Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A few things...

1. See these beautiful girls?

First, they have grown up and it makes me feel so old. Aren't they beautiful?

Most of all, I'm so thankful for them.

My mom does a lot of the care for my babies, but my sisters do a ton, as well.

The girls love their aunties and want to grow up to be just like them.

I'm so glad they have such great role models.

And... Karis is learning things like tying her shoes, fancy hair dues, things I want to do for her but can't at the moment.

Her whole reason to learn to tie her shoes is so she can learn to knit - a stipulation from her aunties.

2.All your life you are told several things.

Only eat when you are hungry.

Stop when you are full.

Never stuff yourself.

Over the last week I can only think of about three times I've eaten when I've been hungry.

I never stop when I'm full.

I always stuff myself.

They say that it only takes, what, 21 days to form a habit?

What if at the end of this weight gain I can't stop? :-)

I wrote the above several days ago and I'm happy to say my stomach is stretching and I'm getting hungrier.

3. Overall things are very encouraging around here.

I'm coughing less.

When I do cough, and it is still often, it is to get up Phlegm.

I read books to my girls the last couple of nights with barely a cough.

Do you know how long it has been since I've done that?

A long, long, long, long, long time.

Dr. Moffett said to look for gray, brown, and most of all black Phlegm.

I've seen a lot of gray and brown.

Sorry to gross you out, but I know you want to know the positive about this cancer thing, and right now Phlegm is positive.

About a week ago I actually coughed up some black.

I was shocked.

It wasn't big.

Little flecks, but black.

According to my doctor it is a sign my tumor is breaking up and parts are coming up.

I told him last time about how disappointed I was by the small amounts of icky colored phlegm I was coughing up.

He smiled.

That indulgent smile that doctors get when patients are worried needlessly. I know the look well by now. :-)

Then told me that probably most of the tumor will dissolve without coming up.

I should just be happy with the signs that it finally might be dissolving.

I say might because we don't know anything for sure.

It could just be a fluke, but I'm praying so very hard that it isn't.

I'm praying this long journey is coming to a end.

My goals are this.

Gain weight.

Cough up and dissolve tumor.

That's it.

Not hard, right?

Not with all your prayers.

Nothing is impossible with God!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weigh in.

I dropped the girls off at my moms today and did the dreaded weigh in.

This week I've felt like all I've done is eat.

Hunks of meat.





My stomach has complained several times.

Rebelling at the thought of putting something else in it.

In fact, a few days I had to cut back.

Not because of my heart, but because my stomach refused to take in any more.

So, frankly, I wasn't too hopeful for this weigh in.

It was about the same time as last week, my attire was the usual comfy sweats and sweatshirt.

I held my breath and stepped on.

Two pounds! I've gained two whole pounds!

I shouted it out for the whole house to know and did a quick little happy dance.

I say quick and little because dancing is not my thing at all.

Two pounds may not seem like much, but I always compare my weight gain or loss to hamburger.

I need the visual. It's a little gross, I know, but it works.

Two pounds of hamburger is a lot, it is!

So... two pounds down, eighteen to go.

Thanks so much for the prayers - I know it is helping.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Check out my new doctor!

Sometimes seeing the same doctor can get a little boring.

Same faces, same nurses.

So... I've started seeing someone new.

I'll have to admit, I'm a little leery of her medical background.

It hardly seems she could have the experience she needs.

I will say she is positively the most adorable doctor I've seen so far.

In fact, I will admit that during my examination I had the most compelling desire to give her smooches.

She had me hold out my arm and very seriously attached the blood pressure cuff to my wrist.

After several pumps she paused.

"Will I be ok?" I asked?

She thought for a bit. Pumped a few more times.

"Yes, you will get better."

"Oh good. You know what would really make me better?"


"Lots of hugs and kisses."

Once again she paused.

Looked at me with an adorable solemn expression and held up her hand.

"Doctors do not hug and kiss, they only wave."

I guess she told me. Probably won't be going around asking my doctors to hug and kiss me anymore. :-)

For the most part I'm very glad my doctors follow the no hug and kiss rule. :-)

I broke all rules with Dr. Rankin, however.

