Thursday, May 30, 2013

I can see the finish line of my cancer treatment!

I found out on Tuesday that my last day of treatment is not going to be on Friday.  Instead, it will be on Tuesday, June 5.  I had two more treatment boosts added to my plan, giving me a total of 35 treatments (7 weeks).  But, I am still so close to being finished.  Forever!  Drew and the kids are going to be at my final treatment on Tuesday so they can watch me ring the bell in the radiation department, which will signify the end of this stage!

It feels a bit surreal that I will be done with my cancer treatment.  I mean, I will still have reconstruction surgeries in about 6 months and beyond, but the chemotherapy and radiation will be complete.  Also, I will be taking the hormone therapy drug, tamoxifen for about 15 years, but still that is nothing compared to what I have been through.  After 9 months of regular treatment (and recently, visits every day to the doctor's office to get radiation therapy, labwork, follow-up, etc.), it will be strange not having this as part of my normal routine. Not that I am complaining!  :-)  I will just need to get into new routines.   I will still have oncologist appointments and labwork for a minimum of every 3 months for a while.

Now, on to important questions.  What do I do with this hair?  My goal is to grow my hair long again, but have fun with different styles along the way.  As you can see from this photo below, my hair is very thick, coarse and wavy.  Does anyone have any ideas for how to style it as it grows it out?  I haven't had a haircut yet and I am wondering if I can find a stylist who has experience with cancer patients who are trying to grow their hair out.  I have looked online, but not really seeing many gals with pixie styles and my hair type.  Also, since I am planning on growing it out, I feel like cutting it will be counter-productive.  What do I do in between this stage and the bob cut?

I wear a headband every day, and while it looks ok, it is going to get old.  Does anyone have any ideas?  Feel free to email me.  :-)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Preparing for our "10 Days of Real Food" Pledge

We're less than a week away from our "10 Days of Real Food" Pledge that I mentioned a few blog posts ago (here).  This is definitely taking some preparation!  There are 3 key areas where planning ahead is definitely needed for our family in this challenge.  The 3 areas that will be the biggest challenges for our family are breakfast, breads and eating local meats.  I am realizing this is where planning ahead is key.

Breakfast is only an issue because Drew and I eat boxed/packaged granola every morning for breakfast.  We always eat organic granola, and it really doesn't have very many ingredients (remember the pledge requires all packaged items to have 5 ingredients or less).  But, one of the ingredients is sugar, which is off limits for this challenge.  So, I will be making our family some homemade granola using this recipe provided by the 100 days of real food blog.

Our entire family eats sandwiches practically every day.  We use store-bought, packaged whole wheat bread for our sandwiches, but the number of ingredients far exceeds the 5 limit.  So, to solve this problem, I am going to make a trip to Great Harvest Bread Company and buy some fresh baked bread that has 5 ingredients or less. Their most popular bread (Honey Whole Wheat Sandwich bread) is made with the following five ingredients:  OUR OWN FRESHLY STONE-MILLED WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, WATER, HONEY, YEAST, SALT.

In Lisa's blog, she shares a great post (here) about what should be in your sandwich bread.  Here is a typical list of ingredients from a healthy whole wheat bread that one may typically buy in the store:

That is WAY more ingredients than is needed!  In fact, these added ingredients and the processing of the ingredients actually make the product pretty harmful.  You can read more about this in Lisa's very interesting post.

Meat and Poultry:
Lastly, an area I have been relaxed with is in purchasing local, organic meats and poultry.  It has been difficult for me to justify the extra cost in buying the local, organic meats.  But, it is also one of the most important areas for us to focus on as a family.  When you do not purchase organic or local, you risk consuming meat from an animal that was pumped full of hormones.  I know my hormone sensitive cancer doesn't need to be fed any more!  So, this will be a fun part of the challenge for us.  I will really get a sense of how easy (or difficult) it is to purchase only local meats.  We plan on going to farmers markets on Saturday and Sunday and whatever we don't find there, we can supplement with the purchase of local meats at whole foods.  Lisa has some great posts on her blog about purchasing local meats.  Click here for one of them.

Of course, in order to be fully prepared, I have to create a menu for each of the 10 days, followed by a grocery list.  In case anyone wants to try this with us, I will share our meal plans for the 10-day period. Since we are beginning the pledge on Monday, June 3, I will go shopping for days 1-5 during the weekend of June 1-2.  So, I broke the menus and grocery lists up into 2 periods: days 1-5 and days 6-10.  I will shop for days 6-10 over the weekend of June 8-9.

