Friday, August 30, 2013

Half Way Fabulous Friday

1.  This week I made it to my half way mark of chemo therapy.  It is all down hill from here!  I have done unimaginally well through the first half and suspect I'll do even better with the last half.  I often think what will happen when I'm finished with treatment.  I hope I will just pick up where I left off the day I was given this diagnosis and move on with my life a better person!
2.  One of the days after chemo last week, I wasn't feeling well.  But Aidree and Bridget helped out with their hugs.  I sure miss these girls.  They moved to SLC on Sunday.  Good thing we only have to drive 5 hours to see them.  I'm pretty sure we will have to make more frequent trips to SLC now.
3.  I got a necklace in the mail (which I ordered for myself) with the greatest saying.  I wear it all the time.  It say's, "She believed she could, so she did...Definitely my theme these days!
4.  The Saturday after my 2 per week treatments are always full of sleeping, resting, laying around in my pj's and doing much of nothing.  However I really hoped and prayed I'd have a little more energy than most days this past Saturday.  The morning wasn't any different than previous ones, except Tenielle made her famous PB Rice Krispie Treats!
However, when Tanner came home and announced that the boys were coming over to shave their heads I suddenly had a burst of energy.  We had talked the previous weekend that it wasn't going to take place until everyone was home, because Tony didn't come home for the weekend, but they were ready to do it now.  It was pretty awesome shaving my brothers heads knowing they were doing it just to support ME!  Troy said that someone in EQ teased him about his bald head and he raised his fist at him and said, "My sister has cancer."  Shut the guy right up.  I thought it was funny!
Before, hope it grows back!
I love the looks on our faces in this picture!
Amazing how we all look so much alike with bald heads.
Showing our Terah's Army wrist bands.
5.  It was such a humbling moment walking in to my Grandpa's 88th birthday party.  I don't think people expected me to be there, especially Grandpa.  Grandpa started crying and so did I when he saw me and everyone went quite.  It was such a tender moment for all of us.  
It was fun to see my cousins and Aunt Leslie and 2 of her daughters Amy and Lisa came for the celebration from Phoenix.  What a fun evening it was.  
Grandpa with his five sons.
Grandpa with me, my sisters and sister-in-laws.
Me and Cousin Alisha
Cousins Michelle and Katy
6.  It is the start of FOOTBALL SEASON!  By far one of my most favorite seasons of all time.  I went to my first football game of the season this week.  I watched my 8th grade cousin Davis play in his first game of the season.  Football makes me so happy; just hearing the sound of a football game makes me smile! Of course BSU football is the best to watch!
7.  We have a new Thai restaurant in town which we tried this week.  It was absolutely delicious!  We have never had a Thai restaurant like this in town.  I'm sure we will frequent it often.
8.  Yesterday was Grandpa Randy and Grandma Betty's 65th Wedding Anniversary!  I will never experience such an accomplishment, but am so proud of them, their love, examples, and how they show that it can be done.  We had a lovely dinner and a delicious cake to celebrate!
9.  I love Snow Cones!  I crave them.  I'm sad this is their last week open.  The past few weeks they have been buy 1 get one free after 7, so we have frequented them often, including a few times this week, once with the grandkids too!
10.  We traveled to SLC today to see the kids!  This is the first Labor Day Weekend that I haven't worked in years and I am so excited to have it off.  Of course it would be nice if it wasn't under these circumstances.  Stella got to come with us because her parents went hunting.  So exciting that Stella, Aidree and Bridget are having their first girl cousin's slumber party.  Nothing is better than the relationship with girl cousin's and the many sleepovers that make for strong, fun relationships!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Best Summer Pasta Salad

Every Summer I look for the perfect pasta salad recipe and can never find it.  It seems that so many pasta salads have mayo in them and I don't like mayo in pasta salad, because it makes me think of picnics and fly's.  So when I was in Phoenix this Spring, since it felt like Summer I made up my own concoction of the best Summer Pasta Salad ever.  I'd eat it every night here if Dad didn't wrinkle up his nose thinking but not saying, "don't feed me chick food."  So I give to you my recipe of the best Summer Pasta Salad without mayo...

Colored pasta, bowtie, wheat pasta or whatever you have in your pantry
Combine whatever left overs you have in your fridge mine usually are:
Ham this makes it so yummy
Artichoke hearts
Tomato's I like a lot!
Garbonzo Beans
Red, Yellow or Orange Peppers
Green Onions
The best part:  Chunks of Pepper Jack Cheese it gives it this slightly spicy taste and every time I make this someone say's what is that amazing taste:  PJC!
Then drizzle a little Olive Oil, a little more Balsamic Vinegar (I'm a fanatic lover of this), and some (key ingredient)  Dry Italian Dressing Mix.
Salt and Pepper
Combine more and enjoy!  I like to refrigerate mine for a while and mix it more! I think the taste is somewhat in the mixing it over and over again to cover it all with the dressing.