There are reasons I'm still stronger than her. :-)

I'm just glad she is so positive I'll get better. Love that in a doctor!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Uff da!

I love that word!

Not quite sure why, but it rolls off the tongue so nicely.

Also, you can use it in so many situations.

A stubbed toe.

Uff da!

Going to the store and forgetting your wallet. (does this happen to anyone else? and you don't discover it until you are checking out?)

Uff da!

Checking on your kids and discovering that they used Bottom Butter as Sunscreen for their pretend day at the beach.

Uff da!

Rushing to get the kids ready for church, hurriedly dressing yourself, arriving, then realizing that you forgot to even run a comb through your pulled back, slept on hair.

Uff da!

Plus, I feel very close to my Scandinavian roots as I say it.

It reminds me of my Grandma Ivy who will say Uff da Meg.

Not sure why Meg, but I like it.

But today I say Uff da because my tummy is full.

It has been full for the past three days.

I have proudly had Dustin admire my rounded belly.

1. Because I really am proud of it.

2. Because I know this is the only time in my life I will ask anyone to admire a belly of mine that sticks out.

He was a little concerned, wondering if I was eating too much.

I assured him that I felt great. No racing heart, just full. Uff da full. The only reason my belly was sticking out was because the rest of me was so straight.

Noelle actually told me that I should maybe consider those inserts they sell at Bed Bath and Beyond to fill out the backside of your jeans so mine didn't sag.

I have a few things to say about that.

1. What exactly do those inserts look like? Not sure I want to know. Although, I have wished for extra padding several times in the last months. Wonder if it works for that? Hard chairs are super uncomfortable when you have no padding. Everyone should pad their chairs.... :-) I may start a group on facebook about that.

Uff da!

2. The Beyond in the name of that store has always made me wonder. Now I understand. Since jean fillers and such don't fit under Bed or Bath, just throw in a Beyond and you can sell anything in that store. Beware the next time you step through the doors. :-)

Uff da!

3. My jeans are not going to sag for that much longer!

That's the update!

Now... I'm going to go and eat some protein and starch. Not too many veggies, though. Those make you lose weight, apparently. I can only have a cup to a cup and a half a day.

Uff da!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What were you doing at 11:20 last night?

I was freaking myself out.

My day started out with me determined to consume more calories.

Dustin and I took the girls up to the farm so Karis could show off some of her tricks on the jungle gym in the basement.

While they were showing Daddy the tricks, Mommy was having her Mom put her on a scale.

The results were somewhat terrifying, but I knew if I ate all these calories I would gain, so I kept packing them in.

When we got home I noticed that my heart was beating a little harder - like when you walk up a flight of stairs. Or, at least when I walk up a flight of stairs these days. :-)

Only I was sitting, I wasn't walking.

I wasn't too concerned.

I kept eating.

My tummy felt so full.

My heart was still pounding harder - You know how you never notice your heart beating? It was just beating enough harder that I noticed every beat.

Ok.... a little weird.

I decided to stop eating.

After the girls were in bed, I laid down and watched a little t.v.

All of a sudden my heart started racing for about ten minutes, then went back to it's regular pounding.

Now I'm really trying not to freak out.

I've had no drugs - nothing to trigger anything.

What if I'd lost so much weight that my heart was starting to malfunction.

I thought I'd heard of heart failure due to anorexia at some point in my past.

I called my mom.

She said to call my naturopath.

I called him.

He listened to what I ate, asked if I was bloated.

Don't you love the questions doctors ask?

Can you imagine it in any other situation? Like a party?

So.... I feel a little bloaty, how about you?

Anyway.... I looked at my stomach.

Seeing as it was much bigger than it normally has been I decided I could be bloaty.

He said that when you eat an abnormal amount of food your stomach area can push on your heart and cause it to react by pounding and racing.

I was glad for a logical explanation, but really?

Could I trust Him?

I lay in bed that night, flat on my back because I had pulled some muscles coughing around my lung that were making breathing extremely painful in any other position.

So.... as I'm laying there, knowing any movement would make breating painful, these are the thoughts I had.

What if He was wrong?

