Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It Is Finished

Well there was no big celebration to send me on my way. The nurse did do a "chemo is over" dance for me and made me join in. We also went out for a yummy lunch of seafood Mexican. And I was definitely not heart broken to be walking out of the chemo room for the last time (the radiation side of the building has better snacks). I do wish I could say I am super happy tonight but while I am glad to be finished, the heinous hiccups from hell are already here to make sure I know what is coming. I'll be super happy after the weekend - or soon after.
The meeting with the oncologist went very well. I had perfect blood work yet again. He says he will be the the doctor I'll be seeing for the next five years. He put me on Tamoxifen starting tomorrow. I'll start the radiation treatments in three weeks. I can get the port out in three weeks also! And he used the word "cured".
I was really worried about the cost of the Tamoxifen since I will be taking it daily for five years. We got the presciption filled today and with my insurance co-pay they are only $15 a month. Yippee!
Did I mention I can get the port out in three weeks? And that my treatments should be finished by the end of the year? That my hair should start growing in four weeks? That I only have one more bad weekend ahead of me? That I can afford my meds? That despite all my misgivings wondering if I had the strength to get through it - that I had my last chemo treatment today!?!! OK - maybe I am super deliriously happy tonight! I at least feel pretty proud of myself. Tonight I feel like there is nothing I can't handle.

I Can't Sleep

Probably my own fault for going to bed too early. I'm lying here trying to be apathetic about the day. If I start thinking about it I get either really excited (hair!) or a little teary eyed (this weekend is going to really suck). I feel like there should be a big party or something after they yank the needle out but today is just the beginning of the end. I'll wait a few weeks for the party. I do wish that the end of chemo was the end of this adventure and I could just ride away into the sunset. I know it's going to be the hardest part of my cancer fight for me physically and hope it is the hardest part mentally. I have a bunch of questions for the oncologist this morning. Mainly - when can I start radiation, when can I have this stinkin port taken out, and when should I start taking Tamoxifen. I'm not even sure which doctor I'll be seeing in the long run. It's five in the morning out here and I can hear Dad out there starting a woodstove fire this morning. I know my parents are looking forward to the end of chemo as much as I am. Other than that first horrible weekend they have been here right next to me during the worst of it seeing me at my worst and maybe a little bit of me at my best. It could not have been easy for them and I appreciate it more than I could ever express. And thanks to all of you for all the uplifting emails and cards and prayers sent my way. Seriously this journey would be so so much harder without all of you with me. I hope I can make it up to all of you someday. Guess I should get up and give Dad some company. I do love a good fire. I hope all of you have a great day.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Sorry I haven't posted in awhile. I'm kind of just letting the last post stand. I'm ready to be done with chemo and at the same time dreading what's coming. My parents get here again tomorrow and we will give this thing one last try. I haven't quite recovered from the last treatment yet and seem to have picked up a cold I can't quite shake. I'm hoping that this one isn't any worse than the others. I won't enjoy it but I'll be able to handle it.
I did have a fun weekend though. I had some friends visiting and my face still hurts from laughing so much. Thanks Girls and Boy! Laughter really is the best medicine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I Am Exhausted

And not just physically.
It gets harder each morning to make the decision to be happy and positive during the day. And then once that decision is made, it takes me an alarmingly amount of effort these days to follow through on it. There is no reprieve from fighting cancer – at least during chemo. It is an huge physical and mental effort for me every second of every day. There is always something hurting or feeling very wrong and for me it is taking a huge mental toll. If cancer is not what I am thinking about at any given second, it is affecting what I am thinking about - either consciously or unconsciously. It’s almost easier when “I am fighting cancer” is right at the forefront of my thoughts because when it is not, it comes crashing back pretty quickly. “Yeah – I’d love to go on the trip! Oh wait I can’t right now, maybe next year”. "Let's buy candy for the kids that come by trick or treating, oh darn it that's three days after chemo I'll be curled up sick in bed". I’d give anything for just a short cancer vacation. I want to feel normal. I want to look normal. I want to think normally. And I want to do something normal while feeling/being/looking/thinking normal. It just sounds so normal. I smile and get all misty eyed even thinking about it. I know it’s a cliché but by golly when I am “cured” I am not going to take the good things in my life for granted ever again. Seriously. Like being able to breathe easily. Or having a bad hair day. Or going on a walk around the block with Maddie. Or the drive to work. Or losing my keys. Or going to the Post Office. Or phone calls from telemarketers. Or having a weekend off and not spending it in bed in pain. Or the breeze through the tree tops. Or just sitting on the edge of the canyon watching the sunset. Or, or, or and more ors. How about having a sushi dinner out with friends and being able to afford it? Now that sounds like absolute nirvana! - with a glass of wine! Yeah – I am close enough now that I can practically smell the chemo finish line. If I can just hang on for a few more weeks..... How will you recognize me in mid-November? OK – rather than I’m the only bald girl in the area? I’ll be the one with the big grin on my face.
Until then I can’t wait for the day when I don’t have to make the decision every morning to be happy and I just am.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Guest Blog

