Thursday, December 24, 2009
Scan says....... decrease in metabolic activity of the widespread metastatic disease compared to 6/01/2009. compatible with a positive response to therapy and prayer. Many of the previously described metabolically active lesions now demonstrate normal background activity.
Now if we can just get rid of my moon pie face...... love to all and a very merry CHRISTmas to all of you. Snowing still and enjoying every moment of it. We love you so much..
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I posted a picture of my favorite ladies whom were responsible for putting the wine tasting together. Thanks again my friends, we love you so much! FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!
I am feeling pretty good but am starting to feel the chemo take it's affect so I am like a pregnant woman nesting trying to get things done before I am down for the count. My last week off from chemo was great. I was back to doing and being and it felt incredible. Hard on Hal though as it's hard for him to shift gears like that. He has been taking care of me for so long that he couldn't not help me. I can't love him any less for that! God blessed me with the perfect man and sometimes it just overwhelms me to think that i am that loved and special. Thanks honey I love you even though I give you dirty looks. We enjoyed a really nice low key Thanksgiving with our friends the Martens at the home of their parents. Thanks so much for a wonderful and relaxing holiday. The food was incredible and I ate my share! I have gained eight pounds and I think seven of it was from that day.
My appointment before chemo with my doctor was encouraging. Her along with the rest of the staff kept saying how good i looked which made me think I must have looked really bad because I think I look terrible now. Oh well, I accepted that issue a long time ago. More scans are scheduled for the 21st so the prayers need to overflow on that day please..
Dr Fabian is pleased with my blood counts and thinks that the estrogen that I am taking is having to do with a lot of that (and your prayers). Yes, I know what your thinking... isn't estrogen what fuels the cancer? It's a long story and research on this just came out this summer. I have reason to believe that I am my doctor's guinea pig and confirmed that when I asked her how many other patients she had put on estrogen. Her reply as I suspected was that I was the only one but that back when she first started her practice this was the way they treated women with estrogen receptive breast cancer. Whatever works is what I will go by. Only drawbacks and men and children don't read from here because I am going to talk about "women stuff" but it does make me bleed and spot a bit. A gynecologist is concocting a special progesterone oil shot for me to receive next week. This will make me have a real period (YIPPPEEE) which will have me back in the conversations with all you young women. Okay men and children continue to read on from here.
Zoe is doing great but the casts are starting to wear on her (for good reason) actually they are starting to break. Duct tape holds one shoe in place and the other is on it's way. By the end of the day she is tired and ready to put them big dogs up. One more week until they come off and she will be about five pounds lighter.
That's about it for now. I hope you are preparing yourself for Christmas and I don't mean running around the stores shopping and getting consumed by the consumerism. I hope you are preparing yourself in quiet and asking God what it is He wants from you and that you hear Him. Now go out and do what He says!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Our poor planning unfortunately had us miss the wine tasting that our dear friends planned and worked so hard on. We heard that the evening was just awesome and filled with so much love and generosity. That's what it's all about right? We just cannot get over the overpouring of your constant giving and giving to our family. It is sometimes difficult for us accept everything you give. There are so many people who are in need and we intend to pay it forward when we get back on our feet!!!!
Speaking of help. Hal's mom Judith left us on Thursday. The girls continue to call me grandma whenever they need something. She was such a tremendous help and we miss just having her around. Thank you Judith we love you.
Our plans for Thanksgiving were to drive out to Colorado to be with my entire family but just the thought of preparing for it leaves me exhausted and overwhelmed. We are so bummed because even the Mclaughlins from Tampa will be there and the annual beating of the Florida Florida State game will be missed. We love you guys and will be there in spirit and orange and blue.
Have a great Thanksgiving holiday and be sure to lay back and realize all of your many blessings that you are surrounded by each day given to you by our lord Jesus Christ.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Today is Friday and I am feeling blah so my feet are up and taking it easy. Judith is keeping an eye on me closely and not letting me over do it. I seem to have the itch of purging and I don't mean throwing up. Just getting rid of stuff in the house.. clutter.. Poor Hal doesn't know what he is in for this weekend. Not only do I want to get rid of stuff but have decided that if I must sit on the couch and be in my bedroom most of the time then I want to be surrounded by comfort and serenity. A place where I can meditate and heal, to be with God and block out the worldly stuff. Living my day in the present moment and not being anxious about anything.
