Tuesday, June 29, 2010

FInally in my own room..

Well finally today at 2:30 I got into my own room at the hospital! Thank goodness!! Actually took a miraculous HOT shower, in a very pretty celadon green bathroom..I'm being serious, it is actually pretty. OH yeah, I think my hair is beginning to let go, was able to pull a little out when I tugged on it. I've developed some crazy rash on my neck and chest, but I'm not gonna worry about it until tomorrow when I finish radiation. In the scheme of things, it's not itching, so it's not a big deal.

I did have a great surprise at the hospital today. As soon as I got in the room, a nurse came in to talk to me about the anesthesia. It was my old friend from MCA Pam Gurley. We were both in the textile area. It was so nice to see her face again, especially since I had just thought about her two days ago when Jamie brought me in for treatment.

Daddy and Bo came by for a visit before they left to go back to NC this afternoon. I hated to see them go, but I understand wanting to get back to the balmy 70-75 degrees of the NC Mountains. Memphis is just not for the faint of heart! Besides, I've been in the hospital most of the time they've been here. Next time they come, hopefully I'll just be resting at home and they can pamper me all they want then.

Momma came up and spent a couple of hours visiting, it was really really nice to just hang out with her, we even got to talk to my Aunt Josie in Belguim.

So tomorrow my port-a-cath is scheduled for 11am, I'll probably get the radiation treatment about 9-10ish, then maybe I'll get sprung from this joint tomorrow evening. Then Chemo starts Thursday.

Jamie and the family took the boys down to the water fountains downtown, he then brought me a vegetarian burrito with chili gravy and guacamole and chips. I love some Cafe Ole'. He's at the movies with Gus, but I think I might have him bring
me some ice cream after the movies. You see I can eat anything I want until midnight, then nada. SO I'm gonna make it count!

Today has been a really good day!
Bon Courage!

2nd night in hospital

Well got to spend yet another evening in the Neuro ICU. The doctor who was supposed to move me to the'floor, didn't show up until 8'30 p.m., and then he said that because I was stable, he' figured he'd just let me stay here in the ICU, Which, is silly to me, cause, I'm stable, sable is good right? doh! Any whoo, got him to give me some pain meds and something to help me sleep, just get going on some pretty good sleep with ear plugs in and everything, and at 3:30 the lab teach bursts in with her happy self announcing she needed to get my blood. I figured that since i have a port in my arm already, she could just get it there....nope honey, gotta stick ya. OH JOY!..at 3 am. I did have the wear-with-all to ask her if she planned her rounds that way, she just smiled and said Nope! AHH the ignorance is bliss age, meets the grumpy woman in a ICU bed age. Could be trouble!!

Well then after she left I tried for a little more sleep, but the nurses were right at my door, which is right at the nurses station, bring so loud, laughing and cutting up. I'm serious, I figured ICU meant Intensive care unit, not It's crazy up in here! Sorry, Crabbiness is setting in!

Supposedly the neurosurgeon is supposed to come round between 5:30 and 6:30am, so maybe they'll move me, or send me home at his point. Don't know, but I would really love a nice hot shower about now!

Jamie's bringing me some La Baguette for breakfast so that should be yummy!
Food, Food, Glorious Food. Any of you Memphis folks, know how wonderful La Baguette is!!

I'll try to be a little less crabby next go round...

Bon Courage!

Monday, June 28, 2010

First hospital stay

Well this weekend, was not quite what I had planned, sickly Saturday night, slept most of Sunday. Highlight of Sunday was watching Clear and Present Danger with Daddy and Harrison Ford. I really Like Harrison Ford! Handsome, upstanding, to bad all our government officials can't follow his lead!

SO anywhoo, headache came n round 7:30, and decided it wasn't gonna let go, so Jamie called my fabulous Dr. Dubal on his cell phone, to ask advice, he told me that it might be an indication of a brain bleed, so he recommended I come in for a CT scan, just to rule it out. So daddy and I trekked of to Methodist Central in search of a CTScan. I had completely forgotten that you had to jump through the weapons possession hoops, BEFORE you can even get into the ER. But actually, it wasn't too bad. I think it shocked Jamie and Daddy more than me. Luckily, I told them who my Doctor was and what he had said about the brain bleed, and they wisked me immediately to the CTScan machine, and then put me in a Neuro-ICU room. They gave med some good meds and I slept most of the night. I was able to get wheeled directly to my radiation treatments and then to another CT scan, so that made things so much better.

ATe some OK meatloaf...hospital food....blegh....and ow I'm getting a little sleepy.

Hopefully they'll get my in a real room soon, I'd really love a shower about now, and just a smidge of privacy.

