Friday, December 14, 2012

NO NASTY CHEMO

It happened~ I went to my appointment yesterday the 13th of December, and I did NOT receive chemo!!! WAHOO! 3 1/2 hours, done! Much better than spending 8 hours there! I can't believe it is really happening,  no more chemo!! I just received Herceptin and Pertuzamab and Hydration. The Doctor and Nurses are just thrilled on how my body is reacting to this medicine. They even admitted again, that they were amazed that I am doing so well. One nurse even referred to me as the "Miracle Girl". Makes me smile. Nurse Andie even said I may start feeling well enough not to have get hydration all the time. That I shouldn't have too many nasty side effects with this new plan. Feel good, it just doesn't seem real. I can't wait!  I will still receive the bone cancer chemo every four weeks, and these other maintenance ones every 3 weeks. But I am so happy not to have the nasty stuff flowing through me! I am anxious for eyelashes! Hair would be nice, but first eyelashes! :) WAHOOO!! I can't say it enough, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for your prayers, love, and support! It is working! LOVES TO ALL!

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ME! but most of all~ MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OF YOU!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

CAT SCAN UPDATE

So, yesterday Dec. 5 I went in for my 3 month check up with a CAT scan of my chest, stomach, and pelvis. Went straight to Dr. H, office to get hydration, They brought me the results midway through. John and I read them, and of course I was emotional and didn't like seeing that there are still tumors in my liver. So I asked to see Dr, H. Well, he was thrilled! 1 possibly 2 tumors left - MIRACULOUS was his words. A TRUE MIRACLE!! Compared to 3 months, 6 months ago, when there were two many tumors to count, down to 1 noticeable 1. And this 1 tumor was 3CM big and is now 12 MM small. Dr. H always makes things better! He said if insurance would approve me to receive Pertuzamab/Perjeta alone without chemo, then I can be DONE with chemo. They usually only approve the new drug with the chemo. So I called first thing this morning, and guess what~ They approved me to stop chemo and only do the Pertuzamab alone! NO MORE CHEMO!!! WAHOOOOOO! A year straight with nasty chemos that have kick my butt, and now I get a break!  AHHHH! I don't know what I am going to do. Feel GOOD? Is that possible!?
So now, I will do maintenance drugs Pertuzamab, Herceptin, and Hydration once a week. And every 4 weeks still continue the Bone Cancer Chemo, (which I think isn't too bad)  I have never just had the bone cancer one without already being infected by the other nasty chemos, so we will see how I feel! I am so so excited I don't know what to do. Miracles do happen! I have seen many and been blessed with many!
Another example of a miracle: My red blood cells have been down. Suppose to be above 4 and I have been at a 1. My white blood cells suppose to be around 10 + and I have been around 7-9. Well I got a cold, which isn't good. But, guess what, no fever, no hospital, just sick in my own bed, with regular old medicine! Really, I have heard of people ending up in hospital with less than this. I just can't be thankful enough. I feel so so blessed. Your prayers, combined with mine, have really been heard and answered. My Heavenly Father has truly blessed me, and I know I have several angels with me all the time. I have chills writing it. I am surrounded by love. Please don't stop praying for me. I need them continuously.  This is a battle I will continue to fight my whole life, which I expect to be another 60 years! I need your strength, support, and love. It has helped me in more ways than you can imagine. I love you ALL! Thank you!

TIME TO PARTY!!!! NO MORE CHEMO!!!! WAHOOOOO!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Small Update!

So not much has been happening! Same ole' stuff. Chemo, sick, hydration, Chemo! Every time I receive chemo, I get more and more side effects and I get sicker sooner and longer! I talked to Dr. H and we are soon to do another CAT scan to check the status of these annoying tumors. He said if they were gone, we could stop the chemo and just do maintenance drugs, wouldn't that be great!? I can't even imagine. A full year with chemo! I am SO ready to be done! I am sick of being sick! I have zero energy and everything I do takes a lot of effort. I can't wait to feel good, go out with energy, and just FEEL GOOD! Be a "normal" mommy, wife, daughter, and friend! SO I need you all to pray hard. I go in Wednesday December 5. That is all I want for Christmas, is to hear, I am clear and done with Chemo! AHHH! Prayers are strong & fingers are crossed!

We had a FANTASTIC time in Disneyland, with amazing friends and family! Thanks to Children and the Earth and Frankie at JetBlue for helping us get there. It was so needed. I loved it, and I am ready to go back, or to the beach! Loves to ALL!






Thursday, October 25, 2012

Check this out!

Thanks Sebastian!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7tr_w6hEYw&list=PL4B51462FF8EC36F2&index=2&feature=plpp_video

He is doing such an amazing job! and all of you that have participated, WOW, I am honored! Such great memories. You all are so nice to me! I just love ya!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

ONE YEAR!

 One year ago today, I had my mammogram, and got the devastating news that I had Breast Cancer. WOW, what a year it has been!!! This day started it all off, with ultrasounds, biopsies, CAT scans, MRI's, blood work, surgery, chemo, radiation, lots of doctor visits, lots of tests, lots of tears, lots of support, millions of prayers, a bunch of loves, and a ton of blessings!
It all happened so fast. It started as Stage 3a, then quickly was upgraded to Stage 4 with HER2 positive.
Surgery- November 2, 2011
Chemo began- November 22, 2011
Gamma Knife Radiation- December 15, 2011
Shaved Head- December 17, 2011
Full Brain Radiation- January 31, 2012

And chemo, non-stop ever since!