I attended a wonderful and inspiring retreat at our church last weekend. I am still what I call decompressing from it all. The presence of the Holy spirit was everywhere and was just a great experience! I was so glad that i was feeling well enough to attend but wish I was able to really feel 100% as I felt it was hard for me to truly concentrate and get the whole experience. At times I felt a bit dizzy and overwhelmed but my goodness what a glorious weekend! I know lives have been changed, families have been changed, and Christ is smiling!
Thank you to all of you who worked so hard on making the weekend so awesome!!
Let's see what else is going on in the Schierts house? Well, to add to our craziness, Zoe is scheduled this Friday the 20th for out patient surgery. she will be having both of her Achilles released. This will stretch her out allowing her to get her feet flat and relaxed. She will then be in walking casts for three weeks and after that back in her braces for six months which she will wear with her shoes. Now that she is almost nine years old she can get involved with decisions on her care. She was very grown up asking the doctor questions. Her main concern was if she could shower. The answer is no so she'll have to have sponge baths until the casts come off. Life in the Schiert's household is one fun thing after another!
Judith will be leaving next week and we will miss her!!!! what a God send she has been to us. Not only does she do everything around the house, she has been able to see our daily lives and feel better (I hope) at how we are doing. I know she along with all for you who live and love from far away worry about us but please know that when we say we are doing well, we are. We rely on each other more and have tended to hibernate a bit desiring togetherness. Gracie doesn't even want to go to birthday partys, she'd rather stay home with us (that we may have to worry about a bit). I guess this is where the whole clutter thing is coming from, simplifying our lives.
My hope for you is that you slow down and declutter your lives too. Stop running form here to there. Don't be consumed by the world. Listen to the Holy Spirit. You cannot hear him if you are constantly in motion and saying yes to everything.
Whatever you do, do it in the Lord. Whatever you need to live solidly in his kingdom today—patience with the family, faithfulness at work, joy in your relationships, self-control with food or drink—ask Jesus for it, and know that he will give it to you. Be ready for whatever comes, not out of fear and worry but because the kingdom of God has come, and is always within you.
“Jesus, free me from concerns about the past and fears of the future. Teach me to live in your kingdom today and every day, confident that you will provide everything I need.”
Have a great weekend and remember......before saying yes ask yourself.... DOES IT TIRE ME OR INSPIRE ME?
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Grace got the fever back and I ended up with pneumonia so on the couch the two of us spent again. Poor thing, she ended up missing her Halloween party and carnival at school and the chance of also missing out on Halloween all together but the fever has lifted and the witch was zooming around the neighborhood with her good friend Lula the crazy pink hair friend of Hannah Montana (alias sister Zoe). And mom even kept up going to a few houses and then handing out some treats. Tomorrow Grace turns seven (so hard to believe) and could not be more excited about her day. Today the whole clan treked out to Toys R Us and she picked out a new bike and it was such a beautiful day that she got to ride on it as soon as she got home(not usual warmness in KC this time of year). Her birthday pie ,yes pie will be grandma's homemade apple preceded by dinner at her favorite Japanese steak house. Life is good!
Like I said I came down with pneumonia this past week. I had not been feeling well at all for the past two weeks or so and when I went in for chemo on Wednesday we did a chest x-ray because i had some wheezing and my breathing had worsened and just feeling crummy. So instead of hanging chemo they hung bags of antibiotics. Three days later and I am feeling much better and hope to get even stronger to be able to get chemo this coming Wednesday. I am so grateful for God's loving kindness and mercy. I was very afraid that i would end up back in the hospital, but with great care from my family and your prayers, He saw to it that it would not happen. I do have to admit that this year has been a tough one. And I do have to come to the realization that I have stage IV breast cancer with survival rates at five years and this is year number two.I don't care about statistics and know that I have so many advantages over what "they" say, but am afraid that I can lose sight of those advantages when I am at a low. My faith in God never leaves me but my faith that this pneumonia or that fluid or some other side affect could cause a spiral downward and that is scary. But today the sun was shining, I ate a big ol' Chipolte burrito, my husband scratched my back, and I am still awake at 10pm.
Oh, and the Gators smacked down on those Bulldogs led by Tim Tebow who always reminds us of the love God has for us by writing it under his eyes to be seen by all (but is always clearly communicating to me) with Philippians 4:5-7 Your kindness 5 should be known to all. The Lord is near. 6 Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. 7 Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
It is so hard for us to lose sight of that especially when things are really really bad or even really really good. Goodnight.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Because the girls were sick and also my blood counts were low, I was encouraged not to do chemo this past week. With a bit of talk, we decided to go ahead and do the gemzar only and not the carboplatin as the carboplatin suppresses my immune system. My liver enzyme counts continue to drop as well as my tumour markers. This all indicates that the chemo is working!!!!!
