Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Some additions to my blog page

I am starting to get use to this blog set up and have added some of my favorite web sites at the bottom of the page. You should be able to click on the links and view them. These are the sites that I sometimes visit when I need to seek some enlightenment. The beautiful quote at the top of the page is from a book called The Quiet Mind. It was sent to me by my beautiful friend Schoen. She told me that years ago her Mother was given a copy and loved it so much that through the years she has passed on copies to her friends in need of that little something to help them along. Just days before Schoen found out about my diagnosis she had just purchased some additional copies "in case she needed to share". Just another validation that God puts people in your life that you need there, exactly when you need them. I received the book and absorbed it's 96 small pages (the book is just a bit bigger than the palm of your hand) in a matter of perhaps an hour. And now I pick it up daily - open it up to a random page for that day and meditate on whatever is there for me to examine, appreciate and breathe with all of my being. If you have a friend who is going through a difficult time or maybe it's you that is going through your own life experience and some enlightenment to the soul is needed I encourage you to seek it out. It will change your soul the moment you open it.

The Quiet Mind - Sayings of White Eagle

Much love and light to you all - Ellen

Monday, November 29, 2010

Allow your own inner light to guide you - from one of my favorite positive thinking websites

There comes a time when you must stand alone.
You must feel confident enough within yourself to follow your own dreams.
You must be willing to make sacrifices.
You must be capable of changing and rearranging your priorities so that your final goal can be achieved.
Sometimes, familiarity and comfort need to be challenged.
There are times when you must take a few extra chances and create your own realities.
Be strong enough to at least try to make your life better.
Be confident enough that you won't settle for a compromise just to get by.
Appreciate yourself by allowing yourself the opportunities to grow, develop, and find your true sense of purpose in this life.
Don't stand in someone else's shadow when it's your sunlight that should lead the way.



This beautiful writing above is from one of my favorite websites, http://www.indianchild.com/

When I read it, my first thought was this is very true and I have lived my life exactly this way, or at least I think for the most part I have. My next thought was that I so hope that my children will read this and "get it". That I will not always be there to guide them and I only hope that they know that these words speak volumes. I want them all to be so strong, so independent and I never want them to settle because it's just sometimes is easier to do just that. I never want them to allow anyone, not me or Wayne or a boyfriend or girlfriend or a spouse someday to overshadow the brilliant light that each of them shine with. Each one of our children deserve to be whatever it is that their own heart desires and whatever the future holds for them they and only they can choose to shine through it and God willing they always will.

On the 10th day of treatment my chemo gave to me

the weekend from hell!!!!!!  LOL. I can laugh about it today but was far from laughing about it this past weekend. I just really had a bad weekend. I don't know if it's because I have been doing so good that it just took me by surprise or if I just pushed myself to it from "going going going". The worse part was the sweating. I get these soaking wet, dripping sweats. Now for the past 12 days or so it has been normal for me to sweat some. My chemo nurse said that during treatment your hormones get all crazy. Usually I can put a fan on me and it passes but comes on and off during the day or night a few times and is tolerable. BUT I don't know what happened this weekend. It was like every pore in my body had a leak. It was constant from Saturday morning when I woke up through last night. Showers didn't help, in fact it made things worse. I was so sick just from the sweating I couldn't eat much and even had some trouble taking in fluids without getting nauseated and dry heaves. I won't go into all the details of my horrible day but it was to the point where I was so weak I felt like a rag doll. My poor sister. I felt so bad for her cause I could see she was upset because she couldn't do a thing to help me. I hope she understands that just knowing she was here with me in case I needed her was a huge comfort. Then at 11:30 last night it was like someone flipped a switch and I was dry. I kept watching the clock just waiting for another sweat attack. Midnight, 12:30, 1:30..ahhhh finally I could relax a bit. I was so grateful to be DRY. I'm laughing at myself reading this because I know it sounds ridiculous, but it really is miserable to be sitting there with sweat rolling off of you for 48 hours. I'm cold from the sweat so I shiver, but can't throw any blankets on me because I sweat more. CRAZY huh? It just made for a completely miserable weekend.

