Sunday, July 24, 2011

Schmitt BBQ Scheduled for Sunday July 31

Hello Friends! We set a date and time for the Schmitt Family/Friends BBQ. It is scheduled for next Sunday July 31 from 3:00-7:00 pm at my home in Stanwood. I will provide a variety of foods and some drinks but ask that you bring a lawn chair and your sunglasses because I have requested sunshine that day. Let's hope my wish is granted! If you need directions to my house, have additional questions or simply want to confirm that you are coming to the party, email one of the girls. They are much quicker to reply to your emails!



See you Sunday!

Dreaming Big,

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It's Real

Real sick of cancer.  Real sick of being sick.  Real sick of hearing about sickness.

There.  I got that off my chest.  Now let's talk about the REAL stuff.  We all know that I've been the luckiest lung cancer patient around.  I've had more kinds of treatment than any of Dr. Eaton's other patients.  We've used every possible chemotherapy drug available at SCCA to keep my cancer from growing.  With that being said today's scan showed the cancer is progressing (now more in my right the past my left lung has been the worst).  So, we are going to give Tarceva another month to make a difference and if it doesn't work then I will go off it and my medical treatment will be over.  Today was the first time Dr. Eaton mentioned Hospice and we all gasped at the word.  Sounds life ending doesn't it?  Or, if you look at it from my perspective, perhaps life will just begin again for me.  I won't have to worry about scans and results.  I will just get to live my life with my friends and family doing all the things I love to do.  When my time is up (and none of us knows when that might be) I will have said and done all the things that are important. 

I took the kids out for lunch today after my appointment (though no one was very hungry) and we talked about having a Schmitt Family Summer Open House one day soon so I can visit with any and all of you who make a difference in our lives.  Keep watching for more details.

Don't be sad about this news.  Be thankful.  Thankful that I've outlived my prognosis.  And...remember, I don't listen to statistics anyway.  It's math and I don't do math.

Love you more,
Dreaming Big Dor

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Golden Rules

1. Treat others the way you want to be treated.

2. If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

These are some of the basic rules of life we learn when we are in kindergarten, if not before.  We are taught to play fair and treat others nicely.  Well, lately, cancer hasn't been playing by the golden rules.  It certainly isn't treating my mom the way it would want to be treated.  It isn't playing fair, and it certainly isn't treating others nicely.  So, with that being said, my mom is referring back to the rule, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Over the past month, my mom's cancer has begun to get progressively worse.  Her coughing has gotten to the point where she is often leaning over a toilet hoping she would cough up lung fluid but on occasion has found that the deep coughing has lead to bouts of vomiting and pain.

Although her lung scan isn't until next week, we would be naive to think that her lungs are "stable."  She feels worse and sounds worse.  Twice she has made a comment to me about being scared sometimes when she can't breath and how she feels like someone is going to find her dead from hyperventilating and suffocating.  Although I hope she is exaggerating slightly, we all know that it has to be extremely scary when you can't get enough oxygen.

Due to feeling so much worse, Dr. Eaton has started mom on Tarceva again.  It was the original drug she took in April of 2006 and it worked on her for 30 months.  Obviously they stopped the drug for a reason in 2008, it wasn't as affective as it had been in the past, but at this point Tarceva is her only option.  So, Tarceva it is.  The hope is that Tarceva will have some affect on the cancer cells that are new since 2008 and have never seen Tarceva.  At this point she is willing to try anything that will bring her some relief.

She had a follow up appointment with her gamma knife/brain doctors this past Monday.  They told her that nothing has shrunk since her last surgery, or if it had, there are new ones because she has the same amount of spots in similar areas.  When she asked about going back in for surgery they told her that she is only a candidate if her cancer is "stable" below the neck.  At this point, she doesn't qualified for another gamma knife surgery unless the tumors begin to affect her eye sight or speech.  They would go into her brain again if that were the case because they would want her quality of life to be better.

So, as you can see, the month long break from writing on her blog is probably well deserved.  My mom has a lot on her mind and lots of emotional things she is trying to get thru.  Overall, mom is still mom.  When she is feeling well she is still as funny as ever.  She has gotten out of the house a few times recently to have fun with friends, take a trip to Desert Aire with Angie and I over the 4th of July weekend, and visit Jake and Megan at their house for dinner.  She is living in the moment and focusing on the things that bring her joy.  If you are one of those things, you might want to consider giving her a call and making her smile.

We hope all is well with you and yours-