Hopefully when I get a real room, I'll be able to visit with Daddy, Momma, Jamie, and Gusto, and BO. Jeri and Sheri have Hopper out shopping with them, and Everyone else is just patiently waiting to wait. I just want to say thanks for ALL the well wishes, prayers, and love, Ya'll really re the best family and friends a girl could ask for!!

Bon Courage!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

time for moderation...

OK had my first officially rough night. Woke up wih my knees on fire..??? WHo knows what that's about, then my stomach and back were in major pain. Jamie'c convinced it was the donuts, deviled eggs, and homemde chicken pot pie. But it was all so good!! I guess it's time for moderation.

Woke up with a major headache, so I decided to take a whole steroid, instead of a half, just in case something in there is swelling. It's pretty much gone now, so that does make mr feel better.I even had to take a nausea pill. Yuk. I've slept most of the morning away, but I guess I need that too. It's funny how hard it is too try and make yourself wake up from a super-duper stupor. Lots of Ice water seems to be helping. We'll see.

Jamie's taken the boys out of the house to get me a bed desk at bed bath and beyond. Daddy's staying at home today, watching the race on TV. I like that he's just in the other room watching something familiar. Yesterday afternoon, he and Jeri put up the bird feeders in her back yard. They really are so pretty, 2 hummingbird ones, and one to attract goldfinches. But ya'll know me, I'm a birdy lover too.You can never have too many. I'd rather have songbirds, but even like the occasional mocking bird.

SO when Jamie get's back today we're gonna, organize dome pictures on his jump drive so we can have them printed and put in the albums I bought yesterday for Momma and daddy. It'll be nice for them to have a album to hold and actually look at. Momma likes the computer pics, but she has always preferred the old school albums!

Sorry this post is so random, but I just feel like I need to keep typing random stuff, until I officially WAKE UP...not sure that is gonna happen though.

Maybe I'll try again later. I promise I'll do better with my food intake today, DO NOT want a repeat of last night!

Bon Courage!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

hair short....check!

Well daddy took mr to get my hair chopped off, it's good, much cooler, kind of like Pinks's white pixie cut, but mines not white yet. Im gonna bleach it but I gotta OK it with the doc first.

We also made the trek to Wal-mart...to buy Butch and Jeri some bird feeders. My daddy is an avid birder, and I really like them too, so I think this will be a nice addition to the back yard, especially on those o so occasional "cool" evenings here in Memphis.

I had really high hopes for taking Gusto to the skating rink, but I am too tired to go, which makes me a little sad, cause I really wanted to go. I think those kind of disappointments are gonna be the worst, for me because I really want to be able to be present and accounted for when it comes to the boys. Gusto is always so sweet, and says he'd rater me get the rest I need, but I still want to go!

Just wanted to say thanks to Mike and Hillary Davie for the great package they sent, loaded with fingernail polish, bunches of candy, and brownies, and doggy treats! Ya'll re too sweet!! Those brownies are yummy!

And my sweet Aunt's FranSue and BettyJo and Uncle David brought DONUT's!!! and the most wonderful Banana Blueberry muffins, and even homemade chicken pot pie! I'm gonna get spoiled if ya'll keep this up!

So at the moment, I'm lying here in bed typing this, and little Hop is taking a nap in his port-a-crib, next to my bed. There really is something nice about having your babies all sleep in the same room with you. Last night, I had Jamie next to me, Hopper and Gus in here too, it was perfect. Really Perfect. Butch and Jeri take great care of all of us, but I do love being surrounded by my men! Kind of feels like I'm surrounded by my own mini-army.

Bon Courage!

Friday, June 25, 2010

temporary tattoos...whoohooo!

Well today Jamie and I went in for a radiation treatment, and ended up having to get a extra CTScan, cause I had this little place o my jaw bone, miraculously appear..sort of over night. Nothing obvious to the eye, but in two days, it went from feeling "squishy" to hard, and Dr. Dubal, decided that was too fast for him, so since we're already zapping, we'd just zap a focused zap at it in hopes that it would go back to bed until Monday. We'll continue the extra zaps on Mon-Wed, of next week, just in addition to the WBRT we had planned. Nothing to wory about really, as the Chemo starts Thursday anyway, and that should send the little critters scrambling. But the funny thing is that my radiation girls, had to draw on my jaw with green and silver paint-pen to "mark the spot." Initially they thought that they would be able to erase it, but the Dc said it would be really great if I could try to leave it on there until Monday...sooo I get to walk around with a semi-cool doodle-drawing on my jaw all weekend. I'll try o post a pic tomorrow, ad maybe I'll even embellish it with Photoshop a bit!