Hey Everybody!
Linda has given me the privilege of adding to her blog. She says I can't apologize for not being as witty or as smart as her writings, but I should be myself. What better way to do that in telling how much I admire her.
I admire her strength. She is going through probably the hardest thing of her life, but she is trudging through like a trooper. She may break down at times, but you'll only hear the pain in her voice, you won't hear her complain about it.
I admire her courage. Even though she knows chemo kicks her butt, she still keeps going and doing what is expected of her. It's like she knows quitting is not an option.
I admire her honesty. It is refreshing to know if you ask how she is feeling, she will tell you the truth. It is not that she wants your sorrow or pity, but she wants you to know how weird things can happen. It's almost like it is amusing to her, and she wants to share that.
I admire her openness. I assume you read her blog for the same reason I do - it's funny and thoughtful and informative. She may have started this blog to keep her facts straight for herself, but it has also been a great learning tool for the rest of us. Still, it's hard to let everyone read your innermost thoughts. I don't think I could do that.
I admire her generosity. This is the second time my husband and I have visited her since her diagnosis. Both times have been stressful or tiring. Both times she has made us feel welcome and has been a great host.
Years ago I was diagnosed with my own chronic disease. My health problems have not progressed much, but it does allow me to understand some of what she is going through. A lot of it I do not. I hope I can always keep the same strength, courage, honesty, openness and generosity as Linda has right now. So I guess that's why I admire her most - she's my hero!

Little Sister

Go Illini!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Little Sister is Visiting Today!

Yippee! Not sure what we will be doing but I'm sure there will be a big canyon and some condors involved! I have lots of work to get done before she gets here so I can take tomorrow off before she leaves on Monday morning. So I don't have time to post much today. Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Look At It This Way, You Could Have Been Hit By A Bus

Ah- the words that everyone in cancer treatment hates to hear and I got them once again yesterday. I agreed out loud like I always do “you are right being hit by a bus would have really sucked, I should count my blessings”. Inside though I was laughing. HAHA. At this time anything that wants a shot at me is going to have to get in line. I’m busy right now with two things already trying their best to kill me. On one side of the ring is cancer; a silent competitor that hadn't given me any painful side effects so far but he would love to get bigger and spread to all sorts of non-fun parts of my body. On the other side we have chemotherapy; a couple of poisons that I am choosing to drip into my body and they are right now actually slowly and painfully killing me. If I hang out with them long enough they will poison me up to and including death (I signed the waiver agreeing to it). It sometimes feels like being in the bottom of a deep dark slot canyon with both walls (one cancer, one chemo) closing in on me. I’ve done some canyoneering in the past few years and have really enjoyed it. The canyons are beautiful and dark and quiet and almost cathedral like. They test my courage on every downclimb and rappel. And this cancer /chemo canyon is all of that with a hell of a rappel and a big price tag to get into it. And I must admit it does get much darker and colder than my liking at times. But as with every other canyon I’ve been in, I have the tools I need to get out of it before the walls squash me; a long rope, a harness, a few biners, a helmet, a great team, a map, warm clothes, determination, sticky footwear, a smile, and a sense of adventure. I feel right now that this canyon is a bit too narrow and I’m getting caught between the two walls that are trying to kill me. But I know that I’ll find my way out of the canyon into the sunshine just in time for chemo and cancer to kill each other (!) and leave me the last one standing.
Then that stupid bus can have a shot at me. But I’ll be so happy to have my normal life back that I’ll be really tough to catch - and who knows it might have to find me in a slot canyon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chemo 3 Linda 0