I am feeling well. I still tire very easily but then get a burst of energy and then overdo it.
Judith continues to be a saint by taking care of all the business around the house.
It seems that the chemo has attacked my brain cells as it is difficult to even type this blog. My memory and mental abilities are a bit fogged and you'll have to forgive me if you don't get a thank you note or perhaps you receive two or three!
It's hard to believe that fall is here and the leaves are starting to drop. Another season, another reminder of God's love for us.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Judith remains busy around the house making sure everything is taken care of. What a blessing God made when he created parents who woulda thunk!!!
Of course to all of you, thank you for your constant compassion and love. Please keep our family in your prayers because without you, none of this good news and health is possible.
We love you..............
Friday, October 2, 2009
Speaking of lazy days that's just what i am doing, hanging out with my feet up being served by grandma. Ahhhh. It has taken time to accept all this help you all provide but we have come to learn that this is what God asks of all of us, to serve one another. Some day soon I hope I can return it back to all of you again and again.
Let's see, what did we do for fun this week??? Back to see my oncologist with good news. My liver counts were down which means something we are doing is working. I know it is prayer but we have to give credit to all of the techno medical cancer cell killing stuff too. I did not do chemo this week as the drain remained but ended up having it removed yesterday. Please pray that the doctors were right in their decision to take it out. I was still and continue to drain quite a bit. We are not totally comfortable with the decision but are placing our trust that it will not have to be put back in. It does feel good to not have that ugly tube and ball hanging from me and oh how good it felt to take a real shower!! And LOOK OUT I have my voice back. a little froggy but it's there. Thank you Dr. Garnett for your love of your profession and for gentle touch. He shot collagen in both of my vocal cords to pump em up so that they can touch and I can sing and shout. I still have a bit of swelling but in the next few days I should be ready for try outs on American Idol. Zoe is getting used to it but at first thought I was yelling at her when I was just talking normally. Grace says i talk too much!!! Look who's talking!!!!
This weekend we are taking it easy and enjoying the weather. Hardy and Judith continue to be a huge help as sometimes I am not able to even drive due to my balance. even got me a handicap card for the car. Next Wednesday I will begin again with the chemo 3 weeks on with one week off. I feel good about this one and along with all that you are doing for us, we can beat this thing!!! Just wait when we do, what a party that will be.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
I was discharged on Sept. 15th and started chemo on the 16th. and another dose on the 23rd. We were not too thrilled to start chemo so soon but it is the only way to get rid of the cancer that is causing so many other problems such as labored breathing and the fluid around my heart. speaking of, my "window" or drain remains attached to me and will so until I stop draining more than 50ccs/day. It has begun to slow down but I still drain about 75-100. as pretty as this thing is and as much as I'd like it removed, I don't want it out too soon and have it put back in. Perhaps there is a new market for drain "bling"?
So what happened you ask? My oncologist seems to think that an accumulation of cells in my lymphatic system went crazy and caused my body to react with swelling and fluid. This is all just part of the cancer and until we find the right chemo will these pesky other problems dissipate.
Like I said, I have two chemo treatments thus far but will skip this next week until the drain is removed. Having a hole in my heart and suppressing my immune system with chemo is just asking for an infection. How am I feeling? Well, tired. The chemo is in my words doable as I was able to go to Grace's soccer game and Zoe's volleyball game this weekend. By the way, Zoe got her first serve over the net! very emotional moment for the proud parents I must say. we even joined the Book family at the Plaza Art fest yesterday okay so we used my new handicapped car tag and I walked a block and had Hal pick us up but at least we can say we were there! and Hal's sister and family were here for a quick visit from Minneapolis. I do a little rest a little.
Hal's mom has been here since I got out of the hospital and has been such a humungo help! she gets the girls ready for school, sporting events, life in general. Thank you Judith! grandpa arrives tomorrow and are both here to stay until they get sick of us.
Your prayers are needed for me this Wednesday as we are going to try and fix this vocal cord thing. my ENT will numb me up and shoot collagen to puff the babies up and get me talking again. It is really important to me to get my voice back as it has been nine months of me not saying everything I need to!!!!!
With all of this said, life is good and God is better. He continues to work through me to you and that my lovely friends is what this life is all about. Be good to each other. Love one another. Forgive one another. pray for one another. Spend time with one another. More later as it is time to pick up the lovely ladies from school.