Here is our menu for days 1-5 (you will see the recipes hyperlinked in each of the days)

Day 1, Monday (June 3):
Breakfast:  Granola and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches (using one of Lisa's sandwich ideas, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, or Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Paninis) and fruit (along with salad)
Dinner: Farmer's Market Stir-fry

Day 2, Tuesday
Breakfast:  Granola and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches (using one of Lisa's sandwich ideas, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, or Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Paninis) (or leftovers from previous evening's dinner) and fruit (along with salad)
Dinner: Slow Cooker Flank Steak Fajitas with homemade whole wheat tortillas and tomato, corn and black bean salad

Day 3, Wednesday
Breakfast:  Granola and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches (using one of Lisa's sandwich ideas, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, or Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Paninis) (or leftovers from previous evening's dinner) and fruit (along with salad)
Dinner: Homemade Chicken Nuggets with a side of sweet potatoes and apples

Day 4, Thursday
Breakfast:  Granola and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches (using one of Lisa's sandwich ideas, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, or Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Paninis) (or leftovers from previous evening's dinner) and fruit (along with salad)
Dinner: Whole Wheat Pizza

Day 5, Friday
Breakfast:  Granola and fruit
Lunch: Sandwiches (using one of Lisa's sandwich ideas, Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, or Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Paninis) (or leftovers from previous evening's dinner) and fruit (along with salad)
Dinner: Whole Wheat Macaroni and Cheese with a side salad.

Of course, we will snack all day on lots of fruit and periodically on this popcorn.  I will also add a salad to practically every evening meal.

You can also click here for a plethora of meal-planning resources from the 100 days of Real Food Blog.

Here is my grocery list (for Days 1-5): (meats are grouped together in red, and produce in green)
1 lb local boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 whole chicken (local)
1.5 lbs flank steak
local meat for stir fry
cheese to grate (cheddar and mozzarella)
organic whole milk (for Abbey)
1 medium sweet potatoes
2 onions
2 serrano peppers
4 bell peppers
corn on the cob (several)
jalapeno pepper
lots of apples
lots of other fruits for snacks
mushrooms (1 lb)
tomatoes (2 big or 5-7 roma)
2.5 cups of black beans (or you can use cans of black beans, without added salt)
all natural 100% apple juice
brown paper bags for popping popcorn
brown rice
organic butter
Fruit spread w/ no sugar (for PB&J)
Great Harvest Bread Company Bread loaf
organic soy sauce
Pizza toppings
popcorn kernels
raw cashew pieces
raw pumpkin seeds (1/2 cup)
raw sunflow seeds (1/2 cup)
rolled oats (at least 3.5 cups)
tomato sauce
unsweetened shredded coconut
whole wheat flour

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Snapshots from yesterday

Day 28 of the blog challenge is "Just Pictures." Yesterday morning we enjoyed the beautiful weather (before it became too warm) and hiked as a family on Mount Bonnell.  We also enjoyed a little picnic snack together in the gentle breeze amidst the beautiful scenery.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


Here is a short and sweet post:   just some random photos from this weekend so far.

Drew and I had WAY too much fun taking pictures of bubbles. We made a fun game trying to manually focus on the bubble, which was floating unpredictably through the air, and snap the picture before Luke popped it.  We are nerds.

Abbey strutted around the house like a little diva.

And I am saying goodbye to my girlfriends--the ones that are taking up WAY too much space in my bathroom.  That's right, I am hoping I wore a wig for the last time last Tuesday.  Time to pack up the gals (wigs) and store them away (or donate them to someone else in need). I don't really have any good photos of my "hairdo" to share.   But here is one Drew snapped of Abbey and I at a birthday party this weekend.  I have no idea how to style short crazy wavy hair.  So, I just run my fingers through it with a bit of gel, throw on a headband and hope it looks alright.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

One of my final radiation updates!

That felt really good to type that title.  I am so glad that I only have 4 more radiation boosts and then my radiation treatment will be complete.  But, I must say, this 3-day weekend (and break from radiation) has come at a much-needed time.  Take a look at my poor skin:

this photo was taken today.

This photo was taken on 5/13--just 12 days ago.

