Saturday, October 27, 2007

She's right

Melanie is right. I wander around all night. I'm awake most of the day, too. My eyes won't stay shut. Weird. It's about 3am and I made it all the way to the end of the internet, so i'm back here. I have to apologize. I feel like I say the same things over and over again when i get on, but these are the things of my heart. This is what I think about all night and want everyone to know. This is what I want to remember in the future when I get to say, "I had cancer when I was 30. It was a neat experience."

I've had a few different people ask me if i want to just sit down and throw a little pity-party sometimes. I don't. And its not because I'm a marvel or a super-hero. I have made lists over and over in my mind of all the bad and all the good that has come of this. The good list is much, much longer than the bad list and I think I would be so ungrateful to feel sorry for myself for one minute. There are things that I don't like, obviously! My fingers and toes are numb on the ends... and now my heels, too. My taste buds come and go. I have sores in my throat and weird jaw pain. I'm tired and sick sometimes. I'm bald. And there's other stuff. BUT I have felt all the love everyone in the world has for me and have been served daily by friends and family. My sweet husband bends over backwards to make sure I am comfortable and healthy and strong. He worries about me constantly and scolds me for sharing my fork with my kids or anything else that could get me sick. He wakes up with me in the night and hangs out until I get tired again. He sorts my jillions of pills and makes sure I take them every day. He kisses my head. Also, all of my family and friends have sacrificed so much to come and serve me. It is no small thing to get babysitters and help and plane tickets and time off to be here with me. It is so fun to have these people all to myself. They bond with my kids and I get to know everyone so much better. Katie is here now and it has been awesome. She has been so sweet. Mason loves her and I have loved all the conversations we have had. We had a really neat one tonight and it really touched me. She makes me want to be a better person and I'm really going to try. I know of no other way I'd get these opportunities. This is all so worth it. (And let me not forget that I don't have to shave. Definite perk!)

I've also been thinking about all the service, cards, emails, meals, gifts and things that I have been getting. I had been keeping a log and worrying about how I could ever pay all these people back. I worry about being even with people a lot and tonight the sweet feeling came to me that that isn't why people do this. Not only that, but Heavenly Father will pay them back. I can worry about those things later.

It is hard to go from being so capable to letting people do everything for you. I had a lot of pride in just how capable I was. I accomplished a lot every day. Today, I took a shower. A good one. It's hard to have your regular brain in a tired, sick body. Sometimes I feel like a prisoner. As time goes by, however, I am seeing this more as an opportunity. I was way too busy before and I'll probably be way too busy again. But not now and that is a gift. I get to cuddle with my kids a lot more. I read four books this week. I eat rainbow sherbet every day. I get to sit and talk to people for a long time. I have learned much about "what not to wear" and how to "flip this house". Maybe I'll learn spanish. Who knows? Does anyone want me to think about something for them?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Half Way Done!

(This is Melanie)
Shelby got her 6th chemo yesterday. Last week her doctors told her that her white count was so good - it was like a healthy person's! Her doctor asked her why she thought that could be and Shelby said, "Lot's of people are praying for me!" So true. I am so glad that her counts are still good at half way through. She is really tired right now because the steroids keep her up wandering around all night and have for the last few nights. Luckily Katie Price (Travis' wife) is there right now and will be till next Wednesday. What a great family we have. Thanks Katie for dropping all to go help them for a week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Deep Thought

"I just thought of something, what if the cure for cancer was something really ridiculous and can't be discovered in hospital research? Like what if the cure for cancer is: "Put a croissant on a tractor." or: "Rub your head with grass" or: "Put your nose hairs in a paper bag." You can make up some yourself, who knows, they might be the cure for cancer." -Jack Handy

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Hi everybody!

I'm so sorry I haven't been on here in so long. I think of you every day. I haven't felt great. But I know that I will feel great soon and that makes everything ok. There are little unpredictable side effects to this thing, but over all it is nice to at least know how I'm going to feel and when. I went over the yuckiest hump of this bad chemo (i hope!) and now I'll just feel better better better until (dang) I have to do it again.