I have had every side effect from chemo possible, including: Nausea/ vomiting, headaches, constipation/diarrhea, rash,thrush, vision loss, random sores, bleeding, hemroids, sore nose, HAIR LOSS (no eyelashes,eyebrows, or hair anywhere!) dry skin, dry mouth, crumpling sore infected nails, weight gain, appetite loss, taste buds changed, cravings, and extreme fatigue to name a few! :) But I have been incredibly blessed to not end up in the hospital with something major. My body has been continually strong and able to handle the blows.

 Through all this, I have learned or been taught:

True Love, I will never question John's love and dedication to me and our family. He has been absolutely  amazing! There is nothing he wont do for me. He has always there, going non-stop, and doing everything possible. Without him, I would be lost.

Sorrow and Strength, My kids have been through so much! They have had to grow up the last 3 years with a sick mom. They are very caring and concerned about what is happening and when I will be better. They have struggled emotionally, yet they have never left my side. They are strong, upbeat, encouraging, and loving. They are always giving me loves, kissing my bald head, asking if I feel better, willing to help, smiling at me, and wanting to be involved. I was truly blessed with these 3 unbelievable kids!

True Family Love, From day one ( literally ) My parents have always been there. The support and love they give me is unheard of. Really, they will drop anything to be there for me and my family. They take my kids, spoil them rotten, and love them unconditionally. My mom has been my chemo buddy, sitting for long hours just to be with  me. On occasion allowing someone else to take me. My sisters have all been fabulous. My friend was a little jealous, when I was in the hospital they all came running in the room with such concern, rubbing my feet, braiding my hair, rubbing chapstick on my lips, all with such love. They have taken my kids, cleaned my house, and have just been there for me, I have extended family and Johns family that have been amazing and supportive.

True Friendship, I have some amazing friends! I also live in an fantastic neighborhood, with incredible neighbors. I have been so touched by the friends from my past that care enough to contact me, visit me, and show their concern. I consider all of you new and old, TRUE friends. I cant believe how blessed I am with all of you.

Gospel, That my savior is my Rock. That no matter how I am feeling, my savior is there to bless me, help me, and listen to me. He is there to comfort me and give me strength. I have been blessed with amazing leaders. I have a great Stake President, Bishop, RS president, amazing visiting teachers, and church group. I am so grateful for the priesthood, and that John honors his. He has been able to give me several blessing that have helped strengthen me. There is nothing I can't do with their strength and blessings.

Service, You ALL have served me in one way or another. Through.. prayers, food, cleaning, donations, kids, love, taxi service,listening to me, teaching me, and the list could go on and on. I have learned through you, that you just "DO IT" You dont have to ask to help with kids, or cleaning, or to hang Christmas lights, you just "DO IT" because you can. Service always makes people smile and feel good. You wouldn't ask to save a drowning child, you would just "DO IT." THANK YOU!

I hope you know, truly how thankful I am. This last year hasn't been easy, but I can't imagine how it would have been, without every single one of you. You have made me smile and fight harder than I ever thought I could. My battle isn't over and never will be over, I plan on fighting like crazy for the next 55 years! I will constantly need your prayers, love, and support.  THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU ALL!

.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Another test and Another Birthday!

SO I had another MRI, This time it was on my neck, back, and Brain. My parents and Skylee took me to my appointment. They came back in the waiting room and waited, and waited. It ended up taking 3 hours!!! Thank goodness there was a tv in the room and Sky has some patience. Results are good. Brain still looks good, Neck had disc bulging, but not worried, and Back looked good. Not showing any cancer in neck or brain. There is just a little spot on brain that they will continue to watch, but no worries. I got clearance from my brain radiation dr. to go on my secret trip and ride as many rides as I want.
So, I will tell you the secret just don't tell. So THANKS to Children and the Earth and my friend Frankie at JetBlue, We are going Disneyland! The kids have NO idea! They think we are going to St. George for the week, because mom needs a break! Which I do, but Disney is where I am going!!! I am so excited I can't stand it! We will tell the kids at the airport!
So I got to celebrate my 33rd birthday yesterday! I now have a different outlook on getting older. 33 WAHOO! I made it one more year. I can't wait to continue getting older, each year will be great. So I was hoping to not have chemo, but I did. So one my best friend Kendra took me down, since my parents will be with me for a week in Disney. Then my sweet sister in law and mother in law, came to sit with me and enjoy the day. Sara brought me some yummy pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, yummy! Then one of my other BF's Lisa came with cupcakes, cookies, and flowers. They put an awesome homemade crown on, necklaces, a birthday pin, pink bracelets, and a pink ring on me, and i looked Fabulous! Then passed out treats to all, and then they sang. So chemo on my birthday= not so bad. I am so loved! THANK YOU ALL for the birthday wishes, gifts, loves, prayers, support, and all you do for me! I am surviving this fight because of you!


Also check this awesome video out that my friend has put together for me!
http://youtu.be/GpUxP4-Tw4I

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Test Results

So this morning I went for a CAT scan. Got all prepared with the yummy barium, steroids, and benedryl, and gagged it all down. They took me right back. Got it all done and went to chemo.  I met with Dr. H and we talked about how things were going. He thinks I look great, even though I don't always feel great.
The nurse came in after I was hooked up, receiving my bone cancer chemo with results in hand.
AHH! So nervous! She then said with a big smile, "It is such Great News!" YAY! Here they are:
So last results showed Lung being stable, meaning tumors hadn't grown or shrunk. This time tumors= GONE! Lungs Clear! Last results on Bone was the same. This time bone tumors= stable, no growth, no shrinkage! Last results on Liver= tumors grew, and multiplied. This time Liver tumors= some have gone away completely, some have shrunk, but large tumor that was measuring about 4 cm is now 2 cm. Half the size! SO GREAT! It is great that the medicine is working. I will continue chemo for awhile longer, we will probably check again in 3 months.  I was really kind of hoping to finally be done, and just stick to once a week maintenance drugs for the next 55 years. But I will take this great news and celebrate! Prayers are working & the support is continually fantastic!
Thanks all so so much! LOVES

Friday, August 24, 2012

Finally an update!