What if what I thought were pulled muscles was my heart getting ready to have an attack?

See? Freaking myself out!

And then I'd say, "Really, Becca? Isn't it enough that you are fighting Cancer? Do you really have to imagine that you have Heart Disease as well?"

"But," I'd answer, "I know what I'm feeling. I could be dying. What if I should go to the emergency room? What do you feel like before you have a heart attack?"

I finally made myself get beyond the pain of moving and went out to the living room and our lap top.

Dustin comes upstairs to find his wife at 11:20 at night logging on to the Internet.

"What are you doing?"

"Nothing." (Why do we say that, by the way, when we are obviously doing something?)

"What are you doing?"

"I'm looking up the symptoms of a heart attack."

Just what every husband wants to hear from his wife in the middle of the night, right?

Web M.D. wasn't helpful at all.

Warning signs are:

Fatigue - I always have that.

Anxiety - Ummm..... yeah!

Fullness - I was full.

Shortness of breath - had that too.

I decided that I could either continue freaking out, or I could admit that I had these symptoms all the time due to other things, and Dr. Moffett did probably know what he was talking about.

Dustin prayed with me - that always calms me down so much. Something about his voice, his confidence, who we are talking to.

I returned to bed and actually fell asleep this time. If I had a heart attack, I had a heart attack.

This morning, however, the anxiety returned.

I have a hard time keeping that at bay some days.

What if my heart just felt normal again - it may be faking it, just waiting to scare me again.

Before I ate anything crazy, I called my nutritionist. It was time for a new diet from an expert and I needed a second opinion on my heart reactions.

Thankfully she had an appointment at 11 for me.

I called in fear and trepidation, expecting her to be horrified when I told her my weight.

She was amazing.

First, my heart was reacting normally to large amounts of food.

Praise the Lord! I don't have Heart Disease!

Second, the diet is very manageable and she is predicting that I will gain five pounds every two weeks - easier than my first one. Still no dairy or sugar.... :-(

I almost cried when I hung up, the relief was so great.

I wasn't in a bottomless pit. I was in a little hole that hopefully I'll be able to crawl out of in a couple of months.

And can I just say again that I am not going to have a heart attack one more time? You have no idea what a relief that is.

Dustin sympathetically laughs at his crazy wife. He was a tad bit more sensible than me.

Oh, and then I got the mail.

A precious relative of ours sent this amazing letter of encouragement as well as a gift that makes the trip to Chicago possible next month. We weren't sure how that was going to happen, but God is so faithful.

I did cry then.

God is so good at bringing in the encouragement just when I need it.

It is true... "For nothing is impossible with God."

Love you guys!

Monday, January 17, 2011

For NOTHING will be impossible with God.

Dustin and I are very grateful for that verse today, yet again.

Not only do I need to get better and pack on some major poundage, but....

The transmission died on Dustin's car about 6 hours ago.

As the car is worth less than the transmission replacement would be, we are left with looking for something to get Dustin from point A to point B. (unless a miracle happens. :-) You know anyone who can raise a car from the dead? :-)

Does that seem impossible to us right now?

You bet.

My medical expenses can be overwhelming in themselves. Insurance is great for the oncologist and test side of things, but covers nothing of the side I'm actually using.

That's why I'm sending out this prayer request.

We just aren't quite sure what to do in this situation so could use extra prayer.

And if you know anyone selling a car that will get you from point A to B, well.... let us know. :-)

One thing I do know, nothing is impossible with Him and He always provides!

You have to laugh...

Last night you know what I was bragging about to my husband?

"Look, Sweetie, my stomach is sticking out and I'm not even trying to push it out."

By the time all this is over Dustin isn't going to know what to say to me.

Is it a good thing to tell her that her stomach is sticking out, or am I supposed to say it looks flat?

Alas, my stomach was flat again this morning, so I ate a cup of nuts, yogurt, two eggs and two pieces of bacon.

I will be having a snack in about an hour. :-)

As I was walking around last night admiring my stomach, several thoughts came to mind.

I remembered weighing myself when I was pregnant with my girls.

I dreaded the scale for different reasons, and never could decide whether to leave layers on so I could blame the weight gain on them, or take everything I possibly could off before stepping on that scale.