OK so my new arch nemesis conquered me once again. I get one more shot at him and even if he beats me one last time I will win the war just be out living him. Yesterday I think was one of my worst days yet. I was in horrible pain and having a dickens of a time trying to breathe. I was at work and even got up a couple of times thinking I would have someone call the paramedics. I turned around each time though feeling silly. Mostly I was scared. I left work on time and came right home and went straight to bed. Laying down helped and getting a good night's sleep helped more. Today I'm still not feeling well but I can breathe normally so life is just golden - golden retriever, even!
Good article on CNN.com today on fighting breast cancer. I hope this link works. I've read it a couple of times and am still learning things - 7% bone loss. No doctor has mentioned that yet. I also liked one of the links in the article - circusofcancer.org seems interesting.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Another Day - Another Day

Hi Everyone - checking in again. I worked today and seemed to be better as the day went on. Still tired and sore. Got off work at 5:30 and hurried home to eat and go to bed. I was exhausted. But as you can see - here it is 9:30 and I'm still up. I've taken both a pain pill and a sleeping pill and tried laying here for hours - nothing, still up. Watching "Amazing Wedding Cakes" and blogging. sigh... Very frustrating to me that I can be this sleepy but can't sleep. Of course 7:00am tomorrow I'll be sound asleep but will need to get up (Ok won't have to get up until 7:30, one nice thing about not having hair!). Not much else to say - I seem to get writer's block in the throes of chemo. Maybe I'll be more verbose tomorrow.
I did get a sad email today. A lady named Dorit Shapiro lost her brave fight with stage IV breast cancer yesterday. You can see a tribute for her at www.designhergals.com. The video is on on the lower left of the web page - she gave the speech just last week and you can listen to her talk about her struggle and the charity she works with - the gal to gal foundation. She was 38.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Chemo Sucks

OK - here I am restating the obvious. It hit me earlier and harder with this session. I only made it to work for about an hour today. I hate being so weak (mentally and physically) that I couldn't stay there longer but I just started to feel so badly that I was pretty worthless and wasn't going to get anything done. I was hoping it would get easier for me instead of harder but maybe I'll get over it faster this time. The pain is definitely the hardest part. I just can't describe it and it makes it even hard to concentrate as I type this. When I'm feeling good between treatments I forget how hard this is. When I am in the middle of this, it's hard to remember what it is like to feel fine. Anyway, just checking in. I'm going back to feeling sorry for myself and hoping I am able to sleep some this weekend. It must be quite the disease I'm fighting to go through this. Just call me a Cancer Warrior Princess. I plan to kick it's butt so I never have to go through this again. (well except for one more chemo session but after that never again!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's Been Three Months Since My Diagnosis

Time has gone both quickly and slowly. Three months seems both like a long time and like a very short time. I'm definitely experiencing a new normal. Cancer changed me physically. I have four new scars that I see every time I look in the mirror. I have a big dent from the lumpectomy. I am still numb in my arm pit and the back of my arm which I am still finding very annoying. I have a bump where the port is and a scar at the top of my neck that is visible with about everything I wear. Cancer has changed me financially. I would be doing pretty well right now but the bills have piled up so quickly that I am not sure every one will be paid on time. It's going to make the next couple of years a struggle anyway. Cancer has changed me emotionally and mentally. While I am emotionally exhausted from the struggle I feel like I am getting mentally stronger every day. It's made it much easier for me to see what is important in my life and I've been better able to appreciate the things in my life that are important to me and make me a better person. And I've been strong enough to make the choices needed to remove things from my life that don't deserve to be here and were not helping me be the person I can be. Cancer has brought me closer to my family and friends and has helped me see what phenomenal people there are that surround me, care for me, and love me. I am truly blessed and I hope I can some day I can return the sentiments. Cancer has also made my universe very narrow. I work and I come home. I feel like the world is turning out there without me but I know right now I have to focus on myself and all the things I want to experience and participate in will just have to wait a few months. I'll be back before too long.
It's been a hard day. I am emotionally and physically tired. I don't think I did a very good job recuperating between session two and three or maybe being run down is just the nature of the beast as you continue on in the treatment. The pain and mental fogginess seem to be hitting sooner this time. I'm hoping a good night's sleep will help. It's made me melancholy this evening.
And my beautiful favorite niece of my heart - I don't blame you for not wanting hair like mine. This time I want hair like yours! I think you should have your Mom seal you up in a box and mail you out here. HeeHeeHee!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pink Pink Everywhere

Outside Cancer Center - yeah like we aren't already aware, but I did get free pink stuff; a bandana, some pink ribbon temporary tatoos, candy, and a pink tennis ball for Maddie!
Just like earlier picture from first chemo session minus hair plus hat.

