Monday, September 21, 2009

A Short Update and Michael News

Hi, everyone. I am, again, in a holding pattern. My doctors all agree that I need to give myself time to heal from the radiation before starting my new chemo. Part of me is relieved to have a break and another part of me is just very anxious to get going on it so I can get it behind me. As always, it is very nerve-wracking to just wait and not be doing anything proactive against the cancer returning. I know I can't be in treatment forever(at least I hope not!) and I will have to get used to living with the fear at some level, but it is not easy. My skin has finally almost completely healed from the radiation. It honestly looked so bad a couple of weeks ago that I would never have believed it if I was told it would heal this well,this quickly. The problem is that the radiation eroded part of my incision and so it has to heal from the inside out and that is going to just take time. I still am battling fatigue, especially by the end of the day, but I'm told that can take months to get better. Being in the classroom each day continues to be a source of energy and happiness for me. I have the most amazing kids!

Michael News
Two fun things to let you know about Michael. He decided this year to go out for the swim team. He is a senior this year and hadn't been on the team before, but it is a no cut sport and so he has been able to become a part of the team. It is a really nice group of kids that swim and besides occupying a lot of his time with practice and meets, he has a nice group of kids from the team he hangs out with. He came home at the end of the first week of practice with a Swimmer of the Week t-shirt. We are so proud of him. I got to go see him compete this past Thursday. Here is a short video of him participating in the 50 meter freestyle.

The other news is kind of funny. The senior class was having elections this past week for the yearbook;things like the most likely to succeed, etc. Well, one of the categories was best hair. Michael wanted to win one of the categories and worked at convincing his friends that they should vote for him for best hair. Well, I'm his mom and he is a very good looking young man, but his hair is pretty ordinary even in my eyes. I guess it was in the eyes of his friends,too, because they only agreed to vote for him if he would cut his hair in a "cul-de-sac." If you are like me, you've never heard of this style before. I think the pictures below will clear up any confusion you might have.

This last picture is one of the ones they took for the yearbook with the girl who won best hair.

So, that is all the news fit to print for now!
Love you all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Fantastic Labor Day Weekend!

Hi, everyone. No news on the cancer front except that my skin is very slowly turning the corner and starting to heal. Finally! For me, radiation was definitely worse than the surgery was. But, it's in the past, another thing I've survived through and hopefully am stronger for.

Joe and I had a wonderful weekend up north at our cabin with Joey. Janaya had to work and Michael had a football tailgate and swimming practice he didn't want to miss, so it was just the three of us. I'll post pictures below, but the absolute, very best part of the weekend was just getting to spend so much time with Joey. And, he was thrilled to bespending the time with us! I told Joe on our way home -"He actually likes us!"

Playing Risk.

Joe had just taken over the Middle East, so we made him wear a towel on his head.

Cuddling up under a blanket at the beginning of September in Arizona?!!

Even Brewski got into the laid back feeling of the weekend.

Hanging out by the campfire.

And my kids tell me I'm not funny!

Playing washers.

Riding the dirt bike and quad.

They say a picture tells the story and these certainly do. It was a great weekend and I miss Joey already!

Love and hugs!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tumor Marker Results

Hi, everyone. I just wanted to share a piece of good news. Last Monday, while I was up in Tucson, I had tumor markers drawn. This is some kind of protein that shows up in the blood when there are cancer cells. It has something to do with dividing cells and that's all I know about it. It is normal to have some of this protein in the bloodstream. The normal range is 1-40 and today mine was 26! This is the lowest it has ever been. The last time I had them drawn they were 32. They may still be elevated more than they would normally be due to the effects of the radiation, which let me say are horrible! My skin is so sore! I'm miserable. :>( Luckily, I get to spend my days with my students and even though it hurts, it is not at the front of my thoughts all the time. By the time I get home, though, I am tired and really sore. Hopefully, it will start healing any day now. :>)

That's it for now! Just wanted to share the good news.

Love you all!