Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Votes Are In

It seems that the Brain Tumor Mamas and Papas running (and walking) team will be making their second annual run at Soldier Field in May, 2011!

Don't worry local friends, I've got your number and haven't forgotten about you. My mind is still plotting ways to get us together for fun and FUNdraising. (okay, that was lame)

So, let's mark May 14th on our calendars for our big FUNdraising deadline! Woohoo!!! Goooo team!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Chemotherapy, Days 1-3

Alright folks, I'm here.  I'm alive.  And I'm doing surprisingly well.  As you know, we went to the pharmacy to get the chemo (retail price: $2,877 per 5 day supply) and the anti-nausea medicine (retail price: $207 for a 10 day supply) on Friday evening.  We are fortunate to have started this on a 3-day weekend.  The whole family is home to help out--just in case.  We are also fortunate to have health insurance (out of pocket expenses $110).

Ever wonder what chemotherapy looks like?
Day 1, we were all really anxious about what might happen.  I woke up and felt a little queasy.  But let me tell you, morning sickness during pregnancy was so much worse than what I experienced, so it was a plus to know that I could totally deal with that side effect.  I got out of bed and had some breakfast and the queasiness subsided.  We went grocery shopping.  We had lunch.  I took a marathon nap (was it 3 hours long?  I don't even remember!).  I got up, hung out with my family, worked on dinner, we put the kids to bed.  And then I rested and took my 2nd dose.

My two helpers ready for the task at hand!
The second day was very similar--except no nap and swap "house cleaning" for "grocery shopping".  My mom and sister came up to check on me and spoil me with a delicious dinner.  It was pretty great, so far so good, right?

Helpers making silly faces!
Day 3 has been a little more challenging.  The nausea and fatigue have been a little more difficult to handle today.  I'm spending more time resting.  I'm wondering if it's psychosomatic or if I'm actually tired and sick.  Maybe I'm just taking advantage of my wonderful husband who is willing to watch the children while I rest.  We'll see how tired I feel tomorrow when he goes back to work.  Something tells me that this is very real, but I'm delighted by how manageable it has been so far.  I was really worried that I'd be unable to accomplish anything.  And here I am feeling incredibly accomplished: grocery shopping, house cleaning, entertaining relatives, updating blogs.  I think I may have accomplished more than on a typical weekend.  Hooray!

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's official!

The chemotherapy has landed.  We went to the hospital to pick up some anti-nausea medication and good ol' Temodar.  First dose will be taken tonight in about an hour.

Hoping that it does what it should and doesn't do what it shouldn't.  :o)  Thanks for following my journey!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fundraising 2011

Okay, the shock of my brain tumor diagnosis has worn off.  The shock of chemotherapy and it's side effects has not yet started.  What does that mean?  Time to think about how to pay it forward!

One of my "resolutions" for this year is to make a big effort to raise funds for brain tumor research and support.  Last year, my 5K team was able to raise $440.  That was awesome and I cannot tell you how amazed I was at my team and donors.  But let me tell you, I think we can more than double that amount this year.

So, what I'm asking you to do right now is to fill out my survey (above).  Let me know your favorite way to participate.  Would you rather just give?  Or would you rather get involved with something tangible?  Let me know which direction I should go, so that I reach my fundraising goal this year.  Please fill out this form--even if you're in another state or another country.  I am just looking for what blog readers would like--even if they can't be present.

Thanks so much you guys!!!!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Chemo news

We heard from the doctor's office and the let us know that I should be starting chemo on Friday the 14th.  They said it may wind up taking a little longer, so definitely at the end of this week or the beginning of the next week, I will be starting a new chapter of brain tumor tush kicking.  They also said I will be going in for labs every two weeks.   That's about it on the brain tumor front.

In other news, has anyone checked out the ipod touch?!?!  How cool are those?!?!  Okay, I know, I know--I'm super behind the times.  Yeah, yeah...everyone already owns one.  However, how cool are they?!?!   You can do face to face skyping with it!  You can read kids books on it!  And what about the music, video, and photo capabilities!??!  Alright, I get it, you've heard enough.  But let me tell you that my little piggy bank is looking at the direction of the Apple store for it's next purging.

Ridiculously behind the times, but I HAVE been raising 2 little ones for the last several years, right?

Sunday, January 2, 2011


It's my kind of town.  It's the windy city.  It's all that jazz.  And it also happens to be where my dear friends Becca

and Laura live.

The stage version of White Christmas (one of our mutually favorite movies) was being performed, giving us the perfect opportunity to hang out, go see a show, and experience downtown Chicago.  18 glorious hours without children, husbands, work, or responsibilities.  Something that I haven't had since before 2006.

So I hopped on good ol' Mega Bus and rode the 6 hours to Chicago for a girls weekend.  I met up with Laura and got to have a conversation with her that was not interrupted by my children, her child, or work.  It was really great.  Then we got together with Becca and Bonnie (Laura's mom) and headed to downtown for our meal of German food at the Berghoff restaurant (I had the saurbraten) and an evening of snow...snow...snow...snow...SNOW!

I got exactly one picture in before the show when the camera nazi came running (literally) to tell me to put my camera away.

The show was fun and it actually snowed inside the theatre at the end!  I was amazed!

Another great thing about visiting Chicago is seeing the babies (Julia and Luke).  I had the awesome opportunity to play with Julia on Sunday.  Here she is with her adorable diva face:

Unfortunately, I didn't get to hang out with Luke or give him tons of candy this time, however I've got his number for my next visit.  :o)  All-in-all a great time and definitely needs repeating.

In medical news, I heard from my doctor after the brain tumor board met.  They all agreed that chemo is my next course of action.  I'll be hearing from his nurses this week to set it all up.  I'll definitely keep ya'll posted.