Tuesday, May 30, 2006

School's Out for Summer

It feels great to be out of school for the summer. Other than Thursday I'm off the whole week and then I start teaching 8th grade English in summer school only for the month of June. I'm glad I'm off this week especially because Jess has a radiation consultation on Friday, so she can start radiation. The tumor that is going to be treated is on her back but not on her spine. It's actually the one on her rib and although you might normally think of your ribs as just being in the front of your body the tumor is on the backside of her rib. As far as I know the radiation isn't going to completely eliminate the tumor, but it should make her back start to feel a lot better.

It is already been a nuts week already for us. My car died on the way back from a YMCA waterpark in Fort Worth. I sent Katelyn into the convenience store to get some drinks for her and Jadyn (Bryn had already crashed) and didn't think about my wallet I had given her until much later. Jess came and picked me up and dropped me off at the house. When I realized my wallet was gone I made several trips back to the car: to the search my car, to talk to the convenience store clerk, even to scour a dumpster (Katelyn thought I might have thrown it away when I threw away the drink bottles). By my third trip up to my car I was furious with Katelyn. I got home Jess was still out and Katelyn with her. I was scouring the cabinets for something to eat when both Jadyn and Bryn had an accident in the kitchen. Very frustrated, I cleaned it up and made dinner (cream of mushroom soup and spaghetti noodls). As I was eating dinner God told me "Even if Katelyn finds your wallet, you won't forgive her." Realizing He was right I told him right back that I would forgive if her even if she didn't. Immediately the phone began to ring. It was Katelyn; she had found my wallet... under her foot.

Bryn has been her normal funny self. Bryn was wearing her Mini-Mouse costume (playing dress up is the yikes favorite activity) and playing with toys. Unfortunately she made a big mess. I asked her who made the big mess. She looked down at the mess and said, "Micky did it." Then when Jess took the girls out to eat at Chick-Fil-A, Jadyn and Bryn made some friends. Jadyn told Jess the name of her new friend. Then Jess asked Bryn what the name of her friend was. Bryn said, "I named my boy Jack."

Thank you for waiting for this post. Either Jess or I will post another one on Friday and talk about radiation and her next scan.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Latest news

Hi there!

I went to the doctor on Wednesday for a routine follow-up and treatment. My treatment will stay the same and Dr. Hayley saw no new "bumps" (as a friend's children call them!). I told her my back had been hurting and since I had the same symptom on my last visit, she sent me for an x-ray after my appointment.

It showed that there was accumulation of cancer cells on my last rib. It is not a new spot, just an active one. So, she suggested I have a few rounds of radiation on my back. It would alleviate pain and diminish the cells. I will let you know when that new adventure begins. I am not too nervous. I have heard of some side effects of radiation, but those have all been from women that have had 30+ rounds. I get the impression it will just be a couple (2-3).

We have had a busy weekend. I got to go see a movie with some friends Friday. Saturday after church, my mom watched the girls so Jake and I could have a much needed date night. We went to see the local high school musical, The Boyfriend, (which was phenomenal) and out to dinner.

The girls are all happy and well, keeping us laughing all day long. School is out Thursday for Jake and Katelyn so we are all anticipating a good, long break.

Monday, May 15, 2006

3 Day Walkers and Jessica Front row: Cousin Mandy, Jessica, Aunt Dianne; Back row: Mother Judy, Aunt Sandy, Sister Jennifer (not pictured: E.J.) Posted by Picasa

Ponies, Trampolines, and 60 miles

I was playing a My Little Pony matching game tonight with Jadyn and Bryn when I realized what an unfair adavantage they had over me. The object of the game is to match the two My Little Ponies that look alike together. Since they are all practically various shades of pinks and purples the only chance I had of matching them together was took look at the very small tushy tattoo they each have. Needless to say Jadyn and Bryn did a much better job of distinguishing "Sweetberry" (what in the world does that tatto look like) from Wisiteria (again no idea what that tatto is suppose to be) than I did. It's times like these when I realize Jadyn knows not only all of the Little Pony names, but also every stuff animal's name (including the last several names it has gone through) that I wonder why it is so dificult to memorize the times tables.

Jessa's dear friend Allyson's husband knew someone at work that was trying to get rid of a trampoline complete with safety fence (or whatever they call the WWF-like ring that is supposed to make it safer). I called up a friend at the last minute to help me and we lugged it over to our place (amazingly only about a block away) (thank you Claudio!). The only thing I wonder is with Bryn's medical track record is if the medical insurance knew would they still be willing to insure her?