I know I know, been slacking on the updates, but there hasn't been much to report. Still getting 5 bags of treatment on the 3rd Wednesday 2 chemos, 2 maintenance drugs, and my favorite Hydration. The next day I get a shot in the arm and more hydration. Then the 4th Wednesday I get bone cancer chemo and hydration. On the "off" week I still go get hydration. It is amazing the difference I feel when I receive it. The BIG chemo week still kicks my butt. I am just so tired and could sleep all day. And achy in my hips, back, and knees.
So since this is my journal I do have to tell my funny chemo story. Little embarrassing, but boy was it funny.
So I have this special talent, that when I sneeze sometimes a little puff of air comes out my other end. So at chemo, all snuggled in my cozy recliner and it happened. It was quiet, it was loud enough for all to hear. My friend 4 chairs down was laughing. I was just skyping my dad when it happened and my mom and I were laughing so hard, we were crying. My dad wasn't so sure of what was happening. So I tried to whisper it to him, but we were on speaker and he asked "who farted?" It was a GREAT laugh, that I think we all needed. Hopefully they all forgot. :)



These are pictures of an awesome fundraiser that was put on called Ride the Brainwave sponsored by Children and the Earth. Team Charese all in pink with many many supporters. THANK YOU to all my family and friends that came out. You are all amazing.
Then 2 rival baseball teams came together for ME! They played against each other in a tournament in Morgan, both wearing pink for little ole' me. They were all very sweet and cute. Big hugs to all of you.
My nephew Jarrett!
I must say how much I love seeing and re-uniting with dear friends from high school, and beyond. I feel so loved knowing that you all care about me enough to journey my way and make my day. Love you all.  And all my wonderful family that continues to be there for me. I love getting calls, texts,cards, messages from all you, letting me know you still love me and pray for me!

OK, so my next CAT scan in scheduled for Aug 29th at 9:30 AM, with chemo to follow, so hopefully I will get results before I leave. My DR said I look better than I have in awhile so he is hoping things are clearing up. I am hoping things are cleared up so I can stop at least one of my chemos.  FINGERS CROSSED, PRAYERS PLEASE!
Other than that, all is well. Kids are back in school, football and soccer has started. We had a great summer! I had a few good days that allowed me to go to Lagoon and Cowabunga Bay with my family! It is John and I's 11 year anniversary tomorrow. So knowing that I wouldn't feel good this weekend, we went last week to Park City stayed the night, went to a movie, dinner, and the Olympic Park. It is so nice to feel normal once in awhile, to do normal things. I am so lucky to have such an amazing husband. He really does love me unconditionally! I love him more than he will ever understand. I couldn't be more grateful for him. We have had an amazing 11 years together through thick and thin! LOVE YOU JOHN!
Thanks again to all of you for love, support, and prayers, Loves to all of you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Brain MRI results are in...

So, I am here at chemo getting my long doses of medicines. 5 bags to be exact! I had my brain MRI this morning. This is the first time, they hesitated doing the MRI, because of my expanders(they have a small metal thing in them), but after an hour of waiting, they decided the brain was more important. So we did it and now the nurse just came over with my results. And it is time to CELEBRATE! Finally! The brain is cleared! Even the tumors that were there in April have melted away. AHHH! What? Really? Good news!? I will take it. Yay! Thank you, the prayers are working. And when I saw the dr. Today he said I looked better than I have in months, so he is confident that there is an end in sight. Relief! Loves to you all!

Monday, July 9, 2012

New Chemo


So after my 1st treatment of the new chemos and bone cancer treatment, I was a mess. John went to leave for work on Friday, and came to tell me good-bye. I went to roll over and kiss him, and I was in so much pain. Every part of my body hurt! Every bone, muscle, joint, and skin hurt. I was nausea, had a headache, and just felt like crap! John instantly decided to stay home. I was in bed all day and sick all the next several days. I went in the following Tuesday to receive hydration, which helped a ton. I felt better for a couple days, then broke out in a rash. All over my arms, neck, and face. My eyes were swollen and my skin itched/burned. Burning from the inside-out! All side effects from chemo. They put me on another steroid. This awesome chubbiness is never going away! :)  Then a few days later, bleeding! Bleeding from places I shouldn't be. So they had me rush in, but as of now, they aren't too concerned. Bleeding is also another side effect. Also, my finger nails and toe nails are bruising and are sore.This medicine is nasty! They weren't lying when they said I would need 21 days to recover between treatments. Now my skin is just peeling.I have had a few days, where I have felt good, but then I always over do it. But I have to take advantage while I can. 


My brain MRI is this week on Wednesday right before chemo, so maybe I can get results while I am there. 
My friends are putting a 5k and MotorBike Race together, on July 28th at VF factory Mall. I am going to be there and would love for all of you to come. I need a Team. It is a charity event for several people, so when you PRE-Register, you have to choose TEAM CHARESE. go to http://www.childrenandtheearth.com  and pre-register. It should be fun! 
Again, I thank you all for your LOVE, SUPPORT, PRAYERS, and HELP! I need it! I am grateful every second for all of you, and my wonderful family and friends. I am one lucky girl!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New Chemo plan...

