Om Namah Shivaya


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

May I introduce to you...

one of my former students, JD. He just graduated this year and will be traveling onto Northwest Missouri State University next year. His family is absolutely amazing and has done nothing but support me in everything that I do (school wise and now breast cancer fight wise). He was brave enough to shave his head to support me and plans on keeping it that way until my hair grows back. Thanks JD, I 'perciate it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Please help me get my foundation rolling...

I really don't want to become a huge bother, but I'd really like for people to actually SUPPORT my foundation instead of just telling me they're going too. Even though I do not have the artwork proofs for the Drummin' for the Cure or Kickin' it! shirts, they are ready to be ordered (bu I need 12 shirts per order to get it rolling and I'm halfway there on both). The Drummin' for the Cure picture that can be seen on this post is the basic gist for that tshirt, and the Kickin' it! can be found through the "Kickin' Cancer's A$$" link.

I don't normally beg, and I don't want to become a pest, but PLEASE if you have any inkling that you want to buy a shirt, sticks, bracelets (currently waiting on the second batch to arrive) please please PLEASE get me your money. Remember that checks need to be made out to me for now, put "Drummin' for the Cure" in the memo line so when I have my tax-exempt status I can send you a receipt.

Shirts are $15
Sticks are $15
Bracelets are $5
Coming Soon: Car Decals, and chemo blankets, and other assorted items as we come across them...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Oh achey Sunday....

will Monday be any better? I sure hope so. I don't know the last time I spent pretty much the *entire* day laid out flat on my back not wanting to move. I'm sure doing that didn't make the body aches any better, but damn I was tired and achey yesterday. Don't get me wrong, I had some short spurts of energy where I cleaned up the upstairs, did the dishes, flipped over a load of laundry, or hit the *B-A-double L* for a while but sheesh; I think I took a total of 2 or 3, 2 hour naps yesterday. The gals weren't kidding when they told me the second round of the Neulasta shot (bone marrow stimulation) could knock me flat. Dang. Today is another day, today is a new day, today will be a better day. I WILL be practicing yoga this morning (as soon as I'm done hitting the B-A-double L for the doggies and as soon as I finish my coffee. I got up early at least and went for a fast paced walk to get my joints moving and I think that's helped some.

Some good points so far, I'm not experiencing nausea like I did last time, and I don't have the raw "pukey" throat feeling that I did for the entire week last time. That's super nice; let's hope it stays that way.

One thing I know for sure...going to Drum Line rehearsal tomorrow and Wednesday is going to do me a world of good. I miss my kiddos, the sounds of the drums, and how they can just effortlessly make me forget all my problems and make me feel like the best teacher/"mother" in the world. Until tomorrow, though, I will enjoy a day of yoga, lounging at the pool and having Rachel stay with us for a few days this week. That should be great fun!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Who do we know in our lives that are "Phenomenal Wom(e)n"? I ask that you take a moment and reflect....

This is dedicated to all of the Phenomenal Women that I know in my life. Thank you for everything that you are and do for me. You are all truly Phenomenal...

Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Friday, June 25, 2010

2 down, 4 to go

Chemo #2 has come and gone and again was uneventful. Good. I'd like for it to stay that way. Okay? Thanks. 'Perciate it.


Today is also our 5th wedding anniversary. What a way to celebrate huh?

(Scene One)
Tim: "Hey Honey, whaddya wanna do for our anniversary"
Me: "Oooo, Ooooo!! I know! Let's go to Chemo!!"
Both: "Yayyyyyyyyy!" *while jumping up and down and clapping hands*

(Scene Two)
Tim: "Honey. What are we doing for our anniversary?"
Me: "Chemo #2"
Tim: "Oof."
Emily: "Yeah. Happy Freakin' Anniversary"

Tim: "Happy Anniversary, love you" *kiss*
Emily: "Happy Anniversary, love you" *kiss*
(return to eating cereal and watching TV)

How do YOU think it went down? Haha. That's what I thought.

So, anyways, we're two chemo's into this and truthfully it hasn't been "that" bad, physically. Sure it sucks that I had to shave my hair off to help make it less painful to lose it, but I am starting to think I look kinda cute; and I've had to have 3 surgeries in the span of a month or so but the drugs kept the pain at bay and I was sore for only a couple days each so that's good :) And! even though there *has* been some marked nausea and fatigue, I was able to go about my life the "week of chemo" with a modicum of success. So with that I will thank the universe for those things and bow down to its glory.

