be home until the wee hours of the morning (2 a.m.?). Tomorrow we're having the annual Lewis/Lemon Superbowl party. And hurray that my parents will be able to attend this year!

Happy Friday, friends.

Thursday, February 01, 2018


Remember when I lived and breathed by my CA125 number? I barely think about it these days, but yesterday it was 25.8 which is normal.

We hit the road about 6:45 yesterday morning for a very full day at Vanderbilt. We walked in the door at 6:50 p.m. but with lighter hearts because my scan showed yet another decrease. I'm at 34% which is officially official in terms of a response. Until you reach 30% decrease, it doesn't really register for a clinical trial. A decrease of this size is remarkable considering I've had nearly 7 years of cancer with no measurable progress in all of that time. I wish chemo were easier on my body and on my schedule; 15 months of this is no joke but progress sure makes it more palatable.

Brian and I spent an hour at White Bison coffee shop (our first time and I recommend) then ate tacos at Taqueria del Sol (which I also recommend).





Hello, sun, which was bright already but especially so with my dilated eyes.