Wednesday, October 31, 2007

boo humbug

James once asked me "What are we celebrating on Halloween?" I had to think, "I don't know.....the birth of Frankenstein?"

I think everyones posts today are going to be full of their kids in cute costumes. I'm not saying my kids aren't cute, but their costumes are so boring. James has been a race car driver for 3 years, now Sam is in on it. Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnheart Jr., barf!

Luke was impossible:
"Do you want to be a cow?" "Yea, purple cow!" "We don't have a purple cow." "No cow."
"How about a dog?" "Yea, green dog." "We don't have green, only brown." "No dog."
"You could be an elephant!" "Yea, lellow elephant." "Its a gray elephant." "No elephant!."

I was going over the options again to today. After saying no to everything, he said, "I be Edward" (a Thomas the Tank Engine Train). "No Luke. We don't have an Edward costume." "I be Edward." I gave up and went to play with Sam. A few minutes later Luke runs out of the play room "I Edward! I Edward!" He had found a Thomas sticker and put it in his hair. How was I going to argue with that one?

So, I put some pictures up of Sam in my favorite costume 2 years ago. I promise if they didn't have opinions they would always look this cute.

I always dread the hoard of candy. Last year I had a great plan. The day after Halloween the kids asked the usual, "whats for lunch?" I answered, "Candy!" I dumped their loot on the table and told them they should eat as much as they could, cause everything they didn't eat right then I was going to give away.

It kind of backfired. I was counting on the belly ache we tell kids they are going to get when they eat too much candy. It didn't come. They were supposed to never want to see another smartie. They still begged for it after I took it away, and their friends had enough to keep their blood sugars high. The only thing I accomplished was teaching them that candy was an option for lunch. "What do you want for lunch?' "CANDY!!"

Feel free to share how you get rid of your booty.

I guess the point I'm trying to get at (and its taking way too long) is that normally I hate Halloween. But this year was different. I loved the anticipation, the costumes (except my boys), the ghost stories, the teenage trick or treaters. Even the candy the boys brought back.

I suppose I know the reason for the change of heart.

Happy Halloween!!!!

Happy Halloween
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Sunday, October 28, 2007

thought I would share one of my ah-ha moments, being Sunday and all

Circa Nov. 2005.

It was one of those days.

I woke up tired thanks to a few nighttime feedings. Changed a diaper. Wiped a nose. Fed the boys their breakfast. Cleaned the breakfast off the table. Cleaned the breakfast off the baby, and the floor, and my shirt. Wiped their noses. Put the baby in the bath. Dressed the other two. Dried the baby off, diapered and dressed him.

"Mommy! Im done!" Wiped a bum. Swept the floor. Got out the legos. Picked up and made happy the crying baby. Did the dishes. Wiped noses. Changed a diaper. Got out snacks. Cleaned up snacks. Changed clothes that had been spilled on. Read 'Thomas and friends'. Made lunch. Spoon fed the baby. Started a load of laundry. Cleaned up lunch. Put away the legos. Dispensed cold medications. Nursed the baby. Put him down for a nap and whispered, "I didnt even know you 5 months ago and now your running my life!"

Then I felt exhasted.

I sat on the couch to fold laundry and turned on KBYU to get inspired or uplifted. The devotional topic didn't help. It was on missionary work.

I had been married for 5 and 1/2 years and had 3 kids at home. Three was so much harder than two! My life was a far cry than that of someone going abroad, or even out in the neighborhood, spreading the gospel. I felt like there wasn't much time to do anything out side of my busy, unimportant, monotonous days. I thought, "I should have gone on a mission. Served God while I could have."

I turned if off, and laid down to read my scriptures.

I was in Mathew 25. The first parable was the ten virgins. I compared it to food storage. Guilt. I had lots of beans, but thats about it. And then the talents. More guilt. If anything I was loosing talents, hiding them under the couch along with hot wheels and marbles.

Then the goats and the sheep parable. At the second coming Christ sits at his throne and separates all the gathered people on the earth one from another........

"as a sheperd divideth his sheep from the goats:

and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee and hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

when Luke woke up I gave him a great big kiss and happily went on my busy, important, monotonous day.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I feel so spoiled today. My aunt Janice and her daughter Jill brought me lunch and gave my front room a much needed make-over. I'll post pics soon. Its so cute! My mother in law brought back all my ironing. Aunt Denise brought me dinner. Its been heaven. Like if someone would ask you what you wanted to do today-you could pretty much answer this. And yet.....