So I went to the Dr. yesterday and met with him. My mom and John came so they could hear it all as well. John really understands it, and my mom and I just agree with him. So I was approved for the new "miracle" drug Pertuzumab, so the doctor has ordered it for me, and should get it in the next couple of weeks.  So I started the new chemo Taxotere, Carbplatin, and then had 3 weeks worth of Herceptin, plus a little hydration. It was a LONG day. We got there at 11am and didn't leave till after 6pm. Thanks to my sweet Rylee for babysitting and Cleaning my house! She is the bestest! My mom left once I got hooked up to go help with kids and John stayed with me all day. I sure love having him with me. He brings me such comfort. I have to go back today to get a shot to raise my white blood cells (as both new drugs lower them) so we are trying to build them before they are gone. I will also get hooked up again for another 2 hours to receive Aredia, a medicine to help strengthen my bones, from the bone cancer. It takes the calcium from my blood and puts it into my bones. When I first started chemo, they had me make my appointments in the afternoon, as the morning was saved for those that were going to be there all day, well that is now me. If I receive all the medicines I am suppose to, I will be hooked up around 9 hours or so. EEK! No more chemo buddies, cause that is WAY to long to make someone sit with me. Also my new plan is once every 3 weeks, as it is stronger, more potent, therefore needing that 3 weeks to recover. So they said, I will be MORE tired, MORE nauseous, MORE achy muscles/bones/body, & this little hair that is growing back is gonna be gone again. SUPER FUN. But hey if it is gonna work, BRING IT ON!

I also need to make a correction to my last test results. When the Dr. Called he said I had 25 markers that has now increased to 54, so I assumed in my liver. NO, NO, NO I was corrected yesterday. Those numbers have something to do with blood work. Not actual tumors! OOOPS! and PHEW! My liver actually doesn't have that many tumors left. There are a few BIG ones that have continued to grow and some little ones throughout, but defiantly not 54 of them or even 25 of them. YAY! Dr. H also mention if we can get rid of these little ones we can Radiate the big ones. But I am confident this new drug is going to ZAP them away.

I am excited about the races going on, on my behalf. I am so humbled by all your generosity.

Kids are doing good for the summer. Logan still says he doesn't want to have cancer anymore, because then I would have hair. :( I think he sees me with hair having fun and doing things. No hair mom- is sitting a lot, sleeping a lot, and we dont do a whole lot. So, we went to Lagoon, and I survived all day of fun! It was so great.
John is the best husband and dad ever. He comes home- and is instantly cleaning and cooking, the poor guy doesn't ever get to sit. OH how I love him. He is absolutely amazing.

THANKS again for the continuous prayers, love and support. They are all felt!  Love to all of you!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Test results are IN!

So after a couple days of waiting, the doctor finally called this morning.
Blood work shows that my liver and kidneys are functioning fine. Bone and Lung cancer is stable.(Still there, nothing changed)  Liver masses have gone from 25 masses to 54 masses. He had the tumors marked and out of the 25 some have shrunk and some of grown, and now obviously they have multiplied. So a new plan is in the works. The chemo drug Taxol that I have been on is not killin these dang tumors, so he wants to switch to Taxotere.  Also a new drug has been approved and is now on the market called Pertuzumab that has shown great success, with shrinking and diminishing tumors. He is having his staff get me approved to start that right away.  So, from what I understand my new plan of attack will be Taxotere, Pertuzumab, and Herceptin. My insurance better approve it! :)
I am doing ok with the news. I really felt like I would be continuing treatments. I am so grateful my liver is still functioning well. I would be more concerned if that started shutting down. So for now, I am not freaking out! We will just see what happens.
Thanks for your continuous prayers, love, and thoughts! LOVES to all!

Check this video out! THANK YOU Sebastian!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh4BlfM7nHg&feature=share

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

One incredible night!

So I truly have THE BEST SUPPORTERS, COMMUNITY, FAMILY, BISHOP, and FRIENDS~EVER!!!
For real! I don't even know what to say or how to describe how I feel, about this amazing night. On Monday, my bishop and some friends had arrange this bike rally, all for me! They showed up with the Fire Dept blazing their siren, 72 bikes, 4 rangers(go girls!) and 1 truck. Oh my gosh! To take me on a ride thru town. It was the most incredible feeling. These people all showed up from all over to support me. Their bikes had pink on them or they wore pink. So emotional and so touching. I got to ride on a Harley with the coolest Bishop out there. The kids got to ride in the Firetruck, and John got to ride too. Then we took off thru town.  That wasn't it. There were people everywhere thru town, with pink signs, balloons, yelling, waiving. People I have never met, and all my friends and family. My heart is sinking now thinking about it. The night couldn't have been more beautiful, because I swear Morgan Valley was glowing that night. I had never been on a motorcycle before, and it was AWESOME! (sorry Dad!) The love doesn't stop there, not only did people donate money, when I got back home... flowers! Lots and lots of pink flowers, in my flower bed, all to be planted by sweet people! I will never forget this night, and neither will my family! Seriously I am so blessed and humble. I thank all of you! The love, prayers, support, thoughts, good energy,etc that I am receiving is INCREDIBLE. and it worked, I hadn't felt that good in a long time. I don't know what more to say, except           THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU ALL!



 http://db.tt/LjGjUVgr  I hope this link works~ my neighbor got this video of it all!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Great Date Night

So I got a special date! Frank and Barbara Layden came up to my house to take John and I to dinner. Frank has been a great friend of my parents for the last 14 years. He has been very concerned about me, so he came up to go to dinner and visit. What a funny, kind, and generous man he is. We really had a great time. Mike is a huge Jazz fan so he came along and meeting Frank was like going to Disneyland! We had many laughs and even got a Jazz sweatshirt and t-shirt. THANKS LAYDENS for a FANTASTIC evening.