It is probably a little difficult to tell from the photo.  But, my skin is bright red, peeling in some areas and feels like it is on fire.  On Tuesday afternoon when I go in for radiation, they will assess whether or not a need another day or two break before we wrap up the final treatments.  I had the first of my five "boosts" on Friday.  It was nice that the process only took about 5 minutes rather than the usual 20 minutes.  

I apologize for my slacking on blogging this past week.  Unfortunately, I was really ill.  Apparently, I was dealing with a rupturing ovarian cyst as well as a gastrointestinal infection.  I began feeling a lot better by Friday though and now am mainly just dealing with radiation side effects.  :-)  Hopefully I can pick back up with blogging on Monday.  

So, I am REALLY looking forward to this long Memorial Day weekend with the family.  Enjoy your long weekend spending time with your loved ones that are here and remembering those who are no longer with us!        

Love, Heather

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A list of links to my favorite archived posts

Today's blog challenge was to include a list of links to my favorite blog posts within my archives.

This is the easiest challenge to date.  The following posts are the most memorable for me.

1.  I have cancer.  (September 2012).  This was as shocking of a post to my friends and family as it was for me to receive the news.  My life was beginning to change drastically--forever.

2.  Trying not to "waste" my cancer.  I received a new perspective on cancer.
3.  Days 2-6 of my first round of chemo.  I wrote this post shortly after beginning chemo.  You can see that one of my fears with cancer was giving the kids as normal of a childhood as possible.  I wouldn't be able to give Luke the 3rd birthday party that I had hoped and I was concerned about that.  But, God takes care of everything--even these little details that bring us concern.  (see post #4).  

4.  Luke's 3rd birthday.  I love this little guy so much!

5.  On Thankfulness.  It's hard to believe I would have SO much joy and feel so extremely thankful just two months after receiving an advanced cancer diagnosis.  God has everything under control!

6.  Things I want to remember from the past week (volume 1.2)  (August 2012) This was the 2nd post in my "Things I want to Remember From the Past Week" posts.  I stopped this series when I received my cancer diagnosis, because the big "c" began consuming our lives.   But, now I am moving into survivorship mode and I think it may be a good idea to resume.   I really enjoyed reading the post again and remembering and appreciating the joy and the "struggles" I had at the time.  Things were pretty simple back then.  Yet, when I think about, life is no different then than it is now.   I am still a wife, mother, sister and friend.  I still have the same roles in life, just with a renewed perspective and a lot more doctor's appointments.  I love reading these old posts. 

7.  When Luke Broke His Arm (at 15 months). (January 2011) Talk about learning to give up control..this was a BIG lesson in our inability to control everything in our lives.  And---it was a very hard way to learn the lesson.

Monday, May 20, 2013

It's Hot!

Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, 2013.  But, it already feels like summer has arrived in central Texas.   Actually though, the weather was pretty much perfect up until this past week.  But then this weekend, temperatures began creeping into the 90's.  I realized that this hot sun and my radiated skin together is not a very good combination.   Today's Blog Challenge was to share something that I am struggling with right now.   With a hot weekend behind us and a hot summer projected ahead, this is something I am struggling with right now.

Because our two children's favorite past-time is playing outdoors, this summer might be difficult for this gal.  I have never been very good about dousing on the sunscreen on myself.  I mean, if I am planning on spending hours outdoors, I am good about putting sunscreen on. But, if I am just going outside for a little while with my children before lunch, I haven't been as diligent.  Of course, I am good about putting it all over my children to protect their skin, I just haven't been as good for myself.  But, I will definitely need to be good about it from now on--even if I am just planning on being outdoors for a little while.  My radiated skin is going to be sensitive for a while.  But, I also need to be good about keeping my left arm protected from the sun to minimize my lymphedema risk.

So how is my skin handling the treatments?  After one radiation treatment combined with an increased dose of chemotherapy, my skin became bright red, itchy and bumpy.  Prior to the increased dose, my skin looked awesome considering I was nearly halfway through my radiation treatments.  The nurse practitioner called me on Wednesday morning and told me that Dr. H. (my oncologist) wants me to stop taking the chemotherapy pill altogether.  I was ecstatic.  Goodbye nausea.   Goodbye increased fatigue (radiation alone causes fatigue as well, but the combo with chemo was very rough.)  Goodbye irritated skin....I wish.   My radiated skin feels very warm to the touch.  And although the bright red, itchy skin is still present, the bumps are beginning to go away.  I am attributing that to stopping the chemotherapy.