As I watched aunt Janice pull up all my annuals, I thought how weird it is to be dependent again. At 18 you cant wait to pack all you have in your families ugly van to be dropped off and live on your own. If fulfills all your expectations. You get used to it. You love it. And get cancer. I have wanted to pull those flowers out this whole week, but I cant bend. So many things that defined my life I cant do.

An Oprah thought I always loved (but never really understood) is that sometimes you have to learn to love the 'new normal.' Dependence is going to have to be a part of my normal days maybe for the next year. (Oh, its Drug awareness week in James school and his eyes just bulge whenever I talk about the drugs I'm going to be starting)

The weather has been absolutely beautiful this week. Like a second summer. The boys have spent their afternoons hunting bugs to feed the lizard our neighbor is keeping in a jar. Yesterday they found a lizard corpse "with its eyes popped out" in the window well. I watched James and Dallin from my hammock as they picked the last of my flowers and knelt down beside the gravel grave they had dug. They looked so tough in their camo and fohawks (it was crazy hair day at school) but they bowed their heads and looked very (appropriately) glum over the death.

Tonight in the moonlight I saw the brick gravestone, and the meticulously placed colorful bouquets sticking out from all sides. I love little boys!

I just went to get a picture of said grave and noticed there was an inscription. Four hearts around the name 'Baby' and then the names of the boys.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Yesterday I was wondering why this recovery was taking so long. A mother with a C-section would taking care of a newborn at this stage. Today I got to sweep my own floor and sit in the sunshine.

I took your advise and watched 'the last lecture'-loved it. Also watched Crazy, Sexy, Cancer. Lots of things to think about. They don't do any treatment on her type of cancer, so she just goes around looking for alternative ways to help slow it down. I think that was good for her. But she never turned to God to get any answers or peace. Faith in food alone doesn't seem like enough.

I'm also going to give Bella another chance tonight. This time on Lortab.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

random things....

Like the fact that Josh, James, and Sam took a ride in a hot air balloon this morning. Grandma Vicki bought the ride at our PTA carnival. I wasn't too nervous until they were way up there and the wife of the balloonist said, "So, are you going follow them to pick them up?" I guess it makes sense, but I didn't realize that you don't steer them, they just kind of go where the wind takes them, and land when they are close to an open field. Who knew? Everyone? I was sad I cant move around very well to take sweet pictures. It seems like a very photogenic event and I couldn't get creative.

His wife also was saying that it feels like your flying. She said if her husband is trying to sell one and the customer has had flying dreams they almost always get the sale. Ive talked about this with my mom and we totally think we know how to fly because it is such a real feeling in our dreams. Is this normal or are we witches?

I am enjoying a clean house today thanks to a random act of kindness. My brothers' wifes' brothers' wife Traci owns a housekeeping business and she offered her services for a while. So Im enjoying my CLEAN house. Thanks Traci!!

I want your opinion on the Twilight series. Im sure to offend tons because so many people have recommended these books to me. It started out all fun, but Ive been in the middle of the second one for a month and haven't seen Edward and I just don't know if I want to finish. Bella is not a heroine by any stretch of the imagination, and there is no hero, no one to like. I don't know, what do you think, is it worth finishing?

I caught the end of Oprah yesterday (I'm not recommending her, but Ive had my share of Ah-ha moments). It was on conversations about death-talking to terminally ill people. I wish I would have seen it all, but she quoted Da Vinci "As a well spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death." I thought that was a nice way of putting it.

So I just read over my blog. Its the Lortab talking. Nothing is coherent, which is why I didn't dare write yesterday. I don't need it during the day anymore, but when I'm sore at night I likey my Lortab.

the pics

Monday, October 22, 2007


Truman Johnson

Sunday, October 21, 2007

St. Joshua

Its been a busy weekend for just sitting around.

My in laws took the boys to their cabin Friday so Josh and I started 'project organize your house enough to let anyone clean it.' This is going to take until I get sick again because my house is so not organized.

Ive never watched so many movies in one weekend (2). We watched the Wizard of Oz, which I hadn't seen since I was a child, and my children have never seen, and Josh hasn't seen since he fell in love with the Wicked soundtrack. It kind of has a magic of its own doesn't it? Its a good Halloween flick if your kids haven't seen it.