Kind Of Scary

This afternoon I was doing some reading on the internet, not always the wisest thing to do.  I was reading about ovarian cancer.  Statistics say that 22,000 will be diagnosed this year with ovarian cancer and 14,000 will die.  That is a scary statistic.  They say that most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer don't live past 10 years.  That is even scarier.  But I know that I'm not most women, I was diagnosed at a much younger age than normal, I'm healthy and strong, I have a huge support team battling right along side of me, I have the belief and power of prayer and I have seen so many miracles with my diagnosis and treatment this far.  I am no ordinary women and I'm not a statistic!  I was given a 30-50% chance of being alive in 3-5 years when I was initially diagnosed, but I know Heavenly Father needs me on this earth for much longer than 5 or even 10 years.  Not once have a felt I'm going to Him anytime soon, although the thought did cross my mind maybe once when I was deathly ill in the hospital.  I have so much more good to do, lives to touch and more experiences to make me stronger and prepared when I do leave my earthly home to meet my Savior and Heavenly Father.  My dad told me that when I was in the hospital he prayed that if I wasn't going to make it through this battle with the treatments, that it was okay to take me then so that I wouldn't have to go through this.  But then dad has also always said, he has never felt that I am going to die.  I better not; I have nieces and nephews to love on for years to come!  I am not ready to be in a box and buried in the ground; talk about claustrophobic.  So I must focus on getting 100% completely better, having faith that there is still so much good for me to do in this big bad world and stop reading on the internet.

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Missing Key

This morning Tanner was hurrying around the house to get ready to leave and go back to SLC to start another semester of school when he realized he couldn't find the key to my car.  He is using my car since I don't need it right now and I'm such a nice sister to let him rack up the miles on my car.  His friends were here also packing up stuff to take back to Tristen since she moved yesterday.  Tanner was the last to drive the car, retraced his steps from yesterday, checked pockets and under cushions and still couldn't find the key.  I stood off in the corner of the kitchen and said a silent prayer and mom went into her room, knelt down and said a prayer too.  They kept asking why I didn't have a spare key.  I knew I did, I just didn't know where it was.  I went downstairs to my room, opened up the closet and found the purse that I had used nearly 2 years ago when I moved to Idaho.  I looked through all the pockets.  The last pocket I found 2 keys to my car.  Why that purse isn't in the storage unit is a mystery to me, given the fact that everything else is in there.  We still haven't found the missing key, but the fact that I had 2 keys to my car was a surprise to me and an answer to prayers.  They were simple prayers, but the Lord knew Tanner had class tonight and had a 5 hour drive ahead of him.
I remember once when I lived in CLT and was getting ready to drive to the airport.  It is always crazy before a flight.  I was getting ready to head out the door, when I couldn't find my keys.  Of course I did the same thing Tanner did in re-tracing my steps and couldn't find it anywhere and I had just had it.  I knelt down in front of my suitcase in the middle of the floor and said a prayer that went something like, "Heavenly Father I need to find those keys now so that I don't miss my flight."  I remember going into the spare bedroom and looking again and then the thought came to me, "Look in your suitcase."  I unloaded the suitcase to find them at the bottom of the corner of the suitcase.  Prayer is real.  I know even the simplest prayers are answered by our Heavenly Father, that he is keenly aware of our every need, loves us and will direct us in every aspect of our life if we will be faithful, trust in his plan for us and give thanks to Him.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Terah's Army

Yesterday we had a huge celebration for my Grandpa's 88th birthday.  At one point he said a few words and then my dad stood up to thank our family for their prayers and talked about how we certainly have felt each one in our families behalf over the past few months.  He talked about the fact that I have a battle that I am fighting, but that I have a huge army behind me.  Then my Aunt Cindy surprised me and everyone with teal bracelets, the ovarian cancer survivor color that say, "Terah's Army."  There were 200 bracelets, which have all been handed out. They were such a hit, we will be getting more!  I'm so grateful for all the support in my behalf.  It means so much to me to have my family and friends wearing a simple bracelet around their wrists that constantly remind them of me.