Before the tears started..
I just saw on the news that the White House is lit up in pink tonight to commemorate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Wow. Every store I walk in and most of the ads I see in women's magazines has pink stuff everywhere. A lot of the breast cancer blogs and message boards have breast cancer survivors who aren't too happy with all the pink stuff. I'm not sure what I think about it. Part of me is like - hey, I'm in a cool club and we have such a pretty color and I'm glad that so much $ is being used to promote awareness and research for a cure. On the other hand like I have previously noted the color pink seems a bit pretty and fun to represent the realities of breast cancer. Plus these days I personally am obviously pretty aware and seeing pink M&Ms, pink shampoo, pink shoes, pink mouth wash, pink ribbons on printer paper, a pink ribbon on contact solution, pink pages in Shape magazine, pink teddy bears, pink flowers, pink gum, pink pens with motivation sayings (strength to go on), etc, etc, etc only make me more aware than I want to be while shopping. And it seems like some of the companies are just jumping on the bandwagon to make money for themselves. And where is the $ they collect going to - which groups - are they good ones? I also don't remember this much pink last year - maybe I am just noticing it more this year (ya think?). I'll have to think on it a bit more but I guess it's got to be a good thing despite my personal discomfort. And for a full disclosure I did buy the pink motivational pen, the pink teddy bear, and the pink daisies. :)
We got there on time this morning but everything seemed to be slow. Didn't get out before 3pm. Lots of waiting for doctors and nurses. But got a great chocolate chip cookie! To show that for all my talk letting you think that I'm all sunshine and rainbows, I spent a good half hour in the chair sobbing. My parents left for a bit and I don't know what hit me but all of a sudden there were tears everywhere. I guess it was exhaustion, missing work again when I have a million things to do, fear of the future, and who knows what else. I felt bad - the place was packed and I was desperately trying to stop crying before my parents got back. I think I scared my favorite nurse but then she's probably used to it. My blood work came back perfect again. I am blessed with this. The girl sitting a couple of seats away from me is in her early thirties and she just had to have a blood transfusion because of her low white blood cells. My grandmother's cousin was there again and I enjoyed hearing him tell stories about her and my grandfather when they were young. He said that my grandmother was feisty and that my grandfather has always been his hero because of the type of person Grandpa is. He called him his "Roy Rogers". Then I introduced my parents to Thai food. Well, I tried anyway. They ordered sweet and sour chicken and orange chicken. I'll take them to a place a little more authentic next time. Feeling OK tonight - just a little off like usual. I'll see how tomorrow goes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Here We Go Again

Chemo "treatment" number three tomorrow. I'm not as upbeat as I was for the last one. I'm just tired and wiped out this time I guess. I'd almost look forward to spending next weekend flat on my back in bed except for the pain. It's nothing I can't handle though. I hope the nurse remembers this time to numb my port before she sticks me with that huge needle. And I hope that I don't get the awful painful hiccups on Wednesday again. I thought they were a fluke the first time around but they happened again the day after the second time also. I've taken to calling them the Heinous Hiccups from Hell. Another side effect that has bothered me each time is the numbness in my hands and legs. I read tonight on one of the bulletin boards that there is something I can take for it so I'll ask my oncologist about that. My parents are here again so I have great company for the week. I don't get my blood drawn until 9am so we get to sleep in a little in the morning. I'm packing a book, my iPod shuffle, and a bunch of orange juice. And if I remember a blanket. Getting to be old hat at the chemo thing - no longer nervous, just resigned.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

I Had A Nice Day

I actually got out and did some hiking today. Not a lot - less than two miles - but a pretty big accomplishment for me these days. I am going to be sore tomorrow but it will be a good sore, one that I earned.
Tomorrow I get ready for chemo round three. I'll start drinking lots and lots of water and will start taking the anti-swelling pills in the evening. I will probably have to work a long day again but being busy will be better then having time to worry if I'll lose to chemo yet again by a TKO.
BTW - I know that I really over simplified the choices made by cancer patients with yesterday's blog. I want to make sure everyone realizes that I am by no means an expert on anything really and can only document what's going on with me and can just speculate on what is going on with others who find themselves in this predicament. I didn't even get into the choices that have to be made about the types of chemo drugs that can be taken, the choices made on which medical bills get paid this month and which don't, the choice of what day of the week to have treatment, the choice of which doctor to go to and when, the choice of who to tell and how to tell them that you have breast cancer, the choice of how to respond to a stranger staring at you, etc, etc, etc. It has been frustrating to me to have to make these choices while not being able to think clearly. Cancer seems to give you all sorts of choices while taking so many away.
But that's neither here nor there tonight - I feel great from finally getting out and exploring, and hiking, and being proud of myself, and having a great all around day. Boy did I need it and I feel ready to face whatever is coming this week.