On a wonderful note, Jamie was a doll....as you all know...and he bought us knew iPhones today. I didn't want the new fangled one, just the old school iPhone and I LOVE IT!! I have this penchant for all things hot Pink and shiny, so now I have a beautiful hot pink shiny new iPhone. I must have been a crow in a previous life, because they also have a desire to have shiny things too. SO Barbara P Ward, once again, there's proof of my Crow Totem.

Daddy and Bo made it to Memphis, and I'm so glad they got here safe, I think they'll stay til Wednesday. I really do enjoy having them here. Nice to have family around. My mom's coming up on Monday or Tuesday, she was coming up today, but with the threat of a tropical depression worsening in the in florida panhandle, she decided to stay and batten down al the hatches just in case. First BP, now the weather. Could someone, please tell our government that we need help from far and wide here..just sayin!

SO on my agenda tomorrow, rest, enjoy the day, rest, take Gus skating....did I mention he got new quad skates...very cool! ANd then rest some more, but I also plan to have lots of fun. I stopped by the Art Center this morning and bought some black paper, so I can start working on some drawings of Hop. I was looking around at the art I've done that now lives here in Memphis, and I realized that I have not ever drawn Hopper! Crazy! I also bought a bunch of Origami paper, and Gus and I are gonna start making 1000 cranes. I've always wanted to actually do that, so I figured it is something that he and I can enjoy doing together.

We'll getting sleepy, so I'm gonna hit the hay.

Bon Courage Everyone!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

OK back to the awake...

Well the past two days have been an eye-opener. I have not slept so much in years, and not necessarily because I've wanted to but because I had too. Apparently all this radiation and the steroids, pain meds and sleep meds have done a number on me. Today the doc told me to lower my steroid pill and I told him I was also going to not take the ambien, since I believe I've caught up. He also told me not to take my blood pressure meds, cause it was getting too low, and that could also make me tired. So with all that maybe I'll be getting back on track soon. On a lighter note, I get to have a port-a-cath installed on Monday, so when my radiation is done on Wednesday, I'll be able to start Chemo on Thursday. Don't really no what to expect with that, but I'm not gonna think about it until Thursday.

On another note, Jamie and I have cancelled or Verizon account, because, we we're not happy with the new phones, and couldn't justify paying for phones, we couldn't use. So I'm not sure exactly what we'll do. Ideally we'll go the iPhone route, but again, that's for another day. In the mean time just FaceBook or email me at dharmon1968@gmail.com.

Sorry for the short post, maybe more a little later.

Bon Courage!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Well I lit up like a jar of fireflies....

Well this morning Jamie and I went to see Dr. Tian to discuss the PET/CT results, and it was pretty much as I had figured, I lit up like a jar of alabama fireflies. Granted, the contrast they give you is like a sugar, and it glows like crazy in organs that metabolize sugars and junk like that..if you know me at all I love me some sugar! He did say that there is some activity in the adrenal glad, and spleen I think, an a bunch of lymph nodes, but there really good news is that they are all still very small, less than a centimeter, and they don't seem to be causing any "extra" issues at this point. So the current course of action is to finish the WHole Brain Radiation on Wednesday. I'm going to schedule myself to have a port-a-cath placed in my chest next Monday, so as soon as I'm done with the brain stuff, I'll be ready for the first batch of chemo that will hopefully star Thursday or Friday, or maybe sooner. We're still learning the lingo around here, gotta figure out, what a course is, is it one treatment, or several, a line...same question.. This is definitely a learning curve, but Im sure it'll all get itself worked out. Once adain, Dr, Tian and Dr. Dubal are on the same page with the chemo, and they have been really wonderful doctors to have in my corner. They are so positive, and all smiles, even when confronted with the occasional mini-meltdown from they're usually positive patient!! So they are both coming highly recommended from me, not that I'd actually ever hope any of you will have to use them, but highly recommended they come!! Well I might try to post some more later. But for now, I'm gonna rest a bit.

Bon Conrage eveyone!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Had a little talk....

Well I have been thinking about this for some time now, and I've decided to let ya'll in.

If you're following my facebook, or even this blog, you can all see the amazing outpouring of love, life, spirituality and religion of many facets that are so wonderfully urging and praying us through this crazy journey. Now most of you who know me personally know that i don't go to any church regularly, I never have, but you see I've never had any problem with this, because I have always had the insight to be able to look at this beautiful world and all the wonderful, colorful, spiritual people and know, without a seconds doubt that I am not the one in charge here. The day I gave birth to Gus, looked into his beautiful face I absolutely knew he was the most amazing gift, and he was given to me and Jamie. Then 9 years later came our sweet Hopper, once again no proof needed that I was on the receiving end, of some pretty fine blessings in my life!

So the reason for posting this particular blog entry, is just to let anyone who might be curious about where I stand know.