Today makes day 12 of treatment. That means I have 93 days left until my last treatment . I know it will have its ups and downs. And I know some people say chemo is HELL but geez I can deal with HELL as long as I don't have to sweat my way through it. Call me a DIVA but sweat and I just don't go together.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving and FAMILY

My family is an amazing support system. My Mom Adele is the rock of the family - she is the MATRIARCH. She has always provided us with love and support. She may not always understand why "we" do some of the things we do, but in the end she loves us unconditionally. Her love for her children is just amazing. Anyone who knows her can tell you that she would kill anyone who hurts someone dear to her.  When I was 15 she and I went through an extremely difficult time with my illness. When I was sick, she was sick. When I was tired,she was tired. When I was in pain, she was in pain. It was though she felt everything I did. She never gave up fighting for me, she never will. I always have people tell me how lucky I am to have a Mother like her - trust me I KNOW.  I love you MOM

My POP - came into my life when I was 18. Never thought I would love him the way I do. I don't mean that in a bad way at all. When he asked for our permission to marry Mom he told us all then that he promised to take care of her, and to be our friend and always be there for us as well. He did not want to take the place our our "dad", he just wanted to be a part of our lives. That's when I fell in love with him and knew that he was meant to be my POP, my Father, my Dad. He is the most generous man i know. He has given so much to Wayne and I and has given his heart to his grandchildren. Pop is a man of character and respect. He works hard to give my mom the life she deserves and he will always put us before himself. I love when people meet him for the first time and tell me I look like him - LOL. I think that its because of the special bond he and i have always had. It comes natural for me to call him dad and i am forever thankful for the night that I asked him to go over and ask Mom to dance. I take full credit for setting them up for marriage and knowing that he is the best thing (besides us of course) that Mom has in her life.
Happy Bday Paw Paw
 My husband Wayne is an awesome man as well. He is a great Father to his children. He loves them more than life itself. Wayne and I met right after he graduated from High School.  We have been together for 20 years or so and I wouldn't have it any other way. Marriage is not easy and you have to work on it every day. Wayne and I sometimes disagree, well most of the time we disagree, but in the end we never go to bed angry. He has always provided for me and the kids and would move heaven and earth to make things perfect for us. I married my best friend and i know he loves me with all of his being. What more could a girl ask for?
Adele and her famous Pecan Pie

Sheri and Bill

Aiden's first turkey leg
 My babies - Adele, Alexis and Joe Joe - wow how lucky I am. I have 3 healthy, smart, beautiful children. They are all talented and truly a gift to me. Although we have our teenage moments filled with hormones and eye rolling, my kids are my heart. They are the reason I get up each morning, take a deep breath and say to myself - "this is going to be a good day, let's roll". I pray every night that my children will take so much from this experience and continue to do for others as they have done for me. They have good hearts and I know whatever paths they choose in life they will be taking care of others in some sort of capacity. I love them and only hope they love me as much as I love my Mom.
Hard at work to make our special family dinner

My siblings - Tammy and Butsie - gee where do I start... Tammy is my baby sister. She and I have always been opposites. We think differently, speak differently, dress differently etc... It wasn't until last year when she moved in with us that we really started to see just how alike we are. Tammy is a very strong person. She keeps her feelings tucked in and only shares when she feels the need to. She has really come to my side over the past few months and she makes sure that I am doing ok and that I have what I need. She brings my sweetie Aiden to see me because she knows he makes me feel better. Her two older sons Austin and Andre are so handsome. Their personalities remind me of how she and I were. Her boys are her life. She loves having them with her and would do anything to make them happyTammy is a straight shooter - so if you don't want the truth DO NOT ask. This is just how she is and I admire her at times for being so honest. I never really see her cry much, but when she does I cry right along with her. I am also so blessed by her moving near me because she has really developed a closeness with my kids that she didn't have early on. My girls love her and love being with her. Joe Joe thinks she is cool and laughs at her all the time when she is being, well you know TAMMY.


Baby Brother Butsie - ah my baby boy. I was 12 when Butise was born. My Mom and Dad split shortly after that and I kind of assumed the big sister role head on so that my Mom didn't have to do it all on her own. He was the sweetest baby ever. He is now a grown man and even tough there have been some bumps in his road of life, he has proven that with faith and love of God and family he can overcome anything. I am very proud of him and I all I want is for him to be happy and healthy. I really wish he and Linz (his sweetie) would come on and tie the know already - Aiden is walking now and I'm ready for another niece or nephew in the house, (j/k) they will do it when the time is right - I know they will.

