Monday, September 29, 2008


Finally saw the oncologist today.  Will start chemo early next week.  I'll get treatment of 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) has been the first-choice chemotherapy drug for colorectal cancer for many years. It is used in combination with leucovorin (a vitamin), which makes 5-FU more effective. 5-FU is given intravenously, and Avastin.  I'll have treatment once every 2 weeks.  There were be some side effects, but they shouldn't be too bad.  we'll see how it goes.

Friday, September 26, 2008


I have an appointment on Monday the 29th for my inital consultation with the oncologist. That is when we will definately set up my treatments. It's about time. I am so ready to start fighting this disease.

The hospital I'm dealing with has assigned me a cancer care advocate. Her name is Pam. She called me this morning. Seems like she is going to be a really helpful addition to my care team. When I told her I still hadn't heard from the oncologist she called me back with an appointment within 20 minutes. That's the kind of person I want on my side!

She also said they have all kinds of support - support groups, nutrition classes, etc that she can get me involved in should I wish to. Of course I wish to! I'm willing to do anything that is going to help me fight this disease!

I thank God for the people he has sent into my life to help me deal with this. It is awesome.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I am still waiting to hear from the oncologist to see when I'll start chemo. If I don't hear before noon today I'm going to find a different onc to see me. I'll call Dr. Dobson again and see if he ever got around to sending the referal to Dr. Dunder and if not, why not. That should have been done weeks ago so that once the put the porta cath in I was ready to go. This stuff is GROWING inside me. We need to start treatment NOW! Dobson told me when he said it was ok to go to Europe that he would have everything set up and we would get going as soon as I returned. Well, he set up the part that put money in HIS pocket.

If I don't have an appointment by noon I'm going to pull out the list of oncologists recommended by my insurance company and start calling until I find one willing to start treatment right away. I'm not going to just sit here and wait for someone to finally get around to doing what should have been done already. I won't get well that way.

Thursday, September 25

Feeling pretty good. Stitches are on the inside and on the outside he superglued me together :) It doesn't feel too bad if I don't try to use my left arm. At this point i'm really grateful that he put it on the left side and not the right. My left arm hurts and I can't lift anything or lift it up toohigh. Didn't sleep too much last night. I was able to sleep during the time I was cuddled up to Mark's back and was able to put my left arm on top of him so that it took the stress off it. I wasn't allowed to take a sleeping pill, but I can tonight so I'll sleep better. I was also pretty sick late yesterday. I felt better after i threw up. It would have been nice had they told me to expect that. I had three different people call today and see how i was doing and they all told me that was normal. 2 from the hospital and one from doctors office. The nurses at cmc mercy were really nice and the one from the doctor's office has always been good to me.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Surgery is over

Things went very well today. I can't say enough good things about the wonderful staff at CMC Mercy. The nurses and everyone was so kind and sweet. My left chest is sore and it's a bit painful to move my left arm, but all in all no problem.
I'm also exhausted so that's about all for tonight. Thank you all for your prayers and your support.
Before & After

Porta cath surgery

is today at 10:30.  Please keep us in your prayers.  Pray for peace for Mark as he's waiting.  Pray for the surgeon's steady hand.  Pray for my quick recovery.  And I thank God for all the wonderful people out there praying for us and that love us.  I will send an update this evening when I'm feeling up to it!


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

day before surgery

I have a feeling this is going to be like the longest day from hell. I am really wired about tomorrow. Don't know why. I've done my research and it really isn't a big deal. I know this isn't a big deal to my surgeon because he has done this numerous times. I have faith in him and trust him. But still, I am stressed. It's only 7:30 and I have one load of laundry done and the upstairs all clean and shiny already. Now I'll do the downstairs. Not that there's much to clean. Cleaned it all the day we left for Europe and then cleaned it again when i got back. Pretty much just need to vacuum the living room and do the laundry.

What I really should be doing is my devotions for today and remember that this is in God's hands. I guess this is what happens when I forget to pray for God's peace and to be still and know that he is God. Going upstairs to follow my own advice.

Monday, September 22, 2008

London & Paris

We are back from across the pond. What a great trip we had! It was awesome! In the next few days I will post some photos and tell you some of the highlights. I can't believe we were able to actually take Eurostar through the chunnel to Paris. The fire really messed things up and they still are operating on a limited schedule.

My friend Sandee watched my dog (and Lori too!) while we were on vacation. When I came back there was a trivit on my counter that said "Friends are the family we choose for ourselves." I can't begin to tell you how good that made me feel. I have the best family here in Charlotte.

48 hours

Only 48 hours until they put my porta cath in. I have a call into the doctor to see when they are going to start the chemo as he didn't know before I left for Europe. It's starting to sink in a bit that I actually have cancer and that I'm going to have surgery on Wednesday. Let the healing begin. I'm ready to start this fight because the sooner I start the sooner it's going to be done. I will beat this, I have no doubt. With the faith, love and support I have I can't lose.

I'll post again as soon as I hear from the surgeon's office.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


in london! having a great time. even made it to paris!

love you all. be home soon.


Thursday, September 11, 2008

porta cath

Well my surgery for my porta cath on Wednesday, September 24th at 8:30 am.  Then the fun will begin.  As for now I'm getting ready to get on a plane for London and Paris!

Will update you all when I return.

Monday, September 8, 2008

my socks

aren't these fun? Thank you so much Kristine! You're an angel :)


Kristine sent me the greatest sockgram! It's a pair of bright yellow socks with a smiley face on them! How fun is that! And you all know how much I like fun socks! I've heard that my feet will be cold once I start treatement so what a great gift that was! I'm going to have to remember to post a picture of them they are so great. Maybe since I won't be needing a hat party I'll have a sock party! Notice operative word here being party. Any excuse for a party.