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Being diagnosed with cancer brings all sorts of choices into your life.
The first choices are what to do for "treatment". I guess one choice would be to do nothing. Or another would be to avoid mainstream doctors and do non-traditional treatments. Or do both conventional and holistic treatments. One thing you learn fast as you try to choose what to do is that there are very few "if then" statements in cancer "treatment". It would be great if a doctor could say "if you do this then you will be OK" instead you get a lot of "if maybe then" statements "if you do chemo, maybe then you will be OK". I've been reading a couple of the breast cancer message boards since I was diagnosed and women really agonize over their treatment choices. Once you hear the words "it's cancerous" your choices are many and all of them suck.
Once you decide to go with mainstream treatments, your first choice is what type of surgery you want, lumpectomy or mastectomy. With a lumpectomy comes radiation also. My doctor told me that my survival rate with both is about the same. I'm not a big fan of hospitals or doctors or pain so I naturally leaned towards the lumpectomy choice. It is less invasive with no extra reconstruction surgeries needed. I also was pretty sure it would be cheaper which when your life is on the line seems like a stupid reason to not do something but I'm guessing money plays a big role in a large percent of treatment decisions in the US. Christina Applegate on the other hand chose to have a double mastectomy based on her family history and results of DNA tests she took. I'm sure many other things went into her decision also that she hasn't shared with the general public. Now did either of us make the right choice for ourselves? We will never know. Even if we have a recurrence or if we don't have a recurrence, who is to say it would or wouldn't have happened anyway.
Now if the cancer is caught early, there is no sign of it having spread, and test results come back favorably then the surgery / radiation choice might be about it for treatment decisions. Then there are all sorts of post cancer lifestyle decisions to make but that's a whole other topic. Hopefully I'll get to that point and we can all have a discussion about my aversion to veggies.
But for me and for many like me, we are given the choice of undergoing chemo. While in the end this wasn't a hard choice for me, it was an agonizing choice. The list of possible side effects to chemo is really really long and has nothing good on it. In fact when you start chemo they have you sign a release that has the line "I understand that it is not possible to anticipate all side effects." It then goes on to a list of the worst side effects it can cause up to and including death. It also says "I understand that no guarantee or assurance has been made as to the results of chemotherapy and that it may not cure, control or improve this condition". So, not only can the treatment kill me, it might not even help me with the cancer thing at all. What kind of choice is that? Angel Nurse Nancy told me before the first meeting with my oncologist that he would be giving me a rate of survival percentage if I do chemo. She said that I needed to decide at what percent I would or would not do the treatment. Well, when you haven't had chemo before and have only heard about how hard it is plus knowing it might not help at all, it's hard to make that decision. I tried to decide at what percent I would not do chemo. 20%, 15%, 10%, 1%, .1%? It's your life you are deciding upon. Well, I love my life (but really so does everyone else so I'm not saying if you chose not to do chemo that you don't love your life but that's how I saw it for my decision) and I having not been in chemo before I couldn't imagine it would be worse than dying so I made the personal choice that unless he said chemo would not help me at all I was going to do it. Well, my percent came out at around 10%. If I was to undergo chemo treatments my odds of having the cancer return would be cut by 10%. That number seemed huge to me - of course I would take 12 weeks of chemo over increasing my chances of a recurrence by 10%. But that was me. For the pain, cost, time, and all the other bad things with it 10% might seem like a small percent to others in my position. Now that I am half (!!!) way through chemo would I make the same choice? You Betcha!! Six weeks from now or if the cancer does come back, will I still say that? I don't know. I've read about many many women who have had a higher percent than that and not do chemo and I've read about many many women who have had lower percents and did do chemo. Once again will any of us ever know if we made the right decision? Nope.
Is any decision that we truly believe is right for us the right one? Yep, I believe that is true. I though have been (I hate to use the word lucky or blessed when it comes to my cancer so I just say) I have had it better than some women in that my decisions have been pretty clear cut to me so I haven't spent much time second guessing my choices and if I stay healthy I won't ever have to but so many cancer patients out there have many more gray areas in the treatment choices. I would think it would be very hard to not sometimes think "maybe I should have...........". Once again when it's a choice that has to potential to be life or death - yikes - no one wants to be in that position.
One "if then" statement I have heard from a doctor is "if you get chemotherapy, then you will lose your hair". Yep - as you can see by the picture I've lost my hair. Another choice that is discussed on the message boards is how to deal with this. It seems like wearing wigs or scarves has been the first choice of many. I've seen many women - especially the younger ones - go with my choice though, just going around bald. I just hate having things on my head but I hate looking like this. In the end I went for comfort instead of vanity. Most of the time when I am out around strangers I have worn a scarf or hat but today I just went to town au naturel. Heck it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and what says breast cancer better then a pink ribbon? Yep - a bald "cancer girl" walking around. I'll scare women into doing self exams or getting a mammogram. Pink ribbons make breast cancer seem pretty and feminine - I've learned it is more like putrid green, pain, and swelling. So, I'm just a walking public service announcement for early detection. Side note and another possible blog topic - why is there so much focus on early detection and a cure but hardly even talk of prevention?
There is one choice I have to make daily though - it's a hard one and it's a very important one that effects my entire life. When I first wake up cancer is not the first thing I think of - I usually have a few seconds of being my old "normal" self. When I do remember it still takes my breath away and not in a good way. I think if I was standing up when I remember, it would take me to my knees. It's that unnatural and disturbing to me, it still deosn't seem real. Right then when it hits I have to make the daily choice. How am I going to handle having cancer today? I could crawl up in bed and not leave it and be all "woe is me". I could be angry / anguished and all "why me?" and take it out on all those around me. I could try to ignore it and shut down, not letting anyone in or showing any emotion. I could be full of dispair and think that I am going to die from cancer. Or I could chose to live life as fully as I can within the physical restraints I have right now; laughing as much as I can, not letting the little things get to me, enjoying the people around me, being thankful for the support I am getting, smiling at my bald self when I catch a glimpse in a mirror, loving my dog, enjoying the sound of the wind through the trees, chasing the ravens out of my yard, having some steaky goodness, reading good books, and just trying really hard to find the positive in the situation I find myself in. OK - so it's not really that hard of a decision for me but I can see how others in a similar physical situation but in a different life situation would choose one of the other choices. Who knows as I get further into my new life with cancer I might pick another view on my day / life and that would be OK but I hope I don't.
We all make the choices that we think are right for us and we hope we get the chance to live with them.
PS - one more item for my "Thank You For" list. Thank you for making fun of my baldness (Charliiieeee). I appreciate everyone who says I look good bald. I know though that you are just trying to be nice. Which is nice but I know better and it was great to have someone finally tease me about it. It's the little things...........
PS again - I just got fabulous news! I hear there's going to be a new baby in the family! WooHoo. I am so so so happy for you two! Now my hair will have to grown back. It's bad enough I scare stranger's kids with my Uncle Fester look, I can't be scaring my cousin's child. Yet another way that Life is Great!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Thank You For......