Just had something really great happen - my step-sister Sheri and her husband Bill and kids have just moved home to the Coast. They will be living in Gulfport for a bit but hope to build in Diamondhead. It is unbelievable to me sometimes how God works. For so long us kids have lived all separate and now with a snap of a finger the girls are all together on the Coast. It was meant to be. I usually only get to see my step sister and step Brother Chris maybe twice a year during the holidays. Now I know I will get to see Sheri more and I hope since Chris is living back in Baton Rouge he can visit us more often too. It's ashamed we haven't spent much time with together the past few years. I guess that's the one good thing about when someone gets sick - the people you love do tend to be there when you need them to. I love ya Sheri welcome home, and my big boy Brycen too!








My In laws- Warren and Willie and I have gotten close over the past few years. They love their grandchildren so much and they actually y love me too! Warren is a great guy, who truly "gets me" and sometimes let's Wayne know it! We used to get together alot more and I am hoping that we will go back to doing more things with them soon.  That goes for my 2 sister inlaws and my brother inlaw as well. It's ashamed we dont see our nieces and nephews but once or twice a year of we are lucky. I know its hard with the jobs we all have now - but I am at least relived to know that if I need any one of them all I have to do is call and they will be there for us.
video

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving

Funny how when you are faced with an illness the Holidays mean just a little bit more. I could ramble on and on about what I am thankful for but I won't. I think everyone knows what that is. BUT what are you thankful for? I want to know so spill it here.


BTW - another good day - day 6. Cant complain over some back pain and fatigue.

Love ya'll - El

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Survived the weekend

Well I guess I did pretty good over the weekend. Slept almost all day off and on Saturday. Today was much better. When I spoke to my chemo nurse on Friday I asked when I would start feeling the side effects from this shot I have to get following my treatments and she said within 24 hours (Saturday) I should start getting achy and hurt in my bones. Well it aint happening yet - and i am not complaining. I woke up this morning and took a shower and when I dried my hair it looked a little thinner in some spots, thinking it was just my imagination I went to my pillow and was surprised to see that I am losing hair so soon. So I guess I will just have my brother bring his clippers over for Thanksgiving and we willjust get rid of it once and for all. I didn't think it would go that fast, but like they keep saying everyone is different. The worse change over the weekend has been my taste. NOTHING tastes good. Most of what I have eaten tastes like metal. I am using plastic utencils and straws like they said to, but even water is nasty. The only things that I really can taste are cold chocolate pudding, ice cream, shakes, bananas, lemonade and cheese puffs. Yeah thats really healthy huh! I have to drink the water, at least 1 liter a day so I force it. Grape juice is good but I need to switch over to the white grape. The books say eat when you can, when you have the appetite, and when you don't you must supplement with some snacks. So I am now tracking all I eat so Mom doesn't fuss thinking I don't eat at all.

Tammy was my sitter this weekend LOL.. I didn't think I needed one but everyone insisted. I am having trouble regulating my body temp so one minute I amdripping with sweat and burning up with AC on 66 and the next hour I am freezing with a sweater and blankets on me. Tam didn't complain to much - she was great. BUT now Wayne is home for the week and as soon as he walked in the door was like "whoa what's the air on"! Sorry love - blame it on the CHEMO...its a bitch.

I guess in one way Wayne and I have been very fortunate to have been healthy all these years. We have never really had to take care of one another over anything more serious than a minor surgery. BTW when he had his gallbladder out he was the worst patient. We have been with each other 20 years and this is the big one. An illness like this makes or brakes a marriage/relationship. I promised him on our wedding day 6-12-92 that in sickness and in health I would be by his side and he promised me the same. Unfortunately, now we have to test that vow. I hate that I sometimes feel that I have become or am becoming a burden to him. It's a natural feeling - I am not getting back on the pity wagon. But I do worry about him and how he is taking this, how he is going to manage taking care of me. He is such a wonderful man. He always has been good to me and I know he will get through this with me, but I still worry. Wayne holds alot inside and even though he tries to act like the strong tough guy he is one of the most sensitive guys I know. I mean cmon - he cries when watching Extreme Home Makeover! He doesn't talk to me directly about this whole thing, he talks more in circles of reassurance and tells me we are gonna be just fine. I hope he knows it's ok to cry and it's ok to worry and let it out cause if anything happens to him I don't know what I would do. I love him more than I show him sometimes and I have to work on that big time.

