Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Update!

I was successful at not getting any new pics this weekend, so here is one from this summer.

Thanksgiving was nice.  We had it at my mom's church.  I noticed three people who were mom, my cousin Sandra and Jeremy (bro.-in-law).  When I was young (not too long ago), we used to have a talent show at the end of Thanksgiving.  The parents would be in the kitchen putting the final touches on the food and we (the angelic children) would go in the basement, to the primary room and practice singing some songs.  Some of the cousin's would play the piano and some of us would sing.  It was some great memories!  We did a talent program after this year's dinner.  It was fun to see how brave the little ones could be to stand up in front of a crowd and sing their little hearts out.  Fabulous!  Jake's ANC counts were also fabulous, so he got to come with us.  He didn't hang around the bulk of people all of the time (just to play it safe), but all of my boys were there, and that made it a Thankful Day for me!  Good food, good company!

Friday, Jake had some blood drawn and the usual labs done.  Unfortunately, his ANC dropped back down to zero and they wanted to give him a transfusion.  I asked if he could wait until Tuesday, when we come in for chemo.  They said as long as he wasn't too sick or tired it was ok.  I grounded him to the house until far, so good.

We were able to get some of our shopping done this weekend.  We're not the kind to enjoy standing in line, in winter weather for long periods of time to save a few bucks.  Been there, done that.  We did get up and play some fun cause we won, but at the cost of taking a few hits.  We also went out to dinner with some old college friends.  We decided we should get together more often because it took too long to catch up on everything!  We see each other at least once a year, but it's just amazing how much our lives have changed in these past 25 years.  All of our kids are teenagers or older.  Let me just say, I'm grateful for the challenges I face and not anyone elses!

Saturday was the BYU/Utah game.  I love watching the game with avid BYU fans...since I'm not one.  They just loved picking on me the first 3/4 of the me a hard time about the score!  The game ended BYU 16, Utah 17!!!  SWEET!  I wore a nice red skirt to church to silently rub it in a little...not that I'm gloating or anything! ;)  

Sunday brought a lovely snow storm!  We had to move all the cars into the driveway, so it was a pain to get in and out to church, but I love the snow...just not the wind.  I got the tree up and the lights on yesterday...but that's as far as I got with that.  I'm ready to listen to Christmas music now.  I think the radio stations ruin Christmas music for me when the play it all of November and December.  I can only take so much of Rudolph and Santa...same 8 songs by different artists...over and over again.  I am loving singing the songs in choir.  I don't know how the choirs are where you are, but ours is really fun!

Well, thanks for stopping by my blog!  If you could do me one favor...the day you read this, step out of your comfort zone and do a nice thing for someone you would not usually do for.  It's the best prescription for the Holladay, I mean the holiday spirit.

When I think of you, I smile...with a grateful heart.  Even if I've never met you, I think you're awesome for showing up in my life...just by reading a little about mine.

May God bless you and yours this sweet Christmas season!

Big Christmas hug!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Chemo: Week 19

 This is the picture in Jake's hospital room.
This is Jake telling me to quit taking pictures of him.

Well, it has been a long week...for me.  We were suppose to go in for chemo on Tuesday, but they asked us if we wanted to wait until Wednesday.  We had an appointment with the Radiology doc, which was not very productive.

Jake hates the overnight stays at the hospital so we inquired as to the possibility of him not having a hospital stay, but just getting chemo in the clinic.  We would have to stay all day, but that's a lot less time than staying over night.  They are going to try it on our next scheduled overnight stay.  We'll see how it goes!

The best news was that Jake gained a couple pounds!  He is really trying to eat more so he can heal faster!  He still has some color in his face from his last transfusion...oh maybe I didn't mention that.  Jake's counts were critically low a couple weeks ago.  His skin was so pale!  The nurse said he needed to come in for a transfusion on Friday, so since Dave was home, I let him have a turn doing the Jake-hospital bonding time.  They gave him 3 liters of blood instead of 2 and topped it off with a bolus of platelets.  Unfortunately, Jake spiked a fever while he was at the hospital so they made him stay overnight on a regimen of antibiotics.  Jake called me and begged me to get the doctors to release him to home.  He said he hated the food, so I made him a sandwich and some jello (his request) and made the 45 min. drive up the the hospital to comfort my poor Jakey.  I had to drive home in a big snow storm and only 2 hours sleep the night before, but Jake's worth it. 

 Here is Jake who wasn't happy because just he threw up the yummy sandwich I had brought him from home.

Chemo continues to damage Jake's body.  He continues to have more numbness in his hands and feet and is losing a lot of strength. He's trying to stay upbeat, but the treatments are getting tiring for all of us. (sigh!)  The doctors and nurses keep encouraging us to stay strong and the prayers are really helping, so thank you, all!  

