Monday, December 5, 2011

A Little Update...

Ok...this is crazy.  I haven't blogged in awhile...one month to be exact.  I clicked on here just now, and the whole posting platform looks totally different!  Something happened while I was MIA from blogland.  I have posted a few You Tubes though.  So fun.

The reason I haven't blogged is because I haven't had time to READ blogs, and I feel funny sending stuff out there into space, when I'm not responding much to any of you.  I do read when I can, but usually I'm on my iPad, and when I try to comment, sometimes it gives me fits, and I just skip it.  

Not much has been going on.  On the one hand, Scott is doing so much better.  We have decked out the house and yard, we fried turkeys and hosted Thanksgiving here at our house.  





We strung new lights in the pool room in preparation for New Years Eve.  We haven't had a party here in years, but Scott goes off of 8 of his 10 Rx's on Dec. 31...so we are celebrating with family and friends.  Actually, I don't think I've even let my family know yet :).  I will tell you more about the menu we planned on another post...so fun!

On the other hand, every 10 days or so, Scott has a minor setback.  We are out of the woods with the cancer, but the side effects of the radiation are slowly taking effect.  The first year is the worst...so we are hopeful.  His energy is returning though, and that's a huge bonus!  We put on some Christmas music yesterday, made some fresh iced tea, opened all the sliding doors, and wrapped presents together for 2 1/2 hours.  Tiring, but feels so good to have all that done.  I would say I'm 75% finished with shopping.  

The weather has been to die for the past month.  Everyday is an absolute beauty.  The next 7 months are what make living in Florida so desirable.  We spent the day after Thanksgiving at the beach...so nice for a change of scenery.  We are so blessed to live near one of the top ten beaches in the country...Siesta Key in Sarasota.  If you're ever in our neck of the woods, it's a must do :)

So...let's see...my grandkids continue to grow...



We had a ridiculous party for Twilight-Breaking Dawn and I went to the midnight showing with my daughters and friends.  Don't ask me anything about it, I hid my eyes through most of it :). 





Through some weird twist of fate, I am the party giver for each time a new Twilight movie premiers, and also when a new DVD comes out.  I told the girls it was almost over, and they told me I have to do the Hunger Games Trilogy parties too!!!  Seriously???


So that's my update!  I will check back again before Christmas.
~Teri




Saturday, November 5, 2011

Temporarily Going Backwards...



Thought I'd write a quick post.  Scott and I had an experience two weeks ago that was so awful, I thought I would share...LOL.

Cancer's gone...happy dance.  It's taken weeks for this news to really, really sink in.  I can't tell you why, but it didn't seem real.  I felt so guilty.  
Why was I not happier?  I think I had my happiness in reserve...secretly waiting for the other shoe to drop. 


Well, last weekend it did.

Without going into ANY detail...I ended up rushing Scott to the emergency room on a Saturday night.  It was your typical Saturday night ER scene...not pretty.  It took FOREVER to be seen, and Scott was in excruciating pain!  They finally did one procedure to help him, and immediately, a different pain (worse) set in.  The morphine was ordered, but it took forever to show up. 
 It was the worst.

The ER doctor came in to tell us it was not at all what we thought (the thing he had been diagnosed with twice at the walk-in clinic).  He started talking about the effects of the radiation, the long term possibilities, etc.  I'm telling you, the entire room literally began to spin out of control in my mind, and a migraine simultaneously set in as well.  Just the word cancer took my breath away, and my peace.  The doctor was not in any way saying the cancer was back, but it was the main subject of our discussion.

We came home late that night...problem totally unresolved.  Pain, pain, pain.  We couldn't get into another doctor until 3 days later.  He couldn't even go to work.  FINALLY, we saw the doctor, (no help) and FINALLY I talked Scott into calling the cancer doctor (I think he was reluctant to open that can of worms back up).  He did... they had the remedy... they had a protocol  for this exact thing!  Within 48 hours...huge improvement!  He's fine now.  Back to work.

What's my reason for sharing this story?  Because after this experience (which felt like a huge flashback to last summer) our whole attitude has changed.  We are finally SO HAPPY, SO THANKFUL, to have a clean bill of health.  Seeing how quickly it was snatched away, made us realize once again to count each and every day as a huge gift. It's been a matter of readjusting our brain to normalcy.  Normal is good...boring is wonderful.  We ran errands last weekend, enjoying each and every moment.  We spontaneously decided up jump up and go to the movies Saturday night.  After church Sunday, we lounged around reading and napping. 