Well here's to the start of the new week, gotta go get my shot in the am and then head to work---so glad I can stay busy there, lots of stuff to work on. I shall post later this week....goodnite all --- thanks for continuing the prayers--- El

Pity Party

I just took a moment to read the comments that you have left for me but I cannot figure out how to respond back to each of you in person. I am so touched by each of your words. I do feel that I am so lucky to be loved this way. Yesterday I took the day to have a pity party. My poor sister stayed with me all day and all i did was sleep off and on, eat, pray and cry. I was pathetic. I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself. And I shouldn't feel that way at all. I have been here before, I know that this is not a punishment. I know that God has a plan for me and that I should not question it. There is someone out there much worse off than I am. Someone who has been struck with an illness and has no one to love them, or support them. Someone who has financial burdens so deep that they can not get the best treatment to save their life so they must take what they can get just to prolong the pain. How dare I feel sorry for myself. I am ashamed.

My friend Susan left a comment and I have to tell her that she is wrong. I am not always a strong, agressive fighter. I am vulnerable and scared to death. BUT I WILL NOT FEEL SORRY FOR ME ANYMORE! I want to fight the best fight and through my tears I will pray for God's mercy and ask him to heal me so that I can be a better person, a better Mother, Wife, Daughter, Sister, Friend. We can all be better. None of us are perfect, we never will be perfect, but we have to realize that there is room to be better and that's what matters.

Susan also said she was going to go and tell more people that she loves them and that she is sad that so many times things get in our way and we lose touch. This is true for all of us. We have to make time even if its just a quick text - to say - have a good day - i love you - i miss you. MAKE the TIME!

NO more pity party - time to get ready to rumble! This is Sunday, the Saints are playing, I will be with my family, just like any other Sunday except this Sunday happens to be the first one after my first chemo treatment...who cares.... I am not going to refer to my new life by the cancer or the treatment....so happy Sunday guys...go watch some saints kick ass... i love all of you....and always will MUAH!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One day down and many blessings shown and surprises right there in front of your eyes

Table to the right of my chair where Mom said Fr Seelos would be "to my right" There were no other Fr Seelos cards in the room and the nurse did not know who left it there.
Well I tell you (Janelle) I never expected the day to be what it was.  I cannot believe how painful the insertion of the port needle was. I screamed and cried out and was so embarrased, but it really did hurt. Susan, my chemo nurse told me ahead of time that it would but I was not prepared for it. She said it would get easier as the port area healed, I pray she is right. But I do know for a fact that I will be taking a xanax beofre my next treatment on Dec. 9th.

Since the laws in place no longer allow anyone in the chemo area to sit with loved ones Mom and Wayne were not too happy. Mom text me this morning and said, "I wish I could be with you my baby, but you will be fine.I'll be holding your left hand and Fr Seelos will be holding your right." I moved my scapular of Fr over to my left side and I have a wooden Ft Seelos bracelet that I placed on my right wrist.So I get to the doctor's office and enter the chemo area. There are 4 chairs to the left of the room all facing the middle of the room and 1 chair on the right facing the middle of the room and then 2 chairs facing the entry way. There were 2 men seated nextto one another on the left. One was a young asian man,and the other an older man probably in his mid 70's. My plan was to grab the chair behind him so I didnt have to speak to anyone on my first day. This is so unlike me, but it was an actual thought in my head. As I headed to put my stuff down the nurse said, "no why not sit here." pointing to the one chair facing bith of them. UGHHH why me,not today. So i place my 2 bags on the floor, my purse on the chair and reach over to the small table nextto the chair to set my water down. I moved 2 decks of playing cards over and BAM right in front of me is a prayer card to Fr Seelos. I could not believe what I was seeing. This is blessings and surprises right here in front of me.  I moved my purse and sat down in shock and then realized he was to my right. Bet you know what happened next huh...yep tears and more tears. So of course I had to share so I tell the nurse. The nice man across from me Mr Jim found it to very interesting. I couldn't wait to share with Mom,Wayne and Danielle. Then Susan had to come and set me up which means the paragraph above then took place.  After I settled down, Danielle sent me a beautiful email that only she and I could relate to. I had most of what she said on my mind the rest of the day. I wantto thank all of my friends who kept texting me today but if I did not text back it's probably because I kept falling asleep during my texts. Found out later they had some benadryl in one of my bags! I then found out that I now have to return 4 times after my treatment to get a quick shot to boost my white cells, but that the shots cause pain...yippe ah a!


So anyway about 4:30 ish we get home and I am feeling just fine, but emtionally drained. I cried the whole way home,not for any particular reason. I think that this is normal for cancer patients.

