Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Birthday Sister

Happiest of birthdays to the best older sister a girl could ask for.

So glad we got to spend the last week together.

Until our next adventure

Love you 😘

Monday, June 19, 2017

Dory's Detour on No Chemo Monday

The day has finally arrived... my first day 15 that I am NOT scheduled to receive an infusion.
 Of course, I celebrated this milestone with a Starbucks 😍





and a visit to Target with this little cutie


This is whole new territory in my journey.
I have NEVER had a day 15 (which is usually referred to as day 1) that I did not receive an infusion. It is day 1, the first week of healing.
It time to start counting forward instead of counting down.

The road is scary and still unknown. My energy is focused on loving my sparkles, resting and embracing the wait.
There are many side effects and med symptoms that are just as strong and prominent as an infusion. There are many weeks and months of toxins my body needs to process.

But for today, celebrate with me.
Celebrate this milestone and these moments of Joy (and of my beautiful niece Evie)

One day at a time

Where's Dory?



After completing my 12th infusion on June 5th I have been spending time resting and recovering. This last infusion was the hardest physically and emotionally and I have found that I needed some time to retreat and reflect on the journey thus far. 

The completion of the 12th infusion is not a finish point but rather a point of complete fullness.

Imagine a large bath tub.  For the past 25 weeks, someone has come and poured a bucket of poison into it every two weeks.  There is a small drain that is open and drains away about a bucket every 24 weeks. (The first bucket is now gone and there is a percentage of each other bucket that is draining away as well.)   Nevertheless, the exchange rate is insufficient and the drain cannot keep up with what is coming in.  Eventually, the tub is as full as it can be.  No more buckets are being added and the drain is still open, slowly bringing the level down.  It will take another 23 weeks for it to empty the tub completely.

In other words, as I was getting each infusion, my overall toxicity was rising. First, fairly dramatically, but then when it reached its peak it leveled off.   For the past 6 or 8 weeks, the level has been barely tolerable. Thinking of it that way, the symptoms and side effects have been more severe and longer lasting.  

The good news is that we are over the hump in terms of infusions.  Now it becomes a slow waiting game.   

What some may not realize is I get exhausted very easily.  The nausea, fuzziness, anxiety, fatigue, and GI issues are always close by.   Yesterday, a walk from my house to parents (about 450 steps) that included walking up the steep driveway (Mt Dorsey) had me gasping for breath.  

The drugs also make me more emotional.  I cry easy and often but  also laughs and finds joy.  

I fear that others won't understand that the journey continues and will think that because on the outside I look pretty good, that I should be able to do much more. That since the infusions are done life can go back to the normal (whatever the heck normal is). 
Fear creeps around every corner, in unexpected shapes, ideas, thoughts and scenarios. 

These are not things that I have tried to hide from any of you but rather things that are not easily seen or understood when there are not daily or even weekly interactions. Those that see me at church each week may not realize the amount of prep and rest required for me to attend, they only see the joy and my presence and for that I am glad. However, I am reminded that its not about the destination as its about the journey and I have promised to share both with all of you. 
I have been reminded that its not how you start the race but how you finish that matters the most and I have been challenged to finish as strongly as I began focusing on Joy and the blessings along the way. 

All that being said, your prayers and support continue to bless and amaze us.  
We cannot thank you enough.  We know that we are loved more than we can imagine.

And so we wait... 

for my scan on the July 3rd
for healing and restoration 
for remission and hope 


And while we wait, we find joy 
in a simple cup of coffee
sunny drives with the top down
time with loved ones 
and always with my Sparkles




Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Daddy/Papa day






Outdoor Fun

Building the fence
 Clearing rocks for the new landscaping (after nearly 5 years we are finally almost done)
 Taking a rock break to play :)
And Lillian was busy watering the new grass and plants and too quick to catch a picture of :)

So proud of my Sparkles for pitching in to get the job done. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Invasion from the East

There is always fun adventures when the Meierdiercks clan come to visit

Sister dinners and drinks

 Selfies with Aunt Z
 and Go Karting



Porch smiles and tummy time

And family fun movie nights

What a great visit.

Until our next adventures

Monday, June 5, 2017

Chemo #12

You know you have a great friend, when her birthday wish is to drive you to your infusion :)

So we started the birthday celebration with an early lunch at Panera
And of course my traditional stop at Starbucks
While there were a few delays (silly port for acting up) the time passed quickly as it always does when you are with a good friend.

My slurpee arrived just in time for my infusion and Rob traded places with my friend for the remainder of my treatment.
 True love... The coke machine wasn't working so he got a cherry slurpee (my second favorite) but was waiting so long that the coke machine started working so he brought both so I could choose.

I love this man
 Infusion complete....

 At the beginning of this journey I prayed that I would be the Jesus to the staff that was caring for me. In my mind it would be a few individuals but God's plans are always bigger then my own. It was not 1 but 11 different nurses, 4 med techs, 3 receptionist, 2 pharmacy, and many others who traveled this journey with me every other week for my 12 infusions.

The day was filled with moments of anxiety and fear of what comes next but also moments of peace and contentment.
I saw glimpses of my prayer being answered when my my lab nurse said she was praying along with my support team that my port would behave. And again when my infusion nurse patted my hand and said "me too"

These two lovely ladies were there at the beginning and were there to celebrate the end.
Their encouragement and smiles and tender care of me made even the yuckiest of moments blessed.

Ringing my way out.... 12 infusions complete
Now with chemo complete its time for a treat...

Starbucks and HGTV :) 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Visitors from Across the Pond

As if the end of school wasn't enough to celebrate, the arrival of our dear friends from the UK for a week was the cherry on top :)

Waiting with our sign to greet Lisa and Roni after a long flight.

 First hugs
 Nothing beats a hug from your best friend

 Proof that we collected the right passengers
 Two besties in Indy...
Our days were filled with much laughter and many memories 

Games of Life 

 Days by the pool

 and outings for ice cream (or Frozen yogurt)
Everything we did, we did with smiles and giggles. 

Late night chats, movie marathons and all the other ordinary adventures of best friends. 

Meals at our favorite restaurants 
(BJs Brewhouse for lunch and Pizookies)



We even snuck in a day at the pond with our favorite Cowboys











Dinner and Drinks



And a final coffee (don't worry, we had plenty :) 
And suddenly the week was over and it was time to say Good-bye


A utterly wonderful, fantastic, and blessed week. 
The perfect blessing and distraction before Chemo #12. 

We miss you and hope to see you soon dear friends.