Cheers. :)

Happy anniversary honey...I love you

Five years ago, at six o'clock on this day, we said "I do" to one another. We promised to take care of one another through sickness and silliness, to love and cherish each other even when we drive one another a little batty, and of course to support one another through good times and bad. Thank you for being my rock, my supporter, my biggest champion, and my compass as we move through this journey together. I know it's scary and I know it's absurdly stupid but I thank you for being my voice of reason, keeping me sane, and loving me even though I am bald. You are the man I love and the one I will grow old with. Thank you for choosing me, and continuing to choose me. I love you.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bald is beautiful;

or so I'm being told, hahaha. I shaved my head last night, or rather my friends did it for me. I am so blessed and lucky to have such a good group of girlfriends, guy friends and of course an amazing hubby.

Everyone started coming over around 6pm to have some snackies and "liquid courage" *ha!*. We made sure to get some "before" pictures and everyone kept asking me "Are you sure it's falling out?" "Are you sure you want to do this tonight?", so I illustrated for them exactly *WHY* I wanted to do it that night by taking my side ponytail down and showing them the handful of hair that came out with the elastic band. Then to make my point even more I made sure to slowly and carefully run my hand though my hair and that wad of hair that came out definitely made everyone stand up and take notice. *wide eyed stare*

So finally 7 o'clock came and I didn't think I could procrastinate anymore. I told everyone to start moving upstairs so we could get the "festivities" of the night started, and of course that was like herding ants at a certain point but they finally all made it up.

I made my speech, thanked everyone for being there and then took the first cut. THAT was hard. I'm sure the last time I cut my own hair in such a fashion was with my mother's pinking shears when I was 5 or something like that. I had already decided that I wanted it cut into a mullet first then into a faux-hawk, then we went into more of a mohawk by shaving the sides down, then finally buzzed it all off. Everyone was yelling at me "You're so HOT!" "Oh you look so good with short hair!" "You should leave it like that! It's awesome!" and I, of course, didn't believe them. I still don't really because it's just so surreal to look at myself with no hair on my head. There's definitely going to be an adjustment period for me...

Huge thanks goes out to the following people....

My wonderful hubby Tim; on the eve of our 5th wedding anniversary (tomorrow) I want to take a moment and thank you for being my honey. Thank you for taking part in shaving my head and for telling me I still look beautiful. You were the only one that I wanted actually shaving my head and I must admit I didn't know if you were going to do it or not, so thank you very much for that. I love you to the depths of my soul and am so happy that I have you alongside me on this journey. Love you!

My bestest friend in the whole wide world, Mischa;
Thank you for listening to me cry on the phone yesterday morning as I called to tell you I decided to shave my head; and thank you even more for coming. I know it's a drive from Lawrence and it made your workday even longer but it meant the world to me that you were there *and* that you brought my beautiful goddaughter with you. Love you!

My other bestest friend in the whole wide world, Dana;
Thank you for everything. The encouraging smiles, the shoulder to cry on, for taking the first cut of my hair, for wrapping locks up in ribbon, for telling me I'm beautiful even though I know I'm kind of odd looking right now. Mostly just for being you. You're a class act and a beautiful friend. Thank you for being in my life. Love you!

My dear friend Teddy; How cool is it that you came?!?! Thank you so much for that. I'm so glad that you got to finally meet my doggies, see my house and hang out with Tim and I somewhere other than the restaurant. Thank you for shaving your head along with me as well. You're one cool dude and I'm very thankful and blessed to have you in my life. Love you!

My girlfriends Angie and Anne (and their beautiful daughters Addie and Johnna); Thank you for coming over and hanging with me before the party started. I haven't had anyone come over and play with scarves with me yet and that was just what I needed. The girls are getting *so* big I can hardly believe it. They were too cute playing with my shoes and running around the house. :) Come over anytime you want. Love you both!!!

The fabulous Stacie: Thank you so very much for coming over last night to help me take my hair off. I hope you got some good practice in with those scissors! ;) As always you are a fabulous friend and I am blessed to have you in my life. Thank you for being there, it meant the world to me. Love you!

The incomporable Heather and Jeff: Thank you, Jeff, for being brave enough to come and for manning the camera for a little while. You're an awesome dude and I'm very happy to count you among our friends. Heather!! Thank you for the wine, for being you, for being silly, making me smile, and telling me I looked good with no hair. Thank you for taking awesome pictures of the party. I truly appreciate it and am glad you're my friend. Love you both!

Rachel, Jay, Thomas, Shawna, Marilyn and Miss Myka; Thank you all so so SO very much for surprising me and coming to my party. That meant the world to me. I miss you all and miss GC but we're finding ways to get around all of that aren't we? Thanks for being crazy (Jay I *still* can't believe you shaved your head), for being fun, and for making me laugh even though I was losing my hair. You're all awesome and I can't wait to see you again. Love you all!

I hope I didn't forget anybody! Please let me know if I did! Thanks again for a wonderful night everyone. Here's to being bald and making it beautiful in the only way I can; with Stout style!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

today's a sad day for me.....