So Mom and Pop come by at 6ish becasue I finally convinced her that I was to be felling fine this weekend and she did not have to miss hunting to stay home with me. Susan said I would probably not have major affects this time but after the next treatment yes. So anyway they come by and bring us a coputer desk they no longer used. And Mom gives me a cd froma friend of hers. It happened to be a christian cd,something that Danielle and I had spoken of just hours before to me. AGAIN a surprise and a blessing unexpected. After I explain the cd and Danielleand I's conversation she understood why I was so moved by it. Then to top it off Mom hands me a Clarion Herald which is the offical newspaper of the Archdioces of new orleans. A friend brought it to her at work becasue on the cover there is an article related to who else, Fr Seelos. Well I tell her your not going to believe this but Ms Karen (a friend and one of my former teachers) contacted me just yesterday asking for my address to send me one. Surprise and Bleesing!

Last but not least Candy an old friend of mine sends me a message to tell "Matt" hello. So I was like,"ummm Matt who?" She says "Dr Hottie, don't you remember him?" "Candy you must have the wrong Matt, this guy is just to special and kind." She said he has a brother named Stephen - Ellen this is the Matt we used to hang around. Welllo and behold she was right and once I out it all together it is Matt McKelveen and yes we hung in the same cirlce of friends. I told himhe was an arogant and conceited person in high school,he laughed atthat one and toldme not to holdback how I really felt. I told him it didnt matter because I was meant to be with him to be healed and that was amazing. He said he really didnt remember me - a girls worse nightmare,so I had to name who I hung out with from Brotehr Martin HIgh school that he would know. I named several people that he knew, but couldnt place me. I said I didnt really look the same back then but I did drive a red mustang convertible with the white rag top and that rang his bell! Also he aslked about my besty Ryan and was happtto know that Ryan was doing good and that he and I had come full circle once again. What a crazy day,I guess if you go back and read oneof my first blogs you can see why he didnt like me thinking he could be my dad, he should only be about 2 years older than me. LMAO Again blessings and surpises

Now how more loudly can God speak to me,to my Mom, to my friends. Fr Seelos is the glue to this puzzle. Every thing I request he has shown me to be. No I amnot "healed" yet, but we know I must make the sacrafices that my Lord Jesus Christ made for me. For without experiencing the pain and suffering that could lead towards death I would never appreciate the opportunity to live. Face Book has brought many people back into my life.Some were aquaintances then and still are now.Others were very close friends and we just went our own way,some were very special and by finding them now closure has taken place. I feelright now that the surprises that lead to Blessings are the best ever. And no matter how I look at it there is no doubting FACT. and the FACT of it is that these Surprises and Blessings are the start of my HEALING.

The Night Before The New Dawn - by Ellen Hoffmann 11-17-10

The Night Before The New Dawn

Sitting alone, quiet and still
I feel the warm water fall from my eyes.
I hear the tears slap the paper with a quick pop
and I wipe my cheek gently trying to comfort my own self.
I deserve to cry from time to time.
As I release my sadness and self pity, my heart can now prepare to fill itself with all of the love that surrounds me.
I am prepared for battle, only allowing the positive to enter my door to my home, to my heart, and to my life.
It is the night before the new dawn, waiting anxiously to have my prayers answered.
I will fight as I have been taught to fight in the past, always with Faith, Honor, Dignity, Humility and Trust.
My GOD will take my hand and we will walk together on this night into the new dawn to face the new day that follows it.
Never looking back, only ahead, knowing that my healing is what we will fight for.
Trusting that my healing is only weeks away from tonight -
The Night Before The New Dawn.



Written on the night before chemo treatment 1. First poem written by me in over 15 years. 
I hope you have enjoyed it.
El 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 hours to go - the battle begins

Well I still can't sleep. Got a whopping 1.5 hours last night. Went to work, hosted the Employee of the Month Luncheon, went back to the office and worked until 6ish.... came home made a phone call or 3 or 4, saw my sweet Godchild Aiden and my sis Tam, spent some time with Wayne and the kids and then rechecked my chemo purses to make sure I didn't forget anything for tomorrow. Then made some other calls (we have a new drama happening in the family that could be played like a Lifetime Movie) and spoke to Mom - I know she hates that no one is allowed to stay and sit with you during treatment, not even the first one. She has never left my side and I know she is with me in my heart. I think Wayne is bothered by it to, he says its BS notto let someone come back there especially him or mom so that they can understand and see what i will be going through back there. So anyway I decided to check my Blog and then FB. EYES STILL WIDE OPEN... I know its anxiety and took a Lil something to help that out - just waiting for it to kick in. Tomorrow I want to write about one conversation that I had. It was a real EYE OPENER. i cant do it now cause as soon as I think of this lady and the words we shared I fill up with tears. I promise I will write about it when I get home from chemo. It'such an amazing thing to hear a prayer being answered.