The other morning, I got up early, and decided that I needed to talk to my maker, about this path I'm on. You see I talk regularly to anyone who will listen and luckily we get to talk quite often. I pretty much said that while I knew I was very blessed to have Jamie, Gus, and Hopper in my life, I am just not ready to let hem or anybody else in it go at the moment. I can appreciate the seriousness of this disease but I just wanted to make it clear that I have way too much to live for, and I am not going to check out any time soon. I have so many things I'm still going to do with all 3 of my boys. I want us all to go to Belgium in the summer, I want to take Gus back to NYC, and even take Hop there when he's about 6 or 7. I've been eyeing this really cool teardrop shaped pull behind camper, that would be great to go camping across the states in. I mean those are just a few things. Gus is so smart, and I can totally see him as an archaeologist or scientist of some sort. Creative, handsome, and smart! Trifecta!!

I'm pretty sure Hopper will be into music, because he's a guitar man, but he also has a strong attachment to anything with wheel, very much like his daddy on that one. There will be sports games, recitals, dirt-bike races, sleepovers, pizza nights, and just the general lovely daily things that families do. And well I'm not giving any of that up. Maybe some of you might find it selfish for me to argue on my behalf, but I just don't give up, I never have. I mean seriously with a life like mine why would anyone even entertain the thought!

I am positive and will remain so. I will not entertain any negative thoughts, from myself or any of you. Please believe what ever you like, and please feel free to send love thoughts, prayers, chants, mantras, poems, in what ever forms you choose, because, I can honestly say that a diverse spiritual world is what we live in and I know that all these powerful emotions coming together to work for one good, is not gonna offend me or my maker one bit!

OH yeah, tomorrow morning we talk to Dr. Tian my oncologist about the PET/CT results for any other stuff floating around in here. I did tell Jamie, that we are probably gonna be doing the two-step a while, but that's OK, my attitude isn't gonna change, and often when there is a real challenge, you have to back-up before you go forward.

SO maybe this will help some of you understand where we're coming from at least a little.

Just rememeber...Everyone needs a little Bon Courage now and then.

We'll talk tomorrow!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hair much shorter AND...I love it!

Today saw me up at 7:30ish, good coffee, breakfast and playing in the kiddee pool with Hop. He actually wanted to get naked baby in the pool, so that's what he did. We sent his little blue crocs floating around the pool, like a fleet. If we'd only had a stick and some fabric, we could've make believed them all over the place!

Gus, Jamie and I went to get my hair cut, but the first place was not open, so we wasted a little time at Kohl's, then decided on JCPenny's for the haircut. When i arrived, ther was only one girl in the place, and she was great! She asked me what I was looking to get, and out popped, well, ya see, I'm taking Whole Brain radiation, and they say my har's most likely to fall out, so I've come to beat it to the punch. She didn't even skip a beat. "you sure, they're sure about that?" Well that's what they say, but I fugure now is a good a time as any to go for a new look! "Well great, let's do it!" I told her that I was kinda wanting the white girl version of Haillie Berry's short hair.SO we were of to the shampoo bowl, It really is amaxing to have someone, really wash your hair, and blow dry it. It always smells so good. Why is that, I mean you can buy the exact same product they use, but it never feels or smells the same way. Must be magic!

So she braided it up for me before she cut it off, and it was so thick, it took three passes with the scissors to finally work through it all.

SO I still think it will get shortrer by my own choice, before it falls out on it's own, but for now, I am actually very happy with it. I really did think it would be more of a shock, but actually it didn't bother me at all, Actually, it is so much lighter, physically and emotionally. I'll post more pics as I play around with styling and such,

Love ya'll for all your support!!

Bon Courage!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Crazy crazy time!

Well last night was beyond ridiculous. Hopper woke up from a sound sleep with a scream that would peel paint frim the walls, only to be followed by masiive vomiting, then Gusto started in, but he was such a good trooper about it. Poor thing said the only saving grace was how much better he felt after throwing up. Then, I started, not quite sure if I was vinnce vaughn sympathy puking or has it full on, either way, 7 times, in 4.5 hours was no fun! We were all up Al night, and I finally had to get Jmaie to take me to the ER at 6:30 am. Got in an er room, by 8am, no meds or IV until 11:30, and because I had a headache from dehydration and was nauseated an very dizzy, the doc decided, he wanted to give me a CT scan, of my brain, duh...I told him again, why I was in the er, and that I'd just had 2 rounds of Whole bran radiation, but he kept saying, if theer's something wrong, we'le find it, um, sorry doc, but I'm thinking you've been beaten to the punch on that one. NO thanks I said, I'll just get my PetMRI on Monday, keep the MRI brain scans I already have and sjip the extra $700 for extra scan cost. SO meds flowed freely once I refused the scan, so of course I began feeling much better. I apologize to anyone we didn't call to let know I was in the hospital, we were not really "all together". In fact when we got home, Jamie and I slept most of the day. Gus was still under the weather, so he even slept with us too.