I've decided it's time to shave my head. *wide eyed stare* I know. *tear*

I woke up this morning around 5am with a pounding headache and the crown of my head feeling like it was on fire. My hair and head have been hurting for about four days now and I'm tired of it. I've also been noticing more hair coming out with each passing day and when I brushed my hair after my bath this morning the amount that came out sent me into a long prolonged sob. I cannot do this. I cannot just let it fall out willy nilly without taking charge of the situation. I can't watch that brush go through my hair each morning and have more strands come out with it. I cannot look at my hand as I bring it through my hair and come back with more hair in my fist. I can't do it.

...but I also can't shave my head...

...but I have too...


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

another scar to add to my collection....

Well I officially have a Portacatheter inside of me and percoset to take the edge off (whoo!). If you're confused, the Portacath is an easier way for me to receive my chemo treatments, and for the doctors to draw blood, etc. It's gonna be nice to not be stuck in the arms with needles now!

A big thank you to Karen (for taking me at the godawful hour of 5am) to the KU Hospital and of course to my mom and dad for bringing me home and for taking care of me all day. Thank you to Dr. Connor for being such a fabulous lady and doing such a great job, to Howard for keeping me busy with conversation during all the pre-op (and inserting my IV with such skill), to Sarah the med student for having fun with Karen and I while we waited an hour and a half for surgery, and to Theresa for being a great recovery room nurse.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tshirts are in the process...get your orders in please!!

Allrighty folks...tshirts are being professionally artworked up and once I get the email w/the artwork in it and once I approve it I'll post it so you can see what they look like.

Tshirts are $15 a piece and I need at least an order of 12 per shirt to get them going....

Tshirt 1: Kickin' It! (front) TEAM EMILY (back)

Tshirt 2: Drummin for the Cure The Stout Foundation (around a bass drum w/ribbon inside) (front) TEAM STOUT (back)

Bracelets are $5 a piece

Pink Drum Sticks are $15 a pair


If you're interested in ordering a shirt, please send me an email, facebook message, reply to this post, or text me and tell me the SIZE you're wanting, then drop the money in the mail. Checks need to be made out to me for now, but please put "Drummin' for the Cure" in the memo and once I'm officially a tax-exempt foundation I'll send you a receipt.

Please help me get this foundation up and running and raising money. Pimp out my stuff to your friends and family. Everyone needs to help the cause, and this could be a fun way for them to do so.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

I think my hair is starting to go :(

I may just be over-anticipating my hair loss but I really think it's staring to go. *sigh*

Ya know (girls) when you wear a high and tight ponytail and at the end of the day how your hair just *hurts*? Or guys, when you wear a hat all day long with your hair pulled back underneath it and when you finally take the hat off your hair just *hurts*? Well, that's what the crown of my head felt like last night; and my hair was *down* sayin'. So I think this is the start of it, which makes sense. I'm over the halfway point of the "10-20 days after your first treatment it'll start to fall out" we'll see I guess. To commemorate my hair loss journey, here is,

" I'll Miss You..."

32 years we have had, and glorious ones at that.
From mall bangs, spiked bangs, and side-swept,
pixie cuts, long lengths, to bobs in-between
Dark brown underneath, to golden shine on top
you've been my friend.

We started rockin' the layers and then the curls
hot rollers, curling irons, blow dryers and two junior high perms;
Hair goop, mousse, hair spray, teasers, bobby pins,
we've done it all.

You're hurting now and that sucks
The taste of drugs makes you want to go away
I understand even though I may cry
We've had a long relationship, you and I
I never thought we'd have to end it

Damnit...I need a minute...

But you'll come back and how glorious it will be
when we get to see each other again, you and me,
and we'll start our love affair up again.

'Till then...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm reminded how this cancer has stopped my life to an extent...

I can't get pedicures or manicures until I'm done with chemo, and it's such a pain in the arse to do it yourself,

I can't eat at a buffet until I'm done at chemo (although I must admit that outside of GC's Sunday Brunch and Mandarin Chinese's buffet I'm not really a fan of them anyways),

I can't go to public pools until I'm done with chemo, which by that time I'll be done with pool's anyways. Thank goodness our next door neighbor, Pete, has a pool and lets me use it whenever I want!! *I gotta buy him a six pack...don't let me forget* :)

I have to avoid large crowds so places like movie theaters, worlds of fun, concerts are probably not a good idea,

and I missed my childhood best friend's wedding. Laura and Dan were married on Monday and I wasn't there to see it. I was supposed to leave on the 5th with my folks and drive to Portland where we were to meet up with my sister and brother-in-law a week before the wedding to just hang out and have fun. There was also some wedding business to attend to because my mom made Laura's gown, and my bil and sis were the photographers ( check them out, they're damn good at what they do).

