For our 25th anniversary, we had planned to go on a cruise or another vacation and have the kids spend a few weeks down in Southern California with Tom’s parents. Because of my health and COVID, that trip didn’t happen….but I think something better did.

The girls have been down in CA for almost 2 weeks. That means we have had the house to ourselves (and clean) for 2 weeks!!!!

We’ve had so much time to talk.

We’ve done some projects together.

Tom has worked.

I have rested and done some things around the house.

If Tom was working on a project in the garage, I was out there too.

We just spent time together. It didn’t matter what we were doing. We were together and were not interrupted!

The time has been AMAZING.

While it would have been wonderful going on a cruise, being home together for this long period of time without the girls has been just what we needed at this point in our lives. (And the girls are having a blast with grandparents and cousins!) Mom and Dad – you will never know how much this time has meant to us. THANK YOU!!!!

Sage wants to move here…
My Dad and Else came came down one day to see the girls too!

We had planned to take the girls to Whidbey Island for 4 days and had rented a 3 bedroom house in Langley for last weekend. We decided to keep the reservation and we went, just the two of us. Woohoo!! The house was the cleanest vacation home we have ever stayed in and everywhere we went, everyone was wearing masks when inside or close by other people. We were very careful and I’m so glad we had the chance to get away!

One of the new places we found was Meerkerk Gardens. It was beautiful!

We had so much fun exploring and driving around. The weather was perfect. We drove with the sun roof open and the windows down! Gorgeous flowers were blooming everywhere! Gardens are everywhere and were producing produce and flowers. It was a very different trip because it was just us. (Don’t get me wrong….it would have been fun with the girls too, but this was different. I’m sure you understand.) (There are more pictures and details here if you are interested.)

Another new place we want was Lavender Wind Farm. I love lavender!! It’s my favorite fragrance for everything!

We are back home now and Tom will be back to work tomorrow (at his desk here at home). The girls get home on Thursday.

This was the sunset from our porch Friday evening. Thank you God for this beautiful world you created for us to enjoy!

While the weekend away was amazing, we started it off with a Telehealth appointment with my oncologist to get my CT scan results to see if the chemo pill was working. Driving in the car on the way there I got a notification from MyChart letting me know I had new test results. That was strange since we were meeting with the Dr. in 2 hours. The results were for my CT. We read the the radiologist’ss comments and then the Oncologist’s response – “Sorry. New spots seen. Will talk soon.”

Ugh. I’m not sure why he sent that before our meeting, but I guess it was good so the initial shock was worn off before we started talking about next steps.

The current chemo pill I’m on is not working. There are more cancer spots in my bones (which we were expecting), but it has now also spread to the lungs. On the last CT there was a small spot on my right lung and they were unsure what it was, so they said we would watch it. On this CT, the spot has grown and there is another one. They are small, but it’s definitely cancer. They are not causing any pain, but they are there and are growing.

Cancer has now spread to an organ. πŸ™

Tom and I were prepared to hear cancer had spread more in the bones, but finding out it is now in the lungs was a surprise and was very difficult to hear.

There are no more pill options, so we are moving on to IV chemo. I’l be getting Taxol, which is one I have had previously. He said there are other options, but for now recommended going with one that has worked in the past.

So that’s the plan.

Here’s what it looks like on the calendar:

8/4 – COVID testing

8/6 – Port placement surgery (my veins can’t handle weekly chemo)

8/10 (Monday) – First chemo

I will have chemo every Monday and it goes in cycles – 3 weeks on/one week off.

I’m much more prepared this time for what’s to come. I’m less anxious because of this! I know what the port placement surgery is like. I know how the infusion works – blood work, premeds, chemo, 3rd day is usually the hardest, take Claritin for a few days before the infusion, have anti-nausea meds ready, goodbye hair (tears….so many tears on this one)…

I’m glad I wrote so much down on this blog so I can go back and read posts to remind myself what it was like!

Eventhough a lot of this it familiar, there are some big differences.

COVID – means chemo by myself but with someone needing to drive me there and pick me up; not being able to have many friends in the house for encouragement or to help; kids doing school at home while I’m not feeling good and some days unable to help….COVID makes it a lot harder. I could write my huge list of fears and concerns because of it, but instead, I will give those thoughts to the Lord.

If you are still reading, thanks!

I would imagine you are wondering how we are doing.

We are doing OK. I’m not sure what else to say.

There have been tears and a lot of difficult discussions.

There has also been laughter, joy, hugging, kissing and snuggling.

This is hard. It’s hard to go through this during normal times, but even harder to go through it during a time when it seems like the world is literally falling apart. Seriously! God, please return quickly!!

I can’t think about the future. It’s too hard. For now, Tom and I are focusing on today and our quiet house, friends bringing over a recliner for me to borrow, a yummy BBQ chicken dinner and time to watch another Marvel movie while we eat that yummy dinner. We are looking forward to the girls being home and hearing all about their trip. The house will no longer be quiet, but I pray it will be full of laughter, fun and words or encouragement.

As you pray for our family, please pray for Tom. There is so much going on for him with work, taking care of our home and family and then emotionally processing my cancer. Please pray for the girls as they process this as my physical appearance changes. Those changes make the cancer feel more real to them and it’s hard. Please pray that my body will handle the IV chemo well, that I will not have bad neuropathy, and that if at all possible, I could keep my hair. (Last time on this chemo, my hair started to very slowly grow back. It’s been thinning with this last chemo pill, but not so much that you can tell. Hair loss is usually a side effect with this chemo. I’m looking into a few things that I have heard help, but I’m not too hopeful.)

BEFORE YOU GO – I almost forgot. Praise God! I adjusted the dose of my Morphine from 45mg 2x a day to 60 mg 2x a day and my lower back pain is so much better! I can actually be up doing something for more than 10 minutes at a time! Thank you Lord! I started this new dose on Friday evening and it made our trip so much more enjoyable as I wasn’t in a lot of pain the entire time in the car. (We did a lot of driving!)

Thank you all for your continued support. Thank you also for not offering suggestions of treatment or referrals to people/and or doctors. We are very pleased with the care I am receiving and will reach out with questions or needs if we have them.

Hugs from beautiful, sunny Seattle!

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