As for me~ I am still hanging in there. Day by Day! Always tired, still weak, but can still hold my own. Been getting hydration along with chemo, which I think is helping. It gives me a little boost on the days after. I have extremely dry skin, still dry mouth. If I has little energy, I would be great! This week also marked the NO eyelashes! Kind sad to me. No make-up to help me look like a girl! I was ok with no hair, or eyebrows, but no eyelashes....AHHH!

I had a great visit from a dear friend Desi the other day. It has sure been fun reconnecting with people. I love to have visitors, otherwise I sit in my bed all day! We also got to have a big birthday celebration this weekend. It was John's birthday on the 5th, Skylee and my Grandma on the 8th, and niece Emery on the 10th. Big BBQ and lots of fun. But I was sure wiped come Sunday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ALL! Thank you for the continuous prayers, and love! I love you all!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Test Results Cont...

So I got some more information I wanted to share. Since I drove down and got a printed report of the test, I could see everything, even though I didn't understand. There was one section that mentioned my bones.  Confused on what it meant, I asked today while I was receiving chemo.  The doctor decided to meet with my mom and I after my treatment. So, we found out the cancer IS in my bones. It has been there the whole time, however the doctor forgot to mention it, because of it being in the brain. And the Brain is way more important than the Bones. So, the dr said the key to my survival is getting the LIVER and BRAIN healthy. They chemo is treating my whole body, including the bones, so nothing more to worry about. The only thing that changes is that I now know about it. He did say he could check any part of my body and find cancer, that is how bad the cancer is, but knowing exactly where it is, is a little freaky. This also brings out the POSITIVE in the test results. Knowing how nasty this cancer is and that it will take over and destroy if I am not on top it, and now knowing that the Hereceptin was able to keep it at bay, during my 3wks of radiation, is GREAT! Now to kill the rest of it!
So, after finding out the results on Monday, I was a little bummed. I really wanted to find out that the tumors had at least shrunk a little. But, nothing just the same. On my iPad I get a scripture of the day, and I didn't feel like reading so I closed it and put it away. Then I decided it might help, so I got it and read it. 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. WOW! It was perfect. I will endure hardness, knowing my Heavenly Father and Jesus, are with me every step of the way, and knows exactly what I need to get through this. I am so grateful for my blessings (good and bad), and grateful to have been given so much and continue to receive so much. Thank you for praying and supporting me, as it is going to be months and months before I start to get a little bit better. Loves to all!

Just a sidenote, we know the cancer is in my:
BREAST (clear)
BRAIN
LIVER
LUNGS
BONES

But the worst spots are Liver and Brain, and so far both are responding well.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Test Results

FINALLY after several days and hours of waiting. I have heard from the doctor.  I called first thing this morning, and waited and waited. I called after their lunch and then I decided to drive down and get a printed report. I read it, and there is a reason the doctors call and explain it. I read the tumor in my liver had grown and other little things going on.  So I panicked a little. Then I pulled in the driveway and Dr. H called. "Hey Charese, I have good news for you." haa haaa haa. He said "everything looks good." He said my chest was completely clear, lung and liver are "stable". He didn't think the liver tumor had grown much or at all.  Lung looks the same. Not great news, but ok. He was fine with it. He said that the time I was on brain radiation, and not doing chemo, that things just stabilized. So at least they didn't grow. He said he wished he could say they shrunk or gone away, but not the case. He is happy they have not gotten worse.  So now I get to do 6 more chemo treatments before we check again. So that means 8 more weeks! :(  We are still staying focused and positive. I love that I have such a positive Doctor who can always make me feel comforted.
Thanks for the continued prayers. Loves

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

From My friend!

ANNOUNCING "PROJECT: CHARESE"

Last weekend i had the wonderful opportunity of spending the day video interviewing Charese-John Foster's friends and family about her life and her battle. I was floored by the amount of love and positivity coming out of that group. I know however that not everyone who loves Charese was able to attend, and I know there are lots of people out there who wish they could do more to help the Foster family but may feel helpless.

NOW IS YOUR CHANCE TO HELP!

There's no such thing as too much love and support. I want to continue compiling stories on video from Charese's life from friends and family scattered across the nation (and beyond). Anyone who knows Charese that owns any type of video camera is invited to participate in Project: Charese. Even if you feel totally technologically illiterate but want to participate, contact me and i will help you get your video to the proper place. It's easier than you think. After I get all the videos I will edit them together for a documentary series I'm producing for the Foster's/Richins' families.
Start by emailing me speelbergo@yahoo.com and i'll get you some questions to answer on-camera and together we'll figure out the best way to get your video to me. Now's your chance to make a difference in the life of a family who has been through more than most can imagine, do don't hesitate to contact me asap!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Next Testing

So my CAT Scan for my chest and abdomen is scheduled for next Friday April 20th. I wanted to give enough time for the chemo I received this past Wednesday to work a little more.
Also my white blood cells were down, so I had to go in today, tomorrow, and re-check on Monday for a Neupogen shot. So it hurt like Hell! Not looking forward to tomorrows. They also said I would get flu like symptoms and be real achy and yucky tonight! DANG IT! I received extra fluids yesterday, so today I should feel good. OH WELL! We will see what happens.

