Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year's Eve

We had to cancel our annual New Year's Eve celebrations at a friend's house. I felt my all time worst. Maggie went on without us and was able to have a good time. When she got home Maggie and Ian watched the ball drop in Times Square on TV. We almost had to go to the ER but the Dr. on call decided to try one more thing...his concoction of 3 drugs he uses for his own patients. Huge worked! Happy New Year!!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

41st birthday

My 41st birthday came and went without much attention. I felt horrible. Jennifer came over and brought flowers and presents and mom/Howard brought a coffee cake. Small celebration... that's all I could muster.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I just want to report that Monica had her 2nd chemo treatment yesterday. She was feeling good going into it, and the process went fine, but she was hit again last night with nausea. She's feeling pretty miserable, but so far she's been able to stay home. She is currently there, trying to rest, and trying to stay hydrated. It seems that she's able to do a slightly better job of that this time than she was last week, so hopefully that means she'll be able to avoid the ER. She was hoping that only getting one drug this week (Gemcitabibe) rather than the two combo from last week (Gem + Cisplatin) would minimize the nausea, but so far the difference isn't noticeable although being able to stay out of the hospital is a good thing! - Jennifer

Monday, December 28, 2009


I LOVE that on the top of Maggie's list to Santa this year was a big lollipop!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

sweetie pie

Maggie showing off her new shirt!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

We had a nice Christmas. Quiet. We had a small gathering of family and enjoyed the day together.

Christmas 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Love Thursday

Maggie made me this BEAUTIFUL origami heart out of 1 piece of wrapping paper...I love it and it is now one of my favorites! Today is Christmas Eve and I was not able to make it to Christmas Eve services...I didn't even catch Maggie in her Christmas dress. Others reported back to me that she looked like an angel.

Monica has been admitted to a room in MDA to try to keep her hydrated and manage the side effects she's experiencing. They have been taking care of her in the ER from when she went in Tuesday night to this morning. One thing I did learn today that I was unaware of is that one of the two drugs she received on Monday she gets only once a month. That drug is particularly harsh and the reason why they will always keep her in the hospital at least overnight after the first day of each 4-week cycle. The hope is that means maybe the other three weeks of her cycle will be more manageable. At least it will be one less chemo drug. She is trying to rest she has her phone turned off for now. I imagine we won't be seeing her active on FB for a while, either. Just know that she's working on the fight. Maggie and Ian will be attending Christmas Eve services at Palmer this evening. Hopefully they will have Monica home for Christmas. However, in the big picture, of course, we want her to be where she can be best taken care of. - Jennifer

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Poor Monica hasn't been able to keep even water down. She was doing fine while at the hospital, but I guess the anti-nausea medication they sent home wasn't as good as what she was getting in the IV. That's really just my guess...I don't really have any facts. Anyway, she went back to the hospital last night and is still there. I don't know if she's still in the ER or has been admitted. I'll let you know when I hear more. - Jennifer

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Every year Clementine claims his favorite spot to nap...under the Christmas tree!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mags and Rose

We seem to have a lot of these...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Love Thursday

Maggie loves the bottle cap necklaces and was pleased to make her own bottle caps with a kit she received as a Christmas gift!

Good news from MDACC. Monica's bone scan shows only the one spot of cancer on her spine, noting else (as far as bones go). She'd been very worried about the pain she's been experiencing in her shoulder, but it looks like that's surgery related. The other good news she has to share is that she actually hasn't had any pain today, so hopefully that means healing is happening! That's all for now. Thanks for your thoughts, prayers, meals, FB chatting, etc.! - Jennifer

Polar Express Day

Today was "Polar Express Day" in 1st grade at school. Even though I am not teaching anymore, I couldn't pass up a day to visit in my PJ's. This is me with the rest of my 1st grade team I teach with...I really miss being at school! It's all I know...

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Rosie is such silly, weird dog sometimes! She lays like this all the she is comfortable!