We feel like we got a new lease on life...and we LOVE it :)

So enjoy your day...enjoy your health... enjoy the world around you...and never, ever knock boring.

~Teri

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

French Market Bag/Paris Flea Market

Hi everyone!  I told you in my last post that I would put up a few of my latest YouTubes on here for those of you that asked to see them, that don't have a YT account.  Some of this is repetitive, but different people watch my YouTubes  than read my blog.

I posted three of them.  It's just a mixed bag.  Hope you enjoy!

~Teri


Fall is Here! Candle Haul

Travel Tip Extraordinaire!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Starting Over



So..... it's been 5 weeks today since we found out Scott is healed.  It's amazing and unexpected, but we are starting to feel "normal" again.  I had my doubts, but life does feel a little lighter.  I will say Scott's energy is back some.  A few Saturdays we had our first 'cool' front.  It was absolutely beautiful around here, so we spontaneously jumped in the car and drove to one of our favorite beach restaurants with our 2 daughters and 2 grandkids and ate a nice lunch.  

Here is the view from our table....so pretty :)

Anywho... I told you I would update you on my summer goals I listed on May 24.  I think I did okay.  Accountability is everything in my world.  Knowing I had listed these goals on my blog, made me think about them much more.  I've never kept a New Year's resolution for more than a few weeks, so I usually fail at things like this, but here goes.  I'm just going to give a brief description of how I did on each one...

Soul Restoration II online class/Do Art... I loved taking this class, however, I still have a bit to do on it.  Here is one thing I did in the class.  It won't make sense to you, but it does to me...this board is actually covered in glitter and quite sparkly.


One great part of the class was setting goals, and writing a plan of how you were going to accomplish that goal.  One I wrote down, was to clean my closet.  As I was thinking how to accomplish this, guess what???  I went directly into my closet, and cleaned it out!  It only took about 30 minutes and it was all done!  So much procrastination had been going on about that, and it was so quick and easy. That same scenario happened a few times with my goals as long as they were small. 
 I have yet to set the BIG ONES.

Writing Class...I took the writing class.  It was a 6 week beginner course, and I learned so much.  I still have my final exam to write.  Here I go again, procrastinating! 

Fun with grandkids/Time with youngest daughter Lexi... I didn't do this as much as I would've liked, but we did have some special moments...
A project my granddaughter and I made... so fun.

  We also took some impromptu trips to the beach and did lots of shopping at Lexi's favorite hang out...The Mall!




Scott and I also had some fun on our 30th anniversary.
This is titled, The Way We Were.

Meet with the Lord daily... I failed at this in the way I was imagining.  Of course there was daily prayer, but not daily devotions. Still working on the 'daily' aspect of that goal.

Homemaking...I am so sorry to say, I did not get my Book Nook done yet.  We are in the process of gathering what we want for it, so when we get in there and do it, it will be a simple day's project.  Can't wait to show you.

Eat better...For the most part, we are eating much better, but I will admit we got into a bad habit of eating out over the summer...a lot.  I did lose 4 of the 5 pounds.  That last pound is here to stay unless I starve myself...not doing it.  I also said I wanted to get a menu plan of 15 go-to meals.  Ten down, five to go.

I also said I was breaking away from blogging and Facebook.  Breaking away from blogging was fine, but I replaced it with making YouTubes.  That is really fun.  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with that, or my blog.  We'll see.  YouTubes are so quick and easy, although I've quit posting them here on my blog... maybe I'll pop a few of them on here over the weekend.
As far as Facebook, I only joined in the first place, because Lexi wanted to join.  Getting off Facebook cold turkey was the BEST thing I ever did.  For me, it is SO fun, but a huge time sucker.  I started back recently. I 'dislike' the new format, and I hate the way every company and product wants you to go through facebook to join or like them or get coupons or whatever.  This is SO calcualted...so forced.  I hope companies figure out how annoying this is to some people.  Do I want everyone to know I 'like' certain things?  The whole thing has gotten WAY out of control.  I went to join Pinterest, and it wanted me to go through Facebook or Twitter.  
WHY MUST I GO THROUGH THESE APPS???
Ok, enough of my rant.  I am trying to decide what to do about this... I fear Facebook is going to really, truly becoming one of those things you almost can't live without...like a computer is now. I see so many potential problems for the future...it blows the mind, especially for my kids...did I say enough of my rant???  So that's it folks, it's an optional, free, service, yes, but don't be so sure it's as harmless as it seems.  I'm still on it and I love it, but...