This was really going to be the first vacation I'd taken in a couple of years. The last one was a couple of spring breaks ago when I went to hang with Julie and Kurtis for a week. I was really looking forward to it then *BAM* all this cancer BS comes raining down. I even thought for weeks that we'd still be able to go. "Surely we can start chemo after I get back...on the 15th". hahaha! Uh, no. So I wrapped my head around the fact that I wasn't going to be able to go to Portland and see Laura (who was really like the little sister I never had...don't know if she ever knew that or not) get married and was okay with it. Then I had to miss her trip to Lawrence for her dress fitting. *damn* That sucked. I'd come to terms with letting GC go, letting going to the wedding go, and was looking forward to going to Lawrence for the day to see her, catch up on old times and "Drink Tea and play Washingtonopoly" *smile*, then fate stepped in and said "No, you cannot go!"

So I got over that, then I started getting picture messages from my sister from the wedding. Today I followed a link on facebook, to some pictures of her wedding taken by a friend of theirs. She is an absolutely stunning bride and I really wish that I could have been there to see her get married. I wish that I could have shared in their joy as a family; they were a second family to me growing up. I wish I could have met her husband, seen them interact and watched her face light up with joy at the mention of his name.

I know that we lost touch once I went to college and followed life down my path while she followed life down hers, but...she's still Laura. She's still that girl who would play mermaids with me in their pool, playact a seance in the dark, and drink Jolt cola till we thought we'd vibrate off the floor while playing Dungeons and Dragons for, what, 24 hours straight? *I'm sure the amount of Jolt cola we drank during that adventure has jittered my memory of it, ha!* She's the one I worked with at Free State Brewery who showed me a different side of life and taught me to let go. She was the one who came running with ice cream and hugs when Greg and I broke up in college and I thought my world had ended. She has grown into a wonderful, beautiful woman who is surrounded by people who love and cherish her. I'm just sorry I had to miss it. Damn cancer. ;)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Hit Da Groove"

I give you our very first run through of one of our new cadences for this year. This is an attempt, by me, to mesh together two very different styles, two different ways of acting, two different mindsets, two different ideas of discipline from two very different Drum Lines. While I know this run through is rough around the edges and we have a lot of work ahead of us to polish it up; I hope you see the amount of potential that is there, and I hope that it makes you smile and maybe bob your head a bit to the beat. Enjoy. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

a *HUGE* shout-out to the following people!!!

for helping get this first batch of wristbands. :) Many many thanks and love go back to you!!

Kathy Pryor & Jim Peterson
Linda Hope
Mark Reaney
Charla Jenkins
Dennis & Karen Christilles

If you would like to purchase one they are $5 a piece. If I have to ship it far away please include an extra buck or two for shipping. The funds raised from these bracelets are going towards the money it will cost to start the foundation. Thanks for any support!!!

a notification on Facebook that I'd been tagged in a photo led me to this...

There are no words for me to describe how I feel about this...No words...

Friday, June 11, 2010

BRACAnalysis genetic test, my results and what it all means...

Well fudgebuckets. It came back positive. Damn.

What I'm talking about is the BRACAnalysis test. This is the genetic test that women who have a history of breast cancer (or ovarian) in their family should take because it will tell you whether or not you are genetically predisposed to the breast cancer (or ovarian cancer) gene. Wouldn't you know it that mine came back positive. *Mother Trucker!*

Why does this irritate me you ask? Because not only does this mean that I have a higher risk of developing breast cancer AGAIN down the road, *but* I now have the wonderful opportunity to develop ovarian cancer down the road as well.

*shakes head* I swear I should've had kids years ago cause then this wouldn't be a major issue now...geez.

Really though, I guess truthfully *everyone* has the same "risk" of developing cancer because cancer doesn't discriminate. t doesn't say "You're blonde, brown eyed, in good health...yeah I'm gonna pick YOU!" Sure there are indicators that might make you more prone to it (STILL ticked off at the universe for that one since I take good care of myself, eat right, exercise, etc...trying to do all the things that should ward off cancer but NOooooo....oh no....of course not) but really everyone can have it invade their body. SO, I guess in a way that it's a *good* thing that this test came back positive because now all my doctor's will actively monitor those important parts of my body more closely for the rest of my life (or until they're removed) and that's key for early detection for ovarian cancer. It's not like you can do "Monthly self-ovarian tests" to check for lumps ya know?

It's just...*sigh* just sucks because now not only are we facing a more likely double mastectomy w/reconstruction (although the idea of new knockers with tattooed nipples that insurance pays for is kind of enticing *wiggles eyebrows*), but now Tim and I really have to face the fertility issue. Do we have an ovary removed, frozen, then put back at a later date and hooked up praying that it works? Or, do we stimulate my ovaries *now*, harvest those eggs, blend them w/Tim's sperm making an embryo cocktail, then freeze those to implant later?! OR....(oh yes there's another choice of course), do we just "Let Go, and Let God" and hope that somewhere in this whole mess there is a plan that he has devised and if I would just "Let Go, and Let God" then he'll steer us along that path and everything will work out in the end?