Here's a pic of my new wig. It's glued on my head. Isn't that weird? But awesome. I can shower in it and curl it and whatever. It's real hair and it's very soft. I'm happy to be able to be anonymous out in public again. No more people looking at me sadly. I wanted to tell everyone i saw,"Yes, I have cancer, but I"M FINE!". My mom suggested writing it on my head. It's kind of a squinty wierd pic, but it's all i have and preslie looks awesome so focus on her. She brings me so much joy. She is such a good baby and I am so blessed to have her. If I can't have any more kids, I'm lucky to have ended on such a good one!

The girls went to a program called "HUGS" yesterday out in Saint Louis. It's a support group for kids with loved ones with cancer and it was really neat. They really spoiled them. They came home with backpacks full of treasures. They got to write little books telling their stories. I'm so grateful for people in the world that set up this kind of thing and volunteer their time and love. I hope I can do some of this stuff when this is all done. It really meant a lot to the girls and to me. Thank you HUGS!

Julene (Jaymeson's mom) left yesterday and I'm sad. It's so bittersweet to have people come help because I love having them here but am so sad to see them go. Also, If I'm going to have weird tongue-malfunctions, I'm glad it was after she came. She made so much yummy food! We had pie and cookies and bread every day. She's a great cook. We had all our floors redone while she was here, too and she was a tremendous help with that. The kids love her and miss her so much, too. I hope she comes back.

I want to thank everyone for hangin' in there. All the help and love that I received at the beginning of this hasn't waned. I'm bored of it and you can be, too. I'm glad you're not. I'm grateful for the prayers and emails. I'm grateful for the treats left on our doorstep. I'm grateful Michelle drove all day to be here and then made gourmet lunch while being trapped in our kitchen because they were laying carpet. I'm grateful for all the people who take my kids ALL DAY every wednesday so I can go to chemo. We've had so many meals. The activity days girls (ages 8-11) from the other ward came and brought dinner last week and they were so sweet. All of you make me feel so loved and valuable. I hope I can somehow do enough service over the rest of my life to somehow pay this back. Thank you. Thank you.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Can't taste!

(This is Melanie)
Shelby woke up this morning with her tongue swollen and now she can't taste a lot of stuff. She said she ate a piece of celery with peanut butter on it and could taste the celery but not the peanut butter. YUCK! This is a common side effect of the chemo, but no fun. I want to taste everything! Jaymee said it will eventually go away - but how long? Who knows? So don't waste your money on sending tasty foods to her for a while. Dang it. She's tired today and her guts hurt. I h a t e chemo. I take that back. I love chemo and that it is k i ll ing all that cancer. I h a t e how chemo makes her feel.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shel got her 5th Chemo today

(this is Melanie)
I talked to Shelby today after her chemo and it went well. Today she got the hard dose again so in a few days she'll probably be pretty wiped out. She has been sleeping better though the past few days and that helps a lot when it comes to chemo day. Her body does a lot better with it when she is rested up before hand. Hopefully this will be a decent week for her. She also got her new wig and really likes it. She said that she felt vain for liking her wig and not just running around bald. I think she's crazy. I thank my Heavenly Father that she found something that makes such a hard part of this disease a little less hard. She is so beautiful and I always want her to feel that way. I am sure she will write all about it soon but if she isn't up to it for a few days I know people get on every day looking for news so I thought I'd give a quick update. (also I was sick of all the love and kisses and barfs from her and I being first on this site!!!)

PS - She said that the other day she took a lint roller to her head to get out the last little bits of stubble. She said it felt wonderful. . . . did she say "divine"? I can't remember. I think it sounds like a great head massage. She also said that sleeping bald feels so good like when you go to bed with wet hair and you stay cool because your head is cool and keeps all of you cool so you have to keep your covers up on you all night! Look at all the perks of being bald.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