So that's it.  I had to tweak this post a bit because it was written 2 weeks ago.  My new goal is to clean up our diet around here, even more than we have... this is phase 2. Phase 1 wasn't that bad, so onto the next!
 Scott is able to go off all his prescriptions (except one) in January (happy dance).  We got them all out last night, and counted out each pill, so we would know if he had enough to finish out Dec, so we could cancel all refills.  As we went through each Rx one by one, I would google it to remind us what it was for, and the side effects.  I was once again overwhelmed by what's been going into his body (you know they say if the cancer doesn't kill you, the treatment will).  No less than 4 of the pills cause weight gain and insomnia... I was wondering why he doesn't sleep!  All this to say, we are going even further into healthy eating.  I watched a few documentaries on Netflix the other day on the American diet... scared me to death!  So as he goes off each pill, and replaces it with tons of fruits and veggies, we hope his body heals itself the rest of the way.  Cancer was NOT fun, and we hope to never go down this road again... and I believe 100% what we put in our mouths can help/hurt your chances of disease.  As we incorporate/eliminate different things from our diet, I'll let you know how it goes.  Years of eating habits are hard to break, but not impossible :) We are doing this in increments...it's the only way.  A few steps at a time I think works better than full-on overnight change.  

So that's it for today.  Watch for a couple of fun YouTubes over the weekend, if you are interested.

~Teri

P.S.  Thank you a zillion times for all the wonderful, heartfelt comments from my last post! It meant a lot.






Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hello Out There!!!

Good morning!  I doubt anyone is checking my blog anymore, but for the few that do, here goes...

This post is long, so grab a cup of coffee or tea.

It's been a long, long, time since I blogged... May 24 to be exact.  To refresh your memory, I explained that I wouldn't be blogging again until sometime in September.  I had decided to take a break.  Today's post will be about Scott, and my next post will be about the list of goals I set for myself to accomplish over the summer...we'll see how I did!  If you are new to this blog, my husband has been fighting prostate cancer.  The first time we got wind that there might be a problem was Sept. 10, 2007.  We had it treated, and the treatment didn't work.  The cancer returned, or actually, never fully went away.  We changed doctors, and had it retreated last spring. 

So here's the latest... last time I posted, we had just finished 50 radiation treatments.  While we were in the middle of all that, it was just go, go, go.  It was a little over an hour drive to get to the clinic, and at first, we actually had a good time, but as time wore on, it was extremely hard.   I'm not going to try and be all brave and upbeat... towards the end, we were down for the count.  I felt a cloud of depression cover me like nothing else.  Luckily, we still had a teenager in the house, so that made me snap myself out of it, and I've learned that even faking being upbeat, makes you feel a bit better.  I know this whole thing was hard on her.  For her entire life I've always been the one to pick her up from school and she would talk ninety miles an hour about her day.  Now suddenly, she came home to an empty house, and we didn't get home most nights until 6pm.  Now before you tell me most kids today have moms that work and they always come home to an empty house, it's all in what you're used to.  She did admit to me once it was all over, that she loved it.  She loved coming in and doing whatever she wanted for 2½ hours.  I wish she had told me that earlier :).

So Monday-Friday, Scott would go to work at 6am,  leave work around 1:30 and come home.  We would eat a quick lunch, be out the door by 2:15, at the clinic by 3:30, and back home by 6:00.  Scott was usually in bed by 6:30, and asleep by 7:00.  Crazy, huh?  We kept telling everyone he was working half days, until one day I looked at him and said, "You are actually working about 7 hours...that is NOT a half day!".  No wonder he was tired.  The radiation and the drugs (he was up to 20 pills a day) took a big toll.  I wanted to crawl into bed too, but I had to stay up and try to maintain some sense of normalcy for our daughter.

