Saturday, May 26, 2007


Thursday, I had my first radiation treatment, followed by Friday's second treatment. I also had high enough counts to have my second round of chemo on Thursday as well. I have never had chemo and radiation on the same day, and I felt surprisingly good. A little tired with an upset stomach, but nothing too bad. I have a long Memorial Day weekend off, and then radiation Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I have my third round of chemo Wednesday. Are you tired of the schedule?? Me too! But then, I will be off. No more radiation, and one whole week off chemo! I can feel the relief already!

Katelyn's 6th grade graduation Thursday night was great, and school is now out. I will post some pictures later.

Much love,

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Fun Days

We have been keeping busy at the Kaylor house lately.

Friday, Katelyn had her 6th grade party. It was a great time at a local park with an obstacle course inflatable, a spinning ride, a button maker, lots of junk food and fun time with friends. It turned out to be the prettiest weather we had all week. Katelyn said it was the best party ever! Just the words you want to hear after lots of hard work preparing! It's funny how several glitches made us (adults) squirm, but the kids just love what they have been given. Reason enough to not sweat the small stuff. "Aunt" Principal Sandy is in the middle of the first picture with Katelyn making a horrible face with her friends. We took a big 6th grade group picture before they all headed back to school. Katelyn is all smiles in the last picture taken with some of her closest friends.

Sunday, I had a wonderful time at the 3rd annual Mother's Day Brunch. Two of my wonderful friends, Shelley and Alyson along with their moms, and my mom and I, went to a local tearoom. This is the third year we have been doing this! Each year, it seems like so little time has passed, yet here we year later. We had such a nice time catching up, talking and laughing. I am looking forward to next year already. (However, we talked about switching it to a bi-annual affair!) From the left is Shelley, Alyson, Shelley's mom, Alyson's mom, followed by myself and my mom.

Today, Katelyn had a rehearsal for 6th grade graduation!! She got her yearbook and had her last full day of school. I can't believe that she has finished grade school. It has been an amazingly fast blur. Jadyn is so excited about coming to Wood next year. Also, this afternoon, Katelyn and a few friends gave a big "good-bye" gift basket to one of her favorite teachers at Wood, Kristen Lewis. Each year, Katelyn has been blessed with so many awesome teachers. She connected in an amazing way with Kristen and it came at an influential year for Katie. Mrs. Lewis will be leaving Wood to stay home with her beautiful new baby girl, Laney, whom she adopted from Taiwan just this past January. The basket was filled with fun things for Mrs. Lewis to do with Laney this summer. Katelyn is on the far right, standing by Mrs. Lewis.

Katelyn's 6th grade graduation is tomorrow evening. I am so excited that the teacher's moved it to the evening (it was scheduled for the morning) so that Jake can attend. It will be so special for the kids. Katelyn has a beautiful dress to wear and she is going to get her hair curled after school with a few friends. A funny thing has happened. Two months ago, Katelyn got her hair chemically straightened. Although she loves it day-to-day and has an easy time doing her hair in the morning, I can't even count how many times she had worked and worked to make it curly-Q again. I do not think we will be going the chemical route again. I also think that when her hair grows out, she will have a new appreciation for her thick, beautiful curls.

Jadyn had splash day at school today. She was very excited to wear her new camo swimsuit to school. She even wanted to sleep in it. My aunt said she wished she loved herself in a swimsuit so much that she wanted to sleep in it. Touché'.

I had such a blessed day today when my sister Hope came over with her baby Ella Grace and my cousin Mandy came with her son, Jace. My grandma and aunt Pam made the play date too. I loved every minute of this family time. We are going to continue the tradition all summer! Jace is growing so much and he looks huge alongside Ella at not even 7 lbs!! It is pretty easy to tell the difference between the babies, but: the first picture is Jace. The next are Jadyn, Bryn and I with Ella, and then Mandy and Hope with their own little ones, finally, my grandma is holding Jace on the left and Ella on the right.