Friday, September 11, 2009
The skilled and caring hands of the wonderful physicians and nurses at KU have completed the procedure to place a "window" to allow fluid to drain from Ann's heart region. The procedure went well and by late afternoon Ann was coming out of the affects of surgery. She is feeling better and has been up and out of bed. We look forward to having Zoe and Grace spend time with Ann tonight. Then, she is hoping for a good night's rest tonight and then of course talk of going home. The next step in the process will be to get started on chemo -- we're not sure when that would be exactly yet. Not sooner than Wednesday next week. We're praying that this next set of chemo meds will be effective -- and we know that you are too.
Ann and I want to express our thanks to everyone for their prayers, help with the girls, taking care of our pets, thoughtful gestures, calls, cards... We know that God gives us the graces needed for every challenge - we see it each day through you. Please do not despair or view this journey as a stumbling block to your faith -- when you are tempted to ask why does bad things happen to good people remember that there is an amazing amount of good that comes out of our suffering as well.
Our family has been privileged to be showered with so much love in this past week and God was there through it all. I want to encourage you to also know that God loves each of us, his children, and desires that you grow closer to Him through those around you. Be open that that closeness may come through adversity and in all things trust that God is at work.
As for Ann and I, know that our spirits are good and faith in God strong. Thank you God for all that you do for each of us today and everyday. We love you.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The main goal remains and that is for this chemo to work and get rid of the cancer and fluid.
The girls just arrived to my room and have all kinds of questions about whats hanging off of me and what that "gross fluid" on my hip. Perhaps Hal will be updating the blog with info from here on out until I am felling better. Love to all of you. Keep on praying!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
I have had shortness of breath for some time now and have also had fluid around my heart that comes and gos. Wednesday night I was up unable to breathe and knew things weren't right. Long story short, the fluid had increased considerably and needed to be removed. We are not sure why I have the fluid in the first place but my health has been one big why for a while now. The outlook is good. The chest tube remains in for a few days to make sure we got it all so will be here until Saturday it looks like. Grace is very disappointed as I am that our trip has been postponed. I feel so bad but know that everything happens for a reason. Unfortunately a six year old does not get that. I too was really looking forward to seeing them Gators and my family. Love you guys!
Okay, back to the love. Last weekend was incredible, absolutely incredible. Thank you all for making it so special and did I say incredible? To Marisue and Sharon for making the reception so beautiful and organizing everything down to the last detail. You two are the best. To Melanie for the beautiful arrangement of flowers, to Sarah for organizing the dessert divas and to all you divas who brought the desserts. To my family and Hal's parents for traveling and celebrating with us, to Terry, Bill, and Tawnie for coming from so far on short notice.. the list goes on. I feel like I just won an academy award and am leaving people out. I DID win an award. HAL!
I just cannot tell you how awesome the weekend was.
I have to tell you that Hal and I did nothing but get dressed. Everything was provided by all of you incredible people and by God. His presence was everywhere and in everyone. I have to say that I do not even remember seeing most of you at the ceremony as my eyes were fixated on the crucifix and on Hal.
I will post more later ad hopefully have some pictures to share. I will also keep you posted on this fluid thing. Please do not worry. Just another bump in the road.'we love you all!!!!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The plan as of now is to do nothing but enjoy some plans that have already been made. Hal and I are renewing our wedding vows on September 6th. It is our ten year anniversary and we thought it most appropriate considering circumstances. If you are reading this then you are invited to come and join us. My brothers and their kids along with Grace and I are flying down to Florida to watch the Gators play in the swamp. Nothing like seeing a game there I tell ya! So I plan to enjoy the next few weeks and do all that i can and then it's back to work on killing this cancer.
My doctor once again gave me a list of treatments to try and like Hal says it's like playing spin the bottle when it comes to choosing. Most of the stuff she recommended is some really hard core stuff but I guess if we want to start getting down and dirty then that's what I'll do.I am scheduled to return to treatment on sept. 16th. To be truthful, I feel like giving up sometimes that I cannot possibly keep doing this but when I look into my girls eyes then i know that i can do it. I don't want them to ever ask why mom gave up.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
They are ready as well and are excited to find out who their teachers are be with their friends and away from each.
My mom came in from Colorado and has been here almost a week which has been really nice. She has gotten to spend lots of quality time with us and help in any way that she can.