Usually leaving everything on won. If I can justify anything away I will.

Now, well, now things have changed.

I NEVER weigh myself in the morning.


I always get on the scale in the evening, fully dressed, after drinking a lot of water.

I'd wear weighted boots if I could justify it. :-)

Funny what we do to try and change reality, isn't it?

And then I wonder, as I'm sure some of you do, how I let it get to this point.

The point where my body is almost starving to death.

Somehow in the last year the concern about my weight got pushed behind other issues.

At first we didn't notice because I needed to lose about twenty pounds.

Then we got caught up in tests, allergic reactions, pain, and solutions.

All of a sudden you wake up and realize you have about twenty pounds to gain and you had better do it quickly because it is effecting everything about you.

My joints, my healing (I guess you need some fat to heal), and my energy.

I will admit that I never thought it would be this much work.

Only four days into it and I'm ready to say, "Put in a feeding tube, put me in a coma, and wake me up when I've put on ten pounds."

This is yet another pair of shoes I never thought I'd have to walk a mile in.

Always I have envied those underweight people, thinking how much easier it would be to pack on the pounds then lose them.

Not so much.

I'm telling you, have sympathy on those people. :-)

Not everything is always as it appears, and in all likelihood they are struggling with something far worse than just being underweight.

Yet another valuable life lesson learned for me - the hard way, yet again.

Takes a bit to get things through my thick head.

Though this current task in my life seems impossible at the moment, Karis reminded me through her memory verse last night that,

"For nothing will be impossible with God." Luke 1:37

And that is true. Whether it is gaining weight or just making it through whatever impossibility you are facing today.

Remember that!

Nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible for Him!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Answer to prayer.... I think:-)

I've come to the conclusion that there will never be a time in my life that I will not need my mom.

Today she called me and informed me that I have a new diet plan.

I'm so glad, because I honestly am too tired and weak to figure it out on my own right now.

Did you know that in 2 1/2 cups of nuts and seeds there are 1700 calories? Add an avocado and you have over 2000.

Why am I telling you this?

Because these are the "snacks" in my new diet plan.

I will tell you that so far today I have gotten in 1 cup of nuts and 1/2 an avocado.

My stomach is telling me I may need a couple of days to adjust to the added calories.

My main meals remain the same. Protein and veggies.

I should be consuming around 3000 calories a day.

And you know the phrase I am most excited to hear after a few weeks of this?

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm looking forward to hearing,

"Wow, you look like you've gained weight!"

But don't say it unless it's true!

Thanks Mom for taking the time to help me out yet again! I love you!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

In Chicago

I haven't disappeared.

I'm not even feeling bad.

We have just been relaxing in Chicago.

The couple who's house we have stayed at the last few times graciously gave us a key to use as they are out of town for the moment.

They also happen to have a huge tub that feels amazing on stressed out back muscles.

I just may never leave this place!

For a quick update.

My naturopathic doctor was encouraged today.

Usually when he works with my lung to relax it, expand the breathing capacity, and generally stir it up I go into coughing fits galore.

I didn't this time.

That is an improvement.

I still cough a lot.

I have too, especially in the morning to get rid of excess phlegm, but it is improving.

I could tell that earlier this month when I could again sleep on my back and right side!

So.... I still have a long, uphill battle, but I was given a glimmer of hope today.

A glimmer.

Now, pray that I will keep the attack going, that I won't give up, and....

That I won't have any more allergic reactions.

Those silly things set me back a month or two every time they happen because my body has to fight those instead of the cancer.

And they make me lose more weight.

This weight thing is really starting to bug me.

We drove by a donut place today and I said to Dustin,

"Do you think if we stop there they could just inject ten pounds into me?" (And let me taste the yumminess?)

It sounds pretty lame as I read it, but that is how desperate I am becoming.

I'm so grateful that we are starting to see results, no matter how small.

God is answering your prayers.

If you don't mind, would you tack on the weight thing again? This time I won't even put a pound limit on it. :-)

However, when I ask you to stop praying that prayer, you need to stop.



Thanks everyone! I love you!