But here is the great news:  I only have 5 more treatments of the full area and then 4 boosts to specific areas.  This means I only have 9 treatments remaining!  Can you believe it?  It will be strange not going to the doctor's office every single weekday.  I will be in the "survivorship" mode soon.  And my radiation oncologist said my skin should become less red starting around two weeks post-treatment.

In summary, my skin is hot.  The sun is hot.   Radiated skin + bright sun= pain.  It might be a struggle to be outside this summer,  but I will douse that sunscreen all over and keep my skin hydrated.  We love the outdoors as a family, and we will do what we can to enjoy the outdoors safely.  

We had some fun in the sun this past weekend with family.  My brother, Jeremy and his wife, Brandy and son, Traber visited us.  Here are some photos of some of our fun in the sun together.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Favorite Photo of Myself

Today's Blog Challenge was to share a favorite photo of myself and explain why it is my favorite.  I almost skipped this day, because I feel weird sharing a photo of myself.  But, since I deviated from yesterday's challenge task, I figure I better participate today.

I have two photos that I would like to share as my favorites.

In this photo, Drew and I had just left our wedding ceremony and were heading to the reception.  I love the looks in our faces.  We are clearly SO in love.  And you know the crazy thing?  We are even more in love now!  Just when you think your love for someone couldn't possibly grow any more, it does!

Then, you feel so FULL of love in your heart.  How could there be any more room for love to grow in there?  But, you bring a child into your family and a CRAZY amount of love grows.  A love like no other. 

The photo above is another one of my favorites.  I think it is a photo that shows so much happiness and love.   And, I feel like I am even glowing a bit--and for a reason.  I had no idea at the time, but I was pregnant with Abbey when this photo was taken.  My heart was preparing to grow even more!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Nourishing Bytes: 10 Days of Real Food--"Eat Food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

Instead of the normal May blogging challenge post, I decided to deviate and attempt to get some folks to join our family in a new challenge.  On June 3, our family will embark on a new journey.  We have decided to take a "10 days of real food" pledge.

photo from Lisa Leake's 100 Days of Real Food Blog

Those of you who have been reading this blog for quite some time know that we are very interested in healthful eating.  We thought we ate pretty healthfully prior to cancer.  Once cancer struck, I began doing a lot of research into optimal diets.  What I discovered is that the best thing I can do for my body is to nourish it with stuff that comes directly from nature.  I decided I wanted to minimally ingest processed foods (especially processed and refined sugars), fruits and veggies that were not treated with pesticides, genetically modified foods and meats from animals that were not allowed to roam freely or were injected with hormones.  This is clearly not easy in today's American culture.  But, that is our goal and I believe very strongly in this. We have been making changes in our diets regularly since October 2012.  

A new neighbor friend and I were recently discussing this.  She introduced me to a blog titled, "100 days of Real Food."  This blog is awesome. I have probably spent WAY too much time on it.  But, after digging into it, I have found that this woman and her family are eating exactly how I desire our family to eat.  The blogger, Lisa Leake created the blog shortly after reading Michael Pollen's book, "In Defense of Food".   Prior to reading his book, she had never read an ingredient label or purposefully bought anything organic.   Lisa says on her blog, "As it turned out, a lot of what we thought were “healthy” food choices were actually just highly processed and what the food industry was labeling as “healthy.”"  So, she decided to take her family through the 100 days of real food challenge and blog about it along the way.   (100 days in length because that is how long it usually takes to build habits).  She even did it on a budget, for less money than a family would have on full food stamp benefits.

I love Pollan's simple rules for eating:  "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."  Of course, "food" is what Pollan defines in his book.   You see, the "food"we eat today is dramatically different than what our ancestors ate for thousands of years.  Lisa says,

Our so-called “Western diet” of processed foods only began around the turn of the last century and also taught us that we should be more concerned about calories, nutrients, fat grams, and vitamins rather than just eating the whole foods given to us by nature that people have survived on since the dawn of agriculture.

