Hey, everyone! I borrowed the title for this post from my friend, Liesl. She emails me pretty frequently and keeps me updated on all kinds of things like what's going on at school, with her family, sometimes political commentary (we're both proud moderate liberals) and titles her emails This and That. It seemed to fit this post perfectly so I hope she doesn't mind.
On the Cancer Front
Not much to report. I've had four of my new chemo treatments and continue to do well with them. I get a little nauseous now and then, but I take a Compazine and it gets better pretty quickly. I have a lot of energy during the day, but crash around four to five in the afternoon. Unfortunately, that's just when Joe is about to get home. I've tried conserving my energy during the day, but it doesn't seem to make a difference. My blood counts are low, but steady and in the range where I can continue to recieve the chemo. Fingers crossed, this will continue. I can't really tell any difference in my breast by just looking at it or trying to feel it, but I have an ultrasound on the 23rd and see Dr. Livingston again on the 24th so maybe we'll know more then.
Have I told you all what an amazing sister she is? She just left yesterday after spending two weeks with me again. I can't even begin to tell you how much it helps me to keep my spirits up and my emotions fairly even when she is here. Just having her here to talk with, laugh with, and sometimes cry a little with during the day when I would usually be home by myself is a huge thing. Besides that, she does a zillion things around the house to help out and has helped Joe and I keep all the medical information organized. She gets me out and about doing things when I'd probably sit at home otherwise. She is truly amazing and the best friend anyone could ever ask for. I meant to take a picture of us together while she was here, but forgot. Here is one of my favorites from when we were little.
Joey had his first snow day this past Tuesday! I didn't even realize kids had snow days in Arizona! He put it to good use by going snowboarding with his friends. Here are a couple of photos he took.
As you all know, I've missed teaching terribly. Besides missing out on getting to spend my days with the kids at school, it has also been hard to not have something outside of myself and the cancer to focus on. I've talked about looking into volunteering and Pam nudged me into going to the Gilbert Public Library to see if they needed volunteers. We went over and I filled out the paperwork. The lady in charge called me the same evening. I go Wednesday afternoon for orientation and then will start. I think it will be a nice fit for me because I love reading and being around books. I put on the form that I was a teacher, so I'm hoping they might be able to use me in the kids section at some point.
Cindy who works with Joe helped him make arrangements for us to go out to dinner and stay at a hotel in Scottsdale for Valentine's Day. We stayed overnight on Friday. When Joe asked me what I would like to do on Saturday, I wanted to do something outdoors. I got thinking about my friend, Jane from school, who wrote on her blog about hiking up Camelback Mountain. I love to be outdoors and to hike, but have mostly done it up at our cabin in Payson or on vacation. I have never done any of the local trails. I was really inspired by Jane and suggested to Joe that we try it. I had no idea how I would do and we agreed we'd just start out and turn around any time I felt like I needed to. Well, guess what? I made it to the top!!! I did have to stop pretty frequently to catch my breath and Joe kept encouraging me the whole second half of the hike. "We're almost there. You can do it." I get vertigo pretty easy and in some places toward the end of the hike you're scrambling over rocks with pretty good drop offs on both sides. I just kept saying to myself, "Don't look down. Don't look down." Then, we were at the top! The first picture below is of Camelback Mountain. I didn't take it. I downloaded it from the Internet. I thought you'd all be more impressed with my accomplishment if you could see how high it is. :>) The other pictures are of Joe and I at the top. I was so excited and energized at the top of the mountain, but by the time we made our way back down I was done in! We had reservations to go to Rigatoni's for dinner, but I begged off and was in bed and sound asleep shortly after seven. I feel great again today. It was an awesome way to spend the day.
Well, that's it for now. A little of this and a little of that, but no political commentary. :>) I hope all is well with everyone and that you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day!
Love you all tons!