This is my week off from chemo and feeling pretty good. I have been tapering off of my steroids and can feel a difference in how I feel. My breathing is more labored and my cough is coming back. Plus the steroids were what gave me some energy and can feel that depleting as well. But still my day is still doable and that is all I can ask for. A note to some of you if you see my sneak out of a large crowd or gathering. My senses are very sensitive I guess from the chemo. I cannot handle loud noises. It over sensitizes me big time, strange I know but just letting you know. So at church or at a restaurant if you see me sneaking out the door that is why.
Once again we have been amazed at your outpouring of love and devotion to our family. There have been lots of you making donations to a fund that was set up for us so that I could seek out some alternative therapies that can be expensive and not covered by our insurance. Thank you so much, because of you I am able to do just that. We are blessed with great insurance and prescription plan and we are able to keep up with our bills among all the craziness. Until we find out what the results of mt CT scan is next week, we are kind of in a holding pattern on what our next decisions will be. Whether we seek other options elsewhere or better yet that the cancer is diminishing or even better that it is GONE!
Keep up with the prayers. Have a great week.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Wednesday will be the end of the third cycle of my chemo. There is no plan on how many i will do ( I guess how ever many it takes). We will do scans on the 26th to see if this is working. I know you are all praying for me but maybe a few extra rosaries for me on that day would be appreciated. My CT scan is at 8:00am. My blood counts (red and white) have been high the past few weeks which i thought was good. Usually low blood counts are bad and leave you susceptible to all kinds of stuff but the doc says that high ones indicate that I am dehydrated so last week and here on out i will get a bag of fluid hung. I drink water all day and really don't feel it but when I went to press a towel on my leg and the indention stayed a while led me to believe perhaps there was some truth to the matter. I am doing well. Staying upright and still doing what i can. My cough has gotten much better but still have trouble catching a breath here and there. and tend to get around at a much slower pace. You may have noticed that my hair is growing back in YEAH! Apparently you don't lose hair with this chemo which is so nice because with this heat the wigs would stay in the closet.
I met with my ENT last week about my voice. My right vocal cord has begun to bow out due to my depletion of muscle mass and usage. Go figure! so next month we will go in and really take a look around and get to the bottom of this I hope. God has added to my lack of talking by the side affects of the chemo which is mouth sores. Last night the inside layer on the right side of my mouth just completely peeled off. Lovely I know. Actually today it feels much better but still hard to eat certain foods. Many of you who have seen me notice that I have lost some weight which I have. Some of it is due to my lack of appetite and nausea but some of it has to do also with my change in diet. I have been juicing lots of greens and beets and doing some protein shakes and other changes. Can't seem to shake the ice cream craving though. With the money you have all raised for us I have started doing colonics which is as much fun as it sounds but it is a way to get rid of all the toxins and help my body absorb the good food and juicing that I am doing. I am also seeing a natural wellness provider who can analyze my blood and tell me what vitamins I am lacking, what foods to eat and avoid and supplements I need to fight the cancer. I meet with him next week and am really excited to see what he says. Thanks to all of you who have shared your research and ideas to me to get me well and cure this crap.
I wish I could come up with a better way to say thank you because it seems like that is all I say but really want you to know how we truly feel by all of this. You humble us and spoil us and love us so much that we just want to squeeze each one of you and let you know how truly we love you. Hal and i have learned so much from all of you that we try to incorporate a way in which we can help a family or person in need in even the smallest of ways. The girls have seen all of you do so much for us and I know your kids have also witnessed the beauty in serving others.
Huge love and praises to all of you who worked so hard on the drive thru BBQ especially Mark and Erin who hosted their home as the setup and delivery station and to all the behind the scenes angels and of course those who enjoyed the awesome food. Another huge hug and squeeze to Amy Loehr who made all of the awesome cupcakes for the cause. I was blown away by the amount of cupcakes she put out over the last month.
I leave you with today's scripture reading.. 2 COR 9:6-10
Brothers and sisters:Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,for God loves a cheerful giver.Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,so that in all things, always having all you need,you may have an abundance for every good work.As it is written:
He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;his righteousness endures forever.
The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for foodwill supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.
May you all reap bountifully for all that you have done for us! Have a great week.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
All of these things just show us how God is truly present in all of us. As Hal said this morning...
"Sometimes He can be such a show off!" Thank you all of you. We love you so very much and just can't say it enough.