Since this new way of eating was introduced there has been a simultaneous rise in chronic diseases (even after adjusting for age since we are living longer thanks to modern medicine). Coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer – 4 out of the top ten chronic diseases that kill most of us – “can be traced directly to the industrialization of our food” that Michael Pollan defines as:
•    The rise of highly processed foods and refined grains
•    The use of chemicals to raise plants and animals (i.e. anything not organic)
•    The superabundance of cheap calories of sugar and fat
•    The narrowing of the biological diversity of the human diet to a tiny handful of staple crops, notably wheat, corn and soy (the majority of processed foods are laced with at least one these crops in one form or another) 

This, in summary, gives “us the Western diet that we take for granted: lots of processed foods and meat, lots of added fat and sugar, lots of everything – except vegetables, fruits, and whole grains” according to Pollan. And it is making a lot of Americans sick and fat.

There really is so much good information on her blog.  I would recommend you to check it out (simply click here to do so). 

We are going to be taking the 10 days pledge beginning on Monday, June 3.  Then, we will hopefully begin the 100 day pledge later.  From the blog:

Benefits of Taking the 10-Day Pledge

Upon completing your goal we predict you will gain the following:
  • A first-hand, eye opening experience of how to identify the real food in our processed food world.
  • At least one improved health benefit such as having more energy, losing weight, improving regularity, or just feeling healthier overall.
  • The realization that some of those pre-packaged processed “food-like substances” don’t even taste that good compared to real food.
  • The opportunity to teach your children (if you have them), by example, the healthiest way to eat and enjoy the food mother nature has given us.
  • A congratulatory letter and complimentary gifta silicone wristband debossed with “10 Days of Real Food” which you can wear to make sure all of your friends know what you accomplished!
  • The ability to continue on with your life however you chose, but with the new knowledge of how and why to avoid processed foods. Hopefully your 10-day experience will convince you to consider making at least a few changes for life.
After all of that, who wants to do the 10 day challenge with our family?   Perhaps it will encourage you to know that Lisa's blog provides some great sample meal plans.  She really does try to make it as easy as possible.  Simply click here to sign up and join us on June 3.  I will likely be blogging about our experience and would like to hear from you as well!  Here are the real food rules for eating during the challenge (from her site):

What you CAN eat:

  1. Whole foods that are more a product of nature than a product of industry
  2. Lots of fruits and vegetables (we recommend that you shop for these at your local farmers’ market)
  3. Dairy products like milk, unsweetened yogurt, eggs, and cheese
  4. 100% whole-wheat and whole-grains (find a local bakery for approved sandwich bread and check the Understanding Grains post for more info)
  5. Seafood (wild caught is the optimal choice over farm-raised)
  6. Only locally raised meats such as pork, beef, and chicken (preferably in moderation)
  7. Beverages limited to water, milk, all natural juices, naturally sweetened coffee and tea, and wine and beer.
  8. Snacks like dried fruit, seeds, nuts and popcorn
  9. All natural sweeteners including honey, 100% maple syrup, and fruit juice concentrates are acceptable in moderation
  10. Also check out the Recipes and Resources page for a more detailed list of meal options including links to recipes

What you CANNOT eat:

  1. No refined grains such as white flour or white rice (items containing wheat must say WHOLE wheat…not just “wheat”)
  2. No refined sweeteners such as sugar, any form of corn syrup, cane juice, or the artificial stuff like Splenda
  3. Nothing out of a box, can, bag, bottle or package that has more than 5 ingredients listed on the label
  4. No deep fried foods
  5. No “fast foods”
 Simply comment below or shoot me an email if you'd like to join along with us. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Day in the Life...

Because today's blog challenge was "A Day in the life (include photos from throughout your typical day - this could be "a photo an hour" if you'd like)", I was a photojournalist yesterday.  Luke has school from 9am-2pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so yesterday was a little atypical for us compared to most of the week.  I apologize if this is too boring.  But, this was today's blog challenge, so here it goes.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

7am: Rise and shine.  Abbey usually awakes first, followed by Luke.  I change their clothes (and Abbey's diaper), take Luke potty, and let Luke watch a little bit of morning cartoons.  While he's doing that and Abbey's playing, I get their breakfast ready.  Then, of course, they eat breakfast.

8am:  While they are content playing, I attempt to eat my breakfast and take my morning chemotherapy pill.  Inevitably, Abbey sees my cereal, even though she has eaten as much as an adult already, and decides she needs some of that too.   I usually feel pretty thankful when I am able to eat at least half of my granola in secret before she discovers it or I get distracted by a chore or something involved with looking after the kiddos .