We also watched Holes with James. Its one of the books I read him this summer. We loved it! He remembered all the characters names, the plot, the jokes. He was a little nervous to watch the movie, asking if we could fast forward the S-A-D part. He couldn't even say the word.

Today Sam had to give a talk in primary. I was so excited because I was actually making some decisions for the talk (James has always decided his own topic, written it himself, decided on the pictures-which generally include me drawing them because there are no triathlon photos in the gospel library). Sam did write the end, what he thought were jokes. "But my favorite prophet is Samuel, because he has my same name! He was a prophet when he was a child. I want to be a prophet when I am a child." James caught wind of the discourse and decided he would be the best one to help Sam since he would be in junior primary anyway. So I think it was probably a disaster. And word has it that Sam laughed heartily at his own jokes over the pulpit.

Just to annoy the primary president a little more, James threw up in the middle of the program rehearsal. Sorry Mindy!

I guess life still goes on as I sit on my couch. Josh wakes up early with the boys, gets them breakfast, packs James lunch, bathes them, dresses them, dresses me, cleans the house, goes to work. When he gets home he feeds us, plays with the boys(its basketball right now thanks to High School Musical), gets them ready for bed, gets me ready for bed, gets the kids to bed. Then he does the dishes, some laundry, hangs things up, or puts IKEA organizers together till late at night. All the while this guy seems happy!

Last night at the end of a day just like this, he was changing the dressing on my leg. He looked up at me and smiled. "I love taking care of you."
Josh glances away from the lawnmower for a quick snapshot. Is this guy for real??

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Universal Experience?

Its not really my style to be so dependent on other people for my everyday needs. I always hated showing my 'owies' to anyone after I had been hurt. I think I even broke my arm and hid it from my mom till nighttime when I couldn't stand it any longer.

I'm sure this part of the humbling Heavenly Father wants me to learn. I was glad to have aunt Denise here the day after surgery to dress my wounds, babysit, clean, and keep me happy.

Yesterday it was aunt Janice who offered her help. I wondered if I would need it, but realized I would have had a stressful day without her. She even said she would empty my drain (of course I didn't make her). She drove to the school because James teacher called to see if we could bring him a new pair or clothes because he had an accident. He was in denial saying his chair was just wet.

The thing is-James doesn't lie, and I don't think he has peed his pants since the day he was potty trained at 22 months. Janice reassured me that this is so normal for that age.

Should I be worried?

I guess when I was in kindergarten the principle walked in and our teacher said, 'don't talk or raise you hand for any reason while the principle is here' I remember watching her so intently, shaking my legs because I had to go so bad, and that conversation lasting forever. I was so obedient! When she came back to the table she rolled her eyes and cleaned my chair up with flimsy tissues. I told all the kids that I had fallen in the toilet.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


We had some really great news today. Even though its what we expected, it felt SO good to hear that there was no cancer in the lymph nodes they took out on Tuesday.

So there is no visible cancer in the body. He said the treatments they do next will be to help the body fight off any cancer cells that are floating around the body. Im going to enjoy my weeks before I have to worry about that.

Thanks for all your love and prayers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

You should always send flowers to your wife when she gives birth

Its been a pretty good day. Last night when they kicked me out of the hospital I was was in so much pain I told Josh if I ever get cancer again I am not going to treat it. That was extreme. Today I can get up by myself and stay up for a few minutes.

I did make the mistake of examining the damage. I felt like the little women when Joe takes the hat off her head to reveal her haircut, 'Oh Joe, your one beauty!' Josh has always said my legs were my best feature. Maybe he will have to settle for leg in the singular.

My little sister has been here updating my itunes with awesome songs to keep me happy. Its amazing what High School Musical will do to your mood.

I got a box of flowers delivered to my door today. It read "Congratulations on your first baby boy. Better late than never. Love, Josh."

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

She's Alive Part II

She is home, she is eating and she has been asking for an epidural.

Monday, October 15, 2007

WEblog gone bad

Josh wouldn't let me blog last night. He thought I needed some sleep. I'm going to just blog twice as much today in defiance.

Lots of emotions this week. I was so happy when a gorgeous new couch arrived from an anonymous donor (I have my suspicions). Ive never had a couch I didn't have to hide with a slipcover so I'm really enjoying it.

A little scared when the hospital called the other day to verify my information...'just calling about your radical groin disection.' My stomach didnt like the way that rolled off the tongue. Count me out of anything using the word radical, especially involving a knife. Ive mentioned before my intense fear of surgery. Its just that I have to keep my fingers on my wrist in the dentists office if they give me the gas just to make sure my pulse doesn't...I don't know...stop. Totally absurd.