I had a friend from high school come up on Saturday and interview a few family and friends about me, my life, and my journey thru cancer. It was so nice of you Sebastian and Steven to spend your whole day here with us. Also THANK YOU to all my family and friends that could make it to the party! We also celebrated Landon's 9th birthday! It was a GLORIOUS day! I am excited to see the results of this documentary. I have amazing friends and family as always. And AMAZING Supporters! LOVES!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Brain MRI test results

So I am really slow, but here are the results:
Most of the tumors are GONE! Still a few little ones left, but they say the radiation is still working so they are not concerned. My Dr. is completely happy with the results and I guess that means so am I. WAHOOOO! Next MRI will be in 3 months.

I have finally stopped taking my steroid, and boy am I having withdrawls. I have been sick, headaches, dizzy, and super tired. Yesterday at chemo they gave me a bag of hydration to try and make me feel better, therefore being plugged in for 4 hours. Not only did I sleep on the way down to the hospital, I slept the whole time being plugged in, the way home and then when I got home I got in bed and I don't remember a thing since this morning. Thank goodness for Sam, who came to my house while John had to go to work, otherwise my kids would have been fending for themselves. Landon went to the Jazz game and I didn't even hear him come in! I even fell asleep with my glasses, sweatshirt, and tv on. I can't believe I am so tired!
Anyway, other than that all is well. One more chemo to go and then a full body check. So more good news to come in the next couple of weeks! Loves to all!

Monday, March 26, 2012

BREAK~ WHAT?

YES, that is right, I got a BREAK!
I went to get my Herceptin (30min) treatment on the 14th, and they came to hook me up and said it would be an hour. They were going to give me double Herceptin, and then they said plus the chemo, which will be another hour. WHAT?? No this is my week off, I tell them. But they said the DR. wanted me to have a week off, so we were doing it all today. OK! little confused, but OK! Thank goodness my dear friend Lisa was with me, cause I had drove myself thinking I would be fast. So, she stayed with me the whole time, and arranged for our friend Jamie to follow us home, so Lisa would have a ride back as well. I haven't had a week off from going to the hospital since OCT. I have been going every week for some kind of test, treatment, appointment for 5 months. I was excited and a little nervous. But I came home called John and he arranged at work to take the next week off. Him and I alone, headed south to St. George for the WHOLE week! It was absolutely FANTASTIC! My parents came down with our kids late Thursday night. So, not only did John and I get a little getaway, we got some family time too! John and I even did 1 day in Vegas and went to see KA (a Cirque du Soleil show). I walked more in that one day than I have combined in the last 5 months! And my foot is paying for it. I have some how injured/bruised my left foot. But it was all worth it! It was hard this Monday morning to get back to reality.

I wanted to show you my poor head after being finished with radiation for weeks. They say it
burns from the inside out, and boy does it. Friday was 5 weeks since I have finished and my ears still burn. Crazy! but I just have to think of those tumors melting away.
All blisters! Even on forehead and behind ears.
MRI on brain is scheduled for April 2nd.
So lets all pray they are gone! ALL GONE!
I start back on chemo this week, and we will do another body check in a month or so.
LOVES TO ALL!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Date with a cutie!

Lando's turn to be my chemo date! I think when we walked in and the rooms were over-crowded, he got a little nervous. Kendra was with us, so she took him for a walk until I was able to sit in a chair and we were able to get "comfortable." Then he had no problem talking to the nurses, and helping the other patients get water or a snack. He was such a good boy, as always. He really didn't fall asleep, but he thought he was funny! The nurse the next week even asked if he was really that good, or just because he was there with me. But I said no "THAT's MY BOY!" Always so caring and loving. Also, our other date consisted of Landon earning his Wolf badge in Scouts. So, just him and I got to go to the dinner at the Blue and Gold Banquet, get his badge, and hang out just the two of us all night. He really is such a good kid with such a big heart. I am so proud of him!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

THANK YOU!

Just been thinking about all of you that send me such nice cards, leave me nice comments, clean my house, cook me dinner, text/call me, etc, etc. I just feel so blessed. So many people that are unexpected.
For example:
I got a card from my dad's sister(my aunt) and my two cousins that I haven't talked to in awhile. Letting me know they are praying for me and love me.
I get a card about once a week from John's aunt Kathy letting me know she is thinking of me.
A couple of cards from a sweet neighbor letting me know she too is thinking of me often.
A gift card to WinCo from someone I don't even know.
Many comments here on my blog and Facebook.
All the text messages and phone calls.
Dinners, non-stop!
House always clean!
People always helping with my kids!
I have connected with so many LONG lost friends from childhood, high school, work, etc.
The list can go on and on.

SO MANY of you -ALL of you, care, pray, check-up, think, and are genuinely concerned FOR ME! I really can't say thank YOU enough. I am truly BLESSED to have all of you. I just don't know how to thank you all. So this is my only way to let you ALL know I do recognize, appreciate, and am truly GRATEFUL to each and everyone of you. Thank you for following my blog, checking in on me, and helping me in every way possible. I am TRULY blessed! LOVES!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

BACK at CHEMO!

So I started back on chemo yesterday! Feelin ok! Still on steroids from the brain radiation, and I have never been fatter! My fingers and toes are sausages!!! And my belly feels 9months pregnant. Everything is tight, not water fat like when your pregnant, but tight/thick from steroids. Everyone says it will go away once I am done with the steroids, and boy do I hope so! Here is some more joys the steroids have done:
made my nose and ears bleed, my nose holes, earring holes, and ear holes are smaller. AND I can't stop eating! I am hungry ALL the time! I am trying to control myself, but let's just say it, sometimes I can't! I AM HUNGRY! Not to mention, my nice dark-sunburned blistered forehead, and big muscle lump on the back of my neck. It is all so weird, I DO NOT LIKE! But soon enough I will be off them and moving forward. Just something I thought I would post, so I can remember these days!

