Saturday, June 30, 2012

A bit quiet... Yet busy!

Been a bit quiet. Part due to trying to focus on daily life, other in part to nothing really new. Princess had the best birthday ever. We are astonished and humbled at the generosity of friends over the last six months! I have written over one hundred thank you notes! Hopefully I didn't miss one!

Normal is yet to be defined as we get Joel back to work. It is all day by day.

I go back full time this week. I am excited because well its me time- at least a bit closer ! Ha, I never go a minute with out thinking about my amazing husband, but at work it feels normal. Each challenging patient finds me thankful for Joel's health, and in hard moments amazing coworkers surrounding me.

Learning this new normal will take time. Each piece has changed in this puzzle and at times I am perplexed with how this will fit together.

I have an image of Joel's scan, but am not really ready to share it. I figure the hesitance is something I am trying to comprehend, or process as the last months seem a bit like a weird dream. It's hard to see how black and white this tumor is yet how complex it's made our life. Some how posting this image makes it real or permeant. Funny me I know. But, I know Joel sees it as a testament of God's grace and power. Its quite impressive, I also have to agree!

Soon I will share it, but until then here are a few pictures from the week. Gardening, berry picking, jam making and fun.

We continue to be blessed and are thankful for each of you.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

She is four !

Our princess is four! Thank you to all the friends who shared in this special day! Our beautiful girl has been amazing this year!

We are so thankful!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Sunshine! And randomness...

Enjoyed a few hours of sun today! It was nice to just blow bubbles and eat fresh strawberries! We had a few in our garden!

Boo!!! on the rain forecast ahead!

But really I am thankful daily at surviving the journey of our last few months. I have no other rational explanation, other than we were carried and continued to be carried.

Joel is improving daily. Today shoulder and head pain interfered... Making him a bit umm sour. But he sweetens up quick. He is meeting with a group of brain cancer patients in all stages. It's humbling and encouraging for him. He is thankful for the kind of cancer he has.

Princess is excited for school tomorrow as mommy made flowers from fruit and a sticky mess to celebrate her birthday! Oh, I have to share, every jet smoke in a blue sky has been dubbed a shooting star!! I love her!! We make lots of wishes!

Me? Well, I am tired. My body is paying me back for the internal stress from the past months. Awesome! Just in time for full time back to work! Yay! Thankful for my job.. Coworkers and moments of normalcy.


Warning rant of frustration coming.....,

Not so thankful for bills.. Have you read medical bills? " we have no choice but to demand payment in full at this time!". Jerks!! Sure insurance paid you 1000s, I have paid hundreds... I owe very little! I have even called to make arrangements! What are you going to do repo surgery? Creditors don't scare me! I have a foreclosure! You will get it as soon as I do! Bleh! At least insurance is behaving partially right now!!

------rant concluded-------

Been considering a blog post about surgery and traveling to it... Tips advice ect... But feel a bit too lazy tonight.. I hope our blog can help others, at least not feel so alone. Cancer stinks at every age!

Side note from the kitchen, which rambles into other thoughts:

I did make muffins today, very little sugar and mostly fruit. Which is the direction that is cancer friendly.. Been reading a lot about diet and nutrition. Organic vs non. Ect.... We are slowly shifting for healthy changes. I love sweets, and someone else just loves food... Ha!

Be praying for wisdom as we consider nutritionists along side complementary medicine to keep us healthy!

A few pictures of our own berries, and me loving the sunshine! Yes it's a pink paper clip holding my glasses together! I lost a screw!! As well as her school birthday treats I slaved over- really it wasn't easy! And our shooting star! Make a wish!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our little girl.

This Saturday our princess, Evelyn will be four. After being told in my teen years I wouldn't have children, through; miscarriages as an adult, fertility treatment, nausea, preterm labor scares, and bed rest our miracle was born- nearly on time! Happy 4th birthday my beautiful girl! You remind me daily of the faithfulness of God who gives us the desires of our heart. Your zest for life, goofy humor, and beautiful heart are motivation on hard days to push through! This last year has grown you up... For that I am sorry, but you have handled it beautifully my mini me! Mommy and Ducky love you so berry much!

Please pray for a sunny saturday! Celebrations are better in the sun!

Joel is doing well.. Looking forward to working soon! Be praying over this transition!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A whole bunch of nothing!

Joel's scan looked good! I am amazed at the amount of space! The brain has shifted appropriately/dramatically and the cancer spots appear stable. Ucsf still has the final clear, but for now we get to do nothing!!! Yay!! Rescan in two months! His left side of the brain looks much happier with all that extra space!

We are thankful for summer days ahead. So far no chemo will be required!

Joel did loose a lot of brain, but is functioning remarkably well. Each day brings progress. Its truly a miracle.

Thank you for praying! We are so thankful that we are stable with no marked growth! God is faithful!! We are humbly grateful. What a ride this last season has been!!

Keep following! The best is truly yet to come!

Today was daddy n me lunch! So sweet! I love her!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another day

Waiting another day for our appointment with our oncologist... It got pushed to tomorrow.... Really love waiting!

Side note... We camped in our back yard this week. Yup got wet but had fun. And we BBQed amazing bison! Yum!