All the mushy sister love and stuff

(this is Melanie)
I haven't written on here in a long time because shelby has felt good enough to and no one needed to hear from me - but I am so grateful that I was able to go stay with Shelby and her family for all that time. It was the best. She is the only person out there who could make having cancer so fun. We laughed and laughed and ate and ate and I taught Mason to do the dishes and didn't bathe him more than twice in 10 days. I love that it is said I was such a help - ha. I just went out there to hog back some of that overflow of Holy Ghost and to play with my nieces and nephew that I hardly know. Her kids are great and so nice and fun and cute and Jaymee has taken over as super dad and even bought her a necklace that looks like a tumor (a pearl) hanging out of a heart! I was amazed at her ward (from church) that was taking care of so many things - like meals after chemo and meals when no one is there to help and play dates for Mason and sitters all day for chemo etc. This is the gospel of Jesus Christ. To bear one another's burdens that they might be light. I am grateful for her good close friends like Mami and Amy and all those who are being surrogate sisters to her. I am grateful for the sister who brought the box of Krispy Kreme's (we no longer have them in Arizona) and I knelt down and kissed her ring out of gratitude and she brought another box the night before I left!!! Needless to say, no wonder I look like a huge fat face in that horrible picture shel posted of me. But mmmmm I was happy.
I love you Shelby. You are touching the world. You have touched me and reminded me what is important and what isn't. I wish too that a job would open up out west somewhere, but I also know that a wish from me is a curse on those that love you out there so much and want you to stay there. I know you'll end up where the Lord needs you most. Thanks for letting me stay and for being so amazing. I miss you guys.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I miss my sister

I wanted to write about this earlier, but I couldn't. It made me too sad. Even now, I'm still so sad. Really the saddest part of this whole thing was not cancer, it was having melanie all to myself for 10 days and then having her leave. Life is so fun and carefree with melanie around. She did everything for me, even when I could totally do it for myself. I really took advantage of her. I didn't change any diapers or wash any dishes and yet I could go to the mall and pretend house-hunting without any problems. She even cried for me. Not because of me - FOR me - so i didn't have to. When we were going to cut my hair, she started to cry and it made me feel stronger. I don't know why. I guess i just let her do everything for me.

We're a funny pair. We have different tastes in music. I like dark chocolate, she likes white. She looks chinese in this picture and i don't. But it doesn't matter. We are the perfect pair. She is my best friend in the whole world and I'd give anything to live right by her (EVEN live in arizona) so I'd always be laughing and never have to change another diaper again.

P.S. I'd like to give a shout out to my boy Jeff who made it possible for melanie to come out and spend TEN days with me. He took care of all those kids in sickness and in health and drove them to a million places every morning. He pretended it was easy so mel didn't have to worry. I don't know of a lot of guys who could have done that. Thanks, jeff. (and thanks to all those who helped Jeff, too)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

4300 hits

This site has had 4300 hits. Wow. I have heard from a few long lost friends (like the Macfarlands! It's been 18 years!) and it is so fun for me. I know some people have had a hard time posting comments and so I thought I'd throw my email on here. I'd love to know who some of you people are... - drop me a line! Also, I'm going to pretend that very few people read this and continue to be a dork and write whatever I want.

So I had my 4th chemo today. 1/3 DONE! Wahoo! A laugh-fest as usual. For some reason, those are fun. I always dread them a little bit, but it's never bad. I took control of my own destiny and asked for NO TAPE! I spend the whole week in between treatments trying to get tape gunger off my arms. It was short. We got there at nine and were out by noonish. I only had to get 2 chemicals and then went wig shopping again. That brown one i have doesn't stay on and i think it would be more embarrasing to have Preslie pull it off someplace than to be bald. So i took it back and ordered a sweet one. They glue it on your head and you can wear it for 2 weeks at a time and shower and curl it and put it in a ponytail and everything. Turns out, Tyra banks and Beyonce and such wear them. I hope a white girl can pull it off... not preslie, though. So, i'm excited about that. I don't really care about the bald thing that much, but this is such an easy and pretty fix. Why not, right? A good time to play my 7th cancer card. I have a deck of 52 and this is going by faster than I thought. Gotta use 'em. Speaking of white, you don't realize how pale your head is until you're bald! I have this dark line that goes from my face to the back of my head and I was like,"What the?" Turns out it's where I used to part my hair. Ha ha. It's like a cool racing stripe.

This was an idea my friend Nicki had: "Dude I have the perfect idea for your head tattoo!!! You should tattoo constellation patterns on your head and then we can stick a flashlight in your mouth and we can all learn!!!!! " Ha ha ha ha. That cracks me up. Like Uncle Fester meets Mister Wizard (A strange dream of mine). I'm all about people learning from this trial.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

I am bald.