During all this, our daughter went on a mission trip to Brazil, and Scott took that week off.  It was an extremely difficult week.  We tried to do some fun things, but nothing was fun because we were too tired.  We did manage to get up and watch the entire Royal Wedding from start to finish... that was great!  We finished treatments in late May, and they told us they'd see us in September! Wow, three months off sounded great.

We had an uneventful summer.  Scott was, and continues to be really tired all the time.  There are also side effects from the drugs to contend with, but overall he got better and better over the summer.  We had to hire our yard mowed. I think we were the only ones left in the neighborhood that did it ourselves.  Scott tried, but if he got hot, which he always did, (it's summer in Florida after-all) he would be down and sick for a day or two.  As September approached, it was like a big, black, cloud on the horizon.  I hate to sound over dramatic, but that's how it felt.  We tried not to tell anyone which day the appointment was scheduled, because we wanted to deal with whatever news we got on our own terms.  This treatment really, really needed to work.  If your initial treatment fails (his did) the next round must, must work.  Scott's cancer had spread too, which made it worse, the odds of a cure had dropped.  As the doctor told us, "We are going to throw everything we've got at this, plus the kitchen sink."   

So, we went to the appointment 2 weeks ago Friday.  I won't go into the nitty gritty of how it felt, but it was really tough waiting for the doctor.  I was almost in a panic mode.  I thought I would have an anxiety attack, but luckily I didn't.  The doctor seemed nonchalant as he delivered the news we had been waiting on... NO EVIDENCE OF CANCER.  None, nada, zip. Scott's PSA levels are undetectable (that's a good thing, something we've been waiting to hear for four years).  The doctor said the scans could not have looked better!  We both just stared at him.  We didn't really react.  It was too good to be true.  Then he said the magic words...We'll see you in a year!!!!!! It was like being released from a weird prison. 

We met the doctor in the hallway for more prescriptions, and I knew I had to say something, but words seemed so inadequate...plus, I wasn't even sure I could talk.  I weakly shook his hand and said, "Thank you, we really appreciate it."  How lame! (I do plan to send him a card).  This particular doctor is on the cutting edge of treatment.  Men come from all over the U.S. and the world to see him.  He is so sweet and confident, with just the right amount of seriousness to keep you from all out panic in the beginning.  He did not give Scott a reprieve from the meds, but that will come after Christmas, hopefully.

So the ride home was almost silent.  It was too much to take in.  It was hard to wrap our minds around it.  We did make a couple quick phone calls, and that was it.  I don't really know what I expected, but I thought I would feel happier, excited, elated.  But instead I just felt shell-shocked.  We've lived with this a long time, and to think you can let go of it in a few minutes is unrealistic... it has become a part of us, changed us.  I really hate that.  I looked at Scott a week later and said, "Will we ever be those people we used to be?"  He said he had no idea, but probably  not.

Cell phone picture taken the night after we found out.

Don't get me wrong, we are SO happy, but it's a cautious happy.  If he had been cured the first time, I think we would have gone on, unchanged, never looked back.  But this was different.  We have learned to depend on God in a different way than before...that's a good thing.  Not that our life was all peaches and cream before, but this experience was on a different level.   I wish I could tell you we threw a big party to celebrate, but again, too tired.  I'm thinking maybe Halloween :).

This post sounds so depressing... I do not mean it to!  I would like once again to thank all of you for your well wishes and prayers over the past year.  It meant a lot to have complete strangers praying, and it's something we will never, ever, forget.  We felt it... for sure!

We will not be going to Paris this fall.  It feels weird, Paris has become a habit.  We hope to return next fall, and get our mojo back:  
mojo Self-confidence, Self-assurednessability to bounce back from a debilitating trauma and negative attitude)


In fact, Scott found $850 round-trip tickets, and our old apartment is available in Oct, but alas, no vacation time left...too much time taken off for cancer...darn that cancer!

But we will return, it's as much a part of us as the cancer is... a much better part :).

If you're still with me, leave a comment, so I'll know someone read this post.
Thanks!
Teri

P.S.  As I wrote this, I looked at my blogroll, and oh how I've missed reading all your blogs!  I smiled as I saw all of the names I've come to know and love so much.  I hope to read and comment on each and every one this week!

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