Chemo Round 3 Side Effects

I document the side effects from chemo for myself, not to complain, but to remember for myself.  For some reason the fatigue of Chemo Round 3 started when I was having it on Tuesday and has stretched through until today.  It is crazy how I can sleep several hours a day and then be able to sleep all night.  It is kind of a weird sleep, sometimes I feel as if I'm sleeping, but I can hear all that is going around me, but just unable to open my eyes.  Not so bad today, but the last few days I have been so tired.  It seemed to let up yesterday afternoon and of course I couldn't sleep last night, which has left me tired today. I have continued to take the zyrtec twice a day and the bone pain has seemed to be very minimal, except for this morning when I was sitting in church and hadn't taken it.  Needless to say, I only stayed for the first hour of church; came home, took a zyrtec and a rest.  I am feeling much better this afternoon.  Last weekend I developed some increased water retention in my abdomen, which worsened through the chemo treatments.  Dr. Dan said it was mostly from inflammation in my abdomen, which can happen with IP Chemo.  Thankfully every single lab was normal and the CA 125 is down to 22!  Thursday when I went to get IV fluids I had gained 13 pounds from a few weeks ago.  Thankfully, the water weight has decreased and I can see my ankles today.  The water weight is most uncomfortable; actually the whole thing is uncomfortable.  I long for the day my body will be normal again as in when I can do sit up's and run 4 miles.  I did have a little chest pain on Tuesday after I had IV chemo, not quite sure what that was all about, but it is gone now!  It being Sunday afternoon and I am finally feeling well, we will now go do some Sunday visits and hope the side effects from the last treatment of round 3 on Tuesday is minimal, because people we have a holiday weekend sneaking upon us and I want to enjoy it!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Round 3 Chemo FF

1.  Sunday evening mom and I went to stake choir practice, as we have stake conference in September.  (In our church we are divided into wards and so many wards make a stake and we have 2 stake conferences a year.)  The songs we are singing are all of my favorites and so beautiful.  We have always had a beautiful choir.  
2.  When we got home from choir my Aunt Cindy and cousin Reagon were there to visit.  They didn't leave until after 11.  It was fun to sit and talk with them.  I haven't seen them at all since I've been sick, because they have been sick and they didn't want to bring me their germs.  I'm grateful that people stay away from me when they are sick so that I don't get any chance of getting sick.  
3.  This week was the start of my week for round 3 of chemo.  I'll finish it up next week and will be half way through.  My friend and old co-worker (when I was a CNA and she an LPN) Bonnie took me Tuesday to the Nampa MSTI for my IV chemo.  She has wanted to take me, as do a lot of other friends, so we are letting them and giving mom a break.  It is nice to have people serve me, when I know they are busy in their own lives, but they need blessings just as much as I do.
4.  Tenielle and mom were suppose to fly to Martha's Vineyard and be there for 2 weeks on Tuesday, but since that didn't happen, Tenielle stayed the week and will go back with Tanner on Monday.  It is always nice to have her here and to help cut the ileostomy bag!  She is really precise.  
5.  Wednesday I visited with Dr. Dan.  He is so awesome.  Tenielle and Mom came with me for my IP chemo.  He continues to give us our genuine hugs and lets me know how proud he is that I'm doing so well with my chemo treatments.  He reassures me that the 10 pounds of weight gain in my abdomen will go away and is only from the fluids, given the fact that I really don't eat that much.  It is so uncomfortable, but is actually feeling much better than it did this past weekend.  Tristen and the girls came to visit while I was having chemo.  Bridget wasn't so sure about the whole ordeal, but we gave her candy to bribe a picture out of her.  I also accumulated a few scarves and hats from the free room for cancer patients and a new curly wig!
Dr. Dan Z. my medical oncologist aka Chemo Dr.
Marybeth Dr. Dan's awesome nurse.
Teal is the ovarian cancer survivor color, it is my new favorite color.
6.  My friend Linda brought me a beautiful pink scarf from her trip to San Francisco and a cantaloupe from her garden.  I sure love her and her visits.
7.  Tuesday night we had another pizza and pool party with my nieces and nephews.  Kadyn and Gavin started school on Tuesday.  I can't believe they are already in first grade.  Kadyn said he didn't learn anything at school and Gavin said he learned a lot.  Kind of funny their different perspectives of their first day of school.  My brother Tony also got into Grad School and started this week; I'm so happy for him and he seems to be happy with what he is going into PR Communications.
8.  Monday Tristen and our Swimming Sisters came over after school.  I had such a great time chatting with them and watching their children swim and have fun together.  I have such a love for those kids and grateful they are in my life.
9.  Today mom and Tenielle are making raspberry/blackberry jelly.  We are still getting a ton of blackberries which I am loving and enjoying!
 10.  My friends Jasher and Jenny sent me this beautiful hydrangeas a few weeks ago.  I love it.  It reminds me of NC where they grow in abundance.  I love the vase that it came in too, so different and matches the flower so well.