I'm pretty tired, so I think I'll finish up this post in the am.

Ok it's 7:45 am, I'm sitting up, feeling a little groggy, thinking about some soffee, si I'm taking that as a good sign.

I think Gus, Jamie, and I will be going to the beauty parlor tody, I'm really ready to cut my hair, mainly cause I'm to lazy to wash and blow dry it. I do think it will be very nice to just wash, towel dry, and go. Cooler!!

I alos think think I'm gonna go by old navy and get a comfy dress or two, and some regular flip flops. I love my Chako's, but they they are strappy, and I want some easy slip ons. Later today, I'm gonna work more on my GUs's first trip to Belgium blog, and maybe post what I have so far. I'm sure they'll be some naps, and maybe we can get someone to fil up the baby pool, so the grown ups can soak our feet and the boys can splash around..Jamie's got to do the boats today, cause David has Sundays off, but I think it will do him sme good to get out of the house today, I just hope all the stomach virus crap is OVA!!! Cause, I'm here to tell ya it sucked out loud.

Just heard the Gray bird squeal in the living room, so I know there is at least one other adult human awake in the house. Time to go make the coffee..

Talk to ya'll soon!

Bon Courage!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

hmmmm....very interesting...

Today I took my first radiation treatment, it actually only took about 5 minutes. Quick and painless. The doctor gave me a morphine pill to help curb this ridiculous pain on my chest, but he said it could be a combo of nerves, heartburn, but we've scheduled a Pet CT for net week I think, just to check it out. Sarah doll came by the clinic, and took Hopper to the gift shop and bought him ...a cute little yellow car, he loves it! Cars are his thing, so I believe he'd made a friend for life. He was also pretty cute to watch interacting with the people waiting in the clinic, he knows no strangers. He walk right up to someone, say Haaay, my nanes Hop-per. The folks just smile and start right up talking. My nurse Dana, showed me a pic of her little boy on her phone today. His hair is the exact same color as Hop's same length,too. I initially thought she had taken a picture of Hopper, but then she said, it was her son Cullen. He's 3. Maybe one day, we can get them side by side. Two cuties in a row. Within a 30 minutes of the treatment, I was feeling pretty tired, and having some feelings of tightening on the sides of my face. So Hopper and I dozed in the car, while Jamie helped sell the 2:30 boat. Got home, took a pain pill cause my head was starting to hurt a little, slept and slept, then woke up hungary, always a good sign for me. Jamie's momma made Macaroni Grill Lasagna, very good. Jamie's being a super=trooper through all this, and even organized a space next to the bed so I can have a light and read when i want to.

I have received cards and letters and packages, and books, from so many people, it I can't tell you how much they all mean to me! I promise I'm keeping up with everything, so I plan on working my southern girl charm and sending each of you a thank you card. Just please don't hold your breathe for too long, you might turn blue, and then I'd just feel guilty. You see, way back in the summer of 1995, Jamie and I got married, upon return from the honeymoon, I proceeded to take list in hand and begin writing out the thank you cards. Well we had so many friends that had given us so many things, that I had names and papers all over the place. After about a week or so, I believed I was through, so I gathered them up and sent them out, proud as I could be of myself. I had after all conquered a true southern girl task, ALL BY MYSELF! Well, here's the kicker...when I got my first job out of grad school in 1998 in Texas, I was packing up the house, I lifted up the cushions on the sofa, reached down between edges of that sofa, and instead of pulling out a $20 dollar bill or some such otherwise badly needed treasure, I pulled out a huge handful of unsent wedding gift thank you cards, which by the way were already addressed and stamped! So, like I said, please don't hold your breath! Follow-thru, really is a good thing, especially for those who no how to do it!

I really do love a good laugh, so if you come across any funny stuff, please feel free to forward it to me, but if you can send them to my new gmail email, dharmon1968@gmail.com, I can access them from my phone, which makes it a little easier. I still check the dharmon@valdosta.edu email, but they've switched to Outlook, and I'm having some learning curve issues with my new phone.

Well tomorrow we're off to the races at 9am, so until then my friends.

Bn Courage!

Well today I jump....

Today is they day it all officially starts. WHole Brain Radiation Therapy. I'd be fibbing a little if I said I wasn't just a bit concerned, I mean we all remember those, "this is your brain....this is your brain on drugs commercials right? Good news is that if there are any major brain issues, like forgetfulness, which I already have had for most of my life, it should repair itself fairly quickly. So I might actually come out better than before! One can hope!