* Sending Me Hats
* Rubbing My Feet When I Felt Terrible After Chemo
* Tucking in My Feet
* Being There
* Visiting and Cutting Wood For Me
* Walking Maddie
* The Nice Emails That I Haven't Yet Answered
* A Tour of Your Home Town
* A Book Called There's No Place Like Hope (see below)
* The Box of Goodies
* Being My Friend
* The Phone Calls of Encouragement - Soon I'll Be On The Other of Treatment With You
* Telling Me That You Are on This Train With Me Until I Get Off It First
* Stopping By The Office To See How I Am Doing
* The Homemade Cookies I Am Still Eating
* Not Just One But Two or Three or More Cards of Encouragement
* The Beautiful Necklace
* The Thoughts and Prayers Sent My Way
* Walking / Running in the Susan G. Komen Run
* Surprising Me With A Visit From Texas
* The Phone Call Telling Me to Let My Sisters In The Fight With Me
* My Lawn
* Leaving Me Comments on This Blog
* The Fruit Basket
* Agreeing That This Really Does Suck
* Wonderful Smelling Stuff From L'Occitane
* The Pink Ribbon Pin
* Life Is Good Stuff!
* My Chemo Angels
* The Horse Postcards
* Making Me Dinner
* Sitting On The Edge of the Bed With Me When I Can't Get Up
* Laughing With Me
* Telling Me I Look OK Bald
* The Sunflowers
* Not Letting Me Do This Alone
"You walk through the darkness with us, not because you are ill and have to, but because you chose to. We were drafted, but you enlisted. We recognize and appreciate the difference more than words can ever say. YOU are our heroes, our support, and our reasons for fighting." - Vickie Girard, There's No Place Like Hope