Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Annointing of the Sick

Father Tony, my Pastor at Mary Queen of Heaven, came over yesterday to talk, pray and give five me the Annointing of the Sick. I always feel so good after a visit with Father Tony.

He's an incredible man, with energy and enthusiasm and endless kindness. He's so good for our Parish. He really knows how to lead a congregation, and he is a great teacher. Straight forward and straight talk.

He indulged me by letting me take a picture of him in front of our scary haunted graveyard. I told him he performed an Exorcism on my Cancer!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Joy Rising -

Take a look at this video. The Black eyed Peas performed their hit song "I Got A Feeling" for Oprah's anniversary Show. As a surprise, the producers managed to get 10,000 audience members to perform a "Flash Mob" dance. An entire army of strangers came together to learn a dance to surprise and delight a person they admire.

You, my dear prayer warriors are MY Flash Mob. You all come together in prayer for my healing. How blessed am I?

Listen to the words of this song - "I got a feeling, that today's gonna be a good day.." I always need to remember to HONOR the power of your prayers and support and to invoke the spirit of the song- "'s gonna be a good day.."

One person described the feeling he got from watching the Flash Mob Dance as "Joy Rising", I agree.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Erbatux Ugly Stick Strikes Again

Now that I'm back on chemo after the post surgery hiatus, the one drug - Erbatux - has christened me once again with that nasty rash all over my face- red, tight, itchy, ugly. But, that reaction does mean that the drug is "working".

I don't look in the mirror very often, so when I do, I am sometimes taken aback by what I see. I don't "dwell" on all the changes that Cancer and Chemo have done to my body, but it is sometimes a shock:

Emaciated: Cancer skinny is just plain ugly. There is no joy being under 100 lbs, hard, bony and saggy skin. I used to be doughy and curvy now I'm all hard angles. I miss my regular clothes, although it was mostly work clothes.

How Dry I Am: Chemo does a number on your skin. It's sooooo dry and itchy. Sandpaper texture.

Hair? I haven't lost all the hair on my head but it's pretty sparse. I wear doo-rags most of the time and my wig. I look like Beetle Juice or Krusty the Klown. My eyebrows have gotten really course and my eyelashes have grown, which seems odd. I'm still on the fence about shaving my head. If it's decided I'll be on several more rounds of Chemo after my Pet Scans November 6th, then I might just shave it all.

It's just so hard to recognize myself sometimes. I know I'm still "me", I know people don't see me the way I see myself, it's just a shock sometimes.

On another note: 2 more weeks of Chemo then the PET and CAT Scans the 1st week of November.

My prayers for the week: to overcome the slight nausea and other gastro issues I'm having the past few days; to get my butt in gear and tackle the mounds of medical paperwork.



Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cancer Crossroads

I started my 11th Cycle of Chemo and met with Dr. Lo, my oncologist. After Cycle 12, I will be getting another CAT scan and a Pet Scan.

As DR Lo put it, I am at a crossroads. What procedures and targeted therapies would be reommended? But at the end of the day, even though there are "options", when you're dealing with Cancer, it's all a crapshoot. There are NO guarantees Cyberknife will work vs Radio Frequency Ablation. Every patient is different and responds differently.

Given the fact that I'm Stage 4 with tumors all over my liver, not nice and isolated in one lobe, I've been "lucky" thus far, with my tumors shrinking and good response to Chemo.

But where do I go from here? There are lots of questions and fear and confusion and decisions on the horizon, my Damn Cancer better sit up, pay attention and get the hell out of my body!!!!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I actualy felt "normal" yesterday

6 weeks post surgery and I'm finally feeling somewhat "normal".

I did 2 unexciting but "normal" things:

I made Spaghetti Sauce - I haven't cooked much since being diagnosed, so this was a biggie. My favorite food I make is my homemade sauce, too bad it doesn't taste so great for me BUT me and the girls and my brother Kevin actually sat down together and had a meal! We talked, we laughed, the girls bugged each other...BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

I went to the grocery store - I hate grocery shopping, and Lee or Colleen have been doing that chore for the past 7 months, but yesterday, somehow, I felt normal. Although the cashier that's been there for years asked me if I've been sick, since she hadn't seen me in so long. Well, yes, you could say that.

Nothing else of note this week. Although I am contemplating a somewhat big purchase- a Cricut die-cutting machine. I'm getting back into Scrapbooking and this does-it-all tool is calling my name. Costco is having a good deal on a bundle and I've gone there twice to just look at it. I'm ususally more decisive and just go for it but.......$$$

Have a GREAT Week my Prayer Warriors!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It's been 7 months since my Diagnosis of Colon Cancer. Surgery, Ilesotomy challenges, several ER trips, bowel obstruction, NG tubes and hospital stays...I'm still here. I don't think one can ever be "prepared" to face life challenges, hell, if we knew what we were in for, most of us would go hide in a corner sucking our thumbs for the rest of our lives.

One thing I am trying to always keep in the forefront of my mind is Gratitude. Now, many people refer to their journey's as "The Gift of Cancer"- meaning that the illness opened up their hearts and minds and they received so many gifts in the face of a terrible illness. I, personally think that is a contrite, cheesy, awful way to describe this terrible disease. Let's call a spade a spade folks, Cancer sucks.

What this journey has taught me is the absolute beauty of people- the givers, the doers, the casserole makers, and most of all the Prayer Warriors. I continue to be amazed at the wide circle of people who continue to pray for me. Not only my immediate friends an family, of course, but friends of my parents and in-laws, the kids of the friends of my parents, my church Community, past work colleagues, and the list goes on and on.

One of my most recent and beautiful gifts is from a woman from my Parish that heard about my illness. I don't know her personally, but our kids go to school and choir together. She made a trip to Lourdes last month and carried a medal of mine with her, had it blessed, lit an eternal candle for me and brought me back lots of Lourdes Water! She did that for me, a stranger! so overwhelming and beautiful a gesture.

I think what's overwhelming is that with each act of kindness, I often ask myself what I did to deserve this circle of prayer. I'm no extraordinary person. I'm not overly involved in any volunteer or community services. So how did I get so blessed?

I may never know the answer, but I DO know the power of prayer, and how it is continuing to heal me.

For each and every one of my Angels, I pray that God bestows on you the grace and blessings you have so freely given me.



Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Baby's Last HS Homecoming

Last night was York's Homecoming. Colleen went with a group of friends, Is she beautiful or what?????

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Good News

Went for my first round of Chemo yestearday after an 8-week break. As I mentioned before, kind of a nervous feeling wondering if the break in chemo allowed any cancer to re-grow or spread. Well....

According to my latest bloodtest, my tumor marker, CRE, which was at 1400 In March when I was diagnosed, is now down to 2! Yes 2! It was 5.5 when I stopped Chemo in August. So this shows that while the chemo will leave your bloodstream in 24 hours, it stays in your CELLS and is cummulative.

So far the plan is I get 3-4 more rounds of chemo. Then a PET scan to see if any live cancer activity lurking in the liver or elsewhere i suppose. If no live activity, then the Team will come up with plan- liver reseaction, targeted chemo, RFA etc....I'm guessing after the 1st of the year we'll have an idea.

Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers!!!! You are ALL responsible for my progress and healing! XOXOXOX Peggy