I am feeling calm, and I'm actually looking forward to this new experience, because, I know that there is always something new to learn about in a new situation. I like to imagine myself standing on a really high cliff, maybe somewhere in Hawaii, with the beautiful blue-green waters swirling around below. I open my arms and just step off. The feeling is so free, the wind is cool ad soft, the birds are holding me up as I float peacefully toward the water. Then I'm floating in the water, on my own, a talent that I've always had, don't ask how cause I'm not sure. Water has always been my saving grace. I can remember having horrible headaches, and imagining myself floating in the waters off Destin, listening to the birds and the people laughing and playing, and hearing the water lap against my head, most of the time, I could make the headache disappear. SO that's what I'm gonna do today.

Please don't worry about us today, we are ALL fine. This is just the first day of the next 10 days of my life. There will be many many more days of my life, some bumpy, some not. But it doesn't matter what comes my way because, I feel each and every one of you, all my little bluebirds of happiness flying right with me.

Love youall!

Bon Courage!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Course of action...check!

Today we met with Dr. Doodle, actually his name is Dr. Dubal, but I might call him Doodle for now. He'll be the doc in charge of my whole brain radiation. He was super nice, and very helpful. His nurse Dana was also a doll! They even got me into fit a radiation cap thing that I wil wear over my face while they pulse the radiation into me. It kind of looks like a white plastic colander you wash lettuce in, but when the heat it up and pull it over your face, the round colander, magically grows cheekbones and eye sockets! Anyhow, the whole thing just took a few minutes, and I got to listen to some pretty music and look at some flower photos on the ceiling, they were actually quite pretty. TOmorrow we are to be there at 2:30 for a few more back up scans, and then the radiation should take about 15 min or so. The doc said, I probably won't have bad immediate side effects, so thats a good thing. I will most likely loose my hair, but it will most likely grow back, who knows, maybe even curly! It's funny, because initially I decided to just lop it off and donate it to locks for love, but since I've highlighted it a little, they might not be able to use it. Paula said I could donate it to help clean up the oil spill and just make my request to have it used in cleaning up Ft. Walton Beach, but although I know that would be good, I don't think I want to give my hair to help people clean up a mess that didn't need to happen. OK that's my moment of selfishness. I'll figure out what to do with it. I think I'm gonna have Gus help me decide. If he'd like for me to cut it that's what I'll do, if not, we'll just let it flow out willy-nilly. Whatever he's comfortable with.

ON a slightly different note, Shane, Casey, and Grady made it in at 2:30am, after Butch and Jeri, rescued them in Little Rock, Only problem is that Butch obviously got overheated mowing and taking care of everything, he's made himself sick. He wok up with a fever, chills, and body aches. When I came in from the docs, he was up but looking weak. I hate it for him, because, he so wants to visit with his baby boy too! Jamie just said that Shane is sickly too. Geeez when it rains! It is my hope that everyone feels better tomorrow and we can all get on with the business of enjoying the family!

Bon Courage everyone!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Whoa! Today was crazy, but it's all working out now!

Well today I woke up anxiously awaiting news from the neurosurgeon on my plan of attack. I waited and waited and waited, called twice, waited some more, then emailed them, then called my oncologist to see if they'd heard anything. Finally the oncologist got the ball rolling, and the neurosurgeon called to tell me that they had actually counted 14 small lesions in my brain, about 12 more than previously seen, and there were most likely some lurkers in there too. So whole brain radiation is the plan. The neurosurgeon got me an appointment for next Thursday, but the oncologist wasn't having that, so he go me in tomorrow at 12:30. Have I mentioned how much I think I'm thinking I'm gonna be liking this Dr. Tian! So tomorrow we get the scoop, and will hopefully schedule the radiation ASAP. I am going to check into some other drugs and/or vitamins to help offset some of the steroid side effects and hopefully give me at least a little more energy.

After all that Jamie took me to get my toes done, a very nice treat indeed, pics will be posted tomorrow, they are bright red, with black and silver designs on the big toes, I've decided to call them my power up toes. Jamie and I also went to Perkins on poplar and highland for breakfast-dinner. Short-stack at Perkins is just about as good as it can get! Oh yeah, ya'll should ask Jamie about our grad school experience at that Perkins, it'll give you a whole new way to look at Jamie, too funny! My hero! Just ask him!

Jamie also took my to the relax the back store and bought me this really cool convertible wedge pillow, so I can lay comfortably in bed and type, draw, write, etc. Once again, he's always looking out for me. But everyone who knows him knows that's how he is.

For a little extra excitement, my brother-in-law Shane, my sister-in-law Casey, and their 5 month old Grady, were supposed to arrive in Memphis this evening at 10:32pm. Unfortunately, the plane scheduling powers screwed up and they only had 20 minutes to de-board there plane in Denver and make there connecting flight to Memphis. Needless to say, it did not happen. So they've opted for a flight into little Rock and Jamie's parents busted out the door immediately to drive to Little Rock to pick them up. Just another reason to love the Harmon's, no drive is too long or too small, or too inconvenient. jamie is at the Memphis airport as I type this, trying to pick up the luggage that made it aboard the Memphis flight without it's family.