Then these questions enter my mind (and I know they've entered Tim's a well)

*What if we undergo these really expensive fertility preservation treatments/experiments (because the ovary removal is still in the experimental stage) only to have it NOT work? How can I, how can WE put ourselves, our families, and our checkbooks through something like that that only has a 20-50% chance of working anyways?

*What if we undergo all of these really expensive treatments only to find out that *HAHA, just kidding!* I'm not able to have kids in the first place anyways, or Tim's not able to...whatever take your pick.

*What if we DON'T and our chance slips away?

*What if we DO, it WORKS, but then we're all in even more debt than before? I don't know if I could handle that. I really don't.

*What if fate/God/the divine spirits that reside above just don't have it in the cards for us to have our own kid(s). What if we're meant to adopt? What if we're meant to foster? What if we're meant to be the really cool aunt and uncle our whole lives? What if Buck and Lilly are it for us?

Please do not misunderstand...I do want to experience pregnancy. I want to be that cute pregnant girl, want to feel the miracle of life grow inside me, want to see my bell expand to a size I've never seen before. I want my kids at school to get all excited about me having a little baby. I want to see Tim as a dad. I want to see me as a mom. I want to give his parents a grandchild especially since Tim's an only child! I want to give my parents another grandchild...Hell, I thought our next medical journey would be a darn baby! I really thought that's how I'd get to be the princess for 9 months....hahaa, yeah...about that...instead I get to be the princess because of cancer. *sticks tongue out, points thumb down...pbft*

*sigh* I guess all we can do is to just listen to the advice of our doctors and follow what's inside our hearts because in the end that's all anyone can do.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

*big smile*

Well here they are folks! The first installment of the combined district's high school's Drum Line under the direction of yours truly. *tips hat and smiles*

May I introduce the Golden Eagle Drum Line 2010-2011!!!!!!! *roar of the crowd*

On Snare Drum we have Bianca, Diante, Elgin, and Forrest!
On Bass Drum we have John, Sean, Jeff, Paul, and Tevin!!!
On the mighty Quints we have Mitchell and Kiestan; and on the Cymbal line we have Kris, Marcel, Darren, Diante, and LeAundre......*ahhh, ahhh, roar of the crowd**

Stay tuned throughout my journey for updates on this group right here. They are going to be key to my success in all of this. I have my sights set high for them, but theirs are probably higher. I have great expectations of them, but I *know* theirs are greater. They're gonna do me proud this year... :)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Feelin' "Half a Bubble Off", as my hubby would say...

Well I made it through my first weekend of Chemo. All in all it was not near as traumatic as I thought it was going to be, no reactions to the chemo meds, and I really hope it stays that way. If all I have to deal with is some slight nausea, some fatigue and one day of body aches from the Neulasta shot, I'm okay with that. What I'm not okay with is this "Half a bubble off" feeling that I've had all day. Like I'm moving through water. Hard to concentrate, hard to discern what the matter is...hard to tell if it's an after effect of chemo/Neulasta OR just the regular summer time bio-rhythm schedule adjustment period. Whatever it is I don't care for it.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty good, went for my walk/jog (no dogs this time...couldn't handle an all out sprint w/them hahahha!) then just moseyed around the house for a while. It was about the time I realized I needed to eat breakfast that I started feeling weird. Thinking breakfast would help things, I had my delicious protein shake (chocolate today) and took all my vitamins then decided instead of laying around the house all day (because that's what I did Fri-Sun) I'd go to Lawrence to hang out with the fam, have lunch, see Thomas...ya know, the good stuff of life.

Too bad my weirdo feeling followed me all the way to Lawrence because
I really had a big hankering for some queso dip and an ice cold beer from Free State when I left our house, but by the time I got there I just wanted an ice tea and a nap. *Weird*. It was good to see everyone, Thomas is as monkey-ish as ever, and it still feels slightly like home when I walk in that building (Hi Shannon! It was great too see you :). After lunch I crashed at mom and dad's for an hour or so hoping to banish the weird feeling but no such luck. It has followed me home. Granted, it's not as bad as it was, but that half bubble just won't go away! *Grrrr*

Hopefully some relaxing at home and some yoga later will restore my equilibrium to normal...or perhaps getting back into a swing of some normalcy w/some Drum Line rehearsals this week will do the trick. Who knows. Either way I want it to go away!!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Anti-bacterial soap, hand sanitizer..and some random thoughts

Yvonne and Dr. Sharma told us all to become "religious" about washing our hands; especially me. I swear I've never washed my hands this much in a day and I wonder if that was just a gross thing to say. Don't get me wrong, I always washed at the appropriate times (cooking, bathroom, etc...) but to wash after every time I pet a dog/cat, or especially yesterday when I did some medical work on the cat (something beat him up and I had to be his momma and clean him up). It's just weird. You'd think that my hands would be super dry and cracked right now but they're not! Crazy.