I am doing ok, still dizzy at times, and headaches, and WAY tired, but I am coping!

I had a friend from Seattle come visit over the weekend, which was great! John, I and Nikki all went to dinner and a play Saturday night and I wore a wig! It was fun, different as it has been 2months since I shaved my head, but I liked it. By the end of the night on the ride home it had to come off. Got a little itchy and HOT. But it was so nice to get out for a bit.
Notice the nice BIG cheeks! :)
Just wanted to clarify that the results I got on Friday were results on my liver, lungs, and chest wall. NOT MY BRAIN! I will find out more on the brain in 2 months. So my body is responding to chemo! YAY! YAY! YAY! Just to celebrate again!
FYI: My awesome wig was donated by Kelly Giblin from LemonadeLocks at www.lemonadelocks.com Check-em out if you need a wig, they are amazing! THANK YOU Kelly and Kris! LUVS!

Friday, February 17, 2012

FINALLY GOOD NEWS!

YAY! Just heard from the best doctor in the world, and he called with GOOD NEWS!
He said my CAT scan shows that the tumors have shrunk dramatically in size and in fact, some have gone AWAY! YAY! He was so excited to share the news and we were so excited to hear it! He was very impressed that they have responded so quickly! We couldn't be more excited! TIME TO CELEBRATE, a little! I start back on chemo on WED. THANK YOU THANK YOU for your continues prayers! LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU ALL!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

LATEST NEWS

So I am done with radiation FRIDAY!!! 2 more to go! YAY! I will stay on my medicine for 10 days after, but will hopefully get to feel a little better soon. Also, Friday morning before radiation I will have a CAT scan on my chest, liver, and lungs! So we will soon know how my body has reacted to the chemo. I should start back on chemo the following week. I wont have a MRI on my brain for 2 months, giving time for all the tumors to completely shrink and GO AWAY FOREVER!!! There is an end in sight. I cant wait to feel good!

Also, I seriously cant express how lucky I am to have all of you! I go to my appointments and talk to others and NO one, I mean NO one has the support, love, family, friends, and prayers that I do. People are amazed at my support! and so am I! I AM SO LUCKY! I could not get through this without you! I mean it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kids and Coping



Here are some pictures of me and my Log's on our date night! He took me on a date for ice cream and came to chemo with me one day! I think my kids are struggling so much and it is breaking my heart. So before this whole brain radiation thing, I was trying to get out a little with each of them. But so far only Log's and I got out. He is such a sweet heart! He drew me a picture one day and after he was done he said, "mom, is it okay that I put an angel in the picture?" I said of course. At the time I was glad that all 5 of us were in the picture and an angel was in the sky. Well as I was looking at the picture, I realized the day he drew this picture, was the day I went to see my OBGYN about the lump I had. I had put the date on the picture, as I knew it was something special. WOW! Aren't kids amazing! He just knew we have an angel or two watching out for our family. At the time I thought it was sweet, as I know there are always angels watching out for us. Now, I am in awe and absolutely love and cherish this picture. It means so much!
So, I am doing a little better with radiation. No throwing up, and I have color back in my face. But I am still WIPED OUT! It is kicking my butt! I am in such a fog ALL day! The steroids have helped me not be nauseous but, I still have a big headache, and I am on edge. I go to radiation, come home, eat, go to bed, roll out of bed to climb in my chair, sit there all day just blah, eat dinner, and then climb in bed to try and sleep for the night. I have major hot flashes, cold sweats, and everything is amplified! Sky's whines and tugging at my arm, the TV, the boys yelling, video games, etc. I can't just crawl into my bed and sleep, or sit and enjoy a hot tub, it just isn't the same right now. I just feel miserable and I hate feeling like this! I HATE IT! I do have such amazing support and have been SO appreciative of everyone that is here to help. It is the only thing getting me through it. Thanks for putting up with me, and "Loving me thru this!"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Radiation Day #3

So this whole radiation thing is kicking my butt! I have had 3 treatments, and I can hardly open my eyes. Besides being super tired, I am also very nausea. Today I even puked! :( It sucks! I hate being sick. It has been so nice having John home with me this week. He has been able to take me to my treatments every morning and care for me and the kids throughout the day. He is one amazing man!
I get down there by 9:20AM and we are done by 9:35AM. It is a super quick procedure, that is hopefully working and worth the drive. I am instantly tired. I come home grab my pillows and blanket, sit in my chair and sleep all day. Barley eat lunch, then sleep some more. I try to get up and walk around for a bit, but due to the nauseousness, I am quickly back in my chair. I go to bed around 8pm and sleep ALL night, just to do it all again the next day.
Now that I have puked, I have to mention it to my doctor. Nausea, vomiting, and headaches are all signs that the brain is swelling, and I have them all. I was hoping to not have to go on steroids, as they mess with my blood sugars too much, but we will deal with that if we have to.
Thanks to all you that have brought dinners and treats! They are very much needed and appreciated. Also thank you so much for your continuous prayers, I certainly need them! LOVES!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Radiation

