Saturday, May 21, 2011


Thanks everyone for your kindness towards me. I am so relieved and happy to tell you that the PET scan showed "no signs of metastatic disease", as the Dr put it, as soon as he opened the door to the exam room. He cautioned me to be on guard. This test looks for TUMORS and cancer cells are too small to be detected so he told me to get in to get checked anytime anything persists for more than 2 wks if it is UNUSUAL. I promise I will do that. Love you all, and thank you again.!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

PET/CT Scan Causes Reflection

This is where I went today
it was my 4th PET scan.
I am not afraid.
I think it is miraculous that we have such fabulous health care. If you notice up at the top in the middle of the machine, there is an opening. It's new, so you don 't have to feel so claustrophobic. That is a tender mercy to me because today I decided NOT to take medication for the procedure. It isn't painful, just that you have to lay PERFECTLY still and calm inside the tube for almost an hour. I have never felt like I could do that, thus a little meds each time. Last year, I think I overdid it, I couldn't remember the scan AT ALL! Wasn't even sure if they really did it. :)

I feel more courage this year.

My how things can change with TIME

Today, I want to reflect on all that is good in my life. PET scans have a way of doing that to me.

Some things that I love:

Here are some of my heroes that are cancer survivors with me.
Even though these three all started out with breast cancer, two of them now have new cancers.
They continue to FIGHT, and it gives me courage.

I spend a considerable amount of time with these ladies. We meet every Monday to learn about coping skills and we have a meditation session that brings tons of Peace to me!
The one here on my left is Elaine Alder, an icon in St. George. She has given me the most strength out of all of them. She is THE BEST!!

The one next to me here is Deb (previously Torres) Christensen. She is the cancer coordinator at DRMC. She is incredibly gifted and insightful to the subject of LIFE. She has been a huge help to me in my "Life after a Cancer Diagnosis" I love all these sweet women. They make a difference in my life.

There is something special about this gal, her name is Gail. She does clinical trials with cancer research. She is overflowing with love, and I love it ..........and her.

Just in the last 3 weeks, I have had a STARK reminder that this cancer fight is NEVER over. I have a dear friend, Cathy Lindell. Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had already had it TWICE. The first time, it was estrogen negative, in 12 of her lymph nodes; she went ahead with a mastectomy and chemo and radiation. Rough go.....but she survived. About 3 yrs later, a new lump in the other side.........estrogen positive this time, no lymph node involvement. Another mastectomy and a pill to take every day for the next five years. Well, it's been almost 5 yrs, and even though blood tests, which we do every 6 months, showed NOTHING to be concerned about, dizziness did. Long story short, they have found the 2nd breast cancer has spread to the brain, the brain stem, the throat, the lungs and in her hip. She is FIGHTING for her very life, even now as we speak. Brain tumor came out w/ no problem, the throat, lungs and hip will respond to some hormone treatments in an injection. (another evidence of the miraculous health care we enjoy) The brain stem is the biggest challenge. She is doing radiation to her entire brain for 15 rounds. It is tough. Her own mom passed away due to breast cancer.
My own mom passed away due to breast cancer.

Am I scared? Nope.

Do I want to stay on top of every TUMOR? Yep.

Am I shaken to remember that LIFE IS BET!

There are many things I still want to enjoy. I don't want to take ANYTHING FOR GRANTED: Like the ones I have been blessed to still be here to see: EASTER for example:

this is Kenya, 2 1/2 yrs old, with a FEW other kids looking for very few eggs at the city Easter Egg Hunt.
tell me she is not absolutely are ALL 12, yes I said 12, Grandkids :)
Dying Easter Eggs is always fun for me to watch...........4 of my grandkids, and 3 of my brothers kids..........they call me" GR-Aunt Karen", cuz they don't have any grandmas alive, so I am both grandma and aunt.............I love them so much. My mom never got to see them or their sweet mother, one of my favorite people of all time............Heather McKnight.
Just in case you couldn't see how Beckett dyed his eggs, here is a close up view, you just use your WHOLE HAND to put in the egg, then leave it there for a few minutes, and voila', a colored egg!!