Feeling a slight bit nauseous this morning. Took the dogs for a walk, which turned into a sprint at times...hahahha!! They're so funny. They love to go with me, but just can't go fast enough at times ya know? At least they listen to me when I tell them what to do instead of dropping me to my knees cause they want to bark at other doggies along the way.

Have a long and glorious day ahead of me. Some yoga is going to come up shortly here, then I think my girlfriends Stacie w/the twins, and Bonnie are going to come hang with me at my neighbor's pool. Here's hoping for a beautiful day!!!

Drum Line rehearsal starts up on Tuesday. Here's hoping I'll still be feeling normal enough to go whip those kiddos into shape! We've got a LOT LOT LOT to do!!!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


So I finally decorated my "Chemo Eve" tree. I know it's crazy, but that's me so you should be used to it. Amazingly enough these fantastic shoes showed up on Chemo Eve from our dear friends Bob and Britney, and their kiddos Evie and Luke (I'm convinced Bob picked them out ;)

Thank you for your love and support guys. Love ya!!

Day 2 of Chemo and the Neulasta shot....still waiting...

for the other shoe to drop; not that I really want it too. I can't help but wonder if each cycle will be just like this where I fell pretty much normal with just some slight "am I nauseous because of the chemo or because I'm really hungry" well, when I eat I feel better...hmmmm....*shrugs*

Today was the day of the Neulasta shot. The purpose of this shot is to simulate my bone marrow to keep my blood counts up so the risk of infection stays down. I'm still waiting for the "deep bone pain" to set in. Jim and Karen (my in-laws) took me to the cancer center to get my shot today. That was so kind of them. :) I showed off my potted plants to them when they came over to get me and they ooh'd and ahh'd over my shoes (thanks Bob and Britney! I promise pictures to come soon!), Karen even took pictures later *giggle*

Jim had me "navigate him" down to the cancer center, which I did now without even really thinking about where we had to turn...definitely getting used to that route. :/ We made it in good time through the mess that is I-35 South right now; that's quite the interesting bridge they are building don't ya think? We got into the cancer center and I gave them a quick rundown of the floors I'd been on. They thought it was a very nice building with good views, and interesting chairs (that one bench in the chemo treatment suite is quite interesting, I should take a picture of it).

I got called back to wait for the nurse and all the ladies ooh'd an ahh'd over my shoes! haahaahha! The lovely nurse came in and showed me a *very* big wasn't so much a long needle, it was bigger around...*shudders*. "This'll be a big stick and will probably hurt a little but I'll push it in slow so maybe that'll help."


That sucker hurt and it kind of burned but felt cold at the same time, and it seemed to take for-evvveerr. *Sheesh!* But then before I knew it it was done & finished and I was walking out with one last compliment on my Bob & Britney cancer kickin' shoes ;)

Thanks for taking me Jim & Karen and a special thank you for the tenderloins! They were fantastic!!!

Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure: Sunday August 8th

Find your information here for signing up for the Race for the Cure. We can make teams, raise money and participate in the tshirt contest.

I have set up a team to register for..... Drummin' for the Cure: Team Emily

Join me this year in racing for the cure, raising money, and entering the tshirt contest!!! Sure to be a great time. Forward this address to any of your family or friends, coworkers or colleagues that might want to participate. It's for sure gonna be a moving experience.

Friday, June 4, 2010


So my friend, Cristin Blunt, and I were talking about my blog one day in the copy room at school. She then asked me "Do you like to write?" "Are you a good writer?" "I like what I've read on your blog"..."Uh, well...yeah, I guess, I've never really thought about it before". An hour or so later I had an email forwarded to me from Cristin talking about the new magazine, "ShhGirl!" that is supposed to be hitting the stands soon (if it hasn't already). She asked if I'd like to be a contributor to the magazine in the health and fitness area of life. *Sure!* I replied (although I have NO idea what it is I'm doing except just putting my thoughts down on paper...I hope it works out).

So I sent off my first article to the editor this morning. It's all about Bikram Yoga (or Hot Yoga as it's more commonly known). Look for it in the magazine when it comes out with my picture!


Taxotere/Carboplatin cocktail anyone? I'll give you an Ativan/Benadryl chaser for free!

First day of Chemo is here and aside from being a little sleepy at the moment, I'm feeling pretty darn good. Chillaxed back in the chair w/my breast cancer chemo blanket on my lap courtesy of Jennifer *thanks! i LOVE it!*, my hubby by my side, and "Deadliest Catch" on the boob-tube.

Sue, my nurse for the day, is fabulous and she looks like Maggie. I think Maggie heard me when I asked her to send someone to watch over me...maybe she's inside Sue; who knows. It's comforting to see her face though and have her tell me everything's going to be just fine. Thank you for that.