As I said, I had chemo last Wednesday and then again tomorrow with the following week off. My doctor had little to say except my liver enzyme counts were down which is good and that we would keep up with this plan for a while and that I was looking so much better. She doesn't want to see me for another three weeks which is a huge deal because I think I have seen her every week for the past seven months. That to me is progress. I see the ENT the first of August as my voice has still not come back form the vocal cord surgery. Supposedly it was not as easy as just fixing it, the chemo along with the cancer in the bronchi is also irritating something and we now have to look deeper and work harder at bringing my voice back. It has been really annoying as no one can hear me and repeating myself just puts added stress on my voice so most of the time I say not everything that needs to be said which is probably a good thing.
Next week the family is headed to Grand Lake in Oklahoma. Our friends the Martens have lent us their timeshare there for a few days. No plans but togetherness, swimming and more togetherness. I really cannot tell you how enough how grateful and good I feel. The past seven months have been grueling and to the point that I thought that this was the way it was going to be from here on out. Many a days would I sit and beg for God's mercy if I could just enjoy my life that I have left, how it would be full of his goodness and beauty. He has blessed me with just that and I don't care if this cancer has spread throughout my body, I have been given my life back, perhaps for just a little while, that doesn't matter. I intend to live and give and to love. I intend to become the person he created me to be. I intend to be a better christian, wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend. My illness along with my faith has led me to see things in relation to God's plan for my salvation and the salvation of others.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
test my heart and mind.
For your steadfast love
is before my eyes
and I walk in faithfulness to you
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Every day is a bit better it seems. The last two rounds of chemo did not leave me on the couch nor in bed. As a matter of fact I have felt really good and even able to keep up with the girls and everything they want to do. We even got away for a couple of days to our friend's lake house and so enjoyed time together. It was a time where we felt the true presesence of Jesus, surrounded by love and pure joy. This is really exciting and such a prayer answered as I was almost to the point of this is just how it is going to be from here on. So thank you for praying for me and my needs. I am off this week from any doctor appointments yippee! My echo of my heart showed that I had full pumping ability and my blood pressure is totally stable off of all the BP meds so they freed me from their care. One less doctor for me!
I assume I will be on this chemo for some time and will have more scans in a month or so to see if things are shrinking. We feel very positive about this treatment and know that this is what will diminish the cancer and get me to the point where we can treat it as any other chronic disease. Thank you all for sending me info on beating this cancer. I am sorting through it all and starting some alternative treatments. Slowly I am incorporarting a new eating style and will start seeing a professional who can tell me what nutrients my body is lacking and what foods I should stay away from.
THe girls are great. Gracie is off on her second adventure to Minnesota. She took off with Aunt Susie yesterday and is having a great time seeing Minneapolis this time and spending time with her cousin Isabella. Zoe starts her first camping adventure with her brownie troop today. She will spend the next four days there but come home in the evenings. She's super excited!
Thank you Nancy for sending me some clothes for the webkinz!
Continue to pray for us! We love you.
Friday, June 26, 2009
My health has not been good as I have had a lot of pain from the coughing and lots of nausea from all the meds I take. It has been hard to get out of bed most mornings but I do and the day always gives me another reason to beat this. God graced me with the gift of faith which I admit has been shaken and stirred lately. But I have also been graced with a chance to see life from a different window, almost watching and observing instead of fully participating. Most times I find it to be annoying because I like to be in the middle of things, always knowing what's going on, but this is a way for me to also get through my suffering. Instead of constantly being in it right here right now, I must find a way to look through it and beyond it.
Okay, now on to the important stuff..... summer. Could it be any hotter? Not even a stinking breeze here in KC. The girls had a brief visit with Hal's parents. They both drove off to Minnesota for what was supposed to be a week but ended up to be four days. This was Zoe's first time and we were really surprised and very proud that she even got in the car. Ahh, the memories that form in us at that age....... they were very busy and had some really great experiences. Thanks Hardy and Judith, your the best.
Not much for plans for us, pretty much a day to day thing around here. Perhaps we'll get the energy to plan a small trip close to home or perhaps just set up camp in the backyard. Another advantage to living life as it comes, because sometime it comes at you fast!
Big love to housecleaning fairies who arrive on my doorstep with their swifters in one hand and tidy bowl in the other. I love it when you just zip in and take care of business and most of all to see your lovely faces. Thank you your beautiful! And the meals are incredible and so needed and devoured, thank you a hundred times over and then again. I know we say it all the time but you guys rock and impress the heck out of us. I know everyone wants to know what they can do. Believe me you are doing it. I feel your love and prayers and I cherish them. Don't hesitate to call. I won't pick up the phone if I am not feeling up to it. And please don't just pray for me and my family. Remember all of those around you whom you haven't got a clue as to what they are going through. They just don't blog about it.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The new plan is new chemo but in pill form. I take three pills everyday and then a liquid that has to be put in Kool Aid and another 10 pills every two weeks. I have a whole schedule to follow.