Time to go run some errands before I have to go get a PET scan done. I'm learning more medical info than I ever wanted. Feel free to ask questions! I'm happy to share my experience with anyone that is curious about what they are doing. It doesn't bother me at all. In fact, it makes me feel better to talk about it.

Love you guys!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

PET scan

Tomorrow I have my PET scan. Have no clue what to expect. Have to eat a high protein breakfast and then not eat after 10 am. Scan is at 2:30. Also get a baseline CBC (complete blood count) beforehand. Awesome Sandy is taking me. I love you sweetie! The scan will show if there is cancer anywhere besides what they already know is in my rectum and liver. Don't want to know before I come back from Paris and London! I'll worry about my health then. Nothing that will be done before than anyway.

Can't believe we leave in just a few days for Europe! We are so excited!

I'll post more tomorrow after my scan. BTW....New bed doll done and posted on Isn't she pretty? Hope you like it Antoinette!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It was only yesterday....

So hard to believe it was only yesterday I was told I had a 50% chance of living 5 years. I have colon cancer that has spread to my liver. Reality is, those are only words. Dr. Dobson was right when he told me statistics don't mean a thing. I'm not worried about this disease. So I have cancer. That doesn't change who I am. Has made me appreciate a little bit more just how much God has blessed me with these friends I have here in Charlotte. (and Asheville!!!) I don't know why you all love me so much, but I'm so grateful you do!

I would love for you all to send me your suggestions for happy songs. Mark is going to fill my MP3 player with happy songs for me to listen to while I'm going through chemo & surgery. The first song is going to be "I wanna be sedated" by the Ramones compliments of Mark. He just makes me laugh all the time. So send me your songs and I will think of you when I hear them. What better medicine can there be than that???

I really don't know how to put into words the way I feel right now. I have no fear, no stress, no depression, no sadness, I don't feel like my life was suddenly altered. I'm still me. The same person I was a month ago. Warts and all. Ok, so I have cancer. I go through treatment and get on with life. Life is way too short to worry about something that may never happen. My plane my crash on the way home from Europe. Won't that make the cancer irrelevant?

I have my faith. Jesus is my saviour. He is watching over me.

Mark loves me. Warts and all. I wish everyone could find someone to love them as unconditionally as Mark loves me. Boy does that make me humble when I think about it.

The number of friends I have in Charlotte; most of whom I met at Light of Christ. All y'all are the most awesome people I could ever hope to meet. You are my family. And y'all have been there for me from the day I met you no matter what. I love you all so much.

The awesome people at Love, INC. You have the biggest hearts of anyone I have ever met. I know there is a special place in heaven for all of you. I miss you as much as you miss me!

How can one person be so blessed? I don't deserve it. It is a gift from God. I have done nothing to earn it. I love you all so much. Please know how much I love all of you.

If two are better than one...

This was my reading this morning from Ecclesiastes 4

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

I read this and of course thought of all you wonderful awesome friends out there supporting Mark & I.  How can I lose?  I am so blessed to have each and every one of you.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  You have all enriched me beyond what you could possibly know.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


The bad news is stage IV rectal cancer.  Spread throughout my liver.  50% survival rate for 5 years.  Not quite what I expected to hear today.  But there it is.  We start with a PET scan just to be sure it isn't anywhere besides the rectum and liver and then after my trip I get to do chemo and radiation.

Good news is the chemo drugs for rectal cancer do not make your hair fall our.  Guess that means I won't be dying it red and cutting it short.  And my girlfriend doesn't have to shave her head!  I was so looking forward to all the fun hats I was going to get :( 

Other positive note is that the chemo drugs for rectal cancer tend not to make you really sick.  None of the nausea and vomiting you think of when you think of chemo. 

So it really isn't good news.  But it still could be a lot worse.  I am leaving on the 11th for London and Paris, will be back on the 19th of September and the fight will start the week of the 22nd.  I will have a PET scan done before I leave and as soon as I get back the surgeon will put in the chemo catheter and I will meet with my new cancer team that week.  Dr. Dobson my surgeon will be putting together the cancer team.  He has assured me that if for any reason I don't like any of them to let him know and he will replace them with someone I do like, and that includes him.  So far I like Dr. Dobson and believe he will be as aggressive as possible.  And that's what I want.  Aggressive.  We're going to go after this with everything we possibly can.

So please, keep Mark and me in your prayers.  I am in awe at the great support system I have - from my LOC church family to the Love, INC family to all my friends and family.  I couldn't make it through this journey without you.  Thank you for being there for me.  You are truly wonderful.


Tuesday, September 2 - AM

Only a few more hours and then just maybe some definate decisions will be made. Praying that we well set up the treatment and I will know for sure when they will start and what will be done. Actually the big question of the day is "is it liver cancer or are the two spots just cysts?" And that will determine how we are going to treat my disease. The not knowing is definately the hardest part.

Have decided if they are going to do chemo and radiation and they tell me I'm going to lose my hair that I am going to have fun with it first. Mark and I are going to go and buy some funky red hair dye and I am going to dye it red. Then my girlfriend Sandy and I are going to go get really fun short, short haircuts. Something that I can just wash and not have to bother with while I'm in London and Paris. That way after I start treatment and it starts falling out I'm not going to care as much. And there will be less for Mark to shave when the time comes.....

There will be a couple of fun aspects to this process.

Come back later for all the latest!