Tomorrow is the big day - the start of my battle - the beginning of the end of this disease. I am so ready. I keep up with my friend Janelle and to see what she is dealing with breaks my heart, I hate that she is in so much pain right now. Then I think well maybe that's a symptom I may have to deal with so I'm glad she warned me about it. Then I read her funny thoughts like the other day a young girl at a store asked her why she shaved her head...really she asked out loud. My friend Sue who we call "red" was there and I cant believe she didn't pop the poor child for being ill mannered. So of course through my tears for Janell's pain what do i do - start laughing. At this point Wayne thinks I have lost it completely.

When I had radiation for the cancer at age 15 my Mom let me go to a parade with my friends. That was in 85 and back then girls (teens) did not wear tshirts and jeans to parades or any event on a weekend night. I clearly remember wearing a long stretch skirt to my ankles, pink of course with a pink satin over sized top that tied in the front and white flats. I don't remember if I had completely finished all of my treatments or not, but my face was a bit round and i had frosted hair - duh Madonna wanna be. We were all walking down the street before the parade and there was group of guys sitting on the bed of a truck. I didn't really know them, but I knew they were Brother Martin Brats (all boys Catholic High School in NOLA). Anyway, one of the boys knew my friend Ron and walked up to say hi. I said hi and turned around to talk to my other friend, my best friend Ryan. When I did I heard the boy say to Ron something like, "why are you hanging out with the cancer chick, isn't she dying or something?"  Well before I could move or even have tears in my eyes, Ryan had the boy on his back and well, needless to say, whipped his ass rightfully so. That was the first and last time I ever condoned violence from my friends. I hated fights but man that one was sweet. It was at that moment I knew who my real friends were that night. I hope the "dumb one" grew up to be a good father and has never had to experience a child with cancer. I am thankful every day of my life that my children have been healthy - that is a great gift too often taken for granted. So my kiss your babies even if they are in their 20's or hell their 40's, every chance you get and thank God for their health and pray that you will never have to face cancer whether someone you love or your own.

OK see I am sleep deprived and I keep going in circle here.I'm gonna finish this up and do what I have to do to get some rest. I think a bowl of coco pebbles is calling my name.... ahhhhh SHOOT! just remembered the nurse suggested no caffeine - ouch I guess Im gonna be a real bitch in the am and the whole ride over to Slidell. My poor husband- with witnesses I say now - anything I say or due between now and march 3rd (last scheduled treatment) cannot be held against me. Blame it on the "Ca ah ah ah ah ah a feene"! lol.... i am not kidding - no coffee, no sleep = one ticked off chick......................nite my friends I'll update this tomorrow evening. I was hoping I could take a quick pic if no one is there with me at a certain point, i don't go anywhere without my camera :)      until next time....E




Nanny & Aiden the night before Chemo starts

Paran & Nanny lovin on this sweet angel

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Me and the Girls having fun with my wig and some hats!



Ready & waiting

How many of you remember when you were going on your first date with that special someone? Ladies this one is for you......

The date is set. What's the first thing you do? GO SHOPPING - buy a new outfit, new shoes, etc...
and then you anxiously wait for the day to arrive and the night before you are so excited  you just can't stand it. And then the day of you make sure everything is perfect, you put on the new outfit, the new shoes (are painful but cute), your hair and makeup are flawless. You have everything you need in your purse and then he arrives.

Well this is how I feel right now. I am anxiously awaiting my date of my first chemo treatment. Mom and I went wig shopping for wig #2 - the full one. She got me some new comfy chemo clothes. Wayne has bought me some fancy chemo shoes (some light slip on tennis shoes), and a new blanket. My chemo date bag is already packed and contains my blanket and 2 good books I have been waiting to read, and a bag of Cheese Puffs. Thursday morning I will put some bottled water and juices in my bag as well. I am ready and waiting for my chemo date to get here. Am I crazy or what?!

