Monday, November 26, 2007

Thank You

thank you.

(You may be wondering if I'm talking to you. I am. Yes, you. You have made this whole journey easier. Now you're thinking that I'm probably talking to somebody who has done amazing things for me. I am. I'm talking to you. Now you're thinking that all you have ever done is read my blog. yep, still talking to you. When I get on my blog and see that there has been 10,000+ hits, I can't help but feel loved. I feel like I'm not in this alone and that there are people rooting for me every day. It makes it easy for me to keep a good attitude because I don't want to let anyone down. So, thank YOU.)

I have two more chemos. Can you believe it? One bad one on wednesday and then the other kind the next week. Then they'll do a scan and see if it is all gone. If it is, I get December off (merry, merry!) and then start radiation in January. If it's still there - which it isn't - then I'll have to go through a second and harsher round of chemo. So, you know, if you feel like praying for something specific, pray that I don't have to do that. I don't think I would be able to keep up all this happiness if I have to do chemo again. The chemo that I've already had has a shelf-life (it's actually called a half-life, i think) of 2 months. That means that even when I'm done, it stays in my body for about two months and then I can start to grow hair and get the feeling back in my fingers, etc. I'll start feeling a lot better sooner than that, though.

Radiation will be every day for 5 weeks, but the only big side effect is feeling tired - like you would after being in the sun all day. i can totally do that!

Brittany came and I had so much fun with her. I tried really hard to find a flaw and I was unlucky. She is so great. We laughed hard and ate ourselves silly. Mason would like to marry her. I can't wait until they come back for New Years. Her daughter is 4 days cuter than Preslie. I have a feeling they will be best friends.

Mom and Jamey came for Thanksgiving and that was a blast. We ate at the Youngs and there was so much good food. We saw Enchanted and that was a great movie. We shopped for "Stacy and CLinton-approved" clothing and the Jameyees took the girls ice skating. The Jameyees also caulked, sanded, taped and painted the all-weather room. They are hard workers. It looks awesome. Little Jamey added on to the cardboard box house that melanie made and even cut stars into the ceiling of it. It is really big and cute. It takes up most of the living room - much to Big Jaymee's dismay.

We also went and looked at houses. I came home loving mine more. I think we'll stay here a while. I don't want to leave my park. For those who don't know, Jaymee accepted a job in St. Louis. It's a great job and we feel very blessed. We're also really grateful to get to stay in this ward (meaning Shiloh AND O'Fallon 1st). We've never known such love and generosity. I'm glad we can be here to give back when this is all over. Also, I would be very sad to move away from Laureen's donuts and Darlene's pies.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

ding dong!

Someone "ding dong ditched" me a veggie tray. (I think I know who it was) BLess you! Bless you! Not that I don't love cookies and cakes and donuts and candy and pie and cobbler, but every day I'm getting farther from "wasting away" from this disease!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

i'm so glad

Here I am once again in the middle of the night. I have been sleeping so good this week. I even grew 5 hairs on my leg. I thought perhaps my body was adjusting to this chemo and I wouldn't have to stay awake again. But it's not so. I'll shave those five hairs (it'll be nice to have something to do in the shower) for getting my hopes up!

Something I have been thinking about, or rather, something I think about when it crosses my path is side effects that I don't have to endure. I'm pretty lucky. My doctor even called me "atypical". (She can be so sweet.) I see a lot of people go through a lot of stuff worse than what i've got going on. Many people go through things harder than a treatable cancer. Even the people I see when I go to my treatments have it so much worse! They lose eyes or limbs! I can't taste peanut butter. See why I cannot complain? (At least not to them, right?) This week I decided I'm ever so grateful to not lose my hearing. Not that it was really on the table, but I have a lot of time to think. My mom lost her voice this week and it made me feel a little deaf. Worse than that, I couldn't hear MY MOM! Boy, that was a hard few days for me. I didn't realize how much I depend on her. She is everything. She is so good at making me feel so good. She's what we call a "gusher". I call her and say,"It hurt a little when i was picking my nose today. It's not related to the cancer, but it still hurt!" and she says,"OH Shelby! You are my hero. You are a champ. I am so sorry you have to hurt. Bless you! BLess you! Bless you!" I had categorized it as "over the top" until she lost her voice and now I know it is completely necessary and part of my healing regimen.

She has been this way my whole life. As it turns out, I wasn't all I thought I was growing up. I had a bit of an "awkward phase" for about 20 years and never knew it because my mom told me how great I was every day. That extra boost of confidence got me places I could never have gotten on my own. I believed her. I still believe her even if I don't always agree. That's one thing about my mom, she never lies. She won't gush over something false. So if she says I'm pure gold, I am to her.

I've been thinking a lot about her lately. She's coming next week. I'm so glad she's healed or forgotten last time she was here. I tried to put on her little shoes (she has many to spare) and walk around a bit. Those shoes have walked around this disease before. How would it be to lose the love of your life to cancer, raise six kids for last 12 years alone only to get hit with cancer again? (Plus, I'm in her top six favorite kids.) I think it kind of stinks. Not for me, I'm fine, but she shouldn't have to go through it again and I'm sad to do that to her. She was so helpful while she was here but also so sad. She was strong but I could tell it wasn't easy. She got thrown into a crazy house where I wasn't even there to tell her anything. I was still in the hospital and she took over my four-kid household without as much as a "the bus comes at 7:55. Camryn will probably forget her glasses. Mason will do anything for chocolate milk". Poor thing. Whom the Lord loves, He tests and I think my mom might be one of His six favorite kids.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

9th chemo

Three-quarters done. I went in feeling SO GOOD yesterday. I hate that. Cancer makes you submissive, that's for sure. "Here, take my feel good. I'll trade you for yuck." Oh well, it's just a few days, right? Luckily I have all of you to buoy me up. Like this poem by my friend Karen that I found waiting for me to not to sleep.