So John took me to the doctor today to talk about radiation. I met with Dr. Whipple and he showed us the MRI. I have over a dozen pea size tumors around my brain. Good that they are small, but lots of tumors big enough to see, BAD! They made a mold of my face that they will put on me during radiation, that they screw to the table, so I can't move! Holy claustrophobic!!! I just have to relax and breath. Once they start the radiation it is only 10 min. The mold is way better than the screws going into my head holding it still. I start tomorrow January 31st at 9:15 AM. I go every day Monday thru Friday at 9:30AM for 3 wks for a total of 15 treatments. During this time I will not have chemo. However, I will still receive herceptin. My body, or anyone elses body cannot handle chemo and radiation at the same time. So chemo is on hold for at least 3weeks. Also, we will now wait to do the body scan until after radiation as well. Checking before we start back up to see what we are dealing with at that point. So today, I had my last dose of chemo for a little while. John is going to be home with me this week, to see how I handle the radiation. I am to expect extreme tiredness for sure. I could also experience headaches and nausea, but if I do, they will put me on a steroid. That will mean there is swelling on the brain. It is common, but it doesn't always happen. So I may be in my cozy chair or bed for awhile. I really appreciate all your kind words, thoughts, and prayers. I do read all your comments, and feel your prayers. They are defiantly helping! Luvs!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Some good news, but mostly bad... AGAIN

I hate to be the bearer of bad news and I hate having to type this. So I will start with the good.

Charese went to the Dr. today to do a scan on her brain to see if the Gamma Knife Surgery worked. Good news... It did work! The two tumors she had in her brain are completely gone.

Here goes nothing... The scan found that more cancer tumors have appeared. Too many to count. They are not able to do the Gamma Knife Surgery again because there are too many, so the only option is for Charese to undergo full brain radiation. They want her to start the radiation ASAP. She will start that the beginning of next week.

The radiation will be brutal. She will need all the extra prayers & hugs she can get, & so will my parents. I hate walking into the house to see my mom sitting on the couch crying. It is a scene I have witnessed too many times. I can't look into her kids eyes again when they hear the bad news. I can see it tearing them apart. Seeing them cry & hearing Skylee say over & over again, "Mommy's sick" literally rips my heart out. I don't know how much more bad news any of us can take.

Next week, she goes in to have a full body scan to see if the chemo is working on all of the other parts of her body. That has to be good news. How much more bad can they deliver?

But this damn cancer is not going to win! It has messed with the wrong family! Charese will kick its ass! If anyone can do it, it is her. She is a fighter & we have all seen it before. She still has a very positive attitude and continues to smile. When she called to tell me the results, I was thinking that it must be good news because she was so upbeat. Then she told me & I kept waiting to hear her cry, but she never did. It is just another hurdle that is in her way.

Thanks again for all of your thoughts & prayers. But, I please ask that they continue. They are definitely helping Charese to stay strong & positive.

xoxo,

Cami

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Please Pray for me!

SO tomorrow, Thursday January 26th is the big day for my MRI on my brain! I am so nervous! I am so hoping for good news. That the tumors are GONE and that no others have grown! Please if you could say an extra prayer for me, I would truly appreciate it! Loves to all!

Friday, January 13, 2012

So Much to Be Grateful For!

As I go to my treatments and talk to others that sit around me, it really makes me think. There are so many people out there fighting cancer, some worse than others, but we are all there together to receive help. Their stories amaze me. They all seem to be extreme and on going battles. I really am grateful for my own trial. Sure my case is extreme as well. I had a stroke, therefore having a hole in my heart & heart ablation surgery, then not only finding breast cancer 2 years later. But not only is it breast cancer, I am blessed to have Stage 4 right off the bat, having the cancer in my lungs, liver, brain, and more and likely throughout the rest of my body. I mean really, go big or go home...right!? I thought maybe over a 60 year time frame I could build up to Stage 4. :) But I will take it on now, and stomp it!
I am grateful for my trial, cause not only are these others going through a similar trial, they don't all have the support that I DO! I leave there going, WOW, there are so many people with cancer, and so many struggling with cancer, what do I have to complain about!? I have THE BEST husband, THE BEST kids, THE BEST parents, THE BEST family, THE BEST friends, THE BEST neighborhood/ward, in THE BEST town, THE BEST extended family, THE BEST church and faith & THE BEST support EVER!! Really, I have SO much to be grateful for. I am not fighting this cancer alone. I have never once felt alone! I know I will never have to go to a treatment by myself or even a silly doctor visit alone if I don't want to. SO many people are taking care of me, and SO many care. SO many willing to take my kids, clean my house, bring me dinner, and the list could go on and on! I am so touched and so so grateful! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! To ALL of YOU! You have made this challenge/trial in my life small and easier to get through. I LOVE YOU ALL! I really do!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Here's to a FANTASTIC 2012!




We had a chance to get away for a bit, so we took it! We headed South to stay with my parents in their home away from home. It was so great! We swam, stayed up late, slept in, watched movies, and had so much fun!! It was so nice to relax a little. Swimming with a bald head was awesome and strange. No wet hair hanging in my face! WAHOO! But then again, COLD! I loved watching the kids play and laugh. I loved being with John! He has been working so hard lately, I just miss him!
I had a frustrating day before we left. My legs hurt, I was tired and emotional. Thank goodness for good friends that take my kids to let me breath for a minute. The boys went to their friends house to play, and Kendra took Skylee so I could sleep. I think I was just overwhelmed thinking I have to do everything, but I really just don't have the energy. It sucks not being able to do what I want. So this week I am realizing that it is ok, ok that I can't do it all, all the time! Things will get done eventually.
I am so excited about the New Year and what it will bring! I am confident that it is going to be an amazing year, full of Love, Excitement, Joy, Fun, Family, Friends, and GOOD HEALTH!