Now if they can just all arrive safe and sound, I will be very pleased. I can't imagine how exhausted they all must be. And although Grady is most assuredly a little trooper, I'm also pretty sure he's getting to the end of his line, poor little thing. I mean you can only tolerate so much at 5 months!

So that'll be all for now, I'll let everyone know what comes tomorrow, and thanks again for all the prayers, well-wishes, good- vibes, and love. I cherish each and everyone!!

Bon Courage!

Monday, June 14, 2010

9pm, I'm tired.

Today was again lazy, but nice. Had lunch with the boys, napped, and got to visit with Paula. She made it in for dinner, and brought me some yummy divinity, and caramel cake! Paula and I aren't supposed to eat bad food, but when we get together, we do, and we so enjoy it. We have bonded over eating sweetened condensed milk right out of the can. And once paula made me a creme brulee and we stood in the kitchen and ate the whole thing up just standing there. Maybe it's just me but there is something extra special about eating something so good standing up. Kinda like you can't even think about sitting down to savor it, who's got time for savoring!

Anyway, warm caramel cake and milk, gave way to sitting on the pack porch with our feet and little boys in the kiddee pool, being periodically splashed and getting a much needed cool off. Paula and I moved into the house and she told us stories about her Pine Level family reunion, and all the older characters coming together with the new little ones. I love that! Family history and togetherness is something that so many people are losing nowadays. That's why I wanted to start our family picnic in North Carolina. It's so hard to make time to visit all your extended family every time you go p for a visit, I always enjoyed visiting, but I always felt like there were so many folks I was missing out on seeing. A family picnic, gets everyone together in the same place, at the same time, everyone is free to mingle or not, but it is always so relaxed. The kids play like cousins do, the adults get to tell and compare stories. A perfect world.

Today was good, tomorrow the fighting really starts, but I am ready, believe me! I love my life!
Bon Courage Everyone!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Today was a little hard, but not too bad.

I woke up today at 6:30am, but wasn't ready to get up. So I lazed around listened to my boys sleep. It's funny how noisy boys are even in there sleep. I knew when I did get up I was gonna be paying for my night of fun at the shell. I suppose I'm gonna really have to evaulate my choices a bit better and definitely not overdo it. I have always been the type that will go, go, go, until the very last minute and then fall out in the bed, sleep like a baby, and get up raring to go again the next am. I remember doing that with Gus in NYC. We'd get up and be out the door of the hotel by 9am, and not get back to the room until 10 or 11 at night. We just didn't want to miss a thing! He's always been a pretty good trooper like that, although lately I'm sensing some of his preteen self-preservation mode kicking in. But given the right opportunity, like another big city adventure, I'm sure he'd rally, after all he is my boy!

Today, Gus and I did go get a coffee drink at Books-a-million, I bought him a crazy clear glass green apple 3D puzzle. I remembered doing those when I was probably 13 or 14. He's busy working it right now. Hopper has already decided that it must also be his, Bubba, will have to realize that high tables are great things if he hopes to keep all the pieces.

Butch made some really great burgers and there's cheescake awaiting when I want it.

Got to speak with my sister-in-law Casey, about what to bring when traveling with a bitty baby. Grady is only 5 and a half months old, but if he's anything like my Harmon babies, he'll be a fine little traveler. Traveling is something the Harmon's do well! I am really looking forward to seeing them all. They arrive Tuesday evening.

My frien Paula is stopping through on her way out West tomorrow. I'm very happy I convinced her to stay at the house with us. It will be good to hear her stories for her family reunion, Jamie and I have decided that Paula is one of the best storytellers we know, both visually through her pictures, but also thru her tales, she's got perfect timing when it comes to stories. Maybe it's ust us, but sometimes she say something, and all we have to do is just look at her face, and we get the "entire" story without one more word! Love that.

Gonna rest for a while.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What a wonderful night!

Well today was a great day. I was pretty tired, but I'm starting to get used to that. It was still hot as could be, heat index at 110...ughh. But Jamie and I managed some us time for a kiddie pool run and a shared black bean burger at chili's. I relaxed most of the day in preparation for our family night out at the Overton Park Shell (Levitt Shell now I believe). The Cowboy Junkies were playing a FREE concert. As soon as we got there we ran into my old friends Tootsie, Jamie, Anna, and sweet baby Miles! It was so great to see their smiling faces! Not long after Mamie, Bart, and Hannah P showed up, then the whole Christenson gang was there too. The kids had so much fun playing, and jamie and I took Hopper down to the stage for some up close-ness with the Junkies, and ran we ran into my doll Sarah and sweet Meg. True to form, the rythym overtook Hopper, and he danced around a bit. He really wanted to get on the stage and was a little miffed that he wasn't allowed to run completely wild. But then it was already 9ish, way passed his bed time! I'm gonna try to post pics tomorrow, and right more about it. Just wanted to let you all know what a great day today turned out to be!