I think babysteps to the baldness is a great idea. Yesterday, even my short hair started coming out in chunks and mason jumped on me like a rabid monkey and pulled my hair out in a fashion not unlike a dog digging under a fence. It was so funny (that word is getting redundant and repetitive and also redundant). When they were done, i looked like a mix between Friar Tuck and George Costanza. Sorry, I didn't document it. Then last night at about 2:30am, Jaymeson shaved it off. I cried. I look a little like a hardened criminal. I'm not so itchy now, though, and that is great.

My second "bad chemo" was last wednesday and I am still doing well. The steroids make me so hungry and so i have indulged myself all week thinking that I would not want to eat at all this week like last time. Not so. I feel tired and weak but still hungry. Sometime I am going to have to stop having a whole box of apple turnovers for dinner. Man, eating rules! I am so grateful to not be so sick as last time.

I want everyone to know that I really am ok. I have had so much joy and laughter and really neat times already. The little things I have to go through seem so insignificant when you see all the good you get. You just can't ever get ahead. Our sweet Savior lets you endure a little trial and through the pain or sorrow (all the while helping you every step of the way) blesses you 1000x. Plus, without that sorrow how could you understand and appreciate all your joy? And then the biggest gift of all, to know that He knows me and loves me and cares enough about my ability to handle this challenge that He would go through it Himself first.

When I first got back from Arizona, Michelle Ricks had left a couple messages. When I finally spoke with her, she said that she had had a moment where she was praying to know if anyone in her life needed her help. (Sorry for sharing your secrets, Michelle) She said she saw my face. It was before she knew anything about this and it wasn't even at a time where i was available for her to help me. It wasn't about getting me help. The Lord just looked around her life and circle of friends and said, "Shelby. She's having a hard time." To me, it's the sweetest gift. He knows me and loves me.

I'm so happy that it's general conference this weekend. It is my favorite thing. If any of you aren't of my faith (mormon, lds), now's your chance to see a little of what we're all about. Twice a year the prophet and the apostles and other leaders of the church speak. It's on tv and the internet (,5161,7834,00.html) at 10am and 2pm yesterday and today... you can watch or listen anytime after as well on that website. The church is true. It's all about family and peace and joy. I couldn't be more grateful.

I love you all. Thanks again for all your love and prayers. I really believe the prayers are why I am ok. Don't stop.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Make sure you look at the family pictures link

(This is Melanie)
First and for the record. I bought a beautiful, touching card from the Dicksons. I will scan it if I must. Do not believe shelby.

Second. You must look at the family pictures link for there you will find pictures of her hair cutting tonight. She is the coolest person ever and her kids had a blast cutting off all her hair and she laughed through the whole thing. Who does that? She is purely inspirational. Even before she did it when I started to cry she opened a drawer with her foot and pulled out a klenex with the same said foot and handed it to me with her foot. Thus, I could no longer cry but had to laugh. Then we went in the kitchen and stuck grapes all over in our faces and took many pictures and laughed and laughed. These things should be so sad and depressing and they aren't because of her awesome attitude. I love her.

Good News!

I got a chest xray yesterday and my tumor has already shrunk to half its size!! After only 2 treatments. That is the power of prayer and toxic chemicals. See? I'm going to be fine. I got my 3rd chemo yesterday and I have nine more and then 5 weeks of daily radiation. This cancer doesn't stand a chance. Keep the prayers coming!!

On a non-related note, melanie stuck grapes up our noses and took the best pictures ever. Be sure to check those out if i ever get them uploaded.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Thank You Dicksons and Mao!

Your cold, cold gift warmed my heart and my stomach. Not just because my heart is cuddling with my stomach, either. The Dicksons all got together and bought me a freezer for my garage and a Sam's Club card to fill it up - which I did today. (They also bought my kids "moon sand" but I'm not sure if they planned on that.) We have had people bring meals and things and have had no room to store them. This is so great. My ward has been pondering how to do meals with the lack of space. Thank you a million times you guys are the best best best! (although i thought the card was tasteless and inappropriate)