So, after the kids went to bed, my sis-in-law and I got a little giddy, and very tired, but we HAD to have a few more eggs colored OUR WAY! I love the glitter ones!! Sparkles delight me for sure!

Then we played Easter Bunny, even though it was now 2 am, whew, fun.........even for my BIG kids.

Next day, on Saturday, we had all the eggs hidden at our CORRAL for the kids to find. Here, you see Caden is holding up his hand in VICTORY, he was SURE HE was going to find the golden egg, with $5.00 in it.............................sure enough, HE found it!

Of course, we HAD to have an Easter picnic out in our backyard, I just love the idea my sister Colleen , gave me to put easter grass down the table with colored eggs for decorations, these are even edible!!

My granddaughter, Jayda, is 17 mos, and I thought it was hilarious that she loved the LAST of the potato salad. :)Next day, ready for church. Caden is 7 and Halle on the right, (nephew and niece), love to go to church with me whenever we are together. They are some SPECIAL KIDS!! that's for sure. The matching ones are l to r : Maddux, Malakai, Jayda, and Kenya..........Tara's Kids. The only ones that live here in SG.

Now, on this Easter Sunday, Dale called me in to the front room: the light coming through the front window..........hhhmmm...........

then there came the BIG DAY...................MOTHER'S DAY!! I get to talk to my son , Jonathan, he is in Argentina. This is how we had to call him, very complicated if you ask me. Eric, my oldest son, is a WHIZ with the computer and figured out how to talk for 2 hours for $20. Way better than last year when the call cost us $275.00............OUCH!

This will forever be a priceless picture to me
Sometimes I am not sure if I am loved by this boy.
He loved me on Mother's Day,
and here is proof. :)

three of the six children I have..................better than none.........I LOVE BEING A MOTHER!
The more the merrier!~!

One of my gifts for Mother's Day is a new PATHWAY from the driveway to the front door, this is just the ROUGH DRAFT..............I love it...............Thanx Dale!!

Another joy is something I have wanted to do for A LONG TIME......................take one of the empty bedrooms and put pictures up on EVERY wall of JUST the grandkids. I have worked on it and worked on it, torn it down, had grandchildren help me tear it down, and try again to put it in some sort of ORDER!! This is what I have been working with for the last 2 weeks, and I kind of like what I have come up with far..............I am sure I will change it around once every few months, but it is a good start I think......................THIS MAKES ME HAPPY :)
Krystal's family

Heather's family

Tara's family

Grandpa Dale's shelf

a pillow from Tara's baby crib (27 yrs ago), this says it all. :)

Are you bored yet of all the things that make me happy? Good, cuz I have ONE more ;)


I joke around that I am 73 so I look better for my age , but I am just 53 on the calendar! The Relief Society does a sweet thing and puts a sign in each woman's yard on her b day. I love it.

This is the FEAST that Dale, Wayne and Tara grilled for me on the BBQ!

Last of all today, I want to reflect just for one more minute on what happens when I have a PET scan. This is the very expensive test that looks for cancer in your body. The first 3 I had, in 2008, 2009, and 2010, were all of my torso. They looked everywhere from the shoulders down to the mid thigh area. I wanted more.
So today, I had one from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes. I will see the Dr. on Friday to get the results. My own mother got her results of the breast cancer spread to the liver over the phone. I happened to be with her when she got the news. I decided then that the phone is not the best way to get news about cancer spreading., or metastasis, as they call it. I will go to the Dr's office, although I will tell you the truth, I don't expect to find anything. As I left the Dr's office, it was dark and gloomy and cloudy, but the Spirit took my attention to this LIGHT on the mountain. I felt peace. I felt loved.

I am grateful for Life, even with it's ups and downs, I am glad to be here!