Well I can't find a card to celebrate your 9th here's like a completely random, lame poem that literally I'm writing like...right now (notice the nine'm good). I would probably rate this as PG-13. I will try for a more sappy, inspirational poem...for No. 10. More stuff might rhyme then and plus you have cooler side effects then. Hmmmmm.

Number Nine, oh it's so fine
Kills my cells, but not my mind
At least not yet

Number Nine, I'm almost done
Shoot me up like coke and rum
Ok, that's a bit much
(remember kids, say no to drugs)

Number Nine, you've done your job
Making me feel like one big blob
thanks a lot

Number Nine, just do your deed
attack, attack with all your speed
then scram

Number Nine, you're such a bore
keeping me down is quite a chore
so furgeddaboutdit
(like how is that spelled anyways?)

Number Nine, it's not about you
Cause I got way too much stuff to do
like boss people around

Hey Number Nine, you're not so tough
So do your worst, you ain't so rough
well, maybe a little.

Number Nine, you make me swell
and bloat and sleep and feel like hell
but I still look good -- oh snap!

So here's to you Oh Number Nine
Our date is over, step to the back of the line
(envision two snaps and around the world, with a flip of the head as you turn out the room)...sweet.

love you!

Monday, November 12, 2007

guess what?

I shaved my head with a razor. It feels like an alien. Soft and hard at the same time. Bye.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

me monster

I think the biggest side effect of this cancer is that i'm beginning to feel like the center of the universe. Maybe that's why you lose your hair - keeps you humble. But for how long? I'm getting used to being bald. I'm also getting used to everyone wanting to talk about ME and do things for ME and pretty much getting everything I want.Today at church everyone was wearing party hats to see me there because i missed it last week and then Karen mentioned aaalll my suffering and such in her lesson. Me me me. Amy just left (WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP LEAVING? I HATE THAT PART!). I'm so sad, yet again. I'm also such a me monster that I almost considered asking her to stay longer. Who will I play with now? Who will listen to me talk about me while doing my dishes and changing my kids' pants. Why is that apostrophe there (kids')? Who will potty train mason for me? Me me me. I need a spanking. I really so worry about when this is all done and they say,"move your name over to the SURVIVOR list. You're done here". What a weird thing to worry about. I just see myself being sad to have all this love and attention fade. Will you all still love me when i have hair and can make my own dinner?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Can't sleep

What a frustrating night! I can't sleep - which is fine - but i am antsy antsy (is that how you spell that?) ! My dumb cat keeps laying on top of me every time i change positions, Preslie and Mason keep waking up and ERRRGGHH! How can this night be redeemed? I need my Katie to come back and stay up all night with me again. Dave and Kristin left today. The new room is almost done and it is awesome. I can't believe people that I know can do things like build a room. Kristin was wonderful, too. If she hadn't been around, I might have gone crazy with all the hammer hammer hammer but I knew everything was taken care of and that my kids were having a blast. Mason learned a new trick this week and that was to tell kristin that it was "ok with mom" - even if he never asked. Stinker. They were very generous and we ate good food and got to have them all to ourselves. We send people home very tired. And I am always very sad to see them go. Thank you so much, Papa Dave and Grandma Kristin!! I can't say how grateful I am.

Luckily, I don't have to be sad for long. A new friend comes tomorrow! My friend Amy (White) Knowlton is coming to help tomorrow and I haven't seen her in SEVEN years! I lived with her my senior year of high school and the summer after my first year of college. If things haven't changed, I'm pretty sure she will stick grapes up her nose with me, which is a void I've been needing to fill for a few weeks now. I am so grateful that she would come. Maybe one night if I'm feeling saucy, I'll expound on the entire soap opera that was the "Amy Jaymee Shelby Joe" of so many years ago - then who would think I'm "inspirational"? Hmmmm.... that's good blog readin'!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

an extra hour

Fall back, everyone. Its daylight savings time time... time. An extra hour for whatever you want. What if what I want isn't an extra hour? I feel like right now I'm just killing time. If I can get to February, I'll be all better and get to start doing all the things I miss. I even miss things I didn't love. I miss exercising. I miss being tired. Isn't that strange? We're planning a trip in May and it is great to have something to look forward to. Something to think about in the middle of the night. I hold on to it on sick days knowing they won't last forever.

I have only two more bad chemos. I'm very glad because they are starting to bug me. My fingers now feel like i have dipped them in super glue down to the second knuckle. Who's fingers am I touching? Oh, mine. My feet are a mess. I have numbness and blisters and I feel like I'm walking on rocks. But, I'm not as nauseated this time and that means everything.

I've been in bed the last couple days. I emerged to find a new sunroom. Jaymeson and his dad have been working like crazy and have knocked down our old screened-in porch and replaced it with an all-weather room. Hooray for cancer! Hooray for Dave. He's pretty amazing.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloweeen!

I don't mean to scare anyone, but here I am as He Who Should Not Be Named (Lord Voldemort). Jaymeson is Dumbledore (with flair), Preslie was Hedwig, Sienna is Hermione, Camryn is Ron Weasley (?????) and Mason is Harry Potter. We went to a couple parties and trick-or-treating. I felt like it was a "coming out" of sorts for me - even though Jaymeson was Dumbledore ;). People are so nice. I felt fine AND got candy. It was a good night.