Otherwise just busy. Work. Life. Appointments... It's just busy!

Will share more as we know!

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Joel's MRI went smoothly. We will know details in the next week. Our oncologist here will review it but as our neuro oncologist at Ucsf will review this as well. This costs money as they can't bill insurance for visits where we aren't physically present. Oh well, we want the best! Accurate readings may give us years! No price on that!

But I don't like to wait. Guess that no one asked me. Ha! We will know soon enough.7

We are learning our roles again. This is not an overnight process whether or not I want it to be. I am still a caregiver, Joel still acts like a patient at times and princess is used to just mommy parenting. This will take time. It's not uncommon to be dealing with this, as many young couples with cancer face this. Joel joined a tele support group with other brain cancer patients, it's good, but hard for some are much more advanced. I will be joining a caregiver group of cancer patients with the same organization. Our social worker through cancer care is working to help us with this. We are thankful for this resource. Counseling is in the future, as the trauma our life has endured is large. As well as our desire to help Joel relearn himself and emotions. All in time. But these steps will help us evolve to a new healthy normal.

Otherwise we are doing ok. Joel is continuing to learn his brain and physically has lots of good days. I have been sick and am on antibiotics, yep but I still get to be mom and wife. Princess is busy and allergies are bugging her!

We are so thankful for our time together and are excited for summer to show up!! So is the garden.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Words can not express how thankful we are. The last months have been purely crazy. Stressful, scary and surprising are also descriptors... But mostly an overwhelming sense of feeling thankful comes to my mind.

When that early morning phone call rocked my world, I never would have guessed what lay before. Nor, would I have guessed how God, through friends and family would have provided.

From the first moments, I was surrounded by love from coworkers who are dear friends. I had family near my side every time I asked. No matter the time or problem. Thank you especially to Mom, Dad, Mark, Erin, Aaron, Hay and Mendy. Knowing you, my family were always on the other end of the phone has eased this journey.

To the countless friends who have fed us, worked on our yard, watched our princess, provided financially, prayed for us and encouraged us. Thank you. I am truly humbled. I never would have imagined my life was so surrounded by this. We are so unworthy, but truly thankful. Never once did I worry about money... Ok maybe once but I learned to not.

Do medical bills remain? Yep they will keep coming. But we are remaining thankful, I have a job that has worked with me beautifully. And Joel does too. Not to mention we have decent health insurance.

I am thankful two years ago at my heaviest weight, I made the choice to be healthy.. And now I feel closer to this goal. This has made it easier to do all I needed to do with more energy-- 100lbs sure makes a difference!!!

Thankful for our miracle daughter that some doctors said would never be. Her joy and hilarious sense of humor is motivation to live.

I am thankful that a year ago we lost our house to mold and extensive water damage. For this home we live in is perfect for us. Little did I know how much we would need to live in town closer to my parents. What seemed so horrific then, now feels simple.

Thankful. Thankful my husbands first seizure was in my hospital er. With compassion that richly abounded. Complete with a quick thinking doc, I have yet to thank who promptly did a scan. His actions may have helped save him. Thankful to medics who went with their gut and brought Joel to the er.

Thankful my husband is alive. Thankful we still get to be next to each other. Thankful he can smile. Thankful he can talk... Even if he talks too much! Ha! Thankful he can walk.. And umm do all his own umm personal tasks. Thankful. Would I love him, even if he couldn't do those things? Of course... But it's sure great he can. Thankful. Even if he has changed. I know I have.

Thankful my daughter still has her Ducky. Even if being daddy is hard for him still. Thankful she gets to tell him 'happy fathers day!' or "Ducky I love you". Thankful that even though it feels like it at times, I am not a single mom... I just say I have two kids.. Three if you count the dog!

Thankful. For provision, life, joy, laughter, generosity, compassion and peace to say the least.

Joel says he is thankful for this tumor as its taught him how truly important Evey and I are to him.

Tomorrow is Joel's MRI. I choose to walk in thankfulness... That we have a chance. And great medical care.

Thankful, for all that God has done and will continue to do. I continue to pray for complete healing daily. But remain thankful for all we have been given .

Be in prayer that we get a clear picture tomorrow. At 1230-- And that there will be no growth! Pray for healing to continue!

Thank you for supporting and continuing to follow this journey.

Please, be thankful today. No matter what the circumstance. Do not choose fear, for this will destroy.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Warm days~!

This little girl of ours loves water and anything water related... Today was just warm and humid enough to break out the sprinkler. Joel likes water too... Our water dog well avoided it...

We had fun. I work tomorrow.. I wanna stay home and play... Ha! I have been home too long I guess! I love the sunshine! I just want to be outside all summer... I love eating outside too ! It's one of the best things ever! At least it's a cloudy weekend forecast and my work family is the best.

This next week will be busy!!! Joel has an appointment everyday Monday thru Thursday... Everyday! Ugh this may be a long week!

Be praying June 6 is our scan... We aren't anxious... Just eager..

We are so thankful for continued help from my parents. It's peace of mind to know that my family is being looked after.. But Joel is really doing better every day. It's just nice to have that safety net.

Here's to sleep as I seem to not get much lately! Pray I am rested and sharp this weekend as lives may depend on this!