Next week will mark the half way mark of chemo treatments.  April 12, 2011, is the last schedule chemo treatment.  That will be my new favorite day! (happy thoughts!)

Help!  I'm falling apart!  Today I was chewing on a tootsie roll and one of my crowns came out!  I'm going to put it under my pillow tonight and see if the tooth fairy will give me a refund!

My dryer broke so I had to replace it.  Did you know that not many stores stock gas dryers?  I finally found one at RC Willey!  Unfortunately, when we tried to hook it up, the fittings were different! (Why in the world do they not make these things universal?)  Well, as soon as we got it hooked up and turned the gas on, it smelled like leaking gas.  I called the gas company to come see why it was leaking.  I didn't want my house to blow up because I was trying to dry my clothes.  I got my hair permed that day so the combination of the two smells was giving me a headache!  I even had the gas guy put his meter near my hair to see if it was toxic!  He told me that the connections were fine and the gas leak was in the dryer.  I called RC Willey and they brought out a new dryer and switched them out.  The delivery guy put some goop in the adapter connection and now I don't smell the gas anymore.  Unfortunately, I now have a cold and I can't smell anything anymore.  (I think I caught it from my Uncle Bob after I gave him a kiss on the cheek at his 93rd b-day party and my Aunt told me later he had a bad cold...thanks for sharing!).

Today, I played Leon (age 72) and Dave racquetball (Dave was playing right handed this time) and I beat them!  OK, technically I was ahead and we ended the game early because someone else wanted to play with us, but still...I was ahead! hehe.  Well, Dave and I had fun playing today.  

I knew this was the last day to get the leaves cleaned up before it grew cold and nasty, so after I got home and Dave fixed me some nice breakfast, I changed and raked the leaves into piles.  The wind started to kick up so I asked Jake & John to come out and pick up the leaves for me, before they blew all over again.  To my surprise, they came out and got to work!  They weren't getting them up faster than the wind was blowing them so we had to call for back up!  We got Dave to come join in the "family bonding time"!  When Zack got home, he took my old dryer and the 6 bags of leaves to the dump and when Spence and Mike got home, they got to do pooper scooper.(Oh the fun times we have together!!!)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Letter to a friend...

Thanks Cathy!  It means a lot to me to not be forgotten.
Dave and I were talking today and I mentioned how blessed I felt that I was receiving some amazing strength from heaven.  I truly believe that people are praying for us from here and in heaven, and this gives us strength and extra blessings!

I had to give a funeral talk a few years ago.  It, in and of itself was an amazing experience.  The person that died actually came to me when I was writing the talk and told me what he wanted me to say.  He was shot and killed suddenly, so he didn’t have a chance to bid a proper good-bye to his family.  You know how the tears flow and I get choked up when I’m at the pulpit.  Well, I prayed for strength to get through that talk without blubbering, because it would have taken away the spirit I was hoping would rest upon the congregation.  I don’t know how to describe it, but it was like someone poured extra strength ability to speak without falling apart into my veins!  I was bound up with some kind of power beyond my own possibilities!  I know it was because of prayers in my behalf.

That is what I am feeling now…bound up with some kind of power beyond my own.  I feel an unbelievable amount of patience and peace.  The speed has increased in how fast principles of the gospel are being deeply rooted into my understanding and into my heart.  I am so amazed at the tender mercies I receive and I love how God points them out to me, and how he shows me over and over and over again, how much he loves me!  It’s like entering into a beautiful spring garden and he is showing me all the beautiful things he knows my heart will delight in.

Sometimes trial, tribulation and heart ache are the keys we need to use to get into these places of beauty, light and understanding, but especially love.  How interesting that these same keys open two doors…they can also open doors to despair, sorrow and hopelessness.  How awesome is it that we have the agency to choose which door we go through.

I was at a doctor’s office the other day and an older man mentioned that he wished he could go back and change his life.  I reflected on my life and what I had been through so far.  Repeat…No Thanks!  It was hard enough the first time!  I prefer Jesus’ plan…repent and start fresh…every day!  Fabulous!

When I think back on this challenging time, I don’t think I’m going to remember the worries and sad moments, or the heart wrenching moments watching Jake suffer through the cancer treatments, so much as I will remember the warm feelings, the testimony building moments, the blessings and the closer relationship I gained with my Savior and Heavenly Father.  Hard?   Yes!  Worth it?  Yes!  Would I want to do it again?  No…because I have already traveled this road and I would like to try something else…seriously!

My peace is, that no matter how hard or wretched the journey, the sweetness, love and amazing blessings are on the other end of the pendulum and are equal in strength and magnitude!

I didn’t mean to write a sermon!  It’s very therapeutic for me to write what’s in my heart.  It helps me to feel more grateful when I share, so thanks for listening.

Love you guys!