Friday, December 11, 2009


Monica went in for a bone scan today. and while she was there they told her that they've decided to push her chemo back a week. Basically, they feel like she needs more time to heal from the larynx surgery she just had. So, chemo starts Monday, December 21...week of Christmas. It's 4 weeks of treatment, a week off, then another 4 weeks of treatment before she is restaged. - Jennifer

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Love Thursday

Monica went to see her oncologist today. Here's what the doctor said: her cancer is very aggressive. A new CAT scan shows cancer in her spine now and new growth in both her sizable one in both the right and left lobes. Sizable, we think, is around 1 cm range. If you remember, these were not there on earlier scans, and certainly the growths in her lungs were not there when she had her lung surgery on November 9. So, the fight is on! She will start chemo on Monday. This will be once a week for 4 weeks in a row. After 2 cycles of this, they'll do more tests to see if everything is working. If it is, she'll keep on that program. If not, go to plan B (don't know what that is right after now). She will be on a trial - this is an additional drug that they will add on to what she'd be doing anyway, so she won't be missing out on anything. this is not a placebo test. They do, however, have two different groups p one that gets the extra drug right away and one that gets it a little later. She doesn't know yet which group she'll fall in. She'll spend the night at MDACC after the first round each cycle just to be sure she gets and stays hydrated. - Jennifer

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

container overload!

One drawback of accepting so many meals...we have a million containers that are pouring out of our cabinets! We have reorganized, cleaned out and thrown away a lot...

Monday, December 7, 2009


Monica is out of surgery. The doctor said that the implant went well. Her voice will be stronger, probably a bit higher. Hopefully it will help her with her low energy, as this has been a continuing problem for her. She will be out of the hospital late tomorrow morning and is not allowed to talk for 48 hours. while she can't talk, please send her FB messages, as that's her preferred means of communication right now, and I think it's important for her to keep up contact. Monica has along the process tended to push herself too far, resulting in some real set-backs. We'll hope that she can avoid that this time but then, when it's appropriate, work to get her strength back. That's going to be important as she moves forward with chemotherapy. She also visited the pain management doctors, and they are going to start stepping her off the medications she's been on since her original surgery. As you may know, Monica has continued to have a lot of problems with nausea, and the hope is that this is tide to the pain medication she's been on. again, getting her appetite and strength back is what we need to support her on in prep for chemo. - Jennifer

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I thought it was time to give Maggie her own email address! Times sure have changed since I was 10 years old!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Maggie & Momma

How many 10 year-olds will wear a matching shirt with their momma? Maggie!!! Always my Maggie.

gingerbread house

Gingerbread house building is always a fun day at our house. Each year our house always seems to have a different design. The heart on the roof was a first this year.

Maggie's tree

More tradition...Maggie puts up a little tree in her room every year.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Winter is here!

Something amazing happened today. It actually snowed all day today...all day and I missed it. I had 9 appointments at MDACC and missed it all! :-(

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Love Thursday

Hello, everyone. Just wanted to let you know that Monica has some plans in place now. She was at MDACC this morning and will be there again all day tomorrow visiting different doctors and having different tests run. This is mostly all in preparation for the surgery on her larynx, which will be Monday, and her oncology appointment next Thursday. She will stay overnight at MDACC and should only stay one day. As for the oncologist, she seems to be running s ton of different tests, and hopefully that means she'll be ready to give Monica a plan of action come Thursday. I want to pass on how grateful they are for all of the meals you continue to bring! Not having to use her energy to cook has allowed Monica to focus on healing and spending time with Maggie in the afternoons. Particularly with all the nausea she's had, it's been a huge blessing to not have to prepare food. Thanks! - Jennifer

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Hi, everyone. Monica has been battling nausea lately, and finally got so dehydrated that she spent the day in the ER Monday.The good news is that she is better and home resting. She got home Monday night but still pretty worn out. The thought is that this is all medication-related, so it sounds like they will be changing some of her drug routine up. The other good news is that she has 9 appointments scheduled with a whole slew of folks at MDACC between now and next Thursday. So, the show is getting on the road with oncology, voice issues, etc. She is hearing that chemo is very likely (which is a good thing - nice to be able to do something), and hopefully she'll learn more about that during this set of visits. Thank you, everyone, for your calls and emails checking on her this week. As always, everyone's concern, prayers, good thoughts mean the world to Monica and her family. - Jennifer