Okay, aside from today, I will have gone to the doctor in Dallas EVERY day this week. Have I mentioned that the cost of gas is over $3.00!! I have been poked and prodded, marked with pen, asked to be still, hold my breath, put my arms above my head, by my side, across my chest, drink milky liquids, etc.... now I don't even bat an eye at there instructions. I just follow along. I will get the results soon. I am grateful for the doctors and the tools they use to help guide my treatment. Preliminary PET results showed bone tumor growth on my hip. This is not surprising-- as many of you know I am in enough pain to banish all pride and walk with a cane. It helps so much to put a little pressure off my hip. I am fine knowing about the growth because tomorrow I will have radiation to diminish, or as I like to say, eliminate the pain. I want them to get all of it, even the part that is growing. If we had not had the scan, she would have radiated a much smaller part. I will find out tomorrow how many radiation treatments I will get, but it will most likely be 4-5. Tomorrow I have chemo as well. You can pray that my counts are high enough that I can withstand treatment this time.

Wow, thanks for listening.
Take care,

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Adoption Day

Our family of five, plus my mom and dad, my grandma and grandpa and our cousin Corbin (who is Katelyn’s age) all went down to the Family Law courthouse in Ft. Worth today to make official what we have held true for a long time: Katelyn is an official Kaylor. We were all asked to come to the judge’s stand as Jake, Katelyn and I answered a few questions. Then, it was her honor's distinct privilege to grant the stepparent adoption of Katelyn to Jake. The bailiff was so nice to use my camera to take several pictures while we talked to the judge. At one point, the judge had us all come behind her bench to take a picture with her. Jadyn and Bryn even got to sit on the judge's desk! Then, all the children got to pick out a stuffed animal from a massive bin. It was so neat to have 4 generations of our family there to support us. After shuttling the yikes off to school late, the three of us (Jake Katelyn and myself) went to lunch together. We had a pretty relaxing afternoon, and then 16 of our wonderful family members were able to gather again for a celebration dinner for Katelyn. We all have wonderful memories to hold in our hearts.

I got to see Ella Grace SO briefly today. I can’t wait to visit with her longer. All the nurses are taking such good care of one of their very own! Hope was born at Arlington Memorial, Austin and now Ella were born there, and now she works as an RN there too! My friend Alyson gave Ella a big bow for Ella to wear. I put it on her when I went to see her. Ella looks fabulous!

I am feeling the same. I have a few scans early next week, and then the doctors will decide when and what type of radiation to perform.

We never watch courtroom stuff on TV, but when we were flipping channels Thursday afternoon, Bryn saw one and said, “That is just like where we were today!” And, then out of the blue as we were driving home from dinner, Bryn said, “Did we win in that court today?” Yes, we definitely won!

I was having some trouble posting for the last few days, so sorry for the delay.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I am an aunt...again!

My sister had her second child, a beautiful, healthy baby girl, this evening!! Ella Grace Pavel is 6 lbs. 12 oz. and 19 and 1/2 inches long. She has a lot of black curly hair, and dark eyes. She is SOOO precious. The family of four is doing well.

I was supposed to have a chemo treatment today, but for the first time I got turned away!! They always draw blood when I first get there and the blood work showed that I did not have enough "roaming" white blood cells to sustain treatment. Yuck! And the weird thing is, I do not feel sick at fever, no stuffy nose, no green mucus, nothing! I have to wait a week until my next scheduled chemo to try again. The only recommendation they gave me was to wash my hands constantly and avoid people who are sick. I received a dose of Zometa which I have not have this year, which is a bone strengthener.

Tomorrow is ADOPTION DAY!! Jake will officially be Katelyn's dad! I will post pictures of the momentous event. We are all very excited. Katelyn has a new outfit (thank you Grandma Burcie!) and we will give her a special necklace tomorrow morning! I am so excited for her. We are letting the Yikes come, even though they do not quite understand. Later, they will, and I know that this will mean a lot to them in the future as well.

Take care,

Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day, the day after

Yesterday, I woke up, literally, to Bryn waving her sealed folder in my face begging, "Can you open it now? Can you open it now?" She had made a secret something that we have been counting down to open since she came home from Mother's Day Out on Thursday. I was more than delighted to wake up and open it. It contained a beautiful bracelet made of a pink pipe cleaner and various colorful beads, which I proudly wore all day. She also had "finished" the following sentences in a beautiful poem:

My Mom is Special

My Mom is special because... I snuggle with her.
I like it when my mom...sings, and takes me with her to the store.
My Mom can do many things! I think she is best at... coloring with me.
My Mom has a pretty smile! I like to make her smile by... singing a lullaby.
My mom is as pretty as....a flower.
My Mom is smart. She even knows...all about how to say a Spanish word.