Fr Seelos


Mom and I visited the Shrine of Ft Seelos last Friday. It is located at 919 Josephine St, in NOLA. I recommend everyone go and see this beautiful place. Not only is it full of incredible facts and relics, your  heart will be so joyous when you leave there. He has chosen me to pray to him and he has not let me down. Please send him a prayer of Thanks for this and pray that he will soon be made a Saint in our catholic Church.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ellen's Angels

before we even had a clue that this was the big "c" and I was just in alot of pain and so much pain medicine a group of FRIENDS banned together to help me becasue I just couldn't function. They cooked my family meals, ran errands for me, layed in bed and laughed and cried with me. WITHOUT knowing how seriously sick I was. Then we found out just how sick.... and again they banned together and they come to me and listen and we laugh and cry together. They are Ellen's Angels, they are MY ANGELS. I really don't know what I would or could do without them. I am so so fortunate to have my MOM and POP support me through this and they mean so much to me, their love could never be replaced. But MY ANGELS here in the Bay are just such a positive support system that electrifies me and consistently brings me the energy I need to fight this. I have always known the love of my family, my brother, my sister, my POP and especially my MOM - there's never been a day that I havent felt their love. BUT again Ellen's Angels have brought a new love into my life. These women are strong, beautiful, selfless and encouraging. There is no jealously or hatred in their hearts when it comes to their friends. I truly appreciate what each one brings to me and all on different levels. Some are spiritual some are humor some are tear flowers etc..... each one brings me something that I need to fight this battle. So here's to the original Ellen's Angels - Tammy, Danielle, Alicia, Ellen, Kelly, Susan, and Andrea and to some possibly future angels that are awaiting the right time to enter my life..... I love every single one of you and will never forget what you have done for me and my family! PS to show you how much I am loved and how special these girls are - Danielle and Alicia want to shave their heads with me - naturally I said NO WAY - but if I would agree I know they certainly would do it - that is something that I will always remember..... Angels, Friends, and all mine!

Port is in

Well I had my procedures done yesterday. Doc biopsied some tissue and drained about a liter of fluid from the outer lung and he put my beautiful Bard Power Port in. (no move low cut shirts MOM! so much for that 5k I spent 3 years ago LOL). I came home after the procedures and have had no pain from any of the procedures which is just another blessing from Ft Seelos. I had a great day today - mostly rested in my new recliner (compliments of Mom and Pop). So I go to see Dr McKelveen my HOT oncologist on Thursday. He will be going over biopsy results and setting up my chemo for the week after. FINALLY getting this show on the road. Some positive news from Doc Gray the surgeon - there are 2 spots very small on my spine that my onco seems to think may be the spread of the cancer - BUT Doc Gray really believes it is just some arthritis. Doc Gray looked at the films and is confident it is not cancer. So another thing added to my prayers to Ft Seelos is that Doc Gray is right and Doc Hottie is wrong. Will post an update Thursday..... oh and thank you for all of your encouraging words you are posting - I need to hear and read these things! MUAH!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

ME

I am starting this blog thanks to my friend Sue who shared her Sister-in-law Janelle's Blog with me a few weeks ago. Janelle is also a friend of mine and I was so upset when I heard about her having the "C" word. I read her blog and instead of crying like I thought I would, I was laughing my ass off astounded by her sense of humor. She is an amazing woman and I love her!

I am sharing the link to this blog with my closest friends so that 1. I don't have to repeat myself over 20 times each day, and 2. I can express myself at any hour of the day or night (I am up at 4:30 am every morning for some reason) and I won't have to interrupt your day or wake you in the night to hear me feel sorry for myself. (even though I know none of you would mind)

Some of you I have known for over 20 years (ouch), and some just a few,so let me just put my life into one small paragraph to get everyone on the same page. At the age of 15 I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease, I went through surgery and radiation treatments,no chemo. The radiation they used then (25 years ago) was a direct radiation which caused my skin on my neck to burn terribly and I did loose some hair on my lower part of my head from the ears down. Nothing to humiliating as I just let my hair grow to cover it up some. Most of you know the story so I am not going to relive it. I was told then by my doctor that I would be at greater risk of other cancers later in life such as breast cancer, thyroid, lung and uterine cancer. At the time my great surgeon used extra precaution on my ovaries and surgically tacked them behind my womb to try and protect them from the radiation so that I may one day have children. Even with this extra precaution he said I only had about a 15% chance but it was better than frying my eggs and having no chance at all. Dont let me fool you that time in my life was extremely difficult. I was 15 and I had cancer. My poor Mother, what she went through. I cant even imagine the pain she experienced. It was hard on all of us. I didnt want her to know how terrified I was or how sick I sometimes felt and I tried to hide it by playing the strong, positive, "nothings gonna get me down" role. And she did the same thing acting confident and strong. Neither one us wanted to see each other cry. I guess now looking back at it, she must have been confiding in my Mi Mi (her Mother). Me on the other hand, Ionly had one or two friends that I confided in (Sandra & Ryan). I knew I could be me in front of them and they didnt care. Other friends didn't really "get it" or were afraid of "it". Well after a hard,long road filled with secret tears, some painful tests, and lots and lots of prayer I went into REMISSION, every cancer patients dream word.