Love to you all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

a bit of a bummer beetle...

Today was a bit of a let down...

Waited for the neurosurgeon's office to call with the fabulous news that the lesions were only two and very small, but it never came. Instead the nurse called and said that the doc had looked at the MRI's and saw a few more lesions than he had anticipated, but she didn't know the exact count or size, so she said that the Gamma Knife might not be my best option, but maybe whole brain, so at least there's that. I suppose loosing a few extra brain cells at this point in my life is worth it, seems they've been spilling out at regular intervals already.

When I talked with Gusto about it today, I told him that my hair would probably come out and I might even loose my eyebrows, and he he said, Momma, I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but seeing you with no hair is gonna be a little strange but we can handle it. Yes I told him, we're gonna handle it just fine, and I've decided that if my hair must go, I'm gonna lop it off myself and donate it to locks of love for someone else to enjoy. I have always wanted to do the short hair thing, but never had the courage to do it. Bout time I guess. And then there's also the fact that since hair usually re-grows back pretty fast I can experiment with a new hair color every couple of weeks. Maybe I'll paint black spirals on my blonde hair.

So this weekend, I think I'm gonna investigate more of the Blog thing, maybe start a drawing of Hop, and just relax.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, I am gonna be just fine!
Bon Courage!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

MRI down.

Well today began really early, had an appointment at 7:30 am with neurosurgeon, but didn't actually see the neurosurgeon until 10:30am. Then we were given the option to wait and get squeezed into the MRI machine...literally, or make an appointment. I opted to wait. So after a mini-meltdown, which was promptly cured by a bacon cheeseburger, I relaxed and waited. Actually got in around 3ish, so all in all it was not a bad day. I didn't remember how loud those MRI things were, kind of like a crazy Phillip Glass, abstract pounding on trashcan music. Interesting, but not really my cup of tea musically.

Daddy and I stopped by Borders books on the way home, shared an apple tart and some coffee, the highlight of the day.

Now home, with my Hopper and Gus enjoying them both.

By the way....when did it get so damn hot in Memphis? Sheesh, it's like Africa hot here!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

some background...shortened version

Here's the basic deal..

Right after Hopper was born the dotors found a melanoma on my chest, stage 1, 1.3 breslow scale, they took a lymph node to check and it hadn't spread, so the past 2 years have been scan, check, repeat every 4-6 months. About a month ago, I started getting nauseated a lot, and when I was in North Caroina for a family thing, I got really sick and had a huge bruise come up on my side. The er docs did a brain and abdomen scan and found 2 lesions on my brain, 2 in m chest cavity, one on my lung and the one on my side. We've come back home to memphis, so I can have treatment around friends and family, and that makes me so happy. All of this has really become a reality filter, things I used to think were important seem so ridiculously unimportant now. We're are all very positive and I'm setting my first short term goal to see Hopper graduate from high school. It's gonna happen.

So today I met with my oncologist here in Memphis, Dr. Greg Tian, he was really great, positive but pragmatic, which is good for me because I tend to get ahead of myself sometimes. He got me into the Neurosurgeons office at 7:30 am tomorrow. Looks like the first course of action is checking into the Gamma Knife procedure for the brain lesions. We believe they are small enough to be really helped by the GK procedure. Hopefully that will take place very soon. I've been on a high dose of steroids to control any brain swelling, but they make me feel really wore out, don't get me wrong I LOVE a good nap, but this sleepy is just ridiculous!

After we see how the brain thing goes, we'll start phase two on the abdomen stuff, Dr. Tian mentioned some new chemo and also immunotherapy like interferon or the like.

Here we go...

Ok, so I've decided to give this blog thing a go, for me that is an interesting concept because I have this tendency to start stuff and not quite finish. With all that's been going on I feel like having one spot to dump into should make everything simpler. Please bear in mind that I am and have always been a bit scattered, so this page will probably give most of you a glimpse into my tornado of a brain.

Hopefully I will figure out how to "fancy" up the blog, organize my stories and experiences and provide everyone with a sense of calm about my situation. While it is a strange new experience, and one that I would have never expected in my 42 years, I can honestly say that while a little shell-shocked, I'm not scared. Maybe it's not all set in yet, but I scared is not something that I have ever been, and I suppose they will be my saving grace.

Wish me luck!