The Taxotere is almost done, and thankfully I have not had a reaction to it...yet...I don't really even feel any different yet. I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting to just be able to sit here and tap away on my computer like it's just the normal thing I do every day. Yet I am sure that will change at some point.

Up next after the Taxotere is the Carboplatin cocktail. It has components of platinum in it...maybe my teeth will turn silver and I'll have *real* grill instead of the fake one I bought to freak the kids out! hahahah!!! oh to dream...cause I'm still upset that I didn't have *any* type of glow after my nuclear medicine shots. ;)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's Chemo Eve!!! What do I get?!?!?!

It's "Chemo Eve" everybody! Hurry up and look under the tree for the presents, er, pills...oh damn.

*sigh* This all got really real didn't it...No more thinking about it, talking about it, wondering about it. It's now time to step through that door and really begin this journey.

I just took my first official chemo drug...Decadron (sp?). It's to prevent fluid retention around my heart and lungs. I start taking it with dinner the night before chemo, then stop with breakfast on Sunday morning. I also start taking Zantac twice daily and a huge amount of B-6 once a day tomorrow evening.

Then there's the Ativan, which is the first nausea med, then after that is the second nausea drug which has a little more "oomph" to it, then if that one doesn't work there's the third one which is super powerful. Don't forget the Cumidan when the port is put in, OH! and *how* can we forget the Neulasta shot Saturday morning which will make me feel as if I've been "hit by a truck" (Yvonne's word's), and will bring on "deep bone pain" (her words again) Saturday evening. Joy.

*shakes hands at you*
I know, I're jealous right? *smirk* I knew it. I knew you were *winks*

Seriously though, it did just get really real. This really is happening. I really am going to go through chemotherapy...I really am going to lose my hair...I really am going to have to take a step back from my life for while yet still figure out a way to be a good wife, teacher, friend, and "mother" to buck and in goodness name is this all going to work out? Am I going to be able to still keep a modicum of normalcy and sanity all at the same time?

***excuse me*** I just had to have that moment. I know somehow, someway by the grace of all that's good, and with the love and support of Tim, my family and friends, colleagues and students, and of course with my attitude towards the whole thing that I'll fly through and come out on the other side better for it.

I'm still sad I'll lose my hair though. I'm not gonna lie. Ha!

Breast biopsy, MRI's, and taking naps

I got the wonderful chance to go back into the MRI machine the other day for an abdomen MRI. It was just like the previous time with the emergency broadcast system going off all around me. I asked the guy WHY is it so loud? Something to do with the water neutrons/protons being lined up in my body and the noises making sure everything is communicating. Hmmm...interesting. Hopefully that test comes back saying it is just a cyst on my liver and nothing to worry about.

After my abdomen MRI I went down the hall for my lymph-node biopsies. Rosie the wonderful nurse came and got me and asked me how I was doing. "I'm nauseous because I'm very hungry" I said. "Why didn't you eat?" she asked me. "Because I was told not too before the abdomen MRI and I haven't had time". "OH!" she said, "Do you like dried fruit? Juice? Crackers?" "I'll take anything you can give me right now Rosie, but what I'd really like is a cup of coffee". DONE. She ushered me into a room and came back with water, juice, crackers, dried fruit, and a fabulously hot cup of coffee. I felt immensely better after that small snack.

After a while they took me into the procedure room. It was interesting knowing I was going to be awake the entire time for this procedure. I've never been awake for a procedure before. The radiologist came in with his student doctor (who was quite handsome by the way), everyone was introduced and they asked me all the questions again...

"What's your name", "What's your understanding as to why you are here", "What breast are we operating on", etc, etc, etc....I love the fact that they are so thorough in checking their information but it can get a bit annoying when you've answered all those questions 3 times in an hour; BUT, better to be safe than sorry I suppose!

So, the first thing they did was sonogram the spot in the breast (930 o'clock, 8cm from the nipple for those of you who are interested) to look at the lymph-node first. They decided it still needed to be biopsied so away we went. Lots of lidocane (sp?) under the skin, in the muscle, in the tissue, etc..., then an iodine swab over the area they were going to biopsy. Then I got the fabulous blue drape over the top, all the while my right shoulder was killing me, ahhaha....never thought it'd be so strenuous to keep my arm above my head for any length of time. So, they probed away and took the tissue sample out of the breast lymph-node with something that looked and sounded like a dentist's drill. Ew.

Then they brought Rosie back in to dress that area and give my arm a break. We had a very pleasant conversation about dogs. She's a lab lover as well...hope I get to see the pictures she keeps promising to show me soon!

