Sunday, December 9, 2012

Go ahead and pass I am posting.  The last month or so has been rough.  I either felt like crap, or was sleeping.  Radiation was a lot harder than I expected on my body, but in hindsight I am glad that I was oblivious. Ignorance is my best friend lately.  :)  

Today the baby of our family turned 6.  We celebrated just about the whole week and enjoyed our Sabbath Day with him today.  The anticipation that he expressed was so fun to watch.  I don't know what we are going to do this next week without his enthusiasm.  Maybe we can just be excited about new things that he does now that he is 6!

 Jeff and I took him out earlier this week to lunch and then drove around to different toy stores and let him pick out his own bike.  We also splurged and took the kids to Wreck it Ralph Saturday afternoon.  (We loved it....and then giggled as we sopped up tears that ran down our cheeks as the movie ended!)    If you haven't seen it....we would recommend it!
We are slowly but surely getting ready for Christmas and loving the special spirit of Christ in our home.  This time of year is always a favorite....but this year is a little different.  I have really tried to simplify this season as I am still taking it easy and trying to regain energy and strength as my body heals.  It has been frustrating as I am slowly feeling better to not pick up physically where I remember leaving off pre-surgery, chemo and radiation.    I am thinking I have some major muscular atrophy...aka fat, lazy, no muscle tone in those Relief Society arms.  I stirred something on the stove for a few minutes this week and woke up feeling that I had lifted some serious weights at the gym.  Bleh.....  But the simplicity that I am trying to uphold with the hustle and bustle of December feels good.  The kids are enjoying our daily candy kiss countdowns, our special Elf on the Shelf, "Sneaker" as well as a Star Wars Lego advent calender that we purchased last year on clearance.  Our favorite tradition by far has been unwrapping a Christmas book each evening and then reading it together as a family.  Last night I read A Christmas Dress for Ellen.  I had a hard time making it through.  Whitney offered to finish reading it for me at least 3 times.  It is a beautiful story.  A story that I hope my kids can appreciate and remember.  This year has been so hard....but I love the perspective of how blessed that we truly are.  In comparison to many that have lived before us.....the challenges and trials that we are experiencing seem like a cake walk are things that know I can handle and grow strength from.  Jeff has a great job that provides us with the means to feed our children and warm our home.  We are comfortable and blessed and surrounded by so so many great friends and loved ones. 

I am happy and relieved to be in this part of my treatment.   Radiation kicked my trash and I am so thankful to be finished.  The effects were cumulative and it was hard to continue to feel worse as the weeks went.  Not only did driving to the Cancer Center every day for 5 weeks take its toll on my schedule and gas guzzling vehicle, I don't think I have ever been that tired and exhausted.  My hands and feet increasingly became more +dry, cracked and sore because of the oral chemotherapy that I was taking.   As the weeks progressed I had a lot of pain that reminded me of how I felt after my resection surgery.   I spent the majority of my morning noon and night in "my office"!  I really needed to look into a one-way picture window or amazing bookshelf with a plethora of reading material to help me pass the time.  I don't think I could ever admit the number of Sudoku games that I have played and won.  The sheer number is honestly embarrassing!  And I must admit that it is getting quite old.  But here is a little word to the wise.....My Ipad is a bathroom fixture..

On the 29th of November we met with my Oncologist, Dr. Bucur.  It was a hard day, not only because of the idea of starting stupid chemo again....but emotional for me and the unfortunate self pity that I held for a few selfish moments.  As we drove to the Doctor...I received a text announcing the birth of my adorable sister's sweet, sweet boy.  I also knew that my other sister who is expecting would be finding out later in the day the gender of her baby that is due in April.......And I was going to Mountain States Tumor Institute to chat about my insides that have been microwaved and unable to have any more children.  I am truly happy for my sisters and their little families and have since ceased feeling like my life is not fair. I have 4 amazing children that make our home complete and crazy, and I am lucky to still be here to care for them and watch them grow.  I just wish that time would give me a break and slow down just a little.  (Especially with all of the time that I lose in my office!) 

As I talked to Dr. Bucur I was expecting to have her schedule my next chemo infusion appointment for the following week.   They did lab tests and my liver is still inflamed and wanted to wait a few weeks, retake the labs and them tentatively schedule  my chemotherapy.  I was given the option of starting infusions after Christmas but thought I wanted to be the Chemotherapy patient of the year and get the first one crossed off my list the week of the 17th.   Since then, I have gone back for the lab retest.  My billirubin, which they were concerned about, is still elevated but is coming down. We scheduled Chemo for December 17th.    I also saw the Psychiatrist....lots of emphasis on the psycho......which was comfortable and good for a change.  I went alone...aka...without Jeff (who last appointment was a total tattle-tale.)  HaHaHa!  The Dr. encouraged me to think about waiting on the Chemotherapy until January.  And the more I have pondered that idea, the more I have embraced it!  I have been thankful for these last weeks.  It has been refreshing to feel better for a season and to be able to do normal day to day mom things that I enjoy and take pride in being able to accomplish.  We are planning on taking the #7 Oxalyplatin/ 5FU plunge just around New Years.  It is great to have the end in sight and to think about being finished with feeling like garbage in March, if everything goes as planned. Halleluiah and Amen!  Till next time! :)
- JaNae

And until next are some photo gems of the ones I love!

And Holly, we are loving the window crayons!!! 


  1. Didn't realize you posted until this morning. Love your update. Laughed and cried a little. Blast stupid chemo, radiation and cancer in general. Love you JaNae!

  2. It is so good to get an update on you and the fam. I am so glad the radiation has not zapped away your sense is humor! You are one of the funniest people I know JaNae. Love you!

  3. J&J. I am sorry this has been such a crazy trial for you and your family. I know it wasn't a good time to talk when I called last. I have been busy over here burning cash and breaking stuff (aka getting the house fixed up to sell). One of the things I am looking forward to most about being out there is that I will be able to get up there to see you (only if you are up to it). Love you tons!


  4. I missed this post but had to comment and tell you it is one of my favorites! Your perspective drives me to be a better person. Also, my brother-in-law had his surgery last Monday and is recovering well. Plus, tests came back and he is cancer free. He still will undergo more Chemo but he is keeping on keeping on. Love to you and yours and Merry Christmas!

  5. JaNae-Nae, My heart has been broken then lifted up again by your awesome humor. I received your Christmas card and bawled :( Just read your blog and cried some more. Life isn't fair sometimes, and can really suck! But immediately I turn my thoughts to the love our Father in Heaven has for us, and realize, even when it doesn't make the pain go all away, it will be ok. Even better than ok :) I can't even imagine what you are going through... but add my prayers to the long list of others in your behalf, and when your having a tough day, remember that Beavis loves you! P.S. I am using Melina's computer and her brother in laws account cause I don't have one-i guess I better get on that
    Melina and I have decided it's time for a road trip and a visit. So we will keep posted on your blog and make an appointment to come party with in sometime in the next couple of months.
    Love you, Nicole