Its been hard to say hello and goodbye again to my parents who came into town for general conference. A lot of people told me when their parents were on missions and such everything just went so smoothly while they were gone. Its seeming a little opposite here for me, but I'm hoping somehow it will help? I don't know how, and I don't mean to complain, but it seems like I never needed a mom so bad. I know its not her choice to be far away.

My sister is here tonight, but is leaving in the morning. She has been doing everything for me so unselfishly. We got a lot of organization done and she is leaving me with a clean house. She always reminds me how bad a housekeeper I am by doing things that have never been done ie bleaching my showers and linens. There is nothing like a sister, really. When we were little we used to get in these weird, tired moods where everything that happened would send us into hysterics and my stomach would hurt from the uninterrupted laughter. Tonight we just cried at the end of the day.

We told James and Sam about the surgery tomorrow. Sam said "I hope we only get good news or no news" James made a gun with his hands, "I'm shooting. I'm shooting for the good news target." Sam pointed to his head "My brain is telling me its going to be bad news." Fun times.

We wont hear the pathology reports till Thursday, but everyone is sure there wont be cancer in what they are taking out. Sam missed this memo.

I was glancing through my blog starting from this summer. I'm a little sad that my sweet little blog has turned so sour! I really do have so much hope and faith, and love and gratitude. This could end in I guess a tragedy, but I hope and pray that I'm around to make some triumphant title in 5 years.

Which reminds me that Ive been purposely not reading any blogs for a while so I could have some reading to do while in bed. If anyone wants to share their blog with me email the address to or put it in the comments. I would love to see what SWEET things are going on in your lives!!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Hope in a Bottle

There are so many things I could blog about. I'm picking the one I can get out of my mind.

How do I put it into words though?

James does talk about cancer now. He was home (and I wasn't) when a friend graciously gave me some Tahitian Noni to help with the cancer. He heard the instructions and the hope it might bring. He asks me at random times 'have you taken your noni mommy?' 'how much noni have you had today?' 'have you had your noni twice today?'

The other night he got a hold of some Reichimax tablets (its a mushroom suppliment) at my brothers. The adults looked it up on the internet and found its used to help battle cancer (I'm not saying it dose). Anyway, he came home so excited to show me the treasure he had in his hands that would get rid of my cancer. We had tears in our eyes as he pulled out the bottles and read the ingredients that he was so sure would save my life.

'James, it doesnt cure cancer'
'no, it really does. it stops it. Reichimax. You just take 1 or 2 a day.'

Can I bottle up some of that faith? He pretends not to listen to cancer talk, but hes very tuned in. When my sister and I talk about it in the car he calls from the back 'can you guys stop talking about that.'

I got to take the boys out on dates today. James and I went to the planetarium and read every plaque. Turns out he knows more about space than me. We ended the date with an IMAX planet show in the dome theater. As we saw the number of stars, planets, solar systems, etc. I realized how very tiny and insignificant I am.

And yet to the little boy holding my hand I am his world (or a very big part of it). It would be a very different place without his mom. No wonder he doesn't want to deal with it.

Sam said last night, "mommy I love you so fast my hands get fire all over and burn up." There is no way anyone (or everyone for that matter) could tell my boys how much I love them. I guess I could only hope they would feel it even if I wasn't there to show them.

I don't think mommies should be allowed to die.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


How are you doing? It just depends on the minute. Sometimes incredibly happy and hopeful, others the opposite.

Did you hear from the Dr.? Yes, yesterday. He had been trying to get a hold of a few other Dr.s to see I could be eligible for the study I mentioned earlier. Turns out it has been too long since the original biopsy to qualify. He was hoping I would have gotten picked to not have the next surgery, as he thinks there will be no cancer in what he takes out next. So, the surgery is scheduled for Tuesday.

What does the surgery involve? They are taking out the superficial lymph nodes near my left groin (around 10 I think). They also take the fat around them (are we sure this doesn't warrant removal of fat from other areas?). He said they have to move a small leg muscle to cover up the blood vessels. He will put a couple of temporary drains in to control the fluids.

Are there complications? Some people (15%) develop lymphodema where their bodies dont drain the fluids correctly-it would be like having a swollen leg always. The Dr. thinks because I'm young this wont happen, the body will find a way to distribute this. He said numbness is normal where they operate, and of course pain.

