Sunday, May 31, 2009


This is my last post. I thought I would wait until July, but I saw the oncologist last week and we are not scanning again until the end of August. So the wrap up begins...

I started this as a thank you post, listing all that people had done for me over that last couple years. It wasn't working, too many people, and too much to say. Will you please take it personally as I try and tell you now. THANK YOU. Yes, you. I am crying right now thinking of how lucky I am to have such a great immediate and extended family, a most incredible ward, and the truest friends ever.

And then Josh. He was perfect during it all. I will never know how.


I am feeling great. Which is its own blessing, then add the appreciation I have for it.

Medically, where do I stand? I was given, in the beginning, a 50/50 chance of surviving in the next 5 years. It has already been two years. If you look at a chart of people at my stage of cancer, dying, most of it is happening in the first few years. Right now they have no reason to think the cancer is back. They worry that there could be small amounts of cancer in the blood. If it does come back, I would almost certainly die. Melanoma spreads to the brain, liver, and lungs. It doesn't respond well to chemo or radiation like some cancers do. I scare you now mainly so you get any ugly or changing moles removed ASAP. Even caught in its earliest stage, you still have a 5-10% chance of dying from it. Sometimes fifteen years later.

They say your not cured of melanoma till you die of something else. I'm just saying.

Where I used to think I was going to die certainly with those kind of odds, I now can't see it happening. I can't imagine the stress and pain. So I don't. I imagine a happy long life. I guess chances of that are at least over 50%.

So, now that I have a future, what will I do with it? I am in the process of trying to figure that out. I have extra time on my hands now, and when school starts up...I don't know. Lots of possibilities. A clean slate, waiting.


Original Plan: Stay at home with at least 6 and up to 10 children. Half of them girls. Plan B: (intentionally left blank).


I saw in the news a story about a lady in Utah who was paralyzed during a car accident. A single mom with two kids, 31 years old.

The reporter: "If she could take the accident back, would she? She said, "No, I wouldn't. I'm getting the chills, but I really wouldn't..... Of course, but I wouldn't take it back because I'm living a great life." I had to go online for the transcript to see if I heard her right.

I did. And you know what? I had the chills too: I might say the same thing.

Something this has taken away from me (is innocence the word? almost, but not quite) which will never come back. But something had to take its place (perspective? truth? again, only almost) that I will always have with me.


Survivor -noun. 1. a person or thing that survives. 2. a person who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship, or setbacks.


I gave my plants their first shot of fertilizer this week. This morning my peonies opened. Their beautiful pink papery petals. Happiness! I heard today that Eleanore Roosevelt said "Where flowers bloom, so does hope."


I don't know what pictures would be of interest to anyone, but here are a few from the last couple of years. Random, mostly.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

winding down

Sorry its been so long. I realize its time to give up blogging for a while. The blog was started as a way to keep in touch with my parents, who were moving, and have returned. It turned into a way to let everyone know how I was doing during the whole cancer-thing. Also a place to put some thoughts down during the ordeal. It was a good place to come for that. But now when I think about my blog I get stressed out. I worry at the end of an eventful day (or even more on an uneventful day when Ive had time to think) that I don't have time or motivation to write about it.

I have scans in July. After I write about my perfect results, I will say goodbye to blog, and the guilt Ive associated with it. I will get a few things in before then (mostly pictures of what I was talking about) and tie up some loose ends. But this last month has to be dedicated to winding this thing down, just as life is speeding up.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

petal to the metal

Mid-May is the green light in Utah to start planting. I have had to make a choice the last few days to neglect my blog or my flowerbeds. I have a bunch to say, all good things, and will backtrack here after I get my garden and flowers in. Of all the things I love being, today gardener feels like my favorite.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

dream come true tooth

Monday James lost that loose tooth. When he woke up he told me "I wish this tooth would just come out today." He reached up to wiggle it, and out it came.

I suppose this is where the tooth got its name.

Josh got home from a business trip this afternoon and James showed him this envelope he has had under his pillow:

He wondered why it had been ignored the last couple nights (Last tooth I was late as well, which led him to believe I was the tooth fairy. I was totally offended so he hasn't dare suggest it since.). Josh thought maybe in this economy it was a little too much to ask. I thought maybe it was the way he was asking. He did say please, but only after a demand.

We just slipped $2 under his pillow.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


James was baptized today, we are so proud of him. I love my church, and am happy to raise my kids in it. Couldn't get him to smile on account of his loose tooth. Still, I like this 'implied parent' picture.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Daily life continues. There is the chronic pile of laundry, the usual stack of dishes (the same dishes really), and the floor to be constantly swept, but occasionally (especially this time of year) is the element of surprise to keep things new.

As if the tulips and daffodils aren't enough...

I was weeding my front flower beds and gave out a cry of excitement (which James found very inappropriate) when I found my peony plant had not been lost to Winter (as I was sure she had-the delphinium and daisies next to her have had great green leaves for a month now). Joy!

The weather cant make up its mind; Rainy and cold, then sunny and warm. But the spring beauty remains constant.

On one of the warm nights we went over to Highland to an Elementary School for an orientation meeting for James' new 'learning lab' or third grade class he's in (by the way, according to his scores, he may very well have only missed three or so on his marathon test). I watched him in the classroom. Multiplication charts, reference books, science projects: James in his element.

We lingered after at the playground. People, unstructured physical play, and monkey bars: Sam in his element

There was a soccer ball on the field. Open fields, a ball of any sort, and a goal to reach: Luke in his element.

I was pumping on the swings. Surrounded by my kids, snow frosted mountains, and a quiet pink sunset: Me in my element.

And where was Josh? At a concealed weapons permit class. Huh?

Where, and with what, are you in your element?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

paris pictures

Finally getting some pictures up from the trip.

I wish I could brag about my photography skills here, but these are really nothing special. I was just a little awestruck. You will see why....

Paris 2009