My breakfast ritual--coconut chia granola and iced green tea.
After I scarf down breakfast, I make Luke's lunch for school and get all of his school stuff around for him.

Finger in belly Abbey is ready for the day.
 Then, we load up the car and head out to school around 8:45/8:50a.

9am:   We arrive at school.  Abbey and I drop Luke off at his classroom. a photo really necessary?

Abbey and I head back home and I put her down for her 2 hour morning nap. 

10-12pm:  This is amost glorious time for me.  I get 2 hours to do chores.   Today (Tuesday), I get to write part of this blog post and edit some photos.  It's also time to pay some bills, and do laundry, dishes and some meal planning.  After chores, I will attempt to eat before Abbey awakes.  Otherwise, she will want whatever is on my plate to eat!  On days when Luke is not in school, Luke and I play together and sometimes I attempt to do chores during Abbey's nap times.

12pm:  Abbey awakes and, of course, is hungry.   I haven't had a chance to eat lunch yet, so I prepare something for both of us.  Once she is finished and I have cleaned things up a bit, we head to the grocery story.  We are out of quite a bit of food right now.

12:50pm:  We arrive at the grocery store.  I then realize that it probably isn't a good idea to try to lift Abbey up into the seat of the cart (due to left arm lifting restrictions).  So, we just use the stroller and its basket underneath to gather the groceries that are bare necessities right now.  I will just have to come back alone for the the rest of our needed groceries.

At our house, necessities include a plethora of fruit!  First stop, produce!

1:35pm:  Arrive home from the store.  I unload the items that need to be kept refrigerated and then jump back into the van to pick up Luke from school.

2pm:  Pick up Luke from school.

Sweet big brother.   Here, he is holding Abbey's hand as they walk to the car from his classroom.
2:10pm:  We arrive home from school.   I unload the kids and Luke's school stuff, get Luke a snack and give Abbey some milk.  I also unload the dishwasher.

Yum!  Delicious watermelon!
Abbey played with some play-doh while Luke finished his watermelon snack.

 2:35pm:  Drew comes home from work to look after the kids for a bit during my afternoon of doctor appointments.  Abbey goes down for her afternoon nap and I head to my 2:45pm oncologist appointment for labwork and a quick nurse practitioner visit.  I was happy that I received a call on my way there from my radiation office's technician who said I can head straight to radiation after my doctor visit.  Otherwise, my normal radiation appointment time is at 4:30pm.  Hooray--this will make the rest of our afternoon/evening a little easier!  My nurse practitioner lowered my chemo dose, which should hopefully help out with some issues I have been having.  Now, time to head to radiation.

at my oncologist's office.  Happy for pretty good labs and a lowered chemo dose.

3:15pmRadiation treatment time.

I spend about 20 minutes in this room, receiving radiation.

Following radiation, I visit with the radiation oncologist. 
 4pm:  The visit with my radiation oncologist went well.  She prescribed me a new topical cream to go over the skin areas that are extremely irritated from the radiation treatment.  So, I head to the pharmacy upstairs within the oncology office to pick that up and also schedule some appointments for next week.

4:20pm:  Arrive back home.  I get to talk to Drew and see the kids for a few minutes before making dinner.  It is an early and quick dinner night because Luke has soccer practice at 5:30pm.

5:30pm:  Drew is at soccer practice with Luke while I stay home with Abbey.  I need to avoid the sun when possible during my treatment and it is pretty warm and sunny today.  Abbey finishes up eating, I clean up a bit and then we head upstairs to play. 

6:30pm: Give Abbey her nighttime milk.

6:45pm: Drew and Luke arrive home from practice.   Everyone has one bedtime snack (an apple).

7:30pm:  Drew and Luke take a shower and I get Abbey ready for bed.  Goodnight Abbey.

8pm:  Goodnight Luke.

8:30pm:  I'm exhausted (I'm feeling the effects of this chemo and radiation).  Drew has to work.  But at least we get to enjoy a little quiet time.  Literally---I have my quiet time with the Lord.

9pm:  I watch a little tv, finish this blog post, get ready for bed and take my evening chemotherapy dose...

and dream about doing this all over again tomorrow.  :-). I am thankful for each day God gives me here on earth!  I am feeling so blessed.