Love, Bryn

Then, Katelyn and Jadyn came in and asked for breakfast. I got up and came into the kitchen to make it. Only, I did not see an empty table, but one filled with breakfast already made!! Katelyn had woken up at 6:00 to prepare pancakes, and all the girls helped set the table. It was a wonderful start to the day.

We all went to church and then came back to the house for lunch with the five of us, my mom and dad, and my sister Hope with her husband Matt and their son Austin. The ten of us had a great time eating and talking. We decided to do this instead of waiting a long time in line at a restaurant for a table and I think it was a good plan (of course, I came up with it, so I am a little prejudiced!).

The whole family met over at my grandmother's for dessert and coffee. We stayed over there several hours where we just talked and visited, held baby Jace and guessed about if we would be holding a baby boy or girl in the next weeks with Hope's baby on the way. It was a fun and relaxing day.

One funny...My mom came over this weekend to take the girls out to dinner. Bryn had on a dress I had just pulled down from the attic from her summer clothes. She did not remember where it had come from so when my mom asked Bryn where she got her lovely dress she said without a moments hesitation, "God gave it to me." We all held back roaring laughter, as Bryn quickly flitted by as if she had said the most normal think in the world. Well, I guess God certainly did provide everything for the dress to be now on her little body! Plus, I think that would be a good idea to save that one away to say to Jake if he asks where I got something new and I was not really wanting to tell him I spent money on extra clothes, "God gave it to me!"

Take care,

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Two appointments

I went to see Dr. Hayley on Thursday. Jake came too. I was able to communicate clearly about my hip pain. I think what hit home was I said that in two years of treatment, I have never not been able to do what I wanted to do/go where I wanted to go...I know that I have been sick with chemo, but within several days, I was back to my normal routine. With this hip pain, I have made choices not to do something because I did not think I could walk that far, or manage well enough, etc.

So, Dr. Hayley answered. First, she wants me to go back to the radiation oncologist to get some targeted radiation that will help with pain management. She told me to double up on my pain patch when necessary and continue to take pain pills for break-through pain. Finally, she gave me the proper documentation and prescription to get a handicapped placard. Not something I am jumping up and down for, but something that will help me get to what I want to do more easily.

I went to see the radiation oncologist, Dr. Spangler, Friday. She ordered a new PET scan next week (the earliest they could get me in was Friday) and then she scheduled the pre-radiation CT the following Monday. Depending on the PET scan, she will do a 10-day, 4-day or possibly 1-day radiation treatment. I am hoping for the 4 or 1 day!! I will do what they want, but it sure sounds nice to just make half the number of trips for the same treatment. We'll soon see. I know they will do what is best. I am just relieved to start something I think will help my pain.

As far as following the doctor's other advice, I doubled up the pain patch Friday morning. I noticed that later in the evening, I was very tired and a little dizzy. We'll see if I get used to the increased medicine. I also will go to get my handicapped sign Monday. I have started using my grandmother's cane to get around the house, and I took it even out of the house today. It does help. I have come to the realization that I draw attention to myself with a funny limp, and with a cane. I might as well be a little more comfortable!

Several big blessings have made our family relax a little more together this weekend: Mark Cooper (whose wife Pat works with Jake) has been doing our lawn for the last few weeks. We came home from treatment Thursday to he and a youth worker at his church working hard on our (now) beautiful yard! Also, several meals have come our way from precious friends and Jake's coworkers this past week. What a relief it is to come home not knowing about dinner (and not hungry at all myself) to a meal for my family!! Then, on Friday someone arranged for my house to be sparkling clean. We are trying to keep it that way! It is so much easier to keep something clean that is already spotless!! What awesome provision all around us!

To all moms, Happy Mother's Day tomorrow!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Doctor visit tomorrow

Hi there! I have been having pretty typical days...busy, busy, busy! The end of the year is quite an eventful time. Almost every night is another obligation--almost all fun, however!