PS Isn't snow beautiful? I can say that because I have a husband who spoils me rotten and tells me to go take a soak in the tub while he does the shoveling. Ahh..... what a life...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Necessity is the mother of invention.

In this case what I discovered was invented way before the pain pill, but for me it is a new.

As you can well imagine, I am terrified of going near a bottle of pain medication.

They are still in the cabinet, but they are not allowed to come out!

I have these pesky little headaches sometimes, though, and the urge to take something to get rid of it is strong.

What to do?

My sister Rachel has a book on pressure points in the body.

My mom looked up the helpful ones for headaches.

I'll admit, I was very skeptical, but, given my fear of pain meds at the moment, I have very little choice but to try something new.

My first headache came.

Ok..... here goes nothing....

I doubtfully pressed the back of my skull and the point where if you had a third eye, that's where it would be.

I hate to admit this, but today my finger slipped as I was pressing it between my eyes and I went from imagining myself with three eyes to almost poking out one of my existing two.

I do believe I lightly scratched it.

They need warnings for people like me.

Instead of the "may cause breathing problems, heart racing, etc." it should say, "If you press too hard you may slip and lose an eye."

Just a suggestion. :-)

I was in for a surprise - and not the losing my eye kind.

After about a minute the headache was noticeably reduced.

I repeated the process a few times and the headache went away.

I have no idea if it will work every time, but I've used it several times so far and it has worked.

Thank you Lord for pressure points!

And yes, I now do it with my existing eyes tightly closed.

It's never wise to take unnecessary chances. ;-)

PS Still feeling much better! I think I may have even gained a pound or two! I hope.

Still feel a bit weird saying that.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Help! It's a conspiracy!

This morning, as she always does, Gabi crawled into our bed to snuggle a bit before starting the day.

After a few minutes I heard her little voice saying,

"Mommy, do you have a baby in your tummy?"

What is up with babies in this house?

"I don't have a baby in my tummy, sweetie."

"Can't you put one there?" She said very matter-of-factly.

If this conspiracy among our children keeps up Dustin and I are going to be afraid to look at each other. :-)

I've had the "baby itch" myself a few times, but I didn't realize it could happen to your kids, as well.

On another note, I'm finally feeling better again. You had better believe I won't be taking any more pain meds unless I have to drag myself to the ER to get them administered.

Thankfully I don't need them that often, and I could kick myself because I only took the last ones for a silly headache.

Five days of recovery for a headache!

Hindsight is 20/20.

I'm just grateful to feel somewhat normal again. My first clue this morning that things were looking up was the fact that I unloaded the dishwasher.

I found myself thanking God that I could do it again.

I'm praying that the energy will hold out long enough to put the decorations away today. Otherwise they might stay up until Feb.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Last night after I put Karis to bed she called to me from her room.

I was too lazy to get up and go there, so I just yelled, "What?"

"Mom, I want a big brother. You need to have a boy."

Not wanting to explain why a boy would never turn into her big brother I mumbled something that seemed to satisfy her because all was quiet in her room.

I thought she was asleep, so was surprised to hear her run out when Dustin got home from work.

She hugged him, grinning from ear to ear, and chattering away.

After Dustin put her back in bed he came in and looked at me a little funny.

"Do you know what she said to me?"

"No." I said, eying him just as strangely.

"She said that she has been laying there singing praises to God and asking Him to bless us with a son."

No wonder he was looking at me funny.

I was beginning to wonder myself how God was going to answer those prayers and felt a bit uncomfortable in the general belly area. :-)

Dustin and I feel fairly certain God wants our family to be on hold for now, but Karis is awfully precious, and she is in there singing praises and requesting a brother. :-)

It would help me put on some weight, I'll give it that. :-)