Who do you like better? George W., George Clooney, or George of the Jungle? George Clooney.

When do you start the drug treatments? He said a few weeks after the surgery, after Ive healed up.

Whats that going to be like? I need to get more info on this. I haven't seen the medical oncologist yet to get a real good idea. From what I gather its one month of IV injections and feeling really sick (like having the flu) and then a year of giving yourself shots for the rest of the year. I will have more info later on this.

Who is going to help? According to all of you, who is not going to help? My mom and sister might fly in for that awful month. This question doesn't scare me anymore, I feel like I could ask a hundred people for anything.

So, you could either be drop dead gorgeous and smell really bad (and there is nothing you could do about the odor) or just look normal and smell normal. What would you pick? I have to admit Matt, this question stresses me out.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Bitten by the Love Bug.

Its been a rough few days of waiting. I'm trying to be a patient patient, but its eating at my happiness. I keep calling the office, and if I cant get any answers tomorrow I'm going to sick my husband on them.
I just need to know when I can get this surgery out of the way and start getting sick in order to get better. Is this normal to hate waiting?
Its not like I'm choosing the best material to pull myself out of depression. Note to self: do not watch 'finding neverland' (one of my favorite shows) when you are a mother of all boys, dying, have a boy 6 who doesn't want to deal with it, and your in love with Jonny Depp. This makes for a ridiculous cry. Avoid also books ending in death with said 6 year old. We finished Bridge to Terebithia (which we started before cancer was in his vocabulary) I thought it was beautiful. James had no comment.
Conference didn't help me keep mind off it (although it helped in other ways). I thought they were paying particular attention to death. Was it just me?
I hope you heard the comment about 'cancer, the disease of love." I was like (in a Bryan Reagan sort of way) "Oh, so thats what I have." But seriously I have already learned that truth.
I hope my ward, family, and friends felt very validated as they heard all the talks on service. I just don't know what to say to everyone, except you have lifted this burden more than you will ever know.
I will always love you for it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

I like negative results.

I just talked to the nurse at the Dr. office, they said everything looks negative, except some cysts in my liver (which she said is nothing to worry about). This is what we expected, and we will set up a surgery date for next week most likely.

I will let you know.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

No news today. No surprise.

Josh bought me a Lance Armstrongs Live Strong 'Survivorship Notebook.' He's a big fan of Lance. Anyway I loved what he said, "Before cancer I just lived, now I live strong."

Bring it on.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Galileo Galilei

Today was devoted to tests. The brain MRI was awful. Mostly because I had drunk about a liter of contrast that was screaming to come out. On top of that they put you in a little tube and strap down your head and tell you not to move, even swallow while you hear the 'jack hammer' sounds at your head. Perfect. It lasts 30 minutes with some breaks in between. The technician suggested that the best way to get through the test was to close my eyes and think of a Hawaiian beach. For some reason the thoughts were leaning more toward IKEAs mac and cheese. Then I got nervous that the Dr.s could determine if I had intelligent thoughts or lame ones, involving food. "Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Jon, manipulating electrons, string theory, neurotransmitters....."etc. Unfortunately I ran out of smart things to contemplate in a matter of minutes. I feel like I failed miserably.

The CT scan was fast. They don't give you any results for 24-48 hours, although I tried best I could to get a little info out of them. I need to take flirting lessons from Jennie-I'm way out of practice.

Its my turn to get some good news tomorrow.

Life has funny way of....ending. Just kidding, its just that the Dr.s are always so shocked when I talk like that. I think its a good thing, talking about it, that is.

I'm not scared. Death has a beauty of its own. As a nurse Ive been able to be with several people as they passed to the other side. The feeling in the room is similar to being in room with a mom giving birth. Tears in both cases, although maybe not for the exact reasons. A last breath and a first breath. Isn't it all amazing? Life just goes on.

Luckily, because I'm trying to reconstruct my thoughts to the positive (how do you think I'm doing?) my chest should be rising and falling for a while.

Sam was begging not to go to bed tonight "Can I stay up a little longer mommy?" "No" "Just five more minutes mommy" "No, love" "Please!! Just to play" "No, dear" "Mommy, just five more minutes!!"

I gave in.

And then I thought, would God? "Can I stay here a little longer Father?" "Just five more years" "Please, just to be here with everyone I love?" "Just five more years?"

I'm going to try it.