My vocal cord surgery was uneventful. While my voice is still a bit scratchy I can tell a difference in my swallowing. The cough did not go away and they will put me on some inhalers and steroids to open my bronchi up to see if that helps but not till my vocal cord heals.
The girls are great and so understanding. I guess we don't give our kids enough credit for handling hard times. I catch them praying for me alot and asking God to help all people who are suffering. We have learned that in order for our suffering to lessen we pray for others who have hardships, even worst hardships then ourselves. Try it sometime. It can lift your spirits to a new high.
For now please continue to pray, spread my story all over the place because I think God will send us a cure. Love one another and kiss your kids today!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
My days are up and down, I am still really tired and hope that each day will bring me closer to the old me. Sometimes I feel the cancer has taken away my character, that my lack of spunk has left me changed. This is a good thing I guess but I wish I could do the things that I have learned since my diagnosis. I wish I could help people. Now more than ever do I know how important it is to help our brothers and sisters in need. For now I accept the help but I pray that God gives me the chance to pay it forward.
As I said before, please pray for good results on my scans and a speedy recovery from my surgery. Have a great rest of the week and remember to spread the love.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I am just laying low right now and following directions. My BP is still running a bit high and so I am back and forth seeing the cardiologist as we adjust meds. I actually took a walk this afternoon which felt really good as I haven't exercised at all and have noticed my muscle mass is depleting.
I am not sure how much more chemo I will have but hope we soon can take a break. Hal and I would love to take the girls somewhere this summer and create some fun memories.
Much love and huge thanks go out to all of you as you continue to care for the Schierts family. The house cleaning, meals, and little surprises are so generous and thoughtful. We love you all and appreciate you so much.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Speaking of Hal, can I just tell you what a remarkable man I have been blessed with? He has had more roles put on his shoulders these days. The man is incredible and never stops giving to any of us ever! So the next time you see him make sure you look him in the eye and tell him good job, you rock Hal!
I signed the family up for a support group for families with chronic illnesses. The girls really like it and we are able to learn more about what they are thinking and feeling about mommy's cancer. Zoe came home with a very graphic black and red picture of what my cancer looks like. She really thinks it would look good on one of my photo necklaces. I can see it now...... maybe I can talk her into a self portrait instead. Gracie still keeps the family going by being the clown and keeping everyone laughing. That's it for now. Have a blessed Easter everyone.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Okay on to the results of my scans. The lesions in my liver have shrunk and no other cancer is seen else where. We have switched to a different type of chemo as the doctor believes that this one is wearing on me and causing other issues that we don't need. Today I started on adriamycin and cytoxin wich is what I took seven years ago when this whole mess began. Hopefully this will be better tolerated and instead of having bad days and worst days there will be some good and even greater days ahead.
My love and thanks to all of you again for the lovely surprise this morning. Everyone should have a parade. It makes you feel so very special and loved. I love you too and thank God for showing me His love through all of you.
Friday, March 27, 2009
I had chemo last Wednesday and I think it was that day that I also caught my cold. The two just don't mix! On top of that I started having some blood pressure problems and was in the ER last Sunday. The chemo makes my BP jump fairly high. I am now on two BP medicines and thus far it has still not come down. I do feel tons better but still pretty tired.
Tomorrow is PET and CT scan day. Please pray that all is shrinking and or all is clear. I will get the results on Wednesday along with my next round of chemo.
It has been a lot of fun wearing my new wig. Some people have to take two or three looks before they realize it's me. Some still just walk right past me in the grocery store. A good friend's husband said that I looked like a "fun gal you'd meet in a bar." I took that as a compliment.
Stay tuned for my test results...... until then have a great week and remember to tell those you love you love them.
Monday, March 2, 2009
The terrible pain I was having whenever I ate or drank is almost totally gone. My doctor decided that my esophagus had been fried by the radiation and began treating me for an ulcer. Within three days my pain was gone. We are also hoping that this is the reason for my persistent cough. The cough has gotten better but still not gone. Perhaps that will just take a bit more time.
I am still fatigued but it seems if I keep busy then I forget about it. My second round of chemo is on Wednesday. I feel like I have been released from prison on a good behavior pass and now it's time to return; so I have been diligently trying to get things done around the house and with other responsibilities that I have.