As the months and years pass you become more and more thankful for your health. I was a normal teenager again who wanted to be Madonna. I drove a cool car, had a great family, good friends etc.... no worries.... In 1992 I got married and Dr. Browns little tacking of the ovaries worked and God gave me 3 beautiful, healthy babies. Through my 20's and 30's everything was great, no real health worries except one. I did have my thyroid removed due to a tumor caused by the radiation I had had so many years before. Thank God it was benign. I was looking forward to turning 40 - I thought it would be the best decade of my life. I looked good, I felt good, my family was all healthy, I was ready! Then I turned 41 and my life has once again been turned upside down and inside out.

Approximately the second week of August I began to have some back pain,kind of where you would hurt if you were having a kidney infection. I had gone to my chiropractor for about 2 weeks thinking I had either hurt myself moving furniture a few weeks before or hurt my back going down a waterslide (yeah I know, don't even go there). My chiropractor took a few xrays and didnt see any kidney stones but felt I should go and see a medical doctor. Well I went and did what I had to do. The pain began to increase and I was prescribed Hydrocodone. They knock me out pretty good. For 3 weeks my life consisted of doctors, pain pills and sleeping. I couldn't do anything but lay there. I was miserable. Finally I went to a back specialist who told me as 2 other doctors had that there was some fluid on my lung and he felt that the pain I was experiencing was from that fluid. He walked me out of his office sending me directly to a pulmonary specialist, Dr Dale. After much researching and testing (ultrasounds, CT Scans,PET Scans etc...) it has been determined that I have LUNG CANCER. I won;t lie just writing those words, reading them, saying them in my mind ughhhh it makes my stomach turn, and I want to throw up. Don't ask me what kind, what stage, etc... they don't know. My oncologist basically said Lung Cancer is Lung Cancer. There's more that I could go in to but I feel nauseated right now thinking of the details so perhaps a later time......

So here's the bottom line - CHEMO. 1 treatment every 3 weeks. Will lose my hair (not such a horrible thing - my hair sucks) and will have some nausea and lots of fatigue. This is a very aggressive chemo plan so he says. I have some positive things on my side, my age, no other health problems, no shortness of breath or other pulmonary issues. Now I just have to be strong and fight it head on. I can do that. After 13 weeks ( I think I have lost track) we finally get the real ballrolling TOMORROW. I am having one more biopsy done, some more fluid drained from the outer tissue of the lung, and my port is being put in. Next Week I start CHEMO. It's strange but I am so ready for this to start. I want to get this fight started, I am trying to be positive even though I keep breaking down. I think the tears are more frustration becasue it has taken so damn long to diagnose me. We could have started chemo weeks ago. I feel like time is everything. Remember not to waste time on stupid things like fighing with your spouse, or worrying about your perfectly clean house instead of going to your kids football practice. TIME is something we all have - it's how we choose to spend it that matters. That's a rant for another day.

So here's to the start of my new battle, but this time so much more is on the line. My Mother who has to go through this all over again, My Pop who I've never seen cry in over 20 years until now has to deal with this now too, my sister and brother, my inlaws and friends, my husband and most of all my children. I will fight for them. I want ot see graduations, and proms, and wedding gowns and baby showers. I want ot be a grandmother one day and spoil more babies. I have so much to live for and fight for that I cant stop thinking about it every second. Tomorrow is the first step - putting in the port. Next week begins the first treatment.

I have so many stories to share with you all that I will be blogging quite often. But before I go tonight I ask each of you to reach out and say a prayer to Father Seelos. He will be my guide through this journey and he will be healing me. In fact his healing has already begun. So please as you pray for me, thank him for healing me and ask him to please continue to heal me and take away my pain so that I can enjoy my life, my family, and my friends as much as possible.

Until next time......