Finally, I am posting the link to the 3-Day walkers who are walking in honor of Jess. It is:
Obviously you will need to cut and paste it, but you can also go to Aunt Jacque's link www.the3day.org/dallas06/jacquecurtis. I still cannot grasp what it is like to go 60 miles in 4 days.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Jess and her brother Garett at his graduation from Texas A&M University! Posted by Picasa

Happy Mother's Day

I wish all the mothers in my life a happy mother's day! Last mother's day, I was in the hospital with a blood clot and infection. I feel so blessed and fortunate to be with my family at home today! Last year, the women in my family came up to the hospital to celebrate with me. This year, we are having a beautiful brunch, with much of the local family planning to come. I will try to get a picture to post. We went out to dinner with some friends last night and the mom said, "Happy Mother's Day" as we left. Bryn took my hand and asked, "What is Happy Mother's Day?" I told her Happy Mother's Day is when you say you love me very much. Bryn said, "I love you very much!" I love you all, too!

Over the last few weeks I have had the opportunity to attend three college graduations. They have been so special. My friends from the college group at our church, Jessica and Chanel, and my brother, Garett all were beaming with their latest accomplishments. I am so very proud of them all. I will be excited to watch the wonderful opportunities for them in the coming months.

I am feeling fine lately. I have a routine appointment with Dr. Haley Wednesday. I think it is time to schedule scans for later in the month. I will ask her about them. I then get a treatment afterwards.

The end of the school year has brings awards ceremonies, field days, class parties, fun summer plans...I am very grateful to be such a part of them all this year.

Much love,

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Prayer Still Needed

Most of the time now when people ask about how Jess is still doing I mention the positive that Jess has an amazing attitude of charging through and getting the most out of life, and I also mention the negative that Jessica's feet still hurt. Actually yesterday Jess woke up in the morning pain-free in her feet; unfortunately, she started back on her medicine last night. One of the neatest transformations Jess has gone through in the last year is that her attitude now is that her life is more about the people in than it is about herself. This means accepting help from others so that they can rejoice and struggle right alongside her, but it also means giving of herself. The neatest example of this is the ministry she has started and grown Backpack For Kids. This is a program run by individuals (most of whom go to our church, LABC) for kids who recieve free lunches at school, but are going hungry on weekends. Those kids get a backpack of food to take home for the weekend. It's funded by the same individuals who get the backpacks ready, but recently one of the school's PTA made a big donation.

The biggest thing Jess needs now is prayer. She still needs prayer that the tumors do not increase in size and number. She needs prayer that she will go into remission. She needs prayer to "keep on keeping on." If you can think of it she needs prayer for it. The reason I mention it is she needs just as much prayer now as she did a year ago. Personally, I need to be reminded of that because sometimes it seems like the need isn't as great after surviving the first year with cancer.

Thursday, May 4, 2006

Hurry up and Rest

The last two weeks have definitely been on "hurry-up" mode. While activites are ending for the school year (Katelyn's choir, Jadyn and Katelyn's soccer, etc.) other activities are having to be planned for the summer. We are planning on sending Katelyn to one week each of church and soccer camp, Jadyn and Bryn might do swim lessons, Jess is coordinating a group of teachers doing crafts at VBS, and we are planning a trip to Portland. What this means is that the two groups (the one that is ending and the other that is starting) are converging right now and practically suffocating all the down time we have. I appologize to you, dear reader, because the number of posts these last two weeks have dwindled. That may not change until summer so I hope you'll bear with us until then.

Since Judy, Jessica's mom, has been preparing for the three day (speaking of which you were at Austin's birthday and took a digital picture of aunts, cousins, etc. walking in the three day in honor of Jess, if you'll email it to me, I'll post it on the blog) and so Jess has been faithfully waking up early in the morning and walking with Judy. Even though Judy only lives less than a mile away Jess and her haven't got to spend a lot of time together: Judy spends a lot of quality time with the grandkids (Katelyn in particular loves her "grandma fix") This walking together has brought them back closer together again I think. We bought her previous pair of tennis shoes pre-foot-aches (there's a made-up word I never thought I'd use) so we have been looking for a shoe that would help. Jess went to a store for runners called "The Runner" and picked out a nearly perfect pair for her feet. They are a very cute pair of New Ballance with purple "N's." Jess had to special order them so I just picked them up today. Needless to say Jess is very excited-- she gets to try them out tomorrow morning.

Well I'm going to hurry up and get ready for bed.