After that pleasant break, the doctors came back in to sonogram the armpit lymph-node. "That area looks pretty good today." What does that mean, I ask..."Well, this lymph-node was "borderline" last time you were in, which is why we wanted to biopsy it; BUT, it looks just fine today and if we don't have to put you through an unnecessary procedure we won't". So they sonogrammed around the area for a while, then decided they didn't need to biopsy that lymph-node which was fabulous news. :)

Mom and Dad came to pick me up and take me home, where I showed off all the beautiful scarves given to me by my girlfriends (pictures to come later) and talked about what I was going to do for the day. I had grand plans to lay out at my neighbors pool but after devouring a bowl of chicken noodle soup and some crackers w/butter I fell into a 3 hour nap with the doggies then just moseyed around the house cleaning up. I think that was just what my body needed. :) (see people I *do* know how to listen to my body ;)

I'm still hoping for some pool time today. We'll see how that all works out.

"Belated Birthday Bash, Kickin' Cancer's A$$ Party"

What a fun fun time. Here I was thinking I'm just putting together a dinner party for me and my girlfriends...I should've known better since Bonnie was involved. :)

Never have I been more touched than I
was the other night. Walking into Kona, seeing the balloons, the yell of "SURPRISE!", the smiles, hugs, and tears all around. What good friends I have.

Here's the cast of characters and my thanks to them

KC Girls:
*Bonnie: Thank you thank you thank you!!!! The premier party-planner!! What a beautiful, wonderful time you made for me. Thank you so much for being such a great friend. Love you!!

*Stacie: I can see now how that little smirk you had on your face when talking to Bonnie had to do with this surprise. You're too funny. Thank you for helping her set this up. It was absolutely fabulous. You did a great job keeping it all to yourself and not once did you give anything away. Thanks for being such a great friend. Love you!!

*Heather: My chaffeur for the night! "She's here! She's here!" Oh I hope they got that text!! hahahhaa! :) Thank you for driving me and for letting me be the "happy drunk" on the way home. I haven't been that happy in a really long time. Love you!

*Angie: You are a fabulous friend. Thank you for the beautiful scarves and for keeping everything neatly packed and organized for me. We need to have a cherry limeade night here soon. Love you!

*Anne: You are a fabulous friend as well and an expert organizer! Thank you for putting everything away nice and neat for me. You and Angie made my OCD happy the next day. Love you!

*Sarah: Holy carp girl! That yoga practice made me SO freaking sore the next day but I loved it. Thank you for taking the time to practice with me (sorry we didn't get to do it the next two days but alas my right boobie is very tender and sore right now), and for taking the time out of your busy visit to come to my party. I look forward to seeing you again and practicing yoga with you again! I'll breathe more for you next time I swear!! ;) Love love love!!!

GC Girls:
*Dana: We finally got to kiss! Woot! Woot! Thank you for the beautiful COACH scarves ("Shut your mouth! You did not!!"), and for everything you have done and will do for me in the future. You are a fabulous friend and I am so grateful you are in my life. Love you!

*Rachel: You are a beautiful woman inside and out. Thank you for being such a great friend to me, I appreciate it. Can't wait to have you hang with us for a week (and you'll have to tell me when you're coming again because I've forgotten again ;) Love you!

*Meredith (and Kevin heeheehee): Thank you so very much for coming to my party. The scarf is beautiful and you are too. Keep up with the hot yoga girl so I can join you when I'm finished with chemo. Remember that if you can do that you can do anything! It will do nothing but good things for you. Love you!

*Shawna: Thanks so much for coming Shawna! That was a wonderful surprise to see you there. Can't wait to see the beautiful scarf you have for me. I'll see you at GC soon to have a drink or two. Love you!

Cerner Girls:
*Tami, Krista, Candis, Melissa, Nikki, Wendy, and Bonnie: You are all fabulous women. I thank each and every one of you for bringing me into your group of friends. Helping Bonnie plan this party, being there, the lovely scarves, the PLANT (which I re-potted yesterday and put in it's new home) the plant...the ribbons, balloons, cake,'re all fabulous women. Thank you again for the support and prayers you are sending and will continue to send my way. Love you all!!!

My bestest friend in the whole wide world:
*Mischa: Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to be there. For making the drive from Lawrence, and for having Chris watch the kids. Sometimes it's still so hard for me to believe that we've been friends for 18years; craziness. You're the bestest friend a girl could ask for and I love you tremendously. I'm going to stop now before I make either of us cry. "Goodnight sweetheart, well it's time to go....." Love you!

My fabulous school husband and his awesome girlfriend:

*Brad and Leslie: Thank you so much to the two of you for coming. Brad, you have been my most constant friend at Hickman though my years there and I love you more every day for that. Leslie, you are an awesome person and I have thoroughly enjoyed the couple of times we have gotten to hang out together. I am so very thankful that you have entered Brad's life; it's about damn time he had an awesome girl to love him. Thank you both for the beautiful scarf and for the support and prayers you are sending my way as I take this journey. I look forward to many more hangouts. Love love love!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!! Love you all!!!!! Muah!