I am making it around okay; I am just pretty slow. For those of you who know me well, you would be shocked to hear that I am almost considering using a cane until this blasted chemo starts working! My right hip (which is cancer free) has started to ache because I am overcompensating and overusing that leg. My grandma is bringing a cane she no longer uses tomorrow and I will give it a try. It might help me speed up a little. We'll see. The fact that I have not completely shut the idea down should mean to you that my new nickname could be hop-a-long! I hope my grandma won't mind if I paint it hot pink!

I mentioned earlier that I have a doctor’s appointment and an infusion tomorrow. Jake will come too. I plan to ask for more options, and will hopefully let you know tomorrow of the many new ideas Dr. Hayley has in store for me!

My cousin Mandy has come over the past two weeks to visit. This week, my sister Hope came by too. Hope's baby is due any day now!! I love our time together, and I love holding and acting like a silly "Aunt Jess" with Jace. Here is a photo of Jace after we went nuts trying to make him smile. I think he is adorable!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

What's been going on... A LOT!

Hi there!

Pictures explain my busy days...Katelyn had her field day and cluster track within the last week. Field day is with just her 6th grade class, competing against the other four home room classes. Cluster is her whole 6th grade competing against two other elementary schools that will feed into Bloes Junior High next year. Both were fun events. Katelyn did very well...she must get her athletic gene from someone else! She and her relay team won first place in the 800 relay and Katelyn earned ribbons in almost every other event she participated in. Most of all, she had a great time. Jadyn will have a Pre-K field day a week from tomorrow. I will be sure to post that fun event too! The pictures below are of Katelyn and her Aunt (Principal!) Sandy, Katelyn doing her field day events, with her friends, and lastly, with her cousin Corbin.

This weekend, Katelyn's volleyball team, the Blackouts, participated in an end of the season tournament. They won one game and lost another, so they will play again this coming weekend. We did not know if Saturday would be the end of the season for the kids or not, and so we went ahead and planned a little end of season party/lunch with all the girls. They were undefeated in the regular season and have improved greatly individually and as a team over the last few months. They will all probably be trying out for their junior high team on the very first day of school in August!

My Dad was in from Portland, OR this weekend. It was very fun having him in town. He got to help out with all the different events and even got to be here for Bryn's birthday party. I told Katelyn that I did not have any pictures of her with Grandpa Bob, but she was too tired to get up when she was saying goodbye to Grandpa at 6:30 in the Monday morning. I was not too tired to get a great picture of Grandpa holding hands with Jadyn and Bryn. When Jadyn saw this picture, she said, "Hey! I did not know you were taking a picture that day!" I told her that those kinds of pictures are the best kind!

Bryn had a great time at her 4th birthday party. We invited her Froggy Pre-K class at Fielder Road as well as family and a few close friends from church with children Bryn's age. We went to the carousel at the local mall. The kid total reached 42!! Amazingly, it went quite smoothly. Bryn lasted the entire party without any tears. In fact, she was all smiles! The following pictures were taken at the party. Sandy is holding our newest family member, Jace Michael Kirwan. Parents Mandy and Jeremy are so proud of him. We are too...he is SO cute!!

I have been feeling better as far as nausea and side effects from chemo. This weekend is usually my hardest time, and yet, it was not that bad! That is a big praise! I have stayed on top of all my symptoms and taken medicine quickly. This seems to have helped. The biggest issue is I am tired. Some from chemo, some from the medicine's side effects. However, as you can see from the long post and pictures, anyone might be tired after a week like this!

My biggest complaint, if I am going to admit to one, is my hip. I am now walking with a definite limp, and I walk fairly slowly at that! I want the chemo to kick in faster and start attacking those tumor spots with greater vengeance. My oncologist calls it systemic therapy, and she thinks this is the greatest method of attack for me. I see Dr. Hayley on the 11th. Jake is going to get to come with me to that appointment as well. I am going to ask her about more pain management ideas, as well as radiation and any other alternative therapies she knows of to help both fight the cancer and help me day to day.

When my Dad was here, he slept on a new air mattress in the living room. He kept most of his things in the girl's room where he has slept in the past. On the last day dad was here, he walked into Bryn and Jadyn's room to both say goodnight and gather some things. Dad said to the girls he would get his stuff now so that he would not have to bother them at night. Jadyn said, "That's okay Grandpa. You can come bother us anytime!" We all thought that was so sweet! We love everyone's visits...anytime!

Take care,