Monday, January 3, 2011


After Karis and I got the all important discussion of her future last name out of the way, the excitement began. Gabi didn't know what to think of the stockings. In this picture she is trying to give her presents to Daddy.
In this picture she is keeping some for herself, but offering them to Karis, as well.
Ahhh..... she figured it out! They really are all for her!
Their first slinky, or "spring" as they called it. They were a hit.
Growing up we always had to get dressed and comb our hair before we opened presents. The "why" of it never hit home quite so strongly as when I saw this picture. Hey, at least she has the lip gloss on. :-)
Hair problem solved! Grandpa Jay sent these adorable stocking hats! I LOVE them. They fit perfect, and they cover their ears. I make sure they have them on every time they walk outside because I am a good mom and never let my kids go out in the cold without coats or hats on. :-) OR maybe it is really because they are so adorable in them!
Grandpa Jay also sent this beautiful dress along with matching slippers. As you can see, it was a hit. Thank you Grandpa Jay for all the presents you sent! The girls love them!
Karis loves to color. She especially loves to color when she is dressed for the occasion.
Gabi is organizing hers, just like big sister.

It was such a nice, quiet Christmas this year. We played with the toys the rest of the morning, then had a family get together in the afternoon.

Perfect pace for our little ones.

One down, three more to go! I was so glad Christmas was spread out this year. Sometimes it passes all to quickly!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Good intentions

All my Christmas pictures were already supposed to be posted.

I had a couple of ideas I wanted to blog about.

And if we aren't talking about blogging, I had a few Christmas presents to finish for tomorrow.

Because I know you care, and because I know you pray for me, I'll tell you why I have been silent for the last few days.

My body reacted yet again to a drug.

I've taken Ibuprofen over the years with no adverse affects.

It appears that has changed.

I don't take it often. Usually just if I have a tired headache.

I did notice the last couple times I had it my heart raced for several minutes, but I really didn't think about it too hard.

Three nights ago I took several because I had a tired headache and just wanted to sleep.

I woke up to a racing heart, yet again, and noticed my breathing was bad.

Sure enough, I started coughing up blood - again.

What is it with me and pain medication? Apparently even the stuff you take for headaches now.

I'm getting good at weeding out possible things I could react to, and there is nothing I'm taking that could have done it except my ibuprofen.

Would you just pray I have no need for any pain meds? I'm a little scared of taking anything right now because the reaction takes days to recover from.

Days where I really can't do anything.

I have so little energy that it is a struggle to turn on a tea pot, let alone get two girls out the door.

When I woke up to the breathing difficulty, as well as coughing up blood, I had a bit of a breakdown.

My grandma has a precious friend who was just diagnosed with liver cancer and given four months to live.

My heart aches for her, but you know what?

That morning, three days ago, I was jealous.

Dustin held me as I cried and told him that she was lucky. She loves Jesus, she has nothing to be afraid of when dying, and in four months she will be with Him. No pain, no more wondering, just heaven forever.

Please don't be horrified. Just last night I was crying because I don't want to die, go figure. :-)

I don't have the slightest bit of a death wish, it's just that cancer can be so stinkin hard to deal with some days.

Dustin was talking with a man from our church whom we highly respect. He reminded Dustin of Job (not that I can compare my life to Job's. I still have my kids, my house, no boils all over my skin) and how Job said at the end that He just wanted to have it all over with, why keep on living in such misery.

It relieved me to know that I'm not some horrible awful person to think that on occasion.

The biggest part of me wants to fight this and win. My precious husband has been reading sections of Scripture on courage.

I so need courage right now.

I was reminded of Joshua and how the Israelites conquered Jericho. Joshua was told to "Be strong, be of good courage, wait on the Lord." Several times, I might add. He might have needed it as much as I do. :-) Joshua 1:1-9 Great verses in case you need to be reminded to have a little courage.

Last night it was the book of Daniel and the fiery furnace. I needed to be reminded that I can trust God no matter what is going on. Even if a fiery furnace seems to be waiting in my future. He is there with me.

I praise the Lord for a husband who is willing to remind me who my God is. That I may want to be in Heaven with Him where there is no more tears, no more pain, but He isn't just in Heaven. He is here right now, with me, facing whatever I'm going through.

And today I do feel better.

I can breath well again.

My lung is calming down.

I don't have to fear that it was my lung getting worse - it was just another allergic reaction. When you look at it in that light it seems like a blessing.

So.... there you have it. My last few days.

They haven't been fun, but they have taught me yet again that God is big enough to handle everything.

Love you guys!

Thanks for praying!