I have decided to wear a wig this time around. It seems the girls main concern about mommy having cancer is that I lose my hair. But instead of going with something that looks like my hair, I have decided to go red. Yes, so if you are looking for me but only see a foxy red head before you, do not be alarmed it is just my altar ego Roxy. Yes, you may call me foxy Roxy!
My hair should start falling out within the next two weeks (it usually happens after the second treatment).
My oldest brother and his family arrive from Tampa in a week for spring break. We are all super excited to spend some time together and hopefully enjoy this warm weather Kansas City has been having!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
My son, when you come to serve the LORD,stand in justice and fear,prepare yourself for trials.Be sincere of heart and steadfast,incline your ear and receive the word of understanding,undisturbed in time of adversity.Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not;thus will you be wise in all your ways.Accept whatever befalls you,when sorrowful, be steadfast,and in crushing misfortune be patient;For in fire gold and silver are tested,and worthy people in the crucible of humiliation.Trust God and God will help you;trust in him, and he will direct your way;keep his fear and grow old therein.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
For now I still have a cough and shortness of breath most likely due to my paralyzed vocal cord I suffered from radiation back in December. My follow up with the ENT confirmed that the cord is still paralyzed and it is just a wait and see if it will come back on it's own (which will be in three months) or to permanently fix it with surgery.
You know looking back at typing all of this I sound fairly unhealthy. I guess that I am perhaps a bit physically, but spiritually and mentally and emotionally I feel good. All along this journey I continue to look for the good (not to say I don't have really sucky days) but my life must be about being the best that I can be. Even though my best could be better, God gave us this gift to use at all times, in all ways, for all people. Make sure you be the best you can be today!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Please continue to pray more.......
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I am slowly getting my energy back and doing all of the things I did before except working out. I just haven't had the mind set for that just yet. I have been studying up on breast cancer and nutrition though. I figure we are doing everything medically possible and even that is just treating it and killing it but not making it go away for good. It's my turn to do everything possible to combat these nasty boogers. So of course every book is different but the main culprits seem to be sugar meat and dairy. What else is there left to eat? Actually it hasn't been terribly hard and the girls and I talked about nutrition and how the family needs to make some changes. After reading some books, I have become concerned for their well being as well. Let's face it. Our kids eat crap. Zoe even took a piece of broccoli off my plate and ate it. There is hope after all.
God has been speaking to me through the daily gospel these days and lately I have been asking Him to heal me and cleanse me from this cancer. Before it was always help me with my suffering and praying for peace and comfort but He says that whatever we should ask for we will receive. Today's gospel speaks of a leper being cleansed and while I know that this refers to sinfullness and repentance and how just by asking to be forgiven that he forgives but I can't not think that leprosy is like my cancer in that by asking him to rid me of this that he will.
40 And a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him, "If you will, you can make me clean."
41 Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, "I will; be clean." but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the people."
And I have told him that if I am made clean that I will do his will. I will scream on the roof tops as "proof to the people" who God is and how he saves us all. I have said before how blessed I am to have this cancer that it has changed me and Hal for so much good and better. This is how it is for all of us and our crosses. If not for these crosses then we would never get to know who we really are nor who God is. We would never know just how strong we are. We would never appreciate the little things in life or grab hold of the important people God has placed in our path.If you are carrying a cross right now, hold on tight and don't let go of it. As you walk, someone will help you along the way and even carry it for you for a little ways. Let them. And remember how Jesus carried his cross for us.
Friday, January 2, 2009
My energy level is low but my dehydration is much better and I no longer have the dreadful feeling of a dead animal in my mouth. (sorry but that's what it was like).
My left side of my face still feels a bit droopy and my eyes still a bit unfocused but this will all subside as well as it is just left over symptoms from the pressure I had on the nerve.
After radiation I am taking a break. Like I said earlier, we will try a new drug to stop the growth of the cancer cells and then more scans in a couple of months. The chemotherapy killed all the cancer over the summer. This was a miracle as there was quite a bit of areas to cover and in a short time we killed it! Unfortunately we missed a few or it came back. Regardless...... I have stage IV breast cancer. This will not change, I will be forever fighting this dreadful disease until we find a cure. I ask you to please be uplifted and not so darn mopy when you see me. I am not going anywhere anytime soon people this is just another bump in the road for us. Each day since this began has been such a gift to us. Just marveling in what God gives us makes me giggle. He is so good and merciful!
Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him; If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him....He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life, He may shorten it; He knows what He is about -- St. John Henry Cardinal Newman